Sentence First, Verdict Afterwards: The Alice in Wonderland World of Fast-tracked Secret Trade Agreements
Global Research, June 22, 2015
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`Let the jury consider their verdict, the King said, for about the twentieth time that day.
`No, no! said the Queen. `Sentence firstverdict afterwards.
`Stuff and nonsense! said Alice loudly. `The idea of having the sentence first!
`Hold your tongue! said the Queen, turning purple.
`I wont! said Alice.`Off with her head! the Queen shouted at the top of her voice.
Lewis Carroll, Alices Adventures in Wonderland
Fast-track authority is being sought in the Senate this week for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), along with the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) and any other such trade agreements coming down the pike in the next six years. 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 worlds 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 cant disclose whats in this far-reaching, 12-nation trade treaty.