Wednesday, December 28, 2005

At least we agree on ONE thing...

It is unfortunate that James Howard Kunstler, a leading advocate of Peak Oil, has decided to judge a book without knowing the first thing about it. In his most recent “Clusterfuck Nation Chronicle” entry, Kunstler writes:
“I regard the 9/11 conspiracy theories as a fantasy and a distraction from the real problems we face. It is especially unfortunate that they became associated with the Peak Oil issue, and that was obviously a result of Mike Ruppert's elaboration of them in his book Across the Rubicon, which brought discredit to his otherwise good reporting on the global oil situation,”
It is a shame that Kunstler has decided to ridicule a book that he doesn’t even know the title of. I will not attempt to counter Kunstler’s argument because when he calls "Across" the Rubicon a “fantasy,” he obviously doesn’t know what he is talking about.

As someone who has spoken with Kunstler and watched him speak, I can say he is a stubborn man who is very antagonistic to those who disagree with him. So I’m not holding my breath for him to change his opinion. That being said, I would encourage him, as I would anyone looking for evidence of complicity, to follow the money. General Mahmood and Yassin al-Qadi are the first two names that always come to mind.

I will also mention the fact that Ruppert has probably educated more people on Peak Oil than James Howard Kunstler and every other Peak Oil advocate combined, so it really makes no sense to say Ruppert has discredited himself by evaluating the attacks of September 11th.

Kunstler also discusses the wiretapping issue:
“I rather admired George W. Bush's hard-boiled remarks Saturday about the secret snooping carried out by the National Security Agency. As if we could afford to do otherwise.”
“Unlike the Nixon years, no evidence has emerged yet that this spying was directed widely at critics of government policy. If we are listening in on phone conversations and Internet chatter involving jihadists, then that is okay with me. If this spying were to swing over to critics of the war and the news media on a wholesale basis -- as in the Nixon / Vietnam years -- I'd feel differently about it.”
A few reasons for Mr. Kunstler to feel differently:

1. The program was illegal, and the only reasonable explanation for the Administration going around the law is that they thought the wiretap requests were likely to be denied or had already been denied by the FISA court, which has very few limitations.

2. Bush’s lies:
"Any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires -- a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way. When we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order before we do so." --Bush two years after he started circumventing the court

“For years, law enforcement used so-called roving wire taps to investigate organized crime. You see, what that meant is if you got a wire tap by court order -- and, by the way, everything you hear about requires court order, requires there to be permission from a FISA court, for example.” –Bush, April 19, 2004

“...any action that takes place by law enforcement requires a court order. In other words, the government can't move on wiretaps or roving wiretaps without getting a court order. --Bush, July 14, 2004

"...roving wiretaps allow investigators to follow suspects who frequently change their means of communications. These wiretaps must be approved by a judge,”--Bush, June 9, 2005

3. FBI counterterrorism agents have conducted surveillance and intelligence-gathering operations on environmental, animal cruelty and poverty relief groups. Green Peace, for example, is considered "a serious domestic terrorist threat."

4. The Pentagon has labeled antiwar and counter-recruiting demonstrations as "threats" to National Security.

5. The Bush Administration has spied on UN Security Council members:
“President Bush and other top officials in his administration used the National Security Agency to secretly wiretap the home and office telephones and monitor private email accounts of members of the United Nations Security Council in early 2003 to determine how foreign delegates would vote on a U.N. resolution that paved the way for the U.S.-led war in Iraq,”
6. According to Wayne Madsen -- a former Naval Intelligence officer who was once assigned to the NSA -- the Administration has used the NSA to spy on its own employees, as well as other U.S. intelligence personnel, and their journalist and congressional contacts. Today he reported the following:
“WMR (Wayne Madsen Report) has learned that the National Security Agency (NSA), on the orders of the Bush administration, eavesdropped on the private conversations and e-mail of its own employees, employees of other U.S. intelligence agencies -- including the CIA and DIA -- and their contacts in the media, Congress, and oversight agencies and offices.

The journalist surveillance program, code named "Firstfruits," was part of a Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) program that was
maintained at least until October 2004
and was authorized by then-DCI Porter Goss. ...

Firstfruits was a database that contained both the articles and the transcripts of telephone and other communications of particular Washington journalists known to report on sensitive U.S. intelligence activities, particularly those involving NSA. According to NSA sources, the targeted journalists included author James Bamford, the
New York Times' James Risen, the Washington Post's Vernon Loeb, the New Yorker's Seymour Hersh, the Washington Times' Bill Gertz, UPI's John C. K. Daly, and this editor [Wayne Madsen], who has written about NSA for The Village Voice, CAQ, Intelligence Online, and the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC).”


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