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According to Michigan Department of Corrections records, Vreeland was in and out of prison several times from 1988 to 1999, having been convicted of assorted crimes, including breaking and entering, receiving stolen property, forgery and writing bad checks. In 1997, he was arrested in Virginia for conspiring to bribe a police officer and intimidating a witness, and failed to show up in court there. In Florida, he was arrested in 1998 on two felony counts of grand theft and sentenced to three years of probation. He then skipped out. In 1998, he was pursued by the Sheffield, Alabama, police force for stealing about $20,000 in music equipment. In the course of that investigation, Sheffield Detective Greg Ray pulled Vreeland's criminal file; it was 20 pages long. "He had to really try to be a criminal to get such a history," Ray says. A 1999 report filed by a Michigan probation agent said of Vreeland, "The defendant has nine known felony convictions, and five more felony charges are now pending in various courts. However, the full extent of his criminal record may never be known, because he has more than a dozen identified aliases and arrests or police contacts in five different states." Judge Campbell called Vreeland a "man who appears on this evidentiary record to be nothing more than a petty fraudsman with a vivid imagination."
But Ruppert dismisses Vreeland's past, noting, "Vreeland has a very confusing arrest record -- some of it very contradictory and apparently fabricated." When I interviewed Vreeland, he said, "I have never legally been convicted of anything in the United States of America." And he added that he has never been in prison. In March, the Canadian criminal charges against Vreeland were dropped, and he was allowed to post bail. Paul McDermott, a provincial prosecutor, says his office considered the pending extradition matter the priority. Vreeland's extradition hearing is scheduled for September. And his story recently became even more incredible. On June 1, Ruppert posted a dramatic e-mail on a private discussion list, reporting a phone conversation in which Vreeland said he had just become violently ill after drinking from a bottle of wine sent to him by Alan Greenspan. "He didn't sound like he was faking at all," wrote Ruppert, who maintained Vreeland had been "poisoned." By the Federal Reserve Chairman? In a later e-mail to me, Ruppert said he had not published this report on his Web site, explaining, "since all of the information received was solely from Vreeland -- who was obviously disoriented and ill -- I couldn't go with a news story."
To believe Vreeland's scribbles mean anything -- as does Ruppert -- one must believe his claim to be a veteran intelligence operative sent to Moscow on an improbable top-secret, high-tech mission (change documents to neutralize an entire technology?) during which he stumbled upon records (which he has not revealed) showing that 9/11 was going to happen. To believe that, one must believe Vreeland is a victim of a massive disinformation campaign involving his family, law-enforcement officers and defense lawyers across the country, two state corrections departments, county-clerk offices in 10 or so counties, the Canadian justice system, and various parts of the U.S. government. And one must believe that hundreds if not thousands of detailed court, county, prison and state records have been forged. It is easier to believe that a well-versed con man either wrote a sketchy note before September 11 that could be interpreted afterward as relevant or penned the note following the disaster and convinced prison guards he had written it previously. Michigan detective John Meiers, who's been chasing Vreeland for two years, says, "The bottom line: Delmart Vreeland is a con man. He's conned everyone he comes into contact with . . . He doesn't want to come back here. He knows he's going to prison, and he's fighting. In the interim, he's coming up with a variety of stories."
RUPPERT IS CORRECT TO REMIND PEOPLE THAT official accounts must be absorbed with scrutiny. Clandestine agendas and unacknowledged geostrategic factors -- such as oil -- may well shape George W. Bush's war on terrorism. And there are questions that have gone unanswered. The CIA and the FBI possessed indications, if not specific clues, that something was coming and failed to piece them together. Why did U.S. air defenses perform so poorly on September 11 -- even though there had been signs for at least five years that al Qaeda was considering a 9/11-type attack? But questions are not equivalent to proof. As of now, there is not confirmable evidence to argue that the conventional take on September 11 -- bin Laden surprise-attacked America as part of a jihad, and a caught-off-guard United States struck back -- is actually a cover story. Ruppert, who has been chasing CIA ghosts for over 20 years, offers innuendo, not substantiation. The former cop hasn't made his case.