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“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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“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.)
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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
“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.
“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.
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22. $Billions in Homeland Security Spending Undisclosed

Source:
Congressional Quarterly, June 22, 2005.
Title: “Billions in States’ Homeland Purchases Kept in the Dark”
Author: Eileen Sullivan

Faculty Evaluator: Noel Byrne
Student Researchers: Monica Moura and Gary Phillips

More than $8 billion in Homeland Security funds has been doled out to states since the September 11, 2001 attacks, but the public has little chance of knowing how this money is being spent.

Of the thirty-four states that responded to Congressional Quarterly’s inquiries on Homeland Security spending, twelve have laws or policies that preclude public disclosure of details on Homeland Security purchases. Many states have adopted relevant nondisclosure clauses to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The reason, state officials say, is that the information could be useful to terrorists.

Further hindering public demand for accountability, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) spokesperson Marc Short confirms, DHS will not release its records on state spending of funds.

“These non-disclosure policies are troubling,” Steven Aftergood, director of the research organization Project on Government Secrecy, warns in an interview with CQ. “Accountability is the price we pay. We’re giving away the ability to hold public officials accountable. More than we value public oversight, we fear a nebulous terrorist threat, and this is changing the character of American political life.”

New York is one of many states that will disclose broad categories of purchases, such as personal protective gear, but will not specify type of equipment, which company makes it, how much it costs, or where it is going.

Roger Shatzkin, CQ’s interviewee on the subject of New Jersey’s policy on Homeland Security spending disclosure, offered this example: “If there was a potential flaw in equipment, that could be exploited [by terrorists], so the state would not want that information to become public.”

Aftergood counters that taxpayers have the right to know if law enforcement is using defective equipment: “One of the things that happens when you restrict information is that you reduce the motivation to fix problems and correct weaknesses.”

Colorado’s secrecy provision was enacted in 2003, but State Senator Bob Hagedorn says the law has been misinterpreted, authorizing automatic denial of access to any and all information regarding Homeland Security. Hagedorn told CQ that this broad application had never been his intention when sponsoring the bill. He warned against the shroud of secrecy as, in early 2005, state lawmakers discovered that Colorado did not have a Homeland Security plan, yet had spent $130 million in Homeland Security funds. “How the hell do you spend $130 million for homeland security when you don’t have a damn plan?” Hagedorn asked. “At this point, the public still does not have an official answer to that question,” he added.

CQ investigators confirm that federal lawmakers want to know more about how states are spending Homeland Security funds.

“There’s a delicate balance that needs to be struck between ensuring our security and not advertising our vulnerabilities, but also ensuring how our security money is being spent,” said a staff member for the House Homeland Security Committee who requested anonymity. “We’re spending billions of dollars every year on grants to state and local governments . . . there should be some expectation [of] accountability.”

Project Censored 2014
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