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 "service members" ...

  • 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.
  • A Forgotten Crisis

    Melissa, Tara and Amanda interviewed dozens of military spouses, across every branch, all over the country. Then they cross-referenced their stories to identify the biggest problems and gaps in the system. Finally, they tracked down domestic violence experts, military leaders and others to add critical context and comment. It took over a year to report. The result was five articles that dug into the challenges faced by domestic violence victims in the military: a structure that favors the abuser in which commanders determine if a crime has been committed, a family advocacy program that, in some instances, upholds outdated beliefs about gender roles, and a lack of support for victims who face enormous financial consequences if they choose to leave their partners. HuffPost’s investigation found that service members are rarely investigated or punished for acts of domestic violence. Because of this lack of accountability, many victims we interviewed are still afraid of their former partners. Some have been unable to get protective orders because there is no official record of their partner’s abuse, as paperwork does not travel seamlessly from the military world to the civilian one.
  • 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.
  • Charlie Foxtrot

    “Charlie Foxtrot” began as an investigation of a military policy that strips service members of their benefits and veteran status, even after serving in war zones. Our coverage culminated with a screening inside the U.S. Capitol alongside members of the U.S. House and Senate. We focused on a piece of proposed legislation with the power to give service members a second chance. Later that week, the U.S. Senate approved that bill. By year’s end, the Act of Congress was signed in to law by the President. https://vimeo.com/198371721/2d8cedd533
  • Sea Dragon Down

    The NBC News Investigative Unit, the Virginian-Pilot newspaper, tand the UC Berkeley Investigative Reporting Program revealed that the U.S. Navy’s Sea Dragon helicopters had killed more than 30 service members since they were launched in the 1980s, with the fatality rate rising in recent years – and that the Navy was trying to cover up the danger. The exclusive reporting of all three news organizations of the Navy’s cover-up helped spur the grounding of the entire fleet of more than 150 helicopters for most of 2015.
  • A Losing Battle

    “A Losing Battle” delves into the Army Board for Correction of Military Records (BCMR), a little-known internal panel mandated to “correct errors or remove injustices” on service members’ military records, including overturning a discharge that left them without medical benefits for service-related injuries. We found that when service members filed appeals that could lay significant blame on the Army or cost a lot of money, the default answer was no. Our investigation found that the Board routinely denied applicants their due process, uniformly denying in-person hearings, refusing to admit evidence and not responding to evidence brought, leaving service members with nowhere else to seek justice within the Armed Forces.
  • Failing the Fallen

    The series investigated the numerous failings of the Pentagon’s efforts to recover and identify remains of the more than 80,000 service members missing from past wars. On average the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command identifies just 72 service members a year.
  • A Losing Battle: How the Army denies veterans justice without anyone knowing

    “A Losing Battle” delves into the Army Board for Correction of Military Records (BCMR), a little-known internal panel mandated to “correct errors or remove injustices” on service members’ military records, including overturning a discharge that left them without medical benefits for service-related injuries. Fusion found that when service members filed appeals that could lay significant blame on the Army or cost a lot of money, the default answer was no. Their investigation found that the Board routinely denied applicants their due process, uniformly denying in-person hearings, refusing to admit evidence and not responding to evidence brought, leaving service members with nowhere else to seek justice within the Armed Forces.
  • Dishonor

    “Dishonor” shines a light on the shocking problem of rape in the U.S. military. A female soldier in a combat zone is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire. In 2010 the Pentagon estimated 19,000 service members were sexually assaulted. Of these assaults only a tiny fraction were prosecuted. Natalie Morales investigates what happened to Marine officer Claire Russo. She was brutally sodomized by a fellow marine but the Marines dropped the investigation early on. A vigilant NCIS agent assigned to her case wouldn't allow justice to die in the military so he took it to the D.A. in California, and her rapist pleaded guilty. Russo says the way the military treated her rape is typical, and her case is only unique in that she got justice. Morales spoke to a group of former service members from each branch of the military who had similar stories of sexual assault and retaliation by the military for reporting their rapes. Morales asks Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta: "are rapists getting away with rape?" In a response to all of the victims of sexual assault Panetta apologizes and vows that the military will do better. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/49202943#49202943
  • Booted From Army With PTSD, without Benefits

    According to Defense Department records, more than 20,000 soldiers and Marines were booted from the military between 2008 and 2011 with other-than-honorable discharges. Current federal law says these former service members -- even if they suffer from the mental or physical wounds of war -- lose their automatic right to veterans’ medical benefits. Those include Jarrid Starks of Salem, Oregon. He was kicked out of the Army with little more than a 90 day supply of pills to kept him stable. He appealed his case to the Veterans’ Administration. Our reporting showed it can take more than a year for the agency to come up with an answer for these troubled veterans.