Did Bush Sr. Kill Kennedy and Frame Nixon?

Recently by David Swanson: Did Bush Sr. Kill Kennedy and FrameNixon?

Russ Baker’s 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.

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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.

Many readers of this review may now be rushing off to declare Baker either profoundly insane or (probably in fewer cases) indisputably correct in his views regarding the removal of Kennedy and Nixon from the White House, but I would strongly urge reading the book before doing so. It’s called Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, the Powerful Forces That Put It In The White House, And What Their Influence Means for America.

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Those of us who have pushed for years now to have Bush Jr. impeached or prosecuted have heard all imaginable excuses and then some. One has been this: "Punishing the figurehead puppet president would amount to excusing the real powers behind the throne." And, of course, some of us have never doubted that such powers existed, but considered letting Bush and Cheney walk free as a surer way to protect other guilty parties than punishing them would be. There are guilty parties in Congress too, of course, but how the pervasiveness of guilt justifies letting everyone off the hook has always escaped me. The arrests have to begin somewhere. In any case, I bring up the image of presidents as puppets because Baker provides a new variation on that theme. In his account, Bush Jr. is indeed not the driving force, but a clique centered around his father is.

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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. 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.

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July 29, 2010

David Swanson is the author of the new book Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union by Seven Stories Press. Visit his website.