As Jeb Bush announced his presidential bid June 15, an investigative reporter revealed that the CIA provided the future candidate with a high-level briefing in 1977 that helped launch his career.
Reporter, author and former Navy intelligence officer Wayne Madsen published a CIA document disclosing Bush’s briefing by the agency as Bush prepared in 1977 to become the Venezuela branch manager and a vice president for the influential Texas Commerce Bank.
Madsen headlined his June 12 column, Jeb Bush received comprehensive CIA briefing when he worked for bank in Caracas.
Published on the subscription site the Wayne Madsen Report (WMR), Madsen wrote:
A June 7, 1977 letter on Texas Commerce Bank stationery from “Jeb Bush” of the bank’s International Banking Division, using post office box 2558 in Houston, to Robert W. Gambino, director of security for the CIA, thanks Gambino, who was in charge of issuing clearances for CIA official cover and NOC agents alike, for “arranging such a comprehensive and informative briefing” for Bush during his recent trip to Washington.
The Justice Integrity Project has independently confirmed that the document is authentic.
Madsen used the briefing and his sources to portray the banking job as a gateway to power for the younger Bush in the family tradition. Bush is shown in a photo by Gage Skidmore at this year’s CPAC convention organized by the American Conservative Union.
Madsen noted also that Gambino resigned from the agency to support the George Bush for President campaign in 1980, and subsequently received political patronage jobs from the Reagan and Bush administrations that extended into the Clinton administration.
Gambino’s career progress helps underscore the wild card advantage the Bush family holds over virtually all competitors, Republican and Democratic: Their embedded loyalists, often with a national security background, who constitute a core of the nation’s hidden government. More on that below.
The Texas Commerce Bank, co-founded by an ancestor of Bush family ally James Baker, has a long history of sensitive operations, including help in funding the 1950s CIA-front business operations of Jeb Bush’s father, George H.W. Bush.
The elder Bush became a covert CIA operative in the early 1950s while also a businessman co-founding Zapata Petroleum in 1953. Its affiliate Zapata Offshore was formed in 1954 with the help of funding from Texas National Bank, a major predecessor of the Texas Commerce Bank, according to the bank history But Also Good Business, co-authored in 1986 by professors Walter L. Buegner and Joseph A. Pratt.
The Bush family, Baker, their allies virtually never talk about such matters even though research indicates that all recent U.S. presidents have established secret relationships with the CIA or FBI before they entered politics. This enables politicians on the way up to establish strong bonds with the agencies and the powerful backers of the agencies on Wall Street and in such key sectors as energy, agri-business, mining and media. Details are provided in Madsen’s book The Manufacturing of a President (2010) and our own Presidential Puppetry (2013), among other accounts.
Regarding the media, Operation Mockingbird was the CIA’s secret program to coordinate agency-friendly messaging among the nation’s top broadcast networks, magazines and newspapers. Author Deborah Davis first revealed the program in her 1979 book Katharine the Great: Katharine Graham and Her Washington Post Empire, whose 20,000-copy first edition publisher Harcourt Brace Jovanovich pulverized under pressure from the Post and CIA. Davis was able find another publisher for the book in 1987 after winning a lawsuit settlement.