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Medical Whistleblower Advocacy Network

Human Rights Defenders

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”

 Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Article 1

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"Sometimes the law defends plunder and participates in it. Thus the beneficiaries are spared the shame and danger that their acts would otherwise involve... But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them and gives it to the other persons to whom it doesn't belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime. Then abolish that law without delay ... No legal plunder; this is the principle of justice, peace, order, stability, harmony and logic."
-- Frederic Bastiat

Corporations are responsible for Protection of Human Rights

The UN Commission on Human Rights in the UN Sub-Commission for the Promotion and Protection of  Human Rights approved in Resolution 2003/16 a set of “Norms on the Human Rights Responsibilities of Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises”.  These “Norms” proposed by the Sub-Commission on Human Rights essentially presented themselves as a restatement of the human rights obligations imposed on companies under international law.   The concepts and principles on which these norms are based is that the nation States have the primary responsibility to promote, secure the fulfillment of, respect, ensure respect of and protect human rights.  But even though the primary responsibility   may fall to the government of the nations, transnational corporations and other business enterprises, as organs of society, are also responsible for promoting and securing the human rights set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.   Thus transnational corporations and other business enterprises, their officers and persons working for them are also obligated to respect generally recognized responsibilities and norms contained in United Nations treaties and other international instruments.

Corporations, business entities and companies essentially should comply with a ‘do no harm’ principle, this also entails certain positive duties, including the due diligence obligation of the company to become aware of, prevent and address adverse human rights impacts.

As in many other issues in human rights, victims have pressed for changes.  An important human rights case in 1980 brought under the Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) in the USA helped open the door for more legal actions against corporations for human rights violations.  In the case of Filartiga v. Peña-Irala brought by Peter Weiss, for the Centre for Constitutional Rights,  the legal groundwork for the use of the ATCA  was laid and since there have been since then  a large number of cases related to human rights claims cases concerning corporations having sufficiently close links to the USA.  The Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) is a part of the First Judiciary Act 1789, provides that the US federal courts shall be competent to adjudicate civil actions filed by any alien for torts  committed “in violation of the law of nations or a treaty of the United States” (28 U.S.C. §1350).



These are just some of the many examples of corporate responsibility for environmental damages:

 

  • BP oil spill in the US Atlantic Coast – one of the biggest environmental catastrophes of the century
  • Union Carbide Corporation pesticide plant in Bhopal which leaked toxic gases 
  • Chevron Oil Company causing water contamination in Ecuador

 

Obstacles to adequate protection of human rights and environmental standards are:

 

  1. Corruption
  2. Lack of judicial independence
  3. Unwillingness or inability nations ensure foreign companies operating in their territory respect environmental and social standards
  4. Absence of adequate judicial systems allowing victims to seek justice where the parent company is based
  5. Legal obstacles due to the complex structure of multinationals and the inconsistency between what is permissible
  6. under corporate law and what is required under human rights law
  7. Nations  failing to take measures to ensure the fulfillment of their international human
  8. rights obligations
  9. Lack of clear definition of the scope of the responsibility directly imposed on businesses
  10. Lack of a forum available at the international level for victims to directly address the responsibility of corporations.

Citizens United vs FEC

In January 2010 five justices of the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission that corporations have a First Amendment right to spend unlimited funds promoting or attacking candidates in local, state and federal elections. This opened the way for unlimited election campaign spending by corporations. Corporations such as Melvin Sembler’s Florida real estate corporation were already spending considerable amounts of money to influence elections, but Citizens United v. FEC allowed CEOs to spend as much as they want and hide their campaign contributions from the public. Corporate front groups can sponsor campaign advertisements supporting the candidates of their choice and the public will never know who is funding the ads. Thus Melvin Sembler as an anonymous corporate donor can influence the election of federal judges and the election of members of the US Congress and not have the US public even know which political candidate is beholden to him for campaign contributions through American Crossroads or American Future Fund. This is how money gained in medical insurance fraud, fraud against governmental programs and financial profits gained from abusing children finds its way into national politics and thus influences the investigative and legislative environment facilitating the criminal enterprises.

In March 27 2008 a complaint was filed against American Future Fund - violations of Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 as amended.  See this complaint at this link:

http://www.citizen.org/documents/FEC_Final_Complaint_AmericanFutureFund101510.pdf

American Future Fund failed to register and report as a political committee with the Federal Election Commission and to comply with the obligations applying to such committees. American Future Fund in 2008 received $7.5 million in donations and was spending approximately $6.3 million in the 2010 election. Sandra Greiner, Director and President of American Future Fund, was previously an Iowa State Senator and is currently an Iowa State Representative. American Crossroads and its affiliate — Crossroads GPS, reportedly planned to raise $52 million. In the state of Kansas the American Future Fund poured an estimated $900,000 to defeat an incumbent Attorney General, Steve Six in the November 2, 2010 election. Attorney General Steve Six served as the highest ranking Department of Justice official in the state of Kansas and was thus responsible for all investigation and prosecution decisions made for any administrative, civil or criminal case in the state. Attorney General Steve Six was noted for aggressively investigating and prosecuting medical fraud and also was an effective prosecutor against those who abuse children, prosecuting those who do human trafficking and do pornography. The group called American Future Fund (AFF), which is based out of Iowa, has spent millions opposing selected incumbents across the country. AFF has not shared with the US public their real reasons for their targeting particular elected officials and judges in multiple states. Neither have they volunteered to provide the names of their contributors to the Federal Election Commission.

Prior to the November 2010 election the grassroots non-governmental organization, Public Citizen had filed a complaint to the Federal Election Commission against both the Crossroads GPS and American Future Fund alleging violations of federal election campaign laws and requesting that the Federal Election Commission take immediate steps to enforce the law and expose these groups’ secret financing to light of day. Currently anyone  can secretly donate any amount of money anonymously to these secret non-profit funds like American Future Fund and Crossroads- GPS and by doing so control who will be the highest Department of Justice official –the State Attorney General as well as which sitting judges will continue to serve the bench. That is the kind of non-transparent political power that allows this system covert governmental power to continue to allow abuse children to continue, and to allow those corporations who violate human rights to flourish and prosper in the United States of America. Constitutional civil rights and human rights have little chance of success when millions of dollars are spent to unfairly bias the election of judges or the State Attorney General.


"Every advance in this half-century-Social Security, civil rights, Medicare, aid to education, one after another-came with the support and leadership of American Labor."

~ Jimmy Carter

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) asked for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to investigate whether the American Future Fund (AFF) has violated tax law.  AFF, organized under section 501(c)(4) of the tax code, burst onto the political scene in the 2010 election, spending millions of dollars asking voters to vote against Democratic candidates for federal office.  501(c)(4) organizations like AFF may not have as their “primary purpose” the participation in political campaigns in support of, or in opposition to, candidates for public office. 

In May 2011 the Commission on Hope, Growth and Opportunity (CHGO)  told the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) it didn’t plan to spend any money on the 2010 election, then unleashed millions of dollars in attack ads only weeks after its application for nonprofit status was approved.

Commission on Hope, Growth and Opportunity (CHGO) is the newest NGO now pouring anonymous money into our elections, often with complete disregard for our tax and campaign finance law.  CREW previously filed complaints against the innocuously named American Future Fund and American Action Network.

http://www.citizensforethics.org/legal-filings/entry/irs-investigate-american-future-fund

 

"An unconditional right to say what one pleases about public affairs is what I consider to be the minimum guarantee of the First Amendment."
-- Justice Hugo L. Black

 

"Power always has to be kept in check; power exercised in secret, especially under the cloak of national security, is doubly dangerous."
-- William Proxmire

"There will never be a really free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly."

-- Henry David Thoreau

"Through electing officials that will protect the Constitution and commit themselves to the rights of the people and the health of the nation, we will be able to ensure that no group of ideologues and no private sector institution can coopt our rights, take us into senseless wars and steal the nation from its people."
-- Harry Belefonte

"Fascism should rightly be called Corporatism as it is a merge of state and corporate power."

-- Benito Mussolini

"The 'strength' of the People becomes weak when we don't 'exercise' our rights."

-- Eric Schaub

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”

― Leo Buscaglia

Medical Whistleblower Advocacy Network

MEDICAL WHISTLEBLOWER ADVOCACY NETWORK

P.O. 42700 

Washington, DC 20015

MedicalWhistleblowers (at) gmail.com

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"Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself."  Confucius

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

Theodore Roosevelt- Excerpt from the speech "Citizenship In A Republic", delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910