• News Ticker alerts

The Mujahadin-e Khalq - an Iranian exile group opposed to the current regime there and backed by Democratic congressman and San Diego mayoral candidate Bob Filner - has returned to the news, this time with a report that ex-Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein was paid $12,000 to give a speech at an event held on behalf of the MEK's ongoing battle to be taken off the U.S. State Department's list of terrorist organizations.

As previously reported here, Filner, long an outspoken advocate for the MEK, has taken two first class, all-expense-paid trips to MEK-related events in Paris, both paid for a shadowy group calling itself “Colorado’s Iranian American Community.”

We have repeatedly made requests to Filner's office and campaign to provide more details about his Mujahadin-e Khalq-related travel, but neither he nor his aides have responded to our questions.

The online journalism site ProPublica.org reports today that Bernstein's February address before 1500 people at New York's Waldorf Astoria made him “one of the few journalists who has appeared at events in a years-long campaign by MEK supporters to free the group from the official terrorist label and the legal sanctions that come with it.

"He told ProPublica that he was paid $12,000 for the appearance but that, 'I was not there as an advocate.'"

ProPublica goes on to note that the Mujahadin-e Khalq, “sometimes described as cult-like by critics, is blamed by the State Department for killing Americans in several attacks in Iran in the 1970s and in attacking Iranian targets through the early 2000s.

“The MEK now says it has renounced violence and has sued to be removed from the terrorist list. (Bernstein’s speech also referred to the “murderous bureaucracy” that runs Iran, “against whom the MEK has courageously fought.”)

"The public push in the U.S. is notable both because it has brought together a large bipartisan group of former top military officials and veteran politicians from both parties and also because of the large sums of money paid for those appearances."

In today's ProPublica account, Bernstein is quoted as saying that "the pro-MEK events are 'obviously … part of a lobbying campaign' but [that] his speech was 'largely about using the designation of terrorist and subversive organizations as a smokescreen for other things.'

"He said that stories focusing on speakers at pro-MEK events rather than on 'the substance of what the controversy is' amounted to 'journalistic McCarthyism.'"

  • News Ticker alerts

Comments

fredjones2005 Aug. 31, 2012 @ 3:23 p.m.

According to the U.S. Department of State' presentation of the MEK, the philosophy of the MEK is a combination of Marxism, Nationalism and Islam.

Just what we need Comrade Bob Filner and the Marxist Iranian supporting him.

0

Babak Sept. 3, 2012 @ 10:37 p.m.

... according to US district court of DC, State Dept. has not been able to proof that the MEK is Terrorist, Marxist! if you have any proof publish it other wise ....!

0

Mike444 Aug. 31, 2012 @ 5:11 p.m.

…well, this is absolutely right that Congressman Bob Filner has led a bi-partisan members of the U.S. House of Representatives (H.Res 704 that has 223 cosponsors) to support the MEK members in Camp Ashraf. The support for MEK delisting, by far, is the ONLY issue on the Hill that has a huge bipartisan supports. HERE ARE SOME OF THE NAMES of the MC who have sponsored Filner's resolutions on Camp Ashraf; John Lewis, Brad Sherman, Linda Sanchez, Lynn Woolsey, Duncan Hunter, Ed Royce, Dana Rohrabacher, Dan Lungren all from California. Let’s be honest, and lets learn a bit more too!

4

madi Aug. 31, 2012 @ 5:55 p.m.

Matt, thank you so much for shining a light on this issue. Bernstein should know that the MeK provided the US with the majority of the intel and info on "the substance of what the controversy is." I suppose we just have to wait until the administration stops staring at Ahmadinjad, and realizes the MeK's potential in bringing democratic change to Iran.

The MeK

The MeK has been illegally placed on the US FTO list. That's a fact, as shown among the evidence, which also debunks false allegations about the organization, on this site: http://delistmek.com.

You're right for calling the Iranian American Community of Colorado a "group" since its members compose of a social network. What social network isn't "shadowy?"

Camp Ashraf

Nonetheless, this group, along with thousands of other Iranians, many in San Diego including myself, feel for the members of the MeK--who the Iraqi regime has inhumanely attacked at their own home - http://campashraf.org.

Matt, you can understand this humanitarian emergency, and why MCs such as Bob Filner and others listed in Mike444's comment want to show support.

Lobbying and Funding

I've personally encouraged my representative to attend such events, in which he has found much to learn and value. That does not make me a lobbyist Bernstein alludes to, although I appreciate the pay raise.

4

KenGreg Aug. 31, 2012 @ 7:17 p.m.

Thomas Payne got money when he wrote his " common Sense" article . Does it really matter he got paid? Does it really change the value of his article? This is ridiculous to assume, people like Mr. Carl Bernstein would put their reputation on line for money, He and all other great Americans who came out and supported this cause have proven before, over and over, that money could not buy them. Congressman Bob Filner always through his life has proven he stands by democracy, American Principles and values. He is always on the right side , as well as this time which he has been on Iranian people's side and against Iranian brutal dictatorship. We are proud of his political decisions and actions all the time. Those who stand for the truth and democracy,those who don't support DICTATORS always have been under attack. You go figure.

3

Mike444 Aug. 31, 2012 @ 7:34 p.m.

Learn more, if you want to, about MEK from [Republican][1] Ambassador John Bolton and [Democrat.][2], Governor Howard Dean. Let me know if you find any other issue that these two have the same view. What does that teach us? ...and remember, this is an election year!!!!

BTW: Congressman Bob Filner has been the best friends of the Iranian Americans, not just in San Diego, but across the state of California and 40 other states….not just Democrats, but also Republicans. Do you want to know who hates him? The blood thirsty Mullahs in Tehran.

3

Mike444 Aug. 31, 2012 @ 7:39 p.m.

Learn more, if you want to, about MEK from Republican Ambassador John Bolton and Democrat., Governor Howard Dean. Let me know if you find any other issue that these two have the same view. What does that teach us? ...and remember, this is an election year!!!!

BTW: Congressman Bob Filner has been the best friends of the Iranian Americans, not just in San Diego, but across the state of California and 40 other states….not just Democrats, but also Republicans. Do you want to know who hates him? The blood thirsty Mullahs in Tehran

2

Ross75 Aug. 31, 2012 @ 8:22 p.m.

Thank you congressman Filner for being on the right side of the history. It is wrong to be on the side of criminal regime of Iran, not the legitimate opposition of Ayatollahs. State department put MEK in the FTO list to appease Mullahs, it is un American and illegal. I admire What congressman Filner and other members of congress did to support what is right.

3

nostalgic Sept. 1, 2012 @ 7:31 a.m.

What is this for the Reader being all over Filner lately? Is this really about DeMaio for Mayor?

2

Irani Sept. 1, 2012 @ 7:56 a.m.

I am an Iranian-American, I and my family and on behalf of all my friends would like to thank Mr. Filner for his help to democracy, and standing by us. We love you Bob. Thank you

2

believeitornot Sept. 1, 2012 @ 12:07 p.m.

Mr. Matt Potter, I suggest you look back and read your article one more time and THINK TWICE. I'm sure you are aware of some primary rules of journalism. I won't mention any of them here. But truly and honestly, you think The FACTS that you are using are backed by any sort of evidence? Are they countable? What you are referring to is, what state department had said in the past for last 10-15 years. They could not provide any documents or evidence what so ever. How could you saddle up your horse and run the field so insecure and uncertain before any of them do so? This is not the first time that Mr. Filner or one of his colleagues are under attack by so called journalist like you. And I can guaranty that he will fulfill all the expectations and will win this fight one more time. We people of San Diego love Bob Filner and will stand by him to the end of the road.

3

Saeed_Irani Sept. 1, 2012 @ 12:26 p.m.

I left Iran 7 years ago and came to this free land as a graduate student. I had heard about Mr. Filner's support of Iranian resistance and a free Iran when I was back home.

Now, I am in San Diego and want to THANK BOB FILNER for his great support of Iranian people in their fight for democracy and freedom.

Thank Bob for standing with Iranians and Iranian - Americans in this hard period of time. Thank Bob for advocating and supporting human rights.

3

Nasser Sept. 1, 2012 @ 1:35 p.m.

ranian American community in California supports Congressman Filner and appreciates his support and his efforts for democracy and freedom in Iran. Congressman Filner is a great friend to our community and a true hero for supporting MEK and Ashraf residents along with many members of US congress from both parties like chairman Issa, congressman John Louis and ... This is attempt to continue smear and misinformation campaign against the main democratic Iranian opposition and their supporters. European Union and UK removed MEK from their FTO list and in US the the district court of Columbia in a historic ruling ordered the State Department to do the same. here are some expert views on this issue: Congressional Supports

US Officials

General James Jones, U.S.M.C. (ret.), Former National Security Advisor to President Obama and Supreme Allied Commander Europe:

“I propose three [New Year] gifts. The first one is successfully delisting the MEK, the second one which has been mentioned but is equally important is ensuring the security of the people of Camp Ashraf and the third is to support the popular movement for freedom as expressed by Iranians both inside and outside ofIran.” Washington, DC, March 17, 2011 ____________ 

Governor Howard Dean, Former Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Governor of Vermont: 

“… We must change our position on the MEK and stop calling them a terrorist organization. They are not a terrorist organization, they have their own bill of rights, which is an extraordinary thing under the leadership of Madame Rajavi, and we appreciate what she has done greatly.” Paris, February 26, 2011 

“The MEK is not a terrorist group and we need to de-list them immediately. Immediately.” Washington, DC, March 17, 2011. 


Rudi Giuliani, Former Mayor of New York, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York:

“It is about time that we change the listing of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran on the terror list. I have studied terrorism for over 35 years. I have investigated terrorism and I have seen first hand, in my city the devastation that terrorism can bring about. This is not a terrorist organization. This is an organization dedicated to achieving freedom and dignity for its people.” New York, September 24, 2010


3

GlobePolicy1 Sept. 1, 2012 @ 3:01 p.m.

Globe Policy

Mr. Filner is a free man, a man of dignity and honor, who has staked his reputation for the cause of not only the liberation of the Iranian people, enslaved by a barbaric regime for three ignominious decades, but also for the unshackling of the their children of liberation, the PMOI/MEK.

As the honorable Journalist Carl Bernstein so aptly put it, the McCarthyite policies adopted by the State Department toward a resistance force that has, for thirty some odd years, sacrificed blood and treasure to topple one of the most soul-destroying religious fascism man has come to know in modern times, is absolutely unconscionable and must be rectified without delay.

Globe Policy

3

masoodabooali Sept. 1, 2012 @ 5:21 p.m.

I really don't understand why we should see such articles in a free coutry where receiving money for a service is "The Norm" - if rfeceived at all!?

now, I owuld like to apploud Carl for his nerve again!

Wow! a Controversial Iranian Militant Group MEK!? who is saying!? - Once more Carl proved himself to be a true Journalist!. He is not afraid to tackle issues that some may not like just because their interests are put in danger. Go Carl! we support you and thank you from the bottom of our hearts for standing at the right side of the history again! and that we the Iranian people and Iranian-Americans will not forget you. in my opinion him attending the said meeting is second to his first great work if not the first!

I see him as being a Journalist with Courage, with Nerve!, a Journalist who is not afraid to stand at the side of the oppressed and tackle issues when he sees wrong doings have been committed and by attending the said meeting, he just proved it and I want to thank him again!

go Carl. you have made a right choice to stand with the Iranian People and teh right side of history once again and I salute your courage!.

My best wishes,

Masood

2

Kaveh Sept. 1, 2012 @ 5:33 p.m.

I just want to express my appreciations on behalf of many Iranian-American for Mr. Filner support and sympathy in struggle of Iranian people against Iranian regime. The regime is in crisis and the Federal Court of Appeals, DC Circuit, has summoned the State Dept. to remove the MEK from its FTO list which was purely a political gesture of good will toward the Iranian regime in an attempt to encourage so called "moderate" within the regime in Tehran.

The timing of this article is at best dubious.

2

GlobePolicy1 Sept. 1, 2012 @ 7:23 p.m.

GlobePolicy:

Matt Potter's narrative is no doubt replete with contradictions and innuendo!!! The man has to get his act together and not only avoid to engage in the yellowest of journalistic behavior, but also look at the piece of junk he has concocted, staining the reputation of two towering personalities, with impeccable records for upholding human rights, search for truth and exposes` at he highest levels of government.

At one point Potter states that some 1500 people, along with many of the highest level former US officials, from every and all fields, security, intelligence, judicial, legislative and executive branches attended the Februray event at the Waldorf Astoria; and on the other, he says, the event was sponsored by a 'shadowy group.'

Make up your mind man!!! Who are you trying to help and who do you think will benefit from your so-called 'investigative journalism.' What is your real motive for doing what you're doing and who is the beneficiary of this act of treachery?

Can you tell me how many opposition groups against the Savages of Tehran are able to muster 1500 people in one room, and many thousands of people in their rallies, not to speak of more than 110 thousand people who cried out for freedom and in support of PMOI/MEK on June 23rd in Paris? So, wake up and smell the roses Mr. Potter!!!

I don't have the vaguest idea for what reason you suddenly creeped out of the woodworks and highlighted something that has been hashed and rehashed by the likes of Trita Parsi and his outfit of less than a dozen known lobbyists for the barbaric regime in Tehran, and the Foggiest of Bottoms!!!

But one thing I can say without a shadow of the doubt, is that your intentions are neither honorble, nor in the interest of the American people and the interests of the US in the volatile region of the Middle East, where the barbarians of Iran are planning to turn into a ball of fire.

And finally, what in God's name this group of intrepid folks have done to you and to the US, except to provide intelligence about the mullahs' nuclear designs, and in return their members having been mowed down by the US-supplied Humvees, personnell carriers an weapons at Camp Ashraf in two infamous occasions of July 2009 and April 2011, right under the nose of a battalion of US forces, which were recalled from the scene, while Bob Gates, the then US Defense Chief was cozying up with Maliki at his office in Baghdad.

And all this despite the fact that the US provided the residents "Protected Persons" status under the Fourth Geneva Convesion and other international humanitarian laws.

Now, if you've had enough, why don't you take a stab at writing something worthwhile and perhaps make an attempt at restoring your dihginiy and journalistic bona fides.

globe policy

2

massoudta Sept. 2, 2012 @ 12:08 a.m.

How could a "nobody" accuse a man such as Congressman Filner, a man who was one of the "Freedom Riders" of Civil Rights Movement ( against racism) in this country, who with a Phd in history was a University (SDSU) for many years, who defended Kurds, and etc., a member of Congress who stands up for democracy and human rights for everyone. Does it make sense for a man like Mr. Filner to sell his reputation in support of a Middle Eastern Terrorist group!! And for a one day visit to Paris airport area (where the Iranian opposition gathering was held).

Enough is enough, I was in that gathering in Paris, Mr. Filner did not even get a chance to get a proper rest!! If Mr. Filner was open to sell his political capital to highest bidder. There are lots of money around from various sources to out bid MEK or whoever has no money.

1

Naseem Sept. 2, 2012 @ 5:29 a.m.

"He said that stories focusing on speakers at pro-MEK events rather than on 'the substance of what the controversy is' amounted to 'journalistic McCarthyism.'"

That's precisely the case. And that is precisely the tactic used by the proponents and apologists of the terrorist Iranian regime. They cannot tolerate and refute the contents of the messages, thus they shoot the messenger.

Or perhaps as the Persian proverb goes, the infidel thinks others are unbelievers too. Because the proponents/apologists of the religious fascism are willing to sell their position for money, they think the principled and high-integrity individuals supporting the MEK have sold their souls too.

1

siamak Sept. 2, 2012 @ 9:20 a.m.

Just another baseless misconduct rumor against MEK to appease on last leg s MULLAH S in iran. Siamak

0

siamak Sept. 2, 2012 @ 9:30 a.m.

what else beside this concept we can repeat that most of U S congressmen told that shame on us shame on us and shame with the ones whom shake MULLAH S hand. TIME WILL TELL HISTORY WILL WITNESS AND FUTURE WILL SHOW AND VERIFY. MULLAH S REGIME ARE ON THEIR LAST LEG NO ONE CAN SAVE THEM OR DRAG THEM BACK OF THIS ULTIMATE DESTINY..

1

ray777 Sept. 3, 2012 @ 2:23 p.m.

Bob Filner is an asset to San Diego. As a San Diegan I will vote for him in mayoral election. The author obviously has hidden agenda and has received fund to say what mullas want. How dare you question Bob Filner's integrity? Shame on you! Go Bob You'll be a great mayor...

0

Babak Sept. 3, 2012 @ 10:31 p.m.

First of all, I would like to ask the author Matt, to tell us how he feels about the violation of human rights in Iran, and if he has ever published anything regarding torture, gang rape and executions in Iran? Has he ever written an article regarding the Iranian regimes lobbyist in DC? Whom are you trying to protect? The Iranian Regime? Shame on you! Why does the author criticize Bob Filner and his choice to support the Iranian opposition? is it just because that Bob Filner is an honest human being who cares about Human Rights and the situation in Iran? I am proud of Bob Filner for caring speaking out about the truth and for caring about gross violations of human rights taking place in Iran and about the alternative to Iranian regime! Fortunately Filner is not alone in his stand, and many other congress members from both side of the aisle have shown their support for the Iranian opposition as well. Matt who gave you right to call Iran American Community in Colorado "Shadowy" or a "cult"? Do you have any evidence to prove such accusations? If not, then you should refrain from publishing wild tales about something you can neither understand nor relate to! Let me ask you this question, has Carl Bernstein broken any rules to speak for group of Iranian Americans? Was it illegal? Even if he got paid for it! According to your standards, what should happen to President Clinton for making over $7 Million dollars for speaking on behalf of others? Why is it that every time that anyone, Iranian, American, or a group, show their support for Iranian opposition , speak out about violations of Human Rights, or talk about regime change in Iran, all of the sudden that opposition group comes under attack and this kind of slandering article surfaces?

0

bystander Sept. 4, 2012 @ 12:32 a.m.

I agree 100% with Carl Bernstein on "journalistic McCarthyism". After devoting an entire issue of the "Reader" to Nathan Fletcher, shortly before the primaries, failed to prevent Bob Filner from prevailing in the Mayoral race, "Reader" is now trying to smear Filner's reputation by associating him with what is a so called "terrorist organization". "Reader" does not find it necessary to inform it's readers that MEK was taken off the terrorist organization lists in United Kingdom and European Union after winning all their court cases. It also does not mention anything about a similar on-going court case in the US, where the court has ordered the State Department to make it's decision on removing the MEK from the Foreign terrorist Organization list by this coming October. Neither does "Reader" find it important to mention that thousands of Parliamentarians, from all around the world, support the MEK and it's cause. It would be hard to accuse all these courts and parlamentarians of having sold their conscious. No, not only none of these are important facts, to our investigative reporter, it is not even puzzling to him that how would a "terrorist" "cult" from a third world country dare to sue the Sate Department of the only super-power in the world, along with all it's intelligence apparatus, in a US court of law over it's designation, if it was indeed "terrorist" and "cult". Instead, our investigative reporter finds it importatnt to inform the"Reader's" readers about the seat number of Congressman Filner's flight to Paris! This is a fine example of Mr. Bernstein's "journalistic McCarthyism". I beleive, Mr. Filner, as former professor of history, knows the right side of the history very well. He was willing to go to jail standing for the right side of history during the Civil Rights movement and he is couragously standing up to smearing campaign, siding with the right side of history in regards to the democratic movement in Iran. In the perspective of this bigger picture, focusing on the degree of the comfort of a seat in a long uncomfortable flight to Europe in search of the truth is a joke, at it's best.

0

Sign in to comment

Join our
newsletter list

Enter to win $25 at Broken Yolk Cafe

Each newsletter subscription
means another chance to win!

Close