On January 23, right after a phone call from Donald Trump, Juan Guaidó, former speaker of Venezuela's National Assembly, declared himself president. No voting. When you have official recognition from The Donald, who needs elections? ...more
While pundits are falling all over themselves spewing about the "civility" of the patrician George H. W. Bush, l must honor the memory those 50 men who were buried alive in a gold field in Africa so Bush Sr. could cash in.
To me, this is the most important story of my career ”” and almost ended it when Bush's gold mining company sued my ...more
Wednesday, my colleague Khadija Ismayilova was released from an Azerbaijan prison. Her crime was investigative reporting. She helped me get out the story of the Islamic Republic of British Petroleum-and get out safe to report it. Her courage is more than the human mind can comprehend.
Here’s a bit of her story from my book Vultures’ Picnic.
Getting the hell out of the Islamic Republic of BP with the Deepwater Horizon evidence
by Greg Palast
[Based on a tip from some guy floating in the Caspian Sea in Central Asia, we take off for Baku, Azerbaijan, the “Islamic Republic of BP.” Stopping in London, the deathly ill MI6 double-agent Leslie the Bagman lays out the history of the coup d’etat, hooker-bait and the $30 million “sweetener” paid by Lord Browne to the oil nation’s “president” and suggests we find his old spy-mate, Natasha.
There’s yet another leak on the Keystone Pipeline – it was discovered by a “passerby” – not TransCanada itself. That doesn’t surprise us at all, if you’ve read my report on PIGS, you’d know why.
Reporting for Channel 4 News we talked to whistleblowers that told us the true story behind pipeline safety. The problem wasn’t just their terrible safety record, or even people taking shots at them. The problem was a PIG, not Porky, but a Smart PIG.
The Pig in the XL Pipeline
Insider reveals concealed “error” in pipeline safety equipment that could blow away the GOP’s XL pipe dream
“They threatened me. Last night I got a call and they threatened me. If I talked.”His information: The software for the crucial piece of pipeline safety equipment, the “Smart PIG,” has a flaw known to the industry but concealed from regulators.
The flaw allows cracks, leaks and corrosion to go undetected – and that saves the industry billions of dollars in pipe replacements. But there’s a catch. Pipes with cracks and leaks can explode – and kill.
Federal law requires the oil and gas industry to run a PIG, a Pipeline Inspection Gauge, through big oil and gas pipelines. The robot porker, tethered to a GPS, beeps and boops as it rolls through, electronically squealing when it finds dangers.
But whistleblowers told us at Channel 4 Dispatches (the “60 Minutes” of Britain) that the software is deliberately calibrated to ignore or minimize deadly problems. They know because themselves worked on the software design team.
This week, President Obama refused to issue a permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline, but invited its owner, Trans-Canada, to re-apply. The GOP has gone wild over Obama’s hesitation, screeching that slowing the Canada-to-Houston pipe for a full safety review is a jobs killer.
But it’s the Pipeline that’s the killer. Here’s what Pig Man #2 told me, on camera, his face in shadow: …more
Abby Martin has taken her groundbreaking work to TelesurEnglish, now called The Empire Files. In this episode titled ‘The Tyrany of Big Oil,’ Abby talks with Greg Palast and Antonia Juhasz. Greg and Antonia delve into Big Oil’s grip on Washington DC and how far they will go to make a buck – leaving a wrath of destruction as they do.
Palast begins about 17 minutes into this episode discussing the story behind his investigation into why New Orleans drowned. To see more on this story, watch his film Big Easy to Big Empty and of course read Vultures’ Picnic.
By Greg Palast
This week, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, The Palast Investigative Fund is offering my film, Big Easy to Big Empty: The Untold Story of the Drowning of New Orleans as a FREE download. It wasn’t a natural disaster, it was a homicide. This is the story you’re not supposed to know. Get it, and pass on the link.
Screw the celebration. New Orleans hasn’t “come back.” That is, there are still the Bourbon Street bars serving “Hurricanes” to sloshed tourists and Mardi Gras when white Americans can catch trinkets from floats floating over the ghosts of the drowned.
New Orleans is back to 79% of its pre-flood population. Why am I not cheering? Because the original residents – that is, the majority of the pre-flood Black residents – are still wandering in …more
The military whistleblower’s 2010 Wikileaks dump included information that could have saved the 11 BP workers who died that spring in the Gulf of Mexico oil rig disaster.
Let me explain.
The BP drilling rig blew itself to Kingdom Come after the “mud” – the cement used to cap the well – blew out.
The oil company, the federal government and the industry were shocked – shocked! – at this supposedly unexpected explosion in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
But BP knew, and Exxon and Chevron knew, and the U.S. State Department knew, that just 17 months earlier another BP offshore rig had suffered an identical, disastrous blow-out halfway across the planet in the Caspian Sea.
In both the Gulf and Caspian blow-outs, the immediate culprit was the failure of the cement, in both cases caused by the use – misuse – of nitrogen in the cement mix, a money-saving but ultimately deadly measure intended to speed the cement’s drying.
The cover-up meant that U.S. regulators, the U.S. Congress and the public had no inkling that the cost-saving “quick-dry” cement process had failed on an offshore rig only a year before the Deepwater Horizon blew.
You can watch the Deep Water Horizon report in Palast’s documentary compilation film, Vultures and Vote Rustlers, which will be available as a FREE download for the next two days courtesy of the not-for-profit Palast Investigative Fund.
But Pvt. Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning tried to warn us. The details of the Caspian Sea blow-out off the coast of Baku, Azerbaijan, were revealed in the secret …more
[Lower Ninth Ward, New Orleans] Nine years ago this week, New Orleans drowned. Don’t you dare blame Mother Nature. Miss Katrina killed no one in this town. But it was a homicide, with nearly 2,000 dead victims. If not Katrina, who done it? Read on.
The Palast Investigative Fund is making our half-hour investigative report available as a free download – Big Easy to Big Empty: The Untold Story of the Drowning of New Orleans, produced for Democracy Now. In the course of the filming, Palast was charged with violation of anti-terror laws on a complaint from Exxon Corporation. Charges were dropped, and our digging continued.
It wasn’t an Act of God. It was an Act of Chevron. An Act of Exxon. An Act of Big Oil.
Take a look at these numbers dug out of Louisiana state records: …more
Venezuelan president Nicholas Maduro wrote on Op Ed published in the New York Times yesterday calling for peace.
As someone who knows president Nicholas Maduro, Hugo Chavez’ successor, (and Maduro’s opponents), I can say that I’ve never met a head of state (and I’ve met many) who absolutely gives a real shit about the average working person of his nation.
Why not read my reports on Venezuela?
First printed in TruthDig as Death Came by Water First, Then Oil
It was Good Friday, 50 years ago on March 27, 1964, that according to seismologists, the snow peaks of Prince William Sound jumped 33 feet into the air and fell back down. Emergency warnings about an earthquake-spurred tsunami went out to towns from Valdez, Alaska, to Malibu, Calif., but no one thought to send a message to the Chugach Natives in Chenega, Alaska.
Chenega chief Nikolas Kompkoff watched the mountains leap and the waters around his island disappear over the horizon.
Knowing the water would return with a vengeance, he ran his four daughters up a hill toward high ground. But the nine-story-tall tsunami was moving too fast for their little legs. Kompkoff made a decision: He grabbed the two girls closest to him, tucked them under his arms and ran up the slope, leaving the other two to be seized by the wave.
Days later, a postal pilot on his weekly mail drop could not find Chenega because every single house – and a third of the residents – had been washed out to sea.
When he circled back to the site he saw the village’s church on the hill with …more
Read the full story at TruthDig
Two decades ago I was the investigator for the legal team that sold you the bullshit that a drunken captain was the principal cause of the Exxon Valdez disaster, the oil tanker crackup that poisoned over a thousand miles of Alaska’s coastline 25 years ago today, on March 24, 1989.The truth is far uglier, and the real culprit – British Petroleum, now BP – got away without a scratch to its reputation or to its pocketbook.
Just this month, the Obama administration authorized BP to return to drilling in the Gulf.
It would be worth the time of our ever-trusting regulators to take a look at my Exxon Valdez files on BP. They would see a decades-long pattern of BP’s lies, bribes and …more
A federal judge in New York today slapped a stern order on attorney Steven Donziger and the Ecuadorean villagers he claims to represent, prohibiting them from capitalizing on a $9 billion judgment the judge said was the product of “egregious fraud.”
The judge is completely, utterly full of shit, here’s the real story.
Also watch Palast’s report from the Amazon for BBC , War Paint and Lawyers: Rainforest Indians versus Big Oil on the DVD Palast Investigates: From 8-Mile to the Amazon. Get the signed DVD or Download it for FREE.
Call me crazy, but I’ve couldn’t stop myself: I’ve made a film about the scoundrels, scalawags, scumbags and bankers just in time to roast their chestnuts on an open fire.
Vultures and Vote Rustlers combines my favorite eight investigations for BBC-TV and Democracy Now into a one hour film that will make you howl with laughter – and with anger – or your money back. …more
For Vice Magazine
If you thought it was “Blood for Oil”–you’re wrong. It was far, far worse.
Because it was marked “confidential” on each page, the oil industry stooge couldn’t believe the US State Department had given me a complete copy of their secret plans for the oil fields of Iraq. Actually, the State Department had done no such thing. But my line of bullshit had been so well-practiced and the set-up on my mark had so thoroughly established my fake identity, that I almost began to believe my own lies.I closed in. I said I wanted to make sure she and I were working from the same State Department draft. Could she tell me the official name, date and number of pages? She did.
Bingo! I’d just beaten the Military-Petroleum Complex in a lying contest, so I had a right to be stoked.
After phoning numbers from California to Kazakhstan …more
For Vice Magazine
For BBC Television, Palast met several times with Hugo Chavez, who passed away today.
As a purgative for the crappola fed to Americans about Chavez, my foundation, The Palast Investigative Fund, is offering the film, The Assassination of Hugo Chavez, as a FREE download. Based on my several meetings with Chavez, his kidnappers and his would-be assassins, filmed for BBC Television. DVDs also available.
Media may contact Palast at interviews (at) gregpalast.com.
Venezuelan President Chavez once asked me why the US elite wanted to kill him. My dear Hugo: It’s the oil. And it’s the Koch Brothers – and it’s the ketchup.
Reverend Pat Robertson said,
“Hugo Chavez thinks we’re trying to assassinate him. I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it.” …more
For Vice Magazine
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and his son Connor Kennedy were arrested Wednesday in Washington while protesting against approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
A rally in Washington, DC, protesting the Pipeline, has been called by Forward on Climate for Sunday, February 17.
Bobby Kennedy, my partner in these investigations, is a contributor to Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: Greg Palast investigates Karl Rove, the Koch Gang & their Buck Buddies, the book on which this report is based.
According to the transcript of the secretly recorded tape, Charles Koch was chuckling like a six-year old. Koch was having a hell of a laugh over pilfering a few hundred dollars’ worth of oil from a couple of dirt-poor Indians on the Osage Reservation.
Why did Koch, worth about $3 billion at the time (now $20 billion) need to boost a few bucks from some Indian in a trailer home? Koch answered:
“I want my fair share – and that’s all of it.”
Now “all of it” includes a pipeline, the Keystone XL, which would run the world’s filthiest oil, …more