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2007-08-10-smartteen2.jpgJudicial Watch is one of those self-appointed, self-righteous, allegedly non-partisan – though clearly conservative – beltway groups that I often find myself disagreeing with, sometimes vehemently so. This has been the case ever since they were at the forefront of conservative billionaire, Richard Mellon Scaife’s, amply funded attempt to discredit former President, Bill Clinton. History buffs will remember that Judicial Watch under its previous president, Larry Clayman, initiated no less than 18 separate lawsuits against the President Clinton, his administration and specific members of his administration.

Equally offensive to progressives, myself included, are Judicial Watch’s positions against day laborers; their labeling as murder the death of Terri Schiavo; and their calls for the Naval Inspector General to investigate the “legitimacy and propriety” of the awards John Kerry received for his service in Vietnam.

The group, however, redeemed itself somewhat when they sued the Bush administration for access to the minutes of Vice President Cheney’s Energy Task Force; again when they sued Cheney and Halliburton for allegedly “fraudulent accounting practices” and when they sued the Secret Service to “force the release of logs detailing corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff’s visits to the White House”. Now this is speculation on my part, but it’s probably a safe bet that these latter efforts WERE NOT underwritten by Scaife.

This is a good thing because prior to 2002, DC insiders had known Judicial Watch as “essentially Richard Mellon Scaife’s tool” (Source: MediaTransparency), the group between 1997 and 2002 having received over 7 million dollars from various Scaife controlled foundations.

Jumping ahead to the present, Judicial Watch has apparently found a new – perhaps even higher calling – which is keeping America safe from the questionable business practices and greed of Big Pharma. In this context, the recent report from Judicial Watch President, Tom Fitton, concerning the potentially fatal side effects of the HPV (human papilloma) vaccine, Gardasil, deserves mention.

According to Judicial Watch, at least ten deaths have been linked to Gardasil, since September, 2007, while the total number of those believed to have died after taking the controversial new drug could number as many as twenty. Per group president Fitton, the FDA also produced 140 “serious” reports (27 of which were categorized as “life threatening”), 10 spontaneous abortions and six cases of Guillain-Barre Syndrome – all since January 2008. Judicial Watch discovered this and other damning information in confidential FDA documents obtained via recent Freedom of Information Act filings.

Among the cases cited by Judicial Watch is that of a 20-year-old female with no medical history who after receiving the drug on April 1, 2008, died four days later. An autopsy was unsuccessful at determining the cause of the young woman’s death. Another tells the story of a 14-year-old female who after receiving the vaccine, took 6 steps, fell to the ground unconscious and had a 60 second grand mal (Epileptic) seizure. Then there was the case of the woman, who following vaccination with Gardasil, lapsed into a coma and is now paralyzed. Follow this link to Judicial Watch for the rest of this report.

Now my friends, this is serious business, not only for the women already negatively affected by the drug, but also because Merck’s aggressive marketing plan includes lobbying to have the vaccine mandated for all young girls as part of their school vaccination programs. To this end, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has already recommended that 11 and 12-year-old girls begin receiving the controversial new treatment.

Not content with merely injecting young women, Merck is allegedly also about to begin lobbying the FDA to approve the vaccination for young boys as well, and for women older than the 9 to 26 year old group for which Gardasil is currently approved.

Needless to say, the mainstream media has largely ignored this story, dependent as they are on drug company advertising. So it is up to you and I to pass the word and to warn friends and family about this latest example of drug company potentially marketing a product – in this case a critically needed product – that is not as safe as they would like us to believe.

But to be fair here, one should also consider Judicial Watch’s previous financial pedigree, specifically their close ties to ultra conservative, Scaife, and the fact that it is possible that Judicial Watch is blowing this entire matter way out of context to support the conservative position, which insanely considers Gardasil evil as it allows young women to be sexually permissive without potential consequences. How anyone could wish HPV on anyone as punishment for having sex outside of marriage shows how sick in the head many of these so-called conservatives really are.

To put this matter to rest, Merck should come clean with their research and address Judicial Watch’s concerns and not hide behind the FDA as Drug Company’s usually do when they are found to be at fault. Transparency here would go a long way to regaining the public’s confidence.

In the interim, I will be telling all of my friends to hold off on inoculating their loved ones with Gardasil, which is a shame because the drug serves an important purpose protecting the young people of America and the world from this horrible disease.

- Denis

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