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Out Of Mind » THE INSANITY OF REALITY » GOVERNMENT & THE NEW WORLD ORDER » Yael Chanoff ~ Project Censored: Top 10 Underreported Stories By The Mainstream Media

Yael Chanoff ~ Project Censored: Top 10 Underreported Stories By The Mainstream Media

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Yael Chanoff ~ Project Censored: Top 10 Underreported Stories By The Mainstream Media

Posted on October 19, 2012 by Gillian

Boulder Weekly | October 11 2012

The expanding police state tops the annual list of stories underreported by the mainstream media

People who get their information exclusively from mainstream media
sources may be surprised at the lack of enthusiasm on the left for
President Barack Obama in this crucial election. But that’s probably
because they weren’t exposed to the full online furor sparked by Obama’s
continuation of his predecessor’s overreaching approach to national
security, such as signing the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act,
which allows the indefinite detention of those accused of supporting
terrorism, even U.S. citizens.

We’ll never know how this year’s election would be different if the
corporate media adequately covered the NDAA’s indefinite detention
clause and many other recent attacks on civil liberties. What we can do
is spread the word and support independent media sources that do cover
these stories. That’s where Project Censored comes in.

. . . Here’s Project Censored’s Top 10 list for 2013:

1. Signs of an emerging police state

George W. Bush is remembered largely for his role in curbing civil
liberties in the name of his “war on terror.” But it’s President Obama
who signed the 2012 NDAA, including its clause allowing for indefinite
detention without trial for terrorism suspects. Obama promised that “my
administration will interpret them to avoid the constitutional conflict”
— leaving us adrift if and when the next administration chooses to
interpret them otherwise. Another law of concern is the National Defense
Resources Preparedness Executive Order that Obama issued in March 2012.
That order authorizes the president, “in the event of a potential
threat to the security of the United States, to take actions necessary
to ensure the availability of adequate resources and production
capability, including services and critical technology, for national
defense requirements.” The president is to be advised on this course of
action by “the National Security Council and Homeland Security Council,
in conjunction with the National Economic Council.” Journalist Chris
Hedges, along with co-plaintiffs including Noam Chomsky and Daniel
Ellsberg, won a case challenging the NDAA’s indefinite detention clause
on Sept. 1, when a federal judge blocked its enforcement, but her ruling
was overturned on Oct. 3, so the clause is back.

2. Oceans in peril

banks aren’t the only entities that our country has deemed “too big to
fail.” But our oceans won’t be getting a bailout anytime soon, and their
collapse could compromise life itself. In a haunting article
highlighted by Project Censored, Mother Jones reporter Julia Whitty
paints a tenuous seascape — overfished, acidified, warming — and
describes how the destruction of the ocean’s complex ecosystems
jeopardizes the entire planet, not just the 70 percent that is water.
Whitty compares ocean acidification, caused by global warming, to
acidification that was one of the causes of the “Great Dying,” a mass
extinction 252 million years ago. Life on Earth took 30 million years to
recover. In a more hopeful story, a study of 14 protected and 18
non-protected ecosystems in the Mediterranean Sea showed dangerous
levels of biomass depletion. But it also showed that the marine reserves
were well-enforced, with five to 10 times larger fish populations than
in unprotected areas. This encourages establishment and maintenance of
more reserves.

3. U.S. deaths from Fukushima

plume of toxic fallout floated to the U.S. after Japan’s tragic
Fukushima nuclear disaster on March 11, 2011. The U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency found radiation levels in air, water and milk that
were hundreds of times higher than normal across the United States. One
month later, the EPA announced that radiation levels had declined, and
they would cease testing. But after making a Freedom of Information Act
request, journalist Lucas Hixson published emails revealing that on
March 24, 2011, the task of collecting nuclear data had been handed off
from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to the Nuclear Energy
Institute, a nuclear industry lobbying group. And in one study that got
little attention, scientists Joseph Mangano and Jeanette Sherman found
that in the period following the Fukushima meltdowns, 14,000 more deaths
than average were reported in the U.S., mostly among infants. Later,
Mangono and Sherman updated the number to 22,000.

4. FBI agents responsible for terrorist plots

We know that FBI agents go into
communities such as mosques, both undercover and in the guise of
building relationships, quietly gathering information about individuals.
This is part of an approach to finding what the FBI now considers the
most likely kind of terrorists, “lone wolves.” Its strategy: “seeking to
identify those disgruntled few who might participate in a plot given
the means and the opportunity. And then, in case after case, the
government provides the plot, the means, and the opportunity,” writes
Mother Jones journalist Trevor Aaronsen. The publication, along with the
Investigative Reporting Program at the University of
California-Berkeley, examined the results of this strategy, 508 cases
classified as terrorism-related that have come before the U.S.
Department of Justice since the 9/11 terrorist attacks of 2001. In 243
of these cases, an informant was involved; in 49 cases, an informant
actually led the plot. And “with three exceptions, all of the
high-profile domestic terror plots of the last decade were actually FBI

5. Federal Reserve loaned trillions to major banks

The Federal Reserve, the U.S.’s
quasi-private central bank, was audited for the first time in its
history this year. The audit report states, “From late 2007 through
mid-2010, Reserve Banks provided more than a trillion dollars … in
emergency loans to the financial sector to address strains in credit
markets and to avert failures of individual institutions believed to be a
threat to the stability of the financial system.” These loans had
significantly less interest and fewer conditions than the high-profile
TARP bailouts, and were rife with conflicts of interest. Some examples:
the CEO of JP Morgan Chase served as a board member of the New York
Federal Reserve at the same time that his bank received more than $390
billion in financial assistance from the Fed. William Dudley, who is now
the New York Federal Reserve president, was granted a conflict of
interest waiver to let him keep investments in AIG and General Electric
at the same time the companies were given bailout funds. The audit was
restricted to Federal Reserve lending during the financial crisis. On
July 25, 2012, a bill to audit the Fed again, with fewer limitations,
authored by Rep. Ron Paul, passed the House of Representatives. H.R. 459
was expected to die in the Senate, but the movement behind Paul and his
calls to hold the Fed accountable, or abolish it altogether, seem to be

6. Small network of corporations run the global economy

Reporting on a study by researchers from
the Swiss Federal Institute in Zurich didn’t make the rounds nearly
enough, according to Censored 2013. They found that, of 43,060
transnational companies, 147 control 40 percent of total global wealth.
The researchers also built a model visually demonstrating how the
connections between companies — what it calls the “super entity” —
works. Some have criticized the study, saying control of assets doesn’t
equate to ownership. True, but as we clearly saw in the 2008 financial
collapse, corporations are capable of mismanaging assets in their
control to the detriment of their actual owners. And a largely
unregulated super entity like this is vulnerable to global collapse.

7. The International Year of Cooperative

Can something really be censored when
it’s straight from the United Nations? According to Project Censored
evaluators, the corporate media underreported the U.N. declaring 2012 to
be the International Year of the Cooperative, based on the co-op
business model’s stunning growth. The U.N. found that, in 2012, 1
billion people worldwide are co-op member-owners, or one in five adults
over age 15. The largest is Spain’s Mondragon Corporation, with more
than 80,000 member-owners. The U.N. predicts that by 2025, worker-owned
co-ops will be the world’s fastest growing business model. Worker-owned
cooperatives provide for equitable distribution of wealth, genuine
connection to the workplace, and, just maybe, a brighter future for our

8. NATO war crimes in Libya

In January 2012, the BBC “revealed” how
British Special Forces agents joined and “blended in” with rebels in
Libya to help topple dictator Muammar Gadaffi, a story that alternative
media sources had reported a year earlier. NATO admits to bombing a pipe
factory in the Libyan city of Brega that was key to the water supply
system that brought tap water to 70 percent of Libyans, saying that
Gadaffi was storing weapons in the factory. In Censored 2013, writer
James F. Tracy makes the point that historical relations between the
U.S. and Libya were left out of mainstream news coverage of the NATO
campaign; “background knowledge and historical context confirming
Al-Qaeda and Western involvement in the destabilization of the Gadaffi
regime are also essential for making sense of corporate news narratives
depicting the Libyan operation as a popular ‘uprising.’”

9. Prison slavery in the U.S.

its website, the UNICOR manufacturing corporation proudly proclaims
that its products are “made in America.” That’s true, but they’re made
in places in the U.S. where labor laws don’t apply, with workers often
paid just 23 cents an hour to be exposed to toxic materials with no
legal recourse. These places are U.S. prisons. Slavery conditions in
prisons aren’t exactly news. It’s literally written into the
Constitution; the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery, outlaws
“slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime
whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.” But the articles
highlighted by Project Censored this year reveal the current state of
prison slavery industries, and its ties to war. The majority of products
manufactured by inmates are contracted to the Department of Defense.
Inmates make complex parts for missile systems, battleship anti-aircraft
guns and landmine sweepers, as well as night-vision goggles, body army
and camouflage uniforms. Of course, this is happening in the context of
record high imprisonment in the U.S., where grossly disproportionate
numbers of African Americans and Latinos are imprisoned, and can’t vote
even after they’re freed. As psychologist Elliot D. Cohen puts it in
this year’s book: “This system of slavery, like that which existed in
this country before the Civil War, is also racist, as more than 60
percent of U.S. prisoners are people of color.”

10. H.R. 347 criminalizes protest

H.R. 347, sometimes called the
“criminalizing protest” or “anti-Occupy” bill, made some headlines. But
concerned lawyers and other citizens worry that it could have disastrous
effects for the First Amendment right to protest. Officially called the
Federal Restricted Grounds Improvement Act, the law makes it a felony
to “knowingly” enter a zone restricted under the law, or engage in
“disorderly or disruptive” conduct in or near the zones. The restricted
zones include anywhere the Secret Service may be — places such as the
White House, areas hosting events deemed “National Special Security
Events,” or anywhere visited by the president, vice president and their
immediate families; former presidents, vice presidents and certain
family members; certain foreign dignitaries; major presidential and vice
presidential candidates (within 120 days of an election); and other
individuals as designated by a presidential executive order. These
people could be anywhere, and NSSEs have notoriously included the
Democratic and Republican National Conventions, Super Bowls and the
Academy Awards. So far, it seems the only time H.R. 347 has kicked in is
with George Clooney’s high-profile arrest outside the Sudanese embassy.
Clooney ultimately was not detained without trial — information that
would be almost impossible to censor — but what about the rest of us who
exist outside of the mainstream media’s spotlight?

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