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Amazon Defense Coalition Gets It Wrong — Again

Date: Sep 23, 2009

Amazon Defense Coalition spokesperson Karen Hinton has admitted that several accusations made in a recent press release are false.

On Sept. 9, Hinton issued a press release on behalf of the Amazon Defense Coalition accusing Wayne Hansen, one of the individuals who videotaped meetings in Ecuador between himself, Judge Juan Nunez and other purported political operatives discussing how Chevron will lose the trial and any subsequent appeals, of having a past relationship with Chevron. Chevron had previously stated that Hansen had no ties to the company.

Despite that, the press release headline stated, “American Businessman Wayne Hansen Has Ties to Chevron in Bribery Scheme, Investigation Finds.” The release claimed the Amazon Defense Coalition had found several pieces of “evidence,” gathered in an “investigation” that proved a link between Chevron and Hansen.

Hinton has since admitted that her “investigation” was little more than an internet search, which turned up information that was completely wrong. She confirmed the errors in a recent interview with Upstream, an energy industry publication:

“Apparently that’s not him,” Hinton admitted to the reporter

The Upstream article continued: “When asked if she (Hinton) had any proof of a link she replied: ‘No, not at this point.’”

The story also said, “Karen Hinton said she had found information about a Wayne Hansen on the internet and had not independently verified it before making the claim.”

Several Amazon Defense Coalition claims made by Hinton in the September 9th release have been debunked by independent news outlets. These claims include:

• Hansen is “connected to a consulting firm that lists Chevron as a client”

• “Chevron’s ties to Hansen directly contradict repeated assertions by Chevron lawyers and spokespersons that the company has no relationship to the American businessman,” said Karen Hinton — A statement known to be false.

•  “Hansen’s biography obtained on the Internet identifies him as the former Chief Mechanical Engineer and Director of Energy Engineering at RJM Associates, which lists Chevron as a client.” — Another error. Hinton had the wrong person.

In a September 10 piece by San Francisco Chronicle Staff Writer David Baker, the journalist once again disproves Hinton’s accusations. An excerpt from the story is found below:

“The coalition said Hansen used to work for Richard J. Miller & Associates, a California oil-field appraisal firm that lists Chevron as one of its clients. But the firm’s owner, Richard Miller, said no one named Wayne Hansen had worked there. ‘We’ve been a one-man shop since 1990,’ he said.”

Numerous other claims levied by Hinton and the Amazon Defense Coalition against Chevron have also been proven to be false. The Amazon Defense Coalition’s bungled “investigation” once again calls into question their credibility.