The major news organizations have been driven by the Drudge Report and WorldNetDaily to cover protests against a meeting of the “Bilderbergers” at a Marriott hotel outside Washington, D.C. The stories usually feature Alex Jones, a Texas-based radio host who regularly appears on Moscow-funded Russia Today (RT) television, or Daniel Estulin, a Russian-born writer whose book on the Bilderbergers made him one of Fidel Castro’s favorite authors and prompted a personal meeting with the Cuban dictator in 2010.

It was this meeting, where Castro insisted that Osama bin Laden was a CIA agent, which led to a surge of international media interest, mostly from the communist press, in the Bilderbergers.

Jamie Weinstein of The Daily Caller treated the protests as a joke, asking some of the protesters, “If they’re [Bilderbergers] so powerful, why are they staying in a Marriott?” Alex Jones was confronted as well, but dismissed Weinstein as a joke himself. Among other things, Weinstein wondered how powerful the group was, considering that it is said to have been responsible for the European Union, which is now collapsing because of irresponsible spending practices and debt.

Conservative talk-show host Ben Barrack appreciated Weinstein’s controversial approach, but said that the motives of Jones and his collaborators have to be analyzed. He said, “The Alex Jones / Ron Paul / 9/11 Truther movements have long maintained that the Bilderberg globalists are a much greater threat to our Republic than are the Islamists. Whenever you bring up the Islamic threat to western civilization, it’s all but ignored because the New World Order [NWO] crowd is actually behind the Islamists’ rise according to the Jones crew… Conversely, Islamists love Alex Jones. He runs interference for them by pushing 9/11 Conspiracy theories while publicly seeing them as a threat not worth dealing with because the NWO is actually using them for its own agenda. Shouldn’t we begin considering the possibility that Jones is actively working toward that end instead of being a dupe?”

As Jones became a media celebrity for his protests, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which includes China and Russia, has been quietly preparing a major conference for this week in Beijing. The group is described by sympathizers as “a powerful counterforce against U.S. world domination efforts” and dedicated to “the creation of a new international political and economic order.”

The SCO is a governmental organization that is perceived by some analysts as a nascent anti-American military alliance, similar to the old Soviet-sponsored Warsaw Pact. It holds regular “security exercises” involving military personnel from member countries.

Observer state members of the SCO include Iran and Pakistan.

It has already been publicly announced that Russian President Vladimir Putin will take part in a Heads of State Council meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Beijing and will meet Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on the sidelines of the event.

By contrast, the Bilderberg group seems to be comprised mostly of private individuals, some with great wealth and power, who debate domestic and foreign policy issues. The group maintains a website and advertises its meetings, enabling the protesters, led by Alex Jones, to show up and draw attention to its activities.

Antics such as these protests, complete with bullhorns, have caused responsible conservatives to label Jones a provocateur because he diverts attention from serious issues and real threats to America.

We pointed out in a previous column: “Russia Today is eager to publicize Alex Jones and his claims about 9/11, the Bilderbergers, bankers, and various other villains and culprits because they divert attention from the increasingly totalitarian nature of the Russian regime and the military threat that Russia still poses to American interests.” Jones appeared on Russia Today to defend the Russian invasion of the independent country of Georgia, a former Soviet republic. He blamed the U.S., NATO and Israel for somehow provoking Russia.

The Washington Post was forced to cover the anti-Bilderberg protests, even noting that Post chairman Donald E. Graham was on the invitation list and that a Post photographer was prohibited from snapping pictures from a public street. One participant told the Post that the protesters were laughable.

Daniel Estulin, who was born in Russia, is as controversial as Alex Jones. Like Jones, he is a regular on Russia Today television, where he claimed that the U.S. was building 13 secret bases in Afghanistan for an eventual war with Russia. Estulin told RT that the purpose of the Bilderbergers is to “subjugate” Russia and China and that “The Russian Government is one of my key sources in this respect.”

More recently, he has defended Victor Bout, the former Soviet military officer and convicted Russian arms trafficker sentenced to 25 years in prison in the U.S. Appearing on RT, Estulin called Bout a “pawn” designed to further an anti-Russian U.S. foreign policy. He called Bout’s extradition to the U.S. to stand trial “very, very unfortunate, especially for all of us who love Russia as a nation.” At the same time, Estulin has described himself as “a Russian expatriate who was kicked out of the Soviet Union in 1980.”

In 2010, Estulin met with Fidel Castro to talk about Estulin’s book, The True Story of the Bilderberg Group. Castro was so impressed that he wrote an article for the Cuban Communist paper repeating the book’s claims and Estulin was ecstatic on his own website that Castro had “loved” his book.

An official Cuban Government report on the meeting, which included a photo of Estulin and Castro, said:

“The Cuban Revolution leader Fidel Castro, met with the Russian writer Daniel Estulin, author of a trilogy that exposes the so-called Bilderberg Club.

“During the discussion Estulin thanked Fidel Castro for the inclusion of fragments of his texts in his most recent journalistic columns and reaffirmed that the goal of the members of Bilderberg is to destroy Russia as a military power and China as an economic one.

“The conversation covered such topics as U.S. military bases in Latin America, the hostile situation in the Middle East and the new war strategy that culminates in extermination and genocide.”

Not surprisingly, Estulin has just appeared on the Alex Jones radio show to discuss the 2012 Bilderberger meeting and blame the U.S. for what he calls a planned international economic collapse. He was pleased with the media attention, especially from online U.S.-based news sources. “It’s great that we are getting so much attention, especially with people such as yourself in the states working the Net, working the crowds,” he said.

Estulin went on to say that he is planning a major documentary on the Bilderberger group that will feature Lyndon LaRouche, the convicted con man who is considered the intellectual author of the 9/11 truth movement. LaRouche is a former Marxist who ran for president as a Democrat. His organization began as a faction of the Students for a Democratic Society and he described his followers as seeking to establish a “new Marxist international.”

Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism, and can be contacted at