from WorldNetDaily

2004 - June - 4


Italy hosts 50th-anniversary confab of mysterious society of world leaders
The 50th anniversary conference of the elite Bilderberg group -- which many believe conspires semi-annually to foster global government -- is under way in Stresa, Italy.

The conference, which began yesterday and will run through Sunday, is being hosted at the Grand Hotel des Iles Borromees.

Since 1953, the Bilderberg group has convened government, business, academic and journalistic representatives from the U.S., Canada and Europe with the express purpose of exploring the future of the North Atlantic community.

According to sources that have penetrated the high-security meetings in the past, the Bilderberg meetings emphasize a globalist agenda and promote the idea that the notion of national sovereignty is antiquated and regressive.

Shadowy aura

"It’s officially described as a private gathering," noted a BBC report last year, "but with a guest list including the heads of European and American corporations, political leaders and a few intellectuals, it’s one of the most influential organizations on the planet."

And according to a current BBC report on the conference in Stresa:

"Not a word of what is said at Bilderberg meetings can be breathed outside. No reporters are invited in and while confidential minutes of meetings are taken, names are not noted. The shadowy aura extends further -- the anonymous answerphone message, for example; the fact that conference venues are kept secret. The group, which includes luminaries such as Henry Kissinger and former UK chancellor Kenneth Clarke, does not even have a website."

But, counter participants, the secrecy is not evidence of a grand conspiracy, but only an opportunity to speak frankly with other world leaders out of the limelight of press coverage and its inevitable repercussions.

"There’s absolutely nothing in it," argues the UK’s Lord Denis Healey, one of the four founders of Bilderberg. "We never sought to reach a consensus on the big issues at Bilderberg," he told the BBC. "It’s simply a place for discussion."

Here is the partial guest list of the current meeting obtained by WorldNetDaily -- which includes

  • Senators John Edwards, D-N.C. and Jon Corzine, D-N.J.,

  • Henry Kissinger,

  • Richard Perle,

  • Melinda Gates (wife of Bill Gates),

  • David Rockefeller,

  • Timothy F. Geithner, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York,

  • Donald Graham, chairman and CEO of the Washington Post Company, and even

  • Ralph Reed, former head of the Christian Coalition:

  • N - Auser, Svein - CEO, DnB NOR ASA;

  • D - Ackermann, Josef - Chairman, Group Executive Committee, Deutsche Bank AG;

  • I - Ambrosetti, Alfredo - Chairman, Abbrosetti Group;

  • TR - Babacan, Ali - Minister of Economic Affairs;

  • P - Balsemao, Francisco Pinto - Chairman and CEO, IMPRESA, SGPS, Former Prime Minister;

  • ISR - Barnavie, Elie - Department of General History, Tel-Aviv University;

  • I - Benedetti, Rodolfo De - CEO, CIR;

  • I - Bernabe, Franco - Vice Chairman, Rothschild Europe;

  • F - Beytout, Nicolas - Editor In Chief, Les Echos;

  • INT - Bolkestein, Frits - Commissioner for the Internal Market, European Commission, former leader of Dutch right wing Liberal Party VVD;

  • USA - Boot, Max - Neoconservative, Council on foreign Relations, Features Editor, Wall Street Journal;

  • CH - Borel, Daniel - Chairman, Logitech International S.A.;

  • I - Bortoli, Ferrucio de - CEO, RCS Libri;

  • S - Brock, Gunnar - CEO, Atlas Copco AB;

  • GB - Browne, John - Group Chief Executive, BP plc;

  • NL - Burgmans, Antony - Chairman, Unilever NV;

  • F - Camus, Phillipe - CEO, European Aeronautic Defence and Space NV;

  • I - Caracciolo, Lucio - Director, Limes Geopolitical Review;

  • F - Castries, Henri de - Chairman, AXA Insurance;

  • E - Cebrian, Juan Luis - CEO, PRISA (Spanish language media company), former Chairman, International Press Institute;

  • TR - Cemal, Hasan - Senior Columnist, Milliyet Newspaper;

  • GB - Clarke, Kenneth - Member of Parliament (Con.), Deputy Chairman, British American Tobacco;

  • USA - Collins, Timothy C - MD and CEO, Ripplewood Holdings LLC, Yale School of Management, Trilateral Commission;

  • USA - Corzine, Jon S. - Senator (D, New Jersey), Chairman and CEO, Goldman Sachs;

  • CH - Couchepin, Pascal - Former Swiss President, Head of Home affairs Dept.;

  • GR - David, George A. - Chairman, Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company SA;

  • B - Dehaene, Jean-Luc - Former Prime Minister, Mayor of Vilvoorde;

  • TR - Dervis, Kemal - Member of Parliament, former senior World bank official;

  • GR - Diamantopoulou, Anna - Member of Parliament, former European Commissioner for Social Affairs;

  • USA - Donilon, Thomas L - Vice-President, Fannie Mae, Council on Foreign Relations;

  • I - Draghi, Mario - Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Goldman Sachs;

  • USA - Edwards, John - Senator (D. North Carolina), Democratic Presidential Candidate;

  • DK - Eldrup, Anders - Chairman, DONG gas company (becoming privatised) A/S;

  • DK - Federspiel, Ulrik - Ambassador to the USA;

  • USA - Feith, Douglas J. - Undersecretary for Policy, Department of Defense;

  • I - Galateri, Gabriele - Chairman, Mediobanca;

  • USA - Gates, Melinda F. - Co-Founder, Gates Foundation, wife of Bill Gates;

  • USA - Geithner, Timothy F. - President, Federal Reserve Bank of New York;

  • I - Giavazzi, Francesco - Professor of Economics, Bocconi University, adviser, world bank and European Central bank;

  • IRL - Gleeson, Dermot - Chairman Allied Irish Bank Group (currently being investigated for personal and corporate tax evasion);

  • USA - Graham, Donald E. - Chairman and CEO, Washington Post Company;

  • USA - Haas, Richard N. - President, Council on Foreign Relations, former Director of Policy and Planning staff, State Department;

  • NL - Halberstadt, Victor - Professor of Economics, Leiden University;

  • B - Hansen, Jean-Pierre - Chairman, Suez Tractabel SA;

  • S - Heikensten, Lars - Governor, Swedish Central Bank;

  • USA - Holbrooke, Richard C - Vice Chairman, Perseus, former Director, Council on Foreign Relations, former Assistant Secretary of State;

  • USA - Hubbard, Allen B - President E&A Industries;

  • USA - Issacson, Walter - President and CEO, Aspen Institute;

  • USA - Janow, Merit L. - Professor, International Economic Law and International Affairs, Columbia University;

  • USA - Jordan, Vernon E. Senior Managing Director, Lazard Freres & Co LLC;

  • USA - Kagan, Robert - Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace;

  • GB - Kerr, John - Director, Shell, Rio Tinto, Scottish American Investment Trust;

  • USA - Kissinger Henry A. - Chairman, Kissinger Associates Inc.;

  • TR - Koc, Mustafa V. - Chairman, Koc Holdings AS;

  • NL - Koenders, Bert (AG) - Member of Parliament, president, Parliamentary Network of the World Bank;

  • USA - Kovner, Bruce - Chairman Caxton Associates LLC, Chairman, American Enterprise Institute;

  • USA - Kravis, Henry R. - Founding Partner, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., acquisitions financier;

  • USA - Kravis, Marie Josee - Senoir Fellow, Hudson Institute Inc.;

  • FIN - Lehtomaki, Paula - Minister of Foreigh Trade and Development;

  • FIN - Lipponen, Paavo - Speaker of Parliament;

  • CHN - Long, Yongtu - Secretary General, Boao forum for Asia;

  • P - Lopes, Pedro M. Santana - Mayor of Lisbon;

  • USA - Luti, William J. - Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs;

  • CDN - Lynch, Kevin G. - Deputy Minister, Department of Finance;

  • USA - Mathews, Jessica T. - President, Carnegie Endowment for International War Peace;

  • USA - McDonough, William J. - Chairman and CEO, Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, former president, Federal Reserve Bank of New York;

  • CDN - McKenna, Frank - Counsel, McInnes Cooper, former premier of New Brunswick;

  • I - Merlini, Cesare - Executive Vice Chairman, Council for the United States and Italy, Council on Foreign Relations, former director, Italian Institute for International Affairs;

  • F - Montbrial, Thierry de - President, French Institute of International Relations;

  • INT - Monti, Mario - Competition Commissioner, European Commission;

  • USA - Mundie, Craig J. - Chief Technical Officer, Advanced Strategies and Policies, Microsoft Corporation;

  • N - Myklebust, Egil - Chairman, Scandinavian Airline System (SAS);

  • D - Naas, Matthias - Deputy Editor, Die Zeit;

  • NL - Netherlands, HM Queen Beatrix;

  • GB - Neville-Jones, Pauline - Chairman, QuinetiQ (UK privatized military research/services company), governor of the BBC, Chairman Information Assurance Advisory Council, former Chairman Joint Intelligence Committee, former Managing Director NatWest Markets;

  • USA - Nooyi, Indra K. - President and CEO, PepsiCo Inc.;

  • PL - Olechowski, Andrzej - Leader, Civic Platform;

  • FIN - Ollila, Jorma - Chairman, Nokia Corporation;

  • INT - Padoa-Schioppa, Tommaso - Director, European Central Bank;

  • CY - Pantelides, Leonidas - Ambassador to Greece;

  • I - Passera, Corrado - CEO, Banca Intesa SpA;

  • USA - Perle, Richard N. - Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, former Likud policy adviser, former chair Defence Policy Board, former co-chairman, Hollinger Digital;

  • B - Phillipe, HRH Prince; USA - Reed, Ralph E. - President, Century Strategies;

  • CDN - Reisman, Heather - President and CEO, Indigo Books and Music Inc.;

  • I - Riotta, Gianni - Editorialist, Corriere della Serra;

  • USA - Rockefeller, David - Member JP Morgan International Council, Chairman, Council of the Americas;

  • E - Riodriguez Inearte, Matias - Vice Chairman, Grupo Santander;

  • USA - Ross, Dennis B - Director, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy;

  • D - Sandschneider, Eberhard - Director, Research Institute, German Society for Foreign Policy;

  • I - Scaroni, Paolo - CEO, Enel SpA; D - Schilly, Otto - Minister of the Interior;

  • USA - Schnabel, Rockwell A. - Ambassador to the EU;

  • A - Scholten, Rudolf - Director, Oesterreichische Kontrollbank AG;

  • D - Schrempp, Jurgen E. - Chairman, DaimlerChrysler AG;

  • E - Serra Rexach, Eduardo - Head, Real Institute Elcano;

  • RUS - Shevtsova, Lilia - Senior Associate. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace;

  • PL - Sikora, Slawomir - President and CEO, Citibank Handlowy;

  • I - Siniscalo, Domenico - Director General Ministry of the Economy;

  • P - Socrates, Jose - Member of Parliament;

  • USA - Strmecki, Marin J. - Smith Richardson Foundation;

  • B - Struye de Swielande, Dominique - Permanant repressentative of Belguim, NATO;

  • IRL - Sutherland, Peter D. - Chairman, Goldman Sachs International, Chairman, BP plc;

  • USA - Thornton, John L. - Chairman, Brookings Institution, Professor, Tsinghua University;

  • I - Tremonti, Giulio - Minister of Economy and Finance;

  • INT - Trichet, Jean-Claude - President, European Central Bank;

  • I - Tronchetti Provera, Marco - Chairman and CEO, Pirelli SpA;

  • N - Underdal, Arild - Rector, University of Oslo;

  • CH - Vasella, Daniel L. - Chairman and CEO, Novartis AG;

  • NL - Veer, Jeroen van der - Chairman, Committee of Managing Directors, Royal Dutch/Shell;

  • GB - Verwaayen, Ben J. M. - CEO, British Telecom; former director, Lucent Technologies;

  • I - Visco, Ignazio - Foriegn Affairs Manager, Banca D’Italia;

  • INT - Vitorino, Antonio M. - Justice and Home Affairs Commissioner, European Union;

  • INT - Vries, Gijs M. de - EU Counter Terrorism Co-ordinator;

  • S - Wallenberg, Jacob - Chairman, SEB investments (including biotech); Chairman, W Capital Management AB;

  • D - Weber, Jurgen - Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Deutche Lufthansa AG;

  • GB/USA - Weinberg, Peter - CEO, Goldman Sachs International;

  • NL - Wijers, Hans - Chairman, AkzoNobel NV;

  • D - Wissmann, Matthias - Member of Parliament;

  • GB - Wolf, Martin H. - Associate Editor/Economic Commentator, The Financial Times;

  • INT/USA - Wolfenson, James D. - President, The World Bank;

  • RUS - Yavlinsky, Grigory A. - Member of Parliament;

  • USA - Yergin, Daniel - Chairman, Cambridge Energy Research Associates;

  • D - Zumwinkel, Llaus - Chairman, Deutche Post Worldnet AG.

In addition, according to the website, two reporters ("rapporteurs") from the British publication The Economist will also be attending: Gideon Rachman, Brussels correspondent, and Adrian D. Wooldridge, the magazine’s foreign correspondent.

[Bilderberg has two Economist reporters in attendance every year, and they never disclose a word about the event. -AMPP Ed.]

That may afford slightly more transparency than in the past. In 1998, British free-lance journalist Campbell Thomas attempted to cover the conference in Turnberry, Scotland, for the Daily Mail. Thomas began by seeking the opinions of neighbors to the secret meeting being held nearby. One of those was a young woman who told him he was in the hotel’s staff quarters and should leave immediately, which he did. A short while later, two local police officers arrested Thomas, who reportedly remained in custody for eight hours.

British journalist Jon Ronson, who is the author of a book on Bilderberg, had this to say:

"I’m a sort of semi-conspiracy theorist when it comes to Bilderberg because I think they wouldn’t go to that much trouble of having this incredibly expensive international conference every year and they’d go to all this trouble to keep themselves out of the press and be really secret and invite the world’s most powerful people if it was just a chat and a game of golf, which is basically what they say it is. So I do think they have some impact on world affairs."

Some observers are even speculating that President Bush will make an appearance at this year’s event, just as Bill Clinton did at the group’s 2000 meeting. By coincidence, it just happens that Bush will be in Italy over the weekend ...