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“Those who read and support Project Censored are in the know.” —Cynthia McKinney
“One of the most significant media research projects in the country.” —I. F. Stone
“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
“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.
“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.)
“[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
“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.
“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
“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.
“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.
Buy it, read it, act on it. Our future depends on the knowledge this col-lection of suppressed stories allows us.” —San Diego Review
“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
“Hot news, cold truths, utterly uncensored.” —Greg Palast
“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 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

25. U.S. Military Trains Soldiers to Kill and Eat Tame Animals

Source: THE ANIMALS AGENDA, July/August 1999, Title: “Irrational Rations: Animals Used in Military Training” Author: D’Arcy Kemnitz

Faculty Evaluator: Laurel Holmstrom
Student Researchers: Rebecca Aust & Aimee Regan

Mainstream coverage: Seattle Times, July 2, 1999, page B1; Willington-Star News, July 12, 1999, page 3B; News & Observer, Raleigh NC, July 6, 1999, page Al; Spokane Review, Spokane WA, July 2, 1999, page Al; Denver Post, June 30, 1999, page B4

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have charged that animals are being killed unnecessarily in military training classes. A course titled “Survival Skills” taught at the U.S. Army’s Dugway Proving Ground in Utah teaches soldiers to hunt, kill, cook, and eat tame rabbits and chickens.

According to the author, the animals are transported from a local farm to the training grounds by truck. The soldiers then stage an ambush of the vehicle and release, chase, capture, and kill the animals. The officers in charge demand that the soldiers kill the animals with their bare hands.

While PETA was successful in having the class at Dugway discontinued, they also received reports of animal killing at Loring Air Force Base in Maine where soldiers were told to feed and care for rabbits and later to kill and eat them. At Fairchild Air Force Base in Washington, eyewitness accounts describe soldiers who are “required to stroke the rabbit to calm it, then bash it on the head—and the rabbits don’t always die with the first blow.”

Survival skills training classes began in 1947, in Alaska, to expose Air Force members to the harsh Arctic, and later a training camp was opened near terrain that resembles the former Soviet Union. By 1966, several of these classes were developed to train for the action in Vietnam. Marine Sergeant Joe Bangert told Life magazine in 1971, “The day before I went to ‘Nam this staff sergeant came out in front of us with a rabbit. Petting it he pulled out a knife and started skinning it, then disemboweled it.”

Government documents obtained via the Freedom of Information Act show that two Air Force bases alone used more than 1,500 rabbits each year at a cost of more than $10,000. According to a 1997 Department of Defense (DOD) report, the Air Force kills more rabbits in survival skills courses than does the DOD in all its intramural research facilities combined. PETA estimates that more than 10,000 animals, including chickens, rabbits, and goats are used each year in dozens of classes at military installations around the country.

These exercises seem to serve no practical purpose and teach no relevant skills to soldiers who may one day experience life-threatening, adverse conditions. Soldiers stranded in wartime are not likely to find tame bunnies and hens sitting on a battlefield. These live animal programs are controversial even within the military. Major General Leo J. Baxter of the U.S. Army base in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, stated, “We [at Fort Sill] are in complete agreement that there is no need to utilize live animals for realistic survival skills training.”

In the past, there have been instances where such exercises were canceled after receiving national exposure, yet thousands of animals continue to suffer each year on military bases that pursue this training.

UPDATE BY AUTHOR D’ARCY A. KEMNITZ: The story “Irrational Rations: Animals Used in Military Training” outlined a campaign begun when soldiers at U.S. military bases learned they were expected to kill rabbits with their bare hands in “survival skills” training classes. Whistleblowers called animal rights groups to try to get this practice stopped, and their reports marked the lurid beginnings of a national effort to stop one of the most outdated, barbaric, and unjustifiable practices in the military. These exercises result in the deaths of more than 10,000 animals annually—including goats and chickens—usually by soldiers using their bare hands or primitive tools such as rocks and sticks.

The practice dates back to World War II and was designed to teach soldiers how to procure food when separated from their divisions for long periods of time. However, in the modern exercises, soldiers are given tame rabbits before heading out to the training field. Nothing about the exercises simulates combat conditions with regard to “hunting” for food, making the classes as pointless as they are cruel.

Following the story’s publication in The Animals Agenda, articles appeared in newspapers in areas near large military installations, and Time magazine covered the story as well. The Pentagon’s public affairs division has frustrated activists by obstructing any communication with decision-makers on the issue.

The mainstream press responded with an emphasis on the gory aspects of small animals being killed by soldiers. Other individuals who were more familiar with such practices took action to stop animals from being killed. For instance, one Seattle-based former survival skills training instructor, who taught rabbit killing exercises to soldiers going to Vietnam, wrote to members of Congress to help initiate legislation to stop the practice. He stated: “As a former Air Force Sergeant survival instructor at Fairchild Air Force Base from 1968 to 1971… I taught survival in both classroom and field settings. Part of that training was the practice of killing a live rabbit with my own hands and then butchering the rabbit as one would a larger animal such as a deer. Since the rabbit was caged and hand-fed for a few days before being dispatched, my students often became attached to this animal and were reluctant to see or conduct the killing themselves …. The killing and butchering of these live rabbits is wholly unnecessary and does not enhance the survival of military personnel.”

What remains now is for military authorities and/or members of Congress to use the information revealed in this campaign and take appropriate action to end this cruel and unproductive practice.

For more information regarding the campaign to stop the use of live animals in military survival skills training courses, contact: The Animals Agenda, P.O. Box 25881, Baltimore, MD 21224; Tel: (410) 675-4566;; Web site:

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