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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
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“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.)
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5. Turkey Destroys Kurdish Villages with U.S. Weapons

Title Turkey’s War on the Kurds
Source The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, March/April 1999
Author Kevin McKiernan
Faculty Evaluator Tony White Ph.D.
Student Researcher Doug Schiller & Tanner May

In 1995, the Clinton Administration recognized that the Turkish government used American arms in domestic military operations where human rights abuses occurred. In fact, Turkey has forcibly evacuated, leveled and burned more than 3,000 Kurdish villages in the past decade. Most of the atrocities, which have cost over 40,000 lives, took place during Clinton’s first term in office. As an ally of the U.S. through NATO, Turkey receives U.S. weapons, from dozens of companies, including Hughes, Boeing, Raytheon, and General Dynamics. Despite a horrifying report of violent abuse by Amnesty International, the State Department passed arms deals with Turkey. The war in Turkey represents the greatest use of U.S. weapons in combat anywhere in the world today.

Coverage 2000

With little exception, the mainstream U.S. media has been “AWOL” in reporting on the role of U.S. arms in Turkey’s war with the PKK. Media interest in the country’s human rights abuses did surface, however, during three different circumstances: Turkey’s petition to be included in the EU (mostly in the foreign press), the House resolution labeling Turkey’s massacre and eviction of 1.5 million Armenians from 1915-1923 as genocide, and Ocalan’s appeal to the European Convention on Human Rights. But few put all the issues together.

Author Kevin McKiernan reiterated his argument in several op-ed pieces around the country, this time focusing on a $4 billion contract for 145 attack helicopters. Although the U.S. government had earlier firmly stated that they would block the sale until Turkey changed its human rights policy, they sidestepped the issue completely by modifying their requirements, calling instead just for improvement in certain areas. Michelle Ciarrocca, a research associate at the World Policy Institute in New York City, joined McKiernan’s fight, sending several pieces out to the wires documenting Turkey’s record in the human rights arena. Ciarrocca states, “As U.S. weapons flows have increased, Turkey’s human-rights performance has worsened.”

Time magazine’s international edition reported on the heated competition for the $4 billion contract, with Bell Helicopter winning in the end, but only after pecuniary encouragement. Both Bell and Boeing contributed $650,000 to both Democratic and Republican presidential campaigns in 1996, and Bell another $102,000 in Election 2000. Additionally, Boeing contributed $100,000 to a Washington art opening of Ottoman Empire artifacts, and the Turkish Embassy in Washington signed a $1.8 million contract with former Congressman Bob Livingston, Gerald Solomon, and Stephen Solarz to lobby for the Turkish Government.

Foreign coverage picked up in May following the usual Turkish raids on Kurdish villages in Northern Iraq, even though Ocalan had called for a cease-fire from his prison cell the previous summer (obeyed by thousands of PKK fighters). The Progressive’s Matthew Rothschild called U.S. readers’ attention to the lack of coverage on the forays with U.S.-made weaponry and helicopters, and to a London article by Chris Morris. Morris notes, “Almost anywhere else in the world, thousands of heavily armed soldiers crossing an international border would be big news. But this latest Turkish incursion into Iraq will be greeted with barely a murmur in the west….” And he was right.

By year’s end, Turkey got its helicopters and a $7.5 billion IMF loan, but its human rights record remained the worst in the world and it was still destroying Kurdish villages. Also, as Ciarrocca pointed out in the Charleston Gazette, the Clinton Administration remained the world’s number one arms dealer no matter whose human rights were being violated (see Censored 1998, Censored #1, “Clinton Administration Aggressively Promotes U.S. Arms Sales Worldwide”).

Sources: Knight Ridder, November 14, 1999; Los Angeles Times, March 3, 2000; Knight Ridder, March 21, 2000; The Baltimore Sun, April 28, 2000; The Guardian (London), April 3, 2000, “Turks pursue Kurds inside northern Iraq,” by Chris Morris; The Progressive, May 2000, “Not All Invasions Are Equal,” by Matthew Rothschild; Charleston Gazette, May 14, 2000; Time, international edition, May 22 & August 14, 2000; The Washington Post, November 8, 2000.

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