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“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 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 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 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
“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.
“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.
Buy it, read it, act on it. Our future depends on the knowledge this col-lection of suppressed stories allows us.” —San Diego Review
“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
“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
“Those who read and support Project Censored are in the know.” —Cynthia McKinney
“[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
“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
“[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
“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
“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.)

Pentagon Loses Track of $496 Million in African Operations

Between fiscal years 2014-2016, the Pentagon sent US Africa Command (AFRICOM) and Central Command (CENTCOM) a combined $496 million to oversee and facilitate counter-narcotic activities in Africa. The funding was intended for a myriad of projects—from the construction of border outposts in allied nations, to training personnel in policing skills like evidence collections. Yet the Defense Department’s Inspector General (IG) stated that neither AFRICOM nor CENTCOM maintained reliable data for the completion status and funding of training, equipping, and construction activities. As Nick Turse reported for the Nation, the Inspector General’s assessment implies that no IG, AFRICOM or CENTCOM personnel have any clue about how much money was spent, what the money was spent on, whether projects were completed, or if it made a difference in the fight against the illegal drug trade.

Since 9/11, US military activity on the African continent has grown at an exponential rate. US troops are now conducting 3,500 exercises, programs, and activities per year, an average of nearly 10 missions a day. Meanwhile, America’s most elite troops—including Navy SEALs and Green Berets—deployed to no fewer than 33 of the 54 African countries last year. Many of the command’s missions focus on training local allies and proxies; these include not only foreign military aid and training, but also counternarcotic assistance.

However, when AFRICOM and CENTCOM provided spreadsheets on the US counter-narcotics campaign, the spreadsheets revealed inconsistent spending that did not correspond to other documents submitted for evaluation. A spreadsheet that tracked said projects was so incomplete that 43 percent of the efforts were never mentioned. Along with that, the military officials in charge of overseeing the projects wasted around $9 million in taxpayer dollars on so-called humanitarian and civil assistance projects that were not part of AFRICOM’s objectives. While AFRICOM and CENTCOM have made changes in how they track counter-narcotics aid, both seemingly remain hooked on pouring money into efforts that produced few successes.

Project Censored has previously covered reports of unaccountable military spending (including. most recently. “Over Six Trillion Dollars in Unaccountable Army Spending,” story #2 in Censored 2018) and controversy over the US AFRICOM mission (“AFRICOM: US Military Control of Africa’ Resources,” story #3 in Censored 2008). Turse’s Nation story documents the continuation of unsuccessful and costly efforts through recent AFRICOM and CENTCOM activities. There has been no coverage of this story by any establishment news outlets. The Nation is the only independent news source that has reported these findings.

Source: Nick Turse, “The Pentagon Sent $500 Million Abroad for International Drug Wars. What Happened Next Is a Mystery,” The Nation, February 8, 2018, https://www.thenation.com/article/the-pentagon-sent-500-million-abroad-for-international-drug-wars-what-happened-next-is-a-mystery/.

Student Researcher: Khari McKendell (San Francisco State University)

Faculty Researcher: Kenn Burrows (San Francisco State University)

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