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Interview with Author of WhatReallyHappened.com
October 26, 2003
1:44 pm
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Monday May 20, 2002
By Contributing Author
J. Conti

BankIndex's J. Conti had the opportunity to interview the man
behind one of the most talked about websites to hit the web in a long time. We are speaking about Michael Rivero and his website is non other than http://www.WHATREALLYHAPPENED.COM !

Michael Rivero is rapidly gaining popularity in the Internet, and for that matter, the world. His website attracts millions of visitors from countries such as:
USA Educational, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, United States, Sweden, USA Military, Estonia, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Germany, France, Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, New Zealand, USA Government, Belgium, Italy, Singapore, Spain, Malaysia, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Mexico, Poland, Brazil, South Africa, Ireland, Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Czech Republic, Greece, Slovenia, Russia, Portugal, Hungary, Argentina, Thailand, Israel, Pakistan, Turkey, Costa Rica, Trinidad and Tobago, Lebanon, Brunei Darussalam, Hong Kong, United Arab Emirates, Slovakia, Taiwan, Romania, Luxembourg, India, Panama, Yugoslavia, Cyprus, Malta, Mauritius, Croatia, Venezuela, South Korea, Botswana, Macedonia (Former Yugoslav Republic), Oman, Philippines, Chile, French Polynesia, Samoa, Fiji, Yemen, Uruguay, Tanzania, Lithuania, Tonga,
Bulgaria, Zambia, Jamaica, Georgia, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Jordan, Cambodia, Niue, Colombia, Ukraine, Paraguay, Macau, China, Cayman Islands, Ecuador, Aruba, Namibia, Belarus, Nicaragua, Latvia, Kenya, Cuba, Peru, Sierra Leone, New Caledonia, Guatemala, Saint Lucia, Virgin Islands (USA), San Marino, Andorra, Bahamas, Sri Lanka, Tuvalu.

During the last week of April, 2002 his total visits exceeded 4,000,000 . Yes people, that's FOUR MILLION VISITS ! Some of the larger news sites in America WISH they had that many visitors come to their sites!

So, what is it exactly that has caused this phenomenon that keeps growing by the minute? What is it about WHATREALLYHAPPENED.COM that keeps so many people coming back? In an effort to get to get to the bottom of this enigma, Jim asked the following questions of the man behind WHATREALLYHAPPENED.COM.

Who is Michael Rivero ?

I am by birth a citizen of the United States of American, and a descendant of a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Where is Michael Rivero from ?

Boston. I'm a New England farm kid.

What is Michael Rivero's background?

I have had two careers, one with NASA and one in the film industry. Currently I am a partner in a small production company.

What drives Michael Rivero?

My concern is that there is a great deal of lying by the government to the people. The Constitution does not authorize the government to lie to the people. The Government de-legitimizes itself when it lies to the people. A government that lies to the people loses the moral right to rule in this nation, which is founded on the principle that government rules only with the consent of the governed. No citizen I know has ever consented to be lied to or ruled by deceptions and hoaxes.

How and why did WhatReallyHappened.com come into existence ?

What Really Happened originally began as a sub page on my business web page in 1994. At that time I worked in feature film special effects (you can look up my name on the Internet Movie Database), and had a small shop in my home. I was working on a project and had the cable TV feed running into one input on the video system and happened to catch the broadcast of a photo leaked by the White House to Reuter's which claimed to show Vincent Foster's hand and the gun he supposedly committed suicide with.

Now, at that exact moment in time I had no idea who Vincent Foster was, and could have cared less about White House intrigue. But I am very good at what I do in terms of images, and the moment I saw that photo (which is still at my web site) I knew it was a staged shot. There are a lot of problems with the picture, first and foremost that not a speck of blood appears on the hand and white sleeve that the person in the photo is supposed to have fired a gun into their mouth with. I hit the button on the frame capture and saved that image.

The next day, I was at lunch with come friends at a café where a lot of the Hollywood CNN people used to hang out and some of them were at the table next to me, paying attention when I commented about the staged photo to some friends and showed them a printout. That night, the threatening phone calls began and in the following weeks there was a well-orchestrated campaign to wreck my career in Hollywood with a lot of rumor mongering and such, the same sort of thing seen during the McCarthy era and during COINTELPRO in the 60s.

The Jean Seberg case is a good example of what can happen when the government decides someone in Hollywood is a threat. It was obvious I had stumbled onto something ugly, and I did a little research on the publicly available Whitewater documents and discovered where the FBI had used fraud to manufacture Lisa Foster's identification of the gun found with her husband's body, showing her a gun from their household which was clearly not the gun actually found with the body. A freedom of information act lawsuit by Chris Ruddy revealed more documents which confirmed the fraud.

I am one of those people who feel that every citizen is obligated to try to expose a crime as serious as a murder when they think they have found evidence of one. So, I created a sub page on my business site and started posting the documents I had found on the Foster case. The harassment increased. Eventually my wife and I left Southern California and while it was rough for a while, in the end we wound up with far more opportunities than would have been the case had we stayed in Los Angeles, so it all worked out in the end. That first Vince Foster page eventually grew to be the entire web site, and is still at the current What Really Happened web page. Following our move out of Los Angeles we lived on a ranch in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State and the web site was called Rancho Runnamukka after a joke about tacky summer camps for city kids. We moved again and found an ISP that carries several of our commercial web sites and tucked in the middle of them is http://www.whatreallyhappened.com.

How does Michael Rivero define "love of one's Country" ?

The country is the people. Egomaniacs throughout history have tried to claim ,"L'etat, c'est moi!" or variations thereof, but the heart, soul, and lifeblood of any nation is the people. In a mature Republic, which is what the United States was created as, the government is an employee, a custodian of national sovereignty ruling only with the permission of the people, and its function is to obey orders, not to issue them. So, for me, love of country is love of one's neighbors, the citizens in your town, your county, your state, and being willing to take a hand in making that neighborhood, that town, or the nation, just a bit better. We all have a moral obligation to leave to the next generation a better nation than that which was left to us. I am concerned that the present generation will fail that test.

At what point does Michael Rivero think a citizen should draw the line?

That has to be up to each citizen to decide for themselves.

The main problem is that many people are trying very hard not to know a line needs to be drawn in the first place. We all like to imagine we would take a stand for freedom and justice, but to go up against a corrupt government willing to commit the kinds of crimes we saw in the COINTELPRO scandal (which are now legal under recently passed legislation)) carries risks many people do not wish to deal with. To know the government is corrupt and to do nothing is to surrender ones self-image of having the courage it takes to stand up for freedom and justice. Many people do not want to know that about themselves, so they refuse to look too deeply at current events because they are afraid of what they may learn, not about the government, but about themselves. Most propaganda is not designed to survive careful analysis but only to give the majority of people an excuse not to look any further or think any more about what is going on.

The JFK assassination is a classic example. The "Magic bullet" theory had problems from the start, but many Americans bought into it and the "crazed lone assassin" because such a scenario left them nothing to do about it. Americans went on imagining themselves with the courage to do what was necessary, but there was, thankfully, nothing TO do so long as one did not look past the Lee Oswald patsy. Those who still defend the Warren Report are in a very real way defending their own failure to take responsibility for those times. Coupled with the question of why didn't they know is the question, why didn't they do anything about it?

The same mechanism holds true today. Hundreds of people saw a missile kill TWA 800. The NTSB was caught in court rigging lab tests and lying in its published reports to try to explain away missile exhaust residue found on the wreckage by claiming it was seat glue. But many Americans want to believe the impossible claims of noseless 747s with broken wings flying and climbing straight up for a few thousand feet and that the NTSB is correct when it states that all the eyewitnesses were drunk. Because once those same Americans accept that the government did lie about TWA 800, and they decide NOT to do anything about it, their own self respect pays the price.

Many people don't have the courage to face up to a corrupt government. Many people don't even have the courage to face that truth about themselves and prefer government lies to learning that truth about themselves, and will go so far as to shout down others who do question the government in order to preserve the lie for themselves. On the basis of that simple mechanism lies the ability of history's greatest tyrants to commit history's greatest atrocities, while their populations stand by and do nothing.

What has been the public's general reaction to WhatReallyHappened.com thus far ?

Overwhelmingly positive. We're getting about 3-4 million hits a week, which has triggered some excess bandwidth charges, but it's a small price to pay, I think.

Why do you think WhatReallyHappened.com is becoming so successful and why is our Media so blind to different viewpoints?

Most people want to know the truth, even if they are often afraid to mention it in front of their neighbors. If people have no way to get it they will settle for a lie, but given a choice, they prefer the truth. Thomas Jefferson said that it is the duty for all citizens to keep themselves fully informed so that they may make good decisions.

That's not to say that What Really Happened is the conduit to truth. But what the web site does is let people know that there are ways to find out what is going on if what one is being told by the media does not make sense.

I think that the nation is in the trouble it is in because people were conditioned to watch a talking head on the TV and believe what that talking head was saying. People need to stop relying on other people to tell them what reality is and rely on their own analytical ability to figure out what is going on. I encourage people to go searching through the linked articles and come up with their own conclusions. Young people, who realize that they will carry the rifles in the next major war, are especially interested in finding out what the government really wants them to bleed for.

As for the mainstream media, I think it is apparent to all that the media serves its own masters and not the people. Every time in history the US Government lied to the American people the media helped them to do it. A case in point was the story about stolen incubators that was used to help launch the last Iraq war. Now acknowledged to have been a hoax by a public relations firm, the mainstream media carried the story without question at the time.

What is your view on fake terror, and a war waged for the benefit of the few ?

All war is waged for the benefit of the few, although it is not a good idea to let the tax payers and soldiers know that.

Fake terror has been used by rulers throughout history to trick people into doing things they otherwise would not do. It's as old as Rome itself. In America, fake terror is a necessity as it is against the American character to support and risk one's child in a war of conquest against an unoffending target. Americans have to feel they are being attacked first before they will go to war. Fake terror creates that illusion and the imagined solace that whatever barbarities one is committing are purely defensive in nature, even as one marches into other people's countries to replace their governments.

What are your thoughts about our banking system? Do you think like many Americans that the Federal Reserve should be reverted back to the American people? If so, why?

When money has an intrinsic value, the people control that money's value. Rome operated that way. The silver coins Rome minted are still valuable today because the silver is itself valuable. Even Rome Emperors could not change the worth of silver. That same system of intrinsic value money was the system under which the United States was created.

Fiat money systems are attractive to banks and governments because more money can be printed up and issued as credit on loans which must then be paid back and at full worth. Put another way, the Federal Reserve can print up a $100 bill for just a few pennies and loan it to you, but to repay it, you will have to perform some work or create a product that is worth the full $100 plus interest.

The really bad part of a fiat money system is that the ability of the central bank to simply print up money out of thin air is what causes inflation and recession cycles that, like a gigantic heartbeat, pump real wealth from the middle classes to the upper classes. Governments are strongly motivated to keep the middle classes as poor as possible because throughout history challenges to oligarchy have always arisen from the middle class.

A fiat money system places control over the worth of the money in the hands of the government. 1985 was a good example. In order to deal with the balance of trade problem, the US Government cut the value of the dollar in half. Overnight, American citizens found their money had lost half its value in the world market place by order of the government. For a nation that had already lost much of its manufacturing and was heavily dependent on foreign products, this was a blow. People who had been saving for a new car or new VCR suddenly went from being almost there to being not quote halfway there.

The other problem with our present banking system is that the banks encourage debt, both public and private, because loaning that money the Federal Reserve prints up is the business they are in, and they will support politicians who support continued indebtedness of the people. The combined state and federal debts are so great that the interest alone exceeds all the income tax paid by every citizen. The present generation of Americans are born into debt-slavery they can never pay their way out of no matter how hard they work. The owners of the Federal Reserve like that just fine.

Do you have any thoughts on Globalization and its effects, if so what are they?

Ever see a passenger ship? The hull is divided into sections with heavy thick bulkheads, forming watertight compartments. The purpose is so that if one section of the ship is damaged, the entire ship will not sink. Modern buildings have a similar system with regard to the containment of fire with extra thick walls and fire doors to keep a disaster in one part of the building from spreading to the rest of the structure.

National borders serve the same purpose with regards to the economy of the world. a disaster in one nation remains isolated from the rest of the world, which has the option of where and when it can step in and effect repairs.

But economic globalization is like a ship without watertight compartments or a building without fire doors. Yes, it is easier to move about the ship or building as a whole, but every accident is a threat to the entire structure. The entire ship sinks. The entire building burns. The depression is global. The damage is not containable.

As for global governance, I am adamantly opposed to it for two reasons. The first reason is obvious. When Hitler came along, it took the combined might of the rest of the world's nations to shut his government down and bring a halt to his crimes. Now, imagine a new Hitler coming to power in a world where there was only one government in the world? Who would stop him? Who would prevent him from the "Final Solution?"

The second reason I am opposed to global government is more subtle. All governments preserve their own system. The creation of a global government presumes that the system being imposed on the globe is the best one possible and that no better one could ever come along. Once a world government is in place, there can never be experiments with new forms of society or government because there is no place for such experiments to occur.

If asked to correct the wrongs the Government of America has perpetrated, where would you
start ??

Many of the wrongs are uncorrectable because they are part of history that nobody alive today bears any responsibility for. It is nonsense for people today to be asked to pay for slavery when the slaves and their masters are long dead. The wrongs committed by the United States against other nations are irrevocable in most cases, and we cannot know for certain what things would be like had the US not interfered in the first place, so it is a fool's errand to try to work that out.

But what we can do is deal with the wrongs the American government is committing against its own people and the rest of the world right now. Those wrongs we are responsible for because they are happening now and we can do something about if we choose to.

The ideal situation is that the US Government return to that which is described in the Constitution, the original "Contract With America", in which states have the power and the federal government has strict limits on what it can do. It was under that form of government that personal enterprise and inventiveness was encouraged and rewarded and the nation as a whole prospered.

That's the ideal. The reality is that the present government has sunk too deep in debt to ever get out. Most Americans are unaware of just how much of the nation itself has been pledged as collateral (and locked away under the guise of "environmentalism") on those debts. I think the "let's grab the oil so we can sell it instead of having to buy it" is a last desperate attempt to avoid foreclosure. Alabama and Missouri cannot even cash the tax refund checks they sent out. California is having to raise taxes and cut services, a lethal mixture in an election year. The Federal Government has been looting the Social Security Trust Fund to balance its books and create the illusion of a budget surplus, yet as recent events show, the truth is that it hovers at the edge of default on existing loans and is looking to borrow more to meet the payments. Guess whose children will spend their lives trying (and failing) to pay that all off?

All taken together, I predict that the United States will soon follow the USSR into historical oblivion. What the American people need to be focusing on is just what sort of nation they want to replace it, so that they are ready and prepared to horsewhip the inevitable scoundrels who will try to form a new government dedicated to preservation of their own personal privilege.

The most important lesson for the people to learn from the present age is that if you tolerate lies in government, you will live under a government that lies to you, to truck you into courses of action you would not otherwise agree to, to trick you out of your money and out of the lives of your children sent to wars-for-profit. My recommendation to future generations is that you always strive to make the cost of a lie so far outweigh its benefits that the government will always see truth as a virtue. No government has a right to lie to its people. A well-run government doesn't need to.

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