Giving Tuesday gifts will be matched 2 to 1 thanks to generous supporters!

Posted inDemocracy

How the Gores, father and son, helped their patron Occidental Petroleum

On Sept. 7, 1995, Vice President Albert Gore Jr., stood on the White House lawn and talked in sweeping terms about ending the era of big government. He touted a list of recommendations formulated by the National Performance Review, an initiative Gore directed that he claimed streamlined the federal bureaucracy, cut unnecessary waste and helped […]

Posted inBuying of the President 2000, Democracy, Elections

Bradley was driving force behind biggest tax giveaway

January 6, 2000 — Democratic presidential candidate Bill Bradley laid out his plans for tax reform on Jan. 4, attacking corporate tax shelters and special interest provisions. Bradley is certainly an expert on the subject; in 1986, he was the driving force behind the biggest tax giveaway to special interests ever. Bradley, who trumpets himself […]

Posted inBuying of the President 2000, Democracy, Elections

The Buying of the President 2000

WASHINGTON, D.C. January 5, 2000 — Each of the leading presidential candidates for the 2000 election has done public- policy favors for his campaign contributors, according to a new Center for Public Integrity book, The Buying of the President 2000 (Avon). Every major White House contender who has held past elective office has “career patrons,” […]

Posted inDemocracy

Commentary: Campaign checklist

WASHINGTON, January 4, 2000 — The peaceful transfer of power is a majestic moment in any democracy, but it is particularly poignant for the most powerful nation on earth. Indeed, through wars and depressions, assassinations and scandals, for more than two centuries the United States of America unflinchingly has chosen its national leader every four […]

Posted inElections

FBI tracked alleged Russian mob ties of Giuliani campaign supporter

WASHINGTON — A prominent commodities trader who acknowledges a business history with a reputed Soviet Bloc crime figure and a notorious arms dealer has been one of New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s top campaign supporters. Commodities trader Semyon (Sam) Kislin and his family also lavished thousands of dollars in contributions to Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer, to […]

Posted inAccountability

Hier’s higher connections

TEL AVIV, Israel, December 1, 1999 — This article was originally published in Israel’s Ha’aretz newspaper on December 1, 1999. It is reprinted here with permission. Controversy surrounds Rabbi Marvin Hier’s use of supporters of the Israeli right as leverage for his plan to build a museum on some of the most-valuable land in Jerusalem […]

Posted inAccountability

‘It is a spider web’

Liechtenstein residents are amazed at what dubious financial transactions can be found in the their tiny country, if one only looks closely enough. A special investigator had seven suspect financiers arrested, including one politician. Even the president of the national judiciary is under suspicion of misuse of power. The prince and princess had good news: […]

Posted inAccountability

An invitation to launder money

HAMBURG, Germany, November 8, 1999 — Whoever wishes to hide funds from the grips of tax authorities will find willing assistants in the Principality of Liechtenstein. Bank managers assert that they are working within legal means, but the files of the Bundesnachrichtendienst [German intelligence] present a differing version of the story: Mafia organizations, drug cartels, […]

Posted inHealth, Public Health, Tobacco

How U.S. policy on marketing tobacco overseas fell through the cracks in Malawi

The economically impoverished country of Malawi in southern Africa is an example of what fell through the cracks in U.S. tobacco policy abroad. One of the most underdeveloped countries in the world, Malawi had a long history of growing tobacco. But for years, production of the country’s most lucrative export was concentrated in the big […]

Posted inHealth, Public Health, Tobacco

U.S. support for tobacco overseas: going out of business?

November 2, 1999 — The exquisitely appointed anterooms leading to the secretary of state’s office are a mix of 18th century antiques, crystal chandeliers, oil paintings of past envoys and carved moldings in the shape of tobacco leaves, blossoms and seed pods. It gives new meaning to the term tobacco lobby. The ’60s-modern reception area […]

Posted inEnvironment

Toxic deception

October 2, 1999 — On the Friday before Labor Day 1998, with much of official Washington already on its last summer trek to seashore or home congressional district, a brief statement appeared in the Federal Register. Only a paragraph long, the notice was six years in the making. The Environmental Protection Agency had, at last, […]

Posted inAccountability

Wages of war

Final offensive? By Ahmed Rashid August 5, 1999 LAHORE, Pakistan, August 5, 1999 — Two decades of fighting have destroyed Afghanistan’s normal economy. In its place has grown a criminal economy based on drugs and smuggling, which has proven so lucrative for Afghanistan’s warlords that they have little incentive to try to restore legitimate agriculture […]

Posted inAccountability

Final offensive?

Wages of war By Ahmed Rashid August 5, 1999 LAHORE, Pakistan, August 5, 1999 — Since the failed peace talks, the Taliban have been massing their forces along a wide east-west arc 20 kilometres north of Kabul. They are launching what they hope will be a final offensive against the Northern Alliance, the last force […]

Posted inAccountability

Afghanistan: Heart of darkness

LAHORE, Pakistan — As the Taliban launch a new offensive against opposition forces, the threat which this Islamic regime poses to regional stability has gone unnoticed. Terrorists fighting the governments of virtually every Central Asian power find shelter with the Taliban. An equally dangerous by-product is the criminal economy supported by the Taliban, which spreads […]

Posted inAccountability

It takes a village

MANILA, Philippines — When [Executive Director] Bill Luz asked me to address the Makati Business Club two weeks ago, I asked him why he wanted someone so small and so puny to speak for the press. After all, we are supposed to be a powerful institution – loud, bold, fearless, beholden to no one. I […]

Posted inAccountability

Where journalists still get respect

PANAMA CITY, July 21, 1999 — Investigative reporter Gustavo Gorriti, an ICIJ member and associate director of La Prensa in Panama, published the following op-ed in The New York Times, July 21, 1998. It is reprinted here with permission. From afar, the recent spate of journalistic embarrassments in the United States suggests that something more […]

Posted inAccountability

Journalism with teeth

LONDON, July 17, 1999 — Western media follow a depressingly familiar formula when it comes to the preparation of a nation for conflict. The way wars are reported in the western media follows a depressingly predictable pattern: stage one, the crisis; stage two, the demonisation of the enemy’s leader; stage three, the demonisation of the […]

Posted inAccountability

Dark alliance rules the high seas

JAKARTA, Indonesia, April 13, 1999 — Bangkok’s The Nation newspaper originally published this series on April 13, 1999. It is reprinted here with permission. For decades Southeast Asian waters have been a hunting ground for murderous pirates who are growing increasingly daring and dangerous. The Nation‘s correspondent in Indonesia, Andreas Harsono, spent over a month […]

Posted inAccountability

Open your mind

NEW YORK — Day-to-day, investigative reporting is about sweat and perseverance. Forget about the widely held view that government officials “leak” embarrassing stories to eager reporters who sit waiting for the phone to ring. You know — and I know — that hardly anything of value falls from the sky like manna from heaven. There […]

Posted inAccountability

The encryption imperative

It’s a credo that most journalists strive to live by: Don’t share your notes and don’t give out advance copies of your story. But what many American journalists often lose sight of is that while traveling through cyberspace one might unwittingly put his work at risk. Stories that might still be in the tweaking stage […]

Posted inAccountability

General as bandit

LAGOS, Nigeria — Until General Sani Abacha’s death 8 June 1998, Lt.-Gen. Jeremiah Timbut Useni was the second most senior officer in the Nigerian Army. But all that changed over two months ago, when Abacha, Nigeria’s worst dictator died. Not only did Useni lose out in the power-game that followed, he also carried the burden […]

Posted inAccountability

From Russia for Love

MELBOURNE — They told Anna Vladimirovna that if she tried to escape, “things” could happen to her son and family back in the Ukraine. “We were treated like slaves,” the 32-year-old prostitute says. “I was scared that my sister and my son may have been hurt badly if I caused any problems.” The heat didn’t […]