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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
“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
“[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
“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
“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.
“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.
“Those who read and support Project Censored are in the know.” —Cynthia McKinney
“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 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
“[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
“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
“One of the most significant media research projects in the country.” —I. F. Stone
“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.)
“Hot news, cold truths, utterly uncensored.” —Greg Palast
“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

5. OPERATION ILL WIND — DOD’S UNTOLD SCANDAL

In late 1990, Common Cause Magazine published an explosive article examining the scandal-plagued history of the Northrop Corporation, one of the nation’s major defense contractors. It documented how Northrop’s former CEO, Thomas V. Jones, kept the company thriving despite scandals involving overseas payoffs, illegal Watergate contributions, and falsified tests on U.S. jet parts used in the Persian Gulf war.

At the time of the article, up to seven grand juries were reportedly investigating allegations that Northrop engaged in bribery, deliberate overcharging and falsifying test results. Northrop’s record led critics to depict it as one of the nation’s most lawless military contractors.

But Northrop was not alone nor necessarily atypical in its operation as the nation discovered in 1988 when the Justice Department started a massive investigation into possible fraud and bribery in securing defense contracts. The role of ex-Department of Defense workers who were paid by weapons contractors for the exclusive use of their knowledge was a major national story. It was called “Operation Ill Wind” and it was expected to blow the lid off one of the nation’s biggest scandals.

But it didn’t and we’ll probably never know why. After a lengthy investigation, investigative journalist Philip Dunn concluded that “Operation Ill Wind, the 1988 Justice Department investigation of possible fraud and bribery in securing defense contracts, will be hidden forever.”

With just one exception, the search warrants and affidavits that contain transcripts of wiretapped conversations of employees at McDonnell Douglas, one of the key players in the investigation, were sealed by court order. Despite the best efforts of the St. Louis Post Dispatch to obtain the affidavits, including an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, the transcripts will remain sealed.

The Post’s attorney, Jim Shoemake, said “Search warrants always historically have been a public record. They should be open as a public check on what the government is doing.”

Edward H. Kohn, assistant city editor of the St. Louis Post Dispatch at the time, explained why the paper made such a strong effort to secure the hidden documents: “I … believe that ‘Operation Ill Wind’ is of extraordinary scope and importance … and ultimately may equal or exceed the ‘Teapot Dome’ scandal or the publication of the ‘Pentagon Papers’ in its significance in this Nation’s history.”

SSU CENSORED RESEARCHER: DUSTIN HARP

SOURCE: COMMON CAUSE MAGAZINE, 2030 M Street, Washington, DC 20036, DATE: Nov/Dec 1990

TITLE: “The Devil and Mr. Jones” AUTHOR: John Hanrahan

SOURCE: THE ST. LOUIS JOURNALISM REVIEW 8380 Olive Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63132, DATE: March 1991

TITLE: ‘The documents were sealed and the public shut out” AUTHOR: Philip Dunn

COMMENTS: Author John Hanrahan, who investigated the Northrop scandal, charged that Northrop’s two decades of corruption — and the general topic of ongoing scandal over defense fraud — continued to get short shrift in major news media during the last year. “I know of no expose of Northrop or corrupt defense firms generally in the major news media — certainly not network TV or the news weeklies — in 1991,” Hanrahan said. ‘With press focus on the Gulf War last year — and how weapons made by defense firms were instrumental in the U.S. victory — the media seemed unwilling to dampen the nation’s perceived ‘feel-good’ mood brought on by the war.”

He said that the public would benefit from wider exposure of the DOD fraud issue because it would be in a better position to demand answers of the president and Congress as to why defense contracting fraud is so widespread; why major offenders get off with such light punishments (and continue to receive major contracts); and how the system can be improved to prevent the collusion that often exists between the government watchdogs and the contractors. Hanrahan noted that ‘The president and many members of Congress also benefit from the lack of exposure of defense contracting problems because the current system of ‘pork-barrel’ politics and campaign contributions from defense contractor PACs are important to reelection efforts.”

Investigative journalist Philip Dunn, who explored the Justice Department investigation of fraud at McDonnell Douglas, ruefully reported that while the issue didn’t receive sufficient media attention, “In this particular case, the issue is largely over; the St. Louis Post-Dispatch took on the federal government and the government won. It’s over.”

‘The issue of sealed documents in general hasn’t received enough attention,” he added. “We’re dealing with state and federal government documents, which are by definition (theoretically, at least) part of the public domain. If government’s purpose is to serve its citizens, to be ‘of the people, by the people and for the people,’ why shouldn’t every action that the government undertakes be open to public debate?”

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