As a shadowy collection of the world’s power brokers gathers in Chantilly, Virginia, for the elite Bilderberg conference this weekend under unprecedented media scrutiny, activists from across the political spectrum are arguing that U.S. citizens attending the controversial confab are potentially committing a felony by violating the Logan Act. And while the chances of charges being brought anytime soon are probably slim, anti-Bilderberg protesters admit, more than a few critics of the meeting are still loudly calling for federal prosecutions to bring any and all perpetrators to justice.
The yearly gathering includes media magnates, titans of industry, top bankers, influential politicians, royalty and nobility, prominent academics, military and “intelligence” chieftains, and many other members of the so-called “global elite.” And the 2012 conference is no different. According to a guest list released by the group — which analysts who study Bilderberg say typically omits certain key participants — there are about 50 Americans in attendance, all of them extraordinarily influential. Other participants hailed mostly from Europe, though even a high-ranking official from the Communist dictatorship ruling China was in attendance this year.
The legal problem raised by critics is that federal law specifically bars any U.S. citizen without government permission from working with foreign officials on matters of policy. Passed under the John Adams administration in 1799, the Logan Act was amended as recently as the 1990s and, despite almost never being used, remains on the books today. And that, Bilderberg opponents say, means that Americans meeting with foreign officials at the secretive gathering should be investigated and eventually prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
The Logan Act states, in part: “Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.”
Numerous bloggers and activists have suggested that, based just on what is known already from public statements, simply attending a Bilderberg meeting should constitute sufficient grounds for immediate arrest and investigation of Americans. At least one activist and commentator, Brian D. Hill, has already notified police of the potential violation at what he described to law enforcement as the “criminal gathering” in Virginia. It was not immediately clear whether authorities looked into the matter.
“This is illegal,” popular radio-host Alex Jones, famous for using a bullhorn to lambaste elite attendees from afar, was quoted as saying by the U.K. Guardian newspaper as he led chanting “Occupy Bilderberg” protesters outside the gathering. “Government officials meeting and discussing policy with private interests in secret, or representatives of other governments, is a violation of the Logan Act."
Protesters gathered outside the Westfields Marriot hotel where the Bilderberg meeting is underway also demanded prosecutions, calling on police to arrest the participants for everything from violations of the Logan Act to involvement in war crimes, mass murder, conspiracy, and more. Other activists carried signs urging law enforcement officials to take action against what critics consistently refer to as a gathering of “criminals.”
“All of them are in violation of the law and should be arrested immediately," noted liberty-minded analyst Kurt Nimmo in a piece declaring that the meeting was itself illegal. “Considering their other crimes — war, mass murder, the theft of trillions and other assorted monumental scams and felonies — violating the Logan Act pales in comparison. It would be nice, though, if one or two of the cops now surrounding the Marriott in Chantilly marched into the meeting and arrested a few of the traitors.”
In online forums, blog posts, and the comment sections of news articles all across the internet, commentators outraged about alleged Logan Act violations and the secret meeting more broadly also demanded that American attendees be arrested. Some even pondered what would happen if a brave public official decided to risk an attempt at actually enforcing the law.
“Considering the Logan Act is still on the books, the participation of government officials at Bilderberg is blatantly illegal,” noted a commenter on an online forum of dedicated Rep. Ron Paul supporters, wondering what would happen if Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell decided to arrest the participants. “We have the complete list of attendants, so, in a just world, it would not be difficult to prosecute these criminals.”
Last year, Rep. Paul himself called for an investigation and noted that U.S. officials participating in the yearly gathering — specifically Texas Gov. Rick Perry — were quite possibly breaking the law. “This information about him going over there and violating the Logan Act and getting involved, I’m just impressed that that’s in the ordinary media — I think that’s encouraging, too,” Paul said during an interview on talk radio, noting that Gov. Perry’s attendance was “a sign that he’s involved in the international conspiracy.”
But while the potential Logan Act violations were generally overlooked in most of the U.S. press, foreign reporters and news outlets did mention it — especially in, bizarrely enough, Russia. “The Bilderberg Conference may have been largely ignored by the media in decades past, but with this year’s gathering garnering perhaps the most attention in recent memory, the actions of elected US officials this time could end up being enough to bring charges against them,” reported the Kremlin-funded RT broadcaster.
Even Pravda ran an online column attacking the meeting and the alleged law breaking going on there. “The Bilderbergs are people who say they are helping humanity so they can make a buck, but are as arrogant as Lucifer and no more sympathetic than he is towards mankind,” wrote Xavier Lerma, claiming that the “Communists took over” America decades ago. “Why is the Bilderberg meeting a big deal. Well, for one thing it is illegal under the Logan Act which makes their New World Order illegal.”
There were more than a few Americans directly tied to government in attendance at this year’s gathering. Among them: NSA chief General Keith Alexander; Thomas Donilon, Obama’s National Security Adviser; former U.S. National Security Adviser and “New World Order” promoter Henry Kissinger; failed GOP Presidential hopeful and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman; Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.); World Bank boss Robert Zoellick; Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) Co-Chair and former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin; and many others.
Outside of government – at least officially – were other important U.S. players in global affairs. Banking, media, industry, tax-exempt foundations, internet, and many other fields were represented. Some of the American attendees included Michael Evans, the vice chairman of Goldman Sachs; Reid Hoffman, the co-founder and executive chairman of the social-networking site LinkedIn; Environmental Defense Fund President Fred Krupp; Dow Chemical chief Andrew Liveris; Carnegie Endowment boss Jessica Mathews; Washington Post CEO Donald Graham, Craig Mundie, Chief Research and Strategy Officer for Microsoft; Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan; Citigroup Vice Chairman Peter Orszag; Arch neo-conservative Richard Perle with the American Enterprise Institute; media icon Charlie Rose; Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google; and many more.
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels also appeared at the gathering briefly, leading Bilderberg commentators to speculate that he may have been vetted or groomed for future positions of influence, including possibly the Vice President slot on a Mitt Romney GOP ticket. Daniels apparently left early and returned to Indiana on Friday, local media reported. Posters on Twitter also cited the Logan Act while blasting his attendance.
“The Conference will deal mainly with political, economic and societal issues like Transatlantic Relations, Evolution of the Political Landscape in Europe and the US, Austerity and Growth in Developed Economies, Cyber Security, Energy Challenges, the Future of Democracy, Russia, China and the Middle East,” claimed an official press release by the controversial group, founded more than 50 years ago by Nazi SS member Prince Bernhard of Holland and others. “The meeting is private in order to encourage frank and open discussion.... At the meetings, no resolutions are proposed, no votes taken, and no policy statements issued.”
At least two anti-Bilderberg protesters have been arrested for alleged “jaywalking” and “disorderly conduct.” But with Attorney General Eric Holder and his Justice Department already under fire for allegedly lying under oath, obstructing congressional investigations, unlawfully defying subpoenas, shipping American guns to Mexican cartels, and laundering drug money, activists are not optimistic about the chances of Bilderberg attendees being charged with a federal offense anytime soon.
Photo of location of Bilderberg conference in Chantilly, Va.: Westfields Marriott