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Why Trump’s New Hedge Fund BFFs
Are Hedging Their Bets

Greg Palast 

by Greg Palast with Dennis J Bernstein

US Capitol For Sale (Washington, DC)
With Trump being an unpredictable wild card in this year’s election race, his cabal of new billionaire hedge fund buddies are hedging their bets by buying Congress and the Senate, so no matter which blonde gets into office, they can be sure that their interests are taken care of. To do this, in some key swing states, they’re spending millions betting against a Trump White House. In this week’s Best Democracy Money Can Buy: Election Crimes Bulletin, Flashpoints’ Dennis J. Bernstein and investigative reporter Greg Palast discuss the special needs of these mega-rich vote-manipulating vultures and the specifics of what they hope to get in return for their election-rigging investments.

TRANSCRIPT (Originally broadcast on Aug 17, 2016)

Dennis J. Bernstein: It looks like Big Don is in trouble, but now the billionaires are turning their attention to Congress. They’re going to need to buy Congress and the Senate for a number of reasons. And that’s what we’re going to talk about today. Let’s start with carried interest. What’s that?

Greg Palast: Carried interest. Where do you carry your interest?

DB: I don’t have any.

Palast: What are you interested in? Carried interest is simply known as the billionaires’ hedge fund loophole. It’s really complex, but it has to do with the rate at which hedge fund guys pay taxes – or don’t pay taxes. If you and I go to work and …more

Trump and the 13 Losers behind him

Greg Palast 

With Dennis J Bernstein for Nation of Change
trump-economic-advisorsDonald Trump announced the formation of his Economic Advisory Council. Aside from a token academic that he’d never actually bothered to meet prior to the announcement, the all-male panel read like a rogues list ripped straight from the pages of Billionaires & Ballot Bandits by investigative reporter Greg Palast. Trump’s inner circle, which after an outcry over the glaring gender bias was supplemented by eight women, features some of the worst offenders when it comes to political powerbrokering for personal gain. But that’s just pay-to-play politics, and is therefore not so surprising. What did raise some eyebrows was Trump’s decision to embrace a group of guys he’d previously lambasted for “getting away with murder” due to their super-sized tax breaks: hedge fund managers, whom he’d also said half the time had “luck more than talent.” But The Donald can no longer afford to be picky, since the billionaire on “reality” TV only needs some actual real cash to fund his floundering campaign. In this week’s Best Democracy Money Can Buy: Election Crimes Bulletin, Flashpoints’ Dennis J. Bernstein gets the lowdown from Palast on Trump’s new hedge fund BFFs and the hidden payoff that’s facilitating their cosy relationship.

TRANSCRIPT (Originally broadcast on Aug 10, 2016)

Dennis J. BernsteinWelcome back to the Elections Crimes Bulletin with bestselling author and noted BBC investigative reporter, Greg Palast, now reporting for Rolling Stone on these crazy elections as we try and figure out if your vote will count, or if it doesn’t really matter because the NRA might put a bullet behind Hillary’s ear – as per Donald Trump’s strong, strong suggestion. Greg, welcome!

Greg Palast: You don’t have much of a sense of humor, Dennis. Don’t you ever tell assassination jokes?

DB: Am I not subtle enough?

Palast: Well, you know, I figured that was a loaded question – bang!

DB: So Trump manages to keep the headlines, but maybe that’s better for him because if people really start delving behind the scenes, look into who supports him, what he’s been up to, this is where his real trouble is. 

Palast: I’d like to think so. I’d like to think that instead of parsing his seventh grade sense of humor that we would be looking at the billionaires behind him. It’s fascinating because it was Donald Trump who told us, when billionaires like me write checks, we expect something back from the politicians, and a lot more than we put in. Now that he’s been exposed as not a billionaire – he just plays one on TV – he’s gone to the very guys that he’s attacked.
…more

The Trump Who Cried Wolf

Greg Palast 

With Dennis J Bernstein

Marc Silvey of Ignite NC a student voting rights group that works to defend the youth vote.
Photo by Zach D. Roberts

During an interview on Faux News, Donald Trump told Sean Hannity that the November 8th presidential election was going to be rigged. However, he conveniently forgot to mention the inconvenient truth that almost all of the rigging that’s going on is in his favor – and that much of it is being perpetrated by Republican lawmakers, who are taking advantage of a much-weakened Voting Rights Act.

While striking down one particularly onerous piece of legislation in the GOP state of North Carolina – which in addition to requiring voter ID, cut early voting, and eliminated same day registration, out of precinct voting, and pre-registration for those under 18 – the Fourth Circuit Appeals Court judge noted that the measures “targeted African Americans with almost surgical precision.”

It comes as no surprise that these GOP laws target people of color, who tend to vote overwhelmingly blue. Indeed, recent polls in Pennsylvania and Ohio have found that Trump is getting absolutely no support – zero, zip, zilch, nada – from Black Americans!

In this week’s Best Democracy Money Can Buy, Election Crimes Bulletin, the Sherlock Holmes of voting shenanigans, Greg Palast, and Flashpoints’ Dennis J. Bernstein discuss the North Carolina decision that struck down the state’s anti-voting law, alongside similar recent rulings in Texas, Wisconsin, and North Dakota. (A more temporary decision, which came down on July 29, also reversed vote suppression measures enacted by Kansas Secretary of State, and Vote-Rigger-In-Chief, Kris Kobach.) But first, Palast and Bernstein address Trump’s “concerns”.

TRANSCRIPT (Originally broadcast on Aug 3, 2016)

Dennis J. Bernstein: Let’s start with Trump and his claims of potential voter fraud. Here’s what Trump said about his fears:

“I’m telling you, November 8th, we better be careful because that election is going to be rigged. And I hope the Republicans are watching closely, or it’s going to be taken away from us.”

He went on to promise “a bloodbath” if the Democrats attempted to “steal the election.” Well, Greg, it looks like we’re back right in the middle of your hysteria factory.

Greg Palast: Every con man does the same thing. They tell you, …more

Mike Pence walks 10 Nuns
out of the Voting Booth

Greg Palast 

With Dennis J Bernstein for Reader Supported News

09 Oct 1962, Akron, Ohio, USA - Sister John Bosco of St. Sebastian School - Image by © Bettmann/Corbis
09 Oct 1962, Akron, Ohio, USA – Sister John Bosco of St. Sebastian School – Image by © Bettmann/Corbis

Mike Pence is the poster boy for voter ID laws. No one has benefited more from this legalized form of vote theft than the Republican nominee for VP. In his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last Wednesday, Pence said he “wants every American to succeed and prosper” – however he certainly doesn’t want every American to vote. Indeed it was thanks to Indiana’s voter ID laws – the first of their kind in the nation – that he squeaked into the governor’s office. These seemingly benign laws, requiring voters to show approved photo ID, have a sinister and very deliberate effect: they suppress black, brown, young, old, poor – and, above all, blue votes. In this week’s Best Democracy Money Can Buy, Election Crimes Bulletin, Flashpoints’ Dennis J. Bernstein gets the lowdown on the sleazy practice of vote-rigging-by-ID-law from political hanky-panky expert Greg Palast. They also discuss how these racist-by-design laws tap dance around voting rights and discrimination protections, and could ultimately help Pence and Trump waltz into the White House.

TRANSCRIPT (Originally broadcast on July 20, 2016)
Dennis J. Bernstein: Today Mike Pence is front and center. He’s out there on his proverbial knees to …more

Why Bernie Needs To Take Satan’s Advice and Create An Un-Christian Coalition

Greg Palast 

With Dennis J Bernstein for Nation of Change
Bernie Moment
Bernie Sanders may have conceded the nomination, but he can still win control of the Democratic Party. By harnessing the power of his people, Bernie could ensure Hillary keeps the promises she made to him in exchange for his endorsement. And with 13 million supporters in his pocket, Bernie has the chance to create something far stronger than the Christian Coalition, which has shaped GOP policy for over two decades. He could lead a mighty Un-Christian Coalition, if you will, that moving forward could force Hillary’s hand so she has little choice but to serve the people as opposed to her corporate paymasters. In this week’s Best Democracy Money Can Buy, Election Crimes Bulletin, Dennis J. Bernstein and Greg Palast explain how Bernie can take a tip from Satan’s playbook and seize this moment to create one hell of a powerful a movement!

TRANSCRIPT (Originally broadcast on July 13, 2016)

Dennis J. Bernstein: Today we’ve seen Bernie came out strong in support of Hillary Clinton. Many people are troubled, some are supporting it, some aren’t. Let’s talk a little bit about what this moment means. Is this the end of a moment or the beginning of a movement?

Greg Palast: Well, that’s up to the people, and Senator Sanders. When you saw him on stage, he looked like those guys who are reading those confessions from a …more

The Clintons and a Crime Far Worse
Than Missing Emails or Votes

Greg Palast 

With Dennis J Bernstein for Reader Supported News
Hillary Clinton and Kazakh Foreign Minister

It’s been an action-packed week in politics. Hillary Clinton has been given the official all-clear by the FBI, who have said she won’t have to face charges for the Clorox cleaning job she did on her email server. And with her path to power given the personal red carpet treatment by FBI director James Comey, the fact that a hundred thousand votes or so have yet to be counted in California has been swept under the high thread count rug – where a lot of inconvenient votes end up these days! But the missing emails and votes haven’t been forgotten by our resident sleuth, Greg Palast. In this week’s Best Democracy Money Can Buy: Election Crimes Bulletin he gives Dennis J. Bernstein the skinny on Sanders’ stolen California win, Clinton’s bleached communications – and a multi-million dollar Kazakhstan bribery and corruption scandal that got Cloroxed with them!

TRANSCRIPT (Originally broadcast on July 6, 2016)
Dennis J. Bernstein: There has been a lot going on. We’ve got the announcement today that Hillary Clinton will not be indicted, after a little visit that Bill had with the Attorney General. There is still some left over results that we’re trying to figure out in terms of what happened in California. And you’ve got a big event coming up. So there’s a lot to talk about. Why don’t we start back in California?

Greg Palast: Well, I was reading something called The Washington Post, which is like the American Izvestia, and it said, “Greg Palast made a mistake.” Because I had announced on your show – we’re infamous now – that 2 million ballots were …more

The Hidden Billionaires behind Trump
The Foreclosure King, The Three-Headed Dog
from Hell and Goldman Sachs

Greg Palast with Dennis J Bernstein for Nation of Change

TrumpTowerForeclosure-Paulson
Trump desperately needs to get his tiny hands on some cash to fund his presidential campaign. On TV, Trump may play the role of a gazillionaire, but the reality of his reality TV persona is that it’s all paid for with other people’s money. His self-funding pledge is going the way of all Trump’s promises – down the gilded crapper. This week on The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: Election Crimes Bulletin, we focus on where and how Trump is going to get his campaign funds – and the deal he’s made with Wall Street’s devils in order to get it.

TRANSCRIPT (Originally broadcast on June 22, 2016)

Dennis J. Bernstein: All the news is about how Hillary has raised zillions and Donald has a mere one or two million dollars. I thought Donald Trump was a billionaire – he could pay for anything!

Greg Palast: Yeah, that’s the TV show, isn’t it? As he says, he loves debt. So, yes, he has a lot of money, OPM, other people’s money. He’s an OPM addict, an other peoples’ money addict. But as far as using it for himself, there’s very good reason he doesn’t have close to what he’s talking about. So just like bank robbers, he’s going where the money is.

DB: He’s got some cagey friends?

Palast: Yes. The guy who is now raising money for the guy who doesn’t supposedly need it and who said he will self-finance his own campaign. Where would you go if you needed to suddenly get bazillions and millions of dollars as a politician? It’s a quiz. What’s your answer?

Three, two, one, …more

How Bernie Won California:
The official un-count

Greg Palast 

by Greg Palast with Dennis J Bernstein for Nation of Change

This week on The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: The Election Crimes Bulletin we revisit the California primary crime scene and attempt to count the votes – something election officials in the state have failed to do. Officially, there are nearly 2 million votes that remain uncounted, and statistics show that the vast majority of these are favoring Bernie. If all votes were created equal and actually tallied, the Golden State would most likely be in Bernie’s pocket. Professional vote sleuth Greg Palast breaks down the numbers with Dennis J. Bernstein.

TRANSCRIPT (Originally broadcast on June 15, 2016)

Dennis J. Bernstein: Greg Palast, great to have you back. Are we talking millions of votes not counted? What is this?

Greg Palast: Are you ready for this?

DB: I don’t know.

Palast: Okay, take out a pencil and paper…

DB: I’m afraid.

Palast: The mail-in ballots: 1,173,943 uncounted. Provisional “placebo” ballots – when they don’t want you to vote, they give you pretend ballots – there are 712,849 uncounted. This is two weeks after the election! Even Iran counts the votes within two weeks. And we’re not done, 73,116 “other” votes have …more

California Primary:
Returning to the Scene of Crime

Greg Palast 

With Dennis J Bernstein for Reader Supported News
If-every-vote -counted-BBB-TedRallThis week on The Best Democracy Money Can Buy – Election Crimes Bulletin – the Crime Scene: California. The Crime? Two million votes still not counted. One million ballots already disqualified, thrown away. Another million so-called provisional “placebo” ballots. Here’s the story of the voting horror show you won’t get on Fox or MSDNC.

TRANSCRIPT (Originally broadcast on June 8, 2016)
Dennis J. Bernstein: This week, were going to do a postmortem on yesterdays California primary. Greg, I know you were out there. You were also trying to vote?

Greg Palast: I think we need to get a long piece of yellow tape that says “crime scene” and wrap it around the state of California. It was ugly. Days before the election the polls were showing it was a dead heat between Senator Sanders and Secretary Clinton, with Sanders rising. How could it be what the AP called “a crushing victory” with so-called 96% of the vote counted? The answer is that 96% of the vote has not been counted.

Specifically, the mail-in ballots, which tend to be the Democratic Party regulars, were counted first – they’re all Hillary folk. She’s leading among registered Democrats by about 30%. But those who got NPP, …more

Trump’s GOP Hitman Who’s Stealing
Your Vote – The Best Democracy Money Can Buy Podcast

Greg Palast 

Listen to The Best Democracy Money Can Buy podcast with Greg Palast and Flashpoints’ Dennis Bernstein. This week they expose Donald Trump’s go-to operative who would steal your vote – by accusing you of not being an American. The Vote Rustler of the Week: Kris Kobach, Trump’s man behind SB 1070, the “Driving While Brown” law.


Dennis Bernstein: Welcome to our weekly Election Protection Bulletin with best-selling author Greg Palast. Let’s start in Topeka, Kansas with its Secretary of State Kris Kobach. He’s definitely going head to head with the ACLU there.

Greg Palast: Kris Kobach is the most influential Republican Secretary of State in America – the Katherine Harris of 2016.

He’s one of the very first governmental Republican supporters of Donald Trump. Anne Coulter has said Trump should pick him as his running mate. This guy is an important cat.

What’s he up to? He’s “saving” America from an invasion of aliens – not from outer space, but from other nations, wading the Rio Grande to vote in American elections. He claims there is a mass incursion of illegal aliens coming to the US to vote for Hillary.
PalastCover-3Reporter Greg Palast confront Trump ally Kris Kobach, Secretary of State of Kansas from the video by Zach D. Roberts

The federal government, despite a massive and costly hunt, has found almost no non-citizen has voted. (Florida’s campaign to stop alien voters netted a single conviction-an …more

Palast on Larry King’s PoliticKing:
‘We don’t count all the votes.’

Greg Palast 

Catch Greg Palast on Larry King’s PoliticKing with guest host Matthew Cooke on political elites rigging the electoral system. Palast gives Cooke a quick history lesson on vote trickery beginning with 2000-and why you haven’t heard the true story in the US main-stream media.

Palast: “There’s not much of an electoral process, we get the candidates selected for us. Here’s the problem, in America we don’t count all the votes.”

Palast on Lee Camp’s Redacted Tonight
Is the Investigative Journalist Going Extinct?

Greg Palast 

RT’s Lee Camp and Greg Palast discuss the importance of investigative journalism on Redacted Tonight VIP.

Support the film The Best Democracy Money Can Buy that tells the full story behind who’s stealing this election.

Greg Palast is the author of several New York Times bestsellers including The Best Democracy Money Can Buy and Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, Armed Madhouse and the highly acclaimed Vultures’ Picnic.

Make a tax-deductible donation and support our ongoing investigation into the Billionaires that fund voter suppression.

Subscribe to Palast’s Newsletter.
Follow Palast on Facebook and Twitter.

www.GregPalast.com

 

Support the film The Best Democracy Money Can Buy that tells the full story behind who’s stealing this election.

Greg Palast is the author of several New York Times bestsellers including The Best Democracy Money Can Buy and Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, Armed Madhouse and the highly acclaimed Vultures’ Picnic.

Make a tax-deductible donation and support our ongoing investigation into the Billionaires that fund voter suppression.

Subscribe to Palast’s Newsletter.
Follow Palast on Facebook and Twitter.

Remembering MLK Jr.
with Steady Loving Confrontation

Greg Palast 


Meet Lynda Blackmon Lowery.

Late last year we talked with Mrs. Lowery for our new film, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy about her first time meeting Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. and what his words meant to her.

Her mother died when she was only 7 years old, from that point forward she became committed to making sure that not another child would lose her mother because the color of her skin. So when she heard Dr. King speak the words of “Steady loving confrontation” she became committed to the Civil Rights movement. At 14 years old she marched with King across the Edmund Pettus Bridge on Bloody Sunday in 1965.

…more

Truthout Interviews Greg Palast
on the Koch Brothers and Chris Christie

Greg Palast 

By Ted Asregadoo, Truthout | Video Interview


Since the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that money essentially equals speech in Citizens United v. The Federal Election Commission in 2010, and later in the US Court of Appeals Speechnow.org v. the Federal Election Commission decision, unregulated “expenditures” have flowed to so-called Super PACs.

Both conservative and liberal groups have rushed to create these organizations that supposedly exist to work on “social welfare” causes.

However, they are often sham non-profits whose sole purpose is to support or attack …more

Fracking: New Dangers

Greg Palast 

by Greg Palast for No Fracking Ireland

Greg Palast Interview from DCTV on Vimeo.

On the 20th of April 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oilrig blew out in the Gulf of Mexico, killing eleven men instantly, then destroying 600 miles of coastline. On 9 September 2010, a natural gas pipeline exploded in San Bruno, California, burning eight to death, one of several recent pipeline explosions in the USA. In 1992, in Chicago, a gas pipe leaked and 18 houses exploded, incinerating three people.


What do these deaths have to do with plans for “fracking” for natural gas in Ireland?

Everything. It was my job to investigate these three explosions, the Deepwater Horizon and California explosions as a reporter for the UK Channel 4’s Dispatches, the earliest as a US government investigator. In all three cases, the deaths were preceded by the same reassurances about the safety of drilling and piping that I read now in the debate about fracking in Ireland.

First, the Deepwater Horizon.  Eleven men died when the ”˜mud’ – drilling cement meant to cap the wellhead – failed and methane gas blew out the top of the pipes and exploded. The Shannon Basin is not the Gulf of Mexico, but your safety will be just as dependent on Halliburton’s mud. …more

Gulf still slimed by BP oil

Greg Palast 

By Kert Davies, Research Director, Greenpeace USA

Read the Greenpeace blog and listen to the Greenpeace Radio Podcast with Greg Palast, author of Vultures’ Picnic: In pursuit of petroleum pigs, power pirates and high-finance carnivores.

Then read this.  It’s my soul on a plate.  Then pass it on so others can taste it.
— gp

“Occupy,” Big Oil and the U.S. Media
with Muckraking Journalist Greg Palast
By Kevin J. Kelley [12.07.11]
Seven Days Magazine

Greg Palast was floating in a kayak off the Alaska coast in 1997 when he had an epiphany. He was working at the time as an investigator for the Chugach native people, whose lands had been slimed by the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. In the course of his study, Palast uncovered information about Exxon’s culpability for the disaster, but he had no way of publicizing it. So he decided to become a journalist.

It’s proven a successful second career for Palast, 59, who studied business at the University of Chicago under right-wing economist Milton Friedman. He’s won six Project Censored awards for reporting important stories ignored by the mainstream press. He’s also the author of two international best sellers, Armed Madhouse and The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.

A native Californian, Palast reports regularly for Britain’s Guardian newspaper and for the BBC. Nation magazine writer Jim Hightower calls Palast “a cross between Sam Spade and Sherlock Holmes.” Corporate executives he’s outed as wrongdoers call Palast other things.

Palast spoke with Seven Days in advance of his scheduled talk next week at Burlington’s Main Street Landing Film House.

Seven Days: You must be sympathetic to Occupy Wall Street. Do you think it will have a lasting impact on U.S. politics?

Greg Palast: It’s not a setback for Occupy to no longer be occupying. No one gives a shit about Wall Street. It’s just a piece of tarmac. It was never the point of the movement.

The point has been to expose the 1 percent, the movers and shakers who are moving and shaking us, all those rich motherfuckers. Now we know their names, where they live, how they made their billions.

So yeah, the impact has been huge. And it’s just starting. I’m deeply involved with Occupy.

SD: You’ve got a new book out: Vultures’ Picnic: In Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates, and High- Finance Carnivores. Can you summarize what it’s about?

GP: Vultures are financial speculators who seize the assets of the poorest nations by claiming these countries owe money that the speculators try to collect through intimidation, bribery and theft. One guy associated with this is Paul Singer; he’s Mitt Romney’s top economic adviser. I’ve been investigating how Romney’s “job creator” makes his money, and that’s a story Singer doesn’t want you to hear.

By the way, I’m totally nonpartisan. Even though Singer owns the Republican Party, I point out that he rents the Democratic Party.

Most of the book is a five-continent investigation of British Petroleum. I’m bringing you the stuff you don’t get from CNN or the Petroleum Broadcasting System.

BP’s blowout in the Gulf in 2010 was actually the second big disaster it had. There was also a blowout in the Caspian Sea in Azerbaijan in 2008, but BP covered it up with a combination of bribery, beatings and blow jobs. [Azerbaijani officials] kept their lips closed and their zippers open.

SD: So your talk in Burlington is part of a book tour?

GP: I’m on a troublemaking tour. My talks are platforms for Occupy activists in their transition away from their fixation with real estate.

SD: You obviously come at stories from a left-wing perspective. Do you ever worry that your ideology might blind you to facts?

GP: I don’t have an ideology. There’s really only the truth and the not-truth. I’m just an old-fashioned gumshoe reporter.
The worst fucking thing about American journalism, by the way, is its “on-the-one-hand-this, on-the-other-that” approach. It really distorts or omits truth.

I exposed [Florida Secretary of State] Katherine Harris for purging thousands of black voters from the electoral rolls. That cost [Al] Gore the 2000 election. It was stolen from him. I documented it.

I could not get that story into the U.S. media. There was a total news blackout of what had happened. It finally got picked up by the L.A. Times, and they played the story as “Democrats accuse Republicans of removing black voters from the rolls; the Republicans deny that.”

Jesus Christ! We don’t have balanced news in the United States; it doesn’t fucking exist. News here isn’t reporting; it’s repeating.

SD: Hang on. You write mostly for British outlets. Are you saying the British press is less influenced by corporate interests than the American press? The same financial dynamics are at work, right?

GP: Wrong. The Guardian is owned by a not-for-profit charitable trust. That’s allowed it to become the most influential English-language paper in the world.

SD: More influential than the New York Times?

GP: The New York Times is influential in New York. People elsewhere see that it’s – what shall we say? – incomplete.

The BBC is the gold standard of journalism. It’s important to know it’s neither corporate owned nor government owned. It’s owned by subscribers, the people who pay £100 a year for a TV license.

SD: Yeah, but Britain doesn’t have a First Amendment or a Freedom of Information Act.

GP: That’s true, but the Brits could borrow our First Amendment, because we’re not using it. And have you tried using FOIA lately? Good luck.

It’s also true that I don’t have any legal protection for stories in the British press. The resulting degree of self-censorship by some reporters is just astonishing.

But it’s still not as bad as it is here. The entire front page of the Guardian last week had my coverage of Singer, Romney’s biggest funder. There wasn’t one mention of his role in the U.S. press.

SD: Staying with journalism for a minute, do you have a journalist hero? George Orwell, maybe?

GP: Only Christopher Hitchens is pompous enough to compare himself with Orwell. My model is Jack Anderson [a Pulitzer Prize-winning modern muckraker who broke scandals involving both Democrats and Republicans].

I also always admired Ron Ridenhour, the soldier who revealed the My Lai massacre [in which 500 Vietnamese villagers were killed by U.S. troops on March 16, 1968]. Ridenhour was the greatest investigative reporter of the last century. He died way too young [of a heart attack in 1998 at age 52].

The TV show “Columbo” had a big influence on me, too. I learned a lot from it about how to do investigations. Lt. Columbo was just totally dogged.

SD: How about Hunter Thompson? You’ve got an image like his.

GP: People make that connection all the time because we have Rolling Stone in common. But Thompson was a brilliant social analyst, and I’m just a gumshoe guy.

SD: You do look like an old-school reporter with that Humphrey Bogart hat of yours.

GP: I wear the hat because I’m bald and I’ll get painfully sunburned otherwise.

SD: Matt Drudge wears the same kind of hat.

GP: Yeah, some people say I’m a left-wing Matt Drudge, but there’s a big difference: Drudge is full of shit, and I’m full of information.

SD: You must be embarrassed that one of the first things on Google for “Greg Palast” is a 2009 piece you wrote saying what a great job Obama is doing.

GP: It was right after he took office. And it was nice to see him acting for one week like a real president.

SD: So what happened?

GP: Obama was reminded of who elected him. He brought into power guys like Tim Geithner and Larry Summers – Wall Street operatives and proteges of Robert Rubin, who was Clinton’s Treasury secretary [and a Goldman Sachs and Citigroup executive].

Remember, it wasn’t Bush who destroyed the economy; it was a guy named Bill Clinton.

They put the arm on Obama. They reminded him he’s just a tenant.

SD: Do you worry about your safety?

GP: I very much fear for the safety of my sources. Some of them do end up in jail and/or beaten up. It’s insanely dangerous for some of them to talk to me. One of my great sources was just charged with sedition. These guys are insanely courageous. But please don’t give the impression that your life will be threatened if you become my source. That wouldn’t be helpful.

SD: You’re talking about incidents in other countries, right? You haven’t had sources jailed or beaten up in the U.S., have you?

GP: Look at Bradley Manning, America’s most heroic political prisoner [the U.S. Army soldier accused of supplying a cache of secret diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks]. Lots of Americans are facing the ruin of their careers for whistle-blowing.

******

Greg Palast will talk about “Why We Occupy: How Wall Street Picks the Bones of America,” on December 12 at 7 p.m. in Burlington’s Main Street Landing Film House. Palast’s One-Percent Tour travels this week to Houston on Thursday, Baltimore Friday and next week to Burlington VT (Monday), and Atlanta (Thursday).

Greg Palast is the author of Vultures’ Picnic: In Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates and High-Finance Carnivores, released in the US and Canada by Penguin.

You can read Vultures’ Picnic, “Chapter 1: Goldfinger,” or download it, at no charge: click here.

Subscribe to Palast’s Newsletter and podcasts.
Follow Palast on Facebook and Twitter.

GregPalast.com

Greg Palast Tracks the Vultures
of the 1 Percent:
A Truthout Interview

Greg Palast 

by: Mark Karlin, Truthout | Interview

“Greg Palast, Vultures’ Picnic: In Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates, and High-Finance Carnivores”, get your copy here.Greece

Near the front of his new book, “Vultures’ Picnic,” Greg Palast quotes BuzzFlash at Truthout as calling him “a cross between Seymour Hersh and Jack Kerouac.”  He also quotes a White House spokesman as saying about him, “We hate that sonovabitch.”

During its first several years, Palast was the most interviewed resource on BuzzFlash. That was and is because he drives the global elite crazy, not to mention the mainstream corporate media.

He’s a one-person investigative junk yard dog, who chomps down and doesn’t let go.  He’s indefatigable, as the subtitle of his book indicates, “in pursuit of petroleum pigs, power pirates, and high-finance carnivores.”

Mark Karlin: More than any of your other books, your personality appears to come through most strongly …more