We need you.

Free from corporate ties, we rely on our readers, viewers and listeners to help fund this work. Please donate today.

The truth will not reveal itself.

Subscribe to Reveal

Every week we drop a new episode. Get it in your inbox.

Or the podcast app of your choice:

Posted inMoney and Politics


The mission of Bedford County’s Emergency Management Agency in Tennessee is to prepare for and recover from “natural, manmade, or technological disasters upon its people or property,” according to the office’s Web site. But auditors found something other than a commitment to preparedness and homeland security when they arrived in 2008 as a result of […]

Posted inMoney and Politics


Flying on a commercial airliner changed forever after Sept. 11, and travelers have grown accustomed to the greatly enhanced security measures implemented since the hijackings, including thousands of new screeners hired by the fledgling Transportation Security Administration to search passengers and bags for dangerous items. The last worry anyone wants now is that the very […]

Posted inMoney and Politics


Officials at the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency turned over fairly detailed Excel spreadsheets listing anti-terrorism grant transactions containing the type of equipment purchased, how much it cost, who bought it and more. You can download the records here, but they’re limited to a five-year period. Since states are reimbursed with grant funds after first buying […]

Don't miss a story. Get our investigations and reporters’ insights delivered to your inbox.

Posted inMoney and Politics


Texas became the flashpoint of debate over a Bush-era plan to line the southwest border of the United States with fences, motion detectors, lights and surveillance cameras to keep undocumented immigrants out. Known as the Secure Border Initiative, the program included building “tactical infrastructure,” or vehicle and pedestrian fences stretching across 660 miles of the […]

Posted inMoney and Politics


The state of Idaho produced a lengthy spreadsheet and other documents in response to a request submitted under the state’s open-records law for information about its anti-terrorism grant spending. While the information is not as detailed as we would have preferred, readers can still view spending activity by county, cost of the equipment purchased, year […]

Posted inMoney and Politics


State auditors discovered several problems when they showed up to the Nevada Department of Public Safety’s Division of Emergency Management in the fall of 2008. But officials there strongly disagreed with many of the findings and fired back in a lengthy response letter. Among other things, auditors concluded that the division had failed to report […]

Posted inMoney and Politics


Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona is famous for his criticism of unregulated congressional earmarks, and losing the 2008 presidential election to Barack Obama didn’t slow him down. In November of 2009 he embraced new media to spread his theology of less government waste using Twitter to announce the top 10 earmarks he considered worthy […]

Posted inMoney and Politics


Illinois officials gave $200,000 a year to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Urbana so it could seek tips from the public about terrorists possibly tampering with the food supply by poisoning pets. Authorities also claimed the hotline would help them detect disease outbreaks. After two years, however, the local SPCA […]

Posted inMoney and Politics

New Hampshire

We first sent an open-records request to New Hampshire’s Department of Safety under the state’s Right-to-Know law in September of 2008 asking for records showing how federal anti-terrorism grants had been spent there since 2001. Officials responded that it would take at least 15 business days to determine what records were available and what they […]

Posted inMoney and Politics


In response to a request submitted under Vermont’s open-records laws, the state Department of Public Safety turned over several electronic spreadsheets detailing how they’ve used federal homeland security grants since 2001. You can download the Excel files here, and for the most part they’re simple to navigate and understand. Local communities purchase equipment and services […]