I received a birthday gift a few weeks ago, an early gift, while two books were hitting the market. The gift was a Kindle, the $139 version that uses Wi-Fi. The Kindle, and Amazon, lets one download a "sample" of about 25% of a book so one can read enough of the book to decide whether to buy it or not. I downloaded the two books, George W. Bush's "Decision Points," and Russ Baker's "Family of Secrets." Both of these books are about Dubya, the first from Dubya's point of view and the second based, it says, on investigative research. Man, are they different!
I started Decision Points, first. It didn't take long to read the sample since the Kindle seems to help one read faster. Here, I have to say that I already knew a lot about Dubya, because I've been curious for a long time on just how a guy like him became our President. I read everything I could get my hands on and there were plenty of insiders, people who were "there" when he did things, who leaked publicly juicy bits of news on who G. W. Bush really was. I already knew that he was an alcoholic until his mid-forties or early fifties. I already knew that he failed at almost everything he did and in every job he had. I already knew that he was basically a "frat boy," a jokester and prankster, and who didn't take anything seriously, including America. I already knew that he was a bully in school, especially toward those who were not in his privileged East-Coast, elite, rich class and I knew that his governorship of Texas was essentially socializing with the big boys even though he took credit for his Democratic legislature's accomplishments, such as Texas school reform in those days, which turned out, by the way, to be a way for his brother's, Neil's, school supply publishing company to get the state's business.
So, when I watched his presidential campaign materialize, I knew we were listening to a con-man and a so-called born-again fraud. And, then there was the blatantly unconstitutional Supreme Court decision to stop the Florida vote count, with James Baker, a long-time Bush operative, leading the group of attorneys in court and also the activists in Florida that disrupted the Florida count. The whole thing, his campaign and the confusion in the Florida election, was a sleigh of hand, a trick, to make Dubya President. As soon as I read the first page of Dubya's book, I recognized immediately that he was continuing the con, portraying a simple, country, "drifter" Texan in cowboy boots who learned "family-value" lessons early in life from a "family-value" father and mother, a guy you'd like to "have a beer with," an honest guy like your neighbor, a compassionate guy, and on and on.
Oh, he admitted to a foot-lose life style, sort of drifting through the preppy Andover boarding school and Yale, and he admitted to drinking "a little too much" and not really trying too hard, which fit my image of him from all that I've read and my observations of him as President. But, what got me was his claim of his "early-life lesson on his anti-abortion stand." He said in his book that his mother, Barbara, had a miscarriage, put the fetus in a bottle, and he drove Barbara and the fetus to the hospital when he was about fifteen years old. He said "seeing the fetus" taught him that life was precious at any stage and abortions shouldn't, therefore, be allowed. The first question that popped into my mind was how does a fifteen year old, in 1961, even know about abortions or the idea that they were illegal then since Roe v. Wade wasn't decided until 1973? What fifteen year old raised in a family town like Midland, TX, knows about that? In fact, in 1961, I would think that only feminist activists would know or care about dangerous "back-alley" abortions way back then, if anyone did. And then he described so easily, off-handedly, those National Guard absences and his "fighter jet" flying as if he were, in an oh-so self-demeaning way, an "Ace" pilot, while I wondered as I read how he piloted a super-sonic jet, in close formation, while drunk and/or on cocaine. So, I immediately suspected that his book was just more smoke and mirrors, self-justification for his mediocre intelligence and the egregious decisions he made and his escaping Vietnam service and a cover for his much more devious lies. There were other "family-value, patriotic lessons learned" in the sample that contradicted his foot-lose, alcoholic and drug life style he only partly admitted to. I just didn't believe a person would continue a life he admitted to if he indeed learned family values. The book, in fact, seemed to be written by such a simpleton, at a fourth or fifth grade level, intent on continuing self-aggrandizement, to satisfy his own ego, an attempt to influence history for his own ego, that I didn't buy the book. It seemed to be a book that was written "for him," to hide what was really behind his presidency.
And then, I started reading the Family of Secrets. It's this book that I believe, even when it is unbelievable. In order to tell Dubya's story, and answer the question on how he became President, Russ Baker had to research all the way back to Prescott Bush, Dubya's grandfather, a Wall Street banker, a U.S. Senator, and an elite East-Coast good old boy in league with just about every other Yale-Skull-and-Bones rich and powerful in government, secretive CIA, FBI and industry to learn about the driving ambition behind the Bush family, including Dubya. One of the first experiences Baker's research contradicts is Dubya's so-called early lesson about abortion. In his play-boy, swinger life style of his twenties and thirties; he got at least one swinger-girlfriend pregnant. Now, doesn't that sound a lot more likely than a fifteen year old learning early about the evils of abortion in 1961? Yes, it does. According to Baker, Poppy Bush, George H. W. Bush, his father, and his mother, Barbara, got him out of that scrape by arranging an abortion for the young woman, and Dubya never saw her again, and in fact, denied knowing her when she came up to him later as he drank with his buddies in a Dallas socialite club. The abortion was reported as a "procedure," not necessarily an abortion, even though when the young woman walked out of the hospital she was no longer pregnant. Poppy and Barbara also got him out of other lust-infatuated relationships with women who "didn't fit the family image" they wanted to portray. And, in spite of media's portrayal of an innocent Laura Bush, she may not have been so innocent. She was known to hang around the same crowd as Dubya; the boozing, cocaine snorting, pool-partying crowd in Dallas in Dubya's early days after Yale.
And that wasn't even the tip of the iceberg. The story of Dubya starts with Prescott Bush, Dubya's grandfather, and all of his black-ops connections in the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), his scheming banking and finance connections, and the world of intrigue, money laundering and international spies and assassins. It starts with Eisenhower and Nixon's, Ike's Vice President, planning the Bay of Pigs invasion to assassinate Castro, a CIA black-ops operation that failed under President Kennedy and which caused Kennedy to realize he was duped by the CIA and to fire CIA Director Allen Dulles, a friend of Prescott Bush, that made a lot of CIA-Dulles people mad. So mad, that a group of CIA agents involved in the plot to kill Castro were in and around Dallas, Texas, in November 1963, including the 22nd, when President Kennedy was assassinated, they same guys who were key witnesses blaming Oswald for Kennedy's assassination, the same guys who also bungled the Watergate break-in, in spite of being well trained CIA professionals at spying and breaking into offices like the Watergate office, and the same guys who show up again to spoil President Carter's agreement with Iran to free the Iran hostages in October 1980, "the October Surprise," before the election so that the hostages were not freed until January 1981 when President Reagan was inaugurated. Then, the same guys and a few new associates show up again in the Iran-Contra gun running affair under Reagan that turned into an "Ollie North" and Admiral Poindexter scandal, a deal, it turns out, that was intended to be a quid pro quo payment to Iran for holding the hostages a few extra months until Reagan won the 1980 election. Some of the same people involved in all of the spying and plotting again showed up in George W. Bush's Administration running top secret intelligence operations, such as Admiral Poindexter who ran the Electronic Surveillance System spying through phone taps.
And then there are the money laundering schemes, some through Harken Oil Company, that run from rich Saudi Arabia princes, English ponzi-scheming banks set up by Arabs to helping the Philippine dictator Marcos hide the legendary gold found after the Philippines was retaken from the Japanese, billions and billions of dollars that usually ended up buying up American corporations and property or funding corrupt politicians or blackmailing politicians. The resulting empire has, so far, oil, media, transportation, defense, food, financial and banking corporations under its control to the point where I'm not sure what to believe anymore. In fact, if the book is any indication of the degree of control the Bush family and friends have over America, I have to change my opinion on whether we are a democracy anymore. I've said, as a warning, that we are going to lose our democracy on several occasions, based on various news and media accounts. But, Mr. Baker has managed to change my mind. It is not a case of "going to" lose it. We've already lost it.
I now have to ask my self about who, exactly, IS behind the Tea Party, the Republican Party, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner and the other nuts who were elected on November 2nd. We know some of the names behind all of the corporate money financing the election, but that doesn't explain who or what they are and who bought them or paid them. If the politicians elected haven't been bought, then they soon will be, especially if they are Republicans, but even if they are Democrats. Those behind the intrigue don't seem to care who they buy or blackmail, or perhaps even kill, nor do they care about democracy, America or you and I.
It could be, and I think it is more likely, that the change we've seen in President Obama is the result of something much more devious than we can imagine. It may not be that he's changed or is less courageous. It may be that something is forcing his decisions. I'm not inclined to believe that he can be bribed. But, he may be threatened. Threatened in a way that forces him to not be his own man.
Read the book, Family of Secrets.