Former War Hero Obliquely Trashes ANG Officers' Reps in Order to Protect George a.W.o.l. Bush
June 2, 2000 -- SAINT PAUL, MINNESOTA (Ampol)
The many and expensive veils of silence thrown over George W. Bush's past have been taking some serious rending of late.
The May 23rd Boston Globe story on Bush's 1-year gap in his Air National Guard service
has grown legs, much to the dismay of the Iron Triangle.
Paul Begala picked it up,as well as the New York Times and CNN.
The Bush campaign, seeking to do damage control on this story -- which, coming as it did right before Memorial Day, could not have hit at a worse time as far as Bush retaining the Vet's vote goes -- decided to wrap little Dubya in not only the Flag, but also some genuine War Heroes, in order to avoid having to face and answer those pesky questions about Bush's having been AWOL from May 1972 to May 1973.
The first War Hero that Bush used as a shield was General Colin Powell, the hero of Desert Storm. Unfortunately, Bush's being spot-welded to Powell's side only served to point up the differences between a real military man and a poseur like the Shrub.
Next, the Bush campaign made sure that John McCain, their recently-purchased War Hero and "straight-talking man of integrity", toed the Bush Party Line when he went on TV with CNN's Bob Novak and Al Hunt on May 27th.
Al Hunt asked McCain if he thought the story about Bush being AWOL was true, and told him about the officers who had verified it.
McCain's response ?
"I have no reason to believe the story is true
and I honor the men who served in the National Guard."
No explanation as to WHY he'd take the word of George W. Bush over that of William Turnipseed and Kenneth Lott, the commanding officers of the Alabama Air National Guard unit to which Bush was assigned, but where Bush, according to Turnipseed and Lott, never reported for duty.
No explanation of why there's a one-year gap in the otherwise-voluminous paperwork on George W. Bush's ANG service.
Nothing at all, except for a de facto smearing of the honor of William Turnipseed and Kenneth Lott.
I think I might start referring to John McCain as "Henri Petain".
Henri Petain was himself a War Hero who sold out his country for personal and political gain. A decorated French veteran of World War I, he was later seduced by the Nazis, who used him much as the Bush folks are using John McCain. Petain was even installed as the puppet figurehead of Nazi-occupied France during World War II.
Petain's former War Hero status did not save him from the consequences of his treachery.
John McCain would do well to contemplate Petain's fate, before he allows Bush's people to seduce him further.