Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Thanks to Bush Enterprise Fine Tuning, U.S. Learns It No Longer Cares To Be Democratic (and Hasn't for Some Time)

As Russ Baker says in his book Family of Secrets - The Bush Dynasty, the Powerful Forces That Put It In the White House, and What Their Influence Means for America, "This is the true story of a family we thought we knew - and a country we have barely begun to comprehend." I recommend that you read it. I guarantee you won't be able to put it down (and it's not fiction). Baker traveled all over the U.S., interviewing D.C. "insiders and Texas muckrakers, old friends of Bush and dedicated foes, tycoons and typists." He read every type of document from "arcane treatises and self-published memoirs . . . old drilling records, campaign finance filings, and little-read oral history transcripts" to gather the necessary background for a full rendering of the history that brought us the world of the Bushes. Baker made it his mission to piece together every part of evidence on

the Bushes from all angles: their history, family dynamics, business dealings, the social world they inhabit, and the networks of associates, employees, and funders who were instrumental in their rise. I worked from the bottom up and the outside in - questioning neighbors and factotums, ex-girlfriends and ex-employees, and hundreds of ordinary people whose personal experiences and observations came to provide an entirely new view of this purportedly overexposed dynasty. The more I learned, the broader my questions grew. And as my research deepened, disturbing patterns coalesced. I came to grasp why early in his presidency, GWB had sought to roll back reforms designed to provide greater access to documents that shed light on America's recent past. He seemed determined to lock the file drawers. But what did those drawers contain? Could there be clues regarding the origins of GWB's most damaging policies - the rush to war in Iraq, officially sanctioned torture, CIA destruction of evidence, spying on Americans with the collusion of private corporations, head-in-the-sand dismissal of climate change, the subprime mortgage disaster, skyrocketing oil prices? Indeed there could. None of these developments looks so surprising when one considers the untold story of what came before. This book is about that secret history and the people and institutions that created it.
"Bush's mistakes - and his biggest surely was the delusion that he could successfully lead the nation as its president - were only the most recent chapters in a story that goes back to his father and even his grandfather" neither of whom were the most intelligent of men, but whose family connections made up for it and helped them seemed far more competent than they actually were.
Ultimately, it finds its origin in the Gilded Age of the late 19th century, when the so-called robber barons - whom Teddy Roosevelt called 'malefactors of great wealth' - gained control of enormous industrial, transportation, and financial empires.
"Although GWB styled himself something of a family rebel" (the only instance of his actually being affected by the 60's zeitgeist) "and the media echoed this self-serving portrayal, to a remarkable degree GW has followed a path laid out for him by his forebears. He went to the same schools, joined the same secret societies, and benefited from similarly murky financial arrangements. He has made the same kinds of friends and surrounded himself with people closely related to those who surrounded his father, his grandfather, and even his great-grandfather. Despite all the talk about his 'Oedipal' relationship to his father, the younger Bush clung closely to the trunk of the family tree." But what choice did he have as he went from one personal business failure to another before the family connections had to be used to bail him out?
To my surprise, I began to see that understanding George H.W. Bush . . . was really the key to understanding the son - and not just in the simplistic, psychoanalytical terms to which some commentators have resorted.
I learned way too much reading this tome to share more than a little of it with you in the space of even a long essay. A short listing follows(and it would be much longer if I tried to include everything I had read) of some things you (and I) had no idea were true:
1. George H.W. Bush (called ironically Poppy - like a small flower that blows easily in the wind and whose continued use is deadly addictive) "was not really the sentimental preppy, the oft-bumbling public servant most of us believed him to be. Poppy had led what amounted to a double life, and the secret portion of that life included participation in an astonishing range of covert operations. As I began to examine Poppy's most improbable statements about himself, I found myself struggling through the miasma surrounding the JFK assassination, Watergate, the American relationship with the Saudis, and the other chapters of the American experience that have never been properly explained." 2. In studying the reasons for this lack of explanation, you must begin by "studying the messengers themselves, and even directly querying those who had participated in the creation of the Bush narrative - and indeed the larger American narrative - as 'witnesses' or scribes. What I found was something that the mainstream media in the U.S. resists. Namely, there have been concerted efforts to control the way in which the big stories are told, and these efforts go deeper into the American establishment - corporate and government both - than most people would like to believe." 3. The self-serving myth of Poppy's heroism, supposedly earned because of having to bail out of his airplane during an attack in WWII, shows different stories told by him at different times (decades later) to different audiences, leaving one with the impression that there was very little heroism involved in his actions as the officer in charge, but rather a rank cowardice evident in his obvious desire to get out of a plane in trouble at any cost, probably leaving his men to face death alone. 4. As a student Poppy was most undoubtedly recruited into the CIA while in college at Yale (a haven of sorts for OSS officers after WWII) where he finished a year ahead of William F. Buckley, who was recruited into the CIA by E. Howard Hunt (who was peripherally involved "in the toppling of Guatemala's democratically elected president in 1954, more central participation in the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961, and Watergate in 1972"), who was recruited at Yale also. Buckley did not acknowledge this until 2005. 5. Poppy was in Dallas when JFK was murdered. Nixon was also in Dallas and had left just hours before JFK's death. His adviser, Stephen Hess, remembered that Nixon "was very shaken" and that he had the reaction of "there but for the grace of God go I. . . . He tried to make the point that he had tried to prevent it . . . . It was his way of saying 'Look, I didn't fuel this thing'. . . . Nixon's presence in Dallas on November 22, 1963, along with LBJ's - and Poppy Bush's quieter presence on the periphery - created a rather remarkable situation. Three future presidents of the United States were all present in a single American city on the day when their predecessor was assassinated there. Within days, a fourth - Gerald Ford - would be asked by LBJ to join the Warren Commission investigating the event." And you thought Oswald was just blowing smoke? Wonder what a statistician would have to say about the probability rating of all this coincidence? 6. Alexander Butterfield, the witness who outed Nixon's taping system during the Watergate investigation was eventually exposed as someone with CIA connections earned from "1964 to 1967, as military aide to Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, he had been in charge of 'rehabilitating' Cuban survivors of the Bay of Pigs invasion - the same work that various sources have said Hunt and McCord performed. Yet left unmentioned was the involvement of just such Cuban survivors in Watergate, and in Nixon's downfall. . . . Years later, Butterfield admitted that immediately prior to joining the White House staff he had worked as the military's 'CIA liaison' in Australia. . . . The person who first directed Congress's attention to the smoking gun conversation, on March 14, 1973, was General Vernon Walters, CIA deputy director. . . . It looks like a CIA layer cake, with Butterfield as the icing." 7. Almost every relationship GWB was involved in with women was either forcibly chaperoned by a Bush family factotum (meaning it wasn't W.'s idea) or it ended in disgraceful or illegal behavior until marriage to Laura followed by at least 20 years of drunkenness. Baker documents them here. 8. "Just about all the evidence suggests that GWB went AWOL from National Guard duty in May 1972 and never returned, thus skipping out on two years of a six-year military obligation. . . . in cases, other than Bush's, the consequences could be severe. According to Jim Moore, an Austin reporter who researched Bush's military service extensively, even the slightest infraction brought swift retribution. . . . I spoke to a lot of people about this and you generally did not screw up and miss Guard drills because if you did most [commanding officers] simply made you eligible for the draft. In other words, one wrong move and you were headed to sunny Vietnam." (Poor Dan. Talk about being in the wrong place with the necessary information!) 9. "At this point in his life, GWB was by no means a likely candidate for Harvard Business School. Even taking into account the value of connections, Harvard's decision to admit W. inevitably raises eyebrows. How he got into this bastion of excellence has never been made clear, though Harvard's willingness to accommodate the Bush clan would take on new meaning 13 years later, when the University committed a sizeable chunk of its endowment to prop up an oil company on whose board W. sat."
For your further edification, read some of Russ Baker's insightful prose, which should whet your appetite to read the rest of the book:
George Bush, father and son, are vastly more complicated and their doings are vastly more troubling, than the conventional wisdom would have it. This book reveals the story behind their story, documenting the secrets of the House of Bush has long sought to obscure. These revelations about the Bushes lead in turn to an even more disturbing truth about the country itself. It's not just that such a clan could occupy the presidency or vice-presidency for 20 of the past 28 years and remain essentially unknown. It's that the methods of stealth and manipulation that powered their rise reflect a deeper ill: the American public's increasingly tenuous hold upon the levers of its own democracy. . . . During his meteoric career, GWB has been treated as a singular if highly controversial man, an island until himself. Many books - from the favorable Misunderestimated to the critical The Bush Tragedy - have sought to unpack, dissect, and psychoanalyze the 43rd president. Most brought some new insight, but none of the portraits seemed to to fully capture the essence of the man. And as the end of his presidency neared, there was an understandable rush to move on. We had seen what happened; we were mostly appalled, or in fewer cases, ambivalent or, in fewer still, supportive. But the consensus seemed to be that whatever damage W. had wrought, his presidency was at worst some kind of aberration, a glitch in the system that could and would be patched over by his successors, who would return Washington to some semblance of representative democracy. The GWB chapter would soon recede into history. From the beginning of the first term I had doubts. There were signs of something more consequential and pervasive - well beyond the missteps, overreaching, and palance intrigues one finds in all pres. admins. The fanatical secrecy, the proclivity for police state tactics and contempt for democratic safeguards, the blatant determination to advance the interests of those who already had so much, the efforts to politicize government services from top to bottom - these were evidence of a mind-set rarely seen in American politics. Above all, the deception at the root of the decision to invade Iraq and the disastrous occupation that followed only confirmed my feeling that the assumption of power by Bush pointed to something deeper than a callow and entitled president surrounded by enablers and Iagos with dark schemes. In 2004, as GWB headed toward reelection, I began the research that would lead to this book. I resolved to grapple with questions that went beyond the sound bites of the 24-hour news cycle. What did the ascendancy of this frighteningly inadequate man signify? Could anything be learned from the GWB phenomenon that would help us understand how we Americans choose our leaders and chart our collective course? Certain things were already apparent. The Iraq War was not, and never had been, about an imminent threat to the safety of America and its allies; even Republicans like former Federal Reserve chairman, Alan Greenspan were publicly acknowledging that it was mostly about oil. GWB, who had run as a moderate "uniter," had in fact done everything in his power to exacerbate the divisions in our society for political gain. As a direct result of his admin's policies, the distribution of wealth in America had been further skewed toward the wealthiest fraction of Americans at the very top. An admin. headed by a Repub. who preached limited govt. with limited powers was both shrouded in secrecy and aggressively intrusive in the name of national security. All this was generally attributed to the actions of one man, aided and abetted by a small coterie of loyal associates. Some Bush critics talked about a larger network of backers who had nurtured Bush and were benefitting from his actions. But these allusions were general and vague, and supporting facts were few. Few of the critiques succeeded in putting the Bush phenomenon in a larger context that would help people understand what forces in America had helped to bring about this state of affairs.
I think you may also be interested in reading several of the comments found in the Amazon reviews. Please click the title link or here to access it directly. (Some editing was necessary - Ed.)
Essential reading in order to understand that the Bush Family has been basically used as a CIA front for the shadow government that over the past 60 years has slowly strangled the American Democratic Republic. From the creation of the National Security State in 1947, to the assassination of JFK in 1963, to the coups and overthrow of democratically elected leaders in foreign nations, this shadow government has destroyed the core of our Federal Government. Russ Baker makes clear that the Bushes have been deeply involved in these deceptions and manipulations every step of the way. Prescott Bush paved the way with his business dealings with the Nazis and George HW Bush has been CIA since day one and was directly involved behind the scenes from JFK to Nixon to Iran-Contra. When the Supreme Court stole the 2000 presidential election for "the decider", the wheels were put in motion for the 9/11 New Pearl Harbor, the illegal invasion of Iraq, and the creation of the Global Terror State. 60 years of lies and defamation of the Constitution have brought us to the threshold of Fascism and the New World Order. The creation of the bumbling self-effacing Bushes from Yale and the self-made Bush oil family from Texas was the greatest con ever played on the American People. ____________________ I was happy to have this book around when I came down with a bad cold recently - it kept me completely occupied for a few days. While the webs and entanglements that the Bush family weave are complicated and sometimes hard to fathom, Baker makes a point of summarizing and clarifying complicated points - so that I never had to go back and figure it out again. He also brings to light a number of little discussed facts that help fill out the scary puzzle of power, privilege and politics in the US. _____________________ Some of the information in this book has appeared in other books and articles. But there is a lot here that is new. Baker does an excellent job of putting it all together in a very readable book. The Bush family fingerprints are all over the JFK murder and Watergate. The assassination of Kennedy can still be solved, 45 years after the fact. Just arrest George H. W. Bush and grill the hell out of him. He's still a primary suspect in this murder. ______________________ Russ Baker's book gives credence to many of the suspicions I have long had about the Bushes. Having lived most of my adult life in either Texas or Florida and seen firsthand how this family operates, I am not surprised at much he reveals here. I have always suspected, for example, that the assassinations of JFK, MLK, and RFK might have been connected (in) some way to George H.W. Bush's service to the CIA. Ditto the overthrow of numerous governments in Latin America, Asia and the Middle East where the Bushes and their fellow travelers have seen an opportunity to make a buck at the expense of the citizens of those regions. This book is a very timely reminder of what can happen if the citizens of this country do not take this pack of jackals very seriously. Our new President had better watch his back and make sure of his security at all times, as I'm sure this criminal family is already plotting some way to bring the Obama Presidency down. Let us not forget that Jeb Bush is still out there awaiting his turn. We must not let him or any of his father's and brothers' associates have their way. Bravo, Russ! ______________________ Curious that Inge Honneus was only mention twice and both of those times quite briefly. The first episode was Bush seducing Honneus, then immediately emotionally abandoning her, while pregnant with his child, which she miscarried. The second brief passage describes Bush's stating to Honneus that he thought religion was essentially "BS" . . . the Honneus narrative is a very minor but highly illuminating detail of the ways that 43's mind and value set works, or fails to work. _______________________ Posted on Feb 3, 2009 Charles W. White says: re: Vertucci, I wish that Russ Baker's reporting was a joke and that his book was a product of paranoia. Unfortunately, Baker's writing is deadly serious as I can attest from personal experience. As for substance, I provided source material relating to covert Saudi funding of the Bush family's political and business ventures. When I became a threat to expose these illegal and traitorous secret "business" dealings orchestrated through the BinLaden Family and my former business partner James R. Bath, I was completely wiped out including the loss of my income, savings, business interests, home, medical insurance, personal property, and military retirement. The Houston courts and the "justice system" were literally turned on end in an attempt to compel an innocent person to commit a felony crime! Bush political operatives squashed law enforcement agency investigations of the matter by invoking "national security" as a rationale. My squadron mates and I risked our lives flying off our nation's aircraft carriers during time of war in defense of the Constituion and the rights bestowed on "we the people" by it. The Bush family displayed its utter disregard and contempt for both the Constitution and my right to due process under law by orchestrating the frivolous litigation campaign that wiped out me and my family. Dubya followed up by bankrupting the middle class and most of the Nation. His tenure as President is characterized by the largest single transfer of wealth in the history of our Country; the beneficiaries of which are his patrons - the Saudis, Wall Street and its revolving door intelligence operatives, oil industry insiders, and the Mob [working for decades now in concert with U.S. intelligence operatives]. Don't believe it - all you have to do is follow the money. _______________________ For my own 2 cents worth in this imbroglio... my family was closely enough involved in this process, including one close family member named in Baker's book, it is safe to say this, Baker does not get every detail perfectly right, and some of his analyses can be fuzzy at times, OTOH he often does nail significant points with considerable accuracy, at a level of attention to detail that every other work I have read has so far missed, that Family Of Secrets cannot be ignored. My take on this is that Baker has only scratched the surface of a world I know only too well. In the best of all possible worlds, he should diligently continue in his quest for the truth and rewrite the book in five years time when it can become fleshed out in all of its potentially chilling detail.
So, there's also that to look forward to while you're liftin' that barge and totin' that bale. Suzan _________________________


Dr. Know said...

So that's where you've been. I was beginning to wonder if sending you the Newt school chum/GOP lawyer link had led to your demise in the bathtub of a Valdosta motel.

Same people, same M.O., same perversion of any and all Constitutional considerations. They truly are the (self) entitled ones.

Suzan said...

Ha! Nope. It wasn't you, but others are working fulltime on effecting that bathtub action.

And wouldn't you know it? Just as soon as I was only worrying about the Bush-CIA links . . . .

Love ya, Greg. Thanks for the comments!


Dr. Know said...

Let's hope not, SZ.
As for the book, the way things are, who can afford books?! And right-wing land would never have such a thing on library shelves. Remember this is the place they want to ban Harry Potter books, and place evolution warning stickers on every science textbook.

As for the tin-foil hat, remember the (infamous) JFK speech from April 27, 1961? Was he addressing communism - or something more insidious and closer to home?

Juan Moment said...

I can't wait for Jeb to take over so as to provide us with the next chapter in the presidential Bush saga.

When I went to school I was taught that if first the father and some ten years later the son rule a country, it is called a monarchy.

I mean what are the statistical chances that in a country of 250 million people the same family wins elections through consecutive generations? Same with the Clintons, first the husband and then nearly his wife. The Bush/Clinton presidential tag team is right up there with the Bhutto's in Pakistan, families which demonstrate just how undemocratic a democracy can get.

The issue of political dynasties doesn't stop with the Bush's however. Some 33 of the last 43 US presidents can be traced back to the same bloodline, right back to Ramses the II and Cleopatra. I am not sure what you think of David Icke, but he certainly did his homework on this subject. Well worth a read.

What we are up against is much bigger than the Bush or Rockefeller families, it is a millenia old conspiracy to have one bloodline run the entire planet. Divide and conquer. Hitler was a Rothchild.

Best Wishes

Joseph M. Fasciana said...

Indeed an excellent post. Susan if you get the chance I think you would really enjoy reading "Fortunate Son" by James Hatfield.