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

7. THE PENTAGON’S SECRET BILLION DOLLAR BLACK BUDGET

While the nation enters a recession and budgets for federal social and educational pro­grams are cut, the Pentagon has a secret stash, called “The Black Budget,” which costs taxpayers $100 million a day. Despite the extraordinary changes in international relationships, this secret money is still being spent on the weapons to fight the cold war, the Third World War, and World War IV.

The black budget funds every program the president of the United States, the secretary of defense, and the director of central intelligence want to keep hidden from view; in the past three years, $100 billion has disappeared into the Pentagon’s classified cache.

The money to run America’s eleven intelligence agencies has always been hidden in the Pentagon’s budget. But something new transformed the black budget when Ronald Reagan came to power. A White House obsessed with secrecy began to conceal the costs of many of its most expensive weapons, enshrouding them in the deep cover once reserved for espionage. The black budget exploded; by 1990 it quadrupled in size, reaching about $36 billion a year.

The Pentagon keeps this money hidden by keeping two sets of books: one for the general public, one for the generals. Hundreds of “black programs” are concealed in the public budget it submits to Congress, camouflaged under false names, their costs deleted, their goals disguised. The Pentagon simply stamps a secret code on the price of a bomber, a missile, or a spy satellite, and open debate ceases. The Pentagon also pads seemingly unclassified programs with billions intended for black projects. In short, the Pentagon budget, which is nationally debated, is a false document, an elaborate cover story.

Behind this shield of secrecy, we are wasting fortunes perfecting plans for nuclear war, building nuclear bombers that cannot be used, launching spy satellites that fall from the sky, conducting self-destructive covert operations against enemies both real and imagined, running guns and missiles to warring tribes 10,000 miles from home.

One of the big problems, according to Tim Weiner, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investiga­tive reporter for The Philadelphia Inquirer, is that the terrible failures of secret spending and research are never scrutinized. “Today more than 100 multimillion- and multibillion-dollar black weapons are being built … in windowless buildings.”

The Pentagon which buys “bargains” such as $436 claw hammers and $9606 wrenches from its favorite contractors, says that the black programs are better managed, more efficient and less susceptible to fraud than unclassified programs. Frank Conahan, the head of the General Accounting Office’s national-security division says that’s nonsense. “The only difference be­tween the two (programs) is the degree to which things are kept from the public.”

As Weiner says, if we are to be a truly open democracy, we cannot allow our treasury to be spent in secret. “From the creating of the atomic bomb through the construction of the Stealth bomber, from the covert funding of the CIA’s secret wars through the clandestine conspiracies of the Iran-contra disaster, the costs of secrecy have been high; billions wasted on useless weap­ons and a series of renegade foreign policies. … We are told we must build secret weapons and fight secret wars to defend our democracy. But the secrecy best suited for a nation at war can be an enemy to a people at peace.”

SSU CENSORED RESEARCHER: DYLAN BENNETT

SOURCE: ROLLING STONE, 745 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10151 DATE: 9/6/90

TITLE: “How the Pentagon Hides Its Secret Spending ‘

AUTHOR: Tim Weiner

[SOURCE2: PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 400 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130]

COMMENTS: Tim Weiner is a Washington correspondent for the Philadelphia Inquirer; his work on the Pentagon’s black budget won him the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting in 1988. Weiner’s Rolling Stone article was adapted from his book “Blank Check: The Pentagon’s Black Budget” which was published last year by Warner Books. Weiner said that the issue of secret spending and the Pentagon’s “Black Budget” did not receive sufficient exposure in the mass media in 1990 “with the exception of the B-2 bomber.” While he cautions that “It’s hard to say that this material was censored – after all, my book is out and Rolling Stone ran the piece.” he agrees that “there’s insufficient attention paid to the power of secrecy as wielded by the Penta­gon and the White House.” Weiner also adds that the beneficiaries of the limited coverage given the secret black budget issue are the Pentagon, intelligence agencies, military contractors, and Congress. In a sidebar article, titled “The Solid-Gold Bomber,” Weiner describes just how expensive a military system can be. “The Stealth Bomber — the wonder weapon for World War III — is a monument to the costs of secrecy. The Stealth is the most expensive airplane ever built, and its price is growing by the week. The best guess nowadays is that each one will cost close to $900 million. At that price the United States Air Force could have built the seventy-ton Stealth out of solid gold, mounted it on a bed of platinum and displayed it at the National Air and Space Museum. The batwing nuclear bomber went through ten years of clandestine research and development before it was unveiled in November 1988. In the beginning, when only four members of Congress were granted permission to know the barest details of the Stealth, the air force was telling them it could produce 132 of the bombers for roughly $30 billion. The cost grew in secret over the years. The Pentagon deemed public discussion of the Stealth an act of treason. By the time the black-budget shroud was lifted, and the Pentagon permitted debate on the Stealth’s mission, on why it was needed, on what it might cost, it was far too late. The pro­gram could not be aborted. Today that $30 billion is down the tubes, and the air force has a single bomber to show for it. It wants to build seventy-four more. It says it can bring them in for another $35 billion or so.”

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