Wall Street, CIA and the Global Drug Trade
Former Los Angeles policeman Mike Ruppert blows the whistle on Wall Street's role in laundering drug money for CIA enterprises, and warns that Colombia could be the centre of the next regional conflict.

Extracted from Nexus Magazine, Volume 8, Number 6 (October-November 2001)
PO Box 30, Mapleton Qld 4560 Australia. editor@nexusmagazine.com
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From our web page at: www.nexusmagazine.com

An interview with Michael C. Ruppert
by Guerrilla News Network © 2000

Please introduce yourself.

I'm Mike Ruppert, and I'm the publisher of From The Wilderness newsletter and an ex-LAPD narc and general troublemaker fighting corrupting and evil influence around the world.

When you created the newsletter, what were you responding to and what were your intentions?

Well, in March of '98, it was about four months after I confronted CIA Director John Deutch at Locke High School on world television--he had come to Los Angeles to talk about allegations about CIA dealing drugs. I stood up on CNN and ABC Nightline and I said: "I am a former LAPD narcotics detective. I worked South Central and I can tell you, Director Deutch, that the Agency has dealt drugs in this country for a long time." And the room exploded, and what I saw at that time was there was a crying lack of knowledge in the body politic about how much evidence there really was about the criminal activities of the Central Intelligence Agency, specifically about dealing drugs. I said: "Wait a minute; I can pull out a little newsletter and say, 'If you look at this document, here's the proof for that.'" Because a lot of people were running around with the vague notion that maybe the CIA were bad guys and had done some things wrong, and they didn't know how much actual proof there was. So that's been the mission: to present the real proof that's irrefutable about what goes on.

 Let's talk about your experience on the beat and what you confronted as a citizen trying to do right in the streets--must be pretty wild as it is.

I haven't been a policeman now for a long time. I graduated from the LA Police Academy class of 11/73, hit the streets in January of '74 in South Central Los Angeles. It was a vastly different world then; there was no cocaine and we had six-shooters and straight batons and nobody had a radio that you carried around with you. But the world has changed enormously. I specialised in narcotics quickly, and heroin was the predominant drug on the street in my area; it was Mexican brown heroin in those days.

And what happened to me was that I met and fell in love with a woman who was a contract CIA agent, a career agent. Now, I come from a CIA family and they had tried to recruit me, so this was not unexpected to me, but I began to see that she was protecting drug shipments and that the Agency was actively involved in dealing drugs. This happened with her in Hawaii, Mexico, Texas and New Orleans, and I kept saying I'm a narc, that I'm not going to overlook drug shipments. That's what basically set me on the irreversible course of events that determined the rest of my life. That was 1977.

 You imagine someone in the CIA as thinking about protecting the country, or at least imagine the intelligence community as something that's ordered around national security. What do you think it is that triggers them to want to reconcile drug shipments in the country in line with that pursuit?

Well, they don't even have to reconcile it. That's what took so long to figure out, but what we teach now with From The Wilderness is that it wasn't just CIA dealing some drugs to fund covert operations. It is that drug money is an inherent part of the American economy. It has always been so, as it was with the British in the 1600s when they introduced opium into China to fund the triangular trade with the British East India Company.

The point about the drug trade is not that the CIA dealt a few drugs during the Contra years to fund the covert operation that Congress didn't want it to engage in. The CIA has dealt drugs for all 50 years of its existence--50 plus years, even before it was the CIA. And the point is that with 250 billion dollars a year in illegal drug money moved, laundered through the American economy, that money benefits Wall Street. That's the point of having the prohibitive drug trade, which the CIA effectively manages for the benefit of Wall Street.

Just before the Contra war, the annual cocaine consumption in this country was about 50 metric tons a year; let's say back in 1979. By 1985, it was 600 metric tons a year. We are still consuming 550 metric tons of cocaine a year in this country, and the money that's generated from that is used...let's say some drug dealer in Colombia calls General Motors and buys a thousand Suburbans--GM doesn't ask where it came from. Philip Morris is now being sued by 28 departments (the same thing as states) in Colombia for smuggling two billion dollars worth of Marlboro cigarettes into Colombia and getting paid for it with cocaine money! That money boosts Philip Morris's stock value on Wall Street; General Electric the same way...it's documented in the US Department of Justice.

So the purpose of the Agency being involved in the drug trade has been to generate illegal cash, fluid liquid capital, which gives those who can get their hands on it an unfair advantage in the marketplace.

 So when you hear the term "War on Drugs"...

Well, it's not a War on Drugs. It's a War on People. Consider this: Joseph McNamara, a former chief of San Jose from the Hoover Institute at Stanford University, published some really telling figures. In 1972, when Richard Nixon started the War on Drugs, the annual federal budget allocation was 110 million dollars a year for enforcement. In fiscal year 2000, 28 years later, the budget allocation was 17 billion dollars a year, and yet, in the year 2000, there are more drugs in this country, they are cheaper, and they are more potent than they were in 1972. That has to tell you that there's some other agenda going on here.

 Going back to the idea of China and the Opium War, it is described also as a war on the people of China, to bring them to a state of passivity where they couldn't actually be a force. Do you see in some way the drugs that come in satisfying a racist goal--with the crack laws especially in black inner city populations?

There are a number of ways to look at that. For the British, the introduction of opium into China was a means to an end. China was a homogeneous culture. When the British arrived there, they were these Caucasian heathens. The Chinese didn't want anything to do with them; they didn't want to give up their tea, they didn't want to give up their silk, and the British said "We can't have this". They went to India and grew the opium poppy in east India, in the foothills of the Himalayas, and smuggled it to China. And what they did over the course of a hundred years was they converted China from a homogeneous culture that was unified, into a society of warlords fighting for turf to see who had which drug-dealing regions.

If you look at what happened in South Central LA in the 1980s, the model is exactly the same; it didn't change. When I talk about narcotics, I come from several different angles. It's not just that I am a former narcotics investigator with the LAPD; I am also a recovering alcoholic who has sponsored men in recovery for 17 years. I've served on the board of directors of the National Council on Alcoholism. Alcohol is a drug. I have written more than 35 articles in the US Journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence on treatment of addiction, recovery from addiction. The issue with drugs is this: people are going to get addicted no matter what you do, and a certain percentage of any population will always get addicted.

What the Agency has done (and I have written specifically on this; it's on my website), through institutions like the Rand Corporation and UCLA's Neuropsychiatric Institute and a number of academic projects which the CIA has funded, is they have deliberately engaged in pharmacological research to find out which drugs are most addictive. For example, in 1978-79, long before the cocaine epidemic hit here in the United States, research scientists from UCLA's Neuropsychiatric Institute, some of whom, like Louis Jolly West, who were very closely tied to the MK-ULTRA program, were doing research in South America where South American natives were smoking basuco, which has the same effect as crack cocaine. And the addiction was so strong that they were performing lobotomies and the people were still smoking the basuco or the paste in Colombia; and they knew that because NI and the Rand Corporation brought that data back.

So the CIA knew in 1980 exactly what the effects of crack were going to be when it hit the streets.

 Who benefits most from an addicted inner-city population?

It's not just who benefits most; it's how many people can benefit on how many different ends of the spectrum.

We published a story in my newsletter From The Wilderness in May of 1998 that was written by Catherine Austin Fitts, a former Assistant Secretary of Housing [and Urban Development, HUD]. She produced a map in 1996, August of 1996--that's the same month that the Gary Webb story broke in the San Jose Mercury News. It was a map that showed the pattern of single family foreclosures or single family mortgages--HUD-backed mortgages--in South Central Los Angeles. But when you looked at the map all of these HUD foreclosures, they were right in the heart of the area where the crack cocaine epidemic had occurred. And what was revealed by looking at the HUD data was that, during the 1980s, thousands of middle-class African American wage-earning families with mortgages lost their homes. Why? There were drive-by shootings, the whole neighbourhood deteriorated, crack people moved in next door, your children got shot and went to jail and you had to move out. The house on which you owed $100,000 just got appraised at $40,000 because nobody wanted to buy it and you had to flee; you couldn't sell it, so you walked on it. And what Catherine's research showed was that someone else came along and bought thousands of homes for 10 to 20 cents in the dollar in the years right after the crack cocaine epidemic.

So the economic model is the same one that's always been in play for the ruling elite: use the poor people's money to steal their own land. You get the poor people to buy the drugs, using their money; you take that money to bring in more drugs, which destroys their property value, and then you steal it back. And the same thing has happened not only in Los Angeles; it has happened in Washington Heights in New York. As a matter of fact, it's been documented by a fabulous researcher, Professor John Metzger at the University of Michigan, who is one of my subscribers; he has a doctorate of urban planning. It was discussed in the Kerner Commission Report in 1967 after the Detroit riots, where it became US government policy that no more than a quarter of the population of any major inner city should be minority. "Spatial deconcentration" they call it, which really sounds Nazi to me, but it's in the Kerner Commission Report.

So the plan is literally to kill, loot...let me make it real simple...it's "Kill the Indians, take the land, take the wealth". So it is something of a misnomer or a misconception to believe that all of the cocaine or all of the crack cocaine was only used by African Americans. There was almost as much crack being used by whites as there was by African Americans, certainly in terms of total consumption.

Whites probably consumed more cocaine than African Americans, but they consumed powder. And what we saw was a deliberate effort by the Agency or Agency-related organisations to make sure that the large quantities of the cocaine, and the high-quality cocaine, got into the inner cities like Los Angeles. It was protected. And that's what I saw with the LAPD. I saw the hands-on working relationship, the interface between local police departments and the CIA.

I was first recruited when I was a senior at UCLA. The Agency flew me to Washington and said: "Mike, we want you to become a CIA case officer. You've already interned for LAPD for three years, you interned for the chief, your family was CIA, your mother was NSA. We want you to go back to the LAPD, and being an LAPD cop will just be your cover."

Now the Agency has done that; we've documented it in New Orleans, in New York, in police departments all across the country. And I've seen the interface where the CIA will deal very quietly with local agencies to protect their drug operations. That's one of the reasons they have to do it; it weeds out competition.

 Now the people who go on from CIA training and become police officer covers, are they not inherently crooked? Is it for money or do they actually believe there's a benefit here?

Well, we were talking earlier before about Lenny Horowitz and his great book, Emerging Viruses. He has a quote in the front of that book that's one of my favourite quotes of all time; it's from Alexander Solzhenitsyn. And Solzhenitsyn says that men, in order to do evil, must first believe that what they are doing is good, otherwise they can't do it.

Now, not everybody in a local police department who connects with the CIA is a case officer. The Agency will use contractors. They'll approach guys who have military specialties and they'll hire them on the side. There are some like LAPD Chief Daryl Gates, who I believe was a case officer his whole life--and we can go there later if you want to. Others are just contract employees, but they brainwash themselves. And it's easy to believe--it's one of the worst human vices of all--that if you're making all this money and you have power, then you're doing it for a good cause. So there's an aspect of delusion about it, but it is one that becomes extremely vicious when you try to bring it out of denial.

 The guy who goes and buys the house at the cheap rate, how is he really connected to the CIA who are bringing in drugs from Nicaragua? Some people would say that's a simplified version of a conspiracy theory. How would you respond to those people?

This is all documentable, this is provable, this is not speculation. We can trace this money very quickly; it's very easy to do. That's one of the reasons we've been so dangerous at From The Wilderness, because this is not speculation. Did the guy who was operating the roundhouse that turned around the train that was rolling to Auschwitz know what was going on in the shower room? I'm not making that argument, but it was all part of the system that produced the same net result. And what you find repeatedly--one of the things that we'll be seeing more of, I think, in From The Wilderness and certainly I've seen excellent research on this--is that one of the biggest investors in HUD multi-family units and HUD mortgages is Harvard University. It is a huge corporation that has a long list of ties to organised crime. Well, you take major firms like Harvard or related investment firms that also turn out to be huge campaign contributors, and they find out that there are 200 houses on the market for 20 cents in the dollar and they don't ask how it got that way; they just follow the money.

I was at the Shadow Convention where I interviewed a number of very famous people--Jesse Jackson, John Conyers, Maxine Waters, Arianna Huffington, Scott Harshbarger of Common Cause, a great many very important American people. I talked to them about the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in July of 2000 confirming that there was evidence that CIA was ordering drug dealing by a Contra leader, Reynato Peña. And it was funny, because I got all these political answers.

But one guy I talked to was a guy named Rex Nutting, who was the bureau chief of CBS Market Watch--he is the head guy for CBS for the stock market. And we're sitting back in the room--I'm waiting for Huffington to get free--and I'm talking to this guy about the fact that Richard Grasso, the Chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, last July went to Colombia and cold-called on the FARC guerrillas and asked them to invest their drug money in Wall Street. And Rex Nutting says: "Well, of course they always go where the money is. It's obvious."

The drug money is always going through Wall Street. Wall Street smells money and doesn't care where the money comes from; they'll go for the drug money.

And we jokingly laughed that the National Security Act that created the CIA in '47 was written by a guy called Clark Clifford, who was a Wall Street banker and lawyer. He's the guy that brought us BCCI. The job of writing the outline for CIA, the design for the Agency, was given to Clark Clifford by John Foster Dulles and Allen Dulles--both law partners in the Wall Street law firm of Sullivan and Cromwell. In '69 after Nixon came in, the Chairman of SEC [Securities and Exchange Commission] was William Casey--the same guy who was Ronald Reagan's Director of Central Intelligence. And the current Vice President in charge of enforcement for the New York Stock Exchange, Dave Dougherty, is a retired CIA General Counsel. The CIA is Wall Street, and vice versa. When you understand that, and that money is the primary objective, everything else just falls into place.

 What is the character of our governing body that's taken on this apparatus? What times do we live in?

Well, this is the Roman Empire. This is the Roman Empire before the fall. There is no question. I have written extensively in From The Wilderness and we've been right...we talk about a thing called a map. Have you ever had the experience where you're reading a map--you're trying to go to a party or some place you've never been before--and you follow this map and you read it, and you see that according to the map you're supposed to be at 34th and Main, and you look up at the street sign and it says 34th and Main? You feel good.

But if you look up at the street sign and it says Fifth and Broadway, you get this real sinking feeling inside. Everybody, most of the world, is operating from a bad map. From The Wilderness has a good map because we've been able to predict what's going to happen; we can explain it and make sense out of it.

The map that we're following--and this is where I agree wholeheartedly with Le Monde in Paris, a fabulous publication that's about to give us a pretty decent endorsement in September [2000], this month--is that organised crime is probably the lubricating force for the entire world economy right now. There's a trillion dollars a year in organised crime money. That trillion dollars a year is liquid, and if you think of money--criminal money, drug money--as water, which is thin, it can flow very quickly from point A to point B. And in the world markets, where you apply money is where you control business. You control markets. You control banks. You control interest rates. Drug money flows fastest. Money that is not criminal money has to go through regulations and banking systems. It has to go through taxations. It's tracked. The lawyers follow it. That money moves like molasses.

So those who have access to the cheapest capital always win. That's why if you don't play with drug money in the world economy today, you can't play at all. That's why, as we have documented, drug money was going directly into Al Gore's presidential campaign. Why? Because the Republicans, going as far back as Reagan, were using drug money, and that's how they put Reagan into office--with Bill Casey. If you don't play in that mode, you can't play at all. But the analogy I use is that it's like a snake eating its own tail: it's got to stop sooner or later.

We were faced with a huge economic lapse in 1997 when the Asian economies collapsed and the whole world held its breath, waiting for the other shoe to drop in the American markets. Well, it didn't drop. But you know why it didn't drop? Because we went to war in Kosovo. We blew up several hundred billion dollars worth of bridges, refineries and factories. The KLA controls 77 per cent of the heroin that's entering into Western Europe. We loosened up that money. American companies got all these new contracts to rebuild the refineries, the bridges, and the economy was saved.

Now we're going to war in Colombia--we have already taken combat casualties--but it's not sustainable because Colombia is and will become another Vietnam. And South America is already saying "We're not going there".

So I think we're on the brink of some really serious economic upheavals in the US economy that are essential, because the system cannot last. The way I see it, this is this very much like Rome. And I see some big changes coming very soon.

 Obviously you deploy information in the desire that people might become conscious of it and make a change. What do you think when the average American says, "Why is this not in the major media and, if it's true, then it's gotta stop"? What do you say?

As far as the major media go, it's real simple. First of all, if you look at what just happened with AOL and Time Warner who own CNN. We have proven in From The Wilderness that CNN flat lost a lawsuit over the use of sarin gas during Vietnam. The Tailwind suits were settled and the former producer, April Oliver, just bought a six-bedroom house. I mean, CNN cannot afford to tell the truth, because what happened when they tried to tell the truth is that Henry Kissinger and Colin Powell picked up the phone and scared Ted Turner to death by threatening his stock value on Wall Street.

It's very interesting to note that one of the companies I track as far as laundering drug monies go--General Electric--happens to own NBC. Now, everybody knows that GE brings good things to life; they make DVDs, VCRs, television sets, telephones. When drug money in South America says they'd like to buy 100 million dollars worth of TVs and DVDs so that someone laundering drug money in Colombia can open a chain of appliance stores and make that money legal, GE asks absolutely no questions about where that money is coming from. As a matter of fact, there are no requirements for Wall Street to report drug money being invested.

If you and I go to a bank and we take in $10,001 in cash, the bank has to fill out a currency transaction report because you might be laundering money. GE can accept a check for 100 million dollars from the biggest drug lord in the world, and there is no requirement in the world that GE report that to anybody. But with a thing called the "price-to-earnings ratio" on their shares, a hundred million dollars in net profit for GE in South America--which was very easily done last year--equates to, at a price-to-earnings ratio of thirty to one, an increase in GE's stock value of three billion dollars.

So we're living in a hugely inflated bubble, and not one of the major media outlets in this country--all of which are publicly traded corporations afraid of takeover, trying to maximise profits--can afford to tell the truth. That's why we see these great opportunities for little organisations like From The Wilderness, and you guys, and everybody else that's coming up now--because what we're peddling is the truth, and what we find is that the truth sells!

 Very well said. So now the second part of the question is this: what do you think the reaction of the American people will be when a critical mass of people actually digests this information in a rational way?

Denial is not a river in Egypt! There's gonna be a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth. There are several ways that I describe this. America is hopelessly addicted to its consumerism and blinded by the fact that the good things that we enjoy in our lives are at the price of slave labour in Indonesia, East Timor and all over the world. But we're blind to that--the same way that a drunk on a barstool is blind to the fact that he's drunk. Alcoholics don't stop because they don't know when to stop, they don't know how. One is too many and ten thousand not enough.

There are two models that I use to describe what happens in the American culture. One of them is we're like a family in which the father is molesting the youngest daughter, and everybody in the family conspires in a conspiracy of silence to scapegoat the youngest daughter because they're afraid of what's going to happen to the family if they speak out or, worse yet, they think "Oh my God, he's going to come after me". America very much works that way.

But the other way that I look at it is that we have to hit a bottom. Something is going to have to break. Something's gonna have to fall out--something's gonna have to destabilise the equilibrium here before people will even begin to look at what's going on. Yes, we've made some enormous progress over the last five years because there's a real hunger for good information, but as far as reaching the vast majority of the American people goes, something's gonna have to knock 'em off their barstool!

 Cool. How would you characterise our "democracy", the two-party system? Is there any truth to the fact that we elect our officials?

No. It's a joke. There are two ends of the same party. There are two factions. There's what I like to call a Clinton faction--even though he is leaving office--and a Bush faction. But they are like the Genoveses and the Gambinos. If I am going to be the shopkeeper who is going to be oppressed, it doesn't make any difference to me whether there's a Gambino or a Genovese sticking a gun in my face and taking the money out of my pocket. We rationalise this by saying, "Well, they keep the economy good, etc., etc." That's the blind spot.

But no one in the American political system is allowed to rise to the level where they can seriously compete for the White House unless they are already compromised. Period. I know; I've been there. I was the press spokesman for the Perot presidential campaign in Los Angeles County in 1992. I had known Ross Perot before--we had spoken on issues of the POWs, the CIA and drugs--and what I found out is that I have yet to meet a millionaire who has my best interests at heart. And what I saw done was Ross had no intention of winning; it was all fixed even as far back as '92. I don't think we've had a fair election in this country since John Kennedy, even if that was fair, so...

 Can you explain some of the political adventures or misadventures that brought the CIA to the public eye around drug dealing?

Well, if you go back historically, the Agency has been real active in Central America since the Second World War. I mean, the Agency was down there, even before it was CIA, with United Fruit and all the major landowners in Central America. In 1979, Anastasio Samosa, the dictator of Nicaragua, was overthrown by the Sandino movement--the Sandinistas. They were a "Marxist" movement, and Ronald Reagan mobilised the country to stave off this alleged threat of communist imperialism on America's doorstep. It was a whole lot of rubric and Congress didn't really want to get involved in it deeply. Congress passed some amendments to the Military Appropriations Act. They were known as the Boland Amendments, and were passed first I think in 1981 and again in 1984; they were Boland 1 and 2, which limited direct military aid to the Contras, the people fighting the Sandinistas.

And so the CIA and Ronald Reagan and Bill Casey and George Bush (Vice President George Bush) were running the whole operation; we know that now. They circumvented the will of Congress and there was this explosion of drug trafficking all throughout Central America, coordinated by the CIA. And we now have the CIA's own documents, and I can show you one later. It's the CIA's Volume 2 of their own Inspector-General's Report from 1998 where, in its own words, the Agency admits that of the 58 known Contra groups, 58 were involved with drugs. And that the Agency dealt with them; it protected six traffickers, kept them out of jail. One guy moving four tons of cocaine a month was using a bank account opened by White House staffer Oliver North. Other CIA assets were caught moving 200 kilos at a time--200 kilos is not personal use--and he was saying, "Well, I can't tell you what I'm doing because I'm doing it for the National Security Council"--that's the White House organ that oversees the Central Intelligence Agency. So we saw this huge explosion.

The point I make in my lectures is that in the mid- to late '70s, we in America--those of us who are old enough to remember--dealt with cartels but we didn't deal with drug cartels, we dealt with oil cartels. We had an oil crisis and it almost crippled the American economy. We had been subsidised by very cheap oil that we acquired by, in a sense, exploiting other countries. Well, then we had cartels of cocaine and we went from 40 to 50 metric tons a year to 600 metric tons a year. And that money was moved through Wall Street and became, in effect, the capital that replaced oil in the US economy.

 How do you characterise the true governance in the world, and is this national or international?

Well, I think some of this is really traceable. Some people talk about something called the Illuminati. I've never met any Illuminati. When people start to talk to me about the Trilateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Bilderbergers--those are all readily identifiable groups of people who are the wealthiest of the wealthy in the world. And we find the Rothschilds and there are groups of wealth in the world that are so powerful that political movements don't ever touch them. And yes, they are in effect a guiding unseen hand. I have yet to see one individual person--I don't think there's a Mr Big somewhere, like in the Wizard of Oz, pulling levers--that's responsible for all the evil. I've never yet found one person who, if they were killed, would take away all the evil.

 I want to talk about Clinton for a bit because it's incredible that most people don't even understand Mena. Is he not the ultimate millennial politician, and can you just tell us a little about who he really is?

Bill Clinton... Well, first of all, he was up to his eyeballs in CIA cocaine in Mena, Arkansas. Again, it's provable; the Wall Street Journal covered it. The New York Times covered the aspects of that. Gary Webb in his fabulous book, Dark Alliance, produced documents showing that CIA contracts at the Mena airport were negotiated by the Rose Law Firm--Hillary's law firm. There is no question that Bill came up in that milieu. My democratic drug money piece also covered this, showing that the CIA has been under Clinton control, funnelling money into the Democratic Party.

Bill Clinton is a guy who came up with this driving ambition to become President. He would do anything to be President. And he did do anything to become President. He is a lean, mean, vicious, ruthless streetfighter. Yes, he came from humble beginnings; his mother was a nurse, there was drinking in the background, his father died in a car crash. Some people have speculated that his real father might be Winthrop Rockefeller--who knows? But he is not a guy who came up in the fourth-generation in-bred George W. Bush style, you know, who has never had to fight a fair fight in his life. And my personal belief is that one on one, or politically even, the Clinton faction would kick the Bush faction every time--except the Bush faction just has lots more money!

Clinton played the games he had to play. I firmly believe that Bill Clinton was connected to the CIA as far back as when he was at Oxford. I believe his trip to Moscow was not to protest the war. I believe it was to spy on Americans. He was making his bones. And I've documented this very completely, about how Bill Clinton blackmailed his way out of the impeachment with the proof in the CIA investigations that Reagan and Bush had been dealing cocaine and ordering it, that Bush was involved in it first-hand; and that's where we got it--volume two of the report.

The big side-story of this is that the Gary Webb story was broken in August '96. We were promised all these investigations. [Democrat Congresswoman] Maxine Waters jumped in and was running all around the country screaming about CIA and cocaine. In March of 1998, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan, did a walking tour of South Central and Maxine received a 300-million-dollar empowerment grant. Then, in May, Maxine Waters received a "smoking gun" letter from Reagan Attorney-General William French Smith to Bill Casey, where it said the CIA no longer has to report drug trafficking by its agents! It's in writing!

Then, in October of '98, CIA Inspector-General Frederick Hitz released a report...well, actually, he didn't release it; he had finished a report as far back as May or June of '98 and it was classified as Top Secret; and it was left to the CIA Director George Tenet to declassify it for public consumption. Well, George Tenet works for Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton appoints the head of the CIA. Head of the CIA takes Clinton's orders. That report--that CIA report that absolutely destroys George Bush--is a public document; you can access it off my website copvcia.com, and I have these extracts that I sell. It was released to the public on October 8, 1998, one hour after Henry Hyde's committee on the judiciary voted to start the impeachment of Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton picked up the phone and said: "They're gonna impeach me? George Tenet, CIA, release the report that sinks George Bush; we'll see how far they want to go." Click. Maxine Waters stops screaming about CIA and drugs, and she starts supporting Bill Clinton.

Now the interesting thing that my investigations have revealed is that one of the people who helped negotiate the smoking-gun memorandum was a guy on the Attorney-General's staff named Ken Starr. That's the guy who was prosecuting Clinton! Clinton was blackmailing the Republicans. Both sides played the same game, and Clinton basically says: "You wanna take me down? I'll bring the whole government down!"

I had six hits on my website on February 11, 1999, when the Senate was doing the trial of Bill Clinton. They were reading my stories on the impeachment, and that's when the whole story caved in.

 What would you say to young people now? Do we have to be guerrillas? Once we get what you're saying, what should we do?

Follow the money. Understand how money works. If you have a sense in some part of your body, some part of your soul, that something's not right, you're probably right. Something isn't right. I grew up in the '50s and '60s and, you know, one of the things was to question authority. Question authority. Do not accept the mind control that's being fed to you; just don't do it!

 With Colombia, explain how that war is being constructed and how it is being played out in the press?

Let's work on the structure of the war in Colombia first. I think that's far more important to understand why Colombia is like Vietnam. There are so many similarities between Colombia and Vietnam. First of all, Colombia will be a regional conflict like Vietnam was. The Vietnam War was not just Vietnam; it was North Vietnam, South Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Guam, China, the whole surrounding region. And the Colombian conflict will be Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Panama, maybe even Mexico, Puerto Rico certainly. We've admitted that we are going to stage for invasion or for intervention in Puerto Rico when we go in. Marines are now training and they've been landing on Colombian beaches. You haven't been hearing that.

One of the reasons why Colombia is like Vietnam is because we already have about 300 Special Forces Green Beret advisers on the ground, training Colombian troops, but we have maybe 500 to 1,000 former--and I use that term real loosely--CIA Special Forces personnel who have supposedly retired from the military and are now working for two corporations: Dyncorp and MPRI. And they're in Colombia as "civilian advisers" but they're going out on combat missions. They're flying airplanes, they're shooting, they're being shot. We've had Army personnel shot down already. About a year ago we had an Army plane shot down by a SAM [surface-to-air missile].

We have major investment corporations like Nicholas Brady's Darby Investments. Nicholas Brady was George Bush's Secretary of the Treasury. He has just opened a billion-dollar investment partnership with a group called Corfinsura, based in Medellín, Colombia, to build roads and dams. And it's like what we saw in Vietnam with major companies like Brown & Root going in to build Cam Ranh Bay, making billions of dollars in profit.

So we're going in to suck out. You see, for twenty or thirty years now, the drug money has been building up in Colombia. There's trillions of dollars in equity that's accumulated and it's become a threat to Wall Street's control, so we have to go down and blow the country up to take the money back to make sure it doesn't become powerful. Venezuela is not going along with this, like Cambodia would not go along with the Vietnam War and Laos wouldn't either. President Hugo Chavez is denying overflight to American planes, so we're gonna sabotage the Venezuelan economy! This is going to suck us into a hemispheric conflict just like Vietnam.

This is the difference. With Vietnam, we were told we were going in to fight the evil Communists. Well, we don't have any more Communist bogeymen. I mean, China is there but it's not really a military threat unless you're on the far right and totally needing lithium. But what we see is that we're being told that we're going to fight the evil drug lords. Well, the American Press even now is having trouble selling that to the American people. And even now, in the first or second week in September of 2000, we're starting to have body counts turn up in the news. It's just like Vietnam, but the Press is having a real hard time dealing with it. This is the sign of the end of the road for this system. It's starting to crumble right now.

But they are reporting this like Vietnam. And I will never forget the coverage from Vietnam exactly the way it played out, because these were my high school classmates that were dying. And it's sounding very similar right now.

 Last question. What is the power of money? At the end of the day, drugs means money. Talk a bit about that and what it does to policemen, or to law and order?

Well, I think it's the whole system. Most rank-and-file policemen on the street are not what I would call innovative free-thinkers. They aren't the kind of guys who would see an opportunity to go illegal and just kind of do that on their own initiative. They have to see or sense that it's going on in a climate that allows them to get away with it. So we see the corruption working throughout society. When drug money is going directly into Wall Street--well, why not, you know, if you're a cop...

 About the Interviewer:
Guerrilla News Network (GNN) interviewed Mike Ruppert at the CIA-Drugs Symposium II in Los Angeles on September 23, 2000. GNN is an underground news organisation based in New York City, with production facilities in Berkeley, California. Its mission it is "to expose people to important global issues through guerrilla programming on the web and on television". Visit GNN's website at www.guerrillanews.com.

 About the Interviewee:
Michael C. Ruppert, former LAPD officer, is Editor/Publisher of From The Wilderness newsletter. His article, "The Bush-Cheney Drug Empire", was published in NEXUS 8/02. He can be contacted at: PO Box 6061-350, Sherman Oaks, CA 91413, USA, tel +1 (818) 788 8791, fax +1 (818) 981 2847, email mruppert@copvcia.com. Visit his website at www.copvcia.com.