Get Naked, Get the (Military) Boot

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An Air Force Seargent who posed nude for Playboy has been relieved of her duties. The pictures, under the headline “Tough Love” apparently feature the staff seargent, Michelle Manhart, in uniform, partially clothed with dog tags, and completely nude. The military has discharged her while they “investigate” (whatever that means), saying, ”This staff sergeant’s alleged action does not meet the high standards we expect of our airmen, nor does it comply with the Air Force’s core values of integrity, service before self, and excellence in all we do.”

Our military is not necessarily in a position to be choosy, and how is posing naked for a magazine justify discharge? As for “integrity, service before self and excellence,” Manhart has been in the Air Force since 1994, she served in Kuwait, and trains airmen for a living. Besides, she’s even married with two children, none of this don’t ask don’t tell business even.

A Playboy spokeswoman told the BBC that two serving women have posed nude in the past, and both were eventually discharged. Manhart told Playboy that she considers herself as standing up for her rights saying, ”I didn’t do anything wrong, so I didn’t think it would be a major issue.”

Maybe she should consider joining the Army, where enlistees with felony records are signed up by the thousands each year, so they should let her in too, right?

Interesting sort-of side note, the February issue of Playboy with the aforementioned photos has a great article (yeah, I know, that’s what they say) on Lockheed Martin and how the defense contractor hit the jackpot with 9/11. You can avoid having to skip all those pages of filler and just read the article, “Lockheed Stock and Two Smoking Barrels,” online here.

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Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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