Secrecy News StoriesExcerpts of Key Secrecy News Stories in Major Media
Note: This comprehensive list of secrecy news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.
It was July 1974. William Simon, newly appointed U.S. Treasury secretary, and his deputy, Gerry Parsky, stepped onto an 8 a.m. flight. [Simon's] mission, kept in strict confidence within President Richard Nixon's inner circle, would take place during a four-day layover in the coastal city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The goal: persuade a hostile kingdom to finance America's widening deficit with its newfound petrodollar wealth. The United States would buy oil from Saudi Arabia and provide the kingdom military aid and equipment. In return, the Saudis would plow billions of their petrodollar revenue back into Treasuries and finance America's spending. At the end of months of negotiations, there remained one small, yet crucial, catch: King Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud demanded the country's Treasury purchases stay "strictly secret." With a handful of Treasury and Federal Reserve officials, the secret was kept for more than four decades. In response to a Freedom-of-Information-Act request submitted by Bloomberg News, the Treasury broke out Saudi Arabia's holdings for the first time this month. The $117 billion trove makes the kingdom one of America's largest foreign creditors. A former Treasury official ... says the official figure vastly understates Saudi Arabia's investments in U.S. government debt, which may be double or more. In April, Saudi Arabia warned it would start selling as much as $750 billion in Treasuries and other assets if Congress passes a bill allowing the kingdom to be held liable in U.S. courts for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Note: In May, the Senate approved a bill that allows victims of 9/11 and their families to pursue lawsuits against Saudi Arabia for its role in the Sept. 11 attacks. Several prominent figures are currently pushing for the declassification of hidden 9/11 report pages which reportedly shed further light on Saudi support for terrorism. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government secrecy news articles from reliable major media sources.
Have you heard about TTIP? If your answer is no, don’t get too worried; you’re not meant to have. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is a series of trade negotiations being carried out mostly in secret between the EU and US. As a bi-lateral trade agreement, TTIP is about reducing the regulatory barriers to trade for big business, things like food safety law, environmental legislation, banking regulations and the sovereign powers of individual nations. It is, as John Hilary, Executive Director of campaign group War on Want, said: “An assault on European and US societies by transnational corporations.” Since before TTIP negotiations began last February, the process has been secretive and undemocratic. But ... the covert nature of the talks may well be the least of our problems. TTIP’s biggest threat to society is its inherent assault on democracy. One of the main aims of TTIP is the introduction of Investor-State Dispute Settlements (ISDS), which allow companies to sue governments if those governments’ policies cause a loss of profits. In effect it means unelected transnational corporations can dictate the policies of democratically elected governments. There are around 500 ... cases of businesses versus nations going on around the world at the moment. They are all taking place before ‘arbitration tribunals’ made up of corporate lawyers appointed on an ad hoc basis, which according to War on Want’s John Hilary, are “little more than kangaroo courts” with “a vested interest in ruling in favour of business.”
The federal government has been quietly fighting to keep a lid on an 11,000-document cache of government communications relating to financial policy. The Obama administration ... insisted that their release would negatively impact global financial markets. Unsealing some of these materials last week, a federal judge named Margaret Sweeney said the government's sole motivation was avoiding embarrassment. So what's so embarrassing? A sordid history of the government's seizure of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, also known as the government-sponsored enterprises, or GSEs. Bailout-era Fannie and Freddie was turned into a kind of garbage facility for other Wall Street institutions, buying up toxic mortgages that private banks were suddenly desperate to unload. Even after the state took over the companies ... Fannie and Freddie continued to buy as much as $40 billion in bad assets per month from the private sector. Fannie and Freddie weren't just bailed out, they were themselves a bailout, used to sponge up the sins of private firms. The government ended up pumping about $187 billion into the companies. Within a few years ... Fannie and Freddie started to make money again. The GSEs went on to pay the government $228 billion over the next three years, or $40 billion more than they owed, [but] none of that money went to paying off Fannie and Freddie's debt. This ... prompted a series of lawsuits. In these suits, the government's pleas for secrecy were so extreme that it asked for, and received, "attorneys' eyes only" status for the documents in question.
Note: Why is no other media covering this important news? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the financial industry.
The headline on the website Pravda trumpeted: “Russian Nuclear Energy Conquers the World.” The article, in January 2013, detailed how the Russian atomic energy agency, Rosatom, [became] one of the world’s largest uranium producers and brought Mr. Putin closer to his goal of controlling much of the global uranium supply chain. Major donors to the charitable endeavors of former President Bill Clinton and his family ... built, financed and eventually sold off to the Russians a company that would become known as Uranium One. Beyond mines in Kazakhstan that are among the most lucrative in the world, the sale gave the Russians control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States. Uranium is considered a strategic asset. The deal had to be approved by ... United States government agencies. Among the agencies that eventually signed off was the State Department, then headed by Mr. Clinton’s wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton. As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One ... a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons. Other people with ties to the company made donations as well. And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.
Note: The State Department also approved $165 Billion in commercial arms sales to Clinton Foundation donors under Clinton's leadership. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Senior CIA officials have for years intentionally deceived parts of the agency workforce by transmitting internal memos that contain false information. The practice is known by the term “eyewash.” Officials said there is no clear mechanism for labeling eyewash cables or distinguishing them from legitimate records being examined by the CIA’s inspector general, turned over to Congress or declassified for historians. Senate investigators uncovered apparent cases of eyewashing as part of a multi-year probe of the CIA’s interrogation program, according to officials who said that the Senate Intelligence Committee found glaring inconsistencies in CIA communications about classified operations, including drone strikes. Former CIA officials ... acknowledged that the internal mechanisms for managing eyewash cables were largely informal. Skeptics described the safeguards as inadequate. “When you introduce falsehoods into the communications stream then you can destabilize the whole system of intelligence oversight and compliance with the law,” said Steven Aftergood, a government secrecy expert at the Federation of American Scientists. “It wasn’t that long ago that we had a CIA executive director who was engaged in criminal activity - you don’t want someone like him preparing eyewash cables,” Aftergood said, referring to Kyle “Dusty” Foggo, the former No. 3 executive at the agency.
Note: Read more about the strange case of Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, the CIA executive convicted of fraud in connection with secret CIA prisons. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Intelligence agency corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Factory farm operators believe that the less Americans know about what goes on behind their closed doors, the better. That’s because the animals sent through those factories often endure an unimaginable amount of mistreatment and abuse. Nearly always, this treatment comes to light only because courageous employees - or those posing as employees - take undercover video and release it to the public. The industry’s lobbyists have taken the opposite approach, pushing for the passage of so-called “ag-gag” laws, which ban undercover recordings on farms and in slaughterhouses. These measures have ... been enacted in eight [states]. None has gone as far as North Carolina, where a new law that took effect Jan. 1 aims to silence whistle-blowers not just at agricultural facilities, but at all workplaces in the state. That includes, among others, nursing homes, day care centers, and veterans’ facilities. Anyone who violates the law - say, by secretly taping abuses of elderly patients or farm animals and then sharing the recording with the media or an advocacy group - can be sued by business owners for bad publicity and be required to pay a fine of $5,000 for each day that person is gathering information. This is a clear violation of the constitutional freedoms of speech and the press, as ... argued in a federal lawsuit filed in January.
Note: This law was passed following the widely publicised release of video footage showing toxic cesspools around North Carolina farms. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the corporate world.
“The Brothers” is a riveting chronicle of government-sanctioned murder, casual elimination of “inconvenient” regimes, relentless prioritization of American corporate interests and cynical arrogance on the part of two men. John Foster Dulles and his brother, Allen, were ... lawyers, partners in the immensely powerful firm of Sullivan & Cromwell. John Foster Dulles served as secretary of state from 1953 to 1959; his brother ran the C.I.A. from 1953 to 1961. In his detailed, wellconstructed and highly readable book, Stephen Kinzer ... shows how the brothers drove America’s interventionist foreign policy. Kinzer highlights John Foster Dulles’s central role in channeling funds from the United States to Nazi Germany in the 1930s. Sullivan & Cromwell floated bonds for Krupp A. G., the arms manufacturer, and also worked for I. G. Farben, the chemicals conglomerate that later manufactured Zyklon B, the gas used to murder millions of Jews. For the Dulles brothers, and for much of the American government, threats to corporate interests were categorized as support for communism. There are also reminders in Kinzer’s book of dark events in the history of American intelligence. Sixty years ago, Frank Olson, a C.I.A. officer, was reported to have jumped to his death during mind-control experiments “in which psychoactive drugs were administered to unknowing victims.” But last year, Kinzer reports, Olson’s family filed suit, claiming he had actually been murdered after visiting secret C.I.A. prisons in Europe.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing intelligence agency corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
The CIA has released hundreds of declassified documents detailing investigations into possible alien life. The Central Intelligence Agency posted documents of reported Unidentified Flying Objects that range in date from the late 1940s to the 1950s. While playing off the hype of the TV show reboot "The X-Files," the CIA broke down the cases into two categories, whether you side with Agent Mulder or Agent Scully. For believers in alien life ... one case you can choose to investigate is the case of a flying saucer in Germany in 1952. An eyewitness told investigators that an object "resembling a huge flying pan" landed in a forest clearing in the Soviet zone of Germany in 1952. The eyewitness said once he was closer to the area where it landed, he saw two men dressed in shiny metallic clothing. Spooked by the eyewitness ... the mysterious men jumped into the large flying pan object and it spun out into the sky. "The whole object then began to rise slowly from the ground and rotate like a top," the eyewitness told the CIA. The man told a judge he thought he was dreaming but said there was a circular imprint on the ground where the object had landed. If that case intrigues you, there are four more listed on the CIA blog post. But if you are more of a skeptic like Scully, and believe there is a simple explanation for flying saucer sightings, then the documents from the scientific advisory panel on UFOs in 1953 will help you prove your case.
Note: Explore these intriguing 'X-Files' on the CIA website at this link. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing UFO cover-up and disclosure news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our UFO Information Center.
The United States has slipped so far with respect to transparency that some open-government groups now rank it behind Yemen, Kyrgyzstan and Liberia. Today, the Freedom of Information Act – our country’s signature right-to-information law – is alarmingly dysfunctional. It is impeding the ability of the press to do its job. Sharyl Attkisson, a journalist with five Emmy Awards ... asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last October for records related to a virus that had possibly killed 14 children and paralyzed another 115. The CDC still hasn’t turned over a single document in response. This isn’t the first such experience for Attkisson. She recently told a congressional committee that it took the Department of Defense 10 years to respond to a request she made in 2003. It is a sad turn of events that FOIA has become so unhelpful to journalists. Like many other citizens who make requests under FOIA – which allows any person to request federal agency records for any reason – journalists face backlogs, excuses for withholding, and delays. “Non-responsiveness is the norm,” Karen Kaiser, general counsel of The Associated Press, told a Senate panel in May. Agencies could do a far better job of enforcing FOIA as it is written. Notably, agencies need to faithfully adhere to a provision of FOIA that allows journalists’ requests to go to the front of the queue when there is an “urgency to inform the public.” As it stands, agencies reject these so-called “expedited processing” requests the vast majority of the time.
Note: Along with having her FOIA requests stalled, Sharyl Attkisson has sometimes been spied on and computer-hacked by U.S intelligence agencies for her investigative journalism. The number of FOIA requests denied by government agencies has been rapidly increasing in recent years.
A 9/11 Congressional Committee investigated whether there were terror links to Saudi Arabia, but that portion of the report is classified by the government; fearing release could hurt U.S. relationships with a key Middle East ally. Now there are growing calls for the secret report to be made public. 28 pages classified as top secret by President Bush ... look at what if any relationship existed between the 9/11 hijackers and the Saudi Government. These pages are the only part of the report kept hidden from the public. Just a few weeks ago, Republican Presidential Candidate Rand Paul introduced a measure in the Senate calling for public disclosure; both Senators Gillibrand and Schumer support it. The Former head of the 9-11 Inquiry who has read the "secret" pages says "Collectively they tell us that the hijackers did not operate alone. That there was a support network which facilitated their ability to carry out such a complicated and heinous assault as 9/11. And, they tell us that Saudi Arabia was the premier part of that support network," said Bob Graham, a former senator. Former Senator Graham believes the pages have remained classified to keep Americans from knowing the depth of Saudi involvement in 9/11. 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi nationals. Saudi Arabia has repeatedly denied any connection.
Note: If the former head of the 9/11 Commission says these pages should be declassified, will people listen. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing 9/11 news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our 9/11 Information Center.
[One spy unit is] responsible for some of the United Kingdom's most controversial tactics of surveillance, online propaganda and deceit. Documents ... demonstrate how the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG), a unit of the signals intelligence agency Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), is involved in efforts against political groups it considers "extremist". Though its existence was secret until last year, JTRIG quickly developed a distinctive profile [after] Edward Snowden revealed that the unit had engaged in "dirty tricks" like deploying sexual "honey traps" designed to discredit targets, launching denial-of-service attacks to shut down Internet chat rooms, pushing veiled propaganda onto social networks and generally warping discourse online. Particularly revealing is a fascinating 42-page document from 2011 detailing JTRIG's activities. The document lays out the tactics the agency uses to manipulate public opinion, its scientific and psychological research into how human thinking and behavior can be influenced. Many GCHQ documents describing the "missions" of the "customers" for which it works make clear that the agency has a wide mandate far beyond national security, including providing help on intelligence to the Bank of England, ... to various departments on agriculture and whaling activities, to government financial divisions to enable good investment decisions. Beyond JTRIG's targeting of Anonymous, other parts of GCHQ targeted political activists deemed to be "radical," even monitoring the visits of people to the WikiLeaks website. [The document] includes detailed discussions of how to foster "obedience" and "conformity".
Note: Read amazing excerpts of this report at the link above showing how JTRIG plays an active role on the Internet in directly manipulating many political discussions and websites. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in intelligence agencies from reliable major media sources.
British spies have developed "dirty tricks" ... that include releasing computer viruses, spying on journalists and diplomats, jamming phones and computers, and using sex to lure targets into "honey traps." Documents taken from the National Security Agency by Edward Snowden ... describe techniques developed by a secret British spy unit called the Joint Threat Research and Intelligence Group (JTRIG). According to the documents ... the agency's goal was to "destroy, deny, degrade [and] disrupt" enemies by "discrediting" them, planting misinformation and shutting down their communications. The propaganda campaigns use deception, mass messaging and "pushing stories" via Twitter, Flickr, Facebook and YouTube. JTRIG also uses "false flag" operations, in which British agents carry out online actions that are designed to look like they were performed by one of Britain's adversaries. Other documents ... show that JTRIG ... used a DDOS attack to shut down Internet chat rooms used by members of the hacktivist group known as Anonymous. A computer virus called Ambassadors Reception was "used in a variety of different areas" and was "very effective." When sent to adversaries ... the virus will "encrypt itself, delete all emails ... and block the computer user from logging on. Spies have long used sexual "honey traps" to snare, blackmail and influence targets. Most often, a male target is led to believe he has an opportunity for a romantic relationship or a sexual liaison with a woman, only to find that the woman is actually an intelligence operative.
Note: You can read the documents released by Snowden at this link and this one. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption from reliable major media sources.
Mark Rossini, a former FBI special agent at the center of an enduring mystery related to [9/11] says he is "appalled" by the newly declassified statements by former CIA Director George Tenet defending the spy agency's efforts to detect and stop the plot. Rossini, who was assigned to the CIA's Counterterrorism Center (CTC) at the time of the attacks, has long maintained that the U.S. government has covered up secret relations between the spy agency and Saudi individuals who may have abetted the plot. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers who flew commercial airliners (on 9/11) were Saudis. A heavily redacted 2005 CIA inspector general's report, parts of which had previously been released, was further declassified earlier this month. The Obama administration has [still] refused to declassify 28 pages dealing with Saudi connections. Rossini and another FBI agent assigned to the CTC, Doug Miller, learned in January 2000 that one of the future hijackers ... had a multi-entry visa to enter the U.S. But when Miller and Rossini attempted to warn FBI headquarters that al-Mihdhar could be loose in the U.S., a CIA supervisor ordered them to remain silent. Rossini says he is "deeply concerned" by how the agency continues to suppress information related to contacts between the CIA and Saudi Arabia, particularly when the spy agency is declassifying other portions of documents to show that it did everything possible to thwart the September 11, 2001 plot. "There would have not been a 9/11 if Doug's CIR [Central Intelligence Report] on al-Mihdhar was sent," he told Newsweek in an email. "Period. End of story."
Note: Read a Times of London article showing that some of the hijackers listed in the final 9/11 report are still alive. Several major media articles also reported that some of the 9/11 hijackers may have trained at US military bases. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing 9/11 news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore other excellent, reliable resources provided in our 9/11 Information Center.
More than 300 international companies including Pepsi, Ikea, FedEx, AIG, Deutsche Bank and Abbott Laboratories allegedly secured secret deals from Luxembourg to drastically reduce their global tax bills. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), citing leaked documents, reported that the companies appear to have channelled hundreds of billions of dollars through the European duchy, and saved billions of dollars in taxes. PricewaterhouseCoopers is alleged to have helped multinational companies obtain at least 548 tax rulings in Luxembourg from 2002 to 2010. These legal secret deals allegedly feature complex financial structures designed to create drastic tax reductions. The rulings provide written assurance that companies' tax-saving plans will be viewed favourably by Luxembourg authorities. Some firms have allegedly enjoyed effective tax rates of less than 1% on the profits they've shuffled into Luxembourg. The ICIJ claims to have reviewed 28,000 pages of confidential documents before reaching its conclusion. The documents include hundreds of private tax rulings, known as "comfort letters", that Luxembourg provides to corporations seeking favourable tax treatment. Earlier, the European Union (EU) initiated a probe on Luxembourg over its tax treatment of big companies such as Amazon and Fiat Finance, which apparently violated European law. Luxembourg officials have supplied some information to the EU in connection with the investigation but have refused to provide a larger set of documents relating to its tax rulings.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.
The US National Security Agency (NSA) spied on French Presidents Jacques Chirac, Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande in 2006-12, Wikileaks says [citing] "top secret intelligence reports and technical documents" from the NSA. A file dated 2010 suggests that French officials were aware that the US was spying upon them and intended to complain about it. According to the summary of an intercepted exchange, the French envoy to Washington ... discussed Mr Sarkozy's plan to express his "frustration" over US unwillingness to sign a "bilateral intelligence co-operation agreement". "The main sticking point is the US desire to continue spying on France," the intercept says. [One analyst commented] "Of course they know that spying goes on – even between friends. But the cardinal rule is not to get found out. When you do, you must expect the full force of diplomatic outrage." In response to the alleged leaks, National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said: "As a general matter, we do not conduct any foreign intelligence surveillance activities unless there is a specific and validated national security purpose. This applies to ordinary citizens and world leaders alike." In 2013 Brazilian media reported that NSA documents showed the agency had also spied on Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and President Enrique Pena Nieto of Mexico. [Also] in 2013 the NSA was accused of spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel. German media later reported that Germany's national intelligence agency had spied on ... the EU's headquarters on behalf of the US.
Note: The claim of a "threat to national security" is widely used both to perpetrate and to cover up huge amounts of illegal behavior. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on secrecy excesses from reliable major media sources.
Robert David Steele, former Marine, CIA case officer, and US co-founder of the US Marine Corps intelligence activity, is ... widely recognised as the leader of the Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) paradigm. In 1992, despite opposition from the CIA, he obtained Marine Corps permission to organise a landmark international conference on open source intelligence – the paradigm of deriving information to support policy decisions not through secret activities, but from open public sources available to all. The conference was such a success it brought in over 620 attendees from the intelligence world. But the CIA ... ensured that Steele was prohibited from running a second conference, [prompting] him to resign from his position as second-ranking civilian in Marine Corps intelligence. Last month, Steele presented a startling paper at the Libtech conference in New York. Drawing on principles set out in his latest book, The Open-Source Everything Manifesto ... he told the audience that all the major preconditions for revolution – set out in his 1976 graduate thesis – were now present in the United States and Britain. Steele's book ... connects up the increasing corruption, inefficiency and unaccountability of the intelligence system and its political and financial masters with escalating inequalities and environmental crises. But he also offers a comprehensive vision of hope. "Sharing, not secrecy, is the means by which we ... can create a nonzero win-win Earth that works for one hundred percent of humanity."
The United States is in the final stages of negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a massive free-trade agreement. Who will benefit from the TPP? One strong hint is [a provision] called “Investor-State Dispute Settlement,” or ISDS. Imagine that the United States bans a toxic chemical that is often added to gasoline because of its health and environmental consequences. If a foreign company that makes the toxic chemical opposes the law, it would normally have to challenge it in a U.S. court. But with ISDS, the company could skip the U.S. courts and go before an international panel of arbitrators. If the company won, the ruling couldn’t be challenged in U.S. courts, and the arbitration panel could require American taxpayers to cough up millions — and even billions — of dollars in damages. ISDS could lead to gigantic fines, but it wouldn’t employ independent judges. Instead, highly paid corporate lawyers would go back and forth between representing corporations one day and sitting in judgement the next. If the tilt toward giant corporations wasn’t clear enough, consider who would get to use this special court: only international investors, which are, by and large, big corporations. So if a Vietnamese company with U.S. operations wanted to challenge an increase in the U.S. minimum wage, it could use ISDS. But if an American labor union believed Vietnam was allowing Vietnamese companies to pay slave wages in violation of trade commitments, the union would have to make its case in the Vietnamese courts.
Note: The above article was written by courageous US Senator Elizabeth Warren, and further clarifies why the TPP is a pending disaster.
This spring, President Obama and Republican leaders in Congress want to use an outdated process used to pass the North American Free Trade Agreement more than 20 years ago — a rule called “fast track” — to force ... passage of the giant Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, trade deal. A fast-tracked TPP would lock in a rigged set of economic rules, lasting potentially forever, before most Americans — let alone some members of Congress — have had a chance to understand it thoroughly. It would be a grave mistake for Congress to authorize fast-tracking this giant trade deal. We now know that NAFTA [has] contributed to the huge U.S. trade deficits. We now import about $500 billion more in goods and services each year than we export. Following NAFTA with the Trans-Pacific Partnership is like turning a bad television show into a terrible movie. As for the problems with the TPP? What's been leaked about its proposals reveals, for example, that the pharmaceutical industry would get stronger patent protections, delaying cheaper generic versions of drugs. The deal also gives global corporations an international tribunal of private attorneys, outside any nation's legal system, that can order compensation for lost expected profits resulting from a nation's regulations, including our own. These extraordinary rights for corporations put governments on the defensive over legitimate public health or environmental rules.
Note: The above article was co-authored by former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, and current president of the AFL-CIO Richard Trumka. For more, see this article, or watch the two minute video Robert Reich made to educate the public about the dangers of the TPP.
A secretive group met behind closed doors in New York this week. What they decided may lead to higher drug prices for you and hundreds of millions around the world. Representatives from the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim countries convened to decide the future of their trade relations in the so-called Trans-Pacific Partnership (T.P.P.). Powerful companies appear to have been given influence over the proceedings, even as full access is withheld from many government officials from the partnership countries. Among the topics negotiators have considered are some of the most contentious T.P.P. provisions — those relating to intellectual property rights. These rules could help big pharmaceutical companies maintain or increase their monopoly profits on brand-name drugs [and] block cheaper generic drugs from the market. Big Pharma’s profits would rise, at the expense of the health of patients and the budgets of consumers and governments. Of course, pharmaceutical companies claim they need to charge high prices to fund their research and development. This just isn’t so. For one thing, drug companies spend more on marketing and advertising than on new ideas. Overly restrictive intellectual property rights actually slow new discoveries. As it is, most of the important innovations come out of our universities and research centers, like the National Institutes of Health, funded by government and foundations.
Note: Read what a former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Health has to say about the egregious profiteering of Big Pharma. Watch an excellent, two-minute video by former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich on the TPP titled "The Worst Trade Deal You've Never Heard of," or read leaked draft texts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership for yourself.
The trade rules of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership ... would cover nearly 40 percent of the world economy. Access to the text of the proposed deal is highly restricted. At last month’s World Economic Forum in Switzerland, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman defended the ... refusal to release the full text of the proposed trade pact. “It is incomprehensible to me that leaders of major corporate interests who stand to gain enormous financial benefits from this agreement are actively involved in the writing of the TPP, while at the same time, the elected officials of this country, representing the American people, have little or no knowledge of what’s in it,” wrote Sen. Bernie Sanders, independent-Vt., in a letter to Froman last month. Congressional lawmakers are permitted to view the text of the agreement only in the U.S. trade representative’s office, without their own staff members or experts present. They are not allowed to take copies of the agreement back to Capitol Hill for deeper, independent evaluation. Despite those restrictions, specific details of the agreement’s text have surfaced from unauthorized leaks. One of the leaks showed the U.S. proposing to empower corporations to attempt to overturn domestic regulations, while ... another leaked provision would help the pharmaceutical industry inflate the price of medicines.
Note: For more, watch an excellent, two-minute video by former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich on the TPP titled "The Worst Trade Deal You've Never Heard of," or read leaked draft texts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership for yourself.
Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.