Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #711 Interview (#1) with Russ Baker, Author of “Family of Secrets”

Side 1 | Side 2

Journalist Russ Baker has authored Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, America’s Invisible Government and the Hidden History of the Last 50 Years–a potentially decisive, multi-generational political history and analysis of the Bush family. This first interview of six conducted with the author chronicles the genesis of the Bush dynasty, highlighting the family’s business and political relationships with powerful Wall Street interests, the Harriman business empire, in particular. Russ Baker, Family of Secrets, and this series of six interviews illustrate and analyze the networks of powerful corporate and national security interests that have manifested the Bush family and, in turn, been advanced by them.

Throughout the dealings of generations of Bushes, one finds the petroleum business, spycraft and the synthesis of popular electoral politics with covert operations. Setting forth important episodes in the ascent of George H.W. (“Poppy”) Bush, this program notes his profound involvement with the intelligence community and the fundamental, symbiotic relationship between his business ventures and an apparent lifelong career as an intelligence officer. After recounting Prescott Bush’s work for powerful investment banking firm Brown Brothers Harriman, the program underscores his son George’s involvement with intelligence going back to his work for an ONI photo analysis unit during World War II. After the war, “Poppy” (George H.W.) Bush uses family professional connections to become established in Texas.

From work with oil drilling firm Dresser Industries–headed by Harriman crony and fellow Yale “Bonesman” Henry Neil Mallon–Poppy moves on to head his own outfit, Zapata Offshore Petroleum. Launched with the aid of CIA veteran Thomas Devine, Zapata appears to have been little more than an intelligence front. Not profitable, Zapata encompassed a range of operations and ventures that appear to have advanced the interests of the Central Intelligence Agency and powerful economic forces it serves. Among the significant areas of involvement for Zapata was Latin America, especially Cuba and the anti-Castro efforts of the CIA.

Of particular significance is Baker’s analysis of Poppy’s behavior vis a vis the assassination of President Kennedy. At loss to explain his exact whereabouts and activity at the time President Kennedy was assassinated, the elder George Bush appears to have been involved with the assassination. Closely associated with the intelligence and corporate milieu that dispatched JFK, Poppy was certainly in Dallas the evening before the assassination and may very well have been there on the very day of the killing. His inability to account for his behavior on that fateful day and his evident and sophisticated efforts to obscure his tracks are suggestive of guilt.

Close to Richard Nixon throughout his political career, Poppy Bush appears to have been pivotally involved with the intelligence forces that deliberately ousted Nixon in the Watergate affair, itself inextricably linked with the events of 11/22/1963 and the Bay of Pigs milieu.

The saga of the Bush clan, as well as the evolution of the power elite structure to which they belong, have imprinted that family with certain historical and political “themes”–themes that can be clearly identified in the nature and legacy of the political career of George W. Bush. Read a Mini-Review of the Book.

Program Highlights Include: Analysis of the use of the rhetorical cliche “conspiracy theory” to actively suppress discussion of clandestine operations; synopsis of key elements of the “Old Boy Network” and Eastern Establishment; Henry Neil Mallon’s involvement with intelligence and national matters; Mallon’s close relationship with CIA director and Sullivan and Cromwell associate Allen Dulles; Dulles’s pedigree in the Wall Street and intelligence establishment; Poppy Bush’s relationship to Oswald intelligence babysitter George De Mohrenschildt; Poppy’s use of a memo to the FBI to provide himself with a convenient cover for his activities on 11/22/1963; the evolution of Dresser Industries into Halliburton (headed for a time by Dick Cheney, political crony of both Poppy and Dubya); synopsis of the close political relationship between LBJ and Poppy; Poppy’s selection of Judge Manuel Bravo, a close LBJ associate, to head Zapata Offshore Petroleum’s (landlocked) Medellin, Columbia office; the role of Halliburton the Deepwater Horizon blowout in the Gulf of Mexico; the professional and historical links between the Bush family and the Gammells, a powerful Scottish banking family who are, in turn, closely connected to the milieu of former British PM Tony Blair and BP; the role of the milieu of narcotics-smuggling and intelligence-connected banks to the professional ascent of the younger George Bush; George W. Bush’s declaration to a Texas in journalist that if affored the opportunity, he intended to invade Iraq.


4 comments for “FTR #711 Interview (#1) with Russ Baker, Author of “Family of Secrets””

  1. Your last show about the bush family was very interesting. Particularly if its true that H.W.Bush can not recall where he was when the President Kennedy was assassinated. ( I was reading about Sirhan Sirhan and was stunned to find out that the judge in his case went by the name of Herbert V. Walker,) I was wondering can there be any connection between this judge and this famous Bush crime family.

    Posted by Allen | June 27, 2010, 4:42 pm
  2. Russ Baker is the kind of journalist working in the field of political conspiracies (Deep Social-Political Networking) who reminds of Peter Dale Scott, the late Gary Webb, and Kevin Phillips, all of whom use substantive documentation to support the grotesque diagnosis that all is not well in American political culture and has not been for a long time. That plutocrats are deeply connected, and that they use ambitious platoons of meritocrats (Chomsky’s New Mandarins) and the plain naive to carry out their violent strategies appears all too true.

    Posted by J. Edward Tipre | July 1, 2010, 1:05 pm
  3. Thank you so much for all of your work, Dave Emory, and for the podcasts, which is about the only way I can catch up with your work. Is there any chance you could post #’s 711-716? I am reading Russ Baker’s Family of Secrets, just listened to #730, and would really like to hear the rest of the interviews with Baker. His sentiments at the end of #730, about how learning who is really running things helps us to live happier lives (I would say it releases us from the matrix), is a sentiment I have tried to communicate to others, and have given up on. Most people want to stay in the matrix, sadly.

    Posted by bikegata | December 27, 2011, 9:22 pm
  4. Sullivan & Cromwell: the go-to New York law firm for banks facing regulatory scrutiny. Classy:

    Exclusive: Regulators irate at NY action against StanChart

    By Carrick Mollenkamp and Emily Flitter and Karen Freifeld

    NEW YORK/LONDON | Wed Aug 8, 2012 12:41am EDT

    (Reuters) – The Treasury Department and Federal Reserve were blindsided and angered by New York’s banking regulator’s decision to launch an explosive attack on Standard Chartered Plc over $250 billion in alleged money laundering transactions tied to Iran, sources familiar with the situation said.

    By going it alone through the order he issued on Monday, Benjamin Lawsky, head of the recently created New York State Department of Financial Services, also complicates talks between the Treasury and London-based Standard Chartered to settle claims over the transactions, several of the sources said.

    Lawsky’s stunning move, which included releasing embarrassing communications and details of the bank’s alleged defiance of U.S. sanctions against Iran, is rewriting the playbook on how foreign banks settle cases involving the processing of shadowy funds tied to sanctioned countries. In the past, such cases have usually been settled through negotiation – with public shaming kept to a minimum.

    In his order, Lawsky said Standard Chartered’s dealings exposed the U.S. banking system to terrorists, drug traffickers and corrupt states.

    But the upset expressed by some federal officials, who were given virtually no notice of the New York move, may provide ammunition for Standard Chartered to portray the allegations as coming from a relatively new and over-zealous regulator.

    But, given the content of the order – which described Standard Chartered as a “rogue institution” that “schemed” with the Iranian government and hid from law enforcement officials some 60,000 secret transactions over nearly 10 years – the bank may need to come up with a strong defense.


    Standard Chartered, which sought the advice of one of New York’s top law firms, had hoped that coming clean and turning over internal records to federal regulators would yield a settlement, sources said.

    Those records also were turned over to New York’s bank regulator, which last year was combined with an insurance agency to create the new financial watchdog headed by Lawsky, a former prosecutor and aide to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

    Lawsky’s aim, according to the sources, was to cast more light on a bank’s alleged transgressions. His agency, these people said, wasn’t interested in a quiet pact of the sort reached by federal authorities in recent years.

    In 2010, for example, Barclays Plc paid $298 million in a settlement with regulators including the Treasury Department’s sanctions regulator and the Manhattan district attorney’s office. The bank, in settlement documents, said it cooperated in the probe.

    Barclays, like Standard Chartered, was advised by Sullivan & Cromwell, known as the go-to New York law firm for banks facing regulatory scrutiny. The Barclays settlement, while receiving news coverage, was a fairly bland document that listed the bank’s transactions but few insider details, such as emails. Other banks, including Credit Suisse and ING, have settled in much the same way with U.S. regulators.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 8, 2012, 6:32 pm

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