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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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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