Saturday, June 11, 2016

Bilderberg 2016: Another Obama No-Show

But one key statistic that people should be looking at, but are not talking about, is that for the third time in the past four years, there are no representatives from the US Government present at Bilderberg this year. Despite a significant 27-strong US delegation comprised of billionaires, influential journalists, academics, political fixers, a lone Senator, and a collection of former officials, there were no serving government officials. Not one. After dispatching a record number of senior officials in 2010, the Obama Administration’s Bilderberg participation has now trailed off quite dramatically (see Figure 3). No doubt the Bilderberg Steering Committee invited many of the principals at the National Security Council, and the State, Defense, Trade and Commerce Departments, but it was clearly to no avail.

Back in 2014 I noted that for the second year-running the Obama Administration had failed to send any of its senior officials to Bilderberg. I speculated on a number of possible reasons why, including clashing schedules, a fear of leaks, or a jaded Obama having little interest in having his officials patronising the private conferences of the power-elite. Another possibility, raised by a commenter on my article, was what we could call the “Drudge Effect”, the reluctance to encourage bad publicity by sending key officials to an event steeped in as much conspiracy lore as Bilderberg. This also seems plausible, although in 2015 the trend was broken when Obama’s Special Presidential Envoy General John Allen attended last year’s Bilderberg meeting in Telfs-Buchen in Austria. Another reason could be official US scepticism these meetings are worth the effort, although a number of former officials from the Obama years, such as former CIA Director David Petreaus, former NATO Commander Philip Breedlove and former National Security Advisor Thomas Donilon have thought Bilderberg worth their time when out of office. As yet no clear reason has emerged, and puzzlingly the journalists of the alternative media have consistently failed to pursue this issue when speaking to Bilderberg participants, let alone even acknowledge it.

But whatever the reason, it is hard believe the Bilderberg Steering Committee would be pleased with this sudden drop-off in participation by senior US officials. Helping to maintain the transatlantic relationship is the core of the Bilderberg Group’s existence. While speaking through unofficial channels is part-and-parcel of Bilderberg, the legitimacy of its exercise and the presumed effectiveness of its shaping and influencing, also rests on its ability to include serving and preferably senior government officials in its meetings. The complete absence of senior US officials in 2013, 2014 and now 2016, would be a real blow to that objective and may even been causing some Bilderberg figures some angst about its credibility.

By Will Banyan, Copyright © 10 June 2016

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