Monday, 23 January 2017

Rewriting History: Family of Secrets by Russ Baker

When the mainstream media criticizes, belittles, or marginalizes a book based on sound investigative reporting, you know you MUST READ the book.

When the mainstream media mocks, attacks, or ignores one of its own award-winning established reporters about his work, you know you OUGHT TO LISTEN TO what the ostracized journalist has to say in his book.

When the mainstream media chooses to remain silent, play ignorant, or go askew the importance, accuracy and integrity of the book, you know the book is of MERIT, HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE and AUTHORITY.

Needless to say, with the mainstream media's derelict track record for the last decade as world news gatekeeper, it's not surprising to see the obvious conspiracy of the media establishment to ambush Russ Baker's book even before its first appearance on the bookshelves in 2009.

What book are we talking about?

Russ Baker's FAMILY OF SECRETS: The Bush Dynasty, The Powerful Forces That Put it in the White House, and What Their Influence Means for America was published by Bloomsbury Press in 2009.

Packed with details, Family of Secrets exposes the truth behind the myths and lies that powerful forces have perpetuated on the American people for decades. Baker pokes holes in Bush family's deceptions with a relentless brilliance as he unravels "Bush family's role in a globally reaching, fundamentally amoral, financial-intelligence-resource apparatus". From Prescott Bush's ties to Nazi Germany to George H.W. Bush's long secret connection with the CIA and untold removal of three presidents (Kennedy, Nixon, and Carter) to George W. Bush's AWOL military record and deceit in launching the war in Iraq, Family of Secrets keeps you turning the pages in astonishment.

Who is Russ Baker?

Russ Baker is an award-winning American investigative journalist and the founder of the nonprofit reporting Web site: With an impressive reporting repertoire for the last two decades, he has been published in many of the world’s finest publications. His extensive reporting experience includes international news stories in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. He has also produced stories for television and radio, and he is now working on directing and producing his first documentary film.

Known for breaking important new ground, Baker has won numerous journalism awards. He was a recipient for the Society of Professional Journalists Award for his investigative story on Republican Congressman Dan Burton whose womanizing contradicted his "moral crusade" at the height of Clinton impeachment proceedings. He also won an award from the Deadline Club for his in-depth reporting on George W. Bush's AWOL military record.

Why is 'Family of Secrets' considered fundamentally important to understand the ongoing crises in the U.S.?

Russ Baker prodigiously researched well-documented sources, including 500 hundred books in his private Bush library, and crisscrossed the country in search of answers that eluded so many of his colleagues. Leaving no stone unturned, he re-examined the Bush dynasty 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."

Baker labored over five years of his life researching critical events of the last sixty years to produce his masterpiece, Family of Secrets. The fact-finding volume contains more than 500 interviews, thousands of documents, and more than 1000 footnotes. The entire book is filled with names, dates, and sources clearly spelled out. Bloomsbury Publisher's editor Peter Ginna who once worked for Oxford University Press said Baker’s extensive footnotes and rigorous sourcing won him over: "I have not published any book that was more extensively documented and more impeccably footnoted than this one."

Although the book is laden with factual content and footnotes, it reads like a spy thriller with "shock and awe" revelations. Baker, perceptive and astute, does a superb job in connecting the dots of past events and drawing rational conclusions. Acting like a sleuth, he not only exposes the Bush family's dark secrets and the shadowy elites that have been running the country but also re-examines many national events in light of new evidence he unearthed, all of which warrant a call for historical revision.

What are the BushFamily's Secrets?


Tightly interwoven into the global banking, oil businesses, military defense, elite financial circle, and world political upheavals, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is ubiquitous throughout the book. The Bush family has enjoyed a long, cozy and secret association with the CIA, far predating the year in which George H.W. Bush became CIA director in 1976. Under the radar, the Bush family working with the network of spies and petroleum plutocrats has been steering the direction of the U.S. government to this day.

Points of Interest:

-Poppy Bush enlisted the Saudi Royal family to provide secret financing for CIA covert operations that Congress had barred or refused to fund.
-CIA was deeply involved in removing leaders in Central and South Americas, Asia and Africa. CIA failed many attempts to assassinate Cuban leader, Fidel Castro.
-CIA used Newsweek magazine for cover purposes.
-Now defunct Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), which was essentially an international crime syndicate involved in financing assassinations, drug traffic, illegal arm sales, had aided the CIA, British MI-6, the Israeli Mossad, Saudi and Iranian intelligence together with the North Koreans, the Chinese, and above all the Pakistani military.

George "Poppy" H. W. Bush

The first half of the book covers George H.W. Bush's double life - working as an oil businessman and later as a political figure, but all the while discreetly participating in covert operations of the CIA. Much of Poppy Bush’s petro­leum enterprises serv­ed as “cover” for covert oper­a­tions. Hiding his secrets, Poppy had a problem with story discrepancies that would resurface time and again throughout his life.

Points of Interest:

-Poppy worked for Naval Intelligence in WWII.
-Poppy's war hero record was challenged by Chester Mierzejewski whose plane was in front of Poppy's plane shot down in Japan on September 2, 1944. Contrary to Poppy's inconsistent versions of the incident, Mierzejewski told New York Post that Poppy's plane was never on fire and only the pilot, Poppy himself, had bailed out (while his two crewmen remained on board).
-CIA memo, dated Nov. 29, 1975, placed Poppy's involvement with the agency in 1953 when Thomas J. Devine (widely believed to have been a career CIA offi­cer) and Poppy established Zapata Oil.
-Memo from FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, dated November 29, 1963, briefed two persons after the assassination of President Kennedy: Captain William Edwards of the Defense Intelligence Agency and George Bush of the CIA.
-Iran-Contra Affair: Oliver North's diaries released showing meeting between North and Poppy on August 6, 1986 - at the height of North's activities in coordinating the secret illegal and unauthorized war in Nicaragua.
-Poppy as Chairman of the Republican National Committee investigated Karl Rove's dirty tricks in electoral espionage in 1973. He cleared Rove of all charges and then hired him as a special assistant.

Removing Presidents

Assassination of John F. Kennedy

Many people believed that John F. Kennedy was killed on November 22, 1963 because he angered the CIA and the powerful elites with business interests in Cuba. Coincidences abound when it comes to the assassination of JFK.

-Three future presidents of the United States were all present in Dallas on the day of JFK assassination - Poppy Bush, Richard Nixon, and Lyndon Johnson.
-Poppy Bush was in Dallas on November 21 and the following morning at Sheraton Hotel. He hid that fact, lied about knowing where he was, and created an alibi based on a lead he knew was false.
-Poppy Bush had a close relationship for years with Lee Harvey Oswald's mentor, George de Mohrenschildt who supposedly took his own life in 1977.
-Oswald got his job in the Texas School Book Depository building through de Mohrenschildt's friend who had intelligence ties to CIA Director Allen Dulles.
-Both D. Harold Byrd, owner of the Texas School Book Depository building, and Jack Crichton, who led Kennedy's motorcade, knew de Mohrenschildt through oil-business dealings.
-CIA Hunt (involved in a coup in Guatemala, Bay of Pigs invasion, Watergate break-in) was there on the day of JFK assassination.
-Jack Ruby, who shot Oswald, told the press that his reasons for killing Oswald would never be divulged due to the influ­ence of “peo­ple in high places”.

Resignation of Nixon

Prescott Bush played a key role in launching Richard Nixon’s political career. Indebted to the Bush family, Nixon appointed Poppy Bush to high political posi­tions in which he lacked experience - Ambas­sador to the United Nations and Chair­man of the Repub­li­can National Com­mit­tee. However, Nixon fell out of favor with the CIA, the powerful interests, and Poppy Bush who was passed over for Spiro Agnew as Nixon's choice for vice president. Poppy Bush worked behind the scene staging the Watergate and Dan Ellsberg's office burglaries with the purpose of having these break-ins exposed and the blame placed on President Nixon.

-Nixon noted in his memoirs on the Watergate break-in: "The whole thing was so senseless and bungled that it almost looked like some kind of a setup."
-Men around Nixon in the 1972 Watergate scandal had CIA ties (James McCord, Howard Hunt, Alexander Butterfield, John Dean, and Leon Jaworski).
-Watergate break-in crew included CIA Hunt and Cuban exiles who were involved in the fiasco Bay of Pigs invasion where Nixon was the "action officer" for the planning of the operation.
-Poppy was then the Chairman of the Republican National Committee.
-CIA refused a direct request from President Nixon to provide documents concerning the Bay of Pigs.
-Nixon's Special Counsel had a memo stated that CIA couldn't confirm whether the CIA employed Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward. Interestingly, Woodward served in the Pentagon and was an intelligence officer in the Navy; Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee had also spent time in naval intelligence during WWII.
-John Dean, Nixon's lawyer, publicly switched sides, testifying against Nixon.

Post-Watergate reporting:
-In November 1971, John Dean recruited two private investigators to do a walk-through of Watergate.
-In January 1972, Dean encouraged Gordon Liddy to incorporate eavesdropping on and infiltration of Democratic campaigns.
-In April 1972, Dean - not John Mitchell or H.R. Haldeman - who instigated Democratic National Committee headquarters break-in.
-In June 1972, CIA Hunt's boss, Robert F. Bennett, claimed that Dean offered Hunt hush money during the Watergate cove-up.

Carter's Defeat for Re-election

President Jimmy Carter posed a threat to the CIA for his attempt to reform the CIA. Carter's enemies made great efforts to destabilize Carter's presidency. Poppy on Reagan-Bush ticket used spycraft to ensure victory over Carter in the 1980 presidential election.

-Carter faced the Iran-hostage crisis - Iranian revolutionaries seized 52 Americans from the U.S. embassy in Tehran after the exiled shah was allowed entry to the U.S. for medical treatment. (The shah was restored to dictatorial power by the 1953 CIA-sponsored coup.)
-In 1979, Shah's son was hiding out at Jim Bath's place. (Poppy Bush handpicked pilot Bath to be his aviation business connection to the Saudis.)
-David and Nelson Rockefeller, fearing the Iranians would withdraw the shah's looted billions from the Chase Manhattan Bank in London, pressured Carter to seize all of Iran's assets.
-After hearing rumors that Carter had reached an agreement to free the hostages in the final weeks of election, Poppy Bush instructed Richard Allen, Reagan's foreign policy adviser, to pass the information to CIA covert operations specialist, Theodore Shackley.
-Reagan-Bush forces made a deal with the Iranians during the summer and fall of 1980 - release the hostages AFTER the election in exchange for military arms and spare parts. (This event occurred prior to the secret sale of arms to Iran in the 1986 Iran-Contra Scandal.) On January 20, 1981, 52 American hostages were released by Iran into U.S. custody after Ronald Reagan was sworn in as President.

George W. Bush

The second half of the book tries to complete Russ Baker's quest in understanding how the deeply flawed Poppy Bush's son could have ascended to the highest office in the nation. Baker delivers a compelling narrative in exposing the hypocrisies, deceptions, and failures of George W. Bush. 

Who haven’t heard stories of Bush’s early years? Womanizing, bouts with alcohol and drugs, inability to fly planes, and AWOL National Guard service? Throughout most of Bush's life, his family, friends and associates pulled strings, engaged in cover-ups, and basically repackaged him as anything but what he really is - a total loser.

Who haven't heard the tragedy that Bush as president had inflicted on America? Dirty campaigns, two election imbroglios, dubious religious epiphany, dangerous and corrupt administration, economic collapse, disastrous domestic/international policies and initiation of two wars and a global war on "terror"?

No one doubts that Bush transformed the country for the worse: the right-wing leaning Supreme Court that curtails civil liberties and protects corporate interests; an untouchable, unregulated banking elite whose amassed wealth has left a great recession in its wake; and funding an ever-growing military-industrial-complex fighting wars at home and abroad against phantom "terrorists". Yet, no one holds Bush and his clan accountable for any of this?

Points of Interest:

-Bush himself dodged two years of military service during the Vietnam War by joining the Texas Air National Guard, but he didn't hesitate to send thousands of National Guardsmen into combat in Afghanistan and Iraq.
-In 1977, Lt. Col. Bill Burket reported seeing 20-40 pages of Bush's service record dumped in a trashcan after Governor Bush's chief of staff, Joe Allbaugh sent Karen Hughes and Dan Bartlett to Camp Mabry to go through Bush's records. Microfilm containing Guardsmen's pay records, including Bush's, was also damaged at a national records center in 1977.
-Bush clan's retaliated by setting up Bill Burket to pass fake copies of Bush's missing National Guard documents to CBS. After airing the story, CBS, anchorman Dan Rather, and Burket became national casualties but the issue on Bush's missing records was left unresolved.
-Untold news story - Bush's girlfriend aborted his child in 1971. Later Bush, as president, opposed abortion and cut funding for organizations that promote contraceptives.
-Bush, with an agenda-driven religious "experience", became born again Christian to court the support of evangelical leaders to win Christian votes.
-Key private link between Tony Blair and Bush was the Gammels, a powerful Scottish banking family with oil interests. With strong influence of oil companies (British Petroleum and American oil companies) on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, Blair and Bush invaded Iraq for oil.
-In 1999, Mickey Herskowitz, who was writing A Charge to Keep, a book intended to introduce Bush, said that Bush had mentioned that if elected president, he hoped to invade Iraq and remove Saddam Hussein. Later, Herskowitz was removed from the book project because of its "unfavorable" content and Karen Hughes finished the book herself.

Dubious Business Connections

It's commonly known that Bush family made their fortune in the oil business with the money of others. Bush family's ventures have been shrouded in mystery in terms of financial dealings, business associates and clients, even their roles in the companies. Bush-connected enterprises have these points in common: "overlay of peculiar money-moving, a general lack of profitability, the participation of foreign interests, and a hint of black intelligence operations."

Points of Interest:

-Zappata Offshore was used to train Cuban rebels to overthrow Castro. Chief of CIA anti-Castro operations, John Sherwood admitted that it also "served as a place to pay off politicians in Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica and elsewhere."
-Dresser Industries' global sales and acquisition efforts provided cover to CIA operatives.
-Harken Energy is a bizarre oil enterprise whose financial connections included shady characters associated with BCCI, gold caches, powerful figures and institutions, Harvard University, and "an alphabet soup" of secret societies pumping money into this most unproductive business. Harken is suspected of laundering Golden Lily Loot recovered in the Philippines.
-Texas Rangers baseball franchise was a deal about real estate - public funding a new stadium through tax increase and seizure of private land. Bush, as one of many investors, walked away with $15 million from his initial $800,000 investment.
-Jim Bath, Poppy Bush's front man for Saudi aviation sales, set up a quasi-private aircraft firm that would basically engage in CIA-sponsored activities funded by the Saudi royal family.
-Sky­way Aircraft Leasing Ltd. in the Cayman Islands brokered $150 million aircraft deals to a firm that had connection with Oliver North in the Iran-Contra scandal.

Who is Really Running the Country?

At the end of the book, Russ Baker concludes that a network of politically and financially powerful individuals remain at work behind the scenes to advance their interests and enrich themselves at the expense of the nation. The Bush family has been at the heart of the alliance of corporate oil interests, finance and intelligence, which has been a driving invisible force to distort the American political process. Regardless of changes in the presidency or the Congress, the deeply entrenched elite remains in power.


Indeed, Baker retold the American history with in-depth investigative reporting, putting the puzzle pieces together to give us a comprehensive view of who was really behind the control of the government. If Americans want change, then they must first learn all the facts to make necessary changes. He told this writer that "arming yourself with well-documented, carefully sourced information is in itself a crucial beginning toward a solution to change the structure of power in the U.S. After all, information is power. If enough people really, truly understand how things work, and spread the word, positive change is inevitable."

Family of Secrets is a book that will change your perceptions of the past, present and future. A must read book for everyone in the United States and overseas!!!

(First published on, October 25, 2010)