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  • New Orleans: I’m not celebrating

    By Greg Palast

    This week, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, The Palast Investigative Fund is offering my film, Big Easy to Big Empty:  The Untold Story of the Drowning of New Orleans as a FREE downloadIt wasn’t a natural disaster, it was a homicide.  This is the story you’re not supposed to know.  Get it, and pass on the link.

    Screw the celebration.  New Orleans hasn’t “come back.”  That is, there are still the Bourbon Street bars serving “Hurricanes” to sloshed tourists and Mardi Gras when white Americans can catch trinkets from floats floating over the ghosts of the drowned.

    New Orleans is back to 79% of its pre-flood population.  Why am I not cheering? Because the original residents—that is, the majority of the pre-flood Black residents—are still wandering in (Show me more...)

    Get the Snowden Bio Today Because...

    … we aren’t running out of oil, we’re running out of HEROISM.  Ted Rall’s biography in cartoon form is a how-to book on how to make a hero—the creation of courage.

    … because Rall, in full color, with humor and insight and facts you need to know, pulls down the pants of the spy-on-you state and exposes the pathetic, mean and dangerous.

    ... because Snowden, even before its release Tuesday, is already the #1 Graphic Biography.  Get the book RIGHT NOW and Ted can hit the Times list—and that means Snowden’s face will be in every airport and newsstand — just like the NSA.

    I need you to get the book now!

    "Dramatic, Evocative, Important"
    – Noam Chomsky

    Help Ted make the bestseller list and get your book from:

     

    Or make a tax-deductible donation of $50 or more to get a signed copy of Snowden.

    100% goes to support Ted’s work.

    I’m proud that Ted Rall is a Journalism Fellow of the Palast Investigative Fund. As we’ve previously reported, Rall was fired last month by the LA Times because of pressure from the LAPD.

    Many thanks to those of you who have supported him in this battle against censorship at its ugliest.

    And no doubt, the LAPD will hate this book too.  Snowden reveals (Show me more...)

    Cops Gun Down un-Armed
    Journalist’s Career
    LA Times fires Ted Rall – evidence blows up
    in newspaper’s face

    By Greg Palast  |  Reader Supported News

    Ted Rall is a lying, fantasist scumbag.

    Or maybe, just maybe, the LA Times,complicit with the Los Angeles police, have slandered and slimed America’s toughest critic of police violence.The story:  On July 27, the LA Times fired their long-time columnist and cartoonist Ted Rall for fabricating a story of police misconduct.  The LA Times’ evidence?  A tape recording provided by the LAPD.  Problem was, the tape was muffled—possibly tampered with.

    When audio experts cleaned the garbage interference on the tape—uh, oh!- the LAPD and LA Times accusations fell to pieces.

    The details:  On May 11, Ted Rall wrote his umpteenth column in the LA Times, LAPD's Crosswalk Crackdown: Don't Police Have Something Better to do? about gang violence:  the gang is the LAPD.  This was Rall’s lightest jab of all, a satirical remembrance of when, 14 years earlier, a cop put him in handcuffs for a simple jaywalking ticket.

    Unbeknownst to Rall, the jaywalker-stalker cop had recorded this big bust.  The LAPD dropped the tape on the Times.


    Ted Rall’s new book-length comic, Snowden
    will be released on August 25.

    Pre-order it from Amazon, B&N & others and get him on the bestseller list – or make a tax-deductible donation and get a copy signed by Ted.

    100% of the proceeds will go to Rall’s defense. Or lend you support by making a No Gift Donation.
    (Rall is a Fellow of The Palast Investigative Fund)


    The police source said the recording and other info proved Rall was lying. That the tape proved that Rall had never (Show me more...)

    GREECE’D: We Voted ‘No’ to slavery,
    but ‘Yes’ to our chains

    Ψηφίσαμε «ΟΧΙ» στη σκλαβιά αλλά «ΝΑΙ» στις αλυσίδες μας

    Greek journalist Michael Nevradakis and US investigative journalist Greg Palast have a different take on the Greek ‘No’ vote against Europe’s cruel austerity demands.

    By Michael Nevradakis in Athens with Greg Palast in New York  |  Oped-News

    We Greeks have voted ‘No’ to slavery – but ‘Yes’ to our chains.

    Not surprisingly, by nearly two-to-one, Greeks have overwhelmingly rejected the cruel, economically bonkers “austerity” program required by the European Central Bank in return for an ECB loan to pay Greece’s creditors. In doing so, the Greek people overcame an unprecedented campaign of fear from the Greek and international media, the European Union (EU), and most of our political parties.

    What’s simply whack-o is that, while voting “No” to austerity, many Greeks wish to remain shackled to the euro, the very cause of our miseries.

    Resistance, not Crisis
    Before we explain how the euro is the cause of this horror show, let’s clear up one thing right away. All week, worldwide media was filled with news of the Greek “crisis.” Yes, the economy stinks, with one in four Greeks unemployed. But two other euro nations, Spain and Cyprus, also are suffering this depression level of unemployment. Indeed, more than 11% of workers in seven euro nations, including Portugal and Italy, are out of work.

    But unlike Greece, these other suffering nations have quietly acquiesced to their “austerity” punishments. Spaniards now accept that they are fated forevermore to be low-paid servants to beer-barfing British tourists. Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy, who has enacted a draconian protest ban at home to keep his own suffering masses at bay, has joined in the jackal-pack rejecting anything but the harshest of austerity terms for Greece.

    The difference between these quiescent nations and Greece is that the Greeks won’t take it anymore.

    What the media calls the Greek “crisis” is, in fact, resistance.

    Resistance to nowhere
    But it’s a resistance whose leaders are leading them nowhere.
    For decades, Greeks have suffered governments that are both corrupt and dishonest. The election of SYRIZA changed all that: the government is now merely dishonest.

    Our new SYRIZA Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, correctly called the austerity plan “blackmail.” However, before Sunday’s vote, Tsipras told the nation (Show me more...)

    Greece: What they don’t want you to know


    From Greg Palast’s investigative reports for Greek and US news

    Trojan Hearse: Greek Elections and the Euro Leper Colony

    Europe is stunned, and bankers aghast, that the new party of the Left, Syriza, won Sunday's parliamentary elections in Greece.

    Syriza won on the promise that it will cure Greece of leprosy.

    Euro Krieg! Greece Surrenders to Germany 2013 Greg Palast Interviewed by Greek Radio

    "To me, Greece is a crime scene," said Palast. "Greece is dying, and austerity is one of the things that killed it." He rebuked the recent proclamations made by Greek and EU officials deeming Greece an economic "success story," describing them as "nonsense."

    Lazy Ouzo-Swilling, Olive-Pit Spitting Greeks - Or, How Goldman Sacked Greece

    Here's what we're told: Greece's economy blew apart because a bunch of olive-spitting, ouzo-guzzling, lazy-ass Greeks refuse to put in a full day's work, retire while they're still teenagers, pocket pensions fit for a pasha; and they've gone on a social-services spending spree using borrowed money. Now that the bill has come due and the Greeks have to pay with higher taxes and cuts in their big fat welfare state, they run riot, screaming in the streets, busting windows and burning banks.

    I don't buy it.  I don't buy it because (Show me more...)

    GOP-led Purge Threat to 3.5 Million Voters

    By Greg Palast for Al Jazeera AmericaElection officials in 27 states, most of them Republicans, have launched a program that threatens a massive purge of voter rolls, especially targeting minority voters.

    Al Jazeera America has obtained 2.1 million names from the target lists,  kept confidential until now.  Experts reviewing the lists conclude it is suspiciously over-weighted with Black, Hispanic and Asian-American voters.

    The targeted voters have been tagged as “potential  duplicate voters,” suspected of voting twice in the same election, in two different states, a felony crime punishable by 2-10 years in prison.

    Until now, state officials conducting the purge have refused to turn over their lists on grounds that these voters are all subjects of a criminal investigation.



    The match lists of suspected double voters, called Interstate Crosscheck, has been compiled for each state by Kansas’ controversial Republican (Show me more...)

    Osama bin Laden Read My Book
    That's what the government told us,
    but what is it NOT telling us?

    By Greg Palast  |  The Guardian

    Finding out that The Best Democracy Money Can Buy was on the Bin Laden bookshelf confirms my fears about America’s war on whistleblowers

    I already knew that Osama bin Laden read my book before the headlines this week – but I’m still angry that he gave The Best Democracy Money Can Buy only four-and-a-half stars on his Amazon review. Obviously, something in the book pissed him off, because he never friended me on Facebook.

    It was actually quite embarrassing to learn that Bin Laden was reading my tome – and a few by my homie Noam Chomsky. It’s embarrassing because it’s clear that Bin Laden was more well-read than our president of the time (though, in George W Bush’s defence, there’s much to be learned from My Pet Goat).

    I do hope Osama made it to page 229. I talk about a guy who worked at my office, Clinton Davis. Before I left to write for the Guardian and Observer, my office was in Tower 2 of the World Trade Center. Davis, a cop, was safe at ground level, but he ran upstairs to save others – and disappeared, forever. Did Bin Laden get a little laugh out of that one? At least he got to know his victim’s name.


    Get a signed copy of the book.
    Osama wouldn't be caught dead without it!


    And what did Bin Laden think of my investigation of the 9/11 attack? While working at Newsnight, a few weeks after the towers fell, a little birdie dropped off a 30-page memo marked “SECRET,” “eyes only” and “1-99I WF”, which is code for “national security document”. The document suggested that FBI agents were blocked from investigating the Bin Laden family well before (Show me more...)

    Palast Book Found on
    Osama bin Laden's Shelf

    (Show me more...)

    The Show Girls Club, Fairbanks, Alaska

    Etok [1943-2015]
    His "American" name was Charles Edwardsen Jr.
    He died this week, whaling.

    I didn’t have any trouble picking him out, even in the pumping lights of the Fairbanks strip club where we were supposed to meet: the leather-dark face, a wolverine pelt sewn into his parka collar with its vicious fangs still attached, and, around his neck, five huge claws of the last polar bear killed by his father. Eskimo bling.

    While I’d heard that Eskimos kiss by rubbing noses, the look in Etok’s eyes suggested I wasn’t going to get the nose rub.

    “Mr. Palast, we are the last of the Pleistocene people,” he told me. “It would be an honor to help you fuck up British Petroleum and fuck up your Queen, too.”

    (Show me more...)

    From the Epicenter - Langtang, Nepal

    Langtang, Nepal. I’ve kept her photo near me for 25 years.
    NYT - "Unlikely... the 600 residents of Langtang survived."

    Chelsea Manning
    and the Deepwater Horizon Killings

    By Greg Palast  |  for Truthdig

    The military whistleblower’s 2010 Wikileaks dump included information that could have saved the 11 BP workers who died that spring in the Gulf of Mexico oil rig disaster.

    Five years ago Monday, 11 men died on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig — despite Chelsea Manning’s effort to save their lives.

    Let me explain.

    The BP drilling rig blew itself to Kingdom Come after the “mud” — the cement used to cap the well — blew out.

    The oil company, the federal government and the industry were shocked — shocked!  at this supposedly unexpected explosion in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

    But BP knew, and Exxon and Chevron knew, and the U.S. State Department knew, that just 17 months earlier another BP offshore rig had suffered an identical, disastrous blow-out halfway across the planet in the Caspian Sea.

    In both the Gulf and Caspian blow-outs, the immediate culprit was the failure of the cement, in both cases caused by the use — misuse — of nitrogen in the cement mix, a money-saving but ultimately deadly measure intended to speed the cement’s drying.

    The cover-up meant that U.S. regulators, the U.S. Congress and the public had no inkling that the cost-saving “quick-dry” cement process had failed on an offshore rig only a year before the Deepwater Horizon blew.


    You can watch the Deep Water Horizon report in Palast's documentary compilation film, Vultures and Vote Rustlers, which will be available as a FREE download for the next two days courtesy of the not-for-profit Palast Investigative Fund.


    But Pvt. Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning tried to warn us. The details of the Caspian Sea blow-out off the coast of Baku, Azerbaijan, were revealed in the secret (Show me more...)

    Danny Schechter (1942-2015)

    Today, we lost a journalist’s journalist, the moral commander of investigative reporters from New York to Johannesburg.

    Known for bringing the world the story of Nelson Mandela, Danny gave up cushy jobs at ABC and CNN, the big bucks and a steady flow of mainstream awards to blow the whistle on the degradation of American news. Danny exposed what he called the "news goo" of talking hair-dos—denouncing them as repeaters, not reporters. One of his searing books told it all in the title: "The More You Watch, the Less You Know."

    Listen to Danny Schechter Remembered with Greg Palast on KKFI.

    (Show me more...)

    How Bush Won the War in Iraq - Really!

    By Greg Palast for Vice Magazine

    If you thought it was "Blood for Oil"--you're wrong.  It was far, far worse.

    Because it was marked "confidential" on each page, the oil industry stooge couldn't believe the US State Department had given me a complete copy of their secret plans for the oil fields of Iraq. Actually, the State Department had done no such thing. But my line of bullshit had been so well-practiced and the set-up on my mark had so thoroughly established my fake identity, that I almost began to believe my own lies.I closed in. I said I wanted to make sure she and I were working from the same State Department draft. Could she tell me the official name, date and number of pages? She did.
    (Show me more...)

    From White Sheets to Spreadsheets

    By Greg Palast for Truthdig


    I hate to spoil a happy ending.

    The movie “Selma,” like this week’s commemorations of Martin Luther King Jr.’s march from Selma, Ala., 50 years ago, celebrates America’s giant leap from apartheid.

    Half a century ago Alabama state troopers and a mob of racist thugs beat African-Americans and others as they marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, demanding no more than the right to vote. By the time King led 25,000 demonstrators singing “We Shall Overcome” into Montgomery, the state capital, on March 25, the president of the United States had introduced the Voting Rights Act. Free at last—to vote. Roll credits.

    Yet, just a few months ago, Martin Luther King asked me, “How long until African-American citizens of Alabama—and Mississippi and Georgia—get the unimpeded right to vote?”

    Obviously I was not speaking with King Jr.—a bullet stole him from us in 1968. The question was posed by his son, Martin Luther King III. I spent an afternoon at his home in Atlanta, where we pored over the latest evidence that Americans of color were blocked at the doors to the polls in the 2014 midterm elections—by the hundreds of thousands.

    As King’s 6-year-old daughter serenaded us with her toy drum set, we dived into a massive, secretive database used by elections officials—almost all of them Republicans—in 28 states. The scheme, called “Interstate Crosscheck,” threatens to disqualify (Show me more...)

    Trojan Hearse:
    Greek Elections and the Euro Leper Colony

    By Greg Palast for το χωνί (Greece)
    [updated January 26, 2015]

    Europe is stunned, and bankers aghast, that the new party of the Left, Syriza, won Sunday's parliamentary elections in Greece.

    Syriza won on the promise that it will cure Greece of leprosy.

    Oddly, Syriza also promises that it will remain in the leper colony.  That is, Syriza wants to rid Greece of the cruelty of austerity imposed by the European Central Bank but insists on staying in the euro zone.

    The problem is, austerity run wild is merely a symptom of an illness.  The underlying disease is the euro itself.

    For the last five years, Greeks have been told that, if you cure your disease—that is, if you dump the euro—the sky will fall.  I guess Greeks haven’t noticed, the sky has fallen already.  With unemployment at 25%, with doctors and teachers eating out of garbage cans, there is no further to fall.

    In 2010, when unemployment was a terrible 10%, a year into the crisis, the “Troika” (the European Central Bank, European Commission and the International Monetary Fund) told the Greeks that brutal austerity measures would restore their economy by 2012.

    Ask yourself, Was the Troika right?

    There is a saying in America:  Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me.

    Can Greece survive without the euro?  Greece is already dead, but the Germans won’t even bother to bury (Show me more...)

    Selma, secretly

    By Greg Palast

    In 1930, when my father was an eight-year-old kid in Chicago, he asked his older brother why people were outside in the cold snow waiting in a long line. His brother Harold said, “It’s a bread line. They don’t have anything to eat. They’re hoping for bread.”

    My father ran to his mother’s bedroom and grabbed my grandmother’s diamond brooch, ran downstairs, and gave it to a man in the bread line.

    Later, as the Depression rolled on, my grandfather lost everything. So Gil Palast was a failure early. Stayed a failure.

    He ended up in the furniture business, in a store in the barrio in Los Angeles, selling pure crap on layaway to Mexicans; then later on, he sold fancier crap to fancier people in Beverly Hills and he hated furniture, and hated the undeserving (Show me more...)

    Cartoonist Ted Rall Joins
    Palast Investigations Team

    A note from Greg Palast

    With the blood of cartoonists still fresh on the walls of Charlie Hebdo in France, I thought I’d move up the announcement that poison pen-man Ted Rall has been named a Fellow of the Palast Investigative Fund.

    Now you can sign up to receive Ted’s ‘toons and tales weekly, no charge.

    Why the heck does an investigative reporting team need a guy who draws the funnies?  Ted is, in fact, one of the USA’s top journalists—reporting from Afghanistan (“After We Kill You, We Will Welcome You Back as Honored Guests”) and the other places too scary to go to yourself—and from the belly of the New York beast.

    The fact that Rall’s reports often come out as punch-lines in word balloons just makes his work even more brilliant.

    Download one of Ted’s masterpieces, “To Afghanistan and Back,” for FREE.

    We are honored to give Rall more opportunities to put himself in danger.

    And be honest: How many of you bought my bestseller, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, but only read Ted’s comic book included with it? (Like this brilliant Aliens Attack illustration.)

    Ted, who lived in France, knew and got sloshed with the Charlie Hebdo crew.  He writes,

    "I was thinking about that this morning when I heard NPR’s Eleanor Beardsley call Charlie Hebdo “gross” and “in poor taste.” (I should certainly hope so! If it’s in good taste, it ain’t funny.)”

    Like Rodney Dangerfield, cartoonists, says Rall, “get no respect.”

    Hey, that makes him a perfect candidate for the Palast team.   It’s an unusual fellowship (Show me more...)

    A Tale of Two Cuomos:
    The Tragic End of the Inspired Voice
    and the Duplicitous Pol

    By Greg Palast for Reader Supported News 

    I knew Mario Cuomo well. Too well.

    I helped write talking points for speeches that got him elected Governor and grieved that he did not become President.

    But there was another Cuomo, the one that tried to stop the US publication of my book, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy; the Mario Cuomo who went to court to try to put the Palast Investigative team out of business while we worked to expose the Bush Family election heist and the con job leading to war.

    I just read the glowing New York Times obit.  Even in death, Cuomo has pulled off one last con.   The Times lauds his single stellar accomplishment as Governor:  “He closed the Shoreham nuclear plant on Long Island,” New York.

    No, he didn’t.  As usual with Mario, he gave a great speech—and won election by calling for the nuclear plant’s closure.  But behind the scenes, the other Mario, the back-room wheeler-dealer, the toady to the bankers and power industry magnates, moved heaven and earth to stand in the way of the courageous statesmen and activists who actually closed this dangerous, radioactive monstrosity.

    On July 2, 1985, the New York State Legislature was about to pass the historic law authorizing the public takeover of the out-of-control private company that owned Shoreham. Near midnight, one of Cuomo’s stooges (Show me more...)

    Palast wins Sidney Prize for Exposing
    New Threat to Voters of Color

    From the Sidney Hillman Foundation

    NEW YORKGreg Palast wins the December Sidney Award for “Jim Crow Returns,” and “Challenging Crosscheck,” a two-part Al Jazeera America exposé that shows how millions of innocent people were flagged as suspected vote fraudsters just because they have the same first and last name as someone in another state.

    On the eve of the 2014 elections, officials had begun to purge voters based upon Interstate Crosscheck, voter fraud prevention software. More than 40,000 voters were dropped from the rolls in Virginia alone.

    Read The Backstory, our Q&A with Greg Palast

    The Crosscheck program, used in 28 states, is ostensibly designed to prevent voter fraud by identifying people who voted in different states in the same election. The system is billed as a sophisticated fraud-detection tool, but Crosscheck lists obtained by Palast for three states show that the system matches on first and last name alone. Crosscheck flagged more than 2 million names in those three states, Palast found.

    “It was absolute murder trying to get the Crosscheck lists out of the hands of these highly political agencies,” Palast said. “They knew damn well (Show me more...)

    The Hunt Continues...
    A personal note from Greg Palast

    Three weeks ago, we blew the lid off “Interstate Crosscheck”—the 6.9 million voter purge list put together by 27 wannabe Katherine Harrises.

    It took us six months of detective work to get our hands on these lists of millions of Americans tagged as 'suspected double-voters'  – and the sneaky and sick method used to disenfranchise more voters of color.But the Purge’n Generals are not done.  So far, they’ve only knocked off a few hundred thousand voters.  That was enough to flip the Senate; but they’re in the process of removing nearly a million voters by 2016 to get the White House.

    We’re not done either:  We are still digging, still uncovering more games like Crosscheck—and the billionaires behind the vote swindles.

    We need your support to continue the investigation of these ballot bandits – and expose all their tricks.

    We are halfway through our production of Billionaires & Ballot Bandits - The Movie, based on my New York Times bestseller.

    Let me be blunt:  We’ve depleted our funds—but we can’t stop now.

    I rarely ask – but I have to ask now...

    Help us complete the film by making a tax-deductible donation of $100 or more and you will get an on-screen credit as a Supporter plus the signed DVD once the film has wrapped.

    Or make a tax-deductible donation of $50 –– and, once the film has wrapped, you will receive the signed DVD.

    Or chip in whatever you can to help us get it done.

    For those with deeper pockets, we really need Producers.

    For a tax-deductible donation of $1,000 or more you will get an on-screen Producer credit, or a Co-Producer credit for a donation of $500. (You can, of course, choose to remain anonymous.)

    Or, for a donation or $40 get a signed DVD of my investigations compendium Vultures and Vote Rustlers (Palast Investigates Vol. 2).

    Better yet, get (Show me more...)

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