tv Reel America George H. W. Bush and the CIA CSPAN December 1, 2018 1:31pm-1:47pm EST
>> we are out of the, -- we are out of here, thank you all very much. ♪ [applause] george h.w. bush, the 41st president of the united states, has died at the age of 94. he served from 1989 to 1993. those george h.w. bush was director of the central intelligence agency for only a from january 1976 to january 1977, their headquarters building in northern virginia is named after him. a videoeelamerica,
tribute created by the cia for his january 2016 visits to their headquarters, to mark the 40th anniversary of his tenure as want thistitled i job: george h.w. bush and the cia. this 13 minute program was recently declassified and released by the cia. >> this is the man who has had a distinguished public life, when you stop and think about them. vice president, president, father of another president, cia director, ambassador to china, ambassador to the united nations, he's any debt she is a capable man who has handled every task the country has called upon him -- he is a capable man who has handled every task the country is called upon him. individually -- >> is the most kind and thoughtful person i have known in my life. you can talk to a lot of people about george h.w. bush and they will tell you the same.
george h.w. bush was appointed cia director precisely at the worst time in the agency's entire history. this was a particularly tough time, because the cia was under extraordinary attack. you had the church hearings, the pike hearings, the cia was held in minimal regard around the the natureause of those hearings. it was a tough time. >> this made all of the papers. is the story of a 30 year search by u.s. intelligence agencies to perfect mind control. >> it was a terrible time. congress had it in for the agency. do this?d you why did you do that? tell us about this? tell us about that? its german and a special one
was developed as a murder implement. it is a weapon. a serious weapon. wasn 1975 george h.w. bush senior u.s. representative to beijing when president ford asked him to leave the cia. a loyal pup -- two lead the cia. he was a highly regarded public servant, but a politician with political ambitions. this appointment pose problems. his friends and political counselors advised him against it. >> i thought he should not take it. i thought he was being consigned to political oblivion. but he said this is an important job. it's a job i want to do. it's a job the president wants me to do. i'm going to take it. breathingng a lot of -- briefing, reading hearings and previous directors,
it's rather soft compared to what i suspect i will be running into. some say this is a dead-end, getting rid of you politically. others are saying they think it is great. dammed if i know which is which. >> certain senators were reluctant to confirm a politician in a nonpolitical position. they were playing politics. they wanted him to agree not to run as vice president on the ford ticket. >> piece that i'm not going to do that. i should not be asked to -- he said i am not going to do that. i'm not going to forswear apolitical birthright for a job i'm qualified to do. ,hey worked out a compromise the board said if you confirm him, i will agree not to pick him as vice president. >> welcome to the cia. was remember that day, it
an uncommonly warm day in january when george h.w. bush arrived at cia headquarters to take over as the director of the central intelligence agency. so help you god? >> so help me god. [applause] >> in his first remarks as director, he said we must learn from the past, to focus on the tasks ahead. >> restoration of public confidence is essential if we are to get on about our important work year. -- here. the emphasis will be on the future. because of its dedicated people, this agency is the finest intelligence agency in the world. they will have my total support. i will work hard at that. we are not in the policy business.
we will call them as we see them. with the objective and our estimates, i'm determined to protect those things that must be kept secret. and i am more determined to protect those unselfish and patriotic people, who with total dedication, serve their country, often putting their lives on the line, only to have some people bent on destroying this agency, expose their names. this must stop and i will do my level best to play a role in that. i want this job. i want to do it well. and i'm proud to be a part of the cia. thank you. [applause] gentlemen, we have to go to work. >> the cia needed his leadership. morale is plummeting. they knew how important the
intelligence world is for the security of the country, and for the white house to make good decisions. he also knew how to boost spirits, and he was a perfect fit for the job. >> that was the essence of george bush and how he did things. he was not out to a band of, he was there to heal it. it, ands important and heand -- to end it, and ended it in a grateful and deliver it manner. -- and deliberate manner. >> he had a calming effect. felt like he had to prove to the agency that he was one of them. knewuld have had an office the president. but he said i'm not going to take an office there, i will take one in langley.
it's important for the crew to see me as one of them, to know that i have their back. >> george bush is nothing if not loyal. >> he would visit people in their offices. to see the analysts, the case officers, the real people, little guys like me that make the agency work. he wanted to tell us the message is nobody is going to mess with you anymore. here i am getting my twenty-year pin. metal, and usually you get it from your division chief. but this is from the director of central intelligence. that was the kind of thing he did. that helped down to the first floor. >> he's a good manager. he hires good people. gives them the authority to get them the job done and he expects them to do the job.
that is what leadership is all about. >> he shares credit, takes blame, he will not compromise the principles that he thinks are important in order to advance his own career. people like working for him because they like him. >> morale changed because we knew he was in charge. he was going to defend us. and he did defend us, a number of times. only winning the confidence of cia employees, but he was raising public confidence in the agency by speaking frankly about the realities of intelligence. >> do you think congress has the authority to release this material? >> i don't. >> why not? branch of think any the government should be unilaterally empowers to release secret documents. id. feel that way. we cannot run an intelligence
business -- i do not feel that way. we cannot run an intelligence business on that basis. >> this is the character of that man. he says i know this is right, this is the right thing to do. >> he understood the importance of the intelligence community, and the importance of good intelligence. >> and that one year went by so fast. but it made such a difference. >> we expected him to be continuing in office, because we thought he had done a good job. we were disappointed. >> he was the cia director for 51 weeks but he left a lasting impression. he went on to be vice president and president. he always valued the range of cia products, especially the president's daily brief. everett -- >> everyone associated understood the value that he put on those intelligence briefings. and the importance attached to
those briefings. fascinatinge most aspects of the job was to be briefed by cia analyst, on any subject that the president wants to learn about. i learned that from my dad. >> you would not find an institute in my view, in the 12 years he was vice president and president that he did not have his morning briefing from the agency. he really valued that. >> former director bush never forgot his time, and the agency did not forget him. when he came back he was a rock star. he came back awesome. ushe always came back to see , as vice president, and president. >> and obviously he was not forgotten. that sign outside, that's a tribute to george bush's direction. 1999, legislation was
passed naming the compound after george h.w. bush, and the mage and see -- the agency made it a special occasion. >> i speak for every man and woman when i say welcome home george and barbara bush. it's great to have you back. [applause] just this past weekend in my hometown newspaper, a cia official was quoted as saying and speculating as to what kind of response president bush would receive. it would be like elvis has returned. the king is here. [applause] know,many of you may not he was also the first agency head to take the employee elevator to his office every morning, rather than the directors elevator. >> thank you for those overly kind remarks. used the other elevator, but i was your such a short time i did not know it was there. they hid it from me. i told barbara, all of this
hoopla was overwhelming. all i can say is that the gratitude in my heart knows no bounds. after aere 22 years ago limited tenure, and staying here had a major impact on me. cia became a part of my heartbeat back then, and it has never gone away. it's an honor to be counted among you. thank you. [applause] that it was the most engaging time he had ever had in public service. he loved being the director of the cia. >> he relished every moment of being in the agency. and still thinks fondly of his time there. >> he has a special spot in the agency. it was important to him at the time, and throughout his subsequent service in the
federal government as vice president and president. and it is still important to him. i know that for a fact. ♪ and we are back live in new orleans, with more from the international conference on world war ii. hosted by the national world war ii museum. our coverage continues until about 6:00 eastern today. there is a moment to tell you that every weekend we bring you 48 hours of unique programming, exploring our nation's past. to view our schedule and an archive of our programs, visit c-span.org/history. up next, historians discuss several lesser-known commanders of world war ii. that includes the author of the