Crazy dreams of a sponsor of terrorism: from colonising the Moon to World War III

Crazy dreams of a sponsor of terrorism: from colonising the Moon to World War III

Habilian Association, July 10 2017:…  The timing of Gingrich’s appearance at the MEK gala was awkward for Trump, since the candidate had spent part of the previous week arguing that the late Iraqi dictator, while being “a really bad guy,” deserved some credit because “he killed terrorists.” “He did that so good,” Trump told supporters in North Carolina on Tuesday. “They didn’t read them the rights; they didn’t talk; they 

National Security: Could Maryam Rajavi (Mojahedin Khalq) blackmail her friends in high places – Rudi Giuliani, John Bolton and Newt Gingrich

Newt Gingrich Rajavi cult TerrorismBetrayal at The Highest Level by Former US Officials

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Crazy dreams of a sponsor of terrorism: from colonising the Moon to World War III

Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and unsuccessful GOP presidential candidate, is a vocal advocate of right-wing social policies and a militarist U.S. defence posture. A former fellow at the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI), Gingrich has been an important Republican Party figure for decades. He was a key force behind the 1994 “Contract with America” and in recent years has become a vociferous proponent of the notion that the United States faces an existential threat from Islamic terrorists, who he claims “want to kill us because they want to kill us.”[1]

After the massacre of 14 individuals in San Bernardino, California, in December 2015 by two individuals sympathetic to the Islamic State (ISIS), Gingrich argued that the Obama White House was, for ideological reasons, blind to the threat of “Islamic supremacists.” Along with co-author William Forstchen, Gingrich argued in an editorial after the attacks that gun-free zones at schools were absurd and suggested that “former military or law enforcement” figures carrying concealed weapons would protect school children from ISIS.[2]

Gingrich also vociferously opposed the historic July 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers including the United States. In an op-ed for the Washington Times, Gingrich wrote, “The deal is no victory for peace. It’s a surrender to a violent and dangerous regime.”[3]

He also attacked Secretary of State John Kerry for his role in negotiating the agreement: “Secretary of State John Kerry entered politics 45 years ago on a platform of opportunistic anti-Americanism and false peace with totalitarianism. Then as now mistaking dishonor for political heroism, Mr. Kerry lied to the American people to justify his preferred policy of weakness and surrender. And as he proved this week, he’s still at it, with Mr. Kerry the ‘peacemaker’ in the leading role.”[4]

Obama Opposition and Anti-Islam Rhetoric
Since the election of President Barack Obama, Gingrich’s rhetoric has appeared to grow increasingly strident, particularly with respect to Islam and the administration’s efforts to confront it, and lambasting the president for everything from health care reform to foreign policy.

In a May 2009 op-ed for the Washington Examiner, Gingrich argued that worries among elites that the United States is growing increasingly liberal in the “Era of Obama” are unfounded. He wrote: “Americans are increasingly out of synch with the liberal Washington establishment,” Gingrich wrote. “But what are they getting from their leaders in Washington? Plans to send Guantanamo terrorists to American communities and other far left proposals that will damage our national security. … The faint hissing sound you are beginning to hear is the air slowly leaking out of the Washington conventional wisdom. The question is, anyone in the elites listening?”[5]

Gingrich has frequently blasted the Obama administration’s approach to foreign policy, calling it “weak” and “amateur,”[6] and claiming that the president’s foreign policy vision is a “fantasy” that “completely misunderstands reality.”[7] He has also implied that Obama’s strategy is un-American, telling Fox’s Sean Hannity once that the country “need[s] an American foreign policy, based on American interests.”[8]

His attacks have often focused on Muslim cultural issues, arguing that during the Obama era there has been an “Islamist cultural-political offensive designed to undermine and destroy our civilization” but that  “elites are the willing apologists for those who would destroy them.”[9] For instance, during the heated debate in 2010 over whether to allow construction of a mosque near the site of the 9/11 attacks, Gingrich argued that the construction should be prohibited “so long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia. The time for double standards that allow Islamists to behave aggressively toward us while they demand our weakness and submission is over.”[10]

Washington Postcolumnist Richard Cohen responded: “[I]t is not the government of Saudi Arabia that seeks to open a mosque in Lower Manhattan, but a private group. In addition, and just for the record, Saudi Arabia does not represent all of Islam and, also just for the record, the al-Qaeda terrorists who murdered nearly 3,000 people on Sept. 11, 2001, would gladly have added the vast Saudi royal family to the list of victims.”[11]

Gingrich’s diatribe was published on the website of the group Renewing American Leadership, which he founded in 2009 to unite the conservative base in the United States, and which is “dedicated to defending and advancing American civilization by restoring our Judeo-Christian heritage.”[12]

Channeling neoconservative discourse honed by Norman Podhoretz and others regarding the “existential” threats to the United States and Israel, Gingrich has repeatedly characterized “radical Islamism” as a totalitarian ideology aimed at taking over the world. In an op-ed for the right-wing Human Events, he wrote: “Radical Islamism is more than simply a religious belief. It is a comprehensive political, economic, and religious movement that seeks to impose sharia—Islamic law—upon all aspects of global society. … Radical Islamists see politics and religion as inseparable in a way it is difficult for Americans to understand. Radical Islamists assert sharia’s supremacy over the freely legislated laws and values of the countries they live in and see it as their sacred duty to achieve this totalitarian supremacy in practice.”[13]

Militarist Activism

After leaving Congress in 1999, Gingrich became a fellow at both AEI and the hawkish Hoover Institution, and joined the “leadership council” of the Clifford May-run Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a neoconservative pressure group founded in the wake of 9/11 to push for an expansive “war on terror.” He also served as a member of the Committee on the Present Danger, an advisor to the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, and a Fox News analyst.

In his 2008 AEI speech, Gingrich echoed neoconservative talking points while highlighting Iran as a primary target for a new U.S. intervention. Describing Iran as “a dictatorship dedicated to Islamic Fascism and … a mortal threat to our survival,” he called for using military force if necessary to change the country’s regime, saying, “If we do not stand up against a Holocaust-denying, genocide-proposing, publicly self-defined enemy of the United States, why should we expect anyone else to do so?”[14]

Soon after taking office, President George W. Bush invited Gingrich to serve on the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board, an advisory body heavily influenced by its neoconservative and hardline Republican members, including Richard Perle (as chair), James Woolsey, Ken Adelman, Eliot Cohen, and Dan Quayle. When appointed in November 2001, Gingrich was one of eight Hoover Institution fellows simultaneously tapped for the thirty-one-member board.

During the immediate aftermath of the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, Gingrich joined many of his AEI colleagues in blaming the State Department and then-Secretary of State Colin Powell for undermining the Bush administration’s foreign policy, and for Washington’s troubled relations with many U.S. allies.

He also called Powell’s stated plan to visit Syria “ludicrous,” despite the fact that Powell would have been doing so at Bush’s request. When asked about Gingrich’s characterization, a Pentagon spokesperson said, “Plain and simple, Gingrich speaks for Gingrich.” Paul Begala, a former aide to President Bill Clinton, remarked, “There’s nothing the Democrats would like more” than to see Gingrich reemerge in the spotlight. “He’s terribly bright, but he’s more far right than he is bright. He’s become the embodiment of what most Americans hate about right-wingers.”[15]

Gingrich has argued that the United States is confronting an existential threat in the war on terror. In a 2006 op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, Gingrich compared President Abraham Lincoln’s preparations for the Civil War to President George W. Bush’s efforts to prosecute the war on terror, arguing that where Lincoln succeeded, Bush was failing.

Bush’s strategies had three flaws, Gingrich opined: “(1) They do not define the scale of the emerging World War III, between the West and the forces of militant Islam. … (2) They do not define victory in this larger war as our goal, and so the energy, resources, and intensity needed to win cannot be mobilized. (3) They do not establish clear metrics of achievement and then replace leaders, bureaucrats, and bureaucracies as needed to achieve those goals.”[16]

In a September 14, 2006 Fox News appearance, Gingrich said: “I think we’re seeing around the world an emerging Third World War from North Korea to Pakistan to India to Afghanistan to Iraq and Iran to the increasing alliance between Venezuela and Iran to the British terrorists who are getting trained in Pakistan. But I think if we could design powerful enough strategies, as we did in the Cold War to contain the Soviets, we might be able to avoid it actually degenerating into a world war.”[17]

Gingrich went on to call for regime change in Iran and North Korea and criticize the Bush administration’s handling of the war on terror. “I don’t think that the administration has yet come to grips with how big and complex this is,” he told news anchor Greta van Susteren.[18]

Gingrich’s primary claim to fame has been the 1994 “Contract with America,” a slate of Republican legislative proposals, which liberal critics called the “Contract on America.” In promoting the so-called contract, Gingrich used existential language similar to his current war on terror rhetoric—claiming, for instance, that “what is ultimately at stake … is literally the future of American civilization as it has existed for the last several hundred years.” Such language, scholar Shadia Drury wrote, is eerily reminiscent of the “sense of crisis” in Western civilization that political philosopher Leo Strauss, an early influence on Irving Kristol and many other neoconservatives, once promulgated.[19]

Doubts about U.S. Interventionism

n August 2013, even as he maintained his emphasis on fighting “radical Islam,” Gingrich appeared to express a change of heart about the interventionist militarism he had long placed at the center of his foreign policy views. “I am a neoconservative,” he told the right-wing Washington Times. “But at some point, even if you are a neoconservative, you need to take a deep breath to ask if our strategies in the Middle East have succeeded.” He added, “I think we really need a discussion on what is an effective policy against radical Islam, since it’s hard to argue that our policies of the last 12 years have effective.”[20]

Though Gingrich steadfastly supported the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, he told conservative radio host Laura Ingraham in an interview that “I have to look back and say the way that they were executed failed, and maybe we should have known better, those of us who supported them.”[21] In further comments to the Times, Gingrich also categorically ruled out supporting U.S. intervention in Syria’s civil war and added that he found it “hard to argue the chaos in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Lebanon make for a better future.”[22]

Distancing himself from the “democracy promotion” agenda of the George W. Bush years, Gingrich said that he would “look at the whole question of how we think of the governments in other countries.” He went on to suggest that a new military dictatorship in Egypt would be preferable to the country’s recently deposed Muslim Brotherhood government, which was democratically elected but later toppled by the military in the wake of anti-government demonstrations.[23]

Gingrich also expressed admiration for Republican Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, saying that they were “among the few people willing to raise the right questions.” The libertarian-leaning Rand Paul in particular, the son of Gingrich’s erstwhile GOP rival Ron Paul, has expressed concerns about U.S. interventions abroad and violations of civil liberties at home. “The establishment will grow more and more hysterical the more powerful Rand Paul and Ted Cruz become,” added.[24]

Pointing out Gingrich’s past closeness with staunchly hawkish Bush administration figures like John Bolton and David Wurmser, the Huffington Post observed that his comments marked “a reversal for the former speaker, who pressed for invasion in Iraq and Afghanistan and .has frequently touted his pro-Israel views, calling Palestinians an ‘invented’ people.”[25]

Other observers, however, were less surprised. “Gingrich has long been known for his desire to fundamentally change the way the politicians view certain issues,” noted a writer for ThinkProgress, “so his decision to throw his support behind the Pauls and Cruzes of the party shouldn’t come as too far out of left-field. And he’s been known to quickly change his foreign policy views when it appears it would be politically beneficial to do so.” The writer noted, however, that Gingrich’s apparent about-face does “mark a shift from the 2012 campaign for the GOP Presidential nod, in which Newt was for a time the front-runner. Unlike Paul, Gingrich said during the campaign that he would support an Israeli strike against Iran, if ‘only as a last recourse and only as step toward replacing the regime.'”[26]

Presidential Campaigns

Gingrich announced his 2012 presidential candidacy on Fox News, telling Fox’s Sean Hannity, “I am a candidate for president of the United States … because I think if you apply the right principles to achieve the right results, that we can win the future together. And I don’t think that having a president who applies the wrong principles and gets the wrong results is going to lead to winning the future.”[27]

Gingrich’s presidential ambitions were met with considerable skepticism from both the left and the right. However, his campaign was buoyed by massive injections of cash from Sheldon Adelson, a controversial casino magnate and key financial backer of right-wing “pro-Israel” groups in the United States. In early 2012, Adelson contributed $5 million to a super-PAC supporting Gingrich, Winning Our Future, that spent lavishly on negative TV ads against rival presidential candidate Mitt Romney, which were widely believed to have helped Gingrich win the South Carolina primary.[28] Adelson’s spouse, Miriam, followed up with an additional $5-million donation to the PAC aimed at influencing the 2012 Florida primary.[29]

The Adelsons’ support for Gingrich drew criticism from many rightwing figures because it financed attack ads against Romney’s business record, putting rapacious capitalism in a negative light. The support also underscored the impact that the controversial 2010 Supreme Court ruling on Citizens United, which allowed unregulated donations in election campaigns, was having on politics. Reported the New York Times: “Those attacks, which focused on Mr. Romney’s wealth and private equity career, also drew condemnation from many conservatives, who said Mr. Gingrich’s allies were undercutting free-market capitalism and amplifying class-warfare arguments being made by Democrats and Occupy Wall Street demonstrators. In making the couple’s second $5 million contribution, Dr. Adelson expressed a wish to Winning Our Future officials that the money be used ‘to continue the pro-Newt message,’ one of the people familiar with the contribution said, rather than attack Mr. Romney. The Adelsons’ contributions on Mr. Gingrich’s behalf illustrate how rapidly a new era of unlimited political money is reshaping the rules of presidential politics and empowering individual donors to a degree unseen since before the Watergate scandals.”[30]

For his part, when queried about why Adelson supported his campaign, Gingrich said in an interview on NBC: “He knows I’m very pro-Israel. That’s the central value of his life. I mean, he’s very worried that Israel is going to not survive.”[31]

On the campaign trail, Gingrich’s foreign policy views at times seemed confused and misleading. For example, when President Barack Obama announced that he would enforce a no-fly zone in Libya in late March 2011, Gingrich lambasted the president for displaying “amateur opportunism.” A few weeks earlier, however, Gingrich had said that if it were up to him he would “exercise a no-fly zone this evening.” He told Fox News’ Greta van Susteren: “The United States doesn’t need anybody’s permission. All we have to say is that we think that slaughtering your own citizens is unacceptable and that we’re intervening.”[32]

After Gaddafi was killed, Gingrich joined a chorus of voices questioning the new Libyan government. “We do not know,” he told the Orlando Sentinel, “whether the new Libyan government will be a modernizing, pro-Western government, or a religious fanatic, anti-Western government.”[33]

Gingrich also contradicted himself with respect to the Obama administration’s withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. In October 2011, Gingrich declared the occupation of Iraq “lost,” but attributed the failure to the mission itself. “This is not about Obama,” he said. “This is about the general effort that far transcends Iraq. That we have to really reassess our strategies in the region and what we think we [can] accomplish. The president is right. You can’t just leave 3,000 or 5,000 troops there. They would simply become targets. If you’re not going to occupy the country, you have to withdraw.” And yet, only two days later he told a group in Iowa, “The president has announced what will be seen by historians as a decisive defeat for the U.S. in Iraq.”[34]

With regard to Iran, Gingrich was rather more explicit. Arguing that Tehran has been “waging war against us since 1979,” he has explicitly espoused an emphatic regime-change line, telling CNN in October 2011, “Our goal should be the replacement of the Iranian dictatorship.”

Double Standards

Gingrich’s numerous personal scandals, which appear to contrast sharply with his vociferous promotion of “family values,” have also spurred scepticism. Several rightist commentators, like Peter Wehner, a contributor to the neoconservative flagship Commentary, highlighted Gingrich’s past marital infidelities as a significant hurdle for his nomination prospects.[35]

Others, like David Frum, a former fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, argued that the infidelity pointed to deeper problems. Questions about the context of Gingrich’s marital affairs are “fair and interesting points,” wrote Frum in the National Post, “but they do not address the reason that Gingrich’s personal life has been—and will be—so politically lethal. It’s not the infidelity. It’s the arrogance, hypocrisy, and—most horrifying to women voters—the cruelty. Anyone can dump one sick wife. Gingrich dumped two. And that second dumped wife is talking to the media.”[36]

Gingrich defended his marital infidelity on the basis of his passion for his work, saying in a 2011 interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, “There’s no question at times of my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate.”[37]

After losing several key primary votes to his GOP rivals, Gingrich suspended his presidential campaign in May 2012. At the press conference announcing his withdrawal, Gingrich said that he would remain politically active and even revisited his oft ridiculed idea from the campaign trail that the United States should establish a moon colony, saying: “I’m not totally certain I will get to the moon colony. I am certain [my grandchildren] Maggie and Robert will have that opportunity to go and take it. I think it’s almost inevitable, on just the sheer scale of technological change.”[38]

Gingrich has long fashioned himself presidential material, based in part on his get-tough stance on national security. In mid-2006, for example, he appeared to be floating a platform for the 2008 presidential race. In a speech at AEI, he called the war on terror “World War III,” and implied he would be a better wartime leader than George W. Bush. The neoconservative mouthpiece the Weekly Standard gave Gingrich’s speech a glowing review. “His rivals should take note. The first speech of the 2008 presidential campaign was delivered on the fifth anniversary of September 11, 2001.”[39]

Gingrich eventually decided not to run that year, citing potential conflicts of interest related to his advocacy group American Solutions for Winning the Future, which claims to seek solutions to immigration, national defense, education, and other national issues.[40] According to some observers, Gingrich’s 2012 presidential campaign could have had similar conflicts of interest related to American Solutions and his numerous other private endeavors. One observer told Talking Points Memo, “Once he declares, the free charter plane rides are more or less over. They [Gingrich’s various organizations] are all corporations, so they can’t do anything that would subsidize the campaign.”[41]

Support for the MeK

NEWT GINGRICH, WHO is being vetted to be Donald Trump’s running mate and appeared with the candidate in Cincinnati on Wednesday, left the campaign trail this weekend for an unusual reason. The former speaker of the House had to fly to Paris to appear at a gala celebration for the Mojahedin-e Khalq, or People’s Mujahedin, an Iranian exile group that wants Washington’s backing for regime change in Iran.

In his remarks, Gingrich heaped praise on the MEK’s efforts and congratulated the group on the presence of another dignitary, Prince Turki al-Faisal, a senior member of the Saudi royal family and former head of that nation’s intelligence service.

What Gingrich failed to mention in his enthusiastic endorsement of the MEK, however, is that the Iranian dissidents previously spent three decades trying to achieve their aim through terrorist attacks, and some of their first victims were Americans. He also avoided talking about the fact that the group’s terrorist cell was once based in Iraq, where it was armed and protected by Saddam Hussein.

The timing of Gingrich’s appearance at the MEK gala was awkward for Trump, since the candidate had spent part of the previous week arguing that the late Iraqi dictator, while being “a really bad guy,” deserved some credit because “he killed terrorists.”

“He did that so good,” Trump told supporters in North Carolina on Tuesday. “They didn’t read them the rights; they didn’t talk; they were a terrorist, it was over.”

Four days later, Gingrich reminded the world that Saddam, in fact, had a history of support for terrorist groups like the MEK, whose members helped foment the 1979 revolution, in part by killing American civilians working in Tehran, and then lost a bitter struggle for power to the Islamists. After they were forced to flee Iran in 1981, the MEK’s members set up a government-in-exile in France and established a military base in Iraq, where they were given arms and training by Saddam as part of a strategy to destabilize the theocratic government in Tehran that he was at war with.

In recent years, as The Intercept has reported, the MEK has poured millions of dollars into reinventing itself as a moderate political group ready to take power in Iran if Western-backed regime change ever takes place. To that end, it lobbied successfully to be removed from the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations in 2012. The Iranian exiles achieved this over the apparent opposition of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in part by paying a long list of former United States officials hefty speaking fees of between $10,000 to $50,000 for hymns of praise like the one Gingrich delivered on Saturday in Paris, where the MEK’s political wing held its annual “Free Iran” gala.

But, according to Ariane Tabatabai, a Georgetown University scholar, the “cult-like dissident group,” whose married members were reportedly forced to divorce and take a vow of lifelong celibacy, “has no viable chance of seizing power in Iran”:

If the current government is not Iranians’ first choice for a government, the MEK is not even their last — and for good reason. The MEK supported Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq War. The people’s discontent with the Iranian government at that time did not translate into their supporting an external enemy that was firing Scuds into Tehran, using chemical weapons and killing hundreds of thousands of Iranians, including many civilians. Today, the MEK is viewed negatively by most Iranians, who would prefer to maintain the status quo than rush to the arms of what they consider a corrupt, criminal cult.

Despite how little reality there is behind the claim that the MEK’s political wing, the National Council of Resistance of Iran, is a force for democratic change, Gingrich was joined at the group’s gala in Paris by a bipartisan group of former U.S. officials, including former U.N. ambassadors John Bolton and Bill Richardson, a former attorney general, Michael Mukasey, the former State Department spokesperson P.J. Crowley, the former Homeland Security Adviser Frances Townsend, the former Congressman Patrick Kennedy, and the former Vermont governor Howard Dean. The gala was even hosted by Linda Chavez, a former Reagan administration official who has loudly opposed Donald Trump’s nomination.

Gingrich is just one of many former officials and ex-politicians over the last few years to become vocal advocates for the MEK and the so-called National Council for Resistance of Iran, the political umbrella organization that includes the cult. He was backing them when they were still listed as a foreign terrorist organization, and remains one of their high-profile American supporters.

Americans should be very concerned that so many prominent politicians and former officials have thrown in with such a despicable organization, not least because it risks dragging the U.S. towards open conflict with Iran. It also shows how willing so many of our politicians and former officials are to side with any group, no matter how disreputable, because it happens to be hostile to Iran’s current government. That’s a dangerous habit, and one that will contribute to the warping of our foreign policy debates in the future.

Books
Gingrich has written several books on politics and history. His 2005 Winning the Future: A 21st Century Contract with America expanded his ideas from the previous decade. A description of the book on the AEI website says, “Newt is back with a plan for American greatness that includes how to win the war on terror … how to reestablish God in American public life … how to reform Social Security … [and] how to restore patriotism to American schools…”[42]

AEI’s summary of Gingrich’s Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less (Regnery, 2008) says the book: “[A]rgues that the pinch Americans are feeling at the pump is not a blip in the economy but a looming crisis—affecting not only the price of gas, but the price of food, the strength of our economy, and our national security. To meet this crisis, Gingrich lays out a national strategy that will … require Congress to unlock our oil reserves and remove all the impediments and disincentives that unnecessary government regulation has put in the way of American energy independence.”[43]

Rediscovering God in America (2006, Integrity Publishers) is a paean to Christian Right arguments that liberals have weakened the United States by undermining the role of religion. In the opening of the book, which was a 2007 New York Times bestseller, Gingrich argues, “There is no attack on American culture more deadly and more historically dishonest than the secular effort to drive God out of America’s public life.”

According to Publishers Weekly: “The book’s arguments are predictable: Gingrich claims that references to God are sprinkled everywhere in our nation’s founding documents; that most Americans believe in God; and our classrooms and courtrooms are the laboratories where such belief is being irrevocably eroded. He trots out quotations from founding fathers that suggest their allegiance to Christianity, or at least to theism, but conveniently ignores evidence that some of these men—particularly Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson—believed religion should have little, if any, role in the nation’s government.”[44]

Sources
[1] Quoted in Andy Kroll, “Newt Gingrich’s Muslim Brotherhood Fearmongering,” Mother Jones, February 10, 2011,http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/02/newt-gingrichs-muslim-brotherhood-fearmongering.
[2] Newt Gingrich and William Forstchen, “Will Gun Free Zones Protect Our Children From ISIS?” Washington Times, December 4, 2015,http://www.gingrichproductions.com/2015/12/will-gun-free-zones-protect-our-children-from-isis/.
[3] Newt Gingrich, “John Kerry and lies about Iran,” Washington Times, July 21, 2015, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jul/21/newt-gingrich-john-kerry-and-lies-about-iran/.
[4] Newt Gingrich, “John Kerry and lies about Iran,” Washington Times, July 21, 2015, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jul/21/newt-gingrich-john-kerry-and-lies-about-iran/.
[5] New Gingrich, “Sleepwalking into Disaster,” Washington Examiner, May 22, 2009.
[6] The Sean Hannity Show, February 10, 2011
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXvvtbxI_dk&feature=player_embedded.
[7] Talking Points Memo, “Newt: Obama Foreign Policy Based On ‘Fantasy,’ ‘Could Get An Awful Lot Of People Killed’,”http://tpmlivewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/04/newt-obama-foreign-policy-based-on-fantasy-could-get-an-awful-lot-of-people-killed-video.php.
[8] The Sean Hannity Show, May 11, 2011
http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/hannity/transcript/gingrich-comes-out-swinging-against-obama-after-announcing-presidential-bid?page=2.
[9] Newt Gingrich, “Gingrich: No Cordoba at Ground Zero,” Renewing American Leadership, July 21, 2010.
[10] Newt Gingrich, “Gingrich: No Cordoba at Ground Zero,” Renewing American Leadership, July 21, 2010.
[11] Richard Cohen, “Newt Gingrich, pushing prejudice at Ground Zero,” Washington Post, August 3, 2010.
[12] Justin Elliott, “Newt Gingrich fund-raises on anti-mosque effort,” Salon.com, The War Room, July 30, 2010,http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2010/07/30/gingrich_fundraises_on_mosque.
[13] Newt Gingrich, “No Mosque at Ground Zero,” Human Events, July 28, 2010, http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=38282.
[14] Jim Lobe, “Gingrich on the Campaign Trail,” Right Web, September 18, 2006. http://www.rightweb.irc-online.org/articles/display/Gingrich_on_the_Campaign_Trail
[15] Will Lester, “Newt’s Back,” Chicago Sun-Times, April 27, 2003.Ben Ar
[16] Newt Gingrich, “Bush and Lincoln,” Wall Street Journal, September 7, 2006.
[17] “Fox on the Record with Greta van Susteren,” Fox News, September 14, 2006.
[18] “Fox on the Record with Greta van Susteren,” Fox News, September 14, 2006.
[19] Shadia Drury, Leo Strauss and the American Right (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1997), pp. 21-22.
[20] Ralph Hallow, “Newt Gingrich sees major Mideast mistakes, rethinks his neocon views on intervention,” Washington Times, August 4, 2012,http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/aug/4/newt-gingrich-rethinks-neoconservative-views/print/.
[21] RealClearPolitics, ” Gingrich: Republican Party Needs A Debate On National Security,” August 2, 2013,http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2013/08/02/gingrich_republican_establishment_is_growing_hysterical.html.
[22] Ralph Hallow, “Newt Gingrich sees major Mideast mistakes, rethinks his neocon views on intervention,” Washington Times, August 4, 2012,http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/aug/4/newt-gingrich-rethinks-neoconservative-views/print/.
[23] Ralph Hallow, “Newt Gingrich sees major Mideast mistakes, rethinks his neocon views on intervention,” Washington Times, August 4, 2012,http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/aug/4/newt-gingrich-rethinks-neoconservative-views/print/.
[24] RealClearPolitics, ” Gingrich: Republican Party Needs A Debate On National Security,” August 2, 2013,http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2013/08/02/gingrich_republican_establishment_is_growing_hysterical.html.
[25] Mollie Reilly, “Newt Gingrich Rethinks Stance On U.S. Military Interventions,” Huffington Post, August 4, 2013,http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/04/newt-gingrich-military-interventions_n_3705208.html.
[26] Hayes Brown, “Newt Gingrich Abandons Neocons, Joins Rand Paul In GOP Foreign Policy Civil War,” Think Progress, August 5, 2013,http://thinkprogress.org/security/2013/08/05/2410891/gingrich-neocon-flip/.
[27] Fox News, “Exclusive: Gingrich Comes Out Swinging Against Obama in First Interview as Presidential Candidate | Hannity,” May 11, 2011,http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/hannity/transcript/gingrich-comes-out-swinging-against-obama-after-announcing-presidential-bid.
[28] Nicholas Confessore, ‘Super PAC’ for Gingrich to Get $5 Million Infusion, New York Times, January 23, 2012,http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/24/us/politics/super-pac-for-gingrich-to-get-5-million-infusion.html.
[29] Nicholas Confessore, ‘Super PAC’ for Gingrich to Get $5 Million Infusion, New York Times, January 23, 2012,http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/24/us/politics/super-pac-for-gingrich-to-get-5-million-infusion.html.
[30] Nicholas Confessore, ‘Super PAC’ for Gingrich to Get $5 Million Infusion, New York Times, January 23, 2012,http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/24/us/politics/super-pac-for-gingrich-to-get-5-million-infusion.html.
[31] Quoted in Mondoweiss, “Gingrich says his backer’s ‘central value’ is Israel (and NBC drops the subject),” Mondoweiss, January 18, 2012,http://mondoweiss.net/2012/01/gingrich-says-his-backers-central-value-is-israel-and-nbc-has-no-more-to-say-on-the-subject.html.
[32] Amy Bingham, “GOP Candidates Praise Gadhafi’s Death, Opposed U.S. Role,” ABC News, The Note, October 20, 2011,http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2011/10/gop-candidates-praise-gadhafis-death-opposed-us-role/.
[33] Orlando Sentinel, “Gingrich Reacts to Gaddafi’s Death, Troop Withdrawal,” http://www.orlandosentinel.com/videogallery/65573339/News/Newt-Gingrich-reacts-to-Gaddafi-troop-withdrawal.
[34] Ben Armbruster, “Gingrich Suggests Obama Is Ushering ‘Defeat’ In Iraq, Two Days After Saying He’s ‘Right’ To Withdraw,” Think Progress, October 24, 2011, http://thinkprogress.org/security/2011/10/24/351971/gingrich-suggests-obama-is-ushering-defeat-in-iraq-two-days-after-saying-hes-right-to-withdraw/.
[35] Peter Wehner, “On Infidelity and Presidents,” Commentary, Contentions, March 8, 2011http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2011/03/08/on-infidelity-and-presidents/.
[36] David Frum, “David Frum: Family values and the Newt Gingrich question,” National Post, March 9, 2011,http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2011/03/09/david-frum-family-values-and-the-newt-gingrich-question/.
[37] The Brody File, “Newt Gingrich tells The Brody File he ‘felt compelled to seek God’s forgiveness’” Christian Broadcasting Network, March 8, 2011,http://blogs.cbn.com/thebrodyfile/archive/2011/03/08/newt-gingrich-tells-brody-file-he-felt-compelled-to-seek.aspx.
[38] Felicia Sonmez, “Gingrich ends campaign; no outright endorsement for Romney,” Washington Post, May 2, 2012.
[39] Matthew Continetti, “Eye of the Newt,” Weekly Standard, September 12, 2006.
[40] Bob Drogin, “Gingrich to sit out presidential race,” Los Angeles Times, September 30, 2007,http://articles.latimes.com/2007/sep/30/nation/na-gingrich30
[41] Ryan Reilly, “Plane Rides Will End, But Newt Inc. Will ‘Aggressively Move Forward’ After Gingrich Announcement,” TPM, May 11, 2011,http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/05/newt_inc_to_aggressively_move_forward_after_gingrich_announcement.php?ref=fpa.
[42] AEI Books, Winning the Future: A 21st Century Contract with America, http://www.aei.org/book/803.
[43] AEI Books, Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less, http://www.aei.org/book/964.
[44] Review of Newt Gingrich’s Rediscovering God in America, Publishers Weekly, June 26, 2006.

(END)

*** 

The MEK’s dirty past includes the anti-Imperialist inspired murder of six Americans in pre-revolution Iran which it later celebrated in songs and publications

ISIS ISIL Mojahedin Khalq Rajavi cult FlaqsAlbania’s destabilization? You have forgotten hundreds of Mojahedin!

نمایندگان پارلمان اروپا جلسه بحث در مورد مجاهدین خلق فرقه رجویDebate in the European Parliament ‘What is to be done about the Iranian Mojahedin Khalq (MEK)?’

Also read:
http://iran-interlink.org/wordpress/?p=8329

Mojahed Khalq Brother John Bolton has a memory lapse 

Iran Interlink, April 25 2017:… Anti-Iran pundits have begun to resurrect the MEK as the go-to group for ‘nuclear revelations’. However, this has already backfired as the MEK are notorious for fabrication and lies. According to MEK websites, John Bolton claimed that the MEK had “long known a lot about the inside of the nuclear weapons program in Iran,” and had “been right in every material respect.” Unfortunately he has either a short memory or no memory for facts … 

National Security: Could Maryam Rajavi (Mojahedin Khalq) blackmail her friends in high places – Rudi Giuliani, John Bolton and Newt Gingrich

Mojahedin Khalq (MEK, Rajavi cult)’s Fake Intelligence On Aleppo Only Hinders Fact-finding

Gareth Porter: Mojahedin Khalq terrorists (MKO, MEK, NCRI, Rajavi cult) used for information laundry

http://iran-interlink.org 

Mojahed Khalq Brother John Bolton has a memory lapse

Anti-Iran pundits have begun to resurrect the MEK as the go-to group for ‘nuclear revelations’. (A role which had become redundant following the 2015 P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran.) However, this has already backfired as the MEK are notorious for fabrication and lies.

According to MEK websites, in an appearance on Fox News, John Bolton claimed that the MEK had “long known a lot about the inside of the nuclear weapons program in Iran,” and had “been right in every material respect.”

Unfortunately he has either a short memory or no memory for facts, or both, as this article from two years ago reveals:

Article from February 2015:
http://iran-interlink.org/wordpress/?p=5873

BREAKING:
Amateur hour at the pro-war media, latest allegations by
Mojahedin Khalq (Rajavi cult)
FABRICATED.
 

Florida Democrat, Daily Kos, February 26 2015:… But it’s a total fabrication. The image included in the NCRI report is actually a product shot from the Iranian safe company. Original report as republished by the rabid pro-war site “Washington Free Beacon” and linked in their over-hyped story. Fox News article. GMP Safe company “explosion resistant doors …

2014-09-16-USIran.jpgAmerica Must Make Its Underlying Intentions Toward Iran Clear


Massoud Khodabandeh
Article first published online: 27 JAN 2015
DOI: ۱۰٫۱۱۱۱/aspp.12164

Link to the source

BREAKING: Amateur hour at the pro-war media, latest allegations against Iran FABRICATED.

جعل رجوی اتمی مزدور مجاهدین خلق

Screen shot from GMP Safe Company Website

جعل رجوی مزدور مجاهدین خلق

Page 10 of NCRI Report, Feb 24, 2015

In the wake of the embarrassing new revelations that the top Israeli intelligence agency iscontradicting Bibi Netanyahu on his alarmist Iran intelligence, the well known liars, the “dissident” group NCRI (aka MEK), has jumped into damage control action and has released a suspiciously timed report that claims Iran has a new secret site. Countless media outlets including of course Faux News, have jumped on this as well.

Here’s a Fox video segment about it.

But it’s a total fabrication. The image included in the NCRI report is actually a product shot from the Iranian safe company.

Original report as republished by the rabid pro-war site “Washington Free Beacon” and linked in their over-hyped story.

Fox News article.

GMP Safe company “explosion resistant doors” product shot.

This is truly amateur hour. It took only a Google “search by image” to find it. Actually, I first became suspicious when I read the original report and saw the picture. They said this was for “radiation”. To quote Washington Post’s coverage:

Satellite images the group culled from Google showed a large, walled complex of buildings at the foothills of the mountains outside Tehran. They also exhibited photographs purportedly taken inside the tunnel showing a steel door that they said was lined with lead to prevent radiation leaks.

But why would a radiation resistant door be made out of stainless steel? Shouldn’t it be covered completely by lead? Also, these clowns supposedly infiltrated this large underground nuclear bunker, but only had like a 1990’s camera phone on them? Why not more pictures or videos?

Well, once you see the real picture they stole (the product shot from GMP Safe Company), you see that the original shows windows with sunlight coming in from behind the safe. It’s clearly not in a secret underground bunker, but rather a warehouse which makes perfect sense for a safe.

Here’s a partial shame list of the irresponsible and complicit media reporting on the report as fact without even a pretense of verification.

Faux

Washington Times

NewMax

Washington Post

Washington Free Beacon (Adam Credo)

World Net Daily (Jerome Corsi)

MEK Hoax Exposed: “Lavizan-3” Revelations Found Fake

Campain against sanctions and military intervention in Iran (CASMII),
February 26 2015

link  to the source

جعل رجوی اتمی مزدور مجاهدین خلق

GMP product photo

The latest NCRI revelations of a new “Lavizan 3” facility has been sent to the right wing and pro-war media and has been playing in the US non-stop. The group claims it has photo of a “steel door” designed to prevent radiation leaks. (Washington Post).

Here’s a typical article. It links to the original report.

The report feature only one singular picture as proof, they say was taken from an underground bunker that is “anti nuclear radiation”. But the picture is from an Iranian safe company GMP It’s a product shot for their “explosive resistant” door.

جعل رجوی مزدور مجاهدین خلق

Page 10 of NCRI Report, Feb 24, 2015

The NCRI is a front organization controlled by the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (MEK), a violent terrorist organization at war with Iran. It has targeted and killed many civilians including American citizens since the 1960’s. The group was listed as a terrorist organization until 2012 in the United States.

The cult-like group has also perpetrated human rights abuses against its own members. But in the post-Iraq invasion era, it has become a vocal supporter of military action by US and Israel. MEK participated in assassination of Iranian scientists and has an established relationship with Israel. Read this National Interest article for some of the details.

***

MKO claims on underground nuclear site baseless: Iran UN mission

Press TV, February 26 2015

Link to the source

The Islamic Republic of Iran has strongly rejected allegations about the existence of an underground nuclear research center in the northern part of Tehran as claimed by the terrorist Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO).

In a Wednesday statement, Iran’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations called the allegations reported by The Washington Post “baseless” and “fake”.

“It is regrettable that the newspaper has released false and repeated claims of a terrorist grouplet whose anti-human nature is evident to all,” the Fars news agency quoted the statement as saying.

It reiterated that Iran’s nuclear energy program is peaceful and the allegations by the terrorist group are made out of desperation as Tehran has adopted a logical approach towards the issue.

On Tuesday, the Post quoted MKO members as saying the site, referred to in the report as “Lavizan-3”, has been used “since 2008 to enrich uranium”.

Similar claims by MKO have previously proven false while the group continues attempts to turn the matter into a security case, said the Iran mission to the UN.

In reaction to the new allegations, US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the US officials “have no information at this time to support such a conclusion.”

Tehran and the Sextet of world powers – the US, Britain, Russia, France, China, and Germany – have been engaged in nuclear negotiations in an effort to ink a high-profile political deal by the end of March and to confirm the full technical details of the accord by July 1.

Iran has so far suspended some of its enrichment program in return for certain sanctions relief.

***

Also read:
http://iran-interlink.org/wordpress/?p=5858

New Iran reactor revelations highlight role of Mojahedin Khalq (MKO, MEK, NCRI…)

Alex MacDonald, Middle East Eye, February 25 2015:… “News from this group is often good for getting right-wingers to show their “O” face and belittle the EU3’s diplomacy with Tehran, but it’s probably good that we’re not banking on these exiles for too much intel,” he opined. Gareth Porter said that the US intelligence community had been divided over …

Link to the source

New Iran reactor revelations highlight role of Iranian opposition group

They’ve been referred to as a “cult” and a “terrorist organisation” by Iran, the EU and the US at various times. But the Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK), also known as the People’s Mujahideen of Iran (PMOI) have continued to endure as one of the longest-running militant groups opposing the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Under the banner of their “coalition”, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) have often worked to expose atrocities by the Islamic Republic and leak information regarding the country’s controversial nuclear programme.

On Tuesday, the NCRI held a press conference in Washington to announce they had acquired evidence of a secret facility buried deep beneath the ground in the northeast suburbs of Tehran, engaged in uranium enrichment.

They also released a detailed report into their findings, in which they claim that “despite the Iranian regime’s claims that all of its enrichment activities are transparent and under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it has in fact been engaged in research and development with advanced centrifuges at a secret nuclear site called Lavizan-3, in a military base in northeast Tehran suburbs.”

They stated that their information came from “highly placed sources within the Iranian regime, as well as those involved in the nuclear weapons projects”.

“The notion that the mullahs will abandon their nuclear weapons program thru [sic] nuclear talks is a misguided narrative, which is the by-product of the mullahs’ duplicity and western economic and political expediency,” the report concludes.

“Those who hope to secure the regime’s cooperation in the campaign against fundamentalism by offering nuclear concessions to the mullahs are both increasing the chances of a nuclear-armed Iran and contributing to the spread of Islamic fundamentalism.”

This is not the first time the MEK have leaked information about Iranian nuclear ambitions – in 2002, the NCRI publicly announced the discovery of secret nuclear facilities at Arak and Natanz, which later allegedly became the basis for an investigation by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and sparked the controversy over Iran’s true nuclear intentions that continues to this day.

In 2004 it was reported that they had given German intelligence a series of documents which seemed to prove the existence of a nuclear facility at Lavizan and enrichment-related activity at the Parchin military complex.

Evidence later emerged in an expose of Israeli spying practices which suggested that some or all of the documents had been given to the group by Israel’s Mossad secret service.

Links between the two groups – who share a mutual enemy in the Islamic Republic – were alleged to go as far as training and arming, according to some reports.

 ‘Cult-like’

The NCRI began life in 1981, founded by MEK leader, Massoud Rajavi as a “parliament-in-exile” encompassing the MEK, the liberal National Democratic Front and the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan.

The latter two groups both left during the Iran-Iraq war, outraged at what they saw as the “pro-Iraq” position of the MEK, leaving the NCRI totally under the control of Rajavi’s organisation.

The MEK itself began life in 1965 when it was established as left-wing “Islamic-Marxist” organisation dedicated to fighting the then-monarchy of Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi. After taking part in the 1979 revolution that overthrew the Shah, they found themselves suppresed by Ruhollah Khomenei’s Islamic Republic.

Following the banning of the organisation, they began a guerilla campaign against the Islamic Republic, even going as far as backing Saddam Hussein in the Iran-Iraq war.

Since then, the MEK have established a reputation as a violent and often bizarre organisation. According to the Iranian government, the MEK have been responsible for over 12,000 deaths, through suicide bombings, assassinations and armed raids.

Operating primarily out of Camp Liberty in Iraq (and prior to 2013, Ashraf refugee camp, also in Iraq), the group have also hit the headlines for their organisational methods, which have been frequently referred to as “cult-like”.

Former members have stated that joining the group involved something akin to brainwashing.

“There was a black-and-white world view imposed; followers cutting themselves off from family; followers losing their personality,” one former member told VICE news.

“I remember one task where we had to write down our old personality in one column on a board, and the new personality in a different column. I remember a guy who said, ‘My brother works in the Iranian embassy in London. Before I loved him as my brother, now I hate him as my enemy. I am ready to kill him tomorrow, if necessary.’ And everyone applauded.”

Other reports have spoken of forced divorces, public airings of hidden sexual fantasies and the idolising of leader Massoud Rajavi. Leaving the MEK is also, reportedly, easier said than done.

A Human Rights Watch (HRW) report in 2005 suggested that 70 percent of Ashraf residents were being held there against their will.

But the MEK have a broad support base in Europe and America, particularly among right-wing politicians who would not seem natural allies of their “Islamic-Marxist” ideology.

David Amess, the British Conservative MP, has frequently tabled motions in the UK Parliament calling for the MEK’s de-listing as a terrorist organisation.

In an op-ed for the Washington Times, he refers to the group as the “main opposition” in Iran.

“Removing the terrorist tag would enjoy the backing of Congress,” he wrote. “A bipartisan group of more than 80 members co-sponsored House Resolution 1431, explicitly calling for the delisting of the PMOI, ‘thereby denying the regime the pretext to crack down on dissidents inside Iran.’”

“It is ironic that as Mr. Ahmadinejad keeps lashing out against the very principles of the United States, the US keeps the main opposition enchained,” he added.

In 2012 he was also a speaker at an NCRI conference in Paris

After major lobbying by MEK supporters – including Amess, former New York mayor, Rudy Guiliani, lawyer, Alan Dershowitz and numerous other Republican and Democrat politicians in the US – the group was eventually taken off the terror list in 2012.

At the time former Governor Howard Dean of Vermont even went so far as to say that the MEK President elect , Maryam Rajavi, should be acknowledged as Iran’s legitimate ruler.

“Madame Rajavi does not sound like a terrorist to me – she sounds like a president – and her organisation should not be listed as a terrorist organisation,” he said, speaking to MEK supporters.

 “We should be recognizing her as the president of Iran.”

A ‘bad source’

Though Fox News was quick to run with the NCRI’s allegations as story, other media outlets have been hesitant to produce anything, even leading to a chastisement from the right-wing Jewish Press, who claimed the story had been “squelched”.

The absence of reports possibly reflects growing concerns about the reliability of the MEK as a source of information on internal Iranian affairs.

 “They have been right on occasion, but its not because their claim to have inside sources in the Iranian government is accurate,” investigative journalist, Gareth Porter told Middle East Eye.

“I haven’t done an exhaustive survey about the times they’ve given information publicly or turned it over to foreign governments including the US, where the IAEA have checked it out and there’s nothing there, but it’s an enormously high percentage.”

 According to Mohamed ElBaradei, then head of the IAEA, after visiting the facilities at Arak and Natanz an IAEA team also “visited three locations at an industrial complex in Kolahdouz in western Tehran that had been mentioned in open source reports as relevant to enrichment activities” and found no “indications of activities involving the use of nuclear material”.

Paul Kerr, of the website Arms Control Wonk also stated in 2005 that, according to an IAEA sources, further inspections by the IAEA based on MEK evidence had failed to produce results.

He also pointed out that, contrary to popular belief, US intelligence agencies had known about the existence of the Arak and Natanz nuclear facilities prior to the MEK expose and that they had highlighted the IAEA. The MEK also mistakenly classified Natanz as a “fuel production plant”.

“News from this group is often good for getting right-wingers to show their “O” face and belittle the EU3’s diplomacy with Tehran, but it’s probably good that we’re not banking on these exiles for too much intel,” he opined.

Gareth Porter said that the US intelligence community had been divided over the use of the MEK as a credible source on Iranian nuclear capabilities.

“There’s good evidence that the MEK was simply a bad source for the US military and the CIA has clearly taken their information and considered it along with a lot of other information – some people in the CIA thought they were fine and dandy and other people recognised they were a bad source,” he said. “

They were controversial to say the least.”

The move by the NCRI/MEK to release more information – authentic or not – on Iran’s nuclear capabilities was likely intended to throw a spanner in the works of the P5+1 talks to limit Iran’s nuclear plans.

“MEK is naturally going to be nervous about any suggestion of an improvement in relations between the US and Iran,” he said.

“In the longer run they are obviously trying to get western governments to support them, to overthrow the regime and put them in power – that’s ultimate MEK aim.”

Jafarzadeh has already published his suicide bombing note.
Wondering at those Americans who stand under the flag of Mojahedin Khalq (MKO, MEK, NCRI, Rajavi cult) only to LOBBY for the murderers of their servicemen

(Massoud Khodabandeh 4th report, Baghdad October 2014)

Also read:
http://iran-interlink.org/wordpress/?p=5743

Four ways the West got the Iran nuclear issue wrong

Gareth Porter, Middle East Eye, January 11 2015:… Contrary to the cover story that the documents were passed on to Western intelligence by a participant in a covert Iranian programme or by a German spy, a former senior German foreign office official has now revealed that the German intelligence agency, the Bundesnachrichtendienst, obtained them …

Israel Provided IAEA with Fake Documents on Iran’s Nuclear Program

Just World Publishing, February 2014, 310 pages

Link to the source

Four ways the West got the Iran nuclear issue wrong


First denying Iran’s nuclear rights and then using suspect intelligence
to build a false picture of its programme

For more than three decades, the United States and its European allies have committed one fundamental error after another in the process of creating a commonly held narrative that Iran was secretly pursuing a nuclear weapons programme. The story of how suspicions of the Iranian programme hardened into convictions is a cautionary tale of political and institutional interests systematically distorting the judgments of both policymakers and intelligence analysts.

Too many of these basic errors have been committed along the way to cover them all in a single article. But four major failures of policymaking and intelligence represent the broad outlines of this systematic problem.

1.  Denial of Iranian rights, followed by denial of the truth

The first failure, which set in train all the others, involved the US trying to strangle the nuclear programme of the Islamic Republic in its cradle and then blithely acting as though it bore no responsibility for the resulting shift in Iranian nuclear policy. It all started with a decision by the Reagan administration early in the Iran-Iraq war in 1983 to put diplomatic pressure on its allies to stop all nuclear cooperation with Iran. France was pressed to forbid a French-based multilateral consortium from providing the nuclear fuel that Iran had counted on for its lone nuclear reactor at Bushehr. 

The US State Department acknowledged at the time that it had no evidence that Iran was working on or even wanted nuclear weapons. That US effort to choke off any nuclear assistance to Iran thus represented an extremely serious violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which guaranteed Iran’s right to peaceful nuclear technology. 

Not surprisingly Iran responded to that US denial of its nuclear rights by defying US wishes and acquiring the technology to enrich uranium for nuclear fuel itself on the black market and later through negotiations with China and Russia. US aggressiveness toward Iran’s nuclear programme had backfired. 

But instead of recognising that it had made a serious error, Washington compounded the original policy blunder by treating the Iranian response as prima facie evidence of nuclear weapons intent. In 1995 Secretary of State Warren Christopher, in the course of explaining an order by President Bill Clinton banning all US trade and investment in Iran, accused Iran of having an “organised structure dedicated to acquiring and developing nuclear weapons.” That was an obvious reference to the Iranian efforts to acquire centrifuge and other enrichment technology. The Clinton administration thus acted as though there was no relationship between Iran’s interest in obtaining gas centrifuge technology and the US denial policy that preceded it. 

2.  The intelligence goes wrong

The CIA and other Western intelligence agencies began to drift away from reality on the Iran nuclear issue in the early 1990s, when Western intelligence agencies were gleefully poring over intercepted telexes from Sharif University in Tehran seeking various “dual use” technologies – those that could be used either for a nuclear programme or for non-nuclear applications. They had found that the telex number on many of the messages was that of the Physics Research Centre, which was known to do research for the Iranian defence ministry. That was enough to convince them that Iran was pursuing a covert nuclear weapons programme.

The telexes ultimately turned out to be false positives, however.  In late 2007 and early 2008, Iran turned over detailed documentation showing that every one of the “dual use” procurement items sought in those telexes had been requested by various faculties of Sharif University for faculty and student research. And the Physics Research Centre’s telex number was on the telexes because the former head of the organisation was teaching at the university and had been asked to help in the procurement of the items. The intelligence analysts had wrongly interpreted the inherently ambiguous “dual use” evidence as confirming pre-existing suspicions of Iran’s intentions.

That analytical failure was a template for a series of four intelligence assessments of the Iranian nuclear programme by the CIA’s Nonproliferation Center and later by the US intelligence community as a whole that falsely concluded that Iran had an active nuclear weapons development programme as of the time of the assessment. That string of false positives raises serious questions about the 2007 US national intelligence estimate by a team of analysts that had just repeated the same mistake in a draft estimate only a few months earlier.

3. Ignoring the Fatwa against chemical weapons

The belief of Western governments that Iran must have pursued nuclear weapons has been based on their ignorance of a pivotal historical episode that should have caused them to question that belief. During the eight-year Iran-Iraq war, Saddam’s troops attacked Iran with chemical weapons many times, killing 20,000 Iranians and severely injuring 100,000. Yet Iran never retaliated with its own chemical weapons, as Joost Hiltermann’s A Poisonous Affair, the authoritative source on chemical attacks in that war, has documented.  

That fact poses a fundamental challenge to the Western narrative on the Iran nuclear issue, because there is no credible explanation for the Iranian failure to retaliate with chemical weapons other than the fact that supreme leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini had forbidden the possession and use of all weapons of mass destruction as illicit in Islam. The Revolutionary Guards acted on their own to acquire the capability to produce mustard gas weapons, as the wartime Iranian Minister for military procurement has confirmed in a recent interview. But his account of his meetings with supreme leader Ayatollah Khomeini also confirms that Khomeini pronounced a fatwa against such weapons early in the war and repeated it in 1987.

The implications of that historical episode for an understanding of the politics of WMD policy in Iran are obviously far-reaching.  It lends strong credibility to the Iranian claim that the current supreme leader’s fatwa against nuclear weapons is an absolute bar to Iran possessing such weapons. But the news media has continued to dismiss the problem by clinging to an old narrative, which was based on false information that Iran not only had possessed chemical weapons but also had used them.

4. Refusing to acknowledge the weaponisation evidence is tainted

For nearly a decade, the international politics of the Iran nuclear issue have revolved around intelligence documents and reports of Iran nuclear weapons work. A 1,000-page cache of documents that surfaced in 2004 showed the redesign of Iran’s Shahab-3 missile to accommodate a nuclear weapon and high explosives experiments that could only be used for nuclear weapons. More incriminating intelligence documents followed in 2008-09. The IAEA has now been investigating them for nine years.

But Western governments, abetted by compliant news media coverage, have chosen to ignore the considerable evidence that these documents were of very dubious origins. Contrary to the cover story that the documents were passed on to Western intelligence by a participant in a covert Iranian programme or by a German spy, a former senior German foreign office official has now revealed that the German intelligence agency, the Bundesnachrichtendienst, obtained them from a sometime source who was a member of the Iranian exile terrorist organisation Mujahedeen E-Khalq (MEK). The MEK was then serving Israel’s Mossad as a means of laundering alleged intelligence, so it is safe to assume that the documents came from Israel.

IAEA director general Mohamed El Baradei (1997-2009), who insisted that the documents had not been authenticated, recalled in his memoirs, “No-one knew if any of this was real.” Against the wishes of the Bush administration, he refused to use them as evidence against Iran.

Major contradictions between information in the papers and the independently verifiable timelines of Iran’s missile and nuclear programmes indicated that the authors were not Iranian specialists. The re-entry vehicle depicted in the studies, for example, was not the one that Iran was redesigning at the time and that was revealed to the world only after the documents were handed over. 

El Baradei also revealed that a subsequent series of intelligence documents, which included the claim that Iran had installed a large cylinder at Parchin to test atomic weapons designs, had been passed on to the IAEA directly by Israel. That intelligence proved to be equally problematic: former IAEA nuclear weapons expert Robert Kelley found the Parchin cylinder claim technically implausible.    

The US government and its Western allies have all closed their eyes, however, to the evidence that these documents were designed to justify US action by the United States against the Islamic republic. The political convenience of the accepted narrative of the Iran nuclear issue has continued to suppress any active interest in learning the truth.

– Gareth Porter is an independent investigative journalist and historian writing on US national security policy.  His latest book, “Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare,” was published in February 2014.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.

Photo: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani addresses the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly on 25 September, 2014 in New York City (AFP)
 
***

Also read:

National Iranian American Council (NIAC), December 09 2016:… Lieberman is chairman of UANI and formerly an advisory board member of an AIPAC organization explicitly established to kill the nuclear deal. In addition to the UANI panel, he appeared at a Capitol Hill event this week organized by the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), a shadowy group formerly designated as a terrorist organization …

donald-trump-reutersOrlando Crowcroft, International Business Times, December 08 2016:… suggested that the former New York mayor’s active public campaigning for the role may have put Trump off. Giuliani has faced searching questions about his international business ties, including revelations that he has earned more than $11m (£8.6m) from lucrative speaking contracts… he has also given speeches to the Iranian MEK, which …

Guliani Maryam Rajavi Mojahedin Khalq terroristsMazda Parsi, Nejat Society, December 08 2016:…  “According to a financial disclosure reported on by The New York Times, Giuliani has been speechifying at hyper speed for years, collecting $11.4 million for 124 appearances in just one year—and that was before signing up for the MeK gravy train around 2011. Perhaps he just didn’t have time to consider the character of his paymaster,” adds Daniel Benjamin …

rudy-giuliani-mojahedin-khalq-paris-rajavi-cultPress TV, December 06 2016:… The terrorist group of “Mojahedin-e-Khalq Organization,” also called “MEK” or “MKO,” which is featured among some countries’ lists of terrorist groups is being protected in a small town only 30 kilometers from Paris, in Auvers-sur-Oise; this has resulted in neglect of public interest and freedom of speech. During the years, the organization has been responsible …

rudi-giuliani-rudy-mojahedin-khalq-rajavi-cult-terroristsPhioip Giraldi, The Unz Review, November 30 2016:…  Israel’s Mossad planned and prepared the killing of the scientists with a little help from the U.S., attacks which were almost certainly carried out by associates of the radical Marxist group Mujaheddin e Khalq (MEK), which is now being seen favorably by several Trump advisors even though the group is Marxist, cult-like and has killed Americans …

rudi-giuliani-mojahedin-khalq-terrorists-rajavi-cultJacob Sullum, Newsweek, November 29 2016:… “My ties to them are very open,” Giuliani, a former U.S. attorney, recently toldThe New York Times. “We worked very hard to get them delisted.” But under the broad understanding of the federal ban on “material assistance” to terrorist groups that the Supreme Court upheld in 2010, that work was pretty clearly a crime punishable by up to 15 years in prison …

Press TV, November 28 2016:… Describing MKO as “bizarre and brutal” with “plenty of American blood on its hands, as well as that of thousands of Iranians killed while the group was a strike force serving [former Iraqi dictator] Saddam Hussein” during his war on Iran in the 1980s, US-based magazine Politicorevealed in a Saturday report that former New York City’s Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former

rudy-giuliani-mojahedin-khalq-saddamDaniel Larison, The American Conservatives, November 27 2016:… One of the more troubling things about American MEK supporters is their willingness to whitewash the group’s past as well as its present-day behavior. They aren’t content to work with an avowedly bad group against a common enemy, but feel compelled to pretend that the group is upstanding and noble. At an appearance in Paris last year, Giuliani …

rudy-giuliani-mojahedin-khalqAmbassador Daniel Benjamin, Politico Magazine, November 24 2016:… Press accounts of MeK support by Giuliani and these others often treat their ties as a curiosity or, at most, some kind of peccadillo, because the group was taken off the State Department list in 2012. I was the coordinator for counterterrorism at that time, and my office was responsible for leading the effort to decide whether …

rudy-giuliani-mojahedin-khalq-saddamMazda Parsi, Nejat Society, November 22 2016:… In March 2012, Giuliani traveled to Paris to speak at an MEK conference alongside the group’s secretive leader Maryam Rajavi. While there, he called the U.S. military base in Iraq where the United States wanted to relocate the MEK a “concentration camp.” Those comments later appeared in an MEK ad in the New York Times, according to josh Rogin …

rudy-giuliani-mojahedin-khalq-rajavi-cult-terrorismEric Lipton and Russ Buettnernov, New York Times, November 18 2016:… The speeches that have drawn the greatest scrutiny are those he gave from 2012 through last year at events organized by the Mujahedeen Khalq. Mr. Giuliani was paid for “three or four” speeches he delivered to the group, said Robert G. Torricelli, a former senator from New Jersey who served as a lawyer for the M.E.K., as the …

Jessica Schulberg, Huffington Post, November 18 2016:… Bolton has attended rallies in support of Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK), an exiled Iranian dissident group that the U.S. classified as a terrorist organization until 2012. The obvious disconnect between the worldviews of Trump and Bolton makes it hard to grasp why the president-elect is considering Bolton to be his top diplomat. But lacking any foreign policy …

rudi-giuliani-rudy-mojahedin-khalq-rajavi-cult-terroristsNew York Times, Editorial Board, November 17 2016:… Mr. Giuliani for instance, he was paid to deliver speeches in 2011 and 2012 defending a cultlike Iranian exile group that was on the State Department’s list of terrorist organizations. In the long list of ridiculous things Mr. Giuliani has said, his remarks about President Obama in February 2015, when the presidential campaign was gearing up, were particularly disgraceful ..

rudi-giuliani-mojahedin-khalq-terrorists-rajavi-cultIsaac Arnsdorf, Politico, November 17 2016:… In 2011, an exiled Iranian political party called the Mujahedin e-Khalq, known as the MEK, paid Giuliani to give a speech in Washington calling on the State Department to remove the group from its list of terrorist organizations. The MEK recruited a host of other formal officials to its cause and succeeded in reversing the terrorist designation in 2012. A subsidiary …

Eli Clifton, Lobelog, November 16 2016:… The MEK is known for paying generous sums to former officials who speak at their events. Lee Hamilton, a former chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee who headed the Woodrow Wilson Center for 12 years, told InterPress Service that he was paid “a substantial amount” to appear on an MEK panel in 2011. Giuliani, Bolton, Lopez, and Gingrich have all sung …

Guliani Maryam Rajavi Mojahedin Khalq terroristsJosh Rogin, Washington Post, November 15 2016:… For years, Giuliani has been one of the most prominent American officials to advocate on behalf of the Mujahideen-e Khalq (MEK), a Marxist Iranian opposition group that claims to be the legitimate government of Iran and resembles a cult. A Treasury Department investigation in 2012 examined whether speaking fees paid by several MEK front groups to a long list …

Michael Rubin, Community Magazine, November 15 2016:… If the goal of the Trump administration is to contain, weaken, and roll back the influence of the Islamic Republic, then outreach to the MKO is the worst possible move because it would rally Iranians around the flag and strengthen the current regime. The simple fact is this: if there is any consensus within Iran, it is that the MKO is the only thing worse than …

eu-iranEldar Mamedov, Lobelog, November 13 2016:…  New Gingrich, John Bolton, and Rudy Giuliani, are slated for top jobs in the Trump administration, including the crucial secretary-of-state job. All three have deep tieswith the Iranian dissident cult MEK, on the US terror list until 2012, bitterly opposed to the current Iranian government and advocating regime change in Iran. Although the Saudis …

Land Destroyer, November 13 2016:… Lobbying for MEK terrorists alongside Bolton was former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and Newt Gingrich. They and other fixtures of American Neo-Conservatism backed MEK along with the Royal Saudi Family, according to the US State Department’s own Voice of America (VOA) media platform. VOA’s article, “Saudi Backing of Iranian Exile Group Inflames …

مسعود خدابندهMassoud Khodabandeh, Huffington Post, November 12 2016:… In particular, Rudi Giuliani, John Bolton and Newt Gingrich. Putting aside their weak personalities as well as their individual neoconservative agendas, the common thread which links these names together is their decade long support for the Mojahedin Khalq terrorist organisation (also known as Saddam’s Private Army or Rajavi cult). It is certain that …

Newt Gingrich Rajavi cult TerrorismArash Azizi, Global voice, Nobember 12 2016:… John Bolton called for a military attack on Iran and “vigorous American support” for MEK “aimed at regime change in Tehran”. Last summer, Gingrich spoke at MEK’s rally in Paris alongside Turki bin Faisal, the former head of Saudi intelligence. Gingrich went as far as to solemnly bow down to MEK’s leader, Maryam Rajavi, calling her by her favored title …

Eli Clifton, Lobelog, November 16 2016:… The MEK is known for paying generous sums to former officials who speak at their events. Lee Hamilton, a former chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee who headed the Woodrow Wilson Center for 12 years, told InterPress Service that he was paid “a substantial amount” to appear on an MEK panel in 2011. Giuliani, Bolton, Lopez, and Gingrich have all sung …