WND, which debuted in May of 1997, is now celebrating its 15th anniversary. In honor of that, here are some key events in the history of WND.
‘WorldNetDaily’ becomes WND
Just days before the transition, Joseph Farah, editor, co-founder and chief executive officer of the first independent online news agency begun in 1997, previewed the change, saying, “What we’re launching the first of the year is so radically different in design from what we have been for the last 15 years, we think it’s important to give everyone a head’s-up. It’s going to be fresh, contemporary, cutting edge, more video, with easier navigation and expanded coverage.”
“About the only thing that will remain is the mission and the founding commitment to independent investigative reporting that is second to none in exposing fraud, waste, abuse and corruption in government and other powerful institutions in need of watchdogging,” said Farah. “We’ll definitely maintain the same fiercely independent commitment to the truth – maybe even step it up a notch or two.”
A New Year’s tradition is born
Jan. 1, 2001: Joe Kovacs, WND executive news editor, wrote the first of his “Funniest news stories of the year” columns, an annual feature readers have looked forward to ever since.
“No duh! So, I won’t bore you with the typical garbage. Instead, I wish to reminisce for a few moments about some of the really important events — you know, the stories that make you grin or just shake your head in utter disbelief.
In fact, all the stories you’ll see in my list had to pass very rigorous WorldNetDaily standards. They had to: 1) make me laugh; or 2) spill my beverage because they were so bizarre.”
Interviewing terrorist live on radio
Jan. 2, 2006: WorldNetDaily’s Jerusalem bureau chief Aaron Klein and ABC Radio’s John Batchelor made history when they interviewed live on national radio the terrorist leader of the notorious 2002 siege of Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity.
The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade’s Jihad Jaara had given an exclusive interview to WND the previous day, discussing the siege in which members of his group and other terror organizations holed up inside the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem while fleeing a massive Israeli anti-terror operation.
One of Christianity’s most sacred sites, the church is believed to be the birthplace of Jesus. Israel surrounded the church area but refused to storm the structure. Gunmen inside included wanted senior Hamas, Tzanim and Brigades terrorists reportedly involved in suicide bombings and shooting attacks. Over 200 nuns and priests were trapped in the Church after Israeli hostage negotiators failed to secure their release.
The siege ended after 39 days, when mediators agreed 13 senior terrorists would be deported to European countries, 26 would be transported to the Gaza Strip, and the remaining gunmen would be freed.
The chaplain who couldn’t pray straight
Jan. 3, 2006: WND was the national leader in coverage of Lt. Gordon James Klingenschmitt, the Navy chaplain who said he would not eat until President Bush took action to allow him and other chaplains the freedom to pray and preach in uniform without diluting God to a one-size-fits all deity.
“If I pray in Jesus’ name in public, I have to wear civilian clothes,” Klingenschmitt told WND. They taught mandatory lectures there to all chaplains, that you cannot pray to your God, you have to pray to the civic god. The Muslim chaplain can’t pray to Allah, a Jewish chaplain can’t pray to Adonai, a Roman Catholic can’t pray in the name of the Trinity, and I couldn’t pray in Jesus’ name in public. They only let us do that in private. If it’s in public, they tell us to just pray to God and say, ‘Amen.’”
Ultimately, after not eating food for 18 days in protest of the Navy’s policy encouraging “inclusive” prayers at public events, Klingenschmitt received reluctant permission to wear his uniform and pray in Jesus’ name outside the White House.
However, Klingenschmitt was court martialed after the event, where he appeared with Ten Commandments judge, Roy Moore. He was issued a letter of dismissal from the Navy in January 2007.
Miner miracle turns to tragedy
Jan. 4, 2006: WND led the national news media with its round-the-clock coverage of trapped miners in West Virginia, as the story shifted from one of rejoicing to horror.
What was proclaimed across America as a miracle in Tallmansville, W.Va., with the announcement of 12 trapped miners found alive turned to shock and disgust with new information indicating that 12 miners had actually died, with just one man surviving the 41-hour ordeal.
“The initial report from the rescue team to the command center indicated multiple survivors,” said Ben Hatfield, president International Coal Group. “That information spread like wildfire, because it had come from the command center. It quickly got out of control.”
“We were devastated,” Hatfield added. “It’s beyond belief. Welcome to the worst day of my life.”
“Everybody is stunned and sickened to their stomach. We feel like we’ve been lied to,” one relative at the scene, Sam Lance, said. “I thought I was going to pass out. This is probably the most horrible thing that has happened to me in my lifetime.”
“How could this be broadcast all over the country?” asked another. “To rip someone’s heart out. It’s awful.”
While print newspapers screamed headlines that morning saying the miners were all alive, WND readers were kept aware through the night of the tragic end to the story.
Kid, you’re not rockin, so don’t bother knockin’
Jan. 5, 2005: WND was the first news organization to bring wide attention to the fact that vulgar rapper Kid Rock had been scheduled to perform at a youth event as part of President Bush’s second inaugural.
“If this sex-crazed animal, whose favorite word is the F-word, is allowed to sing at Bush’s inauguration this will send a clear message to pro-family Americans that the Republican Party has taken them for a ride and ditched them in the gutter,” Randy Thomasson, president of Campaign for Children and Families, told WND.
After the initial article, the Presidential Inauguration Committee backpedaled, saying the rapper was “not confirmed” to appear.
Ultimately, Kid Rock did not perform.
“He’s not performing,” a spokesman for the Presidential Inauguration Committee confirmed for WND.
Jane Fonda gets that ol’ time religion
Jan. 6, 2000: WND first reported actress Jane Fonda’s conversion to Christianity, a story subsequently picked up with attribution by virtually the rest of the establishment media, including Associated Press. The separation between media mogul Ted Turner – who once called Christianity a religion for losers – and Fonda, was prompted in part by her stunning embrace of “born-again” evangelical Christianity, sources close to the couple told WorldNetDaily.
Nearly five years later, Fonda told New York Post columnist Liz Smith that she regards the Bible as a metaphor, reads extra-biblical gospels, is still searching for a church and considers herself a “feminist Christian,” distinguished from fundamentalists.
‘Savage Nation’ hits No. 1 on Amazon
Jan. 7, 2000: “The Savage Nation,” talk-radio maverick Michael Savage’s story of one man’s love affair with the United States – and the second book released by WND Books – hit No. 1 on Amazon on this day.
“I would do anything to protect the freedoms I enjoy: Freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom of assembly and freedom from fear,” said Savage.
“I couldn’t stop this book from being a best seller if I tried,” said Joseph Farah, co-founder of WND Books.
Revealed: Gun lost on fatal Ron Brown flight
Jan. 8, 2001: A handgun carried by a bodyguard assigned to protect the late Commerce Secretary Ron Brown “was lost and not recovered” from the wreckage of his plane, which crashed in Croatia in 1996, revealed a secret Commerce Department report, a copy of which was obtained by WND.
The internal security report was completed in March 1999 — 15 months after an Air Force forensic pathologist disclosed that an unusual wound at the top of Brown’s head could have been a bullet hole.
Jesse Jackson and other black leaders at the time called for an autopsy to find out if the hole was caused by a bullet.
Minute Maid: Popeye not ‘gay’ in O.J. ad
Jan. 9, 2002: The makers of Minute Maid orange juice strongly denied suggestions its TV ad campaign featuring Popeye the sailorman promoted a homosexual agenda.
“There’s nothing hidden in our intent,” company spokesman Dan Schafer told WND. “There’s no hidden message to it.”
The issue gained worldwide attention after a report in the Daily Star of London featured the headline: “Oh Buoy! Popeye’s gone gay!”
“Beefy Bluto squeals with joy as he pushes muscle-bound Popeye back and forth on a swing in a children’s playground,” the report said. “Then the two tough guys lark about on a see-saw before heading off to the beach. Their new-found affection for each other is sealed when they get the words ‘Buddies For Life’ tattooed on their bulging arms.”
Buyer beware of Consumer Reports
Jan. 10, 2005: WND exposed how Consumer Reports, the respected magazine that has advised Americans on everything from new car purchases to which electric can opener to buy, published a list of birth-control options that includes abortion, complete with a section describing how the procedure gets rid of a pregnant mother’s “uterine contents.”
Enron execs turn Clinton trade trip into $3 billion deal
Jan. 11, 2002: While Democrat leaders were attempting to link Enron to the Bush administration, WorldNetDaily reported an earlier $100,000 donation from the controversial energy company to the Democratic National Committee and Clinton’s re-election effort that came after a Commerce Department junket that Enron executive Ken Lay turned into a $3 billion deal.
Lay accompanied late Commerce Secretary Ron Brown on the weeklong January 1995 trip, receiving assistance from Mack McLarty, then-White House counselor, and President Clinton himself.
Just days before India gave it’s final OK, Enron sent a check for $100,000 for the re-election offer – less than 20 percent of what the company would give in total.
China threat to Panama Canal confirmed
Jan. 12, 2000: WND reported on a recently declassified U.S. military report confirming that communist China is indeed a threat to the Panama Canal – an assessment directly contradicting the public testimony given to the Senate by the U.S. military.
Only two months before, Gen. Charles E. Wilhelm, USMC, Commander of the Southern Command, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee on the Panama Canal, during which he stated there was no threat from state-sponsored or “transnational” crime against Panama.
But the document, classified “SECRET//X1″ and prepared four days after Wilhelm’s testimony, said that the Chinese firm that acquired control of the Canal, “Hutchison Whampoa,” is indeed considered a threat.
“Hutchison’s containerized shipping facilities in the Panama Canal, as well as the Bahamas, could provide a conduit for illegal shipments of technology or prohibited items from the west to the PRC, or facilitate the movement of arms and other prohibited items into the Americas,” warned the report.
Bush Labor nominee too cozy with China for comfort?
JAN. 13, 2001: WND reported that President-elect George W. Bush’s choice to head the Labor Department, Elaine Chao, and her father had extensive personal ties to communist China’s then-President Jiang Zemin – contact described as “regular” and “deep.”
According to an Asian affairs expert who spoke on condition of anonymity, Chao allegedly had characterized as “racist” the findings of a May 1999 report on Chinese espionage during the Clinton administration, released by a select committee chaired by Rep. Christopher Cox, R-Calif.
“The real story here is that Ms. Chao’s father – and most likely herself – has been a family friend of the leaders of communist China for practically all of her life,” said WND’s source.
Chao, who was confirmed by the Senate and still serves as Bush’s secretary of labor, is the wife of Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican minority leader.
Governor gets ear full over soft-on-child-rapist judge
Jan 14, 2006: A spokesman for Gov. Jim Douglas of Vermont told WND the governor shared the outrage being expressed over a judge’s decision to give a 60-day sentence to a child rapist who admitted abusing the young girl over a period of four years. His office had received more than 20,000 e-mails, phone calls and letters, most of them in protest.
At the sentencing, District Court Judge Edward Cashman told a packed courtroom made up mostly of people related to the victim: “The one message I want to get through is that anger doesn’t solve anything. It just corrodes your soul.”
The judge said that when he began 25 years ago, he handed down tough sentences but now believes “it accomplishes nothing of value.”
“It doesn’t make anything better; it costs us a lot of money; we create a lot of expectation, and we feed on anger,” Cashman explained.
The judge said he imposed the light sentence because the man did not qualify for in-prison sex-offnder treatment. He therefore gave him a minimum of 60 days in jail and ordered him to complete the treatment when he got out or face a possible life sentence.
“What is equally troubling is that the judge no longer believes in punishment,” said Douglas’ spokesman. “The governor says that if a criminal court judge no longer believes in punishment, he shouldn’t be on the bench.”
Judge Edward Cashman remains on the bench today.
Factor this! O’Reilly’s column hottest in America
Jan. 15, 2002: Bill O’Reilly’s weekly syndicated WND column was the biggest seller in the business in 2001, reported Creators Syndicate President Rick Newcombe.
The O’Reilly column, owned in part by WND, was published by more than 100 newspapers, including those in major markets such as New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., Orange County, Calif., Miami, Atlanta, Cleveland, Albany and New Haven.
“This launch, just over a year old, has to be one of the most successful in the history of newspaper syndication,” said Newcombe. “And there’s no question it is the most successful column in the nation over the last 12 months.”
WorldNetDaily launched the O’Reilly column, “The No Spin Zone,” in 2000. Very quickly, it was picked up for syndication by Creators in 2001 – only the second time in history a column was moved into newspaper syndication after appearing in only one Internet venue. The first was WND’s column by David Limbaugh.
“The O’Reilly Factor,” his Fox News Channel show, has since become the No. 1 cable news program in the country.
Mercer joins WND
Mercer describes herself as “a wandering Jew” who has lived in Israel, South Africa, Canada and, now, the United States. The daughter of a rabbi, Ilana initially found herself on the left side of the political spectrum, but moved to become a libertarian.
‘Mayor Chocolate Nagin’
Jan. 17, 2006: In the wake of comments by New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin that he wanted his city to be a “chocolate” city, he became humorously dubbed, “Mayor Chocolate Nagin, America’s flavorite racist.”
“We ask black people … It’s time for us to come together. It’s time for us to rebuild New Orleans – the one that should be a chocolate New Orleans,” the mayor said. “This city will be chocolate at the end of the day.”
WND executive news editor Joe Kovacs asked, “What if the mayor of Miami, for instance, suggested his city become more vanilla? …
“How about the novel concept of having the city filled with Americans, no matter what color or flavor they are? They could be chocolate, vanilla, coffee, salsa, teriyaki or tutti-fruity for that matter.”
Security breach in Clinton White House revealed
Jan. 18, 2001: WND uncovered a security breach in Clinton’s West Wing that exposed secret data to potential Internet hackers and foreign spies in 1998.
A national security adviser copied classified files onto a disk from an NSC computer in a secure area of the West Wing, then uploaded them onto a computer connected to an unsecured network in her Old Executive Office Building office.
A national security adviser copied classified files onto a disk from an NSC computer in a secure area of the West Wing, then uploaded them onto a computer connected to an unsecured network in her Old Executive Office Building office.
While the woman’s computer was confiscated and her building security pass was taken, the Clinton appointee, was allowed to return to her job after going out on extended leave.
“She was supposed to be fired and wasn’t,” said a White House employee close to the investigation. “She went on maternity leave. Now she’s back working at NSC.”
National security experts said the White House security violation fit a pattern of sloppy handling of U.S. secrets throughout the government during the past eight years.
“But this latest breach lays the problem right at the West Wing and at Berger’s door,” said William C. Triplett, a former Reagan White House official, who noted that Berger was a lobbyist for China before joining the NSC.
Berger’s door. In 2001, we didn’t know how right he was.
Did FBI arrive in Oklahoma City before McVeigh?
Jan. 19, 2002: Despite denials that the agency had any prior knowledge of the OKC bombing, a receipt obtained by WorldNetDaily puts the FBI’s top counterterrorism agent in an OKC hotel nearly nine hours before a truck bomb nearly leveled the Alfred P. Murrah Building.
The Embassy Suites Hotel receipt of Danny Coulson, then-director of the FBI’s Terrorist Task Force and founding commander of the bureau’s Hostage Rescue Team was dated April 19, 1995, with a check-in time of “00:20″ – military time for 12:20 a.m. Coulson claims that he was in Texas the morning of the attack.
The existence of the receipt and subsequent questions it raises surrounding the FBI’s official denial of prior knowledge of the OKC bombing was first reported by J.D. Cash of the McCurtain (Oklahoma) Daily Gazette – a small-town paper that has been out in front of scores of OKC-related stories.
“Since the bombing, officials at the Department of Justice have repeatedly assured victims that the FBI had no prior knowledge of any plot to bomb the Murrah federal building,” the paper said. However, “evidence of Coulson’s clandestine trip fits squarely with a substantial body of details found in hundreds of pages of other official documents obtained [via Freedom of Information Act requests] by” the paper – “evidence revealing weeks of planning by an elite corps of drug and counterterrorism experts who were closely monitoring members of various far-right groups they considered religious extremists and threats to the safety and security of the nation.”
Penn & Teller ridicule Christ’s crucifixion
Jan. 20, 2003: The magic-comedy team of Penn & Teller caused a number of people attending a Las Vegas roast of a fellow magician to head for the doors.
Their skit, parodying the crucifixion of Jesus, included Teller, dressed as Christ on a full-size cross, and a midget dressed as an angel, who “performed a simulated sex act on the near-naked Teller.” Penn, in a Roman gladiator costume, unveiled the scene by pulling away a “Shroud of Turin” that covered the cross.
According to Rick Neiswonger, a longtime magician and marketing executive, “the majority” of the 400 who attended the roast were offended.
“They (organizers) warned everybody that something offensive was going to happen, but my God, where do you draw the line? … This was beyond bad taste,” Neiswonger said.
Radical Hispanic group hails Bin Laden as ‘Pancho Villa of Islam’
Jan. 21, 2006: WND reported that a radical Hispanic group that claims the southwestern United States belongs to Mexico was hailing elusive al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden as the “Pancho Villa of Islam.”
Villa was unsuccessfully pursued for 11 months by Gen. John J. Pershing after the Mexican and his troops raided a small New Mexico border town in 1916.
“Like Pancho Villa, it looks like Osama bin Laden has outsmarted the U.S. military generals,” Ernesto Cienfuegos wrote for the website, “The Voice of Aztlan.”
“Both are revered by the common people of each respective community,” he said. “Both are seen as Robin Hoods by the poor and oppressed. Both were construction contractors at one time in their lives. Francisco Villa was a general contractor on the construction of the railroad through Chihuahua’s majestic Copper Canyon. Both Osama bin Laden and General Francisco Villa were indirectly fighting those whom they perceived to be lackeys of the United States.
“It certainly appears today, that Osama bin Laden is headed for the very same legendary and folk hero status in Islam.”
The most popular website in the world
Jan. 22, 2001: For the week of Jan. 15-22, 2001, WND was again voted the most popular website in the world on Global100.com.
WND ranked ahead of online giants including Napster, Google, FoxNews.com, and Yahoo.
WND held the No. 1 spot for an unprecedented 94 weeks before Global100 suspended its operation in June 2001.
NBC closes ‘The Book of Daniel’
Jan. 23, 2006: NBC’s “The Book of Daniel” may have launched to great controversy and hoopla.
But WND broke the story how the show ended with a whimper – pulled unceremoniously from NBC’s Friday night schedule with no more of an announcement than an entry on an NBC blog by creator Jack Kenny.
As WND initially reported, “The Book of Daniel,” written by a homosexual, was promoted as the only show on television in which Jesus appeared as a recurring character and the only network prime-time drama series with a regular male “gay” character, a 23-year-old Republican son. The main character, Daniel Webster, was a troubled, pill-popping Episcopal priest.
WND cartoons have America rolling
Jan. 24, 2001: David “Gypsy” Smith, the multi-talented writer, animator, musician, voice talent, producer and director behind WorldNetDaily cartoons, produced his first CD, “Exit Stage 2000,” which went on sale in Shop.WND.com.
The cartoons were a smash hit with WND readers as well as TV networks such as NBC, MSNBC and Fox News, which aired the hilarious animated version of WND editor Joseph Farah reporting on the Butterfly Ballot fiasco during the 2000 election mess.
Other favorites included on the CD collection include Janet “Mary Poppins” Reno, the “Palm Beach Shuffle” and “Hannity & Butthead.”
WND goes global – announces new Jerusalem bureau
Jan. 25, 2005: Furthering its charge of bringing the most hard-hitting, fiercely independent news to readers from around the globe, WorldNetDaily announced the upcoming opening of its news bureau in Jerusalem to report from the Middle East.
Headed by Aaron Klein, WND’s new presence in the Mideast was seen as an opportunity to shine light in some of the darkest corners of hatred and totalitarianism on the planet with exclusive articles on the “Israeli-Palestinian conflict” and regular in-demand interviews with newsmakers and Mideast leaders.
Talk about “mission accomplished.”
For two years, Klein has been out front on most developments in the region with exclusive information from a wide variety of sources: settlers facing eviction from their homes, activists hoping for Jewish access to the Temple Mount, military experts, government insiders and the terror leaders themselves.
Klein also edits the Galil Report, a new intelligence e-mail newsletter published by WND for those who need to know the events and players before they become news.
WND announces formation of WND Books division
Jan. 26, 2000: Hot on the heels of being rated in the top nine news sources on the Internet, WND announced the opening of its new book publishing division, WorldNetDaily Publishing. The new venture was created to edit and publish books primarily written by the popular Netpaper’s writers, commentators and editors – while leaving the door open to other manuscripts as well.
These are just some of the familiar titles published by WND Books over the past seven years: David Kupelian’s “The Marketing of Evil,” Michael Savage’s “The Savage Nation,” Tom Tancredo’s “In Mortal Danger,” Diana Lynn’s “Terri’s Story,” Jayna Davis’ “The Third Terrorist,” and many others.
“We believe there is a void in the traditional book publishing marketplace, just as surely as we recognize there was one in the news business prior to the arrival of WorldNetDaily,” said WND’s founder and editor Joseph Farah. “We plan to fill that void as proven content providers – and make a profit doing it.”
Atheist’s case against Jesus Christ begins
Jan. 27, 2006: In a case with ominous implications, an Italian judge heard arguments on whether or not a parish priest in that nation should stand trial for claiming Jesus of Nazareth actually existed.
Atheist Luigi Cascioli, who alleges Jesus never existed in his book, ‘The Fable of Christ,’ had brought charges against Rev. Enrico Righi for allegedly deceiving people into thinking Jesus was an actual historical figure.
“The point is not to establish whether Jesus existed or not, but if there is a question of possible fraud,” said Cascioli’s attorney, Mauro Fonzo, to reporters, according to the Associated Press.
Specifically, Cascioli says Righi has broken two Italian laws: the “abuse of popular belief” – which amounts to intentionally deceiving someone – and “impersonation” – meaning one gains by giving a false name to someone.
Ultimately, Cascioli not only failed to establish a precedent that could have chilled practice of the Christian faith in the European Union, he failed to bring his case because the court refused to hear his case. Indeed, Cascioli was fined $1,900 by an appeals court in Rome for bringing a fraudulent suit – a decision the 73-year-old atheist called “an abuse of authority against every right of intellectual expression and liberty. I refuse to pay.”
Saddam’s secret weapons exports revealed
Jan. 28, 2001: Roving foreign correspondent Anthony LoBaido reported from Copenhagen for the first time that the U.S. government was holding secret talks with Libya to get the country out of the business of weapons of mass destruction and reported that Saddam Hussein had shipped chemical weapons there.
Hassan Abdul Salaam, an Iraqi-Kurdish doctor, provided detailed information to WND on Saddam Hussein’s biological and chemical weapons programs and the Iraqi dictator’s role as a supplier of WMD to Islamists in Sudan where they were used against Christians.
“I know I can’t undo what I’ve done, except to tell the intelligence agencies and the media what Saddam is up to,” Salaam explained. “Even if the Iraqi assassins hunt me down and kill me off like Hussein Kamal [another Iraqi defector who exposed Saddam's weapon's programs to the CIA and Mossad station chiefs in Amman, Jordan], I will have fulfilled my duty before both Allah and mankind.”
Hillary to go Hollywood for PMS?
Jan. 29, 2006: Could you imagine Sen. Hillary Clinton as a star in a film about women’s pre-menstrual syndrome?
“I’m so fascinated about this. I have so many friends who are hitting 40 and are flipping out,” said Arquette. “I think it hasn’t been talked about so I’ll be interviewing a bunch of people about it. I want to interview movie stars and rock stars, people on the street and then I want to interview Hillary Clinton.”
To WND’s knowledge, the former first lady has not taken part in such a project.
Ben & Jerry’s co-founder begged for 9/11 attacks?
Jan. 30, 2003: WND broke the astonishing, exclusive story of how exactly one week before the U.S. was attacked by terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001, Ben Cohen, the co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream kingdom, was begging for a real enemy of the U.S. to show up.
Cohen posted an “enemy wanted” ad on Sept. 4, 2001, hoping that a worthy adversary would soon make itself known to justify President Bush’s defense budget. The ad read in part:
ENEMY WANTED. Serious enemy needed to justify Pentagon budget increase. Defense contractors desperate. Interested enemies send letter and photo or video (threatening, OK) to Enemy Search Committee, Priorities Campaign, 1350 Broadway, NY, NY, 10018. … If you’ve got any killer ideas, please let me know.
The Amanpour ‘disaster’
Jan. 31, 2006: WND documented how Christiane Amanpour, the chief international correspondent for CNN, injected her personal opinion about the Iraq war into the public domain, twice calling it a “disaster” on national television, saying the situation “just gets worse and worse.”
During an appearance on the network’s “Larry King Live” program, Amanpour stated, “Most of the Iraqi people are now losing hope that the promised reconstruction is going to happen and that the quality of their lives is going to increase. This is a big drama because hope is the only thing they have in the middle of this spiralling security disaster. And by any indication whether you take the number of journalists killed or wounded, whether you take the number of American soldiers killed or wounded, whether you take the number of Iraqi soldiers killed and wounded, contractors, people working there, it just gets worse and worse.”
Flash! America gets ‘busted’
Feb. 1, 2004: As if Super Bowls needed more exposure, the halftime show at Super Bowl XXXVIII provided millions of viewers with a clear shot of singer Janet Jackson’s breast at the end of her performance with Justin Timberlake.
While Timberlake called the incident a “wardrobe malfunction,” Jackson admitted the stunt had been planned.
“I am really sorry if I offended anyone. That was truly not my intention,” she said. “The decision to have a costume reveal at the end of my halftime show performance was made after final rehearsals. … It was not my intention that it go as far as it did.”
FCC Chairman Michael Powell said he was outraged, explaining, “Like millions of Americans, my family and I gathered around the television for a celebration. Instead, that celebration was tainted by a classless, crass and deplorable stunt. Our nation’s children, parents and citizens deserve better.”
“We love stunts at our agency, and she opened the door for more people to take risks,” said James LaForce, partner in the New York public relations agency LaForce & Stevens.
Did environmentalism bring down Columbia?
Feb. 2, 2003: A NASA report, obtained by WND, revealed that the agency in 1997 identified problems following an earlier switch to “environmentally friendly” parts and materials to hold the external tank insulation in place during launch – the very insulation that damaged thermal tiles on Columbia’s wing, causing the spacecraft to disintegrate on re-entry.
NASA investigators seven years before had noted that the damage on a returned shuttle followed changes in the methods of “foaming” the external tank.
“During the STS-87 mission, there was a change made on the external tank,” said the report. “Because of NASA’s goal to use environmentally friendly products, a new method of ‘foaming’ the external tank had been used for this mission and the STS-86 mission. It is suspected that large amounts of foam separated from the external tank and impacted the orbiter. This caused significant damage to the protective tiles of the orbiter.”
NBC halts Britney’s crucifixion mockery
Feb. 3, 2006: Reacting to pressure from Christian groups, NBC canceled an episode of “Will & Grace” that featured Britney Spears as a conservative who hosts a cooking segment called “Cruci-fixin’s” on a Christian TV network.
In what was billed as “her first prime-time television episodic appearance,” Spears was to appear as a sidekick to the regular character Jack, who hosts his own talk show on the homosexual network Out TV, which is bought by a Christian TV network.
But only a week after NBC was forced to pull its highly touted new show “The Book of Daniel” because of charges its portrayal of Jesus was blasphemous, the network backtracked on the Spears episode, scheduled to appear just before Good Friday.
In a memo to affiliates, NBC even rescinded its earlier description, saying “the information was mistakenly included in a press release describing an upcoming episode of ‘Will and Grace’ which, in fact, has yet to be written. The reference to ‘Cruci-fixins’ will not be in the show and the story line will not contain a Christian characterization at all.”
Farah’s ‘Taking America Back’ released in hardcover
Feb. 4, 2003: WND Editor Joseph Farah’s manifesto, “Taking America Back,” that exposes the weaknesses in America’s current system and offers practical solutions was released to popular acclaim on this day.
Full of practical steps every American can take, “Taking America Back” not only sounds the alarm, but shows how to win the war. “It’s time to celebrate virtue and knowledge again,” says Farah. “It’s time to wake up your neighbors so they can once again smell the sweet aroma of freedom … Let’s take America back.”
In “Taking America Back,” Farah reveals how we as a nation have moved from freedom fighters to comfort lovers. He says that it’s time to wake up and realize where our present state of affairs is taking us. It’s time for Americans to choose the kind of country in which we want to live.
According to Farah, “The choice is simple: The world of standards and morality, of marriage, order, the rule of law, and accountability to God? Or the world of anything-goes, aberrant sexual behavior, doing-your-own-thing lifestyles, and moral codes that change with the speed of the latest public-opinion poll?”
Feb. 5, 2004: A U.S. Customs Department whistleblower said airports were as insecure from terrorist attacks because of unauthorized ramp access as they were before 9-11.
Former Customs Agent Diane Kleiman confirmed what earlier WND reports showed – that ramps or the “back side” of major airports, including specifically New York’s JFK, are wide open to penetration and have been used by alien and drug smugglers since Sept. 11, 2001.
“The method for smuggling the drugs into the country is the same as the method for smuggling surface-to-air missiles, firearms, biological, chemical or nuclear devices,” Kleiman said in her report to the Justice Department.
“Today, when traveling on a plane, the public sees many people standing by the screening devices, and they are practically forced to strip naked,” she wrote. “They get that warm, cozy feeling that the government has enacted safer mechanisms to protect them, which is the perception the government wants to give. But the fact is, the real security threats are on the ramps. And nothing has changed there to make it safer for the public, nor has the personnel changed. It’s all a facade.”
The mystery shuttle ‘zap’ photo that ‘wowed’ NASA
That was veteran astronaut Tammy Jernigan’s stunned reaction when she viewed the photo at the home of the San Francisco man who snapped the shuttle’s re-entry into the atmosphere just before it disintegrated.
“It certainly appears very anomalous,” Jernigan said. “We sure will be very interested in taking a very hard look at this.”
“In the critical shot,” reported the San Francisco Chronicle, “a glowing purple rope of light corkscrews down toward the plasma trail, appears to pass behind it, then cuts sharply toward it from below. As it merges with the plasma trail, the streak itself brightens for a distance, then fades.”
“[The photos] clearly record an electrical discharge like a lightning bolt flashing past, and I was snapping the pictures almost exactly … when the Columbia may have begun breaking up during re-entry,” the photographer originally said.
To WND’s knowledge, the mysterious photo has never been released to the public.
Hamas declares war – on Rotary Clubs
Feb. 7, 2006: Following Hamas’ stunning election victory in the Palestinian Authority, Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin documented how few – including journalists – have bothered to do something as simple as read the group’s own charter to see what the Islamic Resistance Movement says about itself and its enemies.
For instance, Americans might be shocked to learn that Hamas believes the Rotary and Lions Clubs are “secret societies” that are part of the international Zionist conspiracy.
Referring to its enemies, Article 22 of the charter states: “They were behind the French Revolution, the Communist revolution and most of the revolutions we heard and hear about, here and there. With their money they formed secret societies, such as Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, the Lions and others in different parts of the world for the purpose of sabotaging societies and achieving Zionist interests.”
‘Muhammad’ and the pig squealer
Feb. 8, 2006: WND reported how one of three especially inflammatory but undocumented Muhammad images distributed by a Danish imam as an example of an “anti-Muslim environment” in the European country turned out to be a poorly reproduced copy of an Associated Press photo taken at a French pig-squealing contest.
The weblog NeanderNews pointed out the image used by Imam Ahmad Abu Laban was a faxed copy of AP’s Aug. 15, 2005, photo of Jacques Barrot competing at the annual French Pig-Squealing Championships in Trie-sur-Baise.
During February, Muslims throughout the world engaged in protests and deadly riots in response to 12 cartoons caricaturing Islam’s prophet Muhammad published the previous September by the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten and three much more provocative images that Muslim leaders were unable to document.
One of those images of mysterious origin, which never were published, is from the AP photo. Another depicted Muhammad as a pedophile demon and a third had a praying Muslim being raped by a dog.
Arafat? ‘Hang him,’ said Cheney
Feb. 9, 2002: In comments that were presumably never supposed to leave the White House briefing room, Israeli Defense Minister Benjamin ben Eliezer sparked a flurry of denials after revealing off-the-cuff remarks about Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat made by Vice President Dick Cheney and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice.
“On the subject, Cheney was more extreme than me,” ben Eliezer told the press. Ben Eliezer also said that when he had discussed Arafat with Rice, she had said that it was a waste of time dealing with him.
Yedioth Aharonot quoted ben Eliezer yesterday as saying: “The vice president told me: ‘As far as I am concerned, you can even hang him,” with regard to Arafat.
“It’s a fantasy,” said White House spokesman Ari Fleischer of the Arafat quote, as the administration attempted to get the genie back in the bottle.
A chastised ben Eliezer called Rice and Cheney to apologize and changed his recollection, saying he had not attributed the hanging remark to the vice president.
“I also want to make clear that no White House official told me that it’s a waste of time dealing with Arafat,” ben Eliezer said, backtracking from his earlier comments.
G2 Bulletin debuts
Feb. 10, 2003: After two years of planning and development, WorldNetDaily.com’s founder and editor launched a new website – a subscription-based, online weekly intelligence newsletter utilizing sources of information he developed over 25 years as a journalist.
“Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin” includes regular sections on the global threat from Islamic terrorism, the Mideast, internal security, the Far East, Europe, intelligence briefings and important news backgrounders as well as top stories and breaking news.
“For many years I have wanted to have a forum like this for stories I come across that are not necessarily double-sourced for the standards of daily journalism, yet they are leads and reports that are very reliable and from very credible sources. My sources are in the Pentagon, on the scene in the Persian Gulf, in Afghanistan, in Israel, in the CIA, the NSA and, of course, military intelligence.”
G2 means intelligence in military jargon, explained Farah.
WND watchdog forces Senate press reforms
Feb. 11, 2003: A bitter 19-month fight by WND with the Senate Press Gallery for press credentials not only ended with the committee that runs the galleries in Congress backing down – the committee decided it was time to review the longstanding rules used to vet applicants for press credentials.
“I think the obvious trigger was the litigation of the WorldNetDaily application, which forced the committee to take a look at the rules,” said Bloomberg News congressional correspondent William L. Roberts III, the outgoing chairman of the Standing Committee of Correspondents, which gets its authority from Congress.
WND’s legal team charged that the Standing Committee of Correspondents had violated the newssite’s First Amendment rights by unfairly excluding it from covering Congress.
A document used internally by the committee to investigate WND later revealed that it was more concerned with the political nature of WND’s content than its quantity. WND counsel Richard Ackerman of the U.S. Justice Foundation, who uncovered the document, charged the panel was engaging in “viewpoint-based discrimination.”
The panel overturned its ruling against WND after legal action was threatened.
Whiz kid: Al Gore’s iced-tea defense
Feb. 12, 2000: Vice President Al Gore changed his answers during FBI interviews when confronted with documents in a fund-raising investigation and suggested he may have missed part of a meeting in which campaign-finance issues may have been discussed because he drank too much iced tea, FBI documents revealed.
Trying to explain parts of the meeting he said he didn’t recall, Gore told the FBI he normally sits next to the president in such meetings and that the two sometimes consult while the meeting is going on, thereby missing the surrounding discussion.
“The Vice President also observed that he drank a lot of iced tea during meetings, which could have necessitated a restroom break,” the FBI summary stated. “It was not uncommon for him, and for that matter the President, to excuse themselves from meetings to use the restroom.”
Sabbath-breaking caused killer tsunami?
Rev. John MacLeod of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland wrote: “Possibly … no event since Noah’s flood has caused such loss of life by drowning as the recent Asian tsunami. That so many of our fellow creatures should have perished in so short a time, and in so awful a fashion, was a divine visitation that ought to make men tremble the world over.”
He continued: “Some of the places most affected by the tsunami attracted pleasure-seekers from all over the world. It has to be noted that the wave arrived on the Lord’s day, the day God set apart to be observed the world over as a holy resting from all employments and recreations that are lawful on other days.”
MacLeod said: “To rule out the hand of God in this … is to forget that He is in sovereign control of all events. If the sparrow falling to the ground is an event noted, and ordered, by Him, how much is this the case when the souls of so many thousands are parted from their bodies?”
The ‘Digital Angel’ from hell
Feb. 14, 2000: WorldNetDaily broke the story of the plan for transceivers to be implanted in humans and monitored by global positioning satellites.
The new technology, currently used to locate lost pets, has been adapted for use in humans, allowing implant wearers to emit a homing beacon, have vital bodily functions monitored and confirm identity when making e-commerce transactions.
When implanted in the body, the device is powered electromagnetically through the movement of muscles, and can be activated either by the wearer or by the monitoring facility.
Texas towns invaded by Army in Operation Last Dance
Feb. 15, 1999: Several bewildered Texas officials found themselves on the hot seat after their small rural towns were used for live-fire military exercises by the Night Stalkers, an elite group from the U.S. Army’s Delta Force, in the unannounced Operation Last Dance.
Despite the 30-minute warning given by police – printed notices posted to residents’ doors that did not disclose any details – most residents were shaken up by the simulated bombing runs, hovering black helicopters in the night, firing of live ammunition and explosives very close to innocent bystanders.
In the town of Kingsville, one of eight helicopters hit a telephone pole, starting a fire and horrifying residents who saw it happen. Fire officials said they had no warning the exercise would take place.
Asked the purpose of the exercise, Tomas Sanchez, Kingsville’s Federal Emergency Management Agency coordinator, speculated the exercise involved a scenario that required military action because local police could not deal with civilians effectively.
“Martial law has been declared through presidential powers and war powers act, and some citizens have refused to give up their weapons. They have taken over two of the buildings in Kingsville. The police cannot handle it. So you call these guys in. They show up and they zap everybody, take all the weapons, and let the local P.D. clean it up,” described Sanchez of the scenario the Night Stalkers were likely given.
Feb. 16, 2002: WND reported that the nation’s largest homosexual lobby group was sponsoring a conference for “female-to-male” “transgenders” that included sessions on “chest surgery” for young women who wanted to have their breasts removed in their quest to become “transmen.”
The Human Rights Campaign – which has always cultivated a “mainstream” image – signed on as an official sponsor of the “True Spirit Conference,” held in Washington, D.C. HRC spokesman Wayne Besen defended the “chest surgery” sessions on the Fox News Channel’s debate show “Hannity & Colmes.”
Peter LaBarbera, senior policy analyst for the Culture & Family Institute of Concerned Women for America, confronted Besen, “There’s actually a doctor coming from New York who is talking about ‘breast reconstruction’ – chopping off the breasts of these girls because they want to become men. We think that’s dangerous. How can you justify teaching that as normal in the schools?”
Besen replied, “First of all, we’re very proud of supporting this type of conference. As Peter said, there are doctors and medical professionals there to deal with this particular issue. He ought to get educated on it.”
Organizers boasted that at least two doctors would be on hand at True Spirit to discuss “top” (breast removal) and “bottom” (creation of a makeshift “penis” from a vagina) surgery.
No talking to God here
Feb. 17, 2005: When Jesus stood on the Temple Mount nearly 2,000 years ago, he cited the prophet Isaiah by saying his Father’s house was to be a house of prayer for all nations. But that was then and this is now.
WND reported on tough regulations, imposed by Islamic authorities at the holy site against Jews and Christians, forbidding non-Muslims to pray, carry Bibles or – in some instances – anything written in Hebrew.
Even appearing to pray can bring down the authorities, noted one Jewish tour guide who told of a Jewish woman who was detained the previous summer for putting her head down while sitting on a bench.
“It was a hot day and she just wanted to rest for a few minutes. The Wafq started screaming and the police arrested her. She told me she was held for six hours and had to sign documents stating she would never again return to the Temple Mount.”
Who’s your daddy?
As the nation experiences an unprecedented increase in unwed motherhood, more men are finding themselves named as “fathers,” for purposes of child support, simply because of their ability to pay, say several recent studies. Indeed, in some cases, men who have been able to prove they have no biological link to a child had still been ordered to provide court-ordered support.
DNA testing isn’t always the answer say experts critical of the way tests are conducted and analyzed.
“Despite testing facility claims of a 99 percent accuracy rate, all men are at risk, whether it’s through a wrong paternity judgment or paternity fraud,” said Darrin Bush, developer of PaternityTestFlaw.com. “There is a chance that a man can be determined to be the father of a child even if he never had relations with the mother. The deck appears to be stacked against men.”
Citibank forces gun withdrawal
Feb. 19, 2000: WorldNetDaily broke the story of how Citibank stopped serving “businesses that deal in weapons” – a policy that was reversed shortly after exposure.
A spokesman said Citibank “decided that moving forward the practice of assessing a small business account will apply uniformly in small businesses,” including those “engaged in the manufacture or sale of small firearms.”
‘J.R.’ vs. ‘W’
Larry Hagman, who played J.R. Ewing in the popular CBS series “Dallas,” said while both Bush and J.R. came from the Texas oil industry, the president was not smart enough to be like J.R.
“J.R. was so smart he always found a way to win without violence … he ruined his enemies financially or socially,” said Hagman.
The former actor, who also played an astronaut in the 1960s TV series “I Dream of Jeannie,” called Bush a “sad figure: not too well educated, who doesn’t get out of America much. He’s leading the country towards fascism.”
Farah gets ‘Googlebombed’
Feb 21, 2005: WND editor Joseph Farah documented how he was personally the victim of a Google bomb, an attempt to influence the ranking of a given site in results returned by the Google search engine.
“Don’t worry, it doesn’t hurt. I didn’t feel a thing,” Farah noted, as he revealed a Joel Pelletier painting lumping so-called conservative characters together.
“Pelletier admits it took him six months to study and paint this band of conspirators, which includes yours truly, as well as George W. Bush, Rush Limbaugh, Rupert Murdoch, Ann Coulter and close to 120 others. Why?
“Because ‘all Americans need to know what is going on – the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy that Hillary Clinton warned about is real, they think they can do no wrong with God on their side, and they are here on this painting,’ the artist hyperventilates.”
Poor young whites top hate-crime victims
While race is, by far, the No. 1 factor cited as the reason for hate crimes, blacks are slightly less likely to be victims and far more likely to be perpetrators, statistics collected from between July 2000 and December 2003.
About 56 percent of hate crimes were motivated, at least in part, by racial hatred, according to the study, and most were accompanied by violence.
While nine in 10,000 whites and nine in 10,000 Hispanics are victimized by hate crimes, only seven in 10,000 blacks are targets, according to the report.
The report says 38 percent of all those reporting hate crimes said the attacker was black, and in 90 percent of those cases, the victim believed the offender’s motive was racial. In incidents involving white attackers, only 30 percent attribute the hate crime to race, while 20 percent attributed it to ethnicity.
The report says 40 percent of white hate crime victims were attacked by blacks, adding, “The small number of black hate crime victims precludes analysis of the race of persons who victimized them.”
“It’s an astounding report,” said Jack Levin, a leading hate crime expert at Northeastern University. “It’s not necessarily completely accurate, but I would trust these data before I trusted the voluntary law enforcement reports to the FBI.”
‘Chappaquiddick Kid’ off hook with college
Feb. 23, 2006: He was only 20 years old, but Paul Trost, a student at Massasoit Community College in Brockton, Mass., was incensed over something that happened 17 years before he was born and he wasn’t about to let Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., begin his speech without reminding him.
It was the introduction of Kennedy given by Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., that set Trost off.
“Lynch said Kennedy had overcome such adversity to get to the place he was, and that’s a bunch of bull,” Trost said.
Despite warnings from campus police of disciplinary action, the college told WND, “The matter is now dropped.”
WND readers help war hero’s widow get house back
Feb. 24, 2003: Generous WND readers, veterans and neighbors rallied to the call to save the home of Lois Leonard, 70, a Vietnam War hero’s widow, from the mortgage company after WND publicized her plight.
Fund-raising efforts collected approximately $55,000 to pay off the finance company after Leonard fell behind on payments.
“Once you get behind, with medical bills and all it’s hard to catch up,” Leonard told WND. The widow suffered from diabetes, severe asthma and chronic bronchitis. She had been unable to work and raised the couple’s five children on the fixed income of her husband’s military benefits and disability payments.
Leonard reclaimed her home of 35 years on Feb. 28, the anniversary of her husband’s valorous death in Vietnam.
Army Sergeant First Class Matthew Leonard was one of 20 black Americans to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor in Vietnam.
Group trains volunteers to stalk Minutemen’s kids
Feb. 25, 2006: A group that ran government-funded day-labor hiring centers got tired of opponents of illegal immigration monitoring their activities, so they decided to kick it up a notch by training volunteers to stalk the children of members of the Minuteman group.
“We are going to target them in a specific way,” said Gustavo Torres, executive director of Casa de Maryland, who was training volunteers to photograph the the Minutemen who stood across the street from his facility.
“Then we are going to picket their houses, and the schools of their kids, and go to their work,” he said. “If they are going to do this to us, we are going to respond in the same way, to let people know their neighbors are extremists, that they are anti-immigrant. They are going to hear from us.”
WND ranked in Top 9
Feb. 26, 2000: Top9.com ranked WorldNetDaily for the third consecutive month in the top nine most-read news sources on the World Wide Web, putting WND just 1,000 readers behind the government-subsidized National Public Radio’s NPR.org.
Characterizing itself as “the first Internet Ranking Search Directory to be based on scientific market research data,” Top9′s list of top non-newspaper news sources ranked by viewership: MSNBC.com, CNN.com, ABCnews.com, CNBC.com, FOXnews.com, BBC.com, 4news.com, NPR.com and WorldNetDaily.com.
The service also ranked WND as the 3,821st largest website in the world and the 39th largest news service of any kind based on unique visitors and the 20th largest based on pageviews, with more than 6.2 million pages served.
The wack job at the Washington Post
Feb. 27, 2000: On this date, Washington Post staffer Marc Fisher interviewed WND editor Joseph Farah about another WorldNetDaily scoop – Jane Fonda’s conversion to Christianity.
In his story, “When Barbarella Met Jesus,” Fisher writes: “This is one of those Internet specials, a report that originated on a wacky Web site and found its way onto page one of the Washington Times before flying all over the infotainment universe.”
Farah responded in a column, noting, “Wacky Web site? … Wacky, indeed. At least we get our facts right, Marc, old buddy. ‘One of those Internet specials,’ he writes. What does he mean by that? Wasn’t it one of those ‘Internet specials’ that got the president of the United States impeached a year ago?”
Udderly ridiculous: ‘Spy chips’ in livestock
Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., wanted the Department of Agriculture to establish a nationwide livestock-identification system.
The company she had in mind for the project is Digital Angel Corporation, originally formed to produce implantable tracking systems for humans.
“The safety of our food supply is critical to our families,” said McCollum. “This technology will allow the Department of Agriculture to track an incidence of ‘mad cow’ or other diseases in livestock like chronic wasting disease discovered in the United States within 48 hours. We are fortunate to have a pioneer in this important technology right in my home town of South Saint Paul, Minnesota.”
WND Washington chief sends Clinton into tirade
March 1, 2000: It was a reasonable question at a festive event – one Bill Clinton could have answered with charm or ignored with a shrug.
“When will you hold your next formal press conference,” then WND Washington Bureau Chief Paul Sperry asked Clinton as the president greeted members of the media invited to the South Lawn of the White House for a picnic in their honor.
“I watched the blood rush to Clinton’s gargantuan face as he launched into a tirade,” reported Sperry. “I’ll never forget the maniacal look in his bloodshot eyes. There was a moment, fleeting, where I sensed he wanted to try to take a swipe at me. I was getting full frontal Clinton. His volcanic temper, hidden so well from the public by his handlers, erupted less than 12 inches from my eyes.”
Arpaio: ‘Probable cause’ Obama certificate a fraud
March 1, 2012: An investigative “Cold Case Posse” launched in August 2011 by “America’s toughest sheriff” – Joe Arpaio of Arizona’s Maricopa County – concluded there is probable cause that the document released by the White House as President Obama’s birth certificate is a computer-generated forgery.
The investigative team asked Arpaio to elevate the investigation to a criminal probe that will make available the resources of his Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.
Arpaio’s news conference in Phoenix was the first live-streaming event ever for WND TV.
Top terrorist sighting raises no FBI interest
March 2, 2006: Anyone wondering what the FBI would have done if they had known ahead of time of the plot to fly planes into buildings in the U.S. by Mohamed Atta and his 18 fellow terrorists may need look no further than what they did when two Americans reported the possible sighting of the al-Qaida operative identified as “the next Mohamed Atta” – Adnan el-Shukrijumah – in California.
The eyewitnesses, a husband and wife who wished to remain anonymous for security reasons, said they encountered el-Shukrijumah and other potential al-Qaida operatives, including Aafia Siddiqui, in a small caf– near Lake Isabella in Kern County Sept. 7, 2005. They described him as small (approximately 5’4″), thin (about 130 pounds), and clean-shaven with a prominent nose, dark eyes and black hair. They noted that he appeared nervous and spoke English to his Middle Eastern companions without an accent.
Despite a $5 million reward for el-Shukrijumah – and a license plate number copied by the couple – neither the Kern County sheriff, the FBI nor Sen. Arlen Specter’s office responded to the reported sighting.
Wronged churches assert rights
March 3, 2000: On the eve of California’s historic vote declaring “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California,” an employee of the San Luis Obispo County Tax Assessor’s Office told several churches pro-Proposition 22 signs displayed on their property legally must come down.
“We all feel like a school teacher who can’t talk about God,” said Joe Bubar, pastor of Grace Bible Church.
But that was before Brad Dacus of the Pacific Justice Institute got involved.
“The intimidation has gone too far,” said Dacus. “The Internal Revenue Code states that churches are not forbidden to participate in propositions, provided that less than five percent of their total financial and labor resources go into the process.”
Confronted with the IRS ruling by WND, a spokeswoman for the assessor’s office expressed second thoughts: “Well, if he’s quoting the law … look, we’re not going to be auditing churches.”
Saddam saved from abortion – by Jews!
March 4, 2003: They couldn’t have known it in 1937 when they generously took the pregnant woman into their home and talked her out of having an abortion, but an Iraqi Jewish family that now lives in Israel saved the life of the man who would one day fire Scud missiles into their new country – dictator Saddam Hussein.
It’s one of those ironic twists of history, but the Jewish Iraqi exiles who bear the distinction of having saved Saddam’s life don’t like to talk about it. They don’t want Jews blamed for Hussein and his regime.
“After it became public, the family got this angry response from some people saying they should have done something,” said Amatzia Baram. “But it was ridiculous. We weren’t talking about killing a dictator but a fetus.”
‘This Just In’: Conservative TV cartoon
March 5, 2004: A television producer tired of seeing conservatives portrayed as zealots and “boobs” helped create a new animated series featuring a journalist “passionate about the right-wing cause.”
“This Just In” on Spike TV featured freelance columnist Brian Newport, tabbed as a Matt Drudge-like figure who “says what everybody’s thinking” with “no filter.”
The cartoon character notably won an award for a column titled “If Ann Coulter is a man, then I don’t want to be straight!”
“The only people who think this guy is a boob are the people who are boobs on the other side of the equation,” said head writer Steve Marmel.