By Russ Baker and Jonathan Z. Larsen | The Real News ProjectJanuary 8, 2007
Bush has long denied allegations that he had connections to the intelligence community prior to 1976, when he became Central Intelligence Agency director under President Gerald Ford. At the time, he described his appointment as a 'real shocker.'
But the freshly uncovered memos contend that Bush maintained a close personal and business relationship for decades with a
According to a
"Their joint activities culminated in the establishment of Zapata Oil," the memo reads. In fact, early Zapata corporate filings do not seem to reflect Devine's role in the company, suggesting that it may have been covert. Yet other documents do show Thomas Devine on the board of an affiliated Bush company, Zapata Offshore, in January, 1965, more than a year after he had resumed work for the spy agency.
It was while Devine was in his new
While the elder Bush was in
The new revelation about George H.W. Bush's
Indeed, Zapata's annual reports portray a bewildering range of global activities, in the Mideast, Asia and the Caribbean (including off Cuba) that seem outsized for the company's modest bottom line. In his autobiography, Bush declares that "I'd come to the
Previously disclosed FBI files include a memo from bureau director J. Edgar
When Nation magazine contributor Joseph McBride first uncovered this document in 1988, George Herbert Walker Bush, then vice president and seeking the presidency, insisted through a spokesman that he was not the man mentioned in the memo: "I was in
When McBride approached the
It was perhaps to help lay to rest the larger matter of the elder Bush's past associations that the former president went out of his way during his recent eulogy for President Ford to sing the praises of the Warren Commission Report as the final authority on those days.
"After a deluded gunman assassinated President Kennedy, our nation turned to Gerald Ford and a select handful of others to make sense of that madness. And a conspiracy theorist can say what they will, but the Warren Commission report will always have the final definitive say on this tragic matter. Why? Because Gerry Ford put his name on it and Gerry Ford's word was always good."
In fact, Ford's role on the Warren Commission is seen by many experts as a decisive factor in his rise to the top. As a Commission member, Ford altered its report in a significant way. As the Associated Press reported in 1997, "Thirty-three years ago, Gerald R. Ford took pen in hand and changed - ever so slightly - the Warren Commission's key sentence on the place where a bullet entered John F. Kennedy's body when he was killed in
This modification played a seminal role in ending talk of a larger conspiracy to kill the president. Knowledge of Ford's alteration has encouraged theorists to scrutinize the constellation of other figures who might have had a motivation to cover up the affair.
Meanwhile, there is much more to learn about George H. W. Bush's friend, Thomas Devine. The newly surfaced memos explain that Devine, from 1963 on, had authority from the agency to operate under commercial cover as part of an agency project code-named WUBRINY.
Devine at that time was employed with the Wall Street boutique Train, Cabot and Associates, described in the memos as an "investment banking firm which houses and manages the [
George H.W. Bush's own ties are amplified in the 1975
The 1975 memo notes that, through his relationship with Devine, "Mr George Bush [the
The Bush documents, part of a batch of 300,000 records the
Click the following to view original supporting documents:   
Russ Baker, founder of the Real News Project, and Jonathan Z. Larsen, Real News editorial board member, are at work on a book about George W. Bush and the Bush clan, due out later this year. They may be reached at: