The controversial U.S. Drone strike briefing on November 19, 2012, in which Rep. Alan Grayson and two other Democrat members of Congress hosted in the Rayburn congressional building, continues to raise questions as to who was really responsible for inviting Mohammad Al Ahmady, a Yemeni attorney and director for Geneva-based NGO Al Karama, an Al Qaeda-linked human rights organization based in Yemen.Al Ahmady never attended because of visa issues.
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Grayson’s spokesperson sent the Shark Tank this statement:
Mohammad Al-Ahmady did not attend the event, and that the Department of Treasury’s designation of Abdul Rahman Omeir al-Naimi “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],” who has not been accused of terrorist-linked activities.”
The spokesperson added in a follow up email to the Shark Tank that,”We (Grayson’s office) We did not organize this event. Reprieve and Code Pink organized the briefing. They paid for the attendees to travel to the U.S. for the event. Rep. Grayson had no contact with any of the invitees prior to the date of the hearing. As I’m sure you know, elected officials distribute media advisories the press to let them know the official will be at a public event. Sometimes these are events organized by the elected official themselves, and other times they’re simply events that the elected official plans to attend…”
Rep. Grayson himself has denied organizing the event, and of having any other knowledge of the event, other than what he has already divulged.
“It wasn’t our event. I simply showed up and listened to the testimony of people, other than the person you are referring to.”-Rep. Alan Grayson (D)
But as Grayson’s office pointed out, Code Pink and Reprieve organized the event, Code Pink has stated that Grayson’s, and the other two members of Congress’ assisted with formally hosting the briefing.
Here is Code Pink’s press release announcing the drone strike briefing on November 19″
Code Pink credits Grayson, Lee, and Schakowsky for hosting the briefing, as only members of Congress can host an event within the Capitol Hill complex.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASENovember 18, 2013
Contact: Tony Newman, 646.335.5384
Alli McCracken, 860.575.5692, firstname.lastname@example.org
Medea Benjamin, 415.235.6517, email@example.com
Congressional Briefing Featuring Drone Strike Victim From YemenBriefing Comes Following DC Global Drone Summit
What: Briefing on Drones by Visiting Yemen Delegation
When: 4pm, Tuesday, November 19
Where: Rayburn House Building, Room 2456
On November 19, 2013, CODEPINK will hold a Congressional briefing hosted by Representatives Barbara Lee, Alan Grayson, and Jan Schakowsky so Congress will have an opportunity to listen to those people who have been directly impacted by US drone strikes in Yemen. They will hear the story of Salem bin Ali Jabar, a prominent anti-Al Qaeda cleric who was killed by a US drone strike, along with his 26-year-old nephew. The briefing comes on the heels of the Global Drone Summit last weekend that brought together 400 people from across the US and around the world to discuss strategies to stop the proliferation of drones used for killing and spying. The conference was organized by the peace group CODEPINK, along with the Institute for Policy Studies, The Nation Magazine, Center for Constitutional Rights, and National Lawyers Guild (Georgetown Chapter).
Now Wftv News 9 has uncovered that Reprieve did not organize the event as Grayson claims, they merely “supplied speakers for the event.”
“While we supplied speakers for the event..we weren’t otherwise involved in its organisation, and only members of Congress can hold events at the Capitol complex.”-Donald Campbell, Reprieve
Grayson is denying organizing the event, but the two groups, which his office says did organize the drone briefing, are both pointing the finger at Grayson as being one of the organizers.