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THE YEAR OF THE LAW AND OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY, by
Michael C. Ruppert, December 31, 2003
Copyright 2003, From The Wilderness Publications, www.copvcia.com. All Rights Reserved. May be reprinted, distributed or posted on an Internet web site for non-profit purposes only.
"Seemingly Unsolvable Legal Traps Face an
Administration Running Out of Wiggle Room;
Big Will Prevent Saddam From Coming to Trial"
" The Bush administration has
backed itself into several deadly legal corners. The
Supreme Court is going to rule in July on the release
of secret records of Dick Cheney's energy task force,
German courts have thrown out a 9/11 terror case and
the only 9/11 conviction ever obtained is about to be
overturned. In the meantime, US Appeals court rulings
have made it inevitable that 9/11 arrestees like
Khalid Shaikh Muhammad and Ramzi bi al-Shibh must come
into public view and speak. With an election looming
the administration has little choice but to bypass the
law in the coming year. Only a major disaster or
terrorist attack can achieve that end."
"FTW has stressed that events in the five years following September 11th 2001 would determine the course of human history for the next five hundred years. In looking at the tectonic pressures building during a presidential election year -- as driven by the emerging reality of Peak Oil and Gas -- it now appears that, of those five years, 2004 may well be marked by some of the greatest political, economic and military changes in history. Much of this upheaval will have been caused by the success of independent journalists, researchers, activists, courts, and congress in challenging the actions of the US Empire at home and abroad since 9/11 and holding it accountable for its own statements, actions and documents.
This brings to mind the proverb, "Be careful of what you pray for. You just might get it." This beast is dangerous now and signs are abundant, from the unrealized terror scares over the holidays, to the re-emergence of Mad Cow disease, to a suddenly renewed government interest in anthrax, that nothing is beyond the pale if the beast is threatened. Even the Washington Post's David Rothkopf planted seeds on November 24th when he suggested that a terrorist attack might "disrupt" the 2004 presidential elections. We should not be surprised"
"This is the ultimate high-stakes, must-win decision for the administration in the
coming year. Full disclosure of Cheney's records would enable publications like FTW to
once and for all answer for the American people and the world the single biggest
question about 9/11, "What would motivate them to do such a horrible thing? What could
have been so important?" In a criminal trial for murder this would be one of the three
basic elements required for a conviction: the motive. The method and opportunity have
already been established."
"On December 21, FTW received the following unsourced photograph in an email titled
"From a friend in Saudi Arabia." The picture purports to show two US soldiers demonstrating
how they lifted a Styrofoam block seal to Saddam's hiding place. The picture poses two
problems for the US story. First, it clearly depicts ripened dates hanging from a tree
branch. This ripening only occurs in the summer months and by December dates have
either long since been harvested, rotted black on the branch or have fallen from the
trees. Next to the dates is a line holding an unknown meat drying in the sun. Again,
this is a process, according to Iraqi and Arab sources, which only occurs during the
"The timing and manner of Hussein's capture defy logic. He can only be tried in public
and even if convenient confessions from him, unsupported by video or sworn testimony,
allow the US to locate planted weapons of mass destruction, the cards of this poker
hand are going to have to be fully disclosed at some point. The Bush administration
knows this and FTW concludes that even as it announced his capture, it also had decided
that Saddam Hussein would never be tried in public or allowed to defend himself. This
makes his capture an incredibly ominous event. Something big will have to happen to
prevent the trial from taking place."
A GRAND JURY OVER THE PLAME/WILSON CASE
"If a grand jury is empanelled in this case it could - as was the case with the
Watergate grand jury and Richard Nixon - spell the end of the Bush administration. The
current regime has proven itself an inept manager of world affairs for the benefit of
the financial system and offensive to most of the world's population. As FTW has said
for a year, George W. Bush may be unbeatable in the election. He will certainly raise
more money than all of his challengers and, if the three preceding years are any
measure, he has demonstrated that he will go to any lengths to retain power. But that
does not make him unstoppable. Richard Nixon believed that he was unstoppable and played
a tough poker hand to the very end. The difference between Richard Nixon and George W.
Bush is that Richard Nixon capitulated when he saw that further struggle would destroy
the country. Against the backdrop of Peak oil and Gas and what lies inevitably in
our future, George W. Bush may see no similar grounds for restraint."
Colin Campbell on Oil
Perhaps the World's Foremost Expert on Oil and the Oil Business Confirms the Ever More Apparent Reality of the Post-9-11 World
by Michael C. Ruppert, copyright 2002, Michael C. Ruppert and FTW Publications,
All rights reserved. May be reprinted or distributed for non-profit purposes only.
Oct. 23, 2002
FTW: What will be the likely effects of hitting the downslope of production?
Campbell: Big question. Simply stated: war, starvation, economic recession,
possibly even the extinction of homo sapiens, insofar as the evolution of life
on earth has always been accomplished by the extinction of over-adapted species
(when their environmental niche changed for geologic or climatic reasons)
leaving simpler forms to continue, and eventually giving rise new more adapted
species. If Homo sapiens figures out how to move back to simplicity, he will be
the first to do so.
FTW: How soon before we start to feel the effects of dwindling oil supplies?
Campbell: We already are -- in the form of the threatened U.S. invasion of the
Middle East. The U.S. would be importing 90 percent of its oil by 2020 to hold
even current demand and access to foreign oil has long been officially declared
a vital national interest justifying military intervention. Probable actual
physical shortage of all liquid hydrocarbons worldwide won't appear for about 20
years, especially if deepening recession holds down demand. But people are
coming to appreciate that peak is imminent and what it means. Some places like
the U.S. will face shortage sooner than others. The price is likely to soar as
shortage looms, which itself may delay peak.
If the U.S. does invade there will likely be a repeat of Vietnam with many years
of fruitless struggle in which the U.S. will be seen as a tyrant and an
oppressor, killing all those Arabs. It can't hope to subjugate the place in
perpetuity as the people don't surrender easily -- as the Palestinians have
shown. So when the U.S. has finally gone, Russia and China will likely be
welcomed there to produce whatever is left in the ruins.
FTW: Are the major oil companies currently downsizing? If so why?
Campbell: The majors are merging and downsizing and outsourcing and not
investing in new refineries because they know full well that production is set
to decline and that the exploration opportunities are getting less and less. Who
would drill in 10,000 feet of water if there were anywhere else easier left?
But the companies have to sing to the stock market, and merger hides the
collapse of the weaker brethren. The staff is purged on merger and the combined
budget ends up much less than the sum of the previous components. Besides, a lot
of the executives and bankers make a lot of money from the merger.
FTW: How much oil is really left?
Campbell: You have to think of different categories of oil. Speaking of
conventional, which is the easy cheap stuff that has supplied most uses to date
and will dominate all supply far into the future, there is about 1 trillion
barrels left. To this you have to add:
A) Oil from coal, "shale," tar sands, heavy oil -- the resource is very large,
but extraction rate is low and costly, sometimes giving negative net energy.
B) Deepwater oil -- (from a depth of greater than 500 meters) about 60 billion
C) Polar -- about 30 billion, maybe.
D) Natural gas liquids -- about 300 billion barrels
FTW: I take it that it is a given that in any particular oil field, or globally,
costs of extraction increase as one progresses down the curve. What is the usual
nature of these increased costs? Do they usually require additional investment
of capital for infrastructure? Is there a chart which shows how costs increase
as production declines?
Campbell: Yes of course costs go up and every situation is different. In Texas
they can still profitably use wells producing 5 b/d. But offshore the threshold
is higher. It is more complex because they have the sunk costs of the platform
and also face substantial abandonment costs. Furthermore tax distorts the
picture, with most operating cost being written off against taxable income
either in the host or home country or both. But reserves are defined as
recoverable under current or foreseen economics, so non-economic tail-end
theoretical production is not included anyway. I think the key issue is not so
much the economic cut off but when production of even highly profitable oil
heads into decline. The tail end, which is susceptible to economic constraints,
is small and not very relevant. Oil has a polarity being either there in
profitable abundance or not there at all -- mainly because it is a liquid that
flows to accumulate somewhere, unlike coal where extraction is a matter of
concentration in seam thickness and access.
FTW: Is all oil in the ground recoverable? If not, why not?
Campbell: Only a fraction of the oil in the reservoir is recoverable because it
does not sit in one big cavern down there but in the very small pore spaces
between the grains of sand. These grains are coated in water and when it
coalesces, it blocks the pore spaces preventing the further movement of oil.
Also there are many nooks and crannies in the rocks that are not in
communication. Obviously light oil is easier to extract than heavy. You can pump
in steam etc. to try and move it, which is now routinely done where feasible.
It is said that recovery has increased from 30 percent to 40 percent thanks to
technology and is set to rise from more technology in the future. But most of
this improvement has nothing to do with technology. It is an artifact of
reporting. The industry has always made conservative initial estimates (liking
to build an inventory of unreported reserves to tide them over bad years and
also reduce taxes) so reserves naturally grow over time.
Besides, extracting a bit more has a minimal impact on peak, which is the
critical turning point, much more important than eventually running [completely]
out, which we may never do as the tail end can drag on.
FTW: What would you say to the people who insist that oil is created from magma,
or that there's really so much that we don't have to worry?
Campbell: Oil sometimes does occur in fractured or weathered crystalline rocks,
which may have led people to accept this theory, but in all cases there is an
easy explanation of lateral migration from normal sources. Isotopic evidence
provides a clear link to the organic origins. No one in the industry gives the
slightest credence to these theories: after drilling for 150 years they know a
bit about it. Another misleading idea is about oilfields being refilled. Some
are, but the oil simply is leaking in from a deeper accumulation.
FTW: Will Central Asian-Caspian pipelines have an impact on the crisis? How long
will it take them to come on line?
Campbell: There was talk of the place holding over 200 Gb [billion barrels] (I
think emanating from the USGS [U.S. Geological Survey]), but the results after
10 years of work have been disappointing. The West came in with high hopes. The
Soviets found Tengiz onshore in 1979 with about 6 Gb of very deep, high sulfur
oil in a reef. Chevron took over and is now producing it with difficulty. But
offshore they found a huge prospect called Kashagan in a similar geological
setting to Tengiz. If it had been full, it could have contained 200 Gb, but they
have now drilled three deep wells at huge cost, finding that instead of being a
single reservoir it, like Tengiz, is made up of reefs. Reserves are now quoted
at between 9 Gb and 13 Gb. BP-Statoil has pulled out. Caspian production won't
make any material difference to world supply. There is however a lot of gas in
To put it in perspective this would supply the world for a little over a year,
but it is broadly the same as U.S. potential
It is quite possible that the Afghan war was about securing a strong point in
this area. But interest in it has now dwindled along with Caspian prospects as
the U.S. turns to Iraq, which does have some oil. It is curious that these two
U.S. military exercises had different pretexts
A) Afghanistan was to find the supposed architect of Sept. 11 -- in which it
B) Iraq is about a sudden and unexplained fear that it might develop some
objectionable weapons that might pose a threat to someone in the future. North
Korea, which already has nuclear weapons and long range missiles -- and isn't
exactly a friendly place -- is not deemed a threat. The cynic can be forgiven
for thinking there is some other motive for these military moves: could it be
FTW: When and how was it discovered that the Central Asian reserves were much
smaller than anticipated?
Campbell: I guess you could say over the past 24 months as the different pieces
in the jigsaw fell into place. There is no single event or date, but rather an
FTW: What about replacement sources and alternative energy? Tar sands?
Campbell: Of course there is a range of alternatives from wind, sun, tide,
nuclear, etc. but today they contribute only a very small percentage, and do not
come close to matching the oil of the past in terms of cost or convenience. No
doubt production from tar sands and heavy oils can be stepped up in the future
but it is painfully slow and expensive, carrying also environmental costs. It
will help ameliorate the decline but has minimal impact on peak. The simple
solution is to use less. We are extremely wasteful energy users. But it involves
a fundamental change of attitude and the rejection of classical economic
principles, which were built on endless growth in a world of limitless
resources. Those days are over, exacerbated by the soaring population, itself
now set to decline partly from energy shortage.
FTW: Has anyone determined what percentage of oil is used for military purposes
worldwide? If so, how much?
Campbell: I don't know how much is used for military purposes, but it must be
considerable. The U.S. has built a huge stockpile in the Middle East for the
FTW: Is China the end game of competition for oil?
Campbell: Yes, China is in desperate need of imports as its own supply depletes.
It has been very thoroughly explored. It will be vying with the U.S. for access
to foreign oil. It is already well established in Iraq.
That is about how I see it.
A more detailed discussion of the world oil crisis, its connections to 9-11,
and its implications for the future will be contained in FTW Editor Michael C.
Ruppert's forthcoming book, Across the Rubicon: 9-11 and the Last Empire,
scheduled for release by Feral House in spring 2003.]