How reprehensible is the conduct of Fran Townsend here? Just two years ago, she went on CNN to celebrate a Supreme Court decision that rejected First Amendment claims of free speech and free association in order to rule that anyone — most often Muslims — can be prosecuted under the “material support” statute simply for advocacy for a Terrorist group that is coordinated with the group. And yet, the minute Fran Townsend gets caught doing exactly that — not just out of conviction but also because she’s being paid by that Terrorist group — she suddenly invokes the very same Constitutional rights whose ersosions she cheered when it came to the prosecution of others. Now that her own liberty is at stake by virtue of getting caught being on the dole from a Terrorist group, she suddenly insists that the First Amendment allows her to engage in this behavior...The background here: an Iranian cultish anti-regime group, called MEK, was designated as a terrorist organization by the US for assassinating Americans back in the 70s. Recently, they've been (allegedly) picked up by Israel as a useful tool for attacking the Iranian regime—MEK has claimed credit for assassinating those Iranian nuclear scientists in the last few months. Thus they've begun a well-funded media push to get removed from the US list of terrorist organizations, which has previously succeeded in the European Union.
That's how we get a long list of media and political superstars shilling for this group: Rudy Giuliani, Howard Dean, Michael Mukasey, Ed Rendell, Andy Card, Lee Hamilton, Tom Ridge, Bill Richardson, Wesley Clark, Michael Hayden, John Bolton, Louis Freeh, and Fran Townsend. As Greenwald points out, this is an open-and-shut felony according to current law.
I consider myself an exceptionally cynical person, but this is jaw-dropping. I quite literally could not have imagined it.