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The U.S. list of Terrorist organizations has little or nothing to do with who are and are not actually Terrorists; it is, instead, simply an instrument used to reward those who comply with U.S. dictates (you're no longer a Terrorist) and to punish those who refuse (you are hereby deemed Terrorists).

Glenn Greenwald
Supporters of MEK have filed a lawsuit asking a federal court to force the State Department to decide within 30 days whether to remove MEK from the list of designated Terrorist organizations (State Department officials have previously indicated they are considering doing so).

In response, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has told the court that (1) it has no role to play in directing the timing of this decision ("Any interference by a court with the Secretary's ability to carry out these absolutely critical duties would set a seriously troubling precedent"); and (2) the U.S. Government is currently attempting to force MEK to move from its current base in Camp Ashraf to another location in Iraq (something MEK does not want to do), and whether MEK cooperates with the U.S. Government's directives will play a large role in determining whether the group is removed from the Terrorist list.

With regard to that second argument: in determining whether MEK belongs on the Terrorist list, what conceivable difference should it make whether MEK is cooperative in moving from Camp Ashraf as the U.S. Government wants? What does their cooperation or lack thereof have to do with whether they are a Terrorist organization?

The answer, of course, is that the U.S. list of Terrorist organizations (like its list of state sponsors of Terrorism) has little or nothing to do with who are and are not actually Terrorists; it is, instead, simply an instrument used to reward those who comply with U.S. dictates (you're no longer a Terrorist) and to punish those who refuse (you are hereby deemed Terrorists).

The scholarship of Remi Brulin documents how Terrorism, from its prominent introduction into world affairs, has been manipulated that way.

Andrew Exum of the Center for a New American Security yesterday objected to my argument that the field of "Terrorism expertise" is basically fraudulent because the concept of "Terrorism" itself is largely propagandistic and ideological, rather than being some meaningful term with a fixed, coherent definition. His commenters have very effectively addressed his claims, but this game-playing with MEK is yet another example underscoring what I mean.

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