The annual Bilderberg meeting is definitely an exclusive affair, whether it’s seen as an opportunity for the world’s power players to informally converse about important global trends, or just a secret gathering of the Illuminati puppet masters who custom-build history to suit their mysterious agenda.
“No minutes will be taken. No reporters will be allowed in. There will be no opening press conference, no closing statement, and participants will be asked not to quote each other,” the UK Independent says of the 64th Bilderberg Conference, which began on Thursday at the Taschenbergpalais hotel in Dresden, Germany.
The UK Guardian explains that much of the secrecy that fuels conspiracy theories is meant to avoid difficult encounters with the press, a prospect that might otherwise keep many influential guests from attending: “No one wants the Danish minister of justice or the deputy prime minister of Turkey to have to field awkward questions, such as: ‘Where do you stand on corporate lobbying?’ Especially when they’re standing between the chairman of HSBC and the president of Siemens.”
The Guardian thinks it fair to describe the meeting as a gigantic “corporate lobbying event,” a fact made obvious by the energetic corporate sponsorship of the event: “All those finance ministers sitting round discussing the ‘geopolitics of energy and commodity prices’ with the group chief executive of BP, the vice-chairman of Portuguese petroleum giant Galp Energia, and the CEO of Royal Dutch Shell. And then afterwards saying nothing to their respective parliaments about what they discussed. It’s so off-the-chart inappropriate that it beggars comprehension.”
Among the attendees will be Henry Kissinger, who the Guardian’s Charlie Skelton does not like very much. “The ageless 93-year-old former US secretary of state will be holding court at Dresden, croaking out his wisdom from the throne of bones he has shipped everywhere he goes. You just can’t keep a bad man down,” Skelton hisses.
The Bilderberg organization releases its guest list to the public every year, so the attendees are no mystery. It’s a fairly even mix of politicians, corporate titans, and the lobbyists who bring them together in matrimony. A few other names beside Kissinger stand out.
Former CIA head David Petraeus will be there, no doubt taking a bit of good-natured ribbing in the locker room for being unable to get away with handling classified documents the way Hillary Clinton does. Gawker Media will be delighted to see its nemesis Peter Thiel in attendance.
The U.S. legislature will be represented by Lindsey Graham (R-SC). You don’t suppose they’ll be discussing the U.S. presidential race behind closed doors, do you?
Some notable academics will make the trip to Dresden, including history professor Niall Ferguson of Harvard, Hudson Institute senior fellow Marie-Josee Kravis, and Charles Murray of the American Enterprise Institute.
The U.S. media is actually quite well-represented on the guest list: Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum, NBC News Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel, Bloomberg View’s Megan McArdle, Bloomberg LP Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait, and Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan.
If one of the topics discussed at Bilderberg does prove to be uploading Henry Kissinger’s brain into a giant computer, it will most likely be handled by Alex Karp, CEO of Palantir Technologies, assuming Thiel is too busy hunting the last survivors of Gawker for sport. The Guardian even describes Karp as “a bit like a younger, more hippyish Kissinger,” which makes him sound perfect for the job.
LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman will also be there, and we’d best hope he isn’t the one who turns uploads Kissinger’s brain into an immortal digital demigod, or everyone on Earth is about to get carpet-bombed with LinkedIn connection emails. Cyber-Kissinger will not feel pity, or remorse, or fear, and it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you respond to its LinkedIn request.
There will, of course, be a lot of money represented at the meeting. As previously noted, some old-industry oil company executives will be on hand, along with Deutsche Bank CEO John Cryan and his supervisory board chairman Paul M. Achleitner, executive board member Benoit Couere of the European Central Bank, Vernon E. Jordan Jr. of asset management firm Lazard Freres & Co. LLC, CEO Rudolf Scholten of Oesterreichische Kontrollbank, and Bjorn Wahlroos of Nordea Bank.
The Independent notes that a few political rising stars have emerged from Bilderberg conferences in the past, including Arkansas governor Bill Clinton in 1991, and U.K. shadow minister Tony Blair in 1993. “Conference organisers have previously insisted there is no conspiracy to crowbar their chosen people into top jobs, they just have excellent talent spotters.”
In addition to Clinton chum Vernon Jordan, ZeroHedge notes that many of the Bilderberg attendees have paid Hillary Clinton millions in speaking fees, and suspects the presence of Lindsey Graham is another sign that helping Clinton prevail over Donald Trump will be a “prominent topic of discussion.”
ZeroHedge also observes that secret participants whose names do not appear on the official guest list are not unheard of, suggesting that German Chancellor Angela Merkel might be one such quiet attendee this year, given that Europe’s migrant crisis is on the agenda.