The Evening Blues - 10-9-15
Hey! Good Evening!
This evening's music features two artists too obscure to have a wikipedia entry, blues, soul and r&b singer Tiny Powell who began his career singing in gospel groups, and Chicago blues harmonica player Little Willie Anderson. Enjoy!
Tiny Powell - Take Me With You
"In reality the workings of your governing system are opaque and covert, while hiding in the chattering spotlight of an ostensible transparency, even though the ultimate objective is clear."
-- Breyten Breytenbach
News and Opinion
A former CIA counterterrorism officer who has spent nearly a decade trying to clear her name over her alleged role in the infamous rendition of a terrorism suspect was detained in Portugal this week after trying to leave the country.
Sabrina De Sousa, 59, was en route to see her mother in India on Monday when she was stopped by law enforcement authorities at Lisbon Portela Airport on an outstanding European arrest warrant issued in Italy. Days before she was detained, VICE News had been with De Sousa in Lisbon filming a documentary about her ordeal and the rendition case. ...
De Sousa traveled to Portugal seven months ago via Morocco without incident. Her arrival in the country was part of a new effort by the former intelligence officer to hold the CIA and Italy accountable for what she says was an "illegal rendition." ...
In a landmark 2009 ruling, De Sousa and nearly two-dozen other CIA officers were convicted in absentia in Italy on kidnapping and other charges in connection with the February 2003 abduction of Osama Mustapha Hassan Nasr, better known as Abu Omar, a radical cleric whose fiery anti-American speeches in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 attracted the attention of the CIA.
Saturday’s US attack against the Doctors Without Borders hospital on the outskirts of Kunduz, Afghanistan, appears to have been a problem, and not just because it was an attack on a hospital full of civilians and killed at least 22 people, including a bunch of staff members.
The strike also may have exceeded the troops’ combat authority in Afghanistan, a point which is suggested by Gen. John Campbell talking up new training for special forces troops reviewing not only rules of engagement but “all of our operational authorities.”
Beyond the obvious, immediate implications of this massacre—which serves as a reminder that for all of those 14 years, the United States has engaged in a brutal, mismanaged and ill-conceived war—more broadly the ruins of the Kunduz hospital are a symbol of America’s unfortunate reliance on air power, including drone strikes and bombers, to combat a host of insurgent groups in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, and elsewhere in Africa. ...
If there’s such a thing as an “Obama doctrine” of US national security policy in place, it’s built around two pillars: first, using air power to counter “malign” actors such as the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and the Islamic State, rather than direct, on-the-ground involvement of US forces; and second, the arming and training of proxy forces and newly built national armies to carry out the battles on the ground. Yet both pillars are crumbling. Few if any experienced national security policymakers and military experts believe that airstrikes can do more than harass or disrupt well-organized insurgencies, and the doctrine of using air power—developed during and after World War II in the Strategic Bombing Survey, proselytized by Robert McNamara and the Vietnam-era Whiz Kids—has been thoroughly discredited, as argued convincingly this week by James Russell of the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. Just this week, The New York Times reported extensively on the failure around the world of US efforts to support proxy forces and fledgling national armies, ranging from the $65 billion spent to build Afghanistan’s crumbling army, tens of billions spent in Iraq to rebuild the army that the United States dismantled in 2003, and the $500 million effort to organize a rebel force in Syria against the Islamic State that managed to put only “four or five” fighters in the field. ...
Though President Obama has insisted that the rebooted Global War on Terror will take pains to avoid civilian deaths, the Kunduz bombing came just five days after another, even more extensive massacre, this one in southern Yemen. On September 28, the American-backed Saudi Arabian air force obliterated a wedding party, killing at least 131 civilians, including 80 women huddled under a desert tent. The war in Yemen, which pits a rebel force of Houthis against remnants of the toppled, pro-Saudi regime that formerly ruled the country, is devolving into a proxy battle between Iran, which nominally backs the Houthis, and a US-Saudi coalition that is intent on using military force to restore Saudi dominance of the Arabian Peninsula. In the latest in a series of what appear to be indiscriminate air attacks that have killed many civilians, calls for an independent inquiry into the massacre by the UN were blocked by Saudi Arabia, with American support.
The Obama administration appears to have learned the lesson that affairs in the Middle East cannot be reordered to conform with American ideas about democracy and civil society by deploying tens or hundreds of thousands of US troops in feckless “state building” missions. But it has yet to grasp the related lesson that Washington cannot defeat insurgencies, even terrorism-inclined ones, by remote control via drones or by air power that deploys fighter jets and AC-130 gunships.
The bombing should be a moment to reflect on the 14 years of US intervention. And what do we have to show for it?
The Kunduz bombing is a symptom of the underlying disease of foreign occupation. The prescription requires that President Obama keep to the timeline of withdrawing US troops by the end of 2016. The US military presence will not create long-term peace and stability in Afghanistan. On the contrary: as long as US troops are there, militants will fight to oust them. ...
The US government must be pressured to provide for the long-term healthcare needs of the wounded survivors and must compensate the families of the deceased. A new hospital must be built to replace the facility that was the only free trauma care hospital in northern Afghanistan, treating 22,000 and performing more than 5,900 surgical procedures in 2014.
The bombing should also be a moment to reflect on the 14 years of US intervention. This intervention has cost the lives of 2,350 US servicemen, plus the lives of thousands of Afghans and servicemen from our Nato partners. It has cost US taxpayers over a trillion dollars, money that could have made an enormous difference funding vital domestic needs.
And what do we have to show for it? Despite 14 years of US involvement at an estimated cost of $33,000 for every man, women and child in Afghanistan (or $14m per hour since 9/11, according to one study), Afghanistan remains mired in poverty, corruption and political strife. Despite the massive amount of effort spent on women’s empowerment, Afghanistan remains a deeply misogynist culture where only 17% of women can read and write. Despite the massive effort to train and equip the Afghan army, Afghan soldiers have not been able rout the Taliban. ...
Responding to public sentiment, President Obama promised to cut the current force of 10,000 US troops in half by 2016. In March, however, the president announced he would slow the pace of the troop withdrawal and now – with the resurgence of the Taliban – there is a call by many Congressional representatives to keep the troops there for years to come. There is even talk of sending more troops. ...
As Kunduz has shown, US involvement is not the answer to the instability and violence in Afghanistan.
14 years into their occupation of Afghanistan, NATO officials are once again talking about an extension of the conflict, with several officials echoing recent Pentagon calls for “flexibility” on the plan to withdraw most of the troops in the country sometime after 2016.
Defense Secretary Ash Carter said he believed a number of other NATO DMs were open to an even more open-ended deployment, and German DM Ursula von der Leyen talked up the idea of formal discussions on keeping NATO forces in Afghanistan longer.
It was only a few years ago that soaring antiwar sentiment across Europe had many countries looking to set a firm deadline on the war, but it seems that setting the deadline calmed the public enough that many believe they can now simply push the bar back and no one will really notice.
... Paul called a no-fly zone over [Syria], an idea floated by several Republican presidential candidates and by Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton, a "terrible idea" that could "lead to World War III" if anyone was stupid enough to follow through.
"That's drawing a red line in the sky," Paul said. Once you draw a red line, and people cross it, what happens? Now we're talking about an incident that could lead to World War III. We went 70 years having open channels of communication with the Russians, trying to avoid having one side shoot down the opposite side's plane. I think the people who call for a no-fly zone are naive. Right now, Russia's actually being invited by two of the neighboring countries, by Iraq and Syria. We're going to say we're going to stop Russia from flying in the area when two of the countries being flown over have invited that country in? This gets back to whether we want to diplomatically isolate ourselves, or whether we want to diplomatically engage."
Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, in comments mocking Russia’s “unprofessional” military for the way it is conducting airstrikes against ISIS, predicted that Russia would face “reprisal” terror attacks on Russian soil because of their military action.
Earlier this week a group of Saudi clerics issued a joint statement urging jihad against Russia for its support for the Assad government, and increasingly the narrative around the Gulf states is that Russia is taking sides with the Shi’ites against the Sunnis in general because of their Syria policy. ...
While it’s not unusual for wars in the Middle East to raise concerns about terror attacks at home, Carter’s attitude suggested that he was endorsing the idea as a sort of commuppance for its foreign policy, which ironically appears markedly similar to America’s own policy.
The US has axed its $500m (£326m) programme to train and equip moderate Syrian rebels to fight Islamic State in another move highlighting western failures as Russia seizes the initiative by launching direct military intervention in support of Bashar al-Assad.
Pentagon officials were expected to officially announce the end of the programme on Friday as the US defence secretary, Ashton Carter, left London after meetings with his British counterpart, Michael Fallon, about the conflicts in Syria and Iraq, the New York Times reported.
The programme was the most visible element of US backing for Syrian opposition groups but it has already suffered embarrassing setbacks. Last month, it transpired that it had trained only four or five fighters inside Syria and that others had surrendered to rival groups and handed over the their weapons when they crossed the border from Turkey. Other covert programmes are run by the CIA.
A senior US Department of Defense official said there would no longer be any more recruiting of moderate Syrian rebels to go through training programmes in Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates. Instead, a much smaller training centre would be set up in Turkey, where a small group of “enablers” – mostly leaders of opposition groups – would be taught operational methods such as how to call in airstrikes, the paper reported.
An Iranian Revolutionary Guards general has been killed near Aleppo, where he was advising the Syrian army on their battle against Islamic State (IS) fighters, the guards said in a statement on Friday.
The Guards said General Hossein Hamedani was killed on Thursday night and that he had "played an important role ... reinforcing the front of Islamic resistance against the terrorists." ...
Iranian lawmaker Esmail Kosari said Hamedani helped coordination between Syrian armed forces and the voluntary forces in their fight against IS.
"For years, Hamedani played a very important role in Syria as an adviser... he played an important role in preventing the fall of Damascus. Then he returned home at the end of his assignment," Kosari told the semi-official Tasnim news agency.
"He returned to Syria for a few days because of his deep knowledge about the area ... and he was martyred in Syria."
You've really got to give it to dictator-wannabe Erdogan, he's organized and leaves little to chance.
A state prosecutor has banned Turkey's largest pay-TV platform from broadcasting channels close to an arch-enemy of President Tayyip Erdogan, heightening concern about press freedom weeks ahead of an election.
Digiturk is the third platform to ditch channels close to U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen on the orders of the Ankara prosecutor, including news services Bugun TV and S Haber, a children's channel, and four other general interest stations.
Erdogan, who wants the ruling AK Party to win back a majority in a snap Nov. 1 election, accuses Gulen of seeking to overthrow him by means of a "parallel structure" of supporters in the judiciary, police, the media and other institutions.
Gulen has denied such charges and Erdogan's opponents say the moves are an attempt to silence opposition before the polls.
General Augusto Pinochet directly ordered the 1976 assassination of a Chilean diplomat who was killed in a car bomb in Washington DC, according to secret US intelligence documents declassified by the Obama administration.
The documents, which were handed to the Chilean president, Michelle Bachelet, on Tuesday in Santiago by the US secretary of state, John Kerry, also show that the former dictator was so concerned with covering up his role in the murder that he planned to assassinate his own head of intelligence, General Manuel Contreras.
Orlando Letelier, a former defence and foreign minister under President Salvador Allende, was tortured and incarcerated after Pinochet’s 1973 coup. He later fled to the US and worked at the Institute of Policy Studies in Washington DC.
Letelier, who had once been Chile’s ambassador to the US, was murdered on 21 September 1976 by a car bomb planted under the driver’s seat of his vehicle just a mile from the White House.
Ronni Moffitt, an American colleague, was also killed in the blast. Her husband Michael survived but was badly wounded. ...
Investigators in the US and Chile are poring through the records searching for evidence that CIA officials had forewarning but did not stop the assassination plan.
Speculation that the CIA was aware of the plot to kill Letelier is based on previously declassified records showing that Manuel Contreras was paid by the CIA before the bombing and was in regular contact with top officials at the spy agency.
Saudi Arabia has issued a statement telling the world that it has no business objecting to the planned execution of a religious dissident. The Saudi Arabian embassy in the UK has denounced “any form of interference in its internal affairs” regarding the case of 21-year-old dissident Ali Mohammed al-Nimr, who has been sentenced to death by beheading for engaging in pro-democracy protests.
Al-Nimr has been sentenced to death by beheading and crucifixion in Saudi Arabia for simply taking part in anti-government protests in 2012. He was just 17.
“Classified speech” is speech which contains or relies upon information, which is public but the United States government has not declassified yet. Colleges or universities that are part of the American security industrial-complex have “facility security clearances” or other obligations they have agreed to follow so administrators can maintain the stature of being a place where classified U.S. government research is conducted.
Yet, the result of such arrangements is what happened to Washington Post journalist Barton Gellman, who produced Pulitzer Prize-winning work on documents from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Gellman was invited to Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana, to give a keynote presentation on Snowden and “national security journalism in the age of surveillance.” The presentation was part of a colloquium called “Dawn or Doom” on the “risks and rewards of emerging technologies.” It was live streamed, and Gellman was promised a link for sharing his presentation after the event.
Purdue University emphasized in its description of the event that Gellman would offer a “fresh account of the disclosures and their aftershocks, drawing upon hundreds of hours of work with the classified NSA archive and scores of hours of interviews with Snowden.”
As Gellman has recounted, Purdue “wiped all copies” of his video and slides from university servers on the grounds that Gellman “displayed classified documents briefly on screen.”
The "Justice Department" likens the entire American public to a collection of undifferentiated convicted criminals:
A Justice Department prosecutor said Thursday that ordering the immediate end of bulk surveillance of millions of Americans’ phone records would be as hasty as suddenly letting criminals out of prison.
“Public safety should be taken into consideration,” argued DOJ attorney Julia Berman, noting that in a 2011 Supreme Court ruling on prison overcrowding, the state of California was given two years to find a solution and relocate prisoners.
By comparison, she suggested, the six months Congress granted to the National Security Agency to stop indiscriminately collecting data on American phone calls was minimal.
Ending the bulk collection program even a few weeks before the current November 29 deadline would be an imminent risk to national security because it would create a dangerous “intelligence gap” during a period rife with fears of homegrown terrorism, she said.
A city in South Carolina approved a $6.5m million settlement Thursday with the family of an unarmed black man shot dead earlier this year by a white police officer.
North Charleston city council approved the settlement by a 10-0 vote, and members of Walter Scott’s family were on hand when it was announced.
The council had met several times in the past few months to receive advice from city attorney Brady Hair on a potential lawsuit from Scott’s family. ...
In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, Scott’s family called for peace. Some have credited the family’s action – along with the officer’s speedy arrest – with staving off the protests and violence that have erupted in other cities where unarmed black men have died during encounters with police.
"That's the big lesson of LIBOR. They can game the system and they know it."
A trial that started this week in London is revealing more evidence of the reckless frat boy culture that critics say is rampant in international banking.
Six financiers were charged on Tuesday with conspiracy to defraud in a scandal involving the London Interbank Offered Rate, or LIBOR — an interest rate big banks charge to loan each other money.
"Can you please get 3 and 6-month as high as is possible today," wrote Darrell Read, referring to different terms for loans, in a 2006 email to Colin Goodman, the Guardian reported. "We'll sort you out with a curry takeaway next week in recognition of your efforts. Thanks mate."
Read allegedly went by the nickname Nog or Big Nose, prosecutors allege. Goodman was known as Lord Libor. Referring to each other as "dudes" and "big boys," the financiers — all men in their forties and fifties — also promised each other beer, bottles of Bollinger champagne and other treats for rate rigging, the Wall Street Journal reported.
"It just confirms what was pretty obviously the case. The LIBOR system was rotten to the core," said Thomas Ferguson, a senior fellow at Roosevelt Institute. "It's a bank cartel. After all this nonsense about the increase of competition in the world economy thanks to the spread of financialization, at its heart you have a cartel. That's the big lesson of LIBOR. They can game the system and they know it."
Seriously? 2nd place in the national beauty contest goes to "Miss Historical Fantasy?"
Claims Jewish people might have stopped Holocaust if they had guns
Carson was quizzed on CNN over comments in his new book, A More Perfect Union: What We the People Can Do to Reclaim Our Constitutional Liberties, which cites Nazi Germany to argue that the right to bear arms should not be curtailed.
CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked him: “Just clarify, if there had been no gun control laws in Europe at that time, would six million Jews have been slaughtered?”
Carson replied: “I think the likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed … I’m telling you that there is a reason that these dictatorial people take the guns first.”
The former neurosurgeon is currently polling in second place in the race to become the Republican presidential candidate, behind front-runner Donald Trump.
Hillary really wants to deprive Sanders of those Union endorsements and dollars...
From the start, the Trans-Pacific trade pact that Barack Obama is trumpeting faced rough going on Capitol Hill, not least because some of Congress’s most powerful Republicans – among them the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell – were complaining about it.
But the pact’s chances of winning ratification in Congress diminished on Wednesday when Hillary Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner, said: “Based on what I know so far, I can’t support this agreement.” Clinton’s statement was a major rebuff to Obama, who wants to make the 12-nation pact, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a centerpiece of his diplomatic legacy and his strategy to expand America’s role in Asia to counter China.
“Her decision is a critical turning point, and will be invaluable in our effort to defeat TPP,” said Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, the main US labor federation.
The Pacific agreement, which includes Canada, Chile, Japan, Mexico and Vietnam, faces intense opposition from the left and the right in the US, as well as from many internet activists, while its most enthusiastic supporter is corporate America. On the left, opponents include Bernie Sanders, organized labor and most environmental groups, and on the right, its foes include Donald Trump, the Republican frontrunner, and some Tea Party Republicans reluctant to give any victory to Obama.
“Right now I don’t think TPP can get through Congress,” said Lori Wallach, a leading TPP critic and director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. “If the entire corporate coalition doesn’t line up in support and throw money at it and threaten to break knees, it’s going to have problems passing.”
In the last two days, we’ve seen the faltering Democratic party front runner decide that it might behoove her to distance herself from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the centerpiece of her “pivot to Asia” strategy, and America’s most hated oligarchs, big banksters. Might the timing of this sudden change of heart have a wee bit to do with the Presidential debates next week, and it not being all that easy to defend the pet causes of the privileged classes in crowd-pleasing soundbites when challenged by Sanders?
As least Greek prime minister Alex Tsipras, who engaged in similar reversals, can at least be credited with fighting hard for what he’d promised Greeks, even if those promises were contradictory, and then retreating only in the face of overwhelming force, namely, having the ECB put a choke hold on the Greek banking system.
By contrast, Hillary’s sudden shift is simply a not-terribly-well-executed attempt to reposition herself. As Jeb Lund described her increasingly obvious problem in Rolling Stone:
In the last day, Hillary Clinton announced her opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a deal that she will likely claim she only championed as part of her duties as secretary of state and that, in reality, she just as likely helped to create. She probably opposes it as strongly as she did NAFTA, which her husband created, and which she and Barack Obama campaigned against in 2008 and then proceeded to do nothing about. This is a habit. She probably is doing this because, in spite of a career in which neoliberalism got her this far, Bernie Sanders is starting to eat her lunch among labor voters, progressives and anyone who is not a big-money donor. You know, the people who vastly outnumber the latter and do things en masse, like vote.
On the TPP, Clinton’s shift in position, while not exactly credible, also amounts to less than she’d like the great unwashed bottom 90% to believe. ... “Based on what I know now, I don’t like it.” That gives her plenty of leeway to claim she’s gotten more comfortable as she has learned more or contend that she’s won concession (say improved side deals) that allow her to support the pact. ...
The big problem with Hillary is it is hard to believe she stands for anything other than her desire to exercise power. How can you square her position on the issue she appears to care most about, women’s rights, with her warmongering? Economic progress is almost always a necessary but not sufficient condition for women to get more education, more access to jobs, and most important, more reproductive control. Men who feel their social and economic status is precarious are not going to accept increased competition from women in society and in the workplace. Wars devastate economies, lead to flight of the upper classes and educated professionals, and often produce a rise in rape and other types of violence against women. Yet she seems utterly blind to the hypocrisy of her claims of trying to advance the position of women abroad while being a rabid hawk.
While at Duke, Robert M. Califf received millions in funding and salary support from Eli Lilly, Merck, Novartis, and other drug companies
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Friday said he would vote against President Barack Obama's nomination to head up the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), citing Dr. Robert M. Califf's ties to the pharmaceutical industry.
Califf, a cardiologist and Duke University researcher, became FDA deputy commissioner earlier this year, and Obama announced plans to nominate him as the agency's chief last month. But in light of several recent industry scandals that brought national attention to price gouging of life-saving medications, Sanders—who is running for president as a Democrat—on Friday said he would not support the status quo when the vote comes before the U.S. Senate health committee.
"At a time when millions of Americans cannot afford to purchase the prescription drugs they need, we need a new leader at the FDA who is prepared to stand up to the pharmaceutical companies and work to substantially lower drug prices. Unfortunately, I have come to the conclusion that Dr. Califf is not that person," Sanders said following a meeting with the nominee this week.
A recent exposé by the New York Times revealed that Califf's multi-million dollar research center at Duke received more than 60 percent of its funding from the industry, while his 2014 financial disclosure documents showed drug companies like Eli Lilly, Merck, and Novartis paid him hefty fees for "consulting" and in salary support. And as the Boston Globe reported on Wednesday, Califf also took the "highly unusual" step of removing his name from a series of scientific papers criticizing the FDA's oversight of clinical trials—"a decision that could raise ethical concerns," explains the Globe's Sheila Kaplan.
Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Mazda and Mitsubishi’s cars are shown to emit significantly more NOx pollution on the road than in regulatory tests
Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Mazda and Mitsubishi have joined the growing list of manufacturers whose diesel cars are known to emit significantly more pollution on the road than in regulatory tests, according to data obtained by the Guardian.
In more realistic on-road tests, some Honda models emitted six times the regulatory limit of NOx pollution while some unnamed 4x4 models had 20 times the NOx limit coming out of their exhaust pipes.
“The issue is a systemic one” across the industry, said Nick Molden, whose company Emissions Analytics tested the cars. The Guardian revealed last week that diesel cars from Renault, Nissan, Hyundai, Citroen, Fiat, Volvo and Jeep all pumped out significantly more NOx in more realistic driving conditions. NOx pollution is at illegal levels in many parts of the UK and is believed to have caused many thousands of premature deaths and billions of pounds in health costs.
All the diesel cars passed the EU’s official lab-based regulatory test (called NEDC), but the test has failed to cut air pollution as governments intended because carmakers designed vehicles that perform better in the lab than on the road. There is no evidence of illegal activity, such as the “defeat devices” used by Volkswagen.
CEO of Volkswagen America, Michael Horn, appeared before Congress on Thursday to testify about how Volkswagen knowingly installed software that skirted emission regulations in 11 million of its cars, almost 500,000 of which are in the US. ...
"VW has betrayed a nation," said Representative Fred Upton, the chairman of the House committee on Energy and Commerce. "It's time to clean up or get off the road."
The company admitted last month that for the past six years the it has installed special software on VW diesel engines which detects when the vehicle is undergoing an official emissions test. The so-called "defeat devices" were programmed to limit car emissions for the duration of the test, after which the car would return to emitting nitrogen oxide at levels up to 40 times the legal limit. ...
Horn insisted that several rogue software engineers developed the defeat devices on their own and that he personally had no idea that they were being used. "This was not a corporate decision, to the best of my knowledge," said Horn.
But that answer did not please Horn's questioners. If that was true, responded Representative Chris Collins, a Republican from New York, "either your entire organization is incompetent, and I don't believe that for a second, or they are complicit, at the highest levels, in a massive cover up that continues today."
Horn himself later admitted in the hearing that his own claim that the devices were not a top-down decision was "hard to believe."
Apparently German investigators don't believe Horn either. As the hearing was proceeding on Capitol Hill, authorities in Germany were searching Volkswagen's offices in an attempt to find more information on who at the company had been involved in the design and implementation of the software, reported National Public Radio.
A jury has found Dupont liable for negligence in the case of Carla Bartlett, taking less than a day to award $1.6 million to the Ohio woman who developed kidney cancer after drinking water contaminated with a chemical formerly used to make Teflon. The jury declined to give Bartlett punitive damages in the federal case. Instead, the award included $1.1 million for negligence as well as $500,000 for emotional distress.
“This is brilliant,” one of Bartlett’s attorneys, Mike Papantonio, said of the verdict. “It’s exactly what we wanted.” Papantonio emphasized that Bartlett’s case, the first of more than 3,500 personal injury and wrongful death suits filed on behalf of people in West Virginia and Ohio who were exposed to C8, had been chosen by DuPont as the first to be tried and involved less egregious injuries than many others yet to be heard. ...
In a statement, DuPont said it expected to appeal the verdict. ...
Carla Bartlett lived much of her life in Coolville, Ohio, a tiny town a few miles across the Ohio River from a DuPont plant in Parkersburg, West Virginia. After years of drinking water that had been contaminated with C8, Bartlett, who is now 51, was diagnosed with a tumor on her kidney in 1997 and underwent a painful surgery that involved removing part of one of her ribs along with the tumor.
Bartlett’s attorneys argued that while she and tens of thousands of people living near Parkersburg, West Virginia, were drinking water contaminated with C8, DuPont was actively working to ensure they didn’t “connect the dots” about the chemical. One DuPont PowerPoint presented by Papantonio described the company’s strategy of keeping sensitive information from government agencies, community organizations, and “disgruntled employees.”
Also of Interest
Here are some articles of interest, some which defied fair-use abstraction.
A Little Night Music
Tiny Powell - My Time After Awhile
Tiny Powell - On The Blue Side
Tiny Powell - Going Home
Tiny Powell - Done Made It Over
Tiny Powell - Bossy Woman
Tiny Powell - Get My Hat
Tiny Powell - On The Blue Side
Little Willie Anderson - Come Here Mama
Little Willie Anderson - Willie's Women Blues
Little Willie Anderson - Everything Gonna Be Alright
Willie Anderson & Barrelhouse Chuck - Westside Baby
Little Willie Anderson - Big Fat Mama