Newspaper Blogs

February 08, 2004

ARF!....No, this is not the sound that Barney makes when the White House staff is late with dinner. Rather, it's the beginning of yet another intriguing mystery regarding George Bush's service in the Air National Guard. Read on for more.

To begin, you need to recall the original mystery of the "torn document" that purports to show Bush's guard activity in 1972 and 1973 (details here and here if your memory is fuzzy). Question: is the document genuine? Or some kind of clever forgery?

Answer: it's real. Here's the untorn version, as delivered to Bob Fertik in response to a FOIA request in late 2000:

As it turns out, though, we have traded one mystery for another. It's now clear that the document is genuine, but what exactly does it tell us? In particular:

  • The first listed date is October 29, not November 29 as we had theorized before. But George Bush was still in Alabama in October. What exactly was he getting attendance credit for?

  • This is neither a Texas Air National Guard document nor an Alabama document. What is it?

The answer, as you can see from the top line, is that it is an ARF document, as is this record from 1973-74. So what is ARF? I asked Bob Rogers, a retired Air National Guard pilot who's been following this for some time, and what follows is his interpretation of what happened.

ARF is the reserves, and among other things it's where members of the guard are sent for disciplinary reasons. As we all know, Bush failed to show up for his annual physical in July 1972, he was suspended in August, and the suspension was recorded on September 29. He was apparently transferred to ARF at that time and began accumulating ARF points in October.

ARF is a "paper unit" based in Denver that requires no drills and no attendance. For active guard members it is disciplinary because ARF members can theoretically be called up for active duty in the regular military, although this obviously never happened to George Bush.

To make a long story short, Bush apparently blew off drills beginning in May 1972, failed to show up for his physical, and was then grounded and transferred to ARF as a disciplinary measure. He didn't return to his original Texas Guard unit and cram in 36 days of active duty in 1973 — as Time magazine and others continue to assert based on a mistaken interpretation of Bush's 1973-74 ARF record — but rather accumulated only ARF points during that period. In fact, it's unclear even what the points on the ARF record are for, but what is clear is that Bush's official records from Texas show no actual duty after May 1972, as his Form 712 Master Personnel Record from the Texas Air National Guard clearly indicates:

Bush's record shows three years of intense service, followed by a fourth year in which his enthusiasm apparently waned, followed by no service at all in his fifth and sixth years. This is because ARF duty isn't counted as official duty by the Texas guard.

So Bush may indeed have "fulfilled his obligation," as he says, but only because he had essentially been relieved of any further obligation after his transfer to ARF. It's pretty clear that no one in the Texas Air National Guard had much interest in pursuing anything more serious in the way of disciplinary action.

Can we confirm all this? Only if Bush is genuinely willing to release his entire service record, including the disciplinary action that presumably led to his transfer to ARF.

How about it, Mr. Commander-in-Chief? Will you release your full and complete service record, as you promised today on Meet the Press? Or were you just bluffing?

POSTSCRIPT: As always, any corrections, updates, or amplifications are welcome, especially from those with National Guard experience.

UPDATE: I see that I accidentally set off a storm by writing that ARF stands for "Army Reserve Force." This is almost certainly supposed to be "Air Reserve Force" and I've changed the text to remove the army reference. The overall point is to propose the theory that after missing drills and blowing off his physical, Bush was warned that he could be transferred to the reserves for 24 months as a disciplinary measure, the transfer probably happened around October 1972 when he began accumulating ARF points, and ended in November 1974.

The untorn version of the "torn document" is obviously a different copy and was obtained from the ARPC archives in Denver. The original torn document was found in Texas. There's nothing necessarily unusual about this, aside from the fact that the torn document designates Bush's unit as L9CHPY and the Denver version designates it as L9CMPY. I don't know if there's any significance to this.

Posted by Kevin Drum at February 8, 2004 06:59 PM | TrackBack


Wow. This aWol story is really getting legs. And as usual, the bloggers are about two weeks ahead of the mainstream media.

Posted by: grytpype at February 8, 2004 07:07 PM | PERMALINK


You're good ;)

Posted by: bubba at February 8, 2004 07:07 PM | PERMALINK

This is great work Kevin. Now tell us about your investigation. Where and how did you find all the documents -- documents I might add, that the mighty national press was either unwilling or unable to find and analyze. Somebody ought to pay you for this.

Posted by: Ares Akritas at February 8, 2004 07:07 PM | PERMALINK

So is ARF like being sent to detention? Why would the Guard give a guy points toward his duty when he's in a "paper unit" dedicated to discipline?

Posted by: Matt Davis at February 8, 2004 07:12 PM | PERMALINK

Damn fine work Kevin.

But hold on just one minute. If Bush got sent to ARF, it was, as you point out, because he very much did NOT fulfill his obligations. People that fulfill their obligations don't have this happen to them. So at the very least Bush did not meet the standards he signed up for.

The "character attack" commerical writes itself. Fairly? Yes, I think so. Does it matter? That's for the voters to decide.

Posted by: SamAm at February 8, 2004 07:13 PM | PERMALINK

Amazing to me that not showing up for Guard duty carried such light repurcussions, though I suppose being culled for active duty would've been serious. (Though, if he's skipping out on the Nat'l Guard in the 70s, how seriously would he take the draft?)

Great work, Kevin—I see a Koufax in your future!

Posted by: Kriston Capps at February 8, 2004 07:15 PM | PERMALINK

Boom! The stained dress moment strikes the Bush administration. The guy stood before the American people this morning and flat out LIED!

Posted by: pj at February 8, 2004 07:16 PM | PERMALINK

This is kind of a bombshell, thus I am skeptical. ARF? You say Army Reserve Force, but the second document you post also refers to "Air Reserve Forces Retirement Credit Summary." Are they the same?

Do you have some background info on "Army Reserve Force" being the detention unit for wayward TANG pilots?

Posted by: 537 votes at February 8, 2004 07:20 PM | PERMALINK

Great job, Kevin. Please keep this one firmly between your teeth until it breaks wide open, ok?

Any regular person whose daddy wasn't George HW Bush would have either been shipped to the front lines, imprisoned, or given a dishonorable discharge.
And certainly disqualified from the Presidency.
I am so tired of this second rate prince of privilege enjoying all carrot and no stick.

Posted by: kate mckinnon at February 8, 2004 07:23 PM | PERMALINK

These documents were obtained by Bob Fertik via a FOIA request, but he didn't get them until after the election in 2000, at which point no one cared anymore. Maybe now they will.

Basically, we now have two documents showing that Bush performed no actual drills in Texas after May 1972, two years before his enlistment was up. This might be chalked up to youthful indiscretion, which would be fine with me, except that Bush has clearly stated otherwise.

The interpretation of what the ARF records really mean came from a phone conversation with Bob Rogers, who has been following this stuff for a while. I'm hoping that there are other National Guard alumni who can confirm that this is the best explanation of the ARF records.

FWIW, Bob says that although harsher punishment is sometimes meted out, being "ARF'd" is fairly common for people who don't show up for drill. Apparently the guard isn't really excited about tossing people in jail for stuff like this.

Posted by: Kevin Drum at February 8, 2004 07:23 PM | PERMALINK

Googling is not turning up much.

Posted by: grytpype at February 8, 2004 07:23 PM | PERMALINK

Does this doc23.gif have anything to do with his being put on reserve?

Posted by: Alma Evans at February 8, 2004 07:25 PM | PERMALINK

Why does this matter now and not in 2000? Because in 2000 we were a prosperous nation at peace. In 2004, Bush has led us into an unnecessary war, where many are dying, including many of our own 18 year olds (see

Posted by: JC at February 8, 2004 07:25 PM | PERMALINK

Damn... Impressive.

Tomorrow at the White House:

Scott, Could you please tell us if the President was transfered to the Army Reserve Force for disciplinary reasons?

Posted by: def rimjob at February 8, 2004 07:25 PM | PERMALINK
Posted by: Alma Evans at February 8, 2004 07:25 PM | PERMALINK

Here is the link to the document -- link

Posted by: Alma Evans at February 8, 2004 07:28 PM | PERMALINK

disclaimer: I know nothing first hand, but, I can tell Matt Davis that the all the services discipline people by sending them off to serve in less-prestigious/more onerous units. You can get shipped out of the Marines, for example, by being sent to serve at the lowest level of the navy.

Way to go Kevin. This is better than anything in the news.

Posted by: Diana at February 8, 2004 07:30 PM | PERMALINK

Of course, the ultimate question is why W nelgected to show up for the physical in the first place, thus leading to the "ARF" treatment. On supposition I've seen was that the Guard had begun performing random drug at these physicals at about that time. . .

BTW -- great post Kevin. I hope I remember it a year from now for next year's Koufax awards!

Posted by: pontificator at February 8, 2004 07:32 PM | PERMALINK

Wow. Let's hope this is the start of something big.

Posted by: scarshapedstar at February 8, 2004 07:32 PM | PERMALINK

537: There are several things that are still a mystery to me. Part of it is simply because the documentation is incomplete, and part of it is because I don't know how the Guard works. Anyone with more insight is welcome to contribute.

In fact, part of the point of posting this stuff is to see if anyone has additional information they can provide.

Posted by: Kevin Drum at February 8, 2004 07:32 PM | PERMALINK

Sounds like Drum and Fertik have a big scoop. This BETTER have legs.

It really may explain everything.

It fits with my theory that after 1970 or 1971 there was so much non-registration, AWOL, and draft refusal going on that the punitive authorities often took a hands-off approach. Bush was not trying to make a political statement, he was not making waves publicly, and he had pull. All put together he was unlikely to be punished, and he probably figured that out.

Posted by: zizka / John Emerson at February 8, 2004 07:32 PM | PERMALINK

This is fantastic. Two questions: is it clear from teh documents that Bush did not report in Alabama? Because I think I heard him say he did today. The lie is what matters here. Two: any sense of what percentage of people in ARF were shipped off to Vietnam for failing to fulfill their responsibilities? Did nepotism help him here too?

Congratulations Kevin on what appears to be a fantastic scoop.

Posted by: Robert Muller at February 8, 2004 07:37 PM | PERMALINK

I hope Krugman's reading this.

Posted by: mario at February 8, 2004 07:37 PM | PERMALINK

I haven't followed the "torn document" story closely, but in comparing the "torn" document and this "original" (both examples shown here on your webbie) both the strike-through of the SS number and the spacing of the letters/numbers on the top right of the document seem to vary slightly. If the SS number is blacked out on the original, then the inconsistency seems hard to explain. Whether or not the SS number strike-through should match on both, the spacing of the wording should, shouldn't it? (Perhaps this is just a resolution problem...)
Also, if the original was intact in 2000, why was the torn document found in Bush's file to begin with? How was it torn? When? Do we know?

Posted by: Min at February 8, 2004 07:38 PM | PERMALINK

According to my notes the Army Reserve Force and the ANG wouldn't exactly be working with each other. It would make more sense if Bush had been transfered to the Air Reserve Force and not to the Army Reserve Force.

Need more information on this.

Posted by: Les Dabney at February 8, 2004 07:38 PM | PERMALINK

"Army Reserve Force" Denver Vietnam

3 hits


Posted by: SamAm at February 8, 2004 07:38 PM | PERMALINK

um, doesn't ARF stand for "Air Reserve Forces," as it says on the second document?

Posted by: praktike at February 8, 2004 07:38 PM | PERMALINK

Wow. Very nice work, Kevin.

Who is Bob Fertik, and how did he FOIA this document? Did he know what he was looking for, as in "I request George W. Bush's ARF record under the FOIA"? Or did he just go on a fishing expedition? And why hasn't this turned up before -- how did you get it from Fertik?

Posted by: Luke Francl at February 8, 2004 07:40 PM | PERMALINK


Posted by: CF at February 8, 2004 07:40 PM | PERMALINK

Problem: another of the Marty Heldt documents appears to show that GWB was transferred to the Denver "paper unit" in October 1973, not in '72.

Posted by: penalcolony at February 8, 2004 07:41 PM | PERMALINK

This reminds me of the very first WEB Griffin book, "Lieutenants", where then-sergeant Macmillan takes off for New York for some well-earned nookie with his wife.

He's supposed to be cooling his heels prior to meeting the President for a MOH award. He get's marked down AWOL, but the Pres thinks that's unfair. And has him marked travel, personal, VOP. (verbal orders, President)

Much later, when discussing an undesirable posting, Macmillan says, "I wasn't AWOL, I was VOP."

So now here's George Bush saying, 30 years after the fact: I wasn't AWOL; I was ARF. Of course, his excuse is rather more lame than getting some unauthorized nookie en route to a MOH award...

Posted by: p mac at February 8, 2004 07:44 PM | PERMALINK

Holy shit. Kevin, do you realized you just broke a BIG story. You could do to Bush what Drudge did to Clinton. I'm sure you hate the comparison and I mean no offense by it. This could snowball!

Posted by: Sullivan at February 8, 2004 07:44 PM | PERMALINK

Keep it up, Kevin!

Posted by: rachelrachel at February 8, 2004 07:45 PM | PERMALINK

Googling "Air Reserve Forces" Denver Vietnam returns 36 hits

Posted by: jeff Boatright at February 8, 2004 07:46 PM | PERMALINK

Mark Levine has a similar annotated analysis at .

He is interviewing Bob Rogers (also Kevin's source) tonight on his radio show "The Inside Scoop." You can hear the interview via a link at the above URL.

Good work, Kevin.

Posted by: Bob Smith at February 8, 2004 07:47 PM | PERMALINK

I await the rebuttals from the right: "What kind of investigation is that? All Drum did was sit around drinking mint tea and taking pictures of his goddam cats!?"

Posted by: Jon H at February 8, 2004 07:48 PM | PERMALINK


Go get 'em, Kevin.

Posted by: EssJay at February 8, 2004 07:48 PM | PERMALINK

OK, I'd love for this story to be as sordid as it appears, but when I do a google search for ARF I also get "air force reserve"

Bush said this am that he served in the reserves.
Can anyone comment on this? Did we just find the document to confirm he was in the reserves, earning points of some sort? I'm really lost on this.

Posted by: Sue in NH at February 8, 2004 07:48 PM | PERMALINK

I didn't get a response last time I raised this, but I'll try again. Notice how the dates are consistently written on the second document? That is the accepted military protocol for writing dates, which as far as I know, is SOP for all branches of the service.
So wouldn't the ARF document adhere to that?

As for missing drills in regular National Guard (one drill=4 hours of weekend service, so a weekend=4 drills), once you'd missed 12 drills, you were handed over to your local draft board for two years of regular army. Unless your father had lots of clout, obviously.

Posted by: felix at February 8, 2004 07:49 PM | PERMALINK

Why, exactly, would someone in the Texas Air National Guard be transfered to the "Army Reserve Force"? That doesn't make any sense at all, the forces don't trade personnel between eachother. That's like someone in the Navy being transfered to the Army as a punishment.

This is more treasonous nonsense from a pack of liars and scumbags.

Posted by: Adam Yoshida at February 8, 2004 07:49 PM | PERMALINK

ARF appears to stand for Air Reserve Forces as was previously pointed out:

It appears the ARF is made up of the Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserves.

So, that makes the statement that he was sent to the "Army" Reserves Force very weird. If he was punished it would seem that it would have been done through the Air Force Reserve.

Posted by: javabuddha at February 8, 2004 07:50 PM | PERMALINK

This site seems to have this "ARF" argument going on already as of last fall. And see links to people pursuing this line of inquiry in November 2000.

Posted by: Ottoe at February 8, 2004 07:50 PM | PERMALINK

Get ready for this story to be drowned out by the Qaeda/Iraq and Qaeda/nuke stories currently rolling out...

(btw, the nuke story is a regurgitation of an earlier story, some 8 years ago.. Lebed was thoroughly discredited.. by our own gov't even.)

Posted by: bubba at February 8, 2004 07:50 PM | PERMALINK

I should have been paying attention re: Army vs. Air.

Sorry all.

Posted by: SamAm at February 8, 2004 07:51 PM | PERMALINK

ARF is more likely Air Reserve Force than Army Reserve Force. There's a post from March 2003 about this in alt.politics.republicans which references for more details.

Air Reserve Force is not necessarily punitive. It could just be a list. When I left the Army in 1981 after 4 years service I spent another 2 years (rounding out a 6 year obligation) in the Individual Ready Reserve. All this meant was that my name was on a list and I had to keep the Army apprised of my current address. I could get called up if a war started, but otherwise had no active connection.

Could be that someone saw that W was missing drills and pulled some strings to have him transferred to an 'inactive' reserve status to keep him out of trouble.

Posted by: Henry at February 8, 2004 07:51 PM | PERMALINK


That line that shows a transfer to Denver in October of 1973 that's per ANG-36-05:

ANGR 36-05, Administrative Separation/Discharge of Commissioned Officers of the Air National Guard
of the USAF

In other words that's when GWB separated from the ANG and his files were sent to Denver. It's a different unit then what Kevin is referring to.

Posted by: ChrisS at February 8, 2004 07:52 PM | PERMALINK

Googling around I found this:

"According to the Atlanta Constitution (November 1, 2000), Bush failed to take his annual flight physical in July 1972, a requirement before he reached his 26th birthday, Consequently, the Air National Guard Headquarters suspended him from flying status. As an automatic disciplinary action for defying orders to appear for the physical, he was reassigned to the Obligated Reserve Section in Denver. Bush never fulfilled the last two years of his six-year obligation with the Air National Guard."

What the hell is the "Obligated Reserve Section"?

Posted by: pontificator at February 8, 2004 07:52 PM | PERMALINK

Could he have been busted for drunk & disorderly?

Posted by: El Payo at February 8, 2004 07:53 PM | PERMALINK

Wow. Nice work, Kevin and Bob.

This could get big. Very big.

Who can we get this to that would be able to blindside McClellan with it tomorrow?

Posted by: stranger at February 8, 2004 07:54 PM | PERMALINK

Okay. The document penalcolony links to say he was transferred to ARPC (ORS), in Denver.

Air Force, not Army. However, ORS stands for Obligated Reserve Service. This is a unit for those who don't to fulfill their obligations. So, it's pretty obvious that they were none too happy about his performance.

So, I'll say it again, what's the difference? The picture is getting a little bit clearer. Something tells me Kev's on to something good...

Posted by: scarshapedstar at February 8, 2004 07:58 PM | PERMALINK

btw, it looks like the code in the right-hand corner has an "M" in this version that seems like an "H" in the ripped one.

Posted by: praktike at February 8, 2004 07:58 PM | PERMALINK

Bush to ARF = BARF

Posted by: poputonian at February 8, 2004 07:58 PM | PERMALINK

Also, here is a nice key graf of tomorrow's front page story in the Post, from Dana Milbank:

Reacting for the first time since the old controversy was revived by Democratic charges that he was "AWOL" during Vietnam, Bush said he would "absolutely" release records such as pay stubs that would, if found, indicate more precisely how often he reported for duty.

Nothing like reitering Bush's promise on the front page.

Posted by: ChrisS at February 8, 2004 07:59 PM | PERMALINK

ChrisS: Thanks. Damned confusing, this.

Posted by: penalcolony at February 8, 2004 08:01 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, I see now that I was a little off in my assessment. That third document shows some nepotism, since he just got to leave early and go to Harvard Business School, but that's nothing new.

Posted by: scarshapedstar at February 8, 2004 08:03 PM | PERMALINK

Here's a prior version of the story, from 12/30/03 (
scroll down):

4) The tattered piece of attendance record (which lists no months, years, or last name) which the Bush campaign presented as evidence of attending Air National Guard training is not even from the Air National Guard. This incomplete scrap of paper is from the Air Force Reserve punishment unit, not the Air National Guard. (13) Note the ARF (Air Reserve Force) listing at the top, rather than the ANG designator, which would indicate it was from the Air National Guard.

Posted by: grytpype at February 8, 2004 08:03 PM | PERMALINK

The following document may also be of some interest.

When Bush did finally get a temporary transfer to Alabama, he was ordered to appear on two specific weekends, Oct. 7-8, 1972 and Nov. 4-5, 1972.

Kevin's document shows Bush getting credit for Oct. 28th & 29th, 1972 and Nov 11-14, 1972.

curiouser and curiouser....

Posted by: paul lukasiak at February 8, 2004 08:03 PM | PERMALINK

George W. Bush: American Psycho

Patrick Bateman: He was into that whole Yale thing.

Donald Kimball: Yale thing?

Patrick Bateman: Yeah, Yale thing.

Donald Kimball: What whole Yale thing?

Patrick Bateman: Well, he was probably a closet homosexual who did a lot of cocaine. That whole Yale thing.

Posted by: GFW at February 8, 2004 08:04 PM | PERMALINK

scarshapedstar writes: "However, ORS stands for Obligated Reserve Service. This is a unit for those who don't to fulfill their obligations. "

I'm not so sure about that. It also appears to cover ROTC people, who have an obligation, but there's no punitive aspect.

For instance, an airman on active duty can be selected to enter a ROTC scholarship program wherein they get paid while attending school fulltime; they also get up to $15k per year for tuition and fees.

"Airmen selected for the Airman Scholarship and Commissioning Program are released from active duty and enlisted into the Air Force Reserve (Obligated Reserve Section)."

In fact this would probably be for exceptional candidates, not slackers.

Posted by: Jon H at February 8, 2004 08:04 PM | PERMALINK

Why doesn't someone ask the two people whose name appear on those documents:

Roger W Bivens, 1st Lt. and Willie J Hooper,Jr. Captain.

They should be able to shed some light.

Posted by: Just Wondering at February 8, 2004 08:06 PM | PERMALINK

Adam Yoshida: This is more treasonous nonsense from a pack of liars and scumbags.

I can never tell if these are real posts by Adam or just sombody parodying him. I guess they're worth a chuckle regardless of who the author is.

There comes a point where a story gets too complicated for the public. Unfortunately, I think this story is an example of that.

Posted by: patriotboy at February 8, 2004 08:07 PM | PERMALINK

What the hell is the "Obligated Reserve Section"?

Googled it. It's a part of the Air Force Reserve. Kevin's theory looks less and less probable.

Posted by: David Weman at February 8, 2004 08:09 PM | PERMALINK

Detective praktike is right. The torn doc clearly has an H in the upper right code while this one shows an M.

Posted by: poputonian at February 8, 2004 08:11 PM | PERMALINK

Search string should be:

This search confirms that there it doesn't appear to be any other "Obligated Reserve Section"

Posted by: David Weman at February 8, 2004 08:12 PM | PERMALINK

Have folks seen this story on an investigation Greg Palst did?

From the article:

"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."

Controversy has simmered for decades over George W.'s Vietnam era service record; critics have long charged he went AWOL from the Guard for long periods of time. The allegedly trashed documents, which had been undisclosed for years, that could have proven whether or not G.W. had been absent without leave while he was in TANG."

Posted by: anonymous at February 8, 2004 08:12 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think ARF can be that important. After all, its on the torn document. I would reason the important part is what was torn off, which is the dates. There's something very significant about the dates or it would never have been torn off.

Posted by: Kevin at February 8, 2004 08:12 PM | PERMALINK


(making a low bow)

Fabulous work Kevin & Co.

Does Bob Somerby at "The Daily Howler" know about this?

Posted by: David Ehrenstein at February 8, 2004 08:13 PM | PERMALINK

Uhhhh... I hate to be the one that says it- but the second document also says "Air Reserve Forces Retirement Credit Summary"- I think that the "ARF" thing simply refers to the Air National Guard, and nothing more. Perhaps a collective term for the Air Guard and Air Force Reserve.

Second, it makes no sense at all that such a doucment would credit specific days if he was merely being awarded points for being in such a pool.

In fact, the dates there seem to jibe with what a woman he dated in Alabama says: that he came back about a week after the election to do more service.

And the dates also all make sense for the timing- if the ARF merely gave time for serving on paper, it would do it on a set basis- not at random.

Basically- from what I understand, the National Guard "year" ran from May through May for Bush, since that's when he enlisted.

Basically, he was transfered from Texas to Alabama- managed to put in one day right before the election (which makes sense, because others from that time have made it clear that, by the end, he knew their guy was going to lose) then, after the election, he came back for two more days.

Went to Texas, served a few days in January- then put in a whole bunch of days in May in order to ensure he had the full number for the years.

If he was transfered on paper- which I don't know- that doesn't mean he didn't do something. It just means that he wasn't flying.

Posted by: John Simpson at February 8, 2004 08:13 PM | PERMALINK

One thing about Vietnam . . . In the 70's we were scaling back ground operations. I don't think anyone was sent to Vietnam in '72 except active service pilots (ahem).

Posted by: Troy at February 8, 2004 08:13 PM | PERMALINK

Oh. Yeah.

Stop the presses! Get me Marshall, Krugman, Millbank, and that Tomorrow guy. You know! The one with the penguin. How should I know? How many Tomorrow guys have got a penguin? You're an investigative reporter -- investigate! LANE! KENT! OLSEN! Front and center! (/perry white)

Go get 'em, Kev!

Posted by: filkertom at February 8, 2004 08:14 PM | PERMALINK

I can't find a source for the story.

Posted by: grytpype at February 8, 2004 08:15 PM | PERMALINK

Unfortunately I don't see this going too far. I distinctly remember Bush saying this morning on MTP "I served in the reserves too.."

So he's already covering his backside for this revelation that he was assigned to an Air Reserve Force.

Posted by: Sue in NH at February 8, 2004 08:16 PM | PERMALINK

keep talking about awol, and when you stop that, start talking about wmds that never existed.

you're doing the Bushitters a big favor because you're not talking about coveting, lying, murdering, and stealing oil from Iraq and Afghanistan.

there are two stories: (1) oil theft, and (2) Bush is a moron. anything which distracts from those essentials is going to be good for the Bushitters.

Posted by: Sam at February 8, 2004 08:16 PM | PERMALINK

Patriotboy: It's not too complicated for the public to understand that Commander Flightsuit sat on television this morning and lied to them. That's what it will all come down to -- what the records show versus what he said.

And if the records show conclusively that he lied to Tim Russert this morning, please be assured that this will be a very big deal indeed.

Posted by: greg VA at February 8, 2004 08:16 PM | PERMALINK

Hey Al!
Hey Joe Schmoe!


Posted by: mac at February 8, 2004 08:17 PM | PERMALINK

It may be impossible to prove whether Bush was transferred to ARF as a punitive measure or whether it was done as a pre-emptive protective measure (does it mattter?).

Regardless, Bush apears to have lied today on MTP and he appears to have lied in his book, when he claimed that he continued flying.

For me, Clinton's low point was neither his ambushed Paula Jones deposition nor his evasive (but thoroughly understandable) grand jury testimony. It was the moment he looked America in the eye, wagged his finger, and tried to bullshit us all.

Bush may have just out-Clintoned Clinton.

Posted by: space at February 8, 2004 08:18 PM | PERMALINK

More on the Palast story:

But what the heck, Bush’s supporters respond that the man did at least he ‘serve his country’ in the Air Guard. Or did he? Questions have been raised over the years about whether the younger George, having nailed the cushy pilot seat, failed to report for duty. On camera, I spoke with Texas cattle rancher Bill Burkett, formerly a Lieutenant Colonel in the air guard. Seems that Burkett was in the office of the Guard’s Adjutant General when a call came in from then-Governor George W. Bush’s office. As is normal procedure, the call was put on the speaker box, but the request was not so normal. The Governor’s office was sending over an official biographer … and the Governor’s minions wanted to make sure the files did not contain not-so-heroic info. Burkett told me:

“I was in the General’s office, General Daniel James …. He gets a telephone call from Joe Albaugh, who was the Governor’s chief of staff, and Dan Bartlett … on the voice box … and they wanted General James to assemble all of the Governor’s files, that [Karen Hughes, Bush’s aide] was going to write a book…. But Joe told General James, ‘Make sure there’s not anything in there that’ll embarrass the Governor.’”

And there wouldn’t be. Burkett asked if the general’s staff really intended to purge the files; and sure enough, as evidence of the affirmative reply, he was shown the piles of pay and pension records in the garbage pails destined for the shredders. Colonel Burkett did not run off with those files so we can only conclude this: the only evidence that Bush showed up for duty during the war is now missing. Military pay records are public records – and now they are conveniently unavailable.

By the way, the White House, where Messrs. Albaugh, Bartlett and, of course, Mr. Bush, work, turned down BBC’s offer to deny the charges of the draft-dodge fix and the purging of Dubya’s files.

That’s far from the end of the story. There are only two men alive today (outside the Bush family) who knew exactly how George Bush ducked the draft. Both men became high-powered Texas lobbyists. To an influence peddler, having damning information on a sitting governor is worth it’s weight in gold – or, more precisely, there’s a value in keeping the info secret. One of the lobbyists, former Texas Lt. Governor Ben Barnes, appears to have made lucrative use of his knowledge of our President’s slithering out of the draft as a lever to obtain a multi-billion dollar contract for a client. The happy client paid Barnes, the keeper of Governor Bush’s secret, a fee of over $23 million. Barnes, not surprisingly, denies that Bush took care of his client in return for Barnes’ silence. However, confronted with the evidence, the former Lt. Governor now admits to helping the young George stay out of Vietnam.

Posted by: anonymous at February 8, 2004 08:19 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, shut up Adam.

Posted by: renato at February 8, 2004 08:20 PM | PERMALINK

I served in the Regular Air Force from 1966 to 1974.

When I enlisted I was obligated by law to a six-year commitment to the Reserves. The same was true for the other services. If you were drafted, you had a two-year active commitment, but you were in the Reserves for a total of six years. If you didn't move after you left the service, at the end of six years you received a discharge from the Reserves and wondered why.

If you were in the Guard you received points for service that counted towards retirement and other benefits, and you were paid. If you were transferred to the inactive Reserve you received no points or pay but were still subject to being called up for duty.

It would appear that the Guard shipped Bush to the inactive Reserve to get him out of their lives and their paperwork.

The Guard is very sensitive to state-level political pressure, and Bush's discharge was probably issued for political reasons.

Posted by: Bryan at February 8, 2004 08:20 PM | PERMALINK

Bush very obviously got points during said period- hardly consistent with being in the inactive reserves.

Posted by: Adam Yoshida at February 8, 2004 08:23 PM | PERMALINK

sue in nh, i just hit the transcript, and he never said the word "reserves"

but seriously, folks, how about that H/M discrepancy?

Posted by: praktike at February 8, 2004 08:23 PM | PERMALINK

David Weman writes: "What the hell is the "Obligated Reserve Section"?

Googled it. It's a part of the Air Force Reserve. Kevin's theory looks less and less probable."

If you look at Document 23, "penalty for bad attendance", it specifically states that if Bush can't satisfactorily participate in the ANG he "may be discharged from the state ANG and assigned to the Obligated Reserve Section (ORS), AF Reserve, Denver, Colorado, and subject to active duty for a period not to exceed a total of 24 months..."

So by this specific document, signed by George W. Bush, the penalty for unsatisfactory performance may include transfer to ORS.

Which doesn't mean *all* people in ORS are there as a result of poor performance. But it's something W was warned about.

Posted by: Jon H at February 8, 2004 08:24 PM | PERMALINK


What the hell is up with that.

A NEW version of the "torn" document?

I've got something new, too. It just came in the mail yesterday from the National Personnel Records Center.

It says there shouldn't have been any "new" documents in Bush's records.

I know of several additions in 1999 and two in 2000.

Read the second from the last paragraph.


Posted by: Martin Heldt at February 8, 2004 08:25 PM | PERMALINK

Bob Fertik of

Posted by: Stirling Newberry at February 8, 2004 08:26 PM | PERMALINK

"This is more treasonous nonsense from a pack of liars and scumbags."


hey, what's that over there...
look it's communists!
grab your torch and pitch-fork!

Posted by: Les Dabney at February 8, 2004 08:26 PM | PERMALINK

In a George Magazine article of October 19, 2000, Peter Keating and Karthik Thyagarajan identified the "torn document" as a "an Air National Guard statement of days served by Bush that is torn and undated but contains entries that correspond to" "an April 23, 1973 order for Bush to report to annual active duty training the following month."

Posted by: grytpype at February 8, 2004 08:26 PM | PERMALINK

I think the thing about "ARF" is that it implies Air Force Reserve, not National Guard.

I suspect being in the Air Force Reserve means "eligible to be sent overseas", while being in a state National Guard made that unlikely.

Posted by: Jon H at February 8, 2004 08:27 PM | PERMALINK

That's it. The Holy Grail.

Posted by: grytpype at February 8, 2004 08:28 PM | PERMALINK

Congratulations- most excellent work you guys!! this is going to be very hard to spin.

Let me just add that missing a flight physical and just quitting flying is and was a really big deal. The man's a big fat liar.

Posted by: four legs good at February 8, 2004 08:28 PM | PERMALINK

If I'm not mistaken, this is the first emergence of an "untorn" version of the torn document. Very curious, all of it.

And if you're looking for some way to help get this story out by contributing small amounts of $$, PLEASE go to and use the "donate" link (below the fold on the left hand side of the page) as we could really use the help. AS you can imagine, traffic (and bandwidth charges) are going through the roof this month.

Posted by: Willy at February 8, 2004 08:29 PM | PERMALINK

How do you earn variable numbers of points if you're not doing anything?

Posted by: rd at February 8, 2004 08:29 PM | PERMALINK

If true, this is very damning, but I'm concerned about one thing:

Presumably, the Texas Air National Guard is an adjunct or auxiliary to the United States Air Force, so why would guardsmen being disciplined be detailed to the Army Reserve Force, when the Army is an entirely different service from the Air Foce, ever since the Air Force was split off the Army in 1947?

Posted by: Ed Fitzgerald (unfutz) at February 8, 2004 08:29 PM | PERMALINK

praktike... coulda sworn he said reserves today.
Is there any chance the transcript is incomplete?
Maybe I'm just going senile. Am I the only one
who remembers him saying he served in the

Posted by: Sue in NH at February 8, 2004 08:30 PM | PERMALINK

It struck me as weird when Bush mentioned Colorado during the MTP interview. Now it makes sense:

Russert: But would you allow pay stubs, tax records, anything to show that you were serving during that period?

President Bush: Yeah.  If we still have them, but I  you know, the records are kept in Colorado, as I understand, and they scoured the records.

Posted by: Sven at February 8, 2004 08:30 PM | PERMALINK

"Presumably, the Texas Air National Guard is an adjunct or auxiliary to the United States Air Force, so why would guardsmen being disciplined be detailed to the Army Reserve Force, when the Army is an entirely different service from the Air Foce, ever since the Air Force was split off the Army in 1947?"

That's a typo. Or maybe a thinko. There is no Army Reserve Force.

Posted by: Jon H at February 8, 2004 08:31 PM | PERMALINK


Don't miss that new letter I just received.

Posted by: Martin Heldt at February 8, 2004 08:31 PM | PERMALINK

Re: Torn versus untorn ... maybe the M & H codes of the two documents signify different copies of the same original.

Posted by: poputonian at February 8, 2004 08:32 PM | PERMALINK

so is the idea that Bush was put on active duty but might not have gone?

Posted by: praktike at February 8, 2004 08:34 PM | PERMALINK

grytpype - Great job on the George catch. I was just about to toss that one out to the audience.

Does anyone recall the other whitewash by the NYT? Does the untorn version sick that story too?

Posted by: Pacific John at February 8, 2004 08:34 PM | PERMALINK


Posted by: Pacific John at February 8, 2004 08:35 PM | PERMALINK

Wow. This is really big.

The good news: Georgie spent a significant part of the war in a disciplinary unit for failing to show up.

The bad news: He wasn't really AWOL or deserted, because his disciplinary unit does not have active drill requirements. That is, he was "present" at his disciplinary unit on paper.

Posted by: grytpype at February 8, 2004 08:36 PM | PERMALINK


I get the impression that all Air Force Reserve records are in Colorado.

That in and of itself isn't important. Hell, the Air Force Academy is in Colorado too. It's not surprising that there'd be administrative stuff as well.

What's important is that Bush was warned that his performance could result in his being transferred to ARF/ORS (the paper unit from Colorado) as punishment, leaving him at risk of active duty Air Force service - not Texas Guard service.

What's also important is to find out when he was transferred. If at the end of his commitment, this may not mean anything. If before then, it could signify a transfer for disciplinary reasons.

Posted by: Jon H at February 8, 2004 08:36 PM | PERMALINK

GREAT work, Martin.

No big deal on Colorado; I forget the name, but there's a big center there that handles all sorts of personnel matters for the military. Have to call them occasionally about my mother's widow's benefits.

Posted by: andante at February 8, 2004 08:37 PM | PERMALINK

Hi, everyone. Read the READER'S COMMENTS about the George Magazine article. Note that the reporters talk about Marty and myself (misnaming me, naturally!).

The "torn document" documents a CRIME: when Bartlett went with Bush to the records room in Texas and "scrubbed" the reports.

In the WH, Bush blubbers that "people SCRUBBED my records" as if this meant "Handed over to people like Marty, Rogers and (Elaine)" when his subconsious self was screaming "we destroyed the reports about my drug abuse!"

Posted by: Elaine Supkis at February 8, 2004 08:38 PM | PERMALINK

So, is this the document that in its torn version had new handwriting on it? If so, what is your speculation on where THAT came from?

Posted by: Sir Realist at February 8, 2004 08:38 PM | PERMALINK

This document is not what you are claiming it is. It is not Army related. It is Air Reserve Forces (ANG and AFR).

Posted by: anon at February 8, 2004 08:43 PM | PERMALINK

You mean to tell me dumbya was officially disciplined for going aWol! I can't believe it!

Posted by: Iam at February 8, 2004 08:44 PM | PERMALINK

You people are soo stupid!!!. What about Kerry??? He wrote an awful book (with an upside down flag on the front)about the Vietnam War. He is so crooked yet all you people care about are things that you can not prove!!!!This document is not valid and doesn't prove a thing!!!!

Posted by: Jean at February 8, 2004 08:44 PM | PERMALINK

what a load of liberal crap. Bush won. get over it.

Posted by: raf hound at February 8, 2004 08:47 PM | PERMALINK

I botched an earlier entry:

Now that the George column has been discredited, does this untorn version also kill the original NYT whitewash? I sort of recall that the author of that piece was the Nedra Pickler of that election cycle.

Posted by: Pacific John at February 8, 2004 08:49 PM | PERMALINK



Fantastic work Kevin.

Now, will the media actually pursue it -- or not?

Posted by: Tom Spencer at February 8, 2004 08:51 PM | PERMALINK

Here's the relevant part of the ARF Rosetta Stone at

I understand that if I am unable to satisfactorally participate in the ANG, and I have an unfulfilled military service obligation, that I may be discharged from the State ANG, and assigned to the Obligated Reserve Section (ORS), AF Reserve, Denver, Colorado, and subject to active duty . . .

And that is just what happened to young 1st Lieutennant George W. Bush.

OK Bush aplogists, chew on that for awhile.

Posted by: grytpype at February 8, 2004 08:52 PM | PERMALINK

another document of interest....

is the "Military Biography of George W. Bush." It claims that Bush served the entire period from Nov 30, 1969 to Oct 1 1973 at Ellington AFB as part of the 111th Flight Intercept Squadron.

From 2 Oct 1973 - 21 Nov 1974 HQ ARPC (ORS) Denver Colorado.

Posted by: paul lukasiak at February 8, 2004 08:53 PM | PERMALINK

elaine, bush said "scoured," not "scrubbed"

Posted by: praktike at February 8, 2004 08:55 PM | PERMALINK

I'm nobody's Bush apologist, but asking for an early discharge would fulfill the "unable to satisfactorally (sic) participate in the ANG" requirement.

Posted by: jesse at February 8, 2004 08:58 PM | PERMALINK

And I have to say that many of the conservative trolls here are complete and utter idiots.

Posted by: jesse at February 8, 2004 08:59 PM | PERMALINK

I obtained the torn document in a FOIA release in 200. According to Walter Robinson this document was not available before 1999. Albert Lloyd admits to having found it in a box at Camp Mabry Texas: Torn document:

A copy of same torn document but annotated by Albert lloyd while working for Bush campaign:

The annotated version was shopped around by Bush's aide Dan Bartlett to journalists like Jo Thomas of the New York Times and Peter Keating of George Magazine.

Peter Keating added the year date at the bottom of the copy George Magazine used.


Posted by: Martin Heldt at February 8, 2004 08:59 PM | PERMALINK

So could fitness assessments factor into this? link

Section H:
1. IMAs/PIRRs are assessed annually by their unit of assignment or attachment during their annual tour, if possible, or during an Inactive Duty Training period (IDT). If the member's unit of attachment assesses the member, the unit of assignment maintains overall responsibility.

2. Member's who fail annual assessment will follow the same procedures as active duty members.

a. SFIP/MFIP will be monitored by the members unit of assignment or attachment.

b. Member's are authorized 4 hours of IDT every 90 days for re-assessment. Members may submit AF Form 40a for points only.

c. Member's who fail assessment after one year are referred to the commander of the unit of assignment or attachment for appropriate action. The commander may request reassignment of the member to the Obligated Reserve Section or the Non-obligated, Non-participating Ready Personnel Section.

Posted by: bob at February 8, 2004 09:03 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks, Martin. How does this impact the Jo Thomas whitewash?

Posted by: Pacific John at February 8, 2004 09:05 PM | PERMALINK

Also, Martin, do you, Fertik or Rogers know how the untorn version was found?

Posted by: Pacific John at February 8, 2004 09:07 PM | PERMALINK

Who is redacting the SS# on the documents?

If these are copies of the same document, why are the markings over the SS# different?

Posted by: RB at February 8, 2004 09:07 PM | PERMALINK

Can we now give a shout out to Michael Moore? After all if he hadn't made the reference none of this would have started to surface at this time.

Posted by: BOHICA at February 8, 2004 09:09 PM | PERMALINK

Jon H,

It's quite clear that he was transferred to the the Obligated Reserve Service because he screwed up, not because he is an "exceptional candidate."

If you didn't read doc23.gif, here's my translation... it's pretty unreadable.

j. I have been advised this late regarding the provisions of DOD Directive 1215.15, 23 February 1967. I understand that I may be ordered to active duty for a period not to exceed 24 months for unsatisfactory participation as presently defined in Chapter 41, AFM 35-3. Further, I understand that if I am unable to satisfactorily participate in the ANG, and have an unfilfilled military service obligation, that I may be discharged from the State ANG and assigned to the Obligated Reserve Section (ORS), AF Reserve, Denver, Colorado, and subject to active duty for a period not to exceed a total of 24 months considering all previous active duty and active duty for (training?) tours.

k. "However, I also understand that the provisions for invoking the 4 day tour for a member who has a satisfactory attendance record but has failed to progress in specialty training will remain in effect. (Paragraph 42.7a, AFM 35-3.J"

It's signed by Dubya himself, and his Unit Commander.

In short:

"I understand that if I go AWOL, I will be assigned to a paper unit in Denver for two years."

I get the impression this is not a standard thing everybody has to sign. Rather, I imagine they handed this to him with a note saying to get his act together -- probably after he missed the drug test.

Posted by: scarshapedstar at February 8, 2004 09:10 PM | PERMALINK

RB writes: "If these are copies of the same document, why are the markings over the SS# different?"

Because the original wouldn't have a redacted SS#?

Each copy probably was blacked out by a different person, with a different approach to doing it.

Posted by: Jon H at February 8, 2004 09:11 PM | PERMALINK

Just spent a little time studying the document where W was grounded.

It seems to state something that W will do in response to his suspended status:

Off [officer?] will comply with para 2-10, AFM [Air Force Manual] 35-13. Authority para 2-29[m?], AFM 35-13

Any Air Force veterans out there still have a copy of a circa 1973 Air Force manual?

It might be interesting to find out what AFM 35-13 pp2-29 says...

Has anyone looked at the AF manual

Posted by: Sovok at February 8, 2004 09:16 PM | PERMALINK

scarshapedstar writes: "It's quite clear that he was transferred to the the Obligated Reserve Service because he screwed up, not because he is an "exceptional candidate.""

*You* wrote that ORS is for people "who don't to fulfill their obligations."

But that's not what it's for, as evidenced by the fact that you can end up in ORS as part of the program I mentioned for exceptional candidates.

It's not *just* for slackers, is my point.

Slackers are transferred to ORS, but they aren't the reason ORS exists.

You have to get the details right, or the wingers will jump on you. Saying ORS is for slackers, you're just leaving yourself open to being dismissed. Someone's bound to pop up and say "I was ORS, and I wasn't a slacker, you don't know what you're talking about."

Posted by: Jon H at February 8, 2004 09:17 PM | PERMALINK

And as usual, the bloggers are about two weeks ahead of the mainstream media.

Now that you mention it, it's surprising that more news types don't check the 'blogs. Bloggers don't often come up with original information (Josh Marshall is a big exception), but if it's on the Internet--and most news is--it gets thoroughly cross-referenced and analysed with scalpel-like discernment for facts and nuances.

For example: I think faithful 'blog readers were considerably less surprised at the lack of WMDs in Iraq than the rest of the country.

Also, some of the people here write brilliantly.

Posted by: Molly, NYC at February 8, 2004 09:18 PM | PERMALINK

So wait. Someone doesn't show up for Guard duty, and they "discipline" him by assigning him to a unit where he doesn't have to show up for Guard duty anymore? Isn't that... kind of odd?

Posted by: Evan at February 8, 2004 09:19 PM | PERMALINK

Jon H, good point.

Posted by: scarshapedstar at February 8, 2004 09:20 PM | PERMALINK

Interesting to note that this investigation into Shrub's dubious military record is being conducted by some intrepid citizen bloggers, at their own time and expense. When the GOP was sniffing around Monica's blue dress they managed to spend $60 million of our tax dollars and damn near paralyze the government in the process.

Posted by: peter jung at February 8, 2004 09:21 PM | PERMALINK

scarshapedstar, I think "date" not "late" - and is there a date attached? It says "enlistee", which would I think indicate he had just joined, not that Lt Bush had been screwing up and needed to fly right - there's no rank for W. So I'm guessing this document doesn't mean anything.

Posted by: rilkefan at February 8, 2004 09:22 PM | PERMALINK

scarshapedstar - he wasn't transferred to the "paper unit in Denver" until October of 1973, when he asked for a discharge - and was unable to satisfactorily participate in the ANG, what with the not being there due to the discharge.

There's still the issue of whether or not he was performing his military duty during the given period, how often he showed up, what, if anything he did to satisfy his requirements - all of these are still at issue. But this line of attack on the "Army Reserve Force", a mysterious, unreferenced transfer, and the responding correlations is looking less and less likely by the second.

Posted by: jesse at February 8, 2004 09:22 PM | PERMALINK

"Now that you mention it, it's surprising that more news types don't check the 'blogs."

Dan Froomkin, of the Washington Post's "White House Briefing" column, mentions blogs along with mainstream media:

"Out in blog land, Tacitus thinks this is all irrelevant -- but we may as well get to the bottom of it. The Daily Howler won't let up on the "torn document" question."

Posted by: Jon H at February 8, 2004 09:23 PM | PERMALINK


"For active guard members it is disciplinary because ARF members can theoretically be called up for active duty in the regular military, although this obviously never happened to George Bush."

Anyone know if the same applies to the OSR?

Posted by: scarshapedstar at February 8, 2004 09:25 PM | PERMALINK

Evan writes: "So wait. Someone doesn't show up for Guard duty, and they "discipline" him by assigning him to a unit where he doesn't have to show up for Guard duty anymore? Isn't that... kind of odd?"

I think the "discipline" is that you're not state national guard anymore, you're Air Force Reserve, and thus if you go into active duty you go to war.

Posted by: Jon H at February 8, 2004 09:26 PM | PERMALINK

>Pacific John: Also, Martin, do you, Fertik or Rogers know how the untorn version was found?


The torn document was found in early 1999 by Albert Lloyd in a box at Camp Mabry in Texas.

Posted by: Martin Heldt at February 8, 2004 09:29 PM | PERMALINK

I repeat: if you've been disciplined by transfer to a "paper" unit that doesn't do anything, how do you earn different numbers of points from month to month? That'll need to be answered before we could say he did nothing after May 1972.

Posted by: rd at February 8, 2004 09:30 PM | PERMALINK

Referring back to the statement which Bush made about the records being in Colorado, there are two transparent reasons he would say that. First, because the ORS/AFR section was located in Denver, but more importantly, because then he can skirt the fact that likely, he himself ordered the documents in Texas to be purged after being elected Governor. If the "records" are in Colorado it would not appear that he actually had control over the records when he was governor in Texas and "Commander in Chief" so to speak of the Texas Air National Guard. This is getting to look like a pattern........

Posted by: cindyoh at February 8, 2004 09:31 PM | PERMALINK

I haven't followed this entire controversy -- it's really dumber than the whole Bill Clinton "draft dodger" controversy, but you left wing extremists get to have your fun just like the rightwing extremists had their fun with Clinton -- but just reading Kevin's posts, I thought a large part of the controversy was whether Bush had showed up at all in Alabama. Right?

Now, doesn't the document Kevin posted confirm that Bush did show up in Alabama? Or, at least, he got "points" for something while he was in Alabama, which seems to be pretty strong evidence that he actually show up in Alabama.

Looks to me like this document shoots a big hole in the leftwing extremists' theory, no?

Posted by: Al at February 8, 2004 09:34 PM | PERMALINK

I think it looks like an "M" on both docs.

Also, reading on a link up thread here there is a fact sheet for the ARPC or the ARF and there is voluntary service and involuntary -- involuntary servers can be called up within 24 hours to go serve.

I think this is it. Maybe the straw that breaks the camel's back so to speak.

Posted by: Alma Evans at February 8, 2004 09:35 PM | PERMALINK

Also, it would make more sense to analyze the "torn document" by looking at other records of the same nature and from the same unit at the same time period to see how Bush's differed. For example, why were there those handwritten notations, esp after typed ones? Is that normal? What else looks different from their usual recordation methods on this particular document? Does it appear that this one record remained because it was tampered with?

Posted by: cindyoh at February 8, 2004 09:36 PM | PERMALINK

Cindy, I screwed up, as JonH pointed out. Denver is home to the federal records warehouses (which I now remember seeing - the complex is huge). That's entirely unrelated to the Denver reserve unit.

Posted by: Sven at February 8, 2004 09:39 PM | PERMALINK

Al, it seems to me that this shoots a hole in the theories on both sides of the aisle.

Also - one possibility I wonder about is that Bob Rogers was right, and this is a document from the Army Reserve Force. It seems strange to transfer him from the Air National Guard to the Army Reserve, but I guess it's possible, and he wasn't much of a pilot, was he?

Anyway, since Bob is a retired Guard pilot, I assume he knows what he's talking about - I certainly don't. Does anyone here have any Guard experience? Google only goes so far when you're trying to puzzle your way through the world's largest bureaucracy.

Posted by: scarshapedstar at February 8, 2004 09:42 PM | PERMALINK

why were there those handwritten notations, esp after typed ones? Is that normal?

Martin Heldt answered this above. The short version is that they are modern annotations, not part of the actual record.

Posted by: dak at February 8, 2004 09:44 PM | PERMALINK

scarshapedstar writes: "Also - one possibility I wonder about is that Bob Rogers was right, and this is a document from the Army Reserve Force."

There doesn't seem to be an "Army Reserve Force".

Your search - "Army Reserve Force" +ARF - did not match any documents.

On the other hand "Air Reserve Force" + ARF does match.

For example:

"The Air Force will depend on currently employed engineering personnel (military, US civilian, and host nation local hire) in the forward-deployed theater of operations until active duty and Air Reserve Force (ARF) Prime BEEF and RED HORSE personnel arrive in theater. "

The "Army Reserve Force" is a typo or a thinko on someone's part.

Posted by: Jon H at February 8, 2004 09:49 PM | PERMALINK

Also there's a us military glossary at

including "ARF Air Reserve Force"

So either Kevin or Bob booboo'd and wrote "Army" where it should have been "Air"

Posted by: Jon H at February 8, 2004 09:52 PM | PERMALINK

The uncontested facts are these:
1. By May 1972, Bush got permission from his immediate superiors in Texas to get a temporary transfer to a Alabama unit that did very light duty to do with mail, no flying.
2. At some point, the higher-ups denied that transfer.
3. Undefined period of limbo, when he's in Alabama but with no unit. Misses flight physical in July. Gets permission on September 5th to join another unit. The commander and his AA don't remember him joining.

After that we only really have the ARF document, which shows him earning points somehow in October and November of 1972. How? Did he go back to Texas for a weekend or two?

Posted by: rd at February 8, 2004 09:53 PM | PERMALINK

The smirker enlisted on 1968-05-27, so his 6-year commitment would end on 1974-05-26, yes? His "Honorable" discharge from TANG, effective 1973-10-01, includes the order "transferring" him to "ARPC(ORS)" in Denver, effective 1973-10-02. However, Martin's response letter from the National Personnel Records Center states that the last record in Dubya's file is his discharge from AFR on 1974-11-21. Why 6 months after the end of his 6-year commitment? Or is it actually 24 months after a (disciplinary?) transfer to AFR?/ARF? If so, the triggering event would have occurred 1972-11-22, yes?

Posted by: color me confused at February 8, 2004 09:53 PM | PERMALINK

6 years after getting thru flight training.

Posted by: Troy at February 8, 2004 09:58 PM | PERMALINK

>After that we only really have the ARF document, which shows him earning points somehow in October and November of 1972. How? Did he go back to Texas for a weekend or two?

Excellent points.

Bush couldn't have been drilling at his unit in Texas at this time, as his OER makes clear that he was not observed for the period of the report (May 1 72 till April 30, 1973)

The Harkness document must come into play here as well.

Posted by: Martin Heldt at February 8, 2004 10:04 PM | PERMALINK

So, the bottom line is that he spend the last 2 years of his service in the Guard's equivalent of homeroom detention?

Posted by: In LA at February 8, 2004 10:04 PM | PERMALINK

Mr. Heldt, good to hear from you on these comments, you have done great work sir. And from my home town to boot!

Posted by: Another Bruce at February 8, 2004 10:08 PM | PERMALINK

"6 years after getting thru flight training."

Well, no....... The TANG discharge states, on 1973-10-01, that he had served "5 years, 4 months, 5 days". Obviously, they were counting from 1968-05-27, not from the end of his training.

Posted by: color me confused at February 8, 2004 10:08 PM | PERMALINK

yes but his commitment was 6 years from flight school. I read that somewhere.

Posted by: Troy at February 8, 2004 10:14 PM | PERMALINK

But that still raises the problem that he's earning points *somewhere.* Which leaves somewhere in Alabama, despite Turnipseed's recollection? Or where else?

Posted by: rd at February 8, 2004 10:17 PM | PERMALINK

This strikes me as very technical and very weak. Bush and Rove could shrug this off without a thought.

Posted by: a lesser mongbat at February 8, 2004 10:23 PM | PERMALINK

Ok, I have some questions about Kevin's conclusion.

First of all, the code on the (formerly) torn document says "L9CMPY", as does the equivalent document for the following year. This is the code for Ellington AFB. So whatever this ARF stuff means, he was somehow affiliated with Ellington. Clearly he wasn't flying F102s, having been grounded due to the previously missed physical. But he was racking up points, probably through some sort of service at Ellington ("sitting behind a desk", as he says.)

Furthermore, in this letter he was ordered to show up at Ellington for training on May 22-24/29-31 and Jun 5-7th, 1973. All of these dates match with the newly-untorn document and with the next year's document. So while I don't know what the heck he was doing during that time (or where he was assigned), there is reasonable evidence that he was physically showing up at Ellington to do whatever it was.

Of course, this doesn't explain why the untorn document shows appearances in throughout the fall and winter of 72-73, while his evaluation claims he wasn't observed. Perhaps this is an honest mistake, and his officer was too busy with active airmen to notice Bush popping in to do whatever it was he was calling "duty" at this point in time.

His chronological listing of service shows no more info from May '72 to Oct '73-- or, specifically, no more active duty points. This makes sense for a guy who was grounded.

In any case, I don't see how this really hurts Bush. There's still no evidence he ever served in Alabama, but the release of this document certainly helps his position with regard to the Texas time. And though the earliest date on the document is prior to the Alabama election, it's not impossible that Bush came home and did a couple of days in October.

So what next, folks?

Posted by: Matt G at February 8, 2004 10:23 PM | PERMALINK

Great post:

I am amazed that Heldt and others did not get the untorn version in 2000, but Fertik did. They were all making FOIA requests, but only Fertik gets it, and it does not get to Heldt or AWOL

The document blows holes in a number of theories -- not least Bush apologist theories. Note below how the dates do not match up with the prior position.

Here is the key Bush defense as repeated by JoThomas in the 11/03/00 NY Times article (sorry, cannot link it, but you can link to the documents referred to by going here):

"Mr. Bartlett [Bush spokesman] said Mr. Bush had been too busy with the campaign to report in those [May to Nov.] months but made up the time later. 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.
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.

Bush's spokesman in 2000 says he served on Nov. 29 and Dec. 14, and missed all of the dates before that, yet your document shows Oct. 29 and Nov. 14. Also, Bush's orders were to appear with the in Alabama unit on Oct. 7-8 (not the 29th) and Nov. 4-5 (not the 14th). None of the dates match up with the odd dates on the ARF.

We need more on exactly what is ARF, and why was this document created. If you go to Heldt's site and look at the FOIA documents, there only appear to be ARF documnents for 72-73 and 73-74, but no other years. If it represents something associated with discipline for not showing up, it makes sense that they are only for those two years. But what is the source of the dates on the untorn ARF? It does NOT seem to document time with the Alabama unit. Where then?

Why were Lloyd and Bartlett using the torn document in 2000 if an untorn version existed?

Its only going to get more interesting.

Posted by: dmbeaster at February 8, 2004 10:23 PM | PERMALINK

The letter I received from the National Mr. Heldt, good to hear from you on these comments, you have done great work sir. And from my home town to boot!Personnel Records Center confirms that Bush had an extra six months tacked on to his discharge date.

From my recent request: "Discharge from the Air Force Reserve on November 21, 1974

But I have documents from my 2000 release showing a "Millitary Service Obligation until 26 May, 1974

(PS, still in the area Bruce?)

Posted by: Martin Heldt at February 8, 2004 10:23 PM | PERMALINK

"...they scoured the records."

Main Entry: 1 scour
Function: verb
Etymology: Middle English,
probably from Middle Dutch schuren, from Old French escurer, from
Late Latin excurare to clean off, from Latin, to take good care of, from
ex- + curare to care for, from cura care

1 a : to rub hard especially with a rough material
for cleansing b : to remove by rubbing hard and
2 archaic : to clear (a region) of enemies or
3 : to clean by purging : PURGE
4 : to remove dirt and debris from
(as a pipe or ditch)
5 : to free from foreign matter or
impurities by or as if by washing <scour wool>
6 :
to clear, dig, or remove by or as if by a powerful current of
intransitive senses
1 : to perform a process of
: to suffer from diarrhea or dysentery
3 : to become
clean and bright by rubbing

Posted by: Aaron Adams at February 8, 2004 10:24 PM | PERMALINK

There are alot of mysteries. How and when did the document get torn, if the untorn version was available in 2000? How come this document wasn't available to the Boston Globe reporter? When did the torn document get added to Bush's files? How come we have never seen the Retirement Credit Summary before? Why was the torn document represented to a NY Times reporter as showing that Bush attended drills in Texas?

Posted by: david1234 at February 8, 2004 10:25 PM | PERMALINK

Oops, two posts in one.

Posted by: Martin Heldt at February 8, 2004 10:26 PM | PERMALINK

Nope, Seattle, but I still have family there, I'll try to look you up next time I'm there.

Posted by: Another Bruce at February 8, 2004 10:29 PM | PERMALINK

See the document:

"Officer has a six year service obligation under the provisions of the 10 USC 651, as [amended?], and has completed 5 years, 4 months, and 5 days toward this obligation."

Completely unambiguous language -- astonishing in a military doc.

Posted by: color me confused at February 8, 2004 10:33 PM | PERMALINK

>Pacific John: Also, Martin, do you, Fertik or Rogers know how the untorn version was found?


The torn document was found in early 1999 by Albert Lloyd in a box at Camp Mabry in Texas.

Does anybody else notice a disconnect here? We appreciate the work you do, Martin, but this didn't even come close to answering the question. It would appear that sometime after the torn document was found, another, untorn version of it was found that has now surfaced. Where did that one (the UNtorn document) come from?

Posted by: exgop at February 8, 2004 10:35 PM | PERMALINK

Gentleman's Cs at Yale and ANG
Around 1970 was a time of transition at tonier universities and seemingly at the ANG.

Yale was going through a transition of accepting mainly rich dumb prep school students to a more merit based system.

Before this transition at Yale there was a tradition of "Gentlemen's Cs" - it was unseemly for a gentleman to receive a grade of less than a C so that was the lowest grade awarded to important people. Bush has admitted he was a C student at Yale.

It seems that this tradition also held in the elite units of the ANG such as the "champaign unit" that Bush served in in Texas.

Posted by: MonkeyBoy at February 8, 2004 10:37 PM | PERMALINK

What seems clear is that after getting the May 31 1972 rejection of his transfer, Bush basically blew off June, July and August. But after September, everything is murk.

Posted by: rd at February 8, 2004 10:44 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sorry, I confused the two documents --- I have no idea how the "untorn" document was found.

All I know is that it was not included in my release or in the releases I am familiar with through talking with journalists.

Is it just me, but doesn't this "untorn" document look awfully sharp and clear?

None of the documents I received were anywhere near this clear or well copied.

It just looks "fresh"

Posted by: Martin Heldt at February 8, 2004 10:46 PM | PERMALINK

Looks like Easter Lemming was on to this before Calpundit:

(I found this by Googling ["Air Reserve Force" Colorado].)

But it's not always who's the first to uncover something, but who finds it at the *right time*. Congratulations and thanks!

Posted by: Bill Brock at February 8, 2004 10:56 PM | PERMALINK

I wouldn't say anything's clear about what happened, but it seems to me that the most likely possibility is:

--Bush is a screw up.
--The TANG gets really tired of him.

--In accordance with:

"j. I have been advised this date regarding the provisions of DOD Directive 1215.15, 23 February 1967. I understand that I may be ordered to active duty for a period not to exceed 24 months for unsatisfactory participation as presently defined in Chapter 41, AFM 35-3. Further, I understand that if I am unable to satisfactorily participate in the ANG, and have an unfilfilled military service obligation, that I may be discharged from the State ANG and assigned to the Obligated Reserve Section (ORS), AF Reserve, Denver, Colorado, and subject to active duty for a period not to exceed a total of 24 months considering all previous active duty and active duty for (training?) tours."

As soon as he misses his physical, they transfer him out of the ANG into the Air Reserve Force.

--However, he then starts showing up at ANG bases to do duty for some kind of ARF credit. He does show up for duty in Alabama on one weekend before the election (God knows what he does, however).

--He does show up for duty in Alabama for one four-day period (Saturday-Tuesday) after the election.

--He moves back to Houston. And then it becomes total murk. How can he be showing up for duty at Ellington AFB and be attached to the 111th without his immediate superior officers noticing? It's a mystery.

--But this theory makes it clear what he's been hiding. And it's a little thing: he was kicked out of the Texas Air National Guard for unsatisfactory performance.

Posted by: Brad DeLong at February 8, 2004 10:56 PM | PERMALINK

George lies and good men & women die!

Posted by: The Truth Behind The Matter at February 8, 2004 11:08 PM | PERMALINK


Would you please post the bottom of this new "untorn" document?

Is there a points breakdown given?

I have another document I just received from Fertik which shows NO POINTS awarded for the period 1972-1973

The "torn" document did not award any points to Bush.

It looks like Bush was not credited for ANY points in the "missing year."

Posted by: Martin Heldt at February 8, 2004 11:08 PM | PERMALINK

Here's the problem: If he's been kicked out, how did he get approval for his Sept. 5th request to transfer to a Tac-Recon unit in Alabama, no questions asked? I think what we have is a classic instance of slipping between the bureaucratic cracks. His Texas unit was informed that his May transfer was denied, and that he had missed his physical. They were supposed to take action, but they didn't seem to bother, or even realize they were supposed to. In May 1973 they had some vague idea he had been "serving in Alabama" for a year. Bush realized he was in limbo, and was incredibly slack on doing anything about it, blowing off the summer of 1972 before applying for another transfer in September. After that, God only knows what happened. The media should probably scour the memories of Alabama guardmen from the time and ask if they ever remember this smirking guy nobody knew strolling in for a couple of weekends to talk baseball.

Posted by: rd at February 8, 2004 11:10 PM | PERMALINK

Liberal Oasis reports that WaPo article and Russert (on Dateline NBC) confirm committment of W to release all documentation related to TANG service.

If he tries to weasel out it will be an even bigger problem for them !!

I predict someone -- perhaps Poppy -- will convince them a continued cover-up will be worse than getting out the facts and taking the lumps now.

Posted by: longshot at February 8, 2004 11:19 PM | PERMALINK

Washington Post, Nov. 3, 2000:

The military story is more serious than the DUI story, since it relates to the recent mobilization of National Guard and reserve units during the Gulf War. Many citizens ordered to report for duty during the Gulf War take issue with George Bush's refusal to report for duty during the Viet Nam War. Unlike Clinton, who dodged the draft, Bush signed up for a six year stint but, four years in, after the government invested $200,00 teaching him to fly, refused to obey an order to take a physical, resulting in suspension from flying. Instead of being arrested for failure to appear when ordered, Bush disappeared from duty until the Viet Nam war ended, apparently using political influence to duck into civilian duties. At that time, documents show that he reappeared and was assigned to punishment duty in Denver. Clinton also seems to have used political pull to avoid military duty, but he ducked out of the draft, whereas Bush ducked out in the middle of his enlistment, even more abhorrent to veterans.

Posted by: Nobody at February 8, 2004 11:19 PM | PERMALINK

The real issue is the "missing" or "purged" documents @ this stage as we all know he's lied. Now, is the purging of documents a "high crime or misdemeanor?"

According to the request for documents I saw earlier in this thread, it states it is a Federal crime punishable by law. Is it Impeachment material? It could very well be if in fact the facts are uncovered based on what was said to have occurred while he was Gov. of Texas was uncovered now as fact in testimony before Congress in the possible near future.

He's lied before to us, and he'll lie again to save the election I believe. Now to get that testimony....

Posted by: The Truth Behind The Matter at February 8, 2004 11:21 PM | PERMALINK

It says "he did well on an officer-qualification test".

What is up with that?

Posted by: Michael March at February 8, 2004 11:33 PM | PERMALINK

CalPundit, you've actually given what's needed to clear Bush. God bless you.

Posted by: Adam Yoshida at February 8, 2004 11:34 PM | PERMALINK

he was kicked out of the Texas Air National Guard for unsatisfactory performance

hey man, I'd be careful not to denigrate the Guard there, pal.

There's a lot of really fine people who've served in the National Guard and are serving in the National Guared today in Iraq, you traitorous scumbag.

Posted by: Troy at February 8, 2004 11:36 PM | PERMALINK

oh jeezus, Adam Y was really posting that crap here. I had assumed it was an ill-mannered imposter.

Posted by: Troy at February 8, 2004 11:38 PM | PERMALINK

Is it possible to get a copy of Bush's SAT test? I doubt he took it, and a fake signature could prove it.

Posted by: BTW at February 8, 2004 11:40 PM | PERMALINK

If it clears him, then why hasn't the White House brought it up themselves?

Posted by: alias at February 8, 2004 11:42 PM | PERMALINK

he was kicked out of the Texas Air National Guard for unsatisfactory performance

hey man, I'd be careful not to denigrate the Guard there, pal.

There's a lot of really fine people who've served in the National Guard and are serving in the National Guared today in Iraq, you traitorous scumbag.

Unbelievable. Do you have to fail a reading comprehension exam to become a chickenhawk wingnut?

Tho'...come to think of it...worked for Dubya, eh?

Posted by: Unbelievable at February 8, 2004 11:45 PM | PERMALINK

CalPundit, you've actually given what's needed to clear Bush. God bless you.

I don't know he had to be "cleared" Adam. Maybe, when he was talking about the service he did, he was actually including the service his father had done in World War II.

You know, like the way you used to claim your parents' income in the money you claimed "you" earned.

So I can understand you liking Bush. Lying about yourself is something you have in common.

Posted by: Keith Morrison at February 8, 2004 11:56 PM | PERMALINK

(my 11:36 post was a riff on W's MTP response & Yoshida's blabble above, btw)

Posted by: Troy at February 9, 2004 12:00 AM | PERMALINK

I am so very, very impressed by everyone here. The thinking, the theorizing, the googling, the cross-referencing, the defining and refining, even the de-anagramming of government acronyms! And the fact that you "mere bloggers" are putting such effort into this proves two things: First, the media has totally abdicated its responsibilities; and second, Bush and his handlers are never, never going to produce the few pieces of paper that would actually resolve all these questions. And we all know why.

Posted by: Miss Authoritiva at February 9, 2004 12:02 AM | PERMALINK

Ima War President!

Posted by: mark at February 9, 2004 12:03 AM | PERMALINK

I don't believe I ever claimed that to be my income. I merely reported an estimate of my household income, without mentioning that I didn't earn it at the time- and no one happened to ask- seeing as this was an arguement about tax rates.

In any case, that was in what: 1996? Maybe 1997? Somewhere between six and eight years ago when I was between twelve and fourteen? Give me a break.

You're simply resorting to the ad hominem rather than addressing the question. I've long ago admitted to having said any number of stupid things in the past.

Obviously the ARF thing is meaningless when, one of the documents presented here are proving that he was transfered to such as punishment, was obviously created in 1968 or 1969, several years before this went on.

Or, for that matter, the fact that the documents provided show that he showed up in Alabama. Let's talk about that, hmmm?

Posted by: Adam Yoshida at February 9, 2004 12:08 AM | PERMALINK

>>So wait. Someone doesn't show up for Guard duty, and they "discipline" him by assigning him to a unit where he doesn't have to show up for Guard duty anymore? Isn't that... kind of odd?

Posted by: Evan

It does remind me of the practice of suspending students from school if they skip school.
Same logic??

Posted by: CBix at February 9, 2004 12:12 AM | PERMALINK

And "traitorous scum" (or was it "treasonous scum") is not ad-hom? Go back to your own oh-so-popular blog, is what I'd say.

Posted by: Troy at February 9, 2004 12:13 AM | PERMALINK

As a few other posters have suggested, it seems that the worst you can say about W on the basis of all these documents is: his participation in the ANG was "unsatisfactory" and he was, as a result, assigned to the AFR. According to this doc23.gif, this is how he could end up in the AFR.

So the question should directly be asked of Bush: is this how he came to the AFR? And, if so, what did the "unsatisfactory" performance consist of?

A simple, direct question which should have a simple, direct answer.

Posted by: JS at February 9, 2004 12:35 AM | PERMALINK

But here's the thing: After he's supposedly moved to Air Force Reserve, he continues to train with ANG units, possibly in Alabama in late 1972, certainly in Texas after May 1973. Its not clear the distinction really meant anything on the ground, unless its that he was in "non-flying status."

Posted by: rd at February 9, 2004 12:46 AM | PERMALINK

Isn't ARF = Air Reserve Force?

Posted by: Iconoclast at February 9, 2004 12:51 AM | PERMALINK

Let's see the bottom of this document. If it matches up with the torn document, then Bush is not credited with any days in 1972-1973. If that's the case, then this matches up with the "not observed" comment and the lack of any other account for that period leading up to Bush's transfer to ORS on the other documentation.

In other words, this may be—despite the dates listed at the top of the document—a record that Bush did not serve during that time. That would leave only the question of what the hell those listed dates actually are meant to represent.

Posted by: dak at February 9, 2004 12:54 AM | PERMALINK

It's worth pursuing a number of threads here, but my point was:

Since we have one document that states a transfer to the ARF (which I misspelled as AFR above) would follow "unsatisfactory" ANG participation, and a later document that suggests W was indeed transferred to the ARF, Bush should be asked directly if such a transfer was made and, if it was, for what reasons.

If this blog were to ask this question succinctly, it would quickly percolate to places where it could not be ignored.

Posted by: JS at February 9, 2004 01:10 AM | PERMALINK

I have believed since last year that Bush obviously screwed up in the Texas Air National Guard, they called him on the carpet and gave him some sort of administrative punishment.

This may have been missing several meetings and not making them up in a timely fashion, failing to take a required physical, substance abuse, whatever. The problem is the scrubbing of the records, or as Bush prefers scouring, created an even larger gap in the records.

Normally, something that happened 30 years ago isn't important. The problems are Bush lied about it, his party campaigned on getting rid of the last remnants of that lying Clinton, Bush committed us to an aggressive war based on lies, and Bush likes to act as the patriot hero dressing up in a flight suit.

Perception and timing is everything. Clinton wags his finger at America and says he did not have sex with that woman, Bush says on national TV the evidence might come in the form of a mushroom cloud, Howard Dean yells during a 3,000 person campaign rally and they can't hear him but a microphone blocking crowd noise can. The majority of the American public gets its news from ten-second TV bytes.

With the American public starting to doubt Bush on tax breaks for the rich, the budget, the war, his ties to special interests, this will be important and will not die and go away with explanations that don't add up like before.

Gary Denton
Easter Lemming Liberal News Digest
#1 on Google for Liberal News

Posted by: Easter Lemming Liberal News at February 9, 2004 01:22 AM | PERMALINK

To National Guard/Air National Guard people: Is there a requirement that enlistees serve a certain amount of time each month, or just accumulate enough points within a year timeframe?
The old 2000 story from George magazine implied there was mainly just a yearly requirement of 50
"points." If that's true, if the two documents we have are legit, then Bush is pretty much OK, since he gets 56 for 72-73 and 50 for 73-74. (Guard members get 15 points "free" each year, so the 72-73 document above has a total of just 41.) If there's a monthly requirement, he's got more trouble.

Posted by: rd at February 9, 2004 01:26 AM | PERMALINK

One thing to remember is that in late 1972 and in 1973, the war in Vietnam was winding down (at least for the United States). The chances of George W. Bush being called up for active duty even in the Air Force Reserves was slim unless a shooting war broke out elsewhere (which, thankfully, did not happen). So it's very possible that George could be ARF'ed as a disciplinary measure and spend two years basically twiddling his thumbs.

In any event, discipline worse than being ARF'ed wasn't going to happen no matter what George did. Let's face it, any commander who admitted that one of his men was AWOL for close to a year without him noticing it would be the laughingstock of the Air Force and never get a promotion again in his entire career.

That said, I agree with those who point out that this isn't a major story, except insofar as it points out that George's lack of character is long-standing. "George got breaks without asking 'cause he was rich and his daddy was powerful" is one of those "well duh!" deals. I'm still absolutely flabbergasted that Bush continues to stonewall on his military "career"... it's not as if anybody thinks he was pure as the driven snow as a callow youth (well, maybe as pure as the snow he was shoving up his nose, but ... :-). What could be so bad that it'd be worth lying about?

Posted by: BadTux at February 9, 2004 01:47 AM | PERMALINK

If W says..."I was honorably discharged, I fulfilled my obligations. They don't honorably discharge deserters."

He's not exactly lying. "Fulfilled my obligations" is one of those weasel statements like Saddam's "complying" or "WMD's"...

If you're not showing up at a job, and part of the process is that no-shows get demoted or transferred to another unit, and then you basically fulfill the (non-existent) requirements of this disciplinary assignment, you could say that you "fulfilled" your duties.

It would contradict the spirit of the phrase "fulfilled my duties" but probably not the letter, and there you go...

Might stick to 'em though. Strange how technicalities might stick (Niger documents or this) but killing tens of thousands of foreigners in a war that was dishonestly justified, don't.

Posted by: andrew at February 9, 2004 02:08 AM | PERMALINK

Don't know if it really matters, but that top/first date listing isn't Oct 29th, it's Oct 25th. It's backwards compared to the rest of the dates. It is 72 Oct. 28 - 72 Oct. 25.

Posted by: sac666 at February 9, 2004 02:57 AM | PERMALINK

Definition of 'scour' as Bush used it in his MTP interview, to 'correct' a previous comment:

"...they scoured the records."

scour2    ( P )  Pronunciation Key  (skour)

v. scoured, scour·ing, scours

v. tr.

  1. To search through or over thoroughly: The detective scoured the scene of the crime for clues.

  2. To range over (an area) quickly and energetically.

v. intr.
  1. To range over or about an area, especially in a search.

  2. To move swiftly; scurry.

[Middle English scouren, to move swiftly, probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse skr,
shower.]scourer n.
Posted by: Peter at February 9, 2004 03:11 AM | PERMALINK

The documents look convincing to me.

Posted by: John Isbell at February 9, 2004 03:14 AM | PERMALINK


I just got off the telephone with my cousin's brother's nephew's uncle's domestic partner's best friend who served in Special Ops.

He tells me that ARF stands for "Allied Recon Fighters"... they were an elite super secret fighting force that led daring rescue missions of POWs in Nam. The missions were secret, and remain classified to this day due to provisions in relevant peace treaties.

I hope that clears up the mystery.

Posted by: Right-Wing Vegetarian at February 9, 2004 03:32 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, Adam. You're such a funny little neo-fascist.

"I've long ago admitted to having said any number of stupid things in the past."

You know what you really need to admit to and apologize for? You know, besides the ordinary babbling/trolling you do on sites like these? That hideous Heinlein-influenced futurist bullshit from a month or two ago. You know, the whole "Heinlein Naval Base, Tycho City, Luna" (or whatever) fascist wet dream?

For fucks sake, man. I've read just about everything Mr. Robert A. Heinlein wrote, and I'm a little sick of twerps like you giving the man a bad reputation. Far from being the Social Darwinian, militaristic ass that you and your ilk attempt to mold him into, a deep and full reading of Heinlein's work exposes him as a humanist and social progressive ahead of his time. Sure, certain views of his regarding women and race may be backwards by today's standards, but considering when he lived, this is inevitable.

Unfortunately Adam, neo-fascist dupes like yourself misread the intent of Starship Troopers in much the same way that many misread the intent of Orwell's 1984. You interpret it as a manual for your own twisted vision of utopia rather than as a warning of dystopia.

Hopefully this will help you to understand, at least in part, why you suck so hard, why people don't repect you, and why, in most cases involving you, ad hominem attacks are completely legitimate.

Posted by: Anon at February 9, 2004 03:38 AM | PERMALINK

It must be possible that Bush could have been deployed with a national guard unit on a university campus or at a street demonstration at that time, for his discipline.

National guard units were hastily pulled together to go in response to demonstrations which took place with little forewarning to authorities, as demonstrators intended.

Posted by: alcaeus at February 9, 2004 03:45 AM | PERMALINK


so Bush was the guardsmen who offed the Kent State protesters?

Wow, I guess there really is no depths to which you whacked out leftist kooks won't sink to.

Posted by: Right-Wing Vegetarian at February 9, 2004 03:50 AM | PERMALINK

I searched for Bush AWOL ARF and got this
Again dated 2000. How did the press miss this ?
Note they say ARF is air reserve force.

Posted by: Robert Waldmann at February 9, 2004 04:05 AM | PERMALINK

What is it about Bush that makes otherwise intelligent people turn into kooks?

Posted by: Gorman at February 9, 2004 04:13 AM | PERMALINK

Wonder if there is any connection between outing Dubya's Guard history and the recent firing of Minnesota Guard General Andreotti by our right-wing Gov. Pawlenty.

Posted by: Dave Porter at February 9, 2004 04:31 AM | PERMALINK

"traitorous scum" was tongue in cheek; playing off the incessant attacks by the right wing upon us. Pretty sure no offense was meant.

Posted by: Norman at February 9, 2004 04:38 AM | PERMALINK

Right-Wing Veg -- That's pretty funny. I thought you right wingers had no sense of humor.

Posted by: 537 votes at February 9, 2004 04:43 AM | PERMALINK

Am I wrong, but does the torn version of this document have "L9CHPY" in the top right while this has "L7CMPY"?

Posted by: anon at February 9, 2004 04:56 AM | PERMALINK

Right wing-veg,

Bush was being trained to fly in the Spring of '70. Note his timeline. So if anyone suggests he was at Kent State refer them to his timeline.

There were a lot of demonstrations in that time period where the National Guard was sent.

There were even anti-war demonstrations in Texas, one, for example, at the University of Texas. I don't recall a date on that one.

The bigger issue is that Bush in becoming a National Guardsmen at that time was trained to put down demonstrations. His training is the relevant thing, because his training then influences his decisions now; particularly on the Patriot Act. It's about how he was trained to think and approach crisis situations.

Posted by: alcaeus at February 9, 2004 05:00 AM | PERMALINK


Spend some time at Yoshita's site.


Posted by: Jeff Boatright at February 9, 2004 05:13 AM | PERMALINK

I love America
Thanks for the impressively professional work.

Kerry / Kucinich in '04

Posted by: wal at February 9, 2004 05:19 AM | PERMALINK

Cal, if I am understanding this data correctly, it is likely there were no 36 makeup sessions, which means that for Bush to be discharged honorably and meet his committments these sessions must have been FALSIFIED. That would be a crime. This seems much more serious that I ever imagined.

Posted by: Michael Castellano at February 9, 2004 05:27 AM | PERMALINK

I'm curious.

How does this paperwork timeline line up with his application to Harvard?

That is, did he apply to Harvard the normal way? Or was he admitted into Harvard at the last minute, at a time when it because more urgent to get him out of the military? Because I'm wondering if the academic "deferment" (not what it was, but anyway) was a solution that the powers that be came up with to save George the trouble of heading to Vietnam. Or did he apply as soon as he got kicked out of the ANG and they just kept him in limbo in the intervening months, until he got accepted?

Posted by: emptywheel at February 9, 2004 05:46 AM | PERMALINK

This is an idiotic issue. John Kerry '92: "We do not need to divide America over who served and how." Really, the man has no principles whatsoever.

I wouldn't think a 30 year old DISHONORABLE discharge disqualified a person from being President. You could be dishonorably discharged for smoking marijuana, as at least 3 of the Democratic candidates admitted doing, including Kerry.

Getting out early was routine; my own brother got his honorable discharge a year early. As posters above have noted, Vietnam was winding down and they didn't need to keep everyone and they saved money by discharging them.

Posted by: Lois at February 9, 2004 05:56 AM | PERMALINK

Thanks for pushing this story.

There has GOT to be a lot more to this than meets the eye, but you desperately need to find people who were in the Air National Guard. I was in the Army Reserves, 1970-76, as an enlisted man. A normal year included two days monthly (24 days) plus two weeks summer camp (12 days, I think, were counted, although it could be 10), total, 36 days.

Now in the reserves, when you changed units, as I did once, you informed unit A you were leaving, and you had 60 days, I believe--maybe 90--to find a new home. When you found it, unit B reported to Unit A that you had joined. Bush apparently never went through a procedure like that. The only cases I knew of of someone doing drills at another unit were when their unit commanded the other unit. That was not the case here.

MOST IMPORTANT, the penalty for missing drills was being called up! In the reserves you got a registered letter every time you had an unexcused absence. If you had five in a year, you were called up.

I repeat; the Guard was different, and Bush was an officer, not an EM. We need data from people like him. But this business of being transferred to the army reserves seems quite bizarre. I look forward to seeing more data here.

Incidentally, in reply to the last poster, there's no way George would have been excused to go to Harvard Business School. In his defense, there probably was a surplus of pilots at that point, and a lot of officers were being let out of the reserves early, I beileve.

Posted by: David Kaiser at February 9, 2004 05:59 AM | PERMALINK

Impressive, Kevin. Impressive.

But it does seem like a few bloggers may have figured this out before and been ignored. If you're also ignored, then I'll really start to get suspicious.

Posted by: Cheez Whiz at February 9, 2004 06:02 AM | PERMALINK

I wrote about this Last January.

I also cite a specific disciplinary document.

Posted by: hesiod at February 9, 2004 06:03 AM | PERMALINK

Under the U.C.M.J. there is a provision for non-judicial punishment by a commander for essentially unimportant misbehavior, speeding on post, late to formation, absent duty station,having a 'candy-nose', intoxicated on the flight-line, etc. Many times these punishments, called Article 15's, are rescinded after 30 days or so of effective remedial attention by the punished offender.
If 'W' were Art-15'ed by his commander and transfered from TANG to ARF - (being Alabama) a record of activity would look like what we see here.
If he were not Art-15'ed and tranferred for more stringent disciplinary action and the paperwork pulled after the transfer ...
We would see the same record of activity if he were transferred to an Army Reserve Force had he been removed from TANG because he failed his check-ride and refused to take his physical because he was intoxicated and placed in any open non-flying slot for 'other than disciplinary reasons' . Officers are returned to enlisted status only if enlisted before becoming an officer. If one is an officer without prior enlisted status, one is simply removed from service. If 'W' was removed from TANG for non-performance (terrible flyer) & missing his anuual flight physical. He would have been transferred to ARF. He would have been removed from the rolls as a Guardsman/Officer and subject to call to active service. Active duty recruiters would have seen his dismal record as a flyer, taken into account that ... beginning in 1974 we innitiated a draw-down of active-duty forces and passed on calling him to duty.

There are so many tableaus that explain this dismal record that it's impossible to determine his misbehavior without the witnesses.
I think he was removed from flying status and was such a miserable officer that they sent him to ARF or Alabama (whatever ... ) just to get rid of him.
The officer corps has always been proud of our history and have diligently tried to maintain competence in our ranks. Ocaissionally we fail or are late to remedy a situation that looks like 'W'.
Admin fixes are always easier than real soutions.

Posted by: Jonathan Hubbert at February 9, 2004 06:07 AM | PERMALINK

The real question is, "Is Bush lying about his record in the Air National Guard?" The real issue isn't about what he's hiding. It's about the fact that he's hiding it.

Posted by: exgop at February 9, 2004 06:09 AM | PERMALINK

I have just read all the posts and came to the conclusion that American politics have finally overtaken the British in gullibility. (I'm British). If you want this to come to light ALL Americans need to know about this. Bush is taking America down a dangerous path. But more than that I think that he is causing the hatred towards America....a once loved and great Country. People used to come out into the street to wave flags and cheer when American Presidents visited their countries...I did when Ike came to London. Now they jeer and shout hateful slogans. I love this country and want it the way it was when I first came...respected and honest. It is still a great place to be and will be even greater when Bush leaves the highest office in this land. Americans are basically honest and caring. Bush cares not for the ordinary people but only for the rich and powerful. Perhaps this way he can bask in their reflected glory because he has none of his own. Let us get the TRUTH out and quit being so childish with all the inuendos. America needs to move on and try to undo all the damage that this current Administration has done. Thank you reading this post.

Posted by: Maureen at February 9, 2004 06:09 AM | PERMALINK

It looks like another TANG pilot from the same unit
was suspended around the same time as GWB
for failure to take his physical exam. See paragraph 7.

Wouldn't his story help clarify GWB's? Not the reason for the suspension, but what happens to your career and your records following suspension.

Posted by: 537 votes at February 9, 2004 06:13 AM | PERMALINK

Do a Google search on "James R Bath," 537 votes. Or try, "James R Bath texas national guard." The hits just keep on coming.

Love what you're doing here, Kevin. This is great stuff.

Posted by: G C at February 9, 2004 06:17 AM | PERMALINK

Just to add a couple of questions of my own:

1. Kevin: is the "Air Reserve" vs. "Army Reserve" issue correct? [not to tell you how to run your own blog, of course, but on a BIG issue like this, bloggers have to be accurate: if only to keep the wingnuts at bay].

2.Of the 9 sets of dates on the first document you reproduce (the "untorn document") - and NB: Unless I need glasses VERY badly, the first pair of dates are Oct 28 and Oct 29, which makes sense - are, with just two exceptions (Jan 73), either Saturday-and-Sunday weekends (3 occurences) or Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday days (4 occurences). Is there any significance to this?

3: Finally, a comment to Lois: The "issue" involved in combing over George W. Bush's military records is, IMO, not so much a matter of "who served and how", but (just like the stick that right-wingers used to bash Bill Clinton with) an matter of honesty and transparency in the personal history of our nations' Commander-in-Chief. Especially as the current incumbent ran for the office on a platform of "restoring honor" to the White House, etc., etc. Bill Clinton was excoriated (and not just by his rabid "enemies" in the "VRWC") for not being straightforward about a lot of things: that Preznit Dubya looks to have connived in having his own military records shredded to avoid embarrassment (about what, we wonder???) kinda tarnishes the whole "honor & dignity" rap the GOP has been parading for the last 3 years.

Of course, this will NEVER sway the ideologues and partisans (Kerry-bashing is too easy and fun!) - but kudos to Kevin nonetheless.

Posted by: Jay C. at February 9, 2004 06:22 AM | PERMALINK

No. The real issue, as a contributor at daily Kos eloquently put it, is that while Bush, through privilege and connections, was able to get his guard duties truncated so he could go to Harvard Business School...young guard and reserve service members in today's armed forces are PREVENTED from leaving the service by stop loss orders, even though they've more than put in their time in a comobat zone.

"Trapper John" gives the example of a young corporal, who has been accepted to Howard University Business School, but who is being prevented from attending due to the stop loss orders.

He is the first person in his family to go to college.

This is what it's all about, folks. And THIS is why this story is relevant in this election.

Posted by: Hesiod at February 9, 2004 06:24 AM | PERMALINK

Anyway, 537 votes, to answer your question directly, Bath's story probably won't help us much, given that this guy's a shady Texas billionaire too.

Posted by: G C at February 9, 2004 06:24 AM | PERMALINK

>>Democratic candidates admitted doing,

Yes *admitted*; what is W hiding? This is 10% what he did (or didn't), 90% about the cover-up. He lied in his book, he's still manipulating the facts on national TV (yet another instance of THAT).

This man, and his sycophants twist and manipulate facts at every turn.

Posted by: lutton at February 9, 2004 06:26 AM | PERMALINK

Wait, James Bath was getting busted from the TANG at the same time as BUsh??? That's priceless.

He is the guy who represented bin Laden's brother and brother-in-law when they were investing in Bush's Arbusto. The brother-in-law, Khalid bin Mahfouz, has even been put under house arrest in Saudi Arabia for funding terrorism. And Bath is supposed to be a CIA operative, as well, recruited in 1976 when his a friends of his Daddy was in charge of the CIA.

Not that there is necessarily a connectiong between his getting busted and going onto serve as a liaison between the Bush and the bin Laden family, but it's worth noting.

Posted by: emptywheel at February 9, 2004 06:39 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin can you please post the whole document? I suspect that this was a printout from the electronic copy of the file which is why it seems much more "fresh".

On another note, this is a much better fit to the puzzle then just being AWOL for a year (I found it hard to believe he could get away with that much). It shows for a fact that there was disciplinary action taken. He either got punished for: Not taking his physical, Taking it and failing it (newly implemented drug tests), or for going AWOL (he definitely did not show any activity for at least 5 months).

Bush's 4th year is also quite unusual. If I read my tea leaves I get a sense that it seems like he got progressively more involved with drugs and alcohol which culminated in the punitive action and the famous drunken confrontation with pop in Dec '72.

I almost feel sorry for the guy. It's really so silly for so many people to go to such lengths to cover something up that would of been much easier to be honest about at the beginning. He would of been forgiven and people would have let it drop. Now he's committed to the lie so deeply that it's political poison. The crime isn't what he did 30 years ago, it's the coverup.

Posted by: Gryn at February 9, 2004 06:42 AM | PERMALINK

Good observations, Heidt, Fertik, and Drum. Things are falling into place.

Bush enters the Guard to avoid being called up under revised Selective Service rules that ended college deferment for graduate school. He serves until he understands with a fair certainty that he won't be sent overseas: remember, Vietnam is winding down. America is tired of it. Forces are being withdrawn. Reserves are being demobilized, so being sent to the Reserves isn't much of a threat, hence, who cares if you're sent to the ARF? Bush gets some ambition, realizes he has a minimum committment to be met before he can get an "honorable" discharge (which is no commendation, by the way). So he does it, all the while under the bureaucratic auspices of the ARF, not the TANG or the AANG.

This isn't an exceptional course of action for men of his age and time, except for the favoritism that got him a Guard slot and the remarkable ease with which he dismissed his committment to service. There's also the continuing Bush-Rove-Hughes refusal to admit to this episode as even a youthful indescretion, perhaps because it's a hard sell to his base, which viewed him as "the anti-Clinton," and to whom it might appear that Bush was even more dismissive of military service than was America's last democratically-elected president. And, the White House is stuck with the story Bush ginned up at the time of his run for the Texas governorship.

Posted by: Brian C.B. at February 9, 2004 06:44 AM | PERMALINK

A prediction: This line of attack will work about as well for Democrats as Whitewater did for Republicans.

Posted by: Ben at February 9, 2004 06:48 AM | PERMALINK

A prediction: Someday Ben will lie and tell his grandchildren that he didn't vote for W and didn't know anyone who did.

Posted by: G C at February 9, 2004 06:53 AM | PERMALINK

This has been discussed a lot above, but it is clear that the torn and untorn documents are not the same piece of paper.

To me the key think is not L9CHPY (torn) vs unclear L9CMPY or L9CHPY (untorn).

I think this has been mentioned but the
"page 1 of 1" are clearly different. On the torn document "page" and "of" line up with the tops of the "1"s and on the untorn with the bottoms.

There is no reason why there should be only one such piece of paper so this doesn't mean either is inauthentic.

Posted by: Robert Waldmann at February 9, 2004 06:56 AM | PERMALINK

Holy crud! I think we've got a record for trackbacks coming through to this post.. now let's see if any hardcopies will give a trackback :D

Posted by: bubba at February 9, 2004 07:05 AM | PERMALINK

Though I usually get up for Meet The Press, I set my alarm to make sure that i watched yesterday. This will turn out to be really meaningful news, especially since this was the one question he answered as if it were a challenge. As if this would never come out. I can't wait to see how this one is explained. Because as you all well know, Bush's people are spin doctors extraordinarie (sp), which is actually what I admire about them - their ability to slip out of anything.

Posted by: The Mad Dater at February 9, 2004 07:05 AM | PERMALINK

Yes Kevin, this is how must confront these evil-doers. Keep on blogging brother!

We all know this guy is a slacker from fucking day one!

Posted by: Jerry Crenshaw at February 9, 2004 07:07 AM | PERMALINK

This cartoon pretty much says it all:

Looks like people are getting wise to Bush's act!

Posted by: cryofan at February 9, 2004 07:12 AM | PERMALINK

just got here via a link from Slate, very impressive work...I'm sending it to all I know..

one has to marvel were the awol shoe on a democratic contender's foot how shrill the outcry from the imperialists and their sycophants...

Posted by: jry9onebay at February 9, 2004 07:17 AM | PERMALINK


Kudos to Kevin for the research. It certainly seems to fit the key known facts : a) that Bush did get an honorable discharge, so it's unlikely that there was a true, criminal-level AWOL-type occurance, and b) there is something he has been reluctant to disclose, which he must not be proud of.

However, I don't think this will have much effect. Unless there was something worse than just missing a physical which caused him to be sent to ARF, this just seems to be more details on the key image people have of Bush's militar service. He pulled strings to get a reserve position which legally fufilled all of his requirements, but made it unlikely that he would be sent to Vietnam. We already knew that. So if what you have now discovered is that he pulled a few more strings, or otherwise manipulated the system, to legally get himself out of some of that duty, its doens't look particularly good, but it doesn't change the big picture.

Especially comeing out now, well before the election, it will take something qualitatively different than playing the system to materiallyt change people's impression of Bush's military career.

Posted by: marc at February 9, 2004 07:20 AM | PERMALINK

Have we definitively determined what ARF stands for yet -- Army Reserve Force or Air Reserve Force -- and what the difference between the two may mean in determining exactly what this document says?

Posted by: Nessmen at February 9, 2004 07:21 AM | PERMALINK

Not that it would matter to the true believers, but as a taxpayer (and paying taxes at the time), I resent funding some privileged rich kid throwing that $200K pilots training down the tubes....for whatever reason. I want my money back!

Posted by: andante at February 9, 2004 07:29 AM | PERMALINK

This has been discussed a lot above, but it is clear that the torn and untorn documents are not the same piece of paper.

I would agree. Apart from the L9CMPY or L9CHPY discrepancy, the typeface/font is slightly different. Look at the numeral 9 in both.

I would also agree that it may not make a difference since they could have been generated at separate times but still report the same information.

How about that James R Bath? Certainly a buddy of GWB's--lots of stories about his financial support for GWB. But why would he also fail to take a physical exam? The Bush excuse--he was on duty in Alabama and his physician was back in Houston--probably doesn't apply to Maj. Bath.

Did they get busted for something together?

Posted by: 537 votes at February 9, 2004 07:31 AM | PERMALINK

As I recall from the 1950's when I joined the ANG at age 16, one could legally be activated for skipping some number of weekend drills and/or an active duty for training (ACTDUTRA) two week summer camp. I spent the summer of my Jr/Sr high school years in Air Force Basic Training at Lackland AFB in 1956, before returning home, a more wise youth, to finish high school before enlisting in the USN.

I wonder if anyone has looked at Bush's DD214 which is the document that indicates several aspects of a person's military service including the type of discharge received.

To date, I've served approximately 35 years in the VTANG, the USN (10+ active years), the USNR, and the USAR, and am retired.

I am aware that the NG/ANG has not been prone to prosecution of slackers - folks who miss drills to the extent they are eventually dropped from the rolls and may or may not have been reported to the U.S. Selective Service as having failed in their six year obligation to serve.

A search of GOOGLE citing "George W. Bush Military Record" will turn up a lot of info for anyone interested in doing the paperwork archeology for the truth about this fellow who wants to be viewed as the commander-in-chief in more than just title.

Posted by: Sam at February 9, 2004 07:31 AM | PERMALINK

re: "it is clear that the torn and untorn documents are not the same piece of paper."

But we do presume that they are printouts of the same computer program...

Posted by: Brad DeLong at February 9, 2004 07:32 AM | PERMALINK

I also found this via a link from Slate. Absolutely brilliant work!

Keep up the hard work and research. Hopefully it will pay off for those of us that are ashamed of what has happened in this country for the last few years.

Posted by: ruaseeker2 at February 9, 2004 07:37 AM | PERMALINK

Why is CalPundit so Un-American?

Great work!

Posted by: Jack at February 9, 2004 07:38 AM | PERMALINK

I think you guys have reignited this story, but until you prove something I'm not going to draw any conclusions because we've seen this before. In the past, you guys throw allegations of scandals and then get nothing.

However, Bush certainly has to release all records at this point.

Posted by: Chad Peterson at February 9, 2004 07:44 AM | PERMALINK

Interesting. I haven't read the blog rolls here (not terribly interested). But I do have a question for Calpundit et al. When you say you want Bush to 'release your entire military record.' What exactly do you mean? Do you presume that Bush has documents proving what he did and didn't do in 1972 in his possession, but won't let the press see them? If so, that's likely a silly assumption.
I have been in the National Guard. In fact, I am currently in the National Guard. In fact, I hope to retire from the National Guard. And I don't have my 'full military record' in my possession. When I started, in 1989, I had no interest in staying in for 20 years, and didn't keep records. Now that I do intend to stay in, I have been better at it, but even so, my own files have gaps (some from early-1980's, some from more recently-say, within the last 5 years-though none from within the last 3 years). Thus, in many cases, the only records that exist are those that are held by the Army-not by me! And I am 1) still in, 2) hope to retire, 3) started 15 years after Bush was in the Guard.
So I don't find it surprising that/if Bush doesn't have service records in his possession from 1972-3. I would actually be surprised if he did have those records (for those of you who were old enough to be employed in 1972-do you have employment records in your possession from that time?).
So if you are asking for Bush to 'release his personal stash of old army paperwork dating from 32 years ago' you are asking for something that is pretty absurd to expect to have. But if you are asking to 'allow the Army to release records in their files that cover 1972' you are probably asking for something that should exist.


Posted by: Steve at February 9, 2004 07:45 AM | PERMALINK

Presumably, his campaign folks would have rounded up the documents before the Bush gubernatorial effort. In which case, yes - he would have them "in his possession", theoretically. But there should also be originals (or copies)held by the military.

Posted by: andante at February 9, 2004 07:54 AM | PERMALINK

What I was getting at is that there is probably nothing to 'round up,' whether before the gubernatorial campaign, before the presidential campaign, or before anything else. For someone who doesn't want to be in the military, and doesn't want to retire from it, the natural thing to do with old military paperwork (other than one document, the DD-214, the discharge document), it to throw it away. Bush was in the Guard for at most his obligation, then left and never looked back. He would naturally have thrown everything away then-in 1973, or at best the next time he moved and had to pack boxes. So at the Gubernatorial campaign, perhaps his staff says 'give us all you have concerning your military duty' it would be entirely natural to not have anything at all.


Posted by: Steve at February 9, 2004 07:59 AM | PERMALINK

Point taken.

Posted by: andante at February 9, 2004 08:02 AM | PERMALINK

When you say you want Bush to 'release your entire military record.' What exactly do you mean? Do you presume that Bush has documents proving what he did and didn't do in 1972 in his possession, but won't let the press see them? If so, that's likely a silly assumption.

The military ordinarily does not disclose a servicemember's full record to the public, without a release from that servicemember authorizing the disclosure. That's the "release" at issue here, afaik.

Posted by: Californian at February 9, 2004 08:02 AM | PERMALINK

This is a wonderful discovery.

It seems to me, the only way we will ever, as a nation, stop politicians and their profiteering buddies from sending our kids to fight in these so-called wars, is to require that their own children and grandchildren be the first ones drafted and sent into action. No deferals, no way out, but to serve, and take the same chances our kids do.

Maybe then we will get a new batch of politicians who really know what it is all about, able to temper judgement with a strong sense of reality.

Posted by: Tony L. at February 9, 2004 08:07 AM | PERMALINK

An air force officer being transfered to an army command i can find no record of? i don't know. the sheet looks like a retirement point worksheet to me. how would an officer under some sort of disapline who was not required to show up anywhere get retirement points?

it think the author totaly misread this paper.

Posted by: andrew at February 9, 2004 08:09 AM | PERMALINK

Whatever happened, I don't think transfer to a disciplinary unit in Denver was it. Bush was still requesting transfers and discharges from Col. Killian in Houston. That would make no sens eif he had been re-assigned to a different unit.

Posted by: Erik at February 9, 2004 08:14 AM | PERMALINK

I just want to add that I now have the letter up confirming that Bush had approximately six months of time tacked onto his military obligation:

Posted by: Martin Heldt at February 9, 2004 08:19 AM | PERMALINK

"ARF!" is mentioned today in Dan Froomkin's Washington Post column.

Posted by: penalcolony at February 9, 2004 08:21 AM | PERMALINK

It is already apparent that the administration is planning to claim that the requisite military service documents are missing. I wonder if anyone has done research into whether there are other reservists from Bush's stints in the Texas and Alabama Guards whose records cannot be found. If Bush's are the only records to have gone missing, it may be revealing.

Posted by: Boerwors at February 9, 2004 08:24 AM | PERMALINK

>An air force officer being transfered to an army command i can find no record of? i don't know. the sheet looks like a retirement point worksheet to me. how would an officer under some sort of disapline who was not required to show up anywhere get retirement points?

Why aren't points awarded or broken down on the bottom of the document?

Posted by: Martin Heldt at February 9, 2004 08:25 AM | PERMALINK

Way to go, Kevin! Get this stuff to Krugman or Matthews or both. "True Lies" from George, that's great. 'bout time the Carrot Prince has a bit o' stick!

Posted by: tiernal at February 9, 2004 08:30 AM | PERMALINK

Anybody notice the following :

Promoted to 1st Lieutenant in November 1970. Never made it to Captain. Left the service in November 1974. He must have been ate the f* up (horrible, inefficient officer) to not make the next higher grade within that amount of time.

Posted by: setzman at February 9, 2004 08:32 AM | PERMALINK

Just to cross-pollinate a bit more, this is from the Washington Post Froomkin article:

In the "Meet the Press" interview, Bush responded to the question of whether he was AWOL from his National Guard post during the Vietnam War by calling the issue a product of "political season" and reasserting that he was honorably discharged.

Bush said he would authorize the release of any existing documents regarding his National Guard service. "If we still have them, but I -- you know, the records are kept in Colorado, as I understand, and they scoured the records."

Richard A. Serrano reports in the Los Angeles Times: "He was referring to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service in Colorado, which maintains pay records of service members and presumably would have documentation on whether Bush had showed up for all of his military duty.

"But officials at the agency, in Denver and at the headquarters in Washington, told The Times last week that before any records could be released, a Freedom of Information Act request must be filed and that the agency would then show the records to the White House communications office before proceeding."

Anybody in Denver available to walk over a FOIA request?


Posted by: 537 votes at February 9, 2004 08:36 AM | PERMALINK

I just looked at the other document (at and was struck by the last two lines,

"...State of Texas AG Department, Austin, Texas, and transferred to ARPC (ORS), 3800 York St, Denver, CO effective 2 October 1973..."

Does State of Texas AG Department mean the Agriculture Department, or the Attorney General's Department?


Posted by: alan at February 9, 2004 08:38 AM | PERMALINK

That's a good point, setzman. A first lieutenant in the Air Force makes captain in two years -- and it's pretty much an automatic promotion.

It takes a sustained record of incompetence to be passed over for promotion, or noteworthy act of misconduct to be "redlined" (i.e., to have the promotion withheld).

Wonder which one applies in Bush's case?

Posted by: Californian at February 9, 2004 08:38 AM | PERMALINK



Posted by: TONY at February 9, 2004 08:40 AM | PERMALINK

"AG" probably would refer to the Adjutant General Corps (soldiers/units in this branch perform mostly administrative/personell function), or to the state Adjutant General, the highest military commander of the state's National Guard.

Posted by: setzman at February 9, 2004 08:43 AM | PERMALINK

"...State of Texas AG Department, Austin, Texas, ..."

Must be Attorney General. Why would the state's AG be involved? Customary generality or criminal specificity?

Daily Brew has a pre-formatted FOIA request at

or click my name.

Posted by: Jeff Boatright at February 9, 2004 08:44 AM | PERMALINK

Steve, I beg to differ. I was in the Navy for 5 years. They constantly drummed into you that you copied EVERYTHING given to you. Hell, they GIVE you your records each time you transfer to give to your personnel command upon arriving. You use that time to PHOTOCOPY EVERYTHING. (photostat for you stuck in the 1970's)

Sorry, but to NOT have copies of this stuff is quite DIS-honorable.

Posted by: Jack at February 9, 2004 08:46 AM | PERMALINK

Good work, Kevin. You got everything exactly right except what ARF stands for -- but, that one small slip aside, it's all perfect.

I don't deny there's info here, but have some perspective: the blogs are more and more like the big media -- hey, I've got it right here, it's from a friend of a friend who got it from the government and although I have the NAME of the document wrong, I've of course got all the specifics RIGHT. All I need is some anonymous former Natl Guard members cruising my site to send in explanations of this or that and then, I mean, we've got it! Nailed!

If we did science this way (or car repair or baking dinner), it would be viewed a little differently (I've got the secret recipe, right here, from a friend of a friend who got it straight from the secret files of Mrs. Field -- I got the name of the dish wrong (it might be cookies instead of crawfish) but the specifics are right if some cooks would tell me what tsp stands for ...).

Rightly, these are put under 'urban legend."

Posted by: C Bennett at February 9, 2004 08:46 AM | PERMALINK

To add some clarity to my previous post about the AG, the Adjutant General and his/her office is often mentioned in Guard personell orders.

Posted by: setzman at February 9, 2004 08:48 AM | PERMALINK

Great work! It seems to me that what this intact version of the document proves might be even more damning of Bush than a complete AWOL might have been. It appears that this ARF allowed Bush to earn points for specific dates without any actual service having been performed. We already know that his commanding officers in Texas did not observe him during precisely the time period covered in this document. If his commanding officers say he wasn't there and ARF gives him service credit from Denver anyway it would appear that the fix was in, and we now have documentary proof. Thus, far from proving that Bush fulfilled his service obligations, this document -- in combination with others from the Texas Air National Guard -- proves that he DID NOT, but that he was fraudulently given credit for doing so. That could be a far bigger scandal. Thanks for the great investigative reporting! (Now if we only had actual reporters who could still do it....)
-- Joel

Posted by: Joel Bloom at February 9, 2004 08:55 AM | PERMALINK

After reading the treasonus remarks from a bunch
of weenies-Since GW is the Commander-In-Chief,
doesnt that count for anything. If youre looking for
treasonus acts look at Kerry and his campaign cash recieved from the Chinese Military Intelligence after
recieving $300,000 from them after allowing top-secret military guidance technology to the Liu firm and thus allowing Chinese technology to hit the U.S.
Without this they could not. Look it up yourself-I doubt if Newsweek would print any falsehoods.

Posted by: Doug at February 9, 2004 08:56 AM | PERMALINK

Instead of George W Bush, “Mission Accomplished” Hotshot Fighter Pilot, the real George W Bush is a Slacker with an obligation to fly F-102's for 2+ more years who is grounded for failure to take his flight physical. The same year that drug testing is required by the military.

Posted by: Jim S at February 9, 2004 08:58 AM | PERMALINK

Was Bush AWOL or not, given the new ARF info?

Posted by: grammar at February 9, 2004 08:58 AM | PERMALINK

Joels comments are worth repeating:

>We already know that his commanding officers in Texas did not observe him during precisely the time period covered in this document. If his commanding officers say he wasn't there and ARF gives him service credit from Denver anyway it would appear that the fix was in, and we now have documentary proof. Thus, far from proving that Bush fulfilled his service obligations, this document -- in combination with others from the Texas Air National Guard -- proves that he DID NOT, but that he was fraudulently given credit for doing so.

Posted by: Martin Heldt at February 9, 2004 08:59 AM | PERMALINK


Posted by: Anonymous at February 9, 2004 09:01 AM | PERMALINK

home run, kevin. thanks.

Posted by: flatulus at February 9, 2004 09:02 AM | PERMALINK

The point to make about the differences in the two documents is that they are not just in the typed-in part (the "H" -> "M", the base of the "1"s) but in the printed form itself. Look at the kerning on "FROM DATE" and "TO DATE" on the torn copy - it's elegant and even, as expected in a printed form that predates desktop publishing.

Now look at the new copy. The D-A and especially the A-T letter pairs are unkerned, as if each letter were stuck in its own little inviolable rectangle of white space.

Look similarly at the P-A and A-G pairs in "PAGE" at the upper right. Again, the torn copy is well-kerned but the new copy is clumsily open-spaced.

So, these aren't even two copies of the form printed out contemporaneously in one office. Either the new one was printed out elsewhere or later, after forms had for some reason been recreated and reprinted - or it's a crude forgery.

Posted by: Nic at February 9, 2004 09:14 AM | PERMALINK

Two words for all of you conspiracy theorists:


No matter what insidious inferences your little minds are able to draw from various 30+ year old documents, Bush was honorably discharged and was never accused (by anyone who matters, anyway) of being AWOL or a "deserter."

Moreover, to highlight the ignorance of those making the AWOL charge, you might be interested to know that the National Guard does not recognize the concept of AWOL at all. Accordingly, even if he never showed up for any of his service obligations in Alabama, Bush could not -- as a matter of law -- have been AWOL.

No story. No legs. No point.

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at February 9, 2004 09:19 AM | PERMALINK

Ellis you are completely wrong. I was once in the Guard, and AWOL is a term that is used for failure to report to drill without excuse.

Posted by: setzman at February 9, 2004 09:22 AM | PERMALINK

Ellis Wyatt:

So, it depends on what the meaning of "is" is, huh?

Posted by: Ellis Whynot at February 9, 2004 09:23 AM | PERMALINK

Ellis, isn't the Two Minute Hate about to start? Aren't you late?

Posted by: G C at February 9, 2004 09:26 AM | PERMALINK

How about that James R Bath? Certainly a buddy of GWB's--lots of stories about his financial support for GWB. [...] Did they get busted for something together?

Don't ask, don't tell.

Posted by: FlipYrWhig at February 9, 2004 09:27 AM | PERMALINK

Now, doesn't the document Kevin posted confirm that Bush did show up in Alabama?

Oh, is this one of those situations where you can just 'show up'? I thought you had to do some things -- and isn't it strange that no one else remembers that he 'showed up'? It seems that it's a little more important than you're giving it credit to be.

Posted by: Streaker at February 9, 2004 09:28 AM | PERMALINK

I still don't see how any of this is going to make much of a difference.

The typical voter's view of GWB biography has two distinct sections:

Phase I: Rich Frat-boy

Born into rich, political family.

His family helped pull strings to get him an easy life (Yale, ANG, HBS, Texas Rangers) despite being an undistinguished student and boarderline alcoholic.

Phase II: Grown-up Leader

At age 40, stops drinking, 'grows up,' and gets serious. Wins tough election and is (at least moderately) sucessful as Texas Govenor. Comes off as 'real', 'likeable', and 'not-as-stupid-as-parodied' in 2000 campaign. Surprises with bold leadership and inspired rhetoric after 9/11.

Most of the people here may not agree with this, but the above is what the 60-80% of the public who are not Bush-haters think, even if they don't like his domestic policies, and think he misled us into the war in Iraq.

Kevin's 'bombshell' doesn't change this thumbnail biography, it just confirms it. So he was a poor officer in 1973. We already knew he was a coaster and a drunk until he was 40.

Posted by: marc at February 9, 2004 09:29 AM | PERMALINK

setzman, don't let facts get in Ellis' way... let him try to warp reality to fit his preconceived ideas.

(How much you wanna bet he's a Creationist?)

Posted by: scarshapedstar at February 9, 2004 09:29 AM | PERMALINK

The military drums it into you to keep every piece of paper, yes. But they do it to cover their bases (because they lose things all the time, and because that way they can blame you if a piece of paper can't be located). The problem is, NOBODY DOES IT! I hope to retire from the military in about 6 years, I don't have 'everything', and I've got a file section full of documents (say, 2 1/2 feet of them). As I said, that's not everything. Someone who serves in the military but doesn't like it, or wants to merely serve and get out after 3 years; what is the likelihood that they have 'everything the military told them to keep'? Understandably zero.
Put it in perspective. Many (maybe most) of us went to college. Could you recreate your whole college career based on what you kept from then? Not merely that you graduated, but what classes you took on what semesters? What grades you got in those classes? Thirty years after you left?
We all pay taxes, and its important. How many of you have your taxes from the year 1972?
Almost anyone who was an adult in 1972 was working at the time. Can you prove it now? Prove how much you paid in social security taxes? Whether you got a raise in a certain month of that year?
Jack: do you still have your navy records? Everything? Shot records, attendance records, lists of retirement points earned, copy of every order and assignment? If you do, you are a unique guy.
I recently went through a security clearance upgrade (from secret to top secret). In it, I had to list my addresses for the previous five years. I couldn't do it-couldn't remember my address from four years ago (though I can picture the street, and the guy whom I rented the room). I had no physical evidence that I had lived there. What's the likelihood of keeping retirement points records from a military assignment from which you don't intend to retire, for 32 years?
As I said, if you expect someone to keep that amount of paperwork for that long, you are a unique guy.


Posted by: Steve at February 9, 2004 09:30 AM | PERMALINK

Folks - as Democratic Veteran pointed out in April 2003, ( the information which -follows- notice that Shrub did not accomplish his physical, describes the applicable charge.

"Which act also qualifies as disobedience of a direct order to get a PHYSICAL. It's right there, "Reason of for suspension: Failure to accomplish annual medical examination. Officer will comply with paragraph 2-10, Air Force Manual 35-13. Authority (governing): Paragraph 2-29m, Air Force Manual 35-13." Disobedience of a Direct Order...."

Disobeying a legal Direct Order is not something overlooked, not even in the slackest of organisations. And this vitiates Shrub's bizarre argument, reported by his minions, that he just kinda decided that since he wasn't flying he didnt need to take that old physical.....

Posted by: GWPDA at February 9, 2004 09:32 AM | PERMALINK


I disagree. The old biphasic function is no longer operational. I think that to a lot of those same folks who forgive Bush for his pre-40 behavior, military service is important. I think that perception of improper behavior in an officer will strike a chord - it will NOT be viewed as frat-boy hijnks.

Just my opinion, but that's why we see people like Ellis chiming in.

BTW, Ellis, thanks for reminding us: The real story is HOW he got that honorable discharge - not that he got it at all.

Posted by: Jeff Boatright at February 9, 2004 09:35 AM | PERMALINK

between CHPY and CMPY maybe we can compromise on CHMPY?

Posted by: xian at February 9, 2004 09:37 AM | PERMALINK

A brief note on the "Why Denver" question.

The Air Force Finance Center was in Denver, until it was closed in the late 70's / early 80's. It was a huge complex at 38th Ave and York St.

My guess is the ARF was a paper unit, where misfits and screw-ups like George W Bush were assigned, until they could be processed out of the military. This being 72-73, the armed forces would have been releasing personnel right and left.

Posted by: Charles K at February 9, 2004 09:38 AM | PERMALINK

I'm so sick of hearing the Bush defenders brag about Dubya's "honorable discharge," as if that trumps everything. Bush had hundreds of people ahead of him on the list to get into the National Guard (as opposed to going to Vietnam), and yet his political connections were enough to get him moved right to the front of the line. If he had connections like that, certainly they would've been enough to finagle him an "honorable discharge" he didn't earn.

Posted by: Doug Gillett at February 9, 2004 09:40 AM | PERMALINK

Well Doug, once you can prove (instead of simply making bald accusations) GWB should have been "dishonorably discharged" then you may have a point. Until then, "honorable discharge" (at the the very least) shifts the burden of proof to your side : )

Posted by: Charlie at February 9, 2004 09:44 AM | PERMALINK

Charles K:

"My guess is the ARF was a paper unit, where misfits and screw-ups like George W Bush were assigned, until they could be processed out of the military. This being 72-73, the armed forces would have been releasing personnel right and left."

Good guess - sounds like a lot less than AWOL too ; )

P.S. I'll catch up on the rest of this thread and post my comments later.

Posted by: Charlie at February 9, 2004 09:46 AM | PERMALINK

"Most of the people here may not agree with this, but the above is what the 60-80% of the public who are not Bush-haters think..."

marc, 60-80%? that's a little generous buddy. take off the rosy shades dude, they really don't work for you.

Posted by: travy at February 9, 2004 09:49 AM | PERMALINK

Sweet! Great research! Now to get it into the mainstream, in front of every voter, every person still clinging to the notion that Bush is a legitimate leader rather than a liar, a bully, a coward, and a corporate whore.

We should all be writing letters to the editor and e-mailing the mainstream media leaders (Koppel, Jennings...) demanding that they look into it.

Posted by: Kate Watt at February 9, 2004 09:49 AM | PERMALINK

I was just listening to NPR this morning and a Democratic being interviewed in Tennessee commented on how much Kerry's war service meant to voters there. Frankly, I don't much care about a candidate's military service dating from
thirty years ago. However, if other voters do care about this, they're entitled to as much of the truth as we can excavate for them. In addition, wasn't it the Republicans who tried to smear one of their own--John McCain--with allegations that his long ago experience as a POW left him unfit to run for the presidency? McCain responded by releasing all the records pertaining to his service. Interestingly, despite his ordeal, McCain seems to have much better recall of those years than George does.

Posted by: Cowalker at February 9, 2004 09:56 AM | PERMALINK

I repeat: if its a "paper unit" he's been transferred to, how has he been earning points for specific dates? Does he mail in things he could have done in theory on a certain weekend?

Is ARF a "special disciplinary unit," or just a general name for the Air Reserve and Guard. Note that the retirement document on Bush service starting with 1968 is headed "Air Reserve Forces."

To me, all this seems a strained interpretation of the document.

Posted by: rd at February 9, 2004 10:01 AM | PERMALINK

A first lieutenant in the Air Force makes captain in two years -- and it's pretty much an automatic promotion.

Is it really as fast for reserve/guard members that aren't on active duty? My assumption has always been that the reduced duty would also mean considerably slower advancement.

Posted by: cmdicely at February 9, 2004 10:02 AM | PERMALINK

"I was just listening to NPR this morning and a Democratic being interviewed in Tennessee commented on how much Kerry's war service meant to voters there."

NPR interviewing a Democrat? Could you really conceive of hearing anything different?


Posted by: Steve at February 9, 2004 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

This is so,so little act. You DEM. Look at the pres. that BUSH replace. a down right draft dodger, sex addict, liar and you DEM still love him. that makes my head turn round.

Posted by: daniel lemke at February 9, 2004 10:04 AM | PERMALINK
This is so,so little act. You DEM. Look at the pres. that BUSH replace. a down right draft dodger, sex addict, liar and you DEM still love him. that makes my head turn round.

I noticed that you were incapable of typing anything that had more than two syllables. Coincidence?

Posted by: Gryn at February 9, 2004 10:06 AM | PERMALINK

Lewis Lapham has a theory that the enduring hold of Bush on Americans has to do with a feeling that he is a charming rogue/scoundrel. If what you are getting at here is true, that he was in a disciplinary unit in '72, may have the opposite effect on his popularity of what we expect.

Posted by: BobNJ at February 9, 2004 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

Charlie --

Mmmmm . . . not quite.

Reading the comments in this thread leads me to the conclusion that the ARF reassignment happened BECAUSE Bush was AWOL -- and / or failed to report for his TANG flight physical.

As a Silver Spooner in a Champagne Unit, Bush used family connections to cut in line ahead of 500 or so men who were on the waiting list -- and then, didn't even trouble himself to fullfill his obligation.

Posted by: Charles K at February 9, 2004 10:09 AM | PERMALINK

Link to the original work by Martin at

Not sure if the author is Martin or Fertik. Regardless, FOIA is great. Let's keep it.

Posted by: Dave at February 9, 2004 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

Daniel Lemke,

Strunk and White: The Elements of Style

Look into it.

Posted by: apostropher at February 9, 2004 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

"A first lieutenant in the Air Force makes captain in two years -- and it's pretty much an automatic promotion.

Is it really as fast for reserve/guard members that aren't on active duty? My assumption has always been that the reduced duty would also mean considerably slower advancement."

You are correct. Promotion is slower in the reserves.

Posted by: Campesino at February 9, 2004 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

I'm a reservist so I have a some knowledge of retirement points. One can earn retirement points for doing nothing other than "being" in the reserves. You have to earn a minimum amount of points to have a year of qualified duty and your basic points alone won't do that. So YES, it is possible to get retirement points without showing up for duty (although it won't qualify you for retirement).

Posted by: msampie at February 9, 2004 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

"This is so,so little act. You DEM. ..."

When this bastard lies, our soldiers blood gets spilled. So don’t even talk about honor and truthfulness.

Posted by: Alfred at February 9, 2004 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

This is so,so little act. You REP. Look at the pres. that BUSH is. a down right draft dodger, drug addict, liar and you REP still love him. that makes my head turn round.

Well, this little rewrite offers a teaching moment, here. When Rove and Hughes considered the charmed legacy of Young Bush back in 1999, they could have gone with the Henry V, Part I model: immature screw-up, but latent competent leader. Well, they chose not to, largely because the same excuse might have extended to Bill Clinton. Bush was supposed to be the anti-Clinton, remember? And, if Gore won the nomination, his young life would look positively noble in comparison with that of a guy who apparently took his military committment as a lark, even if a lot of guys of his time did the same. Apparently, Bush 2000 judged that they'd rather conceal than confront the issue--as they might have decided with his early substance-abuse problems and driving records--than just own up to the possibility that young men can do stupid stuff, just like the stupid stuff Clinton might have done, and Gore didn't. Now, having clung to their version of the Guard story for more than four years, it's practically impossible for the Bush team to admit that the guy was only human in his youth and ought to be cut some slack: it would be an admission that fear and shame and political opportunism drove them to lie. And this White House doesn't believe in admitting error, ever, let alone an actual lie.

Posted by: Brian C.B. at February 9, 2004 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

FlipYrWhig -- It took me a minute, but that is hilarious!

Maybe we can get Drudge to work the bath-house angle of Texas in 1972.

Posted by: 537 votes at February 9, 2004 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

I can't believe you grown ups are name calling and bashing our President of the United States. I read so many made up statements about our leader, I'm embarrassed for us Americans. You nardowellers, run for office or get a life. Roland C. Young

Posted by: Roland C. Young at February 9, 2004 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

It's a shame that you Democrats, lacking any real solutions and/or innovative ideas to address real-world issues, are reduced to hate-speech and smear campaigns in order to get elected.

Perhaps more time should be spent developing, dare I say it, a strategy and execution plan?

It's shameful that your single minded and misguided rhetoric aims at dividing America rather than solving problems.

Posted by: bruce at February 9, 2004 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

Great work!

Keep up the pressure--Never stop digging
out the Truth!!

Posted by: nikto at February 9, 2004 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

If around Oct. 72 he was transferred to ARF from TANG, why was HQ asking TANG for the annual fitness report in July, 73? (second page of initial report had been sent to HQ at end of service year in May, 73 indicating he had not been present so no review could be given.). What is the meaning of TANG's Nov. '73 response to HQ that no fitness report is available for "administrative reasons"?

If Bush's statuts with TANG changed in Oct. 72, why does TANG on May 1, 73 order him to report for duty for various dates in May or June? Why do those dates then correspond to the May and June dates on the '73 ARF as well as the last entry on the 72-73 ARF?

But then why are there dates on the 72-73 ARF for 5/1-5/3, 5/8-5/10, and 5/19-5/20 which are not mentioned in any TANG documents, including the 5/1 order to report for duty?

Why do none of these 72 and 73 dates then get entered onto his permanent service logs? See Kevin's posted document and this one. Note that the service record (last linked document) shows the transfer to ARPC (ORS) in Oct 73, not Oct 72.

I posted earlier about other numerous oddities between these documents.

The ARF documents don't make sense, and we need more info on exactly what they are and how they are prepared. They don't seem to match Alabama duty service at all. If they represent actual duty served, they are rather inconsistent with the TANG records.

It's very tough to make sense of this issue with only a partial set of documents and inadequate information on the custom and practice in preparing these cryptic documents.

The key is for Bush to authorize the military to release ALL records. I imagine further FOIA requests and public pressure on Bush to stop stonewalling the release of records will bring this issue to a head in the near future.

Posted by: dmbeaster at February 9, 2004 11:11 AM | PERMALINK
It's a shame that you Democrats, lacking any real solutions and/or innovative ideas to address real-world issues, are reduced to hate-speech and smear campaigns in order to get elected.

Perhaps more time should be spent developing, dare I say it, a strategy and execution plan?

It's shameful that your single minded and misguided rhetoric aims at dividing America rather than solving problems.

Projection, thy name is Republican.

Posted by: Gryn at February 9, 2004 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

My, there's no shortage of trolls with fake email addresses today.

Posted by: scarshapedstar at February 9, 2004 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

"I'm a reservist so I have a some knowledge of retirement points. One can earn retirement points for doing nothing other than "being" in the reserves. You have to earn a minimum amount of points to have a year of qualified duty and your basic points alone won't do that. So YES, it is possible to get retirement points without showing up for duty (although it won't qualify you for retirement)."

Msample, would those points for doing nothing match up with specific dates, or are they the 15 "gratis" points a year the George Magazine article talks about? The document above lists a total of 41 points connected to dates, which when added to the 15 "free" points, adds up to the 56 points George Magazine reported he earned in 72-73. Is it possible to earn 41 points doing nothing?

Here's the George article:

Posted by: rd at February 9, 2004 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

As distasteful as it is to me, I believe that your findings fully exonerate George W. Bush. Here's why.

His Air Reserve Services Retirement Credit Summary, shown in this document, records FOUR good years of service not 3. The 22 points he amassed plus the 15 that everyone gets just for being on the rolls equals a 37 point 'good' year. It tallies the good years as 4 on the right hand side of the sheet.

Why he failed to take his physical is open to question and he was transferred to the Reserves in September of 72. One cannot draw the conclusion that a transfer to the Reserves is disciplinary - it happens all the time for lots of reasons. In his case, he had no way to stay in his unit unless he was a functioning pilot. The Guard did what they would have done if he had failed due to medical reasons - transferred him to the Reserves to finish his obligation.

In the Reserves he clearly performed drills somewhere, or was given official credit for having done so.

From October 72 through May 73 he amassed a total of 34 points - 12 in '72 and 23 by the end of May 73. For this he would have received another 'good' year then totaling FIVE good years of service

The last ARF document shows him performing 10 drill periods in a short period of time from May through Jul '73. It's hard to read the document but it looks like a total of 25 or so for drills. I believe he would have been given the 15 'gratutious' points that everyone gets and that would have given him enough points for a SIXTH good year by July '73.

And I think that completes his obligation

I don't like it, but that's the way it reads out

Posted by: retired LTC at February 9, 2004 11:19 AM | PERMALINK


He certainly didn't amass those drill points in Alabama (3 people there said they never saw him) and he certainly didn't amass drill points in Texas because his OER states that he cleared the based May 1972 and hadn't been seen since.

He wasn't cleared for medical reasons because he failed to take the physical and was grounded.

Bush has said he flew until the end -- not.
Bush said he performed "paperwork or something" in Alabama but no one saw him there.
His discharge papers don't show any service after May 1972.

Posted by: Alma Evans at February 9, 2004 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

Charles K:

"Reading the comments in this thread leads me to the conclusion that the ARF reassignment happened BECAUSE Bush was AWOL -- and / or failed to report for his TANG flight physical."

I'd take a closer look at retired LTC's comments first before you come to that conclusion.

Posted by: Charlie at February 9, 2004 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

I'm still conflicted about what the whole "ARF' debate means. You point to the "untorn document" as not being a Texas or Alabama document, simply because it doesn't say Texas or Alabama, and thus it must be something much darker and sinister -- The Air Reserve Forces.

Yet we've now established that the Air Reserve Forces is nothing more than a term used to collectively refer to the Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve. What's more, the second document shown -- Form 712 -- also says quite clearly on it that it is an Air Reserve Forces document.

Guys, is it conceivably possible that the "untorn document," in fact, shows that President Bush DID put in Air National Guard duty on those days listed. In other words, that it proves exactly what he has been saying, and not the other way around.

Look, I'm no Bush fan, and I would be giddy with delight if some "smoking gun" popped up that sunk his bid for a second term. But I also think that we ought not to jump to half-baked conclusions based on a speculative interpretation of evidence that is most favorable to our own viewpoint.

After all, isn't that how we ended up in Iraq?

Posted by: Nessmen at February 9, 2004 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

I'm afraid there's not much there to indicate the "ARF" is a disciplinary unit.

ARF = "Air Reserve Forces"

The Air Force Reserve (AFR) and the Air National Guard (ANG) are together called the ARF. Both are reserve components of the Air Force. Just look at the second document Kevin listed ("Air Reserve Forces Retirement Credit Summary"). This is an ARF document, and it shows credit for service on the Air National Guard. This makes sense because the ANG is part of the ARF.

Gotta work harder to get your facts right.

The nine major commands, 35 field operating agencies, four direct reporting units and their subordinate elements constitute the field organization that carries out the Air Force mission. In addition, there are two Reserve components, the Air Force Reserve, which is also a major command, and the Air National Guard.

Posted by: Mike at February 9, 2004 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

Nothing in the documents indicates where the drills were accomplished nor for what purpose. These summary documents never do, and there should be supporting drill attendance sheets for each drill period performed - we haven't seen those.

Nonetheless the official record records sufficient service to amass 6 good years of service

Posted by: retired LTC at February 9, 2004 11:32 AM | PERMALINK


"What turnipseed (et al.) *didn't* see is not evidence of what there was to be seen."

Posted by: Charlie at February 9, 2004 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

Hmmm, seems all of us doubting Thomases popped up at once. Hope we're not branded Republicans.

Posted by: Nessmen at February 9, 2004 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

Neither was the Obligated Reserve Section (ORS) the punishment unit for Bush. Bush himself requested to be reassigned to inactive duty because he was atttending Harvard Business School in Sept 1973. The request was approved and he was assigned to ORS (basically a file center associated with the Air Force Personnel Center -- AFPC -- in Denver) as of Oct 1, 1973.


Posted by: Mike at February 9, 2004 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

Y'know I'm looking at these documents both as an ex-guardsman *and* a Bush supporter, and I *am* worried by them. The most worrisome thing to me: the dates. Clearly something is up with the dates. Why else were they ripped off in the "torn" version?

Posted by: ExGOPGuardsman at February 9, 2004 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

Would everybody please re-read the notes and corrections under the ARF document at the beginning of this thread. That way everybody will be on the same page and quit asking about the discrepancy between "Army Reserve Force" and "Airforce Reserve Force". IT HAS BEEN ACKNOWLEDGED THAT THE LATTER DESIGNATION IS THE CORRECT ONE.

Posted by: Liz at February 9, 2004 11:42 AM | PERMALINK


Good point.

Gotta run. Gotta pick up the kids.

Later, all.

Posted by: ExGOPGuardsman at February 9, 2004 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

Man, I hate when officers go doing the work of an NCO. Retired LTC managed to address the points I was going to. Had to toss out a whole mess of words.
I'm glad someone was able to provide GWB with his service records. If he trots these out it will hopefully kill the meme that he is a deserter or AWOL. Of course the "Saddam was an imminent threat to nuke us with African uranium" still hasn't died despite how often it is debunked.

Posted by: SSG B at February 9, 2004 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

Thanks to Marty Heldt, and Kevin for pursuing this story. Maybe their efforts will finally force GWB to make good on his promise yesterday to release all his military records. I was astonished that the media didn't demand this when he first ran for President.
The media's lackadaisical attitude in pursuing this story mimics GWB's lackadaisical attitude in fulfiling his NG obligations. One can only imagine the outcry from both the media and from republicans if a democratic presidential candidate was refusing to release such records in the face of these questions. The most recent example of this double standard was the recent drumbeat of media and Republican criticism over Howard Dean' sealed gubernatorial records. Nary a peep, however, about GWB's same actions in Texas.
I've read the Bush supporters views here and simply cannot understand how they think this vindicates GWB. It is undiputed that he used his father's connections to leapfrog over others to get a sinecure in the NG. This contrasts with both Gore and Kerry, who did their stints admirably.
At a minimum, it shows that he blew off at least 6 months duty when he transferred to Alabama. Yeah, maybe he eventually made it up, but simply no-showing in the first place seems pretty irresponsible. He was, after all, a commissioned officer with a commitment to fulfill. A dedicated officer might have taken some action to resolve the situation rather than just not showing up for drill.
Additionally, his decision to leave Texas after the U.S. spent so much money flight training him just because he felt like working in a political campaign seems very self indulgent, and is not exactly an example of outstanding service. In fact, the NG apparently considered it so self indulgent that they denied his request. Again, this occurred in May 1972, and GWB could easily have returned to Texas to complete his obligation. It's obvious to me from this record that he just wasn't that interested in serving and his record is spotty at best.
Finally, I'll be surprised if he makes good on yesterday's promise to release his records. He could have done that in 1994, when this first came up, or 1999 or 2000 when it also came up. Forgive me for inferring from his repeated refusal to release all his records that there's something there he doesn't want us to know about. After all, this is not the first time. He dissembled throughout the 2000 campaign about drug and alcohol use, and never admitted, even under questioning, that he had been convicted of drunken driving.

Posted by: leit at February 9, 2004 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

Let's be clear on what is and is not being said here.

My earlier post shows that he performed the required amount of service in a fairly consistent and contiguous series of drills and active duty. Anyone second guessing the quality of that service is going to have a long, uphill, and ultimately unsuccessful battle trying to discredit him. It looks like he pulled his duty at some level and finished his obligation. A lot of service records for Reservists and Guardsmen look just like this one.

Now to what I haven't discussed yet. He has questions to answer about how he got a Guard spot in the first place. Was undue pressure put on the Texas Adjutant General by the Speaker of the US House of Representatives. Apparently there is sworn testimony by the Speaker to that effect. Finally, why was GWB apparently given a direct commission in a highly unusual fashion when he presented no particularly remarkable credentials?

Most importantly why has he been so coy about revealing his drill and attendance record? Might there be something worse he'd rather not have dug up?

It looks, however, like the issue of AWOL or desertion just isn't going anywhere based on these findings

Posted by: retired LTC at February 9, 2004 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

Retired LTC:
Why I should agree with your interpretation over that of Calpundit's? Just because you say you were a guardist?

Kevin's got a guardsman advising him on this too. So who to believe?

Posted by: Bizombe at February 9, 2004 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

All this discussion saying the "ARF document" proves that Bush did something bad, was disciplined, or failed to complete his obligation is ignorant. It in fact says the opposite.

The "ARF/ARPC/ORS" is not a "disciplinary assignment", it's where they transfer you when you cannot drill with your regular Air Guard or Reserve unit. Today that section is referred to as the "Individual Mobilization Augmentee" (IMA) program, and it is the opposite of disciplinary. It's simply a way of accounting for individuals drilling as individuals with a unit that they are not normally attached to.

President Bush requested transfer to ORS, with the stated intention of completing drills in Alabama, because he knew he would be participating in the political campaign there. He apparently didn't take his flight physical because he knew he would not be flying in Alabama. The "suspension" you speak of was simply the suspension of flight status for not having a current physical. It is not disciplinary and it is not predjudicial. All of you who are asserting otherwise obviously don't know what you are talking about.

The fact that the Lieutenant Colonel in Alabama (who is now 75) does not remember 1st Lt Bush means nothing. He probably wouldn't, because GWB did not belong to his unit and probably did no specific work for him. That doesn't mean that Bush wasn't there and didn't meet his obligations. The record shows that he did.

While this may not be the most stellar record of military service, to say it is a scandal because Bush did something wrong is completely uninformed and incorrect.

Posted by: NS at February 9, 2004 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

I am certain that Bush missed at least half a year and that he was grounded for skipping a mandatory physical.

After receiving confirmation of his discharge date this weekend, I am even more convinced of the truth of what I wrote three years ago. Bush had six months added on to his military obligation for a very good reason:

Going after officers in this way would have been outside the norm. Most often an officer would be subject to career damaging letters of reprimand and poor Officers Effectiveness Ratings. These types of punishment would often result in the resignation of the officer. In Bush's case, as someone who still had a commitment for time not served, he could have been brought back and made to do drills. But this would have been a further embarrassment to the service as it would have made it semi-public that a Lieutenant Colonel and squadron commander had let one of his subordinates go missing for a year.

For the Guard, for the ranking officers involved and for Lieutenant Bush the easiest and quietest thing to do was adding time onto his commitment and placing that time in the inactive reserves.

Among these old documents there is a single clue as to how Bush finally fulfilled his obligations and made up for those missed drill days. In my first request for information I received a small three-page document containing the "Military Biography Of George Walker Bush." This was sent from the Headquarters Air Reserve Personnel Center (ARPC) in Denver Colorado.

In this official summary of Bush's military service, I found something that was not mentioned in Bush's records from the National Guard Bureau in Arlington, Virginia. When Bush enlisted his commitment ran until May 26, 1974. This was the separation date shown on all documents as late as October 1973, when Bush was transferred to the inactive reserves at Denver, Colorado. But the date of final separation shown on the official summary from Denver, is November 21, 1974. The ARPC had tacked an extra six months on to Bush's commitment.

Bush may have finally "made-up" his missed days. But he did so not by attending drills -- in fact he never attended drills again after he enrolled at Harvard. Instead, he had his name added to the roster of a paper unit in Denver, Colorado, a paper unit where he had no responsibility to show up and do a job. Tom Paine


Posted by: Martin Heldt at February 9, 2004 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

Look at the discharge code on his DD214.
If a person is marked for retention, the discharge code is RE-R1 (at least it was 10 years ago when I was in).

an RE-R4 discharge code is an honorable discharge, but under no circumstances do they want you back in. Usually that means they caught you at something but for some reason could not (or would not) court martial you.

Posted by: alan at February 9, 2004 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

Retired LTC says Nonetheless the official record records sufficient service to amass 6 good years of service.

So what you are saying is that the records show he did what he had to do to get an honorable discharge?

But you are also saying nothing about whether he ever showed up in Alabama, why he refused to take the physical exam in 1972, whether he was disciplined in 1972?

In other words, same as it ever was.

The drill attendance records would be helpful.

Posted by: 537 votes at February 9, 2004 12:20 PM | PERMALINK


First my comments are not an interpretation, they are an accurate accounting of the facts that these new documents show.

I have a hunch that Kevin's advisor will agree with my results when he has a chance to walk through what is a relatively complicated set of paperwork. Note that others with knowledge in this area agree with my results in this stream of comment.

To clarify I have been a GuardsMAN, a Reservist, and an active duty officer. What that means is that I've spent a lot of time with this kind of paperwork that not everybody with a military background may have.

Posted by: retired LTC at February 9, 2004 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

The Liar-In-Chief is certainly finding himself in some hot water this time. After a belated start, maybe our insipid mainstream media will start to dig into Mr. Awol's life as thoroughly as they did into Bill Clinton's.

Posted by: Bushbasher at February 9, 2004 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

Question for former or current Guardsfolk:

Lost in the shuffle over this was Bush's early departure to work on the Blount campaign.

How kosher is it for someone to just pick up and leave their unit, then after the fact request a transfer, then not bother to report back to the original unit when the request is rejected?

Would someone who's daddy wasn't a congresscritter have been able to get away with that in the summer of '72?

Posted by: Erik at February 9, 2004 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

And this kerfuffle about what happened thirty years ago is supposed to carry more weight than GW's proven record as a triumphant leader in the war on terrorism waged since 9/11?

It is to laugh.

Posted by: anon at February 9, 2004 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

1972 was an interesting year in the Bush family. George Sr. was Ambassador to the U.N. that year, and therefore not around his family much. Prescott Bush died in Oct of '72.

We are being told that G.W. wandered through that year a lost sheep, culminating in a confrontation with his father in December.

All of this was ordinary for families of that time. The Bush family would have been having a typically difficult 1972. If nothing more turns up than that G.W. spent his entire 1972 doing things that were very ordinary for young men his age in that year, I would be fine with it. However, I'm skeptical of that storyline. If National Guard training of that era was drilled into him in '72, then I'm concerned. If on the other hand G.W. did something along the lines of driving around in the desert in a van with seven women on his mind and stopping to look at flat bed Fords, than I have no problem whatsoever with him being a little bit awol, and if that's all that turns up, I will be critical of Kerry for pressing it as an issue.

Posted by: alcaeus at February 9, 2004 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

As aretired member of the US Air Force, July 1, 1954 through August 31, 1974, I am disgusted and angered that we have a President who is apparently a deserter from his Air Natinal Guard Duties. In accordance with federal laws exising at that time, he should have imediately been called to active duty.

Posted by: Hugh Rudd at February 9, 2004 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

Reading leit's comment made me wonder: what was going on with the Texas Air National Guard in early 1972, when Bush left for Alabama? I know that IN GENERAL American forces in Vietnam were being drawn down and few new people were being sent. Were the commanders of the Texas ANG saying, "Nobody here is going to see combat," in which case the $200,000 spent to train each pilot was already "wasted," and they wouldn't care too too much about one of them skipping three states over to take part in a political campaign?

Or was the TANG tight and combat-ready, expecting to see active service at any time?

Posted by: Roger Sweeny at February 9, 2004 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

>> what was going on with the Texas Air National Guard in early 1972, when Bush left for Alabama? I know that IN GENERAL American forces in Vietnam were being drawn down and few new people were being sent. Were the commanders of the Texas ANG saying, "Nobody here is going to see combat," in which case the $200,000 spent to train each pilot was already "wasted," and they wouldn't care too too much about one of them skipping three states over to take part in a political campaign?

Or was the TANG tight and combat-ready, expecting to see active service at any time?

The President flew F-102s ... an intereceptor. These units, if activated, would never have gone to Vietnam.

Remember, there was a very real cold war going on at this time. F-102s would likely have gone to Alaska, Europe, Korea and other spots around the globe. Not Vietnam.

Posted by: Voltaire at February 9, 2004 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

Emptywheel is on to something. James R. Bath is an extremely interesting person.

Posted by: Frans at February 9, 2004 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

Upthread a bit, Alan said - "Look at the discharge code on his DD214.
If a person is marked for retention, the discharge code is RE-R1 (at least it was 10 years ago when I was in).

an RE-R4 discharge code is an honorable discharge, but under no circumstances do they want you back in. Usually that means they caught you at something but for some reason could not (or would not) court martial you."

From Military info -

"The Armed Forces use Reenlistment Eligibility (RE) codes to categorize individuals for enlistment or reenlistment in the Armed Forces. RE codes in the '1' series indicate a person is eligible for immediate reenlistment or prior service enlistment, provided otherwise eligible. RE codes in the '2', '3' and '4' series restrict the individual from immediate reenlistment or prior service enlistment. You must receive a review and/or waiver of these RE codes before you are eligible to enlist again."

Alan's right - they didn't want him back.

There are many qualified prior service applicants who possess a '1' series RE code who will not be able to reenter the military due to specific needs of the service. (See article on Prior Service Enlistments).

In most cases, a person with a "2" RE or "4" RE code is not allowed to enlist. Those with an RE Code of "3" may be allowed to enlist, with a waiver, if they can show that the reason for discharge no longer applies. Such waivers are granted through the individual services through military recruiters, not the DRB process.

Posted by: andante at February 9, 2004 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

Last paragraph should be in quotes, sorry.

Posted by: andante at February 9, 2004 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

Let me comment on some of the recent postings.

I'm with you folks who question why he was allowed to wander around, making up drills as he liked and where he liked. Additionally, the drills recorded on the ARF summaries bear some scrutiny. It's a good deal when a general rolls Reservist can get his required points and not be attached to any particular unit with any particular job. That kind of thing is usually reserved for people in special situations - for instance, a senior grade Medical Service officer who has a specialty in chemical warfare training and goes around the country conducting highly specialized inspections and classes.

I doubt that GWB had anything like those credentials.

Nonetheless, let's be careful about what we're aiming at. These documents pretty clearly show that he wasn't AWOL. That he performed drills or was credited with having done so in a legit, if questionnable and spotty fashion. You're not going to make the AWOL or deserter charge stick, but you might be able to show that some of these drill were credited in a highly unusual fashion - maybe worse.

Posted by: retired LTC at February 9, 2004 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

The F-102 was taken off front-line in 1970 (I expect that's why the Guard was flying them in the first place).

IIRC Bush's TANG squadron became a training squadron for the F-102 soon/somewhat after.

Posted by: Troy at February 9, 2004 01:05 PM | PERMALINK

I wouldn't jump to *any* conclusions based on the partial document at

This is the last page of some document. What's the nature of the document? Many appear to assume that this is a disciplinary document, but I signed many a document in my 20 year Naval career that promised dire consequences if I failed to do something. Standard fodder. You're constantly told that something bad will happen to you if you don't do what you're told. Without knowing what was on the preceding pages, we've got no context for this partial document. Why are the earlier pages missing?

There's no date on this document. was it from 1968? 1974? Who's hiding the facts here?

There's no rank indicated for Bush. Not unheard of, but usually if hold a rank, it's reflected on *everything*.

My suspicion is that this is the last page of an enlistment agreement, but I'd sure like to see the rest of the document. Everyone else here should want to see it, too.

I wouldn't place too much importance in this without knowing more about it. It sounds like some folks have decided what happened, and now want to find evidence to support it, rather than discerning whatever truth they can from the evidence. As it stands, this document should be disregarded, at least until it's provided intact.

Posted by: Navy retiree at February 9, 2004 01:05 PM | PERMALINK

Need to distinguish between these 2 questions:

1. Did Bush fulfill his military obligations?
It seems that he did, and he got an honorable dicharge.

2. Was he reassigned from the ANG to the ARF, which doc23.gif specified would happen if his participation in the ANG was unsatisfactory?
This seems to be an open question. And, although not as serious as #1 above, if the answer to this is "yes" it would be worth significant PR points in an election year. But has no legal significance.

Bush should be directly asked question #2. He must remember that, and he will have to tell the truth.

Posted by: JS at February 9, 2004 01:07 PM | PERMALINK

And this kerfuffle about what happened thirty years ago is supposed to carry more weight than GW's proven record as a triumphant leader in the war on terrorism waged since 9/11?
It is to laugh.

If you're referring to your ludicrous characterization of GWB as having a "proven record" of anything other than abject failure, then yes - it is to laugh.

Posted by: Ed Zeppelin at February 9, 2004 01:12 PM | PERMALINK

The discussion above on the DD-214 is highly pertinent, but seems speculative.

Is there a known copy of his DD-214 anywhere to view? Has anyone gotten one through an FOIA request?

He was supposed to have deposited his copy of it with the county officials at his home town upon discharge, although that's rarely enforced or even known.

For those of you unfamiliar with this, there is a LOT of interesting information about a service career contained in a DD214 and he had to have been given one

Posted by: retired LTC at February 9, 2004 01:12 PM | PERMALINK

What is the discharge code on his DD214? Has a link been posted to that document? Looking at the actual codes ( ) shows quite a wide range under RE-4. From hardship to civilian convictions and Art 15 unishment.

Posted by: charlie at February 9, 2004 01:17 PM | PERMALINK

I wasn't a hotshot flyer, but way back during the Korean War I served in the active duty Air Force as a radio repairman. After my mustering out following a hitch of nearly four years, the military gave me, along with my Honorable, a folder at least an inch thick called a records jacket, and it contained ALL my military records, including several letters of commendation, and I still have that jacket, and I plan to always have it.

My question therefore is why all the mystery and detective work required about the military records of this presumably much more important man? Knowing that issue would come up during the MTP interview, why didn't he simply reach into his Oval Office desk, as I would've done, grab his jacket, and push it into Russert's face, saying, "There! In here you will find documents covering each and every thing that I ever did in the military, ad infinitum and even ad nauseum." You would think that as the Glorious Warrior, he's going to need this info anyway, to stock his Presidential Library, unless it will only cover events after September 11, 2001, the day he seems to think he was born.

Bush reminds me of those bigamists who have multiple wives in different places, and after they're discovered, you wonder why no one, noting their absences and other things, bothered to check their stories. The same shrouds of mystery are draped over his past.

For instance, as a friend suggested, is it really in the realm of belief that this unread man wrote his own papers in those Ivy League schools?

Posted by: Sofarsogoo at February 9, 2004 01:18 PM | PERMALINK

As it stands, this document should be disregarded, at least until it's provided intact.

whoah, hold on there pardner.

You raise good caveats, and I for one don't find any of this evidence convincing, but evidence is evidence and should never be "disregarded" categorically, like you imply.

Posted by: Troy at February 9, 2004 01:19 PM | PERMALINK


Your comment

"And this kerfuffle about what happened thirty years ago is supposed to carry more weight than GW's proven record as a triumphant leader in the war on terrorism waged since 9/11?

It is to laugh."

It's no kerfuffle and it's no laughing matter. Presidents and Americans in general are often judged on their military service record - it reflects what a man will do when the chips are down.

If GWB used his father's political influence to leapfrog other deserving candidates so that he could rest the war out comfortably in the Guard, and then continued using that influence to smooth over all his career bumps and hiccups then YES it is a huge illustration of the character of the man.

In this case, and speaking as an active Infantry officer at exactly the same time this occurred, I will tell you that anyone who would do that is the lowest of the low, and far worse than anyone who opted to stay in school, get married, or go to Canada to avoid an awful war.

Posted by: retired LTC at February 9, 2004 01:20 PM | PERMALINK

I think someone should ask Jeb where his brother was during this AWOL time ? Can you imagine the anwers ?

Posted by: mjr at February 9, 2004 01:24 PM | PERMALINK

As I've posted before, if the White House wants to shut down the cottage industry that has developed around interpresting Bush's National Guard documents, they just need to authorize a complete release of his service records, and say that any gaps are just gaps. Nothing can be done about it. John Kerry's, Wes Clark's, and, for that matter, Al Gore's became completely public information. The fact that Bush hasn't suggests a) he resents being made to, for one reason or another b) if he let's researchers at the documents, unfettered, something might fall out that he would find embarrassing: some document, somewhere, perhaps one that he doesn't even know about, will illuminate a part of his past that he'd rather keep in the dark, perhaps merely because he's been pretending this embarrassment didn't exist for so long. It could have been minor, if it had been dealt with in 1999.

Remember the youthful Maine drunk-driving conviction expunged from his records, but revealed in 2000? Hardly a big deal, this DUI, but he had some bad moments when it was brought up, since he'd never mentioned the arrest before.

Posted by: Brian C.B. at February 9, 2004 01:24 PM | PERMALINK

some info from link found, above, in comments:

"...After refusing to follow direct orders involving falsifying readiness reports, Burkett sought "whistleblower" status for reports involving anti-Semitic activity; personnel fraud; readiness fraud and the alteration of the personal military file of Governor George W. Bush. Lt. Col. Burkett is currently the plaintiff in his appeal to the US Supreme Court in the case of Burkett v. Goodwin, Taliaferro, Meador, et al, in regard to the retaliation against him following breaking the Bush records issue...."

Posted by: J at February 9, 2004 01:25 PM | PERMALINK

It seems that doc21.gif settles the issue of the transfer from ANG to ARF, as Mike pointed out in this post:

Seems that it was not done for unsatisfactory participation in the ANG.

The only questions that remain, IMO, have to do with possible favoritism. Hard to deal with those.

Posted by: JS at February 9, 2004 01:25 PM | PERMALINK

My suspicion is that this is the last page of an enlistment agreement, but I'd sure like to see the rest of the document. Everyone else here should want to see it, too.

Excellent point. Since the owner of the site where it was posted has commented on this post, perhaps he'd be willing to post it.

Or at least explain why he has only posted the last page on his site.

Posted by: Bill Herbert at February 9, 2004 01:30 PM | PERMALINK

Here at the ARPC Fact Sheet it talks about two ways for someone in the reserves to be reactivated -- voluntary and involuntary. Involuntary activation requires that you be up and ready to ship out within 24 hours notice. Now how or why would someone be under an involuntary reactivation?

Posted by: Alma Evans at February 9, 2004 01:31 PM | PERMALINK

Okay, y'all got me, I'm resigning tomorrow. Hey Laura! pack my boots and shotgun . . . we're going back to the ranch!

BTW, Dick's in charge . . . good luck!


Posted by: POTUS at February 9, 2004 01:32 PM | PERMALINK

For the record, the posted by charlie at February 9, 2004 01:17 PM was not by me, Charlie in California, a leading member of the VRWC ; )


"My question therefore is why all the mystery and detective work required about the military records of this presumably much more important man?"

I've posted some possible reasons - I bet one or two of those would be the exact reasons YOU would not turn over that service record to me if I asked.

retired LTC:

"In this case, and speaking as an active Infantry officer at exactly the same time this occurred, I will tell you that anyone who would do that is the lowest of the low, and far worse than anyone who opted to stay in school, get married, or go to Canada to avoid an awful war."

As a civilian, I would agree with all of that except the "go to Canada" (or Oxford) part. Luckily, there's an explanation for how and why GWB changed his life for the better after all of this. Thanks for your input.

Posted by: Charlie at February 9, 2004 01:36 PM | PERMALINK

I'm looking at a copy of DD214 as we comment. Where are the RE codes listed? I can't find it. Also, I did notice item 20, "member request copy 6 be sent to CA Dir of Vet Affairs." Perhaps, Bush's went to TX Dir of Vet Affairs.

Posted by: nakadie at February 9, 2004 01:40 PM | PERMALINK

Brian C.B.:

"As I've posted before, if the White House wants to shut down the cottage industry that has developed around interpresting Bush's National Guard documents, they just need to authorize a complete release of his service records, and say that any gaps are just gaps. Nothing can be done about it."

As I've posted before, you've seen my possible reasons, right?

"John Kerry's, Wes Clark's, and, for that matter, Al Gore's became completely public information."

Not true - Kerry won't release his medical records upon which his Purple Heart was awarded. As for Clark's - if he get's the nomination (which I doubt) then I'll check to see if anything's not being released.

Posted by: Charlie at February 9, 2004 01:41 PM | PERMALINK

Just to clarify my earlier post, I'm looking at MY dd214.

Posted by: Nakadie at February 9, 2004 01:41 PM | PERMALINK

Strange, on one monitor the first set of dates looks like oct 28-25 on my other it looks like 28-29. Guess one of them needs adjustment.

The Honorable Discharge b.s. is funny because you really have to work at it to get anything else. You can do a few years of prison with good behavior and still get at worst, a General.

Posted by: sac666 at February 9, 2004 01:49 PM | PERMALINK


The RE codes or 'spin' codes as they were called, were discontinued in, I think, about 1975 or so. Also not all DD214's from the time they were in use have them because there may have been no particular reason to appended them or, more likely, some AG type just didn't feel like doing it.

My DD214's and NG equivalent don't have any codes either.

Posted by: retired LTC at February 9, 2004 01:49 PM | PERMALINK

I served as a company clerk in the Georgia Army National Guard, so I have some insight on how failure to attend drill is handled administratively.

1) The Air Reserve Force is the equivalent of the Army's Inactive Reserves, which handles the rejects of both the Army Reserve and the Army National Guard. Thus, ARF will have airmen dumped in from both the Air Force Reserve (Federal) and the Air National Guard (State). Like ARF, the Inactive Reserve is a pool of soldiers not assigned to any organized unit of the Army Reserve or the National Guard, and transfer to to is considered to be disadvantageous because these soldiers can be ordered to active duty at any time. The same can be said of ARF.

2) The Georgia Army National Guard unit I was with handled AWOL cases at drill in a pretty lax fashion. The CO could swear out a warrant and have the AWOL soldier arrested by the sheriff of the soldier's home county and delivered to the armory, but this was not done in my unit while I was there. Instead, a soldier's absences were tallied, and if he exceeded a certain number (I forget at this point how many), then he was transferred to the Inactive Reserve without any judicial procedure at all. It was purely administrative, and the soldier would be notified by mail after the fact that he was in the Inactive Reserve, that he was responsible for maintaining a TA-50 (rucksack and personal field equipment) set, and that he was subject to being called to active duty at the discretion of the Secretary of the Army. I am quite certain that this is what happened to Bush when he was transferred to ARF.

3) With regard to the Air National Guard, one thing that must be remembered is that it is part of the National Guard of a state, and at the state level level it is co-administered with the Army National Guard by the state's department of defense, or its equivalent. Thus, the National Guard is a hybrid service with both Air Force and Army components in which members of the Army can transfer to the Air Force, and vice versa, without having to be discharged and then re-enlist.

4) With regard to the DD-214, a National Guardsman's DD-214 will only include his basic training and MOS training, which are conducted on the Federal dime and as such are considered genuine active duty time. The National Guard has its own discharge and service record form, the National Guard Form 22. To determine Bush's service record in the Texas Air National Guard, his National Guard service record must be used, because the Federal document will not be genuinely indicative of anything beyond flight school.

I hope this gives some administrative insight on inattendance of drills.

Posted by: John Deterick at February 9, 2004 01:51 PM | PERMALINK

"nic" wrote:

The point to make about the differences in the two documents is that they are not just in the typed-in part (the "H" -> "M", the base of the "1"s) but in the printed form itself. Look at the kerning on "FROM DATE" and "TO DATE" on the torn copy - it's elegant and even, as expected in a printed form that predates desktop publishing.

Now look at the new copy. The D-A and especially the A-T letter pairs are unkerned, as if each letter were stuck in its own little inviolable rectangle of white space.

Look similarly at the P-A and A-G pairs in "PAGE" at the upper right. Again, the torn copy is well-kerned but the new copy is clumsily open-spaced.

So, these aren't even two copies of the form printed out contemporaneously in one office. Either the new one was printed out elsewhere or later, after forms had for some reason been recreated and reprinted - or it's a crude forgery.


I have examined both images a bit, and feel that nic's assessment is completely wrong.

Here's my analysis:

First off, we're looking at GIF images...8 bit greyscale images of two FAXES.

Various fax machines have various differences in transmission and print quality.

Most, if not all, of the "discrepancies" I see are directly attributable to the electronic transmission process, not to actual differences in the original documents.

As far as the ID "L7CMPY vs. L9CHPY" number discrepancy...there is NO "7" in that number...they are both nines. A numeral seven glyph in that font has a left-facing bow in the down stroke, the nine has a right-facing bow. Also, the numeral 7 glyph does not have a 'cross', it is not a 'european' seven. So the glyph that is being interpreted as a "7" is indeed a nine, with the downsweep of the bowl missing...most likely obliterated by the faxing.

The "M" vs. "H" discrepancy is attributable to the fax bit-mapping, and also because the 'torn' copy has been hand-inked. This hand over-stroking is visible in the initial "L" and "9" as well. I lean toward calling it an "M", as it is on the untorn copy...on the untorn copy there are 8 "M"s, in the dates, that were struck at the same time as the "M" in the ID code, all of which show a large degree of variance, mostly attributable to the fax resolution.

The kerning on the pre-printed lettering at the head of the form is virtually identical on both copies, the variance we see here is absolutely attributable to the varying fax resolution and the rasterization to a GIF image. Overlaying them one-on-the-other shows identical spacing.

As far as "elegant, even spacing..." well, this IS a government form. This is unkerned. unfortunately a FAR CRY from elegant. If this was printed in 1972 or earlier, then it is was almost certainly typset on a linotype machine (hot lead), and you wouldn't find 12 pt. kerned type being set by Govt. printing office forms typographers!!!!

In summary, my analysis of the GIF IMAGES presented here are that they are one-and-the-same document, having gone through two different fax transmission processes, two different GIF transformations, one of which has been hand-modified with pencil or pen. Without seeing the original documents, there is nothing to the differences here that cannot be explained adequately by my analysis.

The code in the upper right is "L9CMPY", on both documents.


Posted by: david at February 9, 2004 01:57 PM | PERMALINK

Great stuff, John Deterick.

Do you have a cite to some back-up for paragraph 1) re the ARF? I do not doubt what you are saying, but it would be great to see it corroborated.

Posted by: 537 votes at February 9, 2004 02:06 PM | PERMALINK

David - from one designer and type aficionado to another, MWAH! :)

Posted by: Helical at February 9, 2004 02:07 PM | PERMALINK

just a bit of followup to my last does look like these are two different printouts of the same document...there's a slight vertical registration difference between the two. So one is not a photo copy of the other, rather they are two originals of the same doc.

The difference in the redacted SSN bears this up, too.

Its interesting though, that the upper right corner of both copies is weak...weak enough that the caretaker of the 'torn' doc felt the need to trace over the code number in pencil.


Posted by: david at February 9, 2004 02:07 PM | PERMALINK

John Deterick,

Thanks for jarring my memory. You are exactly right. The document that would be the most interesting to see is the NG Form 22.

Has anyone a lead on a copy of either his DD214 or his NG Form 22?

John, wouldn't he have received another DD214 once he was discharged from the last two years in the Reserve?

Posted by: retired LTC at February 9, 2004 02:10 PM | PERMALINK

BARF does indeed seem to be the term that needs to bounce around the echo chamber.

(credit due to somebody who commented above)


Posted by: Tug at February 9, 2004 02:12 PM | PERMALINK

First - a "thank you" to all the veterans who have contributed so much to the discussion, and thank you for your service to the country. You have my uttermost respect.

Has anyone attempted to put together a "timeline for dummies" on all the known & proven facts, such as they are?

Posted by: andante at February 9, 2004 02:12 PM | PERMALINK

What I like the most about Kevin's latest disclosure of new data is how it helps inform and extend the ongoing discussion and debate.

How you respond initially to this new data is the extent of your preconceptions, your prior information on the matter, your personal involvement - essentially your stake in the matter.

Are you looking for information to undermine George W. Bush as president? If so, and you initially determine this latest disclosure as important, because it seemingly shows Bush lied, what happens if after further analysis there is an explanation that support Bush's case?

Is this information still as important, or will it be discarded and the search begun again for information that does support your preconception.

This is like the whole Iraqi intelligence scandal reoriented towards those politically opposed to Bush.

After having read through the whole thread, I've come to the conclusion that there is no conclusion yet to be drawn from this latest disclosure.

I'm sure in the hours ahead the fruits of this discussion and others like it will shed light on the matter.

In the meantime, I'd like to remind everyone that there is plenty of evidence of certain veracity in the public realm that undermines Bush's bid for reelection.

Posted by: jimm at February 9, 2004 02:13 PM | PERMALINK

(yes, I realize that emphasizing the term BARF is grossly childish in light of all things verteran, but it is a catchy soundbite).

Posted by: TUG at February 9, 2004 02:14 PM | PERMALINK

Bush may have finally "made-up" his missed days. But he did so not by attending drills -- in fact he never attended drills again after he enrolled at Harvard. Instead, he had his name added to the roster of a paper unit in Denver, Colorado, a paper unit where he had no responsibility to show up and do a job.

Yes...but he performed his paper-unit, no-show duties in an honorable way.

If you don't trust me....just ask your favorite republican troll.

Posted by: Straight-eye for the queer guy at February 9, 2004 02:22 PM | PERMALINK

See :

for explanation of discharge from active duty DD-214 codes

Posted by: poster at February 9, 2004 02:27 PM | PERMALINK


Let me try to set this on course. The records revealed today show that he DID perform drills during the period OCT '72 through JUL '73 - or, at a minimum, that he was officially credited by someone for having done so. That's the real issue here. What were the nature of those unusual credits? What work did he do to receive drill point credit? Who authorized, supervised, and ultimately signed off that the drills were performed?

All that is a much harder set of questions to answer, but ones that might reveal the reason that this guy is so coy about discussing these things.

You can say over and over again, and in bold type, that he didn't perform any drills BUT the record as revealed here shows otherwise. Anyone during the upcoming campaign that holds your position is going to end up with egg on their face when these specific records come to light.

Let the AWOL/deserter thing go. The dirty truth lies elsewhere. Let's find it

Posted by: retired LTC at February 9, 2004 02:30 PM | PERMALINK

Retired LTC: John Deterick above seems to disagree with you on this matter. Which one of you is right?

Posted by: WhoKnowsThere at February 9, 2004 02:34 PM | PERMALINK


How come you are not doing any story on JFK throwing his ribbons (and not his medals) and medals of other veterans at the protest after his return from tour? Furthermore, what kind of sick GI would photograph himself (or herself) as a way to do PR for a future run. (PS: A WashPost story about his music album had a band-mate quoting that JFK wanted to be a president. Also, this JFK wanted to "get girls" and so formed a band.)

Be an independent analysis. Get JFK. Expose JFK. High Noon JFK.

JFK: An opportunistic, unaccomplished, marrying, botox-special interests senator.

Go for it.



Posted by: Ali Karim Bey at February 9, 2004 02:36 PM | PERMALINK

but evidence is evidence and should never be "disregarded" categorically, like you imply.

As it stands (incomplete), it means nothing. There's absolutely zero indication of why those two paragraphs are used. They certainly bear no resemblance to any disciplinary document I saw while in the military, while they do resemble the contents of various other administrative (read: neutral) documents, such as security clearances, enlistment/reenlistment, etc.

Have you ever seen any of those soundbites that TV programs such as Saturday Night Live make by splicing together unrelated words and phrases of prominent politicians, to make them appear to say something ridiculous? This isn't far removed from that. Without seeing more of the document, you can't draw any conclusions on this fragment.

IMHO, of course.

Posted by: Navy retiree at February 9, 2004 02:36 PM | PERMALINK

Look at some facts:
1.Bush admits he was a drunk and playboy at Harvard and Yale - even to getting a DUI
2. He got into Harvard with a C average - the rest need a B avg.
3. His father was a politician who could have other people do his work and then have "plausible denialability"
4. He continued abusive drinking until his twins were about 5 years old.
5. It was not hard during Vietnam to get out of doing stuff. He was a playboy, drunk, political connections, etc. Was very easy for him to duck responsibility - he had been doing it for years

Posted by: henry at February 9, 2004 02:36 PM | PERMALINK


I'm not aware of any disagreement between what John has written and my stuff - except that he was right about the difference bewteen a DD214 and a NG Form 22 which I acknowledged.

John has pointed out what the usual procedure is when a Guardsman moves to the Reserve and some (but only some) of the reasons that might occur.

The important point that John illustrates is that most people in these circumstances would have been treated one way and GWB was treated in a very different one.

That may be the heart of the issue

Posted by: retired LTC at February 9, 2004 02:43 PM | PERMALINK

Retired LTC: I may be stupid, but I thought that John wrote that transfer to the reserves was quite common for guardsmen who went AWOL. That his unit did it frequently. Which is what Calpundit thinks may have happened with Bush.

And you're saying that this *didn't* happen, right? Enlighten me, cause I'm not getting how you and John are on the same page here.

Posted by: WhoKnowsThere at February 9, 2004 02:48 PM | PERMALINK

The Monkey agrees (mostly) with Retired LTC.

The full release of Bush's records is probably being held in reserve by Karl Rove until a document dump can be done later in the campaign.

They are just waiting, hoping that the Democratic candidate works themselves into a lather about this, and get overconfident. Then, release the records, and Kerry (should he be the nominee) will have serious egg on his face.

The Democrats should just keep pressing for the release of the records, but not take any definitive stand on whether or not he was a deserter or AWOL, or whatever. Just keep asking for the records, wondering why Bush won't release them.

It should have been simple for Russert to ascertain whether or not Bush served in Alabama. Here's a few questions he should have asked:

What base did you serve on?
What building did you serve in?
What color was it?
Where did you live, when you were serving with the Alabama Guard?
How far was your commute?
What car did you drive?
Did you have any friends in your unit?
Ever go out drinking with the guys from your unit?
If so, where?

It would be so easy for Bush to put this to rest. That he hasn't, is notable.

Also, his tax returns from that year will show whether or not he got paid, by whom, and where.

That is also very interesting, as is the John Barth (sp?) story of his friend getting discharged from the same TANG unit as W. There's a story there, IMO.

Posted by: Monkey at February 9, 2004 02:48 PM | PERMALINK

I had the Statement of Understanding that someone asked for upthread.

Page 1 of Statement of Understanding.

Page 2 same as doc 23 posted earlier.

Posted by: Martin Heldt at February 9, 2004 02:48 PM | PERMALINK

I forget who wrote this comment but I would like to reply.

"President Bush requested transfer to ORS, ...because he knew he would be participating in the political campaign there."

I think you mean he hoped to get permission to be away from his base long enough to participate. It was not his right to go off to Alabama and not return for months.

"He apparently didn't take his flight physical because he knew he would not be flying in Alabama. "

Again how could he know. He requested transfer to a base with no planes, but his request was denied on the grounds that it had no planes. He was not allowed to stop flying. He was required to take the physical. It was not his call.

"The "suspension" you speak of was simply the suspension of flight status for not having a current physical. It is not disciplinary and it is not predjudicial. All of you who are asserting otherwise obviously don't know what you are talking about."

The suspension was the result of direct disobediance of an order and is clearly disciplinary and predjudicial. Bush had asked to be transferred away from airplanes and his request had been rejected. This means he was required to continue to fly. He was not grounded because he wanted to be (he asked and was refused). He was grounded because he did not do that which he was clearly obliged to do. If that is not disciplinary what is ?

Posted by: Robert Waldmann at February 9, 2004 02:51 PM | PERMALINK


John is correct. Guardsmen that failed to perform their required duties were often sent to the Reserves. From there they could be put on active duty, or ultimately court-martialed or less than honorably discharged.

On the other hand, many Guardsmen went to the Reserves for perfectly benign reasons like their unit was deactivated or they failed a flight physical, or thie unit was over strength.

Now GWB may have been being punished, or he may just have been sent out of someone's hair. The military is a master at transferring rather than solving it's problems, and GWB's connections MAY have insured that he was quietly sent away.

The most interesting question is why he was able to continue amassing drill points toward good years after he went to the Reserve. Look at my earlier posts, but that is a very unusual circumstance.

Posted by: retired LTC at February 9, 2004 02:54 PM | PERMALINK

My stab at a Grand Unified Tinfoil-Hat Conspiracy Theory that ties AWOL, the Iraq Intelligence debacle, and Valerie Plame together:

Did anybody notice how Dubya, completely unsolicited and in something of a non-sequitur on MTP yesterday, told Russert that he still "has complete faith in George Tenet's leadership of the CIA"?

And we've all been wondering, amid the war between the White House and the CIA over intelligence, and Tenet's very public refusals to play along with the preferred WH narrative on Iraq, why Tenet (a holdover from Clinton) still has a job.Surely, amid all the shit that's flying around, Bush would have demanded Tenet's head on a platter to appease his critics by now. And there's been speculation that the Plame-leak thing was a CIA brushback to let the WH know that the CIA wouldn't be afraid to play hardball.

So my theory is that Tenet is still there, and will remain there as long as he wants, because he has some serious dirt on Dubya, including, perhaps, the real story behind the AWOL thing (I like the intriguing stuff above hinting at some youthful indiscretions, resulting in disciplinary measures, with James Bath). He has Dubya by the short hairs, Dubya knows it, and Dubya remains president at Tenet's sufferance.

I love conspiracy theories. They make the world make sense.

Posted by: Pierre Menard at February 9, 2004 02:55 PM | PERMALINK

Monkey has exactly hit the nail on the head.

Everything that I've discovered today and commented on has one main point. Opponents have to be VERY careful about the AWOL/Deserter accusation. It can be shown to be unsubstantiated now.

Anyone who makes that accusation may walk into a cleverly designed trap. When they've been thoroughly pummeled and humiliated, all the rest of the questionable GWB service issues will be thrown out as well.

Monkey's right. Just keep asking for all the records. Keep asking him those pertinent questions. There's a pony in this pile of manure somewhere

Posted by: retired LTC at February 9, 2004 03:00 PM | PERMALINK

Retired LTC:

I gather then you agree with the statement that:

Bush may or may not have been sent to this unit(if in name alone) due to missed drills prior to this point in his career as a discipline, Or he was sent for some other, unspecified reason. But it is curious that it is outlined nowhere in his biography and perhaps it represents some shady actions (which may or may not include being AWOL) he doesn't want revealed.

Fair enough?

Posted by: WhoKnowsThere at February 9, 2004 03:11 PM | PERMALINK

This guy got free training on military aircraft and hardly did anything in return for that privilege. How many young Americans would give their right arm for that deal. Besides, has he even piloted a plane after being dis "honorably discharged?"

Posted by: Johnny Cho at February 9, 2004 03:16 PM | PERMALINK

The fact that this paper exist is no surprise.

When a NG reservists moves from one state to another for whatever reason they have some time to make that change. During that time they will be in a inactive reserve unit. I believe they can take up to 90 days to make that change.

A Reservist will also be placed in such a unit for non attendance,

Or for disciplinary action,

A Reservist can also be placed in such a unit for non attendance, or for disciplinary action, compassion or heath reasons

Most likely there are more reasons.

What surprises me about the paper are the points received.

Here is how it breaks out today.
The system may have different back then.


The program most familiar to Guard and Reserve members
is the unit program. This program requires one weekend
of inactive duty training every month, referred to as unit
training assembly (UTA), and two weeks active duty (annual
training) both for pay and points each fiscal year. Unit
members who complete all required UTAs receive 48 points
(one point per four-hour training period) and one point for
each day of active duty training and 15 membership points.

One point per training period of four hours.
and 15 point for being in for a year.

In this case it would look like 1st LT George Bush was actively training. To my knowlege there is no evidence to support this.

What this most likely reflects is an attempt to fool the system into thinking that he was doing some training so that he would not be snatched up onto active duty.

It is a fallacy to think that someone who served in the NG could not also be a draft dodger.
It is clear from other facts that 1st LT George Bush was avoiding service in Vietnam.

1.) He clearly could of volunteered for this duty he wanted to.
2.) He spent a real long time in school for someone who hates books, history, and intellectuals.
3.) He had no interest in the reserves or NG after the war was over.

The people who were called draft dodgers during the Vietnam War did the above. They mostly were born with silver spoons in there mouths and could get deferments at will so long as they were in school, the peace corps, NG, etc, etc, etc. These elitist where all to happy to send someone else's less fortunate son to die in their place and then vote for war.
Do you really need any more evidence than that????


Posted by: Neils at February 9, 2004 03:18 PM | PERMALINK

As you good readers are probably the real targets of AlQueda (sic) who wish to destroy America, because you represent those who enjoy the best of our way of living. Additionally, this status also places you in the societal strata where those on the lower rung seek to emulate, but many of these same people would rather take your lives and what you have. So you're under a double barrel target from those here and those (without)who would join those here. G.W. Bush is doing more (for you) than you know of keeping those groups from joining forces. It was under Clinton that those beasts were let in the door.

Posted by: Jaimie at February 9, 2004 03:35 PM | PERMALINK

Re the demand that Bush disclose his service records: Why would Bush have his own records? I was in the Navy for six years and don't have anything more to show for it than my Honorable Discharge certificate and DD-214.

Presumably all of Bush's records are in some government warehouse somewhere. (Navy records are in St. Louis, I believe; don't know about the Air National Guard.) Isn't it up to some bureaucrat to disclose what they have? Or for you to dig them out under FOIA?

Posted by: Paul at February 9, 2004 03:36 PM | PERMALINK

Any suggestion for the president to be nominated for upcoming Bollywood award?

Posted by: Abg Long at February 9, 2004 03:38 PM | PERMALINK

"And this kerfuffle about what happened thirty years ago is supposed to carry more weight than GW's proven record as a triumphant leader in the war on terrorism waged since 9/11?"

Triumphant leader in the war on terrorism? In what sense, exactly?
Has he caught Osama bin Laden? No, but he has overthrown the government of a nation that posed no threat to anyone and was not working with Al Qaeda.
Has he brought Al Qaeda to its knees? No, but he has subpoenaed American antiwar protesters to face a grand jury, for undisclosed charges, and without the ability to have an attorney.
Has he built strong relationships with allies? No, basically he's pissed off everyone in the world other than the Blair government, and in the process may be bringing that government down.
Has he done anything constructive? No, but he has made sure that the 9/11 commission can't do its work, and he has packed the Whitewash Commission to make sure that all "intelligence failures" are pinned on the CIA.
Like everything else George W Bullshit touches, the country is spiralling into bankruptcy. I'm so relieved that we have a "business leader" in the White House.

Posted by: Aaaargh at February 9, 2004 03:46 PM | PERMALINK

I enjoy the fact that the debated unit-designation serial numbers on both documents spell out: CH/MPY. Clearly Dubya's code name. Seems significant enough for me.

Posted by: Pierre menard at February 9, 2004 03:57 PM | PERMALINK

Can someone tell me if he has piloted a plane since being trained to fly one in the National Guard? Not only did he avoid fighting in Vietnam but he gets to become a pilot like his dad? I can't imagine anything more patriotic and more macho than flying a fighter jet. I read somewhere that it costs a million bucks to train a new pilot. That money went down the drain in George Bush's case. Instead of getting high in an airplane, he preferred to do so otherwise.

Posted by: Johnny Cho at February 9, 2004 04:24 PM | PERMALINK

I'd like to pose this question. Is it possible that the reason Bush was "suspended from flying status" in 1972 for failing to "show up for annual (flight) physical is he knew he couldn't pass a flight physical because he was using illegal drugs?
I believe Kevin Phillips suggest in his new book (which I have not read yet) that Bush was convicted on a drug offense and ordered to serve "community service" for an agency called P.U.L.L. and that his records were then expunged. If this is true, then maybe the official statement that Bush was working in U.S. Senate campaign of Republican Winton Blount was a cover story.
This site: supports Bush did "work" for P.U.L.L in 1972.
In the late 1960's the USAF tested flight crews for illegal substances. I would have no reason to believe that they had suspended this practice in 1972 as hundreds of flight crews were still involved the end of Vietnam. If Bush failed a drug test he would surely be suspended from flying status. I was an Air Force medic 1965-1969
Not taking a flight physical would have been the best defense to hide the illegal substance use and would avoid the consequences of a dishonorable discharge or facing an Article 15
And finally, as to the White House response that Bush served and as proof "he received an Honorable Discharge" I would suggest that any one powerful enough to get a flying slot after only scoring only 25 out of 100 on an entrance exam (which I don't believe the White House has denied) could SURELY "sex up" the discharge end of the enlistment.


Posted by: F. Lockhart at February 9, 2004 04:32 PM | PERMALINK


I sense the frustration in your post - could some of that be from secretly knowing the outcome of November's election?

"Triumphant leader in the war on terrorism? In what sense, exactly? Has he caught Osama bin Laden?"

Patience, young grasshopper. I guarantee that bin Ladin will be "found" before the election.

"No, but he has overthrown the government of a nation that posed no threat to anyone and was not working with Al Qaeda."

That's your (I assume uniformed by classified information) opinion.

"Has he brought Al Qaeda to its knees?

Yes - he has (or, please tell me where in the U.S. al Qaeda struck since 9-11 and whether you thought back then we'd avoid such an attack for almost 30 months now).

". . . but he has subpoenaed American antiwar protesters to face a grand jury, for undisclosed charges, and without the ability to have an attorney."

Sorry, I can't comment on, or even confirm the existence of, any such grand jury proceedings.

"Has he built strong relationships with allies?"

Just the ones in our international coalition - you heard Japan sent troops into Iraq, right?

"Has he done anything constructive?"

Sure he has. You need a list?

"Like everything else George W Bullshit touches, the country is spiralling into bankruptcy."

Gevernment deficit spending (especially furing war) is NOT bankruptcy. In fact, it got us out of the Great Depression once before . . .

"I'm so relieved that we have a "business leader" in the White House."

Finally - something we can agree on : )

Johnny Cho:

"Can someone tell me if he has piloted a plane since being trained to fly one in the National Guard?"

Officially, no - following advice from the United States Secret Service, he did not pilot a plane on May 1, 2003 : )

Posted by: Charlie at February 9, 2004 04:35 PM | PERMALINK

The ARF is a fake!

Oh, wait. That explanation is no longer operational.

But Kevin has a new and wild explanation this week.

Notice, everyone, how any inconsistency in the documents must be construed against Bush. If one document says Bush served, and another says he didn't, then we know Bush didn't , and the only question is who faked the document which says he did.

Really amazing stuff...

Posted by: Thomas at February 9, 2004 04:35 PM | PERMALINK

I can already see the ad now...
Meet the Press/prior speeches about time in military, then the documents and disciplinary action.
Flown in to the battleship, answer to questions about who made the banner, then the truth again that the Bush people demanded it.
The UN speeches, the President speeches, the Cheney claims, then the changing reasons for the war, then the truth nothing major is found....
I'm not going to be fooled for four more years, are you? this what the President means when he says a President should have character?
Or something along those lines...the war hero he attempts to create can be the same thing that brings him down!

Posted by: Kevin at February 9, 2004 04:39 PM | PERMALINK

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. I say that Clinton and Bush are almost even.

It was common to blow off drill and be sent to the ARF?? where one might be called to active duty.

Clinton did inhale and probably so did Bush. All this is mostly a commentary on the hypocracy and stupidity of our culture.

Posted by: Dave at February 9, 2004 04:54 PM | PERMALINK

I looked up Bush's draft number...born July 6 and he was "lucky" in that it was a 326 or thereabouts...however, he "enlisted" in the Guard BEFORE he ever knew this...the lottery was a tad late for him.

Posted by: Richard at February 9, 2004 05:03 PM | PERMALINK

This is from the President of the United States. The man who visions the United States of America as the protector of freedom.

Bush said. "He could have developed a nuclear weapon over time — I'm not saying immediately, but over time. ... We would have been in a position of blackmail. In other words, you can't rely upon a madman."

So this is an imminent threat? Or is this a pre-emptive pre-emptive strike? No, that's not a mistype.

"over time"??? So the ONLY solution was to wage war IMMEDIATELY???

Perhaps over time the UN inspectors may have found exactly what the ISG has found. Oh...wait...what have they found?

Posted by: Poz at February 9, 2004 05:05 PM | PERMALINK

For the person who thinks that ARF stands for Army Reserve Forces it actually stands for Air Reseve Forces. The Air Reserve Personnel Center is located in Denver, CO.

Since I was a member of the Army Guard during that time frame here is what I know.

If an enlisted person missed a drill weekend during the Viet Nam era, they were activated (placed on Active Duty)within a couple of months.

Points are not earn while a member of ARF other than membership points which just means you were a member of the military you got them no matter what.

The reason there are no entries the last two years with the Texas unit is because once transfered to ARF the unit no longer has the individual assigned to them.

It would be interesting to see if there was discharge certificate from ARF after the two years.
They may or may not have given them during that time frame

If you would like more information on this issue visit It has a lot of interesting information not only about President Bush but also other key personnel in this administration pertaining to military service.


Posted by: ekiesler at February 9, 2004 05:13 PM | PERMALINK

As I've posted before, you've seen my possible reasons, right?

As I recall, the seemed to focus on "maybe he thinks its none of our damned business." Bush, the victim of a prying public, should be spared such inquiry. Fair enough. Like I said when you brought it up, he declares himself no longer a candidate for re-election, and I'll stop asking. But as long as he's playing naval aviator on American aircraft carriers, as long as his response to guerilla attacks on American GIs in Iraq is to spout "Bring 'em on!" while standing 2400 miles from Baghdad, we're gonna ask about his military career. He doesn't want the public job, he doesn't have to answer questions from the public.

As far as Kerry's third Purple Heart, this is rapidly becoming the right-wing meme: He wasn't wounded badly enough to be rotated out of combat on request after three wounds, with the medical records a red herring. Funny, but members of his Swift boat crews are campaigning for him. Don't seem to resent his getting stateside. (Members of Clark's infantry company are campaigning for Clark, too.) Members of Bush's National Guard unit in Alabama can't remember him, at all, even to cash in a reward. The new meme ignores that Bush used his family influence to to stay out of Vietnam, preferring that the issue be whether the third battle wound received by a man who volunteered for combat, won two other Purple Hearts, a Silver Star, and Bronze Star (V), a man who is by all accounts a one who literally got his hands bloody on more than one occaision, was sufficiently deadly to request transfer out of 'nam.

This is the best Bush 2004 and its minions got? At least Al occaisionally posts something of substance. Keep working this argument. It'll go far.


Posted by: Brian C.B. at February 9, 2004 05:15 PM | PERMALINK

One quickie - obviously, both "CHPY" and "CMPY" stand for "Chimpy," so it hardly matters which is correct.

Wasn't that obvious?

Posted by: Lars at February 9, 2004 05:17 PM | PERMALINK

it's actually L9CHPY, "laughing chimpy", or more accurately, "smirking chimpy".

Posted by: ch2 at February 9, 2004 05:24 PM | PERMALINK

This whole AWOL matter, as it currently stands, is based on lack of knowledge and/or misinterpretation. I am unable to crystalball the motives or basis for this effort to unfairly destroy this man's character with half trues and lies. There are areas in his policies that warrant criticism.

To claim that "Bush was warned" by quoting part of the "sign-up" contract (signed in 1967 or 1968 not after transferring to Alabama in 1972 or 1973), is to ignore that every person entering the National Guard is warned of the consequences of misconduct. At the sametime, Bush refused to accept voluntary foreign assignment. Most folks that joined the National Guard did so to satisfy military service requirements without disrupting their stateside lives or risking their lives in war (The exceptions are people that become fighter pilots. Only those with the "right stuff" survive.). Only those that voluntarily went to Vietnam can afford to make in other judgement. Most would not accept a voluntary assignment. This did not mean that, if his unit was ordered to foreign assignment, he would not be required to go. Furthermore, there is no explanation of why he missed his physical. A major also missed his physical and was grounded for the same reason. What evidence is there that either of these pilots blew off their physicals. Finally, in a performance review, it was stated that some activity was "not observed." This is miltaryease of the reviewing officer that the answer to that performance question was not observed. In other words, if the question had to do with supervisory performance and the reviewee was not a supervisor, the reviewing officer would state, "not observed." So if Bush was in Alabama at the time of the performance review in Texas, his Texas performance review would read "not observed." It means no more than that.

For those that are going to commit character assinations, how about doing it intelligently. What mostly appears at this site, is evidence that lots of children were left behind.

Posted by: Mallory May at February 9, 2004 05:24 PM | PERMALINK

Well Brian C.B. - thanks for confirming that Kerry will not release his FULL Military Records either. As for the rest - if you have a specific question of us minions, be my guest.

I'm wondering though, if it were Bill Clinton instead who played naval aviator on American aircraft carriers, responded to guerilla attacks on American GIs in Iraq is to spout "Bring 'em on!" while standing 2400 miles from Baghdad, everything EXACTLY as GWB did - would you be as critical? You certainly wouldn't be asking about Clinton's military career, right?

Posted by: Charlie at February 9, 2004 05:24 PM | PERMALINK

I must have missed it, forgive me for not paying close enough attention. Where is the documentation of disciplinary action against Bush? Or is this supposition based on his reassignment from TANG to ARF?

Posted by: Navy retiree at February 9, 2004 05:27 PM | PERMALINK

For what its worth the "L9CMPY" is a Geographic Location Code. GEOLOC in military parlance. It indicates the unit and location of that unit. Should be easy to look up.

Posted by: James at February 9, 2004 05:28 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with retired LTC. The Desertion and AWOL issues are mute because George W Bush did get a honorable discharge.

Although this is talking about ancient history now, in 1968 the military was hard up for bodies and I was drafted out of graduate school. In 1971 I got an early out from the Army to return to school because of Nixon’s Vietnam troop withdraw they didn’t need more cannon fodder. All the military needed in 1972 were B-52 and Phantom pilots. If he pulled his failure to take flight physical in 1968, his ass would have been shipped to Vietnam. In 1972 no one gave a damn.

George W Bush reneged on two years of his six year obligation to be an F-102 pilot. Likely due to random drug testing that started in 1972. Hardly the image of character and strength of a War President that Karl Rove is going to propagate.

Posted by: Jim S at February 9, 2004 05:32 PM | PERMALINK

Has anyone commented on the fact that GHW Bush was Ambassador to the United Nations at this time? And Nixon was the President. Do you think it's possible the administration would have wanted to avoid the embarassment of having a cabinet member's son court martialed for going AWOL? Not that the Nixon administration wasn't completely ethical in every regard.

Posted by: Willoughby at February 9, 2004 05:33 PM | PERMALINK

USAF-MEDIC or others,
It appears he intentionally skipped the physical appointment because he feared the consequences of going would be worse than NOT going. So was he snorting coke or smoking pot, we may never know that but we could get a better idea if we knew what they tested for. Specifically, in 1972 did they or were they able to test for marijuana? cocaine?
Do you recall what types of tests they did? Did members talk about passing/failing piss tests etc?


Great job Kevin!

Posted by: Jeremy at February 9, 2004 05:34 PM | PERMALINK

The sequence of different assignments is confusing, especially since someone said that the reserves are AFR and ARF=AFR+ANG. Did he go from TexasANG to Alabama to TexasANG (when he returned he was disciplined for not taking physical and immediately reassigned) to "detention" to discharge? or
TexasANG to detention to discharge?
The sequence needs to be sorted out.

My question is, assuming he was done in Texas after May 72 and was either in Alabama and/or detention thereafter, has he ever said that after Alabama he served in the ANG or finished off his service in the ANG?
It would be interesting to know if at any time since he grew up at age 40 whether or not he lied in order to avoid mentioning that he was moved out of the Texas ANG to a disciplinary assignment.

I think that unless something terrible happens before election, the only way to beat him, his lies and his $$$ is to make sure America sees him for the phony, deceitful, misleading, bait and switch politician that he is. He may not be the most well read person but he is very shrewd and not at all the nice guy he has conned the media into portraying him as. His admin has taken political deception to a new level, mastering the ability to make people think they are actually doing the opposite of the impression their words leave. I think his credibility is starting to be quesitoned but the American people need to see that he cannot be believed on anything. Then when he runs his ads people will question their veracity and that will neutralize their effectiveness.

Posted by: GordonShumway at February 9, 2004 05:35 PM | PERMALINK

there is a simple question to ask bush, "Name one human being you served with in Alabama?"
My goodness Bush is President of the US, there are people who are telling friends they went to grade school with him, or college, or knew him when he was in business etc, yet no one has come forward to say, "hey, I served with the guy"

Think about it, he is a celebrity, the President and no one says they served with him, it defies common sense, yet the right wing (as usual) manages to get the story to be about anything other than common sense analysis and the guy who gets his paycheck from General Electric cannot ask an obvious question, "Mr. President, why is there not one person who can vouch for your story by saying he or she served with you during the time in question?"
Come on, if any one of us knew clinton or bush at any time we would be telling someone and if it were at issue then someone would be screaming about it, especially in Alabama where the person who saved Bush's reputation would be treated as a hero.

We do not need stories about torn documents,we just need one obvious question. "Name one person you served with in Alabama?"

Posted by: vince at February 9, 2004 05:35 PM | PERMALINK

"For those that are going to commit character assinations, how about doing it intelligently. What mostly appears at this site, is evidence that lots of children were left behind."

Indicting Bush again.

Posted by: ch2 at February 9, 2004 05:35 PM | PERMALINK

GRYN Rember that a head job is not having sex according the last dem pres.

Posted by: dan at February 9, 2004 05:38 PM | PERMALINK

In reviewing some old GWB speeches, I found this one:

"In 1968, July of '68, I was stationed in Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hooah. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: You don't sound old enough to have been there. (Laughter.)

But today when I got off the airplane, Master Sergeant David Eshbaugh, from West Virginia, was there to greet me. He and I shared the same dorm in Lackland Air Force Base, Texas."

THERE YOU GO - go track that guy down - maybe he needs the reward money!

Posted by: Charlie at February 9, 2004 05:40 PM | PERMALINK

accounts say 300 hrs. logged in f102s, without specifying rt. or lt. seat in the training model, or solo in combat model. i,m sure he must have trained in more primitive trainers also. it'd be nice to break it down in his log book as most pilots are proud to do to demonstrate skill progression. no question he was wasting tax $ so as to build a faux honcho resume'. had he taken his piss test he might have gone to ft. leavenworth rather than the white house. i'm an independent, split ticket voter who believes in constitutional checks & balances. the executive branch is out of control & in a tailspin with an incompetent pilot @ the controls in case anyone's noticed.

Posted by: jim bob at February 9, 2004 05:47 PM | PERMALINK

Ali, don't be silly. We love "JFK" (sic) here. So, why should we examine him? This is not Go there and talk about your man Dean.


Posted by: Patrick H at February 9, 2004 05:48 PM | PERMALINK

But today when I got off the airplane, Master Sergeant David Eshbaugh, from West Virginia, was there to greet me. He and I shared the same dorm in Lackland Air Force Base, Texas

But Charlie, that was in 1968. Everyone's wondering about 1972.

I'm still wondering about the source for any disciplinary action, as opposed to connecting some supposed dots that may or may not have led to disciplinary action.

Posted by: Navy retiree at February 9, 2004 05:54 PM | PERMALINK

It's interesting after looking at a majority of the comments on Bush's Guard service, I cannot find anyone who admits to having actually served in the guard on this blog. Why would that be?

Posted by: b grubb at February 9, 2004 05:56 PM | PERMALINK

Great work,has this been distributed to mainstream press or Dems? This shows the guy as a liar and hypocypt. Landing on an aircraft carrier, 'Mission Accomplished'. Then blaming the banner on the crew, what a whuss.

Posted by: Pete at February 9, 2004 06:06 PM | PERMALINK

Aaaargh asked above: "Has [GWB] done anything constructive?"

While I assume most of this does not qualify as "constructive" to most liberals, here is a quick recap IMO (and in chronological order to the best of my memory - which is not all it's cracked up to be since some here would say I don't think at all):

Restoration of the Mexico City policy.

Announces Faith Based Initiative.

Christening for the USS Ronald Reagan.

Decision that ABA will not be given the identity of any judicial nominee before the nomination is submitted to the Senate and announced to the public.

Opposition to the Kyoto Protocol.

Tax Cut # 1 (including repeal of the Death tax).

Embryonic Stem-Cell Decision.

Withdraw from the International Criminal Court and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

(obviously) Every Front of the War of Terrorism so far - bringing Democracy to the Middle East as an actual solution to the problems.

National Sanctity of Human Life Day

Issues National Security Strategy (putting all terrorist countries including Iraq the U.S. will not stand by any longer and wait for you to plot our demise).

Tax Cut # 2.

Signed Partial Birth Abortion ban.

Medicare Reform.

Appointed Charles Pickering to 5th Circuit.

America's Economy Continues to Grow, 112,000 New Jobs in January 2004.

(On the down side - he did sign the so-called Campaign Finance Reform bill into law hoping that it would be struck down by the SCOTUS - this was a far worse attack on the 1st Amendment than anything imagined by the Patriot Acts : (

Posted by: Charlie at February 9, 2004 06:11 PM | PERMALINK

Navy retiree:

"But Charlie, that was in 1968. Everyone's wondering about 1972."

Well, you got to start somewhere - I'll keep posting names as I find them of those who served with GWB in the honorable National Guard.

"I'm still wondering about the source for any disciplinary action, as opposed to connecting some supposed dots that may or may not have led to disciplinary action."

I doubt you'll find that. I think that retired LTC's explanation best fits the facts as we know them now.

Posted by: Charlie at February 9, 2004 06:14 PM | PERMALINK

I cannot find anyone who admits to having actually served in the guard on this blog. Why would that be?

Hmm...I can't recall anyone saying they served in the ANG, but at least one poster said he served in the National Guard. Lessee...Steve said he is currently in the National Guard. setzman also said he was in the Guard. I won't bother looking for more. You can look under that rock all you want, but I don't think you'll find anything.

Posted by: Navy retiree at February 9, 2004 06:16 PM | PERMALINK

Navy Retiree, he failed to show up for a physical exam. That was the reason for the disciplinary action. Supporting documents have been posted on here as well.

Posted by: Dutch at February 9, 2004 06:17 PM | PERMALINK

My links for the I had the Statement of Understanding upthread were bad.

Posted by: Martin Heldt at February 9, 2004 06:26 PM | PERMALINK

Our resident clown, Charlie, wrote: " would you be as critical?"

Yup. You obviously weren't reading left-wing political forums during Clinton's presidency.

"You certainly wouldn't be asking about Clinton's military career, right?"

And again, yup. You might want to check your facts before you embarrass yourself again.

Posted by: PaulB at February 9, 2004 06:30 PM | PERMALINK

That's what I'm saying, Dutch. None of the documents posted or linked here say 1Lt Bush was being disciplined for anything, including "failure to accomplish annual medical examination."

It seems like some folks are connecting Bush's suspension from flight duties and not getting his flight physical to disciplinary action, but there's no posted or linked document which addresses any disciplinary action against 1Lt Bush, including missing his physical.

That's what I'd like to see. Everything else seems to me like seeing shapes from the stars in the night sky. If anyone's going to push this into a smoking gun, more solid documentary or testimonial evidence is going to be necessary.

Posted by: Navy retiree at February 9, 2004 06:33 PM | PERMALINK

Aha! Thank you, Martin. So the supposed disciplinary statement is the second page of a "Statement of Understanding," which appears to be an attachment to his enlistment contract in 1968. Absotively no connection to any disciplinary action whatsoever.

These FOIA documents are starting to sound like a dry hole.

Posted by: Navy retiree at February 9, 2004 06:37 PM | PERMALINK

FISH ON!... Baby! ....You got a Big ONE! .....Great Job.

Posted by: Point1Man at February 9, 2004 06:39 PM | PERMALINK

Let me get this straight. After disappearing from Alabama and failing to show up in Houston, GW is "transferred" to a Colorado unit that never meets in order to make up "units" of service on specific dates for which there is no mandatory participation.

Am I missing something here or did he just skip out on his obligations and give the military the middle digi?t.

Posted by: Jim at February 9, 2004 06:43 PM | PERMALINK

No navy retiree, what that means is that if he didn't show up for duty, he would be put into ORS/ARF.

I found this under the U.S. Codes which rule!

TITLE 32 > CHAPTER 3 > Sec. 323. Sec. 323. - Withdrawal of Federal recognition


Whenever a member of the National Guard ceases to have the qualifications prescribed under section 301 of this title or ceases to be a member of a federally recognized unit or organization of the National Guard, his Federal recognition shall be withdrawn.


Under regulations to be prescribed by the President, the capacity and general fitness of an officer of the National Guard for continued Federal recognition may be investigated at any time by an efficiency board composed of commissioned officers of -


the Regular Army or the Army National Guard of the United States, or both, who out-rank him and who are detailed by the Secretary of the Army, if he is a member of the Army National Guard; or


the Regular Air Force or the Air National Guard of the United States, or both, who outrank him and who are detailed by the Secretary of the Air Force, if he is a member of the Air

National Guard.

If the findings of the board are unfavorable to the officer and are approved by the President, his Federal recognition shall be withdrawn.


If a member of the Army National Guard of the United States or the Air National Guard of the United States is transferred to the Army Reserve or the Air Force Reserve, as the case may be, under section 12105, 12213(a), or 12214(a) of title 10, his Federal recognition is withdrawn.

Sec. 12214. - Officers; Air Force Reserve: transfer from Air National Guard of the United States


Under such regulations as the Secretary of the Air Force may prescribe, and with the consent of the governor or other appropriate authority of the State concerned, an officer of the Air National Guard of the United States may be transferred in grade to the Air Force Reserve.


Posted by: Alma Evans at February 9, 2004 06:46 PM | PERMALINK

When you get put on reserve from the Air or Army National Guard, it means you have been kicked out and then you're up for involuntary active duty.

Posted by: Alma Evans at February 9, 2004 06:49 PM | PERMALINK

Hey Charlie;

U.S. businesses announced 117,556 job cuts in January, up about 26 percent from 93,020 in December 2003, according to Chicago-based Challenger, Gray & Christmas, which keeps track of monthly job-cut announcements.

I guess that would leave us at -5,556 if you include all the new jobs at Wal-Mart that Bush created in January. (pssst, we won't talk about the debt accrued during that period - that's our little secret.)

Posted by: Jim at February 9, 2004 06:55 PM | PERMALINK

Our unelected, Bobbleheaded, fencepost for Prez. needs to be given a choice: Would you like your new bracelets to be plastic or stainless ?

Posted by: doubleagle at February 9, 2004 07:02 PM | PERMALINK

This article begs a re-read

Posted by: poster at February 9, 2004 07:07 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, Kevin, I have to add my congratulations to the heap o' backslappin going on here.

Yep, thanks man. Without this post, I'd have never known what a transcript of dogs watching television would look like.

By all means, keep the thread going - with as much speculation, second guessing, and 'analysis' of the admin codes on that document, you guys might some day eventually be able to blame Bush for the common cold.

Couple of points - everyone seems in an absolute thrall over the transfer to the inactive reserve unit being for disiplinary reasons - far be it from me to quibble with such an august and scholarly body, but before you guys all jump on that bandwagon, would'nt it be a good idea to research -all- the reasons that an individual might be assigned there? Might prepare you from the mean, vicious assaults of folks pointing out that there were other reasons, and without any proof one way or the other... just sayin.

Also, a quick observation of the mention of non-judicial punishment under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, also known as an Article 15 (so named, because, well, that's the number of the article of the code that describes it) - ah, no, once an article 15 goes in, it doesn't 'go away' or 'get pulled out'.

In the military, there's a term used for the very type of speculative, self fulfilling discussion going on here - barracks lawyering.

It typically leads people into untenable positions that they are later embarrassed about, also.

But don't mind me...let the show continue, you guys are hilarious.

Posted by: Wind Rider at February 9, 2004 07:09 PM | PERMALINK

Alma, that's a failure of logic. If you want to prove cause and effect, you need a seamless chain from beginning to end. You've stated a cause from an effect, but there's nothing that indicates that the only reason for a transfer to the Air Reserve Force is for disciplinary reasons, and there are no FOIA documents presented so far that state that the transfer was for disciplinary reasons.

It's looking to me like folks are seeing steam from a working system and declaring it to be smoke from a fire. I think folks need to work a little harder to prove this theory. You do yourself no good putting forth a theory that can easily be shot full of holes.

You're still looking for a smoking gun. Keep searching, 'cause no one's found it yet. Everything so far is penny-ante stuff that would come across to the common man as political back-biting. Hard evidence is necessary, and it doesn't look to me like anyone's turned it up.

Unless the vast right-wing conspiracy has convinced the reporters at the NYT and WaPo (nevermind Washington Times...they're already brainwashed into the Conservative Cabal) that they should ignore this supposed hard evidence. ;)

Posted by: Navy retiree at February 9, 2004 07:23 PM | PERMALINK

I understand that when President Bush returned to Texas, the aircraft he was trained to fly was schedule to be or was being phased out and that he would have had to undergo more training to qualify to fly another aircraft therefore since he just had a year or so left in his obligation he was given a desk job and/or assigned to the unit in Colorado.

Further the document you show as being a disciplinary warning to President Bush looks like standard enlistment boiler plate to me that everyone signs when they enlist. Since it is not dated, how do we know that it is a warning given to him later? If it were a warning given to him later it also would probably rate a separate letter addressed to him and not just a paragraph on the what looks like the second(?) page of something(?).

And why does every document or whatever that may exonerate President Bush always have to be wrapped in the words "clever forgery" or "fake" while all other documents that may or may not support a case against President Bush are not.

The AWOL/Deserter case against the President is a Democratic pipe dream. You people are just grabbing at straws. Get a life.

Posted by: Dennis Slater at February 9, 2004 07:34 PM | PERMALINK

Why would doc23 say, if you don't do what you're supposed to do, we're going to put you in ORS/ARF?

It looks as though if you are transfered to reserve from the Guard, you're no longer with the guard, i.e., kicked out. That would put someone on voluntary or involuntary activation -- and as I stated "involuntary activation" means getting called up for duty within 24 hours. Everyone is assuming that there were no punitive damages for Bush's lakadasical performance (and we already know his files at TANG have been scrubbed, so it wouldn't be in there), but maybe this is it. He was disciplined, sent to ARF, kicked out of the Guard. That in itself, seems to me, that he is no longer in the cushy guard, he can now (then) be called up for active duty within 24 hours. I think he was just lucky, maybe, that the war was winding down.


If a member of the Army National Guard of the United States or the Air National Guard of the United States is transferred to the Army Reserve or the Air Force Reserve, as the case may be, under section 12105, 12213(a), or 12214(a) of title 10, his Federal recognition is withdrawn.

Sec. 12214. - Officers; Air Force Reserve: transfer from Air National Guard of the United States


Under such regulations as the Secretary of the Air Force may prescribe, and with the consent of the governor or other appropriate authority of the State concerned, an officer of the Air National Guard of the United States may be transferred in grade to the Air Force Reserve.

Also, being an officer in the reserve, he could not be generally court-martialed unless he was activated, but special courts-martial could sentence him to forfieture of pay and allowances, which could be why he is certain there aren't any pay records! HA!

TITLE 32 > CHAPTER 3 > Sec. 326. Sec. 326. - Courts-martial of National Guard not in Federal service: composition,
jurisdiction, and procedures

In the National Guard not in Federal service, there are general, special, and summary courts-martial constituted like similar
courts of the Army and the Air Force. They have the jurisdiction and powers, except as to punishments, and shall follow
the forms and procedures, provided for those courts

TITLE 32 > CHAPTER 3 > Sec. 327. Sec. 327. - General courts-martial of National Guard not in Federal service


In the National Guard not in Federal service, general courts-martial may be convened by the President or by the governor
of a State or Territory or Puerto Rico or by the commanding general of the National Guard of the District of Columbia.


A general court-martial may sentence to -


a fine of not more than $200;


forfeiture of pay and allowances;

TITLE 32 > CHAPTER 3 > Sec. 328. Prev | Next
Sec. 328. - Special courts-martial of National Guard not in Federal service


In the National Guard not in Federal service, the commanding officer of a garrison, fort, post, camp, air base, auxiliary air
base, or other place where troops are on duty, or of a brigade, regiment, wing, group, detached battalion, separate
squadron, or other detached command, may convene special courts-martial. Special courts-martial may also be convened
by superior authority.


A special court-martial may not try a commissioned officer. [is 1st Lt. a commissioned officer?]


A special court-martial has the same powers of punishment as a general court-martial, except that a fine imposed by a
special court-martial may not be more than $100 for a single offense

Posted by: Alma Evans at February 9, 2004 07:40 PM | PERMALINK

oops, I got the special and the general courts-martial mixed up.

Posted by: Alma Evans at February 9, 2004 07:43 PM | PERMALINK

Alma, you're wandering off in the wrong direction. Your efforts are counter-productive to proving any malfeasance or misfeasance by 1Lt Bush.

You've got to prove that the transfer to the ARF is a consequence of discplinary action. Quoting Title 32 gets you nowhere. You have to show where the Title 32 quotes you're providing specifically applied to 1Lt Bush. You've got to quit chewing at the edges and go for the meat.

There has to be some solid documentation somewhere, or someone willing to testify to 1Lt Bush's misbehavior. Anything else will be dismissed out of hand.

Posted by: Navy retiree at February 9, 2004 07:48 PM | PERMALINK

I have been asked to post this by Lanya at the Three Dead Horses Saloon Do forgive me,. but this is a lengthy post. It is a refutation of this blog entry, which she posted there. First, some background on myself. I spent twenty years in the United States Army, the bulk of which was spent in Active Guard/Reserve (AGR) status. I have worked as a training NCO in a CFP Tier 1-A unit as well as doing USR preparation, finance clerk work and many other administrative duties. I have found several incorrect interpretations of these documents. In the interest of fairness, I must say that I cannot be absolutely certain of the interpretation of Texas NG rules. But the documentation you have provided is easily understood - and it completely disproves what you would have it prove. At its worst interpretation, it simply leaves no answer. I should point out that I have been dealing with these issues for a while and there is one important definition I must make: Control Group. That is a generic term that refers to units like this "ARF" unit. In the Army Reserve, this is called the IRR or "Individual Ready Reserve." But everyone calls it "the control group". You mentioned very much in passing that it was used "among other things" for disciplinary purposes. Strictly speaking that is not true; Control Groups are only administrative. But even in the less legal sense there are NUMEROUS reasons for being in a control group. I spent a few years in the control group myself, as a Delayed Entry Program soldier and as an IRR member during a voluntary break in service. It is pure supposition to assume (and we in the military know how to spell that word) that Bush was "ARF'd" for "disciplinary" reasons. Having made that clear as mud let me proceed to post my refutation. (I will not edit this from its original intent, so if I say something which seems out of place, please excuse me. Even I don't have THAT much stamina!) Lastly, do forgive me if I post something beyond a reasonable limit. I intend no breech of etiquette, but you have invited comment and I have been asked to respond. Also, CAPS are for emphasis. Excuse my loudness! POST FOLLOWS: (comments enclosed in
[ ] brackets are excerpts from your original blog.)

[ARF is a "paper unit" based in Denver that requires no drills and no attendance. For active guard members it is disciplinary because ARF members can theoretically be called up for active duty in the regular military, although this obviously never happened to George Bush.]

Untrue. Being placed in a control group is not disciplinary. It is simply what happens when you are not serving in an active status for ANY reason. And many people in control group status attend drills and receive credit from individual units. Which leads us to the big "mystery".

[In fact, it's unclear even what the points on the ARF record are for, ]

ROFLMAO!!!! It is ABUNDANTLY clear what the points are for. There is ONLY one way to get TWO POINTS PER DAY. That is DRILL ATTENDANCE (though for clarity it should be pointed out that one can attend an alternate drill individually - like doing admin work for the unit). If you work a day of ACTIVE DUTY it is only worth ONE point (and one day's pay). EVERY SINGLE ENTRY ON THIS FORM is for a drill period except three periods in may where he performed 9 days of active duty. (Those days also correspond to points.) So the great "mystery" here is solved. George Bush performed drill duty (or alternate drill duty) on these days except the nine days of AD. To the point, THIS CARD IS PROOF OF HIS DUTY PERFORMANCE. It is acceptable proof of retirement points.

Let's examine his Training Year 1973 (TY 73):

In the first quarter (military years start in October) Bush received 12 points for drill performance. That is perfect. Apparently, he drilled extra in November to make up for December. This is entirely appropriate and very frequently done to accomodate holiday plans. TY731Q - PERFECT.

In the second quarter, Bush received 12 points for drill performance - perfect. He did them all in January. That is a little unusual, but so long as all of the periods in question fall in the same quarter that is legal. It is also unusual, though again legal, that he crammed his drills into four-day periods. Actually, that MIGHT be a little less than kosher because I thought that the MAX time period for a drill was a MUTA-6 (three full days) but that may be only for full units. I expect commanders have some discretion for individuals. Also, since this was still in a "wartime" period (though obviously not actively so by then) such rules may have been more flexible. Nevertheless, Bush's TY73-2Q is also PERFECT.

Third Quarter: Bush received 8 drill points and 9 active duty points. Where is the other Drill period? Must have missed one, eh? NOPE. But I'll save that for next quarter. So he had two drills for that quarter, with a "summer camp" period thrown in. (Again, the standard unit Annual Training (AT) period is fourteen days but individual soldiers can and do perform alternate duties and frequently split the time up to accomodate civilian employment or personal needs. This is at the discretuion of the commander.) So, TY73-3Q is not perfect, UNLESS . .

Fourth Quarter. There is no recorded performance of duty during this period. Got that bastard now!!! TY73-4Q Crash and Burn!! Umm, not quite . . .

Look at that TNG form. Note the EXTREMELY important date called Anniversary Retirement Date: 27 May 68. Well, right off I know this is wrong. Huh? Well the correct retirement date is actually 26 May. PERIOD. No year and NOT 27 May. WTF is Pooch talking about? Well this is another admin type's pet peeve. The clerk who prepared this form made a very common error - two in fact - in this block. He put a year on the date. This is ONLY supposed to be a month and a day. And this date will always be ONE DAY BEFORE your original enlistment date. It is the day of the year on which YOUR PERSONAL RETIREMENT YEAR ends. In the reserves today it is called the RYE (Retirement Year End) date. It is the day BEFORE your enlistment date because a year goes from 1 Jan to 31 Dec - not 1 Jan to 1 Jan. (Get it? Bush's retirement year went from 27 May to 26 May EACH YEAR.) Don't believe me? Look at those lines on the bottom of the form in pencil. Each year just like it belongs there. Whaddaya know? The reason the computer form cuts off in May is because MAY 27th STARTED A NEW YEAR!!!!! And guess what? Click on that link for the next year's form and we have, yet again, PROOF that Bush DID serve both inactive and active duty time for the remainder of that TY. In other words, this "damning" evidence is anything but. It is CLEAR PROOF THAT BUSH WAS SERVING ON DUTY (and gittin' paid) DURING THAT TIME!

Now let's look at the retirement year as a whole. A reservist/guardsmen is required to obtain 50 points to make a "good" year. During this year (or at least the period from October - May that we see documented) Bush obtained 9 AD points, 32 drill points (for a total of 41) and also (as every guardsman or reservist) 15 points for membership (freebies, they all get 'em.). This gives Bush 56 total points for a good year. In fact, since we do not know what Bush had during the FIRST half of this year it is very likely more. (Why is this not on the other form? See below.)

It is sheer fabrication - and I think maliciously - to make the patently false statement that control group is a "disciplinary" unit. The specious logic that is is disciplinary "because you can be called up to active duty" is ridiculous. ANY Guard or Reserve unit could be and can be called to Active Federal Service in a crisis. And individual reservists can be called from their units to fulfill special needs (such as the need for a critically short job field or "MOS"). So I guess ALL guard.reserve units are disciplinary. Clearly, there is a complete lack of knowledge of the military - at least certainly of admin procedures - in the analysis of this information.

There is also a simple misunderstanding of a basic reality of military - and general - life, to wit, the TNG form. Now, though technically all such forms should be reasonably standard (because these are the "proof" of points for retirement and pay purposes) they can vary from unit to unit. Also, remember that in the early '70's computer technology was nothing like it is today. The fact that information on one form is not recorded onto another proves absolutely nothing. To apply Achem's Razor, the most simple explanation for this computer form information not being recorded on the pen and ink form is that someone FORGOT TO DO IT. I once took a PT test and somebody lost the form. When it came time to be evaluated that year I had no PT test! (This is huge for a soldier.) So I had to rush right out and take one, though I protested the whole time. I was highly pissed! Now, to the rest of the world, it was as good as if I had NEVER taken a PT test at all. Had I been running for President of the local Physical Fitness club my rivals would have said "Why, this man never took a PT test! SLACKER! SHIRKER!! UNFIT FAT AND WOBBLY ONE!!! And in the case of the first two charges they would have been wrong. :D People lose records, fail to update records, make errors on records and generally screw up records CONSTANTLY in the military. Try resolving a records error issue through the Army Board of Corrections. It takes YEARS, literally, because there is such a backlog of errors. The simple fact that some clerk failed to make an annual entry at the end of 1973 or couldn't find that form among the thousands of other sheets of paper could explain this huge "mystery."

Bottom line: These forms are ABSOLUTELY proof that Bush served honorably during that period of time. Those who have tried, repeatedly, to skew and misrepresent these forms as anything else are WRONG - maybe maliciously, possibly ignorantly. But they are nonetheless wrong.

Posted by: Stray Pooch at February 9, 2004 07:51 PM | PERMALINK

Hey Retired what do you think doc23 says? Besides that, have you looked at all of the docs? Have you seen the signed suspension of flying orders? And you think they are going to let him off scott free after training him for years plus the costs? He cleared TANG May 1972 and never showed back up. He missed his physical in July, suspended from flying in August and you think they're going to say, "ATTA BOY! KEEP IT UP!" No, they're going to do what they said they would do, put him in reserve. I did not edit out any of those laws I posted. The law states that if you are transferred to ARF you are no longer recognized federally, i.e. with the guard.

Posted by: Alma Evans at February 9, 2004 07:56 PM | PERMALINK

Title 32 of the U.S. Code deals specifically with National Guard -- that is its Title -- National Guard. period.

Posted by: Alma Evans at February 9, 2004 08:05 PM | PERMALINK

Stray Pooch, might it be different for someone in the National Guard who has been transfered to reserve. Title 32 National Guard U.S. Code states --

If a member of the Army National Guard of the United States or the Air National Guard of the United States is transferred to the Army Reserve or the Air Force Reserve, as the case may be, under section 12105, 12213(a), or 12214(a) of title 10, his Federal recognition is withdrawn.

Sec. 12214. - Officers; Air Force Reserve: transfer from Air National Guard of the United States


Under such regulations as the Secretary of the Air Force may prescribe, and with the consent of the governor or other appropriate authority of the State concerned, an officer of the Air National Guard of the United States may be transferred in grade to the Air Force Reserve.

Posted by: Alma Evans at February 9, 2004 08:08 PM | PERMALINK

If it's legitimate to ask about Bill Clinton's sex life or his use of marijuana, even to the point of impeachment... If it's important to get to the bottom of the Whitewater real estate deal.. If it's accurate to label his concientious objection to the Viet Nam war as "draft dodging"... Then it is certainly legitimate to seek to discover the nature and details of George W Bush's military service, and to question his decision to take the United States to war with Iraq.

Posted by: Albion at February 9, 2004 08:08 PM | PERMALINK

And people here wonder "why oh why hasn't the mainstream media picked up on this damning evidence?!!!"

Please, you have to critically evaluate this information. If you let your preferences guide your investigations instead of objectivity, your effort is doomed.

Focus on reality. Find the links. Prove the connection. Put yourselves in the shoes of the Bush Faithful. Find irrefutable proof. Anything less consigns you to failure.

P.S. I think Stray Pooch meant "Occam's Razor."

Posted by: Navy retiree at February 9, 2004 08:15 PM | PERMALINK

Navy retiree and retired LTC (and any others with experience in the matter):

I have to say that I think you're right -- these documents don't show much of anything. Would you mind answering two questions, though?

1) Do these documents disprove the theses that there were serious (i.e. newsworthy) irregularities in Bush's service?

2) If not, what documents would be needed in order to decide the issue?

Posted by: Anarch at February 9, 2004 08:15 PM | PERMALINK

AHA! He could not have received a sentence of dismissal or dishonorable discharge without the approval of the Governor of the State.

Sec. 331. - Dismissal or dishonorable discharge

In the National Guard not in Federal service, no sentence of dismissal or dishonorable discharge may be executed until it is approved by the Governor of the State or territory or Puerto Rico, whichever is concerned, or, in the case of the National Guard of the District of Columbia, by its commanding general

Posted by: Alma Evans at February 9, 2004 08:19 PM | PERMALINK

Alma, I have seen all of the other documents - and the skewed interpretation of those - posted all over the web. I cannot absolutely rule out Bush's transfer to the ARF as a result of unsatisfactory performance. I can, however, recognize incorrect interpretation of data when I see it. And this clearly is that. The repeated mantra that "Bush was WARNED" is a strawman. EVERY reserve components member (guard or reserve) is similarly warned. One of these websites included the document where Bush signed off on the "warning." It was his ENLISTMENT CONTRACT though once again, as is the habit with these sites, excerpted and poorly (or perhaps manipulatively) analyzed. This blog, at least in this post, appears to at least have had the decency to post a sufficient image to make the document identifiable. EVERY TANG (and other reserve components) member signed that same thing. Bush was not given a SPECIFIC warning - aimed at him as a result of his performance. It was a generic warning. More to the point, however, while I can rely on my experience and understanding of military administration to interpret these forms, others cannot. So anything that is found on these forms and then "interpreted" is readily bought into by those who are looking for "proof" that Bush lied. There may well be something out there that will damn Bush to eternity. This ain't it. This ain't even close. The only clear violation of any real rule that Bush appears to have committed is failure to show for a flight physical. This is clearly an irresponsible act for an enlisted member, let alone an officer. Guys like that used to drive us crazy. But my interest here is not in defending Bush. I may vote for him this year or not. I am generally conservative, though RW excesses scare me. But even if this were the dreaded Clintonicus Libidinus I would refute this stuff because of POOR ANALYSIS. There is just nothing here. Someone above referred to this as a "stained dress moment." It isn't. In fact, these Retirement Point forms are quite clearly proof of his performance of SOME kind of duty. PAY procedures are not different between the services and components. A buck is a buck.

Posted by: Stray Pooch at February 9, 2004 08:31 PM | PERMALINK

You sliced and diced them very well "Stray Pooch."
All this cryng a moaning about Bush and Kerry is running around draped in the Flag like an incarnation of Geo. Washington.
But I have a question. Just why was Sen. Kerry exempted from his last year of Service?

Posted by: Cranial at February 9, 2004 09:02 PM | PERMALINK

DOC23.gif is an ENLISTMENT CONTRACT. If this proves Bush was disciplined then EVERY member of the TANG was similarly disciplined. I tentatively take back my earlier assessment of this blog's integrity. Though again, in fairness, it may be that this blog is merely posting this excerpt from another site. The "impression" that one poster had that this was not a standard document was, in fact, wrong. If I were not so damn lazy I would gather all of the nonsense I have seen posted on this subject and make my own website showing how this information is being deliberately or ignorantly (or a bit of both) misrepresented to paint an incorrect picture. But I suspect that those who wish to see Bush canned would not bother to visit, or would not bother to critically examine this evidence. There is nothing here that cannot be refuted by someone knowledgeable. The good airman who interpreted this in the first place may well be simply misinformed. Even the best pilot (and make no mistake I respect anyone with the balls to drive a sky buggy) is not necessarily informed about administrative things. OTOH, this airman may also be simply trying to create a BS story. My gut feeling is the former, but either way, again, it is wrong.

When someone gets REAL proof that Bush was UNSAT (He was probably not AWOL and DEFINITELY not a deserter - he couldn't possibly be.) please forward it to So far, everything I have seen points to only one screw-up - his failure to obtain a physical - which is definitely irresponsible and for which he was quite correctly administratively disqualified from flight status. Other than that, I see nothing wrong with his record so far. The comment on his discharge form that states that he had remaining time on his obligation is, again, a standard comment. Someone called the language "astonishingly unammbiguous." It is. It should be. Any reserve soldier I discharged into the IRR after they completed the active portion of their reserve duty had the same statement. Any active duty soldier who is honorably discharged has the same statement. Any member (and this could well include Bush) who takes an "early out" will have that statement. It simply means that a member has been moved from active status to inactive status with a remaining obligation. If you take a three year active duty hitch today, your DD 214 will have a similar statement on it when you leave three years from now. It will state that you have completed three years of your eight-year obligation. And for the five following years you will have no duty to perform (except keeping your records up to date). All of this damning evidence is simply routine statements taken out of context or badly misinterpretted data. When I see terms like "punishment orders" (no such thing)and "disciplinary unit" (for control group) thrown around I have to laugh. I have said to this point in my conversations (on other sites) that it looked like Bush was at least a pretty crappy unit member. This ARF retirement point form has modified my view. It looks like Bush was pretty active after all. It just looks like he blew it as an officer on a hugely important point - flight qualification. If he intended to be an AF Officer, I wouldn't have given him three years after that - certainly not past the next promotion board. But in all other areas, this AWOL nonsense is just that. btw, he could have missed EVERY drill and not been AWOL. Summer camp was another issue. But I am boring you. That's because this is just so much dull administrative blather. Sensationalist interpretation makes it sexy. Too bad that so far it is all wrong.

Posted by: Stray Pooch at February 9, 2004 09:02 PM | PERMALINK

Since Bush didn't intend to make a career out of the Air Force or ANG, and the F-102 was being phased out and I believe wasn't even available in Alabama, there was no reason for him to take the flight physical. He wasn't going to fly anyway.

I was in the Naval Air Reserve, not ANG, but it was still pretty lax. I never took a flight physical there and they lost all my records, and I didn't even get paid for my last duty station.

It is interesting to watch the civilians grasp at straws trying to understand the complexities of a military bureaucracy of 30 years ago.

Posted by: John Moore (Useful Fools) at February 9, 2004 09:17 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks very much to the veterans, of various political persuasions, who have backed up what some of us sensed at the start: there may be legitimate questions about Bush's service, but the "ARF" document shows pretty conclusively he wasn't AWOL, despite various strained attempts to make it prove the opposite.

Posted by: rd at February 9, 2004 09:22 PM | PERMALINK

In case no one knows, Camp Mabry, where the torn doc was found in '99, is in Austin, Texas...gee, walking distance from the capital, well okay, a cab ride away....right off of Mo-Pac. That is kinda convenient, since he didn't ever serve there, right?

Posted by: Bill McGuire at February 9, 2004 09:27 PM | PERMALINK

Navy Retiree: Thanks for the correction. I made the mistake of dreaming up a spelling and googling it for a verification. Nice to know that there are people out there that spell it like I do - lol! But a really bad way to get an answer. ANARCH: Your first question is a request to prove a negative. No, this does not prove he DIDN'T do anything wrong. But there is a necessary presumption of innocence here. One of the more cranially-challenged posters on 3DHS has tried to illustrate this by posting things like (and I'm making this one up) KERRY RAPED HIS SISTER!!! Now prove he didn't!!! The preponderance of the evidence, though, seems to prove only that the attempt to smear Bush is based on specious evidence. If you wanted to "settle the issue" there would be only one way: Find a written document wherein Bush was specifically and individually counseled, reprimanded, admonished or disciplined. In short, there has to be a record of disciplinary action - whether non-judicial under Article XV of the UCMJ or judicial under applicable articles pertinent to the offense - or some other SPECIFIC individual record of action. None has yet surfaced that I have seen.

The excerpt Alma provided above pointed out that the Governor needed to approve a dishonorable discharge. What she FAILED to point out is that before the governor got that opportunity there would need to be a court-martial recommending such a discharge. There was CLEARLY no chargeable offense here. Some points: Bush COULD NOT be a deserter - his reserve components status made that impossible unless he were to be brought on for at least a thirty day active period. Bush MIGHT have been AWOL. That would require missing an Active Duty period such as Annual Training without prior authorization. As a general rule, even in that circumstance it is unlikely that strong action would be taken against him - bigshot or not. People were getting early outs all over the place back then due to the winding down of the VN era. It is entirely possible that is all he did, and that would lead to the ORS assignment. All early outs got that in case something came up that required their presence in the future. Finally, if he simply missed a ton of drills (someone mentioned 12, though in the USAR it is 9, but I will defer to that other number for NG purposes) he could be UNSAT'd and dumped into a control group. With the sole exception of AWOL, no offense worthy of court-martial could have been committed. If it could be shown that Bush actually missed Active Duty time then some sort of documentation (at least a counseling statement) SPECIFICIALLy citing the incident would prove it. (Example of credible wording: LT Bush was counseled that on 29 May 1973 he failed to report for Annual Training at Camp Wattalottamuck, Alabama. LT Bush was informed that further behavior of this nature could lead to disciplinary action including slapping about the head and shoulders with an ugly stick.) Note, please, the SPECIFIC offense and date. A more formal counseling would cite the UCMJ article violated or other pertinent information. A counseling of this nature would be pretty heavy. A couple of a record of proceddings under Article XV would be dynamite and, of course, a record of court-martial would be thermonuclear. Neither of these things is gonna happen. Every statement I have seen has said "nobody remembers, nobody has come forth, no record exists, etc . . ." When someone comes forth with a SPECIFIC accusation, call me. When someone says "I recommended Bush for court-martial and the governor stopped me" pick up the phone. Until then, this all belongs on SNOPES.

Posted by: Stray Pooch at February 9, 2004 09:29 PM | PERMALINK

I am not saying doc23 proves anything except that he signed a waiver where if he f__ked up, he'd be put in ARF/ORS. It didn't say, now if you do everything right, we're going put you in the reserve.

Posted by: Alma Evans at February 9, 2004 09:30 PM | PERMALINK

And i think Bush basically admitted on MTP that his records were "cleansed" when he said they were "scoured"....he just didn't realize how freakin' stupid he really was to admit it....remember that it is easier to remember the truth and tell it than to make up a lie....he told the truth! This "moral" church-going hypocrite told that truth and another; that he will not change his philosopy or his point of view....that is scary, but true. And that is what we all have to worry about.....

Posted by: Bill McGuire at February 9, 2004 09:33 PM | PERMALINK

The posts by Bush apologists are eeringly Clintonesque: they defend Bush by parsing little details here and there out of the available military records, insisting in a legalistic way that there is no actual proof that Bush was AWOL or disciplined. Like Clinton talked about the meaning of "is," the detailed parsing of military merely dances around the moral truth.

One merely needs to stand back and look at the big picture - -

1. No responsible and diligent officer fails to report for a flight physical.
2. No responsible and diligent officer is grounded from flying due to reasons within their control. Pilots aren't like that, at least not the ones I've known.

These documents may not tell the whole story, but there's enough to prove there is something very irregular and wrong with Bush's service. Bush's defense, "I was honorably discharged," sounds to me like the D- student who says, "at least I didn't flunk."

Posted by: skyguy at February 9, 2004 09:45 PM | PERMALINK

Stray, I'd be interested in your take on the apparent 6-month discrepancy between the end date of Dubya's 6-year commitment (1974-05-26) and the acknowledged actual discharge date, 1974-11-21. As late as 1973-10-01, TANG calculated his commitment from the 05-26 date -- so why would ARF hang onto him for an additional 6 months?

Posted by: color me confused at February 9, 2004 09:46 PM | PERMALINK

Stray Pooch, you make a compelling argument, but i think you are forgetting who his papa was...a sitting Congressman from Houston, TX...who had as all know, already pulled strings to get his boy placed ahead of 500 or so other deserving boys on a waiting list to join the ANG. Shoot, GWB himself said it on MTP; had we remained inactive in Iraq, Saddam would have been emboldened....just like when his papa got him into the emboldened GWB to know he could get away with pretty much anything because his papa, the Congressman in Houston, TX, could get him out of any trouble that came down the pike. Guess what, former President Bush never speaks of his son, the president....embarrassment keeps him from it. Papa should've stayed the hell out of it, but then other guys in power did the same damn thing with their boys, because no one wants their sons to be put in harm's way, do they? It's simply the guys in power have ways of pulling strings to make sure their sons have an unfair advantage over the rest of us. My point is that the senior Bush used his influence on behalf of his son, and his son crapped all over it instead of guttin' it up ((even though he was on safe turf)), screwing off when no one else could ever get away with it, and how he can look into the eyes of young troops who are in harm's way today and tell them he understands what they are being asked to do for their country is beyond me. I can only assume he has absolutely no conscience....this very moral man, who would never pass the buck like Clinton, Pouch, you can rationalize whether or not there is a proponderunce of proof to what is being tossed out about Shrub's ANG duty all you want, but the fact is as Tom Brokaw said a few weeks ago on MTP, "we all know that Bush had an absenteeism problem while in the Guard, but he wasn't a deserter". Hey, if Tom Brokaw knows it, that makes it pretty true for me.

Posted by: Bill McGuire at February 9, 2004 09:52 PM | PERMALINK

It all points to the fact that Mr. Bush was a "C" student at Yale; which his dad had to pull major strings to get him in there, too. A member of the secret society, Skull & Bones, with John Kerry and yet he says he didn't know Kerry. I wager more will be forthcoming on this as well. Another question popped up a year into his presidency here in Texas. One day, we found out we were $10 Billion short on our state budget. Governor Perry vetoed everything that came before him in his first year, which had everyone raising their eyes wondering what was up with Bush is fond of saying, "In other words", it didn't happen on Perry's watch because he didn't allow any money to be spent! It happened on Bush's watch and they swept it under the carpet until after the election, so it would appear he had done a great job in steering Texas. Now he is well on his way to bankrupting all 50 states, and that will be his legacy. Anyone who believes this guy can cut the deficit in half after all the other lies he's flung our way, needs to have their heads examined or stop watching those old Hee Haw repeats. argh!

Posted by: Bill McGuire at February 9, 2004 10:02 PM | PERMALINK

Has anyone filed a FOIA request for James R. Bath?
It seems he was disciplined one month after GWB was disciplined.
Found on an article titled:The Coincidences Keep On Coming - Bush's Military Record By Ian Gurney
Dated 1-7-04

Check out:


Posted by: Macariah at February 9, 2004 10:06 PM | PERMALINK

Alma: That statement, nonetheless, only proves that ALL members may be sent to the control group if they are UNSAT. It does not even IMPLY that such is the ONLY reason for begin sent to the control group. In fact, I know absolutely that such is not the case.

Bill: The use of the term "scoured" in that quote may have been meant as in "those records have all been raked through" the statement may not have been as Freudian as you think. Still was a pretty lousy choice of words, though.

Skyguy: I would say that the problem is the opposite. The Bush detractors here parse out statements from the available military records (like Doc23.gif, for example) to try to paint an incorrect picture. That we "apologists" - if you designate me as such - refute those items point-by-point is merely fisking. I agree with your basic assertions that Bush's failure to maintain flight status is irresponsiblity at best - but also at worst. That is a far cry from the ridiculous misuse of words like "deserter" and "AWOL." Feel free to say Bush was a lousy officer, but please do not pretend that anything has even been shown as likely here. This is utterly poor reasoning - or at least ignorance. (excuable ignorance, btw, in all the civilians and most of the mil types who weren't in admin.)

Confused. I cannot say. Among the reasons that excess time is tacked onto a duty is an extension of service. Such a thing can be voluntary or involuntary. But it is unlikely that an involuntary extension of service was done that late, even if there was some disciplinary issue. If Bush reenlisted during his career, his ETS (Expiration Term of Service) would change and might well increase his discharge date. It would NOT, however, change either his RYE date or his obligation period. It may just be that his latest enlistment contract took him beyond his original obligation. When I was in I took a break after seven years. My obligation (at the time) was six years. My ETS was a year and two months or so beyond my obligation date. The "obligation" referred to here is NOT the contractual obligation you enlist for. It is a mandatory period of obligation for ANY enlistment. A soldier today has an eight-year obligation. He may serve three on active duty and then just go into the IRR for the last five. Officers may have different obligation periods based on how they were acquired (West Point, Green to Gold, ROTC, OCS, etc). Beyond that, I have not dug into the issue but again, it may just be that he reenlisted or extended voluntarily at some point so the dates didn't match. Sorry I couldn't be of more assistance.

Posted by: Stray Pooch at February 9, 2004 10:13 PM | PERMALINK

Bill: The fact that Bush and Co. may have pulled some strings is lamentable but not unusual. But my point here is twofold: a) Bush has been accused of being AWOL or a deserter. He is clearly not the second and likely not the first. In fact, though I did not get into it on this forum, Bush's behavior in the Guard was pretty run-of-the-mill based on my experience. It doesn't excuse him, but it makes it less likely that any undue influence got him off the hook; b) The simple quality of reasoning and the standard of debate used in discussions of this topic is very poor. As an NCO I would denounce Bush in no uncertain terms if I found he had committed any serious offence - especially after denying it. But so far, all of the "smoking gun" evidence I have seen is really just smoke and mirrors. I am more offended by the lack of critical analysis than by the anti-Bush stands taken by those doing it. If it helps, I was similarly pissed by those who insisted Clinton only bombed the Al Quaeda sites to distract from his impeachment. It may well have been the case; however, I was perfectly willing to believe that Clinton - who I had no use for - was acting in the interests of the US against a dangerous enemy. Good grief, defeat Bush if you can on real issues, but leave this strawman nonsense to the tabloids. Kerry has no more integrity than Bush. I lived in Massachusetts long enough to see that. If Paul Tsongas were alive today I would say there might be an honest politician - though I would never vote for him. But other than him, I have little trust in party, power-monger or pundit. I just like the truth, when it is available.

Posted by: Stray Pooch at February 9, 2004 10:28 PM | PERMALINK

Retired LTC:

Here's Bush's NG22 discharge form:

I couldn't see anything particularly enlightening in it. could find the discharge code, other than the "honorable" discharge listed.

Perhaps you could explain how Bush was able to satisfy his 6-year obligation with only 5 year and 4 months of service.

A few other docs made available through FOIA:

Posted by: Mike at February 9, 2004 10:50 PM | PERMALINK

"Perhaps you could explain how Bush was able to satisfy his 6-year obligation with only 5 year and 4 months of service."

Mike: Can I field this for the LTC? The answer is very simple. He fulfilled the remaining obligation in the ORS. That is what it is there for. That is the purpose of that statement and the reason for the existence of the ORS and similar control groups. I sent hundreds of reservists who were perfectly good soldiers into the IRR (the Army equivalent). Do be aware that the "obligation" referred to here is a TOTAL time obligation. That obligation will have a certain ACTIVE portion and an INACTIVE portion. When Bush was discharged from the ORS his obligation was fulfilled. Just like when somebody in the army today fills he three and gets out he still is "obligated" for five more years - though he will never wear a uniform again - unless he wants to. This is reality, I did it for twenty years (or at least a big chunk of my twenty). In fact, I went into the IRR AFTER my obligation was over because I wanted to maintain my rank in case I decided to come back in (which I did). This really is just a case of misunderstanding military procedures and jargon.

Posted by: Stray Pooch at February 9, 2004 11:16 PM | PERMALINK

stray pooch: Your first question is a request to prove a negative. No, this does not prove he DIDN'T do anything wrong. But there is a necessary presumption of innocence here.

I wasn't asking for rigorous proof. I was asking whether this new information is consistent with the theory that Bush acquitted himself during his time in the NG and, more pointedly, whether it is inconsistent with the prior [reasonable] theories concerning unauthorized absences.

As for the second question, yes, of course, a specific sheet containing a charge against GWB would be complete proof that he had not only failed in his duties as a member of the NG but had actually been charged for those failures. What I was trying to ask was whether it was credible that he might have been derelict in his duty without necessarily being charged. Specifically, if that were in fact the case, what kinds of evidence would have accumulated and where would it be located? Only by answering that question will we ultimately be able to decide whether there's any case to be made here.

Posted by: Anarch at February 9, 2004 11:29 PM | PERMALINK

If I'm reading these nearly 500 comments properly, the only things that that can be categorically stated as fact or probable fact:

1. W benefitted from family connections to get into the TANG. Pretty common, nothing illegal.

2. For reasons unknown, he did not report to take his medical exam. Not typical of commissioned officers trained as pilots but again only circumstantial facts available to infer motive.

3. W was transferred to the ARF unit and fullfilled the remainder of his committment as he accrued enough service/drill credits --including "make up" credits -- to warrant an honorable discharge.

4. Service/drill credits were accrued for the "lost year" in Alabama. Either W was present at the time or he made them up -- also precedented.

5. W did not "continue to fly with my unit" after Alabama as stated in his book.

Posted by: longshot at February 10, 2004 12:03 AM | PERMALINK

" W did not "continue to fly with my unit" after Alabama as stated in his book."

Actually, I believe that is true. He became a flight crew member after blowing off the physical, I believe.

Posted by: Right-Wing Vegetarian at February 10, 2004 12:19 AM | PERMALINK

Vietnam was fought under the guise of US national security, as is GW2. Bush said on MTP, that he "supported my government", concerning VN. He did not eschew his personal gains to back up this claim by enlisting to fight in that war, I would bet he would keep a safe distance from this one also. This is an issue of moral cowardice.
The position is relevant today...this national security threat is severe enough for SOMEONE OTHER THAN ME to fight for. Mendacity.

Posted by: dsul at February 10, 2004 12:32 AM | PERMALINK

The first thing I would highly question in the presented "Air Reserve Forces Retirement Credit Summary" is the hand "written-in" enteries [last three lines] of the document. If I am not mistaken, any document of such importance, as computing time-in-service, like the Active Duty Army DD Form 214 is always "typewritten" or uses "typewritten charcters" from a computer entry on the document!! [No handwritten entries allowed!!] I find this document in question improperly completed or it is possible that forged entirees may have occured.

Posted by: ai5u at February 10, 2004 01:06 AM | PERMALINK

So, he may have been sent to ARF because he was in the dog house? (sorry, no one had said it yet...)

Posted by: John Abbe at February 10, 2004 01:42 AM | PERMALINK


Your ignorance is monumental.

Get a life! These documents are only a few that chronicle the misadventures of W. Get over your denial and DO THE RESEARCH before you call those who researched this stupid. There are literally hundreds of references which may be verified on the Internet through reputable sources. If you are too lazy to vet this, then please don't bitch. Be prepared to defend your argument with FACTS or go write a check to the RNC.

There are plenty of conservative websites around where you would be much happier. I give them my respect and do not flame them. I suggest you accord the same respect to liberal sites.

PS The frame on my license plate reads: "My next license plate will be made by George W. Bush." Clever, eh? But I guess you would need a sense of humor to appreciate it.

Vote in November, and God Bless America.

Posted by: Liberal1 at February 10, 2004 03:47 AM | PERMALINK

Raf Hound:

Actually, Al Gore won the popular vote by 530,000 votes. The US Supreme Court stepped in and overruled the Florida State Supreme Court recall order when W's margin shrank from 537 votes to something like 125 votes.

The Supreme Court then elected George W. Bush president, 5-4. Although there was no specific law allowing this unprecedented intervention in state affairs, the Court's argument was essentially that there was no law to prohibit it.

So you see, there is nothing to "get over. " Constitutionally speaking, the election was invalid.

This is history, not speculation.

You guys are doing great work! Keep it up!

Posted by: Liberal1 at February 10, 2004 03:58 AM | PERMALINK

Great explanations of ANG, Reserve, and Military peronnel procedures by Stray Pooch, Navy Retire, Retired LTC, John Moore and Malloty May. Your remarks were informative and to the best of my knowledge accurate. No conjectures, no guesses. I retired from the USN after thirty years in 1991 but if I had to prove where I was and provide a witness to my presence to what I was doing in the 72-73 timeframe I am sure it would be most difficult. I have been overpaid, underpaid, received someone elses flight deck pay, had someone else receive my Pro-pay, been credited with flights I did't fly and vice versa. I agree completly with your points but if you think you can change one of these nuts minds with the truth IMO YOU'RE CRAZY.

Posted by: don Bentley at February 10, 2004 05:33 AM | PERMALINK

Mike: Perhaps you could explain how Bush was able to satisfy his 6-year obligation with only 5 year and 4 months of service.

Perhaps the same way I was able to satisfy my 6-year obligation (USMC, 86-92) with only 5 years and 8 months of service: he asked.

Even today, and even in the active military (which I was in), you can request an early release from the military; at the time I left, the maximum was 3 months prior to your EAS (End of Active Service), but as we were beginning a big drawdown in forces post-Gulf War I, that was informally extended to 6 months.

After seperation, I too was assigned to the inactive reserve, until my obligated service of 8 years (which every enlistee garners) was finished. When people say they sign up for 3 years, 4 years, or 6 years, what they really mean is 3, 4, or 6 years of _active_ service. Transferral to inactive reserve status does not indicate any sort of punitive action; it's just a holding pool of trained people that can be recalled, if necessary, during that time between when that servicemember (in the case of the Guard and Reserves) has accrued the required number of points to be released from active reserve status and the end of your 'true' service obligation.

Posted by: Jeepster at February 10, 2004 05:49 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, by the way, I once sat at a duty station for 8 months waiting for orders (as an active servicemember!) due to an administrative screwup at HQMC. I was officially nowhere; the only people in the Corps that even knew I existed were in Kansas City, issuing me pay, and the admin personnel at the detachment I was with.

Posted by: Jeepster at February 10, 2004 05:52 AM | PERMALINK

I always pondered the power of money that will elect a guy like George W. to president. a man who was a user of Drugs, had extra martial affairs, and is an outlandish liar. I have always pondered his tax returns for an ordinary bankruptcy that put millions in his pocket.

Posted by: Sammy at February 10, 2004 06:16 AM | PERMALINK

where were u guys when clinton was running

Oh ya i remember u were saying that none of this stuff was important.

Posted by: dan at February 10, 2004 06:38 AM | PERMALINK

The record you have is clearly a forgery. Bush requested permission to perform equivalent duty with the Alabama ANG during the months of September, October, and November 1972. That request was dated 5 Sep 1972, see

The Alabama ANG approved the request on 15 Sep 1972 and noted that the Alabama ANG had already held its September training session. The training dates remaining were 7-8 October and 4-5 November 1972. Those are the only two dates Bush could have attended and the only two dates for which Bush had authority to attend. see

The record you cite shows credit for 28-29 October 1972 and 11-14 November 1972, a period of time Bush was in Montgomery, Alabama but on which the Montgomery ANG unit did not hold sessions.

We know that Bush was not seen at his Texas unit from 1 May 1972 through 31 April 1973. see and Moreover, Bush did not request discharge from the TANG until 5 September 1973, see

Bush did not have authority to attend any other sessions so the only possible training sessions he could have attended were with his TANG unit or in the Alabama ANG on the two dates in October and November 1972.

There is no record that Bush attended ANG sessions during the period 1 May 1972 through 31 April 1973. He did attend a number of ANG sessions during May, June, and July 1973. The logical reason is that he was making up time lost during the previous 12 months period for failure to attend ANG sessions, a status known as AWOL.

Posted by: Jody at February 10, 2004 06:58 AM | PERMALINK

Been away awhile had to sleep

Stray Pooch and I agree virtually down the line. We have both had substantial experience in the military and with these sort of documents and regulations.

I would most like to respond to Anarch's questions. The 5 years 4 months probably reflects that the remainder was forgiven - a very common practice at the end of the Viet Nam era. In fact, I count 6 full years based on the drill summaries.

Most importantly 'what document DO we need to see next'

Those drills he was credited with in the Reserve years are highly suspicious. They do not appear to be academic credits received for correspondence course completion because of the date pattern which, as someone else pointed out, look like drill and AT atendance days.

Someone authorized, supervised, and signed off on his attendance at the drills or alternative drills. What he did, where he did it, and who oversaw it are the critical issues.

Two other critical points to investigate

1. What were the circumstances surrounding his refusal to submit to a flight physical? He had to have missed several appointments because these things get rescheduled. What does he have to say in defense of having failed to comply with orders?

2. Despite what someone said earlier, anyone exercising undue influence or anyone in authority violating standard recruiting and assignment policies and regs is damn sure in violation of the law. How did GWB leapfrog over so many others and enter the TANG in such an accelerated fashion

Posted by: retired LTC at February 10, 2004 07:11 AM | PERMALINK

Same line different pundit
This is the same Dem regurgitation I hear on NPR & Randi Rhodes everyday. You spent a lot of time celebrating leftness, and do communicate a well thought-out presentation... but that facts are that this tact didn't work in 2000 and now that he's had 3+ years of excellent military service as commander-in-chief it is a tiny non-issue.

Like or not we are at war
Here's what left doesn't get... it's the nation's security stupid. There is no economy, no healthcare, no tort litigation, no social security, and no democratic party if there is no country.

Posted by: Tom at February 10, 2004 08:02 AM | PERMALINK

there's a wapo column today from a man who was a guardsman - very similar story to george - blew off his obligation, got an honorable discharge in spite of it - and apparently ended up in the army reserve for his avoidance maneuvers.

Posted by: m at February 10, 2004 08:05 AM | PERMALINK

It's likely that the interpretation of the Bush military record is being done in ignorance of the facts of how the Reserves were actually run at the time. In particular, painting Bush as uniquely lax in meeting his requirements is likely incorrect. There was a war on, money was scarce. Once Bush stopped flying, the military probably wanted to stop spending money on him, as on everyone else in a similar situation. The failure to attend, and the transfer to an inactive "disciplinary unit" were quite possibly routine.

(Although I am not familar with the Air Reserves, I did encounter a similar situation in my experience in the Army. At that time, draftees incurred a nominal 6 year commitment; 2 years active duty, 2 years active reserves, 2 years inactive reserves. In practice, they were never assigned to an active reserve unit, and their service effectively ended after the first two years.)

The purely political nature of this witch hunt is revealed in the utter lack of interest in the libelous implication, without evidence, that higher-ups in the Reserves were so incompenent and/or corrupt to issue an honorable discharge to "deserter."

I find the man's presidency deplorable. Spend your energies on current events.

Posted by: SeaDrive at February 10, 2004 08:15 AM | PERMALINK

Sigh. The same fear-mongering "We're at war!" meme strikes again. C'mon, let's face it, al Qaeda isn't gonig to overthrow the United States even in their most fervent wet dreams. At best they can pull off a few more WTC-style strikes, kill another 6,000 or so Americans (about as many Americans as die in auto accidents in a month), and accomplish nothing except look like morons as they try to avoid the B-52 bombs falling all around their heads.

Look, there's not anybody, anywhere in the world, who threatens the overthrow of the United States of America -- except George W. Bush and his team of looters in the White House. Only cowards think a few terror strikes will overthrow the United States. When did the Republican Party become the Party of sissy-men who cringe in fear of the rest of the world? Sheesh!

Posted by: BadTux at February 10, 2004 08:26 AM | PERMALINK

National Security? More Americans were killed by drunk drivers last year than the total of all recorded terrorist attacks. Perhaps we should be launching cruise missles on our nations taverns and liquor stores instead. Careful Tom, theres a terrorist hiding under your bed.

Posted by: dsul at February 10, 2004 08:26 AM | PERMALINK

As a draftee who served overseas from 09/71 through 01/73 I can vouch that I had plenty of fellow active duty comrades in arms who ended up next to me with two years active duty because they blew off too many reserve meetings. Activating reservists who did not show up for duty was very common and used as a punishment/deterent.
However, I did not encounter Mr. Bush among the activated reservists in my unit.

Posted by: Scott at February 10, 2004 08:30 AM | PERMALINK

The Boston Globe, which got this going in the first place, agrees that this backs up Bush, wipes the egg of their face and says it still "raises questions." Wake me when the election is about a few more recent events.

Posted by: HH at February 10, 2004 08:30 AM | PERMALINK


It might help if you actually read the posts before making comments on the posters.

Had you done so you would find that several of us have extensive service records and familiarity with exactly the kind of documents and their uses, and served during exactly the same period.

In my particular case I have served as an active duty officer of both Infantry (Regular Airborrne) and Reserve Medical Service. I have service in the Colorado National Guard and the US Army Reserve and completed 22 years of total service before retiring. It is obvious from the notes of several others (e.g. Anarch John Deterick) that they too have extensive service and knowledge in these areas.

In addition their posts and mine are well reasoned and deeply researched - in stark contrast to your broadside

Posted by: retired LTC at February 10, 2004 08:31 AM | PERMALINK

ARF is more likely "Air Reserve Forces" rather than "Army Reserve Forces", but then, that is now vs what may well have been different nomenclature in the 70's. The Air Guard acronym is (now) AGR, but I don't know what it was in the 70's.

I am currently a Reservist. I served in the regular AF from 1985-1992. After I was RIF'd (RIF = Reduction In Force - the big military downsize that occured after Desert Storm), I was transferred to the Air Force Reserves as an member of the Individual Ready Reserves. I had no drills, was assigned no where, but I had to maintain my physical condition and was eligable for recall to active duty if military necessity required it. After a period of several years in this status, I was about to be transfered to the inactive reserves. In this status an individual remains on the rolls but would only be recalled in the worst of military emergencies and is, for all practical purposes, no longer a player. Before I went into the inactive rolls, I joined a traditional AF Reserves unit. Because I was still (just barely) on IRR status prior to this, the way it was/is handled is that my retirement records treat it as if I was never separated from the service. I DO show a long, inactive gap in my records where I attended no (military) schools, performed no obvious duty, but as far as retirement goes, that gap in years counts. If I had waited until I was in the inactive rolls, this would not have been the case (I am led to understand).

Anyway, what I am getting to is that it is POSSIBLE that Bush was dumped into something akin to IRR status and that he may have then pulled even inadequate duty at the very last minute in 1973 such that he wasn't dumped into the inactive file, thus losing his "points" from being in the IRR.

I am currently researching this a bit, and will try to come up with a better/more enlightened explanation as well as a meaning to the L9CMPY code on the current document. It would be most helpful if the previous year's document were also examined. You would have a point record for the pre-72/73 period and be able to compare the annotations (ARF vs AGR perhaps) on that document vs the current document. I am not sure how the Guard would have handled retirement points vs the USAFR at that time. Perhaps a Guardsman from that period of time could enlighten?

Posted by: Praedor Atrebates at February 10, 2004 08:36 AM | PERMALINK

Praedor Atrebates

Search through the posts with my name and the names of Stray Pooch and John Deterick and you'll save yourself a lot of research time

Posted by: retired LTC at February 10, 2004 08:41 AM | PERMALINK

The bottom line is, even if Bush misrepresented himself by ommision, he was never AWOL. People that made that accusation should apoligize. Thats like calling someone a rapist.

Posted by: Mark Buehner at February 10, 2004 09:21 AM | PERMALINK

None of this matters to me. I'll vote for President Bush no matter what BS from 30+ years ago is brought up.

If anyone here on this blog was even alive 30 years ago, it must be a low number. For those that are here of that small number, how many served? I bet the number goes down drastically.

You folks dig all you like, it will get you nowhere as far as anything bringing this President down.


Posted by: Donald Larson at February 10, 2004 09:31 AM | PERMALINK

It's watching circuses like this that make me realize that Bush is a shoe-in next November.

This whole ridiculous, grassy-knoll-ish conspiracy theorizing reminds me of the way the Right humiliated themselves during the Clinton years.

Posted by: Joey Joe Joe at February 10, 2004 09:32 AM | PERMALINK

Donald Larson

Its not BS and its not unimportant.

Presidents and Americans in general are often judged on their military service record - it reflects what a man will do when the chips are down for him personally.

If GWB used his father's political influence to leapfrog other deserving candidates so that he could rest the war out comfortably in the Guard, and then continued using that influence to smooth over all his career bumps and hiccups, or to keep himself from getting activated then YES it is a huge illustration of the character of the man.

In this case, and speaking as an active Infantry officer at exactly the same time this occurred, I will tell you that anyone who would do that is the lowest of the low, and far worse than anyone who opted to stay in school, get married, or go to Canada to avoid an awful war.

This man has an excellent chance of bringing himself down, all by himself, and because of his character flaws

Posted by: retired LTC at February 10, 2004 09:36 AM | PERMALINK

why doesn't someone find his dd214 ?

Posted by: johnnie at February 10, 2004 09:55 AM | PERMALINK

To those recent posts (an a few before) who are critical of this forum and those of us engaged in it.

One might get the impression that you're not very comfortable with free speech and the exchange of thoughts in an open forum. One might further surmise that is so because you're not very good at joining in a constructive way.

Not everyone here has insightful or deeply researched opinions or the experience on which to base them, but if you read carefully through the posts, you'll find that many do have all those things.

Do your homework. Read through Kevin's site and these postings and join us in an adult conversation. Its very clear that most of the people posting here are serious, concerned about their country and it's future, and willing to engage others in a meaningful conversation. Its called a Democracy and its not for everyone.

Posted by: retired LTC at February 10, 2004 09:57 AM | PERMALINK

Can you provide a bit more information about the Air Reserve Force Retirement Credit document? There's speculation that it's just a partial document, and that other might exist. Was this summary directly from the Texas Gaurd, or was it an Air Force document from Denver? Where are these types of reports usually handled? Locally or centrally?

Great work, BTW. I hope you sent Robinson an e-mail concerning mistakes in this morning's Globe article. If not, here's his email:

Posted by: Augie at February 10, 2004 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

Time to wake up and smell the roses. This non-event is, for all practical purposes, over. By election time, this whole ANG issue will be as dead as the veritable door nail. Get over it. Dubya is in for the second term even if he was going up against Jesus. Cheney & Co. are not about to let a little thing like this cut the puppet Bush from act II of this drama. The real deal here is that the situation planners have got everyone of you on calendar and off focus. Take a deep breath and get on to the real issues. Like war and oil and economics and international realtions. Ask yourselves this question: Why Russert? Of all the available folks, Russert! How palatable is he? Very. Even tough questions melt his audience and the worst fears of Bush melt with them. It's over!

Posted by: TDR at February 10, 2004 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

I'd like to thank everyone with admin experience (particularily Stray Pooch)... I served in the Marine Corps, active duty, and then later in a reserve unit, and admin mistakes were definitely not uncommon. From the documents presented, there is no smoking gun at this point.

I do want to point out something about Bush's lack of flight physical. My reserve unit was a C-130 squadron. At a few times, I had the unenviable task of calling each and every officer who had not had their flight physical. I ended up having to call half the officers...including our CO. Reserve units have a very hard time gettting these physicals completed. Even on active duty, we had a monthly list I recieved with medical and dental "Class 4's"...this meant servicemembers who needed to reccieve physicals and dental exams immediately. When we started contacting their company commanders, one of the companies had 35% of their members on a class 4 list.

So, Bush's not having received a physical doesn't shock me... generally the officers and Staff NCOs were the most difficult. Needless to say, my class 4 list was very 'top heavy'.... lance corporals on down who made the list took care of these matters immediately.

Posted by: muskratbyte at February 10, 2004 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

Think about it, the pay record in question serves to point out that Bush was disciplined for something. It could have been the democrats motive all along ... to point out that Bush was disciplined. That will lead to the question for what?

The for what can swirl around for 3 more months. Until it is reported that it was for failure OR REFUSAL to take a physical (that lead to his pilots wings being stripped). The the question can swirl as to why he did take the physical. That can swirl for a while until someone notes that that ws the first year a drug test was required with the physical.

Then we can come full circle back to the cocain allegations we've all heard before.

Maybe the democrats are more devious than I have given them credit for. Or maybe they are just getting lucky. Regardless this issue is going to get some traction. The Washington Post linked to this blog today (Dan Froomkin).

McClellan better call Rush for some pain killers. He is going to need them in the comng days and months.

Posted by: FlipFlopnFly at February 10, 2004 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

As a former ANG pilot, Bush's case is not all that strange, really. For various reasons ANG pilots are unable to fly. It seems like Bush got involved in the campaign and then Harvard and the flying became to difficult to comply with because he realized that flying in the Guard is nearly a fulltime committment. Why then did his unit not make him fly? Well, "forcing" somebody to fly is unsafe to the individual, other pilots, and the general population, moreover, at the minimum he could damage a valuable aircraft. Besides the faster they get him out of there the quicker they can get somebody in there who wants to do their fairs share of work.
Sometimes I have had to drill with other units, so Bush should have some documentation that he was at the Alabama unit, because it is the only way you can get paid and credit, someone in that guest unit has to sign off that you were there and there is a form for that, and then you send that form to your unit, I don't recall the form number. Heck look athis pay stubs. Perhaps the discrepancy is that Bush got the form, signed it himself and sent it in, because it begs the question is how did he get the points when he was not doing anything? Perhaps he paid off the operations clerk?

There doesn't have to be this FEB, Flight Evaluation Board, or any criminal (dishonrable) proceedings, why? Well ANG units only want motivated pilots to be there they don't have the time to nanny anyone, and as pilots they hate paperwork, so it is much easier to kick somebody into the ARF status than go and do all this stuff, and more importantly, the Texas unit was not about to piss off a congressman (Bush I) because they need to stay on good terms with people who get them funding like base infrastructure, airplanes, etc. So politically it would have been suicidal to do that, and if the commander of the unit had done that well then he would have had his general on his ass, and the commander who maybe wants to be a general or see retirement does not want to come off as a dolt to his boss, and even if the commanding general (Adjutant General appointed by the Governor) would have allowed it then you would have had the general at the guard bureau on his ass, threatening his funding, see? And maybe then the whole congressional delegation from Texas would have had something to say, so why would any supervisor want that kind of heat?

Suffice it to say this is a classic case where the Air Guard got rid of Bush as fast as they could, once he decided to not participate, because politically they could not do anything to him, and so despite what all these AWOL rules say he had different treatment. I'm certain somebody told him how to do it, perhaps there were other pilots in the unit who did the same thing, note on Bush's suspension from flying duty there was another guy in his unit who also did not get the physical done, becuase in the finaly analysis, I'm sure somebody told Bush to do what he wanted becasue the unit would simply give him an honorable in the end. What is bad is that Bush doesn't acknowledge the facts, he did not do the duty, he could have requested to get out of the unit like he eventually did, instead he chose to not do his drills and he blew off the unit as a whole, in short he wanted them to kick him out, because there should be letters of counseling and stuff like that warning him of the consequences of his action, but there are not, Bush was protected and he knew it and the ANG knew it.

Posted by: jed at February 10, 2004 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

I served 24years 4 months and 10 days of Active Service, just tell me how much the author and some of the draft dodgers including the former CinC served?


Posted by: Ken Ward at February 10, 2004 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

Kerry and McAuliffe want to preemptively strike at Bush using "patriotism" and in so doing, have actually done something unpatriotic.

"What is it about Bush that turns otherwise intelligent people into kooks?" - best comment on the thread. Kooks indeed: keepers of odd knowledge.

Trying to undermine the authority of the only President we've got to act as Commander-In-Chief and send US Armed Forces into battle is unpatriotic, pure and simple.

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

Why this thing took so long to get legs?

Yikes, most of the peeps that are editors in the news media probably did the same thing as Bush and Clinton and now we've finally got Kerry and Clark. 2nd lt. in two or three weeks with no ROTC or OCS…anyone ever heard of that before? When going through Basic and AIT with NGs and Reservists, I don't think I met one whose father or mother didn't get them the appointment. They harassed us relentlessly about getting to go home while we were going to the Nam to get killed and I've never forgotten that. I tried to get into a an NG unit about the same time as Bush and the person in charge of recruitment just laughed at me and wouldn't even put my name on a waiting list.

To be sure, many deferments and dodges were legitimate - medical problems and married with children, but only 8% of eligible males served and that means that a good portion of the 90% that didn't serve found a way long ago to rationalize their cowardice - they made freeing the people of Viet Nam a bad thing and effectively stereotyped those that served as uneducated misfits. In actual fact, the education level achieved for US Viet Nam servicemen was much higher than those that served in WWII while the average age was much lower: average age in Viet Nam = 19; average age in WWII = 25. The average number and intensity of combat incidents was higher for US Nam soldiers.
So here you have it: a large portion of an entire generation of males rationalizing their cowardice and we wonder why the AWOL story goes nowhere - someone might ask one of them what they did in the war.


Did you ever wonder why no National Guard or Army Reserve units were ever called to active duty during the Viet Nam War? The answer = the Berlin Crisis from 58-62. Check it out. Reserve forces were called to active duty and the uproar by people of influence was go great that Johnson was afraid to do the same thing during the Viet Nam Conflict.

It is time to face the truth - combat service or non-service during the Viet Nam was quite often a function of family influence and not universal democratic conscription. Gee, I wonder how that fits in with all the talk about values.

I mean to offend no one with this message. I'm a hypocrite and I value low values like cheap tools from China.

Posted by: ron harris at February 10, 2004 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

To Retired LTC, Stray Pooch, and others knowledgeable about military procedures:

I'd appreciate it if you could address a few additional thoughts I've had.

I was originally under the impression that Bush was in Alabama for a year from May 1972 on, but according the White House press secretary, Bush was only in Alabama during Oct-Nov 1972.

That makes sense because his stated reason for the temporary transfer to Alabama was to work on the Nov 1972 Senate campaign. Indeed, the approval for the transfer and order for him to report to the 187th Tac Rec unit in Alabama only referred to Oct and Nov 1972:

Bush presumably left Alabama after the Nov 1972 election. He wouldn't had much reason to stay on in Alabama after the campaign.

So where did serve for dates listed in the "ARF statement of points earned" from Jan-July 1973?

According to Bush's annual officer effectiveness statement (dated May 2, 1973), his superiors in the Texas Air Guard had not seen him with his Texas unit since May 15, 1972 and had thought he had been performing equivalent duties in Alabama with the 187th:

If Bush had left Alabamba after the Nov 1972 election, wouldn't it make it sense for him to report back to the Texas Air Guard to finish his remaining obligation?

Do you know what this document is: ?

It seems to be chronology of Bush's service record, but for some reason, it has a big gap from May 26, 1972 to Oct 1, 1973 (when he was placed on inactive status after he started business school).

It seems at this point, all the documentary evidence we'll find won't settle the question one way or another.

I think the only way to settle it is if Bush can get affidavavits from people he served with. If he did serve during the period in question, it shouldn't be that hard for him to find people, either in Alabama or Texas (even if he was in an office pushing paper) who'd remember that, right?

don bently: If I had to prove where I was and provide a witness to my presence to what I was doing in the 72-73 timeframe I am sure it would be most difficult.

Would it really be that difficult for Bush to find someone who served with him in either the Alabama or Texas National Guard from May 1972 to May 73 to testify to that fact, if he did in fact serve? I ask in all seriousness. I find it hard to believe that no one would remember Bush being there. Absolutely no one. No superior officers? No fellow junior officers? No enlisted men?

Posted by: Mike at February 10, 2004 11:00 AM | PERMALINK


Trying to discover if a man occupying the White House has deep character flaws, may have used his father's power and political influence to keep him from his fair military obligations, and may have committed unlawful acts or allowed others to do so on his behalf is a supremely patriotic thing to do, and is in the highest traditions of this country's greatest men - men like Woodward and Bernstein.

Posted by: retired LTC at February 10, 2004 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

This whole Air Na. Guard story (which was hashed and re-hashed four years ago) is indicative of the fact that the Democrats have no issues. Do you folks think that anyone, other than the congenital Bush-haters, give a rat's patootie about any of this?

Posted by: Greg at February 10, 2004 11:04 AM | PERMALINK


The answer is, YES tens of millions of Americans are interested in this story and it's outcome because it represents a fundamental issue involving the character and behavior of the man occupying the WHite House.

That's why it has received so much national attention in recent weeks - from an NBC Nightly news special segment, to the Russert interview, to a repeated series of articles in the press including the Boston Globe and the Washington Post

Posted by: retired LTC at February 10, 2004 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

BTW wondered "Is it possible to get a copy of Bush's SAT test? I doubt he took it, and a fake signature could prove it."

I have the same doubts as to his whole educational adventure; his admission into Yale and Harvard, and his MBA days at the latter. What kind of courses did he take, and how did he perform? Did he have to write any papers? Any record of them?

Observing him in any situation, he hides the fact that he is a Harvard-MBA, with great felicity.

Posted by: pKrishna at February 10, 2004 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

This whole thing isn't about politics, per se...and it certainly isn't because there aren't other issues about which to critique GWB. Rather, it's about the nerve of this man to stand in front of us...beginning with the 2000 campaign...and actually expect us to trust him, believe him, and to take sincerity as a sign of truthfullness. For goodness sake, he actually thinks that just because he SAYS something, that we're suppose to believe him. The man doesn't have a clue about self-perspective and the effect that he has on others. Now maybe this is okay as a characteristic of a fast-food restaurant manger, etc., but it's not okay with me in this country's president. You know, the one who has possession of the black satchel with the nuclear codes in it?
So, taking in all the things that Bush has done and said since the days of announcing himself as a "compassionate conservative" to the malarky the White House released today, it's about his credibility, period. He has none.

Posted by: David at February 10, 2004 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

The latest I've read on this suggests that the pay records from Denver close the case on this (or so Mr. McLelland would like to be the case). If it does and we are all in some sort of blue dress death spiral that's fine. We should come back to our senses and concentrate on the issues that matter. However, I don't trust W and his handlers enough to not think that they could have either:

A. Leaned on his old unit commander to recant; or
B. Doctored the logbooks a la Col. Nathan Jessup.

So ... I'm willing to walk away from this entire mess if they can produce W's tax returns for 1968 to 1974 (the actual returns, not some elctronic facsimile). If he was being paid they way he claims he was being paid by the guard then it won't just show up with his DFAS records, it will appear in his 1040s too. I recon it's a little harder to monkey around with IRS records. If the money shows up there, fine. If not, there's probably smoke to go with the fire.

Posted by: Rick at February 10, 2004 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

The torn and untorn documents match exactly:
In photoshop:
1. Scale the torn doc from its current width of 545 pixels up to 598 pixels (with contstrained proportion).
2. Rotate the torn doc 0.4 degrees clockwise.
3. Create an empty layer on the torn doc.
4. Select the text (use select color and select black with a wide range) on the untorn doc, and copy the selection.
5. Paste the selection onto the empty layer of the torn doc.
6. Move the layer to the best matching position. The images match with at most one pixel error (caused by the different sizes of the scans).

Posted by: hexatron at February 10, 2004 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

I just stumbled over this link. Very interesting stuff. To add my two cents. The difference in the appearance of the blacked out SS # could most likely be due to them first making copies of the originals then blacking out the SS # on the copies and making the copies public, so that the originals are preserved.


Posted by: FLS (Fat Lady Sings) at February 10, 2004 01:03 PM | PERMALINK

I can already see John Kerry reaching for this information. His record vs Bush...scathing for the administration...good work.

Posted by: mark at February 10, 2004 01:05 PM | PERMALINK

Except that Kerry is on record saying that what one did in Vietnam should not be dragged into an election... he's now stuck in a Gore-esque "I haven't brought this up... but others have!" mode and today was quoted backing away from it. Ultimately Kerry shot himself in the foot in 1992 over this.

Posted by: HH at February 10, 2004 01:30 PM | PERMALINK

The main reason Terry McAuliffe, John Kerry, and you liberal blogs have taken to regurgitating the "Bush was AWOL" charge with such verve is because you know you can't beat the president arguing national security policy so you have to try discredit him personally. Frankly, I find it to be a bit on the scummy side.

I'm not such a Kool-Aid drinking Bush supporter to be completely closed off to the idea that Bush may have missed a few meetings in Alabama while serving in the National Guard.

But as things stand now - and as they've stood for the past three years - the facts don't support an AWOL charge against the President, no matter how much you may love or hate him.

Because if you take a step back and think about this for a second, even if you grant your worst case scenario against Bush - that he blew off Guard duty for an entire year and then crammed at the end to fulfill his requirement before heading off to business school - there really is no getting around the fact that Bush did indeed fulfill his service obligation and received an honorable discharge from the National Guard. That fact alone makes the AWOL charge a scurrilous one.

Let's assume for the sake of argument the truth lies somewhere in the middle; that Bush reported to duty in Alabama a couple of times and the records got lost along the way, but also that he did miss some service during that year. Unless you're willing to challenge the veracity of Bush's discharge then you are left trying to prove the unprovable, all the while ignoring the only salient fact (Bush's honorable discharge) in order to trade in speculation and innuendo that casts aspersions on Bush's character.

But if you can't produce proof or come up with anything more than endless streams speculation over the next 8 months then you will have performed a great injustice to the President and to your readers. And you may also help reinforce the notion among some that the blogosphere is nothing more than an online rumor mill. That would be most unfortunate.

All I can say is, "keep it up." Please. The Democratic party looks increasingly like a junkie strung out on Bush-hating drugs. They have no vision for the future, are unable to articulate any serious policy alternatives, and now live only for the next high, which usually comes in the form of slanderous, ad hominem attacks on the President like the one Al Gore delivered last night. Or the ones channeled through groups like

Hence the base's utter indifference to John Kerry as a person, as a candidate, and to his current and past positions on the issues. The party's hollowness is summed up neatly by the breathtaking banality of their current call to arms: "Anybody but Bush."

This is the first presidential election in America since three thousand of our fellow citizens were killed by terrorists on our own soil and Democrats are coming to the country with the message "anybody but Bush." Um, okay.

Posted by: Bill at February 10, 2004 01:35 PM | PERMALINK


One thing you should pay attention to. The Commission investigating the 9/11 tragedy is headed by Tom Kean, a very conservative ex-govenor of Pennsylvania and a heretofore solid Bush supporter.

Kean has already spoken about the commission's findings and they will be reiterated in print when the report is released later this year. In summarization he will say that the attacks were preventable; that the attacks should have been prevented; that the failure to prevent the attacks lies squarely with various instrumentalities of the Bush administration; and finally, that the most astonishing thing is that those responsible for the failure are largely still holding their jobs.

I think that probably justifies a few of us thinking we might need a new President, and an elected one this time

Posted by: retired LTC at February 10, 2004 01:46 PM | PERMALINK

Tom Kean is a very conservative ex-governor of Pennsylvania and a solid Bush supporter.

He is a not-especially-conservative Republican ex-governor of New Jersey and a solid Bush supporter.

Posted by: Hexatron at February 10, 2004 02:03 PM | PERMALINK

"I think that probably justifies a few of us thinking we might need a new President, and an elected one this time"

I suspect that you probably thought this well before and are simply trolling for rationalizations.

Posted by: Joey Joe Joe at February 10, 2004 02:13 PM | PERMALINK


I wouldn't call taking the findings of a bipartisan Presidential Commission trolling. I think for most of us it pretty much jumps off the page

Posted by: retired LTC at February 10, 2004 02:16 PM | PERMALINK

Gee sure do have the standard "Bushit" line down pat. Keep it'll discredit Bushie as well as yourself. LOL

Posted by: David at February 10, 2004 02:16 PM | PERMALINK

I was in the National Guard for 3 years before I went active. Let me tell you that half of the people in the Guard don't show up. What they used to do (90 to 93) is have a roll call in the morning, the people that showed up get paid, the people that didn't, don't get paid.

The fact that he has payroll receipts (what we call LES) means he showed up.

Also, I've been active for a total of 10 years so far. I still meet people who was in the same Company(120 people) I was in and don't know who the hell they are or remember them from that time. And that is active Army, where you go to work with the same people day in and day out, not the NG when you see them just once a month for two days.

While in the military you meet thousands of people a year, you become close friends with those you serve with on tours(Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq in my case), not the people in units where all you did was train with...generally speaking.

Oh yeah, the reason I put the dates up there is because today's Guard is very very different from the NG of back then, it was a lot more relaxed and the only worry we had of a deployment was if the USSR invaded W. Germany. Today they have a totally different set of motivations and since the war on Terror have been deployed just as much as Active units.

So, all you Liberal Civilians that would NEVER join the military because it is so beneath you, should try to understand how things work in a society you'll never understand from the outside.

And for those Libs who did serve, thanks, and you should know better than to even comment on it....John Kerry isn't for a reason, because he knows how it is and was back then.

Also, some other tidbits.

When you sign up for anything in the military, it is always an 8 year commitment(atleast since the 80s, not sure how long it was back then). So if you join the Army NG for 3 years, what you're actually doing is 3 years going to drills and what have you, then 5 years in IRR (Inactive ready reserve) which basically means you just have to keep them up to date with your where abouts and when/if they need your MOS (military occupational specialty) or Branch they can re-activate you in an emergency.

Also, ARF (not sure what it stands for) is just the acronym that Finance went by back then. Now it's known as DFAS(Defense Finance and Accounting Service).

I know you Libs really want to bash our President so badly, but the only way you're really going to do it is when you can find something you don't have to spin or spout things you "heard" from others without checking up on it first.

And for those of you who already hit these points, sorry I didn't read much of the commentary.

Posted by: Bryan at February 10, 2004 03:10 PM | PERMALINK

that facts are that this tact didn't work in 2000 and now that he's had 3+ years of excellent military service as commander-in-chief it is a tiny non-issue.

Unless I miss my guess, Commander-in-Chief is a civil position, and no more qualifies as "military service" (excellent or otherwise) than does Secretary of the Army... or any other executive branch position.

Like or not we are at War
Here's what left doesn't get... it's the nation's security stupid. There is no economy, no healthcare, no tort litigation, no social security, and no democratic party if there is no country.

I live less than 1 mile from a Marine Corps base, and run into these guys all over the place. You might be surprised how many of them think that the economy and healthcare are important issues. You might also be surprised how few think that the nation's security depends solely on George W. Bush occupying the Oval Office. You might even be surprised that some folks who served during wartime think that the president's TANG activity (or lack thereof) during the Vietnam War is a matter of some interest.

Mark Buehner:
The bottom line is, even if Bush misrepresented himself by ommision, he was never AWOL. People that made that accusation should apoligize. Thats like calling someone a rapist.

Whether or not Lt. Bush was charged, he was almost certainly absent, and had not been given leave. That would make him, you know, absent without leave. Saying that someone was AWOL is nothing like calling someone a rapist... which is exactly what Bill Clinton was called on more than a few occasions. How many apologies have you heard from those who made that claim?

Ken Ward:
I served 24years 4 months and 10 days of Active Service, just tell me how much the author and some of the draft dodgers including the former CinC served?

If this is a serious consideration for you, I take it that you voted for Al Gore in 2000, and will vote for John Kerry if he is the Democratic nominee?

Posted by: Keith at February 10, 2004 03:20 PM | PERMALINK

When organized in December 1948, Continental Air Command (CONAC) assumed jurisdiction over Tactical Air Command and Air Defense Command. . . . After January 1951, CONAC remained responsible primarily for administering the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, known collectively as the Air Reserve Forces.

Posted by: David Tomlin at February 10, 2004 03:46 PM | PERMALINK

Big assumptions here.

Not all of us are Democrats. Not Republican does not mean Democrat.

So, get a clue that not every question about Bush is some attempt to get a Democrat elected.

From where i sit, I see a President and and Administration that has committed crimes defined by both International and US Law. This from the Administration that touted "Rule of Law" and the return of the adults.

The pattern I see is one where a great deal of statements are later proven to be false. This not only affects the personal credibility of the people in the Bush Administration, but the credibility of the United States.

It is one thing to guess badly at the cost of a bill (missing by over $100 Billion dollars), and mistakes are expected from any human.

But, it seems clear that even if intelligence product was flawed, the Bush Administration clearly misled the nation and world into a war of choice.

The problem is, the last time a leader invaded another country under the pretense of defense, and it turned out to be a lie, there was this tribunal that determined that the planning of the war was a crime - not just the illegal invasion.

That leader, and his fellow conspirators were all judged to be guilty of War Crimes. Their notion of a pre-emptive war to defend a country was a lie to get the support of their citizens, and to keep international forces at bay.

Apparently, there is no reason why we had to invade Iraq in March of 2003. There was no grave, gathering, mortal, or any other kind of urgent threat. And, while those that made the decisions can point to the intelligence they received, the bottom line is that millions of people around the world knew that the "proof" was false, months and weeks before the invasion.

The forged Niger document was known to be false for more than a year, yet it was used as evidence at the UN, in the SOTU address, and to convince Congress to pass the Iraq resolution. I don't buy that they really thought this was the truth, and that they had no doubts.

I knew it was a forged document, the UN knew, and so did many others. But, there was no debate - it was brushed off. Until Amb. Wilson spoke up. And, the administration obviously fouled up in trying to pay back the Ambassador.

So, without getting into a long list you have heard before, the issue is credibility. We know for certain that we have been lied to. And not just over inconsequential stuff from 30+ years ago.

The reason why I am interested in the truth behind George W. Bush's service is not to get a Democrat elected. I believe George W. Bush is sending Americans on a dangerous mission, one based on false pretenses. The mission will cost Billions of dollars, and may never really end.

And, the end result may be replacing a contained dictatorship (which we tolerate in many places around the world) with a country that ends up as a radical islamic country, or one that rips itself apart in Civil War. Either way, we have provided a haven for terrorists that did not exist prior to our actions. Our plan backfired, even if you believe we had the best intentions.

It seems to me that we can no longer trust the Bush Administration about ANYTHING. Some of you feel this is a small issue. Great - then why not provide the proof? Why wasn't the proof provided in 2000?

I, for one, am not convinced with what has been submitted today. The contradiction with the lack of ANY human beings who can corraborate the story would cause a jury to vote against Bush. He has not proved his assertations beyond a reasonable doubt.

He is on trial. He wants to be a leader for the next 4 years. Fine. He needs to prove that he will not lie to get his way. He was given a pass for the first several, but he crossed the line with Iraq. They said they knew where the WMDs were. Powell held up a vial of anthrax. They tried to scare the shit out of us, and it worked.

So, call everyone names, and even threaten with DEATH those who call Bush a deserter (Ed Gillespie did on CNN this afternoon). We are not intimidated by you.

If you are a liar, we will find you and smoke you out of your hole.

If you support a liar, then you are no better than the liar. In fact, you become part of the lie.

We will not rest, and we will not stop, until all the liars are brought to justice. The liars have gone too far this time, and we will hunt down the lies and the liars until they do not lie to us any more.

Want to shut me up?

Put up the truth. The proof. The full story.

It is not my duty to give honor or allegence to anyone who lies to me, even if he is the President. Particularly when over soldiers have given their lives for nothing, and over 10,000 innocents have been killed.

Posted by: pantsonfire at February 10, 2004 03:54 PM | PERMALINK

"Saying that someone was AWOL is nothing like calling someone a rapist... which is exactly what Bill Clinton was called on more than a few occasions. How many apologies have you heard from those who made that claim?"

It's a bit different when the accused actually denies the charge personally.

Posted by: HH at February 10, 2004 04:49 PM | PERMALINK

pantsonfire - Gillespie most clearly did NOT threaten anyone with death. Here's his quote: "The Democrats said the president was a deserted. The Clark campaign said he was a deserter, which, by the way, is a treasonous offense punishable by death."

He said being a deserter is punishable by death. But as long as we're calling people deserters and AWOL without proof, why not start hurling accusations like this?

Posted by: HH at February 10, 2004 04:53 PM | PERMALINK

very simple if this was your military record you wouldnt show it to anybody youd be to embarsed next chenny is going to be indicted over bribing niger gov ken lay who works for bush is going to escape prosicution for enron and bush is gone in 2004 hope we never hear from him again he can stay and fram his life away banging his ugly wife and i hope his great great grandkids dont ever need help from the gov we will have to tell them thatnks to bush you cant have it

Posted by: reupman22 at February 10, 2004 05:02 PM | PERMALINK

"The position is relevant today...this national security threat is severe enough for SOMEONE OTHER THAN ME to fight for. Mendacity."

At the time Bush started his flight training, his future Texas Air Guard unit had planes in South Vietnam. The training to fly jet fighters is long, and by the time he got his wings, the unit had been moved back stateside.

As someone who joined between Greneda and Panama, and never saw action, I guess you also view me as someone to look down on. By the way, how much combat did you see during your time in the service?

Posted by: Siergen at February 10, 2004 05:14 PM | PERMALINK

I served 3+ years active duty and 16+ in the Navy Reserve and am familiar with the requirements for reserve members of the military during the time in question. I began inactive duty drills in August of 68. You need an officer who served in the Air National Guard during that time to explain the documents. For example, I would go slow in stating that the 22 days spent on active service in 71-72 was "dismal". At that time it would appear to me that his active duty requirement was probably 14 days per year! How he got into the Air Guard without undue influence is the real issue to me. Drilling requirements, at least in the Navy Reserve, were loose in those days.

Posted by: Bob Price at February 10, 2004 05:18 PM | PERMALINK

pkrishna wrote,

BTW wondered "Is it possible to get a copy of Bush's SAT test? I doubt he took it, and a fake signature could prove it."

I have the same doubts as to his whole educational adventure; his admission into Yale and Harvard, and his MBA days at the latter. What kind of courses did he take, and how did he perform? Did he have to write any papers? Any record of them?

Observing him in any situation, he hides the fact that he is a Harvard-MBA, with great felicity.

Has anyone researched the possibility that, during the time he was supposedly in Alabama, he was actually running cocaine through an airfield in Mena, Arkansas?

Posted by: Roger Sweeny at February 10, 2004 05:24 PM | PERMALINK

"very simple if this was your military record you wouldnt show it to anybody youd be to embarsed next chenny is going to be indicted over bribing niger gov ken lay who works for bush is going to escape prosicution for enron and bush is gone in 2004 hope we never hear from him again he can stay and fram his life away banging his ugly wife and i hope his great great grandkids dont ever need help from the gov we will have to tell them thatnks to bush you cant have it"

Good work, reupman22. Drop by the WH to pick up your check.

Posted by: K. Rove at February 10, 2004 05:25 PM | PERMALINK

Bush says he served 30 years ago and that is too long ago for anyone to come forward and remember he served with him. I served 60 years ago and still have people who can substantiate they served with me. do we old folks have longer memories?

Posted by: Dick Behrens at February 10, 2004 06:30 PM | PERMALINK

For what it's worth, after serving four years active duty in the Marines from 1966 to 1970, I was transferred to the "inactive" reserves for another two years to complete my six-year obligation. However, no meetings were required during my two-year reserve period. I had friends, though, who enlisted (also in the Marine Corps) but served in the reserves for their entire six year enlistments. They were required to attend meetings and summer camps for the entire six years.
President Bush's service did not include a stint of active duty, so my guess is that he would have been required to attend meetings and camps for the entire six years. This leads to the question of what happened to the rest of his commitment?
Of course, the armed forces were starting to wind down in that time period, as we were busy turning over the Viet Nam conflict to the Vietnamese Armed Forces.
I think that there is much more to this story, and only the disclosure of President Bush's entire service record will answer the questions.
Is the President's service record a valid issue? Of course it is.

Posted by: Gary Stoneking at February 10, 2004 07:04 PM | PERMALINK

This is how one bulletin board is putting it:



Posted by: ScottXYZ at February 10, 2004 07:43 PM | PERMALINK

I must question Mr. Stoneking's statement that Lt. Bush did not serve a stint of active duty. The record set forth above clearly states that he had 226 points for active duty training in the period May 68-May 69 and 313 points for the period May-69 to May-70. In the reserves you get one point for each full day of active duty or active duty reserve training and one point for each four hour period of inactive or reserve drill training such as weekend drills. You would get four points for one two day weekend inactive period of training. You would get fourteen points for a "Fourteen Day" period of "Active Duty for Training". which you normally would do once each year. Lt. Bush obviously served an extended period of active duty while undergoing flight training etc. as he had a total of 539 days of active duty between May 68 and May 70, plus 46 days of active duty from May 70 to May 71. Just pointing this out as it's objective fac. Bob Price p.s. I'm a YellowDogDemocrat and would like nothing better than to see General Clark become the next President and Commander in Chief.

Posted by: Bob Price at February 10, 2004 07:49 PM | PERMALINK

I would like to make one other observation. The Retirement Credit Summary set forth above is obviously not the final such record for Lt. Bush as it does not show points earned after May 72. There is a significant question as to whether he achieved enough points and active duty for training to satisfy the requirements for a satisfactory year of Air Guard participation for his anniversay year ending 26 May 73. Bob Price

Posted by: Bob Price at February 10, 2004 08:09 PM | PERMALINK

You know, I have a similar clause in my Navy Reserve enlistment contract. In the late 80's I requested transfer to the IRR so I could finish college without having to drill on finals week (which always seemed to be the case). The idea that such a transfer was de facto punitive (unless proven otherwise because as a Republican he's guilty unless proven innocent), when such transfers are common ans ordinary administrative actions, is indicative of a very closed mind. The type of mind that repeats mantra's about Niger documents that were never part of an assessment that Britain still stands behind today. You see facts don't matter; the pseudo-faith that Bush must be a liar, cheat, and cad just like the beloved Clinton has to be maintained.

To really understand the issue ask yourself this, if you had 100% iron clad proof - would it change your mind? If not then don't bother debating because anything that challenges your faith will result in making irrational interpretations on data that you have little to no understanding.

For example take the following question posted earlier, "[W]hat happened to the rest of his commitment?" Never mind that the issue has been addressed many times before, that Bush (just like Al Gore) was granted an early discharge to attend school or that the law, understanding the multiple responsibilities of the citizen-soldier, allows for makeup drills (did many a makeup myself). You see, any such fact-biased explanation will not allay the suspicions of the faithful, for Bush must be guilty and if not - he should be!

Posted by: Sparkey at February 10, 2004 08:14 PM | PERMALINK

Love you guys. Keep up the awesome work and keep trying to get this out to everyone!

One thing I have observed that nobody else has mentioned .. I got the .pdf that had on it's site .. they have little intro pages before the page with the corresponding chart.

I would look at what it says about Document 2. Something to the extent of NEVER BEEN RELEASED! Some bollox like that. Anyway .. go to the next page .. look at the very top when it was faxes .. it's the same stupid one from 2000. Fox was dumb as a box of rocks. (which they are heh)

fox document:

Posted by: polyorchid at February 10, 2004 08:24 PM | PERMALINK

Congrats on an excellent investigative journalism.

It was disheartening to see the republicans attack true American heros like John McCain and Max Cleland while at the same time giving a free pass to AWOL Bush in 2000.

Anybody but Bush in 2004!

Join us at
where your posts are well archived.

Posted by: Mark Russell at February 10, 2004 08:27 PM | PERMALINK

Although I was 11, I remember that 1972 was when it became clear that "peace with honor" was on the table. Nixon wasn't going to be sending too many more boys to die. Is anyone surprised that someone who joined the air national guard four years earlier to stay out of Vietnam, suddenly loses focus on his military career? Of course he made sure he got an honorable discharge. Like Yale and the rest of the first 40 years of his life, he happily took the "gentleman's C" and bellied up to the bar!

Are there even 50 people in this country who were going to vote for W. despite the last 4 years, but won't because he might have been AWOL 32 years ago? Yeah its ironic he's sent hundreds to die overseas with his record, but its the tradegy, not the irony, of Iraq that will cost him the White House.

Posted by: Chris McGovern at February 10, 2004 08:30 PM | PERMALINK

Stray Pooch, I think your thought process serves you well. My service to my country was '72-'77 active overseas mostly. I wouldn't trade those years for anything in the world. To this day, I enjoy reliving the memories of basic training, advanced individual training, Okinawa, Japan, and S. Korea. Some who post here mistakenly believe that we are bashing Mr. Bush for the wrong reason. I merely have observed that he is a privileged rich kid whose road to the WH was paved for him. His party needed a guy who could project "moral" family values. Few of them care to find out that none of us is without a few skeletons in the proverbial closet. If Bush's record of service was indeed cleansed to make him look better in any way, it is a LIE perpetrated on the AMERICAN People, regardless of party affiliation. I don't care one iota whether Bush partied his ass off or not. That is part of growing up in a free society. The military stuff is simply small potatoes by itself, but when you start putting all of the pieces together you find that he is not the who he pretended to be. We were lied to about the impending need to strike Hussein, pure and simple; but we are there and i want us out without losing American lives. Those folks will never ever form a democratic society and those who believe they will is simple minded at best. We have a "war president" who has done only what was absolutely necessary to get by in this life. His father doesn't even speak of him here in College Station, home of the Bush Library because he is embarrassed by GWB; of course he doesn't speak of Neil either, who bilked a savings and loan back in the '80's and never paid a dime back, the same Neil who is now a marvel at day-trading. I've grown to respect the elder Bush, having attended several of his events at the library such as the 10 year anniversary of the Gulf War. But, enough boils down to this for me and for a lot of folks i know: (1) Bush needs to go before he bankrupts the country (2) I'd be willing to let him out of his last year if he'd agree to depart early without penalty (3)and i'll forgive him his sale of Harken Energy stock just before it was discovered their books were misstated and he was given another "pass" (4)and i will have him awarded an honorary "B" student Doctorate for fooling everyone who voted for him in 2000.

Posted by: Bill McGuire at February 10, 2004 10:08 PM | PERMALINK

OK, so we've established the following:

(1) Bush didn't technically "lie" when he said he fulfilled his obligations - because for the last 2 years of his 6-year tour, he was disciplined by being transferred to a "paper unit" which HAD not attendence obligations. (But being in this paper unit - the ARF - was somewhat of a punishment because he COULD theoretically be called up from to duty in Vietnam.)

(2) The reason he was disciplined was two-fold:

(a) failing to report for duty, and
(b) failing to submit to a required physical.

Now that these (fairly damning) facts have been documented by records obtained under the FOIA (AFTER the 2000 election by the way), we should focus on the even more damning issues:

(1) WHY didn't he show up for his required physical? It's unlikely that it was simply because he had alcohol in his system - many of his colleagues did the same.

(2) I have heard it reported that Bush was hanging out with James Bath during the weekend before the missed physical. I have also heard that they sometimes did coke together.

James Bath has long been involved with the Bush dynasty in later years - maybe simply because he knew so much and had to be paid off. Later Bath became a world-class private arms dealer and had many dealings with the CIA as well. I'm too tired to do all the googling now, but here's one link with info on Bath and speculation about what Jimmy and George may have been up to the weekend before the missed physical:

Posted by: ScottXYZ at February 10, 2004 10:17 PM | PERMALINK

For those of us living in Texas at the time, the rumor was that Georgie was in drug rehab at the time. If true, I'm sure those records have disappeared, just like the Texas DUIs, even the ones with injuries. But medical records may exist somewhere.

Posted by: Giannotes at February 10, 2004 10:18 PM | PERMALINK

A friend of mine was in the Reserves, and informs me that with a score of 25 you automatically become a cook in the mess hall - you don't get to do pilot training like Georgie did.

Posted by: ScottXYZ at February 10, 2004 10:55 PM | PERMALINK

Terribly bored with continuing to read that President Bush wasn't elected. He WAS. Get over it. That several thousand people in Florida may have marked the wrong box, marked no box, or marked more than one box is beside the point. The Supreme Court's position was essentially that--for a Florida recount to be valid--all ballots in Florida be recounted using the same acceptance criteria (14th Amendment).

By the time the case got to them, too much time had been frittered away for such a recount to be done in time to meet the Constitutional requirements for election results to be in. Had Florida's electoral Votes NOT been included in the election results, the election would have gone to the House of Representatives where each State delegation had one vote. Republicans controlled 28 state's House delegations, Democrats 17, and 5 were equally split. A House decision would obviously have gone to President Bush.

What's more, every media recount--sponsored by generally anti-Bush media companies--showed that he received a majority of the VALID and LEGAL votes in Florida, the only ones that could actually be counted. End of story. Presidents are elected by receiving a MAJORITY of the electoral vote, not a PLURALITY of the popular vote. That is not going to change, short of a coup. Bush received 271 electoral votes, Gore 266.

If you want to have a real impact on the November elections, get off the message boards and WORK on political campaigns in one of the 12 states where the margin of victory was less than 5%: (Florida .01), (New Mexico .06), (Wisconsin .2), (Iowa .3) (Oregon .4), (New Hampshire 1.3), (Minnesota 2.4), (Missouri 3.3), (Ohio, 3.5), (Nevada 3.6), Tennessee (3.9), or (Pennsylvania, 4.2). Chances of other states being in play this year are slim to none--any states that might have gone the other way without minor candidates siphoning off votes are already on this list.

Three states were decided by fewer than 5,000 votes (State, Electoral Votes, Popular Vote Margin): (New Mexico 5 366), (Florida 25 537), and (Iowa 7 4144). In the next tier were (Wisconsin 11 5708), (Oregon 7 6765), and (New Hampshire 4 7211).

The katzenjammer over President Bush's military service and being AWOL is going to be over long before votes are cast in November. If it's going to be an issue, the time for the issue is September, October, and November--not now. The timing is wrong, premature. It's either a tempest in a teapot or it's not. Most of you are pissing away your time researching it and commenting on it. It's going to play out as it plays out, no matter what you do here. If I were Karl Rove, having people waste time pounding it and pursuing it could well be my dream scenario.

The election is going to be decided in the states listed above. It's going to be decided on the issues: national security (war, if you will), economy, health care, social security, and taxes. Those issues and personality. And it's damned sure not going to be decided based on who appears to be more intelligent. Adlai Stevenson learned that the hard way twice by coming aross as too bright. Why do we have to learn these lessons every four years?

And the notion that integrity could turn out to be a real issue with politicians is a real laugher. When's the last time that happened in a Presidential election? Lying to get your vote has come to be expected from every politician. It's the rules.

Posted by: antihomonymphonecropyropedobestialfelchball at February 11, 2004 12:53 AM | PERMALINK


Good work - thoroughly enjoy reading about this stuff. A taste of things to come? e-Voting anyone?


Posted by: James at February 11, 2004 03:40 AM | PERMALINK

I want to know who the person is that went to Vietnam, instead of W, because as a "fortunate son" he was put at the head of the line for entrance into the National Guard. His poor service record just emphasizes the hypocrisy of how he got there
to begin with.

Ken Benson

Posted by: Ken Benson at February 11, 2004 06:31 AM | PERMALINK

Just asked my dad, who served in the Air National Guard around the same time as Bush, about this. His take:

Very confusing. I think he probably put in the days, but I'm not certain. It looks as though he had to "make up" all the missed days in that last month of solid duty. It still does not explain his "early out" (8 months). NOBODY got that, especially then. Also, not mentioned is his whole training thing. GW did 8 weeks of basic training as an Airman (we all did) and then received a "direct" commision to 2nd Lt. That means he had to do nothing to become an officer. No training. Nothing! Very unusual (thank you, Daddy. The normal route would have been (if you were a college graduate) to go to OTS (Officer Training School) and then get commisioned. If you were not a graduate, then you had to apply for OCS (Officer Cendidate School) and go through a very tough program. Either way, Bush did it the easy way, no training, no time, no commitment....just like Yale and Harvard. Thanks, again, Daddy!

Of equal note is that he got his direct commission and then was sent for pilot training. Again, NOBODY got to do that. So he gets a direct commision. Gets to be a pilot flying F-102's (Air Defense Command interceptors...not used anywhere but to defend the U.S., so no chance of overseas deployment), doesn't appreciate what he has and goes off to campaign for a family friend, goofs off for a year and misses taking his flight physical thereby not qualifying for flight status, and gets out eight months early. Even if he did get his honorable discharge, he didn't fulfill his obligation to the ANG, or the country (we spent a bunch of money to train this jerk-off to fly and "protect" us).

So much for the soapbox, but you asked.

Posted by: marc at February 11, 2004 06:53 AM | PERMALINK

Dick Behrens writes -

"Bush says he served 30 years ago and that is too long ago for anyone to come forward and remember he served with him. I served 60 years ago and still have people who can substantiate they served with me. do we old folks have longer memories?"

This question has been posed by many reporters, without any response from the WH. Dubya is a young 58 now, and you would think there would be many among TANG and/or ANGUS that served during that time, that would remember this 'highly connected' texan in the bunch. To say this all happened 30 years ago is not acceptable. Many of Kerry's buddies have been showing up in quite a few venues.

Posted by: Myth at February 11, 2004 07:15 AM | PERMALINK

Bill Mcguire,

You wrote, "Those folks [Iraqis] will never ever form a democratic society and those who believe they will is simple minded at best."

Why not? Becasuse they are towel-headed Ay-rabs?

Never is a long time, and that sounds awful bigoted.

Posted by: Roger Sweeny at February 11, 2004 07:40 AM | PERMALINK

Roger S,

One doesn't have to be a 'towel-headed ay-rab', or be bigoted to be doubtful of a 'democracy' in Iraq, in the near future. I agree that 'never' is a very long time.

Let us not be bigoted, but be just practical/realistic. Consider all the nations around the world with an Islamic majority. I can think only of Malaysia, Indonesia and Turkey (I am afraid I don't know about the nature of the government in the newly formed states that were part of the old USSR, some of which are Islamic) as having a Democratic form of government. Malaysia and Indonesia do have some minority population of other faiths, and I believe they are treated with some tolerance.

Pakistan tries at being democratic, and elects a Prime Minister, who is overthrown in a military coup before the term is completed, avoiding prosecution and a capital sentence if lucky.

There may be a few other countries that I haven't named. But why is it that the rest of the countries have either dictatorships or theocracies?

Posted by: Myth at February 11, 2004 08:00 AM | PERMALINK

Good job. But catch today's Dallas Morning News ( front page. Bush's National Guard records were scrubbed of all negative material in 2000 on orders from his campaign.

Posted by: Texgotham at February 11, 2004 08:51 AM | PERMALINK

The character, and leadership of the President is the issue here. When you and I are running for this powerful position, we can compare records.
National security is the focus. Bush has has defined his support in the VN war, hence he considered NVN a threat to national security. Heck with 1971, he was eligible to serve at the height of the war, rather than attending Yale. This is the hypocrisy of his position. If you believe the threat, are single and of age, why go study buisness theory?
My choice? I found the war to be immoral and illegal, and refused to register for service based on this conviction. I did not run or hide, and accepted the repercussions.

Posted by: dsul at February 11, 2004 09:03 AM | PERMALINK

Let me share a little knowledge here.

I worked at Headquarters Air Reserve Personnel Center (HR ARPC) in Denver, CO from July 1987 until August 2000. I specifically worked with the kind of records we're looking at here for approximately nine years, both as a technician and as a supervisor. In fact, I used to brief Air National Guardsmen and Air Force Reservists about their participation and how it was tracked.

I am a registered Democrat, and I am no fan of the President. I do not like how he used his privilege to jump to the front of the line to join the Texas Air National Guard (ANG) to avoid serving in Vietnam. I do not like how his apologists argue that he could have been called to Vietnam when he was an F-102 pilot, a plane that was being phased out about 3 months after President Bush completed flight training, meaning he was never going to fly missions in Vietnam (pilot training is aircraft specific, meaning if the President (or any other pilot for that matter) were going to fly a different plane in combat, he would have to be retrained).

Be that as it may, I don't think we can accurately call President Bush "AWOL" from May 1972, when he left the Texas ANG, until October 1972, when he began participating somewhere (I can't tell where from the documents available). I think a more accurate description would be that he was in limbo between units. Do I think he took advantage of the confusion between the TX ANG and the AL ANG about where he was supposed to be? Yes. Can I prove it? No. Apparently, President Bush left the TX ANG on 15 May 1972. He tried to get assigned to the 9921st in AL, a non-pay, non-participating unit, but this was shot down by HQ ARPC on 31 May 1972. Apparently, he reaffiliated with the TX ANG at some point (I have no documents) and got permission to participate in AL in October and November 1972. His record shows he participated in October and November 1972.

Since he failed to take his flight physical in July 1972, he could not fly. He probably did some administrative B.S. around the unit in order to earn points (again this is a guess, but we know he wasn't flying).

On 1 October 1973, he was reassigned to the Obligated Reserve Section (ORS). Assignment to ORS is not necessarily a punitive action, it simply means that President Bush, as well as every other serviceman at that time, was required to serve for a total of six years, and he had not yet finished that commitment. If you were inducted into the Army during the Vietnam War and you served somewhere around two years of active duty between training and being in country, you spent about four more years in ORS before you were officially discharged. ORS members are not required to participate, and in fact they are not allowed to participate, so they earn only the 15 points per year for reserve membership.

To correct what someone wrote above about President Bush's anniversary year ending 26 May 1972, he did not earn 22 active duty (AD) points, 15 inactive duty training (IDT) points, and 15 membership points for a good year, it was 15 AD points, 75 IDT points and 15 membership points (check the totals) for his fourth satisfactory year of federal service.

Something else, the President's spokesman is playing a game with satisfactory service. By statute (Title 10, United States Code, Section 12732), a reserve member must earn at least 50 points in order for it to count as a satisfactory year towards a reserve retirement. However, in order to participate satisfactorily in a Guard unit a member must complete a 15 day annual tour and 48 drills each year. Obviously 15 AD points + 48 IDT points + 15 membership points = 73 points, which is significantly more than the 50 point statutory minimum. President Bush did not meet this Guard requirement in the 27 May 1972-26 May 1973 anniversary year, which is probably the reason why he was reassigned to ORS on 1 October 1973.

Again, some of what I have written has been educated guesses since our access to President Bush's service record is limited. I am going to see if I can find anything more, and if I do, I may expand or change some of what I have written here. I would happy to answer any questions that you may have and that I have expertise in.


Posted by: Jim Baumli at February 11, 2004 09:10 AM | PERMALINK

See my post above at 8:09 pm 2/10/04. Mr. Baumli makes the same point in the next to last paragraph of his 9:10 post. Lt. Bush apparently did not do the required two week (14 or 15 day) active duty training for the anniversary year ending in May of 73. Thanks, Bob Price ps Mr. Baumli is obviously an authoratative source relative to the interpretation of the records. Assuming of course that the records were not "gundecked" as that term was used in the Navy!

Posted by: Bob Price at February 11, 2004 10:30 AM | PERMALINK

yikes...from the right we hear the constant drone of the neo-cons about national security as if the terrorists, which are any peeps that don't support their central government, even in countries where they can't vote or the country is somehow viewed as benevolent dictatorship like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. The neo-cons make it sound like a bunch of riff-raff malcontents with no respect for human life pose the same threat to our existence as monolithic Communism was and we effectively eroded with our market system and wars like Korea and Viet Nam. The Soviet and Chinese had atomic arsenals that had the equivalent of 15-pounds of TNT for every pound of human flesh on the planet. To be sure, the "Terrorists" are a horrible threat to human life, but they do not threaten our way of life in any way approaching Communism, but that’s the way the neo-cons present it. In our zeal to deal with terrorism we are undermining nascent democratic movements throughout the world by giving non-democratic governments a strong rationalization for removing anyone that might oppose them by merely calling a supporter of democracy a Terrorist. That is the great tragedy of the War on Terror and no one gives it a thought. But, the War on Terror and the accompanying fear associated with it deflect our attention from things that affect our daily lives and those of our children - jobs, deficits, education, and health care. Someone above said something about “ it is about security, stupid,” and I counter, “it is about jobs.” I wouldn’t call anyone stupid; it implies that ideas someone else might have do not have any logic or validity and merely saying or writing that word means an opposing argument is magically made invalid. Our jobs are being exported at an alarming rate and I don’t see that as very patriotic at all – waving a flag in one hand and handing my job over to another person living in some other country is extremely deceitful. I think what we’re talking about here is deceit – military service, reason for war on Iraq, loss of jobs, deficit, and an failure to communicate to the American people.


Posted by: ron at February 11, 2004 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

I find this thread to be absolutely amazing. Retired LTC, I will agree with you that this is conversation and since many people seem to be over the age of 18 that makes it adult. Any other similarities to meaningfulness end there. I do not believe that millions of people care about this unless we think that the tinfoil hat brigade of the democratic party is that large. If so, heaven help us. This complaint is going to backfire big time on Mr. Kerry if it results in a thorough vetting of his behavior after his return from Vietnam.
Ron, our economy is doing just fine for those of us who do not expect others to support us or look to the President to be our father and the government to be our nanny.

Posted by: carol at February 11, 2004 03:11 PM | PERMALINK

I'm intrigued that all the Right wingers come on to parse up weak explanations for why Bush wasn't awol or why this doesn't matter("kerfuffle?") when Bush himself can't really keep his own story straight. A thousand new highly speculative and contradictory excuses/scenarios will not clear his bad name or change the fact that we should all be questioning why he has been so NOT forthcoming about releasing these records in FULL, rather than one scrubbed tidbit at a time, and that, only after public/press pressure mounts.
Also if this is supposed to (again in the mind of the right wing) be such a sharp, leader and an honorable and intelligent president, then why can't he get his head out of his ass long enough to have handled all these issues he obviously knew could haunt him? Why can't he simply look into his own records and memory and competently tell a more cohesive story than what was such obvious parsing of words, even more so than the famous "I did not have sex with that woman" statement. Bush was so obviously looking like the spoiled kid trying to not tell a lie without telling the truth...some kind of ethical technicality game typical of children trying to get away with something.)

I am sorry but this guy hasn't offered any consistency, honesty, or forthrightness on ANYTHING, this has in fact been one of the most obstructionist administrations ever...especially when it comes to investigating any of the foxes in the henhouse...what other Vice President has ever refused a subpoena? (maybe it happened, but I've never heard of it, and Agnew was canned).
ILLEGAL as hell by the way! And yes Cheney did it! What? No outrage from repubs? Of course not, its the old double standard, its ok when its their guys doing the bad stuff and lying and stealing and murdering innocent people, because they can just lay the blame on Clinton for everything from their own impotence, and indigestion, to the crucifixion itself)...
How long till you get over the fact that Clinton hasn't been our President for nearly 4 years now and start asking your own party leaders to show the ethical quality leadership they so often like to claim to offer, and the ACCOUNABILITY they are so busy demanding from everyone but themselves!

Maybe the AWOL thing isn't important to some people, but him laughing it off and snappily belittling anyone for continuing to ask the questions he refuses to answer, is STILL NOT answering the question. Opening some partial files is NOT opening all the files...and for all of those who had so much trouble with Clintons sex lie, if they were truly being honest with themselves and looking at all the facts and performance of Bush, they too, even as Republicans, should be deeply concerned and disturbed about the man they thought they elected versus who he really is!

Didn't anyone notice that he said 2 completely opposite statements in one sentence to Russert regarding how He isn't wrong because he went to war basing his decision on the finest intelligence available...yet the intelligence was and is acknowledged to be WRONG, and still he says we have an excellent intelligence community doing great work and no one's head is gonna roll (very paraphrased, but that was the gist) jaw was like he pulled his pants down and still people who have that strange Bush worshipping blindness fail to see the emperor still has no clothes, except the bloody ones he bought using the funds he is looting from the US treasury to give subsidies and loopholes to all his rich buddies and bring the state of economic affairs in this country to the most perilous since Hoover!

Wake Up!
And to those already awake, keep up the good work.

CitiZen X

Posted by: CitiZenX at February 11, 2004 03:48 PM | PERMALINK

I can't believe that anyone could support Bush at all. He's the flim flam man ....all talk......the good old boy.... ....screwing this country anyway he can.

Posted by: Jimbo at February 11, 2004 05:37 PM | PERMALINK

Article you probably won't read here

Posted by: HH at February 11, 2004 06:31 PM | PERMALINK

This is all just silliness, desperation, and keyboard stroking signifying nothing. Bush is going to win in a landslide and the democratic party is headed for oblivion because they sold their soul and principles.

Posted by: Mark at February 11, 2004 06:58 PM | PERMALINK

"Two forms in Bush's publicly released military files — his enlistment application and a background check — contain blacked-out entries in response to questions about arrests or convictions."

Didn't Dubya say that ALL the records would be released?

Posted by: John A. Broussard at February 11, 2004 09:19 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, the Bush supporters are right - Bush won. This is payback for the way he won and for what the Republicans tried to do to Clinton. Some of us will never forgive and never forget.

Posted by: anonymous at February 11, 2004 09:39 PM | PERMALINK

The issue isn't whether Bush was AWOL. It was 30 years ago, after all! Even if he blew off his last two years of military service, that says no more about him today than the fact that he was a drunkard and junkie back then. He's not a drunkard and junkie today, and he hasn't gone AWOL from his Presidential duties either. The actual details of whatever happened in 1972 are irrelevant.

What *IS* relevant is his behavior *TODAY*. What is he trying to cover up? Why does he continue to lie about "releasing all of his records" when he most certainly had not at the time of the Meet The Press interview? Bush needs to come clean about what he did in 1972 and get on with his campaign. Otherwise this issue is going to dog him the same way that "I did not have sex with that woman!" dogged Clinton.

What he did in 1972 is irrelevant. What he does today... that's relevant indeed, and if he continues to lie about what he did in 1972, that's a piece of information that could, and should, be used to attack his credibility in other areas.

Posted by: BadTux at February 11, 2004 09:42 PM | PERMALINK

Saying that someone was AWOL is nothing like calling someone a rapist... which is exactly what Bill Clinton was called on more than a few occasions. How many apologies have you heard from those who made that claim?"

It's a bit different when the accused actually denies the charge personally.

Humor me here. Are you saying that if I call you every nasty name in the book, you only deserve an apology if you "deny the charge personally"? That strikes me as a terribly ineffective and time-consuming way to deal with false charges. You might want to read QB VII.

Be that as it may, Mr. Clinton was also accused of all sorts of wrongdoing in the Whitewater affair. Remember that? He specifically denied that. Two independent prosecutors agreed. Have you heard any of his accusers offer an apology? If not, why not?

Posted by: Keith at February 12, 2004 01:57 AM | PERMALINK

story in the Washington Post today says Bush has released a dental exam report saying he was in AL, getting a dental exam and doing military service, on Jan 6 '73.

But wasn't it said that the now-untorn document at the top of this page, showed he was in Houston on Jan 6 '73? was Bush in both AL and TX on Jan 6 '73? or is the now-untorn document going to be stated to say something different than what we were originally told it said and meant?

why is this so hard to piece together? it's relatively simple matter, really.

Posted by: Wendy at February 12, 2004 06:58 AM | PERMALINK

This letter from a supposed ANG pilot stationed in Texas at the same time as Bush seems to refute what has been charged, but it still leaves a lot unanswered.

It's here:

Posted by: Rick at February 12, 2004 07:13 AM | PERMALINK

Bill says:
"This is the first presidential election in America since three thousand of our fellow citizens were killed by terrorists on our own soil and Democrats are coming to the country with the message "anybody but Bush." Um, okay."

Since Paul O'Neill revealed that George Bush wanted to start a war in Iraq as soon as he came to office and decided Osama Bin Laden & Al Qaeda should be ignored, leading to 9/11, most Americans are thinking "anybody but Bush" is a pretty good idea.


Posted by: whey at February 12, 2004 07:38 AM | PERMALINK

George finked on his promise to serve as a pilot for the term of his contract. It is as simple as that. He signed a contract, and he defaulted on it. He only flew for 22 months after graduating from USAF pilot training, and six of those months were spent in qualifying to fly the F-102. That leaves just 16 months of productive flying. That is a default on the nearly $1 million the government spent training him, not to speak of the wasted pilot training slot. He walked away from his comittment, and has skated away from it for all of these years. He is now being brought to answer for it in the press and the public eye. It should be emphasized that he was derelict. Others on this site have noted why the Texas Guard let him slide, and it is correct to note that when they realized that he was a reluctant pilot, that he was a liability, and it was easier to shunt him off to the ready reserves than to prosecute him, especially when his daddy was an influential person. They just wrote him off, probably, as we in the Idaho Air Guard did to several finks who defected short of their promise to serve. We knew then what kind of men they were, and we still know it today. Bush fits that category: he is a fink.
Ron Weinert
Colonel, USAF (Retired)
former CO, 190th FIS
Idaho Air Guard

Posted by: Ron Weinert at February 12, 2004 07:44 AM | PERMALINK

What is a leader? Commander in Cheif????

I have read many many elequent posts. I agree that this is an issue. But the real underlying question is...What kind of leader is he?

Someone who you know is your gut is lying and sending other poeple's kids to die? Commander in Cheif?

Someone who wouldn't be there by your side, fighting with you, after he sounds the bugle? Commander in Cheif?

Someone who would rather fink out on duty, for which one supposedly believes in, then lie about it? Commander in Cheif

Someone who blocks every effort to find the truth in this issue and every other lie come corpoarate windfall?Commander in Thief?

Someone who waits days to lead the country after the darkest day in my lifetime while hiding somewhere in a bunker( sound familiar ) with Dick the puppeteer.

Someone who can't answer a simple question on his own without searching his Rovian database of pat answers in the teleprompter in his head? Commander in Cheif?

Someone who smirks and belittles questions of his character? Commander in Cheif?

Someone who rats out a CIA operative? Commander in cheif?

And on and on..........

You can throw this lie and all the other lies out the window. I don't need to have the proof on paper. The truth speaks for itself. I feel it in my gut. Anyone who can't see or should I say feel the truth as the lies jump from Ashcroft, Rumsfeld, Powell, Rice, Wolfowitz, Perles' mouths doesn't want to know the truth! We would then have to admit that GE, Disney, Halibuton, Lockheed, Carlyle group, ad nauseum, run the government.

Just like the great leaders in History. At some point you must trust in your leadership ability, character and the truth and take a step forward and LEAD. This president has not one leadership bone is his spineless little body. Except, of course, having the balls to steal and pulnder on his campaign contributers' behalf. But that is not leadership. That's, well Bush & Co motto " steal from the poor(yes that includes the shrinking middle class) and give to the rich" and that is why Bush Inc. will loose. Never is our history has a government cared so little for the common man and the principles for which our "leader" is sworn to uphold.

The truth that Bush the lesser has lead us to record deficits, record low international favor, record highs of mass exodus of US jobs, record lows of truthful cooperation, egregious lapses in intelligence( of all kinds), assaults on civil liberties, appalling rollbacks of environmental legislation, largest shift of wealth in history and his greatest legacy as a "war president", a never ending war on a noun ,"terror".

If I were the leader of this country, I would unleash the war on terror where is belongs, in the oval office!

Posted by: JM at February 12, 2004 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

The record is now clear. Americans will have a chance to make a real choice between individuals for the Presidency of the United States this coming November.

They can choose an individual who was foolish enough to go fighting in a brainless war. He risked his life in a cause even the major advocates and perpetrators of the war such as Robert McNamara now admit was a stupid and useless enterprise.

Or Americans can pick someone who skillfully avoided the conflict, spent his days campaigning instead for fellow politicians at the time, got paid for military work he never did, managed to avoid being noticed by his commanding officer or any of his airforce buddies, and has an honorable discharge to show for all these activities.

Which person do you want for president? A dumb one, or a smart one?

Posted by: John A. Broussard at February 12, 2004 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

I have a legitimate question to gauge an aspect of this conversation with...For all of you service people, especially those old enough to be near to fit GWs Timeline in the service, and especially those specifically in the ANG....

If you were called for your records to prove your time in 1972, would it REALLY be THIS messy and difficult and convoluted and ambiguous?
I don't know. Some people said it might be, but Bush has had a decade to get this figured out and he still hasn't...seems to me thats a choice and not a valiant effort.....and would you have personally answered the inquiries the way Bush did?....(Well I got an honorable discharge, so obviously I'm not guilty)...which in light of how he used his family ties to get his cushy spot in the first place...seems highly uncredible...
Why doesn't he protest and define his actions like a man who was proud to do his service and competant enough to remember and articulate it, rather than playing pissy,indignant lawyerball with words?
I know I would be furious if charged falsely and I would make it a priority to clear my name and put it to rest once and for all!

Lets be logical here.

Why is it just so darn difficult for someone with the power and sway of the President of the United States to get his records straightened out and made completely available.
Its taken Bush almost as long to reveal these records and clear this up as it took Kennedy to get us to put a man on the Moon...and that is just plain silly...You can't tell me he couldn't say" Look, I want all these records out there find them all or heads will roll", that he couldn't clear this all up in a couple weeks to 2 months tops...
No sir, unless he has something to hide(even if its only the fact that he had people scrub his records so he doesn't look like the dundering irresponsible ass he is), none of his responses make any sense, and it is deceptive and loaded with unethical political favoritism at the very least, and it is 99.999% likely that it is criminal behavior NOW(to be lying about it and having records altered or lost)!whether a statute of of limitations or "public give a shit" has run out or not.

So many people out there even many on the right side of this issue, want to ignore this as irrelevant!

Lets at least take this a little more serious than Clintons BJ, because frankly, Clinton didn't use sex with Monica as a rational for starting war that is bankrupting the financial security and moral authority of this, the supposedly righteous and "can do no wrong" country the right wing wants us to all just pretend we live in.

CitiZen X

Posted by: CitiZen X at February 12, 2004 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

well i had a friend that just missed getting caught at da nang during the tet offensive because he had jungle root not a rich daddy...and god he would have loved the last year off of his tour of duty but alas...children of priviledge make me ill...maybe the entitled could earn their silver spoons other than sliding down the right birth canal by replacing lab rats for expermentation...the let some kid from the hood place the spoon in their mouths...i hated the end of the movie arthur when they gave the drunk 300 million dollars and they had to beg him to take it barf for less enlightened times they would have stood bunnypants up against the wall and well you know...i recall a john wayne movie rio grand where he said his father(?) shot a congressmen's son for cowardice...hummmm lucky for him duke wasn't his air national guard commander...

Posted by: sean heretic at February 12, 2004 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

John Broussard-

Are you serious or is the above post tongue in cheek( that means are you kidding)

If not I guess I'm wasting time answering your post. But I am so flustered with your backward ass logic I couldn't restrain my fingers from beating on this keyboard.

If you are insinuating( that means implying
(this means suggesting)) that currying positions of power to avoid what you had agreed to for duty, for business, for leadership of a country etc. is what you would consider smart and answering the call to duty to country is dumb then I challenge you to a fight. Maybe I can beat some sense back into you. You dumb ass!

Would you rather have a lying, smirking responsibilty avoiding son who calls on daddy to clean up every mess he makes, as a son?Or someone who owns up to his responsibilty, however senseless it has been deemed after the fact, and doesn't run and hide under his daddy's wing of power?


Broken Keyboard

Posted by: Broken Keyboard at February 12, 2004 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

Torrid Bush Affair With Playboy Model Ended in June

Woman has note in Bush's handwriting, thanking her for letting him keep her panties; No public comment yet from Gilchrest, Ehrlich

Tammy Phillips, a 35-year-old partner in a gym in Carrollton, Texas had an 18 month long affair with GOP presidential nominee George W. Bush that ended in June, 1999 according to published reports based on an interview with Ms. Phillips.

Phillips is a former stripper, who began dancing in clubs at age 14. She claims she was introduced to Governor Bush by her uncle, a prominent Republican, in December 1997 during a political function at a hotel in Midland, Texas.

Political analysts have long expected sordid tales about Bush's prior wild, alcohol-and-cocaine lifestyle to be made public during the campaign, but few details have so far been published about his sexual adultery during his years as governor of Texas. Several expressed surprise about the affair with Tammy Phillips.

"It means that he stopped fooling around just prior to announcing his presidential run," said one astonished source.

Incredibly, the GOP now finds itself in the uncomfortable position of claiming that the press and investigators have no right to invade Bush's privacy. The laughter from the Democratic side of the aisle in Congress was so loud it could be heard even at locations outside the Beltway, as politicians and voters alike recalled that the Republicans spent hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars and eight years investigating every detail of the President's sex life, then carefully and illegally leaked it to an increasingly tabloid national "news" media intent on outsleazing the Internet.

It'll never happen, folks.

George H.W. Bush carried on an extramarital affair for years with a woman named Jennifer Fitzgerald, even when he was serving as Reagan's vice-president (with the emphasis on "vice"). Bush even took his mistress with him to China at taxpayer expense, when he was envoy to China in the late 1970's. Bar stayed home with her miscreant sons.

Of course, not a word of this got into the mainstream media, as Republicans are not questioned about private matters such as this, while the media explores every aspect of a Democrat's personal life, including the curvature of their penis, as they did with Bill Clinton.

For more on Bush's harlot, read:

Posted by: R. Stone at February 12, 2004 10:44 AM | PERMALINK

See the irnoy here John? I have challnged you to a fight but you can't find a record of who I am or where to find me. Now that is smart!!!! Sound familiar to you? Maybe ends is Bush?

Posted by: Broken Keyboard at February 12, 2004 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin your story has holes in it. let me explain. first of all if you look at the request form AF form 1288 that bush used to request his assignment in Alabama it clearly shows that the unit he wanted to go to was a reserve componnet unit not ANG. This is why he got an ARF. The reason there is no pay vouchers for that time is because he agreed to this assignment in No Pay Training Code G status. He actually did this service for free. Check the record you'll find this top be true

Posted by: kevin fitzgerald at February 12, 2004 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

I was in the Mn. army national guard from Feb. 62, to Feb. 68. Basically one had a six year obligation which included 6 months active duty and 5.5 years of attended meetings with a two week active duty requirement ("summer camp") every year for 5 years.
When I joined the guard duty was only one two hour meeting a week. I was a student at the time and if I had a serious exam I would just phone in and be excused. Viet Nam was just a small pimple in 62 when I was in basic training. It was talked about but us recruits didn't take it very serious because only about one guy in every two companies was actually going there.
Later our meeting became one weekend a month which was a more serious time consideration. By 66 and 67 Nam had heated up so much that we (and many other guard and reserve units) were put on "stand by alert" which meant that we had been given our physicals and isused our dog tags and could be legally called up to active duty with only two weeks notice.
By this times things had gotten very serious in the guard/reserves and if you had two unexcused absences you were kicked out of your unit and your name automatically went to the top of the draft list. A very heavy hammer was hanging over our heads and individuals walked a cautious line.
This is the area where Bush's family name and influence seems to have come into play (along with him leapfroging over hundreds of othe applicants to initially get into his unit and avoid being drafted) . He seems to know he is immune from the draconian rules that were applied to the regular Joe's who where in the guard/reserves at that time...... R.W.

Posted by: ralph Wheelock at February 12, 2004 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

I wish my dad and uncle could have applied for leave to attend Notre Dame during 1943-1944. Dad would not have picked up beri-beri in New Guinea or Pellagra, hepatitis, and malaria, would not have inhaled so much cordite-- which caused his premature death at age 51 of heart trauma caused by emphysema caused by atrophication aggravated by cordite adn malnutrition and disease...and Dad would not have been wounded at Tulagi. Dad never really healed from any of this trauma.

Uncle would not have been wounded at Omaha Beach, nor would he have inhaled so much asbestos, which got blown loose from his LST's systems' piping during the SS barrage of the US Amphibious Assault fleet...

Ditto this for my cousin Johnny...I wish he could have applied himself...then he wouldn't have died at the marine bivouac in Beirut back during the Gipper's benighted era.

Hmmm. My grandad would have loved to obtain permission to take leave of the Army Cavalry Corp Mobile Artillery in order to remain at Cornell to complete his PhD in engineering during 1917...but he felt obliged to answer the call of nation and duty. He wound up in a tank wearing Oak leaves during the Second Battle of the Marne...and he got to breathe mustard gas...think there is a Bush who can truthfully say he or she gave so much to our nation like these men while taking so little?

How does one obtain such leave, as well as so many other various breaks? My Iraq bound nephews, neighbors, and younger cousins are simply asking.

Posted by: J Hayes at February 12, 2004 01:33 PM | PERMALINK

We also could include an uncle who would have preferred to remain at IIT...he had to interrupt his studies to captain a B 24...he did get teh top down view of places such as Sicily and Plesti Romania, as well as the Harz mountains...ahhhh. The joy of having people to pave the way! All men are created equal? Citizen's right and duty to bear arms and serve and defend the nation?

The patriotic dead unto the generations have the right to see their legacy protected by better men than this so totallu undistinguished and irregular man of straw!

Posted by: John H at February 12, 2004 01:48 PM | PERMALINK

And the unsung hero of this effort appears to be Bob Fertik....for having the foresight to put in a FOIA request for these documents in late 2000. Bravo Bob!!!!

Posted by: Mimi Adams at February 12, 2004 01:49 PM | PERMALINK

We also could include an uncle who would have preferred to remain at IIT...he had to interrupt his studies to captain a B 24...he did get teh top down view of places such as Sicily and Ploesti Romania, as well as various hot spots near the Harz mountains of southern Germany, and I think, Berlin itself!

...ahhhh. The joy of having people to pave the way! All men are created equal? Citizen's right and duty to bear arms and serve and defend the nation?

The patriotic dead unto the generations have the right to see their legacy protected by better men than this George bush, so entirely self-serving, undistinguished, and irregular a man of straw!

Posted by: John H at February 12, 2004 01:49 PM | PERMALINK

Wow. I found this page via a link on Kevin, I commend you! Now all we need is to get this into the hands of someone like Michael Moore, and Bush will be gone so fast that the speed of his passing will rip the roof from the oval office!

Posted by: Sandbat at February 12, 2004 05:22 PM | PERMALINK

Bush may not have had flight physical for several, possible, reasons:

1. The AF threatened potential pot smokers with a court marshal if they found any evidence of such during their flight physicals.

2. The F-102 was a dangerous plane to fly. Many AF personnel would likely have done the same thing (refused a physical) if they though they could get away with it and not have to fly again.

At the time, "undergraduate" pilot training cost the taxpayers between 200,000 and 300,000$ per pilot.
The 6 months in F-102 school had to cost the same amount. Given inflation, that cost would be over 2M$ in today's dollars. A lot of money by any government official's standpoint. Hard to believe any such refusal would go by unnoticed or without action.

Posted by: Joe Citizen at February 12, 2004 06:10 PM | PERMALINK

The part that really sickens me is that this man who is making all these life and death decisions for all of us scored 25% on his flight aptitude test and STILL got to fly!

Luckily, this man who has such lousy judgement wasn't in charge of a troop of other men in Viet Nam . . .

Republicans, backing this guy makes you all look really stupid.

Posted by: SA at February 12, 2004 07:11 PM | PERMALINK

Poochya said:
"his failure to obtain a physical - which is definitely irresponsible and for which he was quite correctly administratively disqualified from flight status"
Hmm,,,interesting choice of words...

"Failure to obtain a physical"....
How about he unreasonably FAILED or REFUSED to?
We paid a lot of tax dollars to train him to fly so he blows it off and never comes back to make it right?

"Administratively Disqualified" is another euphemism for "SUSPENDED" you know, Suspended?
That is really what they called it right?

I remember Bush getting flown at taxpayers expense to the White house from his TANG base for a date with Tricia Nixon. This must have been a heady experience, even for the Fortunate Son.

Do you think silver spoon fed Bush took his suspension seriously or ever felt in danger of duty in Nam? No. This was what he thought it would be by his own admission in a 1974 Houston Chronicle article:

"I was not prepared to shoot my eardrum out with a shotgun in order to get a deferment, nor was I willing to go to Canada, so I chose to better myself by learning how to fly airplanes."

In the Russert interview he repeated the Anti-War Jane Fonda characterization of Nam as a "Political War." Intersting... I guess he was either antiwar or chicken, I'm not sure.

OK, so he learned how to fly at our expense and then he went _________ (OK, black out "AWOL" like his prior convictions were on those forms and insert "slithering and slacking away.")

Why is this relevant you ask?
Recall that Dubya approved the "Dukakis in the tank" and Willie Horton spots for his father's dirty campaign against Mike Dukakis? Well I suppose the laughable "Mission Accompished" trick with old gray Dubya appearing in a flight boy suit like some kind of gaddamn ware hero just might be the Democrats.

Like old coach Mike Ditka said,
"In life, what goes around comes around"


Posted by: woodrow at February 13, 2004 12:46 AM | PERMALINK

on theres a page titled (forget the bush awol story ) reading deeper could be why he runner at the medical . just a thought

Posted by: tameelf at February 13, 2004 06:12 AM | PERMALINK

I have a FOIA request into various Alabama brothels, to obtain their attendance records for the periods in question. I'm pretty sure we can obtain proof that Bush was playing Peel-the-Panties during his absence, and not in fact active in any sense. I will keep you posted on my findings.

Posted by: Mark Spittle at February 13, 2004 06:54 AM | PERMALINK

It's the cover -up ,,, stoopid !

Posted by: p_nun at February 13, 2004 08:52 AM | PERMALINK

The commander in chief considers "obtaining a pilot's liscense at taxpayer expense and getting his teth cleaned" service to his country in time of war.

Posted by: ed at February 13, 2004 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

With so much crap going on (in the way the few control the world simply for the benefit of their own pockets) it is easy to understand why so many excape into watching Paris Hilton Videos--- more intelegence at work in those vidoes than what is displayed in our whitehouse.... trouble is we are becoming a Nation of escape artists rather than actively making a positive difference to our world. Somehow we have to ban together from the grass roots and make sure our leaders do the rtight htings for the right reasons. Our planet needs us!

Posted by: Neil at February 13, 2004 03:18 PM | PERMALINK

The commander in chief considers "obtaining a pilot's liscense at taxpayer expense and getting his teeth cleaned" service to his country in time of war.

Dear Ed,
That is, in my opinion, the best comment on this board.

Thank you for a great, comic "ending" to this discussion, thus far.

If only reality were so funny! Peace...

Posted by: annamae at February 13, 2004 03:27 PM | PERMALINK

I served in the USAF from 1962 - 1983 and I retired with 2 MSM's even though I spent my first 11 years in Transportation and my last 10 in computers.

Many individuals got deferred for a variety of reasons - school, medical, etc. Most, I assume were very appreciative of the deferments, while some others were disappointed they got one. Bush, on the other hand, chose to take the low road - i.e. get the deferment and do what the hell he wanted, including ignoring responsibilities, choosing instead to help another individual get elected while literally thousands of Army, AF, and Marines were either killed or seriously injured. I listened to the Tim Russert interview and Pres Bush said he was in Alabama - well he was. He is choosing his words carefully so as not to get caught in a lie - but is this was we expect from our President and Commander-in-Chief? Hell no. The Bush administration continues to criticize Democrats for a multitude of things, Clinton's escapades, also saying that anyone who takes exceptions to His war as unpatriotic and even going further to undermine Max Cleland as being unpatriotic after he lost limbs in combat.

Too many senior officers in the Guard turned their heads for Bush to be labeled as AWOL - but... that said, Bush did things other individuals would have been court martialed for. Is this old news - yes, but it is also fair game for a man who gets into a flight suit, forces an aircraft carrier to turn around for a photo op and delays thousands of sailors from getting home to their families. The only people who want him in office are the rich who have large dividend income. I am ashamed at all the lies this administration has told us but I am more ashamed for Democrats not standing up and taking exception when they could have. I would like to see Hillary Clinton drafted on the convention floor and for her to pick Edwards as her running mate. Bush could not debate Hillary and Edwards is twice the man Cheney could ever be. But... Cheney will not be Bush's running mate - he is too much a liability.

Posted by: Kevin at February 13, 2004 03:41 PM | PERMALINK


Posted by: woodrow at February 13, 2004 03:43 PM | PERMALINK

This is it, the beginning of the end of this punk-*ss regime.

Citizen J.

Posted by: Citizen J. at February 13, 2004 04:04 PM | PERMALINK

I too was in the reserves in the 60's and went on active duty in 1965. After training at hospitals in Great Lakes and Portsmouth, Va. I was assigned to the First Marine Division in Vietnam. I served for a year as a corpsman in the field and was released to inactive status in late 67. With still almost 2 years of my contract to fulfill I settled into my hometown in Virginia and contacted the local Naval Reserve unit to tell them I was there. I was adamantly against the War and as a newspaper reporter at the time I let people know how I felt. After a few months the local reserve unit told me if I didn't shut up they would order me back to active duty and when I refused I received orders to report in the summer of 1968. I refused to go and was chased around the country while staying underground for over 4 years until I turned myself in at San Diego and receiving my honorable discharge.
I know our Commander in Chief didn't defy the powers that be by protesting the Vietnam war but the fact that he didn't show for his reserve duties shouldn't be excused. Why was I singled out even after serving honorably in that war while he received favored treatment for doing essentially the same thing even though I was on activve duty in combat? I feel this just shows the coddled life he has had and has tried to cover up with the sham that he is a regular guy. People like me served and were treated as fodder by our government while George Bush was getting privileged treatment because of his connections. I hope the media will demand his records and show what a hypocrite he is but have my doubts after what's happened for the last few years. Here's hoping the American will not be fooled again by this administration and we won't have another four years of this s**t.

Posted by: Doc Paris at February 13, 2004 05:42 PM | PERMALINK

You democrat operatives have no shame, you come into these sites and spew you venom with no grip of the facts, 90% of you couldn't read a miliyary document if you had to. All of bush's records clearly show that he did what was required of him in the guard. Instead of agreeing with these stupid journalists that don't do their research maybe some of you should get his documents off the internet and peice this together like i did. If you know how to read miliary documents you would know for your self that everything peices together quite nicely. By the way i see that Lt. col. john "bill" Calhoun the saftey officer from that Alabama Guard unit came forth and stated that President bush showed up for all his drills there. Bush was not AWOL get over it.

Posted by: wresric at February 13, 2004 09:51 PM | PERMALINK

Well, finally someone has come forward to "say" they remember Bush being in Alabama besides his girlfriend. All i want to know is how much of Bush's $200 million warchest for re-election did it cost him to buy this guy's voice. Until i see that the guy has passed a polygraph test on 60 minutes, i'm sticking to the position that Bush's National Guard duty was as pitiful as his "C" average at Yale. BTW, i guarantee that if anyone without his papa's pull had asked to be transferred to Alabama to help work a guy's campaign, it would have fell on deaf ears. I think we all really know that Bush did what he wanted to do while in uniform and that it continues today. What happened to the guy who was going to bring morality back to the White House? Those swallows are coming home to roost... Hopefully, we'll be able to compare Shrubs time in the WH to his dad's......a ONE TERMER!!!! Let's make it happen for the survival of the U.S. of A. ASA all the way.....

Posted by: Bill McGuire at February 13, 2004 10:33 PM | PERMALINK

Hmh, I like the George W. Bush who did not want go to war in Vietnam more than the George W. Bush who startet the war in Iraq. Amazing how a man can change trough the Years.

Posted by: Gronff at February 14, 2004 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

the simple answer to Georges' deception and lies is to not vote for him in the next election. Unfortunately, is the alternative any better or just another liar in a different outfit? Big money keeps getting these clowns elected. Since this administration has done its best to widen the gap between the rich and poor, i am sure the poorer outnumber the rich and voting George Dubya out should be easy. Remember your history and the last time a King George tried to screw with you.

Posted by: Tom at February 14, 2004 07:39 PM | PERMALINK

Saying that someone was AWOL is nothing like calling someone a rapist...

Are you not familiar with MKUltra and Project Monarch? These are quite a bit more serious than the military record.

Posted by: Jeanise at February 14, 2004 11:48 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not sure that this is the bombshell you believe it to be, Kevin. If I understand correctly, your claim that Bush was sent to a disciplinary unit is based on the shaky assumption that the "ARF" header on the "Statement of Points Earned" refers to a specific "paper unit" in Denver.

It doesn't. It stands for Air Reserve Forces (note the plural), the blanket term for the Air Force Reserve and the various Air National Guard units fielded by individual states. You see, the Air National Guard is, by definition, a reserve force. Reserve components at the national and state levels often use the same standardized forms. (In fact, sometimes they use the same forms that the Active component uses.)

Don't believe me? Take a look at the second document. Note that the header reads, "Air Reserve Forces Retirement Credit Summary". Now look at the block in the upper left hand corner, where it says, "STATE (ANG)". This makes the dual use nature of the form pretty obvious. If you were to get your hands on the documents of other airmen from the same period, I'm sure that you'd find that they're on the very same standardized forms.

Posted by: Chris Seamans at February 15, 2004 09:34 AM | PERMALINK

Approximately 4 years ago I know I read a story that yes George Bush Jr. had a reputation for really hanging a great weekend of drugs and alcohol and came in one Monday morning for duty but was refused entry to the flying area and was being disciplined. Months later he was sent to Alabama and nothing was said about his other stories. Can anyone recall the magazine this was written in. As a reference about the same time a family told in another article about the same time of Bush Jr. pressuring them and their family for a price much lower than the going price for them to sell their property for Texas Rangers ballpark. I know I read this and one article was in the Reader's Digest the second one unsure.

Posted by: Ray at February 15, 2004 02:50 PM | PERMALINK

I believe this post will explain alot of the assumptions the author makes...

Letters to the Editor(Will never be seen in mainline media)

'Bush and I were lieutenants'
George Bush and I were lieutenants and pilots in the 111th
Fighter Interceptor Squadron (FIS), Texas Air
National Guard (ANG) from 1970 to 1971. We had the same flight and
squadron commanders (Maj. William Harris
and Lt. Col. Jerry Killian, both now deceased). While we were not
part of the same social circle outside the base,
we were in the same fraternity of fighter pilots, and proudly wore
the same squadron patch.
It is quite frustrating to hear the daily cacophony from the
left and Sen. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat,
et al., about Lt. Bush escaping his military responsibilities by
hiding in the Texas ANG. In the Air Guard during
the Vietnam War, you were always subject to call-up, as many Air
National Guardsmen are finding out today. If
the 111th FIS and Lt. Bush did not go to Vietnam, blame President
Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert S.
McNamara, not lowly Lt. Bush. They deliberately avoided use of the
Guard and Reserves for domestic political
calculations, knowing that a draftee only stirred up the concerns
of one family, while a call-up got a whole
community's attention.
The mission of the 147th Fighter Group and its subordinate
111th FIS, Texas ANG, and the airplane it
possessed, the F-102, was air defense. It was focused on defending
the continental United States from Soviet
nuclear bombers. The F-102 could not drop bombs and would have been
useless in Vietnam. A pilot program
using ANG volunteer pilots in F-102s (called Palace Alert) was
scrapped quickly after the airplane proved to be
unsuitable to the war effort. Ironically, Lt. Bush did inquire
about this program but was advised by an ANG
supervisor (Maj. Maurice Udell, retired) that he did not have the
desired experience (500 hours) at the time and
that the program was winding down and not accepting more
If you check the 111th FIS records of 1970-72 and any other ANG
squadron, you will find other pilots excused
for career obligations and conflicts. The Bush excusal in 1972 was
further facilitated by a change in the unit's
mission, from an operational fighter squadron to a training
squadron with a new airplane, the F-101, which required
that more pilots be available for full-time instructor duty rather
than part-time traditional reservists with outside
The winding down of the Vietnam War in 1971 provided a flood of
exiting active-duty pilots for these instructor
jobs, making part-timers like Lt. Bush and me somewhat superfluous.
There was a huge glut of pilots in the Air
Force in 1972, and with no cockpits available to put them in, many
were shoved into nonflying desk jobs. Any
pilot could have left the Air Force or the Air Guard with ease
after 1972 before his commitment was up because
there just wasn't room for all of them anymore.
Sadly, few of today's partisan pundits know anything about the
environment of service in the Reserves in the
1970s. The image of a reservist at that time is of one who joined,
went off for six months' basic training, then
came back and drilled weekly or monthly at home, with two weeks of
"summer camp." With the knowledge that
Mr. Johnson and Mr. McNamara were not going to call out the
Reserves, it did become a place of refuge for many
wanting to avoid Vietnam.
There was one big exception to this abusive use of the Guard to
avoid the draft, and that was for those who
wanted to fly, as pilots or crew members. Because of the training
required, signing up for this duty meant up to
2?? years of active duty for training alone, plus a high
probability of mobilization. A fighter-pilot candidate
selected by the Guard (such as Lt. Bush and me) would be spending
the next two years on active duty going
through basic training (six weeks), flight training (one year),
survival training (two weeks) and combat crew training
for his aircraft (six to nine months), followed by local checkout
(up to three more months) before he was even
deemed combat-ready. Because the draft was just two years, you sure
weren't getting out of duty being an Air
Guard pilot. If the unit to which you were going back was an F-100,
you were mobilized for Vietnam. Avoiding
service? Yeah, tell that to those guys.
The Bush critics do not comprehend the dangers of fighter
aviation at any time or place, in Vietnam or at home,
when they say other such pilots were risking their lives or even
dying while Lt. Bush was in Texas. Our Texas
ANG unit lost several planes right there in Houston during Lt.
Bush's tenure, with fatalities. Just strapping on one
of those obsolescing F-102s was risking one's life.
Critics such as Mr. Kerry (who served in Vietnam, you know),
Terry McAuliffe and Michael Moore (neither of
whom served anywhere) say Lt. Bush abandoned his assignment as a
jet fighter pilot without explanation or
authorization and was AWOL from the Alabama Air Guard.
Well, as for abandoning his assignment, this is untrue. Lt.
Bush was excused for a period to take employment
in Florida for a congressman and later in Alabama for a Senate
Excusals for employment were common then and are now in the Air
Guard, as pilots frequently are in career
transitions, and most commanders (as I later was) are flexible in
letting their charges take care of career affairs
until they return or transfer to another unit near their new
employment. Sometimes they will transfer temporarily to
another unit to keep them on the active list until they can return
home. The receiving unit often has little use for a
transitory member, especially in a high-skills category like a
pilot, because those slots usually are filled and, if
not filled, would require extensive conversion training of up to
six months, an unlikely option for a temporary hire.
As a commander, I would put such "visitors" in some minor
administrative post until they went back home.
There even were a few instances when I was unaware that they were
on my roster because the paperwork often
lagged. Today, I can't even recall their names. If a Lt. Bush came
into my unit to "pull drills" for a couple of
months, I wouldn't be too involved with him because I would have a
lot more important things on my table keeping
the unit combat ready.
Another frequent charge is that, as a member of the Texas ANG,
Lt. Bush twice ignored or disobeyed lawful
orders, first by refusing to report for a required physical in the
year when drug testing first became part of the
exam, and second by failing to report for duty at the disciplinary
unit in Colorado to which he had been ordered.
Well, here are the facts:
First, there is no instance of Lt. Bush disobeying lawful
orders in reporting for a physical, as none would be
given. Pilots are scheduled for their annual flight physicals in
their birth month during that month's weekend drill
assembly ?EUR" the only time the clinic is open. In the Reserves,
it is not uncommon to miss this deadline by a
month or so for a variety of reasons: The clinic is closed that
month for special training; the individual is out of
town on civilian business; etc.
If so, the pilot is grounded temporarily until he completes the
physical. Also, the formal drug testing program
was not instituted by the Air Force until the 1980s and is done
randomly by lot, not as a special part of a flight
physical, when one easily could abstain from drug use because of
its date certain. Blood work is done, but to
ensure a healthy pilot, not confront a drug user.
Second, there was no such thing as a "disciplinary unit in
Colorado" to which Lt. Bush had been ordered. The
Air Reserve Personnel Center in Denver is a repository of the
paperwork for those no longer assigned to a specific
unit, such as retirees and transferees. Mine is there now, so I
guess I'm "being disciplined." These "disciplinary
units" just don't exist. Any discipline, if required, is handled
within the local squadron, group or wing,
administratively or judicially. Had there been such an infraction
or court-martial action, there would be a record
and a reflection in Lt. Bush's performance review and personnel
folder. None exists, as was confirmed in The
Washington Post in 2000.
Finally, the Kerrys, Moores and McAuliffes are casting a
terrible slander on those who served in the Guard,
then and now. My Guard career parallels Lt. Bush's, except that I
stayed on for 33 years. As a guardsman, I even
got to serve in two campaigns. In the Cold War, the air defense of
the United States was borne primarily by the
Air National Guard, by such people as Lt. Bush and me and a lot of
others. Six of those with whom I served in
those years never made their 30th birthdays because they died in
crashes flying air-defense missions.
While most of America was sleeping and Mr. Kerry was playing
antiwar games with Hanoi Jane Fonda, we
were answering 3 a.m. scrambles for who knows what inbound threat
over the Canadian subarctic, the cold North
Atlantic and the shark-filled Gulf of Mexico. We were the
pathfinders in showing that the Guard and Reserves
could become reliable members of the first team in the total force,
so proudly evidenced today in Afghanistan and
It didn't happen by accident. It happened because back at the
nadir of Guard fortunes in the early '70s, a lot of
volunteer guardsman showed they were ready and able to accept the
responsibilities of soldier and citizen ?EUR"
then and now. Lt. Bush was a kid whose congressman father
encouraged him to serve in the Air National Guard.
We served proudly in the Guard. Would that Mr. Kerry encourage his
children and the children of his colleague
senators and congressmen to serve now in the Guard.
In the fighter-pilot world, we have a phrase we use when things
are starting to get out of hand and it's time to
stop and reset before disaster strikes. We say, "Knock it off." So,
Mr. Kerry and your friends who want to slander
the Guard: Knock it off.

U.S. Air Force/Air National Guard
Herndon, Va.5

Posted by: Marty at February 15, 2004 06:24 PM | PERMALINK

The lady doth protest too much!

Posted by: al at February 15, 2004 10:04 PM | PERMALINK

About why Bush stopped flying....I don't know but I think there's something in what Bush's room mate recently said about him in an interview [published in a USAToday article]. Someone needs to check this out. I think there's more to this than just missing a physical exam, other things were happening in his life at that time. The question is, what trouble did Bush get into ....

"A contemporary of Bush, Dean Roome, a former Texas Air National Guard fighter pilot, was Bush's roommate when they were flying in Houston. He said that during the first half of his career, Bush was a model officer. Roome and another Bush contemporary, retired Texas Air National Guard Col. Maurice Udell, vouched for Bush's military service in the fall of 2000 at the request of the Bush campaign after the Boston Globe raised questions about an apparent gap in his service from May 1972 to April 1973.

During a telephone interview with USA TODAY in 2002, Roome described Bush's career as mercurial; the first three years were outstanding, the final two troubled. "You wonder if you know who George Bush is," Roome said.

"I think he digressed after awhile," he said. "In the first half, he was gung-ho. ... Where George failed was to fulfill his obligation as a pilot. It was an irrational time in his life." "

Posted by: FLS at February 16, 2004 03:05 AM | PERMALINK

Marty's Post about the message credited as a "letter to the editor we will never see" attributed to no particular publication,( for sake of expedience I will stipulate to it's authenticity as it is not relevant to my point), is nothing more than more speculation on what this or that may or may not offers no proof or even concrete verified statements about anything. The mere willingness to use terms like Hanoi Jane to derrogate others is a sign of a militarilly or politically brainwashed mind. It is juvenile, coldwar histrionics that is evidence of an inability to hold a credible conversation or argument without collapsing into pointless ad homenim attacks, and upon arrogance and pride in ones service. Sorry, but being a member of the service does not excuse you from having to be able to think and participate in civil human and political reality. It doesn't make soldiers or the administration,(the politicians who love to send people to war but rarely see it themselves), any less personally responsible for their actions simply because they are proud of a theoretical basis for their actions which in fact plays little or no role in the reality of why this war is even on.
What amazes me further on two counts is how quickly the administration who wants nothing to do with the Clinton way of things will cry how exactly like Clinton they are when there is blame to go around and he wants to defer it back to Clinton.
This sort of blame me and you have to blame Clinton too, is superfaulty logic that has NO relevance... without even needing to go into the particulars....Democrats really don't usually have any problem picking apart the Clinton policies we did not like or agree with....While Republicans, even ones with well I should say(used to have) an ounce of credibility, appear to be going insane scrambling to tow the party line and say whatever nonsensical gibberish the Administration feeds them...even some of them are having a real hard time buying what they are selling...
Look, the screen already fell down,The Wizard of US is just a criminal.
Bush and company have been exposed again and many times do we have to repeat this retarded historical pattern before we GET IT !

What IS very simple to understand that seems to be disregarded is the simple fact that Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, etc and the rest of the PNAC buddies have been declaring for over a decade their neocon agenda with an almost Hitlerian flair for absurdist propaganda and paranoid hostility, an agenda which really is the Blueprint for Bush stomping over our civil rights taking over the government and implimenting ambitions of an American Empire ruling the world.
Why should we have to be scraping the bottom of a 30 year old barrel (despite the legitimate relevence of it) when this PNAC insanity stuff is public record...this should disturb EVERYONE! but for some reason doesn't resonate with the glut of unfortunately stupid voters who only respond to the rhetorical catchphrases designed to shut of their minds and turn on their emotionally driven idiot switches or rush limbaugh parrot training...BTW its Ironic that all those Rush Dittoheads, now have a great excuse for a change of heart;), they can say they were misled by bad intellegence from a drug addled Entertainer that had delusions of being a political and intellectual guru.

It sounds like a freakin scifi bad comic book scenario but yes these CRAZY greedy murderous lunatics are running the show(for another few months only I sincerely hope).

Repubs don't want to believe the facts even when they are widely known, and they really don't want to hear supposedly far fetched conspiracy theories about their worthless heroes, especially if those facts are true and verifiable...thier level of denial and arrogance is astonishing.

I'm sure the country didn't really want to believe all the bad things about Nixon till they became undisputable and overbearing. I'll bet they would choose to still not belive that President Nixon and Billy Graham used to sit around and bash jews using derogatory language and saying things that would have made Hitler proud, yet in the Nixon tapes, there it is...the two of them sounding like an SS field day. And considering how many people from Nixons Cabinet are currently in or involved in Bushes cabinet(not to mention people indicted in the Iran-Contra scandall) and yet we are supposed to just overlook all these indescretions, failed policies, bold faced lies, cover-ups and distractions, a failing economy, our dead children, relatives, friends sent off to bolster Bush's personal financial and political interests, and endless word games...lets face it the repubs are being disingenous to even themselves if they keep pretending GW is some kind of freakin saintly leader...get a grip!

CitiZen X


Posted by: CitiZen X at February 16, 2004 09:34 AM | PERMALINK

Marty, How did you get in the ANG, did Speaker of the Texas House Ben Barnes intercede for you and just how many enemy planes did you and your friend "Lt. Bush" shoot down over the "shark infested" Texas Gulf Coast during Vietnam? Just wondered!

Posted by: Bob Price at February 16, 2004 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

Did anyone catch NPR Daniel Schorr's quote from Colin Powell's book re National Guard service? I'd like to get a verbatim copy of it, but can't run it down.

Posted by: John A. Broussard at February 16, 2004 09:33 PM | PERMALINK

Mr. Broussard, TryThe Cato Institute article by Stanley Kober "Send the Children of Politicians to the Front Lines?" on January 31, 2004.

Posted by: Bob Price at February 17, 2004 01:00 AM | PERMALINK

Thanks Bob. The following from Kober's article should be of interest to the readers here.

"I am angry that so many of the sons of the powerful and well placed ... managed to wangle slots in Reserve and National Guard units," Secretary of State Colin Powell wrote in his memoirs. "Of the many tragedies of Vietnam, this raw class discrimination strikes me as the most damaging to the ideal that all Americans are created equal and owe equal allegiance to their country."

Posted by: John A. Broussard at February 17, 2004 07:07 AM | PERMALINK

Yes John, Dubya has always assumed and acted as if his BlueBlood birth and birthright makes him a LOT more equal than everybody else!

Posted by: Bob Price at February 17, 2004 07:23 AM | PERMALINK

John, Do you remember George C. Scott's quote of General Patton in the movie "Patton" relative to telling your grandkids what you did during WW2 and that they (his troops) wouldn't have to tell them thy were shoveling "manure"? in Louisiana? It seems that GWB may well be remembered for shoveling a lot of bullshit about his Air Guard service while in Alabama!

Posted by: Bob Price at February 17, 2004 03:33 PM | PERMALINK

Is it possible that a-whole didn't "fail to take" the physical, but actually "failed" the physical, and the document that he "failed" it was, in his own words, "scoured", er 'disappeared'?

Posted by: theadr at February 17, 2004 04:21 PM | PERMALINK

Is it possible that 1st Lt Bivens only concurred on a-whole's first year of service and 'someone' hand wrote the rest in? Is 'normal practice' not to type into the is form, every year, and sign and date it?

Posted by: theadr at February 17, 2004 04:50 PM | PERMALINK

The official White House story is that Lt. Bush requested a transfer to the Alabama unit to work on the Blount campaign, and since they didn't have F-102s there, Bush skipped his physical, voluntarily relinquishing his flying status. But, would that have been his decision to make? Could he just sort of decide that he didn't feel like flying anymore and just remove himself from the roster, so to speak? Wouldn't the ANG have been obligated by their own policies to maintain a trained pilot on its roster?

Posted by: J Timothy Lovett at February 17, 2004 05:10 PM | PERMALINK

My experience in the Navy Reserve dictates that he probably could have gone into a non-flying status "IF" (1) he could have found a non-flying "billet" or "job" open in the Houston unit he was assigned to and (2) he received approval from his CO and possibly others up the line to cease flying. The chances of finding a "non-flying" open billet in the ANG during the Vietnam War was more than likely NIL! The entire lack of documentation after his suspension from flying for failing to take his annual flight physical is incredible.

Posted by: Bob Price at February 17, 2004 07:14 PM | PERMALINK

Calhoun looks like a liar to me.
The dates he says he saw Bush (he said he saw bush at ~every~ drill) do not jive with the 2 dates that bush was paid for in 1972 when he could have been there.

This Calhoun guy looked shakey when interviewed. Calhoun doesn't have one document like a sign-in sheet or even a photo with his pal bush.

The other thing that strikes me is that if he Knew Bush so well over so many drills, why didn't bush ever remember him? And why hasn't Bush admitted or denied knowing this guy from his guard days?

Calhoun was at Daytona, but Bush avoided seeing him. Something is not right with this picture.

And people like Tim Russert should not offer Calhoun's stories as evidence of anything until this guy has been checked out. Bush himself has not even validated the Calhoun story.

I thing Bush would have remembered Calhoun if that was true amd had a reunion ceremony, don't you? This is like a trial balloon that has to be exploded.

The main thing is that Bush was suspended , and he was never un-suspended as he sluffed -off and went absent without leave to do so.

Posted by: C McFeddron at February 17, 2004 09:31 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps I'm missing something here, but there appear to me to be some significant discrepancies in these two records.

1. The first document has dates entered as YYMMDD, the second document has dates as DDMMYY. In 10 years in the Navy and Reserves, I **never** saw a date entered with the day being first. That makes the second document appear suspect to me.
2. I think it’s odd that “W” signed off on the dates of service on the second record depicted here after one year of reserve duty, yet other dates were added later, **hand-written**, and never signed off on.
3. It is said that Bush was transferred to ARF as a disciplinary action. Yet, both of these documents say they are ARF. That would imply that Bush was in ARF, the "disciplinary" unit, from the beginning, in 1968, and that he apparently never got out of it. That implies to me that ARF is **not** a disciplinary unit. You have to screw up first to get into one of those, you don't get put into one of them at the very outset.
4. My late son-in-law (a brilliant young man and crack fighter pilot who lost his life unnecessarily in a craft with a design defect that the military couldn't be bothered to fix or to warn their pilots about) required over 4 years of 24/7 active duty to make Navy fighter pilot quals in about 1994 (his plane exploded in 1996). Now, I’m sure the planes were simpler in Bush's days back in the 1970’s, but I cannot believe that anyone, and particularly not someone who ranked in the 25th percentile on the officer entrance exam as "W" did, would be able to make pilot quals doing as little active duty time as he did according to these records.

Do the math here – Bush was apparently on duty only **ABOUT 228 DAYS TOTAL** which is NOT EVEN ONE COMPLETE YEAR IN ALL OF SIX YEARS. When I served in the reserves in the 1970’s, we gained 4 points per day for active duty, and 8 points per day for reserve duty (i.e., a single day in the weekend of reserve duty counted for 2 days of active duty, point-wise). Calculating Bush’s total service based on 4 pts. per day according to the maximum points earned per day in the reserve units in years 1972-73 (we’re being unnecessarily generous here since most of his reserve days didn’t even earn 4 points, indicating that he didn’t do the whole day of duty): 253 points for 1968-69, divided by 4 points/day yields 63 days for that year; 340 points for 1969-70 divided by 4 points/day yields equivalent of 85 days for that year; 137 points divided by 4 points/day for 1970-71 yields 34 days for that year; 112 points divided by 4 points/day for 1971-72 yields 28 days for that year; and -- counting generously (i.e., counting both check-in and check-out days as whole days, and not considering the fact that those duty days apparently were not equal in their weights in points granted, but instead giving just the day count only) – indicates that 18 days were served from Oct 1972 to May 1973.

This gives a total service of 228 days, or about 2/3 of one year. Assuming that Bush required the entire 228 days to make quals as a fighter pilot, rather than finishing “early” as it were, we divide the 228 days by the 365*4 years required by the other (above-average) mortals to do it = 228/1460 = .1562. This would mean that a far-below-average cadet makes fighter pilot quals in about 16% of the time required for other above-average cadets to do it. Even if you generously grant Bush TWICE that amount of actual time served, you still have a far-below-average cadet making quals in less than half the time that better cadets were able to do it. This is simply preposterous. Would any of **YOU** risk your lives to try to fly a fighter craft with so little training behind you? Even podunk private civilian planes require more training than that. But if any of you would try such a foolhardy thing, I think the Darwin effect would become operative very quickly, to the great detriment of the taxpayers who bore the cost of the extremely expensive military plane and as well as to anyone who had the misfortune to be standing below when the fool screwed it into the ground. Which would indicate what I’ve thought all along – if Bush ever was actually seated in a fighter aircraft, he could be said to be “piloting” it in the same way that those NASA chimps could have been said to be “piloting” the spacecraft they were launched in. However, the mystery of how Bush survived this dangerous experiment is solved by the fact that no flight log has ever been produced that showed that Bush was flying, even as a passenger, in a fighter or trainer aircraft. There has been only one “log” offered in evidence of Bush’s flight time, and it lacked his name and **ANY DATES OR TIMES OF THE FLIGHTS**, meaning that as a log goes, it was undoubtedly a fake unless the military’s standards of log-keeping were far lower in those days, and far lower than even civilians were required to maintain. Those military people knew what they were doing, and they would never have risked a valuable craft and the lives of God-knows-how-many other people by letting a frequently-intoxicated dilettante like Bush actually get hold of the controls of an aircraft without constant adult supervision.

Posted by: Navy veteran at February 17, 2004 11:24 PM | PERMALINK

You and the retired "Lt Col" are in left field. "ARF" is the Air Reserve Forces, which nowadays is referred to as "ARC" for Air Reserve Component.

Teh Guard is a fedreally recognized state militia. This goes back to the Dick Act in the early 1900's. the federal Gov't wanted a way to ensure that in future wars (after lessons learned from the Civil War and SPanish-American War) that it would have control over teh various state militias (each state had many). The Federal Gov't promised to pay and equip those units (generally) as long as the State recruited and trained tehm to federal standards.

The first form that you have is his ponits statement for 1 year, which begins on a date called the "retirement/retention" date. It shows all of the points he earned for that time period. IN order to remain a "satisfactory participant", one must complete at least 50 points per year. Bush did this for every year, according to the document.

As to why it's an "ARF" document, that goes back to the first paragraph that I wrote. Although the Guard is a State force, it can be called into federal service (obviously). Not only does the Federal Gov't pay the salaries of guradsmen on active duty, but it also pays for the retirements of those members. Thepoints statemetn is merely an annual form we all get each year showing what ARPC (Air Reserve Personnel Center) beleives we should have that year in terms of points. If there's a mistake, that is the time to find and correct it.

As to "ARF" being a "disciplinary unit", that is completely untrue. There is no such thing. Members who separate automoatically have their records transferred to ARPC in Denver, CO. This is standard procedure for the Air Guard,although it may be different for the Army Guard, as the Army Guard maintains files on individuals in the "In-Active National Guard". The ANG does not have this, although on the reserve (federal) side, there is the IRR (also in the other services), and basically these are members who've completed their service obligation, but have not fulfilled their initial 8 year commitment (ALL enlistments into teh US Military are for a period of 8 years -- teh first 2, 3, 4 ,5 or 6 are in an "active status -- even for the Guard and reserve -- after that "active status, your records are sent to the appropriate reserve command, and basically you're a name on a list in case more bodies are needed inan emaergency. There is no erquirement to show up to drill. Again, teh Army Guard is the only componment that keeps its members records for this type of service).

As to being "AWOL" or having "deserted" his guard duty, this is not possible.

As guardsmen beliong to their respective states, they are goverend by USC Title 32. Federal (active duty and reserve) troops are governed by USC Title 10. Only those goverened by Title 10 can be "Article 15'd" or punished in anyway by the UCMJ. The States may have something similar rfor their Guard forces, but in some States (at least in NJ, I beleive), there is no equivalent, as the courts there ruled it unconstitutional. The bottom line is even IF he was not there, he could not be court-martialed the way some are saying it.

As to his absence, it is not uncommon to miss "drill", and make them up at a later date (we call this a "RUTA" in my unit. You're still paid for the weekend drill of whatever period the drill actually took place, but you may not do the drill for a few days toa few weeks. In any case, you HAVE to be paid with the drill money for the one you missed, as that's teh only place the State gets it money and authorizations to pay people.

As far as the Alabama drill, and some pilots not seeinghim, that's not surprising either. As an unqualified pilot only there to do equivalent training, the unit was not about to transition him into the RF-4C's which the Al unit flew. This ebing the case, there was absolutely no reason for Bush to report to the flying squadron. He would've been assigned an admin job/additional duty type job at teh higher HQ, in this case the 187th Tactical Recon Group.

As a 17 year veteran of the US Army, NJ Army Guard, NJ Air Guard and now the USAF, I can say FACTUALLY that he was not "AWOL", his records are complete, there was no "disciplinary unit" and it's quite reasonable for active pilots in the Alabama squadron to have NOT seen him. Lastly, for thsoe of you who think his paperwork may have been "Scrubbed", here's a little information abut that. As a guardsmen, he should have duplicate records - records maintained with the TXANG and also records at ARPC. For someone to "scrub them" would mean that they would need access to two different locations, and both would have to be done exactly. That's a stretch, on the one hand, and secondly, the mere insinuation is an unfair accusation of the integrity of the men and women (mostly civil servants) who work at ARPC.

Posted by: Bob at February 18, 2004 05:03 AM | PERMALINK

To "Navy Veteran", Your recollection of " points " is way off! In computing points for retirement and points for computation of drill credit you received one point for each day of "active duty" or "active duty for training" and one point for each four hour period of " inactive duty traing " or "drill". You would get 14 points for a two week active duty training period, performed usually once each year, and 4 points for each two day drill weekend. You would also receive 15 " gratuitous " points for participation each year. I believe there was also a cap of 60 on the number of points you could get for gratuitous and inactive duty credit. There was no limit on the number of points you could get for "active duty" or "active duty for training". Normally, for retirement pay computation purposes if you attended all drills and did your annual two week active duty training, you would get a total for the year of 60+14 or 74 points. Check your records and you can verify this.

Posted by: Bob Price at February 18, 2004 08:45 AM | PERMALINK

This is an addition to my 2/18/04 08:45AM post directly above. Lt. Bush's Air Reserve Forces Retirement Credit Summary adequately confirms my point credit recollection. For the year May 1970-May 1971 Lt. Bush was credited with 46 points resulting from "active duty", 76 points resulting from "inactive duty" training and 15 gratuitous points. He was credited 106 retirement points, 46 active duty points plus 60 points for the combination of "inactive duty" training and "gratuitous points" which totaled 91, but was capped at 60. One other point, neither of the records displayed above are "pay records", these are drill attendance and retirement point records. Conceivably, Lt. Bush may have never received a penny of "pay" for the drills he performed or didn' perform from May 1972 through May 1973. Getting "paid" depends upon whether or not the billet or slot you are in is a "pay" billet or slot or a "non-pay" billet or slot. In my case I spent the last five or six years of my reserve career in a "non-pay" slot, but accumulated points toward retirement each year because there were only one or two Commander (0-5) "pay" billets at the reserve base where I drilled.

Posted by: Bob Price at February 18, 2004 09:59 AM | PERMALINK

Bob's statement about duplicate records needs to be examined by the press. According to Bush, ALL of his records should have been produced.

"he should have duplicate records - records maintained with the TXANG and also records at ARPC. "

Now, it seems there's a an entire set missing.

Where are they? Good question for next press briefing.

Posted by: John A. Broussard at February 18, 2004 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

Look, lets get real here.
Its getting tiresome reading all these speculations and supposed point system discrepencies. I can't find two of them that are in total agreement.
This is exactly the kind of endless paperchasing they want us doing cause it leads no where. I'm glad people are verifying things as best they can, but I see a lot of people making pure and probably innaccurate speculation to fuel excuses to give W a free pass. If you can all come up with such quick speculative scenarios which release Bush from ethical accountability on technicalities why can't he tell one straight story, why has he yet to release all the records, why are the records so full discrepencies. Are the services so incompetant that they cant manage to train secerataries or other such personel capable of managing records or is Bush too stupid and incompetant or unconcerned or unwilling to get the damn records in toto and explain them. Maybe you can't technically charge him for AWOL, maybe that charge isn't accurate, but if you can sit there with a straight face and tell me that he behaved with duty and honor and ethics and was treated as an equal to all other servicemen whose fathers weren't the head of the CIA under Nixon, and that he behaved with forthright honesty and integrity in this entire situation, you are deluded and blind beyond hope.

Citizen X

Posted by: CitiZen X at February 19, 2004 07:23 AM | PERMALINK

I am a retired Army Chief Warrant Officer with over 20 years of federal service.. It amazes me how individuals who have no experience in interpreting military personnel files, and know nothing of why information is and is not present in those records, are just guessing on what the records mean. They keep saying that his record shows this or that record shows that and when I look at them I see only that their interpretations are off base. Quite frankly after viewing the records that are available on the web I find most of their conclusions to not be accurate reflections of what the records show but rather interpretations tailored forward an agenda.

One such example is when they say Bush’s records were sent to the AFR for disciplinary reasons. First off the AFR, which stands for “Air Force Reserve” is not a records hold facility, its is a category of military service. The records for Air Force Reserve Personnel are actually maintained at the ARPC “Air Reserve Personnel Center” Stating that Bush’s records were sent the AFR for disciplinary reasons shows just how little understanding they have of the personnel records system and how incapable they are of interpreting those records and coming to a proper conclusion. Additionally, records are never sent for disciplinary reasons; they are sent because the individual had become inactive. Now the individual could be deactivated as part of the punishment, and thus his records would be sent to the AFR, but his records would still only be sent because he became inactive, ,not as part of the punishment.

Also if you want to know why Bush’s records went to the ARPC, all you have to do is review the records that have been released. His records transfer to ARPC was not in any way a result of disciplinary action but because he requested it, and the request was granted. The released records show that on 5 Sep 73 Bush requested discharge from the Texas Air National Guard with reassignment to ARPC (NARS). Upon approval of the discharge and transfer, his records would have automatically been sent to ARPC records holding.

Posted by: Don C. at February 19, 2004 09:20 PM | PERMALINK

Here’s another way these records reading genesis got it wrong. Since the Air National Guard was part of the Air Reserve Forces, Bush would have been in the ARF since his enlistment in 1968. There is no way to transfer someone to the ARF for disciplinary or any other reasons when they're allready in it.

You know if they were interested in accurate presentation of information they would check their facts and do a little impartial research first. All you have to do is look at the second form shown above and seen that it is labeled “Air Reserve Forces Retirement Credit Summery”. It shows earned retirement credits for every year from 1968 through 1972. Then ask yourself “how could Bush be transferred to the ARF for disciplinary reasons in 1973 since he had been serving in the ARF since 1968?”

Posted by: Don C. at February 21, 2004 09:36 PM | PERMALINK

The economy is looking up. On this forum alone, we have dozens of people with enough leisure time to spend hours researching/debating a complete non-issue. As a reservist myself, I'd have some valuable insights if this issue was at all worth spending any time writing them up. It isn't.

This hasn't even been in the Washington Post for the past week or so, beyond a couple of moonbat letters to the editor.

This dead horse is powder. Time to move on.

Posted by: LCDR BRS, USNR at February 23, 2004 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

The horse isn't quite dead. Gary Trudeau is

"offering a $10,000 reward to coax a witness to step forward and confirm President Bush's story"

Maybe some philanthropist could come forward and offer a like amount to find out just exactly where Bush was during those missing months.

Could he have been abducted by an UFO and just doesn't remember it?

Posted by: John A. Broussard at February 26, 2004 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

GO screw yourself you liberal piece of shit. HEY... look over there..........some trees need huggin, get on it you smelly hippy

Posted by: Aj at February 27, 2004 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

First, the National Guard story DOES is about accountability, honor and the truth. If something WAS covered up/lied about then and even more so, lied about now, in the short-term it would be bad for Bush and cast a horrible shadow on the Presidency itself. But perhaps it would help clean out the system for tomorrow-- one more rung up the ladder of hope that corrupt/dishonest politicians will think twice before running for office or misleading their constituants. To accept the coverup or let by-gones be by-gones, however, is to endorse it, accept it as the norm, and take one step down the ladder.

Now, it seems clear that incriminating documents aren't about to fall out of Bush's personnel file, and while there are more than a few people close to Bush in TX (and now in the White House) who would know the truth, unless one of them flakes, we'll have to wait until their bitter memoirs are written years from now to hear their story.

But, while docs may be missing from the Bush file, we still have the coincidental same-time loss-of-flight status for missed-physical friend of Bush (Maj James Bath) to look into. The assumption is they would have been disciplined in the same way. Now, this isn't digging into the questionable past/present of Bath relating to the bin laden family and the CIA, it is simply looking at his flight status revocation and followup action.

I've filed a FOIA request with the ARPC in Denver that has now been referred to the NPRC in St. Louis since I'm told they have "significant interest in the records." We'll await those docs.

Has anyone else gotten FOIA records on Major Bath?

Posted by: JAS at February 27, 2004 03:09 PM | PERMALINK

hi all cool site!!!

Posted by: dzwonki polifoniczne9475 at March 10, 2004 05:24 PM | PERMALINK

Yea bush has some issues. But doesn't kerry? Or anyother polititian for that matter? Are any of them really honest? Was clinton the first to get some in the oval office? It's interesting how much dirt we can dig up on the candidate we don't like. When do we as a country stop throwing shit and stick to the issues, and who the best man for the job is. So what bush didn't show up, he was considered a great leader. Bush or Kerry, isn't that whats important?

Posted by: no name at March 12, 2004 08:28 AM | PERMALINK

Just thought I would post this, it is a pro-President Bush article - but it does confirm many of the facts I have seen layed out on this blog by posters with an objective investigative and informed points of view. I myself am going to vote for this President once again, I tend to be a Reaslist in my political views, not bound by party. I research the person as much as I can before I cast my vote, along with my constant study of hisotry and current events to aid me in getting as much of the whole picture as possible. From all that I have already seen with this President I have come to the conclusion that...

*He served his country in the National Guard
*He is a good family man
*He lives the values he preaches
*He is a Religious man - humility to a higher power
*He lets you know were he stands on issues
*He is leading this war on terror, commandar & chief
*He took and turned around an economy in a recession when he took office (recession started 1 year before he became President)
*He fended off a direct hit on this countries very financial heart with tax cuts - ask yourself this - why when the prior administration had two years of a surplus budget - was there not a tax break? Federal Government is like a non-for-profit - surplus meant there would be money left like making profit - profit on the american public's money - not the way it's suppose to work.
*The military stratigie - Launched a quick & productive strick to disrupt Taliban & Alquida in Afganistan - knew not to committ the some 200,000 troops needed to flush out Bin Laden & the rest of the terrorists hiding in the hindu cush mountain area - since our military would have Iran, Iraq and Syria to it's back - land locked - it could of been tragic for us - three countries that vowed to rid the world of America. Understood Iraq was long over due on it's agreement from Gulf War I - good time to take out plan written by prior administration to do just that - Iran now flanked on two sides by American Troops is now in check mate - Spring now coming to Afganistan - time to send in the Marines in droves to stalk Bin Laden along with Pakinstan's help now - while Iraq gets it's government in order and constitution written - exit plan in order for June 2004 - Syria, Libyia, even North Korea - rethinking the gutless reputation of American's. China the puppet master of all terroism left with egg on it's face. Amazing!!!!
*Corruption in our financial markets - punished
*Money trail of terroists-nonprofits - go figure
*New technology funding
*Medicare - prescriptions
*Concept of privitizing Social Security - you mean the $200,000.00 every american puts in over 45 years of hard work that the government keeps, only the interest is given back in the form of $800.00 a month til you die - then the $200,000.00 rolls over into the general account for the government to use. Brilliant concept to keep our own principle in our own account to either use or pass on to our children - I sure could use $200,00000 at retirement - can still live on the interest of $800 a month.
*Far thinking enough to know a global economy and market is already here - need to bring the American worker to the realization it isn't going to go away so we better start preparing our job skills like responsible adults, get out there and compete.

I can go on - I see so much......

My only complaint to date is the boarder situation - I am not against people coming here to better themselves but the law is the law - the quota system was set up for a reason - just like the constitution - otherwise get rid of it, and prepare to live like sardines - remember this is the number one country of choice to live in the world.

February 18, 2004, 8:40 a.m.
Bush and the National Guard: Case Closed
EDITOR'S NOTE: This article appears in the March 8, 2004, issue of National Review.

Ask retired Brig. Gen. William Turnipseed whether the press has accurately reported what he said about George W. Bush, and you'll get an earful. "No, I don't think they have," he begins. Turnipseed, the former head of the 187th Tactical Reconnaissance Group of the Alabama Air National Guard, was widely quoted as saying he never saw Bush in Alabama in 1972, and if the future president had been there, he would remember. In fact, Turnipseed says, he doesn't recall whether Bush was there or not; the young flier, then a complete unknown in Alabama, was never part of the 900-man 187th, so Turnipseed wouldn't have had much reason to notice him. But most reporters haven't been interested in Turnipseed's best recollection. "They don't understand the Guard, they don't want to understand the Guard, and they hate Bush," he says. "So when I say, ‘There's a good possibility that Bush showed up,' why would they put that in their articles?"

In recent weeks, Turnipseed has found himself in the middle of a battle in which Democrats have called the president a "deserter" who went "AWOL" for an entire year during his time in the Air National Guard. When Democrats made those accusations —amplified by extensive press coverage — the White House was slow to fight back, insisting that the issue, which came up in the 2000 campaign, was closed and did not merit a response. It was only after NBC's Tim Russert brought the story up during a one-hour interview with the president on February 8 that the White House changed course and released records of the president's Guard service.

Those records have not quieted the most determined of the president's enemies — no one who watches the Democratic opposition really believed they would — but they do make a strong case that Bush fulfilled his duties and met the requirements for Air National Guard officers during his service from 1968 to 1973. A look at those records, along with interviews with people who knew Bush at the time, suggests that after all the shouting is over, and some of the basic facts become known, this latest line of attack on the president will come to nothing.

The controversy over Bush's service centers on what his critics call "the period in question," that is, the time from May 1972 until May 1973. What is not mentioned as often is that that period was in fact Bush's fifth year in the Guard, one that followed four years of often-intense service.

Bush joined in May 1968. He went through six weeks of basic training — a full-time job — at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Tex. Then he underwent 53 weeks of flight training — again, full time — at Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta, Ga. Then he underwent 21 weeks of fighter interceptor training — full time — at Ellington Air Force Base in Houston. Counting other, shorter, postings in between, by the end of his training period Bush had served two years on active duty.
Certified to fly the F-102 fighter plane, Bush then began a period of frequent — usually weekly — flying. The F-102 was designed to shoot down other fighter planes, and the missions Bush flew were training flights, mostly over the Gulf of Mexico and often at night, in which pilots took turns being the predator and the prey.” If you're going to practice how to shoot down another airplane, then you have to have another airplane up there to work on," recalls retired Col. William Campenni, who flew with Bush in 1970 and 1971. "He'd be the target for the first half of the mission, and then we'd switch."
During that period Bush's superiors gave him consistently high ratings as a pilot. "Lt. Bush is an exceptional fighter interceptor pilot and officer," wrote one in a 1972 evaluation. Another evaluation, in 1971, called Bush "an exceptionally fine young officer and pilot" who "continually flies intercept missions with the unit to increase his proficiency even further." And a third rating, in 1970, said Bush "clearly stands out as a top notch fighter interceptor pilot" and was also "a natural leader whom his contemporaries look to for leadership."

All that flying involved quite a bit of work. "Being a pilot is more than just a monthly appearance," says Bob Harmon, a former Guard pilot who was a member of Bush's group in 1971 and 1972. "You cannot maintain your currency by doing just one drill a month. He was flying once or twice a week during that time, from May of 1971 until May of 1972." While the work was certainly not as dangerous as fighting in the jungles of Vietnam, it wasn't exactly safe, either. Harmon remembers half-dozen Texas Air National Guard fliers who died in accidents over the years, including one during the time Bush was flying. "This was not an endeavor without risk," Harmon notes.

The records show that Bush kept up his rigorous schedule of flying through the spring of 1972: He was credited for duty on ten days in March of that year, and seven days in April. Then, as Bush began his fifth year of service in the Guard, he appears to have stepped back dramatically. The records indicate that he received no credit in May, June, July, August, and September 1972. In October, he was credited with two days, and in November he was credited with four. There were no days in December, and then six in January 1973. Then there were no days in February and March.
The change was the result of Bush's decision to go to Alabama to work on the Senate campaign of Republican Winton Blount. With an obligation to the Guard, Bush asked to perform equivalent service in Alabama. That was not an unusual request, given that members of the Guard, like everyone else, often moved around the country. "It was a common thing," recalls Brigadier General Turnipseed. "If we had had a guy in Houston, he could have made equivalent training with Bush's unit. It was so common that the guy who wrote the letter telling Bush to come didn't even tell me about it."

The president's critics have charged that he did not show up for service — was "AWOL" — in Alabama. Bush says he did serve, and his case is supported by records showing that he was paid and given retirement credit for days of service while he was known to be in Alabama. The records also show that Bush received a dental examination on January 6, 1973, at Dannelly Air National Guard base, home of the 187th (January 6 was one of the days that pay records show Bush receiving credit for service). And while a number of Guard members at the base say they do not remember seeing Bush among the roughly 900 men who served there during that time, another member, a retired lieutenant named John Calhoun, says he remembers seeing Bush at the base several times.
What seems most likely is that Bush was indeed at Dannelly, but there was not very much for a non-flying pilot to do. Flying fighter jets involves constant practice and training; Bush had to know when he left Texas that he would no longer be able to engage in either one very often, which meant that he would essentially leave flying, at least for some substantial period of time. In addition, the 187th could not accommodate another pilot, at least regularly. "He was not going to fly," says Turnipseed. "We didn't have enough airplanes or sorties to handle our own pilots, so we wouldn't have done it for some guy passing through."
On the other hand, showing up for drills was still meeting one's responsibility to the Guard. And, as 1973 went along, the evidence suggests that Bush stepped up his work to make up for the time he had missed earlier. In April of that year, he received credit for two days; in May, he received credit for 14 days; in June, five days; and in July, 19 days. That was the last service Bush performed in the Guard. Later that year, he asked for and received permission to leave the Guard early so he could attend Harvard Business School. He was given an honorable discharge after serving five years, four months, and five days of his original six-year commitment.

The records indicate that, despite his move to Alabama, Bush met his obligation to the Guard in the 1972-73 year. At that time, Guardsmen were awarded points based on the days they reported for duty each year. They were given 15 points just for being in the Guard, and were then required to accumulate a total of 50 points to satisfy the annual requirement. In his first four years of service, Bush piled up lots of points; he earned 253 points in his first year, 340 in his second, 137 in his third, and 112 in his fourth. For the year from May 1972 to May 1973, records show Bush earned 56 points, a much smaller total, but more than the minimum requirement (his service was measured on a May-to-May basis because he first joined the Guard in that month in 1968).

Bush then racked up another 56 points in June and July of 1973, which met the minimum requirement for the 1973-74 year, which was Bush's last year of service. Together, the record "clearly shows that First Lieutenant George W. Bush has satisfactory years for both '72-'73 and '73-'74, which proves that he completed his military obligation in a satisfactory manner," says retired Lt. Col. Albert Lloyd, a Guard personnel officer who reviewed the records at the request of the White House.
All in all, the documents show that Bush served intensively for four years and then let up in his fifth and sixth years, although he still did enough to meet Guard requirements. The records also suggest that Bush's superiors were not only happy with his performance from 1968 to 1972, but also happy with his decision to go to Alabama. Indeed, Bush's evaluating officer wrote in May 1972 "Lt. Bush is very active in civic affairs in the community and manifests a deep interest in the operation of our government. He has recently accepted the position as campaign manager for a candidate for United States Senate. He is a good representative of the military and Air National Guard in the business world."

Beyond their apparent hope that Bush would be a good ambassador for the Guard, Bush's superiors might have been happy with his decision to go into politics for another reason: They simply had more people than they needed. "In 1972, there was an enormous glut of pilots," says Campenni. "The Vietnam War was winding down, and the Air Force was putting pilots in desk jobs. In '72 or '73, if you were a pilot, active or Guard, and you had an obligation and wanted to get out, no problem. In fact, you were helping them solve their problem."

Despite the evidence, Democrats have continued to accuse the president of shirking his duty during his Guard career. "He went to Alabama for one year," Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe said on ABC on February 1. "He didn't show up. Call it whatever you want, AWOL, it doesn't matter." After Bush made his Guard records public, McAuliffe released a statement saying the documents "create more questions than answers." Other Democrats, as well as an energetic team of liberal columnists and bloggers, echoed McAuliffe's comments.
Perhaps the most impressive accomplishment of Bush's detractors is that they managed to sell the idea — mostly unchallenged in the press — that Bush's Air National Guard service consisted of one year during which he didn't show up for duty. Far fewer people asked the question: Just how did Bush become a fighter pilot in the first place? Didn't that involve, say, years of work? Bush's four years of service prior to May 1972 were simply airbrushed out of the picture because many reporters did not believe they were part of the story.

It also seems likely that some of Bush's adversaries used the Guard issue as a way to get at other questions about the president. The Guard record was said to have a bearing on Bush's credibility, on the war in Iraq, on his fitness to lead. In addition, some journalists were nearly obsessed with forcing the president to release medical records from his time in the Guard because they hoped those records might reveal some evidence of drug use. The White House did not release the full set of medical records but did allow reporters to view them; the documents were entirely unexceptional and contained nothing about drug use.

While all that was going on, both the White House and the Bush reelection campaign seemed consistently to underestimate the ferocity and resolve of the president's adversaries. For weeks, as the controversy grew, the president did nothing to defend himself. Those who wanted to speak up in his defense, like William Campenni and Bob Harmon, were not contacted by the White House; instead, they decided to go public on their own. Even when John Calhoun, the man who remembers Bush in Alabama, sent the White House an e-mail saying he had useful information, he received a stock response, without any indication the White House was interested in what he had to say.
Now the evidence is public; anyone who is interested in learning about Bush's service can do so. In the end, the president had the facts on his side. But he also had the good fortune to have the allegiance of men who feel so intensely about the Guard and their service that they wanted to speak out even if the White House didn't seem to care. Men like Campenni and Harmon were deeply offended when Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry equated Guard service during the Vietnam War with fleeing the country or going to jail. That was simply too much. "I'm not a Bushie," says Harmon. "The thing that got a few of us crawling out from under a rock, at no instigation from the White House, was that Guard service was being portrayed as being like a draft dodger."


Posted by: Rusteak at March 12, 2004 05:48 PM | PERMALINK

And Remember Clinton didn't inhale, Dumbocrats have no purpose in life.
At least the guy is tring to turn his life around.
Dumbocrats wouldn't know cause head their head is in the clouds...

Posted by: Marc Cardarella at March 12, 2004 09:26 PM | PERMALINK

Ha! Ha! You moronic brownshirt fucks are such jokesters, Marc!

You really ought to have a career writing comedy.

Posted by: Gobbles the Trophee Turkee at March 17, 2004 03:37 PM | PERMALINK


Posted by: JOHN F HULL at March 22, 2004 12:59 PM | PERMALINK