View Full Version : In Discussion with Russ Baker

Charles Drago
01-13-2009, 06:46 PM
Welcome, Mr. Baker, to the Deep Politics Forum.

This thread is dedicated to a spirited and enlightening discussion of Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, the Powerful Forces that Put It in the White House, and What Their Influence Means for America.

Permit me to lead off with the question I've posed on the Washington Post website in advance of your appearance there:

What are your thoughts on the following hypothesis: The primary function of George de Mohrenschildt (likely unknown to him) in the JFK conspiracy was to incrimate false sponsors to whom he could be linked.

(For your edification: "False sponsor" is the term used to describe those deep political entities who stood to gain from JFK's death and who, in some instances, were involved in the conspiracy at the mid, or "Facilitator" level. They were not, however, true "Sponsors" of the assassination insofar as they did not possess the authority to initiate action. Their elevation to "Sponsor" status serves to protect, through misdirection, the highest level conspirators.)

We eagerly await your arrival.

Charles Drago
01-21-2009, 01:08 PM

In your research of Bush family connections to the Philippine gold story, did you unearth anything of significance on either Napoleon Valeriano or a U.S. intel group called Field Operations Intelligence?

Hope to hear from you soon.

Russ Baker
01-21-2009, 02:33 PM
Charles, I did not. But sounds interesting. Do tell.

Russ Baker
01-21-2009, 02:42 PM
Charles, many thanks for inviting me to participate.

You asked about the function of George de Mohrenschildt, and whether his function, perhaps unwitting, was to incriminate false sponsors.

That is a tantalizing notion, and one that certainly makes some sense. GdM was a very complex and deep character, really one of the more extraordinary figures I have run across. I am not close to having finished forming my impression of exactly what or who he was. I will be interested to hear what others have to say.

As to the general notion of "false sponsors," it is one of those concepts that may sound fantastic to the uninitiated, yet perfectly logical and even necessary in the world of elaborate covert operations. If you will share more of your thoughts on this, I will gladly absorb them.

Linda Minor
01-21-2009, 03:00 PM
One of my main tools for doing research is following the trail of money that leads to a candidate or to a group that circles around a politician. In your chapter called the Quacking Duck, you talk about the money trail of Harken Energy, which you call a "financial savior" sent to rescue one of W's failed business deals. You called Harken a "strange kind of corporate beast, like a newly discovered species of manatee," which was associated with "BCCI, gold chaches, and an alphabet soup of secret societies appearing at critical junctures to bail out Harken, traveling to the White House to meet with President George H. W. Bush, then flying off the make deals with the likes of Saddam Hussein..."

Did you come to any final conclusions from research what--or who--Harken represented?

Charles Drago
01-21-2009, 03:04 PM
Valeriano, about whom the Seagraves write in some detail, was Ed Lansdale's hitman of preference. I've attached two perspectives of a single photo of an otherwise elusive subject.

He worked closely with Lansdale in putting down the Huk rebellion and later in Southeast Asia and on Guatemalan and Cuban matters.

The success against the Huks became a prime template for Lansdale's subsequent counterinsurgency strategies. Valeriano was a School of the Americas instructor.

Among the photographs of LHO passing out FPCC leaflets in New Orleans are views that include unidentified individuals most often described as "Asian" males (including the famous "Hands Behind His Head Man" -- two views below). A Philippines connection to Oswald has yet to be fully developed.

Field Operations Intelligence (FOI) was brought to our attention by Dick Russell in his seminal [I]The Man Who Knew Too Much. It remains one of the most well-protected and little-understood of US intel entities. The best I can say is that it is connected to Far East affairs. My suspicion -- and it's only that -- is that there is a Philippine gold relationship to FOI.

Russ Baker
01-21-2009, 03:17 PM
Linda, I agree that following the money around a candidate is a crucial method for understanding the agendas being advanced, and fret over the media's failure to engage in this kind of reporting often enough.

I am not at all certain precisely what Harken represented--it is enormously complex. I consider my research to be a work in progress, and I will both continue to collect material and to view with interest whatever members of this forum can offer. Those with specific and detailed information that is not in the public realm may contact me directly via the link provided at www.familyofsecrets.com (http://www.familyofsecrets.com). I would ask people to read the book first, though, for a good grounding in this material.

Charles Drago
01-21-2009, 03:21 PM
As to the general notion of "false sponsors," it is one of those concepts that may sound fantastic to the uninitiated, yet perfectly logical and even necessary in the world of elaborate covert operations. If you will share more of your thoughts on this, I will gladly absorb them.


The following structural model of the JFK conspiracy initially was put forward by George Michael Evica. Later he and I worked to refine what in its simplest form presents as a three-tiered construct:

1. Sponsors -- This, the smallest of the three major components, is comprised of the powers behind the thrones. Their determination of the necessity of JFK's removal alone could have set the plot in motion.

2. Facilitators -- This middle level breaks into three sub-divisions:

2A. All but wholly informed and invested "princes" who were the cut-outs trusted by the Facilitators. At this level we find the grand drama's principal creator(s).

2B. The problem-solvers who did the prime Facilitators' bidding -- or dirty work -- and who were not implicated as false sponsors. Their heirs are active to this day.

2C. The False Sponsors (Johnson, Hoover, Harriman, LCN, anti-Castro Cubans, the Soviets, Fidel, Texas oilmen, the CIA [and other governmental agencies], members of the JCS, etc.) who in some cases knowingly facilitated aspects of the plot but who later were controlled in their diverse disappointments by threats of incrimination and/or promises -- delivered or not -- of substantial rewards. The former threats are perceived to have teeth each time one of these individuals or groups is publicly targeted as an assassination Sponsor.

3. Mechanics -- The teams in Dealey Plaza, the E&E facilitators, and the post-hit hitters.

The marketing of False Sponsors is the most important tactic in the grander strategy to protect the plot's true Sponsors. I submit that E. Howard Hunt was involved in this operation until the day he died, and that the two Mob-did-it books by Lamar Waldron and Thom Hartman rank among Hunt's greatest contributions to the Grand Cause.

In his A Certain Arrogance, Evica eloquently describes the major segment of Facilitators as, “hard-line American and Soviet intelligence agents whose masters were above Cold War differences.”

Please do share your thoughts on this.

Charles Drago
01-21-2009, 03:26 PM
You asked about the function of George de Mohrenschildt, and whether his function, perhaps unwitting, was to incriminate false sponsors.

That is a tantalizing notion, and one that certainly makes some sense.

If I'm right, then GdM is not alone in playing that role. For does not LHO gain elevation to "perfect patsy" status precisely because of his myriad connections to Facilitators and False Sponsors, including the very intelligence and law enforcement agencies that would be charged with investigating the assassination?

David Guyatt
01-22-2009, 01:54 PM
Hi and welcome Russ. I justt read your most interesting piece on what Obama must do in order to curb the Bush organized crime family (see: http://www.deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=652).

Do you see Obama as an honest innocent who is in danger of being led to the slaughter in the same that Jimmy Carter was, or is he a "deeper" character than that?

My concern about him stems from members of his election team, like Zbig Brzezinski and other appointees who do not seem to me to favour democracy in principle. Brzezinski in particular as I recall, has written about democracy as an out of date political system (I think this was in The Grand Chessboard).

Anyway, I would appreciate your thoughts and insights.


Linda Minor
02-08-2009, 05:08 PM
Russ has posted an interview from youtube and radio clips at his website.

David Guyatt
02-09-2009, 11:11 AM
Thanks LInda.

Peter Lemkin
05-08-2009, 10:08 AM
New Interview on his book Family Of Secrets HERE (http://www.kpfa.org/archive/id/50628)

N.B. I think the book is a must have and more so for those interested in Dallas. Pins-down new info on Bush Sr and some of his friends' roles and connections.....

Magda Hassan
05-13-2009, 03:21 AM
Guns and Butter (http://www.kpfa.org/guns-and-butter), broadcast May 6, 2009 - 1:00pm

"Family of Secrets", The Bush Dynasty, The Powerful Forces That Put It In The White House, and What Their Influence Means For America, with author Russ Baker.

Click to Play:
Guns and Butter - Family of Secrets - May 6, 2009 at 1:00pm (http://www.kpfa.org/archive/id/50628)


Charles Drago
05-13-2009, 11:50 AM
Russ Baker will give a reading in my home town -- Providence, RI -- on Saturday, May 16, at 2 PM at Books on the Square in Wayland Square.

I'll be introducing Russ to what promises to be a large and enthusiastic audience.

I urge all within driving range of Providence to take advantage of this rare opportunity to interact with one of our most important investigative journalists.

Nathaniel Heidenheimer
05-14-2009, 10:05 PM
Charles any chance of your posting about this on neighborhood or Providence city newspaper boards?

Charles Drago
05-14-2009, 10:11 PM
I've been assisting with publicity. All posts made last week, reminders this week.

Nathaniel Heidenheimer
05-14-2009, 10:36 PM
kick arse! Recently his book got back inside Amazon 1000. Ive hooked JFK and Unspeakable to it various places so it will have a carryover.

Charles Drago
05-14-2009, 10:38 PM
Nathaniel, et al:

If you'd like, please submit one or two questions that I'll try to pose to Russ either at the reading or later.

Dawn Meredith
05-17-2009, 01:07 PM
Darn, I did not see this post asking for questions earlier...so how did it go?
Were the Providence folks asking informed questions?


Peter Lemkin
05-21-2009, 05:32 AM

Peter Lemkin
05-24-2009, 11:04 AM
CIA Helped Bush Senior In Oil Venture

By Russ Baker on January 7, 2007

Newly released internal CIA documents assert that former president George Herbert Walker Bush's oil company emerged from a 1950's collaboration with a covert CIA officer.

First published on The Huffington Post

Bush has long denied allegations that he had connections to the intelligence community prior to 1976, when he became Central Intelligence Agency director under President Gerald Ford. At the time, he described his appointment as a ‘real shocker.’

But the freshly uncovered memos contend that Bush maintained a close personal and business relationship for decades with a CIA staff employee who, according to those CIA documents, was instrumental in the establishment of Bush’s oil venture, Zapata, in the early 1950s, and who would later accompany Bush to Vietnam as a “cleared and witting commercial asset” of the agency.

According to a CIA internal memo dated November 29, 1975, Bush’s original oil company, Zapata Petroleum, began in 1953 through joint efforts with Thomas J. Devine, a CIA staffer who had resigned his agency position that same year to go into private business. The ‘75 memo describes Devine as an “oil wild-catting associate of Mr. Bush.” The memo is attached to an earlier memo written in 1968, which lays out how Devine resumed work for the secret agency under commercial cover beginning in 1963.

“Their joint activities culminated in the establishment of Zapata Oil,” the memo reads. In fact, early Zapata corporate filings do not seem to reflect Devine’s role in the company, suggesting that it may have been covert. Yet other documents do show Thomas Devine on the board of an affiliated Bush company, Zapata Offshore, in January, 1965, more than a year after he had resumed work for the spy agency.

It was while Devine was in his new CIA capacity as a commercial cover officer that he accompanied Bush to Vietnam the day after Christmas in 1967, remaining in the country with the newly elected congressman from Texas until January 11, 1968. Whatever information the duo was seeking, they left just in the nick of time. Only three weeks after the two men departed Saigon, the North Vietnamese and their Communist allies launched the Tet offensive with seventy thousand troops pre-positioned in more than 100 cities and towns.

While the elder Bush was in Vietnam with Devine, George W. Bush was making contact with representatives of the Texas Air National Guard, using his father’s connections to join up with an elite, Houston-based Guard unit - thus avoiding overseas combat service in a war that the Bushes strongly supported.

The new revelation about George H.W. Bush’s CIA friend and fellow Zapata Offshore board member will surely fuel further speculation that Bush himself had his own associations with the agency.

Indeed, Zapata’s annual reports portray a bewildering range of global activities, in the Mideast, Asia and the Caribbean (including off Cuba) that seem outsized for the company’s modest bottom line. In his autobiography, Bush declares that “I’d come to the CIA with some general knowledge of how it operated’ and that his ‘overseas contacts as a businessman’ justified President Nixon’s appointing him as UN ambassador, a decision that at the time was highly controversial.

Previously disclosed FBI files include a memo from bureau director J. Edgar Hoover, noting that his organization had given a briefing to two men in the intelligence community on November 23, 1963, the day after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The memo refers to one as “Mr. George Bush of the Central Intelligence Agency” and the other as “Captain William Edwards of the Defense Intelligence Agency.”

When Nation magazine contributor Joseph McBride first uncovered this document in 1988, George Herbert Walker Bush, then vice president and seeking the presidency, insisted through a spokesman that he was not the man mentioned in the memo: “I was in Houston, Texas, at the time and involved in the independent oil drilling business. And I was running for the Senate in late ‘63. I don’t have any idea of what he’s talking about.” The spokesman added, “Must be another George Bush.”

When McBride approached the CIA at that time, it initially invoked a policy of neither ing nor denying anyone’s involvement with the agency. But it soon took the unusual step of asserting that the correct individual was a George William Bush, a one-time Virginia staffer whom the agency claimed it could no longer locate. But that George Bush, discovered in his office in the Social Security Administration by McBride, noted that he was a low-ranked coast and landing-beach analyst and that he most certainly never received such an FBI briefing.

It was perhaps to help lay to rest the larger matter of the elder Bush’s past associations that the former president went out of his way during his recent eulogy for President Ford to sing the praises of the Warren Commission Report as the final authority on those days.

After a deluded gunman assassinated President Kennedy, our nation turned to Gerald Ford and a select handful of others to make sense of that madness. And a conspiracy theorist can say what they will, but the Warren Commission report will always have the final definitive say on this tragic matter. Why? Because Gerry Ford put his name on it and Gerry Ford’s word was always good.

In fact, Ford’s role on the Warren Commission is seen by many experts as a decisive factor in his rise to the top. As a Commission member, Ford altered its report in a significant way. As the Associated Press reported in 1997, “Thirty-three years ago, Gerald R. Ford took pen in hand and changed - ever so slightly - the Warren Commission’s key sentence on the place where a bullet entered John F. Kennedy’s body when he was killed in Dallas. The effect of Ford’s change was to strengthen the commission’s conclusion that a single bullet passed through Kennedy and severely wounded Texas Gov. John Connally - a crucial element in its finding that Lee Harvey Oswald was the sole gunman.”

This modification played a seminal role in ending talk of a larger conspiracy to kill the president. Knowledge of Ford’s alteration has encouraged theorists to scrutinize the constellation of other figures who might have had a motivation to cover up the affair.

Meanwhile, there is much more to learn about George H. W. Bush’s friend, Thomas Devine. The newly surfaced memos explain that Devine, from 1963 on, had authority from the agency to operate under commercial cover as part of an agency project code-named WUBRINY.

Devine at that time was employed with the Wall Street boutique Train, Cabot and Associates, described in the memos as an “investment banking firm which houses and manages the [CIA] proprietary corporation WUSALINE.” These nautical names - ‘Saline’ and ‘Briny’ - or, for the Bay of Pigs invasion ‘Wave’ - are CIA cryptonyms for the programs and companies involved.

George H.W. Bush’s own ties are amplified in the 1975 CIA memo, dated November 29, which makes it clear that he had knowledge of CIA operations prior to being named the new director of the CIA in the fall of that year.

The 1975 memo notes that, through his relationship with Devine, “Mr George Bush [the CIA director-designate] has prior knowledge of the now terminated project WUBRINY/LPDICTUM which was involved in proprietary commercial operations in Europe.”

The Bush documents, part of a batch of 300,000 records the CIA provided to the House Select Committee on Assassinations, were publicly released in 1998 as the result of a lawsuit, donated to a foundation, scanned into a database - and only just noticed by an independent researcher.