Rep . Bob Ney (R-Ohio), who helped put "Freedom Fries" on House restaurant menus in the run-up to the Iraq war, is
Thursday, January 29, 2004; Page C03
Rep . Bob Ney (R-Ohio), who helped put "Freedom Fries" on House restaurant menus in the run-up to the Iraq war, is championing a new patriotic cause. He wants Fox News to fess up about the controversial past of one of its commentators on Middle Eastern affairs.
"The MEK has killed United States military and civilian personnel in the past, aided in the overthrow of the American Embassy in Tehran and targeted American civilians for murder," wrote Ney, who used to teach English in pre-revolutionary Iran.
"I watch Fox News, I like Fox News, but I was shocked to see him on there," the congressman told us. Ney demanded that the network inform viewers about Jafarzadeh's background, saying, "I don't think they're fair and balanced on this issue."
"This is old news," said Fox spokesman Paul Schur, declining to comment further."Absolutely false," Jafarzadeh said yesterday of Ney's claims. "The MEK is not headed by me. I've been in this country for 29 years and the MEK's headquarters is . . . in Iraq. It's ridiculous for somebody to say MEK is headed by me, sitting here in Washington."
In August, officials from Justice, Treasury and State shut Jafarzadeh's Washington office, where he had worked in recent years as the U.S. representative for the National Council of Resistance of Iran. According to State Department officials, that group is an alias for MEK. But Jafarzadeh says he worked there before it was designated as a terrorist front group.
He described himself as a supporter of bringing democracy to Iran. "The mullahs of Tehran have been trying to silence me," he said. "Who do you think revealed the major nuclear facilities of the Iranian regime in the past year and a half? It was me."
The Justice Department is reviewing Ney's letter.
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