WorldNetDaily CEO and editor-in-chief Joseph Farah claimed that WND's false report that alleged Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan "advised" the "Obama transition" -- previously debunked by Media Matters for America -- had been subsequently "confirm[ed]" by an official with the Homeland Security Policy Institute (HSPI) at George Washington University, which had listed Hasan as a member of its Presidential Transition Task Force "Event Participants." But the updated article reported only that the official confirmed that the Hasan listed as a "participant" was the alleged shooter, not that he had advised the "Obama transition" -- a falsehood undermined by WND's own reporting that there is no evidence that "the group played any formal role in the official Obama transition."
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Farah falsehood: GW official "confirm[ed]" WND article; "take that, Media Matters!"
Guest-hosting the November 6 edition of Radio America's The G. Gordon Liddy Show, Farah said:
FARAH: Despite reports to the contrary yesterday, Major Malik Nadal Assan, the alleged shooter in the massacre at Fort Hood, is alive. And our report today, which is being disputed by Media Matters, says that he played a Homeland Security advisory role in the President-elect -- President-elect Barack Obama's transition into the White House, according to a key university policy institute document. We now have confirmation of that report from the man that actually chaired that institute. His name is Daniel Kaniewski, deputy director of the Homeland Security Policy Institute at George Washington University -- affirmed to WND in a telephone interview this morning that the Nidal Hasan listed as attending the meetings of that transition task force was the same person as the alleged shooter in the Fort Hood massacre. So, take that, Media Matters!
Media Matters debunked WND article's false headline, "Shooter advised Obama transition"
WND's confirmation of Hasan's identity is irrelevant to the glaring falsehood documented by Media Matters. In a November 6 item headlined "WND falsely claimed alleged Fort Hood shooter 'advised Obama transition,' " Media Matters stated:
WorldNetDaily falsely claimed that alleged Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan "advised Obama transition" in the headline of an article by Jerome Corsi highlighting his listing as a "participant" in a report for the Homeland Security Policy Institute (HSPI) at George Washington University's Presidential Transition Task Force. However, Corsi himself acknowledges that there is no evidence that "the group played any formal role in the official Obama transition" -- indeed, the Task Force was initiated in April 2008. Moreover, while Hasan was listed as one of approximately 300 "Task Force Event Participants" in the report's appendix, HSPI has reportedly said he was not a "member" of the Task Force, and was listed because he RSVP'd for several of the group's open events.
WND report: GW official "confirm[ed]" only that Hasan was an "Event Participant"
From the updated November 6 WND article:
Daniel Kaniewski, deputy director of the Homeland Security Policy Institute at George Washington University affirmed to WND in a telephone interview this morning that the Nidal Hasan listed as attending the meetings of the HSPI Presidential Transition Task Force was the same person as the alleged shooter in the Fort Hood massacre.
Kaniewski said Hasan attended the meetings in his capacity as a member of the faculty of the Uniformed Services University School of Medicine, not as a member of the HSPI Presidential Task Force.
Kaniewski believed Hasan applied on the institute's website to attend the meeting and was accepted because of his professional credentials.
Kaniewski could not tell WND whether or not Hasan made comments from the audience that influenced the task force recommendations or not.
He further confirmed Hasan had attended several meetings held by the Homeland Security Policy Institute at George Washington University and that the institute is currently searching conference records to see if it is possible to determine what additional institute conferences he attended.
As Media Matters documented, WND claim contradicted by HSPI report and WND article itself
Corsi: No evidence "the group played any formal role in the official Obama transition." In his article, Corsi wrote: "While the GWU task force participants included several members of government, including representatives of the Department of Justice and the U.S Department of Homeland Security, there is no indication in the document that the group played any formal role in the official Obama transition, other than to serve in a university-based advisory capacity."
HSPI Presidential Transition Task Force initiated in April 2008 -- well before Obama's election. According to the HSPI Presidential Task Force report Corsi cited to establish the link between Hasan and the organization, "in April 2008 The George Washington University Homeland Security Policy Institute (HSPI) established the Presidential Transition Task Force, comprised of national and homeland security experts, policymakers and practitioners."
According to Kaniewski, Hasan not a Task Force member, listed because he RSVP'd for groups' open events. In a November 6 blog post, Gawker reported:
FRIDAY MORNING UPDATE: Daniel Kaniewski, the institute's deputy director, confirms that Hasan attended task force meetings as an audience member, and stresses that he was not a member of the task force. "All of our events are open to the public," Kaniewski says, "and when someone RSVPs we put their name in the [report] so everyone knows who was in the room." He says institute staffers recall Hasan attending at least one task force event, and that he RSVP'd for several. "We do recall him speaking at one of our events as an audience member," he says, "but none of us recall what he actually said. Generally, our events are attended by people in the homeland security community, and Hasan had a very legitimate reason to be there. He was a fellow at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences."