Saturday, November 05, 2005

Beatifying Rafil Dhafir (Bush-Bashing 101)

Notorious useful idiot Jennifer Van Bergen, writing a two-part series (part one, part two) for the ultra-leftist counterpunch, presents the case of Dr. Rafil Dhafir (in excrutiating detail) as a blatant example of "troubling...Department of Justice tactics under Bush."

This case holds a personal interest for me, living as I do only a couple of miles from Dhafir. He was accused of violating the sanctions against Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq through his "charity", Help the Needy, which funneled funds to Iraq. Most in the local Muslim community have, from his arrest, had no doubt whatsoever that Dhafir is as innocent as a newborn babe and was being prosecuted only because of hysteria following 9/11.

Unfortunately, judge and jury disagreed, and the misunderstood doctor was recently sentenced to 22 years in prison.

Anyway, Van Bergen's point is not really Dhafir's guilt or innocence, but the Bush administration's targeting of him, and the dire consequences we can all expect vis-a-vis the coming abolition of the Bill of Rights.
But since 9/11, the DOJ has adopted new and disturbing variations of prosecutorial overzealousness, targeting disfavored individuals and groups for engaging in First Amendment protected activities.
And Van Bergen goes on at great length about the dastardly deeds of the prosecution and how these can be traced to the Bush administration's targeting of Muslims in the wake of the most heinous terrorist attacks our country has ever seen. It's a carefully crafted argument.

With only one problem. The investigation of Dhafir began in 1999 during the Clinton administration. From the Syracuse Post-Standard:
[U.S. Attorney Glenn] Suddaby pointed out that the Dhafir investigation began in 1999, and started not because of his cultural background but because of irregularities in his bank account.
From the same article, here's why Dhafir is going to prison:
Dhafir, 58, was convicted in February of 59 felonies, which included mail and wire fraud, conspiracy, tax evasion and money laundering. A jury decided Dhafir had mishandled nearly $2 million from his charity, Help the Needy.

"We demonstrated the fraud and the deceit on a number of different levels in the charity as well as in his own medical practice," Suddaby said.
Oh well, facts and logic have never yet prevented the Left from creating a new cause célèbre.