Struggle Correspondent Recounts His Journey From Political Leftist to Born-Once more Christian

Ken Timmerman is creator of a brand new guide, “And the Relaxation Is Historical past: Tales of Hostages, Arms Sellers, Soiled Tips, and Spies.”

As a longtime investigative reporter and conflict correspondent, Timmerman has a novel 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 unimaginable tales on this guide, 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 sort of why I wrote this guide, 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. After I went as my first foray as a conflict correspondent in 1982 to cowl that conflict, 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 night time, 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 private relationship with my savior, and he actually stored me alive.

And I say this, too. Individuals requested me how I acquired 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 mentioned, “It was actually by the grace of God.” There’s no clarification for it. It was full accident.

Unexpectedly on the finish once we had been being guarded by youngsters with Kalashnikovs—and I’ll let you know, there’s not a lot scarier than a teenage child with a Kalashnikov in a conflict zone. Unexpectedly, 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 mentioned, “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 inserting land mines within the Palestinian positions, they’re going to kill us all. However, 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 youngsters or within the rubble of the constructing.”

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

Bluey: What did that have train you, not solely about being a conflict 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.

Generally you learn novels otherwise you watch some TV reveals 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 will not be on the middle of your life, I actually assume you’re residing a hole life.

As a conflict correspondent, it taught me quite a lot of issues, however humorous sufficient, it didn’t train me to avoid 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 guide.

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

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

Bluey: Do you’re feeling that reporters today 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’d in any other case not have that info.

Timmerman: There are two crops of conflict 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 inns.

I keep in mind in Beirut, I used to be so astonished as soon as I used to be freed to go to the Alexander Resort, 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, trying into West Beirut. They weren’t on the bottom in West Beirut the place they may have gotten bombed.

And I’ve seen that repeatedly and once more in conflict zones all world wide. There are actually only a few individuals who go on the bottom, and plenty of of them lose their lives.

Bluey: Our ideas and prayers exit to all those that are in that state of affairs, and we admire the work that they do. So that you spend this time as a conflict 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 let you know briefly about Tom Lantos. This was proper after Invoice Clinton gained 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 knowledgeable.

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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 associates on the Hill had been Republicans and never Democrats? There’s something already enjoying behind 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 beneath Clinton, and that was a very, actually huge no-no. So I went to Time journal as an investigative reporter, purported to work on this new investigative unit they had been establishing out of New York, and did, actually, quite a lot 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 acquired a tipoff from a U.S. customs man in Columbus, Ohio, which is the place the B-1 bomber plant was, Plant 85.

And so they informed me, he and the individuals within the commerce union—the commerce union had been really additionally very, excellent sources. They informed me that the Communist Chinese language had been coming in there after midnight taking a look at all this extremely labeled gear and basically making bids to McDonnell Douglas of pennies on the greenback.

And so I began to research that. I acquired the paperwork from customs and my editors at Time mentioned, “It is a nice story. Why don’t you go see if there are different vegetation 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 trade, particularly their army aerospace trade. 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 mentioned, “Properly, what occurred?” And he mentioned, “Properly, some individuals didn’t just like the questions you had been asking them.” I mentioned, “Wait, I believed that was my job, to ask individuals within the administration questions that didn’t essentially please them.” And he mentioned, “No, no, not with our administration.”

And as I say within the guide, that’s the day, if not earlier than, however that’s definitely the day that mainstream journalism died. If you develop 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, in fact, occurs within the Nineteen Nineties, lengthy earlier than the time period “pretend information” gathered recognition amongst our tradition. What’s going by your thoughts at this level if you face this case the place you’re doing what any journalist must be doing, as you mentioned, asking these powerful 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 imagine that it was occurring. … The Time journal editors beloved what I used to be doing and this simply sort of got here out of the blue. However I realized 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 must placed on the information right this moment and you’ll see the results of it. The one purpose that Communist China right this moment is a menace to us within the Taiwan Strait or within the South China Sea or anyplace is due to what Invoice Clinton bought them within the Nineteen Nineties.

Bluey: You had been nicely forward of your time by way of figuring out that. You should really feel some vindication that, significantly throughout the Trump administration, the difficulty turned entrance and middle. America began to take a a lot stronger place and stance towards 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 have got for these of us who’re within the media career in the case of protecting China?

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

[Chinese] President Xi [Jinping] mentioned lately 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 best way Xi put it to the media and the best way the U.S. media is reporting it, it feels like President Xi is summoning Biden to a gathering to allow them to discuss over problems with mutual curiosity.

I wonder if 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 unimaginable period of time within the Center East. You have got so many tales to share. You’ve already completed so with Lebanon. I need to transfer to Iraq for a second. Inform us extra about Saddam Hussein’s [weapons of mass destruction] packages, what info the American public nonetheless won’t absolutely understand 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 repeatedly, “Did Saddam have weapons of mass destruction?” And the reply is a powerful, “Sure, he did.” And the U.S. intelligence group knew it. It simply wasn’t every part that Colin Powell talked about on the United Nations.

However I’ll provide you with 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, in fact, the media needs us to imagine they by no means had, that they by no means had weapons of mass destruction. However that they had it there. They’d been protecting it. A thousand tons. That’s an infinite, huge quantity of uranium.

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Additionally they had chemical weapons vegetation that had been nonetheless working. They’d stockpiles of those precursor chemical substances 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 substances which might be comparatively innocent after they’re separate. However if you mix them collectively, they make sarin gasoline, numerous types of poison gasoline.

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 guide, of assembly the heads of Iraq’s WMD packages. I met the man who was accountable for their uranium enrichment program. I met the man who was accountable for their ballistic missile packages. And so they spoke to me comparatively effusively, not solely overtly.

However they revealed quite a lot of info within the late Nineteen Eighties, as a result of I used to be thought-about an knowledgeable 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 Struggle. Properly, as soon as the inspectors began to go in there, they came upon that he had 5 nuclear weapons packages and he was about one 12 months away.

So the quantity of deception that went on was completely extraordinary, and I believe we’re seeing precisely the identical factor play out right this 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 latest headlines which have come out maybe dissuade the administration from doing that? Or are they so decided to maneuver ahead beneath John Kerry’s course and Joe Biden’s directive that that is inevitable?

Timmerman: It’s humorous you requested that. I’ve acquired a bit at FrontPage Magazine about this, and it’s what I name geopolitical malpractice. They’re decided, no matter the fee, to get into a brand new nuclear program with the mullahs’ Tehran as a result of they imagine the mullahs are their greatest associates, they usually assume 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. And so they simply don’t appear to grasp that.

Bluey: Let’s speak about journalism for a second. What recommendation do you have got for younger individuals who need to enter the career right this moment? What ideas, practices ought to they be using as they appear about doing their job to the perfect of their capacity?

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

If you happen to can’t write, you possibly can in all probability learn to put sentences collectively when you’ve acquired one thing to put in writing about. And so they’re not going to show you easy methods to write a narrative. They’re not going to show you easy methods to consider a supply. They’re not going to show you easy methods to get to the place you have to be on the bottom to report one thing that’s essential and that’s occurring and it’s attempting to be stored secret.

Second piece of recommendation is examine one thing of substance, like historical past or economics and even legislation. I do know individuals who really stopped working as a journalist to go examine legislation 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 colleges.

Bluey: It definitely appears that there are such a lot of extra alternatives right this moment, significantly with conservative media, than there have been after I acquired my begin, or definitely if you acquired 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, significantly in a crowded surroundings like we have now right this moment?

Timmerman: That’s a really troublesome query to reply as a result of what was once 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 mentioned. 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 love them to be these arbiters of reality and as an alternative they’re simply feeding us lies.

So we as residents must do rather more work right this moment to seek out dependable sources. You must learn bylines. You must know who’s providing you with the knowledge. You must know what their biases are.

I separate my writing into two general classes, Rob, and also you in all probability do, too. One is factual reporting and the opposite is opinion columns. After 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 reality, however it’s my opinion. If I let you know that Joe Biden is committing geopolitical malpractice, that’s my private opinion primarily based on his observe report.

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

Bluey: That’s so true. And one of many issues that we’ve completed since we began The Day by day Sign was be sure 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 help that as nicely, Ken.

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

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

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

They’re those who shaped, skilled, paid, and arranged that army group that truly 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, by one in all these sources, banking paperwork displaying funds flowing from Iran to an Iranian entrance firm in London to entrance corporations in Benghazi already a 12 months earlier than the assault. So we’re actually on the peak of the Libyan revolution towards [Muammar] Gaddafi.

We by no means go incorrect in overestimating the attain of Iranian intelligence. They spend an enormous sum of money on intelligence and covert motion and violent covert motion. They’re in all places. They’re in Venezuela, they’re on our southern border, they’re in Europe, they’re in the US.

Bear in mind, the Iranians pledged and put a video up on the web displaying how they had been going to assassinate President Trump at his golf membership in West Palm Seaside. And they’re there. They’re. This isn’t only a fantasy, this can be 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 quite a lot of these cells, undercover Iranian cells, however thus far, they haven’t discovered the individuals who they imagine try to kill the previous president or Mike Pompeo or different former authorities officers beneath the Trump administration.

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

Timmerman: This guide 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 significantly look into it.

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

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 severely. And the result’s what we noticed on election night time and for the weeks and months afterward.

Bluey: We are able to solely hope, going ahead, that so many extra conservatives do pay shut consideration to this. That is one in all our high precedence points at The Day by day Sign. And Fred Lucas, a colleague of mine who shares the identical writer as you at Put up Hill Press, has an impressive guide 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 crucial subject.

Timmerman: Thanks very a lot, Rob. Yow will discover “The Election Heist” and all my different books at, and you can even join weekly emails. I don’t ship you any greater than that and I don’t promote my lists.

Bluey: That’s a fantastic place to go away it. I used to be going to ask you ways our listeners can comply with your work. You contribute to quite a lot of completely different locations and also you clearly have written quite a lot of books right here. is the hyperlink. We’ll make sure to present a hyperlink in our transcript for all of the listeners of this podcast. However the rest? Any closing phrases you need to go away our viewers with right this moment?

Timmerman: One other huge theme of this newest guide, “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 imagine that is Donald Trump’s largest failure. Maybe his solely actual failure as president was his failure to dismantle the deep state and hold them from operating his authorities.

Bluey: Truthful level. And hopefully one thing {that a} future Republican administration will take severely and work out a option to deal with. It’s an enormous effort on the a part of The Heritage Basis’s Undertaking 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.