Washington is prone to hyperbole in describing Iran as a prominent terrorist sponsor because of its support for nationalist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah. Nonetheless, the Bush Administration sees nothing remotely hypocritical with turning to terrorist groups to pursue is own aims.
When Iraq fell, the US captured many members of the Marxist Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK), listed by the US State Department as a terrorist organization. They had tried to gain power in Iran but were driven out during the 1979 Revolution. Washington decided that they could become useful and have since supported and financed this group to create unrest inside Iran, including terrorist attacks.
Reliance on the MEK began under Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld with the direction of Vice President Dick Cheney, and soon MEK soldiers were being used in special operations missions in Iran. “They are doing whatever they want, no oversight at all,” said one intelligence official of the MEK’s American handlers.
This week, it was reported that the US has also turned to Pakistani militants to conduct raids inside Iran.
A Pakistani tribal militant group responsible for a series of deadly guerrilla raids inside Iran has been secretly encouraged and advised by American officials since 2005, U.S. and Pakistani intelligence sources tell ABC News.
Washington is careful enough not to get it’s hands dirty:
U.S. officials say the U.S. relationship with Jundullah is arranged so that the U.S. provides no funding to the group, which would require an official presidential order or “finding” as well as congressional oversight.
That may be well and good in theory, but let’s be reminded that under Donald Rumsfeld, most of the paramilitary activities and black operations activities were moved from the CIA to the Pentagon, where as part of the DOD, such activities are not subject to Congressional Oversight.
Last but not least, Sy Hersh recently reported that the Bush Administration has also been supporting extremist Sunni Jihadists, with ties to Al Qaeda, to counter the strength of Hezbollah in Lebanon.
In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.
If this doesn’t qualify the US as a terrorist sponsor of the highest order, then nothing does.