Whichever side of the fence you land on, chances are you agree that America's not a very secure nation these days: economically, electorally, or 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: Zombie ants may spell your doom; explosives with no regard for your feelings; the Manchurian Obama gets a cash infusion; we "leave" Iraq, "blast" Afghanistan, and "talk" with WikiLeaks; and the Brits invent Terminator Crotch Pants!
The United States government's national threat level is Elevated, or Yellow. You're welcome.
- ZOMBIE ANTS! Researchers say a FUNGUS that has been around for 48 million years can TAKE OVER an ant's brain, steer it to a desired spot on a tree, and MAKE IT COMMIT SUICIDE. Could this mean a new bioterror threat? Could we all be turned into suicidal automatons? It would have profound consequences for international relations theory. But worse, it actually makes this crappy M. Night Shyamalan movie look smart! (Current Intelligence/Foreign Policy)
- In its search for a better way to blow junk up, the Army is spurning TNT for a new explosive that "only detonates on command," which sort of sounds like a not-bad thing. It's called an "Insensitive Munitions Explosive," so apparently even though it will listen to you most of the time, it still refuses to cuddle. (Wired's Danger Room)
- The Obama-Fed-Euro-commie plot is moving along swimmingly! Even though people are smarting up to his being a Moo-slim, they won't be able to stop his master plan for world domination, now that he's printed un-American-looking money with his picture on it! You hear that, Rand Paul? Forget Fort Knox: The dollar's goin' on the KENYAN DICTATOR standard! (The American Prospect/Yahoo)
- WE'RE OUT OF IRAQ! WOO HOO! LAST COMBAT BRIGADE OUT! MSNBC WINS THE DAY! MISSION ACCOMPL- wait, what? (Al-Jazeera English/Stars & Stripes/Yahoo/Attackerman)
- Speaking of Iraq, remember oil? How about oil smuggling and how it's historically screwed up everybody's plans for the country, kind of like their election mess? (Musings on Iraq/New York Times)
- Define "Afghan progress": (A) More air strikes. (B) More bomb blasts. (C) Cool, new graphical online ways to represent more air strikes and bomb blasts! (D) All of the above. (Military Times/Attackerman)
- According to newspapers like this one, Israel has its own Lynndie "Abu Ghraib" England: a female army reservist photographing herself with Arab detainees. Except that, for all her stupidity, Eden Abergil didn't strip guys down and torture them, so, hey. America's still No. 1. Sigh. (New York Times/Jezebel)
- The Pentagon on whether it contacted WikiLeaks to kibbutz over secret files, take one: "I did not have sexual relations with that website." Take two: "It depends on what your definition of 'is' is." (MoJo)
- Defense Secretary Robert Gates is planning to no longer be secretary of defense someday! Which is totally unprecedented! But don't call him a lame duck, cuz he will cut you. Cut you BAD. (Foreign Policy/San Diego Union-Tribune)
- British researchers have developed new bulletproof pants to protect soldiers' nether regions! The BRITISH beat us to it! Where in the world is Congress on this issue? Call up your representative and warn him that our military has A CROTCH GAP! (Wonkette)