Editor Russell Mokhiber of the Washington, D.C.-based weekly magazine also pointed out that so far, the Allard Prize committee “has a bias in favor of anti-corruption fighters in the Third World.”
Although founder Peter A. Allard has often spoken publicly about the problem of corruption in North America and the developed world, the awards committee are now “ten for ten focusing on corruption outside Western corporate countries” according to Mokhiber – who is correct.
Edward Snowden: Whistleblower? Traitor? Both?
Snowden is a controversial figure who causes long discussions and heated arguments among my own family and friends – so I speculate that his nomination might not have been the source of tranquility and agreement at meetings of the Allard Prize Committee and Advisory Board.
Interestingly, the journalist who broke the Snowden story, Glenn Greenwald, is giving the keynote speech at this year’s Allard Prize awards ceremony in Vancouver, BC on September 28, 2017.
But Snowden isn’t the core of Mokhiber’s story – which is that North American and European corporate crime and corruption doesn’t seem to have the attention of the Allard Prize Committee and Advisory Board. Mokhiber interviewed Allard Prize Executive Director Nicole Barrett, who talked about how much more difficult it is to confront corruption in the more sophisticated frameworks and in more developed countries.
Barrett speaks the truth as evidenced by my own case where corrupt lawyers from some of Canada’s largest law firms provably lied to the courts to convict and imprison me for Contempt of Civil Court. Yet… not one Canadian judge allowed me to cross-examine the very lawyer-witnesses whose evidence the court relied upon to convict and sentence me in absentia – without representation in a secret hearing that I was unaware of.
Not one Canadian judge listened to my secretly-made voice recordings that prove the lawyers deliberately lied to the court.
In my case the courts allowed an unethical, cowardly and corrupt legal profession to undermine our Canadian justice system and the rule of law.
So yes, Allard Prize Executive Director Nicole Barrett has a point; fighting corruption is in many ways much more difficult in developed countries.
Disclosure: I was a guest at the 2015 Allard Prize award ceremony, and will be attending the 2017 award ceremony as one of several videographers creating short documentaries about the Allard Prize and this year’s finalists.
You can do something important in the fight against corruption.
At zero risk to yourself and to your family… YOU can nominate a candidate for the Allard Prize for International Integrity
by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police
After almost 40 years spent interacting with ordinary people, the police, the legal profession and the courts in one way or another, I truly believe that most people are good at their core.
Really evil people are a minority in our society, and, I firmly believe, are a minority in any society.
Most people have integrity. They know in their heart – they feel in their heart – what is right and wrong and they try to do the correct thing; but… only when integrity is an easy choice.
To do what is right when the pressure is on, when your employer or a powerful group wants you to compromise or ignore what you know is right… that takes more than integrity. It takes courage.
Courage: that is where most good people fail the test.
Most of us do not have that kind of courage. That is a hard truth and one of the reasons why groups of corrupt people can sway societal systems and exert influence totally out of proportion to their numbers and actual strength.
Yet, sometimes all it takes is one courageous person to stand firm and declare that they will not do this or that for their employer. They will not deliver false evidence or ignore the truth in the face of powerful government officials.
But such decisions carry a price.
Sometimes the price of integrity is relatively modest: Professor John Knox of the University of the West Indies at Cave Hill in Barbados was warned to stop testifying in a certain court case or he would be fired. Professor Knox testified and soon found himself unemployed – fired from the University. Then he was abducted from the family home at gunpoint and beaten severely… but at least he still lives.
Sometimes the price of integrity is high: Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky refused to ‘confess’ to crimes and to falsely implicate others. For his defiance, corrupt police imprisoned him and then beat him to death in his solitary confinement jail cell. As corrupt as the murderous police were, they were only the instruments of a larger corrupt cabal that extended high into the Russian government.
And lest my readers receive the impression that serious corruption only happens ‘over there’, I clearly state that in Canada and in the United States, just like everywhere else, integrity is sometimes rewarded – but most often is punished when ruling groups are exposed or threatened.
Integrity is easy. Courage is the hard part.
Please watch my latest video, and then do your part to fight corruption. You can nominate a candidate for the Allard Prize for International Integrity – one of the world’s most prestigious and richest prizes for anti-corruption and integrity.