Ernie Pyle, the legendary journalist and war correspondent who died in Japan at the end of World War II, had a typically complicated relationship with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
MuckRock asked Russ Kick, the investigative archivist behind the Memory Hole and AltGov, to offer his thoughts on the Department of the Interior’s proposed changes to how it would handle FOIA requests - and what we can do to push back against it.
The occupation of the Bureau of Indian Affairs building by the American Indian Movement resulted in lost and damaged property, and a number of documents being stolen from the building. The Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated some of these thefts, including an alleged plot by journalists Jack Anderson and Les Whitten to pay for these records. The FBI file on the affair describes how a retired Justice Department senior official contacted the Bureau’s current staff to vouch for Whitten, referencing his history of cooperating with the FBI as a confidential informant.
Want to explore the cutting edge of public records, while helping reporters, researchers, and others get more out of these critical laws? Apply to be MuckRock’s Sam Whitmore Media Survey Fellow and spend eight months with transparency as your beat, tracking changing laws, developing new FOIA strategies, and working on reporting and resources that will help all requesters.
Included in the most recent batch of Federal Bureau of Investigation records regarding the Church of Scientology is the script for a play written by COS’s Ministry of Public Relations in order to counter the “inflammatory statements” being made by a “dissident church member.” Making light of what they call the “comic book flair” of the rogue ex-Scientologist’s claims, the play consists of an interview between him and “the greatest reporter of them all,” Superman’s alter-ego, Clark Kent - whose secret identity is safe, thanks to the Bureau’s redaction.