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“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 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
“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
“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.)
“One of the most significant media research projects in the country.” —I. F. Stone
“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
“Those who read and support Project Censored are in the know.” —Cynthia McKinney
“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
“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
“[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
“[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
“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
“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.

23. GREAT BRITAIN POLLUTES THE WORLD WITH RADIOACTIVITY

It’s the largest commercial producer of plutonium in the world and also the largest source of radioactive contamination in the world. It releases plutonium, ruthenium, ameri­cium, cesium 13.7, radioactive iodine, and other toxins as part of its daily functioning. It’s the scourge of Europe but little known in the United States. It’s Sellafield – the government­ owned plant of Great Britain located on the Irish Sea in Cumbria. The plant has been operating for 35 years, during which time it has poured radioactive wastes into the sea through a mile-and-one-half long pipeline specially constructed for that purpose, creating an underwater “lake” of wastes.

It also throws off one quarter ton of plutonium which returns to shore in windborne spray and spume, and in the tides, and in fish and seaweed and flotsam, and which concen­trates in inlets and estuaries.

Radioactive iodine is vented from its smokestacks while cesium 137 flows into the sea, contaminating meat, mills, and fish. The plant receives nuclear waste, including wastes generated in other countries, and reprocesses plutonium for profit. What happens to the plutonium once it is extracted, no one says, although there were reports that the U.S. re­ceived Sellafield plutonium in exchange for nuclear materials produced in the U.S. How­ever, despite the British penchant for secrecy, it is known that Sellafield has had about 300 accidents including a core fire in 1957 which was, before Chernobyl, the most serious acci­dent to occur in a nuclear reactor.

One human cost of this deadly venture is seen in the instances of leukemia deaths in children living on the English and Irish coasts — one child in 60 dies of the disease in the vil­lage nearest the plant. For comparative purposes, the release of radiation from Three Mile Island (TMI) is usually estimated at between 15 and 25 curies of radioactive iodine. Many hundreds of thousands of curies of radioactivity have entered the environment each year through Sellafield’s pipeline and its stacks, in the course of the plant’s routine functioning. In other words, TMI’s accident was a modest event by the standards of Sellafield’s normal operation.

Plutonium from the plant carried by the seas has been found in Ireland, Iceland, Sweden, Denmark, and Belgium. Denmark and Ireland, neither of which has a nuclear power plant, object vehemently in the European Parliament to Sellafield’s operation. And while other countries object, they also pay Britain to take on their waste disposal problems. The source book, MOTHER COUNTRY, by investigative author Marilynne Robin­son, has been compared to Rachel Carson’s SILENT SPRING. Robinson questions the silence of the American press on Sellafield. She notes that hundreds of reports about Sel­lafield, originally called Windscale, in the British media yielded “slight, late, perfunctory articles” in The New York Times and Washington Post which concluded “that it was all a tempest in a teapot, more or less.”

Sellafield is not a small, radioactive waste problem restricted to the British coast in Cumbria. Indeed, the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant has been cited as a perfect metaphor for twentieth-century genocide. It is a lesson we should all know about.

SSU CENSORED RESEARCHER: TANYA GUMP

SOURCE: MOTHER COUNTRY

PUBLISHER: FARRAR, STRAUS & GIROUX, 1989 19 Union Square West, New York, NY 10003

AUTHOR: MARILYNNE ROBINSON

COMMENTS: Marilynne Robinson has written an extraordinary book about Sellafield, the government-owned nuclear plant of Great Britain located on the Irish Sea in Cumbria. Sellafield, the largest source of radioactive contamination in the world, is well known in Europe but little known in the U.S. The book has been favorably compared to Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. Robinson points out that it is important for all of us to know about Sellafield since its impact goes far beyond the British shores; indeed it has been cited as a perfect metaphor for 20th century genocide. Robinson notes that America’s nuclear industry benefits from the lack of coverage given the Sellafield disaster since “The nuclear industry in America owes whatever future it has to the belief, very commonly expressed, that in Europe nuclear power has been cheap and safe.” The reality of Sellafield refutes that belief. Ironi­cally, Robinson’s book is the target of two libel suits in England, one by Greenpeace and the other by Walter Patterson, an environmental writer. Robinson is being “sued for asking why these activist writers and groups do not make Sellafield known to the American public, and why Greenpeace would lower divers into the sea at the site of the most grave and prolonged disgorging of radionuclides and other toxins in the world.” While neither suit would have any standing under American law, British libel laws are far more restrictive; Robinson says they have served to stall progress on a proposed television film based on Mother Country.

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