Quiet steps by the federal government toward merger of the U.S., Canada and Mexico top 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 2007:

1. Developments moving U.S. and continent closer to a North American Union: President Bush ridiculed any talk of a continental merger as conspiracy theory, and recent articles published in The Nation and Newsweek magazines have attempted to characterize “NAFTA Superhighways” the same way, but numerous developments and admissions by officials this past year indicate otherwise.

The leaders of the United States, Canada and Mexico conferred over the Security and Prosperity Partnership

Last month, for example, Canada announced a plan to complete a continental highway grid designed to accommodate an anticipated tsunami of containers from China and the Far East.

Meanwhile, state lawmakers in Oklahoma and Texas continued to battle plans for a “NAFTA Superhighway and North American Union” as threats to the sovereignty of the U.S.

A number of influential voices raised the possibility the U.S. dollar might be replaced by a regional currency called the amero.

Stephen Jarislowsky, known as the Canadian Warren Buffet, told a parliamentary committee that Canada and the U.S. should abandon their dollars and move to a regional North American currency as soon as possible.

Former Mexican President Vicente Fox confirmed the existence of a plan conceived with President Bush to create a new regional currency in the Americas.

Fox admitted to CNN’s Larry King he had agreed with Bush to pursue the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas – a trade zone extending throughout the Western Hemisphere – suggesting part of the plan was to institute a regional currency.

Much of the concern about incremental moves toward a continental merger centered on the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, an agreement Bush entered after secret discussions with Mexico’s then-president Vicente Fox and Canada’s then-prime minister Paul Martin in Waco, Texas, March 23, 2005.

An insider who presented a paper at a recent North American Forum meeting in Mexico, however, says public exposure has sparked opposition to North American integration, stalling SPP efforts, .

2. Bush’s refusal to pardon imprisoned Border Patrol Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, who were prosecuted by the president’s friend, U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton: Last month, a bi-partisan resolution was introduced into the House of Representatives calling on President Bush to commute the former agents’ sentences immediately, allowing them to be home with their families by Christmas.

But Ramos and Compean continue to serve 11- and 12-year federal prison sentences for shooting an admitted drug smuggler as he fled across the border after smuggling into the U.S. a load of 750 pounds of marijuana in a van.

A Border Patrol activist group accused Sutton of protecting the drug smuggler, Osvaldo Adrete-Davila, from facing perjury charges, calling for a special prosecutor to investigate the U.S. attorney for subornation of perjury for allowing Aldrete-Davila to take the stand under “false pretenses.”

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)

Aldrete-Davila was arrested at the Mexican border in November for alleged drug offenses committed while under immunity to testify as the star witness in the case.

WND also reported a long list of lies Aldrete-Davila told under oath, including the claim he committed a single drug offense because he was under duress to get money to buy medicine for his sick mother after he lost his commercial driver’s license in Mexico.

Last month, the three judges hearing the Ramos and Compean appeal for the 5th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans were harshly critical of the prosecution in their questions and comments from the bench. Remarkably, the U.S. government admitted in federal court that Aldrete-Davila lied under oath. One judge said the “government overreacted” in applying a law that requires an additional 10-year minimum prison sentence if felons in the act of committing crimes such as rape or burglary carry a weapon.

WND reported on the intervention of Mexican consulates demanding the law enforcement agents be prosecuted for using force, even against illegal aliens committing crimes in the U.S. The demands were a major factor leading to prosecution not only of Ramos and Compean but others, including deputy sheriff Gilmer Hernandez of Rocksprings, Texas, who was convicted for shooting a fleeing van of illegal aliens who tried to run him over.

Sutton also prosecuted former Border Patrol agent Gary Brugman, who served a 24-month sentence in federal prison for a minor scuffle with an illegal alien at the U.S. border in January 2001. Brugman told WND, “For many years after what happened to me, I lost faith in the United States of America.”

3. Research refuting man-made global warming: Former Vice President Al Gore won a Nobel prize in 2007 for his global warming campaigning to add to the Oscar for the documentary “An Inconvenient Truth. But numerous reports were issued throughout the year challenging the mainstream media’s oft-repeated contention that the debate is settled over whether or not humans are causing global warming.

Al Gore stars in ‘An Inconvenient Truth’

A new U.S. Senate report documented hundreds of prominent scientists – experts in dozens of fields of study worldwide – who say global warming and cooling is a cycle of nature and cannot legitimately be connected to man’s activities.

An analysis of peer-reviewed literature by the Hudson Institute found more than 500 scientists have published evidence refuting the current man-made global warming scare.

After an investigation, a veteran meteorologist found dire “global warming” predictions were based on bad science from the very start, pointing out surface temperatures recorded throughout the U.S. are done with almost no regard to scientific standards.

Anthony Watts found temperature monitoring stations used by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration were constructed and placed without regard to achieving accurate recordings of natural temperatures.

The assessment supports another study on which WND reported, revealing carbon dioxide levels were largely irrelevant to global warming. Those results prompted Reid Bryson, founding chairman of the Department of Meteorology at the University of Wisconsin, to quip, “You can go outside and spit and have the same effect as doubling carbon dioxide.”

WND also reported on a NASA-funded study that noted some climate forecasts might be exaggerating estimations of global warming.

John Coleman

Taking aim at Gore and other “climate change” activists, the founder of the Weather Channel said the campaign to promote the theory of man-made global warming is “the greatest scam in history.”

John Coleman, now a meteorologist for San Diego TV station KUSI, called it a “manufactured crisis” by “dastardly scientists with environmental and political motives” who have “manipulated long-term scientific data to create an illusion of rapid global warming.”

Muriel Newman, director of the New Zealand Centre for Political Research called for Gore’s Nobel to be rescinded after British High Court judge Michael Burton concluded “An Inconvenient Truth” should be shown in British schools only with guidance notes to prevent political indoctrination. The decision followed a lawsuit by a father, Stewart Dimmock, who claimed the film contained “serious scientific inaccuracies, political propaganda and sentimental mush.” The British court pointed to 11 inaccuracies in the production.

A cover story in Newsweek reported a “denial machine,” bought and paid for by big industry, was preventing critical government action to stop global warming. But the following week’s issue of Newsweek contained a scathing report by longtime contributing editor Robert J. Samuelson characterizing the previous cover story as “highly contrived” and “fundamentally misleading.”

A dramatic documentary produced by the UK’s Channel 4 TV deviated from the dire presentations on impending global-warming disaster. In “The Great Global Warming Swindle,” British TV director Martin Durkin interviewed scientist after scientist who claim the current hysteria over global warming is, in a word, nonsense.

4. Lack of action on border fence mandated by Congress: The Secure Fence Act of 2006 required the construction of a double-layered barrier covering 854 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border, but Democrats led efforts to squelch the plan.

U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif.

Republican presidential hopeful Duncan Hunter blasted a Democrat-sponsored House bill that would prevent the fence from being built.

“By eliminating the double fence requirement, the Democratic Congress is going to make it easier for drug and human smugglers to cross our Southern land border,” said Hunter. “This goes against the interests of any family that has been touched by illegal drugs or any American who has seen their job taken by an illegal alien.”

Also, in the Senate, as WND reported , an amendment submitted by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, and co-sponsored by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, for the Department of Homeland Security 2008 budget was aimed at gutting the already-approved Secure Fence Act.

The Hutchison amendment would allow the secretary of homeland security to use discretion in deciding whether a fence was the most appropriate means to achieve and maintain operational control along the border with Mexico.

5. California bill introducing homosexuality to young children: Children as young as two years of age are in the bull’s-eye of coming changes in California’s school curriculum, which “gay rights” advocates now admit will alter the very foundation of information presented to public school classrooms.

Opponents of a new state law that bars “discriminatory bias” in public schools because of a “characteristic,” including “perceived gender,” argued before its passage that it would foster a pro-homosexual bias that would eliminate references to “mom” and “dad” or “husband” and “wife.”

Supporters steadfastly maintained the bill only clarified anti-discrimination laws already on the books. But, already, demands by homosexual advocacy groups such as Equality California indicate the new law actually paves the way for editing of all school curricula in the state.

A list of school resources, sponsored by a homosexual-advocacy group called Safe Schools Coalition, suggests “Felicia’s Favorite Story,” which tells how a girl was “adopted by her two mothers.” It also promotes a book called “Are You a Girl or a Boy?” for children ages 4-8 that advocates homosexuality, bisexuality, transgenderism and other lifestyles. Other resources promoted in the wake of California’s new law include books authored by officials with Planned Parenthood and the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network.

One book, called “Tackling Gay Issues in School,” is for kindergarten through grade 12, and features recommended “extracurricular” activities for classes.

WND also reported how thousands of requests for information about homeschooling organizations and Christian schools have been bombarded with requests for information.

A grass-roots advocacy group is working on a referendum and the non-profit Advocates for Faith and Freedom is filing a lawsuit challenging the law.

6. Hillary and her felonious fundraising: A shady Chinese megadonor to Sen. Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign named Norman Hsu drew some attention from mainstream media then faded. But virtually ignored was the fact it merely represented a host of illegal fundraising accusations against the Clintons. One case proceeding in the courts will require Sen. Clinton and her husband to testify under oath to fraud charges in the midst of the presidential election campaign this year.

Business mogul Peter Paul has filed a lawsuit charging President Clinton destroyed his entertainment company to get out of a $17 million agreement. The California Supreme Court already upheld a lower-court decision to deny the Clintons’ motion to dismiss the case. Bill Clinton, according to the complaint, promised to promote Paul’s company, Stan Lee Media, in exchange for stock, cash options and massive contributions to his wife’s 2000 Senate campaign.

This month, Paul filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission asking the agency to re-open an investigation into illegal contributions and to probe alleged continuing violations of the law by Sen. Clinton.

Paul, armed with videotape he made of a July 2000 phone call, contends the senator committed felony violations carrying a prison sentence of up to five years.

Meanwhile, WND reported Norman Hsu’s close ties to an aerospace mogul accused of sharing missile secrets with Beijing during the Clinton administration.

Republicans in Congress saw parallels to last decade’s Chinagate fund-raising scandal and clamored for public hearings. Clinton rejected comparisons between Chinagate and Hsu, saying, “I don’t think it’s analogous at all.”

7. Illegal aliens who rape, murder, kill driving drunk, commit voter fraud, welfare fraud and burden the system: WND has reported on the growing list of illegal immigrants who have not only ignored U.S. immigration laws, but state laws against drinking and driving as well, killing innocents on the highways in the process.

For example, if Luciano Melendres had been deported to Mexico following his 2006 arrest for driving drunk – or even if a judge hadn’t suspended his six-month jail sentence and given him 12 months probation – Dacus Lamont Sims, 32, would be alive today.

Meanwhile, a new study has finally fixed an approximate taxpayer cost for the millions of illegal aliens residing in the U.S. The Heritage Foundation’s Robert Rector found a household headed by an individual without a high school education, about two-thirds of illegal aliens, costs U.S. taxpayers more than $32,000 in federal, state and local benefits. That same family contributes an average of $9,000 a year in taxes, resulting in a net tax burden of $22,449 each year.

Over the course of the household’s lifetime the tax burden translates to $1.1 million. If the lower figure of 12 million illegal aliens is used for estimation purposes, the total tax burden translates to $2.2 trillion.

Many states and local jurisdictions, however, are fighting back. For example, a new Arizona law to require employers to verify the immigration status of employees is being blamed – and credited – for chasing illegal aliens out of the state.

Just one week before that report, WND reported on a new Oklahoma law requiring the deportation of arrested illegal aliens was prompting an exodus from the state.

In Hazelton, Pa., the American Civil Liberties Union was joined by Hispanic activist groups in a lawsuit to block implementation of a law designed to restrict activities by illegal aliens.

Many of these developments were launched after a brokered plan in the U.S. Senate to create a path to legal residency for the millions of illegal aliens in the country collapsed.

But then-presidential spokesman Tony Snow told WND attempts by cities or other governments to sidestep federal policy and make their own provisions for illegal aliens won’t get any attention from the White House.

WND also reported Snow said he wouldn’t either condemn or endorse plans announced in several locations to set up “sanctuary” facilities for illegal aliens in violation of federal law.

Responding to the failed bill, an illegal alien who refused to follow a deportation took refuge in a Chicago-area church and called for suspension of the nation’s immigration laws and a “campaign of resistance.”

8. Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s resignation from the Senate Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee, which she chaired, amid a conflict of interest due to her husband’s ownership of two major defense contractors. : The firms owned by Feinstein’s husband, Richard C. Blum, reportedly were awarded billions of dollars for military construction projects approved by the senator.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

Feinstein “regularly took junkets to military bases around the world to inspect construction projects, some of which were contracted to her husband’s companies, Perini Corp. and URS Corp.,” reported Metroactive, an online report from the Silicon Valley.

Feinstein abandoned the Senate committee “as her ethical problems were surfacing in the media, and as it was becoming clear that her subcommittee left grievously wounded veterans to rot while her family was profiting from the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan,” the report said.

In 2005, the Capitol Hill paper Roll Call calculated Feinstein’s wealth at $40 million, up $10 million from just a year earlier. Reports show her family earned between $500,000 and $5 million from capital gains on URS and Perini stock.

9. Progress of Law of the Sea Treaty: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on a 17-4 vote, moved forward the Law of the Sea Treaty, or LOST, despite a wide spectrum of critics charging it would grant the United Nations control of 70 percent of the planet under its oceans and undermine U.S. sovereignty.

International negotiators drafted the treaty in 1982 in an attempt to establish a comprehensive legal regime for international management of the seas and their resources. President Ronald Reagan, however, refused to sign LOST because he concluded it didn’t serve U.S. interests.

In 1994, President Clinton signed a revised version and forwarded it to the Senate, but the Senate deferred action, and it sat until resurrection by the Bush administration.

Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., has called it, “U.N. on steroids,” and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has concluded it is “the dumbest thing we’ve ever done. It’s like taking our sovereignty and handing it over to some international tribunal. What’s wrong with us?”

Responding to a question from WND, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said in November, “The president is supportive of the treaty, and so is our military and our State Department. And we have testified on Capitol Hill multiple times about it. I understand that there are concerns, but we believe that those have been addressed.”

But the Heritage Foundation warns the treaty would have unintended consequences for U.S. interests – including a threat to sovereignty.

The conservative think tank says “bureaucracies established by multilateral treaties often lack the transparency and accountability necessary to ensure that they are untainted by corruption, mismanagement or inappropriate claims of authority. The LOST bureaucracy is called the International Seabed Authority Secretariat, which has a strong incentive to enhance its own authority at the expense of state sovereignty.”

Heritage fellows Baker Spring and Brett D. Schaefer said the treaty “would impose taxes on U.S. companies engaged in extracting resources from the ocean floor. This would give the treaty’s secretariat an independent revenue stream that would remove a key check on its authority. After all, once a bureaucracy has its own source of funding, it needs answer only to itself.”

One of the main authors of LOST not only admired Karl Marx but was an ardent advocate of the Marxist-oriented New International Economic Order. Elisabeth Mann Borgese, a socialist who ran the World Federalists of Canada, played a critical role in crafting and promoting LOST, as WND reported in 2005.

10. Syria’s alleged WMDs and Israel’s attack: Syrian President Bashar Assad claimed Israeli jets hit an unmanned military facility in a Sept. 6 raid. The Israel Defense Forces remained quiet, later admitting it targeted a military installation. But reports surfaced that Israel destroyed a facility at which North Korea was transferring nuclear technology to the Syrians.

WND’s Jerusalem bureau reported Israel believed Syria planned to use proxy terrorist groups to respond indirectly to the air strike in September on an undisclosed military facility.

The report came as bureau chief Aaron’s Klein’s book – “Schmoozing with Terrorists: From Hollywood to the Holy Land, Jihadists Reveal their Global Plans – to a Jew!” – disclosed Syria recently formed a new guerrilla group modeling itself after the Lebanese Hezbollah militia. The new group is preparing for “resistance attacks” against Israel.

If you would like to sound off on this issue, participate in today’s WND Poll.

Previous stories:

10 most underreported stories of 2006


The 2005 ‘spike’ list


The year’s 10 most underreported stories


Most ‘spiked’ stories of 2003

Which stories got ‘spiked’ last year?

10 most ‘spiked’ stories of 2001

Most under-reported stories of 2000

Biggest spikes of 1999

Most under-reported stories of ’97

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