Whale carnage and the Navy

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It’s looking increasingly likely that a new US Navy sonar system is to blame for the record number of injured and dead whales washing up on beaches this year. (We hate to say we told you so, but the MoJo Wire published a story about this more than a year ago.)

The ASSOCIATED PRESS has now picked up the story, reporting that, according to the federal government’s own expert, the large number of beached whales in the Bahamas recently is linked to the use of the Navy’s extremely powerful anti-sub system. The system’s high-powered sound waves can cause ear hemmorhages in marine mammals, causing whales — who depend on their own sense of hearing to navigate — to veer off course during migration, or even die from their injuries.

The Navy is reportedly hiring a panel of experts to examine the issue as a “priority need.” Then again, that’s the same thing they said back when experts first voiced concern about the system’s potential for carnage.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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