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“[Censored] should be affixed to the bulletin boards in every newsroom in America. And, perhaps read aloud to a few publishers and television executives.” —Ralph Nader
“Project Censored shines a spotlight on news that an informed public must have . . . a vital contribution to our democratic process.” —Rhoda H. Karpatkin, president, Consumer’s Union
“Project Censored brings to light some of the most important stories of the year that you never saw or heard about. This is your chance to find out what got buried.” –Diane Ravitch, author of The Death and Life of the Great American School System.
“For ages, I’ve dreamed of a United States where Project Censored isn’t necessary, where these crucial stories and defining issues are on the front page of the New York Times, the cover of Time, and in heavy rotation on CNN. That world still doesn’t exist, but we always have Project Censored’s yearly book to pull together the most important things the corporate media ignored, missed, or botched.” –Russ Kick, author of You Are Being Lied To, Everything You Know Is Wrong, and the New York Times bestselling series The Graphic Canon.
“In another home run for Project Censored, Censored 2013 shows how the American public has been bamboozled, snookered, and dumbed down by the corporate media. It is chock-full of ‘ah-ha’ moments where we understand just how we’ve been fleeced by banksters, stripped of our civil liberties, and blindly led down a path of never-ending war.” –Medea Benjamin, author of Drone Warfare, cofounder of Global Exchange and CODEPINK.
“Hot news, cold truths, utterly uncensored.” —Greg Palast
“Activist groups like Project Censored . . . are helping to build the media democracy movement. We have to challenge the powers that be and rebuild media from the bottom up.” —Amy Goodman
“The staff of Project Censored presents their annual compilation of the previous year’s 25 stories most overlooked by the mainstream media along with essays about censorship and its consequences. The stories include an 813% rise in hate and anti-government groups since 2008, human rights violations by the US Border Patrol, and Israeli doctors injecting Ethiopian immigrants with birth control without their consent. Other stories focus on the environment, like the effects of fracking and Monsantos GMO seeds. The writers point out misinformation and outright deception in the media, including CNN relegating factual accounts to the “opinion” section and the whitewashing of Margaret Thatcher’s career following her death in 2013, unlike Hugo Chavez, who was routinely disparaged in the coverage following his death. One essay deals with the proliferation of “Junk Food News,” in which “CNN and Fox News devoted more time to ‘Gangnam Style’ than the renewal of Uganda’s ‘Kill the Gays’ law.” Another explains common media manipulation tactics and outlines practices to becoming a more engaged, free-thinking news consumer or even citizen journalist. Rob Williams remarks on Hollywood’s “deep and abiding role as a popular propaganda provider” via Argo and Zero Dark Thirty. An expose on working conditions in Chinese Apple factories is brutal yet essential reading. This book is evident of Project Censored’s profoundly important work in educating readers on current events and the skills needed to be a critical thinker.” -Publisher’s Weekly said about Censored 2014 (Oct.)
“Project Censored continues to be an invaluable resource in exposing and highlighting shocking stories that are routinely minimized or ignored by the corporate media. The vital nature of this work is underscored by this year’s NSA leaks. The world needs more brave whistle blowers and independent journalists in the service of reclaiming democracy and challenging the abuse of power. Project Censored stands out for its commitment to such work.” —Deepa Kumar, author of Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire and associate professor of Media Studies and Middle Eastern Studies at Rutgers University
“At a time when the need for independent journalism and for media outlets unaffiliated with and untainted by the government and corporate sponsors is greater than ever, Project Censored has created a context for reporting the complete truths in all matters that matter. . . . It is therefore left to us to find sources for information we can trust. . . . It is in this task that we are fortunate to have an ally like Project Cen-sored.” —Dahr Jamail
“One of the most significant media research projects in the country.” —I. F. Stone
“Censored 2014 is a clarion call for truth telling. Not only does this volume highlight fearless speech in fateful times, it connect the dots between the key issues we face, lauds our whistleblowers and amplifies their voices, and shines light in the dark places of our government that most need exposure.” –Daniel Ellsberg, The Pentagon Papers
“Project Censored interrogates the present in the same way that Oliver Stone and I tried to interrogate the past in our Untold History of the United States. It not only shines a penetrating light on the American Empire and all its deadly, destructive, and deceitful actions, it does so at a time when the Obama administration is mounting a fierce effort to silence truth-tellers and whistleblowers. Project Censored provides the kind of fearless and honest journalism we so desperately need in these dangerous times.” —Peter Kuznick, professor of history, American University, and coauthor, with Oliver Stone, of The Untold History of the United States
“Most journalists in the United States believe the press here is free. That grand illusion only helps obscure the fact that, by and large, the US corporate press does not report what’s really going on, while tuning out, or laughing off, all those who try to do just that. Americans–now more than ever–need those outlets that do labor to report some truth. Project Censored is not just among the bravest, smartest, and most rigorous of those outlets, but the only one that’s wholly focused on those stories that the corporate press ignores, downplays, and/or distorts. This latest book is therefore a must read for anyone who cares about this country, its tottering economy, and–most important– what’s now left of its democracy.” –Mark Crispin Miller, author, professor of media ecology, New York University.
“[Censored] offers devastating evidence of the dumbing-down of main-stream news in America. . . . Required reading for broadcasters, journalists, and well-informed citizens.” —Los Angeles Times
“Those who read and support Project Censored are in the know.” —Cynthia McKinney
“Project Censored is one of the organizations that we should listen to, to be assured that our newspapers and our broadcasting outlets are practicing thorough and ethical journalism.” —Walter Cronkite
Buy it, read it, act on it. Our future depends on the knowledge this col-lection of suppressed stories allows us.” —San Diego Review

11. FEMA: THE “EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT” AGENCY THAT FAILED

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was created by President Jimmy Carter in 1978 in response to the federal government’s disorganized efforts to deal with the Mount St. Helens eruption [sic: Mt. St. Helens 5/18/80]. A subsequent FEMA report on the likelihood of future natural disasters focused almost entirely on one very predictable event: a major earthquake in Northern California.

On October 17th, 1989, a major earthquake in Northern California tested FEMA and it failed miserably; as it had failed shortly before in responding to the tragedy of Hurri­cane Hugo in South Carolina. Angered over the agency’s failure, U.S. Senator Ernest Hollings (D-SC) called FEMA administrators “a bunch of bureaucratic jackasses.” The obvious question was: What had FEMA been planning for during the past decade?” An investigation by The San Francisco Bay Guardian, which included interviews with FEMA-watchers in Washington, background interviews with FEMA personnel who asked not to be identified to protect their jobs, and research into internal FEMA docu­ments, revealed that FEMA had become a center of the nation’s right wing preparations for resisting civil insurrection and surviving nuclear war.

Instead of preparing for a coordinated effort by federal, state, and local government agencies to respond to natural disasters, FEMA concentrated on developing plans to incar­cerate demonstrators, to take over the government during times of social unrest, and build secret bunkers from which military leaders could run the country after a nuclear attack. It appears that during the Reagan administration, the agency became a dumping ground for right-wing ideologues and survivalists who were obsessed with the futile task of planning for nuclear war.

Under the leadership of Director Louis Giuffrida, a former California National Guard general and close friend of former Attorney General Edwin Meese, the agency expanded into counterinsurgency, anti-terrorism, and domestic intelligence-gathering. Working with its National Security Council liaison, Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North, the agency drew up plans to essentially take over the government during a major national crisis, such as a nuclear attack or political insurrection.

While Giuffrida, North, and others are no longer involved with FEMA, critics charge that some of the “true believers” are still there planning on ways to survive a nuclear attack at the expense of preparing for natural disasters. FEMA documents openly tout the Inte­grated Emergency Management System approach to disaster planning which assumes that all disasters are sufficiently similar, so that FEMA can prepare for hurricanes and earth­quakes simply by preparing for nuclear war.

Many of FEMA’s critics, however, argue that the agency’s various tasks are contra­dictory. “You’ve got an agency that the public assumes is there for disaster relief — earth­quakes, floods and such — but the bulk of its money is spent on a military spook mission,” said Donald Goldberg, an investigator for the Senate Judiciary Committee.

SSU CENSORED RESEARCHER: JANIE BARRETT

SOURCE: THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY GUARDIAN 520 Hampshire Street, San Francisco, CA 94110, DATE: 12/13/89

TITILE: “HURRICANE FEMA”

AUTHOR: CRAIG McLAUGHLIN

COMMENTS: Investigative journalist Craig McLaughlin suggests that one reason this story wasn’t covered earlier was because the media tend to wait for a crisis before investigating a story. “And once a story breaks into the news,” he added, “it is rarely pursued. Washington based journalists should have examined whether FEMA had really changed (after Louis Giufridda left under pressure), but they didn’t. The story was complicated and hard to explain. I think it had more to do with lazy journalists than with any conspiracy by some power elite. But unless a scandal comes up, the federal government generally sets the news agenda out of Washington.”

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