The Carbide Plant that Would Go On To Gas An Entire City Could Never Have been Built If It Weren’t For Kissinger

The Indians need,” Nixon said to Kissinger, as India hosted millions of refugees from East Pakistan, “what they need really is a—”

“They’re such bastards,” Kissinger spat.

“A mass famine. But they aren’t going to get that. We’re going to feed them—a new kind of wheat.”

In 1971 the ‘Green Revolution’ Nixon referred to was in full swing in India. For five years US giant Union Carbide had pitched for permission to make 5,000 tons of Sevin pesticide – a neurotoxin in its killing action akin to Sarin – at its plant site in Bhopal. The proposal included making 2,000 tons of the Sevin intermediate Methyl Isocyanate (MIC) each year. But the permission wouldn’t come.

Two years later Kissinger’s deputy Kenneth Rush – a former Carbide director – was put on the case. Within 18 months India had ‘already agreed to compromises not usually available.’ Shortly after, US officials lobbied India’s Finance Minister directly, and secured Carbide’s permission. “We hope to get more results”, they wrote. Kissinger himself conveyed news that the U.S. federal Exim bank would lend Carbide the means to finance the remainder of the MIC project.

In the absence of Kissinger’s diplomacy and loans, the plant that would go on to gas an entire city could never have been built.

In December 1984, after 27 tons of MIC gas had massacred 7-10,000 people in Bhopal, Carbide turned to Kissinger’s Associates in Washington to bail them out.

Over the decades since, the US government has consistently done everything in its power to protect Carbide and its owner Dow Chemical from Bhopal.

A 1988 letter from JRD Tata to Rajiv Gandhi urging a meagre settlement shows that Kissinger helped ensure Carbide’s over half million surviving victims in Bhopal would be cheated of adequate compensation, condemning them to penury, humiliation and a lifetime of pain.

But he wasn’t finished there. Carbide also faced manslaughter charges in India. A 1989 FBI review of Kissinger Associate chief Lawrence Eagleburger’s appointment to the State Department – two weeks before the Bhopal settlement – finds Carbide to be one of his key referees. Eagleburger, termed “as smart as a shithouse rat” by Nixon, became Secretary of State, leaving office in early 93, a period during which three different Directors of India’s Interpol agency the CBI claim to have been warned off pursuing the criminal case against the foreign accused.

We only know of one more secret intervention in Bhopal. Robert Hormats, an under secretary for Obama, met with Minister Montek Singh Aluwalia ahead of Obama’s 2010 visit to India to try to dissuade India from reopening the pitiful 1989 settlement with Carbide. Hormats was at the time a Kissinger Associate.

This year, India’s Supreme Court finally threw out the petition to reopen the settlement – doubtless much to the delight of India’s foremost foreign investor, and Dr Kissinger’s hidden movers in Washington.

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