Arianna the conspiratorialist: HuffPost reviews Janine Wadel's "Shadow Elite"

Arianna Huffington announced her first pick of the year for the HuffPost Book Club: "Shadow Elite" by Janine Wadel. It has taken too many years for rational people to be able to mention in polite society that our democracy has been dismantled by an elite cadre of wealthy insiders.

by Peter Duveen

PETER'S NEW YORK, Thursday, January 7, 2010--Internationally syndicated columnist Arianna Huffington has given her imprimatur to a new book, "Shadow Elite," by Janine Wadel, honoring the work as the first HuffPost Book Club pick for 2010. "Shadow Elite" details the manner in which our supposedly democratic society has been undermined by elites who craft public policy at the behest of powerful interests, to the exclusion of the needs of the average citizen. While many commentators have long ago insisted that this is so, the so-called "mainstream" has always relegated such thoughts to the realm of what it likes to call "conspiracy theory." And no wonder, since the media plays such an important role in the control exercised by these elites. The possibility that the super-wealthy have virtual control over our society, insulated to a high degree from democratic processes such as elections, is not a new one. The absence of meaningful media coverage of the very elitist annual Bilderberg Group meetings underscores the degree to which the press, television and radio have been compromised by subversive influence regarding what they are, and what they are not, to cover, regardless of its importance to the public at large. Now we have a mainstream commentator, albeit one from the left side of the spectrum, who is finally recognizing what the maligned "far right" and perhaps even the "far left" have known for decades.

Interestingly, Huffington cites, among others, the infamous former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin as one of the controllers mentioned in "Shadow Elite." What she fails to bring to the attention of her readers among other highlights in Rubin's career, however, are the steps that Rubin took to make bailouts a standard fixture in public policy. Not only did he engineer the famous Mexican Bailout of 1995, but he continued to lobby for the formation of an international bailout fund which he claimed could play an important role in stemming crises such as the Asian economic downturn of 1999. Rubin, of course, always portrayed the existence of such funds as benefiting the public, disingenuously arguing that an unavoidable consequence, rather than the primary purpose, of their use was the rescue of well-heeled investors.

For Huffington to have come out in support of Wadel's theory of elite control (and to call it a theory is like calling what you had for breakfast a theory) is revolutionary indeed. Unless Huffington is marginalized by the mainstream media--as has happened to such media icons as Rosie O'Donnell for espousing a number of non-mainstream causes such as research into alternative explanations for the events of 9-11--this could be the beginning of a deeper consensus regarding such matters as how our elections are controlled; the manner in which our judiciary is influenced in its decisions, and how so-called representative government has been transformed into little more than a rubber stamp for wealthy interests. Undoubtedly, the role of the nonprofit sector, which includes a phalanx of organizations such as the Council on Foreign Relations (Rubin is a top honcho there) and other so-called "think tanks," will come under increased scrutiny, as well they should, by at least some members of the media. Why should we as taxpayers continue to host those who flagrantly undermine our democratic foundations?