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“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
“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.
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“One of the most significant media research projects in the country.” —I. F. Stone
“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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“[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
“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 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
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“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
Buy it, read it, act on it. Our future depends on the knowledge this col-lection of suppressed stories allows us.” —San Diego Review
“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
“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

7. Conservative Organization Drives Judicial Appointments

THE AMERICAN PROSPECT, Vol. 14, Issue 3, March 1, 2003
Title: “A Hostile Takeover: How the Federalist Society is Capturing the Federal Courts”
Author: Martin Garbus
Title: “Courts Vs. Citizens”
Author: Jamin Raskin

Faculty Evaluator: Barbara Bloom, Ph.D., Tony White, Ph.D.
Student Researcher: Liz Medley

In 2001 George W. Bush eliminated the longstanding role of the American Bar Association (ABA) in the evaluation of prospective federal judges. ABA’s judicial ratings had long kept extremists from the right and left, off the bench. In its place, Bush has been using The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies-a national organization whose mission is to advance a conservative agenda by moving the country’s legal system to the right.

The Federalist Society was started in 1982 by a small group of radically conservative University of Chicago law students-Steven Calabresi, David McIntosh, and Lee Liberman Otis. Reagan’s Attorney General Edwin Meese was an early sponsor of the society. The society today includes over 40,000 lawyers, judges, and law professors. Well-known members include: John Ashcroft, Solicitor General Theodore Olson, Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, and Federal Appellate Judge Frank Easterbrook. Under both Bush Administrations, ‘judicial appointments have been coordinated by the office of the [legal] counsel to the president.” The counsel’s staff is comprised mainly of federalists.

Jamin B. Raskin writes that traditional concerns about conservative judges are that they will fail to “protect the rights of political minorities from an attack by an overzealous majority.” Raskin says the concern is now the opposite. These judges are a political minority undermining the “democratic rights of the people.”

With the help of the Federalist Society, Bush has the capability to turn the courts over to ultra right-wing ideologues. The Federalists intend to control all Federal circuit courts, which will be devoted to fulfilling the radical right’s agenda on race, religion, class, money, morality, abortion, and power. Currently, anti-abortion judges control seven of the twelve federal circuit courts.

Federal judges enjoy lifetime appointments, and approximately 40 percent of Bush appointees are members of the Federalist Society. The federal circuit courts are the spawning ground for Supreme Court nominees and some of these judges will be given this highest of judicial nominations. In an attempt to ensure a continuation of a conservative agenda, Bush is appointing younger judges. Justice Scalia, who was fifty years old when appointed to the Supreme Court, has already served for 17 years. There has not been a vacancy on the Court for the past 11 years.

The Federalist Society which heads this conservative judicial movement has been very aggressive in attacking judges they do not agree with. Former Senator Bob Dole spoke out against 3rd Circuit Judge H. Lee Sarokin, placing him in a judicial “hall of shame” along with some of his colleagues. This hostility forced Sarokin to resign. “I see my life’s work and reputation being disparaged on an almost daily basis, and I find myself unable to ignore it.”

One of the legal theories the Federalists are now operating under could make many federal regulations unconstitutional. Federalist Society publications, strategy sessions, and panel discussions attack cases that place individual rights above property rights, agencies that regulate business, and judges who seek to expand federal civil-rights laws and gender-equality protections. The Federalist Society sponsors “practice groups” to shape their policy. They have organized groups in areas such as, religious liberty, national security, cyberspace, corporate law, and environmental law.

UPDATE BY MARTIN GARBUS: One of the most important issues in the country is the control of one of the three branches of government, the judiciary. While Presidents and Congressmen get elected every few years, judicial appointments are for life, and some federal court appointments have gone from 40 to 50 years. Our courts deal with nearly every aspect of our life; work conditions and wages, schools, civil rights, affirmative action, crime and punishment, abortion and the environment, amongst others.

Since the publication of my article, Bush tried to force through the most conservative group of nominees ever submitted by a President. He succeeded at times, but other appointments were rejected or stalled. Bush retaliated by making appointments while Congress was not in session. On May 18, 2004, a disastrous agreement was approved – Bush agreed not to make further recess appointments and the Democrats agreed to let Bush have 25 “free” appointments.

There will, of course, be future books and articles about this subject. My book, “Courting Disaster,” is one of them. It examines the Court from 1980 to the present. The best websites are those maintained by People for the American Way: , the Alliance for Justice: , and the American Civil Liberties Union: . The sole focus of the Alliance for Justice is to try and stop extreme conservative judicial nominations.

The article and the book in which it appeared, drew a great deal of attention. One of the results was that I had a series of four debates with Ken Starr, the former Independent Prosecutor, on this and a number of other issues. I also did a good deal of television, radio and other public speaking on the issue of judicial appointments.

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