Ex-U.S. officials, family members pay homage to 52 massacred Camp Ashraf residents, fault U.S. for failing to keep its promise of protection, call for release of 7 hostages and deployment of UN Blue Helmets to Protect Camp Liberty
WASHINGTON, Sept. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is being release by National Council of Resistance of Iran, U.S. Representatives Office (NCRI-US):
Former senior U.S. officials and family members of the 52 residents of Camp Ashraf murdered execution-style by the Iraqi SWAT units acting on orders from Tehran on September 1, paid tribute to the fallen heroines and heroes and faulted the United States and the United Nations for failing to live up to their repeated and written guarantees to protect the residents of camps Ashraf and Liberty.
Soona Samsami, U.S. Representative of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI); a number of U.S. citizens whose family members were executed on September 1st; Tom Ridge, first U.S. Homeland Security Secretary; James Woolsey, former CIA Director; Ambassador Mitchell Reiss, former State Department Policy Planning Director; Robert Joseph; former Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security; Col. Wes Martin (ret.), former Chief Protection, Antiterrorism Officer, MNFI-Iraq, U.S. Military Commander of Camp Ashraf; Col. Thomas Cantwell (ret.), former U.S. Military Commander, Camp Ashraf; John Sano, former Deputy Director, National Clandestine Service (CIA); and Prof. Donna Hughes, Eleanor M. and Oscar M. Carlson Endowed Chair, Univ. of Rhode Island spoke at the memorial organized by the National Council of Resistance of Iran-US Representative Office.
"If impartial, transparent and full investigations had been carried after the four previous massacres, this would not have happened. The United States and the United Nations bear clear and defined moral and legal responsibility for these deaths," underscored Ms. Samsami.
Amir Emadi whose father was killed by Maliki forces when shot to death in Ashraf medical clinic asked president Obama, "When would America's written commitments once again mean something? Mr. President, if you want to stop Maliki's killings against the unarmed residents of Camp Liberty, you know how to do it; Keep your damn promise!"
Secretary Ridge said that the United States and the UN were to blame for this massacre: "We bear some of the responsibility in this country, though. We can't just put it on Iran, on Iraq and on the U.N. Well, they've been ineffective and feckless and I would say disingenuous is kind, but I think they actually lied to Madame Rajavi, they lied to the residents of Ashraf and Liberty and they continue to lie to this day and they have been indifferent to the plight of these patriots."
"Now, why should it be our job to protect Ashraf, to deal with the Iranians, to deal with the Iraqis? Can't somebody else do it? No. If there is going to be an effective move to do what needs to be done in that part of the world with respect to the terrible governments of Syria, Iran, Iraq and the murderous activities of the Iranians Mullahs, we are going to have to do it. There is no out," Mr. Woolsey underlined.
While calling for the immediate release of the seven hostages, Ambassador Reiss said, "Not just words, but deeds are needed. We demand action by the White House, by the State Department, by UNAMI to deploy Blue Helmets to Camp Liberty immediately, to our friends in Europe and to legislators in Congress to threaten real consequences in our bilateral relations unless the Maliki government takes immediate action to protect those who remain at Camp Liberty,"
"In addition to punishing the penetrators and securing the release of the seven captives, we must demand that Iraq allow the necessary measures required to protect the MEK members remaining in Iraq at Camp Liberty. This includes the installation of the T-walls and the provisioning of individual protective gear and medical response capabilities. Most importantly, U.N. monitors must be stationed inside the camp to deter the next assault. This deployment of UN Blue Helmets must be done on an urgent basis," emphasized Ambassador Joseph.
Professor Hughes condemned the Maliki government and the Iranian regime for this massacre: "We are here to bear witness to the murders carried out by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's militia on the orders of Iran's supreme religious leader, Ali Khamenei. We're here to insist that the United States and the United Nations keep their promises to protect the remaining 3,000 people kept imprisoned at Camp Liberty."
In rejecting the credibility of any Iraqi-led investigation, Col. Martin said, "We are still waiting for the investigations concerning the two 2013 rocket attacks on Camp Liberty which left a total of ten dead. Asking a government behind the attacks to perform an impartial investigation and make those reports public equates to authorizing a cover-up."
Col. Cantwell added, "My prayer today is that, we, America, fulfill our promise to act quickly and secure the over 3,000 people that we promised to protect at Camp Liberty, that we will act without ceasing to free the seven that are currently being held and then we need an international investigation that leads to the international criminal court and that the people who morally will suffer for eternity for the deeds that they did on that black day a week ago will live to face their day in court also."
Pointing to the reasons why the Iranian regime carried out such a brazen massacre, Mr. Sano concluded, "They believe that they can do whatever they want. They can kill innocent civilians, men and women and thinking that this will intimidate the rest of the MEK. But they're mistaken. This will only make the MEK stronger. This will only further encourage not just the MEK, but the entire Iranian population, that it is time to move to a free and democratic Iran."