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I.F. Stone, the red journalist, used to say that the government publishes everything it knows, a reporter just has to work to find it. Stone came to that conclusion as a result of a personal crisis. When he began losing his hearing and could no longer conduct interviewsS he began reading government publications.

Till then a fringe figure in journalism, his discoveries — hidden in plain sight — made him a hero of the resistance to Cold War chicanery.

His statement applies almost as well to closed, totalitarian societies as to open ones. The totalitarian governments don’t deposit their documents in open libraries, but they do publish them.

Sometimes the totalitarians and the so-called democracies conspire to keep secrets. Probably the most famous example was the “secret treaties” between Britain, France and Russia before 1914.

When the Bolsheviks took over, they published the treaties. There’s nothing new about Wikileaks.

Bloomberg News reporters Polly Mosendz, Patrick Clark and Michael Smith give a good demonstration about where news lies — or perhaps it would be better to say, here it tells the truth — and how mundane it can be in a story about Paul Manafort’s home renovations.

Did Manafort really launder money, as a federal inictment alleges?

It turns out, his payments were waaay over when his contractors were billing him for, as least according to values declared ob building permits.

Bloomberg cautions that there might conceivably be a non-obvious but legitimate reason to pay $5 million for a $1 million job. If there is, Manafort’s lawyers will explain it to us.

However, my money is on Mueller’s lawyers

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