Our coverage of Barrett Brown

Sirhan Sirhan, inkblot, Rorschach Test

Was Sirhan Hypnotically Programmed to Assassinate RFK?

Shane O’Sullivan is the author of the book Who Killed Bobby? and the director of the documentary RFK Must Die.



Fifty years ago, Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in the kitchen pantry of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. His convicted assassin, Sirhan Sirhan, remains in prison in San Diego and claims to have no memory of the crime.

Robert Kennedy Jr. visited Sirhan for three hours last December and, on the basis of new audio evidence of a second View article …

Paradise, CA, Camp Fire

Better Building Codes Could Mitigate Climate Disasters

This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.


On the day Ruby Reid lost her home in Talent, OR, to the Almeda Fire in 2020, she got no official warning to evacuate — only her instinct told her she should.


“It was a really hot, windy, horrible day, and it was raining ash,” Reid remembered. “I’d already been packing up my stuff.”


The mini-farm that had fueled the growth of a small business she started with her fiancé ended up View article …

Marvin Bush, Dorothy Bush, Neil Bush, Columba Bush, Jeb Bush, Laura Bush, George W. Bush, Barbara Bush, George H.W. Bush Sr., Dorothy Walker Bush

The Bush Family Stories You Won’t See Tonight on CNN

CNN is certainly aggressive in questioning the myths fathered by President Donald Trump.

But how does it stack up in the truth-telling department when it comes to former presidents? To determine that, you can watch its new series, The Bush Years: Family, Duty, Power, to air tonight — and then come see a small selection of what we have unearthed.

We expect you will be startled by the contrast between the public, the private, and the very private lives of this family.

For an inkling into how hard-hitting the CNN series will be, here’s a recent headline from them:

George HW View article …

Amy Coney Barrett, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch

Wisdom of the Ancients

The plethora of floor-length, ruffled, high-necked dresses in stores this past winter heralded a shift back to pioneer days in fashion. Now that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, the country is reverting to pioneer days in women’s health and bodily autonomy, with the help of Laura Ingalls Wilder — I mean Amy Coney Barrett.

If this feels like a kind of betrayal, that’s because it is. Justice Barrett, along with Justices Brett Kavanaugh, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch, declared during their confirmation hearings that they would commit View article …

US Firms Target Legal Dissidents Abroad

In the era of Edward Snowden, new revelations about government snooping may fall on deaf ears. “Of course the NSA is watching/listening/recording” goes a common refrain among the exposé-weary. But while the intrusive surveillance of the NSA and its British doppelganger, GCHQ, has been extensively documented, far less attention has been directed to private companies that hawk spyware, complete with sophisticated data-laundering features, to interested governments.

Now The Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto, a non-profit research organization that won View article …

Spiral Staircase

Russ Baker Talks Journalism, Bush Clan and Deep Politics

Russ Baker joins comedian Tim Dillon to talk about the (sad) state of journalism, the importance of independent news sources like WhoWhatWhy and his book Family of Secrets.


In this wide-ranging interview Russ is certain to open some eyes about the way the country really works and provides lots of examples from the past 60 years in which an event initially seemed to be one thing (and was covered by the media in that way) only to turn out to be something different altogether.

download View article …

Free Speech Zone

It’s the Free Speech, Stupid


When we say “democracy” is under threat in America, what is really being threatened? Often missing in the debate about “democracy threatened” is a simple but powerful notion: The best way to get at the truth is through a clash of ideas, driven by free and unfettered speech.


In this week’s WhoWhatWhy podcast, we talk with professor Corey Brettschneider. He is an expert on the US constitution, editor of the Penguin Liberty series, and a professor of constitutional law and politics at Brown University.


Brettschneider argues that View article …

Nancy MacLean, Democracy in Chains

The Intellectual Underpinning of a “Mean” Republican Party

Today’s Republican Party bears little resemblance to its more moderate past. While President Ronald Reagan tried to limit the “overreach” of the federal government in favor of states’ rights and individual freedom, this purportedly high-minded (if self-serving) movement has since morphed into something rawer and more extreme: an apparent effort to curb democratic rule, reshape the Constitution, and protect money interests well beyond limiting taxes on the wealthiest.


According to our podcast guest this week, historian and professor Nancy MacLean, this is no accident. She proposes to WhoWhatWhy’s Jeff Schechtman the provocative idea that this has all been part of View article …

Donald Trump

Flunking the Test of Character

The body cam video of the Milwaukee police officer who initially confronted Sterling Brown is difficult to watch. But you should. The full video is 30 minutes long but you’ll get the picture right away. It’s the story of a small man who abuses the power he is entrusted with. And the same thing is playing out across the country on a daily basis in different forms.

There is no doubt that Brown did something wrong. He parked across two handicapped spots outside a Walgreens. However, as the View article …

Wisconsin Supreme Court, US Supreme Court

Court Now Allows Extension for Wisconsin Mail Ballots

Protecting Out Vote 2020

UPDATE, September 30, 2020: The US 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has now upheld a federal order extending the deadline to count mail-in ballots in Wisconsin by six days after Election Day, as long as they are postmarked by November 3. This ruling is a major win for Democrats and voting-rights activists, although Republicans can appeal the order to the US Supreme Court.


All three of the judges who upheld the lower court order were appointed by Republican presidents, including one Trump appointee, according to the Associated View article …

climate change, September record, NOAA

Scientists See Hottest September on Record

Barrett’s Evasions Show Why Expanding the Court Is Necessary (Reader Steve)

From the Nation: “During Tuesday’s Senate hearings, Barrett was asked if she would recuse herself if the scenario Trump outlined came to pass and she had to pass judgment on the election. Barrett refused to commit to recusal, protesting that her personal integrity would guard against any wrongdoing. … Barrett is framing the issue of integrity in narrowly personal terms, as if her own honesty were all that counted. But integrity is a matter of legitimate systems as well View article …

Donald Trump, Felix Sater, Soho

Role of Judges in Hiding Trump Activities Helped Pave Way for Eventual Victory

New revelations show that Donald Trump’s path to the presidency might have been much more difficult — if a panel of judges had acted differently in 2011.


Documents released by a federal appeals court in Manhattan on Friday, March 9, but thus far not reported, demonstrate that a panel of judges in 2011 blocked the release of extremely damaging information about then real estate mogul Donald Trump to the late Village Voice reporter Wayne Barrett, who was then working for the Daily Beast.


Those documents, if they had been released at the time, would have shown that Trump was accepting financing View article …