Dear Truthout Readers,
Truthout has been a vital piece of the media landscape for close to a decade, but I feel that we are doing our best work right now. We are breaking transformative, trailblazing stories on a regular basis and bringing a new level of thoughtful commentary to our ever-growing audience. That said, our organization continues to suffer the damage wrought by an economy which was hollowed out by greed and neglect, and which finally collapsed under its own weight. Truthout needs you now because as this country tries to rebuild its economy, the need for useful, accurate information and brave journalism is greater than ever.
We need the support and commitment of our readers to keep Truthout online.
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I would like to share with you some examples of how your donations helped fund groundbreaking investigative stories that changed the national narratives on issues like the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and the systematic torture of detainees captured in the “war on terror.” These reports have resulted in Congressional action, and if not for your generous support, we would not have been able to tackle them.
Earlier this month, I conducted an on-camera interview with former CIA counterterrorism official John Kiriakou, who, in March 2002, led the team that captured high-value detainee Abu Zubaydah. Zubaydah, the public had been told, was the No. 3 member of al-Qaeda and one of the planners of 9/11. In fact, the intelligence Zubaydah supposedly held formed the basis of the Bush administration’s entire torture program. But during our interview, Kiriakou admitted that the Bush administration’s intelligence was “flawed” and that Zubaydah was not a member of al-Qaeda, nor was he involved in 9/11. The Senate Intelligence Committee is now investigating Zubaydah’s torture and detention, based, in part, on Truthout’s reports.
Moreover Kiriakou, for the first time, disclosed the role he played in the events that lead up to the leak of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson, and provided new information about the manipulation of intelligence leading up to the invasion of Iraq – a story most of the major news outlets allowed to slide through their fingers.
Truthout recently published three lengthy investigative reports on BP, two of which have been picked up by other news organizations, most notably Democracy Now! and “60 Minutes”. Truthout was the first news organization to provide an in-depth look at the claims BP whistleblower Ken Abbott leveled against BP’s other drilling platform in the Gulf, Atlantis, which poses a potentially larger threat than the Horizon. Now that Congress has taken notice, as a direct result of our report, more than 20 lawmakers have called for Atlantis to be shut down immediately. Additionally, on Wednesday, Truthout published my 6,000-word investigative report exposing how the Bush administration’s Justice Department abruptly dismantled a criminal investigation targeting BP and senior executives at the company in connection with a massive oil spill in Alaska in 2006.
I have quite a bit more work to do, and have already identified several investigations I would like to pursue in the weeks ahead. However, much of Truthout’s work is currently on hold because of our tough financial situation. We have demonstrated that our small reporting team can compete with, and in many instances do a much better job than, the mainstream media – and the proof can be found on our homepage.
We must raise $17,000 more before we end our fundraising drive, and we need your help.
We at Truthout remain passionate about journalism, despite the fact that the landscape has changed dramatically. If I did not have the unique journalistic platform provided by Truthout, the stories I’ve mentioned – and the many other game-changing stories we publish every day – might never have been told. Help us keep this ship afloat and plan our future by making a tax-deductible contribution today. Stand with me and with Truthout as we build an alternative to corporatized, commercialized news.
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Deputy Managing Editor, Truthout