, 11 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
As an Iranian-American journalist in exile, I'm used to online attacks. But I didn't expect the State Department to fund them. The ⁦@IranDisinfo project repeatedly tried to discredit me. And I wasn't their only target.

My piece for ⁦@Independent independent.co.uk/voices/us-iran…
I recently found out that I am being smeared through an operation funded by the US Department of State. @IranDisinfo launched in 2018 to expose and counter Iranian government propaganda but has also been smearing human rights activists, academics, and journalists, including me.
Since I joined the US government funded @VOANews in 2010, I‘ve been attacked by trolls from Iranian government.

They use lies to smear and discredit me, try to hack my email and social media, create fake blogs in my name, spread rumors about me to put psychological pressure.
Iranian government trolls called me agent of US, lover of Imperialism, a self-hating Iranian who sold her country to Great Satan. Because of my work at VOA, my family was harassed and pressured in Iran.

Now few years after I left VOA, the US gov funded a project that attacks me.
One day after I broke the story, State Dep suspended the fund. That’s great but not enough. We need details about how these sustained attacks happened over months. Who created the target list? Who approved the smear messaging? What was the level of involvement from State?
Former State Department official familiar with this area told me: Using State Department, US taxpayer money to attack American citizens, human rights organizations, and journalists from around the world is not public diplomacy. It is a disgrace and it puts real people in danger.
It’s important for Congress to not only get to the bottom of this operation, but to review the process under which millions of taxpayer dollars may be granted to similar projects without proper vetting of implementers and sufficient oversight.
It is proper checks and balances of government that define a democracy, and transparency of the process enables citizens to recognize mistakes.

Otherwise a country unwilling can end up down the same path as authoritarian governments, with no oversight and accountability.
Team behind @IranDisinfo proved they are not to be trusted with taxpayer money. State must cut their funds, give the project to new implementers with clear guidelines. Iran Disinfo team seem unfamiliar with democratic principles of free speech and free press, so not qualified.
The American public, especially those of us targeted by this operation, deserve to know exactly how things went wrong and to be assured that it will never happen again.

Not with our tax dollars.
Thanks for sharing @redman13.

As my boss at VOA, you were the most supportive when my family was harassed by the IRGC in Iran for my journalism work here.

I will always be thankful.
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