Tobacco and terrorism

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Tobacco and Terrorism

DOJ Should Reallocate Resources Away From Political Lawsuits, and Towards Fighting Terrorism

This 3 page document from the Philip Morris (PM) collection, dated November 15, 2001, argues that the federal government would be better off diverting funds from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) lawsuit against the tobacco industry to concentrate on the fight against terrorism. The arguments leverage the September 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S. as a reason to stop the government's investigation into the major American tobacco companies' conspiracy to defraud the American people about the links between smoking and disease. The paper reveals corporate use of the 2001 terrorism attacks on the U.S. as a shield to try and stop investigation into its long history of wrongdoing.

On November 29, 2001 (just days after this document was written) the investigative organization Center for Public Integrity revealed that the George W. Bush administration had inserted a tobacco-friendly clause into the Financial Anti-Terrorism Act of 2001 (a bill rushed through Congress in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks) shielding U.S. tobacco companies from foreign lawsuits that alleged cigarette smuggling and money laundering. At the time, Canada, the European Union, the governors of Colombia, and other Latin American countries had filed suits against Philip Morris, R.J.Reynolds and British American Tobacco under civil RICO laws in U.S. federal and state courts. Democrats objected to clause (which was inserted on the evening before the vote on the bill), and it was removed. The Center for Public Integrity's article about the Bush administration's efforts to use the terrorism issue to shield the American tobacco companies from lawsuits by foreign countries is available at

Document Date 20011115
Document Type REPORT
Bates Number 2085780660/0662
Collection Philip Morris
Pages 3