The IRS has been in the news much in recent months over that admission that the bureaucracy targeted Christians and tea-party groups with what essentially was harassment. And more, of course.
And the subject of the militarization or weaponization of local cop shops has, too. Mainly since the violence erupted in Ferguson after Michael Brown’s death. But that was just an outbreak, the actions and consequences have been permeating America for a long time.
WND has been reporting on the potential for such problems stemming from both of those issues since 1997, the year WND was launched by co-founders Joseph and Elizabeth Farah.
The news site now is approaching, in a week, its 18th anniversary, having become the first Internet-only content provider to launch a movie-production enterprise, see one of its books made into a feature film, launch an online store, to secure credentials to cover Capitol Hill, to secure White House credentials, and much more.
That’s on top of the daily news reporting that consistently has broken new ground – called “scoops” in the industry.
For example, just a few months ago, WND broke the story that the city of Houston had subpoenaed copies of sermons of several pastors who had objected to the city’s move toward a transgender-advocating society.
It seems the city was demanding to know what the preachers were telling their parishioners about the fight over morals.
And when a federal judge in Texas issued an order halting President Obama’s amnesty program in its tracks earlier this year, WND reported on the decision and quoted from the ruling 20 minutes to an hour before other agencies.
But what about those warnings about the IRS, and about militarization, from 1997?
It was a report about Californian Margie Gray writing an email to President Clinton lamenting that his actions in the White House were “immoral, unethical and dishonest.”
WND reported that not even four weeks later, she got a letter from the Internal Revenue Service claiming she owed $3,500 in interest since 1991 due to a “mistake” she had made on her personal income tax return for that year.
But WND reported the claim was suspicious, since the Grays did not file separate returns.
Reported WND, “Mrs. Gray suspects she knows why the IRS contacted her. She believes she was selectively targeted not only for her critical note to Clinton but for other political correspondence as well. Since her retirement, the former San Francisco Bay Area businesswoman has become an Internet activist who spends ‘hours and hours’ on the web every day, contacting public officials and urging their opposition to administration policies.”
Sound like the IRS targeting scandal that erupted during the 2012 election, when agents were deliberately delaying and posing questions such as about the content of their prayers to conservative and Christian groups? Those who would, naturally, take a position in opposition to many of the Obama administration’s pro-homosexual, pro-spending, pro-abortion actions?
And about that militarization?
WND reported during its first year in operation on the massive numbers of federal agents who were being handed weapons, publishing series focusing on the “nearly 60,000 armed federal agents.”
The number prompted Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America at the time to declare, “Good grief – that’s a standing army.”
It seems Obama took up the theme, stating during his first campaign during an appearance in Colorado Springs, “We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we set. We’ve got have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”
But WND reported that even that astounding 60,000 number proved, through more research, to be low.
“New documentation shows the number is more than 80,000. The operative phrase is ‘at least.’ With 25,000 new agents in training each year at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center for the next three years, the number is sure to rise on almost a daily basis,” the report told America.
Here are more of WND’s scoops:
WND reported when President Clinton “quietly signed a skillfully crafted executive order that fundamentally alters the relationship between Washington and the states and seriously erodes the balance of powers established by the 10th Amendment.” After exposure by WND and subsequent protests from local and state officials the White House ultimately backed down.
And WND reported when the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation proposed a strategy that would have banks report “unusual” customer activity, including simple deposits and withdrawals, to the federal government. Ultimately the Senate voted 88-0 to call a halt.
WND first reported how White House deputy counsel Vincent Foster’s death was characterized as a professional “hit” in a 511-page court document charging obstruction of justice.
And WND was first to provide national exposure to the story of the homosexual-rape-murder of 13-year-old Jesse Dirkhising. Subsequently, the Associated Press acknowledged its error in failing to cover the gruesome Arkansas case.
On another issue that may seem familiar, WND reported on a stash of unrecorded West Wing emails totaling close to one million. The Justice Department’s campaign-finance task force had yet to see the trove of information. But it already, under Attorney General Janet Reno’s direction, had charged 24 people in its three-year criminal probe.
On the issue of government intrusion into personal lives, WND reported a judge decided the Census Bureau has no automatic right to ask questions felt to be personal or intrusive and that it cannot threaten citizens who refuse to answer such questions.
WND reported that one of the suspects in the hijacking of American Airlines Flight 11, which ripped into the north tower of the World Trade Center like a guided missile, probably lived in the leafy Washington suburb of Vienna, Virginia, only months before the attack. The suspect was identified as Waleed M. Alshehri.
And how about that sophisticated telecommunications equipment the 9/11 attackers used? WND reported the Islamic terrorists had access to encryption technology that most armies don’t have, and they got it, according to an angry senior strategic trade adviser at the Defense Department, from a shipment rubber-stamped by the Clinton administration to Syria.
WND reported clothing found in Sept. 11 hijacking ringleader Mohamed Atta’s bags wasn’t a pilots’ uniform, as first reported, but his paradise wedding suit. An American Airlines employee who was with authorities when they first opened Atta’s luggage told WND the navy suit was eerily laid out as if Atta were in it. At the foot of the bag was a leather-bound Quran painted gold.
WND also reported on its fight to acquire credentials to cover Congress. Washington Bureau Chief Paul Sperry discovered that the lead obstructionist in the case worked for Bloomberg, “an electronic newspaper” that, similar to WND, went through a full year of “stonewalling” and “bully” tactics by the gallery committee to gain its own credentials.
WND reported when the University of Victoria in British Columbia hosted a special seminar called “Bondage 101” to teach participants how to use ropes safely in a sexual context.
And when a new archeological discovery was reported, WND followed up. It was when reports surfaced of Egyptian chariot wheels being found in the Red Sea. Diver Peter Elmer said, “I am 99.9 percent sure I picked up a chariot wheel. It was covered in coral.”
When a Christian organization’s ads were banned from Google, WND was there to report. It was “Stand to Reason,” a nonprofit apologetics organization, that was targeted by the Internet giant. It seems Google was targeting “all moral judgments” about homosexuality.
In the extended aftermath of 9/11, WND reported when a U.S. Customs Department whistleblower said airports are insecure from terror attacks because of unauthorized ramp access prevalent across the nation.
WND’s Jerusalem Bureau Chief Aaron Klein and nationally syndicated talk-show host Rusty Humphries conducted an exclusive interview with gun-toting leaders of the terror group Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. They were told that the Old and New Testaments were falsified.
WND also reported when a book revealed that the Lawrence legal case out of Texas, through which the Supreme Court ultimately created a “right” to sodomy in America, likely was a setup in which activists actually invited arrest so they could fight the constitutionality of anti-sodomy laws.
When Mahmoud Ahmadinejad rose to power in Iran, WND was there to report on his mystical preoccupation with the coming of an Islamic messiah figure, and concerns that such activism would “trigger the kind of global conflagration he envisions will set the stage for the end of the world.”
WND launched a multiyear reporting effort in 2007 on Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, who intervened in a drug smuggler’s attempt to bring drugs into the U.S. For their work, they were railroaded by federal officials who were under pressure from the Mexican government and they eventually went to prison. WND was able to report later on their release.
Millions of tons of consumer products are imported annually from China. WND reported when FDA inspectors reported food imports intended for American people were rejected with increasing frequency because they are filthy, contaminated with pesticides and tainted with bacteria and banned drugs.
Amid all the talk about a “North American Union,” WND reported when the state of Washington announced a pilot project to introduce a driver’s license “enhanced” with a radio frequency identification, or RFID, chip that would encode personal information.
WND Editor in Chief Joseph Farah wrote about Obama’s “secret $439 billion plan for a mysterious initiative called the ‘civilian national security force.'” Why, he asked, “is it that the Obama campaign has gone mum on this proposal? Why is it that operatives keep promising us clarification that is never forthcoming? And, furthermore, is an expansion of the Foreign Service to the size of the $439 billion Defense Department (in 2007 dollars) really such an innocent idea?”
WND was first to report that year when a California court released the stunning ruling that several children in one homeschool family must be enrolled in a public school or “legally qualified” private school, and must attend. The decision from the 2nd Appellate Court in Los Angeles granted a special petition brought by lawyers appointed to represent the two youngest children after the family’s homeschooling was brought to the attention of child advocates. Eventually, the decision was reversed.
Amid the furor and dozens of lawsuits questioning Barack Obama’s eligibility to be president because of the Constitution’s requirement presidents be a “natural born citizen,” WND reported that Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, reported Obama may have been born in the United States. Or Kenya.
Most parents, when they think of Girl Scouts, think Thin Mints and Tagalong cookies. But WND revealed that the organization held an agenda for teaching stone labyrinths, world peace, global warming, yoga, avatars, Zen gardens and feminist, communist and lesbian role models.
WND reported when the TSA instituted invasive “pat-down” searches of airline travelers, including children, and one TSA manager said the workers should try to make a “game” out of the intimate touching. That worried many, who reported that’s exactly what pedophiles do to children.
The federal government in Washington just seems to keep expanding, prompting several campaigns among the states to push back. One key move developed when states declared guns made inside their borders, and sold inside those borders, were exempt from rules on “interstate” commerce. Idaho was the seventh state to make that statement.
WND’s Aaron Klein was the first to report that the founders of a radical group that teaches tactics of direct action, confrontation and intimidation were among the main speakers at a union convention at which one leader called for opposing “right-wing threats to dismantle the Middle Class.” Heather Booth, director of a Saul Alinsky-style community organization group, was among the speakers at the “2011 State Battles Summit.
This one falls under the “Now I’ve heard everything” category, but WND reported when a board of county commissioners in North Carolina asked the Supreme Court for help: Its members don’t believe they should have to forbid volunteers from mentioning the name of Jesus in prayers offered before their meetings.
WND’s Chelsea Schilling wrote about “Big Love” and “Sister Wives” television shows about polygamy, and the surging momentum for the status that was banned by Congress in 1862, based are arguments identical to those used by same-sex “marriage” advocates to pursue their agenda.
WND broke the story when Dr. James Dobson, of Family Talk Radio, issued a message both loud and clear to President Obama: “I WILL NOT pay the surcharge for abortion services … come and get me if you must, Mr. President. I will not bow before your wicked regulation.” The fight became part of the massive public backlash against the government over Obamacare.
Education long has been a focus on WND reporting, including when at a national convention in Atlanta, the National Education Association “encouraged teachers to dance to a sexually explicit rap song that featured the ‘N’-word and declared, ‘When it’s over you ain’t gon need ya vibrator.'”
When a woman was shot and killed virtually in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol, WND reporter Garth Kant was on the scene. He found out that little information was available from the officers who did the shooting, or witnesses. But he’s been digging into the case ever since, recently using the Freedom of Information Act to try to find out why Miriam Carey was shot and killed.
A startling trend started developing regarding Obama, and WND was there to report: Crowds starting simply walking out on him. Video captured crowds departing even while Obama continued to speak.
And it was WND writer Leo Hohmann who reported the Obama administration was greasing the skids for tens of thousands of refugees, mostly Muslim, to be brought from Syria to the United States and dropped off at cities across the countryside.