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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
“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.
“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
“One of the most significant media research projects in the country.” —I. F. Stone
“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
“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.
“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.)
“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
“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
“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
“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.
“Hot news, cold truths, utterly uncensored.” —Greg Palast
“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 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


Despite a promise to “leave no stone unturned,” the Reagan administration failed to pursue a series of Syrian offers to help get American hostages out of Lebanon, according to a confidential Pentagon memo and sources involved in the affair.

The Syrian overture centers around Robert D. Ladd, an American businessman with CIA contacts. According to the memo, Ladd, in the summer of 1985, was introduced (through an associate) to Fasih Mikhail Achi, a visiting judge from Syria’s inspector general’s office. Achi claimed that ‘The Syrians were prepared to assist in the release of the hostages if the U.S. president (Ronald Reagan) called Syrian President Hafez al-Assad and requested his support. After a call from the U.S. president, the Syrians would facilitate the release and transfer of the hostages without any quid (pro quo) from the U.S.”

According to Ladd, he arranged for the Syrian to be interviewed in Washington by representatives of the DIA and the CIA, and that Achi was interviewed three separate times over two days in July 1985. In the interviews Achi said that he spoke for Gen. Ghazi Kenaan, the head of Syrian military Intelligence in Lebanon. A former Pentagon official told the Examiner that a subsequent identity check of Achi by the CIA and the DIA verified his identity as an aide to Kenaan.

After a month passed with no answer from the Americans, Ladd says he brought the Syrian offer to Lt. Col. Oliver North of the NSC, but North’s promised follow up never materialized.

Achi contacted Ladd again in February 1987 to renew Syria’s offer. Ladd, in turn, attempted to persuade U.S. officials to have a meeting in Paris, at which Achi could prove that his overture was both genuine and feasible. “They told me there wasn’t enough substance from Achi to run it upstairs,” said Ladd, “But Achi was willing to provide the substance in Paris. They wouldn’t even meet him for that.” A former Pentagon official familiar with the affair, and speaking on condition of anonymity, agrees with Ladd, ‘That part should have been followed through. There was no reason not to-we meet all the time with “walk-ins” who have less than what Achi had.”

Ladd says U.S. intelligence officials reluctantly agreed to meet Achi in Paris late summer of 1989, but CIA canceled the meeting without explanation. Despite the cancellation, Achi called Ladd yet again and said the hostages would be delivered if Ladd would come to Damascus for them. In early August, American intermediaries were finally ready to fly to Damascus when Achi called to withdraw the offer. An internal tug-of-war had developed over the hostages.

Although Associated Press ran a summary of the Examiner’s story on July 22, not one national media outlet picked it up.


SOURCE: SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER, 110 Fifth Ave., San Francisco, CA 94103, DATE: 7/21/91

TITLE: “Hostage Offer Ignored By U.S.” AUTHOR: Jonathan Broder

SOURCE: EXTRA!, 130 West 25th St., New York, NY 10001, DATE: September/October 1991

TITLE: “Bush, Syria and the Hostages”

AUTHOR Jane Hunter

COMMENTS: Author Jane Hunter noted that the issue was ignored by the mass media “even after AP picked it up from the San Francisco Examiner.” She added that the general public would benefit from more coverage about the Syrian hostage offer since it would help the “Iran-contra affair” shrink into “the far larger, more scandalous picture of secret foreign policy activity during the Reagan-Bush administrations.”

Hunter, who is also the editor of Israeli Foreign Affairs, rhetorically  asked, “What if George Bush, as vice president, had made another offer of arms for hostages — not to Iran, but to Syria? What if he and other Reagan administration officials later rebuffed Syrian offers to free those hostages? Wouldn’t a congressional investigation into allegations of such events be worth front-page headlines and network news coverage?”

Noting that although the story appeared in the Washington Jewish Week, on June 27, 1991, and the San Francisco Examiner, on July 21, and portions of it later were carried on the Associated Press wire, Hunter charged “it didn’t even register with most of the press corps. For most national media outlets, the story didn’t exist.”

Hunter went on to say the television networks and the leading national newspapers missed the story. “Although Associated Press ran a summary of the Examiner’s story on July 22, not one of the national media outlets picked up on it. … According to editors and reporters at a number of national media outlets contacted by EXTRA!, the story was  probably lost in the shuffle of vacations and breaking news concerning the Iran-contra affair, the Gates nomination to the CIA and the 1980 October Surprise. Most said they were not familiar with the story.”

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