• Better know a private prison giant: Geo Group’s Board of Directors

    Who’s overseeing America’s largest for-profit immigration detention operation? More than a few familiar faces, including former leaders at the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and Department of Justice.

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  • Suicides are often missing from gun violence data

    When it comes the debate around to gun violence, we’re bombarded by tragedies like Columbine, Sandy Hook, San Bernardino, the list goes on. But framing the issue around mass shootings misses a crucial point: guns are not only being used to kill other people. Overwhelmingly, they’re being used by people ending their own lives.

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  • Minneapolis Police Department spent $13 million on lawsuits and settlements over the last five years

    Records released this month by Minneapolis Police show the department has spent $13 million in officer conduct lawsuits and settlements since 2011, spending as much as $4.2 million in one year.

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  • Reflections on Standing Rock

    Thanks to a grant from the Fund for Investigative Journalism, I had the privilege of visiting both North and South Dakota and speak with witnesses and victims of the widespread police violence that occurred on the north border of the Standing Rock Reservation. There will be plenty of follow-up in the weeks to come, but while the memory’s still fresh, I wanted to share an initial reflection from traveling to the treaty lands of the Dakotas.

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  • The CIA’s six most dangerous FOIA topics

    In a 1978 memo urging the curbing of the newly-empowered Freedom of Information Act, the CIA compiled a list of six FOIA request topics considered to be the most potentially dangerous to the Agency’s reputation.

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  • Utility complaints about dubious energy “deals” surging in Massachusetts

    If you live in Boston, you might have had a knock on your door, and then opened it to see one or two individuals, each with an official-looking ID on a lanyard, who will immediately launch into their script - they’re “with” your energy company, and would like to offer you an opportunity to sign up for a fixed rate. And while they aren’t exactly door-to-door scammers, that rate they sign you up for may end up costing you far more than you currently pay. A request submitted to the Department of Public Utilities shows that the number of complaints filed against these companies has drastically increased over the past eight years.

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  • The wit, wisdom, and pitch-black cynicism of the National War College

    In 1988, then-Deputy Director of the CIA Robert Gates gave a talk at the National War College that left enough of an impression that a line or two ended up in the college’s end of the year “Book of Proverbs, Jokes, and Other Comments.” The Agency, never one to let a mention go unarchived, then preserved said book for posterity in CREST. Let’s just say there’s more than a few folks who’d probably prefer that didn’t happen.

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  • Better know a private prison giant: CoreCivic’s Board of Directors

    Who’s overseeing America’s largest for-profit prison operation? More than a few familiar faces, including one former head of a federal law enforcement agency.

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  • The CIA’s private press pool was a secret even inside the Agency

    On September 17th in 1965, an odd memo was sent within the CIA praising nearly a decade’s worth of unofficial briefings with the press. Seemingly out of the blue, numerous contacts between Ray Cline, CIA’s Deputy Director for Intelligence, and the press were suddenly admitted and enumerated. When the memo was first discovered, it was unclear what prompted it, however another, recently unearthed memo implies that it came about because of a threat from a member of the Agency’s private press pool.

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  • FBI investigated a group of Dungeons and Dragons players as part of the Unabomber case

    FBI files released to CJ Ciaramella reveal that as that Bureau investigated a group of Dungeons and Dragons players as potential leads in the Unabomber case. A 1995 memo notes that the loosely-knit group of gamers were “armed and dangerous,” as well as “overweight and not neat in appearance.”

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