Democratic Senator Wyden – the head of the committee which is supposed to oversee it – is so furious about the lack of access that he has introduced legislation
to force disclosure.
Republican House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa is so upset by it that he has leaked a document
on his website to show what’s going on.
What is everyone so furious about?
An international treaty being negotiated in secret which would not only crack down on Internet privacy
much more than SOPA or ACTA, but would actually destroy the sovereignty
of the U.S. and all other signatories.
It is called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Wyden is the chairman
of the trade committee in the Senate … the committee which is supposed to have jurisdiction over
the TPP. Wyden is also on the Senate Intelligence Committee, and so he and his staff have high security clearances and are normally able to look at classified documents.
And yet Wyden and his staff have been denied access to the TPP’s text.
Indeed, the decision to keep the text of TPP secret was itself
classified as secret:
(I have also received a tip from a credible inside source that TPP contains provisions which would severely harm America’s national security. Specifically, like some previous
treaties, TPP would allow foreign companies to buy sensitive American assets which could subject us to terror attacks or economic blackmail.)
Yesterday, Congressman Alan Grayson (who knows how to read legislation … he was a successful lawyer before he was elected to Congress, and has written and co-sponsored numerous bills himself including the bill to audit the Federal Reserve
and – most recently – the “Mind Your Own Business Act”
to stop NSA spying) announced that he had been allowed to read the text of TPP – and that it is an anti-American power grab by big corporations
Last month, 10,000 of us submitted comments to the United States Trade Representative (USTR), in which we objected to new so-called free trade agreements. We asked that the government not sell out our democracy to corporate interests.
Because of this pressure, the USTR finally let a member of Congress
– little ole me, Alan Grayson [anyone who's seen Grayson in action
knows that he is formidable] – actually see the text
of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP is a large, secret trade agreement that is being negotiated with many countries in East Asia and South America.
The TPP is nicknamed “NAFTA on steroids.” Now that I’ve read it, I can see why. I can’t tell you what’s in the agreement, because the U.S. Trade Representative calls it classified. But I can tell you two things about it.
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 will be fighting this agreement with everything I’ve got. And I know you’ll be there every step of the way.
Congressman Alan Grayson
Grayson also noted
It is ironic in a way that the government thinks it’s alright to have a record of every single call that an American makes, but not alright for an American citizen to know what sovereign powers the government is negotiating away.