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--Sean Karlin

In his demeaning article on Michael Ruppert, I can see why David Corn gets accused of being a disinformation specialist. At the very least, his own work is shallow and serves his own prejudices, clearly stating his skepticism as to whether the Bush administration would "allow the murder of thousands of Americans to achieve a political or economic aim." Many would find this a plausible characterization of the Vietnam military policy of two former administrations.

Corn also disbelieves that "any government agency could execute a plot requiring the coordination of the FBI, CIA, INS, FAA, NTSB, Pentagon . . . " yet seems to forget that his own theory of the events of 9/11 (the one we’ve been handed) is that of a conspiracy that didn’t require the coordination of these agencies. Why should American complicity require it.

—Steve Ford
Los Angeles

I have just returned from a lecture tour in Canada and read your amusing and tragic story about me. Previous discussions with your editor Allan Mittelstaedt regarding admittedly false statements the Weekly made in a previous article that I had been fired from the LAPD revealed that I would only be permitted a small space, even then, to reply to negative stories written about me and my body of work. Knowing that I will have to be brief here or else be "edited" I think it most important to respond to the very last assertion of David Corn’s meritless hit piece on me. The reason for that is because it is his statement implying that there will be no trans-Afghani pipelines which demonstrates the harm and the disservice that both Corn and the Weekly do to their readers by hiding other significant facts about the attacks of September 11 from readers whom you are obligated to serve with the truth.

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By citing one story saying that Unocal had no interest in building the pipeline, post 9-11, Corn deliberately misled your readers by implying that no pipeline is going to be built at all. In fact a pipeline is going to be built, and Unocal is not completely out of the picture. Regardless of what company builds the pipeline (perhaps Halliburton, perhaps a revived Enron, perhaps Bridas), the major oil companies will still finally get the oil and gas out of Central Asia that they have craved for more than a decade. All of my research has been focused on what the major oil companies and financial markets need, not Unocal.

Consider these stories which Mr. Corn hid from your readers:

1) "Karzai to discuss pipeline with Turkmenistan, Pakistan" — Reuters, 5/12/02;

2) "KABUL, May 12 (Reuters) — Afghan interim ruler Hamid Karzai will hold talks with his Pakistani and Turkmenistan counterparts later this month about plans for a pipeline through his country to export Turkmenistan's rich oil and gas reserves to the Indian sub-continent, an Afghan minister said on Sunday . . .

"[Turkmenistan Minister] Razim said UNOCAL was the "lead company" among those that would build the pipeline, which is aimed at injecting 30 billion cubic meters of Turkmen gas annually to Pakistan and beyond it through southern Afghanistan . . .

"‘The work on the project will start after an agreement is expected to be struck at the coming summit,’ Razim said."

3) Or this one by the BBC:

"Thursday, 30 May, 2002, — Afghan pipeline given go-ahead"

" . . . The leaders of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkmenistan have agreed to construct a $2bn pipeline to bring gas from Central Asia to the sub-continent . . .

"The project was abandoned in 1998 when a consortium led by US energy company Unocal withdrew from the projectover fears of being seen to support Afghanistan's then Taliban government . . .

"The three countries have agreed to invite international tenders and guarantee funding before launching the project . . .

"Unocal has repeatedly denied it is interested in returning to Afghanistan despite having conducted the original feasibility study to build the pipeline . . .

"The pipeline could eventually supply gas to India [Enron’s power generating station at Dabhol]."

Now that we have established that Corn misled your readers. I will just mention briefly that Corn’s statement that he became aware of me just a few months ago is also false and misleading. In late 1994 or early 1995, just after the release of his sanitized biography of CIA drug dealer Ted Shackley, I engaged in a heated, if brief, debate with Corn at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. At the time I was a member of the journalists’ roundtable hosted by the Grand Dame of Washington journalists, Sarah McClendon. There are many today who remember the exchange, but for Corn to have done so would have meant that he had to acknowledge my credentials as a journalist. But then again, neither he nor the Weekly have acknowledged that I have been invited by faculty and paid to lecture at both USC and UCLA, my alma mater either.

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