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.

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  • Dangerous Exposure

    Toxic chemicals seeping from industrial sites across the State of Indiana are contaminating neighborhoods and putting families at risk of dangerous exposure. 13 Investigates discovered most Indiana homeowners are in the dark about toxins lurking below the ground or in the air. The companies responsible for the contamination promised to clean up their messes as part of a voluntary program offered by the State. In exchange, the state provides participating companies legal immunity from getting sued, but 13 Investigates discovered major breakdowns in accountability. Companies hiding out in the program for decades failed to clean up as promised. At the same time Indiana's top environmental watchdog agency failed to enforce the rules to keep homeowners safe. 13 Investigates Reporter Sandra Chapman uncovers what's hidden, presses for answers and finally gets government admissions that the State simply lost track of some sites and poorly managed others. In response the state created new directives to prevent stalled cleanups from exposing neighborhoods to toxic threats. http://youtu.be/cbACoNGvHMU http://www.wthr.com/tags/dangerous-exposures
  • The Global Crisis of Vanishing Groundwater

    The historic agreement reached in Paris in December that will curb carbon emissions is heartening, but oil isn’t the only resource being pumped out of the ground at an alarming rate—with catastrophic consequences for the planet. In an eye-opening series for USA Today, The Desert Sun of Palm Springs, CA, and other Gannett newspapers, Pulitzer Center grantees Ian James and Steve Elfers investigate the consequences of groundwater depletion, an overlooked global crisis. “Groundwater is disappearing beneath cornfields in Kansas, rice paddies in India, asparagus farms in Peru and orange groves in Morocco,” writes Ian. “As these critical water reserves are pumped beyond their limits, the threats are mounting for people who depend on aquifers to supply agriculture, sustain economies and provide drinking water. In some areas, fields have already turned to dust and farmers are struggling.” Climate change will only exacerbate the crisis, yet few seem to be taking this existential threat seriously. “Even as satellite measurements have revealed the problem’s severity on a global scale, many regions have failed to adequately address the problem,” says Ian. “Aquifers largely remain unmanaged and unregulated, and water that seeped underground over tens of thousands of years is being gradually used up.”
  • Big Oil and Climate Change

    Even as major oil companies were publicly casting doubt on climate change science, they were quietly taking steps to protect their businesses from its effects.
  • Nation Institute (TomDispatch and The Intercept) coverage of the U.S. Military in Africa

    I wrote an untitled collection of articles for The Nation Institute’s TomDispatch.com and First Look Media’s The Intercept investigating the U.S. military’s extensive and largely secret operations on the African continent. Utilizing documents obtained via the Freedom of Information Act and from a whistle blower as well as a plethora of open source material, I offered a rare glimpse of the actions of a very secretive military command. Along the way, I revealed covert U.S. drone bases used for targeted killing campaigns from Yemen and Somalia to Iraq and Syria; I exposed unreported drug use and criminal behavior by U.S. forces across Africa; and shined a light on a multitude of missions in which elite U.S. forces trained alongside members of African armies regularly cited by the State Department for human rights abuses; among many other revelations. (While The Intercept may not fit the definition of a small outlet, I generally work alone and receive only spare support beyond editing. And TomDispatch is a truly tiny outlet.) https://theintercept.com/drone-papers/target-africa/ https://theintercept.com/2015/10/21/stealth-expansion-of-secret-us-drone-base-in-africa/ https://theintercept.com/2016/02/10/where-to-invade-next-is-the-most-subversive-movie-michael-moore-has-ever-made/
  • Power Wars: Inside Obama's Post-9/11 Presidency

    Power Wars is a comprehensive investigative history of national security legal policymaking during the Obama presidency. Based on interviews with more than 150 officials and access to numerous internal documents, it takes readers behind the scenes to explain why the administration governed as it did on surveillance, drone strikes, Guantanamo, interrogations, military commissions, secrecy, leak investigations, war powers, and executive power. Bringing large amounts of new information to light about internal deliberations and never-before-reported memos and events, it equips readers to grapple with the recurring accusation that Obama has acted like Bush and to understand the legacy of both presidencies. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316286575
  • Secrets of the SEALs

    The secretive and heralded Navy SEAL units, heroes of operations such as the killing of Osama bin Laden and now called upon more frequently to wage shadow wars, often operate with brutality and impunity, sometimes sabotaging the very missions they were sent to control.
  • SPECIAL FORCES AIRSTRIKES

    Freelance War Reporter Alex Quade exclusively embedded with Special Forces “A-Teams” in Iraq, as they went after high value terrorist targets & called in airstrikes with A-10s & F-16s during combat missions. Quade spent years tracking down those same aircraft, to bring the audience on ride-alongs to explain their close air support role. Quade battled military PAOs to allow her to release her video now, as it explains how airstrikes are conducted with Special Forces today in Iraq & Syria. This is the very first soup-to-nuts explainer of close air support from all angles. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUlvs3nK_YI
  • Relentless Strike: The Secret History of Joint Special Operations Command

    Relentless Strike is the first full-length history of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), the secret military organization that, away from the public eye, has become the military’s main effort in the wars of the 21st century. JSOC runs many of the United States’ most sensitive missions and commands its most secret “special mission units,” including SEAL Team 6, Delta Force and the even more secret “Army of Northern Virginia.” The book contains dozens of scoops and sheds new light on every period of JSOC’s history and virtually every major mission it has conducted. http://www.amazon.com/Relentless-Strike-History-Special-Operations/dp/1250014549/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1452551893&sr=1-1&keywords=Relentless+Strike
  • Hydrogen Energy: Pollution or Solution

    This is the result of a two-month investigation into a proposed, federally-funded "green-energy" power plant in the middle of California's Central Valley. This plant planned to gasify coal and use new technology to diminish the amount of CO2 released into the air. This would be done by using carbon sequestration in nearby oil fields, creating jobs and energy for the valley. However this report shows that while this power plant reduces CO2 emissions and creates dozens of temporary jobs, the additional environmental impacts are substantial. The plant plans to truck in coal dust past schools and neighborhoods, use millions of gallons of water a day in drought-stricken farming country, pollute the air with particulate pollution in the most polluted air region in the country, store hazardous chemicals near schools and homes, fill landfills at an alarming rate, AND at the end of it all the plant will produce at times NO electricity.
  • Big Oil, Bad Air

    Texas lies at the epicenter of the nation’s hydraulic fracturing – fracking – boom. What began in the Barnett Shale of North Texas 15 years ago has spread to the Eagle Ford Shale of South Texas and across the United States, to include regions unaccustomed to dealing with the fossil fuel industry. Until early 2014, the national media had paid little attention to the frenzy of drilling in the Eagle Ford, one of the most active shale plays in the world. It seemed the right place for us to explore a little-discussed yet critical aspect of the boom: toxic air emissions associated with wells, compressor stations and processing plants.