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“Allowing the private sector to be so heavily involved in the intelligence business is counterproductive for several reasons. It fosters an atmosphere of cronyism and patronage that’s unhealthy in a functioning bureaucracy. Unbalanced reliance on contractors erodes institutional knowledge and quality. And there’s the ideological question of how much of our national security collection functions we believe it prudent to outsource. To whom are the contractors ultimately loyal—their government or their corporation? Our national security depends upon that loyalty.”

Read an extended interview with Valerie Plame Wilson about the Bush legacy here.

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As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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