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  • Remember all those social conservatives saying that if Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was repealed, the terrorists would win?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?

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TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

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