Bush's Boys Club: Skull and Bones
      To be a member of the ruling elite, George Bush must meet
certain criteria. He must be white, he must be male, and he must
be rich. He must also belong to certain elite clubs and
institutions which help to distinguish him from those he is
called upon to rule.
      George Bush is a member of Skull and Bones, an elite
secret society open only to a select 15 males in their senior
year at Yale University. If this club appears somewhat
exclusionary, don't worry; they have made great strides in the
past few years. Recent Bones inductees include a few blacks,
gays, and even some foreign students. However, it has been said
that if women were ever allowed into the secret "tomb" (meeting
place) of Skull and Bones, the tomb would "have to be
      The importance of Skull and Bones is not that it provides
good gossip about young males doing strange things in tombs, but
that it provides a certain bond between members which they carry
for life. Membership to Skull and Bones is the first initiation
into the world of power politics and capitalism. It is somewhat
akin to a "junior" old boys' network.
      One of the interesting aspects of this secret society is
the number of Bones members who, after graduation, move on to do
intelligence work. There has even been informed speculation that
there is a "Bones cell" in the CIA.
      Whether there is a Bones cell or not in the CIA is open to
interesting debate. We can, however, examine the histories of
several Bonesmen who have gone on to illustrious careers in
intelligence work.
      One of the most unusual Bonesmen is the Reverend William
Sloane Coffin, Jr. Known best for his anti-Vietnam war activities
and his political activism at Riverside Church in New York City,
Sloane Coffin was recruited by the CIA shortly after he graduated
from Yale in 1949. Although his tenure at the Agency was short,
he is one example of the CIA's use of the secret society to fill
their ranks.
      Another illustrious Skull and Bones member with close ties
to the CIA is arch-conservative and reknowned propagandist
William F. Buckley. According to several experts on the CIA,
Buckley began his cooperation with the Agency while he was in
Mexico City in 1952, where his good friend, E. Howard Hunt, was
CIA station chief at the time.
      As an interesting aside, Buckley and Bush (as well as many
other Washington and business elites) are members of the
"prestigious" older-boys California getaway, "The Bohemian
      It is not surprising, given the Buckley family's wealth and
status, that Bill's older brother, James Buckley, is also a
member of Skull and Bones. From 1981-82 Buckley was Under
Secretary of State for Security Assistance, Science, and
Technology where it was his job to see the U.S. military aid went
to support the right regimes.
      He once stated that CIA covert activities in Chile, which
led to the overthrow of democratically-elected Salvador Allende,
were necessary because, "It was only by virtue of covert help by
the United States that these free institutions were able to
survive in the face of increasingly repressive measures by the
Allende regime."
      Buckley was also directly connected to the work of the
Chilean secret police, DINA. In September 1976, DINA agents
assassinated former Chilean diplomat Orlando Letelier and his
colleague, Ronni Moffitt, in Washington DC. "Independent
researchers verified through the FBI and Department of Justice --
that on September 14, 1976, one week before the Letelier
assassination, Michael Townley and Guillermo Novo [two DINA
agents involved in the assassination] drove to the office of
Senator James Buckley in New York City for a meeting. Buckley had
helped finance trips to Chile for Novo and others close to the
      When CIA agent David Atlee Phillips was accused of being
involved in the assassination he started an organization
entitled "Challenge: An Intelligence Officers' Legal Action
Fund." The board of "Challenge" included former CIA director
William Colby, former CIA Inspector General Lyman Kirkpatrick,
former intelligence officer General Richard Stillwell, and
interestingly, James Buckley.
      Hugh Cunningham, Bonesman from the class of 1934, is a
Rhodes Scholar with a lengthy career in the CIA. He was in the
Agency from 1947 to 1973 during which time he served in top
positions with the Clandestine Services, the Board of National
Estimates, and was the Director of Training from 1969-73. He also
served with the CIA's precursor, the Central Intelligence Group,
from 1945-47.
      William Bundy is a Bonesman from the class of 1939. Bundy
began his intelligence career in the OSS during World War II.
From 1951-61 he worked at the CIA, including at its Office of
National Estimates. During the Vietnam War, he was the Assistant
Secretary of State for Asian Affairs and a vocal advocate for
escalating the war.
      A true Cold War liberal, Bundy expressed his belief in the
necessity of CIA covert actions in his foreword to the book "The
Counter-Insurgency Era": "The preservation of liberal values, for
America and other nations, required the use of the full range of
U.S. power, including, if necessary, its more shady
applications." "Shady applications" is a veiled euphemism for
covert activities which support dictators, overthrow legitimate
governments, and contribute to the destabilization of world
      From the class of 1950 comes Bonesman Dino Pionzio. His
claim to fame was the time he spent as CIA deputy chief of
station in Santiago, Chile, in 1970, during the massive CIA
destabilization of the Allende government. He is also a member of
the Association of Former Intelligence Officers. The CIA proved
not to be lucrative enough for Pionzio so he left his
intelligence career behind and became an investment banker. As of
1983, he was a vice president at the investment firm Dillon,
Read. (Just to illustrate how small these circles really are --
Nicholas Brady, the current Secretary of the Treasury, was the
co-chair of Dillon, Read, and a graduate of Yale University.
Brady, however, was not a Bonesman. He belonged to another Yale
secret society called "Book and Snake.")
      From the days of George Bush's father, Prescott Bush, comes
former spook F. Trubee Davidson. Davidson, a Bonesman from the
class of 1918, was the Director of Personnel at the CIA in 1951.
Davidson then begot little Bonesmen, Endicott Peabody Davidson
and Daniel Pomeroy Davidson. Endicott Davidson went to work at
the law firm of Winthrop, Stimson, Putnam, and Roberts (Henry
Stimson was the Secretary of War during World War II and also a
      Another interesting Bonesman is David Lyle Boren, the
Senate Democrat from Oklahoma. While he is not an employee of the
CIA (some say this is open to question), Boren nevertheless is
part of the intelligence community because he is the chair of the
Select Committee on Intelligence.
      Finally, but certainly not the end of the list, comes
Richard A. Moore. Moore began his intelligence career in World
War II where he served as a special assistant to the chief of
military intelligence. He was rewarded for this service with the
Legion of Merit for Intelligence Work.
      In the 1970s, Moore was special assistant to President
Nixon and in the thick of things during the Watergate scandal. At
his recent congressional confirmation hearing for the post of
Ambassador to Ireland, Moore was asked by one of the committee
members if he was one of 14 unnamed and unindicted
co-conspirators of the Watergate scandal. Moore, however,
emphatically denied the accusation. It is interesting to note
that Moore, a Bonesman from 1936, was recently appointed to a
high-level State Department post by George Bush, Bonesman, 1948.
      The list of Bonesmen-made-good goes on and on and includes
McGeorge Bundy (National Security Advisor to Kennedy and
Johnson), William Draper (Defense Department Import-Export Bank,
etc.), Dean Witter, Jr. (investment banker), Potter Stewart
(Supreme Court Justice who swore in George Bush as Vice
President in 1981), John Forbes Kerry (Senator from
Massachusetts), Winston Lord (Kissinger protege and former
Ambassador to China), Robert H. Gow (president of Zapata Oil,
once owned by Bush and which had possible links to the CIA), and
Henry Luce of Time-Life fame.
      This old (and new) boys network helps to illustrate the old
adage "it's not what you know, it's who you know." Given the
extent of Bones members in intelligence, it is also "how you come
to know it."