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

Side 1 [2] | Side 2 [3]

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. 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 [5]–Pop­py moves on to head his own out­fit, Zap­a­ta Off­shore Petro­le­um [6]. Launched with the aid of CIA vet­er­an Thomas Devine [7], Zap­a­ta appears to [8]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. [9]

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 [9], 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 [10], 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 [11].