Faulty Equipment, Lapsed Training, Repeated Warnings: How a Preventable Disaster Killed Six Marines

“Marine commanders did not act on dozens of pleas for additional manpower, machinery and time. When a training exercise ended in death, leadership blamed the very men they had neglected.”

Source: ProPublica
Published: Dec 30, 2019
Length: 37 minutes (9,343 words)

Collision Course

Nobody on the 8,300 ton destroyer USS John S. McCain — not even the captain — really understood how to use the new touch-screen steering system the navy installed in a bid to reduce the number of sailors required to safely guide the ship. Fraught with “false alarms” and problems, engineers called the system, which regularly encountered “multiple and cascading failures,” unstable. Then, the navy blamed Captain Sanchez and the sailors steering the ship for the accident in which 10 sailors died.

Source: ProPublica
Published: Dec 20, 2019
Length: 26 minutes (6,611 words)

Trump Keeps Talking About the Last Military Standoff With Iran — Here’s What Really Happened

“In 2016, 10 sailors were captured by Iran. Trump is making it a political issue. Our investigation shows that it was a Navy failure, and the problems run deep.”

Source: ProPublica
Published: Jun 24, 2019
Length: 25 minutes (6,260 words)

Years of Warnings, Then Death and Disaster

“The men and women of the Navy deserve better.”

Source: ProPublica
Published: Feb 7, 2019
Length: 32 minutes (8,140 words)

Fight the Ship: Death and Valor on an American Warship Doomed By Its Own Navy

When a cargo ship plowed into the USS Fitzgerald, it tore a hole in the destroyer as big as a tractor trailer; seven sailors ultimately died. A cargo ship should be hard to miss, so how did it happen?

Source: ProPublica
Published: Feb 6, 2019
Length: 71 minutes (17,829 words)

Kafka in Vegas

Despite a judge’s proclamation of of convict Fred Steese’s innocence, in light of new evidence and prosecutorial misconduct, the state offered him a bizarre deal called an Alford plea: go free, but remain a convicted felon.

Author: Megan Rose
Source: ProPublica
Published: May 26, 2017
Length: 32 minutes (8,225 words)

Maltreated and Hazed, a Soldier Is Driven to Take His Own Life

For Army Spc. Brushaun Anderson, there was no escaping his torment. The senior noncommissioned officers who ruled his life at a remote patrol base in Iraq ordered him to wear a plastic trash bag because they said he was “dirty.” They forced him to perform excessive physical exercises in his body armor over and over again. They made him build a sandbag wall that served no military purpose. Anderson seemed to take it all in stride. Until New Year’s Day 2010, when the once-eager 20-year-old soldier locked himself inside a portable toilet, picked up his M4 rifle, aimed the barrel at his forehead and pulled the trigger.

Author: Megan Rose
Published: Jun 7, 2011
Length: 16 minutes (4,232 words)