Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #445 The Bush Family & the Intelligence Community

Record­ed Feb­ru­ary 8, 2004
MP3 Side 1 | Side 2

Pre­sent­ing the work of Kevin Phillips (a main­stream con­ser­v­a­tive and for­mer con­sul­tant to Pres­i­dent Nixon), this broad­cast draws on his very impor­tant recent book Amer­i­can Dynasty. Mr. Emory emphat­i­cal­ly rec­om­mends this book! The pro­gram fea­tures Phillips’ dis­cus­sion of the Bush fam­i­ly’s pro­found con­nec­tions to the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty over a peri­od of more than 50 years. With the Bush fam­i­ly’s Wall Street con­nec­tions to both U.S. and Third Reich finance and indus­try as its foun­da­tion, the Bush fam­i­ly’s rela­tion­ship with the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty stretch­es from Prescott Bush, Sr. on down to the peo­ple sur­round­ing the cur­rent pres­i­dent. In his analy­sis of the Bush fam­i­ly’s intel­li­gence con­nec­tions, Phillips empha­sizes the rela­tion­ship between Prescott Bush and Allen Dulles of the CIA, as well as the Caribbean influ­ence of the Walk­er fam­i­ly’s exten­sive hold­ings in Cuba and the Domini­can Repub­lic. The elder George Bush appears to have inher­it­ed his father’s Wall Street con­nec­tions to the Dulles milieu, which, in com­bi­na­tion with the Walk­er Caribbean influ­ence, paved the way for his involve­ment with the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty, which appears to have begun in the ear­ly ‘50’s. All around the elder George Bush, one finds the inter­sec­tion between the petro­le­um indus­try and the intel­li­gence community—a rela­tion­ship that shaped the char­ac­ter of the polit­i­cal lives of both the elder and younger George Bush.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: The role of Lau­rence Sil­ber­man (appoint­ed by Bush to head the com­mis­sion just formed to inves­ti­gate intel­li­gence fail­ures in the Mid­dle East) in the Iran-Con­tra and Octo­ber Sur­prise affairs; the elder George Bush’s liai­son with Dress­er Indus­tries’ chief Hen­ry Neil Mal­lon, CIA direc­tor Allen Dulles and for­mer Nazi spy Hans Gise­vius; George Bush (Sr.)‘s work for Dress­er Indus­tries (today part of Hal­libur­ton Oil); Dress­er Indus­tries’ con­nec­tions to the CIA; the prob­a­ble con­nec­tion of the elder Bush’s Zap­a­ta Petro­le­um to the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty; Zap­ata’s links with the CIA-con­nect­ed Mex­i­can petro­le­um milieu and oil king­pin Ed Pauley; the CIA/Pemex/Texas oil link to the Water­gate scan­dal; con­nec­tions of the Skull and Bones soci­ety to the CIA and the Bay of Pigs oper­a­tion; the sig­nif­i­cance of the elder George Bush’s intel­li­gence con­nec­tions to the wars in the Per­sian Gulf and Afghanistan; the entan­gle­ments of “the Wars of the Texas Suc­ces­sion” (as Phillips calls them) to which the younger Bush is heir; the influ­ence of the phi­los­o­phy of Mac­chi­avel­li on the admin­is­tra­tions of both Georges Bush.

1. The pro­gram begins by high­light­ing the appoint­ment of retired judge Lau­rence Sil­ber­man to a pan­el empow­ered with inves­ti­gat­ing the intel­li­gence short­com­ings that led to the false esti­mates of Iraqi WMD’s. “George Bush, the US pres­i­dent, today announced the for­ma­tion of a com­mis­sion to inves­ti­gate fail­ures in intel­li­gence used to jus­ti­fy the war in Iraq. Mr. Bush said: ‘We are deter­mined to find out what hap­pened.’ In a tele­vised brief­ing at 6:30pm (GMT), Mr. Bush said the nine-mem­ber pan­el, to be chaired by a for­mer gov­er­nor of Vir­ginia, Charles Robb, and a retired judge, Lau­rence Sil­ber­man, would be instruct­ed to report on its find­ings in March 2005. . . .” (“Bush Announces WMD Com­mis­sion” by George Wright; The Guardian Unlim­it­ed; 2/6/2004; accessed at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1142859,00.html.)

2. Next, the broad­cast sets forth infor­ma­tion about Sil­ber­man’s back­ground. Among oth­er things, Sil­ber­man was at the core of many of the intel­li­gence-relat­ed scan­dals of the 1980’s and 1990’s. In his remark­able, impor­tant book, Kevin Phillips labels the two Per­sian Gulf wars, the Iran-Con­tra scan­dal, the Iraq­gate scan­dal and the two Afghan wars as “The Wars of the Texas Suc­ces­sion.” (Phillips enti­tles an entire chap­ter of his book as such.) Walsh was one of the judges who over­turned the con­vic­tion of Oliv­er North, stem­ming from his Iran-Con­tra activ­i­ties. ” . . . For the next six years, Walsh over­saw a seri­ous-though-plod­ding probe of that scan­dal, infu­ri­at­ing Repub­li­can lead­ers, such as Sen. Bob Dole, who favored a tidy cov­er-up. Wal­sh’s dili­gence also led to a behind-the-scenes pow­er play by con­ser­v­a­tive fed­er­al judges to under­cut Wal­sh’s probe and turn the spe­cial pros­e­cu­tor appa­ra­tus into anoth­er tool of con­ser­v­a­tive pow­er.” (“Last Word: Judge Wal­sh’s Warn­ing”; The Con­sor­tium; 1996; accessed at: http://www.consortiumnews.com/archive/story10.html.)

3. Details about how Sil­ber­man helped to cov­er-up the Iran-Con­tra affair by help­ing to over­turn the con­vic­tion of Oliv­er North: “This legal coup began when hard-line Rea­gan judges David Sen­telle and Lau­rence Sil­ber­man over­turned Wal­sh’s felony con­vic­tion of Oliv­er North, by a two-to-one vote, in 1990. Sen­telle, a pro­tégé of North Car­oli­na’s con­ser­v­a­tive Sen. Jesse Helms, was also part of the pan­el that reversed the guilty ver­dicts against North’s White House boss, Adm. John Poindex­ter.” (Idem.)

4. In his remark­able deci­sion to over­turn the North con­vic­tion, Sil­ber­man was aid­ed by Bush’s solic­i­tor gen­er­al, Ken­neth Starr—who even­tu­al­ly became White­wa­ter Spe­cial Pros­e­cu­tor. “When Walsh moved to appeal the North rul­ing (which was based on an unprece­dent­ed appli­ca­tion of immu­ni­ty rules), Walsh was sup­port­ed by the Jus­tice Depart­men­t’s career appel­late divi­sion. But Walsh was opposed by Bush’s solic­i­tor gen­er­al, none oth­er than Ken­neth Starr.” (Idem.)

5. “While the bat­tle over the North case played out, con­ser­v­a­tive Chief Jus­tice William Rehn­quist was fix­ing the game at anoth­er lev­el. He replaced the senior pan­el that tra­di­tion­al­ly picked spe­cial pros­e­cu­tors with a new pan­el run by Sen­telle. The revamped pan­el was in place when Repub­li­can Robert Fiske was oust­ed as White­wa­ter spe­cial pros­e­cu­tor and was replaced by legal con­ser­v­a­tive activist Starr.” (Idem.)

6. Starr and Sil­ber­man are part of a far-right judi­cial milieu cen­tered on the Fed­er­al­ist Soci­ety. (For more about the Fed­er­al­ist Soci­ety, see FTR#289.) “Indeed, all the con­ser­v­a­tive judges involved in this seizure of the spe­cial pros­e­cu­tor appa­ra­tus work close­ly with the far-right Fed­er­al­ist Soci­ety, which has as a prin­ci­pal goal the purg­ing of lib­er­al­ism from the fed­er­al bench. The Fed­er­al­ist Soci­ety is so far right that it has even attacked the Amer­i­can Bar Asso­ci­a­tion as ‘col­lec­tivist, rad­i­cal.’ In an inter­view, Walsh said he found the ‘dog­ma­tism that seems to come out of the Fed­er­al­ist group’ trou­bling. . . .” (Idem.)

7. Sil­ber­man’s name also crops up in con­nec­tion with the “Octo­ber Surprise”—the appar­ent col­lu­sion between the Rea­gan-Bush cam­paign in 1980 and the Khome­i­ni forces in Iran to with­hold the U.S. hostages tak­en from the U.S. embassy until after Jim­my Carter’s humil­i­a­tion and con­se­quent elec­tion defeat were assured. (For more about the Octo­ber Sur­prise, see—among oth­er programs—RFAs 31, 38. For more about the Iran-Con­tra scan­dal, see—among oth­er programs—RFAs 29–35, 38—available from Spitfire—as well as FTRs 01, 2, 29, 174, 248, 310.) “In Sep­tem­ber 1980, [Richard] Allen got a call from Robert McFar­lane, then an author­i­ty on Iran for the Sen­ate Armed Ser­vices Com­mit­tee. McFar­lane told Allen that he knew a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Iran­ian gov­ern­ment who might be use­ful. McFar­lane want­ed us to meet him; he was emphat­ic,’ recalls Allen. And against my bet­ter judge­ment, I agreed.’ Allen asked anoth­er cam­paign advi­sor, Lau­rence Sil­ber­man, to accom­pa­ny him. The four met in the lob­by of L’En­fant Plaza Hotel in Wash­ing­ton. The Iran­ian envoy informed them that he was on good terms with Khome­ini’s inner cir­cle. Then he spun a web about how he could get the hostages released direct­ly to our cam­paign before the elec­tion,’ recalls Sil­ber­man. And that point, we cut him off.’ . . . Maybe. . . . Among oth­er things, the pauci­ty of details makes the account dis­turb­ing. The time and date of the con­fer­ence, even the envoy’s iden­ti­ty, are all unknown. . . . But con­sid­er­ing the enor­mi­ty of the envoy’s pro­pos­al, and Allen’s own well-doc­u­ment­ed obses­sion with Iran­ian affairs, that par­tic­u­lar black­out seems too con­ve­nient. Three high­ly respect­ed pro­fes­sion­als, whose liveli­hoods depend on recall­ing names, faces and events, unac­count­ably devel­op amne­sia. It’s unlike­ly that they would meet an envoy with­out know­ing before­hand his sta­tus, reli­a­bil­i­ty and objec­tive.” (“Octo­ber Sur­prise News Cov­er­age [House of Representatives—February, 1992]”; p. 29 [of 64]; accessed at http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/1992_cr/h920205-october-clips.htm.)

8. Turn­ing to the Kevin Phillips book, the broad­cast relates some of the pro­found con­nec­tions between U.S. indus­try and finance and the eco­nom­ic engines that financed Hitler and pow­ered his war machine. (For more about this sub­ject, see—among oth­er programs—RFAs 1, 2, 10, 37, Mis­cel­la­neous Archive Shows M11, M26, M42—available from Spit­fire. In addi­tion, see—among oth­er programs—FTRs 29, 36–38, 113, 121, 186, 248, 361, 370, 435. The U.S. invest­ment in Ger­many is set with­in a macro-eco­nom­ic frame­work in FTR#441.) “In the 1920’s, Ger­many had been by far the most impor­tant inter­na­tion­al mar­ket for recy­cling the new pri­vate U.S. cap­i­tal cre­at­ed by the war. Most of this U.S. invest­ment, which approached $2 bil­lion, took the form of loans to Ger­man indus­try, direct invest­ment in Ger­man com­pa­nies, loans to Ger­man munic­i­pal­i­ties, and end­less dol­lars of Dawes Plan cred­its. Christo­pher Simp­son, in The Splen­did Blond Beast, list­ed the prin­ci­pal U.S. Firms that bought or began estab­lish­ing major Ger­man sub­sidiaries or joint ven­tures dur­ing the 1920’s: ITT, Gen­er­al Motors, Ford, Stan­dard Oil of New Jer­sey, and Gen­er­al Elec­tric. All were among Amer­i­ca’s dozen largest com­pa­nies.” (Amer­i­can Dynasty: Aris­toc­ra­cy, For­tune, and the Pol­i­tics of Deceit in the House of Bush; by Kevin Philips; Viking [HC]; Copy­right 2004 by Kevin Phillips; ISBN 0–670-03264–6; p. 186.)

9. “U.S. over­seas invest­ment did­n’t end with Hitler’s acces­sion to pow­er. Cap­i­tal con­tin­ued to move to Ger­many dur­ing the 1930’s under the Third Reich. Reports by the U.S. Com­merce Depart­ment showed the U.S. invest­ment in Ger­many increased by 48.5 per­cent between 1929 and 1940, while declin­ing almost every­where else in con­ti­nen­tal Europe.” (Ibid.; p. 187.)

10. Phillips notes that the com­pa­nies invest­ed in Nazi Ger­many turned to Allen and John Fos­ter Dulles (of Sul­li­van and Cromwell). Allen Dulles played a cen­tral role in the mask­ing of the Bush fam­i­ly’s assets in the econ­o­my of the Third Reich. (For dis­cus­sion of the Bush fam­i­ly’s involve­ment with Third Reich indus­try and finance, see—among oth­er programs—FTRs 186, 248, 273, 332, 361, 370, 435.) “By 1939, many of these var­i­ous units—manufacturing engines, armored chas­sis, and arti­fi­cial rubber—wee main­stays of the Ger­man war machine. As pricey, immo­bile assets that could not be repa­tri­at­ed, the large Ger­man sub­sidiaries were also impor­tant props of the val­u­a­tions of many of the biggest U.S. com­pa­nies. Instead of the obvi­ous pro-Allied eco­nom­ic self-inter­est of 1917, many major cor­po­ra­tions faced a very dif­fer­ent conun­drum in 1939–41. Top exec­u­tives and invest­ment bankers uncer­tain about what they ought to do—or how they ought to take cover—hired lawyers like John Fos­ter and Allen Dulles.” (Idem.)

11. Set­ting the stage for dis­cus­sion of Prescott Bush, Sr. (the cur­rent pres­i­den­t’s grand­fa­ther) and his rela­tion­ship with the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty, the pro­gram syn­op­sizes the incor­po­ra­tion of the Rein­hard Gehlen spy out­fit into the U.S. nation­al secu­ri­ty estab­lish­ment. (For more about the Gehlen orga­ni­za­tion, see—among oth­er programs—RFAs 1–3, 11, 14, 15, 21, 22, 36, 37, avail­able from Spit­fire. In addi­tion, see FTRs 44, 120, 180, 332.) Note, in par­tic­u­lar, the role of for­mer Gestapo offi­cer Hans Gise­vius and his work on behalf of Admi­ral Wil­helm Canaris. Gise­vius was to become an asso­ciate of Prescott Bush in the con­text of his work with Dress­er indus­tries. (Mal­lon and Dress­er were the first employ­ees of the elder George Bush after his grad­u­a­tion from Yale. See RFA#37—available from Spitfire—and FTR#367.) Dress­er Indus­tries is now part of Hal­libur­ton, whose for­mer CEO is Dick Cheney. “The speed with which post­war U.S. mil­i­tary and intel­li­gence offi­cers wel­comed anti-Sovi­et Ger­mans who had worn Hitler’s insignia through­out the war reflect­ed the his­tor­i­cal pref­er­ence for prac­ti­cal­i­ty over moral­i­ty. Con­sid­er­able por­tions of the Ger­man Abwehr and wartime Rein­hard Gehlen organization—Fremde Heere Ost, the army intel­li­gence group mon­i­tor­ing East­ern Europe and Russia—had shift­ed to the employ of the Unit­ed States by 1950, imple­ment­ing the anti-Sovi­et alliance scores of Ger­mans had dis­cussed with Stew­art Men­zies and Allen Dulles in oth­er days and oth­er uni­forms. Hans Gise­vius, the agent sent by Admi­ral Wil­helm Canaris and Ger­man intel­li­gence to meet with Allen Dulles in wartime Switzer­land, was about to begin a new cold war role: car­ry­ing mes­sages and ideas from Neil Mal­lon at Dress­er Indus­tries to the same Allen Dulles, soon to head the CIA.” (Ibid.; pp. 194–195.)

12. Phillips notes the role of many of the Wall Street pow­er elite as 1950 pro­gressed. Union Bank­ing Cor­po­ra­tion and Fritz Thyssen are part of the Bush busi­ness milieu. (See FTRs 186, 248, 332, 346, 361, 370, 435.) “In 1950, Robert A. Lovett him­self was deputy sec­re­tary of defense and about to become sec­re­tary; Averell Har­ri­man was the pres­i­den­t’s nation­al secu­ri­ty advis­er; Prescott Bush was about to run for the U.S. Sen­ate from Con­necti­cut; Allen Dulles was deputy direc­tor of the CIA; and John Fos­ter Dulles was wait­ing for the next Repub­li­can pres­i­dent to appoint him to the post of sec­re­tary of state ear­li­er held by his grand­fa­ther and his uncle. What­ev­er these men and their invest­ment banks and law firms had or had­n’t done for I.G. Far­ben, Fritz Thyssen, and the Union Bank­ing Cor­po­ra­tion, in terms of broad pol­i­tics, at least, they had picked the right side—the camp that became the U.S. nation­al secu­ri­ty estab­lish­ment.” (Ibid.; p. 195.)

13. High­light­ing the pro­found role Prescott Bush appears to have played in the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty, Phillips notes Bush’s close rela­tion­ship with Allen Dulles. “Bush also kept up with the Dulles broth­ers. In 1946, almost as soon as Allen Dulles was back in New York, Bush had him to lunch. In 1961, when Dulles was pushed from his CIA direc­tor’s aerie because of the Bay of Pigs foul-up, he made it a point, on the day before his suc­ces­sor, John McCone, was named, to bring McCone along to a din­ner with Prescott Bush.” (Ibid.; pp. 196–197.)

14. “In 1962, as Bush was about to leave the Sen­ate, he helped to launch the new Nation­al Strat­e­gy Infor­ma­tion Cen­ter, to be run by Frank Bar­nett, a right-tilt­ing expert on polit­i­cal war­fare and covert oper­a­tions who had pre­vi­ous­ly direct­ed research at North Car­oli­na’s CIA-linked Smith Richard­son Foun­da­tion. Bush knew well those involved, because dur­ing the ear­ly 1950’s, at the request of H. Smith Richard­son and his son-in-law Eugene Stet­son, a Bones­man and for­mer Brown Broth­ers Har­ri­man col­league of Bush’s, he had giv­en the Richard­sons advice and sup­port­ive coun­sel on set­ting up their foun­da­tion.” (Ibid.; p. 197.)

15. “Which brings us to what, in the tele­vi­sion quiz show par­lance of that very era, was called ‘the $64,000 Ques­tion”: Who—and what—was Prescott Bush in the U.S. intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty? And did he leave a lega­cy to his son?” (Idem.)

16. “The senior Bush was not of the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty, in the sense of hav­ing been the direc­tor or an offi­cial of the OSS or CIA; but he was indis­putably close to it, prob­a­bly as a con­fi­dant, ‘asset,’ or high-lev­el coun­selor, much as Juan Trippe of Pan Amer­i­can Air­ways and William S. Paley of CBS were wide­ly thought to have

been. Indeed, Prescott Bush was a long-serv­ing mem­ber of both Trippe’s and Paley’s cor­po­rate boards. He was also a war-time board mem­ber of two companies—the Vana­di­um Cor­po­ra­tion of Amer­i­ca and Dress­er Industries—that pro­vid­ed ura­ni­um ore and ura­ni­um gaseous dif­fu­sion pumps, respec­tive­ly, for the Man­hat­tan Project and sub­se­quent atom­ic-bomb devel­op­ment.” (Idem.)

17. Bush met fre­quent­ly with Dulles, Mal­lon and the afore­men­tioned Hans Gise­vius. Phillips even spec­u­lates that Prescott Bush may have served as a “shad­ow CIA direc­tor.” “Dresser’s CIA con­nec­tions prob­a­bly matched those of CBS and Pan Amer­i­can. Researcher Bruce Adam­son has obtained copies of 1953–54 cor­re­spon­dence between Dress­er chief Neil Mal­lon and CIA direc­tor Allen Dulles. The meet­ings arranged between the two men some­times also includ­ed Sen­a­tor Prescott Bush, ex-Ger­man agent Hans Gise­vius, or Defense Sec­re­tary Charles Wil­son. Sev­er­al of the let­ters cit­ed plans, notably a pilot project in the Caribbean, that had been thought up by Gisevius—hardly your every­day Dal­las executive—now work­ing for Dress­er and Mal­lon. The intrigued researcher, con­nect­ing these dots and many oth­ers, starts to assume that Prescott Bush of Yale, Skull and Bones, and Brown Broth­ers Har­ri­man was an off-the-books emi­nence grise, a Man Who Could Be Trust­ed, per­haps even a shad­ow CIA direc­tor. [Ital­ics are Mr. Emory’s]. How he might have got­ten there is even more murky. . . .” (Ibid.; pp. 197–198.)

18. ” . . . One con­clu­sion can rea­son­ably be drawn: that the men who man­aged most of the high-lev­el finan­cial and cor­po­rate rela­tions between the Unit­ed States and Ger­many in the peri­od from 1933 to 1941 devel­oped an unusu­al kind of infor­ma­tion and exper­tise that made them impor­tant to the war effort in gen­er­al and the U.S. intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty in par­tic­u­lar. As a result, after World War II was over, with the Sovi­et Union soon becom­ing an ene­my and Ger­many being trans­formed into a U.S. ally, the new Amer­i­can nation­al secu­ri­ty state formed around a new estab­lish­ment in which Prescott Bush and many of his friends were promi­nent and hon­ored mem­bers.” (Ibid.; p. 199.)

19. Turn­ing to the sub­ject of the younger George Bush’s involve­ment with the CIA and the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty, Phillips notes the prob­a­ble influ­ence of Prescott Bush, and George H. Walk­er (Jr. and Sr.) The Walk­ers were heav­i­ly invest­ed in Cuba and the rest of the Caribbean, a hotbed of intel­li­gence activ­i­ty from the 1950’s on. “The influ­ences of Prescott Bush’s milieu must have been sig­nif­i­cant. But we should not for­get George H. Walk­er’s role. We’ve explored Prescott Bush’s own cir­cle and its wide con­nec­tions. As for Walk­er, no one can know what, in those sum­mer walks and hours out on the old man’s boat in the 1930’s and 1940’s, he told the grand­son who car­ried his name. How­ev­er, Walk­er had der­ring-do to spare, plus strong inter­ests in the Caribbean, where the polit­i­cal and covert action was soon to heat up. In addi­tion to his Euro­pean ven­tures, he had long­stand­ing ties to Cuba and served as a direc­tor of sev­en relat­ed com­pa­nies dur­ing the mid-and late 1920’s and ear­ly 1930’s: the Cuba Com­pa­ny, the Cuban Rail­road, Cuban-Domini­can Sug­ar, Bara­hona Sug­ar, Cuba Dis­till­ing, Sug­ar Estates of Ori­ente, and Atlantic Fruit and Sug­ar. Promi­nent New York invest­ment bankers did not under­take such com­mit­ments light­ly; Walk­er was cen­tral­ly involved with the island through three major indus­tries: sug­ar, (rum) dis­till­ing, and a major rail­road that served these enter­pris­es (and became a sym­bol of yan­qui pow­er.)” (Ibid.; p. 202.)

20. “In the 1930’s and ear­ly 1940’, young Bush’s favorite uncle, Herbie—George Her­bert Walk­er, Jr.—took over direc­tor­ships of sev­er­al of these Cuban-Domini­can sug­ar com­pa­nies, which ulti­mate­ly merged into West Indies Sug­ar in 1942. It is not hard to imag­ine the young George H.W. Bush pick­ing up from grand­fa­ther and uncle alike a roman­tic sug­ar-plan­ta­tion, rum, and palm-trees image of the heav­i­ly policed, old-regime Cuba of Ful­gen­cio Batista. The island was much liked by a vis­it­ing gen­er­a­tion of mid­dle-and upper-class Amer­i­cans.” (Ibid.; pp. 202–203.)

21. “Uncle Her­bie” Walk­er was deeply involved with the reor­ga­ni­za­tion of George H.W. Bush’s Zap­a­ta Oil—itself heav­i­ly involved in the Caribbean. “His uncle would have been angry in 1959, when the new left­ist Cas­tro regime announced that it would nation­al­ize the hold­ings of the U.S. sug­ar com­pa­nies. Cas­tro had launched his rev­o­lu­tion sev­er­al years ear­li­er in east­ern Cuba’s sug­ar-and-rum-cen­tered Ori­ente Province, and some of the Amer­i­can own­ers of sug­ar mills and estates had con­tributed funds in the hope of mod­er­at­ing his move­ment. Ori­ente-based West Indies Sug­ar had been a par­tic­u­lar tar­get of rebel levies and depre­da­tions. Coin­ci­den­tal­ly, 1959 was the year when Uncle Her­bie helped to finance the reor­ga­ni­za­tion of Zap­a­ta by which the off­shore drilling rigs—at least one oper­at­ing near Cuba—became inde­pen­dent under Walk­er-Bush con­trol. George H. Walk­er Jr. must have been even angri­er in 1960 when Cas­tro nation­al­ized the West Indies Sug­ar Com­pa­ny, of which he had been a direc­tor until 1959. Infu­ri­at­ed by Cas­tro’ sug­ar estate seizures, the U.S. gov­ern­ment with­drew its recog­ni­tion of Cuba and launched an eco­nom­ic embar­go in Jan­u­ary 1961. Three months lat­er came the Bay of Pigs inva­sion.” (Ibid.; p. 203.)

22. The Bush/Cuban con­nec­tion con­tin­ued through the gen­er­a­tions. As dis­cussed in FTRs 249, 268, Jeb Bush was very close to the Anti-Cas­tro Cubans. Jeb Bush even appoint­ed the grand­son of Ful­gen­cio Batista to a posi­tion as a state supreme judge. “Grand­fa­ther Walk­er had died in 1953, but Prescott Bush, too, had a con­sid­er­able psy­cho­log­i­cal involve­ment with Cuba, its pol­i­tics, and its impor­tance to the Unit­ed States. The events of the lat­er 1950’s and ear­ly 1960’s would make the com­mit­ments of both Prescott and George H. W. Bush stand out in bold relief. Cuba’s fate would be a per­son­al as well as pro­fes­sion­al pre­oc­cu­pa­tion. Old Batista-era loy­al­ties would linger (even into the twen­ty-first cen­tu­ry, when Flori­da gov­er­nor Jeb Bush would nom­i­nate Batis­ta’s grand­son, Raul Can­tero, to the state supreme court).” (Idem.)

23. As Phillips notes, George H.W. Bush’s employ­ment for Dress­er Indus­tries may well have involved work on behalf of the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty. “George H.W. Bush’s intel­li­gence con­nec­tions may have affect­ed when and why he went to Texas. Work­ing for Ray Kravis in Tul­sa might not have been rel­e­vant; work­ing for Neil Mal­lon, as Dress­er shift­ed its focus and head­quar­ters from Ohio to Texas and turned glob­al, would have been more so. Dress­er had top secret clear­ances dur­ing the 1941–45 war years for var­i­ous projects, and after Mal­lon relo­cat­ed to Dal­las in 1950, the com­pa­ny’s great­est growth came from over­seas activ­i­ty, con­ceiv­ably includ­ing some covert projects.” (Idem.)

24. George Bush (Sr.)‘s petroleum/intelligence activ­i­ties may well have grad­u­at­ed from his asso­ci­a­tion to Dress­er to his involve­ment with Zap­a­ta Off­shore. “The inter­na­tion­al side of the oil busi­ness, whether in the Mid­dle East or the Caribbean, lent itself to close involve­ment with the CIA and U.S. intel­li­gence, as numer­ous chron­i­clers have elab­o­rat­ed. Although George Bush left Dress­er in 1951, he main­tained close rela­tions with Mal­lon and oth­er friends there. They referred clients to him after he joined up with the Liedtke broth­ers in 1953 to form Zap­a­ta Petro­le­um, which decid­ed to branch out into deep-sea drilling with Zap­a­ta Off­shore in 1954. This hap­pened to be the year that the CIA under Allen Dulles stepped up its own Caribbean activ­i­ty with the over­throw of the Left-lean­ing gov­ern­ment of Jacobo Arbenz Guz­man in Guatemala. Bruce Adam­son, who assem­bled the Dress­er-Dulles cor­re­spon­dence, won­dered about a pos­si­ble con­nec­tion between the Bush-Liedtke Zap­a­ta off­shore enter­prise and the Caribbean project that Dress­er chief Mal­lon and for­mer Ger­man intel­li­gence offi­cer Hans Gise­vius had dis­cussed a lit­tle ear­li­er with Du

lles.” (Ibid.; pp. 203–204.)

25. Yet anoth­er of the areas of inter­sec­tion between George Bush (Sr.)‘s oil busi­ness career and his prob­a­ble ear­ly involve­ment with the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty (CIA) con­cerns Zap­a­ta Petro­le­um’s con­nec­tions to Mex­i­can oil and Ed Pauley. “Here analy­sis has to rely on impli­ca­tion and com­mon sense. Adam­son, Lof­tus, The Nation mag­a­zine, and the U.S. jour­nal­ism effort named Project Cen­sored all posit­ed some direct George H.W. Bush—CIA con­nec­tion emerg­ing between 1954 and 1963. Relat­ed hints of a Mex­i­can-con­nect­ed Bush ini­ti­a­tion also came from reporter Jonathan Kwit­ny in his 1988 Bar­ron’s arti­cle ‘The Mex­i­can Con­nec­tion.’ The impli­ca­tions are con­sid­er­able; con­crete proof is min­i­mal.” (Ibid.; p. 204.)

26. “In 1988, dur­ing Bush’s pres­i­den­tial cam­paign, Kwit­ny revealed that back in 1960, Bush and Zap­a­ta Off­shore, togeth­er with Jorge Diaz Ser­ra­no, a Mex­i­can oil­man rec­om­mend­ed by Dress­er, had set up a new Mex­i­can com­pa­ny called Per­mar­go. The lat­ter, under the author­i­ty of Pemex, the Mex­i­can oil monop­oly, was to do deep-sea drilling off the Mex­i­can coast for Pan Amer­i­can Petro­le­um, a firm run by U.S. oil­man Ed Pauley. Pemex and Pauley were both known for CIA con­nec­tions.” (Idem.)

27. “Bush, how­ev­er, was already drilling for Pauley under a Zap­a­ta Off­shore con­tract. Details about Zap­ata’s Per­mar­go involve­ment did­n’t check out, and Kwit­ny smelled a rat or two, espe­cial­ly when it emerged that in 1981, short­ly after Bush had been elect­ed vice pres­i­dent, the SEC ‘inad­ver­tent­ly destroyed’ the Zap­a­ta Off­shore SEC fil­ings for 1960 to 1966. Some years lat­er Lof­tus wrote, ‘The ‘old spies’ say Bush lost his vir­gin­i­ty in the oil busi­ness to Ed Pauley.’ He added that ‘the Zap­a­ta-Per­mar­go deal also caught the atten­tion of Allen Dulles, who, the ‘old spies’ report, was the man who recruit­ed Bush’s com­pa­ny as a part-time pur­chas­ing front for the CIA. Zap­a­ta pro­vid­ed com­mer­cial sup­plies for one of Dulles’ most noto­ri­ous oper­a­tions: the Bay of Pigs inva­sion.” (Idem.)

28. “Biog­ra­phers have found more Zap­a­ta details in the papers of for­mer U.S. sen­a­tor Ralph Yarbrough, whom Bush unsuc­cess­ful­ly opposed in the 1964 elec­tion. That year, Yarbor­ough, who liked to call Bush ‘a Con­necti­cut car­pet­bag­ger,’ had arranged for a sup­port­er named Allan Man­del to do some cam­paign research on Bush’s com­pa­ny. What Man­del turned up—his report still exists among the sen­a­tor’s papers in Austin—ws a descrip­tion of Zap­a­ta Off­shore’s unusu­al and com­plex busi­ness struc­ture: a half-dozen sub­sidiaries rang­ing from Zap­a­ta Inter­na­tion­al, Sea­cat Zap­a­ta, and Zap­a­ta de Mex­i­co to the Zap­a­ta Over­seas Cor­po­ra­tion. Tax advan­tages were one expla­na­tion; han­dling covert funds could have been anoth­er.” (Ibid.; pp. 204–205.)

29. As dis­cussed in RFA#37—available from Spitfire—and FTR#367, Bush’s name was in the address book of George De Mohren­schildt, a for­mer Nazi spy and one of Lee Har­vey Oswald’s intel­li­gence babysit­ters. “As for CIA ties, Per­mar­go obvi­ous­ly had some; in addi­tion note has been made of the pub­lished cor­re­spon­dence that con­nect­ed Dress­er with the CIA and Allen Dulles. We will also see short­ly that the Liedtkes and Zap­a­ta-turned-Pennzoil were tied with Pemex to a 1972 CIA mon­ey-laun­der­ing chain relat­ed to the Water­gate break-in. Bruce Adam­son added that ‘George Bush and Edwin Pauley (both CIA) were both list­ed in 1954–55 in (CIA asset) George de Mohren­schildt’s per­son­al address book, which I obtained a copy [of] from the West Palm Beach Sher­if­f’s office in 1992.’ ” (Ibid.; p. 205.)

30. Under­scor­ing the pro­found Skull and Bones con­nec­tion to the CIA, Phillips relates the links between the plan­ners for the Bay of Pigs and Skull and Bones. The shell cor­po­ra­tion that fund­ed the soci­ety may well have been used as a fund­ing con­duit for the ill-fat­ed inva­sion. “Yale­man Ron Rosen­baum, who wrote about Skull and Bones in the New York Observ­er and else­where, came up with a chill­ing angle in his attempts to trace the shell corporation—the Rus­sell Trust Association—that had fund­ed the soci­ety’s year-to-year exis­tence. A check with the Con­necti­cut sec­re­tary of state’s office in 2000 found no such cor­po­ra­tion, which seemed to leave a dead end. But then a researcher’s care­ful fol­low-up found out that years ear­li­er the asso­ci­a­tion had been abol­ished, then reestab­lished under the name RTA Incor­po­rat­ed.” (Ibid.; p. 206.)

31. “Let Rosen­baum tell his own tale of dis­cov­ery: ‘The new papers of rein­cor­po­ra­tion that erased the cen­tu­ry-old Rus­sell Trust Asso­ci­a­tion were filed at 10:15 A.M. on April 14, 1961. Two hours lat­er, at noon on that day, the orders went out to begin the Bay of Pigs operations—the covert CIA-financed inva­sion of Cas­tro’s Cuba, a bloody fias­co that still haunts us four decades lat­er. Con­ci­dence? Prob­a­bly. But then it’s also true that one of the CIA’s mas­ter­minds for the Bay of Pigs oper­a­tion was a man named Richard Drain, Skull and Bones ’43. And the White House plan­ner of the Bay of Pigs oper­a­tion was McGe­orge Bundy, Skull and Bones ’40. And the State Depart­ment liai­son for the Bay of Pigs Oper­a­tion was his broth­er William P. Bundy, Skull and Bones ’39. And the man who filed the rein­cor­po­ra­tion papers that erased the Rus­sell Trust Asso­ci­a­tion from exis­tence on the day of the Bay of Pigs was Howard Weaver, Skull and Bones ’45 (George Bush’s class), who retired from the CIA in 1959. All of which might lead one to sus­pect that the Skull and Bones cor­po­rate shell had been used as a clan­des­tine con­duit for the Bay of Pigs, and then erased from exis­tence to cov­er up the con­nec­tion as the inva­sion got under way.’ Yes, it must be a coin­ci­dence; it has to be a coin­ci­dence.” (Idem.)

32. Yet anoth­er of the CIA/petroleum links to the career of George Bush involves a slush fund that chan­neled monies to the Water­gate Bur­glars. (As Phillips notes, many of the Water­gate bur­glars had back­grounds in the Bay of Pigs oper­a­tion, and the monies came from Texas allies of George H.W. Bush. Bush was chair­man of the Repub­li­can Nation­al Com­mit­tee at the time.) “It is fair to say that by Decem­ber 1975, when White House chief of staff Don­ald Rums­feld was work­ing to derail George H.W. Bush’s pres­i­den­tial ambi­tions by slot­ting him as CIA direc­tor, three gen­er­a­tions of the Bush and Walk­er fam­i­lies already had some six decades of intel­li­gence-relat­ed activ­i­ty and expe­ri­ence under their belts. How­ev­er, there is still one more con­nec­tion to men­tion: the Pemex-Pennzoil-CIA mon­ey line coin­ci­den­tal­ly or oth­er­wise exposed in 1972 after funds it pro­vid­ed through Mex­i­can banks were found in the hands of the Water­gate bur­glars. Of those men, a sol­id majority—Howard Hunt, Frank Stur­gis, Euge­nio Mar­tinez, Vir­gilio Gon­za­lez, and Bernard Barker—had been involved in the abortive Bay of Pigs episode.” (Ibid.; pp. 206–207.)

33. “Nixon and his senior advis­ers knew that the mon­ey had come through Mex­i­can banks from ‘the Tex­ans’: region­al Nixon finance chief William Liedtke, Robert Mos­bach­er, and oth­er Bush friends. Appar­ent­ly they were not sure what that meant—what kind of a CIA pipeline was involved or what kind of usage was under way. Author Lof­tus says that George H.W. Bush’s sub­se­quent high stand­ing with the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty came not from his Bay of Pigs involve­ment but from ‘when he told Nixon that he could not shift the blame for the Mex­i­can slush fund to the CIA with­out wreck­ing the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty.’ ” (Ibid.; p. 207.)

34. “There is no proof that Bush con­veyed any such warn­ing. More­over, Nixon’s White House chief of staff, H.R. Halde­man, gave a dif­fer­ent view in his 1978 book The Ends of Pow­er: ‘If the Mex­i­can bank con­nec­tion was actu­al­ly a CIA oper­a­tion all along, unknown to Nixon, and Nixon was destroyed for ask­ing the FBI to stop inves­ti­gat­ing the bank because it might uncov­er a CIA oper­a­tion (which the Helms memo seems to indi­cate it actu­al­ly was all along), the mul­ti­ple lay­ers of decep­tion by the CIA are astound­ing.’ ” (I


35. Phillips notes that the intel­li­gence-rat­ed scan­dals of the 1970’s bare­ly dent­ed the intel­li­gence estab­lish­ment, which roared back in the 1980’s and 1990’s, with the elder George Bush being first Vice-Pres­i­dent and then Pres­i­dent. “At any rate, the nation­al secu­ri­ty state was only slight­ly wound­ed in the six­ties and sev­en­ties, rebound­ing to thrive in the eight­ies and nineties despite a few bumps after the breakup of the Sovi­et Union, when the CIA briefly feared for its future. More to the point, two men named George Bush would be CIA direc­tor, vice pres­i­dent, or pres­i­dent of the Unit­ed States for sev­en­teen of the twen­ty-eight years between 1976 and 2004. In a very real but lit­tle under­stood sense, the Bush dynasty was already get­ting way in 1980–81 when George Bush went from the CIA direc­tor’s job to the vice pres­i­den­cy, a jump no one had ever man­aged before and one that brought a new and unfa­mil­iar mind-set to the elect­ed exec­u­tive office.” (Idem.)

36. As dis­cussed in FTRs 29, 174, 248, 384, Rea­gan issued a Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Direc­tive that put George Bush in charge of an inter-agency gov­ern­men­tal net­work that served as his own pri­vate intel­li­gence ser­vice. This net­work was the chief vehi­cle for effect­ing both the Iran-Con­tra and Iraq­gate machi­na­tions. It is Mr. Phillips’ opin­ion, (shared by Mr. Emory) that this set the stage for “The Wars of the Texas Suc­ces­sion.” “In 1981, because of Bush’s CIA experience—and per­haps also because of the influ­ence of the White House chief of staff, James A. Bak­er III, who had man­aged the Tex­an’s 1980 nom­i­na­tion campaign—President Rea­gan issued Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Direc­tive 3, nam­ing the vice pres­i­dent to head a Spe­cial Sit­u­a­tion Group to iden­ti­fy nation­al secu­ri­ty crises and plan for them. A new era of clan­des­tine arms sales, mas­sive arma­ments buildups, secret diplo­ma­cy, and covert actions, per­haps as much Bush’s doing as Rea­gan’s, was about to unfold in the Mid­dle East gen­er­al­ly and in Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan specif­i­cal­ly. With it, the seeds of two Per­sian Gulf wars and hun­dreds of ter­ror­ist strikes would be fer­til­ized and watered.” (Ibid.; pp. 207–208.)

37. Con­clud­ing with Phillips’ thoughts on the influ­ence of Machi­avel­li’s The Prince on Bush advis­er Karl Rove, the broad­cast notes the sim­i­lar­i­ty between the sig­na­ture dis­hon­esty and cyn­i­cism char­ac­ter­iz­ing the Bush admin­is­tra­tion and the pow­er-polit­i­cal advice of the Flo­ren­tine. “The polit­i­cal thinker Nic­co­lo Machi­avel­li (1469–1527), long a believ­er in the famous Flo­ren­tine Repub­lic of the Renais­sance, began to lose faith in his lat­er years as the tides of impe­r­i­al pow­er and ambition—French, Ger­man, and Spanish—swept across the Ital­ian penin­su­la, wash­ing away the old repub­li­can pol­i­tics of city-states like Flo­rence and Siena, too small to sur­vive on their own. Unlike Machi­avel­li’s less-well-known books, which embraced repub­li­can pol­i­tics and insti­tu­tions, his most famous vol­ume, The Prince, was ded­i­cat­ed to Loren­zo de’ Medici, the duke of Urbino. It encap­su­lat­ed the tech­niques, from amoral­i­ty and fraud to reli­gion, by which the ascen­dant prince­ly rulers might gov­ern most suc­cess­ful­ly.” (Ibid.; p. 320.)

38. Sun-Tzu is also an influ­ence on the Bush admin­is­tra­tion. (See Mr. Emory’s thoughts on this in FTRs 366, 418, 442.) “As the 2004 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion took shape, anoth­er such Machi­avel­lian moment was at hand. U.S. pres­i­dent George W. Bush, while hard­ly a Medici, was a dynast whose fam­i­ly her­itage includ­ed secre­cy and cal­cu­lat­ed decep­tion. Harken­ing to the increas­ing­ly impe­r­i­al self-per­cep­tion of the Unit­ed States, the pres­i­den­t’s the­o­rists and tac­ti­cians boast­ed of tak­ing the advice of Machi­avel­li and the Chi­nese strate­gist Sun Tzu. The late Lee Atwa­ter, chief polit­i­cal advis­er to the elder Bush, and Karl Rove, strate­gist for the younger Bush, friends and col­lab­o­ra­tors, wee both devo­tees of Machi­avel­li and The Prince, hard­ly a coin­ci­dence.” (Ibid.; pp. 320–321.)

39. “The pos­si­bil­i­ty that the Unit­ed States could edge toward its own Machi­avel­lian moment in an ear­ly-twen­ty-first cen­tu­ry milieu of ter­ror­ism, neo-impe­ri­al­ism, and dynas­ti­za­tion is not far-fetched. As we have seen, Rove, the Bush dynasty’s own polit­i­cal plot­ter, has been an avid read­er of Machi­avel­li. While the analy­sis in The Dis­cours­es upholds repub­li­can­ism, the advice Machi­avel­li gives in The Prince was ded­i­cat­ed to the Medicis and designed to work in the new prince­ly, aris­to­crat­ic, and neo-impe­r­i­al milieu of six­teenth-cen­tu­ry Italy.” (Ibid.; p. 330.)

40. “Chap­ter 4, in its dis­cus­sion of Bush domes­tic pol­i­cy and ‘com­pas­sion­ate con­ser­v­a­tive’ rhetoric, has already referred to Machi­avel­li’s advice that the Prince should lie but must ‘be able to dis­guise this char­ac­ter well, and to be a great feign­er and dis­sem­bler.’ More­over, ‘to see and hear him, he [the Prince] should seem to be all mer­cy, faith, integri­ty, human­i­ty and reli­gion. And noth­ing is more nec­es­sary than to seem to have this last qual­i­ty . . . Every­body sees what you appear to be, few feel what you are.’ ” (Idem.)

41. “Oth­er advice dwells on the mer­its of fraud, hypocrisy, faith­less­ness, and relat­ed prac­tices, and twen­ti­eth-cen­tu­ry aca­d­e­mi­cians have not­ed Machi­avel­li’s appeal to lead­ers like Hitler, Stal­in, and Mus­soli­ni. Doubt­less there are also hun­dreds of copies of The Prince at the CIA. Which makes it reveal­ing, and arguably ill advised, that the two polit­i­cal advis­ers to the two Bush pres­i­dents should claim it as a bible of sorts.” (Idem.)

42. “Even in reli­gion, Machi­avel­li’s advice to empha­size it is rel­e­vant to the ear­ly-twen­ty-first cen­tu­ry Unit­ed States. His career in Flo­rence over­lapped that of Fri­ar Giro­lamo Savonaro­la, the reli­gious despot who ruled the gasp­ing repub­lic from 1494 to 1498 with a pol­i­tics of fight­ing sin and immoral­i­ty. Doubt­less the youth­ful Machi­avel­li absorbed how close Savonaro­la came to achiev­ing a theoc­ra­cy even in repub­li­can Flo­rence. Not a few Amer­i­cans see a lit­tle bit of Savonaro­la in George W. Bush.” (Idem.)

43. “The advent of a Machi­avel­li-inclined dynasty in what may be a Machi­avel­lian moment for the Amer­i­can Repub­lic is not a hap­py coin­ci­dence, but one that demands atten­tion. Luck­i­ly, the arrival of a U.S. pres­i­den­tial elec­tion every fourth year typ­i­cal­ly brings with it an uncom­mon inten­si­ty of nation­al debate, so per­haps atten­tion will be paid.” (Ibid.; pp. 330–331.)

44. “Since the events and upheavals of 2000–2001, the Unit­ed States has had an abun­dance of unfold­ing trans­for­ma­tions to discuss—in eco­nom­ics, nation­al secu­ri­ty, and even reli­gion. Of these, many can be con­sid­ered and man­aged sep­a­rate­ly. But one is per­va­sive enough to make its impact felt almost every­where: the extent to which nation­al gov­er­nance has, at least tem­porar­i­ly, moved away from the proven tra­di­tion of a leader cho­sen demo­c­ra­t­i­cal­ly, by a major­i­ty of plu­ral­i­ty of the elec­torate, to the suc­ces­sion of a dynas­tic heir whose unfor­tu­nate inher­i­tance is priv­i­leged, covert and glob­al­ly embroil­ing.” (Ibid.; p. 331.)


No comments for “FTR #445 The Bush Family & the Intelligence Community”

Post a comment