Home » BBC

Tag: BBC

The Tears of a Clone

Greg Palast 

Conyers Closes in on Karl and his Rove-bots …

Special to The BRAD BLOG
June 17, 2007

(Listen to the podcast of this article here)

Boo-hoo! I made Tim Griffin cry.

He cried. Then he lied.

You remember Tim. Karl Rove’s right hand (right claw?) man. The GOP’s ragin’ cagin’ man. …more

The Goods on Goodling and the Keys to the Kingdom

Greg Palast 

Special to the BRADBLOG
May 24, 2007

This Monica revealed something hotter — much hotter — than a stained blue dress. In her opening testimony yesterday before the House Judiciary Committee, Monica Goodling, the blonde-ling underling to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Department of Justice Liaison to the White House, dropped The Big One….And the Committee members didn’t even know it.

Goodling testified that Gonzales’ Deputy AG, Paul McNulty, perjured himself, lying to the committee in earlier testimony. The lie: McNulty denied Monica had told him about Tim Griffin’s “involvement in ‘caging’ voters” in 2004.
Huh?? Tim Griffin? “Caging”???

The perplexed committee members hadn’t a clue — and asked no substantive questions about it thereafter. Karl Rove is still smiling. If the members had gotten the clue, and asked the right questions, they would have found “the keys to the kingdom,” they thought they were looking for. They dangled right in front of their perplexed faces.

The keys: the missing emails — and missing link — that could send Griffin and his boss, Rove, to the slammer for a long, long time.

Kingdom enough for ya?

But what’s ‘caging’ and why is it such a dreadful secret that lawyer McNulty put his license to practice and his freedom on the line to cover Tim Griffin’s involvement in it? Because it’s a felony. And a big one.

Our BBC team broke the story at the top of the nightly news everywhere on the planet – except the USA – only because America’s news networks simply refused to cover this evidence of the electoral coup d’etat that chose our President in 2004.

Here’s how caging worked, and along with Griffin’s thoughtful emails themselves you’ll understand it all in no time.

The Bush-Cheney operatives sent hundreds of thousands of letters marked “Do not forward” to voters’ homes. Letters returned (“caged”) were used as evidence to block these voters’ right to cast a ballot on grounds they were registered at phony addresses. Who were the evil fakers? Homeless men, students on vacation and — you got to love this — American soldiers. Oh yeah: most of them are Black voters.

Why weren’t these African-American voters home when the Republican letters arrived? The homeless men were on park benches, the students were on vacation — and the soldiers were overseas. Go to Baghdad, lose your vote. Mission Accomplished.

How do I know? I have the caging lists…

I have them because they are attached to the emails Rove insists can’t be found. I have the emails. 500 of them — sent to our team at BBC after the Rove-bots accidentally sent them to a web domain owned by our friend John Wooden.

Here’s what you need to know — and the Committee would have discovered, if only they’d asked:

1. ‘Caging’ voters is a crime, a go-to-jail felony.
2. Griffin wasn’t “involved” in the caging, Ms. Goodling. Griffin, Rove’s right-hand man (right-hand claw), was directing the illegal purge and challenge campaign. How do I know? It’s in the email I got. Thanks. And it’s posted below.
3. On December 7, 2006, the ragin’, cagin’ Griffin was named, on Rove’s personal demand, US Attorney for Arkansas. Perpetrator became prosecutor.

The committee was perplexed about Monica’s panicked admission and accusations about the caging list because the US press never covered it. That’s because, as Griffin wrote to Goodling in yet another email (dated February 6 of this year, and also posted below), their caging operation only made the news on BBC London: busted open, Griffin bitched, by that “British reporter,” Greg Palast.

There’s no pride in this. Our BBC team broke the story at the top of the nightly news everywhere on the planet — except the USA — only because America’s news networks simply refused to cover this evidence of the electoral coup d’etat that chose our President in 2004.

And now, not bothering to understand the astonishing revelation in Goodling’s confessional, they are missing the real story behind the firing of the US attorneys. It’s not about removing prosecutors disloyal to Bush, it’s about replacing those who refused to aid the theft of the vote in 2004 with those prepared to burgle it again in 2008.

Now that they have the keys, let’s see if they can put them in the right door. The clock is ticking ladies and gents…

***************

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. For more info, or to hear Brad Friedman, Ed Asner and other troublemakers read from Armed Madhouse, go to www.GregPalast.com

GREG PALAST IS DANGEROUS

Greg Palast 

for the Daily Kos
Memorial Day 2007

Saturday morning, when most sensible folks were unfurling flags or taking their setters and children for a Memorial Day frisbee toss on the beach, someone using the nom d’puter of “DRATIONAL” was in his big sister’s bedroom furiously typing, “Greg Palast is Dangerous!” on her iMac.

Drat is quite right: I am dangerous, though not for the reasons in Drat’s screed.

So while the twins are off with the dog, let me respond between bites of this bagel, beginning with this immutable distinction:

There’s two kinds of illiterates in this world: those who can’t read, for whom I’m entirely sympathetic — and those who CAN read but WON’T, for whom I have no sympathy whatsoever.

Drat is of the latter. He (she/them/it?) has mounted a full-scale assault on the seven-year-long effort of my BBC and Guardian team investigating systematic suppression of the minority vote by the Republican Party and our latest revelation: ‘caging voters.’ His “evidence” is 100% limited to snippets of my conversations on talk radio or phone interviews, second-hand reports on websites and some musings of one of my good researchers, Zach Roberts, posted to this site.

Nowhere does he suggest he’s bothered reading the one hundred-page description of the attack on voters, including caging, in the new edition of Armed Madhouse. Shame that. Law professor Robert F. Kennedy Jr., using the book as a source, verified by his own corroborative work, found the matter therein convincing enough to call for putting Rove’s right hand man, Tim Griffin, “in prison, not in office.”

Picking up a book won’t hurt you, Mr. Drat, at least until Patriot Act IV goes into effect.

Drat also fails to consult the obvious and original source of the
BBC report: the BBC. On the website is an elucidating exchange between the Republican Party and BBC producer, Meirion Jones — who placed his substantial reputation, and that of the British Broadcasting Corporation, on the line in the defense of our ‘caging’ story based on his complete and close-up knowledge of the facts.

As a former statistician, I’m a bit disconcerted to make this back of the envelope calculation: about ten times as many people will read the posting of Drat written in his jammies one night as have read Armed Madhouse. The book, unlike the blogette, is based on the work of many diligent souls over three years on three continents.

Such is the world. I won’t complain. But the speed of slanders is so fleet, and the work of our investigation so vital, I want to explain our methods in summary, not as a replacement for reading the book, but as a supplementary guide to our team’s work and professional process.

The prime criticism: Drat cannot comprehend how, from the one email and “caging” list shown on my website, we can conclude their was a massive, illegal GOP conspiracy to wipe out the votes of hundreds of thousands of legal, minority voters.

Answer: you can’t. We didn’t. Sorry, Mr. Drat, but an investigation of this type requires more than a desultory evening of noodling on the ‘Net.

When, just after midnight on October 8, 2004, researcher Oliver Shykles sent me the first ‘caging’ memo passed to us from John Wooden, I thought the prankster was pulling our leg, or the emails and lists were just the usual campaign nonsense and blather. Take a look at the confidential Griffin memo, “Subject: caging,” on page 207 of the book. He doesn’t say much, Mr. Griffin, except, “Total as of today is 1834” with the list attached. Names and addresses of voters. Nothing more.

Mr. Drat: that’s not where our investigation ends, but where it BEGINS.

A producer from ’60 Minutes’ had recently come to our office and looked at similar voter lists and said, “My god, it would take you HUNDREDS OF HOURS and you’d have to make HUNDREDS OF CALLS to figure out what this is.” I asked our chief investigator Ms. von Eckardt when she’d last slept. “Sunday.” It was Tuesday.

She began the calling of the ‘caged’ — by now reaching over 50,000 in Florida alone — from the missives we received, while investigators Shykles and Pascarella enlisted the work of volunteers and experts in mapping and analyzing the list against the ‘felon’ purge lists and other data we had, including physical visits to the addresses.

The list was looking very dark indeed, Black precincts, black voters, most with a peculiarity: voters unlikely to live at their home addresses. On a couple of lists (of more than 50), were soldiers including serviceman Randy Prausa. Prausa’s wife, reached by phone, admitted he did not live as his voting registration address: he’d been shipped overseas.

Hmm. We went to the experts, including Ion Sancho, the dean of Florida elections supervisors, and voting rights lawyer Ralph Neas among others. “It could only be a challenge list,” Sancho told us, and by the racial bent of it, “A potential violation of the Voting Rights Act,” said Neas. A felony crime.

As the evidence mounted, BBC authorized us to ask about the emails from the best source: their author, Mr. Griffin, right hand man to Karl Rove. I intended to ask, “Lose something, Mr. Griffin?”

So with our crew from London, we set off to Washington — and were told to scram by the Rove man. We also flew to Tallahassee to confront one of the recipients, the Chairman of the state’s Bush-Cheney campaign. We were blocked at the doorway on our scheduled interview by a duo of PR flaks. They gave us a menu of contradictory answers. The lists were potential donors, one said. Oh, OK. But what about this: the ones registered at the homeless shelter? That failed, we were told the lists were just clerical stuff: “These are newly registered voters we mailed to, where the letter came back — bad addresses.”

Wait. Cleaning up the junk-mail list required confidential missives between Rove’s top man and the chairmen of the state campaigns? I suggested these were, in fact, challenge lists.

The flack-catcher — you have to see her photo holding the lists at page 203 of the book — then said something that combined brilliance and bullshit in two phrases: “This is not a challenge list. That’s not what it’s SET UP to do.”

Her words were crafty. If the lists were USED for challenges (and she admitted they would do that), that’s legal. But if the lists were compiled FOR THE PURPOSE OF targeting these voters, mostly African-American, that’s a crime. A big-time crime.

And she knew it. And most important, Tim Griffin knew it. In fact, the emails show he directed it. And where is Mr. Griffin today? US Attorney for Arkansas, replacement for one of the prosecutors fired six months ago.

Did Rove know that Griffin knew? This was Rove’s right hand man; the campaign was under Rove’s guidance; the caging op cost millions and involved the state chairmen and top planners of the campaign. I think a grand jury should ask; or at least a Congressional Committee. That Griffin knew was grim enough; criminal enough.

And that’s what Monica Goodling dumped before the House Judiciary Committee this past week. She said her superiors lied about their knowledge of Griffin’s knowledge of “caging voters.” She said that only after taking the Fifth and obtaining a grant of immunity.

Goodling didn’t need to take the Fifth to admit she’d looked at someone’s party registration before choosing them for a Justice Department post. But she knew that “caging voters,” and her crew’s knowledge of it and Griffin’s role, required immunity if she hoped to stay out of the pokey.

Because there’s more. Emails that Griffin and Goodling did cough up to the committee tighten the noose around their own necks.

It is both much fun and grandly ironic that one of the self-incriminating emails is Griffin’s complaint to Goodling about that “British reporter ”¦ Greg Palast,” including two dated February 5 of this year. One includes a link to an excerpt from Armed Madhouse and a PDF of a blog based on it. (Well, at least someone’s reading the book.)

In this email and others, Griffin pulls the pin out of the grenade — and swallows it. Rather than continue the party line that the ‘caging’ lists were not created to challenge voters, he says, “The real story is this: There were thousands of reported illegal/fake voter registrations around the country, so some of the Republican State Parties mailed letters welcoming new voters to the newly registered voters. ”¦ The Republican State Parties ultimately wanted to show that thousands of fraudulent registrations had been completed.”

Uh, oh. Griffin’s now admitted the costly mailings were part of a scheme to hunt down “fraudulent” voters. That conflicts with the official version told us on camera and mailed to BBC TV (posted on the network’s website).

Further, in an August email exchange between Goodling and Gonzales Chief of Staff Kyle Sampson, Goodling strategizes about how to get around a press report that, “”¦in the Senate confirmation process, [Griffin is] likely to endure some questioning about his role in massive Republican projects in Florida and elsewhere by which Republicans challenged tens of thousands of absentee votes. Coincidentally, many of those challenged votes were concentrated in black precincts.”

“Coincidentally,” my arse. Only 13% of Florida’s registered voters are African-American.

Well, that’s being picky. The key thing is that Griffin’s moaning email of February 5 combined with the others shows that Griffin knew, indeed directed, the ‘caging’ operation; that it was aimed at challenging voters who, disproportionately, are Black.

I have no doubt that when Goodling showed these incredibly ill-considered emails to her lawyer, he said, “Monica, looks like you’re taking the Fifth.”

And note: Griffin’s sending this email to Goodling while he’s a sitting US prosecutor. How dumb can you get? This dumb: He adds, “The Republican State Parties wanted to show that thousands of fraudulent voter registrations had been completed. They ultimately did.”

Oh, no they didn’t. And that brings us full circle: to the prosecutor firings. None of the honest US Attorneys found a single “fraudulent voter” in the hundreds of thousands that were challenged as a result of ‘caging.’ US Attorney for New Mexico David Iglesias went on a wild goose chase through 150 cases until the FBI told him to stop wasting their time. He brought no charges — and got the axe from Goodling, Griffin and Rove. Bud Cummins too: not one “fraudulent voter” charged in Arkansas. He also got the heave-ho — and Griffin stepped in himself to take over the hunt for Black voters.

I am writing this on Memorial Day, looking at a list of soldiers on Griffin’s caging list. ‘Coincidentally’ loaded with African-Americans. Coincidentally. Mission Accomplished, Mr. President.

And now back to ‘Drat.’ Karl Rove’s cousin Denny the Rat? I don’t know. I don’t care. He wants all the emails. Sure. There’s several dozen that say, “Caging list” with over 50,000 names. Then what, Mr. Drat? You’ll have to get out of your PJs and do what we did: challenge the Bush-Cheney campaign directly, make hundreds of calls, do a demographic analysis with the experts, endure vicious attacks by the Rove-bots, dismissal by the US press and ignorance of Democratic politicians.

I went through criticisms like Drats when I had the list of so-called “felons” purged from the voter rolls by Katherine Harris in 2000. The same damn griping came from Republican trogs and Internet poseurs: we want the whole list, all your raw data; how do you know these are innocent voters etc. Yes, I made mistakes. My initial investigation disclosed my team’s report that “15%” of the 56,000 so-called felons were innocent. I was wrong. After People for the American Way filed a suit based on our discovery, the state’s contractor, ChoicePoint, admitted it had no solid evidence on 97% of the accused, 97,000 citizens in total. And the state Attorney General told me that there were, out of the thousands disenfranchised, maybe SIX illegal voters. In the end, he charged none.

But Griffin is now in position to bring charges against the voters that Cummins found innocent.

Will that happen? Indeed, the ‘caging’ game of 2004, unchecked, looks like practice for 2008. The voters challenged, ‘coincidentally’ Black, remain subject to challenge today and for next year’s election.

Why haven’t I turned over the evidence to Congressional committees? Who said they’d accept it? Bobby Kennedy’s tried to get their attention. The Congressional White Caucus is pointedly uninterested. I’m told, “Griffin’s just an interim appointment.”

Yes, “interim” through the 2008 election.

Well, as a journalist, it’s not my job to save the Democratic Party from itself.

It is not true, as Mr./Ms. Drat says, that I’ve accused the Democrats of wanting to use Rove’s caging tactics. Democrats have not run a mass challenge operation since the Jim Crow era. However, the party does act like an abused spouse, a group of enablers who evidence symptoms of “beaten party syndrome.”

Nothing I can do about that.

My conversation with the Drats of this world must end here. If you want to debate me, first read my book. If you want to criticize my methods, make sure your method includes some on-the-ground investigative work.

Otherwise, let me spend my one weekend off this month with my kids before I fly off to Washington, Michigan and London where, for BBC, I’ll be meeting with the Justice Department, Chairman Conyers and others — on an investigation even more important than ‘caging,’ persecuted prosecutors, or anything Mr. Drat can imagine ”¦ something, Mr. Drat that makes me very dangerous indeed to this regime.

Greg Palast is author of the New York Times bestseller, the newly expanded edition of, “Armed Madhouse: from Baghdad to New Orleans — Sordid Secrets and Strange Tales of a White House Gone Wild.” Www.GregPalast.com

RFK: Rove And Rove’s Brain, ‘Should Be In Jail,’ Not In Office

Greg Palast 

NEW YORK — Monday, May 7, 2007RFK Jr and Greg Palast discuss Rove and the Missing e-mails -Photo by CS Muncy
Voting rights attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has called for prison time for the new US Attorney for Arkansas, Timothy Griffin and investigation of Griffin’s former boss, Karl Rove, chief political advisor to President Bush.

“Timothy Griffin,” said Kennedy,”who is the new US attorney in Arkansas, was actually the mastermind behind the voter fraud efforts by the Bush Administration to disenfranchise over a million voters through ‘caging’ techniques – which are illegal.”

[Hear Kennedy on Griffin, Rove and ‘caging lists’ below or here]

Kennedy based his demand on the revelations by BBC reporter Greg Palast in the new …more

Palast Hunts the Real Life Goldfinger for BBC – Watch it on Democracy Now!

Greg Palast 

“Vulture Fund” Company Wins $20 Million Payment from Zambia on $4 Million Debt
Thursday, February 15th, 2007

Watch the BBC Newsnight investigative report on BBC Newsnight — or at Democracy Now! with Palast and Amy Goodman.

ListenWatchRead the ReportRead the Transcipt
“Vulture fund” companies buy up the debt of poor countries at cheap prices, and then demand payments much higher than the original amount of the debt, often taking poor countries to court when they cannot afford to repay.

Investigative journalist Greg Palast reports on one company that has won the right to collect $20 million from the government of Zambia after buying its debt for $4 million. In his recent State of the Union address, President Bush declared the United States was taking on the challenges of global hunger, poverty and disease, and urged support for debt relief, which he called the best hope for eliminating poverty.

But what exactly are wealthy nations doing to reduce the debt of impoverished countries?

Today we take a close look at companies known as “vulture funds.” Vulture fund companies buy up the debt of poor countries at cheap prices, and then demand payments much higher than the original amount of the debt, often taking poor countries to court when they cannot afford to repay.

For an in-depth look at this issue, we turn to a BBC Newsnight documentary by investigative reporter Greg Palast. Greg Palast’s BBC report on vulture funds. Today a high court judge in London ruled on the case that a vulture fund can extract more than $20 million from Zambia for a debt which it bought for just $4 million. To tell us more about this case and more we now turn to Greg Palast.

LATEST UPDATE — Zambia Loses ‘Vulture Fund’ Case

Greg Palast. Investigative reporter for the BBC on this story is author of the books “Armed Madhouse”, “The Best Democracy Money Can Buy” and “Democracy and Regulation.”

The BBC Newsnight report was produced by Meirion Jones, BBC London; Rick Rowley, videographer/editor. Investigative research by Matt Pascarella, New York.

…more

Conyers Confronts Bush On Vulture Bonds

ZACH for Democracy Now

AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk about how your meeting went with the President yesterday?

REP. JOHN CONYERS: Well, we talked essentially about Iraq, Katrina and the domestic breakdown that’s going on right now. But it was my job, I felt, to raise the whole question of this bond speculation that goes on at the expense of poor debtor countries, in which their debt is bought up and then they’re sued for the full amount. It’s bought up at pennies on the dollar, …more

How George Bush Gave
Krazy Kim The Bomb

Greg Palast 

You didn’t know that? Of course not, you read the NY TimesKim Jung Il
by Greg Palast for Workingforchange.com

[Tuesday, October 10th 2006] How did a berserker like North Korea’s Kim Jong Il get the bomb in the first place? Answer: He bought it from the Dr. Strangelove of Pakistan in 2001 — while all our President’s men ordered our intelligence agents to keep their eyes shut tight.

On November 9, 2001, BBC Television Centre in London received a call from a phone booth just outside Washington. The call to our Newsnight team was part of a complex prearranged dance coordinated with the National Security News Service, a conduit for unhappy spooks at the CIA and FBI to unburden themselves of disturbing information and documents. …more

Treason: “Firing Squad” for The New York Times?

Greg Palast 

The Right Wing has gone hog-ass wild over the New York Times’ “shocking” report that the Bush Administration is actually tracking terrorists’ money transfers. Oh my!

The fruitcakes are in flames! “Stand them in front of a firing squad or put them in prison for the rest of their lives,” says one pinhead on Fox TV.

For what? The stunning news that the government is hunting the source of al-Qaeda’s cash? “Osama! You must stop using your ATM card! Condi Rice is reading our bank statements!

Somehow, I suspect bin Laden already assumes his checkbook is getting perused. …more

The Lobbyist Occupation of Iraq

Greg Palast 

2006 PROJECT CENSORED AWARD WINNER

From the newly released 2006 Project Censored Year-Book

In his article “Adventure Capitalism,” Greg Palast exposes the contents of a secret plan for “imposing a new regime of low taxes on big business, and quick sales of Iraq’s banks and bridges””in fact, ”˜ALL state enterprises’””to foreign operators … especially the oil.” This economy makeover plan, says Palast, “goes boldly where no invasion plan has gone before.”

…more

The Last Iconoclast

Greg Palast 

Interview with Palast on theft of election in New Mexico and the death of investigative journalism ...more

I’d Rather Not Say Good-Bye, Dan

Greg Palast 

Without his make-up, Dan looked like hell warmed over: old, defeated, yet angry. And he told our television audience something that just blew me away. American journalists, Dan Rather said, simply may not ask tough questions about George Bush or his wars. …more