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FTR #712 Interview (#2) with Russ Baker, Author of “Family of Secrets”

[1]Lis­ten:
MP3 Side 1 [2] | Side 2 [3]

Intro­duc­tion: Jour­nal­ist Russ Bak­er has authored Fam­i­ly of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, Amer­i­ca’s Invis­i­ble Gov­ern­ment and the Hid­den His­to­ry of the Last 50 Years [4]–a poten­tial­ly deci­sive, mul­ti-gen­er­a­tional polit­i­cal his­to­ry and analy­sis of the Bush fam­i­ly. In this sec­ond of six inter­views, Bak­er stretch­es out with analy­sis of one of the many inves­tiga­tive break­throughs in his land­mark vol­ume.

His career ris­ing with the bur­geon­ing devel­op­ment of the Amer­i­can South­west and Texas in par­tic­u­lar, George H.W. Bush was inex­tri­ca­bly linked with the pow­er net­works that assas­si­nat­ed Pres­i­dent Kennedy. Bush’s behav­ior with regard to that event and his appar­ent attempts at obfus­cat­ing his activ­i­ties on 11/22/1963 are sug­ges­tive of guilt.

Review­ing ele­ments of dis­cus­sion from FTR #711 [5], the broad­cast notes that through­out the career of George H.W. Bush, one finds the influ­ence of the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty, many of the ele­ments of which were cen­tral­ly involved in the events of 11/22/1963. His stew­ard­ship of Zap­a­ta Off­shore Petro­le­um [6] was typ­i­cal in that regard. Zap­a­ta, as well as many of the intel­li­gence-con­nect­ed Wall Street inter­ests whose bid­ding Pop­py did, were deeply con­cerned over U.S. pol­i­cy toward Cas­tro’s Cuba. Zap­a­ta appears to have served as a front for var­i­ous CIA oper­a­tions against Cas­tro, as well as for the pure col­lec­tion of intel­li­gence.

Chron­i­cling Bush’s rise and point of entree to the pow­er elite of Dal­las, Bak­er reviews the activ­i­ties of Hen­ry Neil Mal­lon. Some­thing of a pro­fes­sion­al god­fa­ther to Pop­py, Mal­lon helped Bush gain trac­tion in the milieu that ran afoul of Pres­i­dent Kennedy. Mal­lon found­ed the Dal­las World Affairs Coun­cil, a pol­i­cy forum for (among oth­er inter­ests) rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the petro­le­um and defense indus­tries, whose influ­ence in Texas was grow­ing with the momen­tum of the Cold War, and whose wrath JFK incurred with his poli­cies.

A vig­or­ous Russ­ian exile com­mu­ni­ty took root in Dal­las, pros­per­ing in the petro­le­um and defense indus­tries, as well as Cold War pol­i­tics and intel­li­gence mat­ters. George H.W. Bush was close to many of these White Rus­sians, George De Mohren­schildt, in par­tic­u­lar. Born to a fam­i­ly that man­aged the Baku Oil fields for the Noble Fam­i­ly, the De Mohren­schildt clan was involved with anti-Sovi­et intrigue, espi­onage and the petro­le­um busi­ness dat­ing back to the con­clu­sion of the First World War. In addi­tion to net­work­ing with the milieu of the Bush fam­i­ly, De Mohren­schildt’s acquain­tances includ­ed Jack­ie Kennedy’s family–both set of acquain­tances dat­ing to the peri­od between the World Wars.

De Mohren­schildt [7] became an appar­ent intel­li­gence babysit­ter for Lee Har­vey Oswald after he returned from the U.S.S.R., help­ing to posi­tion him as the pat­sy for Kennedy’s slay­ing. [8]

Anoth­er of Bush’s key acquain­tances in Dal­las was Jack Alston Chrich­ton, an oil­man deeply involved with intel­li­gence mat­ters. Run­ning for Gov­er­nor of Texas at the same timethat Pop­py was run­ning for U.S. Sen­a­tor, Chrich­ton head­ed up an army intel­li­gence reserve unit whose ranks includ­ed many high rank­ing mem­bers of the Dal­las Police Depart­ment [9], includ­ing Chief Lump­kin, who was in the lead car in Kennedy’s fatal motor­cade and whose actions on that day raise ques­tions about his pos­si­ble involve­ment in the mur­der. Chrich­ton and Lump­kin’s supe­ri­or Lieu­tenant Colonel George Whit­mey­er (in charge of Army reserve units in East Texas) was also in the lead car.

Chrich­ton was also instru­men­tal in arrang­ing for some of the White Russ­ian com­mu­ni­ty in Dal­las to act as trans­la­tors for Mari­na Oswald in the imme­di­ate after­math of the shooting.These trans­la­tors dis­tort­ed Mari­na’s state­ments in such a way as to accen­tu­ate Oswald’s alleged guilt. It is worth not­ing that Chrich­ton had estab­lished a Cold War com­mu­ni­ca­tions bunker in the base­ment of a build­ing in down­town Dal­las. Bak­er spec­u­lates that this instal­la­tion may have served as a com­mu­ni­ca­tions hub in the assas­si­na­tion.

Curi­ous­ly, Pop­py Bush has nev­er been able to sat­is­fac­to­ri­ly account for his pres­ence and actions in Dal­las on 11/22/1963. (It is said that all peo­ple who were of the age of con­scious­ness when Pres­i­dent Kennedy was killed remem­ber where they were and what they were doing when they heard JFK had been killed. That appar­ent­ly does NOT include Pop­py Bush.) Attend­ing an oil drillers’ pro­fes­sion­al con­fer­ence in Dal­las the evening before the assas­si­na­tion, he may well have been in “the big D” on the morn­ing of the killing, as well.

Bak­er details Pop­py’s attempts at cov­er­ing his tracks, both with a phone call to the FBI pro­vid­ing him­self with ali­bi, as well as a curi­ous let­ter alleged­ly penned by Bar­bara Bush as she was hav­ing her hair done and in which she records her thoughts upon hear­ing that Kennedy had been killed. In that let­ter, Ms. Bush notes her hus­band’s asso­ci­a­tion with the Ulmers, who were in town at the time. A long time CIA coup spe­cial­ist, Al (hus­band of Doris, Bar­bara’s friend) was in Dal­las at the time of the assas­si­na­tion. Bar­bara also mis­spells the name of Joe Zep­pa, a Dal­las oil man on whose pri­vate plane Bush had flown into Dal­las. Both the curi­ous behav­ior of Zep­pa on that day and Bar­bara’s spelling of their friend’s name as “Zep­po” seem designed to throw inves­ti­ga­tors off.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: For­mer CIA direc­tor Allen Dulles’ pres­ence in Dal­las in Octo­ber of 1963, sup­pos­ed­ly to pro­mote a book; the CIA’s curi­ous hir­ing of anoth­er man named George Bush, quite pos­si­bly to dis­tract from a memo refer­ring to a “George Bush” of the CIA who was mon­i­tor­ing anti-Cas­tro Cuban reac­tion to Kennedy’s killing; syn­op­sis of the actions of the Kennedy admin­is­tra­tion that infu­ri­at­ed the inter­ests who com­mit­ted the assas­si­na­tion; Gen­er­al D.H. Byrd [10], Kennedy foe, head of the Civ­il Air Patrol (in which cadet Lee Har­vey Oswald met David Fer­rie [11]) and own­er of the build­ing from which Oswald sup­pos­ed­ly fired the fatal shot; Byrd’s removal of the win­dow from which Oswald sup­pos­ed­ly fired the fatal shot and his [Byrd’s] sub­se­quent reassem­bly of the win­dow at his pri­vate res­i­dence; Abra­ham Zaprud­er’s asso­ci­a­tion with De Mohren­schild’s wife and his par­tic­i­pa­tion on Hen­ry Neil Mal­lon’s Dal­las World Affairs Coun­cil; Dal­las May­or Ear­le Cabell, broth­er of Gen­er­al C.P. Cabell, fired by JF K (along with Allan Dulles); Prescott Bush’s hatred of JFK, whom he “nev­er for­gave” for pol­i­cy indis­cre­tions; Prescott Bush’s rela­tion­ship with Allen Dulles; Richard Nixon’s curi­ous pres­ence in Dal­las on 11/22/1963, cour­tesy of the Pep­si Cola com­pa­ny; the inter­ests of the cola bot­tlers in Cuban affairs (deriv­ing from Cuba’s impor­tance in the sug­ar busi­ness.)