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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Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

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