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Local Kids' Charity is Suing a Former Bush Administration Official for Libel

This is the book that caused KinderUSA to sue a former Bush administration official, and his publishers, for libel.

Kids in Need of Development, Education and Relief -- or KinderUSA -- is a charity that was founded in 2002 by a group of physicians and humanitarian relief workers who want to help children living in hot spots around the world ravaged by disease, poverty, war and other manmade disasters. So says its Web site, and so says a just-posted Los Angeles Times story reporting that the Dallas-based charity is suing for libel Matthew Levitt, the former deputy assistant secretary for intelligence and analysis at the U.S. Treasury Department, and Yale University Press and the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Seems KinderUSA isn't taking kindly to being branded as a group that's funded Middle East terrorists; funny how that label gets under an organization's skin like that.

But turns out Levitt's book Hamas, Politics, Charity and Terrorism in the Service of Jihad links KinderUSA to the Holy Land Foundation, which the Bush administration shut down in 2001, claiming it was actually just a fundraising arm for Hamas.

Reports The Times:

Levitt's book, according to the lawsuit, also falsely states that "the formation of KinderUSA highlights an increasingly common trend: banned charities continuing to operate by incorporating under new names in response to designation as terrorist entities or in an effort to evade attention. This trend is also seen with groups raising money for al-Qaeda.''

The suit was filed April 26 in Los Angeles Superior Court. --Robert Wilonsky

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