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FTR #710 Update on 9/11 and Related Matters

[1]Lis­ten:
MP3 Side 1 [2] | Side 2 [3]

Intro­duc­tion: Much of the pro­gram high­lights a fright­en­ing arti­cle [4] about appar­ent U.S. sup­port for a Geor­gia-based jiha­di con­fer­ence. Rich with fos­sil fuels, the Cau­ca­sus region has long been the focal point of hos­tile activ­i­ty by for­eign inter­ests look­ing to secure those resources for them­selves, wrest­ing the area away from Rus­sia and/or the for­mer Sovi­et Union. In FTR #646 [5], we looked at the Bush admin­is­tra­tion’s close nation­al secu­ri­ty con­nec­tions to the Geor­gian repub­lic, result­ing in a secu­ri­ty agree­ment with that state, con­clud­ed on the eve [6] of Oba­ma’s inau­gu­ra­tion.

One can but won­der if petro­le­um con­stituen­cies in the West are look­ing to use Mus­lim Broth­er­hood-con­nect­ed ele­ments [7] to foment the inde­pen­dence of those regions. The areas are also piv­otal in the tran­sit of hero­in, in addi­tion to logis­ti­cal sup­port for the war in Afghanistan.

In the wake of the dead­ly Moscow sub­way bomb­ings of ear­ly 2010–executed by Cau­casian jihadists–bur­geon­ing Russ­ian fas­cism [8] may well increase, fueled by reac­tion to these events.

After set­ting forth a U.S. mil­i­tary study [9] lend­ing sup­port to the “Peak Oil” hypoth­e­sis, the pro­gram notes that some pri­vate jets are exempt from FAA sur­veil­lance regulations–a sit­u­a­tion that could work to the advan­tage of ter­ror­ist ele­ments using such air­craft.

Fore­shad­ow­ing a sce­nario viewed as ter­ri­fy­ing­ly like­ly by counter-ter­ror experts, the pro­gram notes that hack­ers appar­ent­ly entered the U.S. elec­tric grid. Ter­ror experts have long feared a cat­a­stroph­ic cyber-ter­ror attack.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: Review of Daniel Hop­sick­er’s research con­cern­ing mav­er­ick, intel­li­gence-con­nect­ed drug-smug­gling air­lines; the pos­si­bil­i­ty that the U. S.-supported jiha­di activism in the Cau­ca­sus might result in retal­i­a­tion against the U.S.; the Thyssen indus­tri­al links to the Peak Oil hypoth­e­sis; the Peak Oil milieu’s advo­ca­cy of Nazi-style geno­cide.

1. Much of the pro­gram high­lights a fright­en­ing arti­cle about appar­ent U.S. sup­port for a Geor­gia-based jiha­di con­fer­ence. Rich with fos­sil fuels, the Cau­ca­sus region has long been the focal point of hos­tile activ­i­ty by for­eign inter­ests look­ing to secure those resources for them­selves, wrest­ing the area away from Rus­sia and/or the for­mer Sovi­et Union. In FTR #646 [5], we looked at the Bush admin­is­tra­tion’s close nation­al secu­ri­ty con­nec­tions to the Geor­gian repub­lic, result­ing in a secu­ri­ty agree­ment with that state, con­clud­ed on the eve [6] of Oba­ma’s inau­gu­ra­tion.

One can but won­der if petro­le­um con­stituen­cies in the West are look­ing to use Mus­lim Broth­er­hood-con­nect­ed ele­ments [7] to foment the inde­pen­dence of those regions. The areas are also piv­otal in the tran­sit of hero­in, in addi­tion to logis­ti­cal sup­port for the war in Afghanistan.

In turn, it can be safe­ly sur­mised that Rus­sia will not give these areas up. In past dis­cus­sions with Daniel Hop­sick­er, we have not­ed the pres­ence of Russ­ian orga­nized crime fig­ures [10] in the Huff­man Avi­a­tion milieu through which Mohammed Atta and oth­er 9/11 hijack­ers infil­trat­ed. The pos­si­bil­i­ty that Rus­sia might retal­i­ate by uti­liz­ing some of these crim­i­nal ele­ments is also one to be seri­ous­ly con­sid­ered.

An analy­sis pub­lished Mon­day by Defense & For­eign Affairs offers some cor­rob­o­ra­tion for the Geor­gia-host­ed, U.S.-approved jiha­di con­fab in Decem­ber, the men­tion of which seemed to upset some read­ers.

Here are the rel­e­vant excerpts from the 16-page analy­sis, which is sub­scrip­tion-only and there­fore not link­able:

Mean­while, Geor­gia is active­ly seek­ing to exploit the spread of jamaats [jihadist mini-soci­eties] in the North Cau­ca­sus in order to go after the Russ­ian pipelines in hope of ensnar­ing the US into active­ly sup­port­ing a new con­fronta­tion with Rus­sia. In ear­ly Decem­ber 2009, Tbil­isi orga­nized a high-lev­el meet­ing of jihadists groups from the Mid­dle East and West­ern Europe in order “to coor­di­nate activ­i­ties on Rus­si­a’s south­ern flank.” The Geor­gian Embassy in Kuwait, for exam­ple, arranged for trav­el doc­u­ments for jihadists from Jor­dan, Sau­di Ara­bia and the Gulf States. (There is a large and very active Chechen/Circassian com­mu­ni­ty in Jor­dan since the 19th Cen­tu­ry that is heav­i­ly rep­re­sent­ed in the intel­li­gence ser­vices and the mil­i­tary.) In Tbil­isi, Deputy Min­is­ter of Inter­nal Affairs Lord­kipanadze was the host and coor­di­na­tor. The meet­ing was attend­ed by sev­er­al Geor­gian senior offi­cials who stressed that Saakashvili him­self knew and approved of the under­tak­ing. The meet­ing addressed the launch of both “mil­i­tary oper­a­tions” in south­ern Rus­sia and ide­o­log­i­cal war­fare. One of the first results of the meet­ing was the launch, soon after­wards of the Russ­ian-lan­guage TV sta­tion First Cau­casian.

The jihadists of the North Cau­ca­sus — includ­ing the Arab com­man­ders in their midst — came out of the ear­ly Decem­ber 2009 meet­ing con­vinced that Tbil­isi is most inter­est­ed in the spread of ter­ror­ism. The meet­ing was attend­ed by, among oth­ers, Mohmad Muham­mad Shabaan, an Egypt­ian senior com­man­der who is also known as Seif al-Islam and who has been involved in Cau­ca­sus affairs since 1992. He took copi­ous notes. Accord­ing to Shabaan’s notes, the Geor­gian gov­ern­ment wants the jihadists to con­duct “acts of sab­o­tage to blow up rail­way tracks, elec­tric­i­ty lines and ener­gy pipelines” in south­ern Rus­sia in order to divert con­struc­tion back to Geor­gian ter­ri­to­ry.

Geor­gian intel­li­gence promised to facil­i­tate the arrival in the Cau­ca­sus of numer­ous senior jihadists by pro­vid­ing Geor­gian pass­ports, and to pro­vide logis­ti­cal sup­port includ­ing the reopen­ing of bases in north­ern Geor­gia. Russ­ian intel­li­gence was not obliv­i­ous of the meet­ing. Seif al-Islam and two senior aides were assas­si­nat­ed on Feb­ru­ary 4, 2010. The Rus­sians retrieved a lot of doc­u­ments in the process. Moscow sig­naled its dis­plea­sure short­ly after­wards when the pres­i­dents of Rus­sia and Abk­hazia signed a 50-year agree­ment on a Russ­ian mil­i­tary base in order to “pro­tect Abk­hazi­a’s sov­er­eign­ty and secu­ri­ty, includ­ing against inter­na­tion­al ter­ror­ist groups”.

A major issue still to be resolved is the extent of the US cul­pa­bil­i­ty.

The same analy­sis recalls when this mis­guid­ed approach was used in the Balka­ns, and out­lines how, in order to not alien­ate Mus­lims while we tried to con­tain ter­ror from the Mid­dle East, we for­ti­fied ter­ror in the Balka­ns and jump-start­ed the glob­al jihad:

Ini­tial­ly, the US-led West­ern inter­ven­tion in the for­mer Yugoslavia was aimed first and fore­most to sal­vage NATO (and with it US dom­i­nance over post-Cold War West­ern Europe) from irrel­e­vance and col­lapse. As well, the sup­port for the Mus­lims of Bosnia became the counter-bal­ance of the US con­fronta­tion with jihadism in the Mid­dle East. Antho­ny Lake, US Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton’s Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Advis­er, for­mu­lat­ed the log­ic for the US-led inter­ven­tion on behalf of the Mus­lims. The US nation­al inter­est “requires our work­ing to con­tain Mus­lim extrem­ism, and we have to find a way of being firm in our oppo­si­tion to Mus­lim extrem­ism while mak­ing it clear we’re not opposed to Islam. If we are seen as anti-Mus­lim, it’s hard­er for us to con­tain Mus­lim extrem­ism. And if we stand by while Mus­lims are killed and raped in Bosnia, it makes it hard­er to con­tin­ue our pol­i­cy,” Lake argued. That in the process the US would end up part­ner­ing with, sup­port­ing and arm­ing, the very same jihadist forces Clin­ton was seek­ing to con­tain meant noth­ing to Wash­ing­ton. The only thing Wash­ing­ton cared about was the image of a US ral­ly­ing to the res­cue of a Mus­lim cause.
Note that in the 90s the U.S., like Britain, per­mit­ted and facil­i­tat­ed ter­ror­ist net­works to oper­ate in Bosnia and Koso­vo for the pur­pose of Serb-killing, and along with Ger­many we trained Alban­ian and Mid­dle East­ern ter­ror­ists in Alba­nia. Sure enough, the same decade saw U.S. offi­cials par­tic­i­pat­ing in a Decem­ber 1999 meet­ing in Azer­bai­jan very sim­i­lar to the Decem­ber 2009 meet­ing in Tbil­isi, where “pro­grams for the train­ing and equip­ping of muja­hedin from the Cau­ca­sus, Cen­tral and South Asia, and the Arab world were dis­cussed and agreed upon.” The men­tion of this meet­ing comes in as the analy­sis gives back­ground on how we decid­ed to sup­port ter­ror­ism against Rus­sia:

By 1999, the US had giv­en up on rec­on­cil­ing Azer­bai­jan and Arme­nia in order to con­struct pipelines to Turkey, and instead Wash­ing­ton start­ed focus­ing on build­ing pipelines via Geor­gia.
For such a project to be eco­nom­i­cal­ly viable, the Russ­ian pipelines would have to be shut down. Hence, in ear­ly Octo­ber 1999, senior offi­cials of US oil com­pa­nies and US offi­cials offered rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Russ­ian “oli­garchs” in Europe huge div­i­dends from the pro­posed Baku-Cey­han pipeline if the “oli­garchs” con­vinced Moscow to with­draw from the Cau­ca­sus, per­mit the estab­lish­ment of an Islam­ic state, and close down the Baku-Novorossiysk oil pipeline. Con­se­quent­ly, there would be no com­pe­ti­tion to the Baku-Cey­han pipeline. The “oli­garchs” were con­vinced that the high­est lev­els of the Clin­ton White House endorsed this ini­tia­tive. The meet­ing failed because the Rus­sians would hear noth­ing of the US pro­pos­al.

Con­se­quent­ly, the US deter­mined to deprive Rus­sia of an alter­nate pipeline route by sup­port­ing a spi­ral­ing vio­lence and ter­ror­ism in Chechnya....The Clin­ton White House sought to active­ly involve the US in yet anoth­er anti-Russ­ian jihad as if reliv­ing the “good ol’ days” of Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herze­gov­ina and Koso­vo, seek­ing to sup­port and empow­er the most vir­u­lent anti-West­ern Islamist forces in yet anoth­er strate­gic region.

In mid-Decem­ber 1999, US offi­cials par­tic­i­pat­ed in a for­mal meet­ing in Azer­bai­jan in which spe­cif­ic pro­grams for the train­ing and equip­ping of muja­hedin from the Cau­ca­sus, Cen­tral and South Asia, and the Arab world were dis­cussed and agreed upon. This meet­ing led to Wash­ing­ton’s tac­it encour­age­ment of both Mus­lim allies (main­ly the intel­li­gence ser­vices of Turkey, Jor­dan, and Sau­di Ara­bia) and US “pri­vate secu­ri­ty com­pa­nies” (of the type that did Wash­ing­ton’s dirty job in the Balka­ns while skirt­ing and vio­lat­ing the inter­na­tion­al embar­go the US for­mal­ly sup­port­ed) to assist the Chechens and their Islamist allies to surge in spring 2000. Cit­ing secu­ri­ty con­cerns vis-à-vis Arme­nia and Rus­sia, Azer­bai­jan adamant­ly refused to per­mit train­ing camps on its soil.

Now, just to keep our — includ­ing my — heads straight, let’s remind our­selves that this exer­cise that Robert Spencer was good enough to let me engage in on these pages was not a defense of Rus­sia; it was not meant to start an argu­ment about how bad or how not-that-bad Rus­sia is. The point is that for­eign rela­tions in a mad world require find­ing enough com­mon ground with not-so-great states so that we can work togeth­er where we can work togeth­er. It’s to min­i­mize the messi­ness of things. Why, when we had Rus­sia in its his­tor­i­cal­ly most maleable form, did we insist on pro­vok­ing and pro­vok­ing and pro­vok­ing? Why did we make a bad sit­u­a­tion like Rus­sia worse when we had an oppor­tu­ni­ty to make it bet­ter? As with all prob­lem­at­ic coun­tries that we nonethe­less find areas of coop­er­a­tion with, we nar­rowed even those areas by deal­ing with the Rus­sians in the bad faith that had been their trade­mark. Simul­ta­ne­ous­ly, we moved away from pick­ing the less­er evil in a giv­en con­flict, and start­ed sid­ing with the greater.

It’s a sur­re­al sit­u­a­tion indeed when the actions of my sav­ior coun­try put me in the posi­tion of hav­ing to “defend” Rus­sia, whose peo­ple my par­ents thank their lucky stars to not have to live among any­more. I myself am a self-pro­claimed Rus­so­phobe; I just had no idea how much more patho­log­i­cal Amer­i­ca’s Rus­so­pho­bia is. So for some­one who is loath to vis­it even Brighton Beach, I find myself in a sur­pris­ing posi­tion here, point­ing out where we went wrong and shoved Rus­sia back into old behav­iors.

Infu­ri­at­ing­ly pre­dictably, one of the com­ment posters sug­gest­ed that the line I’m tak­ing here is one that’s paid for by Rus­sia. The same “tip” was offered to Robert by a fel­low blog­ger — in that tone of pro­vid­ing “some friend­ly, pro­fes­sion­al, and cau­tion­ary advice.” The likes of which I’m all too famil­iar with by now. (One Wall St. Jour­nal fix­ture advised me, “Your views on this [the Balka­ns] are deeply misjudged...You’re not doing your career any favors.” Thanks. Good thing I don’t have a career, then.) It cer­tain­ly would be nice if any­one paid me for any­thing I do, but it was­n’t to be in this life­time.

Regard­less, it should­n’t seem strange for some­one to be point­ing out that our for­eign pol­i­cy is being guid­ed by peo­ple with a stronger anti-Russ­ian agen­da than anti-jihad agen­da. And notice where this kind of think­ing has got­ten us. Take the past two decades of West­ern pol­i­cy and media cov­er­age in the Balka­ns, which were based on infor­ma­tion that made its way into reporters’ note­books direct­ly from the Min­istry of Infor­ma­tion of the Bosn­ian Gov­ern­ment run by the fun­da­men­tal­ist Mus­lim wartime pres­i­dent Ali­ja Izetbe­gov­ic. The tem­plate was used again when politi­cians, reporters, NGOs and human rights orga­ni­za­tions duti­ful­ly repeat­ed what was com­ing out of the KLA-run news­pa­pers and oth­er pro­pa­gan­da organs of the Koso­vo sep­a­ratists. And so in ser­vice to con­sis­ten­cy, hav­ing got­ten into this hole, we’ve kept dig­ging. With our Yugoslavia inter­ven­tion, as the Defense & For­eign Affairs analy­sis points out, we’ve end­ed up “demo­niz­ing the Serbs and the world of East­ern Chris­tian­i­ty as a whole.” Such that we’ve arrived at a place where the word “Byzan­tine” is now used to mean prim­i­tive or unciv­i­lized. While the Mus­lim world and Islam­ic her­itage rep­re­sent the height of cul­ture, tra­di­tion, her­itage and civ­i­liza­tion.

One inter­est­ing thing about the reac­tions to call­ing the U.S. on its aggres­sive alien­ation of Rus­sia via, for exam­ple, the use of jihadists is the sense of out­rage and shock at the sug­ges­tion that Amer­i­ca would sup­port these vio­lent groups, fol­lowed imme­di­ate­ly by a defense or jus­ti­fi­ca­tion of such tac­tics (e.g. “we *should* help the Chechens against the Rus­sians”). Mean­while, these oh-so-incen­di­ary alle­ga­tions hap­pen to coin­cide with overt­ly stat­ed inten­tions and poli­cies. (See the late Sen­a­tor Tom Lan­tos and his ilk applaud­ing the cre­ation of a U.S.-made Mus­lim state in Europe, which the jihadists should “take note of,” Lan­tos hoped.)

“Gorin: More Details on the Geor­gia-Host­ed Jiha­di Con­fer­ence Emerge” by Julia Gorin; Jihad Watch; 4/12/2010. [4]

2. Events like the Moscow sub­way bomb­ings in ear­ly 2010 will almost cer­tain­ly fuel Russ­ian reac­tion, which has spawned a vir­u­lent fas­cist milieu. Ele­ments of that milieu have been fin­gered as the prob­a­ble authors of the assas­si­na­tion of a Russ­ian judge.

With U.S.-supported jihadist ele­ments author­ing events of this type, rela­tions with Moscow can only dete­ri­o­rate. Will the reac­tion stem­ming from such events ulti­mate­ly lead to a dawn­ing of fas­cism in Rus­sia, to the ben­e­fit of the Bor­mann cap­i­tal net­work [11] and delight of the Under­ground Reich [12]?

A lead­ing Russ­ian judge who received death threats after hand­ing out long prison sen­tences to nation­al­ist and neo-Nazi groups was shot dead yes­ter­day in Moscow.

Eduard Chu­vashov was shot three times in the stair­well out­side his sec­ond-floor apart­ment, just before 9am as he was leav­ing for work. Sources in Russ­ian law-enforce­ment said that nation­al­ist groups could have been behind the attack. Mr Chu­vashov, 47, had han­dled sev­er­al high-pro­file cas­es involv­ing racist killings, and death threats were post­ed along with his pho­to­graph on extrem­ist online forums.

In Feb­ru­ary, Mr Chu­vashov presided over the tri­al of 12 mem­bers of an ultra-nation­al­ist group called the “White Wolves” who were accused of a series of grue­some mur­ders of migrant work­ers, most­ly from Cen­tral Asia.

The vic­tims had been blud­geoned to death or stabbed many times. The killings were record­ed on mobile phones and post­ed online.

Mr Chu­vashov found all of the gang mem­bers guilty and sen­tenced them to up to 23 years in prison. Last week, he jailed anoth­er three mem­bers of a skin­head group for racist mur­ders.

“Revenge by nation­al­ist groups is cer­tain­ly one of the most like­ly rea­sons for his killing,” said Alexan­der Brod, direc­tor of the Moscow Bureau for Human Rights and a lead­ing anti-racism cam­paign­er. “In the past cou­ple of years, judges and pros­e­cu­tors have begun to crack down on nation­al­ist crimes and take them seri­ous­ly. It is pos­si­ble that one of these groups hired a killer to scare oth­ers lawyers and judges who work on sim­i­lar cas­es.”

Russ­ian news agen­cies report­ed that Mr Chu­vashov had been offered pro­tec­tion by Russ­ian secu­ri­ty ser­vices after receiv­ing death threats, but he declined the offer of a body­guard.

Mr Brod said that two judges work­ing on cas­es involv­ing nation­al­ists were attacked in Rus­sia in 2004. One was shot dead, and anoth­er sur­vived after a car bomb was placed under her car.

The mur­der also recalls last Jan­u­ary’s slay­ing of Stanislav Markelov, a lawyer who had worked on cas­es involv­ing neo-Nazis and was shot dead in day­light on a cen­tral Moscow street. Two mem­bers of an ultra-nation­al­ist group have been charged with the mur­der. . . .

“Judge Who Tar­get­ed Rus­si­a’s neo-Nazis is Found Shot Dead” by Shaun Walk­er; The Inde­pen­dent [UK]; 4/13/2010. [8]

3. The U.S. mil­i­tary is giv­ing cre­dence to the peak oil hypoth­e­sis. Will this be used to jus­ti­fy a more aggres­sive mil­i­tary and diplo­mat­ic pos­ture vis a vis Rus­sia? (Note the infor­ma­tion in the first item in this broad­cast. Is the appar­ent U.S. sup­port for Cau­casian jihadist ele­ments con­nect­ed to a desire to gain con­trol of the fos­sil fuel resources in the region?)

As dis­cussed in FTR #506 [13], “Peak Oil” is used by the Under­ground Reich and the petro­le­um indus­try in order to jus­ti­fy: high­er prices, greater prof­its, a more aggres­sive nation­al secu­ri­ty pos­ture vis a vis secur­ing petroeum, resuci­ta­tion of the Fischer/Tropsch process, and reduced envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tions.

In FTR #478 [14], we not­ed that Matthew Simmons–a Bush admin­is­tra­tion analyst–is one of the main advo­cates of the “Peak Oil” the­o­ry.

In addi­tion, we exam­ined the use of the “Peak Oil” hypoth­e­sis to jus­ti­fy Nazi-style eugen­ics and geno­cide in FTR #534 [15].

The US mil­i­tary has warned that sur­plus oil pro­duc­tion capac­i­ty could dis­ap­pear with­in two years and there could be seri­ous short­ages by 2015 with a sig­nif­i­cant eco­nom­ic and polit­i­cal impact.

The ener­gy cri­sis out­lined in a Joint Oper­at­ing Envi­ron­ment report from the US Joint Forces Com­mand, comes as the price of petrol in Britain reach­es record lev­els and the cost of crude is pre­dict­ed to soon top $100 a bar­rel.

“By 2012, sur­plus oil pro­duc­tion capac­i­ty could entire­ly dis­ap­pear, and as ear­ly as 2015, the short­fall in out­put could reach near­ly 10 mil­lion bar­rels per day,” says the report, which has a fore­word by a senior com­man­der, Gen­er­al James N Mat­tis.

It adds: “While it is dif­fi­cult to pre­dict pre­cise­ly what eco­nom­ic, polit­i­cal, and strate­gic effects such a short­fall might pro­duce, it sure­ly would reduce the prospects for growth in both the devel­op­ing and devel­oped worlds. Such an eco­nom­ic slow­down would exac­er­bate oth­er unre­solved ten­sions, push frag­ile and fail­ing states fur­ther down the path toward col­lapse, and per­haps have seri­ous eco­nom­ic impact on both Chi­na and India.”

The US mil­i­tary says its views can­not be tak­en as US gov­ern­ment pol­i­cy but admits they are meant to pro­vide the Joint Forces with “an intel­lec­tu­al foun­da­tion upon which we will con­struct the con­cept to guide out future force devel­op­ments.”

The warn­ing is the lat­est in a series from around the world that has turned peak oil – the moment when demand exceeds sup­ply – from a dis­tant threat to a more imme­di­ate risk.

The Wicks Review on UK ener­gy pol­i­cy pub­lished last sum­mer effec­tive­ly dis­missed fears but Lord Hunt, the British ener­gy min­is­ter, met con­cerned indus­tri­al­ists two weeks ago in a sign that it is rapid­ly chang­ing its mind on the seri­ous­ness of the issue.

The Paris-based Inter­na­tion­al Ener­gy Agency remains con­fi­dent that there is no short-term risk of oil short­ages but pri­vate­ly some senior offi­cials have admit­ted there is con­sid­er­able dis­agree­ment inter­nal­ly about this upbeat stance.

Future fuel sup­plies are of acute impor­tance to the US army because it is believed to be the biggest sin­gle user of petrol in the world. BP chief exec­u­tive, Tony Hay­ward, said recent­ly that there was lit­tle chance of crude from the car­bon-heavy Cana­di­an tar sands being banned in Amer­i­ca because the US mil­i­tary like to have local sup­plies rather than rely on the polit­i­cal­ly unsta­ble Mid­dle East.

But there are signs that the US Depart­ment of Ener­gy might also be chang­ing its stance on peak oil. In a recent inter­view with French news­pa­per, Le Monde, Glen Sweet­nam, main oil advis­er to the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion, admit­ted that “a chance exists that we may expe­ri­ence a decline” of world liq­uid fuels pro­duc­tion between 2011 and 2015 if the invest­ment was not forth­com­ing.

Lionel Badal, a post-grad­u­ate stu­dent at Kings Col­lege, Lon­don, who has been research­ing peak oil the­o­ries, said the review by the Amer­i­can mil­i­tary moves the debate on.

“It’s sur­pris­ing to see that the US Army, unlike the US Depart­ment of Ener­gy, pub­licly warns of major oil short­ages in the near-term. Now it could be inter­est­ing to know on which study the infor­ma­tion is based on,” he said.

“The Ener­gy Infor­ma­tion Admin­is­tra­tion (of the depart­ment of ener­gy) has been say­ing for years that Peak Oil was “decades away”. In light of the report from the US Joint Forces Com­mand, is the EIA still con­fi­dent of its pre­vi­ous high­ly opti­mistic con­clu­sions?”

The Joint Oper­at­ing Envi­ron­ment report paints a bleak pic­ture of what can hap­pen on occa­sions when there is seri­ous eco­nom­ic upheaval. “One should not for­get that the Great Depres­sion spawned a num­ber of total­i­tar­i­an regimes that sought eco­nom­ic pros­per­i­ty for their nations by ruth­less con­quest,” it points out.

“U.S. Mil­i­tary Warns Oil Out­put May Dip Caus­ing Mas­sive Short­ages by 2015” by Ter­ry Macal­is­ter; The Guardian [UK]; 4/11/2010. [9]

4. A fright­en­ing arti­cle reveals a major flaw in the mon­i­tor­ing of domes­tic air traf­fic. Many pri­vate cor­po­rate jets are exempt from FAA mon­i­tor­ing. This, too, could open a “win­dow of oppor­tu­ni­ty” for ter­ror­ists to smug­gle a WMD into the U.S. and uti­lize it on an Amer­i­can city.

Tel­e­van­ge­list Ken­neth Copeland faced a con­gres­sion­al inquiry after fly­ing his ministry’s tax-exempt jet to Maui and the Fiji Islands.

South Dako­ta Gov. Mike Rounds has been ques­tioned about his use of state planes for polit­i­cal and per­son­al trips.

And after get­ting a $180 bil­lion fed­er­al bailout, the insur­ance giant AIG caught flak for its fleet of cor­po­rate jets.

To pre­vent the pub­lic from see­ing where they fly, all have over the years turned to a lit­tle-known pro­gram that lets pri­vate plane own­ers block their flights from view in the government’s sys­tem for track­ing air traf­fic.

The own­ers don’t have to meet any test to keep their flights secret. They mere­ly sub­mit a request to the Nation­al Busi­ness Avi­a­tion Asso­ci­a­tion [1], a trade group that lob­bied to set up the pro­gram on the grounds that secre­cy is jus­ti­fied to pro­tect busi­ness deals and the secu­ri­ty of exec­u­tives.

But in at least some cas­es, the pro­gram has also served as a refuge for plane own­ers who’ve faced bad pub­lic­i­ty, accord­ing to a review by ProP­ub­li­ca of 1,100 blocked planes in the pro­gram. The list was obtained after a 15-month pub­lic records bat­tle in which the busi­ness avi­a­tion group sued [2] the FAA to keep it con­fi­den­tial.

After a fed­er­al judge ruled [3] that the records are pub­lic, the FAA pro­vid­ed the list this week.

It includes air­craft reg­is­tered to For­tune 500 com­pa­nies such as 3M and Tyson Foods, pri­vate real estate devel­op­ers, gov­ern­ment agen­cies and evan­gel­i­cal church­es. There are 62 Gulf­stream IVs and Vs, which cost tens of mil­lions of dol­lars each, 36 Lear­jets and two Boe­ing 737s. . . .

“Off the Radar: Pri­vate Planes Hid­den from Pub­lic View” by Michael Gra­bell and Sebas­t­ian Jones; ProP­ub­li­ca; 4/8/2010. [16]

5. Counter-ter­ror experts have long warned of the pos­si­bil­i­ty of cyber-ter­ror­ism. It appears that the nation­al pow­er grid was hacked, although it is not imme­di­ate­ly clear who did it or why. Spec­u­la­tion has focused on Rus­sia or Chi­na, but the pos­si­bil­i­ty that ter­ror­ists may have been involved is not one to be dis­missed light­ly.

Spies have hacked into the U.S. elec­tric grid and left behind com­put­er pro­grams that would let them dis­rupt ser­vice, expos­ing poten­tial­ly cat­a­stroph­ic vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties in key pieces of nation­al infra­struc­ture, a for­mer U.S. gov­ern­ment offi­cial said.

The intru­sions were dis­cov­ered after elec­tric com­pa­nies gave the gov­ern­ment per­mis­sion to audit their sys­tems, accord­ing to the ex-offi­cial, who was not autho­rized to dis­cuss the mat­ter and spoke on con­di­tion of anonymi­ty. . . .

“Spies Alleged to Have Hacked Elec­tric Grid” by Jor­dan Robert­son and Eileen Sul­li­van [AP]; The San Fran­cis­co Chron­i­cle; 4/9/2009; p. C3.