THE BUSH FAMILY IN THE 90S

Issue 1, December 1991
NEIL BUSH (AND HIS FAMILY)I
 
    In the millions of words written in the national news media about Neil Bush and his part in the Silverado Savings & Loan scandal, no reference has been made to an extremely significant fact of his life.
     Neil Bush, son of the then vice president of the United States, was scheduled to have dinner on March 31, 1981, with Scott Hinckley, brother of John Hinckley, the day after a bullet came within an inch of making Neil Bush's father the new president of the United States.
     Even though John Chancellor had let slip out this most remarkable assassination coincidence shortly after John Hinckley tried to kill President Reagan, it was censored by NBC News and the other organs of the national news media during the subsequent 10 years. And even in the several months of extensive coverage of Neil Bush's part in the massive savings and loan fraud, no mention was made of his role in the continuing coverup of the most significant story in the 1980s.
     Back in 1981, I thought the dinner engagement was so extraordinary that I looked everywhere for it in the days following Chancellor's raised-eyebrow report in the hours after the shooting. One magazine laughed at it and a few smaller papers carried a story by United Press International, but the Associated Press and the other major news outlets, in response to my numerous protests, made clear to me that they had no intention of letting the American people learn of Neil Bush's connection to the Hinckleys or, for that matter, the many other astonishing unanswered questions in the wake of the Bush-Hinckley coverup.
    Thus I spent almost three years researching, writing and publishing a book that details scores of facts that would forever erase the ludicrous myth that John Hinckley gunned down President Reagan "to impress Jodie Foster." The Afternoon of March 30: A Contemporary Historical Novel wove the facts of the case into a fictional framework in order to explain how the coverup fit into other events that the national news media had failed to report, misreported or underreported. Whether there was a conspiracy to elevate George Bush to the presidency remains unofficially uninvestigated; that our major organs of information did not report significant facts about the Bush-Hinckley and Bush-Hinckley-Hunt connections is absolutely documented. I have never been a conspiracy theorist; I am an analyst of press performance with credentials extending over four decades.
    But for now, let us look anew at Neil Bush, termed the "Savings & Loan Poster Boy" after his face on posters demanding Jail Neil Bush sprouted in Washington and Denver. The pundits of the press proclaimed he would be the "Democrats' Willie Horton" in the 1992 campaign before the father's Persian Gulf War, among other things, succeeded in getting the son's name out of the public view.
    What did Neil Bush do in 1985 after he became a director of the Silverado Banking, Savings & Loan Association that went bust three years later at a cost to taxpayers of at least $1.6 billion? Among other improprieties involving "some of the worst kinds of conflicts of interest" according to federal regulators, he admits that he failed to list his business relationship on a conflict-of-interest form when he got a $100,000 loan from a developer who was a partner in his oil company. That was after he helped approve more than $100 million worth of loans to that business partner. When he wrote "None" on that form, he actually was dependent on one of the thrift's biggest borrowers for the entire $75,000 annual salary that was his main source of income. "I know it sounds a little fishy," he admitted when he testified that the loan was not to be repaid unless JNB Exploration was successful, which it wasn't. What it was, he said in one of the classic understatements of our time,"was an incredibly sweet deal." One bemused expert observed that it "may have been the first completed loan in financial history in which the creditor defaulted."
    The investment booty lavished on this young man by his thrift scam buddies, as he ultimately confessed, had nothing to do with his skill or experience. "I would be naive if I were to sit here and deny that the Bush name didn't have something to do with it," he told Time magazine, explaining how at the age of 30 he was invited to join the board at a federally insured institution. (The average age of a thrift director was 57 and about 1 per cent of all S&L directors were under 35.) But earlier he had proclaimed that he always would pretend his name was Smith and he would employ the "Smith Smell Test." That, he explained, "was a test that I used where if someone were to approach me and I felt that there was a motive that was rather sinister in trying to get some kind of political benefit from being involved with me or engaged in a business transaction with me, then I would automatically reject it."
    While five of Silverado's board members were banned for life from any federally insured institution, Neil Bush was ordered only to "desist from any acts,omissions or practices involving any conflicts of interest, unsafe or unsound practices or breaches of fiduciary duty." In other words, to do nothing more than obey the law. And no order to pay restitution.
    Now, how did Neil Bush keep from going to jail? That's a tale you haven't read in your daily paper. Here's how it really worked:
    While the national news media pretended that President Bush was remaining neutral after the news of his son's multiple conflicts of interest finally were given national notice, political meddling was obvious from the start. Secretary of the Treasury Nicholas F. Brady is a longtime close friend of President Bush. The man Brady and Bush hand-picked to be director of the Office of Thrift Supervision and who imposed the mildest possible penalty on the president's son was T. Timothy Ryan Jr., who served in the Bush presidential campaign in 1988 and whose appointment to head the OTS was pushed through despite intense congressional opposition.
    Having escaped, Neil decided last year to report that six-year-old $100,000 "loan" as income on his 1990 tax return.
    Furthermore, Neil's presence on the board was "a material part of the unconscionable delays in taking over Silverado" as far back as 1986, the top man of the regional banking regulators testified under oath in June, 1990.
    Shortly before the 1988 election, when the regulators wanted to close Silverado, a call came from Washington to delay that action for 45 days—until after election day. After George Bush was elected, an order was issued to close the bank. A Treasury Department request to the FBI a year ago for an investigation of White House pressure on federal regulators to delay closing Silverado until after the election received no attention from the president's good friend, Attorney General Dick Thornburgh (whom the voters of Pennsylvania last month temporarily removed from public office once they could get their votes on him).
    Neil's mother is praised in puff pieces from Parade to People to the New York Times as a devoted wife of 45 years and mother of "four happy children" who nonetheless seem to be endlessly enmeshed in unhappy and unethical scandals. She is repeatedly quoted as saying that Neil was being "persecuted" and "has done nothing wrong." Her third son is known to suffer from a reading disability believed to be dyslexia, but she let an unexpected cat out of the bag when she told a Parade interviewer: "You know, people who have reading disabilities learn to fake. And Neil really had learned to fake."
    Finally, there is Neil's father. "We will not rest until the cheats and the chiselers and the charlatans spend a large chunk of their lives behind the bars of a federal prison," President Bush said on June 22, 1990, in regard to the savings and loan fraud. Read his lips. Then stare at the fact that when FBI field offices requested 425 new agents to help investigate the 21,000 thrift fraud referrals sitting "unaddressed" in their files, the Bush administration approved only half those requests and reduced the funds Congress authorized to spend on prosecutions. You and I may not always agree with Bill Moyers, but he was on target when he said that "George Bush is the most deeply unprincipled man in American poltics today. He strikes me as possessing no essential core. There is no fundamental line from which he will not retreat....I have watched him for almost 30 years and have never known him to take a stand except for political expediency."
    The orthodox press of today thrives on trivia—in many ways it mirrors the supermarket tabloids it frequently mocks—endlessly referring to the "principles" and "decency" and "graciousness" of the patrician president instead of the real person who, among much else, can toast the "adherence to democratic principles" of Ferdinand Marcos, who can say of Dan Rather that "he makes Lesley Stahl look like a pussy," who could participate in a standing ovation with 21 other diehards after hearing the disgraced President Nixon explain his attempts to conceal his criminal activities and who, among the many murky aspects of the dark portions of his career, was director of the Central Intelligence Agency when Orlando Letelier, Chile's ambassador to the United States from 1971 to 1973 and an outspoken critic of the right-wing military government of Gen. Augusto Pinochet, was assassinated on the streets of Washington, D.C.
    Neil Bush learned well how things work in the Bush family. The same Denver developer who gave Neil the "non-repayable" $100,000 loan also gave George Bush a $100,000 donation for his 1988 presidential campaign while the vice-president was chairman of the Reagan Administration's Task Force on Regulation of Financial Services. Neil approved a "quid pro quo" plan in which at least 16 Silverado customers borrowed more money than they needed for their own projects and used the extra money to do favors for the S&L.He suggested that he was "out of the loop" when the facts dictate a considerable presence in the loop. George Bush summed up his 1984 debate with Geraldine Ferraro by saying he "tried to kick a little ass," and Neil Bush boasted at a Denver party after testifying in Washington that "I kicked their asses."
    Neil Bush, still protesting his utter innocence, smiles as he is described by a friend of his father as nothing more than "a passenger on the Titanic."
    I addressed at length the Bush family record in The Afternoon of March 30 seven years ago and it is time for additional documentation. Next we'll turn to the rest of the Bush family for news that was spiked before you could see it. 

—Nathaniel Blumberg
With special thanks to Richard Joste, John
Pearson, John Paxson and Wilbur Wood



SIDEBARS

Both political parties share complicity in the greatest criminal fraud in American history. Michael Dukakis made a brief mention of it in the 1988 election campaign but was steered away from it as "an unplayable issue" by advisors who sought to protect Robert Strauss' son Richard, Jim Wright, Tony Coelho, the Democratic senators of the "Keating Five" and other vulnerable Democratic congressmen.

On the day that Neil Bush testified about his part in the Denver S&L scandal, Treasury Secretary Brady announced that the bailout would cost $59 billion more than previously announced. The press was forced to choose which was the bigger story and the majority went for the Brady announcement. White House spin doctors thereby succeeded in getting the Neil Bush story off the front pages of the Washington Post and New York Times; the Los Angeles Times, for example, didn't fall for it and ran the Neil story out front.

Brady also orchestrated the plot to keep honest Americans from realizing how much they would have to pay for the high-flying thieves. In early 1985 we were told the bailout would be as much as $10 billion. Between 1986 and 1989 Brady boosted the estimate from $11 billion to $113 billion. The next May it was $182 billion and two months later it had spiraled to $500 billion. The latest estimate is $600 billion. For contrast, the entire foreign aid budget last year was less than $15 billion.

Neil Bush was unceremoniously dumped from a Denver amateur tennis tournament for cheating this year after he and his doubles partner signed up to play opponents ranked much below their skill level. The president's son, rated 5.5 on a 10-point U.S. Tennis Association scale, entered to compete in the 4.5 category. Their opponents, after getting slaughtered, protested and Bush was disqualified.



Issue 2, Spring 1992

BILL CLINTON (and George Bush)
THE PRESS AND PRIVATE AFFAIRS

    When the "responsible" members of the national news media stooped to spread a story splashed by one of the sleaziest of supermarket rags, the orthodox press entered a tawdry Tabloidworld.
    The public deflowering of Bill Clinton oozed from a cashier-counter tabloid into the New York Times, Washington Post and all corners of the "respectable" media, legitimizing a story based solely on the word of a woman who had been paid something like $150,000 for it.
    But the press has systematically buried a more interesting affair:

Reports of George Bush's liaisons have circulated among journalists for more than a decade in the same way that reporters laughed about President Kennedy's dalliances back in the '60s. The New York Times in 1981 published a rumor that Bush had been nicked by a bullet while leaving the home of a mistress on Capitol Hill. The Washington Post story on the same rumor included a question from a reporter to Deputy Presidential Press Secretary Larry Speakes (from the official White House Press Briefing): Q. "Larry, I think a lot of us have heard that rumor and there's more to it. . . . Why don't you see if he was engaged in some kind of situation. . .?" [laughter].

Many members of Bush's staff have said they believe he had a longtime affair with his former appointments secretary, Jennifer Fitzgerald—who has told many fellow workers about it—and another affair with the widow of a former Midwestern congressman.

The campaign staffs of both Senate Minority Leader Robert Dole and Rep. Jack Kemp pushed the "Bush mistress" story in 1988 trying to head off Bush's nomination. The late Republican National Committee Chairman Lee Atwater boasted of defusing the widespread rumor by simply getting George Bush Jr. quoted in Newsweek saying "the answer to the Big A question is N.0." This denial astonishingly was accepted by the national news media as proof that there was no "Big A question."

Bush "disappeared" frequently in 1978 and 1979, telling journalists that he was attending clandestine meetings with fellow former CIA directors. The other spookchiefs say the meetings never were held.

The Associated Press has run the initials of an alleged mistress. A Nation columnist recently wrote that "Bush has supposedly made one of his mistresses an ambassador." Columnist Jack Anderson, the Washingtonian magazine and several "alternative" publications have written of the rumored philandering. Demonstrators in Washington on more than one occasion have chanted the names of the president and a woman. And then there is the famous Washington Post lead on a story announcing the appointment of one of Bush's alleged mistresses to a high State Department post: "[Her name], who has served President-elect George Bush in a variety of positions, . . ."


KITTY KELLEY'S TWO PERTINENT PARAGRAPHS

    TSR does not regard Kitty Kelley's unauthorized and gossip-filled biography of Nancy Reagan as an entirely reliable source. However, since the New York Times and other mainstream newspapers put the story on the front page and the newsmagazines gleefully filled pages with the book's most intimate details in the life of the former president and his wife, it should be pointed out that they carefully avoided perhaps the most interesting—and newsworthy—two paragraphs on Page 507 of the book concerning, of course, the present president:

    To certain friends, Nancy had peddled the story of "George and his girlfriend" that had been told to her about the evening of March 18, 1981, when some of "the group" were having dinner at Lion d' Or in Washington, D.C.
    "Suddenly, there was a great commotion," recalled one of the five dinner guests, "as the security men accompanying the Secretary of State [Alexander Haig] and the Attorney General [William French Smith] converged on our table. They started jabbering into their walkie-talkies, and then whispered to Haig and Smith, who both jumped up and left the restaurant. The two men returned about forty-five minutes later, laughing their heads off. They said they had had to bail out George Bush, who' d been in a traffic accident with his girlfriend. Bush had not wanted the incident to appear on the D.C. police blotter, so he had his security men contact Haig and Smith. They took care of things for him, and then came back to dinner."



THE PRESIDENT'S DRUG PROBLEM

    "Our Man in Nirvana" is how the New York Times headlined an op-ed column (1/22/92) detailing the fact that President Bush has been taking benzodiazepene in the form of the prescription drug Halcion when he travels. More than a year ago Secretary of State James Baker's similar drug problem was hardly noted by the mainstream media when he admitted he was taking Halcion while engaged in overseas negotiations.
    Halcion is banned in England and three other countries and the side effects of the controversial tranquilizer/anti-insomniac have led to major litigation not only in this country but around the world. U.S. Food and Drug officials are frantically trying to explain their 1982 approval of the drug since the "pivotal study" they cited has been exposed as the work of a confessed fraud. The Upjohn Co. of Kalamazoo, manufacturer of Halcion, finally has acknowledged underreporting side effects such as paranoia and memory loss.
    "When Halcion hits you," according to the Times column, "it's as if an angel of the Lord appears in your bedroom and tells you that nothing is important, that everything you were worried about is happening on Mars and that nirvana, Lethe and the warm arms of mother are all waiting for you. People who have used heroin tell me Halcion is better than heroin for making bad thoughts simply disappear. . . . It clouds judgment and forecloses careful analysis. It makes the user alternately supremely confident and then panicky with an unnameable dread. It causes intense, truly terrifying forgetfulness, as well as a serene bliss about that forgetfulness."
    This news was not picked up by the Associated Press or the mainstream media despite the warning in the penultimate paragraph that a "president with a chemical between himself and reality is the last thing America needs."
    Journalists traveling with the president have expressed concern about Bush' s zany behavior, irritability and difficulties in syntax, all of which may be related to his drug problem. For example, the president complained to an aide over a microphone he thought had been turned off that he was tired of the snags that had embarrassed him at press conferences. His staff makes a list of questions to be asked by the audience and then hands him prepared answers. One question had been asked out of order and the president later blew his top. "We've got to get this sorted out here," he said testily. "It happened last week, too. . . . If I think it' s going to be here [on the card with the answer] I don' t listen to the question. I just look at this."
   One day in New Hampshire he giddily referred to the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band as "the Nitty Ditty Nitty Gritty Great Bird." He astonished reporters by responding to a question about his political problems with a non sequitur: "Don't cry for me, Argentina!" Asked about the possibility of extending unemployment benefits, he answered: "If a frog had wings, he wouldn't hit his tail on the ground. Too hypothetical."
   Consider the shambles of the president's recent trip to the Far East. It began with an obscene and insulting gesture the president gave demonstrators in the Australian capital as he drove by in his armored limousine—equivalent to the rude middle-finger salute in the United States. It culminated in the humiliating scene when he vomited in the lap of the Japanese prime minister at a state dinner. The media placidly accepted the official report that he was suffering from "intestinal flu," although a Des Moines Register columnist pointedly asked "when was the last time you heard of anyone fainting from the flu? . . . Doctor friends tell me this is almost unheard of." Researchers have reported that Halcion can cause anxiety, confusion, psychosis or seizures. The president's press secretary revealed that Bush used Halcion "to fight jet lag" during his 12-day tour of Australia and Asia. The president's doctor says he will not exclude the possibility of prescribing Halcion in the future "if it is medically indicated."
   It was the gossip columnist, Liz Smith—not our bland syndicated establishment-oriented editorial-page columnists or broadcast commentators—who had the guts to ask: "Can our Peerless Leader possibly be the victim of unwitting substance abuse?" Months earlier she had reported that Halcion was the "drug of choice" and was "being taken in epidemic numbers on Air Force One by both an exhausted press and jet-lagged administration insiders."
   There are drug problems and there are drug problems, but the orthodox press picks and chooses the ones it wants to address—too often in inverse order of their importance.

NEIL BUSH (AND HIS FAMILY)II

   There's John E. (Jeb) Bush—Neil's brother—on CNN's "Larry King Live" (3/9/92), a trained sleek seal making like a "political analyst" as if he had never done all the unethical, illegal things the Wall Street Journal documented in an unusually long article on August 9, 1988. The AP, UPI, networks and newsmagazines covered it up. With luck, we may hear other news about the Bush family from the orthodox press before the November election, just as Neil Bush's Silverado escapades finally were forced to the surface (but alas, only after the 1988 election).

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following was cut from the Premier Issue for space reasons and went into overset for this issue. But then FLASH, as we used to say in the old days, NBC Nightly News in late February did a segment on Prescott Bush's shady dealing—almost nine months after the Wall Street Journal broke the story—without adding a single significant fact and leaving out some of the best parts. Here's our story:

   And then there is Prescott Bush—Neil's uncle, brother of the president of the United States.
   The Wall Street Journal, which has practiced a self-imposed mission to warn its readers about certain kinds of criminal activity, reported (6/10/91) that the tentacles of organized crime were spreading into Japan's mainstream business world. It emphasized a recent case that linked Prescott Bush to Inagawa-Kai, a major Japanese gangster organization controlled by Susumu Ishii until his "retirement" late last year and his subsequent death. Some Inagawa-Kai investors bought a stake in a small Texas financial services company in 1989. According to the WSJ, the deal was done "on the advice of—and with financial guarantees from—President Bush's 68-year-old brother." And according to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings, the Japanese company paid Prescott Bush a $250,000 finder's fee and promised to retain him as a consultant on a three-year $750,000 contract.
   Not to be forgotten is Prescott Bush's 1989 tour of Asia to drum up business and sign an agreement in Tokyo with the Aoki Corporation to build an $18 million golf course in China. His tour was just 10 days before his brother made a presidential swing through the area. Prescott Bush had acquired a one-third stake in the golf course project at no cost. The Boston Globe quoted an executive with the venture as saying the president's brother was given the stake "because of the goodwill expected from his involvement." That was in the days before the Chinese government shot down students in Tiananmen Square, throttling China's democracy movement without a peep of protest from the president of the United States. And to bring everything full circle, in hearings before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's subcommittee on terrorism and narcotics, Aoki was accused of having paid $4 million in bribes to none other than Gen. Manuel A. Noriega.



Issue 3, Autumn 1992
'F
AMILY VALUES' IS AN ISSUE


    SEVERAL OF THE underreported stories of the 1980s involved the continuing coverup by the national news media of unethical and illegal activities by George Bush and members of his family.
    The failure to report the many " coincidences," "bizarre happenstances" and fully documented evidence linking the Bush family to the Hinckley family in the wake of an assassination attempt that missed making Bush president by less than an inch remains one of the blackest marks against the orthodox press in this century. Subsequently, the series of coverups of Bush lies—of which "Read my lips: No new taxes" was a well-reported and relatively minor lie—is a powerful indictment of a mainstream press that also has refused to investigate other assassination attempts and successful assassinations, the running of cocaine into this country and the defiant violations of the laws of the land by those in the highest echelons of government.
   One can only express awe at the ability of all the Bushes to lie through their teeth and stare, sometimes shifty-eyed, sometimes unblinking, into the cameras.
   The lead story of TSR2 in April, contrasting the treatment by the "responsible" press of Bill Clinton and his alleged mistress with the coverup of George Bush and his alleged mistresses, had repercussions beyond expectations. In their July /August issues, Spy magazine obviously enjoyed TSR's revelations and Mother Jones called the Bush mistress story "the longest-running in-joke in presidential political reporting" while taking Mike Wallace and 60 Minutes to task for backing off the story. Other unorthodox publications joined in condemning the establishment press for its double standard in reporting on alleged mistresses of presidential candidates, including the aggressive way it sought out the "smoking bimbo" of Democratic presidential candidate Gary Hart in 1988.

    FULL CREDIT SHOULD GO to the L.A. Weekly, an alternative paper that broke the Bush mistress story in 1988, leading five days later to a 43-point plunge in the stock market based on the rumor that the Washington Post was ready to publish a confirming story. USA Today had an item and the Wall Street Journal said flatly that the Post was going to report that Bush "had carried on an extramarital affair [with] a mistress for several years." WSJ also said the Post story would include a reference to another woman with whom Bush allegedly had an extramarital affair in the mid-1970s. The story on Bush's personal life shortly thereafter was published with no reference to the rumored mistresses.
   The mainstream media didn't touch the story until the New York Post broke loose on August 11 with a front-page expose of Bush's longtime affair with Jennifer Fitzgerald. It was based on an item and a footnote in Susan Trento's new book, The Power House, a well researched study of how influence is peddled in our nation' s capital.
   The source was a former U.S. disarmament negotiator, Louis Fields, a good friend of Bush, who before he died of cancer in 1988 had confirmed the story in a taped interview. The details, omitted by the Associated Press and the rest of the orthodox media, were enlightening. According to The Power House:

In 1984 Vice President Bush and his appointments secretary, Jennifer Fitzgerald, enjoyed adjoining bedrooms in a Swiss chateau on Lake Geneva belonging to the Aga Khan's son, Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, a classmate of Bush at Yale. Ambassador Fields said there was no household staff for the couple and "that' s why I had to help make certain arrangements for the laundry, that sort of thing." He said it "became clear to me that the Vice President and Ms. Fitzgerald were romantically involved and this was not a business visit. . . . It made me very uncomfortable. . . . I know Barbara and I like her; it was just so heavy-handed."

The romantic interlude allegedly took place while Barbara Bush was on a tour promoting her book about C. Fred, the family dog before Millie.

In 1985, a member of Bush's office staff was "distraught over what the staffer said was Bush's long-running affair with his appointments secretary, Jennifer Fitzgerald." The staffer said that "she and other office workers knew about the affair not only from the behavior of Bush and Fitzgerald at the office, but because Fitzgerald had referred openly, even boastfully on occasion, to it."

Admiral Daniel J. Murphy, Bush's chief of staff, "had a worldwide address book worthy of any sailor" and a relationship with the vice president that offended Barbara Bush. A "high-level Reagan official" said that when Bush decided to seek the presidency, Barbara Bush put the law down, and it concerned Jennifer, and it concerned Murphy's black book." Murphy and Fitzgerald soon were gone from the White House. (Jennifer eventually was given a $112,000-a-year State Department job.)

   THE NEW YORK POST
reminded its readers that Jennifer Fitzgerald was fined $648 by Customs for smuggling two fur coats into the United States from Argentina in 1990. A State Department personnel division cited her for "gross misconduct," but a recommendation that she be given 15 days leave without pay had never been carried out.
   Other periodicals picked up the story. Newsweek printed Jennifer Fitzgerald's photograph, adding that the tape of an interview with Ambassador Fields "at first seems to confirm the story." Then Newsweek, ever alert to the conventional wisdom along the corridors of the eastern seaboard, weaseled its way to a conclusion that it all was probably "just old-maid gossip."
   Honorable mention at this late date should go to CNN reporter Mary Tillotson and NBC-TV correspondent Stone Phillips, who finally asked the president "the Big A question" on national TV. Bush' s angry and sputtering replies did nothing to diminish the vulnerability of a man running on a "family values" plank.
   Even the impossibly insufferable George Will found it impossible to suffer what he termed "the intellectual slum that is the Bush campaign, with its riffraff of liars and aspiring ayatollahs," although he had for years been able to stomach the Reagan reign, with its rabble of liars and arrogant ayatollahs. Equally astonishing, Meg Greenfield, who not only controls the editorial pages of the Washington Post but alternates with the aforementioned Will on the last page of Newsweek, at long last got around to noticing that "there is always something implausible, acquired-for-the-occasion about the persona Bush projects when he is running." She apparently has been so busy relaying the interpretations of current events held by the intelligence community that she had failed to register Bush's promise, as he put it himself in a rare introspective insight, to "do what I have to do to be re-elected."

   WE ARE LEFT with a man who dares to invoke the name of Harry Truman, a president who despised everything that Bush and his family stand for. A man who, while making his home in Maine, rents a hotel suite in Houston and even buys a little vacant lot there to satisfy the law and fake being a resident of Texas, which has no state income tax. A man who poses as "the environmental president" while sabotaging the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in June, a fiasco in which the United States stood as the only anti-environment voice among the nations of the world. A man who, while at the helm of the CIA for 356 days, put Manuel Noriega back on the CIA's payroll after his predecessor, Stansfield Turner, had fired the Panamanian cocaine-runner. A man who suppressed evidence concerning the assassination on the streets of Washington of Orlando Letelier, former Chilean ambassador to the United States, thereby protecting his and the CIA' s suspected complicity. A man who talks of his "honorable family" but raises sons guilty of mulcting the taxpayers of millions of dollars, using the presidential name with corporate gangsters to enrich themselves, and generally possessing, in the memorable words of Molly Ivins, "the ethical sensitivity of a walnut."
   Kevin Phillips, the staunchly conservative political analyst, noted that "what you've got with Bush is absolutely the largest number of siblings and children involved in what looks like a never-ending hustle. There's never been anything like this. It strikes me this is likely to gather some significance as an issue."


NEIL BUSH (AND HIS FAMILY)III

   The barriers erected by the national news media to protect George Bush and his family from exposure are falling one by one. The mainstream press finally was forced in August to tell a portion of the story it has known for more than a decade about the Jennifer Fitzgerald/George Bush relationship. Then a television network on September 15 finally broke through the protective curtain erected around Neil Bush and his most recent scam.
     Just as Neil's Silverado Savings & Loan scandal was kept under wraps until after the 1988 election, the Bush campaign strategists hoped to keep the story of Neil's Apex Energy $2-million ripoff out of the major media until the November election was history. That hope was partially dashed when NBC's Dateline explored the Apex story that had been lying around for more than 21 months, waiting for the Associated Press to pick it up. One important fact Dateline left out is that Neil was able to get the taxpayers to pay his Apex $160,000 annual salary after his major investor contributed more than $100,000 to the presidential campaign of Neil's father.
   But as TSR pointed out in its premier issue, there's an infinitely more significant Neil Bush (and his family) story waiting for the orthodox press to report:
   On the afternoon of March 30, 1981, most of us were watching television replays of John W. Hinckley Jr. firing bullets that felled four men, including the president of the United States. Then on came NBC's John Chancellor, looking amazed, to read a United Press International report that Scott Hinckley, brother of the suspected assassin, was scheduled to have dinner the next night with Neil Bush, the son of the man who would become president if Ronald Reagan died of his wounds.

   BUT A PECULIAR THING happened. The dinner, "along with other scheduled family activities," as the Denver Rocky Mountain News put it, was canceled. And then the story vanished. It never was reported in many metropolitan newspapers, never again mentioned by the television news networks, never seriously reported by the three newsmagazines. While the AP engaged in extensive speculation for several days on a "possible Hinckley-Richardson conspiracy," based on flimsy evidence that turned out to have no basis whatsoever, it refused to report the remarkable friendship of Neil Bush and Scott Hinckley.
   There is much more to the Hinckley-Bush connection:

Neil Bush told Denver reporters that he met the brother of John Hinckley Jr. at a surprise party at the Bush home two months before the assassination attempt, which was approximately three weeks after the U.S. Department of Energy had begun a "routine audit" of the books of the Vanderbilt Energy Corporation, the Hinckley oil company.

On the morning of March 30, 1981, three representatives of the U.S. Department of Energy told Scott Hinckley, vice president for operations of Vanderbilt Energy, that auditors had uncovered evidence of pricing violations on crude oil sold by the company from 1977 through 1980. The auditors said the government was considering a penalty of $2 million. The meeting ended a little more than an hour before President Reagan was shot. Still unanswered is whether John Hinckley Jr. knew that an audit of his father's company was under way while he was living in the Hinckley home near Denver.

After Sharon Bush, Neil's wife, had told reporters that the Bush family knew the Hinckley family because of their contributions to the Bush campaign, both the Washington and Houston offices of Vice President Bush said they had checked the records and found "no evidence of contributions to Bush from the Hinckley family." The truth, however, is that John Hinckley Sr. had contributed to Bush as early as his 1970 campaign for the U.S. Senate.

John Hinckley Sr. was repeatedly characterized in the press as "a strong supporter of President Reagan" although there is no record of contributions to Reagan. To the contrary, the senior Hinckley and Scott Hinckley separately contributed to John Connally in late 1979 when Connally was leading the campaign to stop Reagan from gaining the 1980 presidential nomination.

Neil Bush lived throughout most of 1978 in Lubbock, where he served as campaign manager for his oldest brother, George W. Bush, in an unsuccessful race for a U.S. congressional seat and where young Hinckley also lived while attending Texas Tech University. Both Neil and George have admitted that it was "certainly conceivable" they had met Hinckley in Lubbock.

In addition to many other Bush-Hinckley connections, several "coincidences" involve the family of the late H.L. Hunt, a prominent name in all studies of the assassination of President Kennedy. Jack and Jo Ann Hinckley conned the press into portraying them as ordinary middle-class people, but in fact they were millionaires who once were neighbors of the Hunts in the most exclusive suburb of Dallas. The Hinckley children were graduated along with Hunt children from Highland Park High School, the most prestigious public school in the Dallas area. Especially pertinent was a spectacular trial of Nelson Bunker Hunt and William Herbert Hunt in Lubbock which could not have escaped the attention of young Hinckley while he was living there. None of the extensive Hinckley-Bush-Hunt ties have been explored in the national media.

    THESE ARE ONLY a few examples of unanswered questions surrounding the assassination attempt and the farcical "trial" conducted by the CIA' s favorite judge which did nothing to answer questions of legitimate concern.
    The newspaper and broadcast editors of both the Associated Press and United Press International voted the assassination attempt the "top headline story of 1981." It was regarded as a bigger story than the freeing of the 52 American hostages by Iran after 444 days of captivity , the assassination of Anwar Sadat and the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II.
   As such, in the interest of honest journalism and the search for justice, the record should be opened and subjected to the scrutiny it deserves.


SIDEBARS

George Bush's other brother, Jonathan J., the only principal in the New York firm of J. Bush & Co., was barred from trading with the general public for one year for violating Massachusetts registration laws, fined $30,000 and ordered to buy back stocks sold to clients during the preceding 43 months. A "dismayed" regulator told a reporter that "anyone who has been notified that he is violating state law and continues to do so certainly exemplifies a cavalier attitude."

Jeffrey Dahmer, a necrophiliac who killed and dismembered 15 young men, ate a heart and other body parts and had sex with corpses, is judged sane and found guilty. John Hinckley Jr., a smart brat with several excellent reasons for wanting George Bush to be president, is judged insane and found not guilty of attempting to assassinate the president of the United States. As Mike Royko summed up recent acts in the judicial theater of the absurd: "You go up to 100 normal people and ask them if some savings and loan swindler is nuts. They'll all say that he' s just a crook. Then you say: 'By the way, you mind if I eat your leg?' And they'll say: 'You must be nuts.' See? It's real simple."



Issue 4, February 1993
NEIL BUSH (AND HIS FAMILY)—IV

    No need to dwell on George Bush's unpardonable pardons, a Christmas Eve gift to the American people on a par with his other unethical decisions, accompanied by illegal activities, during the cynical and conspiratorial Reagan-Bush administrations.
     Just enough space to remind us how wrong President Ford was when he pardoned Richard Nixon and said that our long national nightmare was over. It came back—and it always will come back—if the press is not vigilant.
     TSR intends to continue reporting on the former first family, with emphasis on Neil Bush, who certainly is in need of the services of the federal correctional institutions. We'll also watch closely to see if federal justice closes in on his father, his two brothers and his two uncles.



Issue 6, Autumn 1993

N
EIL BUSH (AND HIS FAMILY), SEYMOUR HERSH
AND ME—V
     

    Back in 1983, I spent a contentious hour with Seymour Hersh in Missoula after he had met with one of my classes at the Montana School of Journalism.
    I tried to convince him that the national news media had kept hidden from the American people an extraordinary number of facts concerning the attempt by John Hinckley Jr. to assassinate President Reagan on the afternoon of March 30 two years earlier. I explained that I was researching and writing a book that, among much else, stressed the numerous connections between the Bush and Hinckley families that remained unreported by the national media. Most appalling, of course, was the lack of note taken of the dinner planned for the evening of March 31 by Neil Bush and Scott Hinckley. That's the brother of the assassin and the son of the new president of the United States if a bullet had rested an inch closer to the heart of Ronald Reagan.

    SEYMOUR HERSH, besides being a world-class investigative reporter, is famous for his arrogance. "Do you have a smoking gun?" he asked me three or four times. "Of course not," I repeatedly said. "How could I have a smoking gun? The smoking gun was so hot the FBI tossed it in the Potomac." I explained that I had a thoroughly documented account of how one of the biggest stories of our time had been turned into a coverup by the government with the aid of a compliant press. They had even succeeded in establishing as historical fact the patently ludicrous conclusion that Hinckley had tried to kill the president "to impress Jodie Foster."
    Our bulldog was unimpressed. "No smoking gun," he insisted, "no story." My last words to him, I recall distinctly, were "Sy, I think you'll remember our discussion of this day."

     SO YOU WILL understand, I trust, why Seymour's long article in the September 6, 1993, New Yorker brought a wry smile to the face of your obedient servant. There he was, telling the world that Neil Bush and his family, and
the people who consorted with the family, were outrageously corrupt. And Seymour, in his outstanding investigatory fashion, now was documenting the fact that after George Bush was lavished with gifts of appreciation for three days last April by the Kuwaitis, Neil and his brother Marvin, seeking the spoils of war, turned to lobbying Kuwaiti officials on behalf of American corporations.
    "They were there to make money," Hersh wrote. Neil, who had avoided prison for his Silverado Savings & Loan scam in Denver, had "started over as a businessman" with two Houston-based oil equipment firms that are eyeing Kuwaiti contracts. Marvin wheeled and dealed with the Ministry of Electricity and Water.
   The Bush boys were joined by Bush's White House Chief of Staff Sununu (on the payroll of Westinghouse, which wants a billion-dollar Kuwaiti defense contract), Bush's Secretary of State Baker (on behalf of Enron Corporation of Houston, seeking billions of dollars in contracts to rebuild war-damaged power plants), and retired Army Lt. Gen.Thomas Kelly of fond memory, who often delivered the Pentagon briefings during the war (on the Enron board of directors).
    They were so corrupt, Hersh contended, that even the Kuwaitis, accustomed to practicing the Bedouin culture of appreciation, were embarrassed. "Certain types of schemes and deals," he wrote, "are simply beyond the bounds of decency," especially "so soon after American men and women risked their lives there."
    Obviously, as TSR has been reporting since its first issue, nothing is beyond consideration by Neil Bush and his family. And that's precisely one of the things I was trying to tell Seymour Hersh ten years ago.          —nb



Issue 7, Winter 1993/1994

N
EIL BUSH (AND HIS FAMILY)—VI

    The establishment press continues to behave more like the supermarket sheets. While anonymous Arkansas state troopers with questionable backgrounds are quoted at length in our current news media, Neil Bush and his family continue on their merry, merry way:

The orthodox press covered up the story of a Navy document that offers evidence George Bush strafed Japanese sailors in a lifeboat when he was a Navy pilot in World War II.

Firmly documented in a new book, "Spider's Web," is that Bush agreed to the secret arming of Iraq before the Gulf War, about which he has lied consistently, and that he and Brent Scowcroft, his national security adviser, were "the driving force behind the efforts to keep Congress from gaining access to the Iraq-related documents" in 1991 and 1992, about which he has lied consistently. (The author of "Spider's Web" was provided armed guards by the New York district attorney's office in the final weeks of work on the book after two break-ins and numerous death threats.)

More evidence also surfaced that Bush knew about the secret arms-for-hostages deal made before the 1980 election, about which he has lied repeatedly. The national news media gave these stories little or no play.

L. William Seidman former chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, tells in his recently published memoirs that he timed the filing of a lawsuit to minimize embarrassment to Neil Bush (and Neil's father), and communicated with Barbara Bush about her son's S&L predicament—both of which charges at the time were repeatedly denied by the president, by his wife and by his aides. "Here was a neat little story for some investigative reporter," Seidman wrote, "and I could even write the headline: 'White House Tries to Influence Neil Bush Case."' Of course, nothing like that headline ever appeared.

More than 12,000 classified documents, finally released in Washington in November, detailed the political violence committed by right-wing death squads in El Salvador with the full knowledge of President Bush and his predecessor. [Also see the Dec. 6, 1993, issue of the New Yorker.] (This is additional evidence that the classification of documents, supposedly to keep our enemies from valuable intelligence, is far more often a device to keep the citizens of the United States from knowing what their government is doing.)

Ex-President Bush received $100,000 for an Amway convention speech, putting him almost in a class with ex-President Reagan for venality after leaving office.

Spy magazine looked at the record and asked the pertinent question in its January 1994 issue—"George Bush: Why Isn't This Man in Jail?"

British author Salman Rushdie, condemned to death by the Iranian government for his book, "The Satanic Verses," said his invitation to the White House and warm greeting from President Clinton was a political act that showed "the most dramatic and public affirmation" of the United States commitment to First Amendment freedoms. Two years ago, when Rushdie met with members of Congress, President Bush refused to see him.

Two of Neil Bush's brothers are candidates for governor, their records of unethical and illegal activities (TSR 1-6) ignored by the media in Florida, where Jeb is running, and Texas, where George W. seeks the nomination. Jeb established a claim for the Chutzpah Award of the 1990s by announcing that if elected he would abolish the state's department of education and—get this from him—build more prisons to fight crime. No wonder that "bush," as applied in the jargon of baseball, so perfectly describes the character of the former president and his family. Reporters covering the gubernatorial campaigns privately refer to the two candidates as "the shrubs," but publicly gloss over their records.



Issue 8, Spring 1994

N
EIL BUSH (AND HIS FAMILY)—VII

    At an April seminar on "Privacy and the Press" at the Montana School of Journalism, it was clear that journalists and academics in Montana are thoroughly embarrassed by the shallow coverage and sleazy tactics pursued by the national news media against President Clinton and his wife.
    The attack dogs have problems of their own. Newsweek belatedly and reluctantly apologized for a dreadful misquote it claimed resulted from a "misinterpretation" in a story attacking Hillary Clinton. Time published an old and misleading photo on its cover, grossly overplayed the non-story of an angry phone call by George Stephanopoulos that didn't come close to what the magazine suggested might be obstruction of justice, and drew fire for another Whitewater story that purported to be based on a leak.
    The Washington Post published a retraction noting that it had "omitted a key word" in a damning story about a White House counsel. The key word dropped was "not." The behavior of the Wall Street Journal's editorial page since the election of Clinton to the presidency borders on the lunatic and hit a new low with a piece titled "Hillary Rodham Boesky." The Journal, which had no problem defending the likes of Reagan, Bush, North, Meese, Sununu and other liars and crooks, makes the years that Vermont Connecticut Royster {real name, fake writer) was editorial page editor seem almost reasonable.
    Even if all of the accusations leveled against Bill and Hillary Clinton were true, it would be as the famous snowflake on the Potomac compared to the crimes and the violations of the Constitution described in the Iran-Contra report of Lawrence Walsh, which was given a quick one-day brushoff by the national news media.
    The sums charged against the Clintons are piffling compared to the scandalous larcenies committed by George Bush's sons that brought them illicit millions and cost taxpayers hundreds of millions [see TSR1-7]. Neil Bush and his cronies at Silverado screwed the taxpayers out of 20 times the entire $50 million loss of the S&L mired in the Whitewater case. Anthony Lewis rightly accounts for the press hysteria when he points out that "a sense of proportion is what has been lacking in much of the Whitewater coverage, along with a sense of history."
    Whatever may be true of the private lives of the president and his wife, the most important fact is that we finally have an administration trying to confront some of the problems and injustices that have been ignored or glossed over. Some of us are old enough to remember the vitriolic attacks and unremitting hatred directed at Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. The Clintons stir up similar passions among defenders of the status quo, the bigots, the poorly informed and those in the press who should know better but obviously don't.
    Meanwhile, two Bush sons continue to run for governor unscathed by the press, and Ollie North, now a multimillionaire and hardly touched by the media considering the enormity of his felonies, rolls toward the United States Senate.
    Also note how the conspiracy freaks who claim that Vincent Foster was murdered continue to get chunks of space and air on the flimsiest of evidence. This is in contrast to the continuing refusal of newspapers, broadcasters, wire services and news magazines to investigate evidence, including the numerous connections of Neil Bush and his family to John Hinckley and his family, related to the shooting that narrowly failed to elevate George Bush to the presidency.



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