excerpted from the book

Crossing the Rubicon

The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil

by Michael C. Ruppert

New Society Publishers, 2004, paper



Cheney to Oversee Domestic Counterterrorism Efforts President announces new homeland defense initiative

President Bush May 8 directed Vice President Dick Cheney to coordinate development of US government initiatives to combat terrorist attacks on the United States...

White House Press Release, May 8, 2001

Therefore, I have asked Vice President Cheney to oversee the development of a coordinated national effort so that we may do the very best possible job of protecting our people from catastrophic harm. I have also asked Joe Allbaugh, the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, to create an Office of National Preparedness. This office will be responsible for implementing the results of those parts of the national effort overseen by Vice President Cheney that deal with consequence management. Specifically it will coordinate all federal programs dealing with weapons of mass destruction consequence management within the Departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, Justice, and Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, and other federal agencies.

Official Statement of President George W. Bush, May 8, 2001 / Office of the Press Secretary, The White House

... on September 11th, various agencies including NORAD, the FAA, the Canadian Air Force, the National Reconnaissance Office, and possibly the Pentagon were conducting as many as five wargame drills - in some cases involving hijacked airliners; in some cases also involving blips deliberately inserted onto FAA and military radar screens which were present during (at least) the first attacks; and which in some cases had pulled significant fighter resources away from the northeast US on September 11. In addition, a close reading of key news stories published in the spring of 2004 revealed for the first time that some of these drills were "live-fly" exercises where actual aircraft were simulating the behavior of hijacked airliners in real life; all of this as the real attacks began. The fact that these exercises had never been systematically and thoroughly explored in the mainstream press, or publicly by Congress, or at least publicly in any detail by the so-called Independent 9/11 Commission made me think that they might be the Grail.

That's exactly what they turned out to be.

For two and a half years after 9/11 the dominant question among skeptics of the official version was why fighters had not been scrambled in time to prevent at least one of the three "successful" attacks. We now know that there was ample time, under normal circumstances, and sufficient resources to have prevented at least two and probably all three of them.

... the June 2001 Joint Chiefs of Staff Instruction ... surfaced on the website of the Defense Department's Defense Technical Information Center. That demonstrated a willful intent to centralize decision-making authority away from field commanders prior to the attacks. As it turns out, the change in procedure had already been indirectly confirmed in a June 3, 2002, story in Aviation Week and Space Technology, and almost everyone missed it. That story quoted the order without disclosing that it had been put in place just ten weeks before 9/11. The wording was a near verbatim quote of the Joint Chief's Instruction. One exception in that order (Reference D) did leave some decision making in the hands of field commanders in certain exigent circumstances, but the thrust was a radical shift away from long-standing NORAD policy.

Further research into this change would disclose more evidence showing that, just a month before that, all counter-terror response planning and organization (with a focus on weapons of mass destruction) had been placed under the control of Dick Cheney.

Then there were the exercises themselves.

Vigilant Guardian was named or referred to in several news stories including AviationWeek, Newhouse News Service, and on two official web sites. The official websites indicated and this was later confirmed to me in my own queries with NORAD - that details of Vigilant Guardian were classified and not available for release. A Vigilant Guardian exercise focusing on cold war-era threats was, according to an official site, conducted by NORAD once a year. But a close look at what NORAD told the press described a Vigilant Guardian that was vastly different from an exercise preparing for a Russian attack. In their post-9/1 1 statements, NORAD officials described details of Vigilant Guardian that seemed to be describing something else altogether.

Aviation Week reported, "Senior officers involved in Vigilant Guardian were manning NORAD command centers throughout the US and Canada, available to make immediate decisions." This confirmed the geographic scope of the exercise. Vigilant Guardian was played up in the press as though it had facilitated a quicker response. It did anything but that.

That Vigilant Guardian had a direct impact on the Northeast Air Defense Sector in which all four hijackings occurred was confirmed in a December 2003 original story by NJ.com, a New Jersey-based service also summarizing all major stories published by New Jersey press outlets.

NORAD also has confirmed it was running two mock drills on September 11 at various radar sites and command centers in the United States and Canada, including air force bases in upstate New York, Florida, Washington, and Alaska. One drill, Operation Vigilant Guardian, began a week before September 11 and reflected a cold war mind-set: Participants practiced for an attack across the North Pole by Russian forces.

The story never named the second drill, and the assertion that it was strictly a cold war-type exercise is belied by direct statements of many of the principals involved that day. The NJ.com story also raised another chilling issue.

Investigators at the September 11 commission confirm they are investigating whether NORAD's attention was drawn in one direction toward the North Pole - while the hijackings came from an entirely different direction.'

Northern Vigilance was an exercise being conducted on September 11th as\ reported only by Canada's Toronto Star in a story dated December 9, 2001. The story had a great deal to say about how 9/11 unfolded.


Northern Vigilance, planned months in advance, involves deploying fighter jets to locations in Alaska and northern Canada. Part of the exercise is pure simulation, but part is real world. NORAD is keeping a close eye on the Russians, who have dispatched long-range bombers to their own high north on a similar exercise ....

The Federal Aviation Administration has evidence of a hijacking and is asking for NORAD support. This is not part of the exercise.

In a flash, Operation Northern Vigilance is called off. Any simulated information, what's known as an "inject" is purged from the screens...

"Lots of other reports were starting to come in," [Major General Rick] Findley [Director of NORAD operations] recalls. 'And now you're not too sure. If they're that clever to co-ordinate that kind of attack, what else is taking place across North America?"...

It certainly appeared that someone in authority had deliberately interfered with FAA/NORAD operations on September 11th to make sure that some of the attacks succeeded. Richard Clarke's book, previously edited by the White House, had FAA administrator Garvey referring to as many as 11 off-course/out-of-contact aircraft. Was she saying that she couldn't tell the wargame inserts from the real thing?

It would take only a day or two more to find damning evidence that this is probably what she meant. The fact that the CIA had been running a plane-into-building exercise simultaneously with all the military exercises made me very suspicious. The first question that leapt at me was, with all these related exercises running at the same time, who or what was coordinating them? Someone at DoD had to have a regular job of knowing all the exercises being carried out everywhere to avoid SNAFUs. That question and others would require interviews.

On April 18 USA Today spilled some of the beans. Headlined, "NORAD had drills of jets as weapons" it offered never-before reported details of 9/11.

WASHINGTON - In the two years before the Sept 11 attacks, the North American Aerospace Command conducted exercises simulating what the White House says was unimaginable at the time: hijacked airliners used as weapons to crash into targets and cause mass casualties.

One of the imagined targets was The World Trade Center. In another exercise, jets performed a mock shootdown over the Atlantic Ocean of a jet supposedly laden with chemical poisons headed toward a target in the United States. In a third scenario, the target was the Pentagon ...

... April 19, CNN ... The headline read, "NORAD exercise had jet crashing into building."

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sometime between 1991 and 2001, a regional sector of the North American Aerospace Defense Command simulated a foreign hijacked airliner crashing into a building in the United States as part of a training exercise scenario, a NORAD spokesman said Monday ....

Military officials said the exercise involved simulating a crash into a building that would be recognizable if identified, but was not the World Trade Center or the Pentagon.

The identity of the building named in the exercise is classified ....

This sector exercise involved some flying of military aircraft as well as a command post exercise in which communications procedures were practiced in an office environment ....

NORAD has the ongoing mission of defense of US air space ....

According to a statement from NORAD, "Before September 11th, 01, NORAD regularly conducted a variety of exercises that included hijack scenarios. These exercises tested track detection and identification; scramble and interception; hijack procedures ....

NORAD's own statement confirmed that real military and civilian aircraft had posed as hijacked airliners. Fighter pilots can't intercept thin air. They can't fly above and slightly to the left of thin air and rock their wings and wait for a response. They can't practice dodging sudden, unexpected movements, maneuver or lock missiles unless there's a real airplane to do it with.

The NORAD statement was quoted further in the story:

NORAD did not plan and execute these types of exercises because we thought the scenarios were probable. These exercises were artificial simulations that provided us the opportunity to test and validate our process and rules of engagement with the appropriate coordination between NORAD's command headquarters, its subordinate regions and sectors and National Command authorities in Canada and the United States.

Any assertion that the White House didn't know of such drills was pure bullshit.

The National Command Authority is the White House. It starts with the president and descends through the vice president (in the president's absence as was the case on 9/11), to the secretary of defense. Such exercises, when played in real life, usually involve White House staff standing in for the president. But since they are carried out using either the Presidential Emergency Operations Center or the Situation Room, how could the president, vice president, and national security advisor not know about drills that, of necessity, had taken place inside the White House?

Note the fact that one particular hijacked airliner drill, conducted most likely between July 2001 and September 2001, had the hijacked plane crashing into a building. September 11th was the best possible "drill" of all; the real thing. Was the same exercise that had been rejected in April then carried out as an actual event on September 11th? Was the intended game target the World Trade Center? The Pentagon? ...

activist and researcher John Judge

"It's OK if you call me a conspiracy theorist just as long as you call yourself a coincidence theorist."


Most Americans think of FEMA as a nice, benevolent agency that comes to help out when there is an earthquake, fire, or flood. It is much, much more than that.

FEMA is an enormously powerful federal agency tasked with, among other things, ensuring the Continuity of Government (COG) in the event of a crisis or "neutralization" of key governmental leaders or institutions. It also maintains dozens of secret governmental command centers, like Pennsylvania's "Site R" to which Dick Cheney was whisked right after 9/11 and where he spent much of his time in the months following 9/11. Collectively, the Continuity of Government operations under FEMA command have come to be known as the "shadow government." In a declared major emergency, arising from events even more devastating than 9/11, FEMA's authority divides the US into ten regions under FEMA control, which then operate semi-autonomously with the full cooperation of the military.

Long a hot topic among many researchers concerned with a "New World Order," FEMAs evolution is the product of three-decades of legislation, executive orders, and Presidential Decision Directives (PDD's). The powers granted to FEMA are astonishing in their breadth and magnitude, and can even include seizure of private vehicles, forced civilian labor on government projects, and appropriation of food and fresh water supplies.

Contrary to spin issued by government and media that FEMA is a favored theme only of right-wing extremists, FEMA and its supra-constitutional authority have been of intense interest to investigators from all over the political spectrum in America for many years. Since 1995 I have read more than a dozen of these executive orders and PDDs and concluded that, in the event that all the stops were pulled and a full emergency declared, only God would have more power.

On July 13, 2004, after it was disclosed that the White House, Homeland Security, and the Department of justice were investigating procedures for delaying, postponing, or canceling the 2004 presidential election (in the event of a terror attack), Professor Michel Chossudovsky of the University of Ottawa produced a detailed record establishing that the authorities necessary to cancel elections, place the country under martial law and suspend the Constitution were already in place. In spite of spin suggesting that the administration was exploring what needed to be done "in case," the fact was that nothing needed to be done at all. What Secretary Ridge and the White House were doing was only theater. The elections could be cancelled at will, possibly even on the mere "threat" of a terror attack. All it would take would be to raise the threat level to Code Red.

Interestingly, Code Red indicates only a "severe risk of imminent terror attacks." If the elections were postponed under a Code Red, then a mere threat of a terrorist incident would suffice. The threat level is set by the White House through the Department of Homeland Security.

According to Chossudovsky, the steps necessary to suspend and/or nullify the Posse Comitatus Act, which prevents the military from engaging in domestic law enforcement, had been completed over 30 years.

... the possibility of an impending attack on America by this "outside enemy" has been accepted by the American public; this tacit acceptance has set the stage for the adoption of "the highest threat level": Code Red alert.

What the US public is not aware of is that a Code Red alert suspends civilian government; it triggers a whole series of emergency procedures. It is tantamount to a coup d'etat...

A Code Red alert, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), would create conditions for the ("temporary" we are told) suspension of the normal functions of civilian government, implying the cancellation or postponement of federal and state elections.

According to FEMA, Code Red would:

Increase or redirect personnel to address critical emergency needs; Assign emergency response personnel and pre-position and mobilize specially trained teams or resources; Monitor, redirect, or constrain transportation systems; and Close public and government facilities not critical for continuity of essential operations, especially public safety,

(FEMA, <www.fema.gov!pdf/areyouready/securjtypf>)

Truthout columnist William Rivers Pitt agreed substantially with Chossudovsky in a column published one day later:

FEMA was created by Executive Order during the Nixon administration, and became unbelievably powerful during the Reagan years. Ostensibly, FEMA was created to ensure the continuation of government after a nuclear strike. Subsequent Executive Orders over the last thirty years give FEMA, with a Presidential declaration of a national state of emergency, absolute power over all modes of transportation including personal cars, trucks or vehicles of any kind, total control of highways, seaports, airports, aircraft, the national media, all electrical power, gas, petroleum, fuels and minerals, along with all food resources and farms.

In a time of crisis, FEMA would also have absolute power over all health, education and welfare functions, and can develop plans to establish control over the mechanisms of production and distribution, wages, salaries, credit and the flow of money in US financial institutions in any undefined national emergency.

Executive Order 11051 gives FEMA the authority to execute all Executive Orders granting the above-described powers in the event of a crisis. Executive Order 11310 requires the Justice Department to enforce any and all powers granted to FEMA in a crisis. Executive Order 11921 declares that when a state of emergency is declared by the President, Congress cannot review the action for six months.

There are some fifteen Executive Orders which outline the powers of FEMA, should the President set them in motion after a disaster or an attack. Several of them are nebulous enough to encompass the decision to cancel a national election. Whether the legislatures per Title 3 of the US Code, are allowed to participate in any subsequent election preparations will certainly depend on whether the federal government wants to cut them in on the action.

Enacting any or all of these Executive Orders would essentially remove the Constitution and the Bill of Rights from the table.

There are a thousand other questions in the mix. 'What constitutes a state of emergency? What kind of attack would precipitate such a decision? If it is a truck bombing against a building, does that rise to the threshold? Why would an attack in Boston require the balloting in West Virginia or Idaho to be ceased [sic]? Is the threat of an attack enough to precipitate a cancellation?





Former Georgia Senator Max Cleland, a triple-amputee from Vietnam, was defeated for reelection in 2004

Max Cleland - in a 2003 interview with Salon.com

So it's not some sort of pay back?

... after watching History Channel shows on the Warren Commission last night, the Warren Commission blew it. I'm not going to be part of that. I'm not going to be part of looking at information only partially. I'm not going to be part of just coming to quick conclusions. I'm not going to be part of political pressure to do this or not do that. I'm not going to be part of that. This is serious.

You say you think it should be a national scandal ....

It is a national scandal. Here's the deal. The administration made a connection on September 11, and you can read Bob Woodward's book [Bush at War]. He's a private citizen. He got access to documents we don't have yet! Just think about that. He's a great reporter and a good guy. Bless his heart. But he got documents over two years ago, handwritten notes from Rumsfeld tying the terrorism attack into Iraq. This administration had a point of view the day that happened. If you look at 9/11 separately you realize it had nothing to do with Saddam Hussein. Except [vice president Dick] Cheney and [Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul] Wolfowitz put a plan together in '92 to try to convince [President] Bush One to invade Iraq, but here's what Bush One said about it, in his book A World Transformed, which I think is devastating: "1 firmly believed that we should not march into Baghdad. To occupy Iraq would instantly shatter our coalition, turning the whole Arab world against us and make a broken tyrant into a latter day Arab hero. Assigning young soldiers to a fruitless hunt for a secretly entrenched dictator and condemning them to fight what would be an unwinnable urban guerilla war."

Now, this administration bought the Cheney-Wolfowitz plan from '92 hook line and sinker. It was all about using 9/11 as an excuse to go, into Baghdad, not as a reason.


Cleland resigned from the Kean Commission in November 2003. There was little doubt as to why Cleland left the panel. He had been making too much noise. Whether Max Cleland fully understood what he had been involved in, or whether he fully acknowledged it to himself, remains a mystery. There is no doubt that he had been making big waves.

Scamming America: The Official Guide to the 9/11 Cover-up is a booklet of documents from the activist group NY911Truth; the booklet got its name from a remark made by Cleland after his resignation, when he said, "Bush is scamming America." Here is an excerpt:

Cleland attacked his own commission after the other members cut a deal to accept highly limited access to CIA reports to the White House that may indicate advance knowledge of the attacks on the part of the Bush administration. "This is a scam," Cleland said. "It's disgusting. America is being cheated."

As each day goes by, Cleland said, we learn that this government knew a whole lot more these terrorists before September 11 than it has ever admitted... They had a plan to go to war and when 9/11 happened that's what they did; they went to war."


The plans for the invasion of Afghanistan, the invasion of Iraq, the worldwide deployment of US military forces to control oil reserves, the Patriot Act, Homeland Security, and legislation that sets the stage for biological warfare and complete domestic repression were all in place well before the first plane hit the World Trade Center.'

On the day of the attacks themselves, according to University of Illinois Professor of International Law Francis Boyle, two US aircraft carrier battle groups were conveniently "rotating" duty stations off the Pakistani coast. The British had the largest armada since the Falkland Islands war loaded and ready to meet 23,000 British troops already positioned across a short stretch of ocean in Oman, and the US also conveniently had 17,000 troops positioned in Egypt for a joint military exercise called Operation Bright Star.

Two days before 9/11, President Bush was delivered a 27-page top secret document containing a complete battle plan for the invasion of Afghanistan. Other stories soon revealed that the plan had been many months in the making. And as a footnote, the document called for the Pentagon to begin immediate planning options for an invasion of Iraq. With 11 percent of the world's oil, Iraq had been in the crosshairs for a long time.

Journalist Jennifer Van Bergen, writing for Truthout (<www.truthout.org>), described in detail how most of the provisions of the Patriot Act had been prepared long before the attacks. She traced many of them back to the 1996 anti-terror legislation enacted after the Oklahoma City bombing. She described how principled lawmakers such as john Conyers of Michigan stood in the breach, even then, to question unconstitutional provisions that were later passed almost without a thought after 9/11/01. Conyers remains one of the last, fearless, clear-headed champions of liberty on Capitol Hill.

Homeland Security can trace its roots backwards to the Hart-Rudman US Commission on National Security (which began its work in 1997 and recommended a cabinet level anti-terrorism department in January of 2001 ...

The foundations of the National Security Strategy of the United States, released by Bush on September 17, 2002, have an equally obvious lineage. Most notable among these, in my opinion, was a 1998 Harvard University study, Catastrophic Terrorism: Elements of a National Policy, the Foreword of which begins with the concept of "Preventive Defense." The report was authored by Ashton Carter, Phillip D. Zelikow, and former CIA Director John Deutch. Zelikow briefed the incoming Bush administration on al Qaeda threats and has co-authored a book with Condoleezza Rice. These massive conflicts of interest, and his refusal to acknowledge them, have earned him the scorn of many families of 9/11 victims for having assumed the role of executive director of the so-called 9/11 Independent Commission. Additional uproar arose when it was disclosed that he even gave evidence in closed session to the commission he was directing.

These policies and their legal embodiments share a remarkable characteristic the preponderance of members of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, and the Bilderberger Group on the advisory panels and staffs of every commission and every panel that produced them. By my rough calculations, more than 80 percent of the people who first articulated these doctrines and plans belong to one or more of these groups. And behind all of that is the undeniable presence of the corporate, financial, and oil interests supporting globalization and the World Trade Organization. This is the sort of observation that draws the contempt of official (i.e., corporate) media consumers, who tend to regard the group affiliations of policymakers as somehow off-limits to rational analysis. But it turns out that these officials are indeed members of these non-governmental elite groups, and that these groups have stated ideals and historical behavior patterns which are perfectly consistent with the concerns raised here ...

Since we now know that the US government and its intelligence agencies were in possession of enough intelligence to have prevented the attacks of September 11 - and this truth has even been admitted, if obliquely, by the findings of at least one Congressional committee - then what is the justification for the Patriot Act, a law that raped the Constitution, and the subsequent creation of a $40 billion Department of Homeland Security in the largest reorganization of the federal government in 50 years? The claim that these travesties are needed to gather enough knowledge to prevent future terrorist attacks is, clearly, absurd. The system wasn't broken. So why fix it? Just who or what is the enemy?'°

Perhaps the most offensive post-9/1 1 statement made by an administration official - even surpassing the outright lie that no one in the administration knew that airplanes could be used as weapons - was made by National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice in summer 2002, when she asked a news commentator if it was necessary that the US government have more than 30 percent foreknowledge of a pending attack before taking action to prevent it. The US government had complete foreknowledge of 9/11 and did nothing! In fact, it actively shielded the hijackers from arrest before their crimes occurred, and then stood back and facilitated the attacks as an accomplice. Had the US government not opened the door and then prevented dedicated law enforcement personnel from closing it, the attacks would never have occurred.

Herein lies the true nature of the world since 9/11 ... The Empire no longer cares about how it is viewed, whether its actions are legal or not, or whether the world might rise up in political, military, or economic opposition to it. It no longer cares whether the American people rise up and take to the streets by the millions. It doesn't care whether civil disobedience or even a real revolution begins at home. It arrogantly believes it has prepared for every contingency. Among its most elastic mandates for procedural omnipotence is George W. Bush's National Security Strategy of the United States. '1 That document enshrines two shocking defacto powers of the Empire: to launch, without provocation, pre-emptive strikes anywhere it wishes and against any nation that might someday be a threat; and to create artificial terrorist activity where it wishes to deploy troops, with an avowed policy of lying to the world through unprecedented manipulation of the corporate media with which it colludes. The Empire has thus defined the scope of conflict at the end of the age of oil: a no-holds-barred, no-rules, and no-quarter race for global domination.

Real terror

One of the greatest military commanders of all time, Genghis Khan, fully understood terror as a weapon of war. As he set out to conquer the known world and as his armies raced westward across Asia, he would often send scouts ahead to infiltrate and study the culture of his next target. 'When ready to attack he would then dress up a few of his select warriors in the clothing of the targeted people. He would bloody a few, wound them, and send them well ahead of his armies. His warriors hysterically warned the target audience of the power and might of the great tyrant, described the millions of fierce and invincible troops, and implored the hapless victims to flee for their lives or surrender and ask for mercy. It worked.

By completing a decades-long subjugation of congress to financial interests, the administration has put into place the requisite structures for control of the Empire at home including the control of all law enforcement agencies in an emergency.

I also believe that Senator Paul Wellstone was murdered just before the November 2002 elections (through the mid-flight disablement of his aircraft, possibly with an electromagnetic pulse weapon), as the coup de grace in this final destruction of Constitutional government. Following the Patriot Act's statutory removal of constitutional protections, there will soon be few lower court judges in place to question the Emperor's decisions, and the few brave members remaining in Congress to ask the necessary questions, such as Congressmen Ron Paul of Texas, Dennis Kucinich, and John Conyers, will have been rendered little more than ornamental window-dressing for the propaganda machine's sales pitch that debate is still alive.

Congress was not allowed even to read the Patriot Act or the Homeland Security bills before being compelled to vote on them. Congressman Ron Paul of Texas confirmed this in an interview for my video "The Truth and Lies of 9/11," produced after I lectured at Portland State University in November of 2001. This was not the first time this has happened. It happened also with the huge anti-crime legislation enacted in 1994. Other members of Congress with whom I spoke in 2001 expressed the same complaint.

This mindset of the Empire reminds me of the classic line from the 1948 movie The Treasure of Sierra Madre, in which Humphrey Bogart confronts disheveled bandits who claim to be policemen. When Bogart asks to see their badges, their leader replies, "Badges? We ain't got no badges! We don't need no badges. I don't have to show you any stinkin' badges!"

Perhaps Bush had been watching that film when he proffered to the American people his remarkable new doctrine of presidential responsibility: "I do not need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being the president. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don't feel like I owe anybody an explanation."

This attitude was perfectly mirrored by America's reaction to the partially successful global campaign against the Iraqi invasion of March 2003. Regardless of the costs and regardless of international law, UN pressure, public opinion, or the inevitably disastrous consequences, the Bush administration proceeded, and the bloody toll is still being paid today even as the financial and environmental costs will remain to be paid by future generations.

On January 10, 2003, Richard Perle, then Chairman of the Defense Department's Policy Board, told the world that no matter what the UN or other nations in the world did or said, the United States was going to attack Iraq when it was ready. Nothing would prevent it. Donald Rumsfeld later added that the Department of Defense didn't have to show the world evidence it had that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.

As if things weren't frightening enough, it was briefly announced in June 2002 that Israel and the United States were in discussions to establish a joint anti-terrorism office in which Israel would assist the United States in monitoring all global instant communications and linking its security network to the Department of Homeland Security. One observer called the move an "Israelization" of American politics.

Following this development, UPI terrorism correspondent Richard Sale disclosed in January 2003 that that Israel's Mossad would be engaging in a more proactive anti-terror policy which would include targeted killings and assassinations inside the United States. Although the Israeli embassy denied the report, Sale secured a number of confirmations from Israeli military and intelligence sources and oblique confirmations from official US sources. Sale's story also described a massive expansion of Mossad fueled by a sizeable budget increase.

Meaningful solidarity with the good people of Israel and the United States is impossible without a vigorous condemnation of the evil committed in their names. A consortium of interests including banking, narco-traffic, arms, and key multinational corporations has reached a new level of aggression. While Israel and the US behave with an ever more open and frank contempt for international law and for human life, it would be a mistake to attribute the actions of their elites to nationalism. No, the players in the great game - whose moves include 9/11, the Iraq war, and the approaching global storm - are not motivated by any loyalty to country, nor to ethnicity, nor religion, family, firm, alliance, or friendship. It's just money, and the meaning of money: power.

"We're likely to experience more restrictions on our personal freedom than has ever been the case in our country"

US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, September 30, 2001


Some of the fundamental changes to Americans' legal rights by the Bush Administration and the USA Patriot Act following the terror attacks:

o FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION. The government may monitor religious and political institutions without suspecting criminal activity to assist in terror investigation.

o FREEDOM OF INFORMATIONGovernment has closed once-public immigration hearings, has secretly detained hundreds ofpeople without charges, and has encouraged bureaucrats to resist public records requests.

o FREEDOM OF SPEECH: Government may prosecute librarians or keepers of any other records f they tell anyone that the government subpoenaed information related to a terrorism investigation.

o RIGHT TO LEGAL REPRESENTATION. Government may monitor federal prison jailho use conversations between attorneys and clients, and deny lawyers to Americans accused of crimes.

o FREEDOM FROM UNREASONABLE SEARCHES. Government may search and seize Americans' papers and effects without probable cause to assist terror investigation.

o RIGHT TO A SPEEDY AND PUBLIC TRIAL: Government may jail Americans indefinitely without a trial.

o RIGHT TO LIBERTY Americans may be jailed without being charged or being able to confront witnesses against them.

This war, should it come, is intended to mark the official emergence of the United States as a fill-fledged global empire, seizing the sole responsibility and authority as a planetary policeman. It would be the culmination of a plan 10 years or more in the making, carried out by those who believe the United States must seize the opportunity for global domination, even if it means becoming the American imperialists' that our enemies have always claimed we were.

Once that is understood, other mysteries solve themselves. For example, why does the administration seem unconcerned about an exit strategy once Saddam is toppled?

Because we won't be leaving...

Jay Bookman, Atlanta Journal Constitution, September 29, 2002

A World Socialist Website story reporting these confirmed details went on to state:

With UK North Sea oil production in decline, British policy makers have been sounding alarm bells as to future supplies. Analysts estimate that the UK could be totally dependent on imports for its energy requirements within 50 years. The problem is not confined to the UK alone it is anticipated that more than 92 percent of Europe's oil, and 81 percent of its gas, will have to be imported from overseas within 30 years ....

The country, or countries, able to establish control over this vital resource will secure a major advantage over their international rivals. This is a prime factor motivating US policy in the Middle East. By occupying Iraq and seizing its oil resources, the US hopes to establish its undisputed hegemony as against Europe and Japan ....

The Blair government has similarly resolved that the issue of oil supplies must be settled by force of arms. In 1998 it commissioned a Future Strategic Context for Defence review, aimed at identifying the main challenges facing Britain over the next decades and targeting military resources accordingly. The official British report also stated that offshore energy resources "are likely to become a growing source of international dispute and potential conflict.",

Bush Advisers Planned Iraq War Since 1990s
by Joe Taglieri, FTW Staff

Oct. 1, 2002, 17:00 PDT (FTW) -The George W Bush administration's intentions of removing Saddam Hussein from power are not a recent development by any stretch of the imagination. Top White House officials affiliated with conservative think tanks and past administrations have been developing strategies for removing the Iraqi leader since the 1990s.

One such think tank, the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), published a report in September 2000 recommending policies for preserving and expanding US dominance in world affairs, including an aggressive policy for deposing Saddam Hussein. Members of this group include Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, convicted Iran-Contra perjurer and current National Security Council (NSC) staffer Elliot Abrams, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, and I. Lewis Libby, Cheney's Chief of Staff and Assistant for National Security Affairs.

Referring to the Persian Gulf region the report states, 'Indeed, the United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.'

The order of battle after 9/11


Canada had been subjugated long before 9/11. It only became visible to many Canadians after that...

On October 1, 2002, the military forces of Mexico, Canada, and the Continental US (CONUS) were placed under a joint military command called Northern Command or NORTHCOM. NORTHCOM is headed by American four-star general Ralph Eberhart, who is also the commander of NORAD that coordinated all US fighter response on 9/11. It makes sense. Canada is currently the single largest foreign supplier of both oil and natural gas to the US, and Mexico is ranked Lat number four.

... Canada has virtually no future petroleum significance for the US. Its much-vaunted tar sands projects in Alberta have proven to be both an ecological and an economic nightmare requiring heavy cash investments; they require huge amounts of natural gas to produce the steam required to separate the oil, and they destroy vast expanses of pristine land with strip mining and highly toxic waste products. There will be no salvation for either Canada or the US in the form of Canadian oil. In fact, one recent analysis dubbed Canadian tar sands as an actual threat to US energy security."

What Canada has that the US must have is natural gas. And under NAFTA and WTO agreements Canada must make its natural gas available to US markets on a "L to basis. As Canada's gas supplies run out, American demand continues to soar.

Central Asia and the Caspian

By occupying Afghanistan and resurrecting the opium trade, the Empire accomplished several major tasks. First it protected cash flows to its teetering financial markets. Through first-ever deployments in Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, Jordan, Georgia, later followed by major deployments to Qatar and Oman, it

quickly surrounded the Middle East. With increased deployments in Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait, it presented the world with a fait accompli for the next step of its plan. And even though Caspian oil proved to be a bust, the final agreement between Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Turkmenistan to begin construction of the trans-Afghan gas pipeline to supply India was signed on December 27, 2002.' Time will tell if Afghanistan will ever be pacified enough to see that job finished. Transfer of military operations from US to NATO command on August 11, 2003, may prove an important step in that direction.



The basic plan was to capture 11 percent of the world's oil and put it in a bank while Halliburton, DynCorp, and a dozen other corporations get billions of US taxpayer dollars to rebuild the infrastructure for a time when the US will be able to use it, parcel it out to starving allies, or simply withhold it from foes.

As we have already seen, Cheney's Halliburton emerged as the hungry Alpha Dog in Iraq to the point where competitors like Bechtel had to complain publicly of an unfair playing field. This not surprising, since the US Army Corps of Engineers under the control of Donald Rumsfeld has awarded up to $7 billion in no-bid, sole-source contracts to Halliburton. Other favored companies like DynCorp have also received no-bid contracts. Many were surprised at the openness of the corruption when it was announced that Halliburton would also have control over the pumping and distribution of Iraqi oil...

Saudi Arabia and Iran

While some experts like Michel Chossudovsky disagree with me about the order in which they will be targeted, there is no doubt that these two countries are on the list. I agree with former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter and Professor Peter Dale Scott that Saudi Arabia will be first. That is primarily because it has the largest reserves; it is the most unstable; and it already has a sizeable American corporate presence.

Iran, with the fifth-largest oil reserves, has a fairly stable government, and will remain surrounded and cut off. It's not going anywhere. Besides, it has already passed its peak of production while Saudi Arabia, with all its instability, appears to be just arriving at peak now. The priority on Saudi Arabia is also a political one, since the power of OPEC can only be broken by direct American control over the Kingdom.

... West Africa moved to center stage immediately after the occupation of Iraq. I reaffirmed these predictions with my readers in the spring of 2003.

Before discussing developments in equatorial Africa it is essential to understand the oil picture there. There are no oil reserves anywhere which rival those of Saudi Arabia with approximately 250 billion barrels (Gb), or Iraq which has approximately 112 Gb. Current world consumption is approximately 1 Gb every eleven days and demand is increasing rapidly. The two critical factors are the accessibility of oil (both geologically and geographically) and how long it takes to get it to market. It takes about six weeks for oil from the Persian Gulf to reach an American gas tank yet it takes only about two weeks for oil from West Africa to make the same journey. Equally important, oil installations in West Africa are in direct and immediate reach of US naval forces from the Atlantic Ocean. There are no political or international coalitions which need to be massaged if intervention becomes necessary.

Nigeria, the world's sixth-largest oil producer, passed its peak of production in 1979 and has estimated reserves of approximately 24 Gb. What makes Nigeria critical is the fact that it can function, with minimal investment, as a so-called "swing" producer. In the event of oil shortages there are wells, pipelines, and refineries already in place and easily accessible which could accommodate a short-term increase in production to control prices or offset shortages. Shell, ChevronTexaco, and TotalFinaElf have heavy investments in the country and until recently, maintained sizeable workforces there.

Recently the US has been exerting tremendous pressure on Nigeria to withdraw from OPEC and its strict production quotas by dangling the prospect of Imperially-funded prosperity in front of it. The appeal of African oil has drawn serious US government attention, even to the point of it sponsoring a January, 2002, Washington conference titled, "African Oil - A Priority for US National Security and African Development." This was reported in Petroleum Supply Monthly in December of 2002 and on the World Socialist Web Site in August of the same year.

Aside from Nigeria, the five biggest oil producers in Africa - in descending order are Algeria, Libya, Egypt, and Angola. Angola alone is the ninth largest oil supplier to the US. The US currently imports more oil from these six countries than it does from Saudi Arabia. Recent projections by the US National Intelligence Council as reported in Petroleum Supply Monthly estimate that the proportion of US oil 25 percent by 2015.

In December 2002, Stratfor declared that Africa's next "World War" would occur in the Central African Republic, which had seen major rebel uprisings. In May of 2003 the CIA-connected Voice of America reported that NATO would be shifting its focus to West Africa. On May 17, 2003, four large bomb blasts killed 20 people in the Moroccan capital of Casablanca. The blasts were quickly connected to al Qaeda. Throughout 2003 rebel uprisings in Nigeria saw oil platforms shut down, Western oil workers held hostage, pipelines sabotaged, and the sale of six US Navy ships to the Nigerian Navy. In mid-July Chad began pumping oil from a small (900 Mb) reserve westward to the African coast through Cameroon. On July 16th, coups d'etat toppled the governments of the tiny West African island nations of Sao Tome and Principe.


Colombia and Peru

.. Colombia's possession of oil - and its unique role in the drug trade, supplying almost all of the world's cocaine and 60 percent of the heroin entering the US - was making it a cauldron of poisonous regional conflict. The dynamics in Colombia included a massive US military aid program, the presence of large numbers of official and unofficial US military advisors, mercenary armies, and widespread "privatized" air operations. The similarities to the Vietnam War were hard to miss.

Colombia has been ravaged by an internal conflict for more than 40 years. Currently two rebel groups, The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN), control more than a third of the southern part of the country in a semi-autonomous region and have widespread support groups reaching into the urban areas. Both the FARC and the ELN derive most of their income from "taxing" the coca and opium trade in their regions, and they are very well equipped. However they have never shown the slightest interest in politics outside of their country and thus don't fall within the generally accepted definition of terrorist organizations. Neither has launched attacks outside of Colombia, but both have attacked and bombed pipelines owned by US and multinational oil companies inside the country and have engaged in kidnappings of foreign oil executives.

Colombia is important because, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), it is the eighth-largest supplier of petroleum products to the United States. In addition there are significant untapped oil deposits estimated to be in the 3-8 Gb range located in territories occupied by the rebels. The rights to these deposits have been purchased by major oil companies, including Occidental Petroleum.


Venezuela and a coup in Haiti

Venezuela is unique among all the countries where the Empire will fight. It's America's third - or fourth-largest oil supplier (depending upon monthly production figures through September of 2003), and while a drop of Persian Gulf oil takes about six weeks to reach an American gas tank, Venezuelan oil gets here in about four days.

Venezuela is a founding member of OPEC. Worse yet, it is an undeniably democratic nation. Its president Hugo Chavez has won seven elections in five years. That's seven more than George W. Bush has. However Chavez is a charismatic non-aligned leader in Latin America who has open relations with Fidel Castro, North Korea, Iran, and a host of countries the US doesn't like. Prior to 9/11, seeing that US intervention in neighboring Colombia was imminent, President Chavez made it clear that he would not allow US military planes to overfly his country en route to a battle zone. This prompted US military base expansions in Ecuador and the quiet establishment of covert paramilitary and CIA operations in Peru.

The Empire cannot live without Venezuela's oil, and it cannot live with Hugo Chavez. The catch is that, in spite of the Empire's twisted propaganda to paint him as unpopular, he not only survives but he triumphs over every move the Empire makes against him. He made a mockery of what the US government called a 2002 oil-field strike against his "poor" leadership and exposed it for what it was, a well-financed protest by the richest pro-American factions in the country who were outraged that the Chavez government had aggressively protected the oil revenue share retained by his country.

The American intention was to create chaos and economic upheaval that would cause a popular revolt. Throughout 2002 and 2003 abundant evidence surfaced showing that the strings for the strike and an April 2002 short-lived, abortive coup were pulled directly by US intelligence agencies.

At the end of 2002 Press Secretary An Fleischer called for a Venezuelan referendum on Chavez even though no election was required by the Venezuelan constitution. After being reminded of the Venezuelan law and receiving a slap on the wrist from the Organization of American States on December 17, 2002, Fleischer backtracked and licked his wounds.

Venezuela is in a position to bring down the Empire as the effects of Peak Oil become apparent. Remember that the key is not just who has oil but who can produce it quickly. These are different things. Only where there are wells, refineries, pipelines, ports, tankers, and existing infrastructure can oil production be rapidly increased - or suddenly diminished. And if even 15 percent of the Empire's oil supply goes away, it must be immediately replaced with 15 percent from someplace or else prices will skyrocket and markets will collapse.

By January of 2003 US oil stocks had evaporated to 27-year lows. This meant that, aside from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve intended for use in war or major economic crises, the US was running on empty. Reports quietly circulating through the oil industry were warning that supplies might soon be interrupted and prices might soar to historic new highs. The Venezuelan "strike," led by pro-Wall Street supporters, succeeded in drastically reducing Venezuela's oil exports but ultimately failed to stir up the coup against Chavez. The US reached a point where it could not start the invasion of Iraq and risk a simultaneous loss of Venezuelan oil. Chavez backed the US into a corner and bought some time. Again, the key to understanding the importance of Venezuelan oil is the fact that while it takes about six weeks for oil from the Persian Gulf to reach your gas tank, Venezuelan oil gets there in about four days.

In March of 2003 elected Haitian President Jean Bertrand Aristide was driven out of his country by what he and many others called a US-sponsored coup d'etat. Many press accounts soon appeared supporting Aristide's allegation.

The reasons for the US overthrow of Aristide are complex and simple at the same time. As global oil shortages and production shortfalls became impossible to conceal in 2004, and as oil prices neared $40 per barrel, Venezuela's importance to US supply was multiplied. This was especially true as Iraqi production lagged due to infrastructure damage and revolt and as Saudi production numbers sank under recent OPEC statements advocating production cuts.

Strategically, in preparation for continued covert, and eventual overt, US military intervention in Venezuela, Haiti represented a prime piece of geography. A look at a map reveals that Haiti (which divides the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic) lies at a virtual midpoint between Florida's southern tip and the coastlines of Venezuela and Colombia. From a military standpoint it is a strategic staging area for future moves onto the South American continent. While the US might logistically be able to mount an invasion or major operations from the Dominican Republic, it would never allow an independent regime allied with Hugo Chavez to remain in power in what would effectively become its rear area.

More than that, Haiti was an Afro-Caribbean nation, successfully led by a charismatic Afro-Caribbean; it was becoming allied with a regionally powerful Venezuela led by its first president of partly African and Indian ancestry. Aristide and Chavez were each democratically elected and were each beginning to respond to the impoverished majorities who put them in power. All this was an unbearable thorn in the side of United States, the hegemon whose permanent public relations problem is its ideological addiction: the same old white supremacy that's shaped the hemisphere for 500 years.

Hugo Chavez wasted no time in declaring to the world that he knew what the Empire's game was. Just after the coup he announced, "Venezuela is not Haiti, and Chavez is not Aristide." In the February 29 speech, even before the dust had settled in Haiti, Chavez also labeled George W. Bush "an asshole." Most importantly, in the same speech, Chavez vowed to cut off Venezuelan oil supplies to the US if it attempted military intervention or to impose trade sanctions.

Chavez was not bluffing, and his remarks were not lost on the world's second largest oil importer, China, On March 19, 2004, the Venezuelan news agency reported that top-level Chinese diplomats were in Venezuela offering to buy all of Venezuela's US production if the US made any move to further destabilize the country.


The Far East

Indonesia makes the list of the 18 largest oil reserves. It is situated on the most heavily traveled shipping lanes in the world, the South China Sea, and it also has the largest Muslim population of any country. That is why almost immediately after 9/11 the US deployed large numbers of military personnel to the neighboring Philippines. In spite of quick victories against indigenous Philippine Muslim rebels, suggesting that the Empire might withdraw, it has instead begun building permanent military bases.

It is via the South China Sea, which runs past the Philippines, that both Japan and China receive most of their oil. Whoever controls these shipping lanes will be in a position to determine who survives and who doesn't, who lives and who dies.

Indonesia also possesses one of the world's largest natural gas deposits, of critical interest to Japan and Australia - staunch US allies in the invasions of Iraq.


China - The endgame

China and the United States are conjoined twins, and it is not certain that the two can be surgically separated without killing one or both. The reason is that the Empire's economy, its finances, and its future are inextricably tied to the Chinese markets of 1.3 billion eager consumers.

From The Wilderness September 2002

Sizing Up the Competition - Is China The Endgame

by Dale Allen Pfeiffer, FTW Contributing Editor for Energy,

September 25, 2002, 16:00 PDT (FTW) - In the last 50 years of the United States' quest for hegemony, it has viewed its chief antagonists either ideologically (the Soviet Union and Red China), or economically (Germany and Japan). These antagonists were either overcome or co-opted. In the last decade of the 20th century, the US occupied the unparalleled position of being the world's only superpower. Now, as we enter the 21st century, this unopposed superpower at the peak of its military supremacy - may have an Achilles heel. It is running out of energy and so is the planet as a whole.

... In the coming years, continued US hegemony will depend upon maintaining control and access to the world's dwindling hydrocarbon reserves, most of which are contained in the Middle East. In achieving this goal, the US will have to find some way to deal with those countries which are expected to take the lead in rising energy demand. Those countries just happen to be the world's most populous countries, and all three are Asian. Ranked by population and projected energy demand, they are China, India, and Indonesia.

... Currently, China is the world's third-largest oil consumer, behind the United States and Japan. It is expected to surpass Japan within the decade and by 2020 reach a consumption level of 10.5 million bbl/d. China only recently became a net importer of oil, as consumption exceeded production for the first time in 1993. By 2020, China is expected to import 8 million bbl/d, more than the projected net imports of Japan, Korea, New Zealand, and Australia combined


China has many other unexplored oil prospects, but the country seems to be pinning its domestic production hopes on the far western Tarim Basin. This is actually three separate basins in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. This region, a desert the size of Poland, borders Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan to the west. Estimates of its potential reserves still vary from a few billion barrels to 80 Gb. Many obstacles impede exploration and development: deep pay zones, high drilling costs, complex geology, high subsurface pressures and temperatures, a harsh climate (temperatures can hit 117 degrees Fahrenheit in summer and -86 degrees in winter), and lack of infrastructure. Xinjiang also suffers from antigovernment violence blamed on its biggest minority group, the Uighurs.

To get the oil out of the distant Tarim Basin and bring it to markets in the east and southwest, China has committed itself to a 2,604-mile pipeline system. However, with construction costs estimated at $5.2 billion and Tarim's output growing more slowly than expected, Chinese officials are struggling to figure out how to make the pipeline pay for itself. The Chinese National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) has pushed on with smaller investments to build pieces of the network, hoping that these smaller investments will render the entire project unstoppable. The pipeline is so costly that gas will have to be priced at 35 percent above what buyers say they are willing to pay. It is expected that this pipeline will link up with the even larger "Silk Road" pipeline proposed to bring oil and natural gas from Kazakhstan. To finance the Xinjiang pipeline, China has formed a partnership with the Royal Dutch/Shell Group, Exxon-Mobil, and Russia's Gazprom.


The Energy Silk Road

In partnership with Exxon and Mitsubishi, CNPC has submitted a preliminary feasibility study for the world's longest gas pipeline. Dubbed the Energy Silk Road, this pipeline would start in Turkmenistan, and stretch across Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan to Xinjiang's Tarim Basin, a distance of some 4,161 miles. In Xinjiang, it would link up with the Tarim pipeline to continue the journey eastward across China. The estimated cost of $10 billion has stifled investor interest in the project. Similarly, a proposed oil pipeline from Kazakhstan eastward across China has spurred little investor interest due to the high price and the difficult terrain which the pipeline would have to traverse.

... It is plain that growing energy demands will bring China, India, and Indonesia into conflict with the developed world. The United States in particular, as the top world consumer of oil, will likely either have to curb consumption to make room for other countries or will have to find some way to curb the demands of the emerging energy consumers. Moreover, competition for diminishing oil resources could threaten the US dollar hegemony over world oil transactions.

As competitors for diminishing oil exports, Indonesia and India might not present major problems. Being so energy-poor, India may have no choice but to take what they can get. In August Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharaf broke from his nation's recent political course of exchanging nuclear threats with neighboring India. Musharaf said he did not object to India accessing a proposed Central Asian natural gas pipeline originating in Turkmenistan and running through Pakistan. If the proposal is materialized, Pakistan could get a $400 to $500 million annual royalty, according to the Pakistan's DAMN English language newspaper. It is likely that the US will have no serious problems in managing India's energy demands.

As for Indonesia, they are currently in the hands of the IMF and the World Bank. If these institutions stay true to their usual scam, Indonesia should soon be completely impoverished. However, Indonesia does control important shipping routes and valuable energy reserves. Therefore, it is likely that Indonesia will see continuing US intervention for the foreseeable future. US approved political leaders and foreign control of energy resources will keep Indonesia under control for at least a little longer.

As a starving world struggles for the remaining energy scraps, it is foreseeable that India and Indonesia may be left to starve, with much of the Third World. Or it is possible that a nuclear exchange and/or bloody war could be spurred on between India and Pakistan strictly for the purpose of population reduction. Such designs are despicable, but not out of the range of possibility for starving nations.

China, on the other hand, will be our major competition.

China is unlikely to become involved in an open war with the US. The annual Chinese military budget was $32 billion in 1997, or roughly an eighth of the $260 billion US military budget for the same year. The US has military bases throughout Asia, including the Philippines and Japan, and now in Central Asia. In the event of a war, the US could easily cut off Chinese energy imports through the Strait of Malacca and from Central Asia. A direct war between China and the US would be a disaster for both countries, and possibly for the entire world.

Though China will avoid open warfare with the US, they might become sucked into a war in the Middle East. Should the US become involved in a protracted war in the Middle East, it is likely that the opponents would be supplied by China. In a US military conquest of the Middle East, China would have to respond by aligning itself with the Muslim resistance. They would likely do anything short of sending Chinese troops to the Middle East to fight against the US.

This being said, China will have to deal with the US Empire, and it will need to force the US into recognizing China as an equal power. This will most likely be achieved through economic means, and possibly through a series of minor wars in third-party countries. Economically, China is in a very strong position with regard to the US. The Chinese control the US trade deficit, while the US has very little economic control over China. Should the Chinese step up the production and export of consumer goods, the US would have no choice but to swell its trade deficit even farther. And should China supply more goods than the US can consume, the economy will suffer. Likewise, should China move away from the US dollar as the international currency of trade, the results for the United States would be disastrous. Ethnic Chinese control 50 percent of the private capital in the Philippines, 70 percent in Indonesia, 80 percent in Thailand and Malaysia. The countries of the Pacific produce 60 percent of the world GDP. In recent sessions of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit there has been a lot of discussion about a Pacific alternative to the US dollar. The golden Yuan has been the leading contender.


The 2003 GM profit story raises the biggest question perfectly. What happens when America's economic survival depends upon sales of vehicles and other products to China that need to run on hydrocarbons which, if China obtains enough, will mean that there won't be enough hydrocarbons left over for America to sustain its own people or even make the products to begin with? There is no painless answer.

The issue of population reduction is becoming clearly visible as the reality of Peak Oil starts to set in. And who among us cannot picture the war criminal Henry Kissinger - protégé of David Rockefeller - sitting back in his chair and muttering with his German accent, "The problem is not that there is too little oil. The problem is just that there are too many people"?

The why and the how - of 9/11

It is my belief that sometime during the period between late 1998 and early 2000, as certain elites became aware of the pending calamity of Peak Oil, they looked at the first highly confidential exploration and drilling results from the Caspian Basin and shuddered. The economy had already been milked close to collapse, and the Caspian results could not be kept secret forever. The data would surely come out, and what would happen to the markets then? What if some of the major oil companies had been inflating Caspian numbers and hyping-up hopes of a bonanza in order to pump their stock value? What if all the inflated reserve estimates revealed themselves to be bogus all at once?

... It is likely that some of those early Caspian drilling reports came from companies like ExxonMobil, where Condoleezza Rice sat on the board. She was an expert on Kazakhstan. The elites began to grasp that the hoped-for Caspian reserves would not even offer a short reprieve from the onslaught of Peak Oil. Through declassified CIA reports we know that the CIA was aware that US oil production had peaked in 1970 and that the Agency was tracking Soviet oil production in the hopes of predicting a Russian peak in 1977.2 The CIA is Wall Street. Even if the oil had been there, it could not be monetized, because there was no safe route or pipeline to get it out. Alarms started going off.

... the Bush administration convened the National Energy Policy Development Group - under Dick Cheney - immediately after taking office in January. What do we do now? That was the bottom line. I believe that this was where the basic motive for 9/11 was fully articulated, understood, and accepted. Even though preparations for the attacks had been underway for years, the moment of truth about whether to execute them did not arrive until Cheney's group had a hard look at the numbers. This would explain why the administration fought all the way to the US Supreme Court to hide those records, and why Dick Cheney felt it necessary to take Justice Antonin Scalia duck hunting in a desperate effort to keep the records secret.

Scalia and the other "Supremes" delivered for him, On July 2, 2004, in a little noticed 7-2 ruling, the Supreme Court upheld the right of the administration to keep the NEPDG's records secret from the American people. I was not at all surprised. Nothing surprised me after the Supreme Court's ruling in the 2000 election.

After the NEPDG concluded its work in late April 2001, I think an irrevocable decision had been made to cross the Rubicon, that bloody line between an ailing republic and the empire that irreversibly supervened. In May 2001 President Bush placed Dick Cheney in charge of all planning for a terror attack, effectively giving him complete control over FEMA, the military, everything. In June 2001 the NORAD scramble protocols that had worked efficiently since 1976 were rewritten to take most decision-making power out of the hands of Air Force field commanders. Although minor exceptions in those protocols still allowed commanders to act on their own in certain cases, as General Arnold did, the change itself provided deniability for elements of the confusion that Dick Cheney was going to deliberately engineer and control.

From their perspective, the Republican neo-cons were faced with a choice of massive panic and collapse on the financial markets; a loss of public faith in the political system; and the loss of most of their own power and wealth if the truth were known. To borrow a metaphor from Professor Peter Dale Scott, both the neo-libs and the neocons were players at a very lucrative crap game. Though they often played viciously against each other, their prime objective was to keep the game going at all costs. Whenever the game was threatened - as is the case with 9/11 - they quickly closed ranks to protect it while the turf over which they continued to fight among themselves grew smaller and smaller and the contests more heated and bloody.

Within their own mindset and within the parameters of an economic and governmental system that functioned (as it continues to function) in the mode of organized crime - incapable of transparency, riddled with corruption and cooked books, based upon the destruction of life for the sake of net profits and supremacy - these men, led by Dick Cheney, chose what they thought was their only logical option. I believe it seemed to them the "right" thing to do; after all, it was only a few thousand lives. Other rulers have made similar choices in the past. But as all empires learn, once the river is crossed there is no turning back. In front of that decision there lay a continuum of ever more vicious bloodletting, decline, and collapse.

... The imminent energy crisis was going to be both apocalyptic and unavoidable, / and it was going to arrive sooner than expected. Like any "well-planned" government operation, the planning and initial preparations for what became 9/11 had begun in the Clinton administration as a contingency plan. That's when the 19 so-called hijackers (and/or their handlers) began establishing their legends. But the Caspian news would account for the absolutely unfathomable number of mistakes that were made in both the plan's execution and the subsequent cover-up. It was a rush job. Quickly, any number of classified or once-classified contingency plans for a staged attack on the US - like Operation Northwoods - came down off the shelf. As Brzezinski's Grand Chessboard shows, the need for such an event had already been acknowledged in 1997 - conveniently, just as al Qaeda and the Taliban were emerging as world and regional players. Operation Northwoods, declassified in the late 1990s, had been planned in 1962.

Since the end of the cold war there had been plenty of time to put a new potential enemy in place, and September 11th was not a new idea.

As Zbigniew Brzezinski had written in 1997, the "immediate" task was to develop and simultaneously control a "direct external threat" to manufacture an attack "like a new Pearl Harbor." That required a credible (at least in the public mind) and well-developed enemy. The need for the same kind of attack was mentioned by the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) in its September 2000 report Rebuilding America's Defenses. Such an attack would then provide a pretext for massive sequential military intervention to secure the energy supplies of the Middle East and the lesser (but terribly important) oil-bearing regions including West Africa, Venezuela, Colombia, certain portions of the Southwest Pacific, and any other region with smaller but more readily accessible reserves. The essential thing would be that terrorists or their "allies" must conveniently turn up in each needed area, on schedule.

No problem! That's what the CIA, Mossad, M16, and every other major intelligence agency does for a living.

... parts of the Clinton administration (immune from most political concerns) had been protecting, grooming, and nurturing the Taliban and al Qaeda to make sure that a needed enemy would be in place for several years. It is my belief that plans for the attacks of September 11th were being accelerated during at least the last year of the Clinton administration, with the frill knowledge of President Clinton and his top advisors including "Sandy" Berger, Madeline Aibright, and Bill Richardson, Clinton's Secretary of Energy. I also suspect NATO Commander Wesley Clark, whose liaison with the Kosovo Liberation Army included relations with al Qaeda that provided it with training and battlefield experience. The actual planning involved extremely powerful but relatively "non-aligned" government figures whose pedigrees included membership in the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, and/or the Bilderberg Group: the protectors of the game.

Almost every major analysis of the 9/11 attacks suggests that they must have been planned for between three and four years.

... I believe that bin Laden was, and remains, a CIA! US government/Wall Street asset. This would explain why he has never been caught. There are still wars to fight. He can't be caught for a variety of other reasons, including his family's enormous and diverse financial connections to the same elites that control the United States financial system, and his close interrelationship with a Saudi ruling class that could pull the plug on the US economy even before Peak Oil does. Osama bin Laden also knows way too much, and without him, the Bush administration would have had no excuse for any of what it has done over the last four years. From a strategic point of view, Osama is Dick Cheney's best friend.

... A handful of individuals at the highest levels of the major media had to know before 9/11, so that their myriad employees would have a sturdy, prefabricated Lee Harvey Oswald-type story to follow (if left to their own devices, they might do something unfortunate, like investigative reporting). But letting anyone outside L he boardroom know would have been impossible to manage.

... No intelligence agency had deeper or better penetration in the Middle East and r -No Asia than Israel's Mossad. It probably became a full partner early on. But the "hijackers" who had received US military training were special cases.

I believe that the so-called hijackers who had received this training were probably part of an ultra-secret US military and intelligence joint operation "Opposition Force," or OPFOR, which routinely played bad guys in hijack exercises around the world and inside the US. I believe that it is possible - even likely - that this hijack OPFOR was a joint US-Israeli operation ...

The wargames

The military has been practicing shoot-downs of remotely piloted aircraft since the 1950s. I consider it likely that on September 11th all four aircraft were remotely piloted or taken over by a system that can be activated without the flight crew's ability to intervene. I believe that the apparatus to remotely pilot the two planes that struck in New York was housed and operated from within the New York City Office of Emergency Management (or very close by), where we know that a Secret Service agent was already in place and communicating with Dick Cheney. The Secret Service agent's presence is easily explained by the so-called preparations for the Tripod II exercise.

Since 7 WTC was not struck by anything and it collapsed so perfectly, as if in a controlled demolition, I believe that this was necessary and had been planned in advance with the express intent of destroying the electronic equipment needed to make the precise maneuvers necessary to get the airliners to hit the buildings ...

I have absolutely no doubt that on the day of September 11th Richard Cheney was in full and complete control of a properly functioning and parallel command and communications system to fulfill what that Delmart "Mike" Vreeland had warned of in August of 2001. "Let one happen. Stop the rest." I am certain also that he had complete access to every part of America's defense, law enforcement, and intelligence establishments that he wanted. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, Richard Cheney is the maestro. Richard Cheney spoke to whom he needed to speak to while the nation's defenses foundered.

Human beings have explored outward to the limits of this planet in search of resources and understanding and experience. We have peered deep into boundless space by sending probes billions of miles away, even beyond the outer planets of the solar system. We also explore backwards in time, extrapolating the sublime mysteries of Big Bang cosmology and theoretical physics. We spend hundreds of millions of dollars and lifetimes of intellectual passion on archaeological digs to find the earliest ancestors of our bodies and of our human mind.

But that mind is readily seduced toward astonishing feats of domination and cruelty. The combination of bureaucracy, technology, and rationalized quantitative measurement that built the great industrial civilization of the past 200 years, also created the Nazi death camps. There, efficiency and centralized control were as developed and refined as their uses were depraved and vile. The same cold, administrative approach to life that built the vast economies of the modern world is also preparing a terrible solution to the collapse of those economies. In the Empire's vision, love and art and religion and community are invisible; they count for nothing.

Crossing the Rubicon

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