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Scoop IV: "Armed Madhouse" Author Greg Palast

Scoop Interviews "Armed Madhouse" Author Greg Palast


Interview By Alastair Thompson
Transcript by Rosalea Barker


Greg Palast – image MotherJones.com – Click For GregPalast.Com

Over the past decade best-selling author Greg Palast has put the word "investigation" back into US journalism (while working mainly for publications in the United Kingdom). And even if much of the US media steadfastly continue to ignore his remarkable investigations – the fruit of his work is more than apparent in numerous aspects of US political life – most obviously in the growing awareness within the United States of the decay of its democratic processes and massive efforts in recent elections by the GOP to disenfranchise black voters.

A former RICO corruption prosecutor Palast became a journalist a little over 10 years ago. His latest two books "The Best Democracy Money can Buy" and "Armed Madhouse" are both New York Times best-sellers and are required reading for any person seriously interested in what is really going on inside the United States.

Scoop's Alastair Thompson caught up with him today for a wide ranging interview.

INTERVIEW PART 1 (19 Mins)

Listen to Part One (19 Mins)
CLICK TO VIEW TRANSCRIPT OF PART ONE

Scoop Audio.Scoop Streaming Audio (click here to listen): Armed Madhouse Author Greg Palast (Part 1) - Friday, April 20, 2007 (NZT)
Scoop Audio.Click to download the file (MP3)

Including…
Greg Palast's New Version Of "Armed Madhouse"
What Karl Rove Thinks Of It
Rove's Hitman Tim Griffin's Role In A Black Voter (Including Armed Servicemen) Purge
Who Really Won the 2004 Election?
What This Means For US Democracy – Criminals Become Prosecutors
Non-existent "Voter Fraud" vs Massive "Vote Fraud"
Florida's New Governor & Changes To Felon Voting Laws
Is There Any Hope For US Democracy? – Ohio Wakes Up
Theft Of Africa's AIDs Money Raised With Bush – Some Signs Of Congressional Oversight.
Is Gonzales Toast? (Lessons From Watergate)
Who Are The Real Culprits In The USAs Scandal?


Armed Madhouse – New Version
CLICK TO ORDER THE NEW BOOK – OUT 23/4/07

INTERVIEW PART 2 (15 Mins)

Listen to Part Two (15 Mins)
CLICK TO VIEW TRANSCRIPT OF PART TWO

Scoop Audio.Scoop Streaming Audio (click here to listen): Armed Madhouse Author Greg Palast (Part 2) - Friday, April 20, 2007 (NZT)
Scoop Audio.Click to download the file (MP3)

Including…
Busted In New Orleans (See also… Buzzflash Greg Palast IV: New Orleans - One Year Later)
NOLA's Guantanamo On Wheels In Cancer Alley
How The White House Let 1500 New Orleans Residents Drown
The Privatised Hurricane Evacuation Plans Of Bush's Crony Contractors
How The "Dead" US Media Missed The Above
The Greg Palast Investigative Journalism Fund
Getting The Message Out
A Weapon Of Mass Instruction (NYT Bestseller "Armed Madhouse" is not Copyright)
Michael Moore – The Fat Guy In The Chicken Suit
ABC Television Tells Palast To "Forget it"
Keith Olberman & Bob Woodward
Is This Corporate Fascism? Not Yet
See You In The Scoop Wing At Gitmo Next Year…

*******

RUSH TRANSCRIPT PART ONE:

Palast:
All right! So, let's talk about the regime.

Scoop:
Yeah. First of all, you've said that you're bringing out another version of the book, so that's coming out.

Palast:
Yes, indeed. Yes, indeed. Yeah, it'll be a new edition of Armed Madhouse, out on Tuesday. Expanded. Because the evil has expanded, I've had to expand the book. I'm updating everything and adding a couple more chapters, including one called Busted, which is about how I was charged with violating anti-terrorism laws by the Department of Homeland Security while I was investigating what George Bush did to the City of New Orleans, which they didn't particularly like.

And then another chapter called The Theft of 2008 about how the US elections are already fixed. I'm always writing about after the fact--I figured I'd do this one in advance.

Scoop:
There's some mention of voter fraud and Karl Rove in the US Attorneys controversy, which...

Palast:
Oh, yeah! Actually, I'm kind of in the middle of that one. I'm working with John Congers, the chairman. What's happened is, when they went through Karl Rove's emails and made them public, there was a couple of gloating emails, one just dated this past February, in which Rove and his minions are gloating that the US media does not pick up the investigations of "that British reporter, Greg Palast." And as you can tell from my accent, I may report from the BBC out of London, but I'm simply an American in exile trying to report my news.

And he's right. The US media doesn't pick up my stuff. And Rove's people even attached an excerpt from Armed Madhouse, like, "Ha, ha! This is not what they're reading and not what they're seeing in America." In a way, he's right. It's pretty much hidden.

Scoop:
Which bit in particular were they referring to?

Palast:
They were referring to... what they were most focused and concerned about, frankly, was that I had obtained emails from Tim Griffin, Karl Rove's right-hand hit man-- actually, dozens of emails--in which he was operating a scheme to challenge the rights of hundreds of thousands of black Americans to vote, of African Americans to vote. What he was doing... this is pretty creepy. In the US, you register to vote in advance. You can't vote unless you've pre-registered, and what he was doing is he was sending letters to voters, to soldiers who were registered out of their home addresses, and if they were sent to Baghdad, the letters would be returned as undeliverable, and they would use that as evidence that the voter was committing voter fraud and knock out their vote.

So, in other words, the way that the US system works, if someone challenges your vote and you're not there cos you're in Fallujah or somewhere, you don't know your vote's being challenged. The Republicans--I mean, I don't think the planet knows about this, and I can tell you that Americans don't know about this--the Republicans challenged three million voters--three million--in the last election, the Kerry-Bush race. And 1.1 million of those votes were thrown out, mostly because people had no idea that they'd been challenged. They had no idea that they were losing their vote.

They targeted soldiers. Mission Accomplished! Mr Bush.

Scoop:
And yet, in that election we saw an inordinate, a huge turnout and a massive growth in the vote. Did you have any suspicions about that?

Palast:
Oh, more than suspicions; I did the calculations, and therefore ... one of the chapters of Armed Madhouse is Kerry Won, Now Get Over It. It was about how... there's no question. In the US, the presidency's determined by the winners of each state. It's a winner-take-all in each state and those Electoral votes are added up. There's no question that John Kerry not only won Ohio, which technically went to George Bush, but he won the state of New Mexico, he won the state of Iowa, probably Nevada and a couple of others. Unquestionably. If you counted all the votes. What happened was that all these votes were just thrown in the garbage. In the case of places like Ohio.

One thing I've added in the new edition of Armed Madhouse is records from the state of Ohio where someone had literally crossed out--you'll see the actual cross-outs on these documents--where they'd crossed out and removed voting machines from African American neighborhoods. That's why you had these massive lines. They deliberately removed machines so that there'd be gigantic back-up lines. Seven- and eight-hour waits to vote if you were in a minority neighborhood, but if you were in a white suburban neighborhood, you walked right in and voted. That was just one of the games that they played.

Massive challenges. Guys with little Blackberries challenging voters as they came up. No particular reason, but basically Democrats are black and they're pretty much defenseless. And, of course, the US media doesn't cover this because the US media doesn't cover anything that involves black people or poor people, in particular. And they're not going to do anything that involves challenging, suggesting that the American presidency was decided by an electoral coup d'etat.

Scoop:
What does all this tell us about the state of American democracy? Tim Griffin, I think, was subsequently appointed as the US Attorney for Arkansas, wasn't he?

Palast:
That's right. Tim Griffin, the guy who ran the purge operation!

You have to understand, it's against the law to target black voters. I was working, I've been working with an elections attorney Robert F. Kennedy, Jr--son of the murdered Attorney General--and he was saying, "You know, this is a crime. This is a go-to-jail crime in America." You cannot target black voters en masse to take away their votes. This is what the Martin Luther King laws were all about. The Voting Rights Act of '65 passed after King was gunned down. You can't do this. So now you actually have a perpetrator--a criminal--as a prosecutor.

US Attorney means he's the chief prosecutor. So you actually have the guy who should be prosecuted being the prosecutor. That's the brilliance of vote theft. It is the perfect crime, because if you win you become the judge and you become the prosecutor and you control the whole system. You can't be prosecuted. You're prosecution-immune. You've won. You steal the election, but you also steal the system of voter enforcement.

Scoop:
Increasingly we seem to have seen, in terms of this US Attorneys scandal, facts emerging that a lot of the pressure on these US Attorneys and the reasons for their dismissal seems to have been related to their unwillingness to pursue voter fraud.

Palast:
Yes. Well, there is massive vote fraud in the United States, but it's committed by the parties and the politicians, not by the voters. No-one's willing to go to jail just to cast a vote for a school board or even for president. I mean, just one little vote. You do go to prison for that. And there were 120 million people cast votes for president, and I'm trying to find 120 that committed fraud. And we can't.

But that was driving Karl Rove crazy, because he needed to find... in other words, to cover up their own crimes, they wanted to blame the voters, not the vote manipulators like the people out of the Rove office doing all this mass challenging. They wanted to create a hysteria which would allow them to change the voting laws--which would allow them to change the voting laws so they could make it harder to vote. Because, one Republican is saying five million illegal immigrants are voting. Well, that just doesn't... Like I say, "Find me five, please." And they can't.

Well, apparently Rove was pushing very hard to get his prosecutors to find people and bring, basically, false charges against them. In Armed Madhouse, I actually have an interview with the office of one of the fired attorneys, a guy named David Iglesias because some woman--a state politician, legislator, named Justine Fox Young; that's really her name--she's waving papers in the air, saying, "I have evidence here of voter fraud." When I asked her to show me those papers, she wouldn't. She said, "Well, the US prosecutor, US Attorney, is investigating these charges." So I called up Iglesias' office and said, "Are you guys investigating." And Iglesias's people said, No.

"Wait. He's a Republican prosecutor," I said, "Are you saying that your fellow Republicans are lying? Making up false charges?", and they were silent. I took that as the answer was Yes. What I didn't realize was that he was basically telling me that they weren't bringing charges. I didn't realize that they were pressuring him that if he didn't, he was gonna lose his job. Certainly, me... Rove does read my--as we now know, Rove has read Armed Madhouse and he could see and underline the fact that Iglesias basically called them a liar. So that was the end of his job.

Scoop:
So, in terms of that whole issue of election fraud, we've now got this Holt Bill, which is an attempt to try and fix up some of the problems. Do you have any views on how effective it is likely to be?

Palast:
It's such a small one. They've moved way beyond... the whole bill is intent on eliminating computer voting, paperless computer voting, because we absolutely had at least one congressional race obviously rawly stolen. Katherine Harris, her old seat in Congress was stolen by a Republican. There were 18,000 votes that were simply disappeared in the computers. They even admit it. They said they can't find 18,000 votes. Can't find 18,000 votes! It's disappeared, electronically. Zapped. All in Democratic areas, and that race was decided by 500 votes.

That's created a push, finally, to say, "No more. No more black box voting." But that's just the least of the problem. That doesn't stop the challenges. That doesn't stop... the new game that they do with these registration forms in America is to throw out the registrations. One-and-a-half million registrations were just rejected, which has never happened... It used to be in America, you wanna vote, you register, and that was it. No more. And people don't even realize that they're filling out a registration form to vote, then they go and vote and they're told, "You're not registered."

Scoop:
Do you have a view on the new governor of Florida?

Palast:
Well, you know, it's what I call the dead body bounce. It's hard to go... they dropped so low with Jeb Bush, that this guy is a fragment better. But not much better. The one thing he has pushed for--but I don't think he's going to do it; it's more window-dressing than not--is this whole game in Florida, which I had uncovered, of knocking out voters as felons who aren't felons at all. The only way to fix that, by the way... there's no way to fix it. The records are impossible to clean up and fix, it's a mess.

Black people who came over as slaves, the number of common names, the number of John Smiths and Jesse Jacksons among African Americans is enormous. You cannot work on a basis of saying, "Oh, here's a guy Jesse Jackson should be removed because he is a criminal." You have to eliminate this whole business of having non-citizens in the US, of saying that if you were a felon, you can't vote. Only Florida and a few other states--like, six states out of fifty--say you can't vote if you have a criminal record.

This non-citizen status is left over from the Ku Klux Klan era and the Soviet Union. The European Union has just said this is a crime against humanity. You cannot tell people that they aren't citizens.

Scoop:
So, do you have any hope? Are the Democrats taking this whole issue of the decay of democracy seriously yet? We've seen in Ohio that there have been some prosecutions over the weekend. Palast:
Yeah, there's been some prosecutions--too late. It used to be, when I did racketeering cases--and I used to--that if there was a crime, then the fruits of the crime were seized. Well, there's the White House which is the fruit of the crime, so I think that should be seized and turned back to the public. That ain't gonna happen, but here's what IS happening.

People are waking up. They can steal a lot of votes, but not all of them. Four-and-a-half million, in the new edition of Madhouse, is our estimate for 2008. In Ohio, people were so disgusted by the theft of the election, by a war gone crazy, by auto plants closing all over the state, that the Republicans were blown so far out of the water that the main vote-fixer, for example--the creepiest vote-fixer, a guy named Blackwell--he only got... the Republicans had controlled the state of Ohio. When he ran for governor, he got only like one in five votes. I mean, he was demolished. Even Republicans refused to voted for him, it became so embarrassing. So people wise up.

The Democrats coming in... I'm not a Democrat; I'm not a Republican, I'm just... But it has opened up the possibility, as we're seeing now in Congress, of investigations. I did a story for BBC Newsnight, BBC television about these creepy guys, vultures, who were buying up African debt and basically seizing all the money for debt relief for Africa, meant for AIDS medicine, and pocketing it. There's this whole creepy process that these guys have, and they're all cronies of George Bush. I ran that story on BBC and one of our powerful Democratic congressmen went right into Bush's office at the White House and said, "I want you to watch Greg Palast's accusations and I want an answer right now. What's happening to the AIDS money?"

Now, that could not have happened before the Democrats took control of Congress. I mean, Democratic congressmen couldn't be a chairman of a committee, so he'd have no power. And this guy had the power to kick in the White House door and demand answers. Bush knew he had to give some answer, even if it was bogus, because otherwise they'll subpoena all his guys and haul them in to get the answers. So that's a big difference. The information... now we have a debate. After all, the prosecutors were fired last year, but until the new Congress came in there was no investigation.

Scoop:
One last question I was going to ask was: We've now got, obviously, to the point with the US Attorney scandal and these lost emails, lost all these emails, that there is, in fact, some progress being made at the White House level by the Democrats. Do you expect it to go further? Do you expect Gonzales to fall and then possibly Rove thereafter?

Palast:
To me, throwing Gonzales to the wolves is a joke. When Nixon as President was being nailed for Watergate, he put his Attorney General out there, and the tapes have a wonderful... the White House tapes that they found have a great line. They sent out the Attorney General to "twist slowly in the wind".

Cheney loves watching Gonzales hang and dangle. He loves it. Karl Rove loves it. This guy's taking all the bullets, all the heat. And then they're just gonna cut him down. They're gonna tell him to resign, that he's finished. And that'll be the end of that. But he had nothing to do with it. He was just the shill. When he says he didn't know anything, he didn't know anything. By the way, that doesn't make him not culpable. I used to bring racketeering cases in the United States for something called "willful failure to know", that crime bosses use: "Don't tell me what you're doing but make sure you get it done!" Same with Gonzales.

When it came out that there was some discussion with him about the US Attorneys, and he says he doesn't remember, I know what he said. He said, "Don't tell me. Get out of the office. I don't want to know." He didn't say "Stop it." He was just, "I don't want to know." But Karl Rove was the guy that did this. Harriet Miers, probably someone you don't know, but she's a real fixer for George Bush, going back to Texas days.

These are criminals. This is obstruction of justice. It is a crime in the United States to do this. And they're blaming the Attorney General. It ain't the Attorney General... Yes, he should go because this happened and he let it happen. But he wasn't the mastermind. Once again, Karl Rove engineered the leaks in exposing a CIA agent, which was a criminal act. He was the one orchestrating the illegal removal of voters. He was the one orchestrating the firing of prosecutors. And every time these things go to hearings, someone else's head rolls, not his. Libby goes to jail, not Rove. Gonzales will lose his job, not Rove.

And ultimately there's one other actor in here who's skipping the bullet, which is George Bush. Let us remember he is the guy appointing these prosecutors and removing them. They serve at the request of the President. That's the man. So it's Rove and his nominal boss, even though it's not clear who's the puppet and who's the puppeteer.

Scoop:
Thank you very much, Greg.

********

RUSH TRANSCRIPT PART TWO

Scoop:
I'm talking to Greg Palast here, author of Armed Madhouse, who's bringing out a new book on Tuesday. Greg, you mentioned at the beginning that there's a new chapter on New Orleans.

Palast:
Yes. Busted.

Scoop:
Busted. Katrina, I think, is sort of becoming... possibly along with the Iraq war, it's probably the second-largest problem for the Bush administration in terms of...

Palast:
I hope so! Well, they're not really different. It's like New Orleans is Baghdad on the Mississippi. The new chapter is called Busted because I really was charged with violating the anti-terrorism laws of the US by the Department of Homeland Security, believe it or not. And that's cos I was filming. I was filming what they don't want me to film: 73,000 residents of New Orleans--by the way, that's a fourth of the city--have been dumped into the swamplands 100 miles away from the city. They've lost their jobs cos they can't get to work. They have no homes. They're not even allowed to rebuild them. And they've dumped them into a place known as Cancer Alley, right next to the Exxon oil refinery.

I was filming this. It's like Guantanamo on Wheels, because they put people in these old mobile homes. And I was charged because I was "taking photos of critical infrastructure." Like Osama can look at my pictures of poor people sucking soot from Exxon's pollution machine and say, "Oh, I wanna go there. I'm gonna take out the refinery." I finally pointed out to Homeland Security, after two days back and forth of this, that if Osama wanted to take out the refinery all he had to do was go on Google Map.

They weren't trying to protect America from terrorists. They were trying to protect America from the information that this was where we had dumped people to die. As far as I could tell, they were staying there forever. This was taken a year after Katrina--73,000 people still stuck there. After the flood.

The other thing I found that they didn't like is that how did those people who were left in the water, how did they drown? And I discovered, talking to the head of the LSU, Louisiana State University Hurricane Center--the people running the hurricane evacuation--they told me, the Chief, a guy named Ivor van Heerden, had been holding this information to himself, he couldn't stand it any more, he said, "Someone's got to speak out. Let me lose my job." What he was saying is that George Bush's White House--he emphasised the "White House"; not just the government--the White House knew 20 hours or so before the levees burst that they were cracking apart and the city was gonna flood.

He was running the operation at the hurricane center in Lousiana, the state of Louisiana, and they stopped evacuating New Orleans. They were all congratulating each other. Katrina never hit the city, it went east of the city, so they were evacuating east. The White House didn't tell them that the levees were failing, and those things collapsed and 1500 people drowned. So people think it's bad; think that George Bush screwed up. It's worse than that. It's worse than that.

Scoop:
The public story of what happened in New Orleans is just not fully told yet.

Palast:
No, it isn't. Because, you know, he's still doing the "water surged over the top of the levees" and all that. C'mon! They broke apart, and he knew they were breaking. What happens is that... these are federal government levees. If they break, it's George Bush's responsibility to save the people. It's George Bush's and the federal government's responsibility to compensate them and bring them back. They don't want that. They wanna say, "It wasn't us."

And then what I also found out is that there was an evacuation plan in New Orleans. Where was it? How come people weren't evacuated? How come people were left behind? And the answer was that they privatized, believe it or not, emergency evacuation. They'd contracted it out to cronies of Bush who got a million bucks, and when I saw their plans--cos I'd worked on hurricane evacuation for a very rich area, Long Island, NY. There's no plan to let people float away in the rich areas. Huge, elaborate plans. In New Orleans, you couldn't find the plans. When I found them, by the crony contractors, the plan was: Get in your car, drive like hell.

What if you don't have a car? 127,000 people in New Orleans did not have cars--a fourth of the city--and they were left there. So, what happened was, I went to the contractors and said, "What's your experience in emergency evacuation?" And they couldn't tell me that they'd ever done any emergency planning ever, at all. And they got the contract two years before the hurricane. Two years before. And the answer was that their total experience, as far as I could tell, was page after page of donations to the Republican Party.

Scoop:
So how do we have a situation, where two years after this hurricane and this huge disaster, which obviously has affected both the political process and the people in America very profoundly, these sorts of details are still emerging as a result of your investigations? What's going on with the US media?

Palast:
They're dead. You cannot... cos it's one thing to say, Oh they... you know, we had one very rich reporter, famously cry in front of the cameras, "How could they treat people this way?" In the Superdome. You can talk about bureaucrats being mean to people. What you can't talk about is the President of the United States drowning 1500 people and then going off to a golf resort knowing that the levees are cracking and saying nothing. If you say that... No one has challenged the veracity of this report. No one has challenged the integrity of my source, who is named. But they're not gonna put that on the air.

Scoop:
They're not gonna follow it up?

Palast:
Forget it! All that's gonna happen is make sure that I'll always be working for the BBC. I mean, basically, you have to understand, what happens here is more than not covering the news; it's a program of silencing the news.

Scoop:
Some of the proceeds of your activities are going into this thing called the Palast Investigative Fund. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Palast:
Well, it's real simple. Investigative reporting... one of the reasons they don't do it is because it's really expensive. I mean, for me to, for example, find out the purge list took months of work and it's a whole team. First of all, Greg Palast is just the nose on camera; I've got a whole team of people. A quadrilingual Bond girl from Switzerland. We set up fronts. We go undercover. We do secret filming, secret recording. This is really expensive and dangerous. And the legal costs, alone--my God! So, to cover this, we do two things.

I'm grateful for BBC and Harper's and others who've given us some funding and, of course, a platform. By the way, to put it out in the US, I give this stuff free of charge to a program called Democracy Now, and the only way I can do that is to get some donations. I don't like going to big foundations, or any of that stuff. I don't do it. I don't have any foundation money. We just ask people who watch and read our books to send a couple of bucks, 50 dollars, a hundred bucks. I'll sign a book.

And I do that so that I'm beholden to my readers and not to a network, not to a foundation, not to anyone but the people who are watching my reports and reading my material. And that's it. No advertisers.

Scoop:
You are finding, of course, that there is a very, very widespread Internet dissemination of your material and you use the Internet very well, effectively.

Palast:
In fact, by the way, I'm not copyrighting any part of my book, which is very unusual. Even though it's a New York Times best-seller. I want the word out! Go use it. It's a weapon. It's a weapon of mass instruction. By the way, got to the website www.gregpalast.com and you can hear some of the audio from the book. I got big comics like Larry David and Greg Proops reading this material, but we also have dance tracks and Jello Biafra has produced a spoken word CD which we'll also release next week, called Live from the Armed Madhouse, Greg Palast Making Trouble, and including some dance tracks which are samples from the book Armed Madhouse. So, there you go. You can dance to it!

Scoop:
It's a bit of a media revolution really, what you've undertaken.

Palast:
If I have to do sky-writing... Whatever it takes to get the word out. I'm not going to rely on US networks, in particular. Look, I've got it easy in Britain and the Commonwealth because you can turn on the TV and watch it. But you can't do it in the US, so I have to do things like have musicians. For example, one of the more interesting ones is that Eminem did a video based on my stuff, called Mosh. So if that's the way to get it out, I'm for it.

Scoop:
How has it then that people like Michael Moore are able to have a mainstream audience in the United States?

Palast:
Well, he was very... he did some smart stuff. He's been very helpful. Basically, he took a lot of my material and popularised it. What he does is, he was able to get away with his programs by... well, he was thrown off television, so that was gone. Even though he was a popular show. But they couldn't take away the movie screen, even though Disney tried to.

The answer is that he comes out as entertainment. He does the kind of clown act. And it's good, because it's a way to get it out; it's bad because he's dismissed as a clown. But the information is very solid. I know because I provide it. That's another way to get it out. In fact, our little joke at BBC is if Greg Palast can't get his reports on the air in America, just give it to the fat guy with the chicken suit.

Scoop:
Are you still trying to get stuff into the NY Times and the big papers and networks over there, or have you given up?

Palast:
You know, I do try. I owe it to the public to give it a shot. But I have to tell you, Bobby Kennedy just asked the head of ABC television, the big ABC network--which is owned by Disney, the big Disney television network--"Why don't you run Greg Palast's BBC reports?" They have a deal with BBC; they can run it for free. And the answer is, "Oh, we'd love to." They were just giving him the old jive. They called me up at Bobby Kennedy's request and basically told me in so many words, "You can forget it, Palast."

Scoop:
Cos the other broadcaster is Keith Olbermann who seems to have a peculiar... I mean, he seems to be allowed to.

Palast:
To some extent. One thing I'll say--and I'm not bitter about it--but where was Olbermann when the going was tough? A lot of guys--I mean guys who, like, totally licked Bush's behind, like Bob Woodward, who wrote Bush At War. Woodward went from writing All the President's Men to becoming one of the president's men, but now he takes some potshots. So these guys are pretty good at coming out of the woodwork and shooting the wounded, but you're not going to see anything too heavy on these things. You're gonna see a lot of dissent. Until the winds change and they'll change with it.

Scoop:
At a slightly more serious level, the overall picture that you get from a lot of what you're saying is that the political process is corrupt. We look at the Bush family and they obviously have ties to banking industries and the oil industry and various other things. Are we talking about corporate fascism here? Is this really what's happening in the United States, these days?

Palast:
No. And people are going to be shocked to hear me say that. And the reason I say that is that it's not 1933. We ain't got that bad yet. And I say that with good caution because it could get bad. Be careful. But I think it's more like 1927. In 1927, as I pointed out in Armed Madhouse, when the levees broke in New Orleans and the city drowned it was a time of corporate aristocracy, you could call it corporate fascism. The Republicans were in charge of all edges of government. It was grim. And the Democratic Party seemed like it had no answers. They were weak and had nothing to say.

Then one guy rose up from the floodwaters of Louisiana and said, "Enough already. It's time that we kicked the rich in the ass and got our fair share. We need a system of old age pensions. We need free schools in America. We need to tax the oil companies and stop using the money on bogus wars." That was a guy named Huey Long. And his program was adopted by Franklin Roosevelt, became the New Deal, and America was changed, and Hitler was destroyed. So, I think it's 1927, not 1933 Germany. It's 1927 Louisiana again.

Scoop:
If it's 1927, then next year's 1928 and there's another election.

Palast:
Yeah. So what I would say is that... look, we saw in the US mid-term election they still stole races but, you know, you can't steal all the votes all the time. With that, I'm going to leave you and say that, you know, pick up a copy of Armed Madhouse before the PATRIOT Act 3 goes into effect in America and they'll have to confiscate it. And I'll see you at the Scoop wing at Guantanamo next year.

Scoop:
Thank you very much.

Palast:
Okay. Catch you later. Bye.

ENDS

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Syed Atiq ul Hassan: Eye-Opener For Islamic Community

An event of siege, terror and killing carried out by Haron Monis in the heart of Sydney business district has been an eye-opener for the Islamic Community in Australia. Haron was shot down before he killed two innocent people, a lawyer and a manager ... More>>

Jonathan Cook: US Feels The Heat On Palestine Vote At UN

The floodgates have begun to open across Europe on recognition of Palestinian statehood. On 12 December the Portuguese parliament became the latest European legislature to call on its government to back statehood, joining Sweden, Britain, Ireland, France ... More>>

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Fightback: MANA Movement Regroups, Call For Mana Wahine Policy

In the wake of this years’ electoral defeat, the MANA Movement is regrouping. On November 29th, Fightback members attended a Members’ Hui in Tāmaki/Auckland, with around 70 attending from around the country. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: The Mockingjay Of Palestine: “If We Burn, You Burn With Us”

Raed Mu’anis was my best friend. The small scar on top of his left eyebrow was my doing at the age of five. I urged him to quit hanging on a rope where my mother was drying our laundry. He wouldn’t listen, so I threw a rock at him. More>>

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Don Franks: Future Of Work Commission: Labour's Shrewd Move

Lunging boldly towards John Key, shouting 'Cut the crap!' - Andrew Little was great, wasn't he? Labour's new leader spoke for many people fed up with Key's flippant arrogant deceit. Andrew Little nailing the Prime minister on lying about contacting a rightwing ... More>>

Asia-Pacific Journal: MSG Headache, West Papuan Heartache? Indonesia’s Melanesian Foray

Asia and the Pacific--these two geographic, political and cultural regions encompass entire life-worlds, cosmologies and cultures. Yet Indonesia’s recent enthusiastic outreach to Melanesia indicates an attempt to bridge both the constructed and actual ... More>>

Valerie Morse: The Security State: We Should Not Be Surprised, But We Should Be Worried

On the very day that the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released her report into the actions of people the Prime Minister’s office in leaking classified Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS) documents to right-wing smearmonger Cameron ... More>>

Ramzy Baroud: PFLP Soul-Searching: Rise And Fall Of Palestine’s Socialists

When news reports alleged that the two cousins behind the Jerusalem synagogue attack on 18 November were affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a level of confusion reigned. Why the PFLP? Why now? More>>

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