Obama's Treasury Dept. Trying to Chill Anti-Mullah Group Here in America
Guy Taylor of the Washington Times reports that Barack Obama's Treasury Department is investigating former Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell over fees he received for speaking up on behalf of the Mujahideen-e Khalq (MEK) group. This is a group that is composed of opponents of the Iranian regime. This group's supporters in Iran have reportedly provided much of the information that has flowed to the West regarding Iran's nuclear program. These supporters are also rumored to have been busy -- at the risk of their own lives -- in sabotaging that nuclear program.
The paper reports:
The Treasury Department's counterterrorism arm is investigating speaking fees paid to a long-time Democratic Party leader who is among the most vocal advocates of an Iranian opposition group designated as a terrorist group by the State Department.
Former Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell told The Washington Times that Treasury investigators last week subpoenaed records related to payments he has accepted in exchange for public speaking engagements.
Mr. Rendell is among a bipartisan group of prominent former officials - including Cabinet-level Republicans - who have accepted payment in exchange for speeches calling for the removal of the Mujahideen-e Khalq (MEK) from the State Department's list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations.
The MEK, also known as the People's Mujahedin of Iran, has long called for the overthrow of the Islamic theocracy in Tehran. The group, which engaged in terror attacks on Iranian government targets in the 1980s, has been on the terrorist list since 1997, when President Bill Clinton put it there in an attempt to improve relations with Iran.
Rendell -- and others across the political spectrum (even Howard Dean) -- has argued that the MEK should be removed from that list because it shares a common enemy with the United States. Apparently, people in the Obama administration do not agree.
There is more interesting information in the paper:
At issue is the fate of 3,400 Iranian dissidents said to be members of the MEK. They have been living in Iraq since the Iran-Iraq war during the 1980s when they fought on the Iraqi side.
Since the U.S. occupation of Iraq in 2003, the MEK supporters lived under U.S. protection at a camp on the Iranian border. But now the Americans have left, the Iraqi government has said it will close the camp.
The supporters fear they will be departed to torture and death in Iran, but third countries are unwilling to take them because of the group's designation on the Foreign Terrorist Organization list overseen by the State Department.
The group has sued the State Department in federal court to be taken off the list, but the case has dragged on for more than two years. Last week, a court ruled that the State Department must respond to the MEK petition by March 26.
The European Union removed the group from its terror list in 2009.
So the EU has seen fit to remove the group from its terror list, but Obama -- usually so admiring of the European Union -- has seen fit to keep the MEK bottled up by continuing to classify them as a terror group. This is the same administration that continually meets with officials from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) -- a group actually linked to terrorism. Furthermore, the Treasury Department has been notably lax in enforcing existing sanctions on Iran, so why waste time on a counterproductive effort to try to shut down support for such a worthy group?
At the same time, the administration has taken a nonchalant approach to what may be the fate of the people in the camp in Iraq who had been protected by United States forces. Iraq has been making very friendly overtures to Iran in the last few months as America has wound down its forces. Will these people -- who have proven so helpful against the regime -- be murdered while the Obama team looks on?
Keep in mind this is by far not the first time the administration has sought to curry favor with the Iranian regime by taking steps against its opponents here in America. The biggest spender in American presidential history also cut off funding for a Boston-based Iran human rights group that had been documenting all the tortures and murders the Iranian regime had been engaged in over the years. This group was asking for a grand total of 2.7 million dollars for two years for its work in documenting the regime's human rights abuses and naming those individuals behind the murders.
That apparently was just not worth it to Barack Obama -- the Nobel Peace Prize-winner.
One wonders -- not really -- whose side this president is on.