Bush's Guard Service Verified


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Cool Hand Luke 22:36
February 11, 2004, 02:54 PM
Looks like this is a non-issue outside DNC HQ.

___________________________________________
Bush's drills with the Alabama Guard confirmed

By Rowan Scarborough
THE WASHINGTON TIMES

http://images.washtimes.com/photos/web/20040210-101433-8240.jpg
(Luckily, Dubyah got his momma's looks :D)

The White House yesterday released military records that it said demonstrate conclusively that President Bush completed the required drills leading to an honorable discharge from the Texas Air National Guard in 1973.
"These documents clearly show that the president fulfilled his duties," said White House spokesman Scott McClellan as he waved copies of smudgy, 31-year-old pay and accreditation records stored on microfilm in a U.S. government military archives in Colorado.
The president had been dogged by accusations that he did not fulfill make-up requirements for missed Guard drills, and an officer of the Alabama Air National Guard, where the make-up drills were scheduled, said he did not remember Mr. Bush.
But further confirmation was supplied yesterday by a woman who dated the young George W. Bush in 1972 who says she distinctly remembers the young pilot visiting Montgomery that year to fulfill his Air National Guard commitment.
Emily Marks Curtis told The Times that she and Mr. Bush met in the summer of 1972 when he went to Montgomery from Texas to work in the U.S. Senate campaign of Winton Blount, a Bush family friend. She said the two became good friends.
After that election, she said, Mr. Bush returned to Texas. A few weeks later, he telephoned to say he was returning to Montgomery to complete drilling days at an Alabama squadron to which he had been transferred that year.
It has been standard procedure for many years for National Guard units to excuse members from scheduled drills for employment reasons, with the stipulation that missed drill time be made up.
"He called to tell me he was coming back to finish up his National Guard duty," said Mrs. Curtis, who now lives in New Orleans. "I can say categorically he was there, and that's why he came back."
She said that he rented an apartment for a two-week stay and that she met him for dinner several times.
"I didn't see him go to work. I didn't see him come home from work," she said. "He told me that was why he was in Montgomery. There is no other reason why he would come back to Montgomery."
At the White House yesterday, Mr. McClellan criticized Democrats who have raised an issue that the president thought was settled during his days as Texas governor and in the 2000 presidential race.
"There are some out there that were making outrageous, baseless accusations," the press secretary said. "It was a shame that they brought it up four years ago. It was a shame that they brought it up again this year."
When a television reporter accused Mr. McClellan of not answering his questions, the usually stoic Mr. McClellan responded tartly: "I'm sorry, John, but, you know, this is an important issue that some chose to raise in the context of an election year. And the facts are important for people to know. And if you don't want to know the facts, that's fine, but I want to share the facts with you."
The records show that Mr. Bush earned sufficient drilling points to earn an honorable discharge. They also show he drilled two days in October 1972 and four days in November 1972 when he had transferred to the Alabama Guard unit.
Mr. Bush's Air National Guard record resurfaced as a campaign issues after Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAullife accused the president of "being AWOL" during the Vietnam War.
Mr. McAullife, 47, was too young to be drafted when mandatory service was abolished in 1974, has not served in the military.
Republicans accuse Mr. McAullife of raising the issue now to contrast Mr. Bush's Guard service with Sen. John Kerry's service as a Navy lieutenant in Vietnam. Mr. Kerry, the Democratic presidential front-runner, has made his military service a prime theme in his stump speeches and TV ads.
Mr. McAullife kept up the attack yesterday, saying questions remain.
"We also still do not know why the president's superiors filed a report saying they were unable to evaluate his performance for that year because he had not been present to be evaluated," he said. "That report was filed on the very day these documents allege he was reporting for duty."
Mr. Bush's former commander, now dead, wrote that he could not judge the pilot's performance for 1972 and 1973. However, others who served with Mr. Bush remember him as "one of our best pilots."
In the 1992 campaign, Mr. Kerry, who has equated Mr. Bush's National Guard service to running away to Canada, took to the Senate floor to denounce Republicans who questioned candidate Bill Clinton's draft record. Mr. Kerry said it was time to stop re-examining how people did or did not serve during the Vietnam War. Mr. Clinton has never served in the military. As a university student, Mr. Clinton wrote a letter to the commander of the Reserve Officers Training Corps at the University of Arkansas, expressing a "loathing" for the military.
Mr. Bush joined the Texas Air National Guard in May 1968 after graduating from Yale. He went through initial flight training and then qualified on the F-102, an aging jet fighter interceptor, regarded as a particularly difficult plane to fly that would be phased out in the coming years.
He drilled at the 111th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, Texas Air National Guard, based at Ellington Air Force Base near Houston, accumulating scores of flying hours as his unit practiced intercepting Russian jets over the Gulf of Mexico.
William Campenni, a retired Guard pilot, served with Mr. Bush in the 111th. He remembers a training flight over the Gulf during which the future president mimicked a Soviet bomber.
"We crashed a couple of guys while George was down there," said Mr. Campenni, who now runs an engineering consulting business in Herndon. "In those days, we were using obsolete airplanes in the Guard. That was hazardous work. We were losing people."
In 1972, Mr. Bush left Texas to work on the Senate campaign and transferred to a squadron in the 187th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing in Montgomery. He apparently missed drills during the election campaign, and that is why he returned later in November.
He would have held a desk job at the 187th because he was not qualified on the wing's reconnaissance jets. "It's quite common for a pilot and other Guard members to go to another unit in another state," Mr. Campenni said. "We can 'pull drills' there and get credit for your duty in your state."
Mr. Bush left the Guard six months early to attend Harvard business school and was honorably discharged in October 1973.
Many pilots resigned from the Guard before completing their enlistment term in those years. President Nixon was withdrawing thousands of troops from Vietnam, delivering a surplus of pilots to the active Air Force and the Air Guard.

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bountyhunter
February 11, 2004, 03:30 PM
With all due respects, let me clarify some things. I find this all interesting because I am currently married to a commanding officer of a reserve unit.

1) What was verified was that Lt Bush got PAID during the times in question, not that he served. Those are two VERY DIFFERENT things.

Here is how it works: the disbursement officer issues pay checks to anybody who is shown on paper to be in the unit, unless notified otherwise.

The CO of the unit is charged with tracking who is there and properly serving. remember the CO of the Alabama base? The one who first said "He never saw George Bush" and "would have remembered seeing him" but now has changed his story to "I'm not sure". Point is, getting paid doesn't prove jack squat.

What is most telling is on Bush's FITREP (fitness report) where the CO stated he could not do an evaluation of Bush because he had not SEEN HIM during the time period in question. Got it? Did not SEE him so he can't evaluate his performance. That seems to indicate that Bush was not there much.

FWIW: abuse of the reserve system was common then, people not showing up and just drawing pay. I don't know why the CO wasn't on top of it. If he had a guy in his unit, he should have known if he was there or had an officer assigned to track it. How do I know?

Well..... the reserve CO I live with told me how it actually works. A single officer is charged with "calling muster" at each drill date. You show up on time, in uniform and your name is recorded IN INK as being present or absent... can not be changed later. If you show up more than 15 minutes late to her unit, you are docked four hours of time and have to make it up at another drill date. Point is, in the military showing up 15 minutes late is as good as not arriving.

Second: the records of attendance are given to the disbursing office and you are paid based on that. Point is..... records are kept, attendance is tracked. When I see Lt Bush drawing pay with gaping holes in his paper trail, it smells pretty rotten. We have no way of knowing where he was or what he was doing on the dates he was supposed to be on base drilling.

Third: the documents I reviewed showed that Bush's original end date (from first signature) was extended. That is only done when it is required that additional time be done to complete the required drills. So, maybe he did ultimately complete his time. I don't know, but that indicates there was a gap of time which was determined to be not credited toward drill time.

BOTTOM LINE: I don't have proof that the claim made by the White House is false:

"The White House yesterday released military records that it said demonstrate conclusively that President Bush completed the required drills leading to an honorable discharge from the Texas Air National Guard in 1973. "

He may have (eventually) completed all required drills. What I do have proof of is that his conduct in the Guard would have gotten him busted out of most units and should have gotten him busted out of that one. The fact it led to an honorable discharge bolsters the claim of preferential treatment.

fix
February 11, 2004, 03:40 PM
Ok let me go ahead and air this out. I don't give two shakes of a wet rats ??? what Bush did on reserve duty. As far as I'm concerned, he's been on active duty since Sept 11, 2001 as a wartime Commander in Chief. His record during this period has been exemplary. I think most veterans like myself, feel the same way. Most active duty folks do too.

If we play the "what have you done for me lately" game while sticking strictly to military service, Bush trounces Kerry. Period. End of story. You want to bash Bush? Talk about immigration, out of control spending, campaign finance, etc, etc. But FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, FIND A TURD TO THROW THAT WILL ACTUALLY STICK!!!

buzz_knox
February 11, 2004, 03:41 PM
What is most telling is on Bush's FITREP (fitness report) where the CO stated he could not do an evaluation of Bush because he had not SEEN HIM during the time period in question. Got it? Did not SEE him so he can't evaluate his performance. That seems to indicate that Bush was not there much.

Which is consistent with his having requested and received permission to participate in a senatorial campaign. Such requests for leave from service are frequent in the guard.

BOTTOM LINE: I don't have proof that the claim made by the White House is false:

But you're not going to let the lack of proof prevent you from running around screaming he's either a deserter or got preferential treatment, right?

rick_reno
February 11, 2004, 03:44 PM
Get real - he was the son of a Congressman. You don't really expect he'd be treated like the rest of us - do you?
Bounty hunters analysis of the pay vs. served is right on the money. Most veterans know how this stuff works, I'm amazed Bush would try this "I got paid, I must have served" smoke screen.
He should just come out and say "Look, I was so drunk and stoned I don't know where I was during those months. Big deal. It was 30 years ago, get over it. I did."

Thumper
February 11, 2004, 03:46 PM
With respect to you and your spouse, the Air Guard of 1972 and the units of today bear only a passing resemblance.

Unless your wife (husband?) was in the Air National Guard during the early 70's, your Appeal to Authority fails. On the other hand, here's a portion of a letter from CoL. William Campenni (ret.), a pilot who served with Lt. Bush:

"If you check the 111th FIS records of 1970-72 and any other ANG squadron, you will find other pilots excused for career obligations and conflicts. The Bush excusal in 1972 was further facilitated by a change in the unit's mission, from an operational fighter squadron to a training squadron with a new airplane, the F-101, which required that more pilots be available for full-time instructor duty rather than part-time traditional reservists with outside employment.

The winding down of the Vietnam War in 1971 provided a flood of exiting active-duty pilots for these instructor jobs, making part-timers like Lt. Bush and me somewhat superfluous. There was a huge glut of pilots in the Air Force in 1972, and with no cockpits available to put them in, many were shoved into nonflying desk jobs. Any pilot could have left the Air Force or the Air Guard with ease after 1972 before his commitment was up because there just wasn't room for all of them anymore."

Your claim that Lt. Bush's "conduct in the Guard wouldhave gotten him busted out of most units" doesn't seem to hold water.

FPrice
February 11, 2004, 04:01 PM
"Here is how it works: the disbursement officer issues pay checks to anybody who is shown on paper to be in the unit, unless notified otherwise."

If that is what you think, then the following is a false statement:

"I find this all interesting because I am currently married to a commanding officer of a reserve unit."

You CANNOT be married to such a person and make the first statement cause that's NOT the way it works. In order for a person on inactive duty training to get paid, they have to sign in and out and that document has to be transmitted to the finance office for payment. It is not automatic, it is by positive input only.

Now, if you still want to claim that you are married to the commanding officer of a reserve unit and that there are units where people get paid simply by being on paper I want you to tell me which units these are.

Because I will immediately contact the Air Force IG and ask them to investigate this abuse.

Unless you want to claim the Bush did this, then I expect YOU to contact the IG.

bountyhunter,

Put up or shut up.

Carbonator
February 11, 2004, 04:03 PM
..........

Thumper
February 11, 2004, 04:09 PM
Dang, Fprice...that was STRONG.

FPrice
February 11, 2004, 04:27 PM
"Dang, Fprice...that was STRONG."

I used to be the Fraud, Waste, and Abuse Officer for my Wing. I also know a little bit about how the Air Force and Finance work.

Now, there is a possibility that there are units that are illegally paying personnel for duty not performed. That is Fraud, it's a crime, and more importantly,

IT WASTES YOURS AND MY TAX DOLLARS!

bountyhunter made one little "mistake" that I am not going to say anything about because it says something about the source of his information. I may use it in a future post if necessary.

Yeah, it was strong, but I also think it was required.

Leatherneck
February 11, 2004, 05:30 PM
Couple of facts
1. A "not observed" fitness report for a period does not mean the officer was not seen. It means the reporting senior did not have sufficient opportunity to judge all the performance elements for that reporting period.
2. If Lt. Bush got paid and did not attend, then there are a lot of people in the chain of command that comimited fraud and a host of other UCMJ offenses.

The people with no clue sure stick out, don't they? :neener:

TC
TFL Survivor

bountyhunter
February 11, 2004, 05:47 PM
he's been on active duty since Sept 11, 2001 as a wartime Commander in Chief. His record during this period has been exemplary.

Well, let's take inventory:

1) The CIC took the combined armed forces into Afghanistan to find and destroy Osama Bin laden who is the elader of the side waging war on us.

RESULT: MISSION FAILURE


2) The CIC claimed to attack a country which had sourced the forces attacking us (Al Qaeda) when he attacked Iraq. In fact, Iraq has had nothing to do with Al Qaeda and the actual country who supports it (Saudi Arabia) is the one the CIC most frequently kisses up to.

RESULT: MISSION FAILURE


3) Bush claimed his war would degrade Al Qaeda's ability to strike against targets. In the last two days they have killed a combined total of 120 people inside Iraq in two separate attacks.

RESULT: MISSION FAILURE


Your evaluation of his performance has been pretty generous.

Obiwan
February 11, 2004, 05:48 PM
"The people with no clue sure stick out, don't they? "

Yeah....

Most of them have press credentials!

bountyhunter
February 11, 2004, 05:52 PM
2. If Lt. Bush got paid and did not attend, then there are a lot of people in the chain of command that comimited fraud and a host of other UCMJ offenses.

I never disputed that, infact I pointed out that abuse of the system was common then and probably encouraged lazy people to pull such stunts. Try reading my actual posts.

"FWIW: abuse of the reserve system was common then, people not showing up and just drawing pay. I don't know why the CO wasn't on top of it. If he had a guy in his unit, he should have known if he was there or had an officer assigned to track it."


It's possible that discipline was lax and the CO was not taking care of business. But, to point out the obvious: that doesn't have crap to do with the point as to whether the drill time was completed as required on the appointed days, does it?

The people with no clue sure stick out, don't they?

They sure do. Try reading the post before you respond.

fix
February 11, 2004, 05:56 PM
In fact, Iraq has had nothing to do with Al Qaeda

In the last two days they have killed a combined total of 120 people inside Iraq in two separate attacks.

Care to explain that little discrepancy?

Regarding the supposed "mission failure" in Afghanistan...

A young fellow named Eric Robert Rudolph managed to elude the feds for years right here in the US. If you think it is so easy to find a needle in a stack of needles, why don't you ruck up and go show the boys how it's done?

By the way, what branch did you serve in and when?

ReadyontheRight
February 11, 2004, 06:04 PM
No amount of "verification" or proof will quiet the Bush-haters on this or any other issue. No...I'm not directing that at anyone here. I mean the press and the DNC.

They play the game of guilt by suspician and only shut up when they find no one cares. That's why the anti-war message is sticking while other mud they slung at Bush does not. Not one American likes to see body bags of our best young people. They could find a bank of missle silos in Iraq and many Democrats would still talk about the "unjust, imperialist war".

This guard service cr*p will disappear. Kerry is trading it for Bush leaving the Jane Fonda thing alone.

bountyhunter
February 11, 2004, 06:04 PM
In order for a person on inactive duty training to get paid, they have to sign in and out and that document has to be transmitted to the finance office for payment. It is not automatic, it is by positive input only.

First off, you are comparing statements made about what happened in the reserves in 1972 and now.


Today, an officer is INDEED assigned to call muster and take roll and that is INDEED the document which is used to verify who gets paid. The obvious reason a person can't verify himself as "present" by signature is simple enough: it's swearing for your own purpose. The officer in charge of this "sign attests" the presence of the person so there is no question.... and that is what gets the person his paycheck. .

HOWEVER: when Bush served, it was not the case. How do I knw? Well... the changes that now require the strict sign in compliance were implemented into law specifically to address the abuses of that time. At least, that is what the commanding officer I am married to says.

THEN is THEN, and NOW is NOW. Bush got away with crap he never could get away with today because it was THEN. But, he's claiming that it is proof of something which it is NOT.

Cool Hand Luke 22:36
February 11, 2004, 06:07 PM
Well, let's take inventory:

1) The CIC took the combined armed forces into Afghanistan to find and destroy Osama Bin laden who is the elader of the side waging war on us.

RESULT: MISSION FAILURE


2) The CIC claimed to attack a country which had sourced the forces attacking us (Al Qaeda) when he attacked Iraq. In fact, Iraq has had nothing to do with Al Qaeda and the actual country who supports it (Saudi Arabia) is the one the CIC most frequently kisses up to.

RESULT: MISSION FAILURE


3) Bush claimed his war would degrade Al Qaeda's ability to strike against targets. In the last two days they have killed a combined total of 120 people inside Iraq in two separate attacks.

RESULT: MISSION FAILURE

Actually, the Bush Administration has taken pains since the beginning of the Afghan operation to point out that it was about removing the Taliban from power and driving Al-Queda out of that sanctuary. They have said repeatedly that they weren't focusing on "getting" Bin Laden but on destroying Al Queda as a whole and eliminating their ability to strike in the US. As of now two thirds of Al Queda's leadership is dead or captured with no futher attacks in the US.

TO DATE: MISSION SUCCESS

It's time to take inventory of the DNC over playing such cheap politics with National Security issues. It's time for Kerry and the Democrats to stop lying about Afganistan and Iraq.

There needs to be a Congressional investigation of Kerry's acceptance of campaign contributions from Chinese Intelligence.

bountyhunter
February 11, 2004, 06:11 PM
Care to explain that little discrepancy?

There is NO discrepancy and anybody with any knowledge of the area knows it. Hussein's secular government was targeted by Bin Laden for overthrow and replacement by a Muslim regime. Bin Laden stated it publicly. They were enemies and Al Qaeda was not supported by Hussein.
Iraq is now a haven for Al qaeda because it is a target rich environment for Al Qaeda (tons of Americans) with a shaky government which is ripe for overthrow. The attacks on US collaborators is designed to destabilize the government and set the stage for the Islamic clerics to step in and take control.

One more benefit of the war.


By the way, what branch did you serve in and when?

Thanks for descending that final level into personal attacks, the last refuge of the intellectually overwelmed.

bountyhunter
February 11, 2004, 06:13 PM
Actually, the Bush Administration has taken pains since the beginning of the Afghan operation to point out that it was about removing the Taliban from power and driving Al-Queda out of that sanctuary.

That's called drawing the bullseye after the arrow is fired. Regardless of the BS, the mission was and is to kill OBL.

Thumper
February 11, 2004, 06:19 PM
Thanks for descending that final level into personal attacks, the last refuge of the intellectually overwelmed.

At the risk of stating the blatantly obvious, Fix' questioning your own military service is entirely relevant in a discussion where you're attacking Bush's.

fix
February 11, 2004, 06:19 PM
Thanks for descending that final level into personal attacks, the last refuge of the intellectually overwelmed.

I'm sorry if you consider it a personal attack. I am just asking you a simple question. If you do not want to answer, that's fine.

Preacherman
February 11, 2004, 06:22 PM
For further enlightenment, see this thread (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?threadid=64600). Closing this thread due to an irrevocable descent into vitriolic dissent.

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