May 31, 2006

FDA and International Drug Regulators Increase Psychiatric Drug Warnings

More than 21 psychiatric drug warnings issued in the United States, United Kingdom, 25 European countries and Australia citing side effects of suicide, violence, hostility, sudden death, hallucinations and psychosis. Click here Business

This is the best article I have been able to find on the Zyprexa payout ...

June 11, 2005

Uncertainty was driver in Zyprexa deal

Seven months of talks led to proposed Lilly $690M payout

By Jeff Swiatek

Trial lawyers say they agreed to an unusually early settlement with Eli Lilly and Co. on 8,000 claims of damages over the company's top-selling drug Zyprexa, as both sides saw the value of avoiding prolonged litigation that was full of uncertainties.

Other Lilly settlements

ProzacIn 2000, The Indianapolis Star estimated from court documents that Lilly had settled at least 30 Prozac lawsuits filed since 1990 for at least $50 million. Additional cases have been settled since then, but the number of outstanding Prozac lawsuits has remained low, numbering perhaps a dozen a year, according to trial attorneys who follow the litigation.GemzarThe Kansas City Star reported Lilly paid $48.55 million to settle the case involving Kansas City pharmacist Robert Courtney, who in 2002 was sentenced to 30 years in prison for diluting Lilly's Gemzar cancer drug.Price overchargesLilly agreed in 2000 to provide $11.9 million worth of free drugs and $2.3 million in cash to settle a class-action lawsuit by California drug consumers.

The $690 million settlement, announced Thursday, came after only five plaintiffs had given depositions in the mass litigation and before any substantive depositions had been taken from Lilly executives or scientists, said one trial attorney, Ramon Rossi Lopez, of Newport Beach, Calif. Also, the first trial from the hundreds of lawsuits was at least six months off.

"A lot of things came into play" to drive the seven months of talks that led to the proposed settlement, Lopez said. But both sides in the high-stakes litigation knew one thing: "There were too many variables out there that could have falsely driven the value of the case" to hurt either side, Lopez said.

Investors reacted indifferently Friday to the proposed settlement's impact on Lilly. The Indianapolis drug maker's stock price fell 8 cents a share, to $56.99.

The $690 million deal, which has yet to be officially signed by both sides and by judges who might intervene, appears to be the largest settlement Lilly has undertaken of product liability claims against any of its drugs.

Lilly's previous No. 1 drug, the antidepressant Prozac, has been the subject of hundreds of lawsuits since it came on the market in 1988. The company has secretly settled dozens of those lawsuits, with the collective payouts estimated to run in the tens of millions of dollars, according to an ongoing analysis of court documents by The Indianapolis Star.

In the litigation over its antipsychotic Zyprexa, Lilly said it agreed to the payout in large part to remove the "enormous distraction" from the litigation to the company and physicians and patients. "It was a decision we arrived at after a great deal of thought. We are very confident we made the right decision," said John C. Lechleiter, Lilly executive vice president of pharmaceutical operations. Zyprexa is Lilly's most important product, generating $4.4 billion, or one third, of Lilly's sales last year. It treats schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, but is also prescribed by doctors for a host of other ailments.

Plan for charge

Lilly said it expects to take a charge against earnings of at least $700 million in the current quarter to cover the cost of the Zyprexa settlement and other, unspecified product liability claims. That number is the net charge Lilly would take after its product liability insurance policies pay out, said Terra Fox, a Lilly spokeswoman.

Lilly won't estimate the amount of money it expects to collect on its insurance policies for the settlement, she said.

The special charge is expected to wipe out all or most of Lilly's second-quarter profits. In the first quarter, Lilly posted profits of $737 million.

Even so, "We don't have any liquidity concerns," Fox said. "We'll be OK on the cash side."
The product liability payouts come during a cash-rich time for the drug maker, which has in hand $8 billion in repatriated foreign profits that it plans to spend in the next three years. The foreign profits were brought back to the United States in late 2004 under a one-time offer by the U.S. government that extended tax breaks to companies that repatriate the money from abroad.

Foreign profits plan

None of the foreign profits will be expressly used for the product liability claims, Fox said. Lilly's board has directed the foreign profits be spent primarily on research and development, capital expenditures and compensation for new and existing employees, said Lilly spokesman Phil Belt.
He said the foreign profits will allow Lilly to redirect ongoing profits from its U.S. sales to reduce long-term debt, which at the end of last year totaled $4.5 billion.

Moody's Investors Service cited Lilly's strong cash position, bolstered by the foreign profits, as it reaffirmed the company's financial ratings Friday.

May run higher

"Eli Lilly's strong balance sheet can absorb payments of this magnitude," the investment ratings company said of the expected $690 million payout. But Moody's said in its rating report that the Zyprexa settlement could run higher than estimated.

"Other product safety cases in the pharmaceutical industry -- particularly Wyeth's diet drugs -- have proven to be difficult to estimate and to contain," Moody's said.

Lilly has estimated that 75 percent of the claims against Zyprexa that it knows of fall under the proposed settlement.

Trial lawyers said they expect more Zyprexa patients to file new claims against Lilly, which has vowed to fight in court any additional claims that aren't part of the proposed settlement, which 12 law firms signed.

Lilly's legal liability to claims from new patients is less now, compared to a few years ago, because the company in March 2004 sent a letter to doctors warning that Zyprexa could cause the diabetes-related problems that are at issue in the proposed settlement, said Michael A. London, a New York attorney who is vice chair of the plaintiff's steering committee.

"That is protection for Lilly," he said of the 2004 warning letter.

Under the settlement, the steering committee will appoint a panel to administer the claims payouts, using a formula that will award more money to those more seriously injured by the diabetes complications linked to the drug, said Lopez. He said retired judges might be selected for the panel, which might contain as few as three people.

Payout formula

Paying out the money could take up to a year-and-a-half, London said. Figuring that attorney's fees in mass-tort litigation typically run 30 percent of the award or settlement amount, that would leave about $500 million to distribute to claimants.

David Bell, of Oaks, Pa., said he read about the settlement offer and hopes to contact an attorney to join in the lawsuits against Lilly, in the hopes of collecting money for his 18-year-old daughter, Patricia. He said she gained 50 pounds while taking Zyprexa over the past 18 months for bipolar disorder. Reading about Lilly's willingness to pay money to Zyprexa patients "scared me to death," said Bell, who fears his daughter's weight gain increases her risk of becoming diabetic.

Copyright 2006 All rights reserved

Ont. class-action suit alleges Zyprexa caused diabetes

Last Updated Tue, 08 Feb 2005 12:01:13 EST
CBC News

TORONTO - An Ontario law firm has launched a class-action suit against Eli Lilly on behalf of Canadians who took the anti-psychotic drug Zyprexa and were subsequently diagnosed with diabetes.

INDEPTH: Drugs [See below]

The firm, Stevenson & Associates, alleges that the drug increases the risk of developing the illness – and that the pharmaceutical manufacturer failed to warn doctors and patients of the danger.

The company, which is facing similar liability lawsuits over Zyprexa in the United States and at least one other in Canada, has vigorously denied the accusations.

The Ontario lawsuit, announced Feb. 4, is against Eli Lilly & Co. and Eli Lilly Canada Inc. for damages of $900 million. It has yet to be certified.

It was brought on behalf of Andrea Heward of North Bay, Ont., who took Zyprexa and was subsequently diagnosed as diabetic. Heward says she can no longer work and blames the drug for causing her poor health.

Class-action lawsuits filed in Ontario can also apply to other Canadians who may be affected by the claim.

A B.C. man launched a class-action lawsuit against Eli Lilly in January, alleging that it minimized Zyprexa's health risks.

Zyprexa is used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, among other illnesses.

Available in Canada since 1996, the drug is Lilly's top seller with total sales of $223 million in Canada in 2002 and $4.42 billion worldwide in 2004.

Cross-border RxCBC News Online Jan. 17, 2006

The cross-border trade in prescription drugs is booming and Canadian pharmacies are reaping the benefits. Low Canadian drug prices and close proximity add up to big savings for American consumers hungry for affordable medication.

The trade is huge and is estimated to have been worth more than $1 billion annually. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Americans are on the receiving end of more than two million packages of prescription drugs per year.

But, a new U.S. drug benefit plan, Medicare Part D, is threatening to cut the profits of online pharmacies. It gives those with Medicare coverage prescription drug benefits the way an insurance plan would, though patients must still pay deductibles and premiums to opt into the plan.

How much savings?Canadian pharmacies dispense drugs identical to those south of the border – in many cases for a fraction of the price. A quick comparison of popular drugs shows just how much difference the border can make. Take Tamoxifen for example. Walgreens – the biggest drugstore chain in the U.S. – sells 180 of the breast cancer treatment tablets for $380.97 US. That very same order retails for $102.90 from Manitoba-based web pharmacy Rx1. That's a 73 per cent savings worth $278.07 – an astonishing difference that's making more and more Americans take notice.

It isn't just ordinary citizens who are looking for a good buy. The states of Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota are looking into using Canadian pharmacies to supply drugs for their government employees.


Canada (Rx1 Pharmacy)
U.S. (Walgreens)
Clarinex 5 mg(allergy treatment)
Lipitor 10 mg(cholesterol treatment)
Nitro-Dur patch 0.8 mg(angina treatment)
Paxil 20 mg(depression treatment)
$289.96*(sells for $86.99 for 30)
Prozac Fluoxetine 10 mg(depression treatment)
$139.96*(sells for $41.99 for 30)
Tamoxifen Nolvadex 10 mg(breast cancer treatment)
Viagra 25 mg(erection stimulant)
$96.25*(sells for $38.50 for 4)
Vioxx Rofecoxib 12.5 mg(pain relief)
$286.63*(sells for $85.99 for 30)
Zoloft 100mg(depression treatment)
$233.30*(sells for $69.99 for 30)
Zocor 20 mg(cholesterol treatment)
$383.30*(sells for $114.99 for 30)

Why so cheap?

There are several factors that make drug prices lower in Canada than in the U.S. Perhaps the most obvious is the exchange rate. For the last few years the Canadian dollar has hovered between 60 and 70 cents, giving Americans more bang for their greenback. Another reason is the fact that Canadian drug companies are not allowed to market their products directly to consumers. That's a substantial savings not realized south of the border, where so-called direct-to-consumer marketing has been allowed since 1997. According to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, drug companies spent almost $3 billion on direct-to-consumer advertising – a price that gets passed on to the consumer. But the biggest reason for the price disparity is the existence of drug price controls in Canada. The Patented Medicine Prices Review Board, a quasi-judicial body of the government created in 1987, reviews pharmaceutical prices and enacts caps for patented drugs and medicines prices.

How the cross-border trade works:There are three major means U.S. consumers use to access Canadian pharmacies:

1. By visiting a store-front businesses in the U.S.A U.S. customer brings her prescription to a store-front processing centre in the United States. The prescription is then sent along to a Canadian pharmacy. At that point, a Canadian physician re-writes the prescription (to make it valid in Canada) and the prescription is filled and shipped to the customer.

2. InternetA customer can access a pharmacy website to consult prices and download order and information forms. The customer then faxes a copy of his prescription (electronic orders are not allowed) along with his doctor's information, personal information and payment to a Canada-based online pharmacy.

3. Personal shoppingMany Americans, particularly in border states, simply hop in their cars and cross the border to get their prescriptions filled in person. Dedicated drug-buying bus tours are also gaining in popularity.

Why Manitoba?

Some of the most popular pharmacies for Americans are in Manitoba, where pharmacists were quick to recognize the efficiency of using the internet to reach the U.S. market. A steady supply of cheap warehouse space combined with more relaxed rules for issuing prescriptions over the phone make Manitoba a popular destination for U.S. consumers. Today, it's estimated that anywhere between 10 and 20 per cent of Manitoba's 1,500 pharmacists work for an internet pharmacy.

While U.S. consumers are singing the praises of cross-border pharmacies, many government representatives and pharmaceutical companies are vehemently opposed.Already three major companies – Eli Lilly and Co., Pfizer Inc. and GlaxoSmithKline PLC – have curtailed their supplies to Canadian pharmacies. And already those restrictions have driven up Canadian prices. While most drugs are cheaper in Canada than in the U.S., Pfizer's Viagra and Eli Lilly's Prozac are selling for more north of the border (see price comparison chart). It's becoming a growing concern for Manitobans. They're worried the cross-border trade will effectively subsidize U.S. consumers at the expense of Canadians and that drug supplies will suffer because of the growing amount of prescription drugs being siphoned off by U.S. consumers. A group called the Coalition for Manitoba Pharmacy says that if the trade is allowed to continue to grow, it would have "disastrous" effects on Manitoba's health care system. The group is especially concerned about the prospects of state governments using Canadian pharmacies to source their drugs. Michele Fontaine is the CMP's vice-president. She says the increased appetite for Canadian pharmaceuticals has led to a shortage of drugs and pharmacists in Manitoba. In an October 2003 letter, she implored Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich not to turn to Manitoba pharmacies for his state's drug supply. "It would be a disaster," wrote Fontaine. "A huge volume of drugs diverted to Illinois would make the shortages we're seeing even worse. I think the governor will listen to what we have to say. I don't think any American politician wants to try to solve a domestic problem by taking prescription drugs and pharmacy care away from Manitobans."

Who cares?

There are concerns on both sides of the border about online pharmacies. Some question the ethics of Canadian doctors who are willing to write prescriptions for U.S. patients they've never examined. Meanwhile, others are concerned Canadians could face supply shortages, lower quality service and risk losing federally regulated prices as pharmacists try to cater to the U.S. market.

Across the border safety is the greater issue. Worries about quality control and unregulated or counterfeit drugs being imported into Canada for sale in the U.S. are being voiced. - Michael Monheit, Esquire

Zyprexa Lawsuits

Law Articles June 12, 2005

Zyprexa litigation has been targeted at a number of Zyprexa side-effect problems: Some patients have reported the Zyprexa side-effect of gaining up to 65 pounds after taking Zyprexa. After the weight gain some developed the Zyprexa side-effect of diabetes or glucose abnormalities. Patients who already had the Zyprexa side-effect of theit diabetes growing worse while taking Zyprexa. Worse yet -- patients died from developing diabetes. These patients were never treated for diabetes and didn’t know they had diabetes. Patients under 54 years old, face the highest risk of developing the Zyprexa side-effect of diabetes or having heart attacks and comas when taking Zyprexa.

News on Zyprexa in the five days alone ...

Man pleads guilty but insane in random street, OR - 4 hours ago... Paul Moore is taking Zyprexa for schizophrenia and the anti-anxiety drug Ativan, and Bassos said the medicine has largely restored Paul Moore's faculties. ...

Study Suggests Olanzapine and Fluoxetine Combination Capsules ...DG News - 15 hours ago... eight-week, double-blind studies (Studies 1 and 2) and were assigned 1:1 to Symbyax (olanzapine 6, 12, or 18 mg/day plus fluoxetine 50 mg/day), Zyprexa alone (6 ...

"These Drugs Are Not Chocolate Ice Cream"New Haven Independent, USA - 16 hours ago... clinicians. Half the patients were treated with Eli Lilly’s antipsychotic drug Zyprexa Olanzapine. The other half was given a placebo. ...

George Stone: The Plan to Drug US School (press release), New Zealand - May 29, 2006... million for Risperdal. Eli Lilly had the biggest jackpot; it gave only $109,000 and collected $328 million for Zyprexa. As the Governor ...

The President's New Freedom Commission On Mental Health: The Plan ...The People's Voice, TN - May 29, 2006... million for Risperdal. Eli Lilly had the biggest jackpot; it gave only $109,000 and collected $328 million for Zyprexa. As the Governor ...

Drug makers rein in the freebiesAsbury Park Press, NJ - May 29, 2006... First to undergo the change this year was the neuroscience sales force, which sells Lilly's top drug Zyprexa, an antipsychotic used to treat schizophrenia. ...

Medicare plan cuts giveaway programsArkansas Democrat Gazette, AR - May 28, 2006... A program announced earlier this month by Eli Lilly would offer help with only two drugs — Zyprexa, a schizophrenia drug, and Forteo, an injectable drug for ...

Medicare plan cuts giveaway programsArkansas Democrat-Gazette (subscription), AR - May 28, 2006... A program announced earlier this month by Eli Lilly would offer help with only two drugs - Zyprexa, a schizophrenia drug, and Forteo, an injectable drug for ..
Neither side wants Lilly case in District CourtWest Virginia Record, WV - May 26, 2006... McGraw sued Lilly in February, claiming that sales of an antipsychotic drug, Zyprexa, violated state consumer protection law and the state Medicaid Fraud Act. ...

Zyprexa News
Eli Lilly using legal tactic to stall Zyprexa lawsuits
Eli Lilly issues Zyprexa warning, takes hit on downgrade
Lilly to Cut Costs in Response to Loss of Prozac Revenue
Eli Lilly Sued for Its Zyprexa Drug
Zyprexa Sales Hurting Because of Safety Concerns
Zyprexa Lawsuits Consolidated for Pretrial
Zyprexa Class Action Lawsuit Announced
Eli Lilly and Co. Under Federal Probe for Marketing Practices
Zyprexa Lawsuits Filed Due to Serious Cases of Diabetes and Pancreatitis
Government May Investigate Zyprexa Promotions
Elderly Warned of Off-Label Zyprexa Use
Diabetes Risk Increased by Antipsychotic Drugs
Lilly Voices Disagreement with American Diabetes Association Panel
Zyprexa Trial Puts the Rights to the Most Lucrative Drug in History on the Line
Eli Lilly and Co. Shares Fall Following Zyprexa Study
Zyprexa Efficacy Questionable

Related Resources
Side effects information on the antipsychotic drug Zyprexa
plus recent lawsuit news and legal help.

Why is this drug still be prescribed ..?

2004 Safety Alert: Zyprexa (olanzapine)

The following information is from Eli Lilly and Company. Contact the company for a copy of any referenced enclosures.

March 1, 2004

Re: Safety data on Zyprexa ® (olanzapine) - Hyperglycemia and Diabetes

Dear Doctor,

Eli Lilly and Company would like to inform you of important labeling changes regarding Zyprexa (olanzapine). The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has asked all manufacturers of atypical antipsychotic medications, including Lilly, to add a Warning statement describing the increased risk of hyperglycemia and diabetes in patients taking these medications, including Zyprexa. In addition to Zyprexa, the atypical antipsychotic class includes Clozaril ® (clozapine, Novartis), Risperdal ® (risperidone, Janssen), Seroquel ® (quetiapine, AstraZeneca), Geodon ® (ziprasidone, Pfizer), and Abilify ® (aripiprazole, Bristol Myers Squibb and Otsuka American Pharmaceutical). Accordingly, the Zyprexa prescribing information has been updated with the following information:


Hyperglycemia and Diabetes Mellitus

Hyperglycemia, in some cases extreme and associated with ketoacidosis or hyperosmolar coma or death, has been reported in patients treated with atypical antipsychotics including Zyprexa. Assessment of the relationship between atypical antipsychotic use and glucose abnormalities is complicated by the possibility of an increased background risk of diabetes mellitus in patients with schizophrenia and the increasing incidence of diabetes mellitus in the general population. Given these confounders, the relationship between atypical antipsychotic use and hyperglycemia-related adverse events is not completely understood. However, epidemiological studies suggest an increased risk of treatment-emergent hyperglycemia-related adverse events in patients treated with the atypical antipsychotics. Precise risk estimates for hyperglycemia related adverse events in patients treated with atypical antipsychotics are not available.

Patients with an established diagnosis of diabetes mellitus who are started on atypical antipsychotics should be monitored regularly for worsening of glucose control. Patients with risk factors for diabetes mellitus (e.g., obesity, family history of diabetes) who are starting treatment with atypical antipsychotics should undergo fasting blood glucose testing at the beginning of treatment and periodically during treatment. Any patient treated with atypical antipsychotics should be monitored for symptoms of hyperglycemia including polydipsia, polyuria, polyphagia, and weakness. Patients who develop symptoms of hyperglycemia during treatment with atypical antipsychotics should undergo fasting blood glucose testing.

In some cases, hyperglycemia has resolved when the atypical antipsychotic was discontinued; however, some patients required continuation of anti-diabetic treatment despite discontinuation of the suspect drug.

Should you have any questions or concerns regarding this important safety information, please contact your Eli Lilly and Company sales representative or contact the Lilly medical department at 1-800-Lilly-Rx . Please refer to the full prescribing information for Zyprexa included with this letter. As always, we request that serious adverse events be reported to Lilly at 1-800-Lilly-Rx or to the FDA MedWatch program by phone (1-800-FDA-1088 ), by fax (1-800-FDA-0178 ) or by email (

Dr. Paul EisenbergVice President, Global Product SafetyEli Lilly and Company

This must be published as it is REAL.

(Note: Please go at this URL above to access all the links provided in this article)

Easily Dispensable: Iraq's Children

By Dahr Jamail
t r u t h o u t Perspective22 May 2006

Cherishing children is the mark of a civilized society.
~ Joan Ganz Cooney

If, as I would like to believe, the above quote suggests all children and not merely those born in Western democracies, I am no longer certain that we live in a civilized society.

That women and children suffer the most during times of war is not a new phenomenon. It is a reality as old as war itself. What Rumsfeld, Rice and other war criminals of the Cheney administration prefer to call "collateral damage" translates in English as the inexcusable murder of and other irreparable harm done to women, children and the elderly during any military offensive.

US foreign policy in the Middle East manifests itself most starkly in its impact on the children of Iraq. It is they who continue to pay with their lives and futures for the brutal follies of our administration. Starvation under sanctions, and death and suffering during war and occupation are their lot. Since the beginning of the occupation, Iraqi children have been affected worst by the violence generated by the occupying forces and the freedom fighters.

While I had witnessed several instances of this from the time of my first trip to Iraq in November 2003, I was shaken by a close encounter with it, a year later, in November 2004.
In a major Baghdad hospital, 12-year-old Fatima Harouz lay in her bed, dazed, amidst a crowded hospital room. She limply waved her bruised arm at the flies that buzzed over the bed. Her shins, shattered by bullets when American soldiers fired through the front door of her house, were both covered in casts. Small plastic drainage bags filled with red fluid sat upon her abdomen, where she had taken shrapnel from another bullet.
She was from Latifiya, a city just south of Baghdad. Three days before I saw her, soldiers had attacked her home. Her mother, standing with us in the hospital, said, "They attacked our home and there weren't even any resistance fighters in our area." Her brother had been shot and killed, his wife wounded, and their home ransacked by soldiers.
"Before they left, they killed all of our chickens," added Fatima's mother, her eyes a mixture of fear, shock and rage. A doctor who was with us as Fatima's mother narrated the story looked at me and sternly asked, "This is the freedom Š in their Disney Land are there kids just like this?"

The doctors' anger was mild if we consider the magnitude of suffering that has been inflicted upon the children of Iraq as a direct result of first the US-backed sanctions and then the failed US occupation.

In a report released by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) on May 2nd of this year, one out of three Iraqi children is malnourished and underweight.The report states that 25% of Iraqi children between the ages of six months and five years old suffer from either acute or chronic malnutrition. In addition, the Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN) press release on the matter added, "A 2004 Living Conditions Survey indicated a decrease in mortality rates among children under five years old since 1999. However, the results of a September 2005 Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis - commissioned by Iraq's Central Organization for Statistics and Information Technology, the World Food Program and UNICEF - showed worsening conditions since the April 2003 US-led invasion of the country."

Also this month, on May 15th , a news story about the same UN-backed government survey highlighted that "people are struggling to cope three years after US-forces overthrew Saddam Hussein." The report added that "Children are ... major victims of food insecurity," and described the situation as "alarming." The story continued, "A total of four million Iraqis, roughly 15 percent of the population, were in dire need of humanitarian aid including food, up from 11 percent in a 2003 report, the survey of more than 20,000 Iraqi households found.Š Decades of conflict and economic sanctions have had serious effects on Iraqis. Their consequences have been rising unemployment, illiteracy and, for some families, the loss of wage earners."

But the hearts of small children are delicate organs. A cruel beginning in this world can twist them into curious shapes.

~ Carson McCullers
Iraq's ministries of Health and Planning carried out the survey with support from the UN World Food Program and UNICEF. A spokesman for UNICEF's Iraq Support Center in Amman, Jordan, David Singh, told Reuters that the number of acutely malnourished children in Iraq had more than doubled, from 4% during the last year of Saddam's rule to at least 9% in 2005. He also said, "Until there is a period of relative stability in Iraq we are going to continue to face these kinds of problems." UNICEF's special representative for Iraq, Roger Wright, commenting on the dire effects of the situation, said, "This can irreversibly hamper the young child's optimal mental/cognitive development, not just their physical development."

This past March, an article titled "Garbage Dump Second Home for Iraqi Children" addressed the appalling situation in the northern, Kurdish-controlled Iraqi city of Sulaimaniyah where young children assist their families in searching the city garbage dumps. It said that children as young as seven often accompany their parents to the dumps before school, in order to look for reusable items such as shoes, clothing and electrical equipment which is then resold in order to augment the family income.

This disturbing news is not really news in Baghdad. Back in December 2004 I saw children living with their families in the main dump of the capital city.
Poverty in Iraq has plummeted acutely during the invasion and occupation. Those who were already surviving on the margins due to years of deprivation have sunk further, and the children of such families have recourse to no nutrition, no health care, no education, no present and no future. Those from less unfortunate backgrounds are now suffering because the family wage earner has been killed, detained, or lost employment. Or the source of the family's income, a shop, factory or farm have been destroyed, or simply because it is impossible to feed a family under the existing economic conditions of high costs and low to nil income in Iraq
.As execrable as the current situation is for Iraqi children, most of the world media, appallingly, does not see it as a story to be covered. Even back in November 2004, surveys conducted by the UN, aid agencies and the interim Iraqi government showed that acute malnutrition among young children had nearly doubled since the US-led invasion took place in the spring of 2004.
A Washington Post story, "Children Pay Cost of Iraq's Chaos," read, "After the rate of acute malnutrition among children younger than 5 steadily declined to 4 percent two years ago, it shot up to 7.7 percent this year, according to a study conducted by Iraq's Health Ministry in cooperation with Norway's Institute for Applied International Studies and the U.N. Development Program.
The new figure translates to roughly 400,000 Iraqi children suffering from "wasting," a condition characterized by chronic diarrhea and dangerous deficiencies of protein."Not only is the US occupation starving Iraq's children, but occupation forces regularly detain them as well. It is common knowledge in Iraq that there have been child prisoners in the most odious prisons, such as Abu Ghraib, since early on in the occupation. While most, if not all, corporate media outlets in the US have been loath to visit the subject, the Sunday Herald in Scotland reported back in August 2004 that "coalition forces are holding more than 100 children in jails such as Abu Ghraib. Witnesses claim that the detainees - some as young as 10 - are also being subjected to rape and torture."

The story read, "It was early last October that Kasim Mehaddi Hilas says he witnessed the rape of a boy prisoner aged about 15 in the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. 'The kid was hurting very bad and they covered all the doors with sheets,' he said in a statement given to investigators probing prisoner abuse in Abu Ghraib.
'Then, when I heard the screaming I climbed the door and I saw [the soldier's name is deleted] who was wearing a military uniform." Hilas, who was himself threatened with being sexually assaulted in Abu Ghraib, then described in horrific detail how the soldier raped 'the little kid.'
"The newspaper's investigation at that time concluded that there were as many as 107 children being held by occupation forces, although their names were not known, nor their location or the length of their detention.
In June 2004 an internal UNICEF report, which was not made public, noted widespread arrest and detention of Iraqi children by US and UK forces. A section of the report titled "Children in Conflict with the Law or with Coalition Forces," stated,
"In July and August 2003, several meetings were conducted with CPA (Coalition Provisional Authority) and Ministry of Justice to address issues related to juvenile justice and the situation of children detained by the coalition forces Š UNICEF is working through a variety of channels to try and learn more about conditions for children who are imprisoned or detained, and to ensure that their rights are respected."

Another section of the report added, "Information on the number, age, gender and conditions of incarceration is limited. In Basra and Karbala children arrested for alleged activities targeting the occupying forces are reported to be routinely transferred to an internee facility in Um Qasr. The categorization of these children as 'internees' is worrying since it implies indefinite holding without contact with family, expectation of trial or due process." The report went on to add, "A detention centre for children was established in Baghdad, where according to ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) a significant number of children were detained. UNICEF was informed that the coalition forces were planning to transfer all children in adult facilities to this 'specialized' child detention centre. In July 2003, UNICEF requested a visit to the centre but access was denied. Poor security in the area of the detention centre has prevented visits by independent observers like the ICRC since last December [2003]."

A section of the report which I found very pertinent, as I'd already witnessed this occurring in Iraq, stated, "The perceived unjust detention of Iraqi males, including youths, for suspected activities against the occupying forces has become one of the leading causes for the mounting frustration among Iraqi youth and the potential for radicalization of this population group."
On December 17, 2003, at the al-Shahid Adnan Kherala secondary school in Baghdad, I witnessed US forces detain 16 children who had held a mock, non-violent, pro-Saddam Hussein the previous day. While forces from the First Armored Division sealed the school with two large tanks, helicopters, several Bradley fighting vehicles and at least 10 Humvees, soldiers loaded the children into a covered truck and drove them to their base. Meanwhile, the rest of the students remained locked inside the school until the US military began to exit the area.

Shortly thereafter the doors were unlocked, releasing the frightened students who flocked out the doors. The youngest were 12 years old, and none of the students were older than 18. They ran out, many in tears, while others were enraged as they kicked and shook the front gate. My interpreter and I were surrounded by frenzied students who yelled, "This is the democracy? This is the freedom? You see what the Americans are doing to us here?"Another student cried out to us, "
They took several of my friends! Why are they taking them to prison? For throwing rocks?" A few blocks away we spoke with a smaller group of students who had run from the school (in panic). One student who was crying yelled to me, "Why are they doing this to us? We are only kids!"

The tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles that were guarding the perimeter of the school began to rumble down the street beside us, on their passage out. Several young boys with tears streaming down their faces picked up stones and hurled them at the tanks as they drove by. Imagine my horror when I saw the US soldiers on top of the Bradleys begin firing their M-16's above our heads as we ducked inside a taxi. A soldier on another Bradley, behind the first, passed and fired randomly above our heads as well. Kids and pedestrians ran for cover into the shops and wherever possible.
I remember a little boy, not more than 13 years old, holding a stone and standing at the edge of the street glaring at the Bradleys as they rumbled past. Another soldier riding atop another passing Bradley pulled out his pistol and aimed it at the boy's head and kept him in his sights until the vehicle rolled out of sight.
One of the students hiding behind our taxi screamed to me, "Who are the terrorists here now? You have seen this yourself! We are school kids!"
The very next month, in January 2004, I was in an area on the outskirts of Baghdad that had been pulverized by "Operation Iron Grip." I spoke with a man at his small farm house. His three year old boy, Halaf Ziad Halaf, walked up to me and with a worried look on his face said, "I have seen the Americans here with their tanks. They want to attack us."

His uncle, who had joined us for tea, leaned over to me and said, "The Americans are creating the terrorists here by hurting people and causing their relatives to fight against them. Even this little boy will grow up hating the Americans because of their policy here."
The slaughter, starvation, detention, torture and sexual assault of Iraq's children at the hands of US soldiers or by proxy via US foreign policy, is not a recent phenomenon. It is true that the present US administration has been brazen and blatant in its crimes in Iraq, but those willing to bear witness must not forget that Bill Clinton and his minions played an equally, if not even more devastating role in the assault on the children of Iraq.
On May 12, 1996, Clinton's Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was asked by Lesley Stahl on "60 Minutes" about the effects of US sanctions against Iraq, "We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?"

In a response which has now become notorious, Albright replied, "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price - we think the price is worth it."

We are guilty of many errors and many faults but our worst crime is abandoning the children, neglecting the fountain of life. Many of the things we need can wait. The child cannot. Right now is the time his bones are being formed, his blood is being made, and his senses are being developed. To him we cannot answer "Tomorrow." His name is "Today."
~ Gabriela Mistral
To all Americans who, despite voluminous evidence to the contrary, continue to believe that they are supporting a war for democracy in Iraq, I would like to say, the way Iraq is headed it will have little use for democracy and freedom. We must find ways to stop the immoral, soulless, repugnant occupation if we want the children of Iraq to see any future at all.----

Dahr Jamail is an independent journalist who spent over 8 months reporting from occupied Iraq. He presented evidence of US war crimes in Iraq at the International Commission of Inquiry on Crimes Against Humanity Committed by the Bush Administration in New York City in January 2006. He writes regularly for TruthOut, Inter Press Service, Asia Times and TomDispatch, and maintains his own web site,
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Elders move to restore calm at Six Nations

Posted: May 26, 2006
by: Jim Adams / Indian Country Today

Photo courtesy Cathie Coward/Hamilton Spectator --
Michael Laughing smiled while speaking to Ontario
Provincial Police Inspector Van Straalin as Jim Meyer
looked on. Laughing and Van Straalin were part of
May 23 talks that sought a solution to the Native
blockade at Six Nations Reserve in Caledonia,
Ontario, which involves construction plans on
land claimed by the reserve. A flare-up on
May 22 resulted from a miscommunication
between Caledonia residents and protesters.
An agreement was reached.

OHSWEKEN, SIX NATIONS RESERVE, Ontario - Calmer heads regained control in the Six Nations land reclamation standoff and road blockades began coming down after a mid-May eruption of fighting between Natives and non-Native counterblockaders. A riot was averted by elders as local town of Caledonia residents pressed down on the Native group when elders in both communities took the lead to calm heated tempers and establish communications between sides. At the height of the tension on May 22, a fire at a local utility company transformer near the Native encampment at the Douglas Creek Estates site shut down the power supply to some 1,500 homes in Caledonia and about four times that number in the surrounding area, including one-third of the Six Nations reserve. Native protesters abandoned an attempt to dig a trench across the blockaded road after Jan Kahehti:io Longboat and her niece, Lisa Van Every, stood in the way of their backhoe and told them sternly to stop.
Longboat, a stalwart supporter of the land reclamation, is a well-respected healer and a strong believer in the traditional principle called ''the Good Mind.'' She had been talking to representatives of the townspeople, Van Every told Indian Country Today, when she realized that destruction of the road was for them the ''line in the sand'' that could set off further violence.
''The Caledonia people were so angry and screaming really racist obscenities, and wanting to just about kill them,'' Longboat said. ''The bulldozer tearing up the road was driving the Caledonia group crazy. I did not know what else to do to start calming things down.''
It was a crucial moment that defused potentially tragic violence, coming shortly after the Caledonia counterdemonstrators had blockaded a road just opened by the Native group. Several Natives in a car were trapped; the driver, a Native man, was beaten and two elderly female Native passengers frightened by the gathering mob. The incident sparked several running fistfights. As the groups disengaged, Six Nations leaders returned to the table with chief provincial negotiator David Peterson, a former Ontario provincial premier, and agreed to a mutual dismantling of the barricades. Traffic began to move freely on Plank Road into the town by the afternoon of May 23. Hydro One, the local utility, announced that power was restored by 6:30 a.m. May 24 to the 8,000 affected homes. Peterson said that cooperation by the two sides had averted a ''near disaster.''
The flare-up on May 22 resulted from an apparent miscommunication, Van Every said. At talks mediated by Peterson the previous week, Six Nations protesters agreed to begin dismantling road barricades. The blockades had been in place since April, after Ontario Provincial Police on April 20 unsuccessfully attempted to end the long-running Native occupation of a real estate development in an early morning raid. Inspired by traditional leaders, Six Nations protesters - including warriors from other reserves - seized the Douglas Creek site Feb. 28 in a ''reclamation action.''
They said the province illegally took the land in the 19th century from the original Six Nations grant and in recent years ignored land claims filed by the reserve's government. The occupation of the site continues. When protesters agreed May 19 to begin removing the road barricades, said Van Every, they intended to dismantle them gradually ''for safety reasons.'' But an apparently unauthorized press statement gave townspeople the impression that the blockades would come down immediately. When the Caledonians saw that some Native blockades remained on the morning of May 22, they formed a human blockade on the road toward town and refused to let Natives pass, and which mobbed the car with Native occupants. The Six Nations protesters quickly restored their barricade, using a toppled Hydro One electrical tower. During the daylong standoff, townspeople threw loaves of bread and packages of sliced cheese at the Native barricade, mocking the bread and cheese promised the reserve by Queen Victoria.
Native protesters threw them back. During the day, the Caledonians' human blockade grew to about 300 people. After the Six Nations protesters dragged the Hydro One electrical tower across the road, they offered a truce, but the townspeople refused. At that point, one of the warriors began to trench the highway with the backhoe. Several groups of townspeople surged around the intervening line of Ontario Provincial Police toward the Native line. A series of brawls broke out and, according to the local press, makeshift weapons began to appear. But no major injuries were reported. Van Every said that she and her aunt heard reports of the fighting as they were shopping and hurried to the scene. ''When we got back, the bulldozer was revving up,'' Van Every said. Although the protesters had made the initial cut in the road as a threat, they were now prepared to destroy it entirely. Van Every and Longboat knew from their Caledonian contacts that the town mob would have taken that act as the signal for an all-out assault.
''If that happened, it would not be a good thing for us,'' Van Every said. ''The only thing we could do was to go and stand in front of the backhoe,'' she said. ''We told that person to turn off the backhoe and get down. It was kind of tense for a minute. Then he did.''
After stopping the backhoe, Longboat felt she had to do more to calm the occupiers, so she called for a chief or clan mother to address the crowd. An elderly woman came forward and spoke to the group in Mohawk. ''She said good words,'' Longboat said.
Longboat and Van Every then tried to locate Peterson, who at the time was trying to calm the Caledonians. They brought him across the police line to speak at the reclamation site. ''He told people to stop and think about what they were doing.'' As tempers cooled, Peterson and the Six Nations leaders agreed to resume the negotiations.
Meanwhile Peterson was confronting the townspeople, attempting to pass their blockade. They pushed him back, said the Toronto Sun newspaper, ''all the while chanting expletive-filled orders to get out.'' Peterson later called the day ''heartbreaking.'' ''It was a lot of hard work, and a lot of blood, sweat and tears that went into fixing the situation,'' he told reporters. ''That somehow or other fell apart.''
That night, however, he returned to negotiations with Six Nations leaders and the newly formed Caledonian Citizens Alliance, made up of local businessmen. They focused on the immediate question of removing the blockades. As calm returned, the roads reopened by the end of the afternoon on May 23. National leaders joined the call for calmer heads. National Chief Phil Fontaine of the Assembly of First Nations said in a statement, ''The need for negotiation and reconciliation could not be more acute. We do not want to see any actions that will cause tensions to increase in the community.'' He urged the federal government to take a more active role in a situation exacerbated by jurisdictional confusion.
''The federal government must show leadership to resolve this issue because any issues relating to First Nations lands are issues between First Nations and the federal government,'' he said. ''The federal government must ensure that the discussions continue.'' Fontaine also called for action on the underlying problem of the land-claims process. ''Under the current process, Canada acts as judge and jury in claims against itself,'' Fontaine said. ''There are approximately 1,000 specific claims before Canada, 300 of which have been validated and must work their way through the claims process. Yet it takes on average 10 years to resolve a legitimate, specific claim. ''This is much too long. Last week's report by the Auditor General of Canada noted that six comprehensive claims agreements have been concluded since 2001, and it has taken on average 29 years to finalize these claims. This is unacceptable,'' he said. ''This is an agonizingly slow pace for First Nations, for whom land is central to our cultures and our economies. It creates frustration and anger on the ground and can erode trust.''

May 30, 2006

Sent by email and being posted every where.


Military Men Who Oppose Neo-Con Warmongering Under Attack
By Michael Piper

For generations, Republicans were strong supporters of the American
military. But now that top military men are in open rebellion against the
armchair civilian war hawks—the hard-line pro-Israel ideologues who
directed President George Bush to order an invasion of Iraq and
who now want war on Iran—the angriest voices condemning the
military are from GOP circles.

Following the lead of the neo-conservatives, who are viewed as fanatics
but still dominate the Bush administration and key GOP policy groups,
many GOP loyalists are declaring war on the battle-tested generals,
admirals and other military heroes who are saying, “Enough is enough.”

Although none of the military men have yet said “No more wars for Israel,”
their rhetoric in writings and public utterances says essentially that.

Conservatives roundly denounced former Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni as
an “anti-Semite” for noting that pro-Israel neo-conservatives were the
driving force behind the Iraq war and that everybody in Washington knew it.
Zinni knew what he was talking about: he formerly commanded all
U.S. forces protecting Israel in the Middle East.

More recently, another retired Marine, Lt. Gen. Greg Newbold,
former director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote
in Time that the Iraq war was “unnecessary” and that the
rationale for war by those whom he called “the zealots” made
no sense. Newbold’s choice of the word “zealots” was loaded.
The term arises from the legend of the Zealots—an ancient
sect of Jewish fanatics.

Newbold quit the service four months before the Iraq invasion,
in part, he said, because he opposed those who exploited the
9-11 tragedy “to hijack our security policy”—referring to
the zealous neo-con fanatics. He added:

“Until now, I have resisted speaking out in public.”

But, he said, “I’ve been silent long enough.”

What particularly disturbed Newbold’s critics was that
he said he was speaking out “with the encouragement of
some still in positions of military leadership.”

He also struck out at what he called “the distortion of
intelligence in the buildup to the war”—a slam at the neo-conservatives
and their Israeli allies who shoveled up garbage, disguised as “intelligence,”
and used it to justify the war.

Newbold brandished his anger at the armchair war hawks,
most of whom never served in the military, saying, “the
commitment of our forces to this fight was done with a
casualness and swagger that are the special province of
those who have never had to execute these missions—
or bury the results.”

Newbold’s statements received much media attention,
so the neo-cons fired back. Perhaps the most telling
attack on the generals came from Stephen Herbits,
a former top executive of the Seagram liquor empire,
the fiefdom of World Jewish Congress chief
Edgar Bronfman, a major patron of Israel.

This longtime Bronfman henchman was appointed by
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to make “heads roll”
in the military, screening all Pentagon promotions and
appointments, implementing the agenda of enforcing lockstep
Zionist control of the American war machine.


Writing in the April 20 edition of the egregiously
pro-Israel Washington Times, Herbits urged the media
to start to investigate military leaders who dared to
take on the administration.

Herbits said it would be “a service to this country when
the media digs a bit below these attacks to examine the generals.”
Herbits is obviously calling on spy agencies such as the
Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a conduit for Israel’s Mossad,
to come up with “data” on the military men and provide it
to the media to bring the dissidents into line.

But cracking the whip over the entire military will be tough.

On April 18, David Broder, senior Washington Post commentator,
revealed that some months ago after he wrote of how
Rep. Jack Murtha (D-Pa.)—a former Marine colonel who
served in Vietnam—had called for U.S. withdrawal from Iraq,
Broder was contacted by a Pentagon officer who gave his
name and rank and then said: “This is a private call.
I am not speaking officially. But I read your column, and
I think it is important for you to know that Jack Murtha
knows us very well and speaks for many of us.”

This is no secret to those who know official Washington
since Murtha has been a leading Capitol Hill voice for
the military for years. And this is what makes pro-Israel
Republican attacks on Murtha so disingenuous: they paint
Murtha as a “pacifist,” “defeatist,” “liberal” ideologue.
He is anything but that.

For its own part, in an April 18 editorial, titled
“The Generals’ Revolt,” The Washington Post said
“the rebellion is problematic” and “threatens the
essential democratic principle of military subordination
to civilian control—the more so because a couple of the
officers claim they are speaking for some still on active duty.”

That same day, a lead editor of The Washington Times
Tony Blankley—an advocate of all-out war against the Muslim world—
declared that generals still in service who may be planning
to quit together in protest against Bush policies may be
“illegally conspiring.”

Not content with accusing American military leaders
of being seditious, Blankley followed up the next day
with a repetition of his smears, calling for a court of
inquiry to determine whether the military leaders
are guilty of insubordination.

Echoing Blankley, shrill pro-Israel agitator
Charles Krauthammer, a psychiatrist by profession,
not a soldier, blustered on April 21 with a column in
The Washington Post crying of “The General’s Dangerous Whispers.”

In the end, though, what’s most interesting is that
prior to the explosion of reports in the mainstream
media about the dissatisfied generals—four years
after American Free Press first broke the story at a
national level, even before the invasion of Iraq—
the April issue of America’s oldest and most respected
magazine, Harper’s, featured a provocative cover story:
“American Coup d’Etat: Military thinkers discuss the unthinkable.”
This was one month after Harper’s—in another cover story—
called for the impeachment of President Bush.

Clearly, some people in high places are not happy with the
pro-Israel internationalism of the Bush regime.
(Issue #18 & 19, May 1 & 8, 2006)

A list of 9/11 links from

To me, it’s important not to focus on just one aspect of 9/11 such as the Pentagon incident. If debunkers can keep everyone focusing on this one part of it when there can never be proof either way produced, the overall aspect of what really happened on that dreadful day will never be uncovered. Let’s broaden the discussion.

I find that it's time to interject some thoughts that even my harshest critics might understand. My motivation in posting this controversial subject was to try and wake up a complacent society, even in my own small way. I am a passionate person, as you already know. Something very wrong happened on 9/11 and it wasn’t just the fact we were attacked. This goes back years and years, well before President Bush was elected President. Good men and women tried to bring information to the Justice Dept. that an attack was being planned. They were prevented from doing so. Now, if it was just one or two people, I could say that, yes the ball was dropped.
However, it is not the case. Yes, some of the material presented had political motivations, but they also bring up some very disturbing information that needs to be looked into. I hate, despise and have little respect for people using political motivations for anything, believe me. But I do look for the truth, even if it comes on the lips of an actor like Sheen. Shivers. I do not respect him but sometimes the pearl of truth comes buried in the muck.

Our rights and freedoms are being slowly stolen from us over 9/11 despite the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Now, if there is any doubt at all that the attack or the facts produced by the officials could come into doubt, any patriotic or caring person would check into diverse opinions and research on the subject. This is what I wanted people to do. To start thinking on their own. Did it ever occur to anyone how such an in-depth law such as the Patriot Act could be written so fast when the very same Congress can't even handle the immigration situation with prudence? Just throwing that out.

It may come as a shock to you all but I defend the right to bear arms. I come against those who want to take away my freedom of speech or my privacy or my property. (Eminent Domain) Our freedoms are under attack by the "Powers that Be" under the guise that there is a need to protect us from terrorism. I wholeheartedly agree that we are in a WAR and certain actions need to be done in order to protect the populace. All I ask is for people to not be so ready to give up their freedoms without questioning.

There is much more to this story than a video. Who do I trust? My father was a police officer, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, New York State Crime Commission, The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Humane Society, private investigator and authored the first explosives training book used by the U.S. Government in explosive safety.
I’m a daughter of a man in uniform. A man who stood for what was right and taught his daughter the same. He always told me that if you look to the people who rise to the top of any organization, business or profession, these are the ones who are usually there for the wrong reasons. It’s the people at ground level who are there because they really care. These are the people who I really trust.

He taught me to get to the truth of the matter despite the opposition. So, it was his daughter who listened to the four hours of the 9-11 conversations between David Koresh of Mt. Carmel and the local Sheriff. I know what really happened. But few other’s even cared to check it out. Most repeated the same media bull that they were fed. So a girl throws her hands up in the air and hopes that somewhere, somehow and that someone will start thinking and researching for themselves. I'll end this by inserting a part of a letter I recently received. It made up for all the criticism I've received since posting this:

I was not overly impressed with the suggested video because I thought it poorly done & have some demolition back ground but after following up & viewing Jimmy Walters' & several other videos & listening to Karl Schwartz I don't know whether to thank you or curse you for forcing me to REALLY look at it. What frightens me the most are the implications that the philosophy & people behind this may go back for decades & that our country may already be controlled by them. Thank You (I think) for making ME think Keep it up

Below is a partial list of highly regarded individuals or organizations who are questioning.

Able Danger - used to determine vulnerabilities and linkages among and within al Qaeda

Army Reserve Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer, of the Defense Intelligence Agency

Navy CAPT Scott Phillpott, a military intelligence officer with U.S. Special Operations Command
CIA Director George Tenant...warned about an impending attack

John O'Neill, FBI counter terrorism investigator who resigned in frustration with the President's administration, went to work as security chief of the World Trade Center and died on 9/11 attempting to rescue others.

Richard Clarke, US Counter terrorism Czar, National Security Council official, who exposed the President's incompetence both pre-9/11 and post-9/11 in his book, Against All Enemies and under oath at the 9/11 commission hearings.

Colleen Rawley, FBI investigator who blew the whistle and spoke publicly about how her attempts to get action on pre-9/11 intelligence on Al-Qaeda pilot training in the US were blocked by officials at the President's Justice Dept. in D.C.

Judicial Watch - As a non-partisan, non-profit foundation based in Washington, D.C., and with offices throughout the country and roots out corruption in our government and to make sure offenders are brought to justice.

Robert Wright, an agent for 10 years, was a member of an FBI counter- terrorism taskforce. He alleges that active agents were threatened and impeded in anti-terrorism investigations.

Rep. Curt Weldon (R-PA) speculates that a coverup may have occurred.

Steven E. Jones – Professor of Physics at Brigham Young University

Robert M Bowman - former Director of Advanced Space Programs Development for the United States Air Force in the Ford and Carter administrations, and a former United States Air Force Lieutenant Colonol with 101 combat missions. He holds a Ph.D. in Aeronautics and Nuclear Engineering from the California Institute of Technology

David Schippers is a lawyer. He was the chief prosecutor for the impeachment of Bill Clinton and stated that the government had been warned in 1995 about a future attack on a government building and that later he was contacted by three FBI agents who mentioned uncovering a possible terrorist attack planned for lower Manhattan

Professor James Fetzer
Distinguished McKnight University Professor

University of Minnesota Duluth
David Ray Griffin

David Ray Griffin is professor emeritus at the Claremont School of Theology, where he taught for over 30 years (retiring in 2004). He has authored or edited over two dozen books, including "God and Religion in the Postmodern World," "Religion and Scientific Naturalism," and "The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions About the Bush Administration and 9/11."


Philanthropist Jimmy Walters:

Karl Schwarz

Other videos for your discernment:

More Information:

Contact: to keep up with their quest to get more of the camera feeds from the Pentagon. Lots of information good and bad
Experts Claim Official 9/11 Story is a Hoax 30 January 2006 press release
Simple Physics Reveals "The Big Lie" Forwarded by Nila Sagadevan
The Fall of the South Tower At
Did Building 7 Commit Suicide?
"9/11 Revisited: Were explosives used?"
David Ray Griffin's Madison 9/11 Lecture
"Loose Change" (video), 2nd Edition At
Big Lies: From JFK to 9/11 The Carp (Spring 2006), Jim Fetzer
MIT Engineer Explains WTC Controlled Demolition
Steve Jones' UVSC PowerPoint Presentation
"911 Eyewitness" (video)
9/11: 80 Minutes of Unilateral Disarmament by Morgan Reynolds
Simple Math demonstrates the Official 9/11 Account is a Fabrication
29 Apr 2005, Global Research, Elias Davidsson
Professor Steve Jones' Utah Seminar on video
Flash lecture on 9/11 by James H. Fetzer
Conspiracy and Closed Minds on 9/11 by Morgan Reynolds
Why Indeed Did the WTC Buildings Collapse? by Steven E. Jones, Ph.D. (reader comments)
The Destruction of the World Trade Center: Why the Official Account Cannot Be True by David Ray Griffin, Ph.D.
Thinking about "Conspiracy Theories": 9/11 and JFK by James H. Fetzer, Ph.D.
Wikipedia: What it Doesn't Say about S9/11T by James H. Fetzer
Zogby Poll Finds Over 70 Million Voting Age Americans Support New 9/11 Investigation

May 22, 2006
New Zogby Poll reveals over 70 million voting age Americans distrust official 9/11 story and support new investigation of possible US government role in the attacks.*
Zogby's "Results from Nationwide Poll" report and raw data available for downloading at end of article.

May 29, 2006

Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline Help Send Kids To Prison

by Evelyn Pringle
In 2003, the pharmaceutical industry passed out $16.4 billion worth of free drug samples to doctors. These so-called free samples are literally killing people. Two young lads who were lucky enough to get free samples of Zoloft are now sitting in prison.
After visits to their family doctors, Christopher Pittman and Zachary Schmidkunz were both sent home with a bag of Zoloft samples with no warnings about the drug's side effects. They both went on to commit murder, were sent to prison, and are now waiting for hearings on their appeals.
These lethal selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressants (SSRIs) are being passed out to kids like candy. Dr Thomas Moore, MD, with the Drug Safety Research group, conducted a study on the use of antidepressant drugs with children that showed that in the 4-period of 1998 to 2001, the use of SSRIs with children doubled and in 90% of the cases the drugs were prescribed off-label to kids for uses not approved by the FDA.
For instance, among boys 6 to 12 years old, 52% of the prescriptions were written for treating attention deficit or conduct disorders, and typically, Dr Moore says, in combination with an antipsychotic or a stimulant.There is "no scientific evidence that says that combination therapy is effective in these disorders and I know of no evidence that it is safe either," he says.
Yet the study found that 17% of the children were taking drugs that were ineffective in clinical trials, and 42% were taking two or more antidepressant drugs.
"So," Dr Moore says, "what we are seeing is when drugs are ineffective, rather than abandoning them or trying alternatives, doctors increase the dose or combine the drugs in ways, the safety of which we are not aware."
This is exactly what happened to 12-year-old Christopher Pittman, according to his family members. He was prescribed Paxil shortly before he went to live with his grandparents. When he needed a refill, his grandparents took him to their family doctor and because the doctor had no samples of Paxil, he sent Christopher home with samples of Zoloft with instructions written on the outside of the bag. Forty-eight hours after the Zoloft dosage was increased to 200 milligrams, Christopher shot both of his grandparents in the bed where they slept, set the house on fire, and took off in his grandfather's pickup truck with a loaded gun. The following morning two hunters said they found the 12-year old boy wandering around in the woods acting hysterical, “hollering and screaming,” and waiving a fully cocked and loaded gun around.
Neither Paxil or Zoloft is approved for pediatric use and thus, the prescriptions Christopher received were off-label. A most alarming fact that surfaced during the criminal trial, was that even though the family doctor apparently passes out free samples of drugs on regular basis, he testified that he was not aware of the association between SSRIs and violent behavior, towards self or others. In addition, it was revealed that Christopher was not weaned off the Paxil before he was placed on Zoloft even though it is known that Paxil has a history of serious withdrawal side effects. The lead attorney in Christopher's case is Andy Vickery, of the Houston, Texas law firm Vickery & Waldner, LLP, who has spent the better part of a decade representing families who have been harmed by SSRIs. In 2001, Mr Vickery, was the lead attorney in a landmark case against Paxil maker GlaxoSmithKiline brought by the family members of Donald Schell, a retired oil-rig worker who had been on Paxil for just 2 days when he shot and killed his wife, daughter and granddaughter, before shooting himself. The jury in the case found that Paxil "can cause some individuals to commit suicide and/or homicide" and awarded $8 million to the surviving family members.
On the West Coast, Los Angeles based, Baum Hedlund law firm partner, Karen Barth Menzies, has also been litigating claims for more than a decade, involving injuries associated with SSRIs. Although a plaintiffs attorney, due to her extensive work in SSRI cases, Ms Menzies was recruited to join the "dream team" to help defend Christopher. Christopher was 12-year-old when he killed his grandparents. He was held in the custody of the juvenile court system for over a year and a half before he was waived up to Circuit Court, and after that, he was held in continued pretrial custody for another year and a half before trial. He was tried as an adult after being interrogated while under the influence of Zoloft, with no parent or legal representative present, and the statements he made were used against him in court. According to the prosecutor, the 6th grader waived his Miranda Rights. Christopher is reportedly the second youngest person in US history to be prosecuted in an adult court. The youngest being an 11-year old boy who was prosecuted in 1999 for murder in a Michigan court.
Unbeknownst to young Christopher, he was playing against a stacked deck from day one. Not far into the case, it was discovered that prosecutors working to convict Christopher had been provided materials by both GSK and Pfizer, the makers of Paxil and Zoloft. GSK provided the prosecutor a copy of a "prosecutor's manual" created by the company to help fight cases alleging Paxil had anything to do with a crime and Pfizer has a similar manual, according to Ms Menzies.
It was also later learned that on January 18, 2002 before the “involuntary intoxication” defense had even been raised, a Pfizer attorney, Jim Hooper, sent information on Zoloft to Dr Pamela Crawford, the prosecution’s star expert witness. Why would a Pfizer lawyer send Dr Crawford this information? Because she was working on a “criminal responsibility” opinion for Christopher's case and Pfizer wanted to make darn sure that she did not blame his criminal conduct on Zoloft.
But as it turns out, this was no isolated incident and Pfizer was not simply responding to a doctor’s questions. The company has been providing assistance to prosecutors for years, and Mr Hooper has been at the fore-front for that activity.
On at least 15 prior occasions, attorneys discovered, Pfizer has provided a “Prosecutor’s Manual” or “Litigation Manual” to prosecutors so that they could overwhelm any defense lawyer who dared to raise the “involuntary intoxication" defense. The company has sworn for years that Zoloft does not cause people to become violent, yet on May 15, 2004, Pfizer issued a Canadian Health Care Professional warning in which the company cautioned about Zoloft triggering “harm to others."
The truth is, Pfizer has known for many years that Zoloft causes violence. On May 28, 1998, Brynn Hartman was on Zoloft when she shot her husband, actor Phil Hartman, as he slept and then committed suicide herself the next morning. Friends reported that Brynn had been complaining that she felt odd after taking Zoloft. Mr Vickery handled a wrongful death lawsuit for the Hartman family, against Pfizer and Ms Hartman's psychiatrist, and Pfizer settled the case out of court for an undisclosed amount. According to Mr Vickery, providing manuals to prosecutors is just one of the ways that SSRI makers have tried to keep the lid on the tendency of their drugs to trigger violence towards others by helping prosecutors convict people who:
(1) are taking their drugs;
(2) commit acts of violence; and
(3) have the temerity to raise the drug's involvement as a defense.
The drug giants also gather and maintain data, he says, on prominent expert witnesses in the SSRI field who are often called to testify and they furnish the information to prosecutors with instructions on how to attack their credibility. "It is a deplorable practice," Mr Vickery says, "and one that we are committed to exposing."
Through her work on civil cases, Ms Menzies had documents to counter some of the information provided to the prosecution by Pfizer and GSK. She was also able to bring previously concealed documents regarding Zoloft into the case. Unfortunately, Ms Menzies says, she was prevented from using most of the incriminating documentation. According to Christopher's maternal grandmother, Delnora Duprey, the family's nightmare started when Christopher was diagnosed with depression and "placed on medication that was never tested on children and never meant for their use."
"He had no say in this," she points out. "We, as adults," she continued, "trust our doctors and the FDA to know what they are doing."
"Even when we get complaints," Ms Duprey notes, "we say the doctor said it will help you."
In their appellate brief, Christopher's attorneys Andy Vickery, Paul Waldner, and Fred Shepherd, make the same point in this case, "that prescription drugs are a unique consideration in the context of criminal culpability." Christopher had no other option, they said, but to rely upon his father and the health care professionals for his mental health well-being.
"He was completely helpless in his ability to determine whether these drugs were beneficial or harmful to him," they wrote in the brief.
"In fact," the attorneys note, "unlike an adult, he could not even refuse their use."
In 20/20 hindsight, very early on there were signs that Christopher was experiencing adverse reactions to Zoloft, but no one knew there were any side effects to watch for. When Christopher complained about how the drug made him feel, the doctor increased the dose and the tragic event that followed, experts say, never would have happened had he not been placed on SSRIs. Ms Menzies explains that SSRIs are "extremely powerful drugs, designed to alter a person's brain chemistry."
They can cause a person to completely change behavior and their way of thinking, she says, leading some people to become psychotic. The SSRIs can cause "severe agitation and suicide to some," she says, "and cause others to commit acts of violence against others." Christopher's aunt, Melinda Pittman Rector, told the jury that 5 days before he killed his grandparents, Christopher talked to her on the phone and said he did not like the medication he was taking because it gave him nightmares, and described feeling like “his skin was crawling,” “burning underneath,” and he couldn’t “put it out,” she said. During the trial, this syndrome was described as a classic lay description of drug-induced "akathisia," in testimony by two well-know experts in the SSRI field, Dr David Healy and Dr Richard Kapit.
During the trial, Police Officer Lucinda McKellar testified that she Mirandized Christopher, who was not even old enough to drive, marry, or sign a binding legal contract in South Carolina, and asked him if he wanted to waive his rights and sign a confession, supposedly dictated by him, but written entirely by Ms McKellar, using an adult vocabulary.
This is a major issue raised in Christopher's appeal. In their appellate brief, his attorneys summed it up like this: "In this case, the agents extracted two signed statements from a 12-year old boy of below-average intelligence, with no prior experience with law enforcement, who was under the influence of a psychoactive drug that was prescribed “off label” to him by a general practitioner."
Apparently, in the US, whether a child will be tried as a juvenile or an adult depends on where the child lives. According to Christopher's attorneys, only a handful of states permit children to be tried as adults, but South Carolina is one of them.
In South Carolina, a presumption of incapacity to form criminal intent to commit a crime is given to a child between the ages of seven and fourteen. However, it is a rebuttable presumption, if it can be shown that the child was mentally capable of committing a crime, even though he was between the age of seven and fourteen.
At trial, the first line of defense was the presumption against the capacity for 12-year old Christopher to form criminal intent, and the second was “involuntary intoxication” from Zoloft.
According to his attorneys, there was no evidence produced at trial to rebut the presumption given to a child under 14. "Nowhere is there one whit of evidence to rebut the presumption," Mr Vickery says. The prosecution introduced no evidence, he says, to show that Christopher was any different, mentally or otherwise, from any other 12-year-old child. However, Mr Vickery notes, there was evidence produced by the defense that supported the presumption. Dr Lanette Atkins, a board-certified child psychiatrist with the South Carolina Department of Mental Health, testified at length about the underdeveloped 12-year-old brain, the physiological and psychological differences between the developing brain and that of an adult, and specifically how those differences related to behavior and judgment.
In fact, Dr Atkins testified that Christopher was academically behind other 12 year-olds.
A prosecution rebuttal witness, Dr. Julian Sharman, described the Christopher he interviewed on November 29, 2001 as a “normal 12 year old.”Another state witness, Detective Darrell Duncan, testified that Christopher was “a scrawny little boy,” “just a young boy,” “a young juvenile,” and said that he had acted as Christopher's “baby-sitter” while he was in law enforcement custody.
On the involuntary intoxication defense, during the trial, Keith Altman, a database analyst, testified about similar reports of adverse reactions to Zoloft and told the jury that FDA statistics showed that between 1997 and June 2004, there were 18 reports of children between the age of 12 and 17 who had adverse reactions to Zoloft that involved "hostility," and that 3 cases involved murder.
Dr Atkins told the jury that Zoloft caused Christopher to kill his grandparents. She said Zoloft induced a psychotic reaction that sent him into a homicidal mania. As for any statements made by Christopher during the interrogation soon after the crime, Dr Atkins explained that, "mania can last for months, particularly in children."
A former FDA psychiatrist, Dr Richard Kapit, told the jury during his testimony, that one could map the deterioration of Christopher's condition, day by day, starting with the ingestion of Paxil.
Even today, his attorneys say, Christopher does not begin to understand the events of November 28, 2001. "When I was taking Zoloft," Christopher wrote in a letter, "I took the lives of two people that I loved more than anything, my grandparents."
Indeed, the fact that he adored his grandparents was backed up throughout the trial. From the first witness to the last, every person who knew this family described his relationship with his grandparents, particularly his grandfather, as extremely close, loving, and devoted.
His sister Danielle testified that Christopher “absolutely worshiped the ground my grandfather walked on.” Christopher and his grandfather, who he called "Pop Pop," were like “two peas in a pod” and they were “glued” together, according to his aunt Melinda. He was even given the nickname “shadow” because of the close association he had with his grandfather, she told the jury.
At Christopher's sentencing hearing, even though her parents were the victims in the case, his aunt Melinda begged the judge for leniency, explaining that if her parents were alive, they would be asking for mercy for their grandson. The judge showed no leniency and sentenced Christopher to the full 30 years in prison.
However, serious evidence of jury misconduct surfaced soon after the trial ended. One juror admitted to having discussed the case with a bartender during a break in deliberations and according to the bartender, the juror expressed a belief that Christopher was guilty and the same juror also admitted to having spoken about the case with his wife. Jurors are repeatedly warned to not discuss the case with anyone but the other jurors during deliberations. They are also instructed to not form an opinion about the guilt of a defendant until they listen to all the evidence and receive juror instructions from the judge. By discussing the case with a bartender and his wife, and specifically expressing a belief that Christopher was guilty, the juror sabotaged his right to a fair trial. Two other jurors said that they did not believe Christopher was guilty but they had been coerced by other jurors into voting for a conviction.
Juror, Roberta Diamond, said that she was "appalled" at the "guilty" verdict. She said she found no evidence whatsoever to overcome the presumption that 12-year- olds do not have the mental capacity to form "criminal intent," and that she found the evidence linking Zoloft to Christopher's actions "compelling." Soon after the verdict, Ms Diamond contacted Christopher's attorneys and voiced her concerns and as a result, she filed an affidavit that was a key attachment to the defense's second motion for new trial. Despite all this, the judge in the case refused to grant a new trial and for some odd reason, ordered the identity of the juror who violated his oath in speaking to the bartender and his wife not be disclosed.
Looking back to when he placed on the SSRIs, Christopher says he did not recognize the changes in in his thinking and behavior. That it wasn't until months later after he was completely off the medication, that he could see how bizarre his actions were.The people who actually knew this child best described him at trial as being shy, loving and gentle before he was placed on SSRIs. And according to Christopher himself, when the dosage of Zoloft was increased everything got worse. "I snapped," he says. "It made me hate everyone," he recalls. The smallest things would make him blow up, he said.
He started getting into fights, when before he would always avoid fights. "I just hated the whole world for no apparent reason," Christopher says.
If family members had been alerted to watch for the side effect of Zoloft, the signs of violence and mania were there. For instance, Christopher, who by all accounts had never threatened or harmed another human being, choked a 2nd grade student on the school bus shortly before he killed his grandparents. Christopher's memory of what happened the night his grandparents died is: "When I was lying in my bed that night, I couldn't sleep because my voice in my head kept echoing through my mind telling me to kill them until I got up, got the gun, and I went upstairs and I pulled the trigger."According to Christopher, the whole thing was like watching a show on TV. "You know what is going to happen," he says, "but you can't do anything to stop it."
"All you can do is just watch it in fright," he recalls.
In August 2005, in a rather unusual occurrence, the Supreme Court of South Carolina issued an order, on its own motion, by-passing the court of appeals and permitting a direct appeal for Christopher's case. The rule cited by the court provides for a direct appeal if a case involves significant legal issues and or a matter of public concern.If Zoloft does not lead to violence, anger, or hostility, somebody needs to change the FDA guidelines given out with each prescriptions of Zoloft because according to the FDA, you should contact your child’s healthcare provider right away if your child exhibits any of the following signs for the first time, or if they seem worse, or worry you, your child, or your child’s teacher:
• Thoughts about suicide or dying
• Attempts to commit suicide
• New or worse depression
• New or worse anxiety
• Feeling very agitated or restless
• Panic attacks
• Difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
• New or worse irritability
• Acting aggressive, being angry, or violent
• Acting on dangerous impulses
• An extreme increase in activity and talking
• Other unusual changes in behavior or mood
The FDA also says to never stop taking an antidepressant without fist talking to a healthcare provider because stopping suddenly can cause other symptoms.
Zachary Schmidkunz is living proof that suddenly stopping Zoloft can cause "other symptoms."
On November 17, 2003, the police in Minot, North Dakota, received a report from Rhonda and Gail Schmidkunz, of a female body they discovered in their basement that had been shot in the upper area of the body.
Mr and Mrs Schmidkunz did not know the girl, who was later identified as Alexis Walter, a friend of their son, Zachary, who was not at home.
As the police began the investigation of the crime scene, they learned that Zachary had turned himself in to police and was claiming to have shot a girl in Minot. Zach gave statements in which he admitted that he had shot Alexis and his subsequent statements revealed the prior events as they unfolded. He said he had struggled with depression and was recently prescribed Zoloft by Dr Joe Smothers. However, a couple days prior to the crime, he had stopped taking the drug.
Exactly like Christopher above, Zach was sent home from a visit to his family doctor's with samples packs of Zoloft, without any warning about the adverse reactions that could occur.
In hindsight, had they known, his father says, the signs were there. "By Saturday, there were symptoms of discontinuation syndrome," he recalls. "They continued to intensify through Monday when the murder happened," he said.
Without knowing what to watch for, Mr Schmidkunz says, Zach and everyone else missed the signs that might have alerted them to the dangers and prevented the tragic event.
A jury trial began on December 2, 2004, but according to Mr Schmidkunz, "when the day finally arrived for the start of Zach’s trial, no one could have prepared us for what to expect."
"The immediate, vicious attack on our son, Zach’s character," he said, "by the State’s Attorney during his opening arguments was a nightmare filled with horrors."
"They wanted to send away my son for a long, long, time," he said.
"Someone who had no history of crime, rage or angry outbursts," Mr Schmidkunz noted, "a kind gentle young man who never so much had even a traffic ticket."
Pfizer also supplied materials to the government in this case.
"The prosecution," Zach's father said, "followed the Zoloft prosecutors manual to a T by attacking Zach’s makeup and personality arguing that Zach was a monster planning to murder someone."
"That tactic was effective, very effective," Mr Schmidkunz noted. "So effective," he said, "that early that evening Zach’s Grandmother, who had been at the trial that day, had an heart episode that sent her to the hospital from church via the ambulance."
From then on, against her wishes because she wanted to support her grandson, Zach's family decided that his Grandma should not attend any more of the trial. Zachary testified in his own defense and spent more than 6 hours on the witness stand. He told the jury how he shot Alexis and said he acted out of complete rage, not at Alexis or anything in particular, just uncontrollable anger.
Zach told the jury that Alexis told him that "people who are depressed always end up committing suicide. Medicine can't help," and this remark apparently set him off. He told the jury how he went into his room, turned on some music and went into a rage. He then went and unlocked the gun cabinet and Alexis asked him what he was doing. He went back into his room, Zach recalled, laid the gun on his bed, went and grabbed a box of shells, turned the music up louder, loaded a shell into the chamber, and came back out of his room and Alexis again asked him what he was doing. By this time he was pointing the gun down at Alexis and he says, she again asked, "what are you doing?" She crouched down on her knees and started crying, and it was then that Zach shot her. He then went back in his room and put three more shells into the gun, grabbed a bag and started throwing stuff like socks and underwear in it. He says he didn't think about Alexis when he left the house. He went and got some money out of an ATM machine, drove to a gas station and filled up his car with gas, and drove off with no destination in mind.He drove on the interstate to Jamestown and there, in a gas station parking lot, Zach says, things started coming back to him and he thought he remembered shooting someone so he went and turned himself into police.
During the trial, 4 expert witness testified that Zach was clinically depressed. Dr Maureen Hackett, MD, testified for the defense, and said that it was her opinion that Zach was in a state of mind of an automaton that was induced by extreme physiologic excitement fueled by a reaction to Zoloft withdrawal that created a worsening of his symptoms and a sudden onset of novel rage resulting in a prolonged episode of extreme emotional disturbance. "None of this made any difference to the jury or the prosecutor," Mr Schmidkunz says. With the help of the Pfizer manual, Zach's father says, the "prosecutor convinced the jury my son was a monster and that Dr Hackett was a hired gun bought for a price and would tell the court whatever we wanted her to say."
"The State’s Attorney and law enforcement," he said, "don’t understand or just don’t care what an SSRI does to a person’s brain when you have an adverse event." They wanted nothing to do with the possibility, he says, that Zoloft had altered Zach’s brain chemistry causing the uncontrollable rage.
"For two weeks," Mr Schmidkunz recalls, "we sat through a barrage of attempts by the prosecution to lead the jury to believe that Zach was a good kid who went bad and his psychological profile was such that he was destined to be a murder."
"It was nearly more than we could bear," he says, "sitting through this fabrication and distortion of facts.
"Even after the trial, Zach says, it took him a long time to get to the point where he accepts that the adverse reactions from Zoloft caused him to commit murder. "I came to realize that I would not normally kill a human being," he explained, "most importantly not somebody I considered a friend."
"After much self-reflection over days without sleep in jail," he recounts, "I realized that there was no other explanation for what I did, other than the medication having an effect."
"I was suicidal," Zach said, "not homicidal." And like so many other people who have committed violent acts brought on by adverse reactions to SSRIs have said, Zach said, "it was like watching himself in a movie going to get the shotgun."
He had this over-powering urge to shoot something and tried to stop himself but was powerless to do so, he told his parents.
Zach describes the guilt he feels as devastating.
"I took a human life," he said, "its the most horrific feeling in the world."
Another thing that really bothers him, Zach says, is that he hates violence against women. "I was taught to hold doors open for them, to be nice and never, never hit a woman," Zach said. "It tears me apart knowing that the person I killed was female," he added.
He feels the most remorse over what this has done to Alexis' family. "Its a tough reality accepting the responsibility of what you've done," Zach said, "to see the other family's pain."
He describes this feeling as "gut wrenching."
During his closing argument, the prosecutor said Zach made a choice to take a life when he became angry, instead of just walking away. He also chipped away at every area of Zach's character.
All his life, Zach had attended church regularly with his family and had even been a counselor at a Christian Bible camp the previous summer. Yet, during closing arguments, the prosecutor told the jury: “Perhaps if Mr. Schmidkunz had been a better Christian, this murder would not have happened.” On top of everything else, his father said, the family was crushed by this comment. But the worst anguish was yet to come. The jury deliberated less than 4 hours before returning a guilty verdict. Mr Schmidkunz describes that moment by saying, "a stake driven through my heart would have hurt less than hearing the words: “We the jury find Zachary Schmidkunz guilty". But the nightmare did not end there for Gail and Rhonda Schmidkunz, in fact, it must seem like their Zoloft nightmare will never end. In December 2005, Alexis' mother, Lisa Anderson filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Pfizer and Zach's parents, alleging that his parents should have known about his depression and suicidal thoughts and kept him away from a gun and that Pfizer knew of, but failed to warn that Zoloft's side effects could lead to uncontrollable rage in young patients.
Bryant Haskins, a spokesman for Pfizer, said in a statement that Zoloft has been on the market for 14 years and has been used safely by millions. "There is no scientifically based evidence to suggest that Zoloft causes patients who are being treated to commit violent acts harming other people," Haskins said.
That statement does not jive with the warning below issued in a Dear Doctor letter to physicians in Canada on May 26, 2004, which states in part: Health Canada Endorsed Important Safety Information on ZOLOFTAdult and Pediatrics: Additional data
"There are clinical trial and post-marketing reports with SSRIs and other newer antidepressants, in both pediatrics and adults, of severe agitation-type adverse events coupled with self-harm or harm to others. The agitation-type events include: akathisia, agitation, disinhibition, emotional lability, hostility, aggression, depersonalization. In some cases, the events occurred within several weeks of starting treatment. "
Rigorous clinical monitoring for suicidal ideation or other indicators of potential for suicidal behavior is advised in patients of all ages. This includes monitoring for agitation-type emotional and behavioural changes."
For more information go to Lawyers and
Evelyn Pringle

Evelyn Pringle is a columnist for OpEd News and investigative journalist focused on exposing corruption in government and corporate America.
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