The Watergate hero may face a bad end if his support for MKO exposes him to prosecution
It seems that Carl Bernstein’s career is tied with scandals, either disclosing or being engaged in them. The Washington Post reporter, who exposed the Watergate scandal, seems to be attracting more attention these days than his journalistic career after breaking the news that he had received money to talk in support of the leftist terrorist Mojahedin Khalq Organization MKO/MEK/PMOI in last February. Bernstein is one of the few journalists, along with syndicated columnist Clarence Page who was rebuked by his employer for giving a similar speech in Paris last June, who has appeared at events in a years-long campaign by MKO supporters to convince the State Department to remove the group from FTO list and the legal sanctions that come with it.
Although he says little about his political commitment, by his direct enthusiastic support he is indirectly animating the Old Left once his parents were committed to. Bernstein’s parents were among the thousands radicalized during the 1930s and joined the Communist Party while living in San Francisco in 1942. Whether in the party or out, they spent their lives within the broad Old Left community.
Naturally, children of Communists eventually come to terms with their parents. Bernstein, however, saw the decision by his parents to join the party as recklessly endangering the family’s prospects, including his own. He preferred to remain a committed, secular Jew and devoted his energy to an apolitical Jewish youth organization. But his strong advocacy for a leftist terrorist group is shedding further light on his political drift, a man with leftist blood still in his veins.
The man who discovered The Watergate political scandal in 1972 and played a central role in bringing down Richard Nixon, became the focus of a personal scandal when it was disclosed that he had affairs with Margaret Jay, the daughter of former Prime Minister James Callaghan and the wife of ex-British Ambassador Peter Jay. However, his latest scandal of advocacy for a leftist MKO indicates that the passage of the time has contributed to arrive at a new “version of the truth”. In a part of his made speech at the MKO’s marshaled event he said: “I come here as an advocate of the best obtainable version of the truth, and as someone who believes in basic human rights and their inalienable status.”
For sure, Mr. Bernstein is not a naïve journalist. Then, he is either on the side of terrorists or has reached a new definition for “truth” and “human rights”. He should be reminded of the group’s merciless killings without sparing, the terrorists who in their proclaimed violent struggle killed the scores of hundreds and who for the blood of its leaders let there be floods of blood of the bourgeoisie, believing to be Iran’s fledging Red Army. Let’s not talk of cultic manipulation of the group as the most evident manifestation of violating the human rights. At least as an experienced journalist Mr. Bernstein must have been informed of MKO’s atrocities covered in overseas papers.
However, he may even have to spend his journalist, public and personal repute as well as being probably prosecuted for “the best obtainable version of the truth”. The latest scandal Mr. Bernstein is embroiled in is leading him to the scandalous engagement of committing felonies by speaking for the benefit of a terrorist organization, a kind of service that qualifies as a terrorist material support and a federal crime. A bad move for the Watergate hero, it may lead to a bad end for him if his enthusiastic support exposes him to prosecution for providing “material support” to a terrorist organization.