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"For Your Own Projection": The US Government's Long Jihad Against a Decorated Disabled Veteran

By       Message Rebecca Em Campbell       (Page 1 of 4 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   3 comments

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"For Your Own Projection": The US Government's Long Jihad Against a Decorated Disabled Military Veteran

During the past decade, there has been a well-orchestrated campaign of hostility and prejudice directed toward Muslims throughout the American Empire. This has been used to justify its illegal conquest of the largely Muslim lands of Central Asia, which also do not happen necessarily to subscribe to this global empire's financial system, largely based on the unethical Western banking practice of usury.

Here is yet another instance of such bigotry -- and perhaps a cover-up of something more -- with the federal government itself continuing this pathological pattern of abuse in one of the most outrageous injustices in the history of US immigration law: the case of Muhammad Zahid Chaudhry.

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Soon after long-term legal Pakistani immigrant Muhammad Zahid Chaudhry applied as a volunteer for the Yakima Police Department's Police Reserve Volunteers program in March 2001, Special Agent David Hendrix of the FBI's regional headquarters in Yakima, Washington State asked Zahid to come to his office for an interview, with which Agent Hendrix seemed well satisfied, indicating no further action was needed.

Special Agent Hendrix probably saw what many others have: Zahid Chaudhry is a warm, kind and generous man, with a ready, sweet smile who spends much of his life in service to others; his wife, Ann Chaudhry, is a strong, competent, and loyal woman who shares her husband's love of people.

About the time of this interview with the FBI, Zahid and Ann Chaudhry, began noticing that cars were parked outside their house; they were also being followed, as were their friends, and their mail began to disappear. The main car involved in this was stalking-type surveillance was a gold Crown Victoria with regular nonexempt Washington State license plates; Crown Victorias were the model of choice being used for police and other government cars at that time.

The Chaudhrys then began receiving telephone phone calls from a military intelligence officer evidently based at Fort Lewis, Washington State named Munoz, often at deliberately inconvenient hours, from 12-4 AM. These disturbing calls seemed to be intended to incite, or entrap Zahid and/or Ann and continued for a year or more.

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One morning, at 3 AM, after Zahid Chaudhry had just spent a long night as a Yakima Fire Department volunteer at a fire scene, he got a call from Officer Munoz asking him when he "was going to come in and give us your plans". The normally cheerful Zahid, finally fed up with this harassment, told Officer Munoz to go f---k himself. These calls then suddenly stopped.

Then, in early 2003, the Chaudhrys were detained by the US Customs and Border Patrol in Blaine (CBP), WA, while returning from Vancouver BC, after being told by CBP to come into the station for a "secondary inspection". They asked for Zahid's identification cards/papers and wallet, which he happily gave them.

After examining Zahid's military ID, one of the agents bellowed at Ann to move to the other side of the room, which she did; then 7-8 of the CBP agents circled Zahid. They threw him to the ground face down and handcuffed him with his hands behind his back. When Zahid, startled, asked why they were doing this, these US government agents claimed that they were doing so, "For your own protection."

The CBP agents then accused Zahid of having a forged military ID, "because there are no Muslims in the US military". They then took him into another room where they strip-searched him and subjected him to 4-5 hours of intense interrogation.

When Ann Chaudhry, out in the waiting room, finally asked what was going on, one of the agents yelled back, "Someone will take care of you after awhile." Several hours later, Ann saw her husband, still handcuffed, in the hallway. She went up to the counter to speak to the female agent. As Ann did so, two male agents appeared on either side of this female agent; when Ann asked them to step back, as she needed to speak to the female agent privately, they did so reluctantly, as if they thought that Ann was going to assault her.

Ann then told the female agent that she was having an extremely heavy menstrual period and needed to change her pads immediately; the female agent told her that they had no public restrooms. Ann then spoke out angrily about how she and her husband were being treated abusively by the CBP; the female agent asserted that the Chaudhrys' treatment by the CBP was "routine". Ann Chaudhry then stated that she knew otherwise: she had been sitting there for hours enough to see that their treatment by the CBP was definitely not "routine". Ann had also seen K9 search dogs taken outside to their car -- the only one in the lot besides CBP vehicles.

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Zahid Chaudhry was then taken back for several hours to another interrogation room, with his wife still waiting to go to the restroom and change her menstrual pads, which were now overflowing. Finally, when one male agent told Ann that she could use the restroom, the others yelled at him that she needed to have an escort. Two women agents then appeared and demanded to search Ann's purse, which Ann reported they handled as if it were poison. They then escorted her to the restroom, standing as sentinels on either side of her toilet stall.

When Ann was finished, these two female CBP sentinels escorted her back into the reception area, where she sat for several hours more until Zahid was brought back out to join her. They waited together in the reception area for yet one hour more; then, suddenly an agent dumped all of their belongings taken from their persons and their car onto the counter in the reception area, yelling at the Chaudhrys that these were their belongings, and to take them and go.

The Chaudhrys returned to their car, to find that it had been ransacked, with dog hair all over. The car, which had been carefully packed, was in complete upheaval: food only partially opened and carefully packed for the trip home was now ripped completely open with dog hairs in it, and what papers had not been taken inside were strewn all over the car. They found that their sea shell collection, that they had lovingly and carefully collected and painstakingly stored so it would not get shattered during the trip, had been deliberately pulverized. They felt violated and traumatized by this ordeal, evident from the tears that still appear in their eyes whenever they speak of this incident. They have not been to Canada since; they say there should be no doubt about the reason why American/Canadian tourism has markedly dropped off since September 11, 2001: it is because of the abusive manner with which US Customs and Border Patrol treats innocent travelers, particularly those with Muslim-sounding names or darker skin.

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A whole systems activist artist/independent scholar who, literally and figuratively, wears many hats!

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