Sent on 9/27/07, published on 10/28/07
From Mohamed Khater

For your reporters to say that Dr. Dhafir was prosecuted for ‘charges he planned to use charitable contributions to support a terrorist organization in Iraq’ and that he was sentenced to 22 years in prison for that, is ignorant at best and malicious at worst. It is a low blow for a man when he is down. This was reported in your article on September 19, about tapping US attorney Glen Suddaby to be a federal judge.

Dr. Dhafir was never charged with terrorism, supporting terrorism or using ‘charitable contribution to support a terrorist organization in Iraq’. Variations on these themes were talked about, though, by Mr. Suddaby’s office and his boss —former Attorney General, Ashcroft- before the trial and were actually used after the trial to demand a harsh sentence for conviction on completely unrelated charges.

Dr. Dhafir was convicted of sending money to Iraq — not to help a terrorist organization- but to help Iraqi children, whom the former Secretary of State, Albright, thought that it was a ‘justified price’ for 500,000 of them to die because of the sanctions on that nation. He was also convicted of tax evasion and mail fraud because the charity he ran —Help The Needy- did not have the proper tax exemption status. The government knew that the charity had applied for that status in July 2002 and while, by law, any organization has to get an answer within 3 months after applying, no answer was ever given to HTN until Dr. Dhafir’s arrest on February 2003. It was later revealed that the tax exemption application was held up by the government to help in framing Dr. Dhafir and convicting him. In addition, Dr. Dhafir was convicted of medicare fraud. The government used an obscure rule, which was confusing even to medicare professionals and employees, to convict him of overcharging the medicare by about $10,000.

Dr. Dhafir never killed or caused the killing of a single Iraqi — or any other — child or adult; to the contrary, as an oncologist he helped alleviate the suffering of many cancer patients. He never used his money for personal gain; to the contrary, he used it to help many people who were less fortunate than him. Dr. Dhafir never knowingly broke the law, but when he was told things might be questionable, he took steps to correct the situation. Dr. Dhafir is spending 22 years in jail, not because he is a ‘crook’, but because he is a caring human being, which is a rare thing to find today.

I hope this sets the record straight about Dr. Dhafir and I hope that your paper refrain from smearing him after that. As for Mr Suddaby’s appointment as a federal judge, I wish him well and ask that he would not let the temporary powers that he will have and the political pressures blind him from judging fairly, as judges will be judged and sentenced very harshly by the Ultimate Judge.

[Mohamed Khater attended much of the 14 weeks of proceedings.]