Read an Interview with Matthew, the owner of CathInfo

Author Topic: Palast Charged With Journalism In The First Degree  (Read 478 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline antyshemanic

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 580
  • Reputation: +10/-0
  • Gender: Female
Palast Charged With Journalism In The First Degree
« on: September 14, 2006, 09:54:08 PM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!0
  • Palast Charged With Journalism In The First Degree
    By Greg Palast
    9-12-6
    It's true. It's weird. It's nuts. The Department of Homeland Security, after a five-year hunt for Osama, has finally brought charges against Greg Palast. I kid you not. Send your cakes with files to the Air America wing at Guantanamo.

    Though not just yet. Fatherland Security has informed me that television producer Matt Pascarella and I have been charged with unauthorized filming of a "critical national security structure" in Louisiana.

    On August 22, for LinkTV and Democracy Now! we videotaped the thousands of Katrina evacuees still held behind a barbed wire in a trailer park encampment a hundred miles from New Orleans. It's been a year since the hurricane and 73,000 POW's (Prisoners of W) are still in this aluminum ghetto in the middle of nowhere. One resident, Pamela Lewis said, "It is a prison set-up" -- except there are no home furloughs for these inmates because they no longer have homes.

    To give a sense of the full flavor and smell of the place, we wanted to show that this human parking lot, with kids and elderly, is nearly adjacent to the Exxon Oil refinery, the nation's second largest, a chemical-belching behemoth.
    So we filmed it. Without Big Brother's authorization. Uh, oh. Apparently, the broadcast of these stinking smokestacks tipped off Osama that, if his assassins pose as poor Black folk, they can get a cramped Airstream right next to a "critical infrastructure" asset.

    So now Matt and I have a "criminal complaint" lodged against us with the feds.
    The positive side for me as a journalist is that I get to see our terror-busters in action. I should note that it took the Maxwell Smarts at Homeland Security a full two weeks to hunt us down.
    Frankly, we were a bit scared that, given the charges, we wouldn't be allowed on a plane into New York last night. But what scared us more is that we were allowed on the plane.
    Once I was traced, I had a bit of an other-worldly conversation with my would-be captors. Detective Frank Pananepinto of Homeland Security told us, "This is a 'Critical Infrastructure' and they get nervous about unauthorized filming of their property.

    Well, me too, Detective. In fact, I'm very nervous that this potential chemical blast-site can be mapped in extreme detail at this Google Map location

    What also makes me nervous is that the Bush Terror Terriers have kindly indicated on the Internet that this unprotected critical infrastructure can be targeted -- I mean located -- at 30º 29' 11" N Latitude and 91º 11' 39" W Longitude.

    After I assured Detective Pananepinto, "I can swear to you that I'm not part of Al Qaeda," he confirmed that, "Louisiana is still part of the United States," subject to the first amendment and he was therefore required to divulge my accuser.

    Not surprisingly, it was Exxon Corporation, one of a handful of companies not in love with my investigations. [See "A Well-Designed Disaster: the Untold Story of the Exxon Valdez."]
    So I rang America's top petroleum pusher-men and asked their media relations honcho in Houston, Marc Boudreaux, a simple question. "Do you want us to go to jail or not? Is it Exxon's position that reporters should go to jail?" Because, all my dumb-a_ _  jokes aside, that is what's at stake. And Exxon knew we were journalists because we showed our press credential to the Exxon guards at the refinery entrance.
    The Exxon man was coy: "Well, we'll see what we can find out. Obviously it's important to national security that we have supplies from that refinery in the event of an emergency."
    Really? According to the documents our team uncovered from the offices of Exxon's lawyer, Mr. James Baker, the oil industry is more than happy to see a limit on worldwide crude production. Indeed, the current squeeze has jacked the price of oil from $24 a barrel to $64 and refined products have jumped yet higher -- resulting in a record-busting profit for Exxon of nearly $1 billion per week.

    So this silly "criminal complaint" has nothing to do with stopping Al Qaeda or keeping the oil flowing. It has everything to do with obstructing news reports in a way that no one would have dared attempt before the September 11 attack.

    Dectective Pananepinto, in justifying our impending bust, said, "If you remember, a lot of people were killed on 9/11."
    Yes, Detective, I remember that very well: my office was in the World Trade Center. Lucky for me, I was out of town that day. It was not a lucky day for 3,000 others.
    Yes, I remember "a lot" of people were killed. So I have this suggestion, Detective -- and you can pass it on to Mr. Bush: Go and find the people who killed them.

    It's been five years and the Bush regime has not done that. Instead, the War on Terror is reduced to taking off our shoes in airports, hoping we can bomb Muslims into loving America and chasing journalists around the bayou. Meanwhile, King Abdullah, the Gambino of oil, whose princelings funded the murderers, gets a free ride in the President's golf cart at the Crawford ranch.

    I guess I shouldn't complain. After all, Matt and I look pretty good in orange.

    Offline antyshemanic

    • Full Member
    • ***
    • Posts: 580
    • Reputation: +10/-0
    • Gender: Female
    Palast Charged With Journalism In The First Degree
    « Reply #1 on: September 14, 2006, 10:18:20 PM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!0
  • Quote from: antyshemanic

    On August 22, for LinkTV and Democracy Now! we videotaped the thousands of Katrina evacuees still held behind a barbed wire in a trailer park encampment a hundred miles from New Orleans. It's been a year since the hurricane and 73,000 POW's (Prisoners of W) are still in this aluminum ghetto in the middle of nowhere. One resident, Pamela Lewis said, "It is a prison set-up" -- except there are no home furloughs for these inmates because they no longer have homes.


     
    That is what I am wondering about,after a year?barbwire?
                                          :confused1:


    Offline antyshemanic

    • Full Member
    • ***
    • Posts: 580
    • Reputation: +10/-0
    • Gender: Female
    Palast Charged With Journalism In The First Degree
    « Reply #2 on: September 15, 2006, 09:56:04 AM »
  • Thanks!0
  • No Thanks!0
  • Reporter Palast Slips
    Clutches Of Homeland Security
    By Greg Palast
    9-14-6
    Forget the orange suit. Exxon Mobil Corporation, which admits it was behind the criminal complaint brought by Homeland Security against me and television producer Matt Pascarella, has informed me that the oil company will no longer push charges that Pascarella and I threatened "critical infrastructure."

    The allegedly criminal act, which put us on the wrong side of post-9/11 anti-terror law, was our filming of Exxon's Baton Rouge refinery where, nearby, 1,600 survivors of Hurricane Katrina remain interned behind barbed wire.

    I have sworn to Homeland Security that we no longer send our footage to al-Qaeda -- which, in any case, can get a much better view of the refinery and other "critical infrastructure" at Google maps.

    Given Exxon's back-down, I hope to confirm with Homeland Security, Baton Rouge, that charges will be dropped today.
    Matt and I want to thank you, our readers and viewers, for your extraordinary and heartfelt responses. Public support undoubtedly led Exxon to call off the feds.

    Of course, this was never about our tipping off Osama that Louisiana contains oil refineries. This has an awful lot to do with a petroleum giant's sensitivity to unflattering depictions of their plants which are major polluters along Louisiana's notorious "Cancer Alley."

    I've learned that, in April last year, Exxon brought a similar Homeland Security charge against Willie Fontenot, an assistant to the Attorney General of Louisiana. Fontenot was guiding a group of environmental studies pupils from Antioch College on a tour of Cancer Alley. Exxon's complaint about the "national security" threat posed by their photos of the company's facility cost Fontenot his job.

    The issue is not national security but image security. You can get all the film you want from Exxon of refineries if you'll accept nice, sanitized VPRs (video press releases) of clean smokestacks surrounded by happy herons.

    What's dangerous is not that reporters will end up in Guantanamo; the insidious effect of these threats is to keep networks from filming government and corporate filth, incompetence and inhumanity. Besides the Exxon foolishness, our camera crew was also blocked from filming inside the notorious Katrina survivors trailer encampment.

    Furthermore earlier that same day, a FEMA contractor had grabbed our camera, in mid-interview, when polite but pointed questions exposed their malfeasance.

    As with Exxon, the bar from filming at the refugee camp and in the offices of the government contractor were presented to us as a "Homeland Security" matter.

    After the September 11 attacks, CBS Newsman Dan Rather said, "George Bush is the President. Wherever he wants me to line up, just tell me where."

    Reporters who step out of line, who ask uncomfortable questions and film uncomfortable scenes, soon find their careers toasted, as Dan can attest to.

    One of George Bush's weirder acts in office (and that's saying a lot) was to move FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, whose main job is to save us from floods and earthquakes, into the control of the Department of Homeland Security. Exxon's refineries, once "pollution source points" scrutinized by government watchdogs, are now "critical infrastructure" protected by federal hounddogs.
    As the front lines in the War on Terror expand from Baghdad to Baton Rouge, we find that America has been made secure only against hard news and uncomfortable facts.
    Again, our sincere thanks and gratitude for your support. Cakes with files have been consumed.
    -- Greg Palast, New York

     

    Sitemap 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16