Bilderberg 2015 – Where Criminals Mingle With Politicians

Submitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

Out at my car I couldn’t be bothered to get into the whole ‘probable cause’ thing so I flung open the doors and with as much good cheer as I could muster, said: “Help yourself”. They did. While one set of police searched my car with their torches, another lot clustered round me and asked me questions: “Where do you live? What are you doing here?” I’m a journalist and I live in a police state. What about you?

 

A little while later, bored and a bit cold, I decided to point out to the officers that while they were treating a journalist like a criminal, there were actual criminals about to arrive at the hotel they were guarding. Convicted criminals. Such as disgraced former CIA boss, David Petraeus, who’s just been handed a $100,000 (£64,000) fine and two years’ probation for leaking classified information.

 

I decided to reward their vigilance with a chat about HSBC. The chairman of the troubled banking giant, Douglas Flint, is a regular attendee at Bilderberg, and he’s heading here again this year, along with a member of the bank’s board of directors, Rona Fairhead. Perhaps most tellingly, Flint is finding room in his Mercedes for the bank’s busiest employee: its chief legal officer, Stuart Levey.

 

A Guardian editorial this week branded HSBC “a bank beyond shame” after it announced plans to cut 8,000 jobs in the UK, while at the same time threatening to shift its headquarters to Hong Kong. And having just been forced to pay £28m in fines to Swiss regulators investigating money-laundering claims. The big question, of course, is how will the chancellor of the exchequer, George Osborne, respond to all this? Easy – he’ll go along to a luxury Austrian hotel and hole up with three senior members of HSBC in private. For three days.

 

– From Charlie Skelton’s excellent article: Bilderberg 2015: Where Criminals Mingle with Ministers

Charlie Skelton is a Oxford University educated comedy writer, journalist, artist and actor who has covered the Bilderberg meeting for the Guardian since 2009. This year’s meeting took on a particularly eventful twist for Mr. Skelton, something he wrote about in a powerful article published last week.

Many of those who have descended upon Austria’s Interalpen-Hotel Tirol to report on the secretive meeting, have reported that police have been particularly aggressive and unhelpful at this year’s gathering. Charlie Skelton received a unique level of harassment, as his hotel room was raided in the middle of the night by Austria’s taxpayer funded, corporatist-protecting mercenary force, known as the POLIZEI.

Here are some excerpts from the piece:

I had three Austrian policemen in my hotel room last night. They stood there all grim faced with their fluorescent bibs, torches and sidearms. It was like the worst ever fancy dress party. I offered them a pilsner. They declined. They were too busy checking my ID that had been carefully checked 10 minutes prior at a police checkpoint. And carefully checked two minutes prior to that, at another police checkpoint.

 

This third check took so long, it was so late, and my patience was so thin, that eventually I took my shirt and trousers off in front of the officers. “I’m having a shower,” I explained, and went and had one. When I’d finished, I came out in my towel, thinking they might be gone. They weren’t. “Put your clothes on please and come to your car.” This party wasn’t getting any better.

 

Out at my car I couldn’t be bothered to get into the whole ‘probable cause’ thing so I flung open the doors and with as much good cheer as I could muster, said: “Help yourself”. They did. While one set of police searched my car with their torches, another lot clustered round me and asked me questions: “Where do you live? What are you doing here?” I’m a journalist and I live in a police state. What about you?

Where it starts to get really interesting, is when Mr. Skelton decides to educate the POLIZEI about the various criminals and thugs they so vigilantly protect from journalists trying to do their jobs. He writes:

A little while later, bored and a bit cold, I decided to point out to the officers that while they were treating a journalist like a criminal, there were actual criminals about to arrive at the hotel they were guarding. Convicted criminals. Such as disgraced former CIA boss, David Petraeus, who’s just been handed a $100,000 (£64,000) fine and two years’ probation for leaking classified information.

 

Petraeus now works for the vulturous private equity firm KKR, run by Henry Kravis, who does arguably Bilderberg’s best impression of Gordon Gecko out of Wall Street. Which he cleverly combines with a pretty good impression of an actual gecko.

For more on Petraeus, see:

David Petraeus – How This Leaker of Classified Information is Peddling KKR Funds as Opposed to Serving Jail Time

Some Leaks Are More Equal Than Others – Hypocritical D.C. Insiders Line up to Defend General Petraeus from Prosecution

“Can I go now?” Another no. So I continued my list of criminals. I moved on to someone closer to home: René Benko, the Austrian real estate baron, who had a conviction for bribery upheld recently by the supreme court. Which didn’t stop him making the cut for this year’s conference. “You know Benko?” The cop nodded. It wasn’t easy to see in the glare of the searchlight, but he looked a little ashamed.

 

I decided to reward their vigilance with a chat about HSBC. The chairman of the troubled banking giant, Douglas Flint, is a regular attendee at Bilderberg, and he’s heading here again this year, along with a member of the bank’s board of directors, Rona Fairhead. Perhaps most tellingly, Flint is finding room in his Mercedes for the bank’s busiest employee: its chief legal officer, Stuart Levey.

 

A Guardian editorial this week branded HSBC “a bank beyond shame” after it announced plans to cut 8,000 jobs in the UK, while at the same time threatening to shift its headquarters to Hong Kong. And having just been forced to pay £28m in fines to Swiss regulators investigating money-laundering claims. The big question, of course, is how will the chancellor of the exchequer, George Osborne, respond to all this? Easy – he’ll go along to a luxury Austrian hotel and hole up with three senior members of HSBC in private. For three days.

 

High up on this year’s conference agenda is “current economic issues”, and without a doubt, one of the biggest economic issues for Osborne at the moment is the future and finances of Europe’s largest bank. Luckily, the chancellor will have plenty of time at Bilderberg to chat all this through through with Flint, Levey and Fairhead. And the senior Swiss financial affairs official, Pierre Maudet, a member of the Geneva state council in charge of the department of security and the economy. It’s all so incredibly convenient.

Well said sir.

Moving along, I noticed a very interesting and timely article by Alex Proud, published today at the UK’s Telegraph titled, Perhaps the World’s Conspiracy Theorists Have Been Right All Along. Here are a few excerpts:

Conspiracy theories used to be so easy.

 

You’d have your mate who, after a few beers, would tell you that the moon landings were faked or that the Illuminati controlled everything or that the US government was holding alien autopsies in Area 51. And you’d be able to dismiss this because it was all rubbish.

 

Look, you’d say, we have moon rock samples and pictures and we left laser reflectors on the surface and… basically you still don’t believe me but that’s because you’re mad and no proof on earth (or the moon) would satisfy you.

 

This nice, cozy state of affairs lasted until the early 2000s. But then something changed. These days conspiracy theories don’t look so crazy and conspiracy theorists don’t look like crackpots. In fact, today’s conspiracy theory is tomorrow’s news headlines. It’s tempting, I suppose, to say we live in a golden age of conspiracy theories, although it’s only really golden for the architects of the conspiracies. From the Iraq war to Fifa to the banking crisis, the truth is not only out there, but it’s more outlandish than anything we could have made up. 

Mr. Proud then goes on to list a few of the many “conspiracy theories” turned conspiracy fact. Also see: You Know You Are a Conspiracy Theorist If…

Here are three:

The Iraq War

 

The most disgusting abuse of power in a generation and a moral quagmire that never ends. America is attacked by terrorists and so, declares war on a country that had nothing whatsoever to do with the attacks, while ignoring an oil rich ally which had everything to do with them. The justification for war is based on some witches’ brew of faulty intelligence, concocted intelligence and ignored good intelligence. Decent people are forced to lie on an international stage. All sensible advice is ignored and rabid neo-con draft dodgers hold sway on military matters. The UK joins this fool’s errand for no good reason. Blood is spilled and treasure is spent.

 

The result is a disaster that was predicted only by Middle Eastern experts, post-conflict planners and several million members of the public. Thousands of allied troops and hundreds of thousands of blameless Iraqis are killed, although plenty of companies and individuals benefit from the US dollars that were shipped out, literally, by the ton. More recently, Iraq, now in a far worse state than it ever was under any dictator, has become an incubator for more terrorists, which is a special kind of geopolitical irony lost entirely on the war’s supporters.

 

And yet, we can’t really bring ourselves to hold anyone accountable. Apportioning responsibility would be difficult, painful and inconvenient, so we shrug as the men behind all this enjoy their well-upholstered retirements despite being directly and personally responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths and trillions of wasted dollars. And the slow drip, drip of revelations continues, largely ignored by the public, despite the horrendous costs which (in the UK) could have been spent on things like the NHS or properly equipping our armed forces.

 

The Banking Crisis

 

A nice financial counterpoint to Iraq. Virtually destroy the western financial system in the name of greed. Get bailed out by the taxpayers who you’ve been ripping off. And then carry on as if nothing whatsoever has happened. No jail, no meaningful extra regulation, the idea of being too big to fail as much of a joke as it was in 2005. Not even an apology. In fact, since the crisis you caused, things have got much better for you – and worse for everyone else. Much like Iraq, no-one has been held responsible or even acknowledged any wrongdoing. Again, this is partially because it’s so complicated and hard – but mainly because those who caused the crisis are so well represented in the governments of the countries who bailed them out. Oh, and while we’re at it, the banks played a part in the Fifa scandal. As conspiracy theorists will tell you, everything is connected.

 

Paedophiles

 

This one seems like a particularly dark and grisly thriller. At first it was just a few rubbish light entertainers. Then it was a lot more entertainers. Then we had people muttering about the political establishment – and others counter-muttering don’t be ridiculous, that’s a conspiracy theory. But it wasn’t. Now, it’s a slow-motion train crash and an endless series of glacial government inquiries. The conspiracy theorists point out that a lot of real stuff only seems to come out after the alleged perpetrators are dead or so senile it no longer matters. It’s hard to disagree with them. It’s also hard to imagine what kind of person would be so in thrall to power that they’d cover up child abuse. 

This is a topic I’ve covered on many occasions. See:

In Great Britain, Powerful Pedophiles are Seemingly Everywhere and Totally Above the Law

In Great Britain, Protecting Pedophile Politicians is a Matter of “National Security”

Oligarch Justice – Powerful Pedophiles Roam Free as Journalist Barrett Brown Returns to Jail

So what’s his takeaway?

This is what happens when you let money run riot and you allow industries to police themselves. This is what happens when the rich and powerful are endlessly granted special privileges, celebrated and permitted or even encouraged to place themselves above the law. And this is what happens when ordinary people feel bored by and excluded from politics, largely because their voices matter so little for the reasons above. Effectively, we are all living in Italy under Silvio Berlusconi. What’s the point in anything?

Publishing an article like this in a mainstream newspaper would have been unheard of five or ten years ago. The fact that it was, and that it was written so eloquently and powerfully, is in of itself a very positive sign. It is evidence that people en masse are finally starting to see the world as it is, rather than as the status quo wants you to see it. This is the first necessary step to real change.

Finally, if you still haven’t seen enough from Bilderberg 2015, check out Luke Rudkowski of We Are Change saying farewell to the criminals at Austria’s Innsbruck airport: