Saturday, November 5, 2011

The 1% who get the gold mine (we get the shaft)

Greg Palast

[Wall Street, New York] No one here in Zuccotti Park is protesting "Wall Street." Wall Street is just an address, just a street sign on a post.

The 99% Movement is about Them: the 1%. The 1% who own Wall Street and all our streets and have posted a foreclosure notice on the entire planet.

The 1% who get the gold mine while we get the shaft.

For five years, I've been quietly working on a four-continent investigation about Them, the 1%.

I've put it all in a new book. I could have called it Lives of the Rich and Shameless, but I've chosen this: Vultures' Picnic — in Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates and High-Finance Carnivores.

Vultures' Picnic hits book stores on November 14. Click on the images to see the films, the slideshow, the excerpts—and order it right now.

In Vultures' Picnic, my crew of journalist-detectives chase down British Petroleum bag men, CIA operatives, nuclear power con men — and "The Vultures," billionaire financial speculators who, through bribery, flim-flam and political muscle, take entire nations hostage for mega-profits.

The action begins when the Deepwater Horizon explodes in the Gulf of Mexico and a confidential cable arrives on Miss Badpenny's desk from a terrified insider. He has the real, hushed-up facts of the disaster—which can only be found hidden in the files of a Central Asian dictatorship.

I set off for Baku to investigate the whereabouts of millions of dollars in a brown valise personally delivered by Lady Thatcher and BP's CEO. Then I jump the globe to an Eskimo village after receiving an extraordinary note from the Chief of Intelligence of the Free Republic of the Arctic.

It doesn't stop: a nuclear industry executive's plane goes down with him—and his files of incriminating evidence.

It's a tale of oil company hit men, nuclear fraudsters and financial jackals.

But more, it's my own story; of an investigator on the hunt, not quite sure why I'm doing it—and honestly, failing as often as I succeed.

This week, Pacifica radio called Vultures' Picnic, "Palast's best; a real-life espionage tale, a detective novel—but it's scarier because it's all true."

It's pulp non-fiction. Columbo with marital issues and a dying father.

I'm asking you to order it today to get us back to the top of the bestseller lists.

The success of The Best Democracy Money Can Buy changed the way America looks at elections (yes, Virginia, they get stolen). Let's make Vultures' Picnic a "best spoiler," to spoil the feast of the 1% and expose the so-called "job creators" as the economic carnivores they are.

Read the excerpts, watch the films embedded in the eBook editions, and check out the slide show at

Join us on our 15-city tour which begins November 13. Info at:

Greg Palast's reports can be seen on BBC Television Newsnight, in The Guardian and on Democracy Now!

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