Directors of Central Intelligence

George Herbert Walker Bush (1924- ) - DCI, 30 Jan. 1976-20 Jan. 1977

Former President Bush at CIA Headquarters
(Retirees Day), September 17, 1997


Included here:

1. Material on Bush

2. Bush's Writings/Speeches 

1. Material on Bush

"In spite of his brief tenure -- a few days short of a year -- Bush is remembered as one of CIA's most popular DCIs. Taking care not to politicize the DCI's position, Bush improved employee morale, strengthened CIA's standing after a wrenching period of scandals, and successfully began CIA's post-investigation reforms." CIA History Staff, "Fifteen DCIs First 100 Days," Studies in Intelligence 38, no. 5 (1995): 60.

Anyone who was in the audience on 17 September 1997 at the Retirees' Day celebration of the CIA's 50th anniversary can attest to the continuing popularity of George Bush among retired Agency personnel; the applause was long and strong, and the feeling in the air was of enormous warmth.

Loeb, Vernon. "Bush Affiliation No Secret at Langley: Former Director and President Is Honored in Naming of CIA Headquarters." Washington Post, 27 Apr. 1999, A15.

On 26 April 1999, the CIA dedicated its "headquarters complex as the George Bush Center for Intelligence, honoring the former president in gala outdoor ceremonies as the only man in history to have run the nation's spy machine and later relied on its work product as commander in chief."

Loeb, Vernon. "The Spy Chief Who Came in from Cold War: CIA Honoring Ex-President Bush." Washington Post, 23 Apr. 1999, A35.

On 22 April 1999, four days before the CIA headquarters in Langley officially becomes the George Bush Center for Intelligence, "a handful of current and former top Central Intelligence Agency officials assessed the Bush legacy." Includes comments by John L. Helgerson, CIA deputy inspector general; John E. McLaughlin, deputy director for intelligence; and Charles A. Peters, former editor of the President's Daily Brief.

Ranelagh, John. "The Good Steward of the CIA." National Review, 7 Nov. 1988, 37.

As DCI, George Bush showed himself "to be more capable than he looked, with that strong sense of obligation downward which energizes and renews battered institutions, and generates strong personal feelings. He proved to be a classic custodian: making sure all was ship-shape on his watch. His people knew that they would not be served up piecemeal to posturing politicians and excitable journalists. He did more for Agency morale than any DCI since Allen Dulles."

Tarpley, Webster Griffin, and Anton Chaitkin. George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography. Washington, DC: Executive Intelligence Review, 1992.

Surveillant 2.6: "[T]wo associates of Lyndon LaRouche... 37 page chapter on Bush as CIA director.... Be warned: this is way, way out there."

2. Bush's Writings/Speeches

Bush, George. "The Central Intelligence Agency and the Intelligence Community: A Banquet Address, June 9, 1976." Signal 30 (Aug. 1976): 36-37 ff. [Petersen]

Bush, George. Looking Forward. New York: Doubleday, 1987.

The former DCI (1976-1977) provides circumspect coverage of his tenure in a position that was a brief interlude in a busy life.

Bush, George. "Remarks by President George Bush at the Bush Center Dedication Ceremony, April 26, 1999." CIRA Newsletter 23, no. 2 (Summer 1999): 28-29.

Bush, George. "Vice President Urges Public Support of Intelligence." Periscope 12, no. 2 (1987): 14-15.

Bush, George, and Brent Scowcroft. A World Transformed. New York: Knopf, 1998.

Clark comment: This book presents the joint memoirs of President Bush and Scowcroft, his national security adviser, of the seminal event of the late 1980s and early 1990s -- the end of the Cold War. Their telling of the story serves to remind us of the basic decency of the two individuals, but we are also reminded just how well the United States was served by having a leader of Bush's perspective at its helm during these critical years.

For Howard, FA 77.6, the dual structure of the narrative "gives the work a freshness that makes it readable as well as authoritative. In short, it is a good buy, both for scholars and the general public."

Gertz, Bill. "Bush Defends CIA, Calls Critics 'Nuts.'" Washington Times, 18 Sep. 1997, A10.

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