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 "defense secretary" ...

  • The CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley: Bringing Home America’s Fallen Correspondent: Chip Rei

    Four-story series on waste and mismanagement within the Pentagon agencies responsible for bringing home the remains of 83,000 US military personnel who never returned from battle. Despite a budget of more than $100 million, the series revealed the POW/MIA Accounting Community, as it is officially known, has a very poor record of repatriating and identifying remains. In fact, the Pentagon’s results were eclipsed by those of a non-profit charity whose work we carefully documented. Two days after our first story ran, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered a thorough review of the sprawling Pentagon bureaucracy. The CBS reporters followed up with another story when Hagel ordered a massive reorganization. The story included interviews with family members who endured years of agony while they pleaded for answers from the Pentagon. CBS also reported on a highly critical DoD Inspector General’s report months before it was officially released. The fourth story in the series tracked the work of History Flight, a charity that has successfully recovered WWII remains on the Pacific Island of Tarawa. CBS reporters traveled to Tarawa with six US Marines, now in their 90s, on their first return visit since they fought there in 1943. The series documented the emotional scene as they witnessed History Flight’s painstaking recovery of their fellow Marines. http://vimeo.com/cbseveningnews/review/115438489/56d862cc1e
  • Mexico Violence

    The June 30 press release from the Mexican Defense Secretary stated that military personnel had discovered a warehouse filled with armed men who opened fire on the troops. Soldiers repelled the attack, 22 “presumed aggressors” died – and just one soldier was wounded. The experienced Mexico staff of The Associated Press doubted the official story: 22 dead on one side, zero on the other seemed unlikely in a firefight. Correspondent Mark Stevenson set out for the warehouse in a remote area of the state of Mexico known to be rife with drug traffickers, and discovered evidence of a massacre. This series details what the AP investigation uncovered.
  • Nuclear Missteps

    After exposing low morale, training flaws and leadership lapses in the Air Force’s nuclear missile corps in a series of stories in 2013, Robert Burns used the Freedom of Information Act, tips from his network of military sources and interviews with Air Force officers at all levels to reveal in an exclusive series of stories in 2014 that the problems initially denied by the Air Force ran so deep and wide that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel declared “something is wrong” with the most high-risk arm of the U.S. military.
  • Military Medicine

    A year-long investigation by The New York Times into the United States’ military hospitals revealed systematically poor care across major safety measures, showing that the trail of patients who died needlessly, babies who were permanently damaged and surgeries that left lifelong disabilities were not just unusual events, but part of a pattern of a medical system with systemic shortcomings. These are not VA hospitals: These are the nation's little-examined 55 military hospitals. This is not about war-related injuries, but routine medical care promised to those in the military and their families. The New York Times, by analyzing statistics, proved for the first time that crucial safety measures, like performing a root cause analysis when a patient unexpectedly dies or suffers from permanent disabilities that result from medical care, were not being done. The result of the work is that, in early fall, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced major changes to the way these hospitals provide care, and called for improved safety.
  • The F-22’s Fatal Flaws

    For more than a year and a half the Brian Ross Unit investigated the potentially deadly design flaws hidden in the crown jewel of the U.S. Air Force, the F-22 Raptor, the most expensive fighter plane in history. Digital reporter Lee Ferran and editor Mark Schone produced more than 30 web reports or blogs, starting with the story of the death of a gifted pilot and mid-air scares for dozens more, and then digging into the Pentagon’s dangerous policy of letting pilots fly planes it knew were broken. The Ross team uncovered a document showing the Air Force was aware of serious design flaws in its prize plane, and its web pieces questioned whether the service valued the reputation of a troubled $79 billion weapons system more than the safety of its airmen. Part of the investigation challenged the Air Force’s conclusion that the death of F-22 pilot Capt. Jeff Haney was his own fault. The Air Force blamed Haney even though his plane suffered a catastrophic malfunction just seconds before he crashed. The online series was so powerful that both “Nightline” and “ABC World News with Diane Sawyer” asked the Ross team to prepare reports for broadcast as well. On May 2, 2012, in an exclusive interview that appeared both on-air and online, Haney’s sister, Jennifer, said that she suspected the Air Force was tarnishing her brother’s memory to keep heat off the flawed plane. After the ABC News online reports about the crash, the Pentagon’s Inspector General’s office announced it planned to review the Air Force’s investigation – the first major crash review by the IG in more than a decade. For years, the Air Force had also been contending with another mysterious and possibly deadly flaw in the F-22 -- one that randomly caused pilots to experience symptoms of oxygen deprivation. It wasn’t until ABC News began asking questions, however, that Defense Secretary Panetta was forced to address the issue publicly. The Air Force repeatedly declined Ferran’s on-camera interview requests, but said it was his dogged attempts that pushed the service to give press briefings on the plane’s problems. Finally, the investigation uncovered a 12-year-old internal document that revealed the Air Force had long been aware of one of the plane’s potentially deadly design flaws but had neglected to fix it. In 2012, under public scrutiny inspired by the Ross team’s reporting, the Air Force addressed the flaw, and made another adjustment designed to protect pilots. Since then it has reported no further oxygen deprivation incidents.
  • The Lie Factory

    An investigative piece featured in Mother Jones, this article exposes a secret Pentagon unit which was established just weeks after the events of September 11. The unit, known as the Office of Special Plans, passed on intelligence from Iraq's weapons programs and Al Qaeda ties to Vice President Cheney. According the the questionnaire, the report "also traced the links between neo-conservative Washington think tanks that had for years advocated invading Iraq, and the Pentagon unit, which was under the direction of Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Undersecretary Douglas J. Feith."
  • No Gun Ri

    The Associated Press discovered American troops had killed hundreds of refugees during the Korean War. This story drew national acclaim and influenced American foreign policy after Defense Secretary William Cohen ordered an internal army investigation and National Security Advisor Sam Berger "called the AP report disturbing". The AP used the Freedom of Information Act and "reviewed hundreds of boxes of official war journals, communications logs, action reports, radio messages, and other declassified military documents" to do the investigation.
  • (Untitled)

    National Journal article discloses an internal review of deficiencies in military readiness that was provided to Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger; finds far more serious problems than Weinberger said existed.