Project Censored 2005 #24

After picking up my first copy of “Censored: The News That Didn’t Make the News and Why – The 1995 Project Censored Yearbook,” I was hooked. The mission of Project Censored reads:

Our mission is to educate people about the role of independent journalism in a democratic society and to tell The News That Didn’t Make the News and why. (more)

Project Censored now publishes the top 25 censored stories every year on their website which has been in my Great Sites list since the inception of this blog. In keeping with my personal mission of bringing you relevant news Comments From Left Field will republish one censored story every week.

(#24) Reinstating the Draft

SALON, November 3, 2003

Title: “Oiling up the Draft Machine?”

Author: Dave Lindorff

BUZZFLASH.COM, November 11, 2003

Title: “Would a Second Bush Term Mean a Return to Conscription?’

Author: Maureen Farrell

WAR TIMES, October-November, 2003

Title: “Military Targets Latino Youth”

Author: Jorge Mariscal

Evaluator: Robert Manning

Student Researchers: Jenifer Green, Adam Stutz

The Selective Service System, the Bush Administration, and the Pentagon have been quietly moving to fill draft board vacancies nationwide in order to prepare for a military draft that could start as early as June 15, 2005. In preparation several million dollars have been added to the 2004 Selective Service System (SSS) budget. The SSS Administration must report to Bush on March 31, 2005 that the system, which has lain dormant for decades, is ready for activation. The Pentagon has quietly begun a public campaign to fill all 10,350 draft board positions and 11,070 appeals board slots nationwide. An unpopular election year topic, military experts and influential members of Congress are suggesting that if Rumsfeld’s prediction of a “long, hard slog” in Iraq and Afghanistan (and a permanent state of war on “terrorism”) proves accurate, the U.S. may have no choice but to draft.

Congress brought twin bills, S. 89 and H.R. 163 forward in 2003, introduced by Democratic Representative Charles Rangel and Democratic Senator Fritz Hollings. Entitled the Universal National Service Act of 2003, their aim is “To provide for the common defense by requiring that all young persons (age 18-26) in the United States, including women, perform a period of military service or a period of civilian service in furtherance of the national defense and homeland security, and for other purposes.” These active bills currently sit in the Committee on Armed Services.

Dodging the draft will be more difficult than those from the Vietnam era remember. College and Canada will no longer be options. In December 2001, Canada and the US signed a “Smart Border Declaration,” which could be used to contain would-be draft dodgers. The declaration involves a 30-point plan which implements, among other things, a “pre-clearance agreement” of people entering and departing each country. Reforms aimed at making the draft more equitable along gender and class lines also eliminate higher education as a shelter. Underclassmen would only be able to postpone service until the end of their current semester. Seniors would have until the end of the academic year.

Read the rest of the story…

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