And What Will MEK Be Doing in Baghdad While Waiting for Resettlement?

CNN has a funny story reporting that Hillary Clinton will inform Congress she’s delisting the MEK from State’s foreign terrorist organization list.

It botches the key paragraph explaining that MEK has done what Hillary said they’d have to do to be delisted: move out of Camp Ashraf (this is as of 11:00–I assume they’ll edit it).

The group is in its final stages [sic] from a refugee camp in Iraq where they’ve lived for more than 25 years [sic] is nearing completion under the auspices of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq. They are moving to another location in Iraq before being eventually re-settled in third countries. The US has been working with the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees to re-settle the group.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is under a court order to decide by October 1 whether to remove MEK from the terror list. The secretary has said several times that her decision would be guided, in part, by whether the group moves peacefully from Camp Ashraf.

“We don’t love these people but the Secretary’s decision is merited based on the record of facts that we have,” one US official said. “This was not done casually and it’s the right decision.”

The AP has a much more coherent account of MEK’s move from Ashraf to “Camp Liberty.”

Lugging whatever personal items they were allowed to carry, the last in a convoy of 680 exiles entered their new home at Camp Liberty on Baghdad’s outskirts Sunday morning. The move took several days to complete, and the MEK leadership accused Iraqi forces of harassment and putting the exiles though unnecessary security screening before they were allowed to leave Ashraf.


Camp Liberty was designed as a compromise way-station for the U.N. to speed the exiles out of Iraq peacefully.

“This is an important step as we near the end of the relocation process,” Martin Kobler, top U.N. envoy in Iraq, said in a statement Sunday. “I urge the international community to speed up its efforts to accept residents in third countries.”

Several diplomats from at least 15 nations who toured Camp Liberty last week said their governments still are weighing whether to accept the exiles. In all, more than 4,000 exiles need to be resettled. So far, 512 are going through the process of being moved to other counties, and five have already been accepted and left, according to U.N. data dated Sept. 13, the latest figures available Sunday.

In other words, the short version is nothing so suspicious as are the large number of people who’ve been paid to lobby for MEK’s delisting. Hillary wanted to defuse the Camp Ashraf problem, she did, and now she is doing what she said she would: delisting the MEK.

All that said, it’s a rather curious time for a spooked up dissident group to be waiting in the vicinity of Baghdad until the UN resettles them in fives and sixes. We’ve had to pull back many of our spies from Iraq. And Iran is supplying Syria through Iraq.


9 replies
  1. riptide says:

    the nyt alluded to the $$$$ angle but Guardian UK makes the $$$$ impact explicit – we wonder where did MEK get the $$$$ ?????

    MEK decision: multimillion-dollar campaign led to removal from terror list

    The steady flow of funds to members of Congress, lobbying firms and former officials in support of Iranian group

    Supporters of a designated Iranian terrorist organisation have won a long struggle to see it unbanned in the US after pouring millions of dollars into an unprecedented campaign of political donations, hiring Washington lobby groups and payments to former top administration officials.

    A Guardian investigation, drawing partly on data researched by the Centre for Responsive Politics, a group tracking the impact of money in US politics, has identified a steady flow of funds from key Iranian American organisations and their leaders into the campaign to have the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran removed from the list of terrorist organisations.

    so, if Osama bin Laden had been REALLY smart he should have just hired a wired washington dc lobbying firm and a few former pols / apparatchiks and then he would have been “de-listed” and good to go.

  2. riptide says:

    Q&A: what is the MEK and why did the US call it a terrorist organisation?

    The MEK cut a ‘swath of terror’ in the Middle East, but leaders have worked hard to convince the west they are peaceful now

    Why did the US designate the MEK a terrorist organisation in 1997?

    The MEK’s supporters say it was banned as a move by the Clinton administration to appease the Iranian government. The US state department, which decides which groups to include on the list of designated terrorist organisations, points to a long and bloody history.

    The MEK ran a bombing campaign inside Iran against the Shah’s regime the 1970s. The targets were sometimes American, including the US information office, Pepsi Cola, PanAm and General Motors. The group routinely denounced Zionism and “racist Israel”, and called for “death to America”.

    A state department report in 1992 identified the MEK as responsible for the killing of six Americans in Iran during the 1970s. They included three military officers and three men working for Rockwell International, a conglomerate specialising in aerospace including weapons, who were murdered in retaliation for the arrest of MEK members over the killings of the US military officers.

    The MEK was an enthusiastic supporter of the seizure of the US embassy in Tehran following the Iranian revolution. It called the eventual release of the American hostages a “surrender”.

    much much more >>>>

    so these scum MEK get away with Murdering Americans because it lobbied the right people and spent a ton of $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ ???? wow that pretty much sucks. wonder how the families of the Americans that were murdered by these swine feel about that. anybody ask Hillary????

  3. jo6pac says:

    Yes peaceful now but they are for hire to kill inside of Iran. Yes great lobbying and that list of friends that should have been up on charges now escapes the law. Nothing new for the elite.

  4. Frank33 says:

    I have figured out who supports MEK. It is the Secret Government. There is a list.

    And who could have guessed that that Twitter maniac, Philip Crowley is part of the Secret Government!

    “two officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity”

    R. James Woolsey and Porter J. Goss, former C.I.A. directors; Louis J. Freeh, the former F.B.I. director; President George W. Bush’s homeland security secretary, Tom Ridge, and attorney general, Michael B. Mukasey; and President Obama’s first national security adviser, Gen. James L. Jones.

    It even enlisted journalists as speakers, including Carl Bernstein, of Watergate fame, and Clarence Page, a columnist for The Chicago Tribune.

    “Yes, I was paid to speak at certain events,” said Philip J. Crowley

    Representative Dana Rohrabacher

  5. riptide says:

    additional coverage / reporting from Guardian UK shows that $$$$$ SHOUTS LOUDLY and Bullsh*t … well, you know what Bullsh*t does …

    Iranian exiles, DC lobbyists and the campaign to delist the MEK

    US policy change on banned Iranian group came after extraordinary fundraising operation to transform its image

    To the usa government, the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) was a terrorist group alongside al-Qaida, Hamas and the Farc in Colombia. The MEK landed on the list in 1997 with American blood on its hands and by allying itself with Saddam Hussein along with a long list of bombings inside Iran.

    But the organisation is regarded very differently by a large number of members of Congress, former White House officials and army generals, and even one of the US’s most renowned reporters, Carl Bernstein. They see the MEK as a victim of US double dealings with the regime in Tehran and a legitimate alternative to the Iran’s Islamic government.

    That difference is in no small part the result of a formidable fundraising operation and campaign to transform the MEK’s image led by more than 20 Iranian American organisations across the US. These groups and their leaders have spent millions of dollars on donations to members of Congress, paying Washington lobby groups and hiring influential politicians and officials, including two former CIA directors, as speakers.

    In a highly sensitive political game, MEK supporters have succeeded in pressing the state department into removing the group from the list of terrorist organisations after winning a court order requiring a decision to be made on the issue before the end of this month. But its supporters were forced to tread a careful path so as not to cross anti-terrorism laws.

  6. Kathleen says:

    So will the de listing language retroactively exempt our alleged ally Israel and U.S. citizens (Rengel etc) congress folks for doing business with MEK while they were on the U.S. terrorist list? No one is above the law…notice Holder, Obama, etc etc are not repeating that one as often as they used to.

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