This is an email to John O’Brien of the Post-Standard, in reply to his question about why I am attending the trial. It is posted with his permission.

Hi John,

I’ve spent a lot of the day thinking about our conversation earlier today. Sometime, if you like, we should have a conversation “off the record” and I can explain to you my perspective, which is a global one. This case for me is not about Dr. Dhafir, per se, it’s about civil liberties in this country and around the world. Because of where I think we are heading, I’m glad I don’t have children.

As I told you, over the last thirty years I have read hundreds of books about Europe in the 1930s and 1940s. I always believed that if we could understand what happened then, it would go a long way to making the world a better place. I felt, and still feel, that the German people were no different than me, therefore how could this happen? This time period and the Second World War were not only history to me, my father was parachuted into Germany on his 19th birthday and he was sent to Palestine after the war to finish his military service. Both my grandfathers spent 4 years on the Western Front in the First World War. I thought this was odd until recently when I realized, of course, they were the only men left alive of that generation! My grandmother had 3 sisters, my great aunts, who were all unmarried because so many of the young men had been killed.

It’s only recently that I have begun to really understand what happened to the Jews in Europe. So many of the same dynamics that were present in Germany before Hitler came to power are present in this country at this time. And there is more to come. People in this country can’t imagine a financial crash, yet I and many other people see this as a very strong possibility in the not too distant future.

Thus, something that seems highly suspicious to the government, Dr. and Mrs. Dhafir having lots of cash, strikes me as eminently sensible. If you think about what happened in Argentina recently where people could not get their money out of the banks, this makes sense. If you consider what happened in Iraq after the first Gulf War when the currency crashed 6,000 per cent, diversifying your assets and keeping cash makes sense! Americans, generally speaking, do not think about these things, but it could easily happen here. And I think it will happen, sooner if Social Security is not privatized and later, if the money from Social Security holds the stock market up for a few more years. Just yesterday I learned that by 2015 the US national debt, shared evenly between each person, is expected to be $85,000.00 per person!

This is not just about Dr. Dhafir, John. He’s one of the very lucky ones. He is having a trial and he has the resources to afford very smart lawyers. What about the hundreds, and maybe thousands, of young Muslim men who have been rounded up and held after 9/11 without trial? And the people in Guantanamo, who have been held for three and a half years without any access to due process? The kind of world where a selected group of people have their civil liberties curtailed or denied is not the kind of world that I want to live in. We have a very good, recent, well documented, example in Germany to show us where it all ends. There is no excuse for us. This is why I am attending the trial.

Best, Katherine.


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