As usual, the entire proceedings were held behind closed doors and cordons of armed personnel, including the U.S. Secret Service, local police, and private security guards. A brief press release issued by the group on June 5, stated: “The Conference will deal mainly with a nuclear free world, cyber terrorism, Africa, Russia, finance, protectionism, US-EU relations, Afghanistan and Pakistan, Islam and Iran. Approximately 140 participants will attend, of whom about two-thirds come from Europe and the balance from North America. About one-third is from government and politics, and two-thirds are from finance, industry, labor, education and communications. The meeting is private in order to encourage frank and open discussion.”
Government officials participating in this year’s secret event included General Keith B. Alexander, director of the National Security Agency; Ben S. Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve System; Timothy F. Geithner, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; Secretary of the Treasury Henry M. Paulson; Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice; Mark Sanford, Governor of South Carolina; and Kathleen Sebelius, Governor of Kansas. Corporate executives included representatives of Microsoft, Google, Royal Dutch Shell, Royal Bank of Scotland, Merrill Lynch & Co., Lazard Freres & Co., and Perseus LLC.
Topping the Bilderberg list was 93-year-old eminence griese David Rockefeller, reputedly the only attendee to have been at the founding 1954 meeting (at the Bilderberg Hotel in Holland, from whence the group takes its name) and all meetings since. Other longtime veterans at this year’s event included former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and George Shultz.
Media representatives included Paul Gigot (Wall Street Journal), Donald Graham (Washington Post), Charlie Rose (PBS), and Vendeline von Bredow and Adrian Wooldridge (both from The Economist). In keeping with the vow of secrecy (known as the Chatham House rule), none of these kept “journalists” has revealed to their public audiences what transpired at the Chantilly conclave of the high and mighty.