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2 Members of Agent Orange Victim Delegation Die

2 Members of Agent Orange Victim Delegation Die
And two Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange who traveled to the U.S. last month have died. Nguyen Van Quy and Nguyen Thi Hong were members of a delegation that came for a lawsuit against over three dozen chemical companies that manufactured the toxin. American warplanes dumped about 18 million gallons of Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. The Vietnamese government says more than three million people have been disabled. But the U.S. maintains there is no scientifically proven link between the wartime spraying and the disabilities. Speaking outside a New York courtroom in June, Nguen Van Quy said he suffered from cancer and two of his children had birth defects.

    Nguyen Van Quy: “I am here as a living evidence to tell the people in the court that dioxin really has a negative impact on human beings as well as the environment.”
Van Quy died earlier this month just nine days after returning to Vietnam. He was fifty-two years old.
The other victim, Nguyen Thi Hong, visited our Firehouse studio and also described how Agent Orange affected her life. She was exposed to Agent Orange in 1964. She gave birth prematurely to three underweight children, one of whom had a congenital heart defect. She had several bone and skin diseases, had her spleen removed and was treated with chemotherapy.
    Nguyen Thi Hong :In 2000, we got the results of the test. They confirmed and concluded that I am affected with dioxin. In 2002, I had breast cancer, and I had a surgery, and the breast was removed. Well, as a result of the findings, the doctor mentioned to me that I was suffering from cancer and it is the terminal period, and I’m suffering from the aftermath of the cancer, and it's now going to my bones.”
Nguyen Thi Hong died last week at the age of sixty. In a statement, Merle Ratner of the Vietnam Agent Orange Relief & Responsibilty Campaign said: “Nguyen Thi Hong dedicated the last weeks of her life to achieving justice for all Agent Orange victims. Despite knowing how serious her illnesses were, she had great optimism and hope… [She] will dwell forever in our hearts.” 

GOP Rep. Don Young Investigated in Alaska Oil Probe
Another senior Republican lawmaker has come under criminal investigation in a widening Congressional corruption probe. The Wall Street Journal reports federal investigators are looking into whether Alaska Congressmember Don Young accepted bribes from the oil-field firm VECO Corp. Alaska Senator Ted Stevens -- the former chair of the Appropriations Committee -- is also under investigation. 

Probe: Bechtel Fails on Majority of Iraq Projects
U.S. investigators have found the engineering giant Bechtel National failed on more than half of projects assigned under its one point eight billion dollar contract in Iraq. The failed efforts include a sewage treatment facility, an electrical plant and a massive landfill. Bechtel was one of the first U.S. companies to benefit from the post-invasion contracting boom in Iraq. The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction says state department officials assigned just two staffers to oversee Bechtel’s work. 

Gonzales Faces Possible Perjury Probe
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is facing a possible perjury investigation over his sworn testimony on the Bush administration’s domestic spy program. On Wednesday, Senate Judiciary Chair Patrick Leahy said he may request the probe over Gonzales’ insistence that a March 2004 meeting with Congressional leaders was not called to address the warrantless spying. Several lawmakers in attendance have denied Gonzales’ account. And newly-released documents show then-Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte later described the meeting as a “briefing on the Terrorist Surveillance Program” -- the same name administration officials use to describe the warrantless spying. Leahy says he will give Gonzales until next week to revise his testimony or he will ask for a perjury inquiry.

House Panel OKs Contempt Citations for Bush Aides
The House Judiciary Committee has voted to hold former White House counsel Harriet Miers and former White House chief of staff Joshua Bolten in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify on the firing of nine U.S. attorneys. The two White House aides ignored a subpoena after President Bush claimed executive privilege protects them from testifying. The contempt measure will now come before the full House.

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