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Secret Trade Deal

I know everyone is upset at Obama over the NSA spying on our phone calls and emails, but personally, I’m much more upset about this. Widespread outrage was able to block SOPA, but now the Obama administration is negotiating a trade treaty called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that looks to be far worse. How are they avoiding internet outrage this time? By making the entire treaty classified. The treaty is so secret that the fact that it is secret is itself secret!

In fact, it is so secret that Senator Ron Wyden, who chairs the Senate subcommittee on international trade, doesn’t know everything that is in it (Wyden is also on the Senate Intelligence committee, so he has a very high security clearance).

But now, Congressman Alan Grayson has been allowed to read the entire treaty, and it looks bad. According to Grayson:

1) There is no national security purpose in keeping this text secret.

2) This agreement hands the sovereignty of our country over to corporate interests.

3) What they can’t afford to tell the American public is that [the rest of this sentence is classified].

I’d like to be able to tell you why this trade agreement is so bad, but I can’t because it is secret. All I can do is trust people like Grayson who have seen it and say that we need to fight it.

Is this really what a democracy is supposed to look like? Where corporate interests become national security interests? Isn’t that the definition of fascism?



  1. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Thats just great. This has to be a new tactic. Classify anything that you don’t want debated in public. To hell with the people, they don’t know whats good for them anyway, just a bunch of peons!
    The only way to stop this is for voters to stand up and vote out anyone who brings the bill to the floor or votes for it without first bring it public. States could also attempt a recall using the 10th amendment although I don’t know of it ever being successfully used. At the least it would shine some sunlight on it and perhaps make enough politicians nervous enough to just say no.

    This would be a great opportunity for the Unions, OWS and TP types to get both sides together for a common cause.

    Thanks IK, I’m sorry but the FBI is probably already looking at you and NSA is now reading your blog, listening to your phone calls and placing eaves-dropping devices while you’re at work for mentioning national secrets (look out for drones). But on the up side Assange or Snowden might friend you on FB. 🙂

    Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 11:20 am | Permalink
  2. Iron Knee wrote:

    I think it is worse than that — voting out people who do stuff like this isn’t enough. The problem is systemic. We need to overturn “Citizen’s United” and reform our elections. We must reduce corporate influence on politics. Otherwise, we’ll just kick out one politician and likely get someone even worse.

    This already is a bi-partisan issue, with some Republicans (like Darrell Issa) just as pissed off as Democrats (like Wyden and Grayson).

    Internet outrage has worked in the past. I hope we are able to overcome this secrecy before it is too late.

    Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 11:58 am | Permalink
  3. PatriotSGT wrote:

    I’m in. Are the no labels people still around?

    Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 4:09 pm | Permalink
  4. ebdoug wrote:

    from their Web Site: “On July 18, 2013, No Labels is hosting a citizens’ training in Washington, DC, to provide you with all the tools you need to spread the message of problem solving across the country. Later in the day at 11 a.m. we’ll be joined by the Problem Solvers in Congress who will unveil a new initiative, and we want you to be a part of this historic happening.

    Sign up using the form to join No Labels and the Problem Solvers in Washington, DC on July 18 and become part of a chorus of voices demanding our leaders work together and change the culture in Washington.” And they say that 76 members of Congress will be there.

    Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 4:55 pm | Permalink
  5. just me wrote:

    So Sarah Palin is right about him??
    J,M&J, I’m jumping off of a bridge….

    Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 5:53 pm | Permalink
  6. Hassan wrote:

    Senator Ron Wyden has also been alerting about NSA as much as he was allowed to do so, and he is now actively working to legislate to get this out of control thing under control. We should have more senators like him.

    Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 9:20 pm | Permalink
  7. ThatGuy wrote:

    Maybe it’s just SO good that it’s a great big 4th of July present for the country?

    This is really concerning. An at-a-glance history of secret treaties ( tells you they typically aren’t good news. For a country already in the thrall of corporate interests, with some okay with corporate personhood, I don’t even want to imagine what is in this treaty that is so bad it’s seeing backlash from people on both sides of the aisle in Congress.

    Friday, June 21, 2013 at 7:12 am | Permalink
  8. wildwood wrote:

    The following was emailed to me by “Roots Action” on June 12. I didn’t know what to make of it then and still don’t since everything is so “secret”.

    The TPP is actually the Trans-Pacific Partnership, more commonly known as NAFTA on steroids.[1]

    Join a growing movement to prevent its creation.

    The U.S. government is secretly negotiating this treaty with Pacific nations. Here are a few highlights of what whistleblowers have revealed is in the treaty:[2]

    Corporate nationhood. The TPP will empower corporations to take real nations (including the U.S.) to court and overturn their laws.
    Job offshoring. The TPP will create incentives for more exporting of jobs.
    Damage to food safety.
    Damage to environmental protections.
    Enrichment of drug companies at the expense of human health.
    Banning some generic drugs.
    Further deregulating banks.[3] (Read that one twice if you have to! We’re not making this up!)
    Forbidding the breaking up of too-big-to-fail financial firms, making them legally too big to fail.
    Censoring the internet by effectively creating SOPA (the Stop Online Piracy Act) despite its failure in Congress as a result of strong public opposition.

    TPP is a Terrible Plutocratic Plan. It’s fundamentally anti-democratic.

    Tell your representative, senators, and the president to oppose it now.

    Please forward this email widely to like-minded friends.

    — The team

    P.S. RootsAction is an independent online force endorsed by Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher Jr., Laura Flanders, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk, Coleen Rowley, Frances Fox Piven, and many others.

    Friday, June 21, 2013 at 8:53 am | Permalink
  9. Arthanyel wrote:

    No Labels people are still around, but I don’t think No Labels is going to address this kind of issue. To the extent they are accomplishing anything, they are trying to focus on bipartisanship and having th Congress actually work on stuff – they are not at all focused on changing the underlying issues or on campaign finance.

    The current paradigm is broken. We can’t fix it by just working inside the current paradigm – we have to re-engineer the process for the modern era. And that will NEVER HAPPEN if the people inside the current paradigm are responsible for the change.

    I don’t know that I (or anyone else) has the answers, but its time for a Constitutional Convention.

    Friday, June 21, 2013 at 9:59 am | Permalink