If you want an unvarnished, raw peek at the pig trough of corruption and sleaze, it’s all there in the 88 million-plus pages of once-secret tobacco industry documents, online and searchable in the University of California at San Francisco’s online tobacco library.
Now it’s time to look at some of the accessories to the greatest crime in human history: 100 million people killed last century, one billion expected to die this century from smoking. Every one of those deaths preventable.
To rack up this many human kills for so many tens of billions of dollars in profits over so many decades and not wind up in prison, the tobacco industry has had to pay off an incredible number of people and institutions over the years.
As the documents (some embedded below) show, many of those people were paid under the table, to better confuse, deceive, and continue plundering the public. Those covert tobacco shills are easily the worst and most offensive, because they commit fraud on a public that trusts them.
But even those whose financial relationships with Big Tobacco are above-board, such as tobacco-hired corporate law firms, have been denounced in judicial court decisions as accessories to RICO racketeering laws—essentially mob lawyers, co-conspirators in the greatest organized mass murder-for-profit in human history.
In this article, I’m going to name names. Some are surprising; some shocking; others downright horrifying.
Let’s start with my colleagues in the media and journalism…