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Freedom FightersEvery big- and middle-name Democrat and Republican loves raking in fees to speak to the exiled Iranian Marxist guerilla group MEK, an official member of the State Department’s terrorist group list that also happens to hate the current Iranian regime. This seems pretty illegal, but hey, maybe we just love the Ayatollah and Ahmadinejad too much to see the legality of it all. Now let’s meet an additional two faces who’ve been providing support to this official terrorist group recently: Newt Gingrich and columnist Clarence Page!

Fathead arrived in Paris last week to address the “principal leader” of MEK and greeted her with his finest curtsy:

When Newt Gingrich arrived in Paris last week to speak to the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), an Iranian exile umbrella group that’s been based there since shortly after the 1979 revolution, he seemed to know exactly who Maryam Rajavi is. He praised Rajavi and her work several times in his speech, which he delivered as the prominent exile stood at his side. Before the speech, as he neared the end of a long line of attendees who stood in the rain to shake his hand, he turned to face Rajavi, smiled, and at approximately 1:02 minutes into the above video, folded at the waist and bowed solemnly. Rajavi, clothed head-to-toe in green, handed him a bouquet of flowers as the crowd cheered.

Of course Newt Gingrich did this. What’s more fascinating is how working journalist Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune found himself in such a position:

Late last month, syndicated columnist Clarence Page appeared at a rally in Paris in support of the Mujahadin-e Khalq (MEK), an Iranian group that has been lobbying Washington to be removed from the U.S. government’s list of designated foreign terrorist organizations.

Before a huge crowd waving portraits of MEK leaders Maryam and Massoud Rajavi as well as Iranian flags, Page called for the MEK to be removed from the official terrorist organization list.

Contacted about the appearance by ProPublica, Page said he has decided to give back his speaking fee for the event, as well as reimburse the cost of travel to and from France, which was paid for by a group called the Organizing Committee for Convention for Democracy in Iran.


“I thought they were simply a group of Iranian exiles who were opposed to the regime in Tehran,” Page said. “I later found out they can be construed as a MEK front group, and I don’t think it’s worth it to my reputation to be perceived as a paid spokesman for any political cause.

The man who heard that a group called “the Organizing Committee for Convention for Democracy in Iran” would pay him and fly him to Paris to speak and didn’t think anything was suspicious thinks he has a reputation to maintain? Dear God.

[The Atlantic, ProPublica]

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