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  • 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...)

    Greg Palast and Brad Friedman
    Expose the Midterm Election Swindle
    on Thom Hartmann’s ‘Big Picture'

    (Show me more...)

    The Secret Lists that Swiped the Senate

    By Greg Palast

    Statistics guru Nate Silver simply can’t understand why every single legitimate poll indicated that Democrats should have gotten 4% more votes in the midterm elections than appeared in the final count.

    The answer, Nate, is “Crosscheck.”No question, Republicans trounced Democrats in the Midterm elections.  But, if not for the boost of this voter-roll purge system used in 23 Republican-controlled states, the GOP could not have taken the US Senate.
    It took the Palast investigations team six months to get our hands on the raw files, fighting against every official trick to keep them hidden.

    Here’s what we found.

    Interstate Crosscheck is computer system that officials claim can identify anyone who commits the crime of voting twice in the same election in two different states.  While the current list of seven million “suspects” did not yield a single conviction for double voting, Crosscheck did provide the grounds for removing the registrations of tens of thousands of voters in battleground states.

    The purge proved decisive in North Carolina, Colorado, Kansas and elsewhere.  Without Crosscheck, the GOP could not have taken control of the US Senate.  [Read my original investigative report.]

    Nate Silver might want to punch these numbers into his laptop:

    • In North Carolina, Republican Thom Tillis upset incumbent Senator Kay Hagan by just 48,511 votes.  North Carolina’s Crosscheck purge list targeted a stunning 589,393 voters.
    • In Colorado, Cory Gardner, the Republican, defeated Mark Udall by just 49,729 votes.  Colorado’s Crosscheck “potential double voter” list totals 300,842.

    The Crosscheck purge list also swamped GOP Senate margins in Alaska and Georgia and likely provided the victory margins for GOP gubernatorial victories in Kansas and Massachusetts.

    No, states do not purge every name on the lists.  Typical is Virginia which proudly purged 64,581 “duplicates” from its voter rolls in 2013, equal to about 19% of its Crosscheck list.  Other states refuse to provide numbers, but their scrub methods are the same, or even more aggressive, than Virginia’s.

    We can conservatively calculate that the purge of 19% of the Crosscheck lists accounted for at least three GOP Senate victories – and thereby, control of the Senate.

    If the Crosscheck lists truly identified fraudulent double voters, then we’d have to concede that the election results are legit.  But the ugly truth is, the lists are nothing more than racially-loaded lists of common names.Click to Enlarge

    And that’s why GOP Secretaries of State, a gaggle of Katherine Harrises, hid the lists until (Show me more...)

    Dispatch from Battleground
    North Carolina

    By Greg Palast

    [Greensboro, NC]
    Jim Crow has risen from the crypt of Segregation.  But now he’s working as Dr. James Crow, database expert.  Read Greg Palast’s Election Day dispatch from Dixie, for Al Jazeera.

    Here in Greensboro, Reverend Barber recites local history. It was in this small southern town that, in 1960, the beating of students conducting a sit-in at the local Woolworth’s  launched the wave of non-violent protests that became the Civil Rights Movement. The state has made it an official tourist destination.

    Rev. Barber’s rally also marks the 35th anniversary of the killing of five protesters by the remnants of the Ku Klux Klan, an event without a tourist marker. “We’ve been through too much to go backwards!" his is deep voice rising with the gospel sound of Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come.”

    Greensboro is the residence of an astonishing 3,735 voters who supposedly cast ballots in the presidential election illegally in both North Carolina and Virginia. Or, at least, that is how they are listed in the Interstate Crosscheck files.

    Read today’s complete report for Al Jazeera, Voting-Rights Groups Challenge Electoral Purges, about the swift (Show me more...)

    Look up your Name
    on the Crosscheck Voter Purge-List

    By Greg Palast

    My investigative report, JIM CROW RETURNS: Millions of Minority Voters Threatened by Electoral Purge, is the most-read story ever on Al Jazeera America’s website.

    If you haven’t read it yet – the results of a six-month intensive investigation – read it now.

    On Oct 29 & 30, Al Jazeera America aired Palast's TV 2-Part report on this new voter purge.

    The Palast team has ripped the lid off “Interstate Crosscheck” – a system used by 27 states, almost all under Republican control, which claims to find illegal “double voters,” those who vote in the same election in two different states.

    It took us months, but we got our hands on 2.1 million of the names of the so-called “double voters” accused by Crosscheck.

    Are YOU a criminal double voter?(Apparently, Michael Moore voted 176 times!)

    What we found is that Crosscheck is simply a list of common first and last names.  And the list is a sloppy, absurd mess. Over a million and half of these alleged double voters have mis-matched (Show me more...)

    Palast's Biggest Exposé Ever
    3.5 Million Voters Threatened with Purge

    Three million threatened in purge of voter rolls
    The removals, which target minority voters,
    were begun in secret in the battleground state of Georgia

    Atlanta, Georgia – A six-month-long nationwide investigation by Al Jazeera America has discovered that voting officials in 27 states, almost all of them Republicans, have launched what is threatening to become a massive purge of black, Hispanic and Asian-American voters. Already, tens of thousands have been removed from voter rolls in battleground states, and the numbers are set to climb.

    Read the full story on

    Also watch the exposé.

    *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *
    Greg Palast, available to media at interviews (at), was the reporter who, for BBC TV and  The Guardian, broke the story in 2000 of Katherine Harris' wrongful purge of innocent black voters as "felons".

    (Show me more...)

    BP and the Three Stooges Defense

    By Greg Palast for Truthdig
    Forget Stephen King. If you want scary, read U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier's 150-page Findings of Fact released Thursday in the Deepwater Horizon case.

    Although the judge found BP liable for “gross negligence,” some U.S. media failed to mention that Barbier let BP off the hook on punitive damages. And that stuns me, given that the record seems to identify enough smoking guns to roast a sizable pig.

    Here's a standout example:

    Every rig operator knows that, before a rig can unhook from a drill pipe, the operator has to (Show me more...)

    Lap Dancers, the CIA, Pay-offs, and BP’s Deepwater Horizon

    By Greg Palast | for Truthdig

    Originally published April 17, 2014

    From his investigation for Channel 4 Television in the newly released film, Vultures and Vote Rustlers.

    There was CIA involvement through a company called Mega Oil. They were shipping in arms under the cover of oil tools.

    The BP executive was explaining to me how the CIA, MI6 and British Petroleum engineered a coup d'état, (Show me more...)

    Crime Scene – New Orleans

    By Greg Palast for Reader Supported News

    [Lower Ninth Ward, New Orleans]  Nine years ago this week, New Orleans drowned.  Don’t you dare blame Mother Nature.  Miss Katrina killed no one in this town.  But it was a homicide, with nearly 2,000 dead victims.  If not Katrina, who done it?  Read on.

    The Palast Investigative Fund is making our half-hour investigative report available as a free download – Big Easy to Big Empty: The Untold Story of the Drowning of New Orleans, produced for Democracy Now.  In the course of the filming, Palast was charged with violation of anti-terror laws on a complaint from Exxon Corporation. Charges were dropped, and our digging continued.

    It wasn’t an Act of God.  It was an Act of Chevron.  An Act of Exxon. An Act of Big Oil.

    Take a look at these numbers dug out of Louisiana state records: (Show me more...)

    Robin Williams and the Happiness Industry

    By Greg Palast

    I  can't help feeling that Robin Williams was a victim of his industry: the happiness industry.

    Williams was typecast for those parts with manic, unstoppable joy.  Listen up, Aladdin! Williams' genie said, You're not suffering from poverty–what you need is a positive attitude!  You know, put on a happy face! Let a smile be your umbrella!  

    Our culture despises and fears unhappiness. We pathologize unhappiness; we conflate it with a disease, "depression." And it's a disease we insist you can cure–so you don't spread your unhappiness germs to the rest of us.  We stigmatize those who are unhappy, like we stigmatize those who are overweight:  If you're fat, you just don't have any self-control. If you're unhappy, it's your personal failure to just buck up.

    We laud the congenitally happy, like Ronald Reagan, the chipper Gipper, the Grinning Grandpa, who could unleash his death squads and smile all the while.

    We are a nation of salesman, commercially optimistic. We don't like downers; we don't like people who spoil the party.

    And so we push those who find themselves unhappy to medicate themselves–avoid The Deep, get out of the blues and join the Disney.  Williams chose booze, pills and (Show me more...)

    Cómo podría Barack Obama poner fin
    a la crisis de deuda argentina?

    Argentine president cites and posts Palast report on “The Vulture”

    (Show me more...)

    Obama Can End Argentina's Debt Crisis with a Pen
    The President has the Constitutional power to pluck vulture-fund billionaire Paul Singer. Obama hasn't. Why not?

    By Greg Palast for The Guardian

    The "vulture" financier now threatening to devour Argentina can be stopped dead by a simple note to the courts from Barack Obama. But the president, while officially supporting Argentina, has not done this one thing that could save Buenos Aires from default.

    Obama could prevent vulture hedge-fund billionaire Paul Singer from collecting a single penny from Argentina by invoking the long-established authority granted presidents by the US constitution's "Separation of Powers" clause. Under the principle known as "comity", Obama only need inform US federal judge Thomas Griesa that Singer's suit interferes with the president's sole authority to conduct foreign policy. Case dismissed.

    Indeed, President George W Bush invoked this power against the very same hedge fund now threatening Argentina. Bush blocked Singer's seizure of Congo-Brazzaville's US property, despite the fact that the hedge fund chief is one of the largest, and most influential, contributors to Republican candidates.

    Notably, an appeals court warned this very judge, 30 years ago, to heed the directive of a president invoking his foreign policy powers. In the Singer case, the US state department did inform Judge Griesa that the Obama administration agreed with Argentina's legal arguments; but the president never (Show me more...)

    The Vulture:
    Chewing Argentina’s Living Corpse

    Vulture investor Paul Singer has forced the nation of Argentina into default. Here’s the real story, from Billionaires & Ballot Bandits by Greg Palast.

    A call came in from New York to my bosses at BBC Television Centre, London. It was from one of the knuckle- draggers on the payroll of billionaire Paul Singer, Number One funder for the Republican Party in New York, million-dollar donor to the Mitt Romney super-PAC, and top money-giver to the GOP Senate campaign fund. But better known to us as Singer The Vulture.

    “We have a file on Greg Palast.”

    Well, of course they do.

    And I have a file on them.

    I had just returned from traveling up the Congo River for BBC and the Guardian. Singer’s enforcer indicated that Mr. Singer would prefer BBC not run a story about him— especially not with film of his suffering prey: children, cholera victims.

    Like any vulture, Singer feasts when victims die. Literally. For example, Singer made a pile buying asbestos company Owens Corning out of bankruptcy. The company had concealed from its workers they would get asbestosis from handling their product.

    You don’t want to die of asbestosis. Your lungs turn to mush and you drown inside yourself.

    The asbestos company was forced to pay tens of thousands of its workers for their medical care and for their families after their deaths.

    But then Singer used his political muscle to screw down the compensation promised to the workers. He offered them peanuts. And, dying, they took it. Like the Ice Man, Singer The Vulture used the cudgel of “tort reform” to beat the weakened workers into submission. With asbestos workers buried or bought-off cheap, Singer’s asbestos death factories were (Show me more...)

    "Inside an Investigative Reporter"
    Greg Palast gives the full Monty

    Download or listen to the full PRN broadcast.

    Palast tells tales of undercover investigations, poetry, honey traps and why you stay the hell out of journalism school to Danny Schechter, the News Dissector.

    *  *  *  *  *  *
    Greg Palast is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy and Armed Madhouse and the highly acclaimed Vultures’ Picnic.

    (Show me more...)

    Happy Birthday, World War One!

    Greg Palast in Sarajevo, near where Archduke Franz Ferdinand was shot, tracing the trail of rogue financier 'Goldfinger.' (Photo: Richard Rowley for BBC-TV. The first ten readers to find Palast in the photo, will get a free copy of the film of this story, Vultures & Vote Rustlers.)

    Happy birthday, World War One! Walking the mortar-cratered streets of Sarajevo, Bosnia, I was reminded that World War I started here, and World War II and World War III, World War V and VI and the current World War IX. Here in the city where the ghosts of Muslim, Catholic, Orthodox and Jewish victims outnumber the living, as I hunted another corpse-chewing financier, it became clear to me that the endless parade of war is not about a clash of civilizations, but the CASH of civilizations.

    Before the Panzers rolled into Poland, they rolled into (Show me more...)

    Don't Leave Without Saying Good-Bye
    A personal note from Greg Palast

    I wish my enemies to take note that my quadruple by-pass heart surgery three weeks ago was quite successful.  My doctors say I can suit up for dragon-slaying in about six weeks. Bless you all for your thousands of healing notes and thoughts.

    The day before going under the knife, I was reminded that, "You can't take it with you” – because the insurance company will take it first.  (Bada-bing!)  So, I invited my attorney to the cardiac unit (no kidding) to tweak my last will and testament – insuring that royalties to my books and films will continue to go the Palast Investigative Fund.

    I truly wish you a long, happy and healthy life.  But, alas, one day we all must shuffle off our mortal coils.

    So, please, don't leave without saying goodbye. It's easy.  Simply include the Palast Investigative Fund in your will. And contact us to let us know.

    I am pleased to announce my new association with Al Jazeera for a series of in-depth globe-spanning investigative reports. It is a great honor to join with journalists whose inestimable courage I cannot hope to replicate, but whose high standards we will dignify with our best work.
    Al Jazeera: “Journalism is not a crime.”

    For those of you who seek more elaborate tax-savvy estate planning, our not-for-profit foundation has retained the services of an expert who can help guide you, please contact us.

    But, if you're the impatient type, you can donate RIGHT NOW, and enjoy one of our special thank you gifts. Donate at least $50 dollars and get a signed copy of Billionaires & Ballot Bandits.  Donate $1,000 and get a listing as a producer of the film, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: The Movie.

    You can also donate for any amount (no matter how large or small) or browse here for our many other gifts. (Show me more...)

    Lap Dancers, the CIA, Pay-offs, and BP’s Deepwater Horizon

    By Greg Palast | for Truthdig

    From his investigation for Channel 4 Television in the newly released film, Vultures and Vote Rustlers.

    There was CIA involvement through a company called Mega Oil. They were shipping in arms under the cover of oil tools.

    The BP executive was explaining to me how the CIA, MI6 and British Petroleum engineered a coup d'état, overthrowing an elected president of a nation who was “not favorable to BP.” The corporation's former Vice-President, Leslie Abrahams, is pictured here, holding an AK-47 in front of BP headquarters in Baku, Azerbaijan.  Like most of the other BP executives I spoke with, he proudly added that while he was working for BP, he was also an operative for MI6, British intelligence.

    The conversation was far from the weirdest I had in my four-continent investigation of the real story of the Deepwater Horizon.

    The BP oilrig blew out on April 20, 2010, four years ago this Sunday.

    Earlier this month, the Obama Administration officially OK'd BP's right to resume drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. And two weeks ago, just to assure the company that all is forgiven, (Show me more...)

    Chavez, Maduro and Venezuela
    the story they don’t want you to read

    By Greg Palast

    Venezuelan president Nicholás Maduro wrote on Op Ed published in the New York Times yesterday calling for peace.

    As someone who knows president Nicholás Maduro, Hugo Chavez' successor, (and Maduro's opponents), I can say that I’ve never met a head of state (and I’ve met many) who absolutely gives a real shit about the average working person of his nation.

    Venezuela is Occupy Wall Street on its head: the 1% are out in the street, violently hoping to overthrow the government elected by working people. Are the Kochs involved?

    Why not read my reports on Venezuela?

    Did Chavez’ Pick Steal the Election in Venezuela?

    Hugo Chavez vs "The Network”

    The Koch Brothers, Hugo Chavez and the XL Pipeline

    Big Oil, Big Ketchup and The Assassination of Hugo Chavez

    And once again, to shed light through the US media bullshit on Venezuela, my not-for-profit foundation is offering my film, "The Assassination of Hugo Chavez" as a FREE Download.   (Show me more...)

    ‘We’re All Some Kind of Native Now’

    By Greg Palast | first printed in TruthDig as Death Came by Water First, Then Oil

    It was Good Friday, 50 years ago on March 27, 1964, that according to seismologists, the snow peaks of Prince William Sound jumped 33 feet into the air and fell back down. Emergency warnings about an earthquake-spurred tsunami went out to towns from Valdez, Alaska, to Malibu, Calif., but no one thought to send a message to the Chugach Natives in Chenega, Alaska.

    Chenega chief Nikolas Kompkoff watched the mountains leap and the waters around his island disappear over the horizon.

    Knowing the water would return with a vengeance, he ran his four daughters up a hill toward high ground. But the nine-story-tall tsunami was moving too fast for their little legs. Kompkoff made a decision: He grabbed the two girls closest to him, tucked them under his arms and ran up the slope, leaving the other two to be seized by the wave.

    Days later, a postal pilot on his weekly mail drop could not find Chenega because every single house – and a third of the residents – had been washed out to sea.

    When he circled back to the site he saw the village’s church on the hill with (Show me more...)

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