Tehran Times | 15 June 2006
Bilderbergers slither away
Tehran Times Political Desk
TEHRAN - They left in silence, blanketed by a near-total media blackout, just as they had arrived.
Very few media outlets covered the June 8-11 meeting of the Bilderberg Group at a hotel just outside of Ottawa, Canada.
Only the alternative media deemed the story to be newsworthy.
It seems that “all the news that’s fit to print” is not always printed.
Tom Spears of the Ottawa Citizen wrote: “The Bilderberg Group, a secretive organization of politicians and business leaders from around the world, gave no public statements. With private security guards and metal barriers keeping outsiders on the street, the Bilderbergers met in secret and then whisked themselves away in ones and twos, mostly to the airport.
“What they talked about at the Brookstreet Hotel is still a secret. The group meets annually, and is usually rumoured to discuss international politics and business, from Middle East crises to oil prices.
“They emerged singly Sunday — Bilderberg president Etienne Davignon of Belgium, American David Rockefeller, Italian economist Mario Monti, European competition commissioner Neelie Kroes from the Netherlands, and, watchers thought, Iraqi politician Ahmed Chalabi.”
Alex Jones of Prison Planet.com and two of his crew were detained by Canadian immigration at the Ottawa airport at 11:45 p.m. on the night of June 7 and only released after 2 p.m. the next day.
Jones said, “It’s a group of very powerful individuals whose objective is to create one world government, based on an economic model from the Middle Ages,” adding that it would be “a post-industrial model where you have slaves and slave owners.”
Sources say Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s challenge to the Free Trade Area of the Americas was on the top of the agenda of the Bilderberg Group meeting.
The June 12 edition of the Ottawa Citizen published the following partial list of participants in the Bilderberg meeting:
Olechowski is a former minister of foreign affairs and finance in his native Poland, where he has frequently been involved in politics since the 1990s. He ran unsuccessfully in the 2000 presidential election and Warsaw’s 2002 mayoral race. Mr. Olechowski was a founding member of the centrist Civic Platform party and is currently a member of the supervisory boards of Vivendi Universal, Citibank Handlowy and PKN Orlen.
Myklebust served as president and CEO of Norsk Hydro, a Norwegian oil and gas group, which is one of that country’s biggest companies, between 1991 and 2001. He then served as Norsk’s chairman until 2004 and was also a member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. While he is a well-known face in the world’s oil and gas industry, Mr. Myklebust is currently chairman of Scandinavian Airlines.
Zoellick now reports to Condoleezza Rice as the U.S. deputy secretary of state, after serving as the U.S. trade representative from 2001 to 2005. A lawyer, Mr. Zoellick has worked in economic and diplomatic policy development in different Republican administrations for more than two decades. He has a strong reputation for hammering out international trade deals; he played a key role in sealing NAFTA and has been an important player in World Trade Organization talks.
James B. Steinberg
Steinberg is best known for his work as deputy national security adviser to U.S. president Bill Clinton from 1996 to 2000. After working in government, Mr. Steinberg went on to direct foreign policy studies at the Brookings Institution in Washington and is now the dean of the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a frequent media commentator on U.S. foreign policy and has written several books on national security topics.
Juan Luis Cebrian
Cebrian is the CEO of the Spanish media conglomerate Grupa Prisa, which owns El Pais, a centre-left daily that is the country’s leading newspaper. Mr. Cebrian is a former editor at El Pais and has also served as chairman of the International Press Institute. He is also an acclaimed author of books such as Red Doll and the essay collection The Press and Main Street.
Monti, dubbed "Super Mario" by the press, is an Italian economist, president of Bocconi University in Milan and chairman of the European think-tank Bruegel. He has most notably served on the European Commission, where he was sometimes called an antitrust czar. Mr. Monti fought against a proposed merger between General Electric and Honeywell in 2001. The European Union eventually blocked that merger, earning criticism from U.S. regulators.
Hansen is CEO of energy giants Electrabel, Belgium’s top power producer, and Suez-Tractebel, Belgium’s top utility holding company and one of the world’s biggest independent power producers. Mr. Hansen holds advanced degrees in engineering and economics and has worked in the electricity and gas sectors since the 1970s.
Kroes is a veteran Dutch politician and businesswoman who has served as European Commissioner for Competition since 2004. Ms. Kroes’ appointment to the position was met with some controversy, due to her extensive business contacts. Since assuming her post, Ms. Kroes has been in the middle of Microsoft’s ongoing dispute with the EU over a 2004 antitrust ruling against the company. Ms. Kroes has also been a staunch ally of controversial Dutch politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
Bernabe is vice-chairman of the European investment bank Rothschild Europe, former CEO of the Italian energy giant ENI and a board member of Petro-China. Mr. Bernabe headed ENI’s privatization process in the early 90s and was recently quoted as saying the world oil industry remains "uneasy" with the feverish development of Alberta’s oilsands near Fort McMurray. Mr. Bernabe also worked as a chief economist at Fiat, and started his career as an academic at Turin University.
Rockefeller is the founder of the Trilateral Commission, formed in 1973 by citizens of Japan, European Union countries, the U.S. and Canada with the goal of fostering closer cooperation among those regions. Mr. Rockefeller, who has a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, spent 35 years as an officer of the Chase Manhattan Bank and was chairman and CEO from 1969 to 1980. He serves as honorary chairman of the Americas Society, the Council on Foreign Relations and Rockefeller University.
McKenna served as Canada’s ambassador to the U.S. under prime minister Paul Martin. When Mr. Martin lost the election, Mr. McKenna returned to private life, quickly quelling rumors he would run for the Liberal party leadership. Before his U.S. stint, Mr. McKenna practiced law and served on numerous corporate boards. He became New Brunswick’s premier in 1987, winning every seat. He served for a decade and created a call center industry in the resource-based province.
Ollila served as chairman and CEO of Nokia Corporation for 14 years, from 1992 until this month when he became non-executive chairman of Royal Dutch Shell while hanging on to his Nokia association, also as non-executive chairman. He is the first non-Dutch, non-Briton to head Shell. He took Nokia from a cell phone company on the brink of takeover to the world’s most successful company in the field. The Finn is a member of the board of directors of Ford Motor Company and UPM-Kymmene.
Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands became queen in 1980 when her mother, Juliana, abdicated. Ottawa is not new to the queen, who moved to the capital in the 1940s, and lived in Stornoway. She went to Rockcliffe Park Public School and her sister, Princess Margriet, was born in Canada. Queen Beatrix, who has a degree in law, married Claus von Amsberg, a German diplomat, in 1966.
Perle was assistant secretary of defense to U.S. president Ronald Reagan and is still considered influential in the U.S., having advised President George W. Bush. Mr. Perle served as chairman of the Defense Policy Board from 2001-2003 and was assistant secretary of defense for international security policy from 1981 to 1987. His opinions appear regularly in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and London’s Daily Telegraph.
As president of the World Bank, Wolfensohn walks the fine line between being a banker and an advocate for the world’s poor. Born in Australia, he ended up on Wall Street via London, eventually founding a banking firm with former head of the U.S. Federal Reserve Paul Volker. Today, he is credited with working to return the World Bank to its original mandate of relieving poverty.
Davignon is a former Belgian politician and president of the annual Bilderberg conference. Mr. Davignon was born in Hungary and quickly established a name for himself in business and politics. He was the first president of the International Energy Agency from 1974-77 and at the age of 32 he became head of cabinet. Between 1977 and 1985, he was an influential member of the European Commission. In 1989, he joined the board of the Societe Generale de Belgique.
Vinocur is a senior correspondent for the International Herald Tribune and reports on everything from politics to sports. He went to the Tribune from the New York Times, where he was metropolitan editor. He served as the Times bureau chief in France and Germany. He went to the Tribune as executive editor and served as the newspaper’s vice- president from 1986-96. He writes for Foreign Affairs and the New York Times Magazine.
Wooldridge is the Economist’s Washington bureau chief. Prior to this, he was the magazine’s West Coast correspondent and also held positions as its management correspondent and its correspondent in Britain. He co-wrote The Company: A Short History of a Revolutionary Idea, and A Future Perfect: The Challenge and Hidden Promise of Globalisation, Witch Doctors, and The Right Nation, a look at American conservatism.
A Washington insider, Mr. Jordan chaired the Clinton transition team in 1992. He started his public life through the civil rights movement in the 1960s, working for the NAACP, and served as executive director of the United Negro College Fund and National Urban League in the 1970s. The lawyer is a managing director with the investment banking firm Lazard Freres & Co. LLC and is on several boards, including American Express and Dow Jones & Company.
Comper has been chief executive officer of BMO Financial Group since 1999. In his three decades with BMO, he served as chairman from 1999 to 2004, when the company moved to a non-executive chairman model. He first signed on with the bank in 1967, after completing a B.A. in English. Mr. Comper is a member of the board of directors of the International Monetary Conference and vice-chairman of the C.D. Howe Institute.
Chairman of Allied Irish Banks, Gleeson is a lawyer. He is a member of the Royal Irish Academy and chairman of the Irish Council for Bioethics and is the former attorney general of Ireland. He also served as a member of the Council of State for Ireland and as then Irish prime minister John Bruton’s chief legal adviser from 1994-97. He joined the board of Allied Irish Banks in 2000 and was appointed chairman in 2003.