- The Washington Times - Monday, April 18, 2005

The Trilateral Commission, a secretive association of the world’s most powerful private citizens, met behind closed doors in Washington over the weekend with top Bush administration officials, discussing the rise of China, global currency conflicts and the pending referendum before nations of the European Union.

As usual, the press was not allowed in any of the meetings, which included speeches by Vice President Dick Cheney, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, World Bank President-designate Paul Wolfowitz and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.

But snippets of their discussions were revealed, including a combative exchange on France and its May 29 referendum on the EU constitution.

“Everyone’s beating up on France because of the coming referendum,” Francois Sauzey, the European press officer for the commission, was overheard to say about commission discussions.

Nearly a dozen national polls in France indicate the referendum would fail. If just one European nation votes against it, the constitution dies.

Although the commission does not release information on its discussions, The Washington Times obtained “Trilateral Memorandum No. 8,” which deals with the ongoing skirmish between Japan and China.

The memo, topped with the name Akira Kojima, a commission member and chairman of the Japan Center for Economic Research in Tokyo, weighed in on the clash between Japan and China, which boiled over when Japan issued revisionist textbooks to students.

“Japan still has a history textbook approval system, and this misguided system is at the root of these unnecessary misunderstandings and must be abolished,” the memo said.

The memo also took aim at Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, “a peculiar character in that he is basically stubborn. If he is criticized for one thing, he intentionally sticks to it and repeats it.”

None of the group’s members spoke to the press after the meetings.

Members include former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former Assistant Secretary of Defense Richard Perle, Kennedy administration Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, Harvard President Lawrence H. Summers, and Zbigniew Brzezinski, a national security adviser in the Carter administration.

Far less luminary members refused to talk to a reporter in the hallway of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on Maryland Avenue in Southwest, waving off questions and walking hurriedly.

The Trilateral Commission’s annual meetings, held in Warsaw in 2004, Seoul in 2003, Washington in 2002 and London in 2001, have inspired conspiracy theories of powerful puppeteers who secretly pull the strings of world powers as they seek to establish a new world order.

The theories are based partly on fact. Mr. Brzezinski once asserted that the commission came up with the idea to create the Group of Seven industrial nations. The commission boasts three U.S. presidents once among its ranks: Bill Clinton, George Bush and Jimmy Carter, who joined in 1973 and moved into the White House three years later.

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