I first came across Michael Ruppert‘s work a couple of years back via a discussion board, stumbling upon his award-winning documentary Collapse, focusing on the inevitable collapse of the oil industry once peak oil is reached and its implications for the world as a whole and his groundbreaking work on the CIA racket bringing narcotics into the US and actively playing a role in their distribution. (Here’s a prior blog entry on Peak Oil, largely compiled through Mike’s research).
Born into a family with strong law enforcement and surveillance pedigree – his father was a CIA agent and mother a code breaker during WWII – Ruppert was first scouted as a senior at UCLA to join the agency but had always wanted to serve as a police officer. His sharp intellect and background soon had the CIA knocking again not long into his service with LAPD but events he would discover through research and evidence led him to a different path entirely.
I quickly became fascinated with his work, initially his insight, research and evidence through his investigative work into discovering a CIA plot to launder drug money whilst funneling drugs into the US from Mexico. Mike was an LA police officer at the time, working with the narcotics squad. He was so disgusting and disappointed with his discovery that he immediately resigned in protest and set about bringing the truth to the masses. A move that his seen him be a tenacious investigative journalist – or ‘warrior’ in his own words – to this day, three decades later. Mike, in good conscience, immediately quit the force to set about exposing the racket and having those guilty brought to justice, only to find the operation was sanctioned right from the top and that his life was now in danger.
Far from letting this event silence him, it propelled Mike to thoroughly investigate many aspects of Government sanctioned and media propagated collusion, falsehoods, crimes and corruption. Following his work on exposing CIA’s involvement in the narcotics trade, which included famously confronting former CIA Director John Deutch on the matter at a public meeting in an LA high school forum which is said to have ultimately cost Deutch his position, Ruppert went on to cover a wide range of political and governmental issues through the newsletter, From the Wilderness - doing which time he conducted lectures, released books and appeared in documentaries. He’s since been President of the Collapse Network before resigning to focus more on other pursuits including his online radio show The Lifeboat Hour on Progressive Radio Network.
His work, thoroughly researched and verified, culminated in the proof that collusion, corruption and crime of an industrial scale reached all the way to the highest echelons of the United States Government. Understandably, this garnered Mike many enemies in high places – most notably Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld following his exposé on Pat Tillman‘s death (furthered covered in his recent Media Mayhem interviews with Allison Hope Weiner at the bottom of this post), which led to Mike flee to Venezuela to ensure his safety.
His work in ‘The Truth and Lies of 9/11‘ taken from a 2004 presentation at Portland State University - on exposing inaccuracies of the 9/11 attacks and subsequent US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan gained attention for its insight and findings, many of which have since gone on to be proved correct – or at least, widely and increasingly assumed. His newsletter and presentations continued until 2006 when he decided to withdraw from investigative journalism and public lecturing following a false sexual harassment case and destruction of his computers led him to flee to Venezuela for some time.
Mike decided ultimately that he couldn’t sit back and let his insights and knowledge in the topics of peak oil, corruption, State sanctioned drug trafficking and crime go unchallenged and returned to the States. He’s written three critically acclaimed books, Crossing The Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil, Confronting Collapse: The Crisis of Energy and Money in a Post Peak Oil World and A Presidential Energy Policy: Twenty-Five Points Addressing the Siamese Twins of Energy and Money; of which I’m currently reading Crossing the Rubicon and can vouch for its extensive, enlightening and often times disturbing insight.
Mike Ruppert’s critically acclaimed documentary, ‘Collapse‘ went a long way to exposing the size, scope and seriousness of the peak oil conundrum to a wider audience, and what is likely to lay ahead when (not if) peak oil is reached and surpassed. The documentary is in many parts confronting, disturbing, alarming, pessimistic and worrying – so much so the late Roger Ebert said of the documentary,
“I don’t know when I’ve seen a thriller more frightening. I couldn’t tear my eyes from the screen. ‘Collapse’ is even entertaining, in a macabre sense. I think you owe it to yourself to see it.”
Yet the documentary is equally fascinating, enlightening and in parts guardedly optimistic and heartwarming.
I was pleasantly surprised to come across the before mentioned two-part interviews Mike conducted earlier this year with Allison Hope Weiner as his voice and presence had been conspicuously and unfortunately lacking in recent years – in the interviews mentions that he has decided to a more reserved role in his journalism these days as he is getting older. His interviews, as of all his work, are fascinating, informative and thought-provoking. I could listen to this man talk all day as his knowledge and intellect exceed just about any investigative journalist or independent media activist around. I strongly recommend watching the two interviews in full where he covers his background, Pat Tillman’s death, his initial work in uncovering the CIA drug racket, 9/11, Dick Cheney and George W Bush through to more recent events such as the Occupy movement, Obama and Bin Laden’s death, and Christopher Dorner.