August Review.com, January 30, 2009
Title: “Obama: Trilateral Commission Endgame”
Author: Patrick Wood
Student Researcher: Sarah Maddox
Faculty Evaluator: Peter Phillips
Sonoma State University
Barack Obama appointed eleven members of the Trilateral Commission to top-level and key positions in his administration within his first ten days in office. This represents a very narrow source of international leadership inside the Obama administration, with a core agenda that is not necessarily in support of working people in the United States.
Obama was groomed for the presidency by key members of the Trilateral Commission. Most notably, Zbigniew Brzezinski, co-founder of the Trilateral Commission with David Rockefeller in 1973, has been Obama’s principal foreign policy advisor.
According to official Trilateral Commission membership lists, there are only eighty-seven members from the United States (the other 337 members are from other countries). Thus, within two weeks of his inauguration, Obama’s appointments encompassed more than 12 percent of Commission’s entire US membership.
Trilateral appointees include:
* Secretary of Treasury, Tim Geithner
* Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice
* National Security Advisor, Gen. James L. Jones
* Deputy National Security Advisor, Thomas Donilon
* Chairman, Economic Recovery Committee, Paul Volker
* Director of National Intelligence, Admiral Dennis C. Blair
* Assistant Secretary of State, Asia & Pacific, Kurt M. Campbell
* Deputy Secretary of State, James Steinberg
* State Department, Special Envoy, Richard Haass
* State Department, Special Envoy, Dennis Ross
* State Department, Special Envoy, Richard Holbrooke
There are many other links in the Obama administration to the Trilateral Commission. For instance, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is married to Commission member William Jefferson Clinton.
Secretary of Treasury Tim Geithner’s informal group of advisors include E. Gerald Corrigan, Paul Volker, Alan Greenspan, and Peter G. Peterson, all members. Geithner’s first job after college was with Trilateralist Henry Kissinger at Kissinger Associates.
Trilateralist Brent Scowcroft has been an unofficial advisor to Obama and was mentor to Defense Secretary Robert Gates. And Robert Zoelick, current president of the World Bank appointed during the G.W. Bush administration, is a member.
According to the Trilateral Commissions’ website, the Commission was formed in 1973 by private citizens of Japan, Europe (European Union countries), and North America (United States and Canada) to foster closer cooperation among these core democratic industrialized areas of the world with shared leadership responsibilities in the wider international system. The website says, “The membership of the Trilateral Commission is composed of about 400 distinguished leaders in business, media, academia, public service (excluding current national Cabinet Ministers), labor unions, and other non-governmental organizations from the three regions. The regional chairmen, deputy chairmen, and directors constitute the leadership of the Trilateral Commission, along with an Executive Committee including about 40 other members.”
Since 1973, the Trilateral Commission has met regularly in plenary sessions to discuss policy position papers developed by its members. Policies are debated in order to achieve consensuses. Respective members return to their own countries to implement policies consistent with those consensuses. The original stated purpose of the Trilateral Commission was to create a “New International Economic Order.” Its current statement has morphed into fostering a “closer cooperation among these core democratic industrialized areas of the world with shared leadership responsibilities in the wider international system.”
Since the Carter administration, Trilateralists have held these very influential positions: Six of the last eight World Bank Presidents; Presidents and Vice-Presidents of the United States (except for Obama and Biden); over half of all US Secretaries of State; and three quarters of the Secretaries of Defense.
Two strong convictions guide the Commission’s agenda for the 2009-2012 triennium. First, the Trilateral Commission is to remain as important as ever in maintaining wealthy countries’ shared leadership in the wider international system. Second, the Commission will “widen its framework to reflect broader changes in the world.” Thus, the Japan Group has become a Pacific Asian Group, which includes Chinese and Indian members, and Mexican members have been added to the North American Group. The European Group continues to widen in line with the enlargement of the EU.
Update by Patrick Wood
The concept of “undue influence” comes to mind when considering the number of Trilateral Commission members in the Obama administration. They control the areas of our most urgent national needs: financial and economic crisis, national security, and foreign policy.
The conflict of interest is glaring. With 75 percent of the Trilateral membership consisting of non-US individuals, what influence does this super-majority have on the remaining 25 percent?
For example, when Chrysler entered bankruptcy under the oversight and control of the Obama administration, it was quickly decided that the Italian carmaker Fiat would take over Chrysler. The deal’s point man, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, is a member of the Trilateral Commission. Would you be surprised to know that the chairman of Fiat, Luca di Montezemolo, is also a fellow member?
Congress should have halted this deal the moment it was suggested.
Many European members of the Trilateral Commission are also top leaders of the European Union. What political and economic sway do they have through their American counterparts?
If asked, the vast majority of Americans would say that America’s business is its own, and should be closed to foreign meddlers with non-American agendas.
But, the vast majority of Americans have no idea who or what the Trilateral Commission is, much less the power they have usurped since 1976, when Jimmy Carter became the first Trilateral member to be elected president (Project Censored Story #1, 1976).
In light of today’s unprecedented financial crisis, they would be abhorred if they actually read Zbigniew Brzezinski’s (co-founder of the Commission with David Rockefeller) statement from his 1971 book, Between Two Ages: America’s Role in the Technetronic Era, which states that, “The nation-state as a fundamental unit of man’s organized life has ceased to be the principal creative force: International banks and multinational corporations are acting and planning in terms that are far in advance of the political concepts of the nation-state.”
Yet, this is exactly what is happening. The global banks and corporations are running circles around the nation state, including the United States. They have no regard for due process, Congress, or the will of the people.
Why have the American people been kept in the dark about a subject so great that it shakes our country to its very core?
The answer is simple: The top leadership of the media is also saturated with members of the Trilateral Commission who are able to selectively suppress the stories that are covered. They include:
• David Bradley, Chairman, Atlantic Media Company
• Karen Elliot House, former Senior Vice President, Dow Jones & Company, and Publisher, the Wall Street Journal
• Richard Plepler, Co-president, HBO
• Charlie Rose, PBS
• Fareed Zakaria, Editor, Newsweek
• Mortimer Zuckerman, Chairman, US News & World Reports
There are many other top-level media connections due to corporate directorships and stock ownership.
For more information, this writer’s original 1978 book, Trilaterals Over Washington, is available in electronic form at no charge at http://www.AugustReview.com. This site also has many papers analyzing various aspects of the Trilateral Commission’s hegemony in the United States and elsewhere, since it’s founding in 1973.