Daily Archives: May 17, 2009

Discovery of Rwandan genocide priest taints Vatican

Uwayezu, far left, meets Giuseppe Betori, archbishop of Florence,

Uwayezu, far left, meets Giuseppe Betori, archbishop of Florence, who approved the Rwandan’s appointment

London Times | May 17, 2009

By Jon Swain

THE Vatican has come under renewed pressure to purge its ranks of suspected killers after a second Rwandan Catholic priest accused of involvement in the 1994 genocide was found to be working in Italy under an assumed name.

An international arrest warrant is being prepared by Rwanda for Father Emmanuel Uwayezu following the discovery that he is working in a parish at Empoli, near Florence. It will accuse him of direct complicity in the massacre of more than 80 students, aged from 12 to 20, at a Catholic school where he was headmaster.

One of the few survivors lives in Britain. She still has nightmares and is too afraid to be identified by name. Last week she identified Uwayezu and described how he brought soldiers to the school at Kibeho and conspired with them to have the Tutsi students killed.

“He seemed to be happy with what he was doing. He told us to stay in the classroom. Some people who were working in the kitchen were shot in front of his eyes but he did not say a word. Others were hacked to death, raped or buried alive,” she said. “Now Uwayezu is enjoying his life. Is he really a father [priest]?”

Uwayezu denied taking part in the genocide and said he had tried to save the students. He said their deaths still haunted him. He is a Hutu like another notorious Rwandan priest, Athanase Seromba, who joined the campaign to exterminate Rwanda’s Tutsi minority and who also ended up in Florence.

After the genocide they both escaped to Italy with the help of Catholic supporters and began new lives as priests with the approval of Florence’s archbishop. Seromba, who was found in Italy by The Sunday Times, is serving a life sentence after being convicted of slaughtering 2,000 of his parishioners by bulldozing his church as they cowered inside. He was the first priest to be tried by a United Nations war crimes tribunal for genocide and crimes against humanity.

For a long time the Vatican had vigorously proclaimed his innocence. It also questioned the objectivity of a Belgian court that had given two Rwandan Benedictine nuns long jail sentences for genocide.

It remains to be seen how it will react in Uwayezu’s case. He has modified his name slightly and is known to his parishioners as Wayezu.

In Rwanda in 1994, the Catholic church was the most powerful institution after the government, but some senior members sided openly with the Hutu extremist government and the church hierarchy failed to prevent the slaughter. In 100 days of killing, 800,000 members of the Tutsi minority were massacred. Some priests and nuns sided with the Hutu militias and joined in the slaughter.

Yesterday Rakiya Omaar, the director of African Rights, a human rights organisation that has investigated the genocide and which has issued a comprehensive report on Uwayezu’s activities during the genocide, called on the Catholic church and the Italian and Rwandan authorities to conduct their own investigation.

“All concerned will have drawn lessons from the Seromba case,” she said. “Denials and dismissals by the Catholic church eventually led to his conviction and imprisonment for the remainder of his life.”

Shadowy Bilderberg group meet in Greece — and here’s their address

London Times | May 14, 2009

Don’t tell anyone, don’t breathe a word, but the world’s most powerful men are meeting secretly again to save the planet from economic catastrophe. Oh, and their address, should you want to send them your opinions, is: c/o Nafsika Astir Palace Hotel, Apollonos Avenue 40, 16671 Vouliagmeni, Greece.

Bed space is a bit tight there for the next two days while the Bilderberg illuminati hold their private conclave in the five-star Greek hotel. Every year since 1954 a club of about 130 senior or up-and-coming politicians gather at the fireside of a secluded hotel with top bankers and a sprinkling of royalty to discuss burning issues, to trade confidences and just stay abreast of the I-know-something-you-don’t-know circuit. No lists of participants are disclosed, no press conferences are held; spill the beans and you’re out of the magic circle.

For those of us standing outside the locked gates all that is left is to hope that they will sleep well, avoid jet ski injury and solve our problems for us. For the Bilderbergers it is a little like that recent MI5 recruitment ad: “See all your best work go unnoticed!”

Each country delegates two people to the steering committee that is the intellectual hub of Bilderberg. In the past Kenneth Clarke, the Shadow Business Secretary, and Martin Taylor, formerly head of Barclays Bank, have had their hand on the British tiller.

This year the club is going to talk about depression. “According to the pre-meeting booklet sent out to attendees, Bilderberg is looking at two options,” says the Bilderberg-watcher Daniel Estulin — “either a prolonged, agonising depression that dooms the world to decades of stagnation, decline and poverty — or an intense but shorter depression that paves the way for a new sustainable economic world order, with less sovereignty but more efficiency.”

Since Bilderberg does not officially exist, it cannot deny anything and is therefore manna from heaven for the conspiracy theorist. Eurosceptics are convinced that the future development of the European Union was plotted here — EU commissioners have always been welcomed into the coven, with Peter “We are intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich” Mandelson a particular favourite. Margaret Thatcher, it is said, was a shy debutante at a Bilderberg meeting in 1975.

Jim Tucker, veteran stalker of the Bilderberg club meetings, claims that Mrs Thatcher was ordered “to dismantle British sovereignty, but she said, ‘no way’, so they had her sacked”. Left-wing conspiracy theorists believe that Bilderbergers form a capitalist nucleus, and there is a germ of truth in this. The meetings were started in the Netherlands, in the Hotel de Bilderberg, near Arnhem, by the Polish exile Joseph Retinger. He was worried about growing anti-Americanism and the advance of Communism in Western Europe. Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands agreed to sponsor the idea, the head of the Central Intelligence Agency, Walter Bedell Smith, threw his weight behind it and so did the White House.

The Bilderberg consensus is that national problems are best solved by an internationally oriented elite, that a global network of decision-makers should have a common language and that the boundaries are fluid between the monied and the political classes.

And so there has been a natural bias towards inviting conservatives and market liberals. The only socialists invited are those who “understand money”.

Ed Balls has taken part and the most indiscreet Bilderberger of all time was Denis Healey, the former Labour Chancellor and fierce Atlanticist.

“To say we were striving for a one-world government is exaggerated, but not wholly unfair,” Lord Healey told the author Jon Ronson for his book Them: Adventures with Extremists. “Those of us in Bilderberg felt we couldn’t go on for ever fighting one another for nothing. So we felt that a single community throughout the world would be a good thing.”

Another way of viewing the club is that of Metropolitan Seraphim, the bishop of Piraeus, who said that the Bilderbergers represented a “criminal cabal of world Zionism and its efforts to set up a cruel world dictatorship under the headship of Lucifer”. This line is quite common on the blogosphere, where the club’s secrecy is taken as evidence of evil intentions.

Whether Lucifer will be down there on the sun-loungers remains to be seen. But what we have been able to establish from a World Bank spokesman, Alexis O’Brien, is that the organisation’s president, Robert Zoellick, will be in Athens on unspecified business on May 14. And that US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s public schedule is mysteriously empty for the next two days. Jo Ackermann, head of Deutsche Bank, will be travelling “somewhere in Europe”. Jean-Claude Trichet, head of the European Central Bank, will not be around until the end of the week.

You get the drift. Something is going on. If only somebody would let us in on the secret.

Greek nationalists protest Bilderberg Club meeting

Associated Press | May 16, 2009

By DEMETRIS NELLAS – 10 hours ago

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Police heavily guarded a luxury resort in Greece on Saturday where a secretive annual rendezvous of top politicians and business leaders reportedly took place.

Several dozen Greek demonstrators gathered outside the Astir Palace hotel in the coastal town of Vouliagmeni to criticize the Bilderberg Group, an international group that was founded half a century ago in the Netherlands.

It has no widely known headquarters, meets secretly at luxury hotels and resorts throughout the world by invitation only, and generally makes no public announcements afterward.

The demonstrators, from Greece’s right-wing Popular Orthodox Rally party, shouted slogans and held a large banner saying “Bilderberg Unwelcome” outside the hotel, which is 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Athens on the Aegean Sea. One demonstrator was arrested when the group tried to break through a police cordon.

“We came here to protest this anti-Greek meeting,” Argyris Sideris, a regional party secretary, told the Associated Press. “We need to do something to protect our country.”

The popular hotel was closed to the public.

A police officer told The Associated Press the resort was being protected by hundreds of police, navy commandos, coast guard speedboats and two F-16 fighter planes. The officer spoke on condition of anonymity, in keeping with his department’s regulations.

Outside the hotel on Friday, Greek Communist Party members conducted a peaceful demonstration against the Bilderberg Group.

Greek newspapers said the secret meeting of the politicians and managers of world capitalism included Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis.

The papers said this year’s invitees also included U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner; Larry Summers, the director of the U.S. National Economic Council; the Obama administration’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke; World Bank President Robert Zoellick; European Central Bank president Jean-Claude Trichet and European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso.

But those reports could not be independently confirmed.

The three-day meeting apparently ended Saturday.

Associated Press Writer Tom Stoukas contributed to this report.

The Elite Gather in Greece for a Not-So-Secret Meeting

Wall Street Journal | May 16, 2009

By AYSE FERLIEL

VOULIAGMENI, Greece — The Astir Palace hotel in this Greek coastal town wasn’t open for coffee Friday.

The luxury resort — 25 miles south of Athens on the Aegean Sea — normally welcomes guests to use its bars and restaurants, or its private beach. But when a reporter tried to go in for a coffee, a suited security guard barred the way.

“The hotel is closed for a meeting…. A very big meeting,” he said.

Greek media, apparently tipped off, were abuzz over the reasons behind the heightened security at the hotel: a gathering of the Bilderberg Group, a secretive annual rendezvous of top politicians and business leaders.

“At the Club of the Strong,” said a headline in Greek daily Eleftheros Typos. “Bilderberg: The first violins of capitalism,” wrote the Eleftherotypia paper.

Founded half a century ago, the group has no widely known headquarters. No accord is announced at the end of its meetings. And no one is supposed to divulge their presence.

Still, many do let it be known subtly, and past attendees are said to have included Henry Kissinger and Margaret Thatcher.

This time, one confirmed guest is Greek Prime Minster Kostas Karamanlis. “As you know, there are a lot of dignitaries in Athens, and this is a courtesy on behalf of the prime minister,” said Chris Valtadoros, his communications adviser.

Others scheduled to attend, according to those in the know, include European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet and World Bank President Robert Zoellick. U.S. Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg is expected to attend, as well as Domenico Siniscalco, vice chairman of Morgan Stanley Europe and a former Italian finance minister, and John Elkann, vice chairman of Italian car maker Fiat.

The managers of world capitalism aren’t always popular, which is one reason the Group of Seven leaders now meet in out-the-way resorts that are hard for protestors to reach. In Greece, a small nationalist political party, “Laos,” planned to demonstrate Saturday outside the hotel.

The public was kept away from the hotel doors. As the same security guard explained later: “The hotel is closed until Monday. … There’s a big wedding.”

—Sebastian Moffett and Bob Davis contributed to this article