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Michael Ruppert sits

A voice from the wilderness

Michael C. Ruppert, a former Los Angeles cop turned Internet pamphleteer, says he doesn&

t deal in conspiracy theories.

&

I deal in conspiracy facts,&

he said, while still moving into his new offices on Washington Street.

FromTheWilderness.com &

Ruppert&

s Web-based news service that receives more than 20,000 unique visitors daily and specializes in reports about the end of the oil-based economy, the United States government&

s involvement in Sept. 11 and CIA drug smuggling &

is now being published here in Ashland.

Ruppert and his news organization moved here recently from Los Angeles, specifically, he said, to prepare &

both himself and his readers &

for Peak Oil, the idea that when the world uses up more than half of planet&

s supply of petroleum life as we know it will be forever and dramatically altered.

&

Everyone who reads this story has already started to prepare for Peak Oil,&

he said confidently, as if he is pointing out something people already know but haven&

t really stopped to think too much about. &

You have to think seriously incrementally here. It&

s not going to all change in a day.&

Peak Oil is Ruppert&

s issue du jour. To him, as well as a contingency of Ashlanders and others, it represents &

the biggest single event in human history,&

he said, noting it will usher in, &

the collapse of human civilization as we know it.&

He moved here in order to gather information on sustainable living &

or, in other words &

how to be ready when the oil crunch hits hard. Because of Southern Oregon&

s climate, character and politics, Ruppert surmised he could not only etch out a self-sufficient existence for himself but also keep abreast of the latest practices and innovations in sustainability, enabling him to share what is happening here, on the cutting edge, with his readers in more conservative enclaves.

&

I want to help people in Chicago, Phoenix and Detroit to identify with what people are already doing here,&

he said. &

I looked all over the country and the Rogue Valley is the best place for sustainability.&

These locales, like his previous hometown, will have more difficulties adjusting to Peak Oil than places like Ashland because they don&

t have the open and arable lands, as well as the abundant natural resources, Ruppert said.

&

LA is 11 to 13 million people living in the middle of a desert with a two-day supply of food that is brought in by truck,&

he said. &

You don&

t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that, with Peak Oil coming, the big cities aren&

t the best place to be.&

He added, &

Globalization is dead. Very soon, you won&

t be able to drive a head of lettuce from California to New York for a Caesar salad. We&

re living in an economic paradigm that demands infinite growth. It&

s the ultimate pyramid scheme.&

While Peak Oil is rapidly becoming a more accepted reality for the future in the minds of some, a few of Ruppert&

s other postulations are less so. Such as his belief as to who is really responsible for the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

&

We were running the god-damned operation,&

he said. &

Dick Cheney is the prime suspect.&

His book, &

Crossing the Rubicon&

proves this, he says. As for evidence, he offers the Bush family ties to the middle east and oil; the fact that Russian &

and U.S. &

intelligence agencies had tried to warn the White House about the attacks; and, a precipitous increase in stock trading that alludes to insider trading on an imminent threat.

When grilled by a reporter from the mainstream media about how all this circumstantial evidence doesn&

t actually prove anything, he quickly retorts, &

I wrote a 700-page book proving it was true and now you want me to condense it into a sound bite answer. I made my case about 9/11. &

145;Rubicon&

shows means, motive and opportunity. To date, no one in the government or the mainstream media has been able to refute my research.&

This last statement, at the very least, is untrue. Indeed, even the liberal wing of the mainstream media, such as &

145;The Nation&

has debunked Ruppert&

s 9/11 theory. David Corn, an editor of this progressive magazine wrote in 2002, &

Ruppert is not a reporter. He mostly assembles facts &

or purported facts &

from various news sources and then makes connections. The proof is not in any one piece &

say, a White House memo detailing an arms-for-hostages trade. The proof is in the line drawn between the dots. His masterwork is a timeline of fifty-one events (at last count) that, he believes, demonstrate that the CIA knew of the attacks in advance and that the US government probably had a hand in them.&

But Ruppert dismisses Corn, and other members of the non-believing left, as secret CIA agents of disinformation. When asked why Alexander Cockburn, another writer popular with the fringe left, doesn&

t believe his theory on Sept. 11, Ruppert replies, &

Cockburn believes Lee Harvey Oswald killed JFK,&

implying that this is evidence enough of Cockburns ties to &

corrupt establishment.&

Whatever theory one believes, it is indisputable that Ruppert has made a national name for himself for his writings on 9/11. Within months of the attacks, he was being invited to speak across the country and the number of paid subscribers to his Web site increased exponentially.

&

I broke some huge stories about insider trading right after 9/11,&

he said. &

We suddenly got really hot.&

Though Sept. 11 has made him famous, he cut his teeth on the CIA crack cocaine scandal that Gary Webb, of the San Jose Mercury News, was first lauded for by the public and then later denounced in the New York Times, Washington Post and LA Times. Webb, who was banished from the mainstream media before purportedly committing suicide, and Ruppert claim these newspapers were acting at the behest of the CIA.

Ruppert said he first learned of the CIA&

s links to drug smuggling when he was a cop working the narcotics beat on LA&

s streets in the late 1970s. He said he was approached by CIA operatives about helping them inject the drugs into poor neighborhoods.

&

I caught my government dealing drugs,&

Ruppert says. &

They were paying me to get drugs off the street and they were bringing them in.&

Rather than becoming a paid government drug dealer, he says, he ratted on them. This led to not only his disgrace on the force, but also several attempts on his life, he said. &

I went to the LA Times, members of Congress, the FBI,&

he said. &

That was to protect me so if I did turn up dead there would be a record as to why.&

From there his life hit rock bottom. He became homeless, then a 7-11 clerk and he eventually worked his way back up to social ladder to managing a gun store in Los Angeles. All the while, though, he continued to pursue the CIA drug story.

But when the Gary Webb&

s &

Dark Alliance&

story broke in 1996, he said &

suddenly I became a hero in South Central (L.A.).&

Later that year, he printed his first issue of &

From The Wilderness,&

the name of which, he said, refers to a biblical passage about John the Baptist, which reads, &

The voice of one crying in the wilderness.&

At the time there were only 66 subscribers. Then, in 1998, he broke a story about the CIA using Forest Service planes to smuggle drugs into the States. That increased his popularity to about 1,000 subscribers, he said.

&

From the Wilderness&

now employs six people including Ruppert. Two came with him from Los Angeles and four more have been hired locally since he arrived. He even hired a young writer, Lindsay Gerken, to cover local sustainability issues.

In the coming months, he plans to launch a 24 hour news service that will employ an additional 15 to 20 people and report on Peak Oil and sustainability issues from around the world. He called it &

a daily state of the world summary that bypasses the filters of the mainstream media.&

Staff writer can be reached at 482-3456 x 226 or bplain@dailytidings.com.