Congressman Blasts Anti-Iran Terrorist Group's Influence on US Officials

US Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) strongly lambasted FBI for repressing anti-war and international solidarity activists, while ignoring US officials' overt and covert support for the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO).

It has been reported that the MKO (also known as MEK) has spent millions of dollars on lobbyists, Public Relations agents and communications firms to build up pressure on US Secretary Hillary Clinton to take the group off the US terrorist list.

Congressman Dennis Kucinich wrote to US Attorney General Eric Holder asking tough questions about the Federal Bureau of Investigation's large commitment of resources to investigate small, local groups of individuals whose primary concern is peace. Congressman Kucinich also asked for an explanation for the apparent differential use of vague and broad criminal statutes.

"One of the biggest problems with vague criminal statutes is the opportunity they provide for differential enforcement. The Washington Post and other news sources have reported that former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, former Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge, former White House security adviser Frances Townsend, and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani have publicly expressed their support for the Mojahedin-e-Khalq (MEK), an organization that has been on the foreign terrorist list of the State Department since 1997. They spoke in support of the MEK, in Paris last December, at a rally organized by an international group that lobbies for the MEK. Can their public advocacy truly be "independent," within the meaning of the Holder decision, if it is solicited by an organization that lobbies for the MEK?" Kucinich said in his letter.

"I fully support their constitutional rights to express their opinions on this issue and any others. But, I don't understand why their support of a foreign terrorist organization goes unchallenged by law enforcement, while anti-war activists are targeted with FBI searches and grand jury subpoenas. Is there any distinction that justifies the different treatment of these two groups other than the fact that one of them is composed of prominent people who support the wars conducted by two successive administrations and the other is composed of ordinary people who do not?"

The letter added that it has been reported recently that "the MEK has spent millions of dollars on lobbyists, PR agents and communications firms to build up pressure on Secretary Hillary Clinton to take the group off of the terrorist list."

"In Holder, the Department of Justice, under both your direction and that of Attorney General Mukasey, argued that it was a felony to file an amicus brief on behalf of a foreign terrorist organization, or even to engage in public advocacy on behalf of such an organization, unless that advocacy was totally "independent" of the organization. How do you reconcile those arguments with the total absence of attention paid to lobbying activities in support of the MEK? How do you reconcile that inaction with the apparent overkill that had been directed at the anti-war activists in Minneapolis and Chicago?" he noted.

"A federal prosecutor has tremendous power and resources. Because of that, he has a concomitant obligation to exercise that power with judgment and discretion. Is it good judgment to direct the overwhelming resources of the federal government onto small, local groups and individuals whose primary interest is peace? Is it good judgment to investigate them under a vague and broad statute whose text and interpretations have changed numerous times over the past decade? Is this really the best use of Department of Justice personnel?" the US lawmaker questioned.