5 Questions I'd Ask Rex Tillerson At His Confirmation Hearing If I Were A Senator

A federal court has found enough evidence against ExxonMobil to require the company to face trial for its complicity in human rights egregious abuses in Indonesia. Exxon is accused of complicity in killings and torture--shootings, beatings, kidnapping, sexual assault, electric shocks to genitals, and destruction of homes and property. Evidence from this case indicates that high-level Exxon Mobil executives knew about such abuses by Exxon's security forces in Indonesia and received frequent detailed reports on "deployment goals" and "operational strategy" of military security personnel and "set standards, plans, and tasks" for security in Aceh. Many of the documents and evidence in this case remain sealed at Exxon's request and unavailable to the public.

We've signed on to letters. We submitted an amicus brief. But something I would really like to do is ask Rex Tillerson these questions:

1. Were you aware of the human rights abuses that your company was responsible for in Indonesia? What steps would you take as Secretary of State to ensure that you would know about similar abuses carried out by US Corporations? And what steps would you take to respond to that information?"

2. Will you release documents that indicate your knowledge or participation in the deliberations about human rights violations alleged in Exxon's operations in Aceh, Indonesia, by soldiers and police paid by Exxon?

3. When meeting with Indonesian officials as a highly-placed Exxon executive, what did you do to stop the abuses? Why didn't the abuses stop?

In addition to legal actions against Exxon for complicity in human rights abuses, there are a number of legal actions both against Exxon, and by Exxon against environmental advocates and organizations, around what #ExxonKnew regarding climate change.

4. How can you reassure the Senate and the American public that as Secretary of State, you will uphold and promote America's commitment to the fundamental human rights of free speech, expression and association when your company is so vigorously attacking those rights of our own citizens here in the U.S.?

5. World leaders and the international community have overwhelmingly agreed that climate change presents a major threat to humans and the future of the planet. As Secretary of State, how will you work with these leaders on this priority, and what specific steps will you do to rehabilitate your credibility on this subject given the various campaigns and legal challenges to Exxon regarding what #ExxonKnew, and your own involvement in allegations of climate denialism and fraud?