THE HUNTER OF INVISIBLE PREY
An Obituary for Michael C. Ruppert (1951-2014)
By Sander Hicks
Mike Ruppert was a friend of mine.
He was an American prophet, a social critic, and a truther. He had his enemies and he had his demons. He confronted the enemies. Not sure he confronted the demons.
But we can’t judge that now.
His death this past weekend is a huge loss for the people. When I say “the people” I mean anyone who cares about a political system out of control, blind to its own corruption, deluded by its sugar-free media.
Ruppert was a trained investigator who sought to expose the shadow elements of the US government involved in drug trafficking and fake terrorism. He had the financial perception to alert the American people to the imminent economic crash, two years before the meltdown of 2008. Mike Ruppert was one of the first to point out the gross anomalies and obtuse leaps of logic in the Bush/Cheney explanations for the 9/11 attacks. In an authoritative book, Ruppert even accused Vice President Dick Cheney as the chief executor of the 9/11 attacks.
We met in 1999 in New York City. Ruppert came into my life like a sentinel from a different reality. I had just gone through a kind of gateway, and he was like Morpheus in the Matrix, welcoming me in. My red pill had been the disruptive re-print of a certain controversial biography of then Governor George W. Bush. As an immediate result, an entire class of underground whistle-blowers popped up to welcome me into their world. Welcome to Zion. You are in. They introduced me to sets of facts and data that were verboten in the blue pill media. Ruppert was at the center of that gang.
He explained that he had been an LAPD cop and narcotics detective. His Mom had been a Defense Intelligence Agency heavyweight in Moscow, so CIA recruited him while he was at LAPD. He declined the offer. Why? He saw shit. He began feeding the LA Times info on CIA heroin trafficking as far back as 1979. LA Times sat on the story.
The drug war was phony. Which meant that both the local criminal justice system and the national intelligence/military apparatus had zero credibility. Wall Street, the White House, and everyone on down needed the drug war like a junkie wants heroin. The system was using. The system was an addict.
“The entire economy, and the entire political system itself, is currently hooked and dependent upon drug money” wrote Mike in 1999, on his main site, FromTheWilderness.com
In the mid 90’s, when Ruppert’s friend Gary Webb broke a huge story in the San José Mercury News, it documented how the CIA and the Nicauraguan Contra network facilitated the crack cocaine epidemic in the 80’s. The CIA sent DCIA John Deutch to spin the story in a public auditorium. Ruppert confronted Deutch and named three specific operations that showed the US agencies were up to their elbows in black market cocaine and heroin. Deutch sputtered, told people to phone the LAPD, and was laughed out of the room. He was swiftly replaced at CIA.
According to Ruppert, in October, 1999, investigators from the House Intelligence Committee came to Los Angeles, and made copies 6,000 pages of his records.
That same year, Ruppert asked me for a $10,000 advance to do a book on the US and drugs. I didn’t have the money, and it’s just as well. Two years later 9/11 happened, and Ruppert had a lot more to say.
It turns out the same parties who pulled off the cocaine sales funding the Contras were at it again. (Those parties being namely, the Bush Family, the GOP, the Democrats, the CIA and other shadowy quasi-government black factions too numerous to list here.)
The book Ruppert eventually brought out in 2004, Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil (New Society Publishers).
A reviewer on Amazon called it “The single most important book written in the last fifty years…. The Patriot Act, Homeland Security and the lies about WMDs in Iraq have created a growing sense of unease in the collective unconscious. As a result, a growing number of intellectuals and every day citizens are beginning to see the Truth and more and more people are beginning to wake up every day. Crossing the Rubicon is at the forefront of this new awareness.”
At the end of 2004, however, tragedy struck. Ruppert’s friend Gary Webb, who had followed in Ruppert’s footsteps by taking on CIA drug trafficking, was found dead of a gunshot wound to the head.
Reading Ruppert’s heartfelt obituary for Webb today, I am struck:
“I would never have confronted John Deutch at Locke High had it not been for Gary Webb. I myself might have committed suicide in 1996 - broke, divorced and having given up all hope of making people listen -- had it not been for Gary Webb. For some years now it has been the farthest thing from my mind.”
Ten years later, suicide wasn’t far away any more. Ruppert’s struggles with depression, alcohol, and isolation became insurmountable. He moved to Colorado. He did one final radio show last Saturday and then that was it. We are all so fragile.
“Wherever men and women of honor gather together from now on, your name will be spoken with reverence, respect and gratitude.” Ruppert wrote that for Webb ten years ago. The same goes for him.
I prayed hard today to understand why this happened now. What does God want us to know about why this happened? What can we learn. How can this man’s death and life give our lives a brighter, sharper focus?
I remember how Ruppert came back into my life a couple times. The time he was travelling through New York and needed a place to crash. I gave him the damp basement offices of Soft Skull Press, down in the bowels of 100 Suffolk Street, and he was happy to sleep there, on the floor. He was a soldier on a mission. Later, he kidded me about having the worst apartment in New York City.
A few years later, around 2003, Ruppert was drinking beer in a corporate pizza joint in downtown Brooklyn. It was all wrong. Our choice of restaurant, the food, the beer. Ruppert had enjoyed speaking events of 1000 paid attendees, he had bragged from the stage that he had been sober for X number of years. So why drink beer now? He had some murky excuse the exact wording of which is irrelevant.
I look at Ruppert’s life, his hard struggle, his victories and his short-comings. I wish we were closer in his final couple of years. I loved him. I say the following with love. I say the following because I don’t want to know any more great truth loving writers to die this way. If you have a drinking problem, hit a meeting. Reach out. It worked for me, to stop flailing about, running from city to country to city, always moving, thinking a big move is going to change things. Get centered. Pray and meditate. Be still.
Something snapped in Ruppert sometime later in that decade, after the book. He moved to Venezuela, in rushed effort to seek political asylum from the Chavez government. Ruppert probably wasn’t anti-imperialist enough for their tastes, at least not in a leftist way. Oh, and the CIA/DIA family background probably didn’t help.
I wept. I felt rage today. I was mad at you, Mike, going out this way. It was too similar to Gary Webb, to Jim Hatfield the Bush biographer. I don’t want this pattern. Tell me it’s not the fate for writers of deep truth, to die, alone, shooting their brains out, because they went deep and hard after the invisible forces, the slithering stag. The hunter became hunted by the dragon.
No. Mike will be remembered for his discipline, his writing, his development of a critical paradigm. Our society is stronger for the deep analysis. In the same way that Ruppert investigated Gary Webb’s death, it’s up to us now to do the scientific and careful analysis of the crime scene. To pick up where he left off, and wake up to a new view of the matrix.