New Book Probes the Bush “Family of Secrets”

What does it say about the American political system that someone like George W. Bush was able to ascend to the highest office in the land, despite his meager and ambiguous record?

In pursuit of an answer to that question, investigative journalist Russ Baker has constructed a full-fledged counterhistory of the last half-century as it pertains to the Bush family.  He writes in his new book “Family of Secrets” that he discovered a “dimension of power” that conditions and distorts the American political process.  It lies at the intersection of corporate oil interests, finance and intelligence, and the Bushes have been at the heart of it.

With a brief apology to the reader, Baker revisits the JFK assassination (and George H.W. Bush’s peculiar response to it) and he embraces a radical reinterpretation of Watergate in which President Nixon is the target and victim of the conspiracy rather than its instigator.

“Family of Secrets” postulates a network of politically and financially powerful individuals working behind the scenes to advance their interests at the expense of the nation.  Because the book consciously challenges the generally accepted record of several decades of public events, it assumes a burden of proof that it cannot fully discharge.  It relies heavily on insinuation based on isolated facts, it emphasizes “relationships” as a primary manifestation of political allegiance and influence, and in the end it does not clearly state a significant hypothesis that could be corroborated or refuted by further investigation.

But Baker is an energetic reporter and a good storyteller.  He has conducted prodigious research and interviewed both familiar and unfamiliar sources to produce riveting (if occasionally appalling) revisions of the JFK assassination and Watergate stories.  Even readers who find his methodology unsound may profit from the fruits of his research.  It is astonishing to learn, for example, that ousted CIA Director Allen Dulles was a contributor to the 1963 Encyclopedia Britannica yearbook entry on the Bay of Pigs.  And I had forgotten, or never knew, that the Central Intelligence Agency refused a direct request from President Nixon to provide documents concerning the Bay of Pigs and other topics.

Baker makes a cogent case for a “deep” interpretation of the JFK assassination, Watergate and other events.  He stresses the fact that Kennedy and Nixon each had real personal and political enemies who benefitted when these presidents were removed from office.  In each case, he says, the Bush family was among the beneficiaries.

Because of its undisciplined use of historical data and the absence of rebuttal (the Bush family did not agree to be interviewed), “Family of Secrets” should not be the only book of recent history that anyone reads.  But at its best, it provides a reader with an arsenal of new questions with which to interrogate and rethink the historical record.

No Responses to “New Book Probes the Bush “Family of Secrets””

  1. Richard Schrader January 5, 2009 at 12:40 PM #

    Baker drives home some blockbuster theories in “Family”. The Kennedy assassination material (to one not entirely familiar with the odd canon) seems partially forced. Too many loosely connected sleazy pols, spooks and oil barons to break new ground. There may not be new ground to break here. But the Watergate deconstruction is riveting and chillingly revelatory. N can be seen to have played many roles in the drama — victim of the bureaucracy and his political rivals, unleashed bully within his own house and mad-as-a-hatter boy in the bubble. Besides, Baker writes so well that much of the historical flashbacks have a contemporary vividness.

  2. C Ronald Kite January 11, 2009 at 1:36 AM #

    No loose connections here. Skull and Bones, backing the Nazi’s, Oil and the Brown Brother Harriman company aside, the Bush family lost all of their businesses in Cuba. H.W. sat on many of those companys’ boards of directors, sugar and liquor companies and the casinos. When they realized that Kennedy was not going to go along with their plan to overthrow Castro, it was time for Kennedy to go. There are books upon books upon books making all the links. They got rid of Nixon through Watergate because he was never an insider. Just listen to the warnings of Prescott Bush-backed Eisenhower. He hit the nail on the head about the power of the Bush dynasty. The only thing in the way of many, many years of a Bush dynasty was a bunch of Kennedy’s. And the Bushes have been in control ever since. Bildeberger/Bush/Kissinger behind Eisenhower (Korea, Vietnam), Johnson (Vietnam, Oil), Ford (Warren Commission coverup), a blip of Bildeberg-backed Carter, then the rest direct puppets of the Bush power elite (Oil, Gulf Wars, and trillion dollar debts every time save for Clinton). Nothing new in this book. It’s just taken a long time for someone to put it all into one volume. It’s out there. Go look it up.

  3. Dermott Jobs October 2, 2009 at 12:22 PM #

    Well said! I could not agree more.

  4. Utah Dentist October 23, 2009 at 7:48 AM #

    I’m currently reading the book and I’m not (yet?) getting any surprises so far. I guess I’ll keep on reading before I make my final judgment.

  5. Constance Wilson January 19, 2010 at 12:22 AM #

    I am almost finished reading the book. It’s like a car accident you drive by and you know you shouldn’t look, but you are dumfounded. I mean I consider my self pretty wise in the ways of the world so there is some information that while it is disheartening it’s believable. The CIA covert actions I was prepared for and was not shock, but saddened. But the further you go get into the material it is like a you are trying to wake yourself up from a nightmare and its still there.
    It bothers me the lack of guilt or concern for fellow Americans. The total lack of disregaurd for other human beings except for what gain you may get from them for the moment. No accountability either.
    Two of the things I take issues with the most is the money that is literally stolen from tax payers and land to build a baseball stadium. W uses borrowed money of $600,000 as his 5% investment and comes out with I may be off on the figure but $185 million when sold. He incorporates the mayor MR. GREEN who is a shady car dealer who is being sued already for millions and Mr. Green walks a way scott fee for as little as $40,000.00.
    Secondly Bush is put in key positions he has neither the experience for nor the willingness to learn. So he half butts it in every single position he is put in. Not to mention when he becomes president he appoints others such as Mr. Green over the EPA who robbed his own city and has no experience to advise on environmental issues. Well Mr. Green is now a retired fed collecting 100% of his salary.
    W with his advisors worked up strategies to appeal to the black and conservative voter that had no substance to them, but to accomplish a means to the end. This infuriates me to no end that we as an individual American registered voter are no more than pawn to be cast aside immediately upon sliding our ballet into the box.
    What about Hatii here he and Mr. Clinton are going to lend support. What have we come to when the wolves are coming into offer the lambs their support?
    America is in trouble and has been for a long time. Not by the hands of terrorists, but by our own countrymen.

  6. Constance Wilson January 19, 2010 at 12:32 AM #

    Oliver Stone’s movie JFK is brought up also. I also watched it. I specifically remember the part with the Black Ops officer (played by Southerland) who was returning from a mission via Paris reading that Kennedy had been murdered the day before it actually happened in a Paris newspaper which would have been November 22, 1963. That was particularly chilling. Not that it was a true fact, but now who knows in light of all the documentation that is included in the bibliography of this book.

  7. Constance Wilson January 19, 2010 at 12:50 AM #

    We are all saying,”Oh this is nothing new and I am not surprised.” This corruption starts at the foundation and continues like a vine choking the life out of our entire economy and political system, not to mention the principles this country was established on. What about our sons and daughters who are serving in the military right now? They are brave individuals and are honorable. I guess I my point is our apathy even my own at this time and at the same time the feeling of helplessness. What can we as Americans do or say to make a difference? I don’t have the answer, but I am glad this book has been written. I hope we will all begin to combat our apathy and somehow begin to come together even just to agree to disagree. I am at a loss right now. Will it take a grass roots effort to begin a new change. As Americans it is our duty to question our government and hold them accountable for their actions. I hope all the Patriots are not dead. There has got to be someone in the congress, senate or house of representatives that is not bought and paid for by special interest groups. Who knows?

  8. Ken G. July 23, 2010 at 12:25 AM #

    I keep hearing about this book,so I borrowed it from the library,just to leaf through it and when I saw that he wrote about the JFK assaination as being attached to Bush 1, I thought to my self that this is just another conspiracy book,cause if you listen to the JFK speech in Ft.Worth Texas on November 22,1963 right before his fatal ride,you will hear him talk about staying in Vietnam until we have a victory.It makes you wonder about his so-called facts.