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GEORGE BUSH: THE UNAUTHORIZED BIOGRAPHY - PART 5 of 8
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CHAPTER 13 PART I CHAIRMAN GEORGE IN WATERGATE In November 1972, Bush's "most influential patron," Richard Nixon, / Note #1 won reelection to the White House for a second term in a landslide victory over the McGovern-Shriver Democratic ticket. Nixon's election victory had proceeded in spite of the arrest of five White House-linked burglars in the offices of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate building in Washington, early on June 17 of the same year. This was the beginning of the infamous Watergate scandal, which would overshadow and ultimately terminate Nixon's second term in 1974. After the election, Bush received a telephone call informing him that Nixon wanted to talk to him at the Camp David retreat in the Catoctin Mountains of Maryland. Bush had been looking to Washington for the inevitable personnel changes that would be made in preparation for Nixon's second term. Bush tells us that he was aware of Nixon's plan to reorganize his cabinet around the idea of a "super cabinet" of top-level, inner cabinet ministers or "super secretaries" who would work closely with the White House while relegating the day-to-day functioning of their executive departments to sub-cabinet deputies. One of the big winners under this plan was scheduled to be George Shultz, the former Labor Secretary, who was now supposed to become "S uper" Secretary of the Treasury. Shultz was a Bechtel executive who went on to be Reagan's second Secretary of State after Al Haig. Bush and Shultz were future members of the Bohemian Club of San Francisco and of the Bohemian Grove summer gathering. Bush says he received a call from Nixon's top domestic aide, John Ehrlichman. Ehrlichman told Bush that George Shultz wanted to see him before he went on to meet with Nixon at Camp David. As it turned out, Shultz wanted to offer Bush the post of undersecretary of the treasury, which would amount to "de facto" administrative control over the department while Shultz concentrated on his projected super secretary policy functions. Bush says he thanked Shultz for his "flattering" offer, took it under consideration, and then pressed on to Camp David. / Note #2 Bush Takes RNC Chair At Camp David, Bush says that Nixon talked to him in the following terms: "George, I know that Shultz has talked to you about the Treasury job, and if that's what you'd like, that's fine with me. However, the job I really want you to do, the place I really need you, is over at the National Committee running things. This is an important time forthe Republican Party, George. We have a chance to build a new coalition in the next four years, and you're the one who can do it." / Note #3 But this was not the job that George really wanted. He wanted to be promoted, but he wanted to continue in the personal retinue of Henry Kissinger. "At first Bush tried to persuade the President to give him, instead, the number-two job at the State Department, as deputy to Secretary Henry Kissinger. Foreign affairs was his top priority, he said. Nixon was cool to this idea, and Bush capitulated." / Note #4 According to Bush's own account, he asked Nixon for some time to ponder the offer of the RNC chairmanship. Among those whom Bush said he consulted on whether or not to accept was Rogers C.B. Morton, the former congressman whom Nixon had made Secretary of Commerce. Morton suggested that if Bush wanted to accept, he insist that he continue as a member of the Nixon cabinet, where, it should be recalled, he had been sitting since he was named ambassador to the United Nations. Pennsylvania Senator Hugh Scott, one of the Republican congressional leaders, also advised Bush to demand to continue on in the cabinet: "Insist on it," Bush recalls him saying. Bush also consulted Barbara. The story goes that Bar had demanded that George pledge that the one job he would never take was the RNC post. But now he wanted to take precisely that post, which appeared to be a political graveyard. George explained his wimpish obedience to Nixon: "Boy, you can't turn a President down." / Note #5 Bush then told Ehrlichman that he would accept, if he could stay on in the cabinet. Nixon approved this condition, and the era of Chairman George had begun. Of course, making the chairman of the Republican Party an ex-officio member of the President's cabinet seems to imply something resembling a one-party state. But George was not deterred by such difficulties. While he was at the U.N., Bush had kept his eyes open for the next post on the way up his personal "cursus honorum." In November of 1971 there was a boomlet for Bush among Texas Republican leaders who were looking for a candidate to run for governor. / Note #6 Nixon's choice of Bush to head the RNC was announced on December 11, 1972. The outgoing RNC Chairman was Senator Bob Dole of Kansas, an asset of the grain cartel, but, in that period, not totally devoid of human qualities. According to press reports, Nixon palace guard heavies like Haldeman and Charles W. Colson, later a central Watergate figure, were not happy with Dole because he would not take orders from the White House. Dole also tended to function as a conduit for grassroots resistance to White House directives. In the context of the 1972 campaign, "White House" means specifically Clark MacGregor's Committee to Re-Elect the President (CREEP), one of the protagonists of the Watergate scandal. / Note #7 Dole was considered remarkable for his "irreverence" for Nixon: "[H]e joked about the Watergate issue, about the White House staff and about the management of the Republican convention with its 'spontaneous demonstrations that will last precisely ten minutes.'|" / Note #8 Bush's own account of how he got the RNC post ignores Dole, who was Bush's most serious rival for the 1988 Republican presidential nomination. According to Dole's version, he conferred with Nixon about the RNC post on November 28, and told the President that he would have to quit the RNC in 1973 in order to get ready to run for reelection in 1974. According to Dole, it was he who recommended Bush to Nixon. Dole even said that he had gone to New York to convince Bush to accept the post. Dole sought to remove any implication that he had been fired by Nixon, and contradicted "speculation that I went to the mountaintop to be pushed off." What was clear was that Nixon and his retainers had chosen a replacement for Dole, whom they expected to be more obedient to the commands of the White House palace guard. Bush assumed his new post in January 1973, in the midst of the trial of the Watergate burglars. He sought at once to convey the image of a pragmatic technocrat. "There's kind of a narrow line between standing for nothing and imposing one's views," Bush told the press. He stressed that the RNC would have a lot of money to spend for recruiting candidates, and that he would personally control this money. "The White House is simply not going to control the budget," said Bush. "I believe in the importance of this job and I have confidence I can do it," he added. "I couldn't do it if I were some reluctant dragon being dragged away from a three-wine luncheon." / Note #9 Bush inaugurated his new post with a pledge that the Republican Party, from President Nixon on down, would do "everything we possibly can" to make sure that the GOP was not involved in political dirty tricks in the future. "I don't think it is good for politics in this country and I am sure I am reflecting the President's views on that as head of the party," intoned Bush in an appearance on "Issues and Answers." / Note #1 / Note #1 Whether or not Bush lived up to that pledge during his months at the RNC, and indeed during his later political career, will be sufficiently answered during the following pages. But now Chairman George, sitting in Nixon's cabinet with such men as John Mitchell, his eyes fixed on Henry Kissinger as his lodestar, is about to set sail on the turbulent seas of the Watergate typhoon. Before we accompany him, we must briefly review the complex of events lumped together under the heading of "Watergate," so that we may then situate Bush's remarkable and bizarre behavior between January 1973 and August of 1974, when Nixon's fall became the occasion for yet another Bush attempt to seize the vice-presidency. The Watergate Coup By the beginning of the 1990s, it has become something of a commonplace to refer to the complex of events surrounding the fall of Nixon as a coup d'etat. / Note #1 / Note #2 It was, to be sure, a coup d'etat, but one whose organizers and beneficiaries most commentators and historians are reluctant to name, much less to confront. Broadly speaking, Watergate was a coup d'etat which was instrumental in laying the basis for the specific new type of authoritarian-totalitarian regime which now rules the United States. The purpose of the coup was to rearrange the dominant institutions of the U.S. government so as to enhance their ability to carry out policies agreeable to the increasingly urgent dictates of the Morgan-Rockefeller-Mellon-Harriman financier faction. The immediate beneficiaries of the coup have been that class of technocratic administrators who have held the highest public offices since the days of the Watergate scandal. It is obvious that George Bush himself is one of the most prominent of such beneficiaries. As the Roman playwright Seneca warns us, the one who derives advantage from the crime is the one most likely to have committed it. The policies of th e Wall Street investment banking interests named are those of usury and Malthusianism, stressing the decline of a productive industrial economy in favor of savage Third World looting and anti-population measures. The changes subsumed by Watergate included the abolition of government's function as a means to distribute the rewards and benefits of economic progress among the principal constituency groups, upon whose support the shifting political coalitions depended for their success. Henceforth, government would appear as the means by which the sacrifices and penalties of austerity and declining standards of living would be imposed on a passive and stupefied population. The constitutional office of the President was to be virtually destroyed, and the power of the usurious banking elites above and behind the presidency was to be radically enhanced. The reason why the Watergate scandal escalated into the overthrow of Nixon has to do with the international monetary crisis of those years, and with Nixon's inability to manage the collapse of the Bretton Woods system and the U.S. dollar in a way satisfactory to the Anglo-American financial elite. One real-time observer of the events of these years who emphasized the intimate relation between the international monetary upheavals on the one hand and the "peripetea" of Nixon on the other was Lyndon LaRouche. The following comments by LaRouche are excerpted from a July 1973 commentary on the conjuncture of a revaluation of the deutschemark with John Dean's testimony before Senator Sam Ervin's Watergate investigating committee: "Last week's newest up-valuation of the West German D-Mark pushed the inflation-soaked Nixon Administration one very large step closer toward 'Watergate' impeachment. Broad bi-partisan support and press enthusiasm for the televised Senate Select Committee airing of wide-ranging revelations coincides with surging contempt for the government's handling of international and domestic financial problems over the past six months." LaRouche went on to point out why the same financiers and news media who had encouraged a coverup of the Watergate scandal during 1972 had decided during 1973 to use the break-in and coverup as a means of overthrowing Nixon: "Then came the January  Paris meeting of the International Monetary Fund. The world monetary system was glutted with over $60 billions of inconvertible reserves. The world economy was technically bankrupt. It was kept out of actual bankruptcy proceedings throughout 1972 solely by the commitment of the U.S.A. to agree to some January, 1973 plan by which most of these $60 billions would begin to become convertible. The leading suggestion was that the excess dollars would be gradually sopped in exchange for IMF Special Drawing Rights (SDRs). With some such White House IMF action promised for January, 1973, the financial world had kept itself more or less wired together by sheer political will throughout 1972. "Then, into the delicate January Paris IMF sessions stepped Mr. Nixon's representatives. His delegates proceeded to break up the meeting with demands for trade and tariff concessions -- a virtual declaration of trade war. "Promptly, the financial markets registered their reaction to Mr. Nixon's bungling by plunging into crisis. "To this, Mr. Nixon shortly responded with devaluation of the dollar, a temporary expedient giving a very brief breathing-space to get back to the work of establishing dollar convertibility. Nixon continued his bungling, suggesting that this devaluation made conditions more favorable for negotiating trade and tariff concessions -- more trade war. "The financiers of the world weighed Mr. Nixon's wisdom, and began selling the dollar at still-greater discounts. Through successive crises, Mr. Nixon continued to speak only of John Connally's Holy Remedies of trade and tariff concessions. Financiers thereupon rushed substantially out of all currencies into such hedges as world-wide commodity speculation on a scale unprecedented in modern history. Still, Mr. Nixon had nothing to propose on dollar convertibility -- only trade wars. The U.S. domestic economy exploded into Latin American style inflation. "General commodity speculation, reflecting a total loss of confidence in all currencies, seized upon basic agricultural commodities -- among others. Feed prices soared, driving meat, poultry, and produce costs and prices toward the stratosphere. "It was during this period, as Nixon's credibility seemed so much less important than during late 1972, that a sudden rush of enthusiasm developed for the moral sensibilities of Chairman Sam Ervin's Senate Select Committee." / Note #1 / Note #3 As LaRouche points out, it was the leading Anglo-American financier factions which decided to dump Nixon, and availed themselves of the preexisting Watergate affair in order to reach their goal. The financiers were able to implement their decision all the more easily, thanks to the numerous operatives of the intelligence community who had been embedded within the Plumbers from the moment of their creation in response to an explicit demand coming from George Bush's personal mentor, Henry Kissinger. Watergate included the option of rapid steps in the direction of a dictatorship, not so much of the military as of the intelligence community and the law enforcement agencies, acting as executors of the will of the Wall Street circles indicated. We must recall that the backdrop for Watergate had been provided first of all by the collapse of the international monetary system, as made official by Nixon's austerity decrees imposing a wage and price freeze starting on the fateful day of August 15, 1971. What followed was an attempt to run the entire U.S. economy under the top-down diktat of the Pay Board and the Price Commission. This economic state of emergency was then compounded by the artificial oil shortages orchestrated by the companies of the international oil cartel during late 1973 and 1974, all in the wake of Kissinger's October 1973 Middle East War and the Arab oil boycott. In August 1974, when Gerald Ford decided to make Nelson Rockefeller, and not George Bush, his vice president-designate, he was actively considering further executive orders to declare a new economic state of emergency. Such colossal economic dislocations had impelled the new Trilateral Commission and such theorists as Samuel Huntington to contemplate the inherent ungovernability of democracy and the necessity of beginning a transition toward forms that would prove more durable under conditions of aggravated economic breakdown. Ultimately, much to the disappointment of George Bush, whose timetable of boundless personal ambition and greed for power had once again surged ahead of what his peers of the ruling elite were prepared to accept, the perspectives for a more overtly dictatorial form of regime came to be embodied in the figure of Vice President Nelson Rockefeller. Skeptics will point to the humiliating announcement, made by President Ford within the context of his 1975 "Halloween massacre" reshuffle of key posts, that Rockefeller would not be considered for the 1976 vice-presidential nomination. But Rockefeller, thanks to the efforts of Sarah Jane Moore and Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, each of whom attempted to assassinate Ford, had already come very close to the Oval Office on two separate occasions. Ford himself was reputedly one of the most exalted freemasons ever to occupy the presidency. Preponderant power during the last years of Nixon and during the Ford years was in any case exercised by Henry Kissinger, the de facto President. The preserving of constitutional form and ritual as a hollow facade behind which to realize practices more and more dictatorial in their substance was a typical pragmatic adaptation made possible by the ability of the financiers to engineer the slow and gradual decline of the economy, avoiding upheavals of popular protest. But in retrospect, there can be no doubt that Watergate was a coup d'etat, a creeping and muffled cold coup in the institutions which has extended its consequences over almost two dec ades. Among contemporary observers, the one who grasped this significance most lucidly in the midst of the events themselves was Lyndon LaRouche, who produced a wealth of journalistic and analytical material during 1973 and 1974. The roots of the administrative fascism of the Reagan and Bush years are to be found in the institutional tremors and changed power relations set off by the banal farce of the Watergate break-in. Hollywood's Watergate In the view of the dominant school of pro-regime journalism, the essence of the Watergate scandal lies in the illegal espionage and surveillance activity of the White House covert operations team, the so-called Plumbers, who are alleged to have been caught during an attempt to burglarize the offices of the Democratic National Committee in the Watergate office building near the Potomac. The supposed goal of the break-in was to filch information and documents while planting bugs. According to the official legend of the "Washington Post" and Hollywood, Nixon and his retainers responded to the arrest of the burglars by compounding their original crime with obstruction of justice and all of the abuses of a coverup. Then, the "Washington Post" journalists Bob Woodward and CarlBernstein, dedicated partisans of the truth, blew the story open with the help of Woodward's mysterious source, Deep Throat, setting into motion the investigation of the Senate committee under Sam Ervin, leading to impeachment proceedings by Rep. Peter Rodino's House Judiciary Committee which ultimately forced Nixon to resign. The received interpretation of the salient facts of the Watergate episode is a fantastic and grotesque distortion of historical truth. Even the kind of cursory examination of the facts in Watergate which we can permit ourselves within the context of a biography of Watergate figure George Bush will reveal that the actions which caused the fall of Nixon cannot be reduced to the simplistic account just summarized. There is, for example, the question of the infiltration of the White House staff and of the Plumbers themselves by members and assets of the intelligence community whose loyalty was not to Nixon, but to the Anglo-American financier elite. This includes the presence among the Plumbers of numerous assets of the Central Intelligence Agency, and specifically of the CIA bureaus traditionally linked to George Bush, such as the Office of Security-Security Research Staff and the Miami Station with its pool of Cuban operatives. Who Paid the Plumbers? The Plumbers were created at the demand of Henry Kissinger, who told Nixon that something had to be done to stop leaks in the wake of the "Pentagon Papers" affair of 1971. But if the Plumbers were called into existence by Kissinger, they were funded through a mechanism set up by Kissinger clone George Bush. A salient fact about the White House Special Investigations Unit (or Plumbers) of 1971-72 is that the money used to finance it was provided by George Bush's business partner and lifelong intimate friend, Bill Liedtke, the president of Pennzoil. Bill Liedtke was a regional finance chairman for the Nixon campaigns of 1968 and 1972, and he was one of the most successful. Liedtke says that he accepted this post as a personal favor to George Bush. In 1972, Bill Liedtke raised $700,000 in anonymous contributions, including what appears to have been a single contribution of $100,000 that was laundered through a bank account in Mexico. According to Harry Hurt, part of this money came from Bush's bosom crony Robert Mosbacher, now Secretary of Commerce. According to one account, "two days before a new law was scheduled to begin making anonymous donations illegal, the $700,000 in cash, checks, and securities was loaded into a briefcase at Pennzoil headquarters and picked up by a company vice president, who boarded a Washington-bound Pennzoil jet and delivered the funds to the Committee to Re-Elect the President at ten o'clock that night." / Note #1 / Note #4 These Mexican checks were turned over first to Maurice Stans of the CREEP, who transferred them in turn to Watergate burglar Gordon Liddy. Liddy passed them on to Bernard Barker, one of the Miami station Cubans arrested on the night of the final Watergate break-in. Barker was actually carrying some of the cash left over from these checks when he was apprehended. When Barker was arrested, his bank records were subpoenaed by the Dade County, Florida district attorney, Richard E. Gerstein, and were obtained by Gerstein's chief investigator, Martin Dardis. As Dardis told Carl Bernstein of the "Washington Post," about $100,000 in four cashier's checks had been issued in Mexico City by Manuel Ogarrio Daguerre, a prominent lawyer who handled Stans's money-laundering operation there. / Note #1 / Note #5 Liedtke eventually appeared before three grand juries investigating the different aspects of the Watergate affair, but neither he nor Pennzoil was ever brought to trial for the CREEP contributions. But it is a matter of more than passing interest that the money for the Plumbers came from one of Bush's intimates and, at the request of Bush, a member of the Nixon cabinet from February 1971 on. The U.S. House of Representatives Banking and Currency Committee, chaired by Texas Democrat WrightPatman, soon began a vigorous investigation of the money financing the break-in, large amounts of which were found as cash in the pockets of the burglars. Patman confirmed that the largest amount of the funds going into the Miami bank account of Watergate burglar Bernard Barker, a CIA operative since the Bay of Pigs invasion, was the $100,000 sent in by Texas CREEP chairman William Liedtke, longtime business partner of George Bush. The money was sent from Houston down to Mexico, where it was "laundered" to eliminate its accounting trail. It then came back to Barker's account as four checks totaling $89,000 and $11,000 in cash. A smaller amount, an anonymous $25,000 contribution, was sent in by Minnesota CREEP officer Kenneth Dahlberg in the form of a cashier's check. Patman relentlessly pursued the true sources of this money, as the best route to the truth about who ran the break-in, and for what purpose. CREEP National Chairman Maurice Stans later described the situation just after the burglars were arrested as made dangerous by "... Congressman Wright Patman and several of his political hatchet men working on the staff of the House Banking and Currency Committee. Without specific authorization by his committee, Patman announced that he was going to investigate the Watergate matter, using as his entry the banking transactions of the Dahlberg and Mexican checks. In the guise of covering that ground, he obviously intended to roam widely, and he almost did, but his own committee, despite its Democratic majority, eventually stopped him." These are the facts that Patman had established -- before "his own committee ... stopped him." The anonymous Minnesota $25,000 had in fact been provided to Dahlberg by Dwayne Andreas, chief executive of the Archer Daniels Midland grain trading company. The Texas $100,000, sent by Liedtke, in fact came from Robert H. Allen, a mysterious nuclear weapons materials executive. Allen was chairman of Gulf Resources and Chemical Corporation in Houston. His company controlled half the world's supply of lithium, an essential component of hydrogen bombs. On April 3, 1972 (75 days before the Watergate arrests), $100,000 was transferred by telephone from a bank account of Gulf Resources and Chemical Corp. into a Mexico City account of an officially defunct subsidiary of Gulf Resources. Gulf Resources' Mexican lawyer, Manuel Ogarrio Daguerre, withdrew it and sent back to Houston the package of four checks and cash, which Liedtke forwarded for the CIA burglars. / Note #1 / Note #6 Robert H. Allen was Texas CREEP's chief financial officer, while Bush partner William Liedtke was overall chairman. But what did Allen represent? In keeping with its strategic nuclear holdings, Allen's Gulf Resources was a kind of committee of the main components of the London-New York oligarchy. Formed in the late 1960s, Gulf Resources had taken over the New York-based Lithium Corporation of America. The president of this subsidiary was Gulf Resources Executive Vice President Harry D. Feltenstein, Jr. John Roger Menke, a director of both Gulf Resources and Lithium Corp., was also a consultant and director of the United Nuclear Corporation, and a director of the Hebrew Technical Institute. The ethnic background of the Lithium subsidiary is of interest due to Israel's known preoccupation with developing a nuclear weapons arsenal. Another Gulf Resources and Lithium Corp. director was Minnesotan Samuel H. Rogers, who was also a director of Dwayne Andreas's Archer Daniels Midland Corp. Andreas was a large financial backer of the "Zionist lobby" through the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'nith. Gulf Resources Chairman Robert H. Allen received the "Torch of Liberty" award of the Anti-Defamation League in 1982. Allen was a white Anglo-Saxon conservative. No credible reason for this award was supplied to the press, and the ADL stated their satisfaction that Mr. Allen's financing of the Watergate break-in was simply a mistake, now in the distant past. From the beginning of Gulf Resources, there was always a representative on its board of New York's Bear Stearns firm, whose partner Jerome Kohlberg, Jr., pioneered leveraged buyouts and merged with Bush's Henry Kravis. The most prestigious board member of Allen's Gulf Resources was George A. Butler, otherwise the chairman of Houston's Post Oak Bank. Butler represented the ultra-secretive W. S. ("Auschwitz") Farish III, confidant of George Bush and U.S. host of Queen Elizabeth. Farish was the founder and controlling owner of Butler's Post Oak Bank, and was chairman of the bank's executive committee as of 1988. / Note #1 / Note #7 A decade after Watergate, it was revealed that the Hunt family had controlled about 15 percent of Gulf Resources shares. This Texas oil family hired George Bush in 1977 to be the executive committee chairman of their family enterprise, the First International Bank in Houston. In the 1980s, Ray Hunt secured a massive oil contract with the ruler of North Yemen under the sponsorship of then-Vice President Bush. Ray Hunt continues in the 1991-92 presidential campaign as George Bush's biggest Texas financial angel. Here, in this one powerful Houston corporation, we see early indications of the alliance of George Bush with the "Zionist lobby" -- an alliance which for political reasons the Bush camp wishes to keep covert. These, then, are the Anglo-American moguls whose money paid for the burglary of the Watergate Hotel. It was their money that Richard Nixon was talking about on the famous "smoking gun" tape which lost him the presidency. The Investigation Is Derailed On Oct. 3, 1972, the House Banking and Currency Committee voted 20-15 against Chairman Wright Patman's investigation. The vote prevented the issuance of 23 subpoenas for CREEP officials to come to Congress to testify. The margin of protection to the moguls was provided by six Democratic members of the committee who voted with the Republicans against Chairman Patman. As CREEP Chairman Maurice Stans put it, "There were ... indirect approaches to Democratic [committee] members. An all-out campaign was conducted to see that the investigation was killed off, as it successfully was." / Note #1 / Note #8 Certain elements of this infamous "campaign" are known. Banking Committee member Frank Brasco, a liberal Democratic congressman from New York, voted to stop the probe. New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller had arranged a meeting between Brasco and U.S. Attorney General John Mitchell. Brasco had been a target of a Justice Department investigation for alleged fraud and bribery since 1970, and Mitchell successfully warned Brasco not to back Patman. Later, in 1974, Brasco was convicted of bribery. Before Watergate, both John Mitchell and Henry Kissinger had FBI reports implicating California Congressman Richard Hanna in the receipt of illegal campaign contributions from the Korean Central Intelligence Agency. Hanna surprised Patman by voting against the investigation. Hanna was later (1978) convicted for his role in the Koreagate scandal in 1978. The secretary of Congressman William Chappell complained in 1969 that the Florida Democrat had forced her to kick back some of her salary. The Justice Department, holding this information, had declined to prosecute. Chappell, a member of the Banking Committee, voted to stop Patman's investigation. Kentucky Democratic Congressman William Curlin, Jr. revealed in 1973 that "certain members of the committee were reminded of various past political indiscretions, or of relatives who might suffer as a result of [a] pro-subpoena vote." The Justice Department worked overtime to smear Patman, including an attempt to link him to "Communist agents" in Greece. / Note #1 / Note #9 The day before the committee vote, the Justice Department released a letter to Patman claiming that any congressional investigation would compromise the rights of the accused Watergate burglars before their trial. House Republican leader Gerald Ford led the attack on Patman from within the Congress. Though he later stated his regrets for this vicious campaign, his eventual reward was the U.S. presidency. Canceling the Patman probe meant that there would be no investigation of Watergate before the 1972 presidential election. The "Washington Post" virtually ended reference to the Watergate affair, and spoke of Nixon's opponent, George McGovern, as unqualified for the presidency. The Republican Party was handed another four-year administration. Bush, Kissinger, Rockefeller and Ford were the gainers. But then Richard Nixon became the focus of all Establishment attacks for Watergate, while the money trail that Patman had pursued was forgotten. Wright Patman was forced out of his committee chairmanship in 1974. On the day Nixon resigned the presidency, Patman wrote to Peter Rodino, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, asking him not to stop investigating Watergate. Though Patman died in 1976, his advice still holds good. The CIA Plumbers As the late FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover told the journalist Andrew Tully in the days before June 1972, "By God, he's [Nixon's] got some former CIA men working for him that I'd kick out of my office. Someday, that bunch will serve him up a fine mess." / Note #2 / Note #0 The CIA men in question were among the Plumbers, a unit allegedly created in the first place to stanch the flow of leaks, including the Jack Anderson material about such episodes as the December 1971 brush with nuclear war discussed above. Leading Plumbers included retired high officials of the CIA. Plumber and Watergate burglar E. Howard Hunt had been a GS-15 CIA staff officer; he had played a role in the 1954 toppling of Guatemalan President Jacobo Arbenz Guzman, and later had been one of the planners in the Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961. After the failure of the Bay of Pigs, Hunt is thought to have been a part of the continuing CIA attempts to assassinate Castro, code-named Operation Mongoose, ongoing at the time of the Kennedy assassination. All of this puts him in the thick of the CIA Miami station. One of Hunt's close personal friends was Howard Osborne, an official of the CIA Office of Security who was the immediate superior of James McCord. In the spring of 1971 Hunt went to Miami to recruit from among the Cubans the contingent of Watergate burglars, including Bernard Barker, Eugenio Martinez, and the rest. This was two months before the publication of the "Pentagon Papers," leaked by Daniel Ellsberg, provided Kissinger with the pretext he needed to get Nixon to initiate what would shortly become the Plumbers. Another leading Watergate burglar was James McCord, a former top official of the CIA Office of Security, the agency bureau which is supposed to maintain contacts with U.S. police agencies in order to facilitate its basic task of providing security for CIA installations and personnel. The Office of Security was thus heavily implicated in the CIA's illegal domestic operations, including "Cointelpro" operations against political dissidents and groups, and was the vehicle for such mind-control experiments as Operations Bluebird, Artichoke, and MK-Ultra. The Office of Security also utilized male and female prostitutes and other sex operatives for purposes of compromising and blackmailing public figures, information gathering, and control. According to Hougan, the Office of Security maintained a "fag file" of some 300,000 U.S. citizens, with heavy stress on homosexuals. The Office of Security also had responsibility for Soviet and other defectors. James McCord was at one time responsible for the physical security of all CIA premises in the U.S. McCord was also a close friend of CIA Counterintelligence Director James Jesus Angleton. McCord was anxious to cover the CIA's role; at one point he wrote to his superior, General Gaynor, urging him to "flood the newspapers with leaks or anonymous letters" to discredit those who wanted to establish the responsibility of "the company." / Note #2 / Note #1 But according to one of McCord's own police contacts, Garey Bittenbender of the Washington, D.C. Police Intelligence Division, who recognized him after his arrest, McCord had averred to him that the Watergate break-ins had been "a CIA operation," an account which McCord heatedly denied later. / Note #2 / Note #2 The third leader of the Watergate burglars, G. Gordon Liddy, had worked for the FBI and the Treasury. Liddy's autobiography, "Will," published in 1980, and various statements show that Liddy's world outlook had a number of similarities with that of George Bush: He was, for example, obsessed with the maintenance and transmission of his "family gene pool." Another key member of the Plumbers unit was John Paisley, who functioned as the official CIA liaison to the White House investigative unit. It was Paisley who assumed responsibility for the overall "leak analysis," that is to say, for defining the problem of unauthorized divulging of classified material which the Plumbers were supposed to combat. Paisley, along with Howard Osborne of the Office of Security, met with the Plumbers, led by Kissinger operative David Young, at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia on August 9, 1971. Paisley's important place on the Plumbers' roster is most revealing, since Paisley was later to become an important appointee of CIA Director George Bush. In the middle of 1976, Bush decided to authorize a group of experts, ostensibly from outside the CIA, to produce an analysis which would be compared with the CIA's own National Intelligence Estimates on Soviet capabilities and intentions. The panel of outside experts was given the designation of "Team B." Bush chose Paisley to be the CIA's "coordinator" of the three subdivisions of Team B. Paisley would later disappear while sailing on Chesapeake Bay in September of 1978. In a White House memorandum by David Young summarizing the August 9, 1971 meeting between the Plumbers and the official CIA leaders, we find that Young "met with Howard Osborn and a Mr. Paisley to review what it was that we wanted CIA to do in connection with their files on leaks from January 1969 to the present." There then follows a 14-point list of leaks and their classification, including the frequency of leaks associated with certain journalists, the gravity of the leaks, and so forth. A data base was called for, and "it was decided that Mr. Paisley would get this done by next Monday, August 16, 1971." On areas where more clarification was needed, the memo noted, "the above questions should be reviewed with Paisley within the next two days." / Note #2 / Note #3 The lesser Watergate burglars came from the ranks of the CIA Miami station Cubans: Bernard Barker, Eugenio Martinez, Felipe de Diego, Frank Surgis, Virgilio Gonzalez and Reinaldo Pico. Once they had started working for Hunt, Martinez asked the Miami station chief, Jake Esterline, if he was familiar with the activities now being carried out under White House cover. Esterline in turn asked Langley for its opinion of Hunt's White House position. A reply was written by Cord Meyer, later openly profiled as a Bush admirer, to Deputy Director for Plans (that is to say, covert operations) Thomas Karamessines. The import of Meyer's directions to Esterline was that the latter should "not ... concern himself with the travels of Hunt in Miami, that Hunt was on domestic White House business of an unknown nature and that the Chief of Station should 'cool it.'|" / Note #2 / Note #4 Notes for Chapter 13, Part 1 1. Fitzhugh Green, "George Bush: An Intimate Portrait" (New York: Hippocrene Books, 1989), p. 137. 2. George Bush and Victor Gold, "Looking Forward" (New York: Doubleday, 1987), pp. 120-21. 3. "Ibid.," p. 121. 4. Green, "op. cit.," p. 129. 5. Harry Hurt III, "George Bush, Plucky Lad," in "Texas Monthly," June 1983. 6. "Dallas Morning News," Nov. 25, 1971. 7. "Washington Post," Dec. 12, 1972. 8. "Ibid." 9. "Washington Post," Jan. 22, 1973. 11. "Washington Post," Jan. 22, 1973. 12. See for example Len Cholodny and Robert Gettlin, "Silent Coup" (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1991). 13. Lyn Marcus, "Up-Valuation of German Mark Fuels Watergate Attack on Nixon," "New Solidarity," July 9-13, 1973, pp. 10-11. 14. See Thomas Petzinger, "Oil and Honor" (New York: Putnam, 1987), pp. 64-65. See also Harry Hurt's article mentioned above. Wright Patman's House Banking Committee revealed part of the activities of Bill Liedtke and Mosbacher during the Watergate era. 15. Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, "All the President's Men" (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1974), present the checks received by Barker as one of the ways they breached the wall of secrecy around the CREEP, with the aid of their anonymous source "Bookkeeper." But neither in this book nor in "The Final Days" (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1976), do "Woodstein" get around to mentioning that the Mexico City money came from Bill Liedtke. This marked pattern of silence and reticence on matters pertaining to George Bush, certainly one of the most prominent of the President's men, is a characteristic of Watergate journalism in general. For more information regarding William Liedtke's role in financing the CREEP, see Hearings Before the Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities, 93rd Congress, including testimony by Hugh Sloan, June 6, 1973; and by Maurice Stans, June 12, 1973; see also the Final Report of the committee, issued in June, 1974. Relevant press coverage from the period includes "Stans Scathes Report," by Woodward and Bernstein, "Washington Post," Sept. 14, 1972; and "Liedtke Linked to FPC Choice," United Press International, June 26, 1973. Liedtke also influenced Nixon appointments in areas of interest to himself. 16. "New York Times," Aug. 26, 1972 and Nov. 1, 1972. 17. Interview with a Post Oak Bank executive, Nov. 21, 1991. See also "Houston Post," Dec. 27, 1988. 18. Maurice H. Stans, "The Terrors of Justice: The Untold Side of Watergate" (New York: Everest, 1978). 19. Stanley L. Kutler, "The Wars of Watergate: The Last Crisis of Richard Nixon" (New York: Knopf, distributed by Random House, 1990), pp. 229-33. 20. See Jim Hougan, "Secret Agenda" (New York: Random House, 1984), p. 92. 21. Ervin Committee Hearings, Book 9, pp. 3441-46, and Report of the Nedzi Committee of the House of Representatives, p. 201, cited by Hougan, "op. cit.," p. 318. 22. Nezdi Committee Report, pp. 442-43, quoted in Hougan, "op. cit.," p. 261. 23. Hougan, "op. cit.," pp. 46-47. 24. Ervin Committee Final Report, pp. 1146-49, and Hougan, "op. cit.," pp. 131-32. CHAPTER 13 PART 2 CHAIRMAN GEORGE IN WATERGATE During the spring of 1973, George Bush was no longer simply a long-standing member of the Nixon cabinet. He was also, de facto, a White House official, operating out of the same Old Executive Office Building, which is adjacent to the Executive Mansion and forms part of the same security compound. As we read in the Jack Anderson column for March 10, 1973, in the "Washington Post": "Republican National Chairman George Bush, as befitting the head of a party whose coffers are overflowing, has been provided with a plush office in the new Eisenhower Building here. He spends much of his time, however, in a government office next to the White House. When we asked how a party official rated a government office, a GOP spokesman explained that the office wasn't assigned to him but was merely a visitor's office. The spokesman admitted, however, that Bush spends a lot of time there." This means that Bush's principal office was in the building where Nixon most liked to work; Nixon had what was called his "hideaway" office in the Old Executive Office Building. As to the state of George's relations with Nixon at this time, we have the testimony of a "Yankee Republican" who had known and liked father Prescott, as cited by journalist Al Reinert: "I can't think of a man I've ever known for whom I have greater respect than Pres Bush ... I've always been kind of sorry his son turned out to be such a jerk. George has been kissing Nixon's ass ever since he came up here." / Note #2 / Note #5 Reinert comments that "when Nixon became president, Bush became a teacher's pet," "a presidential favorite, described in the press as one of 'Nixon's men.'|" Bush's Role On the surface, George was an ingratiating sycophant. But he dissembled. The Nixon White House would seem to have included at least one highly placed official who betrayed his President to Bob Woodward of the "Washington Post," making it possible for that newspaper to repeatedly outflank Nixon's attempts at stonewalling. This was the celebrated, and still anonymous, source Woodward called "Deep Throat." Al Haig has often been accused of having been the figure of the Nixon White House who provided Woodward and Bernstein with their leads. If there is any consensus about the true identity of Deep Throat, it would appear to be that Al Haig is the prime suspect. However, there is no conclusive evidence about the true identity of the person or persons called Deep Throat, assuming that such a phenomenon ever existed. As soon as Haig is named, we must become suspicious: The propaganda of the Bush networks has never been kind to Haig. Haig and Bush, as leading clones of Henry Kissinger, were locked on a number of occasions into a kind of sibling rivalry. On the one hand, it cannot be proven that Haig was Deep Throat. On the other hand, George Bush has frequently escaped any scrutiny in this regard. It may therefore be useful, as a kind of "reductio ad absurdum" permitting us a fresh approach to certain long-standing Watergate enigmas, to ask the question: Could Bush have been Deep Throat? Or, could Bush have been one part of a composite of sources which Woodward has chosen to popularize as his legendary Deep Throat? Or, could Bush have been a source who chose to use Deep Throat as his cut-out? The novelty of Bush as Deep Throat is not due to any objective circumstance, but rather to the selective omissions of sources, journalists, press organs, publishers, and editors, none of whom is immune to the influence of the Skull and Bones/Brown Brothers, Harriman powerhouse we have already seen in action so many times. Some years after Nixon's fall, "Time" magazine listed what it considered to be the possible sources for the leaks attributed by "Woodstein" to Deep Throat. These were: Richard Nixon, Rose Mary Woods, Alexander Haig, Charles Colson, Stephen Bull, Fred Buzhardt, Leonard Garment, and Samuel Powers. / Note #2 / Note #6 Woodward and Bernstein do not list Bush among the Cast of Characters in "All the President's Men," although he was a member of the Nixon cabinet. In these authors' later book, "The Final Days," he does appear. But the exclusion of Bush from the list of suspects is arbitrary and highly suspicious, especially on the part of "Time" magazine, founded by Henry Luce of Skull and Bones. Discounting the coverups, both crude and sophisticated, we can state that Bush is a plausible candidate to be Deep Throat, or to be one of his voices if these should prove to be multiple. What intimate of Nixon, what cabinet member and quasi-White House official had a better line of communication to the Wall Street investment banking circles who were the prime movers of the overthrow of Nixon? Who had a better working relationship with Henry Kissinger, the chief immediate beneficiary of Nixon's downfall? Who had links to the dirty tricks and black operations divisions of the CIA, especially to the Miami station? Whose business partner and cronies had financed the CREEP? And who could count on the loyalty of a far-flung freemasonic network ensconced in positions of power in the media, the courts, the executive branch, the Congress, and law enforcement agencies? Surely Bush is more than a plausible candidate; by any realistic reckoning, he is a formidable candidate. In terms of the immediate tactical mechanics of the Watergate scandal, Bush possessed undeniable trump cards. The first was his long-standing family and business relationship with the owners of the "Washington Post," the flagship news organ of the scandal. The paper was controlled by Katherine Meyer Graham, and both her father, Eugene Meyer, and her late husband, Philip Graham, had been among the investers of the Bush-Overbey oil firm in 1951-52. With Eugene Meyer, Bush says, he "had other oil-business dealings over the years, most of them profitable, all enjoyable." / Note #2 / Note #7 In addition, there are a few details of the personal background of reporter Bob Woodward which may suggest a covert link to Chairman George. Woodward was a naval intelligence officer with a government security clearance of the highest level ("top secret crypto"). He was specifically one of the briefers sent by the Joint Chiefs of Staff to provide verbal intelligence and operational summaries for top officials, including those of the National Security Council. Woodward was also, like Bush, a graduate of Yale, where he took his degree in 1965. Also like Bush, Woodward had been a member of a Yale secret society. Woodward had not been tapped for Skull and Bones, however; he had joined Book and Snake, thought to be among the four most prestigious of these masonic institutions. Book and Snake, like Scroll and Key and Wolf's Head, functions as a satellite of Skull and Bones, receiving as members the best young oligarchs not culled by Skull and Bones. Dean Acheson, of Wolf's Head, for example, was an asset of the political-financial faction headed up by Averell Harriman of Skull and Bones. Some delving into the details of the Deep Throat-Woodward relationship may further substantiate the Bush candidacy. If we wish literally to believe what Woodward recounts, we obtain the following picture of his contacts with Deep Throat. First we have a series of telephone contacts between June 19 and October 8, 1972. Even if we posit that Bush was busily fulfilling his diplomatic commitments in New York City on the days when he was not attending cabinet meetings in Washington, there is no practical reason why Bush could not have provided the tips Woodward describes. Then we have the legendary late-night garage meetings, starting Monday, October 9, 1972, and repeated on Saturday, October 21, and Friday, October 27, with a further likely garage meeting in late December. Since all of these but the first were on weekends, there is no reason to conclude that they could not have been accommodated within Bush's U.N. schedule. Any time after December 12, 1972 (the date Bush's GOP appointment was announced), his presence in Washington would have fit easily into the reorientation of his work schedule toward his new job at the White House. A garage meeting in January 1973, a bar meeting in February, phone calls in April, another garage meeting in May, and a further one in November -- none of this would have presented any difficulty. What does Woodward tell us about Deep Throat? "The man's position in the Executive Branch was extremely sensitive." "Deep Throat had access to information from the White House, Justice, the FBI and CRP. What he knew represented an aggregate of hard information flowing in and out of many stations." He was someone whom Woodward had known for some time : "His friendship with Deep Throat was genuine, not cultivated. Long before Watergate, they had spent many evenings talking about Washington, the government, power." / Note #2 / Note #8 Deep Throat was a man who "could be rowdy, drink too much, overreach. He was not good at concealing his feelings, hardly ideal for a man in his position." Could this be the precursor of the Bush of Panama, the Gulf, and civil rights controversies, unable to suppress periodic episodes of public rage? Perhaps. We also learn from Woodward that Deep Throat was "an incurable gossip." Perhaps this can be related to Bush's talent as a mimic, described by Fitzhugh Green. / Note #2 / Note #9 It was on May 16, 1973 Deep Throat told Woodward: "Everyone's life is in danger." He added that "electronic surveillance is going on and we had better watch it." Who is doing it? Bernstein asked. "CIA," was Woodward's reply. Woodward typed a summary of Deep Throat's further remarks, including these comments: "The covert activities involve the whole U.S. intelligence community and are incredible. Deep Throat refused to give specifics because it is against the law. The cover-up had little to do with the Watergate, but was mainly to protect the covert operations." / Note #3 / Note #0 Butwh at were the covert operations to which Deep Throat so dramatically refers? Enter Lou Russell One of the major sub-plots of Watergate, and one that will eventually lead us back to the documented public record of George Bush, is the relation of the various activities of the Plumbers to the wiretapping of a group of prostitutes who operated out of a brothel in the Columbia Plaza Apartments, located in the immediate vicinity of the Watergate buildings. / Note #3 / Note #1 Among the customers of the prostitutes there appear to have been a U.S. Senator, an astronaut, A Saudi prince (the Embassy of Saudi Arabia is nearby), U.S. and South Korean intelligence officials, and above all, numerous Democratic Party leaders whose presence can be partially explained by the propinquity of the Democratic National Committe offices in the Watergate. The Columbia Plaza Apartments brothel was under intense CIA surveillance by the Office of Security/Security Research Staff through one of their assets, an aging private detective out of the pages of Damon Runyon who went by the name of Louis James Russell. Russell was, according to Hougan, especially interested in bugging a hotline phone that linked the DNC with the nearby brothel. During the Watergate break-ins, James McCord's recruit to the Plumbers, Alfred C. Baldwin, would appear to have been bugging the telephones of the Columbia Plaza brothel. Lou Russell, in the period between June 20 and July 2, 1973, was working for a detective agency that was helping George Bush prepare for an upcoming press conference. In this sense, Russell was working for Bush. Russell is relevant because he seems (although he denied it) to have been the fabled sixth man of the Watergate break-in, the burglar who got away. He may also have been the burglar who tipped off the police, if indeed anyone did. Russell was a harlequin who had been the servant of many masters. Lou Russell had once been the chief investigator for the House Committee on Un-American Activities. He had worked for the FBI. He had been a stringer for Jack Anderson, the columnist. In December 1971, he had been an employee of General Security Services, the company that provided the guards who protected the Watergate buildings. In March of 1972, Russell had gone to work for James McCord and McCord Associates, whose client was the CREEP. Later, after the scandal had broken, Russell worked for McCord's new and more successful firm, Security Associates. Russell had also worked directly for the CREEP as a night watchman. Russell had also worked for John Leon of Allied Investigators, Inc., a company that later went to work for George Bush and the Republican National Committee. Still later, Russell found a job with the headquarters of the McGovern for President campaign. Russell's lawyer was Bud Fensterwald, and sometimes Russell performed investigative services for Fensterwald and for Fensterwald's Committee to Investigate Assassinations. In September 1972, well after the scandal had become notorious, Russell seems to have joined with one Nick Beltrante in carrying out electronic countermeasures sweeps of the DNC headquarters, and during one of these he appears to have planted an electronic eavesdropping device in the phone of DNC worker Spencer Oliver which, when it was discovered, refocused public attention on the Watergate scandal at the end of the summer of 1972. Russell was well acquainted with Carmine Bellino, the chief investigator on the staff of Sam Ervin's Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Practices. Bellino was a Kennedy operative who had superintended the seamy side of the JFK White House, including such figures as Judith Exner, the President's alleged paramour. Later, Bellino would become the target of George Bush's most revealing public action during the Watergate period. Bellino's friend, William Birely, later provided Russell with an apartment in Silver Spring, Maryland, a new car, and sums of money. Russell had been a heavy drinker, and his social circle was that of the prostitutes, whom he sometimes patronized and sometimes served as a bouncer and goon. His familiarity with the brothel milieu facilitated his service for the Office of Security, which was to oversee the bugging and other surveillance of Columbia Plaza and other locations. Lou Russell was incontestably one of the most fascinating figures of Watergate. How remarkable, then, that the indefatigable ferrets Woodward and Bernstein devoted so little attention to him, deeming him worthy of mention in neither of their two books. Woodward and Bernstein met with Russell, but had ostensibly decided that there was "nothing to the story." Woodward claims to have seen nothing in Russell beyond the obvious "old drunk." / Note #3 / Note #2 The FBI had questioned Russell after the DNC break-ins, probing his whereabouts on June 16-17 with the suspicion that he had indeed been one of the burglars. But this questioning led to nothing. Instead, Russell was contacted by Carmine Bellino, and later by Bellino's broker Birely, who set Russell up in the new apartment (or safe house) already mentioned, where one of the Columbia Plaza prostitutes moved in with him. By 1973, minority Republican staffers at the Ervin committee began to realize the importance of Russell to a revisionist account of the scandal that might exonerate Nixon to some extent by shifting the burden of guilt elsewhere. On May 9, 1973, the Ervin committee accordingly subpoenaed Russell's telephone, job, and bank records. Two days later, Russell replied to the committee that he had no job records or diaries, had no bank account, made long-distance calls only to his daughter, and could do nothing for the committee. On May 16-17, Deep Throat warned Woodward that "everybody's life is in danger." On May 18, while the staff of the Ervin committee were pondering their next move vis-a-vis Russell, Russell suffered a massive heart attack. This was the same day that McCord, advised by his lawyer and Russell's, Fensterwald, began his public testimony to the Ervin committee on the coverup. Russell was taken to Washington Adventist Hospital, where he recovered to some degree and convalesced until June 20. Russell was convinced that he had been the victim of an attempted assassination. He told his daughter after leaving the hospital that he believed that he had been poisoned, that someone had entered his apartment and "switched pills on me." / Note #3 / Note #3 Leaving the hospital on June 20, Russell was still very weak and pale. But now, although he remained on the payroll of James McCord, he also accepted a retainer from his friend John Leon, who had been engaged by the Republicans to carry out a counterinvestigation of the Watergate affair. Leon was in contact with Jerris Leonard, a lawyer associated with Nixon, the GOP, the Republican National Committee, and with Chairman Ge orge Bush. Leonard was a former assistant attorney general for civil rights in the Nixon administration. Leonard had stepped down as head of the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA) on March 17, 1973. In June 1973, Leonard was special counsel to George Bush personally, hired by Bush and not by the RNC. Leonard says today that his job consisted in helping to keep the Republican Party separate from Watergate, deflecting Watergate from the party "so it would not be a party thing." / Note #3 / Note #4 As Hougan tells it, "Leon was convinced that Watergate was a set-up, that prostitution was at the heart of the affair, and that the Watergate arrests had taken place following a tip-off to the police; in other words, the June 17 burglary had been sabotaged from within, Leon believed, and he intended to prove it." / Note #3 / Note #5 "Integral to Leon's theory of the affair was Russell's relationship to the Ervin committee's chief investigator, Carmine Bellino, and the circumstances surrounding Russell's relocation to Silver Spring in the immediate aftermath of the Watergate arrests. In an investigative memorandum submitted to GOP lawyer Jerris Leonard, Leon described what he hoped to prove: that Russell, reporting to Bellino, had been a spy for the Democrats within the CRP,and that Russell had tipped off Bellino (and the police) to the June 17 break-in. The man who knew most about this was Leon's new employee, Lou Russell." Is it possible that Jerris Leonard communicated the contents of Leon's memorandum to the RNC and to its chairman George Bush during the days after he received it? It is possible. But for Russell, the game was over: On July 2, 1973, barely two weeks after his release from the hospital, Russell suffered a second heart attack, which killed him. He was buried with quite suspicious haste the following day. The potential witness with perhaps the largest number of personal ties to Watergate protagonists, and the witness who might have redirected the scandal, not just toward Bellino, but toward the prime movers behind and above McCord and Hunt and Paisley, had perished in a way that recalls the fate of so many knowledgeable Iran-Contra figures. With Russell silenced forever, Leon appears to have turned his attention to targeting Bellino, perhaps with a view to forcing him to submit to questioning about his relationship to Russell. Leon, who had been convicted in 1964 of wiretapping in a case involving El Paso Gas Co. and Tennessee Gas Co., had weapons in his own possession that could be used against Bellino. During the time that Russell was still in the hospital, on June 8, Leon had signed an affidavit for Jerris Leonard in which he stated that he had been hired by Democratic operative Bellino during the 1960 presidential campaign to "infiltrate the operations" of Albert B. "Ab" Hermann, a staff member of the Republican National Committee. Leon asserted in the affidavit that although he had not been able to infiltrate Hermann's office, he observed the office with field glasses and employed "an electronic device known as 'the big ear' aimed at Mr. Hermann's window." Leon recounted that he had been assisted by former CIA officer John Frank, Oliver W. Angelone and former congressional investigator Ed Jones in the anti-Nixon 1960 operations. Leon collected other sworn statements that all went in the same direction, portraying Bellino as a Democratic dirty tricks operative unleashed by the Kennedy faction against Nixon. Joseph Shimon, who had been an inspector for the Washington Police Department, told of how he had been approached by Kennedy operative Oliver W. Angelone, who alleged that he was working for Bellino, with a request to help Angelone gain access to the two top floors of the Wardman Park Hotel just before they were occupied by Nixon on the eve of the Nixon-Kennedy television debate. Edward Murray Jones, then living in the Philippines, said in his affidavit that he had been assigned by Bellino to tail individuals at Washington National Airport and in downtown Washington. / Note #3 / Note #6 According to Hougan, "these sensational allegations were provided by Leon to Republican attorneys on July 10, 1973, exactly a week after Russell's funeral. Immediately, attorney Jerris Leonard conferred with RNC Chairman George Bush. It appeared to both men that a way had been found to place the Watergate affair in a new perspective, and, perhaps, to turn the tide. A statement was prepared and a press conference scheduled at which Leon was to be the star witness, or speaker. Before the press conference could be held, however, Leon suffered a heart attack on July 13, 1973, and died the same day." / Note #3 / Note #7 Two important witnesses, each of whom represented a threat to reopen the most basic questions of Watergate, dead in little more than a week! Bush is likely to have known of the import of Russell's testimony, and he is proven to have known of the content of Leon's. Jerris Leonard later told Hougan that the death of John Leon "came as a complete shock. It was ... well, to be honest with you, it was frightening. It was only a week after Russell's death, or something like that, and it happened on the very eve of the press conference. We didn't know what was going on. We were scared." / Note #3 / Note #8 Hougan comments: "With the principal witness against Bellino no longer available, and with Russell dead as well, Nixon's last hope of diverting attention from Watergate -- slim from the beginning -- was laid to rest forever." Diversion and Damage Control But George Bush went ahead with the press conference that had been announced, even if John Leon, the principal speaker, was now dead. According to Nixon, Bush had been "privately pleading for some action that would get us off the defensive" since back in the springtime. / Note #3 / Note #9 On July 24, 1973, Bush made public the affidavits by Leon, Jones, and Shimon which charged that the Ervin committee chief investigator Carmine Bellino had recruited spies to help defeat Nixon back in 1960. "I cannot and do not vouch for the veracity of the statements contained in the affidavits," said Bush, "but I do believe that this matter is serious enough to concern the Senate Watergate committee, and particularly since its chief investigator is the subject of the charges contained in the affidavits. If these charges are true, a taint would most certainly be attached to some of the committee's work." Bush specified that on the basis of the Shimon and Leon affidavits, he was "confident" that Jones and Angelone "had bugged the Nixon space or tapped his phones prior to the television debate." He conceded that "there was corruption" in the ranks of the GOP. "But now I have presented some serious allegations that if true could well have affected the outcome of the 1960 presidential race. The Nixon-Kennedy election was a real cliff-hanger, and the debates bore heavily on the outcome of the people's decision." Bush rejected any charge that he was releasing the affidavits in a bid to "justify Watergate." He asserted that he was acting in the interest of "fair play." Bush said that he had taken the affidavits to Sen. Sam Ervin, the chairman of the Senate Watergate Committee, and to GOP Sen. Howard Baker, that committee's ranking Republican, but that the committee had failed to act so far. "I haven't seen much action on it," Bush added. When the accuracy of the affidavits was challenged, Bush replied, "We've heard a lot more hearsay bandied about the [Watergate] committee than is presented here. I'd like to know how serious it is. I'd like to see it looked into," said Bush. He called on Sam Ervin and his committee to probe all the charges forthwith. Bush was "convinced that there is in fact substance to the allegations." In 1991, the Bush damage control line is that events relating to the "October Surprise" deal of the Reagan-Bush campaign with the Khomeini mullahs of Iran to block the freeing of the U.S. hostages are so remote in the past that nobody is interested in them anymore. But in 1973, Bush thought that events of 1960 were highly relevant to Watergate. Bellino lab eled Bush's charges "absolutely false." "I categorically and unequivocally deny that I have ever ordered, requested, directed, or participated in any electronic surveillance whatsoever in connection with any political campaign," said Bellino. "By attacking me on the basis of such false and malicious lies, Mr. Bush has attempted to distract me from carrying out what I consider one of the most important assignments of my life. I shall continue to exert all my efforts to ascertain the facts and the truth pertinent to this investigation." Here Bush was operating on several levels of reality at once. The implications of the Russell-Leon interstices would be suspected only in retrospect. What appeared on the surface was a loyal Republican mounting a diversionary attack in succor of his embattled President. At deeper levels, the reality might be the reverse: the stiffing of Nixon in order to defend the forces behind the break-in and the scandal. Back in April, as the Ervin committee was preparing to go into action against the White House, Bush had participated in the argument about whether the committee sessions should be televised or not. Bush discussed this issue with Senators Baker and Brock, both Republicans who wanted the hearings to be televised -- in Baker's case, so that he could beon television himself as the ranking Republican on the panel. Ehrlichman, to whom Bush reported in the White House, mindful of the obvious potential damage to the administration, wanted the hearings not televised, not even public, but in executive session with a sanitized transcript handed out later. So Bush, having no firm convictions of his own, but always looking for his own advantage, told Ehrlichman he sympathized with both sides of the argument, and was "sitting happily on the middle of the fence with a picket sticking up my you know what. I'll see you." / Note #4 / Note #0 But Nixon's damage control interest had been sacrificed by Bush's vacillating advocacy.... Bush had talked in public about the Ervin committee during a visit to Seattle on June 29 in response to speculation that Nixon might be called to testify. Bush argued that the presidency would be diminished if Nixon were to appear. Bush was adamant that Nixon could not be subpoenaed and that he should not testify voluntarily. Shortly thereafter, Bush had demanded that the Ervin committee wrap up its proceedings to "end the speculation" about Nixon's role in the coverup. "Let's get all the facts out, let's get the whole thing over with, get all the people up there before the Watergate committee. I don't believe John Dean's testimony." / Note #4 / Note #1 Senator Sam Ervin placed Bush's intervention against Carmine Bellino in the context of other diversionary efforts launched by the RNC. Ervin, along with Democratic Senators Talmadge and Inouye were targeted by a campaign inspired by Bush's RNC which alleged that they had tried to prevent a full probe of LBJ intimate Bobby Baker back in 1963. Later, speaking on the Senate floor on October 9, 1973, Ervin commented: "One can but admire the zeal exhibited by the Republican National Committee and its journalistic allies in their desperate effort to invent a red herring to drag across the trail which leads to the truth concerning Watergate." / Note #4 / Note #2 But Ervin saw Bush's Bellino material as a more serious assault. "Bush's charge distressed me very much for two reasons. First, I deemed it unjust to Bellino, who denied it and whom I had known for many years to be an honorable man and a faithful public servant; and, second, it was out of character with the high opinion I entertained of Bush. Copies of the affidavits had been privately submitted to me before the news conference, and I had expressed my opinion that there was not a scintilla of competent or credible evidence in them to sustain the charges against Bellino." / Note #4 / Note #3 Sam Dash, the chief counsel to the Ervin committee, had a darker and more detailed view of Bush's actions: "In the midst of the pressure to complete a shortened witness list by the beginning of August, a nasty incident occurred that was clearly meant to sidetrack the committee and destroy or immobilize one of my most valuable staff assistants -- Carmine Bellino, my chief investigator. On July 24, 1973, the day after the committee subpoena for the White House tapes was served on the President, the Republican national chairman, George Bush, called a press conference.... Three days later, as if carefully orchestrated, twenty-two Republican senators signed a letter to Senator Ervin, urging the Senate Watergate Committee to investigate Bush's charges and calling for Bellino's suspension pending the outcome of the investigation. Ervin was forced into a corner, and on August 3 he appointed a subcommittee consisting of Senators Talmadge, Inouye, and Gurney to investigate the charges. The White House knew that Carmine Bellino, a wizard at reconstructing the receipts and expenditures of funds despite laundering techniques and the destruction of records, was hot on the trail of Herbert Kalmbach and Bebe Rebozo. Bellino's diligent, meticulous work would ultimately disclose Kalmbach's funding scheme for the White House's dirty tricks campaign and unravel a substantial segment of Rebozo's secret cash transactions on behalf of Nixon." / Note #4 / Note #4 Dash writes that Bellino was devastated by Bush's attacks, "rendered emotionally unable to work because of the charges." The mechanism targeted by Bellino is of course relevant to Bill Liedtke's funding of the CREEP described above. Perhaps Bush was in fact seeking to shut down Bellino solely to defend only himself and his confederates. Members of Dash's staff soon realized that there had been another participant in the process of assembling the material that Bush had presented. According to Dash, "the charges became even murkier when our staff discovered that the person who had put them together was a man named Jack Buckley. In their dirty tricks investigation of the 1972 presidential campaign, Terry Lenzner and his staff had identified Buckley as the Republican spy, known as Fat Jack, who had intercepted and photographed Muskie's mail between his campaign and Senate offices as part of Ruby I (a project code named in Liddy's Gemstone political espionage plan)." It would appear that Fat Jack Buckley was now working for George Bush. Ervin then found that Senators Gurney and Baker, both Republicans, might be willing to listen to additional charges made by Buckley against Bellino. Dash says he "smelled the ugly odor of blackmail on the part of somebody and I did not like it." Later, Senators Talmadge and Inouye filed a report completely exonerating Bellino, while Gurney conceded that there was no direct evidence against Bellino, but that there was some conflicting testimony that ought to be noted. Dash sums up that in late November 1973, "the matter ended with little fanfare and almost no newspaper comment. The reputation of a public official with many years' service as a dedicated and incorruptible investigator had been deeply wounded and tarnished, and Bellino would retire from federal service believing -- rightly -- that he had not been given the fullest opportunity he deserved to clear his good name." Another Bush concern during the summer of 1973 was his desire to liquidate the CREEP, not out of moralistic motives, but because of his desire to seize the CREEP's $4 millon-plus cash surplus. During the middle of 1973, some of this money had already been used to pay the legal fees of Watergate conspirators, as in the case of Maurice Stans. / Note #4 / Note #5 During August, Bush went into an offensive of sanctimonious moralizing. Bush appears to have concluded that Nixon was doomed, and that it was imperative to distance himself and his operation from Nixon's impending downfall. On the NBC "Today" show, Bush objected to John D. Ehrlichman's defense before the Ervin committee of the campaign practice of probing the sex and drinking habits of political opponents. "Crawling around in the gutter to find some weakness of a man, I don't think we need that," said Bush. "I think opponent research is valid. I think if an opponent is thought to have done something horrendous or thought to be unfit to serve, research is valid. But the idea of just kind of digging up dirt with the purpose of blackmail or embarrassing somebody so he'd lose, I don't think that is a legitimate purpose," postured Bush. By this time Ehrlichman, who had hired retired cops to dig up such dirt, had been thrown to the wolves. / Note #4 / Note #6 A couple of days later, Bush delivered a speech to the American Bar Association on "The Role and Responsibility of the Political Candidate." His theme was that restoring public trust in the political system would require candidates who would set a higher moral tone for their campaigns. "A candidate is responsible for organizing his campaign well -- that is, picking people whom he trusts, picking the right people." This was an oblique but clear attack on Nixon, who had clearly picked the wrong people in addition to whatever else he did. Bush was for stricter rules, but even more for "old-fashioned conscience" as the best way to keep politics clean. He again criticized the approach which set out to "get dirt" on political adversaries -- again a swipe at Nixon's notorious "enemies list" practices. Bush said that there were "gray areas in determining what was in good taste." Bush has never been noted for his sense of self-irony, and it appears that he was not aware of his own punning reference to L. Patrick Gray, the acting FBI Director who had "deep-sixed" Howard Hunt's incriminating records and who had then been left by Ehrlichman to "hang there" and to "twist slowly, slowly in the wind." Bush actually commented that Ehrlichman's comments on Gray had been in questionable taste. / Note #4 / Note #7 The next day Bush was at it again, announcing that he was reopening an investigation into alleged courses in dirty tricks taught by the GOP to college Republicans in weekend seminars during 1971 and 1972. Bush pledged to "get to the bottom" of charges that the College Republican National Committee, with 1,000 campus clubs and 100,000 members listed had provided instruction in dirty tricks. "I'm a little less relaxed and more concerned than when you first brought it to our attention," Bush told journalists. / Note #4 / Note #8 Bush had clearly distanced himself from the fate of the Nixon White House. By the time Spiro Agnew resigned as Vice President on October 10, 1973, Bush praised Agnew for his "great personal courage" while endorsing the resignation as "in the best interest of the country." / Note #4 / Note #9 Later the same month came Nixon's "Saturday night massacre," the firing of Special Prosecutor Cox and the resignation of Attorney General Elliot Richardson and his deputy, William Ruckelshaus. To placate public opinion, Nixon agreed to obey a court order compelling him to hand over his White House tapes. Bush had said that Nixon was suffering from a "confidence crisis" about the tapes, but now commented that what Nixon had done "will have a soothing effect. Clearly it will help politically.... Hopefully, his move will cool the emotions and permit the President to deal with matters of enormous domestic and international concern." / Note #5 / Note #0 Later, in November, Bush bowed out of a possible candidacy in the 1974 Texas gubernatorial race. Speculation was that "the specter of Watergate" would have been used against him, but Bush preferred sanctimonious explanations. "Very candidly," he said, "being governor of Texas has enormous appeal to me, but our political system is under fire and I have an overriding sense of responsibility that compels me to remain in my present job." Bush said that Watergate was "really almost ... nonexistent" as an issue in the Texas race. "Corruption and clean government didn't show up very high at all," he concluded. / Note #5 / Note #1 In May of 1974, after a meeting of the Republican congressional leadership with Nixon, Bush told his friend Congressman Barber Conable that he was considering resigning from the RNC. A few days later, John Rhodes, who had replaced Gerald Ford as House Minority Leader when Ford was tapped by Nixon for the vice-presidency, told a meeting of House Republicans that Bush was getting ready to resign, and if he did so, it would be impossible for the White House to "get anybody of stature to take his place." / Note #5 / Note #2 But even in the midst of the final collapse, Bush still made occasional ingratiating gestures to Nixon. Nixon pathetically recounts how Bush made him an encouraging offer in July 1974, about a month before the end: "There were other signs of the sort that political pros might be expected to appreciate: NC Chairman George Bush called the White House to say that he would like to have me appear on a fund-raising telethon." / Note #5 / Note #3 This is what Bush was telling Nixon. But during this same period, Father John McLaughlin of the Nixon staff asked Bush for RNC lists of GOP diehards across the country for the purpose of generating support statements for Nixon. Bush refused to provide them. / Note #5 / Note #4 The Smoking Gun On August 5, 1974, the White House released the transcript of the celebrated "smoking gun" taped conversation of June 23, 1972 in which Nixon discussed ways to frustrate the investigation of the Watergate break-ins. Chairman George was one of the leading Nixon administration figures consulting with Al Haig in the course of the morning. When Bush heard the news, he was very upset, undoubtedly concerned about all the very negative publicity that he himself was destined to receive in the blowback of Nixon's now-imminent downfall. Then, after a while, he calmed down somewhat. One account describes Bush as "somewhat relieved" by the news that the tape was going to be made public. "Finally there was some one thing the national chairman could see clearly. The ambiguities in the evidence had been tearing the party apart, Bush thought." / Note #5 / Note #5 At this point, Bush became the most outspoken and militant organizer of Nixon's resignation, a Cassius of the Imperial Presidency. A little later, White House Congressional liaison William Timmons wanted to make sure that everyone had been fully briefed about the transcripts going out, and he turned to Nixon's political counselor Dean Burch. "Dean, does Bush know about the transcript yet?" Timmons asked. Burch replied, "Yes." "Well, what did he do?" Timmons asked. "He broke out in assholes and shit himself to death," was Burch's answer. / Note #5 / Note #6 Notes for Chapter 13, Part 2 25. Al Reinert, "Bob and George Go to Washington or The Post-Watergate Scramble," "Texas Monthly," April 1974. 26. "Deep Throat: Narrowing the Field," "Time," May 3, 1976, pp. 17-18. 27. Bush and Gold, "op. cit.," pp. 65-66. 28. Bernstein and Woodward, "All the President's Men" (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1974), pp. 72, 130-31. 29. Green, "op. cit.," p. 80. 30. Bernstein and Woodward, "All the President's Men," p. 318. 31. The question of the Columbia Plaza Apartments is a central theme of Jim Hougan's "Secret Agenda, op. cit." We have also relied on Hougan's version of the Russell-Leon-Bellino subplot described below. 32. Hougan, "op. cit.," pp. 324. 33. "Ibid.," p. 370. 34. Interview of Jerris Leonard with Anton Chaitkin, Aug. 26, 1991. 35. Hougan, "op. cit.," p. 374-75. 36. See Jules Witcover, "Political Spies Accuse Committee Investigator," "Washington Post," July 25, 1973, and John Geddie, "Bush Alleges Bugs," "Dallas News," July 25, 1973. See also Victor Lasky, "It Didn't Start with Watergate" (New York: Dial Press, 1977), pp. 41-55. 37. Hougan, "op. cit.," p. 376. Notice that the day of Leon's death was also the day that White House staffer Butterfield told congressional investigators of the existence of Nixon's taping system. 38. "Ibid." 39. Richard Nixon, "The Memoirs of Richard Nixon" (New York: Warner Books, 1979), p. 811. 40. Walter Pincus and Bob Woodward, "Presidential Posts and Dashed Hopes," "Washington Post," Aug. 9, 1988. 41. "Washington Post," July 12, 1973. 42. Sam J. Ervin, Jr., "The Whole Truth" ( New York: Random House, 1980), p. 28. 43. "Ibid.," p. 29. 44. Samuel Dash, "Chief Counsel" (New York: Random House, 1976), p. 192. 45. Evans and Novak, July 11, 1973. 46. "Washington Post," Aug. 7, 1973. 47. "Washington Post," Aug. 9, 1973. 48. "Washington Post," Aug. 10, 1973. 49. "Washington Post," Oct. 11, 1973. 50. "Washington Post," Oct. 24, 1973. 51. "Washington Post," Nov. 17, 1973. 52. Bernstein and Woodward, "The Final Days," pp. 159, 176. 53. Nixon, "op. cit.," p. 1042. 54. Green, "op cit.," p. 135. 55. Bernstein and Woodward, "The Final Days," p. 368. 56. "Ibid.," p. 369. CHAPTER 13 PART 3 CHAIRMAN GEORGE IN WATERGATE Why should Bush be so distraught over the release to the press of the transcript of the notorious White House meeting of June 23, 1972? As we have seen, there is plenty of evidence that the final fall of Nixon was just the denouement that Bush wanted. The answer is that Bush was upset about the fabulous "smoking gun" tape because his friend Mosbacher, his business partner Bill Liedtke, and himself were referred to in the most sensitive passages. Yes, a generation of Americans has grown up recalling something about a "smoking gun" tape, but not many now recall that when Nixon referred to "the Texans," he meant George Bush. The open secret of the "smoking gun" tape is that it refers to Nixon's desire to mobilize the CIA to halt the FBI investigation of the Watergate burglars on the grounds that money can be traced from donors in Texas and elsewhere to the coffers of the CREEP, and thence to the pockets of Bernard Barker and the other Cubans arrested. The money referred to, of course, is part of Bill Liedtke's $700,000 discussed above. A first crucial passage of the "smoking gun" tape goes as follows, with the first speaker being Haldeman: "H: Now, on the investigation, you know the Democratic break-in thing, we're back in the problem area because the FBI is not under control, because [FBI chief] Gray doesn't exactly know how to control it and they have -- their investigation is leading into some productive areas because they've been able to trace the money -- not through the money itself -- but through the bank sources -- the banker. And, and it goes in some directions we don't want it to go. Ah, also there have been some things -- like an informant came in off the street to the FBI in Miami who was a photographer or has a friend who was a photographer who developed some films through this guy Barker and the films had pictures of Democratic National Committee letterhead documents and things. So it's things like that that are filtering in. Mitchell came up with yesterday, and John Dean analyzed very carefully last night and concludes, concurs now with Mitchell's recommendation that the only way to solve this, and we're set up beautifully to do it, ah, in that and that -- the only network that paid any attention to it last night was NBC -- they did a massive story on the Cuban thing. "P: [Nixon] That's right. "H: That the way to handle this now is for us to have [CIA Deputy Director Vernon] Walters call Pat Gray and just say 'Stay the hell out of this -- this is ah, business here we don't want you to go any further on it.' That's not an unusal development, and ah, that would take care of it. "P: What about Pat Gray -- you mean Pat Gray doesn't want to? "H: Pat does want to. He doesn't know how to, and he doesn't have, he doesn't have any basis for doing it. Given this, he will then have the basis. He'll call Mark Felt in, and the two of them -- and Mark Felt wants to cooperate because he's ambitious -- "P: Yeah "H: He'll call him in and say, 'We've got the signal from across the river to put the hold on this.' And that will fit rather well because the FBI agents who are working the case, at this point, feel that's what it is. "P: This is CIA? They've traced the money? Who'd they trace it to? "H: Well they've traced it to a name, but they haven't gotten to the guy yet. "P: Would it be somebody here? "H: Ken Dahlberg. "P: Who the hell is Ken Dahlberg? "H: He gave $25,000 in Minnesota and, ah, the check went directly to this guy Barker. "P: It isn't from the committee though, from Stans? "H: Yeah. It is. It's directly traceable and there's some more through some Texas people that went to the Mexican bank which can also be traced to the Mexican bank -- they'll get their names today. And (pause) "P: Well, I mean, there's no way -- I'm just thinking if they don't cooperate, what do they say? That they were approached by the Cubans. That's what Dahlberg has to say, the Texans too, that they -- "H: Well, if they will. But then we're relying on more and more people all the time. That's the problem, and they'll stop if we could take this other route. "P: All right. "H: And you seem to think the thing to do is get them to stop? "P: Right, fine." Kenneth Dahlberg was a front man for Dwayne Andreas of Archer Daniels Midland. Nixon wanted to protect himself, of course, but there is no doubt that he is talking about Liedtke, Pennzoil, Robert Mosbacher -- his Bush-league Texas money-raising squad. With that comment, Nixon had dug his own grave with what was widely viewed as a "prima facie" case of obstruction of justice when this tape was released on August 5. But Nixon and Haldeman had a few other interesting things to say to each other that day, several of which evoke associations redolent of Bush. Shortly after the excerpts provided above, Nixon himself sums up why the CIA ought to have its own interest in putting a lid on the Watergate affair: "P: Of course, this Hunt .. will uncover a lot of things. You open that scab there's a hell of a lot of things and we just feel that it would be very detrimental to have this thing go any further. This involves these Cubans, Hunt, and a lot of hanky-panky that we have nothing to do with ourselves. Well what the hell, did Mitchell know about this? "H: I think so. I don't think he knew the details, but I think he knew. "P: He didn't know how it was going to be handled through -- with Dahlberg and the Texans and so forth? Well who was the asshole that did? Is it Liddy? Is that the fellow? He must be a little nuts!" Shortly after this, the conversation turned to Bus Mosbacher, who was resigning as the chief of protocol. Nixon joked that while Mosbacher was escorting the visiting dignitaries, bachelor Henry Kissinger always ended up escorting Mosbacher's wife. But before too long Nixon was back to the CIA again: "P: When you get in -- when you get in (unintelligible) people, say, "Look the whole problem is that this will open the whole, the whole Bay of Pigs thing and the President just feels that ah, without going into the details -- don't, don't lie to them to the extent to say there is no involvement, but just say this is a comedy of errors, without getting into it, the President believes that it is going to open the whole Bay of Pigs thing up again. And, ah, because these people are plugging for (unintelligible) and that they should call the FBI in and (unintelligible) don't go any further into this case period! (inaudible) our cause." It would also appear that Nixon's references to Howard Hunt and the Bay of Pigs are an oblique allusion to the Kennedy assassination, about which Nixon may have known more than he has ever told. Later the same day Haldeman reported back to Nixon about his meeting with Walters: "H: Well, it was kind of interesting. Walters made the point and I didn't mention Hunt. I just said that the thing was leading into directions that were going to create potential problems because they were exploring leads that led back into areas that would be harmful to the CIA and harmful to the government (unintelligible) didn't have anything to do (unintelligible)." Later, Haldeman returned to this same theme: "H: Gray called Helms and said I think we've run right into the middle of a CIA covert operation. "P: Gray said that? "H: Yeah. And (unintelligible) said nothing we've done at this point and ah (unintellibible) says well it sure looks to me like it is (unintelligible) and ah, that was the end of that conversation (unintelligible) the problem is it tracks back to the Bay of Pigs and it tracks back to some other the leads run out to people who had no involvement in this, except by contracts and connection, but it gets to areas that are liable to be raised? The whole problem (unintelligible) Hunt. So at that point he kind of got the picture. He said, he said we'll be very happy to be helpful (unintelligible) handle anything you want. I would like to know the reason for being helpful, and I made it clear to him he wasn't going to get explicit (unintelligible) generality, and he said fine. And Walters (unintelligible), Walters is going to make a call to Gray. That's the way we put it and that's the way it was left. "P: How does that work though, how they've got to (unintelligible) somebody from the Miami bank. "H: (Unintelligible) The point John makes -- the Bureau is going on this because they don't know what they are uncovering (unintelligible) continue to pursue it. They don't need to because they already have their case as far as the charges against these men (unintelligible) One thing Helms did raise. He said. Gray -- he asked Gray why they thought they had run into a CIA thing and Gray said because of the amount of money involved, a lot of dough (unintelligible) and ah (unintelligible) "P: (Unintelligible) "H: Well, I think they will. If it runs (unintelligible) what the hell, who knows (unintelligible) contributed CIA. "H: Ya, it's money CIA gets money (unintelligible) I mean their money moves in a lot of different ways, too." / Note #5 / Note #7 Nixon's train of associations takes him from the Pennzoil-Liedtke Mosbacher-Bush slush fund operation to Howard Hunt and the Bay of Pigs and "a lot of hanky-panky" and then back to Bus Mosbacher, Robert's elder brother. Later on, Haldeman stresses that the FBI, discovering a large money laundering operation between Pennzoil and Bill Liedtke in Houston, Mexico City, Maurice Stans and the CREEP in Washington, and some CIA Miami station Cubans, simply concluded that this was all a CIA covert operation. As Haldeman himself later summed it up: "If the Mexican bank connection was actually a CIA operation all along, unknown to Nixon; and Nixon was destroyed for asking the FBI to stop investigating the bank because it might uncover a CIA operation (which the Helms memo seems to indicate it actually was after all) the multiple layers of deception by the CIA are astounding." / Note #5 / Note #8 Moves for Impeachment Later, on Nixon's last Monday, Bush joined White House Counsel J. Fred Buzhardt and Dean Burch on a visit to Congressman Rhodes, and showed him the transcript of the smoking gun tape. "This means that there's just no chance in the world that he's not going to be impeached," said Rhodes. "In fact, there's no chance in the world that I won't vote to impeach him." Bush must have heaved a sigh of relief, since this is what he had wanted Rhodes to tell Nixon to get him to quit. "Rhodes later let it be known that he was offended that Bush had been briefed before he was," but of course, Bush was a top official of the Nixon White House. / Note #5 / Note #9 But Nixon still refused to quit, raising the prospect of a trial before the Senate that could be damaging to many besides Nixon. The next day, Tuesday, August 6, 1974, saw the last meeting of the Nixon cabinet, with Chairman George in attendance. Nixon's opening statement was: "I would like to discuss the most important issue confronting this nation, and confronting us internationally too -- inflation." Nixon then argued adamantly for some minutes that he had examined the course of events over the recent past and that he had "not found an impeachable offense, and therefore resignation is not an acceptable course." Vice President Ford predicted that there would be certain impeachment by the House, but that the outcome in the Senate could not be predicted. Ford then said he was an interested party on the resignation issue and would make no further comment. Nixon then wanted to talk about the budget again, and about an upcoming summit conference on the economy. Attorney General Saxbe interrupted him. "Mr. President, I don't think we ought to have a summit conference. We ought to make sure you have the ability to govern." Nixon quietly assured Saxbe that he had the ability to govern. Then Chairman George piped up, in support of Saxbe. The President's ability to govern was impaired, said George. Watergate had to be brought to an end expeditiously, Bush argued. From his vantage point at Nixon's right elbow, Kissinger could see that Bush was advancing toward the conclusion that Nixon had to resign. "It was cruel. And it was necessary," thought Kissinger. "More than enough had been said," was the Secretary of State's impression. Kissinger was seeking to avoid backing Nixon into a corner where he would become more stubborn and more resistant to the idea of resignation, making that dreaded Senate trial more likely. And this was the likely consequence of Bush's line of argument. "Mr. President, can't we just wait a week or two and see what happens?" asked Saxbe. Bush started to support Saxbe again, but now Nixon was getting more angry. Nixon glared at Bush and Saxbe, the open advocates of his resignation. "No," he snapped. "This is too important to wait." Now the senior cabinet officer decided he had to take the floor to avoid a total confrontation that would leave Nixon besieged but still holding the Oval Office. Kissinger's guttural accents were heard in the cabinet room: "We are not here to offer excuses for what we cannot do. We are here to do the nation's business. This is a very difficult time for our country. Our duty is to show confidence. It is essential that we show it is not safe for any country to take a run at us. For the sake of foreign policy we must act with assurance and total unity. If we can do that, we can vindicate the structure of peace." The main purpose of this pompous tirade had been to bring the meeting to a rapid end, and it worked. "There was a moment of embarrassed silence around the table," recalls Nixon, and after a few more remarks on the economy, the meeting broke up. Kissinger stayed behind with Nixon to urge him to resign, which Nixon now said he felt compelled to do. Bush sought out Al Haig to ponder how Nixon might be forced out. "What are we going to do?" asked Bush. Haig told Bush to calm down, explaining: "We get him up to the mountaintop, then he comes down again, then we get him up again." / Note #6 / Note #0 Kissinger walked back to his office in the West Wing and met Gen. Brent Scowcroft, the NSC director. Kissinger told Scowcroft that "there was precious little support" for the President. Kissinger, no mean hypocrite in his own right, thought that Saxbe had been "weak-livered." Bush and Saxbe had both been petty and insensitive, Kissinger thought. He compared Bush and Saxbe and the rest to a seventeenth-century royal court with the courtiers scurrying about, concerned with themselves rather than with their country. During this cabinet meeting, Bush was already carrying a letter to Nixon that would soon become the unkindest cut of all for Chairman George's wretched patron. This letter was delivered to Nixon on August 7. It read as follows: Dear Mr. President, It is my considered judgment that you should now resign. I expect in your lonely embattled position this would seem to you as an act of disloyalty from one you have supported and helped in so many ways. My own view is that I would now ill serve a President whose massive accomplishments I will always respect and whose family I love, if I did not now give you my judgment. Until this moment resignation has been no answer at all, but given the impact of the latest development, and it will be a lasting one, I now firmly feel resignation is best for the country, best for this President. I believe this view is held by most Republican leaders across the country. This letter is much more difficult because of the gratitude I will always have for you. If you do leave office history will properly record your achievements with a la sting respect. / Note #6 / Note #1 The next day, August 8, 1974, Nixon delivered his resignation to Henry Kissinger. Kissinger could now look forward to exercising the powers of the presidency at least until January 1977, and perhaps well beyond. For a final evaluation of Bush in Watergate, we may refer to a sketch of his role during those times provided by Bush's friend Maurice Stans, the finance director of the CREEP. This is how Stans sizes up Bush as a Watergate player: "George Bush, former member of Congress and former Ambassador to the United Nations. Bush, who proved he was one of the bravest men in Washington in agreeing to head the Republican National Committee during the 1973-74 phase of Watergate, kept the party organization together and its morale high, despite massive difficulties of press criticism and growing public disaffection with the administration. Totally without information as to what had gone on in Watergate behind the scenes, he was unable to respond knowledgeably to questions and because of that unjustly became the personal target of continuing sarcasm and cynicism from the media."/ Note #6 / Note #2 But there are many indications that Bush was in reality someone who, while taking part in the fray, actually helped to steer Watergate toward the strategic outcome desired by the dominant financier faction, the one associated with Brown Brothers Harriman and with London. As with so much in the life of this personage, much of Bush's real role in Watergate remains to be unearthed. To borrow a phrase from James McCord's defense of his boss, Richard Helms, we must see to it that "every tree in the forest will fall." Notes for Chapter 13, Part 3 57. For the "smoking gun" transcript of June 23, 1972, see "Washington Post," Aug. 6, 1974. 58. H.R. Haldeman, "The Ends of Power" (New York: Times Books, 1978), p. 64. 59. Bernstein and Woodward, "The Final Days," p. 374. 60. Available accounts of Nixon's last cabinet meeting are fragmentary, but see: "The Memoirs of Richard Nixon," p. 1066; "The Final Days," pp. 386-89; Theodore H. White, "Breach of Faith: The Fall of Richard Nixon" (New York: Atheneum Publishers, 1975), p. 24; Henry Kissinger, "Years of Upheaval" (Boston: Little, Brown, 1982), pp. 1202-3; J. Anthony Lukas, "Nightmare: The Underside of the Nixon Years" (New York: Viking Press, 1976), pp. 558-59. 61. The ostensible full text of this letter is found in Nicholas King, "George Bush: A Biography" (New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1980), p. 87. 62. Maurice H. Stans, "The Terrors of Justice: The Untold Side of Watergate" (New York: Everest, 1978), p. 66. insert chapter subhead here CHAPTER 14 1974: BUSH ATTEMPTS THE VICE-PRESIDENCY Those who betray their benefactors are seldom highly regarded. In Dante's "Divine Comedy," traitors to benefactors and to the established authorities are consigned to the ninth circle of the Inferno, where their souls are suspended, like insects in amber, in the frozen River Cocytus. This is the Giudecca, where the three arch-traitors -- Judas Iscariot, Brutus and Cassius -- are chewed for all eternity in the three mouths of Lucifer. The crimes of Nixon were monstrous, especially in Vietnam and in the India-Pakistan war, but in these Bush had been an enthusiastic participant. Now Bush's dagger, among others, had found its target; Nixon was gone. In the depths of his Inferno, Dante relates the story of Frate Alberigo to illustrate the belief that in cases of the most heinous treachery, the soul of the offender plunges at once into hell, leaving the body to live out its physical existence under the control of a demon. Perhaps the story of old Frate Alberigo will illuminate us as we follow the further career of George Bush. As Nixon left the White House for his home in San Clemente, California, in the early afternoon of August 9, 1974, Chairman George was already plotting how to scale still further up the dizzy heights of state. Ford was now President, and the vice presidency was vacant. According to the 25th Amendment, it was now up to Ford to designate a Vice President who would then require a majority vote of both houses of Congress to be confirmed. Seeing a golden opportunity to seize an office that he had long regarded as the final stepping stone to his ultimate goal of the White House, Bush immediately mobilized his extensive Brown Brothers, Harriman/Skull and Bones network, including as many Zionist lobby auxiliaries as he could muster. One of the first steps was to set up a boiler shop operation in a suite of rooms at the Statler Hilton Hotel in Washington. Here Richard L. Herman, the Nebraska GOP national committeeman, and two assistants began churning out a cascade of calls to Republicans and others around the country, urging, threatening, cajoling, calling in chits, promising future favors if Chairman George were to become Vice President George. / Note #1 There were other, formidable candidates, but none was so aggressive as Chairman George. Nelson Rockefeller, who had resigned as governor of New York some months before to devote more time to his own consuming ambition and to his Commission on Critical Choices, was in many ways the front runner. But Nelson was the incarnation of the Eastern Liberal Establishment internationalists against whom Goldwater had campaigned so hard in 1964. His support was considerable, but he had more active opposition than any other candidate. This meant that Ford had to hesitate in choosing Nelson because of what the blowback might mean for a probable Ford candidacy in 1976. The conservative Republicans all regarded Goldwater as their sentimental favorite, but they also knew that Ford would be reluctant to select him because of a different set of implications for 1976. Beyond Rockefeller and Goldwater, each a leader of a wing of the party, the names multiplied: Senator Howard Baker, Elliot Richardson, Governor William Scranton, Melvin Laird, Senator Bill Brock, Governor Dan Evans, Donald Rumsfeld and many others. Bush knew that if he could get Goldwater to show him some support, the Goldwater conservatives could be motivated to make their influence felt for Bush, and this might conceivably put him over the top. First, Chairman George had to put on the mask of conciliation and moderation. As Nixon was preparing his departure speech, Bush lost no time in meeting with Ford, now less than 24 hours away from being sworn in as President. Bush told the press that Ford had "said he'd be pleased if I stayed on" at the RNC, but had to concede that Ford had given no indication as to his choice for the Vice President. Bush's network in the House of Representatives was now fully mobilized, with "a showing of significant support in the House and among GOP officials" for Bush on the day before Nixon left town. Bush also put out a statement from the RNC, saying, "The battle is over. Now is the time for kindness.... Let us all try now to restore to our society a climate of civility." But despite the hypocritical kinder and gentler rhetoric, Chairman George's struggle for power was just beginning. / Note #2 Melvin Laird soon came out for Rockefeller, and there were sentimental displays for Goldwater in many quarters. With Bush's network in full gear, he was beginning to attract favorable mention from the columnists. Evans and Novak on August 11 claimed that "as the new President was sworn in, Rockefeller had become a considerably less likely prospect than either Senator Howard Baker of Tennessee or George Bush, the gregarious patrician and transplanted Texan who heads the Republican National Committee." On August 10, Ford announced that he would poll Republicans at all levels across the country. Some expressed their preferences directly to the White House, but the Republican National Committee members had to report their choices through Chairman George. Many of them, fearing the price they might have to pay for lese majeste, indicated Bush as their first choice. This matter was the subject of a complaint by Tom Evans of the RNC, who talked to the press and also wrote letters to the Ford White House, as we will see. By August 14, the "Washington Post" was reporting a "full scale campaign" on behalf of Bush, with an "impressive array of support" against Rockefeller. Bush's campaign manager and chief boiler room operator, Richard L. Herman of Nebraska, summed up his talking points: Bush, said Herman, "is the only one in the race with no opposition. He may not be the first choice in all cases, but he's not lower than second with anyone." Herman said he was "assisting" a broader organization on the Hill and of course at the RNC itself that was mobilized for Bush. Bush "can do more to help the Republican Party than anyone else and is totally acceptable throughout the country," blathered Herman. Bush was "obviously aware of what we're doing," said Herman. Support for Goldwater was apt to turn into support for Bush at any time, so Bush was gaining mightily, running second to Rocky alone. Taking note of the situation, even Bush's old allies at the "Washington Post" had to register some qualms. In an editorial published on August 15, 1974 on the subject of "The Vice Presidency," "Post" commentators quoted the ubiquitous Richard Herman on Bush's qualifications. The "Post" found that Bush's "background and abilities would appear to qualify him for the vice-presidency in just about all respects, except for the one that seems to us to really matter: What is conspicuously lacking is any compelling or demonstrable evidence that he is qualified to be President." But despite these darts, Chairman George continued to surge ahead. The big break came when Barry Goldwater, speaking in Columbia, South Carolina, told a Republican fundraiser that he had a "gut feeling" that Ford was going to select Bush for the vice presidency. On August 15, a source close to Ford told David Broder and Lou Cannon that Bush now had the "inside track" for the vice-presidency. Rockefeller's spokesman Hugh Morrow retorted that "we're not running a boiler shop or calling anyone or doing anything," unlike the strong-arm Bush team. / Note #3 Inside the Ford White House, responses to Ford's solicitaton were coming in. Among the top White House counselors, Bush got the support of Kenneth Rush, who had almost become Nixon's Secretary of State and who asserted that Bush "would have a broader appeal to all segments of the political spectrum than any other qualified choice." Dean Burch wrote a memo to Ford pointing out that among the prominent candidates, "only a few have a post-1980 political future." "My own choice," Burch told Ford, "would be a Vice President with a long term political future -- a potential candidate, at least, for the Presidency in his own right." In Burch's conclusion, "Still operating on this assumption, my personal choice is George Bush." / Note #4. The cabinet showed more sentiment for Rockefeller. Rogers Morton of the Interior, Weinberger of HEW, James Lynn of HUD, Frederick Dent of Commerce, and Attorney General Saxbe were all for Rocky. Earl Butz of Agriculture was for Goldwater, and James R. Schlesinger of Defense was for Elliot Richardson. No written opinion by Henry Kissinger appears extant at the Ford Library. Then the White House staff was polled. Pat Buchanan advised Ford to avoid all the younger men, including Bush, and told the president that Rockefeller would "regrettably" have to be his choice. John McLaughlin also told Ford to go for Rocky, although he mentioned that Bush "would also be a fine vice president." / Note #5 Richard A. Moore was for Bush based on his economic credentials, asserting that Bush's "father and gradfather were both highly respected investment bankers in New York." In the White House staff, Bush won out over Rockefeller and Scranton. Among personal friends of Ford, Bush won out over Rocky by a four to three margin. Among Republican governors, there was significant resistance to Bush. Former Pennsylvania Governor William Scranton, who had been considered of presidential caliber, wrote to Ford aide Phillip Buchen of Bush: "Quite frankly, in my experience with him his one drawback is a limitation of his administrative ability." / Note #6 Among the Republican Senators, Bush had intense competition, but the Prescott Bush network proved it could hold its own. Howard Baker put Bush second, while Henry Bellmon and Dewey Bartlett sent in a joint letter in support of Bush. Bob Dole put Chairman George last among his list of preferences, commenting that the choice of Bush would be widely regarded as "totally partisan." Pete Dominici put Bush as his first choice, but also conceded that he would be seen as a partisan pick. Roth of Delaware had Bush in third place after John J. Williams and Rocky. Hugh Scott of Pennsylvania wanted Rocky or Goldwater, but put Bush in third place. James Pearson of Kansas had Bush as first choice. Jesse Helms mentioned Bush, but in fifth place after Goldwater, Harry Byrd, Reagan and James Buckley. / Note #7 In the final tally, Rocky edged out Bush with 14 choices to Bush's 12, followed by Goldwater with 11. Bush was stronger in the House, where many members had served side by side with their old friend Rubbers. Bush was the first choice of Bill Archer of Texas (who had inherited Bush's old district, and who praised Bush for having "led the fight in Congress for disclosure and reform"), Skip Bafalis of Florida, William G. Bray of Indiana, Dan Brotzman of Colorado, Joe Broyhill of Virginia, John Buchanan of Alabama, Charles Chamberlain of Michigan, Donald Clancy of Ohio, Del Dawson of California, and Thad Cochran of Mississippi. William Armstrong of Colorado struck a discordant note by urging Ford to pick "a person who has extensive experience in "elected" public office." William S. Cohen of Maine found that Bush did "not have quite the range of experience of Richardson or Rockefeller." James Collins favored Bush "as a Texan." Glenn Davis of Wisconsin, Derwinksi of Illinois (a long-term ally who eventually rose to the Bush cabinet after having served with Bush at the U.N. mission in New York), Sam Devine of Ohio, and Pierre S. Du Pont IV of Delaware -- all for Bush. William Dickinson of Alabama found Bush "physically attractive" with "no political scars I am aware of" and "personally very popular." But then came John J. Duncan of Tennessee, who told Ford that he could not "support any of the fifteen or so mentioned in the news media." Marvin Esch of Michigan was for Bush, as was Peter Frelinghuysen of New Jersey. Edwin D. Eshelman told Ford to go for Bush "if you want a moderate." The Bush brigade went on with Charles Gubser of California, and Hammerschmidt of Arkansas, still very close to Bush today. John Heinz of Pennsylvania was having none of Bush, but urged Ford to take Rockefeller, Scranton or Richardson, in that order. John Erlenborn of Illinois was more than captivated by Bush, writing Ford that Bush "is attractive personally -- people tend to like him on sight." Why, "he has almost no political enemies" that Erlenborn knew of. Bud Hillis of Indiana, Andrew Hinshar of California, Marjorie Holt -- for Bush. Lawrence Hogan of Maryland was so "disturbed" about the prospect of Rockefeller that he was for Bush, too. Hudnut of Indiana put Bush as his second choice after favorite son Gov. Otis Bowen because Bush was "fine, clean." Jack Kemp of New York, now in the Bush cabinet, was for Bush way back then. Lagomarsino of California put Bush third, Latta of Ohio put him second only to Rocky. Trent Lott of Mississippi, who has since moved up to the Senate, told Ford that he needed somebody "young and clean" and that "perhaps George Bush fits that position." Manuel Lujan of New Mexico, who also made the Bush cabinet, was a solid Bush rooter, as was Wiley Mayne of Iowa. Pete McCloskey put Bush second to Richardson, but ahead of Rocky. John McCollister of Nebraska deluded himself that Bush could be confirmed without too much trouble: McCollister was for Bush because "I believe he could pass the Judiciary Committee's stern test" because "he had no policy-making role in the sad days now ended," but perhaps Ford knew better on that one. Clarence Miller of Ohio was for Bush. Congressman Bob Michel, ever climbing in the House GOP hierarchy, ha d long-winded arguments for Bush. Rocky, he thought, could "help most" over the remainder of Ford's term, but Bush would be a trump card for 1976. "George Bush would not command all the immediate adulation simply because he hasn't had as long a proven track record in the business and industrial community, but his credentials are good," wrote Michel. "He is young and he would work day and night and he would never attempt to 'upstage the boss.' Aside from projecting a 'straight arrow image,' he would be acceptable to the more conservative element in the party that would be offended by the appointment of Rockefeller." In addition, assured Michel, Bush enjoyed support among Democrats "from quarters I would not have believed possible, ... and they are indeed influential Democrats.... Over and above this, we may be giving one of our own a good opportunity to follow on after a six-year Ford administration," Michel concluded. Donald Mitchell of New York was for Bush because of his "rich background," which presumably meant money. Ancher Nelson thought Bush had "charisma," and he was for him. But George O'Brien of Illinois was also there with that bothersome request for "someone who was elected and was serving in a federal position." Stan Parris of Alexandria, Virginia, a faithful yes-man for Bush until his defeat in 1990, was for Bush -- of course. Jerry Pettis o f California was for Bush. Bob Price of Texas urged Ford to tap Bush, in part because of his "excellent" ties to the Senate, which were "due to his own efforts and the friendships of his father." Albert Quie of Minnesota had some support of his own for the nod, but he talked favorably about Bush, whom he also found "handsome." "He has only one handicap," thought Quie, "and that is, he lost an election for the Senate." Make that two handicaps. Score J. Kenneth Robinson of Virginia for Bush, along with Philip Ruppe of Michigan, who lauded Bush's "human warmth." Earl Ruth of northern California and William Steigler of Wisconsin for Bush. Steve Symms of Idaho, later a Senator, wanted "a Goldwater man" like Reagan, or Williams of Delaware. But, Symms added, "I would accept our National Chairman Bush." Guy Vander Jagt of Michigan confided to his former colleague Ford that "my personal recommendation is George Bush." John H. Ware broke a lance for Chairman George, and then came the endorsement of G. William Whitehurst of Virginia. According to Whitehurst, Bush demonstrates "those special characteristics that qualify a man for the highest office if fate so designates." Bob Wilson of California was for Bush, also considering the long term perspectives; he liked Bush's youthful enthusiasm and saw him as "a real leader for moderation." Larr Winn of Kansas, Wendell Wyatt of Oregon, Bill Young of Florida, Don Young of Alaska, Roger Zion of Indiana -- all listed Bush as their prime choice. The Republican House Steering Committee went for Bush because of his "general acceptance." / Note #8 When Ford's staff tabulated the House results, Bush's combined total of 101 first, second and third choice mentions put him in the lead, over Rocky at 68 and Reagan at 23. Among all the Republican elected and appointed officials who had expressed an opinion, Bush took first place with 255 points, with Rockefeller second with 181, Goldwater third with 83, Reagan with 52, followed by Richardson, Melvin Laird and the rest. It was a surprise to no one that Bush was the clear winner among the Republican National Committee respondents. But all in all it was truly a monument to the Bush network, achieved for a candidate with no qualifications who had very much participated in the sleaze of the Nixon era. The vox populi saw things slightly differently. In the number of telegrams received by the White House, Goldwater was way ahead with 2,280 in his favor, and only 102 against. Bush had 887 for him and 92 against. Rocky had 544 in favor, and a whopping 3,202 against. / Note #9 But even here, the Bush network had been totally mobilized, with a very large effort in the Dallas business community, among black Republicans, and by law firms with links to the Zionist lobby. Ward Lay of Frito-Lay joined with Herman W. Lay to support Bush. The law firm of McKenzie and Baer of Dallas assured Ford that Bush was "Mr. Clean." Bad Blood The full court press applied by the Bush machine also generated bad blood. Rockefeller supporter Tom Evans, a former RNC co-chair, wrote to Ford with the observation that "no one should campaign for the position and I offer these thoughts only because of an active campaign that is being conducted on George Bush's behalf which I do not believe properly reflects Republican opinion." Evans was more substantive than most recommendations: "Certainly one of the major issues confronting our country at this time is the economy and the related problems of inflation, unemployment, and high interest rates. I respectfully suggest that you need someone who can help substantively in these areas. George is great at PR but he is not as good in substantive matters. This opinion can be confirmed by individuals who held key positions at the National Committee." Evans also argued that Bush should have put greater distance between the GOP and Nixon sooner than he did. / Note #1 / Note #0 So Nelson's networks were not going to take the Bush strong-arm approach lying down. Bush's most obvious vulnerability was his close relationship to Nixon, plus the factthat he had been up to his neck in Watergate. It was lawful that Bush's ties to one of Nixon's slush funds came back to haunt him. This was the "Townhouse" fund again, the one managed by Jack A. Gleason and California attorney Herbert W. Kalmbach, Nixon's personal lawyer, who had gained quite some personal notoriety during the Watergate years. These two had both pleaded guilty earlier in 1974 to running an illegal campaign fundraising operation. On August 19, the eve of Ford's expected announcement, the "Washington Post" reported that unnamed White House sources were telling "Newsweek" magazine that Bush's vice-presidential bid "had slipped badly because of alleged irregularities in the financing of his 1970 Senate race in Texas." "Newsweek" quoted White House sources that "there was potential embarrassment in reports that the Nixon White House had funneled about $100,000 from a secret fund called the "Townhouse Operation" into Bush's losing Senate campaign against Democrat Lloyd Bentsen four years ago." "Newsweek" also added that $40,000 of this money may not have been properly reported under the election laws. Bush's special treatment during the 1970 campaign was a subject of acute resentment, especially among Senate Republicans Ford needed to keep on board. Back in 1970, Senator Mark Hatfield of Oregon had demanded to know why John Tower had given Bush nearly twice as much money as any other Senate Republican. Senator Tower had tried to deny favoritism, but Hatfield and Edward Brooke of Massachusetts had not been placated. Now there was the threat that if Bush had to go through lengthy confirmation hearings in the Congress, the entire Townhouse affair might be dredged up once again. According to some accounts, there were as many as 18 Republican Senators who had gotten money from Townhouse, but whose names had not been divulged. / Note #1 / Note #1 Any attempt to force Bush through as Vice President might lead to the fingering of these Senators, and perhaps others, mightily antagonizing those who had figured they were getting off with a whole coat. Ripping off the scabs of Watergate wounds in this way conflicted with Ford's "healing time" strategy, which was designed to put a hermetic lid on the festering mass of Watergate. Bush was too dangerous to Ford. Bush could not be chosen. Because he was so redolent of Nixonian sleaze, Bush's maximum exertions for the vice-presidency were a failure. Ford announced his choice of Nelson Rockefeller on August 20, 1974. It was nevertheless astounding that Bush had come so close. He was defeated for the moment, but he had established a claim on the office of the vice-presidency that he would not relinquish. Despite his hollow, arrogant ambition and total incompetence for the office, he would automatically be considered for the vice-presidency in 1976 and then again in 1980. For George Bush was an aristocrat of senatorial rank, although denied the Senate, and his conduct betrayed the conviction that he was owed not just a place at the public trough, but the accolade of national political office. Notes for Chapter 14 1. "Washington Post," Aug. 16, 1974. 2. "Washington Post," Aug. 9, 1974. 3. "Washington Post," Aug. 16, 1974. 4. Gerald R. Ford Library, Robert T. Hartman Files, Box 21. 5. Hartman Files, Box 19. 6. Philip Buchen Files, Box 63. 7. Hartman Files, Box 21. 8. Hartman Files, Boxes 19 and 20. 9. Hartman Files, Box 21. 10. Hartman Files, Box 20. 11. Walter Pincus and Bob Woodward, "Presidential Posts and Dashed Hopes," "Washington Post," Aug. 9, 1988. CHAPTER 15 BUSH IN BEIJING ""Whatever benign star it is that tends George Bush's destiny, lights his ambition, it was early on trapped in the flawed orbit of Richard Nixon. Bush's meteoric ascent, in a decade's time, from county GOP chairman to national chairman, including his prestigious ambassadorship to the United Nations, was due largely to the strong tug of Nixonian gravity. Likewise, his blunted hopes and dimmed future, like the Comet Kohoutek, result from the too-close approach to a fatal sun."" / Note #1 Several minutes before President Ford appeared for the first time before the television cameras with Nelson Rockefeller, his Vice President designate, he had placed a call to Bush to inform him that he had not been chosen, and to reassure him that he would be offered an important post as a consolation. Two days later, Bush met Ford at the White House. Bush claims that Ford told him that he could choose between a future as U.S. envoy to the Court of St. James in London, or presenting his credentials to the Elysee Palace in Paris. Bush would have us believe that he then told Ford that he wanted neither London nor Paris, but Beijing. Bush's accounts then portray Ford, never the quickest, as tapping his pipe, scratching his head, and asking, "Why Beijing?" Here Bush is lying once again. Ford was certainly no genius, but no one was better situated than he to know that it would have been utter folly to propose Bush for an ambassadorship that had to be approved by the Senate. Why Beijing? The first consideration, and it was an imperative one, was that under no circumstances could Bush face Senate confirmation hearings for any executive branch appointment for at least one to two years. There would have been questions about the Townhouse slush fund, about his intervention on Carmine Bellino, perhaps about Leon and Russell, and about many other acutely embarrassing themes. After Watergate, Bush's name was just too smelly to send up to the Hill for any reason. As Bush himself slyly notes: "The United States didn't maintain formal diplomatic relations with the People's Republic at the time, so my appointment wouldn't need Senate confirmation." An asterisk sends us to the additional fact that "because I'd been ambassador to the United Nations I carried the title 'ambassador' to China." The person that would have to be convinced, Bush correctly noted, was Henry Kissinger, who monopolized all decisions on his prized China card. / Note #2 But George was right about the confirmation. In 1974, what Bush was asking for was the U.S. Liaison Office (USLO), which did not have the official status of an embassy. The chief of that office was the President's personal representative in China, but it was a post that did not require Senate confirmation. Bush's notorious crony Robert Mosbacher was uncharacteristically close to the heart of the matter when he opined that Bush "wanted to get as far away from the stench [of Watergate] as possible." / Note #3 His own story that Beijing would be a "challenge, a journey into the unknown" is pure tripe. The truth is that with Washington teeming with congressional committees, special prosecutors and grand juries, Bush wanted to get as far away as he could, and Beijing was ideal. Otherwise, serving in Beijing meant further close subordination to Henry Kissinger. Kissinger told Bush before he left that policy would be implemented directly by Kissinger himself, in contact with the Chinese liaison in Washington and the Chinese representative at the United Nations. Finally, anyone who has observed Bush's stubborn, obsessive, morally insane support for Deng Xiaoping, Li Peng, and Yang Shankun during the aftermath of the Tiananmen massacre of June 1989 is driven toward the conclusion that Bush gravitated toward China because of an elective affinity, because of a profound attraction for the methods and outlook of Chinese leaders like Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, and Deng, for whom Bush has manifested a steadfast and unshakeable devotion in the face of heinous crimes and significant political pressure to repudiate them. Bush's staff in Beijing included Deputy Chief of Mission John Holdridge, Don Anderson, Herbert Horowitz, Bill Thomas and Bush's "executive assistant," Jennifer Fitzgerald, who has remained very close to Bush, and who has sometimes been rumored to be his mistress. Jennifer Fitzgerald in 1991 was the deputy chief of protocol in the White House; when German Chancellor Kohl visited Bush in the sping of 1991, he was greeted on the White House steps by Jennifer Fitzgerald. Bush's closest contacts among Chinese officialdom included Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Qiao Guanhua and his wife Zhang Hanzhi, also a top official of the foreign ministry. This is the same Qiao who is repeatedly mentioned in Kissinger's memoirs as one of his most important Red Chinese diplomatic interlocutors. This is the "Lord Qiao" enigmatically mentioned by Mao during Kissinger's meeting with Mao and Zhou Enlai on November 12, 1973. Qiao and Zhang later lost power because they sided with the left extremist Gang of Four after the death of Mao in 1976, Bush tells us. But in 1974-75, the power of the proto-Gang of Four faction was at its height, and it was toward this group that Bush quickly gravitated. When Bush had been in Beijing for about a month, Henry Kissinger arrived for one of his periodic visits to discuss current business with the Beijing leadership. Kissinger arrived with his usual army of retainers and Secret Service guards. During this visit, Bush went with Kissinger to see Vice-Premier Deng Xiaoping and Foreign Minister Qiao. This was one of three reported visits by Kissinger that would punctuate Bush's stay. Bush's tenure in Beijing must be understood in the context of the Malthusian and frankly genocidal policies of the Kissinger White House. These are aptly summed up for reference in the recently declassified National Security Study Memorandum 200, "Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for U.S. Security and Overseas Interests," dated December 10, 1974. / Note #6 NSSM 200, a joint effort by Kissinger and his deputy, Gen. Brent Scowcroft, provided a hit list of 13 developing countries for which the NSC posited a "special U.S. political and strategic interest" in population reduction or limitation. The list included India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nigeria, Mexico, Indonesia, Brazil, the Philippines, Thailand, Egypt, Turkey, Ethiopia and Colombia. Demographic growth in these and other Third World nations was to be halted and if possible reversed for the brutal reason that population growth represented increased strategic, and military power for the countries in question. Population growth, argues NSSM 200, will also increase pressure for the economic and industrial development of these countries, an eventuality which the study sees as a threat to the United States. In addition, bigger populations in the Third World are alleged to lead to higher prices and greater scarcity of strategic raw materials. As Kissinger summed up: "Development of a worldwide political and popular commitment to population stabilization is fundamental to any effective strategy.... The U.S. should encourage LDC leaders to take the lead in advancing family planning." When NSSM 200 goes on to ask, "would food be considered an instrument of national power?" it is clear to all that active measures of genocide are at the heart of the policy being propounded. A later Kissinger report praises the Chinese Communist leadership for their commitment to population control. During 1975, these Chinese Communists, Henry Kissinger and George Bush were to team up to create a demonstration model of the NSSM 200 policy: the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia. Target Cambodia One of the gambits used by Kissinger to demonstrate to the Beijing Communist leaders the utility of rapprochement with the U.S.A. has to do with the unhappy nation of Cambodia. The pro-U.S. government of Cambodia was headed by Marshal Lon Nol, who had taken power in 1970, the year of the public and massive U.S. ground incursion into the country. By the spring of 1975, while the North Vietnamese advanced on Saigon, the Lon Nol government was fighting for its life against the armed insurrection of the Cambodian Communist Party or Khmer Rouge guerrillas, who were supported by mainland China. Kissinger was as anxious as usual to serve the interests of Beijing, and now even more so, because of the alleged need to increase the power of the Chinese and their assets, the Khmer Rouge, against the triumphant North Vietnamese. The most important consideration remained to ally with China, the second strongest land power, against the U.S.S.R. Secondarily, it was important to maintain the balance of power in Southeast Asia as the U.S. policy collapsed. Kissinger's policy was therefore to jettison the Lon Nol government, and to replace it with the Khmer Rouge. George Bush, as Kissinger's liaison man in Beijing, was one of the instruments through which this policy was executed. Bush did his part, and the result is known to world history under the heading of the Pol Pot regime, which committed a genocide against its own population proportionally greater than any other in recent world history. Until 1970, the government of Cambodia was led by Prince Sihanouk, a former king who had stepped down from the throne to become Prime Minister. Under Sihanouk, Cambodia had maintained a measure of stability and had above all managed to avoid being completely engulfed by the swirling maelstrom of the wars in Laos and in Vietnam. But during 1969, Nixon and Kissinger had ordered a secret bombing campaign against North Vietnamese troop concentrations on Cambodian territory under the code name of "Menu." This bombing would have provided real and substantive grounds for the impeachment of Nixon, and it did constitute the fourth proposed article of impeachment against Nixon submitted to the House Judiciary Committee on July 30, 1974. But after three articles of impeachment having to do with the Watergate break-ins and subsequent coverup were approved by the committee, the most important article, the one on genocide in Cambodia, was defeated by a vote of 26 to 12. Cambodia was dragged into the Indo-China war by the U.S.-sponsored coup d'etat in Phnom Penh in March 1970, which ousted Sihanouk in favor of Marshal Lon Nol of the Cambodian Army, whose regime was never able to achieve even a modicum of stability. Shortly thereafter, at the end of April 1970, Nixon and Kissinger launched a large-scale U.S. military invasion of Cambodia, citing the use of Cambodian territory by the North Vietnamese armed forces for their "Ho Chi Minh trail" supply line to sustain their forces deployed in South Vietnam. The "parrot's beak" area of Cambodia, which extended deep into South Vietnam, was occupied. Prince Sihanouk, who described himself as a neutralist, established himself in Beijing after the seizure of power by Lon Nol. In May of 1970, he became the titular leader and head of state of a Cambodian government in exile, the Gouvernement Royal d'Union Nationale du Kampuchea, or GRUNK. The GRUNK was in essence a united front between Sihanouk and the Khmer Rouge, with the latter exercising most of the real power and commanding the armed forces and secret police. Sihanouk was merely a figurehead, and he knew it. During these years, the Khmer Rouge, which had launched a small guerrilla insurrection during 1968, was a negligible military factor in Cambodia, fielding only a very few thousand guerrilla fighters. One of its leaders was Saloth Sar, who had studied in Paris, and who had then sojourned at length in Red China at the height of the Red Guards' agitation. Saloth Sar was one of the most important leaders of the Khmer Rouge, and would later become infamous under his nom de guerre of Pol Pot. Decisive support for Pol Pot and for the later genocidal policies of the Khmer Rouge always came from Beijing, despite the attempts of misguided or lying commentators (like Henry Kissinger) to depict the Khmer Rouge as a creation of Hanoi. But in the years after 1970, the Khmer Rouge, who were determined immediately to transform Cambodia into a Communist "utopia" beyond the dreams even of the wildest Maoist Red Guards, made rapid gains. The most important single ingredient in the rise of the Khmer Rouge was provided by Kissinger and Nixon, through their systematic campaign of terror bombing against Cambodian territory during 1973. This was called Arclight, and began shortly after the January 1973 Paris Accords on Vietnam. With the pretext of halting a Khmer Rouge attack on Phnom Penh, U.S. forces carried out 79,959 officially confirmed sorties with B-52 and F-111 bombers against targets inside Cambodia, dropping 539,129 tons of explosives. Many of these bombs fell upon the most densely populated sections of Cambodia, including the countryside around Phnom Penh. The number of deaths caused by this genocidal campaign has been estimated at between 30,000 and 500,000. / Note #7 Accounts of the devastating impact of this mass terror-bombing leave no doubt that it shattered most of what remained of Cambodian society and provided ideal preconditions for the further expansion of the Khmer Rouge insurgency. During 1974, the Khmer Rouge consolidated their hold over parts of Cambodia. In these enclaves, they showed their characteristic methods of genocide, dispersing the inhabitants of the cities into the countryside, while executing teachers, civil servants, intellectuals -- sometimes all those who could read and write. This policy was remarkably similar to the one being carried out by the United States under Theodore Shackley's Operation Phoenix in neighboring South Vietnam, and Kissinger and other officials began to see the potential of the Khmer Rouge for implementing the genocidal population reductions that had now been made the official doctrine of the U.S. regime. Support for the Khmer Rouge was even more attractive to Kissinger and Nixon because it provided an opportunity for the geopolitical propitiation of the Maoist regime in China. Indeed, in the development of the China card between 1973 and 1975, during most of Bush's stay in Beijing, Cambodia loomed very large as the single most important bilateral issue between the U.S.A. and Red China. Already, in November 1972, Kissinger told Bush's later prime contact, Qiao Guanhua, that the United States would have no real objection to a Sihanouk-Khmer Rouge government of the type that later emerged: "Whoever can best preserve it [Cambodia] as an independent neutral country, is consistent with our policy, and we believe with yours," said Kissinger. / Note #8 When Bush's predecessor David Bruce arrived in Beijing to open the new U.S. Liaison Office in the spring of 1973, he sought contact with Zhou Enlai. On May 18, 1973, Zhou stressed that the only solution for Cambodia would be for North Vietnamese forces to leave that country entirely. A few days later, Kissinger told Chinese delegate Huang Hua in New York that U.S. and Red Chinese interests in Cambodia were compatible, since both sought to avoid "a bloc which could support the hegemonial objectives of outside powers," meaning North Vietnam and Hanoi's backers in Moscow. The genocidal terror-bombing of Cambodia was ordered by Kissinger during this period. Kissinger was apoplectic over the move by the U.S. Congress to prohib it further bombing of Cambodia after August 15, 1973, which he called "a totally unpredictable and senseless event." / Note #9 Kissinger always pretends that the Khmer Rouge were a tool of Hanoi, and in his memoirs he spins out an absurd theory that the weakening of Zhou and the ascendancy of the Gang of Four was caused by Kissinger's own inability to keep bombing Cambodia. In reality, Beijing was backing its own allies, the Khmer Rouge, as is obvious from the account that Kissinger himself provides of his meeting with Bush's friend Qiao in October 1973. / Note #1 / Note #0 Starting in the second half of 1974, George Bush was heavily engaged on this Sino-Cambodian front, particularly in his contacts with his main negotiating partner, Qiao. Bush had the advantage that secret diplomacy carried on with the Red Chinese regime during those days was subject to very little public scrutiny. The summaries of Bush's dealings with the Red Chinese now await the liberation of the files of the foreign ministry in Beijing or of the State Department in Washington, whichever comes first. Bush's involvement on the Cambodian question has been established by later interviews with Prince Sihanouk's chef de cabinet, Pung Peng Cheng, as well as with French and U.S. officials knowledgeable about Bush's activities in Beijing during that time. What we have here is admittedly the tip of the iceberg, the merest hints of the monstrous iniquity yet to be unearthed. / Note #1 / Note #1 The Khmer Rouge launched a dry-season offensive against Phnom Penh in early 1974, which fell short of its goal. They tried again the following year with a dry-season offensive launched on January 1, 1975. Soon supplies to Phnom Penh were cut off, both on the land and along the Mekong River. Units of Lon Nol's forces fought the battle of the Phnom Penh perimeter through March. On April 1, 1975, President Lon Nol resigned and fled the country under the pressure of the U.S. embassy, who wanted him out as quickly as possible as part of the program to appease Beijing. / Note #1 / Note #2 When Lon Nol had left the country, Kissinger became concerned that the open conquest of Phnom Penh by the Khmer Rouge Communist guerrillas would create public relations and political problems for the shaky Ford regime in the United States. Kissinger accordingly became interested in having Prince Sihanouk, the titular head of the insurgent coalition of which the Khmer Rouge was the leading part, travel from Beijing to Phnom Penh so that the new government in Cambodia could be portrayed more as a neutralist-nationalist, and less as a frankly Communist, regime. This turns out to be the episode of the Cambodian tragedy in which George Bush's personal involvement is most readily demonstrated. Prince Sihanouk had repeatedly sought direct contacts with Kissinger. At the end of March 1975, he tried again to open a channel to Washington, this time with the help of the French embassy in Beijing. Sihanouk's chef de cabinet, Pung Peng Chen, requested a meeting with John Holdridge, Bush's deputy station chief. This meeting was held at the French Embassy. Pung told Holdridge that Prince Sihanouk had a favor to ask of President Ford: "[I]n [Sihanouk's] old home in Phnom Penh were copies of the films of Cambodia he had made in the sixties when he had been an enthusiastic cineast. They constituted a unique cultural record of a Cambodia that was gone forever: would the Americans please rescue them? Kissinger ordered Dean [the U.S. ambassador in Cambodia] to find the films and also instructed Bush to seek a meeting with Sihanouk. The Prince refused, and during the first ten days of April, as the noose around Phnom Penh tightened, he continued his public tirades" against the United States and its Cambodian puppets. / Note #1 / Note #3 On the same day, April 11, Ford announced that he would not request any further aid for Cambodia from the U.S. Congress, since any aid for Cambodia approved now would be "too late" anyway. Ford had originally been asking for $333 million to save the government of Cambodia. Several days later, Ford would reverse himself and renew his request for the aid, but by that time it was really too late. On April 11, the U.S. embassy was preparing a dramatic evacuation, but the embassy was being kept open as part of Kissinger's effort to bring Prince Sihanouk back to Phnom Penh. "It was now, on April 11, 1975, as Dean was telling government leaders he might soon be leaving, that Kissinger decided that Sihanouk should be brought back to Cambodia. In Peking, George Bush was ordered to seek another meeting; that afternoon John Holdridge met once more with Pung Peng Cheng at the French embassy. The American diplomat explained that Dr. Kissinger and President Ford were now convinced that only the Prince could end the crisis. Would he please ask the Chinese for an aircraft to fly him straight back to Phnomn Penh? The United States would guarantee to remain there until he arrived. Dr. Kissinger wished to impose no conditions.... On April 12, at 5 a.m. Peking time, Holdridge again met with Pung. He told him that the Phnom Penh perimeter was degenerating so fast that the Americans were pulling out at once. Sihanouk had already issued a statement rejecting and denouncing Kissinger's invitation." / Note #1 / Note #4 Sihanouk had a certain following among liberal members of the U.S. Senate, and his presence in Phnom Penh in the midst of the debacle of the old Lon Nol forces would doubtless have been reassuring for U.S. public opinion. But Sihanouk at this time had no ability to act independently of the Khmer Rouge leaders, who were hostile to him and who held the real power, including the inside track to the Red Chinese. Prince Sihanouk did return to Phnom Penh later in 1975, and his strained relations with Pol Pot and his colleagues soon became evident. Early in 1976, Sihanouk was placed under house arrest by the Khmer Rouge, who appear to have intended to execute him. Sihanouk remained under detention until the North Vietnamese drove Pol Pot and his forces out of Phnom Penh in 1978 and set up their own government there. In following the Kissinger-Bush machinations to bring Prince Sihanouk back to Cambodia in mid-April 1975, one is also suspicious that an included option was to increase the likelihood that Sihanouk might be liquidated by the Khmer Rouge. When the Khmer Rouge entered Phnom Penh, they immediately carried out a massacre on a grand scale, slaying any members of the Lon Nol and Long Boret cabinets they could get their hands on. There were mass executions of teachers and government officials, and all of the 2.5 million residents of Phnom Penh were driven into the countryside, including seriously ill hospital patients. Under these circumstances, it would have been relatively easy to assassinate Sihanouk amidst the general orgy of slaughter. Such an eventuality was explicitly referred to in a Kissinger NSC briefing paper circulated in March 1975, in which Sihanouk was quoted as follows in remarks made December 10, 1971: "If I go on as chief of state after victory, I run the risk of being pushed out the window by the Communists, like Masaryk, or that I might be imprisoned for revisionism or deviationism." More than 2 million Cambodians out of an estimated total population of slightly more than 7 million perished under the Khmer Rouge; according to some estimates, the genocide killed 32 percent of the total population. / Note #1 / Note #5 The United States and Red China, acting together under the Kissinger "China card" policy, had liquidated one Cambodian government, destroyed the fabric of civil society in the country, ousted a pro-U.S. government, and installed a new regime they knew to be genocidal in its intentions. For Kissinger, it was the exemplification of the new U.S. strategic doctrine contained in NSSM 200. For George Bush, it was the fulfillment of his family's fanatically held belief in the need for genocide to prevent the more prolific, but "inferior," races of the earth, in this case those with yellow skins, from "out-breeding" the imperial Anglo-Saxon racial stock. Making Money in Beijing In addition to opportunities to promote genocide, Bush's tenure in Beijing presented him with numerous occasions to exploit public office for the private gain of financiers and businessmen who were a part of his network. In September 1975, as Ford was preparing for a year-end visit to China, Kissinger organized a presidential reception at the White House for a delegation from the Beijing China Council for the Promotion of International Trade. The meeting was carefully choreographed by Kissinger and Scowcroft. The Ford Library has preserved a supplementary memo to Scowcroft, at that time the NSC chief, from Richard H. Solomon of the NSC staff, which reads as follows: "Regarding the President's meeting with the Chinese trade group, State has called me requesting that Ambassador Bush and [Kissinger henchman] Phil Habib attend the meeting. You will recall having approved Bush's sitting in on the President's meeting with the Congressional delegation that recently returned from China. Hence, Bush will be floating around the White House at this period of time anyway. I personally think it would be useful to have Bush and Habib sit in. The Cabinet Room should be able to hold them. Win[ston] Lord is someone else who might be invited." This meeting was eventually held on September 8, 1975. A little earlier, Bush, en route to Washington, had sent a hand-written note to Scowcroft dated August29, 1975. This missive urged Scowcroft to grant a request from Codel Anderson, who had just completed a visit to China complete with a meeting with Deng Xiaoping, to be allowed to report back to Ford personally. These were the type of contacts which later paid off for Bush's cronies. During 1977, Bush returned to China as a private citizen, taking with him his former Zapata business partner, J. Hugh Liedtke. In January 1978, Liedtke was on hand when the Chinese oil minister was Bush's guest for dinner at his home in Houston. In May 1978, Liedtke and Pennzoil were at the top of the Chinese government's list of U.S. oil firms competing to be accorded contracts for drilling in China. Then, in the late summer of 1978, J. Hugh Liedtke of Pennzoil made another trip to China, during which he was allowed to view geological studies which had previously been held as state secrets by Beijing. Pennzoil was in the lead for a contract to begin oil drilling in the South China Sea. / Note #1 / Note #6 Kissinger made four visits to Beijing during Bush's tenure there. On October 19, 1975, Kissinger arrived in Beijing to prepare for Ford's visit, set for December. There were talks between Kissinger and Deng Xiaoping, with Bush, Habib, Winston Lord and Foreign Minister Qiao taking part. It was during this visit that, Bush would have us believe, he had his first face-to-face meeting with Mao Zedong, the leader of a Communist revolution which had claimed the lives of some 100 million Chinese since the end of the Second World War. Meeting of the Monsters Mao, one of the greatest monsters of the twentieth century, was 81 years old at that time. He was in very bad health; when he opened his mouth to meet Kissinger, "only guttural noises emerged." Mao's study contained tables covered with tubes and medical apparatus, and a small oxygen tank. Mao was unable to speak coherently, but had to write Chinese characters and an occasional word in English on a note pad which he showed to his interpreters. Kissinger inquired as to Mao's health. Mao pointed to his head saying, "This part works well. I can eat and sleep." Then Mao tapped his legs: "These parts do not work well. They are not strong when I walk. I also have some trouble with my lungs. In a word, I am not well. I am a showcase for visitors," Mao summed up. The croaking, guttural voice continued: "I am going to heaven soon. I have already received an invitation from God." If Mao was a basso profondo of guttural croaking, then Kissinger was at least a bass-baritone: "Don't accept it too soon," he replied. "I accept the orders of the Doctor," wrote Mao on his note pad. Mao at this point had slightly less than a year to live. Bush provided counterpoint to these lower registers with his own whining tenor. Bush was much impressed by Mao's rustic background and repertoire of Chinese barnyard expressions. Referring to a certain problem in Sino-American relations, Mao dismissed it as no more important than a "fang go pi," no more important than a dog fart. Mao went on, commenting about U.S. military superiority, and then saying: "God blesses you, not us. God does not like us because I am a militant warlord, also a Communist. No, he doesn't like me. He likes you three." Mao pointed to Kissinger, Bush and Winston Lord. Toward the end of the encounter, this lugubrious monster singled out Bush for special attention. Mao turned to Winston Lord. "This ambassador," said Mao while gesturing toward Bush, "is in a plight. Why don't you come visit?" "I would be honored," Bush replied according to his own account, "but I'm afraid you're very busy." "Oh, I'm not busy," said Mao. "I don't look after internal affairs. I only read the international news. You should really come visit." Bush claims / Note #1 / Note #7 that he never accepted Chairman Mao's invitation to come around for private talks. Bush says that he was convinced by members of his own staff that Mao did not really mean to invite him, but was only being polite. Was Bush really so reticent, or is this another one of the falsifications with which his official biographies are studded? The world must await the opening of the Beijing and Foggy Bottom archives. In the meantime, we must take a moment to contemplate that gathering of October 1975 in Chairman Mao's private villa, secluded behind many courtyards and screens in the Chungnanhai enclave of Chinese rulers not far from the Great Hall of the People and Tiananmen, where less than a year later an initial round of pro-democracy demonstrations would be put down in blood in the wake of the funeral of Zhou Enlai. Mao, Kissinger, and Bush: Has history ever seen a tete-a-tete of such mass murderers? Mao, identifying himself with Chin Shih Huang, the first Emperor of all of China and founder of the Chin dynasty, who had built the Great Wall, burned the books, and killed the Confucian scholars -- this Mao had massacred ten percent of his own people, ravaged Korea, strangled Tibet. Kissinger's crimes were endless, from the Middle East to Vietnam, from the oil crisis of 1973-74, with the endless death in the Sahel, to India-Pakistan, Chile and many more. Kissinger, Mao and Bush had collaborated to install the Pol Pot Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia, which was now approaching the zenith of its genocidal career. Compared to the other two, Bush may have appeared as an apprentice of genocide: He had done some filibustering in the Caribbean, had been part of the cheering section for the Indonesia massacres of 1965, and then he had become a part of the Kissinger apparatus, sharing in the responsibility for India-Pakistan, the Middle East, Cambodia. But as Bush advanced through his personal "cursus honorum," his power and his genocidal dexterity were growing, foreshadowing such future triumphs as the devastation of El Chorillo in Panama in December 1989, and his later masterwork of savagery, the Gulf war of 1991. By the time of Bush's own administration, Anglo-American finance and the International Monetary Fund were averaging some 50 million needless deaths per year in the developing sector. But Mao, Kissinger and Bush exchanged pleasantries that day in Mao's sitting room in Chungnanhai. If the shades of Hitler or Stalin had sought admission to that murderers colloquium, they might have been denied entrance as pikers. Later, in early December, Gerald Ford, accompanied by his hapless wife and daughter, came to see the moribund Mao for what amounted to a photo opportunity with a living cadaver. The Associated Press wire issued that day hyped the fact that Mao had talked with Ford for one hour and 50 minutes, nearly twice as long as the Great Steersman had given to Nixon in 1972. Participants in this meeting included Kissinge r, Bush, Scowcroft and Winston Lord. Bush was now truly a leading Kissinger clone. A joint communique issued after this session said that Mao and Ford had had "earnest and significant discussions ... on wide-ranging issues in a friendly atmosphere." At this meeting, Chairman Mao greeted Bush with the words, "You've been promoted." Mao turned to Ford, and added: "We hate to see him go." At a private lunch with Vice Premier Deng Xiao-ping, the rising star of the post-Mao succession, Deng assured Bush that he was considered a friend of the Chinese Communist hierarchy who would always be welcome in China, "even as head of the CIA." For, as we will see, this was to be the next stop on Bush's "cursus honorum." Later, Kissinger and Bush also met with Qiao Guanhua, still the Foreign Minister. According to newspaper accounts, the phraseology of the joint communique suggested that the meeting had been more than usually cordial. There had also been a two-hour meeting with Deng Xiaoping reported by the Ford White House as "a constructive exchange of views on a wide range of international issues." At a banquet, Deng used a toast for an anti-Soviet tirade which the Soviet news agency TASS criticized as "vicious attacks." / Note #1 / Note #8 Ford thought, probably because he had been told by Kissinger, that the fact that Mao had accompanied him to the door of his villa after the meeting was a special honor, but he was disabused by Beijing-based correspondents who told him that this was Mao's customary practice. Ford's daughter Susan was sporting a full-length muskrat coat for her trip to the Great Wall. "It's more than I ever expected," she gushed. "I feel like I'm in a fantasy. It's a whole other world." The Next Step Days after Ford departed from Beijing, Bush also left the Chinese capital. It was time for a new step in his imperial "cursus honorum." During his entire stay in Beijing, Bush had never stopped scheming for new paths of personal advancement toward the very apex of power. Before Bush went to Beijing, he had talked to his network asset and crony Rogers C.B. Morton about his favorite topic, his own prospects for future career aggrandizement. Morton at that time was Secretary of Commerce, but he was planning to step down before much longer. Morton told Bush: "What you ought to think about is coming back to Washington to replace me when I leave. It's a perfect springboard for a place on the ticket." This idea is the theme of a Ford White House memo preserved in the Jack Marsh Files at the Ford Library in Ann Arbor. The memo is addressed to Jack Marsh, counselor to the President, by Russell Rourke of Marsh's staff. The memo, which is dated March 20, 1975, reads as follows: "|'It's my impression and partial understanding that George Bush has probably had enough of egg rolls and Peking by now (and has probably gotten over his lost V.P. opportunity). He's one hell of a Presidential surrogate, and would be an outstanding spokesman for the White House between now and November '76. Don't you think he would make an outstanding candidate for Secretary of Commerce or a similar post sometime during the next six months?'|" Bush was now obsessed with the idea that he had a right to become Vice President in 1976. As a member of the senatorial caste, he had a right to enter the Senate, and if the plebeians with their changeable humors barred the elective route, then the only answer was to be appointed to the second spot on the ticket and enter the Senate as its presiding officer. As Bush wrote in his campaign autobiography: "Having lost out to Rockefeller as Ford's vice-presidential choice in 1974, I might be considered by some as a leading contender for the number two spot in Kansas City...." / Note #1 / Note #9 Bush possessed a remarkable capability for the blackmailing of Ford: He could enter the 1976 Republican presidential primaries as a candidate in his own right, and could occasion a hemorrhaging of liberal Republican support that might otherwise have gone to Ford. Ford, the second non-elected President [Andrew Johnson was the first], was the weakest of all incumbents, and he was already preparing to face a powerful challenge from his right mounted by the Ronald Reagan camp. The presence of an additional rival with Bush's networks among liberal and moderate Republican layers might constitute a fatal impediment to Ford's prospects for getting himself elected to a term of his own. Accordingly, when Kissinger visited Bush in Beijing in October 1975, he pointedly inquired as to whether Bush intended to enter any of the Republican presidential primaries during the 1976 season. This was the principal question that Ford had directed Kissinger to ask of Bush. Bush's exit from Beijing occurred within the context of Ford's celebrated "Halloween massacre" of early November 1975. This "massacre," reminiscent of Nixon's cabinet purge of 1973 ("the Saturday night massacre"), was a number of firings and transfers of high officials at the top of the executive branch, through which Ford sought to figure forth the political profile which he intended to carry into the primaries and, if he were successful in the winter and spring, into the Republican convention and, beyond that, into the fall campaign. So each of these changes had a purpose that was ultimately rooted in electioneering. In the Halloween massacre, it was announced that Vice President Nelson Rockefeller would under no circumstances be a candidate to continue in that office. Nelson's negatives were simply too high, owing in part to a vigorous campaign directed against him by Lyndon LaRouche. James "Rodney the Robot" Schlesinger was summarily ousted as the Secretary of Defense; Schlesinger's "Dr. Strangelove" overtones were judged not presentable during an election year. To replace Schlesinger, Ford's White House chief of staff, Donald Rumsfeld, was given the Pentagon. Henry Kissinger, who up to this moment had been running the administration from two posts, NSC Director and Secretary of State, had to give up his White House office and was obliged to direct the business of the government from Foggy Bottom. In consolation to him, the NSC job was assigned to his devoted clone and later business associate, retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Brent Scowcroft, a Mormon who would later play the role of exterminating demon during Bush's Gulf war adventure. At the Department of Commerce, the secretary's post that had been so highly touted to Bush was being vacated by Rogers Morton. Finally, William Colby, his public reputation thoroughly dilapidated as a result of the revelations made during the Church Committee and Pike Committee investigations of the abuses and crimes of the CIA, especially within the U.S. domestic sphere, was canned as Director of Central Intelligence. Could this elaborate reshuffle be made to yield a job for Bush? It was anything but guaranteed. The post of CIA Director was offered to Washington lawyer and influence broker Edward Bennett Williams. But he turned it down. Then there was the post at Commerce. This was one that Bush came very close to getting. In the Jack Marsh files at the Gerald Ford Library there is a draft marked "Suggested cable to George Bush," but which is undated. The telegram begins: "Congratulations on your selection by the President as Secretary of Commerce." The job title is crossed out, and "Director of the Central Intelligence Agency" is penciled in. So Bush almost went to Commerce, but then was proposed for Langley instead. Bush in his campaign autobiography suggests that the CIA appointment was a tactical defeat, the one new job that was more or less guaranteed to keep him off the GOP ticket in 1976. As CIA Director, if he got that far, he would have to spend "the next six months serving as point man for a controversial agency being investigated by two major Congressional committees. The scars left by that experience would put me out of contention, leaving the spot open for others." / Note #2 / Note #0 Bush suggests that "the Langley thing" was the handiwork of Donald Rumsfeld, who had a leading role in designing the reshuffle. (Some time later, Fo rd's Secretary of the Treasury William Simon confided privately that he himself had been targeted for proscription by "Rummy," who was more interested in taking the Treasury than he was in the Pentagon.) On All Saints' Day, November 1, 1975, Bush received a telegram from Kissinger informing him that "the President is planning to announce some major personnel shifts on Monday, November 3, at 7:30 PM, Washington time. Among those shifts will be the transfer of Bill Colby from CIA. The President asks that you consent to his nominating you as the new Director of the Central Intelligence Agency." / Note #2 / Note #1 Bush promptly accepted. Notes for Chapter 15 1. Al Reinert, "Bob and George Go to Washington or The Post-Watergate Scramble," in "Texas Monthly," April 1974. 2. George Bush and Victor Gold, "Looking Forward" (New York: Doubleday, 1987), p. 130. 3. Walter Pincus and Bob Woodward, "Presidential Posts and Dashed Hopes," "Washington Post," Aug. 9, 1988. 6. See Hassan Ahmed and Joseph Brewda, "Kissinger, Scowcroft, Bush Plotted Third World Genocide," "Executive Intelligence Review," May 3, 1991, pp. 26-30. 7. Russell R. Ross ed., "Cambodia: A Country Study" (Washington: U.S. G.P.O., 1990), p. 46. 8. Henry Kissinger, "Years of Upheaval" (Boston: Little, Brown, 1982), p. 341. 9. "Ibid.," p. 367. 10. "Ibid.," p. 681. 11. See William Shawcross, "Sideshow: Kissinger, Nixon, and the Destruction of Cambodia" (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987), pp. 360-61. 12. See Sutsakhan's "The Khmer Republic at War and the Final Collapse" (Washington: U.S. Army Center of Military History, 1980) pp. 163, 166. 13. Shawcross, "op. cit.," p. 360. 14. "Ibid.," p. 361. 15. Ross, "op. cit.," p. 51. 16. "Forbes," Sept. 4, 1978. 17. See Bush and Gold, "op. cit.," pp. 145-49 for Bush's account of his alleged first meeting with Mao. 18. "New Orleans Times-Picayune," Dec. 3, 1975. 19. Bush and Gold, "op. cit.," p. 157. 20. "Ibid.," pp. 157-58. 21. "Ibid.," p. 153.
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