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“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.
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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.
“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
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“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
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“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
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Buy it, read it, act on it. Our future depends on the knowledge this col-lection of suppressed stories allows us.” —San Diego Review
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“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.)
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13. THE BIG BANKS’ ROLE IN LAUNDERING DRUG MONEY

An estimated $300 billion in cocaine money moves around the world each year, much of it in otherwise respectable banks. The Bush administration’s drug war on the casual user fails to focus on this important aspect of the international drug scene. Similarly the mainstream media neglect to expose the critical role bankers play in laundering billions of dollars in drug money. William von Raab, former head of U.S. Customs, acknowledged the hidden relationship when he said “As sophisticated as the cocaine cartels are, they cannot operate without the coop­eration of international banks who want their money.”

An insight into this “cooperation” was provided last year when the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) pled guilty in a Tampa court to money laundering and agreed to a $14 million forfeiture. BCCI is one of the world’s wealthiest private banks, with its headquar­ters in Luxembourg and its nerve-center in London.

This was by far the heftiest such bank forfeiture ever and the first time an international bank of its size has acknowledged its knowing participation in laundering drug profits.

The BCCI connection was exposed by undercover U.S. Customs agent Robert Mazur. He had posed as a high-rolling businessman named Robert Musella and stalked the trail of the international money laundering industry for nearly two years. The operation resulted in the arrest of 84 people worldwide and, most significantly, nine officers of BCCI in Europe and the Ameri­cas.

BCCI was founded in 1972 by a Pakistani banker named Agha Hasan Abedi, founder of the Bank of Pakistan. Today, BCCI is the world’s seventh largest privately-held bank, worth about $21 billion, with over 400 branches in 73 countries.

Badly in need of credibility in the international financial world at the time of BCCI’s founding, Abedi lined up a major investment from the Bank of America, which was itself seek­ing a toehold in the Middle East. Bank of America, apparently disturbed by Abedi’s methods for promoting rapid growth, pulled out of BCCI starting in 1980, reportedly with a 700 percent profit on its investment.

BCCI also looked to Washington, D.C., for respectability. Prominent among the friends of BCCI were the “eminence grise” of Washington power brokers – Clark Clifford, who is still BCCI’s lawyer, and former President Jimmy Carter, who has often used BCCI’s corporate jet for trips abroad. Carter and Abedi have become close friends, and the BCCI president emeritus has contributed large amounts to the Carter Presidential Center as well as to Global 2000, a Carter charity of which Abedi is cochair.

As noted by the former head of U.S. Customs, international bankers are critical to the continuing successful operation of the international cocaine cartels. Yet the administration and the news media continue to focus their attention on the Colombian Medellin wars, drug busts in the ghettos, and helicopter raids in the northwest. They ignore some of the major players – the narcobankers who are shuffling $300 billion of drug money around the world each year.

SSU CENSORED RESEARCHER: DYLAN BENNETT

SOURCE: *IMAGE*, 925 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94103, DATE: 6/22/90

TITLE: “Narcobankers: Inside the Secret World of International Drug Money Laundering”

AUTHOR: MIKE WEISS

COMMENTS: Author Mike Weiss reported that the subject of the trial of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, and of its officers, in Tampa, Florida, received almost no coverage in the mass media last year. “There were a few cursory stories in the N.Y. Times, but that’s pretty much all I saw. It received more attention in England, in Pakistan and elsewhere than it did in the U.S. Notable exception: The Wall Street Journal did an excellent front page piece.” Weiss also suggested that it would be good for the public to know that every once in a while the government does prosecute successful banks for illegal acts; “I think such a prosecution in­creases confidence in the government’s seriousness about the War on Drugs. … I think the assistant U.S. attorneys who saw the very difficult and arduous case through to its conclusion, as well as the undercover agent who gave up so much of himself and placed himself in considerable danger, deserve some recognition.” While Weiss felt that the limited coverage given the story benefited the bank, he didn’t believe the bank had any influence in suppressing the coverage. “It was just one of those stories that seemed to fall through the cracks.” Later last year, another bank, this one partly owned by U.S.-installed President Guillermo Endara, of Panama, was being investigated for laundering drug money. Banco Interoceanico, or Interbanco, was under investi­gation for its alleged involvement in a multimillion-dollar Colombian drug money laundering operation.

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