Our coverage of Barrett Brown

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 …

National Security Agency

May 20


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Minority Report: High-Tech Policing Without Constitutional Safeguards (Gerry)

Flush with federal grants, police departments across the country are splurging on new surveillance tools – including some fancy software labeled PredPol, for “predictive policing.”  But attempts to constrain their use with court-obtained warrants are lagging far behind.


Why Is Washington Supporting Fundamentalist Jihadis in Syria View article …

2016 Election Ballot

Will Wisconsin Allow Experts to Examine Digital Images of Recounted Ballots?

WhoWhatWhy has filed a public records request with three Wisconsin counties, seeking access to digital images of paper ballots from the recent election.

We hope to have the images examined by experts in order to determine whether optical scan machines correctly read ballots and whether they in fact correctly assigned votes in the presidential race.

The requests were filed on Thursday afternoon. All three counties were in the process of concluding their recounts, and now the question is whether they will respond in a timely fashion to a media request seeking to clarify a matter of broad View article …

New Study Trumps Trump: Shocking Decline in Mexican Immigration

A new study shows that Donald Trump’s shrillest talking point—a key source of anger and a political motivator of many Americans–is flat out wrong.


That brown horde of unsavory characters pouring across the border to steal jobs from native-born Americans?   An exaggeration so egregious it might more accurately be called a lie.


The study, by demographers from two universities and first reported by Reuters, has gotten little attention. Yet the findings are astonishing and important: immigration from Mexico is way down.


There has been a whopping 57 percent decline in the number of Mexicans crossing the View article …

Giant Shipper Bets Big on Ending Its Carbon Emissions

1,000 Protesters With Jewish Group Block Entrance to ICE Headquarters for Hours (Chris)

From the Daily Beast: “According to Movimiento Cosecha, ICE attempted to move busloads of its employees to a different facility during the protest because employees were unable to work. Police arrested some of the protesters, although it remains unclear how many.” 


Wrangling Begins in Queens DA Recount, Recalling Florida Intrigue in 2000 (Chris)

The author writes, “Results from [a hand recount of some View article …

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Vladimir Putin

Turkey and Russia Sign Agreement to Reopen Syrian Trade Routes

ICYMI: Fake News Spreads ‘Farther, Faster, Deeper’ Than Truth, Study Finds (Russ)

The author writes, “A tweet can wreak havoc in a few hundred characters, as demonstrated in April 2013 when someone hacked the Associated Press Twitter account and claimed that explosions at the White House had injured President Barack Obama. There were no explosions — and Obama was fine — but the Dow Jones average sank by 100 points in two minutes. Stock markets swiftly recovered once the truth came out. Twitter, however, remained a breeding pool for false information.”

Federal 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 …

US Supreme Court

Judicial Activism: Liberal Overreach or Republican Dog Whistle?

The need to protect the Constitution from “activist liberal judges” is one of the favorite rallying cries of the judicial right. The way they see it, conservative judges are the stalwart defenders of what the Founding Fathers intended the United States to be — while liberal judges are all-too-willing to strike down democratically enacted public policy to suit their personal preferences and philosophies.


It is a notion President Donald Trump perpetuated by promising to appoint more judges “in the mold of Scalia” to the federal bench once he took office. View article …