Congresswoman Bella Abzug infamously had issues with trusting CIA when it came to their handling evidence of illegal and improper Agency activities. Internal memos shows those fears were well-founded - while the Congresswoman fought to prevent the destruction of records of CIA wrongdoing, the Agency rushed to begin destroying everything they could.
After filing near 50 public records requests tracking regulations that may or may not exist on bail enforcement agents (also commonly called bail recovery agents or bounty hunters), is that the industry is almost entirely devoid of any meaningful oversight. A perfect illustration of this comes to us from North Dakota’s Insurance Department, which helpfully provided a lone audio file concerning a violent struggle by an unlicensed bounty hunter team, and a single complaint written by a woman whose brother had experienced the wrath of an abusive bail agent.
In 1985, citing concerns regarding “difficulty determining what has been publicly disclosed,” the CIA had a truly great idea that would serve both the Agency and the public’s interest in government transparency - a “proposal to establish a focal point to record CIA information released to the public.” The resulting Officially Released Information System, or ORIS, would take years to finally implement, and thanks to a recent FOIA, it might finally become the transparency tool it has the potential to be.
Curious to see what the email inbox of controversial Gubernatorial candidate Corey Stewart looked like after his comments attacking proponents of removing Confederate Statue, Virginian native Tom Nash filed a public records request. After some pushback, the commonwealth relented, and what they released makes for a fascinating read.
One of the dilemmas of reading declassified documents is that readers are constantly faced with the question of whether or not to take the exemptions at face value - after all, CIA redacts beer brands and cafeteria names while claiming to “protect sources and methods.” Doing so erodes faith in the Agency’s choices to redact certain pieces of information, creating a situation where one of two possibilities are likely: that the CIA chose to improperly redact information to protect itself from embarrassment regarding improper activities, or that some of those activities are still seen as at least potentially valid.
In the next few weeks President Donald Trump is slated to release a highly-anticipated plan for an overhaul of the nation’s infrastructure, and with an anticipated total tag of nearly a trillion dollars, there will certainly be plenty of feeders fighting at the trough of public funds.
The houses of the Texas State Congress effectively split on whether to consider immigrant detention centers as “child care”-like facilities, keeping a federal judgement on acceptable standards for family detention in place for now.
As recent Securities and Exchange Commission filings from the Alaska Department of Revenue show, these investments can cover the gamut of companies, as one might expect from a diversified portfolio
Home to dozens of prisons, Arizona is a hotbed for private corrections, which operate local jails, state facilities, and immigrant detention centers. Public records can help gain entry to how things are going in the prison champion of the West.
The last section of Malcolm X’s 10,000 plus page FBI file concerns the Bureau’s electronic surveillance of the activist shortly before his death. For months, agents listened to X’s phone calls, photographed his comings and goings, and even considered bugging his Queens residence - only to hastily discontinue the operation for fear it would taint a potential conviction.
FBI file casts doubt on Bureau’s investigation into the suspicious death of journalist Danny Casolaro
The FBI file for the suspicious death of journalist Danny Casolaro is obviously incomplete, but does reveal several key things. First, the FBI’s sources contradicted what the DOJ would declare were the motives behind Casolaro’s “suicide.” Second, the file shows that the Bureau lied to members of Congress about not investigating Casolaro’s death. Third, documents show that the FBI agents who did investigate it questioned the conclusion of suicide, even though doing so was understood to be a threat to their careers.
Actress Ethel Merman and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover had a friendship spanning from 1938 until Hoover death in 1972. But personal insights aside, was there any benefits to being among the Bureau’s BFFs? According to the singer’s personal FBI file, to be rich in friends isn’t always enough to keep you in riches.
In the white heat of the Red Scare, journalists were often at the center of the unceasing national probe over patriotism. Over 700 pages of files on Edward R. Murrow detail the FBI’s intricate special inquiry into the legendary American newsman.
Hawaii has 1,951 untested rape kits, some dating back to the early ’90s. However, a new program created by a working group of police departments, sexual assault treatment programs, and prosecuting attorneys seeks to fix that by examining other evidence collection policies across the country.
Just last year San Jose rewrote their penal code to test every backlogged rape kit in their system. However, due to a number of legal circumstances where police departments aren’t required to have kits tested, over half of San Jose’s untested kits don’t count as part of the “official” backlog
Thousands upon thousands of sexual assault evidence collection kits have gone untested and the crimes perpetrators unpunished. MuckRock is starting a crowdsourced effort to understand the extent of the problem in cities and towns across the country.
There are an estimated 175 thousand sexual assault evidence collection kits that sit untested in evidence rooms and crime labs across the country. But after asking each state and Washington, D.C. for policies regarding the “collection, maintenance, transfer, and disposal” of these kits, what few responses we did receive were disturbingly inconsistent.