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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.
“Those who read and support Project Censored are in the know.” —Cynthia McKinney
“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
“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.
“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
“One of the most significant media research projects in the country.” —I. F. Stone
“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 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 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
“Hot news, cold truths, utterly uncensored.” —Greg Palast
“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] 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
“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
“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.
Buy it, read it, act on it. Our future depends on the knowledge this col-lection of suppressed stories allows us.” —San Diego Review
“[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

2. BIG BROTHER IS LISTENING TO YOU

Harrison E. Salisbury, respected Pulitzer Prize-winning editor and foreign and domestic correspondent for the New York Times, described the difference between a free democracy and a totalitarian state: We had no censorship; we had freedom of communication; no one listened in when we talked on the telephone; our mails were secure; no government spy read our telegrams or cables.”

But then he added “That was before I heard of the NSA. Those initials are not exactly your household acronym. If I ask my neighbor what is the country’s biggest security agency, he will name the CIA or FBI. He will be wrong. The National Security Agency is the biggest, and not one American in 10,000 has even heard its name. In all the years I worked as a correspondent in Moscow I never knew it existed. I should have. So should every American.”

The NSA is described as the behemoth of U.S. security outfits with an annual appropriation of more than $2 billion and a payroll of more than 22,000. Little is known about the NSA since everything it does is classified. However, Salisbury noted that “It generates such a volume of classified materials that it must destroy 20 tons of documents each day … the quantity is so great that the disposal furnace is used to generate gas for heating the NSA complex” at Fort Meade, Maryland, which is just a bit smaller than the Pentagon.

The NSA monitors all message traffic in the world — cable, wireless, satellite, telephone, coded, uncoded, scrambled, private, business, diplomatic, military.  Every telephone call, wireless and cable message to and from the U.S. is automatically recorded. In 1973 alone, the NSA reportedly retrieved more than 24 million individual communications including private, personal, supposedly inviolable messages of ordinary Americans. The latter are reputedly screened out and fed into the 20-ton-a-day destruct furnace. But no one knows for sure.

Salisbury asks “How does this affect the ordinary American?” and responds “In the simplest terms it means that Uncle Sam is listening — or may listen or is capable of listening — to every electronic impulse we incite, be it a corner pay phone or telex message to our Swiss banker.” He notes that all this is 100 percent against the law and violates every provision of the Bill of Rights and concludes “The fact that all this NSA activity is totally forbidden by the First Amendment’s guaranteeing freedom of the press has made no difference to the NSA and its masters.”

And now it appears that information about the NSA is going to be even more difficult to obtain. In the summer of 1980, a public research group, including several academics whose work had been censored by the NSA, surprisingly advocated the implementation of strong prior-restraint laws against independent published works in cryptography. The group also recommended that the National Science Foundation submit all applications it receives for cryptology funding to the NSA for “peer review.”  It is suggested that all research in cryptology and computer security will eventually be controlled by the NSA.

The lack of media coverage given the magnitude of NSA intrusion on private citizens qualifies this as a nomination for “best censored “story” of 1980. Or, as Salisbury  says, every American should know about the NSA.

SOURCES:

Penthouse, Nov. 1980, “Big Brother is Listening to You,” by Harrison Salisbury; and The Progressive, Nov. 1980, “Somebody is Listening,” by Loring Wirbell.

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