Project Censored spotlights the news that’s most underreported, misrepresented or ignored by MSM
Published: November 14, 2012
On July 25, 2012, a bill to audit the Fed again, with fewer limitations, authored by Rep. Ron Paul, passed the House of Representatives. HR459 is expected to die in the Senate, but the movement behind Paul and his calls to hold the Fed accountable, or abolish it altogether, seem to be growing.
Source: Matthew Cardinale, "First Federal Reserve Audit Reveals Trillions in Secret Bailout," Inter Press Service, Common Dreams, August 28, 2011
6. Small network of corporations controls global economy
A University of Zurich study reported that a small group of companies — mainly banks — wields huge power over the global economy. The study is the first to look at all 43,060 transnational corporations and the web of ownership among them. The researchers' network analysis identified 147 companies that form a "super entity," controlling 40 percent of the global economy's total wealth. The close connections mean that the network could be prone to "systemic risk" and vulnerable to collapse.
Some have criticized the study, saying control of assets doesn't equate to ownership. True, but as we clearly saw in the 2008 financial collapse, corporations are capable of mismanaging assets in their control to the detriment of their actual owners.
Rob Waugh, "Does One 'Super Corporation' Run the Global Economy? Study Claims it Could be Terrifyingly Unstable," Daily Mail, Oct. 20, 2011, Stefania Vitali, James B. Glattfelder, and Stefano Battiston, "The Network of Global Corporate Control," Public Library of Science, Oct. 26, 2011,
7. The International Year of Cooperatives
According to Project Censored evaluators, the corporate media underreported the U.N. declaring 2012 to be the International Year of Cooperatives, based on the co-op business model's stunning growth. The U.N. found that, in 2012, 1 billion people worldwide are co-op member-owners, or one in five adults over the age of 15. The largest is Spain's Mondragon Corp., with more than 80,000 member-owners. Comprising 256 companies and bodies, the co-op corp is able to successfully compete in an international marketplace while maintaining its core principles of pursuing "democratic methods in its business organization, the creation of jobs, the human and professional development of its workers and a pledge to development with its social environment."
Is the corporate media missing an important trend, or is it worried that promoting news about massively successful co-ops might not be in its best interests?
Either way, the story got virtually no attention.
But it's not going away.
The U.N. predicts that by 2025, worker-owned co-ops will be the world's fastest growing business model. Worker-owned cooperatives provide for equitable distribution of wealth, genuine connection to the workplace, and, just maybe, a brighter future for our planet.
Sources: Jessica Reeder, "The Year of the Cooperative," Yes! Magazine, Feb. 1, 2012, Monique Hairston, "American Dream 2.0: Can Worker-Owned Coops End Poverty?" Rebuild the Dream, March 9, 2012
8. NATO war crimes in Libya
In January 2012, the BBC "revealed" how British Special Forces agents had joined and "blended in" with rebels in Libya to help topple dictator Muammar Gadaffi, a story that alternative media sources had reported a year earlier. NATO admits to bombing a pipe factory in the Libyan city of Brega that was key to the water supply system that brought tap water to 70 percent of Libyans, saying that Gadaffi was storing weapons in the factory. In Censored 2013, writer James F. Tracy makes the point that historical relations between the U.S. and Libya were left out of mainstream news coverage of the NATO campaign. Tracy adds, "Background knowledge and historical context confirming Al-Qaeda and Western involvement in the destabilization of the Gadaffi regime are also essential for making sense of corporate news narratives depicting the Libyan operation as a popular 'uprising.'"
Michael Collins, "Smoking Guns: War Crimes in Libya," TheDaily Censored (blog), Nov. 2, 2011; Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey, "NATO's Ultimate War Crime: Destroying Libya's Water Supply," Global Research, Aug. 1; Franklin Lamb, "Where Have Libya's Children Gone?" Counterpunch, Aug. 8, 2011
9. Prison slavery in the U.S.
The United States makes up less than 5 percent of the world's population, yet U.S. prisons hold more than 25 percent of all people imprisoned globally. Many of these prisoners labor at 23 cents per hour, or similar wages, in federal prisons contracted by the Bureau of Prisons' UNICOR, a quasi-public, for-profit corporation, which is the U.S. government's thirty-ninth largest contractor. The UNICOR manufacturing corporation proudly proclaims that its products are "made in America." That's true, but they're made in places where standard labor laws don't apply. Prison workers exposed to toxic materials, for instance, have no legal recourse.
One article highlighted by Project Censored this year reveals the current state of the ties between prison industries and war. The majority of products manufactured by inmates are contracted to the Department of Defense. Inmates make complex parts for missile systems, battleship anti-aircraft guns and landmine sweepers, as well as night-vision goggles, body armor and camouflage uniforms. Of course, this is happening in the context of record high imprisonment in the United States, where grossly disproportionate numbers of African-Americans and Latinos are imprisoned and, in some states, can't vote even after they're freed. As psychologist Elliot D. Cohen puts it in this year's book: "This system of slavery, like that which existed in this country before the Civil War, is also racist, as more than 60 percent of U.S. prisoners are people of color."
Another part of the story is that, as incarceration rates explode in the United States, thousands are placed in solitary confinement, often for having committed minor disciplinary infractions within prison.
Sources: Sara Flounders, "The Pentagon and Slave Labor in U.S. Prisons," Workers World, June 6, 2011, James Ridgeway and Jean Casella, "Cruel and Usual: U.S. Solitary Confinement," Al Jazeera English, March 19, 2011
10. HR 347 criminalizes protest
In March 2012, President Obama signed into law HR 347, the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011. The law specifies as criminal offenses the acts of entering or remaining in areas defined as "restricted." Although pundits have debated to what extent the new law restricts First Amendment rights or criminalizes Occupy protests, it does make it easier for the Secret Service to overuse or misuse existing laws to arrest lawful protesters by lowering the requirement of intent in the prosecution of criminal activity.
The law makes it a felony to "knowingly" enter a zone restricted under the law, or engage in "disorderly or disruptive" conduct in or near the zones. The restricted zones include anywhere the Secret Service may be — places such as the White House, areas hosting events deemed "National Special Security Events," or anywhere visited by the president, vice president and their immediate families; former presidents, vice presidents and certain family members; certain foreign dignitaries; major presidential and vice presidential candidates (within 120 days of an election); and other individuals as designated by a presidential executive order. These people could be anywhere, and NSSEs have notoriously included the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, Super Bowls and the Academy Awards.
Sources: Danny Weil, "Many Forms of Occupy Protests Subjected to New Bill Making Protests Illegal," The Daily Censored (blog), March 5, 2012 Oskar Mosquito, "Enacting the NDAA: Limiting Protesters' Rights," Media Roots, March 5, 2012; Brian Doherty, "Bill Passes House: Protests Near Secret Service Protected Folk Effectively Outlawed," Reason (blog), March 1, 2012
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