CIA Helped Bush Senior In Oil Venture

Newly released internal CIA documents assert that former president George Herbert Walker Bush’s oil company emerged from a 1950’s collaboration with a covert CIA officer.

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 CIA staff employee who, according to those CIA documents, was instrumental in the establishment of Bush’s oil venture, Zapata, in the early 1950s, and who would later accompany Bush to Vietnam as a “cleared and witting commercial asset” of the agency.

According to a CIA internal memo dated November 29, 1975, Bush’s original oil company, Zapata Petroleum, began in 1953 through joint efforts with Thomas J. Devine, a CIA staffer who had resigned his agency position that same year to go into private business. The ’75 memo describes Devine as an “oil wild-catting associate of Mr. Bush.” The memo is attached to an earlier memo written in 1968, which lays out how Devine resumed work for the secret agency under commercial cover beginning in 1963.

“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 CIA capacity as a commercial cover officer that he accompanied Bush to Vietnam the day after Christmas in 1967, remaining in the country with the newly elected congressman from Texas until January 11, 1968. Whatever information the duo was seeking, they left just in the nick of time. Only three weeks after the two men departed Saigon, the North Vietnamese and their Communist allies launched the Tet offensive with seventy thousand troops pre-positioned in more than 100 cities and towns.

While the elder Bush was in Vietnam with Devine, George W. Bush was making contact with representatives of the Texas Air National Guard, using his father’s connections to join up with an elite, Houston-based Guard unit – thus avoiding overseas combat service in a war that the Bushes strongly supported.

The new revelation about George H.W. Bush’s CIA friend and fellow Zapata Offshore board member will surely fuel further speculation that Bush himself had his own associations with the agency.

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 CIA with some general knowledge of how it operated’ and that his ‘overseas contacts as a businessman’ justified President Nixon’s appointing him as UN ambassador, a decision that at the time was highly controversial.

Previously disclosed FBI files include a memo from bureau director J. Edgar Hoover, noting that his organization had given a briefing to two men in the intelligence community on November 23, 1963, the day after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The memo refers to one as “Mr. George Bush of the Central Intelligence Agency” and the other as “Captain William Edwards of the Defense Intelligence Agency.”

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 Houston, Texas, at the time and involved in the independent oil drilling business. And I was running for the Senate in late ’63. I don’t have any idea of what he’s talking about.” The spokesman added, “Must be another George Bush.”

When McBride approached the CIA at that time, it initially invoked a policy of neither admitting nor denying anyone’s involvement with the agency. But it soon took the unusual step of asserting that the correct individual was a George William Bush, a one-time Virginia staffer whom the agency claimed it could no longer locate. But that George Bush, discovered in his office in the Social Security Administration by McBride, noted that he was a low-ranked coast and landing-beach analyst and that he most certainly never received such an FBI briefing.

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 Dallas. The effect of Ford’s change was to strengthen the commission’s conclusion that a single bullet passed through Kennedy and severely wounded Texas Gov. John Connally – a crucial element in its finding that Lee Harvey Oswald was the sole gunman.”

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 [CIA] proprietary corporation WUSALINE.” These nautical names – ‘Saline’ and ‘Briny’ – or, for the Bay of Pigs invasion ‘Wave’ – are CIA cryptonyms for the programs and companies involved.

George H.W. Bush’s own ties are amplified in the 1975 CIA memo, dated November 29, which makes it clear that he had knowledge of CIA operations prior to being named the new director of the CIA in the fall of that year.

The 1975 memo notes that, through his relationship with Devine, “Mr George Bush [the CIA director-designate] has prior knowledge of the now terminated project WUBRINY/LPDICTUM which was involved in proprietary commercial operations in Europe.”

The Bush documents, part of a batch of 300,000 records the CIA provided to the House Select Committee on Assassinations, were publicly released in 1998 as the result of a lawsuit, donated to a foundation, scanned into a database – and only just noticed by an independent researcher.

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  • sonhonnax Jacques-Pierre

    qui êtes vous?

  • sonhonnax Jacques-Pierre

    nous avons besoin de 1 million de dollars pour une organisation “antidestruction”

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  • artforjustice

    Who then was William Edwards (of the DIA)?

  • Edith Richman

    I read “Family Dynasty, The Bush Family” by Russ Baker and I have no doubt that the CIA , a secret organization, unchecked and unobserved operates on behalf of the Bush family along with the other elites using the media to spread their propaganda protecting them from countries and people that do not further their ideology. Alas!

    The way the media operates today, this information will never reach the people. However U.S. propaganda does dumb us out, some of us anyway.

    All governments are run by liars nothing they say should be believed. I. F. Stone

    Let’s look at the WikiLeaks, the Pentagon and the government are in desparate straits to nab Julien Assage. The one good thing is that WikiLeak’s information went around the world. U.S. trying to strong-arm other countries, as usual, to help them abrehend WikiLeaks. We need more leakers.

    No Illusions,

  • 1776

    Dear Russ,

    I am currently reading your book “Family of Secrets” — excellent, thank you.

    Have you any knowledge of the Hinkley – Bush connection?

    Texas Lt. Governor Hobby’s paper (the defunct Houston Post) revealed a day after Reagan’s assassination attempt, that Neil Bush was scheduled to dine with the shooter’s brother the next evening.

    I think it was a coup attempt.

    I would be fascinated to see your perspective on this overlooked piece of history. A short note would suffice, but a full article would be terrific!


  • ginger

    Just finished Family of Secrets.. Excellent. I wish you would be invited on ALL the talk shows

  • http://N/A Doug

    When the truth reveals itself the Bush Dynasty will be known as the most vile traitors since the Dulles Brothers. Every evil event from (Bay of Pigs) Kennedy -RFK, MLK, OKC, WTC I and II are all outgrowths of Bush CIA (rogues) connections whether Arabs as of late or the Cubans in his earlier murders.

  • Abby

    the genetic defect of the Bush family is so well documented, but won’t save us from Jeb’s ambitions. 34% of
    voters appear to be unable to reason, and so willing to be manipulated.

  • Anonymous

    I thought one of the worst things possible known by humanity would be Al Qaeda blowing up nuclear reactors. When a tsunami destroys 6 nuclear reactors no big deal; remember the 9/11 commission report Al Qaeda choose an attack on Washington DC over nuclear reactors. Al Qaeda’s logic less security flying over Washington DC then nuclear reactors that alone discredits Al Qaeda.

    I remember the first time I heard Barrack Obama name it was after the speech at the 2004 Democratic convention even fux news praised him. He was fast tracked into the white house by the shadow government.

    I have been doing a little math and you might want check this out.

    Use this as your base line: Mar 13, 1986
    Estimated proven reserves, in billions of barrels, as of Jan. 1, 1986
    Saudi Arabia. . . 168.8 Kuwait . . . 89.8 Iran . . . 47.9 Iraq . . . 44.1 United Arab Emirates . . . 32.9 Venezuela . . . 25.6 Libya . . . 21.3 Nigeria . . . 16.6 Algeria . . . 8.8 Indonesia . . . 8.5

    In 2006 let’s look at these same countries oil reserves:

    Saudi Arabia..267 billion bbl Kuwait..104 (some sources say 48 billion – the difference is 5% of world reserves) Iran..132 Iraq..115 UAE.. 98 Venezuela.. 79 Libya.. 39 Nigeria.. 36 Algeria..12 Indonesia.. 4

    Estimated Oil reserves increases up from March 13, 1986 – 2006 by %

    Saudi Arabia..37% Kuwait..15% Iran..63% Iraq..62% UAE..66% Venezuela..68%
    Libya..47% Nigeria..55% Algeria..33%

    Indonesia is the only country that has decreased in their estimated oil reserves by

    Report by: Robert L. Hirsch Titled ”The Inevitable Peaking of World Oil Production”

    According to this report it totally contradicts the pervious information there is absolutely no evidence of the dramatic oil reserves increase from 1986 to 2006. It indicates the complete opposite.

    Page 1 “last super giant fields were found in the 1960’s” on page 4 of this report there is a 60 year bar graph from 1940 – 2000 that breaks down annual oil consumption versus new oil field discovers. Link below:…Production.pdf

    This link below states the obvious that there have never been any controls built into the oil industry it is strictly run by estimation.

    • reidh

      There is a massive super field right in the middle of the Gulf of mexico that was found (in the early 80’s) and (by lease and license) controlled by Phillips-Royal Dutch-Shell Oil Co. but does not NOW show up in any search on the net.

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  • reidh

    So Bush Senior got into the “Taxes” Oil Game just as a cover for his CIA activities, and made a bundle out of it to boot? Cool, but I still don’t like him or his son(s) and especially Dick Cheney.

  • Tim

    jfk murder empowered carried out by criminal elements of the U.S. government. Resulting in 50 years of selected presidents to further they’re evil agenda of a new world order, culminating in the 911 attacks.  Ask who has gained the most from this hidden agenda? The puppet masters – AKA – banking elite   Rothchild, Rockefellers, all hidden in plane view. The the re-education fema camps are built and waiting for the arrival of as many as 25 million of the most vocal Americans to be brought under the control of the satanic club that is set the take over in 2012. Wake up America we should be marching on Washington in millions demanding these treason committing bastards be put to death.  Instead the ruling elite use our military to order drone murders  with no trial, all in done in our name.

  • Rougek62

    Great info. I have been reading, ‘researching’ the bush cabal off and on for about 2 yrs.. your info is of high value. I have yet to read the book, but  found it at Amazon and plan on purchasing it tomarrow morning.

    Will we ever know it all?  And if we do, will the American Public ever know? doubtful.. they are basically, at this point, deaf, dumb, and blinded by the infortaiment fed to them daily.  :(

    I firmly support the Occupywallstreet movement. Maybe this will be  a wake up call for America. It surely needs one before this facist takeover becomes complete.  I hope I am gone before that happens, if indeed it does.  If not, I am making plans to leave my home country that I love so .

  • larry nichols

    An excellent book entitled “Compromised” by Terry Reed is another insight into Bush Senior during Iran Contra

  • matthewcarmody

    Bay of Pigs by Manuel Artime and Haynes Johnson reported that an oilman from Texas donated two ships to the anti-Castro CIA operation. Both ships were registered in Houston. The ships’ names were Zapata and Barbara.
    Any guesses on who the mystery donor was?

    • Jim Lusher

      Zapata oil was the company and the ships where named the houston and the barbra j witch was the name on bushes plane that he flew in ww2

    • david letterman

      There were 3 ships: Houston, Barbara, and Zapata. Bush was a a CIA operative during Bay of Pigs.

  • Lisa Goodman

    Mr. Russ Baker.
    I write you
    about some intriguing material I have in my possession written by a
    key player in the George Wallace campaign of 1972.

    These documents were written by Seymore
    Trammell (a close aid and confidant, #1 campaign adviser to Governor Wallace) and
    includes memos of then Attorney General John Mitchell (and other
    primary sources) which suggests George Bush Sr. dispatched George
    Bush Jr. as an undercover operative (CIA) to spy on the Wallace campaign.
    The information contained in these documents shows both Bush Sr. and
    Bush Jr were integral in developing the assassination attempt that
    was made on Governor Wallace’s life in 1972. and which Trammell
    believes was orchestrated by the Nixon administration.

  • elvis

    evil Bush has Kennedy blood on his hands

  • Peter Jennings

    The assasination of JFK? look no further. This guy is a parasite who has spawned a whole family of them. George W was all for war a few years ago but ran like a chichenshit when it was his turn. He also ran his first company, given by daddy, into the ground and then left. What a family.

    Leave these to fester and america is truely done for.

    • President Donald Trump

      Be ready we are going to get Jeb or Daddy Bush’s adopted daughter In-Law Hillary

  • David Kaiser

    I am the author of The Road to Dallas: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy, among other books.
    Regarding the George Bush of the CIA referred to in the FBI memo post-assassination, there’s no question that it was the other man. There was no problem locating him when the memo was released and he filed an affidavit stating that he was the watch officer for the CIA at that time. He confirmed this to me personally when I located him and asked him about it. GHWB may indeed have had some CIA connections before 1975, but he did not receive that briefing.

    • david letterman

      Are you kidding??? My Lord you must be on the Bush payroll or completely incompetent. George Bush 1 was definitely in the CIA during the Bay of Pigs fiasco. Three of the boats used in the operation were Zapata (his company), Barbara (his wife), and Houston (hometown). George Bush i is probably the last man alive with nearly full knowledge of the JFK assassination, as many of his CIA/Yale/Skull and Bones friends were involved. As for the Warren Commission, it was one giant cesspool of lies. A complete inside job engineered by LBJ, the ringmaster of the coup.

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