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“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.)
“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.
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“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
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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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“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
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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.
“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.

22. Stinger Missiles Sting

Sources: CHICAGO TRIBUNE Date: 12/6/92, Title: “CIA stung in Afghan missile deal,” Author: Uli Schmetzer; SANTA ROSA (CA) PRESS DEMOCRAT NEWS SERVICES, Date: 7/24/93, Title: “U.S. outbid for Stingers”

SSU Censored Researcher: Paul Chambers

SYNOPSIS: Now that the Cold War is over, the Central Intelli­gence Agency (CIA) is desperately trying to buy back hundreds of the surface-to-air Stinger missiles that it secretly gave Afghan guerrillas only a few years ago.

The Stinger missile, a shoulder-­fired, heat-seeking missile, is small enough to fit in the trunk of a car but lethal enough to bring down an airliner. The missiles can travel at 1,200 m.p.h. and while they can shoot down an airliner at an alti­tude up to 15,000 feet, they are considered deadly accurate against aircraft in the landing or take-off mode.

Originally, the missiles were given to the guerrillas to help defeat the Soviet troops in Afghanistan. They were handed out to Afghanistan’s anti-Soviet insur­gents in August 1986 in a covert operation run by the CIA. Flown in on special CIA planes, the missiles were distributed among the guer­rilla factions by Pakistan’s Inter­-Service Intelligence.

Investigative journalist Uli Schmetzer reported in December 1992 that the CIA, Pakistani Intelligence services, and Western military attaches have collaborated in Operation MIAs (Missing-In-­Action Stingers) for more than two years trying to “pry the missiles from Afghan hands and stop them from being sold to terrorist and separatist groups.”

While U.S. diplomats refused to comment, intelligence sources said the CIA’s success rate in repatri­ating the missiles was not good. When Schmetzer wrote his piece last December, the CIA reportedly was offering as much as $70,000 for a missile with an original cost of $20,000.

In July 1993, the CIA requested $55 million to buy back the Stinger anti-aircraft missiles. This extraor­dinary sum, more than five times the last allocation for the covert Stinger buyback program, was needed because of the fierce com­petition for the prized missiles on the international black market, according to knowledgeable sources.

Officials reported that U.S. agents were being outbid for the missiles that now fetch upward of $100,000 a piece on the black market.

Somewhat ironically, the best barrier against the Stingers falling into the wrong hands seems to be the reported “childlike attachment” local commanders have to them. They are status symbols and mili­tary toys of choice; commanders lose prestige when they sell them for money, said Abdul Haq, com­mander of a once-powerful guerrilla faction in Afghanistan.

Nonetheless, Haq reported that 24 Stingers already had fallen into the hands of Iran from pro-Iranian mujahedeen factions.

One European military attaché reported that every Western intelli­gence service is trying to help the Americans retrieve the missiles “because all our governments are dead scared one of those things is going to end up in the wrong hands.”

COMMENTS: By November 21, 1993, the Stinger scandal had started to receive more coverage as the Associated Press reported that “more than 50,000 of the 4-foot­plus missiles have been produced for the U.S. armed forces and 16 other governments.”

While the article noted that the missiles are kept under tight secu­rity, it confirmed that “hundreds of other Stingers, shipped by the CIA to anti-Communist rebels in Afghanistan and Angola, are believed to be feeding a multimil­lion-dollar black market.” It noted that the going market for Stingers in the Pakistani arms markets is now more than $200,000, substan­tially more than the CIA reportedly had been offering.

It also said that the Stingers are now believed to be deployed in at least five of the world’s small wars, including Somalia, and may have brought down aircraft in each.

Uli Schmetzer, journalist with the Chicago Tribune and author of the original Stinger source story, was on assignment in China and unavailable to respond to our query.

 

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