A Martin J. Ryan VIEWPOINT.
QUID PRO QUO Clintons, Obama, Bilderbergers
Not your friends and neighbors.
(Since the names Obama & Clinton appear so frequently in the following text, the fault lies not with me, but with them. Having had to suppress whatever liberal tendencies they may have held in order to succeed in a cynical political system, they found themselves auditioning for candidacy, in secret, before the world’s power brokers. Decisions which required of them an expediency that can result in a hardening of hearts.
So please be advised, I’m a life-long Democrat who voted for both men. I would vote for them again if they were running—or any democrat, including Hillary,
Why? Because, in theory, they would oppose Republicans and their seemingly irrational need to destroy Obama, health care, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, food stamps, wage increases, minority voting, pro choice, LGBT, and any mention of climate change or evolution.
Yet much of the following writing, sadly, may suggest to you, the difference between the two parties has become paper-thin).
Quid pro quo is the Latin phrase for “Something for something.” The latter says it all: We scratch each other’s back. Of course we occasionally help one another without expecting something in return because it’s the decent thing to do. (“The kindness of our hearts”). For instance, various charities or Doctors Without Borders. Or on a larger scale a country suffering disaster receives government contributions in the form of water, food and medical supplies. On the other hand, this same government might observe the cruelest genocide and do nothing because the victims are somehow non-relatable, or because a cost/benefit analysis revealed a zero sum gain. This was exampled during a Toronto forum–a discussion involving past presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton:
When asked why, as President, Clinton didn’t stop the Rwanda genocide in 1994, he replied that he had no excuse, no defense. “One of the greatest regrets of my presidency,” he said, while further adding he might have saved up to 400,000 people if he had sent in troops. Oops!
Bush didn’t say anything about his opposite decision—using Shock & Awe, sending troops to Iraq, and killing hundreds of thousands of non-enemies. No oops, no regrets.
But back to the Latin phrase. When applied to the legislative/political/business equation, one will find that beneath the ingratiating smile the notion of kindness in anyone’s heart will never break through a surface hardened by years of private jets and fancy meals and money in the right campaign chests.
Picture the tips of greed-sharpened spears being the thousands of well-paid lobbyists penetrating the Washington legislature in service to their powerful masters of industry, energy and finance; many of whom of either party, whether lobbyist, CEO or military brass, will pass through the beltway revolving doors from private to government and back to private; and, yes, back again to government. Sometimes with a foot in each place at the same time. Enough to dizzy the uninitiated. And imagine the behind the scenes back-scratching we will never see, never read about, that will alter our lives while shredding our right to reasonable transparency required in the democratic process. Sorry—forgot–we somehow misplaced that “right” some time ago.
While there are thousands of lobbyists, including hundreds of little known revolvers from Congressional, Senate and White House staffs, I submit–albeit more significant and recognizable–a mere 8 names as possible conflict of interest examples. Not knowing what each herein named person is doing today, in 2015, once again betrays my extreme research limitations; but you’ll get the picture. But keep in the forefront of your thinking, all of the possible back-room quid quo pro entailed:
On Wall Street: Partner at Lehman Brothers. The government: Assistant Secretary of the Treasury. Back on Wall Street: Co-Head of investment banking at Lehman Brothers, Vice-Chairman and head of M&A at Blackstone. Back in government: Clinton deputy Treasury Secretary. Back on Wall Street: Blackstone; founded and became chairman of Evercore Partners: (leverage buyouts and asset stripping). Back in government: Advised John Kerry in 2004 and Hillary Clinton in 2008. A member of Bilderberger Steering Committee.
On Wall Street: Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs
The Government: Secretary of Treasury under Bill Clinton
Back on Wall Street: Vice Chairman of Citigroup, Received more than $126 million in cash and stock during his tenure at Citigroup, up through and including Citigroup’s bailout by the U.S. Treasury; a bailout that that cost half a trillion dollars. If you want to know how unbelievably powerful Citigroup is in Washington, watch this Elizabeth Warren video:
Also, Rubin was was Special Limited Partner with Insight Venture Partners. Quoting here: (As Clinton’s two-term Secretary of the Treasury, Rubin sharply opposed any regulation of collateralized debt obligations, credit default swaps and other so-called “derivative” financial instruments which—despite having already created havoc for companies such as Procter & Gamble and Gibson Greetings, and disastrous consequences in 1994 for Orange County, California with its $1.5 billion default and subsequent bankruptcy—were nevertheless becoming the chief engine of profitability for Rubin’s former employer Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street firms). Participant: Council On foreign Relations and Bilderbergers.
Wall Street: Goldman Sachs CEO. Government: Sec of Treasury under Bush & Obama (TIME named him as one of the “25 People to Blame for the Financial Crisis”). Private: On June 27, 2011, Paulson formed the Paulson Institute, at the University of Chicago, dedicated to address issues of global scope, emphasis on cooperation between the United States and China. Loosely quoting Rolling Stone: The hedge funder source of a Bloomberg reporter declared that Paulson, in 2008, while Treasury Secretary under Bush, gave investment banker cronies insider information: that the government “would take Freddie & Fannie into conservatorship;” a disaster for stockholders—thus allowing his banker friends enough time to sell their holdings. His crisis bailout arrangements were exceedingly favorable in million$ to his friends at Goldman Sachs.
Was: Professor of economics, Harvard.
Government: Chief economist at the World Bank. Undersecretary for International Affairs U.S. Dept of Treasury under Clinton. Deputy Sec. of the Treasury. Succeeded Robert Rubin as Sec. of the Treasury. Advised deregulation of the U. S. financial system—repealing the Glass-Steagall Act.
Back to Harvard: For 5 years ‘til resigning–conflict of interest. Made millions as partner at Hedge Fund D.E.Shaw, and for paid speeches at Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Chase, Citigroup, Merrill Lynch, Lehman Bros.
Back to government: Director White House U. S. National Economic Council for President Obama—economic point man for Obama’s response to Great Recession. Council On Foreign Relations and Bilderbergers.
Private—Worked for Kissinger Associates*** (end note) in Washington, for 3 years
Government—Between 1988 & 1998: International Affairs div of U.S. Treasury dept.
An attaché at U.S. Embassy in Tokyo.
Assistant Secretary for international monetary & financial policy.
Senior Deputy Assist Sec. of International Affairs, then Assist Sec.
under the Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs, 1998-2001, under Secretaries Rubin & Summers.
Private—Senior fellow of Council On Foreign Relations 2001.
Director of Policy and Review 2001-2003 International Monetary Fund.
In 2003, president of the Fed Reserve Bank of NY & vice chair of Fed. Open Market Committee. While Fed pres, also became member of Washington based financial advisory firm, the Group of Thirty*** (end note). He pushed to reduce capital requirements in running a bank, making them more vulnerable.
Government—in 2009 President Obama picked Geithner for Treasury Secretary, confirmed by U.S. Senate. Geithner proposed a new investment fund to provide a market for the so-called “toxic assets” burdening the financial system, using a mix of private and taxpayer money, and to give banks the capital they needed to lend to others. In exchange they would cut salaries and perks. Instead, AIG received $170 million in bailout aid, then paid $165 million in bonuses to its executives. Meanwhile, Geithner opposed mortgage debt relief, which stranded homeowners, in effect bailing out banks but not families.
Private—2014 joined Warburg Pincus, a private equity firm, as president & managing director. Geithner is also a Bilderbergers Participant.
The government: U.S. Sec of commerce under Clinton.
Wall Street: Midwest chairman at JP Morgan.
Back to government: White House chief of staff under pres Obama.
Private: Former New York Fed reserve advisor, friend of Tim Geithner
Wall Street: Partner at Mariner Investment Group: holding group for hedge funds
Government: Senior economic advisor to Obama.
The Bush dynasty. What preceded Prescott Bush, and what followed him, is all part of the exceedingly dark side of the creation of the American Empire. An unbroken line including his son, Herbert Walker Bush, and grandson, George W. So thoroughly enmeshed as this family has been, in business and government, it would take an entire book in two volumes to adequately cover the story; therefore I must pass on it for this article.
But this next and last submission is a perfect example of the complex entwining and straddling of government and business, that no doubt included a lot of “something for something,” that we of the untutored class can barely manage to unscramble, to focus on with clarity:
JOHN A JOHNSON
Campaign manager for Walter Mondale’s presidential bid. Selection committee for the presidential campaign of John Kerry, and briefly led the vice-presidential selection process for the 2008 Democratic presidential nominee, Senator Barack Obama.
In 1990, Johnson became vice chairman of Fannie Mae. In 1991 was appointed chairman and chief executive officer, a position held until 1998. OFHEO (The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight) reported that Fannie Mae had under-reported Johnson’s compensation. Claimed: $6–7 million. Actually $21 million. Authors of the book “Reckless Endangerment,” Gretchen Morgenson (NY Times), and Joshua Rosner, described Johnson as “corporate America’s founding father of regulation manipulation.” He donated and raised money for Obama’s presidential campaign, and participated in Obama’s campaign efforts to recruit former Clinton supporters. While John McCain stated that “Fannie cooked the books and Johnson made millions,” Obama asked Johnson to pick his VP.
Johnson has been a board member of Goldman Sachs Gannett Company, Inc. KB Home, Target Corporation, Temple-Inland, and a former director of UnitedHealth Group. He also served as chairman of both the Kennedy Center for the Arts (1996–2004) and the Brookings Institution (1994–2003). Was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Friends of Bilderberg, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Trilateral Commission. He is a member of the Steering Committee of the Bilderberg Group. Wow!
Considering the above careers, which were mostly dedicated to smaller government, privatization and deregulation, are these revolving-door government appointees and advisors ever expected to help reign in what should be considered Wall Street’s criminal activities? Of course not. They are in the business of quid pro quo. That’s the joke on the rest of us who have nothing of value to trade. Therefore, having given up on our legislative/executive/judicial for something approaching fair play, we should instead look to the Department Of Justice, whose mission statement is the following:
“To enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States according to the law; to ensure public safety against threats foreign and domestic; to provide federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime; to seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior; and to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.”
How’s that been working out?
Consider President Obama’s head of Justice: U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder.
On the verge of retiring from his post, Holder announced that he has asked his U.S. attorneys to examine their cases against individual bank executives for potential prosecution. You know—you didn’t forget, did you?
Sorry, always repeating myself: The people who caused the worldwide financial meltdown of 2008? The people who created and lied about the mortgage-backed securities they marketed and sold, then bet against for their own greed driven profit? Yes?
Interesting that Holder asks his attorneys to take a tiny little peek, now, seven years after the fact, when he’s leaving his post.
Okay, so Holder’s Justice Department did go after the banks. For instance J.P. Morgan Chase, which settled its case for 13 billion dollars. On the other hand Jamie Dimon, Morgan Chase’s CEO, walked free and received a 74% increase in pay for his wonderful performance. Like the execs of other major banks (think Deutche Bank, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs) that went on the dole—better known as “the bailout.” Bankers who walked away from their criminal acts while receiving enormous bonuses, as 34 trillion dollars in wealth was destroyed, wrecking pension funds and millions of Americans jobs. Repeating myself? Sorry.
But where was Holder? Some people protested.
People like financial whistleblowers, bless them. And what happens to them? Take a guy named Michael Winston who revealed the scams of Countrywide Financial, an outfit that nearly blew up the world economy by giving mortgages to borrowers who couldn’t afford them. For his courage Mr. Winston was touted as a hero; was featured in the NY Times, and inspired Senate hearings that were to legislate to eliminate Wall Street corruption. (Hope you weren’t holding your breath for that). Of course Countrywide retaliated by terminating his employment and blackballing him.
In his battle with Countrywide, and Bank Of America who owned it, a jury granted Michael Winston a multi-million dollar award, which was then voided by an appellate judge who allowed the bank to viciously counter-sue him; ultimately placing a lien on his house and leaving him with $98,000 in court costs. Which means that hero whistleblower Winston paid an individual penalty larger than every senior criminal banker involved in the financial collapse of 2008. His following legal protest was denied. Which means if you go up against these power brokers—it appears that their lawyers, our courts and our government, will destroy you.
Where was Obama’s Attorney General Holder and his Justice Department?
I should add: while the bank was causing him to lose his savings, Michael Winston was diagnosed and treated for laryngeal cancer, and was fighting for his life.
What was Holder doing? Working out a deal with Citigroup, similar to the one he handed J.P. Morgan, with Citigroup paying 7 billion as their senior executive bankers, having committed criminal acts of fraud by selling defective home loans, walked free.
Try stealing a bag of groceries to feed your kids and see what happens.
Your quid pro quo would have been a few dollars. Absent that—tough!
But putting aside the grocery thief and staying with the issue of banks, I will restate what is already old news: that there is one bank in particular that has benefited the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation.
Files leaked from this bank’s Swiss banking division has shown that seven hidden account holders have donated $81 million to their foundation. One donation featured in the news was from HSBC client, hedge funder Jeffrey Epstein, alleged to have enslaved young girls for sex offered to his powerful men friends. Money from a dirty source for a good cause? Then there are the donations from foreign individuals and governments, too numerous to list.
There is no doubt that much good can come from a major charity, as the Clintons’ foundation. My issue is the possible quid pro quo. While the money is not going into Hillary’s purse, or her campaign chest, when one receives such hefty donations there are always “something for something” expectations, usually in the form of entrée to high level government officials, perhaps favorable legislation, in the not too distant future. It is the natural order of things.
So the problem is, Hillary Clinton who is tethered to Wall Street, as a legislator or president, may eventually be subject to returning the favor, in whatever form.
A bank like HSBC, as corrupt as it is, is where the real power lies. Think of it as a giant octopus with an enormous reach. It is also known as the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, and as of 2012 it was formidable as the world’s largest bank in assets. In 2013 it had total assets of $2.671 trillion; with 6,600 offices in 80 countries, and about 60 million customers, some of whom are dictators and arms dealers whose ill gotten fortunes are sheltered by this powerful (in my opinion, sociopathic) institution.
Documents obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, aka ICIJ, (from 45 countries) reveal HSBC has tax sheltered a variety of famous “athletes, rock stars, Hollywood actors, royalty, politicians, corporative executives and old-wealth families.” People, whose secret quid pro quo donations to campaign chests will alter ordinary lives in disastrous ways; lives existing far too disconnected from seats of power.
ICIJ highlights the effects of offshore hiding of approximately $7.6 trillion from taxes— its devastating effects on global societies having to do with so much less because of a reduction of about $200 billion a year from government treasuries. Explained another way: We ordinary folks dip into our pockets to pay heavy taxes for necessary public services, like infrastructure, health and education, without which society usually crumbles. Meanwhile the power elite sit comfortably behind the secure walls of their estates counting their hidden fortunes, while complaining about the “losers” and “lazy takers.” Meaning, I suppose, the working-poor needing food stamps, sometimes working two jobs per day.
French economist Thomas Piketty, author of Capital in the Twenty-First Century, told ICIJ: “The offshore industry is a major threat for our democratic institutions and our social contract.” An understatement, I think.
I would tell ICIJ that our social contract, as we thought we knew it, no longer exists. Having said that, I decided to check some definitions in my Tenth Edition of Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.
“Government of the people; rule of the majority; a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation…usually free elections; the absence of hereditary or arbitrary class distinctions or privileges.”
Government by the wealthy; a controlling class of the wealthy.
Government by the few; a government in which a small group exercises control for corrupt and selfish purposes.
Bearing in mind our questionable legislative representation, I now find it difficult to accept the number 1. definition as an accurate portrayal of what constitutes America today. If I could combine plutocracy and oligarchy into a newfangled word, I would use it to describe today’s America—having moved year by year away from democracy with the spectacular growth of inequality and the shredding of the Constitution with it’s enduring effects, today, advanced by the Bush/Cheney crowd. And in too many ways advanced by the Obama administration: It’s dramatic and intimidating increase in domestic NSA snooping, and its search and destroy mission of tracking journalists doing their investigative jobs, thereby producing an increase in whistleblower prosecutions that far outstrip the Bush/Cheney bunch.
Words can be intimidating. I recall, after 9/11, Bush’s White House Press Secretary, Ari Fleischer, seriously crossing the line when referring to a politically irreverent remark by comedian Bill Maher, prompting Fleischer to issue a warning: “All Americans need to watch what they say, watch what they do.” A rather scary suggestion not lost on the American press, creating a tendency to suppress and self-censor; which is what transpires under dictatorships. So much for freedom of speech. Some of us are old enough to remember the McCarthy witch-hunt of the 50s, producing dishonorable intimidation and blackballing—in America! A disgraceful period that inspired Arthur Miller’s play: The Crucible, about the Salem witch trials.
It’s been recently estimated that the campaigns for the presidency in 2016 will require about $1 billion for each side. While this is perfectly acceptable to those at the apex of power, one can’t emphasize enough how destructive this is to democracy. This money will come from a combined pinnacle of wealth—from dynastic families, from industry, energy, pharma, finance, major defense contractors, and conglomerate mainstream media through which information is sifted or simply eliminated; in effect killing ideas deemed unacceptably radical.
Enormous amounts of this money—no doubt much of it from off shore–is concealed in PACS and doled out to both Democrats and Republicans who grovel before their masters. Money made secure by the corporatist embrace of a Supreme Court. A Court that has betrayed us by aiding in the suppression of the voting power of the average American through its declaring that, “Corporations are people,” leaving far less room for dissenting voices. Not to mention mean spirited, often bigoted, legislators legalizing their Nazi-like voter ID requirements for American minorities.
Speaking of dissenting voices:
The Internet has changed the world. For the worse as far as the power elite is concerned. Especially regarding the many activist websites legitimately devoted to political truths that often swell the email boxes of legislators with “signed petitions.” Which, of course, is why “network neutrality” will always be challenged
It is the Internet’s wide-ranging coverage of uncensored topics, albeit some of it colored by conspiracy theories bordering on madness (my opinion), some of it sociopathic. But much of it presenting intelligent, thoughtful, and very credible points of view on serious matters—often with a more accurate portrayal of history–that will never make it to the mainstream media.
Regarding the telly, one has to stretch one’s head to peer round the glut of brain-sludge entertainment gossip and reality TV saturating the networks, to view what might turn out to be smart and significant.
An example of the possible suppression of free expression on television was the discussion between Congresswoman Jane Harman and Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC. While covering a subject important to all Americans, the dangerous NSA domestic surveillance program, the serious-minded congresswoman was cut off mid-sentence by Mitchell to attend to an outrageous “Breaking News!” segment. Because on the surface it seemed merely idiotic, many people found this amusing, but I didn’t. Maybe the monitors of the news did not like what Harman was saying and censored her point of view. Watch it here at: https:
But whatever one chooses to watch it will be under the watchful eyes and ears of those who control information with all of the head-chopping power of an inquisition. Especially as it pertains to the networks’ opinionated partisan wonks who noisily and dutifully squabble over the “important political issues.” A bunch that will seldom confront in detail, for public consumption, the real quid pro quo corruption of what used to be our imperfect but precious democratic republic.
The papering over of our recent history by the mainstream’s elimination of the connecting dots is often successfully, intelligently, exposed by a few “radical” print magazines. But it is the Internet that has the most immediate, the greatest, everyday reach to ordinary Americans–whether right, center, or left. An article’s “Comments” section can bristle with remarks, in some cases amounting to a healthy debate. Some remarks plain dumb, some very bright and insightful, some funny and/or snide. (A democracy!) A few years back when I wrote politics from the left for Blogcritics, I had been accused, in “comments,” of wearing an alien-resistant aluminum hat, which both amused and pleased me—that I had successfully poked the opposition.
During WWll The Office of Strategic Services, aka OSS, was the first independent U.S. intelligence agency, which was dismantled in 1945 by President Harry S. Truman; then reconstructed In September 1947, as the top secret Central Intelligence Agency—aka CIA. For quite a few years none of us ever heard of it, and when we finally did, we didn’t know where it was located.
Back around 1972 (43 years ago) I was huddled in the bowels of the main branch of the NY Public Library, searching through reference books and maps, and scrolling through endless reams of microfilm. I can’t recall exactly how this search helped me to connect the dots, but it did. It led me to a location on the map that I had purchased at the old Hammond Map Store on Manhattan’s 43 Street.
On the map I saw an area designated Metropolitan Washington. My research had me pointing to a spot on the Potomac where the bridge crosses from the Capitol to Arlington, where I traced a path along the GW Memorial Parkway to McClean; to a spot opposite an amusement park on the Bethesda side. What I read there was: Bureau Of Public roads Research Station.
The CIA, hidden in plain sight.
The point of this digression is the secrecy. The NSA was equally hidden, if not more so; and it was years before it, too, became public. Investigative Journalism, so frowned on by past and present administrations, must be thanked for its determined digging. In contrast, today, Wikipedia has extensive histories of both agencies, not to mention each has elaborate websites offering the public everything short of smiley faces and welcome mats to wipe your feet on.
Which leads me to the Bilderberg Group, aka the Bilderbergers.
Their shrouded existence has, and continues to be, suppressed and thereby protected by an apparently terrified mainstream media that answers to its conglomerate media masters, some of whom are certainly members, themselves.
Having been doggedly pursued, exposed, and dragged before the general public by Internet writers and videographers, the furtive group taking note of the CIA and the NSA, no doubt felt enough pressure to have an official website, as well.
If the site could squint it would—like a cave dwelling bat with an aversion to the light of day. I can imagine the Group emitting a big collective sigh, having to offer up its grayish presentation that is as welcoming to ordinary men and women as a NO TRESSPASSING sign.
Its exceedingly bland website statement, in part, reads: “Founded in 1954, Bilderberg is an annual conference designed to foster dialogue between Europe and North America. Every year, between 120-150 political leaders and experts from industry, finance, academia and the media are invited to take part in the conference. About two thirds of the participants come from Europe and the rest from North America; one third from politics and government and the rest from other fields.” Blah, blah, blah. I skipped the rest.
The relative handful of people who early on discovered the existence of this exclusive club and exposed them on the Net, were successfully brushed aside as paranoid conspiracy crazies, finding themselves lumped together with believers in demon exorcisms and alien abductions.
That no longer works, considering the available Internet videos of limousines carrying the members arriving and departing from their once a year meetings, the members trying to hide their often recognizable faces behind newspapers and tinted windows, protected by an army of professional security.
The first 3-day meeting of the club was held at the Hotel de Bilderberg in Oosterbeek, Netherlands, in May 1954. It was begun by Polish politician-in-exile Józef Retinger, who was concerned about anti-Americanism in Western Europe. He proposed a meeting of leaders from European countries and the United States to promote co-operation on political, economic and defense issues.
The others initially approached were: Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, Belgian Prime Minister Paul Van Zeeland, Dutch businessman Paul Rijkens, and Walter Bedell Smith, then head of the CIA. A guest list was then created by inviting two from each nation, one of each to represent conservative and liberal points of view. Fifty delegates from 11 Western Europe countries, and 11 Americans, attended the first conference. All of which seems well meaning enough—listening to all sides and proposing solutions to differences. Very democratic. That was then.
Currently the Bilderberg Group has an annual shrouded meeting with up to 150 members: government/political leaders, industrialists, bankers, academics, the media. That’s all very nice, except it’s extraordinary secrecy doesn’t instill a great deal of confidence. Opaque global recommendations, which might amount to fateful decisions, are handed out to the various countries, including ours, to be as seriously considered as the Ten Commandments. Perused and discussed in private, totally absent transparency.
Meanwhile, Obama and Clintons, as well as others before them, making their Faustian pacts, are obliged to audition—to lift their skirts and show their goodies–before this private group of elites. Many of them billionaire oligarchs who arrogantly presume to know what’s best for us lesser beings. Take a look at the video of Robert Gibbs, then Obama’s press secretary, sweating while struggling to explain Obama’s absence to the annoyed Obama press corp, trapped on Obama’s campaign plane flying to Chicago. The reason? The future president was responding to a last minute request (or demand) to appear for his audition before the Bilderberg Group, having its annual conference a short distance from the airport. This is worth seeing:
I’m reminded of Athens, a democracy throughout most of the 5th and the 4th century. Oligarchs sometimes succeeded in establishing a government where the few and wealthy ruled over the many and mostly poor. Democrats were regarded as an unruly mob, and tensions between the two were ever present in Athenian politics. Plato notes in his Republic that every city consists of “two cities that are at war with each other.” The major difference between then and now is that the “many and the mostly poor,” and the collapsed Middle Class, are still overwhelmed by the Oligarchs.
When was the last time you heard the name Bilderberg Group mentioned on the floor of Congress. My guess is never. They don’t dare bring attention to the controlling wizards behind the curtain. Which is not true of the British Parliament, where one can watch two of its members openly discussing the Bilderbergers, with one MP challenging the Chancellor of the Exchequer for his very active participation in that elitist club. Seen in this entertaining, rather sly, video:
Is Parliament a better system, where one can witness real debates?
End note: ***Group of Thirty (G30) Timothy Geinther was member.
Group of Thirty (G30) has 34–35 members. A very exclusive club. It is a nongovernmental think tank with an interest in international and monetary affairs. It studies and publishes reports on banking and market trends. It also holds international banking seminars to observe key trends and exchange opinions with outside experts. These Group activities contribute towards issuing recommendations on system changes to policy-makers and market practitioners, keeping in mind the increase in financial globalization. Sounds bland, doesn’t it? But what a conniving, greedy bunch they are.
Their “recommendations” are delivered by power brokers with very commanding voices. Many of the members issuing the reports will benefit financially because of their connections, or because they themselves are in a position to execute the recommendations, which frequently result in extremely painful measures. Think of so-called E.U. government bailouts, with the help of a troika of the ECB, IMF, and the European Commission.
While G30 occupies the power to manage economic and financial crisis, too often it is a crisis that they themselves created through pressing for unendurable austerity in countries verging on bankruptcy. Trapping the countries like Greece in loan shark arrangements where the interest paid creates major profits for those delivering the pain, while the principal loan itself is eternal. To repeat, these measures profit handsomely many of the G30 banking members. Simply put—it is all about greed and not giving a damn about who suffers. The last I heard, some Greeks are burning their furniture to keep warm.
At a glance the list of G30 member names were European, American, Latin, Asian, Indian. The three most familiar to me were Paul A. Volcker, Timothy Geithner, and Lawrence Summers.
End note: ***Kissinger Associates, where Timothy Geithner worked for 3 years
Henry Kissinger, a rather unpopular political figure, owns and operates the international consultancy: Kissinger Associates, Inc. The company is paranoid in its secrecy, producing no reports or filings, leaving little or no documentation available to investigators; and while it has been involved n multinational scandals triggering congressional investigations, Kissinger remains Teflon coated. Kissinger Associates had been involved, for a year and one half, in exploring relationships with the infamous, corrupt bank, BCCI, to link its networks with those of Kissinger’s, but after BCCI was indicted, the talks ended.
A partner in Kissinger Associates was Sergio Correa da Costa, Brasilian diplomat and chief of BCCI’s operations in Brazil. Also a Kissinger client: Banco Nationale del Lavero (BNL) issued $4 billion in secret loans to Iraqis business interests, facilitating weapons & military technology sales to these same Iraqis just weeks before the Kuwait invasion. Benefiting from these loans were a number of Kissinger clients. Kissinger claimed he did not benefit in terms of income.
Two others Connected with Kissinger Associates who benefited were Brent Snowcroft and Lawrence Eagleburger. In government, Snowcroft became National Security Advisor and Eagleburger became Deputy Secretary of State; later the Secretary. Their connections, including holdings, to the recognizable billion dollar contractors in Iraq are too extensive to list here. When the facts of these loans were uncovered the Justice Department shred all of the available documentation concerned with these matters.
In addition: 1999. Kissinger Associates created a joint venture with Thomas McLarty, under Kissinger McLarty Associates. McLarty was Chief of Staff under Clinton, adviser to to the Carlyle Group, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. In 2000, Kissinger Associates partnered in an advisory business with the Blackstone Group, and American International Group, Inc. Blackstone founders Peter G. Peterson, and Stephen A. Schwarzman, are members of the Council on Foreign Relations, Peterson took part in Bilderberg Meetings. “Hank” Greenberg, who is a personal friend of Kissinger, is the Honorary Vice-Chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations. Hank has taken part in Bilderberg meetings. He was once offered the position of Deputy Director of the CIA.
While these end notes terminate my viewpoint, there is no end to the above mentioned characters who will never execute their secret quid pro quos for the general good of American citizens.
In closing, I submit a relevant quote from Noam Chomsky: linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, logician, Professor Emeritus at MIT
He maintains that, “…the motive of the elites is the same as always: they seek to isolate the general population from important decision-making processes, the difference being that the centers of power are now transnational corporations and supranational banks.” He argues that, “transnational corporate power is developing its own governing institutions reflective of their global reach.
“A primary ploy has been the co-opting of the global economic institutions established at the end of World War II, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, which have increasingly adhered to the ‘Washington Consensus’, requiring developing countries to adhere to limits on spending and make structural adjustments that often involve cutbacks in social and welfare programs. IMF aid and loans are normally contingent upon such reforms.” Chomsky claims “…the construction of global institutions and agreements such as the World Trade Organization, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and the Multilateral Agreement on Investment constitute new ways of securing élite privileges while undermining democracy. These austere and neoliberal measures ensure that poorer countries merely fulfill a service role by providing cheap labor, raw materials and investment opportunities for the developed world. Additionally, this means that corporations can threaten to relocate to poorer countries, a powerful weapon to keep workers in richer countries in line.”
So when you vote, keep in mind you are probably rooting for presidential candidates pre-selected in secrecy by members of an elite club—not by your friends and neighbors.