In the batch of felony charges filed against a former University of Kansas graduate student in the journalism school, one especially stands out: He’s accused of lying.
Goran Sabah Ghafour, 34, faces two felony counts of aggravated identity theft and one felony count of visa fraud, according to a news release from Tom Beall, acting U.S. attorney in the District of Kansas.
As a part of an immigrant visa application for former Iraqi nationals, Ghafour falsely claimed that he worked as a translator for the U.S. Army in Iraq, the release said. Alongside those claims he submitted two letters — later determined to be fake — from a pair of Army brigadier generals.
The two generals neither wrote nor signed the letters, the release said.
Ghafour’s falsified application was submitted while he was working as a teaching assistant in KU’s journalism school, the release said.
Erinn Barcomb-Peterson, a spokeswoman for KU, said Ghafour graduated this May and is no longer a student at the university.
If found guilty of the three charges, Ghafour could face up to 12 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, the release said.
Ghafour is next scheduled to appear in court for a status conference regarding the charges on Aug. 16.
Why not deportation? No word on his current whereabouts, but his webpage he Can start working in August 2016.
Some choice quotes from Ghafour in this glowing article:
The moment Goran Sabah Ghafour stepped off the plane in America, ideas were already filling his head. He immediately began to observe, interact and question people with the intent to write a book to try to break stereotypes between Middle Eastern and American people.
Ghafour, a graduate student from Kurdistan, Iraq, came to America to study international standards of media with plans of returning to Kurdistan after graduation to teach others what he learned.
“The Kurdistan region really needs faculty, especially in the field of media,” Ghafour said. “Media in that part of Iraq is really kind of unprofessional.”
We wonder if lying about being a U.S. Army interpreter and faking letters and signatures from Army generals is really kind of…professional.
Like the Muslim who started a tv station in Buffalo, New York to dispel notions of Muslims being violent only to behead his wife in the very studio, it seems Ghafour has failed on both accounts listed above: breaking stereotypes and being professional.
He’ll fit in well at CNN, AP, Slate, Mother Jones, Reuters, BBC and a slew of other untrustworthy propaganda outlets who will undoubtedly give him a well-paying job.