• Five of the strangest theories in Albert Einstein's FBI file

    Five of the strangest theories in Albert Einstein’s FBI file

    As one of the most prominent figures of the 20th Century - not to mention an ardent pacifist during the height of the Cold War - it’s not altogether surprising that Albert Einstein’s Federal Bureau of Investigation file stretches several thousand pages. But while Einstein’s sharp critique of U.S. policy at home and abroad gave the J. Edgar Hoover’s Bureau plenty to work with, some of the other concerns raised in the file were dubious at best. At worst, there were Nazi death beams.

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  • Cooking with FOIA: The CIA's classified crab dip

    Cooking with FOIA: The CIA’s classified crab dip

    In the mid ’70s, then-Director of Central Intelligence George H. W. Bush was asked in a letter by the Houston, Texas chapter of the Knights of Columbus if he’d be willing to write a short article on the subject of the upcoming U.S. Bicentennial for their monthly newsletter. A copy of said newsletter was included, which is how the May 1976 edition of “The Challenger” - including its recipe for crabmeat au gratin - ended up classified as a national security secret for over 30 years.

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  • A FOIA beginner's guide to requesting a FBI file

    A FOIA beginner’s guide to requesting a FBI file

    One of questions we’re most frequently asked at MuckRock is how to request the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s files on an individual. To help clear up the process, we’ve compiled this simple flowchart to make sure you have everything you need before you file that FOIA.

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  • FBI's campaign to discredit HUAC protests as Communist agitation faced internal pressures

    FBI’s campaign to discredit HUAC protests as Communist agitation faced internal pressures

    With nationwide protests calling for the abolishment of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and countercharges alleging that such movements are the work of sinister foreign agents intent on sowing discord, it’s worth revisiting a similar period in American history when the Federal Bureau of Investigation framed opposition to House Un-American Activities Committee as Communist agitation - and faced pushback even within its own ranks.

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  • The CIA's dogs of war

    The CIA’s dogs of war

    MuckRock has previously written about some of the surprising photographic finds in the Central Intelligence Agency’s archives, including a stray cat that was considered a state secret for 50 years. Proving that they’re equal opportunity creature classifiers, records recently uncovered in CREST show photos of World War II military working dogs which weren’t made public until 2013 - nearly 70 years after they were taken.

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  • FBI file on Josephine Baker details plot to sabotage singer's trip to Cuba

    FBI file on Josephine Baker details plot to sabotage singer’s trip to Cuba

    Beginning in the early ’50s, the Federal Bureau of Investigation began keeping what would become an extensive file on the singer and civil rights activist Josephine Baker, tracking with great interest her comments in the international press critical of racial discrimination in the U.S. Though the Bureau never formally opened an investigation into Baker, it fielded several requests from the Immigration and Naturalization Service to collect derogatory information that would help make the case for denying her a visa and barring her entry to the country.

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  • This week’s round-up: Declassified doggos, pizza party PR, and the high cost of fighting transparency in Chicago

    This week’s round-up: Declassified doggos, pizza party PR, and the high cost of fighting transparency in Chicago

    For this week’s FOIA round-up, an adorable lesson on why to always be FOIA-ing, shocking evidence that pizza and infrastructure are popular, and Chicago’s mayor finds out the hard way that doing business in secret can cost you.

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  • Five ways to use FOIA to explore the FBI's 110 year history

    Five ways to use FOIA to explore the FBI’s 110 year history

    We’re celebrating the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s birthday with a look at five different ways MuckRock users have used FOIA to bring shed light on the Bureau’s 11 decades of skulking around in America’s shadows.

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  • Declassified letters show CIA's indignation over ex-employee Peace Corps ban

    Declassified letters show CIA’s indignation over ex-employee Peace Corps ban

    In a series of letters and memos from late 1983 unearthed in the Central Intelligence Agency’s archives, CIA Director William J. Casey expressed dismay over the Peace Corps’s lifetime ban on former Agency employees, claiming that it could set a precedent that would lead to the unfair stigmatization of those “tainted” by the CIA’s activities.

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  • This week’s round-up: FBI gets shady on dark web bust, records show Trump trips cost thousands, and Texas comes down hard on public records violations

    This week’s round-up: FBI gets shady on dark web bust, records show Trump trips cost thousands, and Texas comes down hard on public records violations

    For this week’s FOIA round-up, the Federal Bureau of Investigation claims it can withhold footage of a dark web bust it had already made public, Secret Service records show a five-figure bill for a First Family visit to a Trump International Hotel in Canada, and a rare indictment for violating public records laws gets handed down in Texas.

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