Project Censored’s Top 25 Stories for 1999

Criticism marked this year’s release of Sonoma State University’s (California) Project Censored’s list of stories. With Project Censored in its 24th year, objections concerning the choice of stories and how they were chosen are nothing new. Every year the use of the term “censored” comes under fire because some of the stories that make the annual list were reported in mainstream media outlets. Project Censored answers that charge by pointing out that the “essential issue raised by the project is the failure of the mass media to provide” the public with all the information needed to make informed decisions in their lives or in the voting booth.

This year, however, criticism has been particularly intense, but not from avenues readers would expect — the corporate media or conservative politicians. In rather typical form, journalists and academics with a left, liberal, or progressive bent (take your pick) have slammed Project Censored for misrepresenting the stories as having been censored, for picking stories that contain factual errors, or for simply offering the public a topic that is no longer relevant considering the onset of the Internet and its myriad of informational sources.

MoJo Wire, the online adjunct to Mother Jones magazine, recently posted an article titled “The Unbearable Lameness of Project Censored.” In it, writer Brooke Shelby Biggs called Project Censored “predictable and boring,” though that isn’t the project’s biggest problem. “It’s also become irrelevant, laughable, and cheesy.” Biggs wrote that Project Censored no longer ranks high on the “no shit” scale in terms of surprising readers with stories they had never read or heard of. Interestingly, Mother Jones is included in this year’s censored list, as it has been in previous years.

Dan Kennedy, a writer for The Boston Phoenix, recounted the Project Censored controversy with a piece titled “Fire on the Left.” The two principals in this squabble are Don Hazen, executive director of the Institute for Media Independence, which operates the Alternet news wire used by many so-called alternative publications, and Bruce Brugmann, editor and publisher of the San Francisco Bay Guardian. Much of this row between the two alternative press heavyweights centers around Diana Johnstone’s article (#6 on the censored list) about how oil exploitation played a role in NATO’s war against Serbia, and Karl Grossman’s “Planned Weapons in Space Violate International Treaty” piece on the militarization of space (#8). Hazen levels charges of poor reporting and a hidden agenda on the part of both writers. Brugmann says Hazen never bothered to contact the writers he’s criticizing for comment or to search out the facts he says were distorted or omitted.

How this quarrel affects next year’s list is anybody’s guess. Both sides score points with impartial observers — if such a thing exists in the realm of alternative journalism when it comes to Project Censored. In the end, it’s up to readers to form an opinion. Here’s Project Censored’s 1999 list of “little known” — for want of another name — stories. Editing was done by yours truly. — Bruce Rodgers


Multinational Corporations Profit from International Brutality
Title: “Corporation Crackdowns: Business Backs Brutality”
Source: Dollars and Sense, May/June 1999
Author: Arvind Ganesan

In the name of commerce, huge multinational corporations collaborate with repressive governments and, in the process, support significant human rights violations. The U.S. government knows about these human rights abuses but continues to provide support and funding. In countries with histories of repression, corporations often argue that their presence and investment will improve human rights. This practice is referred to as “constructive engagement.” A look at the actions of multinational corporations over the past five years shows that constructive engagement with undemocratic governments is basically a myth.

In March 1998, the U.S. State Department ignored its own report on human rights abuses in Turkmenistan by providing a $96 million award from the Export-Import Bank to four U.S. companies selling natural gas and other equipment to the country. Any Export-Import loan of over $10 million requires the State Department to conduct a human rights impact assessment to determine whether the loan may give rise to significant human rights concerns.

Turkmenistan, a major human rights violator, also possesses some of the largest oil and gas reserves in Central Asia. President Saparmurad Niyazov rules the country with an iron fist, suppressing independent media and political opposition. Yet such companies as Mobil, Exxon, and Royal Dutch Shell openly operate there. When Niyazov visited President Clinton in April 1998, the U.S. government’s Trade and Development Administration awarded Houston-based Enron a $750,000 grant to conduct a pipeline feasibility study for a proposed $2.8 billion pipeline in Turkmenistan. After the deal was signed, the White House issued a press release stating that Turkmenistan is committed to free and fair elections, strengthening the rule of law, and political pluralism in accordance with international standards. Yet, when reporters asked Niyazov about the government’s attitude toward opposition parties, he replied, “We do not have any opposition parties — you are ill-informed.” The U.S. officials stated that they had discussed human rights issues privately with Niyazov and that the State Department had secured the release of 10 political prisoners, citing this as an example of improvement in human rights.

India’s government and Enron Corp. have partnered to protect Enron by suppressing and silencing its opponents. Enron paid local police and provided them with the means to imprison and assault more than 3,000 people because they demonstrated against Enron’s Dabhol power project, the largest power plant in the world. Enron faced opposition because it seized villagers’ land and polluted and diverted the local water supply.

Human rights violations become framed as a “necessary evil” that ensures improvement in the long run. Multinational corporations, such as Mobil, attack the practice of imposing government sanctions to punish abusive governments because doing so curtails business objectives. The American Petroleum Institute, an industry-funded advocacy organization, proclaimed in its 1998 report, “Oil and Natural Gas Industry Promotes Human Rights Abroad,” that the use of “sanctions to punish regimes that abridge their people’s human rights” denies local people the “rights enhancements” that oil companies confer.

Despite the myth that promotes foreign investment as the key to improving human rights, huge corporations with government backing are perpetrating human rights violations.Update by author Arvind Ganesan:
Since the release of the story, there was not much response by the U.S. mainstream news media. European and regional press are far more aware of these issues and reported on them with greater frequency than their American counterparts. The U.S. media has been decent — particularly the energy industry press — at covering individual reports. The Human Rights Watch has released reports on India and Nigeria but so far has not followed the broader issue concerning the energy companies’ global impact on human rights and has not reported on the issue of “constructive engagement.”


Pharmaceutical Companies Put Profits Before Need
Title: “Millions for Viagra, Pennies for the Poor”
Source: The Nation, July 19, 1999
Author: Ken Silverstein

Multinational pharmaceutical companies focus their research and development on high-profile, profit-making drugs, such as Viagra, instead of developing cures for life-threatening diseases in poorer countries. The market for drugs for such ailments as impotence and male pattern baldness is worth billions of dollars a year and growing. For instance, in its first year, Viagra earned more than $1 billion, and Propecia and Rogaine earned $180 million in 1998. Though representatives of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) claim that some funds are directed toward eliminating tropical diseases, neither they nor individual firms will provide statistics.

Of the medicines the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies introduced between 1975 and 1997, only 1 percent was created to combat such tropical diseases as tuberculosis, malaria, and acute lower-respiratory infections. In Third World countries, nearly three times as many people die of these curable diseases than do from AIDS. In 1998 alone, more than six million lives were lost while multinational pharmaceutical companies catered to Americans’ vanity with lifestyle drugs, such as Viagra and antiwrinkle creams. The market is filling with drugs for doggy Alzheimer’s and other perks for American pets, despite the fact that approximately 3.5 million people a year die of acute respiratory infections. Still, global funds for malaria research over 20 years barely match the cost of a single B-2 bomber.

Perhaps more alarming is the fact that of the few medications (only 13 of every 1,223) that do prevent, battle, or cure life-threatening diseases in poorer regions of the world, less than a third were actually designed to do so. Most medications were simply the result of military research, newer variations of old drugs, or even the result of fluke veterinary accidents.

A 1996 study concluded that of the 41 important medicines for combating tropical diseases, not one was discovered this decade. And only two of the 24 most prominent drug companies show an interest in controlling malaria with medicine.

With corporate mergers in the pharmaceutical industry growing in scale and frequency every year, focus has shifted from healing to profits. As a result, research production and advertising will only continue to ignore low-profit cures in favor of high-profile and marketable products like Viagra. In 1998, the pharmaceutical industry spent over $10 billion on advertising alone. Spending over $74 million, plus $12 million on campaign contributions, the pharmaceutical industry lobbied government more extensively and relentlessly than any other industry.

Research for Third World tropical diseases is not being extensively considered or produced. For instance, a recent and effective medicine to fight African sleeping sickness was pulled from production. Yet older, proven treatments are no longer available because they are not needed in America, and poor countries cannot afford the now unavailable remedies.

Of diseases in the Third World, AIDS is getting the most attention and focus. Not coincidentally, it is also one of the few diseases that still threaten First World countries.Update by author Ken Silverstein:
This story has continued to develop primarily because Doctors Without Borders (DWB), the lead group pressing the government and industry to address the Third World’s needs, won the Nobel Prize a few months after my story ran. DWB also announced an international campaign to increase access to key drugs at about the same time my story appeared. Beyond that, an issue I raised in the story — namely the American government’s attempt to prevent Third World countries from producing generic drugs for AIDS — has received a lot of attention.


Financially Bloated American Cancer Society Fails to Prevent Cancer
Title: “American Cancer Society: The World’s Wealthiest ‘Nonprofit’ Institution”

Source: International Journal of Health Services, Vol. 29, No. 3, 1999

Author: Dr. Samuel S. Epstein

The American Cancer Society (ACS), while enjoying nonprofit “charity” institution status, is accumulating vast wealth. This wealth forms by way of donations from unsuspecting Americans who believe they are helping fight cancer. Furthermore, though ACS is purportedly one of the largest nonprofit organizations in the world, an increasing proportion of its bloated budget comes from surgeons, top drug companies, and corporations that profit from cancer cures and have little interest in cancer prevention.

The ACS Foundation’s Board of Trustees includes corporate executives from the pharmaceutical, investment, banking, and media industries. For instance, David R. Bethune, president of Lederle Laboratories, comes from a division of American Cyanamid, which makes chemical fertilizers and herbicides, as well as the anticancer drug Novatrone. Another trustee is Gordon Binder, CEO of Amgen, the world’s foremost biotechnology company, whose product Neupogen has enjoyed skyrocketing success as the cancer epidemic has grown.

More than half of the funds the ACS raises go toward overhead, salaries, and fringe benefits for its executives and other employees, while most direct community services are handled by unpaid volunteers. By 1998, the ACS’ cash reserves were worth more than $1 billion. In addition, the organization holds millions of dollars’ worth of land and real estate. Nationally only 16 percent of their funds goes into direct services to cancer victims. An investigator of nonprofit organizations, Thomas DiLorenzo, professor of economics at Loyola College, states: “More progress in the war against cancer would be made if they would divest some of their real estate holdings and use the proceeds — as well as a portion of their cash reserves — to provide more cancer services.”

Conflicts of interest affect ACS’ approach to cancer prevention. The “blame the victim” philosophy emphasizes faulty lifestyles rather than environmental causes. Despite public promises to “wipe out cancer,” the ACS has refused to cooperate with congressional committees and other organizations, failing to provide the scientific testimony needed for the regulation of occupational and environmental carcinogens.

ACS’ “Cancer Facts & Figures 1998,” designed to educate the public, makes little mention of prevention. ACS asserts that because women may not be able to alter their personal risk factors, their best strategy is early detection. Five radiologists have served as ACS presidents, and their influence reflects the interests of large manufacturers of mammogram machines and films.

ACS works closely with Zeneca Inc., a major industrial chemical company and the maker of the cancer drug tomoxifen, in the management of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the United States.Update by author Dr. Samuel S. Epstein:
Since publication of the story, further information on the ACS budget and its allocation to cancer prevention has become available. Of a $677 million 1998 budget, some $360 million was allocated to “supporting services,” including overhead, salaries and benefits, fundraising, and “other” undefined sources. No information is yet available on salaries and benefits of ACS national executives and officers. Still, salaries of five regional division executives average $230,000 each. The balance was allocated to all “Program Services,” of which $106 million is ostensibly spent on environmental carcinogenesis, prevention, and education programs to “reduce the risk of developing cancer.” However, analysis of individual grants in all these program areas reveals that actual expenditures on industrial and environmental causes of cancer total less than $1 million and that ACS’ claims of extensive support of research and education on cancer prevention reflect budgetary shell games.


American Sweatshops Sew U.S. Military Uniforms
Title: “An American Sweatshop”
Source: Mother Jones, May/June 1999
Author: Mark Boal

American sweatshops produce U.S. military uniforms for the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), a subdivision of the U.S. Defense Department. In 1997, the DLA spent $811.8 million on uniforms and textiles.

Lion Apparel contracts with the Department of Defense to produce military uniforms. Yet the company’s workplace conditions are dismal and remain virtually unregulated by the U.S. government while Lion employees are mostly women who are paid as little as $5.50 per hour.

The Department of Defense has $1 billion invested in the garment industry, which makes it the country’s 14th-largest retail apparel outlet. It has failed to adopt the Workplace Code of Conduct, which is a promise to self-regulate workplace conditions. Without the Defense Department’s voluntary adherence to this code, the responsibility of stopping public-sector sweatshops falls to the Department of Labor. Federal contractors that violate wage laws or safety and health codes can lose lucrative taxpayer-financed contracts. A deputy administrator at the Department of Labor, Suzanne Seiden, says that, to her knowledge, the agency has never applied that rule to government apparel manufacturers.

According to records obtained by Mother Jones through a Freedom of Information request, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Lion Apparel 32 times for safety and health violations in the past 12 years. A 1996 General Accounting Office report estimated that 22 percent of all federal contractors have received OSHA citations for violating safety standards.

The Lion Apparel plant in Beattyville, Ky., uses formaldehyde, a suspected carcinogen, to keep fabric stiff for processing. Formaldehyde emits fumes that cling to workers’ clothing, and for years the plant did not have air-conditioning. Workers report that these fumes have caused them shortness of breath, headaches, and skin rashes.
The Union of Needle Trades, Industrial, and Textile Employees (UNITE) tried to organize Lion in 1997 but failed. Union leaders claim that the company was able to evade federal labor laws that prohibit employers from threatening plant closures and that the company managed to instill fear in many of its workers. A memo was posted that read: “Why [is UNITE] trying to get information which they may want to use to hurt Lion’s business? If that happens, that could hurt all of our jobs.”

Several employees sent a letter to Al Gore and to eight Kentucky congressmen and senators stating, “Some of us have been told point-blank that if we get a union, the plant will close…. They’ve spied on people to see who took union leaflets, and they’ve told individuals who work here that if we talk to the union we will be fired. Up ’til now, people here have been too afraid to file any official charges, but we’d like to talk to you or someone from your staff about what can be done.” Soon after, the letter was received by Lion’s management, which posted it on the company’s bulletin board. The union effort ended shortly thereafter. The few benefits that came out of the employees’ efforts were a 30-cent raise in hourly wages and the installation of an air conditioner.Update by author Mark Boal:
In general, sweatshop stories flash across the media landscape. Coverage tends to be intense yet short-lived. My piece in Mother Jones was no exception. After the story ran, several radio and TV stations interviewed the women who had toiled in American sweatshops while making uniforms for the government.

About 10,000 American women are employed sewing government uniforms, often in unsanitary, unsafe conditions. The military still contributes to the situation and profits from it by buying uniforms at low prices, then selling them to other countries. Still, the military declines to sign the administration’s antisweatshop code of conduct. The public would learn more about these American sweatshops if contractors had to meet stricter reporting and disclosure requirements. As it stands, most firms can camouflage their worst practices behind shell corporations. Until that changes, profits made from running a sweatshop will outweigh the risks of public exposure.


Turkey Destroys Kurdish Villages Using U.S. Weapons
Title: “Turkey’s War on the Kurds”
Source: The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, March/April 1999
Author: Kevin McKeirnan

In the past decade, Turkey has forcibly evacuated, leveled, and burned more than 3,000 Kurdish villages. Over 40,000 lives have been lost in this war. Most of the atrocities against the Kurds took place during President Clinton’s first term, at which time the United States sold or gave Turkey billions of dollars’ worth of military weapons and supplies.

In 1995, the Clinton administration recognized that the Turkish government used American arms in domestic military operations where human rights abuses occurred. Some members of Congress strongly disagree with the way the U.S. has dealt with the situation. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.) believes that human rights, democracy, and nonaggression criteria should be applied before American weapons are sold or given away. McKinney tried to get a code of conduct passed in 1997, but it died in a Senate conference committee.

The Kurds remain the largest ethnic group in the world to not have its own state. Fifteen million of the 25 million Kurdish people live in Turkey; the rest are spread out over areas of Iraq, Iran, Syria, and the former Soviet Union. Intensified aggression started 15 years ago in Turkey when a Marxist-led group called the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) began to protest the Turkish government. Until 1991, the Turkish government banned Kurdish music, language, dress, and newspapers.

As an ally of the United States through NATO, Turkey receives U.S. weapons. Turkey’s war on the Kurds relies on weaponry from dozens of American companies, including McDonnell Douglas, General Dynamics, Hughes, Boeing, Raytheon, and Bell Textron. Most Kurdish people don’t know a word of English, but when recounting the rocketing of their settlements, they regularly use the words “Cobra” and “Sikorsky,” the U.S.-made helicopters used to clear Kurdish villages. Turkey has placed orders with Bell Textron for more helicopters and AV Technologies for U.S.-made armored personnel carriers (APCs).

Hoping to block the sale, Amnesty International wrote a report on the Turkish “antiterrorist” group designated to use the APCs. The report included details of the “antiterror” units torturing children; sexually assaulting prisoners; and beating, burning, and nearly drowning suspects. Despite this horrifying report, the State Department passed the arms deal.Update by author Kevin McKiernan:
This story was virtually unreported in the U.S. media. The war between the U.S.-equipped Turkish army and the Kurds in Turkey represents the greatest use of U.S. weapons in combat anywhere in the world today. Over the past two decades, the U.S. has sold or given Turkey $15 billion worth of weapons. In the past decade, the war has produced two million Kurdish refugees. That figure exceeds the number of refugees in Kosovo, where U.S. arms were not a factor.

While the story of destruction by the Turkish army was underreported in the American media, the arrest and trial of Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan earlier this year produced an avalanche of publicity. Great attention has been given to Turkey’s claim that Ocalan is guilty of the 37,000 reported deaths between the Turkish army and Kurdish separatists, despite the fact that most of those killed have been Kurdish guerrillas.

There has been some mainstream press response to my investigation. I was asked to act as a consultant for CBS’ 60 Minutes, and the PBS News-Hour asked me for background information on the Kurds. However, most of the interest in the overall story has focused on the sensational aspects of Ocalan’s capture and trial.

While hot spots like East Timor and Kosovo have received intense publicity, the scorched-earth campaign in Turkey is still a blind spot to American reporters. The New York Times, for example, did not open a bureau in Turkey until 1996 and has never reported a firsthand account of the destruction of a single Kurdish village. As a television producer at ABC’s Nightline once told me, “The story is just not on our radar.”

The best way for a person to get more information on this story is to read Reuters accounts on the Internet. There are daily Reuters stories out of Turkey, but they rarely are reprinted in the United States.


NATO Defends Private Economic Interests In the Balkans
Title: “The Role of Caspian Sea Oil in the Balkan Conflict”
Source:Women Against Military Madness, November 1998; Sonoma County Peace Press, April/May 1999
Author: Diana Johnstone

Title: Kosovo: “It’s About the Mines”
Source: Because People Matter, May/June 1999 (Reprinted from Workers World, July 30, 1998)
Author: Sara Flounders

Title: “Caspian Pipe Dreams”
Source: San Francisco Bay Guardian, Dec. 16, 1999
Author: Pratap Chatterjee

NATO and the countries it represents were fully aware of numerous economic advantages to breaking up Yugoslavia and, thus, pursued a war over Kosovo. Despite environmental and civilian harm, NATO promoted a war with Serbia to position the western nations politically and economically and to re-establish itself militarily.

The media often depicts Kosovo as an isolated, poor region with little or no resources. Yet huge reserves of lead, zinc, cadmium, silver, gold, and coal are in Kosovo and were held by the Serbian state-owned Trepca mining complex. The most valuable resources in the Balkans are its mines, estimated to be worth in excess of $5 billion. The huge complex of mines, oil and gas refining prospects, and power and transportation futures is thought to be the largest piece of wealth not yet in the hands of U.S. and European capitalists. Whoever ultimately controls Kosovo will determine principal interest in the 22 mines and the many processing plants of the Trepca complex for decades to come.

Natural gas pipeline routes that carry Caspian oil to foreign markets may also have been a contributing factor in NATO’s war against Serbia. On average, the 1990s oil sales from the Caspian Sea totaled approximately $5 trillion. Amoco and Chevron are two leading companies with interests in Caspian oil.

NATO’s role of protecting the vital interests of multinational corporations is perhaps its principal justification for existence after the end of the Cold War. A leaked 1992 Pentagon planning document states, “It is of fundamental importance to preserve NATO as the primary instrument of Western defense and security, as well as the channel for U.S. influence and participation in European security affairs.” Without a Soviet threat, the U.S. had to find other uses for the alliance.Update by author Pratap Chatterjee:
In mid-November, President Bill Clinton went to Istanbul, Turkey, to take part in the formal signing of pipeline agreements with the presidents of Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkmenistan. Russia and Iran, both of which are rivals to the American interests, were cut out of these agreements.

One of these pipelines will carry oil from Baku, the Azerbaijani capital, some 1,080 miles across the Caucasus Mountains and through eastern Turkey to the Mediterranean port of Ceyhan. The other pipeline, which is 1,250 miles long, will run under the Caspian to take gas from Central Asia along the same route to an export outlet in Turkey. U.S. Energy Secretary Bill Richardson summed up the American position for the press at the signing of the pipeline agreements: “This is not just another oil and gas deal, and this is not just another pipeline. It is a strategic framework that advances America’s national security interests.”

The mainstream media have been very interested in the conflict over Caspian oil. There has even been a James Bond movie, appropriately titled The World Is Not Enough, but the coverage has been mostly sensational and very supportive of the “need” to tap these riches and the potential benefits for the local people, without questioning the possible downside locally. The mainstream media has covered neither possible alternative development models for the region nor the fact that the very extraction and consumption of Caspian oil will exacerbate global warming.Update by author Sara Flounders:
Since the Kosovo cease-fire, the real U.S. goals have become much clearer. The largest U.S. foreign base, built from scratch since the Vietnam War, is under construction in Kosovo. Unlike the tent camps of the European forces, Camp Bondsteel is already a heavily fortified base surrounded by miles of barbed wire, earthen berns, and permanently heated and air conditioned buildings.

Behind the propaganda of a humanitarian war, the U.S. and NATO have constructed bases in Albania, Croatia, Bosnia, Hungary, Macedonia, and Kosovo. The Balkans, a region of enormous strategic importance, rich natural resources, and important industrial capacity, are now occupied by thousands of U.S. troops. All this has happened without any informed debate or discussion.


U.S. Media Reduces Foreign Coverage
Title: “Good-bye World”
Source: American Journalism Review, November 1998
Author: Peter Arnett
Mainstream coverage: The Boston Globe, Nov. 15, 1998, Editorial

Foreign news is disappearing from many of America’s newspapers. Today, a foreign story that doesn’t involve bombs, natural disaster, or financial calamity has little chance of entering the American consciousness. This happens at a time when the United States has become the world’s lone superpower and “news” has so many venues that it seems inescapable.

So why are Americans less informed than ever about what’s going on in the rest of the world? Because the media have stopped telling us. The Indianapolis Star, for example, in the 30 days of November 1977, carried a total of 5,100 inches of foreign news. In the same month in 1997, foreign news accounted for just under 3,900 column inches, a 23 percent drop over two decades.

Beyond quantity, the trend involves an overall reduction in prominence of foreign news. For example, even in metropolitan newspapers, a subscriber can go for days without seeing a foreign news story crack the front pages. While people told pollsters that they rely primarily on TV for national and international news, mainstream newspapers have opted to cover what national networks can’t — local news and sports. Television news, during the heyday of Walter Cronkite, John Chancellor, and Frank Reynolds, contained at least 40 percent international coverage. The figure today is 7 percent to 12 percent and dropping.

International news began to fade from America’s newspapers in the 1970s. When the Vietnam War ended, international news fell dramatically out of favor with editors. With the emergence of Watergate, the energy crisis, and other domestic concerns, fewer papers were willing to support foreign correspondents or subscribe to foreign news services.

Nationwide interviews indicate that most editors believe readers aren’t interested in foreign news. Surveys of readers, however, show the contrary. A Harris poll showed that nearly half — or even more — of readers were interested in international news. In a 1996 poll, the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press asked readers what kind of news stories they regularly follow. Fifteen percent said international affairs — just one point below Washington politics and slightly ahead of consumer news, and two points ahead of the celebrity stuff that gets all the coverage.Update by author Peter Arnett:
The “Good-bye World” story was the sixth in a series of articles devoted to a critical examination of the American newspaper industry, produced by the Project on the State of the American Newspaper, an initiative of the project for Excellence in Journalism and affiliated with the University of Maryland journalism school. They were all published in American Journalism Review and together form an important body of information on the American news industry today.

There was some limited editorial comment agreeing that more foreign news is necessary. The story was used in a continuing campaign by the president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, Edward Seaton, to persuade editors to use more foreign news. The foreign editor of the Associated Press, Tom Kent, used the story as the basis for his course on media responsibility at the Columbia School of Journalism. Various academic institutions, including the University of Indiana, used the story for extended class discussion.


Planned Weapons in Space Violate International Treaty
Title: “U.S. Violates World Law to Militarize Space”
Source: Earth Island Journal, Winter/Spring 1999
Author: Karl Grossman

Title: “Pyramids to the Heavens”
Source: Toward Freedom, September/October 1999
Author: Bruce K. Gagnon
Mainstream coverage: The Huntsville Times, Nov. 7, 1999, Editorial

The United States plans to militarize space — in direct violation of international treaties. The Outer Space Treaty of 1967 bans deployment of weapons of mass destruction in space. Still, the Ballistic Missile Defense System and other space weapons programs have already been approved by Congress and are currently under way. The United States Military Space Command’s “Vision for 2020” report not only speaks of controlling the earth and the sky above our planet, but it also describes plans to control the vast region beyond as NASA and aerospace corporations move toward mining the moon, Mars, and other planetary bodies for minerals.

Our military successes in the Persian Gulf War convinced the U.S. military that space dominance and space control were necessary. Using its satellite supremacy, the Pentagon pre-targeted Iraq’s military installations and hit more than 90 percent of its targets within the first few hours, giving the U.S. the ability to control the entire battlefield. The Space Command’s Global Positioning System constellation of 24 satellites is credited with providing navigation and timing support to coordinate the actions of allied air crews and naval forces operating in the region.

The Pentagon is so convinced that whoever controls space will control the earth and beyond that it is feverishly working to deploy antisatellite weapons (ASATs) within the next five years. The weapons will enable the U.S. to knock out competitors’ eyes-in-the-sky during any future hostilities. Gen. Joseph Ashy, commander-in-chief of the U.S. Space Command, stated, “It’s politically sensitive, but it’s going to happen…. Some people don’t want to hear this, and it sure isn’t in vogue, but, absolutely, we’re going to fight in space. We’re going to fight from space and we’re going to fight into space.”

The aerospace industry, eagerly awaiting subcontracts, engages in a campaign called “Declaration of Space Leadership.” This campaign calls for funding of NASA and “Space Defensive Systems” at costs that guarantee American leadership in the exploration of space.
NASA has launched a program to reach every science teacher in the country. NASA’s thoughts are that by 2020, current elementary school students will be taxpayers. The industry hopes that they’ll not only believe that we should spend whatever it takes to go to Mars but also that war in space is inevitable.Update by author Karl Grossman:
The U.S. push to weaponize space continues. Indeed, it has become more intense since the publication of the Earth Island Journal article. The use of nuclear power in space is closely linked to this trend. U.S. military documents declare that the U.S. is seeking to control space, and from space (which the documents call “the ultimate high ground”) the Earth below. As a U.S. Air Force board report, “New World Vistas: Air and Space Power for the 2lst Century,” explains, the space-based weapons seen as being deployed in space, such as lasers, need large amounts of power, and a solution “is nuclear power in space. Setting the emotional issues of nuclear power aside, this technology offers a viable alternative for large amounts of power in space.” (The Pentagon’s desire to use nuclear power in space is a key reason that NASA rejects the solar option and sticks with nuclear to better coordinate its activities with the U.S. military.)

In a critical United Nations General Assembly vote in November 1999, called to deal with the United States’ plans to weaponize space, 138 nations voted to reaffirm the Outer Space Treaty and its provision that space be used for peaceful purposes. The U.S. abstained on the vote. And it drives on to make the heavens a war zone.

Although there was mainstream media coverage of the Cassini mission and its Earth flyby, there was absolutely no mention of the Space Nuclear Power Agreement aspect and the Outer Space Treaty violation it involves. The current push to weaponize space remains spottily covered by mainstream media, with existing coverage stressing missile defense despite the abundance of U.S. military documents that make it clear that the U.S. military’s plans are largely about domination of space.Update by author Bruce K. Gagnon:
Indeed, as outlined in my article “Pyramids to the Heavens,” the U.S. Space Command’s job would be to create a parallel military highway between Earth and exploited planets, such as Mars, to ensure, as it says in its “Vision for 2020,” “U.S. military, civil, and commercial investments in space” are protected. President Clinton is expected to make the final decision before June 2000 on “early deployment” of the Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system. This system would allow for a return of Star Wars. The Air Force is now testing space-based laser weapons and antisatellite (ASAT) weapons that would be the follow-on technologies to the BMD Trojan horse. With this space domination established, the U.S. would not only control the earth but also the new “shipping lanes” of space.

The corporate-dominated media is ignoring the real story about space. They offer the fluff and the hype from NASA about Mars landings, but there is no analysis of where the U.S. Space Command and the aerospace corporations are taking the space program. Critics who are interviewed are used to make the case that NASA needs more money to do the job “better.” As hundreds of billions of tax dollars are spent on space there is only talk of spin-offs such as Velcro and aluminum foil. A series of Mars movies will be coming out in 2000 and 2001 to sell the program. Filmmaker James Cameron recently told a Mars Society conference, “I want to make humans-to-Mars real in the minds of the viewing public.” He said that he hopes to create a groundswell for increased NASA funding.


Louisiana Promotes Toxic Racism
Title: “Toxic Gumbo”
Source: Southern Exposure, Summer/Fall 1998
Author: Ron Nixon

In the Nov. 8, 1999, edition of The Nation magazine appeared an article by Barbara Koeppel titled “Cancer Alley, Louisiana.” While outside of Project Censored’s annual awards cycle for 1999, the piece fully supported the story and added numerous details.

Mainstream (partial) coverage: PBS News, Sept. 27, 1998; CNN Cable, Sept. 13, 1997

Southeast Louisiana, an area heavily populated with low-income minority families, is one of the worst sites for releases of toxic substances in the country. This region, a 100-mile stretch of land between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, consists of seven oil refineries and approximately 175 heavy industrial plants that represent a who’s who of the petrochemical industry: Texaco, Borden, Occidental Chemical, Kaiser Aluminum, Chevron, IMC-Agrico, Dow, Dupont, and many others. Toxic releases from this region and the resulting health consequences are so severe that the area is now called “Cancer Alley.”

In Louisiana, 30 percent of the population lives under or just above the poverty line. The invasion of toxic industries is one of the United States’ worst examples of environmental racism, a phenomenon in which companies target communities of color for the location of undesirable facilities. According to an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report, over 23 million pounds of toxins are released annually into Louisiana’s air. The majority of these releases are in two zip codes inhabited primarily by African-Americans.

Nationally, a 1987 study by the United Church of Christ’s Commission on Racial Justice found that blacks were four times more likely to live in areas with toxic and hazardous waste sites than were whites. A 1992 investigation by the National Law Journal found that even when the government enforces environmental regulations and punishes companies, fines are much higher in white communities than in black ones.

These reports and increased activity by environmental justice groups across the country prompted President Clinton in 1993 to sign an executive order to investigate the petrochemical industry’s disproportionate impact on people of color. However, these efforts have done little to help the people who live in Cancer Alley.

Bob Hall, author of the Green Index, says “everything is for sale (in the South) … including cheap resources, cheap land, and even cheap lives, especially those of minorities.” The state government of Louisiana provides significant incentives to attract industry to the region. A recent ad in The Wall Street Journal supports this mode of boosterism. The ad shows a man in a suit bent over backward with the words, “What has Louisiana done for business lately?” The ad goes on to tout the state’s passage of tort reform legislation and the governor’s business background.

Years ago, Louisiana struck a Faustian deal with the chemical industry. Today, black residents are paying the price with their health, their communities, and their very history.Update by author Ron Nixon:
After the “Toxic Gumbo” article ran in Southern Exposure, the struggle was picked up by several mainstream news organizations, including ABC News. Life magazine ran a cover story on one of the organizers of the protest, who went to Japan to protest Shintech’s plans to build a PVC plant in St. James Parish. Following the coverage in Southern Exposure and other media outlets, Shintech abandoned its plans. The company said it would build somewhere else, but so far hasn’t decided on a new location.


The U.S. and NATO Deliberately Started the War with Yugoslavia
Title: “The Real Rambouillet”
Source: The Village Voice, May 18, 1999
Author: Jason Vest

Title: “Redefining Diplomacy”
Source: Extra, July/August 1999
Author: Seth Ackerman

Title: “What Was the War For?”
Source: In These Times, Aug. 8, 1999
Author: Seth Ackerman

Title: “Hawks and Eagles: Greater NATO Flies to Aid of Greater Albania”
Source: Covert Action Quarterly, Spring/Summer 1999
Author: Diana Johnstone

Source: Democracy Now, Pacifica Radio Network, April 23, 1999
Host: Amy Goodman
Mainstream Coverage: C-Span Washington Journal, San Husseini, April 22, 1999; Washington Post, “For the Record,” 4/28/99; Minneapolis Star-Tribune, May 17, 1999

The U.S. and NATO pushed for war with Yugoslavia by demanding full military occupation of the entire country as a condition of not bombing. Belgrade could not accept the U.S.-drafted, two-part Rambouillet ultimatum, not only because it was a thinly veiled plan to detach Kosovo from Serbia, but also because it contained provisions even worse than loss of that historic province, provisions no sovereign country could possibly accept.

Appendix B of the proposed prewar Rambouillet treaty, subsections 7 and 8, stated that: “NATO personnel shall be immune from any form of arrest, investigation, or detention by the authorities in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) and “shall enjoy … free and unrestricted passage and unimpeded access throughout the FRY, including associated airspace and territorial waters.” Clauses 11 and 15 granted NATO “the use of airports, roads, rails, and ports without payment (and) the right to use all of the electromagnetic spectrum.” Also included are arbitrary arrest and detention powers for NATO personnel. President Milosevic, fearing the loss of Yugoslavia’s sovereignty, refused to ratify the agreement; the bombing started the next day.

Robert Hayden, director of the Center for Russian and European Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, stated that, in his view, a close reading of the accords “provided for the independence of Kosovo in all but name and the military occupation by NATO of all of Yugoslavia, not just Kosovo.”

According to NATO spokesperson Jamie Shea, “There was no intention whatever of having any kind of NATO occupation regime in Yugoslavia itself. What Rambouillet refers to is simply the right to transit, nothing more.” Yet NATO had carefully planned military operations several months in advance, and the treaty gave the Serbs no alternative.

Unreported in the mainstream media was the fact that when Serbia rejected the treaty, it also passed a resolution declaring its willingness to negotiate for Kosovo’s self-management. For months, the Serbian government had offered to negotiate. High-level government teams made many trips to Pristina to hold talks with Ibrahim Rugova and other nonviolent ethnic Albanians. The Albanians refused to negotiate, for fear of going against the rising armed-rebel movement, the Kosovo Libertarian Army (KLA), which was hostile to any compromise and ready to assassinate “traitors” who dealt with the Serbs.

At Rambouillet, the older generation of nationalist leaders did not have the slightest opportunity to enter negotiations with the multiethnic official Serbian delegation. They were overshadowed in the ethnic Albanian delegation by the KLA, who by then was assured U.S. support. Genuine negotiations would have at least paid attention to the extensive 10-page proposal of the Serbian government. Some of the points outlined in the proposal included the following: equality of all citizens and guaranteed human rights; the facilitated return of all citizens to their homes; safe, unhindered access of all international and national or nongovernmental humanitarian organizations to the population for purposes of aid; and the widest possible media freedoms.Update by author Diana Johnstone:
Never has an event of such tragic dimensions been so badly reported by Western mainstream media. Except in Greece, and to some extent Italy, the NATO propaganda version dominated media reporting. To justify continued air strikes, NATO apologists even resorted to racist stigmatization of the Serbs as a people.

NATO propaganda has gradually lost credibility, thanks to its own excesses, to the reporting of a few mainstream journalists such as Paul Watson and Robert Fisk, and more than ever to the alternative press and the Internet.Update by author Seth Ackerman:
Prominent diplomats, scholars, and Balkan experts have offered their judgments about U.S. diplomacy. Henry Kissinger has said, “The Rambouillet text … was a provocation, an excuse to start bombing” Yugoslavia. Lord David Owen, the European Union’s former peace negotiator for Bosnia, has acknowledged that once the U.S. put forward the Rambouillet military annex, with its demand to allow NATO troops throughout Yugoslavia, “There was no question that the Serbs would risk air attacks.” He also found it “noteworthy” that this provocative demand failed to materialize in the final June 3 agreement with Yugoslavia.

Famed British foreign correspondent Robert Fisk published a report in the Nov. 26 London Independent tracing the evidence that Appendix B of the Rambouillet text was designed to provoke a Serbian rejection. Fisk interviewed Serbian officials, such as Information Minister Milan Komnenic, a respected figure within and outside Serbia, who is at work on a book about the talks, titled The Rambouillet Trap. Another minister, Goran Matic, who is close to President Milosevic, told Fisk: “We were ready to accept the political solution of the Kosovo problem and UN troops to regulate the implementation — but not NATO troops in occupation.” Matic claims that UN Security Council Resolution 1244, which set the final peace terms in June, “could have been accepted before the bombing.”

To my knowledge, the facts about Appendix B of Rambouillet, Serbia’s prewar concessions, and the American strategic interest in air strikes, have never been discussed in any depth in the news columns of the major media. In my view, this silence represents the greatest failure of the American press’ coverage of Kosovo. Indeed, “failure” is probably too exculpatory. Steven Erlanger of the New York Times, one of the best American correspondents in Belgrade, acknowledged in a radio interview last summer that he believes a diplomatic solution to the Kosovo crisis had been possible at Rambouillet. Yet Erlanger, unlike Robert Fisk, has never published an article exploring the question.


America’s Largest Nuclear Test Exposed Thousands
Title: “Aftermath of Amchitka”

Source: Counterpunch, Summer 1999; Terrain, Fall 1999
Authors: Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair

Title: “Thirty Years After — The Legacy of America’s Largest Nuclear Test”
Source: In These Times, Aug. 8, 1999
Author: Jeffrey St. Clair

Mainstream coverage note: Articles in the New York Times on Oct. 30, 1996, and USA Today the following day reported the Greenpeace findings, but there have been no follow-up news reports since that time.

Thirty years ago, Amchitka, which sits at the midway point on the great arc of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, was the site of three large underground nuclear tests, including the most powerful nuclear explosion ever detonated by the United States. Despite claims by the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and the Pentagon that the test sites would safely contain the radiation released by the blasts for thousands of years, independent research by Greenpeace and newly released documents from the Department of Energy (DOE) show that the Amchitka tests began to leak almost immediately.


Evidence Indicates No Prewar Genocide in Kosovo and Possible U.S./KLA Plot to Create Disinformation
Title: “William Walker: Man With a Mission”
Source: Covert Action Quarterly, Spring/Summer 1999
Author: Mark Cook

Title: “My Multinational Entity, Right or Wrong”
Source: The Progressive Review, June 1999
Author: Progressive staff

Title: “Spanish Police and Forensic Experts Have Not Found Proof of Genocide in the North of Kosovo”
Source: El Pais, Sept. 23, 1999 Author: Pablo Ordaz

Mainstream coverage: L.A. Times, Oct. 29, 1999, Editorial

According to the New York Times, the “turning point” of NATO’s decision to go to war against Yugoslavia occurred on Jan. 20, 1999, when U.S. diplomat William Walker led a group of news reporters to the site of a so-called Serb massacre of some 45 Albanians in Racak, Kosovo. This story made international headlines and was later used to justify the NATO bombings.

Walker’s story remains shrouded with doubt. “What is disturbing,” remarks war correspondent Renaud Girard, “is that the pictures filmed by the AP journalists radically contradict Walker’s accusations.” Challenges to Walker’s massacre story were published in Le Monde and Le Figaro.


U.S. Agency Seeks to Export Weapons-Grade Plutonium to Russian Organization Linked to Organized Crime
Title: “Hot Property Cold Cash: The Plan to Turn Russia into the World’s Nuclear Waste Dump”
Source: In These Times, Oct. 17, 1999
Author: Jeffrey St. Clair

Title: “The MinAtom Conspiracy”
Source: Counterpunch, Vol. 6, No. 16, Sept. 16-30, 1999
Authors: Jeffrey St. Clair & Alexander Cockburn

The Washington-based Non-Proliferation Trust (NPT) proposes that the U.S. sell nuclear waste to Russia. NPT’s plan would make Russia the world’s dumping ground for nuclear waste, including weapons-grade plutonium. NPT’s partner in this endeavor is MinAtom, Russia’s ministry of atomic energy.
NPT is headed up by Daniel Murphy (former deputy director of the CIA), Bruce Demars (former head of the Navy’s nuclear program), and William Webster (former director of the CIA and FBI). Although NPT is set up as a nonprofit organization, its principals stand to make huge profits off consulting and subcontracting. On the list of potential subcontractors is Halter Marine in Gulfport, Miss., a company to which U.S. Sen. Trent Lott has close links. Halter Marine would be in line to build the huge container ships needed to transport the waste to Russia.


U.S. Media Ignores Humanitarian Aspects of Famine in Korea
Title: “Famine in North Korea”
Source: Peace Review, June 1999
Author: Ramsay Liem

Title: “Dangerous Communists, Inscrutable Orientals, Starving Masses”
Source: Peace Review, June 1999
Author: Yuh Ji-Yeon

A humanitarian food crisis of staggering proportions has been developing in North Korea, yet nowhere is there an outcry like the one worldwide media developed for Ethiopia. Instead, the media choose to focus on the implication of the threat North Korea poses as it continues its nuclear testing.

The German Red Cross estimated two million deaths in 1997 were due to starvation, the South Korean Buddhists Sharing Movement estimated three million deaths, and the New York Council of Foreign Affairs reported an estimated one million North Korean deaths due to famine.


Early Puberty for Girls May Be Linked to Chemicals in the Environment and Increases in Breast Cancer
Title: “Secondary Sexual Characteristics and Menses in Young Girls Seen in Office Practice: A Study from the Pediatric Research in Office Settings Network”

Source: Environmental Health Monthly; Pediatrics, Vol. 11, No. 3, December 1998

Authors: Marcia E. Herman-Giddens, Eric J. Slora, Richard Wasserman, Carlos Bourdony, Manju Bhapkar, Fary Koch, Cynthia Hasemeier

Endocrine disrupters may be responsible for young girls maturing faster, creating an increased risk of breast cancer. A University of North Carolina cross-sectional study, conducted on girls between the ages of 3 and 12 years, found that girls are developing pubertal characteristics at younger ages than suggested by standard pediatric textbooks. The study found that on average, African-American girls begin puberty between 8 and 9 years of age and white girls by 10 years of age, which is six months to a year sooner than previous data suggest. Although it is unclear what is causing this early onset of puberty, environmental exposures have been implicated.


Media Distorts Debate on Affirmative Action
Title: “The Color Game: How Media Plays the Race Card”
Sources: News Watch, Summer 1999
Author: Robert Entman

Title: “It Is the Nuances, Stupid”
Source: News Watch, Summer 1999
Author: Linda Jue

The U.S. media oversimplified the debate on Affirmative Action and deliberately misled the American public. Media coverage at the national level presented the controversy as a conflict primarily between blacks and whites. Minimizing the place of Latinos and Asian-Americans in the Affirmative Action debate misrepresents the true complexities involved in evaluating progress toward equality.


World Bank’s Resettlement Program Displaces Millions
Title: “World Bank’s Record on Resettlement Remains Troublesome”
Source: World Rivers Review, December 1998
Author: Lori Pottinger

The World Bank funds large dam projects but does little to help the millions who as a result are forced to relocate. A recent report by the World Bank’s Operations Evaluation Department, which reviews the Bank’s record on complying with its own directives, paints a gloomy picture of the Bank’s resettlement record for those people. The most recent data available indicate that 1.9 million people are being displaced by the Bank’s large dam projects and that the number continues to grow.


California Convicts and Punishes Teenagers as Adults
Title: “The Lost Boys: California Is Trying Kids as Adults — and Locking Them Up for Life”
Source: San Francisco Bay Guardian, Jan. 27, 1999
Author: A. Clay Thompson

In California, minors as young as 14 are being pushed into the adult criminal justice system. As a result, children face adult punishments sometimes as severe as life in prison. Section 707 of the penal code was revamped in 1994 by then-state assembly members Steve Peace (D-El Cajon) and Chuck Quackenbush (R-San Jose), who were using 707 to attract tough-on-crime votes. Section 707 makes it easier to try teens accused of serious offenses in the adult system.

Professor Thomas Grisso, a leading researcher in developmental psychology and director of forensic training and research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, says you don’t have to be an expert to realize the difference between a 14-year-old and a 24-year-old.


Bacterium in Cow’s Milk May Cause Crohn’s Disease
Title: “The Crohn’s Connection?”
Source: Cleveland Free Times, June 16-22, 1999
Author: Lisa Chamberlain

Mounting research shows that a bacterium in cow’s milk may cause Crohn’s disease, a debilitating chronic inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal tract. Although four studies indicate that the bacterium, mycobacterium paratuberculosis (Mp), is capable of surviving the pasteurization process, two studies say it is not. Consequently, a strong scientific debate has ensued, primarily behind closed doors, while the American public remains unaware of the hidden dangers. Despite scientific concern, little funding has been provided to address this issue.


IMF and World Bank Contributed to Economic Tensions in the Balkans
Title: “Banking On the Balkans”
Source: THIS, July/August 1999
Author: Michael Chossudovsky

The World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) were leading contributors to economic tensions in the Balkans that stimulated the break-up of Yugoslavia. The divisiveness in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo was reported by media to be caused by “aggressive nationalism” and the ongoing ethnic and religious conflicts. However, other causes involving the IMF and the World Bank contributed to the rise in ethnic tensions.


The Vatican’s UN Status Challenged
Title: “Giving the Vatican the Boot”
Source: Ms. magazine, October/November 1999
Author: Laura Flanders

A special delegation to the Vatican, the Holy See, holds a position in the United Nations that is more powerful than any other nongovernmental organization (NGO). As a “nonmember-state permanent observer,” the Vatican enjoys the same status as politically neutral Switzerland. When confronted about its problematic “nation” status, the thousand-member male population of Vatican City legitimizes its position by claiming to be the representative of “the entire people of God.” In its position as a nonmember-state permanent observer, the Holy See does not have a vote in the General Assembly, but it can speak, lobby, and negotiate on virtually equal footing with any nation.


The U.S. and Germany Trained and Developed the KLA
Title: “Mercenaries in Kosovo: The U. S. Connection to the KLA”
Source: The Progressive, August 1999
Author: Wayne Madsen

Title: “Kosovo Freedom Fighters Financed by Organized Crime”
Publication: Covert Action Quarterly, Spring/Summer 1999
Author: Michael Chossudovsky

Germany and the U.S. collaborated in supporting the development and training of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) to deliberately destabilize a centralized socialist government in Yugoslavia.


International Conference Sets World Agenda for Peace
Title: “United for Peace”
Source: Toward Freedom, July 1999
Author: Robin Lloyd

The Hague Appeal for Peace (HAP) Conference, which took place in The Hague, Netherlands, in May 1999, has set a “global agenda” for world peace in the next century. Over 1,000 groups from 100 different countries intended to voice their suggestions for making international peace possible. One of the many new campaigns launched at the conference was the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA). The IANSA goal is to encourage tracking, protesting, and publicizing the sales and shipments of weapons. Referring to the fact that the U.S. sold $119 billion in arms — some 45 percent of the world’s total — from 1989 to 1996, Pierre Sane of Amnesty International stated at the conference that the U.S. is “becoming the arsenal of the world.”


U.S. Nuclear Weapons Controlled by Unstable Personnel
Title: “Positive Attitude Toward Nuclear Weapons Duty”
Source: Mother Jones, November 1998
Author: Ken Silverstein

Mentally unstable individuals may be in control of U.S. nuclear devices. A screening process called the Personnel Reliability Program (PRP), set in place after a near-disaster in 1959, is supposed to guarantee that only competent, stable, and dependable people have access to America’s nuclear arsenal. In fact, it looks mainly for self-announced kooks but fails to identify less sensational cases. As a result, numerous unstable individuals are in control of, and have access to, our nuclear weapons.


U.S. Military Trains Soldiers to Kill and Eat Tame Animals
Title: “Irrational Rations: Animals Used in Military Training”
Source: The Animals’ Agenda, July/August l999
Author: D’Arcy Kemnitz
Mainstream coverage: Seattle Times, July 2, 1999; Wilmington Star-News, July 12, 1999; The News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C., July 6, 1999; The Spokane Review, Spokane, Wash., July 1, 1999; Denver Post, June 30, 1999

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has charged that animals are being killed unnecessarily in military training classes. A course titled “Survival Skills” taught at the U.S. Army’s Dugway Proving Ground in Utah teaches soldiers to hunt, kill, cook, and eat tame rabbits and chickens. Animals are transported from a local farm to the training grounds by truck. The soldiers then stage an ambush of the vehicle and release, chase, capture, and kill the animals. The officers in charge demand that the soldiers kill the animals with their bare hands.

In its 24th year, Project Censored

picks the news stories you’ve

never read or heard about.Project Censored’s Top 25 Stories for 1999.

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