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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.)
“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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“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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“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.
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“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
“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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While the cold war has been declared officially over, the possibility of nuclear war remains strong as long as we depend on complicated software to run the nation’s weapons systems. The possibility of faulty computers triggering an international holocaust has consumed Cliff Johnson for more than six years. Johnson, a computer whiz with a Ph.D. who runs Stanford University’s administrative computers, has studied the fallibility of mili­tary policy that depends on computers to start a nuclear war. In an attempt to make the public aware of the possibility of accidental Armageddon, Johnson filed his third lawsuit against the government last May.

Researching his case, Johnson found that: 1) computer-related errors could trigger the launch of nuclear missiles, and have come dangerously close to doing so; 2) the software for nuclear missile launch decisions is error-prone; and 3) military computers are, for the most part, old, and their software codes are too complicated to operate without error. Johnson’s thesis is based on the “launch on warning” first strike policy which military spokespeople deny exits. However many analysts, including the Union of Concerned Scien­tists, and the Washington, D.C. Center for Defense Information (headed by retired military officers), believe it is policy. In the launch-on-warning scenario “Only computerized sensors can figure the flight of missiles,” Johnson explained. “Only computers can discriminate the parameters of an attack. Only computers can schedule judgments quickly enough to advise and execute a launch of Minuteman and MX missiles prior to a pre-defined ‘use them or lose them’ deadline.” But, as Johnson points out, computers also are likely to make mis­takes.

While Johnson looked to the courts to create public awareness, Susan “Katya” Komisaruk took a different approach. Komisaruk is a peace activist who became commit­ted to non-violent social change in 1982 while earning her MBA at UC-Berkeley. In June of 1987, she single-handedly dismantled a sophisticated military navigation computer at Van­denburg Air Force Base in a Plowshare act of conscience against first strike nuclear weap­ons. After a “trial” in which she was forbidden to explain the reasons for her action, Katya was convicted and sentenced to serve five years in a federal prison near Spokane, Washing­ton. She was released from prison this year.

While the American press devoted considerable time and space to the trials of individuals like Zsa Zsa Gabor and Leona Helmsley, it did not find Katya Komisaruk’s trial deserving of its attention. However, Katya’s case was well publicized in foreign countries and it was the subject of a dramatic award-winning video documentary in the United States. Dr. Helen Caldicott, former president, Physicians for Social Responsibility, called Katya “a modern day Joan of Arc, a Rosa Parks for the ’80s.”


SOURCE: SAN FRANCISCO BAY GUARDIAN 520 Hampshire Street, San Francisco, CA 94110, DATE: 5/17/89






COMMENTS: This is a story with two themes. First, the possibility of faulty computers triggering an international holocaust because of our reported “launch on warning” first strike policy. Second is the story of Katya Komisaruk whose extraordinary act of conscience against first strike nuclear weapons was well publicized in foreign countries but ignored in the United States. Author J.A. Savage, who explored the faulty computer aspect, suggests that “Most media portray only the ‘gee whiz’ aspect of technology because reporters either don’t understand it enough to ask the right questions, or because they are afraid the public won’t understand it.” Savage tried to syndicate her article to all the alternative weeklies nationwide but said that only one, in Pittsburgh, picked it up. She added that the editorial board at Mother Jones considered it but then rejected it “ostensibly because it would take too much research.” Douglas Dibble, whose award-winning television documentary re­corded the actions of Katya Komisaruk, said “Extensive coverage opportunities were af­forded to many, many mass media outlets. We searched, cajoled, pleaded, begged for cov­erage. This story was full of all kinds of newsworthy angles: the first action of its kind (Plow­share) on the west coast, the first carried out single-handedly in the dead of night by -a secular MBA poetess (Katya).” Instead, Dibble found that “With the exception of a smat­tering of trial coverage by the LA Times, the mass media blacked-out the story. The New York Times followed the story closely but never printed a single word!” Dibble’s documen­tary won a long list of festival awards, including the prestigious CINE Golden Eagle, and has been critically acclaimed nationally and internationally for its innovative style and the bold­ness of its content. Yet few Americans have had an opportunity to see it.

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