Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein answered questions from voters Tuesday night during an hour-long live video on Facebook.
Stein was the Green nominee in 2012 and is expected to get the presidential nomination again at the Green Party convention early next month. She appealed to Bernie Sanders supporters after the Vermont Senator announced his endorsement of Hillary Clinton earlier in the day.
Jill Stein said NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden would be a member of her cabinet if she’s elected president.
“Yes. I have called for pardoning Snowden. Not only pardoning him, but, welcoming him home as a hero, because he has done an incredible service to our country at great cost to himself for having to live away from his family, his friends, his job, his network, to basically live as an expatriate.
“This is a very difficult thing for him to do, but, what he has done is revealed the violations, of our constitutional rights, that were taking place and that still are taking place. I would say not only bring Snowden back, but, bring him into my administration as a member of the Cabinet, because we need people who are part of our national security administration who are really very patriotic. Truly patriotic to national security and who understand that if we’re really going to protect American security, we also have to protect our Constitutional rights and that includes our right to privacy.
“So, I’d say let’s welcome home Edward Snowden as soon as we can and likewise, I would pardon Chelsea Manning, and some other whistleblowers out there, John Kiriakou and others who’ve really done a great service for us. And I also want to mention Aaron Swartz, who was a proponent of a free and liberated Internet and for sharing our resources on that internet, who was basically hounded into suicide by a very oppressive Department of Justice. So, he–in my mind–is another one of these heroes that we need to remember and be very thankful for. The people who’ve paid an incredible price for our rights of not only the freedom to communicate on the internet, but, also the freedom to guard our privacy.”
Stein was asked about Puerto Rico’s debt. She said it was time to stop colonizing and exploiting Puerto Rico. She said she would pay for a bailout of the island — and for many other social programs like college debt — by drastically reducing U.S. militarism and the cost of the Department of Defense.
“The question will come up ‘How do you pay for it?’. Well, how do you pay for it? We don’t need the friggin’ wars for oil. They are not making us more safe. They are making us less safe.
“And mind you, this is the majority of our discretionary budget. It’s 54% of our budget. It’s almost half of your income tax pays for these wars and this military that’s scattered all across the world, that does not make us safer, it actually makes us less safe and it inflames the local populations, who are invariably–whose toes get stepped on in a lot of big ways, by the occupying forces.
“So, we need to put an end to these wars for oil, an end to being, not only the policemen, but, the occupying force around the world. We are the only country in the world that has ever done this. We have over 1,000 bases around the world. If you add up all the other bases of all the other countries put together, it’s less than 30, ok? And we have 1,000. So, there’s something really wrong with this picture.
“By coming back to a truly Defense Department, rather than an ‘offense department,’ we can actually scale way back on our military expenditures and have hundreds of billions of dollars to put into true security, here at home and in the causes of peace and justice around the world.”
Here’s more WMNF News coverage of Jill Stein.
Watch the video here: