Friday, September 22, 2006

What Was Rumsfeld Doing in Banff?

And, more to the point, why was a top secret meeting held in Banff, Alberta last week with attendees like Rummy and Canada's Minister of Public Safety, Stockwell Day, shielded from the public and the press? What are these men hiding?

John Larson, a spokesperson for the North American Forum, said reporters were not told about the conference. He won't confirm who attended the meeting nor will he give any concrete details about what was discussed.

"The participants joined the conference essentially knowing that it would be a private function," said Larson.

Mel Hurtig, author and founder of the Council of Canadians, obtained internal documents about the Sept. 12-14 forum revealing that the gathering was called Continental Prosperity in the New Security Environment.

Rumsfeld was slated to be a keynote speaker and topics on the agenda included North American energy strategy and security co-operation.

"We're talking about such an important thing, we're talking about the integration of Canada into the United States. For them to hold this meeting in secret and to make every effort to avoid anybody learning about it, right away you've got to be hugely concerned," Hurtig said.

Hurtig says questions should be raised in the House of Commons about why Canadians are being kept in the dark on meetings attended by officials like Day.

Global Security has more on who was there and what they were discussing.

The topic was, apparently, 'Deep Intergration' - a melding of US and Canadian military, security and economic units and missions ie. 'Fortress North America'.

"Deep Integration" was first enunciated by "The Independent Task Force for North America", led on the Canadian side by former Liberal deputy prime minister, John Manley together with Tom Aquino, president of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives. The task force led by US, Canadian and Mexican officials was sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).

"D’Aquino and his partners in a corporate task force, former deputy prime minister John Manley and former finance minister Michael Wilson, tell us that by integrating ever more into the U.S. we will somehow guarantee our prosperity, creating fortress North America to compete with China, Europe, and other competitors." (Murray Dobbin, April 2005)

In 2005, Manley’s task force released its "Trinational Call for a North American Economic and Security Community by 2010".

Both Aquino and Manley are participants in the Banff venue, which essentially constitutes a follow-up to the CFR sponsored initiative. Another central theme of the Banff conference is the integration of military command structures, which could eventually lead to the scrapping of NORAD and the integration of Canada into US Northern Command.(Chossudovsky, November 2004)

According to Global Research, the meeting was chaired by George Schultz and was attended not only by Day and Rumsfeld, his advisers, Canada's Defence Minister, the commander of NorthCom and NORAD, but also by 'Top execs from the military-industrial complex and the oil companies were present including Lockheed Martin, Chevron, Mexico's PEMEX and Suncor Energy.' (You can view the entire participant list and agenda here.)

This meeting, of course, is just one of many old-boy club types of get togethers that happen continually on the world stage like the Bilderberg and Bohemian Grove conferences which are also highly secretive. So, while we in the west are so proud of our so-called democracies, private deals are being cut in backrooms between the rich and powerful who have the clout and means to affect our everyday lives. Sooner or later, we're just going to have to admit that it's actually plutocracy that rules our lives and that democracy, in fact, is merely an illusion.

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