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From the Author of No Land an Island and Unconscionable

Pondering Alphabetic SOLUTIONS: Peace, Politics, Public Affairs, People Relations




UNCONSCIONABLE: http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/ http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/author/ http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/book/ http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/excerpt/ http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/contact/ http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/buy/ SearchTerm=Carolyn+LaDelle+Bennett http://www2.xlibris.com/books/webimages/wd/113472/buy.htm http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/08UNCONSCIONABLE/prweb12131656.htm http://bookstore.xlibris.com/AdvancedSearch/Default.aspx? http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-000757788/UNCONSCIONABLE.aspx


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

CENSORED U.S. greatest harm: human rights, HEW, foreign relations

U.S. military
assault on women in service
“Project Censored” lists TOP 25

Excerpt, editing by 
Carolyn Bennett

Project Censored examines the coverage of news and information important to the maintenance of a healthy and functioning democracy.The mission of Project Censored is to teach students and the public about the role of a free press in a free society – and to tell the News That Did not Make the News and Why.

odern Censorship as defined by Project Censored is “the subtle yet constant and sophisticated manipulation of reality in mass media outlets: on a daily basis, the intentional non-inclusion of a news story – or piece of a news story – based on anything other than a desire to tell the truth. Such manipulation can take the form of political pressure (from government officials and powerful individuals), economic pressure (from advertisers and funders), and legal pressure (the threat of lawsuits from deep-pocket individuals, corporations, and institutions).”

Through a partnership of faculty, students, and the community, Project Censored conducts research on important national news stories that are under-reported  ignored, misrepresented, or censored by the U.S. corporate media. Each year, Project Censored publishes a ranking of the top 25 most censored nationally important news stories in the yearbook, Censored: Media Democracy in Action, which is released in September. Recent Censored books have been published in Spanish, Italian and Arabic.

Founded in 1976 as a media research program, Project Censored works in cooperation with numerous independent media groups in the United States. Its principle objective is training Sonoma State University: (SSU) students in media research and First Amendment issues and the advocacy for and protection of free press rights in the United States.   

roject Censored obviously does a great job pointing up what mass media inadvertently or deliberately missed ─ censored. What I wanted further was to see the censored stories or issues placed in categories by type so I made an attempt. And though there is overlap and the categories are not perfect, in making them I find the greatest harm has been done to civil/human rights, health, education and welfare, and foreign relations. 

We are the world but not in the sense that many Americans like to think. What I mean is that the practices we use on others, the harm we do to peoples of the world is the harm we also do to ourselves. These are my alphabetically listed categories containing numerical ratings of Project Censored.

Universal Declaration of
Human Rights


1. Signs of an Emerging Police State

Since the passage of the 2001 PATRIOT Act, the United States has become increasingly monitored and militarized at the expense of civil liberties.

The 2012 passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) has allowed the military to detain indefinitely without trial any U.S. citizen the government labels a ‘terrorist’ or an accessory to terrorism.

President Barack Obama’s signing of the National Defense Resources Preparedness Executive Order has authorized widespread federal and military control of the national economy and resources during ‘emergency and non-emergency conditions.’

Since 2010, the Department of Homeland Security’s ‘If You See Something, Say Something™’ campaign has encouraged the public to report all suspicious activity to local authorities ─ even though actions that the DHS identifies as ‘suspicious’ include the constitutionally protected right to criticize the government or engage in nonviolent protest.

4. FBI Agents Responsible for Majority of Terrorist Plots in the United States

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has embarked on an unusual approach to ensure that the United States is secure from future terrorist attacks.

The agency has developed a network of nearly 15,000 spies to infiltrate various communities in an attempt to uncover ‘terrorist’ plots; however, these moles are actually assisting and encouraging people to commit crimes. Many informants receive cash rewards of up to $100,000 per case.

9. Prison Slavery in Today’s USA

The U.S. comprises less than 5 percent of the world’s population yet U.S. prisons hold more than 25 percent of all people imprisoned globally.

Many of these prisoners labor at twenty-three cents per hour or similar wages in federal prisons contracted by the Bureau of Prisons’ UNICOR, a quasi-public, for-profit corporation ─ the United States government’s thirty-ninth largest contractor.
As incarceration rates rise, so do the numbers of prisoners (in the thousands) confined to solitary units, often for having committed minor disciplinary infractions.

10. HR 347 Would Make Many Forms of Nonviolent Protest Illegal

In March 2012, President Obama signed into law HR 347 (the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011).

The law criminalizes acts of entering or remaining in areas defined as ‘restricted’ … [and makes]  it easier for the Secret Service to overuse or misuse existing laws to arrest lawful protesters by lowering the requirement of intent in the prosecution of criminal activity.

16. Sexual Violence against Women Soldiers on the Rise and under Wraps

The U.S. Department of Defense ruled it suicide but the death of U.S. Army Private LaVena Johnson (2005) is an example of the sexual violence suffered by female soldiers while serving their country. The autopsy of Private Johnson revealed wounds inconsistent with suicide, including chemical burns that many believe were intended to destroy DNA evidence of rape.

Johnson’s case is among at least twenty cases in which female soldiers have died under suspicious circumstances. The mysterious deaths coincide with an increase in sexual violence against women in the military. The Pentagon has tried to intimidate reporters and editors working on stories about Johnson.

There were 3,158 total reports of sexual assault in the military in 2010. The Department of Defense estimates that this number represents only 13.5 percent of the actual assaults, making the total number of military rapes and sexual assaults in excess of 19,000 for the year.

19. New York Police Plant Drugs on Innocent People to Meet Arrest Quotas

Police impunity
A host of stories document how the New York Police Department operates outside the very laws it is charged with enforcing. And although the NYPD’s use of unlawful restraints and disproportionate force to arrest peaceful Occupy protesters received some news coverage, police brutality directed against people of color continues to go underreported.

In October 2011, a former NYPD narcotics detective testified that he regularly saw police plant drugs on innocent people as a way to meet arrest quotas.

The NYPD’s controversial ‘stop and frisk’ program has invested seventy-five million dollars to arrest suspects for possessing minimal amounts of marijuana, each arrest costing approximately $1,000 to $2,000.

25. Evidence Points to Guantánamo Dryboarding

In June 2006, three Guantánamo prisoners were found dead in their cells. They were hanging from what appeared to be makeshift nooses.

Invest in People
Not prison
The Department of Defense declared the deaths suicides. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) inquiry found evidence inconsistent with suicide (e.g., the prisoners’ hands were bound behind their backs) and concluded that the prisoners had died from lethal interrogations including ‘dry-boarding,’ the use of controlled suffocation.

(See also EDUCATION)

21. Conservatives Attack U.S. Post Office to Break the Union and Privatize Postal Services

The U.S. Postal Service has been under constant assault for years from conservative Republicans who aim to eviscerate the strongest union in the country.

Under the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, USPS must fully fund retirement health benefits for future pensioners—including the retirement packages of employees not even born yet.

No other organization, public or private, has to pre-fund 100 percent of its future health benefits. Thus, the post office’s oft-reported nine-billion-dollar deficit is largely a result of government-imposed overpayments.

22. Wachovia Bank Laundered Money for Latin American Drug Cartels

Wachovia Bank between 2004 and 2007 handled funds totaling $378.4 billion for Mexican currency-exchange houses acting on behalf of drug cartels.

These transactions amount to the largest violation of the Bank Secrecy Act, an anti-money-laundering law, in U.S. history. Wachovia is one among several United States and European banks (e.g., HSBC) used by drug cartels to launder money.

Climate Crisis


2. Oceans in Peril

We thought the sea was infinite and inexhaustible ─ it is not.

Scientists from the Climate Change and European Marine Ecosystems Research project report the overall rise in ocean temperature has led to the largest movement of marine species in two to three million years.

A February 2012 study of fourteen protected and eighteen unprotected ecosystems in the Mediterranean Sea demonstrate that this previously healthy sea is now quickly being depleted of resources.

An international team of scientists conducted the study over a period of three years and found that in well-enforced marine reserve areas the fish populations were five to ten times greater than the fish populations in unprotected areas. The work of these scientists encourages the establishment and maintenance of marine reserves.


8. NATO War Crimes in Libya

Although the rationale of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) for entry into Libyan conflict invoked humanitarian principles, the results have proved far from humane.

Civilian dead
U.S. war in Afghanistan
In July 2011, NATO aircraft bombed Libya’s main water supply facility that had provided water to approximately 70 percent of the nation’s population.

12. U.S. Joins Forces with al-Qaeda in Syria

From its beginning in 2011, the United States, Britain, France, and some conservative Arab allies have funded and armed the Syrian rebellion.

Though the United States has been funding groups opposing Syria’s head of state since the mid 1990s, those filling the anti-Assad ranks are members of al-Qaeda, Hamas, and other groups the United States lists as ‘terrorist’ organizations.

18. Palestinian Women Prisoners Shackled during Childbirth

Female Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons are treated inhumanely and often denied medical care and legal representation and are forced to live in squalid conditions.

The United Nation’s Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) says the conditions and violations faced by women in Israeli jails need to be addressed from a gender perspective.

23. U.S. Covers up Afghan Massacre

The March 2012 massacre of sixteen unarmed Afghan civilians, nine of whom were children, received a great deal of news coverage.

But independent news sources have focused on whether the massacre was perpetrated by, as U.S. officials insist, one U.S. solider acting alone; or whether, as Afghan witnesses and Afghanistan  President Hamid Karzai contend, multiple U.S. soldiers bear direct responsibility for the killings.

Independent news reports highlight the fundamental responsibility of U.S. high military command including the Commander in Chief, U.S. President Barack Obama for the crimes committed by U.S. troops.


3. Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Worse than Anticipated

Developing evidence from a number of independent sources suggests that negative consequences of the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster are far greater than first acknowledged or understood.

U.S. Disestablishment 
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s radiation-detection network (RadNet) has serious drawbacks, including a lack of maintenance and equipment that is often improperly calibrated; but a December 2011 report by the International Journal of Health Services reveals an estimated 14,000 excess deaths in the United States are linked to the radioactive fallout in Japan.

13. Education “Reform” a Trojan Horse for Privatization

Public education is the target of a well-coordinated, well-funded campaign to privatize as many U.S. schools as possible, particularly in cities.

This disestablishment campaign ─ whose driving logic is profits  ─ claims it wants great teachers in every classroom but its rhetoric demoralizes teachers, reduces the status of the education profession, and champions standardized testing that perpetuate social inequality.

15. Dangers of Everyday Technology

Recent research raises compelling concerns about two commonplace technologies, cellular phones and microwave ovens.

Heavy, long-term exposure to cell phone radiation increases risks for certain types of cancer, including leukemia, and in males impairs sperm production. Prenatal exposure to cell phone radiation has been shown to produce blood-brain barrier leakage, and brain, liver, and eye damage.

Microwave radiation that heats food also creates free radicals that can become carcinogenic, while the consumption of microwave foods is associated with short-term decreases in white blood cells.

The Food and Drug Administration has yet to recognize studies that indicate microwave ovens alter foods’ nutritional structure, and, as with the dangers of cell phone use, most studies indicating minimal or no health risks are, in fact, industry-sponsored.

17. Students Crushed By One Trillion Dollars in Student Loans

In April 2012, U.S. student loan debt exceeded credit card debt, topping one trillion dollars.

Student loan debt is the only form of consumer loan debt that has increased substantially since 2008. The threat of massive student loan defaults requiring another taxpayer bailout is a systemic risk as serious as the bank failures that brought the U.S. economy to the brink of collapse in 2008; and the Federal Reserve could introduce a new quantitative easing program to remove student loan debt, giving the economy a boost similar to that created by the GI Bill.

The corporate media reported the trillion-dollar milestone but underplayed its significance and ignored a promising solution.

20. Stealing from Public Education to Feed the Prison-Industrial Complex

A systemic recasting of education priorities gives official structure and permanence to a preexisting underclass comprised largely of criminalized, poor people of color.

The rise of corporate-backed charter schools and privatized prisons cannot be understood apart from the record closures of public schools across the country.

24. Alabama Farmers Look to Replace Migrants with Prisoners

Alabama’s expansive anti-immigrant law (HB56) has been so economically devastating that farmers in the state sought legislation to force hard labor on prison inmates eligible for work release programs, to ‘help farms fill the gap and find sufficient labor.’

Alabama’s Department of Corrections opposed the legislation noting that its approximately 2,000 prisoners eligible for work release already have jobs and ‘the prison system is not the solution to worker shortages caused by the law.’


5. First Federal Reserve Audit Reveals Trillions Loaned to Major Banks

An audit of the First Federal Reserve reveals sixteen trillion dollars in secret bailouts to major American and European banks during the height of the global financial crisis (2007-2010)

Documentation obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests, months of litigation and an act of Congress shows Morgan Stanley received up to $107.3 billion, Citigroup $99.5 billion, and Bank of America $91.4 billion.

6. Small Network of Corporations Run the Global Economy

A University of Zurich study (the first study to look at all 43,060 transnational corporations and the web of ownership among them) reported that a small group of companies—mainly banks—wields huge power over the global economy.

The researchers’ network analysis identified 147 companies that form a ‘super entity,’ controlling 40 percent of the global economy’s total wealth.

The close connections mean that the network could be prone to “systemic risk” and vulnerable to collapse.

7. 2012: The International Year of Cooperatives

The United Nations named 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives.

According to the UN, nearly one billion people worldwide are co-op member-owners, and the co-op is expected to be the world’s fastest growing business model by 2025.

Worker-owned cooperatives provide for equitable distribution of wealth and genuine connection to the workplace ─ two key components of a sustainable economy.

11. Members of Congress Grow Wealthier Despite Recession

Regardless of the economic recession, the net worth of the members of the U.S. Congress continues to rise.

Roll Call magazine’s analysis of financial disclosure forms using the minimum valuation of assets shows that members of the U.S. House and Senate in 2010 had a collective net worth of $2.04 billion ─ a $390 million increase from the 2008 figure of $1.65 billion. Excluded from disclosure forms are non-income-producing assets.

14. Who Are the Top 1 Percent and How Do They Earn a Living?

The richest 1 percent of the country now owns more than 40 percent of the wealth and takes home nearly a quarter of national income.

Evidence based on tax returns indicates that this super-élite 1 percent consists of nonfinancial executives, financial professionals, and members of the legal, real estate, and medical professions.

A 2011 Stanford University study shows earnings at this level correlate with the deregulation and other legal changes that brought on the financial crisis. The 1 percent increasingly left behind deteriorating neighborhoods in favor of wealthy enclaves, further isolating themselves; the 99 percent are left to deal with the direct consequences of the crisis.

Sources and notes



Bennett's books are available in New York State independent bookstores: Lift Bridge Bookshop: www.liftbridgebooks.com [Brockport, NY]; Sundance Books: http://www.sundancebooks.com/main.html [Geneseo, NY]; Mood Makers Books: www.moodmakersbooks.com [City of Rochester, NY]; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center: www.enlightenthedog.org/ [Buffalo, NY]; Burlingham Books – ‘Your Local Chapter’: http://burlinghambooks.com/ [Perry, NY 14530]; The Bookworm: http://www.eabookworm.com/ [East Aurora, NY] • See also: World Pulse: Global Issues through the eyes of Women: http://www.worldpulse.com/ http://www.worldpulse.com/pulsewire http://www.facebook.com/#!/bennetts2ndstudy


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