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“[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
“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 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
“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 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
“Hot news, cold truths, utterly uncensored.” —Greg Palast
“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
“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
“Those who read and support Project Censored are in the know.” —Cynthia McKinney
“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.)
“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.
Buy it, read it, act on it. Our future depends on the knowledge this col-lection of suppressed stories allows us.” —San Diego Review
“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.
“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.
“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 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] 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

14. PRESIDENT REAGAN’S “SECRET LAWS” AND “WHITE PROPAGANDA”

In August, 1987, unions of Federal workers filed a lawsuit to stop the Administration from requiring more than two million Federal workers to sign nondisclosure agreements in an effort to silence dissent. Workers had to promise not to reveal classified information or even information deemed “classifiable.”

In December, 1987, Congress prohibited the implementation of the secrecy agreements, saying they violate the employees’ First Amendment rights and interfere with the right of Congress to be fully informed of waste, fraud, and abuse.

On May 27, 1988, in a little-publicized decision, U.S. District Court Judge Oliver Gasch overturned the Congressional prohibition, effectively giving the President sole authority over national security information. Equally disturbing, the decision reinforced the authority of the President’s National Security Decision Directive 84 issued in 1983, which the secrecy agreements implement.

NSDD 84, called the anti-leak directive, is one of almost 300 NSDDs issued by President Reagan which carry the force of law and are known as “secret laws.” Reagan used “secret laws” and “white propaganda” to implement his agenda and to manipulate media coverage. Reagan used the NSDD procedure to implement actions ranging from deployment of nuclear weapons to ordering the U.S. attack on Grenada.

NSDD directives, like executive orders and presidential findings are issued by the president but differ, however, in that executive orders are published, while findings, which are classified, notify Congress about intelligence operations. NSDDs do neither Further, unlike presidential terms, NSDDs do not expire every four years. In his effort to manipulate the media and the public mindset, Reagan signed a directive on January 13, 1983, called “management of Public Diplomacy Relative to National Security,” which established the Office of Public Diplomacy (OPD). One of its tactics, often used by the CIA in foreign countries and known in the intelligence community as “white propaganda,” calls for planting articles and stories in the press under the names of third parties. These OPD activities were conducted inside the United States with the full knowledge of the White House.

In a “confidential” memorandum dated 3/13/85, OPD deputy director Jonathan Miller cited five examples of OPD success: an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal attributed to an academic but actually written by OPD staff; a positive NBC news story on the contras; two opinion pieces written by OPD “consultants” but published under the names of contra leaders (one in the New York Times and another in the Washington Post); and briefings arranged for contra leader Alfonso Robelo at the Post, Newsweek, and USA Today.

At the request of Congress, the General Accounting Office investigated the OPD and ruled that its operations were illegal. It closed its doors officially in 1987 but it may be gone in name only. At the time, State Department officials let it be known that they would “simply reorganize the office, distributing its functions to other parts of the department.”

SOURCES:

THE NATION, July 2/9, 1988, “Reagan Rex;” SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER, 8/3/88, “Presidential `secret laws’ under probe,” both by Angus Mackenzie and Eve Pell; PROPAGANDA REVIEW, Summer 88, “Reagan’s Propaganda Ministry,” by Peter Kornbluh, pp 25-28.

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