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

20. Pentagon Increases Private Military Contracts


FORTUNE, 3/3/03
Title: “The Pentagon’s Private Army”
Author: Nelson D. Schwartz

CORPWATCH.ORG, March 20, 2003
Title: “Halliburton Makes a Killing on Iraq War”
Author: Pratap Chatterjee

Title: “Battle for Iraq: Scandal-hit U.S. Firm Wins Key Contracts”
Author: Antony Barnett

Faculty Evaluator: Tom Lough Ph.D.
Student Researcher: Josh Sisco

President Dwight Eisenhower’s final remarks upon vacating the White House were “Beware the military-industrial complex.” With the war on Iraq, the government rapidly increased the already growing privatization of much of its military operations. Staffed largely by ex-military and Defense Department officials, private companies – such as Kellogg, Brown & Root, DynCorp, Cubic, ITT, and MPRI – have been aggressively snatching up government contracts. One estimate, cited by Nelson Schwartz in Fortune magazine, says that 8%, or $30 billion, of the Pentagon’s total budget for 2003 will go to private companies. Following 9/11, the Defense Department released a study that concluded, “Only those functions that must be performed by the Defense Department should be kept by the Defense Department. Any function that can be provided by the private sector is not a core government function.” The U.S. military has contracted with private military companies on everything from kitchen and laundry duty to domestic recruiting efforts.

Kellogg, Brown & Root (KBR) is a subsidiary of Halliburton, the energy company formerly headed by Vice President Dick Cheney. By the time Cheney left Halliburton for the vice presidency, the company had extensive involvement with the Pentagon. While Secretary of Defense for Bush Senior, Cheney awarded Halliburton a $3.9 million contract to “study and then implement the privatization of routine army functions.” Retired Admiral Joe Lopez, former commander in chief for US forces in Southern Europe, as well as Cheney’s aid under the elder Bush, is now the Senior Vice President at KBR and responsible for military contracting.

KBR was given a 10-year contract entitled Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP). This is a “cost-plus-award-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity service,” – an open ended mandate for privatization anywhere in the world, according to Chatterjee. Whereas it used to take 120-180 days to deploy private companies to foreign military bases, a 72-hour notice is now all that is required. KBR was also given $16 million to build a 408-bed prison for Afghanistan’s enemy combatants in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Last year, DynCorp won a State Department contract to protect Afghan President Hamid Kharzi. The protection force consists of former members of Delta Force and other elite military units. DynCorp, in conjunction with several other companies such as Airscan and Northrop Grumman, receives roughly $1.2 billion a year to spray suspected coca fields in Columbia.

This past April, DynCorp was also awarded a multi-million dollar contract to build a private police force in post-Sadaam Iraq. Potential officers do not need to speak Arabic and must be a US citizen and a current or former police officer, according to the London Observer. Private police provided by DynCorp working for the UN in Bosnia were accused of buying and selling prostitutes, including a 12-year-old girl. Others were accused of videotaping the rape of one of the women. Ecuadorian peasants are suing the company, alleging that chemicals sprayed over Columbia spread into Ecuador killing legal crops and children. DynCorp has been accused of destroying legal crops, and serious human rights violations.

UPDATE BY PRATAP CHATTERJEE: War profiteering has risen to an all time high under the Bush administration. For the first time in history one in ten people deployed during a war was a private contractor. From building the tent cities, to maintaining the fighter jets and training the troops in live-weapons fire, private companies made a killing in the in the invasion of Iraq. What is even more significant is that the vice-president of the United States has directly benefited from these contracts in his former job (he gets compensation of $180,000 a year from the company) and his staff continues to receive advice from his company.

Since Corpwatch and the San Francisco Bay Guardian broke the story that Halliburton had stationed employees in Uzbekistan to run United States military bases in April 2002, the value and number of the company’s war machine contracts have vastly expanded. As the first bombs rained down on Baghdad, thousands of employees of Halliburton were working alongside U.S. troops in Jordan, Kuwait and Turkey under a package deal worth well over a billion dollars. In addition the company has contracts to support troops in Afghanistan, Djibouti, and Georgia in the former Soviet Union.

Cheap labor is a primary reason for outsourcing services, says Major Toni Kemper, head of public affairs at one of the Turkish bases. “The reason that the military goes to contracting is largely because it’s more cost effective in certain areas. I mean there was a lot of studies years ago as to what services can be provided via contractor versus via military personnel. Because when we go contract, we don’t have to pay health care and all the another things for the employees, that’s up to the employer.”

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