Over in the Washington Free Beacon, Alana Goodman finds Representative Alan Grayson (D., Fla.) was scheduled to get a briefing on U.S. drone strikes from . . . well, a guy who might be on the drone-strike target list one day:
The representative of a human rights group headed by a designated al Qaeda terrorist was denied a visa by the State Department after being invited by congressional Democrats to discuss drone strikes.
Mohammad Al Ahmady, the Yemen director for Geneva-based NGO Al Karama, was expected to brief Reps. Alan Grayson (D., Fla.), Barbara Lee (D., Calif.), and Jan Schakowsky (D., Ill.) the morning of the Nov. 19, according to press release from Grayson’s office.
Ahmady, who also serves as a top official in an al Qaeda-linked Yemeni political party, did not attend because of visa issues. The State Department said it could not comment on visa matters.
Grayson’s office told the Free Beacon that Ahmady did not actually attend the briefing and that the terrorist designation of Al Karama’s president was “not in place at the time of the briefing, so again, we had no reason to suspect any wrongdoing on the part of Mohammad [Al Ahmady].” Al Karama’s founder, Abdul Rahman Naimi, “reportedly oversaw the transfer of over $2 million per month to al Qaeda in Iraq for a period of time” and “provided approximately $250,000 to two U.S.-designated al-Shabaab figures” according to the U.S. Treasury Department.
One of Grayson’s potential GOP opponents, Jorge Bonilla, issued this statement in response:
Calls for review of our overseas and domestic drone policies are an entirely appropriate part of our national conversation, and oversight of such policy matters is well within the purview of the United States Congress.
However, I am outraged to discover that several progressive Members of Congress (including Alan Grayson) sought to elicit testimony from a representative of a group with deep links to Al Qaeda, headed by an individual who was found to have funneled millions of dollars to Al Qaeda at the height of the Iraqi insurgency. In other words, we are now consulting our drone policy with potential targets.
Such an invitation is a slap in the face to the brave men and women who have served in the Global War On Terror, to our returning Wounded Warriors, to our cherished Blue and Gold Star Families, and to the memory of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our freedom.
Still, by meeting with al-Qaeda terrorists, Grayson may finally encounter genuine extremists whose policy goal is indeed for Americans to “die quickly.”