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Forum Post: Did ExxonMobil Pay Torturers?

Posted 1 year ago on Oct. 11, 2012, 2:24 p.m. EST by GirlFriday (17435)
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But in a 2008 ruling (PDF), federal district court judge Louis Oberdorfer ordered Exxon to face trial. "A reasonable finder of fact," the judge wrote, citing internal correspondence from Exxon and its Indonesian subsidiary, EMOI, "could conclude that the paid security forces committed the alleged torts and that EMOI and Exxon Mobil are liable." Exxon appealed, but a federal circuit court panel upheld that part of the ruling in July 2011.

The fate of the ExxonMobil case now rests in the hands of the US Supreme Court. On October 1, the court heard arguments in a similar, better-known case, Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum (Shell)—and it's that case that may determine whether the Acehnese villagers ever get their day in federal court.

Like John Doe v. ExxonMobil, the Kiobel case relies on an 18th-century statute called the Alien Tort Claims Act. The Nigerian plaintiffs say it gives citizens outside the United States the right to sue any corporation with a US presence for aiding and abetting human rights abuses—such as the Nigerian government's alleged extrajudicial killings of Ogoni protester Ken Saro-Wiwa and Barinem Kiobel.

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[-] 2 points by ericweiss (575) 1 year ago

With a constitutional amendment voiding corporate personhood, we can create corporate liability laws that puncture the "corporate veil" that shields corporate executives from liability. BP for example, killed its own people in the Deep Water Horizon.
Massey Energy killed dozens of miners, Blankenship got away with murder
( I think he's a major contributor to willard )

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (34903) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Interesting - thx GF. I hope the case goes well = against the corpoRATions. As we need to see global accountability/responsibility if we are ever to see global sanity.

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

I am hoping for some accountability.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (34903) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

In part - what I replied to Zen's comment - now there is really nowhere in the world that is not experiencing this corpoRAT and Governmental Abuse.

[-] 2 points by ZenDog (13510) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

Ken Saro-Wiwa:


  • Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria -

My lord,

We all stand before history. I am a man of peace, of ideas. Appalled by the denigrating poverty of my people who live on a richly endowed land, distressed by their political marginilization and economic strangulation, angered by the devestation of their land, their ultimate heritage, anxious to preserve their right to life and to a decent living, and determined to usher to this country as a whole a fair and just democratic system which protects everyone and every ethnic group and gives us all a valid claim to human civilization, I have devoted my intellectual and material resources, my very life, to a cause in which I have total belief and from which I cannot be blackmailed or intimidated. I have no doubt at all about the ultimate success of my cause, no matter the trials and tribulations which I and those who believe with me may encounter on our journey. Nor imprisonment nor death can stop our ultimate victory.

I repeat that we all stand before history. I and my colleagues are not the only ones on trial.

Shell is here on trial and it is as well that it is represented by counsel said to be holding a watching brief. The Company has, indeed, ducked this particular trial, but its day will surely come and the lessons learnt here may prove useful to it for there is no doubt in my mind that the ecological war that the Company has waged in the Delta will be called to question sooner than later and the crimes of that war be duly punished. The crime of the Company's dirty wars against the Ogoni people will also be punshed.

On trial also is the Nigerian nation, its present rulers and those who assist them. Any nation which can do to the weak and disadvantaged what the Nigerian nation has done to the Ogoni, loses a claim to independence and to freedom from outside influence. I am not one of those who shy away from proesting injustice and oppression, arguing that they are expected in a military regime. The military do not act alone. They are supported by a gaggle of politicians, lawyers, judges, academics and businessmen, all of them hiding under the claim that they are only doing their duty, men and women too afraid to wash their pants of urine. We all stand on trial, my lord, for by our actions we have denigrated our Country and jeapordized the future of our children. As we subscribe to the sub-normal and accept double standards, as we lie and cheat openly, as we protect injustice and oppression, we empty our classrooms, denigrate our hospitals, fill our stomachs with hunger and elect to make ourselves the slaves of those who ascribe to higher standards, pursue the truth, and honour justice, freedom, and hard work. I predict that the scene here will be played and replayed by generations yet unborn. Some have already cast themselves in the role of villains, some are tragic victims, some still have achance to redeem themselves. The choice is for each individual.

I predict that the denoument of the riddle of the Niger delta will soon come. The agenda is being set at this trial. Whether the peaceful ways I have favoured will prevail depends on what the oppressor decides, what signals it sends out to the waiting public. In my innocence of the false charges I face Here, in my utter conviction, I call upon the Ogoni people, the peoples of the Niger delta, and the oppressed ethnic minorities of Nigeria to stand up now and fight fearlessly and peacefully for their rights. History is on their side. God is on their side. For the Holy Quran says in Sura 42, verse 41:"All those that fight when oppressed incur no guilt, but Allah shall punish the oppressor." Come the day.



Ken Saro-Wiwa was an outspoken critic of the Nigerian government and of the Shell oil company.

He was executed along with eight fellow activists in Novemeber 1995.


'The flames of Shell are flames of Hell,

We bask below their light,

Nought for us to serve the blight,

Of cursed neglect and cursed Shell.'

  • Ogoni Song


[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (34903) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Thx for posting that - 1995 - huh - how sad - now there is really nowhere in the world that is not experiencing this corpoRAT and Governmental Abuse.

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

Thank you!

[-] 3 points by ZenDog (13510) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago
[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 1 year ago

Thank you.