Contact
Archives
Search
Blogs
Newspaper Blogs
English-Language
Press
Polls

February 09, 2004

DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE....Obviously the Washington Post's Lois Romano doesn't read Calpundit. Writing about George Bush's National Guard attendance record, she says:

The first date in the records for 1973 is May 29, when they indicate he attended drills. The records show he attended drills at least 18 times between May 29 and July 30.

....His official personnel record, obtained by The Post in 2000, does not include a summary of service for the time in Alabama [in 1972]. There is a sheet, where the name has been torn off, that includes dates for that period, but there is no way to confirm it refers to Bush because his Social Security number has been redacted.

No, no, no. The record she's talking about in the first paragraph is this one:

The record in the second paragraph is now available in pristine non-torn condition and it looks like this:

Either you accept these ARF records as evidence of attendance at National Guard Drills or you don't. If you do, then they show Bush attending drills in late 1972 and then all the way from January through July of 1973. If you don't, then they don't show anything.

My guess is the latter: they don't show much of anything related to the National Guard. Rather, they are records of something that counted as drills in the Air Reserve, although it's not clear what.

But whatever they show, both records show the same thing. Even if we're not sure exactly what that is, the mainstream media needs to at least understand what evidence is currently available and what its possible interpretations are.

POSTSCRIPT: By the way, the actual point of Romano's story is that the Defense Department is requesting Bush's payroll records from "a DOD archive in Colorado." Why is DOD doing this? And why just payroll records? Very peculiar.

Posted by Kevin Drum at February 9, 2004 11:09 PM | TrackBack


Comments

Which is why I asked the question about Cohen getting paid for not showing. If Bush can produce payroll stubs, even though he didn't show, this will clear him.

Posted by: Boggs at February 9, 2004 11:11 PM | PERMALINK

Still doesn't answer why the DoD is doing it. Not only that, you'd think that they would have thought of payroll info long before this if they could show a definite string of checks made to GW from the Guard service that would seem to indicate continued service.

Posted by: Boggs at February 9, 2004 11:17 PM | PERMALINK

faaaaaaaatiguuuuuueeeeee

Posted by: Troy at February 9, 2004 11:36 PM | PERMALINK

To make this proof of the AWOL allegation, as opposed to the debunking of it, you need to come up with *something* Bush could have turned to earn points connected to specific dates besides training and drilling. In the hundreds of comments to the previous post, I heard *no* explanation of what else it could could be. If he's just in a disciplinary "paper" unit, what is he doing, mailing in book reports on the days listed? See the comments by former Guardsmen Stray Pooch near the end of the comments to the previous post.

Posted by: rd at February 9, 2004 11:38 PM | PERMALINK

Could the average person with this kind of questionable service record even obtain a normal security clearance from the feds?

Posted by: Markus at February 9, 2004 11:42 PM | PERMALINK

I think it has become obvious that the real story here is not whether Bush was AWOL, but the circumstances surrounding his refusal to take his annual flight physical.

We know drug testing was implemented just prior, Bush refused to take the examination, Bush was grounded and Bush lied about it when asked in 2000. (In fact Bush said he couldn't take the physical because his doctor was in Texas; flight physical are performed by USAF flight surgeons).

Now it appears Bush was transfered to ARF just after refusing his physical.

Think about it: does refusing to take a physical sound like something the Air Force would just forget about? They'd likely force the issue. Behold, just then Bush gets tranfered to a disciplinary unit.

Clearly, whatever really happen is in his personel file. You know, the one he kind-sorta promised Russert he'd release.

Posted by: Ian Gillespie at February 9, 2004 11:43 PM | PERMALINK

Cohen: I was supposed to attend weekly drills and summer camp, but I found them inconvenient. I "moved" to California and then "moved" back to New York, establishing a confusing paper trail that led, really, nowhere. For two years or so, I played a perfectly legal form of hooky. To show you what a mess the Guard was at the time, I even got paid for all the meetings I missed.

So much for the IRS records.

This sounds good to me. What's Bush afraid of?

Posted by: bad Jim at February 9, 2004 11:48 PM | PERMALINK

Of course, Cohen wasn't a pilot and isn't the president. Apart from that, though, what's the difference?

Posted by: bad Jim at February 9, 2004 11:50 PM | PERMALINK

requesting Bush's payroll records from "a DOD archive in Colorado." Why is DOD doing this? And why just payroll records?

Service records are in St. Louis, surely, but maybe payroll stuff is in Colorado. Somewhere tonight in blogland a commenter from (southern?) Illinois said that there was a news item on his local CBS about Bush's National Guard records being sent out of St. Louis to somewhere -- Washington, I hope?

Will wallow in AWOL-gate anon -- it's primary day already...

Posted by: Nell Lancaster at February 9, 2004 11:55 PM | PERMALINK

What Ashcroft Might,
And Ashcroft May,
Is No One's Business
If Ashcroft Say.

What Cheney Is,
What Cheney Be,
Is No One's Business.
Let No One See.

What Rumsfeld Does
Is Slick And Sly.
And No One's Business;
And Truth Is Lie.

And George? He's Fog
And George? He's Mist
And George? Truth Is,
Ain't Worth A Piss.



Posted by: Sovereign Eye at February 10, 2004 12:01 AM | PERMALINK

To amplify the point about the points earned for the 72-73 period, here's retired Guardsman Stray Pooch's response to Kevin's earlier statement that: "In fact, it's unclear even what the points on the ARF record are for."-

"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."

Posted by: rd at February 10, 2004 12:01 AM | PERMALINK

rd, do you expect to be taken seriously?

Posted by: bad Jim at February 10, 2004 12:05 AM | PERMALINK

No, but I'd think you'd listen to someone who's actually served decades in the Guard. Here's the permalink to the beginning of Stray Pooch's comments to the first "ARF" post:

http://www.calpundit.com/archives/003220.html#100470

Note that other Guardsmen, including "Retired Ltc," basically support the idea that these are real points that indicate valid service. The question should be, why shouldn't *they* be taken seriously.

Posted by: rd at February 10, 2004 12:08 AM | PERMALINK

rd, et al. Let me clarify a few points about my own credentials. I am a FULL TIME soldier (or was, before I retired). I served in an AGR status (Active Guard/Reserve) for two-thirds of my career. During that time I had many duties and a large portion of those were administrative. I am fully familiar with retirement points, pay records and the like. The records on this blog are very clearly retirement point summaries and are, in fact, legitimate proof of Bush's attendance. Calpundit, I am sorry, your interpretation is wrong. As to the vaunted Doc23.gif it is an ENLISTMENT CONTRACT. This excerpt has been "sanitized" by removing critical identifying date - most significantly the date. But someone forgot a few key points that enabled me to recognize what it was. This is a CLEAR CASE OF DELIBERATE MISREPRESENTATION. This document was not, as Calpundit suggests, signed after some infraction but rather was signed at Bush's enlistment - just like any other guardsman/reservist would have done (with the clarification that a reservist would have a slightly different wording to reflect his/her status). Now I will not have the lack of good grace and sense to accuse Calpundit on his own blog of deliberately misrepresenting the case. I think, based on reading his comments, that this is honest misinterpretation. But someone made that DOC23.gif file ON PURPOSE. The statements on that form are a generic warning given to everyone in that status. I have, in my career, signed similar types of statements. But I would respectfully admonish Calpundit to look critically at the forms posted. I state with great confidence that Calpundits interpretation of these forms is wrong. I base that on my experience and knowledge of military administration. The only thing that has been proven conclusively by these records is that Bush failed to maintain his flight status. That is sufficient to question his responsibility. These were not the actions of a good officer. But it is not sufficient to call him AWOL and he could not possibly be a deserter. I have abused the hospitality of Calpundit's blog enough. Thanks for reading.

Posted by: Stray Pooch at February 10, 2004 12:50 AM | PERMALINK

rd, the explanation about points is interesting in developing an understanding of the available info, but is this likely to lead to any conclusions? I don't think these documents alone provide evidence of malfeasance (though they do seem to make Bush's later description of his time in service appear rather dubious) - but I don't see how one can conclude that Bush actually performed any real duty based on what I've seen here. Apart from evidence that Bush was engaged in non-military stuff on a day listed here, it's not clear to me what could prove him to have been in dereliction, given the allegations that his file was scrubbed. And it's not clear to me what could prove him to have served honorably, given his father's influence. Theories that can't be disproved are unsatisfactory - too bad it's your guy this time.

Posted by: rilkefan at February 10, 2004 12:52 AM | PERMALINK

It couldn't be as simple as this could it??:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A27178-2004Feb9.html

"To show you what a mess the Guard was at the time, I even got paid for all the meetings I missed."

Posted by: Mark Barton at February 10, 2004 12:56 AM | PERMALINK

If Bush made up enough drills and earned enough duty points to earn an honorable discharge, that would perhaps dismiss one of the charges being made against him.

However, that he had to make up drills in the first place, and the documentary evidence of the length of his failure to attend drills, rather supports the charge in chief.

That he had to make up the drills in a disciplinary setting in the reserve, and his pay would reflect the reserve rather than the Guard, is probably the key thing they were covering up, for the questions that would raise.

Posted by: sofla at February 10, 2004 01:00 AM | PERMALINK

Somewhat OT, but at least it's about Dubya and the TANG...

Among the (uniformly anti-Bush) Letters to the Editor in Monday's Seattle Times is the following from Jim Innes of Mercer Island:

So now President Bush's shirking of almost a year of obligation to the Guard is finally being examined. Maybe next it will be shown that not only did he just skip out of almost a year of drills, but he also went from airman 2nd class to second lieutenant overnight — never having spent a day in Officer Candidate School, much less the required 19 weeks.

It's time for another Top Gun landing onboard the USS Lincoln.
[emphasis added]

I must say that I have not previously heard about this aspect of GWB's sojourn with, or at least somewhere near, the Texas Air National Guard. Is this mega-promotion a well established feature of the known record?

Posted by: N in Seattle at February 10, 2004 01:02 AM | PERMALINK

Stray Pooch, doc23.gif clearly lists Bush as an enlistee, so I don't think there can be any question of deliberate sanitation.
You write this document is proof of attendance - is it out of the question that Bush could have simply phoned up Colorado and falsely said, Hi, I'm at the such-and-such base on duty today, or had someone falsely report him present? Also, if Bush missed two quarters, would you consider that being AWOL?
"I have abused the hospitality of Calpundit's blog enough." - I don't think anybody who's polite, coherent, and most importantly well-informed can wear out his welcome at any blog worth the name.

Posted by: rilkefan at February 10, 2004 01:06 AM | PERMALINK

Good lawdy lawdy: what are you Bush haters gonna do with the fact that Scott Ritter seems to dig underage pussy?
Good lawdy lawdy: what are you Bush haters gonna do with the fact that Scott Ritter seems to dig underage pussy?
Good lawdy lawdy: what are you Bush haters gonna do with the fact that Scott Ritter seems to dig underage pussy?
Good lawdy lawdy: what are you Bush haters gonna do with the fact that Scott Ritter seems to dig underage pussy?
Good lawdy lawdy: what are you Bush haters gonna do with the fact that Scott Ritter seems to dig underage pussy?
Good lawdy lawdy: what are you Bush haters gonna do with the fact that Scott Ritter seems to dig underage pussy?
Good lawdy lawdy: what are you Bush haters gonna do with the fact that Scott Ritter seems to dig underage pussy?
Good lawdy lawdy: what are you Bush haters gonna do with the fact that Scott Ritter seems to dig underage pussy?

Posted by: sh at February 10, 2004 01:16 AM | PERMALINK

The DOD wants Bush's records? Huh? Is this SOP? Could there be anything classified in his payroll records? What the h*ll kind of bullsh*t is this?!

Is Rummy going to try and trash the rest of the records? What excuse is he going to come up with for keeping them under lock and key? Will we have to get a court order to get a look at them, or will the press corps do their jobs and grill Bush until he releases them? Maybe Bush will be able to hide behind some bogus DOD secrecy order? These guys are really scrambling...

Posted by: Peter at February 10, 2004 01:51 AM | PERMALINK

More direct question - If I decide to grab my payroll records and release them to the media, can DOD stop me?

Posted by: Peter at February 10, 2004 01:57 AM | PERMALINK

I think the compulsive "lawdy" posts indicate a profound desire by their variable poster for a punitive toss in the laundry: chin down here. Butt up there. Now!

Posted by: bad Jim at February 10, 2004 02:31 AM | PERMALINK

While of course the Scott Ritter posts do indicate exactly how scared the Bush loyalists are, they're still dull. Even Charlie-in-California is more interesting, and that's saying something. Would support an IP-address ban of sh, unless s/he can come up with a realistic and detailed explanation of why right-wing libels about Scott Ritter should be considered relevant in a thread discussing George W. Bush's military non-service.

Posted by: Jesurgislac at February 10, 2004 02:41 AM | PERMALINK

I have a few questions for those who with time in service who felt the need to clarify the documents that he actually served. If it is so construed that he did his time and racked up the points for duty, why was it not in the TANG, and why was it in the Air Reserve. It is easy to say that he did his time and therefore that is that, but as a member of the active-duty military, I have come across a considerable number of soldiers who are accredited time in service, even though they have been punished under UCMJ, medically unfit, etc. and are being put out of the service. He did not attend his mandatory flight physical, so he was grounded from the flying. So how did he do his time there in the reserve? What did he do? I also think that there is some validity as to how he went from an enlisted airman to an officer overnight without having to go through OCS for the air force. Most promotions like that only happen under combat situations. The matter here is whether or not he did anything with his military service for the last two years. He certainly wasn't flying and it quite possible to slack out drills, etc. Anyone who tells you otherwise is wrong. The man's service is quite legitimate for questioning, considering the fact that guardsmen now are offered no where near the leeway that he was offered. I think that those individuals posting who also have some service under their belts should know better than to just say, "oh well the records say this, when they know as well as I do, that military records can be manipulated like anything else, just ask the wonderful LTC about his Officer Evaluation Reports, which are basically narcissistic crap.

Posted by: GB at February 10, 2004 02:51 AM | PERMALINK

Looks like Bush and crew forgot to scrub the DoD records in 2000.

Posted by: dmbeaster at February 10, 2004 04:02 AM | PERMALINK

Monday night, Channel 4 in St Louis KMOV (www.kmov.com) the local CBS Affiliate stated that Bush's records have disappeared from the Army Records Center in St Louis, that they were present "A few days ago" and that no explanation had been given. The report also stated that records could be removed only at the orders of the Sec. of Defense or the President.

Nothing on their site them morning, tho.

Posted by: matt c at February 10, 2004 04:27 AM | PERMALINK

"I'm at least as confident that I served fully in the Guard," said the President, "as I am that Saddam Hussein's regime possessed Weapons of Mass Destrution prewar."

Posted by: Brian C.B. at February 10, 2004 04:45 AM | PERMALINK

One question about these forms.

I thought earlier in this process we had determined that the letters: LSCMPY referred to Bush's TANG unit. If so, how could this be a record for time served in another unit?

Posted by: emptywheel at February 10, 2004 04:53 AM | PERMALINK

The request for all records to be sent to DC is reminescient of all the Kennedy evidence being collected and taken out the public domain. Also ballots in Florida and suspicious plane crashes like TWA flight 800 that went down off the coast of Long Island.

It leaves a lot of speculation with no corroborating evidence. Apparently what is in the public domain currently is inconclusive or spinable.

Posted by: The Spirit of Howard Beale at February 10, 2004 05:15 AM | PERMALINK

It seems to me that most people talking about Bush's military records, including KD, don't really know what they are looking at and are guessing at what things mean. I don't know why one would waste one's credibility on such a non-issue, but keep at it, there must be a conspiracy here somewhere.

Posted by: Reg at February 10, 2004 05:24 AM | PERMALINK

one theory as to what those two ARF documents represent---

first off, we need to note that the 1972-1973 document includes times that he was in Alabama (until the end of November, 1972) AND in Texas (after November 1972). Why would this one document contain service information from two different national guard units? And why wouldn't ANY of this service show up as retirement points, or as part of his chronological service record. Finally, if these were actually documents indicating National Guard Service, why is there a document claiming that Shrub "was not observed" during the period May 1 1972-April 30th, 1973 when the record indicate that he served at least 13 days during that period?

Here is my theory. Shrub was removed from flying because of his drug use.....and because he was the son of a congresscritter he was allowed to do "alternative service" to fulfill his obligation to the National Guard. The dates shown on those two documents correspond to that period when Shrub was involved in "Project PULL"--that HIGHLY uncharacteristic period of time when Shrub started helping out inner city youth.

Posted by: paul lukasiak at February 10, 2004 05:25 AM | PERMALINK

I'll just settle for words from the front running Dem candidate:

What saddens me most is that Democrats, above all those who shared the agonies of that generation, should now be refighting the many conflicts of Vietnam in order to win the current political conflict of a presidential primary...We do not need to divide America over who served and how. I have personally always believed that many served in many different ways...But while those who served are owed special recognition, that recognition should not come at the expense of others; nor does it require that others be victimized or criticized or said to have settled for a lesser standard. John Kerry

Posted by: Ron at February 10, 2004 05:43 AM | PERMALINK

It seems GeeDubya needed to be assured he wouldn't see any action. Poor baby.

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/politics/20040208-2301-vietnamechoes.html

Last two grafs:

"I was really a tough instructor but I was fair with him," Udell said, remembering Bush for his excellent memory and standout sense of humor. "I'd give him hell about something and he'd pop a joke and get you laughing and just break up the whole situation."

Udell says Bush asked about a program under which National Guard pilots were assigned to Vietnam, but Udell told him he wasn't eligible because he was certified on the F-102, which the military was phasing out.

Posted by: ManOutOfTime at February 10, 2004 05:46 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, you used to be better than this.

Posted by: Kate at February 10, 2004 05:52 AM | PERMALINK

Reg, a lot of Bush's supporters care about military service. He gets votes that way. (Maybe you don't -- Bush gets support from all kinds of different people.)

Nobody holds Richard Cohen's Guard service against him -- poor as it was. But Cohen doesn't strut around in a flight suit and pretend to be the Top Gun dude.

As someone said, AWOL or not, disciplary unit or not, it seems clear that he missed a physical and was grounded. AND that he's been playing games with his record.

Posted by: zizka / John Emerson at February 10, 2004 05:56 AM | PERMALINK

Hey, Ron — that's sooo September 10th! Remember, 9/11 changed everything. Including the relevance of the service record compiled by a CinC who's a-okay with sending troops (full-timers and National Guard) to face death, injury and hardship in an apparently open-ended war based on squishy intelligence.

Posted by: dix at February 10, 2004 06:02 AM | PERMALINK

This rapidly is turning into a whole lotta nothing.

Posted by: AngryElephant at February 10, 2004 06:10 AM | PERMALINK

dix
I don't think it's a 9/11 thing. Dems didn't think military service meant anything, until they thought they could use it against a Repub. Now, if I thought for a minute that 9/11 changed the Dems view on defending the nation I would have no problem, but I doubt that is the case.

Posted by: Ron at February 10, 2004 06:11 AM | PERMALINK

Thoughts for further inquiry:

The proprietor, down below, compares Bush's military pension records with this statement of points earned. The lack of military pension credit is suggestive that this could be some kind of diciplinary time.

Note that the key word is "suggestive". I do not know what the pension plan that covered national guardsmen at the time considered "pensionable service". But somebody with some time and LEXIS could easily find out, as the federal pension programs are part of the US Code. You'd just need to research the current US Code, then go back to the Code books in 1972, to see what the rules were back then.

What is clear from the pension records -- there was some kind of change in Bush's status in 1972. A mere change from the Texas to Alabama National Guards should not have caused his pension credits to stop. Even if, through some odd provision of the pension program in effect in 1972, Alabama service would have caused the pension crediting to stop, the return to Texas should have started the pension service credit to start back up in 1973.

Get to work, you bloggers and commenters. And by the way, Kevin -- your posts on this are outstanding.

Posted by: appalled moderate at February 10, 2004 06:15 AM | PERMALINK

I actually think payroll records are likely to provide an inaccurate account. I could definitely see him being paid without doing anything. If you're connected enough at a job (and we have every reason to believe he was connected), you'll get paid regardless of whether you turn up.

To clarify, we know his superiors don't remember ering him around. At the same time, they never took immense disciplinary action for his being AWOL. Which suggests that if he was AWOL, they all just ignored it rather than go through the trouble of dealing with him and his connections. So, I'm guessing they wouldn't have taken any action to stop his paychecks either.

Posted by: MDtoMN at February 10, 2004 06:26 AM | PERMALINK

"it seems clear that he missed a physical and was grounded."

I think this was clear in 2000, wasn't it? Until recently, I have thought that Bush may have skipped out of his service, but with all the attention on his documents showing that he missed a physical and didn't fly in his last years of service, I am more comfortable now than I was earlier with his service. Not that I approve of the casual way in which he fulfilled his service, but that he wasn't a "deserter" or "awol" or anything very serious, which I had doubts about previously.

Not that any of this is important at all. Alot these people who supposedly care about military service voted for Clinton, a draft dodger. And for me, I am more comfortable with a guy who signed up for guard duty and halfheartedly fulfilled it as the war wound down than with a guy who came back from war to protest with Fonda, throw his medals away, and accuse his soldiers of raping women and killing children with little evidence.

Posted by: Reg at February 10, 2004 06:30 AM | PERMALINK

What that amounts to, Reg, is that you'll overlook anything in a Republican candidate's past, while denigrating everything in a Democrat candidate's past.

You're happy with George W. Bush supporting the Vietnam war but getting a cushy post in the National Guard to avoid fighting in it - and then even ducking out of his obligations on that once it was clear there would be no real penalty for doing so. All of which shows a man with no sense of responsibility and no committment to what he claims to believe in.

But you're unhappy with John Kerry for fighting in the Vietnam war, coming home a decorated veteran, and then opposing the war from actual experience. All of which shows a man with a sense of responsibility and committment to what he believes in.

And you're unhappy with Bill Clinton, for being against the war, getting a valid academic deferment, and then a high lottery number - so unhappy that you repeat that tired and false slur that he was a "draft dodger". Reg, if Clinton was a draft dodger, Bush was a deserter.

I bet you're unhappy with Dean for getting one medical deferment but have no problem at all with Cheney for getting five...

Posted by: Jesurgislac at February 10, 2004 06:45 AM | PERMALINK

I can't say that I agree with Reg. In fact I'm having an exactly opposite reaction. Bush's record is looking more and more dubious with each revelation. At best it looks like he received credits for doing no service. At worst he was transfered as some kind of discipline for missed drills.

In 2000, I assumed there was nothing to this and pulled the lever for Bush without much thought. This time, that will be harder.

Posted by: Simon at February 10, 2004 06:46 AM | PERMALINK

Actually, of all of them, I think Deano comes off the best. He had a medical problem, that is legit. Bush was lax in fulfilling his duty, but no deserter. Kerry fought bravely, but used his experience not only to criticize the war, which would have been fine, but to take sides against his country (Fonda, throwing away medals, upside down flag on book, etc), and to slander US soldiers with allegations of rape and murder for which he later admitted he had little evidence. I don't know much about what Clinton did.

I really don't think its very relevant, unless it is made into an issue, which you all seem to want to do very much. If Kerry does, he ought to explain how Bush's vietnam experience is important while Clinton's wasn't.

Posted by: Reg at February 10, 2004 06:55 AM | PERMALINK

throw his medals away, and accuse his soldiers of raping women and killing children with little evidence.

Actually, there was a lot of evidence.

Posted by: M. Aurelius at February 10, 2004 06:57 AM | PERMALINK

If Kerry does, he ought to explain how Bush's vietnam experience is important while Clinton's wasn't.

It's simple. Clinton was against the war. He acted coherently with his belief. Bush was for the war, but he weasled. And now he distorts the record comparing the 1972 Guard with the far more active 2004 Guard.

The measure is not having gone or not to Vietnam. The measure is having lived up or not to your beliefs, and being honest about it. It's a character issue, not a patriotism issue.

Posted by: M. Aurelius at February 10, 2004 07:02 AM | PERMALINK

Kerry fought bravely, but used his experience not only to criticize the war, which would have been fine, but to take sides against his country...

Reg, it's America. Love it or leave it!

By which I mean - Kerry didn't "take sides against his country". He had an opinion that differed from the government of his country. That, anyone has a right to. This opinion was backed by actual personal experience: that gives his opinion a right to be respected.

Now, Reg, you may hate living in a country that gives every citizen a right to disagree as publicly and as vehemently as they like with their government - but if you hate it that much, leave it! North Korea would be perfect for someone like you.

I don't know much about what Clinton did.

Yet you felt free to libel him "draft dodger"? Clinton got a legitimate academic deferral: he won a Rhodes scholarship. Then he got a high lottery number. Also, as M. Aurelius pointed out, Clinton consistently opposed the war: Bush, OTOH, was quite happy to have other people fight and die in the Vietnam war: he just didn't want to do either himself. Clinton has consistency and openness to his credit: Bush has hypocrisy (and lying: he claimed much for his service that has proved to be untrue) to his credit.

Posted by: Jesurgislac at February 10, 2004 07:11 AM | PERMALINK

I think that is pretty weak Aurelius, but anyway how do you sqaure your explanation with Lurch's statement that:

Democrats, above all those who shared the agonies of that generation, should now be refighting the many conflicts of Vietnam in order to win the current political conflict of a presidential primary...We do not need to divide America over who served and how. I have personally always believed that many served in many different ways...But while those who served are owed special recognition, that recognition should not come at the expense of others; nor does it require that others be victimized or criticized or said to have settled for a lesser standard.

Is it because Bush is a Republican, so its okay?

Posted by: Reg at February 10, 2004 07:12 AM | PERMALINK

Yesterday, presidential spokesman Scott McClellan suggested that it would be outlandish to expect the President to still have his tax returns from some 30 years ago. Granted, it may be. But how about asking one of his employees, i.e. the IRS Commissioner, to dig them up. Should'nt be too difficult.

As for the repeated statement that Bush "was honorably discharged" and its attendant implication that he acted honorably in all of this: Look at all the U.S. Air Force Academy rapists who received honorable discharges simply as a means for the military to wash their hands of a problem case.

Posted by: Boerwors at February 10, 2004 07:13 AM | PERMALINK

"Reg, you may hate living in a country that gives every citizen a right to disagree as publicly and as vehemently as they like with their government - but if you hate it that much, leave it!"

Heh, what the hell. Am I questioning Lurch's right to do anything? I am questioning such a person's qualifications to be president. Your suggestion makes more sense had it been addressed to Lurch 30 years ago.

Posted by: Reg at February 10, 2004 07:14 AM | PERMALINK

Is it because Bush is a Republican, so its okay?

No. It's because he was a supporter of the war, according to him. If you support a war, you should go fight it if given the chance. He had the chance.

The fact that he's a Republican is the Republican Party's problem. You could have chosen McCain, a far better man by any measure, but ideology beat competence and integrity.

Posted by: M. Aurelius at February 10, 2004 07:22 AM | PERMALINK

I am more comfortable with a guy who signed up for guard duty and halfheartedly fulfilled it as the war wound down than with a guy who came back from war to protest with Fonda, throw his medals away, and accuse his soldiers of raping women and killing children with little evidence.

Apparently, the guy whom Kerry fished out of the water while Vietnamese riflemen fired at them both disagrees. A lifelong Republican, he's part of the Kerry campaign, now.

Kerry protested because his service convinced him that the brass--and he met both Abrams and Zumwalt--and the President and the folks at home didn't know or care what was happening with the guys in the field. As for the medals, he earned them. What's it to you what he does with them? Earning a Bronze Star with V for Valor gets you the priviledge of tossing it where you want.

As far as "accusing the men of raping women and killing children," you might check facts you get from Rush a little more closely. He was repeating the "Winter Soldier" confessions of American soldiers who had directly witnessed the atrocities or actually done them. The transcripts of the Winter Soldier Project and the Congressional hearings at which Kerry testified are online and, hey, strike a blow for representative government--read and think for yourself.

Posted by: Brian C.B. at February 10, 2004 07:24 AM | PERMALINK

Reg
It pains me to bring this up, but I find the Shrub and aWol tags from the left to be fairly childish; and I'm having the same problem with your Lurch tag.

Posted by: Ron at February 10, 2004 07:24 AM | PERMALINK

Kerry fought bravely, but used his experience not only to criticize the war, which would have been fine, but to take sides against his country (Fonda, throwing away medals, upside down flag on book, etc), and to slander US soldiers with allegations of rape and murder . . .

Kerry didn't "take sides against his country". He took sides against his country's government's policies. The two are not identical.

Tens of millions of Americans protested the Vietnam War. They were not "taking sides against their country".

. . . for which he later admitted he had little evidence.

Do you have a link for this alleged admission?

You are seriously off base here.

Posted by: No Preference at February 10, 2004 07:25 AM | PERMALINK

Still, Dubya was a hawk in college who avoided service in Vietnam by joining the Air National Guard, which he got into by being moved to the head of the line by family friends. In the Guard he trained to fly a plane that was being phased out, thus assuring him, in a back handed sort of way, of no service in Vietnam. Sounds like a chickenhawk to me. Russert should have asked him directly, "Sir, as a matter of public policy, do you think the rich and well connected should be able to use their connections to move to the head of lines?"

I was the most reluctant of soldiers, being semi-Gay as I was during those years, but even I have dozens of stories from my two years in the Army. I have friends today that date back from that time. Didn't Dubya have any friends from his Guard days? He ought to have dozens of guys lined up to brag about their days with the President. He can't find half a dozen Texans, for chrissake, that can verify his days in the Guard?

The evidence may not be enough to convict for AWOL, but the lack of anecdotal evidence sure does bring to question his service. Sounds like a chickenhawk with a overpowering sense of entitlement to me.

Posted by: r. Houston Bridges at February 10, 2004 07:34 AM | PERMALINK

The Lawdy Lawdy person has been dormant for months, like a woodtick perched in suspended animation on a bush waiting for a warm-blooded creature to come along. (Butyric acid is the actual trigger).

Recently I posted something at See the Forest on Scott Ritter, who was silenced by a smear in early 2003. Ritter had had a misdemeanor sex-crimes arrest in 2001, for which the charges were dropped. News of this was illegally leaked (records had been sealed) in 2003 and Ritter ceased to be cited in the press. The illegal leaker was probably a judge involved in the case named Thomas Spargo, who had also paricipated in the Miami goon squad which helped stop the Florida recount.

Mr. Lawdy Lawdy, who often takes the name of Oliver Willis (who is an actual person with no real relation to the story) seems to have issues with pussy and females in general. The Scott Ritter case REALLY gets him off. He had been invisible for months before I posted on Ritter, but I got him started and recently he's been everywhere.

Reading Club Notes: Not knowing who the Lawdy-lawdy person was, shouldn't the author of the above post have the referred to him or her as "he or she" in order to be non-sexist? Or was the post's author justified in assuming that "he" is probably a 16-year-old male with a 93 IQ who goes through Kleenexes at an alarming rate? Discuss.

Posted by: zizka / John Emerson at February 10, 2004 07:49 AM | PERMALINK

Well, I don't know if it counts as backing off his claims, but he did later admit that he hadn't witnessed any of the atrocities he claimed happened on a "day to day" basis.

This, I think, shows taking sides against the US. According to a 1971 Boston Herald Traveler, Lurch marched alongside "revolutionary Communists" with "placards plainly bearing legends in support of China, Cuba, the USSR, North Korea and the Hanoi government".

Now, its okay to protest the war, but come on. This is supporting the enemy.

Posted by: Reg at February 10, 2004 07:50 AM | PERMALINK

Heh, what the hell. Am I questioning [Kerry]'s right to do anything? I am questioning such a person's qualifications to be president.

Well, that's interesting, Reggie. You think that someone is more qualified to be President if they're inconsistent and hypocritical? Certainly Bush has those qualities in full measure! That seems to be the essence of your argument: because Kerry was consistent and open, he's disqualified from being President - and because Bush was inconsistent and hypocritical, he's qualified. Right?

Posted by: Jesurgislac at February 10, 2004 07:53 AM | PERMALINK

At the risk of being late to the party here - since it seems like the anti-Bush folk won't be convinced by anything off their stances, and the folks who've served in the military and Reserves have their stances, I'll toss in the following.

Bush wasn't AWOL. Bush has released his DD-214 equivalent, showing he served honorably. That should be the end of it - but that's not good enough.

Okay - anyone care to hear some ancient history from a retired AF Reserve Personnel Specialist about the procedures for Reservist sign-in? Before they used magnetic cards (starting about 1991) and ID cards (starting about 1997 or so) they used to have 4 formations over a drill weekend. On tables in front of the formation was what was called a "Form 40", which was a computer printout of the members of the squadron, with places for the the members to inital 4 times. Once for sign-in Saturday mornings, once for sign-out on Saturday evening, once for sign-in Sunday morning, and once for sign-out on Sunday evening.

If you didn't initial the Form 40, your supervisor had to accomplish a Form 40A on you. That listed who you were, and why you were absent, and whether it was an EXCUSED or UNEXCUSED absence - and whether you could make up the pay and points if it was an excused absence.

Unexcused absences COULD NOT be made up, but COULD be converted to Excused (with no make up) with sufficient reason and commander approval.

You basically got ONE unexcused drill weekend per year - or 4 unexcused periods, each drill weekend being divided into 4 periods. You got over 4 unexcused periods in a calendar year, and you'd better have a darn good excuse to NOT send your records to the Air Reserve Personnel Center (ARPC) and drop you into Inactive Reserve status. And believe me, we dropped about 3, 4 a year out of a unit of 200 or so men.

The thing was, though, the Form 40s were used for pay. We'd send one over to Finance, and they'd input the member's SSAN for pay and points. A copy would be kept at the unit for 3 years, then destroyed. (It did, after all, have SSANs on it.) After being entered into the system, they'd keep the paper copy for from 3 to 5 years, then either microfilm and destroy it, or just trash it.

Now - if a member had enough unexcused absences to 'send his records to Denver' (Where the ARPC is) his unit records were bundled up and sent off complete with all Form 40As documenting why, AND a letter explaining that Joe Smith, having missed the drill weekends of March, April and May, is being transferred to the Inactive Reserve. That letter would be signed by the squadron commander, and endorsed by the wing commander. The member would NOT get an honorable discharge - he would be marked as incomplete and not get anything.

So at this point, to convince me that Bush missed drills, was AWOL or whatever, you can show me copies of his 40As from his records that were sent to ARPC when he failed to show for drill weekends. Or you can show me the request by his squadron commander to have him placed in Inactive Reserve status, or the Guard equivalent, with the wing commander's endorsement.

If you can't show me those, he wasn't AWOL. He may have been excused from drills, he may have missed them and made them up - but he wasn't AWOL.

Judging by the pattern, attending in Jan 73 and then next in April - it looks like he missed the Feb and March drill weekends. He then made them up in May. July - it looks to me like he did his Annual Tour non-sequentially, which is something that was perfactly acceptable. You didn't have to pull your two weeks straight, you could do a day here, two days there. When my son was born, instead of doing two weeks straight somewhere, I did two days extra a month for 7 months.

Now, you can say that having records that he attended isn't the same as actually having proof he attended - but in that case I'd say you were simply playing with words there. The points are there - so as far as the military is concerned he WAS there.

From my standpoint, as someone who lived and breathed this stuff for 8 years, it's clear he wasn't AWOL. He had rescheduled drill weekends, which he did - but he DID do them.

Any further 'proof' will require a time machine and a video camera.

J.

Posted by: JLawson at February 10, 2004 07:54 AM | PERMALINK

It all boils down to the fact that Bush is a liar. Pure and simple.

Now Clinton may have lied, but it was about a blowjob. Personally, I could care less. Bush, OTOH, lied about a war, he lies about policy issues involving education, tax cuts, the environment. People DIE because of Bush's lies. Our children and grandchildren will be in catastrophic debt because of Bush's lies.

Sure, True Believers like to point to Clinton's lie or say, "All politicians lie," as a way to dismiss Bush's veracity deficiency.

But the scope and scale of the lies, and the damage that has been and is being done, makes all the difference to the folks who haven't drunk the Kool-aid.

Posted by: chris at February 10, 2004 07:58 AM | PERMALINK

Now, its okay to protest the war, but come on. This is supporting the enemy.

Reg, I'm reminded of claims by pro-war supporters last year that peace marchers carried signs supporting Saddam Hussein. I was on peace marches, and friends all over the world were at peach marches and rallies, and none of us saw signs supporting Hussein or heard speakers in his favor. None.

[Kerry] marched alongside "revolutionary Communists" with "placards plainly bearing legends in support of China, Cuba, the USSR, North Korea and the Hanoi government".

Even if this is true, so what? Are you advocating a return to the days of McCarthy, when a person could become blacklisted by merely associating with people alleged to be Communists? Hell, Reg - this is America, land of freedom. Love it or leave it! Either you support freedom for all, or go to a dictatorial state where, indeed, criticizing the government is a crime that unfits you for office. You would fit in perfectly in a totalitarian state, Reg, but in America you're a misfit.

Posted by: Jesurgislac at February 10, 2004 07:58 AM | PERMALINK

Richard Cohen’s article rings true. Connections got George W Bush into TANG and he flew for a few years then reneged on the last two years of his six year obligation to be an F-102 pilot when it didn’t matter anymore and got cushy alternate service. Most likely due to random drug testing implemented in the military in 1972. The Desertion and AWOL issues are mute. However, this is not the image of character and strength that will be marketed by the GOP for the next nine months.

Posted by: Jim S at February 10, 2004 07:58 AM | PERMALINK

So at this point, to convince me that Bush missed drills, was AWOL or whatever, you can show me copies of his 40As from his records that were sent to ARPC when he failed to show for drill weekends. Or you can show me the request by his squadron commander to have him placed in Inactive Reserve status, or the Guard equivalent, with the wing commander's endorsement.

JLawson, presumably Bush could show you and the rest of us his records that would prove what you take on faith - that he didn't miss drills, and that he earned (rather than was given by family favor) his "honorable" discharge. Doesn't it bother you in the slightest that Bush doesn't want to produce records that will prove his story one way or the other?

Posted by: Jesurgislac at February 10, 2004 08:01 AM | PERMALINK

"Are you advocating a return to the days of McCarthy?"

Jesurgislac, read what I am writing. Again, I am questioning Lurch's credentials, not promoting limiting his right to march with commies.
Or are you unable to grasp that distinction?

Posted by: Reg at February 10, 2004 08:01 AM | PERMALINK

Reg wrote: "It seems to me that most people talking about Bush's military records, including KD, don't really know what they are looking at and are guessing at what things mean."

In some cases, yes. This is a blog comments section, after all. Like any issue, there are going to those who are well-informed, others that are less so. That's life.

"I don't know why one would waste one's credibility on such a non-issue,"

a) it's fun.

b) it gives us a chance to play detective.

c) it gives us a chance to tweak the investigative reporters that should have done this legwork four years ago.

d) it helps to illustrate the fact that this speculation would be completely unnecessary had Bush been more forthcoming about his service and his records.

e) those on the right had just as much fun tracking down the twists and turns of Clinton's Vietnam War status, and for the same reasons. It ended up being pretty much a non-story, but that didn't stop folks from endless speculation, research, and regurgitation.

So is this, too, going to be a non-story? Dunno...when we've reached the point where we have 13,000 articles on it, let's talk. We've still got about 12,900 to go.

"but keep at it, there must be a conspiracy here somewhere."

"It's the cover-up, stupid." Bush could have made this a non-story four years ago. What's most interesting to many of us is that he did not do so. It makes us wonder what else there is to find.

"guy who came back from war to protest with Fonda,"

So, the latest meme is to link Kerry to Fonda? And that's supposed to somehow matter? Wow...and you have the gall to criticize us?

"throw his medals away"

No, no, Reg, you have to get your talking points straight. The latest briefing from the VRWC is that Kerry should be criticized for not throwing his medals away. You're out-of-date. Report to your minder for an update.

"and accuse his soldiers of raping women and killing children with little evidence."

This is simply bullshit, as noted above. He was repeating the public testimony of other soldiers about acts that they themselves had committed or witnessed.

Posted by: PaulB at February 10, 2004 08:02 AM | PERMALINK

I think we may be losing sight of all the fun in Bush's military antics. This is a man who reminds us he's "a war president." He pretends to be Top Gun, and instead comes off looking like Bozo the Clown. (That unhinges the stooges who still take him seriously -- they can't stand laughter.)

This isn't about Clinton or Gore or Cheney or Kerry or the draft or Vietnam or even the elections. It's about the humiliation of having a dim-witted cheerleader, a failure, a bullshit artist and buffoon in the highest office of the land.

You can either laugh or cry at Bush's military service, but it's not something to get mad about.

If he'd either just release the records or else quit boasting of a military experience he didn't have...

Posted by: Karlsfini at February 10, 2004 08:03 AM | PERMALINK

peach marches

*visions of peaches*

peace marches. Of course.

(PS: It should be clear to all, including Reg, of course, that my comments about "America - love it or leave it!" are sarcastic joking re. the classic line of a pro-Vietnam war supporter: the claim (ironic indeed) that you can only support the US by blindly agreeing with everything the government says. No, I do not really want Reg to give up his opinions or leave the US: I just want to make it clear that Reg's totalitarian opinions are out of step with the principles and law of the US... but he has a perfect right to be out of step, and indeed the principles and law of the US support Reg's right to criticize those principles as much as they do my right to support them.)

Posted by: Jesurgislac at February 10, 2004 08:05 AM | PERMALINK

Reg wrote: "Well, I don't know if it counts as backing off his claims, but he did later admit that he hadn't witnessed any of the atrocities he claimed happened on a "day to day" basis."

How can he "admit" to something he never denied in the first place? This is just dumb.

"Now, its okay to protest the war, but come on. This is supporting the enemy."

No, Reg, it isn't. This is exactly the same kind of bullshit that was tossed around about the protests against the war in Iraq. It was bullshit then, it's bullshit now. You do not do yourself any favors by pretending that this is a serious issue.

Posted by: PaulB at February 10, 2004 08:07 AM | PERMALINK

You would fit in perfectly in a totalitarian state, Reg, but in America you're a misfit.

Maybe not...

Posted by: chris at February 10, 2004 08:07 AM | PERMALINK

Jesurgislac - doesn't it bother you in the slightest that you're showing no inclination to understand how the points and pay system works in the AF Reserve?

Personally, I could care less about whether he releases his records or not. He served. I can tell he served by the pattern of points recorded. I can even tell he had his missed drilled weekends excused, and he was allowed to make them up. If they'd been UNEXCUSED, he wouldn't have made them up in May. And they HAD to be excused, otherwise he couldn't have made them up. What part of this is so difficult to understand?

Did you even bother reading my whole comment? Including the point where I go "Looks like he missed the Feb and March drills, and MADE THEM UP in May?"

He served. It's documented. It's that simple.

J.

Posted by: JLawson at February 10, 2004 08:08 AM | PERMALINK

Jesurgislac, read what I am writing. Again, I am questioning [Kerry]'s credentials, not promoting limiting his right to march with commies.
Or are you unable to grasp that distinction?

You seem unable to grasp that Kerry's credentials as President are not affected by an alleged temporary association with alleged Communists. Your "question" would be perfectly appropriate in a totalitarian state where marching against government action does, indeed, destroy a citizen's credentials for public office. It has no credence in a free country. Are you unable to grasp that the US is not the totalitarian state you wish it were?

Posted by: Jesurgislac at February 10, 2004 08:08 AM | PERMALINK

Karlsfini wrote: "He pretends to be Top Gun, and instead comes off looking like Bozo the Clown"

Yup. To me, the whole issue came to a head with that ridiculous "Mission Accomplished" photo op with Commander Codpiece dressed in military drag. The difference between that photo op and the reality of Bush's service warrants this kind of investigation into precisely what that service consisted of.

Posted by: PaulB at February 10, 2004 08:10 AM | PERMALINK

He served. It's documented. It's that simple.

Actually, I don't see that it is documented, JL. But it may be that I'm simply not following the points you're making. I don't have time to check it through thoroughly right now: give me a few hours and I'll go read through the points you're making and check them against the records linked to. Okay?

Posted by: Jesurgislac at February 10, 2004 08:11 AM | PERMALINK

Reg wrote: "I am questioning Lurch's credentials"

But you're not, really. Not only are you using incorrect information, there is nothing in what you describe that indicates anything about Kerry's "credentials." I mean, your basic point seems to be that Kerry protested the war in Vietnam. And you really expect us to take this seriously?

Posted by: PaulB at February 10, 2004 08:16 AM | PERMALINK

"You seem unable to grasp that Kerry's credentials as President are not affected by an alleged temporary association with alleged Communists."

Boy this is dumb. Are there rules for what a voter can and cannot consider when voting? Are you trying to dictate to voters what they can and cannot consider when voting? Sorry, it doesn't work that way. I have a feeling as more of Lurch's anti-war activities come to light, more people will decide not to vote for him based on these "credentials", such as is happening now. (check out www.usvetdsp.com/jf_kerry.htm)

Posted by: Reg at February 10, 2004 08:18 AM | PERMALINK

Be a man Mr. President.

You said you were going to release your military records. Not cherry pick from among the various documents and selectively release a few.

You served honorably. You've got nothing to hide.

And you are of course a real man.

So just do the manly thing and release all your military records.

Make all these feminine left-wing faries shut up and hide their heads in shame.

Please.


Posted by: -pea- at February 10, 2004 08:19 AM | PERMALINK

Well, I don't know if it counts as backing off his claims, but he did later admit that he hadn't witnessed any of the atrocities he claimed happened on a "day to day" basis.

First you said that Kerry "admitted" to having "little evidence" that atrocities had occurred. Now you say that he "admitted" that he "hadn't witnessed any". Those are two very different things.

This, I think, shows taking sides against the US. According to a 1971 Boston Herald Traveler, Lurch marched alongside "revolutionary Communists" with "placards plainly bearing legends in support of China, Cuba, the USSR, North Korea and the Hanoi government". Now, its okay to protest the war, but come on. This is supporting the enemy.

This is bogus. There were hundreds of thousands of people, including myself, at some of those demonstrations. Very, very few of them were "revolutionary Communists", and very, very few were "taking sides against the US". "Revolutionary communists" did not set the tone of those events.

I don't know what the "Boston Herald Traveler" was, but the Boston Herald was and is a right-wing tabloid. I find plenty of hits on anti-Kerry sites to the quote you provided, but I find no links to the actual story. Do you have one?


Posted by: No Preference at February 10, 2004 08:20 AM | PERMALINK

JLawson wrote: "since it seems like the anti-Bush folk won't be convinced by anything off their stances"

Not a very promising beginning, JL. To insult your audience in your very first sentence doesn't exactly lend credibility to whatever else it is you're trying to say.

Look, we know that we don't have unequivocal proof that Bush was AWOL. We know that much of this is speculation. We also know that the charges have not been disproved and that it is almost certainly within Bush's power to disprove them.

"Bush wasn't AWOL. Bush has released his DD-214 equivalent, showing he served honorably. That should be the end of it - but that's not good enough."

Correct, it's not good enough. Given the fact that Bush had help from influential friends throughout much of his career, including his time in the Guard, his honorable discharge is not proof of anything. That's just reality.

"If you can't show me those, he wasn't AWOL."

Seems to me that the person you should be talking to is George W. Bush. In any case, we've heard over and over again from others who support Bush that the recordkeeping in the Guard was notoriously lax, and that the absence of certain records isn't evidence of anything. Why should we now take seriously your assertion that the absence of records is evidence?

In short, while I appreciate the background information, you really haven't done anything to settle the debate.

Posted by: PaulB at February 10, 2004 08:25 AM | PERMALINK

Man, the republicans whining on this thread are hilarious!

Deserter. AWOL. Chickenhawk. Liar. Weasel.

I remember SoreLoserman. Draft Dodger. Adulterer. Gore the Serial Liar.

Ya'll made this environment by cheering on GOP lies, sneers and vicousness, and yet are somehow shocked when it all comes back to Bush.

Please. The immaturity of the GOP is just breathtaking. "We're here to change the tone!" Ari always said.

He, of course, was lying too. So now when Bush is exposed for the lying chickenhawk he is his persona of bravery, honesty and servitude is splattered like one of the kids Bush blew up in Bagdhad for lies. Just what in the hell did you expect?

God. Richard Cohen was dead on this morning. Will the GOP ever grow up? Not in this election cycle, obviously.

Posted by: paradox at February 10, 2004 08:25 AM | PERMALINK

You guys are hilarious. Let's see: you've missed out the one about how the records were forged (and delivered to Fertig four years ago rather than being published at the time), and you've missed out on the one about hos Bush's records were missing because he was on a secret mission from Skull and Bones to overthrow the Chilean Government.

Oh, hey, that's a good one: Bush wasn't in Alabama, he was a CIA agent working for Pinochet. I mean, we know he speaks Spanish, and his dad was DCI a few years later....

Posted by: Charlie at February 10, 2004 08:26 AM | PERMALINK

By the way, my scummy GOP patriots, all this yap in defense of your lying felon we call a President is useless.

Just the fact you're having to do it means you've lost. All the news has Bush the Deserter everywhere. The more you object, the more the stroy is in play.

Thank you very much.

Posted by: paradox at February 10, 2004 08:29 AM | PERMALINK

I see that Charlie is still sticking his fingers in his ears and screaming "LALALALALALALA!" Gee, Charlie, can you at least try to pretend that you have something to contribute?

Posted by: PaulB at February 10, 2004 08:30 AM | PERMALINK

Ron:

I don't think it's a 9/11 thing. Dems didn't think military service meant anything, until they thought they could use it against a Repub. Now, if I thought for a minute that 9/11 changed the Dems view on defending the nation I would have no problem, but I doubt that is the case.

Dems "think they can use it against a Repub" because ever since 9/11, the Repubs frame everything from tax cuts to public debate as a litmus test of one's patriotism, love of freedom, hatred of terrorism, and basic humanity. Hence my not-entirely-sincere reference to the all-transformative nature of 9/11.

In 2000, Bush's TANG service was fairly far down on my list of reasons to mistrust the man. Clearly, he gamed the system and cashed in on Daddy's position and influence; I don't think anyone argues that's not true. That he may have further fucked up by not even bothering with the minimum requirements is, to me, just more of the same — a difference in degree, not kind. FWIW, the gaming itself didn't, and doesn't, bother me all that much. I think lots of people (including Clinton) did similar things; I would have myself. (For me, the fuck-uppage edges past what's honorable but doesn't quite reach inexcusable.)

What did bother me was Bush's hypocrisy. To support a war (which he did) and then exploit his unearned privilege to make sure that he wouldn't run any of the risks or face any of the miseries of that war (which he did) reduced my respect for him, his integrity and his judgment. Not that I had much respect to begin with. As I said, the TANG stuff was, for me, just one of many dubious achievements in Bush's record.

Now, in 2004, that hypocrisy bothers me more than ever, which is why the issue is more signficant for me at this point. Bush's insistence on invading Iraq, the dubious and shifting justifications, the contempt for allies and their concerns, the refusal to admit error — all that only highlights the dishonesty (as distinguished from lying) and arrogance revealed most blatantly by his military record.

So while I would've agreed with Kerry's argument when it was made, at this point that statement is, as they say, no longer operative.

As always, YMMV.

Posted by: dix at February 10, 2004 08:30 AM | PERMALINK

Our resident clown, Charlie, wrote: "hos Bush's records were missing because he was on a secret mission from Skull and Bones to overthrow the Chilean Government"

Oddly enough, that was one of the reasons that you cited as to why couldn't account for his time -- that he was on a secret mission for his father.

Yeah, we found it pretty silly, too.

Posted by: PaulB at February 10, 2004 08:32 AM | PERMALINK

Boy this is dumb. Are there rules for what a voter can and cannot consider when voting?

Nope. You consider Bush's hypocrisy, cowardice, and inconsistency to be good qualifications for President/C-in-C, and you're free to consider that.

Are you trying to dictate to voters what they can and cannot consider when voting?

Nope. But you seem to be trying to do that. What with all these claims about Kerry's "credentials", and avoiding the issues of Bush's hypocrisy, cowardice, and inconsistency.

Sorry, it doesn't work that way.

Exactly! According to a Time poll, Bush has a credibility problem. You may think that being discredible makes Bush qualified for President, but I think you're in a minority.

I have a feeling as more of [Kerry]'s anti-war activities come to light, more people will decide not to vote for him based on these "credentials", such as is happening now.

Treasure that feeling, Reg. But don't try to make sweeping claims for all voters based on your totalitarian opinion that someone who marched in protest against a government action is thereby disqualified from holding public office. The US is not a totalitarian state, greatly though you may wish it were: and voters are entitled to consider that Bush's hypocrisy, cowardice, and inconsistency reflects badly on his character and therefore on his ability to be President.

Posted by: Jesurgislac at February 10, 2004 08:35 AM | PERMALINK

From kmov.com(in St. Louis, MO)(reg. rqd.):
"For more than three decades those records have been locked away at the Federal Military Records Center in Overland. The center director tells News 4 that the records were removed from a vault at that facility just a few days ago and sent to the National Guard headquarters at the Pentagon in Washington. "

Posted by: Al at February 10, 2004 08:35 AM | PERMALINK

speaking of Scott Ritter, just came across this gem:

Aaron Brown: Why are you going around saying the things that you've been saying about whether or not these weapons were accounted for? Whether they exist, whether they're likely to exist, programs that you said could be put back together in six months. It's been a lot longer than that since inspections are in there. So the question that a lot of people are asking, what are you doing?

Scott Ritter: What am I doing, I'm telling the truth. What do you mean, what am I doing? We -- everything I'm saying is documented fact.

How about an apology, Aaron?

Posted by: anon at February 10, 2004 08:50 AM | PERMALINK

The Monkey agrees (mostly) with J. Lawson.

I do find it interesting that Bush is STILL not releasing his complete records, but I think this issue is pretty much settled, until and if more evidence comes to light.

I do think it fits a pattern of behavior that is really unbecomming in an executive.

This could have been settled LONG AGO by someone who was competent to pick up the phone and give an order.

"Hello, this is President. Tell the Joint Chiefs to release all my service records to the Press, in 24 hours, or I'm going to fire someone."

End of story.

That he has felt the need to stonewall on this until now is interesting. It does fit with his behavior on other issues, like the Plame Affair, 9/11 commission, and lack of WMD in Iraq.

"I want whoever leaked Plame's name to the Press in my office in one hour."

"Give the 9/11 Commission whatever information they need to do their job."

"I want someone to tell me, in one hour, why all the intelligence we were highlighting about WMD in Iraq has turned out false."

That is how Executives operate. They do NOT need to wait until the Press, Congress, or the FBI drags it out of them.

That's how criminals operate. Not responsible public officials.

Posted by: Monkey at February 10, 2004 08:52 AM | PERMALINK

I tell you this more and more looks like you guys know that he didn't something wrong and is hiding it, but your just not sure what. How could someone as bad as Bush not be hiding something?

Posted by: Chad Peterson at February 10, 2004 08:54 AM | PERMALINK

Jesurgislac:

Whatever. Somehow, I get the feeling you could have the head of ARPC come on here and explain what I just did, and you'd try to blow him off also.

Here things are in short form, based on the points records above at the top of this article, and based on my experience with the drill schedules and record keeping customs.

72 Oct 28-29 -- 4 points - Either rescheduled October drill, or premature November drill. 0 drill points, 0 AT points.

72 Nov 11-14 -- 8 points. Nov. drill, and December's - which is missing. +4 drill points, no AT points.

72 Dec - missing. 0 points, no AT points.

73 Jan 4-6 -- 6 points. Jan drill, and 1 day of another - maybe Feb. +2 points, no AT points.

73 Feb -- missing, so subtract 4 from 2 - -2 points, no AT points.

73 Mar -- missing, so subtract 4 from -2 - -6 points, no AT points.

73 April 7-8 -- 4 points, normal drill. Still 6 points down.

73 May 1-3 -- 3 points, not normal drill - Annual tour most likely? -6 drill points, 3 AT points.

73 May 8-10 -- 3 points, not normal drill. -6 drill points, 6 AT points.

Now, it could also be that he was doing his makeup for the excusals in Feb and March one period/point per day - and AT points and drill points ARE the same. Without a 40A, I'll admit I'm just guessing here.

73 May 19-20 -- 4 points, normal drill for May. -6 drill points (still), 6 AT points.

73 May 22-24 -- 3 points - not normal drill. -6 drill points, 9 AT points.

Now we go to the other copy of his points.

73 May 29-31 -- 3 points - not normal drill. -6 drill points, 12 AT points.

73 June 5-7 -- 3 points - not normal drill. -6 points, 15 AT points. Normal AT points needed - 14.

73 June 23-24 -- 4 points, normal drill. Still -6 drill points. 15 AT points.

Conversely, if some of the 3-pointers were single period makeups, we could be at 0 drill points and 9 AT points. But we'll keep the -6 and 15 for now.

73 July 2-3 -- 2 points - looks like AT or makeup, 1 period a day. -6, 17

73 Jul 5 -- 1 point, one day. -6, 18

73 July 9-12 -- 4 points, 4 days - Annual Tour? -6, 22 points

73 July 16-19 -- 8 points, 4 days, looks like a rescheduled drill weekend, as well as making up an excused drill weekend. -2 drill points, 22 AT points.

73 July 21-22 -- 4 points, two days - normal drill pattern here. Making up for August drill excusal?

(You could excuse drills in advance, with commander's approval.) +2 drill points, 22 AT points.

73 July 23-27 -- 5 points, 5 days, looks like annual tour. +2 drill points, 27 AT points.

73 July 30 - 1 point. +2 drill points, 28 AT points.

Annual Tour accounts for 15 of the 28 - 14 + 1 day travel time. 15 points remaining. (2 drill, 13 AT - remember they're interchangeable.)

73 Aug - Done, I think, 21-22 July.

73 Sept - No record. -4 points from the 15 - leaves 11 points excess.

Looks to me like he did more than his minimums for the year. I don't see a problem with this.

J.

Posted by: JLawson at February 10, 2004 09:03 AM | PERMALINK

jlawson:

"...Personally, I could care less about whether he releases his records or not. He served. I can tell he served by the pattern of points recorded. I can even tell he had his missed drilled weekends excused, and he was allowed to make them up. If they'd been UNEXCUSED, he wouldn't have made them up in May. And they HAD to be excused, otherwise he couldn't have made them up. What part of this is so difficult to understand?..."

What _I_ understand J is that if there was nothing in his records detrimental, the self serving clown and his bufoons would have published them on every network news show (including the decidely non-news FOX News) and newspaper in the country. That he did not and continues to stonewall, merely serves to confirm the old adage of "where there's smoke, there's fire."

My $0.02 worth as a USAF vet opf 8 years (active duty) some 45 years ago.

Posted by: bobski at February 10, 2004 09:09 AM | PERMALINK

Chad,

I do believe he's hiding something, quite a few things, in fact.

1. Who VP Cheney met with on the Energy Task Force.
2. Who in his office outed a CIA Operative who was working on WMD proliferation. When did he know about it? Why did he do nothing until the Press and a Grand Jury forced it to this point, when he could have solved it with a single phone call.
3. What warnings, if any, were given to the US government about 9/11.
4. Why his Administration repeatedly claimed Iraq had WMD when they clearly knew he did not present a threat?

So yeah, I believe he's hiding things. It's not that hard to believe he's got something in his Guard Service record he doesn't want public, given that his pattern of behavior is to deny, stonewall, then question the motives of people who question his denials, until someone drags it out of him like pulling teeth.

That's not how I would let my employees behave. I'd fire people if they pulled that shit with me, and I hold the President of the US to a MUCH higher standard than I would hold people who work for me.

You may feel differently about a President with a credibility problem. I seem to recall that a few years ago, Republicans were quite upset when the President was caught in a lie. I guess times change.

Posted by: Monkey at February 10, 2004 09:09 AM | PERMALINK

One note on the above - it was acceptable to excuse drill weekends as long as they were made up by the end of the fiscal year. If they WEREN'T made up, they became unexcused absences. Around '92 or 93, that practice changed and you had to make them up within two months of the missed drill weekend. FYI.

J.

Posted by: JLawson at February 10, 2004 09:12 AM | PERMALINK

Lol, hey JLawson, I think you could have worked harder on that comment. Lol, too funny.

Work your fingers to the bone, home grown. Bush. Deserter. Awol.

The harder you work, the more the story is in play.

Thanks for all that effort, sir. Awol. Bush. Deserter. Bush. Chickenhawk. Bush. Liar. Bush.

Great job!

Posted by: paradox at February 10, 2004 09:14 AM | PERMALINK

Bobski -

If YOU were running for office, would YOU want your records from way, way back pored over by the current band of media jackals?

Posted by: JLawson at February 10, 2004 09:15 AM | PERMALINK

Just a wild guess- maybe the Bushies insist on looking for his records in Colorado because a building there was destroyed by fire....

After all, the records for the Indian Trust Fund, and the records of millions of disabled vets have been "damaged by water" or "destroyed by fire". As I said, just a guess....

Posted by: serial catowner at February 10, 2004 09:15 AM | PERMALINK

Even without the new documentation (which I think still belongs in the uncertain category), we have the failure to take the physical and the loss of flying status.

There's also the fact that apparently no one who served with Bush in Alabama has come forward yet. That strikes me as most damning. What was he doing then, lying in bed with his had under the covers for four years? Someone had to have seen him.

Bush's defenders use documentation when they have it. Undocumented stuff they just say was an Army record-keeping problem. But what eyewitness testimony there is goes against Bush's story. That was only 30 years ago -- there's gotta be someone to step forward.


I hear that Kerry's making a deal with Bush to leave Vietnam out of it. This issue gives Kerry a lot of leverage. If it weren't for the doubts about Bush's service, they'd be all over Kerry's anti-war activities. He's already said that he's not going to sit and take it the way Dukakis did.

So let's keep it alive. Even if it doesn't become a campaign issue, it neutralizes some of Bush's issues.

Posted by: zizka / John Emerson at February 10, 2004 09:15 AM | PERMALINK

What Monkey said, except I don't think the AWOL story is over. See Josh Marshall's site for a lengthy transcript from today's gaggle. I assume "John" is John King and he was all over it. Does the press know something we don't? Have they figured out what "ARF" means and why Bush was serving there? There was a lot of interest in WHERE Bush earned his points while he was supposedly in AL. Why? Again, I wonder if the press now knows something we don't...

Posted by: 71077345 at February 10, 2004 09:17 AM | PERMALINK

Well, I can see it's worthwhile debating stuff here. Facts just don't enter into it. Thanks, Paradox, for showing me just how receptive some people are to a reasoned approach on this, and how I wasted my time with it.

Ta.

J.

Posted by: JLawson at February 10, 2004 09:17 AM | PERMALINK

I hafta say I was quite peeved at Jennings for asking Clark why he didn't denounce Michael Moore's "deserter" comment. But now I see that in so doing Jennings put this story on the front pages.

So hoow aboot we give a big shout out to our Canadian friend at ABC...thanks for breathing life back into this story, Pete!!

Posted by: 71077345 at February 10, 2004 09:19 AM | PERMALINK

71077345 -

ARF is Air Reserve Force.
Julst like ARPC is Air Reserve Personnel Center...

J.

Posted by: JLawson at February 10, 2004 09:21 AM | PERMALINK

O'Reilly APOLOGIZES!!!

Well, kinda.

Also says he's "much more skeptical about the Bush administration now".

Things are getting good...just waiting for those pics of Tom Delay with little boys...

Posted by: 71077345 at February 10, 2004 09:25 AM | PERMALINK

J.,


A couple of questions:

Is there anything to Kevin's hypothesis regarding "Air Reserve Forces" vs. "Texas National Guard" with the former being a disciplinary posting?

Also, I have trouble reconciling your interpretation with this:

"...in May 1973, his two superior officers at Ellington Air Force Base could not perform his annual evaluation covering the year from May 1, 1972 to April 30, 1973 because, they wrote, "Lt. Bush has not been observed at this unit during the period of this report." - Boston Globe 5/23/2000


Posted by: wetzel at February 10, 2004 09:33 AM | PERMALINK

JLawson:
ARF is Air Reserve Force.
Julst like ARPC is Air Reserve Personnel Center...

OK, do we know FOR SURE that's what the ARF on his records stands for? What's the official explanation? Has there been one? The story has always been that he was in the TX Nat'l Guard, not the Air Reserves. Has there been any mainstream investigation of this, or any explanation by the admin? Is this what "John" in the gaggle was after when he was repeatedly asking WHERE Bush had accumulated these points??

Posted by: 71077345 at February 10, 2004 09:33 AM | PERMALINK

Well, I can see it's worthwhile debating stuff here. Facts just don't enter into it. Thanks, Paradox, for showing me just how receptive some people are to a reasoned approach on this, and how I wasted my time with it.

Welcome to the Internet. You're new here, aren't you? : )

Posted by: Monkey at February 10, 2004 09:34 AM | PERMALINK

I hafta say I was quite peeved at Jennings for asking Clark why he didn't denounce Michael Moore's "deserter" comment. But now I see that in so doing Jennings put this story on the front pages.

That's the most interesting theory I've read so far here today. Íf he did it on purpose, he's a smart guy. And it makes sense that he did. Having seen his comments bounce back a thousand times, he obviously knows exactly how the echo chamber works, he couldn't really bring it up in any other way without hurting his own credibility. And it was just such an odd thing to ask without any intent behind it.

Posted by: M. Aurelius at February 10, 2004 09:37 AM | PERMALINK

Check out this Boston Globe article. Looks like they got some new documents that don't jibe with the old ones:

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2004/02/10/bush_credited_for_guard_drills?mode=PF

Posted by: Old Hat at February 10, 2004 09:42 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, with each passing day, you get closer and closer to sounding like those right-wing kooks that thought Clinton was running drugs from Medina and had Vince Foster murdered.

Posted by: Randy at February 10, 2004 09:48 AM | PERMALINK

JLawson wrote: "If YOU were running for office, would YOU want your records from way, way back pored over by the current band of media jackals?"

Comes with the territory, J., and every politician out there knows this.

Posted by: PaulB at February 10, 2004 09:50 AM | PERMALINK

Current band of media jackals? That is laughable. Bush has gotten a free ride from those so-called jackals for almost his entire term so far. If the "jackals" were doing their job, the lies that really matter would have been exposed and this piddling AWOL charge would take its place at the bottom of the lie list where it belongs.

I have a feeling that the only reason this AWOL brouhaha is mushrooming is that the "jackals" have been kicked around by the Administration so long that they sniffed blood and have finally decided to pile on. Perhaps another four years would have been just too much even for media whores.

Posted by: chris at February 10, 2004 09:58 AM | PERMALINK

Did anybody see McClellan just now? Notice what he did not say? They never got him to say Bush showed up for duty in Alabama. He repeated "Bush fulfilled his duties" many times but did not clarify what the hell that meant. As others have noted, during this time the Guard was not too strict about attendance and may have given Bush a pass for never showing up. Problem is, it is very hard to prove if he did or did not show up for duty in Alabama at this point...

Posted by: heet at February 10, 2004 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

71077345

OK, do we know FOR SURE that's what the ARF on his records stands for? What's the official explanation? Has there been one? The story has always been that he was in the TX Nat'l Guard, not the Air Reserves.

ARPC, the Air Reserve Personnel Center, keeps all the records for the Air Reserve and Air Guard forces.

For the acronym-impaired - http://www.adtdl.army.mil/cgi-bin/atdl.dll/tc/5-340/Gloss.htm

For those interested in ARPC -
http://arpc.afrc.af.mil/

Enjoy.

J.

Posted by: JLawson at February 10, 2004 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

heet, I think you've got it.

Never showed up for his Alabama duties, but got credit anyway.

The plot thickens.

Posted by: Cheez Whiz at February 10, 2004 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

M. Aurelius:

If [Jennings] did it on purpose, he's a smart guy.

I wasn't really suggesting that, though it's possible. Whatever his intention was, however, it has brought the story back.

I would be willing to bet that when K-Ro saw Jennings pose the question to Clark, and saw the ensuing media storm, his reaction was not, "oh, goodie" but "oh, shit. I thought we had put that one to bed."

Posted by: 71077345 at February 10, 2004 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

JLawson, please stick around. Knowledgeable are (or at least should be) always welcome.

paradox... could you tone it down a bit? If there's actually a story here -- and I'm frankly not sure there is -- the only way it's possibly going to get traction is if we play this smart, and that means sticking only to what is known. Ridiculing someone who has (rather painstakingly) assembled the evidence in a coherent manner isn't going to help achieve our goal.

Posted by: Anarch at February 10, 2004 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

JLawson:

OK, so ARF=Air Reserve Force. How did Bush get from the TX Air National Guard to the Air Reserve Force?

They are two different organizations, n'est-ce pas?

I would like to hear your opinion, as one who says there's no story in the President's military record.

Posted by: 71077345 at February 10, 2004 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

I was originally under the impression that Bush was in Alabama for a year from May 1972 on, but according to the White House press secretary, Bush was only in Alabama during Oct-Nov 1972. http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/week_2004_02_08.html#002545

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: http://users.cis.net/coldfeet/doc11.gif

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: http://users.cis.net/coldfeet/doc9.gif

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: http://users.cis.net/coldfeet/doc10.gif ?

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 the question 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?

Posted by: Mike at February 10, 2004 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

Jes, gets the records and just becomes more cynical.

What that amounts to, Reg, is that you'll overlook anything in a Republican candidate's past, while denigrating everything in a Democrat candidate's past.

Jes, you flip flop Democrat for Republican and Republican for Democrat and it describes you to a tee.

I'm looking forward to the rerelease of Kerry's first book, The Real Soldier. Kevin, I hope you will join in me in barracking JFK to rerelease the book.

Posted by: Timmy the Wonder Dog at February 10, 2004 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

"JLawson: OK, so ARF=Air Reserve Force. How did Bush get from the TX Air National Guard to the Air Reserve Force?"

I'm curious about that too. JLawson, was that routine? Why and how would that happen to a National Guardsman?

Patrick Meighan
Los Angeles, CA

Posted by: Patrick Meighan at February 10, 2004 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

Hmmmm ah hmmm, I have been called a faggot, commie, pinko commie liberal, sore loser, unpatriotic, traitor, and many more fine names simply for defending what this country was supposed to be: a democracy.

These same citizens then harrrassed my wife, hector me at work, and try every way they can to trash my home computing environment.

All the while cheering a lying drunk who stole the election and started a war for lies.

Tone it down. I see.

You know, it never ceases to amaze me that Republicans will engage in the most filthy political behavior and then demand civility. Even Democrats who have been ruthlessly rammed up the ass by these felons will insist, unbelievably, that we must be civil to the election-stealing lying murderers.

You're talking to the wrong guy. Bush should be hanging from a lamp post on Constituional Avenue right now for war crimes. If this idiot wants to keep the story in play, let him. I know who the republicans really are, even if you don't.

Posted by: paradox at February 10, 2004 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

ARPC keeps records for the Air Guard as well as the Air Force Reserve. They ARE two different organizations, but they share the same recordkeeper. The Air Guard and the AF Reserve aere branches of the Air Reserve Force, available to be called up as need be.

Now, the question I think you may be asking is - "Why does this say AFR instead of ANG" - and the simple answer is I don't know for sure, but I'd speculate that once his points were filed under his SSAN, it didn't make any difference in the points system whether they were 'Air National Guard' or 'Air Force Reserve points', they were all seen as 'Air Reserve Force' points. A breakout of which branch he served under would have been elsewhere, and not relevant to the accumulation of points.

For example, I accumulated some 6k points during my time active and Reserve - but in the end, they're all Air Reserve Force points.

I love acronyms. We'd be FUBAR without them, but it sure seems like a bowl of alphabet soup at times.

Does this help?

J.

Posted by: JLawson at February 10, 2004 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

dix

ever since 9/11, the Repubs frame everything from tax cuts to public debate as a litmus test of one's patriotism
I'll agree that too much of that went on. The opposition to the war had valid points, but the argument itself was always done in sound bites. This war's justification was not that easy.

[clip large section which I won't argue with]

Bush's insistence on invading Iraq, the dubious and shifting justifications,
A lot of this is probably our different viewpoint, but I didn't see a lot of shifting (although I won't argue the dubious). I was happy to see on his interview last Sunday when pressed on not finding WMDs that he admitted that he expected to find them and didn't.

the contempt for allies and their concerns,
Don't start, we had everyone but France and Germany.

the refusal to admit error
Disturbing, but unfortunately widespread.

all that only highlights the dishonesty (as distinguished from lying) and arrogance revealed most blatantly by his military record.
I find this whole Guard service thing to be blown way out of proportion. If this is a major problem for the left, then I can only assume that you are having trouble finding real problems with Bush.

Posted by: Ron at February 10, 2004 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

Hmmmm ah hmmm, I have been called a faggot, commie, pinko commie liberal, sore loser, unpatriotic, traitor, and many more fine names simply for defending what this country was supposed to be: a democracy.

Likewise.

[I'm particularly fond of a quote, garnered here on Calpundit, that claimed that I'd "better pray that [my] boy Saddam turns up squeaky clean"... with an implicit "or else". Thanks, whoever you were! Do I get a Kewpie doll now?]

Even Democrats who have been ruthlessly rammed up the ass by these felons will insist, unbelievably, that we must be civil to the election-stealing lying murderers.

I'm one of them. [Well, only metaphorical ass-ramming, that is.] Your point?

If this idiot wants to keep the story in play, let him. I know who the republicans really are, even if you don't.

You know who some of the Republicans are, and if you want to get down and dirty with the Freeper trolls that have decided to stink up the joint, more power to you. If you can't distinguish between a troll and a reasonable poster with whom you disagree, however, then you clearly *don't* know who the Republicans are.

You're talking to the wrong guy. Bush should be hanging from a lamp post on Constituional Avenue right now for war crimes.

And if you really do want to achieve that goal, you're going about it the wrong way. It's cathartic as all hell to unload on people, but it's not productive. You're not going to convince anyone like this and you'll likely solidify people against you; I can't think of a much worse way to accomplish your goal.

Don't get me wrong, I think Bush's Presidency has been a colossal failure and it galls me to no end that a mere 50% of the electorate see that. However, whatever desire I might have for a primal howl of rage is soundly trumped by my desire to get him out of the White House before he can break things irreparably. Hopefully, you feel likewise.

Posted by: Anarch at February 10, 2004 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

This debate is interesting and really should have been vetted four years ago. Here's why:

In 2000, then-Gov. Bush and his campaign used every opportunity to savage his opponent's character and record (sometimes with over-exaggerations). Any attempt to question Bush's character and record were walled off and died. While a hefty chunk of the fault lies on the media, a considerable portion lies with Bush and his staff.

This issue would have easily been laid to rest if Bush authorized the release of his Reserve records. Even the limited disclosure of his pay records like he did today (instead of a torn document) would have settled the issue four years ago instead of coming back to bite him now. (He still hasn't authorized the full release of his record, BTW.)

Of course this obfuscation is par for the course for the Bush White House. The administration stonewalls on many requests for information regardless if the law requires release. Bush has stalled efforts for investigations into the Plame matter, intelligence on the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and now Iraq. (BTW, Clinton stalled too and he shouldn't have).

Of course in most cases, Bush caves in and lets something go ahead (like Homeland Security) at the most opportune time when he'll come off smelling like a rose. The issue of his military service is just the same dang thing redux.

You have to admire Bush's political prowess in handling these matters. To the point of his character, integrity and his pledge to "restore honor and dignity to the White House" -- he's let a lot of people down.

Posted by: RTOlson at February 10, 2004 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

I wasn't really suggesting that, though it's possible. Whatever his intention was, however, it has brought the story back.

Well, a guy like Jennings had to know he was reviving the story by doing that. I mean, he's been around what, 25 years? He had to know. And he is certainly a guy that keeps his cards close to the vest. I've seen him interviewed, he measures every word.

The more I think about it, the more that question looks like a trojan horse. I saw the question as odd in the original debate, but I didn't put two and two together till I read your comment (which I know did not claim he did it on purpose).

Any Jennings followers out there care to debunk this theory?

Posted by: M. Aurelius at February 10, 2004 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

For those worried about "signs" various demonstrators carried -- I have to assume you never attended a planning session for a demonstration. You always had to deal with participants representing Quaker or Gandhi related non-violence, who wished to purely witness against war as a mode of dispute resolution, and perhaps the other extreme -- those who wanted to fly the Viet Kong Flag while carrying a mock gun, and everything inbetween, including South Vietnamese who wanted to fly their flag, but protest corruption of their leaders. You have to resolve the problem -- could be 100 thousand will show up to march. You have to be true to First Amendment free speech principles, but similarly the right to not demonstrate seeming agreement with someone elses message which is not your own. Be creative -- make suggestions, what would you do with as an organizer? (Usual resolution -- adopt a common theme, and require those who don't agree to it to participate in a lottery to establish where, in a line of march, dissenting groups would gather.) (Appoint March Marshals authorized to keep such groups together. Viet Kong Flag Flyers usually were a very small minority, and frequently gave up that stance and adopted the protest march's general anti-war theme.) It is useful to know that the old Anti-War movement thoroughly and hotly debated and in many different ways resolved these matters in a pretty democratic way. Most of the Demonstrations I know about actually invited returned vets to march at the front of the line and in an honored position, and their rep was always invited to speak. From 69 onward anti-war vets groups were always part of the planning. It was a huge eclectic movement, after 69 about half the US population as polled disagreed with the war, and that position kept growing. And lots of Republicans were involved -- I attended a Student Republican event featuring John Denver perhaps about 1970 -- do you know that he led a National Republican Student group that opposed the war, and participated in demonstrations? Big mistake to assume the movement was all lefties.

On AWOL. We need to understand this is an exercise in which Bush is playing a power game with who controls the truth. If he controls the handing out of pieces of paper, one page at a time, what he is really saying is that he controls TRUTH. It may be time to tell him to fish or cut bate -- either put all the paper on the table and let everyone look at it, or we'll start another game.

Reason his best buddy in TANG, James Bath, isn't out front talking is because GHWBush recruited him into the CIA in 1976 -- and later he became the American broker for certain Saudi interests that have acquired a certain reputation. Bath represented Bin Laden family interests through the half brother, Salem bin Laden, of the more famous brother, Osama, who is still unfound. Bath also represented Kalid bin Mahfouz -- principle in BCCI, and brother in law to Osama bin Laden. I feel reasonably certain Bath does not want to hold a press conference and answer questions about his connections to Bush and to others. Bath brokered Bush's involvement with Harken and the Saudi finance of that business.

Posted by: Sara at February 10, 2004 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

This is an opportune time for a rereading of J. H. Hatfield's Fortunate Son - particularly the afterword, in which a source that Hatfield later identified as Karl Rove explains what Bush was doing in 1972.

Posted by: xfrosch at February 10, 2004 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

Timmy yapped: Jes, you flip flop Democrat for Republican and Republican for Democrat and it describes you to a tee.

Yap yap yap yap, puppy. You need to learn that barking something doesn't make it true.

Posted by: Jesurgislac at February 10, 2004 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

JLawson
"If YOU were running for office, would YOU want your records from way, way back pored over by the current band of media jackals?"


That seems to be the way it works. As they say, you can't have your cake and eat it, too.

People didn't like it when Clinton gave them the run-around about the Vietnam draft. And there was some good reason too - he did in fact game the system to some degree, here's a pretty complete account:

http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/politics/clintondraft.asp


But face it, if Bush is unwilling to release all the documents pertaining to this, no amount of arguing about these couple pieces of paper is going to convince people who think Bush has a credibility problem.

As has been pointed out, Bush can prove all of this by releasing all his records - not just what they had in 2000, or what additional stuff turned up yesterday.

This just continues his avoidance of and stonewalling on major issues. It's not even just the AWOL issue, it's that he does not want to be held accountable. This is not the kind of guy I want in office. I could give a rats ass if he was AWOL or not, but he has made no reasonable effort to get to the bottom of this or a myriod of other issues.

Posted by: Chris Fabri at February 10, 2004 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

two americas

the elite go to alabama, the rest to vietnam.

the elite have drug "indescretions"
the rest have prison records and cuff marks.

the elite skip everyone and get the job,
the rest wait in line.

Bush may want to be a great leader
but he does not know how.
he was never taught
he never learned
he has no good ideas
he cant speak cause they never let him.
he did what he was told or got drunk.

he was a priviledged kid
and I would have used the perks too!
can you imagine at age 20(?) having
dads private jet landing to pick you up
to go on a date with Nixons daughter
when everyone else cant get off base or
is struggling or dieing in nixons war.

this is how he was raised.
by his dad, his party, his class.
he doesnt know any better
it is time he learned.

time to face real life.

after all pretty soon he will
be out of work
no different than all the other
unemployed workers. wonder if he will
be able to pay the rent and buy food.
will he find a job that pays? will he need
that retraining program he proposed? Could he learn to do brake jobs at CarX for 8 bucks an hour


or go to work for halliburton
as an "advisor". Or just retire
and go fox hunting and clear the brush
at the ranch

Posted by: J at February 10, 2004 01:32 PM | PERMALINK

Did LT Bush benefit from a liberal/permissive command environment and possible favoratism? Probably.
I have yet, however, to read a single post from a "Bush was AWOL" partisan that speaks intelligently about the UCMJ (i.e. ART 15, ART 86, etc) or OERs. AWOL/UA and Desertion are precisely defined offenses; the inaccurate and improper use of these terms does not advance your cause. You can google these terms all you want, your ignorance still shows through.

Posted by: belloscm at February 10, 2004 01:40 PM | PERMALINK

J Lawson:

Bingo on the AFR. If you look at the AF Form 712, it is entitled "Air Reserve Forces Retirement Credit Summary". All retirement forces are computed under combined AIR RESERVE FORCES auspecies since both the AFR and the ANG are RESERVE FORCES.

Note that the form is an Air Force form, not and AFR form or an ANG form. It appears that the 712 was replaced in April of '72 with AF Form 526 which is entitled "ARF Retirement Credit Summary". Same stuff in a little different format due to the revison. However "Air Reserve Forces" or "ARF" is still a part of the title.

ARF has zip to do with being a 'disciplinary' unit. Its simply a combined administrative unit for all Air Force reserve forces.

Posted by: McQ at February 10, 2004 01:47 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 MoveOn.org.

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 01:59 PM | PERMALINK

There's a lot more to military records than the stuff of Bush's that I've seen so far. I don't know the names of the documents, but someone who was a company clerk or the equivalent in one of the services might be able to bring us up to speed.

When I was in the Army in the late 60s a military file included a lot of information about the soldier. Among this information would be any discipline received. THere are various degrees of discipline. THe lowest is a reprimand. THe next is an Article 15, referring to Article 15 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. THe highest is a court martial, of which there are different types. I think receipt of any of these forms of discipline stays in the military records permanently.

If Bush had been court martialed for anything I doubt he would have received an honorable discharge. An Article 15 is a serious matter for an officer (which Bush was), not such a big deal for an enlisted man.

Also in the records are your qualifications for various things. THey would show the training you have received. They would also show the results of tests given to you. There is one test given that is basically an IQ test. The highest possible score is 150. The records would show your security clearance, if any. They should show your qualifications with various weapons. There are also extensive medical records.

I think this kind of stuff should be in Bush's records.

Posted by: Art J at February 10, 2004 02:17 PM | PERMALINK

"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."

This is far from my worst case scenario. What is known to be true about this man (not necessarily about this issue) is much worse than blowing off a couple of drills. For sure, the assertion that he is a child of privilidge who never had to lift a finger and was given the very best of everything merely because of his name is unassailable. For sure, the assertion that he would not have been admitted to Yale, Harvard or TANG without his connections is unassailable.

But there is so much more...

What about having his brother purge black voters from the rolls in Florida before the election?

What about his campaign cold calling McCain supporters to administer push poll questions like "would you still support John McCain if you knew he had an illegitimate black child" in South Carolina before the 2000 primary there?

What about him being lackadasical about his staff leaking the name of an undercover operative?

What about his plans for war - hatched even before 9/11?

What about his failure to protect us from 9/11 in the first place? If that's not a failure of leadership, I don't know what is.

What about his detaining American citizens without due process?

What about his administration's pursuit of anti-bill of rights legistlation in the form of the Patriot Act? Surely there is a Republican alive today who values his or her privacy and the freedoms that his or her ancestors faught to obtain and protect...isn't there?

What about his runaway spending? He goes from a surplus to the largest deficit ever. His projected deficit for last year was 12-14 billion folks. This was a projection given after 9/11 and after the tech bubble. Surely there is a Republican alive today who is a fiscal conservative...isn't there?

Let's get something straight, I don't like Kerry either. I am not a democrat. What I am is someone who is intelligent enough to know a liar whan I see one.

The name calling is immature, to be certain. Both sides are right when they say Republicans/Democrats will forgive anything in one of their own while condemning the other side for doing the same thing.

The truly sad thing is the propagation of the false dichotomy that is the two party system. I love it when someone assails Bush and is answered by Kerry -bashing as if some other candidate being dishonest does anything whatsoever to exonerate W.

Folks, grow up, learn to read, and realize that Bush is bad news pure and simple, and this will be true regardless of any flaw in Kerry (and there are many).


----------------------------------------------------------

Special Kudos to Bill for this:

"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."

So, your basic arguement here seems to be that since Bush screwed the pooch and let us get attacked in the first place, we owe him our allegiance?

Bill says "I'm voting for him cause he's the president."

That's not childish or simplistic at all, is it?

Posted by: mdau at February 10, 2004 04:14 PM | PERMALINK

Ron:

If this is a major problem for the left, then I can only assume that you are having trouble finding real problems with Bush.

You're making a funny, right? Bush's TANG record is approximately 1,247th on the list of problems I have with Bush; it probably doesn't rate much higher with most posters here.

I'd love, love, love to see the same public furore, the same galvanic press reaction, regarding the ruinous spending and mendacious budget projections, the bait-and-switch policy pronouncements, the single-minded focus on the appearance but not the substance of responsible governance, the twin obsessions with secrecy and payback, the faith-based fallacy applied not just to the Iraqi invasion but also science, health and environmental policy. But apparently the non-dork majority doesn't have the time or the interest (either or both) to follow all that, complicated as it is and spooked as we are with terraterraterra around every corner.

The AWOL question is what's taking hold. As a free-standing issue, I agree it's overblown. However, it is a useful shorthand for Bush's many failings and fuck-ups, an accurate and accessible way of illustrating Bush's essential character flaws that lead to the disasters, the "real problems."

If Bush's behavior in this episode were an aberration, it really would be meaningless, just an artifact of a mis-spent youth and the lessons learned thereby. But the best possible interpretation of Bush's military record is unflattering; in light of his subsequent career and his performance as president, it seems the lessons he's learned are these: He's not accountable; he's entitled to special treatment; his own desires are paramount. Duty, fairness, self-sacrifice, service to a larger community or goal — all must be held sacred, except when they're inconvenient or unpleasant or really, really hard and no fucking fun. Which, of course, are the only times such principles are meaningful.

I'd argue that there are any number of incidents from the past 3-1/2 years illustrating Bush's application of these lessons; all those incidents are more significant than his early military service, or non-service. But that's what people are paying attention to. If that's the thin edge of the wedge, the tip on the point, the camel's nose under the tent or the straw on the camel's back, I'll take it.

Posted by: dix at February 10, 2004 05:50 PM | PERMALINK

Obviously the Washington Post's Lois Romano doesn't read Calpundit.

Thanks God... I'l like him to get his facts right once in a while.

Posted by: Handy Andy at February 10, 2004 07:52 PM | PERMALINK

Over and over again.

The real story, originally highlighted for my by Molly Ivins, is who was in the President's platoon.
The son of Govenor Connoly, the son of Senator Bentsen, the son of RNC Chair Bush, and members of the Dallas Cowboy football team.

The plane was known as the "safest" plane in Vietnam.

Six months before the President finished training on it, there were zero in Vietnam, zero in the entire Pacific.

He was in a special platoon for the sons of the rich and powerful, purposefully, eagerly protected from any harm.

While other men were training with an M-16, he was training on a plane with no meaningful role in Vietnam (it was a sort of early Patriot missile system, against bombers).

The biggest riots in US history were over rich brats skipping out on their military service.

Posted by: JSN at February 11, 2004 04:06 AM | PERMALINK

Dix

Bush's TANG record is approximately 1,247th on the list of problems I have with Bush
and
The AWOL question is what's taking hold.

I understand that the opposition party's job is to try and poke holes in the party in power, and I understand that y'all hate Bush. But you're saying that since you can't attach legs to anything of significance, you're going to try and bolt some legs on any issue no matter how small?

Now I'll tell you why this bothers me, I don't see Bush losing*. And the left is looking irrationally hateful. This means 4 more years of the opposition party defining whether something is right or wrong based on which party's idea it is, and not on whether the idea is good or bad. (This started under Clinton, the right is not absolved of error here).

*Just for interest, here are my reasons:
1) He's the incumbent. 'Nuff said there.
2) We're in a war (of sorts) and Repubs are seen as better at that (deservedly or not).
3) The economy is improving (it may not be as good as everyone likes, but people tend to pick the devil they know over the devil they don't know. If it's improving under Bush I expect them stay with him rather than see what happens with anyone else)
4) Bush has money, lots of money, and he hasn't started spending it yet. Kerry is running a statistical tie with a man that isn't campaigning. That should put a little scare into the ABB type.

I don't know how much longer we'll keep at this, we may be done now and I just don't know it yet :-) But this has been an enjoyable discussion, thank you.

Posted by: Ron at February 11, 2004 06:13 AM | PERMALINK

The President went to Alabama to work on a Senate campaign, but his military transfer had been denied.

Ivins points out that other people in the President's platoon include Son of Governor Connoly (D-TX), Son of Senator Bentsen(D-TX) and various and assorted members of the Dallas Cowboys football franchise.

They should rename the plane from the Delta Dagger to the Delta Dodger.

Posted by: JSN at February 11, 2004 06:27 AM | PERMALINK

For the record, I, pro-life Charlie-from-California did not post anything yesterday - that was some different "Charlie" who posted at February 10, 2004 08:26 AM

That being said, I was hoping not to post anymore but I could not pass this up from mdau:

"What about his plans for war - hatched even before 9/11?"

You don't think the government has all kinds of contingency plans for warfare?! Then why in the world would you even ask this:

"What about his failure to protect us from 9/11 in the first place? If that's not a failure of leadership, I don't know what is."

You're one of those Wes "guarantee no terrorist attacks" Clark voters, aren't you? I hear you're going to be even MORE disappointed when Clark gets out of this race, leaving only ONE candidate with proven National Security experience ; )

"What about his detaining American citizens without due process?"

Were they plotting terrorist acts? If you are plotting terrorists acts too, you'd better be very afraid too - maybe that's why you are voting for the Democrat?

"What about his administration's pursuit of anti-bill of rights legislation in the form of the Patriot Act? Surely there is a Republican alive today who values his or her privacy and the freedoms that his or her ancestors fought to obtain and protect . . . isn't there?"

Sure there are - the Constitution is not a suicide pact though.

Look, the rest of you guys continue with your little witch hunt. All the records the WH knows about have now been released - why do I have my doubts even that will make you happy? http://www.foxnews.com/projects/pdf/021004_bushmil.pdf

I think after 19 separate different threads here at CalPundit re: Bush's military service (and that's just so far in February), I've said my peace. Good luck everyone.

Posted by: Charlie at February 11, 2004 09:00 AM | PERMALINK

Can you at very least give up on the term "AWOL"?

That's a formal charge as specific as treason. Shrub may be guilty of gold-bricking, drawing good pay for duties never performed. I dunno. But charging Shrub with AWOL on the basis of the data available is like charging Kerry with "treason" for providing aid and comfort to Le Duc Tho. Didn't happen. The actual record can't be stretched to show that it did.

Posted by: Pouncer at February 11, 2004 09:50 AM | PERMALINK

Ron:

But you're saying that since you can't attach legs to anything of significance, you're going to try and bolt some legs on any issue no matter how small?... This means 4 more years of the opposition party defining whether something is right or wrong based on which party's idea it is, and not on whether the idea is good or bad. (This started under Clinton, the right is not absolved of error here).

How the legs get attached is a deep and abiding mystery. The cultural/media/"buzz" organism operates according to its own, eternally shifting rules and nobody can push (or kill) stories with any certainty of success. As I said, I'd prefer that other, more significant issues had sprouted limbs — but they didn't, despite the efforts of many people far more influential than your humble correspondent. As I've explained in previous posts, I don't think Bush's TANG record is irrelevant so its scale is a minor consideration. I'm not going to walk away from something useful because it's not as useful as I'd like. (Which does not mean I want $7+million spent investigating it.)

I agree that reflexive partisan antagonism ain't pretty; I also believe it's pointless and destructive. Of course I'm fallibile and, if not blinded, at least dazzled by partisanship but I try to evaluate political ideas and proposals in and of themselves, regardless of the party promoting them.

However, you always reach a point when you have to simply trust the good faith of a politician and a party. Based on many, many incidents (including but far from limited to the TANG episode), I have virtually no confidence in Bush's good faith. As for his party — even less. I'm willing to believe that Bush and the Republican leadership, the people crafting the policies and tactics I abhor, are acting in what they believe to be the country's best interests. Problem is, their notion of "best interests" looks an awful lot like my notion of "dismantling the civic infrastructure," aka "big fat hairy disaster."

The polarization started with the right's attacks on Clinton. (Your parenthetical is much appreciated.) But it continued with Bush, campaign assurances to the contrary. 9/11 only accelerated a process that was already well underway.

While you and I may disagree vehemently on policy, I'm reasonably certain that we could at least discuss the issues with some common understanding of appropriate goals and outcomes. I'm equally certain I couldn't even come close to an understanding with Tom Delay, or Grover Norquist, or the majority of the Republican establishment. The past 3-1/2 years have made that obvious. The Dems tried accommodation and got stomped harder. The party, and its partisans, have no choice but to play by the rules the Republicans have established.

No, I'm not happy about it. But I'm even less happy with the current Republican party.

Yes, it has been an interesting and enjoyable discussion (with no aspersions cast on my mother or yours). Thanks very much for that.

Posted by: dix at February 11, 2004 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

Dix
While you and I may disagree vehemently on policy, I'm reasonably certain that we could at least discuss the issues with some common understanding of appropriate goals and outcomes.
No doubt in my mind, I've always maintained that the left and right are not that far apart, if they could just look for common ground instead of differences.

The polarization started with the right's attacks on Clinton.
I adamantly do not want to get into this, but a while back there was something on the judicial nominations here. Righties claiming foul over the fillibusters, lefties claiming the righties started it with Clinton, righties claiming lefties started it with Bork, before you know it we were back to some judge in the 1800's.

Just one of those things that bring a smile to my face.

Posted by: Ron at February 11, 2004 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

I'm a retired (1999)Army colonel with active Marine enlisted service (1967-69), but not an expert on Nat'l Guard and Reserve forms. I also requested and received a copy of Bush's records in 2000 from the HQ Air Reserve Personnel Center (PC) and Army & Air Force Air Nat'l Guard (ANG)Bureau (Bureau). As for information about the pay records, the the location of finance records, the Bureau told me they were at the Texas State Adjutant General's office.

In any event, the records I've gone through and the ones just published don't match and raise some serious questions. First, all Bush's attendance at the Texas ANG were documented on Air Force (AF) Form 190 which has handwritten notations on the type of training Bush was credited for: active duty for training (ADT) for which he received 1 point/day and inactive duty training (IDT) for which he recieved a point per training session. Normally, a member could receive four to five points for a weekend: a drill on Friday evening and two drills on Saturday and Sunday. The close-out date for his Texas ANG unit on AF Form 190 is May 26, 1972, his yearly anniversary date. For that previous year he earned 22 ADT points, 75 IDT points, and 15 gratuitous points. There are no other AF Forms 190 that were provided to me.

Even if we accept his meager attendance in Alabama as true, it only amounts to six days if the first form from the Nat'l Review is correct. A problem with those days is that two of them are weekdays if the dates are correct: November 13 and 14. As already pointed out, these days don't match the days the unit had a "Unit Training Assembly." They also are not documented on an AF Form 190. It should be easy for someone to check with the unit to find out if training was conducted on those weekdays.

In any event, we know he returned to Texas after Blount lost the election. There are no AF Forms 190 documenting any attendance at any type of training from May 1972 unitl he received his officer performance report in 1973. Moreover, two lieutenant colonels signed the report which said neither had seen him since he cleared the unit in 1972. There are no AF Forms 190 for any attendance after this report card and his discharge from the Texas ANG in October 1973. He has no close-out performance rating. There is nothing documenting his required two-weeks of active duty training after the May 1972 on AF Form 190 which means he most likely didn't perform this required training from June 1972 until his discharge in October 1973. There is no credible evidence, therefore, that he met his obligation.

As for the charge that his records were "doctored," his "people" should never have had unfettered access to the originals. They should have been given copies. Also, Burkett is not the only one who has made such an allegation: Chief Warrant Office 4 Harvey Gough said that Dan Bartlett and Danny James [of the Texas ANG] scrubbed the records when Bush became governor.

There are other documented shortcomings. The written orders grounding him on September 19, 1972, ordered him to take a filght physical: "Off[icer] will comply with para[graph] 2-10, AFM 35-13." There is no evidence he ever complied with the order.

Finally, he was on a downhill slope in 1972 because his performance evaluation was lower than his 1971 report from the very same officers. That was the kiss of death and shows something was amiss.

Posted by: Lyco67gal at February 11, 2004 01:31 PM | PERMALINK
Oddly enough, that was one of the reasons that you cited as to why couldn't account for his time -- that he was on a secret mission for his father.

Yeah, we found it pretty silly, too.

Not, apparently, silly enough to catch on that I was purosefully making up the most ludicrous conspiracy theory I could come up with off hand.

Posted by: Charlie at February 11, 2004 02:12 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, yeah -- I'm libertarian Charlie from Colorado (although I'm interviewing for a job with the Eeeevil War Machine in Monterey, so I may yet be another Charlie from California soon.)

Posted by: Charlie (not the same one) at February 11, 2004 02:17 PM | PERMALINK

Everyone seems to be trying to say, in a long winded way:

A. The fact that he had payslips and received an honourable discharge is not credible, presumably because the Reserves are so bad at paperwork as to pay money and hand out honourable discharges
without investigation.

B. The absence of certain forms cannot be explained by bad administration.

C. Bush did something wrong....

Now if A is true, shouldn't an objective assessment accept that B is probably true as well? In which case C, is hard to believe.

Posted by: researcher8848 at February 11, 2004 04:21 PM | PERMALINK

An additional military perspective.

Posted by: David Fleck at February 11, 2004 06:31 PM | PERMALINK

All I hear is the sound of goalposts moving back, back, back. You folks are worse than the hard right in the mid-90's - at least *then* it was undeniable that the Prez skipped out on serving his country.

But then, you folks said that *that* didn't matter, didn't you?

Posted by: Dave Reese at February 11, 2004 08:45 PM | PERMALINK

I'll have to agree with Dave Reese on this one: Where was the critism of Clinton's Military Record? We have a president that's being persecuted for simply having served his country honorably. It's amazing the double-standard; an impeached president and confirmed draft-dogger is held-up as a political hero while Bush's military record isn't good enough.

Posted by: Spencer at February 18, 2004 10:10 AM | PERMALINK

Their statement: “My guess is the latter: they don't show much of anything related to the National Guard. Rather, they are records of something that counted as drills in the Air Reserve, although it's not clear what.” is not only a guess but an incorrect one. The ARF retirement credit system covered both the Air Force Reserves and the Air National Guard. The summaries show could just as easily be for Air National Guard service as for Air Force Reserve service.


Why doesn’t Calpundit get together with a former records specialist with the Air Force? They need to since they obviously don’t know anything about military records or how to read them. They got it wrong on these retirement credit statements as well as in claiming that Bush had been transferred to the ARF for disciplinary reasons;. Just how do they transfer you from the Air National Guard to the ARF for disciplinary reasons when your already in the ARF as a member of the Air National Guard?

They also wrote “POSTSCRIPT: By the way, the actual point of Romano's story is that the Defense Department is requesting Bush's payroll records from "a DOD archive in Colorado." Why is DOD doing this? And why just payroll records? Very peculiar“.: Again they are making an uninformed opinion and based on the opinion making is seem like there’s something wrong or being hidden. The reason for the payroll records would be very understandable. Every drill Bush attended would have been reported to finance so he could be paid for it. It would be one of the most accurate and complete records of those days he drilled and with whom. Why the finance records and not the other records? Unlike the Texas and Alabama Guard records which could have unnoticed errors in attendance since the invidious rarely reviews them, an error in attendance reporting in the finance records would have been quickly noticed and corrected by the individual since he would not have been paid for that drill.

Posted by: Don C. at February 21, 2004 10:34 PM | PERMALINK

Fashion exists for women with no taste, etiquette for people with no breeding.

Posted by: Reddy Lokesh at May 3, 2004 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

Gratitude is merely the secret hope of further favors.

Posted by: Torre Leslie at June 30, 2004 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

I have found the best online pharmacy for buying

Generic Viagra online
Meltabs
generic Cialis

Posted by: Cheap generic Viagra at July 14, 2004 07:32 PM | PERMALINK

I have found the best online pharmacy for buying

Generic Viagra online
Meltabs
generic Cialis

Posted by: generic Viagra prices at July 14, 2004 10:03 PM | PERMALINK

I have found the best online pharmacy for buying

Generic Viagra online
Meltabs
generic Cialis

Posted by: generic Viagra prices at July 14, 2004 10:03 PM | PERMALINK

7909 You can buy viagra from this site :http://www.ed.greatnow.com

Posted by: Viagra at August 7, 2004 04:18 PM | PERMALINK

2444 Why is Texas holdem so darn popular all the sudden?

http://www.texas-holdem.greatnow.com

Posted by: texas holdem online at August 9, 2004 01:10 PM | PERMALINK

7333 ok you can play online poker at this address : http://www.play-online-poker.greatnow.com

Posted by: online poker at August 10, 2004 01:59 PM | PERMALINK

6340 get cialis online from this site http://www.cialis.owns1.com

Posted by: cialis at August 11, 2004 12:39 AM | PERMALINK

4972 Keep it up! Try Viagra once and youll see. http://viagra.levitra-i.com

Posted by: Viagra at August 13, 2004 10:27 PM | PERMALINK

7847 Get your online poker fix at http://www.onlinepoker-dot.com

Posted by: online poker at August 15, 2004 02:07 PM | PERMALINK

3951 black jack is hot hot hot! get your blackjack at http://www.blackjack-dot.com

Posted by: blackjack at August 16, 2004 02:43 PM | PERMALINK

2827 so theres Krankenversicherung and then there is
Krankenversicherung private and dont forget
Krankenversicherung gesetzlich
and then again there is always beer

Posted by: Krankenversicherung at August 17, 2004 07:44 PM | PERMALINK

5925 Its great to experiance the awesome power of debt consolidation so hury and consolidate debt through http://www.debtconsolidation.greatnow.com pronto

Posted by: debt consolidation at August 19, 2004 01:12 AM | PERMALINK

6922

http://www.exoticdvds.co.uk for
Adult DVD And Adult DVDS And Adult videos Thanks and dont forget Check out the diecast model
cars
at http://www.diecastdot.com

Posted by: Adult DVD at August 19, 2004 04:21 PM | PERMALINK

8594 check out the hot blackjack at http://www.blackjack-p.com here you can play blackjack online all you want! So everyone ~SMURKLE~

Posted by: blackjack at August 22, 2004 09:59 PM | PERMALINK

5544 check out the hot blackjack at http://www.blackjack-p.com here you can play blackjack online all you want! So everyone ~SMURKLE~

Posted by: play blackjack at August 24, 2004 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

2852 Herie http://blaja.web-cialis.com is online for all your black jack needs. We also have your blackjack needs met as well ;-)

Posted by: blackjack at August 25, 2004 09:18 AM | PERMALINK

657 check out http://texhold.levitra-i.com for texas hold em online action boodrow

Posted by: online texas hold em at August 26, 2004 05:10 PM | PERMALINK
Navigation
Contribute to Calpundit



Advertising
Powered by
Movable Type 2.63

Site Meter