A FOIA Opportunity[Trenchant Edges]

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Welcome back to the Trenchant Edges, where we fish in the stream of fringe culture looking for delicious meat.

I’m Stephen and yesterday I got a fascinating offer from one of the newsletters I’m on.

Gumshoe Group is offering $1000-1500 grants to freelance Journalists looking to FOIA record searches.

Some of the parapolitics investigations we’ve kicked around doing would be assisted by pulling a search.

So, here’s the challenge: I’ve never been much more than a fluff journalist and it’s been years since I’ve even done that much.

Could I put together a good enough pitch in 10 days? I’m skeptical. Furthermore, the two most obvious options from our active list are MK-Ultra and Cointelpro, which are probably too weirdo for these folks to really commit to.

But there are interesting possibilities around both of those themes. I’m just not sure I could find enough details around those possibilities in my scant free time this week.

Is this worth even looking into? Or should I stay focused, take my time and publish a couple of pieces of Journalism in the next year or so, and come back next year with a killer proposal?

Anyway, here are the places where that can be useful:

  • The Brotherhood of Eternal Love

  • William Leonard Pickard, Todd Skinner, Krystal Cole/Neurosoup, and Brandon Green, that acid factory in an abandoned missile silo.

  • COINTELPRO’s successors

  • MK Ultra’s successors

  • Ronald Stark (this is probably a better article than anything I’d get from the feds)

The brotherhood one might be especially interesting because they were taken down by the first federal anti-drug taskforce. And I’m not sure if any of the historians interested in it have picked any files involved. Or maybe they have and there’s just nothing left.

Hard to say.

I don’t know, I think the missile silo bust might be a place to check for files and snooping at the Bureau’s counter-intelligence files might help. I’d probably need to pick something from the 80s or 90s.

Tricky stuff. FOIA requests are an art and I’ve never sent one. I did some prep for one on Tim Leary, but that got lost in the shuffle of homelessness a few years back.

What do y’all think?

-TE