11. “The Trilateral Commission is Still in Commission”

by Project Censored
Published: Last Updated on

While the Jimmy Carter/Trilateral Commission connection was one of the “ten best censored stories” in both 1976 and 1977, it is still an issue that has not been widely publicized by the mass media.

Specifically, the American public should be made aware that a small group of international elitists — not our elected officials — are more or less dictating American public policy.

The Trilateral Commission (TLC), whose North American co-chairman is David Rockefeller, chair of the Chase Manhattan Bank, met in Washington, D.C., in June, 1978, in a conference on the “World Energy Situation,” which received little or no media coverage.

The principal author of a year-long study discussed at that conference was John C. Sawhill, former Federal Energy administrator and now president of New York University. lie urged the United States to “raise gasoline prices drastically.” This, of course, was prior to the Iran debacle which subsequently has been blamed for soaring gasoline prices.

The national influence of TLC correlation between an earlier TLC Carter administration’s subsequent important international issues recommendations is supported by the close energy reported, published in 1975, and the energy plan with respect to a number of

The latest TLC report, “Energy: Managing the Transition,” should have made headlines because of its importance and because Carter’s major moves have been in accord with prior TLC recommendations.

The commission is more than a group of “interested” world citizens; it is an elite group … a group of 240 prominent world figures in economics, politics, labor, media, and education.

Joseph J. Schwab, of the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions has suggested that the TLC is the modern version of the “divine right of self-­appointed executives.”

Franklin Tugwell, who served as a special consultant for the TLC, also has agreed that the “Commission is elitist,” and “it does tend to be economic in its orientation.”

Should one doubt the significant influence of the TLC, just note the names of former Trilateralists who now hold positions of power in our government. Besides President Carter himself and his National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, there are Vice President Walter Mondale, Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, Secretary of Defense Harold Brown, Secretary of the Treasury Michael Blumenthal, Ambassadors Andrew Young, Gerard Smith, Richard Gardner and Elliot Richardson, White House economic aide Henry Owen, Deputy Secretary of State Warren Christopher, Director Paul Aarnke of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, Under Secretaries of State Richard Cooper for economic affairs and Lucy Benson for security assistance, Under Secretary of the Treasury Anthony Solomon, Robert Bowie of the CIA, and Assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke.

Because the mass media has not yet fully informed the American public about the Trilateral Commission and its extraordinary influence on American public policy, this story is nominated as one of the “best censored” stories of 1978.


World Issues, February/March, 1979, p. 3, “The Trilateral Energy Study, a Discussion with Franklin Tugwell.”

New York Times June 15, 1978, Section D, p. 4, “Trilateral Unit Criticizes Official Plans on Energy,” by Richard Halloran.

U. S. News & World Report, May 22, 1978, p. 74, “Trilateral Commission: How Influential?”.