Media Accountability Day, October 1, is the annual release of the news stories that were not covered by the corporate-mainstream media in the US. The list, just announced by Project Censored at Sonoma State University in California, includes the twenty-five most important uncovered news stories of the year selected by over 200 academics.
Stories about the Iraq occupation lead the list. Unreported in the US corporate media is how over one million Iraqis have met violent deaths resulting from the 2003 US led invasion. According to a study conducted by the British polling group Opinion Research Business the human toll exceeded 900,000 as of August 2007. In addition, a United Nations Refugee Agency study found that five million Iraqis had been displaced by violence in their country.
Also ignored by mainstream media was the report of how three hundred Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans came forward in March of 2008 to recount the brutal impact of the ongoing occupations. The Winter Soldier hearings in Silver Spring, Maryland, organized by Iraq Veterans Against the War, presented multiple testimonies by veterans who witnessed or participated in atrocities against Iraqis or Afghans.
Independent media reported that the United States Federal Reserve shipped $12 billion in US currency to Iraq at the beginning of the war of which at least $9 billion went missing, but this story never saw the light of day in the US mainstream.
Additionally, many anti-war activists will be surprised to learn that President Bush has signed two executive orders that would allow the US Treasury Department to seize the property of any person perceived to, directly or indirectly, pose a threat to US operations in the Middle East.
Also not reported in the US news is how the leaders of Canada, the US, and Mexico have been secretly meeting to expand the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to form a militarized tri-national Homeland Security force and how more than 23,000 representatives of US private industry are working with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to collect information on fellow Americans.
Coverage of how massive new US-backed military funding threatens peace and democracy in Latin America and that NATO officials are considering a first strike nuclear option was also missing from the corporate press.
Unreported news also includes the stories that the Justice Department believes it is legal for the president to secretly ignore previous executive orders anytime he wants, and the FDA is complicit in allowing drug companies to make false, unsubstantiated, and misleading advertising claims.
Censored news stories also included why the No Child Left Behind program is a huge success for corporate profits, but have had little positive impact on public education. Children in juvenile detention centers in the US face conditions that involve sexual and physical abuse, and even death. And radioactive materials from nuclear weapons production sites are being dumped into public landfills, and being used as recycled metals.
Untold news includes CARE announcing last year that it was turning down $45 million in food aid from the United States government because the procedures the US demands for handling the food actually increases starvation instead of relieving it.
Rounding out the Project Censored list is the news that the guest worker program in the United States victimizes immigrant workers and creates a new form of indentured servitude and that twenty-seven million slaves exist in the world today.
Censorship is a harsh term, but the shocking fact is that the corporate-mainstream media in the US was so busy entertaining us that these and many other important news stories became lost in a news system run amuck.