The letter below was sent on behalf of the Muslim Solidarity Committee and the Dr. Dhafir Support Committee in opposition to Glenn Suddaby’s nomination for a judgeship. Glenn Suddaby prosecuted both the cases of Yassin Aref and Mohamed Hossain, and Dr. Dhafir and Help the Needy.


125 Manning Blvd, Albany, NY 12203
(518) 438-8728

June 13, 2008

United States Senate
Committee on the Judiciary
224 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Members of the Committee:
As members of the Muslim Solidarity Committee in Albany, New York, and the Dr. Dhafir Support Committee in Syracuse, New York, we write to express our strong opposition to the nomination of Glenn Suddaby for federal judge, which you will consider shortly. We cite as reasons three cases that Mr. Suddaby prosecuted in the Northern District of New York that should never have seen a courtroom.
Aref-Hossain, Albany, 2006. In 2004, two Albany Muslims, Yassin Aref, an Iraqi Kurd and UN refugee, and Mohammed Hossain, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Bangladesh, were entrapped by the U.S. government and the FBI in a sting operation, and were convicted in 2006 of money laundering and material aid to terrorism. In response, the Muslim Solidarity Committee gathered nearly 1,000 petition signatures from the public and generated over 50 letters to the trial judge in support of the two defendants. After thoroughly examining all the evidence for the entire case, from trial to conviction to appeal, we clearly see that as U.S. Attorney, Glenn Suddaby deliberately ignored the many Constitutional violations in this case, including secret evidence possessed by the government, and thus in effect told the Northern District of New York and its citizens that the Constitution doesn’t apply here. This is an egregious failure on the part of Mr. Suddaby that we believe disqualifies him for the federal bench. A strong element in the appeal, now pending before the 2nd Circuit in New York, is the illegal wiretapping of Mr. Aref under the NSA program, which dates back to February 2001——evidence that to date neither the jury nor the defense attorneys, despite security clearances, have seen (although the prosecution and trial judge did). As United States citizens, we are at a loss to explain why the 6th Amendment, which guarantees the accused the right to confront the evidence against him, did not apply here, and why the person in charge of the prosecution, Mr. Suddaby, brought the case at all, given these clear Constitutional violations. Please see Attachments #1 and #2 for additional opinions on this case.
Rafil Dhafir, Syracuse, 2005. In 2005, Mr. Suddaby also prosecuted another Iraqi Muslim, Dr. Rafil Dhafir of Syracuse. Dhafir, an oncologist, is the only individual in America convicted of breaking the economic sanctions against Iraq in the 1990s, although thousands of organizations and individuals also broke them during this time. (An appeal is pending before the 2nd Circuit in New York). Dhafir was arrested just weeks before the Iraq war started, and on the morning of his arrest, 150 local Muslim families were interrogated between the hours of 6 and 10 a.m. because they had donated to his Help the Needy charity. But although Dhafir was never charged with terrorist-related crimes, the prosecution and Mr. Suddaby continued to smear him in the media as a terrorist simply because he was a Muslim (and thus automatically: suspected of terrorism). Denis Halliday, former UN Assistant Secretary General and head of the UN Humanitarian Program in Iraq in 1997—98, said of this case, “Other U.S. citizens who sent humanitarian aid to Iraqi children and adults in defiance of UN sanctions had civil fines imposed by Washington, but none were imprisoned. In contrast, Dr. Dhafir is serving 22 years for his humanitarian outreach in defiance of these UN sanctions that I among others consider to have been genocidal. Does this mean that a different standard is being applied to U.S. citizens who are Muslim?” (Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, August 2007).
“St. Patrick’s 4,” Ithaca and Binghamton, 2005. Also in 2005, four Catholic anti-war demonstrators known at the “St. Patrick’s 4” were prosecuted and convicted in federal court for an act of civil disobedience against the war in Iraq (performed on St. Patrick’s Day, 2003). This was after they had been tried on more minor charges for the same incident in state court, and after there had been a hung jury, with a majority favoring acquittal, on similar charges in a county court. The local prosecutor did not want to pursue a retrial, but Mr. Suddaby brought federal felony conspiracy charges against them. The defense advisor for the four said he could find no similar case of such charges being brought against anti-war protesters as far back as the Nixon era, and called it an attempt to “hyper-criminalize dissent.” As you know, the right to dissent is guaranteed in the 1st Amendment, and this case illustrates Mr. Suddaby’s contempt for both, as well as the beginning of his pattern of disregarding the Constitution that was continued in the Dhafir and the Aref-Hossain prosecutions.
These politically motivated, selective prosecutions suggest that Mr. Suddaby in his capacity as U.S. Attorney clearly adhered to President Bush’s informal declaration that the only law he has to obey is the law he decides to obey. Surely we need independent-thinking federal judges who will not be afraid to defend the Constitution and rein in the president–any president——when he oversteps his authority.
We attach for your consideration three items that support our contention that Mr. Suddaby is a poor choice for the federal bench. The first is an April 2007 column by Carl Strock, writing in the Daily Gazette (Schenectady, New York). Mr. Strock describes how Mr. Suddaby realized that his prosecution of Aref-Hossain had backfired, and that people simply did not believe that the defendants were guilty or that they posed any threat to the country. But Mr. Suddaby actually went to the editorial board of the Daily Gazette and tried to intimidate the newspaper into silencing Mr. Strock’s continued criticism of the prosecution. Mr. Strock was not intimidated, and wrote the column to note Mr. Suddaby’s clumsy attempt at damage control. This illustrates once again Mr. Suddaby’s willingness to stifle dissent and criticism.
The second item is an op-ed piece written by a member of the Muslim Solidarity Committee that ran in the Daily Gazette in October 2007. It addresses Mr. Suddaby’s nomination for judge in light of specific aspects of his prosecution of the Aref-Hossain case, and responds to an op-ed that Mr. Suddaby wrote for that paper in May, after he had tried to intimidate Carl Strock.
The third item is an online petition with signatures and comments opposing Mr. Suddaby’s nomination for judge. The petition is still online at

Senate Judiciary Committee
June 13, 2008
Page Three

As citizens, we ask you: don’t you want to wait until the appeals for Aref-Hossain and Dhafir are decided before you decide whether Mr. Suddaby has the necessary strength of character and commitment to the Constitution to be a judge? Are you satisfied that disregard for the 1st and 6th Amendments, and selective prosecutions based on religion and ethnicity, qualify Mr. Suddaby for elevation to the federal bench? And what kind of justice system official uses the threat of intimidation to stifle political and journalistic dissent? We hope that you, having recognized the injustice done to the U.S. Attorneys who were fired in 2006 for not politicizing their offices, will now refuse to reward Mr. Suddaby in 2008 for politicizing his, by refusing to recommend his judicial confirmation.

Catherine Callan, May Saffar, Stephen Downs, Kathy Manley, Shamshad Ahmad, Michael Rice, Lynne Jackson, Jeanne Finley
for the Muslim Solidarity Committee
(representing 75—80 members)

Katherine Hughes, MacGregor Eddy, Bob Elmendorf, Madis Senner
for the Dr. Dhafir Support Committee
(representing 52 members)

– “FBI Won, But They’re Still Fighting” by Carl Strock
– “Suddaby Doesn’t Deserve Federal Judgeship” by Jeanne Finley
online petition with signatures and comments, “Tell Senator Schumer: Scuttle