Author’s Note: This is Part Three of a report direct from the 2012 San Diego TPP negotiations re-published by Activist Post to bring urgent awareness of the threat of TPP to its American and international readers. TPP is treason. TPP must be stopped. Now! B.R-T.
“Is that thing on?” gasped Barbara Weisel, U.S. Chief Negotiator at the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations, one millisecond after having just accused four U.S. senators, and 132 US congresspersons – including to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) who has, repeatedly, demanded to see a copy of the treaty – of lying to the American public! Now she spied the arch enemy of all political miscreants blinking menacingly on the white tablecloth right next to her: the voice recorder. Snatching-up this reporter’s voice recorder, she anxiously attempted to shut it off and/or erase the recording. “You can’t record this,” she continued still anxiously fidgeting with the gadget, obviously aware that she had been caught on tape in several very inflammatory, and by all prior reports fraudulent, accusations. She is employed by the US Congress. You would not know it to speak with her.
Twenty minutes earlier I had been chatting comfortably with Sierra Club Transportation Chairman, Mike Bullock, about TPP’s lack of transparency at the negotiations and the lack of media coverage – in the quiet of the Conference Room – now empty at the end of the day’s “Stakeholder Meeting.” I had been waiting for US Chief Negotiator Barbara Weisel, who had been dodging questions all while the hall was crowded to show up to meet with me for some prepared questions. Mike – thankfully – decided to join me with some questions of his own.
Short, diminutive, but feisty, Weisel, like the other delegates, was in attendance to aggressively put forward the soothing TPP rationales designed to quell all fears of global domination. Striding in from the dark-wood double doors at the far end of the hall along with her handler, Ms. Nkenge Harmon, she was prepared for a fight. She was not, however, prepared for the sharp sword of the truth. Nor, cutting-edge technology.
Very conveniently, Ms. Weisel entered our conversation at a time when we were talking about the lack of transparency regarding American and national sovereignty at the negotiations. So far, all U.S. senators and congressmen have been denied access to viewing any draft of the proposed treaty or attendance at the negotiations. In reaction, on June 24, 2012, four members of the Senate and next, on June 29, one hundred thirty-two members of Congress, in anticipation of the San Diego-hosted, 13th round of the TPP negotiations, sent formal letters to U.S. Trade Representative, Ron Kirk, demanding that America’s elected officials be allowed to participate in, and view draft copies of, the proposed, twenty-six chapters of the TPP terms regulations. These regulations will give multi-national corporations supreme power over US courts, corporations, and the laws and sovereignty of America and eleven other nations. In response, Weisel maintained that the American Public already has plenty of representation via the unelected US negotiators, despite all being employed by the multi-national corporations that have spawned TPP. She did not see this as a conflict of interest. She did, however, admit it was completely up to only these few U.S. corporate negotiators to get it right on behalf of the American public before the treaty is signed. When would that be? “Today?!” she suggested brightly, would be a good day for a signing ceremony.
Now pressed on the issue of access by members of Congress, she continued to assert that all members of the Senate and Congress have always had “complete access” to the draft treaty. She repeated several times that “many members of Congress have seen the draft of the treaty” and that they had also been continually given updates on the progress and terms of the negotiations by the office of the U.S. Trade representative, Ron Kirk. Tossing before her both the senatorial and congressional letters that expressed the contrary, the obvious next question was, “why?”
Confronted with the letters barring 136 signatures that vociferously disagreed with her assertions, she preened, “Those members of Congress are deliberately misleading Americans.” Asked about the four senators’ letter, thus US Chief Negotiator for the United States at TPP assertively responded, “those senators are not being honest.”
Then… she saw the voice recorder.
Rarely, in the annals of political over-confidence has a look of supreme confidence turned to one of abject terror so quickly. As she fumbled with the device, finally grudgingly handing it over, Weisel was visibly overcome at the realization of her recorded words, becoming suddenly distracted while presumably re-playing her defamation of just moments before and already calculating damage control.
Fortunately, she was saved by her handler, Ms. Harmon, who conveniently informed us it was time for the press conference which Ms. Weisel was to give in the room across the hall. I gave Mike Bullock a very-narrowed sideways glance, as both blustered off. Once out of earshot, the first obvious question to Mike was, “Confirm what we just heard.”
Contacting the Oregon Office of Sen. Ron Wyden for comment, reaction was direct and swift despite the pending 4th of July holiday.
“It is disappointing that a member of the USTR staff would make comments like this in the press and it underlines the concerns of Members of Congress that the negotiators are not taking the interests and input of individual Americans seriously in the negotiating process.” responded Press Secretary, Tom Caiazza, in a written response to this reporters request for comment. Further highlighting Weisel’s defamation, it continued, “Senator Wyden shares the same concerns expressed by his House colleagues and stands by the facts presented in the House and Senate letters. Right now, corporations and interest groups are provided far greater access to, and influence over, international trade negotiations than United States Senators and the public they represent. Unfortunately, neither group [congress and senate] has that opportunity now.”
Well, amusingly, the voice recorder was actually turned off, of which I repeatedly tried to assure Ms. Weisel as she continued her harangue, thus assuming that I had set her up to voluntarily put her foot in her mouth. After contemplating withholding this surreptitious device from me she finally returned it and was off to the “press conference.”
So, today it was shown to America and eleven other nations what the true meaning of “Transparency” is, here at the San Diego TPP negotiations.
Note: This has been Part Three of a multi-part expose on the 2012 San Diego TPP negotiations. Please see Part One and Part Two for much essential information not included in the chapter.
About The Author:
Brett Redmayne-Titley began reporting on-scene in an effort to provide better quality reporting from current events of geo-political, environmental and moral importance. A life-long activist, political commentator and world citizen, he has published over one hundred in-depth articles, many of which have been re-published and translated internationally. He can be reached at: live-on-scene [at] gmx.com
Link To The Letter from 132 Members of Congress to US Trade Rep. Ron Kirk: http://cwafiles.org/national/News/Release/TP_Ltr_Final.pdf
Letter From Four U.S.Senators to US Trade Rep, Ron Kirk:
Dear Ambassador Kirk:
We write regarding the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, a regional free trade agreement proposal touted as a model for all future U.S. trade and investment agreements. We are concerned that this process has excluded both Members of Congress and key stakeholders. As a result, groups essential to the success and legitimacy of any agreements are not being provided the opportunity to provide meaningful input on negotiations that have broad policy ramifications.
In the past, most U.S. trade agreement texts have not been made available until after they were signed. As a result, changes were all but impossible. If Congress and the broader public are not informed of the exact terms of the agreement until the conclusion of the process, then the opportunity for meaningful input is lost. The lack of transparency and input makes passage of trade agreements more contentious and controversial.
Extensive consultations with Congress and stakeholders are essential because of the unprecedented scope of these negotiations. Indeed, the negotiations USTR is pursuing will create binding policies on future Congresses in numerous areas where there is significant public interest, including policies related to labor, environment and natural resources, land use, food, agriculture and product standards, intellectual property rights, state-owned enterprises and government procurement policies, as well as financial, healthcare, energy, telecommunications and other service sector regulations. In an effort to ensure full public disclosure and consultation, we request that the USTR provide the public with detailed information and consistent updates on what USTR is seeking in the TPP on these matters of broad public interest.
One additional area of concern is copyrights. The significant concerns that bills like Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) met from the public, underscore how unsettling such matters can become without a broad consultative process. The copyright language in the TPP may not mirror the approach of SOPA and PIPA, but due to the secrecy surrounding the TPP there is no guarantee that it will not. Since the terms will only be made public after an agreement is signed, the stakes are too high to exclude important stakeholders and Congress from the negotiation process.
Therefore, we request that you expand the consultation process by broadening the scope of the Industry Trade Advisory Committee (ITAC) for Intellectual Property Rights to include key stakeholders advocating for internet freedom as well as right-holders. A separate committee to address these concerns should be given consideration as well.
We believe these recommendations would demonstrate a commitment to this Administration’s goals of making the federal government more transparent and responsive. We look forward to discussing these issues with you.
Sherrod Brown, U.S. Senator
Ron Wyden, U.S. Senator
Jeff Merkley, U.S. Senator
Robert Menendez, U.S. Senator
Still trying to wrap my head around the fact that our legislators aren’t allowed to see the TPP. If they’re hiding it from Congress, you KNOW it will take away our sovereignty. Kudos to author for capturing this! THANK YOU!
“Love, Tenderness, Goodness, and Truth, are four great essentials for development of the Divine IN man.”
”Love in its highest aspect is God.”
It’s a pity that Weisel (weasle) didn’t get her teeth into a live electrical cable!
Hmmmmm, unread legislation, haven’t we been here before?
And didn’t it end badly?
We no longer have a government any more, we have a mafia.
We no longer have a citizenry, we have an audience.
A PEOPLE DESERVE ANY REGIME THEY ENDURE
Congress is so impotent – that might as well pack there bags and drag their worthless butts back to the state they belong – a bunch of back stabbing perverted puppets doing whatever dance they are told.
Hey CONgress how’s about jumping off the pier 39.
States can nullify the charters of corporations but it would take citizen pressure and willing politicians to pull this off. Imagine nullifying the corporate charter of the Fascist Phone Company of Pennsylvania.
Looks like another one of the Victoria Nuland variety.
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Voice recorder was “OFF”….
How uterly useless! Hang a piece of black crepe paper from your nose in morning for your dead brain!
Are they sure they spelled her name right? Isn’t it spelled Weasel?
The extent this corruption has been allowed to spread is a direct reflection of The Peoples apathy and failure to be the check and balance against it. All those you look to, to fix these problems, are now part of the criminal mafia. As we continue to lie to ourselves, and listen to the continued lies of those who lord over us with criminal intent, the farther we descend down this street we are told is going to get better.
The divide and conquer of the two party system that is actually just one mafia, and has the american people engaged in mindless cheer leading for their side like a football game while they whittle away at any freedoms and liberty we may have left. There is only ONE nation, ONE people, and following along with the CON of pitting us against each other is just aiding the enemy within of conquering us.
Their plans and designs are all based on criminal activity and is an unsustainable form of existence.
Even if every man woman and child in america agreed to the selfish control they wish to perpetuate it would still fail based on the corruption that destroys themselves as well.
We have countless examples of this happening throughout mankind’s history but there are those insane among us who steal power and think they are different and drag everyone else along on a self defeating endeavor. It won’t work and it never has. Must we travel all the way to the end of this road we know deep in ourselves is detrimental to only say in the end, ” Yep. we were right. It’s a dead end”
We’ve done this before. We don’t need to go down this road to know what lays there for us. It’s a dead end just like the others we went down for nothing.
Stop listening to the liars. Trust yourself. Do you think we are headed in the right direction?
Are things better now than they were ten years ago? Going farther in the opposite direction is not the answer to getting out of our problems. That would be like digging deeper in a hole to get out.
These are the lies you are being told. Use your common sense. We The People are the only ones to correct the corruption. Those tasked with being a check and balance or oversight are working for themselves and the mafia. Greed and corruption have grown to the extent that the people are the last vestige of justice, law, and that which is good.
Excellent post! And so very true. We need to brace ourselves though, because an economic crash is coming and for those who are not aware of their plan the shock and awe of what comes after that I can not describe.