Khizr Khan’s travel privileges: ID of person reviewing them finally revealed

March 16, 2017:- Ten days ago Khizr Khan claimed that his “travel privileges” were being reviewed. “I have not been given any reason as to why,” he wrote, but did not say what he meant by “travel privileges,” or who was reviewing them. For my previous post on this dubious claim, click here.

Last Saturday, Attorney Khan spoke at a CAIR event in Iowa and a reporter from the Cedar Rapids Gazette asked him about his allegation:

“In an interview with The Gazette, Khan said he has heard with concern accounts of American citizens being detained at U.S. borders and made to share their phone passwords and asked about their religious beliefs, including reports from late February that Muhammad Ali Jr. and his mother were detained at a Florida airport. Asked if he had heard that he specifically would be targeted for such action or if he was concerned in general, he declined to comment.

If Attorney Khan’s claim that his “travel privileges” (whatever they are) were being reviewed by somebody who was refusing to tell him the reason, why would he decline to comment? A generalized concern based on the claims of Muhammad Ali, Jr., is one thing, but it is quite another thing to assert that your own “travel privileges” are being reviewed by someone who will not tell you why.

To digress briefly on the subject of Muhammad Ali, Jr. On February 24, Attorney Chris Mancini, who represents Mr. Ali,  claimed that on February 7 (weeks earlier) US Customs & Border Protection officials at Fort Lauderdale, Florida, repeatedly asked Mr. Ali whether he was a Muslim. Here is the voice of Attorney Mancini telling the Canadian broadcaster CBC the story. Mr. Ali confirmed Attorney Mancini’s account soon afterwards in an interview on CBS and while testifying before Congress. According to Mr. Ali’s testimony, when he stated that he was a Muslim the customs official did not believe him (0.40-0.46 on the video).

Let us pause there for a moment. A man whose first name is Muhammad and last name is Ali states that he is a Muslim, and his questioner’s response is disbelief?  If disbelief is what you are experiencing, join the club.

But getting back to Attorney Khan, when the Gazette asked about his own very specific allegation (the one he made March 6) he referred to the story about Muhammad Ali, Jr., which had gained media attention the previous weekend. When asked, again, about his own claim, he declined to comment.

STOP PRESS: My anonymous deep-state sources have divulged the identity of the person reviewing Attorney Khan’s travel privileges. In a Rachel Maddowesque scoop I can now reveal the individual’s name. It is Krentist: Krentist the Dentist.



Khizr Khan’s “travel privileges.” Still not fake news?

March 12, 2017:- Last week, Attorney Khizr Khan stated that he was unable to go to Canada because his “travel privileges” were “being reviewed.” On social media the predictable Two Minutes Hate ensued. Over at the Daily Kos the equally predictable conclusion was “we’re way down the road to fascism.” And that was after noting that Attorney Khan is a U.S. citizen and U.S. citizens have rights, not “travel privileges.”

But sensible journalists were leery from the outset because–as the Daily Kos noted–American citizens have no travel privileges to review. Real journalists know this, and they know that any attorney knows this, especially an attorney with a law degree from Harvard and an office on Madison Avenue, the sort of attorney who has been “responsible for numerous large electronic discovery projects in complex litigation, mergers and acquisitions, US Dept. of Justice and Federal and State regulatory agencies’ investigations, on behalf of the global business enterprise clients.”

Attorney Khan’s refusal to answer questions as to what he meant by “travel privileges” and who was supposedly reviewing them, prompted even the Washington Post to note, with unctuous delicacy, that the claim “may be unraveling.” Under the headline “The Curious case of Khizr Khan’s ‘travel privileges,'” the Atlantic stated that “until Khan himself chooses to clarify the claims made in his name, it may be impossible to tell what actually led to the cancellation of the Toronto event.”

Curiosity was in short supply in Iowa, where Attorney Khan gave two speeches yesterday, first in Des Moines the second in Cedar Rapids. The Des Moines Register coverage makes no mention of Khan’s “travel privileges” claim or of his repeated failure to back it up. ABC‘s interviewer does not raise the matter either.

Here is how the edit to the Daily Kos story put it, without rescinding the statement that Khan’s transparently false claim is evidence that “we’re way down the road to fascism.”

On Edit: As commenters have pointed out, this story is thinly sourced at this point.  But I think RawStory and TheWeek are both generally reliable.  Mr. Khan is certainly no shrinking violet, so if he doesn’t confirm this, at some point the allegation will need to be discounted.  But I don’t think this qualifies as “fake news.”

Thinly sourced? If you are going back to the pot to stir it a little, how about tossing in a smidgen of that scarce commodity known as accuracy and describe the claim as unsourced? Or , better still, how about treating the claim as if the claimant were a conservative? Instead, the Daily Kos writers are engaging in what the 11th edition of Orwell’s Dictionary of Newspeak called “reality control,” treating a palpably false statement as if it might be true.

In an apparent concession to reason, the Daily Kos announced that “at some point the allegation will need to be discounted.” Are you at that point yet?