We thought it was crazy when Obama's trade threatened Congress with prison if they disclosed anything about the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership.
But it just gets dirtier. Sen Barbara Boxer [D-CA] tried to get a look at the text. First she limited her helpers to staffers with security clearance, because the TPP is Classified ("God knows why... It has nothing to do with defense. It has nothing to do with going after ISIS.").
But when she got there, the guard told her she wasn't allowed to take notes. Then he relented and told her she could take notes, but that he would confiscate them and read and file them when she was done.
When the New Zealand trade minister explained that TPP was being kept secret to prevent public debate, he was wrong. It's also being kept secret to prevent Congressional debate.
It's no wonder that the Senate rejected the proposal to fast-track the TPP through Congress.
“The guard says, ‘you can’t take notes.’ I said, ‘I can’t take notes?’” Boxer recalled. “‘Well, you can take notes, but have to give them back to me, and I’ll put them in a file.’ So I said: ‘Wait a minute. I’m going to take notes and then you’re going to take my notes away from me and then you’re going to have them in a file, and you can read my notes? Not on your life.’”
Boxer noted at the start of her speech that she hoped opponents of the trade promotion authority bill — the so-called fast-track legislation required to advance the TPP — would be able to block the bill via a filibuster. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is expected to file a motion to invoke cloture on the measure later this afternoon.
“You Can Read My Notes? Not on Your Life!”: Top Democratic Senator Blasts Obama’s TPP Secrecy [Sam Knight/The Intercept]