WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein reported the inflammatory claim that the “Obama administration has encouraged 'resistance' by Palestinians to protest Israel's presence in eastern Jerusalem,” citing only a single, anonymous source. Klein's claim is the latest in his long history of making dubious attacks against the Obama administration, furthering WorldNetDaily's long-demonstrated anti-Obama agenda.
Klein: “Obama administration has encouraged 'resistance' by Palestinians”
From a March 31 article by Klein, WND's Jerusalem bureau chief, which carries the headline “Shock claim: Obama encouraged Palestinian 'resistance' ”:
The Obama administration has encouraged “resistance” by Palestinians to protest Israel's presence in eastern Jerusalem, a senior Palestinian Authority official claimed to WND.
The senior PA official, speaking from Ramallah on condition of anonymity, said that in recent meetings with U.S. envoys to the region, the American diplomats supported and encouraged the concept of Palestinian protests to pressure Israel into evacuating eastern sections of Jerusalem.
The PA official's claim follows a meeting in Jordan last week between PA President Mahmoud Abbas and George Mitchell, Obama's envoy to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. At a press conference immediately following the meeting, Abbas declared the Palestinian “right” to “resistance” against Israel.
Klein provided no on-the-record evidence that Obama admin. “encouraged Palestinian 'resistance.' ” Despite the claim made in the headline, Klein offers no evidence beyond the anonymous “senior Palestinian Authority official” that the Obama administration “encouraged Palestinian 'resistance,' ” nor did Klein identify which “U.S. envoys” purportedly made such a claim.
Klein regularly hides behind anonymous sources to attack Obama
Klein has repeatedly used anonymous sources in his WorldNetDaily articles to forward questionable attacks on Obama and his administration:
- Klein wrote in a June 1, 2009, article that “Jerusalem officials are concerned the Obama administration intends to abrogate written pledges made by President Bush that Israel would be able to keep main West Bank settlement blocs in a future deal with the Palestinians.” Klein cited “a source in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government” and “an Israeli government source” to support his claim.
- A June 16, 2009, article by Klein began: “Former President Jimmy Carter passed a message to Hamas from the Obama administration, according to senior sources in the Islamist group.” Klein added: “The sources did not disclose the content of the purported message or whether the communication was written or oral. They spoke on condition of anonymity, because they said Hamas had not yet reached a decision on officially releasing the information they were divulging.”
- A Sept. 22, 2009, article by Klein cited only “senior Palestinian officials” to claim that the Obama administration was lobbying “to ensure against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu working with pro-Israel members of Congress in an attempt to ease White House pressure against the Jewish state.”
- An Oct. 2, 2009, article by Klein quoted unnamed “U.S.-trained Palestinian gunmen” claiming that their training “will likely be utilized in the not too distant future to kill Israelis.” Klein wrote: “The pardoned gunmen agreed to speak on condition their names be withheld and that WND does not print the name of the city in which the meeting took place, citing concerns over their current jobs in the PA's U.S.-backed security forces.”
Klein leads WND's witch hunt against Obama nominees
Over the past several months, Klein has made numerous false and misleading attacks against Obama administration nominees and appointees.
Klein falsely linked Freeman to Osama bin Laden. In several WND articles in February and March 2009, Klein falsely suggested that Chas Freeman, then-nominee to head the National Intelligence Council, is linked to Osama bin Laden by having once had “business ties to Osama bin Laden's family.” In fact, Osama's brother Bakr bin Laden, chairman of the Saudi Binladin Group, publicly renounced Osama bin Laden in a statement released to the media in February 1994. Further, right-wing Newsmax columnist Ronald Kessler stated that making such a link was “unfair” to Freeman, adding: “The fact that Freeman had business dealings with a construction firm owned by Osama bin Laden's family was a non sequitur. Years before bin Laden began attacking American interests, his family severed ties with him when Saudi Arabia expelled him and confiscated his assets.”
Klein falsely claimed Rosenthal's writings “seemed to imply Israel's policies were to blame for anti-Semitism.” Klein claimed in a November 26, 2009, WND article that writings by State Department anti-Semitism envoy Hannah Rosenthal “seemed to imply Israel's policies were to blame for anti-Semitism.” In fact, Rosenthal has a long history of advocacy for Israel, and the quote selected by Klein to support his claim makes no such implication when taken in context.
Klein falsely portrayed Harding's views on diversity as “controversial.” A March 8 article by Klein claimed that the views of Robert Harding, then-nominee to head the Transportation Security Administration, on the necessity for diversity hiring in the intelligence community are “controversial.” In fact, numerous officials -- including President Bush -- and intelligence experts agree with Harding that diversity hiring in the intelligence community is vital to national security.
Klein has repeatedly smeared Wallis. In a March 15 article, Klein distorted a passage from a book by Rev. Jim Wallis to falsely claim that he “previously labeled the U.S. 'the great captor and destroyer of human life.' ” In fact, Wallis, a member of President Obama's faith council, referred to “the powers of the world” that “demand unconditional allegiance and obedience” when he wrote that, for the Christian community, “the modern state is the great power, the great seducer, the great captor and destroyer of human life.” In the same article, Klein called Wallis a “Champion of communism” but ignored that Wallis has called communism a “failed” system. Klein also purported to quote the “statement of faith” of Wallis' organization, Sojourners, by claiming that it “urges readers to 'refuse to accept [capitalist] structures' ”; in fact, the words “capitalist” or “capitalism” appear nowhere in the statement.
Klein cherry-picked Berwick statement, ignored facts supporting it. A March 29 article by Klein stated that Donald Berwick, whom Obama will reportedly nominate to run the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, “claimed patients' quality of care in the U.S. medical system is currently measured by the 'color of their skin,' ” but Klein did not report the factual basis behind the claim -- federal statistics do support the existence of a racial disparity in life expectancies in the United States.
Klein continues WorldNetDaily's long-documented anti-Obama agenda
Klein part of WND's birther-centric Obama attack machine. Klein's attacks on Obama and his nominees are only a part of a constant stream of attacks on Obama, many of them dubious and even false, peddled by WorldNetDaily since Obama announced his candidacy for president. Most notoriously, WND has been a leading promoter of the idea that Obama is not a “natural-born citizen” of the United States and, thus, ineligible to be president - even soliciting donations to erect billboards asking, “Where's the Birth Certificate?”
WND touts questionable work of birther lawyer Taitz. WND has repeatedly promoted the work of lawyers such as Orly Taitz on the eligibility issue. Taitz has been fined $20,000 by a judge -- a fine upheld by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals -- for her courtroom behavior, which included filing “complaints and motions without a reasonable basis for believing that they are supported by existing law or a modification or extension of existing law,” as well as “personally attack[ing] opposing parties and disrespect[ing] the integrity of the judiciary.” The California bar has also opened an investigation into Taitz.
WND-hyped “exclusive” about absurd allegations that Obama “had homo sex” with Larry Sinclair. WND repeatedly promoted charges by Larry Sinclair -- a man who has a long criminal record, “with a specialty in crimes involving deceit” -- that he “took drugs [and] had homo sex with Obama.” WND later noted that Sinclair “reportedly failed two polygraph tests,” but nonetheless published a column the next day by Vox Day in which criticized the “media silence ... about the specific charges” and added, "[T]his isn't a rumor; it's an easily verifiable matter of public record, complete with a YouTube video and United States District Court filing."
WND columnists repeatedly smear Obama. Media Matters has noted that WND columnists have referred to or characterized Obama as a “closet communist,” “pathological liar,” “cellblock rapist,” spousal abuser, mobster, and Manchurian candidate. (Klein's upcoming, WND-published book is titled The Manchurian President: Barack Obama's Ties to Communists, Socialists and Other Anti-American Extremists.) Another columnist, Janet Porter, declared that Christians would “willfully disobey” God by voting for Obama.