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?

303 thoughts on “Behind Imran’s Hounding

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  • Mary

    In the same context as the Wonga link –

    ‘At the other end of the spectrum though, things are going swimmingly. The richest 1,000 people in Britain have seen their wealth increase by £155bn since the crisis began – more than enough to pay off the whole government deficit of £119bn at a stroke. Anyone earning over £1m a year can look forward to a £42,000 tax cut in the spring, while firms have been rewarded with a 2% cut in corporation tax to 24%.’


  • Komodo

    Farid Ghadry (see Craig’s topic, above):

    From which we deduce that he’s a bit of a bags. Even for a US defence contractor. Also that he’s associated with Nina Rosenwald (you’ve guessed?) who is just a little to the right of Timur Leng.

    Probably a large number of AILC members subscribe innocently to its entirely reasonable (calculatedly reasonable?) line. But the heavy involvement of ex-Syrian neocons at the top tells its own story.

  • Jon

    A Simple Jew – I’ll “chime in” as often as I like. But perhaps I should begin to recognise that when you imply that your interlocutors “prefer sticking their heads up their arse”, you mean it as a warm compliment. Right?

    I’ve seen a couple of your comments, and I am not sure why you are here. Since you are going to the effort of posting, presumably you want people to understand your view? You turned up in the presidential debates thread (in which Craig mentioned with sadness that both candidates fought to be seen as the stronger Israeli ally) and you wanted to discuss the topic of Jewish collaboration with the Holocaust.

    OK, fine. But what’s the wider point you are making, in connection with the topics we’re discussing? Are you posting in support for Jewishness, or as a critic of Israel? And do tell us about yourself if you wish – openness works very well here.

  • Komodo

    Also on the AILC bus is Tawfik Hamid.

    Tawfik’s bumbling and inconsistent story in which at times he is a Muslim reformer, at other times a Muslim only by birth, then a Christian and a Jew or his declarations that most of his coreligionists are passive terrorists, his sharing the stage with white supremacists and well known Islamophobes and becoming a member of their advisory council is hard to follow let alone comprehend. It is contradictory and as we see quite lucrative — he fits in perfectly as Shemp to the Larry, Curly and Mo of Islamophobia.

    Has appeared with Tony Blair:

    Say no more.

  • Komodo

    CORRECTION. The Iran-Syria Operations Group was shut down in 2007. Partly because it had outsourced its operations to Bearing Point (“the number two war profiteer in 2004” as Ralph Nader described it: it was supernaturally fortunate with USAID contracts) However its influence lives on, as does Liz Cheney.

  • Bert

    Someone mentioned Jack Straw earlier.

    Jack Straw said in 2005:
    “[Unless] we all start to believe in conspiracy theories and that the officials are lying, that I am lying, that behind this there is some kind of secret state which is in league with some dark forces in the United States… there simply is [no] truth in the claims that the United Kingdom had been involved in rendition”.

    More here….


  • nevermind

    Bert, wash your mouth out, do you really have to make us wretch?….;)

    @ Komodo, have you heard the massive activities above us, one pair after the other, since early morning, flying attack loops.

    Thanks for Seumas article, Mary, it has to be said and the public is waking up slowly to this eye washing.

    The rich are getting richer, thanks to the coalitions privatisation charter.

    What about today’s kite flying, tabloid comments about wind power and the resulting crescendo of bigoted siren noises all round? How predictable, but sadly it did not mean what it said, there will be more onshore wind power good, even better if the people own it.

  • thatcrab

    OT, more about “Freedom food” the RSPCA designed food welfare standard -for chickens it doesn’t stipulate they must have access to outdoors as “free range” does, as their animal psychologists believe the chickens dont appreciate it -primarily. Where chickens do have access to an outdoor range, RSPCA determines that it is well configured and not a stressful feature.

    imo, Some years ago before “free range” was standardised it implied various, but mostly the better kinds of farming conditions available, but the standardisation drew the bar for conditions lower than what free range at first implied/included. So the standard is much better than caged hens but is not the premium welfare and quality claim which it was loosely some years ago.

    Organic is free range and also requires organic feed, which besides demanding extra agricultural considerations, is guaranteed to have lower risk of pesticide contamination, but it is more expensive than non-organic feed. iirc an affordable organic feed can be of a lesser quality mix of grains (less some pesticides) than non-organic.

    I go by this information, and finally smell and taste, which healthy poultry should express and i find ‘freedom food’ poultry does well, perhaps the best at that measure.

    There is the case where people can be overimpressed by their animal welfare concerns while neglecting human welfare problems around them, and passions can produce seemingly absurd efforts for one without the other. But it is absurd to wage these considerations against each other too.

    ‘Five Freedoms’ as defined by FAWC (hence the name ‘Freedom Food’

    Freedom from hunger and thirst
    by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigour.

    Freedom from discomfort by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.

    Freedom from pain, injury or disease
    by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.

    Freedom to express normal behaviour
    by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind.

    Freedom from fear and distress
    by ensuring conditions and care which avoid mental suffering.

  • Komodo

    Nevermind – haven’t been hearing much today, but they were certainly buzzing around yesterday evening. If they knew they were propping up a ragbag of fundamentalist insurgents, they maybe wouldn’t play…

    And compare and contrast the “public” reaction to very loud, very fast, unpredictable, heavy machinery, burning tons of avtur for undisclosed reasons, flying randomly around the countryside… to very quiet, very predictable heavy machinery staying where it’s put and supplying useful power.

    Maybe the public IS insane.

  • Mary

    My two hens would agree ThatCrab. They are free range and have the run of the garden from dawn to dusk unless I am out when they are put in their run in case of a daytime visit from Foxie. I would recommend having hens if you have a garden. It’s amazing how much power they have to scratch and move the soil around! The only cost is the initial outlay for the housing, their cost (a tenner for each Warren) and the feed which has become more expensive admittedly. Two eggs have been laid almost every day since I had them last year, rain or sun, winter or summer. They make me laugh when they run on their stiff little legs and follow me around when I am working in the expectation of a worm or two.

    Mine are like these but are not ex battery and have full plumage. Nor do I go out in my dressing gown feeding them cream cheese.

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

    ” when you imply that your interlocutors “prefer sticking their heads up their arse”, you mean it as a warm compliment. Right?”

    Jon; You need to reimburse me for a keyboard, as I spewed me mornin’ cafe on it. 🙂

  • nevermind

    Don’t wind me up with incineration Komodo…;)

    Don’t think the public’s insane rejecting old fashioned waste burners, last week they fined a builder£ 5000 for burning rubbish, so why should one even consider such monstrosity, never mind putting it into the wind direction. The more westerly the winds, the more pollution Sandringham will experience. The wind blows from SSW for 263 days/year, and the plume will be determined by the size of the stack.

    As a stone mason I should maybe make a point for the detrimental effects of the emissions on the stone of Sandringham House, never mind the plebs retching in Kings Lynn, maybe that would move the elderly residents there to put their hands in their pockets so we can afford a better barrister or two.
    There are reports, indeed governments, who have stopped all incineration,
    Have a read of the NABU report on incineration and if you can find a free copy of it, let me know the url, been looking for some time now.

    Doug, loved your elephant logic on page1

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

    American blogs are all Nov. 6th, all the time now. Even Marcy Wheeler is obsessed with the subject of her last six posts.

    Me? I’m getting sick of hearing the same blather from both sides. I have been thinking a lot more about Predestination lately. Even thinking of incorporating some Islam into my perennial philosophy;

    “It is written…” I think the Muslims have that one right.

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

    Komodo; I’ve bookmarked the Pipes url as it may not be new, but it’s new to me. Thx.

    I thought I would search for his thoughts on Darrell Issa, our fine Congressman, but saw nothing.

    No matter. I have already made up my mind about the scoundrel.

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


    “What makes this story relevant to the New York Times is that the BBC’s director general at the time the Savile story was killed, Mark Thompson, was selected last August as the new president and chief executive officer of the New York Times Co. The announcement was made by Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the chairman of the Times Company and the newspaper’s publisher.”

    The NYT continues it’s descent into the maelstrom.

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