Just three months before the 2004 election, Dan Rather had a story that might have changed the outcome of that razor-close race. Despite his self-glorifying fantasy in his film Truth,Â Â the fact is that Dan cut a back-room deal to shut his mouth, grab his ankles, and let his network retract a story he knew to be absolutely true.
It began on September 8, 2004, when Rather, on CBS, ran a story that Daddy Bush Senior had, in 1968, put in the fix to get his baby George out of the Vietnam War and into the Texas Air National Guard. Little George then rode out the war defending Houston from Viet Cong attack.
The story about the Family Bush is stone-cold solid. I know, because we ran it on BBC Television a year before CBS (see that broadcast here). Neither I or BBC have ever retracted a word of it.
“To me, Greece is a crime scene,” said Palast. “Greece is dying, and austerity is one of the things that killed it.” He rebuked the recent proclamations made by Greek and EU officials deeming Greece an economic “success story,” describing them as “nonsense.”
Here’s what we’re told:Â 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.
By Greg Palast. Updated from the original article published onTheMudflats.net
Note from TheMudflats.net: In 2011 Karl Rove wrote a column calledÂ â€œWhy Obama Is Likely to Lose in 2012â€ – Rove was betting on North Carolina to be a swing state for the Republicans… Romney took the state but to Rove’s surprise he failed at stealing Ohio for the third time. Just Google “Karl Rove Meltdown,”Â and you’ll see a video fromÂ Fox News election night, he did not take it well.
After the knock-down of the Voting Rights Act by the US Supreme Court earlier this year North Carolina jumped at the chance to …more
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 worldwideâ€”but not yet in the USA.
Whistleblowers have told Britain’s “Dispatches” that the safety software on major US pipelines contains deliberate errorsâ€”and so pipelines can â€” and have â€” 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 compromisedâ€”deliberately. …more
BP’s Azeri police arresting Palast for filming BP oil rig – Baku, Azerbaijan, December 2010
“Here in Azerbaijan we believe inÂ human rights.Â PLEASE GIVE US YOURÂ FILM.”
Oh, no, no, not good.
The enforcers here come in three colors:Â Â the military police still wearing theirÂ old Russian puke-green uniforms, the MSN (the dictator’s secret police) inÂ windbreakers without ID, and BP’s own corporateÂ police force in black tunics,Â sashes and full hats who look like toy soldiers from the Nutcracker ballet.Â They weren’t dancing.
I showed all three flavors of police our press credentialsÂ in both English and Azeri, neither of which could be read by the officers.Â (The dictator had suddenlyÂ changed the Azeri alphabet, making most ofÂ the nation illiterate overnight.)
The dictator made everyone call him, “Baba,”Â Grandpa.
Chevron petroleum Corporation is attempting to slither out of an $8 billion judgment rendered yesterday by a trial court inÂ Ecuador for cancer deaths, illnesses and destruction caused by its Texaco unit.
I’ve been there, in Ecuador.
I met the victims. Â They didn’t lose their shrimp boats; they lost their kids. Â Emergildo Criollo, Chief of the Cofan Natives of the Amazon, told meÂ about his three-year-old. Â “He went swimming, then began vomiting blood.” Then he died.
When I showedÂ Texaco lawyer RodrigoÂ PerezÂ the epidemiological studies tracing childhood cancers to their oil, Â heÂ sneered and said , “And itâ€™s the only case of cancer in the world? How many cases of children with cancer do you have in the States, inÂ Europe, in Quito? If there is somebody with cancer there, [the Cofan parents] must prove [the deaths were] caused by crude or by the petroleum industry. And, second, they have to prove that it is OUR crude â€“ which is absolutely impossible.”
The Texaco man stated,Â “Scientifically, nobody has proved that crude causes cancer.”
President Barack Obama has said that the British-based BP must pay for all the damage it caused in the Gulf.
I’ve just returned from the Gulf and I can tell you, it’s grim, it’s terrible. Â But compared to the damage caused by Chevron-Texaco, the Gulf blow-out is a picnic.
So now, Mr. President, will you stand by your words and tell this renegade, deadly US corporation to pay for the damage they have done?
At the end of my meeting with the oil company lawyers, I showed them a document in which Chevron-Texaco directed its underlings to destroy evidence.
The oil company men said they would get back to me with an “explanation.” Â It’s been three years, and I’m still waiting.
There is another insidious game being played by Chevron. Â The oil company’s ethically-challenged law firm, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, has attempted to block the Cofan and other victims of Chevron from having legal counsel. Â They have even convinced some pinhead judge to block collection of Ecuador’s judgment because harming Chevron would be a blow to “global business.”
Illustration from Steal Back Your Vote Comic book voterguide. To learn more click on the image.
Greg Palast, the journalist who blew the whistle on Republican vote suppression activities in Florida (“caging”), has communicated with me further following an e-mail I passed along this morning. He has a theory on Republican congressional candidateÂ Tim Griffin’s involvement in the scheme Palast’s report: …more
His investigative stories are written in classic muckraker style; hard-hitting in both the juiciness they uncover and the language they use.
Author of the New York Times best sellers “Armed Madhouse” and “The Best Democracy Money Can Buy,” Palast has become a familiar face at Fighting Bob Fest, the annual gathering devoted to carrying on the progressive spirit of the late Wisconsin Congressman and Gov. Robert “Fighting Bob” La Follette.
WATCH Palast’s keynote speech at the Barrymore Theater on September 10, 2010. WATCH Palast’s talk at the outdoor 2010 Fighting Bob Festival in Baraboo, WI on September 11, 2010.
Brian D. Bridgeford / News Republic File photo (hover cursor to enlarge)
For Palast, serious investigative journalism is not about projecting an image of objectivity by presenting both sides of an argument in a “he said, she said” story. It’s about getting down in the trenches, relentlessly seeking truth and relaying it to readers untainted by any “spin.”
“Impartial is not failing to say it like it is or to provide the information,” Palast said in a phone interview Thursday, adding that many American mainstream reporters are afraid to pursue stories that are “threatening to (the elite’s) agreed upon view of the world.
“If you’re out of that channel, if you’re out of their stream, they say, you’re out of the mainstream.” …more
We’ve stuffed the bird and nailed it to the wall: Today, the British Parliament effectively banned financial vulture funds from the British Isles. The law, merely awaits the expected touch of the Queen’s scepter.
“Vulture funds” are international re-po men who buy up old debt of the world’s poorest nations for pennies on the dollar, then sue for ten to a hundred times what they paid for these old loans. The new UK law, passed unanimously, would would bar financiers from using UK courts to collect more than the sums authorized by the International Monetary Fund. In effect, this stops American predators – such as financiers Eric Hermann, Michael Straus, and Michael Francis “Goldfinger” Sheehan, from siphoning tens of millions of dollars of aid money the US and UK treasuries had earmarked for Liberia, Zambia, Congo and other desperately poor countries.
The first vote in the House of Commons to ban vultures took place on February 26, the day after BBC broadcast our investigation of Vulture Eric Hermann (see it here), but maneuvers by a Conservative MP appeared to have de-railed the law.
In the US Congress, Congresswoman Maxine Waters is sponsoring the Stop VULTURE Funds Act H.R. 2932), whose passage may have to wait upon the election of a Democrat to the White House.
For the original story, see Stop Feeding the Vultures in In These Times.
For the two weeks before tickle-and-grope charges busted open on him, and before his resignation from Congress, our BBC Television investigations team was hunting for Representative Eric Massa.
We wanted to know what he had hidden in his drawers. Not his knickers, which have captivated America’s peep-show media, but Massa’s file drawers where he keeps his dirtier secrets.
Frankly, I don’t give a rat’s ass about Massa’s creepy little peccadilloes. But I care an awful lot about creeps that quietly backed him.
Massa plays himself as a two-fisted Progressive Democrat, telling the President to jam his fake health care bill where the Rahm don’t shine, and he gave the Iraq war his middle finger. I mean, the guy was on Rachel Maddow.
That’s the television Massa. But what about the Congressman Massa? And why was he ducking us?
I specifically wanted to ask the New York Congressman about Paul Singer: “Swift Boat” Singer, the guy who funded the vile attacks on Presidential Candidate John Kerry. “Swift Boat” Singer â€” reportedly the biggest funder of the Republican Party in New York. Our information was that the demi-billionaire Singer was backing Massa.
Singer’s nickname isn’t really Swift Boat. It’s “The Vulture.”
Singer is a speculator, the predator-in-chief of the flock of financiers, collectively known as “vultures,” who buy up the right to collect on old loans made to the world’s poorest nations. Vultures use law suits, political muscle, and in some cases, bribery …more
Some vultures have feathers, but some have fancy offices and huge homes. Tonight, BBC investigative reporter Greg Palast follows the trail of one “vulture fund” chief, from a locked office door in New York to mud-brick houses in Africa.
Reporter Greg Palast outside the office of New York vulture fund. The name plaque has been removed and the staff locked inside.
How strange. When I arrive at the offices of Eric Hermann at hedge fund FH International, just outside New York City, the company’s corporate sign is unbolted from the wall and the suite number removed from the door.
But wait … I hear noises inside the office. Huh? I knock on the locked door and out steps the office building’s security manager.
“Guys, they don’t want to be interviewed. They don’t want to be seen. So we are going to have to ask you to leave the building.”
“And do you know why they took the sign off?”
His reply to our cameras, “I have no clue.”
But we do.
Mr. Hermann is the principle owner of a so-called “vulture fund” which attempted to seize more than $20 million from the war-wounded nation of Liberia.
Mr. Hermann is known in the finance business as a debt “vulture.” He and his associates buy up the debt of the poorest nations on the planet, usually for pennies on the dollar, then sue or use other means to squeeze the nations to pay ten times, even a hundred times, what the vulture fund paid for the debt.
The effect of Hermann’s financial maneuvers earns little applause in Liberia. In that African democracy, diplomat Winston Tubman tells us what he would say to vulture fund operators, “‘Do you know you are causing babies to die all over Liberia?'”
Starting todayâ€”by making a small donation to our not-for-profit Investigative Journalism Fundâ€”you can download Greg Palast’s classic BBC Television documentary, Bush Family Fortunes.
The BBC broadcast that first exposed how Boy Bush got into the Texas Air Guard and out of Vietnam through a fix from Daddy Bush. We busted the story and got it rightâ€”including the $23 million pay-out that Dan Rather missed.
“Great fun,” says the New Yorker. So much fun that it still hurtsâ€”from Iraq to Detroit.
Watch Palast chase down Katherine Harris’ ballot-box bender – and Palast then marched out of her office in the custody of Florida State Troopers. The crime: committing acts of journalism.
The Balitmore Chronicle said, “No one has exposed more truth about the Bush Cartel and lived to tell the story.”
On the Bush money trail, Palast discovers the spike of the pre-2001 FBI investigation of the bin Ladens … then shows you the secret oil company plans for the oil fields of Iraq.
Join “America’s best investigative reporter – and the funniest” (Air America) as he hunts down the icons and idiots of the Bush regime before they were even knownâ€”from Karl Rove, to General Jay Garner … even an Enron party film.
Bush Family Fortunes weaves together the original reporting behind Fahrenheit 9-11, the BBC report that Michael Moore called, “courageous.”
This is your opportunity to be courageous by making a commitment to support original investigative reporting today.
Or order a copy of the DVD disc signed by Greg Palast here.
Music by Moby.
While the Bush regime has been banished, the need for investigative reporting remains as important as ever. Your support allows us to continue the hunt and to hold those in power accountable.
We’ve just returned from the other side of the planet and are in the midst of uncovering … well, why spoil it? The hot documents marked “confidential” are leaking from the bankers’ lairs and we are back on the hunt thanks to your generous donations.
100% of your donation goes toward covering the costs of our research team, our cameras, and our concealed microphones. Your commitment keeps us digging, digging, and digging.
Greg Palst is donating all proceeds of the sale of the film, Bush Family Fortunes, expanded from the BBC broadcast, to the Palast Investigative Fund, a not-for-profit foundation supporting investigative reporting. 100% of your donations for the film disc or download go to the fund and are tax-deductible.
In 2004 for BBC TV the Palast team broke the story of voter caging by the Republican Party now in 2007 a Democratic congress is getting to doing something about it, led by caging victim Senator John Kerry. Read about it here ripped from our friends over at BradBlog.
Measure, Co-Sponsored by 13 Dems, Would Prohibit ‘Voter Supression’ Tactic as Used in Florida in 2004 by Former Rove Associate, Interim US Attorney Tim Griffin… Brad Friedman- BradBlog
Thirteen Democratic Senators have introduced a bill that would outlaw “voter caging,” the practice of sending mail marked “Do Not Forward” to a targeted list of voters in hopes of using the returned mailings as a basis to challenge the right of the voters to vote. …more
The Still-Unreported Story of “Top Gun” George Bush
Monday September 24, 2007
New York- Newly unearthed records reveal that, in 2004, when Americans were in the midst of a brutal electoral battle over whether to reelect a president posing as a war hero, a commanding US reporter, Dan Rather, went AWOL.
Just three months before the election, Rather had a story that might have changed the outcome of that razor-close race. We now know that Dan cut a back-room deal to shut his mouth, grab his ankles, and let his network retract a story he knew to be absolutely true.
In September 2004 when Rather cowered, Bush was riding high in the polls. Now, with Bush’s approval ratings are below smallpox, Rather …more
September 19th 2007- Dan Rather has filed a lawsuit against CBS claiming violation of his contract- read the real story behind Bush’s guard service and the necklace-ing of the media from Palast’s Armed Madhouse.
The power and the pay-off
June, 2006- They finally put Dan Rather out of his misery. Today, CBS finally terminated him and sent him to the electronic glue factory — all for reporting the truth. But not all of it.
Rather’s “unsubstantiated story of Bush’s military service” (says USA Today) got him canned. Yet, all the poor man did was repeat a story we put on BBC Television a year earlier — that Poppy Bush put in the fix to get his son out of ‘Nam and into the Texas Air Guard, spending his war years guarding Houston from Viet Cong attack.
But Dan never reported this: the documentation from inside the US Department of Justice detailing the fix. Why not? …more
Monday, September 17, 2007- Did you see George all choked up? In his surreal TV talk on Thursday, he got all emotional over the killing by Al Qaeda of Sheik Abu Risha, the leader of the new Sunni alliance with the US against the insurgents in Anbar Province, Iraq.
Bush shook Abu Risha’s hand two weeks ago for the cameras. Bush can shake his hand again, but not the rest of him: Abu Risha was blown away just hours before Bush was to go on the air to praise his new friend.
Here’s what you need to know that NPR won’t tell you.
1. Sheik Abu Risha wasn’t a sheik. 2. He wasn’t killed by Al Qaeda. 3. The new alliance with former insurgents in Anbar is as fake as the sheik – and a murderous deceit.
How do I know this? You can see the film – of “Sheik” Abu Risha, of the guys who likely whacked him and of their other victims.
Just in case you think I’ve lost my mind and put my butt in insane danger to get this footage, don’t worry. I was safe and dry in Budapest. It was my brilliant new cameraman, Rick Rowley, who went to Iraq to get the story on his own.
Rick’s “the future of TV news,” says BBC. He’s also completely out of control. Despite our pleas, …more