Focus on the CIA, not George H.W. Bush

The “George H. W. Did It” theory is a way of expressing suspicion of the Bush family and the CIA. It is a way to say the Bushes are not a legitimate political dynasty. It is a way of encouraging suspicion of the the agency and the U.S. government: a future CIA director was in Dealey Plaza. How scary is that?

Those are all impulses I might or might not share. But that’s a lot of political agenda loaded onto a very small amount of contradictory evidence about Bush Sr.’s actions on November 22, 1963.

Russ Baker’s account of Bush’s whereabouts on November 22 pose problems for those who think he was in Dealey Plaza. It also raises legitimate questions about his odd behavior. That’s it.

I DO think George H.W. Bush’s connections to the CIA are an interesting aspect of the JFK assassination investigation. He was director of the CIA for the calendar year 1976. As the country digested the revelations of domestic spying and assassination plots, suspicions about the CIA and JFK’s assassination ran high on Capitol Hill. How he responded to the reopening of the JFK assassination investigation is worth knowing in detail.

But I don’t want to criticize those who think Bush was somehow complicit in the death of President Kennedy. I don’t want to criticize anyone in the JFK debate for thinking what they think. It’s an important subject and if people come to strong and firm conclusions about it, that’s a not a bad thing. Better than if they are ignorant.

When talking of the about the Kennedy assassination, I think we need to focus our attention more on other deceased senior CIA officials besides Bush Sr. The record shows that Bush’s role in enabling Oswald and a gun to reach Dealey Plaza was negligible when compared to that of Richard Helms, James Angleton and their associates.


  1. John Kirsch says:

    This post reminds me of something I believe Jeff wrote, which was that the first thing GHWB asked for after becoming head of the CIA was the JFK file. If memory serves, Jeff said something like that was the action of a man who may not have believed he had gotten the whole story about 11/22. This post also makes me wonder about the source of the Bush family’s power. I know they’re rich and well connected. At one point, I think they liked to tell people they were descended from royalty. But they aren’t the only American family with money and pretensions of being many steps above the ordinary American. They may or may not be a dynasty but if they are their history is not all that impressive. Prescott Bush, the father of GHWB, was a U.S. senator who helped launch Nixon’s career. GHWB served 1 term as president before being defeated by the former governor of a small southern state. George W. Bush became president under circumstances that can accurately be described as unusual. As for his reputation now, suffice it to say that he is not viewed as a successful president. I think one source of the family’s power is its uncanny ability to find the weak spots in the system and exploit them for maximum advantage. Florida is a prime example. How comforting it must have been for GHWB and W to know that Jeb had things safely in hand. But that doesn’t seem to completely explain the source of their power and I’m not sure what does. As for GHWB and Dallas — it would be nice if he would simply come clean and say where he was and what he was doing that day — unless doing so would give the game away. But the chances of him clearing up the confusion are also political. He wouldn’t want to do anything to interfere with Jeb’s plans to run for president.

    • One cannot overestimate the value of Joseph McBride’s find of the Hoover memo naming Bush and the “Cubans: written the weekend of the assassination. This was released 25 years later when Bush was running for President. That relates not only to Bush’s knowledge of parts of the event, it also smashes his credibility when he said taking over the CIA was his first job there. This in addition to his odd comments which sounded like an alibi about his whereabouts.
      Russ Baker’s book beamed a light where it had not been shown: The connection with Brown&Root which became Halliburton and the rise of the cowboys over the yankees is documented; these same texans are referred to by Nixon in one of the “whole Bay of Pigs thing” tapings;Prescott Bush and the Nazi banking activity of him and the Dulles Brothers. When Allen Dulles died, Bush wrote a letter to his widow referring to how “badly” he was treated by “the Kennedys.” This, less than a year after the second brother had his head blown apart in his 40′s.
      Finally, Peter Dale Scott’s voluminous work on the CIA and the drug trail, includes names like Bush and Ruby and the “Cubans.”

  2. leslie sharp says:

    Discord among JFK researchers on the topic of Bush involvement in the assassination may stem from the assumption that proponents argue solely based on government positions, CIA clandestine activities and presidential appointments (after the fact) filled by Bush family members; ergo they must have been involved in the act and/or the cover up.

    In “Family of Secrets,” Russ Baker effectively consolidates much of what was already in the public domain regarding the family history; unfortunately, most critics – and some proponents – of the theory that descendants of Sam Bush (with little mention of the Walker history) were in some manner involved in the assassination will repeatedly refer to Baker’s assessment of a “Bush” political dynasty. Researchers focused on related data do not limit their considerations to the surname Bush (in spite of it resonating with a contemporary audience and a lucrative market), and recognize that there is much more to the story. Reading between the lines, it appears that Russ Baker understood that as well, and it may be that his book has been misinterpreted by some.

    While the “Bush Family” (for all that term entails) and the Military Industrial Complex (a misnomer unless it is understood to include the financial, scientific, academic, medical, pharmaceutical and manufacturing components of our economic system) were and remain inseparable, history indicates that members of the family were and are mere pawns, knights, or rooks (with an occasional bishop), charged with enforcing the power behind the usurpation of our democracy by means of the assassination of President Kennedy followed by the massive and decades-old cover-up.

    ‘Bush family’ positions in government merely helped facilitate (and continue to do so) the agenda of private interests with whom they were and are aligned, maneuvering in symbiosis with the war machine that commandeered the original mantle of these/our “United States” and our democracy. Anyone studying the broader Bush-related family history knows that their successes – political and financial – reside in the interconnections they have enjoyed with unelected power and control, both domestic and foreign, for centuries. Further, research suggests that those Bushes elected to office are not now, nor were they ever original authors of policy, let alone true decision-makers; they are the public, elected face of a private enterprise. Isolating blame on “The Bushes” is yet another red herring (I trust that was not Russ Baker’s intention), and not dissimilar to isolating blame on “THE” Central Intelligence Agency. To do either ties all serious discussion about the assassination and the ongoing threat to our democracy in a Gordian Knot.

    And why is it necessary for George H. W. to have been in the vicinity of the TSBD to argue his complicity on some level in the assassination? The debate is irrelevant, although proof of his presence would be significant given his purported memory loss; however, those questioning his pre-knowledge of the assassination should concentrate on his schedule during the preceding week. It is worthy of intense investigation. Dime con quién andas y te diré quién eres.

  3. Alan Dale says:

    ^ Incisive post, Leslie. I believe Edmund Morris quoted Nixon referring to GHW Bush as the kind of guy you appoint to something.

    Facilitator of plutocracy.

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