This Week in National Insecurity: Debtageddon Edition

<a href="">Flickr/CTBTO</a>

While you were watching The Town on Blu-Ray the DC debt-ceiling drama, a lot happened in the national security sphere. In this installment: We’re defenseless against default, would-be domestic terrorists do it wrong, a Russian diplomat rips red-staters, a Vets’ Hall of Fame inducts…Rick Scott, a fighter jet has gremlins, and the DOD outputs an epic cyber fail.

The sitrep:

• Yes, going into a debt default could make America less safe. Kind of a dilemma for conservative hawks.

• A Planned Parenthood clinic was firebombed in Texas. Terrorism? Perhaps. Al Qaeda? No, because they probably know better than to use diesel in a Molotov cocktail.

• In other “alleged domestic terror in Texas” news, a Muslim Army private was arrested near Fort Hood for conspiring to attack soldiers on the base with guns and explosives. And for possessing child pornography. It appears the soldier was also connected to a host of antiwar groups. Right-wing bloggers, commence cackling.

• What happens when you throw a Russian ambassador in a room with two hawkish Republican senators? Sound bites galore.

• Florida Governor Rick Scott appointed his old chief of staff to oversee a new state Veterans Hall of Fame. On the list of inductees: Rick Scott! And six Confederate ex-governors. And none of the state’s dozens of Medal of Honor recipients. Shockingly, this plan may change.

• After decades of delays and cost overruns, the Air Force’s top fighter jet, the F-22 Raptor, has a strange problem: It’s leaking anti-freeze into the pilots’ oxygen systems, making the aviators dangerously woozy during flights. It may take many more flight hours to identify the cause, at $44,000 an hour. And you thought your mechanic was expensive.

• The Pentagon launched its new cyber strategy website on Monday…the same day the GAO issued a report concluding that the DOD is dreadfully unprepared for a cyber attack. Evidently, the military is also dreadfully unprepared for negative media reports.


The more we thought about how MoJo's journalism can have the most impact heading into the 2020 election, the more we realized that so many of today's stories come down to corruption: democracy and the rule of law being undermined by the wealthy and powerful for their own gain.

So we're launching a new Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption. We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We'll publish what we find as a major series in the summer of 2020, including a special issue of our magazine, a dedicated online portal, and video and podcast series so it doesn't get lost in the daily deluge of breaking news.

It's unlike anything we've done before and we've got seed funding to get started, but we're asking readers to help crowdfund this new beat with an additional $500,000 so we can go even bigger. You can read why we're taking this approach and what we want to accomplish in "Corruption Isn't Just Another Scandal. It's the Rot Beneath All of Them," and if you like how it sounds, please help fund it with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.