Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "Obama administration" ...

  • Burned: A Story of Murder and the Crime That Wasn't

    The book revisits the murder conviction of Jo Ann Parks, sentenced to life in prison without parole for allegedly murdering her three young children in 1989by setting fire to her home and trapping them inside. In re-investigating the case, the author found flawed forensic science, false and contradictory testimony, and strong evidence of cognitive bias throughout the case, including use of an unreliable informant who later recanted, and sworn expert testimony that the fire began because Parks supposedly constructed a crude “incendiary device” by deliberately overloading a sabotaged electrical extension cord. Testing later proved the cord did not and could not start a fire. Information in the book has since been added to Parks’ existing habeas corpus petition filed by the California Innocence Project, now being considered by the state Supreme Court. Additional findings suggests the problems with flawed forensic science and cognitive bias in general, and in arson investigation in particular, is widespread and has led to other wrongful convictions. Correcting the use of flawed forensic and expert testimony is hindered by the legal system’s reliance on precedent, which slows and sometimes prevents the correction of scientifically dubious ideas used to win convictions. Nascent attempts to study and change this tendency to prolong the use of flawed forensic science initiated by the Obama Administration have been shut down by the Trump Administration.
  • The Center for Public Integrity, The Texas Tribune, The Associated Press and Newsy: Blowout

    “Blowout: Inside America’s Energy Gamble” is the result of four newsrooms joining forces for the better part of a year to produce a multi-part investigation — seven stories, one full-length documentary — examining the vast scope, shadowy impetus and sweeping health and climate impacts of America’s largest oil and gas boom. Following key rule changes during the Obama administration that opened the floodgates for oil and gas exports, producers are looking to meet a growing global demand for fossil fuels — and, critics note, to inflate the need. We gave readers a cradle-to-grave look at this phenomenon, starting where the fossil fuels are pulled from the ground and ending in countries where they’re being consumed. Our series exposed the role of the U.S. government as a marketing agent for the fossil-fuel industry at a perilous time in the world’s history, with worsening climate change threatening lives, property and entire communities.
  • Benghazi: Rescue Interrupted

    Within days of the House Benghazi Committee releasing the results of its investigation, we sort through the partisanship and reveal new facts never before reported. These new facts, provided by multiple Obama administration insiders, undercut claims by Obama officials as well as both Democrats and Republicans in Congress. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rt_WzSNasG0
  • Nuclear Risks

    The Obama administration has waged an international campaign to lock down nuclear explosive materials over the past seven years, to stem the risk that a terrorist might detonate a bomb in New York, Washington, or elsewhere. But three countries in particular have proved immune to U.S. pressures for better safeguards: South Africa, Russia, and India. Our deep investigations into their nuclear activities laid bare a toxic mix of ineptitude, nationalism, and greed – and not just in foreign capitals – that keeps the world at risk.
  • Families behind the wall: The rise and fall of family detention

    A series of exclusive reports on alleged misconduct and abuse at the Obama administration’s family detention centers. There are more than 50 stories exposing a pattern of accused mistreatment of detainees – some of whom said they were sexually assaulted by guards in front of their children – at three federal facilities run by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement operated in rural Pennsylvania and Texas, far from any major city and the lawyers who worked there.
  • Government: Exposed and Accountable

    This series seeks to hold government accountable and expose undue government secrecy when it occurs. 28 Pages tells the little known story of the redacted parts of the Congressional investigation into 9/11, fourteen years after the fact. Viral Threat is our original investigation into a medical mystery the CDC doesn’t want to talk about. We discovered a strong link between an emerging polio-like virus and a new disease that’s paralyzed children nationwide. In Afghan Oasis, we investigate the maddening taxpayer waste surrounding “64k”: a U.S. military building the military didn’t ask for, said it wouldn’t use and never occupied. $36 million was spent over the objections of generals on the ground. Running on “E” is our original look at how close the Obama administration got to its goal of putting one million electric vehicles on the road by 2015. https://youtu.be/Vf6ZKLe9xoo
  • The mysterious story of the battery startup that promised GM a 200-mile car

    Quartz’s feature, “The mysterious story of the battery startup that promised GM a 200-mile car” by Steve LeVine, is a prime example of the continued vitality of classic reporting methods in investigative news. In this long-form piece, LeVine turns two years of week-by-week reporting for a book into an unusual, blow-by-blow, insider account of alleged fraud. Advances in battery technology are critical to the development of products including smartphones, airplanes, and electric cars—and Silicon Valley’s Envia at one moment was home to the most promising research breakthroughs in the US. But a phone tip told LeVine that matters were not as they seemed, leading him to burrow in on the investigation on which the piece is based. LeVine had been regularly interviewing two of the story’s characters for The Great Battery Race, his latest book, to be published in 2015 by Viking. The executives of a Silicon Valley startup were the book’s positive, climactic finish, a Hollywood ending in which General Motors licensed their technology for a triumphal 200-mile electric car, and the founders launched an IPO and got rich. It was only in September 2013, as LeVine was finishing the book, that he received the phone tip--the executives had fallen out in allegations of fraud, and GM had canceled the license. It is a story of how at least one and possibly both of the executives had fooled everyone—the Obama Administration, GM and the media—into believing they had created an enormous technological breakthrough when they had not.
  • “Leaves of Poison” and “Dying on the Farm”

    More than 75 years ago, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was signed into law. A groundbreaking achievement in the fight against child labor, the FLSA banned children from mines and factories, while also granting the Secretary of Labor the authority to protect youth from working in any other hazardous occupations. This series on child labor in agriculture uncovers how loopholes in the law continue to put child farm workers as young as 12 at risk for grave illness, injury, and death. It shows how the agriculture lobby fought back in 2012, blocking new rules that would have closed these loopholes — and that children have died as a result. “Leaves of Poison” focuses on the use of children as young as 12 to harvest tobacco in Southern tobacco fields. Tobacco is a notoriously hazardous crop, exposing field workers to acute nicotine poisoning, with symptoms that can include dizziness, vomiting, difficulty breathing, and heart rate fluctuations requiring hospitalization. The plants are also sprayed with high doses of pesticides, which pose special dangers to adolescents whose nervous systems are still developing. These dangers have led countries such as Russia and Khazakstan to ban minors from tobacco work, and the United States has donated millions to eradicate child tobacco labor overseas. But a proposed rule by the Department of Labor banning children from the harvest (and other particularly “hazardous” tasks) was withdrawn by Obama administration officials in response to concerted lobbying by the American Farm Bureau. “Dying on the Farm” was an ambitious effort to track how many child laborers have died since those rules were scuttled in April 2012, which would have barred them from performing particularly “hazardous” tasks, such as harvesting tobacco, working in manure pits and grain silos, or using heavy power machinery. The investigation shows that child farmworkers “fall through the cracks” when it comes to government tallies of work-related injuries and deaths. Nevertheless, using FOI requests to Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Workers’ Compensation offices, surveying local press clippings, and speaking with medical practitioners who work directly with farmworkers we found that at least four young farm workers-for-hire have been killed and 39 injured while doing these hazardous tasks since the rules were withdrawn. Both “Leaves of Poison” and “Dying on the Farm” movingly tell the personal stories of young workers at a risk.
  • The Suspicion Within

    Even before a former U.S. intelligence contractor exposed the secret collection of Americans’ phone records, the Obama administration was pressing a government-wide crackdown on security threats that requires federal employees to keep closer tabs on their co-workers and exhorts managers to punish those who fail to report their suspicions.
  • Immigration

    After the Homeland Security Department announced that several hundred immigrants had been released from immigration jails due to budget cuts, Associated Press reporter Alicia A. Caldwell exclusively revealed that the U.S. government actually had released more than 2,000 of them. The White House and Homeland Security Secretary disputed AP’s reporting for weeks before the Obama administration, under oath, conceded that AP had been correct all along.