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“One of the most significant media research projects in the country.” —I. F. Stone
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
“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
“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
“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] 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
“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
“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.
“Hot news, cold truths, utterly uncensored.” —Greg Palast
“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.)
“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 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
“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] 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

US Military Forces in Africa

In Niger on October 3, 2017, twelve members of a US Special Operations Task Force and 30 Nigerien soldiers on a secret mission were ambushed by fifty attackers, believed to be ISIS-affiliated terrorists, leaving four US soldiers dead. The deaths of these soldiers were eventually announced to the public, leading to inevitable questions about what twelve members of the US Special Operations Task Force were doing in Niger. As William Rivers Pitt reported for Truthout, based on previous reports by Betsy Woodruff for the Daily Beast and Nick Turse for Vice News, “the US has roughly 1,000 troops stationed in Niger” and about “6,000 troops spread throughout virtually every country in Africa… carrying out approximately 100 missions… there are now more special operations personnel devoted to Africa than anywhere except the Middle East.”

US military involvement in Africa mirrors its involvement in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria with the White House claiming US troops overseas are fighting “terrorists.” However, according to Truthout’s William Rivers Pitt, the real purpose for the 6,000 soldiers secretly fighting in Africa for the past ten years is “to provide security for mines and other highly lucrative operations” that aim to “plumb the continent for its vast resources.”

This trend has resulted in some African governments becoming controlled by the mercenary armies, leaving citizens powerless. A significant number of the residents in the path of the fighting lose their homes, families, and lives. They are too often tortured, raped, or killed by the soldiers of a passing mercenary group with no government to protect them. Young children are recruited to join mercenary armies and women are often targeted and taken as sex slaves. Many areas are in complete turmoil with little hope of stemming the violence.

As expected, the corporate media has sugarcoated US involvement in Africa. AFRICOM, the military command in charge of the United States’ involvement in Africa claims that its mission is focused on “eliminating terrorism and advancing security in the region.” Corporate media follow suit, as can be seen in an October 2017 NBC News report in which one of NBC’s analysts, former Bush administration counterterrorism advisor Juan Zarate, described West Africa as “another jihadi playground” that requires containment, lest the threats there “metastasize and grow regionally and more globally.” Also in October 2017, CBS reported that “many of those troops are there to support African partners, alongside allies like France, with the goal of increasing the African nations’ own security capabilities and stabilizing the region” while also serving as “a key outpost for surveillance and combat operations against al Qaeda and other extremist groups in the region.”

Sources:

William Rivers Pitt, “The US, Africa and a New Century of War”, Truthout, October 26th, 2017, http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/42385-the-us-africa-and-a-new-century-of-war.

Betsy Woodruff, “Senators Stunned to Discover We Have 1,000 Troops in Niger,” Daily Beast, October 22, 2017, https://www.thedailybeast.com/senators-are-stunned-to-discover-we-have-1000-troops-in-niger.

Nick Turse, “The War You’ve Never Heard of,” Vice News, May 18, 2017, https://news.vice.com/en_ca/article/nedy3w/the-u-s-is-waging-a-massive-shadow-war-in-africa-exclusive-documents-reveal.

Student Researcher: Havin Lim and Stephanie Rickher (Diablo Valley College)

Faculty Advisor: Mickey Huff (Diablo Valley College)

Editor’s Note: For some of Project Censored’s previous coverage of US military involvement in Africa, see “US Military Forces Deployed in Seventy Percent of World’s Nations,” story #1 in Censored 2017, and “AFRICOM: US Military Control of Africa’s Resources,” story #3 in Censored 2008.

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