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“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.
“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 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 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] 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
“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
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Buy it, read it, act on it. Our future depends on the knowledge this col-lection of suppressed stories allows us.” —San Diego Review
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“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
“Hot news, cold truths, utterly uncensored.” —Greg Palast

9. EPA Plans to Disburse Toxic/Radioactive Wastes into Denver’s Sewage System

The Progressive, May 2000
Title: Plutonium Pancakes
Author: Will Fantle

Faculty evaluator: Randy Dodgen, Ph.D.
Student researchers: Kim Roberts and Mike Graves

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plans to pump toxic waste water into Denver’s sewer system in order to clean up a Superfund site at the Lowry landfill.

Between 1950 and 1980, at the Lowry landfill near Denver, millions of gallons of hazardous industrial wastes were dumped into shallow unlined pits. The EPA declared the 480-acre site a Superfund site in 1984. Now the EPA wants to treat the contaminated groundwater at the landfill and discharge it into the Denver metro sewage system. The sewage system would then use the sludge from the treated water to fertilize Colorado farmlands.

Citizen groups say that the landfill is widely contaminated with highly radioactive plutonium and other deadly wastes. Adrienne Anderson, an instructor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, stated that EPA’s plan is a way to “legally pump plutonium into the sewer line.” Plutonium is widely considered one of the most deadly substances on the planet.

Anderson and her students have accrued some 200,000 files on the Lowry landfill. One document entitled “Preliminary Evaluation of Potential Department of Energy Radioactive Wastes” dated December 13, 1991, found that the levels of plutonium and radioactive americium detected at the Lowry landfill were 10 to 10,000 times greater than the average levels reported for a nuclear weapons plant in that area. The document had been released by the Lowry Coalition, a group of corporations and government agencies dumped materials at the site. The polluters included Adolph Coors (who once produced nuclear fuel), Lockheed Martin, Rockwell (then operator of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Rocky Flat’s nuclear bomb plant), Hewlett Packard, IBM, Waste Management, and the Denver Post. The EPA itself also dumped pesticides and other lab wastes at the site.

In 1961 Colorado State Trooper Bill Wilson stopped a milk truck that was spraying liquid on the ground at Lowry. According to Wilson, the truck’s operator told him he was dumping radioactive wastewater from the Rocky Flats plant and had the government’s permission to do it. Wilson realized that he couldn’t do anything about it, but he filed reports on identical activities he witnessed for several more years with the state’s transportation regulator.

Gwen Hooten, at EPA’s region 8 office in Denver, is in charge of the Lowry cleanup. She and other EPA officials deny that the site is poisoned by plutonium or any other nuclear wastes. Hooten dismisses the 1991 document as “invalidated data.”

Critics are not buying it. Any plutonium, heavy metal, or other toxic wastes pumped through the sewage system will likely settle there for years. The problem will only become more widespread.

In 1993 the EPA classified municipal sludge as a fertilizer for farmers. Denver municipal sludge is already being spread on farmland as biosolids. Wheat grown on this land is sold for human consumption.

UPDATE BY WILL FANTLE: The legacy of toxic waste left during last century’s time of ignorance and uncontrolled disposal practices will likely vex our environment and children for decades to come. Beyond containment of the problem, there are no obvious answers.

Since the publication of “Plutonium Pancakes,” the city of Denver began accepting the Lowry landfill’s toxic liquid discharges. The EPA’s solution to the headache, mostly relying upon diluting Lowry’s toxins by flushing them into the city’s wastewater stream, was halted after a couple of months, according to Steve Pearlman of the Wastewater Reclamation District.

The treated wastewater remained sufficiently poisonous to harm the growth and reproductive rates of micro-organisms used to measure health and safety. Pearlman says the district has made some changes and will began accepting the Lowry toxins again in the near future. The district has also eased its detection standards for certain contaminants (including some that are radioactive), a move Pearlman attributes to lab testing capabilities.

Adrienne Anderson, the outspoken opponent of the disposal plan, has been embroiled in a whistleblower case brought about by her testimony on behalf of the union representing the workers at the Wastewater District. Her comments at an EPA hearing were challenged, leading to a court trail.

During the course of the trial, Anderson discovered that she had been the subject of a coordinated PR campaign aimed at discrediting her. The attacks were part of an effort undertaken by the district to win public support and acceptance for the spreading of the district’s sludge on Colorado farm fields.

The district even garnered an award from the national pro-sludge Water and Environment Federation for the PR campaign. The three-ring binder detailing the district’s work (obtained by Anderson through a Freedom of Information Act request) contains an entire section describing how they labored to sabotage Anderson.

Anderson says union workers have also suffered under the Lowry waste treatment plan. Workers concerned with their health and safety have been forced out, with one employee even receiving an anonymous death threat.

Throughout, the region’s most powerful media have largely remained silent. The state’s two biggest newspapers, the Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News (which merged in the last year), are among the many powerful corporations who had dumped toxic wastes into Lowry.

Their hand in the mess may partly explain their silence, but Email messages reveal another story. As part of her digging into the smear campaign against her, Anderson says, she found an Email exchange between the district and a local reporter “cackling about the defamatory attacks on me.”
While occasional reportage of the Lowry situation continues out-of-state and nationally (including a Christian Science Monitor update), Anderson says “no reporter in Denver will talk to me.” News releases issued by her, the union, and others are routinely ignored. And the electronic media, she indicates, has been unwilling to commit investigative resources to the story.

Those seeking more information can contact Adrienne Anderson at 303-492-2952 or via Email

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