There used to be a time when taking directions from America’s adversaries would be considered treasonous. But in today’s world, doing so can gain you access to the highest levels of the U.S. government.
On Monday, the New York Post reported a high-ranking Pentagon official with ties to the Iranian government has “sought to undermine the leading group resisting” the Middle Eastern nation’s dictator, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. According to the Post, Ariane Tabatabai, the chief of staff for the assistant secretary of defense for special operations at the Defense Department, was among several individuals to partake in a “covert campaign” to delegitimize Iran’s “leading opposition group, known as the Mojahedin-e Khalq.”
The revelation was contained in a report written by Ivan Sascha Sheehan, a dean at the University of Baltimore, and presented to President Biden on Monday.
As The Federalist’s David Harsanyi reported, a series of emails released by Semafor and Iran International in September showed Tabatabai participating in an initiative sponsored by Iran’s terrorist government seeking to boost the regime’s image amongst the global community. Launched in 2014, the Iran Experts Initiative was crafted by Iran’s foreign ministry and aimed to enhance the public perception of Iran and its nuclear program by recruiting a bevy of “influential overseas academics and researchers” to do their PR work.
According to a copy of the report obtained by the Post, Tabatabai and others were complicit in helping Iran “neutralize favorable impressions of the [Mojahedin-e Khalq] among Washington’s foreign policy elite.” The ultimate goal of this strategy, according to Sheehan, was to “take down an entity capable of aiding Western attempts to curtail the Iranian regime’s nuclear weapons program, malign regional agenda, human rights abuses, and fundamentalist inclinations.”
“By brazenly targeting the highly effective dissident organization, the operatives hoped to leave US officials with the false impression that there is no viable alternative to the ayatollahs — and certainly not one with a pro-democracy record that remains committed to toppling clerical rule,” Sheehan wrote.
But Tabatabai is hardly the only individual working at the highest levels of the U.S. government who is siding with genocidal terrorists. In a separate report published on Monday, Axios revealed that more than 100 State Department and USAID employees have signed a memo calling on Biden and top U.S. officials to “reassess their policy toward Israel” and “demand a ceasefire in Gaza.”
According to the outlet, the memo — which accused Israel of holding “thousands” of Palestinians hostage — was organized by Sylvia Yacoub, a junior diplomat who previously accused Israel of committing genocide. Yacoub and the aforementioned government employees are not only regurgitating Hamas talking points; they’re also aligning themselves with a radical Islamic terrorist organization.
In the days of Sen. Joseph McCarthy, claims alleging a government worker has ties with communism or adversarial powers could get that individual dragged before the U.S. Senate for extensive questioning. Whatever your thoughts on McCarthyism, it’s undeniable that America’s domestic-based enemies were put on notice.
Contrast such circumstances with today’s political environment, in which officials working at the highest levels of the U.S. government are openly supporting a genocidal terrorist organization and (in the case of Tabatabai) working on behalf of an adversarial power. Not only has America’s regime-approved media ignored the severity of the latter story, but the Defense Department — which is tasked with protecting the U.S. homeland — refuses to revoke Tabatabai’s security clearance. One can only imagine the left’s reaction if Tabatabai was Russian and working on behalf of Moscow in a Republican administration.
No serious country would allow these actions to go unpunished. But the sad reality is that America hasn’t been a serious nation for a long time. Through the years, its people have allowed hardcore Marxists to infiltrate every major institution in the country unopposed. Whether it’s the federal bureaucracy, schools, or military, no facet of American society has been left untouched.
Shawn Fleetwood is a staff writer for The Federalist and a graduate of the University of Mary Washington. He previously served as a state content writer for Convention of States Action and his work has been featured in numerous outlets, including RealClearPolitics, RealClearHealth, and Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @ShawnFleetwood
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