Project Censored specializes in covering the top stories which were subjected to media censorship either by being ignored or downplayed by the mainstream media each year. Project Censored is a research team composed of more than 200 university faculty, students, and community experts who annually review between 700 and 1,000 news story submissions for coverage, content, reliability of sources, and national significance.

The top 25 stories selected are submitted to a distinguished panel of judges who then rank them in order of importance. The results are published each year in an excellent book available for purchase at their website, amazon.com, and most major book stores.

A summary of the top 25 media censorship stories of 2012 provided below proves quite revealing and most informative. Each summary has a link for those who want to read the entire article. For whatever reason the mainstream media won’t adequately report on these key stories.

Yet thanks to the Internet and wonderful, committed groups like Project Censored and WantToKnow.info, the news is getting out. By revealing these examples of media censorship, we can stop the excessive secrecy and work together for a brighter future. And don’t miss the sections on “News Stories of Hope and Creative Change” and “What you can do.” Please help to spread the word, and take care.

Note: Thanks to the San Francisco Bay Guardian and Yael Chanoff for use of their summaries. To find all of these stories and their sources on the Project Censored website, click here. The stories below actually cover a 12-month period spanning 2011 and 2012.

Top 25 Stories of 2012 Subjected to Media Censorship

1. Signs of an Emerging Police State

President George W. Bush is remembered largely for his role in curbing civil liberties in the name of his “war on terror.” But it’s President Obama who signed the 2012 NDAA, including its clause allowing for indefinite detention without trial for terrorism suspects. Obama promised he would “interpret them to avoid the constitutional conflict” — leaving us adrift if and when the next administration chooses to interpret them otherwise. Another law of concern is the National Defense Resources Preparedness Executive Order that Obama issued in March 2012. That order authorizes the President, “in the event of a potential threat to the security of the United States, to take actions necessary to ensure the availability of adequate resources and production capability, including services and critical technology, for national defense requirements.”

Sources: Spencer Ackerman and Noah Shachtman, “Read the FBI Memo: Agents Can ‘Suspend the Law,’” Wired, March 28, 2012, James Bamford, “The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center,” Wired, March 15, 2012, Chris Hedges, “Why I’m Suing Barack Obama,” Truthdig, January 16, 2012, .

2. Oceans in Peril

The collapse of our oceans could compromise life itself. In a haunting article in Mother Jones reporter Julia Whitty paints a tenuous seascape — overfished, acidified, warming — and describes how the destruction of the ocean’s complex ecosystems jeopardizes the entire planet, not just the 70 percent that is water. Whitty compares ocean acidification, caused by global warming, to acidification that was one of the causes of the “Great Dying,” a mass extinction 252 million years ago. Life on earth took 30 million years to recover. In a more hopeful story, a study of 14 protected and 18 non-protected ecosystems in the Mediterranean Sea showed dangerous levels of biomass depletion. But it also showed that the marine reserves were well-enforced, with five to 10 times larger fish populations than in unprotected areas. This encourages establishment and maintenance of more reserves.

Sources: Julia Whitty, “The End of a Myth,” OnEarth, February 27, 2012, Richard Gray, “Warming Oceans Cause Largest Movement of Marine Species in Two Million Years,” Telegraph (UK), June 26, 2011, David A. Gabel, “Overfishing the Mediterranean,” Environmental News Network, March 8, 2012.

3. US Deaths From Fukushima Not Reported

A plume of toxic fallout floated to the US after Japan’s tragic Fukushima nuclear disaster on March 11, 2011. The US Environmental Protection Agency found radiation levels in air, water, and milk that were hundreds of times higher than normal across the United States. One month later, the EPA announced that radiation levels had declined, and they would cease testing. But after making a Freedom of Information Act request, journalist Lucas Hixson published emails revealing that on March 24, 2011, the task of collecting nuclear data had been handed off from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission to the Nuclear Energy Institute, a nuclear industry lobbying group. And in one study that got little attention, scientists Joseph Mangano and Janette Sherman found that in the period following the Fukushima meltdowns, 14,000 more deaths than average were reported in the US, mostly among infants.

Source: Joseph Mangano and Janette Sherman, “14,000 U.S. Deaths Tied to Fukushima Reactor Disaster Fallout,” International Journal of Health Services, December 19, 2011, Alex Roslin, “What Are Officials Hiding about Fukushima?” Straight.com (Vancouver), October 20, 2011, Danny Schechter, “Beyond Fukushima: A World in Denial about Nuclear Risks,” Common Dreams, March 21, 2011.

4. FBI Informants Carried Out Terrorist Plots Under FBI Direction

We know that FBI agents go into communities such as mosques, both undercover and in the guise of building relationships, quietly gathering information about individuals. This is part of an approach to finding what the FBI now considers the most likely kind of terrorists, “lone wolves.” Its strategy: “seeking to identify those disgruntled few who might participate in a plot given the means and the opportunity. And then, in case after case, the government provides the plot, the means, and the opportunity,” writes Mother Jones journalist Trevor Aaronson. 508 cases classified as terrorism-related have come before the US Department of Justice since the 9/11 terrorist attacks of 2001. In 243 of these cases, an informant was involved; in 49 cases, an informant actually led the plot. And “with three exceptions, all of the high-profile domestic terror plots of the last decade were actually FBI stings.”

Sources: Trevor Aronson, “The Informants,” Mother Jones, September/October 2011, FBI Organizes Almost All Terror Plots in the US,” RT.com, August 23, 2011

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