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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

  • Training Terrorists in Nevada: Seymour Hersh on U.S. Aid to Iranian Group Tied to Scientist Killings

    Sy

    Journalist Seymour Hersh has revealed that the Bush administration secretly trained an Iranian opposition group on the State Department’s list of foreign terrorists. Hersh reports the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command trained operatives from Mujahideen-e-Khalq, or MEK, at a secret site in Nevada beginning in 2005. According to Hersh, MEK members were trained in intercepting communications, cryptography, weaponry and small unit tactics at the Nevada site up until President Obama took office. The MEK has been listed as a foreign terrorist groups since 1997 and is linked to a number of attacks, spanning from the murders of six U.S. citizens in the 1970s to the recent wave of assassinations targeting Iranian nuclear scientists. Hersh also discusses the role of Israeli intelligence and notes the Obama administration knew about the training, "because they have access to what was going on in the previous administration in this area in terms of the MEK, in terms of operations inside Iran." His new report for The New Yorker blog, "Our Men in Iran?," comes as nuclear talks are set to resume this week between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency. [includes rush transcript]

  • Shock Doctrine in Egypt: Sharif Abdel Kouddous on Post-Mubarak Economic Crisis, Presidential Race

    Sharif

    As Hosni Mubarak’s former spy chief Omar Suleiman announces he will run for president and Egypt teeters on the edge of an economic crisis, we discuss the state of post-revolution Egypt with Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous, based in Cairo. Suleiman headed Egypt’s intelligence services for more than 18 years, becoming a close U.S. ally and playing a key role in the Bush administration’s extraordinary rendition program. Now he joins a crowded field of candidates in the presidential election set to begin May 23. Kouddous notes Egypt’s economy has reached a critical juncture, as the country faces a large budget deficit and is running out of its foreign currency reserves even as it relies on imports for key food staples, such as wheat. "We don’t know where we stand in terms of the Constitution, where the elections stand. Egypt’s revolution still is up in the air," Kouddous says. He is in New York to to accept this year’s Izzy Award for Special Achievement in Independent Media for his reporting on the Egyptian revolution. [includes rush transcript]