Manufacturer Sues Seymour Hersh Over Scud Launcher Report
WASHINGTON (AP) _ A construction equipment manufacturer filed a libel suit Friday accusing journalist Seymour Hersh and a businessman with falsely implying that the company sold trucks adapted as scud missile launchers to Iraq.
The Terex Corp. of Green Bay, Wisc., and its affiliate, KCS Industries Inc., of Westport, Conn., sought more than $15 million in damages from Hersh and Richard C. Fuisz of Great Falls, Va.
The lawsuit concerns a Jan. 26, 1992, article written by Hersh and published by The New York Times. It quoted Fuisz as saying he visited a Terex plant in Scotland in 1987, where he saw armor-plated vehicles painted in desert camouflage.
The Times was not named as a defendant in the suit.
The article quoted Fuisz as saying that Terex officials told him the vehicles were adapted to be used as scud missile launchers by the Iraqi military. He also said a company official told him the shipments had been requested by the CIA and British intelligence, according to the article.
The lawsuit said Hersh and Fuisz knew the allegations were false and that Fuisz did not see any such vehicles at the Terex plant.
The article quoted a Terex attorney as saying the company had never manufactured any military equipment.
The lawsuit said Fuisz, who is president of a technology development firm in Chantilly, Va., was pursuing a vendetta against Terex for declining to enter into a business deal with him.
Fuisz said in a telephone interview Friday: ″I stand with the story exactly as written by Mr. Hersh; it is absolutely correct. I saw the vehicles. I was told (by Terex officials) that they were missile launchers for the Iraqi military.″
Hersh declined comment except to say that he stood by the story.