Anxiety levels are rising among some entrenched State Department bureaucrats and die-hard Iran apologists inside the Beltway. Prior to the election, they were sure business as usual would continue under a Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe dangerous erosion of Democratic Party foundations The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Democrats see victory in a voting rights defeat Left laughs off floated changes to 2024 ticket MORE administration. The shock of Donald TrumpDonald TrumpPredictions of disaster for Democrats aren't guarantees of midterm failure A review of President Biden's first year on border policy Hannity after Jan. 6 texted McEnany 'no more stolen election talk' in five-point plan for Trump MORE’s victory was magnified after learning Rudy Giuliani is a leading candidate for Secretary of State.
The barrage of insulting attacks on Giuliani, the former Mayor of New York City, is not really about his work. Rather, these bureaucrats and apologists do not want someone who already understands foreign policy and is going to do to the State Department what he did to New York City Hall — make it functional.
As a young prosecutor, Giuliani was critical in holding accountable New York Police Department (NYPD) officers involved in the corruption case exposed by Detective Frank Serpico. As a U.S. Attorney, he achieved 4,152 convictions with only 25 losses.One senior crime boss summed it up best, “He’s tough, plenty tough.” During his term as Mayor, crime was reduced by two-thirds.
Immediately following the 9/11 attacks, Giuliani led New York City through its darkest hour and the rest of the nation followed.His work earned him recognition as Time’s Person of the Year.
Several years ago, I began working with Giuliani on the very issue for which he is now being attacked, which resulted in saving thousands of lives.American forces in Iraq had inherited responsibility for over 3,000 members of the main Iranian opposition, Mujahedin-e Khalq (MeK).
In 1986, Saddam had allowed the MeK to establish bases in Iraq, true to the expression “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” In 1997, applying the same principle, then-Secretary of State Madeline Albright sought to appease the fundamentalist Iranian regime by declaring the MeK as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO).
Having agreed to consolidate all forces into one base northeast of Baghdad at Camp Ashraf, and after surrendering their weapons and renouncing terrorism per U.S. desires, Washington granted the residents of Ashraf “Protected Persons” status under the Fourth Geneva Convention.For the next six years, Ashraf residents worked very closely with American forces.
Enter Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Iran nuclear deal. In violation of written agreements, the State Department revoked the status and turned the security of the residents over to the pro-Iranian Iraqi government. Seven brutal attacks followed that resulted in the slaughter of 141 residents.
Even though I and numerous other Army officers were trying to prevent further bloodshed we were getting nowhere. From the Pentagon, with a Top Secret clearance, Sensitive Compartmented Information access, and a need to know, I continually requested from State Department the “highly classified information” they claimed to possess. State failed to produce a single document, but continued with the unfounded slander against the MeK. Meanwhile, Army officers were losing the fight to save the residents.
To the rescue came hundreds of top political leaders and former senior government officials of the United States, Canada, and European nations.Former U.S. governors, ambassadors, Secretary of Homeland Security, U.S. Attorney General, many four-star generals, directors of the CIA, NSA, and FBI worked closely together to prevent an impending humanitarian catastrophe at Ashraf.
The Congress was overwhelmingly sympathetic. Senators John McCainJohn Sidney McCainRedistricting reform key to achieving the bipartisanship Americans claim to want Kelly takes under-the-radar approach in Arizona Senate race Voting rights, Trump's Big Lie, and Republicans' problem with minorities MORE, Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntSwalwell slams House Republican for touting funding in bill she voted down Johnson, Thune signal GOP's rising confidence Senate Minority Whip Thune, close McConnell ally, to run for reelection MORE, Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezDems block Cruz's Nord Stream 2 sanctions bill Overnight Defense & National Security — Differences remain between NATO, Russia Senate Democrats unveil bill sanctioning Russia over Ukraine MORE, as well as Reps. Ed Royce, Eliot Engel, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Ted PoeLloyd (Ted) Theodore PoeSheila Jackson Lee tops colleagues in House floor speaking days over past decade Senate Dem to reintroduce bill with new name after 'My Little Pony' confusion Texas New Members 2019 MORE, Dana Rohrabacher, Brad Sherman and Sheila Jackson LeeSheila Jackson LeeBlack Democrats hammer Manchin for backing filibuster on voting rights A presidential candidate pledge can right the wrongs of an infamous day New Texas law limiting abortion takes effect Thursday MORE, were among dozens of bipartisan lawmakers who expressed consistent support.
There was an attempt by the Obama Administration to shut us down.But in 2012, the D.C. Court of Appeals brought an end to State Department’s willful desire to continue ignoring a 2004 Congressional mandate and the 2010 federal court decision to justify why the MeK was on the FTO list in first place.The MeK was ultimately delisted — a victory for justice against a dysfunctional agency.
The ruling also cleared the way for all surviving residents to be relocated to Albania.Without the involvement of the defenders, to include Giuliani, many more innocent lives would have been lost.
For decades, U.S. State Department has been allowed to morph into a law onto themselves while ignoring Congressional rulings and court mandates. The bureaucrats are happy with this arrangement and determined to undermine any effort that will require them to change. More disturbingly, Iran apologists and lobbyists have found a stable home at Foggy Bottom to the detriment of American interests.
President-elect Trump campaigned on On the international front, that will not be achieved until someone is willing to bring an end to the arrogance and incompetence that has produced 24 years of failed foreign policy.
Giuliani is just the person to do this. The bureaucrats know it and want the status quo.These insiders are determined to use proxies and restate lies of the past, instead of securing the future for America.
The best thing President-elect Trump can do is stand firm and pick Giuliani as the next Secretary of State.
Wes Martin is a retired Army colonel who served as the Senior Antiterrorism Officer for all Coalition Forces Iraq and as Base Commander of Camp Ashraf.
The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the views of The Hill.