The Deadly Brew at
Sightings from The Catbird Seat
~ o ~
E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (NYSE: DD) was founded in July 1802 as a gun powder mill by Eleuthère Irénée du Pont on Brandywine Creek, near Wilmington, Delaware, USA. DuPont is currently the world's second largest chemical company (behind BASF) in terms of market capitalization and third (behind BASF and Dow Chemical) in revenue....
DuPont was founded in 1802 by Eleuthère Irénée du Pont, two years after he and his family left France to escape the French Revolution. The company began as a manufacturer of gunpowder, as he had noticed that the industry in North America was lagging behind Europe and saw a market for it.
The company grew quickly, and by the mid nineteenth century had become the largest supplier of gunpowder to the United States military, supplying as much as half of the powder used by the Union Army during the American Civil War.
DuPont continued to expand, moving into the production of dynamite and smokeless powder. In 1902, DuPont's president, Eugene du Pont, died, and the surviving partners sold the company to three great-grandsons of the original founder. The company subsequently purchased several smaller chemical companies, and in 1912 these actions brought scrutiny on DuPont (under the Sherman Antitrust Act). The courts declared that the company's dominance of the explosives business constituted a monopoly and ordered divestment. The court ruling resulted in the creation of the Hercules Powder and Atlas Chemical companies....
In 1914, Pierre S. du Pont, invested in the fledgling automobile industry, buying stock of General Motors (GM). The following year he was invited to sit on GM's board of directors and would eventually be appointed the company's chairman. The DuPont company would assist the struggling automobile company further with a $25 million purchase of GM stock.
In 1920, Pierre S. du Pont was elected president of General Motors. Under du Pont's guidance, GM became the number one automobile company in the world. However, in 1957, due to DuPont's influence within GM, further action under the Sherman Antitrust Act forced the DuPont Company to divest itself of its shares of General Motors.
In the 1920s DuPont continued its emphasis on materials science, hiring Wallace Carothers to work on polymers in 1928. Carothers discovered neoprene, the first synthetic rubber, the first polyester superpolymer, and, in 1935, nylon. Discovery of Lucite and Teflon followed a few years later.
Throughout this period, the company continued to be a major producer of war supplies in both World War I and World War II, and played a major role in the Manhattan Project in 1943, designing, building and operating the Hanford plutonium producing plant and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.
After the war, DuPont continued its emphasis on new materials, developing Mylar, Dacron, Orlon and Lycra in the 1950s, and Tyvek, Nomex, Qiana, Corfam and Corian in the 1960s. DuPont materials were critical to the success of the Apollo Space program.
In 1981, DuPont acquired Conoco Inc., a major American oil and gas producing company that gave it a secure source of petroleum feedstocks needed for the manufacturing of many of its fiber and plastics processes. The acquistion, that made DuPont one of the top ten U.S. based petroleum and natural gas producers and refiners, came about after a bidding war with the giant distillery, Seagram Company Ltd. who would wind up as DuPont's largest single shareholder with four seats on the board of directors.
On April 6, 1995, after being approached by Seagram Chief Executive Officer Edgar Bronfman, Jr., DuPont announced a deal whereby the company would buy back all the shares held by Seagrams.
In 1999, DuPont sold all of its Conoco shares, the business merging with Phillips Petroleum Company. That year, CEO Chad Holliday switched the company's focus towards growing DuPont chemicals from living plants rather than processing them from petroleum.
In 1941, an investigation of Standard Oil Co. and IG Farben brought evidence concerning complex price and marketing agreements between DuPont, U.S. Industrial Alcohol Company, and their subsidiary Cuba Distilling Company. The investigation was eventually dropped, like dozens of others in many different kinds of industries, due to the need to enlist industry support in the war effort.
“Behind the nylon curtain”
In 1974, Gerard Colby Zilg, wrote Du Pont: Behind the Nylon Curtain, a critical account of the role of the DuPont family in American social, political and economic history. The book was nominated for a National Book Award in 1974.
A DuPont family member obtained an advance copy of the manuscript and was “predictably outraged”. A DuPont official contacted The Fortune Book Club and stated that the book was “scurrilous” and “actionable” but produced no evidence to counter the charges. The Fortune Book Club (a subsidiary of the Book of the Month Club) reversed its decision to distribute Zilg's book....
Mr. Zilg sued Prentice-Hall (Zilg v. Prentice-Hall), accusing it of reneging on a contract to promote sales....
Zilg lost a Supreme Court appeal in April 1984.
In 1984 Lyle Stuart re-released an extended version, Du Pont Dynasty: Behind the Nylon Curtain.
Along with General Motors, DuPont was the inventor of CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons), and the largest producer of these ozone depleting chemicals (used primarily in aerosol sprays and refrigerants) in the world, with a 25% market share in the late 1980s.
In 1974, responding to public concern about the safety of CFCs, DuPont promised in newspaper advertisements and congressional testimony to stop production of CFCs should they be proved to be harmful to the ozone layer.
On 4 March 1988, U.S. Senators Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Dave Durenberger (R-Minn.), and Robert T. Stafford (R-Vt.) officially wrote to DuPont, in their capacity as the leadership of the Congressional subcommittee on hazardous wastes and toxic substances, asking the company to keep its promise to completely stop CFC production (and to do so for most CFC types within one year) in light of the 1987 international Montreal Protocol for the global reduction of CFCs (signed for the United States by President Ronald Reagan).
The Senators argued that “DuPont has a unique and special obligation” as the original developer of CFCs and the author of previous public assurances made by the company regarding the safety of CFCs. DuPont's response was that the senatorial demand was more drastic than the scientific evidence warranted, and that alternative chemicals were only in their infancy....
In a dramatic turnaround on 24 March 1988, DuPont announced that it would begin leaving the CFC business entirely after a 15 March NASA announcement that CFCs were not only creating a hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica but also thinning the layer elsewhere in the world.
DuPont announced that it would stop selling CFCs with a full page ad in the 27 April 1992 New York Times stating “we will stop selling CFC's as soon as possible, but no later than year end 1995 in the US and other developed countries.” 
In later years, DuPont would maintain that the company had taken the initiative in phasing out CFCs  and in replacing CFCs with a new generation of refrigerant chemicals, such as HCFCs and HFCs. 
In 2003, DuPont was awarded the National Medal of Technology, recognizing the company as the leader in developing CFC replacements.
Iraq's nuclear program
In a report submitted by Saddam Hussein to the United Nations shortly before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, it was revealed that DuPont had participated in Iraq's nuclear weapons program. (Though the U.S. attempted to redact the names of all U.S. companies involved, an uncensored copy was leaked to the press.)  DuPont has not faced any sanctions because of this.
DuPont and C-8
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In West Virginia June 1999, the Tennant family sued DuPont for accidentally killing 280 Hereford cows with C-8, an alleged animal carcinogen.
DuPont was dumping the chemical in a landfill for nonhazardous waste. The chemical leaked into Dry Run Creek, where the cows drank it. The Tennants settled. As part of the settlement, the Tennants were forbidden to discuss the case.
The local drinking water was also contaminated with the C-8. Up to 50,000 residents of the Mid-Ohio Valley started a class-action lawsuit against DuPont. They claim that DuPont knew that C-8 was in the public water supply since 1984, but never informed the community. DuPont says the amount of C-8 is too low to raise health concerns, and that they met their reporting obligations.
After learning about the issue from an Environmental Working Group (EWG) petition, EPA brought its lawsuit against DuPont in July 2004. 
The EPA charged that for twenty years the company had covered up information about the dangers posed by PFOA, or C-8, a chemical used in the manufacture of Teflon. Internal studies by DuPont indicated that the indestructible chemical causes cancer, birth defects and other serious health problems in animals.
The EPA researched how C-8 has entered the bloodstream of much of the country’s population. Blood-bank samples from across the U.S. were looked at. The chemical is in the blood of over 95 percent of Americans. 
DuPont officials repeatedly assured the public in 2000 and 2001 that C-8 in tap water was safe, even as their own scientists and lawyers were seriously concerned that the company lacked key studies to support the claim. When critical studies on C-8 were completed in 2002 they showed birth defects serious enough to trigger what EPA Deputy Administrator Steve Johnson called the largest regulatory review under the Toxic Substances Control Act in the history of the EPA.
On May 26, 2003, ammonium perfluorooctanoate or APFO (used to produce Teflon and similar products) is found in groundwater near a North Carolina DuPont plant. The chemical leaked from a cement cistern the company wasn't using.
DuPont concealed information showing that tap water levels of C-8 were far higher than historic testing data had revealed. When DuPont engineers discovered in 2001 that the company's detection methods for C-8 in tap water failed to find about 80 percent of the Teflon ingredient in the water, the company withheld this critical information from local water utility officials for 3 years, and even then did not directly communicate it to them.
Authorities with the Little Hocking water system in Ohio only found out about the problems with testing methods in 2004, when plaintiff's lawyers obtained the documents.
In November of 2000, DuPont lawyer John Bowman, in a memo to DuPont lawyer, Bernard Reilly and others states,
"Our story is not a good one, we continue to increase our emissions into the river in spite of internal commitments to reduce or eliminate the release of this chemical...."
EPA investigated the company's 17-year suppression of birth defect studies at its Parkersburg, West Virginia plant and drinking water contamination in two neighboring communities.
The case was settled in December, 2005, for $10.25 million in fines plus $6.25 million for environmental research and education, the largest civil administrative penalty the EPA ever levied. The government did not require the company to admit legal liability. 
In its defense, DuPont stated that the amount of C-8 used in their products was too low to raise health concerns and as part of the agreement. DuPont officials further stated that they did not deliberately withhold information from the government and settled with the EPA only to avoid a protracted and expensive court battle.
After the settlement was reached, DuPont announced that it had already taken the steps to cut PFOA emissions and that by the time the settlement with the EPA was made, emissions from Dupont plant's in the U.S. had been reduced by 98%.
November 19, 2006
Nerve gas byproduct dumping OK'd
ASSOCIATED PRESS, NorthJersey.com
MAURICE RIVER TOWNSHIP -- This Cumberland County community has voted to back the Army's plan to dispose of the byproduct of a deadly nerve agent in the Delaware Bay, and hopes to get a boardwalk built as part of the deal.
In March, township officials and local fishermen expressed reservations about dumping the byproduct of the VX nerve agent 30 miles upriver of the Delaware Bay's oyster beds. But the three-man Township Committee decided last week to give its approval.
Township Committeeman Norm Frankel told The Press of Atlantic City that the reversal was due partly to the possibility of a new boardwalk that could give hikers, bird-watchers and fishermen access through the marshes.
"The Army is offering different bonuses for going along with that," Frankel said
A spokesman for the Army's Chemical Materials Agency said the agency had not offered to build a boardwalk. DuPont spokesman Anthony Farina told The Press he was familiar with discussions but that no deal had been reached.
The Army last year began neutralizing 250,000 gallons of the nerve agent at western Indiana's Newport Chemical Depot, and has sought approval to ship the byproduct to a DuPont facility in Deepwater, where it would be treated and then discharged into the Delaware River.
Under a provision inserted into a broad military spending bill signed by President Bush last month, the General Accountability Office must review studies of the plan before the VX byproduct can be taken to New Jersey. That could delay the dumping until at least February.
VX is so deadly a single drop can kill. The Army is required by a 1997 international treaty to destroy the chemical weapon by 2012.
May 11, 2006
The Toxic 100: Top Corporate Air
Polluters in the United States
Political Economy Research Institute (PERI), Univ. of Massachusetts [USA]
1. E. I. Du Pont de Nemours [DuPont], 2. United States Steel , 3. ConocoPhillips, 4. General Electric, 5. Eastman Kodak, 6. Exxon Mobil, 7. Ford, 8. Tyson Foods, 9. Alcoa, 10. Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), 11. Dow Chemical, 12. Eastman Chemical, 13. Boeing, 14. Nucor, 15. Georgia-Pacific, 16. AK Steel , 17. Northrop Grumman, 18. Deere & Co. [John Deere], 19. Dominion Resources, 20. General Motors, 21. Delphi, 22. Tesoro, 23. Phelps Dodge, 24. Temple-Inland , 25. Goodyear Tire & Rubber, 26. Allegheny Technologies, 27. International Paper, 28. Valero Energy, 29. Progress Energy, 30. Kerr-McGee, 31. Danaher, 32. Engelhard, 33. Constellation Energy Group, 34. Berkshire Hathaway, 35. American Electric Power, 36. Reliant Energy, 37. Teco Energy, 38. Becton, Dickinson [BD], 39. Premcor [now part of Valero], 40. Anheuser-Busch, 41. Tyco International, 42. Weyerhaeuser, 43. United Technologies (UTC), 44. Honeywell International, 45. Owens Corning, 46. Duke Energy, 47. Occidental Petroleum, 48. Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG), 49. Cinergy [now part of Duke Energy], 50. Ashland, 51. AES, 52. Procter & Gamble, 53. Lyondell Chemical, 54. Leggett & Platt, 55. Sunoco, 56. Emerson Electric, 57. MeadWestvaco, 58. FirstEnergy, 59. Ball, 60. Textron, 61. Rowan, 62. Smurfit-Stone Container, 63. Mirant, 64. Chevron, 65. Southern, 66. ArvinMeritor, 67. Lear, 68. Visteon, 69. Monsanto, 70. 3M, 71. Xcel Energy, 72. Crown Holdings, 73. Rohm & Haas, 74. Federal-Mogul, 75. PPG Industries, 76. Great Lakes Chemical, 77. ICI American Holdings [part of ICI], 78. Corning, 79. El Paso, 80. Heartland Industrial Partners, 81. Amerada Hess, 82. Allegheny Energy, 83. Exelon, 84. Marathon Oil, 85. Goodrich, 86. Armstrong Holdings, 87. Shaw Group, 88. Praxair, 89. Pfizer, 90. Brunswick, 91. Ameren, 92. Dana, 93. Altria , 94. Hercules, 95. Stanley Works, 96. Kimberly-Clark, 97. Harley-Davidson, 98. Mohawk Industries, 99. Plum Creek Timber, 100. Illinois Tool Works
November 2, 2005
Inside the DuPont Buyback
By Matthew Goldstein, The Street
DuPont (DD:NYSE) gave its shareholders some instant gratification last week, setting a $3 billion buyback whose impact was juiced up by a semi-exotic trading arrangement with Goldman Sachs (GS:NYSE).
Shares of the chemical manufacturing giant are up 6% since the news, a gain that also reflects investment upgrades at banks including Goldman and the adoption of a more conventional $2 billion repurchase program over two years. They closed Tuesday at $41.73.
But what really lit the fire was DuPont's $3 billion "accelerated share repurchase" plan, in which Goldman was hired to help retire 8% of DuPont's outstanding stock over nine months. Unlike typical buybacks, which might never be consummated, DuPont's deal created an immediate improvement in the supply/demand profile of its stock while lowering the denominator in the company's earnings-per-share calculation.
While the agreement helped revive a flagging stock, Goldman Sachs hardly goes hungry in the deal. Not only does the powerhouse investment bank rake in a fee for structuring the transaction, it also gets a chance do some trading arbitrage in shares of DuPont.
In the deal, DuPont pays Goldman Sachs for 75.7 million shares at their price the day before the agreement was announced: $39.62 apiece. Over the next nine months, the investment bank will make open-market purchases of DuPont shares to close out the position. The transaction is similar to a short sale in which a trader sells borrowed shares and must replace them later.
On the surface, the deal might seem risky for Goldman Sachs -- couldn't it lose money if it's forced to repurchase the DuPont shares at inflated prices? The answer is no. The way accelerated buybacks -- which have been around for a little over a decade -- are structured, Goldman has an insurance policy against any such swing.
Roughly speaking, if DuPont's stock rises, the company will pay Goldman Sachs the difference between the initial buyback price and the "volume-weighted average price" of the stock over the period when Goldman does its buying. Conversely, if the stock declines in price over time, Goldman Sachs will credit the difference back to DuPont....
November 3, 2005
An Inside Look at a Recent
Please join us on November 10th at 1:00 ET / 10:00 PT as DuPont shares their stories and expertise regarding a most recent Carve-Out project: the sale of a major textile business unit. This type of project presents significant strategic and operational implications, particularly from a finance and accounting perspective.
Carve-Outs are complex transactions that are highly visible both inside and outside the company. Joining DuPont to share their perspectives are representatives from PricewaterhouseCoopers, DuPont's independent auditor, and The Siegfried Group, LLP, DuPont's primary domestic source of external accounting resources for strategically significant projects. During this web cast we will review: During this webcast we will discuss:
Corporate strategy that drives certain decisions to divest and some of the unique Carve-Out challenges related to planning, execution and financial statement development
Key complexities and the need for a well-constructed organizational strategy
The benefits of an interactive, strategic relationship with your external resourcing firm to ensure the right accounting resources are available as and when needed.
Phillip R. Jones, CPA, DuPont, Manager of Accounting Policy and Procedures - Phil led the financial team in preparing DuPont's Carve-Out financial statements for the recent sale of the major textile business unit. He will discuss corporate strategy that drives certain decisions to divest and some of the unique Carve-Out challenges related to planning, execution and financial statement development.
Robert Szipszky, CPA, Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers - Bob has worked with DuPont and other clients to lead and coordinate the external audit of Carve-Out financial statements. Bob will highlight key Carve-Out complexities and emphasize the need for well-constructed Carve-Out teams and excellent communication to achieve success.
Robert L. Siegfried, Jr., CPA, President & CEO of The Siegfried Group, LLP - Rob has worked with DuPont and other companies to provide external accounting resources for major Carve-Out projects. Rob will discuss the benefits of an interactive, strategic relationship with your external resourcing firm to ensure you have the right accounting resources available, as needed, from the planning process throughout the Carve-Out project.
March 3, 2005
U.S. used banned weapons
in Fallujah – Health ministry
Dr. Khalid ash-Shaykhli, an official at Iraq’s health ministry, said that the U.S. military used internationally banned weapons during its deadly offensive in the city of Fallujah.
Dr. ash-Shaykhli was assigned by the ministry to assess the health conditions in Fallujah following the November assault there.
He said that researches, prepared by his medical team, prove that U.S. occupation forces used internationally prohibited substances, including mustard gas, nerve gas, and other burning chemicals in their attacks in the war-torn city.
The health official announced his findings at a news conference in the health ministry building in Baghdad.
The press conference was attended by more than 20 Iraqi and foreign media networks, including the Iraqi ash-Sharqiyah TV network, the Iraqi as-Sabah newspaper, the U.S. Washington Post and the Knight-Ridder service.
Dr. ash-Shaykhli started the conference by reporting the current health conditions of the Fallujah residents. He said that the city is still suffering from the effects of chemical substances and other types of weapons that cause serious diseases over the long term.
Asked whether limited nuclear weapons were also used by U.S. forces in Fallujah, Dr. ash-Shaykhli said; “What I saw during our research in Fallujah leads me to me believe everything that has been said about that battle.
“I absolutely do not exclude their use of nuclear and chemical substances, since all forms of nature were wiped out in that city. I can even say that we found dozens, if not hundreds, of stray dogs, cats, and birds that had perished as a result of those gasses.”
Dr. ash-Shaykhli promised to send the findings of the researches to responsible bodies inside Iraq and abroad.
Fallujah residents said napalm gas was used.
During the U.S. offensive, Fallujah residents reported that they saw “melted” bodies in the city, which suggests that U.S. forces used napalm gas, a poisonous cocktail of polystyrene and jet fuel that makes the human body melt.
In November, Labour MPs in the UK demanded Prime Minister Tony Blair to confront the Commons over the use of napalm gas in Fallujah.
Furious critics have also demanded that Blair threatens the U.S. to pullout British forces from Iraq unless the U.S. stops using the world’s deadliest weapon.
The United Nations banned the use of the napalm gas against civilians in 1980 after pictures of a naked wounded girl in Vietnam shocked the world.
The United States, which didn't endorse the convention, is the only nation in the world still using the deadly weapon.
January 9, 2004
DuPont may treat nerve agent waste
Groups concerned disposal of deadly
VX poses risks to people, Del. River
Delaware News Journal
Millions of pounds of treated waste from a deadly nerve agent could soon pass through a DuPont Co. complex at the foot of the Delaware Memorial Bridge in New Jersey. The proposed project is part of a federal program to reduce the nation's chemical-weapons stockpiles.
The Army is scheduled to decide later this month whether to approve a plan to ship the wastes from Indiana to DuPont's Chambers Works plant in Deepwater, N.J., for final treatment. The prospect has drawn questions from environmental groups in Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Some of the groups contend DuPont's treatment plan poses potential risks to the Delaware River, a waterway that state officials believe has a toxic pollution problem.
DuPont already is conducting treatment trials on wastes from the deadly nerve agent VX at the company's Chambers Works Secure Environmental Treatment unit, along the Delaware.
"While the treatability study is continuing, the results we have today show us we're going to be able to treat it effectively and safely," said John Strait, Chambers Works plant manager.
The Chambers Works unit, one of the world's largest industrial wastewater treatment plants, had trouble fully treating similar material from the same nerve-weapon stockpile in Indiana in tests during the mid-1990s, according to DuPont and an official at the Army's Newport Chemical Depot. But treatment methods have improved since then, they said.
The Army last month dropped a plan to send the same wastes to a Dayton, Ohio, treatment system. A consultant hired by Montgomery County, where Dayton is located, said proposed treatment methods for the waste need more testing and monitoring to determine whether they pose a risk to people and the environment.
"Why is the Delaware Valley rushing to put their arms around something that was just stopped cold in Ohio?" asked John Kearney, who represents the Clean Air Council in Delaware.
Strait said DuPont's system is expected to render all of the wastes harmless. The same plant already has treated a different mix of chemicals formed during neutralization of mustard gas stockpiled at a military installation in Aberdeen, Md.
Liquid VX ranks among the military's most lethal chemical weapons, with a fraction of a drop on the skin likely to be fatal.
Bruce A. Rittmann, a civil, chemical and biological engineer at Northwestern University, said minute traces of VX and another nerve agent could remain in the neutralized wastes, which are highly toxic. Rittmann evaluated the waste treatment for Montgomery County and said some of the wastes could have passed unchanged through the Ohio operation.
"Given the threat to the environment and community, I think all the questions need to be answered and the answers need to be public. That's just my personal opinion," Rittmann said. "This is not just a run-of-the-mill industrial waste treatment scenario. This is really special, high-risk stuff and its handling deserves full public scrutiny."
Terry L. Arthur, public affairs officer for the Army's Newport Chemical Depot and Chemical Agent Disposal Facility, said the military would decide after Jan. 21 if it will ship the neutralized VX for waste treatment. The work is part of an estimated $300 million contract managed by Parsons Infrastructure and Technology Group Inc., a California-based company.
"Our goal is to eliminate the risks to the community," Arthur said. "Since 9/11, folks have been worried about the potential for a terrorist attack" targeting chemical weapons stockpiles.
Only minute traces of VX and another less-deadly nerve agent would remain in neutralized wastes shipped off for treatment, an Army official said. The Army plan would bar shipments of wastes containing more than 20 parts per billion of VX. By comparison, one part per billion is equal to about a drop in a swimming pool.
Containers of the waste would be shipped by both rail and truck, along routes yet to be determined.
Past concerns about the waste, cited in government documents and public debates in the Midwest, include an offensive, skunk-like odor and a slight risk that the VX could spontaneously reform in the broken down wastes.
DuPont has said it plans to pretreat the wastes when they arrive to reduce the odors. That process also would reduce levels of a compound that plays a part in VX reformation, the company said.
Several environmental organizations say DuPont needs to answer more questions about environmental risks along the river.
Delaware's Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control has in the past asked the Environmental Protection Agency to have the river listed as "impaired" based on signs of chronic toxic pollutants, a move that could restrict any new toxic wastewater releases to the river. DuPont opposed the designation during state and EPA reviews. Studies of the issue are continuing.
Three environmental groups - Green Delaware, the Sierra Club Delaware chapter and the Delaware Riverkeeper Network - said they were concerned about the project.
"There's a moral obligation and a corporate obligation to let us know what's going on, and don't do it in little one-on-one meetings," said Maya van Rossum, head of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network. "Have a big public meeting and let everybody know. Put the information out and seek public comment and input."
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From George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography --- by Webster G. Tarpley & Anton Chaitkin
Chapter IV -`The Center of Power is in Washington'
Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.
59 Wall Street, New York
Cable Address ``Shipley-New York''
Business Established 1818
September 5, 1944
The Honorable W.A. Harriman
American Ambassador to the U.S.S.R.
Thinking that possibly Bullitt's article in the recent issue of “LIFE” may not have come to your attention, I have clipped it and am sending it to you, feeling that it will interest you.
At present writing all well here.
With warm regards, I am,
“At present writing all is well here.”
Thus the ambassador to Russia was reassured by the managing partner of his firm, Prescott Bush. Only 22-1/2 months before, the U.S. government had seized and shut down the Union Banking Corp., which had been operated on behalf of Nazi Germany by Bush and the Harrimans (see Chapter 2). But that was behind them now and they were safe. There would be no publicity on the Harriman-Bush sponsorship of Hitlerism.
Prescott's son George, the future U.S. President, was also safe. Three days before this note to Moscow was written, George Bush had parachuted from a Navy bomber airplane over the Pacific Ocean, killing his two crew members when the unpiloted plane crashed.
Five months later, in February 1945, Prescott's boss, Averell Harriman, escorted President Franklin Roosevelt to the fateful summit meeting with Soviet leader Joseph Stalin at Yalta. In April Roosevelt died. The agreement reached at Yalta, calling for free elections in Poland once the war ended, was never enforced.
Over the next eight years (1945 through 1952), Prescott Bush was Harriman's anchor in the New York financial world. The increasingly powerful Mr. Harriman and his allies gave Eastern Europe over to Soviet dictatorship. A Cold War was then undertaken, to “counterbalance” the Soviets.
This British-inspired strategy paid several nightmarish dividends. Eastern Europe was to remain enslaved. Germany was “permanently” divided. Anglo-American power was jointly exercised over the non-Soviet “Free World.” The confidential functions of the British and American governments were merged. The Harriman clique took possession of the U.S. national security apparatus, and in doing so, they opened the gate and let the Bush family in....
Harriman was at lunch with former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill one day in 1946, when Truman telephoned. Harriman asked Churchill if he should accept Truman's offer to come back to the U.S. as Secretary of Commerce. According to Harriman's account, Churchill told him: “Absolutely. The center of power is in Washington.”
The reorganization of the American government after World War II--the creation of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency along British lines, for example--had devastating consequences. We are concerned here with only certain aspects of that overall transformation, those matters of policy and family which gave shape to the life and mind of George Bush, and gave him access to power.
It was in these postwar years that George Bush attended Yale University, and was inducted into the Skull and Bones society. The Bush family's home at that time was in Greenwich, Connecticut. But it was just then that George's parents, Prescott and Dorothy Walker Bush, were wintering in a peculiar spot in Florida, a place that is excluded from mention in literature originating from Bush circles.
Certain national news accounts early in 1991 featured the observations on President Bush's childhood by his elderly mother Dorothy. She was said to be a resident of Hobe Sound, Florida. More precisely, the President's mother lived in a hyper-security arrangement created a half-century earlier by Averell Harriman, adjacent to Hobe Sound.
Its correct name is Jupiter Island.
During his political career, George Bush has claimed many different “home” states, including Texas, Maine, Massachusetts and Connecticut. It has not been expedient for him to claim Florida, though that state has a vital link to his role in the world, as we shall see. And George Bush's home base in Florida, throughout his adult life, has been Jupiter Island.
The unique, bizarre setup on Jupiter Island began in 1931, following the merger of W.A. Harriman & Co. with the British-American firm Brown Brothers.
The reader will recall Mr. Samuel Pryor, the “Merchant of Death.” A partner with the Harrimans, Prescott Bush, George Walker and Nazi boss Fritz Thyssen in banking and shipping enterprises, Sam Pryor remained executive committee chairman of Remington Arms. In this period, the Nazi private armies (S.A. and S.S.) were supplied with American arms--most likely by Pryor and his company--as they moved to overthrow the German republic. Such gun-running as an instrument of national policy would later become notorious in the “Iran-Contra” affair.
Samuel Pryor's daughter Permelia married Yale graduate Joseph V. Reed on the last day of 1927. Reed immediately went to work for Prescott Bush and George Walker as an apprentice at W.A. Harriman & Co.
During World War II, Joseph V. Reed had served in the “special services” section of the U.S. Army Signal Corps. A specialist in security, codes and espionage, Reed later wrote a book entitled Fun with Cryptograms
Now, Sam Pryor had had property around Hobe Sound, Florida, for some time. In 1931, Joseph and Permelia Pryor Reed bought the entirety of Jupiter Island....
To create this astonishing private club, Joseph and Permelia Pryor Reed sold land only to those who would fit in. Permelia Reed was still the grande dame of the island when George Bush was inaugurated President in 1989. In recognition of the fact that the Reeds know where all the bodies are buried, President Bush appointed Permelia's son, Joseph V. Reed, Jr., chief of protocol for the U.S. State Department, in charge of private arrangements with foreign dignitaries.
Averell Harriman made Jupiter Island a staging ground for his 1940s takeover of the U.S. national security apparatus. It was in that connection that the island became possibly the most secretive private place in America.
Let us briefly survey the neighborhood, back then in 1946-48, to see some of the uses various of the residents had for the Harriman clique.
Residents on Jupiter Island
Jupiter Islander Robert A. Lovett, Prescott Bush's partner at Brown Brothers Harriman, had been Assistant Secretary of War for Air from 1941 to 1945. Lovett was the leading American advocate of the policy of terror-bombing of civilians. He organized the Strategic Bombing Survey, carried out for the American and British governments by the staff of the Prudential Insurance Company, guided by London's Tavistock Psychiatric Clinic.
In the postwar period, Prescott Bush was associated with Prudential Insurance, one of Lovett's intelligence channels to the British secret services. Prescott was listed by Prudential as a director of the company for about two years in the early 1950s.
Their Strategic Bombing Survey failed to demonstrate any real military advantage accruing from such outrages as the fire-bombing of Dresden, Germany. But the Harrimanites nevertheless persisted in the advocacy of terror from the air. They glorified this as “psychological warfare,” a part of the utopian military doctrine opposed to the views of military traditionalists such as Gen. Douglas MacArthur.
Robert Lovett later advised President Lyndon Johnson to terror-bomb Vietnam. President George Bush revived the doctrine with the bombing of civilian areas in Panama, and the destruction of Baghdad....
Joan's aunt, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, was a relative of the Harrimans. Gertrude's son, Cornelius Vanderbilt (“Sonny”) Whitney, long-time chairman of Pan American Airways (Prescott was a Pan Am director), became Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Air Force in 1947. Sonny's wife Marie had divorced him and married Averell Harriman in 1930. Joan and Sonny's uncle, Air Marshall Sir Thomas Elmhirst, was director of intelligence for the British Air Force from 1945 to 1947....
Charles Payson organized a uranium refinery in 1948. Later he was chairman of Vitro Corp., makers of parts for submarine-launched ballistic missiles, equipment for frequency surveillance and torpedo guidance, and other subsurface weaponry....
Naval Intelligence maintained direct relations with gangster boss Meyer Lansky for Anglo-American political operations in Cuba during World War II, well before the establishment of the CIA. Lansky officially moved to Florida in 1953.
George Herbert Walker, Jr. (Skull and Bones 1927), was extremely close to his nephew George Bush, helping to sponsor his entry into the oil business in the 1950s. “Uncle Herbie” was also a partner of Joan Whitney Payson when they co-founded the New York Mets baseball team in 1960. His son, G.H. Walker III, was a Yale classmate of Nicholas Brady and Moreau D. Brown (Thatcher Brown's grandson), forming what was called the “Yale Mafia” on Wall Street.
Walter S. Carpenter, Jr. had been chairman of the finance committee of the Du Pont Corporation (1930-40). In 1933, Carpenter oversaw Du Pont's purchase of Remington Arms from Sam Pryor and the Rockefellers, and led Du Pont into partnership with the Nazi I.G. Farben Company for the manufacture of explosives.
Carpenter became Du Pont's president in 1940. His cartel with the Nazis was broken up by the U.S. government. Nevertheless, Carpenter remained Du Pont's president as the company's technicians participated massively in the Manhattan Project to produce the first atomic bomb. He was chairman of Du Pont from 1948 to 1962, retaining high-level access to U.S. strategic activities....
George W. Merck, chairman of Merck & Co., drug and chemical manufacturers, was director of the War Research Service: Merck was the official chief of all U.S. research into biological warfare from 1942 until at least the end of World War II. After 1944, Merck's organization was placed under the U.S. Chemical Warfare Service. His family firm in Germany and the U.S. was famous for its manufacture of morphine....
These were, of course exciting times for the Bush family, whose wagon was hitched to the financial gods of Olympus--to Jupiter, that is...
For more, GO TO > > > The Vampires on Jupiter Island
July 31, 2003
DuPont may be liable for millions
involving Big Isle suit
HILO >> The DuPont chemical company could be liable for millions of dollars in damages because of a state Supreme Court interpretation of Hawaii law this week, said Hilo attorney Kris La Guire.
La Guire represents former state Sen. David Matsuura, his brother Stephen and four other nurserymen in a federal suit that says DuPont fraudulently induced them to accept a settlement for damage to their nursery crops.
The damage was allegedly caused by the DuPont fungicide Benlate in the 1980s.
In the settlement of a product liability suit in Circuit Court on the Big Island, David Matsuura received $1 million and his brother received $500,000. If the brothers had known DuPont was hiding facts, they would have sought more money, La Guire said.
DuPont went to the Hawaii Supreme Court for an interpretation to be applied in the brother's federal lawsuit, saying the strategy the company used in court cannot be held against it.
The company also argued that the Matsuuras cannot accuse DuPont of fraud in the settlement because the brothers knew the company could not be trusted anyway.
In a ruling issued Tuesday, Hawaii Chief Justice Ronald Moon clarified that both the trial strategy argument and the cannot-be-trusted argument have no basis in Hawaii law.
The U.S. District Court in Honolulu can now apply the clarified Hawaii law in a trial on the question of fraud, La Guire said.
DuPont's Hawaii attorney Warren Price could not be reached for comment.
June 8, 2001
Bristol-Myers Squibb Agrees to
Purchase DuPont's Drug Business
Associated Press, www.afronets.org
Drug manufacturer Bristol-Myers Squibb agreed yesterday to purchase DuPont Co.'s drug business for $7.8 billion, a deal that would boost Bristol-Myers' line of AIDS drugs, the Washington Post reports.
Among other drugs, Bristol-Myers will acquire DuPont's best-selling AIDS drug Sustiva -- a component of some triple-combination drug therapies -- which garnered $386 million in sales last year for DuPont (Washington Post, 6/8).
In addition, DuPont has three AIDS drugs in development. Bristol-Myers manufactures the AIDS drugs Zerit and Videx -- both also drugs used in some three-drug therapies -- and also has new AIDS therapies under development.
AIDS advocates, who plan to file a protest of the consolidation with the FTC, say it will lead to decreased competition and fuel higher AIDS drug prices.
However, Bristol-Myers spokesperson Charles Borgognoni said the company believes the AIDS drug production market will remain equally competitive following the consolidation. "Our perspective going into the deal is we don't expect there will be any overt regulatory problems," he said.
The deal still requires regulatory approval, and is expected to be completed by the end of the year...
May 16, 2001
Isle farmers take
DuPont back to court
They seek an additional
settlement after new evidence
came to light in the chemical case
By Lyn Danninger, Star-Bulletin
The latest round in a long legal battle fought against DuPont Co. by farmers in Hawaii and 20 other states moves into federal District Court in Honolulu today.
The lawsuits stem from a case involving a DuPont fungicide, Benlate DF, used by the farmers in the late 1980s and early '90s. Because of a manufacturing defect, the fungicide wiped out crops and injured plants and soils.
DuPont recalled Benlate DF in 1991 after growers complained about crop damage. Since the recall, up to 500 farmers in 21 states, including Hawaii, have sued DuPont. At one time, about 120 of those cases originated in Hawaii. Seventy-two cases were consolidated in the Kona court in 1992 to hear evidence on farmers' complaints.
DuPont paid more that $500 million to growers nationwide before suspending payments in 1992, citing research the company said showed its product was not responsible for any crop damage.
Since that time, DuPont has consistently denied that plant injuries and losses were caused by Benlate or product contaminants introduced during the manufacturing process.
But after many of the cases were settled, 1995 and 1996 court cases by farmers in Georgia and Hawaii brought to light evidence that DuPont deliberately concealed and lied about critical evidence and test results showing Benlate had been contaminated with herbicides.
In 1995, a federal judge in Georgia fined DuPont $112 million and accused the company of fraud. In 1996, Big Island Circuit Court Judge Ronald Ibarra issued similar findings in a case involving Kona farmers Raymond Kawamata and Stanley Tomono. The farmers won judgments totaling $23.8 million. DuPont was fined $1.5 million.
Since those findings and the hefty judgments against DuPont, farmers who originally settled with the company have been returning to court, saying they settled for far less than they should have had the critical evidence against DuPont been available.
Two of those farmers are brothers David and Steven Matsuura, both Big Island orchid farmers. David Matsuura is also a state senator.
San Francisco attorney Steve Cox represents the Matsuuras and three other Hawaii farmers. Cox said there are now about 150 similar cases nationwide in various stages of litigation. About 35 to 40 of those cases are in Kona.
In the latest round to be heard in federal District Court today, lawyers for DuPont will argue two motions asking for the case to be dismissed. One motion contends that the farmers settled their case, even though they knew of new developments. "They claimed they didn't know certain information when they settled the case. That's simply not true," said Warren Price, an attorneys representing DuPont.
Even if the farmers were unaware of new information about Benlate and DuPont, Price said he will argue that the case should be taken back to Judge Ibarra.
But plaintiff's attorney Cox said that since courts already established that DuPont concealed information and lied about it, the company should not be permitted to re-argue the case. "We should not have to prove it again," Cox said.
December 12, 1997
High court fines DuPont
for hiding info
The state Supreme Court
also upholds a $23 million judgment
won by Big Isle growers in 1995
By Harold Morse, Star-Bulletin
The Hawaii Supreme Court yesterday upheld a $23 million judgment and a $1.5 million fine against DuPont and other companies.
In the 1995 judgment, jurors found that Big Island growers Kawamata Farms and Stanley and Cynthia Tomono, doing business as S.T.T. Farms, suffered crop loss and soil damage because of a pesticide produced, packaged and sold by the companies.
Attorney Peter V.N. Esser, who did the appellate work for the growers, called yesterday's decision a victory for the Hawaii County farmers.
"In product liability cases, the corporations making those products have all the information about how the products are made," he said. "In this case, the Hawaii Supreme Court said that if those companies are sued, they have to provide discovery (relevant information). The Big Island judge had found DuPont deficient in this regard and fined them $1.5 million payable to the state court system."
"But the message behind that affirmance was that corporations have to cooperate in civil litigation, and if they don't they will be subject to sanctions," Esser said.
Big Island Judge Ronald Ibarra came up with the $1.5 million fine, and the Big Island jury came up with the $23 million-plus settlement, he added.
Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel, the Hawaii law firm representing DuPont, had no immediate comment on the Supreme Court ruling.
Four justices signed the majority opinion. Justice Mario Ramil agreed with most of the majority opinion but dissented on the farms' attorneys receiving fees for their discovery work. The judiciary rule used was the appropriate vehicle, Ramil said.
Attorneys Stanley Roehrig and Andrew Wilson earlier argued the case before the Big Island court for seven months.
"My reaction is that my clients and our staff are quite pleased that this part of the process is over with," Roehrig said.
Kawamata Farms -- growing ornamental flowers and the Tomonos growing tomatoes, cucumbers, orchids and other products -- initially filed court actions in 1991 and 1992 respectively.
They said their plants, soil and farm structures were damaged by the fungicides manufactured by DuPont.
They sued DuPont and related defendants on negligence, product liability and other grounds. The jury later found in favor of the farms and against DuPont and related defendants.
The Supreme Court ruling chastised DuPont, noting the lower court issued 54 discovery orders and 27 of these imposed sanctions for discovery violations.
"Five of the orders contained findings that DuPont had intentionally withheld material evidence," the Supreme Court said.
The crux of the farms' case was that a defect in Benlate, the fungicide, had injured their plants, soils and farm structures because it had been contaminated with atrazine and sulfonylureas, which are herbicides. "Because of these defects, the Benlate caused crop damage," the high court said.
The Supreme Court said the Big Island circuit court did not abuse its discretion and backed its awards. "We affirm the judgment and all of the circuit court's orders," the Supreme Court said.
For more on this case, GO TO > > >
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