Sacramento, CA - Last Friday, the Investigative Project on Terrorism made public the letter Tom Campbell wrote on behalf of Sami Al-Arian, who has been convicted of aiding the terrorist organization Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The letter directly contradicts statements made by Tom Campbell in Friday’s debate, and it directly contradicts the “facts” posted on the Campbell campaign’s Web site. In light of these revelations, Carly for California Campaign Manager Marty Wilson today issued the following statement:
“Tom Campbell has refused to release this letter despite repeated calls for him to do so. Now we know why. The content of the letter itself, and the date on which it was written reveal that what Tom Campbell told voters in Friday’s debate about his relationship with Al-Arian-and just as importantly, what he knew about him at the time-is quite simply false. In addition, Campbell’s new ‘fact-checking’ Web site www.campbellfacts.org contains further falsehoods that inaccurately depict both his relationship with Al-Arian and when he took action to help him.
“Tom Campbell should immediately remove this inaccurate information from his ‘fact checking’ Web site and explain to voters why he has not been forthright about his connection to Sami Al-Arian.”
Click here to read the January 21, 2002, letter from Campbell urging the University of South Florida to reinstate Sami Al-Arian.
In Friday’s debate, Campbell directly contradicted his own letter when he said:
“There is one other point to be raised, and that is that he was a professor, and he was terminated from his position at the University of South Florida before any of this evidence came out.”
Later in the debate, Campbell said he wrote the letter before Al-Arian’s interview with Bill O’Reilly:
“Well-known facts because it was on Bill O’Reilly, that was after the campaign was over and after my letter to the University of South Florida.”
However, Campbell writes in the letter that he had read the O’Reilly transcript before writing the letter on behalf of Al-Arian. In addition, the letter contradicts the claims made by Campbell on his new “fact checking” Web site, Campbellfacts.org, that he launched in conjunction with Friday’s debate:
“Later, the professor was indicted and tried on charges of having helped terrorist organizations. The evidence introduced at the trial included very upsetting language from wiretaps that was quite shocking. Campbell, obviously, would never have written to the University about him, or had any other association with him, if he had known that evidence at the time.” (http://www.campbellfacts.org/terrorism/helping-terrorists)
The letter reveals…
“I read the transcript of the O’Reilly Factor interview last autumn, and I did not see anything whereby Professor Al-Arian attempted to claim he was representing the views of the University of South Florida.”
After the O’Reilly Factor interview and well before Campbell wrote the letter, there were several media reports on including a lengthy op-ed in the St. Petersburg Times that detailed Al-Arian’s connections to Palestinian Islamic Jihad and his efforts to raise funds for the organization.
Click here to read the transcript of the interview Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly conducted with Sami Al-Arian on September 26, 2001.
Click here to read a St. Petersburg Times editorial published on November 1, 2001 regarding Sami Al-Arian.
“More than nine years ago and before September 11, Campbell, along with other university professors, wrote a letter to the President of the University of South Florida asking for fairness for the treatment of a professor who had been dismissed.” (http://www.campbellfacts.org/terrorism)
The letter reveals…
Tom Campbell’s letter to Al-Arian is dated January 21, 2002, and postmarked January 22, 2002.
“He had met this professor in his campaign in 2000; the professor and his friends had contributed to Tom’s campaign, and Tom made that clear in the text of his letter.” (http://www.campbellfacts.org/terrorism/helping-terrorists)
The letter reveals…
Campbell met Al-Arian during his time in Congress when he introduced legislation in 1999 that would have given Al-Arian’s brother-in-law, who was in jail at the time, access to the evidence against him. In the letter Campbell writes:
“It this effort, I came to know Professor Sami Al-Arian, whose brother-in-law had been subjected to this practice.”
Other media reports confirm that Campbell knew Al-Arian due to this legislation and also reveal that Campbell wrote a letter to the judge in Sami Al-Arian’s brother-in-law’s case and that he visited him in prison.