IN YOUR FACE
- Connections between Dick Cheney's Energy Task Force, 9/11 and Peak Oil “On the Table”
- July '04 Supreme Court Ruling on Secrecy, Task Force Documents Obtained through FOIA Suit on Collision Course as Cheney “Duck Hunts” with Scalia
- The Reason Why Activists of All Stripes are Ineffective
Michael C. Ruppert
“The Cheney report is very guarded about the amount of foreign oil that will be required. The only clue provided by the [public] report is a chart of net US oil consumption and production over time. According to this illustration, domestic oil field production will decline from about 8.5 million barrels per day (mbd) in 2002 to 7.0 mbd in 2020, while consumption will jump from 19.5 mbd to 25.5 mbd. That suggests imports or other sources of petroleum… will have to rise from 11 mbd to 18.5 mbd. Most of the recommendations of the NEP [National Energy Policy, May 2001] are aimed at procuring this 7.5 mbd increment, equivalent to the total oil consumed by China and India .
-- Professor Michael Klare
“Bush-Cheney Energy Strategy: Procuring the Rest of the World's Oil”
Foreign Policy in Focus, January 2004
The White House Stonewall goes on, as the Bush administration continues to deny the non-partisan General Accounting Office's request for information on who the White House Energy Task Force met with while formulating national energy policy. For the first time in history, the GAO has sued the executive branch for access to the records. It has been 42 days since the GAO filed their suit against the Bush administration and 333 days since the White House first received the GAO request. Why is the White House going to such lengths? What are they trying to hide?
“White House Stonewall”
April 5, 2002
“The Supreme Court said Monday it will settle a fight over whether Vice President Dick Cheney must disclose details about secret contacts with energy industry officials as the Bush administration drafted its energy policy…
“The Supreme Court will hear the case sometime in the spring, with a ruling expected by July.”
-- The Associated Press, Dec. 15, 2003
“Bush and Blair have been making plans for the day when oil production peaks, by seeking to secure the reserves of other nations.”
-- George Monbiot
“Bottom of the Barrel”
The Guardian, December 2, 2003
“ China and India are building superhighways and automobile factories. Energy demand is expected to rise by about 50 per cent over the next 20 years, with about 40 per cent of that demand to be supplied by petroleum…
“Oil supplies are finite and will soon be controlled by a handful of nations; the invasion of Iraq and control of its supplies will do little to change that. One can only hope that an informed electorate and its principled representatives will realize that the facts do matter, and that nature – not military might – will soon dictate the ultimate availability of petroleum.”
-- Alfred Cavallo
Oil: The illusion of plenty
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Jan-Feb 2004
The 9/11 attacks gave the US an ideal pretext to use force to secure its global domination…
The plan [“Rebuilding America's Defenses”, Project for a New American Century – 2000] shows Bush's cabinet intended to take military control of the Gulf region whether or not Saddam Hussein was in power…
The overriding motivation for this political smokescreen is that the US and the UK are beginning to run out of secure hydrocarbon energy supplies… As demand is increasing, so supply is decreasing, continually since the 1960s.
-- Michael Meacher MP, UK Environment Minister 1997-2003
“The War on Terrorism is Bogus”
The Guardian, September 6, 2003
"Moreover, as America becomes an increasingly multi-cultural society, it may find it more difficult to fashion a consensus on foreign policy issues, except in the circumstance of a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat."
-- Zbigniew Brzezinski
The Grand Chessboard, p211 (1997)
(Brought to world attention after 9/11 by FTW on Nov. 7, 2001 )
January 29, 2004 1700 PST ( FTW ) – Nothing can change the facts.
When, in May 2001, the conservative legal watchdog group Judicial Watch filed suit to see the records of Dick Cheney's National Energy Policy Development Group (NEPDG), it was the first to protest the unheard of secrecy at the energy task force. As the White House stonewalled, the Government Accounting Office (GAO) filed suit the following February. Congress had, after all, funded the project. Non-governmental officials had played major roles in its deliberations and, under the Constitution, the GAO had an obligation to see how the money was spent and what was produced. White House refusals prompted media speculation about deals with Enron and big oil companies; a divvying of spoils, a rape of the environment. Judicial Watch was later joined in its suit by the Sierra Club. A scandal for everyone!
It's a sure bet that of all the plaintiffs; from Congressman Henry Waxman (D – CA) and Comptroller General David Walker who fought for the GAO; to Judicial Watch's Larry Klayman, who had previously fought Bill Clinton; to the environmentalists, none had a clue as to what they were really asking for or why Dick Cheney fought them so ruthlessly.
The fight was just beginning.
As reported in the congressional newspaper The Hill on February 19, 2003, the GAO dropped its suit after the administration made threats of heavy cuts to its budget. The offer GAO couldn't refuse was delivered by Alaska 's Republican Senator Ted Stevens where a lot of new drilling was expected to take place. Judicial Watch and the Sierra Club stood firm. Both had the money to see their suits through.
The controversy boiled throughout 2001-2002. It was a crisis which – absent the war on terror – might have been one of the biggest constitutional crises of all time. It might still be.
Enron seems like a pleasant diversion now. All these battles started before the first plane hit the Twin Towers . That's one reason why everyone was so shocked at the blatantly illegal secrecy and the manner in which the administration fought. This was long before The Patriot Act, Homeland Security, Patriot Act II, and all the scandalous lies that have since been revealed. One of the administration's bets was that, in the wake of 9/11, the NEPDG records would be forgotten.
They lost that one.
Hints as to what was discussed in the secret task force – empanelled immediately after Bush took office in January 2001 – are now on the table. They strongly suggest that inside the NEPDG records lay the deepest, darkest secrets of 9-11. The motive; the apocalyptic truth that would compel such carnage and hairpin the course of human history; the thing that no one ever wanted to know; the thing that makes it utterly believable that the US government could have deliberately facilitated the attacks of September 11th, stands on the brink of full disclosure.
The likelihood that those truths might soon be revealed is serious enough that two weeks ago Dick Cheney found it convenient to go duck hunting with Justice Antonin Scalia who will hear arguments in the case this spring.
Nature laughs as pundits spin and concerned peoples around the world frantically and frenetically expend futile, disorganized energies against the juggernaut of tyranny and madness: elect a Democrat (any Democrat); impeach Bush; write a check to support an activist group; place an ad; stage a protest march; vote; don't vote; file a suit; file another suit; demand that the major media tell the truth, as long as it's the truth you want to hear; blame political ideology; blame a religion; blame a race; blame Capitalism; blame Communism; fight each other to release your frustrations and fears. That will make it better. Do anything but accept the obvious reality that for the US government to have facilitated and orchestrated the attacks of 9/11, something really, really bad must be going on.
There are so many inconsistencies, proven lies, conflicts of interest, and contradictions in the Bush administration's accounts of 9/11 that the sheer multitude of them – in a rational world – would have brought the government to a halt long ago. But this is not a rational world.
It is full of people – on both sides – who are not behaving rationally.
A SEVEN-PAGE GLIMPSE UNDER THE DOOR
Last July, after appealing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for NEPDG documents, Judicial Watch won a small victory with the release of seven pages of NEPDG documents.
• A detailed map of all Iraqi oil fields (11% of world supply);
• A two-page specific list of all nations with development contracts for Iraqi oil and gas projects and the companies involved;
• A detailed map of all Saudi Arabian oil fields (25% of world supply);
• A list of all major oil and gas development projects in Saudi Arabia ;
• A detailed map of all the oil fields in the United Arab Emirates (8% of world supply);
• A list of all oil and gas development projects in the UAE;
The documents may be viewed online at: http://www.judicialwatch.org/071703.c_.shtml .
In their austerity, the documents scream of what NEPDG was debating. If 7.5 mbd of new oil production was to be secured from any place there was only one place to get it – the Persian Gulf . All told, including Qatar (firmly under US control and the home of headquarters for US Central Command) and Iran, the Gulf is home to 60% of all the recoverable oil on the planet. Not only would these oil fields have to be controlled, billions of dollars in new investment would be required to boost production to meet US needs, simultaneously denying that same production to the rest of the world where demand is also soaring.
According to the Department of Energy, Saudi Arabia 's net petroleum output must grow by 133% over the next 25 years, from 10.2 mbd in 2001 to 23.8 mbd in 2025, in order to meet anticipated world requirements at the end of that period. Expanding Saudi capacity by 13.6 mbd, which is the equivalent of total current production by the United States and Mexico, will cost hundreds of billions of dollars… The Cheney report calls for exactly that. However, any effort by Washington to apply pressure on Riyadh is likely to meet significant resistance from the royal family…
Not to mention from Muslim fundamentalists and ordinary Saudi citizens who oppose the corrupt and teetering regime.
Sixty per cent of all the recoverable oil on the planet is in an area no larger than the state of Indiana
Herein lays the motive behind the US 's eagerness to quietly and wrongly implicate the Saudi government in 9/11. A closer look at the maps obtained by Judicial Watch explains why. When placed side by side the maps reveal that 60% of the world's recoverable oil is in a “golden” triangle running from Mosul in northern Iraq, to the Straits of Hormuz, to an oil field in Saudi Arabia 75 miles in from the coast, just west of Qatar, then back up to Mosul. Sixty per cent of all the recoverable oil on the planet is an in area no larger than the state of Indiana .
Is it surprising then that the overwhelming majority of US military deployment since 9/11 is in this region? How easy would it be for the US military, already surrounding it, to occupy this area in the event that the Saudi monarchy became unstable?
The list of countries and companies already invested in new development projects in the region reads like the perfect answer to the question: “OK, who do we have to deal with to get this done? Who will come with us if we offer them a piece and who will refuse, no matter what, because they can't afford to have their share reduced?” Look at the documents and answer that question and you have perfectly separated the investor nations into two camps; those who supported the Iraqi invasion and those who opposed it.
The simple fact, as described in the opening quote from Michael Klare, is that to secure imports equivalent to the amounts consumed by China and India means taking that oil away from China and India, or some other mix of countries. The question is, from whom?
Other global battles for the oil that remains have already begun, albeit quietly for the time being. This year China will pass Japan as the world's second largest oil importer. A January 3 article by James Brooke in the New York Times titled Japan and China Battle for Russia's Oil and Gas, described the fierce high-stakes contest underway. Russia is going to build only one pipeline east from its Siberian fields. It is either going to terminate in the middle of China, or on Russia 's Pacific coast where it can supply Japan, Korea and the Philippines. Brooke wrote, “With the choice Russia faces, the political and economic dynamics of Northeast Asia stand to be profoundly shaped for years to come.”
Russia has 60 billion barrels (Gb) of proven reserves, a 690-day supply for planet earth and there are no more significant quantities of oil to be discovered anywhere inside or outside of Russia . World oil discovery peaked in the 1960s and has been declining ever since. The human race now uses four barrels of oil for every barrel found and the gap is widening each year. What remains to be discovered is gong to be of a lesser quality, much more expensive to obtain, and more expensive to refine.
WEST AFRICA, LATIN AMERICA, SOUTHEAST ASIA
The public NEPDG report also addresses (in oblique fashion) areas of the world which have increasingly become inflamed since 9/11: West Africa, South America, and Southeast Asia . For more than two years FTW has paid close attention to a shift in US and NATO military presence in West Africa, Venezuela, Colombia, the Philippines and Indonesia . (Please see: http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/index.html#oil )
Of particular interest here are the facts that on May 1 2003, through the CIA 's Voice of America, NATO commander James Jones announced that NATO was shifting its focus to West Africa; new US naval bases are being negotiated in the tiny West African island nations of Sao Tome and Principe (Klare); and that the US gave six naval warships to Nigeria last summer (Reuters, CNN). Isn't it convenient that a US-friendly coup toppled the Sao Tome government last July? (source: CNN)
As detailed by Klare, the importance of these regions is that while they contain far smaller reserves than the Gulf, they can be brought online (and drained) quickly to meet current demand without destabilizing the US (world) economy. The tens and perhaps hundreds of billions of dollars needed to invest in infrastructure to increase production in the Gulf will come only when oil prices have soared enough to provide that capital. Don't expect Wall Street to drain their reserves. They aren't going to pay for it. You are.
Make no mistake, the oil companies and Wall Street are banking on severe oil price spikes to fund this short-lived development and, almost as importantly, to reduce consumption on an ad hoc basis as people find they can't afford five or six-dollar gasoline and businesses shut down. The world uses a billion barrels of oil every eleven and one half days and the rate of consumption is growing. There are, at best, 500-600 billion barrels in the Gulf, which can only be pumped if the investment is made over the next ten years and begun immediately.
Do the math.
The vaunted “proven reserve” numbers touted by economists have been shown to be as questionable as Enron's bookkeeping. FTW documented in April of 2002 that the US Geological Survey admits that it estimates reserves as a function of demand . On January 9th 2004 Royal Dutch Shell announced that it had overstated its proven reserves by 20 per cent. The markets reacted accordingly.
When will the price spikes come? Within six months to a year of the 2004 election. Not – if George W. Bush can prevent it – before then.
FTW has spent 27 months exploring and educating people about all the nuances involved in a world that is running out of hydrocarbon energy. We have looked at its effects on transportation, electricity, economic growth and contraction, political power, civilization and – perhaps most importantly – food production. The coming showdown over the NEPDG records is probably the single most important battle that can be fought to learn the truth of 9/11 and the one overriding mandate that is now driving human history.
I am not optimistic about the outcome.
WHY ACTIVISTS FAIL
There are two reasons why activist efforts to halt the inertia of the Empire have failed and will continue to fail: human nature, and human nature.
Activists all over the political spectrum are flailing about in the post-9/11 world, spinning wheels, and throwing out idea after idea without a unifying principle or a clearly stated goal. As has happened so many times before with the victims of a dozen other instances of government criminality, the new victims – like the New Jersey widows of 9/11 who are known for their persistence in challenging government lies – make mistakes that have been made before, put their faith in strategies that have been tried before, and discount the wisdom and experience of those who have suffered before. Human nature says that it is wrong to criticize victims. Yet the new ones make a habit of ignoring the old ones, only to be replaced and forgotten when the next, inevitably greater, crime takes place.
Each time a new tragedy strikes, whether it be 9/11, TWA 800 (a Navy shootdown), CIA involvement in drug trafficking, Iran-Contra, Waco, The Savings and Loan Scandal, the Enron shareholders, the Gander crash, or any of a dozen other events in recent history, a new crop of people is instantly and brutally transformed from people who once trusted the system into people who have been betrayed by it. Psychologically and emotionally raped, they rage. They vow to fight. The need to make the system that failed them work as they were “taught” becomes a new imperative for their sanity and emotional stability. They must believe that they can make people listen to them, that they can “fix” it.
When, therefore, others who have been brutalized before them present themselves with valuable experience and try to explain the lay of the land, the new victims are faced with the awful responsibility of acknowledging that they themselves had not listened or responded when their predecessors cried out for help. They had been just as quick to say “I'm too busy” or “That's a bunch of b.s. It couldn't be that way.” Yet it is. The new victims had once been as deaf as the rest of the world now appears to them. Still they clutch at straws and cling to the illusion that “this time it will be different”. For their own sanity they must ignore the reality of the people who came before them, when to listen and learn might provide a unifying, if terrifying, focus that might ensure success. All it takes is courage and a good map .
THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR
But there is a deeper part of human nature which covers the planet in a sickly, light-sweet-crude blanket of denial. It is best exemplified from the closing lines of Sidney Pollack's 1975 Three Days of the Condor, perhaps the best spy movie ever made. As FTW has shown in recent stories – using declassified CIA documents – the CIA was well aware of Peak Oil in the mid 1970s. Three Days of the Condor took that awful truth and said then, what few in the post-9/11 world have had the courage to say. I can guarantee you that it is the overriding rationale in Dick Cheney's mind, in the mind of every senior member of the Bush administration, and in the mind of whomever it is that will be chosen as the 2004 Democratic Party nominee. Getting rid of Bush will not address the underlying causative factors of energy and money and any solution that does not address those issues will prove futile.
Turner (Robert Redford): "Do we have plans to invade the Middle East ?"
Higgins (Cliff Robertson): " Are you crazy?"
Turner: " Am I?"
Higgins: "Look, Turner…"
Turner: "Do we have plans?"
Higgins: "No. Absolutely not. We have games. That's all. We play games. What if? How many men? What would it take? Is there a cheaper way to destabilize a régime? That's what we're paid to do."
Turner: "Go on. So Atwood just took the game too seriously. He was really going to do it, wasn't he?”
Higgins: "It was a renegade operation. Atwood knew 54-12 would never authorize it. There was no way, not with the heat on the Company.”
Turner: "What if there hadn't been any heat? Supposing I hadn't stumbled on a plan? Say nobody had?"
Higgins: "Different ball game. The fact is there was nothing wrong with the plan. Oh, the plan was alright. The plan would have worked."
Turner: "Boy, what is it with you people? You think not getting caught in a lie is the same thing as telling the truth?"
Higgins: "No. It's simple economics. Today it's oil, right? In 10 or 15 years - food, Plutonium. And maybe even sooner. Now what do you think the people are gonna want us to do then?
Turner : " Ask them."
Higgins: "Not now - then. Ask them when they're running out. Ask them when there's no heat in their homes and they're cold. Ask them when their engines stop. Ask them when people who've never known hunger start going hungry. Do you want to know something? They won't want us to ask them. They'll just want us to get it for them."
What do you want?