War Correspondent Recounts His Journey From Political Leftist to Born-Again Christian

Ken Timmerman is writer of a brand new e-book, “And the Rest Is History: Tales of Hostages, Arms Dealers, Dirty Tricks, and Spies.

As a longtime investigative reporter and battle correspondent, Timmerman has a singular tackle the information media given his personal journey from the political Left to the Proper throughout his lifetime. We talk about his experiences in hostile locations just like the Center East in addition to newsrooms in America. He additionally presents his tackle the present state of journalism.

Rob Bluey: You inform some unbelievable tales on this e-book, and I’m going to ask you about these in only a second, however I’d first such as you to start by sharing extra about your journey with our viewers, from being a leftist to a born-again Christian, not one thing that we hear about on a regular basis.

Ken Timmerman: That’s form of why I wrote this e-book, as a result of individuals have requested me for years how I went from this pot-smoking, philandering, anti-Israel, fellow traveler to a conservative born-again Christian Zionist.

And the story actually begins in Lebanon. Once I went as my first foray as a battle correspondent in 1982 to cowl that battle, the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, I went there pondering that the Palestinians had been the victims and the Israelis had been the oppressors.

And really shortly, inside days, I used to be captured by the PLO, taken hostage by the Palestinians, and held in an underground cell for twenty-four days whereas we had been getting bombed, actually day and evening, generally three days straight.

And it was there, actually, that I got here again to my Christian religion, I understood the connection that I had, the non-public relationship with my savior, and he actually saved me alive.

And I say this, too. Folks requested me how I bought out of there as a result of they thought I used to be an Israeli spy. That’s why they kidnapped me. They referred to as me an Israeli spy. And I stated, “It was actually by the grace of God.” There’s no clarification for it. It was full accident.

Hastily on the finish after we had been being guarded by youngsters with Kalashnikovs—and I’ll inform you, there’s not a lot scarier than a teenage child with a Kalashnikov in a battle zone. Hastily, an grownup got here round asking if there have been any French individuals on this dungeon.

And I flipped the coin in my head and stated, “In the event that they discover the French guys who’re right here who they kidnapped as a result of they had been their enemies, really putting land mines within the Palestinian positions, they’re going to kill us all. Alternatively, in the event that they don’t perceive who they’re by now, perhaps I’ll dwell, as a result of right here, if I keep on the bottom, I’m going to die like a rat, both killed by these children or within the rubble of the constructing.”

So I flipped a coin and bought out. It was absolutely by the grace of God.

Bluey: What did that have train you, not solely about being a battle correspondent however within the years that adopted, concerning the world usually and the risks that you simply in that reporting position generally discovered your self in?

Timmerman: First, on a really private stage … I understood how central God was to my life and as an ethical grounding for all of us.

Typically you learn novels otherwise you watch some TV exhibits and also you see there are issues lacking. In “Sport of Thrones,” what’s the factor that’s lacking in “Sport of Thrones”? Properly, it’s the church, perception in God. There’s none of it there. And there’s an vacancy, there’s a hollowness in a few of these tales. If God shouldn’t be on the heart of your life, I actually suppose you’re dwelling a hole life.

As a battle correspondent, it taught me a variety of issues, however humorous sufficient, it didn’t train me to steer clear of harmful locations, and so I’ve all the time been going again to harmful locations, and I inform a few of these tales within the e-book.

I inform about being in Iraq, for instance, on the entrance traces, on the border with Iran, and truly crossing into Iran in the course of the Iran-Iraq Battle, throughout the desert with Iraqi troops, and the way we bought shelled and practically bought killed by Iranian artillery barrage. And different tales in Lebanon I inform about reporting, once more, on the Palestinians.

So it didn’t maintain me out of hazard, but it surely did maintain me alive and it gave me that data that God had a plan for me.

Bluey: Do you’re feeling that reporters lately have that very same braveness that you simply did by way of going into locations like this and telling the story that the American individuals or individuals throughout the globe really want to know? As a result of if it weren’t for the work that you simply had been doing, we would in any other case not have that info.

Timmerman: There are two crops of battle correspondents: the individuals who go on the market actually on the bottom, and also you’ve seen this one with a few of the individuals at Newsmax and even Fox Information, after which there’s those who keep within the lodges.

I bear in mind in Beirut, I used to be so astonished as soon as I used to be freed to go to the Alexander Lodge, which was on the Christian aspect, it was the protected aspect of Beirut then. And the entire TV correspondence from Washington or New York or Paris, wherever they had been, they had been all arrange on a resort, on the roof of the resort, wanting into West Beirut. They weren’t on the bottom in West Beirut the place they could have gotten bombed.

And I’ve seen that time and again and once more in battle zones all all over the world. There are actually only a few individuals who go on the bottom, and lots of of them lose their lives.

Bluey: Our ideas and prayers exit to all those that are in that scenario, and we admire the work that they do. So that you spend this time as a battle correspondent, you come again, you really work for a Democrat member of Congress, Tom Lantos. You then get a job at Time. Inform us about that have of going to a company, a storied establishment like Time journal.

Timmerman: First, let me simply inform you briefly about Tom Lantos. This was proper after Invoice Clinton received the presidency, and Tom was now going to be within the majority with a subcommittee doing weapons of mass destruction, about which he knew nothing. So he employed me because the resident skilled.

And really shortly, I discovered it odd how I believed I used to be nonetheless a Democrat at that time that I had simply come again from Paris, and I discovered it odd. How was all of it of my pals on the Hill had been Republicans and never Democrats? There’s something already taking part in at the back of my thoughts, if you want.

So he fired me as a result of I used to be going after U.S. exports to Communist China below Clinton, and that was a extremely, actually large no-no. So I went to Time journal as an investigative reporter, presupposed to work on this new investigative unit they had been establishing out of New York, and did, actually, a variety of enjoyable reporting.

Traveled round an terrible lot. Did a canopy story that took me from Paris to Istanbul to Vienna, throughout Europe, actually. After which I began engaged on China once more. I bought a tipoff from a U.S. customs man in Columbus, Ohio, which is the place the B-1 bomber plant was, Plant 85.

They usually instructed me, he and the individuals within the commerce union—the commerce union had been really additionally very, excellent sources. They instructed me that the Communist Chinese language had been coming in there after midnight all this extremely categorised gear and basically making bids to McDonnell Douglas of pennies on the greenback.

And so I began to research that. I bought the paperwork from customs and my editors at Time stated, “This can be a nice story. Why don’t you go see if there are different crops like that?” So I discovered 4 of them that the Chinese language had been shopping for up with the blessing of the Clinton administration.

So we had been serving to Communist China in 1994 to construct up their aerospace business, particularly their army aerospace business. And once more, with the blessing of the administration.

On the final minute, the story was written, it was typeset, it was able to go, and on a Friday afternoon, the editor calls me in, the bureau chief in D.C. calls me in, says, “Ken, you’re fired, and we’re pulling your story.” I stated, “Properly, what occurred?” And he stated, “Properly, some individuals didn’t just like the questions you had been asking them.” I stated, “Wait, I believed that was my job, to ask individuals within the administration questions that didn’t essentially please them.” And he stated, “No, no, not with our administration.”

And as I say within the e-book, that’s the day, if not earlier than, however that’s actually the day that mainstream journalism died. If you change into a surrogate for a sitting in administration, that’s the tip of it. That’s when journalists have actually given up on the job.

Bluey: And this, after all, occurs within the Nineties, lengthy earlier than the time period “pretend information” gathered recognition amongst our tradition. What’s going via your thoughts at this level while you face this case the place you’re doing what any journalist ought to be doing, as you stated, asking these robust questions, pursuing the investigative report, and end up out of labor? The place do you go subsequent?

Timmerman: I used to be surprised. I couldn’t consider that it was taking place. … The Time journal editors beloved what I used to be doing and this simply form of got here out of the blue. However I discovered my lesson there.

Then I went to The American Spectator and began to do tales about Communist China for one thing like the subsequent 5 years. Me, Invoice Triplett, and a few others, and Invoice Gertz—we had been about the one reporters at the moment on the China beat and warning about what the Clintons had been doing.

And also you simply need to placed on the information at the moment and you may see the results of it. The one motive that Communist China at the moment is a risk to us within the Taiwan Strait or within the South China Sea or wherever is due to what Invoice Clinton bought them within the Nineties.

Bluey: You had been effectively forward of your time by way of figuring out that. You could really feel some vindication that, notably in the course of the Trump administration, the difficulty grew to become entrance and heart. The US began to take a a lot stronger place and stance in opposition to China, recognizing that they weren’t a aggressive ally, however really an adversary.

The place do you see issues going sooner or later with China? What questions can we should be asking now as journalists? And what recommendation do you’ve gotten for these of us who’re within the media occupation on the subject of masking China?

Timmerman: To start with, be scrupulously sincere and don’t get shunted apart while you examine the payoffs to the son of the president of the US.

[Chinese] President Xi [Jinping] stated not too long ago that he needs to fulfill with [U.S. President Joe] Biden on the G-7 summit. Now, to inform the reality, that assembly was arrange months in the past. However the way in which Xi put it to the media and the way in which the U.S. media is reporting it, it appears like President Xi is summoning Biden to a gathering to allow them to speak over problems with mutual curiosity.

I ponder whether Xi could also be planning to remind Joe Biden of simply how a lot cash his household earned from Communist China.

Bluey: You’ve spent an unbelievable period of time within the Center East. You may have so many tales to share. You’ve already carried out so with Lebanon. I need to transfer to Iraq for a second. Inform us extra about Saddam Hussein’s [weapons of mass destruction] applications, what info the American public nonetheless won’t totally notice within the wake of a few of the issues which have occurred in recent times as extra info has come out.

Timmerman: Proper. I get requested time and again, “Did Saddam have weapons of mass destruction?” And the reply is a convincing, “Sure, he did.” And the U.S. intelligence group knew it. It simply wasn’t all the pieces that Colin Powell talked about on the United Nations.

However I’ll offer you simply a few examples. In 2007, that’s 4 years after the liberation of Iraq, 4 years after we went in, the brand new authorities of Iraq shipped 1,000 tons of uranium to Canada.

Now, that is uranium that, after all, the media needs us to consider they by no means had, that they by no means had weapons of mass destruction. However that they had it there. They’d been maintaining it. A thousand tons. That’s an unlimited, huge quantity of uranium.

In addition they had chemical weapons crops that had been nonetheless working. They’d stockpiles of those precursor chemical compounds used to make chemical weapons, and you retain them separate. They’re referred to as binary weapons as a result of they’re product of two chemical compounds which are comparatively innocent after they’re separate. However while you mix them collectively, they make sarin fuel, varied types of poison fuel.

Properly, we discovered these issues. The Protection Intelligence Company discovered these issues in Iraq, and but, the media by no means reported on it. It’s completely extraordinary.

I had the chance, and I inform this story within the e-book, of assembly the heads of Iraq’s WMD applications. I met the man who was answerable for their uranium enrichment program. I met the man who was answerable for their ballistic missile applications. They usually spoke to me comparatively effusively, not solely brazenly.

However they revealed a variety of info within the late Nineteen Eighties, as a result of I used to be thought-about an skilled on weapon methods and weapon program. I used to be a protection correspondent on the time, and no one else paid consideration. No person was listening, no one was paying consideration. And Saddam actually took us abruptly in 1991.

The U.S. intelligence group thought, at that time, that Saddam Hussein had one nuclear weapons program and he was 5 years away. That is earlier than the primary Gulf Battle. Properly, as soon as the inspectors began to go in there, they discovered that he had 5 nuclear weapons applications and he was about one 12 months away.

So the quantity of deception that went on was completely extraordinary, and I feel we’re seeing precisely the identical factor play out at the moment with Iran, with Iran’s nuclear weapons program, and this positively outrageous stubbornness of this administration to enter a brand new Iran nuclear deal that everyone is aware of they’re going to cheat on.

Bluey: Do you’re feeling that a few of the current headlines which have come out maybe dissuade the administration from doing that? Or are they so decided to maneuver ahead below John Kerry’s course and Joe Biden’s directive that that is inevitable?

Timmerman: It’s humorous you requested that. I’ve bought a piece at FrontPage Mag about this, and it’s what I name geopolitical malpractice. They’re decided, no matter the associated fee, to get into a brand new nuclear program with the mullahs’ Tehran as a result of they consider the mullahs are their finest pals, they usually suppose that anyone like Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia is their worst enemy.

And but, what they’re doing is driving the Saudis into the arms of the Chinese language and the Russians, and the Iranians are going to maintain on killing People and threatening Israel it doesn’t matter what we do. They usually simply don’t appear to know that.

Bluey: Let’s speak about journalism for a second. What recommendation do you’ve gotten for younger individuals who need to enter the occupation at the moment? What ideas, practices ought to they be using as they give the impression of being about doing their job to the very best of their means?

Timmerman: Except for applications just like the Management Institute or the Nationwide Journalism Heart in D.C., which is run by the Younger America’s Basis, I might say don’t, don’t go to a journalism faculty.

When you can’t write, you possibly can most likely learn to put sentences collectively if you happen to’ve bought one thing to put in writing about. They usually’re not going to show you methods to write a narrative. They’re not going to show you methods to consider a supply. They’re not going to show you methods to get to the place you should be on the bottom to report one thing that’s vital and that’s taking place and it’s making an attempt to be saved secret.

Second piece of recommendation is examine one thing of substance, like historical past or economics and even regulation. I do know individuals who really stopped working as a journalist to go examine regulation after which return into journalism. So examine one thing of substance. Don’t take heed to the left-wing teachers or wannabe journalists within the journalism faculties.

Bluey: It actually appears that there are such a lot of extra alternatives at the moment, notably with conservative media, than there have been after I bought my begin, or actually while you bought yours. So what do you make of the present media panorama? Is it good to have so many decisions? And the way do individuals go about deciphering what sources of data they will belief, notably in a crowded surroundings like we’ve got at the moment?

Timmerman: That’s a really tough query to reply as a result of what was referred to as the mainstream media, we now name it both the legacy media, I name it the previously mainstream media. You can not belief them as a result of they lie. They’re pretend information, as Donald Trump stated. He was completely appropriate about that.

However who, then, is the moderator? Who’re the authorities then that may assist discern between reality and falsehood? And the issue is the legacy media and the kooks within the U.S. authorities would really like them to be these arbiters of reality and as a substitute they’re simply feeding us lies.

So we as residents need to do far more work at the moment to seek out dependable sources. It’s a must to learn bylines. It’s a must to know who’s supplying you with the knowledge. It’s a must to know what their biases are.

I separate my writing into two total classes, Rob, and also you most likely do, too. One is factual reporting and the opposite is opinion columns. Once I write an opinion column, I let individuals know, “That is an opinion column.” It’s my thought-about opinion, it’s primarily based on truth, however it’s my opinion. If I inform you that Joe Biden is committing geopolitical malpractice, that’s my private opinion primarily based on his observe report.

However what you’ve gotten now in The New York Occasions and The Washington Put up and different locations is opinion masquerading as truth, and that’s extraordinarily harmful. You may have articles being written to a story, which is absolutely the loss of life of journalism. They need to begin with the details and observe them wherever they lead.

Bluey: That’s so true. And one of many issues that we’ve carried out since we began The Each day Sign was guarantee that we do label all of our content material both information or commentaries so our readers can distinguish between the 2. And I’m happy to listen to that you simply assist that as effectively, Ken.

Ken, you’ve written so many books, however your final reply leads me to the subsequent query since you even have one other wonderful e-book that you simply did beforehand, and we’ve got only in the near past this 12 months marked the 10-year anniversary of Benghazi.

Your different e-book is known as “Darkish Forces: The Fact About What Occurred in Benghazi.” What’s it that you simply proceed to listen to about at the moment that People have to know concerning the scenario on the bottom there in Benghazi? And inform us about that e-book and the way you helped reply a few of these questions.

Timmerman: First, let me inform you in a few sentences the content material. I discovered via debriefings of Iranian defectors, defectors from Iranian intelligence businesses that I’ve been engaged on for numerous years and on many various tales, I discovered that there was an Iranian workforce on the bottom in Benghazi.

They’re those who shaped, educated, paid, and arranged that army group that really attacked the U.S. consular facility and the CIA headquarters in Benghazi. Iranian mastermind of this was sitting in a constructing throughout the road watching the assault because it occurred and reporting again.

I additionally was capable of purchase, via one in all these sources, banking paperwork exhibiting funds flowing from Iran to an Iranian entrance firm in London to entrance firms in Benghazi already a 12 months earlier than the assault. So we’re actually on the peak of the Libyan revolution in opposition to [Muammar] Gaddafi.

We by no means go mistaken in overestimating the attain of Iranian intelligence. They spend an enormous amount of cash on intelligence and covert motion and violent covert motion. They’re in every single place. They’re in Venezuela, they’re on our southern border, they’re in Europe, they’re in the US.

Keep in mind, the Iranians pledged and put a video up on the web exhibiting how they had been going to assassinate President Trump at his golf membership in West Palm Seashore. And they’re there. They’re. This isn’t only a fantasy, it is a true report. It’s not opinion journalism. That is what they themselves had been telling us about their intentions.

And the federal government has arrested numerous these cells, undercover Iranian cells, however up to now, they haven’t discovered the individuals who they consider are attempting to kill the previous president or Mike Pompeo or different former authorities officers below the Trump administration.

Bluey: I’d be remiss if I didn’t additionally ask you about one other e-book that you simply’ve written, a political thriller referred to as “The Election Heist,” actually well timed and topical. It got here out in 2020. Ken, it looks like these tales maintain getting wilder and wilder. Inform our listeners about that work and what current experiences have perhaps come true that you simply put on this fiction work.

Timmerman: This e-book was launched in August of 2020. I prefer to name it a fiction however not a fantasy. And actually the spark of it was my very own run as a congressional nominee, the Republican nominee within the eighth District of Maryland in 2012.

And we had observed anomalies with the election machines. Afterward, we did an investigation. There have been issues that simply weren’t appropriate, however we couldn’t get the election board to noticeably look into it.

So I started to do my very own investigation and located that these machines could possibly be hacked. There are hackers conventions the place they boast of hacking them in below two minutes, breaking into an election digital voting machine in lower than two minutes and altering the end result.

And I put all that collectively in a fictional narrative, hoping to get the eye of the individuals round Donald Trump, and I failed, and they didn’t take it critically. And the result’s what we noticed on election evening and for the weeks and months afterward.

Bluey: We will solely hope, going ahead, that so many extra conservatives do pay shut consideration to this. That is one in all our prime precedence points at The Each day Sign. And Fred Lucas, a colleague of mine who shares the identical writer as you at Put up Hill Press, has an excellent e-book concerning the myths surrounding voter suppression and points associated to election integrity. So, Ken, thanks for calling consideration to this and for persevering with to place the highlight on this essential subject.

Timmerman: Thanks very a lot, Rob. You’ll find “The Election Heist” and all my different books at kentimmerman.com, and you can too join weekly emails. I don’t ship you any greater than that and I don’t promote my lists.

Bluey: That’s an ideal place to go away it. I used to be going to ask you ways our listeners can observe your work. You contribute to numerous completely different locations and also you clearly have written numerous books right here. Kentimmerman.com is the hyperlink. We’ll you’ll want to present a hyperlink in our transcript for all of the listeners of this podcast. However anything? Any closing phrases you need to go away our viewers with at the moment?

Timmerman: One other large theme of this newest e-book, “And the Relaxation is Historical past,” is the deep state. Now, we didn’t name it the deep state within the ’80s and the ’90s. We referred to as it, maybe, corrupt intelligence officers or hostage negotiators who had been slipping ransom funds into their again pockets.

However I used to be investigating the deep state for many years, have been investigating for many years, and continued to take action. I consider that is Donald Trump’s greatest failure. Maybe his solely actual failure as president was his failure to dismantle the deep state and maintain them from operating his authorities.

Bluey: Truthful level. And hopefully one thing {that a} future Republican administration will take critically and work out a option to handle. It’s an enormous effort on the a part of The Heritage Basis’s Challenge 2025, placing in a plan and the personnel to essentially tackle the executive state and the deep state.

Timmerman: Thanks a lot for having me, Rob. It’s a pleasure to be with you once more.