Your Government and You

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Reading Glenn Greenwald is bad for my health. Here he is on the American government’s ongoing campaign to terrorize anyone associated with WikiLeaks:

Jacob Appelbaum was first identified as a WikiLeaks volunteer in the middle of 2010. Almost immediately thereafter, he was subjected to serious harassment and intimidation when, while re-entering the U.S. from a foreign trip, he was detained and interrogated for hours by Homeland Security agents, and had his laptop and cellphones seized — all without a warrant. He was told he’d be subjected to the same treatment every time he tried to re-enter the country.

….Anyone connected to WikiLeaks — even American citizens — are now routinely detained at the airport and have their property seized, their laptops and cellphones taken and searched and retained without a shred of judicial oversight or due process.

I don’t always agree with Glenn. He’s simply more hardcore on civil liberties than I am and — in my opinion — too unwilling to concede some of the legitimate messiness of trying to deal with modern threats. But anyone who doesn’t read him anyway is simply not facing up to the loathesomeness of what our national security state has become. The kind of harassment Appelbaum has received is hardly new, but it’s become far more common and far more punitive over the past two decades. Barack Obama should be ashamed of himself for not doing more to hit the reset button on this stuff.

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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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