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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  • technicolour

    Craig: yes, sorry, was scanning before bed and was misled by the chummy tone. Thanks for deletion.

    Suhayl: good post, agree generally. Good to see rumblings in parliament about this finally, and from both sides, thanks, Mary for report.

  • nevermind

    Thanks for that Mary, good ol’ John Reed, fallen off the wagon, survivor of tabloid slurs, abck into what he knows best.
    he got away with much many times and this incident probably annulled his chances to become Blair’s successor.

    marvellous news as the economy is recovering, rasp, sigh, grumble whilst 5000 workers are made redundant from Comet.

    maybe they could tell us which industries are doing well apart from arms exports.

  • Habbakuk

    This thread is really all over the place, isn’t it.

    But never mind.

    Could I however enter a plea for people to pay more attention to their apostrophes? There are far too many “it’s” and not enough “its” ! Otherwise it will be impossible for me to take you seriously.

    Thank you kindly.

  • Johnnie

    Recalling that it was Mary who was being bucolic the other day and talking about hens (or was it cocks?) running around, the following inevitably came to mind and therefore I dedicate it to her :

    “Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow..?”

    To be read frolm the Opie angle.

  • Komodo

    I’ve been trying to keep this more or less on a Khan tack, myself, Habbakuk, but interjections from the spelling police are presumably as welcome. Diverging from the new topic of its/it’s…

    to an offering from Chris Bryant. Who wants to see Cameron’s email (e’mail?) collection, as reported in the MSM. Much more here:

    Some of us had hoped that in a hung parliament the openly expressed views of the Commons might actually matter. Apparently not.

    He’s learning.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    This may be off topic – but I think not. The drone strikes in Pakistan are not divorced from the overall issue of the continual increase and expansion of the US defence budget. The expansion relates to research in and development of more and more deadly and sophisticated armaments.

    An extension of the development of more sophisticated armaments is the integration of and service for the global hegemony which clearly, the US is pursuing.

    As these arms are developed and deployed around the world, unlike the Great Wall of China, when the days of these armaments are done, there will not be a relic left for preservation as part of a world heritage site – but we will surely have depleted uranium, birth deformities and scrap metal in abundance.

    What is truly sad is the huge con-game that was played in 2008 and now again in 2012 upon the American people – and – in a certain sense – upon the whole world looking to American leadership for a brighter global future.

    Obama is ‘system’s man’ in a sense that FDR was not.
    When Obama came to power he was expected to bring substantial changes to the US system:-
    • Jobs
    • Accountability in Washington
    • Addressing the corruption on Wall Street and failures in the banking and financial sectors.
    As three main areas if concern in America. Instead:-
    • Jobs – no FDR solution.
    • Accountability in Washington – business as usual.
    • Addressing the corruption on Wall Street and failures in the banking and financial sectors – continued abandonment of the Glass Seagall Act- and- return of funds in the trillions to the “banksters” just as George Bush Jr. did.
    And war, war, and the promise of more wars to come.
    There is precious little difference in substance between Republicans and Democrats ( Depublicans) these days. So far as economic policy is concerned, we find talk that is smoother from Obama, but in substance it is just the same policies being pursued – and – if you doubt me then listen to this:-
    The American defence budget continues to increase every year while the people languish as their jobs continue to go elsewhere with relatively less and less being invested via public funding for their futures. So goes America – and so too does America want the world to go with the IMF pointing the direction.
    However, while Obama may be slow and smooth – Romney would be rough and fast. But, same policies – same end game.
    Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose – and Obama now can be dubbed “ Mr. Hopey Changey – past” – while honestly Romney is “Mr. No Hopey – no Changey – present”. Black dawg fi white monkey!

  • Herbie

    I’d have thought that Shami Chakrabarti has presided over the greatest loss of civil liberties in Britain, since 1066 at least.

    Surely that’s a failure, and she ought to resign and let someone more competent do the job.

    Instead she’s showered with gongs and trinkets from a greatful nation.

    The whole thing’s very obviously a total fraud.

  • Komodo

    Worth pointing out, I think, that despite some suspense-filled months when the US came close to admitting it couldn’t afford to continue with the project, the Grumman-Northrop RQ-4 Global Hawk drone is now in service. This is unmanned, intended to replace the U-2R piloted surveillance planes of 9 Wing – 50 years old – and has an endurance of 30 hours. Inflight refuelling capability is anticipated, and it communicates its findings via satellite. Coming soon to 65,000 feet above anyone, up to 7500 miles from anyone. Cost $215,000,000 a pop.

    And then there’s the X-47B stealth drone (as possibly acquired informally by the Iranians recently). Carrier launched, range 2000 miles, possible payload 4500 lb. This programme has so far cost $813,000,000.

    Not a bad return on $8,620,000. Let’s go have a war.

  • Mary

    In spite of their puff piece biogs here, the OpCapita people do not look so clever now as Comet is about to be placed into adminstration and 6,500 jobs are likely to go. OpCapita acquired Comet last year for £2.

    What and where next Messrs Cameron and Osborne? Neither of you have a clue what to do.

  • Habbakuk

    I’m sorry that you seem to find the “it’s” / “its” topic unworthy of this board, Komodo. But you see, the question is : should we be convinced by the deep thought of posters who can’t even get such an elementary point of grammar right?

  • Windy

    “The Serious Fraud Office has been rebuked by the Whitehall spending watchdog for making unauthorised pension and severance payments totalling more than £400,000 to its former chief executive.
    The National Audit Office ruled that the payoff package given to Phillippa Williamson was “irregular” and siad it was qualifying the SFO’s annual accounts.”.

    QUESTION : what sanctions will now be applied to those at the SFO responsible for agreeing those irregular payments?

    Just asking!

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

    Grammar seems to be a lost art, but I have more concern for the tendency to conflate simile with metaphor than the presence of the outlier apostrophe. Simple, declarative sentences work better than word-salad for making a point, clear. Onomatopoeia is my friend, but sometimes makes others chafe at the bit. Mea Culpa.

    Oh, wait. Off topic, again.

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


    “Obama is ‘system’s man’ in a sense that FDR was not.”

    Obama is a black man in a fundamentally racist culture, so he gets some props for that.

    Those of you familiar with the legend, Jackie Robinson (Baseball) who was the first to play in the segregated White League (Brooklyn Dodgers) may recall he was chosen because he was even-tempered and would take the cat-calls from the stands and his own dugout, with grace.

    Because he was perspicacious, he paved the way for more superior players from the Negro Leagues, to enter the exclusive club of causcasoids.

    (onomatopoeia alert)

  • Komodo

    OK, I’ll bite, Habbakuk or whoever you are. So your criterion for intelligence is the correct assignation of the apostrophe? To answer your question, no, I would not be convinced…etc. I would read very carefully what they had to say and apply exactly the same tests for validity that I would apply to someone whose every use of its/it’s was weighed with care, considered atlength, and inserted with a garnish of smug into the text.

    Fact is, I know several scientists with international reputations who are dyslexic, and they are a bloody sight cleverer than you or me. I sense your objection: Pffft, scientists , you say. Consider George Bernard Shaw, who described apostrophes as “uncouth bacilli”, and campaigned for their extermination. Hardly a scientist, and very far from stupid.

    Now, you doubtless have something very intelligent to offer on Imran Khan’s experience in Canada? Dont (sic) let me stop you….

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


    Habbakuk is a minor prophet of the Old Testament, but his apsostrophic acumen is Major.

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

    Strike apsotrphic—insert apostrophic.

    Spelling; another lost art

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

    King Grammarian….I like the sound of that, but am unworthy of the royal overtones, ‘modo.

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

    As you can see, I am deep in my cups, even though, early by socially accepted norms.

  • Komodo

    Morning, Ben…

    It’s not just Russia.

    Over the next few months the draft Communications Data Bill is expected to be finalised and pass into UK law. This embodies the results of the Communications Capabilities Development Programme.

    In February, the Home Office drew up renewed plans to order ISPs and phone networks to store user data and make it available to security services in real-time. But you probably want to know how it’s going to affect you, so we’ve prepared an FAQ to explain

    Known in 2008 as the Interception Modernisation Programme, the measures were rebranded by the coalition government under the more friendly title Communications Capabilities Development Programme.

    Which in turn, just like Putin, will be using DPI….

  • Mary

    Syria conflict: Rebels may have committed war crime – UN Syria conflict

    Ceasefire in name only?
    Aleppo’s frontline trauma hospital
    Islamists versus secularists
    Turkish town scarred

    Syrian rebels have been accused of possibly committing a war crime after a video allegedly showing an execution of government soldiers appeared online.


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

    Bad shit happens. I’ve watched dozens of news clips with children deliberately targeted; makeshift hospitals, ‘natch. The rebels are carrying out one of the oldest traditions of war; revenge, along with executing prisoners when no facilities available for POW’s, and you don’t want to be fighting the same guys, again. It’s sad.

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

    You don’t think Putin is a little more advanced than his inferiors, ‘modo?

    “Both sides do it” sounds good, but the degree….?

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