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Lap Dancers, the CIA, Pay-offs, and BP’s Deepwater Horizon

Greg Palast 

For Truthdig

Originally published April 17, 2014

From his investigation for Channel 4 Television in the newly released film, Vultures and Vote Rustlers.

There was CIA involvement through a company called Mega Oil. They were shipping in arms under the cover of oil tools.


The BP executive was explaining to me how the CIA, MI6 and British Petroleum engineered a coup, …more

Lap Dancers, the CIA, Pay-offs, and BP’s Deepwater Horizon

Greg Palast 

By Greg Palast | for Truthdig

From his investigation for Channel 4 Television in the newly released film, Vultures and Vote Rustlers.

There was CIA involvement through a company called Mega Oil. They were shipping in arms under the cover of oil tools.


The BP executive was explaining to me how the CIA, MI6 and British Petroleum engineered a coup d’état, overthrowing an elected president of a nation who was “not favorable to BP.” The corporation’s former Vice-President, Leslie Abrahams, is pictured here, holding an AK-47 in front of BP headquarters in Baku, Azerbaijan.  Like most of the other BP executives I spoke with, he proudly added that while he was working for BP, he was also an operative for MI6, British intelligence.

The conversation was far from the weirdest I had in my four-continent investigation of the real story of the Deepwater Horizon.

The BP oilrig blew out on April 20, 2010, four years ago this Sunday.

Earlier this month, the Obama Administration officially OK’d BP’s right to resume drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. And two weeks ago, just to assure the company that all is forgiven, …more

“Now that the SOB is Dead…”
A Novel Idea: Asking an Afghan about Afghanistan

Greg Palast 

For Vice Magazine

“Now that the sonovabitch is dead, why is the US still angry with us?”

“Us”, in this conversation, are the Taliban. The SOB in question is Osama bin Laden.

The Taliban’s frustration was relayed to me by Yahya Maroofi, Counsellor to Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai – Karzai’s Kissinger, if Kissinger had a soul.

The Silk Road nation of Kazakhstan is an excellent place to encounter the dervishes of the Great Game for control of the camel-and-pipeline routes of the Central Asian steppes. Here we can witness the diplomatic-military idiocies of new empires pathetically attempting to ignore the dried skeletons of the imperial forces that went before them.

Maroofi was spending the day in Kazakhstan’s capital on his way to little-noticed peace negotiations – little noticed because neither Uncle Sam nor Great-Uncle Britain were invited. Attendance is limited to those frontline states that will be left holding the grenade when the US and UK pull out the pin with the removal of their troops in 2014. The lineup includes Kazakhstan, Russia, Kyrgyzstan (birthplace of the Boston Bombers) and the big new swinging dick on the block, Turkey, as well as Iran, the nation most feared and despised by the Taliban. The unannounced guests, of course, are the Taliban themselves.

I am moved to recount a bit of my lengthy talk with the Afghan minister after reading reams of meretricious bunkum about Afghanistan from the pens of US propaganda repeaters pretending to be reporters. My favourite is, “Hope Seen for Afghanistan After Coalition Leaves,” in the New York Times. To give us an expert view, two American reporters used their 20-column inches to take down the words of General Joseph F Dunford Jr, commander of all “international forces” in Afghanistan.

Dunford just arrived in Afghanistan for the first time about 12 weeks ago. He may not know a Tajik from a camel fart, …more

Did Chavez’ Pick Steal
the Election in Venezuela?

Greg Palast 

For Vice Magazine – Leer el articulo en espanol aqui­.

The guy in the cheap brown windbreaker walking up the dirty tenement steps to my New York office looked like a bus driver.

Nicolas Maduro, elected President of Venezuela last Sunday, did indeed drive a bus, then led the drivers’ union, then drove Chavez laws through the National Assembly as Venezuela’s National Assembly chief.

And this week, the US State Department is refusing to accept the result, suggesting Maduro hijacked the vote count. But did he? Maduro came to me that day in 2004 on a quiet mission, sent by President Hugo Chavez to give me information I needed for my investigation for Rolling Stone – and to get information from me that might save Chavez’s life.


For one more week you can download Palast’s short documentary, The Assassination of Hugo Chávez, originally filmed in Venezuela for BBC, without charge.


The central topic was the “Invisible Ring”. Venezuelan intelligence had secretly taped US Embassy contractors in Caracas talking in spook-speak: “That which took shape here is a disguised kind of intelligence… which is annexed to the third security ring, which is the invisible ring.”

(“Invisible Ring”? Someone at the State Department has read too many Alan Furst novels.)

On the grainy film, they worried that …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

September 11:
What You “Ought Not to Know”

Greg Palast 

Watch the BBC Report / Read the Transcript
September 10, 2006- On November 9, 2001, when you could still choke on the dust in the air near Ground Zero, BBC Television received a call in London from a top-level US intelligence agent. He was not happy. Shortly after George W. Bush took office, he told us reluctantly, the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the FBI, “were told to back off the Saudis.”

We knew that. In the newsroom, we had a document already in 199-Ihand, marked, “SECRET” across the top and “” – meaning this was a national security matter.

The secret memo released agents to hunt down two members of the bin Laden family operating a “suspected terrorist organization” in the USA. It was dated September 13, 2001 ”” two days too late for too many. What the memo indicates, corroborated by other sources, was that the agents had long wanted to question these characters ”¦ but could not until after the attack. By that time, these bin Laden birds had flown their American nest.

Back to the high-level agent. I pressed him to tell me exactly which investigations were spiked. None of this interview dance was easy, requiring switching to untraceable …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

Dick Cheney, Hugo Chavez and Bill Clinton’s Band

Greg Palast 

Why Venezuela has Voted Again for Their ”˜Negro e Indio’ President

There’s so much BS and baloney thrown around about Venezuela that I may be violating some rule of US journalism by providing some facts. Let’s begin with this: 77% of Venezuela’s farmland is owned by 3% of the population, the ‘hacendados.’ …more

BBC at War

Greg Palast 

He did not say, “hello,” or even his name, just left a one-word message: “Whitewash.”It came from an embattled journalist whispering from inside the bowels of a television and radio station under siege, on a small island off the coast of Ireland: from BBC London. …more