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

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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 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...)

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'

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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

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.

[Greensboro, NC]  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...)

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 Secretary of State, Kris Kobach.

The lists are rife with literally millions of obvious mis-matches:
Al Jazeera found that nearly a fourth (23% ) of the accused voters lack matching middle names.

For example, Kevin Thomas Hayes of Durham, North Carolina, is allegedly the same man who voted in Alexandria, Virginia, as Kevin Antonio Hayes.

“Jr.” and “Sr.” are regularly mismatched, potentially disenfranchising two generations in the same family.

While Kobach, in his public description of Crosscheck, claims that double voters are matched by Social Security number, in fact, internal documents admit that “Social Security numbers might or might not match.”

So far, no case has been made against a single one of the accused double-voters on the lists, though tens of thousands have already lost their right to vote based on inclusion in the lists.

North Carolina has hired a full-time former FBI agent to arrest double voters.  However, because the match list of 190,000 suspects in that state is so recklessly compiled, the Board of Elections has admitted to Al Jazeera that not one voter has been charged with the crime of voting twice.  Nevertheless, the Republican-controlled Board of Elections has begun the process of removing the registration of voters on the lists.

The lists are heavily over-weighted with names such as Jackson, Garcia, Patel and Kim, common to minorities who vote overwhelmingly Democratic. Indeed, one in seven African-Americans in those 27 states are listed as suspected of the crime of voting twice, one in eight Asian-Americans, and one in eight Hispanic votersWhite voters too, one in eleven, are at risk, though not as vulnerable as minorities.

Georgia Democrats Angered by “Stealthy” Purge

Georgia’s Democratic leaders say they are shocked that they have been kept in the dark about the state’s use of Crosscheck purge lists — and the racial profile of the targeted voters.

“It’s biased, I think, both in form and intent,” says Rep. Stacey Abrams, leader of the Democrats in the Georgia state legislature. “But more concerning to me, is the fact this is being done stealthfully. We have never had this information presented to us.”

“It’s Jim Crow all over again,” says Rev. Joseph Lowery, who succeeded Martin Luther King as chairman of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Lowery, now 93, says he recognizes in the list of threatened voters a sophisticated new form of an old and tired tactic. “I think [the Republicans] would use anything they can find. Their desperation is rising.”

Read the entire investigative exposé by Greg Palast at Al Jazeera.

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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 America.AlJazeera.com.

Also watch the two-part exposé on "America Tonight" on Al Jazeera America
Oct. 29 & Oct 30 - 9pm ET. (check your local channel guide)

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *
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".

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