Greg Palast: Wikis

  
  
  

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Gregory Allyn Palast
Born June 26, 1952 (1952-06-26)
Los Angeles
Occupation Author, Journalist

Gregory Allyn Palast (born June 26, 1952[1]) is a New York Times-bestselling author[2] and a journalist for the British Broadcasting Corporation[3] as well as the British newspaper The Observer.[4] His work frequently focuses on corporate malfeasance but has also been known to work with labor unions and consumer advocacy groups. Notably, he has claimed to have uncovered evidence that Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, and Florida Elections Unit Chief Clay Roberts, along with the ChoicePoint corporation, rigged the ballots during the US Presidential Election of 2000 and again in 2004 when, he argued, the problems and machinations from 2000 continued, and that challenger John Kerry actually would have won if not for disproportional "spoilage" of Democratic votes.[5]

Palast spoke at a Think Twice conference held at Cambridge University[6] and lectured at the University of São Paulo[7]. He lives in London and New York City. Palast is originally from Los Angeles, and was educated at the University of Chicago,[8] and eventually earned an MBA.

On September 13, 2006, after filming a camp of Hurricane Katrina refugees in Louisiana near a massive Exxon oil refinery, Palast reported that a complaint had been filed against him for the unauthorized videotaping of a "critical infrastructure asset." [9] Palast's office later indicated that Exxon had "called off the dogs" and that no charges would be filed.

A graphic novel adapting Palast's newest book, Armed Madhouse, is currently in progress.[10]

Contents

Selected Stories

Presidential Elections

Palast's investigation into the Bush family fortunes for his column in The Observer led him to uncover a connection to a company called ChoicePoint. In an October 2008 interview Palast said that before the 2000 Election ChoicePoint "was purging the voter rolls of Florida under a contract with a lady named Katherine Harris, the Secretary of State. They won a contract, a bid contract with the state, with the highest bid."[11]

After subsequently noticing a large proportion of African-American voters were claiming their names had disappeared from voter rolls in Florida in the 2000 election, Palast launched a full-scale investigation into voter fraud, the results of which were broadcast in the UK by the BBC on their Newsnight[12] show prior to the 2004 Election. Palast claimed to have obtained computer discs from Katherine Harris' office, which contained caging lists of "voters matched by race and tagged as felons[11]."

He appeared in the 2004 documentary Orwell Rolls in His Grave, which focuses on the hidden mechanics of the media.

Palast alleges that Andrés Manuel López Obrador — and not Felipe Calderon — won Mexico's last presidential election[13].

In May 2007, Palast said he'd received 500 emails that former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove exchanged through an account supplied by the Republican National Committee. Palast says the emails show a plan to target likely Democratic voters with extra scrutiny over their home addresses, and he also believes Rove's plan was a factor in the firing of U.S. Attorneys.[14]

After Palast was invited by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. to appear on his Air America talk show to discuss, among other things, election fraud, the pair teamed up to find out if democracy was in a better state in 2008. In their report, which was published in October 2008 in Rolling Stone, they concluded that the 2008 Election had already been stolen. "If Democrats are to win the 2008 election, they must not simply beat John McCain at the polls -- they must beat him by a margin that exceeds the level of GOP vote tampering," Palast and Kennedy summarized[15].

To combat the extensive acts of voter suppression that Palast and Kennedy uncovered, the duo launched a campaign called Steal Back Your Vote[16], which features a website and free downloadable voter guide / adult comic book.

Long Island Lighting Company

In 1988, Palast directed a U.S. civil racketeering investigation into the nuclear power plant builder Long Island Lighting Company. A jury awarded the plaintiffs US$4.8 billion; however, New York's chief federal judge reversed the verdict. The racketeering charges stemmed from an accusation that LILCO filed false documents in order to secure rate increases. LILCO sought a dismissal of these charges the grounds that Suffolk County lacked authority under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and that the allegations of a history of racketeering did not qualify as a continuing criminal enterprise. [17]

Exxon Valdez

Palast has also taken issue with the official story behind the grounding of the Exxon Valdez, claiming the sobriety of the Valdez’s captain was not an issue in the accident. According to Palast the main cause of the Exxon Valdez accident in 1989 was not human error, but an Exxon decision not to fix the ship's radar in order to save money. The Raytheon Raycas radar system would not have detected Bligh Reef itself - as radar, unlike sonar, is incapable of detecting objects under the waterline of a ship. However the radar system would have detected the "radar reflector," placed on the next rock inland from Bligh Reef for the purpose of keeping boats on course via radar.

Palast argues the original owners of the land, the local Alaska Natives tribe, took only one dollar in payment for the land other than a promise not to pollute it and spoil their fishing ground.

Reliant Energy

Palast asserts that Reliant Energy maintains a file on him, including false data regarding his sex life, which they distribute as propaganda against him (1-p.112).

Lobbygate

In 1998, working as an undercover reporter for The Observer, Palast, posing as a US businessman with ties to Enron, caught on tape two Labour party insiders, Derek Draper and Jonathan Mendelsohn, boasting about how they could sell access to government ministers, obtain advance copies of sensitive reports, and create tax breaks for their clients.[18]

Draper denied the allegations.[19] British Prime Minister Tony Blair claimed that all the specific allegations had been investigated and found groundless.[20]

Criminal Complaint by the Department of Homeland Security

On September 11, 2006, Palast announced that he had been charged by the United States Department of Homeland Security, for filming an Exxon oil refinery.

Palast does not deny that he was involved in filming the facility (as part of a documentary on the alleged mishandling of Hurricane Katrina). However he asserts that there was no danger of this aiding terrorists and pointed out that aerial photographs of the facility are freely available on Google Maps).

He argues that the Exxon corporation was motivated by his past criticisms of them in relation to the Exxon Valdez disaster, rather than a concern with terrorism.[9]

Representatives from the Palast office later that day indicated that Exxon had "called off the dogs" and the Homeland Security had changed their tune, suggesting that the first phone call was "merely an inquiry" and that no charges would be filed.

Criticism

In An Open Letter to Greg Palast on Peak Oil[21] Richard Heinberg offers friendly criticism of Palast's buying into the confounding of "amount of oil left" with "peak (maximal) flow rates" for oil, the latter being key to Peak Oil.

Bibliography

Books

Films

See also

References

  1. ^ "Greg Palast". PEN World Voices 2007. PEN American Center. http://www.pen.org/page.php/prmID/1223. Retrieved 2008-01-04. 
  2. ^ "Paperback Nonfiction". The New York Times. 2007-05-20. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/20/books/bestseller/0520bestpapernonfiction.html. Retrieved 2007-05-31. 
  3. ^ "BBC - Search results for Greg Palast". BBC News. http://search.bbc.co.uk/cgi-bin/search/results.pl?q=Greg+Palast&x=0&y=0&scope=all&edition=d&tab=av&recipe=all. Retrieved 2007-05-31. 
  4. ^ "Greg Palast Profile". Comment is Free. Guardian News and Media Limited. http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/greg_palast/profile.html. Retrieved 2007-05-31. 
  5. ^ Palast, Greg (2004-11-04). "Kerry Won". commondreams.org. http://www.commondreams.org/views04/1104-36.htm. 
  6. ^ "Think Twice 2002: list of speakers". Think Twice Conference at Cambridge University. http://www.think-twice.org.uk/2002/speakers.html. Retrieved 2007-08-24. 
  7. ^ "Currículo do Sistema de Currículos Lattes (Ildo Luis Sauer)". University of São Paulo. http://sistemas.usp.br/atena/atnCurriculoLattesMostrar?codpes=76141. Retrieved 2007-08-24. 
  8. ^ "Alumni Connections". University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. http://www.chicagogsb.edu/alumni/news/archive/archive-ac-aug-04.aspx. 
  9. ^ a b Palast, Greg (2006-09-12). "Palast Charged with Journalism in the First Degree". gregpalast.com. http://www.gregpalast.com/palast-charged-with-journalism-in-the-first-degree. 
  10. ^ Steffan, Suzi (2007-04-19). "Badass Supersleuth and the Bozo Factor A Q&A with investigative journalist Greg Palast". eugeneweekly.com. http://www.eugeneweekly.com/2007/04/19/news2.html. 
  11. ^ a b "Greg Palast: Steal Back Your Vote". suicidegirls.com. 27 October 2008. http://suicidegirls.com/interviews/Greg+Palast%3A+Steal+Back+Your+Vote/. Retrieved 2008-10-27. .
  12. ^ "New Florida vote scandal feared". [1]. 26 October 2004. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/newsnight/3956129.stm. Retrieved 2008-10-27. .
  13. ^ Articles from June to August, 2006 on gregpalast.com : [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14]
  14. ^ Diehl, Jeff (2007-05-24). "The Future of America Has Been Stolen". 10zenmonkeys.com. http://www.10zenmonkeys.com/2007/05/24/justice-department-scandal-greg-palast. 
  15. ^ "Block the Vote". [15]. 23 October 2008. http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/23638322/block_the_vote/print. Retrieved 2008-10-27. .
  16. ^ "stealbackyourvote.org". [16]. 1 October 2008. http://www.stealbackyourvote.org/. Retrieved 2008-10-27. .
  17. ^ "Lilco Loses Bid to Dismiss Suit Charging Racketeering". nytimes.com. 1988-05-19. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=940DE1DD113AF93AA25756C0A96E948260. 
  18. ^ Greg Palast (1 May 2005). "Britain for Sale". http://www.gregpalast.com/tony-blair-and-the-sale-of-britain/. Retrieved 2007-11-29. 
  19. ^ "Draper accuses Observer of entrapment". BBC. 7 July 1998. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/128125.stm. Retrieved 2007-11-29. 
  20. ^ "Prime Minister's Questions". Hansard. 8 July 1998. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm199798/cmhansrd/vo980708/debtext/80708-19.htm#80708-19_sbhd3. Retrieved 2007-11-29. 
  21. ^ An Open Letter to Greg Palast on Peak Oil

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Greg Palast is a New York Times-bestselling author and a journalist for the British Broadcasting Corporation as well as the British newspaper The Observer.

Attributed

  • "A couple of years ago, Mike Isikoff passed me truly disturbing information on President Clinton, not your usual intern-under-the-desk stuff. I said, 'Mike, why don't you print this?' And he said, 'Because no one gives a shit.' Where are you, America? Don't you want to know how your president was elected? How the IMF spends your money?"
  • "Come by my town today and count the strip malls and fluorescent signs directing you to, 'Bagels Hot! Cars Like NEW No Down-Payment! Dog Burger!', where corn once grew."
  • "Every landlord of fenced-in intellectual real estate began life as a thief. As Isaac Newton would say now, 'If I see further than others, it is because I stand on the shoulders of giants too dumb to patent their discoveries!'"
  • "Multinational corporations, many you've never heard of, may soon have extraordinary control of your health, your culture, and your freedom."
  • "One in eight American adults has worked at a McDonald's. This acts as a kind of moral instruction for the working class, as jail time does for ghetto residents."
  • "In the deregulated market, profits are privatized and losses are socialized."
  • "The purpose of every industrial revolution is to make craft and skills obsolete, and thereby make people interchangeable and cheap."
  • "Quietly tucked into Bush's budget is a big fat zero for the key EPA civil enforcement team. This has no connection whatsoever to the petrochemical industry dumping $48,000,000 into the Republican campaign."
  • "The spiky-haired protesters in Seattle believe there's some kind of grand conspiracy between the corporate powers, the IMF, the World Bank, and agencies which work to suck the blood of Bolivians and steal the gold from Tanzania. But the tree-huggers are wrong; the details are far more stomach-churning than they imagine."
  • "Who owns America? How much did it cost? Was the transaction cash, check, or credit? Or a donation? Or a consulting contract? What do you give a billionaire who has everything? A gold mine? Immunity from prosecution?"
  • "The world's 300 richest people are worth more than the world's poorest 3,000,000,000. Between 1983 and 1997, 85.5% of the increase in America's wealth was captured by the richest 1%. Overall US income rocketed - of which 80% of Americans saw 0%. The market's up, but who is the market?"
  • "The good ol' boy cracker-crats of the Republican party are having themselves a regular hootenanny over allegations that congresswoman Cynthia McKinney landed a punch on a security guard at the Capitol."

Quotations regarding Greg Palast

  • White House Spokesman - "We hate that sonovabitch."
  • Cleveland Free Times -- "The world's greatest investigative reporter you've never heard of."
  • Daily Mirror -- "The Liar! Sleaze Reporter!"
  • Will Hutton -- "All power to Palast's pen."
  • George Galloway -- "Crawl back under your rock, Mr Palast."
  • Katherine Harris -- "Twisted"
  • Noam Chomsky -- 'Upsets all the right people'

External links

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