Project Uncensored

By David Swanson

Project Censored has released a valuable new book called “Censored 2009: The Top 25 Stories of 2007-08“.

The book includes summaries of the censored stories, in some cases citing multiple small and independent sources that told the stories, plus updates on new developments in the stories. Also included are substantial updates on the top censored stories of the previous year, most of which are still making news except that they’re not making news: they’re still ignored by the U.S. corporate media cartel. Meanwhile it’s so easy to waste our energy complaining about how the corporate media reports stories, while greater harm is done by it not telling stories at all.

“Censored 2009” also includes hundreds of pages of analysis of corporate media conduct on a variety of issues from numerous talented authors. Here are the best recent concrete examples of how debates are conducted in a manner that completely shuts out important and popular positions.

This week we’re being lied to about a bankers’ bailout. We’re being told that the stock market is the same thing as the economy, that both are about to implode unless we borrow more money than most national budgets and give it to banks with no questions asked. And the public is being ridiculed for interfering in our democracy by telling our representatives that we don’t believe the lies.

Yet, too many of us do believe the lies. After the media outlets told us Monday’s No vote was a disaster, they polled us on which party was more responsible for it, not on who should get the most credit for it. Then they reported that huge numbers of us blamed this party and huge numbers blamed that party. And I don’t need a poll to tell you that huge numbers of people heard those reports and FORGOT the possibility that someone might be given credit rather than blame for a vote that, for once, matched the will of the public.

Small and independent media outlets are trying to do the work of a democratic communications system right now on this issue, as always. And grassroots groups that understand the problem are buying advertisements stating their admirable viewpoints in the New York Times, funding a company that daily defends the military-banker complex. They hate to do it, of course. They feel really, really bad about doing it. But what choice do they have? The smaller outlets are too small. And all the money we aren’t giving to message ads we’re giving to political campaigns to spend on election ads on corporate television — more than enough money every election to have gone out and created new television networks from scratch.

Here’s an idea that must be more brilliant than it sounds, since nobody seems capable of grasping it: small media outlets are small because WE DON’T FUND THEM. The right-wingers have the Washington Times and Fox News because THEY FUND THEM.

Think about it.

I’m serious.



And think about it.

Here are some media outlets that show up in “Censored 2009” as having reported the news: Truthout, Alternet, The Progressive, Global Research, In These Times, The Nation, Pacifica Radio, Inter Press Service, Common Dreams. Why not support these media outlets? Why not advertise with them? Why not hold events to promote them, and Seven Stories Press, the publisher of “Censored 2009” and many other great books? How can the thrill of seeing your ad in the New York Times begin to compare to the importance of this?

I was happy to see that the first story honored by “Censored 2009” was one that I published on After Downing Street, which — yes — operates on your generous donations! Here’s that story:

Is The United States Killing 10,000 Iraqis Every Month? Or Is It More?
By Michael Schwartz

Other sources of the story of Iraqi deaths cited by Project Censored were also posted on After Downing Street. So was this other story that made the top 25:

The FBI Deputizes Business
By Matthew Rothschild, The Progressive

In fact, readers of After Downing Street, despite its relatively narrow focus, have been well informed by multiple stories and discussions of several other topics that made Project Censored’s top 25 list:

Bush claiming the right to seize private assets

The Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act

Human trafficking

Secret laws

Winter soldier

The American Psychological Association’s support for torture

$9 Billion Lost in Iraq

NATO’s consideration of first-strike nuclear policy

Eliot Spitzer, Bush, and Predatory Lending

But these stories have all been better summarized by this new book, and added to by a collection of critical but censored news from a wide variety of areas. Below is the list. Check out how timely #25 is.


#1. Over One Million Iraqi Deaths Caused by US Occupation
After Downing Street, July 6, 2007
Title: “Is the United States Killing 10,000 Iraqis Every Month? Or Is It More?”
Author: Michael Schwartz

AlterNet, September 17, 2007
Title: “Iraq death toll rivals Rwanda genocide, Cambodian killing fields”
Author: Joshua Holland

AlterNet, January 7, 2008
Title: “Iraq conflict has killed a million, says survey”
Author: Luke Baker

Inter Press Service, March 3, 2008
Title: “Iraq: Not our country to Return to”
Authors: Maki al-Nazzal and Dahr Jamail

Over one million Iraqis have met violent deaths as a result of the 2003 invasion by the United States. According to a study conducted by the polling group, Opinion Research Business (ORB) the human toll exceeded one millions as of August 2007. In addition, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency and the International Organization for Migration, in 2007 almost 5 million Iraqis had been displaced by violence in their country, the vast majority of which had fled since 2003.

# 2 Security and Prosperity Partnership: Militarized NAFTA
Center for International Policy, May 30, 2007
Title: “‘Deep Integration’—the Anti-Democratic Expansion of NAFTA”
Author: Laura Carlsen

Global Research, July 19, 2007
Title: “The Militarization and Annexation of North America”
Author: Stephen Lendman

Global Research, August 2, 2007
Title: “North American Union: The SPP is a ‘hostile takeover’ of democratic government and an end to the Rule of Law”
Author: Constance Fogal

Leaders of Canada, the US, and Mexico have been meeting to secretly expand the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to form militarized tri-national Homeland Security force.

# 3 InfraGard: The FBI Deputizes Business
The Progressive, February 7, 2008
Title: “Exclusive! The FBI Deputizes Business”

More than 23,000 representatives of US private industry are working with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to collect information on fellow Americans.

# 4 US International Law Enforcement Academy is Restarting Dirty Wars in Latin America
Upside Down World, June 14, 2007
Title: “Exporting US ‘Criminal Justice’ to Latin America”
Author: Community in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador

NACLA Report on the Americas, March/April 2008
Title: “Another SOA?: A Police Academy in El Salvador Worries Critics”
Author: Wes Enzinna

CISPES, March 15, 2007
Title: “ILEA Funding Approved by Salvadoran Right Wing Legislators”
Author: Community in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador

AlterNet, August 31, 2007
Title: “Is George Bush Restarting Latin America’s ‘Dirty Wars’?”
Author: Benjamin Dangl

A resurgence of US-backed militarism threatens peace and democracy in Latin America. In 2005, US military aid to Latin America had increased by thirty-four times the amount spent in 2000.

# 5 War Protesters’ Assets can be Seized by the Treasury Department
Global Research, July 2007
Title: “Bush Executive Order: Criminalizing the Antiwar Movement”
Author: Michel Chossudovsky

The Progressive, August 2007
Title: “Bush’s Executive Order Even Worse Than the One on Iraq”
Author: Matthew Rothschild

President Bush has signed two executive orders that would allow the US Treasury Department to seize the property of any person perceived to, directly or indirectly, pose a threat to US operations in the Middle East.

# 6 The Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act
Indypendent, November 16, 2007
Title: “Bringing the War on Terrorism Home”
Author: Jessica Lee

In These Times, November 2007
Title: “Examining the Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act”
Author: Lindsay Beyerstein

Truthout, November 29, 2007
Title: “The Violent Radicalization Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007”
Author: Matt Renner

The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act (H.R. 1955) passed the House on October 23, 2007, by a vote of 404–6. Author of the bill Jane Harman (D-CA) explains, “We’re studying the phenomenon of people with radical beliefs who turn into people who would use violence.”

Civil liberty and religious freedom groups and grassroots activists with helped to stall passage of the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act in the Senate bit some members of Congress continue to push for Internet censorship and racial profiling as necessary to prevent “homegrown terrorism.”

# 7 Guest Workers Inc.: Fraud and Human Trafficking
Southern Poverty Law Center, March 2007
Title: “Close to Slavery: Guestworker Programs in the United States”
Authors: Mary Bauer and Sarah Reynolds

The Nation, June 25, 2007
Title: “Coming to America”
Author: Felicia Mello

Times of India, March 10, 2008
Title: “Trafficking racket: Indian workers file case against US employer”
Author: Chidanand Rajghatta

Human rights advocates warn that the guest worker program in the United States victimizes immigrant workers. Labor organizers, lawyers, and policy makers say that the H-2 visa program has locked thousands into a modern-day form of indentured servitude.

# 8 Executive Orders Can Be Changed Secretly
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse website, December 7, 2007
Title: “In FISA Speech, Whitehouse Sharply Criticizes Bush Administration’s Assertion of Executive Power”
Author: Senator Sheldon Whitehouse

The Guardian, December 26, 2007
Title: “The Rabbit Hole”
Author: Marcy Wheeler

On December 7, 2007, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, disclosed on the floor of the US Senate that he had declassified documents that state, “An executive order cannot limit a president. There is no constitutional requirement for a president to issue a new executive order whenever he wishes to depart from the terms of a previous executive order. Rather than violate an executive order, the president can instead modified or waived it… And the Department of Justice is bound by the President’s legal determinations.”

#9 Iraq and Afghanistan Vets Testify
Iraq Vets Against the War, March 13–16, 2008
Title: “Winter Soldier: Iraq & Afghanistan Eyewitness Accounts of the Occupations”

War Comes Home, Pacifica Radio, March 14–16, 2008
Title: “Winter Soldier 2008 Eyewitness Accounts of the Occupations”
Co-hosts: Aaron Glantz, Aimee Allison, and Esther Manilla

One World, March 19, 2008
Title: “US Soldiers ‘Testify’ About War Crimes”
Author: Aaron Glantz

The Nation, July 30, 2007
Title: “The Other War: Iraq Vets Bear Witness”
Authors: Chris Hedges and Laila Al-Arian

Over 300 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans have come forward recount the brutal impact of the ongoing occupations. The Winter Soldier hearings in Silver Spring, Maryland, in March 2008, organized by Iraq Veterans Against the War, Soldiers’ presented multiple testimony of atrocities they witnessed or participated in directly.

# 10 American Psychology Association Complicit in CIA Torture
Salon, June 21, 2007
Title: “The CIA’s torture teachers”
Author: Mark Benjamin

Vanity Fair, July 17, 2007
Title: “Rorschach and Awe”
Author: Katherine Eban

Democracy Now!, August 20, 2007
Titles: “American Psychological Association Rejects Blanket Ban on Participation in Interrogation of US Detainees,” “APA Interrogation Task Force Member Dr. Jean Maria Arrigo Exposes Group’s Ties to Military,” “Dissident Voices: Ex-Task Force Member Dr. Michael Wessells Speaks Out on Psychologists and Torture,” and “APA Members Hold Fiery Town Hall Meeting on Interrogation, Torture”

In 2005 news reports exposed the fact that psychologists were working with the US military and the CIA to develop brutal interrogation methods.

# 11 El Salvador’s Water Privatization and the Global War on Terror
NACLA–Upside Down World, August 24, 2007
Title: “El Salvador: Water Inc. and the Criminalization of Protest”
Author: Jason Wallach

The Nation, December 31, 2007
Title: “GWOT: El Salvador”
Author: Wes Enzinna

Peacework, September 2007
Title: “Salvadoran Activists Targeted with US-Style Repression”
Author: Chris Damon

In These Times, November 13, 2007
Title: “El Salvador’s Patriot Act”
Author: Jacob Wheeler

Inter Press Service, August 19, 2007
Title: “El Salvador: Spectre of War Looms After 15 Years of Peace”
Author: Raul Gutierrez

El Salvador’s new “Anti-terrorism Law —based on the USA PATRIOT Act— criminalizes political expression and social protest.

# 12 Bush Profiteers Collect Billions From No Child Left Behind
Diatribune and Daily Kos, March, 30, 2007
Title: “Bush Profiteers Collect Billions From NCLB”
Author: Mandevilla

No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is huge success in the realm of corporate profiteering, bit has had little positive impact on public education.

# 13 Billions of Dollars Lost in Iraq
Vanity Fair, October 2007
Title: “Billions over Baghdad”
Authors: Donald Barlett and James Steele

Rolling Stone, August 23, 2007
Title: “The Great American Swindle”
Author: Matt Taibbi

The United States Federal Reserve shipped $12 billion in US currency to Iraq at the beginning of the war. At least $9 billion is unaccounted for due to a complete lack of oversight.

# 14 Mainstreaming Nuclear Waste
Nuclear Information and Resource Service, May 14, 2007
Title: “Nuclear Waste in Landfills”
Author: Diane D’Arrigo

Environment News Service, May 14, 2007
Title: “US Allows Radioactive Materials in Ordinary Landfills”
Author: Sunny Lewis

Environment News Service, February 4, 2008
Title: “US Company Seeks Permit to Import Nuclear Waste”
Author: Sunny Lewis

Radioactive materials from nuclear weapons production sites are being dumped into regular public landfills, and being used as recycled metals.

# 15 Worldwide Slavery Spreads
Sojourners, March 15, 2007
Title: “From Sex Workers to Restaurant Workers, the Global Slave Trade Is Growing”
Author: David Batstone

Foreign Policy, March/April 2008
Title: “A World Enslaved”
Author: E. Benjamin Skinner

Twenty-seven million slaves exist in the world today, more than at any time in human history.

# 16 Annual Survey on Trade Union Rights
International Trade Union Confederation website, September 2007
Title: “2007 Annual Survey of Violations of Trade Union Rights”

The first Annual Survey of Violations of Trade Union Rights documents enormous challenges to workers rights around the world.

# 17 UN’s Empty Declaration of Indigenous Rights
One World, September 14, 2007
Title: “UN Adopts Historic Statement on Native Rights”
Author: Haider Rizvi, December 11, 2007
Title: “Indigenous Peoples Protest World Bank Carbon Scam in Bali”
Author: Brenda Norrell

Common Dreams, December 12, 2007
Title: “Indigenous Peoples Shut Out of Climate Talks, Plans”
Author: Haider Rizvi

Forest Peoples Programme, November 30, 2007
Title: “NGO Statement on the World Bank’s Proposed Forest Carbon Partnership Facility”
Author: Tom Griffiths

In September 2007, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The resolution called for recognition of the world’s 370 million indigenous peoples’ right to self-determination and control over their lands and resources.

# 18 Cruelty and Death in Juvenile Detention Centers
Associated Press, March 2, 2008
Title: “13,000 Abuse Claims in Juvie Centers”
Author: Holbrook Mohr

In states across the country, child advocates have harshly condemned the conditions under which young offenders are housed—conditions that involve sexual abuse, physical abuse, and even death.

# 19 Indigenous Herders and Small Farmers Fight Livestock Extinction
Trade BioRes, September 21, 2007
Title: “Conference Agrees Steps to Safeguard Farm Animal Diversity”
Author: The International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development

La Via Campesina, September 11, 2007
Title: “Wilderswil Declaration on Livestock Diversity”
Authors: Representatives of pastoralists, indigenous peoples, and smallholder farmers

Industrialized livestock production is causing the worldwide destruction of animal diversity.

# 20 Marijuana Arrests Set New Record
Marijuana Policy Project, September 27, 2007
Title: “Marijuana Arrests Set New Record for Fourth Year in a Row”
Author: Bruce Mirken

National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws, September 24, 2007
Title: “Marijuana Arrests for Year 2006—829,625 Tops Record High”
Author: Paul Armentano

Marijuana arrests in 2006 totaled 829,627, an increase from 786,545 in 2005.

# 21 NATO Considers “First Strike” Nuclear Option
The Guardian, January 22, 2008
Title: “Pre-emptive nuclear strike a key option, NATO told”
Author: Ian Traynor

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) officials are considering a first strike nuclear option to be used anywhere in the world.

# 22 CARE Rejects US Food Aid
Inter Press Service, July 23, 2007
Title: “Mutiny Shakes US Food Aid Industry”
Author: Ellen Massey

Revolution Magazine, October 1, 2007
Title: “Starvation, Aid Agencies and the Benevolence of the Imperialists”
Author: Revolution Cooperative

In August 2007, CARE, announced that it was turning down $45 million a year in food aid from the United States government.

# 23 FDA Complicit in Pushing Pharmaceutical Drugs
NewStandard, April 20, 2007
Title: “FDA Complicit in Pushing Prescription Drugs, Ad Critics Say”
Author: Shreema Mehta

Drug companies are making false, unsubstantiated, and misleading claims in their advertising, often withholding mandated disclosure of dangerous side effects.

# 24 Japan’s Parliament Questions 9/11 and the Global War on Terror and Rock Creek Free Press, January 14, 2008
Title: “Transcript Of Japanese Parliament’s 911 Testimony”
Author: Benjamin Fulford

Testimony in the Japanese parliament, broadcast live on Japanese television in January 2008, challenged the premise and validity of the Global War on Terror. Parliament member Yukihisa Fujita insisted that an investigation be conducted into the war’s origin: the events of 9/11.

# 25 Bush’s Real Problem with Eliot Spitzer
Truthout, February 2008
Title: “Predatory Lenders’ Partner in Crime”

Global Research, March 17, 2008
Title: “Why the Bush Administration ‘Watergated’ Eliot Spitzer”
Author: F. William Engdahl

The exposure of New York State Governor Eliot Spitzer’s tryst with a luxury call girl was the result of his being a target of a White House and Wall Street operation to silence him.

“Censored 2009: The Top 25 Stories of 2007-08:

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