By Ernesto Carmona
The 25 news items most censored by the major press in the United States were released this week in the Censored 2015 yearbook, published by the California Censored Project for 38 years, in collaboration with Sonoma State University and currently, with dozens of universities committed to this work for real freedom of information. These were the top ten, that is, the 10 most important news censored: • The rapid increase in acidification of the oceans endangers marine life
• The governments that benefit the most from US help practice torture
• The mainstream press ignored WikiLeaks complaint about the Trans-Pacific Treaty (TTP)
• Internet provider corporations threaten their neutrality
• Wall Street bankers have support despite their major crimes
• Deep state: "Government without references to the consent of the governed"
• FBI ignored assassination plot against Occupy leaders as NSA and big capital deal low blows to dissidents
• Large media ignore the connection between climate excesses and global warming
• US media hypocrisy in covering the crisis in Ukraine
• WHO suppresses report on cancers and birth defects in Iraq
1.- The rapidly increasing acidification of the oceans endangers marine life
It is well known that the use of fossil fuels - such as coal, oil and natural gas - releases carbon dioxide (CO2) into the air. But it is less known that 25% of that carbon dioxide - more than 9 billion tons a year - is absorbed by the oceans. Craig Welch invited, in the Seattle Times, “to imagine each person on earth shaking a piece of CO2 as big as a bowling ball over the sea. This is what we do to the oceans every day ”. As Welch and others reported, CO2 changes the chemistry of the oceans faster than at any other time in human history, with potentially devastating consequences for both marine life and the people who depend on the global fishing industry for vital sources. of protein and sustenance.
2.- The governments that benefit the most from US help practice torture
The ten nations selected to receive the bulk of US foreign aid in fiscal year 2014 all practice torture and are responsible for the largest human rights abuses, according to Daniel Wickham in Left Foot Forward.
Wickham came to this conclusion by analyzing a combination of foreign aid figures projected, in a January 2013 report, by the Congressional Investigative Service and cross-referencing that information with independently reported torture findings by Amnesty International (AI), Human Rights Watch (HRW) and other internationally recognized human rights organizations, particularly from the United States, which often use them as contributors to their aggressive and discriminatory foreign policy.
3.- The mainstream press ignored WikiLeaks complaint about the Trans-Pacific Treaty (TTP)
WikiLeaks published on November 13, 2013 a section of the trade agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Treaty, Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Cooperation Agreement, or TPP (for its acronym in English). On the surface, the treaty talks about facilitating trade between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam. However, there are several red lights that are flashing this deal that is being negotiated in secret.
The agreement will affect 800 million people and a third of all world trade, but only 3 people from each signatory nation have access to the full document. Meanwhile, 600 "corporate advisers," representing "big oil", pharmaceutical and entertainment corporations, are involved in the drafting and secret negotiations of the TPP.
4.- Internet provider corporations threaten their neutrality
When the Censored 2015 yearbook went to press, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) publicly revealed its proposal for new rules for Internet traffic. By 3 to 2 votes, the FCC opened a four-month window for formal public comment on how strict those rules should be, and galvanized the attention of large corporate media outlets on the issue of net neutrality.
By contrast, for months leading up to this development, independent journalists such as Paul Ausick (Wall St.,), Cole Stangler (In These Times), and Jennifer Yeh (FreePress) were leading the effort to inform the public about the expected showdown between neutrality. net and the walls of this battle.
In September 2013, the federal appeals court in Washington DC began a crucial case brought by the mega communication group and Internet provider Verizon Communications Inc., which challenges the FCC authority to regulate service providers and threatens users . The results of this duel are not yet defined.
5.- Wall Street bankers have support despite their major crimes
A story that spanned a decade came to an unfortunate and unsurprising end. Three former General Electric bankers - Dominick Carollo, Steven Goldberg, and Peter Grimm - were convicted in 2012 of fraudulent municipal bond auctions, essentially for stealing funds from projects aimed at building public schools, hospitals, libraries, and nursing homes in virtually every state. U.S.
However, in November 2013, those accusations were reversed on a technicality: It took federal prosecutors so long to build the massive case that the legal deadline ran out. As noted by a defense attorney, the three men were released from prison just in time to be home for Thanksgiving dinner. And the world keeps rolling, Wall Street included.
6.- Deep state: "Government without references to the consent of the governed"
It is no secret that citizens are condemning the United States government for its lack of transparency, accountability, and honest constitutive representation. In a report for Moyers & Company - published by Billmoyers.com - Mike Lofgren, a 28-year congressional staff member specializing in national security, addressed the application of the "deep state" that orchestrates undemocratically controlled private agendas, while the corporate media distracts the public's attention by focusing on Washington's traditional party politics.
Lofgren asserted that while the deep state is "neither omniscient nor invincible," it is "relentlessly well entrenched" in the "hybrid association of elements of government with the highest levels of finance and industry, capable of to effectively govern the United States without reference to the consent of the governed.
7.- FBI ignored assassination plan against Occupy leaders while the NSA and big capital gave low blows to dissidents
In October 2011, when the Occupy movement arrived in Houston, protesters came under federal and local surveillance, with infiltration by agent provocateurs and police assaults. Months later, a document obtained in December 2012 from the FBI's Houston office, reported by Dave Lindorff, shows that the agency knew of a diagram to assassinate leaders of the Occupy movement and did absolutely nothing.
The document was legally declassified in Washington by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, which requested it invoking the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), but was released with strikeouts. Still something reads: An identified [REDACTED] planned in October to arm sniper attacks against protesters (sic) in Houston, Texas, if deemed necessary. An identified [REDACTED] had received intelligence indicating that protesters in New York and Seattle plan similar protests in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin, Texas. [REDACTED] plans to gather intelligence against the leaders of the protest groups and obtain photographs, and then formulate a plan to kill the leaders, suppressing them via sniper rifles.
Lindorff reported - in June 2013 - that the FBI knew the identity of who or who planned the sniper attacks, but had not declassified any names.
Paul Bresson, head of the FBI press office, explained: "The FOIA [Free of Information Act] documents you refer to were drawn up in various places in accordance with the FOIA and the privacy laws governing the disclosure of such information, therefore I am not able to help fill in the blanks… [I] f the FBI was aware of credible and specific information implicating an assassination plot, the police would have responded with appropriate action.
8.- Big media ignore the connection between climate excesses and global warming
As extreme weather becomes more and more common, it receives its fair share of the news coverage. But often these reports fail to offer any mention of the connection between climate change and extreme bad weather and events.
Peter Hart reported for Extra! that the evening news covers extreme weather events that are so unusual and of general interest, but generally omit the explanation of climate change as the underlying cause.
A study by the Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) media observatory found that in 2013 extreme weather events gave rise to 450 news segments, with only 16 mentioning climate change. As for specific newscasts, the CBS Evening News used only expressions like "global warming" and "greenhouse gases" in 2 of 114 reports of extreme weather events.
9.- US media hypocrisy in covering the crisis in Ukraine
The Russian occupation of Crimea led the big corporate media and government officials to call for a stern response from the US. Secretary of State John Kerry declared the Russian intervention as "an act of the 19th century in the 21st century." According to Robert Parry of the Consortium News, critics of Russia in the US seemed to forget their country's own record of overthrowing democratic governments, including the illegal invasion of Iraq, which Kerry supported.
The corporate media also cannot acknowledge that Putin ordered the occupation of Kiev after a coup conducted, at least in part, by the neo-Nazis, in arguably less criminal conditions than the US invasion of Iraq, which Washington legitimized with false accusations. .
"If Putin is violating international law by sending Russian troops to Crimea after a violent coup, led by neo-Nazi militias, expelled the democratically elected president of Ukraine," wrote Parry, "then why has the US government not brought International Criminal to George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and, indeed, John Kerry for their invasion of Iraq, by far more criminal? "
10.- WHO suppresses report on cancers and birth defects in Iraq
Contrary to its own mandate, the World Health Organization (WHO) continues to suppress uncovered evidence in Iraq on the effects of the US military's use of depleted uranium and other weapons that not only killed many civilians but also caused an epidemic of carbon defects. birth and other serious public health problems. By rejecting the release of this report, originally intended for the general public, the WHO hides the responsibility of the US government and, at the same time, effectively protects its military forces causing this public health catastrophe.
A report by the Iraqi Ministry of Health and the WHO, which reports cancers and birth defects, was due to be released to the public in November 2012, but officials have indefinitely delayed the release of the report. As of this date, [09/13/2014] Denis Halliday wrote in Global Research that the WHO report remains “classified”. According to the WHO, the release of the report has been delayed because its analysis needs to be evaluated by a "team of independent scientists."
Halliday's report compared the Iraqi case to the inherited health problems stemming from the use of Agent Orange by US troops in Vietnam. Meanwhile, the reality is that "Iraq is poisoned," wrote medical doctor Mozhgan Savabieasfahani on ZNet.
What is the Censored Project?
Project Censored is the oldest surveillance observatory for news censored by the major media in the United States. It was started in 1976 by the sociologist Carl Jensen, an academic at Sonoma State University, California, when he concluded that the mainstream media were hiding too much relevant information from their users about the fabric of the Watergate episode, the case of political espionage that caused the fall of the US President Richard Nixon.
When Jensen retired, in 1996 his colleague Peter Phillips assumed the direction of the Censored Project, who led it until 2010. Since 2010, Phillips has presided over Project Censored and its current parent, the Media Freedom Foundation, which sponsors the research project transformed today into an academic program for students studying sociology and journalism in the US. Currently, the direction of the Project rests –since 2010– with the academic Mickey Huff, seconded by his colleague Andy Lee Roth.
This 38-year-old initiative arose from university classrooms of social sciences –not journalism–, although its object of study is the mainstream media, but in this academic year 2014-2015, journalism teachers and students began to join, for example in the European University of Madrid (UEM). Proyecto Censurado produces and publishes Censored, a yearbook whose first chapter contains the 25 most important news that the bulk of the public will never know on the evening news, or read on the big morning news, due to the partiality and self-censorship that today characterize the big media of all the world. This annual volume of more than 500 pages, since 1994 is in charge of the Seven Stories publishing house, of New York.
Now converted into a national media research project, each year's news is selected by almost 300 students and teachers from a score of universities among hundreds of information that will never see the public light. The 25 "most censored news" emerge from a rigorous selection process by a national and international jury, made up of figures such as Noam Chomsky, among many others.
Each news story is presented in detail, along with updates from the investigative journalists who released them. In addition to the 25 selected stories, the book's additional chapters delve into current affairs in big media. The Media Analysis section provides annual updates of what the Censored Project calls Junk Food News, Abuse News and Déjà Vu de la Censura.
Some signs of hope are also revealed, mainly regarding the strengthening and growth of the alternative media. The yearbook reveals the state of the bias of the big media and offers alternative coverage of the entire world.
In the section Emergency for Truth, academics and journalists take a critical look at the US / NATO military-industrial-media empire. And in the section International Censored Project the meaning throughout the world of the struggle for democracy in the media is described. A debate is generated in close collaboration with the twenty universities affiliated with the Censored Project, in the US and the rest of the world, as well as alternative media around the world.
A perennial favorite of booksellers, scholars and readers around the world, the Censored yearbook is one of the strongest signs of the collective desire for true news, a need felt by citizens who no longer trust the worldview portrayed by the greats. media.
The current director of the Censored Project, Mickey Huff, also sits on the Board of Directors of the Media Freedom Foundation (MFF), which today houses Project Censored, chaired by Dr. Peter Phillips. , Carlo Jensen's first successor in directing the Project. Phillips and Huff host the Mixed Morning Program, Project Censored Show, which airs from Berkeley, California, every Friday on KPFA Pacifica Radio.
Huff, a professor of social studies and history at Diablo Valley College, has been in charge of the last four annual issues of the Censored series. He is also co-chair of the History department at Diablo Valley University, and is also a musician and composer for more than 20 years.
Andy Lee Roth, Ph.D., is associate director of the Censored Project, has co-edited recent editions of the Censored yearbook, contributes original research texts on the war coverage of large corporate media and the environment, in addition to participating occasionally in the program Mañana Mixta of the Censored Project on radio Pacifica. He also teaches sociology at Sonoma State University. * Ernesto Carmona, Chilean journalist and writer, international jury of the Censored Project.
ALAI, Latin America on the Move