WND's Military Coup
WorldNetDaily's Michael Maloof tried to get less-than-stable ex-military officers to bash President Obama -- at least until it became clear that what they really wanted was to overthrow the president.
By Terry Krepel
WND has spent the past few months trying another approach: trying to foment a military coup against him.
Late last year, WND writer Michael Maloof tried to assemble supposedly credible sources to back up his (entirely unsubstantiated) conspiracy theory that President Obama is systematically removing military officers for whatever reason. Maloof wrote in an Oct. 28 article:
President Obama this year alone has fired some nine generals and flag officers, on top of at least four similar dismissals during his first term, suggesting that a purge may be the real reason behind the removals, which are being described as cases of personal misbehavior.
Maloof cited only one on-the-record source for his speculation -- Vallely, who is not only "an outspoken critic of the Obama administration" but a crazy birther as well. His anonymous "duty personnel" are worthless if they won't step forward and back up their allegations.
Maloof is simply stringing together unrelated incidents to cobble together an anti-Obama conspiracy -- and he gets some of his facts wrong in the process:
In one case, U.S. Army Gen. Carter Ham, who commanded U.S. African Command when the consulate was attacked and four Americans were killed, was highly critical of the decision by the State Department not to send in reinforcements.
Contrary to Maloof's unsubstantiated assertions, former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has testified that due to a lack of "real-time information" about what was on the ground in Benghazi, "the commander who was on the ground in that area, Gen. Ham, Gen. Dempsey and I felt very strongly that we could not put forces at risk in that situation." And Gen. Martin Dempsey has said that it is "absolutely false" that Ham was relieved of his command over Benghazi; his departure was "part of routine succession planning."
Maloof thinks you should trust his black-box anonymous sources and his crazy ex-generals over people who were actually directly involved in the incidents -- but he won't tell us why. That's a big reason right there not to trust anything Maloof has to say.
In an Oct. 30 article, Maloof found another dupe -- er, supposed military expert to sign on to the conspiratorial claims made by crazy birther Paul Vallely: Frank Gaffney, who claimed that "President Obama is engaged in a wrecking operation on the U.S. military particularly." Maloof didn't mention that Gaffney is such an Obama-hater he thinks Obama may still be a Muslim, so he's hardly an objective or reliable source.
Maloof summed up the lead members of his overthrow retinue, along with Vallely, in a Nov. 4 article:
In response, prominent retired generals ranging from Army Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely, a Fox News senior military analyst, to Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin, a founder of the Army’s elite Delta Force, to Medal of Honor recipient Maj. Gen. Patrick Henry Brady have all gone on the record with WND, characterizing Obama’s actions as nothing less than an all-out attack on America’s armed forces.
Boykin, who's now with the right-wing Family Research Council, is basically rooting for a military coup against Obama -- or, more euphemistically, “fulfill [its] constitutional duty and take over the government,’” though Boykin laments that such a move wouldn't be constitutional. Brady, meanwhile, is another rabidly anti-Obama right-winger, has demonstrated his lack of honor by spewing lies and hate about Obama.
In a June 2013 WND column, Brady falsely claimed that "In the midst of the massacre of our ambassador and three heroic Americans [in Behghazi], President Obama was nowhere to be found" -- in fact, congressional testimony repeatedly showed that Obama and the White House were fully engaged during the Benghazi attack. Brady went on to baselessly claim that Obama is to blame for "unprecedented rates of suicide and PTSD."
Later that month, Brady went on a homophobic rant about the Obama administration permitting gays to openly serve in the military: "How can a military chaplain, Christian or Muslim, not teach the truths of the Bible on sodomy? Mr. Obama and his military sycophants must silence them. And it has begun." Brady added, "I wonder if Mr. Obama believes that the sight of him dancing with other men at state functions would be inconsequential. The military will become a sexual and moral morass with readiness in shambles."
Maloof's mighty military Wurlitzer also includes Frank Gaffney, who thinks Obama may still be a Muslim, and Allen West, who has called Obama a "usurper and charlatan," which is birther-friendly language.
A Nov. 5 article by Maloof carried the headline "General blames 'Night Stalker' for military purge." Maloof begins the article: "Who, or what, is behind the “purge” of top-level U.S. military officers during the Obama administration, with estimates of the number of senior officers fired during the last five years edging toward 200?"
It turns out that Maloof is talking about Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett, whom birther general Paul Vallely blames -- without evidence, of course -- for the dismissal of some senior military officers. Maloof adds: "London’s Daily Mail newspaper notes that Jarrett’s insider nickname is 'Night Stalker' because of her exclusive, late-night access to the presidential family’s private quarters." But the Daily Mail article cites no "insiders" to back up the claim, stating only that "Jarrett is reportedly called 'the Night Stalker.'"
You might remember that "Night Stalker" is also the name that was given to Richard Ramirez, serial killer and avowed Satanist.
Lest anyone think that WND did not know what it was doing by trying to associate the Obama White House with one of America's most infamous serial killers, Joseph Farah bragged in his WND column last June that he was "the guy who bestowed" the "Night Stalker" title on Ramirez when he worked at a Los Angeles newspaper, further bragging that "I actually won an award for that headline."
The conspiracy sputters
The well was apparently running dry for Maloof to continue his cheerleading for a military coup, so he resorted to random anonymous military members to bolster the conspiracy. He wrote in a Nov. 12 WND article that "a veteran Army intelligence official who spoke to WND on condition of anonymity" claimed that a “compliant officer class” is being created by the Obama administration. So much so, he said, that it’s becoming harder to find “senior officers with a pair of balls in there [the military] now that would say no to anything.”
Of course, that's an opinion that can't be fact-checked, so hiding behind anonymous source makes it doubly dubious.
Another sign Maloof's conspiracy theory was falling apart -- he brought back one of his favorite crazy ex-generals for more baseless conspiracy-mongering.
In a Nov. 19 WND article, Maloof touted how Vallely "is calling for the “forced resignations” of President Obama, other administration officials and the leadership of Congress for the direction they’re taking the nation, his list of grievances including the systematic political purge of hundreds of senior military officers in the U.S. military."
At this point, it appeared, Maloof had little left conspiracy-wise except to reveal the game. So he gives it away in a Nov. 24 WND article:
After one of them called for the “forced resignations” of President Obama and congressional leaders in response to multiple grievances, including the alleged political purge of hundreds of senior military officers, two retired U.S. generals are creating a citizens’ commission to scrutinize Obama administration actions on national security and economic issues.
Maloof is never going to admit it, but Vallely and Jones appear to be laying the groundwork for a military coup against Obama. Their creation of a "citizens commission" seems designed to give them cover to call their actions a "grassroots" campaign by regular Americans.
Maloof's description of what the group plans to do once they take power sure looks like a military coup:
“Deceptive political intentions for the potential use of facilities, weapons, massive purchases of ammunition plus military-type vehicles and railroad cars are greatly objectionable to American citizens and an insult to the economic deficit of the nation,” they said.
Restricting "weapons, munitions and military-type vehicles" to the military? That's the very definition of the way a military junta behaves.
A "grassroots" campaign to overthrow the president led by former military commanders is all kinds of wrong -- if not actually treasonous. But Maloof won't tell you that.
Maloof followed that up the next day by touting "a 21-page position statement made available to WND" by Vallely ranting that Obama seeks to “seize control over national security” and, bypassing Congress, singlehandedly weaken the U.S. military. Maloof devoted another article to Vallely's ravings on Dec. 1.
Maloof more or less abandoned the military-coup storyline after that. Perhaps he realized that endorsing a military coup didn't make WND look good, or that the only ex-military officers he could get to sign on to it were, like Vallely, of the less-than-stable variety. Or perhaps he got bored with it.
Whatever the reason, the fact that WND went so far to promote a military coup shows the utter hatred that exists there for Obama. And hate never makes for a credible news operation.