Via America’s Lawyer: The Pentagon apologizes for its recent drone strike which killed 7 innocent children in Afghanistan. Mike Papantonio and Farron Cousins discuss more. Also, the EPA announces it will ban the use of the pesticide chlorpyrifos which is linked to developmental disorders in children. Mike Papantonio is joined by Attorney Sara Papantonio to walk us through the chemical’s history, and discusses why did it took regulators 50 years to finally ban it from use.

Click here to find out more about Paraquat pesticide lawsuits.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio:             The Pentagon was forced to admit last week that they completely botched a recent drone strike and ended up killing seven innocent children.

John Kirby:                              As the secretary says, in the statement, we, we apologize and we will endeavor to learn from this horrible mistake. And to that end, he has directed a thorough review of the investigation just completed by US central command. Uh, and he has asked for this review to consider the degree to which the investigation considered all available context and information, the degree to which accountability measures need to be taken and what level and degree to which strike authorities, procedures and processes need to be altered going forward.

Mike Papantonio:             All right. I looked at this story. This is my first reaction. The Biden administration looked like a bunch of morons in the withdrawal. Okay. You had the attack. American soldiers are killed. Hundreds, hundred plus Afghans killed in a bombing at the airport. So Biden has to do something. Generals have to do something. So McKenzie, general McKenzie, comes out and he says, look, I’ve got an idea. We’re gonna, we’re gonna, we’re gonna do a bow, a drone strike. Tell me the result of the, of the drone strike.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah, The result of the drone strike is that they, they killed a family that was literally parking a car. They, they were, you know, I, I guess had, had gotten groceries. They, they were not even close to being terrorists. There’s no real rhyme or reason why this particular vehicle.

Mike Papantonio:             They were aid workers, for God sake. They were aid workers.

Farron Cousins:                  And so then they came out at the time and said, okay, we did our drone strike. We’ve killed people. Everybody should be happy now. And then last week they say, oh, look, we’re really sorry. It actually, you know, was three grownups, seven children and yes, their body parts were flying all through the air.

Mike Papantonio:             They were vaporized, for God’s sake.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah, I mean, it was.

Mike Papantonio:             And this idiot McKenzie comes out and says, oh, I apologize. Oh, well I guess it’s okay now. General, general has apologized to the daddy who lost his entire frigging family to a drone strike, to the daddy who, oh, by the way, was an aid worker. Was simply trying to get water to his family. But this is a guy that, this is very interesting. He worked for the nutrition and education international. That was this guy’s job. He had these children that simply got in the car. Daddy’s home. Daddy’s brought us water now. So all the kids jump in the car, hooray, Daddy’s got water. The entire family’s in the car and they get vaporized by this idiot McKenzie, because he’s feeling pressure from the White House who have looked like total buffoons, you know, Blinken and the rest of them look like total buffoons because of the withdrawal.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             So, I mean, you look at this story and you go, my God, how long does this, how long does this go on, man?

Farron Cousins:                  Well, and part of the problem too, is the fact that these, you know, the drone warfare age that we’re in now, they can just go out there, kill anybody, do anything, you know, send this hellfire missle is what it was called.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  And they don’t have to see the results. They don’t have the human being there to see the carnage. So it’s so impersonal. I know that sounds weird, but I’m taken back to a college course. We had to read the Odyssey. And every death in that book is described in detail, every individual, their whole lineage given every time they die. And they did that, so that people understood the cost of war.

Mike Papantonio:             Yes.

Farron Cousins:                  We’ve gotten away from that. And people think it’s just like a video game. I’m killing people from far away. They don’t think the human toll.

Mike Papantonio:             Well, we’ve got to do some more on this story. I’m, I just feel so awful for this family. I really do.

Mike Papantonio:             The EPA has announced it’s going to ban the use of a popular pesticides that’s been linked to developmental disorders in children. But why did it take the agency 50 years to finally regulate this chemical? Sara, I’ll throw, I’ve got Sara Papantonio with me, Sara, I’ll throw it out to you. 50 years.

Sara Papantonio:              50 years, since the 1960s, when Dow created this chemical pesticide we call chlorpyrifos. They put it on the market and then at about 2007 is when we really started to determine, hey, this isn’t safe. This is going to cause birth defects. This is going to cause problems with children’s IQ. It’s, it’s, it’s a really nasty pesticide. But of course now 13 years later, we’re just finally taking it off the market because not the EPA, but a court actually finally had the guts to say to the EPA, this is dangerous. Take it off the market.

Mike Papantonio:             But I saw this administration declaring victory. I mean, it was such an odd thing because this, this decision came out of the courts. It didn’t have anything to do with this administration. As a matter of fact, this administration had slowed the process down. I, that bothers me about this story. It bothers me because the EPA had they finally after 50 years not come to their senses, this, this would still be at. Tell us about this chemical and how dangerous it is.

Sara Papantonio:              It’s incredibly dangerous. It’s highly potent and the EPA knew that. Like, this is a tale as old as time with the EPA. They’re so dysfunctional and of course, of course, we’re making this a political issue. Of course, we have the Biden administration standing up and saying, hello, this is our huge victory. We’re taking this dangerous pesticide off the market. But the real story is in the fact that this is a court ordered ban. Basically we’ve got a court in California saying either take this off the market, it’s dangerous or do something to fix it, right? And the EPA has determined, it’s not safe. You know, well, we have to take it off the market. We can’t fix it. And so what this really boils down to is the fact that the EPA who was supposed to be the, the smartest brains, the people who truly need to protect the environment and the consumers, they’re not doing their job. So we’ve got attorneys and we’ve got judges stepping in to learn the science, become the experts in the science and telling the people who are supposed to be the experts, the EPA, that it has to come off the market.

Mike Papantonio:             Okay. This was a chemical that was developed by the Nazis in world war two for chemical warfare. We knew that when it was put on the market, we knew that, we knew exactly the chemistry of how it would be causing brain damage in development, in developing children. We knew that we were using it on apples. We were using it on soybeans, we were using it on citrus. We knew it was all, it was the most pervasive plant, I mean, if you’re living in Fresno, California right now, you got glyphosate. You’ve got Paraquat. You’ve got, now you have this. I mean, how does anybody have a chance from the standpoint of just protecting themselves from a chemical like this?

Sara Papantonio:              Well, we certainly can’t trust the EPA to do it too and that, and that is the heart of this story. It’s the fact that we’ve got the EPA scientists that are really just political motivated scientists, right? And we’ve got corporations like Dow the people who are making these chemicals that have such a strong hold on our politics that are just throwing millions and millions, if not billions of dollars into political campaigns. So people like the Trump administration, the Biden administration are too darn scared to take it off the market in fear of losing that funding.

Mike Papantonio:             So, okay. So here we go. We’ve got, uh, we have now the EPA declaring victory on this chemical. At the same time, they made that decision, they made a decision on Paraquat, which is even more dangerous than this chemical and the EPA under this administration says, we’re going to expand the use of Paraquat, where you can use it, we, you can dust it through the air. Tell me about that.

Sara Papantonio:              This is such an important story because it highlights the Biden administration talking about out of both sides of their mouth. You know, on one side, we have them claiming victory for taking this dangerous pesticide, chlorpyrifos, off the market. But then on the other side of the mouth, their mouth, what are they doing? They’re actually expanding the use, like you said, for Paraquat, something that is even more deadly, even more dangerous.

Mike Papantonio:             Banned all over the world.

Sara Papantonio:              Right.

Mike Papantonio:             Paraquat is banned, it’s ban, it’s actually banned by the com, by the countries who make it. UK makes it, but it’s banned. China makes it, communist China makes it, but it’s banned. Switzerland makes it, but it’s banned. And so, but not in the US. We got Paraquat, we’ve got this, we’ve got Roundup. I don’t know how anybody stands a chance if you live around a place like Fresno, California, and you’re just surrounded by agriculture.

Sara Papantonio:              Well, now we know that it’s the court systems that are actually going to clear up our environment and not the EPA. So if you live in the area, you know, you’ve got to take it to court.

Mike Papantonio:             Take it to court. Thank you for joining me, Sara.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.