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Romney on Khatami: “He’s a Terrorist” So, Who Invited The Terrorist To Speak?

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Here’s the podcast of my interview with Governor Romney yesterday. A transcript will be up later.

The Boston Globe covers the story, and includes this dismissal of the furor by Harvard:

Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, which invited Khatami to speak on Sunday, issued a statement yesterday saying it was “surprised and disappointed” by Romney’s stance.

“We can understand and often share his disagreement with the positions of Khatami, the school nonetheless believes that active and open dialogue are a critical part of effective education and policy,” the statement read.

Notice the regal “we,” and the story’s failure to fix responsibility for Harvard’s invitation to a serial human rights abuser.  Iranian ex-pats calling my show over the past few days have rightly pointed out that while many in the MSM have fallen for the “Khatami’s a liberal” nonsense, his eight years as Iran’s president oversaw massive crackdowns on student protests, the arming of Hezbollah, and other tyrannical acts.  He has not condemned his successor’s fanatical calls for the destruction of Israel.  In short, he’s a terrorist con-man, welcomed by the Kennedy School of Government, which should embarass Teddy.

The Harvard Crimson adds these details:

The decision to invite Khatami was made in May, Kennedy School spokeswoman Melodie L. Jackson said, after professors at the school’s Belfer Center and the school’s dean, David T. Ellwood ’75, learned the former president would be traveling to the United States.

The school extended the invitation on behalf of Harvard under the belief that Khatami could further the discussion on improving relations between cultures.

Jackson said Khatami is also expected to visit Georgetown University, Columbia University, and the University of Virginia during his visit.

Who’s a professor at the Belfer Center?  Abbas Maleki, a former deputy foreign minister of Iran and senior fellow at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs who told the Crimson that “Khatami had done much to extend democracy to Iran and would bring his expertise in the origins of violence to the Kennedy School.” Perhaps Professor Malki urged the invitation upon Dean Wllwood? 

Maleki appears to be a prolific and competent apologist for the Iranian regime, nested at Harvard, and peripatetic in his efforts on behalf of the regime.  (See this slide show he delivered at George Mason University in the spring.) Are their other such apologists at Georgetown, Columbia, and UVA, and if so how did they –and Maleki for that matter– end up on America’s most prestigious campuses? 

It looks like Khatami’s visit is a very well organized information operation, one assisted by regime apologists who somehow end up with sincecures at places like Harvard, and facilitated by State Department appeasers eager to undercut the Adminsitration’s “axis of evil” rhetoric and policies.

The Khatami visit is obviously a huge propaganda victory for the Islamic Republic.  The question now is how big.

Will the students meekly gather and listen to this represntative of a fascist regime lecture them on the way forward even as Iran arms the militias that are attempting to destabilize Iraq and kill Americans?

The Globe story also leaves unexamined the decision by the State Department to issue the visa –which could and should be cancelled:

The State Department issued Khatami a visa for a rare visit by an Iranian dignitary to the United States outside the United Nations headquarters, but US officials say that he is here as a private citizen and that he will be given no special treatment.

“President Khatami is here on a private visit. He is not here at the invitation of the United States Government,” State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack said yesterday. “Private US citizens wanted to have this interaction with him.”

As with the Kennedy School of Government’s “statement,” this decision is an orphan in print, but somebody had to approve the issuance, and who are the “private US citizens,” and when did they start making US foreign policy?  What an inane answer from State, but the coverage is just as lame.

More from the Harvard Crimson:

Harvard Students for Israel released a statement over the weekend calling Khatami’s invitation “surprising and alarming


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