Posts Tagged ‘Watergate’

The People Against America

Al Jazeera (2017)

Film Review

This documentary traces the rise of the “white rights” movement that elected Donald Trump. This movement, of mainly white blue collar males, promotes the distorted image of white people as a disenfranchised minority. According to the filmmakers, it has its roots in Goldwater’s 1964 presidential campaign. By heavily emphasizing “states rights,” Goldwater successfully exploited the anxieties of Southerners over forced integration by the federal government. It would be the first time Southern states had voted Republican since the Civil War.

Nixon’s Southern Strategy

In 1968, the Nixon campaign built on Goldwater’s success by implementing a formal “southern strategy.” By reaching out to the “silent majority,” and emphasizing law and order in the face of race riots and anti-war protests, his campaign sought to win the votes of northern blue collar voters. In subsequent elections, Democratic Party strategists would seek to win back blue collar voters by recruiting two conservative governors to run for president (Carter and Clinton).

As the Watergate scandal undermined all Americans’ confidence in government, corporate oligarchs would build on growing anti-government sentiment by massively funding right wing think tanks, lobbying and conservative talk radio. This, in turn would lay the groundwork for Reagan’s 1980 massive deregulation and tax and public service cuts.

Corporate Giveaways By Clinton and Obama

When Clinton was elected in 1992, he quickly surpassed Reagan’s record of corporate giveaways, with his total deregulation of Wall Street, his Three Strikes and Omnibus Crime Bill (leading to mass incarceration of minorities) and his creation of the North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA) and the World Trade Organization (WTO). These free trade treaties resulted in the wholesale export of rust belt industries to Mexico and China, effectively ending any incentive for working class males to vote Democratic.

Obama, elected on the back of the 2008 financial collapse, would prove even more pro-corporate than Clinton or Bush. Instead of prosecuting the banks who caused the 2008 economic crash, he granted them massive bailouts, while ignoring the plight of millions of homeowners who lost their homes when these banks foreclosed on them. He also significantly increasing mass surveillance and aggressively prosecuting whistleblowers. He also effectively repealed posse comitatus* and habeus corpus.**

The Rise of Occupy and the Tea Party

Obama’s pro-corporate policies led to the rise of both left wing (Occupy Wall Street) and right wing (Tea Party) popular movements. The latter received major corporate backing (largely from the Koch brothers), enabling Tea Party Republicans to shift the blame for the loss of good paying industrial jobs from Wall Street to minorities, immigrants and women.

Is the US Moving to the Right?

For me, the highlight of the documentary is  commentary by former Black Panther Party president Elaine Brown, the only activist featured. Brown, who is highly critical of the left’s failure to acknowledge the problems of poor white people, is the only commentator to dispute that the US is “moving to the right.” She points out that prior Republican campaigns used coded language (such as “state rights,” “law and order”) to target racist fears of blue collar whites. Trump, in contrast, openly caters to these sentiments. Brown reports that some blacks welcome the end of political hypocrisy and greater openness about the pervasiveness of white racism.

She believes this new openness offers a good opportunity to build a genuine multiracial working class movement. She gives the example of successful collaboration in Chicago between black activists and the Young Patriots (a white separatist group) against corrupt landlords.


*The Posse Comitatus Act, enacted in 1878, prohibited the use of federal troops to enforce domestic policies within the US.

**The right of Habeus Corpus, guaranteed under Article I of the Constitution and the Fifth Amendment of the Bill of Rights, prevents government from illegal detaining US citizens without charging them.

 

family of secrets

Family of Secrets

by Russ Baker

Bloomsbury Press (2009)

Book Review

Family of Secrets is about the Bush family and the Shadow Government responsible for all major domestic and foreign policy decisions over the last sixty years. For evidence, Baker relies partly on declassified documents and partly on face-to-face interviews of corporate executives, low level politicians and retired intelligence officers who have worked closely with the Bush family.

Two-thirds of the book is about George Herbert Walker Bush and CIA ties that date back to 1948 when he left Yale and went to work for Dresser Industries. Baker lays out strong evidence that Dresser and Zapata Petroleum, the oil services company Bush senior started in 1953, served the primary purpose of front companies for global industrial espionage and CIA intelligence gathering.

In this way Bush senior replicated the role his father Prescott Bush played in the World War II spy service Office of Strategic Services (OSS). Prescott was a friend and colleague of founding CIA Director Allen Dulles at the Wall Street law firm Brown Brothers Harriman. Brown Brothers Harriman bought Dresser in 1928.

According to Baker, Bush senior played a pivotal role in helping Dulles create “off- the-shelf” CIA operations – disguised as front companies – to circumvent federal legislation that prohibited the CIA from spying domestically.

For me, the high points of this book include the background Baker provides on Lee Harvey Oswald’s career as a covert CIA operative, the on-off relationship between Bush senior and Oswald’s Dallas control George de Mohrenschildt and the crucial role Bush senior played in setting up Nixon as the fall guy in the Watergate break-in and cover-up.

Baker, in essence, corroborates earlier research by Mae Brussell that the Watergate scandal was a CIA coup to remove Nixon from office.

A third of the book covers the hidden history of George W Bush, including his early alcohol and cocaine abuse, the abortion he organized for one his girlfriends, his purported Christian conversion and his AWOL from the Texas Air National Guard unit – a notorious scandal that would cost CBS anchor Dan Rather his job.

George W’s brothers Neil, Marvin and Jeb receive only brief mention related to their illegal diversion of savings and loan funds, leaving taxpayers on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars when the savings and loan associations went bust in the late eighties and had to be bailed out.

Baker maintains a nonprofit investigative news service at http://whowhatwhy.org/

Below is a 2009 Ron Reagan radio interview with Russ Baker about Family of Secrets that someone tweeted me:

Russ Baker interview

Mae Brussell Pine Cone Photo

Part I of a two-part post on political researcher Mae Brussell

For more than 25 years, Mae Brussell (1922-1988) was America’s preeminent researcher into the suppressed history of political assassinations, covert operations, mind control, secret societies, organized banking crime and international fascism.

When I first learned of her work in 1992, Brussell had already been dead for four years. I had contacted the Christic Institute* to request copies of the literature they were putting out regarding their lawsuit against CIA operatives involved in either the Iran Contra Affair** or the CIA-backed cocaine trafficking used to finance the Contra war against Nicaragua. The staff member I talked to phone informed me the judge had dismissed their suit as frivolous and stripped them of their non-profit status. They had turned all their literature and tapes over to Prevailing Winds Research (PWR) in Santa Barbara. If I wanted more information, I would need to contact them.

Accessing Suppressed Documents Before the Internet

As I was to learn, PWR was an archival service for political activists, journalists, academics and former intelligence operatives whose writing on government crimes had been suppressed by the mainstream media. In 2015, most of this material is widely available on the Internet. Back in 1992, you had to order it through the PWR catalog.A week after I contacted them, they sent me an astonishing catalog of economically priced books, articles, tapes and monographs that had suppressed by the mainstream media (including, but not limited to, Philip Agee, Peter Dale Scott, Mae Brussell, Ralph Schoenman, Larry Flynt, John Judge, Seymour Hersh, John Stockwell and Abbie Hoffman).Given my strong interest in the JFK assassination, my first order consisted of Nomenclature of an Assassination Cabal by William Torbitt, a collection of interviews with the late JFK assassination researcher John Judge*** and a collection of Mae Brussell’s articles.

Just an Ordinary Housewife (and Mother of Five)

Brussell had doubts about the official version of the JFK assassination from the moment she watched Jack Ruby assassinate Lee Harvey Oswald on live nation televisions. When Brussell’s daughter first saw Oswald in the hallway of the Dallas jail, it was obvious he’d been beaten and she felt sorry for him. She was wrapping up her teddy bear to send him when they saw Ruby shoot him.

Because it also bothered Brussell that the newspaper and TV coverage regarding Oswald’s background was full of discrepancies and contradictions. In 1964 she paid $86 to purchase the 26 volume Warren Commission report of the Kennedy assassination, which contained even more discrepancies and contradictions. As she stated in a 1974 interview with Playgirl Magazine, “Twenty-three adjectives were used to describe him in the Warren Report. They said he had no friends, no meaningful relationships, couldn’t hold a job, and so on. But the evidence all pointed in the opposite direction.”

So she began a seven-year project to cross index all the key witnesses and findings, filling dozens of notebooks with 28,000 pages of files on each witness and their specific link to Oswald. What she ultimately discovered was that the international terror network had gone underground and were continuing their fascist campaign to take over one country after another, including the US.

Thirty-Nine File Cabinets

Her determination to dig deeper into the JFK and other assassinations led her to read 15 newspapers every day and subscribe to more than 150 periodicals. The clippings she cut and saved would eventually fill 39 file cabinets.

As a result of her careful research, Brussell would conclude that the Kennedy assassinations, Martin Luther King’s assassination, the Manson family murders, Ted Kennedy’s Chappaquiddick affair and the Patty Hearst kidnapping were all orchestrated by the far right, the CIA, the FBI and the Mafia with the dual purpose of discrediting the left and establishing a fascist state.

World Watchers International

Starting in 1971, Brussell hosted a weekly radio program called World Watchers International. She broadcast on KLRB in Carmel from 1971 from 1971 to 1983 and on public radio station KAZU in Pacific Grove from 1983-1988. Her program was syndicated to a half dozen stations around the country (including Sacramento, Boston, Syracuse and San Francisco), and hundreds of followers subscribed to her tapes and bibliographies. She also lectured extensively and had articles published in the Realist, People’s Almanac, Berkeley Barb, Penthouse and Hustler.

Other Assassinations

In addition to researching the US intelligence link to the Kennedy assassinations, the Martin Luther King Assassination and the attempted assassinations on Ronald Reagan, George Wallace and Pope John Paul II, assassination researcher Mae Brussell investigated the assassination of John Lennon and the suspicious deaths of dozens of other rock stars.

She was the first to uncover the role of former Nazi war criminals in the JFK assassination, as well as the US intelligence link to the Watergate break-in in June 1972. Brussell always believed Watergate was a coup to remove Nixon from power, a hypothesis corroborated more than thirty years later by Russ Baker in his 2009 book about the Bush family, Family of Secrets. In investigating the assassination attempt on Reagan, Brussell was the first to uncover that the father of the alleged assassin, John Hinkley Sr was an oil tycoon and close family friend and supporter of vice president George H. W. Bush.

Brussell’s friend (and former Chicago 7  defendant****) Paul Krassner published her the article she wrote about Watergate in August 1972, Why Was Martha Mitchell Kidnapped? John Lennon, who had undergone years of FBI surveillance and harassment, paid the $5,000 printing bill.

Brussell first published her article The Nazi Connection to the JFK Assassination in Larry Flint’s short lived publication The Rebel in 1984.

The following is an early interview with Mae from 7/21/71. In it she discusses the longstanding power struggle between the Eastern banking/oil elite and the Western military/space elite and the role of John Kennedy’s murder in this power struggle. She also discusses Oswald’s role as an intelligence operative.


*The Christic Institute was a public interest law firm founded by Daniel Sheehan in 1980. Christic represented victims of the nuclear disaster at Three Mile Island; they prosecuted KKK members for killing civil rights demonstrators in the Greensboro Massacre, and they defended Catholic workers providing sanctuary to Salvadoran refugees (American Sanctuary Movement). Most famously, the Christic Institute uncovered the Iran Contra Affair, and led the lawsuit at the heart of the scandal.Along with the suit, the Institute launched a massive public education campaign to raise public consciousness about the Iran Contra affair. Their work eventually led to the appointment of Iran Contra special Prosecutor Lawrence Welsh. His investigation led to the convictions of both former National Security Adviser John Poindexter and National Security Council member Oliver North, although both convictions were subsequently reversed.

**The Iran–Contra affair, also referred to as Irangate, was a political scandal in which senior Reagan administration officials secretly facilitated the sale of weapons to Iran, which was illegal under a US embargo. The allowed the CIA to fund efforts by the Nicaraguan Contras to overthrow the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. Under the Boland Amendment, further funding of the Contras by the government had been prohibited by Congress.

***In addition to his work as an independent assassinations researcher, John Judge (1947-2014) was also co-founder of 9-11 Citizen Watch, Special Projects Assistant to former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and cofounder of the Coalition on Political Assassination. COPA was founded in 1994 following the release of thousands of classified JFK documents by Clinton’s Assassination Review Board, and Special Projects Assistant former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney.

****The Chicago Seven were seven defendants charged with conspiracy, inciting to riot, and other charges related to street protests at the 1968 Democratic National Convention.

photo credit: http://www.maebrussell.com

Also published in Veterans Today

To be continued, with a discussion of Brussell’s research into John Lennon’s assassination