Transcript: Greg Palast (stolen elections), Jun 02 2006
Greg Palast is the author of "Armed Madhouse : Who's Afraid of Osama Wolf? China Floats, Bush Sinks, The Scheme to Steal '08, No Child's Behind Left, and Other Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Class War". His investigations into the theft of votes in 2000 and 2004.
Thom Hartmann interview with Greg Palast, 02 June 2006 on KPOJ
[Thom Hartmann] Greg Palast is with us. Greg, we were just talking with Robert Kennedy Jnr. about his story in Rolling Stone, but this is a story that you wrote about literally 2 days after the election.
[Greg Palast] Well, actually also 2 days before the election.
[Thom Hartmann] Oh, really?
[Greg Palast] I broadcast a week before the election for BBC television nightly news worldwide I broadcast 'It looks like they are about to shoplift Florida, Ohio and New Mexico'. Florida's in question, Ohio and Mexico are not at this point. Then two days after the evidence rolled in very quickly. And actually I'll be on with Kennedy on Air America on Saturday with this. We are, you know, and that's in "Armed Madhouse", it's in one of the chapters. I mean, shoplifting, you can't, you know, it covers a lot of ground, not just the elections. You can't shoplift Mesopotamia unless you, you know, snatch the White House first.
[Thom Hartmann] Right.
[Greg Palast] But what happened, what we're looking at, and this came out of our investigations, I say ours, you know, Greg Palast, I work for BBC TV. So we began in 2000 with, you know, the knock off of the tens of thousands of black voters before the 2000 race in Florida. That gave little George the White House in 2000. And so this continued on. And what I was finding in Florida, and it got worse in Ohio, is that, you know, we think your gets counted. I mean, what Kennedy was reporting was what we found in Ohio, but what you find in the book is nationwide, we think 'oh, your vote, it counts'. 3.6 million votes were cast and not counted in the United States of America and to the Republic for which we stand, Thom. 3.6 million votes cast and not counted. Now, these are called spoiled votes, right?
[Thom Hartmann] Yeah.
[Greg Palast] That means that the chads were hung, the machines, the touch screens didn't feel properly touched.
[Thom Hartmann] Right, and what's amazing in your book, Greg Palast, and by the way, we're speaking with investigative journalist and best-selling author Greg Palast. He's the author of his new book, "Armed Madhouse : Who's Afraid of Osama Wolf? China Floats, Bush Sinks, The Scheme to Steal '08, No Child's Behind Left, and Other Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Class War". Best known for his book, "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy", the web site gregpalast.com and he will be appearing in Portland Monday night at 7pm at the First Unitarian Church, SW 12th & Salmon in downtown, doors open at 6:30 pm, $8 to $15 donation at the door. This is a fundraiser, by the way, for the Portland Alliance newspaper and the Oregon Voter Rights Coalition who we just heard from a minute ago, oregonvrc.org. So, in your book, you have actual charts and graphs. One of the ones that I thought was most fascinating was where you show, for example, I believe Cincinnati or Cleveland, it's one of the cities in Ohio.
[Greg Palast] Right
[Thom Hartmann] Where you populate the map with little dots that show the areas where there were spoiled votes.
[Greg Palast] Yeah, no votes count [?], so people know what that means.
[Thom Hartmann] That's right. And then you also have another map that shows, where you populate the map with areas where it's predominantly African Americans living there. And those two maps are identical.
[Greg Palast] Yes. It's a matched pair. They look like boots, so it's a matched pair of boots. You don't count, so in America, here's a nice little trick. And it's not just Ohio; this is a national figure. If you're black, the chance your vote will be lost to a technical glitch is 900% higher than if you're white. It's really, it's a lynching by laptop. It's Jim Crow done through statistical means. Now, it's not, by the way, it ain't Karl Rove and Lex Luthor in a cave below Pennsylvania pressing buttons and changing your vote from Kerry to Bush. It's really dumb simple. You get crap hospitals in black areas, you get crap schools, you get crap voting machines, and here's the trick: and this is what Kennedy was trying to bring out that we got. They knew about it. They knew about it. They knew about it. They knew about it in advance.
[Thom Hartmann] Who's 'they'?
[Greg Palast] When I say 'they', well first of all, in the case of Ohio, Ken Blackwell, who was the Secretary of State of Ohio, he is the Secretary of State. He's running for governor, by the way.
[Thom Hartmann] Right.
[Greg Palast] Secretary of State of Ohio.
[Thom Hartmann] Front runner, by the way.
[Greg Palast] And he was also head of the Bush re-election campaign which he means he was wearing 2 hats, which is only legitimate if you have 2 heads, right. I mean, but he knew in advance, actually wrote in advance, that is we don't change the machines in the African American areas minorities are going to lose votes. And he was boasting. The ACLU actually sued him before the election. See, this one was called. I mean, they called the fence and headed over it. The ACLU sued them before the election to change the machines and Blackwell said, or they asked him to change, and he said, "sue me". So they did, and he was able to get a trial date for ...
[Thom Hartmann] After the election.
[Greg Palast] ... late November, after the election, like 'ha ha'.
[Thom Hartmann] Right.
[Greg Palast] You know, and if you think 'ha ha' is the way to elect a president. But the evil thing, Thom, and the reason I call that chapter "the scheme to steal 2008", if you think it's just Katherine in Florida, you think it's just Ken Blackwell in Ohio, think again. Because you have to know that this is national, that they've got swing states targeted and that in 2000 2 million votes weren't counted, in 2004 3 million votes weren't counted, 2006 it's going to be 4, 2008 it's going to be 6 million votes not counted. They are really pumping the machine. And one thing that, because we didn't have it for Ohio, that Kennedy didn't have it in the Rolling Stone article, is something called caging lists. The Republican Party ain't taking chances. They've created lists of we believe about hundreds of thousands of names, we've got 50,000 just from one state, of voters that they're intending to target.
[Thom Hartmann] Right.
[Greg Palast] Every one of them in African American majority neighborhoods with so-called suspect addresses.
[Thom Hartmann] They either bump them off the rolls or they call them up and intimidate them, they actually had people calling and threatening people. Now, some of our listeners, Greg Palast, may be thinking, 'This is just, you know off the wall, that the Republican Party would do this. I just want to share with you a little 20 second clip here. This is Paul Weyrich. You know who Paul Weyrich is?
[Greg Palast] Yes.
[Thom Hartmann] Paul Weyrich is the guy who claims credit for the Reagan election in 1980. He's a republican operative from way back. Big time direct mail guy. Big time Christian Coalition guy. And here he is speaking to a group of Republican political operatives in a church about 15 years ago. And so this is the set-up. Here's Paul Weyrich. "Now many of our Christians have what I call the goo-goo syndrome. Good government. They want everybody to vote. I don't want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of people. They never have been from the beginning of our country and they are not now. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down." That is the core of the Republican strategy.
[Greg Palast] That's the game.
[Thom Hartmann] Because they realize that their values do not jibe with that of majority of people.
[Greg Palast] Yeah. And so they discourage people from voting or block them from voting. If they vote, they don't count the votes. That's, see, it's the non count which is the key. That's the whole key. It's like these caging lists that I was talking about; they're targeting people with so-called suspect addresses. You look in the book, you see the list, and you'll see page after page of African American soldiers shipped overseas. So they're home addresses are suspect. Now by the way, it's not illegal to vote from under a Humvee in Falluja for president of the United States if you're a soldier, even if you're a black soldier. But this is, I'm telling you, you've got to look at the lists. I mean, I almost fell over dead. By the way, we got them through a fake web site. They were sending these lists through georgebush.com and we were able to capture them through a fake site called georgebush.org. I mean, by the way, it is against the law, it is a felony to have targeted lists of voters by race.
[Thom Hartmann] Right. Caging was outlawed by court order. I mean, the Republican Party was forced back in the 60's, 70's, 80's, something like that.
[Greg Palast] That's right, they signed a dissent decree never to do this.
[Thom Hartmann] Right.
[Greg Palast] This is actually a felony crime under the 1965 Voting Rights Act. But you know, who's the cop on the beat? At the time it was a guy named John Ashcroft. Yeah, he's going to start reading Ken Blackwell and Jeb Bush their rights, correct?
[Thom Hartmann] Yeah. Amazing. Greg, we have to wrap it up, we're just about out of time here on the segment. I've got Mark in Woodland has a comment or question for you here.
[Greg Palast] Sure. Mark?
[Thom Hartmann] Mark, Welcome to the programme, you're live with Greg Palast.
[Mark in Woodland] Hi. Thanks for taking my call. Greg, I saw your DVD and was really impressed by how you went after the Clerk or the Supervisor of Elections in 2000 in Florida.
[Greg Palast] Yeah.
[Mark in Woodland] Just seeing asking him those questions about what about these voter rolls that were discounted and all these felons that were not...
[Greg Palast] And he ran away. Yeah, he was Katherine Harris's director, election director, and then as soon as I started showing evidence that it was a deliberate fix in Florida in 2000, he jumped up, ripped off his microphone and, it was a BBC television interview, ran into his office, locked the door and called in the State Police to remove me and the camera crew!
[Thom Hartmann] Wow.
[Greg Palast] Maybe he had another appointment or something, I don't know.
[Mark in Woodland] I think you should have called the police, actually.
[Thom Hartmann] Mark, thanks for the call and thanks for the kind words. So just to recap here, Greg Palast, the book, in a minute here, the book is about a whole lot more than the 2004 election. That's just, or elections in general. That's just one chapter.
[Greg Palast] Iraq to Venezuela to class war, the whole ball of wax in New Orleans.
[Thom Hartmann] Yeah, and one of the most important things and one of the most interesting things, which is the inside front cover, which is just marvelously, graphically well done. I've never seen a book so well done. Dutton really did you good by this thing.
[Greg Palast] Yeah, think it's easy for a capitalist pig publisher to do a 4-color chart on the inside? Not easy!
[Thom Hartmann] Boy, I'm impressed! But it's the history, a secret history of the war over oil over Iraq. Give us a 1 minute summary of that, Greg Palast.
[Greg Palast] Well, you know, I know that there's conspiracy nuts that listen to your program, Thom, who think that George Bush had a plan to have secret plans for the oil fields of Iraq before the tanks rolled, but it's not true. He had 2 plans. We've got both in the book. I actually show you critical pages from each. And the weirdest thing, Thom, is that it wasn't really blood for oil. I mean, you know, come on. Most Americans think blood for oil was a bargain. It was blood for no oil. The big oil which drafted the plan out of Houston for our government jammed down the throats of the public government of Iraq was to maintain a system and create a system that would be, that would as they say, enhance Iraq's relationship with OPEC. They were afraid that Saddam was out of control and would start flooding the market with oil, smashing the world oil market, bringing down prices.
[Thom Hartmann] So by taking Iraq off line they raised the price of oil to $70 a barrel and Lee Raymond gets to walk away with his $70m.
[Greg Palast] And yes, and more.
[Thom Hartmann] And do his marvelous imitation of Mike Myers, [clip:] "The man, I'm going to eat you. I'm bigger than you. I'm higher on the food chain". He does bear an uncanny resemblance, doesn't he, to Fat Bastard.
[Greg Palast] Well, you know, mission accomplished, 70 bucks a barrel for oil, mission accomplished.
[Thom Hartmann] Yeah, you're absolutely right. Greg Palast, and the details here of Greg's upcoming event Monday night, 7pm, First Unitarian Church, SW 12th & Salmon downtown, doors open at 6:30, $8 to $15 donation, It's a fundraiser for the Portland Alliance and the Oregon Voter Rights Coalition, oregonvrc.org is the website. His new book, and you gotta buy this book. You gotta, you've got to, you must get this book. "Armed Madhouse : Who's Afraid of Osama Wolf? China Floats, Bush Sinks, The Scheme to Steal '08, No Child's Behind Left, and Other Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Class War". Great the Hunter Thompson isn't there, and you're a perfect heir to Hunter Thompson's throne there, Greg.
[Greg Palast] I even steal a line from him. You get $50 if you find it.
[Thom Hartmann] There you go. OK, I'll look for it. Greg, good talking to you and we'll see you next week.
[Greg Palast] Bye.
[Thom Hartmann] Thank you very much.