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OhioChick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 11:29 PM
Original message
Lawsuit: Firms sold poison gas ingredients to Iraq
Source: AP

Thu Apr 9, 7:49 pm ET
HAGERSTOWN, Md. Three companies illegally sold materials to Saddam Hussein's regime in the 1980s for making chemical weapons that were used to carry out attacks against thousands of Iraqi Kurds and ultimately caused scores of chronic ailments, according to a federal lawsuit.

The complaint filed Tuesday in Baltimore by five Iraqi expatriates and the Nashville, Tenn.-based Kurdish National Congress seeks class certification for an estimated 100,000 Kurds. The Republic of Iraq is also named as a defendant.

The lawsuit alleges that as a result of the attacks, thousands of Kurds suffered chronic disabilities including respiratory ailments, fatigue, joint pain, rashes, vision problems and sleep disorders, making it difficult for them to hold steady jobs.

The group is seeking unspecified damages from VWR International LLC of West Chester, Pa.; Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., of Waltham, Mass.; and Alcolac Inc., of Cumberland, Md.



Read more: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090409/ap_on_re_us/iraq_wm...
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 11:34 PM
Response to Original message
1. We knew that gas came from here, but this is wild. Did the Kurds
ever try to sue the US Gov't, I wonder?
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pleah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 11:35 PM
Response to Original message
2. K&R
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ChromeFoundry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 11:37 PM
Response to Original message
3. I'll bet there are more... n/t
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LynnTheDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 11:41 PM
Response to Original message
4. And Dick Cheney illegally did business with Hussein right up until
Edited on Thu Apr-09-09 11:42 PM by LynnTheDem
he was appointed VP. And most the world (outside the USA, thanks to our `librul media`) has known these facts for years.
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ProHeloPilot Donating Member (9 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-10-09 01:12 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. Politcal Donations from the Three Companies Mentioned (Fundrace 2008 Huff-Po)
Employer: VWR international
$985 was given by people who identified their employer as "VWR international".
$0 to Republicans
$985 from 3 people to Democrats

Employer: Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.
older results
$1,078 was given by people who identified their employer as "Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.".
$0 to Republicans
$1,078 from 2 people to Democrats

Alcolac Inc.
There were no campaign donors for the employer you selected.
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givemebackmycountry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-10-09 01:36 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. delete n/t
Edited on Fri Apr-10-09 01:37 AM by givemebackmycountry
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tanyev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-10-09 08:46 AM
Response to Reply #7
12. Yeah, OK.
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LynnTheDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-10-09 09:24 AM
Response to Reply #7
13. Hi dear, and you still think Iraq did 911, right?
You know what's so sad about rightwingnuts? They don't even try anymore, you betcha.

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tanyev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-10-09 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #7
15. And furthermore, your numbers for Thermo Fisher are woefully incomplete.
$18,072 was given by people who identified their employer as "thermo fisher scientific".
$6,269 from 8 people to Republicans
$11,803 from 15 people to Democrats


LINK: http://fundrace.huffingtonpost.com/neighbors.php?type=e...

$2,736 was given by people who identified their employer as "thermo fisher".
$2,350 from 3 people to Republicans
$386 from 1 person to Democrats


LINK: http://fundrace.huffingtonpost.com/neighbors.php?type=e...

In none of your search parameters or my search parameters did I see a donation date earlier than 2007. Are you really trying to claim that the recent donations of employees who happen to work at these companies is relevant to illegal sales to Saddam Hussein in the 1980s? Good luck with that.
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-10-09 01:45 PM
Response to Reply #7
16. You do realize that the political contributions in open secrets and elsewhere
only go back to 1989. These gases were before then. You didn't give a real link but it seems that you are speaking of the 2008 race. Do you really think it significant that a company that 20 plus years before sold gas illegally to Iraq gave money in 2008 to Obama? Given that senior management in the 1980s were likely at minimum in their 4os - the people who sold the gas have very likely retired.

Let's talk about Rumsfeld himself giving them chemicals.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-09-09 11:48 PM
Response to Original message
5. From a Business Week article in 2002...we sold them a whole lot more than that.
http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/sep2002/nf2...

"In a previously unreleased letter obtained by BusinessWeek, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention admitted that the CDC supplied Iraqi scientists with nearly two dozen viral and bacterial samples in the 1980s, including the plague, West Nile, and dengue fever. The letter, written in 1995 by then-CDC director David Satcher, was in response to a congressional inquiry. The CDC was abiding by World Health Organization guidelines that encouraged the free exchange of biological samples among medical researchers -- before Congress imposed tighter controls on biological exports in 1995, says Thomas Monath, who headed the CDC lab where the viruses came from during the period in which they were handed over. "It was a very innocent request, which we were obligated to fulfill," recalls Monath. Plus, in the 1980s, Iraq and the U.S. were allies.

Scientists say the West Nile strain that so far has killed 46 people in the U.S. is not the same strain provided to Iraq, and they find it unlikely that it could have mutated. They also question whether terrorists would even try to develop West Nile as a weapon when more virulent viruses are available.

Still, some observers believe there should have been more prudence. "We were freely exchanging pathogenic materials with a country that we knew had an active biological warfare program," says James Tuite, a former Senate investigator who helped publicize Gulf War Syndrome. "The consequences should have been foreseen."

The CDC's 1995 Letter to the Senate

In 1995, the Center for Disease Control & Prevention provided to then-Senator Donald Riegel (D-Mich.) a complete list of all biological materials -- including viruses, retroviruses, bacteria, and fungi -- that the CDC provided to Iraq from Oct. 1, 1984 through Oct. 13, 1993. Among the materials on the list are several types of dengue and sandfly fever virus, West Nile virus, and plague-infected mouse tissue smears. In his letter to Riegel, then-CDC Director David Satcher wrote: "Most of the materials were non-infectious diagnostic reagents for detecting evidence of infections to mosquito-borne viruses."

Here's the complete letter and list of biological materials:"



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Chulanowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-10-09 12:13 AM
Response to Original message
6. Every Iranian should be in on this too
This is ICC material, I think
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-10-09 12:50 PM
Response to Reply #6
14. A bit late.
Already done. Don't know where the suit filed in an Iranian court went. Probably no place.

Plus, the ICC doesn't have jurisdiction. It can't cover events prior to its establishment.

Wiki has a decent summary. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netherlands_and_weapons_of...

Alongside other companies from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the United States, Belgium, Spain, India, and Brazil, Dutch companies provided Iraq with the chemicals used as precursors to produce chemical weapons for use against Iran in the IranIraq War.

2000 Iranians who suffered from chemical warfare during the IranIraq War (19801988) submitted an indictment some years ago with a Tehran court against nine companies that had provided Saddam Hussein with these chemicals. 455 American and European companies provided aid to Iraq during its war with Iran and two thirds of the companies were German. The United Nations published a 12,000-page report about the conflict and named the entire suite of companies involved.

A Dutch businessman named Frans van Anraat (b. 1942), has been prosecuted<3> for complicity in genocide for selling chemicals to Iraq in the 1980s while knowing that Saddam Hussein might use them as weapons against Iranians and others. He has acknowledged that he sold chemicals to Saddam's regime. He exported tons of European-made chemicals between 1984 and 1988 that were turned into mustard and nerve gas. He continued delivering materials even after the March 1988 gas attack on Halabja.

On December 23, 2005 he was sentenced to fifteen years in prison for complicity in war crimes, as the court argued the charges of genocide could not be substantiated. His case was also notable because it established that the chemical bombings in North Iraq constituted genocide according to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

------------

I look at the non-US pages not because the US wasn't involved, but so many assume only the US was involved; also I think they're slightly less likely to be in constant need of being reverted. The same kind of supply pattern is observed with other kinds of weapons.
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Holly_Hobby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-10-09 01:42 AM
Response to Original message
9. OMG, the US sold it to Saddam
I used to think this was funny...

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truth2power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-10-09 01:58 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. The reason we were so hot to get rid of Saadam
He might have started running his mouth. Could have said some inconvenient things.

Wasn't he a CIA asset, back in the day?
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Optical.Catalyst Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-10-09 06:02 AM
Response to Original message
11. Republicans know how to support the Military Industrial Complex
The Republican formula to throw contracts to their buddies in the defense industry is to first supply our adversaries with the things needed to carry out a military attack. Then they wait for the attack to happen, blame it quickly on our adversaries (which they set up), and then start a war. Once the war is in full swing, the money flows into the pockets of defense contractors.

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harun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-10-09 02:01 PM
Response to Original message
17. Disheartening Iraqi expat's have to bring this to light. Reporters in the U.S. should have
Edited on Fri Apr-10-09 02:01 PM by harun
brought this to light years ago.
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