WASHINGTON, Aug. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The US Committee for Camp Ashraf Residents (USCCAR) deplores Elizabeth Rubin's unfounded and malicious assertions against the main Iranian opposition movement, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (PMOI/MEK) and its 3400 members in Camp Ashraf in Iraq. The piece appeared in the Review and Outlook section of the Times on August 14.
The latest in the venomous anti-MEK smear campaign by the pro-Tehran lobby inside the Beltway, the piece represents a desperate, albeit futile, attempt to block, in contravention of the Rule of law and the statutory requirements, the removal of the MEK from the State Department's list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO).
At a time when Camp Ashraf residents are facing the specter of another slaughter at the hands of Nuri Al-Maliki, Ms. Rubin has provided fodder for Tehran and its Iraqi proxies to again attack and murder our loved ones there.
For a person who admittedly spent only a few hours in Camp Ashraf back in early 2003, and opted to use the notorious agents of Tehran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) as her source, Rubin's shedding of crocodile tears for the residents of Camp Ashraf appears disingenuous given the absence of a mere criticism, let alone condemnation, of two deadly attacks on defenseless residents in July 2009 and April 2011, which Chairman John Kerry of Senate Foreign Relations Committee described as a massacre.
By recycling the made-in-Tehran collection of lies and stale allegations, Rubin regurgitates what has been debunked repeatedly by the highest courts in the United Kingdom, the European Union and France. More significantly, U.S. military officers, who have collectively spent years in Camp Ashraf with MEK members, have gone on the record in U.S. Congress to refute these baseless allegations.
Rubin's August 14 diatribe was preceded three weeks earlier by another New York Times hit-piece, which also demonized the leadership and rank-and-file at Camp Ashraf. It blamed our loved ones for not kowtowing to a plan of relocation to remote Iraqi detention camps – as insisted by a U.S. embassy official – which is tantamount to providing the Maliki government a license to murder. Members of U.S. Congress and thousands of their European counterparts as well as international human rights organizations have vehemently condemned this proposal.
In breach of basic journalistic and professional standards and principles, the author of that story, Tim Arango, sat in on a confidential and sensitive discussion about the future of Camp Ashraf residents, falsely introducing himself as an Embassy staff member. Instead of publishing even a single one of the many letters to the editor by the MEK counsel, Camp Ashraf family members and Iranian Americans, The Times' editors published Rubin's piece without bothering to fact and source check the article.
This unethical and unprincipled modus operandi by a newspaper which boasts of printing "all the news that is fit to print," only serves to pave the way for another massacre at Camp Ashraf.
SOURCE U.S. Committee for Camp Ashraf Residents (USCCAR)