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One of the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations (PDF) called for the establishment of a board to monitor how civil liberties issues were being dealt with at the various federal intelligence and law-enforcement agencies. Today’s Washington Post reports that the board, later established by Congress as the and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, hasn’t met once since formally constituted in June. Of course, it’s also under-funded and over-mandated. And as TalkLeft pointed out a while back, Bush’s board appointments, including Ted Olsen (who as Solicitor General argued the administration’s “enemy combatant” position before the Supreme Court), are conservative and don’t exactly inspire confidence as civil libertarians. Oh well. At least it was a nice idea.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

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.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

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.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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