Two Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) memoranda have been offered to show connections between the CIA and George H. W. Bush during his time at Zapata. The first memo names Zapata Off-Shore and was written by FBI Special Agent Graham Kitchel on 22 November 1963, regarding the John F. Kennedy assassination at 12:30 p.m. CST that day. It begins: "At 1:45 p.m. Mr. GEORGE H. W. BUSH, President of the Zapata Off-Shore Drilling Company, Houston, Texas, residence 5525 Briar, Houston, telephonically furnished the following information to writer. .. BUSH stated that he wanted to be kept confidential. .. was proceeding to Dallas, Texas, would remain in the Sheraton-Dallas Hotel."
A second FBI memorandum, written by J. Edgar Hoover, identifies "George Bush" with the CIA. It is dated 29 November 1963 and refers to a briefing given Bush on 23 November. The FBI Director describes a briefing about JFK's murder "orally furnished to Mr. George Bush of the Central Intelligence Agency. .. [by] this Bureau" on "December 20, 1963.
When this second memorandum surfaced during the 1988 presidential campaign, Bush spokespersons (including Stephen Hart) said Hoover's memo referred to another George Bush who worked for the CIA. CIA spokeswoman Sharron Basso suggested it was referring to a George William Bush. However, others described this G. William Bush as a "lowly researcher" and "coast and beach analyst" who worked only with documents and photos at the CIA in Virginia from September 1963 to February 1964, with a low rank of GS-5. Moreover, this G. William Bush swore an affidavit in federal court denying that Hoover's memo referred to him:
US Army Brigadier General Russell Bowen wrote that there was a cover-up of Zapata's CIA connections:
Bush, in fact, did work directly with the anti-Castro Cuban groups in Miami before and after the Bay of Pigs invasion, using his company, Zapata Oil, as a corporate cover for his activities on behalf of the agency. Records at the University of Miami, where the operations were based for several years, show George Bush was present during this time
Allegations of the involvement of a former CIA officer in the foundation of Zapata
On January 8, 2007, newly released internal CIA documents revealed that Zapata had in fact emerged from Bush's collaboration with a covert CIA officer in the 1950s. According to a CIA internal memo dated November 29, 1975, Zapata Petroleum began in 1953 through Bush's joint efforts with Thomas J. Devine, a CIA staffer who had resigned his agency position that same year to go into private business, but who continued to work for the CIA under commercial cover. Devine would later accompany Bush to Vietnam in late 1967 as a "cleared and witting commercial asset" of the agency, acted as his informal foreign affairs advisor, and had a close relationship with him through 1975.
Bay of Pigs
The CIA codename for the Bay of Pigs invasion of April 1961 was "Operation Zapata". Through his work with Zapata Off-Shore, Bush is alleged to have come into contact with Felix Rodriguez, Barry Seal, Porter Goss, and E. Howard Hunt, around the time of the Bay of Pigs operation.
CIA liaison officer Col. L. (Leroy) Fletcher Prouty alleges that Zapata Off-Shore provided or was used as cover for two of the ships used in the Bay of Pigs invasion: the Barbara J and Houston. Prouty claims he delivered two ships to an inactive Naval Base near Elizabeth City, North Carolina, for a CIA contact and he suspected very strongly that George Bush must have been involve