On April 14, 1987 the Village Voice once again made itself the target of a Federal Bureau of Investigation leak investigation when it published an article based on a leaked memo apparently confirming an Iran-Contra cover-up, amidst leaks and counter-leaks by whistleblowers and politically maneuvering Reagan Administration officials.
An additional 57 pages of Federal Bureau of Investigation documents shed more light on the FBI’s 1976 investigation into The Village Voice and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press regarding the publication of the classified and censored Pike Committee report. The documents reveal details of how the Bureau approaches espionage investigations of news outlets and journalism organizations.
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.
In early 1984, then-Director of the Central Intelligence Agency William Casey kicked off the “Pursuit of Excellence” campaign, which encouraged Agency employees to be the best at what they do. But before they could do that, they first had to figure out what, exactly, the CIA should be doing - prompting a frank discussion about the Agency’s goals and an even franker admission that eliminating FOIA should be on the agenda.
Documents in the Central Intelligence Agency’s declassified archive show that the Department of Justice had a list of 11 questions that they wanted answered before the Federal Bureau of Investigation would investigate an unauthorized disclosure. The questions not only highlight some of what the DOJ considered the crucial facts, they help show why so many federal leak cases are never prosecuted.