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

#17 Media “Whitewash” Senate’s CIA Torture Report

Although the corporate and progressive press alike focused public attention on the Senate Intelligence Committee’s December 2014 report on the CIA’s secret program of abductions, “brutal” interrogations, and torture of terrorism suspects, Nafeez Ahmed reported that this coverage has “whitewashed the extent to which torture has always been an integral and systematic intelligence practice since the second World War.” Despite President Barack Obama’s claims that he officially banned torture in 2009, these practices continue today, “under the careful recalibration of Obama and his senior military intelligence officials,” serving to legitimize the existence and expansion of the national security apparatus, Ahmed wrote.

President Obama did not ban torture in 2009, Ahmed reported, and now his administration is “exploiting the new Senate report to convince the world that the intelligence community’s systematic embroilment in torture was merely a Bush-era aberration that is now safely in the past.”

In fact, Obama’s 2009 executive order rehabilitated torture. That order required that interrogation techniques fit the US Army Field Manual, which complies with the Geneva Convention prohibitions against torture that date back to 1956. However, in 2006, revisions to the manual added nineteen different methods of interrogation that “went far beyond the original Geneva-inspired restrictions” of the original field manual. At the time, Obama’s director of national intelligence, Admiral Dennis Blair, advised the Senate Intelligence Committee that the Army Field Manual revisions allowing new forms of harsh interrogation would remain classified.

“What we are seeing now,” Ahmed wrote, “is not the Obama administration putting an end to torture, but rather putting an end to the open acknowledgement of the use of torture as a routine intelligence practice.”

The Senate’s complete report ran to 6,700 pages, yet after White House objections only a 499-page summary was published in December 2014, with significant details redacted. As the Bureau of Investigative Journalism reported, less than one quarter of the 119 detainees named in the Senate report on the CIA’s secret torture program are actually housed at the Guantánamo Bay military prison. The Bureau’s investigation has produced a database providing details of what occurred to each of the 119 individuals.

Research by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism documented that only thirty-six individuals of the 119 were sent to Guantánamo after CIA interrogation. Of these, twenty-nine remained as of January 2015. Seven of the thirty-six were released between March 2007 and January 2010, with six moved abroad and one sent to a maximum-security prison on the US mainland.

As Crofton Black reported, the Bureau’s research “opens fresh possibilities” for accountability and legal redress, according to lawyers who have worked on some of these cases.

“This project to restore information blacked out in the Senate report reveals important data about former detainees’ time in the CIA’s detention system,” said Meg Satterthwaite, director of the Global Justice Clinic at New York University School of Law. “This kind of careful analysis is crucially important for those working to understand the US extraordinary rendition and torture program.”

Steven Watt, senior staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union, similarly remarked, “This research, confirming the dates and duration of the men’s confinement, is important not just for transparency purposes but also for the men themselves.”

In April 2015, Amnesty International issued a report criticizing the Obama administration’s lack of action in response to the Senate’s report. “Four months after the declassification of the report summary, the U.S. administration has yet to take any meaningful steps toward ending the impunity associated with this secret detention program. Instead, they have effectively buried the Senate report, leaving the door open for similar programs in the future.” The Amnesty International report characterized the lack of government response to the Senate torture report as amounting to “de facto amnesty” for those responsible for CIA torture.

Nafeez Ahmed, “America Is Committing Brutal Acts of Torture Right Now,” December 11, 2014, AlterNet, http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/america-committing-brutal-acts-torture-right-now.

Crofton Black, “Revealed: Only 29 Detainees from Secret CIA Torture Program Remain in Guantánamo Bay,” Bureau of Investigative JournalismJanuary 15, 2015, http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2015/01/15/28-detainees-secret-cia-torture-program-guantanamo-bay/.

Student Researchers: Brooks Brorsen (Sonoma State University) and Alison Gorrell (Florida Atlantic University)

Faculty Evaluators: Peter Phillips (Sonoma State University) and James F. Tracy (Florida Atlantic University)

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