Counterpunch: Alexander Cockburn

The phenomenon of alleged leftists supporting the Warren Commission of Allen Dulles, Gerald Ford and John McCloy suggests they are either agent provocateurs or ideologues whose biases distort their reporting. Perhaps it is just difficult for die hard leftists to admit that President Kennedy, a rich politician, was a class traitor who was removed from office, extrajudicially, in a military - intelligence coup d'etat.
-- Mark Robinowitz

Saturday, 02 May 2020 20:02
Counterpunch, JFK , and Vietnam Written by James DiEugenio

Jim DiEugenio once again responds to the incomplete and inaccurate history of Vietnam, and of JFK's role, presented by Counterpunch, noting that if, as the article claims, most American leaders did not understand what the war was really about, Kennedy did: that was why he was getting out.

Ken Silverstein and Jeffrey St. Clair Get Counterpunched

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Written by James DiEugenio

What happens when the Left abandons its concerns for such things as accuracy, morality and fact-based writing? What does one call such reporting then? Does it then not become -- for whatever reason -- another form of propaganda? Jim DiEugenio once again blasts Counterpunch for its pig-headed blind spot concerning the Kennedys.

The Left and the Death of Kennedy
By Jim DiEugenio


Chomsky and his good friend and soulmate on the JFK case, Alexander Cockburn went on an (orchestrated?) campaign at the time of Stone’s JFK to convince whatever passes for the left in this country that the murder of Kennedy was 1) not the result of a conspiracy, and 2) didn’t matter even if it was. They were given unlimited space in magazines like The Nation and Z Magazine. But, as Howard Zinn implied in a recent letter to Schotz defending Chomsky, these stances are not based on facts or evidence, but on a political choice. They choose not to fight this battle. They would rather spend their time and effort on other matters. When cornered themselves, Chomsky and Cockburn resort to rhetorical devices like exaggeration, sarcasm, and ridicule. In other words, they resort to propaganda and evasion.

CTKA believes that this is perhaps the most obvious and destructive example of Schotz’s “denial.” For if we take Chomsky and Cockburn as being genuine in their crusades--no matter how unattractive their tactics--their myopia about politics is breathtaking. For if the assassinations of the ‘60’s did not matter--and Morrisey notes that these are Chomsky’s sentiments—then why has the crowd the left plays to shrunk and why has the field of play tilted so far to the right? Anyone today who was around in the ‘60’s will tell you that the Kennedys, King, and Malcolm X electrified the political debate, not so much because of their (considerable) oratorical powers, but because they were winning. On the issues of economic justice, withdrawal from Southeast Asia, civil rights, a more reasonable approach to the Third World, and a tougher approach to the power elite within the U.S., they and the left were making considerable headway. The very grounds of the debate had shifted to the center and leftward on these and other issues. As one commentator has written, today the bright young Harvard lawyers go to work on Wall Street, in the sixties they went to work for Ralph Nader.

knowing, that our last progressive president was killed in a blatant conspiracy; that a presidentially appointed inquest then consciously covered it up; that the mainstream media like the Post and the Times acquiesced in that effort; that this assassination led to the death of 58,000 Americans and two million Vietnamese; to us that’s quite a consciousness raiser. Chomsky, Cockburn and most of their acolytes don’t seem to think so.

In the ‘80’s, Bill Moyers questioned Chomsky on this point, that the political activism of the ‘60’s had receded and that Martin Luther King had been an integral part of that scene. Chomsky refused to acknowledge this obvious fact. He said it really wasn’t so. His evidence: he gets more speaking invitations today ( A World of Ideas, p. 48). The man who disingenuously avoids a conspiracy in the JFK case now tells us to ignore Reagan, Bush, Gingrich, Limbaugh, Stern and the rest. It doesn’t matter. ...

... what Probe is trying to do here is not so much explain the reaction, or non-reaction, of the Left to the death of John Kennedy. What we are really saying is that, in the face of that non-reaction, the murder of Kennedy was the first step that led to the death of the Left. That’s the terrible truth that most of these men and organizations can’t bring themselves to state. If they did, they would have to admit their complicity in that result.
Alexander Cockburn's twisting of facts in his defense of the "Warren Commission"

February 8, 2007

Dancing Israelis story revived by Counterpunch & Democracy Now!

Counterpunch magazine, which has been hostile to any questioning of the 9/11 official story, dedicated their entire current issue (VOL. 14, NO. 3/4) to the "Dancing Israelis" 9/11 side show.

Most 9/11 skeptics are probably very aware that several Israeli agents were arrested in New Jersey, directly across from the WTC when 9/11 happened. They were laughing and cheering each other about the catastrophe, and filming the events. Nearby people were so offended by their behavior that the police were called and the Israelis were arrested. They were deported to Israel soon after, and there has not been much media followup to this story.

Counterpunch editor Alexander Cockburn, the article's author (Christopher Ketcham), and another author about this were interviewed today on Democracy Now!

Thursday, February 8th, 2007
Cheering Movers and Art Student Spies: Was Israel Tracking the Hijackers Before the 9/11 Attacks?

A new article in the newsletter Counterpunch examines unresolved questions over whether Israeli agents were tracking the 9/11 hijackers before September 11th. ABC’s 20/20, The Forward, and have all covered the story. But where’s the follow up? We speak to the author of the article, Christopher Ketcham; Counterpunch editor Alexander Cockburn, and Marc Perelman, the Forward reporter who did one of the first reports on the story in 2002.


The article is interesting (it's in the print version of Counterpunch, not on their website, apparently). However, it is not anything new to most students of the 9/11 coverups. It does raise several questions that remain unaswered.

[update: March 7 - this story is now on line

Why is Counterpunch suddenly rehashing the "Israeli foreknowledge" angle to 9/11 after they have virulently attacked any questioning of 9/11? This is an interesting aspect of the case, but it's not the central issue (hint: the Israelis don't run NORAD).

Counterpunch has received a lot of criticism for their attacks on 9/11 skeptics - and for their recent focus on the misleading "physical evidence" quagmire while ignoring the core issues of how it was allowed to happen and the wargames and other technical assistance to enable it.

Democracy Now! has encountered similar criticism for their support for the official story, their false debate between Hearst Corporation (Popular Mechanics) and the Loose Change film (which uses fake evidence to promote a real conclusion), and their probable reward for the fake debate from Hearst (which is now syndicating DN's new newspaper column).

Perhaps Counterpunch and Democracy Now! feel stung by the gatekeeper charges, and republishing the "Dancing Israelis" story is a step toward doing more investigation of 9/11. The article does give Counterpunch more "street credibility" since they now have focused on 9/11 truth without any snide attacks on the questioners. The fact that the story is largely old news makes it a safe thing to refocus on.

A reader writes to suggest a different explanation:

This will mainly ramp up the anti-semites and their legions of websites with "told you so" and create a more difficult terrain to separate them out from simply the real role of Israel. This essentially gives them something real to wave at everyone to continue their charade of relevance.

It seems likely that the "Dancing Israelis" filming 9/11 had intended to be arrested in order to draw attention to themselves. Covert operatives who are trying to stay covert generally do not attract the notice of passers-by.

If Counterpunch and Democracy Now! really want to focus on credible evidence on 9/11, they could examine the NORAD war games and the NRO / CIA plane-into-building exercise, among other topics. Focusing solely on Israeli foreknowledge misses the whole story.


CounterPunch Special Report: Debunking the Myths of 9/11 - November 28, 2006

Alexander Cockburn here assembles his two prime commentaries in a final, expanded essay, "The 9/11 Conspiracists and the Decline of the Left."

Manuel Garcia Jr, physicist and engineer, presents his three separate reports, undertaken for CounterPunch.

Part One is his report on the Physics of 9/11.
Part Two (published here for the first time) is his report on the Thermodynamics of 9/11.
Part Three, "Dark Fire", is his report on the collapse of the World Trade Center's Building 7.

JoAnn Wypijewski wrote her essay "Conversations at Ground Zero" after a day spent with people at the site on 9/11/2006.

Note: Counterpunch's Cockburn highlights the no plane nonsense and demolition theories, but studiously ignores the war games, suppressed warnings and other solid evidence. One of the many interesting omissions is from Counterpunch itself, which shortly after 9/11 wrote

"CounterPunch has also learned that an internal memo was sent around Goldman Sachs in Tokyo on September 10 advising all employees of a possible terrorist attack. It recommended all employees to avoid any American government buildings."
September 14, 2001 Aftershocks

This information would be more interesting to follow-up on than pointing out that Flight 77 really did hit the (nearly empty part of the) Pentagon.


Counterpunch finally mentions Mike Ruppert -- with a smear
January 21, 2005
Gold-Plated Activism?
The Problem with Mike Ruppert


Rebuttal from Jamey Hecht:


Mike Ruppert Bad, Granola Good…
By Jamey Hecht

Kurt Nimmo’s hit-piece on Mike Ruppert is a classic example of a wonderful little genre that everyone should try sometime. You pick a figure whose work is unusual, someone who doesn’t fit into the mind-numbingly dull subculture of progressive activism. Adopt a tone of wry suspicion, resentful that someone has tried to deceive you with a scam that doesn’t taste quite like the other scams (everything that doesn’t eventuate in letters to indifferent legislators and an endless round of mass demonstrations “in the streets” is a scam). Next, accuse the person of having failed to offer the messianic holy grail that would rescue the public from the fascism we all deplore. Finally, having projected your own longings for that sort of strongman charisma onto the other guy, warn your readers that he is surely a megalomaniac, likely to foment a personality cult of some kind. Before serving, garnish with a sprinkling of contemptuous modifiers: “self described 9/11 investigator,” “dubious information,” “hawking his latest book.” That book would be Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil.

I edited the book. I am the Assistant Managing Editor of Mr. Ruppert’s website, That must be why I’m defending him! Yes, and the reason why I work in this organization is because I find its analysis compelling. Our approach to anti-fascist journalism seems to me much more useful than the discourse of plaintive longing that fills the pages of so many left-progressive publications I hate to love. Now back to the point. Kurt Nimmo is a smart writer whose piece on Ruppert is junk. It made it past Nimmo’s own bullshit-detector because he is in pain. Every journalist does this now and again, and I think each of us should get a few pardons for this sort of thing before being written off as an irritable nonentity.

The article begins with the complaint that Ruppert is “stating the obvious”; not a crime, as the Nation, Mother Jones, and the Progressive can attest. For Nimmo, the trouble starts when Ruppert says things that aren’t obvious:

Ruppert told the crowd to put their money, "or whatever cash we have left, into precious metals; that we must rid ourselves of debt, get out of the stock market and begin to think about a more self-sufficient living style. We must reduce personal consumption."
Said just like a wealthy Libertarian.

Esteemed colleagues, do your homework. Ruppert’s website states clearly:

I support four fulltime employees who are dedicated activists and thrilled to be feeding their families as a result of doing work they love. I pay three editors (Hecht, Goff and Pfeiffer) and four freelance writers. In addition I buy many products from credible authors and activists and resell them, giving a large share of the revenue back to people who are thrilled to receive energy and financial support which makes them more effective and keeps them in the game.
Personally, I live in a studio apartment, drive a 9-year-old Ford and have lived for many years in poverty an animal might not recognize. I have no medical insurance, no retirement plan and every one of my employees will tell you that they have always gotten paid before I do and that I have many times forsaken my own paycheck to make sure that they got paid and were taken care of.

Perhaps when From The Wilderness makes it big and we’re rolling in dough, that will somehow falsify everything we report. Americans are awash in private debt, dog-paddling with their credit cards in oceanic mortgages. The houses they don’t really own are wildly overvalued. Their pensions have been looted by the same corporate sharks who are about to loot Social Security, precisely by moving the money into the stock racket. The "middle class" (who is that? Well, Nimmo writes, "the sort of people who have enough money to buy Ruppert's book") were motley fools to throw their meager assets into the dot-com bubble, and if the Republicrats have their way we will all do it again. I don’t understand why we are not supposed to advise our subscribers to stay out of the stock market.

Let’s say that through a combination of work, luck, and restraint I manage to save three thousand dollars in a year and a half of teaching, freelance writing, and selling books on eBay. If I put my egg in the stock market it is likely to disappear. If I keep it in a savings bank, the purchasing power will drain out of it as American manufacturing jobs drain into the Pacific – while murderous Uncle Sam infuriates his creditors with ham-fisted racist imperialism. If I buy a little silver or gold, I can barter with it or just wait out the coming Depression. Is that ok with everybody?

In the forty years since LBJ stepped over his predecessor’s corpse (on the day of the funeral!) to escalate US troops levels through the roof in Vietnam, American dollars have changed. They are no longer backed by the gold of a robust economy that actually exports goods and services; they are backed by a global loan-sharking scheme – the full faith and credit of the Marines. Half a trillion dollars in CIA-protected narcotraffic is laundered though Wall Street every year, as Mike Ruppert told his audience in Seattle during the event Mr. Nimmo didn’t like (he wasn’t there). The polarization of wealth in this country (you’ve heard this a zillion times this year, and it’s only January) is the result of domestic and international piracy. Good old Roger and Me remains a really good movie about it; many of us live in Flint Michigan-like hell holes and almost all of us see that socio-economic death’s head getting closer. The game is rigged.

But for the moment you are managing to read this on a computer, because the US economy of financial speculation, ephemeral services, and wood chips has not yet been imploded by capital flight, debt default, and fuel prices. That debacle is coming down fast, and everybody who’s paying attention knows that it will hit before 2008. The evidence and argumentation supporting this claim is all over the reality-based press, of which is just one example. Nimmo is angry because he doesn’t like to be told the hideous truth unless the messenger also has a magic solution to the crises he describes:

Mike offers no solution for people like me, living precariously near the economic periphery. As Mike apparently sees it, I am consigned to a fate of pushing a wheelbarrow down Main Street, piled with useless greenbacks to buy a loaf of bread, like German paupers of yore.

Exactly. Now would you like to start by fixing the busted wheelbarrow and learning to bake bread? Or shall we keep hoping that, say, John Kerry will pull a manufacturing economy out of his ear and give us jobs? Confronting the imminent collapse of the economy is not defeatism. We all know the Bush junta are bona fide fascists, and they are taking us over an economic and political waterfall. When the plunge comes (not decline: plunge), they are likely to activate provisions of Patriot I & II that are now just waiting in the toolbox, and it will get uglier than most of us dare to imagine. That is not how progressives talk, so I must be a right wing demagogue of some kind, right? If so, then you can dispose of me and my claims ad hominem. But nothing could be further from the truth. Mike Ruppert and I and our colleagues at From the Wilderness are Jeffersonian small-d democrats who espouse the rule of law, the G.I. bill, the New Deal, the Peace Corps, Hugo Chavez, publicly funded higher education and a tofu steak in every solar frying pan. But I’ll eat the frying pan before I tell you that voting and marching are going to get us there.

For many Americans--an increasing number of Americans--Mike Ruppert offers nothing except scary predictions of "peak oil" and a weak palliative… Instead of urging political action, he tells Americans to invest in gold, sounding oddly like an investment banker or somebody from the gold industry. Ruppert may call Dick Cheney "a murderer," again stating the obvious, but offers no concrete solution for getting rid of such multiple and repeat felons beyond slimming down the consumption habits of middle class Americans in preparation for the Grapes of Wrath, the sequel. If he did offer other political alternatives, they were not mentioned in the article penned by Mike's agent, Ken Levine. But then, I suppose, to get the whole story we have to buy Mike's book.

Yes, or borrow a copy from a friend. The book has one thousand footnotes, so it will cost more to buy all the other books and journals and transcripts on which it bases its argument. Peak Oil is scary, I know. The more you actually know about it, the scarier it gets. It might even make you realize that FDR himself cannot conjure cheap and abundant energy out of nothing, and the shell game of "political action" is pointless when there is no natural gas to run the power grid. Cheney’s solution is to kill other people and steal what little remains. The other solution is permaculture, local production, reduced consumption, increased community and social cooperation – which Mike Ruppert and our own Dale Allen Pfeiffer discuss all the time.

Having enjoyed some of Mr. Nimmo’s previous work, I’m baffled at his decision to write this little article on no basis but Ken Levine’s press release about a well-attended speaking event Ruppert gave in Seattle last week. Read and the sites to which we link, and you’ll appreciate the goofy irony of this little misunderstanding. You’ll also have a clue about how to cope with what’s coming.

I close with a quotation from Nimmo’s blog:

However, if the dog and pony show at Kane Hall is any indication, it would seem, more than anything, Mike Ruppert is a shameless huckster, more interested in selling books and forging a career than getting to the bottom on what really happened on September 11, 2001.

I defy you, dear reader, to find anyone on this planet who has done more than Mike Ruppert to discover and expose the truth about 9/11.

Jamey Hecht, PhD is the author of Plato’s Symposium: Eros and the Human Predicament, and Sophocles’ Three Theban Plays: A New Translation with Notes and Commentary.



Rebuttal from Mark Robinowitz:

An interesting critique from a publication (Counterpunch) that has an editor (Cockburn) that has consistently defended the fraudulent Warren Commission (that covered up the coup against Kennedy) and has ridiculed those talking about Cheney's role in 9/11 as "nuts." Ruppert lives in a small rental apartment and has recycled the money (such as it is) from his publication into hiring more writers. How many "writers" for Counterpunch get paid for the privilege of being reposted on that website?

You can read some interesting nonsense (the rantings of a probable police informer?) at -- nonsense that has been picked up by a "book publisher" that has taken about five million dollars from the neo-con neo-fascist Bradley Foundation (see for details). Real book publishers don't take millions from ultraconservative military contractors (Bradley's $$$ comes from military spending profits). A publication more focused on fact checking would have quietly taken down that page when it was exposed repeatedly as a hoax (the source for that information has been loudly exposed as a hoax generator in several other high profile crime cases). has a good analysis of this.

Mike's presentation last weekend also mentioned that people should look into permaculture, which is a lot more positive than any shrill ideology from tired leftist publications that have very little connections to the so-called masses. Furthermore, one of the reasons why he was saying that 9/11 complicity isn't likely to be exposed in a politically relevant way is that the country largely does not want to hear it or deal with it -- especially when nearly all of the so-called anti-Bush institutions in the so-called alternative media and peace movement are allergic to even contemplating that 9/11 might not have been a surprise attack. In other words, the support for the official view of 9/11 from Counterpunch, The Nation and many others has let the perpetrators off the hook, and led directly to the Patriot Act, the Iraq invasion, Bush's "re-election" and more in the near future. see

But even if Mike is worthy of scorn from Counterpunch, the indisputable fact is that Mike's has uncovered the most detailed information about Cheney's role on 9/11 that anyone has dared to publish. This is a primary reason why he has been attacked more than any other writer on these topics. David Corn of The Nation and Norman Solomon called him crazy and without credibility in early 2002 (to try to neuter growing awareness that 9/11 was allowed to happen), which was an enormous favor to the Bush regime at their most vulnerable moment.

Since the publication of the "Crossing the Rubicon," a COINTELPRO style campaign has hurled a lot of crap claiming the book doesn't go far enough with a number of pseudonymous writers on the web claiming Mike is a sellout for not endorsing their particular fact-less speculations about what happened on 9/11 (attacking from the opposite direction than Corn and Solomon). Now, Kurt Nimmo, whose blog is usually very good, is publishing a different flavor of attack on Mike in a publication that calls people talking about 9/11 complicity psychologically disturbed. You certainly can't please everyone.

One flavor of the attack on Mike in this article is to complain that some of the articles at From the Wilderness are pay for view articles (which after a month or so become free articles). It never ceases to amaze me that leftists who ostensibly support a living wage then bitch that people might actually want to be paid for their work so that the bills to host a website, pay writers, and keep the lights on get paid. Hypocrisy is a polite word. One of the COINTELPRO type sites attacking FTW and Ruppert's work even boasts that their site is "always free" and urges visitors never to pay for anything on line. It is subtle and very slick.


we continue to grow journalistically in order to cover stories in foreign countries and to enhance the depth, timeliness and quality of our coverage, mainly by hiring talented journalists who work very hard on their stories and who write for us for a fraction of what they could earn in the mainstream media. They have made their choice and shown their intergrity. If FTW is to continue to lead the way, we must be able to travel and pay the great talent we are attracting to our pages. The more we grow, the more intellectual “health food” we can bring to our readers. It's that simple. That's a promise we have kept to our readers for six years.


This week, FTW posted an extremely courageous article detailing the software systems that were used to enable 9/11, software that is also used in what used to be called "Total Information Awareness." PTECH, 9/11, and USA-SAUDI TERROR - Part I, PROMIS Connections to Cheney Control of 9/11 Attacks Confirmed by Jamey Hecht. What was Counterpunch's reaction to this information? Being an "attack poodle?" Couldn't they even acknowledge the importance of this information while making their snide comments? This ideological approach (of Counterpunch) is a primary reason why the "left" is faded in importance -- the lack of SOLIDARITY is astounding.

If pointing out that nothing is likely to change for the better without changing the way money works so it is no longer dependent on "growth" is not enough for ideologically oriented publications, then it's time to ignore those publications as mere distractions.

It's similar to the first question from the audience at Mike's presentation at the U of W, someone who complained that he had ignored the solutions to the situation -- and then the questioner went on to praise the twisted mind of Lyndon LaRouche. It should not surprise anyone that Mike dismissed this sort of critique as ridiculous, although the wording was more polite than that.

Personally, I'm not fond of anyone's gold recommendations, although the value certainly has gone up substantially in the past few years and a casual review of history showed . However, the value of the Euro versus the Dollar has also gone up by about the same percentage. But buying Euros or gold coins is probably not likely to accomplish much in the long run without local communities taking back their local economies, implementing a stable state economic system not based on endless growth (technically impossible in the long run on a finite planet), and ensuring that the military budget is converted for peaceful purposes for our collective survival. In other words, anyone buying gold or euros or anything else should make sure they have good gardening tools first (it's hard to dig garden beds with a gold coin). Plus, no strategy is likely to be successful without working to make sure that a community responds to Peak Oil in a positive way (something the ideologues and the foundation funded enviros are not yet talking about). Unfortunately, the "Marxists" don't dare talk about any of those things (which is why I'm a Groucho Marxist, not a fan of Karl).

And what's wrong with warning people that being in debt is a bad thing on the precipice of a crash of the Dollar? Perhaps it's merely stating the obvious. How many "leftist" publications urge community self-reliance for economics, food and energy production? Why do nearly all of them ignore the reality of Peak Oil? I guess it's easier to complain that From the Wilderness isn't the perfect, one-stop-shopping center for every single analysis under the sun (although they heavily recommend the writings of Richard Heinberg, author of "Powerdown" and "The Party's Over," which are probably the best permaculture perspectives on how to deal with Peak Oil for communities).

Ruppert's FTW is one of the VERY few that dares to talk about the TRILLIONS (not billions) that are "unaccounted for" at the Pentagon and other agencies. But rather than help amplify this information, ideologues in the liberal establishment (Corn, Solomon, Chip Berlet, et al) and Counterpunch spend more energy attacking this particular messenger than doing investigative journalism on the deep scandals of the Cheney regime.



From: Kurt Nimmo
To: Michael Donnelly
Cc: Jeffrey St. Clair, Alexander Cockburn, Bruce Anderson, Mark Robinowitz, Michael Ruppert
Subject: Re: Didn't take long for Robo to respond
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2005

It would seem there is a growing chorus of people less than satisfied with Mr. Ruppert's recent musings:
"Hey Ruppert: 9-11 is NOT Dead!" by Victor Thorn:


Victor Thorn's "Wing TV" articles are deconstructed here:
Michael Ruppert exposes Wing TV's pseudo-journalism.
Jim Hoffman refutes "Wing TV's" efforts at character assassination.


Why does a "Counterpunch" writer cite this pseudonymous writer ("Thorn") as a real source?


Nimmo's original article, in full:
January 21, 2005
Gold-Plated Activism?
The Problem with Mike Ruppert

On January 15th, at Kane Hall, on the campus of the University of Washington in Seattle, former L.A. cop and self-described 9/11 investigator Mike Ruppert told a standing-room only crowd the obvious:
"[Ruppert] believes that no sanctions, indictments or criminal prosecution [against the Bush warmongers] will ever be handed down. Rubicon [Ruppert's book], he says, remains a base map of the decades before and the years since 9/11. But now he says we must look at the herd of elephants charging at us, instead of the one elephant that just ran us over," Ken Levine summarizes on Ruppert's From the Wilderness website.
No kidding.
Of course Bush and Crew will never face indictment or criminal prosecution, at least not under current conditions. That's not how it works. Evidence of this abounds: Henry Kissinger, one of the most notorious war criminals of recent history, walks around a free man, as does Bill Clinton, responsible for invading the former Yugoslavia, imposing murderous sanctions on Iraq---killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, mostly kids---and blowing up a pharmaceutical factory in the Sudan (el-Shifa), an especially vile war crime that resulted in massive suffering a death. Bush Senior is responsible for deliberately bombing Iraq's water purification system, an act of premeditated<> savagery resulting in untold disease and death, and yet he walks around a free man too. Instead of war criminals, these guys are considered "elder statesmen," the substance of best selling books and CNN and Fox News interviews. Millions of Americans revere them.
Dispensing more dubious information, Ruppert told the crowd to put their money, "or whatever cash we have left, into precious metals; that we must rid ourselves of debt, get out of the stock market and begin to think about a more self-sufficient living style. We must reduce personal consumption."
Said just like a wealthy Libertarian.
It was obviously an evening tailored for the middle class, the sort of people who have enough money to buy Ruppert's book and apparently have problems with "personal consumption," that is to say buying things they don't need with credit cards. Precious metals aside, millions of Americans are finding it increasingly difficult to pay for shelter and food. Millions of Americans, living hand-to-mouth on Walmart wages, have absolutely no money to put into gold or silver and thus feed themselves after "a tremendous devaluation of the dollar" hits, as predicted by Ruppert and more than a few economists.
For instance, as an unemployed web designer and photographer, I have no money for gold ingots or silver coins. I have lived a more or less Spartan lifestyle for years and do not rush out to the mall to buy the latest consumerist thingamajig as advertised on television (in fact, I don't watch television). I do not own a home--sorry, no mortgages for the unemployed--and own a car only because I have little other choice in this society as presently arranged (unless I want to walk five or ten or however many miles every day to a job I can't seem to find, thanks to Bush's war economy). Mike offers no solution for people like me, living precariously near the economic periphery. As Mike apparently sees it, I am cosigned to a fate of pushing a wheelbarrow down Main Street, piled with useless greenbacks to buy a loaf of bread, like German paupers of yore.
But enough about me.
For many Americans--an increasing number of Americans--Mike Ruppert offers nothing except scary predictions of "peak oil" and a weak palliative while hawking his latest book and "treating" his audience to "some very important and poignant 'new releases,'" likely soon available to Ruppert fans who have credit cards and can afford to shell out the bucks for additional "personal consumption," be it Ruppert's book or Nintendo Gamecube Platinum. Instead of urging political action, he tells Americans to invest in gold, sounding oddly like an investment banker or somebody from the gold industry. Ruppert may call Dick Cheney "a murderer," again stating the obvious, but offers no concrete solution for getting rid of such multiple and repeat felons beyond slimming down the consumption habits of middle class Americans in preparation for the Grapes of Wrath, the sequel. If he did offer other political alternatives, they were not mentioned in the article penned by Mike's agent, Ken Levine. But then, I suppose, to get the whole story we have to buy Mike's book.
Finally, until Americans wake up from their corporate media induced somnolence--taking the utterances of right-wingers at Fox News as the gospel truth--many of them will not only support Bush's up-coming invasions and occupations of Iran and Syria (or at least his "shock and awe" bombardment of these countries), but they will blissfully continue to drive gas-guzzling SUVs and consume useless consumer junk right up to the moment the economy crashes, as Ruppert correctly predicts.
Unfortunately, precious few of them will have stockpiles of gold and silver, presumably stuffed in their mattresses, metal we are to assume they will use to barter for food and shelter. If the impending collapse of the U.S. economy--precipitated by a falling dollar and deficits run up by Bush's war machine and the unconscionable greed and squander of rich people and multinational corporations--translates into anything positive, it will be massive and unrelenting activism on the part of average Americans, same as the last time the economy tanked and people were pitched into misery and suffering. For as Howard Zinn notes, during the so-called Great Depression social activism reached a fever pitch, threatening government and the ruling elite, although this is not a story you will read in corporate published school textbooks.
Of course, in order to save predatory capitalism and stave off serious reform, if not the trashing of the entire system, Roosevelt hurriedly passed a few amelioratory laws--including Social Security, now under attack--and, more importantly, embroiled America in the largest and most destructive war in modern history, effectively channeling anger directed against a parasitical system in another direction, namely against foreign enemies who were, as the Bush family history attests, supported and financed by the very people responsible for the Great Depression.
Instead of urging a few hundred middle class people to buy gold and stop frivolous consumption, Mike Ruppert should tell them to prepare for the struggle ahead--a social revolution that will either result in change of a predatory system, lorded over by "murderers" such as Dick Cheney, or yet another diversionary tactic, a shuffling of the deck that will result in more of the same, albeit with a few minor "reforms" put into place.
No amount of hoarded gold will make a whit of difference.
Kurt Nimmo is a photographer and multimedia developer in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Visit his excellent no holds barred blog at Nimmo is a contributor to Cockburn and St. Clair's, The Politics of Anti-Semitism. A collection of his essays for CounterPunch, Another Day in the Empire, is now available from Dandelion Books.
He can be reached at:


Counterpunch Co-editor Jeffrey St. Clair makes false accusation that Ruppert accused him of being on the payroll of the CIA

Date: Wed, 02 Jun 2004 14:58:12 -0700
From: "Jeffrey St. Clair"
To: Mark Robinowitz
Subject: Re: [Stumps] Solomon on the "liberal" media

ha! ruppert is the same fine journalist whose deep research disclosed the fact that I'm on the CIA's pay roll!...I wish...hey, now that they cut of Chalabi!!


Mike Ruppert wrote:

Dear Mr. St. Clair:

Can someone please explain all this to me? I have never accused you of being on CIA's payroll and have always respected the work of both you and Alex Cockburn.
I know Darryl Cherney as a friend, personally, and have shared several stages with him. I have never attacked him and have had some big chuckles over his recent court victories. He's a hero!
And who the hell is the "Anderson Valley Advertiser". I do not have and have never had any affiliation with them. Where are you getting this stuff and why didn't you ask me first?
What gives?

Mike Ruppert

[note: despite several requests, this "where" question was not answered]



From: "Jeffrey St. Clair"
To: Mike Ruppert
Subject: Re: FW: counterpunch magazine accusation against you

Dear Mike,

Yes, I know your work well and respect it. Indeed, I have no problem with it all. As you know, we write about you in our book on the CIA, Whiteout. Your friend Rabinowitz has circulated a ridiculous "funding map" on your behalf to numerous groups listservs accusing us of being "gatekeepers for

[this is fantasy, in that it doesn't mention Counterpunch nor was it on Mr. Ruppert's behalf]

the CIA" based on the fact that the Nation magazine, for which Alex writes a column (a column which, btw, is almost always at odds with the editorial position of the magazine), once received a grant from the Ford Foundation when it functioned as an agency passthru and because we have more recently published articles by dissident CIA employees, such as Phil Agee, Bill and Kathy Christison, & Ray McGovern. The map was created by Bob Feldman, who, oddly, continues to submit articles to us and I occasionally print one or two. According to Rabinowitz's mulch heap of a mind, this is why we have attempted to "suppress' evidence of the grand conspiracy behind, although if you were to read our book, Imperial Crusades, you might discover we were among the first to report on such matters as the Bin Laden Family's free flight home, the CIA's curious trading patterns in reinsurer stock, the financial ties between Bush and Bin Laden, the nefarious role of the Carlyle Group...and on and on.
Far from being a Cointelpro operation, the AVA (Anderson Valley Advertiser) is one of the funniest and fiercest weekly papers in the country, featuring some of the nation's best radical writers. The AVA is somewhere between Ramparts and Paul Krassner's The Realist, only better written--it delights in pissing off liberals and exposing phony environmentalists. As for whether Darryl C. is a hero, well, that's for others to decide. I'm glad he sued the FBI. On the other hand, he has developed a kind of environmental franchise that is highlighted by a lot of puffery, money grubbing and self-glorification and not much real organizing.
All the best,
Jeffrey St. Clair



Mark Robinowitz wrote:
Dear Jeffrey:

Your reply to Mike is grossly inaccurate.

The distortions are numerous.

I have not accused Counterpunch on anything for publishing the Christisons or Ray McGovern (or any other dissident CIA agent / ex-agent). I like some of their work, but I have asked why McGovern (in particular) has a very limited focus in his critique (in particular, his article about Porter Goss which did not mention Goss's 9/11 breakfast meeting with Gen. Ahmad of Pakistan). That is very different than your accusation. Very.

I, like many others, have raised serious questions about the Nation's Washington editor, David Corn, and his history of belittling CIA/drug connections, 9/11, the coup against JFK, etc. Real journalists don't get free trips to oil exporting countries courtesy of the State Department (as Corn did after attacking Mike R.). That does NOT implicate everyone who's ever written for the Nation - this is an absurd comment, an ad hominem attack.

You're making much worse leaps in logic than you accuse me of. Most of the folks who write for the Nation are sincere and unaware of the foundation grants that pay some of their bills. Plus, I don't claim that a few rightwing oil money grants automatically determines a publication's perspective. However, the Nation has been a consistent supporter of the Warren Commission for about four decades, which renders at least part of it suspect in my mind. The real reason I stopped subscribing was being tired of the constant internecine squabbling among obscure leftists, of which Mr. Cockburn was a prime participant. And why is it easier to read about peak oil in the New York Times and National Geographic than the liberal "alternative" media?

I haven't circulated any funding maps on Mike's behalf or on anyone else's behalf. I have a brain and free will, and am not anyone's stooge, nor do I want anyone to be my stooge. The Bob Feldman map is a mixed bag - there's some truth to it, but I also think there are some deeper psychological issues to the denial, since there are many liberal defenders of the official story who don't get a dime from anyone for their opinions. Plus, the "leftgatekeepers" website that specializes in this aspect has noticeably declined in recent months, it publishes a mix of good articles and trash. It is one reason I've been working on a much more cautious and careful list and analysis.

I have a long list of "gatekeepers" at, but if you bother to read this you will not find anything about counterpunch there. I have, however, been contacted by multiple people who have published at counterpunch why it is so difficult to get 9/11 evidence published there, but I cannot say why CP has only tangentially covered the story.

[note: Counterpunch is NOW listed there for ridiculing the 9/11 independent investigations, the vote fraud issue and attacking Michael Ruppert]

As far as I know, FTW was the first publication to break the story of the CIA's insider trading just before 9/11. Your book that you mention is dated June 2004, and I couldn't find anything on the Counterpunch website (or via google) that predates FTW's October 2001 story on this topic. The Bush/Bin Laden ties, the Carlyle Group 9/11 connection - all of those stories were also out within days of the "attack."

I would still be interested to know why you think that Mike Ruppert claimed you're on the CIA payroll. That's a very bold assertion that is easy to prove or disprove. There is only one citation for you on the FTW site, and that is a footnote in an article by Julian Darley referencing an article that you wrote which has nothing to do with the topics in this email.

at, counterpunch is listed as a recommended news source, but one that generally avoids the 9/11 topic (with a few exceptions) My description of it is that it has "first-class articles on Israel / Palestine conflict, domestic fascism, US foreign policy double standards, the Iraq war" This is why your support for Bruce Anderson's vicious vendetta against Judi Bari is so puzzling.

As for the Anderson Valley Advertiser, I recommend the following two links.
The lurid history of Bruce Anderson and the Anderson Valley Advertiser
if even 10% of these claims are true, then AVA is a sleazy operation sowing divisiveness.
is a particularly embarrassing piece of fiction pretending to be the last words of Judi Bari it reads like documents out of Ward Churchill's book "The Cointelpro Papers"
it also reads like the editor of AVA could use some psychiatric counseling

AVA called the Bari v. FBI verdict a "heist" from the taxpayers. Why would Counterpunch give this slander any validity by republishing it? So much for "Solidarity forever" - AVA would rather smear the victims and steer public opinion away from Big Timber and the FBI. If there was any truth to AVA's smear campaign, don't you think the FBI, which tried to disconnect Judi from her hospital care while she was severely wounded, would have tried to use this during their ten plus years in the legal battle? Obviously, the FBI must be covering up for Judi Bari despite years of a smear campaign against her. This is beyond ridiculous.




At 5:47 PM -0700 2004-07-15, Jeffrey St. Clair wrote:

I stand by my response. You were the one circulating the Gatekeeper accusations on behalf of Rupper & Co. And you largely repeat them here, smearing us once again as unwitting tools of the CIA, based on some pathological notion that Ford funding from 60s means all Nation writers today are part of the CIA's mighty wurlizter. (CounterPunch doesn't get Ford funding--or any grant funding for that matter--but we're collateral damage, guilt by association.) You do it all the time. It is your demented metier. As for D. Corn, we ripped him apart years ago after his sycophantic book on the CIA's Ted Shackley, the blonde ghost--whoops, I guess that's the kind of "internicine squabbling" that caused you to drop your sub.
As for NatGeo, several of the most compelling articles on oil politics they've published in recent years have been written by Alex's brother, Andrew. Whoops, again...he must be CIA, too. (Certainly, Nat Geo had/has much deeper ties to the Agency than the fucking Nation) Or is it Mossad. But, wait, didn't Andrew write an explosive book, Dangerous Liaisons, on the ties between Mossad and the CIA? Wasn't Andrew sued by Richard Secord over his exposé of Secord's role in Contra gun/drug running? It all gets s-o-o confusing. Spy v. Spy.
Our book, Imperial Crusades, is a collection of reporting done in the print (not the web edition) of our newsletter. The reporting on the Munich Re stock trades was done within days of 9/11; my piece on Bush and Bin Laden was done a week after the attacks, based on a lot of reporting we'd already done PRIOR to the attacks. Our reporting on the Carlyle Group extends back to Clinton time & forms a centerpiece to Ken's prescient book, Private Warriors, which came out a year BEFORE 9/11. To my knowledge, you are not a subscriber, so it's very easy for you to remain blissfully blind to the facts, even as they stare you down, face to face. Now, stop wasting my time and bandwidth.
Over and out.



From: Mark Robinowitz
Sent: Thursday, July 15, 2004 4:30 PM
To: Jeffrey St. Clair
Cc: Mike Ruppert
Subject: Re: more lies

You're lying.
I have not said anything about Counterpunch's funding.
I have never said that all Nation writers are CIA. I suspect only a very few, if any, are. It IS legitimate to ask why the Ford Foundation would fund them (or Chip Berlet or Amy Goodman), or why any government critics would support the Warren Commission conclusion of Oswald as lone gunman. For that reason, why does Alex Cockburn (or Noam Chomsky) echo this? This is not evidence of a financial or covert tie, I suspect a bigger reason is psychological reluctance to face the full brunt of the reality of the situation. That is a very different issue.
Why do you choose to be so snide about this, rather than provide actual evidence?
First you accuse Mike R. of falsely calling you CIA funded, which he hasn't done. I haven't done this either. Then you say that because I object to David Corn, that automatically taints your publication, too. Nonsense.
It looks like you're making stuff up in an effort to avoid answering the original question -- which is why did you say that Mike Ruppert says you get CIA funding?
Ruppert isn't the one who made the leftgatekeeper chart, but that chart does not mention counterpunch nor anyone connected with it, as far as I know (I just looked at it again).
You're really good in the vitriol department, but you're making grossly inaccurate statements about my point of view. Worse, your publication is legitimizing one of America's worst weekly newspapers in their weird quest to deflect criticism of the FBI's outrageous misconduct against Bari and Cherney. Surely you're capable of doing better than this.
As for National Geographic, I'm sure they have all sorts of covert ties, as does the New York Times. Yet it is much easier to find articles on the topic of peak oil in those publications than in most of the so-called liberal alternative press. The point for saying this is to ask why these "alternative" publications haven't talked about peak oil, I'm sure that different publications have different reasons. Ellen Mariani's RICO suit against Bush has also gotten more mainstream press than alternative press. These are facts.
I've read Dangerous Liaisons, it is very good.
I've also read many of the books that you and Cockburn have published.
As for the 9/11 inside trades, the article I found on counterpunch about Buzzy Krongard was dated to January 2002. Perhaps you scooped FTW with his identity in the days after 9/11, but I was one of the many people spending many hours a day trying to find evidence of what had really happened, and to the best of my knowledge, FTW broke the Buzzy Krongard connection less than a month after the attack. My ego doesn't care if this is right or wrong - if this is wrong I'm happy to be corrected. But please don't make wild accusations against me that are the exact opposite of my point of view and then attack me for those alleged views - it is not an honest examination of the facts.

Mark Robinowitz

Counterpunch was the most prominent promoter of a smear campaign against one of the most successful civil rights lawsuit, supporting the loudest effort to suggest the federal government, Oakland police and timber companies were innocent of attacking forest defenders. Environmentalist organizer Judi Bari, who had been organizing efforts to stop the logging of the last ancient redwoods, was maimed by a bomb put into her car in 1990. She died of cancer in 2007, but her estate and co-plaintiff Darryl Cherney (who was also injured, but not as severely) won their lawsuit a few years later. It is very rare for a federal jury to rule for victims of police misconduct and they were awarded over $4 million. Counterpunch published an article claiming this verdict was a "heist" against the taxpayers. If CP and their allies were working on behalf of the government this behavior would be more understandable. If they were non-governmental attacks, then that would be harder to understand (apart from petty jealousy, perhaps).

Who Bombed Judi Bari?

A 2012 documentary about labor organizer and environmental activist Judi Bari and the campaign to protect the last ancient redwood forests in northern California. In 1990, as she co-organized the "Redwood Summer" campaign, a pipe bomb was placed in her car under the driver's seat in Oakland, CA. The bomb nearly killed her and injured her colleague (and passenger) Darryl Cherney (who produced the film). Just before this attack, there was a practice car bombing on land owned by one of the timber companies targetted by these protests, the FBI was part of this exercise. The story is a great example of collusion between corporations (Louisiana Pacific, Maxxam-Pacific Lumber, et al), the overt part of government (local elected officials in Mendocino and Humboldt Counties) and the covert part of government (FBI Counter Intelligence Program - "Cointelpro"). Bari and Cherney sued the FBI and Oakland, CA police for civil rights violations. Bari died of cancer in 2007. Her estate and Cherney won a four million dollar judgement in Federal court in 2002, one of the most significant civil rights verdicts in the history of police and intelligence abuses against USA citizens.


Cockburn praised "Anderson Valley Advertiser," a hoax publication, as one of the country's best newspapers

Cockburn calls [Bruce] Anderson "one of the most vivid pens of our time" and puts him in the ranks of Thomas Paine, Mark Twain and H.L. Mencken. The AVA, he maintains, "is the greatest newspaper in America."
- The Oregonian, October 31, 2004


For details about this alleged "greatest newspaper," see - the sordid history of Bruce Anderson and the Anderson Valley Advertiser

also: - a deconstruction of a pseudo-biography of the late Judi Bari that has more errors than pages, funded by the ultra-right-wing neo-conservative "Bradley Foundation," this book is based in large part on libelous claims from Mr. Anderson.

on this website: - Anderson Valley Advertiser Oregon (AVA moved to Eugene, Oregon, but found very little support, and promptly went out of business)


It is a complicated story, but the bottom line is that Cockburn is the main promoter of a hoax publication that was published in rural Mendocino County, California, for many years. Due to a long history of making up nasty hoaxes, this newspaper gradually lost all credibility in the northern California community, and Bruce Anderson moved his operation to Oregon shortly after the "Liar Unlimited" website was published by one of his most aggrieved victims. The Colemanhoax website deconstructs a book published by a multi-million dollar propaganda operation that is a wing of a neo-conservative foundation that specializes in attacking liberals and leftists, and supporting reactionary causes. It is fascinating to see an apparent alliance between Alexander Cockburn, Counterpunch and AVA, who are ideological sectarian ostensible "leftists" (who attack their alleged allies), and ultra-right wingers who are probably pleased to see as much infighting as possible on the "left."


"Alexander Cockburn, former columnist for the Wall Street Journal ... now writes for the Nation and the AVA. He consistently calls the AVA the best newspaper in America. With almost cult-like behavior, Cockburn has taken Bruce Anderson's word on the Bari bombing case without seeking any corroborating documentation. Once a supporter of Bari's, Cockburn suddenly started despising her on Anderson's prompting and wrote an insulting, mean-spirited obituary of Bari for The Nation in 1997."
-- Darryl Cherney (co-defendent in the civil rights lawsuit against the FBI, ultimately successful in 2002), "The Falsehoods of the Flatlanders" (reprinted at
The AVA printed a death threat against Cherney (a photo of him with "shoot to kill" printed underneath) shortly after a federal jury made a four million dollar award for severe civil rights damages to the estate of Judi Bari (she died in 1997) and Cherney.

Manhunt: Anderson Pursues His Demon
by Alexander Cockburn
March 8, 2000

(an article with lots of lies in it promoting the vicious hoaxes of the AVA)


Counterpunch praises a hoax generator as a serious scholar

Nearly nine years after a homemade bomb almost killed forest activists Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney in their car in Oakland, Don Foster, the scholar who made his reputation by identifying Joe Klein as the "Anonymous" of Primary Colors, has buttressed suggestions by a California north coast writer, Ed Gehrman, that investigators of the bombing should focus far greater scrutiny on Bari's former husband, Mike Sweeney. ....


note: Counterpunch has left this "Breaking News" page on their website long after it was exposed as a hoax. Mr. Foster has been repeatedly "outed" as a charlatan yet Counterpunch has left this page on their site, and praises the main publication that promotes this (AVA).

Counterpunch states they support forest protection efforts and oppose corporate excesses, but they have spent years supporting this strange effort to blame the attempted assassination of forest activist / labor organizer Judi Bari (in a car bombing in 1990) on her former husband (and not hit men hired by timber companies and / or the FBI) even though there is zero evidence for their accusation and lots of evidence that disproves it. Even the most vocal advocate for this claim (Bruce Anderson) said at first that this was not true, only promoting it after Judi stopped writing for his publication due to a falling out over a perceived sexist cartoon in the AVA.

This slander campaign did serve to distract from efforts to build political (and financial) support for this lawsuit, and intensified before the trial. It is impossible to prove motivations of all of the participants, but whatever they were, it did resemble the tried and tested COINTELPRO campaigns from the FBI used to disrupt social justice movements for decades (a COINTELPRO campaign was definitely used to disrupt the Earth First! movement that Bari was deeply involved in). Sometimes participants in these disruption campaigns are not necessarily agents, but those with a personal vendetta that is then exploited by the COINTELPRO operatives. The key question is always Cui Bono - Who Benefits? Also, why does this campaign continue to have energy behind it years after it was conclusively proven to be lies?

As a conspiracy theorist, Gehrman wasn't discouraged by these realities. His other investigative forays included claims that aliens had landed at Roswell, New Mexico, where secret autopsies were done on their bodies, and an article claiming AIDS was a U.S. government conspiracy. He pieced together malicious gossip from several of Bari's enemies to fabricate a story of domestic conflict between Bari and Sweeney. Then he added a novel twist—supposedly scientific literary analysis suggesting Sweeney could have been the author of an anonymous letter taking credit for the bombing. This analysis was provided by Donald Foster, an English professor, who claimed to use computers to identify authors by their literary style.
   Foster is an old-fashioned charlatan
who could have walked right out of the pages of a Mark Twain novel. He was able to pass himself off as an expert literary detective for several years (to the indignation of legitimate scholars) until he exposed himself in a comical series of frauds.   He got caught offering himself to both sides in the sensational JonBenet Ramsey case, first telling the mother he knew “absolutely and unequivocally” that she was innocent, and then turning around and telling the police he could identify her as the perpetrator. Earlier Foster became obsessed with the internet postings of a fan of the case, and faxed his literary agent that he had discovered that this fan was actually JonBenet's male half brother and had certainly written the incriminating ransom note. It turned out that the internet fan was a 48-year-old North Carolina housewife.
   The climax of the Don Foster story came in 2002 when he was forced to admit that his original claim to fame, the discovery that William Shakespeare was the anonymous author of an obscure Elizabethan funeral elegy, was false. (New York Times, 6/20/02).    Eventually, Foster would admit that the alleged technique of computer analysis of text was bogus (Santa Barbara News-Press, 8/11/03).   What Foster had been doing all along was just guessing at “results” he thought people wanted to hear, or would get him attention.
   But before his self-destruction, Foster was recruited into the Judi Bari mystery.
Ed Gehrman claims he gave Foster a selection of writings from a small number of people associated with Judi Bari and Foster obliged Gehrman by asserting that Sweeney's writings most closely resembled the anonymous letter claiming responsibility for the bombing. But Foster hedged by noting there was no assurance that Gehrman's small pool really included the actual author of the anonymous letter. And he would later admit the link to Sweeney was “inconclusive” (email, 5/11/00). But it was enough for Gehrman. He published an article in an obscure conspiracy theory magazine demanding Sweeney be investigated as the likely bomber.
This bizarre stew was very tasty to Anderson, who quickly realized it gave him a weapon against the reputation of Judi Bari far more sensational than anything he had been able to concoct on his own.
   Anderson quickly forgot his past assertions, including : “Mike Sweeney certainly didn't do it.” (AVA, 5/29/91) and “The simple truth of the matter is that Bari and Sweeney separated peacefully and cooperatively.” (AVA, 5/11/94). Overnight in 1999, he became the leading booster of the Sutley-Gehrman theory, adding numerous inventions of his own and claiming that Bari herself was his source.   Sometimes he offers the alternative theory that Sweeney built the bomb and Bari was knowingly transporting it. (“There is also the possibility he built the bomb for some hare-brained scheme of Judi Bari's.”) (AVA, 9/29/99)    Week after week, he filled the AVA with every falsehood and slander he could find against Sweeney, Bari, Bari's supporters, and anyone who dared speak up in protest against his attempted lynching.   He spurned demands that he produce actual evidence, anything at all, to prove his libels.
   His own brother, Rob Anderson, who Bruce had entrusted with the editorship of the AVA when he was jailed for contempt of court, broke with him over Bruce's obsession with Judi Bari and Mike Sweeney:
"The AVA is bombing its own credibility every week…chewing over the same cud of rumor, half-truth and baseless accusation," Rob Anderson wrote in March, 2000 in his own newsletter, Mendoland.

Misunderstanding Global Warming: Alexander Cockburn versus Reality.
This entry was posted on 4/28/2007 3:43 PM and is filed under General.
By Mike Byron, PhD.

I was astonished to read Alexander Cockburn’s essay in the April 28th online edition of Counterpunch entitled “Is Global Warming a Sin?” [i] Cockburn’s thesis is that there is no scientific evidence whatsoever linking anthropogenic (human caused) CO2 emissions with worldwide increases in mean temperature “global warming.”
Alexander Cockburn
Greenhouse Gas and Global Warming: The Great Delusion

March 21, 2001

We like catastrophism. It's part of the eschatology of guilt. But it has more to do with faith than with science, and the IPCC Summary only serves to buttress that basic point: The global warming / greenhouse gas thesis is most emphatically non-proven.


Praise for Cockburn's views from a right-winger ...
Alexander Cockburn vs. the Global Warming Hypothesis
By Brian Carnell
Friday, March 16, 2001

Alexander Cockburn has a very interesting skewering of the global warming hypothesis in today's New York Press (Global Warming: The Great Delusion).
It is refreshing to see someone on the Left take a skeptical view of global warming and especially the summary reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which are essentially political rather than scientific in nature.


Right wing corporate front group cites Cockburn's work as credible:
"Global Warming: The Great Delusion" -- left-wing columnist Alexander Cockburn takes a look at global warming projections in the New York Press, March 13, 200


Note: The "National Center for Public Policy Research" is an ultraconservative group in downtown Washington, DC that takes pro-polluter views and is funded by polluters. One of its many conservative funders is the "Bradley Foundation," the same moneybags behind Encounter Books, a propaganda publisher that published the book "The Secret Wars of Judi Bari" that is largely based on the attack campaigns of the Anderson Valley Advertiser (Bruce Anderson and Alexander Cockburn) against Earth First! activist Judi Bari.

Nearly all of the climatologists on Earth are convinced through peer reviewed science that burning petroleum, coal and natural gas, and other human activities are definitely having an impact on the stability of the planet's climate. There are very few bioregions anywhere that are not now having substantial changes in temperature and precipitation extremes. Even many indigenous cultures that are unaware of the scientific method, petroleum companies and other inventions of industrial society report that they understand that "modern" man is changing the future of life on Earth (generally speaking, most of them would like us to stop what we are doing -- see in particular, a film called "The Elder Brothers" and book by the same name about the Kogi people of South America for a particularly poignant view of this). Not all climate alteration is from burning carbon based fuels -- clearcut deforestation (including in the northern California forest that Cockburn lives in) is also causing shifts on rainfall patterns. And there are military programs researching "weather warfare," but the precise contribution those efforts have toward these changes is probably impossible to prove.

To quote Bob Dylan, "you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows." And you don't need to read scientific reports to realize: most of the world's glaciers are in retreat, the polar ice caps are melting, the Alaskan permafrost is melting, many places on Earth have increasing water availability problems, deserts are expanding, forests are being clearcut, animal migrations are changing, plant communities are shifting, record heat is being recorded in countless places, and many other indicators of climatological change.

Articles that claim that the "global warming theory" is not proven are essentially a "snooze button" urging the citizens of Earth to go back to sleep, and let the polluters off the hook for the damage they are doing. Many of the writers and propagandists loudly denying climate change in the media are paid by polluters. These commentaries that claim climate change isn't real are about as helpful as those that prefer an end-of-the-world "rapture" perspective (that these changes are really indicators that God is going to physically lift a chosen few into heaven as the rest of us suffer).

Cockburn is probably one of the Earth's few self-described leftists who claims that anthropogenic (man-made) climate change is not happening, but whether this is purely a psychological objection, purely contrarian ego attitude to see how many people can be annoyed, or an indicator of a covert agenda is unknown. Whatever the cause, it is an ideological bias not justified by evidence.

In science, a "control" group is usually involved when studying an impact -- but there is no "control" planet unaffected by toxic combustion and habitat alteration if the naysayers turn out to be wrong. Mars is too cold, and Venus is too hot.

Cockburn claimed oil is not finite

for more on the "abiotic oil" hoax

October 15 / 16, 2005
CounterPunch Diary
Ayatollahs of the Apocalypse

The Virtues of Gas Guzzling:
Why I Don't Believe in "Peak Oil"
Since I don't believe in "peak oil" (the notion that world production is peaking and will soon slide, plunging the world into economic chaos) and regard oil "shortages" as contrivances by the oil companies and allied brokers and middlemen to run up the price, I fill my aging fleet of 50s and 60s era Chryslers with a light heart, although for longer trips these days I fill an 82 Mercedes 240D with diesel. True, diesel these days costs more than high-octane gasoline but the Mercedes gets 35 miles to the gallon, whereas the 59 Imperial ragtop and the 62 Belevedere wagon get around 18 mpg, which is still way ahead of the SUVs.
Part of my light-heartedness comes from the fact that gas guzzling these days can be a revolutionary duty, like puffing Montecristo #4 Cuban cigars back in the 60s as a way of doing one's bit for the Cuban revolution. A while ago, Citgo stations were owned by City Services, which was controlled by the W. Alton Jones family, which amassed a vast fortune thereby. Subsequently the Alton Jones family foundation, exercised via strategic disbursement control over much of the environmental movement, such as World Wildlife Fund, National Wildlife Federation, Worldwatch. As with the other big donors such as Pew Charitable Trusts, the Alton Jones foundation cut loose any green group showing signs of disruptive militancy.
So I used to give Citgo a wide birth, until Citgo and its 14,000 gas stations and eight oil refineries (undamaged by Katrina) passed into the hands of the Venezuelan national oil company. Alas, Citgo signs aren't a prominent feature of the landscape in northern California or west of the Rockies. I just drove across Texas and Citgo outlets are everywhere, as they are in Florida and the Carolinas. But even if you can't pump Citgo gas, guzzling keeps up overall oil demand, and hence oil prices, thus helping not only Venezuela but also Russia, which needs every rouble it can get.
Not so long ago, Venezuela's president, Hugo Chavez, said Venezuela could afford to slash Citgo's prices by cutting out the middle men. He outlined a plan is to set aside 10 per cent of the 800,000 barrels of oil produced by the Citgo refineries and ship that oil directly to schools, religious organizations and nonprofits in poor communities for distribution.
Chavez has yet to take up my suggestion that Citgo start offering its customers gift vouchers which could be redeemed in the form of free consulations over the internet with one of the 16,000 Cuban doctors in Venezuela. But surely it's only a matter of time. Already he's made a wildly popular foray into the Bronx and promised social action in the Chicago area as well as along the Gulf coast. Maybe Bush should throw in the towel and make Chavez the head of FEMA. After all, Chavez is a military man, and Bush wants the military to take a lead role in emergencies.
You might suppose that Citgo's competitors might strike back by raising signs, rather in the manner of some motel-owners here battling the Gujerati families now controlling 70 per cent of the business, urging motorist to patronize "American-owned" filling stations. But that would cut out Shell and BP, and the latter, like Chevron-Texaco and Mobil, is in partnership with Petroleos de Venezuela, the national Venezuelan oil company and would not want needlessly to offend the government.
Since the failure of the coup against Chavez it backed in 2002 the US government has subcontracted its public propaganda against Chavez to Pat Robertson, who given Rev Falwell's fade-out, has been trying to consolidate his position as America's leading ayatollah,. Robertson promptly overplayed his hand by calling for Chavez's assassination, and most recently accusing him of planning to build up a nuclear arsenal. Someone ought to tell Robertson that accusations pertaining to WMD haven't got a high retail value these days. He'd be better off saying Chavez had labs working on avian flu strains designed to target Protestants of Scotch origin.
Then Chavez wrong-footed Uncle Sam again by telling Ted Koppel that the Pentagon was working on a military coup, Operation Balboa, designed to overthrow his government. Having learned that pugnacious verbal exchanges only increase Chavez's popularity across Latin America, the US Ambassador in Caracas, issued a low key denial saying that yes, there was an Operation Balboa but it was four years old, Spanish in origin. The plan included Venezuela in "a simulated military exercise". This takes us back to the attempted coup of 2002, of which Chavez has accused former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar of playing a role. And what sane person does not believe the Pentagon and CIA are working diligently, in collaboration with Colombia, to oust Chavez?
So fill up at Citgo, at least until the price of oil drops and Chavez decides to sell the chain to the Chinese.
And what of "peak oil", the theory that oil is about to run out? Since we're all supposed to be dying of avian flu in the near future, who cares since there'll be no one around to work the pumps or even drive up to them? I don't believe in any effective role of man-made CO2 in global warming, a natural cyclical trend. I think the mad rush to throw money at the pharmaceutical companies for an avian flu vaccine is ridiculous. And increasingly, I don't believe we're about to run out of oil. I hang my hat on the views of Dr.Thomas Gold (founding director of Cornell University Center for Radiophysics) as outlined in his 1999 book, The Deep Hot Biosphere.
Gold's view, supported by many well qualified people, is that oil doesn't come from dead dinosaurs and kindred organic matter. Gold argues strongly that oil is a "renewable, primordial soup continually manufactured by the Earth under ultrahot conditions and tremendous pressures. As this substance migrates toward the surface, it is attached by bacteria, making it appear to have an organic origin dating back to the dinosaurs." Oil, Earth's renewable resource! Ethanol is an attractive alternative, as Brazil is proving. But ethanol will be a tough sell here, so for the time being I'll stay with the winning side.

Weekend Edition
November 20 / 21, 2004
Sapping the Empire
The Poisoned Chalice

.... The truly bad news is the 9/11 nuts have relocated to Stolen Election. My inbox is awash with their ravings. People who have spent the last three years sending me screeds establishing to their own satisfaction that George Bush personally ordered the attacks on the towers and that Dick Cheney vectored the planes in are now pummeling me with data on the time people spent on line waiting to vote in Cuyahoga county, Ohio, and how the Diebold machines are all jimmied. As usual, the conspiracy nuts think that plans of inconceivable complexity worked at 100 per cent efficiency, that Murphy's law was once again in suspense, and that 10,000 co-conspirators are all going to keep their mouths shut.

Do I think the election was stolen? No more than usual. The Democrats are getting worse at it and the Republicans better. Back in 1960 it was the other way round. The best documented stolen election in history is probably the one that put Lyndon Johnson in the US Senate. Next came the one that gave JFK the White House. So, for sure there's vote suppression in Ohio and Florida. I don't think it made the crucial difference.

"Stolen election" is one way to divert attention from the fact that the Democrats had a lousy candidate and gave up on most of the country, investing everything in two or three states. Small wonder they lost the popular vote, not to mention other minor details ,like the US senate.


Counterpunch attacks the Ohio election recount

While Counterpunch did post a couple articles about election tampering incidents, they also were the main "left" publication attacking the Ohio recount. The Republicans, if they were aware of this attack, could not have been more pleased:
December 9, 2004
Vote Fraud As Fundraiser
Cobb and the Ohio Recount

One need not be a fan of the Green Party's confused electoral strategy at the national level to be grateful that they had the courage to challenge the Ohio fraudulent election, a challenge that was manipulated and thwarted by the Ohio Secretary of State office yet did manage to disclose additional details of how the election was rigged. The best reporting on this scandal is from the Columbus, Ohio Free Press -- -- which did not waste their time moaning about the Nader / Cobb "debate," anyone-but-bush strategies, but rather did the serious investigative journalism to document what was done, in particular to disenfranchise large numbers of African American voters. In a sane world, the Free Press would have received journalistic awards for the excellent reporting on the tampered recount and the other frauds in the Ohio 2004 election.

Cockburn's claim that "both sides" were tampering with the election has a piece of truth in it, but it misses the key fact: there are NO reports anywhere in the country that anyone has publicized about touch screen voting machines that did not work properly when voters tried to select "Bush." ALL of the reported "errors" (not merely "most") were inflicted on people trying to vote for Kerry and the machines refused to record their selection. It's a slick propaganda tactic, since it plays into a lot of lefists who are skeptical (or scornful) of the Democratic Party, but it really runs interference for the Republicans because Team Bush stole the election (again).

And Cockburn's (accurate) complaints about the miserable nature of the Kerry campaign's efforts obscures Kerry's complicity with the vote fraud, since if Kerry had campaigned better, or the Democrats had a better candidate, the election outcome would have been so lopsided against Bush that tampering with the results by a few points in a few states would not have been enough to alter the outcome.


Counterpunch writer and supporter Michael Donnelly (December 16, 2004):

the [Ohio] recount is a massive waste of money and idealist energy. That money should be spent rebuilding the damage to the GP [Green Party]. Instead it's being used to keep the Cobb/Bobier gravy train running, with all sorts of cronies "rehired." What for? And Cui Bono? Cobb certainly isn't going to go from his pitiful 186 votes in Ohio to the presidency. Nor, is Kerry going to win. And even if he did, what does it say about the Democrats four years of whining that "Gore won the popular vote?" (A position I agree with.) Even if some 70,000 Ohio votes switched to Kerry , Bush would still have the popular vote by over 3 million! So, I repeat a colossal waste of time and money and cui bono?

on a more positive note:

I think that what you have done and are doing re: 911 will be critical in bringing them down. Keep it up. Other folks are working on the other crimes. It'll all have a synergistic effect that blows them out of the White House and back under their rocks, if not to The Hague.



Bush would still not have the popular vote if the frauds in all of the states were exposed. Some states were flipped by the outcome -- such as Ohio, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, Iowa and possibly Colorado. Other states used rigged machines to alter the point spread -- the best example of this is probably North Carolina. This was part of getting enough "votes" to get most people to stay quiet about the theft.

It is strange to see "leftists" assume that it would have been impossible to flip the popular vote by a couple of percent with unauditable voting machines made by extremely partisan Republicans. It is easier - and safer - to complain about (real) problems in the illusion called the Green Party than to complain about the crime syndicates that are called the Republican Party.

Democrats who were enthusiastic to vote for Kerry, those who held their nose before voting for him, Dean supporters, Kucinich supporters, Nader voters, those who voted for the Green Party candidate (David Cobb), Libertarians, independents, those who boycotted the election, and even honest Republicans need to find common ground against the much larger threats of fascism, and work for positive solutions to the crises of Peak Oil, climate change, overpopulation, and overcome the efforts to incite global war between the so-called West and the so-called Islamic World. There is no time to waste on arguments over whether the Green Party should have nominated Nader instead of Cobb (when both are fairly irrelevant for most people), or why the Democrats ran a typically inept campaign (something they are very good at doing)

Alexander Cockburn and the fantasy of the radical Left
By Douglas Valentine
Posted on July 27, 2012 by Douglas Valentine

"I want a hero: an uncommon want,
When every year and month sends forth a new one,
Till, after cloying the gazettes with cant,
The age discovers he is not the true one. . . ."

CounterPunch first published one of my articles in September 1998, when Ken Silverstein's name graced the masthead with Alexander Cockburn's.[1] Jeff St Clair was writing for the magazine, and serving as Cockburn's helper, but had yet to achieve equal billing as co-editor.

There were a few regular contributors, some of whom are still around. People like Vijay Prashad, Dave Marsh, and Patrick Cockburn. It was a small operation—a dozen articles a month on average—and Cockburn and St Clair co-authored many of them.

CP was making the transition from mainly print to mainly internet in those formative years. In later years a contributor might receive $50 for a piece in the bi-weekly newsletter that was sent to subscribers. But being published in CP twelve years ago was primarily, as it is now, a means for authors and activists to get some publicity. Whenever I published an article there, I sold a few books on Amazon.

There was a spirit of camaraderie, and Jeff St Clair and I formed a friendship. Through that relationship I also fell into Alexander Cockburn's good graces, to the extent that he ranked my book, The Phoenix Program, as one the top 100 books of 20th Century.[2]

The turning point for the magazine was 9–11. St Clair and I exchanged emails that fateful morning, speculating that the MOSSAD was behind the attacks. No one else was going to profit from the tragedy, we agreed.

Little did I know that 9–11 would also set CP on the road to success.

While the country and most of the media embraced the Patriot Act and Eternal War on Terror, Cockburn and St Clair courageously bucked the trend. And for that they deserve credit. Few other magazines were resisting the belligerent nationalism that had griped the country. And so, ironically, CP's readership began to expand in direct proportion to the American empire's excesses, as more and more people became aware of its horrors. St Clair emailed me regularly with reports of the increasing number of hits the website was getting. He was very proud.

Alas, this is a big part of the problem of the so-called American Left: the institutions and individuals that use that label to sell themselves to the public tend to develop a parasitical relationship with the National Security State. They vehemently and sincerely protest its outrages, while developing into profitable businesses that would wither and die without it. And that tension creates contradictions.

A different type of problem, also due its burgeoning popularity, arose at CounterPunch in the aftermath of 9–11. Although he was largely responsible for the magazine's success, St Clair complained that Cockburn treated him like a "slave," never said "thanks," and degraded him in a dozen different ways. He privately called his boss an "asshole."

The earnest Midwestern lad—part Tom Seaver, part Gary Snyder—had discovered that his imperious benefactor was abusive. Cockburn had given him his big break, yes: but fame came with a heavy price. On one occasion, St Clair was so traumatized by one of Cockburn's indignities that he punched the wall.

In subsequent years, as I began to deal with a broader spectrum of ostensibly "Leftist" writers and editors, I discovered that St Clair's experience as by no means unusual. And this is another one of the major problems of the so-called American Left: the inherent hypocrisy of its leaders. What Byron referred to as cant.

Which brings me to the grand puja of cant and rant, Alexander Cockburn.

Despite his pretensions to being egalitarian, and Irish, Cockburn was a typical English public schoolboy bully of the verbal variety. Having no physical courage to speak of, he concentrated on acquiring a large vocabulary at Oxford, where, unlike Shelly, who got himself expelled for refusing to acknowledge a supreme being, Cockburn towed the party line. He majored in the snide put down and embarked on a career of compulsively reinforcing his own delusions of grandeur by abusing his intellectual inferiors, which in his opinion included everyone.

Cockburn emigrated to America and took a job with the Wall Street Journal. What else should one have expected from a descendant of lord and lady colonialists, to the manner born? Snobbery infected his every fiber, and the WSJ suited his station in life.

Cockburn could be magnanimous and encouraging when it suited his purposes, but only if one deferred. His mean streak emerged the moment he felt his eminence was threatened. Such it is with the upper classes, with their inbred racism and sexism.

As for St Clair, when he realized he had to quit CounterPunch or submit, he chose ignoble notoriety over noble anonymity. He adopted Cockburn's code, heart and soul.

That cruel code, according to St Clair, was "Never apologize. Never explain."

The "never apologize, never explain" philosophy of life is a weapon that serves only those in power. It negates the need for self-awareness and critical analysis. As the epitome of Plato's lie of the soul, it erodes intellectual integrity. It is the fatal disease that has poisoned the leadership of the so-called America Left, and turned it into an army of egomaniacal opportunists.

As one of the leaders of the so-called American Left, Alexander Cockburn—like any other tyrant in control of the means of production—concealed any genuine radical message behind a smokescreen of overblown verbiage.

In his declining years he routinely belittled Fidel Castro—the man of vision and physical courage who organized and led a revolution, fought and killed counter-revolutionaries, and led the tiny nation of Cuba through 50 years of social evolution, all the time battling the United States. (Almost as repulsive is the behavior of CounterPunch contributors who, although aware of Cockburn's disrespect for Castro and other Latin American revolutionaries, continued to seek his approbation—because they needed the publicity.)

In return for publicly denouncing revolutionaries like Castro, often in thinly veiled racist terms, the Establishment media labeled Cockburn a radical Leftist leader. He accepted the title (in lieu of duke, earl, or marquis, one assumes) and during his reign, whenever necessary, helped his patrons neutralize any revolutionary impulses the so-called American Left endured.

Again, Cockburn was no different than the vast majority of the self-serving, self-anointed leaders of the so-called American Left. Almost invariably, with any success, they affect the mannerisms of the despots they profess to despise. Given the tiniest bit of influence, they instantly exploit it, with few exceptions. And their supplicants gratefully consume the crumbs they are thrown.

Cockburn, I repeat, was no exception. Reactionary beliefs dwelled at the core of his snotty, gin-soaked English soul. As a result, his love life suffered. His marriage ended after five short years, and his Establishment girlfriend left him for neoconservative hero George Will. That hurt, and eventually he hooked up with a Russian woman, as so many American men do, in the hopes that mindless obedience would follow. Alas, that experiment failed miserably—although, he told me, it was her fault. As he explained, "All Russian women are captious."

Cockburn was, of course, projecting. A close examination of his writings will reveal his deep-seated anti-feminism and a penchant for racial and class stereotyping. Elena Kagan must be gay, he said, due to the "heavyish set to (her) jaw and features."

He had a pathetic naiveté in practical matters. He once asked me how my wife and I had managed to stay together for 30 years. I said one had to have the capacity to love another more than one self. He didn't understand. His insufferable snobbery, peppered with an addiction to American consumerism, would not admit the possibility of a love greater than the love for himself.

Often cited as a gatekeeper, due to his association with CIA apologists, Cockburn in recent years started sinking to the same depths of depravity as other prominent members of the so-called American Left—his Establishment editor at The Nation, along with Amy Goodman at Hypocrisy Now! and David Corn at Mother Jones, to name three of the worst offenders.

He had a soft spot for CIAmour Hersh, and he and St Clair, who morphed into a mini-Cockburn, refused to allow me to publish an article in CP slamming him. During Israel's "Cast Iron" massacre of Palestinians, they rejected an article I proposed to write about the erosion of the American Left due to the support of so many Jewish intellectuals for Israel. St Clair said the subject was "too sensitive."

With that betrayal, I stopped writing for CounterPunch.

Cockburn's inherent reactionary streak emerged in full flower soon thereafter, when he took American citizenship and embraced his inner Libertarian. As he became more and more Americanized, he fell in love with his shotgun (to defend his property, not for armed rebellion), equated abortion with evil, and denied both the existence of global warming and the over-arching Establishment conspiracy of which he was a mainstay.

It makes no difference that he is dead. But it is time to acknowledge two things: 1) that the Left is inherently radical; and 2) that there is no true Left in America, due to its corrupt leadership.

Alexander Cockburn, for all the good he did, was the personification of all that is hypocritical about the leaders of America's imaginary Left: light on intellectual honesty, heavy on power games, censorship, and carefully crafted public personas—the package of neuroses that Byron articulated and slammed in language Cockburn could never quite copy, though he tried.




Douglas Valentine is the author of "The Phoenix Program" and his latest book is "The Strength of the Pack: The Personalities, Politics and Espionage Intrigues That Shaped The DEA." Please visit his website at