Our coverage of Barrett Brown

climate change, recycling, revision, environment, cost

How Three States Are Repairing the Failing Recycling System

PICKS are stories from many sources, selected by our editors or recommended by our readers because they are important, surprising, troubling, enlightening, inspiring, or amusing. They appear on our site and in our daily newsletter. Please send suggested articles, videos, podcasts, etc. to picks@whowhatwhy.org.


Who Is the Media Really For? (Russ)

From Intelligencer: “Emily Wilder is a promising young journalist. After finishing a stint at the Arizona Republic, the recent Stanford graduate began a job with the Associated Press on May 3 as a news associate. Wilder could have built a View article …

Barack Obama, Joe Arpaio

California Becomes ‘Sanctuary State’

PICKS are stories from many sources, selected by our editors or recommended by our readers because they are important, surprising, troubling, enlightening, inspiring, or amusing. They appear on our site and in our daily newsletter. Please send suggested articles, videos, podcasts, etc. to picks@whowhatwhy.org.

A Chronicle of Tillerson’s Tough Tenure (Dan)

The strains between Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson appear at a breaking point. This article is a chronicle of his brief, and mostly bad, time as the US’s top diplomat

California Is Officially a Sanctuary State (Trevin)

A bill Governor Jerry View article …

Skull and Bones

PoppyLeaks, Part 2

With the end of the old Communist system, it seemed that free speech and a diversity of voices would flourish behind the former Iron Curtain. That certainly hasn’t happened in Russia.


Even more troubling, though, is how the corporate media in the United States repeatedly fails to uncover and report the truth about recent American history.


Consider the latest development: the embarrassingly transparent cover-up of George H.W. Bush’s life in his new “authorized biography,” which we wrote about previously. We noted how that book was a witting fantasy because of what it left out. Imagine a book about View article …

Cyril H. Wecht

Dr. Cyril Wecht on JFK’s Murder: A “Coup d’état in America”

On November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was gunned down in the streets of Dallas in broad daylight. According to the Warren Commission (1964), the government’s first official investigative panel into the president’s death, JFK was shot by lone gunman Lee Harvey Oswald from the 6th floor window of the Texas School Book Depository Building with an Italian Mannlicher-Carcano rifle. The Commission concluded that Oswald fired three shots: one that missed (the Commission said it was inconclusive which of the shots missed), one that hit both Kennedy and Governor John Connally (the “magic bullet”), and View article …

Foggy Memories Obscure Forebears of Ferguson Unrest

Collective amnesia about past eruptions of racial conflict has left Americans with a false sense that what happened in Ferguson is somehow new. But the only thing new is the technology. The attitudes on display are sadly familiar.

Forty-seven years ago, the African-American population of New Jersey’s largest city took to the streets after a violent encounter between white police officers and an unarmed black man. While the body count in Newark—26 people dead and View article …

student, strawberry project

Can a New Initiative Spur Agricultural Revolution in Alaska?

This story by Max Graham originally appeared in High Country News and is republished here as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.


When Eva Dawn Burk first saw Calypso Farm and Ecology Center in 2019, she felt enchanted. Calypso is an educational farm tucked away in a boreal forest in Ester, Alaska, near Fairbanks. To Burk, it looked like a subarctic Eden, encompassing vegetable and flower gardens, greenhouses, goats, sheep, honeybees, a nature trail, and more. In non-pandemic summers, the property teems with local kids and View article …

Sean Hannity, FOX, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Has the Right-Wing Spin Machine Met Its Match?

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the perfect figurehead for the progressive movement in the US. At 28, she represents a new generation of Americans. As a Hispanic woman, she represents minorities. As a Democratic Socialist, she represents different solutions to the growing inequality in the US.

But don’t be surprised if conservatives, who will attack her for precisely the reasons listed above, will be the ones to talk about Ocasio-Cortez the most. To them, the Democratic Socialist who shocked the political world by beating Democratic incumbent Joseph Crowley in the primary for New York’s 14th

Carmen Ortiz’s Sordid Rap Sheet

***UPDATE***: In Boston federal court on January 24, Magistrate Judge Judith Dein dismissed the government’s attempt to seize Russ Caswell’s motel property.



The January 11 suicide of information activist, computer hacker and technical wunderkind Aaron Swartz has focused attention on Carmen Ortiz, the U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts, whose overzealous prosecution may have led to his death. Swartz, co-founder of a website later acquired by Reddit as well as a prime developer of the online publishing infrastructure known as Rich Site Summary (RSS), was under federal indictment for logging into JSTOR—a View article …

Classic WHY: Suppressed Saudi 9/11 Story

This originally appeared on WhoWhatWhy on Sept 22, 2011. It is as timely now as ever. Current context: the Saudi intelligence services have been deeply involved in stoking extreme Islamist groups in the Syrian uprising. 



WhoWhatWhy has found evidence linking the Saudi royal family to Saudis in South Florida who reportedly had direct contact with the 9/11 hijackers before fleeing the United States just prior to the attacks. Our report connects some of the dots first laid out by investigative author Anthony View article …

Gitmo Already Serves As Model for Trump’s Plans

Fourteen years after 9/11, Guantanamo Bay remains a repository for suspects rounded up in the government’s post-attack frenzy.


While many have been released, and President Barack Obama has promised repeatedly to close Gitmo, a significant number still held there have not been charged with anything — yet have suffered deprivation, prolonged interrogation, torture.


One of them is Mohamedou Slahi. An electrical engineer arrested two weeks after 9/11, he managed to keep a diary that captures the horror of life at Guantanamo.


Slahi’s Guantanamo Diary was edited by Larry Siems, who served for many years as director of the Freedom to Write Programs View article …

Planned Obsolescence: The Outrage of Our Electronic Waste Mountain


The Parched West Is Heading Into a Megadrought That Could Last for Centuries (Chris)

From Inside Climate News: “Several other megadroughts, generally defined as dry periods that last 20 years or more, have been documented in the West going back to about 800 A.D. In study, the researchers, using an extensive tree-ring history, compared recent climate data with conditions during the historic megadroughts. They found that in this century, global warming is tipping the climate scale toward an unwelcome rerun, with dry conditions persisting far longer View article …

climate change, Arctic ice, glass idea

Facebook v. Apple: The Ad Tracking Row Heats Up

What Are the Odds Derek Chauvin Wins on His Expected Appeal? (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “The unique circumstances surrounding Derek Chauvin’s trial in George Floyd’s death could offer the former Minneapolis police officer some shot at winning a retrial on appeal, though most legal experts agree it’s a long shot. … Here’s a look at some of the issues Chauvin’s lawyers might cite in their expected appeal, and their chances of prevailing.”


Do Kids Really Need to Be Vaccinated for COVID? Yes. No. Maybe. (Bethany)

From View article …