Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Profiting from terror (again and again and...)

I'm beginning to wonder if there's any tragedy or potential tragedy our leaders can't profit from...

NEW YORK (Fortune) - The prospect of a bird flu outbreak may be panicking people around the globe, but it's proving to be very good news for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other politically connected investors in Gilead Sciences, the California biotech company that owns the rights to Tamiflu, the influenza remedy that's now the most-sought after drug in the world.

Rumsfeld served as Gilead (Research)'s chairman from 1997 until he joined the Bush administration in 2001, and he still holds a Gilead stake valued at between $5 million and $25 million, according to federal financial disclosures filed by Rumsfeld.

The forms don't reveal the exact number of shares Rumsfeld owns, but in the past six months fears of a pandemic and the ensuing scramble for Tamiflu have sent Gilead's stock from $35 to $47. That's made the Pentagon chief, already one of the wealthiest members of the Bush cabinet, at least $1 million richer.
The Administration just demanded that we spend $7.1 billion to produce a vaccine for a disease that doesn't exist (human-human transmitted bird flu simply hasn't happened, despite the Media scare). Coincidentally, Donald Rumsfeld just got $1 million dollars richer because he owns a great deal of stock in the one company that just happens to produce the only medicine on earth that purportedly vaccinates against bird flu. Echoing the Cheney/Halliburton relationship, Rumsfeld RAN the company until he joined the Bush administration in 2001 (coincidentally, it was around this time that Bush suddenly became interested in pandemics). Based on the recent Administration track record of war and disaster profiteering, it's hard not to suspect this is, in part, a big heaping handout to Rumsfeld.

...Until I put on my tinfoil hat and tune in Fox News. That's when I realize -- hey, coincidences happen, especially when you're governed by the super-rich.

One passage that caught my eye was the part about multi-millionaire Rumsfeld being among the richest members of the cabinet. The key members of this administration are gaining second and third (hell, fifteenth) fortunes as a direct result of the actions of this administration. This administration is one giant conflict of interest.



12 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is mighty suspicious.

EK said...

When are Americans going to wake up and see how corrupt the White House is?

Anonymous said...

Zzzzzz. Zzzzzzz. Zzzz..srnrk. Huh? Did somebody say something? Oh look, it's time to watch Family Feud!

EK said...

Huh>

Wilfred Fan said...

140+ deaths in Asia from the Bird Flu. 50% of people who get it die from it. Those are bad odds, but not as bad as all the other illnesses that kill millions of people each year. The world's a lot more sanitary than it was in 1919, so I don't think there's going to be another pandemic. Meanwhile cancer and diabetes, and other common illnesses are killing millions, and our president won't allow federal funding of stem cell research to fight them. I'll believe he cares about our health when he stops putting his religion ahead of science that can potentially save millions of lives.

Anonymous said...

"Amen" to that! Er, I meant, "Bravo" to that.

I don't think the presidential shrub is putting his religious beliefs ahead of science. I think he's putting the interests of his finacial and political backers ahead of the interests of the public. He's not really a religious person; he just plays one on TV.

Anonymous said...

"Amen" to that! Er, I meant, "Bravo" to that.

I don't think the presidential shrub is putting his religious beliefs ahead of science. I think he's putting the interests of his finacial and political backers ahead of the interests of the public. He's not really a religious person; he just plays one on TV.

[Sorry if this is a dupe. The first attempt didn't appear to work.]

The Pete said...

When does impeachment start? Oh, I forgot, there's no blue dress involved.

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Benjamin Melançon said...

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