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 (Show me more...)
Langtang, Nepal. I’ve kept her photo near me for 25 years.
NYT - "Unlikely... the 600 residents of Langtang survived."
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.
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...)
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.
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...)
By Greg Palast for Truthdig
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...)
By Greg Palast for το χωνί (Greece)
[updated January 26, 2015]
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...)
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...)
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.
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...)
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...)
From the Sidney Hillman Foundation
NEW YORK – Greg 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...)
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.
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...)
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:
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...)
By Greg Palast
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.
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...)
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.
Also watch the exposé.
* * * * * * * * * *
Greg Palast, available to media at interviews (at) gregpalast.com, 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".
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...)
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...)