Bilderberg 2012: bring on the Bilderbabes
Protesters at Bilderberg up their game: ‘What do they want? Hegelian dialectics! When do they want it? Now!’
The protesters seem to have upped their game when it comes to slogans. “We are not the indentured slaves of your oligarchy!” booms a bullhorn, from beneath a banner that seeks redress for the “war profiteering” of “eugenicist thugs”.
I don’t know if it’s the truth of the accusations or the volume of the anger, but one policeman tells us: “They’re very scared by the reception the cars are getting, so they’ve told the drivers to accelerate now as they enter the hotel.” There’s also been a spate of bird-flipping from the drivers and bodyguards. Foot down and fingers up.
The police have rearranged the barricades outside the hotel, and implemented a zero tolerance policy towards people in the road. Two arrests have been made for ‘jaywalking’. My wife witnessed the arrests, and tells me, “The police outside are genuinely worried that protestors will get run over. The limos aren’t stopping for anything.”
Not that everyone zooms through in a limo. I don’t know the global implications of this, but the Chinese got their own minibus this year. The wingmirror whacked my wife on the nose as it sped inside. Still, she managed to click off a shot to reveal… wait – could it be?
Fu Ying, Chinese vice minister of foreign affairs arrives at the 2012 Bilderberg conference. Photograph: Hannah Borno for the Guardian
Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, vice-president of Spain peers over the dashboard. Photograph: Hannah Borno for the Guardian
This cheeky face, peeking over the dashboard belongs to Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, the vice-president of Spain. Sáenz de Santamaría sits atop the Ministry of the Presidency, which (amongst other things) runs Spain’s intelligence services. Aah, but look at her, isn’t she just a sweetie?!
Sáenz de Santamaría comes hot foot from a meeting with the US Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner. She says: “The treasury secretary pointed out that we are working toward the same goal and a solution for the banks must be found.” So presumably, over cocktails this weekend, she’ll be hawking truckloads more Spanish debt. The bankers at Bilderberg will love her. Or eat her. One or the other.
Now, if you prefer your ‘ladies of power’ in more of an ‘ice-queen’ vein, then you might prefer the vice chairman of the World Economic Forum, Josette Sheeran:
Josette Sheeran, vice chair of the World Economic Forum. Photograph: theintelhub.com for the Guardian
In terms of power structures, Josette is number 2 at Davos, and Davos is about number 10 behind Bilderberg. She’s one of a growing number of Bilderbergians from that strange, cash-rich, and largely tax-free world of forums and think tanks. On which note, let me introduce you to the undoubted pin-up of Bilderberg 2012, Kevin Warsh:
Kevin Warsh of Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. Photograph: Markus Gabriel for the Guardian
This young Pacino spent five years on the Board of the Federal Reserve System, and is now “at the Hoover Institution”. He’s from the intersection of government and academia beloved by Bilderberg (think Mario Monti – Steering Committee member and PM of Italy).
Then there’s the intelligence world. We welcome back the head of the NSA, General Keith Alexander – who also happens to be chief of the military’s Central Security Service. And we note with interest the presence of Thomas Donilon, the National Security Advisor at the White House – whose esteemed predecessor in that role is standing next to him at the buffet; Henry Kissinger.
There’s a reason Bilderberg feels so comfortable in Chantilly, Virginia – 15 minutes up the road from CIA headquarters. It’s because the US intelligence community is its spiritual home.
If you peer back into Bilderberg’s past, and scan enough declassified documents, you can begin to appreciate how intimate the relationship is between global lobbying and global intelligence.
If you’ve ever find yourself wondering “what exactly is Bilderberg?”, you might want to take a look at a press conference in 1950, held by a man called William Donovan.
William ‘Wild Bill’ Donovan was “the Father of American Intelligence” – and one of the most senior figures in the US intelligence scene at the time. You can read his CIA biography here but don’t forget to clear your cookies afterwards.
Sitting next to Donovan was the man who pulled Bilderberg together in the early 1950s – Józef Retinger. A tireless fixer, social climber and committee former, Retinger in 1950 was the secretary-general of the European Movement. He was also a British intelligence operative, but that’s a whole other twist in the tale.
Retinger’s burgeoning European Movement was being funded by the CIA. And the man in charge of getting him the money? Tom Braden of the CIA. The third man holding the press conference and quoted in the Saturday Evening Post in 1967 saying, “I’m glad the CIA is immoral.”
Bilderberg was Retinger’s baby, and it was born out of a murky merger in 1954 of spooks and bankers, and fed from a bottomless bottle of spycash. But don’t take my word for it. Go look at the documents. Don’t think you ‘know’ about Bilderberg because Robert Kagan (the arch neo-con) tells you that “it’s a lot of vaguely uninteresting people giving vaguely uninteresting lectures and then having nice meals in nice places.”
Henri de La Croix de Castries, 5th Comte de Castries, chairman and CEO of AXA and chairman of the Bilderberg group’s steering committee. Photograph: theintelhub.com for the Guardian
Know about Bilderberg by finding out about Bilderberg. Don’t theorize. Go read the documents. Go on. Google “CIA Bilderberg.” Google “Retinger MI6″. Google “Prince Bernhard IG Farben.” Or have a look at a photo of the new head of Bilderberg looking cool in his Raybans. One or the other.