This Week in National Insecurity: Comeback Edition

DOD photo/<a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:US_soldiers_stuck_in_sand_in_southern_Afghanistan.jpg">Wikimedia Commons</a>

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That’s right, folks: Like Blackwater, we’re back in business! After a long hiatus, it’s high time for your end-of-the-week review in defense dementedness. Whichever side of the fence you land on, chances are good that you think America’s not a very secure nation these days: economically, electorally, or perhaps physically. So each Friday, we’ll grab our lensatic compass, rucksack, and canteen, then mount out across the global media landscape for a quick recon. Whether you’re scared because our military is too damned busy—or it’s not busy enough—here’s all the ammunition you’ll need, in a handy debrief.

In this installment: Weird defense budget add-ons; pork bullets; Marines like the Marlboros; the Army’s Team Jesus takes a hit; ex-spies gotta eat; and the worst. Attempted. Revenge killing. Ever.

The sitrep:

The United States government’s national threat level is Elevated, or Yellowat a heightened level of vigilance.” Isn’t that so much clearer than color codes? You’re welcome.

  • What do sunken treasure, spiffy brass bands, sheeshy pilot outfits, 200-year-old corpses, Alex Jones-style conspiracies, and George Patton bobblehead dolls all have in common? Ask the congressional authors of 2012’s defense budget. (MJ)
  • Anna Chapman, the Snooki of Russo-American espionage, is still working on monetizing her experience as a soultry onetime stealer of US secrets. How about editing a Russian venture capital newspaper? Only because the designer line of cosmonaut suits didn’t work out. (Danger Room)
  • And then, an epic revenge fail: A Mumbai attack conspirator explained in a Chicago federal court how he and his al Qaeda cohorts targeted the CEO of Lockheed Martin “because drone strikes were getting frustrating,” and the jihadis “wanted to take it out on their manufacturer.” Only those drones are made by a company called General Atomics, not Lockheed! Asked for comment, the CEO of General Atomics only laughed maniacally, while caressing what appeared to be a remote control for a model airplane. (Danger Room)

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THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

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