Thursday, June 08, 2006

Back And Forth With Ken Silverstein

As the following exchange will attest, Ken Silverstein is making an honest effort to report what he's learned about any association between the Jefferson case and the warrant served on ERHC Energy. I can't assess the quality of his non-AEI source on the issue, but I would always take his own assessment as a secure and careful one.

Our back and forth on this issue may prove to be a little enlightening:

You know I respect you as lot, Ken, but your tie-to-Jefferson angle ( is awfully weak. All the "African Energy Intelligence" (sic) article says is "We understand the operation was linked to the FBI investigation into Jefferson."

They only understand it because I thought it was, and said so long before either of you did, in ERHC On The Move. You think there's a tie because they think there's a tie because I think there's a tie. I think there is, but that doesn't lay much of a foundation for a statement that will cost lots of investors lots of money (10 percent of their holdings today), but won't cause the folks at Exxon and Chevron and all the others the LA Times reported are being investigated by Senate Commerce for huge bribes to Obiang to lose a minute of sleep.

It just seems unlike you to pile on the little guy when the giants are far worse. And I may be wrong, but I think you have conflated two different publications, both of which are unreliable, one being African Energy ( and the other Energy Intelligence (


Joe Shea

Ken responded:


you are wrong on all of this. i did not conflate the two newsletters, AEI, as the link shows, has nothing to do with the others. and aei is a good solid publication that i trust.

more importantly, i would never publish something because you -- or AEI or anyone -- said it. i published the item on jefferson based on reporting and interviews. in fact, the EG section was much longer. it's offensive for you to suggest that i'm simply reporting something because someone else said it.

whether you believe it or not, i never read what you wrote. no disrespect to you, as you apparently do some reporting, but i assiduously avoid all the stuff on erhc on the web because in my view much of it is rumors and garbage by self-interested parties. (the only thing i came across of your was that nugent's lawyer had sent you a letter saying he had no links to geec, which i don't believe for a second is true).

what's really odd about your letter is that you apparently, based on your email, seem to be repudiating your original story. first you tell me that i stole the story from your original report, which i did not do, and then you tell me that my story is wrong.


I had to admit my eror about AEI, yet I still had questions, and responded:

I learned that you were right that AEI is a real publication; there are those two well-known letters I mentioned and this one is not very well-known at all. However, as the portion I published stated, they just expressed an
opinion and there was no foundation for it. You said you had one other source and AEI, which apparently had no source.

I suggested a connection to Jefferson on May 5, based on comments from Bruce Alpert of the Times-Picayune and others. But when I suggested it, I emphasized two or three times that there was no other foundation for my surmise. I doubt that your source had any any other source than that, esecially if it was from the Justice Dept., as they read my site as well (the server info shows that).

I didn't say I was wrong or that you were wrong, if you look carefully; I said neither of us had a foundation for asserting it as fact, as you did in going beyond what AEI said - turning it from "we think" to "they said" - and citing another unnamed source.

I appreciate your candor as to my reporting. The real problem is that you and so many others, among them Chip Cummings, ignore the AG's conclusion that there was no evidence against ERHC and the two governments' formal repudiation of his findings, as well as the huge bribes asserted against Exxon, Chevron, Devon Energy and others - our competitors or former partners - which are the real story.



Ken responded with a well-crafted comment:


sorry, but aei is well know, it's based in paris which may be why you are not as familiar with it, but it is highly regarded and has broken news over there.

aei does have a source or sources, it did not just make the story up.

I wrote in story that there was "strong evidence pointing to a São Tomé connection." and there is. my source may or may not read your stuff, i have no idea, but i am certain his information does not come from whatever you wrote.

i have no idea who cummings is. as to the majors, of course they are not white knights, i have reported numerous times on their unscrupulous ties to africa, including in yesterday's story. but if you think erhc is a bunch of white knights, i think you are sadly mistaken.

as to your reporting, if it was unclear, i am not that familiar with it, know you mostly thru our emails over the years, and can't really say much. but you at least seem to have some interest in looking for information. i was not trying to lump you in with the people who simply throw up garbage as i assume based on our correspondence that you are not one of those people (they send me endless crazy emails, it is pathetic and sad.)


Again, I want to emphasize that evidence that the ERHC search warrant is related to the Jefferson affair is thin; obviously, though, beyond the warrant, there are connections with Phil Nugent and Noreen Wilson that are being pursued by the press, if not the Justice Dept.

Those who read of deletions from the ERHC Energy board should be aware that the moderator, chcr, is Phil Nugent Sr.'s accountant, and according to Doc she is the person who attacked this site with thousands of obscene emails last year, ultimately forcing us to turn off our Comments feature.

Yesterday's dramatic 10 percent drop in share price reflects both the AEI and Ken's articles, I think, and today's rise in price may be temporary. In fact, despite substantial volume, I do see it dropping on my ADVFN screen now. Volume is certainly picking up, but only time will tell the consequences of that.

Currently, at 10:21:35am, Buy volume outpaces Sells by 899,326 to 500,857 with 168,626 unidentified. The current price is $0.426 x $0.43, down $0.015 in the past 20 minutes, and down $0.04 from the $0.47 high earlier today.

No comments: