Poppy Bush's Seed and Bitter Harvest: Half Truths / History (Part 2)

Because the corporate-owned media have published only partial truths regarding life of the late President George H.W. Bush the Justice Integrity Project is providing what's most important about the rest of the story. The late president, who died on Nov. 30, is shown below left in an official photo used during his term from 1989 to 1993.

The material in this series is excerpted from this reporter's book Presidential Puppetry: Obama, Romney and Their Masters (2015 updated edition).

george hw bush HRPresidential Puppetry charted the secret ties of recent presidents to the nation's elite private sector power structure (including major media organizations), which sometimes work collaboratively with the CIA and FBI operational arms.

Presidential Puppety: Obama, Romney and Their MastesOne of the book's central findings was to document via more than 1,100 endnotes that all recent presidents between President Jimmy Carter and Donald Trump established covert ties to the CIA or FBI before they entered politics.

These professional ties helped enable the chosen aspirants to establish support for their political careers in ways that most of their political competitors and the public would never know, thus undermining the voting process (and implicating the media in a failure to inform).

The book included three chapters about the Bush family. The one about the late president, the focus of this series, was "George H.W. Bush: Poppy's Seed and Bitter Harvest," which draws on the late president's nickname "Poppy."

Immediately before that in Presidential Puppetry is a chapter about Poppy's father, "Prescott Bush: Roots of the Bushes," describing Prescott Bush's path prescott bush yalefrom the Yale's Skull and Bones Society to helping finance Hitler's chief financier, Fritz Thyssen.

Prescott (shown during his college years at Yale) avoided wide exposure for his Hitler ties and won a U.S. Senate seat from Conncticut and becoming one of President Eisenhower's closest friends in Washington. The two are shown together in the White House Oval office, with Prescott at right.

The other Presidential Puppetry chapter picks up from the series below and describes the more recent Bush president, "George W. Bush: Shameless, Heartless and Selected — Not Elected."

From the Chapter: 'George H.W. Bush: Poppy's Seed and Bitter Harvest' (Part 2)

The series, from the Justice Integrity Project:george hw bush nydaily 12 1 18 cover death

  • Introduction and News Clippings
  • Poppy's Progress (This column)
  • Texas Politics, Bush-Style
  • Deep In the Heart of Washington Intrigue
  • Refueling In Houston
  • White House Years and Fears
  • Iran-Contra
  • Deregulation
  • Iraq War
  • The Rest of the Story
  • Poppy’s Progress

Poppy's Progress

george hw bush family history

George H. W. Bush was born in 1924, and prepped in Massachusetts at Phillips Academy, often known simply as “Andover,” the town where it was founded in 1788. Bush acquired the nickname “Poppy” and by all accounts graduated as a popular, undistinguished student.

His roommate and lifelong friend, Edward Hooker, was the stepson of Dimitri von Mohrenschildt, descendant of an oil-rich Russian family that was allied with the Rockefellers and george de mohrenschildt deskHarrimans at high levels of international diplomacy. Dimitri’s brother, George, also was a friend of Poppy.

George de Mohrenschildt, left, closely mentored Lee Harvey Oswald for six months ending the April before the 1963 assassination of President Kennedy. The relationship between the two Georges intrigued some researchers after Kennedy’s death, in part because of evidence of CIA ties for both.

After Pearl Harbor, George H. W. Bush postponed college and enlisted in the Navy on his eighteenth birthday in 1942. He bypassed the Navy’s normal requirement of two years of college for those hoping to become aviators. In the Pacific war zone in 1944, he piloted a Grumman Avenger that was bombing the Japanese-held island of Chichi Jima. Japanese antiaircraft flak hit his three-man plane. He is shown at right in a photo from that period.

Rather than attempt a water landing, Bush bailed out. His two crewmates died. Submariners on U.S.S. Finback rescued him from the water.

Bush, shown in a 1944 photo in the cockpit, emerged a hero with a Distinguished Flying Cross Award. He and those writing flattering accounts of the episode repeatedly claimed valor for him, thereby advancing his political career.

george hw bush cropped 1944 pilotFar less visibly, critics disputed Bush’s claim that he could not have saved his crew. In 1988, a rear gunner on a plane directly ahead of Bush’s told the New York Post that Bush had been lying about the extent of damage to his plane before he bailed, and was not a hero.

The controversy paralleled similar ones regarding the war records of Prescott Bush and George W. Bush, including the latter’s disappearance from duty during the Vietnam War and his “Mission Accomplished” self-promotion during the Iraq War.

Thus, three generations of Bushes were considered war heroes under dubious circumstances, and went on to successful political and business careers.

In 1945, George married Barbara Pierce, daughter of Marvin Pierce. Marvin would rise to the top at McCall’s, and become publisher of several other popular women’s magazines. After marriage, Barbara dropped out of Smith College.

George was following the family tradition of attending Yale and being tapped for Skull and Bones. Poppy, right, captained an outstanding Yale baseball team. George Herbert Walker Jr., “Uncle Herbie” and a Class of ’27 Bonesman, attended every Bush game his final year. The adoring uncle on Bush’s mother’s side ran an investment company that funded Latin American and Caribbean sugar-related industries.

A star baseball player, Bush graduated in 1948 under a special program whereby veterans could receive a degree in less than three years. He received a Phi Beta Kappa key. Researchers say records documenting the achievement have never been available, much like the secrecy that surrounds Barack Obama’s transcripts.

george h w bush yale cropped baseballSoon after graduation, George and Barbara moved to Texas. The attractive young couple landed in the western part of the state, launched a family, and overcame the same kind of adversities facing many fellow veterans and their wives.

The conventional wisdom is that Poppy’s family reaped the benefits from risk taking, hard work, and impressive decision making. That’s true as far as it goes, but their success could not have occurred without wealthy family friends such as George Herbert “Bert” Walker (who lived from 1874 to 1953) and his son George Herbert Walker Jr. (1905 to 1977), as well as sinister decision making that has shaped our world for the worse via assassination, war, and oppression.

With political and financial power shifting west in postwar America, the Rockefeller, Morgan, and Harriman-level dynasties and their lieutenants at the Bush level could not reasonably continue their financial and political dominance if they remained heavily concentrated in the New York City-Boston financial corridor.

Rather sensibly, Poppy and Barbara established themselves in the oil boom region of Odessa-Midland.

In this, they moved in advance of, for example, the Rockefellers, whose comparable generation commanded powerful positions in banking, foundations, and the national government. Nelson become New York’s governor, serving four terms beginning in 1959. His brother, Winthrop, almost single-handedly created a viable Republican Party in Arkansas as governor. Their nephew, Jay ascended to his longtime position until 2015 as the senior U.S. senator for West Virginia and the top Democrat on the Senate Energy and Commerce Committee.

In American Dynasty, mainstream biographer Kevin Phillips highlights evidence pointing to George Bush CIA connections while he was at Yale in the late 1940s, during the agency’s initial stage of formation. Phillips and other biographers suggest that early CIA connections over coming years proved useful in many ways, including access to high-level contacts, their research data, and financial support.

CIA LogoBush also had family connections that were instrumental in persuading their business cronies to help him get his start in Texas with his first job, and then fund treasure chests for his business and political ventures.

Among initial job offers for the recent grad was one from Wall Street legend Ray Kravis, who pioneered complex strategies whereby energy firms could reduce their taxes. Kravis, father of current Wall Street buyout king Henry Kravis, became part of the George Bush Texas business circle in the 1950s.

George’s work began modestly enough after Yale with jobs at Dresser Industries. This was a prominent manufacturer of oil field equipment reorganized by Harriman beginning in 1928. The firm installed Bonesman and Prescott Bush contemporary Neil Mallon as president and CEO. Bush, who would name a son in Neil’s honor, worked at Dresser until 1951.

One job was as a “landman” persuading land-owners to sell oil-rights. In sales, most deals involve only a few dollars. By contrast, a successful landman leverages his employer’s expert estimates about sub-surface deposits and drives a tough bargain with the landowner, many of them novices making a once-in-a-lifetime decision. It’s excellent training for a child of privilege who needs to get serious about making money.

In 1951, Bush and fellow Yale-educated landman John Overbey formed a company to buy oil rights on a large scale.

Eugene MeyerFunding came from, among others, Bert Walker, Prescott Bush, and Washington Post owner and former World Bank President Eugene Meyer, who had entrusted Brown Brothers Harriman with his personal investment portfolio. Meyer, right, was the father of Katharine Graham, whose husband Philip Graham was another Bush-Overbey investor. The Meyer-Graham descendants would control the Washington Post and its affiliated businesses until the paper’s sale in mid-2013 to Amazon.com founder Jeffrey Bezos.

Prescott Bush Eisenhower HRIn the 1950s, as now, the government, the financial community, the media, and the rest of the private sector engaged in confidential plans and struggles of great importance and scant disclosure.

Averell Harriman, a close friend of the Graham family, wrote a friend in government, “I have not supported Newsweek for 10 years through its grave difficulties to allow our hired men to use the magazine to express their narrow, uninformed or insidious ideas.” Harriman called the journalists “hired men” with the easy contempt that came naturally to the son of a railroad tycoon, even one who occasionally had to find public support for his visionary plans.

To systematize such thinking in a core group, the political elite and wealthiest CEOs of North America and Europe founded an annual secret conference.

Lord Rothschild and Laurence Rockefeller hand-picked the 100 invitees, who included royalty from the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. An investigative history of the Bilderberg Group, as it came to be called, says of its media-heavy membership: The ideas and policies that come out of the Bilderberg annual meetings are used to generate news in the leading periodicals and news groups of the world. The point is to make the prevalent opinions of the Bilderbergs so appealing that they become public policy and to pressure world leaders into submitting to the ‘needs of the Masters of the Universe.’

The Bilderberg Group has about 80 core members at any one time, with 50 others invited on occasion to locales kept secret even though many are owners or top columnists of the West’s most prominent news organizations. The annual meetings provide a rare occasion for crowned heads of Europe to meet formally with other Western European and American leaders.

Bilderberg gatherings are reputed to have generated momentum for such concepts as the Common Market, Euro, and North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The Bilderberg Group’s membership overlaps with the slightly larger Trilateral Commission and North American Union, and the larger and older Council on Foreign Relations.

The latter generations of the Bush family, particularly George W. Bush, do not appear to have been especially active as leaders. This distance may reflect a sense of Southwestern-style independence from the East Coast-Rockefeller-Rothschild roots of the organizations. Yet all presidential administrations draw heavily from the groups, including almost all secretaries of war/defense, other top national security advisors, and military leaders.

In 1953, Poppy Bush co-founded Zapata Petroleum in order to obtain and develop leases. The next year, Bush founded an affiliate, Zapata Offshore, which he led as president to exploit oil concessions that the Eisenhower administration started making available in the Gulf of Mexico. Senator Prescott Bush was by then a close friend and golfing partner of President Eisenhower, whose aides opened the Gulf for such development as production began to decline at many Texas oilfields. Investors included the usual circle of Bush-Walker and Harriman business cronies.

One Zapata Offshore co-founder and officer, Thomas J. Devine, was a former CIA officer who would later return to the agency in the late 1960s. Other founding investors or their children would resurface prominently in the 1980s on Wall Street as the Reagan-Bush administration unleashed speculative fever upon the nation. Zapata Offshore’s leadership, funding, and mission raised suspicions that the company was a CIA front.

allen dulles HRNational Review founding Editor William F. Buckley, a Bonesman and heir to a Texas-Mexico oil fortune, told his readers in 2005 that he became a covert CIA asset shortly after his 1951 Yale graduation. The assignment in Mexico was so secret that Buckley did not even initially tell his wife. As late as 2013, Devine’s name surfaced on a confidential list of Council on Foreign Relations members interested in intelligence.

Zapata Offshore was well-positioned commercially to help the major “Seven Sister” companies extract oil from off-shore sites, and also to act as an intelligence gatherer whose offshore work justified travel to a number of Caribbean locales of keen interest to the CIA, including Cuba. The Dulles Brothers [CIA Director Allen Dulles, above right, and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles] were ramping up anti-communist and pro-business activity in the region. This included the CIA-fostered overthrow of Prime Minister Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala.

Separately, the CIA closely monitored Cuba’s Castro-led rebels. The United States initially supported the rebels in their fight against the corrupt incumbent regime. Zapata helped anti-Castro rebels prepare for the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961, and later provided training and money-laundering for Watergate operatives. “Zapata,” in fact, was the CIA’s secret code name for the Bay of Pigs invasion, according to declassified documents, a remarkable coincidence conveniently overlooked by the news media through generations of Bush family political candidacies.

george h w bush kennedy connection tsbThere were many mutual benefits between the Zapata founders and the larger intelligence community of using of offshore oil drilling as a cover. This is known as “non-official cover,” abbreviated as “NOC,” which means that an operative assumes a covert role in an organization without any obvious tie to government. For one thing, the work allowed Zapata teams to roam through the Caribbean (including close to Cuba) and elsewhere in Latin America more freely than obvious government personnel or anti-Castro rebels could do.

Offshore exploration also inevitably involves (and benefits from) confidential mapping operations of keen interest to intelligence services, as well as liaison with top international players in banking, energy, politics, and the news media they control or influence.

One of the more controversial aspects of the Bush life story involves suspicions that he was present and otherwise involved in the assassination of President Kennedy on November 22, 1963.

A photo, widely displayed on the Internet, shows a man closely resembling Bush leaning against the Texas Book Depository building shortly after the assassination. [The Justice Integrity Project takes no position on whether the man in the photo was Bush. The question is explored at length in George Bush: The Unaauthorized Biography by Webster G. Tarpley and Anton Chaitkin.]

Bush has famously said he could not remember where he was on that day of infamy, and then denied being in Dallas after the shooting. His wife later provided an alibi. George de Mohrenschildt, the former Bush family friend who became Oswald’s mentor, described Oswald as a “patsy” in an unpublished book before being found dead of a gunshot wound.

executive action posterBut any such suspicions are so explosive that few in the conventional media dare mention them. Resolving lingering mysteries about the Kennedy assassination is beyond the scope of this book. The number of suspects and motives is vast, with one set of Warren Commission evidence filling 26 volumes.

My late friend Fred J. Cook authored a pioneering critique of the Commission’s findings. The thoughtful actor Robert Ryan, father of a lifelong friend of mine, starred in Executive Action, which challenged the Commission Report.

Since then hundreds of books have presented evidence against vital elements of the official explanation blaming Oswald as a lone, leftist assassin firing from the president’s rear. Among authors risking their professional reputations to argue that the assassination was part of a coup have been retired Air Force Colonel Fletcher Prouty, chief of special operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Kennedy years, and Dr. Cyril Wecht, the Pittsburgh-based coroner, medical school professor, author, and consultant.

“The murder of a president was traumatic enough,” Prouty wrote in 1996, “but the course of events that followed and that affected the welfare of this country and the world since that time has, in many ways, been tragic.”

I discovered Prouty’s book late in this research. Yet it seemed as if he were speaking to me from beyond the grave when I read that he named names of those angered by Kennedy’s increasing disapproval of Cold War crusades and schemers.

In 1962, the president fired CIA Director Allen Dulles, who later became by far the most influential member of the Warren Commission because of his expertise and freedom to work while most other commission members fulfilled official duties in other major posts. Also, Kennedy intended to draw down U.S. troops in Vietnam.

fletcher prouty portraitAs noted earlier in this book, Prouty, , below right, would have known also of the long-classified “Operation Northwoods” plan by the Joint Chiefs to concoct a deadly false-flag pretext for the United States to invade Cuba. Summing up, Prouty wrote these chilling words regarding JFK’s death:

That assassination has demonstrated that most of the major events of world significance are masterfully planned and orchestrated by an elite coterie of enormously powerful people who are not of one nation, one ethnic group, or one overridingly important business group. They are a power unto themselves for whom these others work. Neither is this power elite of recent origin. Its roots go deep into the past.

Questions have reverberated additionally about conventional wisdom regarding the assassinations of Robert F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr., and the plane crash death of conservative Congressman Larry McDonald of Georgia. Some have also questioned official explanations of the assassination attempts against conservatives Ronald Reagan and George Wallace. The best course is for all of us to remain alert to a wide array of possibilities.


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Other George H. W. Bush Series Segments In This Series

Poppy's Seed and Bitter Harvest: Half Truths and History (Part 1)

  • Introduction and Recent News Clippings On Death and Legacy of George H. W. Bush

Poppy's Seed and Bitter Harvest: Half Truths and History (Part 2)

  • Poppy's Progress (Published on Dec. 11)

Poppy's Seed and Bitter Harvest: Half Truths and History (Part 3) (This column, Published on Dec. 13)

  • Texas Politics, Bush-Style
  • Deep In the Heart of Washington Intrigue
  • Refueling in Houston
  • White House Years and Fears
  • Iran-Contra

Poppy's Seed and Bitter Harvest: Half Truths and History (Part 4) (Dec. 14)

  • Deregulation
  • Iraq War
  • The Rest of the Story