Monday, June 22, 2009

The Southern California Seven

For this week I might be the most popular journalist in Southern California (and perhaps beyond) among Iranian-Americans. In Sunday's Commentary section of the Register we ran my piece on a group I've called the Southern California Seven ( a little 60s appellation). These people raised money for the Mujajedin-e-Khalq, an Iranian resistance organization of long standing (started to oppose the Shah) that in 1997 was declared a terrorist organization by the U.S. government. The designation was a political move to curry favor with the Iranian regime then headed by Khatami, whom the Clintonited hoped would be a "moderate" with whom they could do business. That hope died but the designation stayed.

These seven were charged with aiding a terrorist organization in 2001 and the government stayed after them despite twists and turns until now they face the possibility of 20 years in the pen -- they hope to win on appeal. Anyway, my phone message system was full of effusive thanks from people with Iranian names caling me an avatar of truth and integrity, a rare beacon of light in a dim journalistic landscape and so on. A few more called during the day today. That love might last a week.


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