From Linda Bergh:

In Defense of Dr. Dhafir
Sent to Post-Standard on 8/24/05 (Unpublished)
To the Editor:

I must write in defense of Dr. Dhafir against government allegations that he had connections with terrorism. For the fourteen weeks of his trial, attending most of the sessions, I found the government’s case against this man unconvincing. Whenever any allusions to terrorism came up, I listened as Judge Mordue forbade its inclusion in court, a decision made prior to trial.

Though I do not know Dr. Dhafir, the testimony of his former patients, fellow officeworkers, friends, fellow-worshippers, and companions in medicine speak volumes about the character and behavior of this man. As an oncologist, he knew the cancerous effects of depleted uranium upon Iraq’s people. As a Muslim who had achieved monetary success, he knew it was his duty to share with the starving. As he was the most generous donor to Help the Needy, I find it unbelievable that he is portrayed as using the charity’s monies for his own benefit.

Our government and its people have a duty to be vigilant against terrorism. Our people also have a duty to be vigilant against our government’s abuses and excesses. Portraying a person as guilty of something without his chance for making a defense is un-democratic and unjust.

I was thinking of Dr. Dhafir as I watched Saturday’s production of “As You Like It” in the Shakespeare-in-the-Park production. Rosalind says to her uncle, Duke Frederick, as he is about to banish her, “Yet your mistrust cannot make me a traitor.” (Act I, Sc. 3, l. 52). Government allegations do not constitute fact, either.