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  • Bradley Manning &
    The Deepwater Horizon

    By Greg Palast for Vice Magazine

    Three years ago this month, on the 20th of April, 2010, the BP Deepwater Horizondrilling rig blew itself to kingdom come.

    Soon thereafter, a message came in to our office's chief of investigations, Ms Badpenny, from a person (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.

    Bingo! I'd just beaten the Military-Petroleum Complex in a lying contest, so I had a right to be stoked.

    After phoning numbers from California to Kazakhstan (Show me more...)

    Hugo Chavez vs "The Network"

    By Greg Palast for Vice Magazine

    London, February 2002. A tiny, dark and intense woman waited at the end of a lecture until I was alone, brought her face strangely close to mine and whispered, “President Chavez needs you. Right now. To Caracas. Right now. You must come to see him.”
    President Who? All I knew about this Hugo Chavez guy was that he was an Latin-American jefe, led a bungled coup and was filled with a lot of populist bullshit and a lot of oil.

    And I also knew that no one at BBC Newsnight (Show me more...)

    Fukushima: They Knew

    "Completely and Utterly Fail in an Earthquake"
    Two years later, the Fukushima story you didn't hear on CNN

    An excerpt from Vultures' Picnic by Greg Palast

    I've seen a lot of sick stuff in my career, but this was sick on a new level.
    Here was the handwritten log kept by a senior engineer at the nuclear power plant:

    Wiesel was very upset. He seemed very nervous. Very agitated. . . . In fact, the plant was riddled with problems that, no way on earth, could stand an earth- quake. The team of engineers sent in to inspect found that most of these components could "completely and utterly fail" during an earthquake.

    "Utterly fail during an earthquake." And here in Japan was the quake (Show me more...)

    Vaya con Dios, Hugo Chàvez, mi Amigo

    By Greg Palast for Vice Magazine

    For BBC Television, Palast met several times with Hugo Chàvez, who passed away today.

    As a purgative for the crappola fed to Americans about Chavez, my foundation, The Palast Investigative Fund, is offering the film, The Assassination of Hugo Chavez, as a FREE download. Based on my several meetings with Chavez, his kidnappers and his would-be assassins, filmed for BBC Television. DVDs also available.

    Media may contact Palast at interviews (at) gregpalast.com.

    Venezuelan President Chavez once asked me why the US elite wanted to kill him. My dear Hugo: It's the oil. And it's the Koch Brothers – and it's the ketchup.

    Reverend Pat Robertson said,

    "Hugo Chavez thinks we're trying to assassinate him. I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it." (Show me more...)

    How Do You Steal a Dream?
    Supreme Court hears suit to kill Voting Rights Act

    How Do You Steal a Dream?
    Supreme Court hears suit to kill Voting Rights Act

    For Care2.com
    By Greg Palast, author, “Billionaires and Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps

    Sign the petition to Defend Martin Luther King's Dream Act - here.

    Jim Crow is alive and well — and he has mounted a new attack on the law Martin Luther King dreamed of: the Voting Rights Act.

    Today, February 27, the Supreme Court will hear a suit brought by Shelby County, Alabama, which challenges the right of the Department of Justice to review changes in voting procedure. Example: Attempts to cut the number of early voting days, to expunge “illegal alien” voters without any evidence, refusing Spanish-language ballots, have been blocked by the Department of Justice and courts because they have stopped Black and Hispanic citizens casting ballots.

    Sixteen states are subject to this “pre-clearance” law, every one with a history of Jim Crow rules such as “literacy” tests — Blacks had to recite the Constitution, Whites “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” (Show me more...)

    Defend Martin Luther King's Dream Act:
    Protect the Voting Rights Act & Expand It

    by Greg Palast, Journalist, joined by

    Dr. Charles Steele – Chairman, of Southern Christian Leadership Conference
    Dr. Bernard Lafayette Jr - Freedom Rider, co-founder, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Martin Luther King Jr.’s appointee to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference
    Mrs. Cathelean C. Steele, First Lady and Director, SCLC Director of Programs (Women's Initiatives)

    …and YOU. Sign NOW at Care2.com

    Dr. King's Dream Act is under attack. On Wednesday February 27, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear a challenge to the law's requirement that states with a history of Jim Crow voting rules let the Justice Department review new voting procedures. This is the only effective method, today as in 1965, to ensure that every American citizen will not lose their vote because of race or language.

    America's heart breaks when we see, a half century after King's Dream speech, African-Americans in Florida standing for six hours to cast their ballot. America's heart breaks when we hear of Latino citizens in Arizona blocked at the polling station door by ID laws and intimidation because of the color of their skin or the language spoken in their homes. (Show me more...)

    Too Fat to Vote
    Will a Supreme Ku Klux Kourt kill
    Dr. King’s Dream Act?

    By Greg Palast for Vice Magazine

    You know why black folk in the south don't vote? According to The New York Times and the experts at the Pew Charitable Trust, they're just too damn fat!

    Normally I wouldn't care what the Times is passing off as fact, except for that, on February the 27th, the US Supreme Court will hear arguments about whether to gut the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

    The Voting Rights Act was the law that Martin Luther King Jr had a dream about a half-century ago: that all citizens will be able to exercise their right to vote. But, like all pleasant dreams, morning means waking up to the ugly reality sleeping next to you.

    The pug-uglies in this case are the four Supreme Court justices hostile to the Act. If one more joins them, you can kiss Martin's dream goodbye.

    The dream-busters are led by Chief Justice John Roberts. In 2009, he wrote, "The historic accomplishments of the Voting Rights Act are undeniable." But – and Roberts' "but" is huge – the Act is out of date and "fails to account for current political conditions".

    According to Roberts, "Jim Crow laws" – the apartheid rules used in the Deep South to keep African-Americans from the polls – have long passed away.

    It's true, black folks now fare better in Dixie. Why, just last week, Mississippi ratified the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery 147 years after Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation (I kid you not).

    So, Roberts is ready to dump (Show me more...)

    Thousands demand Obama to Smoke Pipe

    Rally Against Keystone XL Pipeline
    Photos by Zach D Roberts, photojournalist funded by the Palast Investigative Fund, at Sunday's rally in Washington DC, on assignment for Truth-out.  More photos here.

    (Show me more...)

    "I want my fair share
    –and that's ALL OF IT."
    The Kochs & the XL Pipeline

    By Greg Palast for Vice Magazine

    Activists alert:
    Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and his son Connor Kennedy were arrested Wednesday in Washington while protesting against approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
    A rally in Washington, DC, protesting the Pipeline, has been called by Forward on Climate for Sunday, February 17.
    Bobby Kennedy, my partner in these investigations, is a contributor to Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: Greg Palast investigates Karl Rove, the Koch Gang & their Buck Buddies, the book on which this report is based.

    According to the transcript of the secretly recorded tape, Charles Koch was chuckling like a six-year old. Koch was having a hell of a laugh over pilfering a few hundred dollars' worth of oil from a couple of dirt-poor Indians on the Osage Reservation.

    Why did Koch, worth about $3 billion at the time (now $20 billion) need to boost a few bucks from some Indian in a trailer home? Koch answered:

    "I want my fair share – and that's all of it."

    Now "all of it" includes a pipeline, the Keystone XL, which would run the world's filthiest oil, (Show me more...)

    Billionaire Burglar Breaks
    into Obama's Cabinet
    Pinch-Penny Pritzker pockets Commerce post

    By Greg Palast for Truth-out

    A parade of media reports this week name Penny Pritzker as Obama's prime choice for Secretary of Commerce. No longer will criminal bankers have to lobby the administration - because now they'll have one of their own in the Cabinet.

    We never heard of this guy Barack Obama until 2004. Less than three years before taking the presidency, he was in the Illinois state senate, a swamp of scammers, backhanders, and party machine tools - not a stellar launch pad for the White House. And then, one day, state Sen. Barack Obama was visited by his fairy godmother. Her name is Penny Pritzker.

    Penny's from Heaven?

    Pritzger's net worth is listed in Forbes as $1.8 billion, which is one hell of a heavy magic wand in the world of politics. Her wand would have been heavier, and her net worth higher, except that in 2001, the federal government fined her and her family $460 million for the predatory, deceitful, racist tactics and practices of Superior, the bank-and-loan-shark operation she ran on the South Side of Chicago.

    Superior was the first of the deregulated go-go banks to go bust - at the time, the costliest failure ever. US taxpayers lost nearly half a billion dollars. Superior's depositors lost millions (Show me more...)

    The Koch Brothers, Hugo Chavez
    and the XL Pipeline

    By Greg Palast for Vice Magazine and The Other 98%

    I’ve been tracking a tube of black putrid ooze, a toxic viper slowly slithering 2000 miles across the belly of America, swallowing all water aquifers, politicians and reason in its path.

    The XL Keystone Pipeline.

    As Nagini, the murderous snake in the Harry Potter tales, had its master Voldemort, I figured the Keystone XL Pipeline much also have its own dark lords.

    I smelled Koch.

    David and Charles Koch are each worth $20 billion--and they’re quite certain that’s not enough.  And so they need the XL Keystone Pipeline.

    The XL Keystone will take Canadian tar-sands oil, the filthiest crude on the planet and suck it down to Texas Gulf Coast refineries. Alberta’s oil-glop reserve, if it can get to the US market, will warm the planet by nearly .4°C all by itself.

    Why in the world would America pistol-whip Mother Nature to bring oil to Texas? I mean, it’s just plain weird to suck heavy tar oil out of Canada, drag it across the entire middle of the USA to import it into the oil-exporting Lone Star State.

    Here’s where a little lesson in oil chemistry comes in.  (Show me more...)

    Aaron Swartz Died for Piers Morgan's Sins

    By Greg Palast for Vice Magazine

    This is the tale of two geniuses.  One on TV.  One Dead.

    Portrait of a Genius (Not Piers Morgan)

    In 2000, Aaron Swartz, aged 14, had just released his astonishing invention, RSS, liberating news and information, replacing the selection of the tiny minds of editors with your own wide judgment.

    Around the same time, one of Piers Morgan's stringers hacked into the phone of Sir Paul McCartney's wife and stole some highly personal, and highly valuable, information – the type of gossip used to sell Morgan's grotty little scandal sheet, The Daily Mirror, the cornerstone of Morgan's $20 million fortune based on tittle and titties.

    Electronic burglary for profit is a crime in the UK and USA both. But Piers is serving time on prime time, on CNN.

    Aaron Swartz did not get a TV show.  The Robin Hood of the Information Liberation Front faced 35 years in prison for a selfless act of civil disobedience.  Swartz was charged for the crime of attempting to liberate documents from JSTOR computers.  JSTOR is the Goldman Sachs and Politburo of university research papers, a giant information sucker squid that hordes research and discoveries crucial to the public - the public which paid for most of the research.

    (If Oxford joined JSTOR when Isaac Newton published, only a well-heeled elite would have the secret of thermodynamics.  If Newton worked for Microsoft, we'd be paying a royalty for the use of gravity.)

    Aaron, rather than face a life in Obama's dungeon, chose suicide.  And Piers? (Show me more...)

    Piers Morgan And My Pee Pee

    By Greg Palast for Vice Magazine

    Now, if this were a movie, you would hear the audience scream, "DON’T TAKE THE KEY! DON’T GO UP THOSE STAIRS!"

    The reporter part of my brain was screaming, too: 'THIS SMELLS BAD.' But I couldn’t  hear a thing because, while I was out for the story, the memory of Ms Jamaica’s hand in my pocket had drained the blood from my cerebellum. I went up those stairs. Unlocked the door.

    BUT FOR GOD’S SAKE, DON’T TAKE OFF YOUR PANTS!

    (Show me more...)

    Assault Gun Ban -
    Weapon of Mass Distraction

    By Greg Palast for Vice Magazine

    George Bush told America he'd keep us safe from terrorists by having us take off our shoes at the airport.

    Yesterday, Barack Obama again took the Oath of Office. And this Obama 2.0 is also going to save America from insane killers – by limiting ammo clips to ten bullets instead of 30.

    At a television press conference about the Newtown school massacre last Wednesday, a tearful President called this, "meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this".

    It won't.

    But, once again, we get to pretend that our presidents protect us and save us from what is murdering us and destroying us.

    But The Great Assault Rifle Debate, like the War on Terror, is just another Weapon of Mass Distraction.

    * * * * 

    This is the second of Palast's weekly columns for VICE – beginning with a bang: a four-part series on Alex Jones, guns, Piers Morgan and Palast's penis.  If you read the full version of part 2 of these reports right now at Vice Magazine,

    You get a bonus:  a free download copy of Palast's latest book, the bestseller, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits.

    * * * *

    In all fairness to Obama, he also called – as Bush did – for a massive increase in the number of FBI files kept on Americans. I feel safer already, don't you?

    Here's the facts, ma'am: There are about 4.5 million assault rifles in American civilian hands. That's around the same number as in tiny Switzerland (population: eight million). Tens of thousands of Swiss keep a 9mm Sig Sauer, like the one used by the Newtown killer. But we don't see the Swiss sweeping dead kids out of their schoolyards.

    The weapon of America's deadliest mass killer, Timmy McVeigh, was fertiliser. Maybe we should ban bullshit, but that would shut down Washington and all five major TV networks.

    At his assault-gun dog-and-pony show on Wednesday, Obama shed tears for the murdered victims, as well he should. But where are his tears for the victims of the MACT?

    Let me explain. Last month, Obama bullied his own Environmental Protection Agency into watering down the "MACT" standards – the limits on industrial boiler pollution.



    Under this loosened "MACT" rule, industry will get to triple the hydrogen chloride and triple the particulate filth they may dump into the air. The White House crows that Obama's bending over on this rule will save corporate polluters $1.5 billion (£945 million) a year. Yippee!

    Last year, the White House proudly posted the statement of EPA's Administrator Lisa Jackson that her proposed boiler pollution rules would help "prevent 17,000 premature deaths [and] 120,000 cases of childhood asthma symptoms."

    (Show me more...)

    Alex Jones, Guns, Piers Morgan
    – and My Penis


    By Greg Palast for Vice Magazine

    PART ONE: ALEX JONES VERSUS DOWNTON ABBEY

    Alex Jones is right. Deport Piers Morgan. NOW. Send him back. In chains.

    The year's big YouTube hit, Alex Jones shoves an assault rifle (figuratively) up Piers Morgan. Alex was simply trying to explain to Piers why America has a Bill of Rights while England has David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Paul McCartney.

    Before I enumerate the charges against Morgan, we need to ask two questions. Why did Alex Jones – the host of one of the only intellectually substantive, fact-heavy forums on American radio –  seem to lose it on air? And why is it so important to the media elite to ridicule Alex Jones and dismiss him as a fruitcake and a buffoon – just another scary, Texan gun-nut – while they venerate Pus Moron – the scoundrel, the faker, the wanker – like he's Thomas Jefferson?

    * * * * 

    This is the first of Palast's weekly columns for VICE – beginning with a bang: a four-part series on Alex Jones, guns, Piers Morgan and Palast's penis.  If you read the full version of these reports right now at Vice Magazine,
    You get a bonus:  a free download copy of my latest book, the bestseller, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits.

    * * * *

    The yell from Alex's throat was not his own voice alone – it was the choric cry of his millions of listeners in the forgotten heartland of America. It was The Scream of the Screwed.

    It's not about guns. (Show me more...)

    Big Oil, Big Ketchup
    and The Assassination of Hugo Chavez

    By Greg Palast for Truthout

    Updated as Vaya con Dios, Hugo Chàvez, mi Amigo.

    (Show me more...)

    'The Assassination of Hugo Chavez'
    Download the Film for Free


    Over the years many things have been said about Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez but rarely has the true story of the man Pat Robertson called "a dangerous enemy" been told - that's what I've done in The Assassination of Hugo Chavez.

    Since the main stream media has decided that Chavez is "a ruinous demagogue" (NYT) - I've decided to release my film, The Assassination of  Hugo Chavez for free. You can download it for free at the link, or leave a small donation so that we can continue making films like this.

    Download the Film for FREE

    Watch the Trailer

     

    Thanks,
    Greg Palast

    (Show me more...)

    The Obligatory, End of the Year
    Top 10 List

    Here are the stories that got the most attention in 2012

    The Palast Investigative Fund was quite effective this year. Vulture funds were banned, election theft made national headlines, and we outed gov't profiteer posing as a candidate.

    Oh, and our little book Billionaires & Ballot Bandits hit the New York Times Bestseller list for 5 weeks.

    This was a great year for the Palast Team (other than our photographer getting his head and camera beaten) - and we couldn't have done it without your support, financially and through the simple act of sharing our information.

    We're ready for 2013 and have already started putting together the plans for our next investigations, films and maybe even another book.

    For now though - please re-read our top, breaking stories from 2012 - many of which you can find in Billionaires & Ballot Bandits. (Show me more...)

    The Anti-Clause: Reverend Billy's
    No-Click Christmas

    By Greg Palast for Truthout.org

    [New York, December 18, 2012] Even for New York, this was WEIRD. There were a half dozen Santa Clauses on Second Avenue getting a sermon from a Midwestern preacher who looks like a cross between televangelist Jerry Falwell and a white-haired Elvis.

    The Santa Crew and their mini-skirted elves were on their way to get drunk (drunker?) with another thousand Santa impersonators at "SantaCon," an annual gathering of St. Nicks. But they were willing to let the Reverend Billy attempt to save their souls.

    Reverend Billy did not object to their plans for lubrication, but to their original Sin: collaborating with the Devil's work known as "Christmas Shopping."

    (Show me more...)

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