Lobbying by Iranian Group M.E.K. Reaches Across Party Lines
The MEK was a terrorist organization then, it’s still terrorist organization now in my books. Once you commit acts of terror, and then foster false intel you cannot be trusted, even if you appear to be the opportune ally of the moment. MEK leadership remains: the same cult leadership that sanctioned acts of terror that resulted in American Deaths. They are universally loathed by even moderate Iranians, and hated by Iraqis.
Pardoning MEK is not morally or logically consistent if we are to maintain moral high ground that we barely had a tenable grip on GWOT. Until the leadership is prosecuted rather than living a life of luxury in France, they will be a terror group. Shame on the policy makers and congressmen lobbying on their behalf in a well funded campaign designed to gain their pardon.
Emotions are running high as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton completes a review of the terrorist designation. The government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq has said it plans to close the camp, Camp Ashraf, by Dec. 31 and move the people elsewhere in Iraq in order to reassert Iraqi sovereignty over the land where it is located, 40 miles north of Baghdad.
Two earlier incursions by Iraqi troops into Camp Ashraf led to bloody confrontations, with 11 residents killed in July 2009 and at least 34 in April of this year. The M.E.K. and its American supporters say that they believe the Maliki government, with close ties to Iran, may soon carry out a mass slaughter on the pretext of regaining control of the camp.
If that happens, the supporters say, the United States — which disarmed the M.E.K. and guaranteed the security of the camp after the invasion of Iraq — will bear responsibility.
“We made a promise,” said Mr. Ridge, a former congressman and governor of Pennsylvania. “Our credibility is on the line. They’ve been attacked twice. How can we possibly accept assurances from the Maliki government?”
Mr. Ridge suggested that the M.E.K.’s implacable hostility to the rulers of Iran should be a point in their favor.
“In my view, if you’re a threat to Ahmadinejad,” — Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran’s president — “well, the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” Mr. Ridge said. He noted that the M.E.K. had provided information on Iran’s nuclear program during the Bush administration.
The M.E.K. advocacy campaign has included full-page newspaper advertisements identifying the group as “Iran’s Main Opposition” — an absurd distortion in the view of most Iran specialists; leaders of Iran’s broad opposition, known as the Green Movement, have denounced the group. The M.E.K. has hired high-priced lobbyists like the Washington firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. Its lawyers in Europe won a long fight to persuade the European Union to drop its own listing of the M.E.K. as a terrorist group in 2009.