The Hill reported on Sunday that the U.S.-designated terrorist group the Mujahedin e Khalq (aka the People’s Mujahedin of Iran, aka the National Council of Resistance) has acquired lobbying help from Democratic powerhouse Akin Gump to support its removal from the State Department’s Foreign Terrorist Organization list.
To be fair to Akin Gump, plenty of GOPers have taken up cudgels for the MEK, though the direct cash payoff to them is less clear.
The MEK has for years lobbied aggressively via a myriad of front groups to be taken off the terrorism list. Shrewd lobbyists, they have moved well beyond their street corner and airports campaign (“support Iran’s starving children”) to “grassroots” organizations and hired guns. And I get why they don’t want to be on the terrorism list; it comes with a spate of sanctions and restrictions that are odious to most groups no matter their intentions. But what of their partisans? Do they know the MEK? If not, check out Michael Rubin’s piece on the MEK or this FBI report from 2004, the list of murdered Americans, the money laundering, the cult-like behavior, the … terrorism. Is it all a lie? Has the MEK seen the light? Or is this a way of trying to oust the foul regime in Tehran?
If this is an enemy/enemy/friend thing, let’s consider whether we wish to replace the creepy, Islamist, dictatorial mullahs with the creepy, Islamist, dictatorial cult. Seems a bad trade to me. The United States should be supporting democracy in Iran, not a one-for-one swap among murderers and thugs.
And here’s another question: Where’s the FBI and the Justice Department? A terrorist group is lobbying in the United States. It’s paying top political fixers to make its case. It’s paying speaking fees to former government officials. Where’s the money from? How’s it being transferred? And would it be okay for Hezbollah to do this? Al Qaeda?