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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
“[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
“Hot news, cold truths, utterly uncensored.” —Greg Palast
Buy it, read it, act on it. Our future depends on the knowledge this col-lection of suppressed stories allows us.” —San Diego Review
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“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.)
“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.
“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 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
“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] 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
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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.

22. FBI: Sloppy, 0ut of Touch and Very Powerful

Source: THE NATION, Title: “The FBI,” Date: August 1, 1997, Author: David Burnham

SSU Censored Researchers: Katie Sims and Ben Brewer
SSU Faculty Evaluator: Patrick Jackson, Ph.D.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for years was perceived as the nation’s preeminent crime-fighting agency. That image took a blow from events at Waco and Ruby Ridge, where the FBI had major confrontations with citizens, as well as from a reported mess at the FBI crime lab. Now, after examining the bureau’s own records, a law enforce-ment reporter concludes that the FBI today is a sloppy, unresponsive, badly managed, uncooperative, and out-of-touch agency that is aggressively trying to extend its control over the American people.

The bureau concentrates on drug dealers, credit-card scams, and bank robbers, all tasks that could easily be left to state and local agencies. Meanwhile, insufficient attention is given to the financial loss and the physical pain and deaths that result from the work of the nation’s army of white-collar criminals.

Records also show that the success rate of FBI cases is dismal. Justice Department prosecutors find much of the FBI’s investigative work inadequate. From 1992 to 1996, only one-fourth of all FBI cases referred to prosecutors resulted in convictions. The much-touted FBI lags behind the Drug Enforcement Agency, Internal Revenue Service, Immig-ration and Naturalization Service, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in prosecution success rates.

Given the current system in which the FBI runs with a free hand, there’s little reason to expect the bureau to improve or change. Because the FBI operates within the Justice Department, most people assume that it is accountable to the Attorney General. This is incorrect. From his appointment in 1924 to his death in 1972, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover was his own boss. This was largely due to the fact that Hoover understood the importance of information and how it could be used to garner power and influence. Hoover was untouchable. After his death, Congress attempted to put some controls on the FBI. Now the director serves a 10-year term and can be removed from office only for “just cause.” Subsequently, new FBI directors have a 10-year period to be their own masters with little accountability or oversight.

The FBI is continually pushing for greater control over and access to the private domains of American citizens. Evidence of this is given in a program quietly signed into law by President Clinton in October 1994. This program required the nation’s telephone companies to install a new generation of FBI-approved equipment that will make it much easier for the bureau to tap telephones throughout the country. The implications of this mandate are made even more far-reaching by the subsequent development of computer technologies that are able to monitor these wiretaps with little or no help from human operatives—making wiretapping considerably cheaper.

Testifying before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime in June, Louis Freeh, the current FBI Director, said, plainly: “We are potentially the most dangerous agency in the country.”

UPDATE BY AUTHOR DAVID BURNHAM: “The Federal Bureau of Investigation is the most powerful and secretive agency in the United States. Decade after decade, with no consideration of alternatives, it has continuously sought to expand its reach over the American people. Despite this steadily growing authority, the ‘B,’ as special agents refer to it, has rarely been subject to informed scrutiny.

“Most news organizations are satisfied with press releases and leaks that are always carefully crafted to serve the FBI’s purposes. While FBI Director Louis Freeh frequently testifies before Congress, the information he provides is almost always anecdotal. Public interest groups, lawyers, and scholars frame their questions about the FBI around individual horror stories that are easily dismissed as exceptions to the rule.

“The FBI article in The Nation was important because for the first time ever, it used the comprehensive internal records of the Justice Department to document what the bureau does and does not do, and how well or poorly it does it. FBI investigations result in thousands of convictions for drug crimes, bank robberies, and small-time fraud against the banks, but only a handful of convictions of big time white-collar criminals, fraudulent medical providers, or brutal cops. Even by its own standards, other agencies like the DEA appear to do a better job than the FBI in the enforce-ment of the nation’s drug laws.

“The data that served as the foundation of this article were obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), a research organization associated with Syracuse University. I am a founder and co-director of TRAC. At the time The Nation published the FBI article, we mounted an FBI Web site with more than 20,000 pages of maps, charts, graphs, textual material, and other information about the bureau’s operations. This information is available to every citizen, every reporter, every public interest group, and every congressperson who is concerned about the FBI, at TRAC has created similar sites about the IRS, DEA, and BATF.

“Post Script: On August 5, 1997, just as The Nation was coming off the presses and TRAC’s Web site was going up, ABC’s Nightline ran a favorable program on TRAC and its FBI findings. For a transcript of the program, call me at 202/ 544. 8722 or e-mail me at trac@syr-edu. The Web site of TRAC is: http://www.”

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