By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
Ruppert also makes much of the fact that before September 11 parties unknown engaged in a frenzy of short-selling involving the stock of airlines and dozens of companies affected by the attacks. But does this mean the U.S. government ignored a clear warning? Ruppert assumes the U.S. and Western intelligence services "monitor stock trades in real time to warn of impending attacks." But he offers no evidence of that. Ronald Blekicki, who publishes Microcap Analyst, an online investment publication, says most of the short-selling occurred overseas -- which could well have escaped notice in the United States -- and was probably conducted by bin Laden backers and intimates.
What is curious is that news of the investigations into the short-selling has taken a quick-fade. The Securities and Exchange Commission will not say whether it is still investigating this trading. Suspicious minds, no doubt, can view the public absence of government interest as evidence of something amiss.
Item No. 12 on the Ruppert time line is one of the most popular among the 9/11 skeptics. Here Ruppert references a book, Bin Laden: The Forbidden Truth, written by two French authors, Jean-Charles Brisard, a former intelligence employee, and Guillaume Dasquie, a journalist. The pair maintain the 9/11 attacks were the "outcome" of "private and risky discussions" between the United States and the Taliban "concerning geostrategic oil interests." They claim that during the course of secretive international talks concerning Afghanistan, the oil-hungry United States in July 2001 threatened the Taliban with a military strike. Brisard and Dasquie suggest that in response to this threat, bin Laden and the Taliban decided to hit first. But their thesis makes no sense. Did bin Laden pull together the 9/11 plot in two months? Or did bin Laden have all the elements in place but was not about to proceed with this horrific plot until the Bush administration pushed him too far? The authors do not prove their case, and what they dubbed "private and risky discussions" were, in reality, a laudable United Nations multilateral initiative to settle the political and military strife in Afghanistan.
This book -- the basis of one of Ruppert's most important time line entries -- is a shoddy piece of journalism, most of it completely unsourced. But Ruppert's task is not evaluating data; it's manipulating selected pieces of information that exist in the public record. If it's in print -- or on the Web -- it's good enough to use. Certainly, it is a public service to highlight material that may have slipped through the cracks of the mainstream media. For instance, Ruppert is right to wonder about a brief story that appeared on September 12, 2001, in Izvestia, the Moscow-based newspaper. Citing unnamed sources, the paper reported Moscow had warned Washington of the 9/11 attacks weeks earlier. Was such a warning actually transmitted? If so, who issued the warning and who received it? But a four-paragraph overseas-news item, pulled together in the frantic hours after the 9/11 strikes, is a starting place for investigation, not proof the Bush administration permitted or abetted the attacks. Ruppert does not know the difference between a lead and evidence -- an odd quality for a former police officer.
With his time line, Ruppert implies far more than he proves. It is a document for those already predisposed to believe world events are determined by secret, mind-boggling conspiracies of the powerful, by people too influential and sly to be caught but who leave a trail that can be decoded by those brave outsiders who know where and how to look.
IN HIS 9/11 "RESEARCH," RUPPERT CAN CLAIM ONE truly original find: Delmart "Mike" Vreeland. He is the flesh on the bones of Ruppert's the-dots-show-all time line. And thanks to Ruppert, Vreeland has developed his own devotees who believe Vreeland is the key to the mysteries of 9/11. Is Vreeland Ruppert's silver bullet against the CIA? It seems more likely he is a skilled but low-rent con man who seduced the ex-cop. On December 6, 2000, Vreeland, then 34, was arrested in Canada and charged with fraud, forgery, threatening death or bodily harm, and obstructing a peace officer. At the time, he was wanted on multiple warrants in the United States -- for forgery, counterfeiting, larceny, unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, narcotics, reckless endangerment, arson and grand theft. Months earlier, the Detroit News, citing law-enforcement authorities, had reported that Vreeland was an experienced identity thief. While Vreeland was in jail in Toronto, law-enforcement officials in Michigan began extradition proceedings.
On October 7, 2001, Vreeland, who was fighting extradition, submitted an exhibit in a Canadian court that he says shows he knew 9/11 was coming. The document is a page of handwritten notes. On it is a list that includes the World Trade Center, the Sears Tower and the White House. Below that, a sentence reads, "Let one happen -- stop the rest." Elsewhere is a hard-to-decipher collection of phrases and names. Vreeland claims he wrote this in mid-August 2001, while in prison, and had it placed in a locked storage box by prison guards. He says the note was opened on September 14 in front of prison officials. Immediately, his lawyers were summoned to the prison, according to one of them, Rocco Galati, and the jail officials sent the note to Ottawa.