OPEN GOVERNMENT — Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists' Project on Government Secrecy reports that a new book amounts to "a full-fledged counterhistory of the last half-century as it pertains to the Bush family." In "Family of Secrets," Aftergood says, investigative reporter Russ Baker claims to have discovered
a dimension of power that conditions and distorts the American political process. It lies at the intersection of corporate oil interests, finance and intelligence, and the Bushes have been at the heart of it.
With a brief apology to the reader, Baker revisits the JFK assassination (and George H.W. Bushs peculiar response to it) and he embraces a radical reinterpretation of Watergate in which President Nixon is the target and victim of the conspiracy rather than its instigator.
Family of Secrets postulates a network of politically and financially powerful individuals working behind the scenes to advance their interests at the expense of the nation.
If this sounds like Ludlum, an unimpeachably serious chronicler of the Bush family is seriously impressed.
I confess that I was prepared to be dismissive. When Baker first approached me about an interview and to offer what little insight I had on years of covering the Bushes in Texas, my reaction was that he was too late and that the public had been worn out by the publishing deluge prompted by George W's incompetence and lying. Why did we need another book on the Bushes? After reading "Family of Secrets" that answer is abundantly obvious: we did not know the truth. I think we do now and Russ Baker has given it to us in a brilliant book that that will be impossible for any sensible American to ignore. In almost every key moment of American history over the past half century, Baker has turned up witnesses and documents that lead to a different view of everything from Watergate to Vietnam, the Kennedy assassination, George W's National Guard fiasco, and the disinformation that led to the invasion of Iraq.