MEK and the Unspeakable Chaos of the Rule of Law

John Glaser, May 03, 2012

Via Glenn Greenwald, Daneil Denvir writes about former Governor Ed Rendell trying to explain why he shouldn’t be indicted for providing “material support” to the Iranian cult terrorist group MEK:

One 10-minute speech earned Rendell $20,000, and he frequently flew to Europe to call for MEK’s removal from the terror list. That would appear to fall within the extraordinarily broad definition of “material support” used by theObama administration.

Rendell calls that “ludicrous.” He says, “The only thing we’ve done is spoken out on their behalf. And you certainly can’t in any way encumber free speech in America. You know that ? you’re a journalist.”

I do sort of know that?you shouldn’t be able to encumber free speech. But the Supreme Court did just that, and Muslims have been prosecuted for doing less: a satellite TV salesman sentenced to five years for broadcasting Hezbollah’s TV channel; a man indicted for favorable web comments on shooting U.S. soldiers.

…“Whatever one’s views are on this ruling, it is now binding law. To advocate on behalf of a designated Terrorist group constitutes the felony of ‘providing material support’ if that advocacy is coordinated with the group,” writes Salon blogger and constitutional law attorney Glenn Greenwald. “They’re providing more substantial ‘material support’ to this Terrorist group than many people ? usually vulnerable, powerless Muslims ? who are currently imprisoned for that crime.”

…“If you indict me, [Rendell explained] I hope you know, you have to indict 67 other Americans who did the same thing, including seven generals … [who] served in Iraq. You’d have to indict James Jones, President Obama’s first NSC chief adviser, you’d have to indict former Attorney General [Michael] Mukasey, former FBI Director Louis Freeh … the whole kit and caboodle.” That caboodle is voluminous and high-powered, including Tom Ridge, UN Ambassador John Bolton, Rudolph Giuliani and Howard Dean, among others.

Seriously, don’t tease me…

“You tell me that anyone has the right to restrict my freedom of speech and I’ll tell you you’re dead wrong,” Rendell insists.

I wish I were wrong. The Supreme Court’s three dissenters protested that the decision “gravely and without adequate justification injure[s] interests of the kind the First Amendment protects.” So it does. It’s a frightening law and a horrible ruling that pulverizes First Amendment free speech protections. But as long as political nobodies face prosecution for speech crimes, so should elites. Indict Rendell ? and Ridge, Mukasey, Giuliani, etc. ? or repeal this law.

See here for background on the push inside elite U.S. circles to get the MEK delisted from the State Department’s list of terrorist organizations.

It should be well known that the law simply doesn’t apply to elite members of the American political community. But I just think it’s fascinating that Rendell actually used the argument that, if you indict him, you’ll have to then apply the law to other important people! At least 67 of them! Oh, the unspeakable chaos!




8 Responses to “MEK and the Unspeakable Chaos of the Rule of Law”

  1. Rendell and the 'gang of 67' should be indicted. Pretty darn quick too. Sauce for a goose is sauce for the gander.

  2. silly. the mek be our terro…i mean ‘freedom fighters.’

  3. there are precedents.

    Boricua Popular Army and specifically Pedro Albizu Campos

    In 1948, a bill was introduced before the Puerto Rican Senate which authorized the repeated arrest of Albizu Campos, and a round-the-clock surveillance of every Nationalist in Puerto Rico. The Senate at the time was controlled by the PPD and presided by Luis Muñoz Marín.[21]

    The bill, known as Law 53 and the Ley de la Mordaza (Gag Law), passed the legislature on May 21, 1948 and was signed into law on June 10, 1948, by the U.S.-appointed governor of Puerto Rico Jesús T. Piñero. It closely resembled the anti-communist Smith Law passed in the United States – and it created as much chaos on the island, as Senator Joseph McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee did, on the mainland U.S.[22]

    Under this law it became a crime to own or display a Puerto Rican flag anywhere, even in one's own home. It also became a crime to speak against the U.S. government; to speak in favor of Puerto Rican independence; to print, publish, sell or exhibit any material intended to paralyze or destroy the insular government; or to organize any society, group or assembly of people with a similar destructive intent.

    Anyone accused and found guilty of disobeying the law could be sentenced to ten years imprisonment, a fine of $10,000 dollars (US), or both.

    The repugnant politicos who gladly sell themselves for 30 pieces of silver to back the equivalent of Jim Jones and the peoples temple (wanted for murder in Iran and Iraq) forward them as an even sicker version of the Shah reign of terror, could be used as a way to free TV broadcasters, but unfortunately it's too late for Alawaki.

  4. "Don't tease me…" I LOLed. Where would be without your Mr. Glaser?

  5. Giuliani in the dock? I'd PAY to see that…the other 67 would just be icing on the cake…ooo, ooo…can we have them perp-walked too? After picturing that, I think I need a cigarette…

  6. Steven

  7. [...] from the MeK for their advocacy to get the group removed from the State Deparment’s list, which amounts to “material support” for terrorist groups, a felony. Of course, such well-connected, high-society types don’t get prosecuted for [...]

  8. MEK is a Cult Terrorist Group? I suggest you do a little bit of research before making outlandish claims. These are the same claims which are made by the regime of Iran (the most brutal and corrupt regime the world has ever seen). Iran spends (by its own estimates) 750 million dollars a year on "Islamic commercialism" or what the world describes as propaganda. The reason that you use the same title that the Iranian government uses to brand the MEK is because lots of money has been spent to make people that are not well versed in the subject the MEK get caught up in these pitfalls of ignorance.
    The MEK has been investigated 62 times by the U.S government and has come clean on all fronts. The UK and the EU both took the MEK off of the terrorist list based on factual evidence and the law (a the highest courts). I am all for leftist ideology and human rights, but I strongly suggest you do research on a topic as opposed to just falling on the anti government bandwagon and being against every single move that the government makes. Where were you all these years when the MEK was on the terrorist list, were you trying to free them from the unjust label? In conclusion, if you are not one of the regime's paid cronies, please do some research before you write your articles..

    I am not even an MEK supporter, I am against the regime of Iran, the only group that seems to be doing anything is the MEK, and it kills me to see people write articles, just to write articles