Tom Schweich was not supposed to become national news this early, and certainly not for this reason. But when the Missouri state auditor and Republican gubernatorial candidate shot himself in the head just three weeks ago in a suburb west of St. Louis, he posthumously became one of the most fascinating and mysterious stories in American politics.
Earlier this week, the New York Times reported that Hillary Clinton had used a personal email address to conduct official State Department business. Today CNN reported that the Justice Department is planning to indict New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez on criminal charges of corruption. Except for the fact that Clinton and Menendez are both prominent Democrats, these two events would appear to be unrelated. But are they?
Back in the Bush era, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency provided the Pentagon with a list of 5,200 employees suspected of viewing child pornography. Five years later, the Boston Globe discovered that 1,700 of those cases had yet to be investigated. We filed a FOIA. Their investigation is still "open."
The fear is back! Just in time for a long queasy October, the Washington Post did a ride-along with the CEO of mobile security firm Integricell, who was mapping the locations of fake cell phone towers surveilling D.C.; What they found, the Post reports, was like "a primer on the geography of Washington power."
Scores of former members of Israeli military intelligence's very secret and quite elite Unit 8200 have publicly refused to collect information that is "used for political persecution" or "driving parts of Palestinian society against itself." Courteous allies at the NSA, we now know, helped make that spying possible.
If this New York Times website is to be believed, foreign governments have found the generous funding of U.S. policy institutes to be a handy way of covertly lobbying in Washington. But: Could multimillion-dollar donations, sometimes with explicit contractual stipulations, actually sway these great thinkers?
Julian Assange might be more of a Star Wars guy.
For over fourteen years, a U.S. Navy patent, no. 3899144, has been used to suggest that the federal government is secretly dispersing a powdered chemical substance in the atmosphere, for reasons that are murky and contested. It's a leap in logic nearly as old as the chemtrail conspiracy theories themselves.
Illicit drugs: They're not for winners at coin-op arcades, according to former FBI director William Sessions. Members of Instagram's still thriving drug trade should take note. Dealing drugs illegally is also frowned upon, but technology has never made it easier or safer than it does on Instagram right now.
It wasn't clear when Obama signed Executive Order 13526 early in his presidency what "extraordinary cases" government agencies could propose to exempt documents from automatic declassification after 50 years. Well, turns out, dozens of agencies qualified, mostly the obvious ones, but also the U.S. Mint.
Second only to the sub rosa network of Tea Party fronts funded by Libertarian billionaires Charles and David Koch, the infamously tone deaf plans for an Islamic community center just blocks away from 9/11's Ground Zero came to define the midterm elections of 2010. This is the weird story of who funded that mess.