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If McVeigh is a monster for callously killing 168, what is it to sell a product knowing millions of the quickly-addicted users will die?

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A newspaper in Mexico City featuring Timothy McVeigh's face reads "Monster Put to Sleep." Tuesday, June 12, 2001. Jose Luis Magana

McVeigh's Got Competition

by Chuck 45

JUNE 13, 2001. I'll believe justice was perpetrated on Timothy McVeigh when someone straps down the CEOs of Philip Morris, RJ Reynolds, and the rest of the tobacco bigwigs past and present and feeds them some good drugs.

If McVeigh is a monster for calculatingly and callously killing a mere 168 dead, what is it to sell a product knowing millions of the quickly-addicted users will die? And not quickly, either. With emphysema, you suffocate bit by bit. You sleep sitting up, feeling like you are drowning on land. Your La-Z-Boy is a death chamber.

All the tobacco companies get is a fine. In the year 2001 we no longer prosecute businessmen, or even impose the corporate death sentence: a quick yanking of the company's charter.

I feel sorry for the families of McVeigh's victims, but not sorrier than for anyone else that loses a loved one to an ugly death. There is violent injustice everywhere, but only a few murderers strip away the veneer of civilization so completely, that everyone can see the brutality of their consciences. Mostly, monsters pass unnoticed among us.

In the 50's, it was respected scientist Willard Libby. He was a researcher at the University of Chicago for the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. He made an appeal for large numbers of corpses, preferably stillborn or newborn babies, that were to be used to measure the nuclear content of the fallout from atom bomb tests.

"So human samples are of prime importance and if anybody knows how to do a good job of body snatching, they will really be serving their country," he reportedly said on a meeting transcript.

The result was a secret international operation to steal dead babies--whole, and in bits and pieces. Parents weren't told. Poor families in particular were targeted, morticians paid off. Documents recently released by the U.S. Department of Energy show that over 15 years, hospitals in Britain, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, South America and the United States sent about 6000 bodies to the University of Chicago.

Willard Libby later won the Nobel Prize for his related research of carbon dating techniques.

Related links:

For The bones of Cold War contention in The Age (Australia).

For the DOE's thoroughly spun account of Human Radiation Experiments.

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