• America is Safer: Khan Detained and Questioned by TSA in Canada

    October 29, 2012

    Tags: , , ,
    Posted in: Democracy

    Imran Khan, a former cricket star, and Pakistani politician critical of U.S. drone strikes, says American authorities detained and questioned him at a Canadian airport.

    He had boarded a plane in Toronto bound for New York, but was removed from the plane and interrogated on his views on drones. This month he led a contentious march to the border of Pakistan’s tribal region to protest drone strikes. A person traveling with Khan said Khan was told there was concern about possible violence at an anti-drone protest the politician was scheduled to lead in the United States. But that protest had been canceled. Khan also was asked about the fund-raising he was doing in the country. He was allowed to enter the U.S. on a later flight, albeit after a two hour interrogation.

    So, whatever, freedom!

    What could be the possible point of detaining and interrogating Khan? Was he a threat to the passengers and the plane? Did he have Semtex stapled to his underwear? Was he planning to take the last chicken meal and leave everyone behind him with the fish?

    The only possible rationale of course was intimidation, the American government letting one of its critics know that We Are Watching, and even though we chose to let you go this time buddy boy, don’t assume it’ll always work this smoothly. Just like that– finger snap– you could be on another plane, straight to sunny Gitmo. Oh, and have a nice day.

    The intimidation game is amplified given who Khan is. A once and possibly future leader of Pakistan (he is aiming at Prime Minister, and is considered one of the most popular politicians in Pakistan), the U.S. is getting its licks in early and often. Also, with Khan’s status in Pakistan and the Muslim world, the U.S. knew his detention would make world news. It was intended to do so, warning non-celebrity drone opponents of what awaits them in free America. This should all buttress America’s “soft power” efforts to make friends abroad.

    Ya’ll watch your step now in this part of ‘da countryside boy!

    BONUS: What were U.S. law enforcement agents doing working in Canada? Why, enforcing U.S. law on foreign soil, of course! For the “convenience” of travelers, the U.S. has worked out pre-inspection regimes with certain countries, mostly Canada, Shannon, Ireland and some Caribbean nations. These agreements allow the U.S. to station law enforcement personnel abroad and throw people out of the U.S. even before they enter the U.S. The U.S. also has TSA “advisors” in fifteen other foreign airports. And what a nice cover job those make!

    From Glenn Greenwald, more on the use of border controls to intimidate and harass U.S. critics.

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  • Recent Comments

    • Kyzl Orda said...


      Imran Khan has stated he was specifically asked about his views on drone use. The UK Guardian has a blog that other critics of drone use have been denied entry as well,mentioning a couple of film makers and a lawyer activist below. Apparently, their views on drone use are threatening to our officials, especially neo-cons still lurking in the dark recesses of our government.

      Our officials are spotlighted in the Guardian on how freedom of speech is important, media technologies can promote this, and how our officials lucky to land government jobs fundamentally support free speech:

      From the Guardian, a reprint –

      “The State Department acknowledged Khan’s detention and said: “The issue was resolved. Mr Khan is welcome in the United States.” Customs and immigration officials refused to comment except to note that “our dual mission is to facilitate travel in the United States while we secure our borders, our people, and our visitors from those that would do us harm like terrorists and terrorist weapons, criminals, and contraband,” and added that the burden is on the visitor “to demonstrate that they are admissible” and “the applicant must overcome all grounds of inadmissibility.”



      10/29/12 12:21 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...


      Peter said:

      quote:”and even though we chose to let you go this time buddy boy, don’t assume it’ll always work this smoothly. Just like that– finger snap– you could be on another plane, straight to sunny Gitmo. Oh, and have a nice day.”

      “buddy boy”. …PERFECT..I like it. Peter old boy..I gotta hand it to ya..ya’lls gettin some balls….finally. hell, at this rate ya might even be raisin some eyebrows over at DHS. Cool. Although..ya might take some of that advise yo’self.,,
      I mean..after all Peter..ya might find yo’self on that creepy Orwellian ‘disposition matrix” list.and you know what that means..right? Forget Gitmo..Obomberdair might jus put you on his good ole “targeted assassi…er..kill” list and let you have it!! BOOOM!!! ya’ll jus become some Nevada Drone pilot’s “bug splat”. Come to think of it..that’s EXACTLY what happened to that 16 yr old ‘merican citizen who was allegedly JUS spoutin off anti’merican stuff over in Yemen..right? Well, in that case..er..I rest my case. ummm..did I mention bug splat?

      So, you might take care Peter, ya hear? Specially round midnight..I hear they really like midnight. Kinda makes it creepier. And they LIKE creepy. After all, cesspool dwellers really are creepy.

      10/29/12 4:16 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...



      quote: “Ya’ll watch your step now in this part of ‘da countryside boy!” unquote


      this part of ‘da countryside boy!


      10/29/12 4:26 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      It took two hours because the goons couldn’t open the locks on his luggage to plant the packs of drugs. Just wait until Hillary visits Pakistan:


      10/29/12 4:59 PM | Comment Link

    • Eric Hodgdon said...


      Endemic pettiness is inherent in some public employees, be they local, state, or federal.

      Is this a new phenomena?

      No, but it has increased in the administration of President Obama.

      Remember, the modern petty tyrant started with Woodrow Wilson, who did sign the Espionage Act. He’s another college graduate of constitutional theory / political science. In other words, both are Control Freaks, happy to test their darkest thoughts into action.

      Oh, how I yearn for the sane days of Richard Nixon, a liberal in today’s market.

      With the Darwinistic, Cannibalistic Capitalism of pure and unfettered greed mongering in America today, however, endemic pettiness is quite normative and acceptable for successful persons in most all ‘high’ places – the Hallmark of American Exceptionalism Today.

      10/30/12 7:35 AM | Comment Link

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