Tag: Greg Palast

The BP Spin: “BP Lies. BP Prevaricates, BP Fabricates and BP Obfuscates.”

Slick Operator: The BP I’ve Known Too Well

Greg Palast

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 (BP).

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.

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 last week, 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.

Paging TheMomCat, Greg Palast needs help – Updated 1x

just received this email from yuriy at gregpalast.com.  tmc, you can tell your colleague not to worry and thank you for your efforts!

Dear Sharon,

Thank you so much for your swift reply and offer of help. Thankfully

Democracy Now’s producer who left for Haiti is taking the medicine. We

can’t thank you enough.

All the very best,



i hope it is not a problem that i posted greg palast’s article in its

entirety (will gladly edit the post if desired).  themomcat who writes

at docudharma.com is in haiti with msf.  she has brought greg’s

request to the attention of an admin in PoP to see if he can help.

her comment is one of the last in the essay. (i linked to the essay but if i include the link it messes up the code in a way that i can’t sort out, so you will have to take my word for it.)


TheMomCat, if you are reading greg palast has a favor to ask.  don’t know if you can help him, but i will bold the section at the beginning and the one at the end so that you won’t have to read the whole thing if you don’t have time.  

also, i don’t know if i am violating copyright by posting this whole thing.  i am going to do it and then check the faq.  if i have to edit, i will gladly, but think it reads better in its entirety so will take a chance for the moment.  palast reveals much i was not aware of both re the current disaster and the history of haiti – and the obama/gate’s failure to send help immediately.  he is scathing with the contrast with bankrupt iceland.  we have sunk to such a despicable low.

The right testicle of Hell: History of a Haitian holocaust

Blackwater before drinking water

by Greg Palast


1. Bless the President for having rescue teams in the air almost

immediately. That was President Olafur Grimsson of Iceland. On

Wednesday, the AP reported that the President of the United States

promised, “The initial contingent of 2,000 Marines could be deployed to

the quake-ravaged country within the next few days.” “In a few days,” Mr. Obama?

2. There’s no such thing as a ‘natural’ disaster. 200,000 Haitians have

been slaughtered by slum housing and IMF “austerity” plans.

3. A friend of mine called. Do I know a journalist who could get medicine

to her father? And she added, trying to hold her voice together, “My

sister, she’s under the rubble. Is anyone going who can help, anyone?”

Should I tell her, “Obama will have Marines there in ‘a few days'”?

4. China deployed rescuers with sniffer dogs within 48 hours. China, Mr. President. China: 8,000 miles distant. Miami: 700 miles close. US bases in Puerto Rico: right there.

5. Obama’s Defense Secretary Robert Gates said, “I don’t know how this

government could have responded faster or more comprehensively than it

has.” We know Gates doesn’t know.

6. From my own work in the field, I know that FEMA has access to

ready-to-go potable water, generators, mobile medical equipment and

more for hurricane relief on the Gulf Coast. It’s all still there.

Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré, who served as the task force commander for

emergency response after Hurricane Katrina, told the Christian Science

Monitor, “I thought we had learned that from Katrina, take food and

water and start evacuating people.” Maybe we learned but, apparently, Gates and the Defense Department missed school that day.

7. Send in the Marines. That’s America’s response. That’s what

we’re good at. The aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson finally showed up

after three days. With what? It was dramatically deployed – without any emergency relief supplies. It has sidewinder missiles and 19 helicopters.

8. But don’t worry, the International Search and Rescue Team, fully

equipped and self-sufficient for up to seven days in the field,

deployed immediately with ten metric tons of tools and equipment, three

tons of water, tents, advanced communication equipment and water

purifying capability. They’re from Iceland.

9. Gates wouldn’t send in food and water because, he said, there was no

“structure … to provide security.” For Gates, appointed by Bush and

allowed to hang around by Obama, it’s security first. That was his lesson from Hurricane Katrina. Blackwater before drinking water.

10. Previous US presidents have acted far more swiftly in getting troops on

the ground on that island. Haiti is the right half of the island of

Hispaniola. It’s treated like the right testicle of Hell. The Dominican

Republic the left. In 1965, when Dominicans demanded the return of Juan

Bosch, their elected President, deposed by a junta, Lyndon Johnson

reacted to this crisis rapidly, landing 45,000 US Marines on the

beaches to prevent the return of the elected president.

11. How did Haiti end up so economically weakened, with infrastructure,

from hospitals to water systems, busted or non-existent – there are two

fire stations in the entire nation – and infrastructure so frail that

the nation was simply waiting for “nature” to finish it off?

Don’t blame Mother Nature for all this death and destruction. That

dishonor goes to Papa Doc and Baby Doc, the Duvalier dictatorship,

which looted the nation for 28 years. Papa and his Baby put an

estimated 80% of world aid into their own pockets – with the complicity

of the US government happy to have the Duvaliers and their voodoo

militia, Tonton Macoutes, as allies in the Cold War. (The war was

easily won: the Duvaliers’ death squads murdered as many as 60,000

opponents of the regime.)

12. What Papa and Baby didn’t run off with, the IMF finished off through

its “austerity” plans. An austerity plan is a form of voodoo

orchestrated by economists zomby-fied by an irrational belief that

cutting government services will somehow help a nation prosper.

13. In 1991, five years after the murderous Baby fled, Haitians elected a

priest, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who resisted the IMF’s austerity

diktats. Within months, the military, to the applause of Papa George HW

Bush, deposed him.

History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce. The farce was

George W. Bush. In 2004, after the priest Aristide was re-elected

President, he was kidnapped and removed again, to the applause of Baby


14. Haiti was once a wealthy nation, the wealthiest in the hemisphere,

worth more, wrote Voltaire in the 18th century, than that rocky, cold

colony known as New England. Haiti’s wealth was in black gold: slaves.

But then the slaves rebelled – and have been paying for it ever since.

From 1825 to 1947, France forced Haiti to pay an annual fee to

reimburse the profits lost by French slaveholders caused by their

slaves’ successful uprising. Rather than enslave individual Haitians,

France thought it more efficient to simply enslave the entire nation.

15. Secretary Gates tells us, “There are just some certain facts of life

that affect how quickly you can do some of these things.” The Navy’s

hospital boat will be there in, oh, a week or so. Heckuva job, Brownie!

16. Note just received from my friend. Her sister was found, dead; and her

other sister had to bury her. Her father needs his anti-seizure

medicines. That’s a fact of life too, Mr. President.


Through our journalism network, we are trying to get my friend’s

medicines to her father. If any reader does have someone getting into

or near Port-au-Prince, please contact [2] [email protected] immediately.

Urgently recommended reading – The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L’Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution, the history of the successful slave uprising in Hispaniola by the brilliant CLR James.

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“Big Easy to Big Empty”

by Greg Palast is a documentary that must be seen if one is to understand what’s going on in New Orleans after Katrina and the Federal Flood. Palast’s tough, gutsy journalism reminds me of what “60 Minutes” was, back in the day when that program had cojones. Palast, investigating what really happened in New Orleans on 8/29/2005, interviews then-LSU professor Ivor Van Heerden. Van Heerden says speaking to Palast could endanger his job due to the political connections of higher-ups–and we all know what happened to Van Heerden.

Palast also interviews flood victims discouraged in one way or another from returning home and the nefarious machinations behind attempts to discourage their return.

Here, then is “Big Easy to Big Empty.”

Taliban = 9/11?? Afghanistan by Hypnosis

by Greg Palast

On September 11, 2001, my office building, the World Trade Center, was attacked by al Qaeda, a murder cult of Saudi Arabians, funded by Saudi Arabians. And so, in response to the Saudis’ attack, America invaded … Afghanistan.

And here we go again. The New York Times (print edition) headline last Friday was: “Pakistani Army, In Its Campaign In Taliban Stronghold, Finds A Hint Of 9/11.”

Google it and you’ll find the Times report repeated and amplified 5,785 times more.

Taliban = 9/11. Taliban = 9/11. Taliban = 9/11.

Your eyelids are getting heavy. Taliban = 9/11. Taliban = 9/11.

It’s the latest hit from the same crew that brought you Saddam = 9/11 and its twin chant, Saddam = WMD, Dick Cheney’s chimerical tropes which the New York Times’ Judith Miller happily channeled to the paper’s front page.

And they’re at it again.

Every war begins with a lie.

Every war begins with a lie. In addition to Saddam = WMD, I’m old enough to remember the Gulf of Tonkin resolution authorizing the war in Vietnam, based on a fictional Vietnamese gunboat attack on our Navy. (White House recordings have Lyndon Johnson gloating privately, “Hell, those damn stupid [US] sailors were just shooting at flying fish.”)

In the Glorious War against the Taliban in Afghanistan, the lie is thus: al Qaeda is “based” in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. If we don’t fight the wily Taliban, as the British once fought the wily Pathan, al Qaeda will attack America again from Talibanistan.

The latest Taliban=9/11 fantasy is a yarn spun wildly outward from the finding of a passport of an al Qaeda flunky who worked with suicide pilot Mohammed Atta in the same mountain area where, years later, a Taliban group operated. It’s a stretch, but when you want to sell a war, it will do.

Read the whole thing…