NATION editor David
Corn attacks Mike Ruppert with bad information. Read Mike's
reply to corn.
Email Mr. Corn and let him know what you
Dear Mr. Corn:
I read with great amusement your ill-supported
attack on my work and was surprised that, for a man of your
supposed intellectual prowess, you had such a blatant disregard
for facts that you so incorrectly reported. Please refer
to the underlined passages of your missive below and I will
show you just where you have erred.
Your criticisms focus on the case of Delmert
"Mike" Vreeland, a US Navy intelligence officer imprisoned
who, by admission -- in court -- of Canadian authorities,
wrote an accurate warning of the September 11th attacks.
That warning, which is now an official part of the court
record in Canada,
was placed into the sole custody of Canadian jailers on
either August 11 or 12th, a month before the attacks. A
copy of it (obtained directly from court records) is available
on my web site at: http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/
01_28_02_vreeland.jpg. The stamp admitting the document
into evidence is clearly visible in the upper right hand
corner of the document. Therefore the document itself is
a bona fide source. During VreelandÕs extradition hearings
Canadian authorities have acknowledged, under oath, that
they had sole possession of the sealed letter for one month
prior to the attacks.
All of this was accurately reported by
me in a From The Wilderness story dated January 25th and
available on my web site at www.copvcia.com. Either you did not have the
thoroughness to read the story or your investigative abilities
are severely impaired. But then you state only that the
CIA has used drug dealers and avoid the full (and well documented)
truth that they have dealt drugs directly for decades. I
will be happy to debate you on this one too, but I doubt
if youÕll accept the challenge.
In addition, you attempt to discredit Vreeland
by innuendo. You state that he is in jail on fraud charges.
True enough, but did you also mention the fact that it was
his own credit card? For a man such as yourself, with such
great expertise on the CIA, who was Ted ShackleyÕs chosen
biographer (that should be enough to discredit you right
there), I am surprised that you did not recall that during
Iran-Contra a number of well documented intelligence sources
were controlled by their respective agencies through the
use of criminal charges connected to their areas of expertise.
Vreeland had a per diem of $19,000; ergo he was controlled
through a fraud charge. Similar victims during Iran-Contra
included Scott Weekly (weapons), Steve Carr (drugs), Jack
Terrell (weapons), Bo Gritz (passport), Scott Barnes (fraud)
and Al Martin (fraud). There are others. While many of these
men, to this day, have questionable reputations, it is beyond
doubt, as established by official records, that they were
In addition, I have hired a Toronto
correspondent who sits in on every court date as "Mike"
Vreeland fights extradition to the US
and certain death. I am traveling (again) to Toronto
next week to meet both with Vreeland and his attorneys.
It will not be the first time that I have been there or
sat in on his court proceedings. Oh, yes, and you also forgot
to mention that, in a call placed on a speaker phone from
open court, a Pentagon operator confirmed VreelandÕs Rank
and office assignment at the Pentagon, This is a part of
the court record too.
No, the Toronto Star did not confirm VreelandÕs
story. The Canadian court system did. And the fact that
he wrote a warning of the 9-11 attacks a month before they
happened and that it was sealed away from his access by
his jailers who admit that no one else had custody is a
shameful and incriminating fact that not even your sophistry
can gloss over. Rational people will want to know how this
man knew of the attacks and why the US
government and The Nation are trying so hard to kill this
No, you will not get $1,000 from me. The
facts are good. The story is good. My analysis is good and
it is left for The NationÕs readers to wonder whose interests
you really serve. Your feeble attack reminds of a quote
from Gandhi, "First they ignore you. Then they attack you.
Then you win."
LetÕs see if The Nation will have the integrity
to print my letter.
Michael C. Ruppert
"From The Wilderness"
The Loyal Opposition:
The 9/11 X-Files
E-Conspiracy Theories Deserve To Be Debunked
David Corn is the Washington
editor of The Nation.
His first novel, Deep Background, a political thriller,
was published recently by St. Martin's Press.
Please stop sending me those e-mails. You
know who are. And you know what e-mails I mean.... Okay,
IÕll spell it out -- those forwarded e-mails suggesting,
or flat-out stating, the CIA and the U.S. government were
somehow involved in the horrific September 11 attacks.
There are e-mails about a fellow imprisoned
in Canada who claims to be a former U.S. intelligence office
and who supposedly passed advance warning of the attack
to jail guards in mid-August. There are e-mails, citing
an Italian newspaper, reporting that last July Osama bin
Laden was treated for kidney disease at the American hospital
in Dubai and met with a CIA official. There are the e-mails,
referring to a book published in France, that note the attacks
came a month after Bush administration officials, who were
negotiating an oil deal with the Taliban, told the Afghans
"either you accept our offer of a carpet of gold, or
we bury you under a carpet of bombs."
Get the hint? Washington either did nothing
to stop the September 11 attacks or plotted the assaults
so a justifiable war could then be waged against Afghanistan
to benefit Big Oil. One e-mail I keep receiving is a timeline
of so-called suspicious events that "establishes CIA
foreknowledge of [the September 11 attacks] and strongly
suggests that there was criminal complicity on the part
of the U.S. government in their execution."
I wonÕt argue that the U.S. government
does not engage in brutal, murderous skulduggery from time
to time. But the notion that the U.S. government either
detected the attacks but allowed them to occur, or, worse,
conspired to kill thousands of Americans to launch a war-for-oil
in Afghanistan is absurd. Still, each week e-mails passing
on such tripe arrive. This crap is probably not worth a
rational rebuttal, but IÕm irritated enough to try.
ItÕs a mugÕs game to refute individual
pieces of conspiracy theories. Who can really know if anything
that bizarre happened at a Dubai hospital? As for the man
jailed in Canada, he was being held on a credit card fraud
charge, and the only source for the story about his warning
was his own word. The judge in his case said, "There
is no independent evidence to support his colossal allegations."
But a conspiracy-monger can reply, "wouldnÕt you expect
the government and its friends in Canada to say that?"
So letÕs start with a broad question: would
U.S. officials be capable of such a foul deed? Capable --
as in able to pull it off and willing to do so. Simply put,
the spies and special agents are not good enough, evil enough,
or gutsy enough to mount this operation. That conclusion
is based partly on, dare I say it, common sense, but also
on years spent covering national security matters. (For
a book I wrote on the CIA, I interviewed over 100 CIA officials
Anyone with the most basic understanding
of how government functions realizes that the national security
bureaucracies of Washington do not work well together.
Not good enough: Such a plot -- to execute
the simultaneous destruction of the two towers, a piece
of the Pentagon, and four airplanes and make it appear as
if it all was done by another party -- is far beyond the
skill level of U.S. intelligence. It would require dozens
(or scores or hundreds) of individuals to attempt such a
scheme. They would have to work together, and trust one
another not to blow their part or reveal the conspiracy.
They would hail from an assortment of agencies (CIA, FBI,
INS, Customs, State, FAA, NTSB, DOD, etc.). Yet anyone with
the most basic understanding of how government functions
(or, does not function) realizes that the various bureaucracies
of Washington -- particularly those of the national security
"community" -- do not work well together.
Even covering up advance knowledge would
require an extensive plot. If there truly had been intelligence
reports predicting the 9/11 attacks, these reports would
have circulated through intelligence and policy-making circles
before the folks at the top decided to smother them for
geopolitical gain. That would make for a unwieldy conspiracy
of silence. And in either scenario -- planning the attacks
or permitting them to occur -- everyone who participated
in the conspiracy would have to be freakinÕ sure that all
the other plotters would stay quiet.
Not evil enough: This is as foul as it
gets -- to kill thousands of Americans, including Pentagon
employees, to help out oil companies. (The sacrificial lambs
could have included White House staff or members of Congress,
had the fourth plane not crashed in Pennsylvania.) This
is a Hollywood-level of dastardliness, James Bond (or Dr.
Evil) material. Are there enough people of such a bent in
all those agencies? ThatÕs doubtful.
CIA officers and American officials have
been evildoers. They have supported death squads and made
use of drug dealers overseas. They have assisted torturers,
disseminated assassination manuals, sold weapons to terrorist-friendly
governments, undermined democratically-elected governments,
and aided dictators who murder and maim. They have covered
up reports of massacres and human rights abuses. They have
plotted to kill foreign leaders. These were horrendous activities,
but, in most instances, the perps justified these deeds
with Cold War imperatives (perverted, as they were). And,
to make the justification easier, the victims were people
Justifying the murder of thousands of Americans
to help ExxonMobil would require U.S. officials to engage
in a different kind of detachment and an even more profound
break with decency and moral norms. I recall interviewing
one former CIA official who helped manage a division that
ran the sort of actions listed above, and I asked him whether
the CIA had considered "permanently neutralizing"
a former CIA man who had revealed operations and the identities
of CIA officers. Kill an American citizen? he replied, as
if I were crazy to ask. No, no, he added, we could never
do that. Yes, in the spy-world some things were beyond the
pale. And, he explained, it would be far too perilous, for
getting caught in that type of nasty business could threaten
your career. Which brings us to....
Not gutsy enough: Think of the danger --
the potential danger to the plotters. What if their plan
were uncovered before or, worse, after the fact? WhoÕs going
to risk being associated with the most infamous crime in
U.S. history? At the start of such a conspiracy, no one
could be certain it would work and remain a secret. CIA
people -- and those in other government agencies -- do care
about their careers. Would George W. Bush take the chance
of being branded the most evil president of all time by
countenancing such wrongdoing? Oil may be in his blood,
but would he place the oil industryÕs interests ahead of
his own? (He sure said sayonara to Kenneth Lay and Enron
pretty darn fast.) And Bush and everyone else in government
know that plans leak. Disinformation specialists at the
Pentagon could not keep their office off the front page
of The New York Times. In the aftermath of September 11,
there has been much handwringing over the supposed fact
that U.S. intelligence has been too risk-averse. But, thankfully,
some inhibitions -- P.R. concerns, career concerns -- do
provide brakes on the spy-crowd.
There is plenty to be outraged over without
becoming obsessed with "X Files"-like nonsense.
By now, youÕre probably wondering why I
have bothered to go through this exercise. ArenÕt these
conspiracy theories too silly to address? That should be
the case. But, sadly, they do attract people. A fellow named
Michael Ruppert, who compiled that timeline mentioned above,
has drawn large crowds to his lectures. He has offered $1000
to anyone who can "disprove the authenticity of any
of his source material." Well, his timeline includes
that Canadian prisonerÕs claim and cites the Toronto Star
as the source. But Ruppert fails to note that the Star did
not confirm the manÕs account, that the paper reported that
some observers "wonder if it isnÕt just the ravings
of a lunatic," and that the Star subsequently reported
the judge said the tale had "no air of reality."
Does that disprove anything? Not 100 percent. ThereÕs still
a chance that man is telling the truth, right? So IÕm not
expecting a check.
Conspiracy theories may seem more nuisance
than problem. But they do compete with reality for attention.
There is plenty to be outraged over without becoming obsessed
with "X Files"-like nonsense.
Examples? ThereÕs the intelligence servicesÕ
failure to protect Americans and the lack of criticism of
the CIA from elected officials. Or, General Tommy Franks,
the commander of military operations in Afghanistan, declaring
the commando mis-assault at Hazar Qadam, which resulted
in the deaths of 15 to 20 local Afghans loyal to the pro-U.S.
government, was not an intelligence failure. (How can U.S.
Special Forces fire at targets they wrongly believe to be
Taliban or al Qaeda fighters, end up killing people they
did not intend to kill, and the operation not be considered
an intelligence failure?) More outrage material? A few months
ago, forensic researchers found the remains of people tortured
and killed at a base the CIA had established in the 1980s
as a training center for the contras. The U.S. ambassador
to Honduras at the time is now the U.S. ambassador to the
United Nations, John Negroponte.
There are always national security misdeeds
to be mad about. They may not be as cinematic in nature
as a plot in which shady, unidentified U.S. officials scheme
to blow up the World Trade Towers to gain control of an
oil pipeline in Central Asia. But dozens of dead Hondurans
or 20 or so Afghans wrongly killed ought to provoke anger
In fact, out-there conspiracy theorizing
serves the interests of the powers-that-be by making their
real transgressions seem tame in comparison. (WhatÕs a few
dead in Central America, compared to thousands in New York
City? Why worry about Negroponte, when unidentified U.S.
officials are slaughtering American civilians to trigger
war?) Perhaps thereÕs a Pentagon or CIA office that churns
out this material. Its mission: distract people from the
real wrongdoing. Now thereÕs a conspiracy theory worth exploring.
DoesnÕt it make sense? DoesnÕt it all fit together? I challenge
anyone to disprove it.