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.