VIPs' arrivals marked by a discreet 'B'
The limo drivers had them, so did the luggage tags -- signs with a single B -- and they were the ticket to get into the Bilderberg meeting at the Brookstreet.
Andrew Mayeda and Glen McGregor, The Ottawa Citizen | June 9 2006
Greeted at the airport by limousine drivers holding single-letter "B" signs, global luminaries such as Henry Kissinger, David Rockefeller and Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands began quietly slipping into Ottawa yesterday for the annual gathering of the ultra-secretive Bilderberg Group.
Over the next three days at the Brookstreet Hotel in Kanata, they and other prominent political and business leaders from North America and Europe are expected to discuss issues such as the security threat posed by Iran and the direction of oil markets.
The group's discreet approach was evident as attendees arrived yesterday at the Ottawa Airport.
Outside the airport, a phalanx of limousines lined up to ferry guests to the Brookstreet, where security guards with ear pieces kept watch over the barricaded entrance to the hotel parking lot.
Limos were also dispatched to the nearby Shell Aerocentre to retrieve participants arriving on private aircraft. Some attendees had the single-letter "B" on their luggage tags.
Approached by a Citizen reporter upon his arrival, former U.S. defence policy adviser Richard Perle shot down criticism about the secrecy of the group's meetings. "It's a private organization," he said. He denied the charge, advanced by Bilderberg critics, that the organization crafts public policy behind closed doors. "It discusses public policy," he stressed.
Mr. Perle also dismissed suggestions that the group's heavy representation from the oil industry gives it influence over energy prices. "If it did, I'd be trading on oil futures," he said.
A former assistant secretary of defence to president Ronald Reagan, Mr. Perle is still considered an influential adviser in U.S. conservative circles. He advised President George W. Bush and is said to be a close friend of Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
In 2003, he publicly chastised the Canadian government for refusing to send troops to Iraq and warned that "lame-duck" prime minister Jean Chretien would be embarrassed once weapons of mass destruction were found.
Also seen arriving yesterday were Jorma Ollila, chairman of Royal Dutch Shell, Egil Myklebust, chairman of Scandinavian Airlines, World Bank president James Wolfenson, and Frank McKenna, former New Brunswick premier and ex-Canadian ambassador to the U.S.
According to an unsigned press release sent by fax yesterday, presumably by Bilderberg organizers, attendees will also include New York Governor George Pataki, deputy prime minister of Iraq Ahmad Chalabi, the heads of Coca-Cola, Credit Suisse, the Royal Bank of Canada, a number of media moguls, and cabinet ministers from Spain and Greece.
The release confirmed this year's meeting will deal with energy issues, Iran, the Middle East, terrorism, immigration, Russia, European-American relations and Asia.
"The meeting is private to encourage frank and open discussion," said the release. "There will be no press conference."
Security was relatively light at the airport, with only a few uniformed police on hand.
But at the Brookstreet, the parking lot in front of the hotel was completely emptied and entrances to the lot were barricaded. A tow truck removed any vehicles that did not comply.
Private security guards in black blazers guarded various points around the hotel perimeter, including the golf course behind the Brookstreet. A number of Ottawa police officers also provided security.
Guests who stayed at the hotel on Wednesday night were asked to check out by 8:30 a.m. yesterday, several hours earlier than usual. The hotel is closed through Sunday.
The sidewalk in front of the hotel has become an improvised campground for conspiracy theorists and dedicated Bilderberg watchers, few more colourful than James P. Tucker Jr., a 71-year-old writer who says he has covered every Bilderberg conference for the last 30 years.
Mr. Tucker, who recently published a book called the Bilderberg Diary, said he spent several days this week casing out the hotel, plying Brookstreet bartenders for information over glasses of tomato juice.
"For years they denied their very existence," said Mr. Tucker, dressed in a black pinstriped suit and straw hat. "Well, they certainly influence the world."
Daniel Estulin, who flew from Spain to cover this week's conference, is such a regular on the circuit that he is on a first-name basis with Bilderberg security officials.
"Their main objective is creating a world government ruled by an elite group of people whose main objective is to control all the natural resources of the planet," said Mr. Estulin, who brought a small camera to snap photos of the Bilderbergers as they arrived in dark luxury sedans with tinted windows. Some of the sedans had sheets of paper bearing the trademark "B" on the dashboard.
But the Bilderbergers also attracted curious onlookers who only recently learned about the event through the media.
"There are all sorts of gaps in what politicians say and do. This is just another example of the circumventing of the democratic process," said Cindy Mogensen, who took a break from work yesterday to check out the conference.
Elite are ever elusive
While there might be a few dukes inside, guards keep out our Earl
EARL MCRAE, OTTAWA SUN | June 9 2006
We all need a little insanity in our lives and here's mine: The Bilderberg Boogie.
Raindrops are falling on my head as I stand behind the security barricade well back of the Brookstreet Hotel where dark limos with tinted windows pull up to the front entrance sporadically throughout the day, dispatching figures who dart quickly inside through the phalanx of grim-faced guys dressed like undertakers.
Who, I ask myself, are all these undertakers, and uniformed cops dotting the landscape around the hotel, securing? The conspiracy theorists say it's the Bilderberg Group, the so-called world secret government of politicians, potentates, industrialists, militarists, and oil barons who set the real life and death agendas for us all, and have arrived for a weekend of new agenda-setting, concealed, as always, from the plebian public.
If it is the Bilderberg Group, with its paranoia for secrecy, then I'm thinking these geniuses have been struck monumentally stupid. The Internet and newspapers have had stories for weeks that the Bilderbergers will be meeting this weekend at the Brookstreet Hotel. Knowing this, which they had to, you'd think the Bilderbergers, allergic to publicity, would have cancelled the Brookstreet Hotel for a resort on a remote island somewhere.
That's if it is the Bilderberg Group. With the saturation security, maybe it's Oprah or Pamela Anderson or whoever the hell yesterday's fleeting superstar was in pop music.
CASING THE JOINT
Or maybe it's the "French pharmaceutical group" and the "Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs charity tournament" people. When I did the Bilderberg scope-out at the hotel a week ago, manager Patrice Basille told me those were the only two groups booked for this weekend, and it was impossible for anyone to make a reservation -- all rooms were booked.
Either Basille is part of the Bilderberg grand conspiracy of silence, or the "French pharmaceutical group" and "Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs charity tournament" are in need of massive security, the reason for which is beyond me.
The only way, I decide, to find out if it's Bilderberg or BSberg is to get past the security into the hotel. So, I walk two blocks down the street, cut into a parking lot of a hi-tech company, and take a circuitous route back to the rear of the hotel, hoping it'll be bereft of security.
First, though, my eyes scan the golf course adjoining the hotel, where the guests have privileges. I figure if I see Osama bin Laden napping in a sand trap, I'm Bilderberg bound. Bin Laden, when checking in, would ask for a sand trap, not a room.
I don't spot bin Laden, but, unfortunately, do spot one of the undertakers at a barricade I'd have to get through to get in. Back of the barricade is the hotel's wrought-iron fence, its locked gates extra-secured with thick, wrap-around, bike-lock wires.
If the Bilderbergers and Brookstreet can practise subterfuge, so can I. "I'm staying at the hotel," I tell him, "I need to get in."
"Do you have your security pass?"
"Security pass? I'm just an innocent guest. Pass for what?"
"All room guests were given passes by the hotel. Not even the police get by me without a pass."
"I guess they forgot to give me a pass -- why, what's going on here anyway?"
"A conference of some kind. That's all we were told. I have to stand here for 12 hours."
"Are you with the hotel?"
"No. Iron Horse Security." He shows me the photo ID card around his neck: Eric Thivierge.
"Dressed like that? You look like you're going to a funeral."
"The client wanted us dressed up this way. All in black. Why, I don't know.
"Normally, we wear company uniforms with our logo. I didn't have a black jacket. I had to go out and buy one."
"All this for just a conference? What do you do if somebody tries to get by?
"No, I don't have a gun. It's illegal. I'll call for help." He holds up his cellphone. "See that other security guy down there? Maybe he can get somebody from the hotel to bring you your pass."
I stroll along to the other Iron Horse Security guy. Andre's his name. Black pants, black shoes, black suit jacket, white shirt, dark tie. I play blissfully inquisitive. "All I know," he says, "is that it's a think-tank of some kind with big shots from around the world."
"Have you seen any of the big shots?"
"I wouldn't recognize them even if I did. I'm told there'll be a couple of monarchs, though."
Andre says he had to buy his own shirt, tie, and pants. Cost him about $100.
"I'm hoping somebody will reimburse me."
Bill the Bilderbergers, Andre. Reimbursement is the least they can do for having you Iron Horse guys wandering the hotel grounds looking like a convention of gloomy undertakers in search of a funeral. But, of course, you'd first have to recognize these secretive publicity shunners.
Cosmetic Surgery. We are pleased to extend our range of services by offering the cosmetic surgical and on-site non-surgical expertise of Dr. Lloyd Van Wyck, M.D., F.R.C.S. (C).
-- Brookstreet Hotel brochure
Secretive, powerful Bilderberg group meets near Ottawa
ALEXANDER PANETTA / Canadian Press | June 9 2006
Ottawa — It's like Woodstock for conspiracy theorists.
A serene suburban setting has been transformed into a four-day festival of black suits, black limousines, burly security guards — and suspicions of world domination.
On the outskirts of the nation's capital, a tony high-rise hotel beside a golf course is hosting the annual meeting for one of the world's most secretive and powerful societies.
It's not the Freemasons.
Forget those fabled U.S. military men who tucked away UFOs in the Arizona desert.
These guys, you've probably never even heard of, and if you believe the camera-toting followers who attend all their meetings, they control the world.
They're called the Bilderberg group.
They include European royalty, national leaders, political power-brokers, and heads of the world's biggest companies.
Those who follow the Bilderberg group say it got Europe to adopt a common currency, got Bill Clinton elected after he agreed to support NAFTA, and is spending this week deciding what to do about high oil prices and that pesky fundamentalist president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
“Some people say that I advocate a conspiracy theory. That's not true. I recognize a conspiracy fact,” said James P. Tucker.
The 74-year-old American journalist has been following the Bilderberg group for decades, has written extensively about it, and recently published his Bilderberg Diary. He follows the group to its annual meetings and stands outside describing to other journalists details of his privileged access to their inner workings.
He is not alone.
Daniel Estulin snapped photographs of every vehicle that approached the concrete-and-glass complex Thursday. He says Mossad — Israel's spy agency — is paying attention.
Away from the golf course, there are no grassy knolls in the industrial zone outside Ottawa's Brookstreet hotel, the site of this week's meeting, but the scene does nothing to dissuade conspiracists.
Ottawa police officers are standing guard outside a dozen metal gates that serve as security checkpoints a half-kilometre from the hotel.
But Ottawa's finest are clearly not in charge here.
To approach the hotel property, even these uniformed police officers are required to show their credentials to the half-dozen black-suited men working for Globe Risk, a private security firm.
“This is pretty unusual,” one Ottawa cop said.
Another said they were hired to be there in their off-duty hours and weren't told much by their superiors: “They just told us, ‘These are important people. It's a private meeting.' ”
A small crowd of curious onlookers snapped photos of black-windowed sedans stopping at the checkpoints. It was impossible to see who was sitting inside.
But it's fun to imagine.
The Bilderberg group is a half-century-old organization comprising about 130 of the world's wealthiest and most powerful people. The group is named after the Dutch hotel where it held its first meeting in 1954.
But don't expect to find that information on the group's website. They don't have a website.
Nor was there any Bilderberg logo anywhere to be seen Thursday, except for those nondescript white placards stamped with the letter ‘B' and tucked under the windshield of all those tinted sedans.
A journalist calling the Brookstreet hotel asked to leave a message for the Bilderbergers.
“Sure,” a hotel employee said. “Your name and number?”
The journalist then asked whether the employee could confirm whether the Bilderberg Group was actually meeting there.
“I don't know,” she replied.
Even members of the hotel gym were barred from the premises. A sign was slapped on the gym door earlier this week informing them the facilities would be closed for four days. All other hotel guests were asked to check out by Thursday morning. Any vehicles remaining in the parking lot would be towed.
Bilderberg says the privacy of its meetings helps encourage freewheeling discussion.
An unsigned press release, sent by fax, confirmed this year's meeting would deal with energy issues, Iran, the Middle East, terrorism, immigration, Russia, European-American relations and Asia.
“The meeting is private to encourage frank and open discussion,” said the release.
“There will be no press conference.”
The release included a list of participants at this year's event.
The 2006 group includes David Rockefeller, Henry Kissinger, Queen Beatrix of Holland, New York Gov. George Pataki, the heads of Coca-Cola, Credit Suisse, the Royal Bank of Canada, cabinet ministers from Spain, Greece and a number of media moguls, including Globe and Mail newspaper publisher Philip Crawley. However, Bilderberg followers say that media moguls whose outlets report leaked details from the meetings will see themselves banned in the future.,
The group also includes a pair of prominent figures involved in planning the U.S. invasion of Iraq — Richard Perle and Ahmad Chalabi. Fellow White House power-players Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz, now head of the World Bank, have spoken to the group in the past.
But Bilderberg is not exclusively a right-wing body, by any means. Bill Clinton's right-hand-man Vernon Jordan, was also in attendance Thursday, as was his Mideast negotiator Dennis Ross.
The prime ministers of Britain and Canada — Tony Blair and Stephen Harper — have addressed the group before, as have former Liberal prime ministers Pierre Trudeau, Paul Martin and Jean Chrétien.
Mr. Harper spoke to Bilderberg in Versailles, France, in 2003 but his office said he would not attend this year's conference.
Canada remains well represented, however.
The Canadian contingent at this year's event also includes Power Corp. boss Paul Desmarais, Indigo books CEO Heather Reisman, and former New Brunswick premier Frank McKenna.