The Story of the Bush Crime Family

Former President George H.W. Bush and his son, George W. Bush.

George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography, Continued

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According to "Newsweek," "Bush's partner, John Overbey, still remembers the dizzying whirl of a money-raising trip to the East with George and Uncle Herbie: lunch at New York's 21 Club, weekends at Kennebunkport where a bracing Sunday dip in the Atlantic off Walker's Point ended with a servant wrapping you in a large terry towel and handing you a martini." / Note #9 The result of the odyssey back East was a capital of $300,000, much of it gathered from Uncle Herbie's clients in the City of London, who were of course delighted at the prospect of parasitizing Texas ranchers. One of those eager to cash in was "Jimmy Gammell" of Edinburgh, Scotland, whose Ivory and Sime counting house put up $50,000 from its Atlantic Asset Trust. Gammell's father had been head of the British military mission in Moscow in 1945, part of the Anglo-American core group there with U.S. Ambassador Averell Harriman. James Gammell is today the eminence grise of the Scottish investment community, and he has retained a close personal relation to Bush over the years. Mark this Gammell well; he will return to our narrative shortly. "Eugene Meyer," the owner of the "Washington Post" and the father of that paper's present owner, Katharine Meyer Graham, anted up an investment of $50,000 on the basis of the tax-shelter capabilities promised by Bush-Overbey. Meyer, a president of the World Bank, also procured an investment from his son-in-law Phil Graham for the Bush venture. Father Prescott Bush was also counted in, to the tune of about $50,000. In the days of real money, these were considerable sums. The London investors got shares of stock in the new company, called Bush-Overbey, as well as Bush-Overbey bonded debt. Bush and Overbey moved into an office on the ground floor of the Petroleum Building in Midland. The business of the landman, it has been pointed out, rested entirely on personal relations and schmooze. One had to be a dissembler and an intelligencer. One had to learn to cultivate friendships with the geologists, the scouts, the petty bureaucrats at the county court house where the land records were kept, the journalists at the local paper, and with one's own rivals, the other landmen, who might invite someone with some risk capital to come in on a deal. Community service was an excellent mode of ingratiation, and George Bush volunteered for the Community Chest, the YMCA, and the Chamber of Commerce. It meant small talk about wives and kids, attending church -- deception postures that in a small town had to pervade the smallest details of one's life. It was at this time in his life that Bush seems to have acquired the habit of writing ingratiating little personal notes to people he had recently met, a habit that he would use over the years to cultivate and maintain his personal network. Out of all this ingratiating Babbitry and boosterism would come acquaintances and the bits of information that could lead to windfall profits. There had been a boom in Scurry County, but that was subsiding. Bush drove to Pyote, to Snyder, to Sterling City, to Monahans, with Rattlesnake Air Force Base just outside of town. How many Texas ranchers can remember selling their mineral rights for a pittance to smiling George Bush, and then having oil discovered on the land, oil from which their family would never earn a penny? Across the street from Bush-Overbey were the offices of Liedtke & Liedtke, Attorneys-at-law. "J. Hugh Liedtke" and "William Liedtke" were from Tulsa, Oklahoma, where they, like Bush, had grown up rich, as the sons of a local judge who had become one of the top corporate lawyers for Gulf Oil. The Liedtkes' grandfather had come from Prussia, but had served in the Confederate Army. J. Hugh Liedtke had found time along the way to acquire the notorious Harvard Master of Business Administration degree in one year. After service in the Navy during World War II, the Liedtkes obtained law degrees at the University of Texas law school, where they rented the servants' quarters of the home of U.S. Senator Lyndon B. Johnson, who was away in Washington most of the time... The Liedtkes combined the raw, uncouth primitive accumulation mentality of the oil boom town with the refined arts of usury and speculation as Harvard taught them. Their law practice was such in name only; their primary and almost exclusive activity was buying up royalty leases on behalf of a moneybags in Tulsa who was a friend of their family... Hugh Liedtke was always on the lookout for the Main Chance. Following in the footsteps of his fellow Tulsan Ray Kravis, Hugh Liedtke schemed and schemed until he had found a way to go beyond hustling for royalty leases: He concocted a method of trading oil-producing properties in such a way as to permit the eventual owner to defer all tax liabilities until the field was depleted. Sometimes Hugh Liedtke would commute between Midland and Tulsa on an almost daily basis. He would spend the daylight hours prowling the Permian Basin for a land deal, make the 13-hour drive to Tulsa overnight to convince his backers to ante up the cash, and then race back to Midland to close the deal before the sucker got away. It was during this phase that it occurred to Liedtke that he could save himself a lot of marathon commuter driving if he could put together a million dollars in venture capital and "inventory" the deals he was otherwise forced to make on a piecemeal, ad hoc basis. / Note #1 / Note #0 Zapata Petroleum The Liedtke brothers now wanted to go beyond royalty leases and land sale tax dodges, and begin large-scale drilling and production of oil. George Bush, by now well versed in the alphas and omegas of oil as ground rent, was thinking along the same lines. In a convergence that was full of ominous portent for the U.S. economy of the 1980s, the Liedtke brothers and George Bush decided to pool their capital and their rapacious talents by going into business together. Overbey was on board initially, but would soon fall away. The year was 1953, and Uncle Herbie's G.H. Walker & Co. became the principal underwriter of the stock and convertible debentures that were to be offered to the public. Uncle Herbie would also purchase a large portion of the stock himself. When the new company required further infusions of capital, Uncle Herbie would float the necessary bonds. Jimmy Gammell remained a key participant and would find a seat on the board of directors of the new company. Another of the key investors was the Clark Family Estate, meaning the trustees who managed the Singer Sewing machine fortune. / Note #1 / Note #1 Some other money came from various pension funds and endowments, sources that would become very popular during the leveraged buyout orgy Bush presided over in the 1980s. Of the capital of the new Bush-Liedtke concern, about $500,000 would come from Tulsa cronies of the Liedtke brothers, and the other $500,000 from the circles of Uncle Herbie. The latter were referred to by Hugh Liedtke as "the New York guys." The name chosen for the new concern was "Zapata Petroleum." According to Hugh Liedtke, the new entrepreneurs were attracted to the name when they saw it on a movie marquee, where the new release "Viva Zapata!," starring Marlon Brando as the Mexican revolutionary, was playing. Liedtke characteristically explains that part of the appeal of the name was the confusion as to whether Zapata had been a patriot or a bandit. / Note #1 / Note #2 The Bush-Liedtke combination concentrated its attention on an oil property in Coke County called JamesonField, a barren expanse of prairie and sagebrush where six widely separated wells had been producing oil for some years. Hugh Liedtke was convinced that these six oil wells were tapping into a single underground pool of oil, and that dozens or even hundreds of new oil wells drilled into the same field would all prove to be gushers. In other words, Liedtke wanted to gamble the entire capital of the new firm on the hypothesis that the wells were, in oil parlance, "connected." One of Liedtke's Tulsa backers was supposedly unconvinced, and argued that the wells were too far apart; they could not possibly connect. "Goddamn, they do!" was Hugh Liedtke's rejoinder. He insisted on shooting the works in a "va-banque" operation. Uncle Herbie's circles were nervous: "The New York guys were just about to pee in their pants," boasted Leidtke years later. Bush and Hugh Liedtke obviously had the better information: The wells were connected, and 127 wells were drilled without encountering a single dry hole. As a result, the price of a share of stock in Zapata went up from seven cents a share to $23. During this time, Hugh Liedtke collaborated on several small deals in the Midland area with a certain "T. Boone Pickens," later one of the most notorious corporate raiders of the 1980s, one of the originators of the "greenmail" strategy of extortion, by which a raider would accumulate part of the shares of a company and threaten to go all the way to a hostile takeover unless the management of the company agreed to buy back those shares at an outrageous premium. Pickens is the buccaneer who was self-righteously indignant when the Japanese business community attempted to prevent him from introducing these shameless looting practices into the Japanese economy. Pickens, too, was a product of the Bush-Liedtke social circle of Midland. When he was just getting started in the mid-fifties, Pickens wanted to buy the Hugoton Production Company, which owned the Hugoton field, one of the world's great onshore deposits of natural gas. Pickens engineered the hostile takeover of Hugoton by turning to Hugh Liedtke to be introduced to the trustees of the Clark Family Estate, who, as we have just seen, had put up part of the capital for Zapata. Pickens promised the Clark trustees a higher return than was being provided by the current management, and this support proved to be decisive in permitting Pickens's Mesa Petroleum to take over Hugoton, launching this corsair on a career of looting and pillage that still continues. In 1988, George Bush would give an interview to a magazine owned by Pickens in which the Vice President would defend hostile leveraged buyouts as necessary to the interests of the shareholders. In the meantime, after two to three years of operations, the oil flow out of Zapata's key Jameson field had begun to slow down. Although there was still abundant oil in the ground, the natural pressure had been rapidly depleted, so Bush and the Liedtkes had to begin resorting to stratagems in order to bring the oil to the surface. They began pumping water into the underground formations in order to force the oil to the surface. From then on, "enhanced recovery" techniques were necessary to keep the Jameson field on line. During 1955 and 1956, Zapata was able to report a small profit. In 1957, the year of the incipient Eisenhower recession, this turned into a loss of $155,183, as the oil from the Jameson field began to slow down. In 1958, the loss was $427,752, and in 1959, there was $207,742 of red ink. 1960 (after Bush had departed from the scene) brought another loss, this time of $372,258. It was not until 1961 that Zapata was able to post a small profit of $50,482. / Note #1 / Note #3 Despite the fact that Bush and the Liedtkes all became millionaires through the increased value of their shares, it was not exactly an enviable record; without the deep pockets of Bush's Uncle Herbie Walker and his British backers, the entire venture might have foundered at an early date. Bush and the Liedtkes had been very lucky with the Jameson field, but they could hardly expect such results to be repeated indefinitely. In addition, they were now posting losses, and the value of Zapata stock had gone into a decline. Bush and the Liedtke brothers now concluded that the epoch in which large oil fields could be discovered within the continental United States was over. Mammoth new oil fields, they believed, could only be found offshore, located under hundreds of feet of water on the continental shelves, or in shallow seas like the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. By a happy coincidence, in 1954 the U.S. federal government was just beginning to auction the mineral rights for these offshore areas. With father Prescott Bush directing his potent Brown Brothers Harriman/Skull and Bones network from the U.S. Senate while regularly hob-nobbing with President Eisenhower on the golf links, George Bush could be confident of receiving special privileged treatment when it came to these mineral rights. Bush and his partners therefore judged the moment ripe for launching a for-hire drilling company, Zapata Offshore, a Delaware corporation that would offer its services to the companies making up the Seven Sisters international oil cartel in drilling underwater wells. Forty percent of the offshore company's stock would be owned by the original Zapata firm. The new company would also be a buyer of offshore royalty leases. Uncle Herbie helped arrange a new issue of stock for this Zapata offshoot. The shares were easy to unload because of the 1954 boom in the New York stock market. "The stock market lent itself to speculation," Bush would explain years later, "and you could get equity capital for new ventures." / Note #1/ Note #4 1954 was also the year that the CIA overthrew the government of Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala. This was the beginning of a dense flurry of U.S. covert operations in Central America and the Caribbean, featuring especially Cuba. The first asset of Zapata Offshore was the SCORPION, a $3.5 million deep-sea drilling rig that was financed by $1.5 million from the initial stock sale plus another $2 million from bonds marketed with the help of Uncle Herbie. The SCORPION was the first three-legged, self-elevating mobile drilling barge, and it was built by R. G. LeTourneau, Inc. of Vicksburg, Mississippi. The platform weighed some 9 million pounds and measured 180 by 150 feet, and the three legs were 140 feet long when fully extended. The rig was floated into the desired drilling position before the legs were extended, and the main body was then pushed up above the waves by electric motors. The SCORPION was delivered early in 1956, was commissioned at Galveston in March, 1956 and was put to work at exploratory drilling in the Gulf of Mexico during the rest of the year. During 1956, the Zapata Petroleum officers included J. Hugh Liedtke as president, George H.W. Bush as vice president, and William Brumley of Midland, Texas, as treasurer. The board of directors lined up as follows: / Note #b|George H.W. Bush, Midland, Texas; / Note #b|J.G.S. Gammell, Edinburgh, Scotland, manager of British Assets Trust, Ltd.; / Note #b|J. Hugh Liedtke, Midland, Texas; / Note #b|William C. Liedtke, independent oil operator, Midland, Texas; / Note #b|Arthur E. Palmer, Jr., New York, N.Y., a partner in Winthrop, Stimson, Putnam, and Roberts; / Note #b|G.H. Walker, Jr. (Uncle Herbie), managing partner of G.H. Walker and Co., New York, N.Y.; / Note #b|Howard J. Whitehill, independent oil producer, Tulsa, Oklahoma; / Note #b|Eugene F. Williams, Jr., secretary of the St. Louis Union Trust Company of St. Louis, Missouri; fellow member with "Poppy" Bush in the class of 1942 AUV secret society at Andover prep, later chairman of the Andover board; / Note #b|D.D. Bovaird, president of the Bovaird Supply Co. of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and chairman of the board of the Oklahoma City branch of the Tenth Federal District of the Federal Reserve Board; and / Note #b|George L. Coleman, investments, Miami, Oklahoma. An interim director that year had been Richard E. Fleming of Robert Fleming and Co., London, England. Counsel were listed as Baker, Botts, Andrews & Shepherd of Houston, Texas; auditors were Arthur Andersen in Houston, and transfer agents were J.P. Morgan & Co., Inc., of New York City and the First National Bank and Trust Company of Tulsa. / Note #1 / Note #5 George Bush personally was much more involved with the financial management of the company than with its actual oil-field operations. His main activity was not finding oil or drilling wells but, as he himself put it, "stretching paper" -- rolling over debt and making new financial arrangements with the creditors. / Note #1 / Note #6 During 1956, despite continuing losses and thanks again to Uncle Herbie, Zapata was able to float yet another offering, this time a convertible debenture for $2.15 million, for the purchase of a second Le Tourneau drilling platform, the VINEGAROON, named after a west Texas stinging insect. The VINEGAROON was delivered during 1957, and soon scored a "lucky" hit drilling in block 86 off Vermilion Parish, Louisiana. This was a combination of gas and oil, and one well was rated at 113 barrels of distillate and 3.6 million cubic feet of gas per day. / Note #1 / Note #7 This was especially remunerative, because Zapata had acquired a half-interest in the royalties from any oil or gas that might be found. VINEGAROON then continued to drill offshore from Vermilion Parish, Louisiana, on a farmout from Continental Oil. As for the SCORPION, during part of 1957 it was under contract to the Bahama-California Oil Company, drilling between Florida and Cuba. It was then leased by Gulf Oil and Standard Oil of California, on whose behalf it started drilling during 1958 at a position on the Cay Sal Bank, 131 miles south of Miami, Florida, and just 54 miles north of Isabela, Cuba. Cuba was an interesting place just then; the U.S.-backed insurgency of Fidel Castro was rapidly undermining the older U.S.-imposed regime of Fulgencio Batista. That meant that SCORPION was located at a hot corner. We note that Allen Dulles, then director of the Central Intelligence Agency, had previously been legal counsel to Gulf Oil for Latin American operations, and counsel to George Bush's father at Brown Brothers Harriman for eastern Europe. During 1957 a certain divergence began to appear between Uncle Herbie Walker, Bush, and the "New York guys" on the one hand, and the Liedtke brothers and their Tulsa backers on the other. As the annual report for that year noted, "There is no doubt that the drilling business in the Gulf of Mexico has become far more competitive in the last six months than it has been at any time in the past." Despite that, Bush, Walker and the New York investors wanted to push forward into the offshore drilling and drilling services business, while the Liedtkes and the Tulsa group wanted to concentrate on acquiring oil in the ground and natural gas deposits. The 1958 annual report notes that, with no major discoveries made, 1958 had been "a difficult year." It was, of course, the year of the brutal Eisenhower recession. SCORPION, VINEGAROON, and NOLA I, the offshore company's three drilling rigs, could not be kept fully occupied in the Gulf of Mexico during the whole year, and so Zapata Offshore had lost $524,441, more than Zapata Petroleum's own loss of $427,752 for that year. The Liedtke viewpoint was reflected in the notation that "disposing of the offshore business had been considered." The great tycoon Bush conceded in the Zapata Offshore annual report for 1958: "We erroneously predicted that most major [oil] companies would have active drilling programs for 1958. These drilling programs simply did not materialize...." In 1990, Bush denied for months that there was a recession, and through 1991 claimed that the recession had ended, when it had, in fact, long since turned into a depression. His current blindness about economic conjunctures would appear to be nothing new. By 1959, there were reports of increasing personal tensions between the domineering and abrasive J. Hugh Liedtke, on the one hand, and Bush's Uncle Herbie Walker on the other. Liedtke was obsessed with his plan for creating a new major oil company, the boundless ambition that would propel him down a path littered with asset-stripped corporations into the devastating Pennzoil-Getty-Texaco wars of a quarter-century later. During the course of this year, the two groups of investors arrived at a separation that was billed as "amicable," and which in any case never interrupted the close cooperation among Bush and the Liedtke brothers. The solution was that the ever-present Uncle Herbie would buy out the Liedtke-Tulsa 40 percent stake in Zapata Offshore, while the Liedtke backers would buy out the Bush-Walker interest in Zapata Petroleum. For this to be accomplished, George Bush would require yet another large infusion of capital. Uncle Herbie now raised yet another tranche for George, this time over $800,000. The money allegedly came from Bush-Walker friends and relatives. / Note #1 / Note #8 Even if the faithful efforts of Uncle Herbie are taken into account, it is still puzzling to see a series of large infusions of cash into a poorly managed small company that had posted a series of substantial losses and whose future prospects were anything but rosy. At this point it is therefore legitimate to pose the question: Was Zapata Offshore an intelligence community front at its foundation in 1954, or did it become one in 1959, or perhaps at some later point? This question cannot be answered with finality, but some relevant evidence will be discussed in the following chapter. George Bush was now the president of his own company, the undisputed boss of Zapata Offshore. Although the company was falling behind the rest of the offshore drilling industry, Bush made a desultory attempt at expansion through diversification, investing in a plastics machinery company in New Jersey, a Texas pipe lining company, and a gas transmission company; none of these investments proved to be remunerative. Notes 1. Harry Hurt III, "George Bush, Plucky Lad," "Texas Monthly," June 1983. 2. See Sarah Bartlett, "The Money Machine: How KKR Manufactured Power and Profits" (New York, 1991), pp. 9-12. 3. Darwin Payne, "Initiative in Energy: Dresser Industries, Inc., 1880-1978" (New York: Simon and Schuster, ca. 1979), p. 232 "ff." 4. Bartlett, "op. cit.," p. 268. 5. Darwin Payne, "op. cit.," p. 232-33. 6. Hurt, "op. cit." 7. "Ibid." 8. "Bush Battles the 'Wimp Factor'," "Newsweek," Oct. 19, 1987. 9. See Richard Ben Kramer, "How He Got Here," "Esquire," June 1991. 10. See Thomas Petzinger, Jr., "Oil and Honor: The Texaco-Pennzoil Wars" (New York, 1987), p. 37 "ff." 11. "Ibid.," p. 93. 12. "Ibid.," p. 40. 13. See Zapata Petroleum annual reports, Library of Congress Microform Reading Room. 14. Petzinger, "op. cit.," p. 41. 15. See Zapata Petroleum Corporation Annual Report for 1956, Library of Congress, Microform Reading Room. 16. Hurt, "op. cit.," p. 194. 17. "Zapata Petroleum Corp.," "Fortune," April 1958. 18. Walter Pincus and Bob Woodward, "Doing Well With Help From Family, Friends," "Washington Post," Aug. 11, 1988. CHAPTER 9 THE BAY OF PIGS AND THE KENNEDY ASSASSINATION "JM/WAVE ... proliferated across [Florida] in preparation for the Bay of Pigs invasion. A subculture of fronts, proprietaries, suppliers, transfer agents, conduits, dummy corporations, blind drops, detective agencies, law firms, electronic firms, shopping centers, airlines, radio stations, the mob and the church and the banks: a false and secret nervous system twitching to stimuli supplied by the cortex in Clandestine Services in Langley. After defeat on the beach in Cuba, JM/WAVE became a continuing and extended Miami Station, CIA's largest in the continental United States. A large sign in front of the ... building complex reads: U.S. GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS PROHIBIT DISCUSSION OF THIS ORGANIZATION OR FACILITY." -- Donald Freed, "Death in Washington" (Westport, Connecticut, 1980), p. 141. The review offered so far of George Bush's activities during the late 1950s and early 1960s is almost certainly incomplete in very important respects. There is good reason to believe that Bush was engaged in something more than just the oil business during those years. Starting about the time of the Bay of Pigs invasion in the spring of 1961, we have the first hints that Bush, in addition to working for Zapata Offshore, may also have been a participant in certain covert operations of the U.S. intelligence community. Such participation would certainly be coherent with George's role in the Prescott Bush, Skull and Bones, and Brown Brothers Harriman networks. During the twentieth century, the Skull and Bones/Harriman circles have always maintained a sizeable and often decisive presence inside the intelligence organizations of the State Department, the Treasury Department, the Office of Naval Intelligence, the Office of Strategic Services, and the Central Intelligence Agency. A body of leads has been assembled which suggests that George Bush may have been associated with the CIA at some time before the autumn of 1963. According to Joseph McBride of "The Nation," "a source with close connections to the intelligence community confirms that Bush started working for the agency in 1960 or 1961, using his oil business as a cover for clandestine activities." / Note #1 By the time of the Kennedy assassination, we have an official FBI document which refers to "Mr. George Bush of the Central Intelligence Agency," and despite official disclaimers, there is every reason to think that this is indeed the man in the White House today. The mystery of George Bush as a possible covert operator hinges on four points, each one of which represents one of the great political and espionage scandals of postwar American history. These four cardinal points are: 1. The abortive Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, launched on April 16-17, 1961, prepared with the assistance of the CIA's "Miami Station" (also known under the code name JM/WAVE). After the failure of the amphibious landings of Brigade 2506, Miami station, under the leadership of Theodore Shackley, became the focus for Operation Mongoose, a series of covert operations directed against Castro, Cuba, and possibly other targets. 2. The assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas on November 22, 1963, and the coverup of those responsible for this crime. 3. The Watergate scandal, beginning with an April 1971 visit to Miami, Florida by E. Howard Hunt on the tenth anniversary of the Bay of Pigs invasion to recruit operatives for the White House Special Investigations Unit (the "Plumbers" and later Watergate burglars) from among Cuban-American Bay of Pigs veterans. 4. The Iran-Contra affair, which became a public scandal during October-November 1986, several of whose central figures, such as Felix Rodriguez, were also veterans of the Bay of Pigs. George Bush's role in both Watergate and the October Surprise/Iran-Contra complex will be treated in detail at later points in this book. Right now, it is important to see that thirty years of covert operations, in many respects, form a single continuous whole. This is especially true in regard to the "dramatis personae." Georgie Anne Geyer points to the obvious in a recent book: " ... an entire new Cuban cadre now emerged from the Bay of Pigs. The names Howard Hunt, Bernard Barker, Rolando Martinez, Felix Rodriguez and Eugenio Martinez would, in the next quarter century, pop up, often decisively, over and over again in the most dangerous American foreign policy crises. There were Cubans flying missions for the CIA in the Congo and even for the Portuguese in Africa; Cubans were the burglars of Watergate; Cubans played key roles in Nicaragua, in Irangate, in the American move into the Persian Gulf." / Note #2 Felix Rodriguez tells us that he was infiltrated into Cuba with the other members of the "Grey Team" in conjunction with the Bay of Pigs landings; this is the same man we will find directing the Contra supply effort in Central America during the 1980s, working under the direct supervision of Don Gregg and George Bush. / Note #3 Theodore Shackley, the JM/WAVE station chief, will later show up in Bush's 1979-80 presidential campaign. To a very large degree, such covert operations have drawn upon the same pool of personnel. They are to a significant extent the handiwork of the same crowd. It is therefore revealing to extrapolate forward and backward in time the individuals and groups of individuals who appear as the cast of characters in one scandal, and compare them with the cast of characters for the other scandals, including the secondary ones that have not been enumerated here. E. Howard Hunt, for example, shows up as a confirmed part of the overthrow of the Guatemalan government of Jacopo Arbenz in 1954, as an important part of the chain of command in the Bay of Pigs, as a person repeatedly accused of having been in Dallas on the day Kennedy was shot, and as one of the central figures of Watergate. George Bush is demonstrably one of the most important protagonists of the Watergate scandal, and was the overall director of Iran-Contra. Since he appears especially in Iran-Contra in close proximity to Bay of Pigs holdovers, it is surely legitimate to wonder when his association with those Bay of Pigs Cubans might have started. 1959 was the year that Bush started operating out of his Zapata Offshore headquarters in Houston; it was also the year that Fidel Castro seized power in Cuba. Officially, as we have seen, George was now a businessman whose work took him at times to Louisiana, where Zapata had offshore drilling operations. George must have been a frequent visitor to New Orleans. Because of his family's estate on Jupiter Island, he would also have been a frequent visitor to the Hobe Sound area. And then, there were Zapata Offshore drilling operations in the Florida strait. The Jupiter Island connection and father Prescott's Brown Brothers Harriman/Skull and Bones networks are doubtless the key. Jupiter Island meant Averell Harriman, Robert Lovett, C. Douglas Dillon and other Anglophile financiers who had directed the U.S. intelligence community long before there had been a CIA at all. And, in the backyard of the Jupiter Island Olympians, and under their direction, a powerful covert operations base was now being assembled, in which George Bush would have been present at the creation as a matter of birthright. Operation Zapata During 1959-60, Allen Dulles and the Eisenhower administration began to assemble in south Florida the infrastructure for covert action against Cuba. This was the JM/WAVE capability, later formally constituted as the CIA Miami station. JM/WAVE was an operational center for the Eisenhower regime's project of staging an invasion of Cuba using a secret army of anti-Castro Cuban exiles, organized, armed, trained, transported, and directed by the CIA. The Cubans, called Brigade 2506, were trained in secret camps in Guatemala, and they had air support from B-26 bombers based in Nicaragua. This invasion was crushed by Castro's defending forces in less than three days. Before going along with the plan so eagerly touted by Allen Dulles, Kennedy had established the precondition that under no circumstances whatsoever would there be direct intervention by U.S. military forces against Cuba. On the one hand, Dulles had assured Kennedy that the news of the invasion would trigger an insurrection which would sweep Castro and his regime aw ay. On the other, Kennedy had to be concerned about provoking a global thermonuclear confrontation with the U.S.S.R., in the eventuality that Nikita Khrushchev decided to respond to a U.S. Cuban gambit by, for example, cutting off U.S. access to Berlin. Hints of the covert presence of George Bush are scattered here and there around the Bay of Pigs invasion. According to some accounts, the code name for the Bay of Pigs was Operation Pluto. / Note #4 But Bay of Pigs veteran E. Howard Hunt scornfully denies that this was the code name used by JM/WAVE personnel; Hunt writes: "So perhaps the Pentagon referred to the Brigade invasion as Pluto. CIA did not." / Note #5 But Hunt does not tell us what the CIA code name was, and the contents of Hunt's Watergate-era White House safe, which might have told us the answer, were, of course, "deep-sixed" by FBI Director Patrick Gray. According to reliable sources and published accounts, the CIA code name for the Bay of Pigs invasion was Operation Zapata, and the plan was so referred to by Richard Bissell of the CIA, one of the plan's promoters, in a briefing to President Kennedy in the Cabinet Room on March 29, 1961. / Note #6 Does Operation Zapata have anything to do with Zapata Offshore? The run-of-the-mill Bushman might respond that Emiliano Zapata, after all, had been a public figure in his own right, and the subject of a recent Hollywood movie starring Marlon Brando. A more knowledgeable Bushman might argue that the main landing beach, the Playa Giron, is located south of the city of Cienfuegos on the Zapata Peninsula, on the south coast of Cuba. Then there is the question of the Brigade 2506 landing fleet, which was composed of five older freighters bought or chartered from the Garcia Steamship Lines, bearing the names of "Houston," "Rio Escondido," "Caribe," "Atlantic," and "Lake Charles." In addition to these vessels, which were outfitted as transport ships, there were two somewhat better armed fire support ships, the "Blagar" and the "Barbara." (In some sources "Barbara J.") / Note #7 The "Barbara" was originally an LCI (Landing Craft Infantry) of earlier vintage. Our attention is attracted at once to the "Barbara" and the "Houston," in the first case because we have seen George Bush's habit of naming his combat aircraft after his wife, and, in the second case, because Bush was at this time a resident and Republican activist of Houston, Texas. But of course, the appearance of names like "Zapata," "Barbara," and "Houston" can by itself only arouse suspicion, and proves nothing. After the ignominious defeat of the Bay of Pigs invasion, there was great animosity against Kennedy among the survivors of Brigade 2506, some of whom eventually made their way back to Miami after being released from Castro's prisoner of war camps. There was also great animosity against Kennedy on the part of the JM/WAVE personnel. During the early 1950s, E. Howard Hunt had been the CIA station chief in Mexico City. As David Atlee Phillips (another embittered JM/WAVE veteran) tells us in his autobiographical account, "The Night Watch," E. Howard Hunt had been the immediate superior of a young CIA recruit named William F. Buckley, the Yale graduate and Skull and Bones member who later founded the "National Review." In his autobiographical account written during the days of the Watergate scandal, Hunt includes the following tirade about the Bay of Pigs: "No event since the communization of China in 1949 has had such a profound effect on the United States and its allies as the defeat of the U.S.-trained Cuban invasion brigade at the Bay of Pigs in April 1961. "Out of that humiliation grew the Berlin Wall, the missile crisis, guerrilla warfare throughout Latin America and Africa, and our Dominican Republic intervention. Castro's beachhead triumph opened a bottomless Pandora's box of difficulties that affected not only the United States, but most of its allies in the Free World. "These bloody and subversive events would not have taken place had Castro been toppled. Instead of standing firm, our government pyramided crucially wrong decisions and allowed Brigade 2506 to be destroyed. The Kennedy administration yielded Castro all the excuse he needed to gain a tighter grip on the island of Jose Marti, then moved shamefacedly into the shadows and hoped the Cuban issue would simply melt away." / Note #8 Kennedy and MacArthur Hunt was typical of the opinion that the debacle had been Kennedy's fault, and not the responsibility of men like Allen Dulles and Richard Bissell, who had designed it and recommended it. After the embarrassing failure of the invasion, which never evoked the hoped-for spontaneous anti-Castro insurrection, Kennedy fired Allen Dulles, his Harrimanite deputy Bissell, and CIA Deputy Director Charles Cabell (whose brother was the mayor of Dallas at the time Kennedy was shot). During the days after the Bay of Pigs debacle, Kennedy was deeply suspicious of the intelligence community and of proposals for military escalation in general, including in places like South Vietnam. Kennedy sought to procure an outside, expert opinion on military matters. For this he turned to the former commander in chief of the Southwest Pacific Theatre during World War II, General Douglas MacArthur. Almost ten years ago, a reliable source shared with one of the authors an account of a meeting between Kennedy and MacArthur in which the veteran general warned the young President that there were elements inside the U.S. government who emphatically did not share his patriotic motives, and who were seeking to destroy his administration from within. MacArthur warned that the forces bent on destroying Kennedy were centered in the Wall Street financial community and its various tentacles in the intelligence community. It is a matter of public record that Kennedy met with MacArthur in the latter part of April 1961, after the Bay of Pigs. According to Kennedy aide Theodore Sorenson, MacArthur told Kennedy, "The chickens are coming home to roost, and you happen to have just moved into the chicken house." / Note #9 At the same meeting, according to Sorenson, MacArthur "warned [Kennedy] against the commitment of American foot soldiers on the Asian mainland, and the President never forgot this advice." / Note #1 / Note #0 This point is grudgingly confirmed by Arthur M. Schlesinger, a Kennedy aide who had a vested interest in vilifying MacArthur, who wrote that "MacArthur expressed his old view that anyone wanting to commit American ground forces to the mainland [of Asia] should have his head examined." / Note #1 / Note #1 MacArthur restated this advice during a second meeting with Kennedy when the General returned from his last trip to the Far East in July 1961. Kennedy valued MacArthur's professional military opinion highly, and used it to keep at arms length those advisers who were arguing for escalation in Laos, Vietnam, and elsewhere. He repeatedly invited those who proposed to send land forces to Asia to convince MacArthur that this was a good idea. If they could convince MacArthur, then he, Kennedy, might also go along. At this time, the group proposing escalation in Vietnam (as well as preparing the assassination of President Diem) had a heavy Brown Brothers Harriman/Skull and Bones overtone: The hawks of 1961-63 were Harriman, McGeorge Bundy, William Bundy, Henry Cabot Lodge, and some key London oligarchs and theoreticians of counterinsurgency wars. And of course, George Bush during these years was calling for escalation in Vietnam and challenging Kennedy to "muster the courage" to try a second invasion of Cuba. In the meantime, the JM/WAVE-Miami station complex was growing rapidly to become the largest of Langley's many satellites. During the years after the failure of the Bay of Pigs, this complex had as many as 3,000 Cuban agents and subagents, with a small army of case officers to direct and look after each one. According to one account, there were at least 55 dummy corporations to provide employment, cover, and commercial disguise for all these operatives. There were detective bureaus, gun stores, real estate b rokerages, boat repair shops, and party boats for fishing and other entertainments. There was the clandestine Radio Swan, later renamed Radio Americas. There were fleets of specially modified boats based at Homestead Marina, and at other marinas throughout the Florida Keys. Agents were assigned to the University of Miami and other educational institutions. The raison d'etre of the massive capability commanded by Theodore Shackley was now Operation Mongoose, a program for sabotage raids and assassinations to be conducted on Cuban territory, with a special effort to eliminate Fidel Castro personally. In order to run these operations from U.S. territory, flagrant and extensive violation of federal and state laws was the order of the day. Documents regarding the incorporation of businesses were falsified. Income tax returns were faked. FAA regulations were violated by planes taking off for Cuba or for forward bases in the Bahamas and elsewhere. Explosives moved across highways that were full of civilian traffic. The Munitions Act, the Neutrality Act, the customs and immigrations laws were routinely flaunted. / Note #1 / Note #2 Above all, the drug laws were massively violated as the gallant anticommunist fighters filled their planes and boats with illegal narcotics to be smuggled back into the United States when they returned from their missions. By 1963, the drug-running activities of the covert operatives were beginning to attract attention. JM/WAVE, in sum, accelerated the slide of south Florida towards the status of drug and murder capital of the United States it achieved during the 1980s. The Kennedy Assassination It cannot be the task of this study even to begin to treat the reasons for which certain leading elements of the Anglo-American financial oligarchy, perhaps acting with certain kinds of support from continental European aristocratic and neofascist networks, ordered the murder of John F. Kennedy. The British and the Harrimanites wanted escalation in Vietnam; by the time of his assassination Kennedy was committed to a pullout of U.S. forces. Kennedy, as shown by his American University speech of 1963, was also interested in seeking a more stable path of war avoidance with the Soviets, using the U.S. military superiority demonstrated during the Cuban missile crisis to convince Moscow to accept a policy of world peace through economic development. Kennedy was interested in the possibilities of anti-missile strategic defense to put an end to that nightmare of Mutually Assured Destruction which appealed to Henry Kissinger, a disgruntled former employee of the Kennedy administration whom the President had denounced as a madman. Kennedy was also considering moves to limit or perhaps abolish the usurpation of authority over the national currency by the Wall Street and London interests controlling the Federal Reserve System. If elected to a second term, Kennedy was likely to reassert presidential control, as distinct from Wall Street control, over the intelligence community. There is good reason to believe that Kennedy would have ousted J. Edgar Hoover from his purported life tenure at the FBI, subjecting that agency to presidential control for the first time in many years. Kennedy was committed to a vigorous expansion of the space program, the cultural impact of which was beginning to alarm the finance oligarchs. Above all, Kennedy was acting like a man who thought he was President of the United States, violating the collegiality of oligarchical trusteeship of that office that had been in force since the final days of Roosevelt. Kennedy furthermore had two younger brothers who might succeed him, putting a strong presidency beyond the control of the the Eastern Anglophile Liberal Establishment for decades. George Bush joined in the Harrimanite opposition to Kennedy on all of these points. After Kennedy was killed in Dallas on November 22, 1963, it was alleged that E. Howard Hunt and Frank Sturgis had both been present, possibly together, in Dallas on the day of the shooting, although the truth of these allegations has never been finally established. Both Hunt and Sturgis were of course Bay of Pigs veterans who would later appear center stage in Watergate. There were also allegations that Hunt and Sturgis were among a group of six to eight derelicts who were found in boxcars sitting on the railroad tracks behind the grassy knoll near Dealey Plaza, and who were rounded up and taken in for questioning by the Dallas police on the day of the assassination. Some suspected that Hunt and Sturgis had participated in the assassination. Some of these allegations were at the center of the celebrated 1985 defamation case of "Hunt v. Liberty Lobby," in which a Florida federal jury found against Hunt. But, since the Dallas Police Department and County Sheriff never photographed or fingerprinted the "derelicts" in question, it has so far proven impossible definitively to resolve this question. But these allegations and theories about the possible presence and activities of Hunt and Sturgis in Dallas were sufficiently widespread as to compel the Commission on CIA Activities Within the United States (the Rockefeller Commission) to attempt to refute them in its 1975 report. / Note #1 / Note #3 According to George Bush's official biography, he was during 1963 a well-to-do businessman residing in Houston, the busy president of Zapata Offshore and the chairman of the Harris County Republican Organization, supporting Barry Goldwater as the GOP's 1964 presidential candidate, while at the same time actively preparing his own 1964 bid for the U.S. Senate. But during that same period of time, Bush may have shared some common acquaintances with Lee Harvey Oswald. The De Mohrenschildt Connection Between October 1962 and April 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald and his Russian wife Marina were in frequent contact with a Russian emigre couple living in Dallas: These were George de Mohrenschildt and his wife Jeanne. During the Warren Commission investigation of the Kennedy assassination, De Mohrenschildt was interviewed at length about his contacts with Oswald. When, in the spring of 1977, the discrediting of the Warren Commission report as a blatant coverup had made public pressure for a new investigation of the Kennedy assassination irresistible, the House Assassinations Committee planned to interview De Mohrenschildt once again. But in March 1977, just before de Mohrenschildt was scheduled to be interviewed by Gaeton Fonzi of the House committee's staff, he was found dead in Palm Beach, Florida. His death was quickly ruled a suicide. One of the last people to see him alive was Edward Jay Epstein, who was also interviewing De Mohrenschildt about the Kennedy assassination for an upcoming book. Epstein is one of the writers on the Kennedy assassination who enjoyed excellent relations with the late James Angleton of the CIA. If de Mohrenschildt were alive today, he might be able to enlighten us about his relations with George Bush, and perhaps afford us some insight into Bush's activities during this epoch. Jeanne De Mohrenschildt rejected the finding of suicide in her husband's death. "He was eliminated before he got to that committee," the widow told a journalist in 1978, "because someone did not want him to get to it." She also maintained that George de Mohrenschildt had been surreptitiously injected with mind-altering drugs. / Note #1 / Note #4 After De Mohrenschildt's death, his personal address book was located, and it contained this entry: "Bush, George H.W. (Poppy) 1412 W. Ohio also Zapata Petroleum Midland." There is of course the problem of dating this reference. George Bush had moved his office and home from Midland to Houston in 1959, when Zapata Offshore was constituted, so perhaps this reference goes back to some time before 1959. There is also the number: "4-6355." There are, of course, numerous other entries, including one W.F. Buckley of the Buckley brothers of New York City, William S. Paley of CBS, plus many oil men, stockbrokers, and the like. / Note #1 / Note #5 George De Mohrenschildt recounted a number of different versions of his li fe, so it is very difficult to establish the facts about him. According to one version, he was the Russian Count Sergei De Mohrenschildt, but when he arrived in the United States in 1938 he carried a Polish passport identifying him as Jerzy Sergius von Mohrenschildt, born in Mozyr, Russia in 1911. He may in fact have been a Polish officer, or a correspondent for the Polish News Service, or none of these. He worked for a time for the Polish Embassy in Washington, D.C. Some say that de Mohrenschildt met the chairman of Humble Oil, Blaffer, and that Blaffer procured him a job. Other sources say that during this time De Mohrenschildt was affiliated with the War Department. According to some accounts, he later went to work for the French Deuxieme Bureau, which wanted to know about petroleum exports from the United States to Europe. De Mohrenschildt in 1941 became associated with a certain Baron Konstantin von Maydell in a public affairs venture called "Facts and Film." Maydell was considered a Nazi agent by the FBI, and in September 1942 he was sent to North Dakota for an internment that would last four years. De Mohenschildt was also reportedly in contact with Japanese networks at this time. In June 1941, De Mohrenschildt was questioned by police at Port Arthur, Texas, on the suspicion of espionage after he was found making sketches of port facilities. During 1941, De Mohrenschildt applied for a post in the U.S. Office of Strategic Services (OSS). According to the official account, he was not hired. Soon after he made the application, he went to Mexico where he stayed until 1944. In the latter year, he began study for a master's degree in petroleum engineering at the University of Texas. According to some accounts, during this period De Mohrenschildt was investigated by the Office of Naval Intelligence because of alleged communist sympathies. After the war, De Mohrenschildt worked as a petroleum engineer in Cuba and Venezuela, and in Caracas he had several meetings with the Soviet ambassador. During the postwar years, he also worked in the Rangely oil field in Colorado. During the 1950s, after having married Winifred Sharpless, the daughter of an oil millionaire, de Mohrenschildt was active as an independent oil entrepreneur. In 1957, De Mohrenschildt was approved by the CIA Office of Security to be hired as a U.S. government geologist for a mission to Yugoslavia. Upon his return he was interviewed by one J. Walter Moore of the CIA's Domestic Contact Service, with whom he remained in contact. During 1958, de Mohrenschildt visited Ghana, Togo, and Dahomey (now Benin); during 1959, he visited Africa again and returned by way of Poland. In 1959, he married Jeanne, his fourth wife, a former ballet dancer and dress designer who had been born in Manchuria, where her father had been one of the directors of the Chinese Eastern Railroad. During the summer of 1960, George and Jeanne De Mohrenschildt told their friends that they were going to embark on a walking tour of 11,000 miles along Indian trails from Mexico to Central America. One of their principal destinations was Guatemala City, where they were staying at the time of the Bay of Pigs invasion in April 1961, after which they made their way home by way of Panama and Haiti. After two months in Haiti, the De Mohrenschildts returned to Dallas, where they came into contact with Lee Harvey Oswald, who had come back to the United States from his sojourn in the Soviet Union in June 1962. By this time, de Mohrenschildt was also in frequent contact with Admiral Henry C. Bruton and his wife, to whom he introduced the Oswalds. Admiral Bruton was the former director of naval communications. It is established that between October 1962 and late April 1963, de Mohrenschildt was a very important figure in the life of Oswald and his Russian wife. Despite Oswald's lack of social graces, De Mohrenschildt introduced him into Dallas society, took him to parties, assisted him in finding employment and much more. It was through De Mohrenschildt that Oswald met a certain Volkmar Schmidt, a young German geologist who had studied with Professor Wilhelm Kuetemeyer, an expert in psychosomatic medicine and religious philosophy at the University of Heidelberg, who compiled a detailed psychological profile of Oswald. Jeanne and George helped Marina move her belongings during one of her many estrangements from Oswald. According to some accounts, De Mohrenschildt's influence on Oswald was so great during this period that he could virtually dictate important decisions to the young ex-Marine simply by making suggestions. According to some versions, de Mohrenschildt was aware of Oswald's alleged April 10, 1963 attempt to assassinate the well-known right-wing General Edwin Walker. According to Marina, De Mohrenschildt once asked Oswald, "Lee, how did you miss General Walker?" On April 19, George and Jeanne De Mohrenschildt went to New York City, and on April 29, the CIA Office of Security found that it had no objection to De Mohrenschildt's acceptance of a contract with the Duvalier regime of Haiti in the field of natural resource development. De Mohrenschildt appears to have departed for Haiti on May 1, 1963. In the meantime, Oswald had left Dallas and traveled to New Orleans. According to Mark Lane, "there is evidence that De Mohrenschildt served as a CIA control officer who directed Oswald's actions." Much of the extensive published literature on de Mohrenschildt converges on the idea that he was a control agent for Oswald on behalf of some intelligence agency. / Note #1 / Note #6 It is therefore highly interesting that George Bush's name turns up in the personal address book of George de Mohrenschildt. The Warren Commission went to absurd lengths to cover up the fact that George De Mohrenschildt was a denizen of the world of the intelligence agencies. This included ignoring the well-developed paper trail on De Mohrenschildt as Nazi and communist sympathizer, and later as a U.S. asset abroad. The Warren Commission concluded: "The Commission's investigation has developed no signs of subversive or disloyal conduct on the part of either of the de Mohrenschildts. Neither the FBI, CIA, nor any witnesses contacted by the Commission has provided any information linking the De Mohrenschildts to subversive or extremist organizations. Nor has there been any evidence linking them in any way with the assassination of President Kennedy." / Note #1 / Note #7 Bush, the CIA, and Kennedy On the day of the Kennedy assassination, FBI records show George Bush as reporting a right-wing member of the Houston Young Republicans for making threatening comments about President Kennedy. According to FBI documents released under the Freedom of Information Act, "On November 22, 1963 Mr. GEORGE H.W. BUSH, 5525 Briar, Houston, Texas, telephonically advised that he wanted to relate some hear say that he had heard in recent weeks, date and source unknown. He advised that one JAMES PARROTT had been talking of killing the President when he comes to Houston. "PARROTT is possibly a student at the University of Houston and is active in politics in the Houston area." According to related FBI documentation, "a check with Secret Service at Houston, Texas revealed that agency had a report that PARROTT stated in 1961 he would kill President Kennedy if he got near him." Here Bush is described as "a reputable businessman." FBI agents were sent to interrogate Parrott's mother, and later James Milton Parrott himself. Parrott had been discharged from the U.S. Air Force for psychiatric reasons in 1959. Parrott had an alibi for the time of the Dallas shootings; he had been in the company of another Republican activist. According to press accounts, Parrott was a member of the right-wing faction of the Houston GOP, which was oriented toward the John Birch Society and which opposed Bush's chairmanship. / Note #1 / Note #8 According to the "San Francisco Examiner," Bush's press office in August 1988 first said that Bush had not made any such call, and challenged the authenticity of the FBI documents. Several days later Bush's spokesman said that the candi date "does not recall" placing the call. One day after he reported Parrott to the FBI, Bush received a highly sensitive, high-level briefing from the Bureau: "Date: November 29, 1963 "To: Director of Intelligence and Research Department of State "From: John Edgar Hoover, Director "Subject: ASSASSINATION OF PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY, NOVEMBER 22, 1963 "Our Miami, Florida Office on November 23, 1963 advised that the Office of Coordinator of Cuban Affairs in Miami advised that the Department of State feels some misguided anti-Castro group might capitalize on the present situation and undertake an unauthorized raid against Cuba, believing that the assassination of President John F. Kennedy might herald a change in U.S. policy, which is not true. "Our sources and informants familiar with Cuban matters in the Miami area advise that the general feeling in the anti-Castro Cuban community is one of stunned disbelief and, even among those who did not entirely agree with the President's policy concerning Cuba, the feeling is that the President's death represents a great loss not only to the U.S. but to all Latin America. These sources know of no plans for unauthorized action against Cuba. "An informant who has furnished reliable information in the past and who is close to a small pro-Castro group in Miami has advised that those individuals are afraid that the assassination of the President may result in strong repressive measures being taken against them and, although pro-Castro in their feelings, regret the assassination. "The substance of the foregoing information was orally furnished to Mr. George Bush of the Central Intelligence Agency and Captain William Edwards of the Defense Intelligence Agency on November 23, 1963, by Mr. W.T. Forsyth of this Bureau." William T. Forsyth, since deceased, was an official of the FBI's Washington headquarters; during the time he was attached to the bureau's subversive control section, he ran the investigation of Dr. Martin Luther King. Was he also a part of the FBI's harassment of Dr. King? The efforts of journalists to locate Captain Edwards have not been successful. This FBI document identifying George Bush as a CIA agent in November 1963 was first published by Joseph McBride in "The Nation" in July 1988, just before Bush received the Republican nomination for President. McBride's source observed: "I know [Bush] was involved in the Caribbean. I know he was involved in the suppression of things after the Kennedy assassination. There was a very definite worry that some Cuban groups were going to move against Castro and attempt to blame it on the CIA." / Note #1 / Note #9 When pressed for confirmation or denial, Bush's spokesman Stephen Hart commented: "Must be another George Bush." Within a short time, the CIA itself would peddle the same damage control line. On July 19, 1988, in the wake of wide public attention to the report published in "The Nation," CIA spokeswoman Sharron Basso departed from the normal CIA policy of refusing to confirm or deny reports that any person is or was a CIA employee. CIA spokeswoman Basso told the Associated Press that the CIA believed that "the record should be clarified." She said that the FBI document "apparently" referred to a George William Bush who had worked in 1963 on the night shift at CIA headquarters, and that "would have been the appropriate place to have received such an FBI report." According to her account, the George William Bush in question had left the CIA to join the Defense Intelligence Agency in 1964. For the CIA to volunteer the name of one of its former employees to the press was a shocking violation of traditional methods, which are supposedly designed to keep such names a closely guarded secret. This revelation may have constituted a violation of federal law. But no exertions were too great when it came to damage control for George Bush. George William Bush had indeed worked for the CIA, the DIA, and the Alexandria, Virginia Department of Public Welfare before joining the Social Security Administration, in whose Arlington, Virginia office he was employed as a claims representative in 1988. George William Bush told "The Nation" that while at the CIA he was "just a lowly researcher and analyst" who worked with documents and photos and never received interagency briefings. He had never met Forsyth of the FBI or Captain Edwards of the DIA. "So it wasn't me," said George William Bush. / Note #2 / Note #0 Later, George William Bush formalized his denial in a sworn statement to a federal court in Washington, D.C. The affidavit acknowledges that while working at CIA headquarters between September 1963 and February 1964, George William Bush was the junior person on a three- to four-man watch which was on duty when Kennedy was shot. But, as George William Bush goes on to say, "have carefullyreviewed the FBI memorandum to the Director, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Department of State dated November 29, 1963 which mentions a Mr. George Bush of the Central Intelligence Agency.... I do not recognize the contents of the memorandum as information furnished to me orally or otherwise during the time I was at the CIA. In fact, during my time at the CIA, I did not receive any oral communications from any government agency of any nature whatsoever. I did not receive any information relating to the Kennedy assassination during my time at the CIA from the FBI. "Based on the above, it is my conclusion that I am not the Mr. George Bush of the Central Intelligence Agency referred to in the memorandum." / Note #2 / Note #1 So we are left with the strong suspicion that the "Mr. George Bush of the CIA" referred to by the FBI is our own George Herbert Walker Bush, who, in addition to his possible contact with Lee Harvey Oswald's controller, may thus also join the ranks of the Kennedy assassination coverup. It makes perfect sense for George Bush to be called in on a matter involving the Cuban community in Miami, since that is a place where George has traditionally had a constituency. George inherited it from his father, Prescott Bush of Jupiter Island, and later passed it on to his own son, Jeb. Notes to Chapter 9 1. Joseph McBride, "|'George Bush,' C.I.A. Operative," "The Nation" July 16, 1988. 2. Georgie Anne Geyer, "Guerrilla Prince" (Boston: Little, Brown, 1991). 3. Felix Rodriguez, "Shadow Warrior" (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1989). 4. On Pluto, see the East German study by Guenter Schumacher, "Operation Pluto" (Berlin, Deutscher Militarverlag, 1966). 5. E. Howard Hunt, "Give Us This Day" (New Rochelle: Arlington House, 1973), p. 214. 6. For Operation Zapata, see Michael R. Beschloss, "The Crisis Years: Kennedy and Khrushchev, 1960-63" (New York: Edward Burlingame Books, 1991), p. 89. 7. For the names of the ships at the Bay of Pigs, see Quintin Pino Machado, "La Batalla de Giron" (La Habana: Editorial de Ciencias Sociales, 1983), pp. 79-80. This source quotes one ship as the "Barbara J." See also Schumacher, "Operation Pluto," pp. 98-99. See also Peter Wyden, "Bay of Pigs, The Untold Story" (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1979), which also has the "Barbara J." According to Quintin Pino Machado, the "Houston" had been given the new name of "Aguja" (Swordfish) and the "Barbara" that of "Barracuda" for the purposes of this operation. 8. E. Howard Hunt, "op. cit.," pp. 13-14. 9. Theodore Sorenson, "Kennedy" (New York: Bantam, 1966), p. 329. 10. "Ibid.," p. 723. 11. Arthur M. Schlesinger, "A Thousand Days" (Boston, 1965), p. 339. 12. See Warren Hinckle and William W. Turner, "The Fish is Red" (New York: Harper and Row, 1981), pp. 112 ff. 13. "Report to the President by the Commission on CIA Activities Within the United States" (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1975), pp. 251-267. 14. Jim Marrs, "Widow disputes suicide," "Fort Worth Evening Star-Telegram," May 11, 1978. 15. A photocopy of George de Mohrenschildt's personal address book is preserved at the Assassination Archives and Research Center, Washington, D.C. The Bush entry is also cited in Mark Lane, "Plausible Denial" (New York: Thunder's Mou th Press, 1991), p. 332. 16. For De Mohrenschildt, see Mark Lane, "op. cit."; Edward Jay Epstein, "Legend: The Secret World of Lee Harvey Oswald" (London: Hutchinson, 1978); C. Robert Blakey and Richard N. Billings, "The Plot to Kill the President" (New York: Times Books, 1981); and Robert Sam Anson, ""They've Killed The President!"" (New York: Bantam, 1975). 17. "Report of the Warren Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy" (New York: Bantam, 1964), p. 262. 18. Miguel Acoca, "FBI: 'Bush' called about JFK killing," "San Francisco Examiner," Aug. 25, 1988. 19. Joseph McBride, "|'George Bush,' CIA Operative," "The Nation," July 16/23, 1988, p. 42. 20. Joseph McBride, "Where "Was" George?" "The Nation," Aug. 13/20, 1988, p. 117. 21. United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Civil Action 88-2600 GHR, Assassination Archives and Research Center v. Central Intelligence Agency, Affidavit of George William Bush, Sept. 21, 1988. CHAPTER 10 Part I The Senate Race Bush's unsuccessful attempt in 1964 to unseat Texas Democratic "Senator Ralph Yarborough" is a matter of fundamental interest to anyone seeking to probe the wellsprings of Bush's actual political thinking. In a society which knows nothing of its own recent history, the events of a quarter-century ago might be classed as remote and irrelevant. But as we review the profile of the Bush Senate campaign of 1964, what we see coming alive is the characteristic mentality that rules the Oval Office today. The main traits are all there: the overriding obsession with the race issue, exemplified in Bush's bitter rejection of the civil rights bill before the Congress during those months; the genocidal bluster in foreign affairs, with proposals for nuclear bombardment of Vietnam, an invasion of Cuba, and a rejection of negotiations for the return of the Panama Canal; the autonomic reflex for union-busting expressed in the rhetoric of "right to work"; the paean to free enterprise at the expense of farmers and the disadvantaged, with all of this packaged in a slick, demagogic television and advertising effort.... Bush's opponent, Senator Ralph Webster Yarborough, had been born in Chandler, Texas in 1903 as the seventh of 11 children. After graduating from Tyler High School as Salutatorian, he received an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, which he attended for one year. After working in the wheat fields of Oklahoma and a six-month stint teaching in a small rural school, he went on to Sam Houston State Teachers College for two terms. He was a member of the 36th Division of the Texas National Guard, in which he advanced from private to sergeant. After World War I, he worked a passage to Europe on board a freighter, and found a job in Germany working in the offices of the American Chamber of Commerce in Berlin. He also pursued studies in Stendahl, Germany. He returned to the United States to earn a law degree at the University of Texas in 1927, and worked as a lawyer in El Paso.... Yarborough entered public service as an assistant attorney general of Texas from 1931 to 1934. After that, he was a founding director of the Lower Colorado River Authority, a major water project in central Texas, and was then elected as a district judge in Austin. Yarborough served in the U.S. Army ground forces during World War II, and was a member of the only division which took part in the postwar occupation of Germany as well as in MacArthur's administration of Japan. When he left the military in 1946, he had attained the rank of lieutenant colonel. It is clear from an overview of Yarborough's career that his victories and defeats were essentially his own, that for him there was no Prescott Bush to secure lines of credit or to procure important posts by telephone calls to bigwigs in freemasonic networks. Yarborough had challenged Allan Shivers in the governor's contest of 1952, and had gone down to defeat. Successive bids for the state house in Austin by Yarborough were turned back in 1954 and 1956. Then, when Senator (and former Governor) Price Daniel resigned his seat, Yarborough was finally victorious in a special election. He had then been reelected to the Senate for a full term in 1958. Yarborough in the Senate Yarborough was distinguished first of all for his voting record on civil rights. Just months after he had entered the Senate, he was one of only five southern senators (including LBJ) to vote for the watershed Civil Rights Act of 1957. In 1960, Yarborough was one of four southern senators -- again including LBJ -- who cast votes in favor of the Civil Rights Act of 1960. Yarborough would be the lone senator from the 11 states formerly comprising the Confederate States of America to vote for the 1964 Civil Rights Bill, the most sweeping since Reconstruction. This is the bill which, as we will see, provided Bush with the ammunition for one of the principal themes of his 1964 election attacks. Later, Yarborough would be one of only three southern senators supporting the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and one of four supporting the 1968 open housing bill. / Note #5 ... Yarborough had become the chairman of the Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare. Here his lodestar was infrastructure: infrastructure in the form of education and infrastructure in the form of physical improvements. In education, Yarborough was either the author or a leading supporter of virtually every important piece of legislation to become law between 1958 and 1971, including some nine major bills. As a freshman senator, Yarborough was the co-author of the National Defense Education Act of 1958, which was the basis for federal aid to education, particularly to higher education. Under the provisions of NDEA, a quarter of a million students were at any given time enabled to pursue undergraduate training with low-cost loans and other benefits. For graduate students, there were three-year fellowships that paid tuition and fees plus grants for living expenses in the amount of $2200, $2400 and $2600 over the three years -- an ample sum in those days. Yarborough also sponsored bills for medical education, college classroom construction, vocational education, aid to the mentally retarded, and library facilities. Yarborough's Bilingual Education Bill provided special federal funding for schools with large numbers of students from non-English speaking backgrounds. Some of these points were outlined by Yarborough during a campaign speech of September 18, 1964, with the title "Higher Education As It Relates To Our National Purpose." As chairman of the veterans subcommittee, Yarborough authored the Cold War G.I. Bill, which sought to extend the benefits accorded veterans of World War II and Korea, and which was to apply to servicemen on duty between January 1955 and July 1, 1965. For these veterans, Yarborough proposed readjustment assistance, educational and vocational training, and loan assistance, to allow veterans to purchase homes and farms at a maximum interest rate of 5.25 percent per annum. This bill was finally passed after years of dogged effort by Yarborough against the opposition of Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson. Yarborough was instrumental in obtaining a five-year extension of the Hill-Burton Act, which provided 4,000 additional beds in Veterans Administration hospitals. In physical improvements, Yarborough supported appropriations for coastal navigation. He fought for $29 million for the Rural Electrification Administration for counties in the Corpus Christi area alone. In 11 counties in that part of Texas, Yarborough had helped obtain federal grants of $4.5 million and loans of $640,000 under the Kennedy administration accelerated public works projects program, to provide clean water and sewage for towns and cities which could not otherwise afford them. Concerning his commitment to this type of infrastructure, Yarborough commented to a dinner in Corpus Christi: "These are the projects, along with ship channels, dams and reservoirs, water research programs, hurricane and flood control programs, that bring delegations of city officials, me mbers of county courts, members of river and watershed authorities, co-op delegations, into my office literally by the thousands year after year for aid, which is always given, never refused." Yarborough went on: "While our efforts and achievements are largely unpublicized .. there is satisfaction beyond acclaim when a small town without a water system is enabled to provide its people for the first time with water and sewerage ... when the course of a river is shored up a little to save a farmer's crops, when a freeway opens up new avenues of commerce." / Note #6 In the area of oil policy, always vital in Texas, Yarborough strained to give the industry everything it could reasonably expect, and more. Despite this, he was implacably hated by many business circles. In short, Ralph Yarborough had a real commitment to racial and economicjustice, and was, all in all, among the best that the post-New Deal Democratic Party had to offer. Certainly there were weaknesses: One of the principal ones was to veer in the direction of environmentalism. Here Yarborough was the prime mover behind the Endangered Species Act. Climbing the Republican Ladder Bush moved to Houston in 1959, bringing the corporate headquarters of Zapata Offshore with him. Houston was by far the biggest city in Texas, a center of the corporate bureaucracies of firms doing business in the oil patch. There was also the Baker and Botts law firm, which would function in effect as part of the Bush family network, since Baker and Botts were the lawyers who had been handling the affairs of the Harriman railroad interests in the Southwest. One prominent lawyer in Houston at the time was "James Baker III," a scion of the family enshrined in the Baker and Botts name, but himself a partner in another, satellite firm, because of the so-called anti-nepotism rule that prevented the children of Baker and Botts partners from joining the firm themselves. Soon Bush would be hob-nobbing with Baker and other representatives of the Houston oligarchy, of the Hobby and Cullen families, at the Petroleum Club and at garden parties in the hot, humid, subtropical summers. George, Barbara and their children moved into a new home on Briar Drive.... Before long, Bush became active in the Harris County Republican Party, which was in the process of becoming one of the GOP strongpoints in the statewide apparatus then being assembled by Peter O'Donnell, the Republican state chairman, and his associate Thad Hutcheson. By now, George Bush claimed to have become a millionaire in his own right, and given his impeccable Wall Street connections, it was not surprising to find him on the Harris County GOP finance committee, a function that he had undertaken in Midland for the Eisenhower-Nixon tickets in 1952 and 1956. He was also a member of the candidates committee. In 1962, the Democrats were preparing to nominate John Connally for governor, and the Texas GOP under O'Donnell was able to mount a more formidable bid than previously for the state house in Austin. The Republican candidate was Jack Cox, a party activist with a right-wing profile. Bush agreed to serve as the Harris County co-chairman of the Jack Cox for Governor finance committee. In the gubernatorial election of 1962, Cox received 710,000 votes, a surprisingly large result. Connally won the governorship, and it was in that capacity that he was present in the Kennedy motorcade in Dallas on November 22, 1963. During these years, a significant influence was exercised in the Texas GOP by the John Birch Society, which had grown up during the 1950s through the leadership and financing of Robert Welch. Grist for the Birch mill was abundantly provided by the liberal Republicanism of the Eisenhower administration, which counted Prescott Bush, Nelson Rockefeller, Gordon Gray and Robert Keith Gray among its most influential figures. In reaction against this Wall Street liberalism, the Birchers offered an ideology of impotent negative protest based on self-righteous chauvinism in foreign affairs and the mystifications of the free market at home. But they were highly suspicious of the financier cliques of lower Manhattan, and to that extent they had George Bush's number. Bush is still complaining about the indignities he suffered at the hands of these Birchers, with whom he was straining to have as much as possible in common. But he met with repeated frustration, because his Eastern Liberal Establishment pedigree was always there. In his campaign autobiography, Bush laments that many Texans thought that "Redbook Magazine," published by his father-in-law, Marvin Pierce of the McCall Corporation, was an official publication of the Communist Party. Bush recounts a campaign trip with his aide Roy Goodearle to the Texas panhandle, during which he was working a crowd at one of his typical free food, free beer "political barbecues." Bush gave one of his palm cards to a man who conceded that he had heard of Bush, but quickly added that he could never support him. Bush thought this was because he was running as a Republican. "But," [Bush] then realized, "my being a Republican wasn't the thing bothering the guy. It was something worse than that." Bush's interlocutor was upset over the fact that Zapata Offshore had eastern investors. When Bush whined that all oil companies had eastern investors, for such was the nature of the business, his tormentor pointed out that one of Bush's main campaign contributors, a prominent Houston attorney, was not just a "sonofabitch," but also a member of the New York Council on Foreign Relations. Bush explains, with the whine in his larynx in overdrive: "The lesson was that in the minds of some voters the Council on Foreign Relations was nothing more than a One World tool of the Communist-Wall Street internationalist conspiracy, and to make matters worse, the Houston lawyer had also worked for President Eisenhower -- a known tool of the Communists, in the eyes of some John Birch members." Further elucidation is then added in a footnote: "A decade and a half later, running for President, I ran into some of the same political types on the campaign trail. By then, they'd uncovered an international conspiracy even more sinister than the Council on Foreign Relations -- the Trilateral Commission, a group that President Reagan received at the White House in 1981." / Note #7 This, as we shall see, is a reference to Lyndon LaRouche's New Hampshire primary campaign of 1979-80, which included the exposure of Bush's membership not just in David Rockefeller's Trilateral Commission, but also in Skull and Bones, about which Bush always refuses to comment. When Ronald Reagan and other candidates took up this issue, Bush ended up losing the New Hampshire primary, and with it, his best hope of capturing the presidency in 1980. Bush, in short, has been aware since the early sixties that serious attention to his oligarchical pedigree causes him to lose elections. His response has been to seek to declare these very relevant matters off limits, and to order dirty tricks and covert operations against those who persist in making this an issue, most clearly in the case of LaRouche. Part of the influence of the Birch Society in those days was due to the support and financing afforded by the Hunt dynasty of Dallas. In particular, the fabulously wealthy oilman "H.L. Hunt," one of the richest men in the world, was an avid sponsor of rightwing propaganda which he put out under the name of LIFE LINE. On at least one occasion, Hunt called Bush to Dallas for a meeting during one of the latter's Texas political campaigns. "There's something I'd like to give you," Hunt told Bush. Bush appeared with remarkable alacrity, and Hunt engaged him in a long conversation about many things, but mentioned neither politics nor money. Finally, as Bush was getting ready to leave, Hunt handed him a thick brown envelope. Bush eagerly opened the envelope in the firm expectation that it would contain a large sum in cash. What he found instead was a thick wad of LIFE LINE literature for his ideological reformation. / Note #8 It was in this context that George Bush, medio cre oilman, fortified by his Wall Street and Skull and Bones connections, but with almost no visible qualifications, and scarcely known in Texas outside of Odessa, Midland and Houston, decided that he had attained senatorial caliber. In the Roman Empire, membership in the Senate was an hereditary attribute of patrician family rank. Prescott Bush had left the Senate in early January of 1963. Before the year was out, George Bush would make his claim. As Senator Yarborough later commented, it would turn out to be an act of temerity. Harris County Chair During the spring of 1963, Bush set about assembling an institutional base for his campaign. The chosen vehicle would be the Republican chairmanship of Harris County, the area around Houston, a bulwark of the Texas GOP. Bush had been participating in the Harris County organization since 1960. One Sunday morning, Bush invited some county Republican activists to his home on Briar Drive. Present were "Roy Goodearle," a young independent oil man who, before Barbara Bush appropriated it, was given the nickname of "the Silver Fox" in the Washington scene. Also present were Jack Steel, Tom and Nancy Thawley, and some others. Goodearle, presumably acting as the lawyer for the Bush faction, addressed the meeting on the dangers posed by the sectarians of the John Birch Society to the prospects of the GOP in Houston and elsewhere. Over lunch prepared by Barbara Bush, Goodearle outlined the tactical situation in the Harris County organization: A Birchite faction under the leadership of state senator Walter Mengdon, although still a minority, was emerging as a powerful inner-party opposition against the liberals and moderates. In the last vote for GOP county leader, the Birch candidate had been narrowly defeated. Now, after three years in office, the more moderate county chairman, James A. Bertron, would announce on February 8, 1963 that he could no longer serve as chairman of the Harris County Republican Executive Committee. His resignation, he would state, was "necessitated by neglect of my personal business due to my political activities." / Note #9 This was doubtless very convenient in the light of what Bush had been planning. Bertron was quitting to move to Florida. In 1961, Bertron had been attending a Republican fundraising gathering in Washington, D.C., when he was accosted by none other than Senator Prescott Bush. Bush took Bertron aside and demanded: "Jimmy, when are you going to get George involved?" "Senator, I'm trying," Bertron replied, evidently with some vexation. "We're all trying." / Note #1 / Note #0 In 1961 or at any other time, it is doubtful that George Bush could have found his way to the men's room without the help of a paid informant sent by Senator Prescott Bush. Goodearle went on to tell the assembled Republicans that unless a "strong candidate" now entered the race, a Bircher was likely to win the post of county chairman. But in order to defeat the well-organized and zealous Birchers, said Goodearle, an anti-Bircher would have to undertake a grueling campaign, touring the county and making speeches to the Republican faithful every night for several weeks. Then, under the urging of Goodearle, the assembled group turned to Bush: Could he be prevailed on to put his hat in the ring? Bush, by his own account, needed no time to think it over, and accepted on the spot. With that, George and Barbara were on the road in their first campaign in what Bush later called "another apprenticeship." While Barbara busied herself with needlepoint in order to stay awake through a speech she had heard repeatedly, George churned out a pitch on the virtues of the two-party system and the advantages of having a Republican alternative to the entrenched Houston establishment. In effect, his platform was the Southern Strategy "avant la lettre." Local observers soon noticed that Barbara Bush was able to gain acceptance as a campaign comrade for Republican volunteers, in addition to being esteemed as the wealthy candidate's wife. When the vote for county chairman came, the candidate opposing Bush, Russell Prior, pulled out of the race for reasons that have not been satisfactorily explained, thus permitting Bush to be elected unanimously by the executive committee. Henceforth, winning unopposed has been Bush's taste in elections: This is how he was returned to the House for his second term in 1968, and Bush propagandists flirted with a similar approach to the 1992 presidential contest. As chairman, Bush was free to appoint the officers of the county GOP. Some of these choices are not without relevance for the future course of world history. For the post of party counsel, Bush appointed William B. Cassin of Baker and Botts, Shepherd and Coates law firm. For his assistant county chairmen, Bush tapped Anthony Farris, Gene Crossman and Roy Goodearle; and for executive director, William R. Simmons. Not to be overloooked is the choice of Anthony J.P. "Tough Tony" Farris. He had been a Marine gunner aboard dive bombers and torpedo bombers during the war, and had later graduated from the University of Houston law school, subsequently setting up a general law practice in the Sterling Building in downtown Houston. The "P" stood for Perez, and Farris was a wheelhorse in the Mexican-American community with the "Amigos for Bush" in a number of campaigns. Farris was an unsuccessful congressional candidate, but was later rewarded by the Nixon administration with the post of United States Attorney in Houston. Then Farris was elected to the Harris County bench in 1980. When George Bush's former business partner and constant crony, J. Hugh Liedtke of Pennzoil, sued Texaco for damages in the celebrated Getty Oil case of 1985, it was Judge "Tough Tony" Farris who presided over most of the trial and made the key rulings on the way to the granting of the biggest damage award in history, an unbelievable $11,120,976,110.83, all for the benefit of Bush's good friend J. Hugh Liedtke. / Note #1 / Note #2 ... At the same time that he was inveighing against extremism, Bush was dragooning his party apparatus to mount the Houston Draft Goldwater drive. The goal of this effort was to procure 100,000 signatures for Goldwater, with each signer also plunking down a dollar to fill the GOP coffers. "An excellent way for those who support Goldwater -- like me -- to make it known," opined Chairman George. Bush fostered a partisan -- one might say vindictive -- mood at the county GOP headquarters: The "Houston Chronicle" of June 6, 1963 reports that GOP activists were amusing themselves by tossing darts at balloons suspended in front of a photograph of President Johnson. Bush told the "Chronicle": "I saw the incident and it did not offend me. It was just a gag." But Bush's pro-Goldwater efforts were not universally appreciated. In early July, Craig Peper, the current chairman of the party finance committee, stood up in a party gathering and attacked the leaders of the Draft Goldwater movement, including Bush as "right wing extremists." Bush had not been purging any Birchers, but he was not willing to permit such attacks from his left. Bush accordingly purged Peper, demanding his resignation after a pro-Goldwater meeting at which Bush had boasted that he was "100 percent for the draft Goldwater move." A few weeks after ousting Peper, Bush contributed one of his first public political statements as an op ed in the "Houston Chronicle" of July 28, 1963. Concerning the recent organizational problems, he whined that the county organization was "afflicted with some dry-martini critics who talk and don't work." Then, in conformity with his family doctrine and his own dominant obsession, Bush turned to the issue of race. As a conservative, he had to lament that fact that "Negroes" "think that conservatism means segregation." Nothing could be further from the truth. This was rather the result of slanderous propaganda which Republican public relations men had not sufficiently refuted: "First, they attempt to present us as racists. The Republican party of Harris County is not a racist party. We have not present ed our story to the Negroes in the county. Our failure to attract the Negro voter has not been because of a racist philosophy; rather, it has been a product of our not having had the organization to tackle all parts of the county." What then was the GOP line on the race question? "We believe in the basic premise that the individual Negro surrenders the very dignity and freedom he is struggling for when he accepts money for his vote or when he goes along with the block vote dictates of some Democratic boss who couldn't care less about the quality of the candidates he is pushing." So the GOP would try to separate the black voter from the Democrats. Bush conceded: "We have a tough row to hoe here." After these pronouncements on race, Bush then went on to the trade union front. Yarborough's labor backing was exceedingly strong, and Bush lost no time in assailing thestate AFL-CIO and its Committee on Political Education (COPE) for gearing up to help Yarborough in his race. For Bush, this meant that the AFL-CIO was not supporting the "two-party system." "A strong pitch is being made to dun the [union] membership to help elect Yarborough," he charged, "long before Yarborough's opponent is even known." Bush also spoke out during this period on foreign affairs. He demanded that President Kennedy "muster the courage" to undertake a new attack on Cuba. / Note #1 / Note #3 Before announcing his bid for the senate, Bush decided to take out what would appear in retrospect to be a very important insurance policy for his future political career. On April 22, Bush, with the support of Republican state chairman Peter O'Donnell, filed a suit in federal court, calling for the reapportionment of the congressional districts in the Houston area. The suit argued that the urban voters of Harris County were being partially disenfranchised by a system that favored rural voters, and demanded as a remedy that a new congressional district be drawn in the area. "This is not a partisan matter," commented the civic-minded Bush. "This is something of concern to all Harris County citizens." Bush would later win this suit, and that would lead to a court-ordered redistricting, which would create the Seventh Congressional District, primarily out of those precincts which Bush managed to carry in the 1964 Senate race. Was this the invisible hand of Skull and Bones? This would also mean that there would be no entrenched incumbent, no incumbent of any kind in that Seventh District, when Bush got around to making his bid there in 1966. But for now, this was all still in the future. The Senate Race On September 10, 1963, Bush announced his campaign for the U.S. Senate. He was fully endorsed by the state Republican organization and its chairman, Peter O'Donnell, who, according to some accounts, had encouraged Bush to run. By December 5, Bush had further announced that he was planning to step down as Harris County chairman and devote himself to full-time, statewide campaigning starting early in 1964. At this point, Bush's foremost strategic concern appears to have been money -- big money. On October 19, the "Houston Chronicle" carried his comment that ousting Yarborough would require nearly $2 million, "if you want to do it right." Much of this would go to the Brown and Snyder advertising agency in Houston for television and billboards. In 1963, this was a considerable sum, but Bush's crony C. Fred Chambers, also an oilman, was committed to raising it. During these years, Chambers appears to have been one of Bush's closest friends, and he received the ultimate apotheosis of having one of the Bush family dogs named in his honor. / Note #1 / Note #4 It is impossible to establish in retrospect how much Bush spent in this campaign. State campaign finance filings do exist, but they are fragmentary and grossly underestimate the money that was actually committed. In terms of the tradeoffs of the campaign, Bush and his handlers were confronted with the following configuration: There were three competitors for the Republican senatorial nomination. The most formidable competition came from Jack Cox, the Houston oilman who had run for governor against Connally in 1962, and whose statewide recognition was much higher than Bush's. Cox would position himself to the right of Bush, and would receive the endorsement of General Edwin Walker, who had been forced to resign his infantry command in Germany because of his radical speeches to the troops. A former Democrat, Cox was reported to have financial backing from the Hunts of Dallas. Cox campaigned against medicare, federal aid to education, the war on poverty, and the loss of U.S. sovereignty to the U.N. Competing with Cox was Dr. Milton Davis, a thoracic surgeon from Dallas, who was expected to be the weakest candidate but whose positions were perhaps the most distinctive: Morris was for "no treaties with Russia," the repeal of the federal income tax, and the "selling off of excess government industrial property such as TVA and REA" -- what the Reagan-Bush administrations would later call privatization. Competing with Bush for the less militant conservatives was Dallas lawyer Robert Morris, who recommended depriving the U.S. Supreme Court of appellate jurisdiction in school prayer cases. / Note #1 / Note #5 In order to avoid a humiliating second-round runoff in the primary, Bush would need to score an absolute majority the first time around. To do that he would have to first compete with Cox on a right-wing terrain, and then move to the center after the primary, in order to take votes from Yarborough there. But there was also primary competition on the Democratic side for Yarborough. This was Gordon McLendon, the owner of a radio network, the Liberty Broadcasting System, that was loaded with debt. Liberty Broadcasting's top creditor was Houston banker Roy Cullen, a Bush crony. Roy Cullen's name appears, for example, along with such died-in-the wool Bushmen as W.S. Farish III, James A. Baker III, C. Fred Chambers, Robert Mosbacher, William C. Liedtke, Jr., Joseph R. Neuhaus and William B. Cassin, in a Bush campaign ad in the "Houston Chronicle" of late April, 1964. When McLendon finally went bankrupt, it was found that he owed Roy Cullen more than a million dollars. So perhaps it is not surprising that McLendon's campaign functioned as an auxiliary to Bush's own efforts. McLendon specialized in smearing Yarborough with the Billie Sol Estes issue, and it was to this that McLendon devoted most of his speaking time and media budget. Billie Sol Estes in those days was notorious for his conviction for defrauding the U.S. government of large sums of money in a scam involving the storage of chemicals that turned out not to exist. Billie Sol was part of the LBJ political milieu. As the Estes scandal developed, a report emerged that he had given Yarborough a payment of $50,000 on Nov. 6, 1960. But later, after a thorough investigation, the Department of Justice had issued a statement declaring that the charges involving Yarborough were "without any foundation in fact and unsupported by credible testimony." "The case is closed," said the Justice Department. But this did not stop Bush from using the issue to the hilt: "I don't intend to mud-sling with [Yarborough] about such matters as the Billie Sol Estes case since Yarborough's connections with Estes are a simple matter of record which any one can check," said Bush. "[Yarborough is] going to have to prove to the Texas voters that his connections with Billie Sol Estes were as casual as he claims they were." / Note #1 / Note #6 In a release issued on April 24, Bush "said he welcomes the assistance of Gordon McLendon, Yarborough's primary opponent, in trying to force the incumbent Senator to answer." Bush added that he planned to "hammer at Yarborough every step of the way ... until I get some sort of answer." The other accusation that was used against Yarborough during the campaign was advanced most notably in an article published in the September 1964 issue of "Reader's Digest." The story was that Yarborough had facilitated backing and subsidies through the Texas Area Reconstructio n Administration for an industrial development project in Crockett, Texas, only to have the project fail owing to the inability of the company involved to build the factory that was planned. The accusation was that Audio Electronics, the prospective factory builders, had received a state loan of $383,000 to build the plant, while townspeople had raised some $60,000 to buy the plant site, before the entire deal fell through. The "Reader's Digest" told disapprovingly of Yarborough addressing a group of 35 Crockett residents on a telephone squawk box in March, 1963, telling them that he was authorized by the White House to announce "that you are going to gain a fine new industry -- one that will provide new jobs for 180 people, add new strength to your area." The "Reader's Digest" article left the distinct impression that the $60,000 invested by local residents had been lost. "Because people believed that their Senator's 'White House announcment' of the ARA loan to Audio guaranteed the firm's soundness, several Texans invested in it and lost all. One man dropped $40,000. A retired Air Force officer plowed in $7000." It turned out in reality that those who had invested in the real estate for the plant site had lost nothing, but had rather been made an offer for their land that represented a profit of one-third on the original investment, and thus stood to gain substantially. Bush campaign headquarters immediately got into the act with a statement that "it is a shame" that Texans had to pick up the "Reader's Digest" and find their Senator "holding the hand of scandal.... The citizens of the area raised $60,000 in cash, invested it in the company, and lost it because the project was a fraud and never started." Yarborough shot back with a statement of his own, pointing out that Bush's claims were "basely false," and adding that the "reckless, irresponsible, false charges by my opponent further demonstrate his untruthfulness and unfitness for the office of U.S. Senator." Most telling was Yarborough's charge on how the "Reader's Digest" got interested in Crockett, Texas, in the first place: "The fact that my opponent's multi-millionaire father's Wall Street investment banking connections enable the planting of false and libelous articles about me in a national magazine like the "Reader's Digest" will not enable the Connecticut candidate to buy a Texas seat in the U.S. Senate." (This was not mere rhetoric: "Reader's Digest General Manager Albert Cole was Prescott Bush's neighbor and fellow member of the Harrimans' secret enclave on Jupiter Island, Florida.) Yarborough's shot was on target, it hurt. Bush whined in response that it was Yarborough's statement which was "false, libelous, and hogwash," and challenged the Senator to prove it or retract it. / Note #1 / Note #7 Racial Theme Beyond these attempts to smear Yarborough, it is once again characteristic that the principal issue around which Bush built his campaign was racism, expressed this time as opposition to the civil rights bill that was before the Congress during 1964. Bush did this certainly in order to conform to his pro-Goldwater ideological profile, and in order to garner votes (especially in the Republican primary) using racist and states' rights backlash, but most of all in order to express the deepest tenets of the philosophical world-outlook of himself and his oligarchical family. Very early in the campaign, Bush issued a statement saying: "I am opposed to the Civil Rights bill now before the Senate." Not content with that, Bush proceeded immediately to tap the wellsprings of nullification and interposition: "Texas has a comparably good record in civil rights," he argued, "and I'm opposed to the Federal Government intervening further into State affairs and individual rights." At this point Bush claimed that his quarrel was not with the entire bill, but rather with two specific provisions, which he claimed had not been a part of the original draft, but which he hinted had been added to placate violent black extremists. According to his statement of March 17, "Bush pointed out that the original Kennedy Civil Rights bill in 1962 did not contain provisions either for a public accommodations section or a Fair Employment Practices Commission (FEPC) section." "Then, after the hot, turbulent summer of 1962, when it became apparent that in order to get the Civil Rights leaders' support and votes in the 1964 election something more must be done, these two bad sections were added to the bill," according to Bush. "I suggest that these two provisions of the bill -- which I most heatedly oppose -- were politically motivated and are cynical in their approach to a most serious problem." But Bush soon abandoned this hair-splitting approach, and on March 25 he told the Jaycees of Tyler, "I oppose the entire bill." Bush explained later that beyond the public accommodations section and the Fair Employment Practices Committee, he found that "the most dangerous portions of the bill are those which make the Department of Justice the most powerful police force in the Nation and the Attorney General the Nation's most powerful police chief." When Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts delivered his maiden speech to the Senate in April of 1964, he included a passage referring to the late John F. Kennedy, saying that the dead President had believed that "we should not hate, but love one another." Bush lashed out at Kennedy for what he called "unfair criticism of those who oppose the Civil Rights bill." In Bush's interpretation, "Kennedy's dramatic, almost tearful plea for passage of the bill presented all those who disagree with it as hate mongers." "The inference is clear," Bush said. "In other words, Ted Kennedy was saying that any one who opposes the present Civil Rights bill does so because there is hate in his heart. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is not a question of hate or love, but of Constitutionality." Bush "and other responsible conservatives" simply think that the bill is politically inspired. "This bill," Bush said, "would make further inroads into the rights of individuals and the States, and even provide for the ultimate destruction of our trial by jury system. We simply feel that this type of class legislation, based on further federal control and intervention, is bad for the nation." Bush said "the Civil Rights problem is basically a local problem, best left to the States to handle." Here surely was a respectable-sounding racism for the era of Selma and Bull Connor. Bush was provided with new rhetorical ammunition when Alabama Governor George Wallace ventured into the presidential primaries of that year and demonstrated unexpected vote-getting power in certain northern states, using a pitch that included overtly racist appeals. In the wake of one such result in Wisconsin, the Bush campaign issued a release quoting the candidate as being "sure that a majority of Americans are opposed to the Civil Rights bill now being debated in the Senate." "Bush called attention to the surprising 25 percent of the Wisconsin primary vote received by Governor George C. Wallace of Alabama," said the release. In Bush's view, "you can be sure this big vote was not cast for Wallace himself, but was used as a means of showing public opposition to the Civil Rights Bill." "If a flamboyant Governor Wallace can get that kind of a vote in a northern state such as Wisconsin, it indicates to me that there must be general concern from many responsible people over the Civil Rights bill all over the nation," Bush said in Houston. "If I were a member of the Senate today, I would vote against this bill in its entirety." Footnotes 5. For a profile of Yarborough's voting record on this and other issues, see Chandler Davidson, "Race and Class in Texas Politics" (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990), pp. 29 ff. 6. For Yarborough's Senate achievements up to 1964, see Ronnie Dugger, "The Substance of the Senate Contest," in "The Texas Observer," Sept. 18, 1964. 7. Bush and Gold, "op. cit.," p. 77 "ff." 8. See Harry Hurt III, "Texas Rich" (New York: Putnam, 1987), p. 191. 9. On Bush's drive t o become Harris County chairman, it is instructive to compare his "Looking Forward" with the clippings from the "Houston Chronicle" of those days, preserved on microfiche in the Texas Historical Society in Houston. Bush says that he decided to run for the post in the sping of 1962, but the Houston press clearly situates the campaign in the spring of 1963. Bush also claims to have been county chairman for two years, whereas the Houston papers show that he served from February 20, 1963 to around December 5 1963, less than one year. 10. Harry Hurt III, "George Bush, Plucky Lad," "Texas Monthly," June 1983, p. 196.... 12. For Anthony Farris in the Pennzoil vs. Texaco case, see below and also Thomas Petzinger, Jr., "Oil and Honor" (New York: Putnam, 1987), "passim." 13. "Boston Globe," June 12, 1988, cited in Michael R. Beschloss, "The Crisis Years" (New York: Edward Burlingame Books, 1991), p. 581. 14. See Barbara Bush, "C. Fred's Story" (New York: Doubleday, 1984), p. 2. This is an example of Mrs. Bush's singular habit of composing books in which she speaks through a canine persona, a feat she has repeated for the current family pet and public relations ploy, Millie. In her account of how C. Fred the dog got his name, George Bush is heard ruling out usual dog names with the comment: "Not at all. We Bushes have always named our children after people we loved." So, writes C. Fred, "I am named after George Bush's best friend, C. Fred Chambers of Houston, Texas. I have met him many times and he doesn't really seem to appreciate the great honor that the Bushes bestowed upon him." 15. See Ronnie Dugger, "The Four Republicans," in "The Texas Observer," April 17, 1964. 16. Quotations from Bush and Yarborough campaign material, except as otherwise indicated, are from Senator Yarborough's papers on deposit in the Eugene C. Barker Texas History Center at the University of Texas in Austin. 17. See Ronnie Dugger, "The Substance of the Senate Contest," in "The Texas Observer," Sept. 18, 1964. CHAPTER 10 Part II The Senate Race Bush was described in the Texas press as attempting a melange of "Goldwater's policies, Kennedy's style." / Note #1 / Note #8 This coverage reveals traits of the narcissistic macho in the 40-year old plutocrat: "He is the sort of fellow the ladies turn their heads to see at the country club charity ball." Abundant campaign financing allowed Bush "to attract extra people to rallies with free barbecue, free drinks, and musical entertainers." These were billed by the Bush campaign as a return to the "old fashioned political rally," and featured such musical groups as the Black Mountain Boys and the Bluebonnet Belles. At Garcia's Restaurant in Austin, Bush encountered a group of two dozen or so sporty young Republican women holding Bush campaign placards. "Oh girls!" crooned the candidate. "Y'all look great! You look terrific. All dolled up." The women "were ga-ga about him in return," wrote political reporter Ronnie Dugger in the "Texas Observer," adding that Bush's "campaign to become this state's second Republican senator gets a lot of energy and sparkle from the young Republican matrons who are enthusiastic about him personally and have plenty of money for baby sitters and nothing much to do with their time." But in exhortations for militaristic adventurism abroad, the substance was indeed pure Goldwater. As could be expected from the man who had so recently challenged John F. Kennedy to "muster the courage" to attack Cuba, some of Bush's most vehement pronouncements concerned Castro and Havana, and were doubtless much appreciated by the survivors of Brigade 2506 and the Miami Cubans. Bush started off with what passed for a moderate position in Texas Goldwater circles: "I advocate recognition of a Cuban government in exile and would encourage this government every way to reclaim its country. This means financial and military assistance." "I think we should not be found wanting in courage to help them liberate their country," said Bush. Candidate Morris had a similar position, but both Cox and Davis called for an immediate restoration of the naval blockade of Cuba. Bush therefore went them one up, and endorsed a new invasion of Cuba. A Bush for Senate campaign brochure depicted a number of newspaper articles about the candidate. The headline of one of these, from an unidentified newspaper, reads as follows: ""Cuba Invasion Urged by GOP Candidate."" The subtitle reads: "George Bush, Houston oilman, campaigning for the Republican nomination to the U.S. Senate called for a new government-in-exile invasion of Cuba, no negotiation of the Panama Canal treaty, and a freedom package in Austin." Other campaign flyers state that "Cuba ... under Castro is a menace to our national security. I advocate recognition of a Cuban government in exile and support of this government to reclaim its country. We must reaffirm the Monroe Doctrine." Another campaign handout characterizes Cuba as "an unredeemed diplomatic disaster abetted by a lack of a firm Cuban policy." What Bush was proposing would have amounted to a vast and well-funded program for arming and financing anti-Castro Cuban exiles in Miami, and putting the United States government at the service of their adventures -- presumably far in excess of the substantial programs that were already being funded. Beneficiaries would have included Theodore Shackley, who was by now the station chief at CIA Miami station, Felix Rodriguez, Chi Chi Quintero, and the rest of the boys from the Enterprise. Bush attacked Senator J. William Fulbright, Democrat of Arkansas, for the latter's call in a speech for a more conciliatory policy toward Cuba, ending the U.S. economic boycott. "I view the speech with great suspicion," said Bush. "I feel this is a trial balloon on the part of the State Department to see whether the American people will buy another step in a disastrous, soft foreign policy." Bush called on Secretary of State Dean Rusk, a leading hawk, to hold firm against the policy shift that Fulbright was proposing. "Fulbright says Cuba is a 'distasteful nuisance', but I believe that Castro's Communist regime 90 miles from our shores is an intolerable nuisance. I am in favor only of total liberation of Cuba," proclaimed Bush, "and I believe this can only be achieved by recognition of a Cuban government in exile, backed up to the fullest by the United States and the Organization of American States." In the middle of April, a Republican policy forum held in Miami heard a report from a Cuban exile leader that the Soviets had positioned missiles on the ocean floor off Cuba, with the missiles pointed at the United States, and that this had been confirmed by diplomatic sources in Havana. This would appear in retrospect to have been a planted story. For Bush it was obvious grist for his campaign mill. Bush, speaking in Amarillo, called the report "the most alarming news in this hemisphere in two years." He called for efforts to "drive the Communists out of Cuba." But, in keeping with the times, Bush's most genocidal campaign statements were made in regard to Vietnam. Here Bush managed to identify himself with the war, with its escalation, and with the use of nuclear weapons. Senator Goldwater had recently raised the possibility of using tactical nuclear weapons as the most effective defoliants to strip away the triple canopy jungle of Vietnam. In a response to this, an Associated Press story quoted Bush as saying that he was in favor of anything that could be done safely toward finishing the fighting in Southeast Asia. "Bush said he favors a limited extension of the war in Viet Nam, including restricted use of nuclear weapons if 'militarily prudent,'|" according to the AP release. / Note #1 / Note #9 A Bush campaign release of June 1 has him saying he favors a "cautious, judicious, and militarily sound extension of the war in Vietnam." This was all before the Gulf of Tonkin incident and well before U.S. ground troops were committed to Vietnam. Bush had several other notes to sound concerning the looming war in Southeast Asia. In May, he attacked the State Department for "dawdling" in Vietnam, a policy which he said had "cost the lives of so many young Americans." He further charged that the U.S. troops in Vietnam were being issued "shoddy war material." Responding to a prediction from Defense Secretary McNamara that the war might last ten years, Bush retorted: "This would not be the case if we had developed a winning policy from the start of this dangerous brush fire." Also in May, Bush responded to a Pathet Lao offensive in Laos as follows: "This should be a warning to us in Vietnam. Whenever the Communist world -- either Russian or Chinese -- sign a treaty, or any other agreement, with a nation of the free world, that treaty isn't worth the paper it's written on." Bush pugnaciously took issue with those who wanted to disengage from the Vietnam quagmire before the bulk of the war's human losses had occurred. He made this part of his "Freedom Package," which was a kindof manifesto for a worldwide U.S. imperialist and colonialist offensive -- a precursor of the new world order "ante litteram." A March 30 campaign release proclaims the "Freedom Package" in these terms: "|'I do not want to continue to live in a world where there is no hope for a real and lasting peace,' Bush said. He decried 'withdrawal symptoms' propounded by U.N. Ambassador Adlai Stevenson and Senators William Fulbright and Mike Mansfield. 'Adlai has proposed we [inter]nationalize the Panama Canal,' Bush pointed out, 'Fulbright asks us to accommodate Red Cuba and renegotiate our Panama treaty, and Mansfield suggests we withdraw from the Viet Nam struggle. This is the kind of retreatism we have grown accustomed to among our supposed world leaders and it is just what the Kremlin ordered.'|" Nor did Bush's obsession with Panama and the Panama Canal begin with Noriega. In his campaign literature, Bush printed his basic position that the "Panama Canal ... is ours by right of treaty and historical circumstance. The Canal is critical to our domestic security and U.S. sovereignty over the Canal must be maintained." What is meant by the right of historical circumstance? "I am opposed to further negotiation in Panama," Bush stated repeatedly in his campaign speeches and releases.... Unbridled Free Enterprise In economic policy, Bush's starting point was always "unbridled free enterprise," as he stressed in a statement on unemployment on March 16: "Only unbridled free enterprise can cure unemployment. But, I don't believe the federal government has given the private sector of our economy a genuine opportunity to relieve this unemployment. For example, the [Johnson war on poverty program] contains a new version of the CCC, a Domestic Peace Corps, and various and sundry half-baked pies in the sky." Bush's printed campaign literature stated, under the heading of "federal economy," that "the free enterprise system must be unfettered. A strong economy means jobs, opportunity, and prosperity. A controlled economy means loss of freedom and bureaucratic bungling." On April 21, Bush told the voters: "We must begin a phase of re-emphasizing the private sector of our economy, instead of the public sector." By April 15, Bush had been informed that there were some 33 million Americans living in poverty, to which he replied: "I cannot see how draping a socialistic medi-care program around the sagging neck of our social security program will be a blow to poverty. And I can see only one answer to [the problem of poverty]: Let us turn our free enterprise system loose from government control." Otherwise, Bush held it "the responsibility of the local government first to assume the burden of relieving poverty wherever its exists, and I know of many communities that are more than capable of working with this problem." Bush's approach to farm policy was along similar lines, combining the rhetoric of Adam Smith with intransigent defense of the food cartels. In his campaign brochure he opined that "Agriculture ... must be restored to a free market economy, subject to the basic laws of supply and demand." On April 9 in Waco, Bush assailed the Wheat-Cotton subsidy bill which had just received the approval of the House. "If I am elected to the Senate," said Bush, I will judge each agricultural measure on the basis of whether it gets the Government further into, or out of, private business." Bush added that farm subsidies are among "our most expensive federal programs." Another of Bush's recurrent obsessions was his desire to break the labor movement. During the 1960s, he expressed this in the context of campaigns to prevent the repeal of section 14 (b) of the Taft-Hartley law, which permitted the states to outlaw the closed shop and union shop, and thus to protect state laws guaranteeing the so-called open shop or "right to work," a device which in practice prevented the organization of large sectors of the working population of these states into unions. Bush's editorializing takes him back to the era when the Sherman Antitrust Act was still being use d against labor unions. "I believe in the right-to-work laws," said Bush to a group of prominent Austin businessmen at a luncheon in the Commodore Perry Hotel on March 5. "At every opportunity, I urge union members to resist payment of political assessments. If there's only one in 100 who thinks for himself and votes for himself, then he should not be assessed by COPE." On March 19, Bush asserted that "labor's blatant attack on right-to-work laws is open admission that labor does have a monopoly and will take any step to make this monopoly. Union demands are a direct cause of the inflationary spiral lowering the real income of workers and increasing the costs of production." This is, from the point of scientific economics, an absurdity. But four days later Bush returned to the topic, attacking United Auto Workers President Walter Reuther, a figure whom Bush repeatedly sought to identify with Yarborough, for demands which "will only cause the extinction of free enterprise in America. A perfect example of labor's pricing a product out of existence is found in West Virginia. John L. Lewis's excessive demands on the coal industry raised the price of coal, forced the consumer to use a substitute cheaper product, killed the coal industry and now West Virginia has an excessive rate of unemployment." On Labor Day, Bush spoke to a rally in the courthouse square of Quanah, and called for "protection of the rights of the individual laborer through the state rather than the federal government. The individual laboring man is being forgotten by the Walter Reuthers and Ralph Yarboroughs, and it's up to the business community to protect our country's valuable labor resources from exploitation by these left-wing labor leaders," said Bush, who might just as well have suggested that the fox be allowed to guard the chicken coop. East Texas was an area of unusually high racial tension, and Bush spent most of his time there attacking the civil rights bill. But the alliance between Yarborough and big labor was one of his favorite themes. The standard pitch went something like this, as before the Austin businessmen. Yarborough, he would start off saying, "more nearly represents the state of Michigan than he does Texas." This, as we will see, was partly an attempted, lame rebuttal of Yarborough's charge that Bush was a northeastern carpetbagger. Bush would then continue: "One of the main reasons Yarborough represents Texas so badly is that he's spending most of his time representing labor interests in Detroit. His voting record makes men like Walter Reuther and James Hoffa very happy. This man has voted for every special interest bill, for every big spending measure that's come to his attention." During this period Camco, an oilfield equipment company of which Bush was a director, was embroiled in some bitter labor disputes. The regional office of the National Labor Relations Board sought a federal injunction against Camco in order to force the firm to re-hire four union organizers who had been illegally fired. Officials of the Machinists Union, which was trying to organize Camco, also accused Bush of being complicit in what they said was Camco's illegal failure to carry out a 1962 NLRB order directing Camco to re-hire 11 workers, fired because they had attended a union meeting. Bush answered that he was not going to be intimidated by labor. "As everybody knows, the union bosses are all-out for Sen. Ralph Yarborough," countered Bush, and he had been too busy with Zapata to pay attention to Camco anyway. / Note #2 / Note #0 According to Roy Evans, the secretary-treasurer of the Texas AFL-CIO, Bush was "a member of the dinosaur wing of the Republican Party." Evans called Bush "the Houston throwback," and maintained that Bush had "lost touch with anyone in Texas except the radicals of the right." Back in February, Yarborough had remarked in his typical populist vein that his legislative approach was to "put the jam on the lower shelf so the little man can get his hand in." This scandalized Bush, who countered on February 27 that "it's a cynical attitude and one that tends to set the so-called little man apart from the rest of his countrymen." For Bush, the jam would always remain under lock and key, except for the chosen few of Wall Street. A few days later, on March 5, Bush elaborated that he was "opposed to special interest legislation because it tends to hyphenate Americans. I don't think we can afford to have veteran-Americans, Negro-Americans, Latin-Americans and labor-Americans these days." Here is Bush as political philosopher, maintaining that the power of the authoritarian state must confront its citizens in a wholly atomized form, not organized into interest groups capable of defending themselves. Bush was especially irate about Yarborough's Cold War G.I. Bill, which he branded the Senator's "pet project." "Fortunately," said Bush, "he has been unable to cram his Cold War G.I. Bill down Congress' throat. It's bad legislation and special interest legislation which will erode our American way of life. I have four sons, and I'd sure hate to think that any of them would measure their devotion and service to their country by what special benefits Uncle Sam could give them." Neil Bush would certainly never do that! Anyway, the Cold War G.I. Bill was nothing but a "cynical effort to get votes," Bush concluded. The Oil Cartel's Candidate There was a soft spot in Bush's heart for at least a few special interests, however. He was a devoted supporter of the "time-proven" 27.5 percent oil depletion allowance, a tax write-off which allowed the seven sisters oil cartel to escape a significant portion of what they otherwise would have paid in taxes. Public pressure to reduce this allowance was increasing, and the oil cartel was preparing to concede a minor adjustment, in the hope that this would neutralize attempts to get the depletion allowance abolished entirely. Bush also called for what he described as a "meaningful oil import program, one which would restrict imports at a level that will not be harmful to our domestic oil industry." "I know what it is to earn a paycheck in the oil business," he boasted. Bush also told Texas farmers that he wanted to limit the imports of foreign beef so as to protect their domestic markets. Yarborough's counterattack on this issue is of great relevance to understanding why Bush was so fanatically committed to wage war in the Gulf to restore the degenerate, slaveholding Emir of Kuwait. Yarborough pointed out that Bush's company, Zapata Offshore, was drilling for oil in Kuwait, the Persian Gulf, Borneo, and Trinidad. "Every producing oil well drilled in foreign countries by American companies means more cheap foreign oil in American ports, fewer acres of Texas land under oil and gas lease, less income to Texas farmers and ranchers," Yarborough stated. "This issue is clear-cut in this campaign -- a Democratic senator who is fighting for the life of the free enterprise system as exemplified by the independent oil and gas producers in Texas, and a Republican candidate who is the contractual driller for the international oil cartel." In those days, the oil cartel did not deal mildly with those who attacked it in public. One thinks again of the Italian oilman Enrico Mattei. For Bush, these cartel interests would always be sacrosanct. On April 1, Bush talked of the geopolitics of oil: "I was in London at the time of the Suez crisis and I quickly saw how the rest of the free world can become completely dependent on American oil. When the Canal was shut down, free nations all over the world immediately started crying for Texas oil." Later in the campaign, Yarborough visited the town of Gladewater in East Texas. There, standing in view of the oil derricks, Yarborough talked about Bush's ownership of Pennzoil stock, and about Pennzoil's quota of 1,690 barrels per day of imported oil, charging that Bush was undermining the Texas producers by importing cheap foreign oil. Then, according to a newspaper account, "the senator spiced his charge with a reference to the 'Sheik of Kuwait and his four wives and 100 concubines,' who, he said, are living in luxury off the oil from Bush-drilled wells in the Persian Gulf and sold at cut-rate prices in the United States. He said that imported oil sells for $1.25 a barrel while Texas oil, selling at $3, pays school, city, county, and federal taxes and keeps payrolls going. Yarborough began his day of campaigning at a breakfast with supporters in Longview. Later, in Gladewater, he said he had seen a 'Bush for Senator' bumper sticker on a car in Longview. 'Isn't that a come-down for an East Texan to be a strap-hanger for a carpetbagger from Connecticut who is drilling oil for the Sheik of Kuwait to help keep that harem going?'|" / Note #2 / Note #1 Yarborough challenged Bush repeatedly to release more details about his overseas drilling and producing interests. He spoke of Bush's "S.A. corporations drilling in the Persian Gulf in Asia." He charged that Bush had "gone to Latin America to incorporate two of his companies to drill in the Far East, instead of incorporating them in the United States." That in turn, thought Yarborough, "raises questions of tax avoidance." "Tell them, George," he jeered, "what your 'S.A.' companies, financed with American dollars, American capital, American resources, are doing about American income taxes." Bush protested that "every single tax dollar due by any company that I own an interest in has been paid." / Note #2 / Note #2 Forced into a Runoff As the Republican senatorial primary approached, Bush declared that he was confident that he could win an absolute majority and avoid a runoff. On April 30, he predicted that Hill Rise would win the Kentucky Derby without a runoff, and that he would also carry the day on the first round. There was no runoff in the Kentucky Derby, but Bush fell short of his goal. Bush did come in first with about 44 percent of the vote or 62,579 votes, while Jack Cox was second with 44,079, with Morris third and Davis fourth. The total number of votes cast was 142,961, so a second round was required. Cox, who had attracted 710,000 votes in his 1962 race against Connally for the governorship, was at this point far better known around the state than Bush. Cox had the backing of Gen. Edwin Walker, who had made a bid for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 1962 himself and gotten some 138,000 votes. Cox also had the backing of H.L. Hunt. Morris had carried Dallas County, and he urged his supporters to vote against Bush. Morris told the "Dallas Morning News" of May 5 that Bush was "too liberal" and that Bush's strength in the primary was due to "liberal" Republican support. Between early May and the runoff election of June 6, Cox mounted a vigorous campaign of denunciation and exposure of Bush as a creature of the Eastern Liberal Establishment, Wall Street banking interests, and of Goldwater's principal antagonist for the GOP presidential nomination, the hated Gov. Nelson Rockefeller of New York. According to a story filed by Stuart Long of the Long News Service in Austin on May 25, and preserved among the Yarborough papers in the Barker Texas History Center in Austin, Cox's supporters circulated letters pointing to Prescott Bush's role as a partner in Brown Brothers Harriman as the basis for the charge that George Bush was the tool of "Liberal Eastern Kingmakers." According to Long, the letters also include references to the New York Council on Foreign Relations, which he described as a "black-tie dinner group." / Note #2 / Note #3 The pro-Cox letters also asserted that Bush's Zapata Offshore Company had a history of bidding on drilling contracts for Rockefeller's Standard Oil of New Jersey. One anti-Bush brochure, preserved among the Yarborough papers at the Barker Center in Austin, is entitled "Who's Behind the Bush?" published by the Coalition of Conservatives to Beat the Bushes, with one Harold Deyo of Dallas listed as chairman. The attack on Bush here centers on the Council on Foreign Relations, of which Bush was not at that time a public member. The brochure lists a number of Bush campaign contributors and then identifies these as members of the CFR. These include Dillon Anderson and J.C. Hutcheson III of Baker and Botts, Andrews and Shepherd; Leland Anderson of Anderson, Clayton and Company; Lawrence S. Reed of Texas Gulf Producing; Frank Michaux; and W.A. Kirkland of the board of First City National Bank. The brochure then focuses on Prescott Bush, identified as a "partner with Averell Harriman in Brown Brothers, Harriman, and Company." Averell Harriman is listed as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. "Could it be that Prescott S. Bush, in concert with his Eastern CFR friends, is raising all those 'Yankee Dollars' that are flowing into George's campaign? It is reliably reported that Mr. George Bush has contracted for extensive and expensive television time for the last week of the Runoff." The brochure also targets Paul Kayser of Anderson, Clayton, Bush's Harris County campaign chairman. Five officers of this company, named as W.L. Clayton, L. Fleming, Maurice McAshan, Leland Anderson and Sydnor Oden, are said to be members of the CFR. On the CFR itself, the brochure quotes from Helen P. Lasell's study, entitled "Power Behind Government Today," which found that the CFR "from its inception has had an important part in planning the whole diabolical scheme of creating a ONE WORLD FEDERATION of socialist states under the United Nations.... These carefully worked out, detailed plans, in connection with the WORLD BANK and the use of billions of tax-exempt foundation dollars, were carried out secretively over a period of years. Their fruition could mean not only the absolute destruction of our form of government, national independence and sovereignty, but to a degree at least, that of every nation in the world." The New World Order, we see, is really nothing new. The brochure further accuses one Mrs. M. S. Acherman, a leading Bush supporter in Houston, of having promoted a write-in campaign for liberal, Boston Brahmin former Senator Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts in the Texas presidential primary. Lodge had won the 1964 New Hampshire primary, prompting Bush to announce that this was merely a regional phenomenon and that he was "still for Goldwater." As the runoff vote approached, Cox focused especially on the eastern financing that Bush was receiving. On May 25 in Abilene, Cox assailed Bush for having mounted "one of the greatest spending sprees ever seen in any political campaign." Cox said that he could not hope to match this funding, "because Jack Cox is not, nor will ever be, connected in any manner with the Eastern kingmakers who seek to control political candidates. Conservatives of Texas will serve notice on June 6 that just as surely as Rockefeller's millions can't buy presidential nomination, the millions at George Bush's disposal can't buy him a senate nomination." Cox claimed that all of his contributions had come from inside Texas. O'Donnell's Texas Republican organization was overwhelmingly mobilized in favor of Bush. Bush had the endorsement of the state's leading newspapers. When the runoff finally came, Bush was the winner with some 62 percent of the votes cast. Yarborough commented that Bush "smothered Jack Cox in greenbacks." Gordon McLendon, true to form, had used his own pre-primary television broadcast to rehash the Billie Sol Estes charges against Yarborough. Yarborough nevertheless defeated McLendon in the Democratic senatorial primary with almost 57 percent of the vote. Given the lopsided Texas Democratic advantage in registered voters, and given LBJ's imposing lead over Goldwater at the top of the Democratic ticket, it might have appeared that Yarborough's victory was now a foregone conclusion. That this was not so was due to the internal divisions within the Texas Democratic ranks. Senate Seat Can't Be Bought First were the Democrats who came out openly for Bush. The vehicle for this defection was called Conservative Democrats for Bush, chaired by Ed Drake, the former leader of the state's Democrats for Eisenhower in 1952. Drake was joined by former Governor Allan Shivers, who had also backed Ike and Dick in 1952 and 1956. Then there was the "East Texas Democrats for George Bush Committee," chaired by E.B. Germany, the former state Democratic leader, a leader of Scottish Rite Freemasons in Texas and in 1964 the chairman of the board of Lone Star Steel. Then there were various forms of covert support for Bush. Millionaire Houston oil man Lloyd Bentsen, who had been in Congress back in the late 1940s, had been in discussion as a possible Senate candidate. Bush's basic contention was that LBJ had interfered in Texas politics to tell Bentsen to stay out of the Senate race, thus avoiding a more formidable primary challenge to Yarborough. On April 24, Bush stated that Bentsen was a "good conservative" who had been kept out of the race by "Yarborough's bleeding heart act." This and other indications point to a covert political entente between Bush and Bentsen, which reappeared during the 1988 presidential campaign. Then there were the forces associated with Governor "Big John" Connally. Yarborough later confided that Connally had done everything in his power to wreck his campaign, subject only to certain restraints imposed by LBJ. Even these limitations did not amount to real support for Yarborough on the part of LBJ, but were rather attributable to LBJ's desire to avoid the embarrassment of seeing his native state represented by two Republican senators during his own tenure in the White House. But Connally still sabotaged Yarborough as much as LBJ would let him get away with. / Note #2 / Note #4 Bush and Connally have had a complex political relationship, with points of convergence and many points of divergence. Back in 1956, a lobbyist working for Texas oilman Sid Richardson had threatened to "run [Bush's] ass out of the offshore drilling business" unless Prescott Bush voted for gas deregulation in the Senate. / Note #2 / Note #5 Connally later became the trustee for some of Richardson's interests. While visiting Dallas on March 19, Bush issued a statement saying that he agreed with Connally in his criticisms of attorney Melvin Belli, who had condemned the District Court in Dallas when his client, Jack Ruby, was given the death sentence for having slain Lee Harvey Oswald the previous November. In public, LBJ was for Yarborough, although he could not wholly pass over the frictions between the two. Speaking at Stonewall after the Democratic national convention, LBJ had commented: "You have heard and you have read that Sen. Yarborough and I have had differences at times. I have read a good deal more about them than I was ever aware of. But I do want to say this, that I don't think that Texas has had a senator during my lifetime whose record I am more familiar with than Sen. Yarborough's. And I don't think Texas has had a senator that voted for the people more than Sen. Yarborough has voted for them. And no member of the U.S. Senate has stood up and fought for me or fought for the people more since I became President than Ralph Yarborough." For his part, Bush, years later, quoted a "Time" magazine analysis of the 1964 senate race which concluded that "if Lyndon would stay out of it, Republican Bush would have a cha nce. But Johnson is not about to stay out of it, which makes Bush the underdog." / Note #2 / Note #6 Yarborough, for his part, had referred to LBJ as a "power-mad Texas politician," and had called on President Kennedy to keep LBJ out of Texas politics. Yarborough's attacks on Connally were even more explicit and colorful: He accused Connally of acting like a "viceroy, and we got rid of those in Texas when Mexico took over from Spain." According to Yarborough, "Texas had not had a progressive governor since Jimmy Allred," who had held office from 1935 to 1939. Bush took pains to spell out that this was an attack on Democrats W. Lee O'Daniel, Coke Stevenson, Buford H. Jester, Allan Shivers, Price Daniel, and John Connally. Yarborough also criticized the right-wing oligarchs of the Dallas area for having transformed that city from a democratic town to a "citadel of reaction." For Yarborough, the "Fort Worth Star-Telegram" was"worse than Pravda." Yarborough's strategy in the November election centered on identifying Bush with Goldwater in the minds of voters, since the Arizona Republican's warlike rhetoric was now dragging him down to certain defeat. Yarborough's first instinct had been to run a substantive campaign, stressing issues and his own legislative accomplishments. Yarborough in 1988 told Bush biographer Fitzhugh Green: "When I started my campaign for re-election I was touting my record of six years in the Senate. But my speech advisers said, all you have to do is quote Bush, who had already called himself 100 per cent for Goldwater and the Vietnam war. So that's what I did, and it worked very well." / Note #2 / Note #7 Campaigning in Port Arthur on October 30, a part of the state where his labor support loomed large, Yarborough repeatedly attacked Bush as "more extreme than Barry Goldwater." According to Yarborough, even after Barry Goldwater had repudiated the support of the John Birch Society, Bush said that he "welcomed support of the Birch Society and embraced it." "Let's you elect a senator from Texas, and not the Connecticut investment bankers with their $2,500,000," Yarborough urged the voters. / Note #2 / Note #8 These attacks were highly effective, and Bush's response was to mobilize his media budget for more screenings of his World War II "Flight of the Avenger" television spot, while he prepared a last-minute television dirty trick. There was to be no debate between Bush and Yarborough, but this did not prevent Bush from staging a televised "empty chair" debate, which was aired on more than a dozen stations around the state on October 27. The Bush campaign staff scripted a debate in which Bush answered doctored quotes from audio tapes of Yarborough speaking, with the sentences often cut in half, taken out of context, and otherwise distorted. Yarborough responded by saying: "The sneaky trick my opponent is trying to pull on me tonight of pulling sentences of mine out of context with my recorded voice and playing my voice as a part of his broadcast is illegal under the law, and a discredit to anyone who aspires to be a U.S. Senator. I intend to protest this illegal trick to the Federal Communications Commission." Bush's method was to "cut my statements in half, then let his Madison Avenue speech writers answer those single sentences.... My opponent is an exponent of extremism, peddling smear and fear wherever he goes.... His conduct looks more like John Birch Society conduct than United States Senate conduct," Yarborough added. Bush also distorted the sound of Yarborough's voice almost beyond recognition. Yarborough protested to the FCC in Washington, alleging that Bush had violated section 315 of the Federal Communications Act as it then stood, because Yarborough's remarks were pre-censored and used without his permission. Yarborough also accused Bush of violation of section 325 of the same act, since it appeared that parts of the "empty chair" broadcast were material that had been previously broadcast elsewhere, and which could not be re-used without permission. The FCC responded by saying that the tapes used had been made in halls where Yarborough was speaking. All during the campaign, Yarborough had been talking about the dangers of electronic eavesdropping. He had pointed out that "anybody can be an eavesdropper, a wiretapper, a bugger, who has a few dollars for the cheaper devices on the market. Tiny recorders and microphones are now made to resemble lapel buttons or tie clasps.... Recorders can also be found the size of a book or a cigarette pack. There is a briefcase available with a microphone built into the lock, and many available recorders may be carried in briefcases, while the wrist-watch microphone is no longer a product used by Dick Tracy -- it can actually be bought for $37.50." Yarborough charged during the primary campaign period that his Washington office had been wiretapped, and years later indicated that the CIA had been bugging all of Capitol Hill during those years. / Note #2 / Note #9 Had the James McCords or other plumbers been lending Bush a hand? Bush was also smarting under Yarborough's repeated references to his New England birth and background. Bush claimed that he was no carpetbagger, but a Texan by choice, and compared himself in that regard to Sam Rayburn, Sam Houston, Stephen Austin, Colonel Bill Travis, Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie and other heroes of the Alamo. Bush was not hobbled by any false modesty. At least, Bush asserted lamely, he was not as big a carpetbagger as Bobby Kennedy, who could not even vote in New York State, where he was making a successful bid for election to the Senate. It "depends on whose bag is being carpeted," Bush whined. In the last days of the campaign, Allan Duckworth of the pro-Bush "Dallas Morning News" was trying to convince his readers that the race was heading for a "photo finish." But in the end, Prescott's networks, the millions of dollars, the recordings, and the endorsements of 36 newspapers were of no avail for Bush. Yarborough defeated Bush by a margin of 1,463,958 to 1,134,337. Within the context of the LBJ landslide victory over Goldwater, Bush had done somewhat better than his party's standard bearer: LBJ beat Goldwater in Texas by 1,663,185 to 958,566. Yarborough, thanks in part to his vote in favor of the Civil Rights Act, won a strong majority of the black districts, and also ran well ahead among Latinos. Bush won the usual Republican counties, including the pockets of GOP support in the Houston area. Yarborough would continue for one more term in the Senate, vocally opposing the war in Vietnam. In the closing days of the campaign he had spoken of Bush and his retinue as harbingers of a "time and society when nobody speaks for the working man." George Bush, defeated though he was, would now redouble his struggle to make such a world a reality. Footnotes 18. See "The Historic Texas Senate Race," in "The Texas Observer," Oct. 30, 1964. 19. Cited in Ronnie Dugger, "op. cit." 20. "Ibid." 21. "Dallas News," Oct. 24, 1964. 22. "Dallas News," Oct. 3, 1964. 23. An untitled report among the Yarborough papers in the Barker Texas History Center refers to "Senator Bush's affiliation in a New York knife-and-fork-club type of organization called, 'The Council on Foreign Relations.' In a general smear -- mainly via the 'I happen to know' letter chain of communication -- the elder Bush was frequently attacked, and the younger Bushes were greatly relieved when Barry Goldwater volunteered words of affectionate praise for his former colleague during a $100-a-plate Dallas dinner." 24. Just how far these efforts might have gone is a matter of speculation. Douglas Caddy in his book, "The Hundred Million Dollar Payoff" (New Rochelle), p. 300, reprints an internal memorandum of the Machinists Non-Partisan Political League which expresses alarm about the election outlook for Yarborough, who is described as "the last stand-up Democratic liberal we have in the South." The memo, from Jack O'Brien to A.J. Hayes, is dated October 27, 1964, and cites reports from various labor operatives to the effect that "the 'fix is in' to defeat Ralph Yarbor ough and to replace him with a Republican, Bush, the son of Prescott Bush of Connecticut. The only question at issue is whether this 'fix' is a product of Governor Connally alone or is the product of a joint effort between Connally and President Johnson." According to the memo, "Walter Reuther called Lyndon Johnson to express his concern with the failure to invite Mrs. Yarborough to accompany" LBJ's plane through Texas. Labor leaders were trying to help raise money for last-minute television broadcasts by Yarborough, and also to extract more vocal support for the senator from LBJ. 25. See Bush and Gold, "op. cit.," p. 82. 26. "Ibid.," p. 87. 27. Fitzhugh Green, "George Bush: An Intimate Portrait" (New York: Hippocrene Books, 1989), p. 85. 28. "Dallas News," Oct. 31, 1964. 29. Ronnie Dugger, "Goldwater's Policies, Kennedy's Style" in "Texas Observer," Oct. 30, 1964. CHAPTER 11 Part 1 Rubbers Goes to Congress During the heat of the Senate campaign, Bush's redistricting lawsuit had progressed in a way that must have provided him much solace amidst the bitterness of his defeat. First, Bush won his suit in the Houston federal district court, and there was a loud squawk from Governor John Connally, who called that august tribunal a "Republican court." Bush whined that Connally was being "vitriolic." Then, during Bush's primary campaign, a three-judge panel of the federal circuit court of appeals also ruled that the state of Texas must be redistricted. Bush called that result "a real victory for all the people of Texas." By March, Bush's redistricting suit had received favorable action by the U.S. Supreme Court. This meant that the way was clear to create a no-incumbent, designer district for George in a masterpiece of gerrymandering that would make him an elected official, the first Republican congressman in the recent history of the Houston area. The new Seventh District was drawn to create a liberal Republican seat, carefully taking into account which areas Bush had succeeded in carrying in the Senate race. What emerged was for the most part a lily-white, silk-stocking district of the affluent upper-middle class and upper crust. There were also small black and Hispanic enclaves. In the precinct boxes of the new district, Bush had rolled up an eight-to-five margin over Yarborough. / Note #1 But before gearing up a congressional campaign in the Seventh District in 1966, Bush first had to jettison some of the useless ideological ballast he had taken on for his 1964 Goldwater profile. During the 1964 campaign, Bush had spoken out more frankly and more bluntly on a series of political issues than ever before or since. Apart from the Goldwater coloration, one comes away with the impression that much of the time the speeches were not just inventions, but often reflected his own oligarchical instincts and deeply rooted obsessions. In late 1964 and early 1965, Bush was afflicted by a hangover induced by what for him had been an unprecedented orgy of self-revelation. The 1965-66 model George Bush would become a moderate, abandoning the shrillest notes of the 1964 conservative crusade. First came an Episcopalian "mea culpa." As Bush's admirer Fitzhugh Green reports, "one of his first steps was to shuck off a bothersome trace from his 1964 campaign. He had espoused some conservative ideas that didn't jibe with his own moderate attitude." Previous statements were becoming inoperative, one gathers, when Bush discussed the matter with his Anglican pastor, John Stevens. "You know, John," said Bush, "I took some of the far right positions to get elected. I hope I never do it again. I regret it." His radical stance on the civil rights bill was allegedly a big part of his "regret." Stevens later commented: "I suspect that his goal on civil rights was the same as mine: It's just that he wanted to go through the existing authorities to attain it. In that way nothing would get done. Still, he represents about the best of noblesse oblige." / Note #2 Purge of County GOP It was characteristically through an attempted purge in the Harris County GOP organization that Bush signaled that he was reversing his field. His gambit here was to call on party activists to take an "anti-extremist and anti-intolerance pledge," as the "Houston Chronicle" reported on May 26, 1965. / Note #3 Bush attacked unnamed apostles of "guilt by association" and "far-out fear psychology," and his pronouncements touched off a bitter and protracted row in the Houston GOP. Bush made clear that he was targeting the John Birch Society, whose activists he had been eager to lure into his own 1964 effort. Now Bush beat up on the Birchers as a way to correct his right-wing profile from the year before. Bush said, with his usual tortured syntax, that Birch members claim to "abhor smear and slander and guilt by association, but how many of them speak out against it publicly?" This was soon followed by a Bush-inspired move to oust Bob Gilbert, who had been Bush's successor as the GOP county chairman during the Goldwater period. Bush's retainers put out the line that the "extremists" had been gaining too much power under Gilbert, and that he therefore must go. By June 12, 1965, the Bush faction had enough clout to oust Gilbert. The eminence grise of the right-wing faction, State Senator Walter Mengdon, told the press that the ouster of Gilbert had been dictated by Bush. Bush whined in response that he was very disappointed with Mengdon. "I have stayed out of county politics. I believed all Republicans had backed my campaign," Bush told the "Houston Chronicle" on the day Gilbert fell. On July 1, the Houston papers reported the election of a new, "anti-extremist" Republican county leader. This was James M. Mayor, who defeated James Bowers by a margin of 95 votes against 80 in the county executive committee. Mayor was endorsed by Bush, as well as by Senator Tower. Bowers was an auctioneer, who called for a return to the Goldwater "magic." GOP state chair O'Donnell hoped that the new chairman would be able to put an end to "the great deal of dissension within the party in Harris County for several years." Despite this pious wish, acrimonious faction fighting tore the county organization to pieces over the next several years. But at the same time, Bush took care to police his left flank, distancing himself from the beginnings of the movement against the war in Vietnam, which had been visible by the middle of 1965. A remarkable document of this maneuver is the text of the debate between Bush and Ronnie Dugger, the writer and editor of the "Texas Observer." / Note #4 The debate was held July 1, 1965 before the Junior Bar of Texas convention in Fort Worth. Dugger had endorsed Bush -- in a way Dugger said was "not without whimsical intent" in the GOP Senate primary the year before. Dugger was no radical; at this point he was not really against the Vietnam War; and he actually endorsed the policy of LBJ, saying that the President had "no easy way out of Vietnam, but he is seeking and seeking hard for an honorable way out." Nevertheless, Dugger found that LBJ had made a series of mistakes in the implementation of his policy. Dugger also embraced the provisos advanced by Senator Fulbright to the effect that "seeking a complete military victory would cost more than the requirements of our interest and honor." So Dugger argued against any further escalation, and argued that anti-war demonstrations and civil disobedience could be beneficial. Bush's first real cause for alarm was seeing "the civil rights movement being made over into a massive vehicle with which to attack the President's foreign policy in Vietnam." He started by attacking Conrad Lynn, a "Negro lawyer" who had told students at "my old university -- Yale University," that "the United States white supremacists' army has been sent to suppress the non-white people of the world." According to Bush, "The "Yale Daily News" reported that the audience applauded when [Lynn] announced that several Negroes had gone to Asia to enlist in the North Viet Nam army to fight against the United States." Then Bush turned to his real target, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. King, he said, who is "identified with the freedom of the Negro cause, says in Boston the other day that he doesn't want to sit at a segregated lunch counter where you have strontium 90 in the milk, overlooking the fact that it's the communists who are testing in the atmosphere today, the Red Chinese. It's not the United States." Then there was Bayard Rustin, "a leading individual in the Negro struggle for freedom, [who] calls for withdrawal from Viet Nam." This is all hypocritical in Bush's view, since "they talk about civil rights in this country, but they are willing to sacrifice the individual rights in the communist countries." Bush was equally riled up over anti-war demonstrations, since they were peopled by what he called "extremists": "I am sure you know what an extremist is. That's a guy who takes a good idea and carries it to simply preposterous ends. And that's what's happened. Of course, the re-emergence of the political beatnik is causing me personally a good deal of pleasure. Many conservatives winced during 1964 as we were labeled extremists of the right. And certainly we were embarrassed by the booing of Nelson Rockefeller at the convention, and some of the comments that referred to the smell of fascism in the air at the Republican convention, and things like this, and we winced." Warming to the subject, Bush continued: "Let me give you some examples of this kind of left-wing extremism. Averell Harriman -- surely not known for his reactionary views -- speaking at Cornell University, talking about Viet Nam before a crowd that calls 'Liar!' [They] booed him to the state he could hardly finish, and finally he got so frustrated he asked, 'How many in the audience are communists?' And a bunch of people there -- small I will admit -- held up their hands." So extremists, for Bush, were those who assailed Rockefeller and Harriman. Bush defended the House Committee on Un-American Activities against the demonstrations organized by James Foreman and SNCC, commiserated with a State Department official who had been branded a fascist at Iowa State, and went on to assail the Berkeley "filthy speech" movement. As an example of the "pure naivete" of civil rights leaders, he cited Coretta Scott King, who "managed to link global peace and civil rights, somehow managed to tie these two things together philosophically" -- which Bush professed not to fathom. "If we can be non-violent in Selma, why can't we be non-violent in Viet Nam," Ossie Davis had said, and Bush proposed he be awarded the "green Wiener" for his "absurd theory," for "what's got to be the fuzziest thinking of the year." Beyond this inevitable obsession with race, Bush was frankly a hawk, frankly for escalation, opening the door to nuclear weapons in Vietnam only a little more subtly than he had the year before: "And so I stand here as one who says I will back up the President and military leaders no matter what weapons they use in Southeast Asia." Congress in his Sights As the 1966 congressional election approached, Bush was optimistic about his chances of finally getting elected. This time, instead of swimming against the tide of the Goldwater cataclysm, Bush would be favored by the classic mid-term election reflex which almost always helps the congressional candidates of the party out of power. And LBJ in the White House was vulnerable on a number of points, from the escalation of the Vietnam War to "stagflation" (stagnation + inflation). The designer gerrymandering of the new Houston congressional district had functioned perfectly, and so had his demagogic shift toward the "vital center" of moderate conservatism. Because the district was newly drawn, there would be no well-known incumbent to contend with. And now, by one of the convenient coincidences that seem to be strewn through Bush's life, the only obstacle between him and election was a troglodyte Democratic conservative of an ugly and vindictive type, the sort of figure who would make even Bush look reasonable. The Democrat in question was Frank Briscoe, a former district attorney. According to the "Texas Observer," "Frank Briscoe was one of the most vicious prosecutors in Houston's history. He actually maintained a 'ten most wanted convictions list' by which he kept the public advised of how much luck he had getting convictions against his chosen defendants then being held in custody. Now, as a candidate for Congress, Briscoe is running red-eyed for the right-wing in Houston. He is anti-Democratic; anti-civil rights; anti-foreign aid; anti-war on poverty. The fact that he calls himself a Democrat is utterly irrelevant." By contrast, from the point of view of the "Texas Observer": "His opponent, George Bush, is a conservative man. He favors the war in Vietnam; he was for Goldwater, although probably reluctantly; he is nobody's firebrand. Yet Bush is simply civilized in race relations, and he is now openly rejecting the support of the John Birch Society. This is one case where electing a Republican to Congress would help preserve the two-party balance of the country and at the same time spare Texas the embarrassment" of having somebody like Briscoe go to Washington. / Note #5 Bush's ideological face-lifting was working. "I want conservatism to be sensitive and dynamic, not scared and reactionary," Bush told the "Wall Street Journal." Briscoe appears in retrospect as a candidate made to order for Bush's new moderate profile, and there are indications that is just what he was. Sources in Houston recall that in 1966 there was another Democratic candidate for the new congressional seat, a moderate and attractive Democrat named Wildenthal. These sources say that Bush's backers provided large-scale financial support for Briscoe in the Democratic primary campaign, with the result that Wildenthal lost out to Briscoe, setting up the race that Bush found to his advantage. A designer district was not enough for George; he also required a designer opponent if he was to prevail -- a fact which may be relevant to the final evaluation of what happened in 1988. One of the key points of differentiation between Bush and Briscoe was on race. The district had about 15 percent black population, but making some inroads here among registered Democrats would be of decisive importance for the GOP side. Bush made sure that he was seen sponsoring a black baseball team, and talked a lot about his work for the United Negro College Fund when he had been at Yale. He told the press that "black power" agitators were not a problem among the more responsible blacks in Houston. "I think the day is past," Bush noted, "when we can afford to have a lily-white district. I will not attempt to appeal to the white backlash. I am in step with the 1960s." Bush even took up a position in the Office of Economic Opportunity anti-poverty apparatus in the city. He supported Project Head Start. By contrast, Briscoe "accused" Bush of courting black support, and reminded Bush that other Texas congressmen had been voting against civil rights legislation when it came up in Congress. Briscoe had antagonized parts of the black community by his relentless pursuit of the death penalty in cases involving black capital defendants. According to the "New York Times," "Negro leaders have mounted a quiet campaign to get Negroes to vote for [Bush]." Briscoe's campaign ads stressed that he was a right-winger and a Texan, and accused Bush of being "the darling of the Lindsey [sic] -Javits crowd," endorsed by labor unions, liberal professors, liberal Republicans and liberal syndicated columnists. Briscoe was proud of his endorsements from Gov. John Connally and the Conservative Action Committee, a local right-wing group. One endorsement for Bush that caused Briscoe some difficulty was that of Bush mentor Richard M. Nixon. By 1966, Nixon was on the comeback trail, having withstood the virtual nervous breakdown he had undergone after losing his bid for the governorship of California in 1962. Nixon was now in the course of assembling the delegates that would give him the GOP presidential nomination in Miami in 1968. Nixon came to Houston and made campaign appearances for Bush, as he had in 1964. Bush had brought in a new group of handlers and image-mongers for this 1966 race. His campaign manager was Jim Allison from Midland. Harry Treleaven was brought in to design Bush's propaganda. Treleaven had been working at the J. Walter Thompson Advertising Agency in New York City, but he took a leave of absence from J. Walter to come to work for Bush in Texas. At J. Walter Thompson, Treleaven had sold the products of Pan American, RCA, Ford, and Lark cigarettes. He was attracted to Bush because Bush had plenty of money and was willing to spend it liberally. After the campaign was over, Treleaven wrote a long memo about what he had done. He called it "Upset: The Story of a Modern Political Campaign." One of the basic points in Treleaven's selling of Bush was that issues would play no role. "Most national issues today are so complicated, so difficult to understand, and have opinions on[,] that they either intimidate or, more often, bore the average voter.... Few politicians recognize this fact." In his memo, Treleaven describes how he walked around Houston in the hot August of 1966 and asked people what they thought of George Bush. He found that many considered Bush to be "an extremely likeable person," but that "there was a haziness about exactly where he stood politically." For Treleaven, this was an ideal situation. "There'll be few opportunities for logical persuasion, which is all right -- because probably more people vote for irrational, emotional reasons than professional politicians suspect." Treleaven's approach was that "politicians are celebrities." Treleaven put 85 percent of Bush's hefty campaign budget into advertising, and 59 percent of that was for television. Newspaper ads got 3 percent. Treleaven knew that Bush was behind in the polls. "We can turn this into an advantage," he wrote, "by creating a 'fighting underdog' image. Bush must convince voters that he really wants to be elected and is working hard to earn their vote. People sympathize with a man who tries hard: they are also flattered that anyone would really exert himself to get their vote. Bush, therefore, must be shown as a man who's working his heart out to win." As Joe McGinnis summed up the television ads that resulted: "Over and over, on every television set in Houston, George Bush was seen with his coat slung over a shoulder; his sleeves rolled up; walking the streets of his district; grinning, gripping, sweating, letting the voter know he cared. About what, was never made clear." / Note #6 Coached by these professional spin doctors, Bush was acting as mainstream, fair and conciliatory as could be. In an exchange with Briscoe in the "Houston Chronicle" a few days before the election, he came out for "a man's right to join a union and his right to strike, but I additionally would favor fair legislation to see that no strike can cripple this nation and endanger the general welfare." But he was still for the Texas right to work law. Bush supported LBJ's "present Vietnam position.... I would like to see an All-Asian Conference convened to attempt to settle this horrible war. The Republican leadership, President Johnson, and Secretary Rusk and almost all but the real 'doves' endorse this." Bush was against "sweeping gun control." Briscoe wanted to cut "extravagant domestic spending," and thought that money might be found by forcing France and the U.S.S.R. to finally pay up their war debts from the two world wars! When it came to urban renewal, Bush spoke up for the Charles Percy National Home Ownership Foundation, which carried the name of a leading liberal Republican senator. Bush wanted to place the federal emphasis on such things as "rehabilitating old homes." "I favor the concept of local option on urban renewal. Let the people decide," he said, with a slight nod in the direction of the emerging New Left. In Bush's campaign ads he invited the voters to "take a couple of minutes and see if you don't agree with me on six important points," including Vietnam, inflation, civil disobedience, jobs, voting rights and "extremism" (Bush was against the far right and the far left). And there was George, billed as "successful businessman ... civic leader ... world traveler ... war hero," bareheaded in a white shirt and tie, with his jacket slung over his shoulder in the post-Kennedy fashion. In the context of a pro-GOP trend that brought 59 freshmen Republican congressmen into the House, the biggest influx in two decades, Bush's calculated approach worked. Bush got about 35 percent of the black vote, 44 percent of the usually yellow-dog Democrat rural vote, and 70 percent in the exclusive River Oaks suburb. Still, his margin was not large: Bush got 58 percent of the votes in the district. Bob Gray, the candidate of the Constitution Party, got less than 1 percent. Despite the role of black voters in his narrow victory, Bush could not refrain from whining. "If there was a disappointing aspect in the vote, it was my being swamped in the black precincts, despite our making an all-out effort to attract black voters. It was both puzzling and frustrating," Bush observed in his 1987 campaign autobiography. / Note #7 After all, Bush complained, he had put the GOP's funds in a black-owned bank when he was party chairman; he had opened a party office with full-time staff near Texas Southern, a black college; he had worked closely with Bill Trent of the United Negro College Fund, all with scant payoff as Bush saw it. Many black voters had not been prepared to reward Bush's noblesse oblige, and that threw him into a rage state, whether or not his thyroid was already working overtime in 1966. Bush in Washington When Bush got to Washington in January 1967, the Brown Brothers Harriman networks delivered: Bush became the first freshman member of the House of either party since 1904 to be given a seat on the Ways and Means Committee. And he did this, it must be recalled, as a member of the minority party, and in an era when the freshman congressman was supposed to be seen and not heard. The Ways and Means Committee in those years was still a real center of power, one of the most strategic points in the House along with the Rules Committee and a few others. By constitutional provision, all tax legislation had to originate in the House of Representatives, and given the traditions of committee organization, all tax bills had to originate in the Ways and Means Committee. In addition to the national importance of such a committee assignment, Ways and Means oversaw the legislation touching such vital Texas and district concerns as oil and gas depletion allowances and the like. Later writers have marveled at Bush's achievement in getting a seat on Ways and Means. For John R. Knaggs, this reflected "the great potential national Republicans held for George Bush." The "Houston Chronicle," which had supported Briscoe in the election, found that with this appointment "the GOP was able to point up to the state one benefit of a two-party system." / Note #8 In this case, unlike so many others, we are able to establish how the invisible hand of Skull and Bones actually worked to procure Bush this important political plum. This is due to the indiscretion of the man who was chairman of Ways and Means for many years, Democratic Congressman Wilbur D. Mills of Arkansas. Mills was hounded out of office because of an alcoholism problem, and later found work as an attorney for a tax law firm. Asked about the Bush appointment to the committee he controlled back in 1967, Mills said: "I put him on. I got a phone call from his father telling me how much it mattered to him. I told him I was a Democrat and the Republicans had to decide; and he said the Republicans would do it if I just asked Gerry Ford." Mills said that he had asked Ford and John W. Byrnes of Wisconsin, who was the ranking Republican on Ways and Means, and Bush was in, thanks once again to Daddy Warbucks, Prescott Bush. / Note #9 Wilbur Mills may have let himself in for a lot of trouble in later years by not always treating George with due respect. Because of Bush's o bsession with birth control for the lower orders, Mills gave Bush the nickname "Rubbers," which stuck with him during his years in Congress. / Note #1 / Note #0 Poppy Bush was not amused. One day Mills might ponder in retrospect, as so many others have, on Bush's vindictiveness. Uprooting Western Values In January 1968, LBJ delivered his State of the Union message to Congress, even as the Viet Cong's Tet offensive was making a shambles of his Vietnam War policy. The Republican reply came in a series of short statements by former President Eisenhower, House Minority leader Gerry Ford, Rep. Melvin Laird, Senator Howard Baker and other members of Congress. Another tribute to the efforts of the Prescott Bush-Skull and Bones networks was the fact that amid this parade of Republican worthies there appeared, with tense jaw and fist clenched to pound on the table, Rep. George Bush. The Johnson administration had claimed that austerity measures were not necessary during the time that the war in Vietnam was being prosecuted. LBJ had promised the people "guns and butter," but now the economy was beginning to go into decline. Bush's overall public rhetorical stance during these years was to demand that the Democratic administration impose specific austerity measures and replace big-spending programs with appropriate deficit-cutting rigor. Here is what Bush told a nationwide network television audience on January 23, 1968: "The nation faces this year just as it did last a tremendous deficit in the federal budget, but in the President's message there was no sense of sacrifice on the part of the government, no assignment of priorities, no hint of the need to put first things first. And this reckless policy has imposed the cruel tax of rising prices on the people, pushed interest rates to their highest levels in 100 years, sharply reduced the rate of real economic growth and saddled every man and woman and child in American with the largest tax burden in our history. "And what does the President say? He says we must pay still more taxes and he proposes drastic restrictions on the rights of Americans to invest and travel abroad. If the President wants to control inflation, he's got to cut back on federal spending and the best way, the best way to stop the gold drain is to live within our means in this country." / Note #1 / Note #1 Those who wanted to read Bush's lips at a distance back in those days found that he was indeed committed to a kind of austerity. In May of 1968, with Johnson already a lame duck, the Ways and Means Committee approved what was dubbed on Capitol Hill the "10-8-4" deficit control package. This mandated a tax increase of $10 billion per year, coupled with a $4 billion cut in expenditures. Bush joined with four Ways and Means Republicans (the others were Conable, Schneebeli and Battin) to approve the measure. / Note #1 / Note #2 But the principal focus of Bush's activity during his tenure in the House of Representatives centered on a project that was much more sinister and far-reaching than the mere imposition of budget austerity, destructive as that demand was at the time. With a will informed by the ideas about population, race and economic development that we have seen current in Prescott Bush's circles at Brown Brothers Harriman, George Bush would now become a protagonist of a series of institutional changes which would contribute to that overall degradation of the cultural paradigm of Western civilization which was emergent at the end of the 1960s. In 1969, Bush told the House of Representatives that, unless the menace of human population growth were "recognized and made manageable, starvation, pestilence and war will solve it for us." Bush repeatedly compared population growth to a disease. / Note #1 / Note #3 In remarks to the House July 30, 1969, he likened the fight against the polio virus to the crusade to reduce the world's population. Urging the federal government to step up population control efforts, he said: "We have a clear precedent: When the Salk vaccine was discovered, large-scale programs were undertaken to distribute it. I see no reason why similar programs of education and family planning assistance should not be instituted in the United States on a massive scope." As Jessica Mathews, vice president of one of Washington's most influential zero-growth outfits, the World Resources Institute, later wrote of Bush in those years: "In the 1960s and '70s, Bush had not only embraced the cause of domestic and international family planning, he had aggressively sought to be its champion.... As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Bush shepherded the first major breakthrough in domestic family planning legislation in 1967," and "later co-authored the legislation commonly known as Title X, which created the first federal family planning program...." "On the international front," Mathews wrote, Bush "recommended that the U.S. support the United Nations Population Fund.... He urged, in the strongest words, that the U.S. and European countries make modern contraceptives available 'on a massive scale,' to all those around the world who wanted them." Bush belonged to a small group of congressmen who successfully conspired to force a profound shift in the official U.S. attitude and policy toward population expansion. Embracing the "limits to growth" ideology with a vengeance, Bush and his coterie, which included such ultraliberal Democrats as then-Senator Walter Mondale (Minn.) and Rep. James Scheuer (N.Y.), labored to enact legislation which institutionalized population control as U.S. domestic and foreign policy. Bush began his Malthusian activism in the House in 1968, the year that Pope Paul VI issued his enyclical "Humanae Vitae," with its prophetic warning of the danger of coercion by governments for the purpose of population control. The Pope wrote: "Let it be considered also that a dangerous weapon would be placed in the hands of those public authorities who place no heed of moral exigencies.... Who will stop rulers from favoring, from even imposing upon their people, the method of contraception which they judge to be most efficacious?" For poorer countries with a high population rate, the encyclical identified the only rational and humane policy: "No solution to these difficulties is acceptable which does violence to man's essential dignity.... The only possible solution ... is one which envisages the social and economic progress both of individuals and of the whole of human society...." This was a direct challenge to the cultural paradigm transformation which Bush and other exponents of the oligarchical world outlook were promoting. Not for the first time nor for the last, Bush issued a direct attack on the Holy See. Just days after "Humanae Vitae" was issued, Bush declared: "I have decided to give my vigorous support for population control in both the United States and the world." He continued, "For those of us who who feel so strongly on this issue, the recent enyclical was most discouraging." Population Control Leader During his four years in Congress, Bush not only introduced key pieces of legislation to enforce population control both at home and abroad. He also continuously introduced into the congressional debate reams of propaganda about the threat of population growth and the inferiority of blacks, and he set up a special Republican task force which functioned as a forum for the most rabid Malthusian ideologues. "Bush was really out front on the population issue," a population-control activist recently said of this period of 1967-71. "He was saying things that even we were reluctant to talk about publicly." Bush's open public advocacy of government measures tending towards zero population growth was a radical departure from the policies built into the federal bureaucracy up until that time. The climate of opinion just a few years earlier, in December 1959, is illustrated by the comments of President Eisenhower, who had said, "birth control is not our business. I cannot imagine anything more emphatically a subject that is not a proper political or governmental activity . .. or responsibility." As a congressman, Bush played an absolutely pivotal role in this shift. Shortly after arriving in Washington, he teamed up with fellow Republican Herman Schneebeli to offer a series of amendments to the Social Security Act to place priority emphasis on what was euphemistically called "family planning services." The avowed goal was to reduce the number of children born to women on welfare. Bush's and Schneebeli's amendments reflected the Malthusian-genocidalist views of Dr. Alan Guttmacher, then president of Planned Parenthood, and a protege of its founder, Margaret Sanger. In the years before the grisly outcome of the Nazi cult of race science and eugenics had inhibited public calls for defense of the "gene pool," Sanger had demanded the weeding out of the "unfit" and the "inferior races," and had campaigned vigorously for sterilization, infanticide and abortion, in the name of "race betterment." Although Planned Parenthood was forced, during the fascist era and immediately thereafter, to tone down Sanger's racist rhetoric from "race betterment" to "family planning" for the benefit of the poor and blacks, the organization's basic goal of curbing the population growth rate among "undesirables" never really changed. Bush publicly asserted that he agreed "1,000 percent" with Planned Parenthood. During hearings on the Social Security amendments, Bush and witness Alan Guttmacher had the following colloquy: "Bush": Is there any [opposition to Planned Parenthood] from any other organizations or groups, civil rights groups? "Guttmacher": We do have problems. We are in a sensitive area in regard particularly to the Negro. There are some elements in the Negro group that feel we are trying to keep down the numbers. We are very sensitive to this. We have a community relations department headed by a most capable Negro social worker to try to handle that part of the problem. This does, of course, cause us a good bit of concern. "Bush": I appreciate that. For the record, I would like to say I am 1,000 percent in accord with the goals of your organization. I think perhaps more than any other type of organization you can do more in the field of poverty and mental health and everything else than any other group that I can think of. I commend you. Like his father before him, Bush supported Planned Parenthood at every opportunity. Time after time, he rose on the floor of the House to praise Planned Parenthood's work. In 1967, Bush called for "having the government agencies work even more closely with going private agencies such as Planned Parenthood." A year later, he urged those interested in "advancing the cause of family planning," to "call your local Planned Parenthood Center" to offer "help and support." The Bush-Schneebeli amendments were aimed at reducing the number of children born to blacks and poor whites. The legislation required all welfare recipients, including mothers of young children, to seek work, and barred increases in federal aid to states where the proportion of dependent children on welfare increased. Reducing the welfare rolls was a prime Bush concern. He frequently motivated his population-control crusade with thinly veiled appeals to racism, as in his infamous Willie Horton ads during the 1988 presidential campaign. Talking about the rise in the welfare rolls in a July 1968 statement, Bush lamented that "our national welfare costs are rising phenomenally." Worse, he warned, there were far too many children being born to welfare mothers: "The fastest-growing part of the relief rolls everywhere is Aid For Dependent Children [sic] -- AFDC. At the end of the 1968 fiscal year, a little over $2 billion will be spent for AFDC, but by fiscal 1972 this will increase by over 75 percent." Bush emphasized that more children are born into non-white poor families than to white ones. Blacks must recognize, he said, "that they cannot hope to acquire a larger share of American prosperity without cutting down on births...." Forcing mothers on welfare to work was believed to be an effective means of reducing the number of black children born, and Bush sponsored a number of measures to do just that. In 1970, he helped lead the fight on the Hill for President Nixon's notorious welfare bill, the Family Assistance Program, known as FAP. Billed as a boon to the poor because it provided an income floor, the measure called on every able-bodied welfare recipient, except mothers with children under six, to take a job. This soon became known as Nixon's "workfare" slave-labor bill. Monetarist theoreticians of economic austerity were quick to see that forced labor by welfare recipients could be used to break the unions where they existed, while lowering wages and worsening working conditions for the entire labor force. Welfare recipients could even be hired as scabs to replace workers being paid according to normal pay scales. Those workers, after they had been fired, would themselves end up destitute and on welfare, and could then be forced to take workfare for even lower wages than those who had been on welfare at the outset of the process. This was known as "recycling." Critics of the Nixon workfare bill pointed out that it contained no minimum standards regarding the kinds of jobs or the level of wages which would be forced upon welfare recipients, and that it contradicted the original purpose of welfare, which was to allow mothers to stay home with their children. Further, it would set up a pool of virtual slave labor, which could be used to replace workers earning higher wages. But Bush thought these tough measures were exactly what the explosion of the welfare rolls demanded. During House debate on the measure April 15, 1970, Bush said he favored FAP because it would force the lazy to work: "The family assistance plan ... is oriented toward work," he said. "The present federal-state welfare system encourages idleness by making it more profitable to be on welfare than to work, and provides no method by which the State may limit the number of individuals added to the rolls." Bush had only "one major worry, and that is that the work incentive provisions will not be enforced.... [It] is essential that the program be administered as visualized by the Ways and Means Committee; namely, if an individual does not work, he will not receive funds." The Manchester School's Iron Law of Wages as expounded by George Bush, self-styled expert in the dismal science.... In 1967, Bush joined with Rep. James Scheuer (D-N.Y.), to successfully sponsor legislation that removed prohibitions against mailing and importing contraceptive devices. More than opening the door to French-made condoms, Bush's goal here was a kind of ideological "succes de scandale." The zero-growth lobby deemed this a major breakthrough in making the paraphernalia for domestic population control accessible. In rapid succession, Bush introduced legislation to create a National Center for Population and Family Planning and Welfare, and to redesignate the Department of the Interior as the Department of Resources, Environment and Population. On the foreign policy front, he helped shift U.S. foreign assistance away from funding development projects to grapple with the problem of hunger in the world, to underwriting population control. "I propose that we totally revamp our foreign aid program to give primary emphasis to population control," he stated in the summer of 1968, adding: "In my opinion, we have made a mistake in our foreign aid by concentrating on building huge steel mills and concrete plants in underdeveloped nations...." Notes 1. See Fitzhugh Green, "George Bush: A Biography" (New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1980), p. 92, and George Bush and Victor Gold, "Looking Forward" (New York: Doubleday, 1987), p. 90. 2. Stevens's remarks were part of a Public Broadcasting System "Frontline" documentary program entitled "Campaign: The Choice," Nov. 24, 1988. Cited by Fitzhugh Green, "op. cit.," p. 91. 3. For the chronicles of the Harris County GOP, see local press articles available on microfiche at the Texas Historical Society in Houston. 4. "Geor ge Bush vs. Observer Editor," "Texas Observer," July 23, 1965. 5. "Texas Observer," Oct. 14, 1966. 6. Joe McGinniss, "The Selling of the President 1968" (New York: Penguin Books, 1968), pp. 42-45. 7. Bush and Gold, "op. cit.," p. 91. 8. See John R. Knaggs, "Two-Party Texas" (Austin: Eakin Press, 1985), p. 111. 9. "Congressional Quarterly," "President Bush: The Challenge Ahead" (Washington, 1989), p. 94. 10. Harry Hurt III, "George Bush, Plucky Lad," in "Texas Monthly," June 1983. 11. "New York Times," Jan. 24, 1968. 12. "New York Times," May 7, 1968. 13. The following account of Bush's congressional record on population and related issues is derived from the ground-breaking research of Kathleen Klenetsky, to whom the authors acknowledge their indebtedness. The material that follows incorporates sections of Kathleen Klenetsky, "Bush Backed Nazi 'Race Science,'|" "New Federalist", Vol 5, No. 16, April 29, 1991. Chapter 11 Part 2 Rubbers Goes to Congress One of Bush's more important initiatives on the domestic side was his sponsorhip of the Family Planning Services and Population Research Act of 1970, brainchild of Sen. Joseph Tydings of Maryland. Signed into law by President Nixon on December 24, 1970, the Tydings-Bush bill drastically increased the federal financial commitment to population control, authorizing an initial $382 million for family planning sevices, population research, population education and information through 1973. Much of this money was funnelled through private institutions, particularly local clinics run by Bush's beloved Planned Parenthood. The Tydings-Bush measure mandated the notorious Title X, which explicitly provided "family planning assistance" to the poor. Bush and his zero-growth cohorts talked constantly about the importance of disseminating birth control to the poor. They claimed that there were over 5 million poor women who wanted to limit their families, but could not afford to do so. On October 23, 1969, Bush praised the Office of Economic Opportunity for carrying out some of the "most successful" family planning projects, and said he was "pleased" that the Nixon administration "is giving them additional financial muscle by increasing their funds 50 percent -- from $15 million to $22 million." This increased effort he attributed to the Nixon administration's "goal to reach in the next five years the 5 million women in need of these services" -- all of them poor, many of them from racial or ethnic minorities. He added: "One needs only to look quickly at the report prepared by the Planned Parenthood-World Population Research Department to see how ineffective federal, state, and local governments have been in providing such necessary services. There is certainly nothing new about the fact that unwanted pregnancies of our poor and near-poor women keep the incidence of infant mortality and mental retardation in America at one of the highest levels of all the developed countries." The rates of infant mortality and mental retardation Bush was so concerned about, could have been significantly reduced, had the government provided sufficient financing to pre-natal care, nutrition, and other factors contributing to the health of infants and children. On the same day he signed the Tydings-Bush bill, Nixon vetoed -- with Bush's support -- legislation that would have set up a three-year, $225 million program to train family doctors. Bush seemed to be convinced that mental retardation, in particular, was a matter of heredity. The eugenicists of the 1920s had spun their pseudoscientific theories around "hereditary feeble-mindedness," and claimed that the "Kallikaks and the Jukes," by reproducing successive "feeble-minded" generations, had cost New York state tens of millions of dollars over decades. But what about learning disorders like dyslexia, which has been known to afflict oligarchical families Bush would consider wealthy, well-bred, and able? Nelson Rockefeller had dyslexia, a reading disorder, and both Bush's friend Nick Brady, and Bush's own son Neal suffer from it. But these oligarchs are not likely to fall victim to the involuntary sterilization as "mental defectives" which they wish to inflict on those they term the lower orders. In introducing the House version of the Tydings bill on behalf of himself and Bush, Rep. James Scheuer (D-N.Y.) ranted that while middle-class women "have been limiting the number of offspring for years ... women of low-income families" did not. "If poverty and family size are so closely related we ask, 'Why don't poor women stop having babies?'|" The Bush-Tydings bill took a giant step toward forcing them to do so. Population Task Force Among Bush's most important contributions to the neo-Malthusian cause while in Congress was his role in the Republican Task Force on Earth Resources and Population. The task force, which Bush helped found and then chaired, churned out a steady stream of propaganda claiming that the world was already seriously overpopulated; that there was a fixed limit to natural resources and that this limit was rapidly being reached; and that the environment and natural species were being sacrificed to human progress. Bush's task force sought to accredit the idea that the human race was being "down bred," or reduced in genetic qualities by the population growth among blacks and other non-white and hence allegedly inferior races at a time when the Anglo-Saxons were hardly able to prevent their numbers from shrinking. Comprised of over 20 Republican Congressmen, Bush's Task Force was a kind of Malthusian vanguard organization which heard testimony from assorted "race scientists," sponsored legislation and otherwise propagandized the zero-growth outlook. In its 50-odd hearings during these years, the task force provided a public forum to nearly every well-known zero-growth fanatic, from Paul Ehrlich, founder of Zero Population Growth (ZPG), to race scientist William Shockley, to the key zero-growth advocates infesting the federal bureaucracy. Giving a prestigious congressional platform to a discredited racist charlatan like William Shockley in the year after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, points up the arrogance of Bush's commitment to eugenics. Shockley, like his co-thinker Arthur Jensen, had caused a furor during the 1960s by advancing his thesis, already repeatedly disproven, that blacks were genetically inferior to whites in cognitive faculties and intelligence. In the same year in which Bush invited him to appear before the GOP task force, Shockley had written: "Our nobly intended welfare programs may be encouraging dysgenics -- retrogressive evolution through disproportionate reproduction of the genetically disadvantaged.... We fear that 'fatuous beliefs' in the power of welfare money, unaided by eugenic foresight, may contribute to a decline of human quality for all segments of society." To halt what he saw as pervasive down-breeding of the quality of the U.S. gene pool, Shockley advocated a program of mass sterilization of the unfit and mentally defective, which he called his "Bonus Sterilization Plan." Money bonuses for allowing oneself to be sterilized would be paid to any person not paying income tax who had a genetic deficiency or chronic disease, such as diabetes or epilepsy, or who could be shown to be a drug addict. "If [the government paid] a bonus rate of $1,000 for each point below 100 IQ, $30,000 put in trust for some 70 IQ moron of 20-child potential, it might return $250,000 to taxpayers in reduced cost of mental retardation care," Shockley said. The special target of Shockley's prescriptions for mass sterilizations were African-Americans, whom he saw as reproducing too fast. "If those blacks with the least amount of Caucasian genes are in fact the most prolific and the least intelligent, then genetic enslavement will be the destiny of their next generation," he wrote. Looking at the recent past, Shockley said in 1967: "The lesson to be drawn from Nazi history is the value of free speech, not that eugenics is intolerable." As for Paul Ehrlich, his program for genocide included a call to the U .S. government to prepare "the addition of ... mass sterilization agents" to the U.S. food and water supply, and a "tough foreign policy" including termination of food aid to starving nations. As radical as Ehrlich might have sounded then, this latter point has become a staple of foreign policy under the Bush administration (witness the embargo against Iraq and Haiti). On July 24, 1969, the task force heard from Gen. William H. Draper, Jr., then national chairman of the Population Crisis Committee. Gen. Draper was a close friend of Bush's father, having served with the elder Bush as banker to Thyssen and the Nazi Steel Trust. According to Bush's resume of his family friend's testimony, Draper warned that the population explosion was like a "rising tide," and asserted that "our strivings for the individual good will become a scourge to the community unless we use our God-given brain power to bring back a balance between the birth rate and the death rate." Draper lashed out at the Catholic Church, charging that its opposition to contraception and sterilization was frustrating population-control efforts in Latin America. A week later, Bush invited Oscar Harkavy, chief of the Ford Foundation's population program, to testify. In summarizing Harkavy's remarks for the August 4 "Congressional Record," Bush commented: "The population explosion is commonly recognized as one of the most serious problems now facing the nation and the world. Mr. Harkavy suggested, therefore, that we more adequately fund population research. It seems inconsistent that cancer research funds total $250-275 million annually, more than eight times the amount spent on reproductive biology research." In reporting on testimony by Dr. William McElroy of the National Science Foundation, Bush stressed that "One of the crises the world will face as a result of present population growth rates is that, assuming the world population increases 2 percent annually, urban population will increase by 6 percent, and ghetto population will increase by 12 percent." In February 1969, Bush and other members proposed legislation to establish a Select Joint Committee on Population and Family Planning, that would, Bush said, "seek to focus national attention on the domestic and foreign need for family planning. We need to make population and family planning household words," Bush told his House colleagues. "We need to take the sensationalism out of this topic so that it can no longer be used by militants who have no real knowledge of the voluntary nature of the program but, rather, are using it as a political steppingstone.... A thorough investigation into birth control and a collection of data which would give the Congress the criteria to determine the effectiveness of its programs must come swiftly to stave off the number of future mouths which will feed on an ever-decreasing proportion of food," Bush continued. "We need an emphasis on this critical problem ... we need a massive program in Congress with hearings to emphasize the problem, and earmarked appropriations to do something about it. We need massive cooperation from the White House like we have never had before and we need a determination by the executive branch that these funds will be spent as earmarked." On August 6, 1969, Bush's GOP task force introduced a bill to create a Commission on Population and the American Future which, Bush said, would "allow the leadership of this country to properly establish criteria which can be the basis for a national policy on population." The move came in response to President Nixon's call of July 18 to create a blue-ribbon commission to draft a U.S. population policy. Bush was triumphant over this development, having repeatedly urged such a step at various points in the preceeding few years. On July 21, he made a statement on the floor of the House to "commend the President" for his action. "We now know," he intoned, "that the fantastic rate of population growth we have witnessed these past 20 years continues with no letup in sight. If this growth rate is not checked now -- in this next decade -- we face a danger that is as defenseless as nuclear war." Headed by John D. Rockefeller III, the commission represented a radical, government-sanctioned attack on human life. Its final report, issued in 1972, asserted that "the time has come to challenge the tradition that population growth is desirable: What was unintended may turn out to be unwanted, in the society as in the family." Not only did the commission demand an end to population growth and economic progress, it also attacked the foundations of Western civilization by insisting that man's reason had become a major impediment to right living. "Mass urban industrialism is based on science and technology, efficiency, acquisition, and domination through rationality," raved the commission's report. "The exercise of these same values now contain [sic] the potential for the destruction of our humanity. Man is losing that balance with nature which is an essential condition of human existence." The commission's principal conclusion was that "there are no substantial benefits to be gained from continued population growth," Chairman Rockefeller explained to the Senate Appropriations Committee. The commission made a host of recommendations to curb both population expansion and economic growth. These included: liberalizing laws restricting abortion and sterilization; having the government fund abortions; and providing birth control to teenagers. The commission had a profound impact on American attitudes toward the population issue, and helped accelerate the plunge into outright genocide. Commission Executive Director Charles Westoff wrote in 1975 that the group "represented an important effort by an advanced country to develop a national population policy -- the basic thrust of which was to slow growth in order to maximize the 'quality of life.'|" The collapse of the traditional family-centered form of society during the 1970s and 1980s was but one consequence of such recommendations. It also is widely acknowledged that the commission Bush fought so long and so hard to create broke down the last barriers to legalized abortion on demand. Indeed, just one year after the commission's final report was issued, the Supreme Court delivered the Roe v. Wade decision which did just that. Aware that many blacks and other minorities had noticed that the population control movement was a genocide program aimed at reducing their numbers, the commission went out of its way to cover its real intent by stipulating that all races should cut back on their birth rates. But the racist animus of their conclusions could not be hidden. Commission Executive Director Westoff, who owed his job and his funding to Bush, gave a hint of this in a book he had written in 1966, before joining the commission staff, which was entitled "From Now to Zero", and in which he bemoaned the fact that the black fertility rate was so much higher than the white. The population control or zero population growth movement, which grew rapidly in the late 1960s thanks to free media exposure and foundation grants for a stream of pseudoscientific propaganda about the alleged "population bomb" and the "limits to growth," was a continuation of the old prewar, protofascist eugenics movement, which had been forced to go into temporary eclipse when the world recoiled in horror at the atrocities committed by the Nazis in the name of eugenics. By the mid-1960s, the same old crackpot eugenicists had resurrected themselves as the population-control and environmentalist movement. Planned Parenthood was a perfect example of the transmogrification. Now, instead of demanding the sterilization of the inferior races, the newly-packaged eugenicists talked about the population bomb, giving the poor "equal access" to birth contol, and "freedom of choice." But nothing had substantively changed -- including the use of coercion. While Bush and other advocates of government "family planning" programs insisted these were strictly voluntary, the reality was far different. By the mid-1970s, the number of involun tary sterilizations carried out by programs which Bush helped bring into being, had reached huge proportions. Within the black and minority communities, where most of the sterilizations were being done, protests arose which culminated in litigation at the federal level. In his 1974 ruling on this suit, Federal District Judge Gerhard Gesell found that, "Over the last few years, an estimated 100,000 to 150,000 low-income persons have been sterilized annually under federally funded programs. Although Congress has been insistent that all family planning programs function on a purely voluntary basis," Judge Gesell wrote, "there is uncontroverted evidence ... that an indefinite number of poor people have been improperly coerced into accepting a sterilization operation under the threat that various federally supported welfare benefits would be withdrawn unless they submitted to irreversible sterilization." Gesell concluded from the evidence that the "dividing line between family planning and eugenics is murky." As we have seen, George Bush inherited his obsession with population control and racial "down-breeding" from his father, Prescott, who staunchly supported Planned Parenthood dating back at least to the 1940s. In fact, Prescott's affiliation with Margaret Sanger's organization cost him the Senate race in 1950, as we have seen, a defeat his son has always blamed on the Catholic Church, and which is at the root of George's lifelong vendetta against the Papacy. Prescott's 1950 defeat still rankled, as shown by Bush's extraordinary gesture in evoking it during testimony he gave on Capitol Hill before Senator Gruening's subcommittee of the Senate Government Operations Committee on November 2, 1967. Bush's vengeful tirade is worth quoting at length: "I get the feeling that it is a little less unfashionable to be in favor of birth control and planned parenthood today than it used to be. If you will excuse one personal reference here: My father, when he ran for the U.S. Senate in 1950, was defeated by 600 or 700 votes. On the steps of several Catholic Churches in Connecticut, the Sunday before the election, people stood there passing out pamphlets saying, 'Listen to what this commentator has to say tonight. Listen to what this commentator has to say.' That night on the radio, the commentator came on and said, 'Of interest to voters in Connecticut, Prescott Bush is head of the Planned Parenthood Birth Control League,' or something like this. Well, he lost by about 600 votes and there are some of us who feel that this had something to do with it. I do not think that anybody can get away with that type of thing any more." Bush and Draper As we saw in Chapter 3, Gen. William H. Draper, Jr. had been director and vice president of the German Credit and Investment Corp., serving short-term credit to the Nazi Party's financiers from offices in the U.S.A and Berlin. Draper became one of the most influential crusaders for radical population control measures. He campaigned endlessly for zero population growth, and praised the Chinese Communists for their "innovative" methods of achieving that goal. Draper's most influential outlet was the Population Crisis Committee (PCC)-Draper Fund, which he founded in the 1960s. In 1967-68, a PCC-Draper Fund offshoot, the Campaign to Check the Population Explosion, ran a nationwide advertising campaign hyping the population explosion fraud, and attacking those -- particularly at the Vatican -- who stood in the way of radical population control. In a 1971 article, Draper likened the developing nations to an "animal reserve," where, when the animals become too numerous, the park rangers "arbitrarily reduce one or another species as necessary to preserve the balanced environment for all other animals.... But who will be the park ranger for the human race?," he asked. "Who will cull out the surplus in this country or that country when the pressure of too many people and too few resources increases beyond endurance? Will the death-dealing Horsemen of the Apocalypse -- war in its modern nuclear dress, hunger haunting half the human race, and disease -- will the gaunt and forbidding Horsemen become Park Ranger for the two-legged animal called man?" Draper collaborated closely with George Bush during the latter's congressional career. As noted above, Bush invited Draper to testify to his Task Force on Earth Resources and Population; reportedly, Draper helped draft the Bush-Tydings bill. Bush felt an overwhelming affinity for the bestial and degraded image of man reflected in the raving statements of Draper. In September 1969, Bush gave a glowing tribute to Draper that was published in the "Congressional Record." "I wish to pay tribute to a great American," said Bush. "I am very much aware of the significant leadership that General Draper has executed throughout the world in assisting governments in their efforts to solve the awesome problems of rapid population growth. No other person in the past five years has shown more initiative in creating the awareness of the world's leaders in recognizing the economic consequences of our population explosion." In a 1973 publication, Bush praised the PCC itself for having played a "major role in assisting government policy makers and in mobilizing the United States' response to the world population challenge...." The PCC made no bones about its admiration for Bush; its newsletters from the late 1960s-early 1970s feature numerous articles highlighting Bush's role in the congressional population-control campaign. In a 1979 report assessing the history of congressional action on population control, the PCC/Draper Fund placed Bush squarely with the "most conspicuous activists" on population-control issues, and lauded him for "proposing all of the major or controversial recommendations" in this arena which came before the U.S. Congress in the late 1960s. Draper's son, William III, has enthusiastically carried out his father's genocidal legacy -- frequently with the help of Bush. In 1980, Draper, an enthusiastic backer of the Carter administration's notorious "Global 2000" report, served as national chairman of the Bush presidential campaign's finance committee; in early 1981, Bush convinced Reagan to appoint Draper to head the U.S. Export-Import Bank. At the time, a Draper aide, Sharon Camp, disclosed that Draper intended to reorient the bank's functions toward emphasizing population control projects. In 1987, again at Bush's behest, Draper was named by Reagan as administrator of the United Nations Development Program, which functions as an adjunct of the World Bank, and has historically pushed population reduction among Third World nations. In late January of 1991, Draper gave a speech to a conference in Washington, in which he stated that the core of Bush's "new world order" should be population reduction. The Nixon Touch Nixon, it will be recalled, had campaigned for Bush in 1964 and 1966, and would do so also in 1970. During these years, Bush's positions came to be almost perfectly aligned with the the line of the Imperial Presidency. And, thanks in large part to the workings of his father's Brown Brothers Harriman networks -- Prescott had been a fixture in the Eisenhower White House where Nixon worked, and in the Senate over which Nixon from time to time presided -- Bush became a Nixon ally and crony. Bush's Nixon connection, which pro-Bush propaganda tends to minimize, was in fact the key to Bush's career choices in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Bush's intimate relations with Nixon are best illustrated in Bush's close brush with the 1968 GOP vice-presidential nomination at the Miami convention of that year. Richard Nixon came into Miami ahead of New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller and California Governor Ronald Reagan in the delegate count, but just before the convention, Reagan, encouraged by his growing support, announced that he was switching from being a favorite son of California to the status of an all-out candidate for the presidential nomination. Reagan attempted to convince many conservative southern delegations to switch from Nixon to himself, since he was the purer ideological conservative and better loved in the South than the new (or old) Nixon. Nixon's defense of his southern delegate base was spearheaded by South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond, who kept the vast majority of the delegates in line, sometimes with the help of the unit rule. "Thurmond's point of reasoning with Southern delegates was that Nixon was the best conservative they could get and still win, and that he had obtained assurances from Nixon that no vice-presidential candidate intolerable to the South would be selected," wrote one observer of the Miami convention. / Note #1 / Note #4 With the southern conservatives guaranteed a veto power over the second spot on the ticket, Thurmond's efforts were successful; a leader of the Louisiana caucus was heard to remark: "It breaks my heart that we can't get behind a fine man like Governor Reagan, but Mr. Nixon is deserving of our choice, and he must receive it." These were the circumstances in which Nixon, having won the nomination on the first ballot, met with his advisers amidst the grotesque architecture of the fifteenth floor of the Miami Plaza-Hilton in the early morning of August 9, 1968. The way Nixon tells the story in his memoirs, he had already pretty much settled on Gov. Spiro Agnew of Maryland, reasoning that "with George Wallace in the race, I could not hope to sweep the South. It was absolutely necessary, therefore, to win the entire rimland of the South -- the border states -- as well as the major states of the Midwest and West." Therefore, says Nixon, he let his advisors mention names without telling them what he had already largely decided. "The names most mentioned by those attending were the familiar ones: Romney, Reagan, John Lindsay, Percy, Mark Hatfield, John Tower, George Bush, John Volpe, Rockefeller, with only an occasional mention of Agnew, sometimes along with Governors John Love of Colorado and Daniel Evans of Washington." / Note #1 / Note #5 Nixon also says that he offered the vice presidency to his close friends Robert Finch and Rogers Morton, and then told his people that he wanted Agnew. But this account disingenuously underestimates how close Bush came to the vice-presidency in 1968. According to a well-informed, but favorable, short biography of Bush published as he was about to take over the presidency, "at the 1968 GOP convention that nominated Nixon for President, Bush was said to be on the four-name short list for Vice President. He attributed that to the campaigning of his friends, but the seriousness of Nixon's consideration was widely attested. Certainly Nixon wanted to promote Bush in one way or another." / Note #1 / Note #6 Theodore H. White puts Bush on Nixon's conservative list along with Tower and Howard Baker, with a separate category of liberals and also "political eunuchs" like Agnew and Massachusetts Governor John Volpe. / Note #1 / Note #7 Jules Witcover thought the reason that Bush had been eliminated was that he "was too young, only a House member, and his selection would cause trouble with John Tower," who was also an aspirant. / Note #1 / Note #8 The accepted wisdom is that Nixon decided not to choose Bush because, after all, he was only a one-term congressman. Most likely, Nixon was concerned with comparisons that could be drawn with Barry Goldwater's 1964 choice of New York Congressman Bill Miller for his running mate. Nixon feared that if he, only four years later, were to choose a Congressman without a national profile, the hostile press would compare him to Goldwater and brand him as yet another Republican loser. Later in August, Bush traveled to Nixon's beachfront motel suite at Mission Bay, California to discuss campaign strategy. It was decided that Bush, Howard Baker, Rep. Clark MacGregor of Minnesota and Governor Volpe would all function as "surrogate candidates," campaigning and standing in for Nixon at engagements Nixon could not fill. And there is George, in a picture on the top of the front page of the "New York Times" of August 17, 1968, joining with the other three to slap a grinning and euphoric Nixon on the back and shake his hand before they went forth to the hustings. Bush had no problems of his own with the 1968 election, since he was running unopposed -- a neat trick for a Republican in Houston, even taking the designer gerrymandering into account. Running unopposed seems to be Bush's idea of an ideal election. According to the "Houston Chronicle", "Bush ha[d] become so politically formidable nobody cared to take him on," which should have become required reading for Gary Hart some years later. Bush had great hopes that he could help deliver the Texas electoral votes into the Nixon column. The GOP was counting on further open warfare between Yarborough and Connally, but these divisions proved to be insufficient to prevent Hubert Humphrey, the Democratic nominee, from carrying Texas as he went down to defeat. As one account of the 1968 vote puts it: Texas "is a large and exhausting state to campaign in, but here special emphasis was laid on 'surrogate candidates': notably Congressman George Bush, a fit-looking fellow of excellent birth who represented the space-town suburbs of Houston and was not opposed in his district -- an indication of the strength of the Republican technocracy in Texas." (Perhaps, if technocracy is a synonym for "plumbers.") Winning a second term was no problem; Bush was, however, mightily embarrassed by his inability to deliver Texas for Nixon. "|'I don't know what went wrong,' Bush muttered when interviewed in December. 'There was a hell of a lot of money spent,'|" much of it coming from the predecessor organizations to the CREEP. / Note #1 / Note #9 When in 1974 Bush briefly appeared to be the front-runner to be chosen for the vice presidency by the new President Gerald Ford, the "Washington Post" pointed out that although Bush was making a serious bid, he had almost no qualifications for the post. That criticism applied even more in 1968: For most people, Bush was a rather obscure Texas pol, and he had lost one statewide race previous to the election that got him into Congress. The fact that he made it into the final round at the Miami Hilton was another tribute to the network mobilizing power of Prescott Bush, Brown Brothers Harriman, and Skull and Bones. As the 1970 election approached, Nixon made Bush an attractive offer. If Bush were willing to give up his apparently safe congressional seat and his place on the Ways and Means Committee, Nixon would be happy to help finance the Senate race. If Bush won a Senate seat, he would be a front-runner to replace Spiro Agnew in the vice-presidential spot for 1972. If Bush were to lose the election, he would then be in line for an appointment to an important post in the executive branch, most likely a cabinet position. This deal was enough of an open secret to be discussed in the Texas press during the fall of 1970: At the time, the "Houston Post" quoted Bush in response to persistent Washington newspaper reports that Bush would replace Agnew on the 1972 ticket. Bush said that was "the most wildly speculative piece I've seen in a long time." "I hate to waste time talking about such wild speculation," Bush said in Austin. "I ought to be out there shaking hands with those people who stood in the rain to support me." / Note #2 / Note #0 In September, the "New York Times" reported that Nixon was actively recruiting Republican candidates for the Senate. "Implies He Will Participate in Their Campaigns and Offer Jobs to Losers"; "Financial Aid is Hinted," said the subtitles. / Note #2 / Note #1 It was more than hinted, and the article listed George Bush as first on the list. As it turned out, Bush's Senate race was the single most important focus of Nixon's efforts in the entire country, with both the President and Agnew actively engaged on the ground. Bush would receive money from a Nixon slush fund called the "Townhouse" fund, an operation in the CREEP orbit. Bush was also the recipient of the largesse of W. Clement Stone, a Chicago insurance tycoon who had donated heavily to Nixon's 1968 campaign. Bush's friend Tower was the chairman of the GOP Senatorial Campaign Committee, and Bush's former campaign aide, Jim Allison, was now the deputy chairman of the Republican National Committee. Losing Again Bush himself was ensconced in the coils of the GOP fundraising bureaucracy. When in May, 1969, Nixon's crony Robert Finch, the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, met with members of the Republican Boosters Club, 1969, Bush was with him, along with Tower, Rogers Morton, and Congressman Bob Wilson of California. The Boosters alone were estimated to be good for about $1 million in funding for GOP candidates in 1970. / Note #2 / Note #2 By December of 1969, it was clear to all that Bush would get almost all of the cash in the Texas GOP coffers, and that Eggers, the party's candidate for governor, would get short shrift indeed. On December 29, the "Houston Chronicle" front page opined: "GOP Money To Back Bush, Not Eggers." The Democratic Senate candidate would later accuse Nixon's crowd of "trying to buy" the Senate election for Bush: "Washington has been shovelling so much money into the George Bush campaign that now other Republican candidates around the country are demanding an accounting," said Bush's opponent. / Note #2 / Note #3 But that opponent was Lloyd Bentsen, not Ralph Yarborough. All calculations about the 1970 Senate race had been upset when, at a relatively late hour, Bentsen, urged on by John Connally, announced his candidacy in the Democratic primary. Yarborough, busy with his work as chairman of the Senate Labor Committee, started his campaigning late. Bentsen's pitch was to attack anti-war protesters and radicals, portraying Yarborough as being a ringleader of the extremists. Yarborough had lost some of his vim over the years since 1964, and had veered into support for more ecological legislation and even for some of the anti-human "population planning" measures that Bush and his circles had been proposing. But he fought back gamely against Bentsen. When Bentsen boasted of having done a lot for the Chicanos of the Rio Grande Valley, Yarborough countered: "What has Lloyd Bentsen ever done for the valley? The valley is not for sale. You can't buy people. I never heard of him doing anything for migrant labor. All I ever heard about was his father working these wetbacks. All I ever heard was them exploiting wetbacks," said Yarborough. When Bentsen boasted of his record of experience, Yarborough counterattacked: "The only experience that my opponents have had is in representing the financial interest of big business. They have both shown marked insensitivity to the needs of the average citizen of our state." But, on May 2, Bentsen defeated Yarborough, and an era came to an end in Texas politics. Bush's 10 to 1 win in his own primary over his old rival from 1964, Robert Morris, was scant consolation. Whereas it had been clear how Bush would have run against Yarborough, it was not at all clear how he could differentiate himself from Bentsen. Indeed, to many people the two seemed to be twins: Each was a plutocrat oilman from Houston, each one was aggressively Anglo-Saxon, each one had been in the House of Representatives, each one flaunted a record as a World War II airman. In fact, all Bentsen needed to do for the rest of the race was to appear plausible and polite, and let the overwhelming Democratic advantage in registered voters, especially in the yellow-dog Democrat rural areas, do his work for him. This Bentsen posture was punctuated from time to time by appeals to conservatives who thought that Bush was too liberal for their tastes. Bush hoped for a time that his slick television packaging could save him. His man Harry Treleaven was once more brought in. Bush paid more than half a million dollars, a tidy sum at that time, to Glenn Advertising for a series of Kennedyesque "natural look" campaign spots. Soon Bush was cavorting on the tube in all of his arid vapidity, jogging across the street, trotting down the steps, bounding around Washington and playing touch football, always filled with youth, vigor, action and thyroxin. The Plain Folks praised Bush as "just fantastic" in these spots. Suffering the voters to come unto him, Bush responded to all comers that he "understands," with the shot fading out before he could say what it was he understood or what he might propose to do. / Note #2 / Note #4 "Sure, it's tough to be up against the machine, the big boys," said the Skull and Bones candidate in these spots; Bush actually had more money to spend than even the well-heeled Bentsen. The unifying slogan for imparting the proper spin to Bush was "He can do more." "He can do more" had problems that were evident even to some of the 1970 Bushmen: "A few in the Bush camp questioned that general approach because once advertising programs are set into motion they are extremely difficult to change and there was the concern that if Nixon should be unpopular at campaign's end, the theme line would become, 'He can do more for Nixon,' with obvious downsides." / Note #2 / Note #5 Although Bentsen's spots were said to give him "all the animation of a cadaver," he was more substantive than Bush, and he was moving ahead. Were there issues that could help George? His ads put his opposition to school busing to achieve racial balance at the top of the list, but this wedge-mongerging got him nowhere. Because of his servility to Nixon, Bush had to support the buzz-word of a "guaranteed annual income," which was the label under which Nixon was marketing the workfare slave-labor program already described; but to many in Texas that sounded like a new give-away, and Bentsen was quick to take advantage. Bush bragged that he had been one of the original sponsors of the bill that had just semi-privatized the U.S. Post Office Department as the Postal Service -- not exactly a success story in retrospect. Bush came on as a "fiscal conservative," but this also was of little help against Bentsen. In an interview on women's issues, Bush first joked that there really was no consensus among women -- "the concept of a women's movement is unreal -- you can't get two women to agree on anything." On abortion he commented: "I realize this is a politically sensitive area. But I believe in a woman's right to choose. It should be an individual matter. I think ultimately it will be a constitutional question. I don't favor a federal abortion law as such." After 1980, for those who choose to believe him, this changed to strong opposition to abortion. ... Could Nixon and Agnew help Bush? Agnew's message fell flat in Texas, since he knew it was too dangerous to try to get to the right of Bentsen and attack him from there. Instead, Agnew went through the follwing contortion: A vote for Bentsen, Agnew told audiences in Lubbock and Amarillo, "is a vote to keep William Fulbright chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee," and that was not what "Texans want at all." Agnew tried to put Bentsen in the same boat with "radical liberals" like Yarborough, Fulbright, McGovern and Kennedy. Bentsen invited Agnew to move on to Arkansas and fight it out with Fulbright, and that was that. Could Nixon himself help Bush? Nixon did campaign in the state. Bentsen then told a group of "Anglo-American" businessmen: Texans want "a man who can stand alone without being propped up by the White House." In the end, Bentsen defeated Bush by a vote of 1,197,726 to Bush's 1,035,794, about 53 percent to 47 percent. The official Bushman explanation was that there were two proposed amendments to the Texas constitution on the ballot, one to allow saloons, and one to allow all undeveloped land to be taxed at the same rate as farmland. According to Bushman apologetics, these two propositions attracted so much interest among "yellow dog" rural conservatives that 300,000 extra voters came out, and this gave Bentsen his critical margin of victory. There was also speculation that Nixon and Agnew had attracted so much attention that more voters had come out, but many of these were Bentsen supporters. On the night of the election, Bush said that he "felt like General Custer. They asked him why he had lost and he said 'There were too many Indians. All I can say at this point is that there were too many Democrats,'|" said the fresh two-time loser. Bentsen suggested that it was time for Bush to be appointed to a high position in the government. / Note #2 / Note #6 Bush's other consolation was a telegram dated November 5, 1970: "From personal experience I know the disappointment that you and your family must feel at this time. I am sure, however, that you will not allow this defeat to discourage you in your efforts to continue to provide leadership for our party and the nation. Richard Nixon. This was Nixon's euphemistic way of reassuring Bush that they still had a deal. / Note #2 / Note #7 Footnotes 14. Norman Mailer, "Miami and the Siege of Chicago" (New York: D.I. Fine, 1968), pp. 72-73. 15. Richard Nixon, "RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon" (New York: Warner Books, 1978), p. 312. 16. "Congressional Quarterly," "President Bush," (Washington: 1989) p. 94. 17. Theodore H. White, "The Making of the President 1968" (New York: Atheneum Publishers, 1969),p. 251. 18. Jules Witcover, "The Resurrection of Richard Nixon" (New York: Putnam, 1970), p. 352. 19. Lewis Chester et al., "An American Melodrama: the Presidential Campaign of 1968" (London: Deutch, 1969), p. 622. 20. "Houston Post," Oct. 29, 1970. 21. "New York Times," Sept. 27, 1969. 22. "New York Times," May 13, 1969. 23. "Houston Chronicle," Oct. 6, 1970. 24. See "Tubing with Lloyd/George," "Texas Observer," Oct. 30, 1970. 25. Knaggs, "op. cit.," p. 148. 26. "Houston Post," Nov. 5, 1970. 27. Bush and Gold, "op. cit.," p. 102. CHAPTER 12 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 U.S. 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 / Note #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.


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