Amazon Watch and our supporters will not be bullied!
Reposted from Eye on the Amazon
As part of an ongoing effort to blur the truth, The Washington Times just published a "hit piece" against Amazon Watch, which has long supported the Ecuadorian communities that were devastated by decades of Chevron's reckless actions for which it has been found guilty in a landmark environmental lawsuit. Biased and misleading, the article is nothing more than another piece of Chevron's ongoing strategy to do anything other than deal with the consequences of its actions in Ecuador and the subsequent toll on the Amazon rainforest and its inhabitants.
When it's impossible to hide a crime, as with Chevron's environmental devastation in Ecuador, corporate criminals have a history of changing the story to vilify the victims and their allies instead of facing the consequences. For Chevron's army of lawyers and multiple PR teams – and more money than some nations – there's no lie too big and no scheme too outlandish.
We first learned of this latest attack a couple months ago when a major contributing foundation received a voicemail from a Washington Times "reporter" asking false and misleading questions. Shortly thereafter, we heard that additional foundations also received biased, pro-Chevron emails from the same "reporter." In her correspondence, Kellan Howell repeatedly omitted the fact that Amazon Watch had successfully defeated all of Chevron's allegations of wrongdoing in federal court. And that's the difference between an investigation and a smear campaign: journalists investigate truth, smear artists propagate lies. Yet, much to Chevron's chagrin, our donors' steadfast support and refusal to be intimidated comes across clearly in the article despite the author's attempts to cast us in a negative light.
Even after it was brought to her attention multiple times, including by our lawyer, Ms. Howell's article completely omits the fact that a US District Court found – rejecting Chevron's argument that Amazon Watch had done anything wrong – that "there is nothing to suggest that Amazon Watch's campaigns and speech were more than mere advocacy and were likely to incite or produce imminent lawless action," and that "[a]ll that Chevron has shown this Court is that Amazon Watch has been very critical of Chevron's operations in Ecuador."
Of course The Washington Times failed to include that vital information because it directly refutes Chevron spokesman Morgan Crinklaw's slanderous statement that Amazon Watch was "paid to promote knowingly false and misleading information about the company to the media, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and government officials…"
In another glaring example of biased reporting The Washington Times deliberately omits the fact that Russell – who issued the $6 billion damage estimate – "left the LAP [plaintiffs'] team . . . because, among other reasons, the LAP team owed him money and refused to pay it." Additionally, Russell admitted that after the consultant underwent a falling out with Donziger, he turned around and offered his services to Chevron. Of course, after Russell left the team the final damage estimates were much higher than $6 billion.
Below is the response Amazon Watch sent to The Washington Times when they reached out to us for comment several weeks after first contacting our donors.