Hello Dennis

>--- Keith Addison <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> >
>http://www.guardian.co.uk/Columnists/Column/0,5673,1233738,00.html
> >
> > Comment
> >
> > Break out the bicycles
> >
> > Oil is running out, but the west would rather wage
> > wars than consider
> > other energy sources
> >
> >Hello Keith!
>
>So Keith, I'm glad you posted this item. I recently
>became aware of a site
>www.copvcia.com/www.fromthewilderness.com & Michael
>Ruppert.
>
>Maybe you've given discourse on this before but if so
>I missed it. What is your general take on the site and
>it's contents? I've read some of it and still chewing
>my way through it. While I heartily agree the
>mainstream media give us a sugar-coated view and won't
>touch controversial stuff

Well, they do, eventually, maybe, some of them, some of it, and 
journalists do - the media may be morally bankrupt, more or less, but 
journalism isn't, with many exceptions, but not as whole.

>I also do not subscribe to
>"everything's a conspiracy".

Yes, that's the problem, Scylla and Charibdis. What is in the 
archives is quite a few spin exposes, along with all the resources 
you need to do that. While the Internet has greatly added to the 
confusion, IMO that's more than outweighed by its providing a real 
alternative and antidote to the strictures of the "kept press", and 
sufficient good resources to help you sort one from the other, with a 
bit of effort.

>What is your personal opinion on the site and it's
>news items?
>
>As always, keep up the education of the rest of us.
>I'm sure we need it.

We all need it. I'm forever grateful for the ongoing education I get 
from Biofuel list members, if I manage to do some education in return 
it's but small recompense.

>Thanks again!
>
>Best.........
>
>Dennis Nelson

Concerning Ruppert, I'd say your instincts are sound. I pretty much 
agree with this, below. Rampton is John Stauber's partner at PR 
Watch, they do excellent work. I'm sure they make mistakes, everyone 
does, but I haven't seen them get it wrong yet, they're careful. As 
Rampton says, there is sound work to be found at that site too, 
especially by some of the other writers published there, but it's a 
mixed bag. Beware.

Best wishes

Keith


http://www.prwatch.org/forum/showpost.php?p=2230&postcount=4
December 13th, 2002, 03:13 AM     #4

Sheldon Rampton

PR Watch Editor

If you haven't heard about Michael Ruppert, maybe I shouldn't have 
mentioned him  ...but then again, you would have probably come across 
him eventually anyway.

Some of the information that he circulates is valid, but the valid 
information is stuff that Ruppert has merely borrowed from someone 
else, and it's mixed with so much absolute bullshit that it's not 
worth trying to sort out which is which. Here, for example, is the 
URL to a statement from Michael Ruppert which he describes as his 
"Opening Remarks ... for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence":
http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ciadrugs/ssci.html

Actually, Ruppert's remarks were never presented to the Senate Select 
Committee, because the committee wasn't interested in having him 
testify, but I've seen web sites where Ruppert's admirers manage to 
miss this point. His testimony is long and rambling, but if you read 
it you'll get some sense of what a whack job he is. If you believe 
his story, he must be the Zelig of sinister global conspiracies. He 
pops up everywhere. He claims that he was working in LAPD when he got 
involved with a woman named Teddy who was also a CIA agent, a friend 
of a niece of the Shah of Iran, and an acquaintance of people ranging 
from narcotics investigators to members of different crime families. 
Through his on-again, off-again relationship with Teddy, he became 
aware that the CIA had long-term assets planted as deep cover agents 
within the LAPD, where they were busily engaged in nefarious 
arms-and-drugs transactions. Ruppert's woman friend dished all sorts 
of dirt about this to him and he got promoted to work as some kind of 
inside collaborator in their schemes. There was also some sort of $45 
million dollar real estate deal involving Ruppert and his mother. 
Then, for reasons that Ruppert doesn't bother to explain, the cabal 
turned against him, subjecting him to "five months of surveillance, 
harassing phone calls and ultimately 'black bag' burglaries of my 
home and car in which photographs of Teddy and my off duty weapon 
were taken." He doesn't explain why anyone would want to take 
photographs of his woman and his weapon, and it's hard to understand 
why they would want to harass him, since according to his own 
account, at that point he was happily working as a collaborator in 
their alleged conspiracy.

At about this point, also for no particular reason, Teddy moves to 
New Orleans and Ruppert follows her there, where he encounters still 
more nefarious dealings of an equally vague nature. Teddy is 
apparently involved in the Iran/Contra conspiracy, and Ruppert finds 
himself examining strange James Bond-like surveillance and encryption 
technologies and hanging out in bars with members of the CIA. Once 
again, they switch suddenly and mysteriously from chatting him up 
over beers to harassing him. "Outside a bar in Terrytown, shots were 
fired as Teddy and I walked to my car," Ruppert writes. "The shots 
struck the pavement a few feet from us. This was the first time I was 
shot at." (Mysterious gunfire is a recurring theme in his story. The 
global conspirators may be sinister, but evidently they are not very 
good shots.)

Ruppert then breaks up with Teddy and moves back to Los Angeles, 
where he simultaneously gets high marks for his police work and 
incurs further persecutions, including a "second round of burglaries, 
harassments and surveillance" that "culminated in a death threat." He 
resigns from his job and is "labeled crazy by both the LAPD and the 
FBI. ... Desperate for money I took a job as a 7-11 store clerk. Two 
hours into my second shift I was arrested for selling liquor to a 
minor in what I am sure, to this day, was a set-up. Under enormous 
stress I got drunk one night and collapsed on my front lawn. A shot 
barked in the distance and stuck the grass inches from my head. This 
was the second time I was shot at. ... My car was repossessed shortly 
thereafter. I filed bankruptcy in December, 1980." Shortly thereafter 
Ruppert has a conversation in the West Wing of the White House with 
his old buddy Craig Fuller, assistant to President Reagan, in which 
Ruppert tells Fuller that the CIA is dealing drugs, and Fuller 
casually admits it, as does a UCLA professor of political science who 
is also a CIA and State Department consultant. Other people also tell 
him the same thing: unnamed members of the Kerry Committee, Ross 
Perot, insurance executives, and "more than a dozen former U.S. Army 
Special Forces troops, Navy Seals, a half dozen former CIA officers 
and many DEA agents and former federal law enforcement officers who 
have confirmed that CIA deals drugs." For covert operatives, these 
guys sure turn into blabbermouths whenever they bump into Michael 
Ruppert.

But wait, it gets better. Here's the URL to another Ruppert article, 
co-authored with Michael Davidson, regarding the allegedly suspicious 
deaths of a number of microbiologists:
http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/02_14_02_microbio.html

According to Ruppert, the deaths of these microbiologists (none of 
whom worked together, and whose deaths occurred in places as diverse 
as Miami, Moscow, Memphis, Denver, Australia and England) "adds 
credibility" to the idea that "legitimate scientists and academics" 
are having "serious discussions ... on the possible necessity of 
reducing the world's population by more than four billion people." 
Evidently we are supposed to believe that these scientists (whose 
causes of death included stroke, suicide, homicide, a car crash, a 
plane crash and a lab accident) were murdered to cover up some sort 
of X Files conspiracy to eliminate more than half the world's 
population. Maybe it's just me, but I find this all rather 
implausible, especially since the criminal masterminds who engineered 
all these assassinations have previously proven themselves incapable 
of aiming a gun well enough to kill Ruppert while he lay passed out 
drunk on his front lawn.

To thicken the plot still further, Ruppert insinuates that the 
scientists were targeted for assassination using PROMIS software, 
which allegedly (1) was stolen and sold on the black market to Osama 
Bin Laden, giving him the ability to tap into FBI databases; and (2) 
"has reportedly been mated in recent years with artificial 
intelligence. PROMIS has long been known to have been modified by 
intelligence agencies with a back door that allows for surreptitious 
retrieval of stored data. ... It is a possibility that the software, 
by tapping into databases used by each of the victims, could have 
identified any lines of research that threatened to compromise a 
larger, and as yet unidentified, more sinister covert operation."

Ruppert passes on this stuff without bothering to explain how any of 
the pieces fit together. He doesn't explain how PROMIS works, let 
alone how we know it has been "mated with artificial intelligence." 
(How do computer programs "mate" anyway? Is there a courtship period, 
or do they just get drunk and screw?) What basis is there, other than 
Ruppert's fertile imagination, for suggesting that this software 
might have tapped into databases used by the "victims"? And if the 
"covert operation" is "as yet unidentified," how do we know that it 
is "sinister," or even that it exists at all?

Ruppert also draws some of his material from the website of Jeff 
Rense (http://www.rense.com), which explores topics including UFOs, 
the paranormal, secret weapons, spies, crop circles, and something I 
hadn't heard of previously called a "chupacabra" -- a half-man, 
half-beast that roams the Puerto Rican countryside, sucking the blood 
of farm animals. (I swear I'm not making this up.)

My take on Ruppert is that he's some kind of mentally unstable 
opportunist who has managed to become rather successful at 
intertwining his personal paranoid fantasies with legitimate concerns 
that other people have raised about the motives and actions of the 
U.S. government. I can understand why some of his writings seem 
interesting on first reading, and when I first came across one of his 
pieces I took it seriously enough to try and independently verify its 
accuracy. When I did so, however, I found that Ruppert's "facts" fall 
into two categories:

(1) facts that are not original to Ruppert, because they come from 
journalistic investigations performed by other people (such as Gary 
Webb, who did some first-rate reporting into contra-CIA-cocaine links)

(2) facts that cannot be verified at all, because they are simply 
false or they consist of wild leaps of conjecture for which there is 
no independent supporting evidence

The unfortunate thing is that there are people out there who take 
Ruppert seriously, including progressive activists. I think this is a 
shame and can't help but discredit and further marginalize activists. 
I'm not alone in this opinion, and it's rather interesting to see how 
Ruppert's followers (who tend to like some of my own writing, because 
it seems to confirm their paranoia) instantly turn hostile when I say 
that I'm not buying his schtick. I'm not the only progressive who 
gets this kind of treatment. Here, for example, is the URL to a web 
site (recommended by Ruppert), alleging that "The Nation, FAIR, 
Pacifica, Z Magazine, Noam Chomsky and many other 'liberal' icons are 
influenced and/or controlled by big business and intelligence 
interests":
http://www.questionsquestions.net/gatekeepers.html

For some further comments on Ruppert and the dangers of buying into 
conspiracy theories, here are a couple of other web pages that you 
might want to check out:

http://www.publiceye.org/b_conspi.html
http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=12536

   



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