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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.
“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
“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
“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
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.
“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
“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.
“Those who read and support Project Censored are in the know.” —Cynthia McKinney
“[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
“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.
“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 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
“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 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

18. NASA LIED TO GET NUKES INTO SPACE

The Galileo space probe was launched on October 19 amid controversy over its highly toxic payload of 49.25 pounds of plutonium which provides heat and electricity for its instruments. Challenged by scientific concern over the potential danger of launching pluto­nium into space, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration claimed there was no substitute for plutonium as a power source on projects such as the Galileo mission to Jupi­ter.

But government-authorized studies, released under the Freedom of Information Act to investigative journalist Karl Grossman after the launch, show that scientists under con­tract to NASA regarded solar energy as a feasible alternative for Galileo and for other space probes as well. In the weeks preceding the Galileo launch, NASA stuck to its claim that there was no alternative to plutonium for these missions. In a “Safety Fact Sheet,” the agency said “Because other power alternatives are too massive or too weak … the RTG (plutonium-powered generator) is the safest, most efficient and effective power system.”

However, studies conducted for NASA by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of the California Institute of Technology contradict NASA’s claims. One of the laboratory’s reports says, “Based on the current study, it appears that a Galileo Jupiter orbiting mission could be performed with a concentrated photovoltaic solar array power source without changing the mission sequence or impacting science objectives … concentrated solar arrays are a poten­tially viable alternative to RTG’s despite the difficulties posed by the Galileo mission.”

When told of the reports, U.S. Representative George Hochbrueckner (D-NY), a member of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, which oversees NASA, was shocked. “NASA has been telling us over and over again that there is no alternative to plutonium – and now this. Why did we have to undertake the tremendous risk with pluto­nium in light of these reports?” he asked. “We took a big risk with Galileo and we happened to be lucky. Now we have to make sure we don’t undergo an unnecessary risk again with future probes.” In fact, future NASA missions are scheduled for 1991, 1995, and 1996. Like Galileo, these space probes are slated to be launched by a Challenger-type space shuttle and to carry plutonium.

Why did NASA deliberately conceal information from the American people? Why did NASA insist there were no alternatives to plutonium when alternatives were and are available and viable? Why did NASA lie? According to Michio Kaku, professor of nuclear physics at the City University of New York, “It’s because they have a hidden agenda for the RTGs: use in a future Star Wars system.”

Indeed, starting in the mid-1990s, the government plans a series of launches of nuclear devices in space for military purposes, including orbiting nuclear reactors that would provide the power for the Strategic Defense Initiative.

And while NASA lied, the media failed to put the controversial issue on the national agenda. Efforts to warn the nation of the dangers of the plutonium space probe were among the top 10 “censored” stories of 1986, 1987, and 1988. Now it appears that Galileo is just the tip of the iceberg.

SSU CENSORED RESEARCHER: MICHAEL ACCURSO

SOURCE: THE NATION 72 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10011, DATE: 11/20/89

TITLE: “PLUTONIUM CON”

AUTHORS: KARL GROSSMAN and JUDITH LONG

COMMENTS: For three years, in 1986, 1987, and 1988, investigative journalist Karl Gross­man tried to alert the public to the potential dangers of launching a highly toxic payload of plutonium into space. His efforts, which appeared in small circulation publications such as The Nation, were cited among the top ten “censored” stories of each of those years. Throughout that period NASA rejected Grossman’s charges saying there was no danger but, in any event, there was no substitute for plutonium as a power source on the proposed missions. Grossman’s 1989 article, based on government documents released to him under the Freedom of Information Act, revealed that NASA was lying and that there was an alternative power source which could have been used. Like his earlier articles, Grossman’s 1989 effort went ignored by the national news media. He notes that despite the revealing new documentation obtained by FOIA, “again there was silence from the mainstream media.” Grossman suggests that one of the reasons for the media’s failure to cover the space plutonium issue critically is that the U.S. space program, before and after the Chal­lenger disaster, has been “treated as a sacred cow by most of the U.S. media.” Time will tell whether the latest NASA debacles with the Hubble space telescope, fuel leaks in the shuttle fleet, and the grounding of veteran shuttle commanders for breaking flight safety rules, cause the media to reconsider its treatment of this “sacred cow.”

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