Unanswered Questions: Rough Transcript Of Rough IV
Presented by… http://www.unansweredquestions.org/
Transcript of Mike Ruppert – From The Wilderness - on KPFK Radio
This is a rough transcript of the interview. [SEGMENT BEGINS]
Sonali Kolhatkar: "Due to the overwhelming interest that government and military agencies have shown our website and facilities, we are offering a special research package for all U.S. Government and military agencies. Normally the on-line-only subscription is $35 per year, but for the above-mentioned groups, we have a special for an on-line subscription for only $25 per year." That's a message for U.S. Government and military agencies on the website of From the Wilderness, edited and published by Michael Ruppert. Ruppert is also an investigative journalist and a former narcotics officer at the Los Angeles Police Department. But why are government officials so interested in him and his website? We'll find out today as we bring you Michael Ruppert himself. He's on the line with us from Canada as he goes on his speaking tour in Canada where he's speaking to packed audiences and he is taking some time out to join us on the phone all the way from Canada to share with us his insight, some of the research that he's done, some of his theories and some of the controversies that have surrounded Mr. Ruppert, going all the way from David Corn to folks right here, to the community. He has enjoyed a lot of support as well as a lot of derision, so we are trying to get him on the line right now, and bring him...bring him on to talk about his information and some of the cutting edge research that he is doing which is not really easy to find in too many other places. Michael is also involved in a website that is going to be released, or was released, very soon called www.unansweredquestions.org. That's unansweredquestions.org. And that is a site where a lot of other folks as well as Michael Ruppert are going to be helping populate with information about what happened during September 11th and before. And welcome, without further ado, welcome to the Morning Show, Michael.
Michael Ruppert: Thank you. It's good to be with you.
SK: It's good to have you with us. Now, let's begin by talking about what...about that which makes you so interesting to government officials, but also to the packed audiences who fill your speaking halls and those who subscribe to your publication, "From the Wilderness."
MR: Well, primarily it is the fact that we've had an editorial policy which I adhere to extremely strictly, that says that, in our presentations, we do not use anything that is not verifiable documented material that can't be replicated by anyone in the audience or who looks at the website or any other means that we publish by, and we do not focus on any ideological aspects. Strictly, we follow the money, and we show how the money works in any given situation, that liberates the mind to help analyze what's going on.
SK: Now there's been a lot of coverage of what the CIA possibly knew about the terrorist attacks on September 11th last year, but you had been talking about CIA involvement in the events of 9-11 well before. And the "Truth & Lies of 911" is videotape produced by you with hours of presentations on the events of 9-11, as well as an indictment of the CIA, and without any advertisement, this tape is selling fast. Can you describe very briefly what the tape is intended to reveal?
MR: Well, the tapes have historical context. In other words, most people, in order to even remotely believe that the U.S. Government had foreknowledge of the attacks and allowed them to happen, are grappling for a reality without some kind of historical context to paint for them why such a move was necessary or even practical in the minds of the people that are making their decisions. Our tape was first made in November of last year. It's still extremely timely because the historical context has not changed, and we did that at Portland State University when a thousand people turned out for my first lecture on the "Truth & Lies of 911". Since then, we've now done 19 lectures in 3 countries. I'm here in Toronto finishing up a Canadian tour, and we added to the Portland tape by interviewing three members of Congress and putting in a lot of documentation that's visually displayed in the tape, and that remains very, very pertinent today even as we have daily revelations of how much the government really did know and overlook before the attacks...[interrupted]
SK: Now, Michael, I think there are two separate issues here: What the CIA knew and did nothing about, which means guilt by complicity, and what the CIA might have done to encourage the attacks or engineer the attacks themselves. Now, the former sounds plausible, probably, to most who are aware of CIA history and a lot of the stuff that you talk about, but the latter sounds a little bit far-fetched. What is it exactly that you espouse?
MR: OK. That's a very good question. First of all, let me draw one more distinction that's very critical here. I do not think that the CIA is the prime mover. By definition, an "agency" is someone who works for or on behalf of someone else's interests. The CIA is an entity (and we show this very clearly in the lectures) that is and always has worked for the benefit of Wall Street, the major banks, the oil companies, and that's how I start the lecture, in fact. So where you might say, "CIA was involved in the attacks", they were following orders and representing interests of other more powerful interests, especially the major oil companies. Now, CIA...we have clear statements from, let's say, Coleen Rowley, the FBI agent from Minneapolis, and from Robert Wright, who had a press conference in Washington, that there were key FBI personnel who obstructed, thwarted, blocked, intimidated, harassed, threatened. These are not words of negligence. These are not words of passive actions arising from incompetence, let's say. These are words of malicious, deliberate actions. And there is a very clear-cut pattern of that to show that the U.S. Government effectively blocked the right information from getting into the right hands, and it did not involve many, many people. The FBI case clearly demonstrates this, that Coleen Rowley specifically refers to only one supervisory special agent in Washington who was blocking many terrorist investigations, and this man who would have been criminally negligent in many cases, was promoted after 9-11. I have not, and I am not, asserting things, and of course the spin to try to counteract me has run this way, but this is not what I'm saying, "that the CIA flew the airplanes", or anything like that. That's not the point. What intelligence agencies do, and always have done, is to run covert operations with the hostile assets, even, being manipulated without knowing who's pulling the strings. On September the 11th, we have, though, major questions unanswered. That includes: why fighters were not scrambled as standard procedure would have dictated; why the U.S. Government has now spent 9 months covering up massive insider trading connected to the attacks that could lead directly to suspects. There's a whole host of questions where it certainly looks, and acts, and smells, and walks and talks like the U.S. Government, in effect, opened the door and facilitated the attacks. Not necessarily by flying the airplanes, but by making sure that the attacks were successful.
SK: Now, are you saying that it's likely they had foreknowledge that such attacks were coming and thought it was convenient to allow them to happen, or strings were pulled to encourage the attacks? You know what I'm saying?
MR: Well, there's two separate threads here. I mean, clearly we know that the statements by the Administration, now, that they had no idea, golly gee, that airplanes were going to be used as weapons were lies. We have clear-cut warnings documented from German intelligence, from Russian intelligence, from many sources. Now, there's some damning new reports out of Morocco and Jordan showing that the White House had been directly warned. In one case, by the head of State, Vladimir Putin, that 25 pilots had trained for suicide missions to attack buildings. Bush is totally disingenuous to expect us to belief that, golly gee, the FBI and the CIA lost these warnings. How does he explain ignoring direct warnings from the heads of State? You can't do that.
SK: Some people say that folks like investigative journalist Greg Palast say things th...ha...have shown that the United States relationship with Saudi Arabia has been the prime reason and that the need to preserve that relationship has been the prime reason why the investigations were not continued because we certainly don't want to upset our friend, who we make a lot of money from which is Saudi Arabia. Is that something that you think would be an adequate reason?
MR: Well, I think he makes a good point. However, there are other signs. If you take any one data point out of what's known, you might be able to come to that conclusion. And I have the utmost respect for Greg Palast. His production of the W-199(I) report showing that the Bush Administration had ordered the FBI to stop investigating some of bin Laden's relatives outside of Washington, D.C. was a watershed moment in this case. Nonetheless, the pattern is very clear when taken as a whole that the Administration had a direct motive to let the attacks happen and make sure they succeeded. There was provocation...
SK: When you say, "make sure they succeeded", what exactly do you mean by "making sure they succeeded"? How do we know that the Administration wanted to make sure that the attacks succeeded apart from, I mean, there's actions that allow things to happen by...well, there's inaction that allows things to happen, and then there's specific action that fosters. I mean, how do we know which was which?
MR: Well, one of the key points of my lecture, which is becoming more important as time goes by, is a book by Zbigniew Brzezinski called "The Grand Chessboard" published 5 years ago, in which he has a map where the next world conflict was going to occur and the motive for the conflict was going to be the control of the largest untapped oil reserves on the planet in Central Asia. And, of course, we see that scenario playing out on a daily basis now. But at 3 specific points in his book, Brzezinski, who is an extraordinarily powerful man, who has been, not only a National Security advisor to Jimmy Carter years ago, but he has served Presidents Reagan and Bush, he's on the Trilateral Commission, he's a mover and shaker today, closely allied with David Rockefeller. At 3 points in his 5-year old book, he says clearly that, without an attack on the order of Pearl Harbor that threatened the domestic sense of well-being of the American people or produced a direct external threat, in effect, terrifying the American people, the American people would never, ever have supported the military action necessary to control the Central Asian oil reserves.
SK: But, I mean, I think that's absolutely right that he had that sort of prediction based on his experience, but does that necessarily mean that the United States planned it? Because we've seen, of course, that because of our foreign policy, because of our destructive policies, there have been many instances of certain elements wanting to attack the United States and have done so, even before the World Trade Center itself was attacked, and certainly the United States and Government saw it coming. I think there's a certain issue about whether these attacks were seen coming and allowed to happen. Or were they necessarily initiated and planned by the Government and...are you...I mean...I guess what...[interrupting]...you're not saying
MR: I'm not saying, and I have never said, I HAVE NEVER SAID that the U.S. Government initiated the attacks. That has never been a position that I've taken at From the Wilderness. What I have said, roughly since October, very clearly, is that the U.S. Government had penetrated the foreign terrorist operations, had knowledge that the attacks were coming, had direct benefit to stand from the attacks succeeding, and de facto, facilitated the attacks by preventing any investigations which might have stopped them. I have never once said that the U.S. Government was a direct planner of the attacks.
SK: Now, one of the people who has been a critic, and the reason why, of course, I'm asking these questions, is because there have been a lot of people questioning your research, Michael Ruppert, not necessarily your research, but your conjecture, and some of the conclusions that you have drawn, and one of these has been a writer for The Nation, David Corn. Can you talk a little bit about his...some of the things that he had said in an article that he wrote in The Nation called "The September X Files". And I also want to mention, by the way, that we invited David Corn to be on the show, and he declined.
MR: Um hmm. Well, first of all, in being attacked in The Nation, I am utterly honored and proud to join colleagues and heros of mine, including Peter Dale Scott, Dr. Alfred McCoy who wrote "The Politics of Heroin", and journalist Gary Webb. That's august company for me. And this pattern is not unusual for people who are really threatening the government with truth to have been attacked in The Nation. We've seen a pattern in The Nation for a long time of acting sometimes as an apologist for Government misconduct. David Corn, himself, was the chosen biographer for former CIA Associate Deputy Director of Operations, Ted Shackley, one of the most evil men in CIA history, who ran the CIA station in Laos, dealing tons and tons of heroin, who supervised the overthrow of Salvador Allende. And Corn's book, "The Blond Ghost" is almost an apologia for Shackley, couched and clothed as a critical piece, which absolutely overlooks Ted Shackley's long-standing role in the drug trade and many of his other crimes. So, this is not out of the ordinary for me. There is a term from the 60's Cointelpro, which many old-time activists remember well, which was orchestrated attacks from within the Left on the Left to fragment the Left...[interrupted]
SK: Are you suggesting that David Corn has some links to the FBI?
MR: I am saying that his behavior is certainly consistent with that kind of a pattern, yes, absolutely.
SK: Ahhh, well, okay. And what about referring specifically to his concerns. I mean, you didn't exactly address what...what...what were his problems with what you said?
MR: He has raised no effective argument. All the people who have attacked our work at From the Wilderness have failed to address the research that we have done. We have published 57 stories, most of which have been written by me since September the 11th. And what has been focused on is one particular case here in Toronto involving one man named Mike Vreeland, and I'm always pointing out that, in any lecture, the Vreeland case is only 5 minutes of my 2-1/2 hour lecture... That I have written 51 stories that have absolutely nothing to do with Vreeland, and this kind of noise is a means of distracting attention from the other extremely hard-hitting and well-documented stories that go directly to the heart of the Administration's interest.
For example, I think the most important story that I've written since September the 11th is called "The Elephant in the Living Room", and it has to do with the fact that the Attorney General, John Ashcroft, has massive, potentially criminal conflicts of interest with two sitting Federal grand juries, one in New York, one in Washington, involving Exxon-Mobil and BP Amoco, both of whom were major campaign donors. He has not recused from those investigations, and yet those are two of the companies who are directly benefiting from pipelines now being built out of Central Asia. It's interesting to note that both of those companies got access to Vice President Cheney's energy task force, where they're still hiding the documents, breaking the law, refusing to disclose to Congress who got into those, and that's the legal equivalent of having Manuel Noriega consulting in the "war on drugs". The issues in that case are bribery of the Kazakh President, Nazarbayev, and an illegal oil swap through Iran in 1997. Both of which occurred out of Kazakhstan at a time when our Vice President, Dick Cheney, was sitting on the Kazakh Government's oil advisory board. That, by definition, under U.S. law, makes Cheney a target of the grand juries. This is patently criminal behavior, and it is a ______ proof of the desperation of the major oil companies to have this war, that they can turn the billions in cash they had poured into the region throughout the 1990s into money. Enron, alone, had a $3 billion investment in a power-generating investment in Dhabol, India, that is totally dependent on a natural gas pipeline flowing across Afghanistan. And guess what, Enron still owns the Dhabol power plant, and that pipeline is now starting to be built.
SK: Let me actually, just interrupt, unfortunately we have limited time here and I want to just say that we may be able to bring an interesting dimension to this conversation, but I'd like to take a very quick break, if we possibly can, and come right back. I have on the line with me, Michael Ruppert, investigative journalist and publisher and editor of From the Wilderness. We'll be right back after this break.
Roy Hurst?: Go behind the stories of the mainstream media, today at 2:00 on "Counterspin". On today's show, a look at the movie, "Occupation", made about the protest by Harvard students demanding implementation of a living wage. That's today at 2:00 on "Counterspin". You're listening to "The Morning Show" with Sonali Kolhatkar on 90.7 FM KPFK.
["The Geezer" commercial]
SK: Good morning, and welcome back to "The Morning Show". I'm Sonali Kolhatkar, and I have on the line with me Michael Ruppert, whom I have been talking with for the earlier part of this hour. And we've been talking about some of the work that he's been doing, as well as the controversy it's generated. And we had a call-in by David Corn, himself, who asked if he could be on with Michael. This is an unexpected development, but we're certainly happy to have this kind of debate, and we had invited him to be on earlier. He had declined. He has now asked if he can actually be on, and Michael Ruppert has agreed. So, welcome both, to The Morning Show, Michael Ruppert and David Corn of The Nation magazine. Michael, you've been speaking for 28 minutes or so now, and I'd like to ask David for his comments, but let's be civil [giggle]. Welcome to The Morning Show, David.
David Corn: Thanks for having the flexibility, and I'm for total civility, although not passissivity [sic]. I really called to say one thing. I've written 2 stories on The Nation website and one's out today in the LA Weekly, also available on its website, in which I critique Michael Ruppert's timeline and his ________ response to September 11th, questions that, in my story, points I put there, that you can put to him, and have a conversation about that, you know, I don't think we can have a real debate about that long distance like this. One thing I do want to respond to is Michael Ruppert telling the good listeners of [missed on tape] Independent Media Center up in Portland Oregon, he said, even more explicitly, and this is a quote from the transcript available on the web...
If I'm asked honestly, and I will say that I have an opinion, that David Corn is one of the Establishment CIA/FBI operatives who has long been planted within so-called progressive circles. And the primary argument that I use for that is that he was chosen by one of the most venal characters in American history, Ted Shackley, to be his chosen biographer.
Now, KPFK listeners know that for years I have appeared on this network, I have raised money, I have flown out to LA to raise money for KFP... KPFK, and if anyone actually looked at my book, they would see that I was not Ted Shackley's chosen biographer. In fact, he threatened to sue me several times in the course...I was doing this book, and after the book came out. I wa...an independent biography. It was not a friendly biography. I interviewed him once after working on it for 3, actually probably 4, years, and then after it did come out, his friends told me he was considering a lawsuit. So for Michael Ruppert to say that I am a CIA/FBI establishment operative, planted within the so-called progressive circles, based on the fact that I was chosen to be Ted Shackley's biographer, is completely false. There is no evidence to say so ["Let's um," Sonali tries to interrupt] and anyone who makes a claim like that, I am not interested in debating the merits of what else he or she may have to say, because I don't think(?) whether Michael Ruppert is a CIA plant, an FBI plant, or anything else, I look at his material, and I critique the material, and that's what I've done in these two stories, and I encourage people to look at them ["Thank you very much..." Sonali tries to interrupt] and that's what I called to respond to.
SK: Thank you very much, David. Okay, let's get a response from Michael Ruppert, and...we have...I just want to remind our listeners as well as our two guests, that we have about 5 minutes left in this segment.
MR: I have a very quick response. My dear friend, colleague and mentor, Peter Dale Scott at U.C. Berkeley, has a great quote, that: disinformation in order to be effective has to be 95% accurate. And that is always the case. I debated David Corn...I met him first at Sarah McClendon's group at the National Press Club when "The Blond Ghost" first came out. I've read it twice, and the book completely omits the entire, extremely well-documented history of Shackley's involvement in the drug trade, and that is a glaring omission.
DC: You know what? You say that I'm his chosen biographer, and you say that's your basis for saying I'm a CIA/FBI operative. Do you still stand by those words? Or did you make a mistake when you said that.
MR: I did not make a mistake. That is my opinion to this...[interrupting]
DC: Ho...no, no, no, no...it's not an opinion whether someone is a chosen biographer. That's a statement of fact...that's...an...an opinion is whether someone is happy in their work...[with about 2 syllables, Mike interrupts and then lets him finish] whether someone did a good job or a bad job. Whether someone is a chosen biographer is a statement of fact that can be supported or disproved. What is your evidence for saying I'm a chosen biographer of Ted Shackley? ["I have had..." Mike begins, then stops for Sonali]
SK: Let me ask Michael Ruppert. If you can address the question and also just separate for us what you know as fact, and what you will claim as your opinion.
MR: I have had two sources, both of whom were former CIA case officers, tell me that the...
SK: And do you have any ah...[interrupting Mike]
DC: [interrupting Sonali] ...tell you what? tell you what? tell you what?
SK: [interrupting DC] Hold on, hold on, hold on, let's....
DC: [interrupting Sonali] ...be very specific here. Don't let him pull this crap.
SK: Could you, could you tell us any, I mean, do you have any serious evidence? Do you have anything on paper, because when you, of course, make serious statements such as this, it can, of course, be damaging to people's reputations. What kind of evidence, when you say you [inaudible]...[interrupted by MR]
MR: [calmly] As if his statements aren't damaging to mine, as unfounded as they are?
SK: Oh, sure, sure, but in terms of calling somebody, or asserting that they are a CIA or FBI agent or plant, do you have evidence from your sources on tape or paper or any kind of serious hard-core evidence apart from your word?
MR: Well, I just answered that previously, but I will answer it again. I have statements from two former CIA case officers, one of whom I believe is on the record, and if this becomes an issue, I'll go look him up.
SK: And his name is?
MR: [without pause] David MacMichael.
DC: DAVID MACMICHAEL?!?! Are you f....are you nuts? David's a friend of mine. I've worked with him for many years. He would never say that I'm a CIA case off...a plant.
MR: I didn't say that.
DC: wh...wh...what are you saying?
MR: That was not my statement...[interrupted]
DC: What's your statement, Michael?
MR: My statement was, was that, among others, that the...the information that I received was that Shackley had approved you to be his biographer.
DC: [begins screaming, obviously agitated] OK, FINE. YOU KNOW WHAT I'LL BET YOU A THOUSAND BUCKS THAT WE CAN BRING DAVID MACMICHAEL ON THE AIR ANYTIME YOU WANT IN THE NEXT WEEK AND HE WILL NOT SAY THAT! ["...and The Morning Show..." Sonali tries to interrupt] A THOUSAND BUCKS RIGHT NOW, WHAT DO YOU SAY?
MR: I would say I want to go talk to David MacMichael, see if he's... [speaking under DC interruption]... changed his position.
DC: ...WELL YOU JUST SAID HE TOLD YOU THAT...[Sonali tries to break in, "We will try to get, ah...]...DID HE TELL YOU THAT OR DID HE NOT TELL YOU THAT. A THOUSAND BUCKS, RIGHT NOW...[Sonali giggles]...PUT YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS WHEN YOU'RE LIBELING SOMEONE.
SK: Sounds good. Now, I want to just stop and remind our listeners...[interrupted]
DC: Hey...let..let's point out to the audience that he's not accepting this offer! He says that David MacMichael told him...[interrupted]
SK: ...Let me ask, actually...[interrupted]
DC: ...that I was Ted Shackley's approved biographer...[interrupted]
SK: ...Let me ask you guys... [interrupted]
DC: ....well, now he's not, now he's not...taking the challenge.
SK: Let me ask you guys, if you agree, can we get Mr. MacMichael on the air right now? Are you willing to...er...both of you willing to have him on the air at all...
DC: UM, YEAH, but I want Michael to take my bet first because I could use the money.
SK: [laughs] OK, so maybe the two of you can discuss that off the air. I want to...I definitely want to thank the both of you, and I want to also remind you that we do have to cut this off. We have another segment planned, but it's been very exciting to have the two of you on. I hope it's not going to be the last time...[interrupted]
DC: I GUESS IT'S EXCITING TO HAVE SOMEONE WHO LIES [over Sonali], but I'm sorry that KPFK... [inaudible, interrupted]
MR: [calmly] I'll be back in my office on the 16th. I'll make... [interrupted]
SK: We would LOVE to have the two of you back on together... [interrupted]
MR: [calmly] I'll make the contact with Dave, and I'll also contact the other source, whose name I don't feel free to mention... [interrupted]
DC: [inaudible]...take my bet...Mc...Mich...Michael, you just made a statement of fact that MacMichael had told you that. I want you to back that up...[Sonali tries to break in, "We have that on tape, don't worry."]...if that sounds too rich for you, I'll take 500 bucks.
SK: [giggling]...OK. Let me just [laughs]...ah, we have it on tape right now, and, ah...[interrupted]
DC: Please send me the tape, because I, I, I, I um, I'd like to have that as well. And I hope the audience doesn't fall for this crap... [interrupted]
SK: Do we have Mr. MacMichael on the line with us? Ah, it looks like we are actually trying to get him on the line...
DC: Well, then let's bump the next segment. This is far more exciting, I'm sure, than what they have...[Sonali is laughing]...and um, let's continue. Let's wait for David.
SK: Yes, we do have, do we have Mr. MacMichael on the air? No we don't unfortunately have Mr. MacMichael on the air. Our producers have been trying, but you know what, we will try to get him back on the air, and if we do succeed... ["and I don't..." Corn tries to interrupt again], can I have, the two of you, verbal agreements that you'll come back on the air with Mr....
SK: ...MacMichael and clear this up?
DC: I'll come back on the air to talk about this point, and I would then expect an apology from Michael for...to me and to David MacMichael, and I would expect the audience to realize that if someone doesn't tell the truth on a matter like that, that they should not be trusted on other issues as well...
MR: [calmly] I am not being dishonest at all, David.
SK: I want to thank the both of you...[interrupted]
DC: Then you're being delusional [over Sonali]
SK: ...very much for. Okay, we had agreed to keep this civil. I want to thank the both of you very much for joining us, for David Corn now unexpectedly calling in, joining us, and Michael Ruppert for agreeing to be on the air to talk about some of the research that he's done, and as you can hear, certainly his work has generated much controversy, and in the spirit of bringing voices to the air at KPFK, and the spirit of providing a platform for all voices, we are bringing Michael Ruppert. We're going to try to bring David Corn back on with him...clear up this information, but also, keep bringing you the information about what really happened on September 11th, why, how it affects us all, and keep, keeping these airwaves alive and yours and diverse, because we HAVE to hear from all the voices in order to make our decisions, ah, in a critical manner. So, you're listening to The Morning Show. Thank you to both my guests. I'll be right back after this break, talking about the Cuba Sister City Project. Stay tuned.
[cut to Latino USA commercial]
SK: Again, we had Michael Ruppert on the air, and David Corn called in and we had an interesting little debate with, ah, interesting accusations flying forth and wagers made and we're going to try to follow that back up. Of course, balance that with truly important information, as well as trying to clear up a small controversy. Now, in studio with me, if you can change focus a little bit is Lawrence Shoobs (sp?). He is with the Cuba Sisters City Project. Welcome to The Morning Show, Lawrence.
Lawrence: Thank you, Sonali. I feel so anti-climactic at this moment [laughter by both].
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An Open Letter To KPFK, Los Angeles