Secret Banff Meeting of CEOs and the Defense Establishment : Militarization and the Deconstruction of North America

By ichel Chossudovsky, Global Research, September 19, 2006

Cabinet ministers, top military brass together with North America's top corporate executives mingle in the plush surroundings of the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel.

This secret venue on "Continental Prosperity in the New Security Environment" focused on "Deep Integration," which largely consists in flushing national sovereignty in favor of "Fortress North America".

According to the draft program (see below), Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld traveled to Banff, Alberta to deliver the keynote address on "military to military cooperation". Canada's Minister of Public Security Stockwell Day focused his address on issues of North American public security.

Top brass from the US and Canada were in attendance. Canada's Minister of Defense Gordon O'Connor was present together with Chief of Defense Staff, General Rick Hellier.

There was, however, no confirmation that Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper attended the meetings.

On the US side, several of Rumsfeld's top policy advisers were present alongside a handful of researchers and consultants.

The commander of US NorthCom Admiral Tim Keating was also in attendance with several of his senior staff members. Keating is also Commander of NORAD, which is slated to be merged with US NorthCom.

Deep Integration

"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)

The Banff venue was co-chaired by George Shultz, a staunch Republican, former Secretary of State to President Ronald Reagan who later became president and director of Bechtel corporation.

George Shultz

Top execs from the military-industrial complex and the oil companies were present including Lockheed Martin, Chevron, Mexico's PEMEX and Suncor Energy.

Top officials and policy analysts from the military's research labs and thinks tanks including Livermore were invited to integrate several of the specialized panels.

The meetings focused on the interrelationship between North American defense systems, militarization, national security, borders, immigration, military production and the control over North America's energy reserves.

The venue had more to do with profit driven militarization than "continental prosperity" .

No journalists, no press releases, no commentary which might inform public opinion, a total media blackout: The program of this venue, which was a carefully guarded State secret was first revealed by Canadian author and politician Mel Hurtig on an internet posting :

Thought you would like to see this. They're at it again. The sellouts, the usual suspects.

September 12th to 14th, at the Banff Springs Hotel, a conference on North American Integration.

Among the long list of those who will be there are Perrin Beatty, Peter Lougheed, Thomas d'Aquino, Stockwell Day, Wendy Dobson, Roger Gibbins, John Manley, Anne McLellan, Gordon O'Connor, James Schlesinger, Donald Rumsfeld, George Shultz and a long list of others.

Among the topics: "A Vision for North America", "A North American Energy Strategy", "Demographic and Social Dimensions of North American Integration", "Opportunities for Security Cooperation".

Many prominent high level U.S. government people will be there.

Lots of military. Lots of Deputy Ministers.

Lock up your valuables. Hide your children.

Mel Hurtig

Read the complete article.

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