News : Human rights

NBC’s “Giuliani's Work for Iranian Group … Lead to More Legal Woes” is Yellow Journalism

A big MEK gathering

You can tell a smear piece in today’s highly charged and partisan journalism when it starts off with the media’s most powerful weapon: the selective backgrounder aimed at guiding the uninitiated reader to the conclusion of the writer wishes to sear into our minds.

So it is with NBC’s October 17 article titled, “Giuliani's work for Iranian group with bloody past could lead to more legal woes,” written by Julia Ainsley, Andrew W. Lehren, and Rich Schapiro and published on NBC News website.

The article is aimed at Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City, and famed U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. It is a take-down of the current personal lawyer to US President Donald J. Trump. But what irks me most is the liberty the all-knowing authors take in smearing the historical and heroic resistance movement to the Ayatollahs in Iran that the Iranian MEK represents.

As the oldest and most enduring political movement in modern Iran, that friend, and foe alike attest is the most organized and dedicated party to challenge religious clerical rule in Iran, the MEK (PMOI) is summarized with this epithet by the authors: “Iranian dissident group Mujahedeen e-Khalq (MEK), a State Department-designated foreign terrorist organization until 2012.”

You wonder what year we are in now. Aren’t we in 2019? Did they say 2012? So what about now? When was the MEK put on the State Department’s FTO list? It was in 1997 by the Clinton Administration in what Martin Indyk, a serving State Department official in the Clinton Administration at the time, admitted was “a goodwill gesture” to a fake moderate and turbaned Mohammad Khatami, posing as president of Iran.  Clinton was too eager to make friends with a regime detested by Iranians. The evidence compiled in the State Department’s “administrative file” documenting the MEK’s alleged role in “terrorism” was laughable. It came from fake websites set up by the Iranian regime that were later shut down, ludicrous and unvetted claims from foreign proxies of the Iranian regime, outlandish and fiendish accounts by outed agents of the Iranian intelligence services, and most charming of all direct recommendations from the Iranian regime to the US about how to smear the MEK as the regime’s main opposition. But all of this failed the test of acceptable evidence in a court of law.

 

How did the MEK, a purported “terrorist” entity, a title it was given for resisting the brutal dictatorship of the mullahs, combat this epithet? They sued in a court of law. They sought justice through the legal process. How odd for a so-called member of the FTO to respond legally, and how amazing that they won in seven historic court rulings that at last forced the State Department and Secretary Clinton to delist them.

The ruling decisively put an end to the overt political attempt to play the MEK card with the mullahs of Iran to win favors with them. The court proceedings showed that the State Department had zero evidence to support any of its false allegations against the MEK. 

This so-called evidence would remain secret and yet it would be dripped to the public and media to demonize the MEK and earn the good graces of the ruling clique in Tehran. It boasted of many offenses by the MEK. Yet all that evidence was fed by the mullahs to a willing and eager US administration that didn’t care about the fate of the MEK or the thousands of adherents and supporters whose lives would irrevocably be harmed by this injustice forever after.

So when NBC News pitches the first fundamental fact in its hit piece referring to “Iranian dissident group Mujahedeen e-Khalq (MEK), a State Department-designated foreign terrorist organization until 2012,” it makes you wonder if it is fair, objective, and unbiased reporting or if NBC News is carrying water for the mullahs as the Clinton Administration did in 1997 and for some of the same reasons. It is a pure and simple smear of a historic and heroic struggle for democracy and human rights in Iran. Shame on NBC News for publishing this tainted smear.

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