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February 05, 2004

MORE ON THE TORN DOCUMENT....It's probably worth saying a few more words about the torn document that I wrote about yesterday. Read this post for background first if you don't know what I'm referring to.

Warning: this gets pretty complicated. You might have to read it through more than once.

Here's my understanding: Bush's service file originally included attendance records for his entire time in the Texas Air National Guard except for 1972-73. In 1999, the Bush campaign hired Albert Lloyd to search the archives for the missing attendance record, and what he came up with was the torn document. This document has since been inserted into Bush's file and is provided to journalists who file Freedom of Information requests.

The document covers the period May 1972 through May 1973 for Texas only. Since Bush was in Alabama from May-November 1972, it therefore contains records of attendance only from late November 1972 through May 1973. (There are no records at all from Alabama, so most of the May-November 1972 period is a complete black hole.)

Here's the theory: the dates are in a YY-MON-DD format. The fourth entry is the only one that contains part of a month, and it ends in N. The only months that end in N are JUN and JAN, and since the record starts in May and there are at least three months between the first entry and the fourth, it must refer to JAN 10. This gives the following dates as the most likely reconstruction of the document:

72 NOV 29
72 DEC 14
73 JAN 06
73 JAN 10
[Four more dates]
73 MAY 24

Bush claims he was back in Texas by late November, so the NOV 29 entry fits. This document orders Bush to attend three drills, the first of which ends on MAY 24, which fits the last date on the torn document. It also orders Bush to attend two other drills, and those dates correspond with the first two dates on Bush's 1973-74 attendance record. So that fits.

Anyway, that's the theory. But the real question is: is the torn document genuine? I think it probably is, but here are the pros and cons:


Pros

Cons

Albert Lloyd, who found the document, says it's Bush's Social Security number beneath the redaction.

The Texas archives, which contains the non-redacted version of the document, inserted it into Bush's file. If the document isn't genuine, an awful lot of people are helping out with the coverup.

The dates on the document do match up in a plausible way with Bush's claims of drill attendance.

The position of the initial W at the top of the torn document matches exactly the position of the initial W on his 1973-74 record.

What are the odds of finding this document simply by "scouring" the enormous archives of the Texas guard? (Actually, I've done some of this kind of scouring myself, and it's not entirely unlikely. Still, it does require a degree of faith.)

The tear is mighty convenient. You'd have to try hard to produce a tear that good.

There are two versions of the document. Whose handwriting is on the second version? Was it someone adding up service points back in 1973, or is it just some contemporary notes?

If Bush really did show up for drills on nine separate occasions over seven months, why did his superiors say he hadn't been observed during that period and refuse to fill out his annual effectiveness report? They seemed to think he'd been in Alabama the entire time.

Since the SSN is redacted, the only real evidence that the document is genuine is the initial W at the top and the fact that the final date seems to match one of the dates that Bush got called up for drills. However, since his entire unit probably got called to the same drill, any attendance record from a fellow unit member would show that date too. In other words, the document could just be a torn copy of a record from someone else in the unit who also had a middle initial of W.

I might have forgotten something here, but I think those are the high points. You can draw your own conclusions from them, but here are the three basic possibilities:

  • Albert Lloyd simply forged the document. There's really no way of judging how likely this is, although he'd have to be a pretty good forger to get away with it. What's more, why not forge something more convincing if you're going to go to all that trouble in the first place?

  • It's really somebody else's record, disguised by the tear and the SSN redaction. However, since the original unredacted document is in the archives, this seems extremely unlikely. It would require a lot of people to be involved in a very risky coverup.

  • The document is genuine and it just got misfiled in the archives until Lloyd found it.

Take your pick.

NOTE: All of this refers strictly to Bush's attendance in Texas. There are no service records at all for May-November 1972 when he was in Alabama and no evidence that he ever showed up for drills during that period. So even if the torn document is genuine, there's still a pretty high likelihood that he blew off drills for a period of seven months in Alabama.

And needless to say, much of this could be resolved if Bush voluntarily released his entire service file. Why won't he?

Posted by Kevin Drum at February 5, 2004 11:26 AM | TrackBack


Comments

Who redacted the SSN? Why not just issue an unredacted copy of the torn document? Would release of the SSN of the POTUS be such a calamitous event?

Posted by: 537 votes at February 5, 2004 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

Okay, I change my mind. There is MORE evidence that Vince Foster was murdered than that Bush missed drills.

Posted by: Reg at February 5, 2004 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

i'd like to know more about this original nonredacted copy. is it torn too? why can't we see it?

Posted by: Olaf glad and big at February 5, 2004 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

Wow, way to address the issue Reg.

Disregarding the evidence or lack thereof for Bush going AWOL, why do you think that Bush had his military records sealed? Why do you think he won't release them?

Posted by: Balance at February 5, 2004 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

Wouldn't some enterprising young reporter be able to figure out if anyone with the middle initial "W" served at the same time in the same unit?

Posted by: DrFrankLives at February 5, 2004 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

Drinking problems listed in other parts of the file?

Posted by: bubba at February 5, 2004 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

I've been watching the Shrub get drubbed on the mainstream news the last couple nights. Anyone care to guess what Bu$hCo will come up with to deflect the criticism?

Do orange alerts still work?

(Hmmmm...this chatter that gets the credit for creating orange alerts...Is it terrorist chatter or Americans and the sleeping media discussing what a boob Bush is?)

Posted by: chris at February 5, 2004 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

So, it's distinctly possible he was AWOL for only seven months, rather than a year. Has any explanation been made for the time not covered by the document? Also, does anyone know what UCMJ regulations were at that time for the National Guard? I seem to recall non-attendance for a quarter (3 months) counted as AWOL, but I can't remember the source. Anyway, the issue to me here is not so much whether he was technically AWOL or not, it's the priorities he showed in wasting a million dollars in wartime on his flight training, then blowing it off to go work on politics in a non-flying unit. As always with Bush, politics before performance.

Posted by: Spork at February 5, 2004 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

I don't buy your reconstruction.

That's because, if your dates are correct, than most of Bush's service dates for the period are weekdays.

Nov 29, 1972 = Wednesday
Dec 14, 1972 = Thursday
Jan 6, 1973 = Saturday
Jan 10, 1973 = Wednesday
May 24, 1973 = Thursday

I could be wrong, but I suspect if he was actually drilling, he'd be drilling on more weekend days than weekdays.

Posted by: emptywheel at February 5, 2004 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

It seems to me if he was never seen by his superiors but there was a printed record of his service, its quite likely that the record was a forgery, even if it was produced in the 1970s, printed by the Guard, and somewhere in the Texas archives.

Posted by: cmdicely at February 5, 2004 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

Wouldn't some enterprising young reporter be able to figure out if anyone with the middle initial "W" served at the same time in the same unit?

Possibly, if only the "enterprising young reporter" hadn't gone extinct decades ago . . .

Posted by: Ed Zeppelin at February 5, 2004 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

If I get you right Kevin, you think this document is genuine because too many people would have to have covered for him?

Posted by: Tim H. at February 5, 2004 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

Anyone know what the number in the upper right is? L9CHPY48? Is that the unit number?

Posted by: SP at February 5, 2004 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

This is a political season red herring. While it is interesting to political junkies, the general electorate has already made a decision on the issue.

Clinton refused to release his medical records during his presidency, was he hiding something or simply envoking a right to privacy.

The Grassy Knoll types grind whatever grist they can winnow, but produce little more than a half-baked loaf and mediocre movies.

Posted by: feste at February 5, 2004 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

I just love the "nothing to see here, move along" comments. And feste, you still remember Clinton's medical records, so apparently it made SOME impact. And how do you winnow grist? Do you just pick out the best grist, or is it more like threshing?

Posted by: Spork at February 5, 2004 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

"L9CHPY48"

Dunno about the first two or last two, but the middle 4
stand for 'Chimpy'

Posted by: mecki at February 5, 2004 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

Anybody else, besides me, who would love to get free jet pilot lessons?

I wonder how much the taxpayers spent to train each of these "champagne squadron" pilots?

Posted by: Limbo at February 5, 2004 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

feste sez:

This is a political season red herring. While it is interesting to political junkies, the general electorate has already made a decision on the issue.

You're right insofar as the single issue goes. But add it to other issues that call Chimp's integrity into question and it creates a background noise of doubt. If enough people hear enough stories like this it could have a negative effect for Bush.

Posted by: spork_incident at February 5, 2004 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

Nice exploration of the issue. Unfortunately, its not that important (to most people). :)

Hopefully this will go away and the Dems can focus on real issue like the war on terror and Bush's terrible domestic policy.

Posted by: Bolo at February 5, 2004 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

sideshow.

That W jumped to the head of the TANG line with a minimum pilot qualification and then BLEW OFF his 6 year commitment is more damaging in my book. Same pattern with W getting into Yale (displacing someone more worthy), same pattern with W getting into Harvard MBA.

But Rove has put W through the Magic Born-Again Screw-Up Eraser, so all this pre-salvation crap on WhistleAss is immaterial.

Posted by: Troy at February 5, 2004 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

Here's the thing to consider about all of this; if the White House wanted this to all die down, in fact wanted to right now embarass Kerry and Macaulliffe et al, why can't they release the full records?

As James Webb, Reagan's sec. of the Navy said on CNN last night, there aren't just a few records that would show if Mr. Bush showed up; there are tons. Payroll sheets, evaluations, drill records, memos, and so on. He found it higly unlikely that all of these could have simply disappeared, to the point that the only evidence we have is a torn document with half a name.

Here's the facts as I see them; as far as I'm concerned, the burden of proof here is on the White House to prove that he showed up. Why? Because it should be something that is VERY easy to prove. Find the payroll records and duty records and release them. While it would take a little work to find them, that is nothing when you've got a $100 million cmapaign warchest. It might cost you $10,000 in the search to be able to hammer Kerry into apologizing for the statement. There should be a very significant amount of documents that would show the truth, and it shouldnt' be all that hard to find one that would work.

The only conclusion I can draw from the fact that these documents haven't been released is exaclty the one Kevin talks about; it would take a lot of effort to cover it all up, but it's not unheard of if there were truly something to hide. The Only reason why they wouldn't release those records is if there was something in those records they didn't want us to see. It should not be that hard to find them all for people in the government, and the odds of everything managing to be gone by accident are miniscule.

The only way this story should go away, and the only thing that will convince me, is the White House doing as it should and releasing the documents. The burden of proof is on them, and the fact that they haven't released the documents is very telling in itself.

If you have a minute, please visit my web page. Thanks!

Posted by: Balta at February 5, 2004 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

Clinton had STDs, why else wouldn't he release his medical records?

And why won't Clinton answer these questions about Vince Foster?
Why was the body discovered in an ugly, desolate, mosquito-infested park?
If privacy was so important to Foster, why was his body discovered so quickly?
Why was the body found so perfectly straight? Why so little blood? If he shot himself with the gun in his mouth as Fiske claimed, why was no gunpowder found on his face?
The crime scene photo showed a gun in Foster's hand. Yet, the person who discovered the body stated with certainty that Foster was not holding a gun. How can this be explained?

I must conclude that CLinton is a murderer.

Posted by: Reg at February 5, 2004 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

Feste, my understanding is that no politicians routinely release their medical records (can anyone confirm to disprove this?). McCain did so, and occasionally other politicians do so to put rest concerns about their health, like Bradley (or not so honestly, Tsongas). But these cases get pointed out, so they seem to prove the rule that it isn't normally done.

In contrast, all politicians release their service records, because, hey, why not. It looks good. Unless it doesn't.

So I fail to see the relevance of your Clinton reference. Did Reagan release his medical records? Did Bush, Ford, Carter, ...?

Posted by: Ben Vollmayr-Lee at February 5, 2004 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

Important aside -

February 5, 2004

N.Y. Gov. Raises Funds for Schwarzenegger

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- Gov. George Pataki is co-hosting a fund-raising dinner for fellow Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California at which guests are being asked to donate up to $500,000.

The minimum ticket price is $50,000 a person.

The event is scheduled for Feb. 24 at the New York City home of billionaire businessman Robert Wood Johnson IV, owner of football's New York Jets.

``It makes a mockery of our campaign finance laws,'' said Rachel Leon, head of the New York chapter of Common Cause.

New York Public Interest Group lobbyist Blair Horner, who has tracked political fund-raising in New York for 25 years, called the $500,000 figure ``eye-popping.''

An invitation, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press, said the money is being raised to help finance Schwarzenegger's California Recovery Team, a general purpose fund-raising committee.

Schwarzenegger is trying to get the voters in California to approve $15 billion in borrowing next month to help ease the state's fiscal crisis. It would be the biggest state bond issue in U.S. history.

The invitations to cocktails and dinner went out to about 25 people. For a donation of $500,000, the contributor will be named a chairman of the California Recovery Team committee.

While in New York, Schwarzenegger also planned to participate in a fund-raiser for the Manhattan GOP.

``Gov. Pataki believes Gov. Schwarzenegger is bringing bold ideas and a fresh perspective to California and looks forward to having him here in New York to support both his efforts and the efforts of the Manhattan Republican Party,'' Pataki spokeswoman Lisa Dewald Stoll said Thursday.

Posted by: Ari at February 5, 2004 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

If Bush really did show up for drills on nine separate occasions over seven months, why did his superiors say he hadn't been observed during that period and refuse to fill out his annual effectiveness report? They seemed to think he'd been in Alabama the entire time.

This is the key point. One of the Bush defenders has said, basically, "ok, maybe he didn't show up in Alabama because he didn't know he had to, or he knew it was just going to be clerical duty, or he got too busy or whatever. But then someone said, 'look bub, get your ass in gear and get your hours in' so when he returned to TX he did all those weekends listed on the torn page."

But then, as you said, that later report would mention that.

Posted by: Opus at February 5, 2004 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

Serious answer alert!

From the awolbush page, the alt tag for their gif of the torn document states:

"L9CHPY in the upper right is in fact the correct PAS code for the 111th Fighter Intercept Squadron, Bush's unit."

But waitaminute: Why is there a date of 'May 24' on the 72-73 document? May 24 should go on the 73-74 list. (The ANG years go from May 1 to April 30)

Posted by: mecki at February 5, 2004 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

I must conclude that CLinton is a murderer.

Of course. Clinton hasn't proven otherwise; accordingly it must be true.

Oh, what about that so-called "report" clearing him? WHITEWASH!

Posted by: Al at February 5, 2004 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

Why isn't there more attention being paid to the fact that Bush refused to take his annual physical in August(?)1972?

I read somewhere that the National Guard was just starting to test for substances.

Posted by: John Kelly at February 5, 2004 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

Emptywheels numbers are right, those are mostly weekdays, this seems pretty important. Could Bush have gotten some special makeup duty days? Especially a wednsday right after a saturday seems realy unusual.
This might explain why nobody saw him around. But somebody should remember assigning Bush these special days when it is unlikely the unit would have been training.

Posted by: CalDem at February 5, 2004 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

Give me a break. I served for almost four years in US, Europe and (Laos - that's a secret). Everyday there was a "morning report" filed that reported where I was or wasn't and if the latter why I "wasn't" where I shoulda was. That's every day, no exceptions, no exclusions, no nothing. There is a load of BS being ladled out here and any serviceman/women can tell you this without a second thought.

Posted by: trulib at February 5, 2004 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

Somewhat OT, since it's not about the torn document, but the general trajectory of the news coverage of the AWOL story, I've been tracking the number of articles cataloged by Google News for a week now, and the results are available on my weblog here.

Posted by: Ed Fitzgerald at February 5, 2004 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think Al, Reg and company realize that no one takes the Clinton bashing seriously any more.

Fellas, the guy hasn't been president in over three years. You're gonna have to get another schtick.

Plus, every time you compare W to Clinton, the comparison hurts your side. Trust me on this one. To Clinton's supporters W does poorly by comparison. And to Clinton's detractors putting the two in the same boat like this just makes W seem guilty by association.

Losing tactics.

Posted by: Brandonimac at February 5, 2004 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

I smell a trap. BushCo baits critics into a frenzy, because they smell blood. Then, when the outcry is starting to hurt Bush, the White House releases the records that exonerate him.

Posted by: Steve-O at February 5, 2004 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

Reg and Al respond with flying colors! More terrific work by the denial set!

Al, we know, is hopeless, but Reg, you're usually a more sensible lad.

The key issues here are very simple: a.) Bush could very easily put this to rest - in fact, he could have easily put this to rest in 2000 - and hasn't; b.) Bush as a lifelong beneficiary of being born to the right parents is a legitimate issue about his policies, and this story provides a nice shorthand; and most important, c.) the media had tons of column inches about gore sighing, gore's suit colors, gore and the internet, and about 3 column inches for this story, so while i think the actual importance of the story is quite modest, the political ramifications are very real.

Posted by: howard at February 5, 2004 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

Support for anxiety epidemic which is sweeping the nation.


Press Release
February 5, 2004
San Rafael, CA

There is a noticeable rise again in the number of people afflicted with cognitive dissonance in the United States. The vast majority of those affected this time seem to share a common bond, a liking for George Bush (republican). It is helpful to review the last national anxiety.
With Clinton, it was about him lying but it was easier to forgive and move on when we knew it was about sex. Nobody died. It cost the tax payers around $75 million for the special prosecutor and congress’ time. This time it is about Bush misleading (Lies, withholding information, promises made and not kept).
The anxiety didn’t start building with Iraq’s missing WMDs. Iraq is only the latest and so far the greatest contributor to their anxiety. I believe it started that Friday night before the 2000 elections when the nation learned that Bush had withheld his arrest record. While that act and others were forgiven as “youthful indiscretions” a nagging anxiety was created. Did we know everything about this President? Can we trust that he will tell us the bad news?
Bush’s refusal to discuss his military record, which is now under great scrutiny, feeds more energy to those nagging thoughts. Republicans feel great that Hillary is nailed due to her $90,000 profit on a commodities transaction: While worrying that Bush’s turning a $500,000 loan into a $15 million profit using public land is costing them the moral high ground. History has only served to increase that anxiety.
They were pleased to see Bush take a “bold” step and declare $15 billion for AIDs related activities in Africa, only to have the anxiousness return when they discovered Bush didn’t follow through and request that amount in his budget. Similarly with his signature “No child left behind” education bill, the money was not budgeted and the anxiety rose. When his promise to “catch the corporate evildoers” went unfulfilled, republicans everywhere reached for their stress balls.
The stress balls have been worn quite thin by the inability to find Osama or create jobs. The inability to find WMDs or an Al Qaeda connection in Iraq may prove too much. I suspect more anxiety is in the future. Wait until they learn that Bush’s supposedly greatest moment (9/11) had a delayed start of 17 minutes while he read a book about goats to a group of children.
No, the anxiety didn’t start with the Iraq disclosures. It has been building for quite a while. It will continue to build as more is learned about the Bush administration’s results (or lack thereof) in its first term. You can be sure opposing politicians will point them out.
Since, by nature, I am compassionate, I am providing space on the web site OneTermForBush.org for a republican support group. I fully understand how hard it would be for a republican to enter a republican oriented site and take that first of twelve steps to recovery, admitting their powerlessness. One can only imagine the scorn a republican would have to endure taking the fifth step, admitting the wrongs, in a forum dominated by closed minds.
Republicans start receiving the support they seek by visiting onetermforbush.org and reading the supporting material found there. Reading the material increases the cognitive dissonance, compelling them to join the support group, Republicans for one term for Bush. Members of the group are learning that it is okay to like Bush yet vote against him because he is taking our country in the wrong direction. Some republicans feel an immediate dissipation of their cognitive dissonance.

Released by OneTermBush.org
Email: onetermforbush@aol.com

Posted by: Bruce Anderson at February 5, 2004 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

Here is information on the candidate GWB was allegedly working for at the time:

linked

And here is Blount's connection to the Nixon dirty tricks campaign and money laundering machine:

linked

Posted by: GFW at February 5, 2004 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think there's much here. I mean, I'm sure he skipped out on his committments (or else would've proved otherwise by now) but no one so much cares.

But Kevin's question: Why won't he release the service file?

Because it proves he shirked his duty. And I disagree that if you're going to forge a document, you might as well go whole hog - that might eventually be found to be a fabrication, when it doesn't match up with other info. A kinda fudge like this document, gives deniability if proven to contradict other info - "we'll this document must be for someone else then, honest mistake. We never said blah, blah"...

The best way to lie (as any 10 year old will tell you) is to muddy the waters. "It's just so confusing. Who knows?" And maybe accept a little blame, if needed to enhance credibility, while still denying the main substance.

Posted by: andrew at February 5, 2004 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

I could be wrong, but I suspect if he was actually drilling, he'd be drilling on more weekend days than weekdays.

Dude -- weekends are for drinking and doing lines with your buds. Let the other guys go to Vietnam and show up for weekend drills; George W. Bush had some partying to do.

Before he found Jesus, of course.

Posted by: Buck Fuffalo at February 5, 2004 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

"I smell a trap. BushCo baits critics into a frenzy, because they smell blood. Then, when the outcry is starting to hurt Bush, the White House releases the records that exonerate him."

This is distinctly possible. However, even if this were the case, it still wouldn't be very smart. Personally, as a Bosnia vet, even if Bush is exonerated, the fact that he looked at the NG as a way to get free flying lessons and ticket to stay out of Viet Nam, then decided he wanted to go work on politics rather than perform the duties he was trained for, makes him look just as bad as if he were AWOL. His half-ass service is no credit to him even if he did barely at the last minute technically fulfill his duty days. If he was gonna work in the mailroom, we shoulda spent that money training someone who would actually fly. AWOL or not, the more his service record is in the news, the more it hurts him.

Posted by: Spork at February 5, 2004 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

CalDem - I'm not surprised his special duties were on weekdays. Weekends would have cut into his drinking.

Posted by: Busby Birdwell at February 5, 2004 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

Good luck guys, but seriously - you need to get really busy - there are only 271 days left until the election, even if Keven can manage more than 2 aWol threads per day, I still don't think that's enough times to repeat what is clearly irrelevant to the majority of the electorate. God Bless.

Posted by: Charlie at February 5, 2004 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

Charlie, what are you basing your assessment of what is relevant to the majority of the electorate on?

Posted by: Hoyt Pollard at February 5, 2004 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

Well, lets all forget Texas for a moment, or even assume that Bush served all his time there. This document, the best they could find, does nothing to show that he served in Alabama.

That's issue number 1. Issue 2 is finding out the document's authenticity. Because if it's a phony...

Why wont anyone get on this story?

Posted by: SamAm at February 5, 2004 01:00 PM | PERMALINK

>Nov 29, 1972 = Wednesday
>Dec 14, 1972 = Thursday
>Jan 6, 1973 = Saturday
>Jan 10, 1973 = Wednesday
>May 24, 1973 = Thursday

Much more likely, if the months and days are correct, would be these dates:

Nov 29, 1969 = Saturday
Dec 14, 1969 = Sunday
Jan 6, 1970 = Tuesday
Jan 10, 1970 = Saturday
May 24, 1970 = Sunday

Yes, the Jan 6 date seems kind of wonky, but things do tend to get wonky around the New Year's celebrations.

Of course, none of this would say anything about his service in 1972/1973 (or not).

There may be days in 1972/1973 (but not in those particular months) that would match up mostly to Saturdays and Sundays, anybody care to look?

-E

Posted by: BadTux at February 5, 2004 01:00 PM | PERMALINK

Prior to May 72, George W. was described as a dedicated and serious officer, then something happened. Papa Bush sends him out of town to a family friend to work on his campaign. Why Alabama? Why not intern in politics in Houston, where the Bush heir will make important contacts for his future in politics? Drugs? Not Sudden enough. A girl in trouble? That sure can happen quickly.

Posted by: quanex98 at February 5, 2004 01:05 PM | PERMALINK

BadTux-

If that's correct, wouldn't that indicate that Lloyd was pulling a fraud?

Posted by: SamAm at February 5, 2004 01:07 PM | PERMALINK

Feste wrote: "This is a political season red herring. While it is interesting to political junkies, the general electorate has already made a decision on the issue."

Have they? I'd be willing to bet that the majority of the country is hearing about it for the first time now. Nobody covered it back when this first came to light.

In any case, you and Charlie have presented nothing that would actually back up this assertion.

Posted by: PaulB at February 5, 2004 01:11 PM | PERMALINK


BadTux

If this doc only covers the years '69 and '70, that would really hurt Bush. There's no debate that Bush served during those periods. But that's certainly a possibility why these documents are torn.

Again, Rove put out the call in 2000 for anybody who served with Bush in Alabama. Either nobody came forward, or they are sitting on this information and hope to use it as a political bait-and-switch, instead of just being honest.

Al and Reg,

Wow. You convinced me. CLINTOHN IS TEH MURDARER!@!! Good work, Hardy Boys!

Posted by: Tuna at February 5, 2004 01:12 PM | PERMALINK

Lloyd may very well believe that this is Bush's 1972/1973 record. There's no year on the document, though, so any such belief is a faith-based initiative -- or else the months on the dates that we've semi-reverse-engineered from the document are wrong. But I just went back to 1972/1973 on my calendar and cannot make the days match up with mostly Saturdays and/or Sundays. I can do so with 1969/1970.

Posted by: BadTux at February 5, 2004 01:14 PM | PERMALINK

Hoyt Pollard:

"Charlie, what are you basing your assessment of what is relevant to the majority of the electorate on?"

On, I don't know - how about the election results of 2000?!!!

Posted by: Charlie at February 5, 2004 01:14 PM | PERMALINK

quanex98,

Bush's girlfriend from that period has come forward. She seems to remember him serving his dates in the Guard... But she didn't serve herself. She can say that he would leave for a weekend and come home, but who's to say what he did during the weekend.

We know that Bush quit doing drugs after 1974, but was he doing (hard) drugs while he was serving in the Guard? If so, that's not really such a big deal. Dean was off skiing and smoking pot during Vietnam, but he was honest about it.

Posted by: Tuna at February 5, 2004 01:18 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, Charlie, Charlie, Charlie:

Final Popular Vote Count:

Bush: 4,567,429
Gore: 5,821,203

You can say that Bush won fair and square by winning the Electoral College, but you can't say that more people voted for Bush, because it just isn't true.

Incidentally, I got this information from a site that claims that Gore's margin of victory in the popular vote was due to massive voter fraud, so you can't exactly say they're biased in Gore's favor:

http://www.bannerofliberty.com/Elections/ElectionsTOC.html

Posted by: Mnemosyne at February 5, 2004 01:29 PM | PERMALINK

The 2000 election, Charlie? When Gore won the popular vote? Seems that those results indicate a majority of the electorate just might be interested in this.

Posted by: Spork at February 5, 2004 01:30 PM | PERMALINK

The document that ordered him to attend those drills that correspond with the torn documents was inserted into his file via fax. Also, when this story first broke on May 23, 2000, Albert Lloyd said that he had scoured Bush's records and could not find anywhere where he showed up until after May 1973. Then, as the date on the fax says, July 6, 2000 Voila! the torn document appears as does this fax. In any case, Bush was AWOL for at least a year.

Posted by: Alma Evans at February 5, 2004 01:33 PM | PERMALINK

P.S. This messing with the files points to a cover-up, no?

Posted by: Alma Evans at February 5, 2004 01:34 PM | PERMALINK

Nice work emptywheel and Bad Tux. Surely his service records from 1969-1970 are available for comparison.

And I like the point raised above that the entry supposedly for May 24 would be on the following report, not this one.

Posted by: 537 votes at February 5, 2004 01:36 PM | PERMALINK

To Bush defenders, I have one comment: Tell it to the Guard!

BushCo pulls strings to get Shrub into the (safe) Guard, then he does his usual smirk/shirk act and blows off his duty, secure in the knowledge that Daddy Dearest and his friends will make sure Shrub doesn't get sent to Vietnam like the common folk who don't live up to their Guard obligations.

Fast forward 30 years and Shrub has no hesitation in sending the Guard into combat and extending their duty indefinitely beyond their commitments. (Commitments apparently don't apply to the government but only to Guardsmen and Guardswomen -- that is those Guardsmen NOT named "Bush.")

I bet there are a few folks in the Guard who would love to trade their active duty in Fallujah for a chance to work on a political campaign. I wonder whose campaign they would pick?

Posted by: Scamper at February 5, 2004 01:37 PM | PERMALINK

Charlie, without even getting into Florida, do you remember who got the most popular votes in 2000? And then there were the Nader voters--have you ever heard Bush supporters castigating us (yep, I was one) for throwing away our votes? There was a clear anti-Bush popular majority in 2000 and even with Nader in the race, Gore won the popular vote.

I guess you meant the voters on the Supreme Court.

Posted by: Donald Johnson at February 5, 2004 01:38 PM | PERMALINK

Hoyt Pollard:

"Charlie, what are you basing your assessment of what is relevant to the majority of the electorate on?"

On, I don't know - how about the election results of 2000?!!!

Must...resist...setup.

Posted by: Orbitron at February 5, 2004 01:38 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, you mean the election that Al Gore won?

Posted by: Garbo at February 5, 2004 01:38 PM | PERMALINK

Here's the problem with this assessment, Kevin. The torn paper is a listing of "retirement points." Today, at least, that form is called an ARPAM 23-A. What it is, basically, is a one-stop source for listing how many "good years" a Guard soldier or airman has toward retirement.

This form does not change from state-to-state, as any duty you've performed works toward your total retirement points. Therefore, any service he performed in Alabama should have shown up on this form as well.

Posted by: Terry at February 5, 2004 01:44 PM | PERMALINK

Look!

Over there on the grassy knoll!

It's Karl Rove!

Let it go guys. This was beat to death 4 years ago. If there was anything to it, then it would have been uncovered by now. It's just conspiracy wonk.

It's simple OK. AWOL is not an opinion. AWOL is a crime. It is punishable under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. And if the Democrats insist that the president is/was guilty of such a crime they should establish that fact in a court of law, and stop all this silly slanderous unsupported accusation.

By the way, I'm pretty sure perjury IS a crime.

Posted by: Lonestar at February 5, 2004 01:45 PM | PERMALINK

Yes - I mean the election "that Al Gore won" with only 4.5 million who cast their vote the first KNOWING this question was unanswered. Add to that even HALF of the remaining electorate, who realize Bush has been a decent wartime POTUS and therefore proven his qualifications for the job, and you've got the biggest Presidential landslide since the first George took office ; )

Posted by: Charlie at February 5, 2004 01:46 PM | PERMALINK

It's absolutely false to believe that someone who voted for Nader, would have 100% of the time voted for Gore over Bush.

I have a friend who lives in Vermont who voted for Nader, as a protest vote, because he know Gore would capture Vermont no matter what. His reason for not voting for Gore? He didn't want to vote for that lying SOB.

Posted by: Lonestar at February 5, 2004 01:48 PM | PERMALINK

Lonestar wrote: "This was beat to death 4 years ago"

Was it? I don't think so, considering how few news organizations covered it.

"AWOL is not an opinion. AWOL is a crime."

And what we are saying is that it is our opinion, based on the available evidence, that Bush was AWOL. Why are you having so much trouble with this?

"By the way, I'm pretty sure perjury IS a crime."

Thanks for being completely irrelevant.

Posted by: PaulB at February 5, 2004 01:48 PM | PERMALINK

There is no evidence here that proves Bush went AWOL. The only strength that Kevin's argument has at all, is just the sheer quantity of information he has gathered.

And what makes you think a bunch of rag-tag bloggers are going to uncover something that no professional investigative reporter has to date?

All you guys have done is gathered a bunch of loosely connected scraps of facts, and with a healthy dose of coincidence and desire, woven together a conspiracy theory, that concluded that Bush went AWOL, without actually proving anything.

Congratulations! When will the book be out?

Posted by: Lonestar at February 5, 2004 02:02 PM | PERMALINK

Whoa, Lonestar.

The point is that for most soldiers, you don't have to put together scraps of torn papers to prove they served. It is all laid out very clearly. This is the ONLY scrap the administration could produce to support Bush's claim that he served when he was supposed to have served.

If someone needs to be looking for more evidence, it's the administration. THe sheer lack of evidence is pretty close to an indictment.

Posted by: emptywheel at February 5, 2004 02:05 PM | PERMALINK

Yes - I mean the election "that Al Gore won" with only 4.5 million who cast their vote the first KNOWING this question was unanswered. Add to that even HALF of the remaining electorate, who realize Bush has been a decent wartime POTUS and therefore proven his qualifications for the job, and you've got the biggest Presidential landslide since the first George took office ; )

And I'm happily looking forward to the landslide this November, since it's gonna be in favor of the Dem candidate.

Posted by: Hamilton Lovecraft at February 5, 2004 02:08 PM | PERMALINK

Lonestar, in your opinion, did Bush do a respectable job in the NG? Going off to work in politics, getting grounded, skipping medical exams, taking an early release? This conduct should be totally unacceptable for any soldier with a sense of duty to country. Not saying he was AWOL, and not saying any of this matters to voters, but I'd like to know your opinion.

Posted by: Spork at February 5, 2004 02:08 PM | PERMALINK

CalDem asks:

"Could Bush have gotten some special makeup duty days? Especially a wednsday right after a saturday seems realy unusual."

As I understand it, yes, he could. With permission.

Charlie sez:

"Good luck guys, but seriously - you need to get really busy - there are only 271 days left until the election, even if Keven can manage more than 2 aWol threads per day, I still don't think that's enough times to repeat what is clearly irrelevant to the majority of the electorate. God Bless. "

Clearly irrelevant like the blue dress? Clearly irrelevant like White Water? Clearly irrelevant like taking Gore's statements on the Internet out of context? Clearly irrelevant like his sighs? Clearly irrelevant like Dean's scream? Clearly irrelevant like Kerry's botox? Clearly irrelevant like Willy Horton?

Why is it GOP apologists act so hurt, and get so uppity, and feel it's so unfair, and complain so much that it just doesn't matter, when it's their guy getting hammered?

What you do speaks so loudly, I can't hear your little girlie whining. Take it to the Free Republic.

Posted by: YellowDogDem at February 5, 2004 02:13 PM | PERMALINK

That's what the national guard thinks.

He was honorably discharged after all.

And NGAUS thinks he did his duty too:

Bush also was accused of skirting the draft by joining the Texas Air Guard in 1968. He became an F-102 fighter pilot before being discharged as a first lieutenant in 1973. [Former National Guard Bureau historian retired Col. Michael] Doubler says it is unfair to criticize those who joined the Guard during the Vietnam War. "The government allowed it and in many ways encouraged it," he said "There were a lot of things the government did to authorize people to serve in places other than the front lines."

Bush's drill performance also stirred controversy during the campaign. Some reports charged that he was absent for a year. However, probably the most comprehensive media review of Bush's military records concluded that while he, "served irregularly after the spring of 1972 and got an expedited discharge, he did accumulate the days of service required for him for his ultimate honorable discharge." The review was done by Georgemag.com, the online version of the magazine founded by the late John F. Kennedy Jr.

Guardsmen say Bush's service record is not unusual. "In any six-year time frame you probably can find some problems," says retired Rep. G.V. 'Sonny' Montgomery, D-Miss., founder of the House Guard and Reserve Caucus. "Just learning to fly the F-102 and not getting hurt and not hurting anybody is an accomplishment." Montgomery called Bush's election, "nothing but a plus for the Guard."

And the NYT looked into the charge in 2000, and found it groundless and baseless:

Two Democratic senators today called on Gov. George W. Bush to release his full military record to resolve doubts raised by a newspaper about whether he reported for required drills when he was in the Air National Guard in 1972 and 1973. But a review of records by The New York Times indicated that some of those concerns may be unfounded. The Times examined the record in response to a previous Boston Globe story.

Documents reviewed by The Times showed that Mr. Bush served in at least 9 of the 17 months in question... On Sept. 5, 1972, Mr. Bush asked his Texas Air National Guard superiors for assignment to the 187th Tactical Recon Group in Montgomery "for the months of September, October and November." Capt. Kenneth K. Lott, chief of the personnel branch of the 187th Tactical Recon Group, told the Texas commanders that training in September had already occurred but that more training was scheduled for Oct. 7 and 8 and Nov. 4 and 5. But Mr. Bartlett said Mr. Bush did not serve on those dates because he was involved in the Senate campaign, but he made up those dates later.

Colonel Turnipseed, who retired as a general, said in an interview that regulations allowed Guard members to miss duty as long as it was made up within the same quarter. Mr. Bartlett pointed to a document in Mr. Bush's military records that showed credit for four days of duty ending Nov. 29 and for eight days ending Dec. 14, 1972, and, after he moved back to Houston, on dates in January, April and May. The May dates correlated with orders sent to Mr. Bush at his Houston apartment on April 23, 1973, in which Sgt. Billy B. Lamar told Mr. Bush to report for active duty on May 1-3 and May 8-10. Another document showed that Mr. Bush served at various times from May 29, 1973, through July 30, 1973, a period of time questioned by The Globe.

Come on guys. Face it. All of you, and Josh Marshal, owe the POTUS an apology :)

Posted by: Lonestar at February 5, 2004 02:23 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not saying he's "dishonorable", I'm saying he was a piss-poor soldier. I've seen guys put out many times "honorably" just to get them the hell out of our unit. Do you think he did a good job, Lonestar?

Posted by: Spork at February 5, 2004 02:33 PM | PERMALINK

Of course Bush is going to release the records......after all, he's a bold and decisive leader, who speaks with moral clarity, is a man of rock-solid character and integrity.

Also, he often says himself that he thinks "people need to take responsibility for what they do", so I am confident it is only a matter of time.

Don't doubt......the President is an honest and forthright leader and a real man of truth.

Posted by: marty at February 5, 2004 02:35 PM | PERMALINK

Somebody needs to find this BBC Greg Palast documentary, Bush Family Fortunes:

Palast interviews retired Lt. Colonel Bill Burkett of the Texas Air National Guard (TANG), who states on camera that shortly after George W. became Texas' governor in the 1990s, he witnessed a speakerphone call from the Texas governor's office to TANG, and overheard the caller tell Guard officers to "clean [Bush's] records from his files." Palast says that after the call, Burkett "asked the officers if they'd carried out the questionable orders, and they said 'absolutely.' They pointed, and Burkett saw in the [shredding designated] trashcan George W. Bush's ... pay [and retirement points] records."

Posted by: Tuna at February 5, 2004 02:36 PM | PERMALINK

Again, to the Bush apologists here: Four years ago this story had no legs. Even today, in isolation, it has no legs. Many people have done stupid things when young, only to straighten up and become good people as they mature. I personally did not feel it was relevant in 2000, stating that lots of people avoided military service in Vietnam in any way possible, and all Bush was guilty of was being born rich. I even stated, in December 2000, that the right man had won the election, whether or not he had the majority of the popular votes in either Florida or the US as a whole -- Gore's spinelessness showed he wasn't man enough to be President.

The problem is when someone who did stupid things as a young man is doing stupid things now, too. And Bush has done an astoundingly large number of stupid things, from driving the U.S. government to near bankruptcy with his borrow-and-spend Big Government policies, to invading third world nations that haven't attacked us and that were completely and utterly contained such that they never could attack us (as has been proven in the aftermath). At that point, the question arises: is this just a few stupid things he's done, or is there a pattern of crass and callow behavior? Looking at stupid things this person has done in the past too is a quite valid exercise at that point, because it helps the voters decide whether this person's recent behavior indicts his character, and thus whether he is worthy of being re-elected.

Posted by: BadTux at February 5, 2004 02:36 PM | PERMALINK

when will republicans realize their guy is bad news? bush ii is no good for the long term interests of the gop. yes, it feels good to be the ruling party, and it might seem crazy to give it up by criticizing the prez, but gwb will take you down if you stick with him. if i were a republican i would be outraged at how this president has turned his back on traditional republican causes and enflamed opposition around the world. wake up.

Posted by: travy at February 5, 2004 02:40 PM | PERMALINK

Did you even read the articles above?

They said that not only did he fulfill his duty, that he fulfilled it and then some.

Now if you want to hate the man, and say he was a bad soldier. That's your call. I didn't serve with the man so I can't say one way or another.

But it seems a little strange to me, to suddenly shift this from a Bush went AWOL claim, to a Bush was a bad soldier claim, which is after all, highly subjective I'm sure.

IIRC the Boston Globe did a piece on this story in 2000 too, and even they concluded that Bush was a fine pilot, fulfilled his duty, and are you ready for this? That he had good leadership qualities.

Har!

Posted by: Lonestar at February 5, 2004 02:40 PM | PERMALINK

And, uhm, Lonestar, you keep repeating the same Rovian talking points. What, you get orders from your Bushevik commissars and you just regurgitate it mindlessly? The whole POINT of this post was to look at this document that the NYT used to supposedly "prove" Bush served those months! All you do is point to a NYT story that says this document proves Bush served those months. But just because the NYT says so doesn't make it true. You have to look at the actual document. Which we are doing. Anybody can get bullshit published. The fact that bullshit gets published doesn't make it true. I thought that after the New York Times got slammed for printing made-up stories you would have learned better?

Posted by: BadTux at February 5, 2004 02:41 PM | PERMALINK

Democrats.com explained the whole AWOL issue way back on 10-4-2000. Not a word of this article has ever been challenged or contradicted.

After Bush went AWOL in May 1972, he never showed up for another drill.

He DID get GRATUITOUS (no-show) points which allowed him to avoid being sent to Vietnam as punishment. Those points were awarded as an act of FAVORITISM because his name was B-U-S-H - which is:
a. how he got into TANG in the first place despite a waiting list of 100,000
b. how he got a coveted pilot slot despite scoring 25% on the pilot aptitude test, the lowest passing score
c. how he got a 'special appointment' to 2nd Lieutenant which normally required eight full semesters of college ROTC courses or eighteen months of military service or completion of Air Force officer training school. It was so unusual that Tom Hail, the Texas National Guard historian, told the Los Angeles Times that he "never heard of that" except for flight surgeons.

Below are the details on the GRATUITOUS points.

http://democrats.com/display.cfm?id=154#item3

3. Did Bush altogether dodge his subsequent scheduled Guard duty obligations for two years after his grounding, and should he have received additional punishment for this misconduct?

"I spent my time and I went to the Guard. It's just not true. I did the duty necessary...any allegations other than that are simply not true." (George W. Bush, May 23, 2000, CNN)

The questions about Bush's unfulfilled service record do not end with his suspension and effective grounding on August 1, 1972. The central question for the remaining two years is whether he fully and legitimately completed his original six-year attendance obligation to the Texas Air Guard and his country, as sworn under oath upon his enlistment, or if he simply dodged his remaining non-flying duties.

Bush has said repeatedly that he completed his service obligations. But a careful review of his record tells a very different story.

On September 5, 1972, more than three months after his transfer request to an inactive Alabama unit was refused, Bush was finally ordered to start serving three months in an active but non-flying administrative Guard unit, the 187th Tactical Reconnaissance Group in Montgomery, Alabama, for four certain duty days in October and November.

Despite this direct written order, there is no official notation in his service record that Bush ever showed up for any of this duty. General William Turnipseed and Lt. Col. Kenneth Lott, who commanded the base at the time, told the Boston Globe that Bush never appeared. "To my knowledge, he never showed up," Turnipseed said in May.

Bush insists he did, according to the Dallas Morning News. "I was there on temporary assignment and fulfilled my weekends at one period of time. I made up some missed weekends. I can't remember what I did, but I wasn't flying because they didn't have the same airplanes. I fulfilled my obligations," he said while campaigning in Alabama on June 23.

But the Bush campaign conducted its own search of Bush's military records, and could not find evidence that Bush performed any duty in Alabama, the Dallas Morning News reported. The only published reports were from personal friends who say they remember Bush telling him that he planned to report for duty, but no reports of anyone in the Guard who actually saw him.  Moreover, Interceptor Magazine, a monthly official National Guard publication distributed nationwide, ran advertisements asking for anyone to step forward who remembered seeing Bush on duty. This inquiry came up empty-handed.

This raises the next question of whether 1st Lt. Bush was intentionally absent from assigned duty contrary to a specific written order, which is the civilian/Guard Airman equivalent of AWOL. This absence could normally result in disciplinary action beyond a slap on the wrist by his parent Squadron's Commanding Officer.

When the three-month term of his apparently unfulfilled temporary order in Alabama ended in November 1972, Bush returned home to Houston Texas until the fall of 1973. However, he again did not report in person for non-flying duty to his parent Texas 111th Squadron during this whole time.

Bush offers a different excuse for this period: that the 111th Squadron was switching to a newer jet, so he could not fly. But the unit's commander told the Boston Globe that Bush could have continued to fly the F-102, which remained in service in his unit past the end of Bush's six-year commitment. "If [Bush] had come back to Houston, I would have kept him flying the 102 until he got out," he said. "But I don't recall him coming back at all." Given that this Commanding Officer used Bush extensively for publicity and recruiting purposes during his flying days, it is unlikely that he would have simply forgotten Bush from the day he wrote that Bush "cleared the base" in May 1972.

Still, Bush reappeared on the Texas Air Guard's radar screen in May 1973. Bush was ordered to attend nine certain duty days in person during Summer Camp at Ellington AFB between May 22 and June 7. But 1st Lt. Bush did not do so ? making him apparently absent contrary to a specific written order for a second time in less than a year.

According to the Boston Globe, Bush "spent 36 days on duty" from May until July of 1973, but this is a clear misunderstanding of the record. Our more recent FOIA request produced an unsigned and undated one page listing of 35 inactive Reserve temporary duty credit days starting May 25 through July 30, 1973. This document is a paper confirmation that Bush did not actually report for duty in person at the Texas Air National Guard on any of these days. In addition, no one in the Texas Air Guard at the time, from the top command down, has stepped forward to say they saw Bush in person on a single day between May 22 and July 30, 1973 ? just as no one saw Bush during his three month assignment in Alabama.

Instead, Bush in fact was credited with 35 "gratuitous" inactive Air Force Reserve points ? in other words, non-attendance inactive Reserve credit time. The proof that this time was "gratuitous" is the absence of any Bush duty time of any kind on his official Texas Air National Guard record all the way from the May 26 1972 entry of 22 pilot duty days for the prior year. This is because "gratuitous" time does not count as scheduled Texas Air Guard duty. This leaves Bush without a single legitimate Texas Air National Guard service day for his fifth and sixth years of service to his Texas Air National Guard discharge on October 1, 1973 ? a critical fact that has been misunderstood in several previous reports of this period of Bush's service.

On October 1, 1973 ? fully eight months short of his full six-year service obligation and scheduled discharge on May 26, 1974 ? Bush was prematurely discharged with honors from the Texas Air Guard, in spite of his failure to report in person for any for duty over the prior 18 months. This is the very last entry on his official half-page Texas Air Guard service record. Another Reserve archive record released under our FOIA request goes on to indicate eventual final inactive Reserve discharge with honors in November 1974, but civilian Bush was attending Harvard Business School as a full-time student by that time.

Posted by: bob at February 5, 2004 02:46 PM | PERMALINK

This could be tied with rumors that Barnes held this information over George's head when he was governor here in Texas. Bush wouldn't let the Lottery contract rebid, even though there was huge demand for it. Barnes, a lobbyist for GTech, received a $20+ million commission.

Posted by: Tuna at February 5, 2004 02:49 PM | PERMALINK

Well. You guys are really good at throwing around insults and excell at ad hominem attacks. That's about all I've learned here today.

Your logic is also really faulty too. The NYT had one rogue reporter in 2003, therefore all NYT reports from 2000 are false. Really good logic there ace.

The story never got any traction in 2000 and will not got any traction in 2004.

Someone here even claimed it wasn't investigated at all in 2000, which is why I posted the links to those articles.

Ciao Baby!

You may now return to your Bush-hating and conspiracy spinnig unimpeded.

Posted by: Lonestar at February 5, 2004 02:51 PM | PERMALINK

Fulfilled his duties as a fine pilot by getting grounded for skipping his required exams? And then never regaining flight status? We had a word for people like that in the Army, ROADs, Retired On Active Duty. Yeah, that's good leadership. And it is subjective, you're right. And as an ex-soldier, that's my opinion. That's all I'm discussing. I'm not turning away from the AWOL issue either, I'm just pointing out that, as a young soldier, that's not the kind of "leadership" that would inspire me, and seems perfectly in character with his "leadership" today.

Posted by: Spork at February 5, 2004 02:55 PM | PERMALINK

Lonestar,

There is one relevant person in all of this who clearly thinks that George W. Bush do his duty in the Guard, and that person is.... (wait for it):

George W. Bush

Otherwise, he'd release his complete military record, which he refuses to do. Yep, he'd release them, just as many other presidents and presidential candidates did and still do (I'm told every other candidate did/does, but haven't looked it up). If he proudly did his duty, he'd have staffers scouring the archives and dumping the data everywhere in public.

I wonder what he's hiding?

Posted by: Jeff Boatright at February 5, 2004 02:56 PM | PERMALINK

Bob does the heavy lifting, so i'm just going to clean up after him.

Lonestar, it took until your third posting for it to become clear: you're deranged.

Even the most cursory review of campaign 2000 will tell you that this story got next to no attention, and could easily have been put to rest with legitimate documenation by then-candidate Bush.

But, of course, Gore's sighing, and his suit colors, and his "invention" of the Internet - those stories were worth hours and hours of coverage and hundreds of column inches.

The Times coverage you cite is incomplete; the Globe coverage is better (and who cares if Bush showed "leadership" qualities? why is that relevant?); but in general, there were significant unanswered questions that were simply ignored because they didn't fit into the meta-narrative of the campaign.

As others have already noted, Lonestar, Bush has an easy way out of this: release documentation (Phil Carter provided an excellent list) that verifies that he did his duty. When he does, the story goes away.

Until he does, the Times 2000 coverage isn't an answer.

And if he doesn't, we're entitled to draw our own conclusions.

Posted by: howard at February 5, 2004 02:58 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, that's it.

But then in 1998, Littwin–the discharged reform lottery director–filed a suit charging that the millions GTech paid for lobbyists bought them contract protection. He subpoenaed Barnes. In 1999, facing a grilling under oath Barnes admitted in a sworn statement to the court, that it was indeed him who got George W. into the Air Guard.

Amazingly though, he claimed to have done this nice thing for young George without any contact, direct or indirect, from the Bushes. How Barnes knew he should make the fix without a request from the powerful Bush family remains a mystery, one of those combinations of telepathy and coincidence common to Texas politics.

Littwin asserted that other witnesses can verify that the cash bought the governor’s influence to save GTech’s license. GTech responds irrefutably that it terminated its lobbying contract with Barnes before the 1997 dismissals of the lottery directors–but not before the blackmailing alleged in the anonymous letter. And, although the company denies it maintained the financial connection to Barnes, GTech’s chairman, Guy Snowden, was a partner in a big real estate venture with Barnes’s wife. (In 1995, Snowden was forced to resign as chairman of GTech when a jury found he tried to bribe British billionaire Richard Branson.)

What did GTech get for their $23 million to Barnes, the man who saved Dubya from the war? Can’t say. In November 1999, GTech paid a reported $300,000 to Littwin; in return, Littwin agreed to seal forever Barnes’s five-hour deposition transcript about the Bush family influence on the lottery and the Air Guard.

- - Greg Palast

Posted by: Tuna at February 5, 2004 02:59 PM | PERMALINK

Lonestar,


There is one relevant person in all of this who clearly DOES NOT think that George W. Bush did his duty in the Guard, and that person is.... (wait for it):


George W. Bush


Otherwise, he'd release his complete military record, which he refuses to do. Yep, he'd release them, just as many other presidents and presidential candidates did and still do (I'm told every other candidate did/does, but haven't looked it up). If he proudly did his duty, he'd have staffers scouring the archives and dumping the data everywhere in public.


I wonder what he's hiding?

Posted by: Jeff Boatright at February 5, 2004 03:01 PM | PERMALINK

Ahh, my first paragraph got chopped up.

It seems like Barnes, the guy who got Bush into TANG, was a lobbyist for the first company to operate the Texas Lottery. He received a heft $23 Million sum from the company, GTech.

There was considerable demand to rebid GTech's contract in the late 90's (96 or 98), but Bush refused. Many believed that Barnes threatened to go public with the TANG info, because this was a big issue during Bush's 94 campaign against Ann Richards.

It appears that this has been covered up on all ends here. Barnes, Littwin (the guy who brought up the suit that forced Barnes' testimony), and a statement that Bush's records were shredded before his official biographer, Karen Hughes, could see it.

And this wasn't that long ago.

This could all be heresay, but there's certainly quite a bit of it starting to add up.

Posted by: Tuna at February 5, 2004 03:05 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks for clearing that first part up Jeff : )

One question though about your claim: "Otherwise, he'd release his complete military record . . ."

You're saying there not even ONE possible reason otherwise?

Posted by: Charlie at February 5, 2004 03:07 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, I just learned some HTML!

Honorable Discharge

Posted by: Repack Rider at February 5, 2004 03:23 PM | PERMALINK

Okay, reg & al, when the FBI and both houses of congress and 2 independent prosecutors investigate Bush's military record and conclude that he did nothing wrong, then you can draw the analogy to the Vince Foster case where those 5 separate (6 if you count the park police investigation) investigations all concluded that it was a suicide.

Posted by: exgop at February 5, 2004 03:25 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry about the link above. It's MY discharge, not George's, and I got so excited that I had learned how to post a link...that I posted a link.

Unless you are interested in seeing MY discharge, don't bother.

Posted by: Repack Rider at February 5, 2004 03:27 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin Drum:

Here we are debating a torn document to death, but its all there is given the failure to release the more relevant records (like the pay records).

What is your basis for assuming that the torn page relates to 72-73? That is a huge unproven assumption about this document.

Its also very hard to reconcile the torn document with service in Texas given the fitness report for that year. Note that the fitness report was followed up with a request from HQ to provide a proper report, and a second report was sent again not providing any info on Bush's service.

Posted by: dmbeaster at February 5, 2004 03:47 PM | PERMALINK

So to summarize, the questions that Bush (and Rove and Reg and Al) seem to be furiously dodging are:

1) Where was Bush during at least seven months of his service, if he wasn't AWOL? (None of the dissembling speaks to the missing 7 months.)

2) Who ordered the shredding of the records that would reveal the answers, and why?

3) Why won't Bush clear this up, if he could do so easily?

"Hey, look over there!"

Posted by: melior at February 5, 2004 04:40 PM | PERMALINK
Hoyt Pollard:


"Charlie, what are you basing your assessment of what is relevant to the majority of the electorate on?"


On, I don't know - how about the election results of 2000?!!!


The majority of the electorate voted for Gore, not Bush.

Bush only won the electoral college votes(assuming you believe in the veracity of the election results in Florida), so your assertion is false.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus at February 5, 2004 04:50 PM | PERMALINK

One thing I haven't seen in this thread is any comment from vets about the date format.
In my 6 yr stint in ANG, I got the distinct impression that military dates are ALWAYS written dd/mon/yr, as in 05 FEB 04. They drilled it into my head, and I still write my dates that way.


Pretty shaky proof of the Fearless Leader's innocence.
Feel free to flame the bejeesus out of me if I am incorrect.

Posted by: felix at February 5, 2004 05:01 PM | PERMALINK

O.K. Dr. M., I'll slow this down for you one more time (but just because I like you):

You take Bush's count from last time: 50,456,062

(They obviously voted KNOWING there were questions about Bush's NG service)

You add to that HALF of Gore's count: 50,996,582 X .5 = 25,498,291

(not even counting all the new voters for Bush - but just those who realize Bush has been a decent wartime POTUS and therefore has proven his qualifications for the job - notwithstanding what he did or did not do 30 years ago)

. . . and PRESTO 76 million votes gives you the biggest Presidential landslide since the first George took office.

Posted by: Charlie at February 5, 2004 05:06 PM | PERMALINK

Charlie,

That's pretty fucked up new math you got there.

Or is that "Faith based" mathematics?

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus at February 5, 2004 05:09 PM | PERMALINK

Uh, Charlie? Bush might win the election, but he ain't gonna do it with half of Gore's voters. Nothing personal, but he just hasn't done that good a job. If he wins, it'll be because he's not a Democrat.

Posted by: M. at February 5, 2004 05:19 PM | PERMALINK

whenever one these operatives starts to be confronted with facts they don'e like they always say "everyone is just mean and calling me names. I'm leaving." funny - but in a sad way.

Posted by: tom p at February 5, 2004 05:20 PM | PERMALINK

btw,

here's the permalink to Charlie's amazing math post above:

http://www.calpundit.com/archives/003193.html#97983

Should be fun to revisit in 9 month's time.

Posted by: Troy at February 5, 2004 05:22 PM | PERMALINK

The case against Bush is flimsy, at best, and is mostly being drummed up by those hoping against hope that it will be an issue. It won't. Voters didn't care in 2000 and they will care even less now that they have his record as 3+ years as a commander-in-chief to judge him by.

Posted by: Randal Robinson at February 5, 2004 05:29 PM | PERMALINK


Offtopic: I've seen some information about Bush's SAT scores (1208) and some grades from Yale. But I don't think I've ever seen any indication of his performance at Harvard.

Has anyone seen any information about his academic performance in his vaunted MBA program?

Posted by: Jon H at February 5, 2004 05:29 PM | PERMALINK

Lonestar's description of the George article as "most comprehensive media review" of the records is shown to be false here:

http://www.tompaine.com/feature2.cfm/ID/3778

Another analysis points out the flaws in other exculpatory stories such as the ones in the Times:

http://www.dailyhowler.com/dh020204.shtml

The important point is that none of the media investigations thus far even begins to systematically research the issue. It is too early to know if the AWOL story has legs, but until it is put to rest, each time it is raised it will remind everyone of the related, documented, and also damaging story of how he got an assignment that others could not.

Posted by: MarkC at February 5, 2004 05:56 PM | PERMALINK

It has a "W" on it. How could it not be real?

Posted by: Tom Daschle at February 5, 2004 06:26 PM | PERMALINK

and they will care even less now that they have his record as 3+ years as a commander-in-chief to judge him by

Indeed.

Posted by: Troy at February 5, 2004 06:41 PM | PERMALINK

Anyone who has ever served in the NG knows how much paperwork is generated therein.

Seventeen months of active guard duty would have generated a pile of records a couple of inches thick, at the least.

And Bush can only find ONE TORN SCRAP OF PAPER that may or may not have his SSN on it?

Let's face it: If he'd really served those seventeen years, he'd have hundreds of pages to document it -- and he would have released them back in October 2000.

Posted by: Annie Nonniouse at February 5, 2004 06:46 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, someone in the thread above me has had some of the same ideas I've had. First, check the days of the week compared to the dates. 4/5's are weekdays. Somehow I have problems believing Bush would do weekdays for Guard duty -- particularly when everyone I've ever known in the Guard has told me it's a weekend gig.

Secondly, someone should file a FOIA on EVERYONE in Bush's unit to determine whether or not other members of the unit had the middle initial W. From another blog I'm told the unit number in the right hand corner is the right one. Fair enough. I still want to see some enterprising reporter do a FOIA on the whole unit, to see if someone has the initial W. and if so, the same dates on THEIR record. That enough would light a real fire if that turned out to be true.

C'mon now. As you mentioned, the tear is a little too convenient. I don't buy it. The odds are highly against it.

I didn't buy Clinton hiding his medical records. I don't buy Bush doing this either -- particularly since every other President has released their military records.

Posted by: Tony Shifflett at February 5, 2004 07:13 PM | PERMALINK

Charlie, our own personal clown, wrote: "You're saying there not even ONE possible reason otherwise?"

Nah, just not one credible, non-nonsensical, non-wishful-thinking reason otherwise. But hey, keep living in that little fantasy world of yours. It's enormously entertaining.

Posted by: PaulB at February 5, 2004 07:13 PM | PERMALINK

Not that I particularly care, but it's more likely that this page is from 1971 or whatever, not the year in question.

The redacted SSI number is apparently W's.

Posted by: Troy at February 5, 2004 07:32 PM | PERMALINK

Charlie: (They obviously voted KNOWING there were questions about Bush's NG service)

Care to back up this assumption? Because none of my Republican friends were aware of this until I told them. Although, I'll bet you whatever you want they all know it now.

Posted by: Anarch at February 5, 2004 07:37 PM | PERMALINK

Poppy but junior in a safe place. What parent wouldn't at least have dreamed of something similar for their son if even only for a second. I'd bet most would have and did dream. Poppy had the connections. Fine. Life's not fair. It was up to junior to be a man. Instead he took the cowards way out.

When the RNC slimes real Americans (Cleland for one) and junior parades around in a flight suite all bets are off. Junior was a coward. If he changed his stripes he would have more respect for America's best and bravest and would also have put a stop to the RNC sliming. He still is a coward.

Junior is a coward. Life's not fair. Get use to it.

Posted by: Hadenough at February 5, 2004 08:05 PM | PERMALINK

Jesse Ventura actually gets off a good quote, regarding Bush, AWOL, and Iraq:

"If this war is what it is supposed to be, why aren't his daughters enlisting?"

http://www.suntimes.com/output/sweet/cst-edt-sweeth05.html

Posted by: aReader at February 5, 2004 10:19 PM | PERMALINK

Just curious, why exactly would you need to have a lot of people involved in a cover up of the SS#?

I mean, how many people have access to National Gaurd files? Presumably not too many? And is this stuff still kept with the rest of the unit records? If it is stored in Daddy's library, that means very few people would be able to see it.

Posted by: Dan at February 5, 2004 10:28 PM | PERMALINK

When you think about it, Bush is pretty unlucky to have the only document that shows he attended drills to have so much torn out of it. On the other hand, he was lucky enough that there was still something left of it, and that it was found. How did it get torn anyway? Do any other members of his unit only have a badly torn document to show they attended drills?

Posted by: ds1234 at February 5, 2004 11:24 PM | PERMALINK

torn document, hanging chad, torn document, hanging chad, torn document, hanging chad, AWOL guardsman, AWOL president, who is this guy w? don't we learn?

Posted by: Torjesen at February 5, 2004 11:45 PM | PERMALINK

felix - In my 6 yr stint in ANG, I got the distinct impression that military dates are ALWAYS written dd/mon/yr, as in 05 FEB 04. They drilled it into my head, and I still write my dates that way.

That's the date format used by most other countries. Perhaps it's that way so international joint military efforts won't encounter really silly mistakes when co-ordinating movements etc.

I've never understood why the US puts the month first - doesn't seem very logical.

Posted by: tads at February 6, 2004 02:13 AM | PERMALINK

If there is no doubt that Bush missed 7 months of "drill" just what does that mean. I mean what does "drill" mean. Does that mean he didn't fly for 7 months? Or does drill just mean showing up and hanging around?

If he didn't fly a fighter jet for 7 months would the air force let him back into one so that he could fly again?

Posted by: lawguy at February 6, 2004 03:27 AM | PERMALINK

Coming late to the party, but I've got a technical question for those with Guard experience: How many points do you get for a day of active duty?

If it's 1:1, then there aren't enough days between January 6 and January 10 for Bush to pick up the 6 points he's credited with.

Posted by: jlw at February 6, 2004 08:49 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, the NYT investigated these claims in 2000? You mean, "the paper of suck-up record?"
Personally, my guess is this could be late 60s Bush service; second guess would be someone else in his unit with a middle initial W.

Posted by: Steve at February 6, 2004 08:57 AM | PERMALINK

There was PLENTY of coverage on this issue in 2000 - is there honestly ANYONE posting here who did not know about this - but Anarch, to be fair, I'll go ahead and give you a 10% discount on Bush's vote count to account for any such stupid and/or uninformed voters. BTW: if that were that stupid last time, what makes you think finding out about it this time around will change their minds?!

Posted by: Charlie at February 6, 2004 09:08 AM | PERMALINK

So, Troy and the rest of you keeping score at home, that means that my current prediction of GWB's final vote count this Nov. stands at 70 million. I'm sure you'll let me know if I over-estimated that ; )

Posted by: Charlie at February 6, 2004 09:36 AM | PERMALINK

Charlie, you're such an incoherent bore that I usually ignore you, but this is fun. Is your e-mail address "clawrence AT spm-law DOT com"? Are you still planning to be there in November, and shall we send you consolation cards when Bush loses by a landslide?

Posted by: Jesurgislac at February 6, 2004 09:54 AM | PERMALINK

Bring 'em on - of course, a lot can happen between now and the election, but based on what we know right now, that's my prediction.

Posted by: Charlie at February 6, 2004 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

Our resident humorist Charlie wrote: "There was PLENTY of coverage on this issue in 2000"

Yeah, right, Charlie. Why I clearly remember it on the front page of every newspaper, as the lead in every television news program, wall-to-wall coverage on CNN and Fox. Why you couldn't go anywhere without hearing about it.

As I said on another thread, I wish I could remember the source, but someone did a search and found something like 13,000 news references to the Clinton "draft-dodging" story and 39 references to the Bush AWOL story. Yeah, that's PLENTY of coverage, all right.

"is there honestly ANYONE posting here who did not know about this"

Thanks for the laugh, Charlie. You're doing a survey on the Internet? Among self-selected political junkies? Of course we did. Did you have a point to make?

Posted by: PaulB at February 6, 2004 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

re: Bush's Harvard MBA program grades

It's my understanding that the Harvard MBA program uses a 'case study' method involving 'teams' of students, and that it is also 'graded' on a pass-fail basis (meaning no relevant grades would be available, per se).

Posted by: sofla at February 6, 2004 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

You take Bush's count from last time: 50,456,062

(They obviously voted KNOWING there were questions about Bush's NG service)

You add to that HALF of Gore's count: 50,996,582 X .5 = 25,498,291

(not even counting all the new voters for Bush - but just those who realize Bush has been a decent wartime POTUS and therefore has proven his qualifications for the job - notwithstanding what he did or did not do 30 years ago)

. . . and PRESTO 76 million votes gives you the biggest Presidential landslide since the first George took office.

Charlie, I'll make you a wager.

If George W. Bush gets 60 million or more votes in the 2004 presidential election, I will give you $100.

If an executive at Diebold is indicted in a vote-fraud-related scandal within the 2004-2008 presidential term, you will give me $500. If it's the CEO, Wally O'Dell, you will give me $1000.

I'm pretty certain I'm not going to lose any money on this deal.

Posted by: Hamilton Lovecraft at February 6, 2004 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

Yes Hamilton Lovecraft - I got your e-mail too. But I don't wager (on-line or off). What I have been willing to do is swap donations, for instance if GWB gets more than 60 million votes, you donate $20 to www.nrlc.org and if he doesn't, I'll donate $20 to www.aclu.org

P.S. I have no idea who / what Diebold or O'Dell are - I thought this thread was about Bush and a torn piece of paper - sorry.

Posted by: Charlie at February 6, 2004 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

I'd gladly make a donation swap wager. A fine organization like the ACLU could really use your support in their defense of Rush Limbaugh's right to privacy.

From this Yahoo News article:

Democrats are now as intensely opposed to Bush as Republicans are intensely supporting him. By a 2-1 margin, political independents were more likely to say they would definitely vote against him than definitely support him.

"I think he's run the country into the ground economically, and he comes out with these crazy ideas like going to Mars and going to the moon," said Richard Bidlack, a 78-year-old retiree from Boonton, N.J., who says he voted for Bush in 2000. "I'm so upset at Bush, I'll vote for a chimpanzee before I vote for him."

Exit polls in the Democratic primaries have suggested considerable voter anger at Bush, among both Democrats and independents.

Of course, that's the Liberal Media talking, so take a grain of salt.

Diebold is a company that makes ATMs and voting machines. The ATMs are pretty secure and leave an auditable paper trail, because the money in banks is at stake. The voting machines are insecure, hackable, bug-ridden, and unverifiable, because nothing important is at stake. The CEO of Diebold is on record as saying he is "committed to delivering Ohio's electoral votes to Bush" in 2004, which makes some bleeding heart liberals uncomfortable for some strange reason. You can read more in the Liberal Media or among the Moonbats, but the Wingnuts aren't touching it for some reason.

Posted by: Hamilton Lovecraft at February 6, 2004 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

Hamilton Lovecraft:

"I'd gladly make a donation swap wager."

Fine.

"A fine organization like the ACLU could really use your support in their defense of Rush Limbaugh's right to privacy."

There you go - now if they would just defend GWB's right to privacy in his military records, I'd think about forgetting all of their other past sins ; )

"Democrats are now as intensely opposed to Bush as Republicans are intensely supporting him. By a 2-1 margin, political independents were more likely to say they would definitely vote against him than definitely support him."

And, which side's getting all the coverage right now re: primaries. Which other side has $100 million in the bank ready to pounce on whomever gets the Dem nomination?

"I think he's run the country into the ground economically, and he comes out with these crazy ideas like going to Mars and going to the moon," said Richard Bidlack, a 78-year-old retiree from Boonton, N.J., who says he voted for Bush in 2000.

I highly doubt Mr. Bidlack voted for Bush in 2000 (or maybe he doesn't like getting his Medicare drugs for free?) Short of something completely catestrophic like another 9-11, come Nov., Bush will not lose more than 10% of his 2000 voters and (esp. if Dean gets the nomination) gain so many others it will be a landslide victory!

"Diebold is a company that makes ATMs and voting machines."

Oh O.K. - I'm not that hot on computerized voting either - I just wish there was some other way to reduce the margin of error in paper ballots.

Posted by: Charlie at February 6, 2004 01:41 PM | PERMALINK

Let's see....

I'm an Aussie here on a working visa since May 2000. I had not heard of the Bush AWOL story prior to this year. Though I did hear all about the 2000 elections and all the controversy whilst back in Sydney.

I didn't hold much of an opinion then as to who would have been a better President.

I can certainly say that these allegations, along with the many lies the administration has told in regards to Iraq and its ties to 9/11, would sway my vote. When someone can send a nation to war based on "intelligence" and stand on a aircraft carrier declaring "mission accomplished" (kinda like his ANG duties) whilst hundreds are still losing their lives... If he is willing to "Bring 'em on!"... then.... he'd better have a leg to stand on when someone challenges his character.

That's my opinion.


Posted by: Poz at February 6, 2004 02:20 PM | PERMALINK

As long as you don't vote illegally then Poz, welcome to America.

Posted by: Charlie at February 6, 2004 04:25 PM | PERMALINK

>Calpundit:There are two versions of the document. Whose handwriting is on the second version? Was it someone adding up service points back in 1973, or is it just some contemporary notes?

All of the writing (except the year date in the lower right) was done by Albert Lloyd in 2000.

This version (without the year dating) was then shopped around to journalists, like Jo Thomas of the NYTimes, by Dan Bartlett.

The "May 1972 1973" in the lower right was done by Peater Keating when he wrote an article for George Magazine in 2000.

Posted by: Martin Heldt at February 7, 2004 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

When did drug testing become mandatory in the Texas Air National Guard and military in general?

Posted by: Robert Horey at February 9, 2004 07:01 AM | PERMALINK


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