Why are State Department bureaucrats doing a disservice to Secretary Clinton regarding Iranian dissident group, MEK?
While Cabinet secretaries come and go, with changes in administrations, the bureaucrats remain, sometimes to the benefit of the department’s functioning, but often to perpetuate questionable policies.
That seems to be the case in the Department of State, where wrong-headed policies have been generated and continued by functionaries who, for whatever reason, have their own agenda.
The current such activity regards the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI/MEK), the leading dissident group that is constantly being undercut by unnamed State Department “officials.”
The role of such officials has been documented for decades, going back at least to their support for the puppet Vichy government of Nazi-occupied France, that shipped French Jews to death camps.
The current situation dates to the late 1990s when some State Department officials thought they could generate links with “moderates” in Iran. In this effort, they willingly sacrificed the anti-mullah MEK, by listing it among terrorist organizations to mollify Tehran. Of course, the “moderates” in Tehran never were found, but the MEK remained on the terror list.
In recent years, such listings have been removed by court order in the UK and EU, but the U.S. persists, despite clear evidence that it is unjust.
This listing has not only hindered the activities of the activists at home and provided an excuse for the regime to further suppress its opponents, but it has become a critical issue for 3,400 Iranian dissidents at Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty. The government of Iraq has used it as an excuse to attack and kill the Iranian dissidents or deprive them of their most rudimentary rights.
The anti-MEK campaign within the State Department, and among a small number of U.S. journalists, raises many questions. One journalist who wrote an article in The New York Times last year is the sister of a State Department official from the 1990s, who was married to another journalist, who also has voiced anti-MEK sentiments.
Coincidence? Want to buy a bridge?
There is also a concerted effort within the State Department, to discredit dozens of the most senior former U.S. national security, intelligence, and foreign policy officials, plus many past and present members of Congress, military commanders and politicians of four administrations, as well as human rights activists, and a Nobel Peace Prize winner.
These highly reputable, mostly former officials, whose integrity has never been challenged before, insist that the written commitment of the U.S. to protect Ashraf residents (an action taken in 2003 upon the fall of Saddam Hussein), brings a legal, moral and political responsibility for the U.S. that should be upheld and respected. They also are working hard to have the MEK’s terrorist designation removed.
The unnamed “State Department officials” claim the former officials are on the payroll of the MEK and are perhaps breaking U.S. laws, and at least one MEK supporter is apparently being targeted by the Treasury Department. It could be that this action is related to his speaking out on behalf of freedom and justice in Iran.
It seems strange that the U.S. is tightening the screws on Tehran in every way possible, yet continues to drag its feet when it comes to unleashing the group most feared by the mullahs. That’s why Tehran is putting so much pressure on its puppets in Baghdad to harass – and murder – the MEK members at Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty.
The Iranian opposition does not want military help, or airstrikes either by Israel or the U.S.to block Tehrana’s nuclear advances. While sanctions are necessary and should be toughened, the best policy would be to encourage regime change. And the best way to achieve regime change would be to bolster and provide moral and political support to the opposition at home and in exile.
The U.S. government was told by a three-judge Federal District Court panel that the MEK has a right to a speedy hearing on its petition and gave the federal government until March 26 to respond to the MEK’s request to be removed from the terrorist list.
The Justice Department’s response was absolutely disappointing. It said that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is just too busy meeting foreign leaders, responding to global crises and attending international forums to be bothered with Iranian dissidents who want her to remove them from the U.S. terrorist list.
In the meantime, at an international conference in Paris on March 24, that was attended by thousands of Iranians,and addressed by Maryam Rajavi, the charismatic leader of the Iranian opposition, dignitaries from the United States and Europe, including Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York, Michael Mukasey, former US Attorney General, Secretary Tom Ridge, the first US Homeland Security Secretary, John Bolton, former US Ambassador to the United Nations, and Patrick Kennedy, called for the protection of the rights of Ashraf and Liberty residents, and the removal of the terrorism label on the PMOI.
The fact of the matter is the only terrorists in this situation are the current rulers of Iran. The sooner they are removed from power, the sooner Iran can return to its former status as a free and democratic country.