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On this date 53 years ago the US begin spraying Agent Orange over Viet Nam.  Vietnam Agent Orange Relief and Responsibility Campaign has the story.

On August 10th, 1961, the U.S. armed forces began the first spraying of toxic chemicals in Vietnam, launching “Operation Ranch Hand” a program that lasted almost a decade.  Operation Ranch Hand focused its deadly weapons upon South Vietnam, causing   destruction of Vietnam's environment, ecological systems and catastrophic consequences to human health.

   

Ed. note. “Operation Ranch Hand” actually didn't start until 1962. In 1961, President Kennedy signed two orders allowing Agent Orange to be used in Vietnam. One order to destroy crops, and another order to defoliate the jungle.
This August 10th, 2011 marks the 50th anniversary of the Agent Orange disaster in Vietnam. This is a very sad commemoration for the Vietnamese people. More than 3 million hectares of forests and rice fields and about 26,000 hamlets were sprayed by the U.S. with toxic chemicals. Even now, fifty years later, a number of "hot spots" are still severely contaminated with high levels of dioxin in the soil and water. Out of about 5 million Vietnamese who were exposed to Agent Orange/dioxin, 3 million people are estimated to be suffering from illnesses or birth defects.  
Now it has been 53 years.

Back on June 19, 2007, I wrote Agent Orange Ain't That Bad about the Vietnamese victims of agent orange/dioxin appealing a 2005 ruling which denied them class action status ( VVAO vs. Dow etc.) in which the defendants used the "government contractor defense."

I won't rehash what I posted except  re:DOW and Monsanto, They fucking knew it was contaminated with dioxin and produced tons of it anyway.

Country Joe gets to the heart of the matter.

I got the news this morning, the doctors told me so, they killed me in Viet Nam and I didn't even know.

Originally posted to Group W: Resisting War on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 10:41 AM PDT.

Also republished by DKos Military Veterans.

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