A strong argument could be made that the tobacco industry is largely responsible for the corruption of the U.S. Justice Department under the George W. Bush administration.
Tobacco has been one of the primary contributors to a U.S. Chamber of Commerce effort over the past 15 years or so to put Republicans in control of state courts in Alabama, Mississippi, and elsewhere.
Two of the best known cases of political prosecution by the Bush Justice Department involve Don Siegelman in Alabama and Paul Minor in Mississippi. Evidence strongly suggests that Siegelman and Minor were targeted partly because of their success in suing the tobacco industry.
Knowing the tobacco industry has played a leading role in creating the Great Bush Presidential Catastrophe of the past eight years, we were struck by recent news about the work of a faculty member at the University of Alabama.
Dr. Alan Blum is director of the Center for the Study of Tobacco and Society and an expert on the tobacco industry's decades-long effort to hide the ill effects of smoking.
When Blum unmasks the tobacco industry, we can better understand why Big Tobacco's benefactor--the Republican Party--is so corrupt. When you jump in bed with Big Tobacco, it's hard not to be corrupt.
Blum tells us that sufficient medical evidence existed by 1939 to make the link between smoking and lung cancer. But Big Tobacco and its lackeys fought off efforts to educate the public.
It took another 25 years for the famous U.S. Surgeon General's report of 1964 to show the connection between smoking and ill health.
And it was another 14 years before the American Medical Association came out with its own report about the dangers of smoking.
Why the delay? Why, in 1964 the AMA had just accepted $15 million from Big Tobacco to conduct "research."
Blum shines light on both the corruption and the hypocrisy of the modern Republican Party. After all, this is the party that claims to be "pro life" out of one side of its mouth, while begging for Big Tobacco dollars out of the other side.
Whew! Talk about hypocrisy!
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