American Politics Journal
June 10, 2000
You Can't Just Walk Away
Vietnam had been over for a couple of years and the U.S. was at peace when I graduated from high school. When I told my parents that I was going to go into the service my mother was a little upset. My dad, however, was very supportive, but with just one warning :
"Once you sign, once you join up, you can't just walk away.
You have to follow orders."
I thought about that again recently when I first heard the news of Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush seemingly just walking away from at least a year's service in the National Guard. He had, it now appears, deserted his post -- a charge so serious I could not believe a presidential candidate could get away with it.
But a quick glance at Bush's military service tells why Bush felt he could walk away from his duty without fear of recriminations.
Bush had been treated "special" since even before he signed up for the Guard. Rumors had circulated for years that G.W. had gotten into the Guard because of his prominent father, George H. Bush. The senior Bush denied such rumors -- including a specific rumor naming his friend, Houston businessman Sid Adger, as the man who had gotten G.W. into the guard, saying he "was almost positive"(1) that he had not talked with Adger about the Guard.
One man who was even more positive that G.W. had gotten into the Guard on his own was Col. Walter B. "Buck" Staudt, the then-commander of the Texas Air National Guard. Colonel Staudt told the Los Angeles Times last July 4th that "nobody did anything for him. There was no goddamn influence on his behalf. Neither his daddy nor anybody else got him into the Guard".
That seemed to be the line that the Junior Bush's spokesmen David Beckwith took when he declared that G.W's special commission and treatment in the Guard were "routine. ... Our information is there was absolutely no special deal"
That somebody had influenced G.W's admission into the Guard became clear when his entrance test results were released. They showed he had scored the bare minimum -- 25% -- on one of the exams, yet he had been chosen over several hundred others who sought entrance to the Texas guard.
At about the same time came the crushing news that the former Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives had testified under oath that he had been contacted by Houston businessman "Sid Adger and asked to recommend George W. Bush for a pilot position with the Air National Guard" -- and that he called General James Rose and "did so.".
This testimony was brought about by a lawsuit alleging that the State of Texas had allowed a company called Gtech to keep its lucrative lottery contract in exchange for former Texas Lt.. Gov. Ben Barnes's silence about helping Mr. Bush get into the Texas Air National Guard. Not long after Barnes gave his testimony, the case was settled out of court.
So, despite all claims to the contrary, Bush had in fact received aid in getting into the Texas Guard.
Young Mr. Bush was sworn in on the very day he applied, complete with a ceremony for the press. He was then sent to basic training and given a special commission, instantly making him a second lieutenant.
That fall, while some of the heaviest fighting of the Vietnam War was raging, young Bush was allowed to take a leave of absence to go work on the Florida senatorial campaign of Edward Gurney. He also took time off from the guard in 1970 to help his dad's congressional campaign, and again from May to November 1972 when he went to Alabama to work on a Republican U.S. Senate campaign.
Bush was at that time required to attend drills with the Alabama National Guard. But there is no evidence in Guard files that he even bothered to show up. General William Turnipseed and his aide Kenneth Lott both flatly deny that Bush ever appeared for duty in Alabama.
When Bush went back to Texas after his electioneering break, he didn't bother to show up for his Guard duties. In fact, seven months rolled 'round until Bush's two superior officers at Ellington Air Force Base, Lieutenant Colonel William D. Harris Jr. and Lieutenant Colonel Jerry B. Killian, effectively declared Bush missing from duty because they could not perform his annual evaluation covering the year from May 1, 1972 to April 30, 1973.
They stated in their filing that "Lt. Bush has not been observed at this unit during the period of this report."
Within days of being reported missing, Bush showed up again at the Texas Guard -- according to records showing him reporting for duty. His drinking buddy at the time, Al Lloyd, now speculates that Bush's superiors noticed and that "I'll bet someone called him up and said, George, you're in a pickle. Get your ass down here and perform some duty". Lloyd was an administrative officer with the Texas Guard until his retirement in 1995 as personnel director of the Texas Air Guard, and he is a self-professed Bush supporter.
Bush only served 36 days of duty after that and was given an honorable discharge eight months early. The early release wasn't unusual, and the honorable discharge was just what Bush had always known he would get.
After all, he had been shown privileges and granted wide-ranging leeway that included allowing him to disappear from the service for a full year, and allowing a pilot who had had expensive training to work as a campaign aide for three different legislative races.
There is an indication that someone higher up was trying to find out why Bush was missing for so long. Shortly before he was given his honorable discharge a request from National Guard headquarters was placed for Bush's annual evaluation for that year. The national headquarters was told by the administrative officer at Bush's base, "Report for this period not available for administrative reasons."
It looks like Bush got into the Guard with a cover-up and then got out with a cover-up.
In the meantime, it looks like Bush got away with the one thing my father told me: "You can't just walk away."
(1) The Dallas Morning News, 9/28/99 http://www.dallasnews.com/specials/bush_campaign/controversies/0928bush9guard.htm
(2) The Los Angeles Times, 7/4/99 http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/elect2000/pres/news/19990704/t000059916.html
(3) The Age (Australian Press), 9/30/99 http://www.theage.com.au/daily/990930/news/news28.html
(4) The Dallas Morning News, 10/30/99 http://www.dallasnews.com/specials/bush_campaign/controversies/1030bcontro1lottery.htm
(5) The Boston Globe, 5/23/99 http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/144/nation/1_year_gap_in_Bush_s_Guard_duty+.shtml
(6) US News, 11/1/99 http://www.usnews.com/usnews/issue/991101/lost.htm
American Politics Journal
March 15, 2000
DumbBellYou : Born to Lose George W. Bush will lose in November. Here's why.
George W. Bush will lose in November. Here's why.
Forget the media hype over the "tight" race expected for the presidency in November.
The truth is that the Republican Party has no idea what's going to hit it during the late summer and early fall of this year -- that is, if the DNC and Gore's campaign team know what they're doing -- and we think they finally do.
There is no close race in the offing. George W. Bush will lead the GOP to the party's most humiliating defeat in the nation's history -- and take the House and perhaps even the Senate with him!
First and foremost, George W. is a loser -- a born loser. It's written all over him, and its been demonstrated time and again throughout his lackluster life.
He is the candidate who waltzed into the Austin Governor's mansion on Daddy's say-so -- and by lying through his teeth about iconic former Governor Anne Richards.
He has done countless "favors" for big business -- favors that hurt the voters and environment of Texas badly -- and he continues to do so. His little "bend over" for the funeral industry and his friendship with the now-indicted chief of coffins in Texas and around the country is enough to make Watergate look like a child's prank.
Allegations of Bush Baby having been busted for cocaine possession and the subsequent fixing of a judge who sentenced him to community service will also turn out to be true -- although it will have the effect of making him popular with certain users in our culture. The things he did while an admitted drunk, drunk driver, and worse will also come to the fore as the media hone in, looking for the dirt that makes their profits.
To put it in seven words: Bush is a goner before he starts.
Here's a little hint to all of you "real" reporters out there : find out why the Bush Campaign pulled down the entire DumbBellYou Bio section of the official campaign web site which featured -- prominently, mind you -- pictures of BushBaby "volunteering" with a community group at just about the time he was alleged to have been arrested and sentenced to community service.
The above photo was removed from the official Bush for President campaign site.
This writer can tell you that these pictures, of which we have copies, were electronically ripped from the site -- along with the rest of the detailed bio -- hours after the story broke about Fortunate Son, the "burned" Bush Baby bio by J.H. Hatfield -- a felon who didn't tell his publisher he had been convicted of participating in a murder-for-hire crime. Although another man did order the murder, who would be better than former inmate Hatfield to know the inner workings of the judicial and penal system in Texas -- and who would have a better ear for jailhouse gossip, which any beat reporter will tell you is more often than not true.
Better yet, we suggest that the actual journalists who read Ampol find out why the State Department and the NSA are flying their best and the brightest to Moscow this week to placate the Russians, who are angrily bitter and frightened over the possibility that this punk might actually reach the Oval Office, where he's likely to restart the Cold War with his hype about "rebuilding" the US military -- already so overwhelmingly strong that even Mars won't attack!
But for purposes of argument, let's assume that BabyBush gets off on these more flamboyant charges and that no one exposes him for what he is : a pampered, undisciplined brat who didn't even break a sweat until his late forties. And even then, Daddy had to buy him a ball club which was merely fiscal preparation for the Baby to step into the Governor's mansion with enough money to pay for his daughter's private school tuition.
Let's assume that the Bush womanizing -- which didn't stop at least until he hit the floorboards of the Austin Governor's Mansion (and some say still hasn't stopped) -- is also overlooked at the behest of right-wing network executives and their right- wing bosses at their parent companies, who would rather have a crook in the White House they can control than a Democrat they can't.
Let's assume all of that -- and analyze the real impossibility of BushBrat winning even 105 electoral votes come November.
First, by moving far to the right during the primary, Bush has aligned himself with such luminaries as Newt Gingrich, Henry Hyde, the House Mangler Lynch Mob who took a dump on our Constitution and broke umpteen federal laws in an attempt to force Clinton to resign from the Presidency.
Second, let's tune in on BushPals Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, two snotball televangelist thieves who think the Christian Right is in their back pockets. The truth is that Robertson and Falwell combined control less than 1.5 million votes in this nation -- and at least half of those idiots don't bother to vote, or cannot, because they've given all their spare cash to $4,000-a-suit crooks like Robertson to support his billionaire lifestyle and have no way to get to the polls. Robertson, who ran telephone commercials for Bush in Michigan, saw how well they worked.
Third, we have the Bigot BushBrat - who misses no chance to bash Chinese-Americans for doing what his buddies in corporate boardrooms do every minute of every day : buy access to powerful government leaders. Imagine this crass piece of rich white trash, George W., accusing Al Gore of being a hypocrite for allowing the Democratic National Committee to accept funds -- which they thought were legal -- from a couple of crooks like Charlie Trie and John Huang.
Everyone in America knows that Huang and Trie and their partners in crime were merely doing what American business does all the time: paying cash for access to people like the Bushes, the Reagans, the Nixons, the Carters (remember BCCI?), the Fords (less so than most), and the Clintons.
What Americans don't know is that most politicians aren't that stupid. Sure, they take money legally from anyone they can get it from. But when it comes to doing favors -- well, the suckers who contributed don't get jack squat.
Polls take advantage of big givers all the time. They take their money -- but they give nothing but maybe a White House dinner or a private tour of the Oval Office in exchange. And that's all these corporate creeps want -- a chance to push their snake oil in person with the Chief, whether that's the President or the Governor of Texas.
However, in Bush Baby's' case, the money can be directly traced to gubernatorial favors that cost Texans millions of dollars. But Bush goes further : he actually pays off his contributors with favors which give them or save them billions. All he does is take a piece of the action -- a famous RNC ploy as a campaign contribution, or series of contributions.
Fourth, wonder why oil prices are so high today? Well, it's no conspiracy theory that Kuwait and the rest of the thieving Arab Oil Sheiks are paying Old Man Bush back for his largesse in Desert Storm. Yeah. We supported a crooked hideous regime -- the Kuwaiti government, another non-democracy which preys on women, in order to stop Saddam Hussein from trying to grab a warm-water port.
Remember, even though we agree that Saddam is crap, the Kuwaitis and Saudis are no better. And now they are holding you hostage today to make the Clinton-Gore Administration look impotent in the arena of lowerinf gas prices, only to offer the BushBaby a chance to "lower gas taxes," making their oil even more alluring to western crackers like HexxonMojo and Gulf.
You see, lowering the gas taxes -- and, by the way, ruining you local road-building projects -- does nothing more than make gasoline blending cheaper for all those concerned, including the Arab oil sheiks!
The gas tax proposal by the Bushes is also a payoff and a warning to Dwayne Andreas and the near-monopoly his Archer Daniels Midland has on fuel ethanol in our country. Every time gas prices rise, and every time gas taxes go down, ethanol enjoys huge price increases because it is more economical to blend than other octane enhancers. Forget ethanol as a environmentally safe fuel component -- it's not -- but it is a good octane enhancer and less pollutive than methyl alcohols from oil now favored by the majors.
And you moron corn farmers -- take a look! I bet you ADM has not raised the price you pay for your corn one cent even though they are getting 40% more for their corn-based ethanol. What's their excuse this time?
If you think that Bush couldn't possibly get the Arabs to curtail production and raise oil prices to record levels - think again.
Remember, it took a lot for Bush Daddy to intervene in the Gulf. You might recall that George Sr., Jordan's King Hussein and Iraq's "Sodom" Hussein were bosom buddies for decades, and the reason Bush didn't flatten Iraq was for just this reason. And if you don't believe that (and that Colin Powell was little more than a Bush puppet), check out the superhighway we were building and continued to build between Jordan and Baghdad before, during and after so-called Desert Storm for the benefit of Saddam AND King Hussein.
Things are dicier than you think.
Add to this the fact that George Sr. and even the Baby Bush are still big players -- in an influence-peddling way -- in the oil "binniss."
Think : why isn't Bush calling for an attack on these Arab oil-producing nations and instead suddenly pushing to lowering gas taxes? When Saddam threatened American pocketbooks Bush Sr. went to war (well, sort of). Now we are threatened again, but everyone just sits by and lets Americans pay the price.
Something is rotten in the Middle East -- and it ain't Israel!
Let's get back to Bush.
Fifth, you hear tell that Bush is really popular among Latinos in Texas. Well, that's not true. More than 45% of them hate his guts. Sure, Bush won some Latino votes, some stupid Latino votes -- but the truth is that Bush has let the Hispanic population in Texas down time after time, pushing Anglo education standards difficult if impossible to meet for Spanish-speaking kids. He has favored school vouchers, which deal out poor Latinos from good schools -- and he has left Latinos and Latinas and their babies to starve at the Texas borders in "colonias" on the US-Texas soil that rival the ghettos of Eastern Europe under Hitler.
Only when the BushBrat decided to run for office did he weakly try to do something about these stick-towns full of cheap labor for his buddies -- and still HE didn't go down there to personally throw his weight behind the effort. Instead, he sent his stooges to try and get them some fresh water. Up until that time they had none, nor did they have schools, medical care -- nothing.
Sticking to bigotry, lets move on to Bush having sold his home in Texas with a deed which forbade the buyers both to sell to any "Negro" family and to allow Blacks to even live in their home except as servants. Now, such deed provisions are unconstitutional -- but I can tell you that this writer and many others have had those provisions struck from their deeds before passing ownership.
Bush didn't even bother, although he knew very well about this provision when he purchased the house -- or should have known as a future "inclusive" public official.
Bigotry again : let's talk about Bob Jones University. First of all, "Bob Jones" is not a "University" at all, but rather a training ground for bigoted little blonde-haired punks and punkettes to excuse their hatred for others through God. God pukes on Bob Jones and his followers -- of that I can assure you. Not only did Bush visit this nothing institution of Lower Learning -- but he endorsed their prescriptions against Blacks, Hispanics, Orientals and anything not "born-again" and white -- including Catholics -- by not severely scolding them when he had the chance.
And don't tell me that Ronald Reagan went there as well -- Ron Reagan was too silly to know where he was -- and I love the guy.
Of course, we could excuse Bush Baby on these grounds as well -- but as far as I know, he isn't a candidate for Alzheimer's. Reagan may have been suffering from the disease long before we all thought (ask Leslie Stahl at CBS) -- and Bush still isn't a big enough man to fill one of Reagan's shoes with his entire body.
Care for more bigotry? Let's look to Bush's record opposing runs against affirmative action and early education programs for minorities. He was on the front lines against equal opportunity admissions to colleges in Texas and supported the racists in California who crafted Proposition 209 and passed it, thus denying admission to college to Black and Latino students in record numbers. No room for late bloomers -- or kids stunted by poverty in Texas or California. Wow, what an INCLUSIVE man the Bush Baby is.
Let's talk about Bush's "service" in the air.
It is a fact that George W. Bush wormed his way to the front of the line of the Texas Air National Guard and took the place of others who stood in that line far longer than he. He didn't do this alone -- he was accompanied by the son of a well known DEMOCRAT US Senator in league with him and his Daddy during the same week. Bush spent the Vietnam war cruising around in a taxpayer supplied mini-jet patrolling the Las Vegas desert looking for Vietcong fighters. The rest of the time he got drunk and slept with anything female that moved. He did this to avoid being killed in Vietnam -- and despite what he tells you now, his Daddy would never have allowed him to go to Saigon. Ever. His Daddy was one of the architects of that American bloodbath -- remember that.
Who knows whether one of the kids in the back of that long line to the Texas Air National guard was killed or wounded taking BushBaby's place on the ground in South Vietnam?
So to whom will Bush will appeal in the upcoming election?
So far we know it will be :
(2) Reformed drunks;
(3) Reformed drug users;
(4) Reformed womanizers;
(5) Rich brats;
(6) People who got into the Air National Guard even though they failed the written entrance exam;
(7) People who nearly flunked out of Yale;
(8) All 300 living members of the Skull & Bones --
a fraternity for brats which occasionally admits a token minority to their midst for fun;
(12) Drunk adulterers;
(13) Coked-up adulterers;
(14) Prep school failures;
(15) Sons of ex-President/CIA Directors;
(16) Buddies of Queen Noor.
In terms of American voters , who are these Bush people? Well, Southerners -- or so you might think. But even they won't vote for Bush in numbers large enough for him to get their electoral votes. Remember, Clinton-Gore beat Old Man Bob Dole and Bush Daddy in five key Southern States, both in 1992 and 1996.
So just where will Bush get his votes?
Well, let's give him Texas -- although I am unwilling to give him even his own state which must be fully aware of his reckless unworthiness for even the governorship. That's 32 electoral votes of 270 needed to win.
I'll give him Mississippi -- the state with the highest rate of illiteracy in the land -- only rivaled by Rwanda, and led politically by helmet-headed Trent Lott. That's another 7 votes. Total thus far : 39.
Oklahoma -- yes! It's a state stupid enough to elect a Black Republican to the House of Representatives (JC "Daddy" Watts, an American oxymoron) and a janitor to the US Senate. Oklahoma would definitely go for Bush. That's 8 more votes, for a total of 47.
Iowa -- why not? What else would a bunch or corn blowers and pig farmers hope for but an arrogant smirking punk like Bush? That's 7 votes. Subtotal - we'll give him 54.
Idaho -- land of killer cops, psychotic militiamen, and white supremacist "Christian Identity" racists, with 4 electoral votes. Idaho is also Bush country (assuming Buchanan doesn't take the state) -- so now Bush has 58.
Throw in the farmer state Dakotas, Dole's Kansas idiots and Nebraska, and BushBaby gets another 17 for a new sub total of 75.
Now, I'll even give him the Carolinas -- although he might lose North Carolina, which has some good universities in it. That's another 22 votes for 97 electoral votes.
Then there's Alaska, where men are men and women are men. That's another three votes for a Grand Total of 100 electoral votes.
100! And that's it.
I wouldn't give him another state -- including Colorado, Nevada, Utah, Georgia, Virginia, or Indiana, which have some very smart people in residence and a lot of minorities who don't cotton to bigots and will turn out to vote against him -- minorities and Whites too smart to vote for someone just because he happened to be born. That's what will defeat him in the end -- Mormons don't like bigoted punks either.
Now let's turn to Gore.
Well, the math is simple : Bush gets 100, Gore wins the rest -- including California (54), New York(33) and Illinois (22).
Just these three states, and Bush is beat.
Lets also get rid of this fairy tale that Bush tells about the Tsi Lai Temple. What Bush expects you to believe is that Gore sat down with Bruce Lindsey and all the "Chinks" (that's what Bush calls them) in Washington and plotted to take money from self-impoverished monks at some temple in Los Angeles. Bush thinks you, the American voter -- smart enough to have become the world's only superpower -- will believe him when he accuses Al Gore of being a felon even though the entire FBI is against him and would have loved to prove Bush right, but couldn't.
You're supposed to swallow this pap rather than the obvious : that Maria Hsia, an indicted felon, delivered these checks full of laundered money (which she laundered) ON HER OWN to John Huang. Or was it Charlie Trie? Or was it just any Chinese-American the GOP could finger? That's what Bush is trying to do: confuse you with lies. At any rate, she did it so she could get closer to the White House -- which is exactly what AT&T, the big pharmaceutical companies, and everyone else in corporate American does every day.
Bush also wants you to believe that Clinton and GORE are Chinese agents ready to sell the country to Beijing at the drop of a hat.
Well, I guess he wants you to believe the same thing about Haley Barbour -- the former chairman of the Republican National Committee who floated down Kowloon Bay with Chinese businessmen and took millions from them which he refused to return -- a crime far worse than Bush so foolishly accuses Gore of.
Well ... are you that stupid!!???
I think not. If you are, then you believe Congresspsycho Dan Burton, another Bush supporter, who continuously tells you that Bill and Hillary Clinton had their best friend Vince Foster murdered and the body thrown in a park.
Bush says he wants to bring RESPECT back to the Oval Office. Hah!
This is his definition of RESPECT -- you deserve to be President if :
1. Your father was president.
2. You consider yourself a born-again Christian to the detriment of all non-Christians, gays, Blacks, Chinese, Catholics and Latinos.
3. You nearly flunked out of a prep school you shouldn't have been admitted to in the first place.
4. You nearly flunked out of a university you shouldn't have been admitted to in the first place.
5. You use race as a way to get votes from rednecks.
6. You give pep speeches to racists who attend phony colleges that are or were exempt from taxes.
7. You sell you home with a "No Niggers Allowed" clause in the deed.
8. You are for school vouchers to make certain that minorities can't get a public education and can't afford a private one.
9. You tout the pharmaceutical company "plans" to pay for drugs for seniors and the impoverished. You know the one, the one that makes YOU the taxpayer, your children, and grandchildren pick up the entire tab through sky-high tax increases as the pharma giants make unprecedented profits on the backs of Americans -- and Europeans, Asians and Latin Americans pay about 25% of what you and your family do for the exact same prescription medicationss.
10. You get busted for cocaine possession or worse, fix the judge, walk away with a slap on the hand and do community service for a few months while a Black boy in Texas is doing 25 years to life for the same offense.
11. You murder, via the death penalty, women and minorities who may be guilty of murder even though you're not 100% certain they are guilty. After all, who could be? And you do it only to attract lower echelon thinkers in the ultra-right-winger voter category who get a kick from standing a death watch on criminals and pray every day that executions will be on cable TV soon.
12. You imprison 8 times as many minorities as whites in your Texas jails although they represent only 12% of the population and White people like yourself get off with a clean record after a few weeks of picking up garbage on Texas freeways.
13. You allow disease-infested shantytowns along your state borders and do nothing about it until you are just about to announce your father's intention for you to become crowned President.
14. You cut to the front of the line to volunteer for the Air National Guard to keep yourself out of Vietnam while men like John McCain rot in tiger cages in Hanoi.
15. You make certain that your biggest contributor's industry -- funeral homes, which prey on the bereaved -- are allowed to operate with almost no oversight and then fire the state officials who accuse you of paying off your friends.
16. You make certain that you do not know the names of any leaders of foreign nations, including the Prime Minister of Canada, who you actually thank for "endorsing" you for President after a DJ "pranks" you with a phony phone call just last week. Still haven't memorized that list of leaders, have you Georgy? By the way -- even a third grader knows that foreign leaders do not "endorse" candidates for President of the United States. But you don't.
17. You hire rats like Ari Fleischer and Neonazi Karl Rove to run your campaign -- men who wouldn't know the truth if they were lying face down in it.
18. You rely on your mother to beat up the press for you.
19. You practice your sneer and your smirk every day in front of the family mirror.
20. Your grandfather and uncles financed Adolf Hitler through the Harriman Bank after he took power in Germany in the thirties.
Yup -- that's your definition of "respect." Not.
And that's all it takes to be the next President of the United States, George W.
American Politics Journal
Boston Globe Story Confirms Allegation Made in Jim Hatfield's 'Fortunate Son' -
Concerning Dubya's Less-Than-Exemplary Air Guard Service
Today has been good for me, a Clinton-Gore fan.
Yes, it has been a good day, despite the ruling handed down by four members of a six-person committee (which, thanks to a recusal-pressure campaign led by the Republican-owned-and-operated Arkansas 'Democrat'-Gazette, was pared down from its original fourteen members to a six-person group composed mostly of GOP operatives) that recommended the disbarring of the President, in spite of all precedent and common sense.
For one thing, the disbarment case now goes to the Pulaski Country Circuit Court, and that group is going to be far less susceptible to pressure than was the Little Rock outfit.
For another thing, the intense media play given this story gives the lie to the media's constant excuses, when asked why they don't mention things like Joe Conason's and Gene Lyons' The Hunting of the President hitting #12 on the New York Times book list, or the strong censure given by Judge Susan Webber Wright to Ken Starr ( so when is the Scaife Legal Foundation going to try to disbar Kenny? ), that "nobody cares about that anymore, it's old news."
They must think somebody cares, if they're going to make front-page news out of it. But something has happened that puts all of that in the shade.
Remember Jim Hatfield's book Fortunate Son? That's the book that got pulled from the shelves when Dubya and his powerful family threw a hissy fit, even as Regnery lie-fests like Gary Aldrich's Unlimited Access pollute the remainder tables.
The book, granted, is rather uneven, and many of the claims made are lacking in factual basis, but one of the most controversial claims in the book has now been documented by The Boston Globe.
In a 05/23/00 Page 01A story credited to Walter V. Robinson and the Globe Staff, the following is stated :
After George W. Bush became governor in 1995, the Houston Air National Guard unit he had served with during the Vietnam War years honored him for his work, noting that he flew an F-102 fighter-interceptor until his discharge in October 1973.
And Bush himself, in his 1999 autobiography, 'A Charge to Keep,' recounts the thrills of his pilot training, which he completed in June 1970." I continued flying with my unit for the next several years," the governor wrote.
But both accounts are contradicted by copies of Bush's military records, obtained by the Globe.
In his final 18 months of military service in 1972 and 1973, Bush did not fly at all. And for much of that time, Bush was all but unaccounted for :
For a full year, there is no record that he showed up for the periodic drills required of part-time guardsmen.
-----You read that right, ladies and gentlemen : Bush was AWOL for a WHOLE YEAR.
-----Bush, who declined to be interviewed on the issue, said through a spokesman that he has ''some recollection'' of attending drills that year, but maybe not consistently.
-----"Some recollection." Suuuure you do, Dubya. Hah. So why wasn't Dubya attending drills and performing his Texas Guard duties during this time? He was too busy playing politics -- literally :
-----From May to November 1972, Bush was in Alabama working in a US Senate campaign, and was required to attend drills at an Air National Guard unit in Montgomery. But there is no evidence in his record that he did so. And William Turnipseed, the retired general who commanded the Alabama unit back then, said in an interview last week that Bush never appeared for duty there.
-----In his first four years in the Texas Air National Guard, according to his military records, Dubya had a busy schedule of full-time training and drills. But during his fifth year as a guardsman, after April 1972, Bush's records show no sign that he ever appeared for duty at all.
In a word, he was AWOL : Absent Without Leave.
The Globe's timeline of Dubya's post-April-1972 military career is as follows :
-----May 24, 1972 : Bush, who has moved to Alabama to work on a US Senate race, gets permission to serve with a reserve unit in Alabama. But headquarters decided Bush must serve with a more active unit.
Sept. 5, 1972 : Bush is granted permission to do his Guard duty at the 187th Tactical Recon Group in Montgomery. But Bush's record shows no evidence he did the duty, and the unit commander says he never showed up.
November 1972 to April 30, 1973 : Bush returns to Houston, but apparently not to his Air Force unit.
May 2, 1973 : The two lieutenant colonels in charge of Bush's unit in Houston cannot rate him for the prior 12 months, saying he has not been at the unit in that period.
May to July 1973 : Bush, after special orders are issued for him to report for duty, logs 36 days of duty.
July 30, 1973 : His last day in uniform, according to his records.
Oct. 1, 1973 : A month after Bush starts at Harvard Business School, he is formally discharged from the Texas Air National Guard -- eight months before his six-year term expires.
-----Ladies and gentlemen, this stinks to high heaven. As has been documented long ago, Dubya had all manner of strings pulled merely to get him into the Air Guard and away from actual combat -- even though he did horribly on the pilot's exams -- yet still be able to claim "military service" on his political resume later on in the future. Then, once he gets into the Air Guard and does four years, he suddenly decides "That's enough, time to work on my REAL career, the Bush Political Dynasty", and goes AWOL for a year.
All while we still were fighting the Vietnam War.
Meanwhile, the young Al Gore wasn't sure how he felt about the war.
On the one hand, he wasn't sure that fighting North Vietnam was particularly wise. On the other, he wanted to see first-hand whether it was a good or bad idea. He solved his dilemma by become a reporter for Stars and Stripes, and went to Vietnam, where he was putting his butt on the line covering the war. The journalism bug bit him hard enough that he later spent five years with the Nashville Tennessean.
Dubya, on the other hand, wanted to have a military career just long enough to give him lots of neat photos of himself in uniform to use in his campaign literature, but he didn't want to actually risk getting his hands dirty, much less risk his gold-plated hiney that was being so carefully groomed for higher office.
But I digress.
Here's the Globe again :
----When the Globe first raised questions about this period earlier this month, Bartlett, Bush's spokesman, referred a reporter to Albert Lloyd Jr., a retired colonel who was the Texas Air Guard's personnel director from 1969 to 1995. Lloyd, who a year ago helped the Bush campaign make sense of the governor's military records, said Bush's aides were concerned about the gap in his records back then.
----- Uh-huh. Make that "terrified".
-----On May 24, 1972, after he moved to Alabama, Bush made a formal request to do his equivalent training at the 9921st Air Reserve Squadron at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama. Two days later, that unit's commander, Lieutenant Colonel Reese H. Bricken, agreed to have Bush join his unit temporarily. In Houston, Bush's superiors approved. But a higher headquarters disapproved, noting that Bricken's unit did not have regular drills. "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,'' Bricken said in an interview. Last week, Lloyd said he is mystified why Bush's superiors at the time approved duty at such a unit.
-----I'll tell you why: so George could spend all his time playing politics.
----- Inexplicably, months went by with no resolution to Bush's status -- and no Guard duty. Bush's evident disconnection from his Guard duties was underscored in August, when he was removed from flight status for failing to take his annual flight physical.
-----Remember that? He wanted to have his own personal physician do the physical. I wonder why? Would it be because the family's own doc would be less likely to rat out Dubya if he tested positive for drugs or booze?
----- Finally, on Sept. 5, 1972, Bush requested permission to do duty for September, October, and November at the 187th Tactical Recon Group in Montgomery. Permission was granted, and Bush was directed to report to Turnipseed, the unit's commander. In interviews last week, Turnipseed and his administrative officer at the time, Kenneth K. Lott, said they had no memory of Bush ever reporting.
-----Lloyd, the retired Texas Air Guard official, said he does not know whether Bush performed duty in Alabama. ''If he did, his drill attendance should have been certified and sent to Ellington, and there would have been a record. We cannot find the records to show he fulfilled the requirements in Alabama,'' he said. Indeed, Bush's discharge papers list his service and duty station for each of his first four years in the Air Guard. But there is no record of training listed after May 1972, and no mention of any service in Alabama. On that discharge form, Lloyd said, ''there should have been an entry for the period between May 1972 and May 1973.''...
... In an effort last year to solve the puzzle, Lloyd said he scoured Guard records, where he found two ''special orders'' commanding Bush to appear for active duty on nine days in May 1973. That is the same month that Lieutenant Colonel William D. Harris Jr. and Lieutenant Colonel Jerry B. Killian effectively declared Bush missing from duty.
In Bush's annual efficiency report, dated May 2, 1973, the two supervising pilots did not rate Bush for the prior year, writing, ''Lt. Bush has not been observed at this unit during the period of report. A civilian occupation made it necessary for him to move to Montgomery, Alabama. He cleared this base on 15 May 1972 and has been performing equivalent training in a non-flying status with the 187 Tac Recon Gp, Dannelly ANG Base, Alabama."
Asked about that declaration, campaign spokesman Bartlett said Bush told him that since he was no longer flying, he was doing ''odds and ends'' under different supervisors whose names he could not recall. But retired colonel Martin, the unit's former administrative officer, said he too thought Bush had been in Alabama for that entire year. Harris and Killian, he said, would have known if Bush returned to duty at Ellington.
And Bush, in his autobiography, identifies the late colonel Killian as a friend, making it even more likely that Killian knew where Bush was. Lieutenant Bush, to be sure, had gone off flying status when he went to Alabama. But had he returned to his unit in November 1972, there would have been no barrier to him flying again, except passing a flight physical.
Although the F-102 was being phased out, his unit's records show that Guard pilots logged thousands of hours in the F-102 in 1973. During his search, Lloyd said, the only other paperwork he discovered was a single torn page bearing Bush's social security number and numbers awarding some points for Guard duty. But the partial page is undated. If it represents the year in question, it leaves unexplained why Bush's two superior officers would have declared him absent for the full year.
----- There is no doubt that Bush was in Houston in late 1972 and early 1973. During that period, according to Bush's autobiography, he held a civilian job working for an inner-city, antipoverty program in the city ... ... Bush's last day in uniform before he moved to Cambridge was July 30, 1973.
His official release from active duty was dated Oct. 1, 1973, eight months before his six-year commitment was scheduled to end. Officially, the period between May 1972 and May 1973 remains unaccounted for.
In November 1973, responding to a request from the headquarters of the Air National Guard for Bush's annual evaluation for that year, Martin, the Ellington administrative officer, wrote, ''Report for this period not available for administrative reasons."
-----Uh-huh. Surrrrre it was.
----After the election, Bush returned to Houston. But seven months later, in May 1973, his two superior officers at Ellington Air Force Base could not perform his annual evaluation covering the year from May 1, 1972 to April 30, 1973 because, they wrote, ''Lt. Bush has not been observed at this unit during the period of this report."
Bush, they mistakenly concluded, had been training with the Alabama unit for the previous 12 months. Both men have since died. But Ellington's top personnel officer at the time, retired Colonel Rufus G. Martin, said he had believed that First Lieutenant Bush completed his final year of service in Alabama.
And there you have it :
Gore went to Vietnam. Bush went AWOL.