More on the case before the Supreme Court which may privilege corporations even more. The result may be that corporations, though they are "people," may murder and not be punished. Seriously.
The case that has corporate teeth chattering is a lawsuit against Royal Dutch Shell Oil, which is accused of aiding and abetting the Nigerian government in committing atrocities in the 1990s.
The suit was brought by 12 Nigerian citizens, all of whom have been granted political asylum in the United States. They are natives of the Ogoni region of Nigeria where Shell Oil has conducted oil exploration for decades.
In the mid-1990s, local religious, student and civic leaders began demonstrating peacefully against Shell, protesting that their farmland was being ruined by oil spills and that Shell contributed nothing to the local economy and did not pay for clean up or environmental protection.
Soon, the protest leadership was being rounded up, tortured, and even killed. Those who survived, fled, including Charles Wiwa, who says that after he led a rally in his home village, he was picked up and beaten by 18 soldiers before a crowd of thousands at an open air market.
"They started beating me — horsewhipping me, clubbing me, [kicking me with their] boots for a really long time," Wiwa says. The beating lasted more than two hours.
There were more beatings, he says, and eventually he was charged with unlawful assembly. Released on bail, he says there were two attempts to abduct him.
"When it was obvious that my life was at risk, I fled Nigeria," Wiwa says. ...NPR
You remember John Bellinger, don't you? That Bush-era State Department lawyer who became a hit-man on behalf of Iraq war enthusiasts? The great defender of Guantanamo and the indefinite detention of suspects who are now allowed contact with the outside world? Bellinger has come out swinging on behalf of corporations now.
... Former U.S. State Department counsel John Bellinger, who filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of a half dozen multi-national corporations, contends "that international law binds nations and individuals, but not corporations," and that neither this law nor international law allows American judges to adjudicate actions that have occurred in other countries and "that have absolutely nothing to do with the United States." ... NPR
"Absolutely nothing to do with the United States? A quick reminder from Wiki:
Shell Oil Company is the United States-based subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell, a multinational oil company ("oil major") of Anglo Dutch origins, which is amongst the largest oil companies in the world. Approximately 22,000 Shell employees are based in the U.S. The U.S. head office is in Houston, Texas. Shell Oil Company, including its consolidated companies and its share in equity companies, is one of America’s largest oil and natural gas producers, natural gas marketers, gasoline marketers and petrochemical manufacturers.
Shell is the market leader through approximately 25,000 Shell-branded gas stations in the US which also serve as Shell's most visible public presence. ...Wikipedia
And, Shell reminds us at its Shell USA website: "We operate in 50 states and employ more than 22,000 people delivering energy in technically innovative ways."