terrorism forever

Who’s Hanging Out With The Iranian Terrorist Group Now?

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]

About the author

Jim Newell is Wonkette's beloved Capitol Hill Typing Demon. He joined Wonkette.com in 2007, left for some other dumb job in 2010, and proudly returned in 2012 as our "Senior Editor at Large." He lives in Washington and also writes for things such as The Guardian, the Manchester paper of liberals.

View all articles by Jim Newell
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    1. Biel_ze_Bubba

      Because it worked out so well with the Islamaniacs and the Russians in Afghanistan.

      Those kinky neocons love themselves a three-way clusterfuck.

  1. ChernobylSoup

    If Maryam Rajavi says Iran has WMDs and that the people of Iran will welcome her as a benevolent ruler after we invade, I say we take her up on it.

    1. Crank_Tango

      After all, lightning doesn't strike the (pretty much) same place twice, now does it?

    1. Boojum

      If that head was actually filled with fat, burning it would warm the planet by at least 3 degrees.

    2. Negropolis

      I honestly thought I was the only one. It's really straight-to-the-point, and Wonkette is usually more subtle than that, but there's just something about the word that made me laugh like I was back in elementary.

  2. mrpuma2u

    Now if we can just round up some of the Shah's old dirty tricks boys, President Romney can start his administration's foreign policy program off with a bang!

  3. SorosBot

    Real Americans don't speak with terrorists against the Iranian regime, a government we don't like! They sell weapons to that Iranian regime to fund other terrorists against governments we don't like.

  4. Texan_Bulldog

    Don't know about Clarence Page's motives but I'm pretty sure Callista needed some new Tiffany's bling to help warm the depths of her cold, empty soul.

  5. rickmaci

    What is not to understand here? My terrorist enemy and my terrorist enemy's terrorist enemy are both my terrorist enemies.

  6. scvirginia

    Ryszard Kapuściński wrote an excellent book about Iran just before & during the revolution called 'Shah of Shahs'.

  7. YouBetcha

    Imagine the outrage if the Kenyan Usurper ran off to Frogland to bow down to terrrrrists from one of those -istan ending countries. "President prostrates himself in front of Islamic terrorist, accepts bribe."

  8. NYNYNYjr

    I'm pro-choice an everything, but I'd be kind of grossed out to say I've made my fortune by investing in fetus disposal… Romney was supposedly THE guy at Bain for that company and had over 2 million shares in it. I mean, geez, what if that was Barbara Boxer they'd call her Fetus Queen and protest her every appearance… right? Ick… Romney and his dirty abortion money.

    1. Tyrannically_Joe

      Honestly, I'm not a huge fan of this particular line of attack coming from the Left; it's fine if the theocrats want to push it, because they hate modern medicine in its totality.

      But Stericycle does a pretty critical job for health care settings (disposing of sharps, expired medications, etc) and pushing the "aborted fetus company" line obscures that while reinforcing a pretty damned ugly anti-choice narrative at the same time.

      There's plenty of stuff about Bain that's ample ground to criticize Mittens, so I kinda wish we'd steer clear of attacking the fact that modern medicine (including abortions) creates icky medical waste, which is icky.

          1. NYNYNYjr

            OK, I get you. The company's fine…I don't want Romney for president. I want this, which was his job, to be on him, and for the purists of anti-abortion to know it.

      1. Negropolis

        You're a better person than I am, then. I'd be milking "dead baby disposal/baby corpse dispatcher" like there was no tomorrow if it kept the batshit crazy Republicans out of office. Sometimes, the ends do, indeed, justify the means. Sorry.

    2. Dashboard Buddha

      The fun thing about this is watching his wingnuttiest supporters try to wrap their head around this in the run up to the election.

      Wingnut 1 – Oh dear lord…Romney invested in a company that disposes of fetuses?

      Wingnut 2 – Oh my, this doesn't fit within our ridged pro-life world view. What shall we do?

      Wingnut 1 – It is indeed a conundrum.

      Wingnut 2 – Wait, is Obama still a black man?

      Wingnut 1 – Why yes, he is!

      Wingnut 2 – Problem solved!!

  9. elviouslyqueer

    I have a hard time believing that John Bolton is pro-anything-dealing-with-Iran that doesn't involve the words "carpet bombing the ragheads back to the Paleolithic Era."

  10. Rotundo_

    The next bunch of mujahideen (sp?) to pop up for support. I wonder if we will be bright enough to realize *this* time that while "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" one might not want to crawl into bed with them. No offense to hijab Hanna there in the blue…

  11. Lionel[redacted]Esq

    See, this just proves how weak Obama is. He has Newt in Paris attending a terrorist camp, and yet he just lets him come back into the country. Do you think Dick Cheney would ever be so weak?

  12. sullivanst

    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 anyone else would think anything was suspicious thinks he has a reputation to maintain? Dear God.


    1. Biel_ze_Bubba

      "I'm shocked, shocked, to find out there's prostitution going on in this establishment!"

      "Your rent boy, sir."

    2. Boojum

      That's appropriate. It may explain why I read the banner on the picture as calling for their de-fisting.

  13. Warpde

    Newt was not bowing at 1:02.
    He's just getting a better whiff of that Iranian Kush.

    Wife # 4?

    1. M. Bouffant

      Sister-wife #2. Maryam's cool w/ it, & Callista gets more Hoor Diamonds.

      No, on closer examination, Maryam looks to be too old to be Fathead's daughter. Automatic disqualification.

    1. MosesInvests

      He had it from the GOP back then-the Dulles brothers, Nelson Rockafeller and especially Prescott Bush.

        1. MosesInvests

          I was just talking actual Republican politicians, but yeah, them too. True story-the prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials asked the head of the Hitlerjugend what was his major ideological influence (expecting Mein Kampf). The answer? The Dearborn Independent, which he got from relatives living in America.

    2. scvirginia

      Mahmoud Ahmadinejad tried to get 'em to join his Hitler fan club, but they don't read Farsi so good.

  14. anniegetyerfun

    Remember what a horrible embarrassment it was when the Black President literally SOLD the United States of America to Saudi Arabia when he bowed toward the Saudi king? This is different because Newt has no power or influence, I guess.

    1. PubOption

      I seem to remember W making a public display of affection towards a Saudi prince.

      1. Negropolis

        I also remember when a certain president almost sold out the operation of our seaports to a foreign government, too.

  15. Biel_ze_Bubba

    Unwanted extremists of dubious ethics, rejected by the mainstream in their native countries, gotta stick together.

  16. anniegetyerfun

    To be fair to Newt, he might have been told that the good lady didn't shake hands because of Islamic gender laws. They wouldn't HAVE to go so far as to tell him that no one wants to touch his sweaty, pasty white hands.

  17. Antispandex

    Hummm…hijab wearing women and a group of Mujahadin…how could we POSSIBLY go wrong supporting them?

    A little OT perhaps, but I thought republicans, especially Republicans, were not supposed to bow to foreign dignitaries. Or is that yet another old practice they have abandoned..along with critical thinking, &c?

    1. SorosBot

      No, Republicans have bowed to foreign dignitaries when appropriate; it's just bad for a black Democratic president to do so for some reason.

  18. scvirginia

    Interesting to see the bipartisan coalition trying to get Hillary to rescind the terrorism designation dating from her husband's presidency…

  19. Tundra Grifter

    So this group only hired Ole Newt to speak to them, right?

    He didn't promise to do any lobbying, or influence peddling, or other assistance in getting off the terrorist roster?

    Did he?

    1. shortsandpants

      Given his long career as an institutional shithead, nobody can really question Newt's ability to get off, me thinks.

    1. PubOption

      She could even be Ahmadinejad in drag. I wouldn't recognize him without the beard.

  20. ttommyunger

    So, Page reportedly returned his $20K speaking fee. Newtie probably doesn't fart in public for that kind of money, so when will he be returning his fee? Is the weatherman calling for snow in Hell?

  21. Chow Yun Flat

    “I thought they were simply a group of Iranian exiles who were opposed to the regime in Tehran,” Page said.

    Clarence Page is a long time reporter, columnist, editor and now editorial board member of the Chicago Tribune so naturally it wouldn't occur to him to make a few phone calls or even ask some "sources" about the MEK before he flew to Paris.

    The Trib hasn't ever bothered with that kind of stuff going back to the days of Colonel McCormick.

  22. Negropolis

    All of them, Katie. Whores, the lot of them.

    BTW, Clarence Page has always reminded me of a low-rent Bill Cosby aprpos of nothing.

  23. DahBoner

    If you guys could just bomb America and help get a Republican elected, we'll give you some arms and even throw in some coke and a night on the town with Snowy Owl, over there..

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