Peak Oil, Stolen Elections, Energy Wars
An Interview with Michael Ruppert
by Tod Foley and Ronnie Pontiac, Newtopia
Apocalyptic fantasy is the heritage it seems of everyone growing up in
a monotheistic culture, and no one of us has avoided the stomach
turning terror of wondering if the next turn around the corner might
lead to disaster. We titillate our fears with movies like The Day
After Tomorrow. Hal Lindsay made a fortune preying on that fear.
History is full of ridiculous stories of whole communities standing
outside awaiting the end of the world on the word of some deranged
bookworm's interpretation of holy scripture.
But imagine for a moment if you were the child of Holocaust survivors.
Or imagine that you lived in Lebanon when your cosmopolitan street of
cafes was bombed into rubble. Imagine you were the child of one of the
people who died in the World Trade Center. The idea that some dreadful
page of history might be just ahead would not seem so far-fetched.
When you have a born again president in charge of Mideast policy
apocalyptic thinking must be the order of the day.
The concept of Peak Oil seems to exist in a strange parallel universe
where, despite the term having been affirmed by the likes of Cheney,
Bush, and numerous oil company executives, it has not reached the
popular imagination. Peak Oil broken down to its simplest form is the
observation that oil production is limited and that we already are or
are about to experience a decline in oil availability that, coinciding
with ramped up oil demand in China and India and your local Hummer
dealership, will be the end of globalism and the precarious prosperity
we've built on the resources of the Third World. If you were among the
first to know about a coming economic calamity, would preserving the
status quo for as long as you could be worth fixing elections and
starting energy wars in the Mideast? Would it be worth orchestrating
the demise of some of your own citizenry? Perhaps you might even feel
that you must be a ruler by divine mandate. It takes a rare individual
to face such an enormous predicament without some crutch of faith.
Mike Ruppert is the publisher/editor of From the Wilderness or FTW, a
newsletter he founded in March 1998 by mailing out 68 copies to
friends and researchers. FTW is now read by more than 16,000
subscribers in forty countries including forty members of the US
Congress, the intelligence committees of both houses, and professors
at thirty universities worldwide. An honors graduate of UCLA in
Political Science (1973), Ruppert is a former LAPD narcotics
investigator who discovered CIA drug trafficking in 1977. After
attempting to expose it, he was forced out of the LAPD in 1978 despite
earning the highest rating reports possible, and having no pending
disciplinary actions. In 1996, after eighteen years of struggle, he
finally achieved one of his deepest wishes in a face to face encounter
with then CIA Director John Deutch on national television. Washington
sources later told Ruppert that Deutch's mishandling of the encounter
cost him his guaranteed appointment as Secretary of Defense.
In Ruppert's highly controversial new book "Crossing the Rubicon" he
names Vice President Dick Cheney as the prime suspect in the mass
murders of 9/11 and with copious footnotes works to prove that not
only was Cheney a planner in the attacks but also that on the day of
the attacks he was running a completely separate command, control and
communications system which was superseding any orders being issued by
the FAA, the Pentagon, or the White House Situation Room. He provides
evidence that in May of 2001, by presidential order, Cheney was put in
direct command and control of all war-game and field exercise training
and scheduling through several agencies, especially FEMA. This also
extended to NORAD drills -- some involving hijack simulations. Ruppert
finds evidence that the interceptors that should have protected
America were instead over the Atlantic and elsewhere involved in the
TRIPOD II exercise conducted by Cheney. He also provides evidence that
a number of public officials at the national and New York City levels
including then Mayor Rudolph Giuliani were aware that flight 175 was
heading for lower Manhattan for twenty minutes and issued no warning.
According to Ruppert the US manufacturing sector has been mostly
replaced by speculation on financial data whose underlying economic
reality is hundreds of billions of dollars in laundered drug money
flowing through Wall Street each year from opium and coca fields
maintained by CIA-sponsored warlords and US-backed covert paramilitary
violence. America's global dominance depends on an arbitrage of guns,
drugs, oil and money. Oil and natural gas -- the fuels that make
economic growth possible -- are subsidized by American military force
and foreign lending. What happens when the oil starts running out?
It's no coincidence that the Homeland Security Act clears the way for
martial law. Ruppert not only thinks both presidential elections were
stolen, he thinks the electoral process in the United States is dead.
Newtopia: The 9/11 case you present in "Crossing the Rubicon"
eventually leads up to charging the President and especially the Vice
President, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, the Commander of NORAD,
the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General and the former
Directors of Central Intelligence and the FBI with multiple counts of
premeditated murder. What has been the response (if any) from DC
MR:The response has been absolute silence. Not a word of reply from
any official source in Washington or elsewhere.
Newtopia: Your findings seem to correlate with many of the "911Truth"
findings, and I know you are on familiar terms with the people there.
Are there any areas in which your findings or theories differ
appreciably from theirs, or do you feel that your investigations are
MR: By and large our findings and approaches are consistent. However,
as I described in Rubicon, because of my long experience with
investigative and court procedures, there are some areas of emphasis I
have chosen to avoid or minimize. Legal "proof" is a standard that is
very much misunderstood by many amateur researchers who have no legal
or law enforcement training. This is especially true when it comes to
physical evidence issues which require expertise to analyze in a legal
setting and incredibly strict standards to guard against manipulation
of physical evidence (whether video, photographic, or crime-scene
There is an old saying that "For every expert, there is an equal and
opposite expert", and we have seen this used against physical evidence
proponents as recently as a couple of days ago when the New York Times
presented rebuttal experts on physical evidence to their story about
millionaire activist Jimmy Walker and his ad campaign. I predicted
this kind of response well over a year ago.
I have been at this for 26 years and I have seen all of these mistakes
made before. No such rebuttals can be made against a written record of
statements made by the suspects themselves or to their records and
documents submitted under oath and no scientific analysis is necessary
to evaluate them. Either they said something or they didn't. Either
the records they submitted were submitted or they were not.
An additional problem is that by focusing on physical evidence
questions only, there is no legal proof offered as to who was
responsible. For example: Lets say that it was definitively
established that no airplane hit the Pentagon. That would still leave
you legally bereft of proof as to who was responsible for that, what
was used instead, and who used it.
In Rubicon I nail the suspects with enough evidence to prosecute and
convict them for murder. If that were to ever happen then a real
investigation with reliable control mechanisms for the analysis of
physical evidence and real penalties for dishonesty might produce some
interesting results that could be legally trusted.
I also believe that it is imperative to get people to the point of
realizing that the government "did" 9/11 as quickly as possible for
the same reasons that I believe that fighting over the 2004 election
is a complete waste of time.
Newtopia: The concept of Peak Oil has been getting more attention
lately, thanks in no small part to your work, and to the work of other
journalists who have taken up the call. On a global level the danger
is obvious and the best way to respond seems pretty clear: to
drastically reduce dependency on oil and natural gas. But oil is
involved in more products than people are aware of, and dependency
reduction (like recycling) begins at home. Think globally, act
locally. So before we get to the point where these products are being
rationed, how can people act *locally* to begin reducing their own
families' dependence on these resources?
MR: Changes are being implemented all over the world and in very
creative ways. Biodiesel co-ops are forming throughout the Pacific
Northwest and elsewhere. Alternative currencies are springing up. I
could not have conceived of some of the things that are taking place.
This is a good thing. No one is as smart as all of us and I think it
better for me to see what everyone else comes up with based upon their
own situations. The important task will be to identify what works and
what doesn't and disseminate that information widely. This is going to
be a key priority for FTW's future efforts.
But people must understand that a solution that works in Minnesota
might be a disaster in Phoenix.
One of the problems here is that every individual has a different
starting place. They are different for people who live in large cities
versus people who live in the country or a small town; different for
renters as opposed to those who own their homes; different for people
who are out of debt and those who are not; different for people with
children versus those who have none. There is no one-size-fits-all
At FTW we will be getting much, much deeper into possible
post-petroleum lifestyle options in coming years. This is probably the
best return on investment we can give to our subscribers.
However, many experts, including my dear fried Richard Heinberg
(author: The Party's Over and Powerdown) are in complete agreement
that post-petroleum and Peak Oil solutions will be local and governed
by geography and local communities more than anything else. There will
be no painless magic bullet solutions for anybody.
Newtopia: The previous question notwithstanding, the approach of the
neoconservatives currently in power seems to be quite the opposite:
They seem to have decided on the approach of acting as though nothing
is wrong, meanwhile doing everything possible to place all the world's
oil reserves under American control, either directly or indirectly.
There is a brutal logic to this approach, although no amount of
military expenditure will ever increase the amount of accessible oil
on Earth. So even if one buys into the neocons' apparent assessment of
the situation, there has to come a point of diminishing returns. To
put it bluntly: How long could the US remain at current usage levels
if we forcibly seized all of the known oil reserves in the world?
MR: Great question but the answer is uncertain. The question assumes
that somehow the US will be able to "take" all the energy it needs,
whenever it needs it. The truth is that the global energy supply is a
very complex system which as has been recently demonstrated – quite
clearly – has no elasticity whatsoever. Not every event or
circumstance is answerable with military force. For example: a large
Russian tanker just stalled yesterday in the narrowest part of the
Suez Canal when its steering gears allegedly failed. Some 130 ships
were backed up behind it. That's a problem that can't be bombed into
There is massive civil unrest exploding through maybe ten countries in
Africa. Strikes are pending in Nigeria and Norway. Sometimes
refineries go idle or are damaged by weather as recently happened in
the Gulf of Mexico with four hurricanes in a row.
There are other problems such as with refining capacity. Saudi Arabia
and other countries have recently boosted production. But they can do
so only with heavy-sour oil which cannot be turned into gasoline by
most refineries. We do not need asphalt, we need gasoline. No new
refineries are being built because (at a cost of around $150 million,
with a 2-3 year lag time) the oil companies know that there won't be
enough future oil production to repay for the capital cost of building
the new refineries. That's why no – zero – significant new refinery
construction is taking place anywhere that affects the global supply
A better question is: How long will the US have before supply
disruptions and production shortfalls hit home? The answer in my
opinion is: less than a year.
Newtopia: Shortly before November 2nd, Osama bin Laden released a tape
in which he spoke to the American people. He was reminiscent of a
Native American as he seemed to try to speak rationally to an invader
with a belief in Manifest Destiny. Bin Laden mentioned his
relationship with the Bush family, and ran down a list of grievances
against US involvement in the Middle East. Most Americans have only
seen 4 minutes of that 18 minute-long tape, and unfortunately the
segment which received the most airplay was bin Laden's closing
statement, which asserted that neither George Bush nor John Kerry
could protect Americans. But Americans (especially in election years)
are unaccustomed to political speeches without partisan agendas, and
bin Laden's message seems to have been dropped by the media as quickly
as it was picked up. Connect the dots for us, since your research puts
you in an ideal position to do so: What is bin Laden trying to tell
link to TRANSCRIPT OF BIN LADEN TAPE IN ITS ENTIRETY:
MR: Really, the wrong question! In Rubicon I establish definitively
that bin Laden has been and remains a US intelligence asset. His
family business (the Saudi BinLadin group) [Yes this is the correct
spelling for the company name, please don't change it] owns and
operates a number of satellites and the Iridium satellite cell phone
company (among other things). I am really fatigued with these OBL
videos. Either the US government flies him to a secure base to shoot
what is needed, or a tape is morphed and fabricated, or a really
bad-looking impostor is used. Wayne Madsen just published a great
story on this.
These bin Laden tapes are a convenient way (although I don't think
very effective) of massaging public opinion. That's all. The BinLadin
Group is making huge profits from the War On Terror and Osama is
facilitating that with the help of partners in (for example) the
Carlyle Group. Even though the bin Laden's supposedly sold out,
there's a clear trail of interlocking financial interests which is
described thoroughly in Rubicon.
Newtopia: Your work is hotly debated in some politically active
American youth undergrounds like anarchy punk and the gang truce
movement including the Black Panthers. It's also been reported that
you and your partner Catherine Austin Fitts have something to do with
Lyndon LaRouche and his organization. You have written "I share a near
universal respect of the LaRouche organization's detailed and precise
research, I have not, however, always agreed with [its] conclusions."
What would you like to say to these?
MR: I have not been and will never be aligned, partnered or affiliated
in any way with Lyndon La Rouche or his organization. One of my
biggest problems with La Rouche is that he is a staunch drug warrior
who believes in the War On Drugs. I do not. I think all drug use
should be decriminalized, thus removing some $600 billion a year from
the economic system that oppresses us all. I have other issues with La
Rouche as well but no time to digress for that here.
Newtopia: Bin Laden, whether on behalf of Islam or the Carlyle Group,
or both, in his pre-election speech said that Bush, Sr. had envied
what he saw in Saudi Arabia (probably how his father Prescott felt
about Nazi Germany since his company had to be closed down by the US
Government for ignoring direct orders to stop doing business with
Hitler). Bin Laden said Bush, Sr. brought home techniques from the
Saudis that have resulted in stolen elections. Greg Palast claims on
the basis of exit polls that Kerry would have won had the election
been conducted fairly. Bush now has four more years. You have written
that you believe the election was stolen, please tell us a little
MR: The election was stolen. So what? That's all the time it gets from
me. There are a jillion stories on it circulating around the Internet
right now. I won't recap them here. I stopped believing in elections
in 2000. The techniques for stealing elections did not originate in
Saudi Arabia. The American electoral process is dead; and
irretrievably so. When you have John Kerry, Bill Clinton, Donna
Brazile and the DNC saying that the election was fair and balanced
then it is sheer foolishness to believe that any challenge is worth
the effort. The courts are rigged. Rehnquist is going out and Bush
gets to pick maybe three more Supremes. That's where an election
challenge would go. So what's the point?
Insanity is repeating the same actions over and over, expecting
different results. People who want to know my feelings about the
election should go to FromTheWilderness.com and read my editorial
"Snap Out of It!"
Newtopia: You say how we use our money can do more to change things
than our votes can, especially now that Diebold and the other
Republican information technology companies control vote counting. You
advise Americans to become debt free. To create self sufficient local
communities, both as a way of transforming the prevailing oligarchy,
and as our best chance for surviving the economic disaster of oil
depletion. You expect an economic crash next year. What is the
recourse of the American People now? Is it time for liberal thinkers
to abandon ship and head elsewhere? Will America become China's world
police in a permanently divided society of the very poor and the very
MR: You have the wrong perspective on China altogether. Globalization
is dead, d-e-a-d. It is based upon shipping raw materials and finished
goods all over the planet. Hence we have 10,000 mile Caesar salads;
tin and aluminum packaging that travel 20,000 miles from mining to
manufacture to store; Chilean strawberries in Los Angeles markets
instead of those grown right here in California. All of that is made
possible by cheap oil. Some 60-70% of all petroleum energy is used for
transportation. That's another reason why local solutions are
inevitable. Rising transportation costs will kill globalization and
outsourcing for anything other than information services and data
Liberal thinkers must stop chewing on bones that have no meat on them.
They must be as ruthless in evaluating the return they get for their
own investments in terms of time, energy and money (all the same
thing, really) as the bad guys are. The question to ask is: Has this
tactic ever produced any real change in the political landscape?
Newtopia: What are your own plans for the future? You recently
mentioned you are about to purchase your first home, I'm guessing it
won't be near your current HQ, here in southern California area,
perhaps the most oil dependent of all cities.
MR: I am waiting for the housing bubble to collapse next year, as it
certainly will. Secondly, FTW's following is so large now that if I
publicize the destination or area in advance a lot of people will get
there before I can move my company. And not all of them would be
friendly. What is imperative is that I relocate FTW to a rural or
semi-rural area so that we can (with funding we are hoping to raise in
the next six months) begin to explore various survival options in a
real test-bed and begin to provide that life-saving information to our
subscribers. I have an area in mind but am not disclosing it now.
If people are asking about priorities in selection of areas to move to
I offer the following:
Access to fresh water;
Lumber for construction and heating;
Low population density;
A friendly and supportive local community.
Obviously 6.5 billion people will not be able to find such a place.
The math doesn't work. Seeing that opens the door of consciousness to
the real problems of Peak Oil and why it is so imperative to put it
squarely on the world's agenda as quickly as possible. Otherwise, as
so many Peak Oil activists believe, things are going to get very
messy. Population control and compelling a reduction in
consumption/energy usage are the main problems. I do not have any plan
for how this should be accomplished. I do have some ideas about the
ethical/moral/spiritual standards that I would like to see injected
into the process but that is not for me to dictate to anyone. That is
a problem for the human race as a (real) whole.
What I am absolutely certain of is that Dick Cheney, the Bushes, the
Clintons and the Rockefellers do have population reduction plans and
that ethics, morality and spirituality are not involved in any of