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Seymour Hersh Reveals that MEK Terrorists Were Trained in the USA by the Pentagon

As Glenn Greenwald noted in his book “With Liberty and Justice for Some,” equality before the law is an illusion in the United States. If you are wealthy and have political clout you are most likely to get away with breaking the law and committing crimes, such as “material support” of terrorism.

We reported in July of last year that many politicians from both parties were working with and receiving money from a US State Department designated terrorist organization, the MEK. A group Islamophobes are also quite fond of at the moment.

It was then revealed that the US and Israel have been supporting the MEK to carry out terrorist missions in Iran. Now it has been revealed by the trailblazing investigative journalist, Seymour Hersh that the Pentagon has been training the MEK in Nevada for years, starting in 2005:

US Pentagon Trained Iranian terrorists in Nevada: Hersh

Posted on 04/07/2012 by Juan Cole

The intrepid Seymour Hersh reports at the New Yorker that the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) of the US military gave members of the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK or People’s Holy Jihadis) training in signals intelligence at a facility in Nevada during the Bush era. The MEK was then and is now on the US State Department’s terrorism watch list, so the Pentagon’s deployment of this group was quite illegal.

The MEK was given a base in eastern Iraq by Saddam Hussein, who used the some 4,000 guerrillas who gathered there to harass the Islamic Republic of Iran. The MEK had its origins in an Islamic-Marxist guerrilla group of the 1970s that fought the forces of the Shah. It joined in the revolution against the Shah in 1978-79 but broke with the Khomeini regime and turned to a massive campaign of bombing and sniping against it. In return, the regime killed some 10,000 suspected MEK members, many of whom it just shot down in the street. The group evolved into a political cult, with insistence on glaze-eyed absolute obedience to the leader, Maryam Rajavi, and cult-like practices such as forced marriages and divorces (not to mention the long history of violence inside Iran).

When the US occupied Iraq, some in the Pentagon adopted the MEK at Camp Ashraf near the Iranian border for use against Iran. The MEK has bought a lot of big American politicians and seems to have promised the Israelis it would recognize Israel if it ever came to power in Iran; figures connected to the Israel lobbies have hypocritically campaigned to have the MEK delisted as a terrorist organization, despite it long and bloody record of attacks on civilians. As recently as this year, NBC quoted unnamed US government officials alleging that the MEK has been assassinating Iranian scientists in Iran.

Hersh reveals a trail of blatant hypocrisy on the part of the US government. “Our” terrorists are not terrorists even if they have blown up non-combatants, but national liberation groups such as Hizbullah in Lebanon are designated terrorists. Government officials have even brandished the word “terrorism” to describe perfectly peaceful protesters and dissidents inside the US, while JSOC was flying dyed-in-the-wool terrorists to Nevada for training.

The USG Open Source Center translated a report in the MEK newspaper regarding the hobnobbing of Rudy Giuliani, John Bolton and others with the MEK leadership in Paris recently:

“– On 24 March, the NCRI secretariat website published a report on an international conference held in Paris to address MEK concerns and issues, which was attended by NCRI President-elect Maryam Rajavi as well as former high ranking officials from the United States and Europe including Rudy Giuliani, Tom Ridge, John Bolton, Patrick Kennedy, and Colonel Wesley Martin.. According to the report, the issues raised included the adoption of a “decisive policy” against Iran’s regime, protection of the rights of Camp Ashraf and Liberty residents, and the elimination of MEK’s “terrorist label.” Rajavi said that “the only way to prevent an Iranian atomic bomb or the occurrence of an unprecedented conflict” was “regime change” by the Iranian people and resistance. On the issue of Camp Liberty, Rudy Giuliani said: “Let us go there. Let us see it with our own eyes.” He added: “Currently the enemy of stopping Iran becoming nuclear is appeasement. This wrong perception has made Iran more determined in becoming nuclear. Let us stop appeasement. Let us stop the efforts for negotiations. Stop writing letters to the ayatollahs. Let us rise up and say as Americans that we are for regime change in Iran and we will take every step necessary to stop Iran becoming nuclear” (National Council of Resistance of Iran in Persian — Website of an exiled political umbrella coalition of Marxist and Islamist organizations — Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK or MKO), National Liberation Army of Iran (NLA), People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI), National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and Muslim Iranian Students Society (MISS); on US State Department’s list of terrorist groups since 1997; URL: http://www.iranncr.org/).”

As Sheila Musaji points out, lots of American Muslims are in jail for ‘material support of terrorism,’ but American politicians and pundits get a free pass for actively supporting the MEK– which, remember, is definitively on the terrorism watch list.

Note to the US government and the Neocons: George Orwell’s 1984 was a dark political satire, not a blueprint for how you should do things.

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  • George Carty

    The Iranian state media calls MEK “Munafiqeen-e Khalq” (or “Hypocrites of the People”…)

  • Believing Atheist

    @Hussein,

    If you commit terrorist acts you are a terrorist organization, correct? Here is a list of all of the MEK terrorist attacks that were recorded by global security (there may be others).

    The series of mortar attacks and hit-and-run raids during 2000 and 2001 against Iranian government buildings; one of these killed Iran’s chief of staff
     The 2000 mortar attack on President Mohammad Khatami’s palace in Tehran
     The February 2000 “Operation Great Bahman,” during which MEK launched 12 attacks against Iran
     The 1999 assassination of the deputy chief of Iran’s armed forces general staff, Ali Sayyad Shirazi
     The 1998 assassination of the director of Iran’s prison system, Asadollah Lajevardi
     The 1992 near-simultaneous attacks on Iranian embassies and institutions in 13 countries Assistance to Saddam Hussein’s suppression of the 1991 Iraqi Shiite and Kurdish uprisings
     The 1981 bombing of the offices of the Islamic Republic Party and of Premier Mohammad-Javad Bahonar, which killed some 70 high-ranking Iranian officials, including President Mohammad-Ali Rajaei and Bahonar Support for the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran by Iranian revolutionaries
     The 1970s killings of U.S. military personnel and civilians working on defense projects in Tehran
    http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/para/mek.htm

  • Ilisha

    @Hussein

    I don’t agree with your conclusion. Neocon groups like Family Security Matters are pushing to de-list MEK to serve their agenda, and in any case:

    U.S. Court Sides with Iranian Opposition Group vs. U.S. State Department
    http://familysecuritymatters.org/publications/id.11580/pub_detail.asp

    Published March 12, 2012, the article states:

    The U.S. still lists the MEK as a terrorist group, a designation it has held since 1997…

    As far as Western countries dealing in “facts,” was that the case when they decided to recruit and support the Afghan Mujahideen? I think it’s more reasonable to conclude the definition of a “terrorist” group depends on the West’s short-term perceived interests–not facts.

    Further reading:

    MeK Status on US Terror List Hinges on Relocation
    http://news.antiwar.com/2012/02/29/mek-status-on-us-terror-list-hinges-on-relocation/
    ..The MEK has a long history of terrorist activity going back to the 1970′s and it remains on America’s official list of foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs) and has the goal of overthrowing the Iranian government. Because of this goal, there has been a big money push by many influential people in Washington to get the group removed from the State Department’s terrorist list, presumably to make it eligible for U.S. funding and harm Iran…

  • Reynardine

    CL: If so, it’s strictly a marriage of convenience, which will never be consummated.

  • cl

    I don’t know much about MEK but are they supportive of Israel?

  • Reynardine

    Most oddly, MEK is the name of a dangerous and toxic ketone solvent, methyl ethyl ketone, which I was forced to work with for ten days running in an inadequately vented painting booth in 1978, and which left my lungs seriously weakened for the next twenty years.

    I am not surprised at this. And who was really doing the “appeasing”? The Bush regime deliberately took it easy on Iran and North Korea in the first years, just so they would have no distraction in terror-bombing and invading Iraq, against whom we had no casus belli. These people are like screwflies: if anything is wounded or rotten, they’ll get right into it and make it a thousand times worse.

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