This Week in National Insecurity
Newt's Muslim cred, fat soldiers, CIA/Google master plots, and yes, WikiLeaks: a roundup of the latest, best and most interesting defense stories.
Whichever side of the fence you land on, chances are you agree that America's not a very secure nation these days: economically, electorally, and of course, physically. So we grabbed our lensatic compass, rucksack, and canteen, then mounted out across the global media landscape for a quick recon. Whether you're scared because our military isn't good enough—or you're scared because it's too good—here's all the ammunition you need, in a handy debrief.
In this installment: Fine, WikiLeaks. Also, Newt Gingrich fancies himself an imam; military women win and lose; soldiers are fat; lightning is bad; Condie plays piano; Danger Room scares the hell out of everyone; and Al Qaeda states the obvious.
The United States government's national threat level is Elevated, or Yellow. You're welcome.
- Blah blah WikiLeaks blah blah blah WikiLeaks blah WikiLeaks blah.
- Speaking of WikiLeaks, if founder Julian Assange's hope was to bring US soldiers to justice for committing crimes in the war zone, he's succeeding, starting with this one.
- Oh, hey, remember Iraq? Yeah? That ain't going so hot, either. Or so cheap. (Joel Wing)
- Newt Gingrich wants to tell us all why mosques and Muslims are bad for national security, m'kay. Too bad his understanding of Islamic jurisprudence is so profoundly godawful. (al-Maktabah)
- The status of women reaches a new high in the Navy, and a new low in the Army. That latter story deserved a far, far better headline than "Sexual assault conviction a shocking end to military career." Um, K, thanks. (AP/Stars & Stripes)
- New weight requirements in the armed forces are compelling service members to purge, sweat, and lipo. Or so some would have us believe. (Army Times)
- Service members get struck by lightning in disproportionately large numbers. Puzzled? Not if you've ever seen one of those freaking existential Texas thunderstorms over Ft. Hood. (Army Times)
- THE MILITARY! IS POOR! AND UNPREPARED FOR FUTURE WARS OMG! Actually, there's an interesting question in there somewhere about what our national security policy is, or ought to be. Apparently "cheaper" or "smaller" were not among the options. (Foreign Policy)
- Time kicked up a hornet's nest with its cover this week: a photo of an Afghan girl mutilated by the Taliban. Is this war cheerleading? And even if the region's thugs are this—well—thuggish, and even if we could stop them, is our continued presence worth it? (The Atlantic Wire/The American Prospect/
- Former secretary of state and oil-tanker-inspirer Condoleezza Rice played a live Mozart piano concerto and a duet with Aretha Franklin. Her ivory-tickling is not unlike her Bush-era speechifyin': Technically accurate, yet soulless and mechanical. (Joe.My.God.)
- Noah Shachtman is an excellent reporter. An excellent reporter who'll never hesitate to scare the holy shit out of you. CIA + Google = Yipe. (Wired's Danger Room)
- Speaking of Shachtman, his firsthand experience in Afghanistan proves why you should take WikiLeaked significant-activities reports with a hunk of salt. (Danger Room)
- Osama bin Laden's No. 2 says he's against Jews being in Jerusalem. Yet again, Captain Obvious and his trusty sidekick Duh win the week. (al-Maktabah)