This is cross-posted at Leaving My Marc.
In a very troubling report, it turns out that the man behind the Tea Party movement, Dick Armey, lobbied on behalf of a terrorist organization from 2005 to 2009. Dick Armey is Chairman of FreedomWorks, which is the group that helped start the Tea Party movement. He is also the former Republican House Majority Leader, not to mention recently retired lobbyist extraordinaire.
So while some teabaggers try to distance themselves from the extremists amongst them who hurled racist and homophobic slurs and encouraged other violent acts against Democratic lawmakers (see Tom Perriello) over the past week, their very leader has an extremely troubling background lobbying for a terrorist organization.
… Armey was employed as a lobbyist by leading international “consulting firm” DLA Piper. In that capacity, from 2005 to 2009, Armey promoted the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, otherwise known as Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK), which the State Department has branded a terrorist group. Armey lobbied his former colleagues on behalf of legislation that would have provided taxpayer support to the MEK.
It turns out that every man has a price and Armey’s price was $910,000 to lead the lobbying efforts on behalf of two Iranian-American businessmen who sought to have MEK removed from being designated a terrorist organization from the State Department.
In a 2007 article written by Armey in The Hill, he said the Bush administration would be wise to utilize MEK, which is violently opposed to the current Islamic regime. “Supporting the democratic opposition holds great promise for promoting the cause of freedom and democracy in Iran, particularly the group feared most by the regime (MEK),” wrote Armey, who concluded by saying “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”
So why did the State Department have MEK on its terrorist list?
According to the State Department, MEK, a group that blends Marxist and Islamist tenets, was founded for the purpose of overthrowing the U.S.-backed Shah of Iran. In 1975 and 1976, MEK allegedly killed seven American defense advisors to the Shah.
It turns out that the initial purpose of this group was to assist in staging the Islamic revolution, which they indeed accomplished in 1979; however, the Islamic Republic of Iran, which followed the revolution, eventually exiled MEK. So what did MEK do next?
Over the following two decades MEK allied itself with Saddam Hussein to undermine the Islamic government of Iran. During the onset of the Iraq War in 2003, U.S. troops captured and detained 4,000 MEK soldiers near the Iran/Iraq border.
It turns out that the man behind the movement isn’t alone amongst Tea Party leaders. Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) also tried to lobby to have the State Department remove MEK from its terrorist list.
Ironically, given his support of a socialist group [MEK], Tancredo delivered an acerbic opening address at the National Tea Party Convention. “People who could not even spell the word ‘vote,’ or say it in English, put a committed socialist ideologue in the White House,” he said. “His name is Barack Hussein Obama.”
The hypocrisy by those who helped to start and continue this movement is quite laughable. Not only is MEK listed as a terrorist organization, but it’s also a group that blends “Marxist and Islamist tenets” – according to the State Department. As you know, Tea Partiers regularly rail against any government spending as “socialism.” So it would appear that the very leaders of the Tea Party movement actually live by the old adage, “Do as I say, not as I do.” Hypocrisy at its core!
It turns out that Tea Partier Sarah Palin totally agrees with Armey and Tancredo. She had the following to say at a Tea Party convention speech in February:
“Around the world people seeking freedom from oppressive regimes wonder if Alaska [sic] is still that beacon of hope for their cause,” Palin said. “The administration has cut support for democracy programs, and where the president has not been clear, I ask: Where is his strong voice of support for the Iranians who are risking all in their opposition to Ahmadinejad?”
If all of this wasn’t enough for you, the hypocrisy continues for Armey.
In 2008, as corporations and banks across the nation were being bailed out with billions of tax dollars, Armey was lobbying on provisions of the TARP Reform and Accountability Act of 2009 for CarMax, a Fortune 500 company that went on to issue $1.5 billion in asset-backed securities eligible for investor loans under the TARP and Federal Reserve-subsidized Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF).
He actually lobbied in support of the same wasteful government spending he and his supporters now rail against. It seems to me that the Tea Party movement is experiencing a “creditability crisis.”