Hillary Clinton’s Legal Downfall to the U.S. Presidency

Catherine J. Frompovich

Soon, we and the media will be inundated by the 2016 presidential candidates’ self-proclaimed bravados, plus spinmeisters hawking about why candidates should be considered as the next President of the United States of America.

Well, Hillary Rodham Clinton, as an attorney who, therefore, cannot plead ignorance of the law, has broken one specific law of the United States that, probably, should have her fined and/or in jail—or both! And with no exceptions, exemptions or presidential pardons! That law is U.S. Code Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 101, Section 2071.

Paragraph (a) specifically states that the perpetrator should be fined or imprisoned for 3 years, or both.

(a) Whoever willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, or destroys, or attempts to do so, or, with intent to do so takes and carries away any record, proceeding, map, book, paper, document, or other thing, filed or deposited with any clerk or officer of any court of the United States, or in any public office, or with any judicial or public officer of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both. [1]

Paragraph (b) says such a perpetrator is thereby disqualified from holding any office under the United States of America.

(b) Whoever, having the custody of any such record, proceeding, map, book, document, paper, or other thing, willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys the same, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both; and shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States. [1] [CJF emphasis added]

Mrs. Clinton, please step down now, and save yourself further embarrassment and we, the voters, added civic disgust, as we’ve had enough of ‘aristocracy rule’ from the Bushes and Barack Hussein Obama. We don’t want nor, quite frankly, need any more! Honestly, millions of Americans have wondered, and questioned to, how so much malfeasance from numerous levels of high ranking offices and officials has been allowed to get by, or circumvent, the U.S. Constitution.

The following YouTube needs to be seen by every voter: Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, or Independent.

Please listen carefully to Bill Little and TruthRevolt.org’s most detailed and informative YouTube explaining how Mrs. Clinton, as Secretary of State, broke the law!

“No more felons in the White House,” should be the mantra for the upcoming 2016 presidential campaign, and every candidate should be made to pass that critical test. Let’s not forget the last six to seven years of double-speak, mis-speaks, and whatever else got hidden under political carpets.

[1] https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2071

No answers yet concerning 2.7 million litre spill on Lubicon Lake Nation territory


Lubicon First Nation community members are still awaiting answers regarding the short and long term impacts of a 2.7 million litre oil and gas condensate spill on their traditional territory.

Murphy Oil Company Limited did send representations into the community but Chief Bernard Ominayak and the Lubicon Council are still no closer to securing answers.

The spill is equivalent (by volume) to 68 twin-tanker oil trucks dumping their loads. It is unknown for how long the three-inch pipe had been leaking.

Chief Ominayak is also concerned that his community was not alerted to the oil spill until 11 days later. He is also urging the company to draft an emergency response plan for the community in case of spills, as one does not currently exist.

“It is critical that Murphy Oil address creating an integrated emergency response plan, as we have done with other resource companies in the area, so we can alert our people as soon as these incidents occur when they are on the land exercising our Aboriginal rights,” said Chief Ominayak.

The spill of oil and gas condensate occurred on March 1, 2015, at its Seal Lake heavy oil site in Northern Alberta.

At first, Murphy Oil reported to the Alberta Energy Regulator a spill no bigger than about ninety-four barrels, but later had to recant as the spill turned out to be much bigger though accurate numbers have still not been disclosed.

The lack of information is not the fault of the Lubicon First Nation who have been attempting to reach out to Murphy Oil to determine the true extent of the spill so they can take care of their community.

Chief Ominayak has said that the health, safety and environment protection is the priority since the spill.

Lubicon Lake First Nation has an extremely small population, not even a hundred, and the Nation has been embroiled in the land claim dispute with the Government of Canada for decades.

A 2011 survey of the area found the on-reserve and Crown land population of 274 living on their traditional territory. The community of Little Buffalo is about forty-four kilometres by road from the spill site.

One of the major issues in the extraction industry’s presence in the territory and the outstanding health and environmental concerns these cause.

The oil, gas, and lumber industry on Lubicon traditional territory has caused damaging repercussions on the natural environment, the Lubicon culture and people, according to a 2008 Amnesty International report.

Condensate is a natural gas product which contains benzene which is toxic. Condensate is usually mixed with the sticky substance bitumen to make it flow through the pipelines.

The community relies on hunting and fishing on their traditional territory to augment their diet.

Popular Resistance News

Alnoor Ladha and Martin Kirk of The Rules write in “Capitalism is Just a Story and Other Dangerous Thoughts” that our system of neo-liberal capitalism is one story that is told about the way the world works. In this story, natural resources are turned into commodities so they can be monetized. As in the feudal age, the wealthy few are taking more and more, cutting the rest of us off from the treasures we once shared and expanding the wealth divide so that more of us become ‘serfs’.

1neofeudalLadha and Kirk go on to say, “our only absolute limitation is our collective imagination, expressed through our will to change the mythologies that hold this house of cards together.” For once we see neo-liberalism and its related “isms” of colonialism, imperialism and racism for what they are and what they do, we are closer to being free of their grip and creating a new story, a collective story of communities collaborating with compassion to live sustainably and peacefully with respect for the rights of all living things.

The Commons is disappearing and we must reverse this tide before it comes to its natural conclusion, ‘private affluence and public squalor’. Once this is understood, it becomes only natural that social movements all over the world ‘occupy’ to reclaim that Commons. As David Edwards writes, not only is the occupation of space a form of resistance but it is also a place to create the wold we want to live in right now.

Detroit on the Front Lines of Neo-liberal Assault

Detroit is a prime example of the neo-liberal capture of a city and the assault on democracy that the US has inflicted on the global south. Similar tactics are being enacted in other cities across the country, but Detroit really is the canary in the coal mine. As Thrasher explains, the state used a shock doctrine approach to create a financial crisis and then quietly displace elected bodies and put emergency financial managers in control. When the people passed a voter initiative to prohibit the installation of emergency managers, the state overturned it.

1det3We spoke this week with Lamar Lemmons of the Detroit Public School Board ‘in exile’ who explained how the state went after the schools’ budget surplus and raided their $1.5 billion bond. Now the schools are failing and the community is looking for alternative ways to meet the needs of their students through Saturday Schools and Freedom Schools. We also spoke with Beulah Walker of the Detroit Water Brigade, a volunteer who works tirelessly to stem the tide of water shutoffs and bring water to the more than 30,000 homes who are going without access to water. Currently Detroit is negotiating with Veolia to privatize their water system. Be aware, Detroit is a testing ground for theft we expect to see, and in many cases are already seeing, in cities across the nation. Understand it, so you can fight it when it comes to your community.

Neo-liberal Assault on Our National Treasures

We are experiencing a similar pattern of looting at the national level with attacks on and privatization of self-funded institutions such as the US Postal Service, Social Security and Medicare. Congress imposed a requirement that the US Postal Service is required to fund 75 years of retirement benefits, a requirement that no other public institution or business would consider to be reasonable. As a result, the US Postal Service is having to make cuts which will undermine their service and drive customers to private entities like Staples stores. In response a group of organizations including all of the postal unions has formed a Grand Alliance to stop the attack. We encourage you to join this fight as we are.

Social Security and Medicare are the foundation of our social safety net for the elderly. David Lindorff writes that we need a similar coming together to not only save them, but also to expand them by doubling Social Security to lift seniors out of poverty and by expanding Medicare to everyone to solve the healthcare crisis.

Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 8.26.50 AMGlobal Neo-Liberalism

Similar struggles are occurring all over the planet. This week there was a protest against the Gates Foundation, which is working in tandem with US AID to privatize seeds and agriculture in Africa. In Colombia, communities are organizing to stop privatization of their rivers. Local residents are prevented access to the rivers for fishing and the riverbanks for growing food by state and private military forces. Recently there have been massive protests in Montreal, Quebec and Madrid, Spain against the austerity measures that go hand in hand with privatization.

Of course, the international treaties currently being negotiated such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) are massive tools for neo-liberalism. They will open the floodgates to waves of privatization, assaults on democracy and more economic hardship.

This week, Wikileaks released a recent version of the TPP’s Investment Chapter which includes the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) tribunals. Wikileaks described the tribunals as “supra-national courts” which create “a mechanism by which multinational corporations can force governments to pay compensation if the tribunal states that a country’s laws or policies affect the company’s claimed future profits.” Jack Rasmus explains why political and economic elites in the US are pushing for passage of the TPP.

11wyThe key to passing the TPP is Congress first passing legislation known as ‘fast track’ that would allow the president to sign the treaty before it goes to Congress where it would essentially be rushed through with limited time for review and no amendments. And one key to passing fast track is for Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) to cosponsor the bill in the Senate Finance Committee with Orrin Hatch. Sen. Wyden is being pressured from both sides with the White House and trans-national corporations making promises to him in exchange for his support for fast track, and Oregonians and Democratic groups like Democracy for America, MoveOn and the Working Families Party threatening to work against his re-election if he doesn’t oppose fast track.

Popular Resistance has been very focused on Sen. Wyden and as more groups join in, we are having an impact. Sen. Hatch wanted to reach a deal with Wyden before Congress left for a recess this week, but we understand that didn’t happen. The Senate is expected to introduce fast track legislation when they return in mid-April. We can stop fast track and the TPP. Join the week of action April 1 to 8 by organizing actions in your home districts and using www.StopFastTrack.com to contact Wyden’s office and the Senate Finance Committee. And join the weekly National Fast Track Resistance calls on Wednesday nights.Click here for more information.

1occupyChallenging the Neo-Liberal Assault

The truth is that people-power can stop fast track and the global neo-liberal assault. We can do this through both civil resistance to stop harmful policies such as emergency managers and international corporate treaties and by telling a new story and taking action to create a new societal structure for the economy and governance.

Jonathan Dawson of The Guardian tells us that the latter is taking place not in the centers of power but in our local communities where capitalism is being replaced with a commons-based approach. Instead of the neo-liberal public-private partnerships, which are really designed to shift public wealth into private hands, they are using public-commons partnerships.

Communities are standing up to the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure and winning. People in New York and New Jersey are stopping a fracked gas export terminal that was proposed in Port Ambrose. In Southwestern Virginia, a recent court decision will slow construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Popular Resistance is a partner in Beyond Extreme Energy which organizes protests at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. We are trying to push them to stop rubberstamping oil and gas projects and support more renewable sources of energy. In France, they just passed a law requiring new businesses to have either green roofs or rooftop solar panels.

Image from facebook.com/TanksnothanksCommunities are taking on militarism. A very creative campaign called “Tanks? No Thanks!” was launched in the Czech Republic to protest a US military convoy passing through. In Buenos Aires, Brazil a man named Raul Lemesoff went farther to transform a tank into a “Weapon of Mass Instruction” which passes out free books. In the Bronx, New York, communities are organizing to not only hold the police accountable but to create positive alternatives.

The World Social Forum is closing today in Tunis, Tunisia. It is a “‘plural, diversified, non-confessional, non-governmental and non-party’ meeting of international social movements to counter the global forces of neoliberalism, austerity, and climate crisis. If you weren’t able to be there this year, we hope that  you’ll make plans for next year when it will be held in Quebec.

Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 9.23.27 AMTogether, we can be a positive force to change the human story from one of destruction and exploitation to one of creativity, cooperation and community. We can “Stop the Machine, Create a New World.”

Body Count Report Reveals At Least 1.3 Million Lives Lost to US-Led War on Terror

Although a conservative estimate, physicians’ groups say the figure ‘is approximately 10 times greater’ than typically reported

The rubble of a home reportedly hit by a U.S.-led coalition airstrike in Kafar Daryan in Syria. (Photo: Sami Ali / AFP/Getty Images)

The rubble of a home reportedly hit by a U.S.-led coalition airstrike in Kafar Daryan in Syria. (Photo: Sami Ali / AFP/Getty Images)

How do you calculate the human costs of the U.S.-led War on Terror?

On the 12th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, groups of physicians attempted to arrive at a partial answer to this question by counting the dead.

In their joint report— Body Count: Casualty Figures after 10 Years of the ‘War on Terror—Physicians for Social Responsibility, Physicians for Global Survival, and the Nobel Prize-winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War concluded that this number is staggering, with at least 1.3 million lives lost in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan alone since the onset of the war following September 11, 2001.

However, the report notes, this is a conservative estimate, and the total number killed in the three countries “could also be in excess of 2 million, whereas a figure below 1 million is extremely unlikely.”

Furthermore, the researchers do not look at other countries targeted by U.S.-led war, including Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Syria, and beyond.

Even still, the report states the figure “is approximately 10 times greater than that of which the public, experts and decision makers are aware of and propagated by the media and major NGOs.

In Iraq, at least 1 million lives have been lost during and since 2003, a figure that accounts for five percent of the nation’s total population. This does not include deaths among the estimated 3 million Iraqi refugees, many of whom were subject to dangerous conditions during this past winter.

Furthermore, an estimated 220,000 people have been killed in Afghanistan and 80,000 in Pakistan, note the researchers. The findings follow a United Nations report which finds that civilian deaths in Afghanistan in 2014 were at their highest levels since the global body began making reports in 2009.

The researchers identified direct and indirect deaths based on UN, government, and NGO data, as well as individual studies. While the specific number is difficult to peg, researchers say they hope to convey the large-scale of death and loss.

Speaking with Democracy Now! on Thursday, Dr. Robert Gould, president of the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility and co-author of the forward to the report, said:

“[A]t a time when we’re contemplating at this point cutting off our removal of troops from Afghanistan and contemplating new military authorization for increasing our operations in Syria and Iraq, this insulation from the real impacts serves our government in being able to continue to conduct these wars in the name of the war on terror, with not only horrendous cost to the people in the region, but we in the United States suffer from what the budgetary costs of unending war are.”

According to Gould’s forward, co-authored with Dr. Tim Takaro, the public is purposefully kept in the dark about this toll.

“A politically useful option for U.S. political elites has been to attribute the on-going violence to internecine conflicts of various types, including historical religious animosities, as if the resurgence and brutality of such conflicts is unrelated to the destabilization cause by decades of outside military intervention,” they write. “As such, under-reporting of the human toll attributed to ongoing Western interventions, whether deliberate of through self-censorship, has been key to removing the ‘fingerprints’ of responsibility.”

Want to Rebuild the Left? Take Socialim Seriously

(Elaine Thompson / AP)

This article is part of The Nation’s 150th Anniversary Special Issue. Download a free PDF of the issue, with articles by James Baldwin, Barbara Ehrenreich, Toni Morrison, Howard Zinn and many more, here.

As the sun set on the Occupy Seattle encampment in December 2011, the question “What next?” hung in the air, as it did over Zuccotti Park in New York City. The tents were gone, our spirits were dampened, but an awakened sense of empowerment prevailed.

The movement had given voice to a widespread fury at big business and a recognition of the gaping class divide. Key to Occupy’s success were the thousands of young people who had helped elect President Obama and had completed their own first steps toward achieving the American Dream, only to see their college degrees translate into crushing student debt and poverty wages.

Inside and outside the encampments, discussions about the moral bankruptcy of Wall Street began to evolve into questions about the viability of capitalism itself. A revived search for an alternative had begun.

Socialism has been declared dead many times. After the fall of the Berlin Wall and the ensuing collapse of the “communist” regimes in Eastern Europe, the global capitalist elite launched an unprecedented ideological offensive. The obituary was written not only for socialism, but for the basic ideas of collective struggle by the working class.

Now, after three decades of virtually untrammeled neoliberal policies, with class questions again brought to the fore by unprecedented levels of inequality, we have been witnessing a renewed interest in socialist ideas. Half of the young Americans surveyed between the ages of 18 and 29 viewed socialism positively, according to a Pew Research Center poll in December 2011.

The winter of Occupy sparked a debate in my own organization, Socialist Alternative. Looking ahead to the 2012 presidential-election year and the inevitable pull of corporate politics, Socialist Alternative called for independent candidates representing the 99 percent to run across the country.

Here in Seattle, I filed in a race for the Washington State House as a socialist “Occupy” candidate. The Democratic Party establishment has virtual monopoly control over Seattle politics, as it does in most urban centers. The city has increasingly become a playground for the wealthy, with the nation’s fastest-rising rents and a rapidly gentrifying urban core. My campaign was a referendum on corporate, neoliberal politics: I flatly rejected cuts to education, mass transit and social services, while calling for taxes on the rich and a $15 minimum wage.

After receiving one of the highest votes for a socialist candidate in decades, I ran again in 2013 for the Seattle City Council. Once again, my campaign made bold anticorporate demands—for rent control, a “millionaires’ tax” to fully fund social services, and a citywide $15 minimum wage. Running independently as a Socialist Alternative candidate helped me tap into voters’ anger at the status quo of corporate politics. In Seattle, the council members pay themselves $120,000 a year, the second-highest council salary among the nation’s forty largest cities. I accepted no corporate donations and pledged to take only the average Seattle worker’s wage of $40,000. I also promised to use the rest of my salary to help build social movements.

The campaign attracted more than 400 volunteers, mobilized support in the labor movement, established a foothold among left-wing Democratic Party activists, won the strong endorsement of the city’s largest alternative newspaper (The Stranger), and developed an unstoppable momentum for action on the minimum wage. None of this would have been possible had I been aligned with corporate interests. All the other candidates in the city elections—most of them Democratic Party members—scrupulously avoided the issues raised in my campaign. As a testament to the power of grassroots movements, however, most politicians were forced to respond in the election’s final weeks, professing tepid support for the increasingly popular call to raise the minimum wage.

This time I won the election, receiving nearly 95,000 votes to defeat an entrenched sixteen-year incumbent. The Seattle City Council now has nine council members: eight Democrats and one socialist.

* * *

The prospects for creating a majority coalition on any of the issues raised in my campaign would be nonexistent without massively mobilizing people outside the council chambers. Yet holding even that single seat in city government has provided an indispensable platform when it comes to winning real gains for ordinary people.

A few weeks after my election, Socialist Alternative and I launched 15 Now, the grassroots campaign that worked with the Seattle labor movement to build support for a $15 minimum wage. Last April, after three months of intense campaigning and movement-building with a citywide network of neighborhood groups, 15 Now filed a “charter amendment.” Business leaders, fearing that the ballot measure could end up being passed as a voter referendum in November, decided to limit their losses by crafting a weaker $15-per-hour ordinance—and then fought to undercut that with loopholes.

The loopholes (including a longer phase-in period, a tip credit, and subminimum wages for teens and persons with disabilities) reflected the strength of the corporate counteroffensive to our movement’s efforts and the complicity of the Democratic Party. But the final result will be a $3 billion transfer of wealth over ten years from corporations to Seattle’s 100,000 lowest-paid workers

This same process, with the relative strength of movements measured against that of big business, played out on issue after issue in my first year on the council. We organized a “People’s Budget” coalition and won increased funding for social services, including year-round homeless shelters for women and basic services for homeless encampments. We also won $1.6 million in raises for low-paid city workers and strengthened the enforcement of labor laws. We fought alongside tenants and community organizations to defeat an Orwellian attack on low-income housing called “Stepping Forward,” forcing the Seattle Housing Authority to back off from plans to begin 400 percent increases on rental rates over five years. Organizing with indigenous activists, we established Indigenous People’s Day (on the day celebrated federally as Columbus Day), putting a spotlight on the brutality and genocide unleashed under colonialism, and on the need to fight against the continued poverty and marginalization of indigenous communities. We have also helped publicize and support campaigns against regressive taxation, rising rents, climate change and the school-to-prison pipeline.

* * *

All of these gains are only a taste of the fundamental change we need. While successfully defending low-income housing was a victory, we also need to build thousands more units. While raising funds for social services is a real step forward, we need tens of millions more just to address critical needs. Genuine socialism means planning the entire society and economy on a rational, democratic and sustainable basis—delivering a high standard of living to all while protecting the environment.

Any attempt to develop socialist municipal policies will inevitably come up against resource and technological constraints, as well as political attacks from outside the locality. This can even be seen in the fight for the $15 minimum wage, when Seattle’s victory was immediately threatened by potential statewide initiatives aimed at outlawing local minimum-wage laws. Socialists can overcome these challenges by drawing strength from the interdependence of working people nationally and internationally.

The American left will have to build outside the Republican and Democratic parties, whose leaders have repeatedly demonstrated that they will go to any lengths to defend the superwealthy and protect the capitalist system. Progress can happen only by building independent working-class power.

This year will see continued struggles against economic inequality, racial and gender oppression, police brutality and climate change. As we confront these challenges, I hope that my experience in office can serve as a useful example of socialist politics in action, with practical relevance for rebuilding the American workers’ movement.

Our victories will depend on whether the left champions the interests of working people and the downtrodden—and does so no matter how much this comes into conflict with what is acceptable to the ruling elite or compatible with capitalism.

That is the essence of a socialist approach to politics.

Free Trade Isn’t about Trade. It’s About Bureaucrats—and Guns.

Reuters/Larry Downing

(Reuters/Larry Downing) 

Free trade isn’t about trade. Free trade is about bureaucrats. And guns. Simple stories about how one country is good at making wine, and should trade with another country that is good at making cloth, explain very little about today’s trade agreements. Instead, agreements are about which bureaucrats make decisions about markets that operate between countries. Who has the power to settle international disputes between massive multinational corporations and the states they do business with? This issue, otherwise known as investor-state dispute settlement, is at the heart of the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) President Obama is seeking to sign with twelve Asia-Pacific region countries.

Investor-state dispute settlement is a method of private arbitration by which private companies operating in foreign countries can bring lawsuits if that country violates the terms of agreed-upon trade. It’s a core element of modern trade agreements. Senator Elizabeth Warren has warned about these agreements, and economist Joseph Stiglitz has argued that they “most seriously threaten democratic decision-making.” On the other hand, economists David Autor, David Dorn, and Gordon H. Hanson recently argued that “this mechanism would protect U.S. firms against predatory regulatory interventions by member governments. “

Let’s dig into an example. In 2011, Australia passed the Tobacco Plain Packaging Act 2011,designed “to discourage the use of tobacco products” by, among other things, requiring cigarette packages to have larger warnings, ugly colors, and no logos or advertisements. This act is clearly a “predatory intervention” against tobacco companies, designed explicitly to reduce their business in Australia by lowering smoking rates. As a result, Philip Morris Asia, a part of the American company Philip Morris International, is using an investor-state dispute settlement to stop enforcement and demand compensation, claiming this is a discriminatory “expropriation.” Instead of just the bureaucrats at the Australian government creating and administering rules for the selling of cigarettes, there’s an additional layer of international bureaucrats—positions created by trade agreements—who can overrule them.

Many people argue that this is corporate welfare, and it is. But it also goes deeper than that. This episode perfectly encapsulates the problem described by David Graeber in his new collection of essays, The Utopia of Rules. He argues that globalization now isn’t about technology leveling distances or speeding trade, but about piling private bureaucracies on top of public ones.

The Australian attorney general’s website has the play-by-play. The globalization story told by the documents on that site isn’t one of new products sweeping across the globe, but a level of bureaucratic paper-shuffling that approaches parody. The big headlines are everything from the exciting “In accordance with the timetable in Procedural Order No. 9, on 7 July 2014 Philip Morris Asia submitted its Counter-Memorial on Preliminary Objections” to the electrifying “On 26 August 2014 the tribunal issued Procedural Order No. 10, which provided a revised timetable up to the Hearing on Preliminary Objections.” Reading about it, you can almost picture the hapless clerk suffocating under reams of paperwork and forms.

But this isn’t just a new or bigger bureaucracy at work; it is a totally different type. Prior to the trade agreements that gave corporate investors these powers, the Australian democratic state had the final say in setting the terms for its economic markets, and those arguments had to be created by elected public officials held to some standard of transparency and public service. Democracy is messy and imperfect, but at least it demands some accountability.

Now the rules of the market are settled by a private tribunal, in this case run by the United Nations’ Permanent Court of Arbitration, with virtually no formal transparency. Philip Morris and Australia each hire a battery of lawyers to make their cases, in secret, before an organization accountable to no electorate. These bureaucratic organizations are far more accountable to the interest of corporate investors, and don’t have to balance their interests against those of public health or stability. Enforcement becomes even more detached from democratic norms as it is moved from the national level to the international one, administered by the international trade organizations that mix public and private interests.

Please support our journalism. Get a digital subscription for just $9.50!

There are many more examples like this. The Swedish energy company Vattenfall has sued Germany for billions over Germany’s decision, after the Fukushima disaster, to phase out nuclear energy. Canada’s drug patent laws are under assault by Eli Lilly, and the country’s efforts to promote local solar and wind energy, require energy research-and-development, and put a moratorium on fracking have been challenged or overturned by US energy interests through the NAFTA bureaucracy. As Naomi Klein argues in This Changes Everything, this is how international trade rules will make it harder to combat global warming. Relatively rare before the mid-1990s, the frequency of these cases is exploding, and there will be many more across the globe depending on whether the TPP is passed.

Every market has a bureaucrat to make and adjudicate the rules, as well as the power to deploy the violence necessary to enforce those rules. There’s simply no way around this problem, As the political scientist Henry Farrell recently wrote in a blockbuster essay, even the anarcho-capitalist dream of building a stateless trading website, Silk Road, fell apart over constant battles of information, trust, and enforcement. The libertarian creator, Ross Ulbricht, eventually found himself required to create bureaucratic rules for trading, and even trying to hire someone to kill those who broke them.

The goal for believers in democracy is to ground the bureaucracies governing international trade in democratic principles and accountability as much as possible. The secret, privatized bureaucracies hidden within free trade agreements like the TPP deploy the power of the state in corporate, rather than public, interests. They do not facilitate the distribution of goods, but the abrogation of democracy in choosing what is good for all.

Take Action: Demand that Congress Reject ‘Fast Track’ for the Trans-Pacific Partnership