This Week in National Insecurity: Gay Nukes Edition

Department of Defense

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What a week. Did you hear about the basketball game for freedom? Or the Taliban Twitter fight? Or the new old Iraq WMD argument? You’re about to. Here are the nation’s biggest, weirdest, and bestest military- and defense-related stories:

  • As the open battle over NATO’s military headquarters raged in Kabul this week, a Taliban spokesman and a NATO spokesman got into an intense…Twitter fight. It’s hard to say who’s winning or losing. First rule of 21st-century counterinsurgency: Don’t feed the trolls.
  • Congress is asking, in a budget crisis and with the wars winding down, why there are so damned many generals and admirals. So the generals and admirals show up in droves to explain themselves before Congress…with massive entourages in tow. Maybe the problem is actually too few generals and admirals with a well-developed sense of irony.
  • Four different attorneys now claim to have inspired the crusading military defense lawyer in A Few Good Men. Which is another way of saying four men actually want their personae to be associated with Tom Cruise. We can’t handle the truth.
  • According to Georgia tea partiers, if America builds new and improved transportation infrastructure, the terrorists will win. Because they’ll use it to attack us. So don’t build the stuff, they say. No, this is not an Onion story. But it’s awfully close.
  • President Obama yesterday presented the Medal of Honor to former Marine Sgt. Dakota Meyer, essentially for disobeying orders in the Afghan battle of Gangjal. And his equally independent commander, Capt. Will Swenson, may receive an MOH as well. The two Marines made five trips alone through enemy fire to recover the bodies of four fallen comrades, even after the Army denied them any air support. After the engagement, Swenson unloaded on risk-averse commanders in air-conditioned base operations centers, giving them an earful about making his work harder and more dangerous. Score one for improvisers and innovators in the field.
  • New National Review story: “Geegle blurp fooz WMDs narpa SADDAM winga TERRORISM bloog furble.” Columnist and ancient Greece romanticist Jim Lacey claims to have uncovered passages in the government’s final Iraq WMD “What went wrong?” report that PROVE BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT that the dictator was going to DESTROY US ALL with, um, “booby-trapped suitcases” and “1 high-quality photocopier.” (Seriously, though, not all weapons of mass destruction are created equal, and it’s kind of absurd that conservatives still insist on drawing a moral equivalency between mustard gas, a couple of anthrax spores, and a multimegaton thermonuclear civilization-killing bomb.) This report has been around since 2005, mind you, and has been pored over before. “The Left said this document proved there were no WMDs—of course, they only read the executive summary,” Lacey writes. Yeah, because if there’s one thing the mainstream media really never did, it was seize on any old stupid suggestion that Iraq might have WMD. “If we had delayed even a couple of months, until Saddam actually had his deadly pathogens and gas weapons, it would have meant the deaths of tens of thousands of American soldiers,” Lacey continues. (On an unrelated note, yesterday I killed a mosquito in my yard. But this was no ordinary mosquito! It was developing a new potent superbrew of malaria and encephalitis, and if I hadn’t killed it yesterday, everyone on my block would be dead tomorrow. Whew.)
  • Speaking of rogue WMD, you know who’s sold, and subsequently lost track of, several tons of weapons-grade uranium to 27 countries around the world, including many with no native nuclear weapons capabilities? AMERICA, that’s who. Go ahead, try to invade and stop us from proliferating. Probably a good day to start your invasion will be November 11, when we’re all at that basketball game on an aircraft carrier.

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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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