Tuesday, March 01, 2005

US Wants Agent Orange War Crime Lawsuit Dismissed

The civil suit, filed last year on behalf of millions of Vietnamese, seeks billions of dollars of damages.

The suit claimed that American chemical companies had committed war crimes by supplying the military with Agent Orange, which contained dioxin, a highly toxic substance.

Judge Jack Weinstein of the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn asked last March, according to the IHT news report: "whether precedents concerning the treatment of makers of Zyklon B, the hydrogen cyanide gas used in Nazi death camps, might be applicable. After World War II, two manufacturers of Zyklon B were convicted of war crimes and executed."

Get a grip judge. A couple of fall guys were executed. What happened to the rest? Here's what:

"The Nuremberg War Criminal Tribunal convicted 24 IG Farben board members and executives on the basis of mass murder, slavery and other crimes against humanity. Amazingly however, by 1951 all of them had already been released, continuing to consult with German corporations."

"Carl Wurster, chairman of the board of BASF until 1974 was, during the war, on the board of the company manufacturing Zyklon-B gas."

"This dark period of German history is inextricably bound to one man, Fritz ter Meer:

* He was a member of the Managing Board of IG Farben from its inception to its dissolution. As the Wartime Manager, he was responsible for IG Auschwitz.

* In the Nuremberg Tribunal, ter Meer stated: "Forced labor did not inflict any remarkable injury, pain, or suffering on the detainees, particularly since the alternative for these workers would have been death."

* In 1948, ter Meer was sentenced by the Nuremberg Tribunal to seven years in prison for plundering and slavery.

* In 1952, his sentence was commuted, due to the influence of powerful friends.

* From 1956-1964, he was reinstated as a member of the Managing Board of Bayer AG.


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