Behind Imran’s Hounding 303

Pulling Imran Khan off a plane in Canada, and making him miss his Eid fundraising lunch in New York, is pretty crass of the United States, a country that claims its foreign policy is motivated by freedom. The idea that low level US immigration operatives needed clarificiation on Khan’s well-known views on killings by US drones in Pakistan is plainly nonsense. But this wasn’t routine or an error; Khan wasn’t questioned at a desk on arrival in New York, he was pulled off a plane by US operatives in Canada. It was an exercise in humiliation.

But if you look under this event you find some interesting, creepy crawly creatures.

From the Toronto Sun report linked above:

The American Islamic Leadership Coalition from Phoenix, Ariz. wrote to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton earlier this week, pressuring her to revoke the U.S. visa granted to Khan because of his sympathetic views towards the Taliban.

The American Islamic Leadership Coalition followed this up with a press release with the notably un-Islamic contact name of Gregg Edgar of Gordon C James Public Relations.

From Wikipedia on Gordon C James:

James grew up in Phoenix, Arizona and moved to Iowa in 1969 where he served several years in the Iowa National Guard. James worked in the real-estate management business in Des Moines, renting space to presidential candidates in town for the caucuses. In 1978, he met and rented space to former President of the United States George H. W. Bush (then Ambassador Bush).[1]
After the 1988 election James worked as Lead Advance Representative at the White House for two years under President George H.W. Bush and Director of Invitations and Ticketing for the 51st Presidential Inaugural Committee.[2] James was also employed as deputy director of events for the 54th and 55th Presidential Inauguration.[3] In 1990 he founded the public relations firm Gordon C. James Public Relations.
In 2004, James was employed by former U.S. Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove to improve U.S. public relations in Iraq during the transition of governments.[4] For more than five months he served as the Director of Advance and Special Events in the Office of Strategic Communications and Director of the Presidential Palace Studio for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad, Iraq. While there he advised Ambassador Paul Bremer and was responsible for coordinating the Ambassador’s relations with Western and Pan-Arab media outlets and produced several events including the signing of the Tal (Iraq’s Declaration of Independence) and 100 Days to Sovereignty, the countdown to the transfer of power from the CPA to newly founded Iraqi government.[5]
In 2004 James assisted in several political stops with the Bush-Cheney campaign and in 2005, he was employed as lead advance representative for President George H.W. Bush and President Bill Clinton’s tour of the Tsunami-hit regions of Indonesia.[6]
James has traveled to five continents as a lead advance representative for President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush.

There are some Muslims in the American Islamic Leadership Coalition. In Phoenix with Gordon C James is M Zuhdi Jasser, of Syrian origin but for eleven years a medical officer in the US Navy. And the AILC has another interesting Syrian, leader of “The Reform Party of Syria”, Farid Ghadry. The AILC website includes the quote:

“Gossip is he is the next president of Syria”

Ghadry lives in Washington and is the author of such fascinating blog posts as “Israel Builds for Nobel Prizes, Arabs are Suicide Bombers”.

Like the Quilliam Foundation in the UK, doubtless the AILC has hoovered up plenty of public funds for its useful work for the security services. BUt the idea that it genuinely represents a strand in Islamic thinking is ludicrous. It is marvellous what being an establishment shill can do for your media profile though. Zuhdi Jasser addressed his largest mass rally of supporters – highly optimistically estimated by the media as three dozen – in a New York rally in support of NYPD’s controversial surveillance and agent provocateur operations against Muslims. Rather than laughing at it, the tame mainstream media covered it infinitely better than they cover anti-war rallies 1,000 times larger, and portrayed it as a genuine sign of Muslim community support for the surveillance.

Just as none of the mainstream media reporting the current Imran Khan story – most of whon quote the AILC – say anything about who the AILC really are. What do people working in the mainstream media think the purpose of their existence actually is?

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303 thoughts on “Behind Imran’s Hounding

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  • Gregorylent

    The purpose of mainstream media workers is to stay employed, best assured by remaining in good standing with the powers that be.

  • willyrobinson

    I was always struck when listening to friends and colleagues who had escaped from Saddam’s Iraq or Assad’s Syria, just how personally the whole thing was taken by the authorities. Seeking asylum was a personal insult to the Great Leader, and his revenge equally so if you got caught.
    Disappointed to see back to back US administrations behaving more and more like Saddam would have.

  • Mary

    Enough said.

    I see that ‘Lady’ Conrad Black nee Barbara Amiel was a one time editor, she of the high maintenance lifestyle.

    Current owners of the rag are Quebecor owned by a French Canadian mob that includes Brian Mulroney on the board.

  • doug scorgie

    While Imran Khan is being derided in the USA; the five British soldiers charged with murder are going to be hailed as heroes across the UK even before the trial has begun and the public are kept in the dark about the details of the alleged murder.

    From the BBC:

    “Events are planned across the country later in support of five Royal Marines charged with murder over an incident in Afghanistan last year.

    `The “show support” events are being organised in several cities including Edinburgh, Swansea, Norwich and London.

    The Ministry of Defence says it would be inappropriate to comment further on the on-going investigation.

    Green lapel ribbons – some bearing the words “Free the 5” – will be worn by those who say the charges are unjust.”

    Would the above not be attempts to pervert the course of justice?

  • daniel

    The purpose of mainstream corporate ‘journalists’ is to be effective propaganda echo-chambers’ for official forms of state power. That is their primary role.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Wrt Pakistan, here is very good documentary on Benazir Bhutto. It came out 2-3 years ago and is 2 hours long. Here, on the site linked to below, it is free and is in 12 minute segments which automatically segue on to the next segment. Strongly recommended.


    What happened to Imran Khan will simply raise his political credibility in Pakistan – as happened with his (by him, much-longed-for) high-profile arrest and (very short) imprisonment during the end-days of the Musharraf regime.

    All of the organisations to which Craig alludes in this post – and there are a number of others too – are problematic (as the term goes) – some indeed have been alleged to be fronts for the US/UK/Canadian sec-intel complex and some, allegedly funded by Israel/Israeli interests.

    The problems include Imran Khan and his party, its possible role (one of several) in potentially splitting the (relatively) progressive vote, its drift towards Islamism and so on. He is likely to be the ISI’s preferred candidate – the military moves civilian politicians around like chess-pieces and his recent rise to ‘contendership’ (to reference Brando) after many years of political irrelevance would tend to support that view. Nawaz Sharif (Right-wing ‘mainstream’ Islamist party) – another longstanding military/ISI creation – has much power in Punjab but not elsewhere and so the military wants to keep its options open. The ISI/Pakistan Military absolutely hates the PP/Zardari, stops – and has always stopped – the progressive elements (they are there, though not the dominant bloc) in that party/ anyone else from achieving real socio-economic, de-Islamisatory, etc. change in the country and wants to continue to promulgate its Islamist paramilitaries in Pakistan and Afghanistan/Kashmir as extensions of its (enormous) wealth and power in South and Central Asia. The tussles right now – which we see in these events – are reflections of those b/w the military and civilian foci of power in Pakistan. These are complex matters. The main problem in Pakistan is the military. Get rid of military hegemony and there would be a chance. Without that, nothing will change. That is the bottom line in all of these dynamics.

  • Philip

    What do people working in the mainstream media think the purpose of their existence actually is?

    A brave and impartial corps of crusaders for the 24-hour translation of press releases into infotainment.

  • Ali A Cheema

    US authorities attitude shows the arrogance, corruption of idea of national security and intolerance. Mr Khan is very passionate about the failure of ongoing war on terror with serious loss in terms of human lives, economics and security in Pakistan. It is about time to rethink whole strategy and give peace a chance.

  • wade

    People like Tarek Fatah call Imran Khan a taliban apologist while taliban call Imran Khan a secular, liberal and an american agent…
    All Imran Khan talks about is peace

  • Tern

    Why has Obama, elected on a platform of ethical concerns at the standards that went before, never touched American border control’s long running violation of innocent until proved guilty? That Amercia does not observe the oldest of all the human rights standard the west claims, undermines its claimed basis for every war. America askes foreign visitors, even from its close allies with perpetually compliant governments, “Have you ever been arrested or convicted/” as a single question. It requires you to tell them of any innocent arrest, that did not lead to any conviction and that might have been malicious, to judge your character from. I can never remember hearing our media say a word about it, even before the War on Terror era.

  • Karel

    The silence of the lambs suckled by the press barons is unremarkable. What surprises me is that anyone without profound masochistic leanings would want to visit the “land of the free”. Unless of course he has some pecuniary interests there and hopes to bring home few dollars. Can Craig or any of the commentator of his posts conceive any other reason for undertaking such a potentially perilous journey? Answers like “Because it’s there.”, given by George Mallory, when asked “Why do you want to climb Mount Everest?” are discounted. There is some moral in this story, however, in that Mallory has never returned to tell us what it was like over “there”. May I recommend to those who want to disappear, because of marital or financial problems, to travel to places that are just “there”.

  • guest

    “About Dr. Paul Craig Roberts”

    “Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following.”

    I think we are all heading into big trouble.

  • Tarek Fatah

    I am part of the AILC; are you suggesting I am part of some large Jewish conspiracy? Spell it out Craig Murray. I am no guilt-ridden whie liberal infatuated by the Taliban or the Muslim Brotherhood because they so look so quaint.

    Some of us have lived, fought and survived Islamism unlike you who seem to be enjoying a circus and couldn’t care less what the clown who entertain you, do when their masks are off.

    If Imran Khan’s fascism charms you, go settle down in Pakistan and live in my shoes and stop insinuating about some rightwing BS about the AILC. I’m a marxist who couldn’t care less about about the GOP, the idiot Tea Party creationists or their mirror images in the Islamic world, the Imran Khan creationists who charm you.

    The racism of lower expectations you practise comes to millionaires mimicking misery who play revolutions on video games, not real life.

    You are welcome to embrace homophobe, misogynist creationists of Islamdom, but then own up to that creed.

    Tarek Fatah

  • Ben Franklin (head honcho CIA Office for Craig Murray Operations)

    “Forensic journalism”

    Heh. Try to do an autopsy on that Zombie corpse.

  • craig Post author

    Welcome Tarek. Nobody said anything about Jewish conspiracies, except you. I see that in your very long Wikpedia entry it says you support the Canadian Liberal Party. That is very strange considering you turn up here claiming to be a Marxist. Feel free to explain.

  • Mark Golding - Children of Conflict

    Tarek Fatah,

    You rushed to judge Manji’s book and you have ‘hot-footed’ here to attempt to make short work of Craig’s comment.

    You misconstrued the words of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, obfuscating his comments on Israel and the nefarious Zionist regime.

    You have agreed America conspired to smash Iraq yet you blame a passive Iran.

    You are bewildered and darkened by your own emotional disorder Tarek; your scramble to arbitrate is without awareness or indeed consciousness and that will be your storm, your ruin.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Karel, at 2:45pm on 28.10.12:

    Well, Imran Khan would want to travel to the USA because, firstly, there is a large, sometimes wealthy and influential Pakistani ex-pat population in the USA, so it’s natural that Imran Khan would want to visit at this time just before elections in Pakistan. Secondly, he’s been there many times before – it’s nothing unusual – and in fact has a daughter there (as he was forced to admit, some years ago). Thirdly, it is impossible for any politician, anywhere to ignore the USA, esp. when there is a war going on in the NW of Pakistan and in neighbouring Afghanistan involving US troops and Special Forces, the CIA, etc. He may well also be meeting with US officials – covertly – and so maybe this show of border controls was to dispel any suspicions of that. He may be reassuring the US Administration that rhetoric is one thing, action, quite another, so that they switch sides, from the PPP Govt to Imran Khan’s party. Who knows?

    The episode strikes me as a bit of political gamesmanship just before the US (and Pakistan) elections. Or it might just be over-zealous officials as in the case of Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islma) visiting Dolly Parton, after which, they made this funny video – see link.

    But really, these matters – Imran Khan, his party, the Army, ISI et al are complex; one cannot simply boil them down to ‘goodies and baddies’. Not does it supply enlightenment simply to iterate reflexively. Imran Khan, Navaz Sharif and all the religious parties are all creations of the Pakistan military-intelligence complex that is the real ruler of Pakistan. Imran Khan never, ever criticises the Pakistan Army. Does it not occur to one that somebody who professes to real democracy and redistribution of wealth (btw, wrt wealth distribution, Imran does not, he’s rightwing economically), healthcare, education, etc. would have to do that? Imran has moved towards the Islamist camp. He knows where his brea is buttered and he knows that what happened to Benazir Bhutto would happen to him tomorrow – yesterday – if ever he deviates from the path of ‘Milbus’ (military-business). Same-old, same-old, then.

    Finally, if ever you get a chance to visit the USA, it would be useful for you to do so. Whether we are vassals or opponents, or something in between, all must learn and know the perfidious ways of empire. Go to Washington, DC and stop at the Metro station named, ‘Pentagon’. And think of Ozymandias.

  • Karel

    This al Fatah seems to me a profoundly confused man who is trying to tell us that we should all move to Pakistan. Just because it is there, I presume. Silly idea only because of the drones. Perhaps al Fatah will somehow arrange that the bombing stops.
    I cannot uderstand why he, as a “marxist”, brings homophobia into his stew. Any educated marxist should know that homosexuality was punishable (up to five years) in the Soviet Union (the marxist paradise) and abolished only in 1993. I suspect that he is either a very stupid marxist or a liar or most likely both. I hope, that he will not try to teach us here what real marxism is like. Nowdays, anyone who ostensibly calls himself “marxist” is most probably a zionist or a zionist stooge.

  • nevermind

    Thanks for another great article, don’t expect the MSM, screwing itself down with 6″ self tapers to Q’s floor, to anywhere go near asking what flea bitten souls are hiding behind the AILC.

    Welcome Tarek Fatah, what is your problem with Pakistan and its people, did you not support the CIA madrasas who created the Taliban? and who do you think in Pakistan is helping to make this war on terror a self perpetuating roundabout were terror creates more demand for terror.

    Don’t you think Pakistan’s society is not fed up with these divisions stultifying their countries growth and economic possibilities? this secret war being conducted with illegal drones, most times hitting innocent civilians indiscriminately? Should you not yourself help these poor victims of slaughter from great hight? being the good Muslim you are do you recognise that it is Harram to kill children and innocent civilians?

    thank you Mark G. for your eloquence.

  • Ben Franklin (head honcho CIA Office for Craig Murray Operations)

    The trouble with Marxism, Nevermind , is that he takes Hegel’s Dialectic (which swings perpetually) and extrapolates that Marxism will make the pendulum stop. No evidence for that, is there?

  • Karel

    Suhayl Saadi, It was a rhetorical questions. Millions travel to the USA who have neither daughters, nor gradmothers nor anyone they know in that place. Nor are these travelers potential candidates for a high office and need money to get elected. This is a clear pecuniary interest as I stated in my previous commentary. Is it so difficult to understand such a simple question?

  • Ben Franklin (head honcho CIA Office for Craig Murray Operations)

    Sorry, Nevermind. That was to Karel.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    We also ought to avoid the temptation to label every progressive Muslim organisation a CIA front – that most certainly is not the case. Some might be, who knows? But not all, by any means. It’s a pity that internecine stuff often splits progressive Muslims – I think we ought to look at what unites us and accept that we will disagree on this or that, as do all people with one another. As we know, the Jihadists cooperate with one another.

    In the UK, there’s the British Muslims for Secular Democracy, a decent body:

    And there’s the Muslim Institute, in which Ziauddin Sardar and Merryl Wyn Jones are leading lights:

    Usual prefixes.

    Anyway, in Pakistan/the Pakistani diaspora, to struggle against Islamism is to struggle against power, wealth and systemic oppression – the power and wealth of Saudi Arabia with its petrodollar-fueled toxic (em)mission and of the Pakistani generals, and theirs. Naturally, other foci of power will attempt to instrumentalise these dynamics. I always think it’s important not to become a vehicle for anyone’s imperial ambitions. So, to fight Islamism, one must not become a squire for the Dukes of the Potomac (or the Earls of the Thames). The on the ground, economic struggle – and not theology – has to be at the centre of any policy and practice.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    “Nowdays, anyone who ostensibly calls himself “marxist” is most probably a zionist or a zionist stooge.” Karel, at 4:29pm, on 28.10.12

    How so? What about all those South American Marxists, or those many others influenced by Marxist thought? Or is it simply because Karl Marx came from a Jewish background, that you make this assertion (presumably not rhetorically)?

    Have you not been to the Pentagon Metro Station? You really should think of going.

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