Featured Investigations

Drilling Down: Big Oil's Bidding

February 22, 2018
For decades, there has been a virtual giveaway of offshore drilling rights. And the Trump Administration is planning to put much more on the auction block.

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Impunity for U.S.-Funded Warlords in Afghanistan

February 16, 2018

A report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) last month revealed that the United States is unable or unwilling to stop funding units that engage in torture, summary execution, and other serious human rights violations, despite Congress’s efforts to restrict that aid.

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Propaganda by Proxy: How High-Powered Lobbying and PR Firms Launder Influence for Foreign Governments

January 29, 2018

Lax enforcement of a key lobbying disclosure law and the use of middlemen makes it hard to track foreign propaganda in the United States.

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How the Clinton Team Thwarted Effort to Regulate Derivatives

April 25, 2014 | Michael Smallberg

In April 1998, a decade before a historic crisis wreaked havoc on global financial markets, an obscure regulator saw a potential gap in the government’s oversight of Wall Street and tried to do something about it.

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Hundreds of Justice Department Attorneys Violated Professional Rules, Laws, or Ethical Standards

March 13, 2014

An internal affairs office at the Justice Department has found that, over the last decade, hundreds of federal prosecutors and other Justice employees violated rules, laws, or ethical standards governing their work.

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Watching the Watchdogs: The Good, the Bad, and What We Need from the Inspectors General

January 14, 2014 | Danielle Brian, Jana Persky

Inspectors General are in place to hold their agencies accountable, yet a number lack the strength, independence, and integrity to effectively do so. Our report looks at some notable failures and successes by IGs and suggests places where the IG system can be reformed.

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EITI: The U.S. Effort to Increase Transparency in the Oil, Gas and Mining Industries

September 24, 2013 | Avery Kleinman, Jana Persky

A federal advisory committee is working on a proposal that would allow the U.S. to implement international transparency standards for extractive industries that drill or mine on public lands.

State Department Gives Misleading Testimony to Senate

September 9, 2013 | David S. Hilzenrath

Under Secretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy delivered inaccurate and misleading testimony to a Senate panel in July when he claimed that the contractor now responsible for protecting the U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, rebuffed two direct attacks on the embassy compound.

Benghazi Ignored: New Evidence Exposes Gaps in Kabul Embassy Security

September 9, 2013 | Adam Zagorin

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 | Adam Zagorin, David S. Hilzenrath

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.

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Big Businesses Offer Revolving Door Rewards

March 21, 2013 | Michael Smallberg

Major corporations make it financially advantageous for executives to take government jobs, according to regulatory filings reviewed by POGO. Through their compensation policies, companies may be fueling the revolving door.

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SEC Alumni Help Firms Get a Break

February 11, 2013 | Michael Smallberg

POGO Report - Dangerous Liaisons: Revolving Door at SEC Creates Risk of Regulatory Capture, February 11, 2013, Scores of SEC Alumni Go to Bat for SEC-Regulated Companies

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

January 17, 2013 | Adam Zagorin

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.

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