He Whose Name Shall Not Be Spoken – Dick Cheney et al.
Not to be mentioned in the KBR trial: Dick Cheney, Erin Brockovich, Agent Orange and ‘Ladies of the Evening’
Mike Francis – (The Oregonian) – September 25, 2012 – One of the duties of a judge overseeing a complicated case is to set rules about what will be discussed in court. Accordingly, U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Papak has told lawyers for 12 Oregon National Guard soldiers and for defense contractor KBR Inc. that there are some things they are not to bring up when the trial begins Oct. 9.
Among them: Dick Cheney, Erin Brockovich, Agent Orange and “Ladies of the Evening.”
According to the transcript of the Sept. 18 pretrial conference, Papak quickly dispensed with all four subjects, concluding that they had no bearing on the issues to be decided in the courtroom. One deposition of a KBR engineer contained a reference to the movie “Erin Brockovich.” Some have drawn parallels between the current case and the military’s use of the defoliant Agent Orange in the Vietnam War. The name of former Vice President Dick Cheney pops up frequently in online comments about the case, although he left KBR’s then-parent company three years before the events that triggered the current trial. And “Ladies of the Evening” occurs as the title of an exhibit labeled “7-25-2003 Email, Re: Ladies Of The Evening.” While the email is not available in the court file, it apparently was a warning to KBR employees not to consort with prostitutes in Iraq.
Further, Papak warned the soldiers’ lawyers to take down references to the KBR case on their own or related websites. As a result, the kbrlitigation.com site has been scrubbed, with a note advising visitors “Doyle Raizner LLP has suspended publication of this site during the Qarmat Ali Veterans trial currently underway in Portland, Oregon. Please continue to check back.”
As part of his concern that outside publicity could influence jurors, Papak said, according to the transcript, “No matter what I tell the jurors, somebody is going to Google this case, or go home and … talk to somebody who’s Googled it. It’s just going to happen. I know it’s become the bane of trial practices these days.”
The soldiers accuse of KBR of knowingly exposing them to a deadly carcinogen, hexavalent chromium, while they served in southern Iraq in 2003. (Click HERE for original article)