The Senate passed “fast-track” authority for the Obama Administration. That sound you heard was the last breath of the United States as we know it:
And since the House has already passed fast-track, and now must only vote on the package including TAA, which faces token opposition from conservatives, expect the TPA and shortly thereafter, the TPP, to be enacted despite yet another round of dramatic theater by the best representatives US corporations can bribe.
Today brings Round 2 in “the most transparent administration ever”‘s attempt to pass the incredibly opaque Fast-Track Authority enabling Obama to negotiate the Trans-Pacific-Partnership corporate coup d’etat (and all the other trade deals currently floating around) without fear of irritation from any outsiders. However, it won’t be easy-sledding as The Hill reports, labor groups led by the AFL-CIO are furiously lobbying Democrats to oppose fast-track authority when the Senate votes on a procedural motion Tuesday. Union leaders warn enabling Fast-Track prematurely would “compound its expected negative impacts, leaving U.S. workers in the lurch and depriving the U.S. manufacturing sector of vital tools necessary to combat unfair trade.”
The terms of the TPP and the TiSA are so secret that drafts of the negotiations are to remain classified for four years or five years, respectively, after the deals have been passed into law. How can laws be enforced against people and governments who are not allowed to know what was negotiated?
The TPP, TiSA and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (or TTIP, which covers Europe) will collectively encompass three-fourths of the world’s GDP; and they ultimately seek to encompass nearly 90 percent of GDP. Despite this enormous global impact, fast-track authority would allow the President to sign the deals before their terms have been made public, and send implementing legislation to Congress that cannot be amended or filibustered and is not subject to the constitutional requirement of a two-thirds treaty vote.
While the deals are being negotiated, lawmakers can see their terms only under the strictest secrecy, and they can be subjected to criminal prosecution for revealing those terms. What we know of them comes only through WikiLeaks. The agreements are being treated as if they were a matter of grave national security, yet they are not about troop movements or military strategy. Something else is obviously going on.
The bizarre, unconstitutional, blatantly illegal nature of this enforced secrecy was highlighted in a May 15th article by Jon Rappoport, titled “What Law Says the Text of the TPP Must Remain Secret?” He wrote:
It seems like a case of mass hypnosis. . . .
Members of Congress are scuttling around like weasels, claiming they can’t disclose what’s in this far-reaching, 12-nation trade treaty.
They can go into a sealed room and read a draft, but they can’t copy pages, and they can’t tell the public what they just read.
If there is a US law forbidding disclosure, name the law.
Can you recall anything in the Constitution that establishes secret treaties?
Is there a prior treaty that states the text of all treaties can be hidden from the people?
To Congressmen who say they cannot reveal what is in a treaty that will adversely affect the lives of hundreds of millions of people, Rappoport says:
Wrong. You’re lying. You can reveal secret text. In fact, it’s your duty. Otherwise, you’re guilty of cooperating in a RICO criminal conspiracy.
It seems that the TPP, TTIP and TiSA are not about the sort of “free trade” that would free local businesses to sell abroad. They are about freeing international corporations from the government regulation necessary to protect the economy, the people, and the environment. They are about preserving privatized monopolies and preventing competition from the public sector. And they are about moving litigation offshore into private arbitrary tribunals – the sort of tribunal that might have lost Alice her head, if she had not awakened from her bizarre dream.
Additionally, foreign firms would now be able to sue the U.S. government and force them to change laws that they don’t like. Thanks, Boehner and McConnell.
This film clip proved to be prophetic after all, just not in the way that was expected: