Wikileaks and NYT Partner to Release Secret TPP Treaty Text

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March 26, 2015; New York Times

How interesting! In top political circles, Julian Assange is viewed right up there with Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning as a violator of the Espionage Act (though Assange, as a foreign national, doesn’t quite fit the bill). How many American politicians have called for his indictment and conviction for an assortment of crimes associated with the ability of Wikileaks to obtain otherwise secret U.S. government documents, including Manning’s information, and post them online for the world to see?

This past week, we found Wikileaks in cahoots with another well known enemy of government secrecy, the Gray Lady itself, the New York Times, together revealing secret drafts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the free trade pact that President Obama has been negotiating without much or, actually, any transparency as to what the U.S. government and the other potential signatories were putting onto paper.

The New York Times story, bylined by Jonathan Weisman, discusses the actual provisions of what others have suggested would likely be in the treaty, the ability of private corporations to sue the participating governments “for actions that undermine their investment ‘expectations’ and hurt their business.”

The truly surprising part of the story isn’t the ability of disappointed corporations to sue over frustrated investment possibilities. It’s that the draft of the chapter, dated January 20, 2015, was marked, according to Weisman, as “not [to] be declassified until four years after the Trans-Pacific Partnership comes into force or trade negotiations end, should the agreement fail.” That’s a great definition of secrecy, at odds with the first of poor Woodrow Wilson’s fourteen points: There should be “no private understandings of any kind, but diplomacy shall proceed always frankly and in the public view.” In the case of the TPP, it increasingly seems to be a private deal made for the benefit of private corporate interests to be kept secret from the public long after the pact is consummated.

How did Wikileaks come up with this 56-page “Investment” section of the treaty? We don’t know. Maybe it was someone from one of the nations that is less gung-ho about the corporate litigation powers than the U.S. (for example, Australia, which seems to be pushing back against some corporate power provisions). Weisman’s article highlights the ability of foreign corporations to sue the U.S. for their disappointing investment expectations, but we noted in our piece that the bigger problem is, perhaps, foreign countries without the legal and financial power of the U.S. getting sued. Perhaps someone from one of the smaller, weaker nations in the TPP decided to help out Wikileaks with the information.

Regardless of how Wikileaks got the document, do recognize, as the New York Times clearly has, that the ability of an NGO like Wikileaks to obtain and reveal this kind of information is a huge benefit to political discourse. For the moment, on the issue of the TPP’s investment provisions, the Obama administration has to face up to critics—perhaps, as Weisman noted, from both the left and the right—who will now be able to talk about specific TPP language rather than guessing at the treaty’s contents.

Next, we can only hope that Wikileaks finds itself in possession of the chapters on labor and on the environment. If U.S. nonprofits are not yet fully engaged in the TPP/fast-track issue with the investment chapter, those chapters should light a big spark leading to a vigorous public debate.—Rick Cohen

  • David E.H. Smith

    But, how many ‘savvy’ Americans & their global corporate associates are ‘poised’ to make windfall profits from their international cross investments & pre planned treaty ‘arrangements’ at the direct expense of the harmless non shareholders, ie. 95% – 99% of America, et al?
    While the good sales folks of Wall St. may prefer to tell their ‘Enron-able’ customers that were also the victims of ‘The Preliminary Foray of The Wall St. Meltdown’, et al, that it’s just some Unions that are fighting back, how much of the Fighting Back of Unions against the Secret, Unethical & Anti-Democratic Arrangements of The Global Treaties’ ‘Death-Star-Chamber’ Tribunals, can be understood in the context of the harmless NON Shareholders, including Union members, fighting to Survive (not ‘thrive’) Against the Uncaring, ‘Profits at Any (body else’s) Costs’, SHAREHOLDERS & their Colluding, Global Corporate Leaders?
    – Wall Street Journal, blog, Mar. 25, 2015

    Gain a political ‘Smidge’, Lose (‘Hidden’ & Secret Costs) a Lot; The NET EFFECT. How many Years will Paying Tribunals’ Penalties Bush Back tour Retirement Date?
    Global Corporate Economy Conniving to Get Harmless NON Shareholders to Pay Trillion$ in Court Costs, Punitive ‘Penalties’, etc.?
    No Treaties = Corporations/SHAREHOLDERS pay for Their Own ‘Mistakes’.

    ‘Fast Tracking’, TPP corp. ‘U.S.’s’ Feeble Attempt to Avoid Court; SHAREHOLDERS & NON Shareholders Await Supreme Court’s Findings to Proceed.

    How Many Preferred Shares of TPP, C-CIT, TTIP, CETA, et al, Generated Enterprises are You Selling your Right to Sue the Global Corporate Economy for? ‘New’ Shareholders Can Say ‘NO’ to & Over-Rule TPP, CETA, TTIP, et al, Plans?

    Will corp.’USA’ et al, & Feds to Prepay $Billions for All ‘Trade’ Treaty/’Arrangements’, et al, Secret (‘Death-Star-Chamber) Tribunals’ Punitive Damages to Protect Home State’s Taxpayers? Other States, Municipalities, et al, “…(we) need to control corp. USAs ‘Contributions’ “.

    Undemocratic, Higher Taxes & More Cuts to Services to Pay Secret Penalties; NON Shareholders Have to Pay corporates USA, Germany, France, Japan, Australia, Canada, et al, & their SHAREHOLDERS.

    But, If Not PUTIN; ‘The WHITE KNIGHT’, then Who Do YOU Want to Bankroll the Saving of the harmless NON shareholders of the World from Fast Tracking TPP’s, CETA’s (TTIP) Secret ‘Death-Star-Chamber’ Tribunal Penalties?
    Will China, Iran, the Muslim World, et al, Support Putin in Suits?
    How about Warren Buffett, &/or, the ‘coveted’ Hong Kong investor, et al?

    It will be good for, not only the NON shareholders of the enterprises that can be generated by the on-going global ‘cooperation’ of corporate treaties, agreements, partnerships, et al, including the Trans Pacific Partnership, the EU – Canada CETA, TTIP, the China – Canada Investment Treaty, et al,
    for the potential shareholders, as well,
    who are quite interested to know if President Xi Jinping (China) will support Russia as a co-member of B.R.I.C.S. when President Putin uses his potential role as ‘The White Knight’.

    And, while President Putin’s potential support as ‘The WHITE KNIGHT’ in the development of the TPP, et al, litigation below can dramatically off-set the hundreds of billions of dollars due to the present & future sanctions leveled by American led, et al, corporations & financial institutions via their governments’ signing their global corporate economic treaties/’arrangements’,
    and the potential for making trillions of dollars for the Russian economy over the next 30 – 40 years & beyond,
    are the citizens (SHAREHOLDERS & NON shareholders) of Germany & JAPAN just being prudent in wanting to wait for the outcome of:
    1) The Submission to The SUPREME COURT of CANADA & the highest court in Germany, et al, to make their findings regarding ‘The Submission’:
    ‘The SHAREHOLDERS & Corporations of AMERICA, CHINA, Japan, Germany, Canada, et al
    the harmless Canadian NON shareholders, both; Native & non Native, et al’?

    2) ‘The MERKEL (Chancellor of Germany) Letter; To Sue, or, Be Sued?’ ?

    Have the federal representatives of the nations that are the potential signatories of TPP, TTIP, et al, willingly provided the NON shareholders of US, Canada, Europe, the Trans Pacific nations, et al, with the aforementioned information? Are the federal representatives, et al, depriving the NON shareholders of Canada, et al, of the due diligence information that enables the family of the NON shareholders of Canada, et al, to make informed decisions regarding their financial planning?

    And, would a reasonable person conclude by a preponderance of the evidence, &/or, beyond a reasonable doubt, that these documents, et al, demonstrate that the SHAREHOLDERS of AMERICA, CANADA , the EU & Trans Pacific nations, et al, really do not care which NON shareholders pay them the punitive penalties, etc., by way of their secret (‘Death-Star Chamber’) TRIBUNALS, as long as its not the SHAREHOLDERS who pay & not their corporations regardless of which country the corporations:
    1) operating from,
    2) maintain their headquarters,
    3) use to do their cyber banking, accounting, ‘taxation’, etc.
    4) et al?

    And, re; the CHINA – Canada Investment Treaty (C-CIT), et al, is it understandable why the ‘coveted’ Hong Kong investor & his associates are ‘concerned’ with the aforementioned findings of The SUPREME COURT of CANADA, et al, & the effects of the potential findings, et al, on the EU, AMERICA, the Trans Pacific nations, et al, treaties with CHINA, et al?

    In regard to arms sales (and other ‘contentious’ products & services & investors, repatriating profits, et al) ; how about the sale of arms (non nuclear) in general in regard to the ‘trade’ treaties that are continuing to be secretly negotiated and how will the Tribunals, both; B.R.I.C.S. & non BRICS, adjudicate, decide & penalize the NON SHAREHOLDERS for the sale of legitimate, semi- legitimate & ‘illegal’ sales of arms within the signatories nations & the those of others, &/or, unaligned? Of particular, interest is China, which does have an treaty with Canada, which puts China ‘at odds’ with other arms manufacturing & nuclear powers that it (China) does not have any ‘arrangements’ with.
    Are these types of questions that your politicians & the corporate lobbyists calls ‘forget-me-nots’ (‘Buyer Beware’) that will be (maybe) worked out after the fast tracked signatures are obtained?

    And, what do you think is the significance of the line in The Submission to The Supreme Court of Canada ‘…And, lest one forgets that the revelation of the present perilous international treaties/’arrangements’ began with the regard for the rights of Native Canadians as per the Treaties/’arrangements’ that corporate Canada & the Government of Canada have ‘foisted’ upon Native Canadians…’? What are the various ways that this line will cost the SHAREHOLDERS, et al?

    On the other hand, it may be worth repeating yet again,
    ‘What the TREATY of VERSAILLES was to the 20th century PALES in COMPARISON to the TPP, CETA, C-CIT, NAFTA, et al, in the 21st’.

    And, how will YOUR submission to YOUR highest court IMPROVE upon The Submission that is presently before The Supreme Court of Canada?

    David E.H. Smith
    – Researcher
    – ‘Qui tam…’
    Also see; ‘SECRET TPPartnership, CETA & C-CIT TRIBUNALS are INSIDER TRADING… ‘
    Please consider sharing the enclosed information & questions with 10 members of your family, friends, associates in order that they can use the due diligence info to make more informed decision about their families’ financial planning, & then they can share it with 10 others…
    For more Information & Questions re; The Relationship between Human (Nature) Rights & Economics by way of the C-CI Treaty, the CET Agreement, TPP, et al, and The WAD Accord