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“[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
“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
“Those who read and support Project Censored are in the know.” —Cynthia McKinney
“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 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
Buy it, read it, act on it. Our future depends on the knowledge this col-lection of suppressed stories allows us.” —San Diego Review
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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
“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
“[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
“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

25. Homeland Security Was Designed to Fail

Sources: Mother Jones, September/October 2004, Title: “Red Alert,” Author: Matthew Brzezinski, NPR, September 24, 2004, Title: “Fortress America: On the Front Lines of Homeland Security” (an interview with Matthew Brzezinski), Author Matthew Brzezinski

Faculty Evaluators: Greg and Meri Storino
Student Researcher: Joey Tabares

It was billed as America’s frontline defense against terrorism. But badly under-funded, crippled by special interests, and ignored by the White House, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been relegated to bureaucratic obscurity. Unveiled on March 1, 2003, the Department of Homeland Security had been touted as the Bush Administration’s bold response to the new threats facing America in the post-Cold War world of global terrorism. It is currently composed of 22 formerly separate federal agencies and it boasts 186,200 employees. Its operations are funded by a budget of nearly $27 billion.

There are 15,000 industrial plants in the United States that produce toxic chemicals. According to the Environmental Protection Agency(EPA), about 100 of these plants could endanger up to a million lives with poisonous clouds of ammonia, chlorine, or carbon disulfide that could be released into the atmosphere over densely populated areas by a terror attack. Unprotected chemical plants are possible candidates for future attacks by terrorists. These are some of the most vulnerable pieces of infrastructure in America.

Following 9/11 there was a big push to increase security at all chemical plants in the United States. Democrats put forth a Chemical Security Act, the purpose of which was to codify parameters for site security, ensure safe transport of toxic materials, and prevent further accidents from happening. But Republicans defeated the bill after oil companies pumped millions of dollars into lobbying campaigns to stop it.

Matthew Brzezinski’s article in Mother Jones asserts that President Bush doesn’t put much importance, if any at all, on Homeland Security reports. Security spending has risen just 4 percent since 9/11, and most of that increase was only to cover higher insurance programs. There are many chemical plants that have no fencing requirements, cameras, and no guards. The article points out the spending needed to insure the safety of U.S. citizens and compares it (unfavorably) to the amount spent in Iraq over the same time period.

Aside from being hamstrung by its reluctant architects, DHS simply has not been able to compete with Iraq in the battle for resources. With the President’s tax cuts trimming government revenues, and budget deficits reaching levels not seen since the Vietnam War, money is tight for programs the White House does not see as top priorities. The truth of the matter is that Homeland Security is very much a shoestring operation-so much so that worried Democrats in Congress keep trying to throw more money at it.

Brzezinski, recent author of “Fortress America” and former Wall Street correspondent, suggests the Department of Homeland Security needs a serious reassessment of its goals and operations to better protect Americans. He says the White House has decided that the Homeland Security intelligence unit should rank lower than the FBI and the CIA. Seven Republican Senators that had previously endorsed the Chemical Security Act later withdrew their support. $5.7 million in contributions from the petrochemical campaign (led by the American Petroleum Institute) helped to ensure that Republicans took the Senate in the 2002 midterm elections and that the Chemical Security Act die out. People opposing the act emphasized the economic impact of the Security Act. The argument was that Chlorine and its derivatives went into products that account for 45 percent of the nations GDP, and reductions to its production would hurt the economy.

Three years after 9/11 almost anybody can still gain entry into thousands of chemical sites across the country. If a factory spends lots of money on security spending upgrades, its products can’t compete with other factories that spend nothing. Only legislation can level the playing field.

The failure of the mainstream media to acknowledge the fact that Homeland Security has been a complete washout further signifies the cozy relationship it enjoys with the halls of power. Protection of the homeland has been an area where the president has received consistently high marks from the country-ostensibly because this is the one area where he has stayed strong and focused. It would have been helpful for the country to know if this wasn’t true.


Judy Clark, Oil and Gas Journal, June 23, 2003, “Government, Industry Forge Partnerships for Security Enhancement.”

Primedia, August 1, 2003, “An Overlooked Vulnerability?”

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