This Week in National Insecurity: Comeback Edition

DOD photo/<a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:US_soldiers_stuck_in_sand_in_southern_Afghanistan.jpg">Wikimedia Commons</a>

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That’s right, folks: Like Blackwater, we’re back in business! After a long hiatus, it’s high time for your end-of-the-week review in defense dementedness. Whichever side of the fence you land on, chances are good that you think America’s not a very secure nation these days: economically, electorally, or perhaps physically. So each Friday, we’ll grab our lensatic compass, rucksack, and canteen, then mount out across the global media landscape for a quick recon. Whether you’re scared because our military is too damned busy—or it’s not busy enough—here’s all the ammunition you’ll need, in a handy debrief.

In this installment: Weird defense budget add-ons; pork bullets; Marines like the Marlboros; the Army’s Team Jesus takes a hit; ex-spies gotta eat; and the worst. Attempted. Revenge killing. Ever.

The sitrep:

The United States government’s national threat level is Elevated, or Yellowat a heightened level of vigilance.” Isn’t that so much clearer than color codes? You’re welcome.

  • What do sunken treasure, spiffy brass bands, sheeshy pilot outfits, 200-year-old corpses, Alex Jones-style conspiracies, and George Patton bobblehead dolls all have in common? Ask the congressional authors of 2012’s defense budget. (MJ)
  • Anna Chapman, the Snooki of Russo-American espionage, is still working on monetizing her experience as a soultry onetime stealer of US secrets. How about editing a Russian venture capital newspaper? Only because the designer line of cosmonaut suits didn’t work out. (Danger Room)
  • And then, an epic revenge fail: A Mumbai attack conspirator explained in a Chicago federal court how he and his al Qaeda cohorts targeted the CEO of Lockheed Martin “because drone strikes were getting frustrating,” and the jihadis “wanted to take it out on their manufacturer.” Only those drones are made by a company called General Atomics, not Lockheed! Asked for comment, the CEO of General Atomics only laughed maniacally, while caressing what appeared to be a remote control for a model airplane. (Danger Room)

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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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