Each year the Project Censored Team at Sonoma State University in California publishes a list of those stories selected from literally thousands in the US that received little or no coverage in the mainstream media for that year.
When one considers the immense importance that each of these stories carry in terms of our and other’s daily lives, it really brings home the way in which that same mainstream media is conditioned to deny us access to the truth.
Clearly, we are meant to remain ignorant of these controversial issues, for if they did become mainstream knowledge there would surely be a hue and cry and shouts of outrage from very many quarters.
Nexus magazine publishes these stories each year, here are the top twenty for 2006/7.
1. The denial of Habeas Corpus
On October 17th 2006, Bush signed the Military Commissions Act, the provisions of which effectively suspend an individual’s right to appeal against wrongful arrest or detention that the provisions of Habeas Corpus provide. The Act institutes a military alternative to the constitutional justice system for ‘any person’, civilian or otherwise, regardless of American citizenship. This means that any US citizen can be legally regarded as ‘an enemy of the state’ and the judgment lies solely with Bush himself.
2. Martial Law provisions made
With the signing of the John Warner Defense Authorisation Act on the same day provision is now made to station military troops anywhere in the US who are then able to over-ride state-based National Guard troops without the consent of the state governor or local authorities, in order to ‘suppress public disorder’. This legislation completely rescinds the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act which places strict prohibition on US military involvement in domestic law enforcement.
3. Africa’s resources come under US Military control
The creation of the US African Command (AFRICOM) was announced by the White House in February of this year and will come into force in September 2008. Although conveniently presented as a humanitarian guard against the ‘War on Terror’, its real aim is to commandeer Africa’s oil resources and its global delivery systems. AFRICOM will be targeting African resistance groups who it claims are part of international ‘terrorist’ networks, but most of whom have a sole aim to rightfully proclaim these resources as their country's own and engage in free trade. This action is clearly another deliberate hindrance which would prevent African nations from creating their own wealth as a means to escape poverty and keeps their rich mineral wealth firmly in the control of the NWO/US juggernaut.
4. Destructive trade agreements
Neatly fitting in with AFRICOM’s aims are a plethora of US and EU destructive bi-lateral trade agreements which require enormous irreversible concessions from developing countries, while offering little or nothing in return. This will entail the US and EU dumping subsidised agricultural goods on underdeveloped countries denying them the ability to build their own self-sustaining agricultural programmes while at the same time denying those countries local farmers to be self-sufficient.
5. Forced labour used to build US Embassy in Iraq
The $592 million, 104-acre US Embassy, currently being built in Iraq will be as large as the Vatican City and will be the most heavily fortified embassy in the world. It is being constructed using forced labour trafficked from South Asia under US contracts. Thousands of citizens from countries that have been banned from travelling to or working in Iraq are being tricked by being smuggled by First Kuwait Trading and Contracting and Halliburton/Kellogg Brown Root into Iraq only to find themselves embroiled in inhumane labour camps and forced to months of forced servitude in the building site right in the middle of the ‘Green Zone’ and right under the nose of the US State Department!
That great vanguard of the NWO and the most powerful mercenary firm in the World, Blackwater, is to receive over half a billion dollars in federal contracts, allowing the company under its head neo-con supremacist Erik Prince, to bolster his private army of 20,000 soldiers, helicopter gunships and private intelligence division. The benefit of this enhanced Blackwater empire to the Bush administration is to be able to co-opt its troops which have almost no oversight or effective legal constraints, are politically expedient and whose death toll goes uncounted in official figures. This all amounts to an undisclosed covert expansion of Iraq’s occupation.
7. Operation FALCON
Seen as part of Bush’s positioning for martial law, FALCON (Federal and Local Cops Organized Nationally) have been busily engaged in staging heavy-handed dragnet raids across the US, arresting over 30,000 so-called ‘fugitives’ - the worst of the worst criminals on the run, particularly sex offenders. Yet, of the numbers arrested less than 10% were suspected as being sex offenders and less than 2% owned firearms. The question that has failed to be asked in the mainstream media is why were the other 90% arrested and why has no formal announcement been made as to whether they have been charged or released.
8. Indo-US Knowledge Initiative on Agriculture (KIA)
As many as 28,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide over the last decade because of the debt incurred from failed GM crops and competition from subsidised US crop imports. Yet in March 2006 Bush and Indian Prime Minister Singh signed the KIA which is backed by Monsanto, Archer Daniels Midland and Wal-Mart which will allow a land grab of India’s seed business and of its retail sector. Wal-Mart is already opening, 500 stores across the sub-continent, compounding the distress among the country’s farmers and threatening the loss of livelihood for 14 million small vendors, damaging India’s self-sufficiency and food security.
9. US infrastructure sold off
More than 20 states in the US have have enacted legislation to sell off public highways at knock down prices to private companies as toll roads for the maximum return on their investments. Many of these agreements come with ‘noncomplete’ clauses which limit state governments from expanding or improving adjacent non-privatised roads, eventually forcing drivers to use the privatised ones.
10. Vulture funds threaten third-world debt relief
Otherwise known as ‘distressed-debt investors’, vulture funds are undermining attempts to relieve impoverished third-world nations who have become burdened by unpayable debt to international bank loans. These debts, which are deemed near default and unpayable, are bought up by financial organisations who pay the original investor mere pennies on the dollar for the debt then go after the debtor in court. Most of these vulture funds have strong ties to powerful world leaders and many to the Bush administration giving them virtually financial immunity as their political influence greatly out weighs the poor nations they are suing.
11. The reconstruction of Afghanistan myth
It is estimated that less than 20% of funds destined for the reconstruction of Afghanistan actually end up being used for that purpose. Because of the ‘rigged’ way that IMF, World Bank and USAID loans operate, much of the money ends up being returned to those organisations thereby failing to benefit the countries to which they are supposedly destined. Furthermore, much of the construction contracts do not go to Afghan contractors but to the likes of Kellogg, Brown & Root, Halliburton, DynCorp, Blackwater and other consortia in bed with the same people allied to those finance organisations.
12. More UN massacres
As with Bosnia and elsewhere, eyewitness testimony confirms that UN troops massacred over 30 people including women and children in Haiti’s Cité Soleil in retaliation for a mass demonstration of 10,000 people demanding the return of former President Aristide in the light of the foreign military occupation of their country.
13. US gains cheap labour from immigrant round-ups
As a deliberate attempt to undermine Mexican farmers by flooding the country with cheap American imports under NAFTA agreements, some two million farmers have been bankrupted resulting in an influx of Mexican migrants into the US. There they have become an important factor in the low-income end of the workplace, often replacing US union-based labour and since 9/11 many of these ’illegal’ immigrants have been ‘rounded up’ under an anti-terrorist guise but really intended as a means of creating a strong non-union immigrant workforce.
14. US war crime immunity
Hidden in the Military Commissions Act, already mentioned, is a clause which re-defines ‘torture’, removing some of the most harshest techniques used from the definition of ‘war crimes under the Geneva War Crimes Act, effectively re-writing that Act’s safeguards. These exemptions will be back-dated to November 1997 thus exonerating the actions of Rumsfeld, Cheney and Bush should any sworn testimonies by inmates from Abu Ghraib come to light in a court of law, which, without this clause would hold them guilty.
15. Effects of toxic exposure could be passed on to our offspring
In a new field of genetic research called ‘epigenetics’, it has been found that exposure to toxic chemicals, both in our food and the environment, effect our genes and in turn can influence those of our offspring. On average 1,800 new chemicals are registered with the US federal government each year of which about just under half find their way into foods, detergents, cosmetics etc. without any real prior testing for health and environmental effects. Although the Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals (REACH) directive was adopted by the EU last year in an effort to ensure new chemicals are thoroughly tested before they are sold, there is no guarantee as to how closely chemical companies will adhere to these new restrictions putting at risk future generations wellbeing.
16. 9/11 and bin Laden - no connection identified
Why did the US invade Afghanistan to smoke out Bin Laden from his cave for his supposed links to 9/11 (not to mention the bombings of US embassies in Tanzania and Kenya) when he doesn’t even appear on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted poster. The truth of the matter is that the Bureau has no hard evidence of any connection between bin Laden and those atrocities according to Rex Tomb, the FBI’s Head of Investigative Publicity. This comes despite Rumsfeld’s claims just after 9/11 that ‘there was no doubt of bin Laden’s responsibility for the 9/11 attacks'.
17. Military and Corporate contamination of water
Despite the 1972 Clean Water Act, Americans suffer increasingly polluted water supplies, thanks to the Bush administration’s circumvention of the act’s provisions. A Public Interest Research Group report entitled ‘Troubled Waters: An Analysis of Clean Water Act Compliance’ published in July 2006 shows that between July 2003 and December 2004 more than 62% of industrial and municipal facilities discharged pollutants into US waterways that are way above the prescribed limit. Furthermore, the US Department of Defense has received exemptions from the act with the results of increased disposal of trichloroethylene, into public aquifers, a toxin which has known links to kidney cancer, autoimmune disease and impaired neurological functions.
18. Mexico’s rigged election
With Felipe Caulderón of the conservative PAN party the ‘desired’ candidate in Mexico’s 2006 presidential elections, overwhelming evidence of a fraudulent and a ‘rigged’ campaign have come to light. Although it is illegal for the US to influence elections in other countries, companies such as Wal-Mart and Halliburton have been financing Mexican TV ad campaigns to denigrate the more liberal opposition candidate, Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador who wanted to ensure that the country’s oil industry remained in national hands. Although good for Mexico, such a move would violate the Security and Prosperity of North American (ASPAN) accord signed in 2005 by former president Vicente Fox, the US and Canada in establishing a North American Union. In order for this multi-lateral agreement to move forward without public opposition, pro-ASPAN Caulderón’s ascendancy to power is viewed as essential in an election that was riddled with arithmetical errors in his favour.
19. South American backlash to the neo-con agenda
The US ‘free trade’ model with its vanguards, the IMF and World Bank, are being increasingly shunned by South American countries. Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Nicaragua and Venezuela have all managed, thanks to profits from foreign sales of their natural resources, to pay off all of their IMF debts contrary to that organisation’s predictions. The leaders of each country have vowed not to further engage in any relationship with the IMF, break ties with the US and their privatisation plans for each country’s natural resources and instead use the profits from these publicly-owned assets for the benefit of each respective country and its people.
20. Definitions of ‘Terrorism’ broadened to include animal rights activists
In a bill that was passed with only 6 out of 435 congresspersons present, The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) has broadened the definition of terrorist acts to those who protest the abuse of animal rights. Dozens of organisations have registered their protest against the bill and its rather ‘vague wording’ saying that it violates First Amendment rights, including demonstrations, leafleting and undercover investigations.