IRAN Background On MEK: The Origins, A Cult, Saddam Years, Labeled Terrorist, PR Re-Branding 2/2
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Published on Apr 20, 2012
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Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 5:31 AM Pacific Daylight Time
Guest Op-Ed: MEK and its material supporters in Washington
By Glenn Greenwald
Jeremiah Goulka worked as a lawyer in the Bush Justice Department, and then went to work as an analyst with the RAND Corporation, where he was sent to Iraq to analyze, among other things, the Iranian dissident group Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), publishing an oft-cited study on the group. MEK has been in the news of late because a high-powered bipartisan cast of former Washington officials have established close ties with the group and have been vocally advocating on its behalf, often in exchange for large payments, despite MEK's having been formally designated by the U.S. Government as a Terrorist organization. That close association on the part of numerous Washington officials with a Terrorist organization has led to a formal federal investigation of those officials. Goulka has written and supplied to me two superb Op-Eds on the MEK controversy — one about the group itself and the other explaining why so many prominent Washington officials are openly providing material support to this designated Terror group — and I'm publishing the two Op-Eds below with his consent (as you read them, remember that paid MEK shill Howard Dean actually called on its leader to be recognized as President of Iran while paid MEK shill Rudy Giuliani has continuously hailed the group's benevolence).
Before posting those Op-Eds, I want to note one update on this matter: supporters of MEK have filed a lawsuit asking a federal court to force the State Department to decide within 30 days whether to remove MEK from the list of designated Terrorist organizations (State Department officials have previously indicated they are considering doing so). In response, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has told the court that (1) it has no role to play in directing the timing of this decision ("Any interference by a court with the Secretary's ability to carry out these absolutely critical duties would set a seriously troubling precedent"); and (2) the U.S. Government is currently attempting to force MEK to move from its current base in Camp
LINK FOR REST
Iranian group's big-money push to get off US terrorist list
SPECIAL INVESTIGATION: A roster of influential former US officials is speaking at rallies in support of removing the MEK, an Iranian opposition group with a violent anti-American history, from the US terrorist list. A decision is expected within weeks.
By Scott Peterson, Staff writer
posted August 8, 2011 at 6:28 pm EDT
Washington; and Istanbul, Turkey
A high-powered array of former top American officials is advocating removal from the US terrorist list of a controversial Iranian opposition group with a long anti-American history.
With a decision due within weeks by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former US four-star generals, intelligence chiefs, governors, and political heavyweights are calling for the US government to take the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK/MKO) off the terror list it shares with Al Qaeda and Hezbollah.
Many of these former high-ranking US officials -- who represent the full political spectrum -- have been paid tens of thousands of dollars to speak in support of the MEK.
They rarely mention the MEK's violent and anti-American past, and portray the group not as terrorists but as freedom fighters with "values just like us," as democrats-in-waiting ready to serve as a vanguard of regime change in Iran. Some acknowledge that they knew little about the group before they were invited to speak and were coached by MEK supporters.
Their efforts may be working: Knowledgeable officials say the millions of dollars spent on the campaign have raised political pressure to remove the MEK from the Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) list to the highest levels since the group -- whose record includes assassinations of US military advisers and attacks on US diplomats -- was one of the first to be put there in 1997.
But the delisting of the MEK, Iran experts say, could benefit Iran's hard-line rulers by giving them more reason to brutally clamp down on Iran's internal, nonviolent opposition. The Green Movement -- which led street protests in 2009 -- steadfastly rejects the MEK as an anti-democratic and violent force.
"The people who are saying [the MEK] are no longer terrorists are also saying they are democratic," says John Limbert, a former US hostage in Iran from 1979-1981, who was US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Iran until last year.
"The issue is, have [the MEK] changed their terrorist nature?" asks Ambassador Limbert. "If they say, 'We renounce terrorism,'
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