[Marxism] McCarthyite students
Midhurst14 at aol.com
Midhurst14 at aol.com
Mon Mar 7 21:07:12 MST 2005
Bruce McPhie - Socialist Republic of Viet Nam
_lemonjuicebruce5 at yahoo.com.au_ (mailto:lemonjuicebruce5 at yahoo.com.au)
Agent Orange victims achieved an important victory when the judge rejected
calls to dismiss their case against US chemical companies, and agreed the trial
A US Federal Court in Brooklyn New York has now begun the long-awaited court
action, filed by Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange and other war-time
chemicals, against 37 US chemical companies, including Monsanto and Dow Chemicals.
Vietnamese victims filed their suit late January last year, seeking justice
from the companies that produced and supplied the toxic defoliants used by the
US military in southern Viet Nam between 1961 and 1971.
Nearly 100 million litres were sprayed, including dioxin, one of the most
dangerous toxins known to man, with tragic consequences for millions of
Vietnamese, and US and other soldiers.
On February 28, the court had a hearing to determine the trial-worthiness of
the case. It was attended by about 50 lawyers representing the Vietnamese
victims, US chemical manufacturers, and US veterans affected by Agent Orange.
Lawyers for the chemical companies asked the court to reject the petition.
The US Department of Justice also issued a letter to the judge asking for
the case to be thrown out of court because the President has the right to
pardon the companies.
However, Judge Jack B. Weinstein rejected these arguments. He said that
the court needed more time to study legal evidence presented by the two sides
at the hearing, which lasted for 8 hours instead of 7 as scheduled.
Lawyers representing the US veterans exposed to Agent Orange during the war
presented evidence that the chemical companies had concealed the dangers of
Agent Orange, particularly dioxin, when they were producing and supplying the
chemicals used by the US army.
Representatives from a US Centre for Constitution Rights, an NGO, also
presented arguments for the Vietnamese victims.
Jonathan Moore, one of the lawyers for the victims said this was a good
chance to present the latest evidence in the quest for compensation.
Professor Phan Thi Phi of the Hanoi Medical University and one of the 3
original victims to institute the lawsuit was also at the hearing. She planned
to attend meetings and give speeches about Agent Orange’s terrible effects at
some big universities in the US.
These devastating effects on the environment and people were acknowledged
years ago by the International War Crime Tribunal on the Viet Nam War,
established by British philosopher Bertrand Russell.
In 1988, the Pentagon compiled a classified report linking AO to 28
life-threatening conditions, including genetic birth defects and cancers.
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