America's Own Pet Terror Organization Gets a Very Special Treatment
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That HuffPost responded to yesterday’s pressure by removing the MeK post and citing its policy against publishing those “affliated with designated terrorist organizations” is valuable in the sense that it highlights the absurd travesty of “Terrorism” in U.S. politics. For legal purposes, at least, MeK is every bit the Terrorist organization that Al Qaeda is, yet they are now Our Terrorists, and are thus heralded and rewarded rather than scorned.
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It was recently revealed that Clarence Page, the long-time Chicago Tribune columnist, was paid $20,000 to speak at this same MeK rally in Paris, along with travel expenses; once that was revealed, The Chicago Tribune reprimanded him and he announced that he would return the fee. It’s just extraordinary how much cash is flying around and ending up in the pockets of prominent and influential Americans in order to shill for this Terror group.
On a different note, The Guardian’s Iranian columnist, Saeed Kamali Dehghan, today details how sanctions against Iran are severely harming ordinary Iranians while doing little to undermine the government or its nuclear research program. The foreign policy analyst Reza H. Akbari points out the same thing here.
Finally, a new Pentagon report to Congress stresses, as the Federation of American Scientists put it, that “that while developing offensive capabilities, Iran’s military posture is essentially defensive in character” – specifically, “Iran’s military doctrine remains designed to slow an invasion; target its adversaries’ economic, political, and military interests; and force a diplomatic solution to hostilities while avoiding any concessions that challenge its core interests.” Let’s repeat that: quite understandably, “Iran’s military posture is essentially defensive in character.”
UPDATE: In addition to Abedini, The Huffington Post has also repeatedly published Ali Safavi, who is also identified as “a member of Iran’s Parliament in Exile, National Council of Resistance of Iran.” Safavi has also used his HuffPost platform to propagate standard MeK propaganda, such as this piece entitled “Time to Act on Iran Regime” which demands that “ the US must immediately delist the MEK” and argues that “delisting the MEK will strengthen the entire opposition in Iran, serving to suffocate Tehran’s nuclear drive and expansionist agenda,” and this one, entitled “Reality Check: Understanding the Mujahedin-e Khalq,” that reads like a MeK press release. He appeared on CNN in 2003 as a NCRI representative and said that the MeK “of course is one of the five member organizations of the National Council of Resistance of Iran.” Safavi formerly lived in London where he led the movement to have the MeK unbanned, and often appears at Congressional hearings advising pro-MeK members of Congress. He now heads a “think tank” in D.C., the Near East Policy Research, which is overtly pro-MeK.
In sum, if HuffPost intends to apply its ostensible policy of banning “ people affiliated with designated terrorist organizations,” it has a lot more work to do beyond deleting this single post from yesterday. That site has become a regular outpost of propaganda for the MeK Terror group. Just try to imagine if they were regularly publishing Al Qaeda or even Hamas and Hezbollah spokespeople: they’d be aggressively accused, perhaps even by the U.S. Government, of materially supporting Terrorists (a Staten Island man is still in federal prison for the “crime” of assisting and including a Hezbollah channel in the cable package he sold to customers). It would never be tolerated. Why should MeK be any different?
Glenn Greenwald is a constitutional law attorney and a regular contributor to Salon. He is the author of four books, most recently " With Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Law Is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful ."