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Occupy Wall Street comes home to roost with Congo’s ‘debt vultures’

Greg Palast 

Nowhere are the ill-gotten gains of the 1% more grossly apparent than in the activities of ‘debt vulture’ hedge funds

As published by The Guardian America


This article is the subject of a legal complaint from Peter Grossman.


Photo by Zach Roberts © 2011

This past Sunday, a deputation from Occupy Wall Street crossed the bridge from Manhattan and brought its protest to the Brooklyn residence of one of New York’s “vultures” This type of vulture doesn’t roost in a tree, but in a swish brownstone.

A “vulture” is a financial speculator who, as we recently reported, gets his hands on debts owed by desperately poor nations. The Brooklyn “vulture” targeted by OWS and Friends of the Congo is Peter Grossman. Two weeks ago, the Guardian exposed him as a financier who is demanding the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the world’s poorest nation, pay $100m to the hedge fund he manages, FG Hemisphere.

Grossman, tipped off about the demonstration, …more

XL Keystone – The Pig in the Pipeline
The GOP is pushing a pipeline
that could blow you to pieces

Greg Palast 

Special to TruthOut.org

Palast conducted a five-continent investigation of Big Oil for British TV’s premier current affairs program, Dispatches, and for BBC Worldwide. This report is based on the broadcast seen prime-time worldwide – but not yet in the USA.

Whistleblowers have told Britain’s “Dispatches” that the safety software on major US pipelines contains deliberate errors – and so pipelines can – and have – busted, leaked, exploded …and killed.

Congressional Republicans are holding extended unemployment benefits hostage until President Obama agrees to speed up approval to build the XL Keystone Pipeline. XL Keystone will slice down through the entire width of the USA, moving tar-sands oil from Canada to Houston.

The oil industry promises that the Pipeline will be safe. But the pipe is only safe if the PIG inside it can squeal.

Federal law requires the industry to run a diagnostic robot PIG, a Pipeline Inspection Gauge, that will squeal when something is wrong: a crack, dangerous corrosion, anything that might lead to a spill or explosion.

But PIGs are only as good as the software that tracks and analyzes their signals. And the software used by Big Oil has been compromised – deliberately. …more

Ma Nature, the Happy Toilet
BP on Trial at the Occupation

Greg Palast 

For Greenpeace.org
Palast is the author of Vultures’ Picnic: in Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates and High-Finance Carnivores.

[Occupy Wall Street Climate Trial, New York. Sunday, Nov 27.]

This is not the first courtroom where I’ve faced off against BP, British Petroleum. But this time, I was outdoors, with a patrol car’s red lights spinning.

OWSTrialOccupy Wall Street asked me to act as “prosecutor” in the Climate Court in their relocated locale in a New York park.

I have the cold, hard, documentary evidence in my hand, gathered with the help of Greenpeace and their submarine (no kidding) in the Gulf of Mexico, in the Caspian Sea, in Alaska. …more

Goldfinger eats Congo

Greg Palast 

Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!…

“Top funders of the Republican Party have demanded that two African nations pay them over half a billion dollars…. Is one of these vulture’s claims based on a stolen security, criminally transferred to an American financier called ‘Goldfinger’? Greg Palast, author of the new book, Vultures’ Picnic, investigates for BBC Television and The Guardian.”

Greg Palast reporting from Kinshasa, Congo; Sarajevo, Bosnia; and Brooklyn, New York

If God doesn’t give a rat’s ass about The Vulture, and what he does for a living, and what he’s done for Africa, why should I?

The thought struck me while sitting here, coffee getting cold, in my old Toyota, trying to look invisible, staked out in front of 300 Dekalb Avenue. It’s just after dawn here in Brooklyn, New York, and I’m hoping that Peter Grossman, a Wall Street star, will pop out of his posh brownstone for a jog or a cup of joe. Then I can jump him. He’s on the look-out for me because I’d already jumped his crony, Goldfinger, the man who’s making Grossman stunningly rich.

Grossman’s riches, nearly $100 million for his firm, FG Management, come from the Congo. I was just there in Congo, two days before this stake-out, at a cholera quarantine center in the capital, Kinshasa.

Besides lots of cholera, Congo has lots of cobalt. Grossman has, through a crazy legal loophole in British law, waylaid a payment of $80 million to the African government for a shipment of cobalt from a government-owned mine.

Grossman is a “vulture,” the name Wall Street gives, …more

This is the moment to make the 1% cry

Greg Palast 

I’m putting it to you bluntly:

Vultures Picnic comes out today – and here’s why I’m asking you, no joke, to get it TODAY, or this week at the LATEST.  Do that, and I’m once again on the bestseller list, top of Amazon.  It’s the ONLY way the work you’ve supported, the work you think is important, breaks into the mainstream media.

And I’ll make it easy for you.  You get a copy of Vultures Picnic TODAY or any time this week from our site, from an independent bookstore or Amazon or whatever, and I’ll send you, as a thank-you, no charge, a private link to see ALL FIFTEEN FILM SHORTS and two audio tracks that are embedded in the “amplified” or “enhanced” versions. Check out a couple.

And you don’t pay a dime.

Every single review, from Bobby Kennedy [“Genius. A real-life spy novel”] to Democracy Now! has said it:  this is my best book yet, by far.  The best read.

That’s because I take you with me on the weird, horrific and darkly humorous investigations of  British Petroleum, Tokyo Electric Power, Goldman Squid and the 1% of the 1%.

(I’ll also send you the link for the videos if you’ve already ordered the book. Just click here and click again on “Film Companion.” I trust you not to be a jerk and fake it.)

Occupy the best-seller list.  Right now it’s totally occupied by Bill O’Reilly and his ilk.  Ugh!  Don’t let these weasels think we’re illiterate.  Jam Vultures’ Picnic right down the media’s throat.

Afraid of commitment?  Then read the first chapter, free, no charge, online or download.  Pass it around.  If you don’t like it, I’ll refund your money.  (Yes, it’s free …but you get the point.)

What are you waiting for?  Dick Cheney to shoot you in the face?

Vultures’ Picnic:  In Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates and High-Finance Carnivores.  It’s WHY we occupy.

– Greg Palast

Lazy Ouzo-Swilling, Olive-Pit Spitting Greeks
Or, How Goldman Sacked Greece

Greg Palast 

For In These Times

Here’s what we’re told:Greece

Greece’s economy blew apart because a bunch of olive-spitting, ouzo-guzzling, lazy-ass Greeks refuse to put in a full day’s work, retire while they’re still teenagers, pocket pensions fit for a pasha; and they’ve gone on a social-services spending spree using borrowed money. Now that the bill has come due and the Greeks have to pay with higher taxes and cuts in their big fat welfare state, they run riot, screaming in the streets, busting windows and burning banks.

I don’t buy it.  I don’t buy it because of the document in my hand marked, “RESTRICTED DISTRIBUTION.”

I’ll cut to the indictment:  Greece is a crime scene.  The people are victims of a fraud, a scam, a hustle and a flim-flam.   And — cover the children’s ears when I say this — a bank named Goldman Sachs is holding the smoking gun.

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This is an adaptation of an excerpt from Vultures’ Picnic, Greg Palast’s new book, out next week, an investigator’s pursuit of petroleum pigs, power pirates and high-finance fraudsters. Read the first chapter or just get the book here.

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In 2002, Goldman Sachs secretly bought up a 2.3 billion in Greek government debt, converted it all into yen and dollars, then immediately sold it back to Greece.

Goldman took a huge loss on the trade.

Is Goldman that stupid?

Goldman is stupid – like a fox. The deal was a con, with Goldman making up a phony-baloney exchange rate for the transaction.  Why?

Goldman had cut a secret deal with the Greek government in power then.  Their game:  to conceal a massive budget deficit.  Goldman’s fake loss was the Greek government’s fake gain.

Goldman would get repayment of its “loss” from the government at loan-shark rates.

The point is, through this crazy and costly legerdemain, Greece’s right-wing free-market government was able to pretend its deficits never exceeded 3 percent of GDP.

Cool. Fraudulent but cool.

But flim-flam isn’t cheap these days: On top of murderous interest payments, Goldman charged the Greeks over a quarter billion dollars in fees.

When the new Socialist government of George Papandreou came into office, they opened up the books and Goldman’s bats flew out.  Investors’ went berserk, demanding monster interest rates to lend more money to roll over this debt.

Greece’s panicked bondholders rushed to buy insurance against the nation going bankrupt.  The price of the bond-bust insurance, called a credit default swap (or CDS), also shot through the roof.  Who made a big pile selling the CDS insurance?  Goldman.

And those rotting bags of CDS’s sold by Goldman and others? Didn’t they know they were handing their customers gold-painted turds?

That’s Goldman’s specialty.  In 2007, at the same time banks were selling suspect CDS’s and CDOs (packaged sub-prime mortgage securities), Goldman held a “net short” position against these securities. That is, Goldman was betting their financial “products” would end up in the toilet. Goldman picked up another half a billion dollars on their “net short” scam.

But, instead of cuffing Goldman’s CEO Lloyd Blankfein and parading him in a cage through the streets of Athens, we have the victims of the frauds, the Greek people, blamed.  Blamed and soaked for the cost of it.  The “spread” on Greek bonds (the term used for the risk premium paid on Greece’s corrupted debt) has now risen to – get ready for this — $14,000 per family per year.

Euro-nation, the secret Geithner memo, and the Ecuador connection

Why did the Greek government throw its nation’s fate into Goldman’s greasy hands?  What the heck was in the “RESTRICTED” document? And why did I have to take it to Geneva, to throw it down in front of the Director-General of the WTO for authentication, a creepy French banker I otherwise wouldn’t bother to spit on, and then tear off to Quito to share it with the grateful President of Ecuador?

To give you all the answers would require me to write a book.  I have:  Vultures’ Picnic — in Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates and High-Finance Fraudsters.

It’s really quite important to me that you read it, that you get it now.  That’s a funny statement, I suppose, from an author.  But if you’ve been reading my stories in The Guardian or watching my reports on BBC Newsnight, you’ve gotten the facts; but I really want to let you inside the investigations, to cross the continents with me and follow down the leads so that you can get a full picture of The Beasts.  The Beasts and their trophy wives, intelligence agency go-fers, political concubines and bone-breakers.  And besides, it’s enormous fun when it’s not scary as sh*t.

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Here’s a taste of Chapter 12 – The Generalissimo of Globalization – from the film-enhanced eBook edition.  [And more on the 1% Greece-ing us, check out the upcoming issue of In These Times.]

Note:  I will be in Chicago for In These Times on November 29, part of our 15 city tour that begins this coming Sunday, November 13, in Portland, then moves to San Francisco, LA, San Diego, Denver, Boulder, New Mexico, Albuquerque, Chicago, Madison, New York, DC, Houston, Burlington, and Atlanta. Find out more info here.

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Greg Palast is the author of Vultures’ Picnic: In Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates and High-Finance Carnivores.

Get it now!
For more information about Palast’s brand new book and his book-signing events in your city, go to www.VulturesPicnic.org

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

GregPalast.com

Chapter One of Vultures’ Picnic —
Read it Now

Greg Palast 

 

After some tense discussion (Penguin was partly owned by Gaddafi, so you can imagine…), my publisher has given me the unusual right to give all my readers, for no charge, the entire first chapter of my new book Vultures’ Picnic.
Even if you don’t get the book, I really want you to read the first chapter.

Read it or Download it.

Never before, in my decades as an investigator, have I taken you with me undercover, on the hunt into the lives, secret files, shopping bags and back rooms of the cruel and whacky One Percent.  And, for the first time, I’ve decided to let you in on Greg Palast, to open up my life and the inside of my operation, without censorship or BS.

In Chapter One, you will first encounter …more

Sachs Fiend:
Goldman Attacks Occupy Wall Street’s Non-Profit Bank

When Goldman got huffy at a credit union honouring OWS and pulled its anniversary dinner funding, much more was at stake

Greg Palast 

Exclusive for The Guardian
Greg Palast, the author of Vultures’ Picnic: In Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates, and High-Finance Carnivores.
With Arun Gupta, founding editor of The Occupied Wall Street Journal.

Greg Palast reports from Occupied Wall Street for Democracy Now!

[Zuccotti Park, Wall Street, New York.]

Mega-bank Goldman Sachs (assets $933bn), has declared war on one of the smallest banks in New York (assets $30m), the customer-owned community bank that happens to also be the banker for Friends of Liberty Plaza, Inc, also known as Occupy Wall Street. And you thought Goldman didn’t care.

The trouble began three weeks ago when the occupiers suddenly found their donation buckets filling with thousands of dollars, way more than needed for their pizza dinners. Suddenly, the anti-bank protesters needed a bank. Citibank and Chase certainly wouldn’t fit. So OWS opened an account at the not-for-profit Lower East Side Peoples Federal Credit Union. Peoples has a unique federal charter – designated to open accounts for low-income folk from all over NewYork, available to those families earning less than $38,000 per year. (Disclosure: the CEO of the Peoples bank is my dearly beloved ex. But that’s another story.)

Goldman Sachs had also joined up with the Peoples bank. Goldman partners reportedly earn a bit more than $38k per annum, yet Goldman’s association so far was limited to giving the credit union $5,000 toward the little bank’s 25th anniversary celebration dinner. Goldman’s largesse was acknowledged on the dinner invites – along with the night’s honoree: Occupy Wall Street.

When a Goldman exec saw its gilded name next to Occupy Wall Street, …more

Uber-Vultures: The Billionaires Who Would Pick Our President

Greg Palast 

The untold story of the sources of the loot controlled by Paul “The Vulture” Singer, Ken Langone and the Kochs — and why they need to buy the White House

For TruthOut/Buzzflash

Greg Palast’s investigative reports are broadcast by BBC Television’s Newsnight. His new book, Vultures’ Picnic: a Tale of Oil, Sex, Radiation and Investigative Reporting will be released by Penguin USA on November 14.

[October 5, 2011] Paul Singer likes to breakfast on decayed carcasses. What he chews down is sickening, but just as nausea-inducing are his new table mates: Ken Langone and the Koch Brothers, Charles and David.

Singer has called together the billionaire boys club for the purpose of picking our next president for us. The old fashioned way of choosing presidents – democracy and counting ballots and all that – has never been a favorite of this pack. I can tell you that from my investigations of each of these gentlemen for The Guardian. When the Statue of Liberty has nightmares, she dreams that these guys will combine to seize America via a cash-and-carry coup d’etat. …more

Not Another Ransom Note
from Congressman Boehner

Greg Palast 

 

It was quite upsetting to find our President blindfolded and tied to a chair at the GOP Tea Party headquarters, but I’m sure the $2.2 trillion ransom we paid to the hostage-takers is worth it.

Well, now that the Obama presidency is over, we can move on to more serious matters.

Look out your window.  What you’ll see is that, while the debt-ceiling hostage crisis played out on cable TV, the planet has been burning down.

You haven’t heard a lot from me this year-because the normally-noisy Palast investigations team has chosen to spend these months quietly digging into unreported cases of economic and environmental arson.  It will all hit the presses and TV when we launch a new book and films later this year.

But the investigations continue at full tilt:

#1. Too Far Beyond Petroleum. …more

Strauss-Kahn Screws Africa

Greg Palast 

For The Guardian

Now that I’ve dispensed with the obvious and obnoxious teaser headline, let’s drop the towel and expose Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s history of arrogant abuse. The truth is, the grandee of the IMF has molested Africans for years.

On Wednesday, the New York Times ran five – count’em, FIVE – stories on Strauss-Kahn, Director-General of the International Monetary Fund. According to the Paper of Record, the charges against “DSK,” as he’s known in France, are in “contradiction” to his “charm” and “accomplishments” at the IMF.

Au contraire, mes chers lecteurs.

Director-General DSK’s cruelty, arrogance and impunity toward African and other nations as generalissimo of the IMF is right in line with the story told by the poor, African hotel housekeeper in New York City.

Let’s consider how the housekeeper from Guinea ended up here in New York. In 2002, this single mother was granted asylum. What drove her here?

It began with the IMF rape of Guinea.

…more

BP’s Secret Deepwater Blowout

Greg Palast 

Exclusive for Truthout/Buzzflash

Greg Palast investigating BP’s blowout in the Caspian, Baku, Azerbaijan 2010.

Only 17 months before BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig suffered a deadly blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, another BP deepwater oil platform also blew out.

You’ve heard and seen much about the Gulf disaster that killed 11 BP workers. If you have not heard about the earlier blowout, it’s because BP has kept the full story under wraps. Nor did BP inform Congress or US safety regulators, and BP, along with its oil industry partners, have preferred to keep it that way.

The earlier blowout occurred in September 2008 on BP’s Central Azeri platform in the Caspian Sea.

As one memo marked “secret” puts it, “Given the explosive potential, BP was quite fortunate to have been able to evacuate everyone safely and to prevent any gas ignition.” The Caspian oil platform was a spark away from exploding, but luck was with the 211 rig workers.

…more

BP In Deep Water: The Making Of the Channel 4 Investigation

Greg Palast 

FEATURES

For two decades, investigator Greg Palast has been on BP’s trail. In BP: In Deep Water, Palast takes Dispatches viewers along on his world-wide investigation of the oil giant. (Sorry, UK only).

One year after BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig blew apart and spewed 170 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, BP claims victory – that most of the oil is gone.

Palast walks across one still-slimed beach with a marine biologist who describes ‘BP’s clean up theatre’ as ‘superficial’ and ‘cosmetic’. He shows us the oil still coming ashore, and the oil still deep beneath the beach surface.

From the Gulf, Palast flies to the Alaskan Arctic and discovers that BP has spilled over 200,000 gallons of oil. The problem: BP had not tested the integrity of pipeline for eight years. The reason? A prosecuting attorney said: ‘BP cut corners with disastrous consequences.’ Palast meets an insider In shadow, a man who programmed the type of testing equipment oil companies can use, called the PIG, says it can cost up to $1 million per mile to test pipes. BP’s failure to test could have saved it millions of dollars, but failure to check the pipeline was at the cost of poisoning the last pristine wilderness.

Palast, who years earlier led an investigation of the Exxon Valdez disaster reveals that, despite the name ‘Exxon’ on the tanker, it was a company called Alyeska, in which BP had a majority share, that was responsible for containing the oil spill. Their response was so slow that oil devastated 1,300 miles of Alaskan shores. The company failed to have the equipment and crews required to deal with the spill. Palast shows viewers the oil still on the beaches, 22 years after the spill.

Then, it’s a flight half-way across the planet to the police state of Azerbaijan, in Central Asia, where the Dispatches crew is detained by state security while attempting to film BP’s operations. Just after Azerbaijan’s ruling family took control after a coup, BP , with other oil companies, took the nation’s oil in a deal called the ‘Contract of the Century.’ Former MP, former BP political advisor and MI6 operative Harold Elletson tells Dispatches how the dictatorship made sure the deals with BP would ‘stick’.

Also saying he helped to make BP’s position ‘stick’ was the oil company’s one-time Deputy Representative in Azerbaijan who tells Dispatches that, to win favour from the petro-state, BP authorised his paying over $2 million in bribes.

And, while working for BP, that he was approached by MI6 to spy for Britain, providing military intelligence to Moscow station chief John Scarlett.

About Greg Palast

A fraud investigator turned journalist, Palast is best known in the US for his discovery of how Katherine Harris fixed the Presidential election of 2000 for George W Bush and, in the UK, for his Observer investigation, ‘Lobbygate: Cash for Access’ about New Labour and lobbyist influence. Palast investigated the Exxon Valdez grounding for the Natives of Alaska, owners of the state’s coastline; and for the government, directed investigations of fraud in the energy industry.

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Palast’s investigations are supported in part by the Puffin and Cloud Mountain Foundations and the Palast Investigative Fund, a 501c3 charitable trust.

Subscribe to Palast’s Newsletter and podcasts.

Follow Palast on Facebook and Twitter.

www.GregPalast.com

Tokyo Electric to Build US Nuclear Plants
The no-BS info on Japan’s disastrous nuclear operators

Greg Palast 

for Truthout/Buzzflash

by Greg Palast

Texas plants planned by Tokyo Electric. Image:NINA

I need to speak to you, not as a reporter, but in my former capacity as lead investigator in several government nuclear plant fraud and racketeering investigations.

I don’t know the law in Japan, so I can’t tell you if Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) can plead insanity to the homicides about to happen.

But what will Obama plead?  The Administration, just months ago, asked Congress to provide a $4 billion loan guarantee for two new nuclear reactors to be built and operated on the Gulf Coast of Texas – by Tokyo Electric Power and local partners.  As if the Gulf hasn’t suffered enough.
…more

Bush’d again?
New Orleans, Mr. O and Mr. Go

Greg Palast 

For The Huffington Post

Five years ago this week, a beast drowned New Orleans. Don’t blame Katrina: the lady never, in fact, touched the city. The hurricane swept east of it.

You want to know the name of the S.O.B. who attacked New Orleans? Locals call him “Mr. Go”the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet (MR-GO).

MR-GO was undoubtedly the most bone-headed, deadly insane project ever built by the Army Corps of Engineers. It’s a 76-mile long canal, straight as a gun barrel, running right up from the Gulf of Mexico to the heart of New Orleans.

In effect, MR-GO was a welcome mat to the city for Katrina. Experts call it “the Hurricane Highway.”

Until the Army Corps made this crazy gash in the Mississippi Delta fifty years ago, Mother Nature protected the Crescent City with a green wreath of cypress and mangrove. The environmental slash-job caused the government’s own hydrologist to raise alarms from Day One of construction.

Unless MR-GO was fixed or plugged, the Corps was inviting, “the possibility of catastrophic damage to urban areas by a hurricane surge coming up this waterway.” (I’m quoting from a report issued 17 years before The Flood.)

A forensic analysis by Dr. John W. Day calculated that if the Corps had left just 6 miles of wetlands in place of the open canal, the surge caused by Katrina’s wind would have been reduced by 4.5 feet and a lot of New Orleaneans would be alive today.
…more

Shoot BP:
The Amazon to Arctic Investigation

Greg Palast 
Alaska Native Henry Makarka©1997James Macalpine-PIF

At Tatitlek Village, Alaska Native Henry Makarka told me, “If I had a machine gun I’d shoot every one of them white sons of bitches.”

Makarka was talking about the executives who came to him and his tribe 40 years ago to purchase their land at Valdez.  They were from the companies now known as Exxon and BP.

The Tatitlek were paid the handsome price of $1 for Valdez, which the companies knew was worth billions.

Yes, Henry, we want to shoot BP too.  And Exxon.  With cameras – which corporations fear more than bullets.

We have launched the multi-national Amazon to Arctic investigation of BP and its oily sisters.

But frankly, we need the cash to do it; for the small charter planes, the detective agencies, the camera batteries and, frankly, our nourishment.

If you have ever considered supporting us, or adding to your prior support, believe me, this is the moment.  Please donate here and I’ll send you, signed, your choice of thank you gifts: my films on DVD and bestselling books.

For 21 years, I have been hunting BP, Exxon, Chevron and their sisters.

But I simply can’t continue.  We are, no kidding, dead out of funds for this work.

The result will be a feature-length documentary (a major network has indicated it will distribute), major print investigative pieces and a series of video-enhanced internet news reports for major sites.  (As always, our reports are given to Democracy Now! and other not-for-profit broadcasters without charge.)

But the preliminary work and deep investigation which they can’t cover must start now.

* $579 buys my ticket to Alaska, BP’s latest drilling target.

* $1100 gets me to a meeting with a BP insider.

* $200 buys us a new concealable mini-recorder.

We need your help. If you believe the issue of oil’s global reach deserves the type of serious, deep investigation the Palast team uniquely provides, then now is the moment to show you support us.

Please, make it at least $100 and I’ll send you my three latest DVDs.

Better yet, become our producer. I mean it. Instead of million-dollar moguls, we are looking for a group of twenty-four “mini-moguls” to launch our films (news report length and feature length). Donate at least $1,000 and we’ll list you as a co-Producer for our next film (with a dozen DVDs of the film when complete).

Here’s what YOU get:

Palast flying over the Prince William Sound, Alaska©1997James Macalpine-PIF

BP insiders have contacted us from the Caspian to London.  We need your tax-deductible donation right away.  If ever there was a journalistic emergency, this is it.

We need to get back up to Alaska, BP’s next offshore target, pay the bills from hunting Chevron in the Amazon, then return to the Gulf where we have more inside information already gleaned that needs verification and publication.

I really don’t want to shut down such an important investigation.  If you have ever considered supporting us, or adding to your prior support, believe me, this is the moment.

Our special thanks to Mike Papantonio, Bobby Kennedy and their Ring of Fire Radio for supporting our Arctic to Amazon campaign.

On top of this obligation, we have also begun an investigation of nuclear power which has recently arisen from its corporate crypt.  I know this is a lot to take on, but we must – and we will, with your commitment to join us.

With gratitude,

Greg Palast

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Greg Palast investigated charges of fraud by BP and Exxon in the grounding of the Exxon Valdez for Alaska’s Chugach Natives.

Palast’s investigation of Chevron’s oil drilling operations in the Amazon for BBC Television Newsnight is included in the DVD compendium Palast Investigates.

Palast’s investigations are supported in part by the Puffin and Cloud Mountain Foundations and the Palast Investigative Fund, a 501c3 charitable trust.

Subscribe to Palast’s Newsletter and podcasts

Follow Palast on Facebook and Twitter.

www.gregpalast.com

Slick Operator: The BP I’ve known too well

Greg Palast 

 For Truthout.org
May 5, 2010

I‘ve seen this movie before. In 1989, I was a fraud investigator hired to dig into the cause of the Exxon Valdez disaster. Despite Exxon’s name on that boat, I found the party most to blame for the destruction was … British Petroleum. That’s important to know, because the way BP caused devastation in Alaska is exactly the way BP is now sliming the entire Gulf Coast.

The deepwater horizon taken soon after the explosion in the Gulf.Deepwater Horizon in flames before sinking. Photo provided by D.Becnel

Tankers run aground, wells blow out, pipes burst. It shouldn’t happen but it does. And when it does, the name of the game is containment. Both in Alaska, when the Exxon Valdez grounded, and in the Gulf over a week ago, when the Deepwater Horizon platform blew, it was British Petroleum that was charged with carrying out the Oil Spill Response Plans (“OSRP”) which the company itself drafted and filed with the government.

What’s so insane, when I look over that sickening slick moving toward the Delta, is that containing spilled oil is really quite simple and easy. And from my investigation, BP has figured out a very low cost way to prepare for this task: BP lies. BP prevaricates, BP fabricates and BP obfuscates.

That’s because responding to a spill may be easy and simple, but not at all cheap. And BP is cheap. Deadly cheap.

To contain a spill, the main thing you need is a lot of rubber, long skirts of it called “boom.” Quickly surround a spill or leak or burst, then pump it out into skimmers or disperse it, sink it or burn it. Simple.
…more

Report from the Inferno

Greg Palast 

Palast on BP “The master of disaster”.

Report from Anchorage Radio with Shannyn Moore – Listen

The deepwater horizon taken soon after the explosion in the Gulf.

Photo of the Deepwater Horizon taken soon after the explosion in the Gulf. ӬProvided to us exclusively by D. Becnel. Stay tuned to this space for our investigative report.