Someone once said that in a capitalistic society, where the super-rich reign over everyone else, truth is the first casualty. Never was this more true than in America today. Corporate-allied media is loathe to seriously investigate any event which might lead straight back to their bosses as the culprits. Thus, it is hard to find the truth of serious matters in current or recent American history being broadcast or printed anywhere. However, I have found a source that is breaking new ground in authentic journalism; it’s a website called WhoWhatWhy, led by editor-in-chief Russ Baker, whose stunning book “Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, America’s Invisible Government, And The Hidden History Of The Last 50 Years” is a read I highly recommend. Recently Baker was interviewed by Joan Brunwasser in a piece that was published on OpEd News. I have reprinted portions of it here:
JB: So, did they [the Boston Globe] do some long-overdue serious investigative journalism? And what is this secret “double government” exactly? Whatever it is, it doesn’t sound good, that’s for sure.
RB: Naw, but they did run a couple of pieces about a book by a “respectable” person starting to edge into the territory we’ve been blazing for several years—the idea that while we put all our attention on what the president and Congress do and don’t do there’s a whole other apparatus calling the shots. It’s that old combo Ike warned about—the one percent and their allies in the permanent part of government—intel agencies, Pentagon, bureaucracy throughout.
JB: Tell us a bit more about the “respectable” book and author that launched the Globe’s about-face. We need something to sink our teeth into, beyond generalizations about the evils of the 1%.
RB: A Tufts professor wrote a book on the “Double Government.” I haven’t read it yet, but his thrust is that a president’s will can easily be thwarted by the non-elected part of Washington. The point for me is that the mainstream media is willing to embrace critiques that get beyond the fantasy of a viable democracy where we choose our leaders and they do our bidding. What’s generally missing, even probably from his book, is the notion that it is not really the “double government” that drives things, but private capital. And then we begin to come to terms with why we never seem to get what we want—or what we are promised by the pols.
JB: Is there a tie-in between this reputed “Double Government” and the Bushes, the subject of your 2010 book, Family of Secrets? If so, what is it?
RB: Well, I haven’t read the professor’s book yet, but I highly doubt he mentions the Bushes in any detail. Academia generally shies away from anything too controversial. But I’d say the Bushes themselves embody the notion that elected officials are only successful to the extent they have deep links into the Double Government—and funding and support from…ahem…the Triple Government. My research for Family of Secrets really underlined the extent to which secret events and alliances shape our country’s course constantly.
JB: Well, that’s certainly a teaser, Russ. What are you referring to? Can you give us something more concrete to sink our teeth into, to mix a metaphor? It could ultimately cause a groundswell of interest in your book, you know!
RB: Well, what I found is difficult to sum up in just a few sentences, because the facts are so incredibly disturbing, and run so counter to what we’ve been told up to this point. There’s a fantasy in this country that our politicians, as occasionally criticized as they are, fundamentally are gentlemen and gentlewomen. We treat them like celebrities or royalty. But power accrual and wielding is an ugly business, more akin to other lines of work that are about ruthlessness. Anyway, handicapped by not being able to present my thousand-plus footnotes here, I’ll just present a few particulars on the Bush clan:
Bush 41, HW Bush, was in the secret employ of the intelligence services decades before he was appointed as a supposed newcomer, to the CIA directorship. Among other things, he was part of a group, inside and outside CIA, that felt threatened by JFK and furious at him. He hid the fact that he was in Dallas the day Kennedy was shot. He was a good friend of Lee Oswald’s mentor. He was mentioned in FBI documents related to the assassination and to Cuban exiles who were enraged at Kennedy.
He and his family were, secretly, principal sponsors of Richard Nixon’s career. But when Nixon tried to buck his handlers, they turned on him. The real story of Watergate is the framing of Nixon by others in the Republican camp.
JB: Hold on a second, Russ. Why did Bush and Co. want to get rid of Nixon? Didn’t they like him initially?
RB: I devote three chapters of Family of Secrets to unraveling the mystery of the relationship between Nixon and George H.W. Bush. I spent a long time investigating—discovered they anointed him to be the pawn of banking interests, but over the years he chafed at being dominated. Then he began seriously challenging the corporate folks. And then he was out.
JB: I had no idea. That’s quite a backstory. Sorry for the interruption. I was just curious. Nixon was such a nemesis in American history.
RB: No problem. Also: The Bushes, including George W., were up to their elbows in bizarre massive money movements and odd companies that never seemed to be about actually turning a profit—populated by the Shah of Iran, the Saudis, Ferdinand Marcos, Harvard University, and other rogues and mainstays.
Much more on this in Family of Secrets—about 600 pages of this kind of stuff. Enjoy!
JB: Yikes! 600 pages of “this kind of stuff”? I’m not sure that “enjoy” is the operative word here. What happens with all these explosive revelations? The Bushes seem pretty impervious to major scandal or outrage which this might have engendered in years past. How has your blockbuster been received? Has the corporate media just ignored you? Does everything just get swept under the rug?
RB: The corporate media—and so-called “progressive” and “alternative” news sources as well—have almost completely ignored these discoveries. Why? Laziness and discomfiture with major openings that could fundamentally shift our understanding of how things work. Everyone’s in on the game of “left-right” that keeps members of the public at each other’s throats while the one percent of one percent of one percent keeps on driving the train.
JB: Based on what you’ve said and what I’ve read, how are things shaping up with the Bush Co. vis a vis 2016? Are we in for, God forbid, a permanent Bush-run, Republican dynasty?
RB: I would say that, due in large part to a complacent and docile media, plus a public with little long-term memory, we are very likely in for a third President Bush, aka Jeb. And, if I were to peer into a crystal ball, I’d say that in a dozen years or so we might see a fourth President Bush, in the person of Jeb’s son, George P. Bush. Just elected overwhelmingly to state office in Texas! Half-Hispanic! That will wow the same media that brought us Barack Obama.
JB: If that’s the case, do you worry that your work will be some day burned, banned or outlawed? Has everything you’ve learned so far caused you to pretty much given up on our restoring any semblance of a true democratic system or do you somehow hang on to a bit of cautious optimism?
RB: I am always alert that things can go very bad very quickly in any society. I do see signs of that possibility here. The Boston Bombing with the related apparent cover-up, harassment of witnesses, passivity of the media, tolerance of disappearing public rights to privacy and inquiry into law enforcement actions—this kind of situation is deeply disturbing. At the same time, I see the rise of a vigilant opposing sector, and remain both hopeful and energized—because, what option do we have?