Imagine 120 world leaders in industry and government gathering for a weekend long conference of elites. One would most likely imagine a swarm of media surrounding the symposium.
The conference exists. Its name is Bilderberg, and it is currently meeting in Chantilly, Virginia.
Bilderberg, founded in 1954 by former SS officer Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, occurs every year around early June. But, one would not know by merely picking up the newspaper or turning on the television news. Bilderberg has gone unreported by the majority of the international press for nearly 60 years.
But, the decades long blackout has begun to dissipate. The 2012 edition of Bilderberg is taking place at the Chantilly Westfields Marriott. It began Thursday and lasts through Sunday. This year there is a media swarm — of citizen journalists, independent reporters, bloggers and talk show hosts — with a few reporters sprinkled in from major media outlets.
In recent years an explosion of the independent press has led to increased attention on Bilderberg. Outlets, such as the American Free Press and Infowars.com, send reporters every year to the conference, which typically takes place in Europe but comes to North America about once every four years. Daniel Estulin, a Spanish researcher, author and seasoned Bilderberg reporter, wrote a book about the secretive cabal. Infowars.com founder Alex Jones produced multiple documentaries exposing Bilderberg and covers the conference every year on his radio show. Estulin, Jones and American Free Press’ Jim Tucker, the world’s most veteran Bilderberg reporter, each have sources inside the group of elites. Jones correctly predicted the date and location of this year’s meeting and even used the code name of “Palm Tree Conference” to book a room, which he was promptly kicked out of upon arrival.
Due to the work of this trio, their understudies and others who have linked to and expanded their coverage, major publications have begun to acknowledge the existence of Bilderberg and knowledge of the secretive group has spread worldwide.
In the weeks leading up to Bilderberg 2012, both the Washington Post and Politico gave the conference attention. Longtime Washington Post columnist Al Kamen wrote a column, later mocked in Politico and Salon, suggesting that Bilderberg might pick Mitt Romney’s running mate — quite an admission from a publication that has blacked out the conference for decades. Kamen even went so far as to refer to Bilderbergers as “the uber-secret global power brokers” and credited them with a major role in selecting John Kerry’s running mate, John Edwards, back in 2004. Interestingly, Washington Post Chairman and CEO Donald Graham attended the 2004 conference — his photograph from Stresa, Italy appears in Estulin’s book, The True Story Of The Bilderberg Group (page 267).
Unlike in the United States, coverage of Bilderberg appears regularly in major media outlets in Europe. The London Guardian, for example assigns a Bilderberg beat. The Guardian sent reporter Charlie Skelton to cover Bilderberg in 2009 and has kept sending him each year since. Skelton, who began covering Bilderberg as a satirical blogger, quickly learned the power of Bilderberg by getting arrested twice in attempt to report on the event. Skelton has already arrived in Chantilly and filed a detailed introductory report to the 2012 conference. British competitor the Daily Mail quickly followed with an article of its own, acknowledging the early reporting of Skelton, as well as Jones, whose presence triggered machine gun threats 24 hours in advance of the conference.
During last year’s meeting, front page coverage of Bilderberg appeared in a newspaper in the host country of Switzerland. Basler Zeitung, a German language Swiss newspaper, ran several articles on the 2011 conference, including a front page commentary, which, like most of its coverage downplayed the power of the Bilderbergers and frequently referred to its critics as joyful conspiracy theorists. Nevertheless, the conference garnered front page attention. Despite its luxurious, mountain-top location in St. Moritz, which drew comparison to Mount Olympus, Bilderberg 2011 transformed into a mob scene. A Swiss parliamentarian attempted to arrest regular attendee Henry Kissinger for war crimes, and an Italian politician and member of the EU parliament attempted to break into the conference. Bilderberg security beat and arrested the EU parliamentarian, Mario Borghezio, who called the elite club “a secret society” that makes “important decisions without popular control.” Italian news agency Julie News jumped on the story.
Detailed coverage of Bilderberg has even reached the Far East. Though Bilderberg does not often offer invites to Asian elites and a vibrant press has all but disappeared from the continent, one Asian news agency zeroed in on the secretive club for the better part of the last decade. The Asia Times Online, an English-Chinese online newspaper based in Hong Kong and Thailand, has shown little restraint in exposing Bilderberg. In 2005, the Asia Times Online reported on a speech Bilderberg regular David Rockefeller gave in 1991 that provides ample context for the multi-decade American media blackout of the conference:
“It would have been quite impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national autodetermination practiced in past centuries..."
Though Asia Times Online did not exist (in online form) during the 1991 conference, it did cover the 2005 Bilderberg meeting. And, it found secrecy strikingly similar to David Rockefeller’s description:
Date: March 5 to 8, 2005. Location: the isolated, fully-booked Dorint Sofitel Seehotel Ueberfahrt in Rottach-Egern, 60 kilometers east of Munich, Germany. Essential amenities: luxury rooms, a lake, a golf course, no suits - and no wives. Participants: 120-odd Western movers and shakers - politicians, tycoons, bankers, captains of industry, so-called strategic thinkers - invited for the 2005 meeting of the ultra-secretive Bilderberg club. Security: absolutely draconian. Global media coverage: non-existent.
The Asia Times Online account of the 2005 conference surprised few consumers of alternative American media, but it served as an introduction to the workings of Bilderberg for those in the Far East.
“Talk about the white man’s burden,” ATO reported. “Bilderberg is strictly Western” elite, ie American-European. Bilderberg resolutely excludes Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa.”
But, its reach expands to Asia. In 1973, David Rockefeller founded the Trilateral Commission, a close cousin of Bilderberg, to include Asian elites at private meetings with Westerners. Likewise, the newly created official Bilderberg websites states that the 2012 meeting will delve into Russia, China and the Middle East.
Bilderberg reporting has likewise penetrated the Middle East. Middle Eastern crises appear regularly as items on the Bilderberg agenda, yet rarely does talk of the conference appear in major Middle Eastern media. The blackout in the Middle Eastern press includes Israel, which regularly sends participants to Bilderberg. Two Israelis are listed on the 2012 roster: Carnegie associate Ariel Levite and former ambassador to the U.S. Itama Rabinovich.
Though the mainstream Israeli press does not cover Bilderberg, investigative reporter Barry Chamish delves deep into Bilderberg analysis. Chamish, known for his rebuttal of the official account of the Yitzhak Rabin assassination, has exposed the Bilderberg participation of American-Jewish journalist Thomas Friedman, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on Israel, as well as the close Bilderberg ties of former prime minister and current minister of defense, Ehud Barak.
Unlike Israeli prime ministers, Latin American heads of state, Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez, lack any formal ties with Bilderberg and its participants. But, that has not stopped the two rogue leaders from inquiring about the conference and introducing their region to the concept of the secretive, Western cabal. Castro invited Daniel Estulin to Cuba in 2010 to discuss the Bilderberg club, and Chavez brought him to Venezuela shortly thereafter. The press in both countries picked up on the story and Bilderberg made headlines in Latin American newspapers.
Coverage of Bilderberg has even reached Africa. Ghanian news outlet Spy Ghana has been aggregating reports about this year’s Bilderberg conference, including articles about the itinerary of Occupy Bilderberg, the protest expected to be the largest in conference history, and the call for transparency made by a Green Party congressional candidate.
Now that journalists have reported on Bilderberg — everywhere from Venezuela to Ghana to Hong Kong — the secret is out. Battle lines have been drawn between media members engaged in exposing secret governance and those engaged in covering it up.
Regardless of their intentions, American politicians are breaking the law by attending the secret meeting in Chantilly this weekend. The Logan Act of 1799, still in existence today, prohibits citizens from negotiating with foreign governments without authorization. Massachusetts Senator John Kerry and Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels will be attendance this weekend, according to the official Bilderberg participants list. Members of many European governments will also be in attendance.
The press is the fourth branch of government. It is the role of journalists to expose what the other branches are up to, especially when politicians commit crimes. Yet, it seems that traditional media — regardless of country — cower to the interests of those participating in secret government. As the 58th Bilderberg meeting begins, major American media continue to stand down, despite the conference being held just outside of Washington, D.C. The New York Times has yet to report on the 2012 conference, and the Washington Post, which ran a provocative column on Bilderberg in April, now is engaging in the blackout as well.
Not surprisingly, Washington Post Chairman Donald Graham is expected to be in attendance again. As are other major media figures: Charlie Rose, Wall Street Journal columnist, Peggy Noonan, the editor-in-chief of a Turkish newspaper, an Italian anchorwoman and two British correspondents for The Economist. How can reporters do their jobs if they, or their bosses, are sworn to secrecy on material they are supposed to report?
Furthermore, why don’t competing news agencies seize the opportunity to report on a conference of global elites that their competitors are neglecting? Alternative media — American Free Press, Infowars, Drudge Report, World Net Daily, Russia Today — have grown in size and reputation by covering events like Bilderberg. Additionally, they have forced Bilderberg coverage into mainstream sources, such as Politico, the Guardian and the Daily Mail. Both the Washington Times and Huffington Post ran articles on the first day of Bilderberg 2012. As massive amounts of protesters show up and Bilderberg becomes more transparent, major publications will have to cover the conference to remain relevant. Otherwise, the alternative media will continue to capture their audience. Alex Jones, who is live streaming coverage this weekend from Chantilly, is expecting million of viewers on relatively unknown platforms, such as UStream and Justin.tv.
Global press freedom is hanging in the balance. Various Internet censorship bills are making their ways through legislatures both in the U.S. and abroad. The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) almost made its way through Congress, and ACTA has been signed onto internationally. Australia just passed a law making it illegal to criticize the country’s new carbon tax.
This weekend media moguls will be meeting with tech giants, including Eric Schmidt of Google, and politicians behind closed doors. The official press release lists cyber security as one of the topics to be covered. Could that mean the Bilderbergers will be discussing Internet censorship? Bilderberg certainly does not seem to be too fond of all the attention it is getting. David Rockefeller, especially, has an appreciation for the traditional media that do not expose what the club is up to. Censorship of the rapidly expanding alternative media looms as a possibility.
Daniel Estulin is not in attendance. He said Thursday on the Alex Jones Show that he is not even allowed inside the United States. Yet, he is not backing down in his efforts to expose the workings of the Bilderberg Group. Estulin announced that he is producing a documentary on Bilderberg with a half million dollar budget.
Will media members follow the lead of Estulin and Jones in exposing what politicians and international elites are discussing behind closed doors? More mainstream media than ever have already covered Bilderberg 2012. Yet, instead of cultivating sources and investigating what the power brokers are doing, major American media have been focusing on the protesters — mostly making fun of them.
The secret of politicians meeting illegally with world elites behind closed doors is out. Battle lines have been drawn between protesters and alternative media trying to expose the conference and Bilderbergers and their police force trying to keep it a secret. It is time for members of the media to pick a side. Journalists worldwide now face the choice of serving as a watchdog for people's liberties or aiding in the advancement of tyranny.