World

Lawsuit Says American Companies Funded Iraqi Death Squads

Family members of injured and deceased military members filed a lawsuit against five companies Tuesday, alleging that the corporations did business with the Iraq government while it funded terrorist groups during the Iraq War.

The suit, filed against General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, and several European drugmakers, claims that military members killed in attacks between 2005 and 2009 died in part because these companies were conducting business with the Iraq Ministry of Health. Moktada al-Sadr followers controlled the Ministry at the time, and have since been charged with operating death squads against Iraqi Sunnis which U.S. troops were defending, according to the New York Times.

“While Americans worked to rebuild Iraq, many were attacked by a terrorist group that we allege has been funded in part by the defendants’ corrupt sales practices,” litigator Josh Branson said.

“It’s unconscionable to have U.S. companies give money to terrorists who then kill U.S. troops,” said plaintiff Ami Neiberger-Miller, whose brother was killed in Baghdad in 2007 by a device linked to Sadr’s militia.

The lawsuit alleges that the companies knew the Ministry had ties to Hezbollah, and that it was funneling money to terrorist organizations to conduct their operations. The suit posits that the U.S. companies should have demanded contracts with the Ministry to prevent the corruption that reportedly occurred. The suit also cites the fact that Sadr’s military forces were occasionally referred to as the “Pill Army” because hospitals and ambulances were commonly used to execute attacks.

Pfizer, however, “categorically denies any wrongdoing. Our mission is to provide medicines to patients to help better their lives,” according to Pfizer spokeswoman Allyanna Anglim.

General Electric, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer argue that they were merely providing their services to a nation which the U.S. supported, and that to have refused to sell their products — most of which were medical products designed to save lives — would have cost Iraqi lives and gone against the U.S.’s operational goals in the country.

Johnson & Johnson did not reply to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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