Censored in a brave new world - Page 3

Project Censored: The top 10 big stories the major news media didn't report in 2009

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the important stories ignored by the mainstream media, according to Project Censored

Its self-analysis concludes that the organization is neither, but admits to a certain bias. "The bias of Project Censored seems to be quite simple," it notes. "We promote protection of First Amendment rights in support of a truly free press, one that holds those in power, elected by the people or appointed, accountable."

 

THE TOP 10 CENSORED STORIES OF 2009-2010

1. Buh-bye U.S. dollar as the global reserve currency?

Since the financial meltdown of 2008 sent a jarring ripple effect throughout the global economy, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has been talking up the idea of an international market that doesn't use the U.S. dollar as a global reserve currency. The dollar now holds the status of the predominant anchor currency held in foreign exchange reserves, securing the U.S.'s strategic economic position.

In July 2009 at the Group of Eight Summit in Italy, Medvedev underscored his call for a newly conceived "united future world currency" when he pulled a sample coin from his pocket and showed it off to heads of state, the Bloomberg news service reported. At a conference in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg in June 2009, world leaders from Brazil, India, and China listened as Medvedev made his case for a new global currency system anchored on something other than the dollar, according to an article in the Christian Science Monitor.

Additionally, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) suggested in a report that the present system of using the dollar as the world's reserve currency should be subject to a wholesale reconsideration, according to an article in the Telegraph, a British newspaper.

Michael Hudson, an author and professor of economics at the University of Missouri, links discussions about an alternative global reserve currency with U.S. military spending. Referencing Medvedev's calls for a "multipolar world order," Hudson offers this translation: "What this means in plain English is, we have reached our limit in subsidizing the United States' military encirclement of Eurasia while also allowing the U.S. to appropriate our exports, companies, stocks, and real estate in exchange for paper money of questionable worth."

2. Environmental enemy No. 1: U.S. Department of Defense

The U.S. military burns through 320,000 barrels of oil a day, Sara Flounders of the International Action Center reports, but that tally doesn't factor in fuel consumed by contractors or the energy and resources used to produce bombs, grenades, missiles, or other weapons employed by the Department of Defense.

By every measure, the Pentagon is the largest institutional user of petroleum products — yet it has a blanket exemption in commitments made by the U.S. to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Despite its status as top polluter, the Department of Defense received little attention in December of 2009 during talks at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.

Meanwhile, human health is threatened by the long-term environmental impacts of military operations throughout the globe. Depleted uranium contamination from the Iraq conflict has been linked to widespread health problems, Jalal Ghazi reports for New America Media. The Chamoru people of Guam, meanwhile, experience an alarmingly high rate of cancer, which is suspected to be linked to a nearby 1950s U.S. nuclear weapons testing site that left a legacy of radioactive contamination.

"The greatest single assault on the environment comes from one agency: the Armed Forces of the United States," author Barry Sanders writes in The Green Zone: The Environmental Costs of Militarism.

3. Internet privacy and personal access at risk

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