Government Agencies

Agencies are various organizations or entities within the government. Learn more about agencies like the FBI, foster care, the Postal Service or Customs.


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How the U.S. Department of Justice Works

The Department of Justice claims to be the world's biggest law office, but it does everything from operating prisons to conducting counterespionage operations.

The Anatomy of a U.S. Presidential Motorcade

When the U.S. president comes to town, it's time to get off the roads. As fast as you can.

10 Essential Supreme Court Cases of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg may have been tiny, but she left a huge mark on the U.S. judicial system in the 27 years she served on the Supreme Court, more than earning her nickname the "Notorious RBG."

Taxpayer-funded Pension and Perks of Former U.S. Officials

Former U.S. presidents draw a hefty pension for life, but what about members of Congress? You might be surprised to know where your tax dollars are going to fund their retirement.

The Ugly History of Supreme Court Nominee Showdowns

Brett Kavanaugh's nomination certainly isn't the worst the U.S. has seen. Anybody remember Harriet Miers?

How Supreme Court Appointments Work

When a Supreme Court justice retires, there's a lot of speculation and political maneuvering regarding the replacement. Find out how Supreme Court justices are nominated, who is qualified to serve and how a nominee is approved.

USPS Introduces First Scratch-and-sniff Stamps

The exact summer-evoking scents of the stamps won't be revealed until the dedication party on June 20, 2018.

Who Decides What Goes on Postage Stamps?

Anyone can submit an idea for a postage stamp, but who decides which ideas make the cut?

Cracking the Code of the U.S. National Intelligence Agency

The U.S. National Security Agency has broad reaching powers. But are they all for good?

How Did the U.S. Look Before the EPA?

Are we ready to go back to a pre-EPA USA? Take a look at a series of pics from the National Archives to see what it was like before the agency was formed.

Delivering the Mail to Your Home Is Way More Complex Than You Might Think

The longest mail route in America is nearly 200 miles. The shortest? Less than 1 mile.

USDA Deletes Animal Abuse Online Records

The USDA just wiped out thousands of online records documenting abuses at zoos, circuses, universities and research facilities, outraging animal rights activists.

Launch Nuclear Attack? Insert Disk Seven

The Department of Defense relies on nuclear force systems that are 53 years old. These critical systems were brand-new when President Kennedy was assassinated.

Librarian of Congress Is Way More Important Than You Think

President Obama nominated Carla D. Hayden for the position of Librarian of Congress this week. If confirmed, she could become one seriously powerful librarian.

Underwater Mailboxes Are Just the Latest in the World of Weird Postal Spots

You’ll need way more than a stamp to put a postcard in the mail in these inaccessible, underwater and just plain odd mailboxes.

How the FDA Works

While the FDA originated amid the Civil War, it took a 20th century novel about the horrors of meatpacking to convince the government to officially regulate what goes into our bodies. How does the FDA keep us safer these days?

How Numbers Stations Work

We may be living in the age of the Internet, but simple shortwave radio transmitters still play a part in the espionage game. The huge benefit: There's no trail.

Spy Pictures

Spying is an important part of government intelligence gathering. This collection of pictures gives you an insight into this highly secretive task.

How the EPA Works

The EPA was established to protect human health and the environment. How does the agency interpret and enact environmental legislation?

How the U.S. Postal Service Works

The U.S. Postal Services delivers 213 billion pieces of mail a year. But will e-mail someday triumph over snail mail? And how do your letters get to the right place?

11 Terms Used by Spies

Maybe you're involved in a covert operation. Maybe you're just curious. Spies have developed their own language of code words in order to keep from being discovered. We don't need to know, but you should learn the 11 terms used by spies here.

How U.S. Marshals Work

The U.S. Marshals Service is the oldest law enforcement agency in the nation. Learn about famous U.S. Marshals and the duties and history of U.S. Marshals.

How Spies Work

Spies have shaped foreign policy, altered the course of wars and left a deep (though usually hidden) impression on world history. It's a tense and often deadly job.

Is the FBI reading my e-mail?

When the FBI announced two years ago that it no was longer using its Carnivore Internet surveillance software, it seemed like a victory. Find out why the techniques employed in the new ISP-based surveillance approach may be even more evasive.

Do I have a terrorist score on file with Homeland Security?

In a document released in November 2006, the Department of Homeland Security revealed aspects of a targeting program that most citizens and many lawmakers didn't know about.