A few months ago I posted how I’d no idea that the Niger Delta “has endured the equivalent of the Exxon Valdez spill every year for 50 years by some estimates.” Today’s cable leaks highlighted by The Guardian show how Shell Oil has systematically infiltrated the Nigerian government. I pray this gives some environmental legal activists out there a sound basis for taking decisive action against Shell. Or are these oil giants untouchable?

WikiLeaks cables: Shell’s grip on Nigerian state revealed

The company’s top executive in Nigeria told US diplomats that Shell had seconded employees to every relevant department and so knew “everything that was being done in those ministries”. She boasted that the Nigerian government had “forgotten” about the extent of Shell’s infiltration and was unaware of how much the company knew about its deliberations.

The cache of secret dispatches from Washington’s embassies in Africa also revealed that the Anglo-Dutch oil firm swapped intelligence with the US, in one case providing US diplomats with the names of Nigerian politicians it suspected of supporting militant activity, and requesting information from the US on whether the militants had acquired anti-aircraft missiles.

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