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10 most underreported stories of 2006
Posted By -NO AUTHOR- On 01/03/2007 @ 1:00 am In Front Page | Comments Disabled
The controversial movement to merge the U.S., Mexico and Canada into what critics call a “North American Union” – in the face of what is already a massive, national illegal immigration and border security crisis – tops the list of the 10 most “spiked” or underreported stories of the last year, according to an annual WND survey.
At the end of each year, news organizations typically present their retrospective replays of what they consider to have been the top news stories in the previous 12 months.
WND’s editors, however, have long considered it far more newsworthy to publicize the most important unreported or underreported news events of the year – to highlight perhaps for one last time major news stories that were undeservedly “spiked” by the establishment press.
WND Editor and CEO Joseph Farah has sponsored “Operation Spike” every year since 1988, and since founding WorldNetDaily in May 1997, he has continued the annual tradition.
Here, with our readers’ help, are WorldNetDaily editors’ picks for the 10 most underreported stories of 2006:
1. Plans under way for North American Union: While most Americans consider their nation’s unsecured borders and the resulting flood of illegal immigrants to be among the country’s most dire problems, the U.S. government – inexplicably – is engaged in progressively de-emphasizing those borders while integrating the U.S., Mexico and Canada into a North American “superstate.”
Although most in the media regard the notion of a merger agenda as sheer conspiracy theory, an increasing number of high-level voices – including congressmen like Tom Tancredo and Ron Paul, and newsmen like CNN’s Lou Dobbs who calls the government’s actions on this issue “unconscionable” and “Orwellian” – are sounding the alarm over recent moves in the direction of a de facto North American Union.
For example, confirmation has surfaced that the U.S. government will indeed provide full Social Security benefits to Mexicans – which critics predict will bankrupt the already-shaky system. And a report by the powerful Council on Foreign Relations, regarded by many as something of a “shadow government,” has called for a massive transfer of wealth from the U.S. to Mexico and the establishment of a “security perimeter” around North America – rather than securing America’s borders with Mexico and Canada.
WND tells the whole story, as it’s never been told before (including the possibility of a new North American currency, the “amero”) in the January 2007 edition of its acclaimed Whistleblower magazine, titled “PREMEDITATED MERGER: How our leaders are stealthily transforming the U.S.A. into the North American Union.”
2. Wave of murders and other crimes by illegal aliens: Though most of the media don’t report it as such, and no government agencies are keeping tabs on it, there is an explosion of crime in the United States attributable to illegal aliens.
Last month, for instance, WND reported that more Americans were murdered this year by illegal aliens than the combined death toll of U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan since those military campaigns began.
In another disturbing expose, WND reported that a wave of illegal-immigrant gang rapes is sweeping the U.S. while public officials and law-enforcement authorities fear drawing the link.
As Deborah Schurman-Kauflin, a Ph.D. researcher of violent crimes, told WorldNetDaily: “It appears as if there is a fear that if this is honestly discussed, people will hate all illegal immigrants. So there is silence. … But in being silent about the rapes and murders, it is as if the victims never even existed.”
Even on the nation’s highways, record high numbers of unlicensed, unregistered, uninsured drivers – many of whom are illegal aliens – are driving up the numbers of highway deaths in the U.S.
3. Female teachers sexually preying on their students: In one of the most sensational stories of the year, WND documented dozens of cases of female teachers having sex with their underage students – both male and female.
Prosecutors dropped charges against teacher Debra Lafave who had sex with a 14-year-old
Although local media covered individual cases, most of the national media – with the exception of WND – ignored the startling epidemic. One exception was Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, which had WND Executive Editor Joe Kovacs on to discuss the phenomenon.
WND even devoted an entire issue of Whistleblower magazine to the subject, in an investigative report titled “PREDATORS.” And WND Managing Editor David Kupelian delved in-depth into the reasons why the teacher-sex abuse scandal may eclipse even the Catholic Church’s clergy sex-scandal.
4. Mideast terror leaders favor Democrats: Recently, al-Qaida’s No. 2 man, Ayman al-Zawahiri, spilled the beans about which U.S. political party the Islamic terrorists prefer to be running the show here in America – the Democrats. Addressing the Democrats, he said: “… you aren’t the ones who won the midterm elections, nor are the Republicans the ones who lost. Rather, the Mujahideen – the Muslim Ummah’s vanguard in Afghanistan and Iraq – are the ones who won, and the American forces and their Crusader allies are the ones who lost.”
Although it was obvious the terrorists would prefer the Democrats, especially in light of their willingness to “cut and run” in Iraq, WND alone among the major media actually canvassed key terror leaders before November’s midterm election to see what their preferences were.
“Of course Americans should vote Democrat,” Jihad Jaara, a senior member of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror group and the infamous leader of the 2002 siege of Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity, told WND.
“This is why American Muslims will support the Democrats, because there is an atmosphere in America that encourages those who want to withdraw from Iraq. It is time that the American people support those who want to take them out of this Iraqi mud,” said Jaara, speaking to WND from exile in Ireland, where he was sent as part of an internationally brokered deal that ended the church siege.
Muhammad Saadi, a senior leader of Islamic Jihad in the northern West Bank town of Jenin, said the Democrats’ talk of withdrawal from Iraq makes him feel “proud.”
“As Arabs and Muslims we feel proud of this talk,” he told WND. “Very proud from the great successes of the Iraqi resistance. This success that brought the big superpower of the world to discuss a possible withdrawal.”
Abu Abdullah, a leader of Hamas’ military wing in the Gaza Strip, said the policy of withdrawal “proves the strategy of the resistance is the right strategy against the occupation.”
While the terror leaders each independently urged American citizens to vote for Democratic candidates, not all believed the Democrats would actually carry out a withdrawal from Iraq.
Abu Abdullah commented that once Democrats are in power “the question is whether such a courageous leadership can [withdraw]. I am afraid that even after the American people will elect those who promise to leave Iraq, the U.S. will not do so. I tell the American people vote for withdrawal. Abandon Israel if you want to save America. Now will this happen? I do not believe it.”
5. Manipulated war photos by major news outlets: Once again, in 2006 the blogging world played a vital truth-telling role, this time during the month-long war between Israel and Hezbollah. Even though Israel was attacked by Hezbollah – which daily fired rockets and mortars into Israel, killing and terrorizing civilians – world opinion turned strangely against Israel, as its incursion into Lebanon went on day after day. Widely published photographs by the world’s major international news services conveyed the horror of Israel’s “disproportionate response” to Hezbollah’s murderous attacks on Israeli men, women and children.
Some of the photos, however, were fraudulent – or, as one blogger dubbed the practice, examples of “fauxtography.”
Connecting the dots, WND columnist Michelle Malkin surveyed the journalistic carnage:
It’s the story that the journalistic elite would rather just go away. In the aftermath of Reuters’ admission that one of its photographers, Adnan Hajj, had manipulated two war images from Lebanon after bloggers smoked out his crude Photoshop alterations, and all 920 of his Reuters photos were pulled, evidence of far more troubling photo staging and media deception in the Middle East continues to pour in.
After citing other galling examples, Malkin noted: “Not all photographers overseas have their heads in the sand. Last week, Middle East-based photographer Bryan Denton, whose work has appeared in the New York Times, revealed on the professional photography website Light Stalkers that he had observed routine staging of photos – and even corpse-digging – by Lebanese stringers:
“[I] have been witness to the daily practice of directed shots, one case where a group of wire photogs were choreographing the unearthing of bodies, directing emergency workers here and there, asking them to position bodies just so, even remove bodies that have already been put in graves so that they can photograph them in people[']s arms.”
Malkin also quotes CNN’s Anderson Cooper, who “revealed the routine mechanics of Hezbollywood propaganda tours last week”:
“I was in Beirut, and they took me on this sort of guided tour of the Hezbollah-controlled territories in southern Lebanon that were heavily bombed … they clearly want the story of civilian casualties out. That is their – what they’re heavily pushing, to the point where on this tour I was on, they were just making stuff up. They had six ambulances lined up in a row and said, OK, you know, they brought reporters there, they said you can talk to the ambulance drivers. And then one by one, they told the ambulances to turn on their sirens and to zoom off, and people taking that picture would be reporting, I guess, the idea that these ambulances were zooming off to treat civilian casualties, when in fact, these ambulances were literally going back and forth down the street just for people to take pictures of them.”
6. New revelation showing that contrary to his claims, Sandy Berger deliberately hid classified documents: The bizarre spectacle of Bill Clinton’s National Security Adviser Sandy Berger receiving only a slap on the wrist for stealing classified documents and stuffing them in his clothes rated as one of the top 10 spiked stories for 2005. But a recent development in the case caused the story to shoot up the charts of the 2006 “spike” list as well.
After it was first reported in July 2004, the criminal investigation of Berger – accused of pocketing highly classified terrorism documents prior to the Sept. 11 Commission hearings – virtually disappeared from the media.
But just this month, it turns out that Berger – then one of the America’s most trusted national security officials – was hiding classified documents under a construction trailer.
We learn that his first “cover story” was that he might have inadvertently thrown the papers in the trash.
We learn he admitted retrieving the documents he stashed under the construction trailer and brought them to his office.
We learn the reason he was not confronted earlier – and that law enforcement authorities were not notified – was because of Berger’s high-level position in the Clinton White House.
And let’s remember what Sandy Burglar was doing rummaging through classified materials in the National Archives. He was on assignment for former President Clinton, to help prepare him for upcoming testimony before the 9/11 commission as well as to prepare himself for impending testimony before the Senate and House intelligence committees.
Specifically, he was reviewing National Security Council documents about Osama bin Laden, al-Qaida and Sudan. Now, as you might recall, if you have a very good memory, the Clinton administration was offered bin Laden’s head on a platter by the Sudanese government – an offer spurned by the White House.
The 9/11 commission was investigating the mistakes that led to the biggest attack on American soil in history.
Why was the punishment for this high-profile security breach so minimal, and so underreported? Berger plea-bargained a criminal sentence on the charge of unlawfully removing and retaining classified documents. He got no prison time, was fined $50,000, was ordered to perform 100 hours of community service and was barred from access to classified material for three years.
Berger commands speaking fees of about $50,000. So, even if he indeed paid his own fine, he could do so with one speech. Also, the restriction on Berger’s access to classified material ends in 2009 – making him eligible to be back in a sensitive position should his party win the White House in 2008.
7. Iran leader’s apocalyptic end-times vision: While most of the reporting and analysis of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s speech at the U.N. focused on what he had to say about the West and specifically the U.S., his chilling closing remarks were lost on most listeners – and apparently all reporters as well.
The last two paragraphs of his remarks revealed once again his steadfast and driving conviction, as reported in WND, that a messianic figure known as the “Mahdi” to Muslims is poised to reveal himself after an apocalyptic holocaust on Earth that leaves most of the world’s population dead.
“I emphatically declare that today’s world, more than ever before, longs for just and righteous people with love for all humanity; and above all longs for the perfect righteous human being and the real savior who has been promised to all peoples and who will establish justice, peace and brotherhood on the planet,” Ahmadinejad said at the U.N. “Oh, Almighty God, all men and women are your creatures and you have ordained their guidance and salvation. Bestow upon humanity that thirsts for justice, the perfect human being promised to all by you, and make us among his followers and among those who strive for his return and his cause.”
With Iran on the verge of producing nuclear weapons and already in possession of sophisticated medium-range missiles, mystical pre-occupation with the coming of a Shiite Islamic messiah is of particular concern because of Iran’s potential for triggering the kind of global conflagration Ahmadinejad envisions will set the stage for the end of the world.
Ahmadinejad is on record as stating he believes he is to have a personal role in ushering in the age of the Mahdi. In a Nov. 16, 2005, speech in Tehran, he said he sees his main mission in life as to “pave the path for the glorious reappearance of Imam Mahdi, may Allah hasten his reappearance.”
According to Shiites, the 12th imam disappeared as a child in the year 941. When he returns, they believe, he will reign on earth for seven years, before bringing about a final judgment and the end of the world.
Ahmadinejad is urging Iranians to prepare for the coming of the Mahdi by turning the country into a mighty and advanced Islamic society and by avoiding the corruption and excesses of the West.
All Iran is buzzing about the Mahdi, the 12th imam and the role Iran and Ahmadinejad are playing in his anticipated return. There’s a new messiah hotline. There are news agencies especially devoted to the latest developments.
Ahmadinejad and others in Iran are deadly serious about the imminent return of the 12th imam, who will prompt a global battle between good and evil (with striking parallels to biblical accounts of “Armageddon”). Some interpretations of the events that precede his coming include a war that wipes out most of the world’s population.
8. Two border agents face heavy prison time for injuring a drug smuggler they thought was armed: In one of the most disturbing stories of the year, two U.S. Border Patrol agents were sentenced to prison terms of 11 years and 12 years for shooting a drug-smuggling suspect in the buttocks as he fled across the U.S.-Mexico border.
Former U.S. Border Patrol agent Ignacio Ramos embraced his wife, Monica Ramos, two days before he was sentenced to 11 years in prison (Courtesy El Paso Times)
On Feb. 17, Alonso, 37, an eight-year veteran of the U.S. Naval Reserve and a former nominee for Border Patrol Agent of the Year, responded to a request for backup from Compean, 28, who had seen a suspicious van near the border town of Fabens, Texas.
Both pursued a suspect, a drug smuggler by the name of Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila, who fled across the border to Mexico, but not before the agents saw what they believed to be a gun in his hands and heard shots fired. Both fired in return in an effort to stop his escape.
Far from being awarded medals for heroism, the two agents were hit with charges of violating the illegal alien’s civil rights. The suspect, with 800 pounds of marijuana in his van, was given full immunity from prosecution to testify against the agents.
It turns out Border Patrol agents are forbidden from pursuing fleeing suspects.
At Christmastime, Compean was joined by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., Minuteman Project founder Jim Gilchrist and representatives of other border-security groups at a rally asking President Bush to offer the two law enforcement officers a pardon.
Rohrabacher, noting the president already has received a letter about the case from more than 50 Congress members, asked Americans to sign petitions and send e-mails and letters to the White House requesting a “Christmas pardon.”
Grassfire.org has an online petition calling on Bush to pardon the agents, with more than 150,000 signatures.
“This is the greatest miscarriage of justice that I’ve seen in my career,” Rohrabacher told WND. “Two brave Border Patrol agents trying to enforce the president’s nonsensical border policy ending up being sent to prison, while an illegal alien drug smuggler is given immunity and walks free.”
The letter to Bush included the signatures of Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind., Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, R-Fla., Rep. Gary Miller, R-Calif., Rep. Sue Myrick, R-N.C., Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, Rep. Virgil Goode, R-Va. and Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., the chairman of the House Immigration Reform Caucus.
“We ask that a full investigation of this case be ordered immediately,” the letter said. “We are confident that during such an investigation you will find that these Border Patrol agents were acting within the scope of their duty and were unjustly prosecuted. Also, we ask that you use your power of presidential pardon, as granted by the United States Constitution in Article II, Section 2, to pardon these two Border Patrol agents. We understand these requests usually are for those that have already completed their sentences; however, we feel in this case it would be a miscarriage of justice to send these two Border Patrol agents to prison for protecting our nation’s borders from an illegal drug smuggler.”
9. Mega-pastor Rick Warren praising Syria:
Like Saudi Arabia, Iran and other Middle East nations, Syria is well-known for persecuting Christians, and is officially acknowledged as such by everyone from private groups like Christian Freedom International to the U.S. government.
Syria’s Grand Mufti Sheik Badr al-Din Hassoun and Rick Warren
“For Christians, one of the core tenets is the ability to share your faith, but in Syria that can lead to arrest (and) persecution,” CFI President Jim Jacobson told WND. “We list Syria as one of the top … countries where Christians are facing real persecution.”
If you convert from Islam to Christianity, he added, “you’re disowned by your family, [and] if the local mosque issues a death threat, no one is going to do anything about it, you’ll just end up dead. Nothing is done, no police action, that’s just understood. If you convert you’d better leave the country.”
For those who already are Christian, the government allows them to practice their religion – but within harsh and restrictive guidelines. A Christian is not allowed to proselytize – ever. And churches that want to hold an extra service must get a government permit. Sermons are routinely monitored, as is church fundraising.
The status of Christianity in Syria reached the headlines recently as Pastor Rick Warren, author of “The Purpose-Driven Life,” visited there and was quoted by Syrian media describing it as a “moderate” nation.
Warren also said in a video that was posted briefly on the Internet that Syria is a “moderate” nation, although the video was pulled when he was asked about the comment, and he has denied making those recordings.
The audio from that video, however, was captured and can be heard here:
Listen to Rick Warren talk about Syria:
According to SANA, the Syrian government news service, Warren said “many Americans don’t realize that both Christianity and Judaism are legal in Syria. In addition, the government provides free electricity and water to all churches; allows pastors to purchase a car tax-free (a tax break not given to Muslim imams); appoints pastors as Christian judges to handle Christian cases; and allows Christians to create their own civil law instead of having to follow Muslim law.”
In a series of widely read columns, WND Editor Joseph Farah publicly confronted Warren on his public defense of Syria as a moderate nation friendly to Christians, as well as numerous contradictions and apparent falsehoods in Warren’s defense of his actions while in Syria and after.
10. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg snoozing for 15 minutes during oral arguments.
Actual artist rendition of Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg asleep during hearing
The world’s largest news organization, the Associated Press, gave it a two-sentence mention in the 16th paragraph of a story focusing on a political boundary case. Aside from Fox News which provided some coverage, very few in the media seemed to think a U.S. Supreme Court justice sleeping while hearing a case was newsworthy.
But on March 1, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was snoozing during oral arguments over political redistricting in Texas.
During a report by Megyn Kendall of Fox News, an artist’s sketch of the hearing was aired with Ginsburg’s head using the bench as a pillow.
There was no word if there was any audible snoring echoing through the esteemed chamber, but the sleep session was noticed by Bader’s colleagues who made a snap judgment to let their associate continue her slumber.
“Justices David Souter and Samuel Alito, who flank the 72-year-old, looked at her but did not give her a nudge,” the AP reported.
The incident caught the attention of Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank, who writes:
“At first, she appeared to be reading something in her lap. But after a while, it became clear: Ginsburg was napping on the bench. By Bloomberg News’ reckoning – not denied by a court spokeswoman – Ginsburg’s snooze lasted a quarter of an hour.
“It’s lucky for Ginsburg that the Supreme Court has so far refused to allow television in the courtroom, for her visit to the land of nod would have found its way onto late-night shows.”
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