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

For The Record  

FTR #714 Interview (#4) 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. This fourth of six inter­views with Mr. Bak­er focus­es large­ly on the Water­gate scan­dal.

Ana­lyz­ing the Water­gate scan­dal, Russ devel­ops com­pelling infor­ma­tion indi­cat­ing that Water­gate was far from being the “re-affir­ma­tion” of Amer­i­can demo­c­ra­t­ic prin­ci­ples that it is rep­re­sent­ed as being. Rather, that his­tor­i­cal episode was a care­ful­ly orches­trat­ed coup d’etat, exe­cut­ed by well-placed oppo­nents of Nixon with strong con­nec­tions to the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty.

George H.W. Bush appears to have been a major play­er in this oper­a­tion. The Water­gate gam­bit fun­da­men­tal­ly reflect­ed the events of 11/22/1963, while antic­i­pat­ing and set­ting the stage for much of what fol­lowed in suc­ceed­ing decades.

Under­stand­ing Water­gate neces­si­tates under­stand­ing the rela­tion­ship between Nixon and the Bush clan. Review­ing an aspect of Nixon’s career, Bak­er reviews the role of Prescott Bush in the polit­i­cal ele­va­tion of “Tricky Dick.”

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. See Mis­cel­la­neous Archive Show M59 for an overview of the links between Nixon and the Kennedy assas­si­na­tion.)

Indeed, Nixon fre­quent­ly spoke of “the whole Bay of Pigs thing” and his fears that the Water­gate affair need­ed to be cov­ered up lest the details con­cern­ing that “thing” emerge. As dis­cussed in the inter­view (and in var­i­ous broad­casts over the years), Nixon’s Bay of Pigs ref­er­ence was a code word for the Kennedy assas­si­na­tion. When ana­lyz­ing the Water­gate affair, one not only observes that the key play­ers have con­nec­tions to the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty, but that most of them have back­grounds that lead to Dal­las and the Kennedy killing.

Of par­tic­u­lar sig­nif­i­cance for the pur­pos­es of present dis­cus­sion are Water­gate Spe­cial Pros­e­cu­tor Leon Jawors­ki and Ger­ald Ford, appoint­ed as Vice-Pres­i­dent by Nixon.

A mem­ber of the board of direc­tors of the M.D. Ander­son Fund (a CIA domes­tic-fund­ing con­duit), Jawors­ki had served as a War­ren Com­mis­sion coun­sel, after being appoint­ed to inves­ti­gate the Kennedy assas­si­na­tion for the state of Texas. Like Robert G. Storey, his asso­ciate on the Texas inquest, Jawors­ki had served on the “pros­e­cu­to­r­i­al” staff at Nurem­berg. As has been seen in numer­ous pro­grams, the pros­e­cu­tions of Nazi war crim­i­nals was bad­ly atten­u­at­ed, the courts large­ly serv­ing to rub­ber-stamp many of Third Reich alum­ni for ser­vice in the post­war Ger­man gov­ern­ment and/or for employ­ment by West­ern intel­li­gence ser­vices or defense indus­tries.

Through­out his career, Jawors­ki was very close to Pop­py Bush, as well as the Texas cor­po­rate and polit­i­cal elites. (In Mis­cel­la­neous Archive Show M31, we looked at ear­ly indi­ca­tions of Jaworski’s pro­fes­sion­al cor­rup­tion and nascent Nazi sym­pa­thies.)

Ford, who replaced Nixon and par­doned him after his res­ig­na­tion, had served on the War­ren Com­mis­sion which had cov­ered up Kennedy’s assas­si­na­tion in the first place. Ford, too, was close to Pop­py Bush.

After not­ing that Nixon–like his neme­sis JFK–was run­ning afoul of the petro­le­um indus­try, Bak­er also points out that Nixon’s poli­cies of detente with Rus­sia and rap­proche­ment with Chi­na alien­at­ed the far right and the Cold War lob­by.

Bak­er points out that the avail­able evi­dence sug­gests that Nixon was set up in the Water­gate bur­glary, with the CIA vet­er­ans who com­prised the “Plumbers” unit delib­er­ate­ly bungling the oper­a­tion that led to their arrest.

In Fam­i­ly of Secrets, Bak­er notes Pop­py Bush’s pri­ma­ry role in the “Town­house” affair, one of the back sto­ries to Water­gate. The Town­house oper­a­tion devel­oped a mon­ey trail link­ing Nixon’s White House to nefar­i­ous finan­cial doings that lat­er helped to grease the skids for Nixon.

Pop­py Bush was also very close to for­mer Con­necti­cut Sen­a­tor Low­ell Weick­er, one of Nixon’s most impor­tant oppo­nents in the Water­gate inci­dent. Bak­er devel­ops an excel­lent case that Pop­py Bush helped to maneu­ver Weick­er into posi­tion to unseat Nixon.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: Nixon’s rejec­tion of Pop­py Bush as Vice-Pres­i­dent on the GOP tick­et in favor of Spiro Agnew (whom Nixon regard­ed as his insur­ance against assas­si­na­tion; Water­gate bur­glar E. Howard Hunt’s alleged pres­ence in Dal­las on 11/22/1963; the CIA and Bay of Pigs back­grounds of the oth­er mem­bers of the “Plumbers” unit; the intel­li­gence con­nec­tions of John Dean, whose dis­clo­sures are viewed as fatal to Nixon’s pres­i­den­cy; Dean’s selec­tion of for­mer War­ren Com­mis­sion coun­sel Charles Shaf­fer as his attor­ney; the Naval Intel­li­gence back­ground of Bob Wood­ward, one of the reporters who broke the sto­ry for The Wash­ing­ton Post; the intel­li­gence back­grounds of Egil “Bud” Krogh and Jeb Stu­art Magrud­er; Magrud­er’s rela­tion­ship with Yale Uni­ver­si­ty and Skull and Bones mem­ber William Sloane Cof­fin (who gained fame through his oppo­si­tion to the Viet­nam war); the Bay of Pigs con­nec­tions of Nixon White House staffers Alexan­der Haig and Alexan­der But­ter­field (whose dis­clo­sure of the White House tap­ing sys­tem led to the strug­gle over the tapes that forced Nixon’s exit.)


3 comments for “FTR #714 Interview (#4) with Russ Baker, Author of “Family of Secrets””

  1. Wood­ward & Bern­stein have just writ­ten their first joint byline in over 30 years.

    The piece amounts to a lim­it­ed hang­out (they’re no Russ Bak­er), but it’s worth not­ing ... for the record:


    Posted by R. Wilson | June 9, 2012, 5:04 pm
  2. @R.Wilson–

    If you haven’t lis­tened to/read this, please do so at your con­ve­nience.


    It goes a lit­tle fur­ther than any­one with regard to Watergate/JFK and the mat­ter of the White House tapes.

    Keep those eagle eyes of yours open.


    Dave Emory

    Posted by Dave Emory | June 10, 2012, 5:33 pm
  3. ” ... a quest for dirt and secrets about his oppo­nents as an orga­niz­ing prin­ci­ple of his pres­i­den­cy.”

    Posted by Rob Coogan | June 10, 2012, 7:15 pm

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