Justice In Nigeria Now

For Human Rights, Environmental Protection and Community Livelihood








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Chevron

The True Cost of Chevron: Chevron in Nigeria

from The True Cost of Chevron Alternative Annual Report May 2011
Nnimmo Bassey, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria; Emem Okon, Kebetkache Women’s Resource and Development Centre; Laura Livoti & Marc Evans, Justice In Nigeria Now

“Women in the communities near the gas flares experience high rates of infertility, early menopause, miscarriages, cancer and skin rashes. Think about the loss of an expected child. Think about young women having difficulty with pregnancies. Think about watching your family members become ill in a place where there are no health facilities. Think about trying to care for them without medicines or knowledge, while they suffer. The women of the Niger Delta call on Chevron to leave the oil in the soil. Stop destroying our environment and our people.”
– Emem Okon – A Niger Delta women’s rights activist

For well over 50 years , Chevron has drilled on and offshore Nigeria for its petroleum wealth, generating riches that have flowed whether dictatorships or democracies govern the region and providing strong earnings for Chevron
and its shareholders. For over half a century, the people and communities living near the shores of Africa’s richest oil boom have become poorer, more dispirited, and are living shorter lives while petroleum flows from their region. Oil operations in the Niger Delta have economically marginalized local villagers, while giving them virtually no control over their own livelihood,land or resources.

Chevron currently holds a 40% interest in 13 Nigerian concessions that it operates under a joint-venture arrangement with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, with daily 2010 production averaging 524,000 barrels of crude oil, 206 million cubic feet of natural gas and 5,000 barrels of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).423 Nigeria’s petroleum industry now stands at a crossroads, as the country is set to rearrange its entire oil and gas sector in a far reaching Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), which will undoubtedly affect Chevron revenues and shareholder value.424 As Chevron prepares to restructure its Nigerian joint business ventures, it has a unique opportunity to fix its failed relationships with civil society and the ecology of the Niger Delta. Chevron also has an opportunity to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and protect its shareholders from the unknowns of a future greenhouse gas regulatory framework that might impact its bottom line.

After more than 50 years of oil production, 85% of Nigeria’s $700 billion in oil revenues has accrued to just 1% of the nation’s population, with little benefit to the communities of the Niger Delta.425 With 606 oilfields, the Niger Delta supplies 40% of all the crude the United States imports and has been called “the world capital of oil pollution.” Life expectancy in the Niger Delta communities is now far less than it was two generations ago, with half the area’s residents half of which having no access to clean water.426

Associated Gas Flaring in the Niger Delta

Internationally recognized as one of the world’s “biodiversity hotspots,” the Niger Delta hosts many threatened species unique to the world and one of Africa’s largest mangrove forest ecosystems. Millions of people in West Africa rely on the Niger Delta’s natural resources, which support the subsistence farming and fishing comprising much of the Delta’s local economy.427 But Chevron’s Nigerian operations threaten all this with massive releases of toxic airborne and waterborne petroleum by-products through leaks, waste discharges and the illegal and immoral practice of gas flaring—the burning of associated gas that comes out of the ground when oil is extracted.

On average, about 1,000 standard cubic feet (scf ) of gas is produced in Nigeria with every barrel of oil.428 Gas flaring in Nigeria has contributed more greenhouse gases than all other sources in sub-Saharan Africa combined. And the flares contain a cocktail of toxins that affect the health and livelihood of local communities, exposing Niger Delta residents to an
increased risk of premature deaths, child respiratory illnesses, asthma and cancer.429

Although gas flaring has been illegal in Nigeria for decades, Chevron and other oil companies repeatedly flout Nigerian legislative deadlines, paying nominal fines for breaking the law. In 2005 the federal High Court of Nigeria ruled flaring by Shell and the NNPC (with which Chevron jointly operates) illegal and a violation of the rights to life and dignity.430 Yet Chevron remained among the worst offenders in Nigeria, flaring over 64% of its gas in 2008.431

Chevron is the largest stakeholder and the lead corporation on the World Bank-led West Africa Gas Pipeline (WAGP). Chevron has stated that the WAGP will lead to reduced gas flaring, as it “allows access to markets and provides the ability to deliver gas to end users.”432 Yet the World Bank’s own independent Inspection Panel found that the WAGP project, initially promoted as an instrument to reduce the gas flaring that afflicts Niger Delta communities with “unending noise, heat, light, and pollution,” will lessen flaring by substantially less than was implied before the project was begun.433 Moreover, local villagers want the gas to be used for local electrification rather than a new export product.

The Director of NNPC and Chevron’s joint venture, Mr. Supo Shadiya, recently set a new date of 2012 for ending flaring of all associated onshore and offshore gases from the company’s western operations.434 However, nearly every pronouncement by Chevron on flaring over the last decade is a declaration of its intent to end flaring, but at an ever-later date. The world waits to see if Chevron will keep its word this time or if this will be one more lie by a company that has for decades failed to reduce its ecological or human rights footprint in the Niger Delta.

To protect local health, the global climate and its return on investments, Chevron must end gas flaring now.

Violence in the Niger Delta

In 2009, increased violence and worsened social conditions in the Niger Delta led to major shortfalls in production, as crude oil output fell to less than 1.7 million barrels per day, from about 2.6 million barrels per day in 2005.435 The amnesty program announced by the federal government for militants in the Niger Delta largely halted attacks on oil facilities by the end of 2009, but training facilities are inadequate and jobs placement is not available.436 The reduction in violence that resulted from the amnesty remains fragile. Violence in the Delta is now on the rise again, with renewed militant threats.

Faced with Chevron’s unwillingness to adequately redress the environmental and economic harms caused by the company, communities in the Delta engaged for decades in peaceful protest. Violent protests arose thereafter as a result of Chevron’s unresponsiveness to the basic needs of communities where it operates—communities whose livelihoods were destroyed by oil operations, and the violent suppression of peaceful protests.438 Today, peaceful and violent resistance to oil operations exist side-by-side in communities where Chevron operates.

Chevron has yet to take responsibility for its role in using the notoriously brutal Nigerian military Joint Task Force (JTF) to suppress peaceful protest, as in Ugborodo or Parabe communities, despite Chevron’s own documents showing that it paid, transported, fed, housed and supervised the JTF in such attacks.439 Chevron must stop using the JTF as its corporate security force. Chevron’s own internal memo cites the disproportionate response to incidents by the JTF and suggests that the company consider supplying rubber bullets.440 Instead Chevron must hire, train and be responsible for its own security force and make restitution to the families whose lives have been torn asunder by JTF violence against peaceful protests that occurred at the behest of Chevron.

Community Agreement
In 2005, Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) adopted a new approach to community engagement in the Delta, called the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMOU), which outlines agreements with local communities on jobs and other social welfare programs that the company will provide. Chevron states that the GMOUs are intended “to bring peace, stability and reduced conflict to areas where Chevron operates in the region.”441

But the people of Obe-Nla in the Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State have threatened to shut down CNL operations in its domain, claiming that CNL has failed to implement its GMOU and that CNL has excluded their community in its welfare programs for the past 28 years, despite extensive environmental pollution in the area.442 In the Ugborodo community (in the sightline of Chevron’s Escravos terminal), peaceful protests by villagers demanding that Chevron uphold its GMOU agreement regarding the number of jobs for local community members resulted in the shooting of harmless protesters by the JTF who were called in by Chevron to act as security.443 In the neighboring Itsekiri community there is the general belief that the GMOU and the whole process that governs it was imposed by Chevron and that feedback from their representatives to the process suggest that decision-making is manipulated.444

It is in the interest of its shareholders for Chevron to act as a responsible stakeholder and a responsible development partner in the Niger Delta. Failure to do so could impact the company’s bottom line by causing disruptions to its operations.

Click here to download the Nigeria section of The True Cost of Chevron: An Alternative Annual Report, May 2011 as a pdf.

The True Cost of Chevron

An Alternative Annual Report

May 2011

This year’s report features new sections on Chevron’s pursuit of ever-riskier and ever-deeper offshore projects in the South China Sea, the North Sea, and the Canadian Arctic, as well as accounts of Chevron’s ongoing negative impacts in the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Click here to download a pdf of the full report — The True Cost of Chevron: An Alternative Annual Report, May 2011

Chevron Alternative Annual Report 2011

As oil and gasoline prices — and public outrage at the generous government subsidies handed out daily to the oil industry – are on the rise, Fortune Magazine announced that for the fourth year in a row, Chevron — California’s largest company — is the nation’s 3rd largest corporation and the world’s 11th largest. While Chevron lobbied aggressively to ensure its subsidies stayed in tact, it also raked in nearly $20 billion in profits. What did it do with its vast wealth? According to its Annual Report and the actors in its “We Agree” Ad campaign, Chevron supported human rights, alternative energy, the environment, and local economies.

The groundbreaking report includes accounts by more than 40 authors – most living on the front lines of Chevron’s operations — recording egregious corporate behavior in locations as diverse as California, Burma, Colombia, Ecuador, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, the Philippines and the U.S. Gulf Coast, including new sections detailing Chevron’s pursuit of ever-riskier and ever-deeper offshore projects in the South China Sea, the North Sea, and the Canadian Arctic and its role in the Deepwater Horizon disaster. The report also profiles the historic victory and ongoing battle over Chevron’s crimes in Ecuador. Many report authors have traveled to California to speak to Chevron Shareholders at the Chevron AGM, this year in San Ramon, home to the world headquarters of Chevron.

They include: Humberto Piaguaje, Amazon Defense Coalition, Ecuador (speaks Spanish, translation available); Emem Okon, Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre, Nigeria; Elias Isaac, Open Society Initiative, Angola; Jessica Tovar, Communities for a Better Environment, Oakland, CA; Mardan Pius Ginting, WALHI – Friends of the Earth Indonesia, Indonesia; Gitz Crazyboy (Ryan Deranger), First Nation Dene/Pikini (Blackfoot), Alberta, Canada; Tom Evans, of the Native village of Nanwalek, CookInlet Keepers, Alaska; Antonia Juhasz, Global Exchange, San Francisco, CA, co-editor of the True Cost of Chevron report; Laura Livoti, founder of Justice In Nigeria Now.

(Text excerpted from True Cost of Chevron press release.)
www.TrueCostofChevron.com


True Cost of Chevron: Alternative Annual Report 2010 now available!

Download here: http://truecostofchevron.com/2010-alternative-annual-report.pdf

[JINN is a contributing author to the report and a member of the True Cost of Chevron coalition.]

Press release from True Cost of Chevron coalition:

As public outrage at the oil industry intensifies and questions on how to reign in the industry abound, an unprecedented global coalition of communities harmed by – and fighting back against – the industry present both a groundbreaking report, “The True Cost of Chevron: an Alternative 2009 Annual Report,” and a landmark organizing model for taking on Big Oil.

Written by dozens of community leaders from sixteen countries and ten states across the United States where Chevron operates, the 60-page report encompasses the full range of Chevron’s activities, from coal to chemicals, offshore to onshore production, pipelines to refineries, natural gas to toxic waste, and lobbying and campaign contributions to greenwashing.

From the coalfields of Alabama to the oil fields of Indonesia, the report reveals Chevron operations mired in accusation of extreme human rights abuse (Angola, Burma, Indonesia, Chad, and Nigeria); mass environmental and human health devastation (including Ecuador, Kazakhstan, and Canada); toxic abuse of its neighbors (including Alabama, California, Mississippi, Texas, Thailand, and the Philippines); abuse of its workers (including Utah); threats to endangered species (including Australia and the U.S. Gulf Coast); and, in Iraq, intensifying the violent insurgency and putting the lives of U.S. and Iraqi service members at greater risk.

All the while, Chevron continued to promote itself as a ‘green’ energy company while, the report reveals, expanding its coal operations (it was recently named as operating one of the most dangerous mines in the U.S., the Kemmerer, WY mine), offshore, and Canadian Tarsands operations; being named California’s single largest stationary Greenhouse Gas emitter; and being identified by Barrons as one of the ‘oiliest’ of the world’s major oil companies.

“Chevron spent less than 2% of its total capital and exploratory budget on green energy in 2009, its lowest rate in any year since at least 2006,” explained Antonia Juhasz, lead author and editor of the report and author of The Tyranny of Oil: the World’s Most Powerful Industry-And What We Must Do To Stop It.  “Chevron’s misrepresentation of its actual business practices translates across Chevron’s operations and is the reason why it is the focus of one of the largest and most unique networks of communities organizing to hold the oil industry to account.”

On May 25, forty report authors will appear in Houston at a press conference to address the true cost of Chevron’s operations in their communities. On May 26, they will deliver the report directly to Chevron inside the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) while supporters rally outside.

The 2009 report has gained even greater import in the wake of the BP/Transocean explosion as it exposes Chevron’s role as the largest leaseholder in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and its role at the forefront of lobbying to expand offshore drilling across the U.S. and around the world. Chevron also contracts with Transocean for its massive offshore operations.

Report author, Bryan Parras, of Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services (TEJAS) in Houston, explained, “The oil industry operates with impunity here in Houston and across the Gulf Coast. It is critical that our communities work together to hold these companies to account.”

For more information on the authors, fact sheets, visuals and a schedule of Houston events, go to:

www.TrueCostofChevron.com

# # #

FULL REPORT AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD AT: www.TrueCostofChevron.com

Organizations Contributing to The True Cost of Chevron: An Alternative Annual Report: Amazon Watch, Black Warrior River Keeper, Coalition for a Safe Environment, Communities for a Better Environment, Cook Inletkeeper, CorpWatch, Crude Accountability, Dooda Desert Rock, EarthRights International, Environment California, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria, Environment Texas, Filipino-American Coalition for Environmental Solidarity, Friends of the Earth Indonesia (WALHI), Global Exchange, Gulf Coast Sierra Club, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Justice in Nigeria Now, Kebetkache Women Resource and Development Centre, Organizacion Wayuu Munsurat, Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa, Powder River Basin Sierra Club, Project for Ecological Awareness Building, Rainforest Action Network, Richmond Progressive Alliance, Surfrider Foundation, Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services, Trustees for Alaska, Turtle Island Restoration Network, West County Toxics Coalition, The Wilderness Society of Western Australia.

Protest Rally at Chevron in Houston
Wednesday, May 26 2010 7-11am
Houston, TX

On May 26, 2010, Chevron will move its annual shareholder meeting from San Ramon, California (where it is based) to its Houston, Texas headquarters (in the infamous Enron Building). Chevron is trying to run from its critics.

Chevron can run, but with your help, it cannot hide!

Community leaders from Angola, Burma, New Mexico, Australia, Kazakhstan, Alaska, Ecuador, Texas, Nigeria, California, Colombia, Mississippi, Canada, Thailand, Wyoming, and more will go inside the meeting to address the gathered shareholders. Outside, there will be a celebratory, colorful, and fun protest rally at Chevron’s headquarters at 1500 Louisiana.
Please join us!

Location:
Chevron’s Houston Headquarters
1500 Louisiana
Houston, TX

Contact:
Ginger info@changechevron.com

Sponsored By:
The True Cost of Chevron Network


Come to a Special screening of Sweet Crude in Houston
Tuesday, May 25, 2010 830pm
Houston, TX

Come to a Special screening of Sweet Crude, followed by Q & A with Macon Hawkins, an oil worker held hostage by armed militants who remains sympathetic to the needs of those living in the Niger Delta; Emem Okon, a leader of Nigeria’s women’s movement; and Omoyele Sowore, an activist from a Chevron production area in Nigeria. This must-see screening takes place at Houston’s Angelika Theater, on May 25th, 8:30pm.

Join us for this powerful documentary about Nigeria, the U.S. and oil, plus Q & A with an amazing set of speakers–on the eve of Chevron’s May 26th Shareholder meeting in Houston!

Contact abby@justiceinnigerianow.org

The True Cost of Chevron Public Forum Tuesday, May 25th 2010 6-8pm
Houston, TX

On May 25, community leaders from Angola, Burma, New Mexico, Australia, Kazakhstan, Alaska, Ecuador, Texas, Nigeria, California, Colombia, Mississippi, Canada, Thailand, Wyoming, and more will share their stories of struggles and success against the oil giant at a Public Forum on May 25 from 6-8pm at the Rice Media Center

Will you join us?

Learn more:
Please click here for the list of Event Speakers

Location:
Rice Media Center
Entrance 8 on the Rice University Campus
Stockton @ University Blvd
Houston, Texas 77005

Contact: Karla Aguilar karlitaguanaca@gmail.com

Sponsored By: The True Cost of Chevron Network


True Cost of Chevron Press Conference Tuesday, May 25th 2010
Houston, TX

Authors of the newly updated True Cost of Chevron: An Alternative Annual Report, 2010 will host a press conference the morning of May 25th. Authors from Angola, Burma, New Mexico, Australia, Kazakhstan, Alaska, Ecuador, Texas, Nigeria, California, Colombia, Mississippi, Canada, Thailand, Wyoming, and more will be there.

Location: TBA

Contact:
Diana Wu dianapeiwu[at]gmail.com
Sangita Nayak emailsangita[at]gmail.com

Sponsored By: The True Cost of Chevron Network


Outreach Event at Monkey Wrench Books Saturday, May 22nd 2010 7pm
Austin, TX

T.J. Buonomo, a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War and former U.S. Army Intelligence Officer and Antonia Juhasz, director of The Chevron Program at Global Exchange and the author of The Tyranny of Oil: The World’s Most Powerful Industry–and What We Must Do To Stop It (HarperCollins, 2009), will be at Monkey Wrench Books to recruit YOU to come to Houston on May 25 and 26th for a landmark gathering of community leaders harmed by — and fighting back against – the Chevron Corporation. Attend the public forum and then join the protest at Chevron’s annual shareholder meeting!

Location:
MonkeyWrench Books
110 E. North Loop
Austin, Texas 78751

Contact: MonkeyWrench Books: (512) 407-6925 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (512) 407-6925 end_of_the_skype_highlighting


Dance Against Chevron with Afrolicious! Friday, May 21st 2010 @ 10pm
San Francisco, CA

We’re going to rock out and raise funds this Friday night with Afrolicious and Pleasuremaker @ Coda in the Mission (at Duboce) to support the Bay Area’s massive efforts to Confront Chevron in Houston May 25 and 26th!
Come out and have fun!

Location:
Coda
1710 Mission St.
San Francisco, California


Celebrating a successful day of protest and intervention at Chevron’s 2009 Annual Shareholder Meeting in San Ramon, CA.
photo: Patrick Herms

From Richmond to Houston
We Will Protest Chevron
at Elixir Saloon in San Francisco
April 26, 2010 at 9:00 pm

Join us! April 26, 2010 — as Communities for a Better Environment, Global Exchange, West County Toxics Coalition, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Justice in Nigeria Now, Filipino/American Coalition for Environmental Solidarity (FACES), and many others host a fundraiser to support getting Richmond and other Bay Area community members, organizers, and activists to Houston, Texas.

On May 26, 2010, Chevron will move its annual shareholder meeting from San Ramon, California (where it is based) to its Houston, Texas headquarters (in the infamous Enron Building). Chevron is trying to run from its critics.

Well, it can run, but, with your help, it can’t hide

Join us at Elixir Saloon at 16th and Guerrero in San Francisco

Guest Bartenders! Raffling items from around the world! Music! Dancing!

Mark your calendars MONDAY APRIL 26th 9pm-2am, DRESS COUNTRY WESTERN THEMED and drag your friends out as we have fun fighting the fifth largest corporation in the world!

Richmond Not Among Chevron’s Slated Cutbacks or Shutdowns

richmond-underground-ad

On March 9, 2010, the Chevron Corporation quelled a range of rumors regarding where it would cut back on its operations and shut down refineries. In its Security Analyst meeting, Chevron announced that it will lay off 2,000 workers in its global downstream division, where gas is made and sold. Chevron also announced its intent to sell its refinery in Pembroke, Wales, and to solicit bids on downstream operations in Europe, the Carribbean, and Central America.

Chevron did not mention Richmond in its discussion of cutbacks–contrary to the fears of some when Chevron first announced it would be scaling back its operations and shutting down facilities.

Chevron derives most of its profit from pumping and selling crude oil, which allows the company to remain profitable–from its operations in regions like the Niger Delta–even when its marketing and refining operations take a hit.

Read more on this story in the San Francisco Chronicle.

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Chevron pollutes fresh water in Nigeria. Ads designed by Underground Ads

THE TRUE COST OF CHEVRON

TrueCostofChevron.com

JINN is one member of a large coalition of organizations who are standing up to hold Chevron accountable for its human rights abuses and environmental destruction in Nigeria and around the the world.  In May of 2009 the True Cost of Chevron  coalition released an alternative annual report and a parody ad campaign to enlighten shareholders about what the company does not talk about in their yearly report.

Download the Full Report

Chevron’s 2008 annual report is a glossy celebration of the company’s most profitable year in its history.

What Chevron’s annual report does not tell its shareholders is the true cost paid for those financial returns, or the global movement gaining voice and strength against Chevron’s abuses.

Thus, we, the communities and their allies who bear the consequences of Chevron’s operations, have prepared an alternative annual report of Chevron entitled “The True Cost of Chevron.”  The report was released the day before the shareholder meeting on May 26, 2009.

Never before has one report brought together the information, stories, and struggles of communities from Angola, Burma, Canada, Chad, Cameroon, Ecuador, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, the Philippines and across the United States directly impacted by, and in struggle against, Chevron’s operations.

nigeria

Chevron refuses to clean up its mess in Nigeria. Ads designed by Underground Ads

Reports on Human Rights Abuses in Nigeria

Amnesty International: Nigeria Ten years on: Injustice and violence haunt the oil Delta

This report, written in 2005 shows the continued human rights abuses that continue to affect communities where Chevron and Shell operate in the Delta.  Violence has only increased since 2005.

Chevron In Numbers:

  • 2nd largest oil company in the United States

  • 6th largest corporation in the world

  • $32.5 million: David O’ Reilly, Chevron’s CEO total compensation including stock options in 2007 (according to Forbes.com)

  • $23.9 billion Chevron’s 2008 record profits (compared to $18.7 billion in 2007 – a full 28% higher)

  • $4.9 billion:Forth Quarter profit for 2008

Photo Credit: Kendra E. Thornbury for Sweet Crude

Photo Credit: Kendra E. Thornbury for Sweet Crude

Bowoto v. Chevron Litigation Background

On December 1, 2008 a San Francisco jury found Chevron not-liable in the shootings of unarmed activists protesting in 1998.  However the case in now in appeal and the plaintiffs continue to seek justice for Chevron’s actions which included paying and transporting the Nigerian military to the oil platform where the protesters were conducting a peaceful sit-in. As a result of the military actions, two people were killed and several others wounded and tortured.  Below is the background information regarding the case.  To read what happened in court daily during the trial in the fall of 2008 visit the Bowoto v. Chevron Trial Blog

Fact sheets on the case:chev_soldier

Bowoto v. Chevron Human Rights Litigation

What Should Chevron Do?

Chevron Pays the Military

When We Protested, They Shot Us

Chevron Has Unclean Hands

The Notorious Military Police

Chevron’s Misleading Public Statements

Dead Fish, Dead Trees, No Water to Drink

Chevron Keeps Questionable Company

Press Release from National Lawyers Guild:

Complaint Filed Against Former Dept. of Defense Lawyer William Haynes

Former Department of Defense General Counsel Recommended Torture, Harsh Interrogation Techniques

William Haynes at Senate Hearing in June 2008

William Haynes at Senate Hearing in June 2008

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – March 16 – The National Lawyers Guild San Francisco Bay Area Chapter (NLGSF) is filing a complaint with the California State Bar today against former Department of Defense General Counsel William Haynes.  The complaint against Haynes, who now works for the Chevron Corporation in San Ramon, states that he “breached his duty as a lawyer and advocated for harsh tactics amounting to torture in violation of U.S. and international law … advocacy that directly lead to detainee abuses at the Guantanamo Bay and Abu Grahib facilities.”

A copy of the complaint is available upon request or can be accessed at: http://www.nlgsf.org/committees/againsttorture.php. The complaint will be mailed to the State Bar Los Angeles office and hand-delivered to the State Bar Office in San Francisco, where there will be a 12:30 press conference.

Press Conference State Bar Office 180 Howard Street Monday, March 16, 12:30 PM

“We believe Mr. Haynes must be held accountable, just as any other lawyer would be,” said Carlos Villarreal, Executive Director of the NLGSF.  “But we are filing this complaint today not out of motivation to harm Mr. Haynes, but to ensure that torture is again relegated to the status it had before the Bush Administration’s tenure, and that the harmful, sometimes deadly, and completely ineffective policy of torture is truly deterred.”

While working for the Department of Defense, Haynes ignored the serious concerns coming from all branches of the military and recommended  in a memo to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, approval of certain harsh interrogation techniques, including removal of clothing, stress positions, and the use of dogs against detainees.  The Senate Armed Services Committee has described the memo as “grossly deficient.”

“Powerful leaders can and do engage in illegal acts and inhumane treatment of others.  These leaders often rely on lawyers and the legal system to give the appearance of legitimacy to an illegal agenda.  Sadly, there always seems to be lawyers willing to do the bidding of powerful rulers,” said Sharon Adams, attorney member of the NLGSF.  “The State Bar must uphold ethics and the rule of law, and repudiate Mr. Haynes’ actions.”

Haynes worked with other lawyers in the Bush administration who have yet to face consequences for their advocacy of torture and other wrongdoing, including former Justice Department lawyer and current UC Berkeley School of Law Professor John Yoo.  “We are in a position where even members of the new administration are suggesting criminal charges against Bush officials for torture and other crimes are off the table since many of these officials relied on legal advice,” said Jim Lafferty, Executive Director of the National Lawyers Guild Office in Los Angeles.  “If the lawyers are not held accountable for their misdeeds, then essentially high crimes with serious consequences have been committed but nobody is to blame.”

As a Registered in House Counsel for the Chevron Corporation, Haynes was not required to take the California Bar Exam but is also not able to appear in court or practice law beyond giving advice to Chevron.  He is, however, required to “abide by all of the laws and rules that govern members of the State Bar of California,” according to California Rules of Court.

The National Lawyers Guild is dedicated to the need for basic and progressive change in the structure of our political and economic system. Through its members–lawyers, law students, jailhouse lawyers and legal workers united in chapters and committees–the Guild works locally, nationally and internationally as an effective political and social force in the service of the people.

William “Jim” Haynes II: Hired last year as Chevron’s Chief General Counsel. Former job: General Counsel for the Pentagon. Haynes helped approve and craft the policy that allowed certain torture practices at Guantanamo Bay and throughout the American military including the use of dogs, making a detainee stand for long periods of time and forced nudity. Read More:

In June, Haynes testified in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee about interrogation practices that he approved and memos written on this issue, his most common answer: “I don’t specifically remember when I saw this.”

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