Our coverage of Barrett Brown

Germany Sacks Top Prosecutor Over Investigation of Journalists

Readers familiar with the US government’s aggressive pursuit of journalist Barrett Brown (see WhoWhatWhy’s coverage here) will find this of interest: Germany’s top prosecutor has been canned over his move to investigate whether two bloggers committed treason by publishing confidential documents.


The prosecutor, Harald Range — who idly stood by when it was revealed that the US National Security Agency had systematically spied on Germany and even listened in on phone calls of Chancellor Angela Merkel — chose to direct his attention to the operators of netzpolitik.org. The two bloggers, Andre Meister View article …

How Deep Is Your Knowledge of the Deep State?

Regardless of how one feels about special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, there is no doubt that his bombshell indictment of a dozen Russians on Friday shifted the dynamics ahead of President Donald Trump’s meeting in Helsinki with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.


Many Americans are concerned about Trump’s bizarre relationship with Putin, and WhoWhatWhy’s own coverage has shown that they probably should be. Therefore, they may feel that the announcement of the indictment, which charges the Russians with hacking Democratic email accounts in an effort to help Trump in the 2016 View article …

Anthony Weiner

As Weiner Enters Jail, Outlines of Anti-Clinton Scheme Emerge

Today, Anthony Weiner enters a federal prison hospital in Massachusetts to begin serving a 21-month sentence for his online relationship with an underage girl. He’ll be in an intensive counseling and treatment program.


On its face, the final act of Weiner’s protracted and ugly fall seems straightforward — a sordid tale of a self-destructive middle-aged politician’s exploitative cyber-relationship with a minor. And, make no mistake, that is much of the story.


But close scrutiny reveals far more to it than meets the eye.



Given his admitted culpability in a sex-crime, Weiner’s imprisonment would indeed seem a fitting last act in this View article …

Georgia, Secretary of State, Brian Kemp

Kemp’s Aggressive Gambit to Distract From Election Security Crisis

When Georgia Democrats were alerted to what they believe to be major vulnerabilities in the state’s voter registration system Saturday, they contacted computer security experts who verified the problems. They then notified Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s lawyers and national intelligence officials in the hope of getting the problems fixed.


Instead of addressing the security issues, Kemp’s office put out a statement Sunday saying he had opened an investigation that targets the Democrats for hacking.


Kemp’s statement has become top news nationwide, but the context and background have yet to be reported — so View article …

Bosco Verticale, Milan, Italy

Chasing Carbon Unicorns

This story originally appeared in EOS and is republished here as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.


In the past few months, a handful of governments have announced net zero carbon emission targets. These targets update the nationally determined contributions (NDCs) at the heart of the Paris Agreement. Many private corporations, including BP and Shell, have also set net zero targets.

Net zero describes View article …

climate change, warnings and worry, positive steps

What Climate Scientists Can Teach Us About Dealing With Climate Change Doom

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.


What Climate Scientists Can Teach Us About Dealing With Climate Change Doom (Maria)

The author writes, “The warnings keep coming of more heatwaves, droughts, floods, and global temperatures rising. Many young people worry it’s already too late. So what can you do if you’re worried the planet View article …

Redacted document, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev with backpack

Release of Tsarnaev’s Interrogation Notes Leads to More Questions

Heavily redacted notes from the hospital bed interrogation of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were released at the end of February. Most media reports about the documents focus on portions that portray Dzhokhar as having played an active role in building and detonating the bombs that exploded on Boylston St.


But a closer read of the FBI’s summary of Tsarnaev’s statements to his interrogators raises questions about key details of the bombing and its execution.


First off, it is important to note that the interview notes are heavily redacted and therefore incomplete. But some of the things the View article …

Welzow-Süd, opencast mine, 2019

How a German Coal Region Becomes a Poster Child for Green Transition Success

This story by Naomi Buck originally appeared in Corporate Knights and is republished here as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story. 


Seen from above, the region of Lusatia in eastern Germany looks as though some extraplanetary Goliath has taken a rake, hammer, and chisel to the surface of the earth. More than a century of strip mining has rendered the landscape one of the most barren and deformed on the planet. And now, in the comparative blink of an eye, the mining of brown View article …

Bush and the JFK Hit, Part 9: Planning a Nightmare on Elm Street

What possible connection could there have been between George H.W. Bush and the assassination of John F. Kennedy? Or between the C.I.A. and the assassination? Or between Bush and the C.I.A.? For some people, apparently, making such connections was as dangerous as letting one live wire touch another.   Here, in anticipation of the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination in November, is the ninth part of a ten-part series View article …

Hawaiian monk seal, ocean, plastic

Plastic Ocean: From Thriving Ecosystem to Trash Dumpster

In the foreseeable future, the weight of plastic trash in the ocean will be greater than the weight of all fish.


Already it’s been estimated by researchers that virtually all shellfish, and one-quarter of all fish, contain traces of plastic.


Every year about 300 million tons of plastic are produced and eight million tons wind up in our oceans. That’s the equivalent of over 500 trillion plastic water bottles. If you were to stack these bottles one on top of the other, you would be able to make two full trips from Earth, to the View article …

Brown University students

Students Expose Plot to Cast Doubt on Climate Change

WhoWhatWhy Climate Change Coverage


In 2019, the year youth around the world stepped out of the classroom and onto the streets to demand climate action, four students stayed at their desks. They had a different plan.


As the climate movement sought to expose adults and institutions for failing to address climate change, Brown University undergraduates Jessie Sugarman, Cole Triedman, Andrew Javens, and David Wingate sat down together to get some specifics: to find hard evidence, name names, and hold people and corporations accountable for their role in the crisis. 


View article …

Sirhan Sirhan

The Tortured Logic Behind Sirhan Sirhan’s Parole Denial

In the newly released transcript of Sirhan Sirhan’s parole hearing on February 10, we discover why— at nearly 72 years of age — the convicted murderer of Bobby Kennedy “continues to pose an unreasonable risk of danger to society or a threat to public safety and is therefore not suitable for parole.”


Since its landmark opinion in the Lawrence case in 2008, the California Supreme Court has required the parole board to provide “some evidence” that a prisoner is “currently dangerous” when denying parole. This, and pressure to reduce prison overcrowding, has seen parole grant rates View article …