LOOKING BEHIND THE BUSHES
 This article appeared in the Progressive Review during the 1992 campaign

1918

Prescott Bush Sr., leads a raid on a Indian tomb to secure Geronimo's skull for Skull & Bones.

1937

Prescott Bush's investment firm sets up deal for the Luftwaffe so it can obtain tetraethyl lead.

1942

Three firms with which Prescott Bush is associated are seized under the Trading with the Enemy Act.

1953

George Bush and the Liedtke brothers form Zapata Petroleum. Zapata's subsidiary, Zapata Offshore, later becomes known for its close ties to the CIA.

1954

The Bush family buys out the Liedtke brothers.

1955

George Bush sets up a Mexican drilling operation, Permago, with a frontman to obscure his ownership. The frontman later is convicted of defrauding the Mexican government of $58 million.

1959

Manuel Noriega recruited as an agent by the US Defense Intelligence Agency.

1960

Some investigators believe George Bush spent part of this year and the next in Miami on behalf of the CIA, organizing rightwing exiles for an invasion of Cuba. Is said to have worked with later Iran-Contra figure
Felix Rodriguez.

1961

According to the Realist, CIA official Fletcher Prouty delivers three Navy ships to agents in Guatemala to be used in the Bay of Pigs invasion. Prouty claims he delivered the ships to a CIA agent named George Bush. Agent Bush named the ships the Barbara, Houston and Zapata.

Bay of Pigs invasion fails. Right-wingers blame Kennedy for failure to provide air cover. CIA loses 15 men, another 1100 are imprisoned.

George Bush invites Rep. TL. Ashley -- a fellow Skull & Boner -- down to Texas for a party in order to meet "an attractive girl." Bush writes that "she may be accompanied by an Austrian ski instructor but I think we can probably flush him at the local dance hall." Bush notes that he's had to unlist his phone because "Jane Morgan keeps calling me all the time." [From a letter in the Ashley archives uncovered by Spy magazine.]

Zapata annual report boasts that the company has paid no taxes since it was founded.

1963

John F. Kennedy is assassinated. Internal FBI memo reports that on November 22 "reputable businessman" George H. W. Bush reported hearsay that a certain Young Republican "has been talking of killing the president when he comes to Houston." The Young Republican was nowhere near Dallas on that date.

According to a 1988 story in The Nation, a memo from J. Edgar Hoover states that "Mr. George Bush of the CIA" had been briefed on November 23rd, 1963 about the reaction of anti-Castro Cuban exiles in Miami to
the assassination of President Kennedy. George says it ain't him, admits he was in Texas but can't remember where.

1964

George Bush runs as a Goldwater Republican for Congress. Campaigns against the Civil Rights Act.

1966

Bush, runs as a moderate Republican, gets elected to Congress. Robert Mosbacher chairs Oil Men for Bush.

Apache leader Ned Anderson meets with the Skull & Bones lawyer and George Bush's brother Jonathan who attempt to return the skull Prescott Bush had looted in 1933. Anderson refuses the skull because he says it isn't Geronimo's.

1970

Bush loses Senate race to Lloyd Bentsen, despite $112,000 in contributions from a White House slush fund. Jim Baker is campaign chair. Bush later claims to have reported correctly all but $6000 in cash --which he denies he got. A 1992 story in the New York Times says the $6000 was listed in records of Nixon's townhouse operation" which was designed in part to make GOP congressional candidates vulnerable to blackmail.

1971

Bush is named UN Ambassador by Nixon.

Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs finds enough evidence of Noriega's involvement in drug dealing to indict him, but US Attorney's office in Miami considers grabbing Noriega in Panama for trial here to be impractical. State Department also urges BNDD to back off.

1972

Bill Liedtke gathers $700,000 in anonymous contributions for the Nixon campaign, delivering the money in cash, checks and securities to the Committee to Re-Elect the President (the infamous CREEP) one day before
such contributions become illegal. Bill says he did it as a favor to George.

1973

Bush is named GOP national chair. Brings into the party the Heritage Groups Council, an organization with a number of Nazi sympathizers.

Bush, according to Lowell Weicker, inquires as to whether records of the "townhouse operation" should be burned.

Robert Mosbacher wins an offshore drilling concession from Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Watergate tapes indicate concern by Nixon and aide HR Haldeman that the investigation into Watergate might expose the "Bay of Pigs thing." Nixon also speaks of the "Texans" and the "Cubans." and mentions "Mosbacher."

In another tape, Nixon decides following his re-election to get signed resignations from his whole government so he can centralize his power. Says Nixon to John Erlichman: "Eliminate everyone, except George Bush.
Bush will do anything for our cause."

1974

Bush is named special envoy to China.

1975

DEA report notes Noreiga's involvement in drug trade.

1976

Jerry Ford names George Bush CIA director, his fourth political patronage job in a little over five years. Bush later claims this is the first time he ever worked for the CIA. At his confirmation hearings, Bush says, "I think we should tread very carefully on governments that are constitutionally elected."

Bush holds first known meeting with Noriega. Noriega starts receiving $110,000 a year from the CIA.

Noriega found to be working for Cubans as well, but keeps his CIA gig.

Bush sets up Team B within the CIA, a group of neo-conservative outsiders and generals who proceed to double the agency's estimate of Soviet military spending.

Senate committee headed by Frank Church proposes revealing size of the country's black budget -- intelligence spending that, in contradiction to the Constitution, is kept secret even from the Hill. According to journalist Tim Weiner, Bush argues that the revelation would be a disaster and would compromise the agency beyond repair. By a one vote margin the matter is referred to the Senate. It never reaches the floor.

Chilean dissident Orlando Letelier is assassinated by Chilean secret police agents. CIA fails to inform FBI of pending plot and of assassins' arrival in US. CIA claims the hit was the work of left-wingers in search
of a martyr.

Bush writes internal CIA memo asking to see cable on Jack Ruby visiting Santos Trafficante in jail. In 1992, Bush will deny any interest in the JFK assassination while CIA head.

Bush claims nuclear war is winnable.

1977

Philippine dictator Marcos buys back Robert Mosbacher's oil concession. Mosbacher claims he was swindled. Philippine officials say they never saw any expenditures by Mosbacher on the project.

1978

Bush, Mosbacher and Jim Baker become partners in an oil deal.

From a Washington Post article by Bob Woodward and Walter Pincus:

"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 that 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 available." Former CIA chief Stansfield Turner denies such meetings took place.

1980

Bush becomes Reagan's vice presidential candidate. Runs as a rightwinger again.

Mosbacher becomes chief fundraiser for Bush's presidential campaign. Forms a millionaire's club of 250 contributors, each of whom cough up $100,000.

William Casey forms a working group to prepare for possible Carter October political surprise. In early October, an Iranian official meets with three top Reagan campaign aides. All three deny memory of the
meeting in subsequent proceedings.

On October 21, Reagan hints he has a secret plan to release the hostages. This is right around the alleged date of a Paris meeting at which the so-called "October Surprise" was settled. Some allege that at this meeting it was agreed to end the arms embargo against Iran if Iran would release its hostages after the election. While Bush's presence at this meeting has been denied by the House committee investigating the October Surprise, Bush's whereabouts at this critical time remain in doubt. The White House, in fact, has leaked conflicting stories.

Rep. Dan Quayle goes on a Florida golfing vacation with seven other men and Paula Parkinson -- an insurance lobbyist who later posed nude for Playboy. Parkinson describes Quayle as a husband on the make, but says
she turned him down because she was already having an affair with another congressman. Marilyn Quayle says, "anybody who knows Dan Quayle knows he would rather play golf than have sex."

The Reagan-Bush campaign receives stolen copies of Carter's briefing books.

Bush's campaign manager, James Baker, forces the dismissal of Bush aide Jennifer Fitzgerald, described in a 1982 Time story as having "much to say about where Bush goes, what he does and whom he sees." Bush
continues to pay Fitzgerald out of his own pocket.

1981

Reagan-Bush inaugurated. Hostages released moments before. Shortly thereafter, arms shipments to Iran resume from Israel and America. In July, an Argentinean plane chartered by Israel crashes in Soviet territory. It is found to have made three deliveries of American military supplies to Iran. In a 1991 story in Esquire, Craig Unger quotes Alexander Haig as saying "I have a sneaking suspicion that someone in the White House winked." Says Unger: "This secret and illegal sale of military equipment continued for years afterwards."

James Baker named Reagan's chief of staff.

SEC filings for Zapata Oil for 1960-66 are found to have been "inadvertently destroyed."

Reagan authorizes CIA assistance to Contras.

1982

CIA director William Casey begins Operation Black Eagle to expand US role in Central America. Urges use of "selected Latin American and European governments, organizations and individuals" in the project.

Inslaw, a computer software company, signs a $10 million contract to install a case-tracking program in 94 US Attorney's offices. Four months later, after obtaining a copy of Inslaw's proprietary version of the program, the government cancels the contract and begins an aggressive campaign to force the company into bankruptcy. Later sources claim that the program was installed by the CIA and sold to various foreign intelligence agencies.

1983

Noriega meets again with George Bush.

Bush presents an autographed photo to a WWII Ukrainian leader under the Nazis, whose regime killed 100,000 Jews.

KAL 007 crashes under circumstances that remain suspicious to this day.

Bush promotes Jennifer Fitzgerald from appointments secretary to executive assistant. Seven staffers resign in protest. Fitzgerald tells the New York Post: "Everyone keeps painting me as this old ogre. I really don't worry about it. All these bizarre things just simply aren't true."

Neil Bush forms his first oil company. He puts in $100, his partners contribute $160,000 and Neil is named president of the firm, JNB Exploration.

Jeb Bush's business partner, Alberto Duque, goes bankrupt, is eventually convicted of fraud and is sentenced to 15 years in prison.

1984

Jeb Bush lobbies the Department of Health & Human Services on behalf of Cuban--American businessman Miguel Recarey, Jr., whose medical firm later collapses. Recarey, who was close to mobster Santos Trafficante, later disappears with at least $12 million in federal funds.

George Bush takes part in meetings to plan increased "third country" aid to the Contras..

CIA mines Nicaraguan harbors.

1985

Jennifer Fitzgerald is sent to work on Capitol Hill after stories arise linking her romantically with George Bush.

Stuart Spencer's public relation firm starts receiving over $350,000 from Panama to improve Noriega's image.

CIA starts using BCCI as a conduit.

George Bush thanks Oliver North for "dedication and tireless work with the hostage thing, with Central America." Bush will later deny knowing about the Contra effort until late 1986.

Neil Bush joins the board of Silverado S&L, serves until 1988. Silverado loans his partners in JNB $132 million which they never repay. Silverado will eventually collapse at a taxpayer cost of $1 billion.

408 TOW anti-tank missiles are shipped from Israel to Iran. A day later, US hostage Benjamin Weir is released.

1986

VP Bush goes to Honduras to promote support for the Contras. Takes along baseball players Nolan Ryan and Gary Carter.

Contra figure Felix Rodriguez meets with Donald Gregg, Bush's national security advisor, to complain about Iran-Contra operatives skimming funds from the Contras.

Bush may have made several secret visits to Damascus between 1986-88 according to a 1992 report in Time, which said two senior GOP senators were pressing for a probe. The allegation is that Bush went to negotiate
the release of hostages in Lebanon but in fact stonewalled Syria, "playing for campaign timing. Republicans want to get to the bottom of intelligence-community suspicions that the US somehow blew a chance to free Terry Anderson and his fellow captives."

Iranian arms runner Manucher Ghorbanifar proposes "diversion" of profits from Iran arms sales to Contras.

George Bush Jr. and partners receive more than $2 million of Harken Energy stock in exchange for a failing oil well operation, which had lost $400,000 in the prior six months. Bush named to Harken board and as a consultant for fees of between $50,000 and $125,000 annually.

1987

Bush's former chief of staff, Daniel Murphy, flies to Panama with South Korean influence peddler Tongsun Park on a private plane owned by arms dealer Sargis Soghnalian to meet with Noriega. Murphy later tells a
Senate subcommittee that he informed Noriega that he need not resign before the 1988 election despite the Reagan administration public pressure to the contrary.

Bill Casey dies.

Lee Atwater accuses Robert Dole of spreading stories about Bush and Jennifer Fitzgerald. An agreement is worked out, as reported by Sidney Blumenthal in the Washington Post: "The Dole people didn't spread any
rumors and promised not to do it again. And the Bush people haven't spread rumors about the Dole people spreading rumors and won't do it again. "

Harken Energy project gets rescued by aid from the BCCI-connected Union Bank of Switzerland in a deal brokered by Jackson Stephens, later to show up as a key supporter of Bill Clinton.

1988

Dan Quayle is named VP candidate. Stuart Spencer is assigned to improve Dan Quayle's image, the same job he handled for Noriega and Nixon.

Quayle embarrasses campaign by such statements as "[The Holocaust] was an obscene period in our nation's history," adding that "I didn't live in this century."

Prisoner who claimed he sold marijuana to Quayle is put into solitary confinement by the head of federal prisons, aborting a planned news conference shortly before the election.

Silverado S&L goes under after receiving 126 cease & desist orders in past four years from the Topeka office of the Office of Thrift Supervision. These orders found conflict of interests, insider abuse and other violations.

Dwight Chapin, ex-Nixon dirty trickster, gets job in Bush campaign.

Rudi Slavoff becomes head of Bulgarians for Bush. In 1983, Slavoff organized an event honoring Austin App, promoter of the theory that the Holocaust was a hoax.

Slavoff joins other GOP ethnic leaders in the Coalition of American Nationalities co-chaired by Edward Derwinski. Among them is a former member of an Hungarian pro-Nazi party. After press revelations, eight of
the leaders accused of anti-semitism resign from the campaign. Bush says: "Nobody's giving in... These people left of their own account."

GOP flier warns that "all the murderers, rapists and drug pushers and child molesters in Massachusetts vote for Michael Dukakis."

Bush establishes Team 100, which will eventually grow to 249 individuals who contribute nearly $25 million in soft money to help the GOP cause. The contributions also apparently help the contributors, various of whom
get ambassadorial appointments, legislative favors, and intervention on regulatory and criminal matters.

Bush denies knowledge of Noriega's involvement in drug dealing.

The Willie Horton ad is aired. Credit for similar tactics is given to campaign guru Lee Atwater, whose PR firm had represented drug-connected Bahamian prime minister Oscar Pinding and the Philippines' Marcos.
Atwater himself had represented UNITA, the CIA-backed Africa rebel group.

Fred Malek, ex-Nixon aide, resigns from the Bush campaign after it's revealed that he compiled a list of Jews in the Labor Dept. as part of a Nixon investigation of a "Jewish cabal."

A few days before the supposedly surprise arrest of five BCCI officials, some of the world's most powerful drug dealers quietly withdraw millions of dollars from the bank. Some government investigators believe the
dealers were tipped off by sources within the Bush administration.

Although Felix Rodriguez, former leading cop under Batista, claims he left the CIA in 1976, Rolling Stone reports that he is still going to CIA headquarters monthly to receive assignments and get his bulletproof
Cadillac serviced.

Bankruptcy judge George Bason Jr. concludes that the government stole Inslaw's software through "trickery, fraud and deceit."

Stock market drops 43 points on false rumor that Washington Post was about the publish the Bush-Fitzgerald story.

1989

Bush inaugurated. Aides tell the press that the new administration would rather "stay one step behind than be one step ahead."

Bush authorizes CIA support to Noriega's opposition, giving Noriega an excuse to annul Panama's elections.

Bush claims executive privilege to avoid testifying in the Oliver North trial, thus becoming first president to use this power to keep his acts as vice president under wraps.

Dan Quayle declares changes in Soviet Union "just a public relations extravaganza."

Bush brother Prescott flies to Shanghai after the Tiananmen Square massacre to close a deal for an $18 million resort there, despite his brother's ban on high-level Chinese contacts. Prescott says, "We aren't
a bunch of carrion birds coming in to pick the carcass. But there are big opportunities in China, and America can't afford to be shut out."

Prescott Bush also visits Japan, searching for consulting contracts just ten days before his brother arrives on a presidential tour. The Japanese firm that paid Prescott a quarter-million dollar consulting fee comes
under investigation for exchange law violations and links to the Japanese mob.

C. Boyden Gray, the president's top ethics official, corrects his 1985 and 1986 financial disclosure forms. He forgot to include $98,000 in income.

George Bush signs the S&L bailout bill promising that "these problems will never happen again."

The Chicago Tribune reports: "After 14 fishing outings, the President has failed to catch a single fish."

At White House behest, the DEA lures drug dealer to Lafayette Park to make arrest in front of presidential home for the benefit of Bush's upcoming drug speech. At first, drug dealer is dubious, asks DEA agent,
"Where the fuck is the White House?"

Defense secretary nominee John Tower runs into confirmation troubles when it is revealed that he has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in consulting fees from defense contractors. Runs into more trouble with revelations of womanizing and drinking. His nomination is rejected.

The sale of three communications satellites to China is announced. Prescott Bush is a $250,000 consultant in the deal.

GOP memo is leaked implying that House Speaker Tom Foley is a homosexual.

Pres. Bush signs a top-secret directive ordering closer ties with Iraq, which opens the way for $1 billion in new aid just a little more than a year before Bush goes to war against that country. The agricultural credit allows Saddam Hussein to use his hard currency for a massive military buildup.

A second judge concurs that the government stole Inslaw's software.

The Statistical Abstract of the United States, published by the US government, reports that the GNP of East Germany during the 1980s was greater than that of West Germany. The figures come from the CIA.

Bahrain officials suddenly break off offshore drilling negotiations with Amoco and decide to deal with Harken Energy, George Bush Jr.'s firm. Harken has had a series of failed ventures and no cash, so the Bass
brothers are brought in to finance Harken's efforts at a cost of $50 million.

Neil Bush bails out of JNB Exploration, the firm where he became president with a $100 ante, leaving his partners to worry about its debt. Days earlier he forms Apex Energy with a personal investment of $3000. The rest of the money -- $2.7 million -- comes from an SBA program designed to help "high risk start-up companies." Like JNB, it proves to be just that. Apex will later go belly-up with no assets.

1990

Federal regulators give Bush son Neil the mildest possible penalty in the $1 billion failure of the Silverado S&L. The deal is so good that Bush drops his appeal. Among other things, Neil, as a Silverado director, voted to approve over $100 million in loans to his business partners.

George Bush Jr. sells two-thirds of his Harken Energy stock at the top of the market for $850,000, a 200% profit, but makes no report to the SEC until March 1991. Bush Jr. says later the SEC misplaced the report.
An SEC representative responds: "nobody ever found the 'lost' filing." One week after Bush's sale, Harken reports an earnings plunge. Harken stock falls more than 60%.

Fred Malek returns to power with ambassador status to head up planning for the economic summit.

S&L industry is losing money at the rate of $3 million a minute. Bailout chief estimates total cost at $325-500 billion.

Some 200 young soccer players have their games canceled for security reasons because Bush wants to go fishing on the Potomac nearby. Says one seven-year-old player: "We had a tough soccer game and he's just going fishing. He could play somewhere else."

Bush son Jeb gets the federal government to pay off the $4 million he owed to a failed Florida thrift.

Bush brother Jonathan's east coast brokerage fined in two states for violating laws and Jonathan is barred from public trading in Massachusetts.

Bush's attorney general, Richard Thornberg, is warned about BCCI but does nothing.

Federal court of appeals throws out the Inslaw case on the grounds that it did not belong in bankruptcy court.

Bush says, "The economy is headed in the right direction."

1991

Former top aide to White House Chief of Staff John Sununu goes to work for a prominent figure in the BCCI scandal less than a month after leaving the Bush administration. Edward Rogers Jr. signs a $600,000
contract to give legal advice to Sheik Kamal Adham, an ex-Saudi intelligence officer who is being investigated for his role in BCCI's takeover of First American Bancshares.

The Miami acting US Attorney is allegedly rebuffed by the Justice Department in his efforts to indict BCCI and some of its principal officers on tax fraud charges. Justice Department later denies this
occurred.

Danny Casolaro, a reporter investigating the Inslaw story, is found dead in a motel room bathtub, the day after he met a key source. The death was ruled a suicide. Perhaps he is despondent over the loss of his briefcase, which is missing from the room.

George Bush spends three nights in a Houston hotel so he can claim Texas residency. Texas has no income tax.

Neil Bush bails out of Apex Energy after collecting $320,000 in salary plus expenses. Bill Daniels, cable-TV magnate who has been lobbying against regulation of the cable industry, offers Neil a job. According to a representative, he "thought Neil deserved a second chance."

1992

New York Times reports that three of Bush's top fundraisers are being sued in connection with bank failures and another pleaded guilty to mail fraud in connection with an S&L. These men include the GOP national
finance chair, vice chair and two co-chairs of the President's Dinner, which raised $9 million for Republican causes.

Former US Attorney General Elliot Richardson, representing the owners of Inslaw, tells Mother Jones, "I don't know any case where the government has stonewalled like this."

First of Harken Energy's wells off Bahrain comes up dry. George W. Bush takes a leave of absence from the firm to work in his father's campaign, saying "I don't want to involve this company in any kind of allegations
of conflicts or whatever may arise."

Village Voice reports that President Bush has taken at least 76 partisan flights during his term, at a cost to the taxpayers of over $6 million.

Nixon's Jew hunter Fred Malek is back as Bush's campaign manager.

Campaign sells photo opportunities with the president at a fundraiser for $92,000 each.

Washington, DC, loses $52,000 in taxes because Bush claims to be a Texas resident.

Donald H. Alexander contributes $100,000 to Team 100; shortly thereafter he's named ambassador to the Netherlands.

Bush says: "I will do what I have to do to be reelected." -- Sam Smith


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