Chapter 4 – The Center of Power is in Washington

George Bush - Unauthorized Biography

    Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.
    59 Wall Street, New York
    Cable Address “Shipley-New York”
    Business Established 1818
    Private Bankers
    September 5, 1944

    The Honorable W.A. Harriman
    American Ambassador to the U.S.S.R.
    American Embassy,
    Moscow, Russia

    Dear Averell:

    Thinking that possibly Bullitt’s article in the recent issue
    of “LIFE” may not have come to your attention, I have clipped
    it and am sending it to you, feeling that it will interest you.
    At present writing all well here.
    With warm regards, I am,
    Sincerely yours,

“ At present writing all is well here. ” Thus the ambassador to Russia was reassured by the managing partner of his firm, Prescott Bush. Only 22-1/2 months before, the U.S. government had seized and shut down the Union Banking Corp., which had been operated on behalf of Nazi Germany by Bush and the Harrimans (see Chapter 2). But that was behind them now and they were safe. There would be no publicity on the Harriman-Bush sponsorship of Hitlerism.

Prescott’s son George, the future U.S. President, was also safe. Three days before this note to Moscow was written, George Bush had parachuted from a Navy bomber airplane over the Pacific Ocean, killing his two crew members when the unpiloted plane crashed.

Five months later, in February 1945, Prescott’s boss, Averell Harriman, escorted President Franklin Roosevelt to the fateful summit meeting with Soviet leader Joseph Stalin at Yalta. In April Roosevelt died. The agreement reached at Yalta, calling for free elections in Poland once the war ended, was never enforced.

Over the next eight years (1945 through 1952), Prescott Bush was Harriman’s anchor in the New York financial world. The increasingly powerful Mr. Harriman and his allies gave Eastern Europe over to Soviet dictatorship. A Cold War was then undertaken, to “ counterbalance ” the Soviets.

This British-inspired strategy paid several nightmarish dividends. Eastern Europe was to remain enslaved. Germany was “ permanently ” divided. Anglo-American power was jointly exercised over the non-Soviet “ Free World. ” The confidential functions of the British and American governments were merged. The Harriman clique took possession of the U.S. national security apparatus, and in doing so, they opened the gate and let the Bush family in.

Following his services to Germany’s Nazi Party, Averell Harriman spent several years mediating between the British, American and Soviet governments in the war to stop the Nazis. He was ambassador to Moscow from 1943 to 1946.

President Harry Truman, whom Harriman and his friends held in amused contempt, appointed Harriman U.S. ambassador to Britain in 1946.

Harriman was at lunch with former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill one day in 1946, when Truman telephoned. Harriman asked Churchill if he should accept Truman’s offer to come back to the U.S. as Secretary of Commerce. According to Harriman’s account, Churchill told him: “ Absolutely. The center of power is in Washington. ”@s1

Jupiter Island

The reorganization of the American government after World War II–the creation of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency along British lines, for example–had devastating consequences. We are concerned here with only certain aspects of that overall transformation, those matters of policy and family which gave shape to the life and mind of George Bush, and gave him access to power.

It was in these postwar years that George Bush attended Yale University, and was inducted into the Skull and Bones society. The Bush family’s home at that time was in Greenwich, Connecticut. But it was just then that George’s parents, Prescott and Dorothy Walker Bush, were wintering in a peculiar spot in Florida, a place that is excluded from mention in literature originating from Bush circles.

Certain national news accounts early in 1991 featured the observations on President Bush’s childhood by his elderly mother Dorothy. She was said to be a resident of Hobe Sound, Florida. More precisely, the President’s mother lived in a hyper-security arrangement created a half-century earlier by Averell Harriman, adjacent to Hobe Sound. Its correct name is Jupiter Island.

During his political career, George Bush has claimed many different “ home ” states, including Texas, Maine, Massachusetts and Connecticut. It has not been expedient for him to claim Florida, though that state has a vital link to his role in the world, as we shall see. And George Bush’s home base in Florida, throughout his adult life, has been Jupiter Island.

The unique, bizarre setup on Jupiter Island began in 1931, following the merger of W.A. Harriman & Co. with the British-American firm Brown Brothers.

The reader will recall Mr. Samuel Pryor, the “ Merchant of Death. ” A partner with the Harrimans, Prescott Bush, George Walker and Nazi boss Fritz Thyssen in banking and shipping enterprises, Sam Pryor remained executive committee chairman of Remington Arms. In this period, the Nazi private armies (S.A. and S.S.) were supplied with American arms–most likely by Pryor and his company–as they moved to overthrow the German republic. Such gun-running as an instrument of national policy would later become notorious in the “ Iran-Contra ” affair.

Samuel Pryor’s daughter Permelia married Yale graduate Joseph V. Reed on the last day of 1927. Reed immediately went to work for Prescott Bush and George Walker as an apprentice at W.A. Harriman & Co.

During World War II, Joseph V. Reed had served in the “ special services ” section of the U.S. Army Signal Corps. A specialist in security, codes and espionage, Reed later wrote a book entitled Fun with Cryptograms.@s2

Now, Sam Pryor had had property around Hobe Sound, Florida, for some time. In 1931, Joseph and Permelia Pryor Reed bought the entirety of Jupiter Island.

This is a typically beautiful Atlantic coast “ barrier island, ” a half-mile wide and nine miles long. The middle of Jupiter Island lies just off Hobe Sound. The south bridge connects the island with the town of Jupiter, to the north of Palm Beach. It is about 90 minutes by auto from Miami–today, a few minutes by helicopter.

Early in 1991, a newspaper reporter asked a friend of the Bush family about security arrangements on Jupiter Island. He responded, “ If you called up the White House, would they tell you how many security people they had? It’s not that Jupiter Island is the White House, although he [George Bush] does come down frequently. ”

But for several decades before Bush was President, Jupiter Island had an ordinance requiring the registration and fingerprinting of all housekeepers, gardeners and other non-residents working on the island. The Jupiter Island police department says that there are sensors in the two main roads that can track every automobile on the island. If a car stops in the street, the police will be there within one or two minutes. Surveillance is a duty of all employees of the town of Jupiter Island. News reporters are to be prevented from visiting the island.@s3

To create this astonishing private club, Joseph and Permelia Pryor Reed sold land only to those who would fit in. Permelia Reed was still the grande dame of the island when George Bush was inaugurated President in 1989. In recognition of the fact that the Reeds know where all the bodies are buried, President Bush appointed Permelia’s son, Joseph V. Reed, Jr., chief of protocol for the U.S. State Department, in charge of private arrangements with foreign dignitaries.

Averell Harriman made Jupiter Island a staging ground for his 1940s takeover of the U.S. national security apparatus. It was in that connection that the island became possibly the most secretive private place in America.

Let us briefly survey the neighborhood, back then in 1946-48, to see some of the uses various of the residents had for the Harriman clique.

Residents on Jupiter Island

  • Jupiter Islander Robert A. Lovett,@s4, Prescott Bush’s partner at Brown Brothers Harriman, had been Assistant Secretary of War for Air from 1941 to 1945. Lovett was the leading American advocate of the policy of terror-bombing of civilians. He organized the Strategic Bombing Survey, carried out for the American and British governments by the staff of the Prudential Insurance Company, guided by London’s Tavistock Psychiatric Clinic.In the postwar period, Prescott Bush was associated with Prudential Insurance, one of Lovett’s intelligence channels to the British secret services. Prescott was listed by Prudential as a director of the company for about two years in the early 1950s.Their Strategic Bombing Survey failed to demonstrate any real military advantage accruing from such outrages as the fire-bombing of Dresden, Germany. But the Harrimanites nevertheless persisted in the advocacy of terror from the air. They glorified this as “ psychological warfare, ” a part of the utopian military doctrine opposed to the views of military traditionalists such as Gen. Douglas MacArthur.Robert Lovett later advised President Lyndon Johnson to terror-bomb Vietnam. President George Bush revived the doctrine with the bombing of civilian areas in Panama, and the destruction of Baghdad.On Oct. 22, 1945, Secretary of War Robert Patterson created the Lovett Committee, chaired by Robert A. Lovett, to advise the government on the post-World War II organization of U.S. intelligence activities. The existence of this committee was unknown to the public until an official CIA history was released from secrecy in 1989. But the CIA’s author (who was President Bush’s prep school history teacher; see chapter 5) gives no real details of the Lovett Committee’s functioning, claiming: “ The record of the testimony of the Lovett Committee, unfortunately, was not in the archives of the agency when this account was written. ”@s5The CIA’s self-history does inform us of the advice that Lovett provided to the Truman cabinet, as the official War Department intelligence proposal.

    Lovett decided that there should be a separate Central Intelligence Agency. The new agency would “ consult ” with the armed forces, but it must be the sole collecting agency in the field of foreign espionage and counterespionage. The new agency should have an independent budget, and its appropriations should be granted by Congress without public hearings.

    Lovett appeared before the Secretaries of State, War and Navy on November 14, 1945. He spoke highly of the FBI’s work because it had “ the best personality file in the world. ” Lovett said the FBI was expert at producing false documents, an art “ which we developed so successfully during the war and at which we became outstandingly adept. ” Lovett pressed for a virtual resumption of the wartime Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in a new CIA.

    U.S. military traditionalists centered around Gen. Douglas MacArthur opposed Lovett’s proposal.

    The continuation of the OSS had been attacked at the end of the war on the grounds that the OSS was entirely under British control, and that it would constitute an American Gestapo.@s6

    But the CIA was established in 1947 according to the prescription of Robert Lovett, of Jupiter Island.

  • Charles Payson and his wife, Joan Whitney Payson, were extended family members of Harriman’s and business associates of the Bush family.Joan’s aunt, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, was a relative of the Harrimans. Gertrude’s son, Cornelius Vanderbilt (“ Sonny ”) Whitney, long-time chairman of Pan American Airways (Prescott was a Pan Am director), became Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Air Force in 1947. Sonny’s wife Marie had divorced him and married Averell Harriman in 1930. Joan and Sonny’s uncle, Air Marshall Sir Thomas Elmhirst, was director of intelligence for the British Air Force from 1945 to 1947.Joan’s brother, John Hay (“ Jock ”) Whitney, was to be ambassador to Great Britain from 1955 to 1961–when it would be vital for Prescott and George Bush to have such a friend. Joan’s father, grandfather and uncle were members of the Skull and Bones secret society.Charles Payson organized a uranium refinery in 1948. Later he was chairman of Vitro Corp., makers of parts for submarine-launched ballistic missiles, equipment for frequency surveillance and torpedo guidance, and other subsurface weaponry.Naval warfare has long been a preoccupation of the British Empire. British penetration of the U.S. Naval Intelligence service has been particularly heavy since the tenure of Joan’s Anglophile grandfather, William C. Whitney, as Secretary of the Navy for President Grover Cleveland. This traditional covert British orientation in the U.S. Navy, Naval Intelligence and the Navy’s included service, the Marine Corps, forms a backdrop to the career of George Bush–and to the whole neighborhood on Jupiter Island. Naval Intelligence maintained direct relations with gangster boss Meyer Lansky for Anglo-American political operations in Cuba during World War II, well before the establishment of the CIA. Lansky officially moved to Florida in 1953.@s7
  • George Herbert Walker, Jr. (Skull and Bones 1927), was extremely close to his nephew George Bush, helping to sponsor his entry into the oil business in the 1950s. “ Uncle Herbie ” was also a partner of Joan Whitney Payson when they co-founded the New York Mets baseball team in 1960. His son, G.H. Walker III, was a Yale classmate of Nicholas Brady and Moreau D. Brown (Thatcher Brown’s grandson), forming what was called the “ Yale Mafia ” on Wall Street.
  • Walter S. Carpenter, Jr. had been chairman of the finance committee of the Du Pont Corporation (1930-40). In 1933, Carpenter oversaw Du Pont’s purchase of Remington Arms from Sam Pryor and the Rockefellers, and led Du Pont into partnership with the Nazi I.G. Farben Company for the manufacture of explosives. Carpenter became Du Pont’s president in 1940. His cartel with the Nazis was broken up by the U.S. government. Nevertheless, Carpenter remained Du Pont’s president as the company’s technicians participated massively in the Manhattan Project to produce the first atomic bomb. He was chairman of Du Pont from 1948 to 1962, retaining high-level access to U.S. strategic activities.Walter Carpenter and Prescott Bush were fellow activists in the Mental Hygiene Society. Originating at Yale University in 1908, the movement had been organized into the World Federation of Mental Health by Montagu Norman, himself a frequent mental patient, former Brown Brothers partner and Bank of England Governor. Norman had appointed as the federation’s chairman, Brigadier John Rawlings Rees, director of the Tavistock Psychiatric Clinic, chief psychiatrist and psychological warfare expert for the British intelligence services. Prescott was a director of the society in Connecticut; Carpenter was a director in Delaware.
  • Paul Mellon was the leading heir to the Mellon fortune, and a long-time neighbor of Averell Harriman’s in Middleburg, Virginia, as well as Jupiter Island, Florida. Paul’s father, Andrew Mellon, U.S. Treasury Secretary 1921-32, had approved the transactions of Harriman, Pryor and Bush with the Warburgs and the Nazis. Paul Mellon’s son-in-law, David K.E. Bruce, worked in Prescott Bush’s W.A. Harriman & Co. during the late 1920s; was head of the London branch of U.S. intelligence during World War II; and was Averell Harriman’s Assistant Secretary of Commerce in 1947-48. Mellon family money and participation would be instrumental in many domestic U.S. projects of the new Central Intelligence Agency.
  • Carl Tucker manufactured electronic guidance equipment for the Navy. With the Mellons, Tucker was an owner of South American oil properties. Mrs. Tucker was the great aunt of Nicholas Brady, later George Bush’s Iran-Contra partner and U.S. Treasury Secretary. Their son Carll Tucker, Jr. (Skull and Bones 1947), was among the 15 Bonesmen who selected George Bush for induction in the class of 1948.
  • C.Douglas Dillon was the boss of William H. Draper, Jr. in the Draper-Prescott Bush-Fritz Thyssen Nazi banking scheme of the 1930s and 40s. His father, Clarence Dillon, created the Vereinigte Stahlwerke (Thyssen’s German Steel Trust) in 1926. C. Douglas Dillon made Nicholas Brady the chairman of the Dillon Read firm in 1971 and himself continued as chairman of the executive committee. C. Douglas Dillon would be a vital ally of his neighbor Prescott Bush during the Eisenhower administration.
  • Publisher Nelson Doubleday headed his family’s publishing firm, founded under the auspices of J.P. Morgan and other British Empire representatives. When George Bush’s “ Uncle Herbie ” died, Doubleday took over as majority owner and chief executive of the New York Mets baseball team.
  • George W. Merck, chairman of Merck & Co., drug and chemical manufacturers, was director of the War Research Service: Merck was the official chief of all U.S. research into biological warfare from 1942 until at least the end of World War II. After 1944, Merck’s organization was placed under the U.S. Chemical Warfare Service. His family firm in Germany and the U.S. was famous for its manufacture of morphine.
  • A.L. Cole was useful to the Jupiter Islanders as an executive of Readers Digest. In 1965, just after performing a rather dirty favor for George Bush (see Chapter 9), Cole became chairman of the executive committee of the Digest, the world’s largest-circulation periodical.From the late 1940s, Jupiter Island has served as a center for the direction of covert action by the U.S. government and, indeed, for the covert management of the government. Jupiter Island will reappear later on, in our account of George Bush in the Iran-Contra affair.

    Target: Washington

    George Bush graduated from Yale in 1948. He soon entered the family’s Dresser oil supply concern in Texas. We shall now briefly describe the forces that descended on Washington, D.C. during those years when Bush, with the assistance of family and powerful friends, was becoming “ established in business on his own. ”

    From 1948 to 1950, Prescott Bush’s boss Averell Harriman was U.S. “ ambassador-at-large ” to Europe. He was a non-military “ theater commander, ” the administrator of the multi-billion-dollar Marshall Plan, participating in all military/strategic decision-making by the Anglo-American alliance.

    The U.S. Secretary of Defense, James Forrestal, had become a problem to the Harrimanites. Forrestal had long been an executive at Dillon Read on Wall Street. But in recent years he had gone astray. As Secretary of the Navy in 1944, Forrestal proposed the racial integration of the Navy. As Defense Secretary he pressed for integration in the armed forces and this eventually became the U.S. policy.

    Forrestal opposed the utopians’ strategy of appeasement coupled with brinkmanship. He was simply opposed to communism. On March 28, 1949, Forrestal was forced out of office and flown on an Air Force plane to Florida. He was taken to “ Hobe Sound ” (Jupiter Island), where Robert Lovett and an army psychiatrist dealt with him.@s8

    He was flown back to Washington, locked in Walter Reed Army Hospital and given insulin shock treatments for alleged “ mental exhaustion. ” He was denied all visitors except his estranged wife and children–his son had been Averell Harriman’s aide in Moscow. On May 22, James Forrestal’s body was found, his bathrobe cord tied tightly around his neck, after he had plunged from a sixteenth-story hospital window. The chief psychiatrist called the death a suicide even before any investigation was started. The results of the Army’s inquest were kept secret. Forrestal’s diaries were published, 80 percent deleted, after a year of direct government censorship and rewriting.

    North Korean troops invaded South Korea in June 1950, after U.S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson (Harriman’s very close friend) publicly specified that Korea would not be defended. With a new war on, Harriman came back to serve as President Truman’s adviser, to “ oversee national security affairs. ”

    Harriman replaced Clark Clifford, who had been special counsel to Truman. Clifford, however, remained close to Harriman and his partners as they gained more and more power. Clifford later wrote about his cordial relations with Prescott Bush:

    Prescott Bush … had become one of my frequent golfing partners in the fifties, and I had both liked and respected him…. Bush had a splendid singing voice, and particularly loved quartet singing. In the fifties, he organized a quartet that included my daughter Joyce…. They would sing in Washington, and, on occasion, he invited the group to Hobe Sound in Florida to perform. His son [George], though, had never struck me as a strong or forceful person. In 1988, he presented himself successfully to the voters as an outsider–no small trick for a man whose roots wound through Connecticut, Yale, Texas oil, the CIA, a patrician background, wealth, and the Vice-Presidency.@s9

    With James Forrestal out of the way, Averell Harriman and Dean Acheson drove to Leesburg, Virginia, on July 1, 1950, to hire the British-backed U.S. Gen. George C. Marshall as Secretary of Defense. At the same time, Prescott’s partner, Robert Lovett, himself became Assistant Secretary of Defense.

    Lovett, Marshall, Harriman and Acheson went to work to unhorse Gen. Douglas MacArthur, commander of U.S. forces in Asia. MacArthur kept Wall Street’s intelligence agencies away from his command, and favored real independence for the non-white nations. Lovett called for MacArthur’s firing on March 23, 1951, citing MacArthur’s insistence on defeating the Communist Chinese invaders in Korea. MacArthur’s famous message, that there was “ no substitute for victory, ” was read in Congress on April 5; MacArthur was fired on April 10, 1951.

    That September, Robert Lovett replaced Marshall as Secretary of Defense. Meanwhile, Harriman was named director of the Mutual Security Agency, making him the U.S. chief of the Anglo-American military alliance. By now, Brown Brothers Harriman was everything but Commander-in-Chief.

    These were, of course exciting times for the Bush family, whose wagon was hitched to the financial gods of Olympus–to Jupiter, that is.

      Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.
      59 Wall Street, New York 5, N.Y.
      Business Established 1818
      Cable Address “Shipley-New York”
      Private Bankers
      April 2, 1951

      The Honorable W.A. Harriman,
      The White House,
      Washington, D.C.

      Dear Averell:

      I was sorry to miss you in Washington but appreciate your cordial note.
      I shall hope for better luck another time. I hope you had a good rest at Hobe Sound.

      With affectionate regard, I am,
      Sincerely yours,
      Pres [signed]
      Prescott S. Bush.

    A central focus of the Harriman security regime in Washington (1950-53) was the organization of covert operations, and “ psychological warfare. ” Harriman, together with his lawyers and business partners, Allen Dulles and John Foster Dulles, wanted the government’s secret services to conduct extensive propaganda campaigns and mass-psychology experiments within the U.S.A., and paramilitary campaigns abroad. This would supposedly ensure a stable world-wide environment favorable to Anglo-American financial and political interests.

    The Harriman security regime created the Psychological Strategy Board (PSB) in 1951. The man appointed director of the PSB, Gordon Gray, is familiar to the reader as the sponsor of the child sterilization experiments, carried out by the Harrimanite eugenics movement in North Carolina following World War II (see Chapter 3).

    Gordon Gray was an avid Anglophile, whose father had gotten controlling ownership of the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company through alliance with the British Imperial Tobacco cartel’s U.S. representatives, the Duke family of North Carolina. Gordon’s brother, R.J. Reynolds chairman Bowman Gray, Jr., was also a Naval Intelligence officer, known around Washington as the “ founder of operational intelligence. ” Gordon Gray became a close friend and political ally of Prescott Bush; and Gray’s son became for Prescott’s son, George, his lawyer and the shield of his covert policy.

    But President Harry Truman, as malleable as he was, constituted an obstacle to the covert warriors. An insular Missouri politician vaguely favorable to the U.S. Constitution, he remained skeptical about secret service activities that reminded him of the Nazi Gestapo.

    So, “ covert operations ” could not fully take off without a change of the Washington regime. And it was with the Republican Party that Prescott Bush was to get his turn.

    Prescott had made his first attempt to enter national politics in 1950, as his partners took control of the levers of governmental power. Remaining in charge of Brown Brothers Harriman, he ran against Connecticut’s William Benton for a seat in the U.S. Senate. (The race was for a two-year unexpired term, left empty by the death of the previous Senator.)

    In those days, Wisconsin’s drunken Senator Joseph R. McCarthy was making a circus-like crusade against communist influence in Washington. McCarthy attacked liberals and leftists, State Department personnel, politicians and Hollywood figures. He generally left unscathed the Wall Street and London strategists who donated Eastern Europe and China to communist dictatorship–like George Bush, their geopolitics was beyond left and right.

    Prescott Bush had no public ties to the notorious Joe McCarthy, and appeared to be neutral about his crusade. But the Wisconsin Senator had his uses. Joe McCarthy came into Connecticut three times that year to campaign for Bush and against the Democrats. Bush himself made charges of “ Korea, Communism and Corruption ” into a slick campaign phrase against Benton, which then turned up as a national Republican slogan.

    The response was disappointing. Only small crowds turned out to hear Joe McCarthy, and Benton was not hurt. McCarthy’s pro-Bush rally in New Haven, in a hall that seated 6,000, drew only 376 people. Benton joked on the radio that “ 200 of them were my spies. ”

    Prescott Bush resigned from the Yale Board of Fellows for his campaign, and the board published a statement to the effect that the “ Yale vote ” should support Bush–despite the fact that William Benton was a Yale man, and in many ways identical in outlook to Bush. Yale’s Whiffenpoof singers appeared regularly for Prescott’s campaign. None of this was particularly effective, however, with the voting population.@s1@s0

    Then Prescott Bush ran into a completely unexpected problem. At that time, the old Harriman eugenics movement was centered at Yale University. Prescott Bush was a Yale trustee, and his former Brown Brothers Harriman partner, Lawrence Tighe, was Yale’s treasurer. In that connection, a slight glimmer of the truth about the Bush-Harriman firm’s Nazi activities now made its way into the campaign.

    Not only was the American Eugenics Society itself headquartered at Yale, but all parts of this undead fascist movement had a busy home at Yale. The coercive psychiatry and sterilization advocates had made the Yale/New Haven Hospital and Yale Medical School their laboratories for hands-on practice in brain surgery and psychological experimentation. And the Birth Control League was there, which had long trumpeted the need for eugenical births–fewer births for parents with “ inferior ” bloodlines. Prescott’s partner Tighe was a Connecticut director of the league, and the Connecticut league’s medical advisor was eugenics advocate Dr. Winternitz of Yale Medical School.

    Now in 1950, people who knew something about Prescott Bush knew that he had very unsavory roots in the eugenics movement. There were then, just after the anti-Hitler war, few open advocates of sterilization of “ unfit ” or “ unnecessary ” people. (That would be revived later, with the help of General Draper and his friend George Bush.) But the Birth Control League was public–just about then it was changing its name to the euphemistic “ Planned Parenthood. ”

    Then, very late in the 1950 senatorial campaign, Prescott Bush was publicly exposed for being an activist in that section of the old fascist eugenics movement. Prescott Bush lost the election by about 1,000 out of 862,000 votes. He and his family blamed the defeat on the expose@aa. The defeat was burned into the family’s memory, leaving a bitterness and perhaps a desire for revenge.

    In his foreword to a population control propaganda book, George Bush wrote about that 1950 election: “ My own first awareness of birth control as a public policy issue came with a jolt in 1950 when my father was running for United States Senate in Connecticut. Drew Pearson, on the Sunday before Election day, `revealed’ that my father was involved with Planned Parenthood…. Many political observers felt a sufficient number of voters were swayed by his alleged contacts with the birth controllers to cost him the election…. ”@s1@s1

    Prescott Bush was defeated, while the other Republican candidates fared well in Connecticut. When he tried again, Prescott Bush would not leave the outcome to the blind whims of the public.

    Prescott Bush moved into action again in 1952 as a national leader of the push to give the Republican presidential nomination to Gen. Dwight D. (“ Ike ”) Eisenhower. Among the other team members were Bush’s Hitler-era lawyer John Foster Dulles, and Jupiter Islander C. Douglas Dillon.

    Dillon and his father were the pivots as the Harriman-Dulles combination readied Ike for the presidency. As a friend put it: “ When the Dillons … invited [Eisenhower] to dinner it was to introduce him to Wall Street bankers and lawyers. ”@s1@s2

    Ike’s higher-level backers believed, correctly, that Ike would not interfere with even the dirtiest of their covert action programs. The bland, pleasant Prescott Bush was in from the beginning: a friend to Ike, and an original backer of his presidency.

    On July 28, 1952, as the election approached, Connecticut’s senior U.S. Senator, James O’Brien McMahon, died at the age of 48.*

    This was extremely convenient for Prescott. He got the Republican nomination for U.S. Senator at a special delegated meeting, with backing by the Yale-dominated state party leadership. Now he would run in a special election for the suddenly vacant Senate seat. He could expect to be swept into office, since he would be on the same electoral ticket as the popular war hero, General Ike. By a technicality, he would instantly become Connecticut’s senior Senator, with extra power in Congress. And the next regularly scheduled senatorial race would be in 1956 (when McMahon’s term would have ended), so Prescott could run again in that presidential election year–once again on Ike’s coattails!

    With this arrangement, things worked out very smoothly. In Eisenhower’s 1952 election victory, Ike won Connecticut by a margin of 129,507 votes out of 1,092,471. Prescott Bush came in last among the statewide Republicans, but managed to win by 30,373 out of 1,088,799 votes case, his margin nearly 100,000 behind Eisenhower. He took the traditionally Republican towns.

    In Eisenhower’s 1956 reelection, Ike won Connecticut by 303,036 out of 1,114,954 votes, the largest presidential margin in Connecticut’s history. Prescott Bush managed to win again, by 129,544 votes out of 1,085,206–his margin this time 290,082 smaller than Eisenhower’s.@s1@s3

    In January 1963, when this electoral strategy had been played out and his second term expired, Prescott Bush retired from government and returned to Brown Brothers Harriman.

    The 1952 Eisenhower victory made John Foster Dulles Secretary of State, and his brother Allen Dulles head of the CIA. The reigning Dulles brothers were the “ Republican ” replacements for their client and business partner, “ Democrat ” Averell Harriman. Occasional public posturings aside, their strategic commitments were identical to his.

    Undoubtedly the most important work accomplished by Prescott Bush in the new regime was on the golf links, where he was Ike’s favorite partner.

    Toward the “National Security State”

    Prescott Bush was a most elusive, secretive Senator. By diligent research, his views on some issues may be traced: He was opposed to the development of public power projects like the Tennessee Valley Authority; he opposed the constitutional amendment introduced by Ohio Senator John W. Bricker, which would have required congressional approval of international agreements by the executive branch.

    But Prescott Bush was essentially a covert operative in Washington.

    On June 10, 1954, Bush received a letter from Connecticut resident H. Smith Richardson, owner of Vick Chemical Company (cough drops, Vapo-Rub):

    “ … At some time before Fall, Senator, I want to get your advice and counsel on a [new] subject–namely what should be done with the income from a foundation which my brother and I set up, and which will begin its operation in 1956…. ”@s1@s4

    This letter presages the establishment of the H. Smith Richardson Foundation, a Bush family-dictated private slush fund which was to be utilized by the Central Intelligence Agency, and by Vice President Bush, for the conduct of his Iran-Contra adventures.

    The Bush family knew Richardson and his wife through their mutual friendship with Sears Roebuck’s chairman, Gen. Robert E. Wood. General Wood had been president of the America First organization, which had lobbied against war with Hitler Germany. H. Smith Richardson had contributed the start-up money for America First and had spoken out against the U.S. “ joining the Communists ” by fighting Hitler. Richardson’s wife was a proud relative of Nancy Langehorne from Virginia, who married Lord Astor and backed the Nazis from their Cliveden Estate.

    General Wood’s daughter Mary had married the son of Standard Oil president William Stamps Farish. The Bushes had stuck with the Farishes through their disastrous exposure during World War II (see Chapter 3). Young George Bush and his bride Barbara were especially close to Mary Farish, and to her son W.S. Farish III, who would be the great confidante of George’s presidency.@s1@s5

    The H. Smith Richardson Foundation was organized by Eugene Stetson, Jr., Richardson’s son-in-law. Stetson (Skull and Bones, 1934) had worked for Prescott Bush as assistant manager of the New York branch of Brown Brothers Harriman.

    In the late 1950s, the H. Smith Richardson Foundation took part in the “ psychological warfare ” of the CIA. This was not a foreign, but a domestic, covert operation, carried out mainly against unwitting U.S. citizens. CIA Director Allen Dulles and his British allies organized “ MK-Ultra, ” the testing of psychotropic drugs including LSD on a very large scale, allegedly to evaluate “ chemical warfare ” possibilities. In this period, the Richardson Foundation helped finance experiments at Bridgewater Hospital in Massachusetts, the center of some of the most brutal MK-Ultra tortures. These outrages have been graphically portrayed in the movie, Titticut Follies.

    During 1990, an investigator for this book toured H. Smith Richardson’s Center for Creative Leadership just north of Greensboro, North Carolina. The tour guide said that in these rooms, agents of the Central Intelligence Agency and the Secret Service are trained. He demonstrated the two-way mirrors through which the government employees are watched, while they are put through mind-bending psychodramas. The guide explained that “ virtually everyone who becomes a general ” in the U.S. armed forces also goes through this “ training ” at the Richardson Center.

    Another office of the Center for Creative Leadership is in Langley, Virginia, at the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency. Here also, Richardson’s Center trains leaders of the CIA.

    Prescott Bush worked throughout the Eisenhower years as a confidential ally of the Dulles brothers. In July 1956, Egypt’s President Gamel Abdul Nasser announced he would accept the U.S. offer of a loan for the construction of the Aswan Dam project. John Foster Dulles then prepared a statement telling the Egyptian ambassador that the U.S.A. had decided to retract its offer. Dulles gave the explosive statement in advance to Prescott Bush for his approval. Dulles also gave the statement to President Eisenhower, and to the British government.@s1@s6

    Nasser reacted to the Dulles brush-off by nationalizing the Suez Canal to pay for the dam. Israel, then Britain and France, invaded Egypt to try to overthrow Nasser, leader of the anti-imperial Arab nationalists. However, Eisenhower refused (for once) to play the Dulles-British game, and the invaders had to leave Egypt when Britain was threatened with U.S. economic sanctions.

    During 1956, Senator Prescott Bush’s value to the Harriman-Dulles political group increased when he was put on the Senate Armed Services Committee. Bush toured U.S. and allied military bases throughout the world, and had increased access to the national security decision-making process.

    In the later years of the Eisenhower presidency, Gordon Gray rejoined the government. As an intimate friend and golfing partner of Prescott Bush, Gray complemented the Bush influence on Ike. The Bush-Gray family partnership in the “ secret government ” continues up through the George Bush presidency.

    Gordon Gray had been appointed head of the new Psychological Strategy Board in 1951 under Averell Harriman’s rule as assistant to President Truman for national security affairs. From 1958 to 1961, Gordon Gray was national security chief under President Eisenhower. Gray acted as Ike’s intermediary, strategist and hand-holder, in the President’s relations with the CIA and the U.S. and allied military forces.

    Eisenhower did not oppose the CIA’s covert action projects; he only wanted to be protected from the consequences of their failure or exposure. Gray’s primary task, in the guise of “ oversight ” on all U.S. covert action, was to protect and hide the growing mass of CIA and related secret government activities.

    It was not only covert projects which were developed by the Gray-Bush-Dulles combination; it was also new, hidden structures of the United States government.

    Senator Henry Jackson challenged these arrangements in 1959 and 1960. Jackson created a Subcommittee on National Policy Machinery of the Senate Committee on Governmental Operations, which investigated Gordon Gray’s reign at the National Security Council. On January 26, 1960, Gordon Gray warned President Eisenhower that a document revealing the existence of a secret part of the U.S. government had somehow gotten into the bibliography being used by Senator Jackson. The unit was Gray’s “ 5412 Group ” within the administration, officially but secretly in charge of approving covert action. Under Gray’s guidance, Ike “ |`was clear and firm in his response’ that Jackson’s staff not be informed of the existence of this unit [emphasis in the original]. ”@s1@s7

    Several figures of the Eisenhower administration must be considered the fathers of this permanent covert action monolith, men who continued shepherding the monster after its birth in the Eisenhower era:

  • Gordon Gray, the shadowy assistant to the President for national security affairs, Prescott Bush’s closest executive branch crony and golf partner along with Eisenhower. By 1959-60, Gray had Ike’s total confidence and served as the Harrimanites’ monitor on all U.S. military and non-military projects.British intelligence agent Kim Philby defected to the Russians in 1963. Philby had gained virtually total access to U.S. intelligence activities beginning in 1949, as the British secret services’ liaison to the Harriman-dominated CIA. After Philby’s defection, it seemed obvious that the aristocratic British intelligence service was in fact a menace to the western cause. In the 1960s, a small team of U.S. counterintelligence specialists went to England to investigate the situation. They reported back that the British secret service could be thoroughly trusted. The leader of this “ expert ” team, Gordon Gray, was the head of the counterespionage section of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board for Presidents John Kennedy through Gerald Ford.
  • Robert Lovett, Bush’s Jupiter Island neighbor and Brown Brothers Harriman partner, from 1956 on a member of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. Lovett later claimed to have criticized–from the “ inside ”–the plan to invade Cuba at the Bay of Pigs. Lovett was asked to choose the cabinet for John Kennedy in 1961.
  • CIA Director Allen Dulles, Bush’s former international attorney. Kennedy fired Dulles after the Bay of Pigs invasion, but Dulles served on the Warren Commission, which whitewashed President Kennedy’s murder.
  • C. Douglas Dillon, neighbor of Bush on Jupiter Island, became Undersecretary of State in 1958 after the death of John Foster Dulles. Dillon had been John Foster Dulles’s ambassador to France (1953-57), coordinating the original U.S. covert backing for the French imperial effort in Vietnam, with catastrophic results for the world. Dillon was Treasury Secretary for both John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson.
  • Ambassador to Britain Jock Whitney, extended family member of the Harrimans and neighbor of Prescott Bush on Jupiter Island. Whitney set up a press service in London called Forum World Features, which published propaganda furnished directly by the CIA and the British intelligence services. Beginning in 1961, Whitney was chairman of the British Empire’s “ English Speaking Union. ”
  • Senator Prescott Bush, friend and counselor of President Eisenhower.Bush’s term continued on in the Senate after the Eisenhower years, throughout most of the aborted Kennedy presidency.In 1962, the National Strategy Information Center was founded by Prescott Bush and his son Prescott, Jr., William Casey (the future CIA chief) and Leo Cherne. The center came to be directed by Frank Barnett, former program officer of the Bush family’s H. Smith Richardson Foundation. The center conduited funds to the London-Based Forum World Features, for the circulation of CIA-authored “ news stories ” to some 300 newspapers internationally.@s1@s8“ Democrat ” Averell Harriman rotated back into official government in the Kennedy administration. As Assistant Secretary and Undersecretary of State, Harriman helped push the United States into the Vietnam War. Harriman had no post in the Eisenhower administration. Yet he was perhaps more than anyone the leader and the glue for the incredible evil that was hatched by the CIA in the final Eisenhower years: a half-public, half-private Harrimanite army, never since demobilized, and increasingly associated with the name of Bush.Following the rise of Castro, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency contracted with the organization of Mafia boss Meyer Lansky to organize and train assassination squads for use against the Cuban government. Among those employed were John Rosselli, Santos Trafficante and Sam Giancana. Uncontested public documentation of these facts has been published by congressional bodies and by leading Establishment academics.@s1@s9But the disturbing implications and later consequences of this engagement are a crucial matter for further study by the citizens of every nation. This much is established:

    On Aug. 18, 1960, President Eisenhower approved a $13 million official budget for a secret CIA-run guerrilla war against Castro. It is known that Vice President Richard M. Nixon took a hand in the promotion of this initiative. The U.S. military was kept out of the covert action plans until very late in the game.

    The first of eight admitted assassination attempts against Castro took place in 1960.

    The program was, of course, a failure, if not a circus. The invasion of Cuba by the CIA’s anti-Castro exiles was put off until after John Kennedy took over the presidency. The invasion at the Bay of Pigs was a fiasco, and Castro’s forces easily prevailed. But the program continued.

    In 1960, Felix Rodriguez, Luis Posada Carriles, Rafael “ Chi Chi ” Quintero, Frank Sturgis (or “ Frank Fiorini ”) and other Florida-based Cuban exiles were trained as killers and drug-traffickers in the Cuban initiative; their supervisor was E. Howard Hunt. Their overall CIA boss was Miami station chief Theodore G. Shackley, seconded by Thomas Clines. In later chapters we will follow the subsequent careers of these characters–increasingly identified with George Bush–through the Watergate coup, and the Iran-Contra scandal.

    Return to the Table of Contents


    1. Walter Isaacson and Evan Thomas, The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made–Acheson, Bohlen, Harriman, Kennan, Lovett, McCloy (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1986), p. 377.

    2. Reed was better known in high society as a minor diplomat, the founder of the Triton Press and the president of the American Shakespeare Theater.

    3. Palm Beach Post, Jan. 13, 1991.

    4. For Lovett’s residency there see Isaacson and Thomas, op. cit., p. 417. Some Jupiter Island residencies were verified by their inclusion in the 1947 membership list of the Hobe Sound Yacht Club, in the Harriman papers, Library of Congress; others were established from interviews with long-time Jupiter Islanders.

    5. Arthur Burr Darling, The Central Intelligence Agency: An Instrument of Government, to 1950 (College Station: Pennsylvania State University, 1990), p. 59.

    6. The Chicago Tribune, Feb. 9, 1945, for example, warned of “ Creation of an all-powerful intelligence service to spy on the postwar world and to pry into the lives of citizens at home. ” Cf. Anthony Cave Brown, Wild Bill Donovan: The Last Hero (New York: Times Books, 1982), p. 625, on warnings to FDR about the British control of U.S. intelligence.

    7. Dennis Eisenberg, Uri Dan, Eli Landau, Meyer Lansky: Mogul of the Mob (New York: Paddington Press, 1979) pp. 227-28.

    8. See John Ranelagh, The Agency: The Rise and Decline of the CIA (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987), pp. 131-32.

    9. Clark Clifford, Counsel to the President (New York: Random House, 1991).

    10. Sidney Hyman, The Lives of William Benton (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1969), pp. 438-41.

    11. Phyllis Tilson Piotrow, World Population Crisis: The United States Response (New York: Praeger Publishers, 1973), “ Foreward, ” by George H.W. Bush, p. vii.

    12. Herbert S. Parmet, Eisenhower and the American Crusades (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1972), p. 14.

    13. New York Times, Sept. 6, 1952, Nov. 5, 1952, Nov. 7, 1956.

    14. Richardson to Prescott Bush, H. Smith Richardson Papers, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

    15. Wayne S. Cole, America First: The Battle Against Intervention, 1940-1941 (Madison: the University of Wisconsin Press, 1953); interviews with Richardson family employees; H. Smith Richardson Foundation annual reports; Richardson to Prescott Bush, March 26, 1954, Richardson Papers. Washington Post, April 29, 1990.

    16. Parmet, op. cit., p. 481.

    17. John Prados, Keepers of the Keys: A History of the National Security Council from Truman to Bush (New York: William Morrow, 1991) pp. 92-95.

    18. Robert Callaghan in Covert Action, No. 33, Winter 1990. Prescott, Jr. was a board member of the National Strategy Information Center as of 1991. Both Prescott Sr. and Jr. were deeply involved along with Casey in the circles of Pan American Airlines, Pan Am’s owners the Grace family, and the CIA’s Latin American affairs. The center, based in Washington, D.C., declines public inquiries about its founding.

    See also EIR Special Report: “ American Leviathan: Administrative Fascism under the Bush Regime ” (Wiesbaden, Germany: Executive Intelligence Review Nachrichtenagentur, April 1990), p. 192.

    19. For example, see Trumbull Higgins, The Perfect Failure: Kennedy, Eisenhower, and the CIA at the Bay of Pigs (New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 1987), pp. 55-56, 89-90.

    Unverified information on the squads is provided in the affidavit of Daniel P. Sheehan, attorney for the Christic Institute, reproduced in EIR Special Report:, “ Project Democracy: The `Parallel Government’ behind the Iran-Contra Affair ” (Washington, D.C.: Executive Intelligence Review, 1987), pp. 249-50.

    Some of the hired assassins have published their memoirs. See, for example, Felix Rodriguez and John Weisman, Secret Warrior (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1989); and E. Howard Hunt, Undercover: Memoirs of an American Secret Agent (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1974).

    * McMahon had been Assistant U.S. Attorney General, in charge of the Criminal Division, from 1935 to 1939. Was there a chance he might someday speak out about the unpunished Nazi-era crimes of the wealthy and powerful?