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Colonels in Mirrored Sunglasses

Greg Palast 

An excerpt from Greg Palast’s Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps with comics by Ted Rall and an introduction by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Here are the facts, ma’am:

In the 2008 election, no less than:

  • 767,023 provisional ballots were cast and not counted;”¨
  • 1,451,116 ballots were “spoiled,” not counted;”¨
  • 488,136 absentee ballots were mailed in, but not counted.

Add it up: in the last presidential election, no less than 2,706,275 ballots were cast””and never counted. I have not included a quarter million (251,936) provisional ballots counted only in part (that is, for some offices).

That’s the official number I’ve calculated …more

RNC Opens with Pol who
“Should be in Jail”

Greg Palast 

For Truth-out.org

“Tim Griffin should be in jail.” That’s the conclusion of civil rights attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr. after going through the evidence I asked him to review.

But Griffin’s not in jail: he’s in Congress. And Tuesday, he’ll be the first Congressman the Republicans have chosen to bring to their convention podium.

Predictably, I haven’t seen one US press report noting that in 2007, Griffin resigned from the Justice Department in disgrace, ahead of what could have been (should have been), his indictment.

Kennedy thought a couple of other characters should join Griffin in the lock-up: first, Griffin’s boss, the man whom George W. Bush gave the nickname, “Turdblossom”: Karl Rove.

And there’s yet another odiferous blossom, Griffin’s assistant at the time of the crime: Matt Rhoades. Rhoades isn’t in jail either. He’s the …more

7 Ways to Beat the Ballot Bandits

Greg Palast 

 

Click me, Print me out, use me, spread me around!

From Greg Palast’s new book:
Billionaires & Ballot Bandits:
How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps

1. Don’t Don’t DON’T Mail In Your Ballot

For those of you who mailed in your ballot, please tell me, what happened to it? You don’t know, do you? I can tell you that in the last election, half a million absentee ballots were never counted, on the flimsiest of technical excuses. And when they don’t count, you don’t even know it. Worse: Tens of thousands of ballots are not mailed out to voters in time to return them – in which case you’re out of luck. Most states won’t let you vote in-precinct once you’ve applied to vote absentee. Every time I hear of a voter going “absentee” to avoid computer screens, I want to “go postal.”

2. Vote Early ”“ Before the Ballot Bandits Wake Up

Every state now lets voters cast ballots in designated polling stations and at county offices in the weeks before Election Day. Do it. Don’t wait until Election Day to find out you have the wrong ID, your registration’s “inactive,” (9.9 million of you) or you’re on some creep’s challenge list. By Election Day, if your name is gone or tagged, there’s little you can do but hold up the line. Demand a paper ballot.

3. Register and Register, then Register Again

Think you’re registered to vote? Think again, Jack. With all this purg’n going on (13 million and counting), you could be x’d out and you don’t know it. So check online with your Secretary of State’s office or call your …more

Why We Occupy – Greg Palast Live!

Greg Palast 

“The first thing that the military police say is, ‘Give us your film.’ They had real weapons and I had a fake press pass, so it was an easy choice.  They let me keep my pen — but they didn’t know it was one of those Austin Powers jobs with the video camera hidden inside.”

For donors to the Palast Investigative Fund only:  
“Why We Occupy”:  Greg Palast LIVE.

Get the signed DVDdownload the film or download the audio.

In an extraordinary talk mixed with live, undercover footage from his investigations from around the globe, Palast rips the sheets off the One Percent, exposing the Koch Brothers, Chevron, BP, Goldman Sachs, the IMF, WTO””the bribers and billionaires in stories that grip you, scare you””and make you laugh.

Check out the trailer:

…more

Fukushima: They Knew

Greg Palast 

“Completely and Utterly Fail in an Earthquake”
The Fukushima story you didn’t hear on CNN

For FreePress.org

I’ve seen a lot of sick stuff in my career, but this was sick on a new level.
…more

Congo Vultures Bagged

Greg Palast 

Vulture fund’s $100m DR Congo claim blocked
By Meirion Jones
BBC Newsnight

Bid to block $100m ‘vulture’ debt

The Privy Council has ruled that a “vulture fund” cannot collect $100m from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The award was against Congo’s state-owned mining company Gecamines who successfully appealed to the Privy Council in London.

FG Hemisphere deny any wrongdoing.

Nick Dearden, Director of the Jubilee Debt Campaign, said: “We welcome the fact that these funds will not flow into the coffers of a secretive vulture fund which tries to unfairly profit from the past debt distress of impoverished countries.

Pursuit

Vulture funds, also known as “distressed debt” investors, buy up the debt of poor nations cheaply when it is about to be written off and then sue countries such as Zambia or Liberia or DRC for the full value of the debt plus interest which can be ten or 100 times what they paid for it.

They pursue any companies which do business with their target country in courts around the world and try to force them to pay money to the fund instead of the country.

Critics say this holds poor countries to ransom and prevents them trading their way out of poverty rather than relying on aid. Until 2010 they often sued in the UK but Britain effectively made vulture funds illegal that year after the Liberian President Ellen Sirleaf Johnson …more

Fracking: New Dangers

Greg Palast 

by Greg Palast for No Fracking Ireland

Greg Palast Interview from DCTV on Vimeo.

On the 20th of April 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oilrig blew out in the Gulf of Mexico, killing eleven men instantly, then destroying 600 miles of coastline. On 9 September 2010, a natural gas pipeline exploded in San Bruno, California, burning eight to death, one of several recent pipeline explosions in the USA. In 1992, in Chicago, a gas pipe leaked and 18 houses exploded, incinerating three people.


What do these deaths have to do with plans for “fracking” for natural gas in Ireland?

Everything. It was my job to investigate these three explosions, the Deepwater Horizon and California explosions as a reporter for the UK Channel 4’s Dispatches, the earliest as a US government investigator. In all three cases, the deaths were preceded by the same reassurances about the safety of drilling and piping that I read now in the debate about fracking in Ireland.

First, the Deepwater Horizon.  Eleven men died when the ”˜mud’ – drilling cement meant to cap the wellhead – failed and methane gas blew out the top of the pipes and exploded. The Shannon Basin is not the Gulf of Mexico, but your safety will be just as dependent on Halliburton’s mud. …more

Warren Ellis: “Money is Fictional”

Greg Palast 

Warren Ellis, author of Transmetropolitan, Crooked Little Vein and yet to be released Gun Machine gave the opening remarks for me last night in London for my UK release of Vultures’ Picnic. Thankfully he posted them this morning, here’s a bit of them, the full text can be found on his website www.WarrenEllis.com.

Special thanks to Ollie and Anna for organizing an amazing evening, and to Laurie Penny, Nick Dearden and John Hilary.  

I’m a writer of fiction. It’s fair to wonder why I’m here. I’m the last person who should be standing here talking about a book about real tragedies and economics. I come from a world where even the signposts are fictional. Follow the white rabbit. Second star to the right and straight on ”˜til morning. And a more recent one, from forty years ago, the fictional direction given by a mysterious man to an eager journalist: follow the money.

Economics is an artform. It’s the art of the invisible. Money is fictional.

The folding cash in your pocket isn’t real. Look at it. It’s a promissory note. “I promise to pay the bearer.” It’s a little story, a fiction that claims your cash can be redeemed for the equivalent in goods or gold. But it won’t be, because there isn’t enough gold to go around. So you’re told that your cash is “legal tender,” which means that everyone agrees to pretend it’s like money. If everyone in this room went to The Bank Of England tomorrow and said “I would like you to redeem all my cash for gold, right here, in my hand” I guarantee you that you all would see some perfect expressions of stark fucking terror.

Read the rest at www.WarrenEllis.com

The Euro is a Big Success – No Kidding

Greg Palast 

by Greg Palast | The Guardian USA

The idea that the euro has “failed” is dangerously naive. The euro is doing exactly what its progenitor ”“ and the wealthy 1%-ers who adopted it ”“ predicted and planned for it to do.

That progenitor is former University of Chicago economist Robert Mundell. The architect of “supply-side economics” is now a professor at Columbia University, but I knew him through his connection to my Chicago professor, Milton Friedman, back before Mundell’s research on currencies and exchange rates had produced the blueprint for European monetary union and a common European currency.

Mundell, then, was more concerned with his bathroom arrangements. Professor Mundell, who has both a Nobel Prize and an ancient villa in Tuscany, told me, incensed:

“They won’t even let me have a toilet. They’ve got rules that tell me I can’t have a toilet in this room! Can you imagine?” …more

How Bain Capital helped BP
blow up the Deepwater Horizon

Greg Palast 

A Book Review by Greg Palast, for FireDogLake.com
on Poisoned Legacy: the Human Cost of BP’s Rise to Power (St. Martin’s Press) by Mike Magner.

Here’s my bead on Magner’s book….

I almost fell off the barstool when I read that it was Bain Capital (Mitt Romney, former CEO), that told oil giant BP it was a good idea to cut costs. …more

Killings, cancer, corruption and Azerbaijan:
Eurovision in the Islamic Republic of BP

Greg Palast 

For Left Foot Forward
Saturday, 26. May, 2012

Palast’s book Vultures’ Picnic will be released in Britain June 26. Catch Palast with Special Guest Warren Ellis.

Will “Beyond Petroleum” oil giant BP pick the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest today in Baku, Azerbaijan? If so, I wouldn’t be surprised.

When I was arrested by the military police of Azerbaijan during my investigation of BP for Channel 4”²s Dispatches in 2010, one of the cops who surrounded our crew in the desert told us, with great pride:

“BP drives this country.”

Indeed it does.

In 1992, the newly independent former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan elected a kindly Muslim Professor, Abulfaz Elchibey, as President.

But the voters had made an error: …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.

****

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.

Subscribe to Palast’s Newsletter and podcasts.
Follow Palast on Facebook and Twitter.

GregPalast.com

BP Cover-up
Part 2: Bribery, George Bush and WikiLeaks

Greg Palast 

by Greg Palast – Exclusive for EcoWatch.org
Friday, 20. April, 2012

Evidence now implicates top BP executives as well as its partners Chevron and Exxon and the Bush Administration in the deadly cover-up ”“ which included falsifying a report to the Securities Exchange Commission.

Yesterday, Ecowatch.org revealed that, in September 2008, nearly two years before the Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, another BP rig had blown out in the Caspian Sea”“”“which BP concealed from U.S. regulators and Congress.

Had BP, Chevron, Exxon or the Bush State Department revealed the facts of the earlier blow-out, it is likely that the Deepwater Horizon disaster would have been prevented.

Days after the Deepwater Horizon blow-out, a message came in to our offices …more

BP Cover-up ‘They Knew.’
Part 1

Greg Palast 

by Greg Palast ”“ Exclusive for EcoWatch.org
Thursday, 19. April, 2012

Two years before the Deepwater Horizon blow-out in the Gulf of Mexico, another BP off-shore rig suffered a nearly identical blow-out, but BP concealed the first one from the U.S. regulators and Congress.

This week, EcoWatch.org located an eyewitness with devastating new information about the Caspian Sea oil-rig blow-out which BP had concealed from government and the industry.

The witness, whose story is backed up by rig workers who were evacuated from BP’s Caspian platform, said that had BP revealed the full story as required by industry practice, the eleven Gulf of Mexico workers “could have had a chance” of survival. But BP’s insistence on using methods proven faulty sealed their fate.

One cause of the blow-outs was the same in both cases:  the use of a money-saving technique””plugging holes with “quick-dry” cement.

By hiding the disastrous failure of its penny-pinching cement process in 2008, BP was able to continue to use the dangerous methods in the Gulf of Mexico””causing the worst oil spill in U.S. history. April 20 marks the second anniversary of the Gulf oil disaster.

There were several failures in common to the two incidents identified by the eyewitness. He is an industry insider whose identity and expertise we have confirmed. His name and that of other witnesses we contacted must be withheld for their safety.

The failures revolve around the use of “quick-dry” cement, the uselessness of blow-out preventers, “mayhem” in evacuation procedures and an atmosphere of fear which prevents workers from blowing the whistle on safety problems.

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Robert F. Kennedy Jr., president of Waterkeeper Alliance and senior attorney for Natural Resources Defense Council, said, “We have laws that make it illegal to hide this kind of information. At the very least, these are lies by omission. When you juxtapose their knowledge of this incident upon the oil companies constant and persistent assurances of safety to regulators, investigators and shareholders, you have all the elements to prove that their concealment of the information was criminal.” …more

Gulf still slimed by BP oil

Greg Palast 

by Kert Davies, Research Director, Greenpeace USA

Read the Greenpeace blog and listen to the Greenpeace Radio Podcast with Greg Palast, author of Vultures’ Picnic: In pursuit of petroleum pigs, power pirates and high-finance carnivores.

Then read this.  It’s my soul on a plate.  Then pass it on so others can taste it.
— gp

“Occupy,” Big Oil and the U.S. Media
with Muckraking Journalist Greg Palast
By Kevin J. Kelley [12.07.11]
Seven Days Magazine

Greg Palast was floating in a kayak off the Alaska coast in 1997 when he had an epiphany. He was working at the time as an investigator for the Chugach native people, whose lands had been slimed by the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. In the course of his study, Palast uncovered information about Exxon’s culpability for the disaster, but he had no way of publicizing it. So he decided to become a journalist.

It’s proven a successful second career for Palast, 59, who studied business at the University of Chicago under right-wing economist Milton Friedman. He’s won six Project Censored awards for reporting important stories ignored by the mainstream press. He’s also the author of two international best sellers, Armed Madhouse and The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.

A native Californian, Palast reports regularly for Britain’s Guardian newspaper and for the BBC. Nation magazine writer Jim Hightower calls Palast “a cross between Sam Spade and Sherlock Holmes.” Corporate executives he’s outed as wrongdoers call Palast other things.

Palast spoke with Seven Days in advance of his scheduled talk next week at Burlington’s Main Street Landing Film House.

Seven Days: You must be sympathetic to Occupy Wall Street. Do you think it will have a lasting impact on U.S. politics?

Greg Palast: It’s not a setback for Occupy to no longer be occupying. No one gives a shit about Wall Street. It’s just a piece of tarmac. It was never the point of the movement.

The point has been to expose the 1 percent, the movers and shakers who are moving and shaking us, all those rich motherfuckers. Now we know their names, where they live, how they made their billions.

So yeah, the impact has been huge. And it’s just starting. I’m deeply involved with Occupy.

SD: You’ve got a new book out: Vultures’ Picnic: In Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates, and High- Finance Carnivores. Can you summarize what it’s about?

GP: Vultures are financial speculators who seize the assets of the poorest nations by claiming these countries owe money that the speculators try to collect through intimidation, bribery and theft. One guy associated with this is Paul Singer; he’s Mitt Romney’s top economic adviser. I’ve been investigating how Romney’s “job creator” makes his money, and that’s a story Singer doesn’t want you to hear.

By the way, I’m totally nonpartisan. Even though Singer owns the Republican Party, I point out that he rents the Democratic Party.

Most of the book is a five-continent investigation of British Petroleum. I’m bringing you the stuff you don’t get from CNN or the Petroleum Broadcasting System.

BP’s blowout in the Gulf in 2010 was actually the second big disaster it had. There was also a blowout in the Caspian Sea in Azerbaijan in 2008, but BP covered it up with a combination of bribery, beatings and blow jobs. [Azerbaijani officials] kept their lips closed and their zippers open.

SD: So your talk in Burlington is part of a book tour?

GP: I’m on a troublemaking tour. My talks are platforms for Occupy activists in their transition away from their fixation with real estate.

SD: You obviously come at stories from a left-wing perspective. Do you ever worry that your ideology might blind you to facts?

GP: I don’t have an ideology. There’s really only the truth and the not-truth. I’m just an old-fashioned gumshoe reporter.
The worst fucking thing about American journalism, by the way, is its “on-the-one-hand-this, on-the-other-that” approach. It really distorts or omits truth.

I exposed [Florida Secretary of State] Katherine Harris for purging thousands of black voters from the electoral rolls. That cost [Al] Gore the 2000 election. It was stolen from him. I documented it.

I could not get that story into the U.S. media. There was a total news blackout of what had happened. It finally got picked up by the L.A. Times, and they played the story as “Democrats accuse Republicans of removing black voters from the rolls; the Republicans deny that.”

Jesus Christ! We don’t have balanced news in the United States; it doesn’t fucking exist. News here isn’t reporting; it’s repeating.

SD: Hang on. You write mostly for British outlets. Are you saying the British press is less influenced by corporate interests than the American press? The same financial dynamics are at work, right?

GP: Wrong. The Guardian is owned by a not-for-profit charitable trust. That’s allowed it to become the most influential English-language paper in the world.

SD: More influential than the New York Times?

GP: The New York Times is influential in New York. People elsewhere see that it’s ”” what shall we say? ”” incomplete.

The BBC is the gold standard of journalism. It’s important to know it’s neither corporate owned nor government owned. It’s owned by subscribers, the people who pay £100 a year for a TV license.

SD: Yeah, but Britain doesn’t have a First Amendment or a Freedom of Information Act.

GP: That’s true, but the Brits could borrow our First Amendment, because we’re not using it. And have you tried using FOIA lately? Good luck.

It’s also true that I don’t have any legal protection for stories in the British press. The resulting degree of self-censorship by some reporters is just astonishing.

But it’s still not as bad as it is here. The entire front page of the Guardian last week had my coverage of Singer, Romney’s biggest funder. There wasn’t one mention of his role in the U.S. press.

SD: Staying with journalism for a minute, do you have a journalist hero? George Orwell, maybe?

GP: Only Christopher Hitchens is pompous enough to compare himself with Orwell. My model is Jack Anderson [a Pulitzer Prize-winning modern muckraker who broke scandals involving both Democrats and Republicans].

I also always admired Ron Ridenhour, the soldier who revealed the My Lai massacre [in which 500 Vietnamese villagers were killed by U.S. troops on March 16, 1968]. Ridenhour was the greatest investigative reporter of the last century. He died way too young [of a heart attack in 1998 at age 52].

The TV show “Columbo” had a big influence on me, too. I learned a lot from it about how to do investigations. Lt. Columbo was just totally dogged.

SD: How about Hunter Thompson? You’ve got an image like his.

GP: People make that connection all the time because we have Rolling Stone in common. But Thompson was a brilliant social analyst, and I’m just a gumshoe guy.

SD: You do look like an old-school reporter with that Humphrey Bogart hat of yours.

GP: I wear the hat because I’m bald and I’ll get painfully sunburned otherwise.

SD: Matt Drudge wears the same kind of hat.

GP: Yeah, some people say I’m a left-wing Matt Drudge, but there’s a big difference: Drudge is full of shit, and I’m full of information.

SD: You must be embarrassed that one of the first things on Google for “Greg Palast” is a 2009 piece you wrote saying what a great job Obama is doing.

GP: It was right after he took office. And it was nice to see him acting for one week like a real president.

SD: So what happened?

GP: Obama was reminded of who elected him. He brought into power guys like Tim Geithner and Larry Summers ”” Wall Street operatives and protégés of Robert Rubin, who was Clinton’s Treasury secretary [and a Goldman Sachs and Citigroup executive].

Remember, it wasn’t Bush who destroyed the economy; it was a guy named Bill Clinton.

They put the arm on Obama. They reminded him he’s just a tenant.

SD: Do you worry about your safety?

GP: I very much fear for the safety of my sources. Some of them do end up in jail and/or beaten up. It’s insanely dangerous for some of them to talk to me. One of my great sources was just charged with sedition. These guys are insanely courageous. But please don’t give the impression that your life will be threatened if you become my source. That wouldn’t be helpful.

SD: You’re talking about incidents in other countries, right? You haven’t had sources jailed or beaten up in the U.S., have you?

GP: Look at Bradley Manning, America’s most heroic political prisoner [the U.S. Army soldier accused of supplying a cache of secret diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks]. Lots of Americans are facing the ruin of their careers for whistle-blowing.

******

Greg Palast will talk about “Why We Occupy: How Wall Street Picks the Bones of America,” on December 12 at 7 p.m. in Burlington’s Main Street Landing Film House. Palast’s One-Percent Tour travels this week to Houston on Thursday, Baltimore Friday and next week to Burlington VT (Monday), and Atlanta (Thursday).

Greg Palast is the author of Vultures’ Picnic: In Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates and High-Finance Carnivores, released in the US and Canada by Penguin.

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

Subscribe to Palast’s Newsletter and podcasts.
Follow Palast on Facebook and Twitter.

GregPalast.com

UPDATE: Cops beat our cameraman ZD Roberts

Greg Palast 

[New York Monday March 19]

Our photographer ZD Roberts was beaten by New York City cops with nightsticks while covering Occupy Wall Street’s attempt to re-take Zuccotti Park Saturday night.

Zach yelled several times, “I’m PRESS! PRESS!” yet was slammed on the head twice after he’d been thrown to the ground when the police shoved back the protesters. Zach, whose photos of Occupy Wall Street have been seen all over the world on the front page of The Guardian, showed his press badge, an act for which his hair was grabbed, head pulled back and slammed again with a club.

If you remember, Zach was arrested while covering the story three months ago. His trial is coming up (he refused to cop a plea).

We’ve covered the world ”¦ but who thought that the toughest combat assignment would be New York?

Here’s Zach story and comment in his own words and photos:

My head hurts. The NYPD did this to me.

3 months after my arrest during an Occupy Wall St. protest on #D17 and two days away from my meeting with the Assistant DA about said arrest – I got beaten by cops just outside of Zuccotti Park.

I wasn’t the only one, and I have no doubt I won’t be the last. The NYPD has complete authority in this town – I hate using the word police state, but when I saw a girl thrown from a bus, in handcuffs, having a seizure being tossed to the ground – I really am at a loss for any other words.

Cameras documented it. Here’s one of the photos I took. There’s tons of video. I can tell you from being there that there wasn’t a single police officer with a look of concern on his/her face as the girl continued having a seizure on the hard pavement of Broadway.

It took 15 minutes for an ambulance to arrive. I’m told 5 minutes is the usual response time in this part of town.

This is Commissioner Ray Kelly’s city, we just live here.

There was no ambulance needed for me. I was lucky”¦ or maybe just stupid.

After the second cleansing of Zuccotti Park, Saturday night, the police continued their pushback under the guise of ‘safety concerns’ – basically a standard operating procedure to keep protesters and journalists from being allowed to witness arrests and to disperse the crowd in different directions.

It works quite well, that is until it doesn’t. The thing is, when you’re pushing back with billy clubs and metal barricades, sometimes people can’t move back quick enough. Or sometimes, people refuse to move from a public sidewalk. Well as a photographer, I get caught in the middle quite often – usually I’m deft enough to get out of the way – this time I wasn’t.

I fell back, and while trying to get up – there was another push from the police – they saw me fall, mind you. Just didn’t care.

Two or three people made it over me without falling as well, using me as their sidewalk (they didn’t have any other choice) – but then came the rush – four or five people fell on top of me.

The police kept pushing. Then came the batons. I couldn’t see if the people that were on top of me previously got hit at all but I certainly did, twice to the back and once on the head.

I’m not quite sure what the logic is of literally beating a man when he’s down. But once he saw that his baton beating wasn’t getting me going he decided to try to pick me up by my hair. That didn’t work either – but by then I was up enough to get my footing under me as I continued screaming “PRESS!!! PRESS!!!” That was enough to get the beating to stop – but I still was pushed/thrown back into the crowd, again almost losing my footing as I had to leap over a pile of garbage into the street.

Checking my bag and camera for damage I moved outside of the crowd to compose myself before pushing back in.

Read the rest at SuicideGirlsblog.com later tomorrow and visit our facebook page for some exclusive photos from the raid.

Please support our kickstarter campaign to support the research and filming of a DVD and book on Billionaires and Ballots.

Greg Palast is the author of Vultures’ Picnic: In Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates and High-Finance Carnivores.

BP Settlement Sells Out Victims – UPDATE
Deal buries evidence of oil company willful negligence

Greg Palast 

by Greg Palast
for TheMudflats

See Greg Palast on Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman on the BP Settlement.

Following the Deepwater Horizon explosion, Greg Palast led a four-continent investigation of BP PLC for Britain’s television series Dispatches. From 1989-91, Palast directed the investigation of fraud charges in the Exxon Valdez grounding for Alaska Native villages.

Some deal. BP gets the gold mine and the public gets the shaft.

On Friday night, the lawyers for 120,000 victims of the Deepwater Horizon blow-out cut a deal with oil company BP PLC which will save the oil giant billions of dollars. It will also save the company the threat of a trial that could expose the true and very ugly story of the Gulf of Mexico oil platform blow-out.

I have been to the Gulf and seen the damage ”” and the oil that BP says is gone.  Miles of it.  As an economist …more