On this day in 1962, the US military began its 11-year chemical warfare campaign against the people of Vietnam and Laos, dropping 19 million gallons of Agent Orange over 20% of both countries, poisoning at least 3 million people and causing over a million birth defects.
US President John F. Kennedy personally approved “Operation Ranch Hand” in 1962, beginning the spraying of Agent Orange (and other chemicals) over 5 million acres of jungle and 500,000 acres of crops, including over 20,000 spray flights.
US use of Agent Orange was “inspired” by its use by the British during an anti-colonial uprising in Malaysia in the 1950s. US Sec of State Dean Rusk referenced British use of Agent Orange as a legal justification for why US use didn’t violate the laws of war.
US use of Agent Orange continued into the 1970s despite Federation of American Scientists criticizing it as early as 1964, and a study in 1969 showing it caused birth defects in mice.
The problem of birth defects is likely to continue as the chemicals have entered the food supply. Environmentalists say the country could see 6 to 12 more generations of victims.
Vietnamese Association for Victims of Agent Orange (VAVA), have been attempted to sue in US courts for compensation for the victims. It filled cases in 2004, 2007 and 2009 – seeking compensation from 37 chemical companies that manufactured Agent Orange.
It lost all three cases. The US courts ruled there was insufficient scientific evidence to link Agent Orange to the debilitating condition many Vietnamese were suffering.

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More from @Americas_Crimes

27 Dec 20
On this day in 1862, Abraham Lincoln ordered the largest ever mass execution in American history, hanging 38 innocent Dakota men after sham military trials. The ‘crime’ they were convicted of was resisting their own ethnic cleansing. Image
After a series of treaties forced the Dakota onto tiny pieces of land and promised US compensation never arrived, Dakota were facing starvation in Minnesota’s long, freezing winter. As a result, some of the Dakota attempted to fight back to save their people and their way of life
The battle of resistance lasted just 2 weeks before the Dakota agreed to surrender. U.S. Col. Henry H. Sibley promised that only those who engaged in attacks on settlers would be punished. Yet, Sibley imprisoned 2,000 Dakota, men, women, and children. Nearly all were innocent.
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20 Dec 20
On this day in 1989, George H.W. Bush ordered 27,000 troops to invade Panama to overthrow former CIA asset Manuel Noriega, killing 5,000 people, dumping bodies in mass graves and destroying thousands of homes.
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4 Dec 20
Early in the morning on this day in 1969, the Chicago Police department executed the Black Panther leader Fred Hampton. The operation was a cold-blooded political assassination carried out with assistance from the F.B.I.
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19 Nov 20
On this day in 2005, US Marines massacred 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians in Haditha. Marines went house to house executing men, women, children as young as 1 yr-old & a 76 yr-old man in a wheelchair. The marines then urinated on the dead bodies. None of the Marines served jail time.
The massacre—which lasted 5 hours and involved two squads of Marines—was immediately followed by a cover-up. The Marines dropped the dead bodies off at a hospital, claiming they’d been killed in the roadside bombing.
Dr Wahid at Haditha hospital said that there were "no organs slashed by shrapnel in any of the bodies”, but instead "the victims were shot in the head and chest from close range." Yet, the US put out a false statement saying civilians were killed in a roadside bombing.
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On this day in 2011, an Obama-ordered drone strike killed 16 year-old American citizen Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, his teenage cousin, and 5 other civilians as they were eating at an outdoor cafe in Southern Yemen.
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His grandfather said, “I visited the site once I was able to bear the pain of seeing where he sat in his final moments.Local residents told me his body was blown to pieces.They showed me the grave where they buried his remains. I stood over it, asking why my grandchild was dead.”
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8 Oct 20
On this day in 1967, the socialist revolutionary Ché Guevara was captured by U.S.-trained Bolivian soldiers in a C.I.A. operation. The following day the soldiers executed him, cut his hands off, looted his personal items as trophies and dumped his body in an unmarked grave.
The US government maintained for decades that the order to kill Che came from Bolivian leadership, but US gov documents released through FOIA show that the order for the kill operation came directly from the White House.
The US government was obsessed with assassinating Che. The US believed that his death would ensure that the example of the Cuban revolution would not inspire other revolutionary Socialist movements across the world.
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