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 [email protected] where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "defense" ...

  • 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.
  • "The Costs of the Confederacy" / "Monumental Lies"

    Reporters Brian Palmer and Seth Freed Wessler, along with a team of Type Investigations researchers, spent more than a year investigating public funding for sites—monuments, statues, parks, libraries, museums—and Confederate “heritage” organizations that promote an inaccurate “Lost Cause” version of American history. According to scholars, that ideology distorts the nation’s collective past by venerating Confederate leaders and the common Confederate soldier; framing of the Civil War as a struggle for Southern states’ rights against “northern aggression”; denying Southern culpability and slavery itself for any role in precipitating the war; and presenting chattel slavery as a humane, Christianizing institution. This is more than mere Confederate myth-making, it is a century-and-half old strategy that was historically deployed to terrorize and disenfranchise African American citizens and to reinstall white supremacy across the South in the wake of Reconstruction. The historic sites that perpetuate these myths have been central to racial violence in recent years, from the Dylann Roof shooting at the AME Zion Church — he had visited Confederate sites before his attack — to the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, centered around the defense of a Confederate monument.
  • 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.
  • Kids on the Line: An investigation into the contractors behind family separation

    As the U.S. government’s family separation policy played out in real time, Reveal’s investigation uncovered major problems with the contractors tasked with caring for immigrant children, including a defense company holding immigrant children in unlicensed facilities -- vacant office buildings in Phoenix without yards, showers or kitchens -- and a Texas shelter drugging immigrant children without their consent.
  • ESPN Outside the Lines/E:60: “Spartan Secrets”

    ESPN’s investigation of sexual assault and abuse claims involving young women and athletes broke through the oft-held defense that the problem was just one bad actor. Our original reporting on sexual abuse claims against former Michigan State and USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar, and how the university dealt with sex assault claims against student athletes, revealed systems that enabled abuse, and involved reports of widespread mishandling – and silencing – of women who said they suffered for years after reporting their assaults. The investigation went well beyond the actions of Nassar, and unveiled a widespread pattern of denial, inaction and information suppression. Michigan State in particular did not want this information out, but through requests for data, documents and a lengthy court battle, along with securing valuable sources, ESPN prevailed in getting much of what it had requested. At the height of the #MeToo movement, ESPN’s reporting gave a voice to the women who had been silenced, and exposed the failures of the people and institutions tasked with protecting them.
  • 12 News I-Team: Children At Risk

    12 News worked tirelessly to defend the public interest in an exclusive investigation, ’12 News- I-Team: Children At Risk’ which exposed a pattern of abuse affecting some of the most vulnerable members of our community, defenseless foster children. Through filing records requests, following up on anonymous tips, combing through legal documents, and mining dozens of sources, investigative reporter Bianca Buono uncovered the unthinkable: the Department of Child Services placed a six-year-old foster child directly into the home of a level three convicted sex offender.
  • Did Texas Prison Guards Drive Marinda Griggs to Kill Herself?

    This is a story focusing on criminal justice, and attempts by defense lawyers to better devise protections for the most vulnerable. And they believe that because of changing law – namely the Texas adoption of its Tort Claims Act – that now the misdeeds of public institutions and their employees will not go unchallenged.
  • Spartan Secrets

    ESPN’s investigation of sexual assault and abuse claims involving young women and athletes broke through the oft-held defense that the problem was just one bad actor. Our original reporting on sexual abuse claims against former Michigan State and USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar, and how the university dealt with sex assault claims against student athletes, revealed systems that enabled abuse, and involved reports of widespread mishandling – and silencing – of women who said they suffered for years after reporting their assaults. The investigation went well beyond the actions of Nassar, and unveiled a widespread pattern of denial, inaction and information suppression. Michigan State in particular did not want this information out, but through requests for data, documents and a lengthy court battle, along with securing valuable sources, ESPN prevailed in getting much of what it had requested. At the height of the #MeToo movement, ESPN’s reporting gave a voice to the women who had been silenced, and exposed the failures of the people and institutions tasked with protecting them.
  • The Profiteers

    The tale of the Bechtel family dynasty is a classic American business story. It begins with Warren A. “Dad” Bechtel, who led a consortium that constructed the Hoover Dam. From that auspicious start, the family and its eponymous company would go on to “build the world,” from the construction of airports in Hong Kong and Doha, to pipelines and tunnels in Alaska and Europe, to mining and energy operations around the globe. Today Bechtel is one of the largest privately held corporations in the world, enriched and empowered by a long history of government contracts and the privatization of public works, made possible by an unprecedented revolving door between its San Francisco headquarters and Washington. Bechtel executives John McCone, Caspar Weinberger, and George P. Shultz segued from leadership at the company to positions as Director of the CIA, Secretary of Defense, and Secretary of State, respectively. Like all stories of empire building, the rise of Bechtel presents a complex and riveting narrative. In The Profiteers, Sally Denton, whom The New York Times called “a wonderful writer,” exposes Bechtel’s secret world and one of the biggest business and political stories of our time.
  • California National Guard Bonus Enlistment Scandal

    Stories by the Los Angeles Times that described how the California National Guard was trying to recover millions of dollars in enlistment bonuses from nearly 10,000 soldiers and veterans – including some who had been wounded in combat – spurred the secretary of Defense to suspend the program, Congress to agree to waive most of the debts and the president to sign the bill into law.