On the last day of May the Bilderberg Group will meet in Chantilly, Virginia.
Despite rumors pointing to Haifa, Israel, as the chosen venue, according to the information being spread around conservative websites, from May 31 to June 3, the super-secretive and immeasurably influential Bilderberg Group will congregate at the Marriott Westfields Washington Dulles Hotel and Conference Center located in a Washington, D.C., suburb. (Pictured, above left)
The Bilderberg Group gets its name from the hotel in the Netherlands where its first meeting was held in 1954. After years of maintaining a tight lid on all its activities, recently the association has established a web presence where press releases are published, as well as rosters of invitees. Such disclosures beg the question, however, of why a group that goes to extraordinary lengths to cloak its conferences in secrecy would offer such information on the internet.
While the Bilderbergers are notoriously tight-lipped about both the people and the program, there is evidence from past gatherings that perhaps one item on the agenda might be the vetting of a vice-presidential running mate for presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
This wouldn’t be the first time the Bilderberg group has played a role in that selection. In 2004, for example, John Edwards was invited to speak at the confab, an honor that resulted in his placement on the Democratic Party ticket with John Kerry. Then, in 2008, a similar scenario led to Barack Obama’s “choosing” of Joe Biden to be his VP.
This year, the smart money is on Marco Rubio’s chances to get the nod to fill the second seat in the GOP’s 2012 offering. Just last month he jetted down to Colombia to hobnob with the hemisphere’s elite at the Summit of the Americas. This is certainly a smart move for someone who wants to attract the attention of the movers and shakers that might have a spot on the unofficial selection committee later this month in Chantilly. Even the Washington Post remarks on the Bilderberg role in the running mate sweepstakes and how Kerry's star ascended after an appearance before the Bilderbergers. If Rubio's attendance at this year's meeting is confirmed, will the suspicion of the conference's undue influence on the electoral process increase?
Some observers are suggesting that apart from Rubio, fellow summitteers, President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton might also show up at the annual gathering of the world’s banking, industrial, political, and technological elite.
Four years ago, Obama and Clinton snuck away from the all-seeing eye of the press and apparently attended the Bilderberg meeting that was being held in Virginia and it is believed by many that it was there that the cadre of power brokers convinced Hilary Clinton to step aside and allow Barack Obama to ascend to the top of the Democratic ticket.
Hillary’s husband, then-Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton, received a warmer reception by the group when he attended the 1991 Bilderberg conference. Although all but unknown at that time of his audience with the Bilderbergers, the following year, Clinton was elected President of the United States.
In point of fact, representatives of American officialdom pow-wow with the powerful rather regularly. Politico reports that the year after that 2008 globalists get-together in the Old Dominion, key members of the Obama Administration addressed the attendees:
[Richard] Holbrooke, a State Department special envoy, briefed attendees on the Obama administration’s unified approach to dealing with Afghanistan and Pakistan.
[James] Steinberg, the deputy secretary of state, gave a presentation on the administration’s broader foreign policy and National Security Agency Director Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander also participated in the conference.
Regardless of the group’s attempts to minimize its clout (in a press release, a spokesman described the group as “a small, flexible, informal and off-the-record international forum in which different viewpoints can be expressed and mutual understanding enhanced”), this claque of doyens appear to bear inordinate sway on the affairs of state in the United States and abroad.
There is no denying, moreover, that no matter where the Bilderbergers assemble, that place is for a few days the very nerve center of the world’s most exclusive and influential decision makers. The literal shroud that covers the entrance to the venue so as to prevent identification of invitees evinces the lengths organizers will go to assure that the plans and the planners will speak freely, unfettered from fears of media reprisals. The trajectory set at these global strategy sessions is certain to be inimical to an increase in openness and the spread of liberty.
Curiously, many owners of newspapers and television networks are known to walk through the veil and past the security and snipers. Given the participation of media moguls at Bilderberg conferences, it is surprising that the mainstream press and television has almost entirely ignored the annual event. As Kenneth Vogel at Politico writes:
Indeed, the gathering produced barely a blip in the American mainstream media, with the only notable dispatches coming from a Wall Street Journal reporter who was barred entry to the usually publicly accessible Astir Palace hotel, and an Associated Press reporter who noted that it was being protected by “hundreds of police, navy commandos, coast guard speedboats and two F-16 fighter planes.”
As in past years, the near-absence of mainstream media coverage left Bilderberg-veil-piercing duties to a group of self-styled Bilderberg hunters whose reporting and speculation fill fringe, libertarian-leaning websites, newspapers and AM radio shows popular with those whose worldview is characterized by a deep and angry suspicion of the ruling class rather than any prevailing partisan or ideological affiliation.
We at The New American have chronicled this crescendo of coverage, as well. Last year, we noted how the flurry of attention given the 2011 gathering resulted in at least a couple of undoubtedly unwelcome (by the group’s leadership) stories published in widely read newspapers in the United States and Europe.
In addition to the mostly milquetoast mentions made of the yearly council of the elite, this year a vocal throng of detractors (riled up by various “alternative media” outlets) are planning to congregate at the Chantilly Marriott and protest the secrecy and the power of the Bilderbergers. To this end, a Facebook page has been created calling for thousands to “Occupy Bilderberg.”
Earlier this week, reporter Brian Hill wrote a story at uswgo.com (certainly qualifying as alternative) wherein he describes a phone call he made to the Fairfax County (Virginia) Police Department (Chantilly is located in Fairfax County) alleging that American attendees at the meeting were guilty of violating a centuries old federal statute prohibiting participation between American citizens and representatives of foreign governments from conducting business relating to American controversies or disputes. This law, passed in 1799 during the administration of President John Adams and most recently amended in 1994, is called the Logan Act.
The Logan Act reads in relevant 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.
This section shall not abridge the right of a citizen to apply himself, or his agent, to any foreign government, or the agents thereof, for redress of any injury which he may have sustained from such government or any of its agents or subjects.
While it is unlikely that Hill’s alert will result in the arrest of anyone attending the Bilderberg Group’s annual gathering, his effort is laudable and perhaps will result in another appearance of a larger Bilderberg blip on the radar of the mainstream national media.