Tag: Truthout

The Anti-Clause: Reverend Billy’s
No-Click Christmas

Greg Palast 

FRevor Truthout.org

[New York, December 18, 2012] Even for New York, this was WEIRD. There were a half dozen Santa Clauses on Second Avenue getting a sermon from a Midwestern preacher who looks like a cross between televangelist Jerry Falwell and a white-haired Elvis.

The Santa Crew and their mini-skirted elves were on their way to get drunk (drunker?) with another thousand Santa impersonators at “SantaCon,” an annual gathering of St. Nicks. But they were willing to let the Reverend Billy attempt to save their souls.

Reverend Billy did not object to their plans for lubrication, but to their original Sin: collaborating with the Devil’s work known as “Christmas Shopping.”

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Romney & Co Shipped Every Single
Delphi UAW Job to China

Greg Palast 

by Greg Palast | Truthout

He’s kidding, right? Did I just hear Mitt Romney say, “I would do nothing to hurt the US auto industry”

Really? REALLY?

Here’s the facts, ma’am:

As I reported in this week’s Nation magazine cover story “Mitt Romney’s Bail-out Bonanza“, the Romneys are in a special partnership with the vulture fund that bought Delphi, the former GM auto parts division.

[Watch our Democracy Now! report on the Romney group’s auto plant closures.]

The Romney vulture fund investment syndicate shipped every single UAW production job – EVERY job – to China.

Just after Nation broke the story, Washington newsletter The Hill received the Romneys admission of profiteering:

“Romney’s campaign did not deny that he profited from the auto bailout in an email to The Hill, but it said the the report showed the Detroit intervention was ‘misguided.'”

The truth? On June 1, 2009, the Obama Administration announced …more

Cartoon Car-Jacker
Gives $1 Million to Romney PAC

Greg Palast 

For Truthout

An excerpt from Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps. Greg Palast investigates Karl Rove, the Koch Gang and their Buck Buddies. Includes a comic book by Ted Rall and an introduction by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Charles Manson can’t vote, but Manson Inc., al-Qaeda LLC, and Putin & Co. can run negative campaign ads on the Fox network.

And maybe they have.

In ancient times, before the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United, the maximum amount you could give a candidate for president, legally, was two thousand dollars. And, until 2010, to legally donate to a candidate, you had to 1) have a first and last name, 2) be a citizen of the United States, and 3) breathe oxygen.

Then, in 2010, the US Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision (followed by a lower-court decision, SpeechNow.org v. FEC) blew the doors off the limit on secret political campaign contributions. “Unnatural” persons—headless, heartless creatures called corporations—could now spend in election campaigns. And, unlike us mere mortals, these corporate creatures are not limited to two thousand dollars. …more

Arrest of BP Scapegoat:
Real Killers Walk

Greg Palast 

Special for Buzzflash at Truthout

The Justice Department went big game hunting and bagged a teeny-weeny scapegoat.  More like a scape-kid, really.

Today, Justice arrested former BP engineer Kurt Mix for destroying evidence in the Deepwater Horizon blow-out.

I once ran a Justice Department racketeering case and damned if I would have ‘cuffed some poor schmuck like Mix––especially when there’s hot, smoking guns showing greater crimes by BP higher ups.

Last week, I released evidence we uncovered that BP top executives concealed evidence of a prior blow-out.  Had they not covered up the 2008 blow-out in then Caspian Sea, then the Deepwater Horizon probably would not have blown out two years later in 2010. [Watch the film and read the stories.]

I urge you to read the affidavit of FBI agent Barbara O’Donnell which the government filed in arresting Mix.  His crime is deleting texts from his phone indicating that the blown-out Macondo well was gushing over 15,000 barrels of oil a day, not 5,000 as BP told the public and government.  If true, it’s a crime, destruction of evidence.  But Mix is a minnow.  What about the sharks?  The texts were obviously sent to someone (named only “SUPERVISOR” by the FBI).  If “Supervisor” knew, then undoubtedly so did BP managers higher up.  Presumably, even CEO Tony Hayward would have gotten the message on his racing yacht.


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Destruction of evidence is not nice, but concealment of evidence and fraud by corporate bigs, is the bigger crime.  I hope, I assume, I demand that we find out what Supervisor’s supervisors knew and when they knew it––and didn’t tell us.

And far, far, far more important:  when is the Justice Department going to go after the greater wrongdoing? Let’s begin with the cover-up before the spill that the drilling methods used on the Deepwater Horizon had led to a blow-out nearly two years earlier.

Let’s face it:  to go after the bigger crime means going after the entire industry.  The earlier blow-out was concealed by BP as well as its partners Exxon and Chevron and, by the US State Department under Condoleezza Rice.  [If you want to get that story, please check out Part II:  BP Covered Up Prior Oil Spill at Ecowatch.org.]

One point in Mr. Mix’s defense.  During my investigation of the Deepwater Horizon, I found that employees who provide evidence against BP find their careers floating face down in the Gulf.

BP and other oil companies punish troublemakers by writing “NRB” on their record.  That means “Not Required Back”––and the worker is banned from the offshore rigs.  No doubt, Mr. Mix thought long and hard about what would happen to his career if his texts came to light.  Not an excuse for crime, but it’s a fact.  It’s the guys on top putting on this kind of pressure that should be doing the perp walk:  the Big Bad BP Wolves, not their mixxed-up scapegoat.

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Re-prints permitted with credit to Greg Palast

Greg Palast is the author of Vultures’ Picnic, which centers on his investigation of BP, bribery and corruption in the oil industry. Palast’s, reports can be seen on BBC-TV and Britain’s Channel 4.

You can read Vultures’ Picnic, “Chapter 1: Goldfinger,” or download it, at no charge: click here.

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GregPalast.com

The Billionaires’ Brokered GOP Convention

Greg Palast 

Truthout | Op-Ed

The Plan is working.

Mitt Romney’s biggest backer didn’t want him to win.

We know that Paul “The Vulture” Singer, Romney’s Daddy Warbucks, organized the “grassroots” campaign to replace Romney with Gov. Chris Christie back in September.

That flopped, so Singer and the billionaire boys’ club that courted Christie moved over to Romney. Not that they had a choice. They knew Moonrocks Gingrich, who thinks he’s running for Master Jedi, and Saint Santorum who thinks he’s running for pope, would end up road kill in November.

But despite their million-dollar checks for Romney’s campaign, the billionaires are handling the ex-governor with very long and slippery tweezers. The fact that Singer and the Koch brothers went on bended knee to Christie means they are just nauseated over Romney, a man losing a war with the English language and his own tax returns, carrying their standard against President Obama. …more

Romney’s Billionaire Vulture
Paul Singer, the GOP’s Baddie Sugar Daddie

Greg Palast 

The untold story of the sources of the loot controlled by Paul “The Vulture” Singer and why he needs to buy the White House

by Greg Palast for TruthOut/Buzzflash – update

Greg Palast has been investigating Singer and other finance vultures for BBC Television’s Newsnight. His new book is Vultures’ Picnic: In Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates and High-Finance Carnivores.

It’s out of the closet –– or, more accurately, out of the coven.  The list of the billionaires who have given at least $1 million to Restore Our Future, the pro-Romney Super PAC, is headed by Paul Singer.  Singer and his hedge fund crew at Elliott Associates, with their donations to the Republican National Committee and other “independent” groups like the Swift Boat campaign, makes it likely that Singer is now the top funder for the GOP.

For BBC-TV, I’ve been tracking Singer for five years.  And this is the key fact you need to know about the man whose cash would pick our President:  Paul Singer likes to breakfast on decayed carcasses.

The carrion king is known as Singer The Vulture. I didn’t give him the moniker. The name Vulture was tagged on him and his speculator colleagues by the Prime Minister of Britain and the World Bank. Recently, former Deputy Secretary-General of the UN Winston Tubman suggested I ask Singer or his business associates, “Do you know you’re causing babies to die?”

What does this guy do—put poison in kiddies’ milk? Worse: he takes away the milk. …more

XL Keystone – The Pig in the Pipeline
The GOP is pushing a pipeline
that could blow you to pieces

Greg Palast 

Special to TruthOut.org

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 worldwide—but not yet in the USA.

Whistleblowers have told Britain’s “Dispatches” that the safety software on major US pipelines contains deliberate errors—and so pipelines can — and have — 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 compromised—deliberately. …more

Romney’s Billionaire Threatens
BBC Investigative Reporter

“We have a File on Palast”

Greg Palast 

For Truthout/Buzzflash
Palast is the author of Vultures’ Picnic: in Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates and High-Finance Carnivores. See Palast live on stage in New York, DC and other cities.

 

Last Monday, a call came in to BBC Television Centre, London, from the office of Mitt Romney’s billionaire backer and “advisor” Paul Singer.

Singer, top donor to the Republican Senate Campaign Committee had a message for the news chiefs at the prestigious broadcaster:

“We have a file on Greg Palast.”

I bet they do. …more

Greg Palast Tracks the Vultures
of the 1 Percent:
A Truthout Interview

Greg Palast 

by: Mark Karlin, Truthout | Interview

“Greg Palast, Vultures’ Picnic: In Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates, and High-Finance Carnivores”, get your copy here.Greece

Near the front of his new book, “Vultures’ Picnic,” Greg Palast quotes BuzzFlash at Truthout as calling him “a cross between Seymour Hersh and Jack Kerouac.”  He also quotes a White House spokesman as saying about him, “We hate that sonovabitch.”

During its first several years, Palast was the most interviewed resource on BuzzFlash. That was and is because he drives the global elite crazy, not to mention the mainstream corporate media.

He’s a one-person investigative junk yard dog, who chomps down and doesn’t let go.  He’s indefatigable, as the subtitle of his book indicates, “in pursuit of petroleum pigs, power pirates, and high-finance carnivores.”

Mark Karlin: More than any of your other books, your personality appears to come through most strongly …more

Tokyo Electric to Build US Nuclear Plants
The no-BS info on Japan’s disastrous nuclear operators

Greg Palast 

for Truthout/Buzzflash

by Greg Palast

Texas plants planned by Tokyo Electric. Image:NINA

I need to speak to you, not as a reporter, but in my former capacity as lead investigator in several government nuclear plant fraud and racketeering investigations.

I don’t know the law in Japan, so I can’t tell you if Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) can plead insanity to the homicides about to happen.

But what will Obama plead?  The Administration, just months ago, asked Congress to provide a $4 billion loan guarantee for two new nuclear reactors to be built and operated on the Gulf Coast of Texas — by Tokyo Electric Power and local partners.  As if the Gulf hasn’t suffered enough.
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Chevron Runs from Judgment
in Ecuador

Greg Palast 

Exclusive for Truth-out.org

Chevron petroleum Corporation is attempting to slither out of an $8 billion judgment rendered yesterday by a trial court in Ecuador for cancer deaths, illnesses and destruction caused by its Texaco unit.

I’ve been there, in Ecuador.

Cofan Leader CriolloI met the victims.  They didn’t lose their shrimp boats; they lost their kids.  Emergildo Criollo, Chief of the Cofan Natives of the Amazon, told me about his three-year-old.  “He went swimming, then began vomiting blood.” Then he died.

See 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.

 

And then I met Chevron-Texaco’s lawyers.

When I showed Texaco lawyer Rodrigo Perez the epidemiological studies tracing childhood cancers to their oil,  he sneered and said , “And it’s the only case of cancer in the world? How many cases of children with cancer do you have in the States, in 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 – which is absolutely impossible.”

The Texaco man stated, “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.  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.”  It’s been three years, and I’m still waiting.

There is another insidious game being played by Chevron.  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.  They have even convinced some pinhead judge to block collection of Ecuador’s judgment because harming Chevron would be a blow to “global business.”

It would – and it should.

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Watch Palast’s interview about Chevron v Ecuador with Russian TV America.

Read the original investigative report below:

War Paint and Lawyers: Rainforest Indians versus Big Oil
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SarahPAC Candidate “Should Be in Jail”
NBC TV airs vote “caging” exposé on Tim Griffin

Greg Palast 

For Truthout/Buzzflash

“What he [Griffin] did was absolutely illegal and he should be in jail.”

Illustration from Steal Back Your Vote comic

That’s hardly the kind of endorsement a candidate for Congress expects. But that is the conclusion of voting rights attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr. after digging into the evidence of Congressional candidate Tim Griffin’s role in directing the Republican National Committee’s racially biased attack on voters known as “caging.”

A brutal mano-a-mano race in Arkansas’ Second District has become a showdown between Sarah Palin’s banner carrier Griffin (funded by SarahPAC) and Democrat Joyce Elliott who has drawn homeboy Bill Clinton back to Little Rock.

The ex-President, in Arkansas this week, was especially worked up about Griffin’s caging list vote suppression scheme. (Our Good Ol’ Boy in Chief told me back in 2008 he would bust out the story, and it only took him two years to do the right thing, a personal best for Bill.)
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Slick Operator: The BP I’ve known too well

Greg Palast 

 For Truthout.org
May 5, 2010

I‘ve seen this movie before. In 1989, I was a fraud investigator hired to dig into the cause of the Exxon Valdez disaster. Despite Exxon’s name on that boat, I found the party most to blame for the destruction was … British Petroleum. That’s important to know, because the way BP caused devastation in Alaska is exactly the way BP is now sliming the entire Gulf Coast.

The deepwater horizon taken soon after the explosion in the Gulf.Deepwater Horizon in flames before sinking. Photo provided by D.Becnel

Tankers run aground, wells blow out, pipes burst. It shouldn’t happen but it does. And when it does, the name of the game is containment. Both in Alaska, when the Exxon Valdez grounded, and in the Gulf over a week ago, when the Deepwater Horizon platform blew, it was British Petroleum that was charged with carrying out the Oil Spill Response Plans (“OSRP”) which the company itself drafted and filed with the government.

What’s so insane, when I look over that sickening slick moving toward the Delta, is that containing spilled oil is really quite simple and easy. And from my investigation, BP has figured out a very low cost way to prepare for this task: BP lies. BP prevaricates, BP fabricates and BP obfuscates.

That’s because responding to a spill may be easy and simple, but not at all cheap. And BP is cheap. Deadly cheap.

To contain a spill, the main thing you need is a lot of rubber, long skirts of it called “boom.” Quickly surround a spill or leak or burst, then pump it out into skimmers or disperse it, sink it or burn it. Simple.
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Behind the Arizona Immigration Law:
GOP Game to Swipe the November Election

Greg Palast 

Our investigation in Arizona discovered the real intent of the show-me-your-papers law.

by Greg Palast for Truthout.org

[Phoenix, AZ.] Don’t be fooled. The way the media plays the story, it was a wave of racist, anti-immigrant hysteria that moved Arizona Republicans to pass a sick little law, signed last week, requiring every person in the state to carry papers proving they are US citizens.

I don’t buy it. Anti-Hispanic hysteria has always been as much a part of Arizona as the Saguaro cactus and excessive air-conditioning.

What’s new here is not the politicians’ fear of a xenophobic “Teabag” uprising.

What moved GOP Governor Jan Brewer to sign the Soviet-style show-me-your-papers law is the exploding number of legal Hispanics, US citizens all, who are daring to vote — and daring to vote Democratic by more than two-to-one. Unless this demographic locomotive is halted, Arizona Republicans know their party will soon be electoral toast. Or, if you like, tortillas.

In 2008, working for Rolling Stone with civil rights attorney Bobby Kennedy, our team flew to Arizona to investigate what smelled like an electoral pogrom against Chicano voters … directed by one Jan Brewer.

Brewer, then Secretary of State, had organized a racially loaded purge of the voter rolls that would have made Katherine Harris blush. Beginning after the 2004 election, under Brewer’s command, no less than 100,000 voters, overwhelmingly Hispanics, were blocked from registering to vote. In 2005, the first year of the Great Brown-Out, one in three Phoenix residents found their registration applications rejected.
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