A note on George H.W. Bush and the JFK story

A reader, Laura, takes issue with my recent post exculpating the late President Bush from involvement in the Kennedy assassination. Upon reflection, I think she makes two very good points.

George H. W. Bush, CIA director
George H. W. Bush, CIA director and future president

One is about the definition of evidence. Certainty is not required, it is true.

The second concerns a point I had scanted: the declassified Bush records make it clear that someone thought it important to brief George H. Bush about the Miami Cubans under investigation after JFK was killed. I should have noted this fact.

Who thought that Bush needed to know and why they thought he needed to know is an interesting and potentially important fact. I still don’t see what it tells us about the causes of the assassination but it is a salient point I should have mentioned. My conclusion was too sweeping. Thanks Laura.

Here’s Laura’s note:

Mr Morley— I agree with your evidence based approach and your refusal to engage in unwarranted speculation. However, your claim that there is no “evidence” (as you define the term) of any “connection” between GHWB and the JFK assassination is untenable.

First: where did you come up with your definition of “evidence?” You write, “I’m looking for evidence that meets the definition of the word: facts that indicate or prove something to a reasonable certainty.” No court of law that I’m aware of would impose “a reasonable certainty “ standard on evidence before being considered probative and admitted by the court. If courts did impose such a requirement, most circumstantial evidence cases could never be proven. You set the bar so high for “evidence” in the case of GHWB that nothing short of a confession, an eyewitness, or a smoking gun document will constitute “evidence” of a “connection.” Given the amount of time you have spent litigating in the federal courts, I assume you are aware of the federal standard for “evidence” and it has nothing to do with “certainty.”

Second—In describing the FBI document of November 29, 1963, you focus only on the CIA’s duplicity in denying that the George Bush mentioned therein was, in fact, GHWB. I agree that the CIA’s lies about GHWB’s affiliation with the agency does not establish a connection between 41 and the JFK assassination. However, what does establish at least a “connection” is that one day after the assassination someone informed the FBI that GHWB needed to be briefed about interviews the FBI was conducting with Miami Cuban groups in connection with the assassination. What was GHWB’s connection to these groups — some members of which have been implicated in the assassination for decades?

The FBI’s decision to brief GHWB on these matters may not be evidence that he was complicit in the assassination, but it does “connect” him to groups of interest to the FBI and to assassination researchers for decades. Your ignoring the obvious implications of this memo is puzzling and inconsistent with critical thinking.

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