Just another Reality-based bubble in the foam of the multiverse.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Answer is "Follow the Money"

The question is Did Bush Sr. Kill Kennedy and Frame Nixon?. David Swanson reviews Russ Baker's latest, Family of Secrets:

Russ Baker's new book presents an account of the U.S. government that is both remarkably new and extensively documented. According to this account, George H. W. Bush, the father of the current president, devoted his career to secret intelligence work with the CIA many years before he became the CIA director, and the network of spies and petroleum plutocrats he began working with early on has played a powerful but hidden role in determining the direction of the U.S. government up to the current day.

New research and newly highlighted information assembled by Baker presents at least the strong possibility that Bush was involved in assassinating President Kennedy, and that Bush was involved in staging the Watergate break-in (and the break-in at Dan Ellsberg's psychiatrist's) with the purpose of having these break-ins exposed and the blame placed on President Nixon. In this account, those in on the get-Nixon plot included John Dean and Bob Woodward. While this retelling of history would make a certain Robert Redford movie look really, really silly, it would -- on the other hand -- make Woodward's performance during Watergate fit more coherently with everything he's known to have done before and since. It would also give new meaning to Dean's recent book title "Conservatives Without a Conscience." I would love to see either of these men's response to Baker's book...

Baker does not focus on Bush Jr.'s grandfather, Prescott Bush, and does not even mention his role in the plot to overthrow President Roosevelt in 1933 ( http://davidswanson.org/node/1337 ). Baker's focus is on Poppy, although Prescott and his anger toward Kennedy are in the background. It is not a completely new idea to suppose that Kennedy was killed because he angered the CIA and powerful Americans with business interests in Cuba. It is, as far as I know, new to show, as Baker extensively documents and then summarizes, that:

"Poppy Bush was closely tied to key members of the intelligence community including the deposed CIA head with a known grudge against JFK; he was also tied to Texas oligarchs who hated Kennedy's politics and whose wealth was directly threatened by Kennedy; this network was part of the military/intelligence elite with a history of using assassination as an instrument of policy.

"Poppy Bush was in Dallas on November 21 and most likely the morning of November 22. He hid that fact, he lied about knowing where he was, then he created an alibi based on a lead he knew was false. And he never acknowledged the closeness of his relationship with Oswald's handler George de Mohrenschildt.

"Poppy's business partner Thomas Devine met with de Mohrenschildt during that period, on behalf of the CIA.

"Poppy's eventual Texas running mate in the 1964 election, Jack Crichton, was connected to the military intelligence figures who led Kennedy's motorcade.

"Crichton and D. Harold Byrd, owner of the Texas School Book Depository building, were both connected to de Mohrenschildt -- and directly to each other through oil-business dealings.

"Byrd brought in the tenant that hired Oswald shortly before the assassination.

"Oswald got his job in the building through a friend of de Mohrenschildt's with her own intelligence connections -- including family ties to Allen Dulles."

You start to get a taste of the sort of case Baker builds. It's persuasive, but not conclusive. If you buy into the basic outlines of it, you come up against a history of American politics in which our top "elected" officials are not just chosen through a process openly corrupted by money and media and parties, but are also chosen through a process of covert ops...

The interesting thing about Baker's claims regarding Kennedy and Nixon is that they would suggest that the CIA actually succeeded at something, that -- in fact -- the CIA or members thereof managed to keep major secrets for decades...

This has seemed obvious. The mistakes the CIA have made all seem to reap a tidy profit. Follow the money and they don't seem mistakes at all for the people that end up holding the gold.

Russ Baker elaborates on this "Nixon made a deal with the Devil" theme here:

...Why did Richard Nixon repeatedly promote George H.W. Bush (Bush Sr., or Poppy, as he is known) for important political posts despite both his apparent lack of qualifications and Nixon's own privately-expressed doubts about Bush's mettle? Why, even when Nixon became so wary of so many of his appointees that he fired cabinet members en masse, did he continue to be solicitous of Bush Sr.?

Nixon named the obscure Poppy to be UN ambassador in 1970 and then chairman of the national Republican Party in 1972. Even earlier, in 1968, Nixon actually put Bush Sr. on his list of vice presidential running mate prospects – this not long after Poppy was first elected to the House of Representatives. Similarly, Nixon's replacement, Gerald Ford, sent Poppy off as envoy to China and later made him CIA director, though by most accounts he was an odd choice for both of these sensitive jobs.

In short, in the Nixon era, Poppy Bush was the man who always seemed to be around, yet also managed to stay out of the main story. Digging way back, I came upon evidence that Nixon felt beholden to the Bush family and to the interests it represented. The reason: Bush Sr.'s father, Senator Prescott Bush, grandfather of George W. Bush, apparently helped launch Nixon's political career in 1946 as a way of destroying his first opponent, liberal congressman Jerry Voorhis, an outspoken critic of the excesses of bankers and financiers. Given the current Wall Street disasters, and the role of Prescott's grandson in enabling them, this revelation has obvious contemporary relevance.

Once I understood this special Nixon-Bush relationship, which is basically missing from all major Nixon biographies, I began to ask what exactly Poppy had been doing during the Watergate years. This led to the discovery that the Watergate break-in was almost certainly just one of a series of illegal acts that were engineered by people around Nixon, but not by Nixon himself. Far from defending Nixon's interests, these people had been privately frustrated with him on a variety of fronts and were now looking to take him down.

Simply put, once Nixon attained the presidency, he struggled for his independence, and began doing things that displeased his former sponsors...

Where have I heard this before? Oh, yes:

...After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.

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