George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography, by Webster Tarpley

"Science," the Greek word for knowledge, when appended to the word "political," creates what seems like an oxymoron. For who could claim to know politics? More complicated than any game, most people who play it become addicts and die without understanding what they were addicted to. The rest of us suffer under their malpractice as our "leaders." A truer case of the blind leading the blind could not be found. Plumb the depths of confusion here.

Re: George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography, by Webster Tarp

Postby admin » Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:25 am

PART 1 OF 2

Chapter XI -- United Nations Ambassador, Kissinger Clone

At this point in his career, George Bush entered into a phase of close association with both Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger. As we will see, Bush was a member of the Nixon cabinet from the spring of 1971 until the day that Nixon resigned. We will see Bush on a number of important occasions literally acting as Nixon's speaking tube, especially in international crisis situations. During these years, Nixon was Bush's patron, providing him with appointments and urging him to look forward to bigger things in the future. On certain occasions, however, Bush was upstaged by others in his quest for Nixon's favor. Then there was Kissinger, far and away the most powerful figure in the Washington regime of those days, who became Bush's boss when the latter became the US Ambassador to the United Nations in New York City. Later, on the campaign trail in 1980, Bush would offer to make Kissinger Secretary of State in his administration.

Bush was now listing a net worth of over $1.3 million [fn 1], but the fact is that he was now unemployed, but anxious to assume the next official post, to take the next step of what in the career of a Roman Senator was called the cursus honorum, the patrician career, for this is what he felt the world owed him.

Nixon had promised Bush an attractive and prestigious political plum in the Executive branch, and it was now time for Nixon to deliver. Bush's problem was that in late 1970 Nixon was more interested in what another Texan could contribute to his Administration. That other Texan was John Connally, who had played the role of Bush's nemesis in the elections just concluded by virtue of the encouragement and decisive support which Connally had given to the Bentsen candidacy. Nixon was now fascinated by the prospect of including the right-wing Democrat Connally in his cabinet in order to provide himself with a patina of bi-partisanship, while emphasizing the dissension among the Democrats, strengthening Tricky Dick's chances of successfully executing his Southern Strategy a second time during the 1972 elections.

The word among Nixon's inner circle of this period was "The Boss is in love," and the object of his affections was Big Jawn. Nixon claimed that he was not happy with the stature of his current cabinet, telling his domestic policy advisor John Ehrlichmann in the fall of 1970 that "Every cabinet should have at least one potential President in it. Mine doesn't." Nixon had tried to recruit leading Democrats before, asking Senator Henry Jackson to be Secretary of Defense and offering the post of United Nations Ambassador to Hubert Humphrey.

Within hours after the polls had closed in the Texas senate race, Bush was received a call from Charles Bartlett, a Washington columnist who was part of the Prescott Bush network. Bartlett tipped Bush to the fact that Treasury Secretary David Kennedy was leaving, and urged him to make a grab for the job. Bush called Nixon and put in his request. After that, he waited by the telephone. But it soon became clear that Tricky Dick was about to recruit John Connally and with him, perhaps, the important Texas electoral votes in 1972. Secretary of the Treasury! One of the three or four top posts in the cabinet! And that before Bush had been given anything for all of his useless slogging through the 1970 campaign! But the job was about to go to Connally. Over two decades, one can almost hear Bush's whining complaint.

This move was not totally unprepared. During the fall of 1970, when Connally was campaigning for Bentsen against Bush, Connally had been invited to participate in the Ash Commission, a study group on government re-organization chaired by Roy Ash. "This White House access was dangerously undermining George Bush," complained Texas GOP chairman O'Donnell. A personal friend of Bush on the White House staff named Peter Flanigan, generated a memo to White House chief of staff H.R. Haldeman with the notation: "Connally is an implacable enemy tof the Republican party in Texas, and, therefore, attractive as he may be to the President, we should avoid using him again." Nixon found Connally an attractive political property, and had soon appointed him to the main Wite House panel for intelligence evaulations: "On November 30, when Connally's appointment to the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board was announced, the senior senator from Texas, John Tower, and George Bush were instantly in touch with the White House to express their 'extreme' distress over the appointment. [fn 2] Tower was indigant because he had been promised by Ehrlichman some time before that Connally was not going to receive an important post. Bush's personal plight was even more poignant: "He was out of work, and he wanted a job. As a defeated senatorial candidate, he hoped and fully expected to get a major job in the administration. Yet the administration seemed to be paying more attention to the very Democrat who had put him on the job market What gives? Bush was justified in asking." [fn 3]

The appointment of Connally to replace David Kennedy as Secretary of the Treasury was concluded during the first week of December, 1970. But it could not be announced without causing an upheaval among the Texas Republicans until something had been done for lame duck George. On December 7, Nixon retainer H.R. Haldemann was writing memos to himself in the White House. The first was: "Connally set." Then came: "Have to do something for Bush right away." Could Bush become the Director of NASA? How about the Small Business Administration? Or the Republican National Committee? Or then again, he might like to be White House Congressional liaison, or perhaps undersecretary of commerce. As one account puts it, "since no job immediately came to mind, Bush was assured that he would come to the White House as a top presidential adviser on something or other, until another fitting job opened up." Bush was called to the White House on December 9, 1970 to meet with Nixon and talk about a post as Assistant to the President "with a wide range of unspecified general responsibilities," according to a White House memo initialed by H.R. Haldemann. Bush accepted such a post at one point in his haggling with the Nixon White House. But Bush also sought the UN job, arguing that there "was a dirth [sic] of Nixon advocacy in New York City and the general New York area that he could fill that need in the New York social circles he would be moving in as Ambassador. [fn 4] Nixon's UN Ambassador had been Charles Yost, a Democrat who was now leaving. But the White House had already offered that job to Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who had accepted. But, apparently a few hours after the Bush-Nixon meeting, word came in that Moynihan was not interested.

But then Moynihan decided that he did not want the UN ambassador post after all, and, with a sigh of relief, the White House offered it to Bush. Bush's appointment was announced on December 11, Connally's on December 14." [fn 5] In offering the post to Bush, Haldemann had been brutally frank, telling him that the job, although of cabinet rank, would have no power attached to it. Bush, stressed Haldemann, would be taking orders directly from Kissinger. "I commented that even if somebody who took the job didn't understand that, Henry Kissinger would give him a twenty-four hour crash course on the subject," Bush says he replied. [fn 6]

Nixon told his cabinet and the Republican Congressional leadership on December 14, 1970 what had been in the works for some time, that Connally was "coming not only as a Democrat but as Secretary of the Treasury for the next two full years." [fn 7] Even more humiliating for Bush was the fact that our hero had been on the receiving end of Connally's assistance. As Nixon told the cabinet: "Connally said he wouldn't take it until George Bush got whatever he was entitled to. I don't know why George wanted the UN appointment, but he wanted it so he got it." Only this precondition from Connally, by implication, had finally prompted Nixon to take care of poor George. Nixon turned to Senator Tower, who was in the meeting: "This is hard for you. I am for every Republican running. We need John Tower back in 1972." Tower replied: "I'm a pragmatic man. John Connally is philosophically attuned to you. He is articulate and persuasive. I for one will defend him against those in our own party who may not like him." [fn 8]

There is evidence that Nixon considered Connally to be a possible successor in the presidency. Connally's approach to the international monetary crisis then unfolding was that "all foreigners are out to screw us and it's our job to screw them first," as he told C. Fred Bergsten of Kissinger's NSC staff. Nixon's bumbling management of the international monetary crisis was one of the reasons why he was Watergated, and Big Jawn was certainly seen by the financiers as a big part of the problem. Bush was humiliated in this episode, but that is nothing compared to what later happened to both Connally and Nixon. Connally would be indicted while Bush was in Peking, and later he would face the further humiliation of personal bankruptcy. In the view of James Reston, Jr., "George Bush was to maintain a smoldering, visceral dislike of Connally, one that lasted well into the 1980's." [fn 9] As others discovered during the Gulf war, Bush is vindictive.

Bush appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for his pro forma and perfunctory confirmation hearings on February 8, 1971. It was a free ride. Many of the senators had known Prescott Bush, and several were still Prescott's friends. Acting like friends of the family, they gave Bush friendly advice with a tone that was congratulatory and warm, and avoided any tough questions. Stuart Symington warned Bush that he would have to deal with the "duality of authority" between his nominal boss, Secretary of State William Rogers, and his real boss, NSC chief Kissinger. There was only passing reference to Bush's service of the oil cartel during his time in the House, and Bush vehemently denied that he had ever tried to "placate" the "oil interests." Claiborne Pell said that Bush would enhance the luster of the UN post.

On policy matters, Bush said that it would "make sense" for the UN Security Council to conduct a debate on the wars in Laos and Cambodia, which was something that the US had been attempting to procure for some time. Bush thought that such a debate could be used as a forum to expose the aggressive activities of the North Vietnamese. No senator asked Bush about China, but Bush told journalists waiting in the hall that the question of China was now under intensive study. The Washington Post was impressed by Bush's "lithe and youthful good looks." Bush was easily confirmed.

At Bush's swearing in later in February Nixon, probably anxious to calm Bush down after the strains of the Connally affair, had recalled that President William McKinley had lost an election in Ohio, but nevertheless gone on to become President. "But I'm not suggesting what office you should seek and at what time," said Nixon. The day before, Senator Adlai Stevenson III of Illinois had told the press that Bush was "totally unqualified" and that his appointment had been "an insult" to the UN. Bush presented his credentials on March 1.

Then Bush, "handsome and trim" at 47, moved into a suite at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in Manhattan, and settled into his usual hyperkinetic, thyrroid-driven life style. The Washington Post marveled at his "whirlwind schedule" which seemed more suitable for a "political aspirant than one usually associated with a diplomat." He rose every morning at 7 AM, and then mounted his exercycle for a twelve minute workout while taking in a television news program that also lasted exactly twelve minutes. He ate a small breakfast and left the Waldorf at 8, to be driven to the US mission to the UN at Turtle Bay where he generally arrived at 8:10. Then he would get the overnight cable traffic from his secretary, Mrs. Aleene Smith, and then went into a conference with his executive assistant, Tom Lais. Later there would be meetings with his two deputies, Ambassadors Christopher Phillips and W. Tapley Bennett of the State Department. Pete Roussel was also still with him as publicity man.

For Bush, a 16-hour work day was more the rule than the exception. His days were packed with one appointment after another, luncheon engagements, receptions, formal dinners-- at least one reception and one dinner per day. Sometimes there were three receptions per day-- quite an opportunity for networking with like-minded freemasons from all over the world. Bush also traveled to Washington for cabinet meetings, and still did speaking engagements around the country, especially for Republican candidates. "I try to get to bed by 11:30 if possible, " said Bush in 1971, "but often my calendar is so filled that I fall behind in my work and have to take it home with me." Bush bragged that he was still a "pretty tough" doubles player in tennis, good enough to team up with the pros. But he claimed to love baseball most. He joked about questions on his ping pong skills, since these were the months of ping pong diplomacy, when the invitation for a US ping pong team to visit Peking became a part of the preparation for Kissinger's China card. Mainly Bush came on as an ultra-orthodox Nixon loyalist. Was he a liberal conservative?, asked a reporter. "People in Texas used to ask me that in the campaigns," replied Bush. "Some even called me a right-wing reactionary. I like to think of myself as a pragmatist, but I have learned to defy being labeled...What I can say is that I am a strong supporter of the President. If you can tell me what he is, I can tell you what I am." Barbara liked the Waldorf suite, and the enthusiastic host and hostess soon laid on a demanding schedule of receptions, dinners, and entertainments.

Soon after taking up his UN posting, Bush received a phone call from Assistant Secretary of State for Middle Eastern Affairs Joseph Sisco, one of Kissinger's principal henchmen. Sisco had been angered by some comments Bush had made about the Middle East situation in a press conference after presenting his credentials. Despite the fact that Bush, as a cabinet officer, ranked several levels above Sisco, Sisco was in effect the voice of Kissinger. Sisco told Bush that it was Sisco who spoke for the United States government on the Middle East, and that he would do both the on-the-record talking and the leaking about that area. Bush knuckled under, for these were the realities of the Kissinger years.

Henry Kissinger was now Bush's boss even more than Nixon was, and later, as the Watergate scandal progressed into 1973, the dominion of Kissinger would become even more absolute. During these years Bush, serving his apprenticeship in diplomacy and world strategy under Kissinger, became a virtual Kissinger clone in two senses. First, to a significant degree, Kissinger's networks and connections merged together with Bush's own, foreshadowing a 1989 administration in which the NSC director and the number two man in the State Department were both Kissinger's business partners from his consulting and influence-peddling firm, Kissinger associates. Secondly, Bush assimilated Kissinger's characteristic British-style geopolitical mentality and approach to problems, and this is now the epistemology that dictates Bush's own dealing with the main questions of world politics.

The Kissinger networks in question can be summed up here under four headings. Kissinger was at once British imperialist, Zionist, Soviet, and Red Chinese in his orientation, all wrapped up in a parcel of greed, megalomania, and perversion. [fn 9] Kissinger was one of the few persons in the world who still had anything to teach George Bush in any of these categories.

The most essential level of Kissinger was the British one. This meant that US foreign policy was to be guided by British imperial geopolitics, in particular the notion of the balance of power: the United States must always ally with the second strongest land power in the world (Red China) against the strongest land power (the USSR) in order to preserve the balance of power. This was expressed in the 1971 -72 Nixon-Kissinger opening to Peking, to which Bush would contribute from his UN post. The balance of power, since it rules out a positive engagement for the economic progress of the international community as a whole, has always been a recipe for new wars. Kissinger was in constant contact with British foreign policy operatives like Sir Eric Roll of S.G. Warburg in London, Lord Trend, Lord Victor Rothschild, the Barings bank, and others.

On May 10, 1982, in a speech entitled "Reflections on a Partnership" given at the Royal Institute of International Affairs at Chatham House in London, Henry Kissinger openly expounded his role and philosophy as a British agent of influence within the US government during the Nixon and Ford years:

"The British were so matter-of-factly helpful that they became a participant in internal American deliberations, to a degree probably never before practiced between sovereign nations. In my period in office, the British played a seminal part in certain American bilateral negotiations with the Soviet Union--indeed, they helped draft the key document. In my White House incarnation then, I kept the British Foreign Office better informed and more closely engaged than I did the American State Department.... In my negotiations over Rhodesia I worked from a British draft with British spelling even when I did not fully grasp the distinction between a working paper and a Cabinet- approved document."

Kissinger was also careful to point out that the United States must support colonial and neo-colonial strategies against the developing sector:

"Americans from Franklin Roosevelt onward believed that the United States, with its `revolutionary' heritage, was the natural ally of people struggling against colonialism; we could win the allegiance of these new nations by opposing and occasionally undermining our European allies in the areas of their colonial dominance. Churchill, of course, resisted these American pressures.... In this context, the experience of Suez is instructive.... Our humiliation of Britain and France over Suez was a shattering blow to these countries' role as world powers. It accelerated their shedding of international responsibilities, some of the consequences of which we saw in succeeding decades when reality forced us to step into their shoes--in the Persian Gulf, to take one notable example. Suez thus added enormously to America's burdens."

Kissinger was the high priest of imperialism and neocolonialism, animated by an instinctive hatred for Indira Gandhi, Aldo Moro, Ali Bhutto, and other nationalist world leaders. Kissinger's British geopolitics simply accentuated Bush's own fanatically Anglophile point of view which he had acquired from father Prescott and imbibed from the atmosphere of the family firm, Brown Brothers Harriman, originally the US branch of a British counting house.

Kissinger was also a Zionist, dedicated to economic, diplomatic, and military support of Israeli aggression and expansionism to keep the Middle East in turmoil so as to prevent Arab unity and Arab economic development while using the region to mount challenges to the Soviets. Kissinger's soul-mates were figures like Gen. Ariel Sharon, the harbinger of endless wars in the Middle East. In this he was a follower of British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli and Lord Balfour. In the 1973 Middle East war which he had connived to unleash, Kissinger would mastermind the US resupply of Israel and would declare a US-world wide thermonuclear alert. In later years Kissinger would enrich himself through speculative real estate purchases on the West bank of the Jordan, buying up land and buildings that had been virtually confiscated from defenseless Palestinian Arabs.

Kissinger was also pro-Soviet in a sense that went far beyond his sponsorship of the 1970's detente, SALT I, and the ABM treaty with Moscow. Polish KGB agent Michael Goleniewski is widely reported to have told the British government in 1972 that he had seen KGB documents in Poland before his 1959 defection which established that Kissinger was a Soviet asset. According to Goleniewski, Kissinger had been recruited by the Soviets during his Army service in Germany after the end of World War II, when he had worked as a humble chauffeur. Kissinger had allegedly been recruited to an espionage cell called ODRA, where he received the code name of "BOR" or "COLONEL BOR." Some versions of this story also specify that this cell had been largely composed of homosexuals, and that homosexuality had been an important part of the way that Kissinger had been picked up by the KGB. These reports were reportedly partly supported by Golitsyn, another Soviet defector. The late James Jesus Angleton, the CIA counter-intelligence director for twenty years up to 1973 was said to have been the US official who was handed Goleniewski's report by the British. Angleton later talked a lot about Kissinger being "objectively a Soviet agent," but that was a throw-away line by that time. It has not been established that Angleton ever ordered an active investigation of Kissinger or ever assigned his case a codename.

Kissinger's Chinese side was very much in evidence during 1971-73 and beyond; during these years he was obsessed with anything remotely connected with China and sought to monopolize decisions and contacts with the highest levels of the Chinese leadership. This attitude was dictated most of all by the British mentality and geopolitical considerations indicated above, but it is also unquestionable that Kissinger felt a strong personal affinity for Chou En-Lai, Mao Tse-tung, and their group of Chinese leaders, who had been responsible for the genocide of 100,000,000 million of their own people after 1949.

Kissinger possessed other dimensions in addition to these, including close links to the Meyer Lansky underworld. These will also loom large in George Bush's career.

For all of these Kissingerian enormities, Bush now became the principal spokesman. In the process, he was to become a Kissinger clone.

The defining events in the first year of Bush's UN tenure reflected Kissinger's geopolitical obsession with his China card. Remember that in his 1964 campaign, Bush had stated that Red China must never be admitted to the UN and that if Peking ever obtained the Chinese seat on the Security Council, the US must depart forthwith from the world body. This statement came back to haunt him once or twice. His stock answer went like this: "that was 1964, a long time ago. There's been an awful lot changed since...A person who is unwilling to admit that changes have taken place is out of things these days. President Nixon is not being naive in his China policy. He is recognizing the realities of today, not the realities of seven years ago." One of the realities of 1971 was that the bankrupt British had declared themselves to be financially unable to maintain their military presence in the Indian Ocean and the Far East, in the area "East of Suez." Part of the timing of the Kissinger China card was dictated by the British desire to acquire China as a counterweight to Russia and India in this vast area of the world, and also to insure a US military presence in the Indian Ocean, as seen later in the US development of an important base on the island of Diego Garcia.

On a world tour during 1969, Nixon had told President Yahya Khan, the dictator of Pakistan, that his administration wanted to normalize relations with Red China and wanted the help of the Pakistani government in exchanging messages. Regular meetings between the US and Peking had gone on for many years in Warsaw, but what Nixon was talking about was a total reversal of US China policy. Up until 1971, the US had recognized the government of the Republic of China on Taiwan as the sole sovereign and legitimate authority over China. The US, unlike Britain, France, and many other western countries, had no diplomatic relations with the Peking Communist regime. The Chinese seat among the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council was held by the government in Taipei. Every year in the early autumn there was an attempt by the non-aligned bloc to oust Taipei from the Security Council and replace them with Peking, but so far this vote had always failed because of US arm-twisting in Latin America and the rest of the third world. One of the reasons that this arrangement had endured so long was the immense prestige of ROC President Chiang Kai-Shek and the sentimental popularity of the Kuomintang in the United States electorate. There still was a very powerful China lobby, which was especially strong among right-wing Republicans of what had been the Taft and Knowland factions of the party, and which Goldwater continued. Now, in the midst of the Vietnam war, with US strategic and economic power in decline, the Anglo-American elite decided in favor of a geopolitical alliance with China against the Soviets for the foreseeable future. This meant that the honor of US commitments to the ROC had to be dumped overboard as so much useless ballast, whatever the domestic political consequences might be. This was the task given to Kissinger, Nixon, and George Bush.

The maneuver on the agenda for 1971 was to oust the ROC from the UN Security and assign their seat there to Peking. Kissinger and Nixon calculated that duplicity would insulate them from domestic political damage: while they were opening to Peking, they would call for a "two Chinas" policy, under which both Peking and Taipei would be represented at the UN, at least in the General Assembly, despite the fact that this was an alternative that both Chinese governments vehemently rejected. The US would pretend to be fighting to keep Taipei in the UN, with George Bush leading the fake charge, but this effort would be defeated. Then the Nixon Administration could claim that the vote in the UN was beyond its control, comfortably resign itself to Peking in the Security Council, and pursue the China card. What was called for was a cynical, duplicitous diplomatic charade in which Bush would have the leading part.

This scenario was complicated by the rivalry between Secretary of State Rogers and NSC boss Kissinger. Rogers was an old friend of Nixon, but it was of course Kissinger who made foreign policy for Nixon and the rest of the government, and Kissinger who was incomparably the greater evil. Between Rogers and Kissinger, Bush was unhesitatingly on the side of Kissinger. In later Congressional testimony Ray Cline, a wheelhorse of the Bush faction of the CIA, has tried to argue that Rogers and Bush were kept in the dark by Nixon and Kissinger about the real nature of the US China policy. The implication is that Bush's efforts to keep Taiwan at the UN were in good faith. According to Cline's fantastic account, "Nixon and Kissinger actually 'undermined' the department's efforts in 1971 to save Taiwan." [fn 10] Rogers may have believed that helping Taiwan was US policy, but Bush did not. Cline's version of these events is an insult to the intelligence of any serious person.

The Nixon era China card took shape during July, 1971 with Kissinger's "Operation Marco Polo I," his secret first trip to Peking. Kissinger says in his memoirs that Bush was considered a candidate to make this journey, along with David Bruce, Elliot Richardson, Nelson Rockefeller, and Al Haig. [fn 11] Kissinger first journeyed to India, and then to Pakistan. From there, with the help of Yahya Khan, Kissinger went on to Beijing for meetings with Chou En-Lai and other Chinese officials. He returned by way of Paris, where he met with North Vietnamese negotiator Le Duc Tho at the Paris talks on Indo-China. Returning to Washington, Kissinger briefed Nixon on his understanding with Chou. On July 15, 1971 Nixon announced to a huge television and radio audience that he had accepted "with pleasure" an invitation to visit China at some occasion before May of 1972. He lamely assured "old friends" (meaning Chiang Kai-Shek and the ROC government on Taiwan) that their interests would not be sacrificed. Later in he same year, between October 16th and 26th, Kissinger undertook operation "Polo II," a second, public visit with Chou in Peking to decide the details of Nixon's visit and hammer out what was to become the US-PRC Shanghai Communique', the joint statement issued during Nixon's stay. During this visit Chou cautioned Kissinger not to be disoriented by the hostile Peking propaganda line against the US, manifestations of which were everywhere to be seen. Anti-US slogans on the walls, said Chou, were meaningless, like "firing an empty cannon." Nixon and Kissinger eventually journeyed to Peking in February, 1972.

It was before this backdrop that Bush waged his farcical campaign to keep Taiwan in the UN. The State Department had stated through the mouth of Rogers on August 2 that the US would support the admission of Red China to the UN, but would oppose the expulsion of Taiwan. This was the so-called "two Chinas" policy. In an August 12 interview, Bush told the Washington Post that he was working hard to line up the votes to keep Taiwan as a UN member when the time to vote came in the fall. Responding to the obvious impression that this was a fraud for domestic political purposes only, Bush pledged his honor on Nixon's commitment to "two Chinas." "I know for a fact that the President wants to see the policy implemented," said Bush, apparently with a straight face, adding that he had discussed the matter with Nixon and Kissinger at the White House only a few days before. Bush said that he and other members of his mission had lobbied 66 countries so far, and that this figure was likely to rise to 80 by the following week. Ultimately Bush would claim to have talked personally with 94 delegations to get them to let Taiwan stay, which a fellow diplomat called "a quantitative track record."

Diplomatic observers noted that the US activity was entirely confined to the high-profile "glass palace" of the UN, and that virtually nothing was being done by US ambassadors in capitals around the world. But Bush countered that if it were just a question of going through the motions as a gesture for Taiwan, he would not be devoting so much of his time and energy to the cause. The main effort was at the UN because "this is what the UN is for," he commented. Bush said that his optimism about keeping the Taiwan membership had increased over the past three weeks. [fn 12]

By late September, Bush was saying that he saw a better than 50-50 chance that the UN General Assembly would seat both Chinese governments. By this time, the official US position as enunciated by Bush was that the Security Council seat should go to Peking, but that Taipei ought to be allowed to remain in the General Assembly. Since 1961, the US strategy for blocking the admission of Peking had depended on a procedural defense, obtaining a simple majority of the General Assembly for a resolution defining the seating of Peking as an Important Question, which required a two-thirds majority in order to be implemented. Thus, if the US could get a simple majority on the procedural vote, one third plus one would suffice to defeat Peking on the second vote.

The General Assembly convened on September 21. Bush and his aides were running a ludicrous all-court press on scores of delegations. Twice a day there was a State Department briefing on the vote tally. "Yes, Burundi is with us...About Argentina we're not sure," etc.) All this attention got Bush an appearance on "Face the Nation", where he said that the two-China policy should be approved regardless of the fact that both Peking and Taipei rejected it. "I don't think we have to go through the agony of whether the Republic of China will accept or whether Peking will accept," Bush told the interviewers. "Let the United Nations for a change do something that really does face up to reality and then let that decision be made by the parties involved," said Bush with his usual inimitable rhetorical flair.

The UN debate on the China seat was scheduled to open on October 18; on October 12 Nixon gave a press conference in which he totally ignored the subject, and made no appeal for support for Taiwan. On October 16, Kissinger departed with great fanfare for China. Kissinger says in his memoirs that he had been encouraged to go to China by Bush, who assured him that a highly publicized Kissinger trip to Peking would have no impact whatever on the UN vote. On October 25, the General Assembly defeated the US resolution to make the China seat an Important Question by a vote of 59 to 54, with 15 abstentions. Ninety minutes later came the vote on the Albanian resolution to seat Peking and expel Taipei, which passed by a vote of 76 to 35. Bush then cast the US vote to seat Peking, and then hurried to escort the ROC delegate, Liu Chieh, out of the hall for the last time. The General Assembly was the scene of a jubilant demonstration led by third world delegates over the fact that Red China had been admitted, and even more so that the US had been defeated. The Tanzanian delegate danced a jig in the aisle. Henry Kissinger, flying back from Peking, got the news on his teletype and praised Bush's "valiant efforts."

Having connived in selling Taiwan down the river, it was now an easy matter for the Nixon regime to fake a great deal of indignation for domestic political consumption about what had happened. Nixon's spokesman Ron Ziegler declared that Nixon had been outraged by the "spectacle" of the "cheering, handclapping, and dancing" delegates after the vote, which Nixon had seen as a "shocking demonstration" of undisguised glee" and "personal animosity." Notice that Ziegler had nothing to say against the vote, or against Peking, but concentrated the fire on the third world delegates, who were also threatened with a cutoff of US foreign aid.

This was the line that Bush would slavishly follow. On the last day of October the papers quoted him saying that the demonstration after the vote was "something ugly, something harsh that transcended normal disappointment or elation." "I really thought we were going to win," said Bush, still with a straight face. "I'm so...disappointed." "There wasn't just clapping and enthusiasm "after the vote, he whined. "When I went up to speak I was hissed and booed. I don't think it's good for the United Nations and that's the point I feel very strongly about." In the view of a Washington Post staff writer, "the boyish looking US ambassador to the United Nations looked considerably the worse for wear. But he still conveys the impression of an earnest fellow trying to be the class valedictorian, as he once was described." [ fn 13] Bush expected the Peking delegation to arrive in new York soon, because they probably wanted to take over the presidency of the Security Council, which rotated on a monthly basis. "But why anybody would want an early case of chicken pox, I don't know," said Bush.

When the Peking delegation did arrive, Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Ch'aio Kuan-hua delivered a maiden speech full of ideological bombast along the lines of passages Kissinger had convinced Chou to cut out of the draft text of the Shanghai communique some days before. Kissinger then telephoned Bush to say in his own speech that the US regretted that the Chinese had elected to inaugurate their participation in the UN by "firing these empty cannons of rhetoric." Bush, like a ventriloquist's dummy, obediently mouthed Kissinger's one-liner as a kind of coded message to Peking that all the public bluster meant nothing between the two secret and increasingly public allies.

The farce of Bush's pantomime in support of the Kissinger China card very nearly turned into the tragedy of general war later in 1971. This involved the December, 1971 war between India and Pakistan which led to the creation of an independent state of Bangladesh, and which must be counted as one of the least-known thermonuclear confrontations of the US and the USSR. For Kissinger and Bush, what was at stake in this crisis was the consolidation of the China card.

In 1970, Yahya Khan, the British-connected, Sandhurst-educated dictator of Pakistan, was forced to announce that elections would be held in the entire country. It will be recalled that Pakistan was at that time two separate regions, east and west, with India in between. In East Pakistan or Bengal, the Awami League of Sheik Mujibur Rahman campaigned on a platform of autonomy for Bengal, accusing the central government in far-off Islamabad of ineptitude and exploitation. The resentment in East Pakistan was made more acute by the fact that Bengal had just been hit by a typhoon, which had caused extensive flooding and devastation, and by the failure of the government in west Pakistan to organize and effective relief effort. In the elections, the Awami league won 167 out of 169 seats in the east. Yahya Khan delayed the seating of the new national assembly and on the evening of March 25 ordered the Pakistani army to arrest Mujibur and to wipe out his organization in East Pakistan. The army proceeded to launch a campaign of political genocide in East Pakistan. Estimates of the number of victims range from 500,000 to three million dead. All members of the Awami League, all Hindus, all students and intellectuals were in danger of execution by roving army patrols. A senior US Foreign Service officer sent home a dispatch in which he told of West Pakistani soldiers setting fire to a women's dormitory at the University of Dacca and then machine-gunning the women when they were forced by the flames to run out. This campaign of killing went on until December, and it generated an estimated 10 million refugees, most of whom fled across the nearby borders to India, which had territory all around East Pakistan. The arrival of ten million refugees caused indescribable chaos in India, whose government was unable to prevent untold numbers from starving to death. [fn 14]

From the very beginning of this monumental genocide, Kissinger and Nixon made it clear that they would not condemn Yahya Khan, whom Nixon considered a personal friend. Kissinger referred merely to the "strong -arm tactics of the Pakistani military," and Nixon circulated a memo in his own handwriting saying "To all hands. Don't squeeze Yahya at this time. RN" Nixon stressed repeatedly that he wanted to "tilt" in favor of Pakistan in the crisis.

One level of explanation for this active complicity in genocide was that Kissinger and Nixon regarded Yahya Khan as their indispensable back channel to Peking. But Kissinger could soon go to Peking anytime he wanted, and soon he could talk to the Chinese UN delegate in one of the CIA's New York safe houses. The essence of the support for the butcher Yahya Khan was this: in 1962 India and China had engaged in a brief border war, and the Peking leaders regarded India as their geopolitical enemy. In order to ingratiate himself with Chou and Mao, Kissinger wanted to take a position in favor of Pakistan, and therefore of Pakistan's ally China, and against India and against India's ally, the USSR. (Shortly after Kissinger's trip to China had taken place and Nixon had announced his intention to go to Peking, India and the USSR had signed a twenty year friendship treaty.

In Kissinger's view, the Indo-Pakistani conflict over Bengal was sure to become a Sino-Soviet clash by proxy, and he wanted the United States aligned with China in order to impress Peking with the vast benefits to be derived from the US-PRC strategic alliance under the heading of the "China card."

Kissinger and Nixon were isolated within the Washington bureaucracy on this issue. Secretary of State Rogers was very reluctant to go on supporting Pakistan, and this was the prevalent view in Foggy Bottom and in the embassies around the world. Tricky Dick and Fat Henry were isolated from the vast majority of Congressional opinion, which expressed horror and outrage over the extent of the carnage being carried out week after week, month after month, by Yahya Khan's armed forces. Even the media and US public opinion could not find any reason for the friendly "tilt" in favor of Yahya Khan. On July 31, Kissinger exploded at a meeting of the Senior Review Group when a proposal was made that the Pakistani army could be removed from Bengal. "Why is it our business how they govern themselves," Kissinger raged. "The President always says to tilt to Pakistan, but every proposal I get [from inside the US government] is in the opposite direction. Sometimes I think I am in a nut house." This went on for months. On December 3, at a meeting of Kissinger's Washington Special Action Group, Kissinger exploded again, exclaiming "I've been catching unshirted hell every half-hour from the president who says we're not tough enough. He really doesn't believe we're carrying out his wishes. He wants to tilt towards Pakistan and he believes that every briefing or statement is going the other way." [fn 15]

But no matter what Rogers, the State Department and the rest of the Washington bureaucracy might do, Kissinger knew that George Bush at the UN would play along with the pro-Pakistan tilt. "And I knew that George Bush, our able UN ambassador, would carry out the President's policy," wrote Kissinger in his memoirs in describing his decision to drop US opposition to a Security Council debate on the subcontinent. This made Bush one of the most degraded and servile US officials of the era.

Indira Gandhi had come to Washington in November to attempt a peaceful settlement to the crisis, but was crudely snubbed by Nixon and Kissinger. The chronology of the acute final phase of the crisis can be summed up as follows:

December 3-- Yahya Khan ordered the Pakistani Air Force to carry out a series of surprise air raids on Indian air bases in the north and west of India. These raids were not effective in destroying the Indian air force on the ground, which had been Yahya Khan's intent, but Yahya Khan's aggression did precipitate the feared Indo-Pakistani war. The Indian Army made rapid advances against the Pakistani forces in Bengal, while the Indian navy blockaded Pakistan's ports. At this time, the biggest-ever buildup in the Soviet naval forces in the Indian Ocean also began.

Dec. 4-- At the UN Security Council, George Bush delivered a speech in which his main thrust was to accuse India of repeated incursions into East Pakistan, and challenging the legitimacy of India's resort to arms, in spite of the plain evidence that Pakistan had struck first. Bush introduced a draft resolution which called on India and Pakistan immediately to cease all hostilities. Bush's resolution also mandated the immediate withdrawal of all Indian and Pakistani armed forces back to their own territory, meaning in effect that India should pull back from East Pakistan and let Yahya Khan's forces there get back to their mission of genocide against the local population. Observers were to be placed along the Indo-Pakistani borders by the UN Secretary General. Bush's resolution also contained a grotesque call on India and Pakistan to "exert their best efforts towards the creation of a climate conducive to the voluntary return of refugees to East Pakistan." This resolution was out of touch with the two realities: that Yahya Khan had started the genocide in East Pakistan back in March, and that Yahya had now launched aggression against India with his air raids. Bush's resolution was vetoed by the Soviet representative, Yakov Malik.

December 6- The Indian Government extended diplomatic recognition to the independent state of Bangladesh. Indian troops made continued progress against the Pakistani army in Bengal.

On the same day, an NBC camera team filmed much of Nixon's day inside the White House. Part of what was recorded, and later broadcast, was a telephone call from Nixon to George Bush at the United Nations, giving Bush his instructions on how to handle the India-Pakistan crisis. "Some, all over the world, will try to make this basically a political issue," said Nixon to Bush. "You've got to do what you can. More important than anything else now is to get the facts out with regard to what we have done, that we have worked for a political settlement, what we have done for the refugees and so forth and so on. If you see that some here in the Senate and House, for whatever reason, get out and misrepresent our opinions, I want you to hit it frontally, strongly, and toughly; is that clear? Just take the gloves off and crack it, because you know exactly what we have done, OK?" [fn 16]

December 7- George Bush at the UN made a further step forward towards global confrontation by branding India as the aggressor in the crisis, as Kissinger approvingly notes in his memoirs. Bush's draft resolution described above, which had been vetoed by Malik the in Security Council, was approved by the General assembly by a non-binding vote of 104 to 11, which Kissinger considered a triumph for Bush. But on the same day Yahya Khan informed the government in Washington that his military forces in east Pakistan were rapidly disintegrating. Kissinger and Nixon seized on a dubious report from an alleged CIA agent at a high level in the Indian Government which purported to summarize recent remarks of Indira Gandhi to her cabinet. According to this report, which may have come from the later Prime Minister Moraji Desai, Mrs. Gandhi had pledged to conquer the southern part of Pakistani-held Kashmir. If the Chinese "rattled the sword," the report quoted Mrs. Gandhi as saying, the Soviets would respond. This unreliable report became one of the pillars for further actions by Nixon, Kissinger, and Bush.

December 8- By this time the Soviet navy had some 21 ships either in or approaching the Indian Ocean, in contrast to a pre-crisis level of 3 ships. At this point, with the Vietnam war raging unabated, the US had a total of three ships in the Indian Ocean- two old destroyers and a seaplane tender. The last squadron of the British navy was departing from the region in the framework of the British pullout from east of Suez.

In the evening, Nixon suggested to Kissinger that the scheduled Moscow summit might be cancelled. Kissinger raved that India wanted to detach not just Bengal, but Kashmir also, leading to the further secession of Baluchistan and the total dismemberment og Pakistan. "Fundamentally," wrote Kissinger of this moment, "our only card left was to raise the risks for the Soviets to a level where Moscow would see larger interests jeopardized" by its support of India, which had been lukewarm so far.

December 9-- The State Department and other agencies were showing signs of being almost human, seeking to undermine the Nixon-Kissinger- Bush policy through damaging leaks and bureaucratic obstructionism. Nixon, "beside himself" over the damaging leaks, called in the principal officers of the Washington Special Action Group and told them that while he did not insist on their being loyal to the President, they ought at least to be loyal to the United States. Among those Nixon insulted was Undersecretary of State U. Alexis Johnson. But the leaks only increased.

December 10--Kissinger ordered the US navy to create Task Force 74, consisting of the nuclear aircraft carrier Enterprise with escort and supply ships, and to have these ships proceed from their post at Yankee Station in the Gulf of Tonkin off Vietnam to Singapore. [fn 17]

In Dacca, East Pakistan, Major General Rao Farman Ali Khan, the commander of Pakistani forces in Bengal asked the United Nations representative to help arrange a cease-fire, followed by the transfer in of power in East Pakistan to the elected representatives of the Awami League and the "repatriation with honor" of his forces back to West Pakistan. At first it appeared that this de facto surrender had been approved by Yahya Khan. But when Yahya Khan heard that the US fleet had been ordered into the Indian Ocean, he was so encouraged that he junked the idea of a surrender and ordered Gen. Ali Khan to resume fighting, which he did.

Colonel Melvin Holst, the US military attache in Katmandu, Nepal, a small country sandwiched between India and China in the Himalayas, received a call from the Indian military attache, who asked whether the American had any knowledge of a Chinese military buildup in Tibet. "The Indian high command had some sort of information that military action was increasing in Tibet," said Holst in his cable to Washington. The same evening from the Soviet military attache, Loginov, who also asked about Chinese military activity. Loginov said that he had spoken over the last day or two with the Chinese military attache, Chao Kuang-chih "advising Chao that the PRC should not get too serious about intervention because USSR would react, had many missiles, etc." [fn 18] At the moment the Himalaya mountain passes, the corridor for any Chinese troop movement, were all open and free from snow. The CIA had noted "war preparations" in Tibet over the months since the Bengal crisis had begun. Nikolai Pegov, the Soviet Ambassador to New Delhi, had assured the Indian government that in the eventuality of a Chinese attack on India, the Soviets would mount a "diversionary action in Sinkiang."

December 11- Kissinger had been in town the previous day, meeting the Chinese UN delegate. Today Kissinger would meet with the Pakistani Deputy Prime Minister, Ali Bhutto, in Bush's suit at the Waldorf- Astoria. Huang Hua, the Chinese delegate, made remarks which Kissinger chose to interpret as meaning that the "Chinese might intervene militarily even at this late stage."

December 12- Nixon, Kissinger, and Haig met in the Oval Office early Sunday morning in a council of war. Kissinger later described this as a crucial meeting, where, as it turned out, "the first decision to risk war in the triangular Soviet-Chinese-American" relation was taken. [fn 19]

During Nixon's 1975 secret grand jury testimony to the Watergate Special Prosecution Force, the former President insisted that the United States had come "close to nuclear war" during the Indo- Pakistani conflict. According to one attorney who heard Nixon's testimony in 1975, Nixon had stated that "we had threatened to go to nuclear war with the Russians." [fn 20] These remarks most probably refer to this December 12 meeting, and the actions it set into motion.

Navy Task Force 74 was ordered to proceed through the Straits of Malacca and into the Indian Ocean, and it attracted the attention of the world media in so doing the following day. Task Force 74 was now on wartime alert.

At 11:30 AM local time, Kissinger and Haig sent the Kremlin a message over the Hot Line. This was the first use of the Hot Line during the Nixon administration, and apparently the only time it was used during the Nixon years with the exception of the October 1973 Middle East War. According to Kissinger, this Hot Line message contained the ultimatum that the Soviets respond to earlier American demands; otherwise Nixon would order Bush to "set in train certain moves " in the UN Security Council that would be irreversible. But is this all the message said? Kissinger comments in his memoirs a few pages later: "Our fleet passed through the Strait of Malacca into the Bay of Bengal and attracted much media attention. Were we threatening India? Were we seeking to defend East Pakistan? Had we lost our minds? It was in fact sober calculation. We had some seventy-two hours to bring the war to a conclusion before West Pakistan would be swept into the maelstrom. It would take India that long to shift its forces and mount an assault. Once Pakistan's air force and army were destroyed, its impotence would guarantee the country's eventual disintegration... We had to give the Soviets a warning that matters might get out of control on our side too. We had to be ready to back up the Chinese if at the last moment they came in after all, our UN initiative having failed. [...] However unlikely an American military move against India, the other side could not be sure; it might not be willing to accept even the minor risk that we might act irrationally." [fn 21]

These comments by Kissinger lead to the conclusion that the Hot Line message of December 12 was part of a calculated exercise in thermonuclear blackmail and brinksmanship. Kissinger's reference to acting irrationally recalls the infamous RAND Corporation theories of thermonuclear confrontations as chicken games in which it is useful to hint to the opposition that one is insane. If your adversary thinks you are crazy, then he is more likely to back down, the argument goes. Whatever threats were made by Kissinger and Haig that day in their Hot Line message are likely to have been of that variety. All evidence points to the conclusion that on December 12, 1971, the world was indeed close to the brink of thermonuclear confrontation.

And where was George? He was acting as the willing mouthpiece for madmen. Late in the evening December 12, Bush delivered the following remarks to the Security Council, which are recorded in Kissinger's memoirs:

"The question now arises as to India's further intentions. For example, does India intend to use the present situation to destroy the Pakistan army in the West? Does India intend to use as a pretext the Pakistani counterattacks in the West to annex territory in West Pakistan? Is its aim to take parts of Pakistan-controlled Kashmir contrary to the Security Council resolutions of 1948, 1949, and 1950? If this is not India's intention, then a prompt disavowal is required. The world has a right to know: What are India's intentions? Pakistan's aims have become clear: It has accepted the General Assembly's resolution passed by a vote of 104 to 11. My government has asked this question of the Indian Government several times in the last week. I regret to inform the Council that India's replies have been unsatisfactory and not reassuring."
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Re: George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography, by Webster Tarp

Postby admin » Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:25 am

PART 2 OF 2

"In view of India's defiance of world opinion expressed by such an overwhelming majority, the United States is now returning the issue to the Security Council. With East Pakistan virtually occupied by Indian troops, a continuation of the war would take on increasingly the character of armed attack on the very existence of a Member State of the United Nations." [fn 22]

Bush introduced another draft resolution of pro-Pakistan tilt which called on the governments of India and Pakistan to take measures for an immediate cease-fire and withdrawal of troops, and for measures to help the refugees. This resolution was also vetoed by the USSR.

December 14-- Kissinger shocked US public opinion by stating off the record to journalists in a plane returning from a meeting with French President Georges Pompidou in the Azores that if Soviet conduct continued in the present mode, the US was "prepared to reevaluate our entire relationship, including the summit."

December 15--The Pakistani commander in East Pakistan, after five additional days of pointless killing, again offered a cease-fire. Kissinger claimed that the five intervening days had allowed the US to increase the pressure on India and prevent the Indian forces from turning on West Pakistan.

December 16- Mrs, Gandhi offered an unconditional cease-fire in the west, which Pakistan immediately accepted. Kissinger opined that this decision to end all fighting had been "reluctant" on the part of India, and had been made possible through Soviet pressure generated by US threats. Chou En-lai also said later that the US had saved West Pakistan. Kissinger praised Nixon's "courage and patriotism" and his commitment to "preserve the balance of power for the ultimate safety of all free people." Apprentice geopolitician George Bush had carried out yeoman service in that immoral cause.

After a self-serving and false description of the Indo-Pakistani crisis of 1971, Kissinger pontificates in his memoirs about the necessary priority of geopolitical machinations: "There is in America an idealistic tradition that sees foreign policy as a context between evil and good. There is a pragmatic tradition that seeks to solve 'problems' as they arise. There is a legalistic tradition that treats international issues as juridical cases. There is no geopolitical tradition." In their stubborn pursuit of an alliance with the second strongest land power at the expense of all other considerations, Kissinger, Nixon, and Bush were following the dictates of classic geopolitics. This is the school in which Bush was trained, and this is how he has reacted to every international crisis down through the Gulf war, which was originally conceived in London as a "geopolitical" adjustment in favor of the Anglo-Saxons against Germany, Japan, the Arabs, the developing sector, and the rest of the world.

1972 was the second year of Bush's UN tenure, and it was during this time that he distinguished himself as a shameless apologist for the genocidal and vindictive Kissinger policy of prolonging and escalating the war in Vietnam. During most of his first term, Nixon pursued a policy he called the "Vietnamization" of the war. This meant that US land forces were progressively withdrawn while the South Vietnamese Army was ostensibly built up so that it could bear the battle against the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese regulars. This policy went into crisis in March, 1972 when the North Vietnamese launched a twelve- division assault across the Demilitarized Zone against the south. On May 8, 1972, Nixon announced that the full-scale bombing of the north, which had been suspended since the spring of 1968, would be resumed with a vengeance: Nixon ordered the bombing of Hanoi and the mining of Haiphong harbor, and the savaging of transportation lines and military installations all over the country. This mining had always been rejected as a tactic during the previous conduct of the war because of the possibility that bombing and mining the harbors might hit Soviet, Chinese, and other foreign ships, killing the crews and creating the risk of retaliation by these countries against the US. Now, before the 1972 elections, Kissinger and Nixon were determined to "go ape," discarding their previous limits on offensive action and risking whatever China and the USSR might do. It was another gesture of reckless confrontation, fraught with incalculable consequences. Later in the same year, in December, Nixon would respond to a breakdown in the Paris talks with the Hanoi government by ordering the infamous Christmastide B-52 attacks on the north.

It was George Bush who officially informed the international diplomatic community of Nixon's March decisions. Bush addressed a letter to the Presidency of the UN Security Council in which he outlined what Nixon had set into motion:

"The President directed that the entrances to the ports of North Vietnam be mined and that the delivery of seaborne supplies to North Vietnam be prevented. These measures of collective self-defense are hereby being reported to the United Nations Security Council as required by Article 51 of the United Nations Charter."

Bush went on to characterize the North Vietnamese actions. He spoke of "the massive invasion across the demilitarized zone and international boundaries by the forces of North Vietnam and the continuing aggression" of Hanoi. He accused the north of "blatant violation of the understandings negotiated in 1968 in connection with the cessation of the bombing of the territory of North Vietnam." "The extent of this renewed aggression and the manner in which it has been directed and supported demonstrate with great clarity that North Vietnam has embarked on an all-out attempt to take over South Vietnam by military force and to disrupt the orderly withdrawal of United States forces." Bush further accused the north of refusing to negotiate in good faith to end the war.

The guts of Bush's message, the part that was read with greatest attention in Moscow, Peking, and elsewhere, was contained in the following summary of the way in which Haiphong and the other harbors had been mined:

"Accordingly, as the minimum actions necessary to meet this threat, the Republic of Vietnam and the United States of America have jointly decided to take the following measures of collective self-defense: The entrances to the ports of North Vietnam are being mined, commencing 0900 Saigon time May 9, and the mines are set to activate automatically beginning 1900 hours Saigon time May 11. This will permit vessels of other countries presently in North Vietnamese ports three daylight periods to depart safely." In a long circumlocution, Bush also conveyed that all shipping might also be the target of indiscriminate bombing. Bush called these measures "restricted in extent and purpose." The US was willing to sign a cease-fire ending all acts of war in Indochina (thus including Cambodia, which had been invaded in 1970, and Laos, which had been invaded in 1971) within four months, as well as the Vietnams) and bring all US troops home within four months.

There was no bipartisan support for the bombing and mining policy Bush announced. Senator Mike Mansfield pointed out that the decision would only protract the war. Senator Proxmire called it "reckless and wrong." Four Soviet ships were damaged by these US actions. There was a lively debate within the Soviet Politburo on how to respond to this, with a faction around Shelest demanding that Nixon's invitation to the upcoming Moscow superpower summit be rescinded. But Shelest was ousted by Brezhnev, and the summit went forward at the end of May. The "China card" theoreticians congratulated themselves that the Soviets had been paralyzed by fear what Peking might do if Moscow became embroiled with Peking's new de facto ally, the US.

In July, 1972, reports emerged in the international press of charges by Hanoi that the US had been deliberately bombing the dams and dikes, which were the irrigation and flood control system around Vietnam's Red River. Once again it was Bush who came forward as the apologist for Nixon's "mad bomber" foreign policy. Bush appeared on the NBC Television "Today" show to assure the US public that the US bombing had created only "the most incidental and minor impact" on North Viet Nam's dike system. This, of course, amounted to a backhanded conformation that such bombing had been done, and damage wrought in the process. Bush was in his typical whining mode in defending the US policy against worldwide criticism of war measures that seemed designed to inflict widespread flooding and death on North Vietnamese civilians. According to North Vietnamese statistics, more than half of the north's 20 million people lived in areas near the Red River that would be flooded if the dike system were breached. An article which appeared in a Hanoi publication had stated that at flood crest many rivers rise to "six or seven meters above the surrounding fields" and that because of this situation "any dike break, especially in the Red River delta, is a disaster with incalculable consequences."

Bush had never seen an opportunity for genocide he did not like. "I believe we are being set up by a massive propaganda campaign by the North Vietnamese in the event that there is the same kind of flooding this year--to attribute it to bombs whereas last year it happened just out of lack of maintenance," Bush argued. "There's been a study made that I hope will be released shortly that will clarify this whole question," he went on. The study "would be very helpful because I think it will show what the North Vietnamese are up to in where they place strategic targets." What Bush was driving at here was an allegation that Hanoi customarily placed strategic assets near the dikes in order to be able to accuse the US of genocide if air attacks breached the dikes and caused flooding. Bush's military spokesmen used similar arguments during the Gulf war, when Iraq was accused of placing military equipment in the midst of civilian residential areas.

"I think you would have to recognize," retorted Bush, "that if there was any intention" of breaching the dikes, "it would be very, very simple to do exactly what we are accused of-- and that is what we are not doing." [fn 23]

The bombing of the north continued, and reached a final paroxysm at Christmas, when B-52s made unrestricted terror bombing raids against Hanoi and other cities. The Christmas bombing was widely condemned, even by the US press: "New Madness in Vietnam" was the headline of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch On Dec. 19; "Terror from the Skies" that of the New York Times Dec. 22; "Terror Bombing in the Name of Peace" of the Washington Post Dec. 28; and "Beyond All Rason" of the Los Angeles Times of Dec. 28.

Bush's activity at the UN also coincided with Kissinger's preparation of the October, 1973 Middle East war. During the 1980's, Bush attempted to cultivate a public image as a US politician who, although oriented towards close relations with Israel, would not slavishly appease every demand of the Israelis and the Zionist lobby in the United States, but would take an independent position designed to foster US national interests. From time to time, Bush snubbed the Israelis by hinting that they held hostages of their own, and that the Israeli annexation of Jerusalem would not be accepted by the United States. For some, these delusions have survived even a refutation so categorical as the events of the Kuwait crisis of 1990-91. Bush would be more accurately designated as a Zionist, whose differences with an Israeli leader like Shamir are less significant than the differences between Shamir and other Israeli politicians. Bush's Zionist pedigree is the reflex of a Zionist, neo-conservative network and a fanatically pro-Israeli ideological-political track record which was already massive during the UN years.

In September 1972 Palestinian terrorists describing themselves as the "Black September" organization attacked the quarters of the Israeli Olympic team present in Munich for the Olympic games of that year, killing a number of the Israeli athletes. The Israeli government seized on these events as carte blanche to launch a series of air attacks against Syria and Lebanon, arguing that these countries could be held responsible for what had happened in Munich. Somalia, Greece, and Guinea came forward with a resolution in the Security Council which simply called for the immediate cessation of "all military operations". The Arab states argued that the Israeli air attacks were totally without provocation or justification, and killed numerous civilians who had nothing whatever to do with the terrorist actions in Munich.

The Nixon regime, with one eye on the autumn 1972 elections and the need to mobilize the Zionist lobby in support of Tricky Dick's second term, wanted to find a way to oppose this resolution, since it did not sufficiently acknowledge the unique righteousness of the Israeli cause and Israel's inherent right to commit acts of war against its neighbors. It was Bush who authored a competing resolution which called on all interested parties "to take all measures for the immediate cessation and prevention of all military operations and terrorist activities." It was Bush who dished up the rationalizations for US rejection of the first resolution. That resolution was no good because it did not reflect the fact that "the fabric of violence in the Middle East in inextricably interwoven with the massacre in Munich," Bush argued. 'By our silence on the terror in Munich are we indeed inviting more Munichs?," he asked. Justifying the Israeli air raids on Syria and Lebanon, Bush maintained that certain governments "cannot be absolved of responsibility for the cycle of violence" because of their words and deeds, or because of their tacit acquiescence. Slightly later, after the vote had taken place, Bush argued that "by adopting this resolution, the council would have ignored reality, would have spoken to one form of violence but not another, would have looked to the effect but not the cause."

When the resolution was put to a vote, Bush made front-page headlines around the world by casting the US veto, a veto that had been cast only once before in the entire history of the UN. The vote was 13 to 1, with the US casting the sole negative vote. Panama was the lone abstention. The only other time the US veto had been used had been in 1970, on a resolution involving Rhodesia.

The Israeli UN ambassador Yosef Tekoah did not attend the debate because of the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah. But Israel's cause was well defended--by Bush. According to an Israeli journalist observing the proceedings who was quoted by the Washington Post, "Bush sounds more pro-Israeli than Tekoah would have." [fn 24]

Later in 1972, attempts were made by non-aligned states and the UN Secretariat to arrange the indispensable basis for a Middle East peace settlement-- the withdrawal of Israel from the territories occupied during the 1967 war. Once again, Bush was more Zionist than the Israelis.

In February of 1972, the UN's Middle East mediator, Gunnar Jarring of Norway, had asked that the Security Council reaffirm the original contents of resolution 242 of 1967 by reiterating that Israel should surrender Arab territory seized in 1967. "Land for peace" was anathema to the Israeli government then as now. Bush undertook to blunt this non-aligned peace bid.

Late in 1972 the non-aligned group proposed a resolution in the General Assembly which called for "immediate and unconditional" Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories while inviting other countries to withhold assistance that would help Israel to sustain its occupation of the Arab land. Bush quickly rose to assail this text.

In a speech to the General Assembly in December 1972, Bush warned the assembly that the original text of resolution 242 was "the essential agreed basis for UN peace efforts and this body and all its members should be mindful of the need to preserve the negotiating asset that it represents." "The assembly," Bush went on, "cannot seek to impose courses of action on the countries directly concerned, either by making new demands or favoring the proposals or positions of one side over the other." Never, never would George Bush ever take sides or accept a double standard of this type. Bush did claim that the US continued to support 242 and the Jarring mission. But Bush was suggesting that Israel and Egypt begin talks under US mediation for an interim, bilateral deal to re-open the Suez canal. Here we can observe the policy thrust which culminated in Camp David not so many years later, after the 1973 war had been fought..

An interesting document of this period is the text of secret conversations between Bush and the Egyptian Foreign Minister and the between Bush and the Israeli Foreign Minister. These conversations were part of secret State Department cables that were leaked to the columnist Jack Anderson, who published their contents.

The first conversation is between Bush and Mahmoud Riad, the Foreign Minister of Egypt. "Ambassador Bush...sought out Formin Riad in UN Indonesian Lounge to discuss Egyptian draft res re Middle East...Noting that Egyptian draft res appeared from initial reading to be generally satisfactory,, Bush stated that major stumbling block for USG [ie, the Nixon regime] was placing of language re Jarring mission in operative paragraph section...Bush asked if Riad willing to consider removal of this language from operative section to preamble."

What Bush was clearly trying to do was to weaken the references to Jarring, who was identified with the idea that the Israelis must quit the occupied territories in order to make peace possible. The cable continues:

"Riad replied in negative but not before he stressed that for Egyptians inclusion of this language in operative section not repeat not merely semantic exercise, on contrary, Egypt convinced that Israel trying to get out of giving favorable reply to Jarring and that only way to force Israel is by means of explicit UN resolution."

Bush responded to this by making several proposal for minor changes, but then submitted these to Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban. A cable marked "Eyes Only-Special Exclusive" describes the Bush-Eban conversation: "Bush...had meeting the Formin Abba Eban this afternoon...Eban said Israel could not repeat not accept USG proposal...He noted ...that Jarring has not been too helpful and characterized him as 'negativistic individual.' On the other hand he opined that if Jarring would would make move toward Israel 'We'll see what we can do to help him.'" At another meeting between Eban and Bush, Eban "observed...that on political grounds Israel not have any reference [sic] to Jarring but appreciated that parliamentary reasons may dictate need for some thing. Both Eban and Tekoah summed up that from Israel point of view, best course would be to limit resolution language to 'complimentary reference to Jarring.'"

What all these machinations finally yielded was a resolution that passed with the United States abstaining and Israel opposed. At the same time, the US promised Israel a continuing supply of Phantom jets, and there was war in the Middle East before the year was out, just as Kissinger had planned.

Bush himself has always been reluctant about flaunting his own impeccable Zionist credentials, probably because of his desire to maintain close ties to the money and power centers of the Arab world. In his campaign autobiography, Bush seeks repeatedly to profile himself as a target of the extremists of the Jewish Defense League. On one occasion, Bush recounts, he was accosted at the entrance to the US mission to the United Nations by Rabbi Meir Kahane, the leader of the JDL. "Why won't you talk to me? All I want is a dialogue," said Kahane, according to Bush's account. Bush says he refused to stop, but told Kahane in passing: "Because I've seen your idea of a dialogue-those shots fired into the Soviet Embassy, and I don't condone your group's violence any more than violence directed at Jews by Arab terrorists," which was a marvel of even-handed rhetoric in full career. Another Bush anecdote of unconfirmed veracity is attributed by Fitzhugh Green to New York East Side restaurateur Walter J. Ganzi, who recounted after the 1988 election that Bush had pacified and dispersed a menacing crowd of several thousand angry JDL demonstrators one day by making an impromptu speech suffused with leadership charisma. Bush's admirers claim that he was responsible for Nixon's creation of a new police force, the Executive Protective Service, which is assigned to guard foreign officials visiting the US. [fn 25]

From January 28 through February 4, 1972, the Security Council held its first meeting in twenty years outside of New York City. The venue chosen was Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Bush made this the occasion for a trip through the Sudan, Kenya, Zambia, Zaire, Gabon, Nigeria, Chad, and Botswana. Bush later told a House subcommittee hearing that this was his second trip to Africa, with the preceding one having been a junket to Egypt and Libya "in 1963 or 1964." [fn 26] During this trip Bush met with seven chiefs of state, including President Mobutu of Zaire, Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia, President Tombalbaye of Chad, and President Nimeiri of the Sudan.

At the meeting in Addis Ababa, Bush was blind-sided by a speech delivered by the delegate of Panama, one of the rotating members of the Security Council. The Panamanian representative, Aquilino Boyd, vigorously attacked the US "occupation" of the Panana Canal Zone. Bush was forced into parliamentary maneuvering to avoid further discussion of the Panamanian complaint, claiming that Boyd was out of order in that the Canal Zone matter was not on the agenda, which was supposed to be oriented towards African matters. This marks one of Bush's earliest public encounters with the Panama issue, which was destined to become his bloody obsession during the first year of his presidency. [fn 27]

Bush in Addis Ababa voted in favor of two resolutions on Namibia, one of which set up the machinery under which the UN Secretary General was empowered to contact the South African government about the status of the trusteeship territory usurped by Pretoria. Bush thought that this first Namibia resolution had been "the most positive thing that came out." Bush also voted for a further resolution on apartheid, and abstained on the resolutions concerning Portuguese colonies and on Rhodesia. Bush's vote on the Rhodesian resolution amounted to a vote of confidence in a mission led by the British Lord Pearce on the Rhodesian question, a mission which many African states opposed.

At a press conference in Addis Ababa, African journalists destabilized Bush with aggressive questions about the US policy of ignoring mandatory UN economic sanctions against the racist, white supremacist Ian Smith regime in Rhodesia. The Security Council had imposed the mandatory sanctions, but later the US Congress had passed, and Nixon had signed into law, legislation incorporating the so-called Byrd amendment, which allowed the US president to import chrome from Rhodesia in the event of shortages of that strategic raw material. Chrome was readily available on the world market, especially from the USSR, although the Soviet chrome was more expensive than the Rhodesian chrome. In his Congressional testimony, Bush whined at length about the extensive criticism of this declared US policy of breaching the Rhodesian sanctions on the part of "those who are just using this to really hammer us from a propaganda standpoint." "We have taken the rap on this thing," complained Bush. "We have taken the heat on it." "We have taken a great deal of abuse from those who wanted to embarrass us in Africa, to emphasize the negative and not the positive in the United Nations." Bush talked of his own efforts at damage control on the issue of US support for the racist Rhodesian regime: "...what we are trying to do is to restrict any hypocrisy we are accused of." "I certainly don't think the US position should be that the Congress was trying to further colonialism and racism in this action it took," Bush told the Congressmen. "In the UN, I get the feeling we are categorized as imperialists and colonialists, and I make clear this is not what America stands for, but nevertheless it is repeated over and over and over again," he whined. [fn 28]

During the hearings, Bush was confronted by Congressman Diggs with an account published in the Los Angeles Times of February 26, 1972, according to which the US had threatened to use the veto against a draft resolution stating that all sanctions against Rhodesia should remain fully in force until the people of Rhodesia had freely and equally exercised their right to self-determination. Rep. Diggs referred to a report in this article that the African and third world sponsors of this resolution had been forced to water it down in order to avoid a veto to be cast by Bush. Bush ducked any direct answer on this behind-the-scenes veto threat. "...we simply cannot, given the restrictions placed on us by law, appear to be two-faced on these things," Bush told Diggs.

Some weeks later, Bush gave a lecture to students at Tulane University in New Orleans, where he announced that the US was now using the provisions of the Byrd amendment actually to purchase Rhodesian chrome, and conceded that this was indeed a violation of the UN economic sanctions. Noting that the policy was causing the Nixon regime "considerable embarrassment," Bush nevertheless defended the chrome purchases, saying that the US was acting "not in support of colonialism or totalitarianism but it seemed the realistic solution," more desirable than paying "twice the price" for Russian chrome. Bush lamely pointed out that many other countries were violating the sanctions covertly, whereas the US was doing so overtly, which he suggested was less reprehensible. [fn 29]

On the problems of Africa in general, Bush, ever true to Malthusian form, stressed above all the overpopulation of the continent. As he told the Congressmen: "Population was one of the things I worked on when I was in the Congress with many people here in this room. It is something that the UN should do. It is something where we are better served to use a multilateral channel, but it has got to be done efficiently and effectively. There has to be some delivery systems. It should not be studied to death if the American people are going to see that we are better off to use a multilateral channel and I am convinced we are. We don't want to be imposing American standards of rate of growth on some country, but we are saying that if an international community decides it is worth while to have these programs and education, we want to strongly support it." [fn 30]

On individual African countries, Bush asked the Congressmen to increase US aid to Chad, making it obliquely clear that his interest in Chad came from the country's "fierce independence" in a "pressure area vis-a-vis the north," meaning Qaddafi's Libya. Bush discussed the Middle East crisis at length with Nimeiri of the Sudan, with whom the US had no diplomatic relations. Bush thought that Nimieri was interested in restoring and improving relations with the US. These exchanges are historically ironic in the light of Bush's later role in the coup that overthrew Nimieri in the mid-1980's. By contrast, Bush said that Somalia, where the US had recently cut off aid, had shown no interest in improving ties with the US. In Botswana, Bush says he was impressed by the ministers he met. In Zambia, the big emphasis was on the problems of the front-line states. In all of the African capitals on his itinerary, Bush was struck by the intensity of the commitment of governments to progress and to sovereignty: "...in whatever part of Africa and however diverse Africa is, there was always a large amount of time devoted to development, economics, and, again, independence, nationhood, this kind of thing." It was clear that Bush would never have much sympathy for the "nationhood thing." But he was aware that Africa had 42 votes out of 132 UN member states in the General Assembly.

Two aspects of Bush's testimony on his African trip throw light on the permanent axioms of his thinking process. In one such revealing incident, Bush describes his "not hostile" but "very frank" dialogue with "a bunch of the intellectuals in Nigeria." Bush told the Congressmen that these intellectuals "were inclined to equate our quest for peaceful change with the status quo, no change at all, and they would state, 'Look, your own Revolution was a nonpeaceful change.'" This exchange became a way for Bush to state that the principles of natural law in the struggle against colonialism which were expressed in the American Revolution had now been superceded by the supernational principle of the United Nations as a world government which must validate all political change. Here is the way Bush expressed this idea: "And my answer to that was, one, we mean both peaceful and change, and two, the United Nations Charter was not in existence at the time of the US Revolution. We are not going to give up on the United Nations, which commits itself to peaceful change." [fn 31]

The second revealing exchange involved Bush's relation to the policies that he was carrying out. Asked by Congressman Diggs to pinpoint where decisions on Rhodesian policy and related issues were made, Bush replied: "That is something you can never do in the State Department." He then went on to describe his relations to machinery of policy making: "I would be happy to take responsibility for it [the Rhodesian vote], if you are looking for somebody to do that, because I am the President's representative to the United Nations, and the buck stops with some of these things with me. But I don't profess to be that big a deal that I can say this is the way it is going to be, and that is the way it happens. But in terms of responsibility for this position, I would be happy to accept it." Then Bush added: "I do think that there is room for some criticism about the kind of facelessness of the process, but I would say for these resolutions, or anything that we have done in terms of policy, whether it is subcontinent, or Middle East, or China, I have been in accord with these major decisions, and I take the responsibility for them as the presidentially appointed representative to the United Nations. Yet I sometimes am frustrated by the machinery, I must say."

One senses that this is Bush's pledge of personal allegiance to the Kissinger policies that dominated in the areas he mentions, and that his frustration is reserved for the passive resistance that still from time to time merged from the Rogers State Department. Among other things, Bush was endorsing the Nixon-Kissinger regime's support for the military junta of the Greek colonels, a matter which became a minor issue in the 1988 presidential campaign.

As the former Guyana Foreign Minister Fred Wills has pointed out in several speaking engagements for the Schiller Institute over recent years, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations presides over an immense covert apparatus of espionage, arm-twisting, intimidation, entrapment, and blackmail, all directed against foreign delegates whom the US is seeking to compromise, bribe, or turn. The gambits habitually employed in this brutal and squalid game range from baskets of fruit delivered to the hotel rooms and residences of ambassadors and ministers, to the deployment of a stable of male and female sex operatives to entrap unwary foreign diplomats, to black-bag operations and occasional wetwork. It may also be relevant that the Mayor of New York City during these years was John V. Lindsay, a Yale graduate and Skull and Bones member, with whom Bush had dealings on matters of police and security policy affecting the UN diplomatic community.

In the course of the many Congressional investigations of domestic covert operations during the Watergate period, attention was called to a number of mysterious and unsolved break-ins related to United Nations functions which took place in the New York area during the approximate time that George Bush was UN ambassador, which was from February 1971 until January 1973. These included a break-in at the home of Victor Rioseco, an economic counselor for the Chilean mission to the United Nations, on February 10, 1971; a break-in at the home of Humberto Diaz-Casaneuva, the Chilean Ambassador to the United Nations, on April 5, 1971, and another burglary at the New York apartment of Javier Urrutia, the chief of the Chilean Development Corporation, on April 11, 1971. It will be noted that one common denominator of these break-ins was a targeting of Chilean representatives; the Chilean government at this time was that of President Salvador Allende Gossens, later toppled by a US-directed coup in September, 1973. The Chilean Embassy in Washington was the scene of yet another break-in on May 13-14, 1972.

Naturally, Bush's authorized biography and campaign autobiography say nothing about any of these interesting events. Fitzhugh Green describes the "gracious, professional teamwork" of Barbara and George at diplomatic receptions, with Bush's personal assistant Rudolph "Foxy" Carter fingering diplomats and wives to be buttonholed by Mrs. Bush and then taken over to meet George. It was also during these UN years that Bush consolidated his habit of writing large quantities of short personal longhand notes and cards to friends and acquaintances. Bush's habit was to personally sit though the long speeches of diplomats representing US allies and others whom Bush wished to propitiate. But in order to use the time, Foxy Carter would make sure that he had a sufficient supply of small note cards to be able to turn out a continuous flow of bread and butter notes, greetings, and working communications, some of which could be delivered to diplomats present in the room where Bush was sitting. In this way, Bush succeeded in ingratiating himself with many delegates. This practice foreshadows his later "speed-dialing mode" of contacts with world leaders during crises such as the Gulf adventure. [fn 32]

Bush spent just less than two years at the UN. His tenure coincided with some of the most monstrous crimes against humanity of the Nixon- Kissinger duo, for whom Bush functioned as an international spokesman to whom no Kissinger policy was too odious to be enthusiastically proclaimed before the international community and world public opinion. Through this doggedly loyal service, Bush forged a link with Nixon that would be ephemeral but vital for his career while it lasted, and a link with Kissinger that would be decisive in shaping Bush's own administration in 1988-89. The way in which Bush set about organizing the anti-Iraq coalition of 1990-91 was decisively shaped by his United Nations experience. His initial approach to the Security Council, the types of resolutions that were put forward by the US, and the alternation of military escalation with consultations among the five permanent members of the Security Council- all this harkened back to the experience Bush acquired as Kissinger's envoy to the world body.

Towards the close of Bush's posting to the UN, his father, Prescott Bush, died at the Sloan-Kettering Hospital in New York City. It was October 8, 1972. Prescott Bush had been diagnosed as suffering from lung cancer.

_______________

Notes:

1. In 1970, Bush's portfolio included 29 companies in which he had an interest of more than $4000. He had 10,000 shares of American general Insurance Co., 5,500 shares of American Standard, 200 shares of AT&T, 832 shares of CBS, and 581 shares of Industries Exchange Fund. He also held stock in the Kroger Company, Simplex Wire and Cale Co. (25,000 shares), IBM, and Allied Chemical. In addition, he had created a trust fund for his children.

2. James Reston, Jr., The Lone Star: The Life of John Connally (New York, 1989), p. 380.

3 Safire, Before the Fall, p. 646.

4. Walter Pincus and Bob Woodward, "Presidential Posts and Dashed Hopes," Washington Post, August 9, 1988.

5. Reston, p. 382.

6. Bush and Gold, Looking Forward, p. 110.

7. For the Nixon side of the Bush UN appointment, see William Safire, Before the Fall (New York, 1977), especially "The President Falls in Love," pp. 642 ff.

8. Reston, p. 382. Reston (pp. 586-587) tells the story of how, years later in the 1980 Iowa caucuses campaign when both Bush and Connally were in the race, Bush was enraged by Connally's denigration of his manhood in remarks to Texans that Bush was 'all hat and no cattle.' Bush was walking by a television set in the Hotel Fort Des Moines when Connally came on the screen. Bush reached out toward Connally's image on the screen as if to shake hands. Then Bush screamed, "Thank you, sir, for all the kind things you and your friends have been saying about me!" Then Bush slammed his fist on the top of the set, yelling "That prick!"

9. On Kissinger, see Scott Thompson and Joseph Brewda, "Kissinger Associates: Two Birds in the Bush," Executive Intelligence Review, March 3, 1989.

10. See Tad Szulc, The Illusion of Peace (New York, 1978), p. 498.

11. Henry Kissinger, White House Years (Boston, 1979), p. 715.

12. Szulc, p. 500, and Washington Post, August 12, 1971.

13. Washington Post, October 31, 1971.

14. See Seymour M. Hersh, The Price of Power (New York, 1983), pp. 444 ff.

15. Henry Kissinger, White House Years, p. 897. The general outlines of these remarks were first published in the Jack Anderson column, and reprinted in Jack Anderson, The Anderson Papers ( New York, 1973).

16. Kissinger, p. 896.

17. Jack Anderson, The Anderson Papers, p. 226.

18. Elmo Zumwalt, On Watch (New York, 1976), p. 367.

19. Anderson, p. 260-1.

20. Kissinger, p. 909.

21. Hersh, The Price of Power, p. 457.

22. Kissinger, pp. 911-912.

23. See R.C. Gupta, US Policy Towards India and Pakistan (Delhi, 1977) , p. 84 ff.

24. Washington Post, July 27, 1972.

25. Washington Post, September 11, 1972.

26. Bush and Gold, p. 114; Green, p. 122.

27. US House of Representatives, Joint Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Africa and the Subcommittee on International Organizations and Movements of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Ninety-Second Congress, Second Session, March 1, 1972, (Washington: US Government Printing Office, 1972), p. 12.

28. In March, 1973, the US veto was used to block a resolution in the Security Council which called for the "full respect for Panama's effective sovereignty over all its territory." This resolution otherwise received 13 positive votes, and there was one abstention. See Casting Out Panama's Demon, Panama City, 1990, p. 22.

29. House of Representatives, Joint Hearing, pp. 10-11, 7.

30. Washington Post, April 23, 1972.

31. House of Representatives, Joint Hearing, pp. 7-8.

32. Ibid, p. 15.

33. Green, pp. 118, 125.
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Re: George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography, by Webster Tarp

Postby admin » Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:27 am

PART 1 OF 2

Chapter XII -- Chairman George in Watergate

In November, 1972, Bush's "most influential patron," Richard Nixon [fn 1], won re-election to the White House for a second term in a landslide victory over the McGovern-Shriver Democratic ticket. Nixon's election victory had proceeded in spite of the arrest of five White House-linked burglars in the offices of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate building in Washington early on June 17 of the same year. This was the beginning of the infamous Watergate scandal, which would overshadow and ultimately terminate Nixon's second term in 1974. After the election, Bush received a telephone call informing him that Nixon wanted to talk to him at the Camp David retreat in the Catoctin Mountains of Maryland. Bush had been looking to Washington for the inevitable personnel changes that would be made in preparation for Nixon's second term. Bush tells us that he was aware of Nixon's plan to reorganize his cabinet around the idea of a "super cabinet" of top-level, inner cabinet ministers or "super secretaries" who would work closely with the White House while relegating the day-to-day functioning of their executive departments to sub-cabinet deputies. One of the big winners under this plan was scheduled to be George Shultz, the former Labor Secretary who was now, after the departure of Connally, supposed to become Super Secretary of the Treasury. Shultz was a Bechtel executive who went on to be Reagan's second Secretary of State after Al Haig. Bush and Shultz were future members of the Bohemian Club of San Francisco and of the Bohemian Grove summer gathering. Shultz was a Princeton graduate who was reputed to have a tiger, the school's symbol, tatooed on his rump. Bush says he received a call from Nixon's top domestic aide, John Ehrlichman (along with Haldemann a partner in the "Chinese wall" around Nixon maintained by the White House palace guard). Ehrlichman told Bush that George Shultz wanted to see him before he went on to meet with Nixon at Camp David. As it turned out, Shultz wanted to offer Bush the post of undersecretary of the Treasury, which would amount to de facto administrative control over the department while Shultz concentrated on his projected super secretary policy functions. Bush says he thanked Shultz for his "flattering" offer, took it under consideration, and then pressed on to Camp David. [fn 2] At Camp David, Bush says that Nixon talked to him in the following terms: "George, I know that Shultz has talked to you about the Treasury job, and if that's what you'd like, that's fine with me. However, the job I really want you to do, the place I really need you, is over at the National Committee running things. This is an important time for the Republican Party, George. We have a chance to build a new coalition in the next four years, and you're the one who can do it." [ fn 3] But this was not the job that George really wanted. He wanted to be promoted, but he wanted to continue in the personal retinue of Henry Kissinger. "At first Bush tried to persuade the President to give him, instead, the number-two job at the State Department, as deputy to Secretary Henry Kissinger. Foreign affairs was his top priority, he said. Nixon was cool to this idea, and Bush capitulated." [fn 4] According to Bush's own account, he asked Nixon for some time to ponder the offer of the RNC chairmanship. Among those who Bush said he consulted on whether or not to accept was Rogers C.B. Morton, the former Congressman whom Nixon had made Secretary of Commerce. Morton suggested that if Bush wanted to accept, he insist that he continue as a member of the Nixon cabinet, where, it should be recalled, he had been sitting since he was named to the UN. Pennsylvania Senator Hugh Scott, one of the Republican Congressional leaders, also advised Bush to demand to continue on in the cabinet: "Insist on it," Bush recalls him saying. Bush also consulted Barbara. The story goes that Bar had demanded that George pledge that the one job he would never take was the RNC post. But now he wanted to take precisely that post, which appeared to be a political graveyard, George explained his wimpish obedience to Nixon: "Boy, you can't turn a President down." [fn 5] Bush then told Ehrlichman that he would accept provided he could stay on in the cabinet. Nixon approved this condition, and the era of Chairman George had begun.

Of course, making the chairman of the Republican Party an ex- officio member of the president's cabinet seems to imply something resembling a one-party state. But George was not deterred by such difficulties.

While he was at the UN, Bush had kept his eyes open for the next post on the way up his personal cursus honorum. In November of 1971 there was a boomlet for Bush among Texas Republican leaders who were looking for a candidate to run for governor. [fn 6] Nixon's choice of Bush to head the RNC was announced on December 11, 1972. The outgoing RNC Chairman was Senator Bob Dole of Kansas, an asset of the grain cartel but, in that period, not totally devoid of human qualities. According to press reports, Nixon palace guard heavies like Haldeman and Charles W. Colson, later a central Watergate figure, were not happy with Dole because he would not take orders from the White House. Dole also tended to function as a conduit for grass roots complaints and resistance to White House directives from the GOP rank and file. In the context of the 1972 campaign, "White House" means specifically Clark MacGregor's Committee to Re-Elect the President (CREEP), one of the collective protagonists of the Watergate scandal. [fn 7] Dole was considered remarkable for his "irreverence" for Nixon: "he joked about the Watergate issue, about the White House staff and about the management of the Republican convention with its `spontaneous demonstrations that will last precisely ten minutes.'" [ fn 8] Bush's own account of how he got the RNC post ignores Dole, who was Bush's most serious rival for the 1988 Republican presidential nomination. According to Dole's version, he conferred with Nixon about the RNC post on November 28, and told the president that he would have to quit the RNC in 1973 in order to get ready to run for re-election in 1974. According to Dole, it was he who recommended Bush to Nixon. Dole even said that he had gone to New York to convince Bush to accept the post. Dole sought to remove any implication that he had been fired by Nixon, and contradicted "speculation that I went to the mountaintop to be pushed off," for "that was not the case." What was clear was that Nixon and retainers had chosen a replacement for Dole whom they expected to be more obedient to the commands of the White House palace guard. Bush assumed his new post in January, 1973, in the midst of the trial of the Watergate burglars. He sought at once to convey the image of a pragmatic technocrat on the lookout for Republican candidates who could win, rather than an ideologue. "There's kind of a narrow line between standing for nothing and imposing one's views," Bush told the press. He stressed that the RNC would have a lot of money to spend for recruiting candidates, and that he would personally control this money. "The White House is simply not going to control the budget," said Bush. "I believe in the importance of this job and I have confidence I can do it," he added. "I couldn't do it if I were some reluctant dragon being dragged away from a three-wine luncheon." [fn 9] Bush appointed Tom Lias as his principal political assistant. Harry Dent, the former chief counsel to Nixon, was named the chief counsel to the GOP. Dent had been one of the ideologues of the party's southern strategy. D.K. "Pat" Wilson became the party finance chairman, and Rep. William Steiger of Wisconsin became the leader of a special committee that was supposed to broaden the electoral base of the party. Steiger was immediately attacked by the right-wing Human Events magazine as "very much a part of the defeated liberal reform movement" in the party. [fn 10] Richard Thaxton was the RNC patronage director. John Lofton, the editor of the GOP weekly journal called Monday, was eased out, and went to join Howard Phillips in the task of liquidating the Office of Economic Opportunity. Janet J. Johnston of California became the RNC co- chair. Bush inaugurated his new post with a pledge that the Republican Party, from President Nixon on down, would do "everything we possibly can" to make sure that the GOP was not involved in political dirty tricks in the future. "I don't think it is good for politics in this country and I am sure I am reflecting the President's views on that as head of the party," intoned Bush in an appearance on "Issues and Answers." [fn 11] Whether or not Bush lived up to that pledge during his months at the RNC, and indeed during his later political career, will be sufficiently answered during the following pages. But now Chairman George, sitting in Nixon's cabinet with such men as John Mitchell, his eyes fixed on Henry Kissinger as his lodestar, is about to set sail on the turbulent seas of the Watergate typhoon. Before we accompany him, we must briefly review the complex of events lumped together under the heading of "Watergate," so that we may then situate Bush's remarkable and bizarre behavior between January 1973 and August of 1974, when Nixon's fall became the occasion for yet another Bush attempt to seize the vice presidency. By the beginning of the 1990's, it has become something of a commonplace to refer to the complex of events surrounding the fall of Nixon as a coup d'etat. [fn 12] It was to be sure a coup d'etat, but one whose organizers and beneficiaries most commentators and historians are reluctant to name, much less to confront. Broadly speaking, Watergate was a coup d'etat which was instrumental in laying the basis for the specific new type of authoritarian-totalitarian regime which now rules the United States. The purpose of the coup was to rearrange the dominant institutions of the US government so as to enhance their ability to carry out policies agreeable to the increasingly urgent dictates of the British-dominated Morgan- Rockefeller-Mellon-Harriman financier faction. The immediate beneficiaries of the coup have been that class of bureaucratic, technocratic administrators who have held the highest public offices, exercising power in many cases almost without interruption, since the days of the Watergate scandal. It is obvious that George Bush himself is one of the most prominent of such beneficiaries. As the Roman playwright Seneca warns us, "Cui prodest scelus, is fecit"-- the one who derives advantage from the crime is the one most likely to have committed it. The policies of the Wall Street investment banking interests named are those of usury and Malthusianism, stressing the decline of a productive industrial economy in favor of savage Third World looting and anti-population measures. The changes subsumed by Watergate included the abolition of government's function as a means to distribute the rewards and benefits of economic progress among the principal constituency groups upon whose support the shifting political coalitions depended for their success. Henceforth, government would appear as the means by which the sacrifices and penalties of austerity and declining standards of living would be imposed on a passive and stupefied population. The constitutional office of the president was to be virtually destroyed, and the power of the usurious banking elites above and behind the presidency was to be radically enhanced.

The reason why the Watergate scandal escalated into the overthrow of Nixon has to do with the international monetary crisis of those years, and with Nixon's inability to manage the collapse of the Bretton Woods system and the US dollar in a way satisfactory to the Anglo-American financial elite. One real-time observer of the events of these years who emphasized the intimate relation between the international monetary upheavals on the one hand and the peripetea of Nixon on the other was Lyndon LaRouche. The following comments by LaRouche are excerpted from a July, 1973 article on the conjuncture of a re-valuation of the Deutsche Mark with John Dean's testimony before Senator Sam Ervin's Watergate investigating committee:

Last week's newest up-valuation of the West German D-Mark pushed the inflation-soaked Nixon Administration one very large step closer toward "Water- gate" impeachment. Broad bi-partisan support and press enthusiasm for the televised Senate Select Committee airing of wide-ranging revelations coincides with surging contempt for the government's handling of international and domestic financial problems over the past six months.

LaRouche went on to point out why the same financiers and news media who had encouraged a coverup of the Watergate scandal during 1972 had decided during 1973 to use the break-in and coverup as a means of overthrowing Nixon.

Then came the January [1973] Paris meeting of the International Monetary Fund.

The world monetary system was glutted with over $60 billions of inconvertible reserves. The world economy was technically bankrupt. It was kept out of actual bankruptcy proceedings throughout 1972 solely by the commitment of the USA to agree to some January, 1973 plan by which most of these $60 billions would begin to become convertible. The leading suggestion was that the excess dollars would be gradually sopped in exchange for IMF Special Drawing Rights (SDRs). With some such White House IMF action promised for January, 1973, the financial world had kept itself more or less wired together by sheer political will throughout 1972.

Then, into the delicate January Paris IMF sessions stepped Mr. Nixon's representatives. His delegates proceeded to break up the meeting with demands for trade and tariff concessions- a virtual declaration of trade war.

Promptly, the financial markets registered their reaction to Mr. Nixon's bungling by plunging into crisis.

To this, Mr. Nixon shortly responded with devaluation of the dollar, a temporary expedient giving a very brief breathing-space to get back to the work of establishing dollar convertibility. Nixon continued his bungling, suggesting that this devaluation made conditions more favorable for negotiating trade and tariff concessions-- more trade war.

The financiers of the world weighed Mr. Nixon's wisdom, and began selling the dollar at still-greater discounts. Through successive crises, Mr. Nixon continued to speak only of John Connally's Holy Remedies of trade and tariff concessions. Financiers thereupon rushed substantially out of all currencies into such hedges as world-wide commodity speculation on a scale unprecedented in modern history. Still, Mr. Nixon had nothing to propose on dollar convertibility- only trade wars. The US domestic economy exploded into Latin American style inflation.

General commodity speculation, reflecting a total loss of confidence in all currencies, seized upon basic agricultural commodities-among others. Feed prices soared, driving meat, poultry, and produce costs and prices toward the stratosphere.

It was during this period, as Nixon's credibility seemed so much less important than during late 1972, that a sudden rush of enthusiasm developed for the moral sensibilities of Chairman Sam Ervin's Senate Select Committee. [fn 13]

As LaRouche points out, it was the leading Anglo-American financier factions who decided to dump Nixon, and availed themselves of the pre-existing Watergate affair in order to reach their goal. The financiers were able to implement their decision all the more easily thanks to the numerous operatives of the intelligence community who had been embedded within the Plumbers from the moment of their creation in response to an explicit demand coming from George Bush's personal mentor, Henry Kissinger.

Watergate included the option of rapid steps in the direction of a dictatorship not so much of the military as of the intelligence community and the law enforcement agencies acting as executors of the will of the Wall Street circles indicated. The "Seven Days in May" overtone of Watergate, the more or less overt break with constitutional forms and rituals was never excluded. We must recall that the backdrop for Watergate had been provided first of all by the collapse of the international monetary system, as made official by Nixon's austerity decrees imposing a wage and price freeze starting on the fateful day of August 15, 1971. What followed was an attempt to run the entire US economy under the top-down diktat of the Pay Board and the Price Commission. This economic state of emergency was then compounded by the artificial oil shortages orchestrated by the companies of the international oil cartel during late 1973 and 1974, all in the wake of Kissinger's October 1973 Middle East War and the Arab oil boycott. In August, 1974, when Gerald Ford decided to make Nelson Rockefeller, and not George Bush, his vice-president designate, he was actively considering further executive orders to declare a new economic state of emergency. Such colossal economic dislocations had impelled the new Trilateral Commission and such theorists as Samuel Huntington to contemplate the inherent ungovernability of democracy and the necessity of beginning a transition towards forms that would prove more durable under conditions of aggravated economic breakdown. Ultimately, much to the disappointment of George Bush, whose timetable of boundless personal ambition and greed for power had once again surged ahead of what his peers of the ruling elite were prepared to accept, the perspectives for a more overtly dictatorial form of regime came to be embodied in the figure of Vice President Nelson Rockefeller. Skeptics will point to the humiliating announcement, made by President Ford within the context of his 1975 "Halloween massacre" reshuffle of key posts, that Rockefeller would not be considered for the 1976 vice presidential nomination. But Rockefeller, thanks to the efforts of Sarah Jane Moore and Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, each of whom attempted to assassinate Ford, had already come very close to the Oval Office on two separate occasions.

Ford himself was reputedly one of the most exalted Freemasons ever to occupy the presidency. Preponderant power during the last years of Nixon and during the Ford years was in any case exercised by Henry Kissinger, the de facto president, about whose pedigree and strategy something has been said above. The preserving of constitutional form and ritual as a hollow facade behind which to realize practices more and more dictatorial in their substance was a typical pragmatic adaptation made possible by the ability of the financiers to engineer the slow and gradual decline of the economy, avoiding upheavals of popular protest.

But in retrospect there can be no doubt that Watergate was a coup d'etat, a creeping and muffled cold coup in the institutions which has extended its consequences over almost two decades. Among contemporary observers, the one who grasped this significance most lucidly in the midst of the events themselves was Lyndon LaRouche, who produced a wealth of journalistic and analytical material during 1973 and 1974. The roots of the administrative fascism of the Reagan and Bush years are to be found in the institutional tremors and changed power relations set off by the banal farce of the Watergate break-in.

In the view of the dominant school of pro-regime journalism, the essence of the Watergate scandal lies in the illegal espionage and surveillance activity of the White House covert operations team, the so-called Plumbers, who are alleged to have been caught during an attempt to burglarize the offices of the Democratic National Committee in the Watergate office building near the Potomac. The supposed goal of the break-in was to filch information and documents while planting bugs. According to the official legend of the Washington Post and Hollywood, Nixon and his retainers responded to the arrest of the burglars by compounding their original crime with obstruction of justice and all of the abuses of a coverup. Then the Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, dedicated partisans of the truth, blew the story open with the help of Woodward's mysterious source Deep Throat, setting into motion the investigation of the Senate committee under Sam Ervin, leading to impeachment proceedings by Rep. Peter Rodino's House Judiciary Committee which ultimately forced Nixon to resign.

The received interpretation of the salient facts of the Watergate episode is a fantastic and grotesque distortion of historical truth. Even the kind of cursory examination of the facts in Watergate which we can permit ourselves within the context of a biography of Watergate figure George Bush will reveal that the actions which caused the fall of Nixon cannot be reduced to the simplistic account just summarized. There is, for example, the question of the infiltration of the White House staff and of the Plumbers themselves by members and assets of the intelligence community whose loyalty was not to Nixon, but to the Anglo-American financier elite. This includes the presence among the Plumbers of numerous assets of the Central Intelligence Agency, and specifically of the CIA bureaus traditionally linked to George Bush, such as the Office of Security- Security Research Staff and the Miami Station with its pool of Cuban operatives.

The Plumbers were created at the demand of Henry Kissinger, who told Nixon that something had to be done to stop leaks in the wake of the "Pentagon Papers" affair of 1971. But if the Plumbers were called into existence by Kissinger, they were funded through a mechanism set up by Kissinger clone George Bush. A salient fact about the White House Special Investigations Unit (or Plumbers) of 1971-72 is that the money used to finance it was provided by George Bush's business partner and lifelong intimate friend, Bill Liedtke, the president of Pennzoil. Bill Liedtke was a regional finance chairman for the Nixon campaigns of 1968 and 1972, and he was one of the most successful, reportedly exceeding his quota by the largest margin among all his fellow regional chairmen. Liedtke says that he accepted this post as a personal favor to George Bush. In 1972, Bill Liedtke raised $700,000 in anonymous contributions, including what appears to have been a single contribution of $100,000 that was laundered through a bank account in Mexico. According to Harry Hurt, part of this money came from Bush's bosom crony Robert Mosbacher, now Secretary of Commerce. According to one account, "two days before a new law was scheduled to begin making anonymous donations illegal, the $700,000 in cash, checks, and securities was loaded into a briefcase at Pennzoil headquarters and picked up by a company vice president, who boarded a Washington- bound Pennzoil jet and delivered the funds to the Committee to Re- elect the President at ten o'clock that night." [fn 14]

These Mexican checks were turned over first to Maurice Stans of the CREEP, who transferred them in turn to Watergate burglar Gordon Liddy. Liddy passed them on to Bernard Barker, one of the Miami station Cubans arrested on the night of the final Watergate break- in. Barker was actually carrying some of the cash left over from these checks when he was apprehended. When Barker was arrested, his bank records were subpoenaed by the Dade County, Florida district attorney, Richard E. Gerstein, and were obtained by Gerstein's chief investigator, Martin Dardis. As Dardis told Carl Bernstein of the Washington Post, about $100,000 in four cashier's checks had been issued in Mexico City by Manuel Ogarrio Daguerre, a prominent lawyer who handled Stans' money-laundering operation there. [fn 15] Liedtke eventually appeared before three grand juries investigating the different aspects of the Watergate affair, but neither he nor Pennzoil was ever brought to trial for the CREEP contributions. But it is a matter of more than passing interest that the money for the Plumbers came from one of Bush's intimates and at the request of Bush, a member of the Nixon Cabinet from February, 1971 on. How much did Bush himself know about the activities of the Plumbers, and when did he know it?

The U.S. House of Representatives Banking and Currency Committee, chaired by Texas Democrat Wright Patman, soon began a vigorous investigation of the money financing the break-in, large amounts of which were found as cash in the pockets of the burglars. Chairman Patman opened the following explosive leads: Patman confirmed that the largest amount of the funds going into Miami bank account of Watergate burglar Bernard Barker, a CIA operative since the Bay of Pigs invasion, was the $100,000 sent in by Texas CREEP chairman William Liedtke, longtime business partner of George Bush. The money was sent from Houston down to Mexico, where it was "laundered" to eliminate its accounting trail. It then came back to Barker's account as four checks totaling $89,000 and $11,000 in cash. A smaller amount, an anonymous $25,000 contribution, was sent in by Minnesota CREEP officer Kenneth Dahlberg in the form of a cashier's check.

Patman relentlessly pursued the true sources of this money, as the best route to the truth about who ran the break-in, and for what purpose. CREEP national chairman Maurice Stans later described the situation just after the burglars were arrested, made dangerous by "...Congressman Wright Patman and several of his political hatchet men working on the staff of the House Banking and Currency Committee. Without specific authorization by his committee, Patman announced that he was going to investigate the Watergate matter, using as his entry the banking transactions of the Dahlberg and Mexican checks. In the guise of covering that ground, he obviously intended to roam widely, and he almost did, but his own committee, despite its Democratic majority, eventually stopped him." [fn 16]

These are the facts that Patman had established--before "his own committee...stopped him."

The anonymous Minnesota $25,000 had in fact been provided to Dahlberg by Dwayne Andreas, chief executive of the Archer-Daniels- Midland grain trading company.

The Texas $100,000, sent by Liedtke, in fact came from Robert H. Allen, a mysterious nuclear weapons materials executive. Allen was chairman of Gulf Resources and Chemical Corporation in Houston. His company controlled half the world's supply of lithium, an essential component of hydrogen bombs.

On April 3, 1972 (75 days before the Watergate arrests), $100,000 was transferred by telephone from a bank account of Gulf Resources and Chemical Corp. into a Mexico City account of an officially defunct subsidiary of Gulf Resources. Gulf Resources' Mexican lawyer Manuel Ogarrio Daguerre withdrew it and sent back to Houston the package of four checks and cash, which Liedtke forwarded for the CIA burglars. [fn 17]

Robert H. Allen was Texas CREEP's chief financial officer, while Bush partner William Liedtke was overall chairman. But what did Allen represent? In keeping with its strategic nuclear holdings, Allen's Gulf Resources was a kind of committee of the main components of the London-New York oligarchy. Formed in the late 1960's, Gulf Resources had taken over the New York-based Lithium Corporation of America. The president of this subsidiary was Gulf Resources executive vice president Harry D. Feltenstein, Jr. John Roger Menke, a director of both Gulf Resources and Lithium Corp., was also a consultant and director of the United Nuclear Corporation, and a director of the Hebrew Technical Institute. The ethnic background of the Lithium subsidiary is of interest due to Israel's known preoccupation with developing a nuclear weapons arsenal. Another Gulf Resources and Lithium Corp. director was Minnesotan Samuel H. Rogers, who was also a director of Dwayne Andreas's Archer-Daniels-Midland Corp. Andreas was a large financial backer of the "Zionist Lobby" through the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith.

Gulf Resources chairman Robert H. Allen received the "Torch of Liberty" award of the Anti-Defamation League in 1982. Allen was a white Anglo-Saxon conservative. No credible reason for this award was supplied to the press, and the ADL stated their satisfaction that Mr. Allen's financing of the Watergate break-in was simply a mistake, now in the distant past.

From the beginning of Gulf Resources, there was always a representative on its board of New York's Bear Stearns firm, whose partner Jerome Kohlberg, Jr., pioneered leveraged buyouts and merged with Bush's Henry Kravis. The most prestigious board member of Allen's Gulf Resources was George A. Butler, otherwise the chairman of Houston's Post Oak Bank. Butler represented the ultra-secretive W. S. ("Auschwitz") Farish III, confidant of George Bush and U.S. host of Queen Elizabeth. Farish was the founder and controlling owner of Butler's Post Oak Bank, and was chairman of the bank's executive committee as of 1988. [fn 18]

A decade after Watergate, it was revealed that the Hunt family had controlled about 15 per cent of Gulf Resources shares. This Texas oil family hired George Bush in 1977 to be the executive committee chairman of their family enterprise, the First International Bank in Houston. In the 1980s, Ray Hunt secured a massive oil contract with the ruler of North Yemen under the sponsorship of then-Vice President Bush. Ray Hunt continues in the 1991-92 presidential campaign as George Bush's biggest Texas financial angel.

Here, in this one powerful Houston corporation, we see early indications of the alliance of George Bush with the "Zionist lobby"--an alliance which for political reasons the Bush camp wishes to keep covert. These, then, are the Anglo-American moguls whose money paid for the burglary of the Watergate Hotel. It was their money that Richard Nixon was talking about on the famous "smoking gun" tape which lost him the Presidency. (In 1983, British investor Alan Clore moved in for a hostile takeover of Gulf Resources and Chemical Corp. Senator John Tower, Republican from Texas, argued that the government should stop the takeover on grounds of "national security", since the company controlled the materials for the world's nuclear weapons. Certainly, the management of such an enterprise is closely supervised by the U.S. intelligence community. It is then obvious why a Congressional probe that led through Liedtke and Bush to the secret services had to be sabotaged.)

On Oct. 3, 1972, the House Banking and Currency Committee voted 20-15 against continuing chairman Wright Patman's investigation. The vote prevented the issuance of 23 subpoenas for CREEP officials to come testify to Congress. The margin of protection to the moguls was provided by six Democratic members of the Committee who voted with the Republicans against chairman Patman. As CREEP chairman Maurice Stans put it, "There were...indirect approaches to Democratic [committee] members. An all-out campaign was conducted to see that the investigation was killed off, as it successfully was." Certain elements of this infamous "campaign" are known. Banking Committee member Frank Brasco, a lieral Democratic Congressman from New York, voted to stop the probe. New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller had arranged a meeting between Brasco and U.S. Attorney General John Mitchell. Brasco was a target of a Justice Department investigation for alleged fraud and bribery since 1970, and Mitchell successfully warned Brasco not to back Patman. Later, in 1974, Brasco was convicted of bribery.

Before Watergate, both John Mitchell and Henry Kissinger had FBI reports implicating California Congressman Richard Hanna in the receipt of illegal campaign contributions from the Korean Central Intelligence Agency. Hanna surprised Patman by voting against the investigation. Hanna was later (1978) convicted for his role in the Koreagate scandal in 1978. The secretary of Congressman William Chappell complained in 1969 that the Florida Democrat had forced her to kick back some of her salary. The Justice Department, holding this information, had declined to prosecute. Chappell, a member of the Banking Committee, voted to stop Patman's investigation. Kentucky Democratic Congressman William Curlin, Jr., revealed in 1973 that "certain members of the committee were reminded of various past political indiscretions, or of relatives who might suffer as a result of [a] pro-subpoena vote." The Justice Department worked overtime to smear Patman, including an attempt to link him to "Communist agents" in Greece. [fn 19]

The day before the Committee vote, the Justice Department released a letter to Patman claiming that any Congressional investigation would compromise the rights of the accused Watergate burglars before their trial.

House Republican leader Gerald Ford led the attack on Patman from within the Congress. Though he later stated his regrets for this vicious campaign, his eventual reward was the U.S. Presidency.

Canceling the Patman probe meant that there would be no investigation of Watergate before the 1972 Presidential election. The Washington Post virtually ended reference to the Watergate affair, and spoke of Nixon's opponent, George McGovern, as unqualified for the Presidency. The Republican Party was handed another four year Administration. Bush, Kissinger, Rockefeller and Ford were the gainers. But then Richard Nixon became the focus of all Establishment attacks for Watergate, while the money trail that Patman had pursued was forgotten. Wright Patman was forced out of his Committee chairmanship in 1974. On the day Nixon resigned the Presidency, Patman wrote to Peter Rodino, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, asking him not to stop investigating Watergate. Though Patman died in 1976, his advice still holds good. ***

As the late FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover told the journalist Andrew Tully in the days before June, 1972, "By God, he's [Nixon's] got some former CIA men working for him that I'd kick out of my office. Someday, that bunch will serve him up a fine mess." [fn 20] The CIA men in question were among the Plumbers, a unit allegedly created in the first place to stanch the flow of leaks, including the Jack Anderson material about such episodes as the December, 1971 brush with nuclear war discussed above. Leading Plumbers included retired high officials of the CIA. Plumber and Watergate burglar E. Howard Hunt had been a GS-15 CIA staff officer; he had played a role in the 1954 toppling of Guatemalan President Jacobo Arbenz Guzman, and later had been one of the planners in the Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961. After the failure of the Bay of Pigs, Hunt is thought to have been a part of the continuing CIA attempts to assassinate Castro, code-named Operation Mongoose, ongoing at the time of the Kennedy assassination. All of this puts him in the thick of the CIA Miami station. One of Hunt's close personal friends was Howard Osborne, an official of the CIA Office of Security who was the immediate superior of James McCord. In the spring of 1971 Hunt went to Miami to recruit from among the Cubans the contingent of Watergate burglars, including Bernard Barker, Eugenio Martinez, and the rest. This was two months before the publication of the Pentagon Papers, leaked by Daniel Ellsberg, provided Kissinger with the pretext he needed to get Nixon to initiate what would shortly become the Plumbers.

Another leading Watergate burglar was James McCord, a former top official of the CIA Office of Security, the agency bureau which is supposed to maintain contacts with US police agencies in order to facilitate its basic task of providing security for CIA installations and personnel. The Office of Security was thus heavily implicated in the CIA's illegal domestic operations, including cointelpro operations against political dissidents and groups, and was the vehicle for such mind-control experiments as Operations Bluebird, Artichoke, and MK-Ultra. The Office of Security also utilized male and female prostitutes and other sex operatives for purposes of compromising and blackmailing public figures, information gathering, and control. According to Hougan, the Office of Security maintained a "fag file" of some 300,000 US citizens, with heavy stress on homosexuals. The Office of Security also had responsibility for Soviet and other defectors. James McCord was at one time responsible for the physical security of all CIA premises in the US. McCord was also a close friend of CIA Counterintelligence Director James Jesus Angleton. McCord was anxious to cover the CIA's role; at one point he wrote to his superior, General Gaynor, urging him to "flood the newspapers with leaks or anonymous letters" to discredit those who wanted to establish the responsibility of "the company." [fn 21] But according to one of McCord's own police contacts, Garey Bittenbender of the Washington DC police Intelligence Division, who recognized him after his arrest, McCord had averred to him that the Watergate break-ins had been "a CIA operation," an account which McCord heatedly denied later. [fn 22]

The third leader of the Watergate burglars, G. Gordon Liddy, had worked for the FBI and the Treasury. Liddy's autobiography, Will, published in 1980, and various statements show that Liddy's world outlook had a number of similarities with that of George Bush: he was, for example, obsessed with the maintenance and transmission of his "family gene pool."

Another key member of the Plumbers unit was John Paisley, who functioned as the official CIA liaison to the White House investigative unit. It was Paisley who assumed responsibility for the overall "leak analysis," that is to say, for defining the problem of unauthorized divulging of classified material which the Plumbers were supposed to combat. Paisley, along with Howard Osborne of the Office of Security, met with the Plumbers, led by Kissinger operative David Young, at CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia on August 9, 1971. Paisley's important place on the Plumbers' roster is most revealing, since Paisley was later to become an important appointee of CIA Director George Bush. In the middle of 1976, Bush decided to authorize a group of experts, ostensibly from outside of the CIA, to produce an analysis which would be compared with the CIA's own National Intelligence Estimates on Soviet capabilities and intentions. The panel of outside experts was given the designation of "Team B." Bush chose Paisley to be the CIA's "coordinator" of the three subdivisions of Team B. Paisley would later disappear while sailing on Chesapeake Bay in September of 1978.

In a White House memorandum by David Young summarizing the August 9, 1971 meeting between the Plumbers and the official CIA leaders, we find that Young "met with Howard Osborn and a Mr. Paisley to review what it was that we wanted CIA to do in connection with their files on leaks from January, 1969 to the present." There then follows a fourteen-point list of leaks and their classification, including the frequency of leaks associated with certain journalists, the gravity of the leaks, the frequency of the leaks, and so forth. A data base was called for, and "it was decided that Mr. Paisley would get this done by next Monday, August 16, 1971." On areas where more clarification was needed, the memo noted, "the above questions should be reviewed with Paisley within the next two days." [fn 23]

The lesser Watergate burglars came from the ranks of the CIA Miami Station Cubans: Bernard Barker, Eugenio Martinez, Felipe de Diego, Frank Surgis, Virgilio Gonzalez, and Reinaldo Pico. Once they had started working for Hunt, Martinez asked the Miami Station Chief, Jake Esterline, if he was familiar with the activities now being carried out under White House cover. Esterline in turn asked Langley for its opinion of Hunt's White House position. A reply was written by Cord Meyer, later openly profiled as a Bush admirer, to Deputy Director for Plans (that is to say, covert operations) Thomas Karamessines. The import of Meyer's directions to Esterline was that the latter should "not ...concern himself with the travels of Hunt in Miami, that Hunt was on domestic White House business of an unknown nature and that the Chief of Station should 'cool it.'" [fn 24]

During the spring of 1973, George Bush was no longer simply a long-standing member of the Nixon Cabinet. He was also, de facto, a White House official, operating out of the same Old Executive Office Building (or old State-War-Navy) which is adjacent to the Executive Mansion and forms part of the same security compound. As we read, for example, in the Jack Anderson "Washington Merry-Go- Round" column for March 10, 1973, in the Washington Post: "Washington Whirl- Bush's Office--Republican National Chairman George Bush, as befitting the head of a party whose coffers are overflowing, has been provided with a plush office in the new Eisenhower Building here. He spends much of his time, however, in a government office next to the White House. When we asked how a party official rated a government office, a GOP spokesman explained that the office wasn't assigned to him but was merely a visitor's office. The spokesman admitted, however, that Bush spends a lot of time there." This means that Bush's principal office was in the building where Nixon most liked to work; Nixon had what was called his "hideaway" office in the OEOB. How often did George drop in on Dick, or Dick on George, or how often did they just meet in the hall?

As to the state of George's relations with Nixon at this time, we have the testimony of a "Yankee Republican" who had known and liked father Prescott, as cited by journalist Al Reinert: "I can't think of a man I've ever known for whom I have greater respect than Pres Bush...I've always been kind of sorry his son turned out to be such a jerk. George has been kissing Nixon's ass ever since he came up here." [fn 25] Reinert comments that "when Nixon became president, Bush became a teacher's pet," "a presidential favorite, described in the press as one of 'Nixon's men.'"

On the surface George was an ingratiating sycophant. But he dissembled. The Nixon White House would seem to have included at least one highly placed official who betrayed his president to Bob Woodward of the Washington Post, making it possible for that newspaper to repeatedly outflank Nixon's attempts at stonewalling. This was the celebrated, and still anonymous source Woodward called "Deep Throat."

Al Haig has often been accused of having been the figure of the Nixon White House who provided Woodward and Bernstein with their leads. If there is any consensus about the true identity of Deep Throat, it would appear to be that Al Haig is the prime suspect. However, there is no conclusive evidence about the true identity of the person or persons called Deep Throat, assuming that such a phenomenon ever existed. As soon as Haig is named, we must become suspicious: the propaganda of the Bush networks has never been kind to Haig. Haig and Bush, as leading clones of Henry Kissinger, were locked on a number of occasions into a kind of sibling rivalry, a rivalry which became especially acute during the first months of the Reagan Administration.

One of the major sub-plots of Watergate, and one that will eventually lead us back to the documented public record of George Bush, is the relation of the various activities of the Plumbers to the wiretapping of a group of prostitutes who operated out of a brothel in the Columbia Plaza Apartments, located in the immediate vicinity of the Watergate buildings. [fn 26] Among the customers of the prostitutes there appear to have been a US Senator, an astronaut, A Saudi prince (the Embassy of Saudi Arabia is nearby), US and South Korean intelligence officials, and above all numerous Democratic Party leaders whose presence can be partially explained by the propinquity of the Democratic National Committee offices in the Watergate. The Columbia Plaza Apartments brothel was under intense CIA surveillance by the Office of Security/Security Research Staff through one of their assets, an aging private detective out of the pages of Damon Runyon who went by the name of Louis James Russell. Russell was, according to Hougan, especially interested in bugging a hot line phone that linked the DNC with the nearby brothel. During the Watergate break-ins, James McCord's recruit to the Plumbers, Alfred C. Baldwin, would appear to have been bugging the telephones of the Columbia Plaza brothel.

Lou Russell, in the period between June 20 and July 2, 1973, was working for a detective agency that was helping George Bush prepare for an upcoming press conference. In this sense, Russell was working for Bush.

Russell is relevant because he seems (although he denied it) to have been the fabled sixth man of the Watergate break-in, the burglar who got away. He may also have been the burglar who tipped off the police, if indeed anyone did. Russell was a harlequin who had been the servant of many masters. Lou Russell had once been the chief investigator for the House Committee on Un-American Activities. He had worked for the FBI. He had been a stringer for Jack Anderson, the columnist. In December, 1971 he had been an employee of General Security Services, the company that provided the guards who protected the Watergate buildings. In March of 1972 Russell had gone to work for James McCord and McCord Associates, whose client was the CREEP. Later, after the scandal had broken, Russell worked for McCord's new and more successful firm, Security Associates. Russell had also worked directly for the CREEP as a night watchman. Russell had also worked for John Leon of Allied Investigators, Inc., a company that later went to work for George Bush and the Republican National Committee. Still later, Russell found a job with the headquarters of the McGovern for President campaign. Russell's lawyer was Bud Fensterwald, and sometimes Russell performed investigative services for Fensterwald and for Fensterwald's Committee to Investigate Assassinations. In September, 1972, well after the scandal had become notorious, Russell seems to have joined with one Nick Beltrante in carrying out electronic countermeasures sweeps of the DNC headquarters, and during one of these he appears to have planted an electronic eavesdropping device in the phone of DNC worker Spencer Oliver which, when it was discovered, re-focused public attention on the Watergate scandal at the end of the summer of 1972.

Russell was well acquainted with Carmine Bellino, the chief investigator on the staff of Sam Ervin's Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Practices. Bellino was a Kennedy operative who had superintended the seamy side of the JFK White House, including such figures as Judith Exner, the president's alleged paramour. Later, Bellino would become the target of George Bush's most revealing public action during the Watergate period. Bellino's friend William Birely later provided Russell with an apartment in Silver Spring, Maryland, (thus allowing him to leave his room in a rooming house on Q Street in the District), a new car, and sums of money.

Russell had been a heavy drinker, and his social circle was that of the prostitutes, whom he sometimes patronized and sometimes served as a bouncer and goon. His familiarity with the brothel milieu facilitated his service for the Office of Security, which was to oversee the bugging and other surveillance of Columbia Plaza and other locations.

Lou Russell was incontestably one of the most fascinating figures of Watergate. How remarkable, then, that the indefatigable ferrets Woodward and Bernstein devoted so little attention to him, deeming him worthy of mention in neither of their two books. Woodward and met with Russell, but had ostensibly decided that there was "nothing to the story. Woodward claims to have seen nothing in Russell beyond the obvious "old drunk." [fn 27]

The FBI had questioned Russell after the DNC break-ins, probing his whereabouts on June 16-17 with the suspicion that he had indeed been one of the burglars. But this questioning led to nothing. Instead, Russell was contacted by Carmine Bellino, and later by Bellino's broker Birely, who set Russell up in the new apartment (or safe house) already mentioned, where one of the Columbia Plaza prostitutes moved in with him.

By 1973, minority Republican staffers at the Ervin committee began to realize the importance of Russell to a revisionist account of the scandal that might exonerate Nixon to some extent by shifting the burden of guilt elsewhere. On May 9, 1973, the Ervin committee accordingly subpoenaed Russell's telephone, job, and bank records. Two days later Russell replied to the committee that he had no job records or diaries, had no bank account, made long-distance calls only to his daughter, and could do nothing for the committee.

On May 16-17, 1973, Deep Throat warned Woodward that "everybody's life is in danger." On May 18, while the staff of the Ervin committee were pondering their next move vis-avis Russell, Russell suffered a massive heart attack. This was the same day that McCord, advised by his lawyer and Russell's, Fensterwald, began his public testimony to the Ervin committee on the coverup. Russell was taken to Washington Adventist Hospital, where he recovered to some degree and convalesced until June 20. Russell was convinced that he had been the victim of an attempted assassination. He told his daughter after leaving the hospital that he believed that he had been poisoned, that someone had entered his apartment (the Bellino-Birely safe house in Silver Spring) and "switched pills on me." [fn 28]

Leaving the hospital on June 20, Russell was still very weak and pale. But now, although he remained on the payroll of James McCord, he also accepted a retainer from his friend John Leon, who had been engaged by the Republicans to carry out a counter investigation of the Watergate affair. Leon was in contact with Jerris Leonard, a lawyer associated with Nixon, the GOP, the Republican National Committee, and with Chairman George Bush. Leonard was a former assistant attorney general for civil rights in the Nixon administration. Leonard had stepped down as head of the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA) on March 17, 1973. In June, 1973 Leonard was special counsel to George Bush personally, hired by Bush and not by the RNC. Leonard says today that his job consisted in helping to keep the Republican Party separate from Watergate, deflecting Watergate from the party "so it would not be a party thing." [fn 29] As Hougan tells it, "Leon was convinced that Watergate was a set-up, that prostitution was at the heart of the affair, and that the Watergate arrests had taken place following a tip-off to the police; in other words, the June 17 burglary had been sabotaged from within, Leon believed, and he intended to prove it." [fn 30] "Integral to Leon's theory of the affair was Russell's relationship to the Ervin committee's chief investigator, Carmine Bellino, and the circumstances surrounding Russell's relocation to Silver Spring in the immediate aftermath of the Watergate arrests. In an investigative memorandum submitted to GOP lawyer Jerris Leonard, Leon described what he hoped to prove: that Russell, reporting to Bellino, had been a spy for the Democrats within the CRP, and that Russell had tipped off Bellino (and the police) to the June 17 break-in. The man who knew most about this was, of course, Leon's new employee, Lou Russell."

Is it possible that Jerris Leonard communicated the contents of Leon's memorandum to the RNC and to its Chairman George Bush during the days after he received it? It is possible. But for Russell, the game was over: on July 2, 1973, barely two weeks after his release from the hospital, Russell suffered a second heart attack, which killed him. He was buried with quite suspicious haste the following day. The potential witness with perhaps the largest number of personal ties to Watergate protagonists, and the witness who might have re-directed the scandal, not just towards Bellino, but toward the prime movers behind and above McCord and Hunt and Paisley, had perished in a way that recalls the fate of so many knowledgeable Iran-contra figures.

With Russell silenced forever, Leon appears to have turned his attention to targeting Bellino, perhaps with a view to forcing him to submit to depositioning or other questioning in which questions about his relationship to Russell might be asked. Leon, who had been convicted in 1964 of wiretapping in a case involving El Paso Gas Co. and Tennessee Gas Co., had weapons in his own possession that could be used against Bellino. During the time that Russell was still in the hospital, on June 8, Leon had signed an affidavit for Jerris Leonard in which he stated that he had been hired by Democratic operative Bellino during the 1960 presidential campaign to "infiltrate the operations" of Albert B. "Ab" Hermann, a staff member of the Republican National Committee. Leon asserted in the affidavit that although he had not been able to infiltrate Hermann's office, he observed the office with field glasses and employed "an electronic device known as 'the big ear' aimed at Mr. Hermann's window." Leon recounted that he had been assisted by former CIA officer John Frank, Oliver W. Angelone and former Congressional investigator Ed Jones in the anti-Nixon 1960 operations.

Leon collected other sworn statements that all went in the same direction, portraying Bellino as a Democratic dirty tricks operative unleashed by the Kennedy faction against Nixon. Joseph Shimon, who had been an inspector for the Washington Police Department told of how he had been approached by Kenndy operative Oliver W. Angelone, who alleged that he was working for Bellino, with a request to help Angelone gain access to the two top floors of the Wardman Park Hotel (now the Sheraton Park) just before they were occupied by Nixon on the even of the Nixon-Kennedy television debate. Edward Murray Jones, then living in the Philippines, said in his affidavit that he had been assigned by Bellino to tail individuals at Washington National Airport and in downtown Washington. [fn 31] According to Hougan, "these sensational allegations were provided by Leon to Republican attorneys on July 10, 1973, exactly a week after Russell's funeral. Immediately, attorney Jerris Leonard conferred with RNC Chairman George Bush. It appeared to both men that a way had been found to place the Watergate affair in a new perspective, and, perhaps, to turn the tide. A statement was prepared and a press conference scheduled at which Leon was to be the star witness, or speaker. Before the press conference could be held, however, Leon suffered a heart attack on July 13, 1973, and died the same day." [fn 32 ]

Two important witnesses, each of whom represented a threat to reopen the most basic questions of Watergate, dead in little more than a week! Bush is likely to have known of the import of Russell's testimony, and he is proven to have known of the content of Leon's. Jerris Leonard later told Hougan that the death of John Leon "came as a complete shock. It was...well, to be honest with you, it was frightening. It was only a week after Russell's death, or something like that, and it happened on the very eve of the press conference. We didn't know what was going on. We were scared." [fn 33] Hougan comments: "With the principal witness against Bellino no longer available, and with Russell dead as well, Nixon's last hope of diverting attention from Watergate--slim from the beginning--was laid to rest forever."

But George Bush went ahead with the press conference that had been announced, even if John Leon, the principal speaker, was now dead. According to Nixon, Bush had been "privately pleading for some action that would get us off the defensive" since back in the springtime. [fn 34] On July 24, 1973, Bush made public the affidavits by Leon, Jones, and Shimon which charged that the Ervin committee chief investigator Carmine Bellino had recruited spies to help defeat Nixon back in 1960. "I cannot and do not vouch for the veracity of the statements contained in the affidavits," said Bush, "but I do believe that this matter is serious enough to concern the Senate Watergate committee, and particularly since its chief investigator is the subject of the charges contained in the affidavits. If these charges are true, a taint would most certainly be attached to some of the committee's work." Bush's statement to the press prediscounted Democratic charges that his revelations were part of a Nixon Administration counter-offensive to deflect Watergate.
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Re: George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography, by Webster Tarp

Postby admin » Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:27 am

PART 2 OF 2

Bush specified that on the basis of the Shimon and Leon affidavits, he was "confident" that Jones and Angelone "had bugged the Nixon space or tapped his phones prior to the television debate." He conceded that "there was corruption" in the ranks of the GOP. "But now I have presented some serious allegations that if true could well have affected the outcome of the 1960 presidential race. The Nixon- Kennedy election was a real cliff-hanger, and the debates bore heavily on the outcome of the people's decision." Bush rejected any charge that he was releasing the affidavits in a bid to "justify Watergate." He asserted that he was acting in the interest of "fair play."

Bush said that he had taken the affidavits to Sen. Sam Ervin, the chairman of the Senate Watergate Committee, and to GOP Sen. Howard Baker, that committee's ranking Republican, but that the committee had failed to act so far. "I haven't seen much action on it," Bush added. When the accuracy of the affidavits was challenged, Bush replied, "We've hear a lot more hearsay bandied about the [Watergate] committee than is presented here. I'd like to know how serious it is. I'd like to see it looked into," said Bush. He called on Sam Ervin and his committee to probe all the charges forthwith. Bush was "convinced that there is in fact substance to the allegations."

In 1991, the Bush damage control line is that events relating to the 1980 "October surprise" deal of the Reagan-Bush campaign with the Iranian Khomeini mullahs of Iran to block the freeing of the US hostages are so remote in the past that nobody is interested in them any more. But in 1973, Bush thought that events of 1960 were highly relevant to Watergate.

Bellino labeled Bush's charges "absolutely false." "I categorically and unequivocally deny that I have ever ordered, requested, directed, or participated in any electronic surveillance whatsoever in connection with any political campaign," said Bellino. "By attacking me on the basis of such false and malicious lies, Mr. Bush has attempted to distract me from carrying out what I consider one of the most important assignments of my life. I shall continue to exert all my efforts to ascertain the facts and the truth pertinent to this investigation."

Here Bush was operating on several levels of reality at once. The implications of the Russell-Leon interstices would be suspected only in retrospect. What appeared on the surface was a loyal Republican mounting a diversionary attack in succor of his embattled president. At deeper levels, the reality might be the reverse, the stiffing of Nixon in order to defend the forces behind the break-in and the scandal.

Back in April, as the Ervin committee was preparing to go into action against the White House, Bush had participated in the argument about whether the committee sessions should be televised or not. Bush discussed this issue with Senators Baker and Brock, both Republicans who wanted the hearings to be televised- in Baker's case, so that he could be on television himself as the ranking Republican on the panel. Ehrlichmann, to whom Bush reported in the White House, mindful of the obvious potential damage to the administration, wanted the hearings not televised, not even public, but in executive session with a sanitized transcript handed out later. So Bush, having no firm convictions of his own, but always looking for his own advantage, told Ehrlichman he sympathized with both sides of the argument, and was "sitting happily on the middle of the fence with a picket sticking up my you know what. I'll see you." [fn 35] But Nixon's damage control interest had been sacrificed by Bush's vacillating advocacy, and the devastating testimony of figures like Dean and McCord would have its maximum impact.

Bush had talked in public about the Ervin committee during a visit to Seattle on June 29 in response to speculation that Nixon might be called to testify. Bush argued that the presidency would be diminished if Nixon were to appear. Bush was adamant that Nixon could not be subpoenaed and that he should not testify voluntarily. Shortly thereafter Bush had demanded that the Ervin committee wrap up its proceedings to "end the speculation" about Nixon's role in the coverup. "Let's get all the facts out, let's get the whole thing over with, get all the people up there before the Watergate committee. I don't believe John Dean's testimony." [fn 36]

Senator Sam Ervin placed Bush's intervention against Carmine Bellino in the context of other diversionary efforts launched by the RNC. Ervin, along with Democratic Senators Talmadge and Inouye were targetted by a campaign inspired by Bush's RNC which alleged that they had tried to prevent a full probe of LBJ intimate Bobby Baker back in 1963. Later, speaking on the Senate floor on October 9, 1973, Ervin commented: One can but admire the zeal exhibited by the Republican National Committee and its journalistic allies in their desperate effort to invent a red herring to drag across the trail which leads to the truth concerning Watergate." [fn 37]

But Ervin saw Bush's Bellino material as a more serious assault. "Bush's charge distressed me very much for two reasons. First, I deemed it unjust to Bellino, who denied it and whom I had known for many years to be an honorable man and a faithful public servant; and, second, it was out of character with the high opinion I entertained of Bush. Copies of the affidavits had been privately submitted to me before the news conference, and I had expressed my opinion that there was not a scintilla of competent or credible evidence in them to sustain the charges against Bellino." [fn 38]

Sam Dash, the chief counsel to the Ervin committee, had a darker and more detailed view of Bush's actions. Dash later recounted: "In the midst of the pressure to complete a shortened witness list by the beginning of August, a nasty incident occurred that was clearly meant to sidetrack the committee and destroy or immobilize one of my most valuable staff assistants--Carmine Bellino, my chief investigator. On July 24, 1973, the day after the committee subpoena for the White House tapes was served on the President, the Republican national chairman, George Bush, called a press conference...." "Three days later, as if carefully orchestrated, twenty-two Republican senators signed a letter to Senator Ervin, urging the Senate Watergate Committee to investigate Bush's charges and calling for Bellino's suspension pending the outcome of the investigation. Ervin was forced into a corner, and on August 3 he appointed a subcommittee consisting of Senators Talmadge, Inouye, and Gurney to investigate the charges. The White House knew that Carmine Bellino, a wizard at reconstructing the receipts and expenditures of funds despite laundering techniques and the destruction of records, was hot on the trail of Herbert Kalmbach and Bebe Rebozo. Bellino's diligent, meticulous work would ultimately disclose Kalmbach's funding scheme for the White House's dirty tricks campaign and unravel a substantial segment of Rebozo's secret cash transactions on behalf of Nixon." [fn 39] Dash writes that Bellino was devastated by Bush's attacks, "rendered emotionally unable to work because of the charges." The mechanism targeted by Bellino is of course relevant to Bill Liedtke's funding of the CREEP described above. Perhaps Bush was in fact seeking to shut down Bellino solely to defend only himself and his confederates.

Members of Dash's staff soon realized that there had been another participant in the process of assembling the material that Bush had presented. According to Dash, "the charges became even murkier when our staff discovered that the person who had put them together was a man named Jack Buckley. In their dirty tricks investigation of the 1972 presidential campaign, Terry Lenzner and his staff had identified Buckley as the Republican spy, known as Fat Jack, who had intercepted and photographed Muskie's mail between his campaign and Senate offices as part of Ruby I (a project code named in Liddy's Gemstone political espionage plan)." It would appear that Fat Jack Buckley was now working for George Bush. Ervin then found that Senators Gurney and Baker, both Republicans, might be willing to listen to additional charges made by Buckley against Bellino. Dash says he "smelled the ugly odor of blackmail on the part of somebody and I did not like it." Later Senators Talmadge and Inouye filed a report completely exonerating Bellino, while Gurney conceded that there was no direct evidence against Bellino, but that there was some conflicting testimony that ought to be noted. Dash sums up that in late November, 1973, "the matter ended with little fanfare and almost no newspaper comment. The reputation of a public official with many years' service as a dedicated and incorruptible investigator had been deeply wounded and tarnished, and Bellino would retire from federal service believing-rightly-that he had not been given the fullest opportunity he deserved to clear his good name."

Another Bush concern during the summer of 1973 was his desire to liquidate the CREEP, not out of moralistic motives, but because of his desire to seize the CREEP's $4 million plus cash surplus. During the middle of 1973, some of this money had already been used to pay the legal fees of Watergate conspirators, as in the case of Maurice Stans. [fn 40]

During August, Bush went into an offensive of sanctimonious moralizing. Bush appears to have concluded that Nixon was doomed, and that it was imperative to distance himself and his operation from Nixon's impending downfall. On the NBC Today Show, Bush objected to John D. Ehrlichman's defense before the Ervin committee of the campaign practice of probing the sex and drinking habits of political opponents. "Crawling around in the gutter to find some weakness of a man, I don't think we need that," said Bush. "I think opponent research is valid. I think if an opponent is thought to have done something horrendous or thought to be unfit to serve, research is valid. But the idea of just kind of digging up dirt with the purpose of blackmail or embarrassing somebody so he'd lose, I don't think that is a legitimate purpose," postured Bush. By this time Ehrlichman, who had hired retired cops to dig up such dirt, had been thrown to the wolves. [fn 41]

A couple of days later Bush delivered a speech to the American Bar Association on "The Role and Responsibility of the Political Candidate." His theme was that restoring public trust in the political system would require candidates who would set a higher moral tone for their campaigns. "A candidate is responsible for organizing his campaign well--that is, picking people whom he trusts, picking the right people." This was an oblique but clear attack on Nixon, who had clearly picked the wrong people in addition to whatever else he did. Bush was for stricter rules, but even more for "old-fashioned conscience" as the best way to keep politics clean. He again criticized the approach which set out to "get dirt" on political adversaries-- again a swipe at Nixon's notorious "enemies' list" practices. Bush said that there were "gray areas in determining what was in good taste." Bush has never been noted for his sense of self-irony, and it appears that he was not aware of his own punning reference to L. Patrick Gray, the acting FBI Director who had "deep-sixed" Howard Hunt's incriminating records and who had then been left by Ehrlichman to "hang there" and to "twist slowly, slowly in the wind." Bush actually commented that Ehrlichman's comments on Gray had been in questionable taste. At this conference, Bush rubbed shoulders with Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter. [fn 42]

The next day Bush was at it again, announcing that he was re- opening an investigation into alleged courses in political sabotage and dirty tricks taught by the GOP to college Republicans in weekend seminars during 1971 and 1972. Bush pledged to "get to the bottom" of charges that the College Republican National Committee, with 1000 campus clubs and 100,000 members listed had provided instruction in dirty tricks. ""I'm a little less relaxed and more concerned than when you first brought it to our attention," Bush told journalists. [fn 43]

Bush had clearly distanced himself from the fate of the Nixon White House. By the time Spiro Agnew resigned as vice president on October 10, 1973, Bush was in a position to praise Agnew for his "great personal courage" while endorsing the resignation as "in the best interest of the country." [fn 44]

Later the same month came Nixon's Saturday night massacre, the firing of Special Prosecutor Cox and the resignation of Attorney General Elliot Richardson and his deputy, William Ruckelshaus. To placate public opinion, Nixon agreed to obey a court order compelling him to hand over his White House tapes. Bush had said that Nixon was suffering from a "confidence crisis" about the tapes, but now commented that what Nixon had done "will have a soothing effect. Clearly it will help politically ... Hopefully, his move will cool the emotions and permit the President to deal with matters of enormous domestic and international concern." [fn 45]

Later, in November, Bush bowed out of a possible candidacy in the 1974 Texas gubernatorial race. Speculation was that "the specter of Watergate" would have been used against him, but Bush preferred sanctimonious explanations. "Very candidly," he said, being governor of Texas has enormous appeal to me, but our political system is under fire and I have an overriding sense of responsibility that compels me to remain in my present job." Bush said that Watergate was "really almost ... nonexistent" as in issue in the Texas race. "Corruption and clean government didn't show up very high at all," he concluded. [fn 46]

By the spring of 1974, the impending doom of the Nixon regime was the cue for Bush's characteristic reedy whining. In May of 1974, after a meeting of the Republican Congressional leadership with Nixon, Bush told his friend Congressman Barber Conable that he was considering resigning from the RNC. Conable did not urge him to stay on. A few days later, John Rhodes, who had replaced Gerald Ford as House Minority Leader when Ford was tapped by Nixon for the vice presidency, told a meeting of House Republicans that Bush was getting ready to resign, and if he did so, it would be impossible for the White House to "get anybody of stature to take his place." [fn 47]

But even in the midst of the final collapse, Bush still made occasional ingratiating gestures to Nixon. Nixon pathetically recounts how Bush made him an encouraging offer in July, 1974, about a month before the end: "There were other signs of the sort that political pros might be expected to appreciate: NC Chairman George Bush called the White House to say that he would like to have me appear on a fund-raising telethon." [fn 48] This is what Bush was telling Nixon. But during this same period, Father John McLaughlin of the Nixon staff asked Bush for RNC lists of GOP diehards across the country for the purpose of generating support statements for Nixon. Bush refused to provide them. [fn 49]

On August 5, 1974, the White House released the transcript of the celebrated "smoking gun" taped conversation of June 23, 1972 in which Nixon discussed ways to frustrate the investigation of the Watergate break-ins. Chairman George was one of the leading Nixon Administration figures consulting with Al Haig in the course of the morning. When Bush heard the news, he was very upset, undoubtedly concerned about all the very negative publicity that he himself was destined to receive in the blowback of Nixon's now imminent downfall. Then after a while he calmed down somewhat. One account describes Bush as "somewhat relieved" by the news that the coup de grace tape was going to be made public, "an act probably fatal," as Haig had said. "Finally there was some one thing the national chairman could see clearly. The ambiguities in the evidence had been tearing the party apart, Bush thought." [fn 50] At this point Bush became the most outspoken and militant organizer of Nixon's resignation, a Cassius of the Imperial Presidency.

A little later White House Congressional liaison William Timmons wanted to make sure that everyone had been fully briefed about the transcripts going out, and he turned to Nixon's political counselor Dean Burch. "Dean, does Bush know about the transcript yet?", Timmons asked. Burch replied, "Yes." "Well, what did he do?", Timmons asked.

"He broke out in assholes and shit himself to death," was Burch's answer. [fn 51]

But why, it may be asked, the dermal diarrhea? Why should Bush be so distraught over the release to the press of the transcript of the notorious White House meeting of June 23, 1972, whose exchanges between Nixon and Haldeman were to prove the coup de grace to the agony of the Nixon regime? As we have seen, there is plenty of evidence that the final fall of Nixon was just the denouement that Bush wanted. The answer is that Bush was upset about the fabulous "smoking gun" tape because his friend Mosbacher, his business partner Bill Liedtke, and himself were referred to in the most sensitive passages. Yes, a generation of Americans has grown up recalling something about a "smoking gun" tape, but not many now recall that when Nixon referred to "the Texans," he meant George Bush. ("Das Bekannte ueberhaupt ist darum, weil es bekannt ist, nicht erkannt," as even old Hegel knew.)

The open secret of the much-cited but little analyzed "smoking gun" tape is that it refers to Nixon's desire to mobilize the CIA to halt the FBI investigation of the Watergate burglars on the grounds that money can be traced from donors in Texas and elsewhere to the coffers of the CREEP and thence to the pockets of Bernard Barker and the other Cubans arrested. The money referred to, of course, is part of Bill Liedtke's $700,000 discussed above. A first crucial passage of the "smoking gun" tape goes as follows, with the first speaker being Haldeman:

H: Now, on the investigation, you know the Democratic break-in thing, we're back in the problem area because the FBI is not under control, because [FBI chief] Gray doesn't exactly know how to control it and they have --their investigation is leading into some productive areas because they've been able to trace the money--not through the money itself--but through the bank sources--the banker. And, and it goes in some directions we don't want it to go. Ah, also there have been some things--like an informant came in off the street to the FBI in Miami who was a photographer or has a friend who was a photographer or has a friend who was a photographer who developed some films through this guy Barker and the films had pictures of Democratic national Committee letterhead documents and things. So it's things like that that are filtering in. Mitchell came up with yesterday, and John Dean analyzed very carefully last night and concludes, concurs now with Mitchell's recommendation that the only way to solve this, and we're set up beautifully to do it, ah, in that and that-- the only network that paid any attention to it last night was NBC--they did a massive story on the Cuban thing.

P: [Nixon] That's right.

H: That the way to handle this now is for us to have [CIA Deputy Director Vernon] Walters call Pat Gray and just say "Stay the hell out of this--this is ah, business here we don't want you to go any further on it. That's not an unusual development, and ah, that would take care of it.

P: What about Pat Gray--you mean Pat Gray doesn't want to?

H: Pat does want to. He doesn't know how to, and he doesn't have, he doesn't have any basis for doing it. Given this, he will then have the basis. He'll call Mark Felt in, and the two of them--and Mark Felt wants to cooperate because he's ambitious--

P: Yeah

H: He'll call him in and say, "We've got the signal from across the river to put the hold on this." And that will fit rather well because the FBI agents who are working the case, at this point, feel that's what it is.

P: This is CIA? They've traced the money? Who'd they trace it to?

H: Well they've traced it to a name, but they haven't gotten to the guy yet.

P: Would it be somebody here?

H: Ken Dahlberg.

P: Who the hell is Ken Dahlberg?

H: He gave $25,000 in Minnesota and, ah, the check went directly to this guy Barker.

P: It isn't from the committee though, from Stans?

H: Yeah. It is. It's directly traceable and there's some more through some Texas people that went to the Mexican bank which can also be traced to the Mexican bank-- they'll get their names today. And (pause)

P: Well, I mean, there's no way--I'm just thinking if they don't cooperate, what do they say? That they were approached by the Cubans. That's what Dahlberg has to say, the Texans too, that they--

H: Well, if they will. But then we're relying on more and more people all the time. That's the problem, and they'll stop if we could take this other route.

P: All right.

H: And you seem to think the thing to do is get them to stop?

P: Right, fine.

Kenneth Dahlberg was a front man for Dwayne Andreas of Archer- Daniels-Midland. Nixon wanted to protect himself, of course, but there is no doubt that he is talking about Liedtke, Pennzoil, Robert Mosbacher--his Bush-league Texas money-raising squad. With that comment, Nixon had dug his own grave with what was widely viewed as a prima facie case of obstruction of justice when this tape was released on August 5. But Nixon and Haldeman had a few other interesting things to say to each other that day, several of which evoke associations redolent of Bush.

Shortly after the excerpts provided above, Nixon himself sums up why the CIA ought to have its own interest in putting a lid on the Watergate affair:

P: Of course, this Hunt, that will uncover a lot of things. You open that scab there's a hell of a lot of things and we just feel that it would be very detrimental to have this thing go any further. This involves these Cubans, Hunt, and a lot of hanky-panky that we have nothing to do with ourselves. Well what the hell, did Mitchell know about this?

H: I think so. I don't think he knew the details, but I think he knew.

P: He didn't know how it was going to be handled through --with Dahlberg and the Texans and so forth? Well who was the asshole that did? Is it Liddy? Is that the fellow? He must be a little nuts!

Shortly after this, the conversation turned to Bus Mosbacher, who was resigning as the Chief of Protocol. Nixon joked that while Mosbacher was escorting the visiting dignitaries, bachelor Henry Kissinger always ended up escorting Mosbacher's wife. But before too long Nixon was back to the CIA again:

P: When you get in-- when you get in (unintelligible) people, say, "Look the whole problem is that this will open the whole, the whole Bay of Pigs thing and the President just feels that ah, without going into the details--don't, don't lie to them to the extent to say there is no involvement, but just say this is a comedy of errors, without getting into it, the President believes that it is going to open the whole Bay of Pigs thing up again. And, ah, because these people are plugging for (unintelligible) and that they should call the FBI in and (unintelligible) don't go any further into this case period! (inaudible) our cause.

It would also appear that Nixon's references to Howard Hunt and the Bay of Pigs are an oblique allusion to the Kennedy assassination, about which Nixon may have known more than he has ever told. Later the same day Haldeman reported back to Nixon about his meeting with Walters:

H: Well, it was kind of interesting. Walters made the point and I didn't mention Hunt. I just said that the thing was leading into directions that were going to create potential problems because they were exploring leads that led back into areas that would be harmful to the CIA and harmful to the government (unintelligible) didn't have anything to do (unintelligible).

Later Haldeman returned to this same theme:

H: Gray called Helms and said I think we've run right into the middle of a CIA covert operation.

P: Gray said that?

H: Yeah. And (unintelligible) said nothing we've done at this point and ah (unintelligible) says well it sure looks to me like it is (unintelligible) and ah, that was the end of that conversation (unintelligible) the problem is it tracks back to the Bay of Pigs and it tracks back to some other the leads run out to people who had no involvement in this, except by contracts and connection, but it gets to areas that are liable to be raised? The whole problem (unintelligible) Hunt. So at that point he kind of got the picture. He said, he said we'll be very happy to be helpful (unintelligible) handle anything you want. I would like to know the reason for being helpful, and I made it clear to him he wasn't going to get explicit (unintelligible) generality, and he said fine. And Walters (unintelligible), Walters is going to make a call to Gray. That's the way we put it and that's the way it was left.

P: How does that work though, how they've got to (unintelligible) somebody from the Miami bank.

H: (Unintelligible) The point John makes --the Bureau is going on this because they don't know what they are uncovering (unintelligible) continue to pursue it. They don't need to because they already have their case as far as the charges against these men (unintelligible) One thing Helms did raise. He said. Gray--he asked Gray why they thought they had run into a CIA thing and Gray said because of the amount of money involved, a lot of dough (unintelligible) and ah (unintelligible)

P: (Unintelligible)

H: Well, I think they will. If it runs (unintelligible) what the hell who knows (unintelligible) contributed CIA.

H: Ya, it's money CIA gets money (unintelligible) I mean their money moves in a lot of different ways, too. [fn 52]

Nixon's train of associations takes him from the Pennzoil-Liedtke Mosbacher-Bush slush fund operation to Howard Hunt and the Bay of Pigs and "a lot of hanky-panky." and then back to Bus Mosbacher, Robert's elder brother. Later on Haldeman stresses that the FBI, discovering a large money laundering operation between Pennzoil and Bill Liedtke in Houston, Mexico City, Maurice Stans and the CREEP in Washington, and some CIA Miami Station Cubans, simply concluded that this was all a CIA covert operation.

As Haldeman himself later summed it up:

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 after all) the multiple layers of deception by the CIA are astounding. [fn 53]

Later on Nixon's last Monday, Bush joined White House Counsel J. Fred Buzhardt and Dean Burch on a visit to Congressman Rhodes, and showed him the transcript of the smoking gun tape. "This means that there's just no chance in the world that he's not going to be impeached," said Rhodes. "In fact, there's no chance in the world that I won't vote to impeach him." Bush must have heaved a sigh of relief, since this is what he had wanted Rhodes to tell Nixon to get him to quit. "Rhodes later let it be known that he was offended that Bush had been briefed before he was," but of course, Bush was a top official of the Nixon White House. [fn 54]

But Nixon still refused to quit, raising the prospect of a trial before the Senate that could be damaging to many besides Nixon. The next day, Tuesday, August 6, 1974 saw the last meeting of the Nixon cabinet, with Chairman George in attendance. This was the Cabinet meeting described as "unreal" by Bush later. Nixon's opening statement was: "I would like to discuss the most important issue confronting this nation, and confronting us internationally too--inflation." Nixon then argued adamantly for some minutes that he had examined the course of events over the recent past and that he had "not found an impeachable offense, and therefore resignation is not an acceptable course." Vice President Ford predicted that there would be certain impeachment by the House, but that the outcome in the Senate could not be predicted. Otherwise, said Ford, he was an interested party on the resignation issue and would make no further comment.

Nixon then wanted to talk about the budget again, and about an upcoming summit conference on the economy. Attorney General Saxbe interrupted him. "Mr. President, I don't think we ought to have a summit conference. We ought to make sure you have the ability to govern." Nixon quietly assured Saxbe that he had the ability to govern. Then Chairman George piped up, in support of Saxbe. The President's ability to govern was impaired, said George. The Republican Party was in a shambles, he went on, and the forthcoming Congressional election threatened to be a disaster. Watergate had to be brought to an end expeditiously, Bush argued. From his vantage point at Nixon's right elbow, Kissinger could see that Bush was advancing towards the conclusion that Nixon had to resign. "It was cruel. And it was necessary," thought Kissinger. "More than enough had been said," was the Secretary of State's impression. Kissinger was seeking to avoid backing Nixon into a corner where he would become more stubborn and more resistant to the idea of resignation, making that dreaded Senate trial more likely. And this was the likely consequence of Bush's line of argument.

"Mr. President, can't we just wait a week or two and see what happens?", asked Saxbe. Bush started to support Saxbe again, but now Nixon was getting more angry. Nixon glared at Bush and Saxbe, the open advocates of his resignation. "No," he snapped. "This is too important to wait."

Now the senior cabinet officer decided he had to take the floor to avoid a total confrontation that would leave Nixon besieged but still holding the Oval Office. Kissinger's guttural accents were heard in the cabinet room: "We are not here to offer excuses for what we cannot do. We are here to do the nation's business. This is a very difficult time for our country. Our duty is to show confidence. It is essential that we show it is not safe for any country to take a run at us. For the sake of foreign policy we must act with assurance and total unity. If we can do that, we can vindicate the structure of peace." The main purpose of this pompous tirade had been to bring the meeting to a rapid end, and it worked. "There was a moment of embarrassed silence around the table," recalls Nixon, and after a few more remarks on the economy, the meeting broke up.

Kissinger stayed behind with Nixon to urge him to resign, which Nixon now said he felt compelled to do. Bush sought out Al Haig to ponder how Nixon might be forced out. "What are we going to do?", asked Bush. Haig told Bush to calm down, explaining: "We get him up to the mountaintop, then he comes down again, then we get him up again." [fn 55] Kissinger walked back to his office in the West Wing and met Gen. Brent Scowcroft, the NSC Director. Kissinger told Scowcroft that "there was precious little support for the President. Kissinger, no mean hypocrite in his own right, thought that Saxbe had been "weak-livered." Bush and Saxbe had both been petty and insensitive, Kissinger thought. He compared Bush and Saxbe and the rest to a seventeenth- century royal court with the courtiers scurrying about, concerned with themselves rather than with their country.

During this cabinet meeting, Bush was already carrying a letter to Nixon that would soon become the unkindest cut of all for Chairman George's wretched patron. This letter was delivered to Nixon on August 7. It read as follows:

Dear Mr. President,

It is my considered judgment that you should now resign. I expect in your lonely embattled position this would seem to you as an act of disloyalty from one you have supported and helped in so many ways. My own view is that I would now ill serve a President whose massive accomplishments I will always respect and whose family I love, if I did not now give you my judgment. Until this moment resignation has been no answer at all, but given the impact of the latest development, and it will be a lasting one, I now firmly feel resignation is best for the country, best for this President. I believe this view is held by most Republican leaders across the country. This letter is much more difficult because of the gratitude I will always have for you. If you do leave office history will properly record your achievements with a lasting respect. [fn 56]

During Bush's confirmation hearings for the post of CIA Director in December, 1976, when it became important to show how independent Bush had been, Senator Barry Goldwater volunteered that Bush had been "the first man to my knowledge to let the President know he should go." That presumably meant, the first among cabinet and White House officials.

The next day, August 8, 1974, Nixon delivered his resignation to Henry Kissinger. Kissinger could now look forward to exercising the powers of the presidency at least until January, 1977, and perhaps well beyond.

For a final evaluation of Bush in Watergate, we may refer to a sketch of his role during those times provided by Bush's friend Maurice Stans, the finance director of the CREEP. This is how Stans sizes up Bush as a Watergate player:

George Bush, former member of Congress and former Ambassador to the United Nations. Bush, who proved he was one of the bravest men in Washington in agreeing to head the Republican National Committee during the 1973-74 phase of Watergate, kept the party organization together and its morale high, despite massive difficulties of press criticism and growing public disaffection with the administration. Totally without information as to what had gone on in Watergate behind the scenes, he was unable to respond knowledgeably to questions and because of that unjustly became the personal target of continuing sarcasm and cynicism from the media." [fn 57]

But there are many indications that Bush was in reality someone who, while taking part in the fray, actually helped to steer Watergate towards the strategic outcome desired by the dominant financier faction, the one associated with Brown Brother, Harriman and with London. As with so much in the life of this personage, much of Bush's real role in Watergate remains to be unearthed. To borrow a phrase from James McCord's defense of his boss, Richard Helms, we must see to it that "every tree in the forest will fall."

_______________

Notes:

1. Fitzhugh Green, George Bush, p. 137.

2. Bush and Gold, pp. 120-121.

3. Bush and Gold, p. 121.

4. Fitzhugh Green, p. 129.

5. Harry Hurt III, "George Bush, Plucky Lad," in Texas Monthly, June 1983.

6. Dallas Morning News, November 25, 1971.

7. Washington Post, December 12, 1972.

8. Ibid.

9. Washington Post, January 22, 1973.

10. Washington Post, February 6, 1973.

11. Washington Post, January 22, 1973.

12. See for example Len Cholodny and Robert Gettlin, Silent Coup (New York, 1991).

13. Lyn Marcus, "Up-Valuation of German Mark Fuels Watergate Attack on Nixon," New Solidarity, July 9-13, 1973, pp. 10-11.

14. See Thomas Petzinger, Oil and Honor (New York, 1987), pp. 64- 65. See also Harry Hurt's article mentioned above. Wright Patman's House Banking Committee revealed part of the activities of Bill Liedtke and Mosbacher during the Watergate era.

15. Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, All the President's Men (New York, 1974), present the checks received by Barker as one of the ways they breached the wall of secrecy around the CREEP, with the aid of their anonymous source "Bookkeeper." But neither in this book nor in The Final Days (New York, 1976), do "Woodstein" get around to mentioning that the Mexico City money came from Bill Liedtke. This marked pattern of silence and reticence on matters pertaining to George Bush, certainly one of the most prominent of the President's men, is a characteristic of Watergate journalism in general. For more information regarding William Liedtke's role in financing the CREEP, see Hearings Before the Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities, 93rd Congress, including testimony by Hugh Sloan, June 6, 1973; and by Maurice Stans, June 12, 1973; see also the Final Report of the committee, issued in June, 1974. Relevant press coverage from the period includes "Stans Scathes Report," by Woodward and Bernstein, Washington Post, September 14, 1972; and "Liedtke Linked to FPC Choice," United Press International, June 26, 1973. Liedtke also influenced Nixon appointments in areas of interest to himself.

16. Maurice H. Stans, The Terrors of Justice: The Untold Side of Watergate.

17. New York Times, August 26, 1972, and Nov. 1, 1972.

18. Interview with a Post Oak Bank executive Nov. 21, 1991. Houston Post, Dec. 27, 1988.

19. Stanley L. Kutler, The Wars of Watergate: The Last Crisis of Richard Nixon (New York, 1990), pp. 229-33.

20. See Jim Hougan, Secret Agenda (New York, 1984), p. 92.

21. Ervin Committee Hearings, Book 9 pp. 3441-46, and Report of the Nedzi Committee of the House of Representatives, p. 201, cited by Hougan, p. 318.

22. Nezdi Committee report, pp. 442-43, quoted in Hougan, p. 21.

23. Hougan, pp. 46-47.

24. Ervin Committee Final Rport, pp. 1146-49, and Hougan, pp. 131-132.

25. Al Reinert, "Bob and George Go To Washington or The Post-Watergate Scramble," Texas Monthly, April, 1974.

26. The question of the Columbia Plaza Apartments is a central theme of Jim Hougan, Secret Agenda (New York, 1984). We have also relied on Hougan's version of the Russell-Leon-Bellino subplot described below. Hougan's book, although it studiously avoids drawing obvious conclusions about Bush, Kissinger, Rockefeller, and many others, is a convenient starting point for the necessary metacritique of Watergate. By contrast, the Colodny-Gettlin Silent Coup (New York, 1991) represents a step backward, away from the truth of the matter on numerous points.

27. Hougan, p. 324.

28. Hougan, p. 370.

29. Interview of Jerris Leonard with Tony Chaitkin, August 26, 1991.

30. Hougan, p. 374-375.

31. See Jules Witcover, "Political Spies Accuse Committee Investigator," Washington Post, July 25, 1973, and John Geddie, "Bush Alleges Bugs," Dallas News, July 25, 1973. See also Victor Lasky, It Didn't Start with Watergate (New York, 1977), pp. 41-55.

32. Hougan, p. 376. Notice that the day of Leon's death was also the day that White House staffer Butterfield told Congressional investigators of the existence of Nixon's taping system.

33. Ibid.

34. RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon, p. 811.

35. Pincus and Woodward, Presidential Posts and Dashed Hopes, Washington Post, August 9, 1988.

36. Washington Post, July 12, 1973.

37. Sam J. Ervin, Jr., The Whole Truth (New York, 1980), p. 28.

38. Ervin, p. 29.

39. Sam Dash, Chief Counsel (New York, 1976), p. 192.

40. Evans and Novak, July 11, 1973.

41. Washington Post, August 7, 1973.

42. Washington Post, August 9, 1973.

43. Washington Post, August 10, 1973.

44. Washington Post, October 11, 1973.

45. Washington Post, October 24, 1973.

46. Washington Post, November 17, 1973.

47. Bernstein and Woodward, The Final Days, pp. 159, 176.

48. RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon, p. 1042.

49. Fitzhugh Green, p. 135.

50. The Final days, p. 368.

51. The Final Days, p. 369.

52. For the "smoking gun" transcript of June 23, 1972, see Washington Post, August 6, 1974.

53. H. R. Haldeman, The Ends of Power (New York, 1978), p. 64.

54. The Final Days, p. 374.

55. Available accounts of Nixon's last cabinet meeting are fragmentary, but see: RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon, p. 1066; The Final Days, pp. 386-389; Theodore H. White, Breach of Faith: The Fall of Richard Nixon (New York, 1975), p. 24; Henry Kissinger, Years of Upheaval, pp. 1202-1203; J. Anthony Lukas, Nightmare: The Underside of the Nixon Years (New York, 1976), pp 558-559. These have been collated for the account offered here.

56. The ostensible full text of this letter is found in Nicholas King, George Bush: A Biography (New York, 1980), p. 87. Vic Gold gives only seven lines of excerpts. Fitzhugh Green, in his post November 1988 hagiography, liquidates the matter in fewer than five lines. In each case the calculating eye of the public relations man is observing the reader like the sucker in a medicine show. Apparently Bush's handlers concluded that there was less and less to gain from distancing their candidate from Nixon; perhaps their polls were showing that popular resentment of Nixon had somewhat declined.

57. Maurice H. Stans, The Terrors of Justice: The Untold Side of Watergate, p. 66.
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Re: George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography, by Webster Tarp

Postby admin » Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:28 am

Chapter XIII -- Bush Attempts The Vice Presidency, 1974

Those who betray their benefactors are seldom highly regarded. In Dante's Divine Comedy, traitors to benefactors and to the established authorities are consigned to the ninth circle of the Inferno, where their souls are suspended, like insects in amber, in the frozen River Cocytus. This is the Giudecca, where the three arch-traitors Judas Iscariot, Brutus, and Cassius are chewed for all eternity in the three mouths of Lucifer. The crimes of Nixon were monstrous, especially in Vietnam and in the India-Pakistan war, but in these Bush had been an enthusiastic participant. Now Bush's dagger, among others, had now found its target; Nixon was gone. In the depths of his Inferno, Dante relates the story of Frate Alberigo to illustrate the belief that in cases of the most heinous treachery, the soul of the offender plunges at once into hell, leaving the body to live out its physical existence under the control of a demon. Perhaps the story of old Frate Alberigo will illuminate us as we follow the further career of George Bush.

As Nixon left the White House for his home in San Clemente, California, in the early afternoon of August 9, 1974, Chairman George was already plotting how to scale still further up the dizzy heights of state. Ford was now president, and the vice-presidency was vacant. According to the XXV Amendment, it was now up to Ford to designate a vice president who would then require a majority vote of both houses of Congress to be confirmed. Seeing a golden opportunity to seize an office that he had long regarded as the final stepping stone to his ultimate goal of the White House, Bush immediately mobilized his extensive Brown Brothers, Harriman/Skull and Bones network, including as many Zionist lobby auxiliaries as he could muster. George had learned in 1968 that an organized effort commensurate with his own boundless lust for power would be required to succeed. One of the first steps was to set up a boiler shop operation in a suite of rooms at the Statler Hilton Hotel in Washington. Here Richard L. Herman, the Nebraska GOP national committeeman and two assistants began churning out a cascade of calls to Republicans and others around the country, urging, threatening, cajoling, calling in chits, promising future favors if Chairman George were to become Vice President George. [fn 1] Since Bush controlled the RNC apparatus, this large machinery could also be thrown into the fray.

There were other, formidable candidates, but none was so aggressive as Chairman George. Nelson Rockefeller, who had resigned as Governor of New York some months before to devote more time to his own consuming ambition and to his Commission on Critical Choices, was in many ways the front runner. Nelson's vast notoriety, his imposing cursus honorum, his own powerful Wall Street network, his financial and banking faction-- all of these would count heavily in his favor. But Nelson, having been the incarnation of the Eastern Liberal Establishment internationalists against whom Goldwater had campaigned so hard in 1964, also had a very high negative. People hated Nelson. His support was considerable, but he had more active opposition than any other candidate. This meant that Ford had to hesitate in choosing Nelson because of what the blowback might mean for a probable Ford candidacy in 1976.

The conservative Republicans all regarded Goldwater as their sentimental favorite, but they also knew that Ford would be reluctant to select him because of a different set of implications for 1976. Beyond Rockefeller and Goldwater, each a leader of a wing of the party, the names multiplied: Senator Howard Baker, Elliot Richardson, Governor William Scranton, Melvin Laird, Senator Bill Brock, Governor Dan Evans, Donald Rumsfeld, and many others. Bush knew that if he could get Goldwater to show him some support, the Goldwater conservatives could be motivated to make their influence felt for Bush, and this might conceivably put him over the top, despite Rockefeller's strength in the financial and intelligence communities. Part of the battle would be to convince Ford that Bush would be a bigger asset for 1976.

First Chairman George had to put on the mask of conciliation and moderation. As Nixon was preparing his departure speech, Bush lost no time in meeting with Ford, now less than 24 hours away from being sworn in as president. Bush told the press that Ford had "said he'd be pleased if I stayed on" at the RNC, but had to concede that Ford had given no indication as to his choice for the vice president. Bush's network in the House of Representatives, maintained since his Rubbers days, was now fully mobilized, with "a showing of significant support in the House and among GOP officials" for Bush on the day before Nixon left town. Bush also put out a statement from the RNC saying, "The battle is over. Now is the time for kindness ... Let us all try now to restore to our society a climate of civility." But despite the hypocritical kinder and gentler rhetoric, Chairman George's struggle for power was just beginning. [fn 2]

Melvin Laird soon came out for Rockefeller, and there were sentimental displays for Goldwater in many quarters. With Bush's network in full career, he was beginning to attract favorable mention from the columnists. Evans and Novak on August 11 claimed that "as the new President was sworn in, Rockefeller had become a considerably less likely prospect than either Senator Howard Baker of Tennessee or George Bush, the gregarious patrician and transplanted Texan who heads the Republican National Committee." Columns like this one went on at length about the many disadvantages of choosing Rockefeller, not the least of which was that he would eclipse Ford.

On August 10, Ford announced that he would poll Republicans at all levels across the country. Some expressed their preferences directly to the White House, but the Republican National Committee members had to report their choices through Chairman George. Many of them, fearing the price they might have to pay for lese majeste, indicated Bush as their first choice. This matter was the subject of a complaint by Tom Evans of the RNC, who talked to the press and also wrote letters to the Ford White House, as we will see.

By August 14, the Washington Post was reporting a "full scale campaign" on behalf of Bush, with an "impressive array of support" against Rockefeller. Bush's campaign manager and chief boiler room operator Richard L. Herman of Nebraska summed up his talking points: Bush, said Herman, "is the only one in the race with no opposition. He may not be the first choice in all cases, but he's not lower than second with anyone." Herman said he was "assisting" a broader organization on the Hill and of course at the RNC itself that was mobilized for Bush. Bush "can do more to help the Republican Party than anyone else and is totally acceptable throughout the country," blathered Herman. Bush was "obviously aware of what we're doing," said Herman. The old Prescott Bush networks were still a big plus, he stressed. A group of House conservatives came out for Goldwater, with Bush in second place.

Support for Goldwater was apt to turn into support for Bush at any time, so Bush was gaining mightily, running second to Rocky alone. Taking note of the situation, even Bush's old allies at the Washington Post had to register some qualms. In an editorial published on August 15, 1974 on the subject of "The Vice Presidency," Post commentators quoted the ubiquitous Richard Herman on Bush's qualifications. The Post found that Bush's "background and abilities would appear to qualify him for the vice presidency in just about all respects, except for the one that seems to us to really matter: What is conspicuously lacking is any compelling or demonstrable evidence that he is qualified to be President." Nelson might be better, suggested the Post. In any case, "we have the recent example of Mr. Agnew to remind us of the pitfalls in the choice of Vice Presidents by the application of irrelevant criteria."

But despite these darts, Chairman George continued to surge ahead. The big break came when Barry Goldwater, speaking in Columbia, South Carolina, told a Republican fund-raiser that he had a "gut feeling" that Ford was going to select Bush for the vice presidency. Barry, we recall, had been very cozy with father Prescott in the old days. Goldwater portrayed Bush and Rockefeller as the two competing front-runners. This was precisely where Bush wanted to position himself so that he could benefit from the widespread and vocal opposition to Rockefeller. On August 15, a source close to Ford told David Broder and Lou Cannon that Bush now had the "inside track" for the vice presidency. Rockefeller's spokesman Hugh Morrow retorted that "we're not running a boiler shop or calling anyone or doing anything," unlike the strong-arm Bush team. [fn 3]

Inside the Ford White House, responses to Ford's solicitation were coming in. Among the top White House councilors, Bush got the support of Kenneth Rush, who had almost become Nixon's Secretary of State and who asserted that Bush "would have a broader appeal to all segments of the political spectrum than any other qualified choice. His relative youth, Texas residence with a New England background, wide popularity in business and political circles, and unqualified integrity and ability, combined with his personal qualities of charm and tact, would make him a natural for the new Presidential/Vice Presidential team." This encomium is quoted at length because it seems to be a form letter or printout that was distributed by the Bush operation as talking points for Bush supporters. [fn 4] Dean Burch wrote a memo to Ford pointing out that among the prominent candidates, "only a few have a post-1980 political future." "My own choice," Burch told Ford, "would be a Vice President with a long term political future.--a potential candidate, at least, for the Presidency in his own right." In Burch's conclusion, "Still operating on this assumption, my personal choice is George Bush." [fn 4] .

The cabinet showed more sentiment for Rockefeller. Rogers Morton of the Interior, Weinberger of HEW, James Lynn of HUD, Frederick Dent of Commerce, and Attorney General Saxbe were all for Rocky. Earl Butz of Agriculture was for Goldwater, and James R. Schlesinger of Defense was for Eliott Richardson. No written opinion by Henry Kissinger appears extant at the Ford Library. Among the cabinet and the senior White House counselors, therefore, Rocky had bested Bush 7 to 3, with Burch and Rush providing Chairman George's most convinced support.

Then the White House staff was polled. Pat Buchanan advised Ford to avoid all the younger men, including Bush, and told the president that Rockefeller would "regrettably" have to be his choice. John McLaughlin also told Ford to go for Rocky, although he mentioned that Bush "would also be a fine vice president." [fn 5] Richard A. Moore was for Bush based on his economic credentials, asserting that Bush's "father and grandfather were both highly respected investment bankers in New York." In the White House staff, Bush won out over Rockefeller and Scranton. Among personal friends of Ford, Bush won out over Rocky by a 4 to 3 margin.

Among Republican governors, there was significant resistance to Bush. Former Pennsylvania Governor William Scranton, who had been considered of presidential caliber, wrote to Ford aide Phillip Buchen of Bush: "Quite frankly, in my experience with him his one drawback is a limitation of his administrative ability." [fn 6] Among serving governors, only Thomas J. Meskill of Connecticut, and Otis R. Bowen of Indiana put Bush in first place. When all the governors' preferences were tabulated, Bush came in third, trailing Rockefeller and Governor Daniel J. Evans of Washington.

Among the Republican Senators, Bush had intense competition, but the Prescott Bush network proved it could hold its own. Howard Baker put Bush second, while Henry Bellmon and Dewey Bartlett sent in a joint letter in support of Bush. Bob Dole but Chairman George last among his list of preferences, commenting that the choice of Bush would be widely regarded as "totally partisan." Pete Dominici put Bush as his first choice, but also conceded that he would be seen as a partisan pick. Roth of Delaware had Bush in third place after John J. Williams and Rocky. Hugh Scott of Pennsylvania wanted Rocky or Goldwater, but put Bush in third place. James Pearson of Kansas had Bush as first choice. Jesse Helms mentioned Bush, but in fifth place after Goldwater, Harry Byrd, Reagan, and James Buckley. [fn 7] In the final tally of Senate picks, Rocky edged out Bush with 14 choices to Bush's 12, followed by Goldwater with 11.

Bush was stronger in the House, where many members had served side by side with their old friend Rubbers. Bush was the first choice of Bill Archer of Texas (who had inherited Bush's old district, and who praised Bush for having "led the fight in Congress for disclosure and reform"), Skip Bafalis of Florida, William G. Bray of Indiana, Dan Brotzman of Colorado, Joe Broyhill of Virginia, John Buchana of Alabama, Charles Chamberlain of Michigan, Donald Clancy of Ohio, Del Dawson of California, and Thad Cochran of Mississippi. William Armstrong of Colorado struck a discordant note by urging Ford to pick "a person who has extensive experience in ELECTED public office." William S. Cohen of Maine found that Bush did "not have quite the range of experience of Richardson or Rockefeller. James Collins favored Bush "as a Texan." Glenn Davis of Wisconsin, Derwinksi of Illinois (a long-term ally who eventually rose to the Bush cabinet after having served with Bush at the UN mission in New York), Sam Devine of Ohio, and Pierre S. Du Pont IV of Delaware -all for Bush. William Dickinson of Alabama found Bush "physically attractive" with "no political scars I am aware of" and "personally very popular." But then came John J. Duncan of Tennessee, who told Ford that he could not "support any of the fifteen or so mentioned in the news media."

Marvin Esch of Michigan was for Bush, as was Peter Frelinghuysen of New Jersey. Edwin D. Eshelman told Ford to go for Bush "if you want a moderate." The Bush brigade went on with Charles Gubser of California, and Hammerschmidt of Arkansas, still very close to Bush today. John Heinz of Pennsylvania was having none of Bush, but urged Ford to take Rockefeller, Scranton, or Richardson, in that order. John Erlenborn of Illinois was more than captivated by Bush, writing Ford that Bush "is attractive personally--people tend to like him on sight." Why, "he has almost no political enemies" that Erlenborn knew of. Bud Hillis of Indiana, Andrew Hinshar of California, Marjorie Holt- for Bush. Lawrence Hogan of Maryland was so "disturbed" about the prospect of Rockefeller that he was for Bush too. Hudnut of Indiana put Bush as his second choice after favorite son Gov. Otis Bowen because Bush was "fine, clean."

Jack Kemp of New York, now in the Bush cabinet, was for Bush way back then, interestingly enough. Lagomarsino of California put Bush third, Latta of Ohio put him second only to Rocky. Trent Lott of Mississippi, who has since moved up to the Senate, told Ford that he needed somebody "young and clean" and that "perhaps George Bush fits that position." Manuel Lujan of New Mexico, who also made the Bush cabinet, was a solid Bush rooter, as was Wiley Mayne of Iowa. Pete McCloskey put Bush second to Richardson, but ahead of Rocky. John McCollister of Nebraska deluded himself that Bush could be confirmed without too much trouble: McCollister was for Bush because "I believe he could pass the Judiciary Committee's stern test" because "he had no policy making role in the sad days now ended," but perhaps Ford knew better on that one.

Clarence Miller of Ohio was for Bush. Congressman Bob Michel, ever climbing in the House GOP hierarchy, had long-winded arguments for Bush. Rocky, he thought, could "help most" over the remainder of Ford's term, but Bush would be a trump card for 1976. "George Bush would not command all the immediate adulation simply because he hasn't had as long a proven track record in the business and industrial community, but his credentials are good," wrote Michel. "He is young and he would work day and night and he would never attempt to 'upstage the boss.' Aside from projecting a 'straight arrow image,' he would be acceptable to the more conservative element in the party that would be offended by the appointment of Rockefeller." In addition, assured Michel, Bush enjoyed support among Democrats "from quarters I would not have believed possible," "and they are indeed influential Democrats." "Over and above this, we may be giving one of our own a good opportunity to follow on after a six-year Ford administration," Michel concluded.

Donald Mitchell of New York was for Bush because of his "rich background," which presumably meant money. Ancher Nelson thought Bush had "charisma," and he was for him. But George O'Brien of Illinois was also there with that bothersome request for "someone who was elected and was serving in a federal position." Stan Parris of Alexandria, Virginia, a faithful yes-man for Bush until his defeat in 1990, was for Bush- of course. Jerry Pettis of California for Bush. Bob Price of Texas urged Ford to tap Bush, in part because of his "excellent" ties to the Senate, which were "due to his own efforts and the friendships of his father." Albert Quie of Minnesota had some support of his own for the nod, but he talked favorably about Bush, whom he also found "handsome." "He has only one handicap," thought Quie, "and that is, he lost an election for the Senate." Make that two handicaps. Score J. Kenneth Robinson of Virginia for Bush, along with Philip Ruppe of Michigan, who lauded Bush's "human warmth." Earl Ruth of northern California and William Steigler of Wisconsin for Bush. Steve Symms of Idaho, later a senator, wanted "a Goldwater man" like Reagan, or Williams of Delaware. But, Symms added, "I would accept our National Chairman Bush." Guy Vander Jagt of Michigan confided to his former colleague Ford that "my personal recommendation is George Bush." John H. Ware broke a lance for Chairman George, and then came the endorsement of G. William Whitehurst of Virginia, an endorsement that stood out for its freemasonic overtones in a field where freemasonic modulations were rife. According to Whitehurst, who has a parkway with his name on it in the capital, Bush demonstrates "those special characteristics that qualify a man for the highest office if fate so designates." This is one Ford would have had no trouble understanding. Bob Wilson of California was for Bush, also considering the long term perspectives; he liked Bush's youthful enthusiasm and saw him as "a real leader for moderation" Larr Winnof Kansas, Wendell Wyatt of Oregon, Bill Young of Florida, Don Young of Alaska, Roger Zion of Indiana-- all listed Bush as their prime choice. The Republican House Steering Committee went for Bush because of his "general acceptance." [fn 8]

When Ford's staff tabulated the House results, Bush's combined total of 101 first, second and third choice mentions put him in the lead, over Rocky at 68 and Reagan at 23. Among all the Republican elected and appointed officials who had expressed an opinion, Bush took first place with 255 points, with Rockefeller second with 181, Goldwater third with 83, Reagan with 52, followed by Richardson, Melvin Laird, and the rest. It was a surprise to no one that Bush was the clear winner among the Republican National Committee respondents, which he had personally solicited and screened, and even Ford's people do not seem to have been overly impressed by this part of the result. But all in all it was truly a monument to the Bush network, achieved for a candidate with no qualifications who had very much participated in the sleaze of the Nixon era.

The vox populi saw things slightly differently. In the number of telegrams received by the White House, Goldwater was way ahead with 2280 in his favor, and only 102 against. Bush had 887 for him and 92 against. Rocky had 544 in favor, and a whopping 3202 against. [fn 9]

But even here, the Bush network had been totally mobilized, with a very large effort in the Dallas business community, among black Republicans, and by law firms with links to the Zionist lobby. Ward Lay of Frito-Lay joined with Herman W. Lay to support Bush. The law firm of McKenzie and Baer of Dallas assured Ford that Bush was "Mr. Clean." There was a telegram from Charles Pistor of the Republic National Bank of Dallas, and many others.

The all court press applied by the Bush machine also generated bad blood. Rockefeller supporter Tom Evans, a former RNC co-chair, wrote to Ford with the observation that "no one should campaign for the position and I offer these thoughts only because of an active campaign that is being conducted on George Bush's behalf which I do not believe properly reflects Republican opinion." Evans was more substantive than most recommendations: "Certainly one of the major issues confronting our country at this time is the economy and the related problems of inflation, unemployment, and high interest rates. I respectfully suggest that you need someone who can help substantively in these areas. George is great at PR but he is not as good in substantive matters. This opinion can be confirmed by individuals who held key positions at the National Committee." Evans also argued that Bush should have put greater distance between the GOP and Nixon sooner than he did. [fn 10]

So Nelson's networks were not going to take the Bush strong-arm approach lying down. Bush's most obvious vulnerability was his close relationship to Nixon, plus the fact that he had been up to his neck in Watergate. It was lawful that Bush's ties to one of Nixon's slush funds came back to haunt him. This was the "Townhouse" fund again, the one managed by Jack A. Gleason and California attorney Herbert W. Kalmbach, Nixon's personal lawyer, who had gained quite some personal notoriety during the Watergate years. These two had both pleaded guilty earlier in 1974 to running an illegal campaign fun-raising operation, with none of the required reports ever filed.

By August 19, the even of Ford's expected announcement, the Washington Post reported that unnamed White House sources were telling Newsweek magazine that Bush's vice presidential bid "had slipped badly because of alleged irregularities in the financing of his 1970 Senate race in Texas." Newsweek quoted White House sources that "there was potential embarrassment in reports that the Nixon White House had funneled about $100,000 from a secret fund called the 'Townhouse Operation' into Bush's losing Senate campaign against Democrat Lloyd Bentsen four years ago." Newsweek also added that $40,000 of this money may not have been properly reported under the election laws. Bush was unavailable for comment that day, and retainers James Bayless and C. Fred Chambers scrambled to deliver plausible denials, but the issue would not go away.

Bush's special treatment during the 1970 campaign was a subject of acute resentment, especially among senate Republicans Ford needed to keep on board. Back in 1970, Senator Mark Hatfield of Oregon had demanded to know why John Tower had given Bush nearly twice as much money as any other Senate Republican. Senator Tower had tried to deny favoritism, but Hatfield and Edward Brooke of Massachusetts had not been placated. Now there was the threat that if Bush had to go through lengthy confirmation hearings in the Congress, the entire Townhouse affair might be dredged up once again. According to some accounts, there were as many as 18 Republican senators who had gotten money from Townhouse, but whose names had not been divulged. [fn 11] Any attempt to force Bush through as vice president might lead to the fingering of these senators, and perhaps others, mightily antagonizing those who had figured they were getting off with a whole coat. Ripping off the scabs of Watergate wounds in this way conflicted with Ford's "healing time" strategy, which was designed to put an hermetic lid on the festering mass of Watergate. Bush was too dangerous to Ford. Bush could not be chosen.

Because he was so redolent of Nixonian sleaze, Bush's maximum exertions for the vice presidency were a failure. Ford announced his choice of Nelson Rockefeller on August 20, 1974. It was nevertheless astounding that Bush had come so close. He was defeated for the moment, but he had established a claim on the office of the vice presidency that he would not relinquish. Despite his hollow, arrogant ambition and total incompetence for the office, he would automatically be considered for the vice presidency in 1976 and then again in 1980. For George Bush was an aristocrat of senatorial rank, although denied the senate, and his conduct betrayed the conviction that he was owed not just a place at the public trough, but the accolade of national political office.

_______________

Notes:

1. Washington Post, August 16, 1974.

2. Washington Post, August 9, 1974.

3. Washington Post, August 16, 1974.

4. Gerald R. Ford Library, Robert T. Hartman Files, Box 21.

5. Gerald R. Ford Library, Robert T. Hartmann Files, Box 19.

6. Philip Buchen Files, Box 63.

7. Robert T. Hartman Files, Box 21.

8. Robert T. Hartmann Files, Boxes 19 and 20.

9. Robert T. Hartmann Files, Box 21.

10. Robert T. Hartmann Files, Box 20.

11. Walter Pincus and Bob Woodward, "Presidential Posts and Dashed Hopes," Washington Post, August 9, 1988.
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Re: George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography, by Webster Tarp

Postby admin » Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:29 am

Chapter XIV -- Bush in Beijing

Whatever benign star it is that tends George Bush's destiny, lights his ambition, it was early on trapped in the flawed orbit of Richard Nixon. Bush's meteoric ascent, in a decade's time, from county GOP chairman to national chairman, including his prestigious ambassadorship to the United Nations, was due largely to the strong tug of Nixonian gravity. Likewise, his blunted hopes and dimmed future, like the Comet Kohoutek, result from the too-close approach to a fatal sun. [fn 1]

Several minutes before Ford appeared for the first time before the television cameras with Nelson Rockefeller, his vice president designate, he had placed a call to Bush to inform him that he had not been chosen, and to reassure him that he would be offered an important post as a consolation. Two days later, Bush met Ford at the White House. Bush claims that Ford told him that he could choose between a future as US envoy to the Court of St. James in London, or presenting his credentials to the Palais de l'Elysee in Paris. Bush would have us believe that he then told Ford that he wanted neither London nor Paris, but Beijing. Bush's accounts then portray Ford, never the quickest, as tamping his pipe, scratching his head, and asking, "Why Beijing?" Here Bush is lying once again. Ford was certainly no genius, but no one was better situated than he to know that it would have been utter folly to propose Bush for an ambassadorship that had to be approved by the Senate.

Why Beijing? The first consideration, and it was an imperative one, was that under no circumstances could Bush face Senate confirmation hearings for any executive branch appointment for at least one to two years. There would have been questions about the Townhouse slush fund, about his intervention on Carmine Bellino, perhaps about Leon and Russell, and about many other acutely embarrassing themes. All of the reasons which had led Ford to exclude Bush as vice president, for which he would have needed the approval of both Houses of Congress, were valid in ruling out any nomination that had to get past the senate. After Watergate, Bush's name was just too smelly to send up to the Hill for any reason, despite all the power of the usual Brown Brother, Harriman/Skull and Bones network mobilization. It would take time to cauterize certain lesions and to cool off certain investigative tracks. Certain scandals had to be fixed. Perhaps in a year or two things might cool down, and the climate of opinion alter. But while the psychology of Watergate dominated the legislative branch, a high-profile job for Bush was out of the question.

As Bush himself slyly notes: "The United States didn't maintain formal diplomatic relations with the People's Republic at the time, so my appointment wouldn't need Senate confirmation." An asterisk sends us to the additional fact that "because I'd been ambassador to the United Nations I carried the title 'ambassador' to China." The person that would have to be convinced, Bush correctly noted, was Henry Kissinger, who monopolized all decisions on his prized China card. [fn 2] But George was right about the confirmation. Official diplomatic relations between the US and mainland China came only with the Carter China card of 1979. In 1974, what Bush was asking for was the US Liaison Office (USLO), which did not have the official status of an embassy. The chief of that office was the president's personal representative in China, but it was a post that did not require senate confirmation.

Bush's notorious crony Robert Mosbacher, certainly well versed enough to qualify as a connossieur of sleaze, was uncharacteristically close to the heart of the matter when he opined that in late August, 1974, Bush "wanted to get as far away from the stench [of Watergate] as possible." [fn 3] Like Don Gregg in 1989, Bush wanted to get out of town and let things blow over for a while. His own story that Beijing would be a "challenge, a journey into the unknown" is pure tripe. More imaginative, but equally mendacious is the late Dean Burch's explanation that Bush had "a Marco Polo complex, thinking he could penetrate the mystery of the place." The truth is that with Washington teeming with Congressional committees, special prosecutors, grand juries, all in a furor of ostracism, Bush wanted to get as far away as he could, and Beijing was ideal.

Other attractions inherent in the Beijing posting are suggested by the fact that Bush's predecessor in Beijing was David K.E. Bruce, who had opened the liaison office in March, 1973. Bruce had been the chief of the London bureau of the Office of Strategic Services during World War II, which meant that he had been the boss of all European OSS operations, including Allen Dulles in Switzerland and all the rest. The presence in Beijing of Bruce, a true eminence grise of Anglo-American intelligence, points up the importance of the post, especially in the covert and intelligence domain.

Otherwise, as Bush has already mentioned, serving in Beijing meant further close subordination to Henry Kissinger. Kissinger told Bush before he left that policy would be implemented directly by Kissinger himself, in contact with the Chinese liaison in Washington and the Chinese representative at the United Nations. In practice, Bush would be ordered about by such Kissinger clones as Richard Solomon of the NSC, Assistant Secretary of State Philip Habib, and Winston Lord, director of the State Department's Policy Planning Staff and the scion of an old Skull and Bones family. But then again, Bush was a leading Kissinger clone in his own right.

Finally, anyone who has observed Bush's stubborn, obsessive, morally insane support for Deng Xiao-ping, Li Peng, and Yang Shankun during the aftermath of the Tien An Men massacre of June, 1989 is driven towards the conclusion that Bush gravitated towards China because of an elective affinity, because of a profound attraction for the methods and outlook of Chinese leaders like Mao Tse-tung, Chou En-lai, and Deng, for whom Bush has manifested a steadfast and unshakeable devotion in the face of heinous crimes and significant political pressure to repudiate them. Bush wanted to go to China because he found Chinese communists genuinely congenial.

When Bush was about to leave for China, his crony Dean Burch (no longer troubled, as we see, by Bush's dermal diarrhea) arranged for a fifteen minute sendoff meeting with Ford, but this was reduced to 10 minutes by NSC director Scowcroft, at that time the most important Kissinger clone of them all. Before he left for Beijing, Bush could not resist making some sententious and self-serving pronouncements to the press about his experience in Watergate. He told David Broder of the Washington Post: "We've done a lot of running just to stay in place, and I was sometimes depressed by the amount of bickering that goes on. But then I look across town at Bob Strauss and his problems, and I feel like this was a 20-month honeymoon." Bob Strauss was at this time Bush's counterpart at the Democratic National Committee. Bush noted that there was "philosophical discontent" among right-wing Republicans about the policies of Nixon and Ford, but opined that these would never lead to a third party on the right. Bush defended "patronage" and said he was "worried about the health of the two-party system" even though he worried that this cause is "really not very popular right now." [fn 4]

Bush's staff in Beijing included deputy chief of mission John Holdridge, Don Anderson, Herbert Horowitz, Bill Thomas, and Bush's "executive assistant," Jennifer Fitzgerald, who has remained very close to Bush, and who has sometimes been rumored to be his mistress. Jennifer Fitzgerald in 1991 was the deputy chief of protocol in the White House; when German Chancellor Kohl visited Bush in the spring of 1991, he was greeted on the White House steps by Jennifer Fitzgerald. Bush's closest contacts among Chinese officialdom included vice minister of foreign affairs Qiao Guanhua and his wife Zhang Hanzhi, also a top official of the foreign ministry. This is the same Qiao who is repeatedly mentioned in Kissinger's memoirs as one of his most important Red Chinese diplomatic interlocutors. This is the "Lord Qiao" enigmatically mentioned by Mao during Kissinger's meeting with Mao and Zhou En-lai on November 12, 1973. Qiao and Zhang later lost power because they sided with the left extremist Gang of Four after the death of Mao in 1976, Bush tells us. But in 1974-75, the power of the proto-Gang of Four faction was at its height, and it was towards this group that Bush quickly gravitated. In moving instinctively towards the hardline Mao faction, Bush was also doubtless aware of of Mao's connections with the Yale in China program around the time of the First World War. The Skull and Bones network could turn up in unexpected places.

Bush and Barbara were careful to create the impression that they were rusticating away in Beijing. Barbara told Don Oberdorfer in early December: "Back in Washington or at the United Nations the telephone was ringing all the time. George would come home and say, excuse me, and pick up the phone. It's very different here. In the first five weeks I think he received two telephone calls, except for the ones from me. I try to call him once a day. I think he misses the phone as much as anything."

Was Mrs. Bush being entirely candid? Even if she was, Bush could console himself and his hyperkinetic thyroid with the fact that if there were no calls, there were also no subpoenas. Bush himself added: "A lot of people said, 'You don't know what you're getting into," but on the basis of a month I'm very happy. Sure, the place is very different but I wanted a change of pace. What the hell, I'm 50. It won't hurt anything," said Bush with a whining note of self-pity. [fn 5] The self-pity was a deception this time, since, as we will see, Bush had plenty to do in Beijing. The US Liaison Office was located in a walled compound in an area occupied by other foreign missions in a Beijing suburb. A guard from the People's Liberation Army was posted outside at all times. Bush told Oberdorfer that he started the day with the news on the Voice of America, followed by a yoghurt breakfast, then staff meetings and attempts at China-watching deciphering of the editorials of Ren Min Ribao (The People's Daily). At 11:40, Bush and Barbara received their Chinese lesson from their Mandarin teacher, Mrs. Tang. Then came a multicourse lunch. Wednesday and Saturday afternoons were time off, as well as Sundays. Bush tried to attract attention by riding a bicycle to diplomatic engagements. "Everybody was astonished, particularly because it was so different from the dignified manner of David Bruce," said one diplomat. "I think the Chinese probably thought they were doing it for effect." George was having back trouble, and found an osteopath to treat his back at a public bathhouse. Bush's attention-getting ploys had some effect on the Beijing of Mao Tse-tung, or at least on the foreigners. "Bush is an instant success around here, " said a Canadian newsman. "The real test will come, though, when the novelty wears off and his enthusiasm runs down."

NSSM 200

When Bush had been in Beijing for about a month, Henry Kissinger arrived for one of his periodic visits to discuss current business with the Beijing leadership. Kissinger arrived with his usual army of retainers and Secret Service guards. During this visit, Bush went with Kissinger to see Vice-Premier Deng Xiao-ping and Foreign Minister Qiao. This was one of four reported visits by Kissinger that would punctuate Bush's stay.

Bush's tenure in Beijing must be understood in the context of the Malthusian and frankly genocidal policies of the Kissinger White House. These are aptly summed up for reference in the recently declassified National Security Study Memorandum 200, "Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for US Security and Overseas Interests," dated December 10, 1974. [fn 6] NSSM 200, a joint effort by Kissinger and his deputy General Brent Scowcroft, provided a hit list of 13 developing countries for which the NSC posited a "special US political and strategic interest" in population reduction or limitation. The list included India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nigeria, Mexico, Indonesia, Brazil, the Philippines, Thailand, Egypt, Turkey, Ethiopia, and Colombia. Demographic growth in these and other third world nations was to be halted and if possible reversed for the brutal reason that population growth represented increased strategic, and military power for the countries in question.

Population growth, argues NSSM 200, will also increase pressure for the economic and industrial development of these countries, an eventuality which the study sees as a threat to the United States. In addition, bigger populations in the third world are alleged to lead to higher prices and greater scarcity of strategic raw materials. As Kissinger summed up: "Development of a worldwide political and popular commitment to population stabilization is fundamental to any effective strategy....The US should encourage LDC leaders to take the lead in advancing family planning." When NSSM 200 goes on to ask, "would food be considered an instrument of national power?" it is clear to all that active measures of genocide are at the heart of the policy being propounded. A later Kissinger report praises the Chinese communist leadership for their commitment to population control. During 1975, these Chinese communists, Henry Kissinger and George Bush were to team up to create a demonstration model of the NSSM 200 policy: the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia.

During the time that Bush was in Beijing, the fighting in Vietnam came to an end as the South Vietnamese army collapsed in the face of a large-scale invasion from the north. The insane adventure of Vietnam had been organized by Bush's own Brown Brothers, Harriman/Skull and Bones network. When John F. Kennedy had been elected president in 1960, he had turned to Brown Brothers, Harriman partner Robert Lovett to provide him a list of likely choices for his cabinet. From this list were drawn Rusk and McNamara, the leadings hawks in the cabinet. McGeorge and William Bundy, descendants of the Lowells of Boston, but closely related to the Stimson-Acheson circles, were mainstays of the party of escalation. Henry Cabot Lodge was the US Ambassador in Saigon when the Harriman had insisted on assassinating President Diem, the leader of the country the US was supposedly defending. Harriman, starting as assistant secretary for Southeast Asian affairs, had worked his way up through the Kennedy-Johnson State Department with the same program of expanding the war. Now that Harriman-Lovett policy had led to the inevitable debacle. But the post-war suffering of southeast Asia was only beginning.

Target Cambodia

One of the gambits used by Kissinger to demonstrate to the Beijing communist leaders the utility of rapprochement with the US was the unhappy nation of Cambodia. The pro-US government of Cambodia was headed by Marshal Lon Nol, who had taken power in 1970, the year of the public and massive US ground incursion into the country. By the spring of 1975, while the North Vietnamese advanced on Saigon, the Lon Nol government was fighting for its life against the armed insurrection of the Khmer Rouge communist guerillas, who were supported by mainland China. Kissinger was as anxious as usual to serve the interests of Beijing, and now even more so, because of the alleged need to increase the power of the Chinese and their assets, the Khmer rouge, against the triumphant North Vietnamese. The most important consideration remained to ally with China, the second strongest land power, against the USSR. Secondarily, it was important to maintain the balance of power in Southeast Asia as the US policy collapsed. Kissinger's policy was therefore to jettison the Lon Nol government, and to replace it with the Khmer rouge. George Bush, as Kissinger's liaison man in Beijing, was one of the instruments through which this policy was executed. Bush did his part, and the result is known to world history under the heading of the Pol Pot regime, which committed a genocide against its own population proportionally greater than any other in recent world history.

Until 1970, the government of Cambodia was led by Prince Sihanouk, a former king who had stepped down from the throne to become prime minister. Despite his many limitations, Sihanouk was then, and remains today, the most viable symbol of the national unity and hope for sovereignty of Cambodia. Under Sihanouk, Cambodia had maintained a measure of stability and had above all managed to avoid being completely engulfed by the swirling maelstrom of the wars in Laos and in Vietnam. But during 1969, Nixon and Kissinger had ordered a secret bombing campaign against North Vietnamese troop concentrations on Cambodian territory under the code name of "Menu." This bombing would have been a real and substantive grounds for the impeachment of Nixon, and it did constitute the fourth proposed article of impeachment against Nixon submitted to the House Judiciary Committee on July 30, 1974. But after three articles of impeachment having to do with the Watergate break-ins and subsequent coverup were approved by the committee, the most important article, the one on genocide in Cambodia, was defeated by a vote of 26 to 12.

Cambodia was dragged into the Indo-China war by the US-sponsored coup d'etat in Phnom Penh on March, 1970, which ousted Sihanouk in favor of Marshal Lon Nol of the Cambodian army, whose regime was never able to achieve even a modicum of stability. Shortly thereafter, at the end of April, 1970, Nixon and Kissinger launched a large-scale US military invasion of Cambodia, citing the use of Cambodian territory by the North Vietnamese armed forces for their "Ho Chi Minh trail" supply line to sustain their forces deployed in South Vietnam. The "parrot's beak" area of Cambodia, which extended deep into South Vietnam, was occupied.

Prince Sihanouk, who described himself as a neutralist, established himself in Beijing after the seizure of power by Lon Nol. In May of 1970 he became the titular leader and head of state of a Cambodian government in exile, the Gouvernement Royal d'Union Nationale du Kampuchea, or GRUNK. The GRUNK was in essence a united front between Sihanouk and the Khmer Rouge, with the latter exercising most of the real power and commanding the armed forces and secret police. Sihanouk was merely a figurehead, and he knew it. He told Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci in 1973 that when "they [the Khmer Rouge] no longer need me, they will spit me out like a cherry pit."

During these years, the Cambodian Communist party or Khmer Rouge, which had launched a small guerilla insurrection during 1968, was a negligible military factor in Cambodia, fielding only a very few thousand guerilla fighters. One of its leaders was Saloth Sar, who had studied in Paris, and who had then sojourned at length in Red China at the height of the Red Guards' agitation. Saloth Sar was one of the most important leaders of the Khmer Rouge, and would later become infamous under his nom de guerre of Pol Pot. Decisive support for Pol Pot and for the later genocidal policies of the Khmer Rouge always came from Beijing, despite the attempts to misguided or lying commentators (like Henry Kissinger) to depict the Khmer Rouge as a creation of Hanoi.

But in the years after 1970, the Khmer Rouge, who were determined immediately to transform Cambodia into a communist utopia beyond the dreams even of the wildest Maoist Red Guards, made rapid gains. The most important single ingredient in the rise of the Khmer Rouge was provided by Kissinger and Nixon, through their systematic campaign of terror bombing against Cambodian territory during 1973. This was called Arclight, and began shortly after the January, 1973 Paris accords on Vietnam. With the pretext of halting a Khmer Rouge attack on Phnom Penh, US forces carried out 79,959 officially confirmed sorties with B-52 and F-111 bombers against targets inside Cambodia, dropping 539,129 tons of explosives. Many of these bombs fell upon the most densely populated sections of Cambodia, including the countryside around Phnom Penh. The number of deaths caused by this genocidal campaign has been estimated as between 30,000 and 500,000. [fn 7] Accounts of the devastating impact of this mass terror bombing leave no doubt that it shattered most of what remained of Cambodian society and provided ideal preconditions for the further expansion of the Khmer Rouge insurgency, in much the same way that the catastrophe of the First World War weakened European society so as to open the door for the mass irrationalist movements of fascism and Bolshevism.

During 1974, the Khmer Rouge consolidated their hold over parts of Cambodia. In these enclaves they showed their characteristic methods of genocide, dispersing the inhabitants of the cities into the countryside, while executing teachers, civil servants, intellectuals-- sometimes all those who could read and write. This policy was remarkably similar to the one being carried out by the US under Theodore Shackley's Operation Phoenix in neighboring South Vietnam, and Kissinger and other officials began to see the potential of the Khmer Rouge for implementing the genocidal population reductions that had now been made the official doctrine of the US regime.

Support for the Khmer Rouge was even more attractive to Kissinger and Nixon because it provided an opportunity for the geopolitical propitiation of the Maoist regime in China. Indeed, in the development of the China card between 1973 and 1975, during most of Bush's stay in Beijing, Cambodia loomed very large as the single most important bilateral issue between the US and Red China. Already in November, 1972 Kissinger told Bush's later prime contact Qiao Guanhua that the US would have no real objection to a Sihanouk-Khmer Rouge government of the type that later emerged: "Whoever can best preserve it [Cambodia] as an independent neutral country, is consistent with our policy, and we believe with yours," said Kissinger [fn 8] Zhou En-lai told Kissinger in February, 1973 that if North Vietnam were to extend its domination over Cambodia, this "would result in even greater problems."

When Bush's predecessor David Bruce arrived in Beijing to open the new US Liaison Office in the spring of 1973, he sought contact with Zhou En-lai. On May 18, 1973 Zhou stressed that the only solution for Cambodia would be for North Vietnamese forces to leave that country entirely. A few days later Kissinger told Chinese delegate Huang Hua in New York that US and Red Chinese interests in Cambodia were compatible, since both sought to avoid "a bloc which could support the hegemonial objectives of outside powers," meaning North Vietnam and Hanoi's backers in Moscow. The genocidal terror bombing of Cambodia was ordered by Kissinger during this period. Kissinger was apoplectic over the move by the US Congress to prohibit further bombing of Cambodia after August 15, 1973, which he called "a totally unpredictable and senseless event." [fn 9] Kissinger always pretends that the Khmer Rouge were a tool of Hanoi, and in his Memoirs he spins out an absurd theory that the weakening of Zhou and the ascendancy of the Gang of Four was caused by Kissinger's own inability to keep bombing Cambodia. In reality, Beijing was backing its own allies, the Khmer Rouge, as is obvious from the account that Kissinger himself provides of his meeting with Bush's friend Qiao in October, 1973. [fn 10]

Starting in the second half of 1974, George Bush was heavily engaged on this Sino-Cambodian front, particularly in his contacts with his main negotiating partner, Qiao. Bush had the advantage that secret diplomacy carried on with the Red Chinese regime during those days was subject to very little public scrutiny. The summaries of Bush's dealings with the Red Chinese now await the liberation of the files of the Foreign Ministry in Beijing or of the State Department in Washington, whichever comes first. Bush's involvement on the Cambodian question has been established by later interviews with Prince Sihanouk's chef de cabinet, Pung Peng Cheng, as well as with French and US officials knowledgeable about Bush's activities in Beijing during that time. What we have here is admittedly the tip of the iceberg, the merest hints of the monstrous iniquity yet to be unearthed. [fn 11]

The Khmer Rouge launched a dry-season offensive against Phnom Penh in early 1974, which fells short of its goal. They tried again the following year with a dry season offensive launched on January 1, 1975. Soon supplies to Phnom Penh were cut off, both on the land and along the Mekong River. Units of Lon Nol's forces fought the battle of the Phnom Penh perimeter through March. On April 1, 1975, President Lon Nol resigned and fled the country under the pressure of the US Embassy, who wanted him out as quickly as possible as part of the program to appease Beijing. [fn 12]

When Lon Nol had left the country, Kissinger became concerned that the open conquest of Phnom Penh by the Khmer Rouge communist guerillas would create public relations and political problems for the shaky Ford regime in the United States. Kissinger accordingly became interested in having Prince Sihanouk, the titular head of the insurgent coalition of which the Khmer Rouge were the leading part, travel from Beijing to Phnom Penh so that the new government in Cambodia could be portrayed more as a neutralist-nationalist, and less as a frankly communist, regime. This turns out to be the episode of the Cambodian tragedy in which George Bush's personal involvement is most readily demonstrated.

Prince Sihanouk had repeatedly sought direct contacts with Kissinger. At the end of March, 1975 he tried again to open a channel to Washington, this time with the help of the French Embassy in Beijing. Sihanouk's chef de cabinet Pung Peng Chen requested a meeting with John Holdridge, Bush's deputy chief of station. This meeting was held at the French Embassy. Pung told Holdridge that Prince Sihanouk had a favor to ask of President Ford:

"in [ Sihanouk's ] old home in Phnom Penh were copies of the films of Cambodia he had made in the sixties when he had been an enthusiastic cineaste. They constituted a unique cultural record of a Cambodia that was gone forever: would the Americans please rescue them? Kissinger ordered Dean [ the US Ambassador in Cambodia ] to find the films and also instructed Bush to seek a meeting with Sihanouk. The Prince refused, and during the first ten days of April, as the noose around Phnom Penh tightened, he continued his public tirades" against the US and its Cambodian puppets. [fn 13]

On the same day, April 11, Ford announced that he would not request any further aid for Cambodia from the US Congress, since any aid for Cambodia approved now would be "too late" anyway. Ford had originally been asking for $333 million to save the government of Cambodia. Several days later Ford would reverse himself and renew his request for the aid, but by that time it was really too late.

On April 11 the US Embassy was preparing a dramatic evacuation, but the embassy was being kept open as part of Kissinger's effort to bring Prince Sihanouk back to Phnom Penh.

"It was now, on April 11, 1975, as Dean was telling government leaders he might soon be leaving, that Kissinger decided that Sihanouk should be brought back to Cambodia. In Peking, George Bush was ordered to seek another meeting; that afternoon John Holdridge met once more with Pung Peng Cheng at the French Embassy. The American diplomat explained that Dr. Kissinger and President Ford were now convinced that only the Prince could end the crisis. Would he please ask the Chinese for an aircraft to fly him straight back to Phnomn Penh? The United States would guarantee to remain there until he arrived. Dr. Kissinger wished to impose no conditions." "On April 12 at 5 AM Peking time Holdridge again met with Pung. He told him that the Phnom Penh perimeter was degenerating so fast that the Americans were pulling out at once. Sihanouk had already issued a statement rejecting and denouncing Kissinger's invitation." [fn 14]

Sihanouk had a certain following among liberal members of the US Senate, and his presence in Phnom Penh in the midst of the debacle of the old Lon Nol forces would doubtless have been reassuring for US public opinion. But Sihanouk at this time had no ability to act independently of the Khmer Rouge leaders, who were hostile to him and who held the real power, including the inside track to the Red Chinese. Prince Sihanouk did return to Phnom Penh later in 1975, and his strained relations with Pol Pot and his colleagues soon became evident. Early in 1976, Sihanouk was placed under house arrest by the Khmer Rouge, who appear to have intended to execute him. Sihanouk remained under detention until the North Vietnamese drove Pol Pot and his forces out of Phnom Penh in 1978 and set up their own government there.

In following the Kissinger-Bush machinations to bring Prince Sihanouk back to Cambodia in mid-April, 1975, one is also suspicious that an included option was to increase the likelihood that Sihanouk might be liquidated by the Khmer Rouge. When the Khmer Rouge entered Phnom Penh, they immediately carried out a massacre on a grand scale, slaying any members of the Lon Nol and Long Boret cabinets they could get their hands on. There were mass executions of teachers and government officials, and all of the 2.5 million residents of Phnom Penh were driven into the countryside, including seriously ill hospital patients. Under these circumstances, it would have been relatively easy to assassinate Sihanouk amidst the general orgy of slaughter. Such an eventuality was explicitly referred to in a Kissinger NSC briefing paper circulated in March 1975, in which Sihanouk was quoted as follows in remarks made December 10, 1971: "If I go on as chief of state after victory, I run the risk of being pushed out the window by the Communists, like Masaryk, or that I might be imprisoned for revisionism or deviationism."

More than 2 million Cambodians out of an estimated total population of slightly more than 7 million perished under the Khmer Rouge; according to some estimates, the genocide killed 32% of the total population. [fn 15] The United States and Red China, acting together under the Kissinger "China card" policy, had liquidated one Cambodian government, destroyed the fabric of civil society in the country, ousted a pro-US government, and installed a new regime they knew to be genocidal in its intentions. For Kissinger, it was the exemplification of the new US strategic doctrine contained in NSSM 200. For George Bush, it was the fulfillment of his family's fanatically held belief in the need for genocide to prevent the more prolific, but inferior races of the earth, in this case those with yellow skins, from "out-breeding" the imperial Anglo-Saxon racial stock. In addition to opportunities to promote genocide, Bush's tenure in Beijing presented him with numerous occasions to exploit public office for the private gain of financiers and businessmen who were a part of his network.

Meeting of the Monsters

In September, 1975, as Ford was preparing for a year-end visit to China, Kissinger organized a Presidential reception at the White House for a delegation from the Beijing China Council for the Promotion of International Trade. This was the first high-level trade delegation to come to the United States from China. The meeting was carefully choreographed by Kissinger and Scowcroft. The Ford Library has preserved a supplementary memo to Scowcroft, at that time the NSC chief, from Richard H. Solomon of the NSC staff, which reads as follows: "Regarding the President's meeting with the Chinese trade group, State has called me requesting that Ambassador Bush and [Kissinger henchman] Phil Habib attend the meeting. You will recall having approved Bush's sitting in on the President's meeting with the Congressional delegation that recently returned from China. Hence, Bush will be floating around the White House at this period of time anyway. I personally think it would be useful to have Bush and Habib sit in. The Cabinet Room should be able to hold them. Win Lord is someone else who might be invited." This meeting was eventually held on September 8, 1975. A little earlier Bush en route to Washington, had sent a hand-written note to Scowcroft dated August 29, 1975. This missive urged Scowcroft to grant a request from Codel Anderson, who had just completed a visit to China complete with a meeting with Deng Xiao-ping, to be allowed to report back to Ford personally. These were the type of contacts which later paid off for Bush's cronies. During 1977, Bush returned to China as a private citizen, taking with him his former Zapata business partner, J. Hugh Liedtke. In January, 1978, Liedtke was on hand when the Chinese oil minister was Bush's guest for dinner at his home in Houston. In May, 1978, Liedtke and Pennzoil were at the top of the Chinese government's list of US oil firms competing to be accorded contracts for drilling in China. Then, in the late summer of 1978, J. Hugh Liedtke of Pennzoil made another trip to China, during which he was allowed to view geological studies which had previously been held as state secrets by Beijing. Pennzoil was in the lead for a contract to begin offshore drilling in the South China sea. [fn 16] Kissinger made four visits to Beijing during Bush's tenure there, three solo appearances and a final junket accompanied by Ford. On October 19, 1975, Kissinger arrived in Beijing to prepare for Ford's visit, set for December. There were talks between Kissinger and Deng Xiao-ping, with Bush, Habib, Winston Lord and Foreign Minister Qiao taking part. It was during this visit that, Bush would have us believe, that he had his first face to face meeting with Mao Tse Tung, the leader of a communist revolution which had claimed the lives of some 100,000,000 Chinese since the end of the Second World War.

Mao, one of the greatest monsters of the twentieth century, was 81 years old at that time. He was in very bad health; when he opened his mouth to meet Kissinger, "only guttural noises emerged." Mao's study contained tables covered with tubes and medical apparatus, and a small oxygen tank. Mao was unable to speak coherently, but had to write Chinese characters and an occasional word in English on a note pad which he showed to his interpreters. Kissinger inquired as to Mao's health. Mao pointed to his head saying, "This part works well. I can eat and sleep." Then Mao tapped his legs: "These parts do not work well. They are not strong when I walk. I also have some trouble with my lungs. In a word, I am not well. I am a showcase for visitors, " Mao summed up. The croaking, guttural voice continued: "I am going to heaven soon. I have already received an invitation from God."

If Mao was a basso profondo of guttural croaking, then Kissinger was at least a bass-baritone: "Don't accept it too soon," he replied. "I accept the orders of the Doctor," wrote Mao on his note pad. Mao at this point had slightly less than a year to live. Bush provided counterpoint to these lower registers with his own whining tenor.

Bush was much impressed by Mao's rustic background and repertoire of Chinese barnyard expressions. Referring to a certain problem in Sino-American relations, Mao dismissed it as no more important than a "fang go pi," no more important than a dog fart. Bush has always had a strange fascination for scatological references, which is probably rooted amid the taboos of his clenched Anglo-Saxon family background, where the boys never heard their father fart. We have seen Bush's obsessive recounting of LBJ's much-told "chicken shit" anecdote about the House of Representatives.

Mao went on, commenting about US military superiority, and then saying: "God blesses you, not us. God does not like us because I am a militant warlord, also a Communist. No, he doesn't like me. He likes you three." Mao pointed to Kissinger, Bush, and Winston Lord. Towards the end of the encounter, this lugubrious monster singled out Bush for special attention. Mao turned to Winston Lord. "This ambassador," said Mao while gesturing towards Bush, "is in a plight. Why don't you come visit ?" "I would be honored," Bush replied according to his own account, "but I'm afraid you're very busy." "Oh, I'm not busy," said Mao. "I don't look after internal affairs. I only read the international news. You should really come visit."

Bush claims [fn 17] that he never accepted Chairman Mao's invitation to come around for private talks. Bush says that he was convinced by members of his own staff that Mao did not really mean to invite him, but was only being polite. Was Bush really so reticent, or is this another one of the falsifications with which his official biographies are studded? The world must await the opening of the Beijing and Foggy Bottom archives. In the meantime, we must take a moment to contemplate that gathering of October, 1975 in Chairman Mao's private villa, secluded behind many courtyards and screens in the Chungnanhai enclave of Chinese rulers not far from the Great Hall of the People and Tien An Men, where less than a year later an initial round of pro-democracy demonstrations would be put down in blood in the wake of the funeral of Zhou En-lai.

Mao, Kissinger, and Bush: has history ever seen a tete-a-tete of such mass murderers? Mao, identifying himself with Chin Shih Huang, the first emperor of all of China and founder of the Chin dynasty, who had built the Great Wall, burned the books, and killed the Confucian scholars-- this Mao had massacred ten per cent of his own people, ravaged Korea, strangled Tibet. Kissinger's crimes were endless, from the Middle East to Vietnam, from the oil crisis of 73-74 with the endless death in the Sahel to India-Pakistan, Chile, and many more. Kissinger, Mao, and Bush had collaborated to install the Pol Pot Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia, which was now approaching the zenith of its genocidal career. Compared to the other two, Bush may have appeared as an apprentice of genocide: he had done some filibustering in the Caribbean, had been part of the cheering section for the Indonesia massacres of 1965, and then he had become a part of the Kissinger apparatus, sharing in the responsibility for India-Pakistan, the Middle East, Cambodia. But as Bush advanced through his personal cursus honorum, his power and his genocidal dexterity were growing, foreshadowing such future triumphs as the devastation of El Chorillo in Panama in December, 1989, and his later masterwork of savagery, the Gulf war of 1991. By the time of Bush's administration, Anglo-American finance and the International Monetary Fund were averaging some 50,000,000 needless deaths per year in the developing sector.

But Mao, Kissinger, and Bush exchanged pleasantries that day in Mao's sitting room in Chungnanhai. If the shades of Hitler or Stalin had sought admission to that colloqium, they might have been denied entrance. Later, in early December, Gerald Ford, accompanied by his hapless wife and daughter, came to see the moribund Mao for what amounted to a photo opportunity with a living cadaver. The AP wire issued that day hyped the fact that Mao had talked with Ford for 1 hour and fifty minutes, nearly twice as long as the Great Steersman had given to Nixon in 1972. Participants in this meeting included Kissinger, Bush, Scowcroft, and Winston Lord. Even such Kissingerian heavies as Undersecretary of State Joseph Sisco, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, and Richard Solomon of the NSC were not allowed to stay for the meeting. Bush was now truly a leading Kissinger clone. A joint communique issued after this session said that Mao and Ford had had "earnest and significant discussions ...on wide-ranging issues in a friendly atmosphere." At this meeting, Chairman Mao greeted Bush with the words, "You've been promoted." Mao turned to Ford, and added: "We hate to see him go." At a private lunch with Vice Premier Deng Xiao-ping, the rising star of the post-Mao succession, Deng assured Bush that he was considered a friend of the Chinese Communist hierarchy who would always be welcome in China, "even as head of the CIA." For, as we will see, this was to be the next stop on Bush's cursus honorum. Later Kissinger and Bush also met with Qiao Guanhua, still the Foreign Minister. According to newspaper accounts, the phraseology of the joint communique suggested that the meeting had been more than usually cordial. There had also been a two-hour meeting with Deng Xiao-ping reported by the Ford White House as "a constructive exchange of views on a wide range of international issues." At a banquet, Deng used a toast for an anti-Soviet tirade which the Soviet news agency TASS criticized as "vicious attacks." [fn 18] Ford thought, probably because he had been told by Kissinger, that the fact that Mao had accompanied him to the door of his villa after the meeting was a special honor, but he was disabused by Beijing-based correspondents who told him that this was Mao's customary practice. Ford's daughter Susan was sporting a full-length muskrat coat for her trip to the Great Wall. "It's more than I ever expected," she gushed. "I feel like I'm in a fantasy. It's a whole other world." Days after Ford departed from Beijing, Bush also left the Chinese capital. It was time for a new step in his imperial cursus honorum. During his entire stay in Beijing, Bush had never stopped scheming for new paths of personal advancement towards the very apex of power. Before Bush went to Beijing, he had talked to his network asset and crony Rogers C.B. Morton about his favorite topic, his own prospects for future career aggrandizement. Morton at that time was Secretary of Commerce, but he was planning to step down before much longer. Morton told Bush: "What you ought to think about is coming back to Washington to replace me when I leave. It's a perfect springboard for a place on the ticket." This idea is the theme of a Ford White House memo preserved in the Jack Marsh Files at the Ford Library in Ann Arbor. The memo is addressed to Jack Marsh, counselor to the President, by Russell Rourke of Marsh's staff. The memo, which is dated March 20, 1975, reads as follows: "It's my impression and partial understanding that George Bush has probably had enough of egg rolls and Peking by now (and has probably gotten over his lost V.P. opportunity). He's one hell of a Presidential surrogate, and would be an outstanding spokesman for the White House between now and November '76. Don't you think he would make an outstanding candidate for Secretary of Commerce or a similar post sometime during the next six months?"

The Next Step

Bush was now obsessed with the idea that he had a right to become vice president in 1976. As a member of the senatorial caste, he had a right to enter the senate, and if the plebeians with their changeable humors barred the elective route, then the only answer was to be appointed to the second spot on the ticket and enter the senate as its presiding officer. As Bush wrote in his campaign autobiography: "Having lost out to Rockefeller as Ford's vice presidential choice in 1974, I might be considered by some as a leading contender for the number two spot in Kansas City...." [fn 19]

Bush possessed a remarkable capability for the blackmailing of Ford: he could enter the 1976 Republican presidential primaries as a candidate in his own right, and could occasion a hemorrhaging of liberal Republican support that might otherwise have gone to Ford. Ford, the first non-elected president, was the weakest of all incumbents, and he was already preparing to face a powerful challenge from his right mounted by the Ronald Reagan camp. The presence of an additional rival with Bush's networks among liberal and moderate Republican layers might constitute a fatal impediment to Ford's prospects of getting himself elected to a term of his own.

Accordingly, when Kissinger visited Bush in Beijing in October, 1975, he pointedly inquired as to whether Bush intended to enter any of the Republican presidential primaries during the 1976 season. This was the principal question that Ford had directed Kissinger to ask of Bush. Bush's exit from Beijing occurred within the context of Ford's celebrated Halloween Massacre of early November, 1975. This "massacre," reminiscent of Nixon's cabinet purge of 1973 ("the Saturday night massacre"), was a number of firings and transfers of high officials at the top of the executive branch through which Ford sought to figure forth the political profile which he intended to carry into the primaries and, if he were successful in the winter and spring, into the Republican convention and, beyond that, into the fall campaign. So each of these changes had a purpose that was ultimately rooted in electioneering.

In the Halloween massacre, it was announced that Vice President Nelson Rockefeller would under no circumstances be a candidate to continue in that office. Nelson's negatives were simply too high, owing in part to a vigorous campaign directed against him by LaRouche. James "Rodney the Robot" Schlesinger was summarily ousted as the Secretary of Defense; Schlesinger's "Dr. Strangelove" overtones were judged not presentable during an election year. To replace Schlesinger, Ford's White House chief of staff, Donald Rumsfeld was given the Pentagon. Henry Kissinger, who up to this moment had been running the administration from two posts, NSC director and Secretary of State, had to give up his White House office and was obliged to direct the business of the government from Foggy Bottom. In consolation to him, the NSC job was assigned to his devoted clone and later business associate, retired Air Force Lieutenant General Brent Scowcroft, a Mormon who would later play the role of exterminating demon during Bush's Gulf war adventure. At the Department of Commerce, the secretary's post that had been so highly touted to Bush was being vacated by Rogers Morton. Finally, William Colby, his public reputation thoroughly dilapidated as a result of the revelations made during the Church Committee and Pike Committee investigations of the abuses and crimes of the CIA, especially within the US domestic sphere, was canned as Director of Central Intelligence.

Could this elaborate reshuffle be made to yield a job for Bush? It was anything but guaranteed. The post of CIA director was offered to Washington lawyer and influence broker Edward Bennett Williams. But he turned it down.

Then there was the post at Commerce. This was one that Bush came very close to getting. In the Jack Marsh files at the Gerald Ford Library there is a draft marked "Suggested cable to George Bush," but which is undated. The telegram begins: "Congratulations on your selection by the President as Secretary of Commerce." The job title is crossed out, and "Director of the Central Intelligence Agency" is penciled in.

So Bush almost went to Commerce, but then was proposed for Langley instead. Bush in his campaign autobiography suggests that the CIA appointment was a tactical defeat, the one new job that was more or less guaranteed to keep him off the GOP ticket in 1976. As CIA Director, if he got that far, he would have to spend "the next six months serving as point man for a controversial agency being investigated by two major Congressional committees. The scars left by that experience would put me out of contention, leaving the spot open for others." [fn 20] Bush suggests that "the Langley thing" was the handiwork of Donald Rumsfeld, who had a leading role in designing the reshuffle. (Some time later William Simon confided privately that he himself had been targeted for proscription by "Rummy," who was more interested in the Treasury than he was in the Pentagon.)

On All Saints' Day, November 1, 1975, Bush received a telegram from Kissinger informing him that "the President is planning to announce some major personnel shifts on Monday, November 3, at 7:30 PM, Washington time. Among those shifts will be the transfer of Bill Colby from CIA. The President asks that you consent to his nominating you as the new director of the Central Intelligence Agency." [fn 21]

Bush promptly accepted.

_______________

Notes:

1. Al Reinert, "Bob and George Go To Washington or The Post-Watergate Scramble" in Texas Monthly, April 1974.

2. Bush and Gold, Looking Forward, p. 130.

3. Walter Pincus and Bob Woodward, "Presidential Posts and Dashed Hopes," Washington Post, August 9, 1988.

4. Washington Post, September 16, 1974.

5. Washington Post, December 2, 1974.

6. See Hassan Ahmed and Joseph Brewda, "Kissinger, Scowcroft, Bush Plotted Third World Genocide," Executive Intelligence Review, May 3, 1991, pp. 26-30.

7. Russell R. Ross ed., Cambodia: A Country Study (Washington, 1990), p. 46.

8. Kissinger, Years of Upheaval (Boston, 1982), p. 341. This second volume of Kissinger's memoirs, published when his close ally Bush had already become vice president, has much less to say about George's activities, with only one reference to him in more than 1200 pages. We see again that Bush prefers that most of his actual record remain covert.

9. Kissinger, Years of Upheaval, p. 367.

10. Kissinger, Years of Upheaval, p. 681.

11. See William Shawcross, Sideshow: Kissinger, Nixon, and the Destruction of Cambodia (New York, 1987), pp. 360-361.

12. Lt. Gen. Sak Sutsakhan, the leader of the last Cambodian government before the advent of the Khmer Rouge, argues that the victory of the communists was not a foregone conclusion, and that modest American aid, in the form of 20 aircraft and a few dozen obsolescent tanks waiting for delivery in Thailand, could have materially changed the military outcome. See Sutsakhan's The Khmer Republic at War and the Final Collapse (Washington, DC), pp. 163, 166. 1

3. Shawcross, Sideshow, p. 360.

14. Shawcross, Sideshow, p. 361.

15. Cambodia: A Country Study, p. 51.

16. Forbes, September 4, 1978.

17. See Bush and Gold, pp. 145-149 for Bush's account of his alleged first meeting with Mao.

18. New Orleans Times-Picayune, December 3, 1975.

19. Bush and Gold, p. 157.

20. Bush and Gold, pp. 157-158.

21. Bush and Gold, p. 153.
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Re: George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography, by Webster Tarp

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PART 1 OF 3

Chapter XV- CIA DIRECTOR

In late 1975, as a result in particular of his role in Watergate, Bush's confirmation as CIA Director was not automatic. And though the debate at his confirmation was superficial, some senators, including in particular the late Frank Church of Idaho, made some observations about the dangers inherent in the Bush nomination that have turned out in retrospect to be useful.

The political scene on the homefront from which Bush had been so anxious to be absent during 1975 was the so-called "Year of Intelligence," in that it had been a year of intense scrutiny of the illegal activities and abuses of the intelligence community, including CIA domestic and covert operations. On December 22, 1974 the New York Times published the first of a series of articles by Seymour M. Hersh which relied on leaked reports of CIA activities assembled by Director James Rodney Schlesinger to expose alleged misdeeds by the agency.

It was widely recognized at the time that the Hersh articles were a self-exposure by the CIA that was designed to set the agenda for the Ford-appointed Rockefeller Commission, which was set up a few days later, on January 4, 1975. The Rockefeller Commission members included John T. Connor, C. Douglas Dillon, Erwin N. Griswold, Lane Kirkland, Lyman Lemnitzer, Ronald Reagan, and Edgar F. Shannon, Jr. The Rockefeller Commission was supposed to examine the malfeasance of the intelligence agencies and make recommendations about how they could be reorganized and reformed. In reality, the Rockefeller Commission proposals would reflect the transition from the structures of the cold war towards the growing totalitarian tendencies of the 1980's.

While the Rockefeller Commission was a tightly controlled vehicle of the Eastern Anglophile liberal establishment, Congressional investigating committees were empaneled during 1975 whose proceedings were somewhat less rigidly controlled. These included the Senate Intelligence Committee, known as the Church Committee, and the corresponding House committee, first chaired by Rep. Lucien Nedzi (who had previously chaired one of the principal Watergate-era probes) and then (after July) by Rep. Otis Pike. One example was the Pike Committee's issuance of a contempt of Congress citation against Henry Kissinger for his refusal to provide documentation of covert operations in November, 1975. Another was Church's role in leading the opposition to the Bush nomination.

The Church Committee launched an investigation of the use of covert operations for the purpose of assassinating foreign leaders. By the nature of things, this probe was lead to grapple with the problem of whether covert operations sanctioned to eliminate foreign leaders had been re-targeted against domestic political figures. The obvious case was the Kennedy assassination.

Church was especially diligent in attacking CIA covert operations, which Bush would be anxious to defend. The CIA's covert branch, Church thought, was a "self-serving apparatus." "It's a bureaucracy which feeds on itself, and those involved are constantly sitting around thinking up schemes for [foreign] intervention which will win them promotions and justify further additions to the staff...It self-generates interventions that otherwise never would be thought of, let alone authorized." [fn 1]

It will be seen that at the beginning of Bush's tenure at the CIA, the Congressional committees were on the offensive against the intelligence agencies. By the time that Bush departed Langley, the tables were turned, and it was the Congress which was the focus of scandals, including Koreagate. Soon thereafter, the Congress would undergo the assault of Abscam.

Preparation for what was to become the Halloween massacre began in the Ford White House during the summer of 1975. The Ford Library in Ann Arbor, Michigan preserves a memo from Donald Rumsfeld to Ford dated July 10, 1975, which deals with an array of possible choices for CIA Director. Rumsfeld had polled a number of White House and administration officials and asked them to express preferences among "outsiders to the CIA." [fn 2]

Among the officials polled by Cheney was Henry Kissinger, who suggested C. Douglas Dillon, Howard Baker, Galvin, and Robert Roosa. Dick Cheney of the White House staff proposed Robert Bork, followed by Bush and Lee Iacocca. Nelson Rockefeller was also for C. Douglas Dillon, followed by Howard Baker, Conner, and James R. Schlesinger. Rumsfeld himself listed Bork, Dillon, Iacoca, Stanley Resor, and Walter Wriston, but not Bush. The only officials putting Bush on their "possible" lists other than Cheney were Jack O. Marsh, a White House counselor to Ford, and David Packard. When it came time for Rumsfeld to sum up the aggregate number of times each person was mentioned, minus one point for each time a person had been recommended against, the list was as follows:

Robert Bork [rejected in 1987 for the Supreme Court] White McGee Foster [John S. Foster of PFIAB, formerly of the Department of Defense] Dillon Resor Roosa Hauge.

It will be seen that Bush was not among the leading candidates, perhaps because his networks were convinced that he was going to make another attempt for the vice-presidency and that therefore the Commerce Department or some similar post would be more suitable. The summary profile of Bush sent to Ford by Rumsfeld found that Bush had "experience in government and diplomacy" and was "generally familiar with components of the intelligence community and their missions" while having management experience." Under "Cons" Rumsfeld noted: "RNC post lends undesirable political cast."

As we have seen, the CIA post was finally offered by Ford to Edward Bennett Williams, perhaps with an eye on building a bipartisan bridge towards a powerful faction of the intelligence community. But Williams did not want the job. Bush, originally slated for the Department of Commerce, was given the CIA appointment.

The announcement of Bush's nomination occasioned a storm of criticism, whose themes included the inadvisability of choosing a Watergate figure for such a sensitive post so soon after that scandal had finally begun to subside. References were made to Bush's receipt of financial largesse from Nixon's Townhouse fund and related operations. There was also the question of whether the domestic CIA apparatus would get mixed up in Bush's expected campaign for the vice presidency. These themes were developed in editorials during the month of November, 1976, while Bush was kept in Beijing by the requirements of preparing the Ford-Mao meetings of early December. To some degree, Bush was just hanging there and slowly, slowly twisting in the wind. The slow-witted Ford soon realized that he had been inept in summarily firing Colby, since Bush would have to remain in China for some weeks and then return to face confirmation hearings. Ford had to ask Colby to stay on in a caretaker capacity until Bush took office. The delay allowed opposition against Bush to crystallize to some degree, but his own network was also quick to spring to his defense.

Former CIA officer Tom Braden, writing in the Fort Lauderdale News, noted that the Bush appointment to the CIA looked bad, and looked bad at a time when public confidence in the CIA was so low that everything about the agency desperately needed to look good. Braden's column was entitled "George Bush, Bad Choice for CIA Job."

Roland Evans and Robert Novak, writing in the Washington Post, commented that "the Bush nomination is regarded by some intelligence experts as another grave morale deflator. They reason that any identified politician, no matter how resolved to be politically pure, would aggravate the CIA's credibility gap. Instead of an identified politician like Bush...what is needed, they feel, is a respected non-politician, perhaps from business or the academic world." Evans and Novak conceded that "not all experts agree. One former CIA official wants the CIA placed under political leadership capable of working closely with Congress. But even that distinctly minority position rebels against any Presidential scenario that looks to the CIA as possible stepping-stone to the Vice-Presidential nomination."

The Washington Post came out against Bush in an editorial entitled "The Bush Appointment." Here the reasoning was that this position "should not be regarded as a political parking spot," and that public confidence in the CIA had to be restored after the recent revelations of wrongdoing.

After a long-winded argument, George Will came to the conclusion that Ambassador Bush at the CIA would be "the wrong kind of guy at the wrong place at the worst possible time."

Senator Church viewed the Bush appointment in the context of a letter sent to him by Ford on October 31, 1975, demanding that the committee's report on US assassination plots against foreign leaders be kept secret. In Church's opinion, these two developments were part of a pattern, and amounted to a new stonewalling defense by what Church had called "the rogue elephant." Church issued a press statement in response to Ford's letter attempting to impose a blackout on the assassination report. "I am astonished that President Ford wants to suppress the committee's report on assassination and keep it concealed from the American people," said Church. Then, on November 3, Church was approached by reporters outside of his Senate hearing room and asked by Daniel Schorr about the firing of Colby and his likely replacement by Bush. Church responded with a voice that was trembling with anger. "There is no question in my mind but that concealment is the new order of the day," he said. "Hiding evil is the trademark of a totalitarian government." [fn 3]. Schorr said that he had never seen Church so upset.

The following day, November 4, Church read Leslie Gelb's column in the New York Times suggesting that Colby had been fired, among other things, "for not doing a good job containing the Congressional investigations." George Bush, Gelb thought, "would be able to go to Congress and ask for a grace period before pressing their investigations further. A Washington Star headline of this period summed up this argument: "CIA NEEDS BUSH'S PR TALENT." Church talked with his staff that day about what he saw as an ominous pattern of events. He told reporters: "First came the very determined administration effort to prevent any revelations concerning NSA, their stonewalling of public hearings. Then came the president's letter. Now comes the firing of Colby, Mr. Schlesinger, and the general belief that Secretary Kissinger is behind these latest developments." For Church, "clearly a pattern has emerged now to try and disrupt this [Senate Intelligence Committee] investigation. As far as I'm concerned, it won't be disrupted," said Church grimly.

One of Church's former aides, speech-writer Loch K. Johnson, describes how he worked with Church to prepare a speech scheduled for delivery on November 11, 1975 in which Church would stake out a position opposing the Bush nomination:

The nomination of George Bush to succeed Colby disturbed him and he wanted to wind up the speech by opposing the nomination. [...] He hoped to influence Senate opinion on the nomination on the eve of Armed Services Committee hearings to confirm Bush.

I rapidly jotted down notes as Church discussed the lines he would like to take against the nomination. "Once they used to give former national party chairmen [as Bush had been under President Nixon] postmaster generalships--the most political and least sensitive job in government," he said. "Now they have given this former party chairman the most sensitive and least political agency." Church wanted me to stress how Bush "might compromise the independence of the CIA--the agency could be politicized."

Some days later Church appeared on the CBS program Face the Nation, he was asked by George Herman if his opposition to Bush would mean that anyone with political experience would be a priori unacceptable for such a post? Church replied: "I think that whoever is chosen should be one who has demonstrated a capacity for independence, who has shown that he can stand up to the many pressures." Church hinted that Bush had never stood up for principle at the cost of political office. Moreover, "a man whose background is as partisan as a past chairman of the Republican party does serious damage to the agency and its intended purposes." [fn 4]

The Brown Brothers, Harriman/Skull and Bones crowd counterattacked in favor of Bush, mobilizing some significant resources. One was none other than Leon Jaworski, the former Watergate special prosecutor. Jaworski's mission for the Bush network appears to have been to get the Townhouse and related Nixon slushfund issues off the table of the public debate and confirmation hearings. Jaworski, speaking at a convention of former FBI Special Agents meeting in Houston, defended Bush against charges that he had accepted illegal or improper payments from Nixon and CREEP operatives. "This was investigated by me when I served as Watergate special prosecutor. I found no involvement of George Bush and gave him full clearance. I hope that in the interest of fairness, the matter will not be bandied about unless something new has appeared on the horizon." Jaworski, who by then was back in Houston working for his law firm of Fulbright and Jaworski, sent a copy of the Houston Post article reporting this statement to Ford's White House counselor Philip Buchen. [fn 5]

Saul Kohler of the Newhouse News Service offered the Ford White House an all-purpose refutation of the arguments advanced by the opponents of Bush during November and into December. "And now," wrote Kohler, "President Ford is catching all sorts of heat from a lot of people for appointing Bush to the non-political sensitive CIA because he once served as Chairman of the Republican national Committee." How unfair, thought Kohler, "for of all the appointments Ford made last weekend, the nomination of Bush was the best." For one thing, "you'd have to go a long way to find a man with less guile than George Bush." Bush had been great at the RNC- "he managed to keep the RNC away from the expletive deleted of that dark chapter in American political history." "Not only did he keep the party apparatus clean, he kept his own image clean..." And then: "Was Cordell Hull less distinguished a Secretary of State because he had headed the Democratic National Committee?," and so forth. Kohler quoted a White House official commenting on the Bush nomination: "The gag line around here ever since The Boss announced George for the CIA is that spying is going to be a bore from now on because George is such a clean guy." [fn 6]

In the meantime, Bush got ready for his second meeting with Mao and prepared the documentation for his conflict of interest and background checks. In a letter to John C. Stennis, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, which would hold the hearings on his nomination, Bush stated that his only organizational affiliations were as a trustee of Philips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, and as a member of the Board of the Episcopal Church Foundation in New York City. In this letter, Bush refers to the "Bush Children Trust" he had created for his five children, and "funded by a diversified portfolio" which might put him into conflicts of interest. He told Stennis that if confirmed, he would resign as trustee of the Bush Children Fund and direct the other trustees to stop disclosing to him any details of the operations of the Bush Children Trust. Otherwise Bush said that he was not serving as officer, director, or partner of any corporation, although he had a lump-sum retirement benefit from Zapata Corporation in the amount of $40,000. According to his own account, he owned a home in Washington DC, his summer house at Kennebunkport, a small residential lot in Houston, plus some bank accounts and life insurance policies. He had a securities portfolio managed by T. Rowe Price in Baltimore, and he assured Stennis he would be willing to divest any shares that might pose conflict of interest problems. [fn 7]

Congressional reaction reaching the White House before Bush's hearings was not enthusiastic. Dick Cheney of the White House staff advised Ford to call Senator John Stennis on November 3, noting that Stennis "controls confirmation process for CIA and DOD." Ford replied shortly after, "I did." [fn 8] A few days later Ford had a telephone conversation with Senator Mike Mansfield, the Democratic majority leader, and one of his notations was "Geo Bush--for him but he must say no politics." [fn 9]

Negative mail from both houses of Congress was also coming in to the White House. On November 12, Ford received a singular note from GOP Congressman James M. Collins of Dallas, Texas. Collins wrote to Ford: "I hope you will reconsider the appointment of George Bush to the CIA. At this time it seems to me that it would be a greater service for the country for George to continue his service in China. He is not the right man for the CIA," wrote Collins, who had been willing to support Bush for the vice presidency back in 1974. "Yesterday," wrote Collins, "I sat next to my friend Dale Milford who is the only friendly Democrat on Pike's Committee. He strenuously questioned why Bush was being put in charge of the CIA. He likes George but he is convinced that the Liberals will contend from now to Doomsday that George is a partisan Republican voice. They are going to sing this song about Republican Chairmen and let the liberal press beat it out in headlines every day. I have heard this same story from many on the Hill who stand with you. Please use George in some other way. They are going to crucify him on this job and Senator Church will lead the procession. I hope you find an urgent need to keep Bush in China," wrote Collins, a Republican and a Texan, to Ford. [fn 10]

There was also a letter to Ford from Democratic Congressman Lucien Nedzi of Michigan, who had been the chairman of one of the principal House Watergate investigating committees. Nedzi wrote as follows:

The purpose of my letter is to express deep concern over the announced appointment of George Bush as the new Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

As Chairman of the Special Subcommittee on Intelligence of the House Armed Services Committee since 1971, I have had the obligation and opportunity to closely observe the CIA, the other intelligence agencies, the executive and legislative relationships of these agencies, and vice-versa. We are at a critical juncture.

After reassuring Ford that he had no personal animus against Bush, Nedzi went on:

However, his proposed appointment would bring with it inevitable complications for the intelligence community. Mr. Bush is a man with a recent partisan political past and a probable near-term partisan political future. This is a burden neither the Agency, nor the legislative oversight committee, nor the Executive should have to bear as the CIA enters perhaps the most difficult period of its history.

The Director of the CIA must be unfettered by any doubts as to his politics. He must be free of the appearance, as well as the substance, that he is acting, or not acting, with partisan political considerations in mind.

In my judgment, as one buffeted by the winds of the CIA controversy of the last few years, I agree that a man of stature is needed, but a non-political man.

Accordingly, I respectfully urge that you reconsider your appointment of Mr. Bush to this most sensitive of positions. [fn 11]

Senator William V. Roth of Delaware sent Bush a letter on November 20 which made a related point:

Dear George:

It is my deep conviction that the security of this nation depends upon an effective viable Central Intelligence Agency. This depends in part upon the intelligence agency being involved in no way in domestic politics, especially in the aftermath of Watergate. For that reason, I believe you have no choice but to withdraw your name unequivocally from consideration for the Vice Presidency, if you desire to become Director of the CIA. [...]

If Bush still wanted to pursue national office, wrote Roth, "then I believe the wise decision is for you to ask the President to withdraw your nomination for the CIA Directorship." [fn 12] Roth sent a copy of the same letter to Ford.

Through Jack Marsh at the White House, Bush also received a letter of advice from Tex McCrary, the New York television and radio personality who was also an eminence grise of Skull & Bones. "Old Tex" urged Bush to "hold a press conference in Peking while the President is there, or from Pearl Harbor on December 7, and take yourself out of the Vice Presidential sweepstakes for '76." McCrary's communication shows that he was a warm supporter of Bush's confirmation. [fn 13]

Within just a couple of days of making Bush's nomination public, the Ford White House was aware that it had a significant public relations problem. To get re-elected, Ford had to appear as a reformer, breaking decisively with the bad old days of Nixon and the Plumbers. But with the Bush nomination, Ford was putting a former party chairman and future candidate for national office at the head of the entire intelligence community. Ford's staff began to marshal attempted rebuttals for the attacks on Bush. On November 5, Jim Connor of Ford's staff had some trite boiler-plate inserted into Ford's Briefing Book in case he were asked if the advent of Bush represented a move to obstruct the Church and Pike committees. Ford was told to answer that he "has asked Director Colby to cooperate fully with the Committee" and "expects Ambassador Bush to do likewise once he becomes Director. As you are aware, the work of both the Church and Pike Committees is slated to wind up shortly." [fn 14] In case he were asked about Bush politicizing the CIA, Ford was to answer:" "I believe that Republicans and Democrats who know George Bush and have worked with him know that he does not let politics and partisanship interfere with the performance of public duty." That was a mouthful. "Nearly all of the men and women in this and preceding Administrations have had partisan identities and have held partisan party posts." "George Bush is a part of that American tradition and he will demonstrate this when he assumes his new duties."

But when Ford, in an appearance on a Sunday talk show, was asked if he were ready to exclude Bush as a possible vice-presidential candidate, he refused to do so, answering "I don't think people of talent ought to be excluded from any field of public service." At a press conference, Ford said, "I don't think he's eliminated from consideration by anybody, the delegates or the convention or myself.

In the meantime, Bush was in touch with the Ford White House about his impending return to Washington. On November 27 he wrote to Max L. Friedersdorf, an assistant to Ford: "We'll be back there in mid-December. It looks like I am walking into the midst of a real whirlwind, but all I know to do is to give it my all and be direct with the Committee." Then, penciled in by hand: "Max- I will be there in EOB on the 10th--Jennifer Fitzgerald with me now in China will be setting up a schedule for me a day or so in advance," and would Fridersdorf please cooperate with Bush's girl Friday. [fn 15]

Ford's lobbying operation went into high gear. Inside the White House, Max Friedersdorf wrote a memo to William Kendall on November 6, sending along the useful fact that "I understand that Senator Howard Baker is most anxious to assist in the confirmation of George Bush at the CIA." Mike Duval wrote to Jack Marsh on November 18 that "[Rep.] Sonny Montgomery (a close friend of Bush) should contact Senator Stennis." Duval also related his findings that "Senators McGee and Bellmon will be most supportive," while "Senator Stieger can advise you what House members would be most useful in talking to their own Senators, if that is needed." [fn 16] It was.

Bush's confirmation hearings got under way on December 15, 1975. Even judged by Bush's standards of today, they constitute a landmark exercise in sanctimonious hypocrisy so astounding as to defy comprehension. If Bush were ever to try an acting career, he might be best cast in the role of Moliere's Tartuffe.

Bush's sponsor was GOP Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, the ranking Republican on Senator John Stennis's Senate Armed Services Committee. Later, in 1988, it was to be Thurmond's political protege, Lee Atwater, cunning in the ways of the GOP "southern strategy," who ran Bush's presidential campaign. Thurmond unloaded a mawkish panegyric in favor of Bush: "I think all of this shows an interest on your part in humanity, in civic development, love of your country, and willingness to serve your fellow man." Could the aide writing that, even if it was Lee Atwater, have kept a straight face?

Bush's opening statement was also in the main a tissue of banality and cliches. He indicated his support for the Rockefeller Commission report without having mastered its contents in detail. He pointed out that he had attended Cabinet meetings from 1971 to 1974, without mentioning who the president was in those days. Everybody was waiting for this consummate pontificator to get to the issue of whether he was going to attempt the vice-presidency in 1976. Readers of Bush's propaganda biographies know that he never decides on his own to run for office, but always responds to the urging of his friends. Within those limits, his answer was that he was available for the second spot on the ticket. More remarkably, he indicated that he had a hereditary right to it--it was, as he said, his "birthright."

Would Bush accept a draft? "I cannot in all honesty tell you that I would not accept, and I do not think, gentlemen, that any American should be asked to say he would not accept, and to my knowledge, no one in the history of this Republic has been asked to renounce his political birthright as the price of confirmation for any office. And I can tell you that I will not seek any office while I hold the job of CIA Director. I will put politics wholly out of my sphere of activities." Even more, Bush argued, his willingness to serve at the CIA reflected his sense of noblesse oblige. Friends had asked him why he wanted to go to Langley at all, "with all the controversy swirling around the CIA, with its obvious barriers to political future?"

Magnanimously Bush replied to his own rhetorical question: "My answer is simple. First, the work is desperately important to the survival of this country, and to the survival of freedom around the world. And second, old fashioned as it may seem to some, it is my duty to serve my country. And I did not seek this job but I want to do it and I will do my very best." [fn 17]

Stennis responded with a joke that sounds eerie in retrospect: "If I though that you were seeking the Vice Presidential nomination or Presidential nomination by way of the route of being Director of the CIA, I would question you judgment most severely." There was laughter in the committee room.

Senators Goldwater and Stuart Symington made clear that they would give Bush a free ride not only out of deference to Ford, but also out of regard for the late Prescott Bush, with whom they had both started out in the Senate in 1952. Senator McIntyre was more demanding, and raised the issue of enemies' list operations, a notorious abuse of the Nixon (and subsequent) administrations:

"What if you get a call from the President, next July or August, saying 'George, I would like to see you.' You go in the White House. He takes you over in the corner and says, 'look, things are not going too well in my campaign. This Reagan is gaining on me all the time. Now, he is a movie star of some renown and has traveled with the fast set. He was a Hollywood star. I want you to get any dirt you can on this guy because I need it."

What would Bush do ? "I do not think that is difficult, sir," intoned Bush. "I would simply say that it gets back to character and it gets back to integrity; and furthermore, I cannot conceive of the incumbent doing that sort of thing. But if I were put into that kind of position where you had a clear moral issue, I would simply say "no," because you see I think, and maybe-- I have the advantages as everyone on this committee of 20-20 hindsight, that this agency must stay in the foreign intelligence business and must not harass American citizens, like in Operation Chaos, and that these kinds of things have no business in the foreign intelligence business." This was the same Bush whose 1980 campaign was heavily staffed by CIA veterans, some retired, some on active service and in flagrant violation of the Hatch Act. This is the vice-president who ran Iran-contra out of his own private office, and so forth.

Gary Hart also had a few questions. How did Bush feel about assassinations? Bush "found them morally offensive and I am pleased the President has made that position very, very clear to the Intelligence Committee..." How about "coups d'etat in various countries around the world," Hart wanted to know?

"You mean in the covert field," replied Bush. "Yes." "I would want to have full benefit of all the intelligence. I would want to have full benefit of how these matters were taking place but I cannot tell you, and I do not think I should, that there would never be any support for a coup d'etat; in other words, I cannot tell you I cannot conceive of a situation where I would not support such action." In retrospect, this was a moment of refreshing candor.

Gary Hart knew where at least one of Bush's bodies was buried:

Senator Hart: You raised the question of getting the CIA out of domestic areas totally. Let us hypothesize a situation where a President has stepped over the bounds. Let us say the FBI is investigating some people who are involved, and they go right to the White House. There is some possible CIA interest. The President calls you and says, I want you as Director of the CIA to call the Director of the FBI to tell him to call off this operation because it may jeopardize some CIA activities.

Mr. Bush. Well, generally speaking, and I think you are hypothecating a case without spelling it out in enough detail to know if there is any real legitimate foreign intelligence aspect... [...]

There it was: the smoking gun tape again, the notorious Bush-Lietdtke-Mosbacher-Pennzoil contribution to the CREEP again, the money that had been found in the pockets of Bernard Barker and the Plumbers after the Watergate break-in. But Hart did not mention it overtly, only in this oblique, Byzantine manner. Hart went on: "I am hypothesizing a case that actually happened in June, 1972. There might have been some tangential CIA interest in something in Mexico. Funds were laundered and so forth."

Mr. Bush. Using a 50-50 hindsight on that case, I hope I would have said the CIA is not going to get involved in that if we are talking about the same one.

Senator Hart. We are.

Senator Leahy. Are there others?

Bush was on the edge of having his entire Watergate past come out in the wash, but the liberal Democrats were already far too devoted to the one-party state to grill Bush seriously. In a few seconds, responding to another question from Hart, Bush was off the hook, droning on about plausible deniability, of all things: "...and though I understand the need for plausible deniability, I think it is extremely difficult."

In his next go-round, Hart asked Bush about the impact of the cutthroat atmosphere of the Cold War and its impact on American values. Bush responded: "I am not going to sit here and say we need to match ruthlessness with ruthlessness. I do feel we need a covert capability and I hope that it can minimize these problems that offend our Americans. We are living in a very complicated, difficult world." This note of support for covert operations would come up again and again. Indicative of Bush's thinking was his response to a query from Hart about whether he would support a US version of the British Official Secrets Act, which defines as a state secret any official information which has not been formally released to the public, with stiff criminal penalties for those who divulge or print it. In the era of FOIA, Bush did not hesitate: "Well, I understand that was one of the recommendations of the Rockefeller Commission. Certainly I would give it some serious attention." Which reeks of totalitarianism.

The next day, December 16, 1975, Church, appearing as a witness, delivered his phillipic against Bush. After citing evidence of widespread public concern about the renewed intrusion of the CIA in domestic politics under Bush, Church reviewed the situation:

So here we stand. Need we find or look to higher places than the Presidency and the nominee himself to confirm the fact that this door [of the Vice Presidency in 1976] is left open and that he remains under active consideration for the ticket in 1976? We stand in this position in the close wake of Watergate, and this committee has before it a candidate for Director of the CIA, a man of strong partisan political background and a beckoning political future. Under these circumstances I find the appointment astonishing. Now, as never before, the Director of the CIA must be completely above political suspicion. At the very least this committee, I believe, should insist that the nominee disavow any place on the 1976 Presidential ticket. [...] I believe that this committee should insist that the nominee disavow any place on the 1976 Presidential ticket. Otherwise his position as CIA Director would be hopelessly compromised. [...] Mr. Chairman, let us not make a travesty out of our efforts to reform the CIA. The Senate and the people we represent have the right to insist upon a Central Intelligence Agency which is politically neutral and totally professional. It is strange that I should have to come before this of all committees to make that argument.[...]
If Ambassador Bush wants to be Director of the CIA, he should seek that position. If he wants to be Vice President, then that ought to be his goal. It is wrong for him to want both positions, even in a Bicentennial year.

It was an argument that conceded far too much to Bush in the effort to be fair. Bush was incompetent for the post, and the argument should have ended there. Church's unwillingness to demand the unqualified rejection of such a nominee no matter what future goodies he was willing temporarily to renounce has cast long shadows over subsequent American history. But even so, Bush was in trouble. The other senators questioned Church. Thurmond was a bullying partisan for Bush, demanding that Church certify George for the GOP ticket in 1976, which Church was unwisely willing to do. Senator Tower wanted to know about Church's own presidential ambitions, and brought up that the press corps called the Senate Intelligence Committee the "Church for President" committee. Why didn't Church renounce his presidential ambitions so as to give his criticism more credibility? Goldwater spun out a mitigating defense of Bush. Church fought back with what we may consider the predecessor of the "wimp" argument, that Bush was always the yes-man of his patrons: if you were going to put a pol into Langley, he argued, "then I think that it ought to be a man who has demonstrated in his political career that he can and is willing to stand up and take the heat even where it courts the displeasure of his own President." "But I do not think that Mr. Bush's political record has been of that character."

Church was at his ironic best when he compared Bush to a recent chairman of the Democratic national Committee: "...if a Democrat were President, Mr. Larry O'Brien ought not to be nominated to be Director of the CIA. Of all times to do it, this is the worst, right at a time when it is obvious that public confidence needs to be restored in the professional, impartial, and nonpolitical character of the agency. So, we have the worst of all possible worlds." Church tellingly underlined that "Bush's birthright does not include being Director of the CIA. It includes the right to run for public office, to be sure, but that is quite a different matter than confirming him now for this particular position."

Church said he would under no circumstance vote for Bush, but that if the latter renounced the 76 ticket, he would refrain from attempting to canvass other votes against Bush. It was an ambiguous position.

While still reeling from Church's philippic, Bush also had to absorb a statement from Senator Culver, who announced that he also would vote against Bush.

Bush came back to the witness chair in an unmistakable whining mood. He was offended above all by the comparison of his august self to the upstart Larry O'Brien: "I think there is some difference in the qualifications," said Bush in a hyperthyroid rage. "Larry O'Brien did not serve in the Congress of the United States for 4 years. Larry O'Brien did not serve, with no partisanship, at the United Nations for 2 years. Larry O'Brien did not serve as the Chief of the US Liaison Office in the People's Republic of China." Not only Bush but his whole cursus honorum were insulted! "I will never apologize," said Bush a few second later, referring to his own record. Then Bush pulled out his "you must resign" letter to Nixon: "Now, I submit that for the record that that is demonstrable independence. I did not do it by calling the newspapers and saying, 'Look, I am having a press conference. Here is a sensational statement to make me, to separate me from a President in great agony.'"

Bush recovered somewhat under questioning by Hugh Scott of Pennsylvania, a reliable ally. Senator Symington urged Bush to commit to serve at the CIA for at least two years; Bush was non-committal, but the pressure was becoming unbearable. After some sparring between Bush and Gary Hart, Henry Jackson of Washington came in for the first time. Jackson's constant refrain was that the maladroit and bumbling Ford had put Bush in a very awkward and unfair position by nominating him:

To be very candid about it, it seems to me that the President has put you in a very awkward position. The need here is really to save the CIA. I do not need to recite what the Agency has gone through. It has been a very rough period. And it seems to me that the judgment of the President in this matter is at best imposing a terrible burden on the CIA and on you. It raises a problem here of nominating someone, who is a potential candidate, for service of less than a year. This is what really troubles me because I have the highest regard and personal respect for your ability and above all, your integrity. Mr. Chairman, it seems to me that the President should assure this committee that he will not ask Ambassador Bush to be on the ticket.

Jackson, a former chairman of the Democratic national Committee, had turned down an offer from Nixon to be Secretary of Defense, and had cited his party post as a reason for declining. While George squirmed, Jackson kept repeating his litany that "Ambassador Bush is in an awkward position." Bush asked for the opportunity to reply, saying that he would make it "brief and strong." He began citing James Schlesinger serving a few months at the CIA before going on to the Pentagon, a lamentable comparison all around. With Bush red-faced and whining, knowing that the day was going very badly indeed, Stennis tried to put him out of his misery by ending the session. But even this was not vouchsafed to poor, tormented George. He still had to endure Senator Leahy explaining why he, too, would vote against the Bush nomination.

Bush whined in reply "Senator, I know you have arrived at your conclusion honestly and I would only say I think it is unfortunate that you can say I have the character and I have the integrity, the perception, but that the way it is looked at by somebody else overrides that." A candidate for the CIA was in mortal peril, but a public wimp was born.

Bush had been savaged in the hearings, and his nomination was now in grave danger of being rejected by the committee, and then by the full Senate. Later in the afternoon of November 16, a damage control party met at the White House to assess the situation for Ford. [fn 18] According to Patrick O'Donnell of Ford's Congressional Relations Office, the most Bush could hope for was a bare majority of 9 out of 16 votes on the Stennis committee. This represented the committee Republicans, plus Stennis, Harry Byrd of Virginia, and Stuart Symington. But that was paper thin, thought O'Donnell: "This gives is a bare majority and will, of course, lead to an active floor fight which will bring the rank and file Democrats together in a vote which will embarrass the President and badly tarnish, if not destroy, one of his brightest stars." O'Donnell was much concerned that Jackson had "called for the President to publicly remove George Bush from the vice presidential race." Senator Cannon had not attended the hearings, and was hard to judge. Senator McIntyre obviously had serious reservations, and Culver, Leahy, and Gary Hart were all sure to vote no. A possible additional Democratic vote for Bush was that of Sam Nunn of Georgia, whom O'Donnell described as "also very hesitant but strongly respects George and has stated that a favorable vote would only be because of the personal relationship." O'Donnell urge Ford to call both Cannon and Nunn.

LBJ had observed that Ford was so dull that he was incapable of walking and chewing gum at the same time. But now even Ford knew he was facing the shipwreck of one of his most politically sensitive nominations, important in his efforts to dissociate himself from the intelligence community mayhem of the recent past.

Ford was inclined to give the senators what they wanted, and exclude Bush a priori from the vice presidential contest. When Ford called George over to the Oval Office on December 18, he already had the text of a letter to Stennis announcing that Bush was summarily ruled off the ticket if Ford were the candidate (which was anything but certain). Ford showed Bush the letter. We do not know what whining may have been heard in the White House that day from a senatorial patrician deprived (for the moment) of his birthright. Ford could not yield; it would have thrown his entire election campaign into acute embarrassment just as he was trying to get it off the ground under the likes of Bo Callaway. When George saw that Ford was obdurate, he proposed that the letter be amended to make it look as if the initiative to rule him out as a running mate had originated with Bush. The fateful letter:

Dear Mr. Chairman:

As we both know, the nation must have a strong and effective foreign intelligence capability. Just over two weeks ago, on December 7 while in Pearl Harbor, I said that we must never drop our guard nor unilaterally dismantle our defenses. The Central Intelligence Agency is essential to maintaining our national security.

I nominated Ambassador George Bush to be CIA Director so we can now get on with appropriate decisions concerning the intelligence community. I need-- and the nation needs-- his leadership at CIA as we rebuild and strengthen the foreign intelligence community in a manner which earns the confidence of the American people.

Ambassador Bush and I agree that the Nation's immediate foreign intelligence needs must take precedence over other considerations and there should be continuity in his CIA leadership. Therefore, if Ambassador Bush is confirmed by the Senate as Director of Central Intelligence, I will not consider him as my Vice Presidential running mate in 1976.

He and I have discussed this in detail. In fact, he urged that I make this decision. This says something about the man and about his desire to do this job for the nation. [...]

On December 19, this letter was received by Stennis, who announced its contents to his committee. This committee promptly approved the Bush appointment by a vote of 12 to 4, with Gary Hart, Leahy, Culver, and McIntyre voting against him. Bush's name could now be sent to the floor, where a recrudescence of anti-Bush sentiment was not likely, but could not be ruled out.

Bush, true to form, sent a hand-written note to Kendall and O'Donnell on December 18. "You guys were great to me in all this whirlwind," wrote Bush. "Thank you for your help--and for your understanding. I have never been in one quite like this before and it helped to have a couple of guys who seemed to care and want to help. Thanks, men--Thank Max, [Friedersdorf] too -George" [fn 19]

But underneath his usual network-tending habits, Bush was now engulfed by a profound rage. He had fought to get elected to the Senate twice, in 1964 and 1970, and failed both times. He had tried for the vice presidency in 1968, in 1972, had been passed over by Nixon in late 1973 when Ford was chosen, in 1974, and was now out of the running in 1976. This was simply intolerable for a senatorial patrician, and that was indeed Bush's concept of his own "birthright."

Bush gave the lie to Aristotle's theory of the humors: neither blood nor phlegm nor black nor even the yellow bile of rage moved him, but hyperthyroid transports of a manic rage that went beyond the merely bilious. George Bush had already had enough of the Stennis Committee, enough of the Church Committee, enough of the Pike Committee. Years later, on the campaign trail in 1988, he vomited out his rage against his tormentors of 1975. Bush said that he had gone to the CIA "at a very difficult time. I went in there when it had been demoralized by the attacks of a bunch of little untutored squirts from Capitol Hill, going out there, looking at these confidential documents without one simple iota of concern for the legitimate national security interests of this country. And I stood up for the CIA then, and I stand up for it now. And defend it. So let the liberals wring their hands and consider it a liability. I consider it a strength."

But in 1975 there was no doubt that George Bush was in a towering rage. As Christmas approached, no visions of sugarplums danced in Bush's head. He dreamed of a single triumphant stroke that would send Church and all the rest of his tormentors reeling in dismay, and give the new CIA Director a dignified and perhaps triumphant inauguration.

Then, two days before Christmas, the CIA chief in Athens, Richard Welch was gunned down in front of his home by masked assassins as he returned home with his wife from a Christmas party. A group calling itself the "November 19 Organization" later claimed credit for the killing.

Certain networks immediately began to use the Welch assassination as a bludgeon against the Church and Pike committees. An example came from columnist Charles Bartlett writing in the old Washington Star: "The assassination of the CIA Station Chief, Richard Welch, in Athens is a direct consequence of the stagy hearings of the Church Committee. Spies traditionally function in a gray world of immunity from such crudities. But the Committee's prolonged focus on CIA activities in Greece left agents there exposed to random vengeance." [fn 20] Staffers of the Church committee pointed out that the Church committee had never said a word about Greece or mentioned the name of Welch.

CIA Director Colby first blamed the death of Welch on Counterspy magazine, which had published the name of Welch some months before. The next day Colby backed off, blaming a more general climate of hysteria regarding the CIA which had led to the assassination of Welch. In his book, Honorable Men, published some years later, Colby continued to attribute the killing to the "sensational and hysterical way the CIA investigations had been handled and trumpeted around the world."

The Ford White House resolved to exploit this tragic incident to the limit. Liberals raised a hue and cry in response. Les Aspin later recalled that "the air transport plane carrying [Welch's] body circled Andrews Air Force Base for three-quarters of an hour in order to land live on the 'Today' Show." Ford waived restrictions in order to allow interment at Arlington Cemetery. The funeral on January 7 was described by the Washington Post as "a show of pomp usually reserved for the nation's most renowned military heroes." Anthony Lewis of the New York Times described the funeral as "a political device" with ceremonies "being manipulated in order to arouse a political backlash against legitimate criticism." Norman Kempster in the Washington Star found that "only a few hours after the CIA's Athens station chief was gunned down in front of his home, the agency began a subtle campaign intended to persuade Americans that his death was the indirect result of congressional investigations and the direct result of an article in an obscure magazine." Here, in the words of a Washington Star headline, was "one CIA effort that worked."

Between Christmas and New Year's in Kennbunkport, looking forward to the decisive floor vote on his confirmation, Bush was at work tending and mobilizing key parts of his network. One of these was a certain Leo Cherne.

Leo Cherne is not a household word, but he has been a powerful figure in the US intelligence community over the period since World War II. Leo Cherne was to be one of Bush's most important allies when he was CIA Director and throughout Bush's subsequent career, so it is worth taking a moment to get to know Cherne better.

Cherne's parents were both printers who came to the US from Romania. In his youth he was a champion orator of the American Zionist Association, and he has remained a part of B'nai B'rith all his life. He was trained as an attorney, and he joined the Research Institute of America, a publisher of business books, in 1936. He claims to have helped to draft the army and navy industrial mobilization plans for World War II, and at the end of the war he was an economic advisor to Gen. Douglas MacArthur in Japan. During that time he worked for "the dismantling of the pervasive control over Japanese society which had been maintained by the Zaibnatsu families," [fn 21] and devised a new Japanese tax structure. Cherne built up a long association with the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

Cherne was an ardent Zionist. He is typical to that extent of the so-called "neoconservatives" who have been prominent in government and policy circles under Reagan-Bush, and Bush. Cherne was the founder of the International Rescue Committee, which according to Cherne's own blurb "came into existence one week after Hitler came to power to assist those who would have to flee from Nazi Germany...In the years since, we have helped thousands of Jews who have fled from the Iron Curtain countries, all of them, and have worked to assist in the re-settlement of Jews in Europe and the United States who have left the Soviet Union."

Cherne's IRC was clearly a conduit for neo-Bukharinite operations between east and west in the Cold War, and it was also reputedly a CIA front organization. CIA funding for the IRC came through the J.M. Kaplan Fund, a known CIA conduit, and also through the Norman Foundation, according to Frank A. Cappell's Review of the News (March 17, 1976). IRC operations in Bangladesh included the conduiting of CIA money to groups of intellectuals. Capell noted that Cherne had "close ties to the leftist element in the CIA." Cherne was also on good terms with Sir Percy Craddock, the British intelligence coordinator, and Sir Leonard Hooper.

Cherne was a raving hawk during the Vietnam war, when he was associated with the as yet unreconstructed Kissinger clone Morton Halperin in the American Friends of Vietnam. Along with John Connally, Cherne was a co-chair of Democrats for Nixon in 1972. He had been a founding member of Herman Kahn's Hudson Institute, a school for Kissingerian Strangeloves, and has always been a leader of New York's Freedom House. Cherne was also big on Robert O. Anderson's National Commission on Coping with Interdependence and on Nelson Rockefeller's Third Century Corporation.

Cherne was a close friend of William Casey, who was working in the Nixon Administration as Undersecretary of State for Economic Affairs in mid-1973. That was when Cherne was named to the president's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB) by Nixon. On March 15, 1976, Cherne became the chairman of this body, which specializes in conduiting the demands of financier and related interests into the intelligence community. Cherne, as we will see, would be along with Bush a leading beneficiary of Ford's spring, 1976 intelligence re-organization.

To top it all off, Cherne has always been something of a megalomaniac. His self-serving RIA biographical sketch culminates: "Political scientist, economist, sculptor, lawyer, foreign affairs specialist-- any one and all of these descriptions fit Leo Cherne. A Renaissance man born in the 20th century, he is equally at home in fields of fine arts, public affairs, industry, economics, or foreign policy."

Bush's correspondence with Cherne leaves no doubt that theirs was a very special relationship. Cherne represented for Bush a strengthening of his links to the Zionist-neoconservative milieu, with options for backchanneling into the Soviet block. So on New Year's Eve Bush's thoughts, perhaps stimulated by his awareness of what help the Zionist lobby could give to his still embattled nomination, went out to Leo Cherne in one of his celebrated handwritten notes: "I read your testimony with keen interest and appreciation. I am really looking forward to meeting you and working with you in connection with your PFIAB chores. Have a wonderful 1976," Bush wrote.

January 1976 was not auspicious for Bush. He had to wait until almost the end of the month for his confirmation vote, hanging there, slowly twisting in the wind. In the meantime, the Pike Committee report was approaching completion, after months of probing and haggling, and was sent to the Government Printing Office on January 23, despite continuing arguments from the White House and from the GOP that the committee could not reveal confidential and secret material provided by the executive branch. On Sunday January 25, a copy of the report was leaked to Daniel Schorr of CBS News, and was exhibited on television that evening. The following morning, the New York Times published an extensive summary of the entire Pike Committee report, which this newspaper had also received.

Despite all this exposure, the House voted on January 29 that the Pike Committee report could not be released. A few days later it was published in full in the Village Voice, and CBS correspondent Daniel Schorr was held responsible for its appearance. The Pike Committee report attacked Henry Kissinger "whose comments," it said "are at variance with the facts." In the midst of his imperial regency over the United States, an unamused Kissinger responded that "we are facing a new version of McCarthyism." A few days later Kissinger said of the Pike Committee: "I think they have used classified information in a reckless way, and the version of covert operations they have leaked to the press has the cumulative effect of being totally untrue and damaging to the nation." [fn 22]

Thus, as Bush's confirmation vote approached, the Ford White House on the one hand and the Pike and Church committees on the other were close to "open political warfare," as the Washington Post put it at the time. One explanation of the leaking of the Pike report was offered by Otis Pike himself on February 11: "A copy was sent to the CIA. It would be to their advantage to leak it for publication." By now Ford was raving about mobilizing the FBI to find out how the report had been leaked.

On January 19, George Bush was present in the Executive Gallery of the House of Representatives, seated close to the unfortunate Betty Ford, for the President's State of the Union Address. This was a photo opportunity so that Ford's CIA candidate could get on television for a cameo appearance that might boost his standing on the eve of confirmation. The invitation was handled by Jim Connor of the White House staff, who duly received a hand-written note of thanks from the aspiring DCI.

Senate floor debate was underway on January 26, and Senator McIntyre lashed out at the Bush nomination as "an insensitive affront to the American people." The New Hampshire Democrat argued: "It is clearly evident that this collapse of confidence in the CIA was brought on not only by the exposure of CIA misdeeds, but by the painful realization that some of those misdeeds were encouraged by political leaders who sought not an intelligence advantage over a foreign adversary, but a political advantage over their domestic critics and the opposition party."

McIntyre went on: "And who can look at the history of political subordination of the CIA and expect the people to give an agency director so clearly identified with politics their full faith and confidence? To me it is a transparent absurdity that given the sensitivity of the issue, President Ford could not find another nominee of equal ability--and less suspect credentials--than the former national chairman of the president's political party."
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Re: George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography, by Webster Tarp

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PART 2 OF 3

In further debate on the day of the vote, January 27, Senator Biden joined other Democrats in assailing Bush as "the wrong appointment for the wrong job at the wrong time." Church also continued his attack, branding Bush "an individual whose past record of political activism and partisan ties to the president contradict the very purpose of impartiality and objectivity for which the agency was created." Church appealed to the Senate to reject Bush, a man "too deeply embroiled in partisan politics and too intertwined with the political destiny of the president himself" to be able to lead the CIA. Goldwater, Tower, Percy, Howard Baker, and Clifford Case all spoke up for Bush. Bush's floor leader was Strom Thurmond, who supported Bush by attacking the Church and Pike Committees. "That is where the public concern lies, on disclosures which are tearing down the CIA," orated Thurmond, "not upon the selection of this highly competent man to repair the damage of this over-exposure."

Finally it came to a roll call and Bush passed by a vote of 64-27, with Lowell Weicker of Connecticut voting present. Those voting against Bush were: Abourezk, Biden, Bumpers, Church, Clark, Cranston, Culver, Durkin, Ford, Gary Hart, Philip Hart, Haskell, Helms [the lone GOP opponent], Huddleston, Inouye, Johnston, Kennedy, Leahy, Magnuson, McIntyre, Metcalf, Mondale, Morgan, Nelson, Proxmire, Stone, and Williams. Church's staff felt they had failed lamentably, having gotten only liberal Democrats and the single Republican vote of Jesse Helms. [fn 23. ]

It was the day after Bush's confirmation that the House Rules committee voted 9 to 7 to block the publication of the Pike Committee report. The issue then went to the full House on January 29, which voted, 146 to 124, that the Pike Committee must submit its report to censorship by the White House and thus by the CIA. At almost the same time, Senator Howard Baker joined Tower and Goldwater in opposing the principal final recommendation of the Church Committee, such as it was, the establishment of a permanent intelligence oversight committee.

Pike found that the attempt to censor his report had made "a complete travesty of the whole doctrine of separation of powers." In the view of a staffer of the Church committee, "all within two days, the House Intelligence Committee had ground to a halt, and the Senate Intelligence Committee had split asunder over the centerpiece of its recommendations. The White House must have rejoiced; the Welch death and leaks from the Pike committee report had produced, at last, a backlash against the congressional investigations." [fn 24]

Riding the crest of that wave of backlash was George Bush. The constellation of events around his confirmation prefigures the wretched state of Congress today: a rubber stamp parliament in a totalitarian state, incapable of overriding even one of Bush's 22 vetoes.

On Friday, January 30, Ford and Bush were joined at the CIA auditorium for Bush's swearing in ceremony before a large gathering of agency employees. Colby was also there: some said he had been fired primarily because Kissinger thought that he was divulging too much to the Congressional committees, but Kissinger later told Colby that the latter's stratagems had been correct. Colby opened the ceremony with a few brief words: "Mr. President, and Mr. Bush, I have the great honor to present you to an organization of dedicated professionals. Despite the turmoil and tumult of the last year, they continue to produce the best intelligence in the world." This was met by a burst of applause. [fn 25] Ford's line was: "We cannot improve this agency by destroying it." Bush promised to make "CIA an instrument of peace and an object of pride for all our people." Bush went on to say: "I will not turn my back from the past. We've learned a lot about what an intelligence agency must do to maintain the confidence of the people in an open society. But the emphasis will now be on the future. I'm determined to protect those things that must be kept secret. And I am more determined to protect those unselfish and patriotic people who with total dedication serve their country, often putting their lives on the line, only to have some people bent on destroying this agency expose their names." A number of senators were invited, with Stennis, Thurmond, Tower, Goldwater, Baker and Brooke leading the pack; others had been added by the White House after checking by telephone with Jennifer Fitzgerald.

Before proceeding, let us take a loom at Bush's team of associates at the CIA, since we will find them in many of his later political campaigns and office staffs.

When Bush became DCI, his principal deputy was General Vernon Walters, a former army lieutenant general. This is the same Gen. Vernon Walters who was mentioned by Haldeman and Nixon in the notorious "smoking gun" tape already discussed, but who of course denied that he ever did any of the things that Haldeman and Ehrlichman said that he had promised to do. Walters had been at the CIA as DDCI since May, 1972--a Nixon appointee who had been with Nixon when the then vice president's car was stoned in Caracas, Venezuela way back when. Ever since then Nixon had seen him as part of the old guard. Walters left to become a private consultant in July, 1976.

To replace Walters, Bush picked Enno Henry Knoche, who had joined CIA in 1953 as an intelligence analyst specializing in Far Eastern political and military affairs. Knoche came from the navy and knew Chinese. From 1962 to 1967 he had been the chief of the National Photographic Interpretation Center. In 1969, he had become deputy director of planning and budgeting, and chaired the internal CIA committee in charge of computerization. (This emphasis was reflected during the Bush tenure by heavy emphasis on satellites and SIGINT communications monitoring.) Knoche was then deputy director of the Office of Current Intelligence, which produces ongoing assessments of international events for the President and the NSC. After 1972, Knoche headed the Intelligence Directorate's Office of Strategic Research, charged with evaluating strategic threats to the US. In 1975, Knoche had been a special liaison between Colby and the Rockefeller Commission, as well as with the Church and Pike Committees. This was a very sensitive post, and Bush clearly looked to Knoche to help him deal with continuing challenges coming from the Congress. In the fall of 1975, Knoche had become the number two on Colby's staff for the coordination and management of the intelligence community. According to some, Knoche was to function as Bush's "Indian guide" through the secrets of Langley; he knew "where the bodies were buried." Otherwise, Knoche was known for his love of tennis.

Knoche was highly critical of Colby's policy of handing over limited amounts of classified material to the Pike and Church committees, while fighting to save the core of covert operations. Knoche told a group of friends during this period: "There is no counterintelligence any more." This implies a condemnation of the Congressional committees with whom Knoche had served as liaison, and can also be read as a lament for the ousting of James Jesus Angleton, chief of the CIA's Counterintelligence operations until 1975 and director of the mail-opening operation that had been exposed by various probers. [fn 26]

Here was a deputy who could protect Bush's flank with his Congressional tormentors, who would call Bush to the Hill more than fifty times during his approximately one year of CIA tenure. He would also appear to have had enough administrative experience to run things, shielding Bush from the defect that Governor Scranton had pointed out years before- the lack of administrative ability. Nevertheless, Woodward and Pincus [fn 27] portray the Knoche appointment as getting mixed reviews within the CIA, and quote Admiral Daniel J. Murphy's view that the Knoche nomination was "not popular." For Woodward and Pincus Knoche was "a personable, tennis-playing giant of a man."

The Admiral Daniel J. Murphy just mentioned was Bush's deputy director for the intelligence community, and later became Bush's chief of staff during his first term as vice president. Much later, in November, 1987, Murphy visited Panama in the company of South Korean businessman and intelligence operative Tongsun Park, and met with Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega. Murphy was later obliged to testify to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about his meeting with Noriega. Murphy claimed that he was only in Panama to "make a buck," but there are indications that he was carrying messages to Noriega from Bush. Tongsun Park, Murphy's ostensible business associate, will soon turn out to have been the central figure of the Koreagate scandal of 1976, a very important development on Bush's CIA watch. [fn 28]

Other names on the Bush flow chart included holdover Edward Proctor and then Bush appointee Sayre Stevens in the slot of Deputy Director for Intelligence; holdover Carl Duckett and then Bush appointee Leslie Dirks as Deputy Director for Science and Technology; John Blake, holdover as Deputy Director for Administration; and holdover William Nelson, followed by Bush appointee William Wells, Deputy Director for Operations .

William Wells as Deputy Director for Operations was a very significant choice. He was a career covert operations specialist who had graduated from Yale a few years before Bush. Wells soon acquired his own deputy, recommended by him and approved by Bush: this was the infamous Theodore Shackley, whose title thus became Associate Deputy Director for Covert Operations. Shackley later emerged as one of the central figures of the Iran-contra scandal of the 1980's. He is reputedly one of the dominant personalities of a CIA old boys' network known as The Enterprise, which was at the heart of Iran-contra and the other illegal covert operations of the Reagan-Bush years.

During the early 1960's, after the Bay of Pigs, Theodore Shackley had been the head of the CIA Miami Station during the years in which Operation Mongoose was at its peak. This was the Howard Hunt and Watergate Cubans crowd, circles familiar to Felix Rodriguez (Max Gomez), who in the 1980's supervised gun-running and drug-running out of Bush's vice presidential office.

Later, Shackley was reportedly the chief of the CIA station in Vientiane, Laos, between July 1966 and December 1968. Some time after that he moved on to become the CIA station chief in Saigon, where he had directed the implementation of the Civilian Operations and Rural Development Support (CORDS) progra, better known as Operation Phoenix, a genocidal crime against humanity which killed tens of thousands of Vietnamese civilians because they were suspected of working for the Vietcong, or sometimes simply because they were able to read and write. As for Shackley, there are also reports that he worked for a time in the late 1960's in Rome, during the period when the CIA's GLADIO capabilities were being used to launch a wave of terrorism in that country. Such was the man that Bush chose to appoint to a position of responsibility in the CIA. Later, Shackley will turn up as a "speech writer" for Bush during the 1979-80 campaign.

Along with Shackley came his associate and former Miami station second in command, Thomas Clines, a partner of General Richard Secord and Albert Hakkim during the Iran-contra operation, convicted in September 1990 on four felony tax counts for not reporting his ill-gotten gains, and sentenced to 16 months in prison and a fine of $40,000.

During Bush's tenure Shackley's circles were mightily remoralized. In particular Ed Wilson, a veteran of Shackley's Miami station, now a retired CIA officer who worked closely with serving CIA personnel to organize gun running, sex operatives, and other activities, plied his trade undisturbed. The Wilson scandal, which had grown up on Bush's watch, would begin to explode only during the tenure of Stansfield Turner, under Carter.

Another career covert operations man, John Waller, became the Inspector General, the officer who was supposed to keep track of illegal operations. For legal advice, Bush turned first to holdover General Counsel Mitchell Rogovin, who had in December 1975 theorized that intelligence activities belonged to the "inherent powers" of the Presidency, and that no special Congressional legislation was required to permit such things as covert operations to go on. Later Bush appointed Anthony Lapham, Yale '58, as CIA General Counsel. Lapham was the scion of an old San Francisco banking family, and his brother was Lewis Lapham, the editor of Harper's Magazine. Lapham would take a leading role in the CIA coverup of the Letelier assassination case. [fn 29]

Typical of the broad section of CIA officers who were delighted with their new boss from Brown Brothers, Harriman/Skull and Bones was Cord Meyer, who had most recently been the station chief in London from 1973 on, a wild and wooly time in the tight little island, as we will see. Meyer, a covert action veteran and Watergate operative, writes at length in his autobiography about his enthusiasm for the Bush regime at CIA, which induced him to prolong his own career there:

I again seriously thought of retiring from the Agency but the new atmosphere in CIA's Langley headquarters changed my mind. George Bush had been appointed by President Ford to succeed Colby as DCI in January, and by the time of my return he had completely dispelled the fears that had been aroused by his former political connections. Having served in the Congress as a Republican representative from Texas and having recently been chairman of the Republican National Committee, he was initially viewed with suspicion as an ambitious politician who might try to use the Agency for partisan purposes. However, he quickly proved by his performance that he was prepared to put politics aside and to devote all his considerable ability and enthusiasm to restoring the morale of an institution that had been battered enough by successive investigations. Instead of reaching outside for defeated Republican candidates to fill key jobs, he chose from within the organization among men who had demonstrated their competence through long careers in intelligence work. He leaned over backward to protect the objectivity and independence of the Agency's estimates and to avoid slanting the results to fit some preconceived notion of what the President wanted to hear.
On the other hand, his close relationship to Ford [Bush was a regular tennis doubles partner with Ford] and the trust that the President obviously had in him gave Bush an access to the White House and an influence in the wider Washington bureaucracy that Colby had never enjoyed. Not only did morale improve as a result, but through Bush the Agency's views carried new weight and influence in the top reaches of the Ford Administration. In effect, I found on my return that the working environment at the Agency was far better than I had imagined it to be from my exposed position abroad and I determined to stay on for a period before retiring. Bush and "Hank" Knoche, the newly appointed deputy director, asked me to serve as a special assistant, and gave me as first assignment the task of reviewing the entire structure of the intelligence community to determine the adequacy of the arrangements for providing strategic warning against an attack on the United States and for handling major international crises. [fn 30]

This all sounds like a Bush campaign brochure, but it is typical of the intelligence community forces loyal to Bush; as for Cord Meyer, it may be that he developed the design for the Special Situation Group which Bush chaired from March, 1981 to January, 1989, through which Bush ran Iran-Contra and all of the other significant covert operations and coups of the entire Reagan era.

And what did other CIA officers, such as intelligence analysts, think of Bush? A common impression is that he was a superficial lightweight with no serious interest in intelligence. Deputy Director for Science and technology Carl Duckett, who was ousted by Bush after three months, commented that he "never saw George Bush feel he had to understand the depth of something....[he] is not a man tremendously dedicated to a cause or ideas. He's not fervent. He goes with the flow, looking for how it will play politically." According to Maurice Ernst, the head of the CIA's office of economic research from 1970 to 1980, "George Bush doesn't like to get into the middle of an intellectual debate...he liked to delegate it. I never really had a serious discussion with him on economics." Another former CIA aide to Bush who wanted to remain anonymous observed that "it was an approach remarkably similar to what a younger, more active Ronald Reagan might have done." Hans Heymann was Bush's National Intelligence Officer for Economics, and he remembers having been impressed by Bush's Phi Beta Kappa Yale degree in economics. As Heymann later recalled Bush's response, "He looked at me in horror and said, 'I don't remember a thing. It was so long ago, so I'm going to have to rely on you.'" [fn 31]

Other CIA employees remember Bush as a manager who would not grapple with concepts, but who rather saw himself as a problem solver and consensus builder who would try to resolve difficulties by getting people into a room to find a compromise basis of agreement. In reality, much of this was also a calculated pose. No one has ever accused Bush of profundity on any subject, except perhaps race hatred, but his disengaged stance appears as an elaborate deception to conceal his real views from the official chain of command.

In the meantime, the scuttlebut around Langley and the Pentagon was, according to a high CIA official, that "the CIA and DOD will love George Bush and Don Rumsfeld more than they hated or feared Bill Colby and Jim Schlesinger because neither will make any real waves." One writer summed up Bush's superficial public profile during this period as "not altogether incompetent." [fn 32]

During the first few weeks of Bush's tenure, the Ford administration was gripped by a "first strike" psychosis. This had nothing to do with the Soviet Union, but was rather Ford's desire to pre-empt any proposals for reform of the intelligence agencies coming out of the Pike or Church committees with a pseudo-reform of his own, premised on his own in-house study, the Rockefeller report, which recommended an increase of secrecy for covert operations and classified information. Since about the time of the Bush nomination, an interagency task force armed with the Rockefeller commission recommendations had been meeting under the chairmanship of Ford's counselor Jack O. Marsh. This was the Intelligence Coordinating Group, which included delegates of the intelligence agencies, plus NSC, OMB, and others. This group worked up a series of final recommendations that were given to Ford to study on his Christmas vacation in Vail, Colorado. At this point Ford was inclined to "go slow and work with Congress."

But on January 10 Marsh and the intelligence agency bosses met again with Ford, and the strategy began to shift towards pre-empting Congress. On January 30, Ford and Bush came back from their appearance at the CIA auditorium swearing in session and met with other officials in the Cabinet Room. Attending besides Ford and Bush were Secretary of State Kissinger, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, Attorney General Levi, Jack Marsh, Phil Buchen, Brent Scowcroft, Mike Duval, and Peter Wallison representing Vice President Rockefeller, who was out of town that day. [fn 33] Here Ford presented his tentative conclusions for further discussion. The general line was to pre-empt the Congress, not to cooperate with it, to increase secrecy, and to increase authoritarian tendencies.

Ford scheduled a White House press conference for the evening of February 17. In an atmosphere of intense last-minute haggling over bureaucratic prerogative, Bush was careful to meet with Leo Cherne to consolidate his relations with both Cherne and PFIAB. Cherne's memo of February 6 shows that he asked Bush to "make sure that we on the board are not surprised." Cherne stressed the need to know as much as possible about changes in the Sino-Soviet relationship and the need to upgrade economic intelligence, which, he lamented, was becoming flabbier as the oil crisis and the accompanying shocks to the international monetary system receded. Cherne was for declassifying whatever could be declassified, a bureaucratic posture that could not go wrong. Cherne thought that the "Pike Commission has a poor staff, issued a dreadful final report, but it did in the course of its inquiry ask the right questions." These, Cherne told Bush, should be answered. Cherne also wanted to set up "non-punitive regular monitoring" to evaluate the successes and failures of the intelligence community. This proposal should be noted, for here we have the germinal idea for Team B, which Bush set up a few months later to evaluate the agency's record in judging the strategic intentions and capabilities of the USSR. [fn 34]

In his press conference of February 17, Ford scooped the Congress and touted his bureaucratic reshuffle of the intelligence agencies as the most sweeping reform and reorganization of the United States intelligence agencies since the passage of the National Security Act of 1947. "I will not be a party to the dismantling of the CIA or other intelligence agencies," he intoned. He repeated that the intelligence community had to function under the direction of the National Security Council as if that were something earth-shaking and new; from the perspective of Oliver North and Admiral Poindexter we can see in retrospect that it guaranteed nothing. A new NSC committee chaired by Bush was entrusted with the task of giving greater central coordination to the intelligence community as a whole. This committee was to consist of Bush, Kissinger clone William Hyland of the National Security Council Staff, and Robert Ellsworth, the assistant secretary of Defense for Intelligence. This committee was jointly to formulate the budget of the intelligence community and allocate its resources to the various tasks.
The 40 Committee, which had overseen covert operations, was now to be called the Operations Advisory Group, with its membership reshuffled to include Scowcroft of NSC, Kissinger, Rumsfeld, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff George Brown, plus observers from the Attorney General and the Office of Management and Budget.

An innovation was the creation of the Intelligence Oversight Board (in addition to the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board), which was chaired by Ambassador Robert D. Murphy, the old adversary of Charles deGaulle during World War II. The IOB was supposed to be a watchdog to prevent new abuses from coming out of the intelligence community. Also on this board were Stephen Ailes, who had been Undersecretary of Defense for Kennedy and Secretary of the Army for LBJ. The third figure on this IOB was Leo Cherne, who was soon to be promoted chairman of PFIAB as well. The increasingly complicit relationship of Cherne to Bush meant that all alleged oversight by the IOB was a mockery. The average age of the IOB was about 70, leading Carl Rowan to joke that it was a case of Rip Van Winkle guarding the CIA. None of the IOB members, Rowan pointed out, was young, poor, or black.

Believe it or not, Ford also wanted a version of the Official Secrets Act which we have seen Bush supporting: he called for "special legislation to guard critical intelligence secrets. This legislation would make it a crime for a government employee who has access to certain highly classified information to reveal that information improperly." Which would have made the Washington leak game rather more dicey than it is at present.

The Official Secrets Act would have to be passed by Congress, but most of the rest of what Ford announced was embodied in Executive Order 11905. Church thought that this was overreaching, since it amounted to changing some provisions of the National Security Act by presidential fiat. But this was now the new temper of the times.

As for the CIA, Executive Order 11905 authorized it "to conduct foreign counterintelligence activities...in the United States," which opened the door to many things. Apart from restrictions on physical searches and electronic bugging, it was still open season on Americans abroad. The FBI was promised the Levi guidelines, and other agencies would get charters written for them. In the interim, the power of the FBI to combat various "subversive" activities was reaffirmed. Political assassination was banned, but there were no limitations or regulations placed on covert operations, and there was nothing about measures to improve the intelligence and analytical product of the agencies.

In the view of the New York Times, the big winner was Bush: "From a management point of view, Mr. Ford tonight centralized more power in the hands of the Director of Central Intelligence than any had had since the creation of the CIA. The director has always been the nominal head of the intelligence community, but in fact has had little power over the other agencies, particularly the Department of Defense." Bush was now de facto intelligence czar. [fn 35]

Poor Ford was unable to realize that his interest was to be seen as a reformer, not as someone who wanted to re-impose secrecy. When he was asked if his Official Secrets Act could not be used to deter whistle-blowers on future bureaucratic abuses, Ford responded that all federal employees would be made to sign a statement pledging that they would not divulge classified information, and that they could expect draconian punishment if they ever did so.

Congressman Pike said that Ford's reorganization was bent "largely on preserving all of the secrets in the executive branch and very little on guaranteeing a lack of any further abuses." Church commented that what Ford was really after was "to give the CIA a bigger shield and a longer sword with which to stab about."

An incident of those days reveals something of what was going on. Daniel Schorr of CBS, whose name had popped up on the Nixon enemies' list during the Watergate hearings, had obtained a copy of the Pike Committe report and passed it on to the Village Voice. Schorr had attended Ford's press conference, and listened as Ford denounced the leaking of the Pike report. The next day, covering Capitol Hill, Schorr encountered Bush while the new CIA boss was on his way to testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. A wirephoto of an angry Bush gesticulating at Schorr wound up on the front page of the Washington Star under the headline: "Another Confrontation." With that, Schorr's twenty-year career with CBS was over, and he was soon to face a witchhunt by the House Ethics Committee. Other reporters soon caught on that under the new Bush regime, political opponents would be slammed. (Schorr later speculated about CIA links to CBS owner William Paley; there was no need to look any further than the fact that Harriman had helped to create CBS and that Prescott Bush had been a CBS director during the 1950's, giving the Bushman network a firm presence there.

During these days, the Department of Justice announced that it would not prosecute former CIA Director Richard Helms for his role in an illegal break-in at a photographic studio in Fairfax, Virginia during 1971. The rationale was from the National Security Act of 1947: "the director of central intelligence shall be responsible for protecting intelligence sources and methods from unauthorized disclosure," even if it meant breaking the law to do it. Bush would become a past master of this "sources and methods" clause, which could be used to cover up almost anything.

The Church Committee was still functioning, and was looking into journalists controlled by the CIA, which some senators wanted to expose by name. On the same day as Ford's press conference, Senators Huddleston and Mathias drove out to Langley to confront Bush and demand that he divulge the names of these CIA media assets. The CIA was "not at liberty to reveal the names," Bush told the two senators. Instead, Bush offered documents that generally described the CIA's use of reporters and scholars over the years, but with no names. Senators Baker, Hart, and Mondale then called Bush and urged that the names be made public. Bush refused.

Bush pointed to his statement, made on February 12 as the first public act of his CIA career, removing all "full-time or part-time news correspondents accredited by any US news service, newspaper, periodicals, radio or TV network or station" from the CIA payroll. He also claimed that there were no clergymen or missionaries on the CIA payroll at all. As far as the journalists were concerned, in April the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Activities announced that they had already caught Bush lying, and that at least 25 journalists and reporters were still on the CIA payroll, and the CIA was determined to keep them there. Bush had quibbled on the word "accredited." This limited the purge to accredited correspondents issued news credentials. But this excluded free lance reporters, editors, news executives, and foreign news organizations at all levels. When dealing with Bush, it pays to read the fine print.

The Bush-Kissinger-Ford counteroffensive against the Congressional committees went forward. On March 5 the CIA leaked the story that the Pike Committee had lost more than 232 secret documents which had been turned over from the files of the executive branch. Pike said that this was another classic CIA provocation designed to discredit his committee, which had ceased its activity. Bush denied that he had engineered the leak: "The CIA did not do any such thing. Nothing of that nature at all," Bush told a reporter to whom he had placed a call to whine out his denial. "My whole purpose was to avoid an argument with him," said Bush, although he said that "Pike was the cause of this whole problem under great pressure."

In March Bush had to take action in the wake of the leaking of a CIA report showing that Israel had between 10 and 20 nuclear bombs; the report was published by Arthur Kranish, the editor of Science Trends Magazine. Church, who had Zionist lobby ties of his own and who was in the midst of a bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, demanded an investigation: "Can you imagine how a leak of that kind would have been treated if it had come out of the Congress of the United States!" In retrospect, the report may have been some timely window-dressing for Israeli prowess in a Ford regime in which Israel's military value as an ally was hotly contested; a little later Gen. George Brown, the chairman of the joint chiefs, was quoted to be the effect that Israeli and its armed forces had "got to be considered a burden" for the United States.

In April, Bush told the American Society of Newspaper Editors that he was just back from a secret visit to three countries in Europe, which he refused to name, during which he conceded that he "might or might not" have met with Frank Sinatra. (Brother Jonathan Bush had said in February that Sinatra had offered his services to the new CIA boss.) Bush praised the CIA in his speech: "It is a fantastic reservoir of discipline in the CIA. Our personnel people say the quality of applications is up. This is an expression of confidence in the agency. Morale is A-one." There was speculation that Bush might have gone to Italy, where terrorist activity was increasing and the Italian Communist Party, profiting from the vogue of "Euro-communism," was rapidly increasing its vote share during 1975-76.

In May, FBI Director Clarence Kelley apologized to the American people for the abuses committed by his secret police. Kelley said that he was "truly sorry" for past abuses of power, all of which were neatly laid at the door of the deceased former director, J. Edgar Hoover. Bush, for his part, aggressively refused to apologize. Bush conceded that he felt "outrage" at the illegal CIA domestic operations of the Watergate era, but that "that's all I'm going to say about it...you can interpret it any way you want." Bush's line was that all abuses had already been halted under Colby by the latter's "administrative dictum," and that the issue now was the implementation of the Rockefeller Commission report, to which Bush once again pledged fealty. Bush had no comment on the Lockheed scandal, which had begun to destabilize the Japanese, German, Italian, and Netherlands governments. The advance of the Italian communists and the Panama canal treaties were all "policy questions for the White House" in his view. Although China was being rocked by the "democracy wall" movement and the first Tien An Men massacre of 1976, Bush, ever loyal to his Chinese communist cronies, found that all that did not add up to anything "dramatically different."

A visit to the Texas Breakfast Club on May 27 found Bush trying to burnish his image as a good guy by talking about the existential dilemmas of a good man in any imperfect world, while pleading for more covert operations all the time. "I know in a limited way there are conflicts of conscience," Bush told the breakfasters. "But we're not living in a particularly moral world. We're living in a world that's not pure black or pure white. We're living in a world where [the US] has to have a covert capability." On the other hand, Bush was "not unconcerned about the constitutional questions that the excesses of the past have raised." "I'm not going to defend the things that were done but I'm not going to dwell on them either." "I'm happy to say I think things are moving away from the more sensational revelations of the past," leaving the CIA as an institution "intact." Necessity, pontificated Bush, sometimes demands "compromise with the purity of moral decisions."

On June 3, the Houston Post touted Bush as a good vice presidential candidate after all, moderate and southern, no matter what Ford had promised to the senate to get Bush confirmed. Bush was mum.

A few days later Bush paid tribute to the Israeli Defense Forces, who had just rescued a group of hostages at Entebbe. Bush denigrated US capabilities in comparison with those of Israel, saying that the US could not match what Israel was able to do: "We do have a very important role in furnishing intelligence to policy makers and our friends on the movement of international terrorists, but to indicate that we have that kind of action capability--the answer is very frankly no." Bush said that his policy on this matter was to fight terrorism with better intelligence, for "the more the American people understand this, the more support the CIA will have." Yet, Bush was unable to stop a terrorist murder in Washington DC, despite the fact that he had personally received a telegram informing him that the assassins were coming to visit him-- scarcely a good example of using intelligence to fight terrorism.

By September, Bush could boast in public that he had won the immediate engagement: his adversaries in the Congressional investigating committees were defeated. "The CIA," Bush announced, "has weathered the storm." "The mood in Congress has changed," he crowed. "No one is campaigning against strong intelligence. The adversary thing, how we can ferret out corruption, has given way to the more serious question how we can have better intelligence."

As Bush never tired of repeating, that meant more covert operations. In the middle of October, Bush spoke once again on this matter to the Texas Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association: "We would be stupid to give up covert operations and we are not going to do it as long as I have anything to say about it." Bush claimed that covert operations consumed only 2% of the entire CIA budget but that such operations were necessary because "not everybody is going to play by Marquis of Queensbury rules."

Such was the public profile of Bush's CIA tenure up until about the time of the November, 1976 elections. If this had been the whole story, then we might accept the usual talk about Bush's period of uneventful rebuilding and morale boosting while he was at Langley. We might share the conclusions of one author that "Bush was picked because he could be trusted to provide no surprises. Amiable and well-liked by old CIA hands, he sincerely believed in the agency and its mission. Bush soothed Congress, tried to restore confidence and morale and Langley, and avoided delving too deeply into the agency's darker recesses." [fn 36] Or, we might accept the following edifying summary: '[Bush] had a fundamental loyalty to the agency and its people even though he was an outsider. He was a man with a strong sense of obligation downward. Under him the people of the CIA soon realized that they were not going to be served up piecemeal. He probably did more for agency morale and standing in Congress than any DCI since Allen Dulles. Unlike Colby, who was loyal to the ideal of the CIA rather than to the people, Bush was committed to both. He was a genuine conservative in his politics and his approach, conveying no touch of originality, and was not a man to take initiatives. People knew exactly where they stood with him. He was a classic custodian, and it was this quality that Ford had recognized in him. For Bush being DCI was 'the best job in Washington.'" [fn 37] The spirit of the red Studebaker school of idolatry, we see, had followed Bush to Langley and thence into many standard histories of the CIA.

Reality looked different. The administration Bush served had Ford as its titular head, but most of the real power, especially in foreign affairs, was in the hands of Kissinger. Bush was more than willing to play along with the Kissinger agenda.

The first priority was to put an end to such episodes as contempt citations for Henry Kissinger. Thanks to the presence of Don Gregg as CIA station chief in Seoul, South Korea, that was easy to arrange. This was the same Don Gregg of the CIA who would later serve as Bush's national security advisor during the second vice presidential term, and who would manage decisive parts of the Iran-contra operations from Bush's own office. Gregg knew of an agent of the Korean CIA, Tongsun Park, who had for a number of years been making large payments to members of Congress, above all to Democratic members of the House of Representatives, in order to secure their support for legislation that was of interest to Park Chung Hee, the South Korean leader. It was therefore a simple matter to blow the lid off this story, causing a wave of hysteria among the literally hundreds of members of Congress who had attended parties organized by Tongsun Park, who had become the Perle Mesta of the 1970's when it came to entertaining Congressional bigwigs. Tongsun Park also had a stable of call girls available, and could provide other services. The US Ambassador to the Republic of Korea during this period was Richard Sneider.

The Koreagate headlines began to appear a few days after Bush had taken over at Langley. In February there was a story by Maxine Cheshire of the Washington Post reporting that the Department of Justice was investigating Congressmen Bob Leggett and Joseph Addabbo for allegedly accepting bribes from the Korean government. Both men were linked to Suzi Park Thomson, who had been hosting parties of the Korean Embassy. Later it turned out that Speaker of the House Carl Albert had kept Suzi Park Thomson on his payroll for all of the six years that he had been Speaker. Congressmen Hanna, Gallagher, Broomfield, Hugh Carey, and Lester Wolf were all implicated. The names of Tip O'Neill, Brademas, and McFall also came up. The New York Times estimated that as many as 115 Congressmen were involved.

In reality the number was much lower, but former Watergate Special Prosecutor Leon Jaworski was brought back from Houston to become special prosecutor for this case as well. This underlined the press line that "the Democrats' Watergate" had finally arrived. It was embarrassing to the Bush CIA when Tongsun Park's official agency file disappeared for several months, and finally tuned up shorn of key information on the CIA officers who had been working most closely with Park. Eventually Congressman Hanna was convicted and sent to jail, while Congressman Otto Passman of Louisiana was acquitted, largely because he had had the presence of mind to secure a venue in his own state. A number of other congressmen quit, and it is thought that the principal reason for the decision by Democratic Speaker of the House Carl Albert to retire at the end of 1976 was the fact that he had been touched by the breath of this scandal, which would go into the chronicles as "Koreagate." With this, most of the Congress was brought to heel. We note in passing that when George Bush takes a step up the ladder in Washington, the Speaker of the House is likely to be ousted. Ask Jim Wright.

An interesting sidelight of Koreagate involves then Congressman Edward Derwinksi, today Bush's Secretary of Veteran's Affairs. An article in the Wall Street Journal during this period alleged that federal investigators suspected Derwinksi of informing the Korean CIA that one of their officers was about to defect to the US for the purpose of cooperating with the Koregate investigations. Derwinski denied the accusations, and he was never prosecuted. [fn 38]

With that, the Congress was terrorized and brought to heel. In this atmosphere, Bush moved to reach a secret foreign policy consensus with key Congressional leaders of both parties of the one-party state. According to two senior government officials involved, limited covert operations in such places as Angola were continued under the pretext that they were necessary for phasing out the earlier, larger, and more expensive operations. Bush's secret deal was especially successful with the post-Church Senate Intelligence Committee. Because of the climate of restoration that prevailed, a number of Democrats on this committee concluded that they must break off their aggressive inquiries ("the adversary thing") and make peace with Bush, according to reports of remarks by two senior members of the committee staff. The result was an interregnum during which the Senate committee would neither set specific reporting requirements, nor attempt to pass any binding legislation to restrict CIA covert and related activity. In return, Bush would pretend to make a few disclosures to create a veneer of cooperation. [fn 39] These 1976 deals set the stage for many of the foreign intelligence monstrosities of the Jimmy Carter era. Ever since, the pretense of Congressional oversight over the intelligence community has been a mockery.

One theatre of covert operations in which Bush became involved was Angola. Here a civil war had erupted in 1974 with the end of Portuguese colonial rule, pitting the US-backed UNITA of Jonas Savimbi and the FNLA of Holden Roberto against the Marxist MPLA. In December, 1975 the Senate passed the Clark Amendment, designed to cut off US funding for the military factions. The Clark Amendment passed the House, and a ban on CIA operations in Angola became law on February 9, 1976. The chief of the CIA Angola task force, John Stockwell, later wrote that after February 9, the CIA kept sending planeloads of weapons from Zaire to UNITA forces in Angola, despite the fact that this was now illegal. There were at least 22 of such flights. Also in February, the Bush CIA began making large cash payoffs "to anyone who had been associated with our side of the Angolan war." This meant that President Mobutu of Zaire got $2 million which he was supposed to give to pro-western guerilla factions; Mobutu simply kept the money, and the CIA's guerillas "were left starving," said Stockwell. The Congress found out about Bush's illegal largesse, and subjected him to a series of hostile committee hearings in which full disclosure was demanded. The House Appropriations Committee placed a team of auditors in CIA headquarters to review accounting on the Angola program, which was code named IAFEATURE. On March 12 Bush sent a cable to all CIA stations ordering that no funds be spent on IAFEATURE. One day later, an uninsured cargo plane was shot down inside Angola. Despite this ignominious conclusion, Bush ordered awards and commendations for the 100 CIA personnel who had worked on the program. [ fn 40]

During Bush's first months in Langley, the CIA under orders from Henry Kissinger launched a campaign of destabilization of Jamaica for the purpose of preventing the re-election of Prime Minister Michael Manley. This included a large-scale campaign to foment violence during the election, and large amounts of illegal arms were shipped into the island. $10 million was spent on the attempt to overthrow Manley, and at least three assassination attempts took place with the connivance of the CIA. [fn 41]

The Bush CIA also continued a program in Iran which went under the name of IBEX. This aimed at building and operating a $500 million electronic and photographic capability to cover the entire region, including parts of the USSR. On August 28, 1976, three Americans working on the project were assassinated in Teheran. According to a Washington Post account by Bob Woodward, a month before these killings the former CIA Director and then current US Ambassador to Iran, Richard Helms, sent Bush a note complaining about abuses connected with the project, and in particular demanding that Bush investigation corrupt practices which Helms suspected were involved with the project. Helms apparently wanted to be spared more embarrassment in case IBEX were to become the object of a new scandal. [fn 42]

During Bush's CIA tenure, the CIA was found to have conducted electronic surveillance against the representatives of Micronesia, a UN Trusteeship territory in the Pacific that had been administered by the United States, and which was then about to become independent. In a story by Bob Woodward, the Washington Post alleged that the CIA had been bugging the Micronesian government over a four year period with a view to acquiring details of their negotiating strategy in talks with the State Department concerning relations with the United States after independence. The CIA's rebuttal seems to have been that while it would indeed have been illegal to bug the Micronesians if they were US citizens, they were now foreigners, and such bugging had never been restricted.

During Bush's time at the CIA, a series of governments around the world were destabilized by the Lockheed bribery scandal, the greatest multinational scandal of the 1970's. This scandal grew out of hearings before a Senate subcommittee chaired by Frank Church, although separate from the Intelligence Committee mentioned above. A number of Lockheed executives testified that they had systematically bribed officials of allied governments to secure contracts the sale of their military aircraft. This system of unreported payments eventually implicated such figures as former Japanese Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka, the leader of the most important faction in the Liberal Democratic Party, and Franz Josef Strauss, a former Federal German Defense Minister, Prime Minister of Bavaria, and the leader of the Christian Social Union, then a part of the opposition in the Bundestag in Bonn. Also implicated were a series of Italian Christian Democratic and Social Democratic political leaders, including the then Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti, the President of the Italian Republic Giovanni Leone, and former Defense Ministers Mario Tanassi of the PSDI and Luigi Gui of the DC. In the Netherlands, Prince Bernhard, the consort of Queen Juliana, was implicated, and virtually no NATO country was spared. The Lockheed scandal, coming as it did out of a milieu full of military intelligence connections, was coherent with a long-term Anglo-American design of destabilizing and weakening allied governments and the political forces that constituted those governments.

Those who have witnessed the ghoulish public love affair between George Bush and the fascist "Iron Lady" of Great Britain, Margaret Thatcher, may be interested in indications that CIA Director Bush helped to bring Mrs. Thatcher to power. At the beginning of Bush's tenure, the British Prime Minister was Harold Wilson of the Labor Party, who had won two general elections during 1974 and whose term would normally have ended in 1978. But Wilson was destabilized and forced out of office. Although his immediate successor was James Callaghan, also of the Labor Party, Callaghan's cabinet was merely the prelude to the advent of Thatcher, who would remain in power for more than 11 years, until late in 1990. [fn 43]

Bush's implication in the matter is beyond any doubt. Shortly after Bush had arrived at Langley, Prime Minister Wilson dispatched his close friend Lord Weidenfeld to the United States with a confidential letter to be given to Senator Hubert Humphrey. Wilson and Weidenfeld met on February 10, 1976. The letter enumerated the names of a number of MI-5 and MI-6 officers of whom Wilson was suspicious. Wilson's letter requested that Humphrey go to Bush and ask him whether the CIA knew anything about these British counter-intelligence and intelligence officers. Was it possible, Wilson wanted to know, that those named in the letter were actually working with or for the CIA? Were the British officials in league with a CIA faction that was carrying out electronic or other surveillance of Wilson, including in his office in 10 Downing Street? Implied was the further question: was the CIA part of an operation to destabilize Wilson and bring him down?

It is known that Bush took Wilson's letter quite seriously, so seriously that he flew to London to talk to Wilson and assured him that the CIA had not been responsible for any surveillance of the PM. But by the time Bush reached London, Wilson had already resigned in a surprise announcement made on March 16, 1976. What role had the CIA actually played?

The transition from Harold Wilson to Margaret Thatcher amounts to the replacement of Lord Victor Rothschild's favorite puppet politician of the 1960's with Lord Victor Rothschild's preferred choice for the 1980's. The pretext used to harass Wilson out of office was Wilson's well-known close ties to communists and to the Soviet block, but all of that had been well known back in 1964 when he had come to power for the first time. The pretext appears in all of its irony when we recall that Lord Victor Rothschild was himself the leading candidate to be named as the legendary "Fifth Man" of the KGB-SIS spy team of Philby, Maclean, Burgess, and Blunt.

A leading purveyor of the argument that Wilson was a Soviet asset was James Jesus Angleton, like Bush a Yale graduate. Angleton had been the counterintelligence director of the CIA until 1975, but he had not been very successful. Angleton had always been obsessed by the presence of high-level CIA moles in the US government and his own agency. Angleton was in touch with Peter Wright of MI-5. Wright was also bitterly opposed to Wilson, whom he characterized as a "Soviet-Zionist agent," which was perfectly accurate as far as it went. But again, all that had been clear back in 1964 and even much earlier. Wright had provided Chapman Pincher, a right-wing British journalist and also an asset of Lord Victor, with the material for the book Their Trade is Treachery, a "limited hangout" which provided many interesting facts about the Soviet penetration of British intelligence, but which was mainly designed to keep Lord Victor out of the spotlight. Later Wright's own book, Spycatcher, succeeded even better in protecting Lord Victor by becoming an international success de scandale that allowed Lord Victor to die a natural death without ever having been apprehended by British authorities. The crowning irony is that Philby's old pal Lord Victor, Wright, and the obsessive Angleton were all in a strange united front to vilify Wilson for his links to Soviet intelligence, which were of course massive but which had been well known all along.

The CIA's specific contributions to the destabilization of Wilson included the agency's sponsorship of a book written by a Czech defector named Josef Frolik. This tome accused John Stonehouse, the Postmaster General in Wilson's cabinet, of being an east bloc agent. Stonehouse later attempted to go underground in Australia after feigning suicide. Stonehouse was later found and brought back, although he still asserts his innocence of espionage charges. This affair, complete with a fugitive cabinet minister, was a colossal embarrassment to Wilson.

Wilson, as indicated, was convinced that he was being bugged, possibly with CIA participation. According to Chapman Pincher, "whether this surveillance extended to independent bugging by the CIA and NSA is unknown, although the CIA has denied it. Under the Anglo-American agreement dating back to 1947, there had long been an exchange of surveillance information, including cable and letter intercepts, but it is not impossible that the Americans agencies occasionally undertook activities denied, by writ or circumstances, to the British." [fn 44] In other words, it was easier for the Anglo-American establishment to have the CIA handle the bugging in London, since this was not illegal under the CIA's regulations. Was there reciprocity in this respect? Part of the destabilization of Wilson was run through Private Eye magazine. Another likely participant was Tory activist Airey Neave, who had wanted to replace former Prime Minister Edward Heath with Thatcher when Heath fell in 1974. Ultimately, Thatcher would be the leading beneficiary of the fall of Wilson.

Another government destabilized through the CIA during the same period was the Gough Whitlam Labor Party government of Australia. Whitlam threatened to deprive the CIA of its key Pine Gap electronic listening post after he discovered that the Australian intelligence services had been working with the CIA to bring down Allende. On November 8, 1975, with Bush's likely advent at the CIA already public knowledge, Theodore Shackley dispatched a telegram to the Australian intelligence services threatening to cut off all exchanges, hanging the Australians out to dry. On November 11, in a highly unusual action, the Royal Governor General dismissed Whitlam as Prime Minister, bringing Malcolm Frase and the conservatives back to power. When Whitlam's Labor Party majority in the lower house responded by voting no confidence in Fraser, the Royal Governor General dissolved the lower house and called a election. It was a coup ordered directly by Queen Elizabeth II, and carried out with Bush's help. In the background of this affair is the Nugan Hand bank, an Anglo-American intelligence proprietary involved with drug money laundering.
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Re: George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography, by Webster Tarp

Postby admin » Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:33 am

PART 3 OF 3

One of the most spectacular scandals of Bush's tenure at the CIA was the assassination in Washington DC of the Chilean exile leader Orlando Letelier, who had been a minister in the government of Salvador Allende Gossens, who had been overthrown by Kissinger in 1973. Letelier along with Ronnie Moffitt of the Washington Institute for Policy Studies died on September 21, 1976 in the explosion of a car bomb on Sheridan Circle, in the heart of Washington's Embassy Row district along Massachusetts Avenue.

Relatively few cases of international terrorism have taken place on the territory of the United States, but this was certainly an exception. Bush's activities before and after this assassination amount to one of the most bizarre episodes in the annals of secret intelligence operations.

One of the assassins of Letelier was unquestionably one Michael Vernon Townley, a CIA agent who had worked for David Atlee Philips in Chile. After the overthrow of Allende and the advent of the Pinochet dictatorship, David Atlee Philips had become the director of the CIA's western hemisphere operations. In 1975 Phillips founded AFIO, the Association of Former Intelligence Officers, which has supported George Bush in every campaign he has ever waged since that time. Townley, as a "former" CIA agent, had gone to work for the DINA, the Chilean secret police, and had been assigned by the DINA as its liaison man with a group called CORU. CORU was the acronym for Command of United Revolutionary Organizations, a united front of four anti-Castro Cuban organizations based primarily in the neighborhood of Miami called Little Havana. With CORU, we are back in the milieu of Miami anti-Castro Cubans whose political godfather George Bush had been since very early in the 1960's. CORU was at that time working together with the intelligence services of Chile's Pinochet, Paraguay's Alfredo Stroessner, and Nicaragua's Somoza for operations against common enemies, including Chilean left-wing emigres and Castro assets. Soon after the foundation of CORU, bombs began to go off at the Cuban Mission to the United Nations in New York.

During this period a Miami doctor named Orlando Bosch was arrested, allegedly because he had been planning to assassinate Henry Kissinger, and that ostensibly because of Kissinger's concessions to Castro. During the same period, the Chilean DINA was mounting its so-called Operation Condor, a plan to assassinate emigre opponents of the Pinochet dictatorship and its Milton Friedman, Chicago school economic policies. [fn 45]

It was under these circumstances that the US Ambassador to Chile, George Landau, sent a cable to the State Department with the singular request that two agents of the DINA be allowed to enter the United States with Paraguayan passports. One of these agents is likely to have been Townley. The cable also indicated that the two DINA agents also wanted to meet with Gen. Vernon Walters, the outgoing Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, and so the cable also went to Langley. Here the cable was read by Walters, and also passed into the hands of Director George Bush. Bush not only had this cable in his hands; Bush and Walters discussed the contents of the cable and what to do about it, including whether Walters ought to meet with the DINA agents. The cable also reached the desk of Henry Kissinger. One of Landau's questions appears to have been whether the mission of the DINA men had been approved in advance by Langley; his cable was accompanied by photocopies of the Paraguayan passports. (Later on, in 1980, Bush denied that he had ever seen this cable; he had not just been out of the loop, he claims; he had been in China. (The red Studebaker hacks, including Bush himself in his campaign autobiography, do not bother denying anything about the Letelier case; they simply omit it. [fn 46]

On August 4, on the basis of the conversations between Bush and Walters, the CIA sent a reply from Walters to Landau stating that the former "was unaware of the visit and that his Agency did not desire to have any contact with the Chileans." Landau responded by revoking the visas that he had already granted and telling the Immigration and Naturalization Service to put the two DINA men on their watch list to be picked up if they tried to enter the US. The two DINA men entered the US anyway on August 22, with no apparent difficulty. The DINA men reached Washington, and it is clear that they were hardly traveling incognito: they appear to have asked a Chilean embassy official call the CIA to repeat their request for a meeting. According to other reports, the DINA men met with New York Senator James Buckley, the brother of conservative columnist William Buckley of Skull and Bones. It is also said that the DINA men met with Frank Terpil, a close associate of Ed Wilson, and no stranger to the operations of the Shackley-Clines Enterprise. According to one such version, "Townley met with Frank Terpil one week before the Letelier murder, on the same day that he met with Senator James Buckley and aides in New York City. The explosives sent to the United States on Chilean airlines were to replace explosives supplied by Edwin Wilson, according to a source close to the office of Assistant US Attorney Lawrence Barcella." [fn 47] The bomb that killed Letelier and Moffitt was of the same type that the FBI believed that Ed Wilson was selling, with the same timer mechanism.

Bush therefore had plenty of warning that a DINA operation was about to take place in Washington, and it was no secret that it would be wetwork. As Dinges and Landau point out, when the DINA hitmen airrived in Washington they "alerted the CIA by having a Chilean embassy employee call General Walters' office at the CIA's Langley headquarters. It is quite beyond belief that the CIA is so lax in its counterespionage functions that it would simply have ignored a clandestine operation by a foreign intelligence service in Washington DC, or anywhere in the United States. It is equally implausible that Bush, Walters, Landau and other officials were unaware of the chain of international assassinations that had been attributed to DINA." [fn 48] One might say that Bush had been an accessory before the fact.

Bush's complicity deepens when we turn to the post-assassination coverup. The prosecutor in the Letelier-Moffitt murders was Assistant US Attorney Eugene M. Propper. Nine days after the assassinations, Propper was trying without success to get some cooperation from the CIA, since it was obvious enough to anyone that the Chilean regime was the prime suspect in the killing of one of its most prominent political opponents. The CIA had been crudely stonewalling Propper. He had even been unable to secure the requisite security clearance to see documents in the case. Then Propper received a telephone call from Stanley Pottinger, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department. Pottinger said that he had been in contact with members of the Institute for Policy Studies who had argued that the Civil Rights Division ought to take over the Letelier case because of its clear political implications. Propper argued that he should keep control of the case since the Protection of Foreign Officials Act gave him jurisdiction. Pottinger agreed that Propper was right, and that he ought to keep the case. When Pottinger offered to be of help in any possible way, Propper asked if Pottinger could expedite cooperation with the CIA.

As Propper later recounted this conversation:

Instant, warm confidence shot through the telephone line. The assistant attorney general replied that he happened to be a personal friend of the CIA director himself, George Bush. Pottinger called him "George." For him, the CIA Director was only a phone call away. Would Propper like an appointment? By that afternoon he, [an FBI agent working on the case], and Pottinger were scheduled for lunch with Director Bush at CIA headquarters on Monday. A Justice Department limousine would pick them up at noon. Propper whistled to himself. This was known in Washintgton as access. [fn 49]

At CIA headquarters, "Pottinger introduced Propper to Director Bush, and Bush introduced the two lawyers to Tony Lapham, his general counsel. Then, graciously, the Director said, 'Would you gentlemen care for some sherry?" An old butler in a white coat served sherry and cheese hors d'oeuvres. Then the group moved into the Director's private dining room, where an elegant table was laid on white linen."

There was some polite conversation. Then, when finally called on to state his business, Propper said that the Letelier-Moffitt murders were more than likely political assassinations, and that the investigation would probably move outside the United States into the Agency's realm of foreign intelligence. Therefore, Propper wanted CIA cooperation in the form of reports from within Chile, reports on assassins, reports on foreign operatives entering the United States, and the like. He wanted anything he could get that might bear upon the murders.

If Bush had wanted to be candid, he could have informed Propper that he had been informed of the coming of the DINA team twice, once before they left South America and once when they had arrived in Washington. But Bush never volunteered this highly pertinent information. Instead, he went into a sophisticated stonewall routine:

"Look," said Bush, "I'm appalled by the bombing. Obviously we can't allow people to come right here into the capital and kill foreign diplomats and American citizens like this. It would be a hideous precedent. So, as Director, I want to help you. As an American citizen, I want to help. But, as director, I also know that the Agency can't help in a lot of situations like this. We've got some problems. Tony, tell him what they are."

Lapham's argument went like this, with Bush looking on:

The first problem is that every time we've tried to help Justice in the past, they've screwed us. They always promise us that if we give them this assistance of that assistance, they'll just use it for background, but the next thing we know, they're trying to make a witness out of our source. They're trying to put him in court. We can't attract and hold sources if they're afraid they'll get slapped into court.

"Well, that sounds legitimate to me," said Propper, "but I'm sure we can figure out a way to work around it."

"That's not all," said Lapham. "We got torn to pieces last year for domestic intelligence, so now everybody over here is gun-shy about reporting on Americans or any activities in this country. We can't do it. That's strictly out. The liberals don't like some things we do and the conservatives don't like others, and the way the rule book is now, we stay clean by keeping out of criminal stuff and domestic stuff. You've got a murder here in the states. That's both. That makes it tough."

"I see," said Propper. "But I can't believe there's not some way for you to get into this case. There has to be a way. If somebody comes into the country from overseas and assassinates people here in Washington, that's got to be your kind of work. They might do it again. Who else will stop it?"

"Sure," said Lapham. "That's a security matter. That's ours. But we don't know this is a security matter yet, and we'd have to investigate a crime to find out." [fn 50]

Notice the consummate Aristotelian obfuscation by Lapham, who is propounding a chicken and egg paradox of law and administration. Apart from such sophists, everyone knew that Pinochet was a prime suspect. Lapham and Propper finally agreed that they could handle the matter best through an exchange of letters between the CIA Director and Attorney General Levi. George Bush summed up: "If you two come up with something that Tony thinks will protect us, we'll be all right." The date was October 4, 1976.

Contrary to that pledge, Bush and the CIA began actively to sabotage Propper's investigation in public as well as behind the scenes. By Saturday the Washington Post was reporting many details of Propper's arrangement with the CIA. Even more interesting was the following item in the "Periscope" column of Newsweek magazine of October 11:

After studying FBI and other field investigations, the CIA has concluded that the Chilean secret police were not involved in the death of Orlando Letelier....The agency reached its decision because the bomb was too crude to be the work of experts and because the murder, coming while Chile's rulers were wooing US support, could only damage the Santiago regime."

According to the New York Times of October 12: *

[Ford Administration] intelligence officials said it appeared that the FBI and the Central Intelligence Agency had virtually ruled out the idea that Mr. Letelier was killed by agents of the Chilean military junta....[They] said they understood DINA was firmly under the control of the government of Gen. Augusto Pincohet and that killing Mr. Letelier could not have served the junta's purposes....The intelligence officials said a parallel investigation was pursuing the possibility that Mr. Letelier had been assassinated by Chilean left-wing extremists as a means of disrupting United States relations with the military junta.

On November 1. the Washington Post reported a leak from Bush personally:

CIA officials say...they believe that operatives of the present Chilean military junta did not take part in Letelier's killing. According to informed sources, CIA Director Bush expressed this view in a conversation last week with Secretary of State Kissinger, the sources said. What evidence the CIA has obtained to support this initial conclusion was not disclosed.

Most remarkably, Bush is reported to have flown to Miami on November 8 with the purpose or pretext of taking "a walking tour of little Havana." As author Donald Freed tells it, "Actually [Bush] met with the Miami FBI Special Agent in Charge Julius Matson and the chief of the anti-Castro terrorism squad. According to a source close to the meeting Bush warned the FBI against allowing the investigation to go any further than the lowest level Cubans." [fn 51]

In a meeting presided over by Pottinger, Propper was only able to get Lapham to agree that the Justice Department could ask the CIA to report any information on the Letelier murder that might relate to the security of the United States against foreign intervention. It was two years before any word of the July-August cables was divulged.

Ultimately some low-level Cubans were convicted in a trial that saw Townley cop a plea bargain and get off with a lighter sentence than the rest. Material about Townley under his various aliases strangely disappeared from the INS files, and records of the July-August cable traffic with Walters (and Bush) was expunged. No doubt that there had been obstruction of justice, no doubt there had been a cover-up.

On October 6, bombs destroyed a Cubana Airlines DC-8 flying from Kingston, Jamaica to Havana, killing 73 passengers and crew, including the Cuban national fencing team which was returning from Venezuela. Anonymous callers to newspapers and radio stations claimed responsibility for CORU and Operation Condor, while Fidel Castro immediately blamed the CIA. Venezuelan police arrested CORU leaders Orlando Bosch (freed from jail in the US) and Luis Posada Carriles, whom we will later see as an associate of Bush operative Felix Rodriguez in Iran-contra.

During 1976, Ed Wilson, officially retired, had been working with CIA officials on a project to deliver explosives, timers, weapons, and ultimately Redeye missles to Qaddafi of Libya. Wilson was receiving assistance from active duty CIA agents, including William Weisenburger and from Scientific Communications, a CIA front company. Wilson was working with Clines, who was still on the CIA payroll. CIA man Kevin Mulcahy had reported to Theodore Shackley about Wilson's activities, and Shackley had informed deputy director William Wells, who in turned had passed the hot potato on to Inspector General John Waller. The result of this round was a probe of Mulcahy's report under Thomas Cox of Wallers' staff, assisted by Thomas Clines, of all people. On the basis of this in-house investigation, Bush on September 17 decided to pass the entire case on to the FBI.

Another aspect of Wilson's skullduggery was reported to Clines by Rafael "Chi Chi" Quintero, another fixture of the Enterprise, who complained that Wilson was trying to recruit him for an assassination attempt against "Carlos," the fabled international terrorist. Years later Wilson was given a long jail sentence, while his sidekick Frank Terpil went underground. What is essential here is that under Bush's administration, the CIA and its associated Enterprise and other old boys networks began to run amok along paths that lead us towards the Iran-contra affair and the other great covert action secret wars of the 1980's and 1990's.

During the last days of the Ford Administration, Attorney General Edward Levi had occasion to assert that the CIA's policy of refusing to turn documents and other evidence over to the Justice Department "smacked of a Watergate cover-up." This was in connection with the prosecution of one Edwin Gibbons Moore, who was allegedly trying to sell secret papers to the Soviet Embassy. The Bush CIA had refused to turn over various documents germane to this strange case.

During the Reagan years, Bush was given a much-publicized assignment as head of the South Florida Task Force and related efforts that were billed as part of a "war on drugs." In 1975, President Ford had ordered the CIA to collect intelligence on narcotics trafficking overseas, and also to "covertly influence" foreign officials to help US anti-drug activities. How well did Bush carry out this critical part of his responsibilities?

Poorly, according to a Justice Department "Report on Inquiry into CIA-Related Electronic Surveillance Activities," which was compiled in 1976, but which has only partly come into the public domain. What emerges is a systematic pattern of coverup that recalls Lapham's spurious arguments in the Leletier case. Using the notorious stonewall that the first responsibility of the CIA was to shield its own "methods and sources" from being exposed, the agency expressed fear "that the confidentiality of CIA's overseas collection methods and sources would be in jeopardy should discovery proceedings require disclosure of the CIA's electronic surveillance activities." [fn 52] This caused "several narcotics investigations and or prosecutions...to be terminated."

It was during 1976 that Bush met the Panamanian leader Manuel Antonio Noriega. According to Don Gregg, this meeting took place on the edges of a luncheon conference with several other visiting Panamanian officials.

This all makes an impressive catalogue of debacles in the area of covert operations. But what about the intelligence product of the CIA, in particular the National Intelligence Estimates that are the centerpiece of the CIA's work. Here Bush was to oversee a maneuver markedly to enhance the influence of the pro-Zionist wing of the intelligence community.

As we have already seen, the idea of new procedures allegedly designed to evaluate the CIA's track record in intelligence analysis had been kicking around in Leo Cherne's PFIAB for some time. In June, 1976, Bush accepted a proposal from Leo Cherne to carry out an experiment in "competitive analysis" in the area of National Intelligence Estimates of Soviet air defenses, Soviet missile accuracy, and overall Soviet strategic objectives. Bush and Cherne decided to conduct the competitive analysis by commissioning two separate groups, each of which would present and argue for its own conclusions. On the one, Team A would be the CIA's own National Intelligence Officers and their staffs. But there would also be a separate Team B, a group of ostensibly independent outside experts.

The group leader of Team B was Harvard history professor Richard Pipes, who was working in the British Museum in London when he was appointed by Bush and Cherne. Pipes had enjoyed support for his work from the office of Senator Henry Jackson, which had been one of the principal incubators of a generation of whiz kids and think tankers whose entire strategic outlook revolved around the stated or unstated premise of the absolute primacy of supporting Israel in every imaginable excess or adventure, while frequently sacrificing vital US interests in the process.

The liaison between Pipes' Team B and Team A, the official CIA, was provided by John Paisley, who had earlier served as the liaison between Langley and the McCord-Hunt-Liddy Plumbers. In this sense Paisley served as the staff director of the Team A-Team B experiment. Pipes then began choosing the members of Team B. First he selected from a list provided by the CIA two military men, Lieutenant General John Vogt and Brigadier General Jasper Welch, Jr., both of the Air Force. Pipes the added seven additional members: Paul Nitze, Gen. Daniel Graham, the retiring head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Professor William van Cleave of the University of Southern California, former US Ambassador to Moscow Foy Kohler, Paul Wolfowitz of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, Thomas Wolfe of the RAND Corporation, and Seymour Weiss, a former top State Department official. Two other choices by Pipes were rejected by Bush.

Team B began meeting during late August of 1976. Paisley and Don Suda provided Team B with the same raw intelligence being used by National Intelligence Officer Howard Stoertz's Team A. Team B's basic conclusion was that the Soviet military preparations were not exclusively defensive, but rather represented the attempt to acquire a first-strike capability that would allow the USSR to unleash and prevail in thermonuclear war. The US would face a window of vulnerability during the 1980's. But it is clear from Pipes' own discussion of the debate that Team B [fn 53] was less interested in the Soviet Union and its capabilities than in seizing hegemony in the intelligence and think tank community in preparation for seizing the key posts in the Republican administration that might follow Carter in 1980. Pipes was livid when, at the final Team A-Team B meeting, he was not allowed to sit at Bush's table for lunch. The argument in Team B quarters was that since the Soviets were turning aggressive once again, the US must do everything possible to strengthen the only staunch and reliable American ally in the Middle East or possibly anywhere in the world, Israel. This meant not just that Israel had to be financed without stint, but that Israel had to be brought into central America, the Far East, and Africa. There was even a design for a new NATO constructed around Israel, while junking the old NATO because it was absorbing vital US resources needed by Israel.

By contrast, Team B supporters like Richard Perle, who served as Assistant Secretary of Defense under Reagan, were later bitterly hostile to the Strategic Defense Initiative, which was plainly the only rational response to the Soviet buildup, which was very real indeed. The "window of vulnerability" argument had merit, but the policy conclusions favored by Team B had none, since their idea of responding to the Soviet threat was, once again, to subordinate everything to Israeli requirements.

Team A and Team B were supposed to be secret, but leaks appeared in the Boston Globe in October. Pipes was surprised to find an even more detailed account of Team B and its grim estimate of Soviet intent in the New York Times shortly after Christmas, but Paisley told him that Bush and CIA official Richard Lehman had already been leaking to the press, and urged Pipes to begin to offer some interviews of his own. [fn 54]

Typically enough, Bush appeared on Face the Nation early in the new year to say that he was "appalled" by the leaks of Team B's conclusions. Bush confessed that "outside expertise has enormous appeal to me." He refused to discuss the Team B conclusions themselves, but did say that he wanted to "gun down" speculation that the CIA had leaked a tough estimate of the USSR's military buildup in order to stop Carter from cutting the defense budget. That speculation "just couldn't be further from the truth," said Bush, who was thus caught lying neither for the first nor last time in his existence. As if by compulsive association, Bush went on: "That gets to the integrity of the process. And I am here to defend the integrity of the intelligence process. The CIA has great integrity. It would never take directions from a policymaker-- me or anybody else--in order to come up with conclusions to force a President-elect's hand or a President's hand," pontificated Bush with Olympian hypocrisy.

For his part, Henry Kissinger, within a year or two, in an interview with the London Economist, embraced key aspects of the Team B position.

Congress soon got into the act, and George Bush testified at a closed hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on January 18, 1977. It turned out that Team B and its "worst-case" scenario enjoyed strong support from Hubert Humphrey, Clifford Case, and Jacob Javits. Later it also became clear that Adlai Stevenson, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Subcommittee on Collection, Production, and Quality of Intelligence was also supportive of Team B, along with many other senators such as Moynihan and Wallop. Gary Hart was hostile, but Percy was open to dialogue with Team B.

After the Team B conclusions had been bruited around the world, Pipes became a leading member of the Committee on the Present Danger, where his fellow Team B veteran Paul Nitze was already ensconced, along with Eugene V. Rostow, Dean Rusk, Lane Kirkland, Max Kampelman, Richard Allen, David Packard, and Henry Fowler. About 30 members of the Committee on the Present danger went on to become high officials of the Reagan Administration.

Ronald Reagan himself embraced the "window of vulnerability" thesis, which worked as well for him as the bomber gap and missile gap arguments had worked in previous elections. When the Reagan Administration was being assembled, Bush and James Baker had a lot to say about who got what appointments. Bush was the founder of Team B, and that is the fundamental reason which such pro-Zionist neoconservatives as Max Kampelman, Richard Perle, Steven Bryen, Noel Koch, Paul Wolfowitz and Dov Zakem showed up in the Reagan Administration. For in one of his many ideological reincarnations, George Bush is also a neoconservative himself. What counted for Team B was to occupy the offices, and to dominate the debate. Team B greatly influenced the strategic assumptions and rhetoric of the first Reagan Administration; their one outstanding defeat was the launching of the SDI, and that was administered to them by LaRouche.

In a grim postlude to the Team B exercise, Bush's hand-picked staff director for the operation, John Paisley, the Soviet analyst (Paisley was the former deputy director of the CIA's Office of Strategic Research) and CIA liaison to the Plumbers, disappeared on September 24, 1978 while sailing on Chesapeake Bay in his sloop, the Brillig. Several days later a body was found floating in the bay in an advanced state of decomposition, and with a gun shot wound behind the left ear. The corpse was weighed down by two sets of ponderous diving belts. The body was four inches shorter than Paisley's own height, and Paisley's wife later asserted that the body found was not that of her husband. Despite all this, the body was positively identified as Paisley's, the death summarily ruled a suicide, and the body quickly cremated at a funeral home approved by the Office of Security. Paisley had been involved along with Angleton in the debriefing and managing of Soviet defectors like Nosenko and Nikolai Artamonov/"Shadrin," and various aspects of this case show that the Bush-Cherne Team B had not really ceased its operations after 1976-77, but had continued to function. Some have attempted to identify Paisley as Deep Throat. Others have suggested that he was a KGB mole. Either story, if true, might lead to highly embarrassing consequences for George Bush. [fn 55]

The Shadrin case just mentioned allows us to follow Bush a few steps further into the world of Soviet defectors, exchanges, kidnappings, murders, and other grisly rites of the cold war. Nicolai Artamonov alias Nick Shadrin was a Soviet naval officer who had defected to the west in the 1950's, and who worked for the Defense Intelligence Agency. There are indications that Shadrin was encouraged by his US handlers to let himself be contacted by the Soviets so that he could become a double agent. In December, 1975 Shadrin was sent to Vienna by the CIA, where he disappeared. According to some versions, he had been a Soviet agent all along, and went back to Moscow under the orders of the KGB. According to other versions, Shadrin was cynically delivered up by his CIA handlers to certain death at the hands of the KGB within the framework of a dirty operation to enhance the career of another KGB agent who had secretly gone to work for the CIA while remaining with the KGB. [fn 56]

The handling of defectors such as Shadrin represented that part of CIA operations where James Jesus Angleton spun his web, so were are moving through an obfuscated wilderness of mirrors in broaching this subject. But it seems well established that Bush acquired a personal role in the Shadrin affair through his deception of Shadrin's wife, Eva Shadrin, who was desperately seeking to find out what had happened to her husband. With the help of friends, Eva Shadrin appealed for assistance to Senators John Sparkman, and James Eastland, to Speaker of the House Carl Albert, to Pentagon officials and to PFIAB. On February 5, Mrs. Shadrin received a call from Brent Scowcroft saying that the case had been brought to his attention. The same day Gen. Vernon Walters called to say that Scowcroft was meeting with him at that very hour to see what could be done. Bush then appointed CIA Counterintelligence Chief George Kalaris to oversee cooperation with Mrs. Sadrin and her lawyer, Richard Copaken. Kalaris is accused in one published account of this story of having helped to delivered Shadrin into the hands of the KGB. Later, on October 8, 1976 Mrs. Shadrin and Copaken were received by Bush at Langley in a meeting also attended by Kalaris and former CIA employee Chester Cooper. Various possibilities for forcing an exchange of Shadrin were brought up by Mrs. Shadrin, but were ruled out by Bush. Bush also refused to say whether or not Shadrin was on a secret mission for the CIA. Bush did agree to set up a meeting for Mrs. Shadrin with President Ford.

On November 5, Ford received Mrs. Shadrin at the White House. Mrs. Shadrin recalled Ford as "cold and austere," a man whose "eyes seemed glazed over like a bullfrog's while I talked." Ford was unwilling to make any commitment on behalf of Shadrin. In the meantime, Bush had allowed Copaken to interview several CIA clandestine officers, including the last CIA contact to see Shadrin, one Cynthia Hausmann. This was considered a highly unusual favor by the DCI, even though Hausmann's cover had already been blown by Philip Agee. But in the end, Mrs. Shadrin concluded that her husband had been set up by the CIA, and that "she had been a fool to believe anything told her by George Bush...." [fn 57]

Related dimensions of Bush's intrigues at the CIA can only be hinted at. There is for example the case of Ralph Joseph Sigler, an army sergeant who worked as a double agent with the east bloc until he was found brutally murdered by electrocution in a motel in April, 1976. Among Sigler's belongings was a photograph of himself together with CIA Director Bush. [fn 58]

The question raised by these cases was almost universally dodged during the 1988 election campaign: "Do the American people really want to elect a former director of the CIA as their President," as Tom Wicker posed it in the New York Times of April 29, 1988. "That's hardly been discussed so far; but it seems obvious that a CIA chief might well be privy to the kind of 'black' secrets that could later make him-- as a public figure--subject to blackmail." Here is one area where we can be sure that we have only scratched the surface.

As he managed the formidable world-wide capabilities of the CIA during 1976, Bush was laying the groundwork for his personal advancement to higher office and greater power in the 1980's. As we have seen, there was some intermittent speculation during the year that, in spite of what Ford had promised the Senate, Bush might show up as Ford's running mate after all. But, at the Republican convention, Ford chose Kansas Senator Bob Dole for vice-president. If Ford had won the election, Bush would certainly have attempted to secure a further promotion, perhaps to Secretary of State, Defense, or Treasury as a springboard for a new presidential bid of his own in 1980. But if Carter won the election, Bush would attempt to raise the banner of the non-political status of the CIA in order to convince Carter to let him stay at Langley during the period 1977-81 as a "non-partisan" administrator.

Carter and Bush were not destined to get along. Carter wore the mask of the cult of Dionysius, demanding that the secrets of the inner temple be thrown open to the plebs for which he pretended to act as tribune. Bush wore the mask of the temple of Apollo, and argued in public for the sanctity of state secrets and the priority of covert operations while he secretly deployed his own irregular armies. Carter had implicitly attacked Bush during the early phases of the presidential campaign in an August 12 speech in which the Georgian had denigrated the Ford Administration as a "dumping ground for unsuccessful candidates, faithful political partisans, out-of-favor White House aides and representatives of the special interests." That day, Bush had traveled to Plains, Georgia to provide Carter with a five-hour intelligence briefing. Reporters asked Bush about Carter's comments, which elicited a fit of apoplexy from our hero: "That's very interesting," said Bush. We came down here to do a professional job. The President directed me to brief him on intelligence matters. Everything went very well." Carter backed off a day later, saying "I happen to think a lot of George Bush."

In the close 1976 election, Carter prevailed by vote fraud in New York, Ohio, and other states, but Ford was convinced by Nelson and Happy Rockefeller, as well as by his own distraught wife Betty, that he must concede in order to preserve the work of "healing" that he had accomplished since Watergate. Carter would therefore enter the White House.

Bush prepared to make his bid for continuity at the CIA. Shortly after the election, he was scheduled to journey to Plains to brief Carter once again with the help of his deputy Henry Knoche. Early in the morning Bush and Knoche stopped off at the Old Executive Office Building to talk to Budget Director Robert Lynn in order to secure a cash infusion for the CIA, which was facing a budgetary crunch. Bush then dropped in on Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, and also went into the Oval Office to talk to Ford.

The critical meeting with Carter went very badly indeed. Bush took Carter aside and argued that in 1960 and 1968, CIA Directors were retained during presidential transitions, and that it would make Carter look good if he did the same. Carter signaled that he wasn't interested. Then Bush lamely stammered that if Carter wanted his own man in Langley, Bush would be willing to resign. which is of course standard procedure for all agency heads when a new president takes office. Carter said that that was indeed exactly what he wanted, and that he would have his own new DCI ready by January 21, 1977. Bush and Knoche then briefed Carter and his people for some six hours. Carter insiders told the press that Bush's briefing had been a "disaster." "Jimmy just wasn't impressed with Bush," said a key Carter staffer. [fn 59]

Bush and Knoche then flew back to Washington, and on the plane Bush wrote a memo for Henry Kissinger describing his exchanges with Carter. At midnight, Bush drove to Kissinger's home and briefed him for an hour.

Knoche said later that he was mightily impressed by Bush's long day of meeting the budget director, the president, the vice president, the president-elect and the secretary of state, all on the same day, even if the result had been that Bush was fired. At Bush's 9:30 AM staff meeting in Langley the next day, Knoche and a group of other officials awarded Bush the Intelligence Medal of Merit. "It was a very touching day," said Knoche.

Carter first attempted to make Theodore Sorenson, the former Kennedy intimate, his new CIA Director. It soon became clear that certain circles were determined to block this nomination. The Sorenson nomination was soon torpedoed by a series of leaks, including revelations that Sorenson had been a conscientious objector during World War II, plus accusations that he had taken classified documents with him when he had left the government in 1964. Carter tried to get NATO General Bernard Rogers for the post, but finally had to settle for Navy Admiral Stansfield Turner from his own class at Annapolis.

An important internal CIA issue that arose during Turner's time in Langley was the question of personnel cuts, especially in the operations directorate. To understand Bush's influence on this topic, we must go back to the Watergate era.

During the Schlesinger-Colby period, about 2,000 CIA personnel, representing about 15% of the CIA manpower complement, were dismissed. The method of these firings appears to have been heavily influenced by Shackley and his faction, who argued that CIA personnel who were in danger of being exposed by Philip Agee should be preemptively terminated. There is therefore much reason to think that Shackley and Agee were in cahoots. This purge touched many important posts, which could then be filled by Shackley loyalists. A description of the process is offered by retired CIA agent Joseph Burkholder Smith, who served in the Western Hemisphere division:

A defensive operation was started immediately and every activity, agent, and officer was scrutinized to determine if Agee had already blown them or if he would write about them in his book. A Shackley henchman was installed as chief of operations [was this William Nelson?] and a cryptonym, the Agency's badge of security significance, was assigned to the task of getting rid of the division's operations and much of its office staff-- the pre-Shackley staff, some were quick to point out. They doubted whether so much destruction was necessary, especially since Shackley had a reputation for ruthlessness and for filling key jobs with his favorites.
Whether or not such a vast amount of house cleaning was really necessary, I could not decide. All I knew was that it was dismal work. [...]

Nevertheless, I was disturbed to have to dismiss so many loyal men and upset to have the defenses I kept putting up to try to salvage something of their old lives summarily dismissed by the Star Chamber conducting the purge in Washington. When Agee's book finally appeared, not one of the people I was ordered to fire was mentioned. [fn 60]

All of the CIA's divisions were purged, with justifications offered that ranged from the threat of denunciation by Agee to budget constraints to poor performance to the need to make room for new blood. Schlesinger, who fired 630 officers in five months, was said to be accompanied by bodyguards during this period for fear that some disgruntled covert warrior might exact a horrible revenge.

During Bush's tenure, the same William Nelson apparently mentioned by Smith seems to have suggested that the administrative purge had not gone far enough. In the spring of 1976, when he was about to be replaced by William Wells, Nelson again raised the issue of operations directorate personnel. "There were a lot of people in the DO [Directorate of Operations] who were marginal performers," said Nelson in a 1988 interview. "The low middle. We needed quality, not quantity. I told [Bush] that the lower 25 per cent should be identified and should be encouraged to seek other employment....I said we owed these people a lot but not a lifetime job. He [Bush] put it in his pocket and said he would think about it." [fn 61]

This new round of firings was relegated to Turner, who reportedly was told by Knoche on arriving at the CIA that the agency was "top-heavy." There was the case of Cord Meyer, Knoche said, who had too much rank for the work he was doing. As Turner later recalled, "It was at this point that I learned about a study the espionage [operations] branch itself had done on its personnel situation in mid 1976, while George Bush was DCI. It called for a reduction in the size of the branch by 1350 positions over a five-year period. No action had been taken. Bush had not rejected it, but neither had he faced up to it." [fn 62] Turner then proceeded to abolish 820 jobs, which he claims was accomplished through attrition. Other estimates of the Turner firings range between 820 and 2,800.

The plan Turner implemented was thus according to some the Nelson-Shackley-Bush plan. Certain activities of the intelligence community were being privatized and farmed out to such organisms as the National Endowment for Democracy and other such quasi-autonomous non-governmental organizations of Project Democracy. Under Reagan, this privatization of intelligence operations and their increasing assignment to non-governmental organizations was made official through Executive Order 12333.

Otherwise, George Bush used his last days at the CIA for his lifelong pastime, servicing his network. On December 16, he appeared at an awards ceremony in the Bubble at Langley to present a medal to Juanita Moody of the National Security Agency Product Organization staff. [fn 63]

During his year at Langley, Bush was especially forthcoming towards Wall Street, above all towards the family firm. On at least one occasion, Bush gave an exclusive private briefing, including forecasts on the future development of the world energy market, for partners and executives of Brown Brothers, Harriman. Such an incident, it is superfluous to point out, entails the gravest questions of conflict of interest. On another occasion, Bush gave a similar briefing to the board of directors of the Chase Manhattan Bank. [fn 64]

As always, Bush had special attention for Leo Cherne, the source of so much of the policy he implemented at the CIA. On November 8, Bush had called Cherne's attention to a small item in US News and World Report which suggested that "US assessments have so underrated Russia's strategic buildup that a top-secret study is under way to decide whether to strip the CIA of responsibility for the estimates and give it to an independent office answerable directly to the President." Another leak on Team B! Bush told Cherne that "the attached is the kind of publicity that I am sure you would agree is very damaging. I really don't think there is much we can do about it at this point, but I worry about it."

Bush left Langley with Carter's inauguration, leaving Knoche to serve a couple of months as acting DCI. In early February Bush wrote again to Leo Cherne, with whom he was now on a first-name basis:

Thanks for that lovely letter you sent me on Feb. 2nd. I already miss our contacts a lot. I will be leaving for Houston a week from today. [...]
Should you get down that way it would be great to see you. I am joining a couple of Boards that will bring me East from time to time. I hope to keep up my interest in foreign affairs and in national politics. It is quite unclear at the moment how to do these things.

The past has been fantastic; but now I am determined to look to the future. I know it will be full of challenge. I hope it holds frequent contacts with Leo Cherne.

I will follow with interest the President's decisions on PFIAB. Holler if I can ever be of help to you. I value our friendship.

Sincerely, George [fn 65]

Carter abolished PFIAB and fired Cherne from the IOB. George Bush now turned to his family business of international banking.

_______________

Notes:

1. Nathan Miller, Spying for America, (New York, 1989), p. 399.

2. Gerald R. Ford Library, Richard B. Cheney Files, Box 5.

3. See Loch K. Johnson, A Season of Inquiry: The Senate Intelligence Investigation (University Press of Kentucky, 1985), pp. 108-109.

4. Johnson, A Season of Inquiry, pp. 115-116.

5. Gerald R. Ford Library, Philip Buchen Files, Box 24. Article is from Houston Post, November 8, 1975.

6. Newhouse News Service article by Saul Kohler, November, 1975, with letter from Ford's press secretary Ron Nessen, at Gerald R. Ford Library, William T. kendall Files, Box 7.

7. Letter from Bush to Stennis, December 12, 1975 in Ford Library, Philip W. Buchen Files, Box 37.

8. Ford Library, Presidential Handwriting File, Box 9.

9. Ford Library, Presidential Handwriting File, Box 9.

10. Collins to Ford, November 12, 1975, Ford Library, John O. Marsh Files, Box 1.

11. Nedzi to Ford, December 12, 1975, Ford Library, John O. Marsh Files, Box 1.

12. Roth to Bush, November 20, 1975, Ford Library, John O. Marsh Files, Box 1.

13. Ford Library, William T. Kendall Files, Box 7

14. Ford Library, William T. Kendall Files, Box 7.

15. Ford Library, William T. Kendall Files, Box 7.

16. Ford Library, William T. Kendall Files, Box 7.

17. US Senate, Committee on Armed Services, Nomination of George Bush to be Director of Central Intelligence, December 15-16, 1975, p. 10.

18. Memo of December 16, 1975 from O'Donnell to Marsh through Friedersdorf on the likely vote in the Stennis Senate Armed Services Committee. Ford Library, William T. Kendall Files, Box 7.

19. Ford Library, William T. Kendall Files, Box 7.

20. For an account of the exploitation of the Welch incident by the Ford Administration, see Loch K. Johnson, A Season of Inquiry (University Press of Kentucky, 1985), pp. 161-162.

21. Ford Library, Leo Cherne Papers, Box 8.

22. For an account of the leaking of the Pike Committee report and the situation in late January and February, 1976, see Daniel Schorr, Clearing the Air (Boston, 1977) especially pp. 179-207, and Loch K. Johnson, A Season of Inquiry, pp. 172-191.

23. A Season of Inquiry, p. 180.

24. A Season of Inquiry, p. 182.

25. Thomas Powers, The Man Who Kept the Secrets (New York, 1987), p. 12.

26. William Colby, Honorable Men (New York, 1978), p. 452.

27. Bob Woodward and Walter Pincus, "At CIA, a Rebuilder 'Goes With the Flow,'" Washington Post, August 10, 1988. The biographical information on Knoche is also drawn from a 1-page summary in the Ford Library, William T. Kendall Files, Box 9.

28. On Murphy and Noriega, see Frank McNeil, War and Peace in Central America, (New York, Scribner), p. 278.

29. Cord Meyer, Facing Reality: From World Federalism to the CIA (University Press of America, 1982), pp. 225-226.

30. See John Prados, Presidents' Secret Wars (New York, ), Thomas Powers, The Man Who Kept the Secrets: Richard Helms and the CIA (New York, 1987), and John Ranelagh, The Agency: The Rise and Decline of the CIA (New York, 1987).

31. Washington Post, August 10, 1988.

32. William R. Corson, The Armies of Ignorance (New York, Dial Press), p. 446.

33. Ford Library, Philip W. Buchen Files, Box 2.

34. Memo by Leo Cherne, February 6, 1976, in Ford Library Leo Cherne Papers, Box 1.

35. For Ford's reorganization, see Loch K. Johnson, A Season of Inquiry, pp. 194-197, and New York Times, February 18, 1976.

36. For Koregate, see Robert B. Boettcher, Gifts of Deceit (New York, Holt Rinheart and Winston, 1980).

37. Nathan Miller, Spying For America: The Hidden History of US Intelligence (New York, Paragon House, 1989), pp. 402-403.

38. Ranelagh, The Agency, p. 632.

39. Scott Armstrong and Jeff Nason, "Company Man," Mother Jones, October, 1988.

40. John Stockwell, In Search of Enemies, (New York, 1978).

41. David Corn, "The Same Old Dirty Tricks," The Nation, August 23, 1988.

42. David Corn, "The Same Old Dirty Tricks," The Nation, August 23, 1988.

43. Chapman Pincher, The Spycatcher Affair (New York, 1988), p. 147.

44. For the CIA-Harold Wilson affair, see: David Leigh, The Wilson Plot (New York, 1988); Philip Knightley, The Second Oldest Profession (New York, Norton); Richard Deacon, The British Connection (London, Hamish Hamilton); and Chapman Pincher, The Spycatcher Affair (New York, 1988). Tom Mangold, Cold Warrior (New York, 1991) joins the red Studebaker school of historiography on Bush in the Angleton-Wilson affair.

45. Accounts of the Letelier Affairs include John Dinges and Saul Landau, Assassination on Embassy Row (New York, 1980); Donald Freed, Death in Washington (Westport, Connecticut, 1980), and Scott Armstrong and Jeff Nason, "Company Man," Mother Jones, October 1988.

46. See Armstrong and Nason, p. 43.

47. Freed, p. 174.

48. Dinges and Landau, p. 384.

49. Taylor Branch and Eugene M. Propper, Labyrinth (New York, 1982), p. 72.

50. Labyrinth, pp. 74-75.

51. Freed, Death in Washington, p. 174.

52. Jefferson Morley, "Bush's Drug Problem -- and Ours," The Nation, August 27, 1988.

53. Richard Pipes, "Team B: The Reality Behind the Myth," Commentary, October 1986.

55. Pipes, "Team B," Commentary, October, 1986, p. 34. Pipes makes clear that it was Bush and Richard Lehman who both leaked to David Binder of the New York Times. Lehman also encouraged Pipes to leak. The version offered by William R. Corson et al. in Widows (New York, 1989), namely that Paisley did the leaking, may also be true, but will not exonerate Bush. The authors of Widows are in grave danger of being banished to the red Studebaker school of coverup in that they ignore Pipes' account and its included fingering of Bush as the lead leaker.

55. See William R. Corson, Susan B. Trento, Joseph J. Trento, Widows.

56. See Willaim R. Corson et al., Widows, and Henry Hurt, Shadrin: The Spy Who Never Came Back.

57. Henry Hurt, Shadrin, p. 260.

58. Corson, Widows, p. 301.

59. Evans and Novak column, Houston Post, December 1, 1976. For the pro-Bush account of these events, see Nicholas King, George Bush, pp. 109-110.

60. Joseph Burkholder Smith, Portrait of a Cold Warrior (New York, Putnam), p. 12.

61. Washington Post, August 10, 1988.

62. Admiral Stansfield Turner, Secrecy and Democracy (Boston, 1985), p. 196.

63. James Bamford, The Puzzle Palace, p. 250.

64. Washington Post, August 10, 1988.

65. Ford Library, Leo Cherne Papers, Box
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Re: George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography, by Webster Tarp

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PART 1 OF 3

Chapter XVI -- Campaign 1980

Le mercennarie et ausiliarie sono inutili e pericolose; e, se uno tiene lo stato suo fondato in sulle arme mercennarie, non sara' mai fermo ne' sicuro.

--Machiavelli, Il Principe


As we follow George Bush along the George Washington Parkway as he drives away from his Langley office in January, 1977, we enter an especially shadowy and inscrutable interlude in his career. During their superficial and dilatory 1988 inquiry into Bush's career, Bob Woodward and Walter Pincus did establish one typical phenomenon of Bush's activity between January, 1977 and his emergence as a presidential candidate: Bush kept key parts of his activity a secret from his own aides and office staff, even going so far as to manufacture alibis which would appear to have been inventions. Woodward and Pincus described a "mystery about Bush and the agency" which arose during the course of their interviews about the post-1977 period. "According to those involved in Bush's first political action committee, there were several occasions in 1978-79, when Bush was living in Houston and traveling the country in his first run for the presidency, that he set aside periods of up to 24 hours and told aides he had to fly to Washington for a secret meeting of former CIA Directors. Bush told his aides that he could not divulge his whereabouts, and that he would not be reachable."

The mystery described by Woodward and Pincus arose when other interviews cast grave doubt on the veracity of this cover story; "...according to former directors and other senior CIA officials, there were no meetings of former directors during that period, and Bush had no assignments of any kind from the CIA." Stansfield Turner commented that he "never knew former directors had meetings and there were none when I was there." Stephen Hart of Bush's staff told Woodward and Pincus that the keepers of Bush's schedule could "recall no CIA activity of any kind," but explained the absences as "personal time in Washington" for "tennis, visits with friends, and dinners." [fn 1] Such enigmas are typical of the 1977-1979 interlude in Bush's career.

Shortly after leaving Langley, Bush asserted his birthright as an international financier in the way he had indicated to his close friend Leo Cherne, that is to say by becoming a member of the board of directors of a large bank. On February 22, 1977 Robert H. Stewart III, the chairman of the holding company for First International Bankshares of Dallas, announced that Bush would become the chairman of the executive committee of First International Bank in Houston and would simultaneously become a director of First International Bankshares Ltd. of London, a merchant bank owned by First International Bankshares, Inc. Bush also became a director of First International Bankshares Inc., which was the holding company for the entire international group. Thus, less than two years before Margaret Thatcher came to power, Bush acquired the status of investment banker in the City of London, the home of the Eurodollar market and the home of British imperial financial circles in which such figures as Lord Victor Rothschild, Tiny Rowland, the Sultan of Brunei, King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, and the Emir of Kuwait were at home. An annual fee of $75,000 as a "consultant" also sweetened this pot. During the 1988 campaign, Bush gave the implacable stonewall to any questions about the services he performed for the First International Bankshares group or about any other aspects of his business activities during the pre-1980 interlude. Interfirst was then the largest bank in Texas and was reportedly running speculation all over South America, China, and Europe.

Later, after the Reagan-Bush orgy of speculation and usury had ruined the Texas economy, the Texas commercial banks began to collapse into bankruptcy. First International of Dallas (or "Interfirst") merged with RepublicBank during 1987 to form First RepublicBank, which became the biggest commercial bank in Texas. Bankruptcy overtook the new colossus just a few months later, but federal regulators delayed their inevitable intervention until after the Texas primary in the spring of 1988 in order to avoid a potentially acute embarrassment for Bush. Once Bush had the nomination locked up, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation awarded the assets of First RepublicBank to the North Carolina National Bank in exchange for no payment whatsoever on the part of NCNC, which is reputedly a darling of the intelligence community.

During the heady days of Bush's directorship at Interfirst, the bank retained a law firm in which one Lawrence Gibbs was a partner. Two partners of Gibbs "joined three representatives of the energy department of Interfirst Bank on a trip to Peking, where they conducted a week-long seminar on financing the production of natural resources for the Oil and Gas Ministry of the People's Republic of China." [fn 2] This visit was made in the context of trips to China by Bush for the purpose of setting up a lucrative oil concession for J. Hugh Lietdkte of Pennzoil, Bush's old business partner. Gibbs, a clear Bush asset, was made Commissioner of Internal Revenue on August 4, 1986. Here he engineered the sweeheart deal for NCNB by decreeing $1.6 billion in tax breaks for this bank. This is typical of the massive favors and graft for pro-Bush financier interests at the expense of the taxpayer which are the hallmark of the Bush machine. Gibbs also approved IRS participation in the October 6, 1986 federal-state police raid against premises and persons associated with the political movement of Lyndon H. LaRouche in Leesburg, Virginia. This raid was a leading part of the Bush machine's long term effort to eliminate centers of political opposition to Bush's 1988 presidential bid. And LaRouche had been a key adversary of Bush dating back to the 1979-80 New Hampshire primary campaign, as we will shortly document.

Bush also joined the board of Purolator Oil Company in Rahway, New Jersey where his crony, Wall Street raider Nicholas Brady (later Bush's Secretary of the Treasury) was the chairman. Bush also joined the board of Eli Lilly & Co., a very large and very sinister pharmaceutical company. The third board Bush joined was that of Texas Gulf Inc. Bush's total 1977 rakeoff from the four companies with which he was involved was $112,000, according to Bush's 1977 tax return.

During this time, Bush became a director of Baylor Medical College, a trustee of Trinity Medical College in San Antonio, and a trustee of Philips Academy in Andover. He was also listed as an adjunct professor at Rice University.

Bush also found time line his pockets in a series of high-yield deals that begin to give us some flavor of what would later be described as the "financial excesses of the 1980's" in which Bush's circle was to play a decisive role.

A typical Bush venture of this period was Ponderosa Forest Apartments, a highly remunerative speculative play in real estate. Ponderosa bought up a 180-unit apartment complex near Houston that was in financial trouble, gentrified the interiors, and hiked the rents. Horace T. Ardinger, a Dallas real estate man who was among Bush's partners in this deal described the transaction as "a good tax gimmick...and a typical Texas joint venture offering." According to Bush's tax returns from 1977 through 1985, the Ponderosa partnership accrued to Bush a paper loss of $225,160 which allowed him to avoid payment of some $100,000 in federal taxes alone, plus a direct profit of over $14,000 and a capital gain of $217,278. This type of windfall represents precisely the form of real estate swindle that contributed to the Texas real estate and banking crisis of the mid-1980's. The deal illustrates one of the important ways in which the federal tax base has been eroded through real estate scams. We also see why it is no surprise that the one fiscal innovation which has earned Bush's sustained attention is the idea of a reduction in the capital gains tax to allow those who engage in swindles like these to pay an even smaller federal tax bite. It is also typical of the Bush style that Fred M. Zeder, the promoter of the Ponderosa deal, was made US Ambassador to the Marshall Island in the South Pacific by the Bush Administration after he had contributed over $30,000 to Bush's 1988 campaign.

In 1978, Bush crony and cabinet member Robert Mosbacher, a veteran of the Lietdtke-CREEP money transfers, devised a scheme to set up a partnership to buy some small barges to transport petroleum products. Bush invested $50,000 in this deal, which had netted him some $115,373 in income by 1988, when Bush's share had increased in value to $60,000. In 1988 it was forecast that this investment would continue to pay $20,000 per year for the foreseeable future. James Baker III also sank $50,000 into this deal, and has been rewarded by similar handsome payoffs. Mosbacher commented that this barge caper had turned out to be a "very, very good investment."

But Bush's main preoccupation during these years was to assemble a political machine with which he could bludgeon his way to power. After his numerous frustrations of the past, Bush was resolved to organize a campaign that would go far beyond the innocuous exercise of appealing for citizens' votes. If such a machine were actually to succeed in seizing power in Washington, tendencies towards the edification of an authoritarian police state with marked totalitarian tendencies would inevitably increase.

But first let us review some of Bush's public activities during the pre-campaign interlude. In April, 1978 Bush appeared along with E. Henry Knoche and William Colby at Senate hearings on proposed legislation to modify the methods by which Congress exercised oversight of the intelligence agencies. The bill being discussed had a provision to outlaw assassinations of foreign officials and to punish violations with life in prison. The measure would also have prohibited covert operations involving "torture," "the creation of epidemics of diseases," and "the creation of food or water shortages or floods." Bush and Knoche both objected to the ban on assassinations (which Colby accepted), and both were critical of the entire bill. Knoche said his fear was that if enacted the bill might create "a web woven so tight around the average intelligence officer that you're going to deaden his creativity."

Bush denounced the Senate bill for its "excessive" reporting requirements. "The Congress should be informed, fully informed, but it ought not to micro-manage the intelligence business," protested Bush. He was especially indignant about a provision that would have required notification of the House and Senate oversight committees every time a US intelligence agency wanted to stipulate an agreement with a foreign intelligence agency, or domestic security service. "I don't believe that kind of intimate disclosure is essential," said Bush. Bush was convinced that "some US sources are drying up because foreign services don't believe the US Congress can keep secrets." This, from the man who had leaked the Team B report to the New York Times, and then had gone on television to say that he was appalled.

Bush urged the senators to drop language in the bill that would have severed the DCI post from the CIA. Bush warned vehemently that an intelligence czar sitting in the White House "and separated from his CIA troops...would be virtually isolated. He needs the CIA as his principal source of support to be most effective. And the CIA needs its head to be the chief foreign intelligence adviser to the president." [fn 3]

A few months later he participated in a singular round table organized by the Washington Quarterly of the Georgetown Center for Strategic and International Studies with none other than Michael Ledeen as moderator. (Ledeen, who vaunted intimate connections to Israeli intelligence, was later one of the central figures in the mid-1980's acceleration of US arms shipments to Iran.) In this round table, Bush was joined by former DCIs Richard Helms and William Colby as well as by Ray Cline.

According to Bush there was "an underlying feeling on the part of the American people that we must have clandestine services." Above all he regretted "that some of the thrust of the legislation before the Hill is still flogging CIA for something that was long corrected, or that never happened." Even Hollywood was against the CIA, Bush thought, "and you get movies and television programs and it has a very sinister kind of propagandistic overtone." Here Bush wanted to defend his own record: "I'll give you one example that happened on my watch: One of these rather ribald magazines described a purported destabilization effort against [Prime Minister Michael] Manley in Jamaica." "But," said Bush with that self-righteous whine, "it never happened. There wasn't any truth in it."

An important question came from Ledeen: "Is the agency penetrated?" Bush was ready to admit that it might be: "Nobody is saying that there's nothing." "How about double agents?" Ledeen wanted to know. "Well, obviously we've had double agents but that's not officers of the agency," was Bush's ambiguous reply. Bush went on:

The great Soviet agents were recruited when the Soviet represented something ideologically. When they represented antifascism. That's when they got people like Philby. But the fact is that we've just went [sic] through a period in which we had hundreds of thousands of our young people out screaming against their government. Now they were totally opposed to their government, but they weren't pro-Soviet.
Bush and Cline joined to praise the "benign covert political action" of the 1940's and 1950's by which the CIA sent US intellectuals to Europe to talk to the Europeans. "We essentially won that ideological battle," said Bush.[fn 4]

When Carter and Brzezinski played their treacherous China card in December, 1978, Bush was quick, despite his own miserable record on this issue, to launch a pre-election attack on Carter with an op-ed in the Washington Post. Bush harkened back to the day in December, 1975 (although Bush wrote October) when he, Ford, and Kissinger had sat down with Chairman Mao. From Mao's remarks that day, Bush says, it was clear that Red China was obsessed with the Soviet threat, and was willing to wait indefinitely for China to be reunited with Taiwan. Now Carter had broken diplomatic relations with Taiwan, begun the pullout of US forces, abrogated the US-Taiwan security treaty, and was winding down arms assistance to Taiwan. Bush was the man who had presided over the ejection of the Republic of China from the UN. It was a cheap shot for him to quote Peter Berger about the primieval principle of morality that "one must not deliver one's friends to their enemies." After Bush's support for Deng Xiao-ping after the 1989 Tein An Men massacre, the hypocrisy is even more obvious.

But Bush had some other points to make against Carter. One was that when "black moderates in Rhodesia arranged with Prime Minister Ian Smith for the transfer of power and free elections, we [meaning Carter] threw in our lot with Marxist radicals."

Then there was the Middle East, where "the Israelis announced that they were prepared to accept a final plan drafted with American help. But when Egypt raised the ante, we modified our position to accept the new Egyptian proposals, and when the Israelis refused to go along, we publicly kicked them in the shins." Even the Carter of Camp David, who split the Arab front with a separate peace between Israel and Egypt, was not Zionist enough for Bush.

Apart from these public pronouncements, Bush was at work assembling a campaign machine.

One of the central figures of the Bush effort would be James Baker III, Bush's friend of ten years' standing. Baker's power base derived first of all from his family's Houston law firm, Baker & Botts, which was founded just after the end of the Civil War by defeated partisans of the Confederate cause. Judge Peter Gray and Walter Browne Botts established a law partnership in 1866, and this became Baker & Botts during the 1870's when James Baker (the great-grandfather of Bush's Secretary of State) joined the firm.

Baker & Botts founder Peter Gray had been Assistant Treasurer of the Confederate States of America and financial supervisor of the CSA's "Trans-Mississippi Department." Gray, acting on orders of Confederate Secretary of State Robert Toombs, financed the subversive work of Confederate general Albert Pike among the Indian tribes of the southwest. The close of the war in 1865 had found Pike hiding in Canada, and Toombs in exile in England. Pike was excluded from the general US amnesty for rebels because he was thought to have induced Indians to commit massacres and war crimes.

Pike and Toombs re-established the "Southern Jurisdiction" of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, of which Pike had been the leader in the slave states before the war of the rebellion. Pike's deputy, one Phillip C. Tucker, returned from Scottish Rite indoctrination in Great Britain to set up a Scottish rite lodge in Houston in the spring of 1867. Tucker designated Walter Browne Botts and his relative Benjamin Botts as the leaders of this new Scottish Rite lodge. [fn 5]

The policy of the Scottish Rite was to regroup unreconstructed Confederates to secure the disenfranchisement of black citizens and to promote Anglophile domination of finance and business. By the beginning of the twentieth century, there were two great powers dominating Texas: on the one hand, the railroad empire of E.H. Harriman, served by the law firm of Baker & Botts; and on the other, the British-trained political operative Colonel Edward M. House, the controller of President Woodrow Wilson. The close relation between Baker & Botts and the Harriman interests has remained in place down to the present. And since the time that Captain Baker founded the Texas Commerce Bank, the Baker family has helped the London-New York axis run the Texas banking system.

In 1901, the discovery of large oil deposits in Texas offered great promise for the future economic development of the state, but also attracted the Anglo-American oil cartel. The Baker family law firm in Texas, like the Bush and Dulles families in New York, was aligned with the Harriman-Rockefeller cartel. Robert S. Lovett, a Baker & Botts partner from 1882 on, later became the chairman of Harriman's Union Pacific Railroad and chief counsel to E.H. Harriman. The Bakers were prominent in supporting eugenics and utopian-feudalist social engineering.

Captain James A. Baker, so the story goes, the grandfather of the current boss of Foggy Bottom, solved the murder of his client William Marsh Rice and took control of Rice's huge estate. Baker used the money to start Rice University and became the chairman of the school's board of trustees. Baker sought to create a center of diffusion of racist eugenics, and for this purpose brought in Julian Huxley of the infamous British oligarchical family to found the biology program at Rice starting in 1912. [fn 6] Huxley was the vice president of the British Eugenics Society and actually helped to organize "race science" programs for the Nazi Interior Ministry, before becoming the founding Director General of UNESCO in 1946-48.

James A. Baker III was born April 28, 1930, in the fourth generation of his family's wealth. Baker holdings have included Exxon, Mobil, Atlantic Richfield, Standard Oil of California, Standard Oil of Indiana, Kerr-McGee, Merck, and Freeport Minerals. Baker also held stock in some large New York banks during the time that he was negotiating the Latin American debt crisis in his capacity as Secretary of the Treasury. [fn 7]

Baker grew up in patrician surroundings. His social profile has been described as "Tex-prep." Like his father, James III attended the Hill School near Philadelphia, and then went on to Princeton, where he was a member of Ivy Club, a traditional preserve of Eastern Anglophile Liberal Establishment oligarchs. Nancy Reagan was enchanted by Baker's sartorial elegance and smooth savoir-faire. Nancy liked Baker far more than she ever did Bush, and this was a key advantage for Bush-Baker during the factional struggles of the Reagan years.

Baker & Botts maintains an "anti-nepotism" policy, so James III became a boss of Houston's Andrews, Kurth, Campbell, & Jones law firm, a satellite of Baker & Botts. Baker's relation to Bush extends across both law firms: in 1977, Baker & Botts partner Blaine Kerr became president of Pennzoil, and in 1979, Baker & Botts partner B. J. Mackin became chairman of Zapata Corporation. Baker & Botts have always represented Zapata, and are often listed as counsel for Schlumberger, the oil services firm. James Baker and his Andrews, Kurth partners were the Houston attorneys for First International Bank of Houston when George Bush was chairman of the bank's executive committee.

During the 1980 campaign, Baker became the chairman of the Reagan-Bush campaign committee, while fellow Texan Bob Strauss was chairman of the Carter-Mondale campaign. But Baker and Strauss were at the very same time business partners in Herman Brothers, one of America's largest beer distributors. Bush Democrat Strauss later went to Moscow as Bush's ambassador to the USSR and later, to Russia.

In 1990, the New York Times offered a comparison of Bush and Baker, and sought to convey the impression that Baker was the far more devious of the duo:

When you sit across from the President, it is like holding an X-ray plate up to the light. You can see if he feels defensive or annoyed or amused. He is often distracted, toying with something on his desk. His thoughts start and stop and start again, as though he had call-waiting in his brain. There is a spontaneity and warmth about him.

When you sit across from Baker, it is like looking at a length of black silk. There is a stillness, as Baker holds you locked in his gaze and Southern comfort voice, occasionally flashing a rather wintry smile...He has a compelling presence, but he is such a fox that you feel the impulse to check your wallet when you leave his office. [fn 8]

Another leading Bush supporter was Ray Cline. During 1979 it was Ray Cline who had gone virtually public with a loose and informal but highly effective campaign network mainly composed of former intelligence officers. Cline had been the CIA Station Chief in Taiwan from 1958 to 1962. He had been Deputy Director of Central Intelligence from 1962 to 1966, and had then gone on to direct the intelligence gathering operation at the State Department. Cline became a de facto White House official during the first Bush Administration, and wrote the White House boiler plate entitled "National Security Strategy of the United States" under which the Gulf war was carried out.

Cline later said that his approach to Bush's 1979-80 primary campaign was to "organize something like one of my old CIA staffs." "I found there was a tremendous constituency for the CIA when everyone in Washington was still urinating all over it," commented Cline to the Washington Post of March 1, 1980. "It's panned out almost too good to be true. The country is waking up just in time for George's candidacy."

Heading up the Bush campaign muck-raking "research" staff was Stefan Halper, Ray Cline's son in law and a former official of the Nixon White House.

A member of Halper's staff was a CIA veteran named Robert Gambino. Gambino had held the sensitive post of director of the CIA's Office of Security. It will be recalled that the Office of Security constitutes the interface between Langley and state and local police departments all across the United States with whom it must cooperate to protect the security of CIA buildings and CIA personnel, as for example in cases in which these latter may run afoul of the law. The Office of Security is reputed to possess extensive files on the domestic activities of American citizens. David Aaron, Brzezinski's deputy at the Carter National Security Council, recalled that some high Carter officials were "upset" that Gambino had gone to work for the Bush camp. According to Aaron, "several [CIA] people took early retirement and went to work for Bush's so-called security staff. The thing that upset us, was that a guy who has been head of security for the CIA has been privy to a lot of dossiers, and the possibility of abuse was quite high, although we never heard of any occasion when Gambino called someone up and forced them to do something for the campaign." [fn 9]

Other high-level spooks active in the Bush campaign included Lt. General Sam V. Wilson and Lt. General Harold A. Aaron, both former directors of the Defense Intelligence Agency. Another enthusiastic Bushman was retired General Richard Stillwell, formerly the CIA's Chief of Covert Operations for the Far East. The former Deputy Director for Operations Theodore Shackley was also on board, reportedly as a speechwriter, but more likely for somewhat heavier work.

According to one estimate, at least 25 former intelligence officials worked directly for the Bush campaign. As Bill Peterson of the Washington Post wrote on March 1, 1980, "Simply put, no presidential campaign in recent memory--perhaps ever--has attracted as much support from the intelligence community as the campaign of former CIA Director George Bush."

Further intelligence veterans among the Bushmen were Daniel C. Arnold, the former CIA Station chief in Bangkok, Thailand, who retired early to join the campaign during 1979. Harry Webster, a former clandestine agent, became a member of Bush's paid staff for the Florida primary. CIA veteran Bruce Rounds was Bush's "director of operations" during the key New Hampshire primary. Also on board with the Bushmen was Jon R. Thomas, a former clandestine operative who had been listed as a State Department official during a tour of duty in Spain, and who later worked on terrorism and drug trafficking at the State Department. Andrew Falkiewicz, the former spokesman of the CIA in Langley, attended some of Bush's pre-campaign brainstorming sessions as a consultant on foreign policy matters. According to an unnamed former CIA deputy director for intelligence who allegedly talked to Rolling Stone magazine in March, 1980, "the Bush campaign is, I think, embarrassed by all the crazy spooks running around trying to help them." Another retired top spook told the Washington Post that "there is a very high level of support for George Bush among current and former CIA employees."

Some worried that all this intelligence community support might have damaging by-products for Bush. "I can see the headlines [now]," said one former clandestine officer during the primaries: "BUSH SPRINKLES CAMPAIGN WITH FORMER SPOOKS."

One leading bastion of the Bushmen was predictably David Atlee Philip's AFIO, the Association of Former Intelligence Officers. Jack Coakley was a former director and Bush's campaign coordinator for Virginia. He certified that at the AFIO annual meeting in the fall of 1979, he counted 190 "Bush for President" buttons among 240 delegates to the convention. [fn 10]

During the course of the 1984 Debategate investigation, a number of Bush campaign activists were depositioned about possible abuses in the course of this campaign. Most revealing was the sworn statement of Angelo Codevilla, a former naval intelligence officer who was a fixture for a number of years on the staff of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Under questioning by John Fitzgerald, who was acting as counsel for the House subcommittee chaired by Rep. Don Albosta, Codevilla responded:

I am aware that active duty agents of the Central Intelligence Agency worked for the George Bush primary campaign. However, I cannot now remember some of these persons and I am not at liberty to identify others by names or positions because to do so would compromise their cover. [fn 11]

But before signing this as an affidavit, Codevilla crossed out "am aware" to "have heard" in the first sentence. In the second sentence, he cancelled "identify others" and put in "discuss these rumors." Active intelligence community officers who might have worked for the Bush campaign while still drawing their federal payroll checks were likely to have been in violation the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from engaging in partisan political activity.

Baker was the obvious choice to be Bush's campaign manager. He had served Bush in this function in the failed senate campaign of 1970. During the Ford years, Baker had advanced to become Deputy Secretary of Commerce. Baker had been the manager of Ford's failed 1976 campaign. Bringing Baker into the Bush campaign meant that he could bring with him many of the Ford political operatives and much of the Ford political apparatus and volunteers in a number of states. In the 1978, Baker had attempted to get himself elected attorney general of Texas, but had been defeated. David Keene was political advisor. As always, no Bush campaign would be complete without Robert Mosbacher heading up the national finance operation. Mosbacher's experience, as we have seen, reached back to the Bill Lietdke conveyances to Maurice Stans of the CREEP in 1972. Teaming up with Mosbacher were Fred Bush in Houston and Jack Sloat in Washington.

With the help of Baker and Mosbacher, Bush began to set up political campaign committees that could be used to convoy quasi-legal "soft money" into his campaign coffers. This is the classic stratagem of setting up political action committees that are registered with the Federal Election Commission for the alleged purpose of channeling funds into the campaigns of deserving Republican (or Democratic) candidates. In reality, almost all of the money is used for the presidential candidate's own staff, office, mailings, travel, and related expenses. Bush's principal vehicle for this type of funding was called the Fund for Limited Government. During the first 6 months of 1987, this group collected $99,000 and spent $46,000, of which only $2,500 went to other candidates. The rest was in effect spent to finance Bush's campaign preparations. Bush had a second PAC called the Congressional Leadership Committee, with Senator Howard Baker and Congressman John Rhodes on the board, which did manage to dole out the princely sum of $500 to each of 21 GOP office-seekers.

The cash for the Fund for Limited Government came from 54 fat cat contributors, half of them in Texas, including Pennzoil, Haggar Slacks, McCormick Oil and Gas, Houston Oil and Minerals, and Texas Instruments. Money also came in from Exxon, McDonnell-Douglas, and Clairol cosmetics. [fn 12]

Despite the happy facade, Bush's campaign staff was plagued by turmoil and morale problems, leading to a high rate of turnover in key posts. One who has stayed on all along has been Jennifer Fitzgerald, a British woman born in 1932 who had been with Bush since at least Beijing. Fitzgerald later worked in Bush's vice-presidential office, first as appointments secretary, and later as executive assistant. According to some Washington wags, she controlled access to Bush in the same way that Martin Bormann controlled access to Hitler. According to Harry Hurt, among former Bush staffers "Fitzgerald gets vituperative reviews. She has been accused of bungling the 1980 presidential campaign by canceling Bush appearances at factory sites in favor of luncheon club speeches. Critics of her performance say she misrepresents staff scheduling requests and blocks access to her boss." "A number of the vice president's close friends worry that 'the Jennifer problem' --or the appearance of one-- may inhibit Bush's future political career. 'There's just something about her that makes him feel good,' says one trusted Bush confidant. 'I don't think it's sexual. I don't know what it is. But if Bush ever runs for president again, I think he's going to have to make a change on that score.'" [fn 13]

Bush formally announced his presidential candidacy on May 1, 1979. One of Bush's themes was the idea of a "Union of the English-Speaking Peoples." Bush was asked later in his campaign by a reporter to elaborate on this. Bush stated at that time that "the British are the best friend America has in the world today. I believe we can benefit greatly from much close collaboration in the economic, military, and political spheres. Sure I am an Anglophile. We should all be. Britain has never done anything bad to the United States." [fn 14]

Jules Witcover and Jack Germond, two experienced observers of presidential campaigns, observed that Bush's was the first campaign in history to have peaked before it ever started.

During the summer of 1979, Bush grappled with what has since been called "the Vision Thing." What could he tell the voters when he was asked why he wanted to be president? During that summer Bush invited experts on various areas of policy to come to Kennebunkport and give him the benefit of their views. Bush met with these experts from business, academia, and government in seminars three days a week from 9 to 5 over a period of six weeks. Many were invited to the family house at Walker's Point for lunch. In the evenings there were barbecues and cocktails on the ocean front.

It is an indication of the extraordinary intellectual aridity of George Bush that these blab sessions produced almost no identifiable policy ideas for Bush's 1980 campaign. Bush had wanted to avoid the fate of Ted Kennedy had been widely ridiculed when he had proven unable to respond to the question of why he wanted to be president. But Bush never developed an answer to this question either.

Or, more precisely, it was the imperative to avoid any identifiable idea content that emerged as Bush's strategy. For, just as much as Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, George Bush was one of the pioneers of the hollow, demagogic, television-based campaign style that had become dominant during the 1980's, greasing the skids to political atrophy and national decline.

Together with James Baker III, always the idea man of the Bush-Baker combo, the Bush campaign studied Jimmy Carter's success story of 1980. They knew they were starting with a "George Who?", virtually unknown to most voters. First of all, Bush would ape the Carter strategy of showing up in Iowa and New Hampshire early and offer, attempting to ingratiate himself with the little people by assiduous cultivation. Bush spent 27 days in Iowa before the caucuses there, and 54 days in New Hampshire.

During this period, Bush was overheard telling a New York Times reporter that he didn't want to "resist the Carter analogy." Bush readily admitted that he was "an elitist candidate." "If Carter could do it with no credentials, I can do it with fantastic credentials," Bush blurted out. He conceded that the fact that nobody knew anything about his "fantastic credentials" was a little discouraging. "But they will! They will!"

Thanks to Mosbacher's operation, the Bush campaign would advance on a cushion of money-- he spent $1.3 million for the Illinois primary alone. The biggest item would be media buys- above all television. This time Bush brought in Baltimore media expert Robert Goodman, who designed a series of television shorts that were described as "fast-moving, newsfilmlike portraits of an energetic, dynamic Bush creating excitement and moving through crowds, with an upbeat musical track behind him. Each of the advertisements used a slogan that attempted to capitalize on Bush's experience, while hitting Carter's wretched on-the-job performance and Ronald Reagan's inexperience on the national scene: 'George Bush,' the announcer intoned, 'a President we won't have to train.'" [fn 15] One of these shorts showed Bush talking about inflation to a group of approving factory workers. In another, Bush climbed out of a private plane at a small airport, surrounded by supporters with straw hats and placards and yelled "We're going all the way" to the accompaniment of applause and music Goodman hoped would sound "presidential." The inevitable footage of Bush getting fished out of the drink off Chichi Jima shootdown was also aired.

Network camera crews were offered repeated chances to film Bush while he was jogging. This was an oblique way of pointing out that Reagan would be 70 years old by the beginning of the primary season. "I'm up for the 1980's," was a favorite Bush quote for interviews. There were no attacks on Reagan; indeed Bush was seeking to come across as a moderate conservative, in order first to fend off the challenge of Sen. Howard Baker, who was also running, and to gain on Reagan.

In a rather slavish imitation of the Carter victory scenario, Bush also chose to imitate what had been called Carter's "fuzziness," or unwillingness to say anything of substance about issues. Bush was the unabashed demagogue, telling Diane Sawyer of CBS when he would finally talk about the issues: "if they can show me how it will get me more votes someplace, I'll be glad to do it."

Bush talked vaguely about tax cuts to spur business and investment; he was unhappy about the "decline in America's stature overseas" due to Carter; he was against excessive government regulation. Military aggression overseas has never been far below the surface of Bush's psyche; in 1979 he talked about the need to overcome the post-Vietnam guilt syndrome. He was, he proclaimed, "sick and tired of hearing people apologize for America." Bush was striving to appear as similar to Reagan, but more moderate in packaging, younger and more dynamic, and above all, a Winner.

But in the midst of Bush's summer, 1979 preparations for his presidential bid, there was one very serious moment of preparation that addressed the some real issues, albeit in a way virtually invisible from the campaign trail. This was a conference Bush attended at the Jonathan Institute in Jerusalem on July 2-5. Instead of mugging for the television cameras while eating hotdogs on the Fourth of July at a picnic in Iowa or New Hampshire, Bush journeyed to Israel for what was billed as the Jerusalem Conference on International Terrorism.

The Jonathan Institute had been founded earlier the same year by Benjamin Netanyahu, a young crazy of the Likud block, in memory of his brother Jonathan, who had been killed during the Israeli raid on Entebbe in 1976. The Jonathan Institute was a semi-covert propaganda operation and could only be defined as a branch of the Israeli government. The committee sponsoring this conference on terrorism was headed up by Prime Minister Menachem Begin, followed by Moshe Dayan and many other prominent Israeli politicians and generals.

The US delegation to the conference was divided according to partisan lines, but was generally united by sympathy for the ideas and outlook of the Bush-Cherne Team B. The Democratic delegation was led by the late Senator Henry Jackson of Washington. This group included civil rights leader Bayard Rustin, plus Norman Podhoretz and Midge Decter of Commentary Magazine, two of the most militant and influential Zionist neoconservatives. Ben Wattenberg of the American Enterprise Institute was also on hand. Although the group that arrived with Scoop Jackson were supposedly Democrats, most of them would support Reagan-Bush in the November, 1980 election.

Then there was the GOP delegation, which was led by George Bush. Here were Bush activist Ray Cline, Major General George Keegan, a stalwart supporter of Team B, and Professor Richard Pipes of Harvard, the leader of Team B. Here were Senator John Danforth of Missouri and Brian Crozier, a "terrorism expert." Pseudo-intellectual columnist George Will ("Will the Shill") was also on hand, as was Rome-based journalist Claire Sterling, who had been active in covering up the role of Henry Kissinger in the 1978 assassination of Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro, and who would later be blind to indications of an Anglo-American role in the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II.

International participation was also notable: Annie Kriegel and Jacques Soustelle of France, Lord Alun Chalfont, Paul Johnson, and Robert Moss of the United Kingdom, and many leading Israelis.

The keynote statement was made by Prime Minister Begin, who told the participants that they should spread through the world the main idea of the conference, which was that all terrorism in the world, whatever its origin, is controlled by the Soviet Union. Ray Cline made a major presentation, developing his theory that terrorism should not be seen as a spontaneous response to oppression by frustrated minorities, but rather only as the preferred tool of Soviet bloc subversion. For Cline, the great watershed was an alleged 1969 decision by the Poliburo in Moscow to use the Palestine Liberation Organization as the Kremlin's fifth column in the Middle East, and specifically to subsidize PLO terrorist attacks with money, training, and communications provided by the KGB. For Cline, the PLO, despite the fact that it enjoyed the support of the vast majority of Palestinians, was merely a synthetic tool of Soviet intelligence. It was a very convenient argument for Zionist hardliners.

Richard Pipes then drew on Russian history to illustrate the singular thesis that terrorism was a product of Russian history, and of no other history. "The roots of Soviet terrorism, indeed of modern terrorism," according to Pipes, "date back to 1879...It marks the beginning of that organization which is the source of all modern terrorist groups, whether they be named the Tupamaros, the Baader-Meinhof group, the Weathermen, Red Brigades or PLO. I refer you to the establishment in 1879 of a Congress in the small Russian town of Lipesk, of an organization known as Narodnaya Volya, or the People's Will."

There is no doubt that the KGB and its east bloc satellite agencies were massively involved in running terrorism, as former Soviet bloc archives opened after 1989 definitively show. But is it really true that terrorism was invented in Lipesk in 1879? And is terrorism really the absolute monopoly of the KGB? Did that include Menachem Begin, who blew up the King David Hotel in Jerusalem? Did it include other members of the Irgun and Stern gangs? Everyone present seems to have found good reasons for believing that the ludicrous thesis of the conference was true. For the Israelis, it was a new reason not to negotiate with the PLO, who could be classed as Soviet terrorist puppets. For the immediate needs of Bush's election-year demagogy, it was an argument that could be used against Carter's equally demagogic "human rights" sloganeering. More broadly, it could be used to allege a clear and present universal danger that made it mandatory to close the book once and for all on the old Church committee-Pike committee mentality. All the participants, from CIA, MI-6, SDECE, Mossad, and so on down the line could readily agree that only the KGB, and never they themselves ran terrorism. Hardly ever.

Begin had been a terrorist himself; Soustelle had been in the French OAS during the Algerian war where the SDECE had committed monumental crimes against humanity; Bush and Cline were godfathers of the Enterprise; the Mossad was reputed to have an agent on the Abu Nidal central committee, and also exercised influence over the Italian Red Brigades; while the chaps from MI-6 had the longest and bloodiest imperial records. But Ian Black wrote in the Jerusalem Post wrote that "the conference organizers expect the event to initiate a major anti-terrorist offensive." In Paris, the right-wing L'Aurore ran an article under the headline "Toujours le KGB," which praised the conference for having confirmed that when it comes to international terrorism, the Soviets pull all the strings. [fn 16]

There were skeptics, even in the US intelligence community, where Ray Cline's monomania was recognized. At the 1980 meeting of AFIO, Cline was criticized by Howard Bane, the former CIA station chief in Moscow, who suggested "We've got to get Cline off this Moscow control of terrorists. It's divisive. It's not true. There's not one single but of truth to it." A retired CIA officer named Harry Rostizke put in: "It's that far-right stuff, that's all. It's horseshit."

Nevertheless, the absurd thesis of the Jerusalem Conference was soon regurgitated by several new top officials of the Reagan Administration. In Alexander Haig's first news conference as Secretary of State on January 28, 1981, Haig thundered that the Kremlin was trying to "foster, support, and expand" terrorist activity worldwide through the "training, funding, and equipping" of terrorist armies. Haig made it official that "international terrorism will take the place of human rights" as the central international concern of the Reagan Administration. And that meant the KGB.

During 1978 and 1979, the Carter Administration deliberately toppled the Shah of Iran, and deliberately replaced him with Khomeini. The US had shipped arms to the Shah, and never stopped such shipments, despite the advent of Khomeini and the taking of US hostages. The continuity of the arms deliveries, sometimes mediated through Israel, would later lead into the Iran-contra affair. In the meantime Bush and his partners in the Israeli Mossad had sealed a pact and signaled it in public with a new ideological smoke-screen that, they hoped, would cover a new world-wide upsurge in covert operations during the 1980's.

On November 3, 1979, Bush bested Sen. Howard Baker in a "beauty contest" straw poll taken at the Maine Republican convention in Portland. Bush won by a paper-thin margin of 20 votes out of 1,336 cast, and Maine was really his home state, but the Brown Brothers, Harriman networks at the New York Times delivered a frontpage lead story with a subhead that read "Bush gaining stature as '80 contender."

Bush's biggest lift of the 1980 campaign came when he won a plurality in the January 21 Iowa caucuses, narrowly besting Reagan, who had not put any effort into the state. At this point the Brown Brothers, Harriman/Skull and Bones media operation went into high gear. That same night Walter Cronkite told viewers: "George Bush has apparently done what he hoped to do, coming out of the pack as the principal challenger to front-runner Ronald Reagan."

In the interval between January 21 and the New Hampshire primary of February 26, the Eastern Liberal Establishment labored mightily to put George Bush into power as president that same year. The press hype in favor of Bush was overwhelming. Newsweek's cover featured a happy and smiling Bush talking with his supporters: "BUSH BREAKS OUT OF THE PACK," went the headline. Smaller pictures showed a scowling Senator Baker and a decidedly un-telegenic Reagan grimacing before a microphone. The Newsweek reporters played up Bush's plan to redo the Carter script from 1976, and went on to assert that Bush's triumph in Iowa "raised the serious possibility that he could accomplish on the Republican side this year what Carter did in 1976--parlay a well-tuned personal appetite for on-the-ground campaigning into a Long March to his party's Presidential nomination." So wrote the magazine controlled by the family money of Bush's old business associate Eugene Meyer, and Bush was appreciative; doubly so for the reference to his old friend Mao.

Time, which had been founded by Henry Luce of Skull and Bones, showed a huge, grinning Bush and a smaller, very cross Reagan, headlined: "BUSH SOARS." The leading polls, always doctored by the intelligence agencies and other interests, showed a Bush boom: Lou Harris found that whereas Reagan had led Bush into Iowa by 32-6 nationwide, Bush had pulled even with Reagan at 27-27 within 24 hours after the Iowa result had become known.

Savvy Republican operatives were reported to be flocking to the Bush bandwagon. Even seasoned observers stuck their necks out; Witcover and Germond wrote in their column of February 22 that "a rough consensus is taking shape among moderate Republican politicians that George Bush may achieve a commanding position within the next three weeks in the contest for the Republican nomination. And those with unresolved reservations about Bush are beginning to wonder privately if it is even possible to keep an alternative politically alive for the late primaries."

Robert Healy of the Boston Globe stuck his neck out even further for the neo-Harrimanite cause with a forecast that "even though he is still called leading candidate in some places, Reagan does not look like he'll be on the Presidential stage much longer." It was even possible, Healy gushed that Bush "will go through 1980...without losing an important Presidential primary." William Safire of the New York Times claimed that his contacts with Republican insiders across the country had yielded "a growing suspicion that Reagan may once again be bypassed for the historic role...a general feeling that he may be a man whose cause may triumph, but whose own time may never come." [fn 17]

NBC's Brokaw started calling Reagan the "former front-runner." Tom Petit of the same network was more direct: "I would like to suggest that Ronald Reagan is politically dead." Once again the choice of pictures made Bush look good, Reagan bad.
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