TPP vs. Democracy: Leaked Draft of Secretive Trade Deal Spells Out Plan for Corporate Power Grab

WikiLeaks reveals negotiators planning to expand secret corporate tribunals By Sarah Lazare, Common Dreams – Newly leaked classified documents show that the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, if it goes through as written, will dramatically expand the power of corporations to use closed-door tribunals to challenge — and supersede —domestic laws, including environmental, labor, and public health, and other protections. The tribunals, made infamous under NAFTA, were exposed in the “Investment Chapter” from the TPP negotiations, which was released to the public by WikiLeaks on Wednesday. “The TPP has developed in secret an unaccountable supranational court for multinationals to sue states,” said Julian Assange, WikiLeaks editor. “This system is a challenge to parliamentary and judicial sovereignty. Similar tribunals have already been shown to chill the adoption of sane environmental protection, public health and public transport policies.” Responding to the leak, Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, declared: “With the...

Read More...


Hillary Clinton’s Top Five Clashes Over Secrecy

The latest flap over her private emails is far from the first time she’s been accused of lacking transparency By Jeff Gerth, ProPublica – Back in April of 2007, when she was campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination for the first time, then-Senator Hillary Clinton lashed out at the secrecy of the George W. Bush administration. She told a New Hampshire audience that if elected she would implement a “plan to enhance accountability and transparency” and “to replace secrecy and mystery with openness.” One part of her plan: “It’s time our government went fully online as well.” She lost her White House bid. But 20 months later, before Barack Obama took that job and she became secretary of state, she set up a private computer server registered to her home in Chappaqua, N.Y., to handle all her official, as well as private, emails for the next four years. Her...

Read More...


The Battle for Death Penalty Transparency (VIDEO)

Journalists and prisoners stage a First Amendment challenge to state secrecy regarding executions by Anthony L. Fisher – Americans may shudder at the barbarity depicted in videos showing public executions by the governments of Iran, Saudi Arabia, and China, but the fact remains that alone among all Western countries, the United States is a death penalty country. Though the death penalty is legal in the majority of American states, only a handful of them actually carry out executions, numbering in the few dozens annually. Part of the reason the American public maintains a steadfast support of its government killing convicted murderers is due to the cloak of secrecy covering executions and the fact that the most common form of execution, lethal injection, is sold to the public as a medical procedure, akin to putting a sick animal to sleep. But a series of botched executions in 2014 have exposed a problem largely unknown to the American public:...

Read More...


What Were Rubio and McConnell Plotting in Secret With the Koch Brothers?

By Mike Lux, Daily Kos – Lauren Windsor (who works with me at American Family Voices, and whose show The Undercurrent we sponsor) broke a major new story yesterday on the latest Koch brothers secret meeting, which was held last weekend at a luxury resort in Orange County, CA. Mitch McConnell and Marco Rubio flew out to plot with the billionaires and help them raise, according to a participant in the meeting, a billion dollars to help the Republicans take the Senate in 2014 and beat Hillary Clinton in 2016. Some other Republican politicians joined them as well, including Senate candidates Tom Cotton (who is running against Pryor in Arkansas) and Cory Gardner (who is trying to defeat Udall in Colorado), as well as a top leader of the tea party in the House, Con. Jim Jordan. The secrecy with which these meetings were conducted was as intense as anything I...

Read More...