Monday, April 9, 2012

U.S. Working With Known Terrorist Group to Destabilize Iran

The New Yorker's Seymour Hersch made a startling revelation on April 6th when he revealed that the U.S.'s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) has been working with and training members of The People's Mujahedin of Iran (MEK), a known terrorist group, for years. During the Bush administration, the group was even trained in the deserts of Nevada. [1]

Unfamiliar with The People's Mujahedin of Iran (MEK)? Here are some key facts for you to digest:

  • The MEK was founded as an overtly and explicitly Islamic and Marxist-Leninist political movement in Iran in 1965. [2]
  • During the Iran-Iraq War, the MEK was given sanctuary by Saddam Hussein within Iraq. The MEK launched attacks on Iran from Iraqi territory during this period. [3]
  • According to the Iranian government, the MEK is responsible for the deaths of over 17,000 Iranians. [4]
  • Saddam Hussein used the MEK to brutally crush and suppress the Kurdish uprising in northern Iraq in 1991. [5]
  • The MEK has murdered several Americans in terrorist attacks, including Colonel Lewis Hawkins (June 5, 1973) and U.S. Air Force General Harold Price (May 31, 1972). [6]
  • According to Human Rights Watch, the MEK ran prison camps in Iraq during the recent Iraq War ("Operation Iraqi Freedom") and committed serious human rights abuses against prisoners (most of whom were former MEK militants trying to leave the organization). [7]
  • As of April 2012, the MEK is listed as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the U.S. State Department (under the name Mujahedin-e Khalq, the source of the MEK acronym). [8]
  • The MEK received most of its funding from the Saddam Hussein regime, to the tune of $30 million a month. [9]
Are you surprised that the U.S. government is cooperating with a known terrorist group that is responsible for the murder of U.S. military personnel? Are you surprised that the U.S. military is now training this same group within American borders? If you answered 'yes,' you clearly don't pay much attention to the (real) news.
  • Former Democratic Governor of Pennsylvania Ed Rendell is under investigation from the Treasury Department for taking money from the MEK for speaking engagements. [10]
U.S. citizens are not supposed to take money from or do business with known terrorist organizations according to U.S. law (unless you're the U.S. military or the Bush/Obama administrations, in which case you're above the law).
  • Many U.S. politicians support removing the MEK from the State Department's list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (which would open the door for more funding and training from Western governments) including: former Vermont Governor and former DNC Chairman Howard Dean; Obama's first national security advisor, retired General James Jones; former CIA Director James Woolsey; former CIA Director Porter Goss; former FBI Director Louis Freeh; former U.S. Representative to the United Nations John Bolton; former Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge; and former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. [11]
  • Mitt Romney's foreign policy advisor Mitchell Reiss is a major supporter of the MEK. [12]

Are you confused? Are you wondering why major U.S. politicians are backing a terrorist group that was sponsored by Saddam Hussein, advocated Marxism-Leninism, brutally crushed the Kurdish population of Iraq, and killed Americans? Wasn't Saddam Hussein a major threat to freedom, according to the Bush administration? Didn't we invade Iraq in part to help the Kurdish population escape violent repression? Are you wondering why supposed peace activists like Howard Dean are teaming up with neo-conservatives like John Bolton?

The answer is obvious.

Let's go back to Hersh's article, where he informs us that:

  • In 2002, the MEK was the first organization to publicly reveal that Iran was enriching uranium as part of its nuclear project. According to the Mohamed El Baradei, former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, that information was provided by Mossad (Israeli intelligence) to the MEK, which acted as an information and media conduit. [1]
  • The U.S. trained the MEK to perform "communication intercepts" within Iran, which included intercepting telephone calls and text messages. [1]
  • Two "senior Obama Administration officials" have confirmed that MEK units, trained and financed by Israeli Mossad, are responsible for the assassinations of five Iranian nuclear scientists since 2007. [1]
  • Rudolph Giuliani has described the MEK and its efforts to "overthrow the regime of Iran" as the "only way to stop Iran" and "the only thing that will stop Ahmadinejad." [13]
The MEK has rapidly and significantly upgraded its military capability since developing a relationship with the U.S. and Israel. An excerpt from Hersh's article:
“The M.E.K. was a total joke,” the senior Pentagon consultant said, “and now it’s a real network inside Iran. How did the M.E.K. get so much more efficient?” he asked rhetorically. “Part of it is the training in Nevada. Part of it is logistical support in Kurdistan, and part of it is inside Iran. M.E.K. now has a capacity for efficient operations that it never had before."
Let us summarize ... The MEK has been trained and financed by the U.S. and Israel for years. The MEK has assassinated several Iranian nuclear scientists. The MEK has spied on the Iranian people by illegally intercepting digital communications. The MEK has been a major propaganda agent in the West's saber-rattling press campaign against Iran. The MEK released evidence of Iranian uranium enrichment on behalf of Israel's Mossad. The fact that the MEK released this information instead of Mossad gives it the veneer of legitimacy, as it is coming from a group of Iranian exiles and dissidents instead of a hostile foreign intelligence agency (even though the intelligence in actuality originated from said hostile foreign intelligence agency).

Now we have a plethora of politicians in the U.S. suddenly and without much precedent emerge on a major campaign to have the MEK removed from the State Department's list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations, which would allow Western governments (especially the U.S. and Israel) to dramatically increase funding to and cooperation with the MEK in an above-the-board, completely legal manner. In the background, U.S. President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu continue to talk of possible military action against Iran later in 2012 or in 2013.

Get the picture? The West is using the MEK to destabilize Iran and provoke a major military conflict. The MEK is a key piece in the geopolitical "game" that the U.S. is playing in the Middle East and Southwest/Central Asia.

Addendum: Hersh states that the MEK was trained at the Nevada National Security Site, formerly known as the Nevada Test Site. This is one of the most radioactively contaminated sites in North America. It is also just a few miles south of the notorious Area 51. Just an interesting tidbit.

[2]: The Iranian Mojahedin, Ervand Abrahamian, 1989

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