(NaturalNews) Democratic U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island has ramped up his rhetoric against the “fossil fuel industry,” and he thinks that the government may be able to make a case against it for racketeering. Sen. Whitehouse should be careful what he asks for; he may just get it, in spades.
Whitehouse, in a recent op-ed in The Washington Post argues that the federal government ought to examine whether the fossil fuel industry’s marketing practices are in fact violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO, statutes – laws that were originally enacted decades ago to prosecute criminal organizations.
In particular, he noted, “Fossil fuel companies and their allies are funding a massive and sophisticated campaign to mislead the American people about the environmental harm caused by carbon pollution.”
In making his argument, he compares the government’s 1999 case against Big Tobacco, which denied for years the health dangers of smoking. Eventually, federal courts found such denials, and resultant marketing practices based on such denials, to be a racketeering enterprise, Whitehouse wrote.
How about RICO charges against GMO shills and vaccine pushers instead?
“The Big Tobacco playbook looked something like this: (1) pay scientists to produce studies defending your product; (2) develop an intricate web of PR experts and front groups to spread doubt about the real science; (3) relentlessly attack your opponents,” he wrote.
“Thankfully, the government had a playbook, too: the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO. In 1999, the Justice Department filed a civil RICO lawsuit against the major tobacco companies and their associated industry groups, alleging that the companies ‘engaged in and executed — and continue to engage in and execute — a massive 50-year scheme to defraud the public, including consumers of cigarettes, in violation of RICO.'”
Though Big Tobacco spent years and millions of dollars fighting the government, through the discovery process, federal prosecutors eventually plowed through the layers of deceit and denial to demonstrate that the tobacco industry knew all along what kind of health problems originated with smoking.
Now, this uber-liberal senator from the bluest of all blue states wants government lawyers sicced on Big Oil, because he says the industry has engaged in similar tactics to hide the ill effects of fossil fuels on the environment (more on that in a moment).
What would Sen. Whitehouse think about using government RICO statutes to go after, say, Monsanto and Merck, two of the world’s largest pushers of GMOs and vaccines, respectively?
If you think about it, these two industries have engaged in the very same tactics used by Big Tobacco. Monsanto has falsified data surrounding GMOs, has developed a massive PR campaign to defend GMOs, has spread doubt about the real science and has built a network of hatchet men and groups to “relentlessly attack” opponents. The same is true of the vaccine companies.
Fossil fuel ties to “climate change“ are imagined, but Monsanto and Merck have done documented harm to humankind
What’s more, the so-called “science” surrounding “climate change/global warming/carbon pollution” allegedly caused by Big Oil is anything but settled, as hoaxers like Whitehouse assert; we have covered that lie as well. In fact, speaking of RICO, the climate change “industry” is guilty of the same things the GMO, vaccine and Big Tobacco industries were – misleading the public, attacking “deniers,” and ginning up phony “science” to substantiate the lies.
Whitehouse is all about using the power of the federal government, essentially, to punish an industry that simply does not share his political ideology. But if there are cases where the government’s RICO statutes really should be considered, GMO pushers and Big Pharma vaccine makers are better targets.