has compiled its annual list of the most “spiked” stories – unreported or underreported major news events of the last year – after polling its readers and editors.

While most news organizations present year-end retrospective replays of what they consider to have been the top news stories of the previous 12 months, WND’s editors have always found it more newsworthy to publish a year-end compilation of the important stories most ignored 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 has continued the annual tradition. For the past three years, WND has invited its readers to join in and submit what they considered the most underreported stories of the past year in the site’s “Operation Spike” forum.

Here then are WorldNetDaily’s picks for the 10 most underreported stories of 2001.

1. Christian persecution worldwide: “The murder, torture and persecution of Christians in the Third World, and even prosperous countries, is one of the worst, and least-reported, of global human-rights abuses …” said former Time magazine senior correspondent and Beijing Bureau Chief David Aikman.

Though WND filed many reports on the horrific worldwide uptrend – especially in Sudan, where over 2 million non-Muslims, mostly Christians, have been killed by the radical Islamic regime in Khartoum, mainstream press coverage is tepid and understated as a rule. WND’s popular monthly magazine, Whistleblower, had a major piece on Islamic persecution of Christians in the November “JIHAD” issue. And as the upcoming March 2002 edition of Whistleblower – which is devoted entirely to Christian persecution – points out, more Christians have been killed because of their faith in the last century than in all previous centuries combined.

2. The real story of Islamic militancy worldwide. In close contention for the No. 1 most spiked story, the true depth and breadth of the political movement variously called “Islamism,” “Islamicism” and “militant Islam” has simply not been told by the mass media.

“Islam is a religion of peace,” Americans have been told, and the 9-11 terrorists were part of a tiny renegade group that has “hijacked” Islam in order to justify terrorism. In reality, as WND has reported ever since last fall’s multiple terror attacks – and especially in the “JIHAD” issue of Whistleblower – approximately 10 to 15 percent of the world’s approximately 1.2 billion Muslims are of the militant “Islamist” strain.

“The president dismissed al-Qaida’s version of Islam as a repudiated ‘fringe form of Islamic extremism,’ said veteran Mideast analyst Daniel Pipes. “Hardly. Muslims on the streets of many places – Pakistan and Gaza in particular – are fervently rallying to the defense of al-Qaida’s vision of Islam. Likewise, the president’s calling the terrorists ‘traitors to their own faith, trying, in effect, to hijack Islam’ implies that other Muslims see them as apostates, which is simply wrong. Al-Qaida enjoys wide popularity – the very best the U.S. government can hope for is a measure of Muslim neutrality and apathy.”

3. The continued cover-up of both the alleged Middle Eastern connection to the
Oklahoma City bombing, and the likelihood that TWA Flight 800 was shot down by a missile.
Despite September’s open and audacious declaration of war by Islamic terrorists; despite mounting evidence that the crash of TWA Flight 800 was due to foul play; despite the obvious question, in light of the 9-11 suicide skyjackings, about the EgyptAir plane crash which killed 217 (a few courageous analysts revisited the chilling 1999 disaster in which the Egyptian co-pilot, a devout Muslim, reportedly had said “Allah Akbar,” Arabic for “God is great,” before the plane plunged to its destruction); despite Clinton impeachment prosecutor David Schippers’ revelation in WND that he was “thoroughly convinced that there was a dead-bang Middle Eastern connection in the Oklahoma City bombing” – the press was, by and large, immune from revisiting such stories, beyond reporting the official government conclusions.

Only U.S. News & World Report, in a tiny news item buried in its “Washington Whispers” column, saw fit to report that some top Defense Department officials believe Timothy McVeigh, executed for his role in the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building, was an Iraqi agent.

4. Out-of-control illegal immigration across the Mexican border – including
Middle Eastern illegals – and the refusal of U.S. political leaders to stop it.
WND’s exclusive report by J. Zane Walley, “‘Arab terrorists’ crossing border,” which created a sensation and was featured on “America’s Most Wanted,” revealed that among the torrent of illegal aliens entering the U.S. from Mexico are an increasing number from Middle Eastern countries.

“About one in every 10 that we catch is from a country like Yemen or Egypt,” one Border Patrol agent told WND. Middle Easterners have paid smugglers up to $50,000 to help them cross the border, reported Walley, who said the increase in illegal aliens of Arab descent concerns law-enforcement officials who are combating terrorism, since Arizona is reportedly the home of a “sleeper cell” of al-Qaida.

WND also published several groundbreaking reports documenting corruption in the U.S. Customs Service and how that opened a particular and major door to mass terrorism inside the United States. The growing secession movement in America’s Southwest, fueled by unchecked immigration, has also been a focus of WND’s reporting. The entire February edition of Whistleblower – titled ‘INVASION USA!” – focuses on America’s enormous immigration and border-control problems, and what can be done to solve the biggest single threat to the nation’s homeland security.

5. Saudi Arabia’s support for Islamic terrorism. Long touted as America’s “friend,” the supposedly “moderate” Islamic nation of Saudi Arabia, is, in fact, undisputably the biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world. As spelled out in detail in Whistleblower’s “JIHAD” issue and reported on WorldNetDaily in both news and commentary, Saudi Arabia, one of the most closed societies in the world, aims at spreading Islam throughout the world.

Although Christianity and Judaism are not tolerated, churches are destroyed and Christian worship forbidden by law, the Saudi royal family also fears the radical brand of Wahabbi Islamism bred in its own kingdom. Therefore, the regime finances the militant Wahabbis – which in turn funds terror against America – as a way of buying peace within their kingdom. “In other words,” writes WND Editor Joseph Farah, “the Saudis support terror abroad to avoid terror at home.”

6. Potential adverse impact to American citizens of the USA PATRIOT Act and other post-9/11 legislation and executive orders. In the understandable hot pursuit of homeland security after September’s horrific terror attacks on U.S. soil, most of the American public – and most of the press as well – have paid scant attention to sweeping and profound changes in federal law.

Enacted virtually without debate, civil libertarians are profoundly concerned about the erosion of constitutional rights that may result from the new legislation. As Farah wrote in his extensive report, “Securing the homeland … without gutting the Constitution,” in January’s Whistleblower magazine on homeland security, (“AMERICA DEFENSELESS”): “The [USA PATRIOT] act, which the president signed Oct. 26, gives federal agents broad new powers to eavesdrop on phone calls and e-mails, detain immigrants and share details of criminal investigations with the CIA. By increasing the snoop-and-search powers of law enforcement agencies at all levels of government, it effectively guts several key amendments in the Bill of Rights. Yet despite its obvious importance, Congress did not receive copies of the finalized version of the bill until the day of the vote. Nevertheless, members of both houses voted overwhelmingly for it virtually sight unseen, unable to stand up against appeals to their patriotism when lobbied by the administration and congressional leaders.”

7. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’ Oct. 16 decision affirming the individual right to keep and bear arms in the historic U.S. vs. Emerson case. In an era when the establishment press is notorious for underreporting news that shows gun-ownership in a favorable light – the media virtually ignored the fact that it was two armed students that foiled the most recent school shooting rampage at the Appalachian Law School – it was no surprise that October’s landmark court decision went all but unnoticed.

Essentially, the court demolished all theories that had previously held that the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms is a “collective” right (for militias like the National Guard) and not an individual right.

In rejecting the Justice Departments’ arguments that the Second Amendment referred exclusively to a collective right to gun-ownership, the three-judge panel excoriated the federal prosecutors, ruling: “There is no evidence in the text of the Second Amendment, or any other part of the Constitution, that the words ‘the people’ have a different connotation within the Second Amendment than when employed elsewhere in the Constitution. In fact,” the appeals panel wrote, “the text of the Constitution, as a whole, strongly suggests that the words ‘the people’ have precisely the same meaning within the Second Amendment as without.”

In light of major, unorthodox assaults on the Second Amendment during the Clinton years – especially the dozens of government lawsuits against gun manufacturers – the ruling came as a major setback to gun-control proponents.

8. The denial of water to the farmers in Klamath Falls, Oregon. One of the most stunning stories of the year – both for the senseless deprivation and devastation caused by environmentalism run amuck, and for the way in which its victims have fought back – was the struggle between farmers in Klamath Falls, Ore., and the federal government. Over 1,400 farm families in the area struggled to stay afloat last summer after court-ordered directives to ban the release of water from Upper Klamath Lake prevented farmers from irrigating their fields.

The rulings – which essentially prevented farmers from growing crops and transformed the town into a 200,000-acre dustbowl – were made to benefit three species of fish the federal government has listed as endangered.

In response to what they considered the courts’ willing sacrifice of human beings in favor of fish, the farmers and their families – and many other Americas as well – fought back. Among the mass demonstrations that occurred, convoys of trucks traveling through seven western states, loaded with donated livestock feed, canned food, clothing and supplies, turned out to support the beleaguered farm families.

9. The failure of the IRS to investigate tax fraud on the part of Jesse Jackson and the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, as well as Jackson’s extortion of money and influence from large companies using the threat of racial discrimination.

Neither last year’s sensational revelations of Jackson’s infidelity and fatherhood of an out-of-wedlock child, nor the emerging picture of his far-flung operation – including soliciting funds from corporate America on pain of being castigated publicly as racists – has succeeded in removing the civil rights figure from his unique status with the mainstream national press. WND added to the pile of evidence of Jackson’s misdeeds, in documenting financial irregularities and tax underreporting by both Jackson and his congressman son, Jesse Jackson Jr., and exposing a program aimed at extracting money from churches.
And CEO Joseph Farah made waves with his column on Jackson’s ties to the Communist Party USA.

The IRS, meanwhile, which during the Clinton years was so quick to investigate organizations and individuals critical of that administration, hasn’t yet found Jackson’s galling abuses worthy of the agency’s interest.

10. The Clintons’ exit from the White House and the attendant scandals – and the lack of prosecution for them. Although the press briefly reflected the widespread public indignation and revulsion over the manner in which the Clintons exited the presidency – pardoning criminals in an apparent last-minute auction for Clinton family, friends and donors; the first couple’s outright theft of expensive public property from the White House; the unprecedented malicious vandalism by outgoing Clinton-Gore staffers – it just as quickly mirrored the amiable “let’s-move-on” rhetoric of the newly elected President George W. Bush.

One year later, there have been virtually no repercussions for the former president, and the establishment press – as it was on the myriad scandals that plagued Clinton’s two terms as president – has been muted.

Yesterday’s spikes, today’s scoops

Interestingly, many of WND’s picks as 2000’s most “spiked” stories have ended up right in the middle of today’s news cycle.

For instance, among 2000’s “spiked” winners was “Palestinian kids raised to be martyrs,” encompassing many reports by the newssite that warned of the widespread and growing phenomenon of grooming young Muslim males to be terrorists and suicide bombers. On Sept. 11, 2001, the rest of the news media picked up on the story.

Another 2000 “spike” was “border wars on the U.S.-Mexico boundary.” Again, although WND published 11 such exclusive news reports on the escalating friction along the vast U.S.-Mexican border, the seemingly important story attracted little other national press coverage – until Sept. 11 when the urgency of homeland security has made America’s borders more interesting to the mainstream press.

Same story with WND’s 2000 pick of “security meltdown during the Clinton administration” – a series of WND reports in which career officials in the U.S. intelligence community admitted privately that “the Clinton administration came in and ordered a wholesale stand-down of national security safeguards in every agency that counts.” That 19 foreign terrorists were able to hijack four passenger jets at the same time is now regarded as undeniable proof that the U.S. intelligence and national security establishments were asleep at the switch.

Farah, veteran of many past “Operation Spikes,” commented on the current selection:

“Compare this list to others that claim to reflect stories that are getting censored by the establishment press and you will find one big difference. The common thread in the stories chosen by WorldNetDaily readers is that they reflect the opinions of free people thinking for themselves – not listening to any party-line agenda and not letting their government do their thinking for them,” said Farah. “Thousands of people participated in putting this list together – not just a handful of so-called ‘experts,’ but real, informed people.”

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