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Pakastani Politician Detained By US Customs Over Opposition To Drone Strikes 560

Posted by samzenpus
from the think-differently dept.
First time accepted submitter Serious Callers Only writes "According to reports, Imran Khan was detained yesterday by US officials for questioning on his views on United States drone strikes in Pakistan. Glenn Greenwald writing for the guardian: 'On Saturday, Khan boarded a flight from Canada to New York in order to appear at a fundraising lunch and other events. But before the flight could take off, U.S. immigration officials removed him from the plane and detained him for two hours, causing him to miss the flight. On Twitter, Khan reported that he was "interrogated on [his] views on drones" and then added: "My stance is known. Drone attacks must stop." He then defiantly noted: "Missed flight and sad to miss the Fundraising lunch in NY but nothing will change my stance."'"
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Pakastani Politician Detained By US Customs Over Opposition To Drone Strikes

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  • by click2005 (921437) * on Sunday October 28, 2012 @01:40PM (#41797531)

    "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,"

    Nice sound byte accusing him of being a terrorist without actually saying it.

    Every time I see this kind of thing it just confirms that the biggest threat to peace and the ones creating racial intolerance and hatred are the US Government.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 28, 2012 @01:44PM (#41797569)

    Every time I see this kind of thing it just confirms that the biggest threat to peace and the ones creating racial intolerance and hatred are the US Government.

    Exactly, which is why I can't wait for them to be placed in charge of my health care.

  • Thugs. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 28, 2012 @01:46PM (#41797583)

    Translation: "You have freedom of speech but we don't like your opinion, so we'll make you miss your plane and then let you go. Like that, we can claim to the world that you have the freedom to express your opinions, when in reality what we're pulling off is wrongful arrest."

    FYI I'm not flying to the U.S. anytime soon even if they paid me to.

  • by oobayly (1056050) on Sunday October 28, 2012 @01:47PM (#41797605)

    Seriuosly , how much lower can the US go, now questioning politicians from allied countries over their views.

  • Customs abuse (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojoNO@SPAMworld3.net> on Sunday October 28, 2012 @01:49PM (#41797613) Homepage

    The US seems to have a nasty habit of using customs officials to put pressure on people it doesn't like. Customs is unique because you pretty much have to cooperate or you won't get into the country, and it is difficult to arrange to get a lawyer.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 28, 2012 @01:52PM (#41797639)
    But highways, drinking water, air control, military are fine?
  • Beyond pale (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aepervius (535155) on Sunday October 28, 2012 @01:53PM (#41797649)
    "USA , freedom of speech as long as you agree with us" if it happened as reported then it should be the new motto of the USA.
  • Dishonest (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Hentes (2461350) on Sunday October 28, 2012 @01:57PM (#41797679)

    If Americans really don't want to let this guy in there are diplomatic ways to do so. They should've declared him a persona non grata before the incident. That would've been an honest way of dealing with the situation, most people would've understood that they don't want an Al-Qaeda supporter in their country, and the guy wouldn't have got free popularity back at home out of it.

  • Allied? LOL. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HornWumpus (783565) on Sunday October 28, 2012 @01:59PM (#41797699)

    Pakistan says it's our ally because otherwise we would take/destroy their nukes.

    We're going to take them anyhow, just not today. We already 'helped' them secure the warheads.

    Don't pretend for a second that anybody believes the fiction. The Saudis, Pakis, Egyptians etc are not our allies. We're just keeping them 'closer then our friends'.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 28, 2012 @02:01PM (#41797721)

    Being ordered off an airplane sounds like detention to me.

  • by click2005 (921437) * on Sunday October 28, 2012 @02:01PM (#41797733)

    I said the US Government, not the US or it's people.

    Islam is a religion or a belief not a people. If you're referring to Islamic Fundamentalists then yes you're right but only if you group them with the KKK, white supremacists and many other similar organizations. You should also understand that they represent a very very small minority of the people with Islamic beliefs.

  • by Vinegar Joe (998110) on Sunday October 28, 2012 @02:06PM (#41797777)

    I said the US Government, not the US or it's people.

    Who do you think the US government is made up of.......Martians?

  • Re:Thugs. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by boorack (1345877) on Sunday October 28, 2012 @02:11PM (#41797835)
    This is also my policy since 9/11. From european POV post-9/11 United States seems to be half-way between civilzed country and banana-republic-style police state. This also applies to freedom of speech and amount of bullshit propaganda - compare Fox News with any mainstream european media and you'll see huge difference. Do something with this folks ! You're losing your freedoms and your country way faster than you think !
  • Re:Allied? LOL. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 28, 2012 @02:16PM (#41797889)

    Actually, they say that they're our ally because of the huge amounts of money that we send to them. All of their mid- and high-ranking military officers are living high on the hog because of us (and stashing huge amounts of money outside of their country, in preparation for the coming deluge), and don't want to lose that lifestyle. Without our money they would either bend to the will of the Pakistani people or leave the country. But otherwise, point well taken.

  • by HangingChad (677530) on Sunday October 28, 2012 @02:24PM (#41797943) Homepage

    Every time I see this kind of thing it just confirms that the biggest threat to peace and the ones creating racial intolerance and hatred are the US Government.

    How exactly is that flamebait? Whether you agree with the sentiment or not, that's what a lot of people outside the U.S. think.

    When Customs starts interrogating foreign lawmakers over their political positions, it's only going to make that perception worse.

  • by click2005 (921437) * on Sunday October 28, 2012 @02:26PM (#41797959)

    The US Government is made up of corporations and a small subset of the people. Grouping an entire population in there is the kind of ignorance we should strive to end.

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Sunday October 28, 2012 @02:29PM (#41797979) Journal

    Khan was coming to the US to raise funds for his political party, which opposes the interests of the US government.

    Don't you think that's it's kinda sad when a centrist liberal political party, promoting human rights (especially for women and non-Muslims) and a fight against corruption is determined to be "opposing the interests of the US government"?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 28, 2012 @02:35PM (#41798033)

    Right, because white supremacists are plowing planes into buildings, bombing market squares filled with their own people, stoning and beheading others with government backing and attacking embassies at the drop of a hat. Right right right.
     
    I just love how Slashdot keeps their perspective on these matters. Islamic fundies will kill as many people this weekend as the KKK and other assorted racists groups in the US have killed in the last 50 years.

  • by JaredOfEuropa (526365) on Sunday October 28, 2012 @02:42PM (#41798079) Journal
    From past stories it seems that US customs have no qualms about harassing "unpatriotic" US citizens either. But it's true: customs (and not just the US one) have the power to harass and detain, and you pretty much have zero legal recourse if for example you miss your flight. Even regular police are more accountable for their actions (as they should be).
  • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Sunday October 28, 2012 @02:45PM (#41798111)

    If you're referring to Islamic Fundamentalists

    Some would argue that "Islamic Fundamentalists" is just a fancy term for normal, mainstream Muslims who aren't of the ultraliberal (from the POV of Middle Eastern folks) branch of Islam (and who are often called "apostates", not "liberals", in the same area).

  • Re:Customs abuse (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tftp (111690) on Sunday October 28, 2012 @02:47PM (#41798121) Homepage

    If this administration does not have control of the levers of government who ordered that?

    It was someone who knew who the guy is and what his political views are. This can't be just discovered while clearing him for travel. This means he has a thick dossier on him; his speeches were translated and analyzed, and someone made a decision to tag him as an "enemy of the people." Where would such a dossier be? At the State Department most likely, or at CIA as a remote second possibility.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 28, 2012 @02:49PM (#41798141)

    "Islamic fundies will kill as many people this weekend as the KKK and other assorted racists groups in the US have killed in the last 50 years."

    If you add the killings by the US government to the total of the KKK and other assorted racist groups, I rather suspect that you will get a different total.

  • by poity (465672) on Sunday October 28, 2012 @02:55PM (#41798179)

    Do you use "US Government" rather than "Obama and associates" for fear of down-mods?* Because there are a number of US government officials who are against drone strikes, and it is just as unfair to them when you use such phrasing as when someone blames Islam. A majority of government workers are in no way connected to the planning or execution of drone strikes.

    *notice how drone articles have a fraction of Obama criticism as waterboarding articles had of Bush criticism.

  • Re:Beyond pale (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tftp (111690) on Sunday October 28, 2012 @02:56PM (#41798191) Homepage

    I think if many people who sneer at the free speech of the US were to travel to Iran and start talking about how Mohammed liked to butt fuck little boys they'd find out just what intolerance is.

    Iran is a theocracy, not a democracy - and they never professed otherwise. A crime of blasphemy and the punishment for it are written in their laws, for everyone to see.

    The USA claims to be a democracy, and it supports free speech in foreign countries. It works like this:

    "Mr. Khan, you should be free to speak your mind in Pakistan and be free of intimidation!" - "And, by the way, Mr. Khan, if you dare to come here you may not speak. We support freedom of speech only where and when it suits us, and we decide what speech should be free and what speech should get you arrested."

    It's called "double standards," and the USA is well known for using them at every opportunity.

  • USA... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mwvdlee (775178) on Sunday October 28, 2012 @02:58PM (#41798201) Homepage

    USA; land of the [censored], home of the [redacted].

  • Re:Beyond pale (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RenHoek (101570) on Sunday October 28, 2012 @03:08PM (#41798269) Homepage

    Yup, take the revolution in Egypt for example..

    1) The people in Egypt revolt so they can get a democratic election.. USA: Yay!
    2) They choose the Muslim Brotherhood.. USA: Boo!

    Granted, it's mainly Fox News that is complaining about this and somehow blaming Obama for this, but still...

  • Re:Dishonest (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pete6677 (681676) on Sunday October 28, 2012 @03:13PM (#41798309)

    Nobody in Pakistani government is a peace activist. They oppose all military activities targeted at the terrorists their country harbors and supports, but they have no problem with the Taliban operating in their country. Supporting peace and supporting the Taliban at the same time is not logically possible.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 28, 2012 @03:17PM (#41798343)

    Well, Timothy McVeigh bombed a building, killing 168 and injuring 800 people, though he probably doesn't count from your point of view because he was just a a Christian anti-government gun nut and not a white supremacist. Regarding the KKK: Most of their murders have remained unresolved / have never been properly investigated, so in fact nobody knows how many they have committed.The number of undetected cases could be high.

  • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Sunday October 28, 2012 @03:18PM (#41798355)

    Do you use "US Government" rather than "Obama and associates" for fear of down-mods?

    That would imply that the alternative government wouldn't allow for the same thing to happen, which seems to me kind of doubtful in the current US political environment, with Reps and Dems basically sharing a bed on many issues.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 28, 2012 @03:33PM (#41798449)

    The parties decide who the People can vote on. They control the laws that make third parties nearly impossible, and the Secretary of State offices that ignore the law. They control the plurality electoral system that maintains their mandate. In many state parties, it is impossible to become a member of party leadership without someone else yielding control. Look it up. I have tried to become involved. It is not possible. The few parts of the country where we can have good local candidates, the party primaries kill them with national committee support of the opposing candidate. Seriously, do some research on the actual power structure, and you will see that the people have zero voice until they just stop voting for the duopoly all at once, which is highly unlikely. What we have is a system that doesn't represent the Will of the people, but its Willingness. I reached this conclusion only on my own research of the laws, not from any conspiracy group or anything like that.

  • by bigsexyjoe (581721) on Sunday October 28, 2012 @03:58PM (#41798625)

    If foreigners invaded your country would you favor bowing down to them and allowing their conquest without a fight?

    When foreigners invade your country, you have every right to kill them. You have to be hopelessly propagandized to fail to recognize this.

  • by ThatsMyNick (2004126) on Sunday October 28, 2012 @04:03PM (#41798653)

    Watch the final debate. Both Republicans and Democrats are in favor of drone strikes. When both parties are in favor, he is correct by stating US Government rather than "Obama and associates"

  • Shameful (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bigsexyjoe (581721) on Sunday October 28, 2012 @04:03PM (#41798659)

    There are no words that condemn drone strikes strongly enough. It is ultimate evil, weak, and cowardly thing to do. The US kills non-combatants in drone strikes. It's justification is that any adult male is a combatant unless proven otherwise. Anyone who fails to oppose drone strikes is a terrorist.

    And it goes without saying, that America stands for nothing if they try to keep people out on the basis of their political speech.

  • by Grishnakh (216268) on Sunday October 28, 2012 @04:20PM (#41798749)

    That's not completely true. If the citizen's views veer sharply in one direction or another, the parties will move to compensate. It's happened before; we used to have a Whig party, and it disappeared. More recently, we used to have a Socialist party (back in the 40s-60s) which was gaining power, so the Democrats adopted key parts of their platform and the Socialists mostly disappeared. It's not like the voters will only vote for whoever the party throws up; the two party system does eventually move towards what the people want, but it's a long feedback cycle. Moreover, the party candidates are not chosen by some elite cabal in each party; they're chosen in "primary" elections by the people themselves. Just look at our current election; Romney wasn't chosen by some secret illuminati in the GOP, he was chosen by everyday voters in the primaries over his competition. Similarly, Obama was chosen by the Democrat voters in that primary, who apparently are happy with him despite the drone strikes and other not-so-left things he's done, evidenced by the fact that there were other alternatives on the ballot but the Democrat voters had no interest in them and voted exclusively for Obama.

    So the way I see it, the American people have gotten the government they want and deserve. Sure, a bunch of disaffected people complain on places like here about the lack of good choices, but I don't think most Americans care; they're happy with the choices they have. Might you argue that the voters are stupid sheep who've accepted their opinions from the politicians and media? Sure, but they're still responsible for their decisions, even if they've been brainwashed into those opinions by watching Fox News or MSNBC or CNN.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 28, 2012 @04:21PM (#41798761)

    Because private businesses just have your best interests at heart, right? No history of abuse there. Nope.

  • by ThatsMyNick (2004126) on Sunday October 28, 2012 @04:21PM (#41798771)

    No one is shrinking the blame. The point is GGGP was right to refer to the "US Govt", and you were wrong to limit the clause to Obama & Supporters (Well, if you hand included Bush & Supporters and McCain & Supporters and Romney & Supporters (watch the final debate), you would have been right). In fact it you that seems to be shrinking the blame.

  • by Grishnakh (216268) on Sunday October 28, 2012 @04:28PM (#41798825)

    Sorry, I don't buy it. There are other options: you can vote for various third parties, or you can not vote at all. It's not like your analogy at all. But if you look at the polling numbers, a majority of Americans DO turn out to vote, AND they vote for one of the two main parties. No, it's not an overwhelming majority (obviously there's a fair number of people who are disaffected by the process), but it is a clear majority nonetheless.

    The expenditures by PACs and corporations are irrelevant. They can't buy votes directly; they can only influence voters. If the voters are so stupid they believe what they're told on Fox News or with some ads, that's their own fault. It's the voters who cast the actual votes. You can make an argument in some cases about fraud (e.g., voting machines not recording votes accurately etc.), but that only affects a tiny portion of the election (usually key swing state locations); in the vast majority of precincts, the vote is accurate, and the results we see are a reflection of the will of the people. Plus, it's not like election irregularities are preventing some 3rd party from gaining power; these things only sway the result between the Dems and Reps.

    You're right about your vote not counting if you're in a swing state, but again that's because the majority of voters in that state are committed to one of the main parties.

    In short, the average American DOES have a say in the Presidential election: they invariably want one of the main two (nearly identical) candidates, and that's who gets elected.

  • Re:Beyond pale (Score:3, Insightful)

    by amiga3D (567632) on Sunday October 28, 2012 @04:29PM (#41798829)

    So theocracies get a free pass? It's okay for them to kill people who don't agree with them but it's wrong for the US to simply say "we don't want you coming here if it's just to criticize us"? He's free to speak his mind but no, he's not free to come here just to criticize us and that's really all he was doing.

  • Re:Thugs. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by number11 (129686) on Sunday October 28, 2012 @04:57PM (#41798999)

    This is my policy since PATRIOT act. Even more so since NDAA...

    Yep, both of which Obama signed. So much for hope and change.

    And only an idiot would think Romney would do anything differently.

    And people here keep telling me there's some kind of difference between the two.

    There are differences between the two. Just not so much in that area. The differences are mostly in the areas of things like woman's rights, lowering taxes on the rich at the expenses of the poor and middle classes, cutting services for the poor, and (maybe, depending on what Romney's position is as of noon today) health care.

    But I think that no president will willingly give up powers such as the "Patriot" act. Because, after all, they will use it for good, not evil (like the other guy).

  • by Grishnakh (216268) on Sunday October 28, 2012 @04:58PM (#41799007)

    There's more choices than that. There's always several third-party candidates in every election with very different principles, and there's always the choice of refusing to vote. A clear majority always votes for one of the two main party candidates. And from what I read in forums and hear people talking about, most people actually agree with one or the other party: they really do think we should have invaded Iraq to stop Al-Qaeda, they really do think we need a bigger military, etc. When they're mad about something, they blame it on the other party (whichever of the big two they haven't sided with). When their chosen party changes direction (like Obama doing far more drone strikes than Bush ever did), they change their opinion to suit.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 28, 2012 @05:00PM (#41799023)

    Ha.

    Just Michael Savage UK ban [google.com].

    Hell, the UK actually BANNED him for daring to exercise free speech - they didn't just DELAY him.

  • Re:Dishonest (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Mitreya (579078) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <ayertim>> on Sunday October 28, 2012 @05:20PM (#41799141)

    They oppose all military activities targeted at the terrorists

    Ok, that is just an asshole (and misleading!) thing to say.
    I am quite certain that they actually oppose drone strikes that indiscriminately kill civilians in addition to any terrorists. Just imagine if US started bombing suspected terrorists on US territory, killing civilians in the process. Would you oppose that? Would that make you a terrorist supporter?

    ... their country harbors and supports but they have no problem with the Taliban operating in their country.

    [citation needed]
    Do they, really? I thought that they permitted US drone strikes on their territory to help root out the terrorists.

  • by mrops (927562) on Sunday October 28, 2012 @05:21PM (#41799149)

    This is very tricky, as a muslim I do think twice. What happens often and I know people who have no intention of funding terroists end up doing so. There is a Earth Quake in pakistan, loads of people give charity, some, few months later are declared supporting al-qaeda and this dude who cut a $20 check gets on the hook.

    My own cousin, who would be the first to gun down taliban ended up doing so. My family is "main stream muslim" with some of my cousin with US airforce flying missions in Iraq and Afghanistan (ok one, but yah at least one). We do not support extremist at all. But it gets rather tough when someone is asking for donations for Earth Quake relief and that ends up going in the wrong hands. Often, these charities are declared supporting al-qaeda months after someone has donated.

    I am surprised folks voted you Informative.

  • by martinX (672498) on Sunday October 28, 2012 @05:34PM (#41799211)

    Obscure? Heathens!

    This is Imran Khan. One of the finest cricketers the world has ever seen. He's up there with Clive Lloyd, Viv Richards (and the whole West Indies team, let's face it), the Chappells (OK, Ian and Greg, not Trevor), Thommo and Lillee.

  • by mr100percent (57156) on Sunday October 28, 2012 @06:06PM (#41799417) Homepage Journal

    The government is not in charge of your healthcare and never has been. Your doctor is in charge of your healthcare. The government put itself in charge of paying for it for a big chunk of the population, but you can always say no and pay for it yourself if you please.

    Politifiact called the claim that the ACA was a "government takeover of healthcare" as "Lie of the Year" [politifact.com]

  • by TapeCutter (624760) on Sunday October 28, 2012 @06:12PM (#41799451) Journal

    Why is this news for nerds???

    Because nerds are people that have a broad range of interests, they don't all hide in the basement hoping the real world will go away and leave them alone.

  • by Gadget_Guy (627405) on Sunday October 28, 2012 @08:21PM (#41800203)

    don't know why Schneier focuses entirely on the time of the last hijacking before 9/11 - hijackings were extremely frequent during the 70s and the wikipedia page quoted by him shows just that.

    If you have to look all the way back to the 70s to find frequent hijackings, then this shows that the problem was already pretty well solved. Whatever changes were made due to 911 had nothing to do with the huge drop in hijackings by the 90s.

  • by BlueStrat (756137) on Sunday October 28, 2012 @10:01PM (#41800673)

    don't know why Schneier focuses entirely on the time of the last hijacking before 9/11 - hijackings were extremely frequent during the 70s and the wikipedia page quoted by him shows just that.

    If you have to look all the way back to the 70s to find frequent hijackings, then this shows that the problem was already pretty well solved. Whatever changes were made due to 911 had nothing to do with the huge drop in hijackings by the 90s.

    What occurred in the '70s up to the 9/11 attacks could better be described as hostage-taking that happened to involve aircraft for their ability to move a significant number of hostages quickly while making rescue attempts much more risky. However, aircraft hijacking/hostage situations became less attractive because the public's shock and horror at them (the "terror" part) had all but disappeared, and authorities had grown increasingly sophisticated and successful in dealing with such aircraft hostage situations. They all but stopped due to diminishing returns.

    The attack of 9/11 was a completely different type of attack, more akin to a suicide bomber or a kamikaze attack. The aircraft passengers were just convenient additional "bonus" victims that added more horror. The passengers and the aircraft itself were not the primary targets.

    The only two changes made since 9/11 that have actually been effective at preventing repeats are that now the passengers as a whole will stomp any "terrorist" into the cabin deck...hard...at their first move, and the upgrade to locked cockpit doors that prevent seizing the controls of the aircraft.

    Strat

  • Re:Dishonest (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Zemran (3101) on Monday October 29, 2012 @12:37AM (#41801373) Homepage Journal

    You obviously know very little about the history of WWII. The Americans helped Germany for most of the war until Germany declared war on America and then the Americans joined the allies at a time when the allies had all but won the war. Do not learn history from Hollywood, it is wrong. Russia was the main part against Germany in WWII with Britain coming second (they were in it for 6 years). America has done far more to end world peace by declaring war and invading countries than anyone else. Do you realise that the most heavilly bombed country in the world is Laos? and you were not even at war with them when you did that. Do you even know why your country tried to destroy most of South East Asia? or why you support the genocide of the Palestinians? Please, stop helping us with world peace while there are still some people left alive.

  • by Sabriel (134364) on Monday October 29, 2012 @03:42AM (#41801915)

    Excuse me, I think you left "violating Pakistani airspace" out of your post.

    No matter what you or I or anyone else may think, the fact is that if Pakistan declares its airspace off limits to U.S. drones and follows whatever the proper international processes are for this sort of thing, then U.S. drones being shot down by Pakistani forces in Pakistani airspace under Pakistani government orders would be entirely legal. Just as it would be were the positions reversed.

    And pause a moment to think about what just happened. Imran Kahn isn't some two-bit small-town politician. He's famous in quite a few parts of the world and he might also be Pakistan's next head of state. It would be like Mitt Romney getting unexpectedly pulled off a plane by Pakistani immigration officials and questioned for two hours about his political policies regarding, um, Guantanamo Bay... can you imagine the response by the US populace/media/government?

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