October 15, 2010




Project Censored Top 25 Censored Stories for 2011

25. Prisoners Still Brutalized at Gitmo

In Guantánamo, the notorious but seldom-discussed thug squad, officially known as the Immediate Reaction Force (IRF), deployed by the US military remains very much active. Inside the walls of Guantánamo, the prisoners know the squad as the Extreme Repression Force. [...]

Sources: Jeremy Scahill, “Little Known Military Thug Squad Still Brutalizing Prisoners at Gitmo Under Obama,” AlterNet, May 15, 2009, http://www.alternet.org/story/140022. Andrew Wander, “Guantanamo Conditions ‘Deteriorate,’” Al Jazeera English, November 10, 2009, http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/11/10-0. Student Researcher: Scott Macky (Sonoma State University) Faculty Evaluator: Peter Phillips (Sonoma State University)

24. War Crimes of General Stanley McChrystal

A little more than a year before he was fired on June 23, 2010, for making potentially insubordinate remarks in a Rolling Stone profile, General Stanley McChrystal was appointed by President Barack Obama as commander in charge of the war in Afghanistan. He had been formerly in charge of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) headed by former Vice President Dick Cheney. Most of what General McChrystal has done over a thirty-three-year career remains classified, including service between 2003 and 2008 as commander of the JSOC, a special black operations commando unit of the Navy Seals and Delta Force so clandestine that the Pentagon for years refused to acknowledge its existence. […]

Sources: Seymour Hersh, “Secret US Forces Carried Out Assassinations in a Dozen Countries, Including in Latin America,” Democracy Now!, March 31, 2009, http://www.democracynow.org/2009/3/31/seymour_hersh_secret_us_forces_carried. Seymour Hersh, “You Can’t Authorize Murder,” interview with Abbas Al Lawati, Gulf News, May 12, 2009, http://gulfnews.com/news/region/palestinian-territories/you-can-t-authorise-murder-hersh-1.68504. PressTV, “McChrystal Was Cheney’s Chief Assassin,” May 16, 2009, http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=94884&sectionid=3510203. Student Researcher: Cristina Risso (Sonoma [...]

23. Afghan War: Largest Military Coalition in History

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has become history’s first global army. Never before have soldiers from so many states served in the same war theater, much less the same country.  […]

Source: Rick Rozoff, “Afghan War: NATO Builds History’s First Global Army,” Global Research, August 9, 2009, http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=14707. Student Researcher: Dani Wright (Sonoma State University) Faculty Evaluator: Peter Phillips (Sonoma State University)

22. 1.2 Billion People in India to be Given Biometric ID Cards

India’s 1.2 billion citizens are to be issued biometric identification cards. The cards will hold the person’s name, age, and birth date, as well as fingerprints or iris scans, though no caste or religious identification. Within the next five years a giant computer will hold the personal details of at least 600 million citizens, making this new information technology system the largest in the world. […]

Sources: Randeep Ramesh, “1.2 Billion People in India to be Given Biometric ID Cards,” Guardian, September 16, 2009, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/sep/16/india-population-biometric-id-cards. Anjana Pasricha, “India Begins Project to Issue Biometric Identity Cards to All Citizens,” Voice of America News, September 24, 2009, http://www1.voanews.com/ english/news/a-13-2009-09-24-voa18-68709357.html. Corporate Media Source: Rama Lakshmi, “Biometric Identity Project in India Aims to Provide for [...]

21. Western Lifestyle Continues Environmental Footprint

Speaking in advance of the climate summit in Copenhagen, Rajendra Pachauri, the United Nation’s leading climate scientist, warned that Western society must enact radical changes and reform measures if it is to avoid the worst effects of climate change. […]

Sources: James Randerson, “Western Lifestyle Unsustainable, Says Climate Expert Rajendra Pachauri,” Guardian, November 29, 2009, http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/ 2009/nov/29/rajendra-pachauri-climate-warning-copenhagen. Bobbie Johnson, San Francisco bureau, “Web Providers Must Limit Internet’s Carbon Footprint, Say Experts,” Guardian, May 3, 2009, http://www.guardian.co.uk/ technology/2009/may/03/internet-carbon-footprint. Jeremy Page, “Scientist’s Himalayan Mission Provides Unwelcome Proof: Glaciers Are Dying,” Times (UK), December 5, 2009, http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/ news/environment/copenhagen/article6945249.ece. [...]

20. Obama’s Charter School Policies Spread Segregation and Undermine Unions

Charter schools continue to stratify students by race, class, and sometimes language, and are more racially isolated than traditional public schools in virtually every state and large metropolitan area in the country. […]

Sources: E. Frankenberg, G. Siegel-Hawley, and J. Wang, “Choice without Equity: Charter School Segregation and the Need for Civil Rights Standards,” Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles, University of California–Los Angeles, http://www.civilrightsproject .ucla.edu/news/pressreleases/pressrelease20100204-report.html. Danny Weil, “Obama and Duncan’s Education Policy: Like Bush’s, Only Worse,” CounterPunch, August 24, 2009, http://counterpunch.org/weil08242009.html. Michelle Chen, “Equity and Access in Charter [...]

19. Obama Administration Assures World Bank and International Monetary Fund a Free Reign of Abuse

On April 24, 2009, US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner hosted meetings with finance ministers from the world’s top economies to discuss increased oversight of the global financial system in the wake of the meltdown. The meetings preceded semi-annual gatherings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank in Washington, DC.
The April G20 meeting in London secured a lot of positive media attention after world leaders announced a global package of $1.1 trillion for economic recovery and reform, mostly for the IMF. The plan, however, did not include specific information about the much-needed operational reforms to the IMF and the World Bank. […]

Sources: Lori Wallach, “Report: US-Initiated WTO Rules Could Undermine Regulatory Overhaul of Global Finance,” Democracy Now!, September 25, 2009, www.democracynow.org/2009/9/25/report_us_initiated_wto_rules_could. Public Citizen, Global Trade Watch, “New Report: No Meaningful Safeguards for Prudential Measures in WTO Financial Service Deregulation Agreements,” Public Citizen, September 23, 2009, http://www.citizen.org/hot_issues/issue.cfm?ID=2374. Michael O’Brien, “Obama Issues Signing Statement on $106B War Bill,” [...]

18. The True Cost of Chevron

Chevron’s 2008 annual report to its shareholders is a glossy celebration heralding the company’s most profitable year in its history. Profits of $24 billion catapulted Chevron past General Electric to become the second most profitable corporation in the United States. The oil company’s 2007 revenues were larger than the gross domestic product (GDP) of 150 nations. […]

Source: Antonia Juhasz, “The True Cost of Chevron: An Alternative Annual Report,” True Cost of Chevron, May 27, 2009, http://truecostofchevron.com/report.html. Student Researcher: Kelley Zaino (Sonoma State University) Faculty Evaluators: Stephanie Dyer and Sascha von Meier (Sonoma State University)

17. Nanotech Particles Pose Serious DNA Risks to Humans and the Environment

Personal products you may use daily and think are harmless—cosmetics, suntan lotion, socks, and sports clothes—may all contain atom-sized nanotech particles, some of which have been shown to sicken and kill workers in plants using nanotechnology. Known human health risks include severe and permanent lung damage. Cell studies indicate genetic DNA damage. Extremely toxic to aquatic wildlife, nanoparticles pose clear risks to many species and threaten the global food chain. […]

Nanotech Particles Pose Serious DNA Risks to Humans and the Environment Sources: Carole Bass, “Tiny Troubles: Nanoparticles are Changing Everything From our Sunscreen to our Supplements,” E Magazine, July/August 2009, http://www.emagazine .com/view/?4723. Janet Raloff, “Nanoparticles’ Indirect Threat to DNA,” Science News, November 5, 2009, http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/49191/title/Science_%2B_the _Public__Nanoparticles_indirect_threat_to_DNA. L. Geranio, M. Heuberger, and B. Nowack, “The Behavior of [...]

16. US Presidents Charged with Crimes Against Humanity as Universal Jurisdiction Dies in Spain

In October 2009, under great pressure from the United States, the government of Spain decided to limit its own jurisdiction in cases of genocide and crimes against humanity, thus closing one of the last windows of accountability for the most serious crimes committed by the most powerful nations on Earth. Under international law, such crimes fall under the universal jurisdiction of any nation, whether one’s own citizens are victims or not. The logic is that crimes against humanity are offenses against every member of the human species—a crime against all. […]

Sources: Glen Ford, “Four U.S. Presidents and Four UK Prime Ministers Charged With Genocide,” Black Agenda Report, October 13, 2009, http://www.blackagendareport.com/ ?q=content/four-us-presidents-and-four-uk-prime-ministers-charged-genocide. “Justice for Iraq: Legal Case Filed U.S. Presidents and UK Prime Ministers,” Brussels Tribune, October 7, 2009, http://axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/printer_57154.shtml. Center for Constitutional Rights, “CCR Seeks to Intervene in Spanish Court’s Investigations into Bush Administration’s [...]

15. Bhopal Water Still Toxic Twenty-five Years After Deadly Gas Leak

Around midnight on December 2, 1984, the citizens of Bhopal, India, a city of over 500,000 people in central India, were poisoned by approximately forty tons of toxic gases pouring into the night air from a largely abandoned chemical insecticide plant owned by the US-owned Union Carbide Corporation (UCC). The long-predicted gas leak at UCC was, and remains today, the worst industrial disaster in history. […]

Sources: Randeep Ramesh, “Bhopal Water Still Toxic 25 Years After Deadly Gas Leak, Study Finds,” Guardian, December 1, 2009, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/dec/01/ bhopal-chemical-studies-toxic-levels. Randeep Ramesh, “Bhopal Marks 25th Anniversary of Union Carbide Gas Disaster,” Guardian, December 3, 2009, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/dec/03/bhopal-anniversary-union-carbide-gas#history-link-box. Indra Sinha, “Bhopal: 25 Years of Poison,” Guardian, December 3, 2009, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/dec/03/bhopal-anniversary-union-carbide-gas#history-link-box. George Monbiot, “Bhopal Being Poisoned All [...]

14. Increased Tensions with Unresolved 9/11 Issues

Several contentious issues still plague the US government and their version of the events of September 11, 2001. Those in political power along with media elites would like to see the ongoing grassroots debates surrounding unanswered 9/11 questions and discrepancies disappear, despite the mountains of evidence that suggest that American citizens were told little about the truth of the biggest single-day attack on their homeland in history. Nearly ten years after the events, many unanswered questions still exist: How did Building 7 fall? What caused the destruction of the twin towers? Where is Osama bin Laden? Are people that question the official story of 9/11 dangerous conspiracy theorists? […]

Sources: PR News Wire, “1,000 Architects & Engineers Call for New 9/11 Investigation: Cite Evidence of Explosive Demolition at Three World Trade Center Towers,” February 19, 2009, http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/1000-architects—engineers-call-for-new-911-investigation-84768402.html. Shawn Hamilton, “Over 1,000 Architects and Engineers Have Signed Petition to Reinvestigate 9-11 Destruction,” Examiner.com, February 23, 2010, http://www.examiner.com/x-36199-Conspiracy-Examiner. Architects & Engineers for 911 Truth, “1,000+ Architects [...]

13. Obama Cuts Domestic Spending and Increases Military Corporate Welfare

President Obama’s decision to increase military spending this year and in the future will result in the greatest administrative military spending since World War II. This decision is being made in spite of continued evidence of extreme waste, fraud, abuse, and corporate welfare in the military budget. At the same time, spending on “non-security” domestic programs such as education, nutrition, energy, and transportation will be frozen, resulting in inflationary cuts to essential services for the US public over the upcoming years. […]

Sources: Tom Engelhardt, “Weapons Makers as ‘Welfare Queens,’” TomDispatch, March 18, 2010, http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/03/19. William J. Astore, “The Pentagon Church Militant and Us: The Top Five Questions We Should Ask the Pentagon,” TomDispatch, March 18, 2010, http://www.tomdispatch.com/ blog/175219/tomgram%3A_william_astore,_you_have_no_say_about_your_military. Sam Husseini and David Zupan, “Obama: Cut Domestic, Increase Military,” Institute of Public Accuracy, January 26, 2010, http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/ 2010/01/26-14. [...]

12. Cuba Provided the Greatest Medical Aid to Haiti after the Earthquake

Cuba was the first to come into Haiti with medical aid when the January 12, 2010, earthquake struck. Among the many donor nations, Cuba and its medical teams have played a major role in treating Haiti’s earthquake victims. Public health experts say the Cubans were the first to set up medical facilities among the debris and to revamp hospitals immediately after the earthquake struck. […]

Sources: Ernesto Wong Maestre, “Haití y el Paradigma Cubano de Solidaridad” (Haiti and the Cuban Paradigm of Solidarity), Rebelión, January 24, 2010, http://www.rebelion.org/ noticia.php?id=99233. Tom Fawthrop, “Cuba’s Aid Ignored By The Media?” Al Jazeera English, February 16, 2010, http://english.aljazeera.net/focus/2010/01/201013195514870782.html. Emilio González López, “La Otra Realidad de Haití y la Ayuda de 400 Médicos Cubanos” (Haiti’s [...]

11. The H1N1 Swine Flu Pandemic: Manipulating Data to Enrich Drug Companies

The H1N1 virus has spawned widespread panic and fear throughout the world. However, upon closer examination, many of the claims made by the World Health Organization (WHO) seem to be based on weak and incomplete data. The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has created and used data to grossly exaggerate the need for an expensive and unnecessary vaccine aimed at creating profits for the pharmaceutical industry—not protecting Americans. […]

Source: Michel Chossudovsky, “The H1N1 Swine Flu Pandemic: Manipulating the Data to Justify a Worldwide Public Health Emergency,” Global Research, August 25, 2009, http://www.globalresearch.ca/PrintArticle.php?articleId=14901. Student Researchers: Nolan Higdon and Michael Smith (Diablo Valley College) Faculty Evaluator: Mickey Huff (Diablo Valley College) […]

10. US Funds and Supports the Taliban

In a continuous flow of money, American tax dollars end up paying members of the Taliban and funding a volatile environment in Afghanistan. Private contractors pay insurgents with the hope of attaining the very safety they are contracted to provide. Concurrently, US soldiers pay at checkpoints run by suspected insurgents in order to get safe passage. In some cases, Afghan companies run by former Taliban members, like President Hamid Karzai’s cousin, are protecting the passage of American soldiers. The funding of the insurgents, along with rumors of American helicopters ferrying Taliban members in Afghanistan, has led to widespread distrust of American forces […]

Sources: Aram Roston, “How the US Funds the Taliban,” Nation, November 20, 2009, http://www.thenation.com/doc/20091130/roston. Ahmad Kawoosh, “Is the US Aiding the Taliban?” Taiwan News, October 31, 2009, opinion sec., http://www.etaiwannews.com/etn/news_content.php?id=1095689& lang=eng_news&cate_img=140.jpg&cate_rss=news_Opinion. Ahmad Kawoosh, “Helicopter Rumor Refuses to Die,” Institute for War and Peace Reporting, November 2, 2009, http://www.iwpr.net/?p=arr&s=f&o=356886. Student Researchers: Anne Cozad (Sonoma State University) [...]

9. Human Rights Abuses Continue in Palestine

The Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa (HSRC) has released a study indicating that Israel is practicing both colonialism and apartheid in the occupied Palestinian territories. The HSRC commissioned an international team of scholars and practitioners of international public law from South Africa, the United Kingdom, Israel, and the West Bank to conduct the study. […]

Sources: Virginia Tilley, Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa, “Occupation, Colonialism, Apartheid,” HSRC Web site, May 2009, http://www.hsrc.ac.za/Media_Release-378.phtml. Jonathan Cook, “Israel Brings Gaza Entry Restrictions to West Bank,” Electronic Intifada, August 18, 2009, http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article10718.shtml. Amnesty International, “Israel Rations Palestinians to Trickle of Water,” October 27, 2009, http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/report/israel-rations-palestinians-trickle-water-20091027. Rory McCarthy, “Non-Violent Protests Against West Bank [...]

8. Massacre in Peruvian Amazon over US Free Trade Agreement

On World Environment Day, June 5, 2009, Peruvian Amazon Indians were massacred by the government of Alán García in the latest chapter of a long war to take over common lands—a war unleashed by the signing of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Peru and the United States. […]

Sources: Raúl Zibechi, “Massacre in the Amazon: The US-Peru Free Trade Agreement Sparks a Battle over Land and Resources,” trans. Laura Carlson, Americas Program, Center for International Policy, June 16, 2009, http://americas.irc-online.org/am/6191. Milagros Salazar, “‘Police Are Throwing Bodies in the River,’ Say Native Protesters,” Inter Press Service, June 9, 2009, http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=47142. Student Researcher: Kelsea Arnold [...]

7. External Capitalist Forces Wreak Havoc in Africa

Resource exploitation in Africa is not new, but the scale of agricultural “land grabbing” in African nations is unprecedented, becoming the new colonization of the twenty-first century. State violence against Kenyan indigenous pastoralists and Nigerian civilians in oil-rich regions has heightened, leaving thousands dead as the military burns whole communities to the ground and police commit extrajudicial killings, rapes, beatings, thefts, arson, and intimidation. […]

Sources: John Vidal, “Food, Water Driving 21st-century African Land Grab,” Mail & Guardian, March 7, 2010, http://www.mg.co.za/article/2010-03-07-food-water-driving-21stcentury-african-land-grab. Paula Crossfield, “Food Security in Africa: Will Obama Let USAID’s Genetically Modified Trojan Horse Ride Again?” Civil Eats, August 6, 2009, http://civileats.com/ 2009/08/06/will-obama-let-the-usaid-genetically-modified-trojan-horse-ride-again. Thalif Deen, “Land Grabs for Food Production Under Fire,” Inter Press Service, October 23, 2009, [...]

6. Health Care Restrictions Cost Thousands of Lives in US

Despite national legislative health reform, health care in the US will remain dismal for many Americans, resulting in continuing deaths and personal tragedies. […]

Sources: Steffie Woolhandler, MD, David Himmelstein, MPH, and Mark Almberg, MD, “Over 2,200 Veterans Died in 2008 Due to Lack of Health Insurance,” Physicians for a National Health Program, November 10, 2009, http://www.pnhp.org/news/2009/ november/over_2200_veterans_.php. Amy Goodman, “Mother Speaks Out on Insurance Giant CIGNA’s Denial of Healthcare to Cancer-Stricken Twin Daughters,” Democracy Now!, October 1, 2009, [...]

5. Blackwater (Xe): The Secret US War in Pakistan

At a covert forward operating base run by the US Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) in the Pakistani port city of Karachi, members of an elite division of Blackwater are at the center of a secret program in which they plan targeted assassinations of suspected Taliban and al-Qaeda operatives inside and outside Pakistan. The Blackwater operatives also gather intelligence and help direct a secret US military drone bombing campaign that runs parallel to the well-documented CIA predator strikes, according to a well-placed source within the US military intelligence apparatus. […]

Sources: Jeremy Scahill, “The Secret US War in Pakistan,” Nation, November 23, 2009, http://www.thenation.com/doc/20091207/scahill. Jeremy Scahill, “Blackwater Wants to Surge Its Armed Force in Afghanistan,” Antiwar.com, January 20, 2010, http://original.antiwar.com/scahill/2010/01/19/ blackwater-wants-to-surge. David Edwards and Muriel Kane, “Ex-employees Claim Blackwater Pimped Out Young Iraqi Girls,” Raw Story, August 7, 2009. Student Researchers: Andrew Hobbs, Kelsea Arnold, [...]

4. ICE Operates Secret Detention and Courts

Agents of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are holding thousands of US residents in unlisted and unmarked subfield offices and deporting tens of thousands in secret court hearings. […]

Sources: Jacqueline Stevens, “America’s Secret Ice Castles,” Nation, January 4, 2010, http://www.thenation.com/doc20100104/stevens. Jacqueline Stevens, “ICE Agents’ Ruse Operations,” Nation, December 17, 2009, http://www.thenation.com/article/ice-agents-ruse-operations. Jacqueline Stevens, “Secret Courts Exploit Immigrants,” Nation, June 16, 2009, http://www.thenation.com/article/secret-courts-exploit-immigrants. Human Rights Watch, “Locked Up Far Away, The Transfer of Immigrants to Remote Detention Centers in the United States,” December 2, [...]

3. Internet Privacy and Personal Access at Risk

Following in the steps of its predecessor, the Obama administration is expanding mass government surveillance of personal electronic communications. This surveillance, which includes the monitoring of the Internet as well as private (nongovernmental) computers, is proceeding with the proposal or passage of new laws granting government agencies increasingly wider latitude in their monitoring activities. At the same time, private companies and even some schools are engaging in surveillance activities that further diminish personal privacy. […]

Sources: Josh Silver, “Deep Packet Inspection: Telecoms Aided Iran Government to Censor Internet, Technology Widely Used in US,” Democracy Now!, June 23, 2009, http://www.democracynow.org/2009/6/23/deep­_packet_inspection_telecoms_aided_iran. David Karvets, “Obama Sides With Bush in Spy Case,” Wired, January 22, 2009, http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/01/obama-sides-wit/. Kim Zetter, “Deep-Packet Inspection in U.S. Scrutinized Following Iran Surveillance,” Wired, June 29, 2009, http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/06/deep-packet-inspection. Declan McCullagh, [...]

2. US Department of Defense is the Worst Polluter on the Planet

The US military is responsible for the most egregious and widespread pollution of the planet, yet this information and accompanying documentation goes almost entirely unreported. In spite of the evidence, the environmental impact of the US military goes largely unaddressed by environmental organizations and was not the focus of any discussions or proposed restrictions at the recent UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. This impact includes uninhibited use of fossil fuels, massive creation of greenhouse gases, and extensive release of radioactive and chemical contaminants into the air, water, and soil. […]

Sources: Sara Flounders, “Add Climate Havoc to War Crimes: Pentagon’s Role in Global Catastrophe,” International Action Center, December 18, 2009, http://www.iacenter.org/o/world/climatesummit_pentagon121809. Mickey Z., “Can You Identify the Worst Polluter on the Planet? Here’s a Hint: Shock and Awe,” Planet Green, August 10, 2009, http://planetgreen.discovery.com/tech-transport/identify-worst-polluter-planet.html. Julian Aguon, “Guam Residents Organize Against US Plans for $15B Military [...]

1. Global Plans to Replace the Dollar

Nations have reached their limit in subsidizing the United States’ military adventures. During meetings in June 2009 in Yekaterinburg, Russia, world leaders such as China’s President Hu Jintao, Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev, and other top officials of the six-nation Shanghai Cooperation Organisation took the first formal step to replace the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. The United States was denied admission to the meetings. If the world leaders succeed, the dollar will dramatically plummet in value; the cost of imports, including oil, will skyrocket; and interest rates will climb.

Sources: Chris Hedges, “The American Empire Is Bankrupt,” Truthdig, June 15, 2009, http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20090614_the_american_empire_is_bankrupt/. Michael Hudson, “De-Dollarization: Dismantling America’s Financial-Military Empire: The Yekaterinburg Turning Point,” Global Research, June 13, 2009, http://www.globalresearch.ca/PrintArticle.php?articleId=13969. Fred Weir, “Iran and Russia Nip at US Global Dominance” Christian Science Monitor, June 16, 2009, http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0616/p06s12-woeu.html. Lyubov Pronina, “Medvedev Shows Off Sample Coin of New [...]