RSN Fundraising Banner
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment
Print

Ash writes: "From South America to Asia, from Africa to the Arctic, the U.S. is using its military might to procure – for powerful, privately held corporations – vital natural resources."

The cost of Multinational oil procurement comes home to America's shores, literally. Santa Barbara California, May 21, 2015. (photo: David McNew/Getty Images)
The cost of Multinational oil procurement comes home to America's shores, literally. Santa Barbara California, May 21, 2015. (photo: David McNew/Getty Images)


TPP: The Case for Treason

By Marc Ash, Reader Supported News

31 May 15

 

Treason

Under US Law:
“Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open Court. The Congress shall have power to declare the punishment of treason.”

 

War

Clearly the United States is engaged in what can only be described as an ongoing series of wars. George W. Bush’s “War on Terror,” as he called it, was in reality an extension of the Natural Resource Procurement Wars the U.S. has been engaged in off and on, mostly on, for over a century.

However, nothing that has gone before has matched the scope of the 21st century Global, Natural, and Energy Resource Wars. The U.S., on behalf of powerful Multinational Corporations (MNCs), is engaged in military efforts to dominate regions rich in natural resources. Everywhere. From South America to Asia, from Africa to the Arctic, the U.S. is using its military might to procure – for powerful, privately held corporations – vital natural resources.

These powerful private interests, both foreign and domestic, are often acting against the best economic and security interests of the United States of America and the American people.

So yes, war is on the table, and innocent people die as a result of the ongoing Natural Resource Procurement Wars every day – including Americans.

Against that backdrop comes the effort by the Obama administration, in concert with Congressional Republicans, to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, and its deeply troubling Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system provisions.

What is specifically of interest to the investors whose interests are central to the TPP agreement is natural resources. Not production, of course. Goods can now be produced anywhere. As long as workers are willing or compelled to accept ruthless exploitation, the international investor class has plenty of “jobs” available for them. Will American workers see more jobs? Yes – if they are on their knees.

From old-growth forests to agricultural products, to fracked natural gas, to Arctic oil, to bobcat pelts, the international investor class will pay, and pay well. This is where the betrayal begins.

Enforcing a global agreement of this scope requires muscle, military muscle. That is where the Global Force for Good, as the U.S. military likes to market itself, comes in. Effectively, the U.S. military, which routinely channels and directs the efforts of young Americans who have enlisted to serve America, is into protecting not U.S. national security but the interests of the international investor class.

For the record, peace leads to stability, which in turn leads to security. But not to profit. Therein lies the motivation for perpetual war.

What makes the TPP treasonous is its betrayal of America’s natural resources, vital economic interests, military service members, and national security as a whole.

The TPP seeks to directly subjugate and invalidate American law, granting to multinational investors and to the agreement itself and its dispute resolution process ultimate authority, literally, over American home rule. All while American service members fight and die to protect the interests of whoever the investors are.

The Obama administration is not the first to memorialize an Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) agreement system in the form of a trade agreement. The Clinton administration’s North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) granted the same rights to MNCs. But ISDS agreements have been incorporated in literally thousands of international treaties over the past half-century, resulting in hundreds of lawsuits by MNCs against nation states – with the the result that the nations being sued choosing to comply with the dispute panel’s decision in an overwhelming majority of the cases.

What is at stake is who will govern America – Americans, or multinational investors and their arbiters? Without any doubt, ceding this vast authority to foreign actors, state-sponsored or otherwise, amounts to a wholesale betrayal of the principle of American self-rule, the very thing our U.S. service members are laying down their lives to protect. Or so they believe.

Either our nation is sovereign and our laws are valid or they are not. Which shall it be?


Marc Ash is the founder and former Executive Director of Truthout, and is now founder and Editor of Reader Supported News.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner
 

Comments   

We are going to return to our original fully-moderated format in the comments section.

The abusive complaints in the comment sections are just too far out of control at this point and have become a significant burden on our staff. As a result, our moderators will review all comments prior to publication. Comments will no longer go live immediately. Please be patient and check back.

To improve your chances of seeing your comment published, avoid confrontational or antagonistic methods of communication. Really that is the problem we are confronting.

We encourage all views. We discourage ad hominem disparagement.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

 
+102 # teachnet 2015-05-31 16:34
Thank you, Marc, for putting this out there. Yes, the TPP is treasonous. As you point out, all such "agreements" are. Were they made for,of,and by the People, they would not be kept secret from the People.

The TPP, however, should just about put us over the top. It may make Americans face - finally - that they no longer live in a democracy. (Whether they ever did is a separate question.) It may be the Great Equalizer, rendering Americans no more "important" or "exceptional" than all the people our government has been colonializing,o ur soldiers murdering, our bankers robbing, and our corporations "paying" pennies an hour (and free suicide prevention nets).

But then, they are no longer "American" bankers or corporations. It's not our military, just a corporate army making the world safe for transglobal corporations.

And soon, no longer even the semblance of an American government.

Interesting that Congress will enact this treason, and the law states Congress will decide the punishment for the treason. They'll probably give themselves a raise - i.e., a bigger helping of our money - for betraying us and our country.
 
 
+34 # Inspired Citizen 2015-06-01 05:02
"Sovereignty is the right and ability of a nation to govern itself. The ISDS guts our Constitution by surrendering our freedom to govern ourselves and subjects us to corporate rule with no appeal. Since we didn’t lose a war, this secretly-negoti ated surrender of our freedom is literally treason."

http://www.examiner.com/article/president-obama-s-trans-pacific-partnership-should-be-called-the-treason-act
 
 
+66 # CelticNavigator 2015-05-31 17:10
Well, teachnet, this is why I maintain that Ike's "military industrial complex" has metastasized into the "military industrial financial media academic CONGRESSIONAL judicial executive complex."

This many-headed Hydra has evolved because We the People did not take Thomas Jefferson's advice about corrupted governments needing to be overthrown. I believe that in personal correspondence he speculated that our government should be cleansed every 30 - 40 years; and we have be tragically remiss in allowing the now nearly-fatal cancer of plutocracy to spread for 240 frigging years!

"To secure these [inalienable] rights [to life, liberty, and the
pursuit of happiness], governments are instituted among men,
deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed...
Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends,
it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to
institute new government, laying its foundation on such
principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them
shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness."
--Thomas Jefferson: Declaration of Independence, 1776.
 
 
-80 # Caliban 2015-05-31 23:35
I doubt that people have really forgotten that "governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed". More likely, unlike Marc Ash, most US citizens believe that by and large the US government does presently derive its powers "from the consent of the governed"--henc e the lack of any widespread desire for a general revolution.

Marc, himself, might consider rethinking some of his negative interpretations of the US governing system. In particular, he might consider that international trade agreements might be a positive way to generate positive economic developments for the many as well as the few. In any case, when did hyper-nationali sm such as Ash promotes become historically such a good thing? Just wondering.
 
 
+42 # CelticNavigator 2015-06-01 02:08
Oh, there is plenty DESIRE for a general revolution. But given the brutality and utter viciousness of our modern police / prison state, with the world's largest incarcerated population of well over 2 million, people tend to be understandably reticent about taking action.

Our system of "checks and balances" in government has been totally subverted by our power elite. The best governments to study are the Northern European nations, because they are the most successful ones. Research them and get back to us.

The key to the quote from Jefferson about governments "deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed" is the word JUST. Our system of "justice" is the joke of the world, being a mere feces-devouring lap dog of the plutocracy. The unofficial motto of Denmark, which has the most level personal incomes on the planet, is, "No Dane is better than any other Dane."

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW, over the voices of your imaginary friends Trinculo and Stephano, O Caliban, thou twisted, subhuman son of the malevolent Shakespearean witch, Sycorax? Totally fitting images of Caliban, here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caliban#/media/File:Shakespear%27s_Caliban.jpg
 
 
-17 # Caliban 2015-06-01 15:53
You forget, CN, that Caliban and his friends were the revolutionaries in Shakespeare's play. They were not very good revolutionaries , of course, but then Prospero was not a very bad ruler--sort of like Barak, perhaps.

That said, you need to try a bit of moderation and irony--particul arly about mainstream US politics. Can US electoral democracy be gamed and abused? Absolutely. But most of the time the electorate eventually shows good sense and the excesses of the extremists are reigned in--as with Viet Nam in the past and Iraq now.

So, be as impatient as you wish our abusers and bullies, but remember that US electoral democracy as a system remains the envy of much of the world.
 
 
+8 # CelticNavigator 2015-06-01 19:06
Reps and Dems are merely two wings of the same damned party, and the game is rigged against viable 3rd and 4th parties. Every admin since Wilson's has had approx. 400 members of the Council on Foreign Relations in it. 20 year veteran Washington investigative reporter Mark Leibovich could not find a single member of Congress to hold up as an example of true statesmanship in his bestselling book, "This Town."

JFK, surging ahead with nuke production even tho we had a 5 to 1 numerical advantage over the Soviets when he took office, was as thoroughly owned by the M/I Complex as Obama is with his huge Pentagon budget requests- scratch a Dem and discover a Rep under the skin. Perhaps OUR media sez that our electoral democracy (your term, not mine, because the Electoral College is a BULWARK against democracy) remains the envy of the world, but apparently you misread my term "military industrial financial MEDIA academic congressional judicial executive complex" in my first post.
 
 
+2 # A_Har 2015-06-03 18:50
Quoting Caliban:
You forget, CN, that Caliban and his friends were the revolutionaries in Shakespeare's play. They were not very good revolutionaries, of course, but then Prospero was not a very bad ruler--sort of like Barak, perhaps.

That said, you need to try a bit of moderation and irony--particularly about mainstream US politics. Can US electoral democracy be gamed and abused? Absolutely. But most of the time the electorate eventually shows good sense and the excesses of the extremists are reigned in--as with Viet Nam in the past and Iraq now.

So, be as impatient as you wish our abusers and bullies, but remember that US electoral democracy as a system remains the envy of much of the world.


Chris Hedges: America's Mania for Positive Thinking and Denial of Reality Will Be Our Downfall
http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/chris-hedges-americas-mania-positive-thinking-and-denial-reality-will-be-our?akid=13146.38306.4QzEwt&rd=1&src=newsletter1036987&t=7

The ridiculous positivism, the belief that we are headed toward some glorious future, defies reality.

By Chris Hedges / Truthdig
May 27, 2015

Smile or Die (10 minute video about our *compulsory "positivism."*)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5um8QWWRvo
 
 
+12 # wantrealdemocracy 2015-06-01 15:46
When Eisenhower wrote that speech he originally wrote the Military Industrial Congressional Complex. It sure as hell is time to alter or abolish this corrupt government. Maybe we can do it with a Constitutional Amendment stating that political campaigns must be financed by public funds. The corruption in our government is the result of the legal bribing of the unethical elected officials---tha t is now complete. The whole of our government is corrupt. Our 'representative s' do not heed the voice of the people, they vote as directed by the most wealthy people in our nation. That is plutocracy or oligarchy--- sure as hell not democracy.
 
 
+6 # CelticNavigator 2015-06-02 00:00
We could also require that every citizen over age 18 has to at least SHOW UP at voting places during national elections, like Australia does. Being a citizen has its perks, but it should also have its duties and responsibilities.

We could also do away with the Electoral College, which was created as a power elite "safety valve" against the popular vote, if it did not suit their purposes. Al Gore won the popular vote in 2000, of course.
 
 
+59 # keenon the truth 2015-05-31 20:47
I read this article with great interest, and I completely understand what Marc Ash is saying. I just want to make one comment from the perspective of someone living in another country (Japan) which will be affected in similar ways.

Marc says
What is at stake is who will govern America – Americans, or multinational investors and their arbiters? Without any doubt, ceding this vast authority to foreign actors, state-sponsored or otherwise, amounts to a wholesale betrayal of the principle of American self-rule, the very thing our U.S. service members are laying down their lives to protect. Or so they believe."

He makes it sound as if the problems are all coming from non-Americans, but it is my understanding that many many of these corporations and multi-national investors are in fact American, and it is America which is the driving force behind TPP.
 
 
+38 # chasashmore 2015-05-31 23:12
Good point, Keenon, but I don't think that Marc was indicating that the problems come from "outside" of America. Rather the problems come from multi-national corps who are NOT American citizens wherever they happened to be headquartered, tho the Supreme Court has given corporations "personhood" protections minus the responsibilitie s. Nor do MNCs show any allegiance and dedication to the US, even if they ARE headquartered there. This is central to the problem that Marc is, I think, correctly pointing out. (Apologies to Marc for putting words in his mouth.)
 
 
+8 # keenon the truth 2015-05-31 23:27
Many of these MNCs are run by Americans.
"foreign actors" implies that these are not Americans.
 
 
+25 # chasashmore 2015-05-31 23:38
You're still missing the point. He says earlier "These powerful private interests, both foreign and domestic". And he doesn't deviate from that. He says specifically "foreign actors" near the end of the piece because SOME of them are, in fact many of them are, and he is making a case for the TPP being treasonous; and that's what makes it treasonous. TPP makes no distinction between domestically-ba sed and foreign-based MNCs, which in most cases avoid national allegiance anyway. There's nothing in his article that says America is a victim of foreigners here. Just the opposite. So to emphasize if you want to that America is not a victim here is fine, but you aren't contradicting Marc. (BTW, I live outside of the US also.)
 
 
+21 # backwards_cinderella 2015-06-01 02:52
MULTINATIONAL corporations are being the TPP. Not Americans, not this nation or that at all. This corporations don't give a rat's ass about country of origin, except for the uniforms of the army that happens to be protecting their interests. American workers are victims but so are ALL workers everywhere. As Americans, with this hideous "treaty" being pushed through our government, we have a TINY speck of influence if we email & call our representative & senators & the president & TELL THEM to STOP this thing. If they even listen. But as citizens who still have a voice, that's all we can do. & we SHOULD be doing it before we don't have any voice at all.
 
 
+20 # wrknight 2015-06-01 03:46
Quoting keenon the truth:
Many of these MNCs are run by Americans.
"foreign actors" implies that these are not Americans.

They may be "Americans" in name, but their loyalties are not to America. Their loyalties are to their corporations and the money.

Any person whose first loyalties are not to America I refuse to call American regardless where they were born or where they live.
 
 
+13 # chapdrum 2015-06-01 11:39
[
They may be "Americans" in name, but their loyalties are not to America. Their loyalties are to their corporations and the money.

Exactly right. This fact needs to be pointed out over and over again (but we won't expect the patriotic MSM to do that).
 
 
+5 # wantrealdemocracy 2015-06-01 15:49
There are many citizens of Israel who are also citizens of the United States. I think that NONE of our elected officials should be allowed to have dual citizenship with any other nation.
 
 
+10 # tedrey 2015-06-01 06:51
Surely other countries are not bound by the US Supreme Court's dictum that "corporations are people." Many corporate officials would be before foreign courts (and in foreign jails) if the US government did not run interference for them.
 
 
+8 # jsluka 2015-06-01 22:17
Keenon - While many investors, CEOs, members of the Boards of Directors, and Headquarter Offices of MNCs are American or located in America, the MNC knows no national affiliation; they are 'stateless' and owe allegiance to no country. Their only allegiance is to profit.
 
 
+22 # Adoregon 2015-05-31 22:02
Smedley Butler. Who?
Smedley Butler!!

http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/warisaracket.html
 
 
+35 # danireland46 2015-05-31 22:08
Way to go Marc, nice and peaceful Sunday afternoon and you lob a molotov cocktail. I was not going to think today, but I can not sleep without acknowledging your courageous message. I have never heard it put this way, but I feel you are right. As a matter of fact, I feel like Howard Beale in Network getting the world explained to him by God-Ned Beatty........ We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies, Mr. Beale. The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable bylaws of business. The world is a business, Mr. Beale. It has been since man crawled out of the slime. [And our children will live, Mr. Beale, to see that perfect world in which there's no war or famine, oppression or brutality) -- one vast and ecumenical holding company, for whom all men will work to serve a common profit, in which all men will hold a share of stock, all necessities provided, all anxieties tranquilized, all boredom amused......Tha nks a lot Marc!
 
 
+23 # Mattie 2015-05-31 22:56
Thank you, Marc Ash. It's high time we collectively focus on this issue.
 
 
+27 # randrjwr 2015-05-31 22:57
The SCOTUS has declared that corporations are people. Well then, these "people" should be made to obey the laws of the land like other (real) people are expected to do. Instead, these "people" are making the law; so what does that make us, the real people who do not happen to be corporations, as well? Jefferson was right--we need a revolution. Who will be the one to knit the names of all the elected and appointed officials who support TPP, NSA, drones, etc. into the "tapestry of record"? I'm not really suggesting a Reign of Terror, Parisian style; simple jail terms will do.
 
 
+11 # cordleycoit 2015-05-31 23:41
The first modern cooperation
Ceylonese was put together by Mayer Lanskey It was front for looting And very quickly the gangsters and grifters in the offices to pillage the mering African and South American resources along with rubber from Southeast Asia. Now they are moving vast populations to work for free and be the army of slaves as they achieve their goal, world domination.Thes e are still thugs and chiselers.
 
 
+14 # Savage 2015-06-01 00:24
Why not just call the TPP Trans-Pig-in-a- Poke, which is what it is?
 
 
+19 # PABLO DIABLO 2015-06-01 00:36
WAKE UP AMERICA
 
 
+11 # beachboy 2015-06-01 02:01
The attackers are the brotherhood of the rich! Wake up from your nationalist perspectives, folks! The 'treason' is by the MNC execs and their politicians... the victims are the majority of the people in many nations. Sorry, folks, it's a joke how Americans can think only of themselves...I lived in the US for many years, now a traveler, because it's unbearable in the 'western world', and I am watching the greatest crime against humanity yet, in the secret development of TPP, TIPP, or whatever the abbreviation of the devil's work.
Don't use 'trade' nor 'negotiation', by the way!
That would serve the bastards' aims. They are dealing among themselves, essentially. 'Negotiation' implies 'opponents'. This secret plot is a crime of treason in most countries. Germany being one of them. Check it out! And scream....
 
 
+14 # 22dragon 2015-06-01 03:41
I believe in keeping it simple. One acronym covers it. B.I.G. (Banks-Industry -Government) Triangle. The Bermuda Triangle of Democracy. All the other stuff...armies, courts, insurance...are just the ancilliary equivelents to the traditional Medieval Models of Inliers and Outliers. We Outside the wall of the B.I.G. Fort, and they within. Every kid knows that when they grow up, the have to choose. Play the game and be let in, or be independent and be shut-out. Treason? That is determined by the guys behind the walls. Those within are Too B.I.G. to be charged for their failures. Only when they jump the walls and blow the whistle, do they go to jail. Our revolution was a long time ago. Just a nostalgic memory.
 
 
+6 # kath 2015-06-01 08:01
States and city-states using their military muscle to advance trade goals goes back at least to the Middle Ages. It's really not new or uniquely dreadful. The difference is, now we the people think we have an alternative...w hich remains to be seen.
 
 
-2 # ChrisCurrie 2015-06-01 11:37
Our Republicans in Congress could easily remove Obama from office by impeachment for his unconstitutiona l efforts to promote the TPP, but most of those Republicans have "sold their soles" to the same multinational corporations as has Obama. This will no doubt be a major political issue in the 2016 Presidential elections.
 
 
+6 # dsepeczi 2015-06-02 12:08
Quoting ChrisCurrie:
Our Republicans in Congress could easily remove Obama from office by impeachment for his unconstitutional efforts to promote the TPP, but most of those Republicans have "sold their soles" to the same multinational corporations as has Obama. This will no doubt be a major political issue in the 2016 Presidential elections.


Not if the oligarchs have their way. If they get what they want, this won't be an issue at all because democrats and republican candidates will all agree that the TPP is a good idea. Fortunately, we have Bernie Sanders on our side. I just hope we can get him elected.
 
 
+7 # Aliazer 2015-06-01 12:11
The TPP will merely formalize for Americans what has been gradually taken place in this country the last several decades, mostly due to political criminality, treason, and out and out thievery of America's governmental institutions, including the military, judicial system, etc.. for purposes that are against the best interests of the nation and its people.

Unfortunately what is tragic is that millions of Americans have been gradually coming to this reality but other than complaining, writing and calling the criminals names, they continue choosing to do nothing about it. Rather, the continue talking about the forthcoming federal elections of the tweedliedums and tweedliedees!!!
 
 
+3 # chapdrum 2015-06-01 13:48
Right - they continue choosing to do nothing. And that certainly must not go unnoticed or, perhaps more accurately, speaks for itself.
 
 
+10 # Robbee 2015-06-01 15:29
whew! i can stop holding my breath waiting for someone else on rsn to connect the dots!

free trade is free bull

tpp has nothing to do with free trade - which we already have with china and preferred trade partner vietnam - tpp is all about protecting global corporations' patents and intellectual properties from chinese piracy - were china to enter our partnership, global corporations would punish them financially until chinese protected profits on patentholders' tecnologies

thus billionaires leverage u.s. military prowess, greatest military in the world, afforded by our poor and middle classes, (billionaires pay lower tax rates than all others), to dominate the world's resources for billionaires' exclusive, personal benefit
 
 
+10 # wantrealdemocracy 2015-06-01 16:22
Connect the dots and it shows you the problem is that our democracy has been killed by the elected officials being bribed to vote as directed by those evil forces that the Supremos have declared to be legal 'persons'with rights---seems to me they have MORE rights than living breathing people.
It is time for us to rise up in rebellion to change our government.
 
 
+9 # Depressionborn 2015-06-01 20:36
Wikileaks has gotten their hands on a copy of Obama’s phony TPP trade bill. It contains 29 chapters but only 5 pertain to trade. Wikileaks will be publishing the entire bill and they have already released the chapter on Investment. It’s very interesting.
 
 
+2 # Kwamined 2015-06-01 22:54
If there ever was any last doubts that Barack Obama is a House Negro for Big Business, the TPP put them to rest. The man is a shill for corporations. Just to remind you: Proven felons on Wall Street, and elsewhere, are still free.
And YES: the TPP is treason. So what does that make Obama and all his ilk?
 
 
+7 # Stilldreamin1 2015-06-02 17:53
Very telling that BO is aligned with the hated congressional republicans in his thrall to the TPP. Obama and McConnell allies? How could that be possible? Because everything we've been told up to now has been false.
 
 
+7 # RnR 2015-06-02 18:35
It *is* treasonous to support the tpp. BO knows it, but hey, Georgie Boy led the charge with referring to the Constitution as "just a piece of paper." Now how much do we have to see in order to admit we have 1 political party in the us? The party of Fascism,
 

THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.

RSNRSN