The Ashcroft-Rove Connection: The Ties That Blind

by Project Censored
Published: Updated:

Title: “”The Ashcroft-Rove Connection: The Ties That Blind”
By: Amy Goodman, Jeremy Scahill & the staff of Democracy Now!
Source : Democracy Now!, Fall 2003
Researched by Vanessa Castellanos.

Attorney General John Ashcroft is refusing to appoint an independent prosecutor to investigate who in the administration leaked the name of a CIA operative to journalists. This despite the fact that Ashcroft has long standing ties to one of the main suspects: President Bush’s top political advisor Karl Rove. Rove has been accused of leaking the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame, in retaliation for her husband, veteran diplomat Joseph Wilson, blowing the whistle on the Bush administration’s charge that Saddam Hussein attempted to import uranium for nuclear weapons from Niger.

Rove is best known as the driving force behind Bush’s taking of the presidency, but he also worked for Ashcroft over the course of two decades. Author James Moore says that it goes all the way back to the mid 1980ís when John Ashcroft first ran for governor and then when he ran for the United States Senate against Mel Carnahan. Karl was so intimately involved.

Not only did Rove work for Ashcroft in the 80ís, but he was one of the main forces behind Ashcroft’s controversial appointment to the job he currently holds as attorney general. Rove lobbied intensely for his former employer’s nomination after Ashcroft lost his senate seat to the late Mel Carnahan.
While Ashcroft was not Bush’s first choice for attorney general, Rove reportedly told Bush that spilling some blood over the nomination of the fiercely right-wing Ashcroft was “a no-lose proposition” Now attorney general, Ashcroft is refusing to hand over the reigns of the criminal investigation of his political ally, former employee and longtime advisor, Karl Rove.

Source : Democracy Now!, Fall 2003, “The Ashcroft-Rove Connection: The Ties That Blind” by Amy Goodman, Jeremy Scahill & the staff of Democracy Now! Researched by Vanessa Castellanos.

Oppression of Afghani Women Continues

Title: “What Liberation? The Taliban may be gone, but women in Afghanistan are still being arrested for ‘moral’ crimes”
By: Kimberly Sevick
Source: The Mother Jones, July-August 2003
Researched by John Hernandez.

Afghani women continue to be oppressed in Herat, Afghanistan’s the second largest city in the country live in fear after the Taliban has left. Women are mainly in fear of talking to any men who aren’t their husbands. Gynecologist in Herats hospital who asked to be called Dr. Afzali says she was forced to perform numerous “chastity tests” on women who have been arrested for talking to any man even their own relatives. Dr. Afzali says that security officers don’t ask questions of the women but take them in and have the doctor perform forced chastity tests on teenage girls and women against their will if they are thought to be doing something wrong. Dr. Afzali also makes the comment that any young woman arrested in this manner that their reputation is destroyed due to false accusations.

The writer Sevick also comments on how the American government falsely led the public to belief that the oppression of women stopped after the Taliban. It started with President Bush comment shortly before the bombing in Afghanistan in October 2001 in which he says that the Taliban oppression of women was over than their was Laura Bush first lady who went on to say after Taliban was chased out by the Northern Alliance, “Women are no longer imprisoned in their homes.” Even in the state of the union address after the victory in Afghanistan President Bush says, “Today Women are free.” All false indications of the extent of freedom of oppressed women in Afghanistan actually enjoyed within their communities.
The reality of the matter is that US has made some gains in the capital of Kabul where Unicef has estimated 1.2 million girls last year have been going to school and some women have been able to work in the capital in the regions where peace keepers are in place. But CNN has reported on Kabul prisons reveals that oppression of women is evident in the prison have still been implemented in regions where the supposed peacekeepers are in place. This is one indication that women have some freedom in Kabul, but other regions like Herat the governors and warlords known as “regional commanders” are commanding regions in Afghanistan. These commanders in the regions are forcing women into marriage and threatening families if they don’t comply.

The central governments are denying arrests of women because of moral crime, but arrests are being done on the grounds of false adultery often without a trial. Another issue is the fact that the country has seen plenty of destruction because of Bush’s war. Promised rebuilding has been focused on construction not on programs for women. To top it off in October the U.S. backed the government in Kabul and expects a constitution that will give women equal rights sadly that doesn’t seem to matter much when warlords and lack of money for women’s program funding will ever appear or be resolved. To some it up Dr. Afzali said, “With one side of the mouth, the government is granting new rights to women. But with the other side, they are trying to control us.”

Big Brother Is Watching

Title: “Stranger Than Strangelove”
By Jim Hightower
Source: The Texas Observer, 2003
Researched by Brooke Finley.

DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, operating within the Pentagon, is bringing a new form of surveillance into our private worlds. CTS, otherwise known as Combat Zones that See, is an urban surveillance system that uses thousands of cameras linked to a central computer to track, record, and analyze the movements of every vehicle in the city. Its software can identify your cars by size, shape, license plate – and even by your face. It let’s authorities (government and corporate) keep an eye over everyone’s movements in entire cities.

CTS say that its goal is to “track everything that moves,” storing and categorizing phenomenal amount of data so that it is instantly retrievable. Act suspicious and CTS flashes an alert to authorities, complete with your profile. DARPA says that CTS is only for foreign surveillance but the corporate contractors developing the system claim differently. “The whole theme here is homeland security,” says one of the staff. DARPA is also the agency that have given us such systems as: the Total Information Awareness Program which can ransack any and all databases and compile secret profiles on each of our lives, and PAL, the cognitive computer system with sensors that let its wearers secretly record our words and movements.

Rash Indicates New Breast Cancer Risk

Title: “A New Form Of Breast Cancer”
By Jill Shinn
Source: Mother Warriors Voice, pg.12, Spring 2003
Researched by Sabrina Bronson.

There is a new breast cancer disease popping up in America. In November 2002 a rare form of breast cancer was found, a woman developed a rash on her breast, similar to that of nursing mothers. The woman’s mammogram was clear so the doctor treated her with antibiotics for an infection. The rash continued to get worse and the doctor sent her for another mammogram, and this time it showed a mass. Further study of a biopsy found a fast growing malignancy. The patient started chemotherapy to shrink the growth and after intense treatment she was declared a full bill of health. The cancer later returned to the liver and she was only given five months to live.

This rare form of breast cancer is found on the outside of the breast, on the nipple and areola. It appears as a rash and later becomes a lesion with an oozing crusty outer edge. Usually only one nipple is affected. Symptoms include itching and/or soreness. The biggest problem with this disease is that such symptoms appear to be harmless. It is frequently mistaken for skin inflammation or an infection. If this woman had been diagnosed with breast cancer in the beginning, perhaps it would not have spread. Therefore women and their doctors are urged to pay extra attention and look for these rare signs.

Washington Buys Friends by Giving Out Weapons to Rogue Nations

Title: “Arms to the World: Washington Buys Friends by Doling Out Weapons to Rogue Nations”
By : Joseph Hart.
Source: Utune May/June 2003
Researched by: Jose Castellanos

Since the September 11th attacks, the United States has stepped up both gifts and sales of advanced weapons as a way to entice reluctant nations to support our military actions, according to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (Jan./Feb.2003).Many of the countries on our anti-terrorism gift list would normally be banned from receiving U.S. weapons.

Laws dating from World War II forbid the transfer or sale of military gear to governments with a consistent pattern of gross violations of human rights. But the Bush administration has been using various loopholes to arm new allies that often fail to meet those standards. For instance, the United States has lifted sanctions against arms sales to Tajikistan, an authoritarian regime that relies on a handful of commanders who use their forces almost as private armies, according to a report issued by the Bush State Department. These government forces, the report continues, routinely use torture, beatings, threats, extortion, looting, kidnappings, disappearances, and outright murder. Yet the State Department estimates U.S. aid to Tajikistan in 2003 at $490 million, including $21.5 million earmarked for these same military and police forces.

Other countries receiving military or police aid are not much better. In fact the United States exported weapons in 2001 to 42 countries with poor or extremely poor human rights rankings from the State Department and provided $2 billion in grants and loans for purchasing weapons to countries with similar records. Laws require the State Department to report to Congress on weapons transfers, and some senators have raised concerns about human rights abuses. But the Bush administration would like to find a way to hand out weapons without congressional involvement. Tucked into the Department of Defense supplemental appropriations bill of 2002 were provisions that would have provided $100 million to support foreign nations in furtherance of the global war on terrorism with weapons and training, and an additional $30 million to outfit indigenous forces, such as revolutionary insurgents- all to be spent in secret at the military’s discretion and without oversight from Congress, or even from the administrations own State Department. The provisions were stripped from the final bill, but the idea is likely to resurface.

The U.S Government’s Tests of Warfare Agents on Servicemen and Civilians

Title: “Northern Exposure”
By: Korey Capozza
Source: The Nation, August 18/25, 2003
Researched by: Brooke Finley

In 1952, The U.S. Army created a 19,000-acre, top-secret reserve in Fort Greely, Alaska for the explicit purpose of testing deadly chemical and biological weapons. According to a few veterans’ recollections, between 1962 and 1967, the Army blasted hundreds of rockets and bombs containing sarin and VX nerve agents into the region’s richly wildlife-populated forests. Canisters of VX agents were either buried approximately a half of a mile from the Alaska Highway or thrown onto a frozen lake during the winter of 1966 where they later sank to the bottom in the spring. Incidents such as these continued to happen until 1970, when the testing of the deadly weapons was discontinued.

Now, thirty years after the tests were conducted, veterans who served in Fort Greely are coming forward with different health problems that they suspect are directly related to their involvement in the secret weapons testing. Because Fort Greely was highly top-secret, the Department of Veterans Affairs medical staff had a hard time believing the veterans when they started appearing with medical problems. There were no records available, of any testing, at any time done on that site. As the medical cases grew in number, the VA began putting pressure on the Department of Defense to release any documents that might help in the care of the Fort Greely veterans. Release of some of the documents revealed that the test site was operated with a blatant disregard for the health of military personnel and the residents in the small towns surrounding the site. The documents also suggest that some of the deadly materials used on the site are still unaccounted for.

Under the Bush Administration’s March 25th executive order delaying the release of government documents, the DOD has yet to give the Fort Greely veterans a clear definition of possible causes of their health problems. The DOD also refuses to grant any of the veterans’ health care based on exposure to agents used in the secret site’s experiments.

International Movement Takes on Water Industry

Title: “Tidal Wave: International movement takes on water industry”
By: Erica Hartman
Source: IN THESE TIMES, June 23, 2003
Researched by: Sara Brunner

In a new grassroots movement to combat the corporatization of water, organizers gather in Ghana in mid May for their first annual water forum titled, Securing the Right to Water in Africa. Various groups all who oppose the efforts of multi-national corporations and lending institutions to privatize water sponsored this event. The World Bank has set its eyes on Ghana as its poster child for water privatization. Under Bank loan requirements monthly water rates for the average Ghanaian has sky rocketed. Now, the Bank is demanding the country privatize its system. Many countries worldwide may face the same fate, with lawmakers pledging that by 2015 they will reduce the amount of people who are deprived of clean drinking water by half.

Privatization is being promoted by World Bank and by multi-national corporations as the solution to global water scarcity. This can be done by turning water into an economic good; a commodity to be controlled by global corporations and sold to the highest bidder in international markets. In places like Nicaragua and Accra, citizens are fighting the commodification of water at the local level. Earlier in this year another water forum held in Kyoto Japan, was the sight of the Third World Water forum, and they released a statement that now over 300 groups have signed. It is an inalienable human right and a public trust to be protected and nurtured by all peoples, communities and nations, and the bodies that represent them at local state, and international level.
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US Rejected Peace Offerings from Iraq and Afghanistan

Title: “Dreamers and Idiots”
By: George Monbiot
Source: The Guardian, November 12, 2003
Researched by: Brooke Finley

While thousands of innocent lives have been lost due to the war in Iraq, new information has come out that President Bush and Tony Blair had many opportunities for a peaceful solution before the war began. As most already know there appears to have been no weapons of mass destruction and no evidence to suggest that, as President Bush claimed in March, Saddam had “trained and financed…al Qaeda”. But now, even more lies are starting to surface.

Over the four months before the coalition forces invaded Iraq, Saddam Hussein’s government made a series of offers to the United States. In December, the Iraqi intelligence services approached Vincent Cannistraro, the CIA’s former head of counter-terrorism, with an offer to prove that Iraq was not linked to the September 11th attacks and to permit several thousand US troops to enter the country to look for weapons of mass destruction. If the object was regime change, then Saddam, the agents claimed, was prepared to submit himself to internationally-monitored elections within 2 years. According to Cannistrao, these proposals reached the White House, but were “turned down by the President and vice President.”

By February, Saddam’s negotiators were offering free access to the FBI to look for weapons of mass destruction wherever it wanted, support for the US position on Israel and Palestine, and rights to Iraq’s oil. Another attempt was made on Sept. 20, 2001, before the war with Afghanistan. The Taliban offered to hand Osama bin Laden to a neutral Islamic country for trial if the US presented them with evidence that he was responsible for the attacks on New York and Washington. The US rejected that offer. On October 1st, they repeated the offer and once again, the US rejected it.

The charter of the United Nations specifies that “the parties to any dispute…shall, first of all, seek a solution by negotiation” and as we are beginning to see, President Bush and Tony Blair have somehow, become exempt from international law.

Public Relations and the Pharmaceutical Industry

Title: “Disease Mongering”
By: Bob Burton and Andy Rowell
Source: PR Watch, First Quarter 2003
Researched by Erin Cossen

The pharmaceutical industry spends twice as much on public relations, marketing, and administration as it does on drug research and development. During 2000 more than $13.2 billion was spent on pharmaceutical marketing in the U.S. Half of global legal drug sales occur in the United States alone. Drug companies such as Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, and Astra Zeneca hire specialist “healthcare” PR companies to help create profits. The leading healthcare PR companies in the U.S. are Edelman, Ruder Finn and Chandler Chicco Agency. These groups are responsible for persuading doctors and patients to use the drug companies’ products. Patient groups are wooed to assist with “disease awareness campaigns.” They also organize medical conferences to provide a platform for well trained “product champions” to announce promising results of drug research. PR firms aim to create “buzz” about the new drug in order to increased sales. Chandler Chicco Agency had much success with this when they created the buzz: over Pfizer’s $1 billion-a-year impotence drug, Viagra.

Drug company advertising tends to overemphasize the benefits of medication. Other strategies for dealing with problems are ignored. Diseases are created to create new markets for new drugs. Patient groups are created to boost a new drug that is about to emerge from the drug company’s “pipeline.” An investigation by the Journal of the American Medical Association found that it is commonplace practice for articles to be “ghostwritten” by PR firms for well-respected medical researchers. This creates a market for new products by creating dissatisfaction with existing products.

How Bush and his coal industry cronies are covering up one of the worst environmental disasters in U.S. history.

Title: “Dirty Business”
By: Phillip Babich
Source:, Nov. 13, 2003

Title: “Mine Safety Official Critical of Policies Faces Firing”
By: James Dao
Source: New York Times, Nov. 9, 2003 (pg. 18)
Researched by: Jose Castellanos

Jack Spadaro was selected to be one of eight members of an accident investigation team to determine the causes of the nation’s largest coal slurry spill at the Martin County Coal Company in Inez, Kt., on Oct. 11, 2000. The EPA called the Inez spill the worst environmental catastrophe in the history of the Eastern United States. Far more extensive in damage than the widely known 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill off the coast of Alaska, the Martin County Coal slurry spill dumped an estimated 306 million gallons of toxic sludge down 100 miles of waterways.

Before the change in political administration, Spadaro and his teammates had been uncovering information that had far-reaching implications for both Massey Energy (the parent company of Martin County Coal and a major contributor to the Republican Party) and the coal industry as a whole. Testimony and documents revealed that executives at Martin County Coal and federal regulators were aware that there was potential for a catastrophic failure at the slurry impoundment but didn’t take proper actions to avoid it. But MSHA and Martin not only ignored the recommendations, MSHA actually allowed Martin to add coal waste to its impoundment.

By the end of 2000, Spadaro and other investigation team members felt they were beginning to collect enough evidence to issue Massey Energy citations for willful and criminal negligence. In addition, MSHA was going to be held accountable as well. But that all changed when George W. Bush moved into the White House. Within days of Bush’s inauguration a new team leader was brought in to head the Martin County Coal investigation. The scope of the investigation was dramatically narrowed – offering another example of how the wholesale takeover of the White House by the energy industry is having a real impact on real lives. In Oct. 2002, MSHA released its final accident report, which cited Martin County Coal for two minor violations with fines totaling $110,000, and left MSHA district officials completely off the hook.

In a 10-page complaint sent to Mr. Spadaro on Oct. 2, mine safety officials accused him of abusing his authority, failing to follow orders and proper procedures and misusing a government credit card by taking unauthorized cash advances that cost the government $22.60 in bank fees. Mr. Spadaros lawyer, Jason E. Huber, argued in a response that the complaints were too trivial to justify firing.

“It is readily apparent that Mr. Spadaro’s proposed termination is not a result of meritorious complaints… but is rather the Department of Labor, Secretary Elaine L. Chao, Senator Mitch McConnell, and the Bush administration’s retaliation against Mr. Spadaro for whistle-blowing activities.”

The apparent vendetta against him, and a mass of other evidence, raise serious questions as to whether Bush administration officials, ranging from mining safety officials all the wat to Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, orchestrated a coverup to whitewash Martin County Coal of any serious responsibility for the coal slurry disaster.

Ms. Chao as secretary of labor oversees the mine safety agency. Senator McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, is her husband. Mr. Spadaro has asserted that Mr. McConnell has tried to protect Martin County Coal and its parent, the Massey Energy Company, because they are major campaign contributors.

More than 300 million gallons of the black wastewater spewed through the mine and into local streams, killing hundreds of thousands of fish, flooding homes, polluting wells and blackening waterways all along the Kentucky-West Virginia border.

Doping Kids

Title: “Doping Kids”
By: Helen Cordes
Source: Mother Jones, Vol. 28, No.5, Sept.-Oct
Researched by Adam Stutz

Adult pharmaceutical companies have been endangering children. Between 1997 and 2000 the FDA reported 7,000 cases of adverse reactions in children and out of these 7,000 reported incidents there were 769 reported deaths due to allergic reactions attributed to prescription drugs. There have been a large number of children who are often receiving these prescriptions in combination with other medications. The effects can be devastating. Nearly a quarter of a million children took Prilosec in 2000, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and nearly 100,000 children were prescribed similar “proton pump inhibitors”(PPI) heart burn drugs such as Prevacid, Nexium, Protonix, and Aciphex. None of these PPI’s were approved for pediatric use at the time (Prevacid was in 2002).

The FDA had warned that children taking Prilosec could face the risk of developing pancreatis and liver problems. Three out of four children’s prescriptions are “off label.” Drug salesmen are prohibited from this practice but it still occurs quite commonly. The pharmaceutical companies look at children as a very lucrative demographic. This can be made apparent in the amount of advertising
undertaken by pharmaceutical companies at various children related activities such as sporting events.

Indian Rice Feeds Cattle and not Starving Indians

Title: “Indian Rice and Wheat feeds American Cattle, Rather than Starving Indians”
By: Devinder Sharma
Source: Gene Watch, March-April 2003
Researched by Beth Reiken

The World Trade Organization is forcing the Indian government to export food rather than feed starving people. The Indian government in complying with WTO demands has abdicated its responsibility to feed the nation, and instead shift the economy to food exports. The main foods being exportedare wheat and rice, which is sent to the United States to feed our cattle.

There is an estimate of 320 million people who are starving in India. However, the Indian Government is cooperating with Monsanto and the American company Rice X want to extract rice brand from raw rice Kernels to feed people. The process had not yet been proven safe on human and is currently used to feed cattle. The Indian people would be the first experiment of RiceX on humans.

Sex Discrimination in Florida

Title: “Florida Court Blocks Medicaid-Funded Abortions”
By: V/A
Source: People’s Weekly World
Researched by Maria Kyriakos

Florida courts still continue to refuse medical aid to women needing abortions this proactice is putting women’s health at risk, yet Florida’s medical program provides all medical aid necessary for men’s reproductive health services Florida’s Third District Court of Appeals issued an opinion refusing to overturn Florida’s ban on Medicaid-funded abortions. The Center for Reproductive Rights challenged the ban last August in A Choice for Women, Inc vs. Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, charging that the ban discriminates on the basis of sex. The court ignored the sex discrimination claim and upheld the ban as “rational,” thereby allowing
the state to continue violating women’s rights at the expense of their health. The Center for Reproductive Rights argued that it’s unconstitutional to deny low-income women Medicaid-funded abortions when their health is threatened by a pregnancy. By covering all reproductive health services needed by men and denying a particular reproductive health service needed by women, Florida is discriminating against women on the basis of sex. In a Miami health center, a woman was denied Medicaid funding for an
abortion even though she suffers from epileptic seizures and her epilepsy medication posed a serious threat to the health of her fetus. Without Medicaid coverage for abortions some low-income women are forced to carry complicated pregnancies further or delay obtaining the procedure while they seek alternative funds. Either way the law threatens the health of these women.

Currently, 17 states cover all abortions in their Medicaid programs. While courts in Florida deny Medicaid coverage for abortions for women receiving low income, courts in New Mexico and Connecticut have ruled that denying this coverage is indeed a form of sexual discrimination.

Corporations Privatize Freedom of Speech

Title: “The Invisible Gag”
By: Lawrence Soley
Source: Dollars & Sense
Researched by: Jessica Cortez

Corporations pose a growing threat to freedom of speech and information in our society. In some areas, including Washington, D.C., Florida, Arizona and California, the majority of housing units built in the past five years have been in planned developments. Because the rules and restrictions on behavior in planned communities are viewed by courts as voluntary contractual agreements, corporations such as Disney, Mobil Oil and the American Nevada Corporation, who build these communities, can write contracts that limit the colors of exterior paint, types of grass, and colors of drapes. In some cases clotheslines, birdbaths, and basketball hoops are prohibited as well as parking pick-ups and campers within the developments and posting yard signs Corporate controlled e-mail can also be restrict freedom of speech. AOL’s e-mail servers are privately owned and are available only to the subscribers who pay a fee for their usage. AOL can bar e-mail messages sent by any non-AOL subscribers. AOL-Time Warner and other ISP’s can limit incoming messages and pick and choose the material seen by their subscribers. AOL-Time Warner has censored e-mails sent by Harvard University to applicants, informing them of their acceptance to the school. AOL claims that it mistakenly identified the e-mails as spam. Even so, the mistake shows that AOL is vigorously censoring their e-mails, even those that subscribers want.

Corporations can restrict the release and distribution of internal documents, claiming that they are copyrighted or private property;
restrict speech on corporate-owned property; terminate employees who speak out about corporate practices; pressure the mass media to kill or alter stories with threats of lawsuits or by withdrawing advertising dollars; or file lawsuits against critics and activists, claming injury to their businesses as a result of free speech.

Pharmaceutical Companies Spend More on PR than on Disease

Title: “Disease Mongering”
By: Bob Burton and Andy Rowell
Source: PR Watch, First Quarter 2003
Researched by: Erin Cossen

The pharmaceutical industry spends twice as much on public relations and marketing than it does on drug research and development. During the year 2000 more than $13.2 billion was spent on pharmaceutical marketing in the U.S. Drug companies such as Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, and Astra Zeneca hire specialist “healthcare” PR companies to help create profits. The leading healthcare PR companies in the U.S. are Edelman, Ruder Finn and Chandler Chicco Agency. These groups are responsible for persuading doctors and patients to use products from the various companies that they represent. Patient groups are wooed to assist with disease awareness campaigns.” They also organize medical conferences to provide a platform for well trained “product champions” to announce promising results of drug research. PR firms aim to create “buzz” about the new drug in order to increased sales. Chandler Chicco Agency had much success with this when they created the buzz over Pfizer’s $1 billion-a-year impotence drug, Viagra.

Advertising for drug companies tends to overemphasize the benefits of medication. Other strategies for dealing with problems are ignored. Diseases are created to create new markets for new drugs. Patient groups are created to boost a new drug that is about to emerge from the drug company’s “pipeline.” An investigation by the Journal of the American Medical Association found that it is commonplace practice for articles to be “ghostwritten” by PR firms for well-respected medical researchers. This creates a market for new products by creating dissatisfaction with existing products.

Do Childhood Vaccines Cause More Harm than Good?

Title: “Childhood Vaccines: More Harm Than Good?”
By: Author Unknown
Source: Conscious Choice, June 2003
Researched by: Kelly Bullock

Many childhood vaccines are known to contain excessive amounts of mercury. Mercury contribute to neurological development disorders in children. Autism, speech disorders and heart disease are among those that are thought to be linked to the mercury in the thimerosal- contained in vaccines. Many vaccines are said to exceed Federal Safety Guidelines for the amount of mercury to be orally ingested. Autism rates grew 800% during the 80’s and 90’s and there are members of the scientific community that are highly skeptical that thimerosal vaccines are associated with the disorders.