Welcome to the American Revolution II

Welcome to the American Revolution II
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.
"We face a hostile ideology global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose and insidious in method..." and warned about what he saw as unjustified government spending proposals and continued with a warning that "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex... The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist... Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."Dwight D. Eisenhower

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Dumbing down US

This is what the Mainstream Media has done to US and school kids, and young people....

video

A Background to Bilderberg

Sunday, June 8, 2008, marked the last day of this year’s annual Bilderberg meeting, which took place in Chantilly, Virginia. The American Friends of Bilderberg, an American Bilderberg front group, which organizes the American participant list for the annual Bilderberg conference, issued a rare press release this year. It stated that, "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."1

Bilderberg, which has been meeting annually since 1954, is a highly secretive international think tank and some say, policy-forming group made up of representatives from North America and Western Europe and was founded by Joseph Retinger, Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands and Belgian Prime Minister Paul Van Zeeland. The Bilderberg Steering Committee, made up of around 30 people, (with no official list available), "decided that it would invite 100 of the most powerful people in Europe and North America every year to meet behind closed doors at a different five-star resort. The group stresses secrecy: What's said at a Bilderberg conference stays at a Bilderberg conference."2

Usually, the Bilderberg Conference is held in Europe for three years in a row, with the fourth year holding a meeting in North America. However, the previous North American conference was held in 2006 in Ottawa. So why did they break tradition to hold the conference in North America this year? Speculation abounds around a discussion of a possible attack on Iran, the American-centered global financial crisis, as well as the current US Presidential elections.

Bilderberg has long been an important forum for up-and-coming politicians of Western nations to be introduced to the global financial elite; the heads of the major multinational corporations, international banks, world financial institutions, global governing bodies, think tanks, and powerful individuals of the likes of David Rockefeller and various European monarchs, including Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, daughter of founding member, Prince Bernhard, as well as Queen Sofia and King Juan Carlos of Spain.

According to The Globe and Mail, such Canadian Prime Ministers have, in the past, (often before becoming Prime Minister), attended a Bilderberg Conference as a guest, including Pierre Trudeau, Jean Chretien, Paul Martin and Stephen Harper.3 Tony Blair attended Bilderberg before becoming Prime Minister,4 as did the current British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, who also recently called for the establishment of a "new world order."5

Interestingly, as the Washington Post reported, Vernon E. Jordon, a high-powered American executive, who sits on several corporate boards, including American Express, Xerox, J.C. Penney, Dow Jones, and Sara Lee, to name a few, also happens to be a very close friend of former President Bill Clinton. However, "it was Jordan who first introduced then-Gov. Clinton to world leaders at their annual Bilderberg gathering in Germany in 1991. Plenty of governors try to make that scene; only Clinton got taken seriously at that meeting, because Vernon Jordan said he was okay."6 Clinton subsequently became President.

Barack and Bilderberg

Recently, there has been much discussion about Barack Obama having possibly attended the recent Bilderberg conference in Virginia. This speculation arose when Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton sneaked off for a secretive meeting while in Virginia. As the AP reported, "Reporters traveling with Obama sensed something might be happening between the pair when they arrived at Dulles International Airport after an event in Northern Virginia and Obama was not aboard the airplane. Asked at the time about the Illinois senator's whereabouts, [Obama spokesman Robert] Gibbs smiled and declined to comment."7

The press that had been traveling with Obama were not made aware of the secretive meeting until the plane that they assumed Obama would be present on was moving down the runway, prompting many angry questions from the press towards Obama’s spokesman, Robert Gibbs. One reported asked Gibbs, "Why were we not told about this meeting until we were on the plane, the doors were shut and the plane was about to taxi to take off?" to which he responded, "Senator Obama had a desire to do some meetings, others had a desire to meet with him tonight in a private way and that is what we are doing." This preceded another question, "Is there more than one meeting, is there more than one person with whom he is meeting?" Gibbs simply replied, "I am not going to get into all the details of the meeting." He again later repeated that, "There was a desire to do some meetings tonight, he was interested in doing them, others were interested in doing them, and to do them in a way that was private."8

On Friday, June 6, it was reported that Bilderberg tracker, Jim Tucker, "called Obama’s office today to ask if he had attended Bilderberg. A campaign spokeswoman refused to discuss the matter but would not deny that Obama had attended Bilderberg."9

Bilderberg to Pick Obama’s Vice President

As the Financial Times reported in May of this year, Barack Obama appointed James A. Johnson, the former CEO of Fannie Mae, "to head a secret committee to produce a shortlist for his vice-presidential running mate." A short list was discussed by the article, which listed, other than Hillary Clinton, "Jim Webb, the former secretary of the navy, Vietnam veteran and senator for Virginia; Tim Kaine, the governor of Virginia; John Edwards, the former vice-presidential candidate in 2004; Ted Strickland, the governor of Ohio; and Kathleen Sebelius, the governor of Kansas." Other potential nominees include "Sam Nunn, the former chairman of the Senate armed services committee; and Wesley Clark, the former head of Nato in Europe."10

James A. Johnson, the man Obama asked to pick his running mate, played the same role for John Kerry back in 2004, and he selected John Edwards. As the New York Times reported, "Several people pointed to the secretive and exclusive Bilderberg conference of some 120 people that this year drew the likes of Henry A. Kissinger, Melinda Gates and Richard A. Perle to Stresa, Italy, in early June, as helping [Edwards] win Mr. Kerry's heart. Mr. Edwards spoke so well in a debate on American politics with the Republican Ralph Reed that participants broke Bilderberg rules to clap before the end of the session." The Times further reported, "His performance at Bilderberg was important,'' said a friend of Mr. Kerry who was there. ''He reported back directly to Kerry. There were other reports on his performance. Whether they reported directly or indirectly, I have no doubt the word got back to Mr. Kerry about how well he did."11

James A. Johnson, Vice Chairman of Perseus, a merchant banking firm, is also a director of Goldman Sachs, Forestar Real Estate Group, Inc., KB Home, Target Corporation and UnitedHealth Group Inc., is also a member of the American Friends of Bilderberg, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission and is an honorary trustee of the Brookings Institution.12 It is likely that Obama’s running mate will be chosen by Johnson at this years Bilderberg Conference.

Notable among this year’s Bilderberg guests are Kansas Governor, Kathleen Sebelius, who the Financial Times reported was on Johnson’s short list of nominees. In fact, Sebelius is the only person mentioned as a possible running mate in the Financial Times article that was officially listed on the Bilderberg list of attendees.13 Could this be a sign that she may be the chosen one? Time will tell. However, another Democratic politician present at the meeting was Tom Daschle, so perhaps he is working his way back into politics.


The Bilderberg
"Blackout"

The press corps' noncoverage of that weekend conference in Chantilly, Va.

By Jack Shafer

About this time each year, the Bilderberg group convenes a weekend conference in a hotel or resort somewhere in North America or Europe in which 120 or so billionaires, bankers, politicians, industrialists, scholars, government officials, influentials from labor and education, and journalists assemble to discuss world affairs in private.

This year, the 56th Bilderberg meeting took place over the weekend at the Westfields Marriott in Chantilly, Va., seven miles from Washington Dulles International Airport. As in previous years, Bilderberg critics are berating the mainstream press for observing a "blackout" of a group they believe directs a secret, shadow government.

The critics claim that Bilderberg grooms future American presidents and future British prime ministers, pointing to Bill Clinton's attendance in 1991 and Tony Blair's in 1993. Time magazine reported in 2004 that John Edwards impressed attendees at the Bilderberg session in Italy, after which John Kerry asked him to join his presidential ticket.

According to the 1980 book Trilateralism: The Trilateral Commission and Elite Planning for World Management, President Dwight D. Eisenhower was enthusiastic about sending staffers to Bilderberg, President John F. Kennedy drew heavily from Bilderberg alumni—Dean Rusk, George W. Ball, George McGhee, Walter Rostow, Arthur Dean, and Paul Nitze—to staff his administration, and many Carter administration officials had attended the retreat.

According to a list published by one critic, the attendees of Bilderberg 2008 include Henry Kissinger, Ben S. Bernanke, David Rockefeller, Vin Weber, Henry Kravis, Robert B. Zoellick, Donald Graham, Vernon Jordan, Charlie Rose, and their equals from Europe. Protestors staked out the elite at the hotel's entrance and recorded "surveillance" videos inside and outside the minimum-security facility before the event commenced.

About this much the Bilderberg critics are right: The mainstream media ignored Bilderberg 2008. According to Nexis, Wonkette and Raw Story noted the event and the critics' objections on the Web. A simple Web search produces Bilderberg detractors Alex Jones and Jim Tucker sounding their alarms.

And about this, too, the Bilderberg critics are right: The meeting of 120 prominent world figures probably constitutes some kind of news. Yet to be fair to the mainstream press, it's tough to report from a private gathering locked down tight by professional security.

Bilderberg organizers expect participants to keep the weekend's discussions off-the-record, stating in a press release this year that "the privacy of the meetings has no purpose other than to allow participants to speak their minds openly and freely." Bilderberg isn't the only international group that asks participants to zip their lips. The United Kingdom's Chatham House enshrined such a rule back in 1927, and similar requirements apply at some Council on Foreign Relations and Aspen Strategy Group meetings, just to name a few. Private groups meet in almost every town in the world for confidential chats. It's the way of the world. Bilderberger gab does occasionally leak, as with John Edwards' 2004 talk, but the poshes and powerful generally zip their lips.

What do you suppose would result if, say, the Washington Post had assigned a reporter to Chantilly's luminary jamboree? The Associated Press sent a reporter to cover the 1978 Bilderberger session in Princeton, N.J., but all he filed was a scene piece describing "men in gray suits and sunglasses" chasing him away from the "off limits" grounds of the Henry Chauncey Conference Center. From that dispatch (by Steve Hindy):

Kissinger casually strolled around a small manmade pond Saturday, coming within a few feet of the road leading into the complex.

He circled the pond twice, first with a gray-haired pipe-smoking man and then with a younger man. Kissinger appeared grave and attentive while the men talked of things like "range limitations."

Kissinger looked annoyed and declined comment when approached by a reporter.

One of two Secret Service agents trailing the former secretary nodded sympathetically saying, "You've got to give it your best shot."

And yet the "mainstream press" can hardly be accused of blacking out Bilderberg. The New York Times has mentioned Bilderberg a couple dozen times since 1981, according to Nexis, including in a 2004 piece titled "A Secret Conference Thought To Rule the Word." Other pieces in the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and the Boston Globe refer to the group. Just last month, Anne-Marie Slaughter mentioned the Bilderbergers in her Post review of a new book, Superclass: The Global Power Elite and the World They Are Making.

Of course, Bilderberg critics don't want to read mentions in the press. They want to see confirmation of their theories that the group operates in a sinister, behind-the-scenes fashion to exploit the powerless and throttle liberty.

How, exactly, are reporters supposed to do that when the critics rarely provide falsifiable evidence of Bilderberg malevolence? Would a shadow government, should it exist, really convene annually at a hotel to hash out the world's fate? Would it really issue a press release about its latest meeting? Would it routinely assume the security risks of inviting new blood in? (Couldn't the notorious Bilderberger Conrad Black negotiate his way out of prison by exposing the group? Or is Bilderberg so powerful that it controls the federal prison system, too?) It largely limits its attendees to North Americans and Europeans. Are the Japanese, Indians, Chinese, Brazilians, Australians, South Koreans, and Singaporean so timid that they stand aside and let the Bilderbergers have their way with the world without making a peep?

That's not to say the critics' inquiries never produce anything of value. I enjoy reading the documentary material they dig up and can only encourage them to dig deeper. Just last month, Barack Obama tapped a prominent Bilderberger, James A. Johnson, to vet possible vice presidential candidates. Johnson provided similar veep vetting for the Democratic Party in 2004—which, as noted above, resulted in the selection of a Bilderberg attendee. The AP also reports that Johnson helped Walter Mondale pick a veep nominee in 1984.

Who is Jim Johnson? He's the former head of Fannie Mae, a power on Wall Street, and a regular Bilderberg attendee. As recently as 2006, Johnson has been the treasurer of the nonprofit American Friends of Bilderberg Inc., according to the group's Form 990 on file at Guidestar.org. According to the fractured jargon of the filing, American Friends of Bilderberg is in the business of "Organizing & sponsoring conferences which study & discuss significant problems of the Western Alliance. Collaborating on the Bilderberg meetings held in Europe & North America." The group spent $112,533 in 2006.

Still, the fact that an active Democratic supporter has performed return duty as a veep vetter stops several stations short of arriving at a shadow government. It does, however, indicate that Johnson's political influence may be underscrutinized by the press and that his career is deserving of extra study and attention. A May 24 Wall Street Journal story, "Power Broker Helps Obama Search for Running Mate," does just that. Although it makes no mention of Johnson's Bilderberg connection, it drops a gentle dig that associates Johnson's Fannie Mae service with the home-loan crisis.

Without a doubt, Bilderberg ends up stimulating speculations that it's a nefarious organization. In an earlier generation, some theorists regarded the Council on Foreign Relations as a similar shadow government for its furtive ways. But as the CFR opened up in recent decades, holding many sessions on the record, it has become as threatening as the World Economic Forum at Davos.

Maybe there's a lesson in there for the Bilderbergers. Letting the press in for a closer look at what goes on would go a long way to reduce the shouting while preserving the group's right to think out loud. Or maybe all the heavy security and skulking about is a deliberate marketing ploy by Bilderberg to differentiate its yacht cruise from the ocean voyage that is Davos.

Jack Shafer is Slate's editor at large.

Article URL: http://www.slate.com/id/2193220/

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