|Governor Howard Dean - Confidence, Ethics, and Morality|
|Thursday, 23 February 2012 10:22|
That is a very nice introduction and a very timely one because I want to talk about three things. Confidence, ethics, and morality. A little over a year ago I was asked to speak to the PMOI and the NCRI in Paris. I don't know how many times I've spoken to groups like this, but I do know that that year, while we were working to free 3400 unarmed people that we had the responsibility to protect and the United States government has done virtually nothing and wasted one year to the people at Ashraf.
I do know that we have had opportunity after opportunity, especially when we had troops on the ground before the end of the year, to put leverage on the government and we did not do that. And I do know that had it not been for a brave military commander who, in spite of his orders, went back in Ashraf on April 8th, 2011, that more than thirty-five people would have been murdered. And the question of the confidence of our government is at stake.
Now, we don't know how this is going to turn out because we are working to try to get the residents of Ashraf out. But the time is getting short and stubbornness on both sides is a problem and I do not see the flexibility in the United States government that impel us to make a solution. The confidence of the government is in question.
The second question is a question the ethics. You have heard today already that in 2003, American troops disarmed the MEK in the camp in Ashraf. And in exchange for a peaceful disarmament, they were given a piece of paper signed by the Commanding General of the American troops representing the United States government. Each one of them. And those pieces of paper are in existence today which promise those individuals that they will be defended by the United States of America.
And we have not kept our word. Forty-seven unarmed people in Ashraf have been murdered by the arms that we have given the Iraqi government. We have not kept our word. We had the FBI come into Ashraf and screen every single resident in Ashraf. And the conclusion, as Director Freeh has said, was that not one resident either was a terrorist or related to terrorist acts. Not one. And today, nine years later, the United States government, continues to have this group on the American terrorist list. There is no evidence that these folks are terrorists. And then we see the United States government, two people who didn't have the courage to name themselves in public, prop up the corrupt Iranian administration by confirming it. Those two anonymous individuals did two things; if it is true, which I think is unlikely, then they committed treason, because they have done something which is directly counter to the American national security.
If it is not true, they simply committed the everyday Washington crime of lying to a reporter. But it seems to me that our ethics are in question in America. The ethics of keeping one's word when one signs a pledge that you will do something. The ethics of having a powerful department recognize what another powerful department has found.
The ethics of our government are in question. We do not yet know how this will turn out. Because we are still hopeful that the 3400 non-terrorists disarmed civilians who are in Ashraf will be freed. But we do not know. And the ethics of the United States government are now in question.
Finally, let's talk about morality. Last Tuesday I met with Maryam Rajavi in Brussels. And as you know, this has been a very contentious issue about whether the government of Iraq has kept its word in furnishing the facilities in Camp Liberty and the fact that they have not kept their word. And yet the United States continues to pressure the people of Ashraf to move into what is now essentially a prison camp.
I might add, which does not possess a working tap. There is no water in Camp Liberty. And yet the United States Department of the State pressures the Ashraf folks into moving into Camp Liberty so they would presumably be evacuated to a third country. And last Tuesday, Maryam Rajavi agreed that one hundred residents of Ashraf would go to Camp Liberty with no preconditions. They would move to a place that was essentially a prison, that did not have water, essential a prison, in order to demonstrate the good faith of the people of Ashraf that they were willing to do what it took to leave. They were willing to take the risk and have an Iraqi police station stationed in the camp, no American observers, no United Nations people, and they were willing risk one hundred lives for the sake of the other 3300 people who remain in Ashraf and our government has not accepted that. That is immoral. It is immoral to sit and claim you are negotiating in good faith if you can't take yes for an answer. Our government has a question about whether they are a moral government.
So this situation is not resolved. And we are grateful that there are people in the State Department who say they are trying to resolve it. It is not enough to say you are trying to resolve it. I believe that when one side offers without conditions to do something, that if we are serious and we are moral people who care deeply about 3400 unarmed lives who we promised to protect, then we have an obligation to accept that. Let me be clear, the people who attacked Ashraf twice in 2009 and 2011 are immoral. Nouri Al-Maliki is a mass murderer who was then invited to the White House. That is a fact. Nouri Al-Maliki is a mass murderer. He condoned mass murder. Now I wonder what he was doing in the White House, let alone the head of whatever it was, one of the numerous Iranian terrorists groups.
I understand that Maliki is a mass murderer, I understand that there are many unethical countries in the world, that governments do terrible thing. What I'm not used to is having my government do terrible things. What I'm used to is America doing what's right. I'm used to a confident America. I'm using to an ethical America. I'm used to a moral America. And the United States of America will be measured by the saving of the 3400 people in the camp at Ashraf and that will be the measure of the confidence of this administration, the ethics of this administration, and the morality of this administration.
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