When is a terrorist not a terrorist? When he’s OUR terrorist.
This just about knocked my socks off! Sy Hersh, reporting in the New Yorker, one ups Mark Perry and just about everybody else with a story that the Bush administration provided MEK operatives terror training at secret facilities in Nevada starting in 2005:
“We did train them here, and washed them through the Energy Department because the D.O.E. owns all this land in southern Nevada,” a former senior American intelligence official told me. “We were deploying them over long distances in the desert and mountains, and building their capacity in communications
The Iranian dissident agents received the full panoply of spook training offering by U.S. Special Forces operatives:
They got “the standard training,” he said, “in commo [communications], crypto [cryptography], small-unit tactics, and weaponry—that went on for six months…”
The communications training in Nevada involved more than teaching how to keep in contact during attacks—it also involved communication intercepts. The United States…at one point found a way to penetrate some major Iranian communications systems. At the time…the U.S. provided M.E.K. operatives with the ability to intercept telephone calls and text messages inside Iran—which M.E.K. operatives translated and shared with American signals intelligence experts.
The MEK had been designated a foreign terrorist organization by the State Department in 1997. But just when you’re exhaling and saying: phew, at least it was only in the Bush era, Hersh informs you that though the training ended before Obama took office, the MEK terror activities using U.S. supplied arms and logistical support continue inside Iran to this day:
Some American-supported covert operations continue in Iran today, according to past and present intelligence officials and military consultants.
This means of course that certainly George Bush, and implicitly Barack Obama couldn’t give a crap about the terror designation, which makes it an empty exercise and a laughingstock. So the U.S. kills Osama bin Laden in cold blood as an Islamist terrorist while we maintain our own set of Muslim terrorists inside Iran doing our bidding there. If this isn’t the rankest hypocrisy, I don’t know what is.
The next time you hear Tom Ridge, Howard Dean, Rudy Giuliani or Alan Dershowitz spout the lies of Maryam Rajavi that the MEK long ago renounced terrorism remember Sy Hersh’s story. This also reinforces the total sleaziness of these leading American political figures taking wads of cash from Iranian dissident terrorists blowing up Iranians on Iranian soil. I can understand that this would actually please Dershowitz, but the others? Perhaps they have a tad more moral conscience and common sense?
Iran leading U.S. lawyer argues bizarrely that while the MEK has reounced terror, if the U.S. HAD trained the group that this gave it an official heksher, meaning that it should no longer be on the terror list since it was doing the bidding of the American government. This argument turns the MEK into the equivalent of our Hmong tribesmen during the Vietnam war or the Bay of Pigs anti-Castro forces waging war to topple Fidel. In other words, they may be terrorists but they’re OUR terrorists.
This rounds out reports offered by a confidential Israeli source to me that the Mossad has been running MEK agents inside Iran as well who bombed a missile base and assassinated five nuclear scientists. Hersh now adds to this that the U.S. is providing critical intelligence information that aids in these attacks.
Though Hersh doesn’t say so explicitly, he exposes Leon Panetta as a bald-face liar in this passage:
In mid-January, a few days after an assassination by car bomb of an Iranian nuclear scientist in Tehran, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, at a town-hall meeting of soldiers at Fort Bliss, Texas, acknowledged that the U.S. government has “some ideas as to who might be involved, but we don’t know exactly who was involved.” He added, “But I can tell you one thing: the United States was not involved in that kind of effort. That’s not what the United States does.”
Let’s be very explicit: the U.S. is waging a war of terror against Iran. It is a war little different from the war Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda waged against us. The only difference is that we’re pissed about their alleged nuclear program and Al Qaeda was pissed at our alleged offenses against Islam. In perpetrating these acts of terror against Iran we are a terrorist nation. Plain and simple. Whether or not you believe that an Iranian bomb is a danger to humanity, there is no justification to engage in terror.
The next time Obama trumpets a captured Iranian terrorist attempting to attack a U.S. target the world should laugh in his face. He’s little more than a friggin’ hypocrite.
Clare Kuehn says
You are surprised? I hope only by the fact it got through the William Colby acknowledged CIA censor-and-control grid at all major news services. Perhaps truly loyal persons let it slip through. Perhaps this is because there’s a split in the grid; war with Iran would be not only wrong but dangerous for the whole world in the end, and many insiders know it. In 1914 there was Sarajevo; now it’s Syria then Iran. Thank you for your article.
Bob Mann says
Do you think the US will take the MEK off the terror list in light of this information becoming public?
Ali Reza says
Hersh you can go to hell. how much have you being payed by the Iranian regime to come up with these thoughts or mabye the State Department so that the can continue negosiate with Iran
US does have a full responsibility about the situation in Camp Ashraf and should conduct investigations first about who ordered the US troops out of the camp and then to have the Iraqi officers on the ground prosecuted. but a very good first step could be to do as the US Court have told them time and time again during the last 2 years DE_LISK MEK
Richard Silverstein says
And now for a word from our friends from MEK!!
Yes insulting everybody and calling everyone agent of Iranian Regime is what MEK members always do. the question is if everyone, including Iranian people, is the agent of the regime whom do u struggle for? Are u going to free the agents of the regime from the agents of the regime? Zero support is what you have inside the country. You and your gang leaders would be better to solve your contradictions and think about how to give your women to Massoud Rajavi rather than liberating Iran… Poor manipulated compatriot you d better know during last few years over 750 MEK members returned to Iran and are living ordinary lives without being prosecuted or tortured. So we would welcome every pennant members inside the country cause we believe this is Iranians country not only ours. don waste your lives lisstening to what you are provided by Rajavis
The problem is, this doesn’t seem to be on the average American’s list of election year concerns.
David Trimmell says
Richard, glad to see Juan Cole is now running with the Hursh story. I know you have been on this for a while, and are now being proven correct. You have become an invaluable source of information for me.
Thank you for your work, I will donate what I can.
Richard Silverstein says
so let me try and figure it out.
few weeks ago, you blamed israel for being behind the attacks in Iran, no you are aligning yourself with SH story, so who is behind the attacks in Iran ? Israel or the US or both ?
Richard Silverstein says
Iran’s a big country. You think the U.S. AND Israel can’t be running MEK agents inside Iran? If you can’t figure that out I’m not sure anything I could say could clarify things for you.
KILLING A SINGLE SCIENTIST IS NOT TERRORISM. IT’S A TARGETED ASSASSINATION.
KILLING BY ITSELF IS NOT TERRORISM. OTHERWISE, POLICEMEN WOULD BE TERRORIST WHEN THEY SHOOT DOWN A KILLER.
TERRORISM IS WHEN YOU KILL PEOPLE NO METTER WHO THEY ARE, AT RANDOM.
Amazing. Targeted killing is not murder, when it is done without benefit of due process but as a consequence of mere suspicion. Being judge, jury and executioner under those conditions, if not terrorism, is so close to it as to be splitting hairs.
Using drones or rockets to blow away someone whose politics don’t mesh with your own is barbarity no civilized society should tolerate.
Anwar al-Awlaki’s 16 year old son was one of the unfortunate innocent victims when Obama decided to erase him from the earth without ever charging him with a crime. Even if not another human being was injured, the idea of any government making such decisions to kill people for the words they say should scare the shit out of you.
Terrorism is an act committed to instill fear in a populace. I would say Obama is doing a damned good job of that. I would say that Bush was no amateur, either.
A sidebar & only tangentially on target. Priscilla was a weapons-related shot tethered to a balloon It was one of nineteen nuclear detonations in Area 5 of the NTS (which includes Frenchman Flats) between 1951-1958. (See DOE/NV — 209-REV 15, DEC 2000)