This Week in National Insecurity: Do Ask, Do Tell Edition

Photo illustration by Adam Weinstein; Civil War by US National Guard/Flickr Commons, flag by obeeah13/Flickr Commons

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Got a debt-ceiling migraine, America? Here’s your martial medicine: All the latest developments from the national security world, sure to ease your budget deficit hangover.

The sitrep:

  • Remember all those social conservatives saying that if Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was repealed, the terrorists would win? The terrorists have won.
  • Not all Republicans are against entitlements. Take Alabama, which still collects a special property tax on behalf of its war veterans. Its Confederate war veterans. (“Broadly speaking, almost all taxes have their start in a war of some sort,” a historian explains.)
  • Back in 2007, a Marine adviser exposed how the service was ignoring troop requests for life-saving mine-resistant vehicles because they might compete with Humvees and other big-ticket items on the Corps’ wish list. The Marines responded by yanking that whistleblower’s security clearance. But now, several nonprofits are spearheading a public drive to restore the truth-teller’s job and reputation. Here’s how you can help.
  • Why did the freshman congressman call the senior congresswoman “vile, unprofessional, and despicable” and “not a lady”? Because THE ARMY, that’s why.
  • The bad news: Mullah Omar is not, repeat, not dead. Online rumors had him dying of a heart attack, because a Taliban leader’s two natural enemies are infidels and arterial plaque. The good news: Nothing’s more embarrassing for an insurgent than getting his website hacked, right? Right?

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

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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