Year: 2010

The Real Wiki Hero

Greg Palast 

by Marta Steele from OpEdNews
with a Surprise P.S. from Greg Palast

Bradley Manning

Is it not ironic that the same country that contributed Rupert Murdoch to the world has more recently donated Julian Assange, editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks since 2007, when it was founded to “report on and publish important information,” on a totally voluntary and nonprofit basis. It describes its work as “[p]ublish[ing] and comment[ing] on leaked documents alleging government and corporate misconduct.”

The group consists of accredited journalists, software programmers, network engineers, mathematicians, and others. Citing as its authority the 1948 UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it states that everyone has the right “to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

Debt Vultures Shot for Chanukah
Liberia is saved but predators are still at large

Greg Palast 

by Greg Palast for In These Times

We got’m. I can hardly believe it.

Yesterday, the financial vultures, the carcass-chewers who were preying on the dirt-poor African nation of Liberia, gave up.

Two shadowy vulture funds, which had won a $43 million court judgment against Liberia, agreed to accept only $1.4 million to settle their claim following an investigation by our BBC Newsnight team. We had sought to determine if the vulture funds were covers for an elaborate fraud scheme. They folded rather than face further scrutiny and attacks from activists, Parliaments and Congress.

Refresher: In February, for BBC Television Newsnight and In These Times, our team hunted down a predator with a Ph.D., Dr. Eric Hermann, who, for a couple pennies

on the dollar, secretly bought the right to collect a $6 million debt owed by Liberia.

Hermann and his flock of vulture partners demanded Liberia pay $43 million—a devastating sum for that nation—or he would, in effect, block aid funding for Liberia’s recovery from civil war. The nation was now Hermann’s economic hostage.

I was investigating the strange links between Hermann and a company named Hamsah Investments; it smelled of fraud. Tipped off that I was about to arrive with a camera crew to question …more

The Family Jewels
A Veteran’s Story

Greg Palast 

by Greg Palast

A note from the Palast family
My mother, my sister and I can’t thank you enough for your expressions of kindness on hearing of my father’s death. For those of you who so graciously honored him with a donation to the Gil Palast Memorial Fund, my family will shortly designate the young journalist who will receive these funds as a fellowship. Last week, a mile off the California coast, we scattered my dad’s ashes in the Pacific. Yours, Greg P

In 1930, when my father was an 8-year-old kid in Chicago, he asked his older brother why people were outside in the cold snow in a long line.

His brother Harold said, “It’s a bread line. They don’t have anything to eat. They’re hoping for bread.”

My father ran to his mother’s bedroom, grabbed her diamond brooch, ran downstairs, and gave it to a man in the line.

Gil Palast (1921-2010) in Jeep WWII Pacific Theater (passenger seat) 1944
Restoration of photo by Sari Kadison-Shapiro,
(click to enlarge)

Later in the Depression my grandfather lost all his money.

The important thing is, that after my father gave away the jewels, no one in his family chastised him.

Here’s what you need to know about my father and maybe about me:
My father worked in a furniture store in the barrio in Los Angeles, where he sold pure crap on lay-away to Mexicans.  Then, later on, he sold fancier crap to fancier people in Beverly Hills and he hated furniture, and he hated the undeserving pricks and their trophy wives who bought it.

Dad figured it this way:  The bankers, the union-busters, the Bushes — whoever ran the show — were all a pack of vultures and the rest of us were just food.

And when I turned 8 myself, my dad gave me some important jewelry:  His medals from World War II.  He wanted me to lose them, to throw them away, anything.  It was March 8, 1965.  I know the exact date because the US Marines had landed at Da Nang, Vietnam.

My father won the medals in the Pacific jungles for freeing the oppressed. Then, on that day in 1965, that degenerate Lyndon Johnson ordered my dad’s Army to return to the jungle to oppress the free.  Johnson and Nixon, and the rest of the gangsters, had turned my dad’s medals into garbage.

But life wasn’t all garbage and Nixon and furniture.  My parents danced — in fact, they were champs. Even in their 70s they won a medal in the tango.

Today my mother needs oxygen to breathe and my father, after his stroke, needed a walker frame to move. A little while back they decided to have a nice day out.  My mom dressed up in her goofy red, white and blue patriotic garb, strapped on a canister of oxygen, and my father, limping a few inches at a time, made it to the local grocery store – to join the union picket line.

This past Saturday was my mother’s birthday, her 89th.  My father, in the hospital, told her to have a real blowout of a party.  She did.   It was a hell of a celebration.

But the next day, as we had expected, my father died.

He was happy my sister and I had flown in on time.  He was especially happy that we don’t sell furniture.

His last words were to my mother, “Happy birthday.”


My mom and dad don’t want anyone to send flowers. My mother asks that if you’d like to honor Gil Palast to please send a donation to our not-for-profit Palast Investigative Fund. My father was damn proud of what we do.

I’d be just as happy, if you have a couple bucks, to take your mom and dad out dancing.


Rove’s Vote Trickster: Caging Explained

Greg Palast 

On Tuesday, Tim Griffin, former chief of research of the Republican National Committee, is on the ballot for Congress to represent Little Rock, Arkansas. He’s favored to win. But Griffin is just as happy to win by stealing votes. Here’s a clip from the Elections Files, the Palast team’s investigations for BBC Television and Democracy Now. …


The Petroleum Broadcast System
Owes Us an Apology

Greg Palast 

by Greg Palast for Truthout/Buzzflash

Tonight, my dog Pluto and I watched the PBS ‘Frontline’ investigation of BP, “The Spill.”

PBS has uncovered a real shocker:  BP neglected safety!

Well, no shit, Sherlock!

Pluto rolled over on the rug and looked at me as if to say, Don’t we already know this?

Then PBS told us — get ready — that BP has neglected warnings about oil safety for years!

That’s true.  But so has PBS.  The Petroleum Broadcast System has turned a blind eye to BP perfidy for decades.

If the broadcast had come six months before the Gulf blow-out, after the 2005 BP Refinery explosion in Texas, or after the 2006 Alaska pipeline disaster, or after the years of government fines that flashed DANGER-DANGER, I would say, “Damn, that Frontline sure is courageous.”  But six months after the blow-out, PBS has shown us it only has the courage to shoot the wounded.

But hey, at least PBS is now on the case.

Or is it?   …more

Was Tim Griffin merely a “Rove-bot”?
Did Karl Rove write the memos that dunked candidate Griffin in hot water?

Greg Palast 

Special to the Arkansas Times
by Greg Palast (New York, London)

Steal Back Your Vote Comic BookIllustration from Steal Back Your Vote Comic book voterguide.
To learn more click on the image.

Greg Palast, the journalist who blew the whistle on Republican vote suppression activities in Florida (“caging”), has communicated with me further following an e-mail I passed along this morning. He has a theory on Republican congressional candidate Tim Griffin’s involvement in the scheme
Palast’s report: