Talk:Council on Foreign Relations

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Need some information about CFR between 1980 and 2007![edit]

Seems quite a large gap. (Or did its membership just lose interest in it for 27 years?) Genepoz (talk) 03:52, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

CFR and the events on September 11[edit]

It doesn't affect GabrielF and Sailingfanblues that half of the 9/11 Commission and three quarters of the testimonies are from that network that only 1 of 1000 Americans knows, the CFR. So it will still be hidden. You just have to check the official memberlist on the CFR-Homepage and the members of 9/11 commission and the list of the 17 testimonies. It's not a conspiracy theorie, it's a fact. I thought Wikipedia is made for sharing knowledge. I guess I was wrong. Anyway, all the best. (talk) 14:41, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

WP: Soapbox, WP: NPOV Sailingfanblues (talk) 15:45, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

?? WP: NPOV ??:WP: Soapbox. Still facts, not an opinion. Still facts, nothing for the soapbox ;) (talk) 16:32, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

WP: undue weight. WP: fringe_theories. This is to say, you are advocating a conspiracy theory--insinuating a nefarious connection between the CFR and the events of 9/11. No place for that on wikipedia. Thanks for your good faith edits, though! Sailingfanblues (talk) 18:09, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

Pretty interesting, cause thats only your POV. No word from me about a connection of the events of 9/11 and an INVOLVEMENT of the members of the CFR. Its just about the 9/11-Commission. So you think it would be helpful to call it: "9/11-Commission and CFR-members" ? I also guess, much better. For sure your mind tells you, that there is a connection when you're reading that half of the 9/11-Commission and three quarters of the testimonies are from the CFR. No word from me about that, it's you who made the connection. But what you do also, is to ignore the fact, that half of the 9/11-Commission and three quarters of the testimonies are from the CFR. PLEASE check the lists and share the knowledge. What conclusion the readers draw is not your cup of tea and not mine. I'm just interested to present the facts. And you have an interest to not share the facts. A 3rd opinion would be pretty helpful! Still all the best, (talk) 19:38, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

Here's where you cross the line into original research: "For sure your mind tells you, that there is a connection when you're reading that half of the 9/11-Commission and three quarters of the testimonies are from the CFR." You're making an assumption that because people are members of an organization, they represent that organization in their dealings. Whether or not you make the claim explicitly or hide behind the idea that the reader will make up their own mind does not matter. You need a reliable secondary source to make this claim. Of course, even if you had such a source, you'd still run into the issue of undue weight because you would need to demonstrate that this issue is important enough to warrant the amount of attention you want to give it. And, quite frankly, the idea is idiotic. Presumably a huge percentage of people who testified before the 9/11 Commission are members of AARP. Should we also conclude that their are testifying FOR AARP? GabrielF (talk) 19:45, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

I'm fine with that;) But I'm done with the idea that Wikipedia likes to share the knowledge if it needs 5 arbitrary barriers to pass ( WP: NPOV , WP: Soapbox, WP: undue weight, WP: fringe_theories, undue weight ), to cover a desperate POV... Keep cool and enjoy life ;). The truth is already on its way. (talk) 20:03, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

They aren't "arbitrary barriers". The goal of Wikipedia is not to let everybody in the world share their ideas. There are plenty of places on the Internet where you can do that. The goal is to build a high-quality encyclopedia, and therefore we have certain content standards. Whatever usefulness that we have we owe to these standards. See WP:NOT. GabrielF (talk) 20:09, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

Controversy vs. Conspiracy Theory[edit]

I've changed the title of the section "Controversy." There is no real controversy, first of all. The term controversy implies a level of broad public interest that this subject lacks. Second, the section formerly titled "Controversy" only concerned one subject: Conspiracy theory. Therefore, "Conspiracy Theory" is a much more appropriate title. If you'll forgive the political incorrectness of the expression, don't be afraid to call a spade a spade. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:02, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

I don't agree, actually. Rockefeller admits that he has specific political and economic goals in his involvement. People who disagree with those goals aren't necessarily "conspiracy theorists" in the loon sense of the term. They may very well be people with a different political outlook. Many, many people the world over disagree about politics--that is why it is an impolite topic at dinner parties. That alone doesn't make anyone a conspiracy theorist.

I'm not going to change the title but I have added a section and a link explaining a bit more in depth why the CFR is politically controversial. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bilderberger.porkchop (talkcontribs) 00:34, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

This question was discussed at length (see above), and a poll taken. The result of the poll was that the section was titled Controversy. Given the history of discussion and the preponderance of editors who voted for controversy, the title should not have been changed unilaterally. Plazak (talk) 01:00, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
I think the poll that Plazak is talking about is located in the talk archives: Talk:Council on Foreign Relations/archive 1#Poll:_.22Controversy.22_or_.22Conspiracy_theories.22--Kevinkor2 (talk) 04:17, 23 September 2010 (UTC)
I removed the Rockefeller quote. He doesn't mention the CFR in it.   Will Beback  talk  03:18, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
Are you people kidding? The first people cited in the "controversy" section include Aaron Russo, who claimed - among other things - that tax is illegal, while personally owing millions to the US government. Whatever your personal views of Mr. Russo may be, it must be generally acknowledged that he represents rather fringe opinions in American politics, and remains a favorite source for citation by those (real) groups who believe the US is run by a conspiracy of devil-worshipers and/or aliens. (It used to be Communists and Jews). A criticism by Aaron Russo is hardly grounds for claiming the existence of undisputed controversy. ( (talk) 21:02, 21 September 2010 (UTC))
Aaron Russo said that the income tax wasn't law, and until the sixteenth amendment was unconstitutional. I don't agree with him on the former since the tax code was in fact passed through the legislative branch, but the latter is obviously correct. Saying that he claimed "tax is illegal" is a gross oversimplification. And despite who cites him, he never supported any theories about devil-worshipers, aliens, communists, or jews. (In fact, he was of jewish heritage, according to statements he made in Freedom to Fascism and his fluency in Yiddish) You're trying to lump Russo with Alex Jones and David Icke. Additionally, although unrelated to this discussion, the FAQ on the CFR website does not address any allegations and even states that the majority of their meetings are closed to the public and are kept "not-for-attribution", meeting all requirements necessary to claim their meetings are "secret". I don't see the point in why this FAQ is mentioned in the "controversy" section, and the mention is misleading and implies bias. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:08, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

CFR has advocated policies that have resulted in the deaths of literally millions of people. There clearly needs to be a controversy section. The current section only focuses on nonsense about one-world governments. That's really not the most common controversy about CFR at all. (talk) 12:39, 23 October 2010 (UTC)

I don't believe in controversy sections, but as it exists and I don't have time to do all the work, I cleaned out all of the material that was cited incorrectly (dead links), repetetive of previous points (Wilson material), unnecessarily linking to conspiracy theory material (Zeitgeist, etc. under the guise of controversy and not conspiracy theory!), and unreliable sources (Marris! Rothbart!). It's all open for debate--but anything should be added, what removed was removed because it went against Wikipedia standards. Sailingfanblues (talk) 22:39, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

This nonprofit of elitist bankers, lawyers, media types, etc. is definitely controversial in the true sense of the word. There are traceable connections to its globalism agendas and American foreign policy. Do the research and you will conclude that controversial is putting it mildly. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:16, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

The term "Conspiracy Theory" is a pejorative. Shouldn't be used in a wikipedia article. If the only items listed under the Controversy section are termed "Conspiracy Theories", the whole section should be removed. (talk) 16:18, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

Hillary Clinton speech at CFR Washington outpost on july 15th 2009[edit]

Hello guys!

FYI, Hillary Clinton recently said the following at a speech at the Washington CFR office:

“Thank you very much, Richard, and I am delighted to be here in these new headquarters. I have been often to, I guess, the mother ship in New York City, but it’s good to have an outpost of the Council right here down the street from the State Department. We get a lot of advice from the Council, so this will mean I won’t have as far to go to be told what we should be doing and how we should think about the future.”

Check out the vid:

Of course this part was skipped on the MSNBC interview (seriously, this fact isn't important at all, there's definitely no censorship in the media :|)

So, are there any more questions who really is responsible for the foreign policies of the US administration? :)

Btw, this is no weird conspiracy theory, imho this kind of influence is normal and therefore we shouldn't be surprised of facts like that one (have I become a little cynical lately?). Actually, I was astounded that this hasn't already been mentioned in the article or discussion page.

Anyway, maybe s.o. with experience can add that stuff to the article, thx.

Zippit en (talk) 19:14, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

I don't think any serious person questions the idea that the Council on Foreign Relations is quite influential in US foreign policy circles, including among government officials. Is it "responsible for the foreign policies of the US administration?" No, I don't think so, and I say this as someone who has actually done research among reams of declassified documents relating to foreign policy and have more than a layman's understanding of how foreign policy works (or, more often than not, doesn't work) in the United States government. I don't understand why the Clinton comment is such a big deal. First of all, the odds are quite good that it is partially tongue in cheek (especially "won’t have as far to go to be told what we should be doing," said with a bit of a smile) and that Clinton is intentionally exaggerating for effect (or, at the least, that she chose her words somewhat poorly). And even if you take her completely literally, which I would definitely not, notice the wording "...what we should be doing and how we should think about..." "Should" is kind of a key word there. If she would have said, completely straight-faced and to no laughter, "now it will be easier to come and get our marching orders, which I will then pass on to the President, who will then do exactly as you say," I think you would have something, but of course that's not what happened here. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 20:55, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Support for Israel[edit]

Is there any evidence to suggest that the CFR has supported Israel in the past, or that it continues to defend Israeli policies to this day ? I have been reading several documents produced by the CFR and I got the impression was that it did have such pro-Israel sentiment. ADM (talk) 11:09, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

Check out the names of many of the members and make that deduction for yourself (not being anti-semitic, just pointing out a fact). (talk) 02:59, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
Check out the bio of CFR member Elliott Abrams,convicted of withholding information to Congress in the Iran-Contra Affair investigation, who took a leading role in pushing the U.S. into the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Activist (talk) 11:51, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

Laurence Shoup & the truth about CFR influence[edit]

I find it curious Shoup just got a passing reference in the article, He wrote a comprehensive book about them in 1977, "Imperial Brain Trust" which was published once then utterly disappeared for 27 years. Hmm...... [1] Those of you who can't be bothered with the 348 pages, Shoup did a summary of CFR at the time of the 2004 presidential election, I strongly urge you to read this.[2] and if that shocks your sensibilities and shakes your beliefs in our "proud nation" and "democracy" enough to (as I'd expect) cry BS on Shoup's work, forget it: The Council itself describes Shoup's expose as The most important critical analysis of the Council is: Laurence H. Shoup and William Minter, Imperial Brain Trust: The Council on Foreign Relations and United States Foreign Policy (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1977). and of course here you'll find that quote right here on their site. [3] I have brought you the truth. What you do with it is up to you.Batvette (talk) 14:17, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

BTW, controversy vs conspiracy theory- how about criticism? conspiracy theory is an automatic discrediting of criticism, and frankly that's irresponsible to the point of criminal, and frankly there isn't a big controversy either- it's almost universally agreed upon they have great influence in shaping our world, there may be disagreement on the level of influence or whether it's fully disclosed or not. Batvette (talk) 14:26, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
I have brought you the truth. What you do with it is up to you
Are you new or something? That's not how it works. — goethean 15:12, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
I've been here long enough to know before you edit an article of a controversial nature, with something you know will add more controversy, but appears to be factual, it doesn't hurt to test the waters by putting some of it on the talk page first. Since you were too lazy to look at my user history before asking if I was new, I can assume you didn't read the short version of Shoup's expose on CFR either. Ignorance is bliss, have a happy day!Batvette (talk) 09:51, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

non-partisn or bi-partisn[edit]

The top of the article lists the CFR as Bi-Partisan, but later on there is a line that says

"From its inception the Council was non-partisan, welcoming members of both Democratic and Republican parties."

Should that non-partisan above be changed to bi-partisan to be consistent. Or are there any members of the CFR that are part of the Libertarian party, Constitution party, or Green party. If not, non-partisan probably shouldn't be used anywhere, or if there are then the opening line about being bi-partisan should be changed to non-partisan.

I went ahead and changed the non-partisan to bipartisan, so it is more consistent. Feel free to revert if you disagree. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sephers165 (talkcontribs) 01:02, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

Would this be equivalent to Germany's Deutsche Gesellschaft für auswärtige Politik?[edit]

Would this be equivalent to Germany's Deutsche Gesellschaft für auswärtige Politik, as a national foreign policy network? (talk) 01:23, 6 October 2011 (UTC)

Is there a List of national foreign policy business networks (wp article) or something similar? (talk) 05:38, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

Recent edits to controversy section[edit]

Hi all. My recent edits were reverted--unfairly, I believe. As such, I've reverted the revert. In any event, I was just trying to be WP: Bold with regards to this page; there were dead links and links to non-reliable sources. Moreover, controversy sections in general are frowned upon and I will work to integrate valid critique into the main body of this page. Sailingfanblues (talk) 16:40, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Finally got rid of stand-alone controversy section on the page per wikipedia standards. The critique is now integrated into the main body on influence. Hope this works. Sailingfanblues (talk) 18:43, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

Why extensive deletion?[edit]

Example ...

Current CFR Members are: White House Chief of Staff Jacob Lew, the 1st Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte, the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs John Bolton, the United States Secretary of the Treasury Timothy F. Geithner, the vice president of Federal Reserve System Janet Yellen, the CEO of Goldman Sachs Lloyd C. Blankfein, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co. James Dimon, the CEO of Citigroup Michael E. O'Neill, the CEO of American Express Kenneth Chenault, NBC News Icon Tom Brokaw, the anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News Brian Williams, ABC News President Benjamin Sherwood, the Senior Political Analyst for CNN David Gergen, CBS News Commentator Douglas Brinkley, Pulitzer Prize–winning syndicated columnist, speechwriter and political commentator Charles Krauthammer, speechwriter and "one of the 25 Most Influential Liberals in the U.S. Media" Hendrik Hertzberg, the President of the World Jewish Congress Ronald Lauder, the Chief Justice of the United States at Supreme CourtJohn Roberts, the Judge at Supreme Court Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Judge at Supreme Court Stephen Breyer, the United States Navy admiral who serves as the current Commander, U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) and NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe James G. Stavridis, the former chairman of Federal Reserve System Alan Greenspan, the major of New York City Michael Bloomberg, former nearly US President in 2004 John Kerry, former US President Bill Clinton, the filmproducer of Quentin Tarantino Lawrence Bender, the actress Angelina Jolie and also the actors George Clooney und Warren Beatty. CFR an.[1]

from edit by an IP User (, removed by Special:Contributions/Fat&Happy.

Is it all already covered in Members of the Council on Foreign Relations? (talk) 05:46, 26 July 2012 (UTC) (talk) 05:46, 26 July 2012 (UTC)

No, don't know why it was deleted. Just a quarter of these members were covered in the list. So we deceide to put it back. Thanks Operation Saba (talk) 14:06, 9 August 2012 (UTC)Operation Saba

Carroll Quigley[edit]

I have removed Carroll Quigley's name as someone who "vociferously" opposed the CFR. The link provided beside that claim is an article by the John Birch Society which does not mention Quigley at all. After reading his most famous and thickest book, Tragedy and Hope, I find it hard to believe he would oppose them at all. Although I'm sure many people reading this believe his book is proof that all conspiracy theories are true, I'm even more sure they're wrong. Quigley is one of the most misquoted people by the conspiracy community. Although there is a passage in his book which, read by itself, suggests that bankers are about to take over the world, he later describes in detail how bankers lost their power in the wake of The Great Depression. When read through the perspective of objectivity, the book fits with mainstream history very well and indeed disproves "bankster" related conspiracy theories. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Will McRoy (talkcontribs) 15:25, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

Conspiracy theory section[edit]

I agree that there should be a section covering the conspiracy theories. But this needs to be reliably sourced. Not fringe websites like the John Birch Society. --Harizotoh9 (talk) 06:59, 12 March 2014 (UTC)

It is interesting there isn't even any analysis from mainstream sources of its actual influence, especially in the last 20 years. I personally can't even figure out why conspiracy theorists care at all. It didn't seem to have much affect on entry into 2003 Iraq war. And they publish John "Israel lobby stinks" Mearsheimer, who isn't exactly mainstream. So analysis of influence with paragraph about why in the heck conspiracy theorists care would be interesting. Carolmooredc (Talkie-Talkie) 17:48, 18 March 2014 (UTC)

Conspiracy Theories[edit]

I am not opposed to including a section discussing CFR and conspiracy theories. I think it is notable enough. But it needs reliable sources. --Harizotoh9 (talk) 17:08, 16 October 2014 (UTC)

Thank you for starting this discussion. The Controversy section was deleted and restored multiple times in the last year but there was never a proper talk page discussion. While I disagree with the conspiracy theorists, I agree with you that the issue is notable enough to merit a section in the article. In fact, in 2008 there was a poll on the talk page on the name of the section, indicating that consensus exists that it should be included. I believe that the sources for the current section are satisfactory. When discussing fringe groups, there is nothing wrong with citing the groups in question (see WP:BIASED: "reliable sources are not required to be neutral, unbiased, or objective. Sometimes non-neutral sources are the best possible sources for supporting information about the different viewpoints held on a subject.") The section is not stating that the conspiracy theories are true, only that they exist and citing sources to show they exist, which is entirely appropriate. I therefore propose that we restore the Controversy section as-is. If you would like to add additional reliable sources to it, please do so. --Albany NY (talk) 03:14, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
Since no one has responded, I have restored the section. --Albany NY (talk) 16:04, 24 October 2014 (UTC)