Let's start with the smoke and mirrors furnished by the CFR in several of their Annual Reports. Then you will see the other-side-of-the-coin, as observed by quite a number of independent researchers and writers.
The CFR's Annual Report for July 1, 1993 - June 30, 1994
Page 4, states: "The Council on Foreign Relations is a nonprofit and nonpartisan membership organization dedicated to improving the understanding of U.S. foreign policy and international affairs through the exchange of ideas.
The Council was founded in 1921 shortly after the end of World War I. Several of the American participants in the Paris Peace Conference decided that it was time for more private American citizens to become familiar with the increasing international responsibilities and obligations of the United States. This decision led to the creation of an organization dedicated to the continuous study of U.S. foreign policy for the benefit of both its members and a wider audience of interested Americans.
"The New World Order", by Pat Robertson, Copyright 1991, by Word, Inc., Dallas, Texas. All rights reserved,
Page 66-67, states: "This august body of 'wise men' has effectively dominated the making of foreign policy by the United States government since before World War II. The CFR has included virtually every key national security and foreign policy adviser of this nation for the past seventy years." (in 1990)
Page 96: "In government policy, the most visible expression of the Establishment is the Council on Foreign Relations and its publication, Foreign Affairs. Out of some twenty- nine hundred members, at least five hundred are very powerful, another five hundred are from centers of influence, and the rest are influential in academia, the media, business and finance, the military, or government. A few are token conservatives."
Page 97: "According to a man who had been a member for fifteen years, Rear Admiral Chester Ward, former judge advocate general of the Navy from 1956 to 1960:
'The purpose of promoting disarmament and submergence of U.S. sovereignty and national independence into an all- powerful one-world government is the only objective revealed to about 95 percent of 1,551 members [in 1975]. There are two other ulterior purposes the CFR influence is being used to promote; but it is improbable that they are known to more than 75 members, or that these purposes ever have even been identified in writing.'
The goals of the Establishment are somewhat strange, and we will discuss them in detail. At the central core is a belief in the superiority of their own skill (they often refer to themselves as THE BEST and THE BRIGHTEST) to form a world system in which enlightened monopolistic capitalism can bring all of the diverse currencies, banking systems, credit, manufacturing, and raw materials into one government- supervised whole, policed of course by their own world army."
CFR membership is made up of present and past Presidents, Ambassadors, Secretaries of State, Wall Street investors, international bankers, foundation executives, think tank executives, lobbyist lawyers, NATO and Pentagon military leaders, wealthy industrialist, media owners and executives, university presidents and key professors, select Senators and Congressmen, Supreme Court Justices, Federal Judges, and wealthy entrepreneurs.
They hold regular secret meetings including members and very select guests. Occasionally they will hold a public meeting and invite the open press, in order to give the impression that they are a harmless group engaged only in social activities. Newt Gingrich (CFR) was asked by a TV reporter if he was a member of the CFR. His response was that "Yes, I am a member. About 40 years ago the CFR was probably a very dangerous organization, but today it is simply a place for college professors to meet, smoke their cigars and swap stories." YEAH RIGHT!!!!!
A number of people, when hearing about the CFR subject, ask "If you say that the CFR is such a secret organization, why is it that we can get a copy of their annual report, which contains a list of their members? Why should I believe you when you say that they are a secret organization?"
The American Heritage Dictionary defines attribute as:
"To relate to a particular cause or source; ascribe; To regard as the work of a specified agent or creator; A quality or characteristic inherent in or ascribed to someone or something; An object associated with and serving to identify a character, a personage, or an office."
The literal translation is: "You better not tell the outsiders what we do, or say." The answer then comes from their own document, the Council on Foreign Relation's 1992 Annual Report, where they emphatically state, in 20 different places, and in varying terms, that members "better not tell".
Page 21: "At all meetings, the Council's rule of non-attribution applies. This assures participants that they may speak openly without others later attributing their statements to them in public media or forums, or knowingly transmitting them to persons who will."
Page 122: "Like the Council, the Committees encourage candid discourse by holding their meetings on a not-for-attribution basis."
Page 169: Article II of the By-Laws states: "It is an express condition of membership in the Council, to which condition every member accedes by virtue of his or her membership, that members will observe such rules and regulations as may be prescribed from time to time by the Board of Directors concerning the conduct of Council meetings or the attribution of statements made therein, and that any disclosure, public, or other action by a member in contravention thereof may be regarded by the Board of Directors in its sole discretion as grounds for termination or suspension of membership pursuant to Article I of the By-Laws."
Page 174: "Full freedom of expression is encouraged at Council meetings. Participants are assured that they may speak openly, as it is the tradition of the Council that others will not attribute or characterize their statements in public media or forums or knowingly transmit them to persons who will. All participants are expected to honor that commitment."
Page 175: "It would not be in compliance with the reformulated Rule, however, for any meeting participant (1) to publish a speaker's statement in attributed form in a newspaper; (2) to repeat it on television or radio, or on a speaker's platform, or in a classroom; or (3) to go beyond a memo of limited circulation, by distributing the attributed statement in a company or government agency newspaper.
The language of the Rule also goes out of its way to make it clear that a meeting participant is forbidden knowingly to transmit the attributed statement to a newspaper reporter or other such person who is likely to publish it in a public medium. The essence of the Rule as reformulated is simple enough: participants in Council meetings should not pass along an attributed statement in circumstances where there is substantial risk that it will promptly be widely circulated or published."
... "In order to encourage to the fullest a free, frank, and open exchange of ideas in Council meetings, the Board of Directors has prescribed, in addition to the Non-Attribution Rule, the following guidelines. All participants in Council meetings are expected to be familiar with and adhere to these Guidelines. ..."
Page 176: "Members bringing guests should complete a "guest notice card" and acquaint their guests with the Council's Non-Attribution Rule governing what is said at meetings."
Later on page 176: "As a condition of use, the officers of the Council shall require each user of Council records to execute a prior written commitment that he will not directly or indirectly attribute to any living person any assertion of fact or opinion based upon any Council record without first obtaining from such person his written consent thereto."
In "A letter from the Chairman" in the 1994 Annual Report for the CFR, Peter G. Peterson states on page 7, that:"... Members had occasion to meet in intensive off-the-record sessions with Secretary of State [Warren] Christopher, National Security Advisor [Anthony] Lake, [former] Secretary [of State] George Pratt] Shultz, [Trade] Ambassador [Mickey] Kantor, Under Secretary of the Treasury [Lawrence H.] Summers, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and other ranking officials. Next on our agenda are plans for reaching out to congressional leaders as well, an opportunity we will fashion as one component of an enhanced Washington Program."