A military training program that Project Censored has deemed the “U.S. Army and psychology’s largest experiment—ever” was profiled in a detailed American Psychologist series in early 2011. Comprehensive Solider Fitness is described as a “holistic approach to warrior training,” emphasizing positive psychology as a means to counter mental-health problems arising from horrific combat situations.
While the American Psychologist series reads like a puff piece finessed by the professionals who developed CSF, Project Censored spotlighted articles in Truthout and The Psychology of Well-Being that raised questions about the wisdom of launching a required, untested psychology program for more than 1 million soldiers, one that encourages soldiers to think positive even in the face of traumatizing events.
In an article appearing on OpEdNews.com, authors Roy Eidelson, Marc Pilisuk and Stephen Soldz write that the CSF “training” program would better be described as a research project. They point out that a hypothesis of the program’s success lies at the very core of CSF, “yet it is merely a hypothesis—a tentative explanation or prediction that can only be confirmed through further research.”
The terrifying meltdowns of Japan’s Fukushima nuclear reactors reignited a worldwide debate about the wisdom of relying on nuclear energy as an electricity source. While Germany opted to phase out its nuclear facilities by 2022 in the wake of the tragedy, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission came under scrutiny after a Union of Concerned Scientists report analyzed 14 “near misses” at nuclear power plants in 2010, revealing the shortcomings in NRC inspections.
Project Censored’s critique of mainstream media’s treatment of nuclear power is that it’s too willing to endorse the idea that nuclear power is safe so long as proper safety measures are in place, and that major news publications readily go along with the nuclear industry’s branding of the power source as “clean” and “carbon free” when it’s really not.
Claiming that “the refrain of the corporate media” is that nuclear power is “perfectly harmless,” the authors spotlight a number of articles and literature from anti-nuclear nonprofit organizations explaining the health hazards of radiation, plus Jeff Goodell’s “America’s Nuclear Nightmare,” an in-depth Rolling Stone article investigating ties between the NRC and the nuclear industry.
This one stretches credulity, and it’s probably the best example of why Project Censored has gained detractors even on the left in recent years. The authors point us to a Centre for Research on Globalization article entitled, “Atmospheric Geoengineering: Weather Manipulation, Contrails and Chemtrails,” by Rady Ananda, who begins by informing readers, “The military-industrial complex stands poised to capitalize on controlling the world’s weather.”
It describes an “international symposium” held in Belgium in May of 2010 during which “scientists asserted that manipulation of climate through modification of Cirrus clouds is neither a hoax nor a conspiracy theory,” and is “fully operational.”
That sounds rather serious, but a Web video of that symposium easily located online offers a closer look. One speaker begins by showing slides of old paintings to demonstrate “what the sky is supposed to look like,” then offers evidence of a chemtrail coverup by quoting an unnamed pilot who tells someone in an online comment that he could reveal the truth about chemtrails, but is bound by contract to shoot anyone he tells.
Scientific American and other publications have reported that geoengineering—spreading tiny atmospheric particles to reflect sunlight as a method to counter climate change—has actually come under serious consideration in recent years. Yet Project Censored seems to conflate this with a fringe obsession with supposedly suspicious airplane contrails.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates the “official unemployment rate” by counting everyone who had no job, was available for work, and had actively sought work in the past four weeks, according to the BLS website. But alternative BLS statistics incorporate so-called “discouraged workers,” unemployed individuals who’ve given up on the job hunt.
In the first four months of 2011, the national unemployment rate officially stood at about 9 percent, while a BLS statistic incorporating discouraged workers and the marginally employed bumped that figure up to 15.9 percent.
However, Project Censored highlights an article by Greg Hunter published on Information Clearinghouse, claiming that the “real” unemployment rate is actually 22.1 percent, or one out of five U.S. residents. Hunter’s claim is based on his interview with San Francisco-based economist John Williams, who maintains a website called Shadow Government Statistics. By ignoring the claims of this economist, Project Censored argues, the mainstream media is engaging in censorship.
As with several claims in this year’s list, that may be stretching things a bit.