Wednesday, February 22, 2006

From the Wilderness – A Review

Website: http://www.fromthewilderness.com/

Background

This is Michael Ruppert’s organization. He was an LAPD narcotics investigator who, on discovering CIA drug trafficking, was fired, but kept his focus on exposing what goes on under the covers in our government. His book, "Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil" summarizes much of his investigations, with the major emphasis being the role of drug trafficking and the CIA in the corporate world, the role of members of our government, and in particular Dick Cheney, in the 9/11 attacks, and the peak oil phenomena and its ramifications.

Discussion

While I have not done an extensive analysis on exactly who came up with what first in the world of 9/11 investigations, I think it is safe to say that Ruppert is responsible for a number of major discoveries. Unlike some other investigators that focus on physical evidence, he works exclusively with the surrounding published material, much of which has turned out to be extremely important in deciphering the events of that day. His emphasis on the significance of Cheney being put in charge of a slew of relevant agencies under the guise of an “anti-terrorism” effort in May 2001, a change requiring Rumsfeld to approve the use of Norad fighters to intercept hijacked planes in June 2001, and the various Norad exercises on the day of the attacks has been extremely valuable in understanding the planning behind 9/11.

Ruppert has also been very active on the lecture circuit and has helped spread the word about the attacks – a difficult and important task where a contrived “war on terror” is being used as justification for so much of what is happening.

He has recently focused almost completely on the “Peak Oil” phenomenon and its ramifications. In fact, he can also rightly claim to be far ahead of the curve on this: he was warning of this years ago, and the likelihood that it’s happening is becoming more and more accepted in the mainstream. While there are some who don’t believe there is a current peak oil event, I think the consensus opinion is that it is quite real, and Ruppert was very on target in this regard.

The web site, though, has – to a large extent intentionally - become almost solely a good source for peak oil news and analysis, and interpreting the events of the day in the context of this phenomenon. Given that this does seem to be a dominant motivation for the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and possibly Iran, it’s hard to minimize its importance. Ruppert does sometimes sound a bit apocalyptic, however, when discussing the coming years as oil production ceases to meet demand; hopefully the effects will not be as severe as he hypothesizes.

Despite this, Ruppert's contributions have been extremely important. So while there is a slight caveat about the direness of his warnings during every potential oil supply interruption, I listen very carefully when he talks.

Summary

Overall : Very Good – Excellent on what they cover, though the emphasis right now is on oil and energy issues.

Analysis: Excellent – Again, the scope is limited, but they often do fairly original work that may not be where my focus is but that is worth being aware of.

News: Good – Updated almost daily with a very selective set of articles, sometimes with commentary, with the usual oil/energy focus.

Bias: Dominant “Peak Oil” focus - Discussions on the implications of peak oil dominate the site.

Pros: Some solid, and often important, original research. An excellent site for understanding possible ramifications of peak oil and keeping abreast of relevant news relating to it.

Cons: Currently most of the analysis and news centers on the peak oil phenomenon and related events, so there is limited scope beyond this. Having said that, given that so much of the current geopolitical storm is energy related, this covers a decent amount of territory.

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