Iran Opposition Group: Friend or Foe to U.S.?
Tom Ridge, Michael Mukasey weigh in
- Duration 5:05
- Date Oct 16, 2011
Tom Ridge, Michael Mukasey weigh in
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More than a dozen of the country's top security officials wrote an open letter to President Obama last week in the New York Times.
About a group that they say has been falsely designated as terrorists.
Former secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge and former attorney general Michael Mukasey were two of the authors.
Of the letter and they join us now to explain this gentlemen good morning.
-- -- This interesting group of leaders -- came together to write this letter there were Republicans like yourself along with Rudy Giuliani plus Democrats like Howard Dean.
The governor Ed Rendell mr.
-- -- what was so important that you all wanted to write to President Obama.
Well couple of things Allison.
First of all this group was designated a terrorist organization back in the nineties as a kind of strategic advice to try to open a dialogue with the Iranians.
And obviously that hasn't worked.
It was kept on the list after that the in the belief that if they were taken off then.
The Iranians would get upset and would do things like support the terrorists in Iraq and send -- into Iraq which of course they're doing anyway.
But this this group has been persecuted and -- -- They have -- a group of 3400 of them -- living in an encampment.
In Iraq and are now in danger of being really obliterated by the Iraqi Army.
And -- in fact we've seen some evidence that that may already be happening secretary ridge I just want to pursue.
Define for our viewers what this is this is a group called.
Any EK and as we understand at their people who are committed to a secular democratic and nonnuclear.
They sound important to Iran's future.
That that dates they certainly are.
This designation has lasted for almost fifteen years with the naive hope that -- keeping him on the -- -- list.
Would it -- encourage Iran to it negotiate that with the United States.
Around many many issues but the real terrorist organization frankly as the the state a virus.
It is the -- that leading exponent an exporter of terrorism there.
Responsible I think for a lot of the 3400.
Men and women.
At camp Ashcroft.
Have been net vetted by the FBI and justice back in 2003 and 2004.
They found no evidence of any terrorist connections whatsoever.
We promised them the United States government promised them that we would protect them and yet.
In spite of our promise in 2009.
And Iraqi forces using equipment.
Vehicles weapons and unfortunately probably training from the United States have invaded the camp killed 36 people wounded 300.
They have to be taken off this list we have to get blue helmets from the UN there to protect them.
We have to live up for promised our credibility is at stake here.
Absolutely and that video that we were just watching.
Is I believe from the day.
All data from 2009 from the clashes there with Iraqi forces mr.
What what happened why haven't we kept our promise to these 3400.
Women children and men who we believe in to keep them out of harm's way.
-- an excellent question Allison I think that what's gone on here is that.
The Iraqi Government.
Is more and more adjusting its policy -- to please its neighbor Iran.
-- are are run a presence there is diminishing.
And so and the Iranians obviously want these people.
And as a result.
The -- -- the Iraqis have been cracking down on them and we're not in a position to do anything about it.
Secretary -- have you gotten a response to your open letter to President Obama yet.
-- we have not gotten a response and and frankly.
What we hear from the State Department on a regular basis that it continues to be under advisement that I think.
But we need to understand that the European Union.
Looked at the available evidence.
The eight UK assembled a group for jurist and said the designation.
Of this group as a terrorist organization is perverse.
Our DC Court of Appeals in the United States here said about eighteen months ago we see no evidence of any kind.
That these individuals should be listed as a terrorist organization and frankly it has been -- a license to kill these people because the designation.
Is the rationale that the yet.
Iraqi Government uses -- win it.
On the two assaults in 2009 and 2011 quite frankly were fearful Adobe and assault within the next couple weeks because they've already blocked the main -- -- And are denying some the UN officials access we need to delist the -- We need to get monitors there and we need to live up to our promise we promise to personally.
People of that the United States would protect them.
-- -- -- even morally bankrupt for us to think we can continue to negotiate with 3400 lives at stake.
Tom Ridge Michael Mukasey gentlemen thank you so much for coming -- and bringing this to all of our attention we hope you get a response to this -- thing metallic.
Thank you --