U.S. Senators Send A Dear John Letter To Bangladesh

UPDATE: There is a report in the Bangladesh paper New Nation that the letter from the senators is a forgery. However, I just got off the phone with Senator Joe Biden’s office. They confirmed for me that the letter was indeed sent and the content of the letter is as was widely reported. We should keep in mind that the New Nation is owned by an advisor to the military government, and the new report from the New Nation may be part of a disinformation campaign.

UPDATE 2: The press person from Senator Biden’s office called me to tell me that the letter had been released to the press. So there should be no confusion about its authenticity. I love it when government works this efficiently and is this responsive to a citizen. Kudos to the staff at Senator Biden’s office. Senator Biden’s Washington office number is 202-224-5042.

UPDATE 3: The New Nation carries on the charade. They have a detailed story on their front page now claiming the letter is a forgery. Never mind that I and others have confirmed from Senator Biden and Senator Kerry’s office that they in fact did send this letter. Wow! Simply wow! The newspaper owned by Mainul Hosein, the military government’s information advisor, is playing the role of Baghdad Bob perfectly. Don’t let the facts hit you on the way to publishing your paper.

UPDATE 4: Salam Dhaka has confirmation from Senator Kerry’s office. Shada Kalo has confirmation from Senator Kennedy’s and Senator Lugar’s offices. He also has more information about the "reporting" from the New Nation.


Actually, its a "Dear Fakhruddin" letter. Members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, joined by a number of other prominent senators, sent a letter to the titular head of the Bangladesh military government, Fakhruddin Ahmed, urging the following:

1) promptly lift the state of emergency and restore full civil and political rights to all citizens of Bangladesh; and

2) announce, within the next two months, a roadmap towards free and fair elections to be held as soon as possible, with input of the political parties and civil society leaders, so that a democratically-elected government can be restored as soon as possible.

The letter can be viewed here.

The letter was signed by the following bipartisan group of senators:

Joe Biden
Edward Kennedy
Hillary Clinton
John Kerry
Richard Lugar
Chris Dodd
Barbara Boxer
Robert Menendez
Chuck Schumer
Joe Lieberman
Norm Coleman
John Sununu
Russ Feingold
Johnny Isakson
Frank Lautenberg

This letter comes on the heels of a trip to Washington by Bangladeshi special envoy Farooq Sobhan. During his trip, Mr. Sobhan met with the National Security Council, the State Department and members of Congress to lobby on behalf of the military government in Bangladesh. I am guessing the trip didn’t go well.


This entry was posted in Bangladesh, Foreign Policy, Human Rights. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to U.S. Senators Send A Dear John Letter To Bangladesh

  1. AsifY says:

    Just to clarify my comments on DP: in total support of what you and other bloggers are doing to expose this lie for what it is. I just think and hope that it won’t matter in a few days. Btw, check out shadakalo’s blog, he’s got loads of details, including the contact info for the journalist and editor!:d I might just write in.

    Talk about “irresponsible journalism” though. I don’t think we’re going to hear stories about midnight raids or “national security” on this though. Just goes to show: it pays to have friends in high places.

  2. Sir, It is the time to flash the character of MOINUL Hussain.

  3. Mash says:

    AsifY, I hear you. I responded to your comment there about why they think they can be successful with such disinformation. Baghdad Bob comes to mind. :d

    When there is no freedom of the press, it is much easier lying in a mouthpiece newspaper. The report was extremely detailed. It claimed to have confirmed the “fake” letter by talking to all the senators. It sprinkled in names of people to add to its credibility.

    So, unless we had called the senators to confirm, the lie in Bangladesh would have stuck. It will still stick with a lot of people because they will have already read the front page of the New Nation in print with their “bombshell” story.

  4. Mash says:

    Sushanta, its time to start calling Mr. Mainul Baghdad Bob.

    For those who do not know who Baghdad Bob is, here’s a primer:

  5. AsifY says:

    In complete agreement with you on the misinformation point. What you, salamdhaka and shadakalo have done is essential. Perhaps because it never sounded credible to my ears, I thought no one back home would buy it for a minute, but I see where that\’s wrong. …look where your wikipedia article led me.

    I personally vote for “Dhakar Dhokabaaj” – alliteration with accuracy and no “foreign”, imported flavour 😀

    [AsifY, I edited your post and put the URL below broken up because the long URL was causing formatting problems on the page. – Mash]

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/ story/0,,2020424,00.html

  6. Mash says:

    AsifY, I like “Dhakar Dhokabaaj” – kind of catchy.

    Now, here is an example of how people can be swayed by disinformation. Check this comment out on DP – the guy is now convinced the letter is fake.

  7. Kaiser Kabir says:

    Good work, Mash!

  8. Salam Dhaka says:

    The U.S Embassy has notified BD government that this letter is authentic.:-?

  9. Mash says:

    Kaiser, thanks. Although it does seem like the disinformation worked, at least on some people.

    Salam, I’ve been following your blog for the latest development. Now apparently the latest nonsense I am reading at DP from some commenters is that low level staffers at the senators’ office have all been bribed into sending this letter without the senators’ knowledge. You gotta love these people! :d

  10. James says:

    Enough with this stuff about Bangladesh. Talk about real news stories!! Like..Paris Hilton!

  11. Mash says:

    James, I hear Paris Hilton is going to Bangladesh to head the military.\:d/

  12. AsifY says:

    I think Paris should head up the New Nation office in Dhaka.

  13. Pingback: Voices without Votes » Good Choice

Comments are closed.