A Night in London with Greg Palast, Democracy's Best Investigative Reporter, by Michael Rectenwald, CLG
Greg Palast and his wife
Linda and I went to a restaurant in London's trendy "Angel" section
this past Friday night (18 Jan)-- to chat, get to know each other better,
and enjoy a night out as fellow leftist Americans in London. We entered
a rather crowded, Mediterranean restaurant, as the three of us scrunched
into a four-top in the middle of the place. Greg was wearing his BBC
Newsnight trademark, the fedora, and I noticed that he was getting a
lot of attention from the professional London crowd packed in there.
(That Greg is a celebrity in Britain is something that this trip made
more clear to me. Later he showed me some profile pieces written on
him, and told me about some funny satirical pieces placed in the humor
mag, The Investigator).
I had met Greg before, in March 2001 during his visit to the States. He gave a lecture about globalization to students at Case Western Reserve University, in Cleveland. I had discussed the election with him then, specifically with reference to the Florida Voter Purge, the story which Greg broke in the London Observer, and which then was picked up by several sources in the U.S. At that time, I had asked Greg what would become of then yet-to-be-released CRC report on the election, and the NORC recount results. In both cases, Greg's predictions have proven to be right: the results of both would be released, they would prove us right, that Gore won, but the mainstream media will either ignore or subvert their findings. At that time, Greg's story was soon to hit the PBS television satellite. I told him about our plans to promote it with the individual stations.
Of course, during this visit
with Greg, I wanted to talk with him about his new book, The Best
Democracy Money Can Buy, due to come out this Spring. "What
is the book comprised of, Greg, a compilation of essays?" Yes. Greg
compiled his stories on the election, on the Bush antics including Texas
oil dirt (air, water, land and election pollution), the Carlyle Group,
etc., and expanded them into a full-scale broadside aimed to expose
the scale and depth of the subversion of Democracy in connection with
the current Republican administration and their cohorts in Big Business
Crime. The book will plumb the quagmire of what is surely a misnomer,
"American Democracy." An opening chapter on the election --"Jim Crow
in Cyberspace"---will be followed other scandal-airing intrigues. One
story that will be conspicuously absent from the book is that from which
the collection takes its name: "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy." This
golden nugget, as you'll recall, was about Barrick Gold Mining.
Among other findings, the story probed the associations of the company
with George Bush, Sr. Remember, at the end of his term, Bush sold a
piece of gold-rich federal land to Barrick at the outrageously low price
of $10,000, from which they've derived millions of dollars in gold revenues.
Bush Sr, meanwhile, was compensated with a yearly salary of some $100,000/year.
As for the other charges in the story, I won't wager my meager personal
property against Barrick's armory of legal funds perched to pounce on
anyone who reports on them. Regardless of any story's veracity, Barrick
has the power to shut it down. Barrick's libel suit, which threatened
Greg's paper, the London Observer, and also named
him personally for liability, forced him to pull the story, even from
his own personal website. Likewise, I can't consult it to check my facts.
This case will certainly pose a challenge in terms of international
freedom of information as it conflicts with British (and other) national
2K | HOME | THE
EVIDENCE MOUNTS | NEWS FROM THE FRONT!
| CALENDAR | PRESS