Remembering Mike Ruppert—and John Judge

By Wayne Madsen

(WMR)—Michael Ruppert and his book “Crossing the Rubicon” and his website “From the Wilderness” were among the few sources of independent thought in the months following the 9/11 attacks. I use “attacks” because this time period not only saw the aerial attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon but also the anthrax attacks on Congress, the U.S. Postal System, and the news media, as well as sniper shootings of people in the metropolitan Washington region. It was during these truly dark days in America and the nation’s capital that this editor wrote for Mike’s “FTW.” And it was “FTW” that, in part, inspired me to start “WMR.” Ruppert demonstrated the absolute need for independent media on the web.

Sadly, Ruppert committed suicide, reportedly using a gun, on the evening of April 13. He had just signed off on his radio show “The Lifeboat Hour.” Ruppert, the son of parents who worked for the CIA, was a Los Angeles Police Department detective who verbally jousted with CIA director John Deutch during a 1995 town hall meeting in south central Los Angeles. Deutch was in Los Angeles to deny that the CIA had imported cocaine into the neighborhood. Ruppert told Deutch that he personally witnessed CIA involvement in importing drugs into largely African-American neighborhoods in the city. The CIA-drug allegations had first been exposed by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb in his book, “Dark Alliance.” Webb allegedly shot himself to death in 2004.

In 2005, I joined Mike and former CIA officer Ray McGovern as a questioner on a 9/11 Investigatory panel in Congress that was organized by Representative Cynthia McKinney (D-GA). The panel’s coordinator, John Judge, introduced witnesses and various panels during the hearing, which was televised by C-SPAN. Recent times have not been kind to those involved with trying to get out the truth about 9/11 in 2005. Judge died at the Washington Center for Aging Services on the evening of April 15. He had a stroke a month ago and was hospitalized at George Washington University hospital before being moved to the aging services center. John will also be sorely missed as a tireless campaigner for the truth about events ranging from the JFK assassination and the Jonestown “mass suicide” to the RFK and MLK assassinations and 9/11.

I did not agree with Mike on everything. Early on, I was a skeptic about “peak oil.” That was until I covered the Deepwater Horizon disaster on the Gulf coast. I also disagreed with Mike on the circumstances surrounding Gary Webb’s death. I had been in email contact with Webb shortly before his death and we were investigating the same company albeit for different reasons. I did not detect any deep depression with Webb. Mike concluded that Webb had, in fact, shot himself (twice at it turned out). I believed and still believe that Webb was murdered. Our late colleague John Judge also believed that Webb was murdered.

Some in the media are now gladly “grave dancing” on the news of Ruppert’s suicide. Chief among them is Raw Story, whose editor, Tony Ortega, recently launched a broadside against this editor over reporting on growing Scientologist influence in the governments of Ukraine and Slovakia; reports that were confirmed by independent media sources in eastern Europe. Not only did Raw Story reporter Travis Gettys identify Ruppert as a “9/11 truther” and “conspiracy theorist” but also recycled a 2002 quote from columnist David Corn that condemned Ruppert. Corn wrote about Ruppert’s questioning the official line about 9/11: “Conspiracy theories may seem more nuisance than problem . . . But they do compete with reality for attention. There is plenty to be outraged over without becoming obsessed with X Files-like nonsense.”

Constant attacks from the likes of Raw Story, The Daily Beast, Corn and his employers Mother Jones and MSNBC, and people like Cass Sunstein (who favors taxing “conspiracy theorists” or silencing them through censorship) can eat away at anyone who is trying to expose the truth.

The last time I saw Mike was at the 2011 conference in New York commemorating the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. I was aware that Mike had suffered from a series of financial and personal problems and noticed that he had undergone a change in lifestyle and his overall demeanor was somehow different.

Regardless, Mike stepped up the plate in the aftermath of 9/11 and used the rights of a free press and free speech to cut through the jingoism, militarism, and xenophobia that pervaded post-9/11 America.

Raw Story and its ilk are now carrying out the orders issued by Sunstein and being implemented around the world by his wretched warmongering wife, Samantha Power, in her post as American ambassador to the UN. Those orders are to attack anyone and anything contradicting the propaganda from the U.S. government as “conspiracy theorists” and “unsubstantiated conspiracy propaganda.”

Whatever personal demons plagued Mike and convinced him to take his own life, he will always be remembered as a tireless crusader for the truth and I will truly miss him as a friend, colleague, and fellow journalist.

As for those who are dancing on Mike’s grave (and will inevitably do so also with John) and are tossing around the “truther” and “conspiracy theorist” pejoratives, they can go to hell—the hell where they and their like-minded swamp rats truly belong.

As for those, who through grief or other reasons, are speculating that Ruppert and Judge fell victim to some sinister plot, they need to pull themselves together. Sometimes people do commit suicide and others die from natural causes.

Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.

Copyright © 2014 WayneMadenReport.com

Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).
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