Aaron Klein's Terrorist Buddies
Another election, another excuse for WorldNetDaily's Jerusalem reporter to try to link Democrats to terrorists. Do the terrorists Klein quotes know he's using them, or are they a party to his game?
By Terry Krepel
Is WorldNetDaily Jerusalem reporter Aaron Klein cooperating with terrorists? He certainly seems to be quite cozy with them.
A Nov. 2 WorldNetDaily article by Aaron Klein purported to quote "senior terrorist leaders" who "say they hope Americans sweep the Democrats into power because of the party's position on withdrawing from Iraq." But the terrorists Klein quotes -- only three, hardly representative of all terrorists' views on the issue --- they have a history of popping up in his articles to reinforce his conservative talking points.
For instance, Jihad Jaara, who Klein describes as "a senior member of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades" living in exile in Ireland -- Klein doesn't explain how Jaara can be an active "senior terrorist leader" and live nowhere near the Middle East -- is quoted here as saying, "Of course Americans should vote Democrat," But Jarra did a cozy sit-down interview with Klein and radio host Rusty Humphries that aired in January; Klein did a separate interview with Jarra in which he asked if the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades "used pages of the Bible as toilet paper" during a 2002 siege of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.
(Humphries is a player in the synergistic relationship between WND and radio mogul and alleged cult leader Roy Masters. Humphries' radio show is syndicated by Masters' Talk Radio Network; Klein regularly appears on it -- in fact, he appeared on Humphries' Nov. 2 show to plug his terrorists-endorse-Democrats article -- and in May, WND gave Humphries a weekly column.)
Upon the death of an American teenager, Daniel Wultz, from injuries suffered in a suicide bombing in Israel in May, Klein reported that Ayman "threatened all Americans and Jews worldwide and expressed regret Wultz was not immediately killed in the blast."
Another terrorist confidante of Klein's is Abu Abdullah of Hamas, whom Klein quotes as saying that a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq would "convince those among the Palestinians who still have doubts in the efficiency of the resistance." In an Oct. 14 article, Klein quotes Abdullah as claiming that Hamas is "open" to attacking the U.S. And he quoted Abdullah in a July 7 article as touting the range of Hamas missiles.
WND was more than happy to play partisan with Klein's article. It quickly followed up by reporting the reaction of Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo (failing to disclose that WND published Tancredo's book; lack of disclosure of financial interests in those it writes about is a longtime problem for WND) and trumpeting that Democratic officials wouldn't respond to WND's request for a comment. A Nov. 3 column by Joseph Farah used the article to attack Democrats, claiming that "the terrorists really do want the Democrats to win."
It's interesting that Klein has such cozy contacts with terrorists, given the fact that conservatives normally attack news outlets for having them.
When CNN aired a video of an insurgent sniper in Iraq targeting U.S. soldiers last month, conservatives rushed to attack CNN for it, claiming that it was airing terrorist propaganda. Likewise with, for instance, Dan Rather's interview with Saddam Hussein and Mike Wallace's interview with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Yet Klein's frequent consorting with terrorists gets no notice from these same conservatives, though he is doing the exact same thing -- repeating terrorist propaganda.
Nowhere in Klein's article does he mention that his work may be counterproductive. You may recall that conservatives spun a video released by Osama bin Laden shortly before the 2004 presidential election as evidence that bin Laden supported the election of Democrat John Kerry. In fact, in his book "The One Percent Doctrine," author Ron Suskind reported that CIA analysts agreed that "bin Laden's message was clearly designed to assist the President's reelection."
Presumably, if Klein dug a little harder and ventured out of his terrorist coffee klatch, he could have found terrorists willing to push for continued Republican control of Congress; after all, it's Republicans who have created the current situation in Iraq in which, according to several intelligence agencies, the overall terrorist threat has grown. Why would terrorists want to mess with a good thing?
If Klein's attempt to tie Democrats to terrorists sounds familiar, that's because it is: He himself pulled a similar stunt in an October 2004 article claiming that Palestinian Authority leader Yasser Arafat "is hoping John Kerry wins the presidential election in November."
In fact, Klein's "endorsement" articles are just of several articles he has written designed to attack Democrats through Middle Eastern politics. An August 2004 article claimed that "many Israeli politicians have been voicing concerns that a Kerry presidency could damage the region" -- though no Israeli leader is actually named. Another anonymously sourced Klein article, from July 2004, cited "many in the Israeli government" as "privately voicing concerns that some of Kerry's policies may be harmful to the Jewish state."
Further, as part of Klein's regular attacks on Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert, Klein wrote a June 2006 article bashing the American branch of Olmert's Kadima for allegedly lifting parts of policy summaries from the Texas Democratic Party's website. Klein even attacked Kadima's name, suggesting the party stole that from the Democrats too: "Some questions even have been raised as to the originality of the Kadima name. The main logo on the Texas site reads, 'Moving Texas Forward.' Kadima is the Hebrew word for 'Forward.'"
Do the terrorists Klein hangs out with know that he's just using them, promoting their statements to whip up conservative sentiment against them and to smear the political enemies of Klein and his employer? Or do they think that getting their message is so important that it doesn't matter who the messenger is -- even a reporter who has repeatedly demonstrated sympathy with their presumed enemy, right-wing Israeli extremists?
Or are they in on Klein's game? Klein clearly has a relationship with these terrorists; is there a quid pro quo going on that Klein and WND have not informed their readers about? Typically, such access to one's enemy -- and Klein is indeed the terrorists' enemy -- does not come without a price.
There is yet another possibility: The terrorists know Klein's a right-wing shill and are eager to feed him disinformation that he will eat up because they, in fact, want Republicans to stay in power and know Klein and WND will use their claims about Democrats to motivate readers to vote Republican -- as we've noted, the preferred outcome of Osama bin Laden.
All Klein has done is cultivate a few terrorists whom he can count on to spout inflammatory rhetoric that he can then disseminate as red meat to conservatives. He is not telling us the whole story -- namely, what he's doing to maintain that relationship with them.
That would be a much more interesting story to hear about than what terrorist thugs (and exiles) think about American politics.