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

Cultural Heritage Sites Under Attack by ISIS to Fund Operations

Historical artifacts and archeological sites dating back to Mesopotamia and the Roman Empire, spanning the region around the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, are being systematically destroyed by ISIS. ISIS considers works of art depicting the human form and other objects to be idolatrous. Therefore, museums and other buildings used for religious purposes are raided with any representational art within being smashed and destroyed. ISIS is also known to raid and loot archeological sites to sell stolen art objects on the black market to fund its operations.

Damage to antiquities has been reported as far back as 2010 when the Syrian conflict began. As ISIS grew in numbers more UNESCO cultural heritage sites were destroyed, and others became threatened. Syria has documented the damage by ISIS to six cultural heritage sites since 2013. Four other sites located in the region have been damaged since 2014. Many of the antiquities that are destroyed are prominently featured in ISIS propaganda videos which document the destruction to enhance the image of ISIS throughout the area. Other valuable works are spirited away to black markets in the region with the money paid by collectors being utilized to fund ISIS operations.

The international community is scrambling to find ways to protect these cultural heritage sites, so the vanishing historical artifacts can be preserved. The historical artifacts and cultural heritage are invaluable to researchers when learning about the localities and their histories throughout the region. As ISIS sets out to erase history in its attempt to stamp out what it sees as idolatry, valuable glimpses to the past are forever lost.

UNESCO considers the intentional destruction of cultural heritage a war crime. However, not much is being done to protect these valuable cultural heritage sites.

Most Americans are unaware of what is happening to valuable works of art in the Middle East at the hands of ISIS. Past actions of ISIS portend what could happen in other parts of the world to valuable works of art and cultural antiquities as other militant groups rise to threaten these valuable items which enable us a glimpse of what our world had been like in the past. As the threat of anti-western militancy gains a foothold up in Europe, sites such as the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican with its vast collection of art and history, and the great museums such as the Louvre, London’s National Gallery or the Acropolis Museum in Greece could come under threat of destruction.

Most news reports documenting the destruction of cultural heritage sites by ISIS originate from 2015 and early 2016, when CBS (relying on an AP report), CNN, National Geographic, and Time covered the topic. A more recent account was published by the Smithsonian in February, 2017.

Sources:

Alyssa Buffenstein, “A Monumental Loss: Here Are the Most Significant Cultural Heritage Sites That ISIS Has Destroyed to Date,” News.artnet.com, May 30, 2017, https://news.artnet.com/art-world/isis-cultural-heritage-sites-destroyed-950060.

Benjamin Isakhan and Jose Antonio Gonzalez Zarandona, “Erasing History: Why Islamic State is Blowing Up Ancient Artefacts,” The Conversation, June 4, 2017, http://theconversation.com/erasing-history-why-islamic-state-is-blowing-up-ancient-artefacts-78667.

Student Researchers: Randal Williams and Stephanie Rickher (Diablo Valley College)

Faculty Evaluator: Mickey Huff (Diablo Valley College)

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