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 "pentagon" ...

  • Pentagon secretly struck back against Iranian cyberspies targeting U.S. ships

    In the middle of June, tensions were rising between the United States and Iran. Iran had attacked oil tankers traveling through the Strait of Hormuz, and then downed an expensive, high-tech Navy RQ-4 Global Hawk surveillance drone flying over the Strait, upping the ante of the conflict. Given previous rhetoric from Trump administration officials including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo against the Iranian regime, the decision to exit the Iran deal or the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and the increasingly heavy sanctions on Iran, the Yahoo News team was monitoring for chances to report in more depth on specific Iranian capabilities as well as U.S. plans to counter them. Following the attack on the U.S. drone, Yahoo News began communicating with sources who had extensive detail on a specific unit within the Iranian military in the cross-hairs of the U.S. military, a unit that had advanced its cyber capabilities to the point that it was able to track nearly all ships traveling through the Strait through both social engineering, or pretending to be attractive women engaging with service members traveling on the ships, to actually compromising ship GPS data websites in order to digitally monitor their paths. In the course of reporting, Yahoo News discovered a key, news breaking event—that just hours prior, the U.S. Cyber Command had launched a retaliatory strike aimed at limiting the capabilities of the specific Iranian cyber group the team had already been investigating. Yahoo was the first to break the news of the retaliatory strike, leading dozens of major news outlets to race to match the story. However, given the fact Yahoo News was investigating details into the cyber unit, our story was not only first but best and most detailed. The story demonstrates our ability to jump into the news cycle, provide key breaking news to our readers, as well as dig deep into illuminating new details. The story also revealed that Iranian capabilities to intercept and down drones to study them for espionage purposes was highly advanced, a fact previously unknown. Given President Trump’s recent decision to authorize a strike to kill IRGC Commander Qasem Suleimani, our reporting will continue to provide value to readers, analysts, and other interested parties hoping to better understand Iranian capabilities and how the U.S. might respond to them.
  • #UkraineDocs

    Our principal three stories — written by Smith and published on Dec. 13, Dec. 20, and Jan. 2 — revealed first that the Trump administration was hiding critical information about the potential legality of the President’s holdup of Ukraine aid, second that officials at the Pentagon were worried that the holdup violated a spending law, and third that the holdup ignited increasingly strident protests by Pentagon officials who said it was illegal and that it should have been disclosed to Congress.
  • Bombs In Your Backyard: Investigating One of America’s Greatest Polluters

    The military might of the United States has come at an extraordinary environmental price. The nation’s defense technologies and armaments have been developed, tested, stored, decommissioned and disposed of on vast tracts of American soil, where they have polluted fields and rivers, contaminated drinking water and put legions of people’s health at risk. For the first time, this project examined the full extent of the damage — 39,000 sites adding up to an area larger than the state of Florida, affecting millions of people. Our stories exposed the Pentagon’s routine practice of open burning of hazardous waste; its reliance on incompetent or fraudulent contractors that dump waste or fake cleanups; its four-decade campaign to make a dangerous and pervasive chemical explosive appear safe and avoid regulation; and its explicit refusal to comply with federal environmental laws even when the exposure of young children to lead poisoning from munition was at stake. We gained exclusive access to the Pentagon’s complete environmental dataset, and created a news application which for the first time mapped searchable data about contaminated sites across U.S. territories.
  • Bombs In Your Backyard

    The military might of the United States has come at an extraordinary environmental price. The nation’s defense technologies and armaments have been developed, tested, stored, decommissioned and disposed of on vast tracts of American soil, where they have polluted fields and rivers, contaminated drinking water and put legions of people’s health at risk. For the first time, this project examined the full extent of the damage — 39,000 sites adding up to an area larger than the state of Florida, affecting millions of people. Our stories exposed the Pentagon’s routine practice of open burning of hazardous waste; its reliance on incompetent or fraudulent contractors that dump waste or fake cleanups; its four-decade campaign to make a dangerous and pervasive chemical explosive appear safe and avoid regulation; and its explicit refusal to comply with federal environmental laws even when the exposure of young children to lead poisoning from munition was at stake. We gained exclusive access to the Pentagon’s complete environmental dataset, and created a news application which for the first time mapped searchable data about contaminated sites across U.S. territories.
  • The Verge with The Investigative Fund: Palantir has Secretly Been Using New Orleans to Test Predictive Policing Technology

    For the past 6 years, the data-mining firm Palantir — co-founded by Peter Thiel — has used New Orleans as a testing ground for predictive policing, Ali Winston reported for the Verge, in partnership with The Investigative Fund. Palantir has lucrative contracts with the Pentagon, U.S. intelligence and foreign security services. The partnership with the NOPD was similar to the "heat list" in Chicago that purports to predict which people are likely drivers or victims of violence. Yet, not only did the program not go through a public procurement process, key city council members in New Orleans didn't even know it existed.
  • CBS News: Healthcare Fraud in America

    For the past four years, CBS News has been committed to investigating healthcare fraud throughout the United States. Our reporting has uncovered schemes preying on veterans, cancer patients, rural communities, and opioid addicts. We’ve been the only network to expose con artists defrauding billions from private insurance companies, Medicare and even Tricare, a component of the military health system. In 2016 we produced an investigative series that found compounding pharmacies were collecting prescriptions for pain creams and billing insurance more than $1 million per week. Last year, our reporting revealed an insurance scheme involving genetic testing that cost the Pentagon trillions. This year’s entries continue our work to expose unscrupulous actors bilking insurance to cash in on the American healthcare system. Our stories go beyond examining the fiscal toll of insurance fraud, they illustrate the human impact these practices have on communities, families, and individuals.
  • AP: Hidden Victims

    The Pentagon and DOJ often fail to provide basic justice when the children of service members sexually assault each other on American military bases worldwide.
  • Holding the Pentagon Accountable

    In 2016, Washington Post reporter Craig Whitlock surmounted the Pentagon's Byzantine bureaucracy and near-epidimic secrecy to reveal epic examples of military corruption and waste. Drawing on years of Pentagon beat reporting experience and deft use of the Freedom of Information Act, Whitlock exposed several scandals that defense officials fought to conceal from the public.
  • The Pentagon’s $10-Billion Bet Gone Bad

    This body of work is the result of reporter David Willman’s investigations of the nation’s dauntingly complex missile-defense programs. The articles reveal how program after program was sold to Congress based on false and misleading claims – ultimately amounting to waste on a grand scale. The U.S. spent $2.2 billion alone for a giant, floating radar that was supposed to scan the skies for long-range missiles from North Korea or other “rogue” nations. But the radar spends most of the year mothballed at Pearl Harbor – and has never docked at its intended Alaskan berth. The “SBX” radar, Willman reported, will never fulfill its intended strategic mission.
  • The Pentagon Finally Details its Weapons-for-Cops Giveaway

    The Marshall Project, in collaboration with MuckRock, published, for the first time, agency-level data on the Pentagon's 1033 program, a program brought to light during the protests in Ferguson, Mo., in which the Pentagon gives surplus weapons, aircraft and vehicles to law enforcement agencies. We wrote an initial story on the data, created an easy-to-use, embeddable widget, and put together a "Department of Defense gift guide," highlighting some of the more perplexing giveaways. The story led to unprecedented public scrutiny of military equipment going to law enforcement agencies, as over forty local news outlets published articles detailing what their local cops had received.