“What was planned and what was expected for [Camp Liberty] pretty much has been met,” the State Department official said.
Ambassador Daniel Fried, the State Department’s special adviser on Camp Ashraf, visited Camp Liberty in July and said he saw air-conditioned living quarters, gardens tended with recycled water and clean water in the taps.
“I would characterize conditions there as spartan but livable, and public claims to the contrary did not appear accurate to me,” Mr. Fried told reporters on his return to Washington.
The State Department official who spoke on background said Camp Liberty residents each receive more than 53 gallons of water a day, which does not include the bottled water that is provided, and they have electricity around the clock.
The camp “does meet humanitarian standards. It also far exceeds what average Iraqis get,” the official said, adding that most Iraqis get 18 to 24 gallons of water per day and Baghdad residents have about nine hours of electricity daily.
Camp Liberty residents say much of the water they receive is wasted because the infrastructure is in shambles.
U.S. policy on MeK
Mr. Boumedra said he was marginalized after he complained about the deceptive practices. “I became sort of an obstacle to progress,” he said.
He eventually resigned and has spent the past couple of months pondering his situation. “I say, ‘Was that a nightmare? Was I really involved in those things?’ I lost respect for all these institutions and also for myself because I was part of it,” he said.
Mr. Boumedra’s account of the conditions at Camp Liberty hews to that provided by the MeK and its supporters, including former U.S. officials, some of whom have acknowledged being paid for their speeches in support of the MeK.
Bruce McColm, an MeK supporter and president of the Virginia-based Global Initiative for Democracy, said his nonprofit advocacy group is paying Mr. Boumedra’s airfare and hotel bills in the U.S.
Mr. McColm said he first met Mr. Boumedra in July and brought him to the U.S. because “it was worth having someone with his background in the field of human rights and his past position with [the U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq] to give a fresh perspective of the situation of the people in Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty.”
Lincoln Bloomfield Jr., a former assistant secretary of state who has studied the MeK and has no financial ties to the group, met and talked at length with Mr. Boumedra last week.
“While many U.N. missions face challenges and host-country pressures, Mr. Boumedra’s account of why he resigned suggests that the senior U.N. leadership in New York and, quite possibly, U.S. policy officials in Washington have been seriously misled by [the U.N. mission in Iraq] over the past year as to the true situation on the ground at Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty,” Mr. Bloomfield said.