March 27, 2010 - The Constantine Report    
Image
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
Image
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
Image
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
Image
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
Image
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
Image
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading

Pope Aide Claims Under-Fire Vatican is Victim of ‘Conspiracy’

This is a modified py-6 that occupies the entire horizontal space of its parent.

” … Beginning in the 1980s, when Cardenal Ratzinger took up the strategic post of guardian of orthodoxy and discipline, he continued the practice of covering-up, evading, hiding, transferring, and thus giving priority to the avoidance of scandal rather than the suffering of the victims and the punishment of pervert priests. … ”

 

by Andrew McLeod | Caledonian Mercury | March 26, 2010

The Vatican has rejected fresh allegations linking Pope Benedict XVI to a cover-up of paedophile priests, even as international media reports accused the Church of moral bankruptcy and questioned the pontiff’s authority to continue to lead it.

The New York Times has alleged that the Pope, when Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, failed to defrock an American priest, the Rev Lawrence Murphy, for the abuse of 200 pupils in a school for deaf boys in Milwaukee. The allegations were the latest in a series of scandals to hit the Church this year.

L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, said in an editorial that Pope Benedict had always handled such cases with “transparency, purpose and severity.” It accused the international media of acting “with the clear and ignoble intent of trying to strike Benedict and his closest collaborators at any cost”. One of the Pope’s top aides, Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, said there was “a conspiracy” against the Church.

But piling on the media pressure, Der Spiegel magazine, which has investigated abuse cases involving priests in Germany, asks in an article titled “The Fallibility of the Infallible Pope”:

“When is it time for a pope to resign? Margaret Kässmann, the former head of the Protestant Church in Germany, stepped down in February upon deciding that she no longer had the necessary moral authority for her office after being caught driving drunk. But how much authority does Pope Benedict XVI still enjoy?”

The article by Peter Wensierski in Der Spiegel’s English-language website,  sharply criticises the Vatican’s response for not going further than “than the kind of crisis management one might see at a medium-sized company: issuing an apology, setting up a round table discussion to deal with the problem, establishing a hotline – and not much more…

“So how are the perpetrators behind the perpetrators to be found? How are we supposed to eradicate the system of cover-ups, silence and reassigning paedophiles to other diocese in the Church?,” he wrote. “And who will force the Church to open its files to the public?”

The media in two countries with deep Catholic roots also questioned the Vatican’s methods in handling the scandal.

In Spain, where the New York Times article made splash headlines, El País newspaper was scathing in its condemnation of the Vatican response. In an article by Juan Bedoya, it said: “In any organisation this wave of scandals would be seen as moral bankruptcy. The Catholic Church is different. It always finds other reasons that have little to do with the central issue.

“We have read in recent days about the abuse cases in Germany. One priest has even resorted to mathematics: of the 210,000 cases of abuse reported in that country since 1995, only 94 concern Catholic Church personnel. As the resulting percentage is 0.044, the hierarchy comes up with a disgusting excuse: [it is the fault of] the ‘anticlerical communications media’.

“Behind this kind of justification is the idea that the Christian [sic] Church continues to be a Perfect Society — that is how it was defined by the Spanish Official State Bulletin in 1953 — which is above the law and punishments of this Earth. Its hierarchy is thus subject to a higher law, or at least Ecclesiastical Law. In that context, sexual abuse is only a sin, not a crime. It suffices to confess and repent, and leave it all behind.”

In Argentina, the mass circulation El Clarín’s Julio Algañaraz wrote that the Pope’s “annus horribilis continues and is worsening. It began in 2009 when [the Pope] had the bad judgment to lift the excommunication of four Lefebvre bishops – among them the Englishman Richard Williamson, who has denied the existence of the Nazi gas chambers and the Holocaust – which provoked an explosion of rebellions in European episcopates. Instead of subsiding, the crisis has acquired a new dimension. Just like Pandora’s Box, the succession of sexual abuse cases involving priests continues to blossom with devastating effect, and comprises thousands of cases in the United States, Ireland, Germany, Austria and now Italy as well, where the weekly L’Espresso has reported the existence of over 40 cases that are currently under investigation. The impression we have is that there will be more cases in these and other countries…”

Algañaraz added that before becoming Pope, Cardinal Ratzinger had promised to clean up the Church. “Many of us didn’t know what he was referring to. Now it has become clear: the soon to be Benedict XVI knew that his destiny was to be pontiff and the issue of sexual abuse was a tragedy which threatened to engulf the Church and himself.

“It was necessary to open Pandora’s Box, but the Pope has avoided admitting his own guilt and that of the Vatican. Beginning in the 1980s, when Cardenal Ratzinger took up the strategic post of guardian of orthodoxy and discipline, he continued the practice of covering-up, evading, hiding, transferring, and thus giving priority to the avoidance of scandal rather than the suffering of the victims and the punishment of pervert priests.”

http://world.caledonianmercury.com/2010/03/26/pope-aide-claims-under-fire-vatican-is-victim-of-conspiracy/00614

The history of an Irishwoman’s attempt to assassinate the Duce is a fine study of Italian fascism, says Ian Thomson

Ian Thomson | The Observer | 28 March 2010

Mussolini was half demagogue, half tinpot Caesar. On occasion he wore a richly tasselled fez and liked to puff up his chest for the cameras, thrusting out his chin pugnaciously. As his regime strengthened in the 1920s, the high priests of fascism hailed their leader as “divine emperor”, and even called for an embargo on foreign words. Thus Italians could no longer take a “ferry-boat” but had to travel instead by pontone (pontoon), just as Julius Caesar had done when he invented mobile bridges.

The Woman Who Shot Mussolini, by Frances Stonor Saunders, 384pp, Faber and Faber, £16.00

But alongside the bombast, Italian fascism relied on bludgeons and intimidation. During Hitler’s occupation of northern Italy, fascist cosh gangs helped to deport more than 6,800 native Jews to Auschwitz. Mussolini made no attempt to justify this enormity; Hitler, at least, was lethally committed to his ideology. In her fine new book, Frances Stonor Saunders implicates the dictator in charges of murder and proto-nazism. Mussolini’s 23-year regime, she says, was as meretricious as it was vile.

One woman intuited the danger of fascism early on and determined to eliminate the Duce outright. Violet Gibson, the daughter of a Conservative MP, liked to visit Italy for its art and poetry. In the cult of ducismo she saw a betrayal of parliamentary liberalism and the noble Italy of Dante and the Renaissance. On 7 April 1926, amid a crowd of adoring fascists, she shot the dictator at close range in Rome. The bullet missed Mussolini’s head by a fraction, but removed a morsel of flesh from the tip of his nose. The crowd would have lynched Gibson, had the police not intervened and arrested her.

Was she mad? In this biography, Saunders portrays a complex and often violent personality, who thought of herself as both a good Catholic and a self-denying socialist – a sort of Saint Joan of the Workshops. Incredibly, she had come close to changing the fate of European nations. Born in Ireland in 1876, Gibson was a peer’s daughter whose Anglo-Protestant background spoke of privilege and conformity. In militant Catholicism, though, she saw a virile alternative to the “effeminate” 1920s, with their flappers, modernist poets and other jazz age frivolities. Having settled in Rome in 1924, she immersed herself in Catholic doctrine and entered a Jesuit retreat.

Jesuits are often regarded by other Catholics as not quite regular clergy (they refuse to be cloistered in a monastery), and Gibson was no exception. Her self-torturing asceticism verged on the holier-than-thou, and her preoccupation with bodily chastisement was akin to that of the desert saints and anchorites, says Saunders. Gibson’s attempt on Mussolini’s life embarrassed the British government, as the Duce was more widely admired in 1920s Britain than one might think. He was feted in most English newspapers, and was on good terms with George V. For all his slippery diplomacy, Mussolini might have been a useful ally for Britain, historians have argued. But with the Rome-Berlin axis pact of 1939, the Duce hitched his “carnival chariot to the Führer’s funeral hearse”, and a last chance of peace in Europe was lost. In Italy, notoriously a land of hydra-headed conspiracy theories, it was believed that Gibson was feigning madness to cover up for an assassination plot. Fascist dietrologisti, literally the “behindologists”, insisted that cliques and cabals (Soviet Jews, Irish nationalists, American Jesuits) lay behind the attempted murder.

Gibson was probably a lone wolf. Mussolini’s view was that she was “insane” and therefore could not be detained as a political criminal. In 1928, two years after the near-fatal gunshot in Rome, Gibson was transferred to a mental home in Northampton, where she remained until her death in 1956, unwept-for and disregarded. In pages of crisp, limpid prose, Saunders brilliantly captures the Irishwoman’s spirit and what she might have been. The Woman Who Shot Mussolini is a book of commemoration as well as a documentary, and one of the finest studies of Italian fascism I have read.

 “… Some experts have estimated that Avandia has caused between 60,000 and 200,000 heart attacks and deaths due to cardiovascular problems in the U.S. from 1999 to 2006. …”

 AboutLawsuits.com | March 22nd, 2010

An alarming number scientists and medical experts who came out in support of GlaxoSmithKline’s diabetes drug Avandia after it was linked to an increased risk of heart attacks and other side effects have been found to have undeclared financial ties to the company, according to a new study.

Researchers from the Mayo Clinic have analyzed more than 202 scientific papers, letters, and studies published in the wake of a 2007 study that first suggested that side effects of Avandia increase the risk of heart attack, and published the results of their analysis in the British Medical Journal. They found that authors who rushed to the drug’s defense were likely to have ties either directly to GlaxoSmithKline, or to a pharmaceutical company with a similar drug.

Avandia (rosiglitazone) was approved by FDA in 1998 to treat type 2 diabetes by helping control blood sugar levels. The drug has been used by millions of diabetics, but sales have plummeted in recent years over concerns about the risk of Avandia side effects. Some experts have estimated that Avandia has caused between 60,000 and 200,000 heart attacks and deaths due to cardiovascular problems in the U.S. from 1999 to 2006.

Researchers found that out of the 202 studies and papers they reviewed, 31 authors expressed favorable opinions of Avandia. Of those 31 authors, 27 (87%) had financial ties to GlaxoSmithKline. The researchers found that nearly a quarter of the studies they looked at had undeclared conflicts of interest. They also found that scientists who considered Avandia to be dangerous were most likely independent and free of any pharmaceutical company ties or funding.

“Our findings underscore the need for accountability by both authors and journals,” the study’s authors concluded. “Given the potential influence of financial conflicts of interest on the views expressed in articles, the low rate of disclosure by authors of editorials and commentaries is disappointing.”

The researchers said that the results of the study underscores the need to improve scientific reporting methods.

Concerns about the risk of heart problems with Avandia first gained widespread attention in May 2007, when a meta-analysis of 42 different clinical trials was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, suggesting that users of Avandia had a 43% increased risk of a heart attack.

Avandia was placed back under the spotlight last month by a U.S. Senate report that blasted GlaxoSmithKline for allegedly trying to cover up Avandia heart attack risks by deceiving the FDA and pressuring scientists to support the drug. The report revealed that some drug reviewers in FDA have been calling for an Avandia recall since 2007.

GlaxoSmithKline PLC currently faces thousands of Avandia lawsuits filed by former users of the drug who allege that the drug company failed to adequately research their medication or warn users about the serious side effects. Federal Avandia litigation has been consolidated into an MDL, or Multidistrict Litigation, for pretrial litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, where the first trials are expected to begin later this year.

http://www.aboutlawsuits.com/avandia-heart-side-effects-experts-tied-to-drug-maker-9080/

By: emptywheel | FireDogLake | March 15, 2010

Several things stuck out for me in the NYT’s big story about DOD’s PsyOp contractors-as-assassination-flunkies. First, the degree to which DOD allegedly hid its assassination program inside a PsyOp venture. As the story reports, Michael Furlong, the guy running this show, was ostensibly engaged in strategic information, collecting information on Afghanistan’s social structure. But in fact, he was using that money to employ freelancers who, at a minimum, were targeting Afghans for assassination.

Mr. Furlong has extensive experience in “psychological operations” — the military term for the use of information in warfare — and he plied his trade in a number of places, including Iraq and the Balkans. It is unclear exactly when Mr. Furlong’s operations began. But officials said they seemed to accelerate in the summer of 2009, and by the time they ended, he and his colleagues had established a network of informants in Afghanistan and Pakistan whose job it was to help locate people believed to be insurgents.

Government officials said they believed that Mr. Furlong might have channeled money away from a program intended to provide American commanders with information about Afghanistan’s social and tribal landscape, and toward secret efforts to hunt militants on both sides of the country’s porous border with Pakistan.

And that, in turn, is interesting because we really need the kind of information collection Furlong was supposed to be doing. So imagine what happens when those purportedly engaging in such information collection lead to the deaths of their potential sources–it’d make this kind of information collection toxic (and potentially end up in the targeting of journalists and academic anthropologists also employed for such work, as has happened). That’s particularly a problem when, as Danger Room’s Nathan Hodge describes, more and more contractors doing PsyOp work are apparently doing something else instead.

But it also sheds light on some lesser-known players like International Media Ventures, a “strategic communications” firm that seems to straddle the line between public relations, propaganda work and private security contracting.“Strategic communications” firms have flourished in the strange new post-9/11 media environment. Unlike traditional military public affairs, which are supposed to serve as a simple conduit for releasing information to the public, strategic communications is about shaping the message, both at home and abroad. Why is that problematic? As Danger Room’s Sharon Weinberger pointed out, “When a newspaper calls up a public affairs officer to find out the number of casualties in an IED attack, the answer should be a number (preferably accurate), not a carefully crafted statement about how well the war is going.”

Afghanistan, in fact, has been a longtime laboratory for strategic communications. Back in 2005, Joshua Kucera wrote a fascinating feature in Jane’s Defence Weekly about how one of the top U.S. military spokesmen in Afghanistan was also an “information operations” officer, who reported to an office responsible for psychological operations and military deception. That kind of dual-hatting continues today: Rear Adm. Gregory Smith, the top military spokesman in Afghanistan, is also director for strategic communications in Afghanistan.

And then there’s the military’s interest in newsgathering-type intelligence on Afghanistan’s social and cultural scene. As we’ve reported here before, the top U.S. intelligence officer in Afghanistan complained in a damning report that newspapers often have a better sense of “ground truth” in Afghanistan (and suggested that military intelligence needs to mimic newspaper reporting, or even hire a few downsized reporters, to get the job done). Furlong’s scheme — and again, the Times account is a bit muddled here — may have shifted funds away from AfPax Insider, a news venture run by former CNN executive Eason Jordan and author/adventurer Robert Young Pelton.

Effectively, our propaganda efforts have themselves become cover for paramilitary activities.

And speaking of cover, was anyone else amused at the way this story reported the involvement of Duane Clarridge, an old CIA spook with a fetish for illegal ops?

Among the contractors Mr. Furlong appears to have used to conduct intelligence gathering was International Media Ventures, a private “strategic communication” firm run by several former Special Operations officers. Another was American International Security Corporation, a Boston-based company run by Mike Taylor, a former Green Beret. In a phone interview, Mr. Taylor said that at one point he had employed Duane Clarridge, known as Dewey, a former top C.I.A. official who has been linked to a generation of C.I.A. adventures, including the Iran-Contra scandal.

In an interview, Mr. Clarridge denied that he had worked with Mr. Furlong in any operation in Afghanistan or Pakistan. “I don’t know anything about that,” he said.

NYT reports that Furlong employed Mike Taylor’s company, which in turn employed Clarridge. And after Clarridge says he didn’t work for Furlong, NYT just leaves it at that, apparently not pursuing whether Clarridge worked for Taylor, which was the claim in the first place.

In other words, even while reporting the egg-within-an-egg quality of this cover, NYT lets Clarridge issue a non-denial denial and leave it at that.

But there may be a reason why NYT doesn’t want to acknowledge that this PsyOp contract became cover to pay Duane Clarridge to engage in off-the-books spywork.

Military officials said that Mr. Furlong would occasionally brag to his superiors about having Mr. Clarridge’s services at his disposal. Last summer, Mr. Furlong told colleagues that he was working with Mr. Clarridge to secure the release of Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl, a kidnapped soldier who American officials believe is being held by militants in Pakistan.

From December 2008 to mid-June 2009, both Mr. Taylor and Mr. Clarridge were hired to assist The New York Times in the case of David Rohde, the Times reporter who was kidnapped by militants in Afghanistan and held for seven months in Pakistan’s tribal areas. The reporter ultimately escaped on his own.

The NYT reports that during precisely the period when this shell game was going on, NYT itself employed one wing of the shell game to free its reporter from militant custody. Here’s how Brian Ross (frequently the target for CIA information and misinformation) describes it:

The New York Times used a private security company with ties to the CIA to bribe Taliban guards as part of its seven month effort to gain the freedom of reporter David Rohde and two others taken hostage with him in Afghanistan, according to people involved in the case.

The bribes were reportedly paid in small amounts of only a few hundred dollars at a variety of locations where Rhode was held. It was not clear what role, if any, they may have played in Rohde’s daring escape early Saturday.

The company, the Boston-based American International Security Corporation, AISC, also proposed a possible armed assault to free Rohde but called off those plans when Rohde was moved from Afghanistan into Pakistan where such an assault was deemed more difficult to pull off, the people said.

Though NY Magazine says there was an attempted raid.

So let’s review. The NYT has an incendiary story about how PsyOp contracts have become the means by which someone–who, they don’t know–has potentially illegally funneled money to people, like Clarridge, with a history of freelance spookery. And the means by which information collection in Afghanistan has become blurred with paramilitary activities.

But as it turns out, the NYT has itself paid said freelance spooks.

Don’t get me wrong–this is an important story, and I’m sure the CIA, worried about Furlong encroaching its turf, is happy that NYT’s CIA guy Mazzetti and Filkins have told it. But there are more weird shell games going on here [and] we’re not getting a full picture.

http://emptywheel.firedoglake.com/2010/03/15/contract-killers-as-psyop-warriors/

“ … ‘It really makes sense,’ said Benjamin Reed, a professor of economics in Great Britain. ‘Hitler created a profitable industrial empire off the backs of middle and lower class members. He engaged in a baseless war of conquest to gather more resources for his empire. He put in place a congress that consistently voted against the best interests of its constituency in favor of the Nazi corporate machine. He and his executives snorted their meth and collected their bonuses, the whole time robbing German consumers blind, until they eventually destroyed the national economy. And all the men who worked for them, who helped these undeserving and entitled robber barons get rich, were themselves living on substandard wages. I don’t see anything ’socialist’ about it. It looks more like a black and white photo of Enron and AIG from here.’ … ”  

By BC Bass | GlossyNews.com |  March 24, 2010

WARSAW, Poland (GlossyNews) — Archaeologists working to better understand the reign of Hitler and his Third Reich have discovered food coupons for some of the notorious SS doctors at the Auschwitz death camp, including the sadistic Dr. Joseph Mengele.

Nearly 300 documents were found in the attic of a house undergoing renovation in Oswiecim, the town where the Nazis built the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp.

“Some of the sugar coupons uncovered bear the names of Horst Fischer and Fritz Klein, doctors who were executed for war crimes,” said Abraham Vogelbaum, the lead researcher on the project. “We know that these men were actively engaged in the atrocious experiments the Nazis performed on prisoners of war. These documents will help tell us the story of how Hitler’s staff at Auschwitz lived from day to day.”

Vogelbaum believes that among the most significant discoveries were documents that probably belonged to Dr. Joseph Mengele. Two coupons, one for sugar and one for butter, were made out for a “Dr. Mergerle.” There was no SS doctor by that name at camp, so Vogelbaum believes a clerk misspelled Mengele’s name.

Doctors and pharmacists at Auschwitz conducted pseudo-medical experiments on inmates. Mengele was among the most infamous of this group. His name is now synonymous with torture and sadism. He escaped after World War II and evaded capture for the rest of his life.

Despite the excitement surrounding the find, other researchers say the documents paint a more important and sweeping portrait of Germany at the time, which is being ignored.

Greta Freigeld, a historian and anthropologist at the University of Heidelberg, said, “Everyone seems to be missing the glaring fact that Hitler’s officers were living on food stamps. This pirate led one of the world’s richest countries, but his workers were living on food stamps. Seriously, he paid them like U.S. air line pilots. Who could survive on that salary?”

Hitler oversaw one of the greatest expansions of industrial production and civil improvement Germany had ever witnessed, predicated on debt flotation and military expansion. He also presided over one of the largest infrastructure improvement campaigns in German history, with the construction of dozens of dams, autobahns, railroads and other civil works.

“Hitler came to power during the devastation caused by the Great Depression in 1930,” Freigeld continued. “And although he used agitation and fear to ascend, he rebuilt the economy into one of the most powerful in the world at that time. If his men had to resort to food stamps in order to get basic provisions, we can say that Hitler was not the socialist dictator [some] presume: he was Europe’s largest corporate capitalist.”

Economists throughout the EU have supported Freigeld’s assessment.

“It really makes sense,” said Benjamin Reed, a professor of economics in Great Britain. “Hitler created a profitable industrial empire off the backs of middle and lower class members. He engaged in a baseless war of conquest to gather more resources for his empire. He put in place a congress that consistently voted against the best interests of its constituency in favor of the Nazi corporate machine. He and his executives snorted their meth and collected their bonuses, the whole time robbing German consumers blind, until they eventually destroyed the national economy. And all the men who worked for them, who helped these undeserving and entitled robber barons get rich, were themselves living on substandard wages. I don’t see anything ’socialist’ about it. It looks more like a black and white photo of Enron and AIG from here.”

Reed added, “But to be fair, Hitler did provide universal health care. And that alone makes him a dangerous and psychopathic fascist, not necessarily deserving of the label ‘capitalist.’”

http://glossynews.com/top-stories/unamerican-world-news/201003240800/documents-show-auschwitz-death-camp-doctors-living-on-food-stamps/

Plaintiffs argued that Pfizer’s own research showed Neurontin was ineffective for certain unapproved uses, but it suppressed that evidence and misrepresented its findings

Tresa Baldas | The National Law Journal | March 29, 2010

Pfizer Inc. has been socked with an eye-popping $141 million penalty for unlawfully promoting its epilepsy drug Neurontin for unapproved uses for which, the plaintiffs said, it didn’t even work.

A federal jury in Boston on Thursday concluded that the pharmaceutical giant had violated federal racketeering laws in promoting the drug for so-called off-label uses that were ineffective. The jury’s verdict was actually $47 million, but the penalty was automatically tripled under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

The plaintiffs, Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, argued that Pfizer duped them into believing that Neurontin could effectively treat conditions such as migraines and bipolar disorder. Neurontin was approved to treat epilepsy in 1993 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“What was at stake here was evidence-based medicine versus marketing-based medicine,” said Thomas Greene of Boston’s Greene LLP, one of several lawyers who represented the plaintiffs. During trial, Greene argued that Pfizer’s own research showed that Neurontin was not effective for certain unapproved uses, but it suppressed that evidence and misrepresented its findings.

At closing arguments, Linda Nussbaum of New York’s Kaplan Fox, Kaiser’s lead counsel, compared the case to the Bernie Madoff scandal.

“This was really about greed,” Nussbaum said in an interview. “To the defendants here, this was simply a product that they marketed to make as much money as they possibly could.”

Pfizer has said it will appeal the verdict, arguing that the plaintiffs misled the jurors. “What the jurors heard in the courtroom is not what Kaiser is telling its patients. In fact, Kaiser itself continues to recommend Neurontin for the same uses they sought recovery for in this case,” said Pfizer officials in a post-verdict statement.

Pfizer officials also defended the safety and effectiveness of Neurontin, stating, “Neurontin is an important FDA-approved medicine that physicians have prescribed to treat millions of patients safely and effectively.”

Mitchell Cohen, in-house counsel for Kaiser, doesn’t buy it. “What they told us and what they told the community was one thing about this drug, but what their own documents showed was different,” Cohen said. “The doctors, the insurance company, the pharmacists — everyone was misled.”

At trial, Pfizer was represented by Raoul Kennedy of the San Francisco office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and James Hopper of Denver’s Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell. Neither was available for comment.

#

Harding out

By KASIE HUNT | Politico.com | 3/26/10