The Secretary’s decision today took into account the MEK’s public renunciation of violence, the absence of confirmed acts of terrorism by the MEK for more than a decade, and their cooperation in the peaceful closure of Camp Ashraf, their historic paramilitary base.
This statement deliberately ignores credible evidence offered by many journalists and analysts including a high level confidential Israeli source here that the MEK has engaged in the assassination of Iranian scientists and other acts of violence and sabotage within Iran. It ignores in particular Seymour Hersh’s expose of U.S. special forces training of MEK agents in communications and weapons use at a secret Nevada site that lasted until at least 2007. This entire episode is a total shandeh.
In fact, writing in no less a “leftist” publication than Commentary, Michael Rubin had this to say about Israel’s cynical use of the MEK to do its dirty work in Iran:
“By utilizing the MEK—a group which Iranians view in the same way Americans see John Walker Lindh, the American convicted of aiding the Taliban—the Israelis risk winning some short-term gain at the tremendous expense of rallying Iranians around the regime’s flag. A far better strategy would be to facilitate regime change. Not only would the MEK be incapable of that mission, but involving them even cursorily would set the goal back years.”
CNN also carried this quote from an administration official which gave the lie to the State Department claims above:
“While they present themselves as a legitimate democratic group worthy of support, there is universal belief in the administration that they are a cult” one official said. “A de-listing is a sign of support or amnesia on our part as to what they have done and it does not mean we have suddenly changed our mind about their current behavior. We don’t forget who they were and we don’t think they are now who they claim to be, which is alternative to the current regime.”
However, this quote from the same official indicates he’s seriously deluded about the true nature of the group and it’s ability or interest in maintaining any commitments it makes:
If they think the notion of de-listing means they can run wild, that isn’t true. If they want to leave Iraq, they have to behave,” the official said.
In other words, their promises aren’t worth the paper they may or may not be written on.
In fact, since we’ve removed a real terror group from the list I submit we should add another to it to take its place: the Obama administration. Its counter terror policies as documented by articles on secret kill lists and targeted killings of teenage U.S. citizens in the NY Times indicate we should nominate ourselves to take the MEK’s place.
Right Web has just published this masterful profile of the group.