• The Denver Police’s field guide to Juggalos

    Back in 2010, Deputy Chris Pratt of Denver Police’s Gang/Intelligence Unit got fed up with his department’s lack of operational knowledge regarding the threat posed by the vicious street gang known as “Juggalos.” Pratt put together a guide on the “fanatical followers” of Insane Clown Posse. And now, thanks to public records, you too can know what it means to be “down with the clown.”

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  • Walks through a sunken dream: the CIA report on life on Mars

    In 1984, the CIA sent a psychic back in time to talk to Martians. This is not code language. The CIA sent psychics back in time to talk to Martians because the CIA had time-traveling spacefaring psychics. Nothing else we could say would make more sense given what the CIA had and did.

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  • Senate slams Homeland Security for linking right-wing militia movements to right-wing terrorist activity

    We’ve written before about fusion centers, Homeland Security’s post-9/11 information sharing outfits notorious for being bad their jobs, and a particularly damning 2012 congressional report that outlined in agonizing detail exactly how bad they were. However, in light of recent events, its worth revisiting the reports conclusion, which argues that fusion center’s worst sin was drawing a connection between right-wing militia movements and right-wing terrorist activity.

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  • Justice Department confirms “ongoing investigation” into Donald Trump’s presidential campaign

    Last year, Emma Best filed a FOIA with the FBI for all records on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. Within a couple months, the Bureau responded by claiming they couldn’t find anything. Emma appealed, citing the FBI’s public statements - and just this week, the Justice Department confirmed there while there were records, they couldn’t be released on grounds there is an ongoing investigation.

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  • The truly terrible Cold War poetry hidden in the CIA’s archives

    As we’ve written about before, the CIA’s obsessive scrapbooking led to the preservation of quite a few bizarre artifacts in its declassified archives - and perhaps none are stranger than this collection of terrible topical poems, which, through tortured rhyming couplets, offer the author’s takes on geopolitics, race relations, and the merits of “Captain Kangaroo.”

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  • “Sarcasm” is an acceptable defense for attempted regicide in Lady Diana’s FBI file

    Diana, Princess of Wales, died twenty years ago this month. Her surprisingly slight FBI file, released via the Bureau’s FOIA reading room, covers two separate investigations into possible threats against her life. It includes someone “sarcastically” claiming they mailed her and Charles a bomb as a wedding present.

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  • Between the election and the inauguration, the NYPD spent an estimated $35 million guarding Trump Tower

    Back in January, MuckRock’s Beryl Lipton filed public records requests with the NYPD for how much the city was spending in security details for President-elect Donald Trump. Those budgets just came in last week, and they confirm reports that Trump was costing his hometown the equivalent of a President’s annual salary every day.

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  • Ernest Hemingway, the FBI, and the aborted duel

    FBI files on Ernest Hemingway document the author’s late-life feud with a New Zealand journalist in Cuba that apparently came close to causing an international incident - and led to the 55-year old Hemingway being challenged to a duel.

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  • CIA psychic program undone by a burrito

    By the early ’90s, the multi-agency program investigating psychic phenomenon known as STARGATE was nearing its end. After decades of dubious “remote viewing” experiments, the CIA been tasked by Congress with consolidating and evaluating the program’s efficacy - and little did anyone know, but that evaluation was about to be heavily influenced by one subject’s lunch.

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  • How long does your state have to respond to your public records request?

    As part of ongoing project to document every state’s public records law, MuckRock looked at the policies governing how long an agency has to respond to a records request. While most states have clear deadlines, 10 are worryingly vague. Five don’t have any timeline at all.

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