From Their Vaults to Your Desktop
Finding out what you're not supposed to know is easier than ever, thanks to
the Net. A number of Web sites have posted truckloads of formerly secret
government and corporate documents online, and even more sites offer
neglected news and views from progressive, conservative, radical, and other
(sometimes unidentifiable) viewpoints. Here are some of the best online
resources for making an end run around the gatekeepers in the government
and the media.
Get the latest word on police-state tactics, conspiracies, revolutionaries,
ignored history, suppressed tech, and all manner of mindfuckery.
National Security Archive (http://hfni.gsehd.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv): Although its name
is similar to that of the National Security Agency, this NSA is a private,
nonprofit organization that collects declassified documents the way kids
collect Pokémon cards. You'll find "electronic briefing books" containing
documents on Che Guevara's murder, the contras and cocaine, Guatemalan
death squads, Tiananmen Square, the Iran coup of 1953, the National
Security Agency, and other touchy subjects. Commentaries written by the
archive's staff help put things in perspective.
Digital National Security Archive (http://nsarchive.chadwyck.com): If you're
craving extensive documentation on matters of U.S. policy, this site
contains a walloping 35,000 declassified documents totaling hundreds of
thousands of pages.
The Black Vault (http://blackvault.com): If you think there's no hope for the
youth of America, take a look at this site started by a 15-year-old. Using
skills he undoubtedly learned in his high school civics class (cough,
cough), the now-19-year-old has filed umpteen Freedom of Information Act
requests, accumulating an archive of thousands of documents from various
agencies. The bulk of them are on UFOs, but there are others on World War
II, the Apollo space program, biological weapons, cloning, and even the
Department of Energy supercomputer.
Big Brother's Watching (http://bigbrotherswatching.com): The teenage creator of
The Black Vault (see above) had so many declassified FBI documents that he
had to create a separate site to house them. Big Brother's Watching is
stuffed with over 70,000 pages, which take up several gigabytes of server
space. This treasure trove includes files on Jonestown, the Weather
Underground, Project Blue Book, the Atlanta child murders, and Hitler,
among other topics.
Cryptome (http://jya.com/crypto.htm): John Young has a cool hobby: The New York
architect obtains declassified documents and posts them to his Web site on
an almost daily basis. You'll find lots of great stuff here on the global
snooping network Echelon, DVD encryption, and TEMPEST technology, which
lets the spooks view your monitor from a van parked a block or more away
from your house. Cryptome recently made a splash when Young posted the
first still-classified British intelligence file leaked to the Net. Despite
requests from the British government, he has refused to remove it.
The Smoking Gun (http://thesmokinggun.com): Dripping with sarcasm, the Smoking
Gun, cofounded by longtime Voice writer William Bastone, doesn't focus so
much on declassified government files as on other (usually embarrassing)
documents, like celebrity arrest reports, strange lawsuits, search warrants
in high-profile cases, and general lunacy. Where else can you find Mike
Tyson's psychiatric report, the FBI file on John Steinbeck, customs agents'
guidelines for performing cavity searches, and a catalog of weapons and
military vehicles from a Russian arms dealer?
Dossier Documents Library (http://parascope.com/ds/documentslibrary): A huge
collection of government documents on CIA interrogation, the Clinton
scandals, Korean War POWs, the MKULTRA mind-control program, Roswell, and
APB News G-Files (http://apbnews.com/media/gfiles): The crime and justice news
service APB News does a fantastic job of posting declassified documents on
Marilyn Monroe, Walt Disney, Pablo Picasso, Jerry Falwell, UFO sightings,
snuff films, and the Zodiac Killer, to name just a few. While you're there,
feast your eyes on the mug shots of famous people like Dennis Rodman,
Matthew McConaughey, and Bill Gates.
CIA Electronic Documents Release Center (foia.ucia.gov): In an effort to
give the illusion of greater openness (and to cut down on paperwork), the
CIA has posted some of its most requested documents to its Web site. You
can also check out the offerings on other official Web sites, including
those of the FBI (foia.fbi.gov) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and
HREX: Human Radiation Experiments Information Management System
(http://hrex.dis.anl.gov): A searchable database of over 250,000 pages of
documents from federal agencies that expose governmental and
non-governmental experimentation on humans since the 1940s.
Tobacco Archives (http://tobaccoarchive.com): Following its 1998 settlement with
state governments, the tobacco industry cheerfully created this site, which
will lead you to 26 million pages of documents—including memos and internal
reports—from several tobacco companies.
ParaScope's Freedom of Information Act Help Center
(http://parascope.com/foia/foia.html): Learn how to snag your own declassified
documents by filing FOIA requests. The fill-in-the-blank "Request-O-Matic"
form will even generate a letter for you.
Alternative News & Views
Federation of American Scientists (http://fas.org): Primarily known for its
antinuke stance (the group was founded by scientists who worked on the
Manhattan Project), the FAS also has plenty of hard-hitting info on
biological and chemical weapons, global arms dealing, government secrecy,
intelligence agencies, the Department of Defense, spy satellites, and
Free Speech Internet Television (http://freespeech.org): At this site you can
feast on independent video documentaries (and sound clips) that wouldn't
otherwise get aired or distributed. Watch guerrilla coverage of protests at
IMF meetings, riots against the NYPD, and other things you won't see
unfiltered on CNN.
CounterPunch (http://counterpunch.org): Radical muckraking newsletter and Web site
fronted by journalists Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair.
The Emperor's Clothes (http://emperors-clothes.com): Alternative views on NATO
"peacekeeping actions" and U.S. foreign policy.
Human Rights Watch (http://hrw.org): The latest on atrocities, massacres,
disappearances, and suppression from around the world.
Corporate Watch (http://corpwatch.org): Keeping up with the multinational
corporate bullyboys is a snap with this site. Sample headlines: "USA:
Companies Profit From Body Parts," "UK: Toxin Found in Nike Football
Shirts," and "Brazil: McDonald's Conducts 'Experiment' in Shantytowns."
Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (http://fair.org): A left-leaning media watchdog
group that exposes spin, distortions, and omissions in the news.
Ecobadguys (http://echobadguys.com): Instead of giving the vague warnings about
fluorocarbons that bubble up in the corporate media, this site, staffed in
part by several Voice journalists, names names and points fingers at those
corporations and politicians who are trashing the environment.
Copwatch (http://copwatch.com): This site polices the police by keeping tabs on
corrupt and brutal cops across the country. Beatings, killings, bribes,
planted evidence . . . it's all here!
APB News (http://apbnews.com): A full-fledged independent newswire with 55
employees and 130 freelancers, APB News covers lots of stories on crime,
justice, and law that fall between the cracks of the mainstream media.
Opensecrets (http://opensecrets.com): This Web site from the Center for Responsive
Politics follows the money trail in politics through all its dark twists
and turns. Find out which candidates your neighbors gave money to!
Freedom Forum (http://freedomforum.org): This impressive site reports daily on
conflicts involving free speech, mainly in the United States.
Index Online (http://indexoncensorship.org): For a global perspective on free
speech and freedom of the press—including banned photos and political
cartoons—check out the Web site of the bimonthly Index on Censorship.
NameBase (http://pir.org): A fantastic effort to index over a quarter of a million
citations from more than 750 newspapers, magazines, and books. Simply look
up the name of a CIA agent, Cold Warrior, mafioso, politician, or
multinational corporation, and you'll get page references to mainstream and
alternative publications that spill the beans.
The Konformist (http://konformist.com): Sardonic humor and brash attitude enliven
this conspiratorial look at the day's issues, including JonBenet,
Columbine, gas prices, Giuliani, JFK Jr., and, um, the world's largest gang
ParaScope (http://parascope.com): Extensive material on hazy goings-on, from
assassinations and government drug-running to UFO sightings and psychic
Disinformation (http://disinformation.com): The supreme guide to the hidden
aspects of our world, Disinformation delivers a "dossier"—an article with
lots of links—every weekday. You'll get the latest word on police-state
tactics, conspiracies, extremism, corporate creeps, radicals and
revolutionaries, suppressed tech, ignored history, and all manner of
mindfuckery, including occasional reviews by this writer. For your
continued edification, Disinfo also has a subversive search engine.
GettingIt (http://gettingit.com): Run by cyberdelic anarchist R.U. Sirius of MONDO
2000 fame, GettingIt examines politics and culture through a twisted, jaded
Fortean Times (http://forteantimes.com): From the quirky to the frightening, the
"Breaking News" area of Fortean Times's Web site reports on events that
defy explanation (and sometimes belief). Read about bizarre deaths, new
animal species, disturbing religious behavior, amazing coincidences, and
To get more news from a leftist perspective, visit The Nader Page
(http://nader.org), featuring weekly columns by consumer advocate and presidential
candidate Ralph Nader. If you're looking to uncover the more bizarre
aspects of our world, try The Anomalist (http://anomalist.com), or Steamshovel
Press (http://steamshovelpress.com), which promises "All Conspiracy. No Theory."