U.S. Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean
WND led the investigation into the high-profile prosecutions and convictions of Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, who received 11- and 12-year sentences for slightly wounding a fleeing illegal alien drug smuggler in 2005 with a gunshot while in pursuit and in the line of duty. A federal prosecutor gave the drug smuggler full immunity to testify against the agents.
WND's in-depth coverage of the case began with the first report Aug. 7, 2006. And in the years leading up to President Bush's commutation of the agents' sentences in January 2009, WND published at least 228 news stories and 51 commentaries about the case.
Joseph Farah, editor and chief executive officer of WND, launched a petition and letter-writing campaign in late 2008 that re-focused attention on the Ramos-Compean case in the last 30 days of Bush's term.
The petition collected more than 40,000 signatures by the time Bush commuted the agents' sentences, and the letter campaign produced more than 3,000 FedEx letters to the White House.
In a letter sent to WND, Compean expressed his gratitude for the petition and letter campaign.
"Thank you again for everything you have done to help. Words are not enough to express how grateful my family and I are."
Farah described the incarceration of the two men as nothing less than a human rights abuse – a miscarriage of justice perpetrated at the highest levels of our government.
Les Kinsolving, WND's correspondent at the White House, raised the issue of a pardon or commutation for the imprisoned agents at presidential news briefings, and eight times there was a "no comment" or an equivalent answer.
When President Bush commuted the men's sentences as one of the last acts of his presidency, WND broke the news to the world.
"Thank God for this commutation" said Farah. "This will end the sleepless nights for their wives and children. This is the first step toward making those families whole again."
Ignacio Ramos' father-in-law, Joe Loya, was among those grateful for the extensive coverage.
"We can only thank Joseph Farah, Jerome Corsi and the staff at WorldNetDaily because from the beginning you have been with us and you never gave up on the case," he said. "Your reporting had a lot to do with the decision today by President Bush to commute the sentences."
Among the highlights of WND's 2009 reporting on the Ramos and Compean case:
- WND was first to reveal the U.S. Department of Justice had opened a file on imprisoned Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean and a commutation of their sentences was under review.
- Jose Compean's wife, Patty, told WND she will not resent George W. Bush if he leaves office without granting her husband freedom, but she would like to have a heart-to-heart moment with the president.
- A spokeswoman for the Federal Bureau of Prisons confirmed to WND that Compean and Ramos might be eligible to leave federal prison before their official release date of March 20.
Following their release, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from the men who were trying to have their felony convictions dismissed.
Is Barack Obama constitutionally eligible to serve as president?
WND has been reporting since before the 2008 election on questions – and lawsuits – raised over Obama's birth and eligibility.
Congressional hearings were held to determine whether Sen. John McCain was constitutionally eligible to be president as a "natural born citizen," but no controlling legal authority ever sought to verify Obama's claim to a Hawaiian birth.
The U.S. Constitution, Article 2, Section 1, states, "No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President."
Obama's presidential campaign released to select news organizations only what is known as a "certification of live birth," a document obtainable in Hawaii in 1961 by Americans actually born outside the country. However, Joseph Farah, WND editor and chief executive officer, has been calling for the release of Obama's long-form birth certificate showing the hospital of his birth, attending physician and other details to confirm his citizenship status.
Complicating the issue are Obama's move to Indonesia as a child, where he reportedly attended that nation's public schools, and his later travels to Pakistan, raising questions about on what nation's passport was that travel accomplished. Then there are the multiple law firms hired to make certain Obama's long-form birth certificate information, and other documentation such as college records, remain sealed from public view.
Among the highlights of WND's exclusive 2009 reporting on Obama's eligibility:
WND broke the strange phenomenon of Internet news sites swapping Obama's birthplace like magic, changing it from the Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu to the Kapi'olani Medical Center across town.
This happened within hours of a WND report exposing numerous reports that Obama's birth took place in more than one hospital.
The Honolulu hospital which for nearly six months proudly declared Obama was born at its facility and used that claim as a major fund-raising tool began an active cover-up, hiding a White House letter announcing his alleged birth there and refusing to confirm such a letter even exists.
After weeks of inquiries, the White House refused to verify the authenticity of a letter allegedly sent by Obama in which he ostensibly declared a Honolulu hospital as his birthplace.
Wikipedia could not make up its mind about where President Obama was born. The free, online encyclopedia displayed at least two countries the commander in chief may have been born in – the U.S and Kenya.
WND revealed how the media actually probed other candidates, divulging personal documents on arrests, college and surgeries.
WND chronicled more than a dozen documents that remain unreleased or otherwise blocked from the public eye.
- President Obama may have been using campaign funds to stomp out eligibility lawsuits brought by Americans, as WND proved his campaign paid more than $1 million to his top lawyer since the election.
- With more than 200 individual threads and thousands of comments on the eligibility issue alone, WND revealed that moderators of the White House website on "open government dialogue" worked tirelessly to scrub the dialogue about Barack Obama's elusive "long-form" birth certificate.
- More than eight months after Barack Obama was elected president, the mystery surrounding his precise birthplace deepened as the myth-busting website Snopes.com – along with several news agencies and an Obama community blog – directly contradicted the president's own claim regarding the hospital in which he was born.
- The physician who attended President Obama’s birth remains shrouded in mystery.
- Images of two 1961 Hawaii birth certificates similar to the one President Obama purportedly has on file were unveiled by WND. The long-form birth certificates include the name of the hospital, the name of the attending physician, name and address of the parents, the race of the parents and the race of the baby.
- In response to a direct question from WND, Hawaii refused to verify as authentic the short-form certificate of live birth or COLB posted on the Internet by the Obama presidential campaign and by FactCheck.org.
- More cracks appeared in the official story of Barack Obama's family life, with the revelation in school documentation from the University of Washington that Ann Dunham most likely left her husband, Barack Sr., within weeks of the baby's birth.
- Stanley Ann Dunham, Barack Obama's mother, was registered for college classes in Seattle only 15 days after reportedly delivering her first-born child in Honolulu, according to school records obtained by WND.
- Documents uncovered by WND strongly suggest Barack Obama Sr. and Stanley Ann Dunham, President Obama's parents, did not live at 6085 Kalanianaole Highway in Hawaii – even though birth announcements in local newspapers listed that address.
- An extensive WND investigation revealed an approximately six-and-a-half-month interval in which there is no documentation for his mother Stanley Ann Dunham's whereabouts in the months leading up to Obama's birth.
- WND broke the story when Maj. Stefan Cook, scheduled to report for deployment to Afghanistan within days, had his military orders revoked after he argued he should not be required to serve under a president who has not proven his eligibility for office.
- Chief Justice John Roberts agreed to take from a California attorney legal briefs and a WND petition bearing over 325,000 signatures of people asking the court to rule on whether or not the Barack Obama is eligible to serve as president.
- Fox News anchor Shepard Smith stunned many when he said he believes Americans challenging the eligibility of Barack Obama to hold the office of president are "crazies," saying "there is no truth whatsoever" to the suggestion Obama is not a "natural-born citizen."
- The Kenyan birth document released by California attorney Orly Taitz is probably not authentic, according to WND's investigative operatives in Africa, though officials in Nairobi do not rule out the possibility President Obama may indeed have been born in their country.
- WND exclusively reported on a plan by Hawaiian state senator Will Espero to introduce a bill in the state legislature that would force the Hawaii Department of Health to release Obama's original, long-form birth certificate.
"Where's the birth certificate?"
In May, Farah launched a national billboard campaign in an effort to keep the issue before the American people. The billboards, being leased around the country, ask the simple question, "Where's the birth certificate?"
The billboard campaign followed one launched months earlier to collect the names on an electronic petition demanding accountability and transparency on the issue. The petition gathered nearly 500,000 names.
WND was the news agency that broke the first major story on Obama's "green-jobs" czar Van Jones and it was the dogged reporting of WND's Jerusalem bureau chief Aaron Klein that helped bring down the first high-ranking member of the Obama administration.
In April, Klein exposed Jones as a self-described radical communist and "rowdy black nationalist" who said his environmental activism was actually a means to fight for racial and class "justice." That was followed by many other revelations from WND about Jones.
In April, WND also exposed Cass Sunstein, Barack Obama's nominee for "regulatory czar," as an advocate of a "Fairness Doctrine" for the Internet that would require opposing opinions be linked and also has suggested angry e-mails should be prevented from being sent by technology that would require a 24-hour cooling off period.
Among WND's many other "czar" exclusives:
Department of Homeland Security vs. "right-wing extremists"
WND broke the news of a newly unclassified Department of Homeland Security report warning against the possibility of violence by unnamed "right-wing extremists." The "extremists" were characterized as those who express concerns about illegal immigration, increasing federal power, restrictions on firearms, abortion and the loss of U.S. sovereignty. The report singled out returning war veterans as particular threats.
After the Department of Homeland Security branded pro-lifers and tax protesters as "extremist threats, "gun owners feared a bill proposed that would keep firearms out of the hands of those only suspected to be "domestic terrorists."
At least two groups demanded Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano quit after a report revealed the agency's report on "right-wing extremists" was based on sources no more or less secure than Internet chat, WND revealed in an exclusive report.
Something in the air
As WND reported, CNBC analyst Rick Santelli became a YouTube sensation after he spoke out against President Obama's proposed $275 billion deficit-financed homeowner bailout plan and other massive spending measures with a call for a new "tea party" from the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
WND's coverage played a pivotal role in helping to launch the tea-party movement. The news site was the first media outlet to provide a comprehensive list of more than 40 planned tea parties across the nation, using information gathered through Facebook and other online searches.
WND was first to reveal how town-hall meetings, driven by the tea-party movement and billed as opportunities for Americans to ask health care
questions of an "open" and "transparent" administration, were being packed with "planted" questioners ranging from Obama campaign donors and Organizing for America volunteers to single-payer health care lobbyists and ServiceEmployees International Union members.
And when taxpayers stormed Washington, D.C. on Sept. 12, in a three-day event to take their fight against excessive spending, bailouts, growth of big government and soaring deficits to the front door of the U.S. Capitol, WND was there to provide complete coverage of the historic event.
The "pink-slips" campaign
Did you ever want to send an urgent message to every member of Congress, ensuring delivery to their offices on Capitol Hill and letting them know they are being watched?
WND helped make it possible through a bold program called "Send Congress a Pink Slip." The "pink-slips" campaign guarantees a brief but poignant message will be delivered by Federal Express to all 535 members of the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.
Voters across the nation, and representing every state, answered the call and joined together to generate the 8 million pink slips in the special campaign that warns members of Congress they will be facing a one-way trip home on election day if they support big government.
If you stacked the pink slips Congress has received in 2009 warning members away from support of the health-care bill, big spending, hate-crimes legislation and energy taxes, the pile would be half a mile (nearly 2,700 feet) tall and tower over the tallest buildings in the world.
Michael Savage banned in Britain
WND told the world the reaction of talk-radio host Michael Savage upon hearing the news Britain's top homeland security official released a list grouping him with terrorists and neo-Nazi murderers banned from entering the country because the government believes their views might provoke violence.
In the wake of the sensational ACORN video sting operation by two young investigators, an even more daring and devastating undercover investigation – this one infiltrating the nation's most aggressive Muslim "civil rights" organization for six months – has produced startling new revelations about the supposedly "moderate" group.
Co-authored by Paul Sperry, an investigative journalist and expert on terrorism, and P. David Gaubatz, a counter-terrorism investigator and former Air Force special agent, "Muslim Mafia" uncovers how the nonprofit Council on American-Islamic Relations fronts for established terror networks intent on bringing the United States under the authority of the Quran.
In a courageous act of high-risk surveillance that stretched for six months, Gaubatz's own son, Chris Gaubatz, posed as recent Islam convert David Marshall and served as an intern at CAIR's national headquarters in Washington, D.C. Gaubatz spirited out 12,000 pages of documents during the secret operation.
Other 2009 WND scoops:
- WND was first to report that Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor was listed as a member of the National Council of La Raza, a group that's promoted driver's licenses for illegal aliens, amnesty programs, and no immigration law enforcement by local and state police.
- A federal judge dismissed a case brought by Michael Newdow and the American Humanist Association seeking to ban prayer and the phrase "so help me God" from presidential inaugurations.
- Alan Keyes spoke to WND immediately after he was released – against his will – from an Indiana jail in the wake of protesting pro-abortion President Barack Obama's commencement address at the University of Notre Dame.
- ACORN, the radical organization charged with voter fraud in several states, was born in the radical leftist revolutionary philosophy known as the "Cloward-Piven Strategy" advanced by two Columbia University sociologists in the 1960s.
- As the Obama administration pushed through Congress its $800 billion deficit-spending economic stimulus plan, WND told the world the true deficit of the federal government already is measured in trillions of dollars, and in fact its $65.5 trillion in total obligations exceeds the gross domestic product of the world.
- WND's exclusive reporting revealed how the Obama administration's federal-budget deficit could reach $2.5 trillion in 2009 and $4 trillion in 2010.
- WND broke the news of the Federal Reserve buying U.S. Treasury bills in a move that could sink the dollar by "monetizing" the U.S. federal debt.
- WND was first to reveal unemployment in March was 20 percent higher in so-called "blue states" won by Democratic candidate Barack Obama in last fall's presidential election than in "red states" won by Republican candidate John McCain, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Barack Obama's approval rating starts out much like Jimmy Carter, WND reported.
- In a decision anticipated as a major setback for proponents of renewable biofuels, the California Environmental Protection Agency prepares to vote against corn ethanol on the grounds that use of the biofuel cannot help solve "global warming."
- President Obama gave his "guarantee" he will sign an executive order overturning President Bush's order restricting federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, WND reported.
- WND broke the story of how lawmakers in 20 states staged a rebellion against the growing dominance of federal control by pressing for sovereignty resolutions under Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the Constitution.
- WND was first to report that Miss USA judge Perez Hilton launched into a full-blown attack on Christian contestant Carrie Prejean – calling her a b-tch and a c---, as well as defacing photos of her with sexually explicit drawings – because she believes marriage should be between a man and a woman.
- WND broke the news that Tami Farrell, the beauty queen who replaced the ousted Carrie Prejean as Miss California, apparently holds the same view as her predecessor, Carrie Prejean, and President Obama that marriage should be between a man and a woman exclusively.
- In an exclusive interview with WND, Jeffrey Boutwell, the Washington, D.C.-based head of the Pugwash Conference, confirmed top-level Iranian and American officials participated in four closed-door international conferences to discuss Tehran's nuclear program.
- WND exclusively reported how the Random House Dictionary provided on Dictionary.com defined the word "narrow-minded" as being "extremely conservative."
- WND was there as representatives of more than two dozen of the nation's top talk shows held an unprecedented private meeting to brainstorm strategies against what they agreed are government plans to squelch critical political speech on radio.
- Over one million, empty, red envelopes symbolizing lives snuffed out by abortion poured into the White House mail room, as Americans expressed their displeasure with President Obama's stances on abortion.
- A Tennessee elementary school ordered the words "God Bless the USA" and "In God We Trust" covered up on student-made posters in the hallways.
- WND alerted Americans to a federal dictate that would have undercut the nation's ammunition supply, until gun owners rose up and got the policy reversed.
- WND unveiled the inspiring story of a personal banker in Arlington, Va., who quit his job after Chevy Chase Bank announced it will begin accepting consular cards from customers who many suspect are illegal aliens.
- WND drew attention to Samuel Wurzelbacher's promotion of the Fair Tax, calling on America to join "Joe the Plumber" in flushing the IRS.
- WND conducted the first in-person interview with a Nicaraguan political refugee, who was beaten with sticks, shot at, nearly raped and almost murdered – all because she fought for free elections.
- After breaking the story of Nicaraguan political refugee Auxiliadora Martinez, 23, and her fight for asylum, WND was first to reveal that she had been granted asylum in the United States and was no longer fearing for her life.
- WND was first to report the Environmental Protection Agency's silencing of one of its own senior researchers after the 38-year employee issued an internal critique of the EPA's climate change position.
- While many Americans remained oblivious to the imminent risk of major hazards and contagions spreading throughout their communities at any given time, WND exposed major risks of hospitals trucking infectious waste to off-site disposal facilities, a procedure that could leave the nation vulnerable to a pandemic or biological attack.
- WND broke the news to the world that the modest global warming trend has stopped – maybe even reversed itself.
- WND broke the news of ominous forfeiture provisions in a new bill that would punish rock collectors and paleontologists with arrest and expropriation of their cars and other equipment for even unknowingly disturbing fossils on public land.
- When many parents think of Girl Scouts, they imagine young girls in uniform selling Thin Mints and Tagalong cookies – but WND revealed a new curriculum puts its focus on feminist, communist and lesbian role models.
- WND was first to report former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, who was ousted from the bench for defending the Ten Commandments, planned to announce his gubernatorial bid for the state's top job.
- WND's exclusive reporting revealed how the White House refuses to release any details about the fifth annual summit of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, now operating under the title of the North American Leaders' Summit.
- Iran won't agree to direct talks with Obama administration, WND revealed in an exclusive report.
- WND gained an exclusive interview with Steve McEveety, producer of "The Passion of the Christ," about his new movie, "The Stoning of Soraya M." which exposes the dark underbelly of Shariah law.
- Advocates of Christian and home education celebrated statements by the president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Executive Committee that may signal a shift in the denomination away from encouraging public schooling.
- WND broke the news that President Obama and Vice President Biden were exempt from the executive order Obama signed in his first full day in office that capped compensation for White House aides to $100,000 a year.
- Michael Farris took up the cause of freedom by inviting Americans to sign his "Declaration of the Principles of Liberty," a bold proclamation resisting the encroachment of socialism and federal tyranny.
- WND profiled Ed Meese, the former attorney general under Ronald Reagan, who was credited by some as having saved the U.S. Constitution from activist judges.
- WND broke the news that swept the nation of a San Diego pastor and his wife who were interrogated by a county official and warned they would face escalating fines if they continued to hold Bible studies in their home.
- WND exposed the profane and hateful comments leveled against a Christian 12-year-old on YouTube who dared to post videos critical of homosexuality.
- WND discovered an online version of The Game of Life confounded some parents because it allowed players to choose same-sex marriage partners and form homosexual families.
- A mother and father in New York were subjected by their school district's attorney to a faith "sincerity test," which ultimately ruled their beliefs too questionable to qualify for a religious exemption to mandatory student immunization.
- A couple in California, required by law to have their dog implanted with a microchip in order to take him camping, swallowed their objections … and watched their Chihuahua named Charlie Brown bleed to death from the procedure.
- WND printed an exclusive interview with Ann Coulter on the release of her new book, "Guilty," in which she explained how America's liberals pretend to be victims in order to advance, attack, and oppress others.
- Creationists fought back with billboards of their own after the Freedom from Religion Foundation put up Darwinist billboards in Rhea County, Tenn., home of the Scopes "Monkey" Trial.
- An organization battling the state of Massachusetts in its effort to normalize homosexual relationships found state officials now are allowing applicants for drivers licenses to select their gender on official documents.
- A North Carolina judge ordered three children to attend public schools because the homeschooling their mother has provided over the last four years needs to be "challenged."
- On the heels of two active duty members of the U.S. military serving in Iraq calling for President Obama to prove his eligibility to be president, a retired major general has agreed to join the case, saying he just wants "the truth."
- WND reported on a plan in the U.S. House of Representatives to determine whether "a workable, fair, and reasonable mandatory service requirement for all able young people" should be developed across the United States. But the language that was included in H.R. 1388 suddenly disappeared.
- Radio talk show host Michael Savage has teamed up with the Thomas More Law Center of Ann Arbor, Mich., to file a lawsuit against Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
- Supporters of a plan to amend the U.S. Constitution to include parental rights are warning moms and dads across the United States they already are losing their rights to make decisions regarding their children's health, education, welfare, finances, sex education, access to abortion and even leisure time.
- At least one pro-family organization that has opposed the pro-homosexual "Day of Silence" is being targeted with hate e-mails and telephone calls, including suggestions that officials go and kill themselves.
- According to an online Yahoo program, the Global Position System coordinates for the White House, probably one of the best-known publicly owned buildings in the world, are 38.898590 Latitude and -77.035971 Longitude. And since you know that, it's no big deal for the White House to know the coordinates for your front door, is it?
- Physicians in Montana could be facing "kill-on-demand" orders from patients who want to commit suicide if a district court judge's opinion pending before the state Supreme Court is affirmed.
- A federal law implemented against pro-life advocates is being cited in a lawsuit that is bashing back at "Bash Back!," a pro-homosexual anarchist organization that infiltrated and disrupted a worship service at a Michigan church last fall.
- The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency is proposing a new definition that could be used to eliminate 8 of 10 legal pocketknives in the United States right now, according to activists who are gearing up to fight the plan.
- Members of the graduating class of 2009 at Florida's Pace High School have expressed their objections to ACLU restrictions on statements of religious faith at their school by rising up en masse at their ceremony and reciting the Lord's Prayer.
- A polygamy advocacy organization says the New Hampshire law that is intended to assure "equal access to marriage" for all instead specifically embeds in state statutes bigotry against polygamists.
- A campaign seeking a new trial for an Oklahoma soldier convicted of murder for the death of an Iraqi insurgent is gaining steam, perhaps at least partly because of a statement from a witness for the prosecution that the soldier was telling the truth when he explained the shooting was in self-defense.
- The founder of the homosexual activist group GLSEN, which promotes homosexual clubs in high schools, middle schools and grade schools and is the driving force behind the annual "Day of Silence" celebration of homosexuality in many districts, has been handed a federal appointment where he will be responsible for overseeing "safety" in the nation's public schools.
- A ruling from U.S. District Court Judge Catherine Perry that singled out the Bible as an "instrument of religion" and banned its distribution in a school has been overturned by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
- The retiring general counsel for the National Education Association has complained that conservative "ba----ds" are picking on his powerful union, which boasts more than 3 million members who contributed "hundreds of millions" of dollars annually to its causes.
- An ad campaign featured on a U.S. Army website seeking those who would be interested in being an "Internment/Resettlement" specialist is raising alarms across the country, generating concerns that there is some truth in those theories about domestic detention camps, a roundup of dissidents and a crackdown on "threatening" conservatives.
- A 10-year-old homeschool girl described as "well liked, social and interactive with her peers, academically promising and intellectually at or superior to grade level" has been told by a New Hampshire court official to attend a government school because she was too "vigorous" in defense of her Christian faith.
- Planned Parenthood abortionists in South Dakota have been accused of "defying" a ruling from the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that found constitutional a state requirement for informed consent.
- At least two groups are demanding Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano quit after a report revealed the agency's recent report on "rightwing extremists" was based on sources no more or less secure than Internet chat.
- The District of Columbia, where government restrictions prompted the landmark Heller decision in which the U.S. Supreme Court found individuals have a right to be armed, still doesn't understand the Second Amendment, according to a new lawsuit.
- A class action lawsuit has been filed by an Iranian woman now living in Los Angeles whose brother was jailed and tortured to death by the regime of Muslim leaders in Iran, seeking in excess of $10 billion in damages.
- A mother and father are going public with details about how Swedish social-services officials had police halt a plane en route to takeoff in order to take custody of their 7-year-old son after they had argued with local school officials about his homeschooling.
- WND exclusively reported how the Random House Dictionary provided on Dictionary.com defined the word "narrow-minded" as being "extremely conservative."