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AUGUST 28, 2002
11:17 PM
CONTACT:  Project Censored
Peter Phillips or Trish Boreta 707-664-2500
Most Censored News Stories of 2001-2002

SONOMA STATE UNIVERSITY, CA - August 28 - The media research group Project Censored at Sonoma State University announced today its list of the most under-covered "censored" news stories of 2001-2002. The censored news stories are published in the annual book Censored 2003 from Seven Stories Press. The Sonoma State University research group is composed of nearly 200 faculty, students, and community experts who reviewed over 900 nominations for the 2003 awards. The top 25 stories were ranked by the Project's national judges including: Michael Parenti, Robert McChesney, Robin Andersen, Norman Solomon, Carl Jensen, Lenore Foerstel and some 20 other national journalists, scholars, and writers. "We define censorship as any interference with the free flow of information in American Society," stated Peter Phillips Director of the Project, "Corporate media in the United States is interested primarily in entertainment news to feed their bottom-line priorities. Very important news stories that should reach the American public often fall on the cutting room floor to be replaced by sex-scandals and celebrity updates." Project Censored has moved to a new cycle for the release of their annual censored stories. The Censored 2003 book will be released in September to bookstores nationwide. The annual Project Censored awards ceremony will be held at Sonoma State University September 28 in Evert Person Theater at 7:00 PM. ($20 regular $10 students and seniors) Political Analyst/author Michael Parenti and cartoonist Dan Perkins aka Tom Tomorrow will be the keynotes speakers for the event. Davey D of KPFA's Hardknock radio will be MC for the evening. Authors of the years' most censored stories will speak and receive their awards. Press review copies of Censored 2003 are available by calling Seven Stories Press at 212-226-8760 or e-mail To purchase a personal copy of Censored 2003 call 707-664-2500 or visit MC and VISA accepted.

Top Most Censored News Stories

# 1 FCC Moves To Privatize Airwaves

London Guardian, April 28, 20001 and Media File Autumn 2001 volume 20, #4
Title: "Global Media Giants Lobby to Privatize Entire Broadcast System"
Author: Jeremy Rifkin

Mother Jones, Sept/October 2001
Title: "Losing Signal"
Author: Brendan l. Koerner -

Media File, May/June 2001
Title: "Legal Project to Challenge Media Monopoly"
Author: Dorothy Kidd -

For almost 70 years, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has administered and regulated the broadcast spectrum as an electronic "commons" on behalf of the American people. The FCC issues licenses to broadcasters that allow them, for a fee, to use, but not own, one or more specific radio or TV frequencies. Thus, the public has retained the ability to regulate, as well as influence, access to broadcast communications. Several years ago, the Progress and Freedom Foundation, in their report "The Telecom Revolution: An American Opportunity," recommended a complete privatization of the radio frequencies, whereby broadcasters with existing licenses would eventually gain complete ownership of their respective frequencies. They could thereafter develop them in markets of their choosing, or sell and trade them to other companies. The few non-allocated bands of the radio frequency spectrum would be sold off, as electronic real estate, to the highest bidders. With nothing then to regulate, the FCC would eventually be abolished. The reasoning behind this radical plan was that government control of the airwaves has led to inefficiencies. In private hands, the frequencies would be exchanged in the marketplace, and the forces of free-market supply and demand would foster the most creative (and, of course, most profitable) use of these electronic "properties." This privatization proposal was considered too ambitious by the Clinton administration. However, in February 2001, within months after a more "pro-business" president took office, 37 leading US economists requested, in a joint letter, that the FCC allow broadcasters to lease, in secondary markets, the frequencies they currently use under their FCC license. Their thinking was that with this groundwork laid, full national privatization would follow, and eventually nations would be encouraged to sell off their frequencies to global media enterprises. Michael K. Powell, FCC Chairman, and son of Secretary of State Colin Powell, in a recent speech compared the FCC to the Grinch, a kind of regulatory spoilsport that could impede what he termed a historic transformation akin to the opening of the West. "The oppressor here is regulation," he declared. In April 2001, Powell dismissed the FCC's historic mandate to evaluate corporate actions based on the public interest. That standard, he said, "is about as empty a vessel as you can accord a regulatory agency." In other comments, Powell has signaled what kind of philosophy he prefers to the outdated concept of public interest. During his first visit to Capitol Hill as chairman, Powell referred to corporations simply as "our clients." Challenges to this proposed privatization of airways have emerged from a number of sources. One group, the Democratic Media Legal Project (DMLP) in San Francisco, argues that even the existing commercial media system, aided by the Telecommunications Act of 1996, is unconstitutional because it limits diversity of viewpoints, omits or misrepresents most social, political, and cultural segments, and is unaccountable to the public. Therefore, explains DMLP, advertising-based media and the 1996 Act, which encourages mergers and cross-ownership of media outlets to the exclusion of the vast majority of people, have deprived the people of their right to self-governance- as self governance can occur only when we have the unimpeded and uncensored flow of opinion and reporting that are requisite for an informed democracy. The course of wireless broadcasting is approaching an unprecedented and critical crossroad. The path taken by the United States, and by the other industrialized nations that may follow our lead, will profoundly influence the ability of the citizenry of each country to democratically control the media. Faculty evaluator: Scott Gordon, Student Researcher: Laura Huntington

# 2 New Trade Treaty Seeks to Privatize Global Social Services

Source: The Ecologist, February, 2001
Title: The Last Frontier
Author: Maude Barlow -

A global trade agreement now being negotiated will seek to privatize nearly every government-provided public service and allow transnational corporations to run them for profit.

The General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) is a proposed free-trade agreement that will attempt to liberalize/dismantle barriers that protect government provided social services. These are social services bestowed by the government in the name of public welfare. The GATS was established in 1994, at the conclusion of the "Uruguay Round" of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). In 1995, the GATS agreement was adopted by the newly created World Trade Organization (WTO). Corporations plan to use the GATS agreement to profit from the privatization of educational systems, health care systems, child care, energy and municipal water services, postal services, libraries, museums, and public transportation. If the GATS agreement is finalized, it will lock in a privatized, for-profit model for the global economy. GATS/WTO would make it illegal for a government with privatized services to ever return to a publicly owned, non-profit model. Any government that disobeys these WTO rulings will face sanctions. What used to be areas of common heritage like seed banks, air and water supplies, health care and education will be commodified, privatized, and sold to the highest bidder on the open market. People who cannot afford these privatized services will be left out. Services are the fastest growing sector of international trade. If GATS is implemented, corporations will reap windfall profits. Health care, education, and water services are the most potentially lucrative. Global expenditures on water services exceed $1 trillion each year, on education they exceed $2 trillion, and on health care they're over $3.5 trillion. The WTO has hired a private company called the Global Division for Transnational Education. This company plans to document policies that "discriminate against foreign education providers." The results of this 'study' will be used to pressure countries with public education systems to relinquish them to the global privatized marketplace. The futures of accountability for public services, and of sovereign law are at stake with the GATS decision. Foreign corporations will have the right to establish themselves in any GATS/WTO-controlled country and compete against non-profit or government institutions, such as schools and hospitals, for public funds. The current round of GATS negotiations has identified three main priorities for future free-trade principles. First, GATS officials are pushing for "National Treatment" to be applied across the board. "National Treatment" would forbid governments from favoring their domestic companies over foreign-based companies. This idea already applies to certain services, but GATS will enforce it to all services. This will create an expansion of mega-corporate access to domestic markets and further diminish democratic accountability. The economically dominant western countries would like to make it illegal for "developing" countries to reverse this exclusive access to their markets. Second, GATS officials are seeking to place restrictions on domestic regulations. This would limit a government's ability to enact environmental, health, and other regulations and laws that hinder "free-trade." The government would be required to demonstrate that its laws and regulations were necessary to achieve a WTO-sanctioned objective, and that no other commercially friendly alternative was available. Third, negotiators are attempting to develop the expansion of "Commercial Presence" rules. These rules allow an investor in one GATS-controlled country to establish a presence in any other GATS country. The investor will not only be allowed to compete against private suppliers for business, but will also be allowed to compete against publicly funded institutions and services for public funds.

This potential expansion of GATS/WTO authority into the day-to-day business of governments will make it nearly impossible for citizens to exercise democratic control over the future of traditionally public services. One American trade official summed up the GATS/WTO process by saying, "Basically it won't stop until foreigners finally start to think like Americans, act like Americans, and most of all shop like Americans." Faculty evaluator: John Kramer, Student researchers: Chris Salvano, Adria Cooper International media coverage: Toronto Star, 3/3/02, The Herald (Glasgow) 2/27/02, The Hindu, 11/17,01 The Weekend Australian, 8/25/01, The Gazette
(Montreal) 6/15/01 The Financial Times (London)

# 3 United States' Policies in Colombia Support Mass Murder

Counter Punch. July 1-15, 2001
Title: "Blueprints for the Colombian War"
Author: Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair -

Asheville Global Report, October 4, 2001
Title: "Colombian Army and Police Still Working With Paramilitaries"
Author: Jim Lobe

Steelabor, May/June 2001
Title: "Colombian Trade Unionists Need U.S. Help"
Authors: Dan Kovalik and Gerald Dickey -

Rachel's Environment & Health News, December 7, 2000
Title: "Echoes of Vietnam"
Author: Rachel Massey -

Over the past two years, Colombia has been Washington's third largest recipient of foreign aid, behind only Israel and Egypt. In July of 2000, the U.S. Congress approved a $1.3 billion war package for Colombia to support President Pastrana's "Plan Colombia." Plan Colombia is a $7.5 billion counter-narcotics initiative. In addition to this financial support, the US also trains the Colombian military. Colombia's annual murder rate is 30,000. It is reported that around 19,000 of these murders are linked to illegal right-wing paramilitary forces. Many leaders of these paramilitary groups were once officers in the Colombian military, trained at the U.S. Military run School of the Americas. According to the Human Rights Watch Report, a 120-page report titled "The 'Sixth Division': Military-Paramilitary Ties and US Policy in Colombia," Colombian armed forces and police continue to work closely with right-wing paramilitary groups. The government of President Pastrana and the US administration have played down evidence of this cooperation. Jim Lobe says that Human Rights Watch holds the Pastrana administration responsible for the current, violent situation because of its dramatic and costly failure to take prompt, effective control of security forces, break their persistent ties to paramilitary groups, and ensure respect for human rights. Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair contend that the war in Colombia isn't about drugs. It's about the annihilation of popular uprisings by Indian peasants fending off the ravages of oil companies, cattle barons and mining firms. It is a counter-insurgency war, designed to clear the way for American corporations to set up shop in Colombia. Cockburn and St. Clair examined two Defense Department commissioned reports, the RAND Report and a paper written by Gabriel Marcella, titled "Plan Colombia: the Strategic and Operational Imperatives." Both reports recommend that the US step up its military involvement in Colombia. In addition, the reports make several admissions about the paramilitaries and their links to the drug trade, regarding human rights abuses by the US-trained Colombian military, and about the irrationality of crop fumigation.

Throughout these past two years, Colombian citizens have been the victims of human rights atrocities committed by the US-trained Colombian military and linked paramilitaries. Trade unionists and human rights activists face murder, torture, and harassment. It is reported that Latin America remains the most dangerous place in the world for trade unionists. Since 1986, some 4,000 trade unionists have been murdered in Colombia. In 2000 alone, more trade unionists were killed in Colombia than in the whole world in 1999.

Another problem resulting from the Colombian "drug war" has been the health consequences of the US-sponsored aerial fumigation. Since January 2001, Colombian aircraft have been spraying toxic herbicides over Colombian fields in order to kill opium poppy and coca plants. These sprayings are killing food crops that indigenous Colombians depend on for survival, as well as harming their health. The sprayings have killed fish, livestock, and have contaminated water supplies.

The US provides slightly over 1 billion dollars of military aid for what is known as "Plan Colombia," yet it is more a war against citizens and those who are fighting for social justice. US aid is not improving conditions for the people of Colombia, but rather supporting the government and right-wing paramilitary groups. According to an American member of the international steelworker delegation, Jesse Isbell, who recently visited Columbia, "The US says one thing to the American public when in reality it is [doing] something totally different. Our government portrays this as a drug war against cocaine but all we are doing is keeping an ineffective government in power." Faculty Evaluators: Jorge Porras, Fred Fletcher, , Student Researchers: Lauren Renison, Adam Cimino, Erik Wagle, Gabrielle Mitchell

#4 Bush Administration Hampered FBI Investigation into Bin Laden Family Before 9/11

Pulse, 1/16/02
Title: "French book indicts Bush Administration"
Author: Amanda Luker -

Times Of India, November 8, 2001
Title: "Bush took FBI agents off Bin Laden family trail"
Author: Rashmee Z. Ahmed

The Guardian (London) In cooperation with BBC television News Night November 7, 2001
Title: "FBI and US spy agents say Bush spiked bin Laden probes before 11 September"
Author: Greg Palast and David Pallister - and

A French book Bin Laden, la verite interdite (Bin Laden, the forbidden truth) claims that the Bush Administration halted investigations into terrorist activities related to the bin Laden family and began planning for a war against Afghanistan before 9-11. The authors, Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie, are French intelligence analysts. Dasquie, an investigative reporter, publishes Intelligence Online, which is a respected newsletter on economics and diplomacy. Brisard worked for French secret services and in 1997 wrote a report on the Al Qaeda network. In 1996, high-placed intelligence sources in Washington told the Guardian, "There were always constraints on investigating the Saudis." The authors allege that under the influence of US oil companies, George W. Bush and his administration initially halted investigations into terrorism, while bargaining with the Taliban to deliver Osama bin Laden in exchange for economic aid and political recognition. The book goes on to reveal that former FBI deputy director John O'Neill resigned in July of 2001 in protest over the obstruction of terrorist investigations. According to O'Neill, "The main obstacles to investigating Islamic terrorism were US oil corporate interests and the role played by Saudi Arabia in it." The restrictions were said to have worsened after the Bush administration took over. Intelligence agencies were told to "back off" from investigations involving other members of the bin Laden family, the Saudi royals, and possible Saudi links to the acquisition of nuclear weapons by Pakistan. John O'Neil died on 9/11 in the World Trade Center. An FBI file coded 199, which means a case involving national security, records that Abdullah bin Laden, who lived in Washington, originally had a file opened on him "because of his relationship with the Saudi-funded World Assembly of Muslim Youth - a suspected terrorist organization." The BBC reiterated a well-known claim, made by one of George W. Bush's former business partners, that Bush made his first million dollars 20 years ago from a company financed by Osama's elder brother, Salem. It has also been revealed that both the Bushs and the bin Ladens had lucrative stakes in the Carlyle Group, a private investment firm that has grown to be one of the largest investors in US defense and communications contracts. Brisard and Dasquie contend that the government's main objective in Afghanistan was to unite the Taliban regime in order to gain access to the oil and gas reserves in Central Asia. Brisard and Dasquie report that the Bush government began negotiations with the Taliban directly after coming into power and representatives met several times in Washington, Islamabad, and Berlin. There were also claims that the last meeting between the United States and Taliban representatives took place only five weeks before the attacks in New York and Washington. Long before the September 11th attacks, the United States had decided to invade Afghanistan in the interest of oil. In February of 1998, at the hearing before a sub-group of the Committee on International Relations, Congress discussed ways to deal with Afghanistan to make way for an oil pipeline. Jane's Defense News reported in March 2001 that an invasion of Afghanistan was being planned. Times of India reported that in June of 2001, the US Government told India that there would be an invasion of Afghanistan in October of that year. By July of 2001 George Arney, with the BBC, also reported the planned invasion. Faculty evaluator: Catherine Nelson, Student researchers: Donald Yoon, David Immel Corporate media coverage: L.A. Times, 1/13/02 Part A-1, page 11

# 5 U.S. Intentionally Destroyed Iraq's Water System

The Progressive, September 2001
Title: "The Secret Behind the Sanctions: How the U.S. Intentionally Destroyed Iraq's Water Supply"
Author: Thomas J. Nagy -

During the Gulf War the United States deliberately bombed Iraq's water system. After the war, the U.S. pushed sanctions to prevent importation of necessary supplies for water purification. These actions resulted in the deaths of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians many of whom were young children. Documents have been obtained from the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), which prove that the Pentagon was fully aware of the mortal impacts on civilians in Iraq and was actually monitoring the degradation of Iraq's water supply. The destruction of civilian infrastructures necessary for health and welfare is a direct violation of the Geneva Convention. After the Gulf War, the United Nations applied sanctions against Iraq, which denied the importation of specialized equipment and chemicals, such as chlorine for purification of water. There are six documents that have been partially declassified and can be found on the Pentagon's web site at These documents include information that prove that the United States was fully aware of the costs to civilians, especially children, by upholding the sanctions against purification of Iraq's water supply. The primary document is dated January 22, 1991 and is titled, "Iraq Water Treatment Vulnerabilities." This document predicts what will take place when Iraq can no longer import the vital commodities to cleanse their water supply. It states that epidemics and disease outbreaks may occur because of pollutants and bacteria that exist in unpurified water. The document acknowledges the fact that without purified drinking water, the manufacturing of food and medicine will also be affected. The possibilities of Iraqis obtaining clean water, despite sanctions, along with a timetable describing the degradation of Iraq's water supply was also addressed. The remaining five documents from the DIA confirm the Pentagon's monitoring of the situation in Iraq. In more than one document, discussion of the likely outbreaks of diseases and how they affect "particularly children" is discussed in great detail. The final document titled, "Iraq: Assessment of Current Health Threats and Capabilities," is dated, November 15, 1991, and discusses the development of a counter-propaganda strategy that would blame Saddam Hussein for the lack of safe water in Iraq. The United States' insistence on using this type of sanction against Iraq is in direct violation of the Geneva Convention. The Geneva Convention was created in 1979 to protect the victims of international armed conflict. It states, "It is prohibited to attack, destroy, remove or render useless, objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population such as foodstuffs, crops, livestock, drinking water installation and supplies, and irrigation works, for the specific purpose of denying them for their sustenance value to the civilian population or to the adverse Party, whatever the motive, whether in order to starve out civilians, to cause them to move away, or for any other motive." The United States, for nearly a decade, has "destroyed, removed, or rendered useless" Iraq's "drinking water installations and supplies." Although two Democratic Representatives, Cynthia McKinney from Georgia and Tony Hall from Ohio, have spoken out about the degradation of Iraq's water supply and its civilian targets, no acknowledgment of violations has been made. The U.S. policy of destroying the water treatment system of Iraq and preventing its re-establishment has been pursued for more than a decade. The United Nations estimates that more than 500,000 Iraqi children have died as a result of sanctions and that unclean water is a major contributor to these deaths. Faculty evaluator: Rick Luttmann, Student researchers: Adria Cooper, Erik Wagle, Adam Cimino, Chris Salvano

# 6 U.S. Government Pushing Nuclear Revival

Bulletin Of The Atomic Scientists, July/August 2001
Title: "The New-Nuke Chorus Tunes Up"
Author: Stephen I. Schwartz -

The US Government is blazing a trail of nuclear weapon revival leading to global nuclear dominance. A nuke-revival group, supported by people like Stephen Younger, Associate Director for Nuclear Weapons at Los Alamos, proposes a "mini-nuke" capable of burrowing into underground weapon supplies and unleashing a small, but contained nuclear explosion. This weapons advocacy group is comprised of nuclear scientists, Department of Energy (DoE) officials, right wing analysts, former government officials, and a congressionally appointed over-sight panel. The group wants to ensure that the U.S. continues to develop nuclear capacity into the next half century. Achieving this goal of nuclear dominance will take far more than just refurbishing existing weapons and developing new ones. A decade long effort, that would cost in the $8 billion range, would be needed just to bring old production sites up to standard. Billions more would be needed to produce and maintain a new generation of nuclear weapons. This plan has not been presented to the public for their consideration or approval.

Part of the plan includes the building of "mini-nukes," which would have a highly accurate ability to penetrate underground stockpiles of weapons and command centers. The recent interest in such weapons is based on two premises. First, the belief that only nuclear weapons can destroy these underground networks, so the "mini-nuke" would deter other countries from using these underground systems. Second, these new bombs would give government the option to launch a nuclear strike to take out a small target while delivering minimal civilian casualties. It is believed that these bombs could specifically target underground headquarters or weapon stockpiles in Korea, Iraq, or Iran.

Princeton theoretical physicist Robert W. Nelson has studied the question for the Federation of American Scientists. Nelson concluded, "No earth-burrowing missile can penetrate deep enough into the earth to contain an explosion with a nuclear yield even as small as 1 percent of the 15-kiloton Hiroshima weapon. The explosion simply blows out a massive crater of radioactive dirt, which rains down on the local region with an especially intense and deadly fallout." Nelson used data from the Plowshares program of the 1960s and from the 828 underground nuclear tests conducted in Nevada. The two sources show that full containment of a 5-kiloton explosion is only possible at 650 feet or more, while a 1-kiloton explosion must take place at least 450 feet into the earth. These figures are taken at optimum conditions, where weapons are placed in a specially sealed shaft in a well understood geological environment. The "mini-nukes" will be expected to penetrate into deeply hardened targets in unyielding conditions. Nelson also concludes that a 10-foot missile could only be expected to penetrate 100 feet into concrete and steel, a depth far too shallow to contain even a very small explosion.

The Panel to Assess the Reliability, Safety, and Security of the United States Nuclear Stockpile has recommended spending $4 billion to $6 billion over the next decade to restore the production capabilities of plutonium pit plants in the U.S. The DoE is currently spending $147 million on pit production at Los Alamos this year and is requesting $218 million for 2002. A renovated Los Alamos will be capable of producing up to 20 pits a year by 2007. Last year the DoE received $2 million to design a new pit plant capable of producing 450 cores of plutonium a year. This would generate approximately half the amount of plutonium produced during the latter period of the Cold War. The facilities at some of these nuclear production plants are in drastic states of disrepair. Only 26 percent of the weapons complex buildings are in excellent or good condition. One laboratory building at Los Alamos wraps pipes carrying radioactive waste in plastic bags to prevent leakage. The roofs at other facilities are allowing rainwater to seep into the rooms where nuclear weapons are inspected and repaired. Faculty Evaluator: Sasha Von Meier, Student Researcher: Erik Wagle Corporate News Coverage: Los Angeles Times, March 17, 2002. USA Today, March 18, 2002.

# 7 Corporations Promote HMO Model for School Districts

Multi-National Monitor, January/February 2002
Title: "Business Goes to School: The For-Profit Corporate Drive to Run Public Schools"
Author: Barbara Miner -

The Progressive Populist, November 15, 2000
Title: "Dunces of Public Education Reform"
Author: Frosty Troy -

North Coast Xpress, Winter 2000
Title: "Corporate-Sponsored Tests Aim to Standardize Our Kids"
Author: Dennis Fox -

In These Times, June 2001
Title: "Testing, Testing: The Miseducation of George W. Bush"
Author: Linda Lutton

For decades, public schools have purchased innumerable products and services from private companies-from text books to bus transportation. Within the last decade, however, privatization has taken on a whole new meaning. Proponents of privatized education are now interested in taking over entire school districts. "Education today, like healthcare 30 years ago, is a vast, highly localized industry ripe for change," says Mary Tanner, managing director of Lehman Brothers, "The emergence of HMOs and hospital management companies created enormous opportunities for investors. We believe the same pattern will occur in education." So while the aptly named Educational Management Organizations (EMO's) are being promoted as the new answer to impoverished school districts and dilapidated classrooms, the real emphasis is on investment returns rather than student welfare and educational development. According to some analysts, Bush's proposal for national standardized testing is helping to pave the way for these EMO's. Bush wants yearly standardized testing in reading and math for every student in the country between the third and eighth grades. "School districts and states that do well will be rewarded," Bush states in his education agenda, No Child Left Behind, "Failure will be sanctioned." The effect of Bush's testing plan will be nothing less than a total reconstruction of curriculum and instruction across the country. Perversely, schools with already limited resources, serving poor and minority communities, will be those under the greatest pressure to boost scores or face loss of funding. Additionally, standardized testing funnels public dollars directly to non-public schools, including religious schools, through taxpayer-supported vouchers. School vouchers, proposed by Bush in his education plan to increase federal education spending, will reward schools that do well on annual standardized tests. Vouchers shunt kids out of the public schools system and into private for-profit institutions. Since only public school students take the standardized tests, kids whose parents can afford private schools don't have to agonize year after year about potential failure. Standardized testing hits immigrant students especially hard. Bush wants to freeze funding in 2002, despite surging enrollment of students speaking limited English. Angelo Amador, a national policy analyst for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, says, "With the pulling of bilingual education funding, states with high-stakes testing are pushing low-performing Latino students into special education classes or out of school altogether in an effort to keep their test scores high." Critics charge that standardization's real goal is not to improve public education but to disparage it while building support for privatized, union-free alternatives. Proponents of corporate-run education claim that, by cutting the "fat" out of the system, they can improve student achievement with the same amount of money, and still turn a profit (Ignoring the fact that the U.S. is ranked ninth globally in terms of money spent on education). The reality is that, though most EMO's have yet to show investors a profit, they generally cut teacher salaries, eliminate remedial, special, and bilingual education programs (mandated for public schools), and consistently perform at or below the level of surrounding schools in test scores. Privatization opponents say that public education should serve and be run by the public, especially teachers and parents, as opposed to shareholders who run the for-profit companies. Faculty Evaluators: Perry Marker, Tom Ormond, and Elaine Sundberg Student Researchers: Lauren Fox, Derek Fieldsoe, Joshua Travers

# 8 NAFTA Destroys Farming Communities in U.S. and Abroad

Fellowship of Reconciliation, Dec. 2000/Jan. 2001
Title: NAFTA's devastating effects are clear in Mexico, Haiti
Author: Anita Martin

The Hightower Lowdown, September 2001
Title: NAFTA gives the shafta to North America's farmers
Author: Jim Hightower -

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are responsible for the impoverishment of and loss of many small farms in Mexico and Haiti. NAFTA is also causing the economic destruction of rural farming communities in the United States and Canada. The resulting loss of rural employment has created a landslide of socio-economic and environmental consequences that are worsening with the continued dismantling and deregulation of trade barriers. When NAFTA came before Congress in 1993, US farmers were told that the agreement would open the borders of Mexico and Canada, enabling them to sell their superior products and achieve previously unknown prosperity. Corporations who operate throughout the Americas, such as Tyson and Cargill, have since used the farming surplus to drive down costs, pitting farmers against each other and prohibiting countries from taking protective actions. These same corporations have entered into massive farming ventures outside the U.S. and use NAFTA to import cheaper agricultural products back into this country, further undermining the small farmers in the U.S. Since the enactment of NAFTA, 80% of foodstuffs coming into the U.S. are products that displace crops raised here at home. NAFTA has allowed multinational mega-corporations to increase production in Mexico, where they can profit from much cheaper labor, as well as freely use chemicals and pesticides banned in the U.S. In both Mexico and Haiti, NAFTA policies have caused an exodus from rural areas forcing people to live in urban slums and accept low paid sweatshop labor. Farmers in Mexico, unable to compete with the large-scale importation and chemical-intensive mass production of U.S. agricultural corporations, are swimming in a corn surplus that has swelled approximately 450% since NAFTA's implementation. Haiti's deregulation of trade with the U.S. has destroyed the island's rice industry in a similar manner. Urban slums, engorged with rural economic refugees, are contributing to the breakdown of cultural traditions and public authority, making the growing masses increasingly ungovernable. The Mexican government clashes violently with any organized protest of NAFTA. Dissent in Chiapas and in Central Mexico has lead to the reported arrests, injuries, and deaths of dozens of activists. Community leaders like Minister Lucius Walker, executive of the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization, state that, "The biggest challenge facing all of us in this new millennium is to build a citizens' movement to counter the corporate captivity of the Americas." The1993 NAFTA agreement desolated small farming communities in the U.S. and in Mexico and Haiti. With the scheduled 2009 lift on tariffs and import restrictions, as well as Bush's proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) adding 31 more countries to the NAFTA agreement, many additional farming communities are in danger. Faculty Evaluators: Tony White, Al Wahrhaftig Student researchers: Adam Cimino, Erik Wagle, Alessandra Diana

#9 U.S. Faces National Housing Crisis

In These Times, November 2000
Title: "There's No Place Like Home"
Author: Randy Shaw -

The national housing crisis affects nearly 6 million American families and is growing worse. Over 1.5 million low-cost housing units have recently been lost, and millions of children are growing up in housing that is substandard, unaffordable and dangerous. A new crisis in affordable housing is spreading across America. What was once a problem relegated to low income families along the east and west coasts, is now affecting the middle-class all across the country. Middle-class working Americans are having just as much trouble finding affordable housing as low-income families did ten years ago. In San Francisco, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) subsidizing housing for public school teachers. California business groups complain that the State's housing shortage hinders their ability to attract skilled workers, and chambers of commerce link lack of affordable housing to a resultant slowdown in economic growth. Julie Daniels earns $28,000 a year working full time as a certified nursing assistant for Stamford, Connecticut. A member of local 1199, Daniels and her three children have been unable to obtain affordable housing within traveling distance of her job. The family's only available housing option has been a homeless shelter, and the prospects that Daniels will obtain safe and affordable housing are unlikely. Still, politicians refuse to add federal funded housing to the U.S. budget. Low-cost housing programs are slowly being drained of funding. More than 100,000 federally subsidized units have been converted to market-rate housing in the past three years. While the $5 billion Federal Housing Administration surplus is tied up in Washington, neither major political party seems responsive to the current housing crisis. Neither party is addressing issues of living wage, adequate health care, or affordable housing. Homelessness has become the result for many families across the nation. The economic slowdown, the welfare reform of 1996, and the events of September 11 are pushing hard working Americans into the street. In New York alone it is estimated that 30,000 people are living in shelters, and many thousands more live on the street. In Chicago, over 20,000 units of public housing units have been removed from service and some 50,000 people now reside in the streets. In an era when there is only one apartment for every six potential renters in this country, Congress has taken no action to address this problem. Corporate media has only covered this issue locally and few corporate media reports have recognized this as a national crisis. Faculty Evaluator: Susan Garfin, Student Researcher: Eduardo Barragan, Catherine Jensen Corporate media coverage: U.S. Newswire, 1/18/02 Other corporate coverage mostly limited to local and regional housing issues

#10 CIA Double Deals In Macedonia

Sources:, June 14, 2001
Title: "America at War in Macedonia"
Author: Michel Chossudovsky -, July 26, 2001
Title: "NATO Invades Macedonia"
Author: Michel Chossudovsky

The CIA destabilized the political balance in Macedonia to allow easier access for a US-British owned oil pipeline, and to prevent Macedonia from entering the European Union (EU), thereby strengthening the US dollar in a German deutschmark dominated region. Without Macedonia in the EU, British and US oil companies have an advantage over European counterparts in building oil pipelines. Actions toward destabilization intend to impose economic control over national currencies, and protect British-US oil companies such as BP-Amoco-ARCO, Chevron, and Texaco against Europe's Total-Fina-Elf. The British-US consortium controls the AMBO Trans-Balkin pipeline project linking the Bulgarian port of Burgas to Vlore on the Albanian Adriatic coastline. The power game is designed to increase British-US domination in the region by distancing Bulgaria, Macedonia, and Albania from the influence of EU countries such as Germany, Italy, France and Belgium. It's an effort supported by Wall Street's financial establishment, to destabilize and discredit the deutschmark and the Euro, with hopes of imposing the US dollar as the sole currency for the region. The Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and the National Liberation Army (NLA) were trained in Macedonia by British Special Forces and equipped by the CIA. British military sources confirm that Gezim Ostremi, NLA Commander, was sponsored by the UN and trained by British Special Forces to head the Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC). When Ostremi left his job as a United Nations Officer to join the NLA, the commander remained on the UN payroll. Attacks within Macedonia by the NLA/KLA last year, coincided chronologically with the process of EU enlargement and the signing of the historic Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) between the EU and Macedonia. These attacks paved the way for further US military and political presence in the region. In a strange twist the CIA, NATO, and British Special Forces provided weapons and training to the NLA/KLA terrorists, while at the same time, Germany provided Macedonia's security forces with all-terrain vehicles, advanced weapons, and equipment to protect themselves from NLA/KLA attacks. US military advisers, on assignment to the KLA/NLA through private mercenary companies, remained in contact with NATO and US military and intelligence planners. It was Washington and London who decided on the broad direction of KLA-NLA military operations in Macedonia. Following the August, 2001 Framework Peace Agreement, 3,500 armed NATO troops entered Macedonia with the intent of disarming Albanian rebels. Washington's humanitarian efforts for the NLA/KLA suggested its intent to protect the terrorists rather then disarm them. Vice President Dick Cheney's former firm, Halliburton Energy, is directly linked to the AMBO's Trans-Balkans Oil Pipeline. Last year's conflict in Macedonia is a small part of a growing rift between the Anglo-American and European interests in the Balkans. In the wake of the war in Yugoslavia, Britain has allied itself with the US and severed many of its ties with Germany, France, and Italy. Washington's design is to ensure the dominance of the US military-industrial complex, in alliance with Britain's major defense contractors, and British-US oil. These developments establish significant control over strategic pipelines, transportation, and communication corridors in the Balkans, Eastern Europe, and the former Soviet Union. Faculty evaluators: Elizabeth Burch, Phil Beard, John Lund Student researchers: Alessandra Diana, David V. Immel

#11 Bush Appoints Former Criminals to Key Government Roles

The Nation, May 7th 2001
Title: "Bush's Contra Buddies"
Author: Peter Kornbluh

In These Times, 06 August 2001
Title: "Public Serpent; Iran-Contra Villain Elliott Abrams is Back in Action"
Author: Terry Allen - and

Extra, September/October 2001
Title: "Scandal? What Scandal?"
Author: Terry Allen

The Guardian, February 8, 2002
Title: "Friends of Terrorism"
Duncan Campbell -

18 February 2002
"No More Mr. Scrupulous Guy"
Author: John Sutherland

Washingtonian, April 2002
Title: "True or False: Iran-Contra's John Poindexter is Back at the Pentagon"
Author: Michael Zuckerman

Since becoming President, George Bush has brought back into government service several men who were discredited by criminal involvement in the Iran-Contra affair, lying to Congress, and other felonies while working for his father George Bush senior and Ronald Reagan

#12 NAFTA's Chapter 11 Overrides Public Protection Laws of Countries

The Nation, October 15, 2001
Title: The Right and US Trade Law: Invalidating the 20th Century"
Author: William Greider -

Terrain, Fall 2001
Title: Seven Years of NAFTA
Author: David Huffman -

Certain investor protections in NAFTA (the North American Free Trade
Agreement) are giving business investors new power over sovereign nations and providing an expansive new definition of property rights.

# 13 Henry Kissinger and Gerald Ford Lied to the American Public about East Timor

Asheville Global Report, 12/13/2001
Title: Documents Show US Sanctioned Invasion of East Timor
Author: Jim Lobe, (IPS) -

The release of previously classified documents makes it clear that former President Gerald Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, in a face-to-face meeting in Jakarta, gave then President Suharto a green light for the 1975 invasion of East Timor.

# 14 New Laws Restrict Access to Abortions in US

Mother Jones, September/ October 2001
Title: "The Quiet War on Abortion"
Author: Barry Yeoman -

A quiet war against abortion rights is being conducted by many local governments in the United States. Cities and counties are placing repressive legal restrictions on abortion providers under the guise of women's health laws. These restrictions can include: width of hallways, jet and angle type of drinking fountains, the heights of ceilings, and how long one must wait between initially seeing the doctor and when the procedure can be performed.

#15 Bush's Energy Plan Threatens Environment and Public Health, Alternet,, February 15,2002
Title: The Loyal Opposition: Bush's Global-warming Smog
Author: David Corn -

Environment News Service, July, 2001
Title: Bush Energy Plan Could Increase Pollution
Author: Cat Lazaroff -

The Progressive Populist, March 15, 2002
Title: Smog Screen
Author: David Corn

The Bush administration's energy plan will actually increase air pollution in the United States. The plan calls for increased fossil fuel consumption, and for decreased funding for research into renewable, clean energy development.

# 16 CIA Kidnaps Suspects for Overseas Torture and Execution

Weekend Australian, February, 23, 2003, p. 1
Title: Love Letter Tracks Terrorist's Footsteps
Author: Don Greenlees -

World Socialist Website:
March 20, 2002
Title: U.S. Oversees Abduction, Torture, Execution of Alleged Terrorists
Author: Barry Grey

Original U.S. Source: *

The Washington Post
March 11, 2002, pg. A01
Title; U.S. Behind Secret Transfer of Terror Suspects"
Authors: Rajiv Chandrasekaran and Peter Finn, W.P. Foreign Service, March 11, 2002, pg. A01

U.S. agents are involved in abducting people they suspect of terrorist activities and sending them to countries where torture during interrogation is legal.

# 17 Corporate Media Ignores Key Issues of the Anti-Globalization Protests

Columbia Journalism Review JR, September/October 2001
Title: Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: The Globalization Protests and the Befuddled Press
Author: John Giuffo -

The U.S. press failed to inform the public of the core underlying issues of the major anti-globalization protests of recent years.

#18 World's Coral Reefs Dying

Harpers, January 2001
Title: Shoals Of Time: Are We Witnessing The Extinction of the World's Coral Reefs?
Author: Julia Whitty -

One-quarter of all coral reefs have been destroyed by pollution, sedimentation, over-fishing, and rapid global climate change

# 19 American Companies Exploit the Congo

Dollars and Sense, July/August 2001
Title: The Business of War in the Democratic Republic Of Congo: Who benefits?
Authors: Dena Montague, Frieda Berrigan -

Voice (Pioneer Valley, MA), March/April, 2001
Title: Depopulation and Perception Management (Part 2: Central Africa)
Author: keith harmon snow -

Western multinational corporations' attempts to cash in on the wealth of Congo's resources have resulted in what many have called "Africa's first world war," claiming the lives of over 3 million people.

# 20 Novartis' Gene Research Endangers Global Plant Life

The London Observer, October 8, 2000
Title: Gene Scientists Disable Plants' Immune Systems
Author: Antony Barnett -

Scientists working for Swiss food giant Novartis have developed and patented a method for 'switching off' the immune systems of plants, to the outrage of environmentalists and Third World charities who believe the new technology to be the most dangerous use so far of gene modification.

# 21 Large U.S Temp Company Undermines Union Jobs and Mistreats Workers

The Progressive Populist, June 1, 2001
Title: Temps are Ready for Organizing If AFL-CIO Provides the Muscle
Author: Harry Kelber -

Labor Ready Inc. is a national temporary employment agency that employed over 700,000 people in 2000. Labor Ready has 839 offices in 49 states and in Canada, and stands ready to place temporary workers as strikebreakers in union labor disputes.

# 22 Fish Farms Threaten Health of Consumers and Aquatic Habitats

Mother Jones Magazine, November / December 2001
Title: Aquaculture's Troubled Harvest
Author: Bruce Barcott -

PEW Oceans Commission Report on Marine Aquaculture, 2001
Title: Marine Aquaculture in the United States: Environmental Impacts and Policy Options
Authors: Rebecca J. Goldburg, Matthew S. Elliott, Rosamond L. Naylor

Farmed fish provide one-third of the seafood consumed by people worldwide. In the US, aquaculture supplies almost all of the catfish and trout as well as half of the shrimp and salmon. Unfortunately, aquaculture's harm to people and surrounding environments may be greater than its highly anticipated benefits.

#23 Horses Face Lives of Unnecessary Abuse for Drug Company Profits The Animals' Agenda March/April 2001
Title: Pissing their Lives Away
Author: Susan Wagner -

Faculty Evaluator: Wendy Ostroff
Student Researchers: Kelly Hand, Adam Cimino, Haley Mueller

Pregnant horses are four legged drug machines-being repeatedly impregnated and confined to narrow stalls as their urine is collected to produce Permarin a drug used by millions of menopausal women.

#24 Wal-Mart Takes Union Busting to the State Level

Madison Capital Times, August, 2001
Title: Wal-Mart Ravages Workers' Rights
By John Nichols -
Reprinted In Asheville Global Report 9/6/01

Wal-Mart has been pouring a considerable amount of money into a state level political campaigns supporting right to works law that reduce the wages and benefits for workers.

#25 Federal Government Bails Out Failing Private Prisons

The American Prospect , September 10, 2001
Title: Bailing Out Private Jails
Author: Judith Greene -

Private prisons have been rife with more abuse and lawsuits than state run prisons, leading to a decline in state level support, but the federal government is stepping in to bail them out.


Prof. Robin Andersen, Fordham University , media studies Richard Barnet, author Liane Clorfene-Casten, journalist, president, Chicago Media Watch Dr. George Gerbner, School of Communications, Univ. of Pennsylvania. Lenore Foerstel, Progressive International Media Exchange Prof. Robert Hackett, School of Communications, Simon Fraser University; director of News Watch Canada Dr. Carl Jensen, author, founder and former director of Project Censored Prof. Sut Jhally, Media Education Foundation, University of Massachusetts Prof. Nicholas Johnson, University of Iowa law school; FCC Commissioner, 1966-1973. Norman Solomon, author Rhoda H. Karpatkin, president, Consumers Union Charles I. Klotzer, editor, publisher emeritus, St. Louis Journalism Review Nancy Kranich, dean, NY University Libraries, past president of American Library Association. Judity Krug, director, Office for Intellectual Freedom, American Library Association. Prof. Robert McChesney, author, member of Institute of Communications Research and the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prof. William Lutz, Rutgers University English department Julianne Malveaux, Ph.D., economist, columnist, King Features, Pacifica radio. Prof. Jack Nelson, Rutgers University, education. Michael Parenti, author Dan Perkins, political cartoonist, creator of Tom Tomorrow Barbara Seaman, author Prof. Erna Smith, San Francisco State, journalism Norman Solomon, Columnist and Author Sheila Rabb Weidenfeld, president, D.C. Productions, Ltd.; former press secretary to Betty Ford.


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