Subj: White House 'Bonesman' Leads Nation Into the Dark 
Date: 11/6/02 11:21:34 PM Pacific Standard Time
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White House 'Bonesman' Leads Nation Into the Dark
   By Alexandra Robbins

   Wednesday, 25 September, 2002

   "My senior year (at Yale University) I joined Skull and Bones, a
secret society," President Bush wrote in his autobiography, "so secret,
I can't say anything more."

   He doesn't have to. He's practically turning the government into a
secret society - an old-boy, throwback establishment that even holds its
secret spy-court proceedings in an elaborately locked, windowless room
that sounds similar to the Bones' elaborately locked, practically
windowless "tomb," or campus clubhouse.

   Bush, a loyal and particularly active member of Skull and Bones, a
mysterious, historically misogynist Yale-based secret society, seems to
have done almost all he can to promote a level of secrecy in government
not seen since the Nixon administration:

        * Last month, Bush-appointed Assistant Attorney General Robert
McCallum, a member of Bush's 1968 Skull
     and Bones class, filed pleadings in U.S. District Court seeking to
extend executive privilege to any government
     official in pardon cases; the move makes information on
presidential pardons more secret than it has ever been.

        * After 9/11, without initially telling Congress, Bush assembled
a shadow government assigned to secret
     bunkers somewhere on the East Coast. He also tried to cut off some
members of Congress from classified
     information about the anti-terrorist campaign.

        * The USA Patriot Act Bush eagerly signed lets the FBI - with
permission from a secret Washington "spy court"
     - view some customer records; store owners cannot reveal the review

        * In October 2001, Attorney General John Ashcroft released a
memo encouraging federal agencies to withhold
     as much information as possible from the public.

        * A month later, just before documents from the Reagan-Bush
administration were to be released, Bush signed
     an executive order severely hindering public access to former
presidents' records.

        * Bush also signed legislation that jails or fines journalists
who publish sensitive leaks, essentially reviving the
     Official Secrecy Act that President Clinton vetoed.

   Bush has a "fetish for secrecy," Vanderbilt University professor
emeritus Hugh Davis Graham, now deceased, told the National Journal
earlier this year.

   Granted, pressing issues of national security merit a level of
secrecy. But security and secrecy are not always necessary
companions, and some of these examples suggest secrecy for secrecy's
sake, such as the pardons and the Reagan documents.  Also, a government
that operates in secret prevents its constituents from holding it
accountable and so may be more prone to arbitrariness and ill-considered
conduct. This administration may even be doing itself a disservice with
its excess secrecy, which can cause people to conjure up much more
malicious and elitist scenarios than may actually exist.

   That is what has happened with Skull and Bones, which operates a
powerful alumni network but, despite the lore, does not run a secret
world government, collaborate with Nazis or require initiates to lie
naked in a coffin.

   Bonesmen have long helped Bush; he received a fair chunk of his early
business financing from them and turned to them for help when he needed
a job, investors and campaign assistance. Even his baseball-team
purchase involved at least one Bonesman. As president, Bush has
appointed fellow Bonesmen to high-level positions, such as Edward
McNally, the general counsel of the Office on Homeland Security and
senior associate counsel on national security. Yet, although one of his
first social gatherings at the White House was a Skull and Bones
reunion, Bush feigned ignorance when asked recently about Bones: "The
thing is so secret that I'm not even sure it still exists," he replied.

   Is it a coincidence that the federal government suddenly prioritizes
secrecy when a Skull and Bones president is in power?  Maybe. But
there's no question that the Bush administration increasingly resembles
the Bones' dark, locked tomb.


   Alexandra Robbins is the author of Secrets of the Tomb: Skull and
Bones, the Ivy League, and the Hidden Paths of Power.

   (In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is
distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior
interest in receiving the included information for research and
educational purposes.)
Original location:

List of confirmed Skull & Bones members:

I couldn't get the above website to do anything (it has radio buttons
for flipping through pictures, from what I could see), maybe someone
else will have better luck?