Thursday, September 27, 2007

Cheney, Romney, Cannon to share podium at secret (combination) meeting

Tommy BUrr in Out of COntext:

Vice President Dick Cheney will drop into Salt Lake City on Friday to speak to the Council for National Policy, a group so private even its members are encouraged not to mention the name.

Ex-Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will also address the group as will the Czech Republic president and Congressman Chris Cannon.

But don't expect to see any coverage of the event as the meeting of hundreds of the nation's most powerful conservative activists is confidential.

The council is a "private membership group whose meetings are closed to the media," director Steve Baldwin informed me this morning.

Who is the Council for National Policy? From Source Watch:

The Council for National Policy is a secretive forum that was formed in 1981 by Tim LaHaye as a networking tool for leading US conservative political leaders, financiers and religious right activist leaders. The group, which meets three times a year, promotes "Educational conferences for national leaders in the fields of business, government, religion and academia to explore national policy alternatives. Weekly newsletters are distributed to all members to keep them apprised of member activities and public policy issues. A semi-annual journal is produced from membership meeting speeches,"[1]

According to ABC News, "The CNP describes itself as a counterweight against liberal domination of the American agenda." [2] The "far right's answer to the Council on Foreign Relations" (Washington Babylon)

Others are not so kind to the organization and its motives. Mark Crispin Miller states that the CNP is a "highly secretive... a theocratic organization -- what they want is basically religious rule" (A Patriot Act). Barry W. Lynn, the executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, told the New York Times about the CNP meeting ahead of the 2004 Republican National Convention, "The real crux of this is that these are the genuine leaders of the Republican Party, but they certainly aren't going to be visible on television next week." [3]

The founder wrote the Left Behind series of books that deal with the second coming (and does a bad job of it).

But, even though we won't be able to see what they say live (anyone know the secret handshake to get in?), we'll be able to read some of their words when they get published on the website.

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