- Donald Rumsfeld has ‘no idea’ if he paid taxes correctly
- Bradley Manning named honorary grand marshal of San Francisco Pride parade
- Look out PayPal: Facebook working toward mobile payments system
- U.S. rebukes Iran’s U.N. envoy pick over 1979 embassy attack
- Stoned mom avoids jail after driving 12 miles with baby on roof
- More than 100 ‘inappropriate’ encounters between NYC school staffers, students since 2009: report
- Joe Biden to Boston bombing survivors: ‘America will never, ever stand down’
- FBI failed to throughly vet Boston bombing suspect after Russian lead, report finds
- Atlanta Braves flooded with Hank Aaron hate mail: He’s a ‘scumbag’
- University: Help, our campus is too white
Security tighter than ever at Bilderberg conference
Secretive meeting only invites curiosity
Chantilly’s Westfields Marriott hotel is the site of an “unprecedented” security crackdown as the world’s richest and most powerful arrive for the annual Bilderberg conference.
Hundreds of demonstrators are expected to protest the highly secretive gathering, which kicks off Thursday and lasts through the weekend. The off-the-record meeting, well known in conspiracy lore but typically given little to no media attention each year, once again will bring together heads of state, billionaire bankers, leading businessmen and other international movers and shakers.
A perimeter of about a half-mile has been set up around the Northern Virginia hotel, and all non-Bilderberg guests reportedly were kicked out of their rooms. A photographer for The Washington Times was told by law enforcement Wednesday that any attempt to get close to the building would result in arrest.
Tight security is nothing new at the infamous meeting, but more press coverage in recent years — driven largely by social media and radio host Alex Jones, among others — has led organizers to thicken the protective shell around the conference to new heights.
And thus further feeding the rumor mill.
“This year, it’s the biggest ever. The security is leveraged up big time. It’s unprecedented,” Mr. Jones, one of the loudest Bilderberg critics, said in an interview Wednesday after he and his staff were told to remove themselves from the hotel or risk arrest.
But Fairfax County police say that some reports — including rumors on Twitter and elsewhere that law enforcement personnel have threatened would-be trespassers with machine guns — are being blown out of proportion.
“Obviously, police officers carry guns. That’s part of the deal,” Officer Shelley Broderick, county police spokeswoman, told The Times. “Obviously, we’re aware of this [meeting]. We do have officers working with the hotel and the [Bilderberg] organization, just to make sure everything goes fine. We’re working to make sure everything goes OK.”
The official Bilderberg guest list is kept under wraps, as are the specific topics for discussion. Rumored to be at the top of the agenda this year is the European financial crisis.
Frequent attendees, including Henry A. Kissinger and David Rockefeller, are expected again. A copy of last year’s guest list, leaked to a journalist covering the conference, offers a window into just how much influence Bilderberg guests wield.
Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick, European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and Greek Minister of Finance George Papaconstantinou were reportedly among those in attendance at the 2011 meeting in Switzerland.
Global business titans, government officials and political figures rounded out the guest list of more than 100, though skeptics suspect dozens of names, especially of high-profile individuals, are kept off of it.
The Bilderberg organization releases virtually no information about the meeting.
Its website, bilderbergmeetings.org, states that the yearly conference “is a small, flexible, informal and off-the-record international forum in which different viewpoints can be expressed and mutual understanding enhanced.”
It goes on to explain that “at the meetings, no resolutions are proposed, no votes taken and no policy statements issued.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Ben Wolfgang covers the White House for The Washington Times.
Before joining the Times in March 2011, Ben spent four years as a political reporter at the Republican-Herald in Pottsville, Pa.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Separation of church and Obama
- Obamas paid $98K in taxes in 2013, White House says
- Obama calls principal of Pa. high school devastated by stabbings
- Democrats press Obama for Keystone pipeline decision
- At Fort Hood memorial, Obama calls for renewed focus on mental health, gun control
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By returning to goodness, the nation can achieve greatness once again
- Fuel-filled wings, ability to swarm: Pentagon offers glimpse at future of drone fleet
- Secret U.S. assessments show Afghanistan not ready to govern on own
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- U.S. military on high alert as Ukraine troops trade gunfire with pro-Russian militants
- Nevada Bundy ranch standoff could leave dirt on Harry Reid reputation
- Russian fighter jet buzzes U.S. Navy destroyer in Black Sea
- PHILLIPS: What did Harry Reid know and when did he know it?
- Atlanta Braves flooded with Hank Aaron hate mail: He's a 'scumbag'
- 'Culture of intimidation' seen in Nevada ranch standoff
- WEBER: Obamacare cuts home healthcare for millions of seniors
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Chaos as Manhattan building explodes