Media Fail to ask Tough Questions
Published August 19,2005

Could we have an article by the person who wrote the recent editorial on how Dr. Dhafir was not a terrorist? This might bring some much needed, long overdue, critical thinking to your paper’s coverage of the Dr. Dhafir trial. In today’s article by John O’Brien about Dr. Dhafir now being charged with links to terrorism (5 years after the government investigation started, 2 and a half years after he was arrested, and 6 months after his trial finished), John O’Brien continues to cover the case in the way that he has from the beginning without asking any pertinent questions.

At the request of the Prosecution, Judge Mordue denied Dr. Dhafir the right, at trial, to defend himself against the government accusations and insinuations of links to terrorism. Why hasn’t this tactic of the government been a subject of discussion in your paper? If the subject of terrorism had been addressed at the trial, the trial would have had national and international coverage and there would have been a much greater chance for critical investigation of the evidence being presented.

As a person who sat through the trial for 17 weeks, I have seen how the handling of this case from the day of the arrest until now has many unanswered and, more to the point, unasked questions. On Friday after Osameh Al Wahaidy’s sentencing I asked the local media reporters who were gathered why they didn’t ask the Prosecutors the same questions about the assumption of terrorism that they were asking Mr. Al Wahaidy. One journalist completely ignored me and another journalist nearly poked my eye out telling me to mind my own business and not tell him how to do his job. But I would still like to know, why aren’t your newspaper and other local media asking these hard questions?

Dr. Dhafir’s charity, Help the Needy, was one of the few charities getting aid through to starving Iraqis. One and a half million people died over the 12 years of U.S. Sanctions. If people would like to avail themselves of another viewpoint on this trial, they can go to my website:


Post-Standard article: U.S.: Manlius doctor linked to terrorists