US National Security Advisor John Bolton Backs Terrorists

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by Tony Cartalucci, New Eastern Outlook:

Talk surrounding US President Donald Trump’s move to appoint John Bolton as his new National Security Advisor has focused on Bolton’s role in promoting the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq and the profound contrast his appointment signifies in light of President Trump’s 2016 campaign promises to “drain the swamp.”

However, Bolton’s appointment carries with it greater implications both to those apparently criticizing him as well as those attempting to promote him. Bolton has – for years – lobbied for a terrorist organization guilty of kidnapping and killing both US service members as well as US civilian contractors, along with an untold number of Iranian civilians and politicians in a campaign of terror that has stretched over several decades and continues today.

Worst of all, the terrorist organization Bolton lobbied for was literally listed on the US State Department’s Foreign Terrorist Organizations list during his lobbying activities – in direct violation of US counter-terrorism laws.

That organization – Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) and its political front, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) – has since been delisted as of 2012. However, the organization was delisted not because it has fully given up armed terrorism, but because the US has planned since at least as early as 2009 – according to Washington’s own policy papers – to use MEK as armed proxies against the nation of Iran.

MEK are Terrorists, Even According to Their US Sponsors

Despite claims by a growing army of MEK advocates spanning various social media platforms, MEK is without doubt a dangerous terrorist organization. Even those seeking to sponsor MEK as a militant proxy against Iran have admitted as much.

In the 2009 Brookings Institution policy paper, “Which Path to Persia? Options for a New American Strategy Toward Iran,” US policymakers openly admitted MEK’s candidacy as a US proxy (emphasis added):

Perhaps the most prominent (and certainly the most controversial) opposition group that has attracted attention as a potential U.S. proxy is the NCRI (National Council of Resistance of Iran), the political movement established by the MEK (Mujahedin-e Khalq). Critics believe the group to be undemocratic and unpopular, and indeed anti-American.

In contrast, the group’s champions contend that the movement’s long-standing opposition to the Iranian regime and record of successful attacks on and intelligence-gathering operations against the regime make it worthy of U.S. support. They also argue that the group is no longer anti-American and question the merit of earlier accusations. Raymond Tanter, one of the group’s supporters in the United States, contends that the MEK and the NCRI are allies for regime change in Tehran and also act as a useful proxy for gathering intelligence. The MEK’s greatest intelligence coup was the provision of intelligence in 2002 that led to the discovery of a secret site in Iran for enriching uranium.

Brookings policymakers also openly acknowledged that MEK was without doubt a terrorist organization (emphasis added):

Despite its defenders’ claims, the MEK remains on the U.S. government list of foreign terrorist organizations. In the 1970s, the group killed three U.S. officers and three civilian contractors in Iran. During the 1979-1980 hostage crisis, the group praised the decision to take America hostages and Elaine Sciolino reported that while group leaders publicly condemned the 9/11 attacks, within the group celebrations were widespread. Undeniably, the group has conducted terrorist attacks—often excused by the MEK’s advocates because they are directed against the Iranian government. For example, in 1981, the group bombed the headquarters of the Islamic Republic Party, which was then the clerical leadership’s main political organization, killing an estimated 70 senior officials. More recently, the group has claimed credit for over a dozen mortar attacks, assassinations, and other assaults on Iranian civilian and military targets between 1998 and 2001. At the very least, to work more closely with the group (at least in an overt manner), Washington would need to remove it from the list of foreign terrorist organizations.”

It should be noted that Brookings’ mention of MEK was made under a chapter titled, “INSPIRING AN INSURGENCY Supporting Iranian Minority and Opposition Groups,” indicating that groups being considered for US sponsorship would undoubtedly be armed and carry out a campaign of violence – if not terrorism, then the full-scale military operations similar US-sponsored militant groups have been carrying out in Syria.

Brookings recommendation that MEK be removed “from the list of foreign terrorist organizations” would eventually be fully realized by 2012 – spearheaded by lobbyists led by prominent US politicians and policymakers including US National Security Advisor John Bolton.

MEK’s Decades of Terrorism and its Future Terrorism

MEK has carried out decades of brutal terrorist attacks, assassinations, and espionage against the Iranian government and its people, as well as targeting Americans including the attempted kidnapping of US Ambassador Douglas MacArthur II, the attempted assassination of USAF Brigadier General Harold Price, the successful assassination of Lieutenant Colonel Louis Lee Hawkins, the double assassinations of Colonel Paul Shaffer and Lieutenant Colonel Jack Turner, and the successful ambush and killing of American Rockwell International employees William Cottrell, Donald Smith, and Robert Krongard.

Admissions to the deaths of the Rockwell International employees can be found within a 2011 report written by former US State Department and Department of Defense official Lincoln Bloomfield Jr. on behalf of another lobbying firm – Akin Gump – in an attempt to dismiss concerns over MEK’s violent past and how it connects to its current campaign of armed terror.

The report would state:

The State Department’s Country Reports on Terrorism 2009 document says that the MEK killed the deputy chief of the US Military Mission in Tehran in 1973, two members of the US Military Assistance Advisory Group in 1975, and two employees of Rockwell International in 1976, and that it claimed responsibility for killing an American Texaco executive in 1979.

MEK’s violent past of armed terrorism, coupled with admissions by the US that it seeks to use MEK as an armed proxy against Iran calls into question the US State Department’s decision

Regarding that decision, the US State Department’s 2012 statement titled, “Delisting of the Mujahedin-e Khalq” would claim:

With today’s actions, the Department does not overlook or forget the MEK’s past acts of terrorism, including its involvement in the killing of U.S. citizens in Iran in the 1970s and an attack on U.S. soil in 1992. The Department also has serious concerns about the MEK as an organization, particularly with regard to allegations of abuse committed against its own members.

The Secretary’s decision today took into account the MEK’s public renunciation of violence, the absence of confirmed acts of terrorism by the MEK for more than a decade, and their cooperation in the peaceful closure of Camp Ashraf, their historic paramilitary base.

The US State Department admits that the organization carried out terrorism in the past and continues today with abuses toward its own members. And as US policymakers within the pages of Brookings papers admit, the entire campaign aimed at delisting MEK in the first place was to legitimize the organization’s use as a militant proxy against Iran – a role that will most certainly violate MEK’s supposed “renunciation of violence” and contravene the grounds upon which MEK was delisted as a terrorist organization by the US State Department in the first place.

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