Israel, MEK and State Sponsor of Terror Groups - Printable Version
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Israel, MEK and State Sponsor of Terror Groups - shakur420 - 02-16-2012 05:34 PM
Israel, MEK and state sponsor of Terror groups
One of the most under-reported political stories of the last year is the devoted advocacy of numerous prominent American political figures on behalf of an Iranian group long formally designated as a Terrorist organization under U.S. law. A large bipartisan cast has received substantial fees from that group, the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), and has then become their passionate defenders. The group of MEK shills includes former top Bush officials and other Republicans (Michael Mukasey, Fran Townsend, Andy Card, Tom Ridge, Rudy Giuliani) as well as prominent Democrats (Howard Dean, Ed Rendell, Bill Richardson, Wesley Clark). As The Christian Science Monitor reported last August, those individuals “have been paid tens of thousands of dollars to speak in support of the MEK.” No matter what one thinks of this group – here is a summary of its activities – it is formally designated as a Terrorist group and it is thus a felony under U.S. law to provide it with any “material support.”
There are several remarkable aspects to this story. The first is that there are numerous Muslims inside the U.S. who have been prosecuted for providing “material support for Terrorism” for doing far less than these American politicians are publicly doing on behalf of a designated Terrorist group. A Staten Island satellite TV salesman in 2009 was sentenced to five years in federal prison merely for including a Hezbollah TV channel as part of the satellite package he sold to customers; a Massachusetts resident, Tarek Mehanna, is being prosecuted now ”for posting pro-jihadist material on the internet”; a 24-year-old Pakistani legal resident living in Virginia, Jubair Ahmad, was indicted last September for uploading a 5-minute video to YouTube that was highly critical of U.S. actions in the Muslim world, an allegedly criminal act simply because prosecutors claim he discussed the video in advance with the son of a leader of a designated Terrorist organization (Lashkar-e-Tayyiba); a Saudi Arabian graduate student, Sami Omar al-Hussayen, was prosecuted simply for maintaining a website with links “to groups that praised suicide bombings in Chechnya and in Israel” and “jihadist” sites that solicited donations for extremist groups (he was ultimately acquitted); and last July, a 22-year-old former Penn State student and son of an instructor at the school, Emerson Winfield Begolly, was indicted for — in the FBI’s words — “repeatedly using the Internet to promote violent jihad against Americans” by posting comments on a “jihadist” Internet forum including “a comment online that praised the shootings” at a Marine Corps base, action which former Obama lawyer Marty Lederman said “does not at first glance appear to be different from the sort of advocacy of unlawful conduct that is entitled to substantial First Amendment protection.”
Yet here we have numerous American political figures receiving substantial fees from a group which is legally designated under American law as a Terrorist organization. Beyond that, they are meeting with the Terrorist leaders of that group repeatedly (Howard Dean told NPR last year about the group’s leader, Maryam Rajavi: “I have actually had dinner with Mrs. Rajavi on numerous occasions. I do not find her very terrorist-like” and has even insisted that she should be recognized as Iran’s President, while Rudy Giuliani publicly told her at a Paris conference in December: “These are the most important yearnings of the human soul that you support, and for your organization to be described as a terrorist organization is just simply a disgrace”). And, after receiving fees from the Terrorist group and meeting with its Terror leaders, these American political figures are going forth and disseminating pro-MEK messages on its behalf and working to have it removed from the Terrorist list.
Given all the prosecutions of politically powerless Muslims for far fewer connections to Terrorist groups than the actions of these powerful (paid) political figures, what conceivable argument is there for not prosecuting Dean, Giuliani, and the rest of them for providing “material support for Terrorism”? What they are providing to MEK is the definitive “material support.” Although these activities (along with those of the above-listed prosecuted Muslims) should be protected free speech, the U.S. Government has repeatedly imprisoned people for it. Indeed, as Georgetown Law Professor David Cole noted, these activities on behalf of MEK are clearly prosecutable as “material support for Terrorism” under the standard advocated by the Bush and Obama DOJs and accepted by the Supreme Court in the Holder v. Humanitarian Law case of 2009, which held that even peaceful advocacy on behalf of a Terrorist group can be prosecuted if done in coordination with the group (ironically, many of these paid MEK supporters have long been advocates of broad application of “material support” statutes (when applied to Muslims, that is) and have even praised the Humanitarian Law case). If we had anything even remotely approaching equal application of the law, Dean, Giuliani, Townsend and the others would be facing prosecution as Terrorist-helpers.
Then there’s long been the baffling question of where MEK was getting all of this money to pay these American officials. Indeed, the pro-MEK campaign has been lavishly funded. As the CSM noted: ”Besides the string of well-attended events at prestigious American hotels and locations, and in Paris, Brussels, and Berlin, the campaign has included full-page advertisements in The New York Times and Washington Post — which can cost $175,000 apiece.” MEK is basically little more than a nomadic cult: after they sided with Saddam Hussein in his war with Iran, they were widely loathed in Iran and their 3,400 members long lived in camps in Iraq, but the Malaki government no longer wants them there. How has this rag-tag Terrorist cult of Iranian dissidents, who are largely despised in Iran, able to fund such expensive campaigns and to keep U.S. officials on its dole?
All of these mysteries received substantial clarity from an NBC News report by Richard Engel and Robert Windrem yesterday. Citing two anonymous “senior U.S. officials,” that report makes two amazing claims: (1) that it was MEK which perpetrated the string of assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists and (2) the Terrorist group “is financed, trained and armed by Israel’s secret service.” These senior officials also admitted that “the Obama administration is aware of the assassination campaign” but claims it “has no direct involvement.” Iran has long insisted the Israel and the U.S. are using MEK to carry out Terrorist attacks on its soil, including the murder of its scientists, and NBC notes that these acknowledgments “confirm charges leveled by Iran’s leaders” (MEK issued a statement denying the report).
If these senior U.S. officials are telling the truth, there are a number of vital questions and conclusions raised by this. First, it would mean that the assurances by MEK’s paid American shills such as Howard Dean that “they are unarmed” are totally false: whoever murdered these scientists is obviously well-armed. Second, this should completely gut the effort to remove MEK from the list of designated Terrorist groups; after all, murdering Iran’s scientists through the use of bombs and guns is a defining act of a Terror group, at least as U.S. law attempts to define the term. Third, this should forever resolve the debate in which I was involved last month about whether the attack on these Iranian scientists constitutes Terrorism; as Daniel Larison put it yesterday: “If true, the murders of Iranian nuclear scientists with bombs have been committed by a recognized terrorist group. Can everyone acknowledge at this point that these attacks were acts of terrorism?”
Fourth, and most important: if this report is true, is this not definitive proof that Israel is, by definition, a so-called state sponsor of Terrorism? Leaving everything else aside, if Israel, as NBC reports, has “financed, trained and armed” a group officially designated by the U.S. Government as a Terrorist organization, isn’t that the definitive act of how one becomes an official “state sponsor of Terrorism”? Amazingly, as Daniel Larison notes, one of the people who most vocally attacked me for labeling the murder of Iranian scientists as “Terrorism” and for generally arguing that Terrorism is a meaningless, cynically applied term — Commentary‘s Jonathan Tobin — yesterday issued a justification for why Israel should be working with Terrorist groups like MEK. As Larison wrote about Tobin’s article:
Quote:In other words, Israeli state sponsorship of a terrorist group is acceptable because it’s in a good cause....Because Israel is overreacting to a perceived threat from Iran, Tobin believes it is entirely defensible for Israel to partner with a recognized terrorist group. In other words, Tobin believes that terrorism is “entirely defensible” so long as it is committed by the right people and directed at the right targets. It’s as if he is going out of his way to vindicate Glenn Greenwald.
Of course, as I documented in my last book, those who are politically and financially well-connected are free to commit even the most egregious crimes; for that reason, the very idea of prosecuting Giuliani, Rendell, Ridge, Townsend, Dean and friends for their paid labor on behalf of a Terrorist group is unthinkable, a suggestion not fit for decent company, even though powerless Muslims have been viciously prosecuted for far less egregious connections to such groups. But this incident also underscores the specific point that the term Terrorism is so completely meaningless, manipulated and mischievous: it’s just a cynical term designed to delegitimize violence and even political acts undertaken by America’s enemies while shielding from criticism the actual Terrorism undertaken by itself and its allies. The spectacle whereby a designated Terrorist group can pay top American politicians to advocate for them even as they engage in violent Terrorist acts, all while being trained, funded and aided by America’s top client state, should forever end the controversy over that glaringly obvious proposition.
February 10, 2012
RE: Israel, MEK and State Sponsor of Terror Groups - TheMythOfSisyphus - 02-16-2012 05:48 PM
Quote:At a February conference in Paris, Mr. Dean praised the group’s extraordinary “bill of rights.” And General Jones said to Ms. Rajavi: “It is time for those of us from the United States who have come to know and admire you and your colleagues and your goals to do what is required to recognize the legitimacy of your movement and your ideals.” When I asked General Jones last week if he knew that some considered the group a totalitarian cult, he replied, “This is the first time I’ve heard anything about this.”
What a piece of shit.
RE: Israel, MEK and State Sponsor of Terror Groups - shakur420 - 02-16-2012 06:14 PM
Honestly, don't know much about MEK. People in the spot have mentioned them here and there. I don't care much, they're attacking a fucked up government, don't see the problem with it. I also don't see the problem with foreign support for them (The Spanish anti-fascists had mad international support, from people not governments but still, we can't expect resistant movements to win all on their own). But the point he's making, that the rulers of the world have no credibility when they speak about terrorism, freedom, democracy, I think that's important. If they were concerned about Democracy, they would be concentrating on promoting it in areas where they hold weight, like Israel. They could withdraw funding from Israel to prevent it from marginalizing Hamas' election and they would instantaneously be supporting Democracy. They could stop rejecting the international consensus at the UN every year and make room for a Palestinian state right away, if they cared. Concentrating on Iran, where they hold little to no weight, is theatre, it's drama. They could cut ties and funding with Turkey and Colombia and pressure them to stop attacking and marginalizing their own people. They don't, so they clearly don't care.
It happened in Indonesia and South Africa, once they gave the order, atrocities committed by their employees just plummeted. It's like me crying about drug dealers while I prescribe OxyContin and shit with a free hand. I clearly don't care about drug addiction or it's effects on society, lol, otherwise I would concentrate on reducing the negative effects I'm responsible for.
What you pointed is important too. The idea is, we'll go about our activities, if we get baited we can say "we didn't know", "I made a mistake", etc. Just like the media with Iraq, lol, they "made a mistake". Yeah, Ok, by not asking questions of any relevance, not paying attention to human rights groups, the UN, NGOs and massive grassroots movements, you simply "made a mistake", you didn't notice what regular people noticed. Sure.
RE: Israel, MEK and State Sponsor of Terror Groups - NWOkiller - 02-16-2012 08:17 PM
In Iraq I spent a day at a MEK base. I use to think they was better than this but they are just another pawn in a game of chess. I also have to wonder how legit of a group they really are if they are willing to run around and be a hit team for foreign governments.
RE: Israel, MEK and State Sponsor of Terror Groups - shakur420 - 02-17-2012 05:22 PM
^Anything you could drop about your experience, like with MEK, or what you heard in the army about them, etc. would be appreciated. Like I said, don't know much about them.
RE: Israel, MEK and State Sponsor of Terror Groups - NWOkiller - 02-19-2012 06:22 AM
Well I don't know much. The purpose of us being there was to negotiate a deal. They had about 15 bases thru out Iraq. They had everything but an air force. I'm talking tank's, apc's, artillery, and anti air. They was totally a self sufficient group as well. They even bottled their own coke. We was told before we headed there that they was all schooled in the US. Everyone I talked with spoke english and went to school as well. They even had women in the ranks. While there they was really kissing some ass. They brought us our first real food in months and we was down to half an mre a day then, even brought us ice cream. Anyway we was there so some colonel could could negotiate a deal to consolidate those 15 bases to 4. If things went bad we was there to make sure nothing crazy happen. When we got there SF soldiers was already there in SUV's and word was they had been there for about a month already. So they had been working with the US before the invasion even went down. Saddam wasn't down with Iran so thats why they got a pass I guess. I wasn't very aware back then so I never asked anything about their ideology. Hopefully this helps ya out.
RE: Israel, MEK and State Sponsor of Terror Groups - shakur420 - 02-20-2012 02:42 AM
What the fuck?? lol
RE: Israel, MEK and State Sponsor of Terror Groups - Rick Ross 187 - 02-20-2012 10:39 PM
(02-16-2012 08:17 PM)NWOkiller Wrote: In Iraq I spent a day at a MEK base. I use to think they was better than this but they are just another pawn in a game of chess. I also have to wonder how legit of a group they really are if they are willing to run around and be a hit team for foreign governments.
nearly all groups like this, after a while, end up having to appeal to foreign support, and then fall into the trap of being proxies it seems
MEK originally were an 'Islamic Marxist' group. they were pretty radical in the revolution years e.g. advocating the execution of the American Embassy hostages. IIRC, they have mostly dropped any semblance of a socialist or Marxist ideology nowadays (they were formed in the 60s, who wasn't a marxist or socialist in the third world in those days tbh). I read somewhere accusations that they are basically a cult, focused around their leader now
RE: Israel, MEK and State Sponsor of Terror Groups - shakur420 - 04-16-2012 06:46 PM
Report: U.S. trained terror group
When the U.S. wants to fund, train, arm or otherwise align itself with a Terrorist group or state sponsor of Terror — as it often does — it at least usually has the tact to first remove them from its formal terrorist list (as the U.S. did when it wanted to support Saddam in 1982 and work with Libya in 2006), or it just keeps them off the list altogether despite what former Council on Foreign Relations writer Lionel Beehner described as “mounds of evidence that [they] at one time or another abetted terrorists” (as it has done with close U.S. allies in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, along with the El Salvadoran death squads and Nicaraguan contras armed and funded in the 1980s by the Reagan administration). But according to a new, multi-sourced report from The New Yorker‘s Seymour Hersh, the U.S. did not even bother going through those motions when, during the Bush years, it trained the Iranian dissident group Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK) at a secretive Department of Energy site in Nevada:
Quote:It was here that the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) conducted training, beginning in 2005, for members of the Mujahideen-e-Khalq, a dissident Iranian opposition group known in the West as the M.E.K...The M.E.K.’s ties with Western intelligence deepened after the fall of the Iraqi regime in 2003, and JSOC began operating inside Iran in an effort to substantiate the Bush Administration’s fears that Iran was building the bomb at one or more secret underground locations. Funds were covertly passed to a number of dissident organizations, for intelligence collection and, ultimately, for anti-regime terrorist activities. Directly, or indirectly, the M.E.K. ended up with resources like arms and intelligence. Some American-supported covert operations continue in Iran today, according to past and present intelligence officials and military consultants.
A JSOC spokesman told Hersh that ”U.S. Special Operations Forces were neither aware of nor involved in the training of M.E.K. members,” but a MEK lawyer refused to confirm or deny the report, arguing that any such training would undercut the U.S. Government’s claims that MEK belongs on the Terrorist list.
In February, NBC News‘ Richard Engel and Robert Windrem reported, based on two anonymous “senior U.S. officials,” that MEK was the group perpetrating a series of “sophisticated” assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists (using bombs and rifles). NBC also reported that Israel — specifically its Mossad intelligence service — is “ financing, training and arming” MEK: in other words, that Israel is a state sponsor of this designated Terrorist group. Various reports have also indicated that the MEK, with Israeli support, was responsible for a string of explosions on Iranian soil. Hersh obtained independent confirmation of all these claims:
Quote:The former senior intelligence official I spoke with seconded the NBC report that the Israelis were working with the M.E.K., adding that the operations benefitted from American intelligence. He said that the targets were not “Einsteins”; “The goal is to affect Iranian psychology and morale,” he said, and to “demoralize the whole system — nuclear delivery vehicles, nuclear enrichment facilities, power plants.” Attacks have also been carried out on pipelines. He added that the operations are “primarily being done by M.E.K. through liaison with the Israelis, but the United States is now providing the intelligence.” An adviser to the special-operations community told me that the links between the United States and M.E.K. activities inside Iran had been long-standing. “Everything being done inside Iran now is being done with surrogates,” he said.
So let’s review what we have here. If this report is true, it means the U.S. Government actively trained a group that the U.S. Government itself legally categorizes as a “foreign terrorist organization,” a clear felony under U.S. law:
Quote:Whoever knowingly provides material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization, or attempts or conspires to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 15 years, or both, and, if the death of any person results, shall be imprisoned for any term of years or for life.
That alone compels serious DOJ and Congressional investigations into these claims. Worse, this reportedly happened at the very same time that the U.S. aggressively prosecuted and imprisoned numerous Muslims for providing material support for groups on that list even though many of those prosecuted provided support that was far, far less than what the U.S. Government itself was providing to MEK. Meanwhile, right at this moment, America’s closest ally — Israel — is clearly a state sponsor of this designated Terrorist organization, providing training, funding and arms to it, and the U.S. may very well be as well (independent of all else, given that Israel is the largest recipient of U.S. aid, the U.S., at the very least, is financing a state sponsor of Terror).
At the same time, a glittering bipartisan cast of former Washington officials is receiving large payments from this designated Terrorist group, meeting with its leaders, and then advocating on its behalf — again, providing far more material support than many powerless, marginalized Muslims who have been and continue to be prosecuted under this law. All of this appears to be clearly criminal regardless of whether MEK belongs on the list — once a group is placed by the State Department on the list, whether justifiably or not, it is a felony to provide material support to it — but MEK appears to be doing exactly that which is typically considered Terrorism: assassinating civilian scientists (and severely wounding their wives) with bombs and causing other civilian-killing explosions on Iranian soil in order to induce fear.
In the above-linked LA Times Op-Ed by CFR’s Lionel Beehner, he derides the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism as ”one of the biggest farces of U.S. foreign policy.” Indeed it is, but that’s equally true of the pervasive, righteous use of the term “terrorist” or “terrorism supporter” in our political and media discourse generally. Anyone in government, media and think tank circles who routinely and angrily accuse others of being “terrorists” or “supporters of terrorism” without recognizing that the U.S. and its closest allies are plainly and routinely guilty of that is just a rank propagandist. That the U.S., in the midst of its vaunted War on Terror, directly trained a group on its own Terrorist list — while its closest ally and Washington’s venerated former officials continue to provide ample support to that group even as it escalates its violent acts – is about as conclusive a demonstration of that fact as one could have conjured.
UPDATE: As L.Boogie notes in comments, the law that criminalies the providing of “material support” to a designated terrorist organization explicitly includes in its definition section exactly that which The New Yorker reports the U.S. gave and perhaps continues to give to MEK:
Quote:(b) Definitions.— As used in this section—
I know that, in light of recent American history, it’s easy to forget this, but U.S. government officials — whether current or former — are no more entitled to commit felonies and violate U.S. statutes than any other citizens are.
April 6, 2012