Judge Barrett Mujahedin-e-Khalq MEK Ties

Judge Barrett Mujahedin-e-Khalq MEK Ties

Judge Barrett Mujahedin-e-Khalq MEK TiesPaul Sonne and Yeganeh Torbati, Washington Post, September 30 2020:… “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 State Department said upon delisting the group. “The Department also has serious concerns about the MEK as an organization, particularly with regard to allegations of abuse committed against its own members.” Judge Barrett, Mujahedin-e-Khalq Ties  

Judge Barrett Mujahedin-e-Khalq MEK TiesAmerican Hostages and MEK (History)

Judge Barrett Mujahedin-e-Khalq MEK

Judge Barrett represented Iranian exile group in fight to end terrorist designation

Judge Barrett Mujahedin-e-Khalq MEK TiesJudge Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court

By Paul Sonne and Yeganeh Torbati

Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump’s nominee to join the Supreme Court, once represented an affiliate of an Iranian exile group as it challenged its State Department designation as a foreign terrorist organization.

MEK Assassinated AmericansMEK Assassinated Americans

“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 State Department said upon delisting the group. “The Department also has serious concerns about the MEK as an organization, particularly with regard to allegations of abuse committed against its own members.”

Barrett disclosed her legal work for the group, which she undertook while employed at a law firm in Washington, in the Senate questionnaire she submitted during her 2017 confirmation process to join the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. The work did not come up in her confirmation hearing.
Barrett wrote that she was one of five lawyers on a team that represented the National Council of Resistance of Iran and its U.S. representative office from 2000 to 2001 in their petition to review the State Department’s foreign-terrorist-organization designation.

The NCRI is affiliated with the Mujahideen-e Khalq (MEK), a onetime militant group comprising Iranian exiles who oppose Iran’s clerical regime. The Obama administration removed the group from the U.S. government’s list of terrorist organizations in 2012. The MEK has faced accusations of cultlike practices, which the organization has disputed as smears.

American Hostages and MEK(Iraq shelters terrorist groups including the Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MKO), which has used terrorist violence against Iran and in the 1970s was responsible for killing several U.S. military personnel and U.S. civilians)

Barrett wrote that she “assisted with legal research and briefing” for the Iranian exile group’s case while she worked for Miller, Cassidy, Larroca & Lewin LLP, a law firm that merged with Baker Botts LLP in 2001 during her employment there. In her questionnaire, Barrett said the counsel of record on the case was Martin D. Minsker, signaling that she was a junior lawyer on the case.
Minsker didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. A spokesman for Baker Botts declined to comment.

The MEK formed as a militant group in opposition to Iran’s monarchy but was forced into exile after the 1979 revolution that toppled the shah. The State Department designated the MEK as a foreign terrorist organization in 1997, citing its involvement in the killing of Americans in Iran during the 1970s. The department, which also cited a 1992 incident in which five men with knives invaded the Iranian mission to the United Nations in New York, said the NCRI “functioned as part of the MEK” and “supported the MEK’s acts of terrorism.”

Mojahedin_Khalq_MEK_Ch_4_News_AlbaniaThe shadowy cult Trump advisors tout as an alternative to the Iranian government

Shahin Gobadi, a spokesman for the MEK, said the State Department designated the group as a foreign terrorist organization unfairly in 1997 for political reasons, to curry favor with Iran.
“What’s important is the designation, to begin with, wasn’t established and was politically motivated,” Gobadi said, citing statements by Clinton administration officials involved in the decision.

Barrett played a small role in the MEK’s years-long effort to remove its terrorist designation in the United States.
In the case she worked on before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, the NCRI argued that because it maintained a U.S. affiliate office and bank account, and was seen as an alias of the MEK by the U.S. government, the exile group should have been afforded due process rights under the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution when the State Department deemed the organization a terrorist group.

MEK Impunity Undermining Democracy in AmericaMEK Impunity Undermining Democracy in America

The court agreed, ordering the State Department to provide due process by disclosing certain information it used to make the determination and affording the designee a right of rebuttal. The U.S. government maintained the terrorist-group designation until 2012, when a D.C. Circuit judge set a deadline for the State Department to grant or deny the group’s petition.

Days before the deadline, the department revoked the designation, citing the group’s public renunciation of violence and the absence of confirmed acts of terrorism for more than a decade. The decision came as the MEK agreed to leave a base in Iraq that Saddam Hussein had allowed its members to occupy for years. The U.S. military had been providing protection for the group at that base.
“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 State Department said upon delisting the group. “The Department also has serious concerns about the MEK as an organization, particularly with regard to allegations of abuse committed against its own members.”

 

Shanin Gobadi and MEK Trial In AlbaniaShanin Gobadi and MEK Trial In Albania

Gobadi, the MEK spokesman, said the terrorist-group designation was “thrown out the window by the courts.” He called the department’s citation of abuse allegations “preposterous remarks” that “were made as a face-saving measure on the day.”

White House spokesman Judd Deere emphasized Barrett’s junior role in the case, noting that she was not the counsel of record and “assisted with legal research and briefing.”
Arthur Hellman, a professor emeritus at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and an expert on the U.S. federal courts, said Barrett, as a junior associate at a law firm, probably would not have had permission to choose her clients — and in any case shouldn’t be judged by them. He said the Supreme Court could use judges with more experience in private practice.
“If we think it’s desirable, as I and a lot of others do, that you have justices on the Supreme Court who have gotten their hands dirty with real-world litigation — some of that is probably going to be on behalf of clients that are not terribly admirable,” Hellman said.

Barrett worked in private practice for two years after clerking for Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia and before entering academia.

The MEK has long sought legitimacy in the United States, in part by paying former government officials from both major parties to speak at its annual rallies, and has presented itself as a secular, democratic alternative to Iran’s theocratic regime. The dissidents also revealed the existence of secret Iranian nuclear sites, aiding U.S. efforts to thwart Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
Former New York mayor and Trump ally Rudolph W. Giuliani and former Trump national security adviser John Bolton have both been outspoken proponents of the group, as have Democrats like former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell and former Vermont governor Howard Dean.

The group, however, has also been dogged by accusations of human rights abuses, after some former members described cultlike practices by the organization designed to control its members.

مسعود خدابنده آن سینگلتون پارلمان اروپا 2018Secret MEK troll factory in Albania uses modern slaves (aka Mojahedin Khalq, MKO, NCRI ,Rajavi cult)

“I call them basically a cult,” said Ervand Abrahamian, a professor emeritus of Iranian and Middle Eastern history and politics at Baruch College in New York.
Gobadi, the MEK spokesman, disputed those accusations, describing them as part of a long-standing disinformation campaign against the group by the Iranian regime and its intelligence apparatus.
He said the allegations had been proved “time and again to be totally baseless.”

Julie Tate contributed to this report.

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Judge Barrett Mujahedin-e-Khalq MEK Ties

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https://iran-interlink.org/wordpress/pompeo-and-mek-isolated-by-response-to-pandemic/

Pompeo and MEK isolated by response to pandemic

Pompeo and MEK isolated by response to pandemicAnne and Massoud Khodabandeh, Balkans Post, March 29 2020:… But, as destructive as the MEK presence has been in Albania, the group has inevitably played a greater role in the West’s confrontation against Iran. In June 2019, Murtaza Hussain of The Intercept revealed that an internet troll farm was operating from the MEK’s closed camp in Manez. The enslaved members, sitting behind banks of outdated computerware, were being used to manipulate social media messaging on Iran on a global scale. Hussain revealed that ‘Heshmat Alavi’, a self-proclaimed Iranian activist, “appears not to exist” and is “a persona run by a team of people from the political wing of the MEK”. Pompeo and MEK isolated by response to pandemic 

Pompeo and MEK isolated by response to pandemicMojahedin-e Khalq MEK Defectors Talk About The Inside Of Rajavi Cult

Pompeo and MEK isolated by response to pandemic

Judge Barrett Mujahedin-e-Khalq MEK 

As Mike Pompeo – now dubbed ‘Secretary of Hate’ by Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif – ramps up his daily rants against Iran in spite of universal pleas for the U.S. to lift sanctions in order to help Iran fight the spread of COVID-19, attention has again focused on the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), the so-called Iranian opposition group based in Albania. The MEK has, of course, become a favourite of anti-Iran hawks in the U.S. and Europe who see it as a weapon against the government in Tehran. But what is the significance of the MEK in Western powers’ anti-Iran campaign? And what impact has the group had on its host country, Albania?
Pompeo and MEK isolated by response to pandemic

The exiled Iranian Mojahedin-e Khalq organization (MEK) was relocated from Iraq to Albania in 2016, making the country a hub for anti-Iran activities. The move came as a result of efforts by the Obama administration to comply with a longstanding demand by Iraq to remove the MEK from their country. After it was found that no normal country was willing to take on this terrorist entity – EU member state Romania refused to host them – it fell upon Albania to accept the U.S. dollars and fulfil American demands. The UNHCR transferred the MEK as an entity rather than as individuals; the individual members were rendered undocumented and stateless as a result.

This state of affairs suited the new Trump administration, which revelled in the MEK’s regime change rhetoric. In 2017, U.S. support enabled the MEK to regroup and build an extraterritorial enclave inaccessible to the Albanian authorities into which the hapless members were placed. As expected, the MEK aggressively imposed its anti-Iran stance on the country’s political, security and media landscape through corruption, intimidation and propaganda, perverting the country’s foreign policy decisions to favour U.S. and Israeli demands. The same maverick and dangerous behaviour led the EU countries and the European Parliament to ban most MEK activities last year. The leader Maryam Rajavi left France and set up her new headquarters in Albania – MEK leadership cadre occupy an entire floor of the International Hotel in Skanderbeg Square in Tirana.

This shift to Albania came at a time when the EU Council has endorsed the opening of accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia. Unlike North Macedonia, Albania will have to show progress in a number of areas before negotiations start. The primary concerns raised in the Council’s decision are implementation of justice and electoral reforms, fight against crime and corruption, Albanian asylum seekers in the EU, amendment of media laws in line with the recommendations of the Venice Commission. There can be no doubt that when a country’s system is rotten, scavengers will move in. The MEK are like rats chewing on tasty nuggets supplied by crime and corruption.

The situation of Gjergji Thanasi is a case in point. Thanasi, an award-winning investigative journalist, sued MEK member Behzad Safari for defamation, after Safari made scurrilous allegations against him. The case is dragging on because of corruption in the judicial system. Judges are removed, replaced, they don’t turn up, the public prosecutor does not turn up, the defendant does not turn up, the defence lawyers don’t turn up, the English language translator does not turn up. With such a broken system, a respected Albanian citizen cannot obtain justice against the defamatory statements made by a stateless member of a terrorist organization.

But, as destructive as the MEK presence has been in Albania, the group has inevitably played a greater role in the West’s confrontation against Iran. In June 2019, Murtaza Hussain of The Intercept revealed that an internet troll farm was operating from the MEK’s closed camp in Manez. The enslaved members, sitting behind banks of outdated computerware, were being used to manipulate social media messaging on Iran on a global scale. Hussain revealed that ‘Heshmat Alavi’, a self-proclaimed Iranian activist, “appears not to exist” and is “a persona run by a team of people from the political wing of the MEK”.

Heshmat Alavi is the name of an account run by three MEK operatives working from London. They direct the online activities in Albania. There are thousands of ‘Heshmat Alavi’ style accounts created by the MEK on social media churning out false information, misinformation and trolling genuine opposition activists who do not share the MEK’s, nor the U.S. government’s regime change agenda.

Since the EU curtailed its activities there, the MEK has manipulated itself into a cosy symbiotic relationship with the U.S. Secretary of State. MEK social media combatants and its prolific websites echo Pompeo’s extremist anti-Iran statements and stances. In return, Pompeo references the MEK’s misinformation and propaganda in his speeches. Even before the coronavirus pandemic hit, this positioning was not to the MEK’s advantage.

At a time when the WHO urged self-isolation and social distancing to prevent the virus’ spread, the MEK leaders, giddy with the false hope of regime change, urged Iranians to come into the streets and attack the police. Such reckless and futile statements in the name of regime change will not be forgotten or forgiven by Iranians. Nor will the MEK positioning itself alongside the country’s most virulent enemy, the U.S., at its time of greatest need be forgotten or forgiven.

Now that the world is being asked to work together to combat the spread of the virus, the U.S. and the MEK are increasingly finding themselves out on a limb as regards Iran. A political and moral self-isolation that will have serious repercussions in the future.

MASSOUD AND ANNE KHODABANDEH

Massoud Khodabandeh is the Director of Middle East Strategy Consultants and has worked long-term with the authorities in Iraq to bring about a peaceful solution to the impasse at Camp Liberty and help rescue other victims of the Mojahedin-e Khalq cult. Khodabandeh co-authored the book ‘The Life of Camp Ashraf – Victims of Many Masters’ with his wife Anne Singleton.
Anne Khodabandeh, is an expert in anti-terrorist activities and a long-standing activist in the field of deradicalization of extremists. She has written several articles and books on this subject, along with her husband, who is of Iranian origin.

Pompeo and MEK isolated by response to pandemic

Judge Barrett Mujahedin-e-Khalq MEK 

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Pompeo and MEK isolatedJafarzadeh 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

Also read:
https://iran-interlink.org/wordpress/mek-in-albania-hijacks-americas-iran-policy/

MEK In Albania Hijacks America’s Iran Policy

MEK In Albania Hijacks America's Iran PolicyAnne Khodabandeh (Singleton) , Iranian.com, March 01 2020:… From its first arrival in Albania in 2013, the MEK continued its antagonistic anti-Iran political activities. In 2017, the Trump administration overturned plans to de-radicalize the MEK members. Instead, the MEK built an extra-territorial garrison to house the enslaved members so they wouldn’t escape. Emboldened, the MEK was able to coerce the Albanian government into pushing back against Iran through its embassy in Tirana. Following the Soleimani assassination two more Iranian diplomats were expelled from Albania and rapid response police were deployed to protect the MEK camp as though it were a diplomatic facility and not a refugee camp. Prime Minister Edi Rama was forced to admit that although Albania had accepted to host the MEK as a humanitarian gesture, the group now poses a national security issue for his country. MEK In Albania Hijacks America’s Iran Policy 

anne_Khodabandeh_Singleton_Tirana_1Open Minds – Explaining Radicalisation for Prevent and Channel

MEK In Albania Hijacks America’s Iran Policy

Judge Barrett Mujahedin-e-Khalq MEK 

Pompeo and MEK isolated by response to pandemic

by 

Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton)

Anne Khodabandeh

Since well before President Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal in 2018, the U.S. and Iran have been in a de facto state of non-military warfare with sanctions, economic sabotage, cyber-attacks, disinformation campaigns and social media attacks the weapons of choice. Both countries have exploited conflict in the region, especially after the rise of ISIS, to extend their military presence and reach.

While some in the U.S. have pressed for war with Iran at all costs, the U.S.’s lack of response to Iran’s attack on its bases in Iraq following the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani exposed a real problem. It is an open secret among military and security analysts that war with Iran is not an option; neither the U.S. nor Israel can pursue war with Iran without facing mutual destruction.

It is an open secret among military and security analysts that war with Iran is not an option

Others on the anti-Iran front have pushed for regime change. But this long-term push to manufacture or engineer the collapse of the ruling system and replace it with a conformist government has also failed to bring about any result.

Since 2018, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has straddled these agendas but has failed to make progress on either. Rather than act as the diplomatic face of the American government, Pompeo leaned on his CIA skillset in the belief that covert and insidious activities by proxy activists can be used to influence, manipulate, manufacture and divert the course of action around Iran. Now, as a result of these policy failures and errors of judgement, the U.S. is losing ground and influence in the Middle East and beyond so that America’s front line with Iran has retreated trench by trench from military containment to a petty propaganda war fought in Albania.

MEK In Albania Hijacks America's Iran Policy Pompeo and MEK isolated by response to pandemic

Why Albania?

Albania, of course, is now home to the Iranian Mojahedin Khalq (MEK). For 40 years, since its exile from Iran — first to Iraq then to Albania — the MEK has promised to be the agent of regime change, either through war or insurgency. And, in spite of having no evidence of its efficacy, for 40 years anti-Iran elements in the west, particularly neoconservatives, have supported the group and its agenda to the almost total exclusion of other genuine opposition groups and movements.

This exaggerated role of the MEK in U.S. Iran policy again came to attention when Pompeo rescinded a directive to U.S. embassies barring “direct U.S. government engagement” with Iranian militant and opposition groups. It soon emerged that an MEK lobbyist Robert G. Joseph had met with Brian Hook, the U.S.’s special representative for Iran and senior adviser to Pompeo, before the assassination of Soleimani and again just afterwards. Statements by Pompeo over the past few months have echoed MEK propaganda showing his susceptibility to this influence.

…the Trump administration still clings to the delusion that the MEK has leverage or influence or power in relation to events in Iran.

This continued engagement with the MEK indicates that the Trump administration still clings to the delusion that the MEK has leverage or influence or power in relation to events in Iran. It does not. The enduring support of MEK by anti-Iran pundits defies logic. Nothing has been gained throughout the past four decades. Much has been lost that can be linked to this support. The MEK promises regime change but cannot even come close to delivering.

MEK Capabilities

One reason for this failure — that those who exploit the group are unwilling to acknowledge — is the total absence of support for the MEK among Iranians inside and outside the country. So unpopular are the MEK in Iran that protestors in the November fuel protests, who were warned falsely by Iran’s hardline security services that the MEK were behind the violence, went home and demanded the government create safe and suitable conditions for public protest. Similarly, the students who in January this year protested their government’s response to shooting down Ukrainian Flight 752, issued a strong statement denouncing interference from outside Iran. This was clearly meant to distance their protest from the hated MEK.

The main reason the MEK has failed to perform, however, is its own structural defect. It is a cult not an opposition group. The MEK is subject only to its own internal dynamics and obeys only its own laws. It has no respect for or need to abide by or adopt external norms and values, whether legal or moral. The MEK’s aim is to stay relevant, so it pays advocates and lobbyists to have its name broadcast and published as widely as possible. But its PR image does not reflect either the real capabilities or the effectiveness of the group.

The MEK’s infamous troll farm exposed by The Intercept comes close to explaining why some in the Trump administration and beyond still cling to the hope that the MEK’s propaganda activities might finally triumph by imposing their false narrative on events. But as much as they want to utilize the MEK, they should know by now that this group cannot deliver what it promises. Nor will the MEK ever come under the purview of U.S. control.

From its first arrival in Albania in 2013, the MEK continued its antagonistic anti-Iran political activities. In 2017, the Trump administration overturned plans to de-radicalize the MEK members. Instead, the MEK built an extra-territorial garrison to house the enslaved members so they wouldn’t escape. Emboldened, the MEK was able to coerce the Albanian government into pushing back against Iran through its embassy in Tirana. Following the Soleimani assassination two more Iranian diplomats were expelled from Albania and rapid response police were deployed to protect the MEK camp as though it were a diplomatic facility and not a refugee camp. Prime Minister Edi Rama was forced to admit that although Albania had accepted to host the MEK as a humanitarian gesture, the group now poses a national security issue for his country.

European Perspective

Europe has a different view of the MEK. Since arriving in Albania, the group came under increasing scrutiny by European security and intelligence services, including the formidable services of Albania itself. Experts on the MEK had warned that the group’s maverick behavior would result in the U.S.’s front line with Iran being redrawn in Albania. European tolerance for the MEK has been stretched by events from self-immolations in 2003 to the alleged bomb plot at Villepinte in 2018, violence in the European Parliament in 2018 and interference in Spain’s elections. Last year, the MEK’s activities began to be curtailed as permission was denied for demonstrations and the annual rally at Villepinte. The MEK leader Maryam Rajavi and her acolytes have now moved their headquarters to Albania where they occupy an entire floor of the International Hotel in Skanderbeg Square in Tirana. Meanwhile, Albania’s accession to the E.U. is doomed as long as the MEK remains active in that country and the E.U. now regards the U.S. with suspicion on this issue, not amity.

In Albania the people are angry. They see their government bending to U.S. and MEK demands to the detriment of their country. Support for the MEK is symptomatic of everything that is wrong with U.S. Iran policy. Instead of striving for effective diplomacy, Pompeo oversees an actively antagonistic Iran policy that shows contempt for and alienates the very people who are needed to effect change: the ordinary citizens of friendly countries and foes alike.

By Massoud and Anne Khodabandeh

MEK In Albania Hijacks America’s Iran Policy

Judge Barrett Mujahedin-e-Khalq MEK 

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