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UQ Wire: The Secret History Of GWB In Alabama

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Unanswered Questions : Thinking for ourselves.

The Secret History of George W. Bush & the Alabama National Guard

"It was really quite amazing. Here was this young guy making acquisitions of tropical plants and then up and leaving to fly fighter planes."
February 25-- Venice, Florida
by Daniel Hopsicker
A MadCowMorningNews World Exclusive!



PLUS: The MadCowMorningNews has begun airing, on Conspiracy Tonight, Episode 2 – Rudi Dekker Walks! FBI Shuts Down Boston Terror Investigation. What Really Happened At Tora Bora.


A MadCowMorningNews investigation into the controversy currently swirling around President George W. Bush’s service in the National Guard has uncovered evidence indicating that Bush’s disputed “lost year” is not the only period of time during his abbreviated stint in the Guard that remains shrouded in mystery.

Conventional wisdom about Bush is that he spent the more poorly-documented stretches of his Guard service somewhere with his cowboy boots up on a desk, pulling the tab on another ‘tall cold one.’ The questions being asked are on the order of: Did daddy pull strings to get him a cozy billet? Did he actually show up for duty?

But conventional wisdom has a way of often being wrong. Evidence unearthed in our investigation indicates that George W. Bush, while supposedly serving in the Texas Guard in 1971, may instead have been detailed to the massive covert operation of the U.S. government going on at that very moment in Central America.

Did George W. Bush take part in Operation Condor?


Who What When Where Why...At Least, When Its Convenient

In the official version of George W. Bush’s chronology during his National Guard years is a striking statement which has been totally overlooked in the major media. A timeline of President George W. Bush's service in the National Guard compiled by The Associated Press says, for 1971: “Participates in drills and alerts at Ellington. Begins work for Houston-based agricultural company.”

We always become suspicious when we see the major media get suddenly vague. The AP has no trouble at all with the name of the air base, "Ellington," where Bush was serving. But, about where he was working, they can bring themselves only to say he “works for a “Houston-based agricultural company.”

“A Houston-based agricultural company” is wordy. It's far less work to write “XYZ Company.” So we already knew we would find something juicy hidden here, because reporters are notoriously lazy, and would not have gone to the trouble to construct the line "Houston-based agricultural company" unless prompted to by the exigencies of our capitalist system.

The Chicago Tribune, for example, carried a whole story about the mysterious German couple who recruited Mohamed Atta to come to Hamburg from Cairo in 1992. But they never once named the couple. They called them the "M's.

When the media roll over completely on the old “who what when where & why business,” its always for a reason. And the reason is always the same:

Somebody is covering something up.

Tropical Plants and "La Vida Loca" in Houston

“George's job was to travel around the United States and to countries in Central America looking for plant nurseries his company might want to acquire,” read one account.

A profile of George W in 2000 in Texas Monthly said, “George W. Bush’s responsibilities included sizing up plant nurseries for possible acquisition.”

Is it just us? Does anyone else have a problem seeing George W. Bush as Mr. Green Jeans? But the idea seems ridiculous on its face, especially as his plant nursery job comes smack dab (as they say in Texas) in the middle of a time when Bush was living la vida loca, partying, boozing, and, persistent rumors allege, doing other drugs as well.

Bush lived at Chateaux Dijon, an apartment complex near the Houston Galleria known for its singles scene, which included water volleyball games in its swimming pools. Friends describe him as taking a hearty approach to his social life, and Bush himself has said famously that he was "young and irresponsible" in Houston, that he "raised a little hell."

We've spent time in Houston. Girls in clubs there don't appear the type to go wild for a man working in a plant nursery. Au contraire.

A jug of wine, a load of bread, and some beautiful pink flowers

Working for a company engaged in the unglamorous plant nursery business could hardly have been seen as plus by Bush. Why work there then? Other more dashing pursuits must have been available to the young pilot, for those hours when he wasn't patrolling the skies for signs that the Mexican Air Force had launched an all-out attack.

Had it been some kind of aroma therapy? A respite from debilitating drinking bouts amid fragrant and beautiful flowers? Soothing naps underneath baobab trees after throttling screaming warplanes through the wild blue yonder?

Bush, a practical politician in his later years, learned Spanish to court the Hispanic vote. If he spent a year rubbing elbows with horticulturalists, don't you think we'd have heard him boast of this “green” credential?

But where the story really breaks down is here: What did George W. Bush know about tropical plants that made him a horticultural expert sharp enough to be deployed overseas looking for acquisitions?

The question answers itself. The answer is, almost assuredly, "nothing." So it is reasonable to conclude that George W. Bush wasn't in the tropical plant business during the year he says he was.

So then, just what business was Bush involved with, while traipsing around Central America?

A Coat, a Tie...and a Snub-nosed 38?

Bush himself would later refer to his time at the plant nursery firm as a dull 'coat-and-tie' job, an odd description for a position which entailed jetting to steamy Caribbean capitals chock-full of intrigue.
But the MadCowMorningNews has uncovered indications that George W. Bush was in Central America serving a ‘tour of duty’ in a shadowy arm of the U.S. Government which Watergate burglar and disgraced CIA Agent E. Howard Hunt called “Clandestine Services.”

In other words, Bush's plant-nursin' jet-flyin' story may have just been the future Presidents “cover” while the young second lieutenant was actually detached—officially or otherwise—to a massive clandestine U.S. government operation that was going on right at this time in Central America, called Operation Condor.

Was George W. Bush working for the spooks?

Such a charge demands evidence, some of which we will shortly present. But first, a little background on the outfit the young George W was so intent on transferring into... the Alabama Guard.

The Secret History of the Alabama Guard

The Alabama Guard, we had discovered while writing “Barry & ‘the boys,’” is rich with the secret history of American covert operations over the last half-century, as far back as 1961, when it was used to “sheep-dipped,” (provide legitimate cover) for CIA pilots returning from Guatemala, their base during the Bay of Pigs fiasco. Among those pilots was a young man, Barry Seal, who will one day become famous as the biggest drug smuggler in American history.

Although much about the Alabama Guard during this time period still remains veiled, when we interviewed James Harrison, a former member and one of the last remaining living American pilots who flew missions over the Bay of Pigs, we learned that one enduring secret concerns the role American pilots played in it, which went far beyond training exile Cuban pilots and flying combat flights on the last day of the invasion, as the U.S. later admitted.

Even 40 years later, the stress placed on secrecy about operations he took part in while he was "sheep-dipped" in the Alabama Guard make him reluctant to talk. "I didn't train anyone, frankly," he finally told us, when pressed on the role of the American 'trainers' in Central America. "I was expected to fly combat."

From an Air Guard base in Montgomery, where a decade later George W Bush will, Zen-like, both be and not be, Barry Seal participated in Caribbean and Central American operations which included the assassination on May 30, 1961 of Dominican Republic dictator Raphael Trujillo. His limo was ambushed returning from a rendezvous with his mistress. Operatives who were there can still be found who will retail, anonymously, colorful anecdotes about the "hit."

"Shut up before you get shot"

"Seal worked for General Reid Doster, who assembled a CIA Air Force that eventually numbered 80 fliers. Seal's Alabama Guard ‘work’ took him, two months before the Bay of Pigs invasion, to Guatemala, where he sent another postcard home, this time bearing a picture of a volcano towering over a deep green jungle.

A daredevil pilot with whom George W. Bush was said to have later been acquainted, Seal had also been drilled on the importance of secrecy concerning his Alabama assignment. He sent a postcard home from Montgomery in June of 1961, (bearing the picture of the “Albert Pike Motel” which boasted of being “completely air-conditioned!”)

On the back he wrote, “Just call me a freedom rider! I’d better shut up before I get shot!”
A decade later another member of the Alabama Guard, George W. Bush, will also be working in Central America.

Barry Seal was flying cover at the Bay of Pigs from Central America. George W. was said to have been buying tropical plants there. Was there something " special " about the Alabama Guard?
We continued digging, especially after reading a quote from a Bush friend about “ George the Horticulturalist.”

Once or twice a month, the friend stated, Bush would announce that he had flight duty and off he would go, leaving his nursery duties to go fly his F-102. "It was really quite amazing,” Peter Knudtzon told the New York Times. “Here was this young guy making acquisitions of tropical plants and then up and leaving to fly fighter planes."

We find this image amazing as well. It makes Bush sound a little like Clark Kent, changing costumes on the fly. Knudtzon told the Times, “’We traveled to all kinds of peculiar places, like Apopka, Florida, which was named the foliage capital of the world,’ continued the Zapata alumnus who was Stratford's executive vice president and Bush's immediate boss.”

Very seldom does anything in the New York Times make our jaw drop. But the phrase "continued the Zapata alumnus" did.

“A Zapata alumnus?” Selling plants?

Was George W. Bush's "first real job" working for a spook?

For those tuning in late, Zapata Drilling, the offshore oil company owned by George Bush Sr., has been repeatedly alleged by researchers to have been a CIA front, used to support the Bay of Pigs invasion. Even if this notion is dismissed as a fantasy, this question remains:

What kind of career path leads from offshore oil exploration to buying tropical plants?

Since nothing about this story so far seemed to make any sort of business sense, we recalled the words of an executive who worked for Rudi Dekkers. Charlie Voss, called the “bookkeeper’ at Huffman in news accounts, is in reality a retired C-130 pilot. When we asked why none of Dekker's enterprises made any sense, he replied, “Sometimes when things don’t make business sense, it’s because they do make sense, just in some other way.”

Like so many businesses associated with friends of the Bush family, Stratford of Texas, the young George W.’s employer, went bankrupt in such spectacular fashion it later inspired a case study at the Harvard Business School. (Unfortunately for George W, it came after he had already graduated.)

Amazingly, the George W plant nursery co-worker interviewed by the New York Times wasn’t the only Zapata alumni at Stratford of Texas. The firm’s owner, who had personally hired the young future President to go tramping around Central America looking for hot opportunities in plant nurseries, had himself spent an eight-year stint as V.P. and President of Bush Sr.'s Zapata Drilling.

Houston businessman Robert H Gow was a long-time friend of the Bush family, stated published reports. In a profile of Bush’s early years for the 2000 campaign, Texas Monthly called Gow “a Yale man who had roomed with the senior Bush's cousin Ray in college.”

While there have been numerous reports of the large numbers of Yale alumni who have gone from New Haven, Connecticut to Langley, Virginia, home of the CIA, Gow's Yalie background proves nothing by itself. But it becomes more suggestive when combined with the startling information that Robert H. Gow is also—like both George W. and his father, George, Sr— a member of Skull and Bones.

It does give one pause.

“Yet Skull and Bones was not relegated entirely to George W.'s past after he graduated. In 1971, having been rejected by the University of Texas Law School and needing a job, Bush called a Bonesman, Robert H. Gow,” read a May 1, 2000 Atlantic Monthly story by Alexandra Robbins.

Robbins is selling only a “modified limited hangout” version of Skull and Bones (for the real truth, see our buddy Kris Millegan's Fleshing Out Skull & Bones). But even she felt constrained to mention George W.’s continuing business affiliations with other Bonesmen... “Gow, who later told The Washington Post that his Houston-based agricultural company had not been looking for anyone at the time, hired Bush as a management trainee,” Robbins wrote. “In 1977, when Bush formed Arbusto Energy, his first company, he once again applied to Skull and Bones for financial aid.”
Well now.

We would have to have ourselves a little “look-see” into Robert Gow. And although we were taught by our mother to speak only well of people, after poking through Robert Gow’s curious history and its links to America’s own recent secret history, we think even mom would sign off on this statement:

“There are so many red flags in Robert Gow’s background that it looks like a rally in Red Square.”
Next week, we'll put some flesh on the Bones.

“The Secret History of George W Bush
& the Alabama National Guard"
Pt. II:

"Bill Casey, George Bush, Ollie North, floricultural crops in Jamaica, Enron, the Enterprise... and Skull & Bones"


- Daniel Hopsicker is the author of Barry & 'the boys: The CIA, the Mob and America's Secret History. About the author. - Email the author.


STANDARD DISCLAIMER FROM UQ.ORG: does not necessarily endorse the views expressed in the above article. We present this in the interests of research -for the relevant information we believe it contains. We hope that the reader finds in it inspiration to work with us further, in helping to build bridges between our various investigative communities, towards a greater, common understanding of the unanswered questions which now lie before us.

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