This is fun: Greenpeace is suing Dow Chemical and two of its PR firms, claiming that they hired private investigators "who stole documents, tapped phones and hacked into computer networks between 1998 and 2000." They have lots of documents!

The PR firms in question are Ketchum and Dezenhall Resources, both of which have been known to be willing to walk on the shady side of "communications" in the past. Greenpeace—which helpfully built an entire website about this scandal—alleges that Dow used the PR firms to hire a private investigation firm called BBI (staffed by former Secret Service and CIA agents), which spied on Greenpeace illegally on behalf of Dow. If Greenpeace's complaint is to be believed, each and every one of these firms have few if any boundaries when it comes to destroying their opposition.

Greenpeace includes a trove of emails between the defendants and documents relating to the case on its site. This exchange between Ketchum, Dow, and BBI, for example, includes Ketchum employees asking to be emailed "really sensitive information" on private email addresses, a Dow man enumerating the "debates (we're trying hard not to say issues)" that the company is working on (such as how much dioxin Dow is pumping into the environment), and plenty of other fun stuff to help you reflect on just how much money corporate America is willing to spend to crush those who might be bad for business. In this email, "Elin" is Elin Miller, who was the Global VP for Public Affairs for Dow:

There's enough here to keep you horrified for hours. It's a relief to know that our nation's most prominent corporations and PR firms have by now been fully cleared of the bad apples who perpetrate things like this.

[via PRNewser. Photo: Greenpeace]