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Daniels among secret forum’s VIP attendees

– Gov. Mitch Daniels is on a short list of well-connected individuals attending the super-secret “Bilderberg Meeting” in Virginia.

The shadowy group is a “small, flexible, informal and off-the-record international forum in which different viewpoints can be expressed and mutual understanding enhanced,” according to its website.

While two other Washington D.C. events – the unveiling of George W. Bush’s portrait at the White House and a visit to the National Press Club to talk road funding – were listed on the public schedule released by Daniels’ office, there was no mention of Bilderberg.

Press Secretary Jane Jankowski confirmed Daniels will participate in a panel discussion today and then leave.It wasn’t on his public schedule because it’s not a public event, she said.

Others on this year’s list of participants include the co-founder of LinkedIn, various international politicians, former presidential candidate John Kerry, Henry Kissinger, the editor of The Economist, a Microsoft executive, Charlie Rose, a White House national security adviser and the executive chairman of Google.

Bilderberg’s only activity is its annual conference. At the meetings, no resolutions are proposed, no votes taken, and no policy statements issued. Since 1954, 59 conferences have been conducted. For each meeting, the names of the participants as well as the agenda are made public.

But that doesn’t stop the conspiracies from running wild about the quasi-secret society, including claims that the group picks tomorrow’s leaders today.

The conservative WorldNetDaily reported that rumors circulated four years ago that it was determined during the meeting that Barack Obama would be the Democratic presidential nominee, not Hillary Rodham Clinton. Two days after the event, Clinton bowed out.

Other oddities or coincidences? George H.W. Bush attended in 1985. He became president in 1988. Bill Clinton attended in 1991. He became president a year later. Tony Blair attended in 1993. He became prime minister of the U.K. in 1997.

Twitter chatter about Daniels’ attendance spiked Thursday when the participant list became public, and some theorized it might be the governor’s vetting to be Mitt Romney’s vice presidential candidate.

Others asked whether his attending violates the Logan Act, a federal law that forbids unauthorized citizens from negotiating with foreign governments.

nkelly@jg.net

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