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The Truth Buried Alive

Greg Palast 

Of the thousands of bless you and f**** you messages that arrived at The Guardian papers after we broke the Florida vote swindle story in November 2000, none ruffled my editors' English reserve but one: a letter demanding we ...more

Naughty Nuns, Bad Bankers
and Ballot Bandits

Greg Palast 

for Truthout

On May 6, 2008, twelve fraudulent voters, dressed as nuns, attempted to cast ballots in the Presidential Primary in Indiana.

Luckily, ten of them were caught, stopped cold by Indiana’s new voter photo ID law.  The law had been found to be constitutional by Federal Judge Richard Posner of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

It turns out the nuns that Posner’s ruling turned away were, in fact …nuns.  All the sisters had photo drivers licenses, but they had expired (the licenses, not the nuns).  The Sisters of the Holy Cross, had, mercifully, given up driving (they were pushing 90 years of age.)

It was a cute story that ran nationwide.  What wasn’t so cute, and ran nowhere in the US press, was that 72,000 Black voterswere blocked at the polls by this Posner-blessed photo ID law.

It was Posner’s decision that first allowed …more

Larry Summers: Goldman Sacked

Greg Palast 

for Reader Supported News

Joseph Stiglitz couldn’t believe his ears.  Here they were in the White House, with President Bill Clinton asking the chiefs of the US Treasury for guidance on the life and death of America’s economy, when the Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Larry Summers turns to his boss, Secretary Robert Rubin, and says, “What would Goldman think of that?”

Huh?

Then, at another meeting, Summers said it again:  What would Goldman think?A shocked Stiglitz, then Chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors, told me he’d turned to Summers, and asked if Summers thought it appropriate to decide US economic policy based on “what Goldman thought.”  As opposed to say, the facts, or say, the needs of the American public, you know, all that stuff that we heard in Cabinet meetings on The West Wing.

Summers looked at Stiglitz like Stiglitz was some kind of naive fool who’d read too many civics books.

 

R.I.P. Larry Summers

On Sunday afternoon, facing a revolt …more

Larry Summers
and the Secret “End-Game” Memo

Greg Palast 

for Vice Magazine

When a little birdie dropped the End Game memo through my window, its content was so explosive, so sick and plain evil, I just couldn’t believe it.

The Memo confirmed every conspiracy freak’s fantasy:  that in the late 1990s, the top US Treasury officials secretly conspired with a small cabal of banker big-shots to rip apart financial regulation across the planet.  When you see 26.3% unemployment in Spain, desperation and hunger in Greece, riots in Indonesia and Detroit in bankruptcy, go back to this End Game memo, the genesis of the blood and tears.

The Treasury official playing the bankers’ secret End Game was Larry Summers.  Today, Summers is Barack Obama’s leading choice for Chairman of the US Federal Reserve, the world’s central bank.  If the confidential memo is authentic, then Summers shouldn’t …more

Euro Krieg!
Greece Surrenders to Germany 2013
Greg Palast Interviewed by Greek Radio

Greg Palast 

By Michael Nevradakis for Truthout

In his career as an investigative journalist, economist, and bestselling author –Vultures’ Picnic, Billionaires and Ballot Bandits, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy – Greg Palast has not been afraid to tackle some of the most powerful names in politics and finance.

From uncovering Katherine Harris’ purge of African-American voters from Florida’s voter rolls in the year 2000 to revealing the truth behind the “assistance” provided by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to ailing economies, Palast has not held back in revealing the corruption and criminal actions of the wealthy and powerful.

In a recent interview on Dialogos Radio, Palast turned his attention to Greece and to the austerity policies that have been imposed on the country by …more

The Frog Who Crushed The Planet
Did a French Yuppie really create the Finance Crisis?

Greg Palast 

for Vice Magazine

You just knew it had to be one of those brie-biting, Sartre-spewing, overly-garlicked Frenchmen who pushed the Earth’s finance system over a cliff.

This week, US prosecutors finally began the trial of the only person on the entire planet whom they have charged with the financial crimes that sank worldwide stock markets by trillions in 2008 and left millions homeless and jobless, from Detroit to Manchester.

Amazingly, say prosecutors, it all came down to a single Frenchman, Fabrice “Fabulous Fab” Tourre, only 29 years old at the time. Even Julius Caesar waited until he turned 51 to bring the known world to its knees.

Here’s the story which his defence team does not dispute:

In August 2007, hot-shot hedge fund manager John Paulson walked into Goldman Sachs with a …more

Ku Klux Kourt kills King’s Dream Law
Replaces Voting Rights Act with
Katherine Harris Acts

Greg Palast 

by Greg Palast for Truthout

They might as well have burned a cross on Dr. King’s grave.  The Jim Crow majority on the Supreme Court just took away the vote of millions of Hispanic and African–American voters by wiping away Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.


 I’m directing the Palast Investigative Team to drop all other work for a ‘round-the-clock investigation of the Theft of 2014 and 2016 elections that the Supreme Court’s ruling sets in motion.  Help us, join us.


When I say “millions” of voters of color will lose their ballots, I’m not kidding.  Let’s add it up.

Last year, the GOP Secretary of State of Florida Ken Detzner tried to purge 180,000 Americans, mostly Hispanic Democrats, from the voter rolls.  He was attempting to break Katherine Harris’ record.

Detzner claimed that all these Brown folk were illegal “aliens.”

But Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act requires that 16 states with a bad history of blocking Black and Brown voters must “pre-clear” with the US Justice Department any messing around with voter rolls or voting rules.  And so Section 4 stopped Detzner from the racist Brown-out.

I’ll admit there were …more

My Big Fat Greek Minister

Greg Palast 

For Vice Magazine

It wasn’t too difficult picking out the Fat Bastard in the crowd of Russian models, craven moochers and media mavens. Besides, Fat Bastard and I were both desperate for coffee and heading for the same empty urn.

(We’d both signed on for Kazakhstan’s annual Eurasia Media Forum, a kind of Burning Man festival for Eastern oilgarchs and their media camp followers.)

Now, it is my policy never to mention an interlocutor’s weight, nor question the legitimacy of their birth, given my own vulnerabilities. (A would-be groupie told me, “You could do a few sit-ups, you know.” Yes, I know.)

But this particular Fat Bastard is asking for it. I had tried to put the belly of this beast out of my thoughts, but I still had a New York Times story folded in my pocket that begins:

ATHENS – As an elementary school principal, Leonidas Nikas is used to seeing children play, laugh and dream about the future. But recently he has seen something altogether different, something he thought was impossible in Greece: children picking through school trash cans for food; needy youngsters asking playmates for leftovers; and an 11-year-old boy, Pantelis Petrakis, bent over with hunger pains.

Fat Bastard – or Theodoros Pangalos, thinks the little Greek kiddies should …more

“Now that the SOB is Dead…”
A Novel Idea: Asking an Afghan about Afghanistan

Greg Palast 

For Vice Magazine

“Now that the sonovabitch is dead, why is the US still angry with us?”

“Us”, in this conversation, are the Taliban. The SOB in question is Osama bin Laden.

The Taliban’s frustration was relayed to me by Yahya Maroofi, Counsellor to Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai – Karzai’s Kissinger, if Kissinger had a soul.

The Silk Road nation of Kazakhstan is an excellent place to encounter the dervishes of the Great Game for control of the camel-and-pipeline routes of the Central Asian steppes. Here we can witness the diplomatic-military idiocies of new empires pathetically attempting to ignore the dried skeletons of the imperial forces that went before them.

Maroofi was spending the day in Kazakhstan’s capital on his way to little-noticed peace negotiations – little noticed because neither Uncle Sam nor Great-Uncle Britain were invited. Attendance is limited to those frontline states that will be left holding the grenade when the US and UK pull out the pin with the removal of their troops in 2014. The lineup includes Kazakhstan, Russia, Kyrgyzstan (birthplace of the Boston Bombers) and the big new swinging dick on the block, Turkey, as well as Iran, the nation most feared and despised by the Taliban. The unannounced guests, of course, are the Taliban themselves.

I am moved to recount a bit of my lengthy talk with the Afghan minister after reading reams of meretricious bunkum about Afghanistan from the pens of US propaganda repeaters pretending to be reporters. My favourite is, “Hope Seen for Afghanistan After Coalition Leaves,” in the New York Times. To give us an expert view, two American reporters used their 20-column inches to take down the words of General Joseph F Dunford Jr, commander of all “international forces” in Afghanistan.

Dunford just arrived in Afghanistan for the first time about 12 weeks ago. He may not know a Tajik from a camel fart, …more

Billionaire Bankster Penny Pritzker
Breaks into Obama’s Cabinet

Greg Palast 

You made fun of me when I suggested that President Barack Obama would nominate a confessed bank scammer, a loan-sharking mortgage predator, to his cabinet.  But thar she blows!

Today, Obama has named Penny Pritzker Secretary of Commerce. As the President says, It’s a milestone:  the first female fraudster to hold that post. No longer will criminal bankers have to lobby the administration – because now they’ll have one of their own in the Cabinet.

The following is taken from the Chapter, “Penny’s from Heaven?” you’ll find in my bestseller, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits.  [Get a copy, I’ll sign it, and you send it to the President.]

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.

Pritzker’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 and poor folk in Sen. Obama’s South Side district lost their homes.

Penny did not like paying $460 million. No, not one bit. What she needed …more

Did Chavez’ Pick Steal
the Election in Venezuela?

Greg Palast 

By Greg Palast for Vice Magazine - Leer el artículo en español aquí.

The guy in the cheap brown windbreaker walking up the dirty tenement steps to my New York office looked like a bus driver.

Nicolas Maduro, elected President of Venezuela last Sunday, did indeed drive a bus, then led the drivers’ union, then drove Chávez’ laws through the National Assembly as Venezuela’s National Assembly chief.

And this week, the US State Department is refusing to accept the result, suggesting Maduro hijacked the vote count. But did he?Maduro came to me that day in 2004 on a quiet mission, sent by President Hugo Chávez to give me information I needed for my investigation for Rolling Stone – and to get information from me that might save Chávez’ life.


For one more week you can download Palast’s short documentary, The Assassination of Hugo Chávez, originally filmed in Venezuela for BBC, without charge.


The central topic was the “Invisible Ring”. Venezuelan intelligence had secretly taped US Embassy contractors in Caracas talking in spook-speak: “That which took shape here is a disguised kind of intelligence… which is annexed to the third security ring, which is the invisible ring.”

(“Invisible Ring”? Someone at the State Department has read too many Alan Furst novels.)

On the grainy film, they worried that …more

Hugo Chavez vs “The Network”

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 …more

VAmi con Dios, Hayago Chàvez, mi ugo

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.” …more

Did The Romneys’ Auto Bailout Bonanza
Violate Federal Ethics Law?

Greg Palast 

for The National Memo

At the same time, taxpayer-subsidized Delphi expanded its workforce in China to 25,000. Today, Delphi supplies GM and Chrysler parts from Mexico and China.

This week, Republican vice-presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan arrived in Ohio to accuse the Obama administration of cutting the pensions of the Delphi non-union pensioners. In fact, says the UAW’s King, it was the Singer-Romney group that simply refused to pay any pensions whatsoever to union and non-union workers alike. The company’s $6.2 billion pension obligation, says King, “was dumped on the US government Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC) which is limited by law — not by President Obama — in the sums it can pay retirees.”

None of this surprises observers of Paul Singer’s hedge fund, Elliott Management, which partnered with Ann Romney. …more

A Hostile Takeover of our Country
Treasonous, Noxious, Thieving, Tyrannical

Greg Palast 

by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., for EcoWatch
from the foreword to
 Billionaires & Ballot Bandits

American democracy is under assault.

In one super-PAC alone, Karl Rove and the Enron grifter Ed Gillespie, have assembled $200 million from big polluters and Wall Street moguls to buy the 2012 election.

Two of the Koch Brothers, Charles and David, pledged $130 million to elect candidates who favor unrestrained corporate profiteering.

The senators and congressmen they fund and elect are not representing the United States—they are representing Koch and its oil industry cronies, Big Pharma, and the Wall Street banksters currently mounting a hostile takeover of our government.

I have no problem characterizing these corporate-centric super-PACs as treasonous.  We are now in a free fall toward old-fashioned oligarchy; noxious, thieving and tyrannical.

…more

It’s Magic!

Greg Palast 

For FireDogLake

Here’s an easy way to spoil a vote: digitize it . . . then lose the digits.

Prestidigitation is the French-derived term for conjury, legerdemain, sleight-of-hand, presto-change-o hand-jive, disappearing trickery . . . or, in the language of Karl Rove, “Helping America Vote.”

Following what the media called the “Florida debacle,” the winners of the debacle agreed to “reform” the voting system. So the Bush administration proposed and Congress passed the Help America Vote Act.

The best way to prevent voting reform is to pass a voting reform bill—especially if it’s written by the folks that helped themselves to your vote in the first place.

The Help America Vote Act is not the most Orwellian named, satanic law ever passed by Congress, but it tries. To avoid ballots with hanging chads, the law simply does away with ballots, providing about $4 billion in subsidies for Direct Recording Equipment (DREs), …more

Congo Vultures Bagged

Greg Palast 

Vulture fund’s $100m DR Congo claim blocked
By Meirion Jones
BBC Newsnight

Bid to block $100m ‘vulture’ debt

The Privy Council has ruled that a “vulture fund” cannot collect $100m from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The award was against Congo’s state-owned mining company Gecamines who successfully appealed to the Privy Council in London.

FG Hemisphere deny any wrongdoing.

Nick Dearden, Director of the Jubilee Debt Campaign, said: “We welcome the fact that these funds will not flow into the coffers of a secretive vulture fund which tries to unfairly profit from the past debt distress of impoverished countries.

Pursuit

Vulture funds, also known as “distressed debt” investors, buy up the debt of poor nations cheaply when it is about to be written off and then sue countries such as Zambia or Liberia or DRC for the full value of the debt plus interest which can be ten or 100 times what they paid for it.

They pursue any companies which do business with their target country in courts around the world and try to force them to pay money to the fund instead of the country.

Critics say this holds poor countries to ransom and prevents them trading their way out of poverty rather than relying on aid. Until 2010 they often sued in the UK but Britain effectively made vulture funds illegal that year after the Liberian President Ellen Sirleaf Johnson …more