News

Original reporting, commentary, and analysis of public records by MuckRock’s staff and affiliates, with new articles every weekday.

CIA’s 60 year war with the Government Accountability Office: the conclusion

Since 1949, for 68 of CIA’s 70 years, the Agency has waged a war against the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and what CIA described as its “army of auditors.” Not until 2010 was Congress ready to grant GAO that authority, though the provision was dropped under threat of a veto from President Obama. The end result is a hard line that meant the Agency would almost certainly refuse to cooperate at all with any probe that they felt was oversight related. This interactive timeline offers a blow-by-blow of the last seven decades, explaining how and why things got to where they are today.

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Don’t call it the Deep State: CIA archive reveals existence of secret network of ex-spies

A document in CIA’s archive points to the existence of an unofficial “Common Interest Network” of retired intelligence officers. The network, also known as CIN - “as in living-in-sin” according to one of its founders - exists to coordinate the efforts of different organizations. Described as “an unofficial Intelligence Community,” it doesn’t exist except as an abstract, with no chairman, no agenda, and “not even the formality of a rotating host list.” Yet it exists, meeting to discuss influencing Congress and the press, to successfully attack the Freedom of Information Act, and to coordinate the efforts of the organizations that make up the Common Interest Network.

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Exploring trends in the CIA’s CREST database

When the CIA released its CREST database online, it created a historical treasure trove of 13 million pages, more than any one researcher is likely to ever comb through. Fortunately, we’re able to have a computer do that for you, following various trends in what the Agency is paying attention to in a given year.

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It took the Secret Service two years to answer a basic question about the Presidential election

As part of MuckRock’s coverage of all things presidential leading up to the 2016 presidential election, Matthew Guariglia sent a FOIA request to learn the identities of the “one additional member” of the advisory committee who had to decide whether or not to grant Herman Cain Secret Service protection. Two years and two mostly-redacted documents later, we have an answer. Sort of.

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Help build a comprehensive timeline of CIA’s history

For 70 years, CIA has been working on learning about and challenging threats to the United States - both imagined and real. Keeping track of all of its masked maneuvers can be a bit tricky, which is why MuckRock has begun an ongoing chronology of the Agency’s life. Join us in compiling primary sources on the Agency’s long and winding ways, and help inform others about the breadth and depth of our lead intelligence organization’s part in world affairs.

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