Thursday, June 28, 2007

Conflict of Interest, a 9/11 Windfall and the White House Council on Environmental Quality

Jenna Orkin*

James Connaughton, Cheney's Boy Wonder

June 27 James Connaughton, the Chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality which coordinated with the National Security Council to edit EPA's press releases following 9/11, faced the music last Wednesday with a nimble tapdance.

Padded with cliche allusions to the 'unprecedented' attacks and a homespun vignette about his son's fear that dad was dead, Connaughton's testimony at the Senate Hearing Into Federal Government Failures on [the] Environmental Impact Of [the] 9/11 World Trade Center Attacks deftly passed the buck, pointing out that there was a flurry of press releases; they were the work-product of many people, and that anyway, the public doesn't read them.

But in the course of this fancy footwork, (First the blame is over here, now it's over there) the Chairman slipped on the banana peel of a detail.

In response to a question about the EPA Inspector General's Report of 2003 which showed how the White House CEQ "tweaked" EPA's press releases - for instance by changing cautionary statements about asbestos to reassurances and omitting advice to obtain professional cleaning - as well as why (in order to reopen Wall Street) Connaughton asserted that the 9/11 Commission later did a thorough investigation of the same issue coming to very different conclusions.

During a recess, this blog asked Connaughton if, by "thorough investigation," he was referring to the footnote on page 555 of the 9/11 Commission Report, the only mention the report makes of the environmental aftermath of the attacks.

"I am," he replied gamely. (His demeanour throughout the hearing was chipper, as of one who has nothing to hide, who is, in fact, eager for the chance to tell his side of the story.)

During the Commission hearings Richard Ben-Veniste had regretfully told the parent of a Lower Manhattan student that the Commission would not investigate the environmental issue.

This writer relayed that information to Connaughton.

"They changed their minds after the Inspector General's Report came out," he asserted. "They did a thorough investigation, interviewing lots of people."

The footnote in the Commission Report containing the fruits of said "thorough investigation" is four paragraphs long. One paragraph reads in its entirety:

"We do not have the expertise to examine the accuracy of the pronouncements in the press releases. The issue is the subject of pending litigation."

(This writer is one of twelve original plaintiffs in one of the pending lawsuits.)

As for coming to very different conclusions from the Inspector General's Report, while it is true that the Commission Report's footnote offers Whitman some support, it also says:

"The EPA did not have the health-based benchmarks needed to assess the extraordinary air quality conditions in Lower Manhattan after 9/11. The EPA and the White House therefore improvised and applied standards developed for other circumstances... Whether those improvisations were appropriate is still a subject for medical and scientific debate. See EPA Inspector General report, 'EPA's Response to the World Trade Center Collapse,' Aug. 21, 2003, pp. 9-19."

This writer then asked Connaughton about his less well-known but potentially even more explosive role as Chairman of the White House Task Force on Energy Project Streamlining which was established on the recommendation of Vice President Dick Cheney's infamously secretive National Energy Policy Development Group. The Task Force included representatives from 21 Federal agencies as diverse as the Departments of Defense, the Treasury and the CIA. (Two years later, its mandates were amended to include the security of pipelines.)

Connaughton frowned in concentration.

"Ah yes!" he said triumphantly, as though retrieving a bauble from the depths of memory.

"How does this position expand the normal powers of the CEQ?" this writer asked.

"It doesn't!" he asserted. "I inherited it."

The Task Force was created, and Connaughton appointed its Chairman, by Executive Order 13212 on May 18 , 2001 two weeks after Connaughton was appointed to the Council on Environmental Quality so it is difficult to understand from whom he 'inherited' it.

Concerning why so many disparate agencies had to be involved, Connaughton said, "The Defense Department because often the energy is located in other countries. The CIA?.... I don't know; I don't think they came to any meetings."

Serving at the pleasure of Cheney's Energy Task Force, Connaughton and the CEQ faithfully carried out the Vice President's environmental agenda of relaxing regulations (that is how "streamlining" happens) the better to serve business interests.

In fact, so lax did regulations become, they managed to offend Christine Todd Whitman, whom Cheney had brought into the EPA, a feat that is comparable to shocking Larry Flynt.*

"It was Cheney's insistence on easing air pollution controls," says the Washington Post, "not the personal reasons she cited at the time, that led Christine Todd Whitman to resign as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency."

In response to the Inspector General's allegation that a major reason the CEQ downplayed dangers in EPA's press releases was the need to reopen Wall Street, much has been made of the fact that one smoking gun press release was issued after Wall Street re-opened; ergo re-opening the markets couldn't have been a motive.

This reasoning is simplistic; bosses don't necessarily spell out their wishes. In an article entitled "Leaving No Tracks," the Washington Post quotes Paul Hoffman, a former Cheney Congressional aide, who says, "Cheney never told [Hoffman] what to do... He didn't have to.

His genius is that he builds networks and puts the right people in the right places, and then trusts them to make well-informed decisions that comport with his overall vision."

Through the CEQ, Cheney turns up again in the furor over climate change. When NASA scientists complained of the Bush Administration's censorship of the issue, (once again by editing press releases) the spotlight fell on one Philip Cooney, who reported to Connaughton.

...And the Horse He Rode In On

Before becoming the eager hatchet man of the White House's environmental policies, James Connaughton was a partner in Sidley, Austin, Brown and Wood, which has been ranked among the top five law firms representing the 250 largest companies in the U.S. for business litigation
and as the top provider of legal services to the hedge fund industry.

Clients have included J.P. Morgan Securities, Deutsche Bank, Chinese National Offshore Oil Corporation Monsanto and GlaxoSmithKline. Sidley Austin represented Searle when it was cleared of price fixing and Marathon Oil when the federal government was ordered to provide it with a refund for the infringement of drilling rights.

The ties between Sidley Austin and the Bush Administration are extensive. Besides Connaughton, partner Patrick Morrisey has served as the Deputy Staff Director and Chief Health Counsel to the House Energy & Commerce Committee; Sidley's Senior Government Affairs Advisor, Dean Clancy is the former Program Associate Director of the Office of Management and Budget. According to the Washington Post, Clancy is a "'proclaimer' for the Separation of School and State Alliance, which favors home schooling over compulsory public education in order to 'integrate God and education.'" In addition to opposing public schools, Clancy also opposes stem-cell research and federal taxes for which reasons Esquire magazine
calls him "a fanatic."

In 2007 President Bush appointed Sidley Austin partner Daniel M. Price, who had served in The Hague as the U.S. Deputy Agent to the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal, as Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economic Affairs.

Then there is Bradford Berenson who returned to Sidley Austin Brown & Wood after two years as Associate Counsel to the President

According to his biography on Sidley's website, his responsibilities to the President "included work on judicial selection, executive privilege, and responses to congressional oversight efforts. In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, he played a significant role in the executive branch’s counterterrorism response. He worked on the USA Patriot Act, the military order authorizing the use of military commissions, detainee policy and anti-terrorism litigation, presidential action against terrorist financing, and the restructuring of the federal government to create a new Department of Homeland Security...

He previously worked on the defense of complex white collar criminal matters...

Mr. Berenson has defended criminal cases at every stage of development, from corporate internal investigations and grand jury proceedings through trials, sentencings, and appeals, in areas as diverse as government contracts, environmental crime, health care, and public corruption."

Conflict of Interest Alive and Well

At the White House Berenson worked closely with Cheney's Chief of Staff, David Addington, and fended off critics who demanded the recusal of Judge Antonin Scalia, after he went duck hunting with Cheney, in the Sierra Club case demanding access to Energy Task Force records.

Conflict of interest objections were apparently waived in this case because the Government Accounting Office also hired Sidley Austin to sue Cheney to obtain a list of officials from Enron and other companies who met with the energy task force.

The ubiquitous Mr. Berenson also served as the attorney for former Rove assistant Susan Ralston during the investigation of White House ties to Jack Abramoff as well as for Kyle Sampson, Alberto Gonzalez' Chief of Staff. He defended the habeas corpus stripping provisions of the military commissions bill and has stated:

"[T]he Geneva Conventions do not apply to Al Qaeda terrorists." (p. 55)

He has also maintained that the "process that's now in place in Guantanamo is, in many ways, superior to an Article V process.... [The prisoners] all get annual administrative review board hearings, and this is far in excess of the international law obligations and the law of war obligations." (p. 55)

Like Connaughton, Berenson is a zealous executant of the Cheney philosophy, stating, "[W]hen we are at war, we weigh the risks to innocents entirely differently than we do when we are not at war. Grievous damage to the lives and liberties and property of innocents are a regrettable but daily function of a state of armed conflict, of warfare the kinds of injuries that are totally unredressable in war time, but which we would never tolerate in peace time, if we were not at war." (p. 17)

And concerning executive privilege, he stated: "It's the President in time of war, the executive branch that's responsible for our security." (p. 18)

Cleverly, he suggests that a little fascism wards off the prospect of worse: "Were there to be more attacks on the scale of 9/11 or God forbid worse, there would inevitably be a far more draconian response than we've seen thus far. And so in the name of preventing that kind of response, which the public would demand, and in the name of ensuring our ultimate victory over an Islamo-fascist ideology, a religiously inspired fascist ideology, that is as illiberal as any the world has ever seen, we all need to keep first and foremost in our minds the need to wage this war effectively and ensure that the forces of right and the forces of liberalism and democracy prevail in the end." (p. 20)

Sidley Austin, then, may be justifiably described as an eminence grise of the powers that be. But lest it be viewed as biassed towards the right, it is also the law firm where, as a summer associate, Barack Obama met his future wife, Michelle.

How Sidley Survived 9/11 Not Only "Intact...."

On 9/11 Sidley Austin, which had merged with Brown and Wood in May 2001, (the same month that Connaughton left for the White House) had its offices in the World Trade Center. In an article written in 2003, Sidley describes how it accomplished the feat of "surviv[ing] 9/11 with vital records and employees intact."

Some of these vital records which included client, personnel, vendor and services lists, backup tapes, floor plans with personnel locations identified, inventory lists of equipment, furniture, and supplies, procedures manuals, docket calendars, and blank checks, "were available because they were part of a planned dispersal in which they had been copied and sent offsite for safe keeping." Weekly computer backup tapes were also being stored in New Jersey.

The article is written in a breathless style, pausing to pay lip service to the dreadfulness of the day before going on to the myriad resourceful steps Sidley had taken to the benefit of their cherished clients.

Then comes the punchline. As far as Sidley Austin is concerned, September 11 had a silver lining made of real silver.

...But Also With A Windfall

In addition to all its other prudent measures, on September 1, 2001, Sidley had taken the extraordinarily felicitous step of not only renewing but also of doubling its insurance.

"When it was announced that the firm's insurance policies had just been renewed and doubled on September 1, 2001, applause filled the room. The insurance policies not only covered reconstruction costs for the files but for the organization's valuable art collection and personal effects as well."

This move joins a distinguished line of coincidences leading up to the attacks such as highly anomalous put options on United and American Airlines ; numerous war games including "practice Armageddons" which diverted planes away from the East Coast and introduced chaff onto the radar screens to paralyze pilots who wanted to respond; as well as dozens of warnings to agencies which are normally overlooked by the mainstream press.

Assessing its recovery plan from the attack, Sidley confesses that "some individuals listed as having supervisory roles in the disaster recovery plan ended up not having job assignments, which was frustrating to those sitting around on 9/11. Part of the problem stemmed from a lack of testing of the plan the year before."

But despite the frustration, over all "the firm," to use a Grishamesque phrase, dubbed its recovery effort a success.

One Minor Glitch

And so the reader comes away believing, even after encountering this sentence:

"By September 13, only one individual had not been located."

Written this way, the account relays the information concerning 'only one individual,' as an example of yet another triumph. What the article neglects to say, however, though it was published nearly two years after the disaster, is that the reason the individual was "not located" is that she was dead.

A telephone operator who dreamed of opening a candy business, Rosemary Smith was the only member of the firm not to make it out of the building alive. And while Sidley mentions her elsewhere on its website and has apparently put up a memorial to her somewhere in its offices, it is difficult to understand what the writer of the article means by the phrase, 'employees intact.'

The "good news" about the firm's assets, however, seems to be abundantly accurate.

*Jenna Orkin is one of twelve original plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit against Christine Todd Whitman and the EPA
White House, Cheney's Office Subpoenaed
Washington Post Cheney Series
China May End Coal Liquefying Projects
Pentagon: Al Qaeda Leader in East Africa Arrested
Al Qaeda in West Africa
Pakistan Heart of Pearl Story
"Arctic Tale" Puts Faces to Global Warming Threat
Computer Simulation of WTC Attacks
This is a deft way to hammer a few more nails into the coffin of true 9/11 research. By focussing on simulation technique rather than the substance of the study, the demonstration propagates its myth as gospel. J.O.

Jerome Hauer Promoted

This is Hauer’s reward for getting the US Gov to stockpile the dangerous, deadly, despicable anthrax vaccine that his company produces. Michael Kane
Jerome Hauer climbs the ranks at company formerly known as BioPort

IAEA Head: Iran Attack Would Be Act of Madness
Bank Melli Iran Will Launch Fund to Invest in Bourse

Thursday, June 14, 2007

U.S. Official Pushes Alternative to Pipeline from Caspian
Iran Seeks to Undermine U.S. Energy Plan for Europe

This is exactly what I was predicting since FTW published our article"Rapprochement" two years ago. The hidden truth is that the US, amidst increasing tensions with an increasingly hostile and emergent Russia, doesn't want to invest in those exensive and vulnerbale pipelines which would run so close to Russian borders, and real Islamic terrorists across the Steppes and into the Caucasus.

In 1997 Mobil was caught doing an illegal oil swap through Iran. Mobil knew, as all oil companies do now, that it is far more efficient to"plug" Caspian oil directly into Iran's pipeline system and ship it to the Gulf that way; far from any Russian threat. But that flies in the face of the US sanctions that have been in place since the overthrow of the Shah in 1979.

Since we have passed Peak there probably isn't time to build those pipelines anyway before shortages become much more painful and obvious. In the end what Iran and the US want here are not in conflict. The US will have to steer public and world opinion to avoid a loss of face. But Peak Oil will prove to be the trump card where we will see that al alliances are negotiable and subject to the overriding dictates of simple geography. -- MCR

Iran Discusses Storing Oil Reserves in China
Pakistan Questions Two in Daniel Pearl Killing
Iran Judge Says Detainees Admit "Activities"
Pentagon Holds Suspected Al Qaeda Member in East Africa
In case the genocide in Darfur isn't enough to galvanize the U.S. to rally behind another oil embroglio, Al Qaeda's always ready to oblige.
Al Qaeda Declares Holy War on India
U.S. Navy Plans Six Month West African Training Mission
Tenet Cashes In On Iraq
Corporate Takeover of U.S. Intelligence
Saudi Prince Got Secret Payments from U.K. Bank
GAO: Factors Influencing Gas Prices
A prize to anyone who can find Peak Oil mentioned in the GAO's analysis. Rather, they focus on those pesky "regulatory factors such as national air quality standards." Perhaps the global issue of the day will receive passing recognition in the separate study to follow:

"The price of crude oil is a major determinant of gasoline prices. However, a number of other factors also affect gasoline prices including (1) increasing demand for gasoline; (2) refinery capacity in the United States that has not expanded at the same pace as the demand for gasoline; (3) a declining trend in gasoline inventories and (4) regulatory factors, such as national air quality standards, that have induced some states to switch to special gasoline blends. Consolidation in the petroleum industry plays a role in determining gasoline prices as well

Also, we are working on a separate study on issues related to petroleum inventories, refining and fuel prices." J.O.
Glaciers Speed Up Due to Global Warming
Global Warming Breeds More Cats
Spain Sells 20% Gold Reserves

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Cheney Lied About Bush Spy Program
Iran to Release Detained Finns
The Persian Gulf must offer some amazing fishing waters to attract fishermen from as far away as Finland. Maybe that's why that former FBI agent who disappeared went to Iran to make his documentary. / J.O.
Well Connected Drug Company Obtained Contracts for Anthrax Vaccine Despite Side Effects
Michael Kane's Comment on Above Story

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Iran and Belarus Cement Ties
Iran Plans to Strike European Nuclear Power Plants
...and at the same time price its oil in euros. Hmm.../ J.O.
Cheney Seeks to Keep Visitors' Records Secret
NY Times on the Privatization of the OVP (Office of the Vice President)
Fox' Accusation that the New York Times has Refused to Publish Cheney's Letter in Response
US Urges Kazakhstan to Diversify Oil Routes
...and thereby bypass Russia/ JO
Syria to End Dollar Peg; Second Country in Two Weeks Can the UAE be far begind? J.O.
Tibetan Ice Melt to Cause Floods
What a horrific "perfect storm" post-Peak scenario. Global warming causes melting of Tibetan ice caps. Ice caps melt, set to cause massive Yangtze River floods. Yangtze Three Gorges dam, the largest power project in history, itself triggered by Chinese preparations for Peak Oil energy crisis, will be tested. What if the dam doesn't hold up?/ Larry Chin
Pipeline that Diverts Malacca Strait Oil
RCTV and Freedom of Speech in Venezuela
Finally, a fair and balanced exegesis of Chavez' controversial move in shutting down the TV station, ostensibly interfering with the free speech of his opponents./ J.O.
RCTV Moves to Youtube

Mike Ruppert's Response to a Thread on Cryptogon

The comment below was written by Mike Ruppert and initially sent to Matt Savinar for submission to Cryptogon. However, since Matt's away, I submitted it instead as Mike’s proxy, in order to protect the privacy of his email address. I can verify having seen the letter Mike refers to in which he resigned from PQI. That letter’s not being included now only because Mike’s comment is already so long.

Jenna Orkin

This is Mike Ruppert. Matt can verfiy that this message came directlyfrom me. I am sticking my periscope up this once to put a few folks onnotice that I am still very much alive and in full possession of myfaculties. Unlike the previous nine years, however, I will notre-engage in any dialogue after offering these comments and responses.After 28 years of dedicated activism I am retired from that field ofbattle. The price was too great; the returns too little. However, I am not through making contributions on the two real and dangerous issues that confront all of us: Peak Oil and Global Warming.

I will soon be starting another book.

Let me address the points of this thread as I saw them in order.

ARMORWARE — The open/closed source debate is a Red Herring. Apples and Oranges are mixed here. Spyware was my first initial concern, (i.e. the vulnerability of files stored on my personal hard drive to compromise via back doors in any number of programs or operating systems. When I met the folks from Armorware (at a PQI event — seebelow) I took a lot of time to see what was an utterly elegant solution to the problem of preventing spyware or malware from entering my hard drive. It required no technical expertise.

Armorware, designed by a Russian emigre computer scientist living inToronto whom I have met, operated, SOLELY from a CD-ROM which “onboot” became the ONLY operating system the Internet ever saw or interfaced with. The hard drive was never accessed or even turned onin the sense that we think of. All web surfing and emailing (including 1024 bit encryption) was done from the CD ROM drive so it was NOT possible for anything to access or compromise the hard drive from THE OUTSIDE. No technical knowledge of any kind is required to understand the significance of this.

No one could track my web surfing either.

Sure, the creators of Armorware understood that they were a third-party intermediary with their servers. That’s why they offer such amazing guarantees. I knew them personally and in 2004 I travelled to Toronto to meet with all the significant members of the company and test drive the product. They were and remain my trusted friends. My input was asked (non-technical of course) about funtionality and uses and I offered my suggestions, some of which were incorporated. All of the Armor Technlogy family were kindred spirits, concerned about civil liberties and privacy protection in age of massive government spying and data theft..
The most intelligent comment in this thread was from the person who said that the only perfect solution for internet security was to lock your computer up in a safe and never go on line at all.
But what I saw remains, a quantum leap in protecting one’s personal computer from unwanted surreptitious intrusions. But Armoware offered other distinct advantages. One could pack up the CD and go anywhere in the world to almost any cyber cafe and reboot in a secure mode without disclosing one’s location. A USB stick compatible with the OS provided tons of space to store encrypted documents and passwords so that one could literally go almost anywhere and have much better odds of privacy. This is, in the end, all about odds and probabilities.
Although I have been out of touch with them for a while I understand that the whole package is now contained in one USB stick (OperatingSystem and files) that makes it even easier to use. ArmorTechnologies,, is in negotiations with some large corporations for large contracts to safely transmit secure data so obviously someone thinks it has value.

Now I realize that the last statement will be used against me. If large corporatins like it then it must be proof that it’s comrpomised or the enemy. No, they want to use it in-house. They want to protect their data.

As to allegations that I did all that for money I remind everyone that in its eight years FTW never accepted any paid advertising of any kind. I wouldn’t ever let us be compromised editorially. Armorware is the only product I ever endorsed, excluding gold. I became an Armoware affiliate (as described on their web page) and enjoyed the benefits of that. There ain’t nothing wrong with folks. It’s called paying the rent and good business.

PQI — I severed all contact with PQI in November of 2005 because it had deteriorated rapidly from the stimulating and cutting-edge educational program it was when I first started working with them. I have attached a copy of my November, 2005 email with this message toMatt Savinar and he may post it or not as he sees fit. But he will be able to confirm that he has seen it. Armoware severed all relations with PQI about ten months later.

ME SUING PEOPLE — Only once have I ever sued anyone. It was a former employee who I had connected to a government operation to sabotage my company from within (an operation which continued after we moved to Ashland). I won that suit in court after proving the sabotage. I have threatened to sue people who have employed libelous and dishonest smear tactics. That’s why we have laws to prevent such things and why such conduct is illegal. But to argue that I defend my work by relying on threats of a lawsuit is ridiculous. All of my work and FTW’s work has always been fully documented. That’s why I wrote a six-hundred page book with a thousand footnotes which is now in the Harvard Business School library.

GARY WEBB — Well, here’s where the flames come out. (Everone wanted a little fireworks right?) Gary left a long trail indicating his intention to commit suicide starting about ten days before his death.(Actually, even longer.) Let’s deal with the two shots first since that’s the place where amateuers and dilettantes get so hooked and become such unjustified and unqualified experts. There’s a couple of pieces of real bad disinformation in this thread. Gary was not shot“in the face”. After his death I went to Sacramento and interviewed his entire family except for his mother. This included his brother,his ex-wife and his three children. They were all open and frank withme, knowing that I had been close to him.

His brother, ex-wife and eldest son all told me they when they saw his body in the morgue, pre-autopsy, they observed two entry wounds near the right temple (NOT THE FACE). I originally reported that the first wound had blown out Gary’s lower left jaw. His ex wife, Susan, later corrected me that the bullet had not exited the jaw but it was clear that the jaw had been shattered and pushed outwards. There was a massive edema, confirming that it was a pre-mortem wound.

Now, draw a human head from the front. Put ears on so you know where the temples are. Draw a line from the right temple to the lower left jaw and tell me if any vital organs have been hit or if any arteries have been severed? No, they have not.

The second wound was in a straight line from temple to temple acrossthe midbrain and was the fatal shot.

The autopsy report did not say that the shots were fired from three feet away, it stated that the shots were fired from WITHIN three feet away. That is a standard statement when gunpowder residue is found on the skin. I was told there was also stippling (Look it up). That indicates a much closer range (i.e. within inches). All of this was also reported in several newspapers. It is not the ME’s role to decide the distance of the shot from gunpowder residure but rather an explosives expert who can analyaze the powder and compare it to the barrel length of the gun and make of the ammunition used. (I was anLAPD detective, remember?) That had not been done when I was up there.

The weapon used was Gary’s own.38 revolver and he was probably using weak target ammunition.

Next go to the web and look up “hesitation wounds”. The occur with guns just as they do with suicide slashes. I have seen them when I was with LAPD. Gary screwed up the first shot and finished it with the second. This is what every member of his family who saw the body told me. The first shot was clearly NOT a fatal wound. While Alex Jones was publishing stories about Ninja-clad warriors sliding down drain pipes to Gary’s upper-floor balcony, I was in Sacramento photographing Gary’s single family, one-story home which had no balcony which is where he killed himself.

(I get slammed for promoting one prouduct. How many paid advertisers are there on Alex Jones’ sites?)

Now add to that the fact that in the ten days prior to his death Gary had:
– changed the beneficiaries and upped the payouts on his insurance policies;– written individual letters to each of his children, his ex-wife, his mother and his brother telling them goodbye, They all confirmed receiving such letters to me personally and in front of other journalists at the memorial service;– moved all of his most valued personal belongings to his mother’sgarage and said goodbye.– sent an email to Al Giordano of Narconews saying that he was contemplating suicide. (I believe Al told me that he even called Gary on the phone and tried to disuade him)
Gary was telegraphing his suicide to everybody. Even I had sensed it coming in my last communications with him. He couldn’t get hired anywhere and he had burned many bridges behind him. He was behind on his house payments.

So anyone who believes that Gary was murdered, based on the evidence, gets an honorary tin foil hat — with a propeller and a satellite dish(Oh, geez, there I go showing my bad people skills again). The thing that makes me so f—–g agry is the pain this has caused Gary’s family every time it gets brought up again.

IRAN — The US is not ging to attack Iran. Stan Goff and I have been right for three years on this and we are still going to be right three years from now. The US wants and needs rapprochement with Iran for several reasons:

1. To be able to plug Caspian heavy-sour crude into the existing Iran pipeline system and bypass Russian strategic threats along the northern Caspian littorals and into the US-controlled Gulf.

2. Both the US and Iran are more concerned about Russian threats. Russia sees the US weakening and is becoming bolder. That puts Iran in a squeeze too. In order for Russia to get to the Gulf it has to gothrough Iran. Right now the “sideshow hostility” between the US and Iran is good politically for both Bush’s and Ahmadinejad’s poll ratings, such as they are..

3. Militatrily (especially logistically) the US cannot possibly takeon major attacks against Iran.

4. Iran and Venezuela are in a mutual defense pact wherein Venezuela will shut off oil deliveries to the US if Iran is attacked.

5. China, Japan, Europe and Southeast Asia cannot survive without Iranian oil and Iran will close the Straits of Hormuz. These countries will go crazy if the US attacks.

MY HEALTH AND THE BREAKDOWN — As some of you should observe by now my brain is working just fine, thank you. What happened to me was just asmuch a medical/physical illness as a stress-induced depression. I makeno apologies or excuses for it. None are necesary. I returned to the US to save my life. I was going to die in Venezuela. I needed English speaking friends and culture around me as much as I needed air. I also needed medical treatment badly. Venezuela was a horrible experience but I will deal with that publicly on another occasion.
I love all the speculation about the what’s whys and wherefores. It’sbetter than the gossip mags.
You can expect to hear from me again sometime in the Fall when Donald Rumsfeld hopefully gets indicted over FTW’s Pat Tillman series. Everything that has broken came from our investigation of the Army records and Stan Goff’s brilliant work. Every handout that was given to Congress came from our series. We were publishing that series when our computers were smashed in Oregon and we had just proved that Rumsfeld was guilty of multiple felonies when the burglary occurred.

Remember Watergate and “The Plumbers”.

What I am going to continue to do now is to take care of myself,something which I neglected to do for two decades.

So y’all can go back to speculating now. Matt, my good friend, as theysay, “non carborundum illegitimati”.

Mike Ruppert