Tag: Armed Madhouse

You Have Kept Me Alive

Greg Palast 
Greg PalastClick and hold to enlarge

When Bush’s lawyers came after me, when oil industry lobbyists threatened Harper’s Magazine and me, when Katherine Harris and her allies tried to bully me into withdrawing my reports on election theft, you saved my journalistic life – with your support, your electronic shouts and your funding.

From Florida, from the Amazon, from Caracas, this great experiment in citizen journalism has had an astonishing, outsized impact on public policy.

Now, for the first time this year, I have to ask you to keep my work alive with your financial support.

Our not-for-profit foundation is in serious need of your serious help to feed our skinny staff of investigators and to house our very fat file cabinets.

Please: If you believe my work is worthwhile and should continue, and you can donate $150, I will send you all five of my films on DVD, signed to you—the package includes my newest film, PALAST INVESTIGATES, from 8-Mile to the Amazon. (It’s a big pack – meant to encourage you to pass some on.)

Or donate at least $50 and get the Palast Investigates DVD on its own, signed. This film on DVD includes my latest reports for BBC Television and Democracy Now!

Palast Investigates brings you, literally, into our offices on New York’s Lower East Side, where you can see the tapes, the files marked ‘confidential,’ as I explain how our rare form of old-fashioned gum-shoe reporting is done. [Watch the trailer here.]

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Where’s Your Homework, Mr. President?

Greg Palast 

Greg Palast gets a lesson from super-teacher Bill Roney. Listen to the podcast on ActionPoint radio.

Click twice to enlarge

The Looney-Tunes Right Wing is all bent up that our President is planning to tell kids to do their homework in a broadcast to schools set for Tuesday. They’re panicked he’s going to “sell socialism,” says one, and apparently, encourage kiddies to join the military to marry someone of their own sex.

But the teacher does have a serious question for the President: Barack, why haven’t you done your homework?

That’s right, Mr. A Student. Where is it?

Teacher wants to know.

And not just any teacher. William (Bill) Roney has been Yonkers’ Teacher of the Year, recipient of a Disney national teaching award, recognizing him as one of America’s top classroom educators; he was even picked for Ronald Reagan’s teacher in space program until that idea, well, blew up.

The latest fad among politicians is to put our schools in the hands of “entrepreneurs” (as if coming up with a bogus derivative to sell to Iceland is preparation for teaching long division to fifth graders). But I’ve decided to commit a heresy by asking advice on fixing our schools from, heavens!, a teacher. And this one knows his stuff.
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The Day the President Turned Black
(But has he turned back?)

Greg Palast 

For the The Huffington Post

false hope nowHe’s in hot water now. For a moment, on national television, the President of the United States turned black!

Last week, when his buddy “Skip” Gates got busted for being Black in Boston, Barack Obama forgot his official role: to soothe America’s conscience with the happy fairy tale that his election marked the end of racism in the USA.

Instead, Obama, the excruciatingly middle-of-the-road President, was seized by Barack the militant State Senator from the South Side of Chicago, who reminded us that cops bust Black guys for no goddamn good reason all the goddamn time.

I’m reminded that it was not so long ago that we watched the vicious gang-beating by Los Angeles cops of a defenseless, handcuffed, Rodney King, an African-American. King’s beating was unusual only in that it was caught on videotape.
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How McNamara Lost World War II

Greg Palast 

It’s been a good week. Robert McNamara’s dead and my book, Armed Madhouse, was released in translation in Vietnam.

I don’t blame McNamara for losing the war in Vietnam. After all, the good guys won. I do, however, blame him for losing World War II.

In 1995, in Chicago, veterans of Silver Post No. 282 celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of their victory over Japan, marching around a catering hall wearing their old service caps, pins, ribbons and medals. My father sat at his table, silent. He did not wear his medals.

He had given them to me thirty years earlier. I can figure it exactly: March 8, 1965. That day, like every other, we walked to the newsstand near the dime store to get the LA Times. He was a
Times man. Never read the Examiner.

He looked at the headline: U.S. Marines had landed on the beach at Danang, Vietnam.
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Damn that Lincoln: Abe’s to blame for Jindal

Greg Palast 

Exclusive to Buzzflash.com

Damn that Abe Lincoln. When Louisiana and Mississippi seceded from the Union, a sensible president would have sent them a box of chocolates with a note, “Goodbye and good riddance.”

Tonight, following Barack Obama’s budget presentation to Congress, effectively the president’s first State of the Union Address, the Republicans chose to give their party’s response, the governor of the state that wanted to leave the Union, Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal.

Jindal told us that Barack Obama is a terrible President who passed a stimulus bill “larded with wasteful spending.”   Where’s the lard?  All week, Jindal has been screeching that Obama wants to require states like Louisiana to extend unemployment insurance to – get this – the unemployed!  (Technically, the federal government would pay 100% of the cost of reforming Louisiana’s and Mississippi’s Scrooge-sized benefit requirements.)A Year After the Flood

Jindal, and some other Republican governors, notably Haley Barbour of Mississippi, are actually turning down millions in federal funds for their own state’s unemployed out of fear that, four years from now, they may have to maintain full unemployment insurance like the rest of America.

Barbour’s excuse, parroted by Jindal, is that the Obama payments to the unemployed of their states would mean, when the economy returns to expansion, that their state would have to increase unemployment insurance taxes and payments to the US average, scaring away new employers. “I mean, we want more jobs,” says Barbour.  Um, this is the Governor of MISSISSIPPI talking.  Exactly what new “jobs” is he talking about? Is Microsoft is based in Gulfport?  Is Genentech opening its new headquarters in Moss Point?

As an economist, I can tell you that the only industry Mississippi leads in is deep-fried chicken-dog manufacturing.  I will admit that Louisiana and Mississippi can boast of growing employment at several …more

Bill Richardson – Kissinger-American

Greg Palast 

by Greg Palast

excerpted from Armed Madhouse

Henry Kissinger and Bill RichardsonBill Richardson is out: Caught with his hand, if not exactly in the cookie jar, at least you could say his sticky finger were near it. I’m not surprised.

For years I’ve been investigating the second-most corrupt state in the USA (after Alaska). I like to check in on the enchanted state with my bud Santiago Juárez.

I knew it was not a polite question, but it was really bugging me, so I asked HIM, “Exactly how does a Mexican get the name William Richardson?”

Governor Richardson’s dad, Santiago explained, was a Citibank executive assigned to Mexico City. There …more

Bush under the Mistletoe
A kiss-off suggestion

Greg Palast 

Is that George Bush under the mistletoe, waiting for your good-bye kiss?The Bush Goodbye

Well, give'm the kiss-off they won't forget:

For the holidays, give the films that got us busted, censored, threatened. (Oh, what fun!) Make a donation to our investigative reporting foundation ...more

Autographed Palast Books, DVDs

Greg Palast 

On September 12, 2001, George Bush asked Americans to go shopping.Complete Palast Pack

I’ve got a better idea: Don’t buy – DONATE – and I’ll send out your gifts. Give a tax deductible donation to support my investigations crew. Donate to the not-for-profit Palast Investigative Fund and I will sign and send, in gratitude, a gift to you – or your friends or family. I’ll sign each item.

Make your tax-deductible donations at www.PalastInvestigativeFund.org and get the following:

“Armed Madhouse: From Baghdad to New Orleans – Sordid Secrets and Strange Tales of a White House Gone Wild.” The bestselling book, signed. “Great fun,” says the New Yorker. $75 min donation. $100 Hardbound. “Palast’s stories bite … they threaten to alter history.* – Chicago Tribune

Film on DVD: Big Easy to Big Empty: The Untold Story of the Drowning of New Orleans [“The most important documentary of the year” – Air America.] Signed. Min. donation $40 signed. Watch an excerpt here.

Film on DVD: “The Assassination of Hugo Chavez” – A new documentary based on the investigations for BBC and Democracy Now – from Mexico, from Ecuador and, from, Venezuela, Palast with Chavez. $50 min. donation. Signed. Watch the trailer.

Gift packs: For a $500 minimum donation, get a crate-load of info-loaded DVDs and books. Give me the names, I’ll sign them all to you and yours.

Special: Audio CD: “LIVE from the Armed Madhouse.” Palast takes you on a wild truth ride. My talk in Florida – plus Ed Asner reading from the Armed Madhouse to a hip-hop beat. Ho-ho-ho! $40 min. donation. Signed.

Besteseller: “The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.” Signed. The book Howard Zinn calls, “one of the most important political tomes of our time.” Min. donation $75.

Film on DVD: “The Elections Files: The Theft of 2008.” The award-winning reports – seen on BBC Television – and reports not yet seen anywhere. $50 minimum donation. Watch the trailer. Signed.

And more: The Armed Madhouse audio book with Larry David, Jim Hightower, Amy Goodman, Randi Rhodes and many more reading on five disks. (min. $100 donation). Signed.

And less: Make a donation to the Palast Investigative Fund in someone’s name – and we’ll send them a thank you card. You get a tax donation – and ‘just the facts, ma’am.’]

DVD: “Bush Family Fortunes” – the in-your-face Palast report from BBC documentary min. donation $50, [“Courageous reporting” – Michael Moore].

100% of proceeds go to support the staff and expenses of the Palast investigative fund.

My best wishes to you and your family,

Greg Palast

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“Voting Fraud is a Fraud.”
Buzzflash interviews Greg Palast

Greg Palast 

A BUZZFLASH INTERVIEW

“However, the Republican cry of ‘Vote Fraud!’ has become the cover for purges and challenges to legal voters by the millions. I even tracked down and filmed some of these so-called fraudulent voters handed me from a GOP list. Every one was a legal voter.”

— Greg Palast, Intrepid Investigative Reporter and Author

* * *

Greg Palast and BuzzFlash go back to the election of 2000. At that time, large progressive political news sites were hard to come by – and there was only one investigative reporter who was able to unravel the theft of the Florida election: Greg Palast.

Greg didn’t just expose the mugging of democracy. As a University of Chicago trained researcher, he was able to detail how Katherine Harris used an outside vendor to create caging lists that prevented legitimate voters from casting their ballots. In fact, Greg has a laptop presentation that actually shows you the lists that Harris’s office worked from in keeping minorities from voting.

Of course, Greg’s investigation on vote theft – which has branched out widely in the intervening years – is persuasive and thorough enough for the BBC and British newspapers, but not for the corporate press in America! We kid you not.

To this day, Palast is effectively banned from reaching the mainstream American voter because television stations and big papers are owned by companies that don’t want to rock the vote. It might hurt their tax cuts or efforts to deregulate media ownership.

BuzzFlash thought that now would be a good time to revisit with our most interviewed expert on BuzzFlash, Greg Palast. After all, we have an election coming up.

* * *

BuzzFlash: You have been investigating the coordinated and vigorous GOP effort to suppress and steal votes since the theft of the election in 2000. You and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. just did a BBC Documentary on what nefarious voter suppression tactics the Republicans have in store for us in 2008. Can you summarize some of the methods that the GOP are using to disenfranchise non-Republican voters prior to the election, to prevent them from voting during the election, and to keep their votes from being counted after the polls close?

Greg Palast: It’s ugly. Consider:

– In the swing state of Colorado, we found that the Republican Secretary of State wiped out 19.4% – one in five – voter names in an unnoticed mass purge.

– In swing-state New Mexico, in the February caucus, one in nine Democrats found their names missing from the voter rolls supplied by the State. The elections supervisor of San Miguel County – whose own name was missing from the rolls – has no confidence the state contractors will fix it. Our statistical analysis showed there was a direct relationship between your name and your race and income. The poor and the dark were disappeared.

– In Indiana, you heard about 10 nuns who lost their vote because their ID – drivers’ licenses – had expired (they were all over eighty). But what about the others? We’ve calculated that 143,000 others were turned away – disproportionately Blacks and new voters.

And so on and so on.

BuzzFlash: BuzzFlash has been covering one public relations effort by the Republican National Committee to create a false context for claiming voter fraud. In short, they have been attacking a national community organizing group called ACORN with news releases, lawsuits, surrogate assaults, etc., falsely claiming (as they did in 2004 and 2006) that ACORN is engaged in the massive illegal registration of primarily minority voters. Can you explain the significance of the ACORN slander by the RNC?

Greg Palast: As RFK and I report, there are only about SIX voters found guilty of federal voting fraud in a year. SiX! Out of 178 million registered voters.

So the GOP (and Fox and CNN) are running stories about ACORN signing up zillions of illegal voters. Yep, there are a handful of phony names – but ‘Mary Poppins’ has never shown up to vote.

However, the Republican cry of ‘Vote Fraud!’ has become the cover for purges and challenges to legal voters by the millions.

I even tracked down and filmed some of these so-called fraudulent voters handed me from a GOP list. Every one was a legal voter.

Tell us a bit about the site and downloadable comic book that you launched with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. on how to prevent the theft of millions of votes by the Republicans, yet again in 2008. The website is: http://www.stealbackyourvote.com.

Greg Palast: Our Rolling Stone report that’s out this week is all about how they’ve stolen so many legitimate votes. The comic book, which includes the Rolling Stone findings also includes the SEVEN WAYS TO STEAL IT BACK.

And the whole thing is illustrated brilliantly by comic crazies Ted Rall, Lukas Ketner and Troubletown’s Lloyd Dangle. I loved doing it.

You can download the whole comic book for a penny or more (donate more please) at StealBackYourVote.org. And better yet, you can order bunches of the comic book there as well (and see the short movies). Cool eh?

BuzzFlash: Can you briefly explain the role of ProsecutorGate at the DOJ in efforts to suppress the Democratic vote in 2006? How did this fit in with Karl Rove’s grand voter suppression and theft plan?

Greg Palast: You betcha! Fired prosecutor David Iglesias told us something astonishing: He said that he was fired because he refused to arrest innocent citizens for voter fraud that didn’t happen. That’s obstruction of justice. It was all about creating a hysteria over fraudulent voters that didn’t exist.

This is what Iglesias basically said: “They wanted some splashy pre-election indictments [Rove and the RNC] that would scare these alleged hordes of illegal voters away.” Only the voters were legal.

BuzzFlash: Isn’t there one bright spot? You cut your teeth on GOP voter disenfranchisement with brilliant reporting on how the Bush campaign team, Jeb Bush, and Katherine Harris prevented tens of thousands of valid minority voters from voting through a scheme to use an outside vendor, ChoicePoint, to create an inaccurate list of felons who could not vote in 2000 in Florida. Hasn’t the current GOP governor, Charlie Crist, had the right to vote of ex-felons restored?

Greg Palast: Crist is a duplicitous phony. On the one hand, he pretends they’ll let ex-cons vote as in almost every state. On the other hand less than a handful of the half million ex-cons in the state have been able to get through the insane rigamarole required to actually register. In most states ex-cons can vote like anyone else.

BuzzFlash: As a follow up, from a practical matter, don’t the Republicans have to be within a certain striking distance to steal the election. If Obama keeps trending up, or ends up with a double-digit popular vote victory, how could the GOP steal the election? After all, if Nader weren’t on the ballot in Florida – despite all the nefarious Republican voter suppression and theft – Al Gore would be president, right?

Greg Palast: That’s what RFK and I say: you can’t steal ALL the votes ALL the time.

BuzzFlash: Okay, it’s less than a month before the election, what can anyone do to halt another theft of the White House?

Greg Palast: Go to STEALBACKYOURVOTE.ORG. Get the comic book. Now was that so difficult?*

BuzzFlash: For 8 years, you’ve been covering this issue. Some others have joined you over time and it’s a bit of a movement, albeit still relatively small. But, as in 2000, not much has changed with the corporate media. They are still pretty much ignoring the clear evidence of a coordinated GOP effort to keep non-Republicans from voting and to steal votes wherever they can. Is there any reason to think that they might awaken to their journalistic responsibility to report on the mugging of democracy?

Greg Palast: Zero. That’s why we have BuzzFlash. Bless you.

[*In brief, Palast advises voters to vote early; do not mail in your ballot; check on your registration in advance to make sure there is not a glitch; don’t vote a provisional ballot; volunteer on election day; go to the polls with someone for mutual support; and use the resources that you can get at stealbackyourvote.org.]

BuzzFlash interview conducted by Mark Karlin.

* * *

Resources:

Greg Palast website: http://gregpalast.com

To Download “Steal It Back” comic book: http://www.stealbackyourvote.org/

To Purchase “Armed Madhouse” by Palast: http://www.buzzflash.com/store/items/566

To view the documentary on Republican election theft just released and available for free on the Internet (with the participation of Palast), go to: http://www.freeforall.tv

The May 17, 2007, BuzzFlash interview with Palast, “Greg Palast, Author of Armed Madhouse, on How Rove May Have Already Stolen the 2008 Election”: http://www.buzzflash.com/articles/interviews/061

For a BuzzFlash Editor’s Blog on how the Republicans Use A.C.O.R.N. to achieve racist goals, go to: http://www.buzzflash.com/articles/editorblog/128

[BuzzFlash Afternote: The GOP assault on the right of every American to vote is so widespread that we can barely touch upon it in one interview.  Of course, there is the whole additional issue of electronic voting theft, for example.  The Republican effort to disenfranchise legitimate voters is a vast criminal enterprise.]

A BUZZFLASH INTERVIEW

“Download it and fight back!”
urges Rev. Jesse Jackson

Greg Palast 

“This is Reverend Jesse Jackson from the Rainbow/Push Coalition. Your vote must count and not be stolen. This time protect that vote, download it and fight back contact GregPalast.com – for the vote, for Dr. King, for Mandela, for Medgar Evers, for Schwerner, Goodman and Chaney. We’ve marched to long, worked to hard, we’ve died to young don’t let them steal your vote. Vote in big numbers and fight back and through it all keep hope alive we can and must win this election.”

– Rev. Jesse Jackson

Support the Palast Investigative fund and save this election, download the comic book voter guide right now. Send it to your friends and spread the word – “Don’t let them steal your vote!”

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Greg Palast is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, Armed Madhouse and Vultures’ Picnic , a BBC Television Book of the Year.

HELP US FOLLOW THE MONEY. Visit the Palast Investigative Fund’s store or simply make a tax-deductible contribution to keep our work alive!

Subscribe to Palast’s Newsletter and podcasts.
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www.GregPalast.com

Night of the Living Vote-Snatchers
from Steal Back Your Vote!

Greg Palast 

Excerpted from the Greg Palast, Rev. Jesse Jackson, and Robert F. Kennedy’s comic book voter guide Steal Back Your Vote.

In 2002, George W. Bush signed the Help America Vote Act.

When a Bush tells you he’s going to “help” you vote – look out!

The result: in the 2004 presidential election, over three million votes – 3,006,080 – were cast and not counted. Like, what the [email protected]#!?

That’s from the official data from an agency created by George Bush called the “Elections Assistance Commission.”  When a Bush tells you he’s going to “assist” our elections… (well, you get it).

Three MILLION ballots disappeared – Pfft!

And not just anyone’s ballots.  U.S. government experts reported, for example, that a black voter’s ballot is 900% more likely than a white voter’s ballot to get “lost” in the machine. Bush fired the experts.

Three million voters went missing in ‘04 – but that ain’t nuthin’!www.StealBackYourVote.org

Law professor and voting law expert Robert F. Kennedy Jr. warns that it’s about to get a whole lot worse.  Nasty new spores of the “Help” America Vote Act went into effect since the last election that have turned the process into a vicious game of “Chutes and Ladders,” with traps and tricks between you and your vote…

Example: the Republican Secretary of State of Colorado “helped” her state vote by eliminating 19.4% of the voters from the voter rolls.  That’s one in five [email protected]#$#@ voters!

Over three million missing ballots – and now the voters themselves are disappearing by the millions.  Where the hell did they go?

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Greg Palast is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, Armed Madhouse and Vultures’ Picnic , a BBC Television Book of the Year.

HELP US FOLLOW THE MONEY. Visit the Palast Investigative Fund’s store or simply make a tax-deductible contribution to keep our work alive!

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

www.GregPalast.com

 

Memories of Katrina

Greg Palast 

Pamela Lewis at the Lafitte housing project in New Orleans in 2006

This year another hurricane passed over the crescent city. Gustav left New Orleans with a tremendous amount of damage but none of the horrors that his sister Katrina did.

The media will discuss the effects of the hurricane on the Republican Convention and will report the big numbers, 800k without power, 2 million evacuated. But one thing will be certain there will be little or no discussion of why there was no evacuation plan in 2005, why the White House never did tell the locals about the levee breaches or why up until this year people were still living in Guantanamo-like camps. We can be sure that the words ‘right to return‘ won’t pass the lips of the talking heads. We certainly won’t here about the 89,000 names pulled from the voter rolls after the storm.

It’s stories like that that get reporters in trouble, you lose access, you lose your precious seat in the press conference. Well we find press conferences boring, and we never get called on anyway. The last time we were in Louisiana, Homeland Security was called on us… so we figure we must be doing something right.

You can read a full review of Palast’s writings on New Orleans and Katrina here. Also you can see a clip from the film Big Easy to Big Empty, listen to podcasts and read excerpts from Armed Madhouse.

Or you can pick up the film and support our investigative fund.

* * * * * *

For more revelations and the true untold story of Katrina, get a signed copy of Palast’s bestseller, Vultures’ Picnic , a BBC Television Book of the Year.

Greg Palast is also the author of the New York Times bestsellers Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy and Armed Madhouse.

HELP US FOLLOW THE MONEY. Visit the Palast Investigative Fund’s store or simply make a tax-deductible contribution to keep our work alive!

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

www.GregPalast.com

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The Razorcake Interview:
“Vote Theft: Class War by other Means”

Greg Palast 

by Chris Pepus for Razorcake.org 

We need to learn the issues. People are unarmed. That is, people know that they’re getting shafted, but they don’t really know exactly how.

The American press corps has finally begun to report on illegal activities of the Bush administration. However, the subject of election theft remains largely ignored. In recent years, the Republican Party has used an array of tactics to subtract votes from opposing candidates. These include sending defective voting machines to strongly Democratic precincts and removing low-income and minority voters from electoral rolls.

Reporter Greg Palast has been covering this issue since 2000, when he revealed that Florida officials ensured the election of George W. Bush by illegally suppressing the African-American and Democratic vote. (Learn more about that subject here.) In this interview, I asked Palast about his reports on the GOP’s dirty electoral tricks since 2000 and the possibility that the ’08 election will be stolen. He explained how the Help America Vote Act actually helps crooked …more

The House I Live In

Greg Palast 

America is a nation of losers. It’s the best thing about us. We’re the dregs, what the rest of the world barfed up and threw on our shores.

John Kennedy said we are “a nation of immigrants.” That’s the sanitized phrase. We are, in fact, a nation of refugees, who, despite the bastards in white sheets and the know-nothings in Congress, have held open the Golden Door to a dark planet. We are not imperialists and that’s why Bush lies and Cheney lies and, yes, the Clintons lied.

Winston Churchill didn’t lie to the Brits about their empire: He said, These lands belong to the Crown, we own’m and we’ll squeeze the value from them. “Imperialism,” as Karl Marx complained, was a good word in Britain, a word that got you elected in Europe until too recently.

Ignore the fey university hideouts of Europe. Go to Vietnam or to Brazil or to Morocco or to Tibet and you’ll find the same thing: America’s music, America’s freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of spirit and the heartfelt friendship of Americans for others have made the USA truly “the light unto the nations.” Americans are not liked worldwide, but loved-sometimes. I find that weird, but it’s true-and that drives Osama to bombs and madness.

We are a nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the cause that all men and women are created equal. It’s silly and precious to point out that these ideals have been mangled, abused, ignored and monstered by those with plans to make us an empire. We know that.

America is indeed exceptional. That’s not a boast, that’s a job we have to do. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson burdened us with that exceptionalism in crafting the most important international law signed up until the Geneva Convention: The Alien Torts Act, in which the USA takes onto itself the right to bring civil penalties against any act of torture, political murder and piracy that occurs anywhere in the world. It is now being used in suits brought against Chevron Oil in Ecuador and against IBM for the death of slave laborers in Nazi Germany.

Damn right America is exceptional. It is America that defiantly walked out of the first “world trade organization,” known as the British Empire, announcing, “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal and are ENDOWED BY THE CREATOR with INALIENABLE rights, and AMONG THESE are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Now, think about that. These rights don’t come from Congress or Kings or Soviets, they come from The Creator, that is, we are born free-and “we” are Sri Lankans as much as Minnesotans. Our rights are “INALIENABLE”: no one, NO ONE, may take them away, not the Ayatollahs of Tehran or Generalissimo Negroponte at the Department of Homeland Security or the kill-o-crats in Baghdad pre- or post- Saddam.

Will the snarling closet imperialists try to turn America from its cause and soul? Damn right they will. That’s why two U.S. military lawyers resigned from their posts at the Guantánamo prison camp. They wouldn’t put up with Bush-niks tearing up their Constitution. (“We the people” own it, not “them the Republicans.”) In Iran, these two guys would have been shot, in Britain arrested. In America, Bush fears them-that their story would come out-as it did. Only in America could that happen.

No question, the USA holds itself exempt from the legal standards of this world-which are execrable. Whose standard should we adopt? China’s torture standard? Britain’s Secrecy Act as a standard? Switzerland’s Nazi-money-protection standard?

Only in America would a Lyndon Johnson order federal troops to protect Black school kids’ right to attend class. You don’t have to tell me that Johnson then ordered the slaughter of three million Vietnamese-I know, I went to jail to oppose it. But go to Vietnam today and ask what people they most admire? Mention Russians, they laugh; mention Chinese, they may hit you; mention Americans and they say (to my astonishment, I’ll admit), “We love Americans.”

They don’t love Bush. That’s because George Bush is not an American. Look, I didn’t think much of Bill Clinton, and he dropped into some of the worst quasi-imperial habits of the New World Trade Order. But Clinton was also more popular worldwide than the pope and pizza combined because he represented that American sense of giving- a-shit, empathy and sincere friendship which are hallmarks of America’s Manifest Destiny.

Yes, America does have a Manifest Destiny-to Let Freedom Ring-which the evil and greedy and pernicious would twist into a grab for land and resources and ethnic cleansing. And so the Manifest Destiny of the journalists in our shitty little offices in New York and London is to expose these motherfuckers.

Ronald Reagan said, “America is the shining city on the hill.” And he hated it, doing his best to turn it into a dark Calcutta of the helpless. And when that didn’t work, George II tried to drown us in the Mississippi.

Go back to Taos, New Mexico, Voting Precinct 13. What you’ll find there is Pueblo Native war veterans who raise the flag every day and will fight and die for it knowing full well that the fight must also be taken to the pueblo’s racially biased voting booths.

Howard Zinn, a shining historian on our hill, reminds us, “It should be understood that the children of Iraq, of China, and of Africa, children everywhere in the world, have the same right to life as American children.”

Damn right, they do. That’s what Jefferson meant by “inalienable.”

And they won’t get their rights to life and liberty from Osama’s Caliphate of oil states or China’s money-crazed “Communism” nor half of Africa’s neo-colonial presidential Draculas or the puppet princes installed today in Iraq by George Bush.

Bush is so far away from his refugee loser roots that he just doesn’t get what it is to be American. So he steals the one thing that every American is handed off the boat: a chance. When they take away your Social Security and overtime and tell you sleeper cells are sleeping under your staircase, you don’t take a chance, you lose your chance, and the land of opportunity becomes a landscape of fear and suspicion, an armed madhouse.

You want to say that George Bush is an evil sonovabitch? I’d go further: he’s UN-AMERICAN.

And that’s why he lost the election. TWICE.

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Greg Palast is the author of the New York Times bestseller, Armed Madhouse: From Baghdad to New Orleans – Sordid Secrets and Strange Tales of a White House Gone Wild from which this is excerpted. Sign up for Palast’s investigative reports at http://www.GregPalast.com

 

A reader response –

Greg,

Some of us care. After caring for so many years, I’m tired of the feeling of futility. I watched Grapes of Wrath last night. I was discouraged by the beautiful landscape, devoid of cars and houses, that we no longer
have. And somewhat surprised by the similarity of those thug ranch hands to some of the tactics that still exist today. Although there has been an evolution of caring brought about by presidencies of long ago. They still exist, although conservatives are still trying to turn this nation into a sweatshop.

One thing that keeps coming back to me with regards to almost everything is that we are the final word. The buck stops with the people. Mrs. Joad said that, when she was learning and growing stronger in the end. But what I find so disturbing about this country now. It’s “me”, instead of “we”. We’ve let the comfort that petroleum has brought us turn us into greedy and selfish monsters. Even the kind ones. Kind monsters. Unintended, but nonetheless careless. Too busy to care. Working, breeding, driving,
consuming.

We get what we deserve. And those who don’t deserve it get it whether they fight it or not. Those who are selfish are dragging us all down.

I know it sounds pathetic. But it is. When will we realize that we’re in Iraq because we don’t demand that we leave. Or demand impeachment now. That “table” Pelosi talks about is ours. Not hers. Although I don’t know
the intricate workings of Washington. I do know that impeachment is not off the table. Global warming is because of us. Not George Bush. And we shouldn’t depend on him to do anything about it.

We’re dependent. And I’ve always been offended by Independence Day since I was just a young adult. We’ve been dependent so long we take it for granted. We take democracy for granted. And we don’t participate. So it’s no longer an independent democracy. Lobbyists even paid our representatives to vote a certain way.

I appreciate the work you do. It takes more than that, though. I’m afraid the people don’t realize that until it’s too late. They’re too busy shopping.

Today I have a nervous feeling in my stomach. I’m finally running out of steam. When one studies and discovers what has really gone on, it takes the wind out of one’s sails to see others who deny those truths. Without truth, what do we have. The truth is so scrambled now that it is one reason why apathy is so rampant.

I’m afraid that it’s still Grapes of Wrath. You are Tom Joad. I am Tom Joad. There is optimism in our potential power. But until we use it, it’s just potential.

I’m sorry for rambling. Especially since you know it all. But sometimes one must vent. And sometimes a voice out of the dark gives light.

-A fan

Are they going to Steal 2008?

Greg Palast 

Are they going to Steal 2008?  Don’t worry:  it’s already stolen.  But you can steal it back.  Ted Rall and I have teamed up for one of the first ever series of hard-edged investigative journalism – in ‘toon form.  Steal this strip … and pass it on:  VOTE THEFT FOR IDIOTS – PART 1 … (click the photo for higher quality, or click here to download a pdf)

by Greg Palast and Ted Rallelection

And if you’re in LA and New York, don’t miss the opening of the film that pulls down the pants of the Ohio election, “Free For All.”  Follow John Ennis into the colon of American democracy, Ohio 2004.  It’s funny as hell – oddly, democracy’s death can tickle your funny bone while laying out the story of the latest quadrennial vote heist.  Watch the trailer here.

This film will be available online at www.freeforall.tv on July 4th — for downloads, for DVDs, and for FREE streaming!  (Please also check out our new line of hip shirts!) …more

BBC journalist warns against voter irregularities

Greg Palast 

Palast and Randi RhodesBy Dwayne Robinson
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The BBC journalist who uncovered possible voter fraud in the 2000 and 2004 U.S. presidential elections told a South Florida crowd Sunday those same forces that led to President Bush’s victories will not “steal” this year’s election.

“They’ve already stolen it,” Greg Palast told a crowd at the Palm Beach Democratic Club on Sunday. “But, you can steal it back.”

Speaking before a crowd of more than 400 at the Kravis Center, Palast outlined what he said were Republicans erasing black, homeless and military voters from voter registration rolls, possibly preventing millions from casting votes in razor-thin races.

Palast Has the DocsThe latest example came in 2004, he said, in a method known as vote caging.

There, voters’ registrations were challenged after registered letters with “do not forward” instructions addressed to, for instance, black college students on summer vacation or naval officers on active duty overseas were returned as undeliverable.

“Go to Baghdad. Lose your vote. Mission Accomplished,” Palast quipped.

In Florida’s 2000 presidential contest, nearly 100,000 voters, many incorrectly identified as felons, were expunged from voter rolls, Palast added.

Hawking his book – “Armed Madhouse” – he urged the enthusiastic crowd to support his Palast Investigative Fund to research voter suppression schemes.Palast, Tony Jordan and Elna Laun

Some Democrats Sunday viewed the electoral system as skewed against their party and saw the only means to overcome that this year was through overwhelming numbers.

“Voter turnout is everything for us in November,” said liberal talk radio host Randi Rhodes, who opened for Palast. “We haven’t been able to have our votes counted because of the games people play.

“That ends in November.”

“In the beginning, there was Alan Greenspan…”

Greg Palast 

Hedge-fund Hogs, Lunatic Leverage and Banks Gone Beserk

by Loretta Napoleoni
Author of Rogue Economics: Capitalism’s New Reality (Seven Stories Press) Just released!
April 15, 2008

Exclusive to Gregpalast.com

In the beginning there was Alan Greenspan. Appointed by Ronald Reagan in the late 1980s as chairman of the Federal Reserve, Greenspan was a Master of the Universe, a title he earned by working for decades on Planet Wall Street. Greenspan took office as Fed chairman while the Evil Empire of Moscow was collapsing; after years of ruthless conflict, known as the Cold War, the Confederation of the Free World gained victory and Greenspan was tasked with helping Western capitalism colonize Planet Earth. Worshipped by Western high finance – the Supreme Council of the Free World – Greenspan was considered the High Priest of future profits.

Greenspan eagerly got to work. His most popular move was to pursue a deflationary policy. He began cutting interest rates, which reduced the cost of capital. This was music to Wall Street ears. Victory over the Evil Empire had opened its borders for workers who had until then been trapped inside; these workers quickly joined the Western Europe labor force. In the space of a few years, the West’s labor supply doubled and salaries began falling. As labor costs shrank, profits rose.

Each time the storm of a crisis linked to globalization gathered on the horizon, Greenspan dismissed it by cutting the interest rate. This happened in the late 1980s with the Mexican …more