20 Intercept Stories From 2017 That Show the Kind of Year It’s Been

We published some 1,400 stories in 2017, shining a light on abuses and corruption from Washington, D.C., to the foreign battlefields of the war on terror.

Photo Illustration: Elise Swain for The Intercept

War crimes, government spying, climate chaos, white nationalism in the White House — if 2017 brought unwelcome developments in the world, it gave The Intercept plenty to write about with urgency and outrage. We published some 1,400 stories this year, shining a light on abuses and corruption from Washington, D.C., to the foreign battlefields of the war on terror. Here are 20 stories that are worth revisiting — or catching up on, if you missed them — as this year full of bizarre and bad news hurtles to a fitting conclusion.


The Bizarre Story Behind the FBI’s Fake Documentary About the Bundy Family

Photo: Jason Bean/Las Vegas Review-Journal/AP
The FBI spent almost a year making a fake documentary, trying to get Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and his supporters to incriminate themselves on tape.
By Ryan Devereaux, Trevor Aaronson


The Crimes of Seal Team 6

Illustration: Attila Futaki for The Intercept
Behind the heroic narratives of SEAL Team 6 is a darker, more troubling story of criminal brutality and war crimes.
By Matthew Cole


Women and Children in Yemeni Village Recall Horror of Trump’s “Highly Successful” SEAL Raid

Photo: Iona Craig
The Trump administration says its January 29 raid in Yemen was a huge success. But eyewitness accounts contradict the White House’s version of events.
By Iona Craig


Leaked Documents Reveal Counterterrorism Tactics Used at Standing Rock to “Defeat Pipeline Insurgencies”

Photo: TigerSwan
Internal TigerSwan documents provide a detailed picture of how the mercenary firm surveilled and infiltrated Standing Rock protest camps.
By Alleen Brown, Will Parrish, Alice Speri

CIA Director Met Advocate of Disputed DNC Hack Theory — at Trump’s Request

Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP
Exclusive: Mike Pompeo met with William Binney, who claims the DNC email theft was an inside job, not a Russian hack, at President Donald Trump’s request.
By Duncan Campbell, James Risen


The Worst of Donald Trump’s Toxic Agenda Is Lying In Wait — a Major U.S. Crisis Will Unleash It

Photo: Bo Rader/The Wichita Eagle/AP
While we are distracted by (or addicted to) the Donald Trump Show, the quiet, methodical work of redistributing wealth upward proceeds apace.
By Naomi Klein


The Numbers Don’t Lie: White Far-Right Terrorists Pose a Clear Danger to Us All

Photo: Don Ryan/AP
Donald Trump and other Republicans decry Islamist terror attacks but pay scant attention to attacks by white nationalists, such as in Portland.
By Mehdi Hasan


The White Privilege of the “Lone Wolf” Shooter

Photo:David Becker/Getty Images
Stephen Paddock, the white man who carried out the Las Vegas mass shooting, is primarily described as a “lone wolf” — not a “terrorist.”
By Shaun King


Donald Trump and the Coming Fall of American Empire

Illustration: Elise Swain for The Intercept
Famed historian Alfred McCoy predicts that China is set to surpass the influence of the U.S. globally, both militarily and economically, by the year 2030.
By Jeremy Scahill


Barry Jones Was Sent to Death Row for the Murder of a 4-Year-Old Girl. Did Arizona Get It Wrong?

Photo: Pima County Sheriff’s Department
Barry Jones has spent 22 years on death row. Prosecutors have fought against reopening his case even as the basis for his conviction has fallen apart.
By Liliana Segura


The FBI Has Quietly Investigated White Supremacist Infiltration of Law Enforcement

Photo: John Moore/Getty Images
Bureau policies have been crafted to take into account the active presence of domestic extremists in U.S. law enforcement.
By Alice Speri


Trump Called Rodrigo Duterte to Congratulate Him on His Murderous Drug War: “You Are Doing an Amazing Job”

Photo Illustration: The Intercept/Getty Images
“Keep up the good work,” Trump told Duterte, according to an official transcript of the April 29 call. “You are doing an amazing job.”
By Jeremy Scahill, Alex Emmons, Ryan Grim


The Sordid Double Life of Washington’s Most Powerful Ambassador

Photo: Johnny Nunez/WireImage/Getty Images
Yousef al-Otaiba, the UAE’s powerful ambassador to Washington, led a hard-partying life that eventually collided with his professional world.
By Ryan Grim


More Than 400 People Convicted of Terrorism in the U.S. Have Been Released Since 9/11

Photo: John Loomis/The New York Times/Redux
In the Liberty City Seven terror case, a group of street hustlers working a scam fell victim to an FBI informant posing as an agent of Al Qaeda.
By Trevor Aaronson


Gary Cohn Is Giving Goldman Sachs Everything It Ever Wanted From the Trump Administration

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images
At Goldman Sachs, Gary Cohn nearly wrecked the economy. As Trump’s top economic adviser, he’s dismantling the rules put in place after the financial crisis.
By Gary Rivlin, Michael Hudson


Will the Prison Rape Epidemic Ever Have Its Weinstein Moment?

Photo: Tannen Maury/AFP/Getty Images
Prison rape is a national epidemic, but it’s bound to get left out of the national conversation sparked by allegations against Harvey Weinstein and others.
By Natasha Lennard


Japan Made Secret Deals With the NSA That Expanded Global Surveillance

Photo: Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images
Top-secret documents reveal the complex relationship the NSA has maintained with Japan over a period of more than six decades.
By Ryan Gallagher


The FBI’s Hunt for Two Missing Piglets Reveals the Federal Cover-Up of Barbaric Factory Farms

Photo: Wayne Hsiung/DxE
By going after animal rights activists, the U.S. government attempts to cover up systemic abuse at the heart of factory farms.
By Glenn Greenwald


A Louisiana Town Plagued by Pollution Shows Why Cuts to the EPA Will Be Measured in Illnesses and Deaths

Photo: William Widmer for The Intercept
For the people living next to the neoprene plant in St. John the Baptist Parish, the risk of cancer from air pollution is 800 times the national average.
By Sharon Lerner


Women Visiting Loved Ones Jailed at Rikers Describe a Pattern of Invasive Searches by Guards

Illustration: Min Liu for The Intercept
New York City jails are prohibited from strip-searching or cavity-searching visitors. Yet dozens of women say guards have subjected them to such procedures.
By Raven Rakia


Join The Conversation