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“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.
“[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
“Hot news, cold truths, utterly uncensored.” —Greg Palast
“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.
“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
“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
“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.
“Those who read and support Project Censored are in the know.” —Cynthia McKinney
“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 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
“[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
“One of the most significant media research projects in the country.” —I. F. Stone
“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
“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
“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.
Buy it, read it, act on it. Our future depends on the knowledge this col-lection of suppressed stories allows us.” —San Diego Review
“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

13. FinCEN: A POTENTIAL THREAT TO PRIVACY AND PROPERTY

A new Treasury Department agency has been set up by the Bush Administration to strengthen law enforcement through cross-referencing and analysis of financial, commercial, law enforcement and intelligence databases. The new agency is named Financial Crime Enforcement Network or FinCEN . FinCEN did its part for the recent Persian Gulf war effort, according to Money Laundering Alert (MLA), a financial law enforcement newsletter published out of Miami, Florida.

FinCEN did this by assisting another Treasury agency, the Office of Foreign Asset Control, in their White House-assigned task of “beginning the process of identifying Iraqi assets in the U.S.” FinCEN provided information that “led OFAC to freeze 11 bank accounts and assets in California, Georgia, and New York, as well as corporate assets and a $3.5 million real estate parcel.”

MLA continued, “The properties belonged to people suspected (emphasis added) of being fronts for Saddam Hussein…”. Some critics consider such seizure of property to be a denial of due process, a Sixth Amendment right.

FinCEN obtained the information through what MLA refers to as FinCEN’s “three major databases.” The first is of “financial information and intelligence such as that contained in the federal cash reporting Forms 4789 and 8300.” The second contains “commercial data, such as corporate and property ownership records from state sources.” The third holds “law enforcement case files and intelligence from the various federal agencies.” The political newsletter Washington Report, contends that FinCEN can “invade over 100 U.S. and private financial databases, IRS and DEA records, Customs Reports, land and real estate data, (and) census records.”

FinCEN was established in 1990 with $13.4 million in funding. The agency has apparently blossomed since the naming of Brian M. Bruh, a former Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Criminal Investigation at the IRS and chief investigator for the Tower Commission, as director in March 1990. At that time, MLA reported that FinCEN employed 65 people, half “detailed” by the IRS and the Customs Service. It was anticipated that “a total staff complement of 200” would include “representatives” from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, an Firearms, the Secret Service, the Postal Inspectors, the DEA, unspecified “help” from the Defense Intelligence Agency and a “liaison” with the CIA.

The potential impact on the Fourth Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens by a new federal agency created specifically to compile comprehensive asset holdings data on anyone suspected of wrongdoing should be explored by the national press.

SSU CENSORED RESEARCHER: SCOTT SOMOHANO

SOURCE: MONEY LAUNDERING ALERT, P.O. Box 011390, Miami, FL 33101-1390, DATE: April 1991

TITLE: “FinCEN’s Financial Missiles Strike Iraq, Saddam”

AUTHOR: Charles A. Intriago, Esq.

SOURCE: WASHINGTON REPORT, PO Box 10309, St. Petersburg, FL 33733, DATE: September 1991

TITLE: “Editorial”

AUTHOR: William A. Leavell

SOURCE: U.S. GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE Washington, DC 20548, DATE: 3/18/91

TITLE: GAO/GGD-91-53 FinCEN

COMMENTS: Project Censored first read about the obscure Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) in an editorial in a small publication titled Washington Report. Washington Report is a four-page monthly newsletter published by Editors Release Service in St. Petersburg, Florida. The editor, William A. Leavell, warned his readers “Have you ever heard of ‘FinCEN?’ No? You are not supposed to know about ‘FinCEN.’ Why? Because what it does is reported to violate the U.S. Constitution’s 4th Amendment guarantee of your right to privacy.” Leavell told Project Censored that he was tipped to FinCEN by a good source in the intelligence community he has known for many years.

Project Censored researchers discovered that FinCEN, a Treasury Department agency, was established, with little fanfare or media interest, in 1990 and already had played a role in the Gulf War effort. The problem is that FinCEN potentially threatens the Fourth Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens since it is authorized to compile extensive financial data on anyone who is suspected of wrongdoing.

Leavell, a staunch supporter of the Bill of Rights and a virulent opponent of censorship, believes “the FinCEN” operation is a violation of existing law and the Constitution “and a serious invasion of privacy. He added that information about FinCEN was made available to the major electronic and print media but that they “elected to ignore it.” Leavell warned that “Censorship serves those in power and those who benefit from the existing political and financial ‘establishment’.”

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