Project Censored specializes in covering the top news stories which were either ignored or downplayed by the mainstream media each year. Project Censored is a research team composed of more than 200 university faculty, students, and community experts who review about 1,000 news story submissions for coverage, content, reliability of sources, and national significance. The top 25 stories selected are submitted to a distinguished panel of judges who then rank them in order of importance. The results are published each year in an excellent book available for purchase at their website, amazon.com, and most major book stores.
A brief summary of last year’s top 25 censored news stories provided below proves quite revealing and most informative. After the headline of each news story is a link for those who want to read the entire article. These links contain the sources for the censored news. For whatever reason the major media won’t report these major stories. Thanks to the Internet and wonderful, committed groups like Project Censored, the news is getting out to those who want to know. By revealing these censored news stories, we can stop the excessive secrecy and work together to build a brighter future. Please help to spread the word, and have a great day!
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Fred Burks for PEERS and the WantToKnow.info Team
Former language interpreter for Presidents Bush and Clinton
TOP 25 NEWS STORIES OF 2006 AS JUDGED BY PROJECT CENSORED
1. Future of Internet Debate Ignored by Media (For full story, click here)
The Supreme Court ruled that giant cable companies aren’t required to share their wires with other Internet service providers. The issue was misleadingly framed as an argument over regulation, when it’s really a case of the Federal Communications Commission and Congress talking about giving cable and telephone companies the freedom to control supply and content – a decision that could have them playing favorites and forcing consumers to pay to get information and services that currently are free.
Source: “Web of Deceit: How Internet Freedom Got the Federal Ax, and Why Corporate News Censored the Story,” Elliot D. Cohen, BuzzFlash.com, July 18, 2005. (Click here for article)
2. Halliburton Charged With Selling Nuclear Technology to Iran (For full story, click here)
Halliburton, the notorious U.S. energy company, sold key nuclear-reactor components to a private Iranian oil company called Oriental Oil Kish as recently as 2005, using offshore subsidiaries to circumvent U.S. sanctions. The story is particularly important because Vice President Dick Cheney, who now claims to want to stop Iran from getting nukes, was president of Halliburton in the mid-1990s, at which time he may have advocated business dealings with Iran, in violation of U.S. law.
Source: “Halliburton Secretly Doing Business with Key Member of Iran’s Nuclear Team,” Jason Leopold, GlobalResearch.ca, Aug. 5, 2005. (Click here for article)
3. World Oceans in Extreme Danger (For full story, click here)
Governments deny global warming is happening as they rush to map the ocean floor in the hopes of claiming rights to oil, gas, gold, diamonds, copper, zinc and the planet’s last pristine fishing grounds. Researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 2005 found “the first clear evidence that the world ocean is growing warmer,” including the discovery “that the top half-mile of the ocean has warmed dramatically in the past 40 years as the result of human-induced greenhouse gases.”
Source: “The Fate of the Ocean,” Julia Whitty, Mother Jones, March-April 2006. (Click here for article)
4. Hunger and Homelessness Increasing in the United States (For full story, click here)
As hunger and homelessness rise in the United States, the Bush administration plans to get rid of a data source that supports this embarrassing reality, a survey that’s been used to improve state and federal programs for retired and low-income Americans. In 2003, the Bush Administration tried to whack the Bureau of Labor Statistics report on mass layoffs and in 2004 and 2005 attempted to drop the bureau’s questions on the hiring and firing of women from its employment data.
Sources: “New Report Shows Increase in Urban Hunger, Homelessness,” Brendan Coyne, New Standard, December 2005 (Click here for article); “U.S. Plan to Eliminate Survey of Needy Families Draws Fire,” Abid Aslam, OneWorld.net, March 2006. (Click here for article)
5. High-tech Genocide in Congo (For full story, click here)
If you believe the corporate media, then the ongoing genocide in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is all just a case of ugly tribal warfare. But that is a superficial, simplistic explanation that fails to connect this terrible suffering with the immense fortunes that stand to be made from manufacturing cell phones, laptop computers and other high-tech equipment. What’s really at stake in this bloodbath is control of natural resources such as diamonds, tin, and copper, as well as cobalt – which is essential for the nuclear, chemical, aerospace, and defense industries – and coltan and niobium, which is most important for the high-tech industries.
Sources: “The World’s Most Neglected Emergency: Phil Taylor talks to Keith Harmon Snow,” The Taylor Report, March 28, 2005 (Click here for article); “High-Tech Genocide,” Sprocket, Earth First! Journal, August 2005 (Click here for article); “Behind the Numbers: Untold Suffering in the Congo,” Keith Harmon Snow and David Barouski, Z Magazine, March 1, 2006 (Click here for article).
6. Federal Whistleblower Protection in Jeopardy (For full story, click here)
Though record numbers of federal workers have been sounding the alarm on waste, fraud, and other financial abuse since George W. Bush became president, the agency charged with defending government whistleblowers has reportedly been throwing out hundreds of cases – and advancing almost none. Statistics released at the end of 2005 by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility led to claims that special counsel Scott Bloch, who was appointed by Bush in 2004, is overseeing the systematic elimination of whistleblower rights.
Sources: “Whistleblowers Get No Help from Bush Administration,” Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) Web site, Dec. 5, 2005 (Click here for article); “Long-Delayed Investigation of Special Counsel Finally Begins,” PEER Web site, Oct. 18, 2005 (Click here for article); “Back Door Rollback of Federal Whistleblower Protections,” PEER Web site, Sept. 22, 2005 (Click here for article).
7. US Operatives Torture Detainees to Death in Afghanistan and Iraq (For full story, click here)
While reports of torture aren’t new, the documents are evidence of using torture as a policy, raising a whole bunch of uncomfortable questions, such as: Who authorized such techniques? And why have the resulting deaths been covered up? Of the 44 death reports released under ACLU’s FOIA request, 21 were homicides and eight appear to have been the result of these abusive torture techniques.
Sources: “U.S. Operatives Killed Detainees During Interrogations in Afghanistan and Iraq, “American Civil Liberties Union Web site, Oct. 24, 2005 (Click here for article); “Tracing the Trail of Torture: Embedding Torture as Policy from Guantanamo to Iraq,” Dahr Jamail, TomDispatch.com, March 5, 2006 (Click here for article).
8. Pentagon Exempt from Freedom of Information Act (For full story, click here)
In 2005, the Department of Defense pushed for and was granted exemption from Freedom of Information Act requests, a crucial law that allows journalists and watchdogs access to federal documents. The ruling could hamper the efforts of groups like the ACLU, which relied on FOIA to uncover more than 30,000 documents on the US military’s torture of detainees in Afghanistan Iraq, and Guantanamo Bay, including the Abu Ghraib torture scandal.
Sources: “Pentagon Seeks Greater Immunity from Freedom of Information,” Michelle Chen, New Standard, May 6, 2005 (Click here for article); “FOIA Exemption Granted to Federal Agency,” Newspaper Association of America Web site, posted December 2005 (Click here for article).
9. World Bank Funds Israel-Palestine Wall (For full story, click here)
In 2004, the International Court of Justice ruled that the wall Israel is building deep into Palestinian territory should be torn down. Instead, construction of this cement barrier, which annexes Israeli settlements and breaks the continuity of Palestinian territory, has accelerated. In the interim, the World Bank has come up with a framework for a Middle Eastern Free Trade Area, which would be financed by the World Bank and built on Palestinian land around the wall to encourage export-oriented economic development. But with Israel ineligible for World Bank loans, the plan seems to translate into Palestinians paying for the modernization of checkpoints around a wall that they’ve always opposed, a wall that will help lock in and exploit their labor.
Sources: “Cementing Israeli Apartheid: The Role of World Bank,” Jamal Juma’, Left Turn (Click here for article); “U.S. Free Trade Agreements Split Arab Opinion,” Linda Heard, Aljazeera, March 9, 2005 (Click here for article).
10. Expanded Air War in Iraq kills More Civilians (For full story, click here)
At the end of 2005, U.S. Central Command Air Force statistics showed an increase in American air missions, a trend that was accompanied by a rise in civilian deaths thanks to increased bombing of Iraqi cities.
Sources: “Up in the Air,” Seymour M. Hersh, New Yorker, December 2005 (Click here for article); “An Increasingly Aerial Occupation,” Dahr Jamail, TomDispatch.com, December 2005 (Click here for article).
11) Dangers of Genetically Modified Food Confirmed (For full story, click here)
Several recent studies confirm fears that genetically modified (GM) foods damage human health. These studies were released as the World Trade Organization moved towards upholding the ruling that the EU has violated international trade rules by stopping importation of GM foods.
12) Pentagon Plans New Land Mines (For full story, click here)
The Bush administration plans to resume production of antipersonnel land mine systems in a move that is at odds with both the international community and previous US policy, says Human Rights Watch.
13) New Evidence Establishes Dangers of Roundup/Glyphosate (For full story, click here)
New studies from both sides of the Atlantic reveal that Roundup, the most widely used weed-killer in the world, poses serious human health threats.
14) Homeland Security Contracts Halliburton Subsidiary KBR to Build US Detention Centres (For full story, click here)
Halliburton’s subsidiary KBR (formerly Kellogg, Brown and Root) announced on January 24, 2006, that it had been awarded a US$385 million contingency contract by the US Department of Homeland Security to build detention camps able to hold 5,000 people each.
15) Chemical Industry is EPA’s Primary Research Partner (For full story, click here)
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) research program is increasingly relying on corporate joint ventures. The American Chemical Council is now the EPA’s leading research partner. The EPA is diverting funds from basic health and environmental research towards research that addresses regulatory concerns of corporate funders.
16) Ecuador and Mexico Defy USA on International Criminal Court (For full story, click here)
Ecuador and Mexico have refused to sign bilateral immunity agreements (BIA) with the USA in ratification of the International Criminal Court (ICC) treaty. Despite the Bush administration’s threat to withhold economic aid, both countries confirmed allegiance to the ICC, the international body established to try individuals accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
17) Iraq Invasion Promotes OPEC Agenda (For full story, click here)
According to a report from journalist Greg Palast, the US invasion of Iraq was indeed about the oil. However, the US wasn’t out to destroy OPEC, as claimed by neo-conservative writers, but to take part in it and increase US oil company profits.
18) Physicist Challenges Official 9/11 Story (For full story, click here)
Research into the events of 9/11 by Brigham Young University physics professor Steven E. Jones concludes that the official explanation for the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings is implausible according to the laws of physics. Professor Jones is calling for an independent, international scientific investigation “guided not by politicized notions and constraints, but rather by observations and calculations.”
19) Destruction of Rainforests Declared Worst Ever (For full story, click here)
New developments in satellite imaging technology reveal that the Amazon rainforest is being destroyed twice as quickly as previously estimated due to the surreptitious practice of selective logging.
20) Bottled Water: A Global Environmental Problem (For full story, click here)
Consumers spend a collective US$100 billion every year on bottled water in the belief—often mistaken—that it is better for us than what flows from our taps. Worldwide, bottled water consumption surged to 41 billion gallons in 2004, up 57 per cent since 1999.
21) Gold Mining Company Threatens Ancient Andean Glaciers (For full story, click here)
Barrick Gold, a powerful multinational gold mining company, planned to melt three Andean glaciers in order to access gold deposits through open pit mining. The water from the glaciers would have been held for refreezing in the following winters. Opposition to the mine because of destruction to water sources for Andean farmers was widespread in Chile and the rest of the world. Construction of the mine is expected to begin in 2006.
22) Billions of Dollars in Homeland Security Spending Undisclosed (For full story, click here)
More than US$8 billion in Homeland Security funds has been doled out to States since the 9/11 attacks, but the public has little chance of knowing how this money is being spent.
23) US Oil Targets Kyoto in Europe (For full story, click here)
Lobbyists funded by the US oil industry have launched a campaign in Europe aimed at derailing efforts to tackle greenhouse gas pollution and climate change. Documents that have been obtained by Greenpeace reveal a systematic plan to persuade European business, politicians and media that the EU should abandon its commitments under the Kyoto protocol, the agreement that aims to reduce emissions that lead to global warming.
24) Cheney’s Halliburton Stock Rose Over 3,000% in 2005 (For full story, click here)
US Vice-President Dick Cheney’s stock options in Halliburton rose from US$241,498 in 2004 to over $8 million in 2005, an increase of more than 3,000 per cent, as Halliburton continues to rake in billions of dollars from no-bid/no-audit government contracts.
25) US Military in Paraguay Threatens Region (For full story, click here)
Five hundred US troops arrived in Paraguay with planes, weapons and ammunition in July 2005, shortly after the Paraguayan Senate granted US troops immunity from national and International Criminal Court jurisdiction. Neighbouring countries and human rights organisations are concerned that the massive air base at Mariscal Estigarribia is potential real estate for the US military.
Note: For a more detailed description of each of these items on the Project Censored website, click here. To understand why the media won’t report the major stories, click here.
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