Each year, Project Censored, a media study conducted at Sonoma
State University, releases the top underreported stories of the
year as an antidote to information fatigue brought on by exposure
to repetitive, sanitized media. Here’s our own Top 10, gleaned from
the 25 identified by project researchers.
A Tsunami of Military Opportunity
The United States brought guns with butter: In tandem with tsunami
aid efforts, the military revived a base in Thailand, reactivated
military agreements with Thailand and the Philippines, and deployed
the Navy in Singapore and Sri Lanka. (Jane’s Foreign Report,
The Irish Times, Inter Press Service)
Exit Poll Exhumation
In These Times uncovered the disquieting fact that the
‘discredited’ exit polls — which projected a 5 million vote
victory for John Kerry in 2004 — proved accurate both in Kerry
strongholds and in precincts that used hand-counted ballots.
Iran Threat Gaining Currency
Put the nuclear question aside. What really makes the U.S.
government antsy, GlobalResearch.ca maintains, is the
Iranian plan to dethrone U.S. dollar supremacy by opening a
euro-based international oil exchange in 2006.
Liberating Agribusiness in Iraq
With Iraq in post-invasion shambles, L. Paul Bremer, then
administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority, issued 100
orders to guide the country to stability. No. 81: Iraqi farmers
cannot replant seeds harvested from patent-protected plants.
(Grain, TomPaine.com, The Ecologist)
The private security goons propping up the U.S. military in places
like Baghdad have less-than-impressive resumes. Many were
mercenaries and soldiers recruited from shock troops in South
Africa, Yugoslavia, Chile, and other human-rights disaster zones.
(Mother Jones, Law.com, CorpWatch)
Mountains of Trouble
Headlines on mountaintop removal rarely cross state lines into
national coverage. The mining tactic blows up peaks for easy coal
removal, replacing thousands of workers with TNT and clogging
watersheds with sediment. (Earth First!)
Oil-for-Food Fault Lines
Harper’s Magazine and The Independent point
fingers away from malfeasance by U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan
and toward the U.S.-steered Security Council, which designed Iraq’s
pre-invasion emergency oil-sales program and approved its sketchy
policies and trades.
U.S. Border Moves South
Evidence is mounting that a U.S. military mission at an Ecuadorian
base in Manta is creeping from counternarcotics to
migrant-smuggling interdiction and other lease-violating
activities. (Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, North American
Congress on Latin America, Z Magazine)
Interhemispheric Resource Center, Washington Free Press, and
MotherJones.com report that corporate dependence on a steady
stream of low-paid workers without benefits is the force driving
the U.S. guest-worker plan.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that little
light has been shed on nanotechnology’s dark side-namely, the
possibility that the minute molecules could pass through barriers
in the body and cause harm.