Year: 2014

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

Greg Palast 

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 …more

The Hunt Continues…
A personal note from Greg Palast

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 …more

The Secret Lists that Swiped the Senate

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 …more

Dispatch from Battleground
North Carolina

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 …more

Look up your Name
on the Crosscheck Voter Purge-List

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 …more

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

Greg Palast 

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 exposé.

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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”.

…more

Investigó a Paul Singer y cuenta quiénes pudieron ganarle

Greg Palast 

by Francisco de Zárate for Clarin.com

Investigó a Paul Singer y cuenta quiénes pudieron ganarle

Entrevista con Greg Palast, periodista de la BBC y The Guardian También relata cómo el poderoso titular del fondo buitre NML venció a Perú y al Tesoro de Estados Unidos.

Durante su vida anterior, cuando era detective privado, el estadounidense Greg Palast (62) trabajó para sindicatos, para el Gobierno de Estados Unidos y hasta para los indios nativos de Alaska, a los que ayudó a descubrir un fraude de British Petroleum por el desastre ecológico del petrolero Exxon Valdez en 1989. Hasta que se cansó que ver cómo los reporteros hablaban de su trabajo y se pasó al otro lado: “Me convertí en periodista de investigación de la BBC y The Guardian (Leer la traducción del artículo). No les importaba que supiera o no escribir. Lo que les interesaba era la información”.

Desde Nueva York, Palast habló por teléfono con Clarín sobre Paul Singer. El hombre que maneja el fondo NML y principal demandante de Argentina en el conflicto por la deuda en default, …more

BP and the Three Stooges Defense

Greg Palast 

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 …more

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

Greg Palast 

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, …more

Crime Scene – New Orleans

Greg Palast 

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: …more

Robin Williams and the Happiness Industry

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 …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?

Greg Palast 

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 …more

The Vulture:
Chewing Argentina’s Living Corpse

Greg Palast 

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 …more

“Inside an Investigative Reporter”
Greg Palast gives the full Monty

Greg Palast 

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.

Get Palast’s latest film Vultures and Vote Rustlers.

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Happy Birthday, World War One!

Greg Palast 

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 …more