Jeff Smith 11:59 p.m., Feb. 8
Christian Science Monitor Investigates Mojahedin-e Khalq
At left: head of MEK, Maryam-Rajavi
The Christian Science Monitor is out with a lengthy investigative piece today about the Mojahedin-e Khalq and efforts by its supporters to remove it from the U.S. State Department's list of international terrorist organizations.
As we've reported, one of the MEK's biggest congressional supporters is Democratic Congressman Bob Filner, currently a candidate for San Diego mayor. In June, he traveled to Paris at others expense to speak at a rally on its behalf.
"With a decision due within weeks by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton," the Monitor reports, "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.
"Talking points for the former US officials often include demanding that the Obama administration "free" the MEK from the terrorist list and ensure "protection" of Camp Ashraf before the controversial enclave is closed at the end of the year by the Iraqi government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki."
"Some argue that the MEK “provided invaluable information” to the US during the Iraq war, as Gen. Hugh Shelton, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, did last month.
"Yet current US officials have publicly disputed that view, and the 2009 RAND report states that "the CIA unsuccessfully attempted to persuade some MEK leaders to leave the group and provide intelligence information about Iran."
Though Filner has not returned our calls, he told a congressional committee last month that, “the MEK and its leader have come up with, it seems to me, the one legitimate policy that is best for us as Americans."
“They call it the ‘third way.’ That means we do not invade Iran, but we do not appease the existing mullahs. We get out of the way and let the resistance do what it — what it can and should and wants to do. The listing of the — of the MEK as a terrorist organization is getting in the way, so we ought to delist."
Earlier, in a 2007 newspaper op-ed with then-Colorado GOP congressman Tom Tancredo, the pair wrote: "From its base in Iraq, where 3800 MEK members live under the protection of coalition forces, the organization has provided intelligence on Iran’s support for terrorism in Iraq."
"Listing the MEK as ‘terrorists’ is both an injustice and manifestly contrary to U.S. interests.”
More like this:
- Filner-backed Iranian paramilitary group to lose U.S. terrorist label, sources say — Sept. 21, 2012
- More MEK money fallout: Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein paid $12,000 for speech — Aug. 31, 2012
- Columnist Vows to Return Speaking Fee to Controversial Iranian Group Backed by Filner — July 5, 2012
- Filner's Road to Paris — July 27, 2011
- Breaking Stories: Paris Sojourn — Nov. 8, 2007