The Truth About GWB's Military Service


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bountyhunter
February 5, 2004, 01:50 PM
Here is the full story about GWB's record for those who wish to know.

FINALLY, THE TRUTH ABOUT BUSH'S MILITARY SERVICE RECORD
George W.'s Missing Year

Nearly two hundred manila-wrapped pages of George Walker Bush's service records came to me like some sort of giant banana stuffed into my mailbox. I had been seeking more information about his military record to find out what he did during what I think of as his "missing year," when he failed to show up for duty as a member of the Air National Guard, as the Boston Globe first reported.

The initial page I examined is a chronological listing of Bush's service record. This document charts active duty days served from the time of his enlistment. His first year, a period of extensive training, young Bush is credited with serving 226 days. In his second year in the Guard, Bush is shown to have logged a total of 313 days. After Bush got his wings in June 1970 until May 1971, he is credited with a total of 46 days of active duty. From May 1971 to May 1972, he logged 22 days of active duty. Then something happened. From May 1, 1972 until April 30, 1973 -- a period of twelve months -- there are no days shown, though Bush should have logged at least thirty-six days service (a weekend per month in addition to two weeks at camp).

I found out that for the first four months of this time period, when Bush was working on the U.S. Senate campaign of Winton Blount in Alabama, that he did not have orders to be at any unit anywhere. On May 24, 1972, Bush had applied for a transfer from the Texas Air National Guard to Montgomery, Alabama. On his transfer request Bush noted that he was seeking a "no pay" position with the 9921st Air Reserve Squadron. The commanding officer of the Montgomery unit, Lieutenant Colonel Reese R. Bricken, promptly accepted Bush's request to do temporary duty under his command.

But Bush never received orders for the 9921st in Alabama. Such decisions were under the jurisdiction of the Air Reserve Personnel Center in Denver, Colorado, and the Center disallowed the transfer. The Director of Personnel Resources at the Denver headquarters noted in his rejection that Bush had a "Military Service Obligation until 26 May 1974." As an "obligated reservist," Bush was ineligible to serve his time in what amounted to a paper unit with few responsibilities. As the unit's leader, Lieutenant Colonel Bricken recently explained to the Boston Globe, ''We met just one weeknight a month. We were only a postal unit. We had no airplanes. We had no pilots. We had no nothing.''

The headquarters document rejecting Bush's requested Alabama transfer was dated May 31, 1972. This transfer refusal left Bush still obligated to attend drills with his regular unit, the 111th Fighter Interceptor Squadron stationed at Ellington Air Force Base near Houston. However, Bush had already left Texas two weeks earlier and was now working on Winton Blount's campaign staff in Alabama. In his annual evaluation report, Bush's two supervising officers, Lieutenant Colonel William D. Harris Jr. and Lieutenant Colonel Jerry B. Killian, made it clear that Bush had "not been observed at" his Texas unit "during the period of report" -- the twelve month period from May 1972 through the end of April 1973.

In the comments section of this evaluation report Lieutenant Colonel Harris notes that Bush had "cleared this base on 15 May 1972, and has been performing equivalent training in a non flying role with the 187th Tac Recon Gp at Dannelly ANG Base, Alabama" (the Air National Guard Tactical Reconnaissance Group at Dannelly Air Force Base near Montgomery, Alabama). This was incorrect. Bush didn't apply for duty at Dannelly Air Force Base until September 1972. From May until September he was in limbo, his temporary orders having been rejected. And when his orders to appear at Dannelly came through he still didn't appear. Although his instructions clearly directed Bush to report to Lieutenant Colonel William Turnipseed on the dates of "7-8 October 0730-1600, and 4-5 November 0730-1600," he never did. In interviews conducted with the Boston Globe earlier this year, both General Turnipseed and his former administration officer, Lieutenant Colonel Kenneth Lott, said that Bush never put in an appearance.

The lack of regular attendance goes against the basic concept of a National Guard kept strong by citizen soldiers who maintain their skills through regular training.
Bush campaign aides claim, according to a report in the New York Times, that Bush in fact served a single day -- November 29,1972 -- with the Alabama unit. If this is so it means that for a period of six weeks Lieutenant George W. Bush ignored direct instructions from headquarters to report for duty. But it looks even worse for Lieutenant Bush if the memory of Turnipseed and Lott are correct and Bush never reported at all.
After the election was over (candidate Blount lost), Bush was to have returned to Texas and the 111th at Ellington Air Force Base. Bush did return to Houston, where he worked for an inner-city youth organization, Project P.U.L.L. But, as I mentioned already, his annual evaluation report states that he had not been observed at his unit during the twelve months ending May 1973. This means that there were another five months, after he left Alabama, during which Bush did not fulfill any of his obligations as a Guardsman.

In fact, during the final four months of this period, December 1972 through May 29, 1973, neither Bush nor his aides have ever tried to claim attendance at any guard activities. So, incredibly, for a period of one year beginning May 1, 1972, there is just one day, November 29th, on which Bush claims to have performed duty for the Air National Guard. There are no dates of service for 1973 mentioned in Bush's "Chronological Service Listing." Bush's long absence from the records comes to an end one week after he failed to comply with an order to attend "Annual Active Duty Training" starting at the end of May 1973. He then began serving irregularly with his unit. Nothing indicates in the records that he ever made up the time he missed.

Early in September 1973, Bush submitted a request seeking to be discharged from the Texas Air National Guard and to be transferred to the Air Reserve Personnel Center. This transfer to the inactive reserves would effectively end any requirements to attend monthly drills. The request -- despite Bush's record -- was approved. That fall Bush enrolled in Harvard Business School. Both Bush and his aides have made numerous statements to the effect that Bush fulfilled all of his guard obligations. They point to Bush's honorable discharge as proof of this. But the records indicate that George W Bush missed a year of service. This lack of regular attendance goes against the basic concept of a National Guard kept strong by citizen soldiers who maintain their skills and preparedness through regular training.

And we know that Bush understood that regular attendance was essential to the proficiency of the National Guard. In the Winter 1998 issue of the National Guard Review Bush is quoted as saying "I can remember walking up to my F-102 fighter and seeing the mechanics there. I was on the same team as them, and I relied on them to make sure that I wasn't jumping out of an airplane. There was a sense of shared responsibility in that case. The responsibility to get the airplane down. The responsibility to show up and do your job."

Bush has found military readiness to be a handy campaign issue.
Bush's unsatisfactory attendance could have resulted in being ordered to active duty for a period up to two years -- including a tour in Vietnam. Lieutenant Bush would have been aware of this as he had signed a statement which listed the penalties for poor attendance and unsatisfactory participation. Bush could also have faced a general court martial. But this was unlikely as it would have also meant dragging in the two officers who had signed off on his annual evaluation.
Going after officers in this way would have been outside the norm. Most often an officer would be subject to career damaging letters of reprimand and poor Officers Effectiveness Ratings. These types of punishment would often result in the resignation of the officer. In Bush's case, as someone who still had a commitment for time not served, he could have been brought back and made to do drills. But this would have been a further embarrassment to the service as it would have made it semi-public that a Lieutenant Colonel and squadron commander had let one of his subordinates go missing for a year.

For the Guard, for the ranking officers involved and for Lieutenant Bush the easiest and quietest thing to do was adding time onto his commitment and placing that time in the inactive reserves. Among these old documents there is a single clue as to how Bush finally fulfilled his obligations and made up for those missed drill days. In my first request for information I received a small three-page document containing the "Military Biography Of George Walker Bush." This was sent from the Headquarters Air Reserve Personnel Center (ARPC) in Denver Colorado.

In this official summary of Bush's military service, I found something that was not mentioned in Bush's records from the National Guard Bureau in Arlington, Virginia. When Bush enlisted his commitment ran until May 26, 1974. This was the separation date shown on all documents as late as October 1973, when Bush was transferred to the inactive reserves at Denver, Colorado. But the date of final separation shown on the official summary from Denver, is November 21, 1974. The ARPC had tacked an extra six months on to Bush's commitment. Bush may have finally "made-up" his missed days. But he did so not by attending drills -- in fact he never attended drills again after he enrolled at Harvard. Instead, he had his name added to the roster of a paper unit in Denver, Colorado, a paper unit where he had no responsibility to show up and do a job.

Bush has found military readiness to be a handy campaign issue. Yet even though more than two decades have passed since Bush left the Air National Guard, some military sources still bristle at his service record -- and what effect it had on readiness. "In short, for the several hundred thousand dollars we tax payers spent on getting [Bush] trained as a fighter jock, he repaid us with sixty-eight days of active duty. And God only knows if and when he ever flew on those days," concludes a military source. "I've spent more time cleaning up latrines than he did flying.">





http://www.democrats.com/display.cfm?id=154

http://dc.indymedia.org/newswire/display/60409

http://www.tompaine.com/feature.cfm/ID/3671

http://home.earthlink.net/~platter/bush-mil.html

http://awolbush.com/

http://www.rense.com/general37/hnr.htm

http://www.georgewalkerbush.net/militaryrecord.htm


http://www.logicpathsw.com/AWOLarticle.html

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ReadyontheRight
February 5, 2004, 02:03 PM
Thanks Bountyhunter! I'm sure we'll be hearing a lot about this. It's good to know the record.

moa
February 5, 2004, 02:15 PM
Kind of ridiculous that some writer brings this up now. They should have done their homework in 2000, when it would have meant something.

Bush has been Commander-and-Chief for three years now, and a pretty decent one unless he was/is lying about the Iraq War. I do not think this story will have much of an effect on anybody except those who already hate Bush.

Senator Kerry has a great military record, but when it comes to national defense and intelligence, Kerry is a first rate disaster. His Senate record is horrible.

Balog
February 5, 2004, 03:04 PM
Geez, at least Daddy Bush really did serve. If this is true (and I see no reason to think it isn't) I'd say he behaved every bit as shamefully as Slick Willie. Leaving the country to avoid taking on an obligation, or taking that obligation and ignoring it. Not a lot of difference IMHO.

Willard
February 5, 2004, 03:17 PM
Of course, the press didn't give a care when it was Beelzabubba and his "war" record-actively avoiding the draft, protesting the US in Moscows Red Square (you know, the guys providing all those SAM-2's to North Vietnam?). Especially when Bush Sr. has his record.
Now that Kerry is looking like he might face Bush in November, the war record matters.
One more reason to hate the press.


Bush was a low level weasel compared to Klintons treasonous, self serving acts. Bubba also actively aided and abetted the enemy by his activity in the states and Soviet Union and occupied Eastern Europe.
Useful idiot dope smoking pinko liar.
Bush is just an idiot, comparatively.
Klinton-sniveling lying communist weasel.
Bush-weasel.

Malone LaVeigh
February 5, 2004, 03:24 PM
There are some of us that think one of the few patriotic things Slick Willie ever did was oppose that stupid, unnecessary war.

Art Eatman
February 5, 2004, 03:26 PM
Yeah, let's judge a man in his fifties by his behavior during his twenties. That makes about as much sense as saying that a guy's behavior during his fraternity-house years predetermines his suitability as a husband and father.

MEGO.

Art

Obiwan
February 5, 2004, 03:45 PM
YAWN

DorGunR
February 5, 2004, 03:48 PM
There are some of us that think one of the few patriotic things Slick Willie ever did was oppose that stupid, unnecessary war.

The war may have been stupid and unnecessary and I see no problem with protesting the war..............but I have a serious problem with those that protested the warriors. When I came back from Nam I was spit on and called baby killer...............in San Francisco I put one guy in the hospital with a broken jaw and another with two broken ribs, cause if you spit on me then suffer the retaliation.:mad:

fix
February 5, 2004, 03:50 PM
in San Francisco I put one guy in the hospital with a broken jaw and another with two broken ribs, cause if you spit on me then suffer the retaliation.

Outfrigginstanding!!!

Jeff White
February 5, 2004, 03:59 PM
That's right. It wasn't unusual for guardsmen and reservists not to fulfill their contracts. And it's still not. As a matter of fact BUsh was at the age and point in his life that most reservists who don't fulfill their contract leave the service for one reason or another. There comes a time when people make a decision between their civilian career and their part time military career. Often the military loses out and these people simply stop coming to drill.

Yes there are provisions to reduce them in rank etc. And at that time they could be involuntarily ordered to active duty. Some units did the involuntary active duty thing but many didn't. I'm not aware of any officer that was ever involuntarily ordered to active duty, but I'm sure it happened.

The author is wrong about Bush being subject to court martial. The Guard was not under UCMJ except when on active duty for training (i.e. annual training). Any discipline like that would have had to have been handled on the State side under Texas law.

I would bet that he wasn't the only one from that unit to get by with skipping drills for a while either.

This is more an indictment of how our reserve system works and not an indictment of the president.

Jeff

ReadyontheRight
February 5, 2004, 04:00 PM
Now that Kerry is looking like he might face Bush in November, the war record matters.

Of course. The Dems are the best at throwing every piece of **** against the wall hoping some will stick.

As long as we're talking about what was done in the 70s, I'm sure John Kerry's book will come up in the campaign too:

http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com/images/Kerry%20cover.jpg

If I was running for President of a country, I sure would regret publishing a book in my name that had that country's flag upside down on the cover - making fun of a statue dedicated to all Marines who have given their lives in defense of that country.

TallPine
February 5, 2004, 04:08 PM
Bush's military record several decades ago doesn't concern me as much as his record as President for the past 3 years.

As for Clinton or anybody else protesting a war or anything else our govt does, IMO that should be done on our own soil to affect the opinions of our own people, NOT in some foreign country.

Let's keep our "family squabbles" at home, so to speak.

That was my gripe with the Dixie Chix - not that they opposed the war against Iraq, but that they badmouthed the USA and our President while doing a concert in England.

Unisaw
February 5, 2004, 04:34 PM
I was listening to Michael Medved discussing this issue a few weeks ago. He noted that the F-102 was being phased out and that, given Bush's short remaining service commitment, it didn't make any sense to train him for a new aircraft. I would be interested in any facts that either support or refute this assertion.

bountyhunter
February 5, 2004, 04:39 PM
Kind of ridiculous that some writer brings this up now. They should have done their homework in 2000, when it would have meant something.

They did. They asked Bush to make his military service records public and he refused (for obvious reasons).

It's being brough up now because the Bushies are ripping into John Kerry and calling him a communist. Kerry served his tour in nam and came home and campaigned against the war. he also went on record saying some of what we were doing there was criminal (and it was). He is now getting fried for being vocal in his opposition to that war and they are attacking him for it.

My opinion is that anybody who served his tour of duty in country has a right to voice their opinion on that war, and that opinion is a lot more valid than one from a coward with a rich daddy who got him a slot in the Air National Guard that let him spend the war drinking beer in Bamastan.:mad:

bountyhunter
February 5, 2004, 04:45 PM
I was listening to Michael Medved discussing this issue a few weeks ago. He noted that the F-102 was being phased out and that, given Bush's short remaining service commitment, it didn't make any sense to train him for a new aircraft. I would be interested in any facts that either support or refute this assertion.

That's really pretty irrelevant to the point that Bush failed to fulfill his obligation of service. You agree to drill specific days and hours as well as serve two weeks active duty every year, and it is a contract. You go where they say, when the say, and that's what it is. It's the MILITARY. They don't say: "Well.... I'm not sure we really need you so why don't you just take off for a year and we'll skip the rest." It doesn't happen. Sometmes they tell you to go someplace silly like to the dedication of a new ship and just stnd there. My wife (who is a CO in a Naval Reserve unit) once told her people something like: "Report to the ship and mill about smartly." In other words, stand around and watch them launch a ship. You don't just take off when things get slow.

Hkmp5sd
February 5, 2004, 04:55 PM
http://pages.prodigy.net/indianahawkeye/newpage32/5.gif

bountyhunter
February 5, 2004, 04:55 PM
If I was running for President of a country, I sure would regret publishing a book in my name that had that country's flag upside down on the cover - making fun of a statue dedicated to all Marines who have given their lives in defense of that country.

He does regret it. But what it boils down to is that at that time, he was making a statement about a war which was wrong... which he had participated in personally. It was intended to shock and make a statement, and it did. My point is that he wasn't a little rich snot hiding from the war, he did the time and earned the right to make the statement. If you don't agree, don't vote for him. But it just bugs me that Bush lovers choose to completely ignore the fact that he is as big a draft dodger as Clinton ever was.... except Bush has the gall to lie about it even when the records from the service show the truth.

There's a saying that the worst day golfing is better than the best day working. IMO, the most screwed up war veteran who served is still more patriotic than the loudest rich boy who hid from the war because he could. I don't agree with everything kerry said, but I know how people got their heads screwed up by that war. Bush has no excuse, yet he still continues to lie to this day about his service record. IMO, that is a lot more of a disgrace to veterans.

fix
February 5, 2004, 05:04 PM
IMO, the most screwed up war veteran who served is still more patriotic than the loudest rich boy who hid from the war because he could.

Patriotism is more about what you're doing than what you did. If you're patriotic once, you do not automatically become a patriot for life. John Kerry is no patriot in my book. As a Marine, I find that book cover offensive and quite frankly could care less about John Kerry's "statement."

Swamprabbit
February 5, 2004, 05:20 PM
Like all this really mattered when Bob got-my-arm-blown-to-hell-in-Italy Dole ran against Bill [fill in yourself] Clinton. I think this is a yawner of an issue.;)

Mike Irwin
February 5, 2004, 05:39 PM
Someone wake me up if the monkeys throwing their feeces actually get anything to stick.

Until then, I have the insides of my eyelids to inspect...

greyhound
February 5, 2004, 05:52 PM
I think its a "pre-emptive strike" by Kerry and the Dems, knowing that Kerry's war protesting is going to come up.

Been there, done that in 2000 with this story.

I agree with "YAWN".

roo_ster
February 5, 2004, 05:54 PM
Why don't I get all upset when I hear about an EIGHTEEN MONTH HOLE IN GW'S SERVICE RECORD! or BUSH WAS AWOL FOR A YEAR! or similar dreck? It might be because I served in the military as a non-careerist and saw a hash made of my records, too.

For Instance:
* Half the schools I was sent to (and completed) not on my record
* MORE than half the jumps I made not recorded in my training record
- Same with the prodigious anmount of range time spent burning up taxpayer dollars
* Two thirds of my awards not appearing on my records
* Oh, and this is rich: my discharge certificate (the one you'd frame & hang up) lists my rank as SGT (E-5), despite the fact that I never progressed beyond SPC (E-4). I don't display it 'cause I don't want to have to 'splain about how the Army dorked it up. I tried to get another, corrected & framable cert, but it was not worth the bureaucratic nightmare of hoops I would have to jump through.

If I were a careerist, I woulda kept immaculate records and pestered the training NCO and other record-keepers to keep my records as perfectly as possible. Since I knew I was going to get out, I was not too worried. I'd never go back into service unless the Reds/Islamists/whomever were threatenuing to walk down main street, so perfectly kept training records were not a priority. My current employer does not give a hoot if I had demo & CLS training or how many times I qualified with my weapon.

Long story short: the military sucks eggs at personnel record keeping.

Check out the the following from a retired AF reservist:
Air Force Reservist Site (http://baldilocks.typepad.com/baldilocks/2003/11/i_try_to_keep_m.html)

Quote:
"...if the member wants to take an extended period of absence from his/her duty for any reason—family, school, work in a political campaign, or just because he/she needs a break—he/she can do it with the unit commander’s permission. That’s it. That’s all that’s required. Not a flocking act of Congress, not some monetary exchange in a back room somewhere.

I know this, because I did it. Yes, little bald-headed black chicks can take a break from the Reserves if they want to, just like rich white guys. And I kept my money--and my virtue, such as it is--in my pocket when I did it."

moa
February 5, 2004, 06:04 PM
Being certified to fly a high performance jet fighter is not too shabby military credentials even if he did not fly that much and was essentially AWOL for a year. It is also dangerous duty.

Also, we do not know why Bush was cut so much slack by the Guard. Might have been political pull, or maybe no one really cared anyway.

Also, anybody who joins the Guard or Reserves always runs the risk of going full time active duty for extended periods. You see that today. During WWII, entire National Guard divisions were sent into combat. Example is the 29th Infantry Division which was part of the D-Day landing at Normandy, and follow-up combat. My uncles were in the 29th as Guardsment and they spent 6 years active duty.

By the way, does anybody know if Sen. Ted Kennedy served in the military? I heard he did, and job was serving drinks in the USO. But that might be BS.

johnr
February 5, 2004, 07:38 PM
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1070518/posts
-The Real Military Record of George W. Bush: Not Heroic, but Not AWOL, Either-The Original Story--

Cool Hand Luke 22:36
February 5, 2004, 07:57 PM
This is bad if true, but doesn't rise to the level of treason as does Sen. Kerry's accepting campaign contributions from the Chinese Red Army Intelligence Division at the same time that America's most advanced nuclear warhead designs were being "stolen" from Los Alamos by the Chinese.

The report also ignores the fact that Bush did indeed serve for at least 4 and 1/2 years, thats 4 and 1/2 more than Clinton ever did.

Cool Hand Luke 22:36
February 5, 2004, 08:03 PM
By the way, does anybody know if Sen. Ted Kennedy served in the military? I heard he did, and job was serving drinks in the USO. But that might be BS

Yes, after being tossed out of Harvard for cheating on a Spanish exam he joined the Army for 4 years. Joe Kennedy "fixed" this so that Ted would only serve 2 years and ensured no service in the Korean war.

In two years he never rose above the rank of private.

Nightcrawler
February 5, 2004, 08:05 PM
My father was spit on when he came home from Vietnam, too. I don't have a lot of sympathy for the hippie war protestors of that generation. Much like today's war protestors, they were, largely, a bunch of un-informed Communist sympathizers that didn't know what the hell they were talking about.

Legitimate protest is one thing. Opposing a war because of your values is one thing. Maching in an anti-war protest with banners that say "save the whales" and "the president is bad, vote communist" is just stupid.

www.protestwarrior.com

Malone LaVeigh
February 5, 2004, 08:06 PM
The only thing that's interesting about this story is how the "liberal" media buried it in 2000.

Hkmp5sd
February 5, 2004, 08:07 PM
By the way, does anybody know if Sen. Ted Kennedy served in the military?

Yes, he did. After being expelled from Harvard for cheating, he enlisted in the army for four years. He didn't tell his daddy beforehand and old Joe got royally POed about it, especially since the Korean War was in progress. Daddy managed to get his enlistment shortened to two years and to get him sent to Europe instead of Korea.

Ted did his two years, achieving the staggering rank of Pfc. He then managed to get back into Harvard. His cheating skills appear to have greatly improved as he wasn't caught again and graduated.

(And Cool Hand types faster than I do) :)

Cool Hand Luke 22:36
February 5, 2004, 08:14 PM
There are some of us that think one of the few patriotic things Slick Willie ever did was oppose that stupid, unnecessary war.


In Moscow? In Red Square? In a demonstration organized and paid for by the KGB?

If that's patriotic then so would be Jane Fonda's photo op sitting on a NVA anti-aircraft gun outside Hanoi or the Communist propaganda films she made with American POWs beaten and torturted to get them to participate.

Malone LaVeigh
February 5, 2004, 08:32 PM
In Moscow? In Red Square? In a demonstration organized and paid for by the KGB?Right-wing crackpot myth #32. Anyway, to give the claim more credence than it deserves, I'll answer. Why not? Free speech is free speech.

Jeff Timm
February 5, 2004, 08:35 PM
I was in the military, US Army, Ordnance Corps, 1972 -1982.

1972 - 1975, the military sucked. No money. Little training and people were being allowed to leave early from the Regular Army and reserves as they were violently down sized.

Bush served. The fact that the Air National Guard had nothing for him to fly is hardly a condemnation. Pilots are funny. If they cannot fly they are unhappy. Gee, I wonder how many others left the service?

Geoff
Who remebers Jimmy Stewart with fondness.

F4GIB
February 5, 2004, 09:03 PM
Daddy Bush lost my vote over his "assault rifle" import ban.

Shrub is probably going to lose my vote over this issue. Just another rich boy too good to fight for his country. Nope, he used "pull" to get into pilot training and then wouldn't even keep the good bargain he made. Just too difficult to make those NG meetings. Let some other poor schmuck do it. Did he think his unit mates were his servants?

He "stole" someone else's career as a pilot.

joonya187
February 5, 2004, 09:18 PM
I don't know what bearing one's military record has on their ability to preside anyway.

Bush gets slammed for his service, kerry gets praised for his.
In 96 CLinton (everyone knows what his record was) and Dole (agreeably honorably served in WWII). The oucome of that election alone ought to exemplifies the 'value' placed on service record come election time.

Tierhog
February 5, 2004, 09:25 PM
When I was active duty we had a saying...

You can't polish a turd, and if you could all you'd have is a shiny turd.

Lot of shiny turds run for office.

Waitone
February 5, 2004, 10:10 PM
Would some moderator chime in and explain how this thread remains open?

Mike Irwin
February 5, 2004, 10:54 PM
"The only thing that's interesting about this story is how the "liberal" media buried it in 2000."

You obviously don't take the NY Times or the Washington Post, Molon.

Both accorded roughly equal time to Bush's and Gore's military time.

Cool Hand Luke 22:36
February 5, 2004, 11:18 PM
Right-wing crackpot myth #32. Anyway, to give the claim more credence than it deserves, I'll answer. Why not? Free speech is free speech.

Looks like I misremembered the story. The demonstrations Clinton led were held in London and were only funded and directed by a KGB front organization. Clinton later traveled to Moscow accompanied by a known KGB officer according to reports.

Free speech is one thing, gving aid and comfort to an enemy during time of war a la Tokyo Rose is another. Clinton's activities in London came close to that considering how he led an anti-War demonstration funded by a KGB front organization, and later traveled to Moscow under very questionable circumstances.

Right-wing crackpot

Name calling always seems to be the first resort of the lefties for some reason. It really just denotes a lack of any rational counter argument.

Chindo18Z
February 5, 2004, 11:35 PM
Let's see...

As a young man, the future President decided to serve his country by first becoming a commissioned officer and then becoming a jet fighter pilot.

Of course, as any Dem will tell you, millions of men avoided their "duty" by successfully volunteering to fly extremely touchy and dangerous supersonic combat aircraft. In fact, most of the folks who went to Canada were just waiting for their flight school applications to be approved. Hell, Howard Dean was gonna do it too (except for his "bad back").

Everyone knows that the safest place in the military to avoid death and discomfort is the ejection seat of a large hurtling lit fuel container at high altitude...

In the process of getting to Air Guard "easy street" he only had to perform 2 intense years of Active Duty service (completing that commissioning process, flight school, and fighter qualification).

Then got assigned to the primary fighter type flown by the Guard of that era...the F102 Delta Dagger...a plane fielded in the 1950s, obsolete by the late 60s and relegated to Air Guard (Homeland Defense) use by the end of the Vietnam conflict. Used to defend against penetrating Soviet bombers and reconnaissance planes. This plane was only used for a short time in Vietnam (1968) and then withdrawn from the war. However, thousands of them were used for their primary mission of air defense for the continental USA.

Dang the luck. If Lt Bush had been in charge, he could have forced the USAF to redeploy an obsolescent airframe to Vietnam during the last year of the air war...

Hell, most intelligent and ambitious college age men were beating down the door to get over to the conflict in 71-73. That dastardly Nixon was just TOO intent on actually withdrawing and didn't allow all the teeth gnashers and wailers of today (mostly liberals) their God-Given-Right to be the last cannon fodder in a conflict our leaders had decided not to win. Just ask 'em. Most of 'em would've gone...they could've gone...they REALLY were gonna go (right after college Graduation...gee-whiz...REALLY). They SHOULD'VE gone.

You want a military resume...try Commander-in-Chief...three years...wartime. It must be an easy job...just about every Democrat with a pulse claims to want it!

Missing drills...big deal. That's been happening for a long time in the Guard & Reserve. Most people who have served can read between the lines.

Sorry. Everything I'm seeing in the news these weeks (including the military record of the President of the United States) is shameless political caterwauling by a group of folks about to nominate the man who couldn't beat Gore to run against the man Gore couldn't beat.
:barf:

HunterGatherer
February 6, 2004, 12:23 AM
The only thing that's interesting about this story is how the "liberal" media buried it in 2000. Buried right here in The Washington Post 1999.





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At Height of Vietnam, Bush Picks Guard

George W. Bush, right, during his Harvard Business School years. (Harvard Yearbook)


By George Lardner Jr. and Lois Romano
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, July 28, 1999; Page A1


Fourth of seven articles
Two weeks before he was to graduate from Yale, George Walker Bush stepped into the offices of the Texas Air National Guard at Ellington Field outside Houston and announced that he wanted to sign up for pilot training.
It was May 27, 1968, at the height of the Vietnam War. Bush was 12 days away from losing his student deferment from the draft at a time when Americans were dying in combat at the rate of 350 a week. The unit Bush wanted to join offered him the chance to fulfill his military commitment at a base in Texas. It was seen as an escape route from Vietnam by many men his age, and usually had a long waiting list.

Bush had scored only 25 percent on a "pilot aptitude" test, the lowest acceptable grade. But his father was then a congressman from Houston, and the commanders of the Texas Guard clearly had an appreciation of politics.

Bush was sworn in as an airman the same day he applied. His commander, Col. Walter B. "Buck" Staudt, was apparently so pleased to have a VIP's son in his unit that he later staged a special ceremony so he could have his picture taken administering the oath, instead of the captain who actually had sworn Bush in. Later, when Bush was commissioned a second lieutenant by another subordinate, Staudt again staged a special ceremony for the cameras, this time with Bush's father the congressman – a supporter of the Vietnam War – standing proudly in the background.

Bush's father went on to run for senator in 1970 against Lloyd Bentsen Jr. – a prominent Texas Democrat whose own son had been placed in the same Texas Guard unit by the same Col. Staudt around the same time as Bush. On Election Day, before the polls closed, Guard commanders nominated both George W. Bush and Lloyd Bentsen III for promotion to first lieutenant – even as the elder Bentsen was defeating the elder Bush.

Three decades later, as Bush begins a campaign for the presidency that has invited new scrutiny of his life, Staudt and other Guard commanders insist no favoritism was shown to him. But others active in Texas politics in the 1960s say the Texas National Guard was open to string-pulling by the well-connected, and there are charges that the then-speaker of the Texas legislature helped George W. gain admittance.

Vietnam was clearly a crucible for Bush, as it was for Bill Clinton, Al Gore and most other men who left college in the late 1960s. Bush maintains that he joined the National Guard not to avoid service in Vietnam but because he wanted to be a fighter pilot. Rather than be drafted and serve in the infantry – an assignment Bush has acknowledged he did not want – he agreed to spend almost two years in flight training and another four years in part-time service.

That commitment, in turn, was to frame a period of aimlessness and drift that Bush now calls his "nomadic" years: As the war and the youth culture of the 1960s rocked America, Bush partied and dated with gusto, dabbled half-heartedly in business and politics, and flew jets part time. Apart from his Guard commitment, he was unemployed for stretches that lasted for months. His last job before he returned to the East to attend Harvard Business School, as a social worker helping poor children, was arranged by his father after George W. drunkenly confronted him one night and challenged him to a fight.

Even after returning to the elite classrooms of the Ivy League, Bush seemed adrift compared with his classmates. But Harvard offered the beginnings of a self-discipline – his mother called it "structure" – that was to propel him back to Texas with an ambition to build his own future.

As he drifted, Bush struggled with his own feelings about Vietnam and the turmoil he saw around him in America. Over time, he now says, he became disillusioned with the war, even as he believed that he should support the government that waged it. "In a sense he was trying to remain a centrist in a time when there wasn't anything left at the center," said Craig Stapleton, who is married to Bush's cousin and has been a confidant of Bush's for 25 years. "All of the sudden everybody moves and you're still standing in the center. He didn't dodge the military. But he didn't volunteer to go to Vietnam and get killed, either."


Grabbing a Slot In the National Guard



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Bush learned that there were pilot openings in the Texas Air National Guard during Christmas vacation of his senior year at Yale, when he called Staudt, the commander of the 147th Fighter Group, and, he said, "found out what it took to apply."
"He recalls hearing from friends while he was home over the Christmas break that the Guard was looking for pilots and that Colonel Staudt was the person to contact," said his communications director, Karen Hughes. She said Bush did not recall who those friends were.

Retired Col. Rufus G. Martin, then personnel officer in charge of the 147th Fighter Group, said the unit was short of its authorized strength, but still had a long waiting list, because of the difficulty getting slots in basic training for recruits at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. Martin said four openings for pilots were available in the 147th in 1968, and that Bush got the last one.

Staudt, the colonel who twice had himself photographed with Bush, said his status as a congressman's son "didn't cut any ice." But others say that it was not uncommon for well-connected Texans to obtain special consideration for Air Guard slots. In addition to Bush and Bentsen, many socially or politically prominent young men were admitted to the Air Guard, according to former officials; they included the son of then-Sen. John Tower and at least seven members of the Dallas Cowboys.

"The well-to-do kids had enough sense to get on the waiting list," Martin said. "Some [applicants] thought they could just walk in the door and sign up."

One address for those seeking help getting in was Ben Barnes, a Democrat who was then the speaker of the Texas House and a protege of Gov. John B. Connally. A top aide to Barnes, Nick Kralj, simultaneously served as aide to the head of the Texas Air National Guard, the late Brig. Gen. James M. Rose.

An anonymous letter addressed to a U.S. attorney in Texas, produced in a discovery proceeding for an ongoing lawsuit, charged that Barnes assisted Bush in getting into the Guard. The suit was brought by the former director of the Texas Lottery Commission, who believes Barnes, now a lobbyist, may have played a role in his dismissal.

In a deposition for the suit, Kralj confirmed that he would get calls from Barnes or his chief of staff, Robert Spelling, "saying so-and-so is interested in getting in the Guard." Kralj said he would then forward the names to Gen. Rose.

In an interview, Barnes also acknowledged that he sometimes received requests for help in obtaining Guard slots. He said he never received such a call from then-Rep. Bush or anyone in the Bush family.

However, when asked if an intermediary or friend of the Bush family had ever asked him to intercede on George W.'s behalf, Barnes declined to comment. Kralj, in his deposition, said he could not recall any of the names he gave to Gen. Rose.

Hughes, Bush's spokeswoman, said: "The governor has no knowledge of anyone making inquiries on his behalf."

Martin and others said Bush was quickly accepted because he was willing to sign up for the intensive training and six years of service required of fighter pilots. "It was very difficult to find someone who would commit himself to the rigorous training that was required," says Martin.

Bush, said Staudt, "said he wanted to fly just like his daddy."

Bush's father had volunteered for service in World War II at the age of 18 and was shot down while flying combat missions in the Pacific theater. By enlisting in the Guard, his son not only avoided Vietnam but was able to spend much of his time on active duty in his home town of Houston, flying F-102 fighter interceptors out of Ellington Air Force Base.

In discussing his own decision, he has always said his main consideration was that he wanted to be a pilot, and the National Guard gave him a chance to do that. In 1989 he tried to describe his own thought process to a Texas interviewer. "I'm saying to myself, 'What do I want to do?' I think I don't want to be an infantry guy as a private in Vietnam. What I do decide to want to do is learn to fly."

Asked in a recent interview whether he was avoiding the draft, Bush said, "No, I was becoming a pilot."

Four months before enlisting, Bush reported at Westover Air Force Base in Massachusetts to take the Air Force Officers Qualification Test. While scoring 25 percent for pilot aptitude – "about as low as you could get and be accepted," according to Martin – and 50 percent for navigator aptitude in his initial testing, he scored 95 percent on questions designed to reflect "officer quality," compared with a current-day average of 88 percent.

Among the questions Bush had to answer on his application forms was whether he wanted to go overseas. Bush checked the box that said: "do not volunteer."

Bush said in an interview that he did not recall checking the box. Two weeks later, his office provided a statement from a former, state-level Air Guard personnel officer, asserting that since Bush "was applying for a specific position with the 147th Fighter Group, it would have been inappropriate for him to have volunteered for an overseas assignment and he probably was so advised by the military personnel clerk assisting him in completing the form."

During a second interview, Bush himself raised the issue.

"Had my unit been called up, I'd have gone . . . to Vietnam," Bush said. "I was prepared to go."

But there was no chance Bush's unit would be ordered overseas. Bush says that toward the end of his training in 1970, he tried to volunteer for overseas duty, asking a commander to put his name on the list for a "Palace Alert" program, which dispatched qualified F-102 pilots in the Guard to the Europe and the Far East, occasionally to Vietnam, on three- to six-month assignments.

He was turned down on the spot. "I did [ask] – and I was told, 'You're not going,' " Bush said.

Only pilots with extensive flying time – at the outset, 1,000 hours were required – were sent overseas under the voluntary program. The Air Force, moreover, was retiring the aging F-102s and had ordered all overseas F-102 units closed down as of June 30, 1970.

After basic training at Lackland and his commissioning as a second lieutenant in 1968, Bush got what amounted to a two-month-plus vacation that enabled him to head to Florida to work for a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, Edward J. Gurney. Put on inactive duty status, Bush arrived in early September and stayed through Election Day, riding the press plane, handing out releases, and making sure traveling reporters woke up in time. He occasionally returned to Houston for weekend Guard duty.

In late November, Bush was sent to Moody Air Force Base outside Valdosta, Ga., for year-long undergraduate flight school. Bush impressed fellow trainees with the way he learned to handle a plane, but he became a celebrity for something else. In the middle of his training, President Richard M. Nixon sent a plane down to fetch him for an introductory date with his older daughter Tricia, according to fellow trainee Joseph A. Chaney. It did not lead to another date, but the story lives on. So does memory of the graduation ceremony: Rep. Bush gave the commencement speech.

In December 1969, George W. returned to Houston to hone his skills and eventually fly solo on the all-weather F-102, firing its weapons and conducting intercept missions against supersonic targets. He learned with a verve that impressed his superiors, becoming the the first hometown graduate of the 147th's newly established Combat Crew Training School. The group's public relations office celebrated his solo flight in March 1970 with a press release that began:

"George Walker Bush is one member of the younger generation who doesn't get his kicks from pot or hashish or speed. . . . As far as kicks are concerned, Lt. Bush gets his from the roaring afterburner of the F-102."

Brig. Gen. John Scribner, director of the Texas Military Forces Museum in Austin, said it was only natural that the Guard would have publicized Bush's service with special ceremonies and press releases. "That's how they do things, play it up big, especially since he was a congressman's son. That was important to the Guard," he said.


No Career in Mind, No Rush to Settle Down



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Bush graduated from Combat Crew Training School on June 23, 1970, having fulfilled his two years of active duty. But he still flew the F-102 Delta Daggers a few times a month; his unit kept two of the fighters, fully armed, on round-the-clock alert and needed the pilots to man them. With no career in mind, Bush was still "looking," as his mother said – looking for work and looking for his road. He seemed to be in no rush to settle down, which his mother said was fine by his parents.
Barbara Bush said she recalled that her father-in-law, Prescott Bush, came to Yale in the late 1940s and told her husband that " 'you don't have to make up your mind now what you're going to be when you grow up.' " She added: "I think we told our children that. . . . I'm sure George did."

George W. promptly took a one-bedroom apartment at one of the most attractive complexes in Houston at the time, the Chateaux Dijon. A popular spot for singles, it offered fancy street lamps and striped awnings and six pools filled with ambitious secretaries, students and young businessmen. Bush relished his bachelor life there. He played hard, plunging into all-day water volleyball games, but left frequently for 24-hour flight duty in the alert shack at Ellington Field.

"He did some night-flying as I recall," said Don Ensenat, a Yale classmate who lived with him in Houston. "No alcohol 24 hours before. They had to keep planes on alert all the time." Bush had to be ready to scramble in his F-102 after any flying objects that Air Force radars couldn't figure out.

Coincidentally, Bush's future wife, Laura Welch, a public school librarian, lived at the Chateaux Dijon too, but they didn't meet. Bush dated other women frequently, but none steadily.

"He had a couple of girls that were more than one date, but nothing that looked like a serious romance," Ensenat said. "Dates and the opposite sex were always high on the agenda. He was always enjoyable to be around. But we didn't do anything anybody else in their twenties didn't do."

Ensenat said he never saw Bush use illegal drugs.

That fall, as his father raced Bentsen for the Senate seat, both Bush and Ensenat, who had already entered law school at the University of Houston, applied for admission to the University of Texas law school. Both were rejected, though Ensenat later became a lawyer. Then, after losing to Bentsen, Bush's father was named ambassador to the United Nations by President Nixon. The Bushes moved to New York, leaving their eldest son to rely on his family's old school and corporate ties to find a job.

Bush called Robert H. Gow, a Yale man who had roomed with the senior Bush's cousin Ray in college and who had been an executive at the senior Bush's Zapata Off-Shore Co. In 1969, Gow left Zapata and started Stratford of Texas, a Houston-based agricultural company with diverse interests: from cattle to chickens to indoor, non-blooming tropical plants.

"We weren't looking for someone, but I thought this would be a talented guy we should hire, and he was available," Gow said. In early 1971, Gow gave Bush a job as a management trainee. He was required to wear a coat and tie and dispatched around the country and even to Central America, looking for plant nurseries that Stratford might acquire. The newly buttoned-down businessman also moved into a garage apartment that he shared with Ensenat off Houston's North Boulevard, an old 1920s neighborhood close to downtown.

"We traveled to all kinds of peculiar places, like Apopka, Florida, which was named the foliage capital of the world," said Peter C. Knudtzon, another Zapata alumnus who was Stratford's executive vice president and Bush's immediate boss.

HunterGatherer
February 6, 2004, 12:24 AM
(continued)

Once or twice a month, Bush would announce that he had flight duty and off he would go, sometimes taking his F-102 from Houston to Orlando and back. "It was really quite amazing," Knudtzon said. "Here was this young guy making acquisitions of tropical plants and then up and leaving to fly fighter planes."

Bush learned the ropes quickly, putting in long hours, and fitting in smoothly – but this wasn't the place for the impatient young man. He would later refer to his time at Stratford as a dull coat-and-tie job. Within weeks he was talking to Gow and Knudtzon about his future, questioning, searching – but never coming to any firm conclusion. His bosses recall today that he was weighing whether he should pursue public service or stick it out in the business arena to build some security.

Bush stayed at Stratford only about nine months, and by fall 1971 he was flirting – albeit very briefly – with running for the state legislature. The Houston Post reported the possibility in a story that misnamed him "George Bush Jr."

In the late spring of 1972, Bush was again looking, when he joined another political campaign. This time he helped longtime family friend Jimmy Allison work in Alabama on the U.S. Senate campaign of Republican Winton M. "Red" Blount against longtime Democratic incumbent John J. Sparkman. Bush moved to Alabama and worked until November as political director for Blount, who lost by a wide margin.

By the end of 1972, Bush's father was mulling over a new job offer from Nixon – to be chairman of the Republican National Committee. With his parents back in Washington, Bush went to stay with them for the holidays and was involved in one of the most notorious incidents of his "nomadic" years. He took his 16-year-old brother Marvin out drinking, ran over a neighbor's garbage cans on the way home, and when his father confronted him, challenged him to go "mano a mano" outside.

There was no fight, and Bush was apparently able to mollify his father with the news that he had been accepted for the following fall at Harvard Business School. But with nothing to do until then, his father decided it was time to give this restless young man some broader exposure to real life.

Shortly after Christmas, Bush began working as a counselor with black youngsters in Houston's Third Ward in a program called PULL (Professionals United for Leadership) for Youth. The brainchild of the late John L. White, a former professional football player and civic leader, it was set up for kids up to 17 in a warehouse on McGowen Street and it offered sports, crafts, field trips and big-name mentors from the athletic, entertainment and business worlds.

Bush and his brother Marvin, who tagged along for the summer weeks, were the only whites in the place. "They stood out like a sore thumb," said Muriel Simmons Henderson, who was one of PULL's senior counselors. "John White was a good friend of their father. He told us that the father wanted George W. to see the other side of life. He asked John if he would put him in there."

Dressed in khaki, with his pants torn at the knees, Bush managed to fit right in. He "came early and stayed late," in the words of one former employee, playing basketball and wrestling with the youngsters, taking them on field trips to juvenile prisons so they could see that side of life and resolve not to end up there themselves. He also taught them not to run when a police cruiser came by.

"He was a super, super guy," said "Big Cat" Ernie Ladd, a 6-foot-9, 320-pound pro football great and PULL luminary who stopped by frequently. "If he was a stinker, I'd say he was a stinker. But everybody loved him so much. He had a way with people. . . . They didn't want him to leave." One little boy in particular, a 6-or-maybe-7-year-old named Jimmy Dean, made a special connection with Bush. "He was an adorable kid," said Edgar Arnold, PULL's operating director. "Everybody liked him, but he bypassed all these famous athletes, all these giants, and picked out George Bush, and vice versa." The two became inseparable. If George was a little late, Jimmy would wait for him on the stoop. "At business meetings," Arnold said, "that kid would be on top of George, head on his shoulders." When Jimmy showed up shoeless, George bought him shoes.

Bush says he heard many years later that little Jimmy Dean was killed by gunfire as a teenager. "He was like my adopted little brother."

In keeping with family tradition, Bush did not boast of his pedigree, or even mention it, to others at PULL. "I didn't know he was of a silver spoon nature," Henderson said.

His car, like his clothes, carried no hint of it. "He had a bomb of a car," she remembered. "It was the pits . . . always full of stuff, clothes, papers. No one could ride in it with him. . . . He never put himself in the position of looking down his nose at someone, like, 'I've got all this money, my father is George Bush.' He never talked about his father. He was so down to earth. . . . You could not help liking him. He was always fun."


Back to New England And Another School



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To start at Harvard, Bush needed early release from Guard duty in Texas, and he got it easily, about eight months short of a full six years. A Bush spokesman, Dan Bartlett, said early departures were quite common and, in Bush's case, appropriate because his unit had phased out the F-102s. Bush was transferred to a reserve unit in Boston for the rest of his time, Bartlett noted.
Arriving in Cambridge in September 1973 in his spray-painted Cutlass and scruffy clothes, Bush was not at all what his classmates expected when the word spread that he was indeed the son of the Republican National Committee chairman.

"One of my first recollections of him," says classmate Marty Kahn, "was sitting in class and hearing the unmistakable sound of someone spitting tobacco. I turned around and there was George sitting in the back of the room in his [National Guard] bomber jacket spitting in a cup. You have to remember this was Harvard Business School. You just didn't see that kind of thing."

Classmates vividly remember Bush as an iconoclast and a character, someone who didn't fit the tailored mold of business students in the nation's premier graduate program. Many of the students who arrived that fall, like Bush, had been out of college and working a few years. But unlike Bush, a good number were returning to school with a road map of where they were heading: Wall Street.

Bush's entry into the program came five years after his graduation from Yale, and after a series of dead-end or unfulfilling jobs. He was 27 and clearly had not found his niche yet. "A lot of people went to Harvard Business School . . . for a job and all that. I went there to actually learn. And did," says Bush.

Indeed, many of those closest to him, including his mother, believe Harvard's rigorous academic demands brought his life and potential career into focus. "Harvard was a great turning point for him. I don't think he'd say that as much as I would," said Barbara Bush. "I think he learned what is that word? Structure."

Bush shrugged off the trappings of Harvard and avoided the official clubs that would showcase him in the yearbook and look good on his resume. Instead, he showed up for class looking like he had just rolled out of bed in the morning, often sat in the back of the room chewing gum or dipping snuff and made it clear to everyone he had no interest in Wall Street.

He was one of the few people who posed for his yearbook mug shot in a sports shirt, a wrinkled one at that. The other prominent picture of him in the book showed him sitting in the back row of class with longish hair blowing a huge bubble.

"This was HBS and people were fooling around with the accouterments of money and power," recalled April Foley, who dated Bush for a brief period and has remained friends with him. "While they were drinking Chivas Regal, he was drinking Wild Turkey. They were smoking Benson and Hedges and he's dipping Copenhagen, and while they were going to the opera he was listen to Johnny Rodriguez over and over and over and over."

What Bush wanted to get out of Harvard were some practical business fundamentals. He wanted to do something entrepreneurial, he told his pals, but he wasn't sure what. He mused about running for office but told friends he had to make some money first. Of this everyone was certain: George W. Bush would never end up on the East Coast. He was going back to Texas.


Staff researchers Nathan Abse, Madonna Lebling and Mary Lou White contributed to this report.


© 1999 The Washington Post Company



This issue is always a hoot for me. The nonsense arguments about Bush having been AWOL make me laugh until I almost wet my pants. Keep the funny stories coming. Ya hear?!?


:p

Khornet
February 6, 2004, 08:40 AM
"those of us who think that one of the few patriotic things Slick Willie ever did was oppose that stupid, unnecessary war"

'course, many of those who didn't think it was stupid and unnecessary were murdered by those peace-loving agrarian reformers after America was persuaded to bug out by those noble antiwar types.

Gmac
February 6, 2004, 11:52 AM
Don't forget Gore's +/- 151 day tour of R.V.N. Mine was 365 days but "I ain't no senator's son." For the record I think that no matter who wins in November we lose.:banghead:

TallPine
February 6, 2004, 12:31 PM
"This was HBS and people were fooling around with the accouterments of money and power," recalled April Foley, who dated Bush for a brief period and has remained friends with him. "While they were drinking Chivas Regal, he was drinking Wild Turkey. They were smoking Benson and Hedges and he's dipping Copenhagen, and while they were going to the opera he was listen to Johnny Rodriguez over and over and over and over."
I just can't help but like a guy like this:)
even though I am totally disappointed with him as president.:(


"Ridin' my thumb to Mexico-oh-oh ...."

"Hey, ride me down easy, lord, ride me on down,
leave word in the dust where I lay.
Say I'm easy come and easy go,
and easy to love when I stay."

:D

idd
February 6, 2004, 12:41 PM
'course, many of those who didn't think it was stupid and unnecessary were murdered by those peace-loving agrarian reformers after America was persuaded to bug out by those noble antiwar types.

Had the US stayed in Vietnam, our guys would still be there fighting and dying today.

The US never should have gone into Vietnam as it tore our nation apart worse than anything since the War Between the States, plus killed more than one million Vietnamese. I can't believe that the GOP is crazy enough to make an issue out of Kerry's stance against the Vietnam War considering how Republican chickenhawks there are in the Bush Administration. (http://www.chickenhawkcards.com/)

Khornet
February 6, 2004, 12:50 PM
just like our guys still fighting in S. Korea. They kept the country free, and I invite you to compare the present conditions in N. Korea, and Vietnam, with South Korea.

"Chickenhawks": I love it. Rightness or wrongness of a decision depends on one's background, eh? No way a man who hadn't been in battle could ever tell right from wrong. Yep.

idd
February 6, 2004, 01:07 PM
Check out _A Bright Shining Lie : John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam_
by Neil Sheehan (1989). South Vietnam didn't have the will to resist. The generals were corrupt, using US-supplied helicopters to move drugs instead of their own troops. After the US left and the South had to stand on its own legs, it quickly fell. In April 1975 the North invaded the South, and it was like a sledgehammer hitting a vase.

Some 58,000 US soldiers died in vain in Southeast Asia because of the systematic lying by the US government.

Malone LaVeigh
February 6, 2004, 01:11 PM
Buried right here in The Washington Post 1999.Are you reprinting that hagiography to demonstrate what a left-wing rag the Post is? They somehow missed the part apout the missing year. Most of the sources were from the Bush campaign. Jeezus, I actually read most of that drek just to be able to respond. I want a half hour of my life back. :mad:

Malone LaVeigh
February 6, 2004, 01:13 PM
Name calling always seems to be the first resort of the lefties for some reason. It really just denotes a lack of any rational counter argument. Lighten up, Luke. I wasn't calling you a crackpot. I'm saying the myth is one of many which have their sources on the fringe. Anyway, I was right, wasn't I? Kind of refutes the "lack of any rational counter argument."

idd
February 6, 2004, 01:29 PM
"Chickenhawks": I love it. Rightness or wrongness of a decision depends on one's background, eh? No way a man who hadn't been in battle could ever tell right from wrong. Yep.

Bush went AWOL. Dick Cheny, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Pearle, Rush Limbaugh, Bill Bennett, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Bob Dornan and many other Republican leaders and propagandists actively avoided military service. They have no problem sending *others* off to the jungles of Southeast Asia or the deserts of the Middle East, but when it came their time, they chickened out.

They're all for war - so long as other people's kids do the actual fighting and dying. Kinda like how they scream for zero tolerance - unless it's their own kids who get caught up in the dragnet. And how they got all upset about Bill Clinton lying about his girlfriend - but are unperturbed about Bush's systematic lying about Iraq's "WMD," lies that actually matter. How they hate it when convicted felons criminal get off on a techinicality - unless said criminals are named Oliver North or John Poindexter.

Just depends on whose oxe is getting gored.

bountyhunter
February 6, 2004, 01:32 PM
This isn't about Slick Willie, ted kennedy or any other bozo from the demo's closet. The issue of GWB's military record is relevant because:

1) In 2000, he was asked by McCain to make his military record public and GWB refused. Guess why. I don't know who or why it was not more vigorously pursued by the media then but that is really irrelevant to what the truth was, is and remains.

2) It's relevant now because John Kerry (who served in Viet Nam and had an honorable combat record) is being attacked as a commie by a political machine which is trying to secure the re-election of a man who hid out during the war in the national Guard and (by the Guard records from the time) failed to honor his commitment.

I question the hypocrisy of a draft dodger who spent the war drinking beer slinging poop on a guy who served honorably. I agree that some of what Kerry said after the war was bad, but he served his time in country and earned the right to criticize what history has judged to be a huge mistake.

What this is about is whether voicing opposition to a war makes you a communist (I don't think so) and whether we should hail as hero a man who is still lying about his military service record, at least as far as the documentation proves. And most of all, it's about the hypocrisy of "reagan Hawks" who hide in the guard during a war and then set themselves up as military champions when they are too old to serve. It's also about a CIC who foolishly sent troops into war on bad information (at best). Lied about having proof he did not have, and to this day remains bull-headed that he has done nothing wrong.

I think Bush owes this country an apology for many things, the largest of which is not listening to our own intelligence analysts who ALL said their was no imminent threat (the head of the CIA repeated that yesterday). Bush owes us an apology for lying about Iraq being behind the 9/11 attacks and supporting Al Qaeda, both of which he and Cheney have publicly admitted are false. Bush owes us an apology for the spectacle of him strutting onto a flight deck declaring victory while our troops were (and are) still being killed. More US soldiers have died AFTER Bush declared victory than died up to that time... and many more will die before the end of this mess. Bush owes us and our allies an apology for attacking them for not supporting this war, and for the arm twisting to get them involved. Most of all, Bush owes us an apology for creating the horrific mess that now exists in Iraq where three ethnic groups are waging attacks on each other for control and Al Qaeda cells have set up shop and use it as a shooting gallery to ambush US forces.

What Bush doesn't need to be doing is pooping on somebody with a REAL military experience at war.

fix
February 6, 2004, 01:43 PM
Bush went AWOL. Dick Cheny, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Pearle, Rush Limbaugh, Bill Bennett, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Bob Dornan and many other Republican leaders and propagandists actively avoided military service. They have no problem sending *others* off to the jungles of Southeast Asia or the deserts of the Middle East, but when it came their time, they chickened out.

Facts please. Back up that string of names with facts.

By the way...did you serve?

Correia
February 6, 2004, 01:48 PM
"The only thing that's interesting about this story is how the "liberal" media buried it in 2000." -Malone Laveigh

The media didn't want to do anything with this story in 2000 because Gore (thier boy) had an even shoddier and more questionable service record. Clinton vs. Dole, the media pretty much ignored Dole getting his arm blown off. Clinton vs. Bush sr. the media pretty much ignored Bush's really impressive war record.

So tell me now why the "unbiased" media is making an issue out of Bush's record in '04 when he just happens to have a front runner with a service record?

idd
February 6, 2004, 02:10 PM
Dick Cheney took advantage of student and then marriage deferments, and explained to George C. Wilson his reason for avoiding military service. "I had other priorities in the '60s than military service."

George Will avoided Vietnam by hiding out in divinity school.
Rush Limbaugh got a medical deferment by claiming that he suffered from "anal cysts."
Paul Wolfowitz was busy getting his BA at Cornell.
Bill O'Reilly graduated high school in 1967 and spent the net four years in college avoiding the war.
Richard Perle sat out the Vietnam War at the University of CHicago.

See the Chickenhawk Database (http://www.nhgazette.com/cgi-bin/NHGstore.cgi?user_action=list&category=%20NEWS%3B%20Chickenhawks)

By the way...did you serve?

When I turned 18 I registered for the draft but was never called.

fix
February 6, 2004, 02:24 PM
I don't consider going to college draft dodging unless there are other circumstances involved. You also missed a few names there. If you are going to come in here and toss around allegations, you'd better be able to back them up. Your chickenhawk reference makes plenty of vague references, but I don't see many facts that aren't clouded by partisanship.

When I turned 18 I registered for the draft but was never called.

Well, why didn't you volunteer? You apparently expected these gentlemen to quit school and hop on the first thing smoking. Sean Hannity turned 18 and registered for the draft, yet you lump him in there. Should we add your name to the list? Your buddies at the New Hampshire Gazette even saw fit to include Ann Coulter in their database.

:rolleyes:

moa
February 6, 2004, 02:44 PM
Well, I got drafted into the Army in 1966. I was against the war too, but for different reasons. I could tell by Pres. LBJ's speech in late 1965 that he had no intention of actually effectively winning that war. Vietnam was going to become another Korean War style stalemate at best, a war of meaningless attrition.

LBJ actually said that he was not pursuing a military victory. Listening to Presidental historians, LBJ knew by February 1965 that victory in Vietnam was not possible without widely expanding the war and invading North Vietam. That could have meant a confrontation with Red China and maybe the Soviet Union.

Art Eatman
February 6, 2004, 03:10 PM
Repetitive and repetitive and repetitive...

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