About POGO

Adam Zagorin

Journalist in Residence


Year Started at POGO: 2009

Adam Zagorin focuses on investigations primarily involving national security and violations of securities laws. Zagorin has written reports for POGO on security risks surrounding the protection of U.S. diplomatic and other facilities abroad, links between a major U.S. military contractor and Iran, and enforcement issues at the Securities and Exchange Commission. Prior to joining POGO, he was a Senior Correspondent at TIME magazine in Washington, DC. He received a B.A. from Northwestern University, an M.A. from Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs, and a degree in Arabic from the Center for Arabic Study Abroad in Cairo. Zagorin has appeared as a commentator on CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox, CNN, PBS News Hour, Charlie Rose, Diane Rehm, and other television and radio venues.

Inside the Cutthroat World of Billion-Dollar Military Supply Contracts

May 8, 2018

A U.S. military vendor created a “ghost structure” to do business with Iran, yet the dollars keep rolling in

How Trump’s NASA Nominee Used a Nonprofit He Ran to Benefit Himself

April 18, 2018

Rep. James Bridenstine’s nomination is already controversial. Evidence of self-dealing won’t help matters.

CIA Inspector General Nominee Has Three Open Whistleblower Retaliation Cases Implicating Him

October 16, 2017

President Trump’s nominee to be the Central Intelligence Agency’s Inspector General—its top independent watchdog—is named in at least three open whistleblower retaliation cases.

Whistleblower Lawsuit Charges Illegal Retaliation, Dangerous Practices at CIA’s Elite Directorate of Operations

August 24, 2017

Exclusive: Federal lawsuit alleges dangerous practices at a CIA base in war zone, whistleblower retaliation by top Agency spymaster and failure of CIA Inspector General to investigate the case in a timely manner.

POGO Asks US Attorney Town to Recuse from Birmingham Superfund Bribery Case

August 9, 2017

Jay Town should recuse himself from the bribery investigation into Balch & Bingham and Drummond Company, given his political ties to those involved in the scandal.

Recusal Time, Again

July 31, 2017

An ongoing federal investigation in Alabama involves a powerful law firm and coal company with deep connections to Attorney General Sessions and Senator Strange.

The US Military's Iran Connection?

June 7, 2017

KGL Chairman Saed Dashti charged in criminal fraud and money laundering case. Estimated losses to investors: more than $160 million.

Exclusive: New Documents in Zero Dark Thirty Affair Raise Questions of White House-Sanctioned Intelligence Leak and Inspector General Coverup

April 16, 2015

A document newly obtained by the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) reveals more about the high-level government access Hollywood filmmakers had during their research—and what happened at the top of the CIA, including the Agency’s use of White House-approved talking points to brief the filmmakers specifically about intelligence used to locate the al Qaeda leader.

Justice Department Downplays Evidence of Politics in Probe of Governor

December 11, 2014

New evidence related to one of the most controversial public corruption cases in recent years, the 2006 conviction of Alabama’s former Democratic Governor, Donald E. Siegelman, indicates that Department of Justice lawyers may have engaged in prosecutorial misconduct.

“Stay in Your F---ing Lane”

August 13, 2014

A controversial top Army officer, Major General Gary S. Patton, has just been cited for the second time in less than a year for obstructing an official probe into horrific conditions at a U.S.-funded hospital in Afghanistan.

Benghazi Ignored: New Evidence Exposes Gaps in Kabul Embassy Security

September 9, 2013

Interviews with security personnel and documents obtained by the Project On Government Oversight show gaps in the defenses at the U.S. embassy in war-torn Afghanistan long after a deadly attack in Benghazi brutally reminded Washington of the risks.

Unreleased: Probe Finds CIA Honcho Disclosed Top Secret Info to Hollywood

June 4, 2013

The Defense Department Inspector General’s office has been sitting on a report that former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta disclosed “TOP SECRET” information and other sensitive details two years ago at an event attended by a “Hollywood executive” working on the movie Zero Dark Thirty.

A ''Mutiny'' in Kabul: Guards Allege Security Problems Have Put Embassy at Risk

January 17, 2013

Private guards responsible for protecting what may be the most at-risk U.S. diplomatic mission in the world -- the embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan -- say security weaknesses have left it dangerously vulnerable to attack.

A Test Case on Sanctions?

April 4, 2012

If there's one thing most Americans support in foreign policy, it’s sanctions against Iran to halt its alleged drive for nuclear weapons. From President Obama to Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich, leading candidates all want to put the economic squeeze on Tehran and to signal their support for Israel. President Obama recently announced he will ratchet up sanctions on the country’s oil exports and declared a “national emergency” to deal with the Islamic Republic. The Senate will try to iron out its differences over anti-Iran measures in coming weeks, as bus stations around Washington, DC, are studded with advertisements questioning the President’s resolve on the issue.

Wall Street in Washington: Insider Access

December 8, 2011

Nearly a dozen senior staff at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the giant agency that administers hundreds of billions in federal health care dollars, had been called to a meeting. After a discussion with five Wall Street professionals that lasted nearly two hours, one senior CMS analyst filed an ethics complaint that later went to the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Affidavit: Trump Justice Nominee Backed Defiance of Court Orders

January 6, 2017

Trump Attorney General Pick Senator Jeff Sessions and Possible Supreme Court Nominee William Pryor Favored Defying Court Orders.

NSA Watchdog Removed for Whistleblower Retaliation

December 15, 2016

In 2014, top NSA watchdog George Ellard publicly argued that Snowden could have safely reported the allegations of NSA’s domestic surveillance directly to him. Ellard has since been terminated after a high-level Intelligence Community panel found that he had previously retaliated against an NSA whistleblower.

Further Report of Abuse Inside the Defense Logistics Agency

August 26, 2016

The Project On Government Oversight recently learned new information involving its July 6, 2016, article about improper leaks of restricted government documents by the Defense Logistics Agency to a major US military contractor, Kuwait and Gulf Link, also known as KGL.

Pentagon Leaks to Persian Gulf Contractor Raise Questions

July 6, 2016

Arrest for Iran Sanctions Violation: FBI held wealthy executive Fuad Ismael Dashti, key shareholder in Kuwait's KGL corporate network, a company that recently benefited from Pentagon leaks of sensitive government documents.

Senior VA Official Investigated for Possible Conflict with Husband’s Business

June 16, 2016

Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General Investigates Senior VA Official Rosye Cloud for Possible Conflict of Interest with Her Husband's software business, as Secretary Robert McDonald Struggles to Refirm Scandal-Plagued Agency.

Yes, America’s Psychologists Abetted Torture Interrogations

August 7, 2015

The American Psychological Association is holding its annual meeting under the shadow of a new report on the Association and CIA torture, and a host of serious oversight questions.

Clinton Emails: Inside Response to POGO’s Kabul Embassy Exposé

August 6, 2015

Secretary Clinton's newly released emails from 2009 show that the State Department saw itself primarily in a battle to limit public relations damage that could arise from the Kabul Embassy scandal.

SEAL Team 6 Veterans Face Flak While Former SecDef Skates

November 10, 2014

SEAL Team 6 veterans Matt Bissonnette and the SEAL known as the “Shooter” are facing a backlash from the military over going public with their accounts about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, but former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is reportedly receiving lighter treatment when it comes to his own memoir.

Intelligence Official Cited for “Unauthorized Disclosure” to Congress: Oversight on the Rocks

March 25, 2014

Just over a year ago, an official at the Defense Department gave congressional oversight committees a document that had the potential to embarrass the Secretary of Defense and the Pentagon’s Office of Inspector General.

Final Inspector General’s Report Cuts References to Panetta’s Disclosure of “TOP SECRET” Info

June 14, 2013

The Department of Defense Inspector General’s final report on what kind of access the Zero Dark Thirty filmmakers had to classified information omits any reference to then-CIA Director Leon Panetta’s disclosure of “TOP SECRET” and other sensitive information at an event attended by the film’s screenwriter.

Lawmaker Calls on Pentagon to Release Report on Zero Dark Thirty Probe

June 6, 2013

Rep. Peter King wants the Pentagon to release the results of an investigation he requested almost two years ago into possible leaks of classified information to the makers of Zero Dark Thirty, the movie about the hunt for Osama bin Laden.

Lawsuit: Kabul Embassy Guards Told to Lie About Long Hours

January 23, 2013

Guards responsible for protecting the U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, have often worked 14 to 18 hours per day for six or seven days per week and have been directed to file false time records to avoid revealing that they have exceeded the standard 72-hour workweek, a lawsuit alleges.

Intelligence Chief Uses Unreliable Lie Detector Technology to Plug Media Leaks

June 27, 2012

The testing could put intelligence workers at risk of being falsely stigmatized, jeopardizing their careers and their ability to contribute to the national security. It also could have a chilling effect on employees considering blowing the whistle on government wrongdoing.

In Bed with Big Pharma? Industry Liaisons Raise Questions at the FDA

January 12, 2012

"No comment." That's what the spokesman for a leading academic and member of a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) panel said when asked whether the member's ties to Bayer, the German drug giant, had "affected her judgment in any way regarding her vote on December 8, 2011."

July 2, 2018

CIA Whistleblower Who Sought Private Right to Action Is Terminated

Government Executive | By Charles S. Clark

March 1, 2018

Judge Rejects CIA Whistleblower’s Bid for the Right to Advance His Case Privately

Government Executive | By Charles S. Clark

October 17, 2017

CIA Watchdog Nominee Denies Charges of Whistleblower Retaliation

Government Executive | By Charles S. Clark

August 24, 2017

CIA officer: Personnel sent shopping in hostile area

Associated Press | By Deb Riechmann

August 9, 2017

Group asks Sessions, U.S. Attorney to recuse themselves from Superfund cases

WBRC Fox 6 News | By Erica Thomas, Producer and Jonathan Hardison, Anchor

June 16, 2016

Top VA Official And Her Hubby Targets In Conflict Of Interest Probe

The Daily Caller News Foundation | By Kathryn Watson

April 20, 2015

Newly Revealed Memo Revives Flap Over ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ Disclosures

Government Executive (GovExec.com) | By Charles S. Clark

May 30, 2014

POGO Blows the Lid Off Veterans Affairs Scandal

The Fiscal Times | By Brianna Ehley

March 28, 2014

An Unauthorized Leak on Unauthorized 'Zero Dark Thirty' Remarks?

Government Executive at govexec.com | By Charles S. Clark