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Founded in 1954, the Bilderberg Group holds "by invitation only" annual meetings of the rich and powerful. About two-thirds of the attendees are European, the rest American. Informally named for the site of the group's first meeting, the Hotel de Bilderberg in Oosterbeek, Netherlands.
Journalists attempting to cover news of the conferences have reported being subjected to reprisals. During the Bilderberg Meeting at Vouliagmeni (Greece) in 2009, for instance, the British The Guardian reporter Charlie Skelton was arrested twice after having taken pictures of vehicles
In 2001, Pres. George Bush picked Perle to chair the Defense Policy Board, which advises the Department of Defense. In 2003, The New Yorker pointed out that Perle had a conflict of interest -- with PNAC, CLI, and the Defense Policy Board, he was arguing for an invasion of Iraq, while he was simultaneously in business with Saudi Arabian partners and had connections to Trireme Partners, a computer firm that specializes in intelligence and would make a tidy profit if America invaded Iraq. "It's all lies, from beginning to end," he said, loudly threatening to sue over the article. A month later and much more quietly, Perle resigned as Chairman of the Defense Policy Board -- but he remained a member for another year, as America invaded Iraq. Perle resigned in February 2004, to pursue other interests. Those who fear and distrust Perle have labeled him "the Prince of Darkness," but his friends have lovingly adopted it as his nickname.