- Brad Friedman (Originally published by Truthout on 11/8/11)
Yeah, I know, the GOP is at War against citizens' rights to do just about everything that isn't U.S. Chamber of Commerce approved these days. That's just one of the reasons citizens are finally taking to the streets to fight back. One of the ongoing Republican Wars getting very little attention is their War on the right of citizens to sue huge corporations for negligence, malfeasance and other wrong-doing.
A few weeks ago I spent some time at a conference for mass tort plaintiff attorneys in Las Vegas, as hosted by my friend Mike Papantonio, the co-host of radio's Ring of Fire (along with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder). Pap is one of the nation's premier class action plaintiff attorneys, one of those folks willing to go to bat for the little guy when they're screwed over by huge conscience-free corporations.
I was invited to the conference to speak on a panel concerning the proposed $12 million hit scheme discovered earlier this year being plotted on behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to turn tools developed by U.S. government contractors for the "War on Terror" against U.S. citizens like myself and my family. According to emails released on the Internet, the Chamber was working with mega-law firm Hunton & Williams and three federal cyber-security firms (HBGary Federal, Palantir Technologies, and Berico Technologies) to smear, defraud, plant false documents, and spy on their perceived political enemies such as myself and other progressive organizations.
The Chamber, which is all too happy to use mafia-like tactics to take down its perceived opponents, has also long been leading the charge on behalf of their enormous corporate members for so-called "tort reform," meant to do little more than make it next-to-impossible for citizens to fight back in a court of law against corporate abuse, neglect, and malfeasance...