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


On September 11, 1990, President George Bush rallied a surprised nation to support a war in the Persian Gulf with reports of a massive Iraqi army which had poured into Kuwait and moved south to threaten Saudi Arabia. At the time, the Department of Defense (DOD) estimated there were as many as 250,000 Iraqi troops and 1,500 tanks in Kuwait.

On January 6, 1991, Jean Heller, a journalist with the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, reported that satellite photos of Kuwait did not support Bush’s claim of an imminent Iraqi invasion. In fact, the photos showed no sign of a massive Iraqi troop buildup in Kuwait.

Journalist Heller told In These Times, which reprinted her article, “The troops that were said to be massing on the Saudi border and that constituted the possible threat to Saudi Arabia that justified the U.S. sending of troops do not show up in these photographs. And when the Department of Defense was asked to provide evidence that would contradict our satellite evidence, it refused to do it.”

The pictures, taken by a Soviet satellite on September 11 and 13, were acquired by the St. Petersburg Times in December. The Times contacted two satellite image specialists to analyze the photos: Peter Zimmerman, a nuclear physicist who now is a professor of engineering at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.; and a former image specialist for the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) who asked to remain anonymous.

The specialists saw extensive U.S. occupation at the Dhahran Airport in Saudi Arabia, but few Iraqi troops or weapons in Kuwait. They said the roads showed no evidence of a massive tank invasion, there were no tent cities or troop concentrations, and the main Kuwaiti air base appeared deserted. Both analysts agreed there were several possible explanations for their inability to spot Iraqi forces: the troops could have been well camouflaged, or they could have been widely dispersed, or the Soviets deliberately or accidentally produced a photo taken before the Iraqi invasion. But the latter explanation was not considered likely and, given the reported massive deployment, the specialists found it “really hard to believe” they could miss them even if they were well camouflaged and/or widely dispersed.

When asked by the Times for evidence to support the official U.S. estimate of the Iraqi buildup, the Defense Department said “We have given conservative estimates of Iraqi numbers based on various intelligence resources, and those are the numbers we stand by.”

While the St. Petersburg Times submitted Heller’s story to both the Associated Press and the Scripps-Howard news service, neither wire service carried the story.


SOURCE: ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 1/6/91 11321 U.S. 19, Fort Richey, FL 34668

Reprinted in: IN THESE TIMES, 2040 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL 60647, DATE: 2/27/91

TITLE: “Public doesn’t get picture with Gulf satellite photos” AUTHOR: Jean Heller

COMMENTS: St. Petersburg Times journalist Jean Heller said that while the story appeared on page one of the St. Petersburg Times, and was made available to The Associated Press, the Scripps-Howard wire service and CNN, none chose to use it. ” … It failed to get any national attention at all until after the Persian Gulf War ended, and it was picked up and reprinted in an alternative newspaper in Chicago (In These Times), she said. “The main-line media still have not picked up on the story, despite the fact that the Pentagon now admits that the number of Iraqis in and around Kuwait was overestimated by American military intelligence.”

Heller added that while the story should have received wider coverage before the war began, and lives were lost, the public deserves to know the truth about the Iraqi threat even now. “Some data, newly released, indicates that the administration, knowingly or through misreading of intelligence data, way over-estimated the number of Iraqis and their state of readiness in and around Kuwait. If that’s true, the public still deserves to know.”

Heller says she discussed the issue on about two dozen live radio talk shows from coast to coast during the war and has been interviewed by the publisher of Harper’s magazine. (John R. MacArthur, publisher of Harper’s, is author of the “Second Front: Censorship and Propaganda in the Gulf War.”) She adds that MacArthur cited the story as one of the only efforts by any national media to break through the government’s wall of disinformation and packaged information and get at the truth.

Heller concludes that ‘The (St. Petersburg) Times itself could not have done any more to get the story out there. The paper paid a great deal of money to get the photos, spent a great deal of time and effort to reproduce them, and played the story at the top of page one. But nobody wanted to listen.”

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