On This Day in WND History
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.
Beginning 8-years-ago today, WorldNetDaily.com officially became a for-profit corporation, completing its transition from being an operation of the non-profit Western Journalism Center.
"We believe WorldNetDaily.com could only truly reach its potential as one of the leading news providers on the Internet and in other media through this process," explained Farah, the founder of both Western Journalism Center and WorldNetDaily.com. "That could not happen while WND was operating as part of a non-profit entity and in the tax-exempt, charitable realm."
The most immediate and visible change on the website resulting from the corporate reorganization was a new WorldNetDaily.com storefront.
"There will be many other exciting innovations coming to readers of WorldNetDaily.com in the weeks and months ahead," said Farah.
Make that years ahead.
Even as top Iranian officials called for development of nuclear weapons within the next four months, Sen. John Kerry insisted as president he would provide Tehran with the nuclear fuel it wanted in return for a pledge to use it for peaceful purposes only.
"I think the United States should have offered the opportunity to provide the nuclear fuel, test them, see whether or not they were actually looking for it for peaceful purposes," Kerry said in a critique of the Bush administration's handling of Tehran's nuclear program, which the Iranians claim is only for civilian purposes.
"If they weren't willing to work a deal, then we could have put sanctions together," Kerry said of Tehran. "The president did nothing."
Turkish-born Adnan Emre was charged with destroying the tribute to New York City police officer Paul Talty, who was one of the first responders to the 9/11 attack, rushing into the south tower of the World Trade Center as it fell.
The memorial to Talty – who at age 40 left behind two children and a pregnant wife – consisted of his picture, a cross, a plaque and crossed American and Irish flags. The plaque is inscribed, "Rest in Peace, Paul. We miss you. God Bless."
The vandalism was witnessed by a passing booth clerk for the Metropolitan Transit Authority, who contacted police.
WND reported on the gathering of scientists and forensic specialists in Oviedo, Spain, to examine an obscure relic that many have claimed authenticates the Shroud of Turin – believed by many to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ.
The Sudarium of Oviedo is reportedly the other linen cloth found in the tomb of Christ, as described in the Gospel of John. The relic, whose dramatic history is intertwined with the Knights Templar, Moors, El Cid, saints and bishops, has been in Spain since A.D. 631.
The efforts to authenticate the claims made about the cloth are fascinating – like an episode of CSI Jerusalem A.D. 30.
"The only reasonable conclusion," says Mark Guscin, author of "The Oviedo Cloth," "is that the Sudarium of Oviedo covered the same head as that found on the Shroud of Turin." Guscin, a British scholar whose study is the only English language book on the Sudarium, told WorldNetDaily, "This can be uncomfortable for scientists with a predetermined viewpoint; I mean, the evidence grows that this cloth and the Shroud covered the same tortured man."
A year after overcoming charges he had been able to avoid combat in Vietnam because his father used political connections to get him into the Texas Air National Guard, President George Bush was in danger of stirring up the issue again with his nomination of Harriett Miers as associate Supreme Court justice.
It's a complicated story of Texas politics ... an ex-lieutenant governor who secures a lucrative contract for a client to run the Texas Lottery ... allegations of political kickbacks, payoffs and overcharges ... a contract bought out for $23 million ... a director of the Lottery Commission fired after launching an investigation of apparent corruption and calling for open bidding on contracts ... a $300,000 payoff that included a stipulation that all records and depositions be destroyed ... and that ex-lieutenant governor telling CBS' Dan Rather that George H.W. Bush approached him to secure a National Guard appointment for his son.
In the middle of it all was Harriet Miers, chairwoman of the Texas Lottery Commission and close confidant of George W. Bush.
When Vice President Al Gore claimed, during the first presidential debate of the 2000 campaign, his uncle had been gassed in World War I while serving in Bosnia, skeptical fact checkers went to work – and they, like the campaign itself, came up empty.
"And when the conflict came up in Bosnia," said Gore, "I saw a genocide in the heart of Europe, with the most violent war on the continent of Europe since World War II. Look, that's where World War I started, in the Balkans. My uncle was a victim of poison gas there. Millions of Americans saw the results of that conflict."
World War I started in the Balkans, true. Millions of Americans saw the results of that conflict, true. But if anyone was gassed in the Balkans, it wasn't any of our American troops, who served in Western Europe, and it certainly wasn't Al Gore's uncle. An exhaustive records search raised doubts he even served in the military during the "Great War."
The National Archives had no record of Gore's uncle in the service and the best the campaign could do was provide a 1959 newspaper obituary saying he had been gassed as a soldier in France, information most likely provided by the family.
Mr. Gore, it's Mr. Limbaugh on line 1 ...
Saudi Arabia, U.S. ally, maintains an operations command center in Saudi Arabia that finances suicide bombings and important Hamas campaigns, security sources told WND.
A senior Hamas operative, arrested in Jerusalem, received large sums of money from Hamas in Saudi Arabia. He told interrogators he transferred hundreds of thousands of dollars from Hamas' Saudi headquarters to Hamas institutions in the West Bank, where he said the money was used to provide financial support for the families of suicide bombers and imprisoned operatives, and to finance Hamas attacks.
Matthew Levitt, director of the Terrorism Studies Program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, commented, "Neither the fact that individual Hamas operatives are active in Saudi Arabia nor the fact that Hamas receives significant funding from within the kingdom is news. ... [But] the revelation that Hamas operates a command center in Saudi Arabia with close ties to Hamas militants executing attacks and the movement's political and social-welfare operations is remarkable."
In an unprecedented effort to control the direction of questioning and flow of testimony during Travelgate hearings, White House counsel went so far as to prepare special scripts for Democrats on a congressional investigative committee -- enabling members to ask friendly witnesses approved questions and to fend off potentially embarrassing ones, WND learned.
"Extensively detailed briefing papers and a series of questions ... were prepared to script the Democrat members of the [House] Committee on Government Reform and Oversight" -- the Oversight Committee said in its 186-page report: Investigation of the White House Travel Office Firings and Related Matters.
"Such meticulous executive branch scripting for congressional hearings is something even the Nixon White House did not dare to undertake," the committee observed.
"This is a huge issue," researcher Ray Morton told WND. "The public and the press are talking about Bill and Monica -- but here's Clinton and his cronies taking over Congress -- intervening in its affairs and investigative work."
The catastrophic earthquake in South Asia in the wake of recent U.S. hurricanes and December's tsunami caught the eye of televangelist Pat Robertson, who said we "might be" in the End Times described in the Bible.
"These things are starting to hit with amazing regularity," Robertson said.
Robertson, a former GOP presidential candidate and host of the "700 Club" daily Christian TV show, noted, "If you read back in the Bible, the letter of the apostle Paul to the church of Thessalonia, he said that in the latter days before the end of the age that the Earth would be caught up in what he called the birth pangs of a new order. And for anybody who knows what it's like to have a wife going into labor, you know how these labor pains begin to hit. I don't have any special word that says this is that, but it could be suspiciously like that."–
"What was called the blessed hope of the Bible is that one day Jesus Christ would come back again, start a whole new era, that this world order that we know would change into something that would be wonderful that we'd call the millennium," he continued. "And before that good time comes there will be some difficult days and there will be likened to what a woman goes through in labor just before she brings forth a child."–
When asked if the world was approaching that moment, Robertson said, "It's possible. I don't have any special revelation to say it is but the Bible does indicate such a time will happen in the end of time. And could this be it? It might be."–
Responding to a story published by the National Enquirer, he told his millions of listeners "part of what you've heard and read in the past week is correct."–
"I am addicted to prescription pain medication," he said in his statement.
Limbaugh explained he began taking prescription painkillers about five or six years ago to ease pain following spinal surgery.
"Unfortunately the surgery was unsuccessful, and I continued to have severe pain in my lower back and also in my neck now, due to two hernated disks – pain which I'm experiencing because of that," he said.
WND Editor Joseph Farah wrote a column entitled "Myths of the Middle East," which had an immeasurable impact worldwide for its clear, concise explanation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
If there is man-made solution to the violence in Israel, it needs to begin with truth, wrote Farah. Pretending will only lead to more chaos.
So, what's the truth?
The truth is that Palestine is no more real than Never-Never Land. "Palestine" has never existed -- before or since -- as an autonomous entity. There is no language known as Palestinian. There is no distinct Palestinian culture. There are no Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem. None. The Quran never mentions the city.
Meanwhile, Jews have a 5,000-year-old birthright backed by overwhelming historical and archaeological evidence.
We can't make up this stuff.
For $15, curious couples, who supplied their own ropes, received "hands on" instruction in the finer points of safe "knotty" sex from UVIC Pride, a group dedicated to "representing queer, trans and intersex people and allies on campus."
"You will be learning the way of the rope and rope safety skills. Come prepared to participate!!" read the UVIC website.
For those successfully learning the ropes, "Bondage 102" was offered.
WND Editor Joseph Farah spared no detail in explaining why Bush nominee Harriet Miers would soon be looking for the nearest exit – anywhere – to avoid tough questioning by the Senate.
Why? Because, even though Democrats in the Senate seemed more pleased with the choice of Miers than did Republicans, the questions that must be asked of the nominee for Sandra Day O'Connor's Supreme Court seat would have bee among the most embarrassing ever raised about her boss, President Bush.
Most of the attention on the nomination thus far had focused on her lack of experience, her track record, her opinions on abortion, etc.
But the silver bullet that would do in the nominee was her cozy relationship with Bush – one that likely placed her in a position of covering up scandals in the Texas Lottery to keep secret the preferential treatment the president received as a young man to enter the Texas Air National Guard.
Farah was right. Two weeks later Miers withdrew her name.
As early as 1999, WND's leading role in the New Media revolution was attracting attention.
Eight years ago today, Judicial Watch announced Editor Joseph Farah and Associate Editor Elizabeth Farah, founders of WorldNetDaily, would be honored for excellence in New Media journalism at the legal watchdog's upcoming national conference.
The Farahs were joined by others whose names are well known today: Matt Drudge, Bill O'Reilly, Roger Ailes of the Fox News Network and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Commenting specifically about the Farahs' award, Klayman said, "We're giving Joseph and Elizabeth Farah an award because they are not only extremely fine journalists, but they are visionaries – having created the successful WorldNetDaily Internet news service. They are also people of the highest integrity," Klayman added.
If you want to learn who won the revolution, read Joseph Farah's "Stop the Presses! The Inside Story of the New Media Revolution."
Boone has been a top-selling recording artist, the star of his own hit TV series, a movie star, a Broadway headliner and a best-selling author in a career that has spanned half a century. During the classic rock 'n' roll era of the 1950s, he sold more records than any artist except Elvis Presley.
Pat's debut column took on the ACLU, titled, "Keep the Boy Scouts from ACLU's grasp!"
One month after the 9-11 terror attacks, 14 Syrian men entered the U.S. through Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on student visas to attend flight schools at Fort Worth Meacham International Airport, WND learned and reported exclusively.
The State Department lists Syria as a state sponsor of terrorism.
The Syrian men, whose M-1 visas expire April 2002, flew in from London aboard two British Airways flights the day before the Federal Aviation Administration lifted its post-attack ban on novice pilots flying private planes solo in airspace around major metropolitan areas.
Within two days, Paul Sperry's exclusive story had been picked up by Fox News Channel, United Press International and the Dallas Morning News, all without any credit to WND.
U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy, who has been dogged by criticism since a 1969 car accident in which his passenger drowned, tried to come to the aid of six men trapped by high tide on a jetty off Hyannisport, Mass., though he eventually left the rescue to Hyannis firefighters.
The Massachusetts Democrat was walking his two Portuguese waterdogs on the beach when he spotted the men cut off from the shore by rising waters.
Hyannis Fire Capt. Craig Farrenkopf said Kennedy and a friend tried to retrieve the men in a 13-foot Whaler before they were forced back by rough waters.
Shortly after the attempt, a crew from the fire department was able to pick up the men in their 20s in three trips and bring them back to shore.
In response to its reporting on Islamic terrorism, WND became the target of death threats, lawsuit threats, and an ongoing campaign of intimidation against its advertisers and business partners.
Some choice comments received by the news site included:
"Maybe we could grind up your filthy, pathetic body and feed it to the pigs before we send them to the Muslims."
"You should watch your back from now on. Maybe these 'Islamic fundamentalists' could come after you and your family."
"Since you are a swine, we will cut you open and drain you of blood, and then the U.S. military can use that if they wish."
"I'm surprised that such an anti-Muslim lives. Now you know what needs to be done to anti-Muslims. They deserve to die."
"No Muslim would mind to kill a bastard like you."
One parent of a third-grader told the station he was at the event and students were indeed saying the pledge.
"I was telling them you don't have to stand for the pledge of allegiance to the Mexican flag."–
"That's treason ... you're not supposed to say the pledge of allegiance to any flag other than the American and Texas flags," the father said. "It broke my heart to see the kids doing that."–
Sen. John McCain couldn't carry a tune if it had a handle.
And that was part of his comedy shtick as the Arizona Republican butchered a number of Barbra Streisand songs and slammed her politics as he hosted NBC's "Saturday Night Live."–
In a spoof commercial hawking an album called "McCain Sings Streisand," the senator portrayed himself as a man who "has served his country in the military, the Congress, and the Senate," said the announcer. "Now he serves America with song."––
That's when McCain jumped into a brutal rendition of Streisand's "Evergreen":–
"Love, soft as an easy chair; love, fresh as the morning air," struggled McCain as his monotone voice fought to find to find the right pitch and key.
"I've been in politics for over 20 years, and for over 20 years, I've had Barbra Streisand trying to do my job," said McCain during the spot. "So I decided to try my hand at her job."–
"Witches with pointy noses and things like that are not respective symbols of the Wiccan religion, and so we want to be respectful of that," said Puyallup School District spokeswoman Karen Hansen.
Students brought home a letter to their parents stating there'd be no observance of Halloween in the entire school district.
Hansen explained the district supertintendent made the decision for three primary reasons. Along with the concern about hurting Wiccans, the parties are regarded as a waste of valuable classroom time, and some families can't afford costumes.
"We really want to make sure we're using all of our time in the best interest of our students," she said.
"They're crossing the line. This is a religious ritual," one outraged parent told WorldNetDaily. "They can teach about it, but they're not supposed to be celebrating." The Christian parent who does not wish to be named plans to keep her daughter out of school all week to avoid the event.
"I have the right to send my daughter to school to learn math, reading and writing without having a religious ritual shoved down her throat," she said.
Titled, "On Chuck Norris 'mania' sweeping the Net," the American icon discussed the so-called "facts" that have put him into the category of cultural legend.
Some of his favorites included:
"When the Boogeyman goes to sleep every night, he checks his closet for Chuck Norris."–
"Chuck Norris doesn't read books. He stares them down until he gets the information he wants."–
"Outer space exists because it's afraid to be on the same planet with Chuck Norris."–
"Please do not send this type of information to me anymore, as I find it disgusting and offensive," said Rolf Szabo.
Kodak responded with its own memo, stating, "Rolf's comments are hurtful to our employees, friends and family members who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered. This behavior is not aligned with the Kodak Values and, therefore, is not acceptable."
A spokesman for Kodak told WND: "Every possible definition of diversity is embraced by Kodak. This is a company that does not take these matters lightly."–
Vietnamese communist officials repaid a 23-year-old debt to John Kerry for his anti-war activities when they removed a controversial picture of the 2004 presidential candidate from a war museum in Ho Chi Minh City that had been featured in "Unfit for Command," the best-seller challenging the senator's version of his military service and his antiwar activities.
An angry Vietnam vet who learned of the picture from "Unfit" traveled from Hawaii to Vietnam to see the evidence for himself. At the museum, he was told by the director the picture had been ordered removed a month before.
"The communists don't want to do anything that would be detrimental to him being elected,"Unfit" co-author Jerome Corsi told WND. "If he wants foreign leaders to support him, he can certainly count on Vietnam's communist regime."
Before mysterious Chinese dishwashers and Norman Hsu made large donations to Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, husband Bill was taking money from kingpins of international prostitution operations located in Asia.
Much of the hundreds of thousands of dollars donated by Arkansas restaurant owner Charlie Trie to Bill Clinton and the Democrat party came directly following visits to the White House by others linked to–Asian organized crime syndicates, including Macau millionaire Ng Lapseng, whose main business was his Fortuna hotel and hostess service of brothels. Ng was invited to visit the White House living quarters by the Clintons.
The brochure advertising Ng's Fortuna hotel boasts, "attractive and attentive hostesses from China, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia and Burma together with erotic girls from Europe and Russia offer you an exciting and unforgettable evening with friends or business associates."
Clinton's link to trafficking of women even caused one National Organization for Women chapter to endorse Republicans in 1992
As wildfires were destroying Southern California homes four years ago – as they are now – WND revealed a June 25, 2003, FBI memo to United States law enforcement agencies detailing a senior al-Qaida detainee's claim to have developed a plan to start midsummer forest fires in the U.S.
The memo said an unidentified detainee revealed he hoped to create several large, catastrophic wildfires at once.
"The detainee believed that significant damage to the U.S. economy would result and once it was realized that the fires were terrorist acts, U.S. citizens would put pressure on the U.S. government to change its policies," the memo said.
Just 10 days before Americans voted in last year's midterm congressional elections that could result in a historic shift of power, the federal government was investigating whether anti-American Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez controlled the company that operates electronic voting machines in 17 states.
Many questions had already been raised about the reliability of the new machines, which leave no paper trails for the purposes of recounts. But federal officials were investigating whether Smartmatic, owner of Sequoia Voting Systems, was secretly controlled by the Castroite revolutionary leader of Venezuela who denounced President Bush as Satan in a 2006 United Nations address.
A–Smartmatic spokesman admitted the company is 97 percent owned by the four Venezuelan founders – two of them dual citizens. The remainder of the company is owned "by employees of Smartmatic (past and present) and family and acquaintances of the founders."
On the heels of USA Today's doctored photograph of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, a WND inquiry into an altered photo of a gun-toting Ward Churchill prompted a Seattle-area college to remove the image from its website.
Shoreline Community College had electronically erased an AK-47 rifle from the image of the controversial University of Colorado professor.
But shortly after WND interviewed school officials about the doctored photo, Churchill's image was completely removed from the page promoting his appearance.
"I think we're going to take the photograph off," Scott Saunders, director of student programs at Shoreline, told WND when asked about the display of Churchill, newly disarmed in both weapon and right limb.
Jabeen Akhtar of Raleigh, N.C., an employee of the U.S. EPA, took part in an anti-circus protest in Charlotte, N.C., where she painted tiger stripes on her skin and sat in a cage on a public street, wearing only "panties and pasties."–
But despite the flaunting of her body for ogling passers-by, Akhtar told other people they should avoid sexy costumes for Halloween.
"They will be pretty hard to miss, because they will be everywhere – in thigh-high boots and mini-dresses, with toy accoutrements such as handcuffs, stethoscopes and whips. And lots of cleavage. The most popular creature for a woman to dress up as on Halloween this year: the tramp," she said.
The remark was interpreted by many veterans – including Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. – as a slam at military service, suggesting it's a last refuge for the lazy and uneducated.