[The most succinct, well-documented analysis of the current terror frenzy you will see anywhere is this one presented by Michael Kane. It is one more piece of reporting that underscores that readers of FTW find at our site what they cannot find elsewhere.—CB]
OPERATION “SLOW BURN?”
U.K. Terror Conveniently Forces Demand Destruction
Cusp of Liquid Fuel Crisis
Politics as Usual
by Jenna Orkin
© Copyright 2006, From The Wilderness Publications, www.fromthewilderness.com. All Rights Reserved. This story may NOT be posted on any Internet web site without express written permission. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org. May be circulated, distributed or transmitted for non-profit purposes only.
August 15th 2006, 2:40 PM[PST] – Demand destruction has been discussed in both financial and elite circles for quite some time, especially as it pertains to the consumption of hydrocarbons. Jet fuel makes up 10% of total oil consumption, or 12% of total liquid fuel consumption.1 North America and Western Europe consume more jet fuel than any other regions on the planet, totaling 112.5 million gallons per day as of 1998.2 That number is certainly higher today.3
The recent arrests of suspects said to be conspiring to blow up planes headed from Britain to America occurred at a very convenient time in light of current events. As the world stands on the brink of an unprecedented energy crisis, the question is whether there is going to be a fast collapse or a slow burn. Elites can attempt to avoid a fast collapse by manipulating the public’s perception of reality in order to modify our behavior. As FTW’s Carolyn Baker recently wrote:
If the empire will not tell the truth about Peak Oil, then it has only two options: 1) Create wars to take the resources it needs, and/or 2) Create demand destruction.
The arrests in the U.K. caused hundreds of flights to be cancelled or delayed. The ramifications will last for months, if not years. This terror-scare will likely be seen as a hallmark moment in the decline of the airline industry. Following on the heels of the U.K. scare, an Alaskan Airline plane was evacuated in Los Angeles after a “suspicious item” was found on board.
So why would a plan to bring on demand destruction be implemented now? Let’s look at our current energy reality.
Cusp of Liquid Fuel Crisis
The two largest oil fields on the planet – Ghawar in Saudi Arabia and Cantarell in Mexico – are both reportedly at the brink of crisis in supply.4 Saudi Arabia and Venezuela have just cut their oil production.5 This is a wise move, especially when considering that oil is destined to be more valuable tomorrow than it is today, which is precisely the argument Congressman Roscoe Bartlett makes as to why the U.S. should not squander the oil reserves in Alaska.
Meanwhile, the Prudhoe Bay pipeline under British Petroleum’s control has dropped from 400,000 to 150,000 barrels of oil per day due to corrosion in need of repair. BP originally announced plans to completely shutdown the pipeline, but after Congressional members complained that this was an attempt to manipulate the oil market, the company changed its tune. Now they say they can get production up to 200,000 barrels per day after completing maintenance planned before the recent leak.6
All we need now is a hurricane to ravage the Gulf for a supply shock.
We are now living in the last days of cheap, abundant oil. Global elites are well aware of this reality. BP didn’t invest heavily in fixing the pipeline at Prudhoe Bay because the field’s production had been declining (peaked) since1989; workers had complained about this back in 2002.7 Why fix a pipeline if there won’t be enough oil to justify the expense? Instead, keep up on maintenance only as necessary and once corrosion runs rampant, replace those sections with smaller piping because that’s how the money works.
It seems that is what BP is now doing.
As pointed out at www.cryptogon.com the Prudhoe Bay pipeline is 34-inches in diameter, but BP plans to replace corroded sections with 18-inch pipe, as reported by the AP.8 It would seem this will limit the pipeline to operate at around half the current capacity – precisely what BP just announced production will eventually get back up to.
Signs are everywhere that world daily oil supply is on the downward slope of Hubbert’s peak.
If plans to curtail international flights and liquid fuels were being outwardly discussed within the context of a POWERDOWN strategy, this would be a positive development. That is not what we are seeing. This is a Plan B (slow burn) of a neoliberal vein – to protect the markets, not people.
Inevitably jet fuel consumption will be reduced once global oil production begins permanent decline. That is a certainty. Bankruptcies and mergers will occur throughout the airline industry, which will one day return to its origins of exclusively serving the business community and the rich; I’ve heard as much discussed “hypothetically” on the floor of Congress, broadcasted on CSPAN in recent months.
Liquid fuel shortages are certain in the near term. With these facts at hand, it makes sense to attempt to manipulate the sequence of events in order to protect, or control, the markets.
As FTW and many other reputable publications have long maintained, revamping the rail system is a necessary step towards mitigating Peak Oil. Railroads are five times more efficient than automobiles. The financial press is reporting that this terror-related blow to the air industry is already a boom for the rail system in Europe.
Eurostar, the cross-channel rail service, said it had seen an extra 2,300 bookings - on top of the roughly 22,500 passengers it had expected to handle for the day in and out of London Waterloo - by 11 AM and expected further bookings during the day.
It had brought in extra staff to cope with the increased demand and was examining the possibility of adding extra trains on top of the already-scheduled 16 each way daily between London and Paris and 10 each way between London and Brussels.9
As Mike Ruppert has stated in the past, rationing is part of the global elite’s agenda to deal with resource scarcity. While rationing may be openly embraced in European nations with governments that lean more towards socialism, this will not be the case in America because of how we define our freedom.10
When FTW investigated what plans were in place for the very real possibility of fuel shortages last winter, we found there were no rationing plans anywhere in the U.S. In place of such a plan, some big energy consumers (industry, non-profits and government agencies) have agreed to energy curtailments when supply is short. If those curtailments are inadequate, rolling blackouts would be implemented as was the case in Denver last winter. Unless this upcoming winter is unusually warm, we will face blackouts on the scale of the summertime blackouts that recently engulfed the world. That is extremely dangerous.
Americans are ill prepared mentally and physically for the challenges we will face in the near future. If there were a nationwide announcement on every TV and radio station stating what Peak Oil really was and what we had to do to properly address it, Americans would swear it was some sort of conspiracy against their “freedom.”11
It is highly probable that the events unfolding around the thwarted terror plot in the U.K. are part of a social engineering program to bring in an era of demand destruction through market manipulations. This is part of what we call “the slow burn” at FTW; an outgrowth of what Catherine Austin Fitts calls “The Tapeworm Economy.”
Tapeworm Economy; the ability of financial and criminal elites to manipulate the rapidly-hollowing shell and façade of a financial system destined to collapse. They do this while keeping appearances (controlled by major media) as normal as possible so that the “suckers” (you) will keep trusting and spending your money in ways that hurt you and progressively wither your needed survival skills and resources.
This is the way that all parasites function until they kill their hosts and move on.12
Politics as Usual
A terror scare is good for the Bush Administration and the Republicans. Wall Street was virtually unaffected by the news of a thwarted terrorist plot on August 10, 2006, but European markets took a tumble.13
FTW was immediately interested in how many put options were purchased on British Airways, Continental, American, and United Airlines in the days leading up to the arrests in the U.K. All of these airlines saw their stocks fall anywhere from 3 to 8 percent.14 In comparison with what we saw on 9/11 – where United Airlines’ stock plummeted a whopping 42% overnight15 – it does not appear the same opportunity was available to profit wildly from prior knowledge of these events. We have not dedicated much time into researching this area as of yet, but we do encourage others to do so.
24 U.K. citizens, some of Pakistani origin, have been arrested in connection with this plot. Anonymous government and intelligence sources in Pakistan’s government claim they helped thwart the plot.
“The major work was done by the British agents, but they got a major clue from Pakistan,” said a Pakistani intelligence official, according to the Times of India.16
As longtime FTW readers know, Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) agency has a unique and cozy relationship with Washington (and the crimes of 9/11).17 According to Michel Chossudovsky, the Director of Central Intelligence must approve of whoever is appointed to head the ISI.18 Investigative reporter Wayne Madsen made an important catch regarding the ISI’s help in the U.K. terror plot.
Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) agency has helped provide the cover story for the alleged liquid bombers. Working with British and U.S. intelligence, the ISI says it broke up the plot after arresting terrorist suspects in Lahore and Karachi. However, the ISI claims that the men were affiliated with the Kashmiri terrorist group Lashkar-e-Toiba, a group that is run and funded by the ISI itself. 19
The thwarted plot as it has been told to us (which closely resembles Project Bojinka)20 included the use of explosive liquids to blow up at least 10 airplanes headed from Britain to America. John Pike, Director of GlobalSecurity.org, was interviewed on CNN regarding liquids that can be used to make an explosive device. He said that for a person to obtain such liquids, he/she would need security clearance as a chemist working in explosive chemistry.
Who has the necessary security clearance to access explosive liquids in Britain that would benefit from this plot? That question may be irrelevant, since we do not know if any explosive liquids were actually possessed by the suspects.
MSNBC reports that American and British officials disagreed as to the timing of the arrests. Some of the arrested suspects had not yet purchased plane tickets or even gotten their passports. A dry run was going to be attempted soon and U.K. officials wanted to run surveillance on the suspects to obtain more information, but Washington wanted the arrests immediately.21
The U.K. terror plot is being used by the Bush Administration to gain political leverage over the Democrats.
…a senior White House official said that the British government had not launched its raid until well after Cheney held a highly unusual conference call with reporters to attack the Democrats as weak against terrorism.
Snow said Bush first learned in detail about the plot on Friday, and received two detailed briefings on it on Saturday and Sunday, as well as had two conversations about it with British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
But a senior White House official said that the British government had not launched its raid until well after Cheney held a highly unusual conference call with reporters to attack the Democrats as weak against terrorism.
An aide to Lieberman, who would have been one of the first Democrats to hear of the plot because he is the top Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security Committee, said the lawmaker first heard of it late Wednesday.
On Wednesday, Cheney had suggested that Democrats believe "that somehow we can retreat behind our oceans and not be actively engaged in this conflict and be safe here at home, which clearly we know we won't, we can't, be," he said.
While some Democrats have opposed some steps in the war on terrorism, and more and more are calling for a withdrawal from Iraq, no major figures in the party have called for a wholesale retreat in the broader conflict.
But Bush's Republicans hoped the raid would yield political gains. "I'd rather be talking about this than all of the other things that Congress hasn't done well," one Republican Congressional aide told AFP on condition of anonymity because of possible reprisals.
"Weeks before September 11th, this is going to play big," said another White House official, who also spoke on condition of not being named, adding that some Democratic candidates won't "look as appealing" under the circumstances.22
Michel Chossudovsky recently documented what he feels is Dick Cheney’s attempt to lay the ground work for another 9/11 (through military contingency planning) to create a pretext to invade Iran.23
Even if this hypothesis is correct, I don’t know if Cheney and the neo-cons have the luxury of being able to get away with pulling off another one. But as desperation sets in, the possibility can’t be ruled out: A bully with his back against the wall can be a dangerous entity.
It is more likely that we will see continuous “terror scares” that further lead the population towards consuming less liquid fuel, and jet fuel seems to be the easiest target since social, political, economic and geological factors have naturally aligned against the airline industry. What better time to bring in a neo-liberal era under President Hillary Clinton with the appearance of leaning towards socialist policies (at least enough so to upset conservatives) while actually supporting corporate interests?
3 It is also certain that travel to-and-from the East – especially China – has increased drastically since 1998, possibly surpassing that in Western Europe. Demand destruction in China is not likely at this point since it is seen as a “developing nation,” and the population is much better prepared to survive in a low-energy economy than the West. The manufacturing sector has already relocated to China, and the society is actively planning for Peak Oil with a crisis mentality.
Marla Dickerson, “Will Mexico Soon Be Tapped Out?, L.A. Times,” July 24, 2006
Morris B. Beschloss, “Mexico’s Energy Problems Hurt the U.S.,” The Desert Sun, August 6, 2006
Richard Heinberg, “Middle East at a Crossroads,” Energy Bulletin, August 4, 2006
5 “Saudi Arabia and Venezuela to pull Opec output down,” Reuters, July 25, 2006
6 Sheila McNulty, “BP deal to keep half of Prudhoe Bay open,” MSNBC, August 13, 2006
7 “DEC regulator resigns after reassignment,” Associated Press, March 7, 2002
8 Allison Linn, “Oil field shutdown raises more questions,” AP, August 9, 2006
9 Roger Blitz, “Restrictions cause chaos at airports,” Financial Times, August 10, 2006
10 In the word “freedom,” the suffix “dom” stems from the word “dominion”. Literally translated, freedom means “free to dominate.” This is precisely what the American definition of freedom is – free to dominate the world’s resources via over-consumption. I thank my friend and colleague Tiokasin Ghost Horse for teaching me this.
12 Michael C. Ruppert, “The Abyss Awaits,” FTW, June 14, 2006
13 “European Stocks Implode,” News.com.au, August 11, 2006
14 “Airline shares plunge after terror alert,” AP
15 Jerry Mazza, “Business as Usual – 9/11 and the fall of America,” Online Journal, May 26, 2006
16 “Tip from Pak helped bust London terror plot,” Times of India, August 11, 2006
17 Crossing the Rubicon, chapter 8,
19 Wayne Madsen Report, Aug. 11, 2006,
21 Aram Roston, Lisa Meyers, and the NBC News Investigative Unit “Source: US, UK at odds over timing of arrests,” MSNBC, August 14, 2006 http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14320452/
22 Olivier Knox, “Bush seeks political gains from foiled plot,” Yahoo News, August 10, 2006
23 Michel Chossudovsky, “The Pentagon's "Second 911”,” Global Research, August 10, 2006 http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=
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