Our coverage of Barrett Brown

Justice for Michael Brown

Inside the Ferguson Protests

Five years ago, on August 9, 2014, a policeman shot an unarmed black man in Ferguson, MO, under circumstances that are still not clear. A grand jury concluded the shooting was justified. This led to more than a week of protests and rioting, with a heavy-handed, militarized response from the police, even when protests were peaceful.

Below are three videos that provide close-up views of what it was like to be in the midst of these confrontations.

Further below is a detailed description of what happened that day, followed by excerpts from a book put out by the Civil Rights Division View article …

The Hidden Threat To Free Speech in the State of the Union Address

President Obama proposed new laws to protect Americans and “especially our kids” from hackers during his State of the Union address. Swaddled in that almost tender-sounding language, though, was a plan that would strengthen the government’s ability to go after journalists like Barrett Brown.

In fact, the new cybersecurity legislation would further criminalize the kind of activity for which Brown is due to be View article …

Still Unfolding: Astounding Stories from 2013

1231By nature, I am a cheerful pessimist.  As one of the editors bringing WhoWhatWhy to you week after week, I recently found myself looking back at some of the stories from 2013, and found plenty of reason to remain a pessimist. And yet, within this harvest of horrors, I also found reason for hope.

At first, I was overwhelmed by a sense of gloom and doom: what fools, charlatans and dupes we humans be!  But then I recalled that knowledge, no matter how disturbing, can lead to understanding and even, occasionally, View article …

How the Bush Team Crushed Clinton’s FEMA



FEMA: Ripe for the Picking


As Bush’s Texas team headed for Washington, it was clear that Joe Allbaugh had neither the experience nor the sophistication to serve as the White House chief of staff — the position he coveted. That job went to Andy Card, who had served in the senior Bush’s administration. CNN quoted a “source close to the transition team” who predicted that Allbaugh would become one of two deputy chiefs of staff. Instead, he landed at FEMA.


But why there?


Some View article …

Jeff Schechtman

Conversation Is Not Dead — At Least Not At WhoWhatWhy

Our Friday podcasts have quickly become a favorite among our readers. Week after week, host Jeff Schechtman has conversations with some of the most interesting people in the world and takes on the most important topics of the day.


If you are not a regular listener yet, we have compiled a small sample of some of the podcasts you may have missed.



Daniel Ellsberg The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner by Daniel Ellsberg. Photo credit: Adapted by WhoWhatWhy from View article …

Pinky and Brownie: Bush’s Forgotten Henchmen

In the second part of this series, which you can read here, we discussed the origins of the partnership between Joe Allbaugh and Michael “Brownie” Brown, that ultimately contributed to the needless suffering of thousands of New Orleans residents.




Bush’s Enforcer

“The official story is that Bush’s gubernatorial campaign lacked a strong hand at the tiller. Joe Allbaugh was seen as just the man…. He said he’d been involved in campaigns in 37 states by the time he got to Bush,” according to a political columnist for the Austin American-Statesman.


Whether that was literally true seemed less important View article …

Amy Coney Barret

Barrett Favors Corporations Over People

Much has been made of the threat posed by Judge Amy Coney Barrett to reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, voting rights, and the Affordable Care Act.

But Democrats opposing her nomination to the US Supreme Court have paid far less attention to another reason why her appointment will be a clear win for Republicans — she will further their agenda to favor corporations and the wealthy.

According to a report by the government watchdog Accountable.US, Barrett has overseen at least 55 cases in which citizens took on corporate entities, and she sided with corporations in all but 11 of them. That’s three View article …

RFK Assassination Legal Case Update

284869-sirhan-sirhanRecent legal filings on behalf of Sirhan Sirhan, jailed 45 years ago in the death of Robert F. Kennedy, reveal new evidence suggestive of a larger conspiracy. The filings also enumerate examples of obstructive tactics by a government representative—contortions reminiscent of the Warren Commission’s incredible, acrobatic magic bullet that was essential in creating consensus for a lone wolf assassin in the death of RFK’s elder brother, John. (If you’d like to read those filings, we’ve posted them here and here.)

Another “Patsy”?

Sirhan, the man almost everyone believes killed View article …

prison mail

Prison Service Providers Fleece Prisoner Families

Why Do Military Psychologists Want to Return to Guantanamo? (Jimmy)

The author writes, “With the opening of the 2018 convention of the American Psychological Association, APA Council members are set to consider a proposal by leading military psychology division members to modify an APA ban against psychologists working at Guantanamo or any ‘illegal’ national security site that fails to abide by international laws, especially those against torture.”

Betsy DeVos’s Summer Home Deserves a Special Place in McMansion Hell (Reader Luke)

The author writes, “Architecture View article …

RFK, Paul Schrade

The Full Story of the Sirhan Sirhan Parole Hearing

The ban on video and audio recordings at Sirhan Sirhan’s parole hearing on February 9 meant the world depended on the one reporter allowed inside the hearing to tell us what happened. He had to condense “more than three hours of intense testimony” into 854 words.

Elliot Spagat’s lively account of the proceeding for the Associated Press omitted one very important document that shooting victim and Kennedy family friend Paul Schrade presented to the parole board. This was a letter from Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to US Attorney General Eric Holder, dated September View article …