Author Greg Palast Reveals 'Vulture's Picnic' Deadly Findings

Geg PalastGreg Palast, author of the new best-seller Vulture’s Picnic, will describe his latest revelations on deadly environmental hazards on Dec. 14 during a dinner-lecture at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. The author of previous best-sellers Armed Madhouse and The Best Democracy Money Can Buy will talk at 7 p.m. to the McClendon Group, which for a quarter of a century has featured those with important messages regarded as too controversial for the increasingly timid mainstream media.

John Edward Hurley -- chairman of the McClendon Group and a longtime leader of Washington press, historical, church and veterans groups that include the Justice Integrity Project -- provided the following introduction to Palast’s talk: "The Nation describes Greg Palast as, 'A cross between Sam Spade and Sherlock Holmes.'”John Edward Hurleyh

Hurley, shown at right, continued:

He exposed how Florida officials under Gov. Jeb Bush used electronic chicanery to remove 91,000 eligible voters (and likely Democrats) from the rolls just before the 2000 election. Those crimes stole our Presidential election while most in the media stood silent. Drawing on his background as a private eye investigating oil disasters, he’s just published what’s even more frightening: Vulture’s Picnic: In Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates, and High-Finance Carnivores.

He and his team of journalist/detectives allege that the BP’s explosion last year in the Gulf of Mexico was an entirely predictable result of the company’s shocking safety track record elsewhere. This includes 1989 in Alaska (where Palast shows that BP was the primary villain) and the oil-rich Caspian states. His first-hand research documents a trail of oil, blood, bribery, death and heartbreak. It leads from heinous spills in Bolivia to the heartless BP victim compensation process for the Gulf -- and on to this year’s nuclear disaster in Japan.

This is the most personal of Palast’s books as he describes how he ended up in an MBA program with “The Chicago Boys” under Milton Friedman as they devised a free-market ideology to privatize social safety nets around the world. As a member of the media, he must also describe why his peers don’t dare cover these stories. In fact, CNN host Piers Morgan in his previous life as a London newspaper editor unleashed a vicious sting against Palast, complete with a beautiful “honey-trap,” that rocked UK tabloids and came close to finishing his career.

Palast has promised several new revelations held especially for the audience at the Press Club. Much of the book focuses on the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico last year, along with antecedent oil disasters in Alaska, Bolivia and the Caspian Sea region. Members of the public are invited to attend. The program includes an optional Dutch Treat dinner beginning at 6:30 p.m.