“…JM/WAVE …proliferated across [Florida] in preparation for the Bay of Pigs invasion. A subculture of fronts, proprietaries, suppliers, transfer agents, conduits, dummy corporations, blind drops, detective agencies, law firms, electronic firms, shopping centers, airlines, radio stations, the mob and the church and the banks: a false and secret nervous system twitching to stimuli supplied by the cortex in Clandestine Services in Langley. After defeat on the beach in Cuba, JM/WAVE became a continuing and extended Miami Station, CIA’s largest in the continental United States. A large sign in front of the […] building complex reads: US GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS PROHIBIT DISCUSSION OF THIS ORGANIZATION OR FACILITY.
Donald Freed, Death in Washington (Westport, Connecticut, 1980), p. 141.
The review offered so far of George Bush’s activities during the late 1950’s and early 1960’s is almost certainly incomplete in very important respects. There is good reason to believe that Bush was engaged in something more than just the oil business during those years. Starting about the time of the Bay of Pigs invasion in the spring of 1961, we have the first hints that Bush, in addition to working for Zapata Offshore, may also have been a participant in certain covert operations of the US intelligence community.
Such participation would certainly be coherent with George’s role in the Prescott Bush, Skull and Bones, and Brown Brothers, Harriman networks. During the twentieth century, the Skull and Bones/Harriman circles have always maintained a sizable and often decisive presence inside the intelligence organizations of the State Department, the Treasury Department, the Office of Naval Intelligence, the Office of Strategic Services, and the Central Intelligence Agency. Indeed, the Harriman and related Anglophile financier factions of Wall Street have generally regarded those parts of the state apparatus dealing with intelligence and covert operations as their own very special property, property which had to be kept seeded with control networks in order to be effectively steered from above. For George Bush to interface with the intelligence community while ostensibly engaged in his business career would be coherent with that well-established pattern.
A body of leads has been assembled which suggests that George Bush may have been associated with the CIA at some time before the autumn of 1963. According to Joseph McBride of The Nation, “a source with close connections to the intelligence community confirms that Bush started working for the agency in 1960 or 1961, using his oil business as a cover for clandestine activities.” 1 By the time of the Kennedy assassination, we have an official FBI document which refers to “Mr. George Bush of the Central Intelligence Agency,” and despite official disclaimers there is every reason to think that this is indeed the man in the White House today. The mystery of George Bush as a possible covert operator hinges on four points, each one of which represents one of the great political and espionage scandals of postwar American history. These four cardinal points are:
1. The abortive Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, launched on April 16-17, 1961, prepared with the assistance of the CIA’s “Miami Station” (also known under the code name JM/WAVE). After the failure of the amphibious landings of Brigade 2506, Miami station, under the leadership of Theodore Shackley, became the focus for Operation Mongoose, a series of covert operations directed against Castro, Cuba, and possibly other targets.
2. The assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas on November 22, 1963, and the coverup of those responsible for this crime.
3. The Watergate scandal, beginning with an April, 1971 visit to Miami, Florida by E. Howard Hunt on the tenth anniversary of the Bay of Pigs invasion to recruit operatives for the White House Special Investigations Unit (the “Plumbers” and later Watergate burglars) from among Cuban-American Bay of Pigs veterans.
4. The Iran-contra affair, which became a public scandal during October-November 1986, several of whose central figures, such as Felix Rodriguez, were also veterans of the Bay of Pigs.
George Bush’s role in both Watergate and the October surprise/Iran-contra complex will be treated in detail at later points in this book. Right now it is important to see that thirty years of covert operations, in many respects, form a single continuous whole. This is especially true in regard to the dramatis personae. Georgie Anne Geyer points to the obvious in a recent book: “…an entire new Cuban cadre now emerged from the Bay of Pigs. The names Howard Hunt, Bernard Barker, Rolando Martinez, Felix Rodriguez and Eugenio Martinez would, in the next quarter century, pop up, often decisively, over and over again in the most dangerous American foreign policy crises. There were Cubans flying missions for the CIA in the Congo and even for the Portuguese in Africa; Cubans were the burglars of Watergate; Cubans played key roles in Nicaragua, in Irangate, in the American move into the Persian Gulf.” 2 Felix Rodriguez tells us that he was infiltrated into Cuba with the other members of the “Grey Team” in conjunction with the Bay of Pigs landings; this is the same man we will find directing the contra supply effort in central American during the 1980’s, working under the direct supervision of Don Gregg and George Bush. 3 Theodore Shackley, the JM/WAVE station chief, will later show up in Bush’s 1979-80 presidential campaign.
To a very large degree, such covert operations (and the great political scandals attendant upon them) have drawn upon the same pool of personnel. They are a significant extent the handiwork of the same crowd. It is therefore revealing to extrapolate forward and backward in time the individuals and groups of individuals who appear as the cast of characters in one scandal and compare them with the cast of characters for the other scandals, including the secondary ones that have not been enumerated here. Howard Hunt, for example, shows up as a confirmed part of the overthrow of the Guatemalan government of Jacopo Arbenz in 1954, as an important part of the chain of command in the Bay of Pigs, as a person repeatedly accused of having been in Dallas on the day Kennedy was shot, and as one of the central figures of Watergate. (One wonders what secrets, after all, were contained in Howard Hunt’s safe, the contents of which were so conventiently “deep sixed” by FBI Director Patrick Gray.)
George Bush is demonstrably one of the most important protagonists of the Watergate scandal, and was the overall director of Iran-contra. Since he appears especially in Iran-contra in close proximity to Bay of Pigs holdovers, it is surely legitimate to wonder when his association with those Bay of Pigs Cubans might have started.
1959 was the year that Bush started operating out of his Zapata Offshore headquarters in Houston; it was also the year that Fidel Castro seized power in Cuba. Officially, as we have seen, George was now a businessman whose work took him at times to Louisiana, where Zapata had offshore drilling operations. George must have been a frequent visitor to New Orleans. Because of his family’s estate on Jupiter Island, he would also have been a frequent visitor to the Hobe Sound area. And then, there were Zapata Offshore drilling operations in the Florida Strait. On all of these activities, the official “red Studebaker” biographical material and the Zapata Offshore annual reports are extremely cryptic.
The Jupiter Island connection and father Prescott’s Brown Brothers, Harriman/Skull and Bones networks are doubtless the key. Jupiter Island meant Averell Harriman, Robert Lovett, C. Douglas Dillon and other Anglophile financiers who had directed the US intelligence community long before there had been a CIA at all. And, in the back yard of the Jupiter Island Olympians, and under their direction, a powerful covert operations base was now being assembled, in which George Bush would have been present at the creation as a matter of birthright.
During 1959-60, Allen Dulles and the Eisenhower Administration began to assemble in south Florida the infrastructure for covert action against Cuba. This was the JM/WAVE capability, later formally constituted as the CIA Miami station. JM/WAVE was an operational center for the Eisenhower regime’s project of staging an invasion of Cuba using a secret army of anti-Castro Cuban exiles organized, armed, trained, transported, and directed by the CIA. The Cubans, called Brigade 2506, were trained in secret camps in Guatemala, and they had air support from B-26 bombers based in Nicaragua. This invasion was crushed by Castro’s defending forces in less than three days.
Before going along with the plan so eagerly touted by Allen Dulles, Kennedy had established the pre-condition that under no circumstances whatsoever would there be direct intervention by US military forces against Cuba. On the one hand, Dulles had assured Kennedy that the news of the invasion would trigger an insurrection which would sweep Castro and his regime away. On the other, Kennedy had to be concerned about provoking a global thermonuclear confrontation with the USSR, in the eventuality that N.S. Khrushchev decided to respond to a US Cuban gambit by, for example, cutting off US access to Berlin.
Hints of the covert presence of George Bush are scattered here and there around the Bay of Pigs invasion. According to some accounts, the code name for the Bay of Pigs was Operation Pluto. 4 But Bay of Pigs veteran Howard Hunt scornfully denies that this was the code name used by JM/WAVE personnel; Hunt writes: “So perhaps the Pentagon referred to the Brigade invasion as PLUTO. CIA did not.” 5 But Hunt does not tell us what the CIA code name was, and the contents of Hunt’s Watergate era White House safe, which might have told us the answer, were of course “deep-sixed” by FBI Director Patrick Gray. One code name frequently used by CIA Miami Station personnel appears to have been “Don Eduardo,” roughly the Spanish equivalent of “Mr. Edward” or perhaps “Mr. Ed.” 6
According to reliable sources and published accounts, the CIA code name for the Bay of Pigs invasion was Operation Zapata, and the plan was so referred to by Richard Bissell of the CIA, one of the plan’s promoters, in a briefing to President Kennedy in the Cabinet Room on March 29, 1961. 7 Does Operation Zapata have anything to do with Zapata Offshore? The run-of-the-mill Bushman might respond that Emiliano Zapata, after all, had been a public figure in his own right, and the subject of a recent Hollywood movies starring Marlon Brando. As J. Hugh Liedtke had observed, he was the classic figure for the revolutionary-cum-bandit. A more knowledgeable Bushman might argue that the main landing beach, the Playa Giron, is located south of the city of Cienfuegos on the Zapata Peninula, on the south coast of Cuba.
Then there is the question of the Brigade 2506 landing fleet, which was composed of five older freighters bought or chartered from the Garcia Steamship Lines, bearing the names of Houston, Rio Esondido, Caribe, Atlantic, and Lake Charles. In addition to these vessels, which were outfitted as transport ships, there were two somewhat better armed fire support ships, the Blagar and the Barbara. (In some sources Barbara J.) 8 The Barbara was originally an LCI (Landing Craft Infantry) of earlier vintage. Our attention is attracted at once to the Barbara and the Houston, in the first case because we have seen George Bush’s habit of naming his combat aircraft after his wife, and, in the second case, because Bush was at this time a resident, booster, and Republican activist of Houston, Texas. But of course, the appearance of names like “Zapata,” Barbara, and Houston can by itself only arouse suspicion, and proves nothing.
After the ignominious defeat of the Bay of Pigs invasion, there was great animosity against Kennedy among the survivors of Brigade 2506, some of whom eventually made their way back to Miami after being released from Castro’s prisoner of war camps. There was also great animosity against Kennedy on the part of the JM/WAVE personnel.
During the early 1950’s, E. Howard Hunt had been the CIA station chief in Mexico City. As David Atlee Phillips (another embittered JM/WAVE veteran) tells us in his autobiographical account, The Night Watch, Howard Hunt had been the immediate superior of a young CIA recruit named William F. Buckley, the Yale graduate and Skull and Bones member who later founded the National Review. In his autobiographical account written during the days of the Watergate scandal, Hunt includes the following tirade about the Bay of Pigs:
No event since the communization of China in 1949 has had such a profound effect on the United States and its allies as the defeat of the US-trained Cuban invasion brigade at the Bay of Pigs in April 1961.
Out of that humiliation grew the Berlin Wall, the missile crisis, guerrilla warfare throughout Latin American and Africa, and our Dominican Republic intervention. Castros’ beachhead triumph opened a bottomless Pandora’s box of difficulties that affected not only the United States, but most of its allies in the Free World. These bloody and subversive events would not have taken place had Castro been toppled. Instead of standing firm, our government pyramided crucially wrong decisions and allowed Brigade 2506 to be destroyed. The Kennedy administration yielded Castro all the excuse he needed to gain a tighter grip on the island of Jose Marti, then moved shamefacedly into the shadows and hoped the Cuban issue would simply melt away.9
Hunt was typical of the opinion that the debacle had been Kennedy’s fault, and not the responsibility of men like Allen Dulles and Richard Bissell, who had designed it and recommended it. After the embarrassing failure of the invasion, which never evoked the hoped-for spontaneous anti-Castro insurrection, Kennedy fired Allen Dulles, his Harrimanite deputy Bissell, and CIA deputy Director Charles Cabell (whose brother was the mayor of Dallas at the time Kennedy was shot).
During the days after the Bay of Pigs debacle, Kennedy was deeply suspicious of the intelligence community and of proposals for military escalation in general, including in places like South Vietnam. Kennedy sought to procure an outside, expert opinion on military matters. For this he turned to the former commander in chief of the Southwest Pacific Theatre during World War II, General Douglas MacArthur. Almost ten years ago, a reliable source shared with one of the authors an account of a meeting between Kennedy and MacArthur in which the veteran general warned the young president that there were elements inside the US government who emphatically did not share his patriotic motives, and who were seeking to destroy his administration from within. MacArthur’s warned that the forces bent on destroying Kennedy were centered in the Wall Street financial community and its various tentacles in the intelligence community.
It is a matter of public record that Kennedy met with MacArthur in the latter part of April, 1961, after the Bay of Pigs. According to Kennedy aide Theodore Sorenson, MacArthur told Kennedy, “The chickens are coming home to roost, and you happen to have just moved into the chicken house.” 10 At the same meeting, according to Sorenson, MacArthur “warned [Kennedy] against the committment of American foot soldiers on the Asian mainland, and the President never forgot this advice.” 11 This point is grudgingly confirmed by Arthur M. Schlesinger, a Kennedy aide who had a vested interest in vilifying MacArthur, who wrote that “MacArthur expressed his old view that anyone wanting to commit American ground forces to the mainland [of Asia] should have his head examined.” 12 MacArthur restated this advice during a second meeting with Kennedy when the General returned from his last trip to the Far East in July, 1961.
Kennedy valued MacArthur’s professional military opinion highly, and used it to keep at arms length those advisers who were arguing for escalation in Laos, Vietnam, and elsewhere. He repeatedly invited those who proposed to send land forces to Asia to convince MacArthur that this would as good idea. If they could convince MacArthur, then he, Kennedy, might also go along. At this time, the group proposing escalation in Vietnam (as well as preparing the assassination of President Diem) had a heavy Brown Brothers, Harriman/Skull and Bones overtone: the hawks of 1961-63 were Harriman, McGeorge Bundy, William Bundy, Henry Cabot Lodge, and some key London oligarchs and theoreticians of counterinsurgency wars. And of course, George Bush during these years was calling for escalation in Vietnam and challenging Kennedy to “muster the courage” to try a second invasion of Cuba. In the meantime, the JM/WAVE-Miami station complex was growing rapidly to become the largest of Langley’s many satellites. Its center was at the former Richmond Naval Air Station south of Miami, which had been a base for antisubmarine blimps during World War II. During the years after the failure of the Bay of Pigs, this complex had as many as 3,000 Cuban agents and subagents, with a small army of case officers to direct and look after each one. According to one account, there were at least 55 dummy corporations to provide employment, cover, and commercial disguise for all these operatives. There were detective bureaus, gun stores, real estate brokerages, boat repair shops, and party boats for fishing and other entertainments. There was the clandestine Radio Swan, later renamed Radio Americas. There were fleets of specially modified boats based at Homestead Marina, and at other marinas throughout the Florida Keys. Agents were assigned to the University of Miami and other educational institutions.
The raison d’être of the massive capability commanded by Theodore Shackley was now Operation Mongoose, a program for sabotage raids and assassinations to be conducted on Cuban territory, with a special effort to eliminate Fidel Castro personally. In order to run these operations from US territory, flagrant and extensive violation of federal and state laws was the order of the day. Documents regarding the incorporation of businesses were falsified. Income tax returns were faked. FAA regulations were violated by planes taking off for Cuba or for forward bases in the Bahamas and elsewhere. Explosives moved across highways that were full of civilian traffic. The Munitions Act, the Neutrality Act, the customs and immigrations laws were routinely flaunted. 13 Above all, the drug laws were massively violated as the gallant anti-communist fighters filled their planes and boats with illegal narcotics to be smuggled back into the US when they returned from their missions. By 1963, the drug-running activities of the covert operatives were beginning to attract attention. JM/WAVE, in sum, accelerated the slide of south Florida towards the status of drug and murder capital of the United States it achieved during the 1980’s, when it became as notorious as Chicago during Prohibition.
It cannot be the task of this study to even begin to treat the reasons for which certain leading elements of the Anglo-American financial oligarchy, perhaps acting with certain kinds of support from continental European aristocratic and neofascist networks, ordered the murder of John F. Kennedy. The British and the Harrimanites wanted escalation in Vietnam; by the time of his assassination Kennedy was committed to a pullout of US forces. Kennedy, as shown by his American University speech of 1963, was also interested in seeking a more stable path of war avoidance with the Soviets, using the US military superiority demonstrated during the Cuban missile crisis to convince Moscow to accept a policy of world peace through economic development. Kennedy was interested in the possibilities of anti-missile strategic defense to put an end to that nightmare of mutually assured destruction which appealed to Henry Kissinger, a disgruntled former employee of the Kennedy administration whom the president had denounced as a madman. Kennedy was considering moves to limit or perhaps abolish the usurpation of authority over the national currency by the Wall Street and London interests controlling the Federal Reserve System. If re-elected to a second term, Kennedy was likely to have re-asserted presidential control, as distinct from Wall Street control, over the intelligence community. There is good reason to believe that Kennedy would have ousted J. Edgar Hoover from his self-appointed life tenure at the FBI, subjecting that agency to presidential control for the first time in many years. Kennedy was committed to a vigorous expansion of the space program, the cultural impact of which was beginning to alarm the finance oligarchs. Above all, Kennedy was acting like a man who thought he was president of the United States, violating the collegiality of oligarchical trusteeship of that office that had been in force
since the final days of Roosevelt. Kennedy furthermore had two younger brothers who might succeed him, putting a strong presidency beyond the control of the Eastern Anglophile Liberal Establishment for decades. George Bush joined in the Harrimanite opposition to Kennedy on all of these points.
After Kennedy was killed in Dallas on November 22, 1963, it was alleged that E. Howard Hunt and Frank Sturgis had both been present, possibly together, in Dallas on the day of the shooting, although the truth of these allegations has never been finally established. Both Hunt and Sturgis were of course Bay of Pigs veterans who would later appear center stage in Watergate. There were also allegations that Hunt and Sturgis were among a group of six to eight derelicts who were found in boxcars sitting on the railroad tracks behind the grassy knoll near Dealey Plaza, and who were rounded up and taken in for questioning by the Dallas police on the day of the assassination. Some suspected that Hunt and Sturgis had participated in the assassination. Some of these allegations were at the center of the celebrated 1985 defamation case of Hunt v. Liberty Lobby, in which a Florida federal jury found against Hunt. But, since the Dallas Police Department and County Sheriff never photographed or fingerprinted the “derelicts” in question, it has so far proven impossible definitively to resolve this question. But these allegations and theories about the possible presence and activities of Hunt and Sturgis in Dallas were sufficiently widespread so as to compel the Commission on CIA Activities Within the United States (the Rockefeller Commission) to attempt to refute them in its 1975 report. 14
According to George Bush’s official biography, he was during 1963 a well-to-do businessman residing in Houston, the busy president of Zapata Offshore and the chairman of the Harris County Republican Organization, supporting Barry Goldwater as the GOP’s likely 1964 presidential candidate, while at the same time actively preparing his own 1964 bid for the US Senate. But during that same period of time, Bush may have shared some common acquaintances with Lee Harvey Oswald.
Between October, 1962 and April, 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald and his Russian wife Marina were in frequent contact with a Russian emigré couple living in Dallas: these were George de Mohrenschildt and his wife Jeanne. During the Warren Commission investigation of the Kennedy assassination, de Mohrenschildt was interviewed at length about his contacts with Oswald. When, in the spring of 1977, the discrediting of the Warren Commission report as a blatant coverup had made public pressure for a new investigation of the Kennedy assassination irresistible, the House Assassinations Committee planned to interview de Mohrenschildt once again. But in March, 1977, just before de Mohrenschildt was scheduled to be interviewed by Gaeton Fonzi of the House committee’s staff, he was found dead in Palm Beach, Florida. His death was quickly ruled a suicide. One of the last people to see him alive was Edward Jay Epstein, who was also interviewing de Mohrenschildt about the Kennedy assassination for an upcoming book. Epstein is one of the writers on the Kennedy assassination who enjoyed excellent relations with the late James Angleton of the CIA. If de Mohrenschildt were alive today, he might be able to enlighten us about his relations with George Bush, and perhaps afford us some insight into Bush’s activities during this epoch.
Jeanne de Mohrenschildt rejected the finding of suicide in her husband’s death. “He was eliminated before he got to that committee,” the widow told a journalist in 1978, “because someone did not want him to get to it.” She also maintained that George de Mohrenschildt had been surreptitiously injected with mind-altering drugs. 15 After de Mohrenschildt’s death, his personal address book was located, and it contained this entry: “Bush, George H.W. (Poppy) 1412 W. Ohio also Zapata Petroleum Midland.” There is of course the problem of dating this reference. George Bush had moved his office and home from Midland to Houston in 1959, when Zapata Offshore was constituted, so perhaps this reference goes back to some time before 1959. There is also the number: “4-6355.” There are, of course, numerous other entries, including one W.F. Buckley of the Buckley brothers of New York City, William S. Paley of CBS, plus many oil men, stock brokers, and the like. 16
George de Mohrenschildt recounted a number of different versions of his life, so it is very difficult to establish the facts about him. According to one version he was the Russian Count Sergei de Mohrenschildt, but when he arrived in the United States in 1938 he carried a Polish passport identifying him as Jerzy Sergius von Mohrenschildt, born in Mozyr, Russia in 1911. He may in fact have been a Polish officer, or a correspondent for the Polish News Service, or none of these. He worked for a time for the Polish embassy in Washington DC. Some say that de Mohrenschildt met the Chairman of Humble Oil, Blaffer, and that Blaffer procured him a job. Other sources say that during this time de Mohrenschildt was affiliated with the War Department. According to some accounts, he later went to work for the French Deuxième Bureau, which wanted to know about petroleum exports from the United States to Europe.
De Mohrenschildt in 1941 became associated with a certain Baron Konstantin von Maydell in a public affairs venture called “Facts and Film.” Maydell was considered a Nazi agent by the FBI, and in September 1942 he was sent to North Dakota for an internment that would last four years. De Mohrenschildt was also reportedly in contact with Japanese networks at this time. In June, 1941, de Mohrenschildt was questioned by police at Port Arthur, Texas, on the suspicion of espionage after he was found making sketches of port facilities. During 1941 de Mohrenschildt applied for a post in the US Office of Strategic Services (OSS). According to the official account, he was not hired. Soon after he made the application, he went to Mexico where he stayed until 1944. In the latter year he established his name as de Mohrenschildt, jettisoning the German version of von Mohrenschildt, and began study for a master’s degree in petroleum engineering at the University of Texas. According to some accounts, during this period de Mohrenschildt was investigated by the Office of Naval Intelligence because of alleged communist sympathies. After the war, de Mohrenschildt worked as a petroleum engineer in Cuba and Venezuela, and in Caracas he had several meetings with the Soviet ambassador. During the postwar years he also worked in the Rangely oil field in Colorado. During the 1950’s, after having married Winifred Sharpless, the daughter of an oil millionaire, de Mohrenschildt was active as an independent oil entrepreneur.
In 1957, de Mohrenschildt was approved by the CIA Office of Security to be hired as a US government geologist for a mission to Yugoslavia. Upon his return he was interviewed by one J. Walter Moore of the CIA’s Domestic Contact Service, with whom he remained in contact. During 1958, de Morhenschildt visited Ghana, Togo, Dahomey; during 1959 he visited Africa again and returned by way of Poland. In 1959 he married Jeanne, his fourth wife, a former ballet dancer and dress designer who had been born in Manchuria, where her father had been one of the directors of the Chinese Eastern Railroad. During the summer of 1960, George and Jeanne de Mohrenschildt told their friends that they were going to embark on a walking tour of 11,000 miles along Indian trails from Mexico to Central America. One of their principal destinations was Guatemala City, where they were staying at the time of the Bay of Pigs invasion in April, 1961, after which they made their way home by way of Panama and Haiti. After two months in Haiti, the Mohrenschildts returned to Dallas, where they came into contact with Lee Harvey Oswald, who had come back to the United States from his sojourn in the Soviet Union in June, 1962. By this time de Mohrenschildt was also frequenting Admiral Henry C. Bruton and his wife, to whom he introduced the Oswalds. Admiral Bruton was the former director of naval communications, and had superintended a comprehensive modernization and reorganization of the navy’s means of keeping in touch with ships, planes, missiles, submarines, and the like.
It is established that between October, 1962 and late April, 1963, de Mohrenschildt was a very important figure in the life of Oswald and his Russian wife. Despite Oswald’s lack of social graces, de Mohrenschildt introduced him into Dallas society, took him to parties, assisted him in finding employment, and much more. It was through de Mohrenschildt that Oswald met a certain Volkmar Schmidt, a young German geologist who had studied with Professor Wilhelm Kuetemeyer, an expert in psychosomatic medicine and religious philosophy at the University of Heidelberg, who compiled a detailed psychological profile of Oswald. Jeanne and George helped Marina move her belongings during one of her many estrangements from Oswald. According to some accounts, de Mohrenschildt’s influence on Oswald was so great during this period that he could virtually dictate important decisions to the young ex-marine simply by making suggestions. Oswald was in awe of de Mohrenschildt, according to some.
According to some versions, de Mohrenschildt was aware of Oswald’s alleged April 10, 1963 attempt to assassinate the well-known right-wing General Edwin Walker. According to Marina, de Mohrenschildt once asked Oswald, “Lee, how did you miss General Walker?” On April 19, George and Jeanne de Mohrenschildt went to New York City, and on April 29 the CIA Office of Security found that it had no objection to de Mohrenschildt’s acceptance of a contract with the Duvalier regime of Haiti in the field of natural resource development. De Mohrenschildt appears to have departed for Haiti on May 1, 1963. In the meantime Oswald had left Dallas and traveled to New Orleans.
According to Mark Lane, “there is evidence that de Mohrenschildt served as a CIA control officer who directed Oswald’s actions.” Much of the extensive published literature on de Mohrenschildt converges on the idea that he was a baby sitter, handler, case officer, or control agent for Oswald on behalf of some intelligence agency. 17 De Mohrenschildt’s pedigree evokes haunting parallels to the typical figures of the PERMINDEX networks of Georges Mandel, Ferenc Nagy, Max Hagerman, Max Seligman, Carlo d’Amelio, Lewis Mortimer Bloomfield, and Clay Shaw, to which public attention was called during the investigations of New Orleans district attorney James Garrison.
It is therefore highly interesting that George Bush’s name turned up in the personal address book of George de Mohrenschildt. The Warren Commission went to absurd lengths to cover up the fact that George de Mohrenschildt was a denizen of the world of the intelligence agencies. This included ignoring the well-developed paper trial on de Mohrenschildt as Nazi and communist sympathizer, and later as a US asset abroad. The Warren Commission concluded:
The Commission’s investigation has developed no signs of subversive or disloyal conduct on the part of either of the de Mohrenschildts. Neither the FBI, CIA, nor any witnesses contacted by the Commission has provided any information linking the de Mohrenschildts to subversive or extremist organizations. Nor has there been any evidence linking them in any way with the assassination of President Kennedy. 18
On the day of the Kennedy assassination, FBI records show George Bush as reporting a right-wing member of the Houston Young Republicans for making threatening comments about President Kennedy. According to FBI documents released under the Freedom of Information Act,
On November 22, 1963 Mr. GEORGE H.W. BUSH, 5525 Briar, Houston, Texas, telephonically advised that he wanted to relate some hear say that he had heard in recent weeks, date and source unknown. He advised that one JAMES PARROTT had been talking of killing the President when he comes to Houston.
PARROTT is possibly a student at the University of Houston and is active in politics in the Houston area.
According to related FBI documentation, “a check with Secret Service at Houston, Texas revealed that agency had a report that PARROTT stated in 1961 he would kill President Kennedy if he got near him.” Here Bush is described as “a reputable businessman.” FBI agents were sent to interrogate Parrott’s mother, and later James Milton Parrott himself. Parrott had been discharged from the US Air Force for psychiatric reasons in 1959. Parrott had an alibi for the time of the Dallas shootings; he had been in the company of another Republican activist. According to press accounts, Parrott was a member of the right-wing faction of the Houston GOP which was oriented towards the John Birch Society and which opposed Bush’s chairmanship. 19 According to the San Francisco Examiner, Bush’s press office in August, 1988 first said that Bush had not made any such call, and challenged the authenticity of the FBI documents. Several days later Bush’s spokesman said that the candidate “does not recall” placing the call.
One day later after he reported Parrott to the FBI, Bush received a highly sensitive, high-level briefing from the Bureau:
Date: November 29, 1963
Bureau of Intelligence and Research
Department of State
From: John Edgar Hoover, Director
Subject: ASSASSINATION OF PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY NOVEMBER 22, 1963
Our Miami, Florida, Office on November 23, 1963 advised that the Office of Coordinator of Cuban Affairs in Miami advised that the Department of State feels some misguided anti-Castro group might capitalize on the present situation and undertake an unauthorized raid against Cuba, believing that the assassination of President John F. Kennedy might herald a change in US policy, which is not true.
Our sources and informants familiar with Cuban matters in the Miami area advise that the general feeling in the anti-Castro Cuban community is one of stunned disbelief and, even among those who did not entirely agree with the President’s policy concerning Cuba, the feeling is that the President’s death represents a great loss not only to the US but to all Latin America. These sources know of no plans for unauthorized action against Cuba.
An informant who has furnished reliable information in the past and who is close to a small pro-Castro group in Miami has advised that those individuals are afraid that the assassination of the President may result in strong repressive measures being taken against them and, although pro-Castro in their feelings, regret the assassination.
The substance of the foregoing information was orally furnished to Mr. George Bush of the Central Intelligence Agency and Captain William Edwards of the Defense Intelligence Agency on November 23, 1963, by Mr. W.T. Forsyth of this Bureau.
William T. Forsyth, since deceased, was an official of the FBI’s Washington headquarters; during the time he was attached to the Bureau’s subversive control section, he ran the investigation of Rev. Martin Luther King. Was he also a part of the FBI’s harassment of Dr. King? The efforts of journalists to locate Captain Edwards have not been successful.
This FBI document identifying George Bush as a CIA agent in November, 1963 was first published by Joseph McBride in The Nation in July, 1988, just before Bush received the Republican nomination for president. McBride’s source observed: “I know [Bush] was involved in the Caribbean. I know he
was involved in the suppression of things after the Kennedy assassination. There was a very definite worry that some Cuban groups were going to move against Castro and attempt to blame it on the CIA.” 20 When pressed for confirmation or denial, Bush’s spokesman Stephen Hart commented: “Must be another George Bush.” Within a short time the CIA itself would peddle the same damage control line. On July 19, 1988 in the wake of wide public attention to the report published in The Nation, CIA spokeswoman Sharron Basso departed from the normal CIA policy of refusing to confirm or deny reports that any person is or was a CIA employee. CIA spokeswoman Basso told the Associated press that the CIA believed that “the record should be clarified.” She said that the FBI document “apparently” referred to a George William Bush who had worked in 1963 on the night shift at CIA headquarters, and that “would have been the appropriate place to have received such an FBI report.” According to her account, the George William Bush in question had left the CIA to join the Defense Intelligence Agency in 1964.
For the CIA to volunteer the name of one of its former employees to the press was a shocking violation of traditional methods, which are supposedly designed to keep such names a closely guarded secret. This revelation may have constituted a violation of federal law. But no exertions were too great when it came to damage control for George Bush.
George William Bush had indeed worked for the CIA, the DIA, and the Alexandria, Virginia Department of Public Welfare before joining the Social Security Administration, in whose Arlington, Virginia office he was employed as a claims representative in 1988. George William Bush told The Nation that while at the CIA he was “just a lowly researcher and analyst” who worked with documents and photos and never received interagency briefings. He had never met Forsyth of the FBI or Captain Edwards of the DIA. “So it wasn’t me,” said George William Bush. 21
Later, George William Bush formalized his denial in a sworn statement to a federal court in Washington, DC. The affidavit acknowledges that while working at CIA headquarters between September 1963 and February 1964, George William Bush was the junior person on a three to four man watch shift which was on duty when Kennedy was shot. But, as George William Bush goes on to say,
I have carefully reviewed the FBI memorandum to the Director, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Department of State dated November 29, 1963 which mentions a Mr. George Bush of the Central Intelligence Agency….I do not recognize the contents of the memorandum as information furnished to me orally or otherwise during the time I was at the CIA. In fact, during my time at the CIA. I did not receive any oral communications from any government agency of any nature whatsoever. I did not receive any information relating to the Kennedy assassination during my time at the CIA from the FBI.
Based on the above, it is my conclusion that I am not the Mr. George Bush of the Central Intelligence Agency referred to in the memorandum. 22
So we are left with the strong suspicion that the “Mr. George Bush of the CIA” referred to by the FBI is our own George Herbert Walker Bush, who, in addition to his possible contact with Lee Harvey Oswald’s controller, may thus also join the ranks of the Kennedy assassination cover-up. It makes perfect sense for George Bush to be called in on a matter involving the Cuban community in Miami, since that is a place where George has traditionally had a constituency. George inherited it from his father, Prescott Bush of Jupiter Island, and later passed it on to his own son, Jeb.
1- Joseph McBride, “‘George Bush,’ CIA Operative,” The Nation, July 16, 1988.
2- Georgie Anne Geyer, Guerilla Prince (Boston: Little, Brown, 1991).
3- Felix Rogriquez, Shadow Warrior (New York: Simon and Shuster, 1989).
4- On Pluto, see the East German study by Guenter Schumacher, Operation Pluto (Berlin, Deutscher Militaerverlag, 1964).
5- E. Howard Hunt, Give Us This Day (New Rochelle: Arlington House, 1973), p. 214.
6- Secret Agenda.
7- For Operation Zapata, see Michael R. Beschloss, The Crisis Years: Kennedy and Khrushchev, 1960-63 (New York: Edward Burlingame Books, 1991), p. 89.
8- For the names of the ships at the Bay of Pigs, see Quintin Pino Machado, La Batalla de Giron (La Habana: Editorial de Ciencias Sociales, 1983), pp. 79-80. This source quotes one ship as the Barbara J.” See also Schumacher, Operation Pluto, pp. 98-99. See also Peter Wyden, Bay of Pigs, The Untold Story (New York: Simon and Shuster, 1979), which also has the Barbara J. According to Quintin Pino macahdo, the Houston had been given the new name of Aguja (Swordfish) and the Barbara that of Barracuda for the purposes of this operation.
9- Howard Hunt, Give Us This Day, pp. 13-14.
10- Theodore Sorenson, Kennedy (New York: Bantam, 1966), p. 329.
11- Sorenson, Kennedy, p. 723.
12- Arthur M. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days (Boston, 1965), p. 339.
13- See Warren Hinckle and William W. Turner, The Fish is Red (New York: Harper and Row, 1981), p. 112 ff.
14- Report to the President by the Commission on CIA Activities Within the United States (Washington: US Goverment Printing Office, 1975), pp. 251-267.
15- Jim Marrs, “Widow disputes suicide,” Fort Worth Evening Star-Telegram, May 11, 1978
16- A photocopy of George de Mohrenschildt’s personal address book is preserved at the Assassination Archives and Research Center, Washington, DC. The Bush entry is also cited in Mark Lane, Plausible Denial (New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press, 1991), p. 332.
17- For de Mohrenschildt, see Mark Lane, Plausible Denial, Edward Jay Epstein, Legend: The Secret World of Lee Harvey Oswald (London: Hutchinson, 1978); C. Robert Blakey and Richard N. Billings, The Plot to Kill the President (New York: Times Books, 1981); and Robert Sam Anson, “They’ve Killed The President!” (New York: Bantam, 1975).
18- Report of the Warren Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy (New York: Bantam, 1964), p. 262.
19- Miguel Acoca, “FBI: ‘Bush’ called about JFK killing,” San Francisco Examiner, August 25, 1988.
20- Joseph McBride, “‘George Bush,’ CIA Operative,” The Nation, July 16/23, 1988, p. 42
21- Joseph McBride, “Where Was George?”, The Nation, August 13/20, 1988, p. 117.
22- United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Civil Action 88-2600 GHR, Archives and Research Center v. Central Intelligence Agency, Affidavit of George William Bush, September 21, 1988.