I want to share a story that I hope will convince you to support Truthout:
Last month, I broke news and revealed a highly secretive practice the FBI uses in response to certain Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, known as "blackballing." The story came together organically: last November, the FBI responded to Truthout’s FOIA request for documents on Occupy Wall Street by stating that the agency did not have any records pertaining to our request, even though internal FBI records related to the protest movement had already been posted on the Internet. Civil rights historian Trevor Griffey read my report and then contacted me to share the details about "blackballing," which he learned about, accidentally, a year ago during the course of one of his FOIA requests. I contacted the agency, confirmed the details (a spokesman said "blackballing" was a "term of art"), and published the report.
By shining a light on the process, Truthout has empowered our fellow journalists and our community of readers - as well as the public at large. We all now know that when we file a FOIA request with the FBI or any other government agency and receive a "no records" response, the records we seek may yet exist, and we should keep pushing and file another request, asking for "processing notes" to find out if records were blackballed.
Journalism that informs AND empowers the public is rare, and I am grateful Mr. Griffey trusted me - and Truthout - with the details of this groundbreaking story.
In a time when the government is waging an all-out war on whistleblowers, this information is incredibly valuable. At Truthout, we promise to continue to challenge the blackballing, the disinformation and the lies, in order to help you see and understand the realities of the world we live in.
To keep doing this essential work, we truly need your help. We have $24,000 to raise in order to make our budget and end this drive. Please make a donation and help us continue speaking truth to power.
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