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

4. Bush Administration Hampered FBI Investigation into Bin Laden Family Before 9/11


Title: “French book indicts Bush Administration”
Author: Amanda Luker

November 8, 2001
Title: “Bush took FBI agents off Bin Laden family trail”
Author: Rashmee Z. Ahmed

November 7, 2001
Title: “FBI and US spy agents say Bush spiked bin Laden probes before 11 September”
Author: Greg Palast and David Pallister

Faculty evaluator: Catherine Nelson
Student researchers: Donald Yoon, David Immel

Corporate media coverage;
L.A. Times, 1/13/02 Part A-1, page 11

A French book Bin Laden, la verite interdite (Bin Laden, the forbidden truth) claims that the Bush Administration halted investigations into terrorist activities related to the bin Laden family and began planning for a war against Afghanistan before 9-11.

The authors, Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie, are French intelligence analysts. Dasquie, an investigative reporter, publishes Intelligence Online, which is a respected newsletter on economics and diplomacy. Brisard worked for French secret services and in 1997 wrote a report on the Al Qaeda network.

In 1996, high-placed intelligence sources in Washington told the Guardian, “There were always constraints on investigating the Saudis.” The authors allege that under the influence of US oil companies, George W. Bush and his administration initially halted investigations into terrorism, while bargaining with the Taliban to deliver Osama bin Laden in exchange for economic aid and political recognition. The book goes on to reveal that former FBI deputy director John O’Neill resigned in July of 2001 in protest over the obstruction of terrorist investigations. According to O’Neill, “The main obstacles to investigating Islamic terrorism were US oil corporate interests and the role played by Saudi Arabia in it.” The restrictions were said to have worsened after the Bush administration took over. Intelligence agencies were told to “back off” from investigations involving other members of the bin Laden family, the Saudi royals, and possible Saudi links to the acquisition of nuclear weapons by Pakistan. John O’Neil died on 9/11 in the World Trade Center.

An FBI file coded 199, which means a case involving national security, records that Abdullah bin Laden, who lived in Washington, originally had a file opened on him “because of his relationship with the Saudi-funded World Assembly of Muslim Youth – a suspected terrorist organization.” The BBC reiterated a well-known claim, made by one of George W. Bush’s former business partners, that Bush made his first million dollars 20 years ago from a company financed by Osama’s elder brother, Salem. It has also been revealed that both the Bushs and the bin Ladens had lucrative stakes in the Carlyle Group, a private investment firm that has grown to be one of the largest investors in US defense and communications contracts.

Brisard and Dasquie contend that the government’s main objective in Afghanistan was to unite the Taliban regime in order to gain access to the oil and gas reserves in Central Asia. Brisard and Dasquie report that the Bush government began negotiations with the Taliban directly after coming into power and representatives met several times in Washington, Islamabad, and Berlin.

There were also claims that the last meeting between the United States and Taliban representatives took place only five weeks before the attacks in New York and Washington.

Long before the September 11th attacks, the United States had decided to invade Afghanistan in the interest of oil. In February of 1998, at the hearing before a sub-group of the Committee on International Relations, Congress discussed ways to deal with Afghanistan to make way for an oil pipeline. Jane’s Defense News reported in March 2001 that an invasion of Afghanistan was being planned.

Times of India reported that in June of 2001, the US Government told India that there would be an invasion of Afghanistan in October of that year. By July of 2001 George Arney, with the BBC, also reported the planned invasion.

UPDATE BY AUTHOR AMANDA LUKER: Paula Zahn was right. If “Bin Laden: la verite interdite” is correct, it is huge. But, the national media will never give it a second glance.

The release of this book not only corroborates other investigations placing US big oil interests in Central Asia negotiating a pipeline in the ‘90s, but also exposes oil interests in the Bush administration, including Vice President Dick Cheney, National security advisor Condoleeza Rice, and Bush, both senior and junior. With this book, Guillaume Dasquie and Jean-Charles Brisard question America’s war time intentions: Is the United States protecting “enduring freedom” or are the bombings really a means of securing a pliant regime in Afghanistan so the United States can gain control over future oil veins pumping across the Middle East?

The mainstream coverage was dismissive. Dr. Daniel Goure, member of the conservative think-tank The Lexington Institute casually dismissed it on Minnesota Public Radio as a conspiracy theory, “debunked right, left and center,” even comparing it to the theory that Americans never went to the moon, that “it was all done in a studio in Hollywood.” He neglects to mention the book was not written by conspiracy nuts but by two esteemed French intelligence experts. And who debunked it? He doesn’t say.

At this moment [June 2002], the media is just beginning to skewer Bush for not increasing national security while knowing Taliban threats before Sept. 11. Some are beginning to ask, “If he knew this, what else did he know?” Just a few months ago, the notion that Bush knew pre-Sept. 11 was also dismissed as a conspiracy theory.

Americans should be given tools to questions those in power. Not every theory will be correct, but I, for one, am desperately curious what two European intelligence experts would have to say about US foreign policy.

Dasquie and Brisard’s book is still only available in French. On the Web site Intelligence Online (which Dasquie edits), the first chapter can be viewed in French.

For more information: Intelligence Online
Editor in Chief, Guillaume Dasquie (author of “Bin Laden: la verite interdite”)

Consortium News’ Bush Family “Oiligarchy” series

Z Net

Fortunate Son: George W. Bush and the Making of an American President
by J. H. Hatfield, Mark Crispin Miller

Unholy Wars: Afghanistan, America and International Terrorism by John K. Cooley

UPDATE BY THE GUARDIAN FOR AUTHOR GREG PALAST: Within two months of the attack on the World Trade Center, the Guardian investigative team and BBC Television’s Newsnight obtained documents, evidence and insider interviews exposing the Bush Administration’s pre-September 11 directives to intelligence agencies blocking inquiries into the bin Laden family and Saudi Arabian financing of terror networks. Driving this policy of deliberate blindness, we have further reported, were the ill combination of petroleum politics and financial conflicts of interest: the Bush family and allies deep ties to Saudi Arabian royals, banks and arms dealers.

The story should be understood as one of our continuing series on Bush family finances by the Guardian Group (Guardian and Observer) and BBC Newsnight. The first of these in November 2000 exposed the purge of Black voters from Florida’s voter rolls which the US Civil Rights Commission called, “the first hard evidence of deliberate violations of civil rights.

The team’s reports have been virtually blacked-out in the USA – though widely reported and lauded worldwide; in the case of the Bin Laden report, from the Times of India across to Latin America’s top publications. American journalist Palast had to relocate to Europe to write and broadcast this series.

Not all responses are kind. The story (and a follow-up report by BBC) drew threats of lawsuit from a Saudi “charity.” This is serious stuff in a land lacking a First Amendment. A mining corporation which hired the senior Bush as a consultant did sue the Guardian over one of the reports; the successful defense bled our thin finances.

Despite the cost (admittedly with some of our network and newspaper executives biting their nails) we have soldiered on with the investigations. Our general theme – Bush family finances and oil – led us to break the story this month (again, not covered in the USA), that Hugo Chavez survived an attempted coup d’etat because of warnings to him in advance by the secretary-general of OPEC.

On the intelligence story, we are debriefing an arms dealer and other sources about a 1996 meeting between Al Qaida’s financial representative, gun merchants and Saudi royals. Most important to us are US agencies’ knowledge of the meeting and follow-up (or lack thereof). The print report also notes “Saudi links to the acquisition of nuclear weapons by Pakistan.” The creation of the “Islamic” bomb is another target of our research.

Dan Rather, a guest on our BBC program last week, admitted the US press coverage of bin Laden and war has been twisted into an unquestioning outlet of official PR. As a result, American public debate has been reduced to shouting between conspiracy theorists and the willfully ignorant ‘patriots.’ Our reports, that economic interests blinded official America to security threats, is not part of the dialogue.

Recognition in the US by Project Censored would encourage BBC and Guardian’s risk taking work.

Note: These stories are the result of a large team effort. Therefore, we would appreciate your recognizing the work of BBC Newsnight producer Meirion Jones and Guardian chief of investigations, David Leigh.

In addition, it is important to include with the Guardian story, the transcripts of the companion 7 November 2001 BBC Newsnight (attached below) – especially as Newsnight put up all the cash for this particularly costly segment of the investigation.


UPDATE BY AUTHOR DAVID PALLISTER: I endorse Greg Palast’s update response.

I would add that this was a significant story in exposing the ultra-sensitive relationship that exists between the US and Saudi (because of oil, obviously) that tends to preclude any recognition of the fact that Saudi has provided the money, the cadres and the ideology that had driven Al Qaida. The Guardian has investigated in depth the connections between Saudi-sponsored charities and terrorism since 9/11, as well as exposing the appalling human rights record of the Saudi regime in terms on torturing citizens of Britain, Belgium and Canada to make forced and false confessions of involvement in terrorist bombing.

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