Greg Palast on Why Clinton Didn’t Push for Michigan Recount – Part 2 of 2
Greg Palast tells Paul Jay that there are 75,000 uncounted Clinton votes, but she won’t push for a recount because the elite will defend the fake monstrosity called the US electoral system even when their personal interests are at stake
PAUL JAY: And welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Paul Jay in Baltimore. In his film, released just a few months before the 2016 election, Greg Palast predicted that Donald Trump would steal that election and go on to win. I think he may have been more surprised than anybody when his film turned out to be making a correct prediction, but here he is, and he’s going to join us to tell us why and how he thinks it was done. Thanks for joining us, Greg.
GREG PALAST: Glad to be with you, Paul.
PAUL JAY: All right. So just quickly: Greg is an investigative reporter. He works for The Rolling Stone, The Guardian newspaper. He’s also the author of the New York Times bestseller The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, and he’s got a new film out now based on that book, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: Billionaires & Ballot Bandits. He’s also the author of the books Armed Madhouse and Vulture’s Picnic.
PAUL JAY: Now, we’ve heard a lot about voter fraud. But the voter fraud is like this thing. People voting twice, and then–
GREG PALAST: Yeah. That’s exactly how they get away with it. They yell, “Voter fraud, voter fraud,” and this is how you get systems like this Crosscheck system and, like, there’s alien voters, etcetera, and there’s all this hysteria about a million people swimming the Rio Grande to vote for Hillary. So that’s all illustrated in our film, as well, and we call it the Hysteria Factory. Here’s the clip.
START VIDEO CLIP
GREG PALAST: So, how do they get away with it? Creating these obstacles to voting? Easy. The Kochs and their minions, like the Heritage Foundation, they yell, “Voter fraud,” and the media eats it up.
MAN: Voter registration fraud.
MAN: Voter fraud.
MAN: Voter fraud.
MAN: Voter fraud.
MAN: Voter fraud.
MAN: Voter fraud.
GREG PALAST: To settle the nonsense of mass voter fraud, they built…
GREG PALAST: …the Hysteria Factory. They claimed there are millions of dead voters–
MAN: Adolph Hitler, yes, that name has now appeared on an Ohio voter registration card.
GREG PALAST: … voters. Ghost voters. Alien voters.
MAN: In 2010, there were approximately 50 Somalians stealing my vote.
MAN: Hey! Hey! Look to me! They’re not human! Can’t you see? Everyone, they’re here already!
GREG PALAST: And now! Double voters.
MAN: Probably over a million people that voted twice in this election.
END VIDEO CLIP
PAUL JAY: Okay. So who’s paying for all this?
GREG PALAST: Yeah. Vote theft isn’t cheap, and to create a whole Hysteria Factory to convince the public that there is a massive amount of voter fraud, you need a very, very expensive multi-million dollar operation involving think tanks, involving, whether it’s Fox News or even — you’ll see these reports, by the way, on NBC and PBS. You know, it’s not just the Fox News right-wing stuff, they all get planted with these stories of “the fraudulent voters.”
Who’s behind setting this up? Okay? So we talk about there’s… you know, if you look at places like Heritage Foundation, and other think tanks, and kind of controlled media, but who’s the money? We follow the trail back, and we find two brothers named Charles and David Koch, and there’s a little story, and what some of the evidence I got on them comes from a little rat who you’ll see in this film about the Koch Brothers.
PAUL JAY: Okay, here’s the clip.
START VIDEO CLIP
GREG PALAST: Twenty years ago, David and Charles Koch were the richest guys you’ve never heard of. They got their money the old-fashioned way. They stole it from the Indians, like this. The Osage Indians, poorer than dirt, let the Kochs truck away oil from their Oklahoma reservation. Koch would pay for 90 barrels of oil, but Charles told their truckers to take 100. One of Koch’s buddies told us that when he asked Charles why a billionaire would skim $3 a week from some poor Indian family, Koch said, “I want my fair share. And that’s all of it.”
Three bucks a week per Indian added up to over $1 billion for the Kochs. The FBI and federal prosecutors wrote up a criminal indictment that could put Charles behind bars for theft and racketeering. But the Kochs got their buddy, Kansas Senator Bob Dole, to get the prosecutor replaced with a crony, and the criminal indictment went poof.
The Kochs then gave the Senator $100,000 — which federal authorities made him give back. In 1995, Koch Oil was charged with 312 criminal counts of dumping 3 million gallons of oil sludge into rivers in six states. Rather than comply with the law, they decided to buy control of the entire US Congress to change the law. How? The answer came from an insider who called me to rat on Charles and David — their little brother Billy.
Triad? Holy mama! Triad was the secret conduit of those millions to a front called Coalition for Our Children’s Future. “The Children” ran ads linking Democrats to child molesters, wife-beaters, and they accused one Democrat of being Jewish. Oy vey. The smear worked, and the Koch Republicans took control of the 105th Congress. If Koch Industries had secretly funded Triad then the brothers had committed a go-to-jail crime — at the time it was illegal for corporations to grease political campaigns. Doesn’t matter. In the case of Citizens United, the Supreme Court decriminalized campaign contributions by corporations, like ISIS Inc. and Manson and Company.
Billy Koch also told me that his brothers had put up over 75 million bucks to set up a series of think tanks and front groups, including Citizens for a Sound Economy, which the Kochs morphed into FreedomWorks which drafted the demands for a group of cross-dressers called the Tea Party. Their first target: eliminate the EPA: the Environmental Protection Agency, the pollution police giving the Kochs such a hard time. The Kochs also fund the Heritage Foundation, which promotes the mass purge of voter rolls.
And the Heritage Foundation’s latest crusade? Kansas Interstate Crosscheck. I get Badpenny on the case to connect Mr. Crosscheck Kobach…
WOMAN: Okay, pay attention.
GREG PALAST: …and the brothers Koch.
WOMAN: Koch Brothers. They’ve hired Whitney Ball to run their money-funneling outfit, the Donors Capital Fund … Heritage Foundation, Corporation of American … hundred thousand … The bill called SB 1070 … anti-immigration … trust, over a million to NumbersUSA, a hundred thousand … Got that?
GREG PALAST: So the Kochs shoved a pile of cash to Donors Trust, which gave a cool million to NumbersUSA, which dropped 100 grand on Farmers Branch — and that’s the mystery money that went to Kobach. So, Kobach’s just another spider in the Koch web, taking their cash and now he’s bleaching the voter rolls for the Kochs.
END VIDEO CLIP
PAUL JAY: Okay. So, here’s, in some ways, what I think is the real question: Why the hell aren’t Clinton and the Democrats screaming blue murder? Why don’t they expose this? Why don’t they denounce this? Why are they so acquiescent with it? It reminds one of Gore in 2000 where he throws in the towel rather quickly, doesn’t want to fight it out over Florida, and there’s plenty of evidence here that you’ve and others have… and they’re not saying a word.
GREG PALAST: Look, back in Florida, I’m the guy that uncovered that thousands of black men were called felons and, in fact, their only crime was voting while black, but they were removed from the voter rolls and that elected George Bush. In fact, I’ve got a cartoon in the film about that. But… so Gore knew about it. I knew Gore knew about it. I got the inside word from his organization that when my story was about to break in the US — because it had already been shown at the top of the BBC Nightly News — and Gore was warned off, personally warned off by Warren Christopher, “Don’t touch this stuff, your career is toast if you complain and undermine the American system. Good or bad.” Gore is now almost a billionaire, he’s got the Nobel Prize at–
PAUL JAY: Just had a nice little meeting with Trump, and Trump’s daughter Ivanka.
GREG PALAST: Yeah. I mean, so… you know, he’s got a pretty good booby prize for agreeing to take the dive to the mat.
And now, this time, here you have another problem for Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Establishment. They stole votes with both hands during the primary against Bernie Sanders. Their hands are not clean. And state after state where I go, I see the Democratic Establishment going after the same voters — the black voters, the Latino voters, the student voters, the progressives. Because you’d have a very, very different Democratic Party if those voters got to vote. So they don’t want those voters to vote, and we talked in the film about those placebo ballots — the provisional ballots, as they’re called — well, there were one million provisional ballots never counted in California.
PAUL JAY: What you mean is that these votes likely would’ve gone to Sanders, which is why you would’ve had a different Democratic Party.
GREG PALAST: Yeah, different. Sanders. And throughout the nation, you see progressive forces within the Democratic Party who suddenly end up short in primaries because the votes aren’t counted. So the Democrats are old hands at vote suppression. And the attack on the minority voter and low income voters. I saw the worst cases in New Mexico, okay? Where the Democratic Party has complete control. And so, then they don’t even mind losing some elections if they don’t lose control of the party. So, this is, I think, one of the very, very big problems is that they do it, too — but generally in the primaries.
PAUL JAY: There seems to be another reason, too, which I think partly affected Gore and Clinton, too — and they even articulate it in some way — how quickly Clinton had to come out and say, “We respect the results,” and even on Jill Stein’s recount they were very wary of getting involved. This idea of defending a very rotten system, on the other hand, they need to defend it because if you start opening a Pandora’s Box, you’re right, you don’t know where it leads.
GREG PALAST: There’s another thing. These people are the system, and they have to defend their system, just like in the book Darkness at Noon. You read that the followers of Stalin were singing his praises and the praise of the Communist Party while they were walking to their own execution — because it’s their life was invested in this system. Hillary Clinton was created by this rotten system. Okay? And let me tell you, her husband’s career was launched by the Democratic Leadership Council, the DLC, which was funded by $100,000 from the Koch brothers. So, they are part of that system. And they can’t bring that system down by challenging it.
And so, Hillary Clinton, for example, said, “I will respect the results of the election,” even when they’re clearly phony. She wouldn’t back the so-called recount which, as I said, is the count of the uncounted votes in Michigan. And the judge, ultimately a federal judge, finally said, “This count has got to stop because Jill Stein and the Green party, you can count the votes a hundred times. Ms. Stein, you can’t win. We need Hillary Clinton, as the aggrieved party, she must come in.”
PAUL JAY: And she wouldn’t do it.
GREG PALAST: And say, “Count those votes,” And I said there’s 75,000 votes with her name on them that she did not want counted. She wouldn’t do it because that would be to attack something even more important than winning the presidency — and that’s the entire system that created the Clintons and created Trump and created this fake monstrosity we call a US electoral system.
When Joe Biden said, “Our electoral system is the envy of the world,” I’m thinking, he’s only been to Kazakhstan then. Because when I’m in London for the BBC, when I’m in Berlin for ARD, their giant station there, when I’m in Buenos Aires, for the big southern South American stations, they are both laughing and terrified of what our system’s going to come up with next. No one thinks our system works.
When I did the story, The Steal of Florida, with wiping out black men, calling them felons and it was fake, the rest of the world got that story on page one in The Guardian, top of the nightly news BBC — all over the world, everywhere but the United States. In fact, if it weren’t for The Real News Network, I’m not sure much of it would’ve finally made it through that electronic Berlin Wall.
So the rest of the world knows, and they’re scared. But one thing that’s amazing to me always, even when their personal interests are at stake, the elite circles its wagons, all their wagons, and defends their crowd. Because, in the end, it’s one little group, like, you know, there’s that picture… that picture at Trump’s wedding with Hillary and Bill smiling with him. It’s one little crowd, and one little club.
PAUL JAY: All right. Thanks for joining us, Greg.
GREG PALAST: Okay.
PAUL JAY: Thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.