Dreaming big is what the Bush family is all about. From Prescott’s attempt to overthrow the government to Poppy’s subversion of the laws in Iran-Contra, the end always justifies the means. Like their royal kin, the Bush’s perceive accountability to be only for the lesser-born, the hoi polloi.
“Poppy”, George Herbert Walker Bush, took his middle names from his financier grandfather Herbert Walker. Poppy grew up in extreme wealth and privilege and went to the finest schools money could buy. After high school, he joined the military and distinguished himself by getting shot down a couple of times while on surveillance missions. Now, around here, we think it’s the heroes that shoot the other fellows down, but not in “Poppy” world. “Poppy” returned home a hero and entered Yale, where he began his career in the secrets business. While at Yale, Poppy joined the secret society, “Skull and Bones”, which later served him well in his tenure as head of the CIA.
Before starting his life in “public service”, however, Poppy had to establish himself as a successful business man. He chose the oil business. Poppy was able to become successful in the oil industry by moving his family to West Texas. If you’ve never been to Midland Texas, let me say it’s not nearly as romantic as portrayed in the TV show, Friday Night Lights. It is flat, barren, windy, and the smell of diesel permeates everything. Only blind naked ambition could carry someone from the scenic beauty of New England to the lunar landscape of West Texas, and apparently Poppy had that in spades. The staunchly conservative Bush found his way working up through the ranks of some of America’s biggest recipients of tax breaks. Dresser, which later merged with Halliburton of Iraq War fame, and Brown Brothers Harriman, took a chance on the young Poppy. Poppy gathered support and knowledge until he was able to drill for oil on his own.
After becoming an oilman, Poppy moved the family to Houston, where he chose, “to give something back”, in the form of running for Congress. He won a Congressional seat, but lost the race for Senate. Thereafter, Poppy became a perpetual Republican “appointee” until running with Reagan as vice-president. Talk about your matches made in Heaven, a brain dead ideologue with acting skills and a “skull and bones” graduate who enjoyed working his connections behind the scenes to get things done. The Iran-Contra scandal was a perfect example of how Bush managed to maintain “plausible deniability” and stay out of jail for his crimes.
After Reagan shuffled off to Buffalo, it was Poppy’s turn. A glance at Politico reveals a few highlights of the the regime of Bush the First:
- During his election campaign, Bush denied any knowledge of the Iran Contra Affair by saying he was “out of the loop.” But his own diaries of that time stated “I’m one of the few people that know fully the details …” He repeatedly refused to disclose this to investigators during the investigation and thus won the election. (1988)
- Catalina Vasquez Villalpando, (R) Treasurer of the United States. Pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and tax evasion. The only US Treasurer ever sent to prison. (1992)
- Iran-Contra Affair pardons. On December 24, 1992, George H. W. Bush (R) granted clemency to five convicted government officials and Caspar Weinberger, whose trial had not yet begun. This action prevented any further investigation into the matter. Those pardoned on recommendation of William Barr (yes that William Barr) include:
- Caspar Weinberger Secretary of Defense under Ronald Reagan
- Robert C. McFarlane National Security Advisor to Ronald Reagan
- Elliott Abrams Assistant Secretary of State to Ronald Reagan
- Clair George CIA Chief of Covert Ops
- Alan D. Fiers Chief of the CIA’s Central American Task Force
- Duane Clarridge CIA Operations Officer
- Albert Bustamante (D-TX) convicted of accepting bribes.
- Lawrence J. Smith (D-FL) pleaded guilty to tax fraud and lying to federal election officials and served three months in jail, fined $5,000, 2 years probation and back taxes of $40,000
- David Durenberger Senator (R-MN) denounced by Senate for unethical financial transactions and then disbarred (1990). He pled guilty to misuse of public funds and given one year probation (1995)[
- Clarence Thomas (R) The Supreme Court nominee was accused of sexual harassment by former employee Anita Hill, but was approved anyway.
- Walter Nixon US Judge. Was impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate for perjury on November 3, 1989.
I should like to point out that Poppy is considered to be the “good Bush”, even Bill Clinton likes him. I mean the fact that he lied to Congress, pardoned the people who could put him in jail, started a war in Kuwait/Iraq to protect his Arbusto oilfields in Bahrain and routinely sold out the American people to his Arab friends shouldn’t lower our opinion of him, right? It’s not like he tried to start a coup like his daddy did.