Sunday, August 19, 2007

The dilemma of SPP: does one 'public benefit' justify loss of sovereignty?

The SPP program secretly being implemented by our government and the countries of Canada and Mexico is frightening in the potential threat to United States sovereignty. Americans of all political persuasion should be rightfully skeptical of plans to form a more ‘imperfect’ union that some label the ‘North American Union’ and which internationalists view as akin to the European Union. SPP seeks harmonization of governmental institutions of the United States, Canada and Mexico at the cost of many of our constitutional rights. The problem for some of us is that there are indeed potential benefits of some of the SPP programs but they should be achieved apart from SPP by limited cooperation among the countries of North America. In order to avoid "throwing the baby out with the bath water", efforts must be made to limit the SPP internationalist programs advocated by Trilateral Commission members of the affected government administrations while retaining reasonable cooperation in some areas for the benefit of each country’s citizens.

Although activities of the so-called ‘working groups’ of the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) are scrupulously kept secret, it appears when a proposal of the group might make the SPP seem a good thing, low and behold the public is informed. The latest ‘leak’ to the public via a friendly press concerns development of a North America Air Traffic Control program under SPP purportedly designed to improve air traffic safety. Some form of this is a good thing, however as is typical of SPP the air traffic control proposal goes well beyond anything desirable for traffic safety.

A proposed North American air traffic control system was previously mentioned in a statement by then-Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta Sept. 27, 2004, "We must make flying throughout North America as seamless as possible if we are to truly reap the rewards of the expanding global economy." The language used by Mineta is clearly an expression of the real SPP intentions; that is, expand global economy for the benefit of the continents’ business giants. However, to make SPP projects like this more palatable to the American public, it is couched in terms appearing to improve safety, which it does, but the benefits to big business is omitted.

The U.S. tax payers have built nine navigation systems for Mexico and Canada under the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) in an apparent first step toward establishing the satellite infrastructure needed to create a North American air traffic control system. The FAA website indicates that a CAN/MEX/USA working group (forerunner to SPP working groups) held its first meeting in Mérida, Mexico, in June 1995, during the Clinton administration. The CAN/MEX/USA working group can be traced further back to October 1993, when the International Civil Aviation Organization worked on its global communications. In an FAA webpage where international activities are discussed, the FAA says the activities organized under the North American Aviation Trilateral agreement reaffirm the FAA goal to establish regional cooperation for seamless air navigation in North America, (consistent with the 1994 statement by Mineta) and SPP.

The "2006 Report to Leaders" posted on the SPP web site states: "In order to increase navigational accuracy across the region, five Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) stations were installed in Canada and Mexico in 2005." As was reported elsewhere, "WAAS is a space-based augmentation system that provides precision navigation information to aircraft equipped with Global Positioning Satellite/WAAS receivers through all phases of flight."

One source, (FAXDC), has reported "discussions are underway to create a North American Air Traffic Control System, complete with Federal Aviation Administration issuance of WAAS certifications for Canadian and Mexican airspace. According to reports, satellite technology applied to air traffic control systems would involve "Canadian and Mexican foreign nationals not only hosting but operating and maintaining U.S. air navigation equipment as part of a continental Global Navigation Satellite System." The plan permits Mexican and Canadian air traffic controllers to operate within North American airspace as if they simply were operating from a U.S. city.

The core of the U.S. air traffic control system is the Global Positioning Satellite system that functions as an integral part of the seamless Global Navigation Satellite System envisioned by the International Civil Aviation Organization. A currently developing program, Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast, (ADSB), involves replacing existing radar sites to incorporate WAAS navigation signals and report aircraft location to air traffic control. ADSB information on all participating aircraft can be fed to Mexican and Canadian air traffic control.

This is indeed a significant effort toward removing regulation barriers of the three North American countries, which though perhaps beneficial to traveling Americans on one level, also facilitates the larger designs of the Trilateral Commission internationalists. Of course, FAA and SPP-affiliated government officials deny any intent to integrate Mexican or Canadian airlines into the domestic structure of U.S. air travel to help business interests, by citing as their reason "the need to facilitate international travel between the three countries and coordinate air traffic control for U.S. airlines flying into or over Mexican or Canadian airspace".

At the first North American Transportation Trilateral (NATT) meeting with transportation ministers of Mexico and Canada in Tucson, Ariz., Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters said, "I look forward to the day when it is as easy for an airline to start new service between Tucson and Montreal or Monterrey as it is between Tucson and Austin." She also said, "With globalization intensifying the pressures on all our economies, it has never been more important to connect these networks, coordinate our policies, and remove the barriers that keep large and growing volumes of goods and travelers from moving efficiently across our borders. In the United States, we see the opportunities in aviation as especially promising." Although the American public may see some benefits of "removing the barriers", it is the mega-businesses that will profit the most.

With the Peters' view reflecting U.S. government intentions, can it be long before Mexican and Canadian airlines are permitted in the future to operate from within domestic U.S. air terminals to serve locations within the U.S. on a competitive basis with U.S.-domiciled airlines?

Secretary Peters set off another bombshell by pointing out at the NATT meeting, that the 2005 Air Services Agreement between the United States and Mexico, and the Open Skies accord, lift restrictions on continental travel to provide for "free and open trans-border air travel." What do you think this will do to maintaining border control?

It is likely that there is a future intention is to integrate a North American GPS/WAAS system with a system being established by a European Union agency to manage EU airspace. An Australian airspace management organization also intends to use the FAA investment in technology to advance what ultimately will become a world-standard satellite-based airspace navigation system.

Perhaps these are worthwhile goals, but is it proper to conceal the real intentions of this SPP-backed project and should these goals justify all the many sovereignty-defeating provisions of the SPP?

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