Speech by Michael Mukasey at Paris gathering of Iranians for democratice Change, June 27, 2014
Thank you, thank you. Mrs. Rajavi, honored guests, and supporters of Liberty and conscience here, who are therefore supporters of MEK. Ladies and gentlemen, this rally has many audiences around the world. The audience in this hall of course, the residents of Camp Liberty of course, the people of Iran who I hope will see this rally broadcast. But for me and I think several other Americans here, I think for us the main audience is our own government.
It’s a sad day indeed when the target audience for a rally for freedom is the government of the nation that is supposed to stand for freedom.
It has come to this, that we have to preach the cause of freedom to the government that is supposed to protect freedom. Well, if it’s come to that, we have no choice except to do it. Our government, and in particular our military, made a solemn promise when we invaded Iraq in 2003 that if the residents of Ashraf gave up their weapons, their only means of self-defense, they would be treated as protected persons under the Geneva Convention. There is only one government in the world that has the power to make good on that promise and that is the United States.
And how have we done keeping that promise? Two times, two separate times when the United States Secretary of Defense was in country, the residents of Ashraf were attacked by the Iraqi army with weapons and with vehicles that had been provided by the United States. And what did we do about it? We did nothing. We kept MEK on a list of foreign terrorist organizations that it should never have been on in the first place. The State Department, under pressure from a law suit brought by MEK got Ashraf residents to move to a camp with a misleading name—Camp Liberty. They moved on the false promise that being close to the airport somehow made them safer and that there was a plan to evacuate them in an emergency. And then they were taken off the list. By the way, who said that? Who said that being, they would be safer closer to the airport and that there was a plan?
Well folks, it’s time to name names. That was said by a two-faced paper pushing bureaucrat in the State Department named Dan Fried. And what did we do? We did nothing. And in 2012 when residents of Ashraf remained behind with everybody’s permission to safeguard that camp, they were attacked in what was clearly a military force. And they were shot execution style with their hands tied behind their backs, such that a total of some 52 Ashraf residents have been murdered. And what did we do? Nothing. Some of us went to see a high government official, a cabinet official, the Secretary of Homeland Security, Jay Johnson. He promised to try to, as he put it, “Do the right thing.” And what has been done? Well, that official sent representatives to Camp Liberty to interview the residents so they could be considered for transfer to the United States, but there was a condition. In order to be considered for transfer, you have to renounce your connection to MEK. More than 20,000 Iranians were martyred in Iran because of their membership in MEK, but you must renounce what they gave their lives rather than give up. More than 50 of your brothers and sisters and husbands and wives were murdered [on September 1st in Camp Ashraf for being part of MEK, and you have been denied food and medical care because of your connections to MEK, but you have to renounce that.
It seems like Mr. Johnson and his colleagues at DHS and the State Department and in the White House, want to be able to say to the world, “We kept our promise. We offered safety, but they would not take the promise and they would not renounce, so it’s their fault, not ours.” Ladies and gentlemen, you have to go back to the 17th century, to William Shakespeare to find words in the English language that are adequate to describe that kind of treachery. Shakespeare described that behavior as keeping a promise to the ear, but breaking it to the heart.
Well, I’m here to tell you that they’re not going to get away with it. We will call them out for it, and we will continue to resist this behavior and we will bend every effort.
And this is specifically to the residents of Camp Liberty. We will bend every effort to protect your safety as we promised to do, because in doing so we will restore our honor, which we have to do. Thank you very much.