September 21, 2012 / by emptywheel


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.


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