The Strange Case of Steven Donziger

To add to the long list of cases in which the U.S. judicial system has shown complete contempt for truth, justice, and common human decency, you can add the case of Steven Donziger. It’s a bit complicated (because Exxon’s lawyers want it to be), so I am including here a link to the Wikipedia page for those who want all the details, but here are the basic facts: Steven Donziger, Harvard graduate, journalist, civil rights advocate (helped many Cuban exiles in Florida through the immigration process) and, most importantly, environmentalist lawyer, spent years suing Exxon for environmental damage on behalf of 30,000 Ecuadorians. He won at every level, because Exxon kept appealing until it got to the Ecuadorian Supreme Court. Exxon was found guilty, and ordered to pay $9.5 billion. Not the first time Exxon has been found guilty of environmental damage. Probably won’t be the last. When it comes to environmental damage, Exxon is the definition of a repeat offender.
Instead of just paying the 9.5 billion, which they can afford, and getting a bit of good PR out of a cleanup, they removed all their assets from Mexico, and started going after Donziger, personally. They charged him with corruption and bribery for things that had happened during the trial, and during the making of a movie about the event. They couldn’t prove anything was false in the movie, so they subpoenaed all the outtakes, film that wasn’t even used. Donziger said no, you can’t have that, and is still serving a term for contempt of court for that. Yes, that’s right. For things he didn’t publish, for film he didn’t show, because he was being cautious.
If they can put a guy in jail for that, they can put just about anybody in jail for anything. You don’t even need to print it, just think it.

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