Need To Read, August 21, 2009

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Must-reads from around the web:

US General says most of the detainees at Bagram should be released.

About that secret Blackwater assassination program…

Sarah Palin, Facebook queen.

Tom “we don’t do politics” Ridge admits he was pressured to raise the DHS color-coded alert in advance of the 2004 election. 

Health care town halls and the LaRouchies.

More fun with interactive maps: this one plots stimulus spending.

Ensign: At least my affair wasn’t as bad as Bill Clinton’s affair.

Best Twitter feed ever.

David Corn, Mother Jones‘ DC bureau chief, is on twitter, and so are my colleagues Daniel Schulman, Nick Baumann, and our editors-in-chief, Clara Jeffery and Monika Bauerlein. You can follow me here. (The magazine’s main account is @motherjones.)

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Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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