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“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 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
“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.
“One of the most significant media research projects in the country.” —I. F. Stone
“[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
“Those who read and support Project Censored are in the know.” —Cynthia McKinney
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 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.
“Hot news, cold truths, utterly uncensored.” —Greg Palast
“[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
“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
“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
“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.
“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.)

14. THE U.S. PRESENCE THAT’S KILLING CENTRAL AMERICA

When the five Central American presidents met in Tesoro Beach, El Salvador, in 1989, in a little-noticed accord, they agreed to create a critically needed regional commission on environment and development.

Central America is facing an environmental crisis unparalleled in its history. The magnitude of the crisis is reflected most dramatically in the destruction of the region’s tropical forests. More than 60 percent of Central America’s original forests have been felled, with most of the destruction taking place since 1950; deforestation continues to accelerate and is proceeding at a rate of over 4,000 square kilometers a year. Moreover, the destruction of the region’s steep-sloped, upland forests has triggered soil erosion so severe that it is damaging more than half of all agricultural land, causing farm productivity to decline. Soil erosion is also responsible for the siltation of rivers, downstream potable water, hydroelectric dams, irrigation projects, and the depletion of coastal fisheries.

Pollution is another major factor in the area’s environmental crisis. Pesticides poison thousands of Central American farm-workers annually and have contaminated much of the region’s water table. The water supply is also seriously polluted by unregulated industrial effluents, agricultural residues, and local sewage. In El Salvador, as a result, only one in 10 people has access to safe drinking water, and in Honduras, waterborne diseases account for 12 percent of all fatalities. Unclean water has made enteritis and diarrheal disorders the number one nonmilitary cause of death in the region.

The roots of Central America’s present environmental crisis can be traced to decades of development policies that have favored production for export over production for local needs, and the intensive exploitation of natural resources over the sustainable use of these assets. This pattern of development continues with the active support of local oligarchs with the assistance of multilateral development banks, U.S. government, private banks, and multinational firms.

The environmentally sensitive Osa Peninsula on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast provides an interesting example. It is under virtual U.S. occupation. More than 750 U.S. soldiers, accompanied by 418 pieces of heavy equipment, relentlessly push their way into Osa. Dressed in camouflage, they go about their work, cutting roads into the peninsula’s previ­ously pristine wilderness.

The U.S. Army is sending combat engineers to Costa Rica for a series of “humanitar­ian projects.” And the U.S. presence is taking its toll. Flames of deforestation border a freshly graveled road. Behind the fires, cattle graze the leveled land. Logging trucks brim with trunks of trees centuries old.

The emerging reality of Costa Rica is ecocide. It now rivals Brazil for the fastest deforestation rate in the hemisphere. The U.S. military entered the Osa Peninsula in March, 1989, for a project it calls “Roads for Peace.” Using their own ships and aircraft, the U.S. forces enter and leave with no formal inspection of their equipment. The president of the Costa Rican National Assembly, Jose’ Luis Valenciano, asked for an investigation on grounds that the U.S. forces entered the country illegally.

SSU CENSORED RESEARCHER: SALLY ACEVEDO

SOURCE: WORLD POLICY JOURNAL 777 United National Plaza New York, NY 10164-0339, DATE: Fall 1989

TITLE: “CENTRAL AMERICA’S OTHER WAR”

AUTHOR: JOSHUA KARLINER

SOURCE: THE PROGRESSIVE 409 E. Main Street Madison, WI 53703, DATE: August 1989

TITLE: “DEATH OF A SMALL COUNTRY”

AUTHOR: MICHAEL I. NIMAN

COMMENTS: Central America appears to have been dropped from the national media agenda following the electoral defeat of the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. This, of course, is good news for the Bush administration which can return to business as usual in Central America without press attention. And perhaps this is most evident in Costa Rica where investigative journalist Michael Niman charges that the U.S. media are completely ignoring the U.S. connection to both deforestation and re-militarization in that country. According to Niman, his article “explores only the tip of a very large iceberg. Costa Rica, squeezed to­wards reckless overdevelopment by the I.M.F. now has the fastest deforestation rate in the hemisphere.” Niman charges that a conspiracy of silence has spared the U.S. State Depart­ment from the difficult task of explaining why the militarization of Costa Rica is desirable. Niman also warns that “The situation in Costa Rica has worsened since the recent election of Rafael Angel Calderon. Calderon, the godchild of Somoza and son of the former presi­dent who was overthrown in the 1948 revolution (which abolished the military) is a sup­porter of both U.S. policy and re-militarization of Costa Rica.”

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