Wednesday, April 29, 2009
“If the American people knew what we have done, they would string us up from the lamp posts.” George H. W. Bush
Poppy, the family nickname for our 41st president, has lived quite a full life. From naval aviator in WWII to Texas oil baron, CIA operative, Congressman, Ambassador to the UN, CIA Director, Vice President and finally, President of the United States. He was also the only person living in America at the time of the Kennedy assassination that claims not to know where he was on that day. But even if he does not recall where he was he certainly worked hard enough to leave a paper trail for himself on November 22, 1963.
By the fall of 1963 Poppy was running for Senate. The evening of November 21, Bush was speaking at the AAODC convention at the Sheraton hotel in Dallas. On the morning of 22nd Poppy and wife Barbara flew out on a private plane. Coincidentally, Richard Nixon was in the town the day before speaking at a bottler’s convention and also flew out the same morning.
At 12:30 the assassination took place. In the memo written by SA Graham Kitchel, at 1:45 PM the FBI received a call from George Bush in Tyler, reporting a rumor he had heard about a GOP campaign volunteer possibly making threats against President Kennedy’s life. The suspect in question was James Parrot who lived in Houston. Bush also listed two other campaign staffers, Mrs. Fawley and Arline Smith as possibly knowing more about the threats. (They did not.) However, Poppy never stated he had been in Dallas the night before and morning of, the assassination. He also said he would be in Dallas and staying at the Sheraton if they needed any more information. Bush did fly to Dallas on the 22nd but did not stay in at the hotel and in fact, took a commercial flight back to Houston.
Here, George Bush establishes a paper trail for himself of being in Tyler, Texas just moments after the shooting of the President. But interesting enough, he also gives the suspect an alibi as well.
The FBI investigated James Parrot and found him to be innocent and completely harmless. He had apparently made no such threats against the President or anyone else. Parrot lived at home with his mother. He had been discharged from the air force on psychological grounds and had a seventh grade education. He was self-employed as a sign painter. And importantly, he had two alibis—one was from his mother. She said he was home at the time of the shooting.
But here is the kicker—Parrot’s second alibi comes from Bush campaign member Kearney Reynolds. It seems at the time Poppy was making his call to the FBI to report Parrot, Reynolds was sent to Parrot’s house to tell him of the assassination and request a sign to be made for the campaign. So not only does George Bush create an alibi for himself but gives one to the man he is fingering as a suspect by using with one of his own associates!
James Parrot was given a soft landing. He never knows who accused him till years later. He even worked as a volunteer on Bush’s 1992 presidential campaign not knowing the full extent of what happened. Bush claims to have never known Parrot but he would have to know more than he let on to send Reynolds to the guy’s house to ask for campaign signage. After all, this was Poppy’s suggestion.
Barbara Bush gets into this too in her memoirs. She includes a letter she claims to have written to her children in a Tyler beauty parlor the day of the assassination. It starts out “Dearest Family” but all of her children are under 10 years of age and the eldest, George W., is away in prep school. Also, she’ll be home in a few days so by the time she would have mailed the letter they would have been home before the letter arrived. She makes no mention of Poppy’s call to the FBI. In fact, the letter is rather bland but not without hopeful thoughts that a commie did it. She signs it “Bar” and not as “mother” or any maternal identifier as one would for small children. Nobody ever knows of this letter till it is published in her memoirs. It is unspecified if the letter was even mailed. So, if Poppy can’t remember, Bar can.
Here we have George Bush providing cover for himself on this fateful day. But it raises the question; if he was not involved in the crime, then why go to such effort to create an alibi? He was running for Senator at the time, an unsuccessful bid that would have him loosing to Democrat Lloyd Benson. Poppy was deeply embedded with the Texas oil oligarchy. They were very antagonistic to Kennedy, even running hostile ads in the local Dallas paper the day of the assassination. (D. H. Byrd, a Texas oil businessman, and virulent Kennedy hater, owned the School Book Depository building.) Perhaps Poppy didn’t want any blow-back from that if they came under tighter scrutiny?
Of course, the only other explanation was that George Bush was involved in a conspiracy.
It makes it even more interesting to consider that George Bush Sr. was, at least circumstantially, a CIA operative during this time. His business partner in Zapata Oil, Thomas Devine, was a CIA staff employee. This relationship dates as far back as 1953. We know this from a CIA memo. In 1985 Journalist Joseph McBride, while researching a piece for Daily Variety stumbled upon a document that would provide more fuel for the Kennedy assassination researchers. It was a memo written by FBI Director Hoover mentioning a briefing given to two individuals on November 29, 1963. One man was Capt William Edwards of the DIA and the other was George Bush of the CIA. Bush was CIA Director for one year, 1976-77 and denied ever being connected with the Agency prior to that. When questioned, the CIA said it was a different man, a George William Bush. McBride found the man in question who denied that he ever received such a briefing, as he was a GS-5 probationary civil servant—a night clerk. Poppy will answer no questions regarding this issue. (Vince Buglosi in his Reclaiming History End Notes says that the ARRB found no connection to Bush Sr. and that former CIA Director Allen Dulles had a Major General George Bush in his appointment calendar. Buglosi makes no determination on any of this. The ARRB simply didn’t look into it deeply enough or else wanted to avoid a conflict.)
So there you have it—one more unsolved mystery in the Kennedy assassination. George H. W. Bush is an enigmatic figure in American history. His life is one association after the other with other mysterious people and situations. He’s at the cusp of historical events from the Bay of Pigs, to Dallas, to Watergate. On November 22, 1963 he claims he doesn’t know where he was at though he apparently went through a lot of trouble for a self-serving “CYA” exercise that resulted in a huge waste of the FBI’s time and resources on one of the most important days in American history. A strange one, this man.
Only time will tell what else will be revealed.
Sources: Baker, Russ, Family of Secrets; Bush, Barbara, A Memoir; Bugliosi, Vince, End Notes 695-1126; CIA and FBI memos, maryferrell.org