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

For The Record  

FTR #713 Interview (#3) with Russ Baker, Author of “Family of Secrets”

MP3 Side 1 | Side 2

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–a poten­tial­ly deci­sive, mul­ti-gen­er­a­tional polit­i­cal his­to­ry and analy­sis of the Bush fam­i­ly. Sadly–as Russ dis­cuss­es in the interview–he has not been able to get on more main­stream talk shows to pro­mote his land­mark text; they are fod­der for the puff piece mem­oirs of Lau­ra and George W. Bush, Karl Rove and their ilk. For The Record gives the book its due.

In this third of six inter­views, Bak­er high­lights the after­math of Pres­i­dent Kennedy’s assas­si­na­tion, in which Pop­py Bush appears to have been involved, as well as detail­ing the polit­i­cal accel­er­a­tion of his career in the mid-1960’s.

JFK angered the petro­le­um indus­try and asso­ci­at­ed Tex­ans by attempt­ing to remove the oil deple­tion allowance, a major tax wind­fall for the oil com­pa­nies. With Kennedy out of the way, it was busi­ness as usu­al for the elders of oil. Pop­py Bush was elect­ed to the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, where, thanks to the influ­ence of his father Prescott (Senior), he obtained a key posi­tion on the House Ways and Means Committee–highly unusu­al for a fresh­man con­gress­man. In that capac­i­ty, he was ide­al­ly posi­tioned to safe­guard the oil deple­tion allowance and to run inter­fer­ence for the inter­ests of the petro­le­um indus­try.

With JFK dead and peo­ple like Pop­py Bush in place, the inter­ests of the “Texas Raj” were pre­served, and the threat Kennedy posed to petro­le­um and defense inter­ests were elim­i­nat­ed.

While in Con­gress, Pop­py Bush remained close to then Pres­i­dent Lyn­don Baines John­son. Although a Demo­c­rat, LBJ was con­ser­v­a­tive and polit­i­cal­ly behold­en unto many of the same petro­le­um and defense indus­try relat­ed inter­ests that backed Bush, and on whose behalf Pop­py act­ed. Such was the close­ness between the two that, dur­ing the inau­gur­al events sur­round­ing Richard Nixon’s elec­tion, Pop­py took time off from the fes­tiv­i­ties to bid LBJ farewell from Wash­ing­ton.

Pop­py’s rela­tion­ship with the then-incom­ing Pres­i­dent was even clos­er (a sub­ject that will be cov­ered at greater length in FTR #714.) Bak­er relates how Prescott Bush appears to have launched Nixon’s polit­i­cal career with a vis­it to Los Ange­les. Prescott appears to have trav­eled to LA in order to recruit a GOP can­di­date to defeat Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Jer­ry Voorhees, who was push­ing to reg­u­late Wall Street. (At the time, Brown Broth­ers, Harriman–Prescott’s employer–was heav­i­ly involved with the pur­chase of defense indus­tries in the L.A. area. Dress­er Indus­tries, also close to the Harriman/Bush axis, was active in the petro­le­um busi­ness in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia. These rela­tion­ships were the foun­da­tion of Prescot­t’s polit­i­cal con­nec­tions to the pow­er­ful, reac­tionary Chan­dler fam­i­ly [pub­lish­ers of The Los Ange­les Times]. The Chan­dlers, in turn, were deci­sive sup­port­ers of Nixon’s cam­paign to defeat Voorhees.)

This debt of Nixon’s to the Bush fam­i­ly may well explain why, despite his antipa­thy toward the East­ern Estab­lish­ment, Nixon appoint­ed Pop­py to posi­tions that bur­nished his pro­fes­sion­al resume for future con­sid­er­a­tion. Nixon named Pop­py Ambas­sador to the Unit­ed Nations and, lat­er, chair­man of the Repub­li­can Nation­al Com­mit­tee. Bush would lat­er play a fun­da­men­tal role in the removal of Richard Nixon from pow­er, after he began to turn away from the inter­ests who had pro­mot­ed him to the White House in the first place.

(Like Pop­py, Nixon was in Dal­las, Texas on 11/22/1963 and had dif­fi­cul­ty recall­ing just what he was doing, despite the fact that he called a press con­fer­ence in his hotel room the day before Kennedy was killed.)

In Decem­ber of 1967, Pop­py made a trip to Viet­nam, accom­pa­nied by his old part­ner from Zap­a­ta Petro­le­um, Thomas J. Devine (wide­ly believed to have been a career CIA offi­cer.) Bak­er spec­u­lates that Bush’s trip may well have been con­nect­ed to the Phoenix Pro­gram, an assas­si­na­tion pro­gram that the Agency car­ried out in what was then South Viet­nam that result­ed in the liq­ui­da­tion of tens of thou­sands.

Record­ed on Memo­r­i­al Day of 2010, the pro­gram focus­es on George W. Bush’s mil­i­tary ser­vice in the 1960’s. While George H.W. Bush was going to Viet­nam, his son George W. was point­ed­ly avoid­ing going there. With the war devel­op­ing into what Bak­er describes as “a char­nel house,” the sons of the GOP and Texas elite (many of whom sup­port­ed the war polit­i­cal­ly) were look­ing for ways to avoid com­bat.

Appar­ent­ly uti­liz­ing the fam­i­ly’s pow­er­ful con­nec­tions, George W. Bush got into a Texas Air Nation­al Guard fight­er squadron. Its ranks includ­ing sons of priv­i­lege (includ­ing mem­bers of the Dal­las Cow­boys NFL fran­chise), the unit was known as “the Cham­pagne Unit.” It appears that the younger George Bush did­n’t even ful­fill his Nation­al Guard respon­si­bil­i­ty.

Ana­lyz­ing records and inter­view­ing peo­ple asso­ci­at­ed with Bush in this peri­od, Bak­er presents a com­pelling case that the future Com­man­der-in-Chief went AWOL from the Guard, gen­er­at­ing a rep­u­ta­tion as imma­ture and some­thing of a par­ty ani­mal. Just as his entry into the guard appears to have been effect­ed cour­tesy of his father’s con­nec­tions, so, too, the eclips­ing of the records of Dubya’s dere­lic­tion of duty appears to have stemmed from Pop­py’s “pull.” Osten­si­bly in Alaba­ma to work on a polit­i­cal cam­paign, Dubya actu­al­ly appears to have been sequestered there by his father, in order to elude the con­se­quences of scan­dal or wrong­do­ing.

Dubya appears to have suc­cess­ful­ly avoid­ed the con­se­quences of his actions in this peri­od (in part) because his father had assigned him a “han­dler” –James R. Bath, who was set­ting up appar­ent intel­li­gence pro­pri­etaries while serv­ing as the busi­ness rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the pow­er­ful Sau­di Bin Laden and Bin Mah­fouz fam­i­lies. (Bath will be dis­cussed at greater length in future inter­views.)

Pro­gram High­lights Include: Jack Ruby’s remarks to the press that his motives for slay­ing Oswald would nev­er become pub­lic, due to the influ­ence of “peo­ple in high places”; the influ­ence of Brown and Root on LBJ’s polit­i­cal career; the com­pa­ny’s even­tu­al incor­po­ra­tion into Hal­libur­ton, head­ed for years by Dick Cheney; Brown and Root’s lucra­tive fed­er­al con­tracts for con­struc­tion projects in South­east Asia dur­ing the Viet­nam War; reiew of Pop­py’s appoint­ment of LBJ crony Judge Manuel Bra­vo to head up Zap­ata’s [land­locked] Medellin, Colum­bia branch; the CIA’s use of anti-Cas­tro Cubans in the Phoenix pro­gram; Nixon’s unsuc­cess­ful attempt to get the CIA to give the White House its file on the JFK assas­si­na­tion; the poor train­ing and equip­ment giv­en to Nation­al Guard Per­son­nel who had to serve in Iraq.


5 comments for “FTR #713 Interview (#3) with Russ Baker, Author of “Family of Secrets””

  1. [...] here: Spit­fire List | FTR #713 Inter­view (#3) with Russ Bak­er, Author of … Tags: alaba­ma, con­se­quences, father, his-father, inter­ests, kennedy, oil-deple­tion, petro­le­um, [...]

    Posted by Spitfire List | FTR #713 Interview (#3) with Russ Baker, Author of … -Political Fund USA | July 6, 2010, 3:59 am
  2. [...] Vis­it link: Spit­fire List | FTR #713 Inter­view (#3) with Russ Bak­er, Author of … [...]

    Posted by Spitfire List | FTR #713 Interview (#3) with Russ Baker, Author of … « Politics And Funds | July 6, 2010, 4:02 am
  3. Between Richard Nixon, George Bush, and Bar­ry Seal it’s hard to tell who has had a greater influ­ence on the decline of eth­i­cal val­ues in this coun­try.

    Posted by Bruce Allen | July 10, 2010, 2:41 pm
  4. These inter­views with Russ Bak­er are very infor­ma­tive, even if they are a lit­tle repet­i­tive.

    I bought the Kin­dle ver­sion of this book, which does not have a table of con­tents or an index ... which makes it very hard to get the big pic­ture of what the book is try­ing to say.

    I hope this lack can be brought to Mr. Bak­er’s atten­tion and fixed, and that Mr. Bak­er can do more inter­views and be more forth­com­ing with­out fear of spoil­ing or giv­ing away what is in his book.

    I am sure he wants to sell books, and I’m sure he will and is sell­ing books, but there is some­thing to mak­ing this infor­ma­tion very acces­si­ble in radio and media inter­views, and able to back it up with research and in the main­stream media ... ie. KGO where I first heard of him and this book.

    Also, the last time some­one tried to take on the Bush’s that I can think of was Dan Rather, who, if he has a sto­ry about what hap­pened to him in that smack-down sting, has nev­er told the sto­ry of it.

    Posted by Brux | July 10, 2010, 3:54 pm
  5. and so ‘the mag­ic bul­let’ man him­self, arlen specter has died. what ugly secrets he must have tak­en with him to the grave. does that leave only ‘pop­py’ bush as the last man stand­ing of that group con­nect­ed to those most trag­ic events of 11–22-63 ?

    Posted by dsekou | October 15, 2012, 10:06 pm

Post a comment