george h bush
Clair George, the CIA officer who was placed in charge of briefing Congress on CIA’s activities, withheld information about the beginnings of the Iran-Contra affair, and was later convicted of lying to Congress. After an eight-month tenure that led to a nearly complete communications breakdown between the Agency and Congress, George was promoted to the third most senior position within the CIA.
Last year, to celebrate FOIA’s 50th birthday, we began collecting photos of Commanders-in-chief with cakes, with the goal of creating the most comprehensive archive of presidential pastry ever assembled. Today, we’re checking in to see if our efforts to free chief executive confections bore frosted fruit.
In 1988, then-Deputy Director of the CIA Robert Gates gave a talk at the National War College that left enough of an impression that a line or two ended up in the college’s end of the year “Book of Proverbs, Jokes, and Other Comments.” The Agency, never one to let a mention go unarchived, then preserved said book for posterity in CREST. Let’s just say there’s more than a few folks who’d probably prefer that didn’t happen.
Congresswoman Bella Abzug infamously had issues with trusting CIA when it came to their handling evidence of illegal and improper Agency activities. Internal memos shows those fears were well-founded - while the Congresswoman fought to prevent the destruction of records of CIA wrongdoing, the Agency rushed to begin destroying everything they could.
A decade after Congresswoman Abzug had struggled with CIA Director George Bush over the destruction of evidence of CIA wrongdoing, the Agency’s Office of the Inspector General ignored the moratorium on destruction of relevant materials and destroyed several memos from the Iran-Contra investigation. When this was raised with the Agency’s Acting Director, it was played off as no big deal and the employees were praised for responding “remarkably well” to the investigation.