Did a White House Official Violate Iran Sanctions?
WASHINGTON, Aug. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A report published by the Washington Post on August 5, 2012, by Tom Hamburger and Peter Wallsten, reveals that David Plouffe, a senior White House advisor who was President Obama's 2008 campaign manager, received $100,000 speaking fee from an affiliate of a company doing business with Iran's government, which has provided technology that has helped the regime to track down and suppress dissidents in Iran. The report goes on to say that "a subsidiary of MTN Group, a South African-based telecommunications company, paid Plouffe for two speeches he made in Nigeria in December 2010, a month before he joined the White House staff."
The Post's report is more than an embarrassment for the Obama administration. If that wasn't enough, White House officials shrugged off the scandal by saying "it is not unusual for Washington figures to receive similar fees for speeches." This lays bare hypocrisy at the heart of U.S. policy towards Tehran, not to mention a double standard in U.S. media coverage of the efforts of other prominent Americans who have sought to undermine, rather than benefit from the regime in Iran.
In recent months, a stellar group of high-profile U.S. national security and political figures have been criticized in the mainstream media for occasionally receiving compensation from Iranian-Americans who are U.S. citizens, to speak in favor of establishing democracy in Iran, and in defense of the human rights of thousands of Iranian dissidents in Iraq, who are members of the main Iranian opposition group, known as the Mujahedin-e Khalq (PMOI/MEK). The MEK is a secular, democratic group dedicated to a non-nuclear Iran, which has provided the U.S. with critical intelligence concerning Iran's atomic weapons program and interference in Iraq. Yet the group languishes on the U.S. list of "Foreign Terrorist Organizations" despite meeting none of the statutory criteria. It is unarmed and renounced violence in 2001, both of which seven different U.S. agencies confirmed after a 16-month investigation and screening of its members in Iraq, where the group is woefully encamped.
To placate Tehran, the Obama Administration has defied U.S. Court rulings to delist the group so far and instead has chosen to investigate a group of unimpeachable Americans for expressing outrage over the blatant breach of the human rights of 3,200 MEK members in Camp Ashraf and now in Camp Liberty. These defenseless men, women and children were massacred twice in 2009 and 2011 by the Iraqi forces, acting at the behest of Iran. No less than 49 residents, including eight women, were killed and hundreds wounded. Ironically, the media, including the Washington Post and the New York Times, has mercilessly condemned these former officials.
Now it is revealed that a senior advisor to President Obama was paid to speak to a company linked to the regime in Tehran, which successive U.S. administrations have classified as the world's leading state-sponsor of terrorism. This regime has been directly responsible for the murder of thousands of Americans in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan and is now financially and militarily supporting the murderous Assad regime.
Where is the outrage? Why has the administration looked the other way while its top campaign strategist receives blood money from a company under scrutiny for its role in monitoring and suppressing the Iranian people? How can the media abet a Treasury Department fishing expedition against a former Director of the FBI, a former U.S. Attorney General, a former Homeland Security Secretary, a former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and others who have only urged the administration to live up to its commitments to protect these dissidents based on a written agreement with each and every one of them and consistent with its international obligations?
SOURCE Association of Iranian-Americans in New York & New Jersey