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Cora Currier

6 Months After Obama Promised To Divulge More On Drones, Here’s What We Still Don’t Know

by Cora Currier, ProPublica. Nearly six months ago, President Obama promised more transparency and tighter policies around targeted killings. In a speech, Obama vowed that the U.S. would only use force against a “continuing and imminent threat to the American people.” It would fire only when there was “near-certainty” civilians would not be killed or […]

November 6, 2013

Who Are We At War With? That’s Classified

by Cora Currier, ProPublica, July 26, 2013. In a major national security speech this spring, President Obama said again and again that the U.S. is at war with “al Qaeda, the Taliban, and their associated forces.” So who exactly are those associated forces? It’s a secret. At a hearing in May, Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) asked […]

July 26, 2013

Hunger Strikes And Indefinite Detention: A Rundown On What’s Going On At Gitmo

by Cora Currier, ProPublica It’s been 11 years since the first detainees were brought to Guantánamo Bay. But the future of the prison, and the fate of the men inside it, is far from certain.  With 59 detainees at Gitmo currently on hunger strike, by the military’s count, here’s a primer on what’s going at […]

April 18, 2013

A Public Indictment Could Shed Light On CIA’s Secret Program

by Cora Currier, ProPublica. Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn unsealed an indictment last week charging Ibrahim Suleiman Adnan Adam Harun with six terrorism-related counts. The announcement that Harun is in U.S. custody in New York may also shed light on a small part one of the most secretive aspects of U.S. counterterrorism operations during the Bush administration: […]

March 25, 2013

Drone Strikes Test Legal Grounds For War On Terror

by Cora Currier, ProPublica. In his second inaugural address, President Barack Obama declared that “a decade of war is now ending.” White House press secretary Jay Carney later said there was “no question” that the U.S. conflict with al Qaeda was “entering a new phase.” That day in Yemen, a U.S. drone strike reportedly killed three suspected al […]

February 6, 2013

Cutting Through The Controversy About Indefinite Detention And The NDAA

by Cora Currier, ProPublica. On Tuesday, the Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, a yearly military spending bill. Last year, the bill affirmed the U.S.’s authority to hold suspected terrorists indefinitely and without charges. The provision had generated plenty of controversy, particularly about whether U.S. citizens could be detained indefinitely.  This year, […]

December 7, 2012

Why Florida Is Sitting On $300 Million Meant To Help Homeowners

by Cora Currier, ProPublica Florida has the highest percentage of home loans in foreclosure in the country. So why is more than $300 million that could help homeowners sitting unused? Florida was awarded those millions in February as part of the $25 billion national settlement between five of country’s biggest banks and 49 states and […]

October 24, 2012

The Bush Administration’s Oft-Repeated (And Now Challenged) Waterboarding Claims

by Cora Currier, ProPublica For many years, Bush administration officials have said that the CIA waterboarded only three terror suspects. Despite nearly endless revelations and investigations about the U.S.’s treatment of detainees, there has never been evidence contradicting those claims. But that changed earlier this month. Human Rights Watch recently released a report detailing the […]

September 17, 2012

Mitt Romney’s Tax Mysteries: A Reading Guide

by Cora Currier, ProPublica Last week, the website Gawker published more than 900 pages of documents from Bain Capital, the private equity firm Mitt Romney founded, and headed from 1984 until 1999. The document dump didn’t reveal much about Romney’s personal investments, but it added a bit more to the pressure on Romney to release […]

August 30, 2012

Washington’s War On Leaks, Explained

by Cora Currier, ProPublica Accusations continue to fly from lawmakers and presidential hopeful Mitt Romney that the Obama administration has leaked national security information for political gain. Leaks, of course, are nothing new in Washington, but now the Senate has jumped into the fray, with a new proposal to tighten control over the flow of […]

August 2, 2012

HSBC’s Money Laundering Lapses, By The Numbers

by Cora Currier, ProPublica.   This week a Senate investigation detailed that HSBC had lax controls against money-laundering and often ignored warnings about clients with ties to drug cartels and terrorists. The bank is also reportedly nearing a settlement with the Justice Department, which has two criminal investigations into whether HSBC was complicit in money-laundering […]

July 20, 2012

Classified Confusion: What Leaks Are Being Investigated, And What’s The Law On Leaks?

by Cora Currier, ProPublica Recent scoops on national security have drawn the ire of Republican lawmakers, who have accused the Obama White House of leaking stories that burnish its image. Obama responded that he has “zero tolerance” for leaks. He also said: “the writers of these articles have all stated unequivocally that they didn’t come […]

July 2, 2012

JPMorgan’s Connections To The House Finance Committee

by Cora Currier, ProPublica. JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon is on Capitol Hill again today, this time to talk to the House Financial Services committee about the bank’s recent multibillion-dollar trading loss. According to his prepared testimony, Dimon plans to deliver basically the same remarks he gave the Senate banking committee last week, apologizing but […]

June 19, 2012

Charting The Cozy Connections Between JP Morgan And The Senate Banking Committee

by Cora Currier, ProPublica. This morning, Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan Chase, faced a Senate hearing over more than $2 billion in bank losses caused by risky hedges that blew up. Dimon said that the hedges — investments meant to protect the bank — had grown into “complex and hard-to manage risks.” The […]

June 13, 2012

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Drones

by Cora Currier, ProPublica.   Everyone is talking about drones. Also known as Unmanned Arial Vehicles, or UAVs, remote-piloted aircrafts have become a controversial centerpiece of the Obama administration’s counter-terrorism strategy. Domestically, their surveillance power is being hyped for everything from fighting crime to monitoring hurricanes or spawning salmon. Meanwhile, concerns are cropping up about […]

May 31, 2012

Air Force Pilots Balk At Flying The World’s Most Expensive Fighter Jet

by Cora Currier, ProPublica The pricey F-22 Raptor jet has just gotten back up in the air, but the safety problem that grounded it doesn’t seem to be resolved. Last year, the F-22 was grounded for four months because pilots were experiencing dizziness and other symptoms of hypoxia, which is caused by a lack of […]

May 2, 2012

News Corp. Exec Considered Enlisting Newspaper Editors in Lobbying Effort

by Cora Currier ProPublica   In front of a British government panel today, Rupert Murdoch denied that he tried to wield political influence or use his media holdings to further the business interests of News Corp. “I take particular pride in the fact that we’ve never pushed our commercial interests in our newspapers,” Murdoch said […]

April 26, 2012

ALEC And ExxonMobil Push Loopholes In Fracking Chemical Disclosure Rules

by Cora Currier, ProPublica One of the key controversies about fracking is the chemical makeup of the fluid that is pumped deep into the ground to break apart rock and release natural gas. Some companies have been reluctant to disclose what’s in their fracking fluid. Scientists and environmental advocates argue that, without knowing its precise composition, […]

April 24, 2012

Big Banks Slack On Maintaining Foreclosed Homes In Minority Areas, Complaint Charges

by Cora Currier, ProPublica   Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank have let foreclosed homes in black and Latino neighborhoods lapse into disrepair, while bank-owned homes in mainly white neighborhoods are better cared-for, according to housing advocates. The National Fair Housing Alliance, a non-profit group, brought a formal complaint to the Department of Housing and Urban […]

April 17, 2012

The 23 States That Have Sweeping Self-Defense Laws Just Like Florida’s

by Cora Currier, ProPublica. “Stand Your Ground” — “Shoot First” — “Make My Day” — state laws asserting an expansive right to self-defense have come into focus after last month’s killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. While local prosecutors have not arrested the shooter, George Zimmerman, the case is now being investigated by the Department of […]

March 22, 2012

Breaking Down The Mortgage Settlement: How Far Does $26 Billion Go?

by Cora Currier, ProPublica.The big bank settlement over mortgage servicing abuses was finalized last week, detailing at last the agreement’s actual terms.Bank of America, Citigroup, Ally Financial (formerly GMAC), and JP Morgan Chase are together on the hook for billions, which will be divvied up between penalties paid to the federal and state governments, direct […]

March 19, 2012

13 Reasons Goldman’s Quitting Exec May Have a Point

by Cora Currier, ProPublica An executive at Goldman Sachs left the firm today with a bang, penning a New York Times op-ed accusing the company of increasingly putting profits ahead of clients. Greg Smith started as an intern 12 years ago and last headed a derivatives department. Not surprisingly, Goldman quickly and strongly disagreed with […]

March 14, 2012

How Citibank Dumped Lousy Mortgages On The Government

by Cora Currier, ProPublica Citigroup agreed yesterday to pay $158 million to settle a lawsuit over bad loans that the bank passed on to the Federal Housing Administration to insure. The whistle-blower who originally brought the case, Sherry Hunt, an employee of Citi’s mortgage department, said the company actively undermined the process that was supposed […]

February 17, 2012

Meet The Obscure Federal Regulator Who's Not Helping Homeowners

by Cora Currier, ProPublica Last week, ProPublica and NPR raised questions about a risky investment strategy at Freddie Mac that would pay off if homeowners stayed trapped in expensive mortgages. It’s just the latest example of how government-owned Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have frustrated many by not putting homeowners first. Fannie and Freddie are […]

February 7, 2012