Exclusive: Read the Internal Documents Exposing the Former Secret Service Agents Who Went Through Greenpeace’s Trash

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A Mother Jones exclusive investigation has revealed that a security firm run by cops and former Secret Service agents spied on Greenpeace, Fenton Communications, the Center for Food Safety, and other progressive groups. The most interesting company communiques you weren’t supposed to see? Check out the glow-in-the-dark Taco Bell emails and the handwritten notes about which green groups to dumpster-dive in D.C. We’ve made them public for the first time; they’re available on the site here. You’ll have to read James Ridgeway’s story itself to find out about the Mary Kay cosmetics, Obama, and Scientology angles, though.

Yes, it’s weird. Wait’ll you get to the Greenpeace undercover operatives part.

BBI also conducted background checks for the Carlyle Group, the Washington-based investment firm; provided “protective services” for the National Rifle Association; handled “crisis management” for the Gallo wine company; engaged in “information collection” for Wal-Mart. It conducted background checks for Patricia Duff, a Democratic Party fundraiser then involved in an acrimonious child custody battle with billionaire Ronald Perelman. And for Mary Kay, BBI mounted “surveillance” and vetted Gayle Gaston, a top executive at the cosmetics company (and mother of actress Robin Wright Penn), retaining an expert to conduct a psychological assessment of her. Also listed as clients in BBI records? Halliburton and Blackwater.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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