Freedom of the Press Foundation Newsletter - Volume #01; Issue #02
Largest leak of financial secrets in history
Visible: Supporting transparency journalism in the face of adversity
a publication of the Freedom of the Press Foundation
Volume #01; Issue #02
Dear Defender of Free Speech,
We have great news to report: all four Freedom of the Press Foundation beneficiaries have made huge waves in the journalism world in the past two weeks — including the release of the largest financial leak in history.
And we have your generous donations to thank. This bundle is almost over and we’re only $15,000 away from our goal. Please share the vital reporting below with friends, and if you’re able, visit our front page to help us get over the top
. We’re also now proud to accept bitcoins
in support of transparency journalism.
Here’s the latest news made by the cutting edge organizations your donations are funding:
Center for Public Integrity (CPI) Project Publishes the World’s Financial Secrets
Last week, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, a 15-year-old project of CPI, started publishing over 2.5 million leaked documents
related to secret offshore bank accounts, which the super-rich often use to hide money. You can read the myriad of reports in their continuing investigation here
, but the documents touch on powerful players in finance and governments from all corners of the world — including the United States, Canada, France, Russia, Malaysia, Pakistan, and many more.
Despite demands from at least six countries — including the United States — CPI and ICIJ commendably refused to hand over any of the documents
to government agencies prior to publication. They cited their “long-standing policy…not to turn over such material“ and emphasized their journalism organization is “not an arm of law enforcement and is not an agent of the government.”
The investigation into the financial leak will continue into early 2014 and the Center for Public Integrity could use your help. You can donate to Center for Public Integrity on our homepage
Bureau of Investigative Journalism and the CIA Drone Program
Several explosive reports on the CIA drone program based on Top Secret classified information were leaked to journalists this week.
on the original secret agreement “sealed in blood” between the CIA and Pakistan in 2004, in which the CIA agreed to kill an enemy of the Pakistani government in exchange for permission to use its airspace to conduct drone strikes. Meanwhile, McClatchy newspapers published
an analysis of five years worth of leaked classified intelligence reports that show that fewer than 2% of those drone strikes target senior al-Qaeda leaders. As expert Micah Zenko wrote in Foreign Policy
, the report is proof “the United States has lied in the drone wars.”
This all underscores why the Bureau’s “Naming the Dead” investigation
might be the most important project in journalism. We only know the identities of 20% of those killed by drones, and the Bureau’s reporters are on the ground in Pakistan trying to methodically identify each and every victim.
The Bureau made a short film explaining
why the “Naming the Dead” project is so important. You can help fund “Naming the Dead” by going here
WikiLeaks Releases “the Kissinger Files”
This week, WikiLeaks released over 1.7 million previously secret
and confidential State Department cables in searchable form. Dubbed “the Kissinger Files” after Nixon’s Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, these cables have already led to the discovery of some previously hidden facts, as no one was able to search the files digitally until now. They are a vital source for historians and journalists and already made major news
when Britain’s former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher died this week.
You can make a tax-deductible donation to WikiLeaks exclusively through Freedom of the Press Foundation andhelp beat the extra-legal financial blockade by going here
Truthout and the Guantanamo Hunger Strike Controversy
Truthout’s lead investigative reporter Jason Leopold has been doggedly covering the growing Guantanamo prison hunger strike
, where dozens of inmates—many held indefinitely by the administration despite being cleared for release—have stopped eating in protest.
Truthout has been digging deeper into the Obama administration’s use of Bush-like talking points
and theirrefusal to bow
to the prisoners’ demands. Meanwhile, the protest has spread so much that the government hasoutrageously locked out
and send a signal to the government that transparency should always trump government secrecy.
As our board member actor John Cusack says
, “If the government won’t bring transparency to us, it’s up to us to bring it to them.”
Trevor, Rainey, and Micah
Freedom of the Press Foundation Staff
"A cantankerous press, an obstinate press, a ubiquitous press must be suffered by those in authority in order to preserve the even greater values of freedom of expression and the right of the people to know."
—Judge Murray Gurfein, Pentagon Papers case, June 17, 1971