Skip to comments.The year's 10 most underreported stories
Posted on 02/22/2005 12:36:58 AM PST by JohnHuang2
America's vulnerability to a nuclear terrorist attack tops the list of the 10 most "spiked" or underreported stories of the last year, according to an annual WND survey.
Around the close of each year, most news organizations present their retrospective replays of what they consider to have been the top news stories in the previous 12 months.
However, the editors of WorldNetDaily always have found it more newsworthy to publish a compilation of the most important unreported or underreported news events of the year to bring forth 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 he founded WorldNetDaily in May 1997 he has continued the annual tradition. For the last few years, WND has invited its readers to join in and submit what they considered the most underreported stories of the previous year in the site's Operation Spike forum.
Here, with our readers' help, are WorldNetDaily editors' picks for the 10 most underreported stories of the past year.
1. America's vulnerability to nuclear terrorism.
The United States faces an "inevitable" al-Qaida attack with weapons of mass destruction, according to Yossef Bodansky, the former director of the U.S. Congressional Task Force on Terrorism, yet the federal government has not prepared detailed civilian contingency plans that could serve as a deterrent against such an attack.
In 2004, reports surfaced that Osama bin Laden's terrorist network bought tactical nuclear weapons from Ukraine in 1998. And WorldNetDaily first broke the story of al-Qaida's purchase of suitcase nukes Oct. 3, 2002. Paul Williams, an FBI consultant on international terrorism said then that bin Laden's al-Qaida terrorist network purchased 20 suitcase nuclear weapons from former KGB agents in 1998 for $30 million.
Williams reported al-Qaida also has obtained chemical weapons from North Korea and Iraq.
While Iran continues to deny its nuclear program is for anything other than peaceful purposes, Tehran has bought massive amounts of beryllium, a metal vital to the process of initiating the chain reactions needed to create a nuclear weapon.
U.S. military sources told WorldNetDaily Iran's secret uranium enrichment site, revealed by an Iranian opposition group, is housed below a luxury development complex in which civilians live. Iran obtained weapons-grade uranium and the specific design for a nuclear bomb from an exiled Pakistani nuclear scientist.
2. Sandy Berger's pilfering of classified documents in an apparent attempt to sanitize President Clinton's legacy. The criminal investigation of the former national security adviser accused of pocketing highly classified terrorism documents prior to the Sept. 11 Commission hearings virtually disappeared from the media after it first was reported in July. In October, after many months of silence, a Justice spokesman told WND a criminal investigation was ongoing, but he would not provide details about its nature or timing.
The after-action review of the millennium celebration taken by Berger conflicts with his testimony before the 9-11 commission, prompting some Republicans to charge he stole the documents to protect the Clinton administration.
3. The U.S. border as a conduit for terrorists. President Bush continued to press for a guest-worker program for aliens from Mexico, which critics blasted as an amnesty plan for illegals.
As WorldNetDaily reported, the president is facing a revolt against his proposal from members of his own party, who are looking to tighten security at the nation's border.
In Central America, criminal gangsters, revolutionaries and Islamic terrorists are joining forces in an effort to overthrow governments of U.S. neighbors and smuggle operatives into and out of the U.S., according to senior police and intelligence sources
In early 2004, Pentagon officials confirmed human smuggling rings in Latin America were attempting to sneak al-Qaida operatives into the U.S., information first reported in Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin more than a year ago.
Recently, the government of Mexico raised eyebrows with word that it published a new guide offering advice on how to cross the border into the U.S. illegally.
4. The validity of the Swiftboat vets' charges against Sen. John Kerry. The more than 250 veterans who challenged the Democratic presidential candidate's version of his war record and subsequent anti-war activities were shut out of the mainstream media until Internet sites such as WorldNetDaily and talk radio made it impossible for them to be ignored.
Then mainstream media repeated the assertion by Kerry supporters that the claims against the senator were debunked, without providing evidence. Those who offered evidence contended the military's records supported Kerry's version of events, without mentioning the swiftboat vets' assertion that it was Kerry himself who wrote the "official record" in many instances, in after-action reports.
The campaign was forced to backtrack on Kerry's long-held assertion that he was in Cambodia illegally on Christmas Eve in 1968. Kerry had claimed his swiftboat was ordered to Cambodia by President Nixon while the president denied to the world that any U.S. military forces were engaged in the country. The event was "seared, seared" into his memory, Kerry said on many occasions, including from the Senate floor. It was an experience that helped him conclude the war was immoral and worthy of protest. But Nixon did not become president until Jan. 20, 1969, and none of Kerry's former crew members, including those who campaigned for him, backed his story.
5. America's out-of-control judiciary. Ruling on cases brought largely by the American Civil Liberties Union, many judges across the nation continued to reshape America according to an activist agenda, not the U.S. Constitution. A few of 2004's many examples:
* Represented by the ACLU, parents sued a suburban Atlanta school district over a two-sentence sticker added to public school science textbooks, and a federal district court judge ruled the label breaches the First Amendment's Establishment Clause even though it says nothing about religion. The sticker reads, "This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered."
* Under threat of a lawsuit by the ACLU, Los Angeles County removed a small Christian cross from its official seal. A federal judge later dismissed a lawsuit challenging the county over its decision.
* A federal judge in San Diego ruled the Boy Scouts of America must leave an aquatics center in which they invested millions of dollars because the Scouts are "an admittedly religious, albeit nonsectarian and discriminatory organization" and thus violate the constitutional "separation of church and state" by holding a public-private partnership with San Diego. Other groups use the island and the park, such as the San Diego Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Festival.
* The U.S. Supreme Court allowed Connecticut to exclude the Scouts from a state charitable program because of the Scouts' policy barring avowed homosexuals from leadership.
* In Wisconsin, a federal judge barred a city's attempt to save a Ten Commandments monument by selling it and the land it sits on to the original donor. The judge said the "sale itself demonstrated a preference for the religious message of the monument," violating First Amendment's ban on establishment of a religion.
6. Uncontrolled immigration. Illegal immigration into the U.S. has accelerated in the last year, since President Bush proposed a temporary worker program critics call a limited amnesty that would allow millions to remain in the U.S. legally. Just three weeks after the president's announcement of the plan, U.S. Border Patrol officials reported a 15 percent increase in the use of fraudulent documents at the world's busiest land border crossing. More than half of those caught using phony documents say the president's offer of de facto amnesty motivated them to attempt to sneak into the United States, the report added.
In the coming year, another 3 million illegal aliens will enter the country, walking or driving across the border with impunity while new security procedures guard airports from illegal entry. Among them are a growing number of people categorized as "other than Mexicans," including many from nations with populations hostile to the United States Afghanistan, Egypt, Iran and Iraq.
As WorldNetDaily has reported, a number of Americans say Bush's plan is giving them physical symptoms of anxiety, and some are even contemplating leaving the U.S. out of a sense of betrayal.
Arizona voters' approval of a referendum clamping down on illegal aliens is bolstering a grass-roots effort that may result in similar measures across the nation.
7. The Philadelphia 5. A group of 11 Christians was "preaching God's Word" to a crowd of people attending the Philadelphia "OutFest" event and displaying banners with biblical messages when they were arrested after a confrontation with a group called the Pink Angels, described by protesters as "a militant mob of homosexuals."
The Christians spent a night in jail, eight charges were filed, including criminal conspiracy, but none of the Pink Angels was cited or arrested.
After a preliminary hearing in December, Judge William Austin Meehan ordered four of the Christians to stand trial on three felony and five misdemeanor charges. If convicted, they faced a maximum of 47 years in prison. Also, one female teenage protester faces charged in the juvenile justice system.
A videotape of the OutFest protest apparently showed no criminal activity being committed.
Earlier this month, a judge in Philadelphia dismissed all criminal charges, stating the United States is "one of the very few countries that protects unpopular speech."
8. The U.N. oil-for-food scandal. In one of the largest corruption eruptions in world history, Saddam Hussein embezzled at least $21.3 billion from the United Nation's Oil-for-Food program between 1997 and 2003, and very possibly channeled untold stolen riches into the hands of terrorists, including al-Qaida.
While the world would never have known about the super-scam had U.S. soldiers not retrieved documents Saddam didn't have time to destroy before his hasty retreat from Baghdad, the responsibility for the disastrous program falls directly at the doorstep of U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
As WorldNetDaily reported, a U.S. congressional committee revealed money taken by Saddam from the U.N. oil-for-food program was used as reward payments to families of Palestinian suicide bombers.
The U.N. Security Council launched the program in 1996 supposedly so Iraq could raise funds for food, medicine and other humanitarian goods in spite of sanctions against the Saddam regime.
Iraq sold more than $67 billion worth of oil before the program was ended by the U.S. invasion last year.
Although Oil-for-Food is one of the biggest financial scandals in world history, so far it seems not to have made much of a dent on the organization that perpetrated it, the United Nations.
9. Genocide in Darfur. The United States is calling the rape, pillaging and slaughter of blacks in western Sudan by the Islamist Khartoum regime and its Arab militia allies "genocide." It marked the first time in history that a state which is party to the Genocide Convention has formally charged another state while the genocide is still in progress.
As WorldNetDaily reported, some analysts have asserted Khartoum's obstruction of humanitarian aid offers clear and unambiguous evidence of an intent to destroy African tribal groups in the region. The All Africa Conference of Churches, a continent-wide group, has warned that Darfur resembles Rwanda 10 years ago when up to a million people were slaughtered as the world looked on.
The conflict between mainly black rebels in Western Sudan and government-backed Arab militiamen has led to the deaths of tens of thousands and about 1.2 million refugees.
Separately, Sudan's Islamist regime in the Arab and Muslim north declared a jihad on the mostly Christian and animist south in 1989. Since 1983, an estimated 2 million people have died from war and related famine. About 5 million have become refugees. But analysts say the Darfur slaughter essentially is part of the Khartoum regime's effort to Arabize and Islamize the entire country. The Darfur situation is more complex, because the African tribes involved are Muslims. Nevertheless, they are not Arab Muslims, and they reject the Khartoum regime's imposition of its brand of radical Islam.
10. Saddam links with al-Qaida. Richard Clarke, the former U.S. government counterterrorism official, insisted Saddam Hussein had no connection to al-Qaida, but in 1999 he defended President Clinton's attack on a Sudanese pharmaceutical plant by revealing the U.S. was "sure" it manufactured chemical warfare materials produced by Iraqi experts in cooperation with Osama bin Laden.
A former member of Saddam's secret police corroborated the connection in an interview, saying he worked for a man who was Saddam's envoy to al-Qaida. Abdul Rahman al-Shamari confirmed he was involved in assisting Ansar al Islam, an al-Qaida affiliate responsible for attacks against Kurdish and Western targets in northern Iraq. Besides weapons, al-Shamari said, Saddam's secret police, the Mukhabarat, helped the al-Qaida-affiliated terror group financially "every month or two months."
I haven't heard a peep from the MSM.
Same in the UK. I only found out through this site. It has been mnetioned once then disapearred over here. Months after it happened.
I believe the truth about Terri Schiavo belongs here, too. Maybe she will be mentioned on the 2005 list.
#1A Sen. Clinton is a B*TCH. ( Certainly under reported).
Ping! ACLU on the list of most underreported stories of the year!
Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) - http://www.alliancedefensefund.org
Thomas More Law Center (TMLC) - http://www.thomasmore.org
American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) - http://www.aclj.org
The Rutherford Institute - http://www.rutherford.org/
Stop the ACLU Coalition (GREATLY ORGANIZED ACTIVIST SITE..PLEASE JOIN) - http://www.stoptheaclu.org
Here are a few examples of how two of those organizations are fighting back:
Thomas More Law Center: Town of Palm Beach Pays $50,000 In Attorney Fees Apologizes To Women In Nativity Lawsuit
"I seek social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class, and sole control of those who produced the wealth: communism is the goal." - Roger Baldwin, ACLU founder, Harvard Reunion Book, 1935
"The establishment of an American Soviet government will involve the confiscation of large landed estates in town and country, and also, the whole body to forests, mineral deposits, lakes, rivers and so on." - William Z. Foster, ACLU co-founder and former chairman, Communist Party USA.
Let me know if you would like to join my ACLU ping list
Hillary's ex-staffer pleads not guilty
Former campaign finance director allegedly misstated Hollywood-bash funds
Posted: January 24, 2005
7:12 p.m. Eastern
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's former finance director today pleaded not guilty to four charges of filing fictitious reports that misstated contributions for a Hollywood fund-raiser for the senator.
David Rosen, 40, entered his plea before U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen J. Hillman and was released on his own recognizance, the Associated Press reported.
As WorldNetDaily reported, Rosen is faced with four counts of filing false reports with the Federal Election Commission. The charges focus on an Aug. 12, 2000, dinner and concert supported by more than $1.1 million in "in-kind contributions" goods and services provided for free or below cost. The event was estimated to cost more than $1.2 million.
While the event allegedly cost more than $1.2 million, the indictment said, Rosen reported contributions of about $400,000, knowing the figure to be false.
The indictment charged that he provided some documents to an FEC compliance officer but withheld the true costs of the event and provided false documents to substantiate the lower figure.
In one instance, Rosen obtained and delivered a fraudulent invoice stating the cost of a concert associated with the gala was $200,000 when he knew that figure was false, according to the indictment. The actual cost of the concert was more than $600,000.
Rosen's case was assigned to U.S. District Judge A. Howard Matz and was given a trial date of March 22. His lawyer, Paul Mark Sandler however, said he will file a change-of-venue motion and try to have the trial moved from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. He refused to comment on the venue-change request.
Sandler said Rosen looks forward to a "speedy trial" and "to his day in court to get this matter behind him," AP reported.
Rosen is the second figure involved in organizing the soiree for Clinton to become entangled in legal problems as a result.
Aaron Tonken is currently in prison for his role in organizing the event a tribute to then-President Bill Clinton and starring Cher, Patti LaBelle, Sugar Ray, Toni Braxton, Melissa Etheridge, Michael Bolton, Paul Anka and Diana Ross.
Tonken has authored a tell-all book, "King of Cons: Exposing the Dirty, Rotten Secrets of the Washington Elite and Hollywood Celebrities," on his role in the fraud.
Tonken, 34 at the time of the 2000 fund-raiser, basked in his role in organizing the fund-raiser, never imaging he'd be facing down government investigators within a couple of years.
Writes Tonken in describing the departure of the Clintons the night of the gala: "Just before they got into the limo, I handed the president gifts from me, Stan Lee and Peter Paul: for him, a custom humidor and a handmade gold watch worth tens of thousands; for Hillary, a necklace that cost eight grand. The first lady disliked it and later sent it back.
"Before my car arrived, I had my last fond glimpses of this gathering of the rich and famous. I watched them drive off into the night. I may have been the ultimate outsider growing up, but not any more. Now I was in, and they were my people.
"But not for long. In less than three years I'd be busted. Instead of chronicling my stunning successes, Variety's Army Archerd would be writing about my criminal misdeeds; I'd be talking not to presidents and movie stars, but to the FBI and other federal agencies, handing over more than two dozen boxes of letters, e-mails, receipts and invoices, cooperating as the government pursued a multifaceted investigation into the corruption that lay hidden behind all the glitter."
Tonken pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud and one count of wire fraud in hopes of ultimately getting a lesser prison sentence. Instead, he was sentenced to 63 months in prison and ordered to pay $3.79 million to donors and event underwriters whom he bilked.
He clearly implicated Rosen.
"David Rosen, Hillary Clinton's director of finance, worked out of our offices and knew about every dime that was being spent," he writes. "More than that, he participated in the spending."
In his account of his dealings with Hillary, Tonken mentions how grateful she had been to him for all his help with her campaign. But how much did she know about the financial skullduggery?
"One thing about Hillary, she was very attentive to the little details," he writes. "I believe she is genuinely considerate in that way. The very next day [after the Hollywood fund-raiser], she sent me a thank-you note, partially handwritten, in which she said: 'Your ongoing support of my Senate candidacy is especially important to me, and I am grateful for your continued friendship.'
"Take a good, long look at the first half of that last sentence. I did, and it made me wonder: Did she really know what was going on? I think David Rosen knew; I think [longtime aide] Kelly Craighead knew; I think [fund-raiser] Jim Levin knew. But Hillary? It was very possible that they hid it from her. In a way, that was their job. Protect the candidate.
"That was all about to change."
Tonken later writes he explained what he was doing and how to the Senate candidate while the two were alone briefly in a van during a day of campaigning in L.A.:
"I'd spent odd moments alone with [Hillary] before, primarily in the evening at the White House. But this was my real shot to talk to her with no one else around, and what I wanted was to let her know how much I admired her, how much I was behind her, and most important, what I had already done for her. It was, quite by accident, the moment of truth. ...
"I told her about virtually every penny I'd spent on her behalf. I let her know what I was doing and had done for each event of hers. I spoke about the money and what a pleasure and honor it was to spend it on her candidacy for the U.S. Senate.
"Once and for all, I wanted it clear in her mind who was the person really doing things for her. There was so much jockeying for position among those around her: Kelly, David, Jim Levin, and so on. People taking credit for stuff. I thought I might have been short-changed, and I wanted to correct that.
"I believed that once she knew the facts, she would see how valuable I was to her and welcome me into her inner circle. The whole thing was intended to be solely for my benefit. I never wanted to hurt her. I could tell she wasn't entirely comfortable with this conversation, and yet I couldn't stop. It wasn't until much later that I fully realized what I had done. Whatever protection her staff had built around her, however much in the dark they had kept her, that was over.
"Now she knew."
Further implicating Rosen, Tonken writes of how he would run his schemes by the finance director and would routinely get the go-ahead.
Writes Tonken: "Since I had only a passing acquaintance with campaign-finance law. If there was any question in my mind, I'd call David. The problem was, whenever I asked for advice he would invariably laugh off my concerns and say, 'Don't worry. Just raise as much as possible. Just keep at it.'
"Here's an example: I came up with what I thought was a great idea to make it look as though support were coming from a lot of little donors, instead of one big one. I proposed that [Democratic donor] Cynthia [Gershman] would write a check for 40 grand, which she was willing to do, and I would run it through one of my accounts and emerge with cash and started giving it out in one-thousand- or two-thousand-dollar chunks to 20 or 30 people. They would then turn around and write personal checks of their own for the same amount, and that would be 'their' contribution. Sounded good to me, but when I presented it to David he laughed for about three minutes straight. When we got down to it, though, he told me to go ahead.
"I should have been suspicious when he added, 'Just don't tell anyone.' Later, he would pull me aside at Spago and re-emphasize the point: I was to keep that little trick of mine quiet, 'very quiet.'"
Tonken also writes of Rosen's concern about expenses, telling the author to "get rid" of receipts related to fund-raiser expenditures.
"What we want is the appearance that expenses were minimal," Tonken says Rosen told him.
A 2002 FBI affidavit backs up Tonken's account:
"The [2000 Hillary event's] costs exceeded $1 million, but the required forms filed by New York Senate 2000 ... months after the event incorrectly disclosed that the cost of the event was only $523,000," the affidavit reads. "It appears that the true cost of the event was deliberately understated in order to increase the amount of funds available to New York Senate 2000 for federal campaign activities."
Tonken's book tells how he continued to do his job after federal agents contacted him about cooperating with their probe.
"Month after month this investigation went on," he writes." My life began to seem surreal. Here I was, doing charity events where there was fraud involved; continuing to expand my political contacts, fielding telephone calls from President Clinton, the first lady and Gerald Ford; and at the same time being enmeshed in an FBI probe."
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