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When Is A Terrorist Not A Terrorist?


When the Mujhadeen in Afghanistan were assassinating members of their government and the Russian troops dispatched to support it, they were, in Washington’s view, freedom fighters, even as their enemies branded them terrorists.

When they turned against an Afghan government imposed by the United States or revolted against a US invasion, they were once again branded terrorists. 

When armed groups battling Gadaffy’s govermment were supported by NATO, they were called freedom fighters. When some recently and allegedly turned violently against the United States which is now dominating Libyan politics, they are once again castigated as terrorists. 

And now, the United States Government, through a decision by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, has decided that the Iranian group line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-bidi-font-family:Georgia;
mso-bidi-language:EN-US”>That means they will no longer face financial and legal sanctions.
 

line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-bidi-font-family:Georgia;
mso-bidi-language:EN-US”>The New York Times says this feat was accomplished through what it describes as an “extraordinary” lobbying effort costing millions over many years.
 

10.0pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-bidi-font-family:
Georgia;mso-bidi-language:EN-US”>Reports the Times: “The group, known as the M.E.K., carried out terrorist attacks in the 1970s and 1980s, first against the government of the Shah of Iran and later against the clerical rulers who overthrew him. Several Americans were among those killed. In the 1980s, it allied with Saddam Hussein, who permitted it to operate from Camp Ashraf.

line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-bidi-font-family:Georgia;
mso-bidi-language:EN-US”>The decision comes just before an October 1 cut off date ordered by a Federal appeals court.
 

10.0pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-bidi-font-family:
Georgia;mso-bidi-language:EN-US”>US News explains: State Department report warned that the M.E.K., retains "the capacity and will" to attack "Europe, the Middle East, the United States, Canada, and beyond.

10.0pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-bidi-font-family:
LucidaGrande;mso-bidi-language:EN-US”>The M.E.K., which calls for an overthrow of the Iranian government and is considered by many Iranians to be a cult, once fought for Saddam Hussein and in the 1970s was responsible for bombings, attempted plane hijackings, and political assassinations. It was listed as a foreign terrorist organization in 1997.

line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-bidi-font-family:LucidaGrande;
mso-bidi-language:EN-US”>No less than 99 members of Congress—Democrats and Republican alike—signed to a Congressional resolution to take the “holy warriors” off the list.
 

mso-bidi-font-family:LucidaGrande;mso-bidi-language:EN-US”>Victoria Toensing of DiGenova & Toensing, a lobbying shop famous for its involvement in the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky scandal, was paid $110,000 in 2011 to lobby for the resolution. The firm Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld dedicated five lobbyists to getting signatures for the resolution, and was paid $100,000 in 2012 and $290,000 in 2011 to do so. Paul Marcone and Association similarly lobbied for the resolution, and received $5,000 in 2010 and $5,000 in 2011 for its efforts.” 

mso-bidi-font-family:TimesNewRomanPSMT;mso-bidi-language:EN-US”>“That close association on the part of numerous Washington officials with a Terrorist organization has led to a formal federal investigation of those officials… paid MEK shill Howard Dean (a former Democratic liberal presidential candidate) actually called on its leader to be recognized as President of Iran while paid MEK shill Rudy Giuliani has continuously hailed the group’s benevolence.” 

10.0pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-bidi-font-family:
TimesNewRomanPSMT;mso-bidi-language:EN-US”>“
Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan and delivered a speech questioning the listing of an obscure Iranian group called the Mujahadin-e Khalq (MEK) on the U.S. government list of officially designated foreign terrorist organizations.

10.0pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-bidi-font-family:
Georgia;mso-bidi-language:EN-US”>The speech, before a crowd an organizer put at 1,500, made Bernstein one of the few journalists who has appeared at events in a years-long campaign by MEK supporters to free the group from the official terrorist label and the legal sanctions that come with it. He told ProPublica that he was paid $12,000 for the appearance but that, “I was not there as an advocate.”

line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-bidi-font-family:Georgia;
mso-bidi-language:EN-US”>Listening to the talk was a bi-partisan group of prominent pols including ex-New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former congressman Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, and former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill.
 

line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-bidi-font-family:Georgia;
mso-bidi-language:EN-US”>It shows how porous the terrorism issue too is subject to how changes in political fashions, and how little the media knows or remembers and how open it is to being influenced by insiders, especially when there’s money to be paid for a few hours work.
 

line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-bidi-font-family:Georgia;
mso-bidi-language:EN-US”>Even the decision to refuse visas to Iranians coming to a UN meeting seems part of the same strategy designed to show critics in Israel, and Republicans that the US is ready to get tough.
 

mso-bidi-font-family:Georgia;mso-bidi-language:EN-US”>News Dissector Danny Schechter blogs at newsdissector.net. His latest books are Blogothon and Occupy: Dissecting Occupy Wall Street. He hosts a show on Progressive Radio Network (PRN.fm) Part of this piece appeared on PressTV.com Comments to [email protected] 

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