Perry's push for super highway raises conspiracy buzz
Some say it's part of a plan to create one nation in North America
By R.G. RATCLIFFE
Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle Austin Bureau
AUSTIN — Black helicopters, the Illuminati, Gov. Rick Perry and the Trans-Texas Corridor are all now part of the vernacular of the global domination conspiracy theorists.
Perry's push for the Trans-Texas Corridor super highway is part of a secret plan, the conspiracy theorists say, to create the North American Union — a single nation consisting of Canada, Mexico and the United States with a currency called the Amero.
Government denials of the North American Union and descriptions of it as a myth seem to add fuel to the fire. A Google search for "North American Union" and "Rick Perry" returns about 13,400 Web page results.
"Conspiracy theories abound, and some people have an awful lot of time on their hands to come up with such far-fetched notions," said Perry spokesman Robert Black.
Perry enhanced the conspiracy buzz earlier this summer by traveling to Turkey to attend the secretive Bilderberg conference, which conspiracy theorists believe is a cabal of international monied interests and power brokers pressing for globalization.
And the conspiracy rhetoric is likely to ratchet up this week as President Bush meets with Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Quebec in their third summit to discuss North American relations under the Security and Prosperity Partnership.
"There is absolutely a connection with all of it," said Texas Eagle Forum President Cathie Adams. The Trans-Texas Corridor "is something not being driven by the people of Texas."
The first, and most controversial, leg of the Trans-Texas Corridor plan is a proposed 1,200-foot-wide private toll road to run from Laredo to the Oklahoma border parallel to Interstate 35. This TTC-35 would be built by a consortium headed by Spanish owned Cintra S.A. and Zachry Construction Corp. of San Antonio.
The seed of the North American Union controversy rests in the 1992-93 passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement under Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. Under that treaty, Interstate 35 was designated informally as the NAFTA highway.
Fast-forward to March 2005 to Crawford, when President Bush, Harper and then-Mexican President Vicente Fox agreed to pursue the Security and Prosperity Partnership, SPP. The idea was to promote cooperation among the countries on economic and security issues. But conservative author Jerome Corsi — in his new book: The Late Great U.S.A.: The Coming Merger with Mexico and Canada — argues the SPP is a "stealth" attempt to wipe out the nations' borders and form a single economy like the European Union.
With an entire chapter dedicated to Perry's Trans-Texas Corridor plan, Corsi says the first step to integrating the economies is to integrate the transportation infrastructure.
"His (Perry's) actions have been to fight hard to build this toll road and not listen to the objections expressed by the people of Texas," Corsi said.
Corsi became nationally known in 2004 as the co-author of Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry. Corsi said extensive research shows the SPP has created working groups on the North American Union that answer to presidential Cabinet secretaries.
"This is more of a shadow bureaucracy, a shadow government already in effect," Corsi said. "Unless it is stopped, it will turn into a North American Union with an Amero."
The official federal Web site for the SPP has a section dedicated to busting the North American Union as myth.
"The SPP does not attempt to modify our sovereignty or currency or change the American system of government designed by our Founding Fathers," the site says.
But that has not stopped a growing opposition to the North American Union by groups such as the Eagle Forum, The Conservative Caucus and the John Birch Society.
The North American Union also has been fodder for cable television commentators: CNN's Lou Dobbs and Fox's Bill O'Reilly. Perry fueled his role in the debate in June by attending the Bilderberg annual conference, a secretive closed-door meeting of about 120 business, government and media leaders from Europe and North America.
Republican presidential candidate and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Lake Jackson was asked about the trip on the syndicated talk radio show of Alex Jones in June. Paul said the trip was "a sign that he's involved in the international conspiracy."
Jones' Web site features mug shot-like photos of Perry labeled "Wanted for Treason." Jones in an interview said Perry's trip and the Trans-Texas Corridor show a willingness by the governor to sell out Texas' infrastructure to international bankers.
"Perry is actively waging war, economically in the interests of the elites and neomercantilism," Jones said.
The 2001 book Toward a North American Community: Lessons from the Old World for the New by Robert A. Pastor, an American University professor and director of the Center for Democracy and Election Management, is cited by Corsi as the blueprint for the merger.
"I've never proposed a North American Union," Pastor said. "The only people who talk about a North American Union are those people who are trying to generate fear."
Belief in sovereignty
Pastor said greater cooperation between the three countries makes sense for both economics and internal security. Pastor said those promoting the conspiracy are doing so because of "historical xenophobia," "a fear of immigrants, mostly from Mexico" and a "traditional isolationism."
Black said there is no way the governor would support merging the U.S. with its neighbors.
"The governor is a firm believer in the sovereignty of the United States. Too many of our brave men and women have died defending it," Black said.