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GEORGE BUSH: THE UNAUTHORIZED BIOGRAPHY - PART 6 of 8
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CHAPTER 16 CIA DIRECTOR In late 1975, as a result in particular of his role in Watergate, Bush's confirmation as CIA director was not automatic. And though the debate at his confirmation was superficial, some senators, including in particular the late Frank Church of Idaho, made some observations about the dangers inherent in the Bush nomination that have turned out in retrospect to be useful. The political scene on the home front, from which Bush had been so anxious to be absent during 1975, was the so-called "Year of Intelligence," in that it had been a year of intense scrutiny of the illegal activities and abuses of the intelligence community, including CIA domestic and covert operations. On December 22, 1974, the "New York Times" published the first of a series of articles by Seymour M. Hersh, which relied on leaked reports of CIA activities assembled by Director James Rodney Schlesinger to expose alleged misdeeds by the agency. It was widely recognized at the time that the Hersh articles were a self-exposure by the CIA that was designed to set the agenda for the Ford-appointed Rockefeller Commission, which was set up a few days later, on January 4. The Rockefeller Commission was supposed to examine the malfeasance of the intelligence agencies and make recommendations about how they could be reorganized and reformed. In reality, the Rockefeller Commission proposals would reflect the transition of the structures of the 1970s toward the growing totalitarian tendencies of the 1980s. While the Rockefeller Commission was a tightly controlled vehicle of the Eastern Anglophile Liberal Establishment, congressional investigating committees were impaneled during 1975 whose proceedings were somewhat less rigidly controlled. These included the Senate Intelligence Committee, known as the Church Committee, and the corresponding House committee, first chaired by Rep. Lucien Nedzi (who had previously chaired one of the principal Watergate-era probes), and then (after July) by Rep. Otis Pike. One example was the Pike Committee's issuance of a contempt of Congress citation against Henry Kissinger for his refusal to provide documentation of covert operations in November 1975. Another was Church's role in leading the opposition to the Bush nomination. The Church Committee launched an investigation of the use of covert operations for the purpose of assassinating foreign leaders. By the nature of things, this probe was led to grapple with the problem of whether covert operations sanctioned to eliminate foreign leaders had been re-targeted against domestic political figures. The obvious case was the Kennedy assassination. Frank Church -- who, we must keep in mind, was himself an ambitious politician -- was especially diligent in attacking CIA covert operations, which Bush would be anxious to defend. The CIA's covert branch, Church thought, was a "self-serving apparatus." "It's a bureaucracy which feeds on itself, and those involved are constantly sitting around thinking up schemes for [foreign] intervention which will win them promotions and justify further additions to the staff.... It self-generates interventions that otherwise never would be thought of, let alone authorized." / Note #1 It will be seen that, at the beginning of Bush's tenure at the CIA, the congressional committees were on the offensive against the intelligence agencies. By the time that Bush departed Langley, the tables were turned, and it was the Congress which was the focus of scandals, including Koreagate. Soon thereafter, the Congress would undergo the assault of Abscam. Preparation for what was to become the "Halloween massacre" began in the Ford White House during the summer of 1975. The Ford Library in Ann Arbor, Michigan preserves a memo from Donald Rumsfeld to Ford dated July 10, 1975, which deals with an array of possible choices for CIA director. Rumsfeld had polled a number of White House and administration officials and asked them to express preferences among "outsiders to the CIA." / Note #2 Dick Cheney of the White House staff proposed Robert Bork, followed by Bush and Lee Iacocca. Among the officials polled by Cheney was Henry Kissinger, who suggested C. Douglas Dillon, Howard Baker and Robert Roosa. Nelson Rockefeller was also for C. Douglas Dillon, followed by Howard Baker, and James R. Schlesinger. Rumsfeld himself listed Bork, Dillon, Stanley Resor, Lee Iacocca and Walter Wriston, but not Bush. The only officials putting Bush on their "possible" lists, other than Cheney, were Jack O. Marsh, a White House counselor to Ford, and David Packard. When it came time for Rumsfeld to sum up the aggregate number of times each person was mentioned, minus one point for each time a person had been recommended against, among the names on the final list were the following: Robert Bork (rejected in 1987 for the Supreme Court), John S. Foster of PFIAB (formerly of the Department of Defense), C. Douglas Dillon, Stanley Resor, and Robert Roosa. It will be seen that Bush was not among the leading candidates, perhaps because his networks were convinced that he was going to make another attempt for the vice-presidency and that therefore the Commerce Department or some similar post would be more suitable. The summary profile of Bush sent to Ford by Rumsfeld found that Bush had "experience in government and diplomacy" and was "generally familiar with components of the intelligence community and their missions" while having management experience. Under "Cons" Rumsfeld noted: "RNC post lends undesirable political cast." As we have seen, the CIA post was finally offered by Ford to Edward Bennett Williams, perhaps with an eye on building a bipartisan bridge toward a powerful faction of the intelligence community. But Williams did not want the job. Bush, originally slated for the Department of Commerce, was given the CIA appointment. The announcement of Bush's nomination occasioned a storm of criticism, whose themes included the inadvisability of choosing a Watergate figure for such a sensitive post so soon after that scandal had finally begun to subside. References were made to Bush's receipt of financial largesse fr om Nixon's Townhouse fund and related operations. There was also the question of whether the domestic CIA apparatus would get mixed up in Bush's expected campaign for the vice-presidency. These themes were developed in editorials during the month of November 1976, while Bush was kept in Beijing by the requirements of preparing the Ford-Mao meetings of early December. To some degree, Bush was just hanging there and slowly, slowly twisting in the wind. The slow-witted Ford soon realized that he had been inept in summarily firing William Colby, since Bush would have to remain in China for some weeks and then return to face confirmation hearings. Ford had to ask Colby to stay on in a caretaker capacity until Bush took office. The delay allowed opposition against Bush to crystallize to some degree, but his own network was also quick to spring to his defense. Former CIA officer Tom Braden, writing in the "Fort Lauderdale News", noted that the Bush appointment to the CIA looked bad, and looked bad at a time when public confidence in the CIA was so low that everything about the agency desperately needed to look good. Braden's column was entitled "George Bush, Bad Choice for CIA Job." Rowland Evans and Robert Novak, writing in the "Washington Post", commented that "the Bush nomination is regarded by some intelligence experts as another grave morale deflator. They reason that any identified politician, no matter how resolved to be politically pure, would aggravate the CIA's credibility gap. Instead of an identified politician like Bush ... what is needed, they feel, is a respected non-politician, perhaps from business or the academic world." The "Washington Post" came out against Bush in an editorial entitled "The Bush Appointment." Here the reasoning was that this position "should not be regarded as a political parking spot," and that public confidence in the CIA had to be restored after the recent revelations of wrongdoing. After a long-winded argument, the conservative columnist George Will came to the conclusion that Ambassador Bush at the CIA would be "the wrong kind of guy at the wrong place at the worst possible time." Senator Church viewed the Bush appointment in the context of a letter sent to him by Ford on October 31, 1975, demanding that the committee's report on U.S. assassination plots against foreign leaders be kept secret. In Church's opinion, these two developments were part of a pattern, and amounted to a new stonewalling defense by what Church had called "the rogue elephant." Church issued a press statement in response to Ford's letter attempting to impose a blackout on the assassination report. "I am astonished that President Ford wants to suppress the committee's report on assassination and keep it concealed from the American people," said Church. Then, on November 3, Church was approached by reporters outside of his Senate hearing room and asked by Daniel Schorr about the firing of Colby and his likely replacement by Bush. Church responded with a voice that was trembling with anger. "There is no question in my mind but that concealment is the new order of the day," he said. "Hiding evil is the trademark of a totalitarian government." / Note #3 The following day, November 4, Church read Leslie Gelb's column in the "New York Times" suggesting that Colby had been fired, among other things, "for not doing a good job containing the congressional investigations." George Bush, Gelb thought, "would be able to go to Congress and ask for a grace period before pressing their investigations further." A "Washington Star" headline of this period summed up this argument: "CIA Needs Bush's PR Talent." Church talked with his staff that day about what he saw as an ominous pattern of events. He told reporters: "First came the very determined administration effort to prevent any revelations concerning NSA, their stonewalling of public hearings. Then came the president's letter. Now comes the firing of Colby, Mr. Schlesinger, and the general belief that Secretary Kissinger is behind these latest developments." For Church, "clearly a pattern has emerged now to try and disrupt this [Senate Intelligence Committee] investigation. As far as I'm concerned, it won't be disrupted," said Church grimly. One of Church's former aides, speech writer Loch K. Johnson, describes how he worked with Church to prepare a speech scheduled for delivery on November 11, 1975, in which Church would stake out a position opposing the Bush nomination: "The nomination of George Bush to succeed Colby disturbed him and he wanted to wind up the speech by opposing the nomination.... He hoped to influence Senate opinion on the nomination on the eve of Armed Services Committee hearings to confirm Bush. "I rapidly jotted down notes as Church discussed the lines he would like to take against the nomination. 'Once they used to give former national party chairmen [as Bush had been under President Nixon] postmaster generalships -- the most political and least sensitive job in government,' he said. 'Now they have given this former party chairman the most sensitive and least political agency.' Church wanted me to stress how Bush 'might compromise the independence of the CIA -- the agency could be politicized.'|" Some days later, Church appeared on the CBS program "Face the Nation." He was asked by George Herman if his opposition to Bush would mean that anyone with political experience would be "a priori" unacceptable for such a post. Church replied: "I think that whoever is chosen should be one who has demonstrated a capacity for independence, who has shown that he can stand up to the many pressures." Church hinted that Bush had never stood up for principle at the cost of political office. Moreover, "a man whose background is as partisan as a past chairman of the Republican Party does serious damage to the agency and its intended purposes." / Note #4 The Brown Brothers Harriman/Skull and Bones crowd counterattacked in favor of Bush, mobilizing some significant resources. One was none other than Leon Jaworski, the former Watergate special prosecutor. Jaworski's mission for the Bush network appears to have been to get the Townhouse and related Nixon slush fund issues off the table of the public debate and confirmation hearings. Jaworski, speaking at a convention of former FBI special agents meeting in Houston, defended Bush against charges that he had accepted illegal or improper payments from Nixon and CREEP operatives. "This was investigated by me when I served as Watergate special prosecutor. I found no involvement of George Bush and gave him full clearance. I hope that in the interest of fairness, the matter will not be bandied about unless something new has appeared on the horizon." More Opposition Negative mail from both houses of Congress was also coming in to the White House. On November 12, GOP Congressman James M. Collins of Dallas, Texas wrote to Ford: "I hope you will reconsider the appointment of George Bush to the CIA. At this time it seems to me that it would be a greater service for the country for George to continue his service in China. He is not the right man for the CIA." There was also a letter to Ford from Democratic Congressman Lucien Nedzi of Michigan, who had been the chairman of one of the principal House Watergate investigating committees. Nedzi wrote as follows: "The purpose of my letter is to express deep concern over the announced appointment of George Bush as the new Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. "... [H]is proposed appointment would bring with it inevitable complications for the intelligence community. Mr. Bush is a man with a recent partisan political past and a probable near-term partisan political future. This is a burden neither the Agency, nor the legislative oversight committee, nor the Executive should have to bear as the CIA enters perhaps the most difficult period of its history. "Accordingly, I respectfully urge that you reconsider your appointment of Mr. Bush to this most sensitive of positions." / Note #5 Within just a couple of days of making Bush's nomination public, the Ford White House was aware tha t it had a significant public relations problem. To get reelected, Ford had to appear as a reformer, breaking decisively with the bad old days of Nixon and the Plumbers. But with the Bush nomination, Ford was putting a former party chairman and future candidate for national office at the head of the entire intelligence community. Ford's staff began to marshal attempted rebuttals for the attacks on Bush. On November 5, Jim Connor of Ford's staff had some trite boiler-plate inserted into Ford's Briefing Book in case he were asked if the advent of Bush represented a move to obstruct the Church and Pike Committees. Ford was told to answer that he "has asked Director Colby to cooperate fully with the Committee" and "expects Ambassador Bush to do likewise once he becomes Director. As you are aware, the work of both the Church and Pike Committees is slated to wind up shortly." / Note #6 In case he were asked about Bush politicizing the CIA, Ford was to answer: "I believe that Republicans and Democrats who know George Bush and have worked with him know that he does not let politics and partisanship interfere with the performance of public duty." That was a mouthful. "Nearly all of the men and women in this and preceding administrations have had partisan identities and have held partisan party posts.... George Bush is a part of that American tradition and he will demonstrate this when he assumes his new duties." But when Ford, in an appearance on a Sunday talk show, was asked if he were ready to exclude Bush as a possible vice-presidential candidate, he refused to do so, answering, "I don't think people of talent ought to be excluded from any field of public service." At a press conference, Ford said, "I don't think he's eliminated from consideration by anybody, the delegates or the convention or myself." Confirmation Hearings Bush's confirmation hearings got under way on December 15, 1975. Even judged by Bush's standards of today, they constitute a landmark exercise in sanctimonious hypocrisy so astounding as to defy comprehension. Bush's sponsor was GOP Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, the ranking Republican on Senator John Stennis's Senate Armed Services Committee. Thurmond unloaded a mawkish panegyric in favor of Bush: "I think all of this shows an interest on your part in humanity, in civic development, love of your country, and willingness to serve your fellow man." Bush's opening statement was also in the main a tissue of banality and cliches. He indicated his support for the Rockefeller Commission report without having mastered its contents in detail. He pointed out that he had attended cabinet meetings from 1971 to 1974, without mentioning who the President was in those days. Everybody was waiting for this consummate pontificator to get to the issue of whether he was going to attempt the vice-presidency in 1976. Readers of Bush's propaganda biographies know that he never decides on his own to run for office, but always responds to the urging of his friends. Within those limits, his answer was that he was available for the second spot on the ticket. More remarkably, he indicated that he had a hereditary right to it -- it was, as he said, his "birthright." Would Bush accept a draft? "I cannot in all honesty tell you that I would not accept, and I do not think, gentlemen, that any American should be asked to say he would not accept, and to my knowledge, no one in the history of this Republic has been asked to renounce his political birthright as the price of confirmation for any office. And I can tell you that I will not seek any office while I hold the job of CIA Director. I will put politics wholly out of my sphere of activities." Even more, Bush argued, his willingness to serve at the CIA reflected his sense of noblesse oblige. Friends had asked him why he wanted to go to Langley at all, "with all the controversy swirling around the CIA, with its obvious barriers to political future?" Magnanimously, Bush replied to his own rhetorical question: "My answer is simple. First, the work is desperately important to the survival of this country, and to the survival of freedom around the world. And second, old fashioned as it may seem to some, it is my duty to serve my country. And I did not seek this job but I want to do it and I will do my very best." / Note #7 Stennis responded with a joke that sounds eerie in retrospect: "If I thought that you were seeking the Vice Presidential nomination or Presidential nomination by way of the route of being Director of the CIA, I would question your judgment most severely." There was laughter in the committee room. Senators Barry Goldwater and Stuart Symington made clear that they would give Bush a free ride not only out of deference to Ford, but also out of regard for the late Prescott Bush, with whom they had both started out in the Senate in 1952. Senator Thomas McIntyre was more demanding, and raised the issue of enemies list operations, a notorious abuse of the Nixon (and subsequent) administrations: "What if you get a call from the President, next July or August, saying 'George, I would like to see you.' You go in the White House. He takes you over in the corner and says, 'Look, things are not going too well in my campaign. This Reagan is gaining on me all the time. Now, he is a movie star of some renown and has traveled with the fast set. He was a Hollywood star. I want you to get any dirt you can on this guy because I need it.'|" What would Bush do? "I do not think that is difficult, sir," intoned Bush. "I would simply say that it gets back to character and it gets back to integrity; and furthermore, I cannot conceive of the incumbent doing that sort of thing. But if I were put into that kind of position where you had a clear moral issue, I would simply say 'no,' because you see I think, and maybe -- I have the advantages as everyone on this committee of 20-20 hindsight, that this agency must stay in the foreign intelligence business and must not harass American citizens, like in Operation Chaos, and that these kinds of things have no business in the foreign intelligence business." This was the same Bush whose 1980 campaign was heavily staffed by CIA veterans, some retired, some on active service and in flagrant violation of the Hatch Act. This is the Vice President who ran Iran-Contra out of his own private office, and so forth. Gary Hart also had a few questions. How did Bush feel about assassinations? Bush "found them morally offensive and I am pleased the President has made that position very, very clear to the Intelligence Committee...." How about "coups d'etat in various countries around the world," Hart wanted to know. "You mean in the covert field?" replied Bush. "Yes." "I would want to have full benefit of all the intelligence. I would want to have full benefit of how these matters were taking place but I cannot tell you, and I do not think I should, that there would never be any support for a coup d'etat; in other words, I cannot tell you I cannot conceive of a situation where I would not support such action." In retrospect, this was a moment of refreshing candor. Gary Hart knew where at least one of Bush's bodies was buried: Senator Hart: You raised the question of getting the CIA out of domestic areas totally. Let us hypothesize a situation where a President has stepped over the bounds. Let us say the FBI is investigating some people who are involved, and they go right to the White House. There is some possible CIA interest. The President calls you and says, I want you as Director of the CIA to call the Director of the FBI to tell him to call off this operation because it may jeopardize some CIA activities. Mr. Bush: Well, generally speaking, and I think you are hypothecating a case without spelling it out in enough detail to know if there is any real legitimate foreign intelligence aspect.... There it was: the smoking gun tape again, the notorious Bush-Liedtke-Mosbacher-Pennzoil contribution to the CREEP again, the money that had been found in the pockets of Bernard Barker and the Plumbers after the Watergate break-in. But Hart did not mention it overtly, only in this oblique, Byzantine manner. Hart went on: I am hypothesizing a case that actually happened in June 1972. There might have been some tangential CIA interest in something in Mexico. Funds were laundered and so forth. Mr. Bush: Using a 50-50 hindsight on that case, I hope I would have said the CIA is not going to get involved in that if we are talking about the same one. Senator Hart: We are. Senator [Patrick] Leahy: Are there others? Bush was on the edge of having his entire Watergate past come out in the wash, but the liberal Democrats were already far too devoted to the one-party state to grill Bush seriously. In a few seconds, responding to another question from Hart, Bush was off the hook, droning on about plausible deniability, of all things. The next day, December 16, 1975, Church, appearing as a witness, delivered his philippic against Bush. After citing evidence of widespread public concern about the renewed intrusion of the CIA in domestic politics under Bush, Church reviewed the situation: "So here we stand. Need we find or look to higher places than the Presidency and the nominee himself to confirm the fact that this door [of the Vice Presidency in 1976] is left open and that he remains under active consideration for the ticket in 1976? We stand in this position in the close wake of Watergate, and this committee has before it a candidate for Director of the CIA, a man of strong partisan political background and a beckoning political future. "Under these circumstances I find the appointment astonishing. Now, as never before, the Director of the CIA must be completely above political suspicion. At the very least this committee, I believe, should insist that the nominee disavow any place on the 1976 Presidential ticket.... Otherwise his position as CIA Director would be hopelessly compromised..... "If Ambassador Bush wants to be Director of the CIA, he should seek that position. If he wants to be Vice President, then that ought to be his goal. It is wrong for him to want both positions, even in a Bicentennial year." It was an argument that conceded far too much to Bush in the effort to be fair. Bush was incompetent for the post, and the argument should have ended there. Church's unwillingness to demand the unqualified rejection of such a nominee no matter what future goodies he was willing temporarily to renounce has cast long shadows over subsequent American history. But even so, Bush was in trouble. Church was at his ironic best when he compared Bush to a recent chairman of the Democratic National Committee: "... [I]f a Democrat were President, Mr. Larry O'Brien ought not to be nominated to be Director of the CIA. Of all times to do it, this is the worst, right at a time when it is obvious that public confidence needs to be restored in the professional, impartial, and nonpolitical character of the agency. So, we have the worst of all possible worlds." Church tellingly underlined that "Bush's birthright does not include being Director of the CIA. It includes the right to run for public office, to be sure, but that is quite a different matter than confirming him now for this particular position." Church said he would under no circumstance vote for Bush, but that if the latter renounced the '76 ticket, he would refrain from attempting to canvass other votes against Bush. It was an ambiguous position. Bush came back to the witness chair in an unmistakably whining mood. He was offended above all by the comparison of his august self to the upstart Larry O'Brien: "I think there is some difference in the qualifications," said Bush in a hyperthyroid rage. "Larry O'Brien did not serve in the Congress of the United States for four years. Larry O'Brien did not serve, with no partisanship, at the United Nations for two years. Larry O'Brien did not serve as the Chief of the U.S. Liaison Office in the People's Republic of China." Not only Bush but his whole "cursus honorum" was insulted! "I will never apologize," said Bush a few seconds later, referring to his own record. Then Bush pulled out his "you must resign" letter to Nixon: "Now, I submit that for the record that that is demonstrable independence. I did not do it by calling the newspapers and saying, 'Look, I am having a press conference. Here is a sensational statement to make me, to separate me from a President in great agony.'|" The Ford Letter Bush had been savaged in the hearings, and his nomination was now in grave danger of being rejected by the committee, and then by the full Senate. Later in the afternoon of November 16, a damage control party met at the White House to assess the situation for Ford. / Note #8 According to Patrick O'Donnell of Ford's Congressional Relations Office, the most Bush could hope for was a bare majority of 9 out of 16 votes on the Stennis Committee. Ford was inclined to give the senators what they wanted, and exclude Bush "a priori" from the vice-presidential contest. When Ford called George over to the Oval Office on December 18, he already had the text of a letter to Stennis announcing that Bush was summarily ruled off the ticket if Ford were the candidate (which was anything but certain). Ford showed Bush the letter. We do not know what whining may have been heard in the White House that day from a senatorial patrician deprived (for the moment) of his birthright. Ford could not yield; it would have thrown his entire election campaign into acute embarrassment just as he was trying to get it off the ground. When George saw that Ford was obdurate, heproposed that the letter be amended to make it look as if the initiative to rule him out as a running mate had originated with Bush. The fateful letter read: Dear Mr. Chairman: As we both know, the nation must have a strong and effective foreign intelligence capability. Just over two weeks ago, on December 7 while in Pearl Harbor, I said that we must never drop our guard nor unilaterally dismantle our defenses. The Central Intelligence Agency is essential to maintaining our national security. I nominated Ambassador George Bush to be CIA Director so we can now get on with appropriate decisions concerning the intelligence community. I need -- and the nation needs -- his leadership at CIA as we rebuild and strengthen the foreign intelligence community in a manner which earns the confidence of the American people. Ambassador Bush and I agree that the Nation's immediate foreign intelligence needs must take precedence over other considerations and there should be continuity in his CIA leadership. Therefore, if Ambassador Bush is confirmed by the Senate as Director of Central Intelligence, I will not consider him as my Vice Presidential running mate in 1976. He and I have discussed this in detail. In fact, he urged that I make this decision. This says something about the man and about his desire to do this job for the nation.... On December 19, this letter was received by Stennis, who announced its contents to his committee. The committee promptly approved the Bush appointment by a vote of 12 to 4, with Gary Hart, Leahy, Culver and McIntyre voting against him. Bush's name could now be sent to the floor, where a recrudescence of anti-Bush sentiment was not likely, but could not be ruled out. Then, two days before Christmas, the CIA chief in Athens, Richard Welch, was gunned down in front of his home by masked assassins as he returned home with his wife from a Christmas party. A group calling itself the "November 19 Organization" later claimed credit for the killing. Certain networks immediately began to use the Welch assassination as a bludgeon against the Church and Pike Committees. An example came from columnist Charles Bartlett, writing in the now-defunct "Washington Star": "The assassination of the CIA Station Chief, Richard Welch, in Athens is a direct consequence of the stagy hearings of the Church Committee. Spies traditionally function in a gray world of immunity from such crudities. But the Committee's prolonged focus on CIA activities in Greece left agents there exposed to random vengeance." / Note #9 Staffers of the Church Committee point ed out that the Church Committee had never said a word about Greece or mentioned the name of Welch. CIA Director Colby first blamed the death of Welch on "Counterspy" magazine, which had published the name of Welch some months before. The next day, Colby backed off, blaming a more general climate of hysteria regarding the CIA which had led to the assassination of Richard Welch. In his book, "Honorable Men", published some years later, Colby continued to attribute the killing to the "sensational and hysterical way the CIA investigations had been handled and trumpeted around the world." The Ford White House resolved to exploit this tragic incident to the limit. Liberals raised a hue and cry in response. Les Aspin later recalled that "the air transport plane carrying [Welch's] body circled Andrews Air Force Base for three-quarters of an hour in order to land live on the "Today Show."" Ford waived restrictions in order to allow interment at Arlington Cemetery. The funeral on January 7 was described by the "Washington Post" as "a show of pomp usually reserved for the nation's most renowned military heroes." Anthony Lewis of the "New York Times" described the funeral as "a political device" with ceremonies "being manipulated in order to arouse a political backlash against legitimate criticism." Norman Kempster in the "Washington Star" found that "only a few hours after the CIA's Athens station chief was gunned down in front of his home, the agency began a subtle campaign intended to persuade Americans that his death was the indirect result of congressional investigations and the direct result of an article in an obscure magazine." Here, in the words of a "Washington Star" headline, was "one CIA effort that worked." Bush and the ADL Between Christmas and New Year's in Kennebunkport, looking forward to the decisive floor vote on his confirmation, Bush was at work tending and mobilizing key parts of his network. One of these was a certain Leo Cherne. Leo Cherne is not a household word, but he has been a powerful figure in the U.S. intelligence community over the period since World War II. Leo Cherne was to be one of Bush's most important allies when he was CIA Director and throughout Bush's subsequent career. Cherne has been a part of B'nai B'rith all his life. He was (and still is) an ardent Zionist. He is typical to that extent of the so-called "neoconservatives" who have been prominent in government and policy circles under Reagan-Bush, and Bush. Cherne was the founder of the International Rescue Committee (IRC), a conduit for neo-Bukharinite operations between East and West in the Cold War, and it was also reputedly a CIA front organization. Cherne was a close friend of William Casey, who was working in the Nixon administration as undersecretary of state for economic affairs in mid-1973. That was when Cherne was named to the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB) by Nixon. On March 15, 1976, Cherne became the chairman of this body, which specializes in conduiting the demands of financier and related interests into the intelligence community. Cherne, as we will see, would be, along with Bush, a leading beneficiary of Ford's spring 1976 intelligence reorganization. Bush's correspondence with Cherne leaves no doubt that theirs was a very special relationship. Cherne represented for Bush a strengthening of his links to the Zionist-neoconservative milieu, with options for backchanneling into the Soviet bloc. Bush wrote to Cherne: "I read your testimony with keen interest and appreciation. I am really looking forward to meeting you and working with you in connection with your PFIAB chores. Have a wonderful 1976," Bush wrote. January 1976 was not auspicious for Bush. He had to wait until almost the end of the month for his confirmation vote, hanging there, slowly twisting in the wind. In the meantime, the Pike Committee report was approaching completion, after months of probing and haggling, and was sent to the Government Printing Office on January 23, despite continuing arguments from the White House and from the GOP that the committee could not reveal confidential and secret material provided by the executive branch. On Sunday, January 25, a copy of the report was leaked to Daniel Schorr of CBS News, and was exhibited on television that evening. The following morning, the "New York Times" published an extensive summary of the entire Pike Committee report. Despite all this exposure, the House voted on January 29 that the Pike Committee report could not be released. A few days later, it was published in full in the "Village Voice", and CBS correspondent Daniel Schorr was held responsible for its appearance. The Pike Committee report attacked Henry Kissinger, "whose comments," it said, "are at variance with the facts." In the midst of his imperial regency over the United States, an unamused Kissinger responded that "we are facing a new version of McCarthyism." A few days later, Kissinger said of the Pike Committee: "I think they have used classified information in a reckless way, and the version of covert operations they have leaked to the press has the cumulative effect of being totally untrue and damaging to the nation." / Note #1 / Note #0 Thus, as Bush's confirmation vote approached, the Ford White House, on the one hand, and the Pike and Church Committees on the other, were close to "open political warfare," as the "Washington Post" put it at the time. One explanation of the leaking of the Pike report was offered by Otis Pike himself on February 11: "A copy was sent to the CIA. It would be to their advantage to leak it for publication." By now, Ford was raving about mobilizing the FBI to find out how the report had been leaked. On January 19, George Bush was present in the Executive Gallery of the House of Representatives, seated close to the unfortunate Betty Ford, for the President's State of the Union Address. This was a photo opportunity so that Ford's CIA candidate could get on television for a cameo appearance that might boost his standing on the eve of confirmation. Confirmed, at Last Senate floor debate was underway on January 26, and Senator McIntyre lashed out at the Bush nomination as "an insensitive affront to the American people." In further debate on the day of the vote, January 27, Senator Joseph Biden joined other Democrats in assailing Bush as "the wrong appointment for the wrong job at the wrong time." Church appealed to the Senate to reject Bush, a man "too deeply embroiled in partisan politics and too intertwined with the political destiny of the President himself" to be able to lead the CIA. Goldwater, Tower, Percy, Howard Baker and Clifford Case all spoke up for Bush. Bush's floor leader was Strom Thurmond, who supported Bush by attacking the Church and Pike Committees. Finally it came to a roll call and Bush passed by a vote of 64-27, with Lowell Weicker of Connecticut voting present. Church's staff felt they had failed lamentably, having gotten only liberal Democrats and the single Republican vote of Jesse Helms. / Note #1 / Note #1 It was the day after Bush's confirmation that the House Rules Committee voted 9 to 7 to block the publication of the Pike Committee report. The issue then went to the full House on January 29, which voted, 146 to 124, that the Pike Committee must submit its report to censorship by the White House and thus by the CIA. At almost the same time, Senator Howard Baker joined Tower and Goldwater in opposing the principal final recommendation of the Church Committee, such as it was -- the establishment of a permanent intelligence oversight committee. Pike found that the attempt to censor his report had made "a complete travesty of the whole doctrine of separation of powers." In the view of a staffer of the Church Committee, "all within two days, the House Intelligence Committee had ground to a halt, and the Senate Intelligence Committee had split asunder over the centerpiece of its recommendations. The White House must have rejoiced; the Welch death and leaks from the Pike Committee report had produced, at last, a backlash against the congressional inv estigations." / Note #1 / Note #2 Riding the crest of that wave of backlash was George Bush. The constellation of events around his confirmation prefigures the wretched state of Congress today: a rubber stamp parliament in a totalitarian state, incapable of overriding even one of Bush's 22 vetoes. On Friday, January 30, Ford and Bush were joined at the CIA auditorium for Bush's swearing-in ceremony before a large gathering of agency employees. Colby was also there: Some said he had been fired primarily because Kissinger thought that he was divulging too much to the congressional committees, but Kissinger later told Colby that the latter's stratagems had been correct. Colby opened the ceremony with a few brief words: "Mr. President, and Mr. Bush, I have the great honor to present you to an organization of dedicated professionals. Despite the turmoil and tumult of the last year, they continue to produce the best intelligence in the world." This was met by a burst of applause. / Note #1 / Note #3 Ford's line was: "We cannot improve this agency by destroying it." Bush promised to make the "CIA an instrument of peace and an object of pride for all our people." Notes for Chapter 16 1. Nathan Miller, "Spying for America" (New York: Paragon House, 1989), p. 399. 2. Gerald R. Ford Library, Richard B. Cheney Files, Box 5. 3. See Loch K. Johnson, "A Season of Inquiry: The Senate Intelligence Investigation" (University Press of Kentucky, 1985), pp. 108-9. 4. "Ibid.", pp. 115-16. 5. Nedzi to Ford, Dec. 12, 1975, Ford Library, John O. Marsh Files, Box 1. 6. "Ibid." 7. U.S. Senate, Committee on Armed Services, Nomination of George Bush to be Director of Central Intelligence, Dec. 15-16, 1975, p. 10. 8. Memo of Dec. 16, 1975 from O'Donnell to Marsh through Friedersdorf on the likely vote in the Stennis Senate Armed Services Committee. Ford Library, William T. Kendall Files, Box 7. 9. For an account of the exploitation of the Welch incident by the Ford administration, see Johnson, "op. cit.", pp. 161-62. 10. For an account of the leaking of the Pike Committee Report and the situation in late Jan. and Feb. 1976, see Daniel Schorr, "Clearing the Air" (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1977) especially pp. 179-207, and Johnson, "op. cit.", pp. 172-91. 11. Johnson, "op. cit.", p. 180. 12. "Ibid.", p. 182. 13. Thomas Powers, "The Man Who Kept the Secrets: Richard Helms and the CIA" (New York: Knopf, 1979), p. 12. When Bush became director of Central Intelligence (DCI), the incumbent principal deputy director was Gen. Vernon Walters, a former Army lieutenant general. This is the same Gen. Vernon Walters who was mentioned by Haldeman and Nixon in the notorious "smoking gun" tape already discussed, but who of course denied that he ever did any of the things that Haldeman and Ehrlichman said that he had promised to do. Walters had been at the CIA since May 1972 -- a Nixon appointee who had been with Nixon when the then-Vice President's car was stoned in Caracas, Venezuela. Ever since then, Nixon had seen him as part of the old guard. Walters left to become a private consultant in July 1976. To replace Walters, Bush picked Enno Henry Knoche, who had joined the CIA in 1953 as an intelligence analyst specializing in Far Eastern political and military affairs. Knoche came from the Navy and knew Chinese. From 1962 to 1967, he had been the chief of the National Photographic Interpretation Center. In 1969, he had become deputy director of planning and budgeting, and chaired the internal CIA committee in charge of computerization. Next, Knoche was deputy director of the Office of Current Intelligence, which produces ongoing assessments of international events for the President and the National Security Council. After 1972, Knoche headed the Intelligence Directorate's Office of Strategic Research, charged with evaluating strategic threats to the U.S. In 1975, Knoche had been a special liaison between Colby and the Rockefeller Commission, as well as with the Church and Pike Committees. This was a very sensitive post, and Bush clearly looked to Knoche to help him deal with continuing challenges coming from the Congress. In the fall of 1975, Knoche had become number two on Colby's staff for the coordination and management of the intelligence community. According to some, Knoche was to function as Bush's "Indian guide" through the secrets of Langley; he knew "where the bodies were buried." Knoche was highly critical of Colby's policy of handing over limited amounts of classified material to the Pike and Church committees, while fighting to save the core of covert operations. Knoche told a group of friends during this period: "There is no counterintelligence any more." This implies a condemnation of the congressional committees with whom Knoche had served as liaison, and can also be read as a lament for the ousting of James Jesus Angleton, chief of the CIA's counterintelligence operations until 1975 and director of the mail-opening operation that had been exposed by various probers. / Note #1 / Note #4 Adm. Daniel J. Murphy was Bush's deputy director for the intelligence community, and later became Bush's chief of staff during his first term as vice president. Much later, in November 1987, Murphy visited Panama in the company of South Korean businessman and intelligence operative Tongsun Park, and met with Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega. Murphy was later obliged to testify to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about his meeting with Noriega. Murphy claimed that he was only in Panama to "make a buck," but there are indications that he was carrying messages to Noriega from Bush. Tongsun Park, Murphy's ostensible business associate, will soon turn out to have been the central figure of the Koreagate scandal of 1976, a very important development on Bush's CIA watch. / Note #1 / Note #5 Other names on the Bush flow chart included holdover Edward Proctor, followed by Bush appointee Sayre Stevens in the slot of deputy director for intelligence; holdover Carl Duckett, followed by Bush appointee Leslie Dirks as deputy director for science and technology; John Blake, holdover as deputy director for administration; and holdover William Nelson, followed by Bush appointee William Wells, deputy director for operations. William Wells as deputy director for operations was a very significant choice. He was a career covert operations specialist who had graduated from Yale a few years before Bush. Wells soon acquired his own deputy, recommended by him and approved by Bush: This was the infamous Theodore Shackley, whose title thus became associate deputy director for covert operations. Shackley later emerged as one of the central figures of the Iran-Contra scandal of the 1980s. He is reputedly one of the dominant personalities of a CIA old boys' network known as The Enterprise, which was at the heart of Iran-Contra and the other illegal covert operations of the Reagan-Bush years. During the early 1960s, after the Bay of Pigs, Theodore Shackley had been the head of the CIA Miami Station during the years in which Operation Mongoose was at its peak. This was the E. Howard Hunt and Watergate Cubans crowd, circles familiar to Felix Rodriguez (Max Gomez), who in the 1980s ran Contra gun-running and drug-running out of Bush's vice-presidential office. Later, Shackley was reportedly the chief of the CIA station in Vientiane, Laos, between July 1966 and December 1968. Some time after that, he moved on to become the CIA station chief in Saigon, where he directed the implementation of the Civilian Operations and Rural Development Support (CORDS) program, better known as Operation Phoenix, a genocidal crime against humanity which killed tens of thousands of Vietnamese civilians because they were suspected of working for the Vietcong, or sometimes simply because they were able to read and write. As for Shackley, there are also reports that he worked for a time in the late 1960s in Rome, during the period when the CIA's GLADIO capabilities were being used to launch a wave of terrorism in that country that went on for well over a decade. Such was the man whom Bush chose to appoint to a position of responsibility in the CIA. Later, Shackley will turn up as a "speechwriter" for Bush during the 1979-80 campaign. Along with Shackley came his associate and former Miami Station second in command, Thomas Clines, a partner of Gen. Richard Secord and Albert Hakim during the Iran-Contra operation, convicted in September 1990 on four felony tax counts for not reporting his ill-gotten gains, and sentenced to 16 months in prison and a fine of $40,000. Another career covert operations man, John Waller, became the inspector general, the officer who was supposed to keep track of illegal operations. For legal advice, Bush turned first to holdover General Counsel Mitchell Rogovin, who had in December 1975 theorized that intelligence activities belonged to the "inherent powers" of the presidency, and that no special congressional legislation was required to permit such things as covert operations to go on. Later, Bush appointed Anthony Lapham, Yale '58, as CIA general counsel. Lapham was the scion of an old San Francisco banking family, and his brother was Lewis Lapham, the editor of "Harper's" magazine. Lapham would take a leading role in the CIA coverup of the Letelier assassination case. / Note #1 / Note #6 Typical of the broad section of CIA officers who were delighted with their new boss from Brown Brothers Harriman/Skull and Bones was Cord Meyer, who had most recently been the station chief in London from 1973 on, a wild and woolly time in the tight little island, as we will see. Meyer, a covert action veteran and Watergate operative, writes at length in his autobiography about his enthusiasm for the Bush regime at CIA, which induced him to prolong his own career there. / Note #1 / Note #7 And what did other CIA officers, such as intelligence analysts, think of Bush? A common impression is that he was a superficial lightweight with no serious interest in intelligence. Deputy Director for Science and Technology Carl Duckett, who was ousted by Bush after three months, commented that he "never saw George Bush feel he had to understand the depth of something.... [He] is not a man tremendously dedicated to a cause or ideas. He's not fervent. He goes with the flow, looking for how it will play politically." According to Maurice Ernst, the head of the CIA's Office of Economic Research from 1970 to 1980, "George Bush doesn't like to get into the middle of an intellectual debate .. he liked to delegate it. I never really had a serious discussion with him on economics." Hans Heymann was Bush's national intelligence officer for economics, and he remembers having been impressed by Bush's Phi Beta Kappa Yale degree in economics. As Heymann later recalled Bush's response, "He looked at me in horror and said, 'I don't remember a thing. It was so long ago, so I'm going to have to rely on you.'|" / Note #1 / Note #8 Intelligence Czar During the first few weeks of Bush's tenure, the Ford administration was gripped by a "first strike" psychosis. This had nothing to do with the Soviet Union, but was rather Ford's desire to preempt any proposals for reform of the intelligence agencies coming out of the Pike or Church Committees with a pseudo-reform of his own, premised on his own in-house study, the Rockefeller report, which recommended an increase of secrecy for covert operations and classified information. Since about the time of the Bush nomination, an interagency task force armed with the Rockefeller Commission recommendations had been meeting under the chairmanship of Ford's counselor Jack O. Marsh. This was the Intelligence Coordinating Group, which included delegates of the intelligence agencies, plus NSC, Office of Management and the Budget (OMB), and others. This group worked up a series of final recommendations that were given to Ford to study on his Christmas vacation in Vail, Colorado. At this point, Ford was inclined to "go slow and work with Congress." But on January 10, Marsh and the intelligence agency bosses met again with Ford, and the strategy began to shift toward preempting Congress. On January 30, Ford and Bush came back from their appearance at the CIA auditorium swearing-in session and met with other officials in the Cabinet Room. Attending besides Ford and Bush were Secretary of State Kissinger, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Attorney General Edward Levi, Jack Marsh, Philip Buchen, Brent Scowcroft, Mike Duval, and Peter Wallison representing Vice President Rockefeller, who was out of town that day. / Note #1 / Note #9 Here Ford presented his tentative conclusions for further discussion. The general line was to preempt the Congress, not to cooperate with it, to increase secrecy, and to increase authoritarian tendencies. Ford scheduled a White House press conference for the evening of February 17. In his press conference of February 17, Ford scooped the Congress and touted his bureaucratic reshuffle of the intelligence agencies as the most sweeping reform and reorganization of the United States' intelligence agencies since the passage of the National Security Act of 1947. "I will not be a party to the dismantling of the CIA or other intelligence agencies," he intoned. He repeated that the intelligence community had to function under the direction of the National Security Council, as if that were something earth-shaking and new; from the perspective of Oliver North and Admiral Poindexter we can see in retrospect that it guaranteed nothing. A new NSC committee chaired by Bush was entrusted with the task of giving greater central coordination to the intelligence community as a whole. This committee was to consist of Bush, Kissinger clone William Hyland of the National Security Council staff, and Robert Ellsworth, the assistant secretary of defense for intelligence. This committee was jointly to formulate the budget of the intelligence community and allocate its resources to the various tasks. The 40 Committee, which had overseen covert operations, was now to be called the Operations Advisory Group, with its membership reshuffled to include Scowcroft of NSC, Kissinger, Rumsfeld, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff George Brown, plus observers from the attorney general and OMB. An innovation was the creation of the Intelligence Oversight Board (in addition to the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board), which was chaired by Ambassador Robert D. Murphy, the old adversary of Charles de Gaulle during World War II. The IOB was supposed to be a watchdog to prevent new abuses from coming out of the intelligence community. Also on this board were Stephen Ailes, who had been undersecretary of defense for Kennedy and secretary of the Army for LBJ. The third figure on this IOB was Leo Cherne, who was soon to be promoted to chairman of PFIAB as well. The increasingly complicit relationship of Cherne to Bush meant that all alleged oversight by the IOB was a mockery. Ford also wanted a version of the Official Secrets Act, which we have seen Bush supporting: He called for "special legislation to guard critical intelligence secrets. This legislation would make it a crime for a government employee who has access to certain highly classified information to reveal that information improperly" -- which would have made the Washington leak game rather more dicey than it is at present. The Official Secrets Act would have to be passed by Congress, but most of the rest of what Ford announced was embodied in Executive Order 11905. Church thought that this was overreaching, since it amounted to changing some provisions of the National Security Act by presidential fiat. But this was now the new temper of the times. As for the CIA, Executive Order 11905 authorized it "to conduct foreign counterintelligence activities .. in the United States," which opened the door to many things. Apart from restrictions on physical searches and electronic bugging, it was still open season on Americans abroad. The FBI was promised the Levi guidelines, and other agencies would get charters written for them. In the interim, the power of the FBI to combat various "subversive" activities was reaffirmed. Political assassination was ban ned, but there were no limitations or regulations placed on covert operations, and there was nothing about measures to improve the intelligence and analytical product of the agencies. In the view of the "New York Times", the big winner was Bush: "From a management point of view, Mr. Ford tonight centralized more power in the hands of the director of Central Intelligence than any had had since the creation of the CIA. The director has always been the nominal head of the intelligence community, but in fact has had little power over the other agencies, particularly the Department of Defense." Bush was now de facto intelligence czar. / Note #2 / Note #0 Congressman Pike said that Ford's reorganization was bent "largely on preserving all of the secrets in the executive branch and very little on guaranteeing a lack of any further abuses." Church commented that what Ford was really after was "to give the CIA a bigger shield and a longer sword with which to stab about." The Bush-Kissinger-Ford counteroffensive against the congressional committees went forward. On March 5, the CIA leaked the story that the Pike Committee had lost more than 232 secret documents which had been turned over from the files of the executive branch. Pike said that this was another classic CIA provocation designed to discredit his committee, which had ceased its activity. Bush denied that he had engineered the leak. By September, Bush could boast in public that he had won the immediate engagement: His adversaries in the congressional investigating committees were defeated. "The CIA," Bush announced, "has weathered the storm.... The mood in Congress has changed," he crowed. "No one is campaigning against strong intelligence. The adversary thing, how we can ferret out corruption, has given way to the more serious question how we can have better intelligence." Such was the public profile of Bush's CIA tenure up until about the time of the November 1976 elections. If this had been the whole story, then we might accept the usual talk about Bush's period of uneventful rebuilding and morale boosting while he was at Langley. Bush's Real Agenda Reality was different. The administration Bush served had Ford as its titular head, but most of the real power, especially in foreign affairs, was in the hands of Kissinger. Bush was more than willing to play along with the Kissinger agenda. The first priority was to put an end to such episodes as contempt citations for Henry Kissinger. Thanks to the presence of Don Gregg as CIA station chief in Seoul, South Korea, that was easy to arrange. This was the same Don Gregg of the CIA who would later serve as Bush's national security adviser during the second vice-presidential term, and who would manage decisive parts of the Iran-Contra operations from Bush's own office. Gregg knew of an agent of the Korean CIA, Tongsun Park, who had for a number of years been making large payments to members of Congress, above all to Democratic members of the House of Representatives, in order to secure their support for legislation that was of interest to Park Chung Hee, the South Korean leader. It was therefore a simple matter to blow the lid off this story, causing a wave of hysteria among the literally hundreds of members of Congress who had attended parties organized by Tongsun Park. The Koreagate headlines began to appear a few days after Bush had taken over at Langley. In February, there was a story by Maxine Cheshire of the "Washington Post" reporting that the Department of Justice was investigating Congressmen Bob Leggett and Joseph Addabbo for allegedly accepting bribes from the Korean government. Both men were linked to Suzi Park Thomson, who had been hosting parties of the Korean embassy. Later, it turned out that Speaker of the House Carl Albert had kept Suzi Park Thomson on his payroll for all of the six years that he had been speaker. The "New York Times" estimated that as many as 115 Congressmen were involved. In reality the number was much lower, but former Watergate Special Prosecutor Leon Jaworski was brought back from Houston to become special prosecutor for this case as well. This underlined the press line that "the Democrats' Watergate" had finally arrived. It was embarrassing to the Bush CIA when Tongsun Park's official agency file disappeared for several months, and finally turned up shorn of key information on the CIA officers who had been working most closely with Park. With "Koreagate," the Congress was terrorized and brought to heel. In this atmosphere, Bush moved to reach a secret foreign policy consensus with key congressional leaders of both parties of the one-party state. According to two senior government officials involved, limited covert operations in such places as Angola were continued under the pretext that they were necessary for phasing out the earlier, larger, and more expensive operations. Bush's secret deal was especially successful with the post-Church Senate Intelligence Committee. Because of the climate of restoration that prevailed, a number of Democrats on this committee concluded that they must break off their aggressive inquiries and make peace with Bush, according to reports of remarks by two senior members of the committee staff. The result was an interregnum during which the Senate committee would neither set specific reporting requirements, nor attempt to pass any binding legislation to restrict CIA covert and related activity. In return, Bush would pretend to make a few disclosures to create a veneer of cooperation. / Note #2 / Note #1 The Letelier Affair One of the most spectacular scandals of Bush's tenure at the CIA was the assassination in Washington, D.C. of Orlando Letelier, the Chilean exile leader. Letelier had been a minister in the Allende government, which had been overthrown by Kissinger in 1973. Letelier, along with Ronnie Moffitt of the Washington Institute for Policy Studies, died on September 21, 1976 in the explosion of a car bomb on Sheridan Circle, in the heart of Washington's Embassy Row district along Massachusetts Avenue. Relatively few cases of international terrorism have taken place on the territory of the United States, but this was certainly an exception. Bush's activities before and after this assassination amount to one of the most bizarre episodes in the annals of secret intelligence operations. One of the assassins of Letelier was unquestionably one Michael Vernon Townley, a CIA agent who had worked for David Atlee Phillips in Chile. Phillips had become the director of the CIA's Western Hemisphere operations after the overthrow of Allende and the advent of the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet Ugarte, and its Milton Friedman/Chicago School economic policies. In 1975, Phillips founded AFIO, the Association of Former Intelligence Officers, which has supported George Bush in every campaign he has ever waged since that time. Townley, as a "former" CIA agent, had gone to work for the DINA, the Chilean secret police, and had been assigned by the DINA as its liaison man with a group called CORU. CORU was the acronym for Command of United Revolutionary Organizations, a united front of four anti-Castro Cuban organizations based primarily in the neighborhood of Miami called Little Havana. With CORU, we are back in the milieu of Miami anti-Castro Cubans, whose political godfather George Bush had been since very early in the 1960s. It was under these circumstances that the U.S. ambassador to Chile, George Landau, sent a cable to the State Department with the singular request that two agents of the DINA be allowed to enter the United States with Paraguayan passports. One of these agents is likely to have been Townley. The cable also indicated that the two DINA agents also wanted to meet with Gen. Vernon Walters, the outgoing deputy director of central intelligence, and so the cable also went to Langley. Here, the cable was read by Walters, and also passed into the hands of Director George Bush. Bush not only had this cable in his hands; Bush and Walters discussed the contents of the cable and what to do about it, including whether Walters ought to meet with th e DINA agents. The cable also reached the desk of Henry Kissinger. One of Landau's questions appears to have been whether the mission of the DINA men had been approved in advance by Langley; his cable was accompanied by photocopies of the Paraguayan passports. (Later on, in 1980, Bush denied that he had ever seen this cable; he had not just been out of the loop, he claims; he had been in China.) The red Studebaker hacks, including Bush himself in his campaign autobiography, do not bother denying anything about the Letelier case; they simply omit it. / Note #2 / Note #2 On August 4, on the basis of the conversations between Bush and Vernon Walters, the CIA sent a reply from Walters to Landau, stating that the former "was unaware of the visit and that his Agency did not desire to have any contact with the Chileans." Ambassador Landau responded by revoking the visas that he had already granted and telling the Immigration and Naturalization Service to put the two DINA men on their watch list to be picked up if they tried to enter the United States. The two DINA men entered the United States anyway on August 22, with no apparent difficulty. The DINA men reached Washington, and it is clear that they were hardly traveling incognito: They appear to have asked a Chilean embassy official to call the CIA to repeat their request for a meeting. According to other reports, the DINA men met with New York Senator James Buckley, the brother of conservative columnist William Buckley of Skull and Bones. It is also said that the DINA men met with Frank Terpil, a close associate of Ed Wilson, and no stranger to the operations of the Shackley-Clines Enterprise. According to one such version, "Townley met with Frank Terpil one week before the Letelier murder, on the same day that he met with Senator James Buckley and aides in New York City. The explosives sent to the United States on Chilean airlines were to replace explosives supplied by Edwin Wilson, according to a source close to the office of Assistant U.S. Attorney Lawrence Barcella." / Note #2 / Note #3 The bomb that killed Letelier and Moffitt was of the same type that the FBI believed that Ed Wilson was selling, with the same timer mechanism. Bush therefore had plenty of warning that a DINA operation was about to take place in Washington, and it was no secret that it would be wetwork. As authors John Dinges and Saul Landau point out, when the DINA hitmen arrived in Washington they "alerted the CIA by having a Chilean embassy employee call General Walters' office at the CIA's Langley headquarters. It is quite beyond belief that the CIA is so lax in its counterespionage functions that it would simply have ignored a clandestine operation by a foreign intelligence service in Washington, D.C., or anywhere in the United States. It is equally implausible that Bush, Walters, [Ambassador George] Landau and other officials were unaware of the chain of international assassinations that had been attributed to DINA." / Note #2 / Note #4 Bush's complicity deepens when we turn to the post-assassination coverup. The prosecutor in the Letelier-Moffitt murders was Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugene M. Propper. Nine days after the assassinations, Propper was trying without success to get some cooperation from the CIA, since it was obvious enough to anyone that the Chilean regime was the prime suspect in the killing of one of its most prominent political opponents. The CIA had been crudely stonewalling Propper. He had even been unable to secure the requisite security clearance to see documents in the case. Then Propper received a telephone call from Stanley Pottinger, assistant attorney general in charge of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department. Pottinger said that he had been in contact with members of the Institute for Policy Studies, who had argued that the Civil Rights Division ought to take over the Letelier case because of its clear political implications. Propper argued that he should keep control of the case since the Protection of Foreign Officials Act gave him jurisdiction. Pottinger agreed that Propper was right, and that he ought to keep the case. When Pottinger offered to be of help in any possible way, Propper asked if Pottinger could expedite cooperation with the CIA. As Propper later recounted this conversation: "Instant, warm confidence shot through the telephone line. The assistant attorney general replied that he happened to be a personal friend of the CIA Director himself, George Bush. Pottinger called him 'George.' For him, the CIA Director was only a phone call away. Would Propper like an appointment? By that afternoon he [an FBI agent working on the case] and Pottinger were scheduled for lunch with Director Bush at CIA headquarters on Monday. A Justice Department limousine would pick them up at noon. Propper whistled to himself. This was known in Washington as access." / Note #2 / Note #5 At CIA headquarters, Pottinger introduced Propper to Director Bush, and Bush introduced the two lawyers to Tony Lapham, his general counsel. There was some polite conversation. Then, "when finally called on to state his business, Propper said that the Letelier-Moffitt murders were more than likely political assassinations, and that the investigation would probably move outside the United States into the Agency's realm of foreign intelligence. Therefore, Propper wanted CIA cooperation in the form of reports from within Chile, reports on assassins, reports on foreign operatives entering the United States, and the like. He wanted anything he could get that might bear upon the murders." If Bush had wanted to be candid, he could have informed Propper that he had been informed of the coming of the DINA team twice, once before they left South America and once when they had arrived in Washington. But Bush never volunteered this highly pertinent information. Instead, he went into a sophisticated stonewall routine: "|'Look,' said Bush, 'I'm appalled by the bombing. Obviously we can't allow people to come right here into the capital and kill foreign diplomats and American citizens like this. It would be a hideous precedent. So, as director, I want to help you. As an American citizen, I want to help. But, as director, I also know that the Agency can't help in a lot of situations like this. We've got some problems. Tony, tell him what they are.'|" Lapham launched into a consummate Aristotelian obfuscation, recounted in Lapham and Propper's "Labyrinth". Lapham and Propper finally agreed that they could handle the matter best through an exchange of letters between the CIA Director and Attorney General Levi. George Bush summed up: "If you two come up with something that Tony thinks will protect us, we'll be all right." The date was October 4, 1976. Contrary to that pledge, Bush and the CIA began actively to sabotage Propper's investigation in public as well as behind the scenes. By Saturday, the "Washington Post" was reporting many details of Propper's arrangement with the CIA. Even more interesting was the following item in the "Periscope" column of "Newsweek" magazine of October 11: "After studying FBI and other field investigations, the CIA has concluded that the Chilean secret police were not involved in the death of Orlando Letelier.... The agency reached its decision because the bomb was too crude to be the work of experts and because the murder, coming while Chile's rulers were wooing U.S. support, could only damage the Santiago regime." On November 1, the "Washington Post" reported a leak from Bush personally: "CIA officials say ... they believe that operatives of the present Chilean military junta did not take part in Letelier's killing. According to informed sources, CIA Director Bush expressed this view in a conversation last week with Secretary of State Kissinger, the sources said. What evidence the CIA has obtained to support this initial conclusion was not disclosed." Most remarkably, Bush is reported to have flown to Miami on November 8 with the purpose or pretext of taking "a walking tour of little Havana." As author Donald Freed tells it, "Actually [Bush] met with the Miami FBI Spec ial Agent in Charge Julius Matson and the chief of the anti-Castro terrorism squad. According to a source close to the meeting, Bush warned the FBI against allowing the investigation to go any further than the lowest level Cubans." / Note #2 / Note #6 In a meeting presided over by Pottinger, Propper was only able to get Lapham to agree that the Justice Department could ask the CIA to report any information on the Letelier murder that might relate to the security of the United States against foreign intervention. It was two years before any word of the July-August cables was divulged. Ultimately, some low-level Cubans were convicted in a trial that saw Townley plea bargain and get off with a lighter sentence than the rest. Material about Townley under his various aliases strangely disappeared from the Immigration and Naturalization Service files, and records of the July-August cable traffic with Vernon Walters (and Bush) were expunged. No doubt there had been obstruction of justice; no doubt there had been a coverup. Team A and Team B Now, what about the intelligence product of the CIA, in particular the National Intelligence Estimates that are the centerpiece of the CIA's work? Here Bush was to oversee a maneuver to markedly enhance the influence of the pro-Zionist wing of the intelligence community. In June 1976, Bush accepted a proposal from Leo Cherne to carry out an experiment in "competitive analysis" in the area of National Intelligence Estimates of Soviet air defenses, Soviet missile accuracy, and overall Soviet strategic objectives. Bush and Cherne decided to conduct the competitive analysis by commissioning two separate groups, each of which would present and argue for its own conclusions. On the one, Team A would be the CIA's own National Intelligence Officers and their staffs. But there would also be a separate Team B, a group of ostensibly independent outside experts. The group leader of Team B was Harvard history professor Richard Pipes, who was working in the British Museum in London when he was appointed by Bush and Cherne. The liaison between Pipes's Team B and Team A, the official CIA, was provided by John Paisley, who had earlier served as the liaison between Langley and the McCord-Hunt-Liddy Plumbers. In this sense, Paisley served as the staff director of the Team A-Team B experiment. Team B's basic conclusion was that the Soviet military preparations were not exclusively defensive, but rather represented the attempt to acquire a first-strike capability that would allow the U.S.S.R. to unleash and prevail in thermonuclear war. The U.S. would face a window of vulnerability during the 1980s. But it is clear from Pipes's own discussion of the debate, / Note #2 / Note #7 that Team B was less interested in the Soviet Union and its capabilities than in seizing hegemony in the intelligence and think-tank community in preparation for seizing the key posts in the Republican administration that might follow Carter in 1980. The argument in Team B quarters was that, since the Soviets were turning aggressive once again, the U.S.A. must do everything possible to strengthen the only staunch and reliable American ally in the Middle East or possibly anywhere in the world, Israel. This meant not just that Israel had to be financed without stint, but that Israel had to be brought into Central America, the Far East, and Africa. There was even a design for a new NATO, constructed around Israel, while junking the old NATO because it was absorbing vital U.S. resources needed by Israel. By contrast, Team B supporters like Richard Perle, who served as assistant secretary of defense under Reagan, were bitterly hostile to the Strategic Defense Initiative, which was plainly the only rational response to the Soviet buildup, which was very real indeed. The "window of vulnerability" argument had merit, but the policy conclusions favored by Team B had none, since their idea of responding to the Soviet threat was, once again, to subordinate everything to Israeli demands. Team A and Team B were supposed to be secret, but leaks appeared in the "Boston Globe" in October. Pipes was surprised to find an even more detailed account of Team B and its grim estimate of Soviet intent in the "New York Times" shortly after Christmas, but Paisley told him that Bush and CIA official Richard Lehman had already been talking to the press, and urged Pipes to begin to offer some interviews of his own. / Note #2 / Note #8 Typically enough, Bush appeared on "Face the Nation" early in the new year, before the inauguration of the new President, Jimmy Carter, to say that he was "appalled" by the leaks of Team B's conclusions. Bush confessed that "outside expertise has enormous appeal to me." He refused to discuss the Team B conclusions themselves, but did say that he wanted to "gun down" speculation that the CIA had leaked a tough estimate of the Soviet Union's military buildup in order to stop Carter from cutting the defense budget. After the Team B conclusions had been bruited around the world, Pipes became a leading member of the Committee on the Present Danger, where his fellow Team B veteran, Paul Nitze, was already ensconced, along with Eugene V. Rostow, Dean Rusk, Lane Kirkland, Max Kampelman, Richard Allen, David Packard and Henry Fowler. About 30 members of the Committee on the Present Danger went on to become high officials of the Reagan administration. Ronald Reagan himself embraced the "window of vulnerability" thesis, which worked as well for him as the bomber gap and missile gap arguments had worked in previous elections. When the Reagan administration wasbeing assembled, Bush and James Baker had a lot to say about who got what appointments. Bush was the founder of Team B, and that is the fundamental reason why such pro-Zionist neoconservatives as Max Kampelman, Richard Perle, Steven Bryen, Noel Koch, Paul Wolfowitz and Dov Zakem showed up in the Reagan administration. In a grim postlude to the Team B exercise, Bush's hand-picked staff director for the operation, John Paisley, the Soviet analyst (Paisley was the former deputy director of the CIA's Office of Strategic Research) and CIA liaison to the Plumbers, disappeared on September 24, 1978 while sailing on Chesapeake Bay in his sloop, the "Brillig." Several days later, a body was found floating in the bay in an advanced state of decomposition, and with a gunshot wound behind the left ear. The corpse was weighted down by two sets of ponderous diving belts. The body was four inches shorter than Paisley's own height, and Paisley's wife later asserted that the body found was not that of her husband. Despite all this, the body was positively identified as Paisley's, the death summarily ruled a suicide, and the body quickly cremated at a funeral home approved by the Office of Security. Parting Shots As he managed the formidable world-wide capabilities of the CIA during 1976, Bush was laying the groundwork for his personal advancement to higher office and greater power in the 1980s. As we have seen, there was some intermittent speculation during the year that, in spite of what Ford had promised the Senate, Bush might show up as Ford's running mate after all. But, at the Republican convention, Ford chose Kansas Senator Bob Dole for Vice President. If Ford had won the election, Bush would certainly have attempted to secure a further promotion, perhaps to secretary of state, defense, or treasury as a springboard for a new presidential bid of his own in 1980. But if Carter won the election, Bush would attempt to raise the banner of the non-political status of the CIA in order to convince Carter to let him stay at Langley during the period 1977-81 as a "non-partisan" administrator. In the close 1976 election, Carter prevailed by vote fraud in New York, Ohio, and other states, but Ford was convinced by William Nelson and Happy Rockefeller, as well as by his own distraught wife Betty, that he must concede in order to preserve the work of "healing" that he had accomplished since Watergate. Carter would therefore enter the White House. Bush prepared to make his bid for continuity at the CI A. Shortly after the election, he was scheduled to journey to Plains to brief Carter with the help of his deputy Henry Knoche. The critical meeting with Carter went very badly indeed. Bush took Carter aside and argued that in 1960 and 1968, CIA directors were retained during presidential transitions, and that it would make Carter look good if he did the same. Carter signaled that he wasn't interested. Then Bush lamely stammered that if Carter wanted his own man in Langley, Bush would be willing to resign, which is of course standard procedure for all agency heads when a new President takes office. Carter said that that was indeed exactly what he wanted, and that he would have his own new DCI ready by January 21, 1977. Bush and Knoche then briefed Carter and his people for some six hours. Carter insiders told the press that Bush's briefing had been a "disaster." "Jimmy just wasn't impressed with Bush," said a key Carter staffer. / Note #2 / Note #9 Bush and Knoche then flew back to Washington, and on the plane Bush wrote a memo for Henry Kissinger describing his exchanges with Carter. At midnight, Bush drove to Kissinger's home and briefed him for an hour. Bush left Langley with Carter's inauguration, leaving Knoche to serve a couple of months as acting DCI. George Bush now turned to his family business of international banking. Notes for Chapter XVI 14. William Colby, "Honorable Men" (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1978), p. 452. 15. On Murphy and Noriega, see Frank McNeil, "War and Peace in Central America" (New York: Scribners, 1988), p.278. 16. See John Prados, "Presidents' Secret Wars" (New York: William Morrow, 1986); Powers, "op. cit."; and John Ranelagh, "The Agency: The Rise and Decline of the CIA" (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987). 17. Cord Meyer, "Facing Reality: >From World Federalism to the CIA" (Washington, D.C.: University Press of America, 1982), pp. 225-26. 18. "Washington Post", Aug. 10, 1988. 19. Ford Library, Philip W. Buchen Files, Box 2. 20. For Ford's reorganization, see Johnson, "op. cit.", pp. 194-97, and "New York Times", Feb. 18, 1976. 21. Scott Armstrong and Jeff Nason, "Company Man," "Mother Jones", October 1988. 22. See Armstrong and Nason, "op. cit.", p. 43. 23. Freed, "op. cit.", p. 174. 24. Dinges and Landau, "op. cit.", p. 384. 25. Taylor Branch and Eugene M. Propper, "Labyrinth" (New York: Viking Press, 1982), p. 72. 26. Freed, "op. cit.", p. 174. 27. Richard Pipes, "Team B: The Reality Behind the Myth," "Commentary", Oct. 1986. 28. "Ibid.", p. 34. Pipes makes clear that it was Bush and Richard Lehman who both leaked to David Binder of the "New York Times." Lehman also encouraged Pipes to leak. The version offered by William R. Corson, Susan B. Trento and Joseph J. Trento in "Widows" (New York: Crown, 1989), namely that Paisley did the leaking, may also be true, but will not exonerate Bush. 29. Evans and Novak column, "Houston Post", Dec. 1, 1976. For the pro-Bush account of these events, see Nicholas King, "George Bush: A Biography" (New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1980), pp. 109-10. CHAPTER 17 CAMPAIGN 1980 Shortly after leaving Langley, Bush asserted his birthright as an international financier, that is to say, he became a member of the board of directors of a large bank. On February 22, 1977, Robert H. Stewart III, the chairman of the holding company for First International Bankshares of Dallas, announced that Bush would become the chairman of the executive committee of First International Bank of Houston, and would simultaneously become a director of First International Bankshares Ltd. of London, a merchant bank owned by First International Bankshares, Inc. Bush also became a director of First International Bankshares, Inc. ("Interfirst"), which was the Dallas-based holding company for the entire international group. During the 1988 campaign, Bush gave the implacable stonewall to any questions about the services he performed for the First International Bankshares group or about any other aspects of his business activities during the pre-1980 interlude. Later, after the Reagan-Bush orgy of speculation and usury had ruined the Texas economy, the Texas commercial banks began to collapse into bankruptcy. Interfirst merged with RepublicBank during 1987 to form First RepublicBank, which became the biggest commercial bank in Texas. Bankruptcy overtook the new colossus just a few months later, but federal regulators delayed their inevitable intervention until after the Texas primary, in the spring of 1988, in order to avoid a potentially acute embarrassment for Bush. Once Bush had the presidential nomination locked up, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, with the connivance of the IRS, awarded the assets of First RepublicBank to the North Carolina National Bank in exchange for no payment whatsoever on the part of NCNB (now NationsBank). During the heady days of Bush's directorship at Interfirst, the bank retained a law firm in which one Lawrence Gibbs was a partner. Gibbs, a clear Bush asset, was made commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service on August 4, 1986. Here, he engineered the sweetheart deal for NCNB by decreeing $1.6 billion in tax breaks for this bank. This is typical of the massive favors and graft for pro-Bush financier interests at the expense of the taxpayer which are the hallmark of the Bush machine. Lawrence Gibbs also approved IRS participation in the October 6, 1986 federal-state police raid against premises and persons associated with the political movement of Lyndon H. LaRouche in Leesburg, Virginia. This raid was a leading part of the Bush machine's long term effort to eliminate centers of political opposition to Bush's 1988 presidential bid. And LaRouche had been a key adversary of Bush dating back to the 1979-80 New Hampshire primary campaign, as we will shortly document. Bush also joined the board of Purolator Oil Company in Rahway, New Jersey, where his crony, Wall Street raider Nicholas Brady (later Bush's Secretary of the Treasury) was the chairman. Bush also joined the board of Eli Lilly & Co., a very large and very sinister pharmaceutical company. The third board Bush joined was that of Texas Gulf, Inc. Bush's total 1977 rakeoff from the four companies with which he was involved was $112,000, according to Bush's 1977 tax return. Bush also found time to line his pockets in a series of high-yield deals that begin to give us some flavor of what would later be described as the "financial excesses of the 1980s," in which Bush's circle was to play a decisive role. A typical Bush venture of this period was Ponderosa Forest Apartments, a highly remunerative speculative play in real estate. Ponderosa bought up a 180-unit apartment complex near Houston that was in financial trouble, gentrified the interiors, and hiked the rents. Horace T. Ardinger, a Dallas real estate man who was among Bush's partners in this deal, described the transaction as "a good tax gimmick ... and a typical Texas joint venture offering." According to Bush's tax returns from 1977 through 1985, the Ponderosa partnership accrued to Bush a paper loss of $225,160, which allowed him to avoid payment of some $100,000 in federal taxes alone, plus a direct profit of over $14,000 and a capital gain of $217,278. This type of windfall represents precisely the form of real estate swindle that contributed to the Texas real estate and banking crisis of the mid-1980s. The deal illustrates one of the important ways in which the federal tax base has been eroded through real estate scams. We also see why it is no surprise that the one fiscal innovation which has earned Bush's sustained attention is the idea of a reduction in the capital gains tax to allow those who engage in swindles like these to pay an even smaller federal tax bite. But Bush's main preoccupation during these years was to assemble a political machine with which he could bludgeon his way to power. After his numerous frustrations of the past, Bush was resolved to organize a campaign that would go far beyond the innocuous exercise of appealing for citizens' votes. If such a machine were actually to succeed in seizin g power in Washington, tendencies toward the creation of an authoritarian police state would inevitably increase. The Spook Campaign Machine Bush assembled quite a campaign machine. One of the central figures of the Bush effort would be James Baker III, Bush's friend of ten years' standing. Baker's power base derived first of all from his family's Houston law firm, Baker & Botts, which was founded just after the end of the Civil War by defeated partizans of the Confederate cause. Baker & Botts founder Peter Gray had been assistant treasurer of the Confederate States of America and financial supervisor of the CSA's "Trans-Mississippi Department." Gray, acting on orders of Confederate Secretary of State Robert Toombs, financed the subversive work of Confederate Gen. Albert Pike among the Indian tribes of the Southwest. The close of the war in 1865 had found Pike hiding in Canada, and Toombs in exile in England. Pike was excluded from the general U.S. amnesty for rebels because he was thought to have induced Indians to commit massacres and war crimes. Pike and Toombs reestablished the "Southern Jurisdiction" of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, of which Pike had been the leader in the slave states before the Civil War. Pike's deputy, one Phillip C. Tucker, returned from Scottish Rite indoctrination in Great Britain to set up a Scottish Rite lodge in Houston in the spring of 1867. Tucker designated Walter Browne Botts and his relative Benjamin Botts as the leaders of this new Scottish Rite lodge. / Note #1 The policy of the Scottish Rite was to regroupunrecon structed Confederates to secure the disenfranchisement of black citizens and to promote Anglophile domination of finance and business. By the beginning of the twentieth century, there were two great powers dominating Texas: On the one hand, the railroad empire of E.H. Harriman, served by the law firm of Baker & Botts; and on the other, the British-trained political operative Colonel Edward M. House, the controller of President Woodrow Wilson. The close relation between Baker & Botts and the Harriman interests has remained in place down to the present. And since the time that Captain James A. Baker founded the Texas Commerce Bank, the Baker family has helped the London-New York axis run the Texas banking system. In 1901, the discovery of large oil deposits in Texas offered great promise for the future economic development of the state, but also attracted the Anglo-American oil cartel. The Baker family law firm in Texas, like the Bush and Dulles families in New York, was aligned with the Harriman-Rockefeller cartel. The Bakers were prominent in supporting eugenics and utopian-feudalist social engineering. Captain James A. Baker, so the story goes, the grandfather of the current boss of Foggy Bottom, solved the murder of his client William Marsh Rice and took control of Rice's huge estate. Baker used the money to start Rice University and became the chairman of the school's board of trustees. Baker sought to create a center for diffusion of racist eugenics, and for this purpose brought in Julian Huxley of the infamous British oligarchical family to found the biology program at Rice starting in 1912. / Note #2 Huxley was the vice president of the British Eugenics Society and actually helped to organize "race science" programs for the Nazi Interior Ministry, before becoming the founding director general of UNESCO in 1946-48. James A. Baker III was born April 28, 1930, in the fourth generation of his family's wealth. Baker holdings have included Exxon, Mobil, Atlantic Richfield, Standard Oil of California, Standard Oil of Indiana, Kerr-McGee, Merck, and Freeport Minerals. Baker also held stock in some large New York banks during the time that he was negotiating the Latin American debt crisis in his capacity as secretary of the treasury. / Note #3 James Baker grew up in patrician surroundings. His social profile has been described as "Tex-prep." Like his father, James III attended the Hill School near Philadelphia, and then went on to Princeton, where he was a member of the Ivy Club, a traditional preserve of Eastern Anglophile Liberal Establishment oligarchs. Baker & Botts maintains an "anti-nepotism" policy, so James III became a boss of Houston's Andrews, Kurth, Campbell & Jones law firm, a satellite of Baker & Botts. Baker's relation to Bush extends across both law firms: In 1977, Baker & Botts partner Blaine Kerr became president of Pennzoil, and in 1979, Baker & Botts partner B.J. Mackin became chairman of Zapata Corporation. Baker & Botts have always represented Zapata, and are often listed as counsel for Schlumberger, the oil services firm. James Baker and his Andrews, Kurth partners were the Houston attorneys for First International Bank of Houston when George Bush was chairman of the bank's executive committee. During the 1980 campaign, Baker became the chairman of the Reagan-Bush campaign committee, while fellow Texan Bob Strauss was chairman of the Carter-Mondale campaign. But Baker and Strauss were at the very same time business partners in Herman Brothers, one of America's largest beer distributors. Bush Democrat Strauss later went to Moscow as Bush's ambassador to the U.S.S.R., and later, to Russia. Another leading Bush supporter was Ray Cline. During 1979, it was Ray Cline who had gone virtually public with a loose and informal, but highly effective, campaign network mainly composed of former intelligence officers. Cline had been the CIA station chief in Taiwan from 1958 to 1962. He had been deputy director of central intelligence from 1962 to 1966, and had then gone on to direct the intelligence-gathering operation at the State Department. Cline became a de facto White House official during the first Bush administration, and wrote the White House boiler plate entitled "National Security Strategy of the United States," under which the Gulf war was carried out. Heading up the Bush campaign muckraking "research" staff was Stefan Halper, Ray Cline's son-in-law and a former official of the Nixon White House. A member of Halper's staff was a CIA veteran named Robert Gambino. Gambino had held the sensitive post of director of the CIA's Office of Security. The Office of Security is reputed to possess extensive files on the domestic activities of American citizens. David Aaron, Brzezinski's deputy at the Carter National Security Council, recalled that some high Carter officials were "upset" that Gambino had gone to work for the Bush camp. According to Aaron, "several [CIA] people took early retirement and went to work for Bush's so-called security staff. The thing that upset us, was that a guy who has been head of security for the CIA has been privy to a lot of dossiers, and the possibility of abuse was quite high, although we never heard of any occasion when Gambino called someone up and forced them to do something for the campaign." / Note #4 Other high-level spooks active in the Bush campaign included Lt. Gen. Sam V. Wilson and Lt. Gen. Harold A. Aaron, both former directors of the Defense Intelligence Agency. Another enthusiastic Bushman was retired Gen. Richard Stillwell, formerly the CIA's chief of covert operations for the Far East. The former deputy director for operations, Theodore Shackley, was also on board, reportedly as a speechwriter, but more likely for somewhat heavier work. According to one estimate, at least 25 former intelligence officials worked directly for the Bush campaign. As Bill Peterson of the "Washington Post" wrote on March 1, 1980, "Simply put, no presidential campaign in recent memory -- perhaps ever -- has attracted as much support from the intelligence community as the campaign of former CIA Director George Bush." Further intelligence veterans among the Bushmen included Daniel C. Arnold, the former CIA station chief in Bangkok, Thailand, who retired early to join the campaign during 1979. Harry Webster, a former clandestine agent, became a member of Bush's paid staff for the Florida primary. CIA veteran Bruce Rounds was Bush's "director of operations" during the key New Hampshire primary. Also on board with the Bushmen wa s Jon R. Thomas, a former clandestine operative who had been listed as a State Department official during a tour of duty in Spain, and who later worked on terrorism and drug-trafficking at the State Department. Andrew Falkiewicz, the former spokesman of the CIA in Langley, attended some of Bush's pre-campaign brainstorming sessions as a consultant on foreign policy matters. One leading bastion of the Bushmen was predictably David Atlee Philips's AFIO, the Association of Former Intelligence Officers. Jack Coakley was a former director and Bush's campaign coordinator for Virginia. He certified that at the AFIO annual meeting in the fall of 1979, he counted 190 "Bush for President" buttons among 240 delegates to the convention. / Note #5 James Baker was the obvious choice to be Bush's campaign manager. He had served Bush in this function in the failed Senate campaign of 1970. During the Ford years, Baker had advanced to become deputy secretary of commerce. Baker had been the manager of Ford's failed 1976 campaign. In 1978, Baker had attempted to get himself elected attorney general of Texas, but had been defeated. David Keene was political adviser. And, as always, no Bush campaign would be complete without Robert Mosbacher heading up the national finance operation. Mosbacher's experience, as we have seen, reached back to the Bill Liedtke conveyances to Maurice Stans of the CREEP in 1972. With the help of Baker and Mosbacher, Bush began to set up political campaign committees that could be used to convoy quasi-legal "soft money" into his campaign coffers. This is the classic stratagem of setting up political action committees that are registered with the Federal Election Commission for the alleged purpose of channeling funds into the campaigns of deserving Republican (or Democratic) candidates. In reality, almost all of the money is used for the presidential candidate's own staff, office, mailings, travel and related expenses. Bush's principal vehicle for this type of funding was called the Fund for Limited Government. During the first six months of 1987, this group collected $99,000 and spent $46,000, of which only $2,500 went to other candidates. Despite the happy facade, Bush's campaign staff was plagued by turmoil and morale problems, leading to a high rate of turnover in key posts. One who has stayed on all along has been Jennifer Fitzgerald, a British woman born in 1932 who had been with Bush at least since Beijing. Fitzgerald later worked in Bush's vice-presidential office, first as appointments secretary, and later as executive assistant. According to some Washington wags, she controlled access to Bush in the same way that Martin Bormann controlled access to Hitler. According to Harry Hurt, among former Bush staffers, "Fitzgerald gets vituperative reviews. She has been accused of bungling the 1980 presidential campaign by canceling Bush appearances at factory sites in favor of luncheon club speeches. Critics of her performance say she misrepresents staff scheduling requests and blocks access to her boss.... A number of the vice president's close friends worry that 'the Jennifer problem' -- or the appearance of one -- may inhibit Bush's future political career. 'There's just something about her that makes him feel good,' says one trusted Bush confidant. 'I don't think it's sexual. I don't know what it is. But if Bush ever runs for president again, I think he's going to have to make a change on that score." / Note #6 The Establishment's Candidate Bush formally announced his presidential candidacy on May 1, 1979. One of Bush's themes was the idea of a "Union of the English-Speaking Peoples." Bush was asked later in his campaign by a reporter to elaborate on this. Bush stated at that time that "the British are the best friend America has in the world today. I believe we can benefit greatly from much close collaboration in the economic, military, and political spheres. Sure, I am an Anglophile. We should all be. Britain has never done anything bad to the United States." / Note #7 Together with James Baker III, always the idea man of the Bush-Baker combo, the Bush campaign studied Jimmy Carter's success story of 1976. They knew they were starting with a "George Who?" virtually unknown to most voters. First of all, Bush would ape the Carter strategy of showing up in Iowa and New Hampshire early and often. Thanks to Mosbacher's operation, the Bush campaign would advance on a cushion of money -- he spent $1.3 million for the Illinois primary alone. The biggest item would be media buys -- above all television. This time Bush brought in Baltimore media expert Robert Goodman, who designed a series of television shorts that were described as "fast-moving, newsfilmlike portraits of an energetic, dynamic Bush creating excitement and moving through crowds, with an upbeat musical track behind him. Each of the advertisements used a slogan that attempted to capitalize on Bush's experience, while hitting Carter's wretched on-the-job performance and Ronald Reagan's inexperience on the national scene: 'George Bush,' the announcer intoned, 'a President we won't have to train.'|" / Note #8 On November 3, 1979, Bush bested Sen. Howard Baker in a "beauty contest" straw poll taken at the Maine Republican convention in Portland. Bush won by a paper-thin margin of 20 votes out of 1,336 cast, and Maine was really his home state, but the Brown Brothers Harriman networks at the "New York Times" delivered a front-page lead story with a subhead that read, "Bush Gaining Stature as '80 Contender." Bush's biggest lift of the 1980 campaign came when he won a plurality in the January 21 Iowa caucuses, narrowly besting Reagan, who had not put any effort into the state. At this point, the Brown Brothers Harriman/Skull and Bones media operation went into high gear. That same night Walter Cronkite told viewers: "George Bush has apparently done what he hoped to do, coming out of the pack as the principal challenger to front-runner Ronald Reagan." In the interval between January 21 and the New Hampshire primary of February 26, the Eastern Liberal Establishment labored mightily to put George Bush into power as President that same year. The press hype in favor of Bush was overwhelming. "Newsweek"'s cover featured a happy and smiling Bush talking with his supporters: "Bush Breaks Out of the Pack," went the headline. "Time", which had been founded by Henry Luce of Skull and Bones, showed a huge, grinning Bush and a smaller, very cross Reagan, headlined: "BUSH SOARS." The leading polls, always doctored by the intelligence agencies and other interests, showed a Bush boom: Lou Harris found that whereas Reagan had led Bush into Iowa by 32-6 nationwide, Bush had pulled even with Reagan at 27-27 within 24 hours after the Iowa result had become known. Robert Healy of the "Boston Globe" stuck his neck out even further for the neo-Harrimanite cause with a forecast that "even though he is still called leading candidate in some places, Reagan does not look like he'll be on the Presidential stage much longer." NBC's Tom Brokaw started calling Reagan the "former front-runner." Tom Pettit of the same network was more direct: "I would like to suggest that Ronald Reagan is politically dead." The Eastern Liberal Establishment had left no doubt who its darling was: Bush, and not Reagan. In their arrogance, the Olympians had once again committed the error of confusing their collective patrician whim with real processes ongoing in the real world. The New Hampshire primary was to prove a devastating setback for Bush, in spite of all the hype the Bushman networks were able to crank out. How did it happen? New Hampshire: The LaRouche Factor George Bush was, of course, a lifelong member of the Skull and Bones secret society of Yale University, through which he advanced toward the freemasonic upper reaches of the Anglo-American Establishment, toward those exalted circles of London, New York and Washington, in which the transatlantic destiny of the self-styled Anglo-Saxon master race is elaborated. The entrees provided by Skull and Bones membership would always be, for Bush, the most vital ones. But, in addition to such exalted feudal brotherhoods as Skull and Bones, the Anglo-American Establishment also maintains a series of broader-based elite organizations whose function is to manifest the hegemonic Anglo-American policy line to the broader layers of the Establishment, including bureaucrats, businessmen, bankers, journalists, professors and other such assorted retainers and stewards of power. George Bush had thus found it politic over the years to become a member of the New York Council on Foreign Relations. By 1979, Bush was a member of the board of the CFR, where he sat next to his old patron Henry Kissinger. The president of the CFR during this period was Kissinger clone Winston Lord of the traditional Skull and Bones family. George was also a member of the Bohemian Club of San Francisco, which had been founded by Ambrose Bierce after the Civil War to cater to the Stanfords, Huntingtons, Crockers, Hopkinses and the other nouveau-riche tycoons that had emerged from the gold rush. Then there was the Trilateral Commission, founded by David Rockefeller in 1973-74. The Trilateral Commission emerged at the same time that the Rockefeller-Kissinger interests perpetrated the first oil hoax. Some of its first studies were devoted to the mechanics of imposing authoritarian-totalitarian forms of government in the United States, Europe, and Japan to manage the austerity and economic decay that would be the results of Trilateral policies. As we saw briefly during Bush's Senate campaign, the combination of bankruptcy and arrogance which was the hallmark of Eastern Liberal Establishment rule over the United States generated resentments which could make membership in such organizations a distinct political liability. That the issue exploded in New Hampshire during the 1979-80 campaign in such a way as to wreck the Bush campaign was largely the merit of Lyndon LaRouche, who had launched an outsider bid in the Democratic primary. LaRouche conducted a vigorous campaign in New Hampshire during late 1979, focusing on the need to put forward an economic policy to undo the devastation being wrought by the 22 percent prime rate being charged by many banks as a result of the high-interest, usurious policies of Paul Volcker, whom Carter had made the head of the Federal Reserve. But in addition to contesting Carter, Ted Kennedy and Jerry Brown on the Democratic side, LaRouche's campaign also noticed George Bush, whom LaRouche correctly identified as a liberal Republican in the Theodore Roosevelt-House of Morgan "Bull Moose" tradition of 1912. During late 1979, the LaRouche campaign began to call attention to Bush as a threat against which other candidates, Republicans and Democrats, ought to unite. LaRouche attacked Bush as the spokesman for "the folks who live on the hill," for petty oligarchs and blue bloods who think that it is up to them to dictate political decisions to the average citizen. These broadsides were the first to raise the issue of Bush's membership in David Rockefeller's Trilateral Commission and in the New York Council on Foreign Relations. While on the hustings in New Hampshire, LaRouche observed the high correlation between preppy, liberal Republican, blue-blooded support for Bush and mental pathology. As LaRouche wrote, "In the course of campaigning in New Hampshire during 1979 and 1980, I have encountered minds, especially in western New Hampshire, who represent, in a decayed sort of way, exactly the treasonous outlook our patriotic forefathers combatted more than a century or more ago. Naturally, since I am an American Whig by family ancestry stretching back into the early 19th century, born a New Hampshire Whig, and a Whig Democrat by profession today, the blue-blooded kooks of certain 'respected' Connecticut River Valley families get my dander up." / Note #9 LaRouche's principal charge was that George Bush was a "cult-ridden kook, and more besides." He cited Bush's membership in "the secret society which largely controls George Bush's personal destiny, the Russell Trust Association, otherwise known as 'Skull and Bones'.... Understanding the importance of the Russell Trust Association in Bush's adult life will help the ordinary citizen to understand why one must place a question mark on Bush's political candidacy today. Is George Bush a 'Manchurian candidate'?" After noting that the wealth of many of the Skull and Bones families was derived from the British East India Company's trade in black slaves and in opium, LaRouche went on to discuss "How Yale Turned 'Gay'|": "Today, visiting Yale, one sees male students walking hand in hand, lovers, blatantly, on the streets. One does not permit one's boy children to visit certain of the residences on or around that campus. There have been too many incidents to be overlooked. One is reminded of the naked wrestling in the mud which initiates to the Yale Skull and Bones Society practice. One thinks of 'Skull and Boneser' William F. Buckley's advocacy of the dangerous, mind-wrecking substance, marijuana, and of Buckley's recent, publicly expressed sympathies for sodomy between male public school teachers and students.... "As the anglophile commitments [of the blue-blooded families] deepened and decayed, the families reflected this in part by a growth of the incidence of 'homosexuality' for which British public schools and universities are rightly notorious. Skull and Bones is a concentrated expression of that moral and intellectual degeneration." LaRouche pointed out that the symbol of Skull and Bones is the skull and crossbones of the pirate Jolly Roger with "322" placed under the crossbones. The 322 is thought to refer to 322 B.C., the year of the death of the Athenian orator Demosthenes, whom LaRouche identified as a traitor to Athens and an agent provocateur in the service of King Philip of Macedonia. The Skull and Bones ceremony of induction and initiation is modeled on the death and resurrection fetish of the cult of Osiris in ancient Egypt. LaRouche described the so-called "Persian model" of oligarchical rule sought by Skull and Bones: "The 'oligarchical' or 'Persian' model was what might be called today a 'neo-Malthusian' sort of 'One World' scheme. Science and technological progress were to be essentially crushed and most of the world turned back into labor-intensive, 'appropriate' technologies. By driving civilization back toward barbarism in that way, the sponsors of the 'oligarchical model' proposed to ensure the perpetuation of a kind of 'one world' rule by what we would term today a 'feudal landlord' class. To aid in bringing about that '"One World Order",' the sponsors of the project utilized a variety of religious cults. Some of these cults were designed for the most illiterate strata of the population, and, at the other extreme, other cults were designed for the indoctrination and control of the ruling elite themselves. The cult-organization under the Roman Empire is an excellent example of what was intended." LaRouche went on: "Skull and Bones is no mere fraternity, no special alumni association with added mumbo-jumbo. It is a very serious, very dedicated cult-conspiracy against the U.S. Constitution. Like the Cambridge Apostles, the initiate to the Skull and Bones is a dedicated agent of British secret intelligence for life. The fifteen Yale recruits added each year function as a powerful secret intelligence association for life, penetrating into our nation's intelligence services as well as related high levels of national policy-making. "Representatives of the cult who have functioned in that way include Averell Harriman, Henry Luce, Henry Stimson, Justice Potter Stewart, McGeorge Bundy, Rev. William Sloane Coffin (who recruited William F. Buckley), William Bundy, J. Richardson Dilworth, and George Bush ... and many more notables. The list of related Yalies in the history of the CIA accounts for many of the CIA's failures and ultimate destruction by the Kennedy machine, including the reason Yalie James Jesus Angleton failed to uncover H. 'Kim' Philby's passing of CIA secrets to Moscow. "Now, the ordinary citizen should begi n to realize how George Bush became a kook-cultist, and also how so incompetent a figure as Bush was appointed for a while Director of Central Intelligence for the CIA.... "On the record, the ordinary citizen who knew something of Bush's policies and sympathies would class him as a 'Peking sympathizer,' hence a Communist sympathizer." Focusing on Bush's links with the Maoist regime, LaRouche stressed the recent genocide in Cambodia: "The genocide of three out of seven million Cambodians by the Peking puppet regime of Pol Pot (1975-78) was done under the direction of battalions of Peking bureaucrats controlling every detail of the genocide -- the worst genocide of the present century to date. This genocide, which was aimed especially against all merely literate Cambodians as well as professional strata, had the purpose of sending all of Southeast Asia back into a 'dark age.' That 'dark age' policy is the policy of the present Peking regime. That is the regime which Kissinger, Bush and Brzezinski admire so much as an 'ally'.... "The leading circles of London have no difficulty in recognizing what 'Peking Communism' is. It is their philosophy, their policy in a Chinese mandarin culture form. To the extent that Yalies of the Skull and Bones sort are brought into the same culture as their superiors in London, such Yalies, like Bush, also have deep affection for 'Peking Communism.' "Like Bush, who supports neo-Malthusian doctrines and zero-growth and anti-nuclear policies, the Peking rulers are dedicated to a 'one world' order in which the population is halved over the next twenty years (i.e. genocide far greater than Hitler's), and most of the survivors are driven into barbarism and cultism under the rule of parasitical blue blood families of the sort represented in the membership of the Skull and Bones. "In that sense, Bush is to be viewed without quibble as a 'Manchurian candidate.' From the vantage point of the U.S. Constitution and American System of technological progress and capital formation, Bush is in effect an agent of the same evil philosophies and policies as the rulers of Peking. "That, dear friends, is not mere opinion; that is hard fact." / Note #1 / Note #0 This leaflet represented the most accurate and devastating personal and political indictment Bush had ever received in his career. It was clear that LaRouche had Bush's number. The linking of Bush with the Cambodian genocide is all the more surprising, since most of the evidence on Bush's role was at that time not in the public domain. Other aspects of LaRouche's comments are prophetic: Bush's "deep affection" for Chinese communism was to become an international scandal when Bush maintained his solidarity with Deng Xiaoping after the Tiananmen massacre of 1989. Outstanding is LaRouche's reference to the 'One World Order' which the world began to wonder about as the 'New World Order' in the late summer of 1990, during the buildup for Bush's Gulf war; LaRouche had identified the policy content of the term way back in 1980. Bush's handlers were stunned, then enraged. No one had ever dared to stand up to George Bush and Skull and Bones like this before. The Bush entourage wanted revenge. A vote fraud to deprive LaRouche of virtually all the votes cast in the Democratic primary, and transfer as many of them as possible to the Bush column, would be the first installment. Later, Gary Howard and Ron Tucker, two agents provocateur from Midland, Texas, were dispatched to try to infiltrate pro-LaRouche political circles. From 1986 on, Bush would emerge as a principal sponsor of a judicial vendetta by the Department of Justice that would see LaRouche and several of his supporters twice indicted, and finally convicted, on a series of trumped-up charges. One week after George Bush's inauguration as President, his most capable and determined opponent, Lyndon LaRouche, would be thrown into federal prison, where he remains to this day. But in the New Hampshire of 1979-80, LaRouche's attacks on Bush brought into precise focus many aspects of Bush's personality that voters found profoundly distasteful. LaRouche's attack sent out a shock wave, which, as it advanced, detonated one turbulent assault on Bush after the other. One who was caught up in the turbulence was William Loeb, the opinionated curmudgeon of Pride's Crossing, Massachusetts who was the publisher of the Manchester "Union Leader", the most important newspaper in the state. Loeb had supported Reagan in 1976 and was for him again in 1980. Loeb might have dispersed his fire against all of Reagan's Republican rivals, including Howard Baker, Robert Dole, Phil Crane, John Anderson, John Connally and Bush. It was the LaRouche campaign which demonstrated to Loeb long before the Iowa caucuses that Bush was the main rival to Reagan, and therefore the principal target. As a result, Loeb would launch a barrage of slashing attacks on Bush. Loeb had assailed Ford as "Gerry the Jerk" in 1976; his attacks on Sen. Edmund Muskie reduced the latter to tears during the 1972 primary. Loeb began to play up the theme of Bush as a liberal, as a candidate controlled by the "internationalist" (or Kissinger) wing of the GOP and the Wall Street bankers, always soft on communism and always ready to undermine liberty through Big Government here at home. A February editorial by Loeb reacted to Bush's Iowa success with these warnings of vote fraud: "The Bush operation in Iowa had all the smell of a CIA covert operation.... Strange aspects of the Iowa operation [included] a long, slow count and then the computers broke down at a very convenient point, with Bush having a six per cent bulge over Reagan.... Will the elite nominate their man, or will we nominate Reagan?" / Note #1 / Note #1 For Loeb, the most damning evidence was Bush's membership in the Trilateral Commission, the creature of David Rockefeller and the international bankers. Carter and his administration had been packed with Trilateral members; there were indications that the Establishment choice of Carter to be the next U.S. President had been made at a meeting of the Trilateral Commission in Kyodo, Japan, where Carter had been introduced by Gianni Agnelli of Italy's FIAT motor company. Loeb simplified all that: "George Bush is a Liberal" was the title of his editorial published the day before the primary. Loeb flayed Bush as a "spoiled little rich kid who has been wet-nursed to succeed and now, packaged by David Rockefeller's Trilateral Commission, thinks he is entitled to the White House as his latest toy." Shortly before the election Loeb ran a cartoon entitled "Silk Stocking Republicans," which showed Bush at a cocktail party with a cigarette and glass in hand. Bush and the other participants, all male, were wearing women's pantyhose. Paid political ads began to appear in the "Union Leader" sponsored by groups from all over the country, some helped along by John Sears of the Reagan campaign. One showed a drawing of Bush juxtaposed with a Mr. Peanut logo: "The same people who gave you Jimmy Carter want now to give you George Bush," read the headline. The text described a "coalition of liberals, multinational corporate executives, big-city bankers, and hungry power brokers" led by David Rockefeller, whose "purpose is to control the American government, regardless of which political party -- Democrat or Republican -- wins the presidency this coming November! ... The Trojan horse for this scheme," the ad went on, "is Connecticut-Yankee-turned-Texas oilman George Bush -- the out-of-nowhere Republican who openly admits he is using the same 'game-plan' developed for Jimmy Carter in the 1976 presidential nomination campaign." The ad went on to mention the Council on Foreign Relations and the "Rockefeller money" that was the lifeblood of Bush's effort. While campaigning, Bush was asked once again about the money he received from Nixon's 1970 Townhouse slush fund. Bush's stock reply was that his friend Leon Jaworski had cleared him: "The answer came back, clean, clean, clean," said Bush. By now the Reagan camp had caught on that something important was happening, something which could benefit Reagan enormously. First Reagan's crony Edwin Meese piped up an oblique reference to the Trilateral membership of some candidates, including Bush: "[A]ll these people come out of an international economic industrial organization with a pattern of thinking on world affairs" that led to a "softening on defense." That played well, and Reagan decided he would pick up the theme. On February 7, 1980, Reagan observed in a speech that 19 key members of the Carter administration, including Carter, were members of the Trilateral Commission. According to Reagan, this influence had indeed led to a "softening on defense" because of the Trilateraloids' belief that business "should transcend, perhaps, the national defense." / Note #1 / Note #2 Bush realized that he was faced with an ugly problem. He summarily resigned from both the Trilateral Commission and from the New York Council on Foreign Relations. But his situation in New Hampshire was desperate. His cover had been largely blown. Now the real polls, the ones that are generally not published, showed Bush collapsing, and even media that would normally have been rabidly pro-Bush were obliged to distance themselves from him in order to defend their own "credibility." Bush was now running scared, sufficiently so as to entertain the prospect of a debate among candidates. Notes for Chapter XVII 1. Albert Pike to Robert Toombs, May 20, 1861 in "The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies" (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1881), Series I, Vol. III, pp. 580-81. See also James David Carter, "History of the Supreme Council, 330 (Mother Council of the World), Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry Southern Jurisdiction, U.S.A., 1861-1891" (Washington: The Supreme Council, 330, 1967), pp. 5-24, and James David Carter, Ed., "The First Century of Scottish Rite Masonry in Texas: 1867-1967" (Texas Scottish Rite Bodies, 1967), pp. 32-33, 42. 2. Fredericka Meiners, "A History of Rice University: The Institute Years, 1907-1963" (Houston: Rice University, 1982). 3. Ronald Brownstein and Nina Easton, "Reagan's Ruling Class" (New York: Pantheon Books, 1983), p. 650. 4. Joe Conason, "Company Man," "Village Voice," Oct. 1988. 5. Bob Callahan, "Agents for Bush," "Covert Action Information Bulletin," No. 33 (Winter 1990), pp. 5 ff. 6. Harry Hurt III, "George Bush, Plucky Lad," "Texas Monthly," June 1983, p. 206. 7. L. Wolfe, "King George VII Campaigns in New Hampshire," "New Solidarity," Jan. 8, 1980. 8. Jeff Greenfield, "The Real Campaign" (New York: Summit Books, 1982), pp. 36-37. 9. See Lyndon LaRouche, "Is Republican George Bush a 'Manchurian Candidate'?" issued by Citizens for LaRouche, Manchester, New Hampshire, Jan. 12, 1980. 10. Quoted in Greenfield, "op. cit.," p. 44. 11. Manchester "Union Leader," Feb. 24, 1980. 12. Sidney Blumenthal, "The Rise of the Counter-Establishment" (New York: Perennial Library, 1988), pp. 82-83. CHAPTER 18 PART 1 CAMPAIGN 1980 Epiphany of a Scoundrel John Sears of the Reagan campaign signaled to the "Nashua Telegraph", a paper published in southern New Hampshire, that Reagan would accept a one-on-one debate with Bush. James Baker was gulled: He welcomed the idea because the debate format would establish Bush as the main alternative to Reagan. "We thought it was the best thing since sliced bread," said Baker. Bob Dole complained to the Federal Elections Commission about being excluded, and the Reagan camp suggested that the debate be paid for out of campaign funds, half by Reagan and half by Bush. Bush refused to pay, but Reagan pronounced himself willing to defray the entire cost. Thus it came to pass that a bilateral Bush-Reagan debate was scheduled for February 23 at a gymnasium in Nashua. For many, this evening would provide the epiphany of George Bush, a moment when his personal essence was made manifest. Bush propaganda has always tried to portray the "Nashua Telegraph" debate as some kind of ambush planned by Reagan's diabolical campaign manager, John Sears. Established facts include that the "Nashua Telegraph" owner, blueblood J. Herman Pouliot, and "Telegraph" editor John Breen, were both close personal friends of former Governor Hugh Gregg, who was Bush's campaign director in the state. Bush had met with Breen before the debate. Perhaps it was Bush who was trying to set some kind of a trap for Reagan. On the night of February 23, the gymnasium was packed with more than 2,400 people. Bush's crony, Rep. Barber Conable (or "Barbarian Cannibal," later Bush's man at the World Bank), was there with a group of congressmen for Bush. Then the excluded GOP candidates, John Anderson, Howard Baker, Bob Dole, and Phil Crane, all arrived and asked to meet with Reagan and Bush to discuss opening the debate up to them as well. (Connally, also a candidate, was in South Carolina.) Reagan agreed to meet with them and went backstage into a small office with the other candidates. He expressed a general willingness to let them join in. But Bush refused to talk to the other candidates, and sat on the stage waiting impatiently for the debate to begin. John Sears told Bush's press secretary, Peter Teeley, that Sears wanted to talk to Bush about the debate format. "It doesn't work that way," hissed the liberal Teeley, who sent James Baker to talk with Sears. Sears said it was time to have an open debate. Baker passed the buck to the "Nashua Telegraph". From the room behind the stage where the candidates were meeting, the Reagan people sent U.S. Senator Gordon Humphrey out to urge Bush to come and confer with the rest of them. "If you don't come now," said Humphrey to Bush, "you're doing a disservice to party unity." Bush whined in reply: "Don't tell me about unifying the Republican Party! I've done more for this party than you'll ever do! I've worked too hard for this and they're not going to take it away from me!" In the back room, there was a proposal that Reagan, Baker, Dole, Anderson, and Crane should go on stage together and announce that Reagan would refuse to debate unless the others were included. "Everyone seemed quite irritated with Bush, whom they viewed as acting like a spoiled child," wrote an aide to Anderson later. / Note #1 / Note #3 Bush refused to even acknowledge the presence of Dole, who had helped him get started as GOP chairman; of Anderson and Crane, former House colleagues; and of Howard Baker, who had helped him get confirmed at the CIA. George kept telling anybody who came close that he was sticking with the original rules. The audience was cheering for the four excluded candidates, demanding that they be allowed to speak. Publisher Pouliot addressed the crowd: "This is getting to sound more like a boxing match. In the rear are four other candidates who have not been invited by the "Nashua Telegraph"," said Pouliot. He was roundly booed. "Get them chairs," cried a woman, and she was applauded. Bush kept staring straight ahead into space, and the hostility of the crowd was focusing more and more on him. Reagan started to speak, motivating why the debate should be opened up. Editor Breen, a rubbery-looking hack with a bald pate and glasses, piped up: "Turn Mr. Reagan's microphone off." There was pandemonium. "You Hitler!" screamed a man in the front row right at Breen. Reagan replied: "I'm paying for this microphone, Mr. Breen." The crowd broke out in wild cheers. Bush still stared straight ahead in his temper tantrum. Reagan spoke on to ask that the others be included, saying that exclusion was unfair. But he was unsure of himself, looking to Nancy Reagan for a sign as to what he should do. At the end, Reagan said he would prefer an open debate, but that he would accept the bilateral format if that were the only way. With that, the other candidates left the podium in a towering rage. "There'll be another day, George," growled Bob Dole. Reagan and Bush then debated, and those who were still paying attention agreed that Bush was the loser. A staff member later told Bush, "The good news is that nobody paid any attention to the debate. The bad news is y ou lost that, too." Film footage of Reagan grabbing the microphone while Bush stewed in his temper tantrum was all over local and network television for the next 48 hours. It was the epiphany of a scoundrel. Now the Bush damage control apparatus went into that mode it finds so congenial: lying. A radio commercial was prepared under orders from James Baker for New Hampshire stations: Here an announcer, not Bush, intoned that "at no time did George Bush object to a full candidate forum. This accusation by the other candidates is without foundation whatsoever." Walter Cronkite heard a whining voice from Houston, Texas as he interviewed Bush on his new program: "I wanted to do what I agreed to do," said the whine. "I wanted to debate with Ronald Reagan." The New Hampshire primary was a debacle for Bush. Reagan won 50 percent of the votes to George's 23 percent, with 13 percent for Baker and 10 percent for Anderson. / Note #1 / Note #4 Bush played out the string through the primaries, but he won only four states (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Michigan) plus Puerto Rico. Reagan took 29. Even in Pennsylvania, where the Bushmen outspent Reagan by a colossal margin, Reagan managed to garner more delegates even though Bush got more votes. Bush was able to keep going after New Hampshire because Mosbacher's machinations had given him a post-New Hampshire war chest of $3 million. The Reagan camp had spent two-thirds of their legal total expenditure of $18 million before the primaries had begun. This had proven effective, but it meant that in more than a dozen primaries, Reagan could afford no televis ion purchases at all. This allowed Bush to move in and smother Reagan under a cascade of greenbacks in a few states, even though Reagan was on his way to the nomination. That was the story in Pennsylvania and Michigan. The important thing for Bush now was to outlast the other candidates and to build his credentials for the vice-presidency, since that was what he was now running for. Seeking his 'Birthright' All the money and organization had not sufficed. After some expensive primary failures, Bush now turned his entire attention to the quest for his "birthright," the vice-presidency. This would be his fifth attempt to attain that office, and once again, despite the power of Bush's network, success was uncertain. Inside the Reagan camp, one of Bush's greatest assets would be William Casey, who had been closely associated with the late Prescott Bush. Casey was to be Reagan's campaign manager for the final phase of the 1980 elections. In 1962, Prescott and Casey had co-founded a think tank called the National Strategy Information Center in New York City, a forum where Wall Street lawyers like Casey could join hands with politicians from Prescott's wing of the Republican Party, financiers, and the intelligence community. The National Strategy Information Center provided material for a news agency called Forum World Features, a CIA proprietary that operated in London, and which was in liaison with the British Information Research Department, a Cold War propaganda unit set up by Christopher Mayhew of British intelligence with the approval of Prime Minister Clement Attlee. This Prescott Bush-William Casey think tank promoted the creation of endowed chairs in strategic analysis, national intelligence and the like on a number of campuses. The Georgetown Center for Strategic and International Studies, later the home of Kissinger, Michael Ledeen and a whole stable of ideologues of the Anglo-American empire, was in part a result of the work of Casey and Prescott. Casey was also a close associate of George Bush. During 1976, Ford appointed Casey to PFIAB, where Casey was an enthusiastic supporter of the Team B operation along with Bush and Leo Cherne. George Bush and Casey would play decisive roles in the secret government operations of the Reagan years. As the Republican convention gathered in Detroit in July 1980, the problem was to convince Reagan of the inevitability of tapping Bush as his running mate. But Reagan did not want Bush. He had conceived an antipathy, even a hostility, for George. What Reagan had experienced personally from Bush during the "Nashua Telegraph" debate had left a lasting and highly derogatory impression. According to one account of this phase, "ever since the episode in Nashua in February, Reagan had come to hold the preppy Yankee transplant in, as the late Senator Robert Kerr of Oklahoma used to say, minimum high regard. 'Reagan is a very gracious contestant,' one of his inner circle said, 'and he generally views his opponents with a good deal of respect. The thing he couldn't understand was Bush's conduct at the "Nashua Telegraph" debate. It imprinted with Reagan that Bush was a wimp. He remembered that night clearly when we had our vice-presidential discussions. He couldn't understand how a man could have sat there so passively. He felt it showed a lack of courage." And now that it was time to think about a running mate, the prospective presidential nominee gave a sympathetic ear to those who objected to Bush for reasons that ran, one of the group said later, from his behavior at Nashua to 'anti-Trilateralism.'|" According to this account, conservatives seeking to stop Bush at the convention were citing their suspicions about a "|'conspiracy' backed by Rockefeller to gain control of the American government." / Note #1 / Note #5 Drew Lewis was a leading Bushman submarine in the Reagan camp, telling the candidate that Bush could help him in electoral college mega-states like Pennsylvania and Michigan where Ted Kennedy had demonstrated that Carter was vulnerable during the primaries. Lewis badgered Reagan with the prospect that if he waited too long, he would have to accept a politically neutral running mate in the way that Ford took Dole in 1976, which might end up costing him the election. According to Lewis, Reagan needed to broaden his base, and Bush was the most palatable and practical vehicle for doing so. Much to his credit, Reagan resisted; "[H]e told several staff members and advisers that he still harbored 'doubts' about Bush, based on Nashua. 'If he can't stand up to that kind of pressure,' Reagan told one intimate, 'how could he stand up to the pressure of being President?' To another, he said: 'I want to be very frank with you. I have strong reservations about George Bush. I'm concerned about turning the country over to him.'|" As the convention came closer, Reagan continued to be hounded by Bushmen from inside and outside his own campaign. A few days before the convention, it began to dawn on Reagan that one alternative to the unpalatable Bush might be former President Gerald Ford, assuming the latter could be convinced to make the run. Two days before Reagan left for Detroit, according to one of his strategists, Reagan "came to the conclusion that it would be Bush, but he wasn't all that happy about it." / Note #1 / Note #6 But this was not yet the last word. Casey, Meese and Michael Deaver sounded out Ford, who was reluctant but did not issue a categorical rejection. Stuart Spencer, Ford's 1976 campaign manager, reported to Reagan on his contacts with Ford. "Ron," Spencer said, "Ford ain't gonna do it, and you're gonna pick Bush." But judging from Reagan's reaction, Spencer recalled later, "There was no way he was going to pick Bush," and the reason was simple: Reagan just didn't like the guy. "It was chemistry," Spencer said. / Note #1 / Note #7 Reagan now had to be ground down by an assortment of Eastern Liberal Establishment perception-mongers and political heavies. Much of the well-known process of negotiation between Reagan and Ford for the "Dream Ticket" of 1980 was simply a charade to disorient and demoralize Reagan while eating up the clock, until the point was reached when Reagan would have no choice but to make the classic phone call to Bush. It is obvious that Reagan offered the vice-presidency to Ford, and that the latter refused to accept it outright, but engaged in a process of negotiations ostensibly in order to establish the conditions under which he might, eventually, accept. / Note #1 / Note #8 Casey called in Henry Kissinger and asked him to intercede with Ford. What then developed was a marathon of haggling in which Ford was represented by Kissinger, Alan Greenspan, Jack Marsh and Bob Barrett. Reagan was represented by Casey, Meese and perception-monger Richard Wirthlin. Dick Cheney, Ford's former chief of staff, who is now Bush's pro-genocide secretary of defense, also got into the act. This complex strategy of intrigue culminated in Ford's notorious interview with Walter Cronkite, in which the CBS anchorman asked Ford if "It's got to be something like a co-presidency?" "That's something Governor Reagan really ought to consider," replied Ford, which was not what a serious vice-presidential candidate might say, but did correspond rather well to what "Gerry the Jerk" would say if he wanted to embarrass Reagan and help Bush. The best indication that Ford had been working all along as an agent of Bush was provided by Ford himself to Germond and Witcover: "Ford, incidentally, told us after the election that one of his prime objectives at the convention had been 'to subtly help George Bush get the [vice-presidential] nomination.'|" / Note #1 / Note #9 Drew Lewis helped Reagan make the call that he found so distasteful. Reagan came on the line: "Hello, George, this is Ron Reagan. I'd like to go over to the convention and announce that you're my choice for vice president ... if that's all right with you." "I'd be honored, Governor." Reagan now proceeded to the convention floor, where he would announce his choice of Bush. Knowing that this decision would alienate many of Reagan's ideological backers, the Reagan campaign leaked the news that Bush had been chosen to the media, so that it would quickly spread to the convention floor. They were seeking to cushion the blow, to avoid mass expressions of disgust when Bush's name was announced. Even as it was, there was much groaning and booing among the Reagan faithful. As the Detroit convention came to a close, the Reagan and Bush campaign staffs were merged, with James Baker assuming a prominent position in the Casey-run Reagan campaign. The Ray Cline, Halper, and Gambino operations were all continued. From this point on, Reagan's entourage would be heavily infiltrated by Bushmen. The October Surprise The Reagan-Bush campaign, now chock full of Bush's Brown Brothers Harriman/Skull and Bones assets, announced a campaign of espionage. This campaign told reporters that it was going to spy on the Carter regime. Back in April, Carter had taken to live television at 7:00 a.m. one morning to announce some ephemeral progress in his efforts to secure the release of State Department officials and others from the U.S. embassy in Teheran, who were being held as hostages by the Khomeini forces in Iran. This announcement was timed to coincide with Democratic primaries in Kansas and Wisconsin, in which Carter was able to overwhelm challenges from Teddy Kennedy and Jerry Brown. A memo from Richard Wirthlin to Casey and Reagan initiated a discussion of how the Carter gang might exploit the advantages of incumbency in order to influence the outcome of the election, perhaps by attempting to stampede the public by some dramatic event at the last minute, such as the freeing of the hostages in Teheran. On April 24, a military task force failed to free the hostages. Casey began to institute countermeasures even before the Detroit GOP convention. During the convention, at a July 14 press conference, Casey told reporters of his concern that Carter might spring an "October Surprise" in foreign or domestic policy on the eve of the November elections. He announced that he had set up what he called an "incumbency watch" to monitor Carter's activities and decisions. Casey explained that an "intelligence operation" directed against the Carter White House was functioning "already in germinal form." Ed Meese, who was with Casey at this press conference, added that the October Surprise "could be anything from a summit conference on energy" or development in Latin America, or perhaps the imposition of "wage and price controls" on the domestic economy. "We've talked about the October surprise and what the October surprise will be," said Casey. "I think it's immoral and improper." / Note #2 / Note #0 The previous evening, in a television appearance, Reagan had suggested that "the Soviet Union is going to throw a few bones to Mr. Carter during this coming campaign to help him continue as President." Although Casey and Meese had defined a broad range of possibilities for the October Surprise, the most prominent of these was certainly the liberation of the American hostages in Iran. A poll showed that if the hostages were to be released during the period between October 18 and October 25, Carter could receive a 10 percent increase in popular vote on election day. The "incumbency watch" set up by Casey would go beyond surveillance and become a dirty tricks operation against Carter. What followed was in essence a pitched battle between two fascist gangs, the Carter White House and the Bush-Casey forces. Out of this 1980 gang warfare, the post-1981 United States regime would emerge. Carter and Brzezinski had deliberately toppled the Shah of Iran, and deliberately installed Khomeini in power. This was an integral part of Brzezinski's "arc of crisis" geopolitical lunacy, another made-in-London artifact which called for the United States to support the rise of Khomeini, and his personal brand of fanaticism, a militant heresy within Islam. U.S. arms deliveries were made to Iran during the time of the Shah; during the short-lived Shahpour Bakhtiar government at the end of the Shah's reign; and continuously after the advent of Khomeini. Subsequently, President Carter and senior members of his administration have suggested that the Reagan/Bush campaign cut a deal with the Khomeini regime to block the liberation of the hostages before the November 1980 election. By early 1992, the charges and countercharges reached such a fever pitch that a preliminary congressional investigation of the affair had been initiated. In March 1992, "Executive Intelligence Review" issued a Special Report titled, "Treason in Washington: New Evidence on the 'October Surprise,'|" / Note #2 / Note #1 which presented extensive new evidence from internal FBI and CIA documents, released under the Freedom of Information Act, that suggests that the then-Republican vice-presidential candidate played a personal role in keeping the hostages in Khomeini's hands until after Election Day 1980; and that Casey, a personal friend of Bush's father and Reagan's CIA director, coordinated the operation. The central link suggesting Bush's role in the scandal was Cyrus Hashemi, an Iranian arms dealer and agent of the Iranian SAVAK secret police, whom Casey seems to have recruited as a liaison to the mullahs. On December 7, 1979, less than two months after the hostages were seized, Carter's assistant secretary of state, Harold Saunders, was contacted by an intermediary for Cyrus Hashemi. The Iranian arms merchant proposed a deal to free the hostages, and submitted a memorandum calling for the following: removal of the ailing expatriate Shah from U.S. territory; an apology by the United States to the people of Iran for past U.S. interference; the creation of a United Nations Commission; the unfreezing of the Iranian financial assets seized by Carter; and arms and spare parts deliveries by the United States to Iran. All of this was summed up in a memorandum submitted to Secretary of State Cyrus Vance following meetings with Hashemi and his attorney. / Note #2 / Note #2 The notable aspect of this encounter is the identity of the American lawyer who was both the business partner and the intermediary for the Iranian gun-runner: John Stanley Pottinger. The account of the 1976 Letelier case provided above (see Chapter 16) has established that Pottinger was a close friend of George Bush. Pottinger, it will be recalled, had served as assistant attorney general for civil rights in the Nixon and Ford administration s between 1973 and 1977, after having directed the U.S. Office of Civil Rights in the Justice Department between 1970 and 1973. Pottinger had also stayed on into the early Carter administration, serving as special assistant to the attorney general from February to April 1977. Pottinger had then joined the law firm of Tracy, Malin and Pottinger of Washington, London, and Paris. After the 1980 election, Pottinger was being considered for a high-level post in the Reagan/Bush administration. This same Pottinger was now the representative for gun-runner Cyrus Hashemi. Given Pottinger's proven relation to Bush, we may wonder to what extent was Bush informed of Hashemi's proposal, and of the responses of the Carter administration. Relevant evidence that might help us to determine what Bush knew and when he knew it is still being withheld by the Bush regime. The FBI bugged Cyrus Hashemi's phones and office from August 1980 to February 1981, and many of the conversations that were recorded were between Hashemi and Bush's friend Pottinger. Ten years later, in November 1991, the FBI released heavily redacted summaries of some of the conversations, but most of the summaries and transcripts are still classified. "EIR"'s Special Report thoroughly documented how Pottinger was protected from indictment by the Reagan-Bush Justice Department. For years, prosecution of Hashemi and Pottinger, for illegally conspiring to ship weapons to the Khomeini regime, was blocked by the administration on "national security" grounds. Declassified FBI documents show that an indictment of Pottinger had been drawn up, but that the indictment was killed at the last minute in 1984 when the FBI "lost"crucial taped evidence. The FBI conducted an extensive internal investigation of the missing "Pottinger tapes" but the results have never been disclosed. Other information on the intentions of the Khomeini regime and secret dealings may have reached Bush from his old friend and associate Mitchell Rogovin, the former CIA general counsel. During 1976, Rogovin had accompanied Bush on many trips to the capital to testify before congressional committees; the two were known to be close. Rogovin was credited with having saved the CIA after it came under major congressional and media attack in the mid-1970s. In the spring of 1980, Rogovin told the Carter administration that he had been approached by Iranian-American arms dealer Houshang Lavi with an offer to start negotiations for the release of the hostages. Lavi claimed to be an emissary of Iranian President Abol Hassan Bani-Sadr; Rogovin at this time was working as the lawyer for the John Anderson GOP presidential campaign. Bush's family friend Casey had also been in direct contact with Iranian representatives. Jamshid Hashemi, the brother of Cyrus Hashemi (who died under suspicious circumstances during 1986), had told Gary Sick, a former official of Carter's National Security Council, that he met with William Casey at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. in March of 1980 to discuss the hostages. According to Jamshid Hashemi, "Casey quickly made clear that he wanted to prevent Jimmy Carter from gaining any political advantage from the hostage crisis. The Hashemis agreed to cooperate with Casey without the knowledge of the Carter administration." / Note #2 / Note #3 Casey's "intelligence operation" included the spying on the opposing candidate that has been routine in U.S. political campaigns for decades, but went far beyond it. As journalists like Witcover and Germond knew during the course of the campaign, and as the 1984 Albosta committee "Debategate" investigation showed, Casey set up at least two "October Surprise" espionage groups. The first of these watched the Carter White House, the Washington bureaucracy, and diplomatic and intelligence posts overseas. This group was headed by Reagan's principal foreign policy adviser and later NSC chairman, Richard Allen. Allen was in touch with some 120 foreign policy and national security experts sympathetic to the Reagan campaign. Casey helped Allen to interface with the Bush campaign network of retired and active duty assets in the intelligence community. This network reached into the Carter NSC, where Bush crony Don Gregg worked as the CIA liaison man, and into Carter's top-secret White House situation room. Another October Surprise monitoring group was headed by Adm. Robert Garrick. The task of this group was the physical surveillance of U.S. military bases by on-the-ground observers, often retired and sometimes active duty military officers. Lookouts were posted to watch Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma, Andrews Air Force Base near Washington, McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey (where weapons already bought and paid for by the Shah were stockpiled), and Norton and March Air Force bases in California. Garrick, Casey, Meese, Wirthlin, and other campaign officials met each morning in Falls Church, Virginia, just outside of Washington, to review intelligence gathered. This group soon became operational. It was clear that Khomeini was keeping the hostages to sell them to the highest bidder. Bush and Casey were not reticent about putting their own offer on the table. Shortly after the GOP convention, Casey appears to have traveled to Europe for a meeting in Madrid in late July with Mehdi Karrubi, a leading Khomeini supporter, now the speaker of the Iranian Parliament. Jamshid Hashemi said that he and his late brother Cyrus were present at this meeting and at another one in Madrid during August, which they say Casey also attended. The present government of Iran has declined to confirm or deny this contact, saying that "the Islamic Government of Iran sees no benefit to involve itself in the matter." Casey's whereabouts in the last days of July 1980 are officially unknown. Part of the coverup on the story has been to create uncertainty and confusion on Casey's travels at the time. What is known is that as soon as Casey surfaced again in Washington on July 30, he reported back to vice-presidential candidate George Bush in a dinner meeting held at the Alibi Club. It is certain from the evidence that there were negotiations with the mullahs by the Reagan-Bush camp, and that Bush was heavily involved at every stage. In early September, Bush's brother, Prescott Bush, Jr., became involved, with a letter to James Baker in which he described his contacts with a certain Herbert Cohen, a consultant to the Carter administration on Middle East matters. Cohen had promised to abort any possible Carter moves to "politicize" the hostage issue by openly denouncing any machinations that Carter might attempt. Prescott offered Baker a meeting with Cohen. Sometime in fall 1980, there was a meeting at the L'Enfant Plaza Hotel in Washington among Richard Allen, Bud McFarlane, Laurence Silberman of the Reagan-Bush campaign, and a mysterious Iranian representative, thought to be an emissary of Hashemi Rafsanjani, currently Iranian President and an asset of U.S. intelligence who was then becoming one of the most powerful mullahs in Khomeini's entourage. The Iranian representative offered a deal whereby "he could get the hostages released directly to our campaign before the election," Silberman recalls. (Silberman went on to become a judge in the District of Columbia Appeals Court and led the vote in overturning Oliver North's conviction.) Allen has claimed that he cut this meeting short after 20 minutes. Allen, McFarlane, and Silberman all failed to report this approach to the White House, the State Department or other authorities. On September 22, Iraq invaded Iran, starting a war that would last until the middle of 1988 and which would claim more than a million lives. The U.S. intelligence estimate had been that Khomeini and the mullahs were in danger of losing power by the end of 1980 because of their incompetence, corruption and benighted stupidity. U.S. and other Western intelligence agencies, especially the French, thereupon encouraged Iraq to attack Iran, offering the prospect of an easy victory. The "easy victory" analysis was incorporated into a "secret" CIA report which was delivered to the Saudi Arabian government with the suggestion that it be leaked to Iraq. The real U.S. estimate was that a war with Iraq would strengthen Khomeini against reformers who looked to President Bani-Sadr, and that the war emergency would assist in the imposition of a "new dark ages" regime in Iran. An added benefit was that Iran and Iraq as warring states would be forced vastly to increase their oil production, forcing down the oil price on the world market and thus providing the bankrupt U.S. dollar with an important subsidy in terms of the dollar's ability to command basic commodities in the real world. Bani-Sadr spoke in this connection of "an oil crisis in reverse" as a result of the Iran-Iraq war. President Bani-Sadr, who was later deposed in a coup d'etat by Khomeini, Rafsanjani and Beheshti, has recalled that during this period, Khomeini decided to bet on Reagan-Bush. "So what if Reagan wins," said Khomeini. "Nothing will really change since he and Carter are both enemies of Islam." / Note #2 / Note #4 This was the time of the Reagan-Carter presidential debates, and Casey's operation had also yielded booty in this regard. Bush ally and then-Congressman David Stockman boasted in Indiana in late October that he had used a "pilfered copy" of Carter's personal briefing book to coach Reagan prior to the debates. Many sources agree that a conclusive series of meetings between the Reagan-Bush and Khomeini forces took place in the weeks and months prior to Election Day 1980. In late 1991, as the campaign season heated up, close to a score of articles appeared in the U.S. press responding to Gary Sick's "October Surprise" book, which gave credibility to the charge that the Reagan-Bush campaign had indeed made a dirty deal with the mullahs to prevent the release of the hostages. Even Carter, who said that he had heard such rumors back in 1980, now agreed that a congressional investigation would be helpful in settling the matter. President Bush and an entire gaggle of political operatives and neoconservative journalists denounced Sick's book and the accusation as the fantasies of "conspiracy theorists." Sick and other journalists who published articles about the affair were severely criticized for retailing the stories of an assortment of intelligence informants, gun-runners, money launderers, pilots, and other flotsam and jetsam from the seamy side of international espionage and intrigue by pro-Bush journalists and congressional leaders opposed to probing the accusations. Immediately after the Iran-Contra scandal made headlines in early 1987, numerous sources surfaced and began to contact journalists with purported eyewitness accounts of meetings between Reagan/Bush campaign representatives and Khomeini intermediaries. Several of the sources said they had seen Bush and Casey at meetings in Europe with Khomeini's emissaries. Others offered bits and pieces of information complementing the eyewitness reports. One source, Richard Brenneke, a self-admitted money launderer and pilot for the CIA, was indicted for perjury by a U.S. attorney in Colorado for saying he had been told by another alleged CIA pilot, Heinrich Rupp, that he had seen Bush in Paris in October 1980. Brenneke said that he had personally seen Casey and Donald Gregg in Paris at the same time. But a jury acquitted Brenneke. Later, Frank Snepp, a former CIA officer turned investigative reporter, did an expose published in the "Village Voice", allegedly proving that Brenneke could not have been in Paris in October 1980 because he had obtained credit card receipts showing that Brenneke was in Oregon at the time he had told others he had been in Paris. The original source on Bush's secret trip to Paris was Oscar LeWinter, a German-based professional snitch, who seems to have done some work for both the Israeli Mossad and the CIA. LeWinter later admitted that he had been paid, allegedly by the CIA, to spread false information about Bush and Casey's secret trips to Europe for meetings with messengers from the mullahs. Does that mean there is no smoking gun linking Bush to the "coincidence" that the hostages were only released on Inauguration Day 1981, within minutes of Reagan taking his presidential oath? No. What is clear, is that some intelligence apparatus deployed an elaborate disinformation campaign which created a false trail which could be discredited. The intelligence community operation of "damage-control" is premised on revealing some of the truth, mixed with half-truths and blatantly false facts, which allows the bigger story to be undermined. It is possible that Bush was not in Paris in October 1980 to meet with an Iranian delegation to seal the deal. Bush has heatedly denied that he was in Paris at this time, and has said that he personally did not negotiate with Khomeini envoys. But he has generally avoided a blanket denial that the campaign, of which he was a principal, engaged in surreptitious dealings with the Khomeini mullahs. There is another intriguing possibility: During the same time frame that LeWinter and Brenneke (Oct. 18-19, 1980) say Bush was in Paris, an adversary of then-President Bani-Sadr and puppet of Khomeini, Prime Minister Ali Rajai, was in New York preparing to depart for Algiers after consultations at the United Nations. Rajai had refused all contact with Carter, Muskie, and other U.S. officials, but he may have been more interested in meeting Bush or one of his representatives. What is now well documented is, that throughout 1980, many Reagan/Bush campaign officials were tripping over themselves to meet with anyone purporting to be an Iranian. If a deal were to be authenticated, there is no question that Khomeini and crew would have sought a handshake from someone who could not later deny the agreement. Between October 21 and October 23, Israel dispatched a planeload of much-needed F-4 Phantom jet spare parts to Iran in violation of the U.S. arms boycott. Who in Washington had sanctioned these shipments? In Teheran, the U.S. hostages were reportedly dispersed into a multitude of locations on October 22. Also on October 22, Prime Minister Rajai, back from New York and Algiers, announced that Iran wanted neither American spare parts nor American arms. The Iranian approach to the ongoing contacts with the Carter administration now began to favor evasive delaying tactics. There were multiple indications that Khomeini had decided that Reagan-Bush was a better bet than Carter, and that Reagan-Bush had made the more generous offer. Barbara Honegger, then an official of the Reagan-Bush campaign, recalls that "on October 24th or 25th, an assistant to Stephan Halper's 'October Surprise' intelligence operation echoed William Casey's newfound confidence, boasting to the author in the operations center where [Reagan-Bush Iran-watcher Michel] Smith worked that the campaign no longer needed to worry about an 'October Surprise' because Dick [Allen] cut a deal." / Note #2 / Note #5 On October 27, Bush campaigned in Pittsburgh, where he addressed a gathering of labor leaders. His theme that day was the Iranian attempt to "manipulate" the outcome of the U.S. election through the exertion of "last-minute leverage" involving the hostages. "It's no secret that the Iranians do not want to see Ronald Reagan elected President," Bush lied. "They want to play a hand in the election -- with our 52 hostages as the 52 cards in their negotiating deck." It was a "cool, cynical, unconscionable ploy" by the Khomeini regime. Bush asserted that it was "fair to ask how come right now there's talk of releasing them [the hostages] after nearly a year." His implication was that Carter was the one with the dirty deal. Bush concluded that he wanted the hostages "out as soon as possible.... We want them home and we'll worry about who to blame later." / Note #2 / Note #6 During the first week of December, "Executive Intelligence Review" reported that Henry Kissinger "held a series of meetings during the week of November 12 in Paris with representatives of Ayatollah Beheshti, leader of the fundamentalist clergy in Iran.... Top-level intelligence sources in Reagan's inner circle confirmed Kissinger's unreported talks with the Iranian mullahs, but stressed that the Kissinger initiative was totally unauthorized by the president-elect." According to "EIR", "it appears that the pattern of cooperation between the Khomeini people and circles nominally in Reagan's camp began approximately six to eight weeks ago, at the height of President Carter's efforts to secure an arms-for-hostages deal with Teheran. Carter's failure to secure the deal, which a number of observers believe cost him the November 4 election, apparently resulted from an intervention in Teheran by pro-Reagan British circles and the Kissinger faction." / Note #2 / Note #7 These revelations from "EIR" are the first mention in the public record of the scandal which has come over the years to be known as the October Surprise. The hostages were not released before the November election, which Reagan won convincingly. Khomeini kept the hostages imprisoned until January 20, the day of the Reagan-Bush inauguration, and let the hostage plane take off just as Reagan and Bush were taking their oaths of office. Whether George Bush was personally present in Paris, or at other meetings with Iranian representatives where the hostage and arms questions were on the agenda, has yet to be conclusively proven. Here a thorough and intrusive congressional investigation of the Carter and Reagan machinations in this regard is long overdue. Such a probe might also shed light on the origins of the Iran-Iraq war, which set the stage for the more recent Gulf crisis. But, quite apart from questions regarding George Bush's presence at this or that meeting, there can be no doubt that both the Carter regime and the Reagan-Bush campaign were actively involved in dealings with the Khomeini regime concerning the hostages and concerning the timing of their possible release. In the case of the Reagan-Bush Iran connection, there is reason to believe that federal crimes in violation of the Logan Act and other applicable laws may have taken place. George Bush had now grasped the interim prize that had eluded him since 1968: After more than a dozen years of effort, he had now become the Vice President of the United States. Notes for Chapter XVIII, Part 1 13. Mark Bisnow, "Diary of a Dark Horse: The 1980 Anderson Presidential Campaign" (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1983), p. 136. 14. For the "Nashua Telegraph" debate, see: Jeff Greenfield, "op. cit.," pp. 44 ff.; Mark Bisnow, "op. cit.," pp. 134 ff.; Jules Witcover and Jack Germond, "Blue Smoke and Mirrors" (New York: Viking, 1981), pp. 116 ff. 15. Germond and Witcover, "op. cit.," p. 169. 16. "Ibid.," p. 170. 17. "Ibid.," p. 171. 18. The best testimony on this is Reagan's own response to a question from Witcover and Germond. Asked if "it was true that he was trying to get President Ford to run with him," Reagan promptly responded, "Oh, sure. That would be the best." See Germond and Witcover, "op. cit.," p. 178. 19. "Ibid.," p. 188. 20. "Washington Star," July 15, 1980. 21. "EIR Special Report:" "Treason in Washington: New Evidence on the October Surprise," March 1992. 22. See "EIR Special Report:" "Project Democracy: The 'Parallel Government' Behind the Iran-Contra Affair" (Washington, 1987), pp. 88-101. 23. Gary Sick, "The Election Story of the Decade," "New York Times," April 15, 1991. 24. Abol Hassan Bani-Sadr, "My Turn to Speak" (New York: Brassey's, U.S., 1991), p. 33. 25. Barbara Honegger, "October Surprise" (New York: Tudor Publishing Co., 1989) p. 58. 26. "Washington Post," Oct. 28, 1980. 27. "Executive Intelligence Review," Dec. 2, 1980.
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