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February 10, 2004

GEORGE BUSH, CAMPAIGN MANAGER....Here's an idea. It's a longshot, but let's see if we can harness the awesome power of the blogosphere for the benefit of mankind.

According to the now complete copy of George Bush's ARF service record for 1972, we know that he supposedly spent the weekend of October 28-29 on drills. On the face of it, this seems unlikely since he was acting as assistant campaign manager for Winton "Red" Blount at the time and this particular weekend was nine days before the election. That's usually a busy time, no? It also fails to match up with the training schedule for the Alabama unit that Bush was supposedly attached to at the time.

So here's the deal: do I have any readers in Alabama who are willing to head to the library and spend a few hours reading through microfilms of local papers to see if they can find any mention of Bush that weekend? The newspaper dates to look for are October 29 and 30, 1972, and the most likely cities are Montgomery and (I assume) Birmingham.

The question is this: are there any news reports indicating that Bush was actually working on Blount's campaign on those days rather than attending drills? If anybody finds anything, let me know.

Extra points if anyone finds a photograph.

POSTSCRIPT: By the way, note the following anecdote about the Blount campaign from the Montgomery Advertiser last week:

Bush, then 26, served as assistant campaign manager in a race that featured a doctored audiotape that made it sound like [John] Sparkman supported busing children to integrate schools.

Charming, isn't it? Kinda reminds you of South Carolina in 2000.....

UPDATE: A reader suggests via email that Montgomery residents can also visit the Alabama Department of Archives and History, 624 Washington Ave., which has hardbound copies of the Montgomery Advertiser as well as the following on microfiche:

  • Montgomery Advertiser, 1972.10.01-1972.10.31, Order # S1987.2747

  • Alabama Journal, 1972.10.02-1972.10.31, Order # S1991.2484

  • Birmingham Mirror, 1971.01.09-1974.02.23, Reference Call Number micro #326, Order # M1992.2356

Posted by Kevin Drum at February 10, 2004 02:24 PM | TrackBack


Comments

Great idea! Makes me wish I lived in Alabama...not!

You're starting to sound like a journalist...

Posted by: R. Stanton Scott at February 10, 2004 02:31 PM | PERMALINK

You're starting to sound desperate.

Posted by: Staunch Moderate at February 10, 2004 02:34 PM | PERMALINK

Looks like I'll be spending some time at the Birmingham Public Library. I'll let you know what I find...

Posted by: Doug Gillett at February 10, 2004 02:38 PM | PERMALINK

Poor Kevin - his dream of a great scandal goes up in smoke. Can we fault him for trying so desperately to hold on to his dreams?

Posted by: Jim at February 10, 2004 02:38 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

Are we really going to do this?

I'm a reservist. I've missed drills. I made them up later, just like Bush. This investigation into his drilling record is approaching the level of obsession.

Keep digging, if it makes you happy. I've already looked at the records, and there's really no scandal to be found. Maybe you can fabricate yourself a juicy conspiracy theory, but it will only end up making you look foolish.

I don't want to debate about what happened in the 1970s. The past three years are much more relevant, immediate and compelling.

Let's get ourselves back to the twenty-first century, shall we? Plenty to talk about in the here and now.

How are we going to defeat al Qaeda?

Is NATO worth preserving? What will its mission be?

How will we keep Social Security solvent?

Should we raise taxes to reduce the deficit, or cut discretionary spending? What do you cut? How much? Whose taxes do you raise?

How do we make health care more affordable?

See, these are REAL ISSUES. Bush's Texas ANG service records are a distraction.

Focus, Dude. Focus.

Posted by: SMASH at February 10, 2004 02:38 PM | PERMALINK

Desperate would cover it. I bet you're having more fun than you will defending Jane Fonda, your candidate's friend, which is what you'll be doing for most of the campaign. So enjoy it for now.

Posted by: Y'81 at February 10, 2004 02:39 PM | PERMALINK

It's not desperate; it's called seeking the truth. This is an issue that should be resolved and should be done so by checking ALL available sources. One way or another, shouldn't we be entitled to know whether our President is telling the truth?!

Posted by: JustJeff at February 10, 2004 02:39 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks Doug!

Staunch: actually, this is the kind of thing reporters spend time doing all the time. Besides, in 2000 the Bush campaign tried to convince everyone that the first date on that record was November 29, not October 29? Why? There must be a reason....

Posted by: Kevin Drum at February 10, 2004 02:39 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, I'm pretty sure if we just check the facts, we'll find that the big White House "announcement" today was one more case of announcing WMD evidence hoping no one will notice when it turns out to be false.

Or more pertinent, the press secretary waving "proof" will turn out to be a McCarthy-ite "I have in my briefcase..." blah blah blah.

I'll contribute to a train or plane ticket down there for a researcher -- if they have not already gotten to the library and scrubbed those newspapers too.

Posted by: Brian at February 10, 2004 02:40 PM | PERMALINK

Smash: did you ever miss five months in a row? And then lie about it?

You're right: Bush's Guard record is not that big a deal. Lying about it is. Let's find out if he's told the truth.

As for your list, those things are all way more important than this. Unfortunately, George Bush has not shown the slightest inclination to address any of them.

Posted by: Kevin Drum at February 10, 2004 02:45 PM | PERMALINK

Good luck Kevin. I think it's a great idea. That bit about the dirty tricks of the campaign he worked was very interesting; maybe all the malicious and hard-edged campaigning isn't exclusively the work of Karl Rove after all? Maybe Georgie-boy is a fellow master of the political dark-arts.

Posted by: Toluca Jim/Visible Hand at February 10, 2004 02:47 PM | PERMALINK

So as more and more evidence supporting Bush comes in, Kevin calls for more evidence! Boy, this is getting really pathetic.

Even Adam Yoshida has cleaned your clocks on this. You must love having Adam grabbing you by the collar, rubbing your noses in your own documents.

This is great fun for the peanut gallery though. We'd pay for this stuff!

Posted by: am at February 10, 2004 02:47 PM | PERMALINK

What this is really about is LYING! Sound familiar?
Smirk lied in his book about his service, just like Bill lied about Monica...now tell me which is more important?
Also, Smirk brought this on himslef by prancing around in a flight suit

Posted by: slumpyb at February 10, 2004 02:47 PM | PERMALINK

Smash, you're right that this stuff isn't really important. But the Bush team isn't going to focus on the real issues either. Sorry to say, taking the high road and doing the right thing is a losing strategy.

You have to win before you can do anything.

Posted by: Hari at February 10, 2004 02:48 PM | PERMALINK

I think that this is worth tracking down. There is something in the records that Bush does not want the public to see. Maybe it's lack of attendance, maybe it's a plane crashed because he was drunk, who knows? But there's something or he would have released the records.

Keep looking! Doug Gillet sounds like he's game for the research. I'd be willing to check the Grey Lady's archives here in NYC if you think it's worth it. Let me know.

Posted by: OtherDoug at February 10, 2004 02:49 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin is absolutely right. I don't want a self-styled "war president" LYING to me about his service record -- particularly when his "service" was undemanding and apparently so loosely supervised that he could blow it off for months at a time.

He may have got a break, but he should at least be HONEST about it.

This is an issue of CHARACTER.

Posted by: Patriotic American at February 10, 2004 02:50 PM | PERMALINK

Personally, I think that the whole reason this is an issue is the fact that it deals strongly with Mr. Bush's character; specifically, is he an honorable person who worked hard to get where he is or did he abuse the fact that he had the last name "Bush" in an effort to get off easier?

This is a matter of the character of the man. Just as Bill Clinton's time in England spoke to his character on this issue, Mr. Bush's behavior here speaks to exactly how he behaves given opportunities.

It seems plausible from waht we've seen that Mr. Bush may have been given special advantages, specifially an honorable discharge, without completing the terms of his service. If this is true, it's another example of how Mr. Bush's priveledged life, as the son of a Bush, allowed a man to get ahead in life without really having to work hard. If these allegations are true; would you want that kind of man to be your President? That is the issue here; the character of the man.

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

Posted by: Balta at February 10, 2004 02:50 PM | PERMALINK

If GW isn't lying then why hasn't he had even ONE person come forward to say he was there and remembers him? Why doesn't he just give the press of list of names to go find and ask? Surely they'd love to say they knew George back in the day. Anybody?

Dude's lyin'. That's why.

Posted by: Dude's Lyin' at February 10, 2004 02:50 PM | PERMALINK

I think the bigger question is this:
Who kidnapped Kevin and took over his blog?
This is just sad. There was a time one could come here for reasonable commentary, even if you didn't agree with it. Now, Kevin, you've lowered yourself to the level of the frothy conspiracy zealots, and it doesn't look good on you.
Take a step back man and look at what you're writing.

Posted by: Kate at February 10, 2004 02:51 PM | PERMALINK

How absolutely earth-shattering. A lost weekend 30 years ago. Yawn.

This resonates only with the small cadre of obsessed Bush bashers. The rest of the electorate will be a mite more impressed with his leadership and successful prosecution of two wars of liberation in his first term.

Which is also a mite more relevant to his qualifications for the Oval Office.

Posted by: anon at February 10, 2004 02:51 PM | PERMALINK

Calpundit is turning into Leftie Newsmax. Whats next, lessons on how to evade income taxes?

Posted by: Reg at February 10, 2004 02:51 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, Kevin, as a journalist, my editors have sent me digging through tons information that never turned into anything noteworthy. There's nothing wrong with asking tough questions.

My concern is that you're obsessing over this non-issue. Investigations have found that his record at the National Guard is pretty clean. There are a few discrepancies here and there from 20-plus-year-old records, but nothing major.

But you seem to take the position that Bush is guilty until proven innocent, and then still consider him guilty.

I enjoy hearing your arguments on the other, relevant issues. Don't waste your time on this, man.

Posted by: Staunch Moderate at February 10, 2004 02:52 PM | PERMALINK

Curse you, power of the blogosphere!

Seriously, Kevin, you're scooping the professionals pretty well. I'll be interested to hear what you come up with.

I *would* like it if there was some point at which the left would say "ok, it looks like Bush served."

Posted by: J Mann at February 10, 2004 02:52 PM | PERMALINK

So as more and more evidence supporting Bush comes in, Kevin calls for more evidence! Boy, this is getting really pathetic.

You're smoking crack, nutjob. None of the documents say anything about Bush actually serving, they make him look WORSE because no one can account for his missing time. Six days? Where's his DD-214 paperwork? Everyone has one. Why did he miss his physical? Answer, brownshirt. Why isn't he releasing all of his paperwork and waiving the privacy act like every other president?

Posted by: Old Hat at February 10, 2004 02:53 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

I think this is a good idea you have. I hope if nothing is found, you'll have the good grace to write about it.

Posted by: spc67 at February 10, 2004 02:53 PM | PERMALINK

Great idea, Kevin!

From the remarkable increase in angry Republican comments, I'd say you've struck a nerve.

There are so many reasons this is fair game, it's almost impossible to count them all.

Posted by: TedL at February 10, 2004 02:54 PM | PERMALINK

Congratulations.
You're now officially over the edge.

Posted by: Ricky at February 10, 2004 02:54 PM | PERMALINK

I enjoy hearing your arguments on the other, relevant issues. Don't waste your time on this, man.

Translation: "I noticed the way you blew this story wide open the other day and frankly, I'm scarwed of you, CalPundit!"

Posted by: Old Hat at February 10, 2004 02:55 PM | PERMALINK

sputter sputter

Posted by: MBF at February 10, 2004 02:55 PM | PERMALINK

Stop lying Kevin, none of the files you seek exist. You are just lying to advance your own agenda and mislead the American People. There have been inspections and nothing has turned up. Your preconceived notions are blinding you to reality.

Posted by: Tinky at February 10, 2004 02:57 PM | PERMALINK

Calpundit is turning into Leftie Newsmax.

Yeah, scooping the New York Times, the AP, Washington Post, LA Times, Boston Globe and blowing whistles. A regular NewsMax.

Jump off a cliff, brownshirt.

Posted by: Old Hat at February 10, 2004 02:57 PM | PERMALINK

Asking people to do the job of reporters?

If reporters actually did their jobs, then, yes, I would say this sounds desperate.

But hay, the right has their Whitewater, the left have the National Guard.

Posted by: caleb at February 10, 2004 02:57 PM | PERMALINK

Heh, brownshirt. Sliming political enemies based on false accusations and nonexistent evidence seems to be the order of the day here at Calpundit.

Posted by: Reg at February 10, 2004 02:58 PM | PERMALINK

heh, "Old Hat" called me a "brownshirt" because I criticized him. Does he burn books as well?

Posted by: am at February 10, 2004 02:58 PM | PERMALINK

Stop lying Kevin, none of the files you seek exist. You are just lying to advance your own agenda and mislead the American People. There have been inspections and nothing has turned up. Your preconceived notions are blinding you to reality.

Translation: "Please stop posting those bothersome documents that show that Bush is hiding something because I'm vewy vewy scarwed of you CalPundit!"

Posted by: Old Hat at February 10, 2004 02:58 PM | PERMALINK

Wow. I've been reading CalPundit for quite a while, and I've never seen so many angry Republicans post here before.

I think that's a sign you're doing something very, very right Mr. Drum.

Posted by: Hart at February 10, 2004 02:59 PM | PERMALINK

Stop lying Kevin, none of the files you seek exist.

Yeah, like Bush's DD-214 paperwork, which has mysteriously disappeared!

Posted by: Old Hat at February 10, 2004 02:59 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, follow it through!

Even if it turns out to be inaccurate, people need to know.

Posted by: ortsed at February 10, 2004 03:00 PM | PERMALINK

How absolutely earth-shattering. A lost weekend 30 years ago. Yawn. This resonates only with the small cadre of obsessed Bush bashers. The rest of the electorate will be a mite more impressed with his leadership and successful prosecution of two wars of liberation in his first term.

Translation: "Frankly, I'm shitting in my BVDs right now because CalPundit keeps on connecting the dots!"

Posted by: Old Hat at February 10, 2004 03:02 PM | PERMALINK

Old Hat: Not scared (or scarwed). I just empathize with someone who's wasting his time.

Caleb: That's a perfect analogy, comparing it to Whitewater. Do you really want to stoop that low?

This is why I'm completely disillusioned with both the Left and the Right.

Posted by: Staunch Moderate at February 10, 2004 03:03 PM | PERMALINK

This is just turning goofy. 95% of people posting here don't have a clue what these documents show, including Mr. Drum. Everybody is just making up shit.
I'm looking forward to more of these posts, they are hilarious. One can see Mr. Drum's desparation to hold on to his credibility increase in each one.

Posted by: Tinky at February 10, 2004 03:04 PM | PERMALINK

It also fails to match up with the training schedule for the Alabama unit that Bush was supposedly attached to at the time.

Would that have mattered? I'd gathered that Bush had managed to wangle an assignment to the mailroom in Alabama. I'm assuming that would mean that, if he ever bothered to show up, he'd hardly need to coordinate with the rest of the unit just to sort the mail.

Posted by: Jesurgislac at February 10, 2004 03:04 PM | PERMALINK

hey Staunch

Investigations have found that his record at the National Guard is pretty clean. There are a few discrepancies here and there from 20-plus-year-old records, but nothing major

bull. it is impossible to investigate a recird which has not been made public in its entirety.

also, records from 20 years ago do not decay -- if they are complete, there is no reason for discrepancies. or do you think these discrepancies spontaneously appear in any military records with the passage of time.

now run along troll

Posted by: nilsey at February 10, 2004 03:05 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

To answer your question, I missed three months of drills last year. I got home from Kuwait in August, and was released from active duty at the end of September.

I requested authorized absences in October and November to spend more time with my family. I should have drilled with my unit the first weekend in December, but I got that flu bug that was going around.

I made up my missed drills the week before Christmas.

This type of thing happens all the time in the reserves. I may be missing something, but it seems to me that Bush's statements match up pretty well with the records that have been released.

I'm not sure what else there is to look for. This is beginning to remind me of the right wing whackos trying to prove Vince Foster was murdered.

Posted by: SMASH at February 10, 2004 03:05 PM | PERMALINK

95% of people posting here don't have a clue what these documents show

Neither does McClellan or Bush! That's the beauty of this little mess they made for themselves. Has anyone seen Bush's DD-214 paperwork? It's missing.

Posted by: Old Hat at February 10, 2004 03:05 PM | PERMALINK

"I think this is a good idea you have. I hope if nothing is found, you'll have the good grace to write about it."

spc67, I appreciate your consistent praise of Kevin despite your political differences. Your use of "hope" is unwarranted.

Posted by: rilkefan at February 10, 2004 03:05 PM | PERMALINK

You're now officially over the edge.

Digging for facts is nutty, while just making shit up is business as usual. Sad times for American Journalism.

Guess what, Ricky? I hear Kerry lied about being Irish, plus he uses Botox! Deans a maniac, Clarks a war criminal, and Edwards is 12 years old. Bush didn't want a war, but those idiots in the CIA kept insisting on it until he caved. With these important stories, why does Kevin waste his time on flimsy rumors backed only by facts?

Posted by: Boronx at February 10, 2004 03:05 PM | PERMALINK

You're right on target, Hart. The news that Kevin is actually investigating the issue must have hit the right wing action sites. It's fun to watch them unravel.

Posted by: Anybody but Bush at February 10, 2004 03:05 PM | PERMALINK

Let's see. Hillary had Vince Foster murdered. The Clinton's had Ron Brown murdered. Hillary can't account for the missing billing records? Oh, she can? Then she deliberately tried to hide them. Investigate! Investigate! What, you sure Vince Foster killed himself? Not possible. Investigate! What, we can't get Bill on White Water, then how about sex? Anybody, anybody, anybody? Oh, yes, you young lady? What's that about a blue dress? Sure, come on down. Impeach! Impeach! Impeach! So what if it has nothing to do with White Water: Impeach!

Now. These records that say nothing -- oh trust us. Move on. Nothing to see here. Didn't get his physical? Well, his doctor's in Houston. Nothing to see here. Move on. Move on. Sour grapes. Politics. Dubya don't lie. He's got character. Not like Bubba.

Get real. If Dubya went AWOL, then the public has more right to know about this than the public did about a little oral sex. It's funny how those who obsessed over the oval sex just want to push this aside. So, let's ask the question they always asked the Dems: what's he trying to hide? What's he trying to hide?

Posted by: johnr at February 10, 2004 03:05 PM | PERMALINK

Better start getting those tax records in shape for an audit, Kevin.

Oh, and it might be a good idea to follow the Chilean UN Ambassador's lead, and have your phones checked periodically.

Posted by: bleh at February 10, 2004 03:06 PM | PERMALINK

PS, your wife isn't in the CIA, is she?

Posted by: bleh at February 10, 2004 03:06 PM | PERMALINK

I believe you are doing the right thing. There are many, many issues out there that are worth researching. I appreciate the fact that you are digging deeply into one of them. Is it as "vital" as "Plamegate", Halliburton scandals, lies re: WMD, or dozens of other scandals surrounding this administration??? No I don't think so,,,,,BUT it is still a very important issue and one that speaks to the heart of the honesty or dishonesty of this president and his administration. You are on the correct side of this issue. Keep up the good work. Thank you for DOING something.

Posted by: Eric K at February 10, 2004 03:06 PM | PERMALINK

Listen, if and when the Bush team coughs up all the records and things look 'OK', I'll get crow. However, things still look pretty bad meaning there are still holes in the story and contradictions. If you listen to the press conference today, 95% of the WH press doesn't seem to be buying it either.

Anyway, from what *IS* out and not in dispute, I can not see how the prez can be proud of time spent in the guard.

Posted by: Michael March at February 10, 2004 03:07 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, like Bush's DD-214 paperwork, which has mysteriously disappeared.

Did you read Phil Carter's post? National Guardspeople don't get DD214s.

So the only "mysterious" thing is why you keep repeating it.

Posted by: David Nieporent at February 10, 2004 03:07 PM | PERMALINK

Keep going, Kevin. You're obviously onto something, judging from the Republican yowling. Remember, when you get into the red zone, of course the other team's going to get a little desperate to stop you. Keep up the great work!

Posted by: Jacknut at February 10, 2004 03:07 PM | PERMALINK

Keep investigating. I agree, nothing may come of it. Bush may be telling the truth. But, if he is, why is the administration squirming so much?

My guess is that, while his NG service may check out (to a reasonable degree, if not perfectly), something else happened that he wants kept under wraps.

Posted by: Indiana Joe at February 10, 2004 03:07 PM | PERMALINK

Where is Bush's DD-214? Everyone who was in the military should have one, and we were all told how important it was to keep the DD-214, since it gives legal evidence of one's service.

Is there any reason why Bush doesn't have a DD-214? I was active duty, and not sure about NG/reserve duty, but it sure seems like he should have his final discharge form.

Posted by: UncaMikey at February 10, 2004 03:08 PM | PERMALINK

I don't see anything wrong or improper about seeking to determine the truth about Bush's national guard service. Bush made it a legitimate target of inquiry when he used his ANG experience as a reference point for his own character building.
By the way, I think it's clear to anyone with the slightest intelligence that what's really being hidden is drug use.

Posted by: marky at February 10, 2004 03:08 PM | PERMALINK

Charming, isn't it? Kinda reminds you of South Carolina in 2000.....

Actually, it reminds me more of Kerry's brother/manager's Watergate-style break-in during Kerry's own 1972 campaign.

What was it about corrupt politicians in 1972?

Posted by: Al at February 10, 2004 03:08 PM | PERMALINK

I'd like to see the voter list scrubbing in Florida 2000 and electronic voting in general looked into with this much fervor. Maybe it can be next on the list.
In the meantime read The Best Democracy Money Can Buy by Greg Palast.

Posted by: Anybody but Bush at February 10, 2004 03:09 PM | PERMALINK

Can't wait to see what gets dug up. The issue, of course, is the character of the man that keeps sending my siblings to war. I'm curious. If the right's gonna act all scared and insulted, then fine. I'm just curious to know the truth.

Posted by: Furious|T| at February 10, 2004 03:10 PM | PERMALINK

nilsey: I appreciate your confidence in our Military's and National Guard's ability to keep records pristine and thorough for eternity.

In my experience, filing clerks make mistakes, and things get messed up.

Search away, but it appears you have nothing to go on.

Posted by: Staunch Moderate at February 10, 2004 03:10 PM | PERMALINK

Boy, the moronic brownshirt fucks are really pissing their pants today.

And for good reason.

Is Unka Karl even in the boilerroom today? Or still down at the Grand Jury?

I'd make sure I cashed my paychecks quick if I were you guys...

Posted by: dave at February 10, 2004 03:10 PM | PERMALINK

I appreciate your consistent praise of Kevin despite your political differences. Your use of "hope" is unwarranted.

I see what you mean. I didn't mean to question Kevin's integrity.

Can I amend and revise?

Kevin, I look forward to your follow up regardless of the outcome.

Posted by: spc67 at February 10, 2004 03:11 PM | PERMALINK

"National Guardspeople don't get DD214s."

Oh don't tell him that. You'll spoil all our fun.

Tell him that they DO get DD214s, but they hide them behind waterfalls, and if you kiss the froggy he'll tell you where it is hidden.

Posted by: am at February 10, 2004 03:13 PM | PERMALINK

Hey... I'm in Bham and would love to do some digging on the illigitimate SOB. I'll let you know what I find. I'm still trying to get the complete police record on Laura's little accident on that dark Midland Texas highway. Dallas Morning News had it but now much is BLACKED out. The guy she ran into and killed turns out was not just a classmate. They had been dating for 3 months. Even the regal carpetbagging Bush Clan has skeletons in their closets. But the media gives em pass... they aren't those rednecks from Arkansas don't cha know.

Posted by: T Wade at February 10, 2004 03:14 PM | PERMALINK

Smash:

If this issue is so unimportant, why doesn't Bush just waive his privacy rights with respect to his all military documents? If it's so minor and unimportant, he shouldn;t have any trouble with that, right? If he did, Kevin wouldn't have to do all this hard work and you all annoyed that he's not talking about expanding NATO.

And while he's at it, he should instruct his staff to waive their reporter-source privilege with respect to the Plame matter, so he can find out which one of his staff members sacrificed our national security for political gain.

Posted by: pontificator at February 10, 2004 03:14 PM | PERMALINK

Hey Kevin,

Great job reporting this. While obviously you're a liberal, as I am, I feel that if the facts fill out to support Bush's argument, then we should give him his due for telling the truth.

However, it's absolutely false to say the press has covered this and "this has already been investigated." This has obviously NOT been investigated by the way the mainstream press is still scratching their heads on the actual facts to this day.

I think I speak for all truth-seekers when I say, "Great work."

Posted by: Jason at February 10, 2004 03:14 PM | PERMALINK

"According to the now complete copy of George Bush's ARF service record for 1972, we know that he supposedly spent the weekend of October 28-29 on drills. On the face of it, this seems unlikely since he was acting as assistant campaign manager for Winton "Red" Blount at the time and this particular weekend was nine days before the election."

Am I crazy or does Kevin's train of thought make complete sense?

Posted by: Dan at February 10, 2004 03:14 PM | PERMALINK

The rest of the electorate will be a mite more impressed with his leadership and successful prosecution of two wars of liberation in his first term.

SUCCESSFUL?

Uh, Iraq is probably one of the most dangerous places on Earth right now.

The Taliban control most of Afghanistan's countryside, everywhere our troops are not, the warlords are in control.

SUCCESSFUL?

Please. Both wars have been completely and utterly botched. Bin Laden got away, and Iraq is headed for civil war. No WMD.

If you call that success, I'd hate to see failure.

Posted by: Monkey at February 10, 2004 03:15 PM | PERMALINK

Could Bush have returned to Texas to complete the drills in October. The 1972 Alabama Senate election was a rout, and Nixon pretty quickly turned his back on Blount when it appeared Sparkman was going to win reelection easily. It wouldn't surprise me if like the proverbial rat leaving the sinking ship, Bush had abandoned his candidate as soon as defeat became imminent, even if it was two weeks before the election.

Posted by: Steve Smith at February 10, 2004 03:15 PM | PERMALINK

staunch, staunch, staunch.........

Search away, but it appears you have nothing to go on.

how true.

That's the problem.

IMPOSSIBLE to evaluate an incomplete record -- not incomplete because things are missing or misifiled, but because GWB refuses to release them.

Hence the need for people like Kevin to go digging for alternate evidence.

LOok, if your boy served appropriately, just release his entire military record, as has been expected of every candidate in recent history.

Posted by: nilsey at February 10, 2004 03:16 PM | PERMALINK

shorter "dave": "I'm making an idiot of myself and people are laughing at me. I'll call them brownshirts to make myself happy again".

Posted by: am at February 10, 2004 03:16 PM | PERMALINK

spc67, wish there were more conservative voices like yours here. I also wish the guys on my side saying stuff like "brownshirt fucks" would shut up.

Posted by: rilkefan at February 10, 2004 03:16 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, Kevin, please take the advice of all our Republican friends and drop this right now. They graciously chose not to inquire into Clinton's Vietnam era activities, and I remember how indignant they got when anyone suggested that Gore's actual voluntary active military service in Vietnam was less than honorable simply because he served in the military press. Why can't liberals just assume the best about conservative leaders the way conservatives consistently assume the best about liberals? Why can't liberals just let the lies and evasions go without making a big deal about it, like the honorable GOP? Golly, no wonder God appointed the GOP the eternal ruling party of America.

Posted by: aplomb at February 10, 2004 03:17 PM | PERMALINK

The ANG affair isn't Bush's Whitewater.

Harken Energy is Bush's Whitewater.

The ANG affair is Bush's Monica. He's hiding a stain somewhere, and lying about it.

Posted by: Chris Leithiser at February 10, 2004 03:17 PM | PERMALINK

Let's see. Hillary had Vince Foster murdered. The Clinton's had Ron Brown murdered. Hillary can't account for the missing billing records? Oh, she can? Then she deliberately tried to hide them. Investigate! Investigate! What, you sure Vince Foster killed himself? Not possible. Investigate! What, we can't get Bill on White Water, then how about sex? Anybody, anybody, anybody? Oh, yes, you young lady? What's that about a blue dress? Sure, come on down. Impeach! Impeach! Impeach! So what if it has nothing to do with White Water: Impeach!

Finally, somebody else says what I've been saying all along about this whole AWOL episode. It's all payback for the 8 years of conspiracy theories about the Clintons. It SOOOO fits the pattern of the last three years. You know:

"I'll see your Ronnie White and raise you one Miguel Estrada"

"I'll see your Buddist Temple Fundraising and raise you one Valerie Plame"

"I'll see your Clintons-murdered-Foster and raise you one Bush-was-AWOL"

"I'll see your lied-under-oath and raise you one where's-the-WMD?"


It's all so predictable. Which isn't to say that we won't be doing the same with President Hillary in 2008... sigh.

Posted by: Al at February 10, 2004 03:17 PM | PERMALINK

Nice job Kevin. Sounds like you're getting close to resolving this one way or the other.

Some appear scared. (Too bad.)

Posted by: Bryant at February 10, 2004 03:17 PM | PERMALINK

Keep digging. Am I supposed to beleive that bush just decided "I flew fighter jets and I had fun" and then just changed his mind? There is something here. You'll get it soon if you dig a little more.

Posted by: Mooser at February 10, 2004 03:17 PM | PERMALINK

gotta love the moderates. they can bitch and moan like champs but they never have to get their hands dirty. they are above the fray so to speak. anytime the political opposition is suggesting that you are going to far means you are doing something right (politically speaking). hell the republican smear machine came within inches of impeaching clinton, now it's our turn for some fun time gotcha action. kevin, you are in the trenches my good man. beware, as the oppostion begins to bare its fangs at you.

hey righties. you like a good fight right? whatsa matter? can't take a little counter-punch? just as i suspected, smack 'em in the mouth and they'll run off whimpering.

Posted by: chimpy mcchimp at February 10, 2004 03:18 PM | PERMALINK

You are obviously on to something Kevin or these brownshirts wouldn't be so interested in your site all of a sudden. I used to like Calpundit before he got so shrill.

Posted by: tom p at February 10, 2004 03:18 PM | PERMALINK

Stop lying Kevin

Asking questions is not lying, last I checked.

Posted by: Hamilton Lovecraft at February 10, 2004 03:18 PM | PERMALINK

Ooh, I love the smell of winger fear - it smells like victory.

Calpundit, thank you for your work on this story. You might like to know that the Dallas, Tx. paper had a front page story this morning about how Bush had intelligence before the war that showed clearly that Saddam was not a credible threat, and yet he released to the public intelligence that said Saddam was 45 minutes away from nuking the U.S.

It also carried a small story on the issue of Bush's TANG record, though that story was a little less outfront about Bush lying than the story about the pre-war intel.

Bush is so done. When the Dallas, Tx. paper starts putting those kind of stories on the front page, it is the equivalent of the handwriting on the wall. It's over.

Posted by: Tena at February 10, 2004 03:19 PM | PERMALINK

>Heh, brownshirt. Sliming political enemies based >on false accusations and nonexistent evidence >seems to be the order of the day here at >Calpundit.

Translation: Why do you insist on ruining my imaginary world where a Republican president would never lie about past personal failings.

And oh yeah, not only have I shit my BVDs, but its made its way through my trousers and is resting in a pile in front of me. I can't do anything about it because I have to stay in front of my computer and keep posting with all these different names in a feeble attempt to dissuade Calpundit from making me acknowledge the fact that Bush is a politician with checkered past.

Oops... after that lengthy run-on sentence I am now Googling for "Home+Delivery+Depends+Undergarments."

Posted by: Cole Whitaker at February 10, 2004 03:21 PM | PERMALINK

I also wish the guys on my side saying stuff like "brownshirt fucks" would shut up.

Rilkefan,

Ignore'em. People of goodwill will come together in the end. Let the truth will out.

Posted by: spc67 at February 10, 2004 03:21 PM | PERMALINK

I find it amusing that so many people are asking Kevin to give this story up.

So, just because some may not deem this story of utmost importance you should not investigate it???

If we investigate to seek the truth then it matters not how important it may appear to you but that the truth be found.

Truth seems to be very rare these days.

Keep it up Kevin.

Oh, by the way, this lame story occupied over 30 minutes of a press briefing by the WH this morning.

Posted by: Poz at February 10, 2004 03:22 PM | PERMALINK

RE: SMASH "I don't want to debate about what happened in the 1970s. The past three years are much more relevant, immediate and compelling. ... Focus, Dude. Focus."

The issues you bring up are indeed serious ones. It's just too bad that this President and his administration don't appear to be very serious about solving any of them.

Now, the search for George W. Bush's missing military records may be but a mere distraction to you and other Dubya-worshipers -- but it certainly underscores for the adults in this country the whole recurring issue of his credibility on almost any given subject.

How are we to trust someone in the White House like George W. Bush, who lies so pervasively and regularly -- even about matters like this, which you deem so trivial?

There is a really easy way Bush can put this issue to rest. He can release his entire military file. But he won't, which leads many people -- myself included -- to believe that he has something to hide.

I lost my father in the Vietnam War, and I honor those who served their country honorably. I don't have much patience for "chickenhawks" like Bush, who are so quick to risk the lives of others when they weren't willing to lay it out themselves.

Further, I consider any public misrepresentation by any public official about his prior military service or status to be very serious, especially when such misrepresentations lead to allegations of record tampering -- a felony under federal statute.

Posted by: Oahu Guy at February 10, 2004 03:23 PM | PERMALINK

The bleating of the apologists for the duty-shirking fratboy indicates that there is panic in brownshirt land.

Release your DD 214 now, chimp.

Why did you disobey an order to take a flight physical? Why is it that you "gave up flying"?

We want the truth, and we want it now!

Posted by: Gary Frazier at February 10, 2004 03:23 PM | PERMALINK

Oh good heavens. The left put up with this kind of stuff for half a decade and still it's brought up, so it's probably longer than that. The right can't put up with it for a week and the whine-brigade rolls in to protect their precious "war president".

If it were a "lost weekend" as you say, it wouldn't be an issue, but it's a lost *year*, and a whole lotta lies got told last *weekend*. The left also has people working on the WMD lies, the pre-9/11 lies, the budget lies, there's so many lies I've lost track of how many issues that Bush and the administration have lied on. And let's not forget about the Plame lies!

Since Bush and the administration have stonewalled the 9/11 commission (poor Dr. Rice can't even testify under oath and in public there), and has just created an Uncanny Team of pre-Iraq Intelligence Failure Whitewashers, and the "Independent Press" is Missing in Action, we have no choice but to rely on people like Mr. Drum.

If, in the unlikely case, this all turns out to be a huge misunderstanding on our part, I guarantee you we'll beat Mr. O'Reilly's time-to-apology. And the apology will be announced in the forum the accusations were leveled in, not in some neutral-zone where the people who actually heard the lies won't hear it.

Posted by: Ananna at February 10, 2004 03:24 PM | PERMALINK

A great idea.

The increase in the shrillness and number of critical comments means that some one out there has noticed this site is at the forefront of the investigation and is trying to do some intimidation.

Calpundit has been asking the same questions about this all along, and it is not reasonable to expect him to give up on this until they are answered. Payment is like the honorable discharge -- something a fortunate son may well have gotten anyway. It doesn't fill in those parts of the narrative about the transfer to ARF, the gap in service, and testimonies that contradict the paper record. Until those are filled in, it is worth looking into, and what's the harm if things are really as the administration claims? It might have been 30 years ago, but that doesn't mean no one remembers anything about it.

Both sides claim they will be vindicated when the whole story is known, so on what basis is there to object to pursuing it?

Posted by: M.C. at February 10, 2004 03:24 PM | PERMALINK

Man, this has the wingnuts scared shitless. There must be a Freep Call to Action for everyone to come here and tell Kevin "Stop! For the sake of the children, stop!"

And for what? Seeking information about a story? Jesus Christ, wasn't there a time when that was acceptable? Wasn't that how Watergate came to be, after all?

Ah... but therein lies the rub. They can't ever let the truth come out again. They act as though looking through an old newspaper is tantamount to paying the KBG to bug the White House.

Sheesh.

It's like the old B'Rer Rabbit routine - "Please don't throw me in that briar patch, B'Rer Fox! Whatever you do, just don't throw me in that briar patch!"

Except Bush is going to get stuck on this one. What has he said about getting transferred to the ARF? Zero. Zilch. Nada. And all of Adam Yoshida's derenged ramblings, all the "You're women" and "You're America-hating traitors" won't change that. If the President thinks the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth isn't good enough for the American people, then maybe they have a right to know this.

Soldier on, Kevin. This is the biggest story you've ever done, and Karl Rove himself can't send enough minions to spam crap to shut it down.

Posted by: scarshapedstar at February 10, 2004 03:25 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, congratulations! You have already paid more attention to the details of this affair than all of the major news outlets combined (though according to the transcript quoted by Josh Marshall today, that may change quickly). Still, whatever this investigation turns up, I think that your more important contribution may be a new journalistic methodology. Distributed journalism, or something like that. Using the blogosphere to break down barriers of space and time -- it's cool.

Notice that the NRO's attempt at this same kind of thing was to post uncorroborated anecdotes on their web site.

Obviously, you're driving the right-wingers crazy with this effort. That's fine -- as Y'81 makes clear, they'll soon be levelling the most tenuous sorts of attacks at the Dem nominee. I'm proud that you have stuck to the documentary evidence.

Posted by: Demetrios at February 10, 2004 03:25 PM | PERMALINK

Give me a break, as if the Bushies wouldn't run with this if they had it. If Bush wants to call himself "the war President" he should make his service records available (all of them). Serving in the Guard was privilege during Vietnam, did he abuse that privilege or not? This is about creditability and nothing more. Now serving in the Guard means leaving your job and family maybe going to Iraq for God knows how long and hoping you come back alive. Thank you Mr. War President.

Posted by: meme at February 10, 2004 03:26 PM | PERMALINK

How will this end?

1. Dems looking like petty bush bashers?

2. Bush looking like a vindicated man unfairly smeared?

3. Bush exposed as a liar?

4. Bush exposed as having been AWOL for most of 2 years.

5. Bush exposed as having gotten special treatment after special treatment without earning any of it.

6. Bush surrogates caught having altered/destroyed Texas Air guard records to cover up bush's dismal record.

All sorts of possibilities with different consequences.

Posted by: obe at February 10, 2004 03:27 PM | PERMALINK

""National Guardspeople don't get DD214s."

Oh don't tell him that. You'll spoil all our fun.

Tell him that they DO get DD214s, but they hide them behind waterfalls, and if you kiss the froggy he'll tell you where it is hidden."

National Guardsmen DO GET a discharge form, however.

If Shrub were to release his entire personnel file, he could take care of this self-gratifying "discharge" that is "staining" his reputation because he pretended to be something he's not.

He hasn't and my bet is he won't.

Posted by: WyldBill at February 10, 2004 03:28 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin-
keep up the great work. too bad the commercial press has let this slide for so long. I agree that if there was nothing to hide, that the WH should release the full records. the longer they stonewall, the worse it gets for them. the fact that Bush said his records were scoured worries me, as far as finding much goes, but I'm hoping for the best

Posted by: preznit giv me turkee at February 10, 2004 03:28 PM | PERMALINK

Poz - Yes, that was one of the best press briefings since Bush took office. Because of work that has been done by people like Kevin, the media is finally doing its job.

And this is just the beginning. Those who are still insisting that their man, Bush, is a great prez who is being unjustly accused of lying about things are in for one rough ride.

Posted by: Tena at February 10, 2004 03:28 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, is anyone else reminded of that time during the Florida recount when the angry mob of "concerned citizens" came and banged on the windows so they could disturb the recount mandated by Florida law?

Remember how they turned out to all be paid Republican political operatives?

I see an awful lot of new names signed to the discouraging comments here. It's nothing more than blog Astroturf, ringers brought in by somebody who is worried about what's going on.

Ignore them.

Posted by: scarshapedstar at February 10, 2004 03:29 PM | PERMALINK

40,000 innocent moderates killed in the illegal Iraq invasion by a LIAR, war criminal, and traitor. Plans to attack 6 more countries in 4 more years, which will require a DRAFT.

Anyone who thinks Bx's war record is not at issue, they are just stinking fools. And, yeah, since he's about to campaign against three purple hearts, two bronzes, and a silver, his air national guard record, and especially the med exam he missed because of his cocaine habit, are very much sur la table.

That's French, y'all.

Posted by: Paul at February 10, 2004 03:30 PM | PERMALINK

Wow. Vicious.

The thing is, expect to get this to be even worse. As Bush sinks and sinks in the polls, expect things to get even nastier.

Like it or not, Bush ran in 2000 on a platform to "restore honor and dignity" to the WH. All this stuff is fair game for his re-election.

Get over it.

Posted by: Karmakin at February 10, 2004 03:30 PM | PERMALINK

Tinky: "I'm looking forward to more of these posts, they are hilarious."

I'm sure you are, Tinky, but I'd imagine they'd be hard for you and your other right-winger friends to read -- since it appears that you all have your heads up Bush's ass, and are too busy admiring the view.

Posted by: Oahu Guy at February 10, 2004 03:31 PM | PERMALINK

The righties defending Bush should write him and simply ask him to release all his military records. Every other President has done so. Why not fly boy? Come on guys, you can do it!

If he won't release ALL of them what's he hiding? Plenty, I suspect.

I did a study a couple of months ago on lies in the Bush administration - I didn't focus primarily on Iraq because the best evidence he lied on Iraq is his lies on so much else. He can't blame the CIA for all of them. Check out http://www.deal-with-it.org/general/american_shadow_full.htm

Posted by: Gus diZerega at February 10, 2004 03:31 PM | PERMALINK

You know, one other way to get to the bottom of this is to watch carefully how they avoid lying.

FOr example, in this round, neither Shrub nor McClellan have said Bush was where he was supposed to have been. They just keep saying that he was honorably discharged. (Which in and of itself is proof enough that he didn't fulfill his obligations.) But there is a good deal of other narrow truth-skirting here. If we track this, the great black hole in the middle will point us in the right direction.

Posted by: emptywheel at February 10, 2004 03:32 PM | PERMALINK

Gary called Bush a chimp! Wow, he must be really liberal!

Gary also said "Release your DD 214 now".

Poor Gary doesn't know that chimps don't get DD214's. And neither do Guardsmen.

The latter, however, do receive the equivalent NGB22, and Bush's has been available for four years.

So that piece of feces hit the cage bars. Throw another piece?

Posted by: am at February 10, 2004 03:33 PM | PERMALINK

The Link to Phil Carter, above provides the following info:

However, the National Guard has an equivalent form, and a copy of the President's NGB 22 form (Report of Separation and Record of Service) has surfaced.

There is a link to a copy as well.

Posted by: molly bloom at February 10, 2004 03:35 PM | PERMALINK

The longer this goes on, the more I become convinced that there's something fishy here. If there's nothing much there...heck, if it's just the sort of thing Richard Cohen was talking about, then fine, once we know that it's a subject not really worth dwelling on.

But yeah, congratulations, Kevin. Not only have you pushed this forward, but you've manfully resisted the temptation to engage in speculation as to what really happened without having evidence to support your speculations.

Posted by: Kevin Brennan at February 10, 2004 03:35 PM | PERMALINK

Throw another piece?

Plame.
Harken Energy.
Spying at the UN.
Halliburton.
Bush's medical exam.
Bush "not seen" at the base.
Bush missing for months.
Bush not waiving his privacy right and releasing all of his military records like every other president.
$500 billion deficit.
No funding for Iraq and Afghanistan adventures.
500+ dead soldiers in Iraq.
WMD.
WMD programs.
WMD program activities.
WMD-related program activities.
Intentions of having WMD-related program activities.
Cocaine.
Alcoholism.

You want more?

Posted by: Old Hat at February 10, 2004 03:36 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

If people are going to research the Blount campaign, let's get the names of others who were on the campaign staff. Maybe a few phone calls would locate someone who remembers working with Bush on that specific weekend.

Also, I googled on 'Bush DD214' and found this, scroll down to post 27 or ctrl-f on DD214. I couldn't find a form number or anything, so I don't know if this really is a DD214.

Posted by: poputonian at February 10, 2004 03:37 PM | PERMALINK

There would be no controversy if Bush released all of his service records. When the righties use words like 'disgusting' to describe questions about Bush's past, it tells me they are terrified of something. For all the fuss they are making over this (as opposed to simply releasing the records), I've got to think there's something VERY embarassing in there. AWOL? Flying under the influence? Gay sex acts with Rick Santorum's dog?

Posted by: JoeW at February 10, 2004 03:38 PM | PERMALINK

scarshapedstar:

I can think of NOTHING more satisfying than Bush blowing his $200 million in campaign funds paying people to comment on blogs.

Calpundit's cost to Democrats: $0

CP Commenters cost to Bush: $???

LOL

Posted by: pontificator at February 10, 2004 03:38 PM | PERMALINK

this is the best comment section ever. how i love watching all the chimpy lovers reeling in desperation: "for god's sake, kevin, stop looking for the truth, that just isn't done!"

keep obsessing kevin. we don't need any stinking special prosecutor when we have the power of the blog.

Posted by: howard dean at February 10, 2004 03:40 PM | PERMALINK

Smash -
(1) We all know we have to obey someone's orders. What is the reason for disobeying the order to get a Flight Physical? I would have been boiled in oil if I had skipped one.

(2) Even working in AL should not have kept a an affluent young man like Chimp the Younger from making it to Houston to fly, many of my squadron mates came a lot farther than that to fly on drill weekends and any other time they could bag a few hours.

(3) It's true that drill schedules can be somewhat flexible, but most units like drilling members to arrange absences in advance, to allow members to reschedule with something (hopefully) meaningful to do, not just sit around drinking coffee (althought that does happen).

(4) Where the hell is anyone who actually drilled with him? I gar-raun-tee you that if I had drilled/flown with the future POTUS, I would not only remember it in later years, I'd have a picture or two somewhere. Strangely absent here, no?

Posted by: Jo Fish at February 10, 2004 03:41 PM | PERMALINK

Old Hat: yes, a lot of those are important and legitimate topics for discussion. You would look far less idiotic if you switched to those lumps.

Not that you actually have anything useful to contribute on those topics. But this AWOL thing is simply hilarious - I'm loving it.

Posted by: am at February 10, 2004 03:42 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not in Alabama, but did just find this article which says

One of Bush's duties as "campaign coordinator," according to his official title in the newspapers, was to stay in contact by phone with campaign managers in Alabama's 67 counties, and to handle the distribution of all campaign materials, Archibald says. That material included a pamphlet accusing Sparkman of being soft on the race issue. It also included a doctored tape from a radio debate distorting Sparkman's position on busing.
So there are some other names to look for who might be able to vouch or deny Bush's presence. Then again,
Rewards offered by veterans groups in Alabama and Texas for any proof that Bush showed up have never been claimed. There were 700 active guardsmen in Alabama at that time and not one who saw him on the base has come forward. Even an extensive investigation by the president's campaign staff could not turn up a shred of evidence that Bush pulled any duty, according to newspaper accounts.

Posted by: Lis Riba at February 10, 2004 03:42 PM | PERMALINK

http://www.archives.state.al.us/newsmicro/search.cfm

Any idea which papers to look in?

Posted by: tex at February 10, 2004 03:42 PM | PERMALINK

It's not the shirking that's bothersome, per se, it's the bald-faced lying about it from mister "Honor and Integrity."

This is GWB's "I didn't inhale" moment, or his "Depends on what your definition of 'is' is" moment.

This is a prime example of the weird double standard with which Republicans and the allegedly "Liberal" media have been operating for a very long time finally coming home to bite people like W in the ass.

This is a President who either on his own or by the machinations of those who operate the levers in his back has been alternately dishonest and utterly disconnected from reality.

I have to laugh at the absurdity of the party of "Personal Responsibilty" lined up in lemming-like support of a guy who capitalized on Daddy's connections to get a comparatively cushy assignment and then couldn't be bothered to show up.

Because if you buy Scotty's answers, I have some swampland in Jeb country you might be interested in.

Posted by: thatdamnbird at February 10, 2004 03:44 PM | PERMALINK

"I find it amusing that so many people are asking Kevin to give this story up."

I read those comments in Jim Baker's voice. You remember how tired and grandfatherly he sounded intoning how the uncounted votes had been "counted and counted again"? The calculated edge added to the voice imply scornful patience.

Posted by: jri at February 10, 2004 03:44 PM | PERMALINK

Wow!

Look at all the wingers, changin' there depends.


Great job, Kevin!

Posted by: Holden Caulfield at February 10, 2004 03:45 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, go for it. Your critics are full of it. It's true that this is not a major matter, but they set the bar with Monica gate. Let their feet burn at the fire they started.

You want to find a lie. A clear-cut lie. And you want to do it because you know bush is a liar, and because after Clinton was impeached for lying about a blowjob, any lie is a problem for a president.

And it's not like we asked bush to land on an aircraft carrier, did we? All the wingnuts salivated over that event, and every story on it mentioned how bush was a fighter pilot for the Texas Guard. So they themselves brought this topic into the 21st century.

They hate it when Democrats play by their rules.

Posted by: M. Aurelius at February 10, 2004 03:46 PM | PERMALINK

Keep up the excellent work, Kevin! And let the Chimps fall where they may!

Posted by: c.j. at February 10, 2004 03:46 PM | PERMALINK

(4) Where the hell is anyone who actually drilled with him? I gar-raun-tee you that if I had drilled/flown with the future POTUS, I would not only remember it in later years, I'd have a picture or two somewhere. Strangely absent here, no?

Particularly considering Bush's "standout sense of humor", which one of his flight instructors lauded.

Posted by: No Preference at February 10, 2004 03:46 PM | PERMALINK

A quick look at Phil Carter's post of Bush's NGB22 yields nothing interesting, apart from the fact the Bush served only 5 years and 4 months of his 6-year obligation.

Current press coverage of this is still very cautious, BTW; they're just repeating what the WH said, plus noting some of the issues raised at the press conference.

CNN's polls on the issue are running against Bush, 'though those are heavily bombed by both sides.

Posted by: bleh at February 10, 2004 03:46 PM | PERMALINK

I've always enjoyed this site for its incisive analyses and interesting speculations, so I'm very surprised to find that the site has so many deferential, support-the-president-trust-Jesus types. Look: first of all, any dirt on Bush can be put to good use. He's GOT to be removed, by any means necessary, to save many lives at home and abroad. And you can be CERTAIN that Bush himself will stop at nothing, so neither can the Democrats. Second, and far more importantly, this "president" has never come close to owning up to his spotty record, and, worse, he FLEW ONTO A GODDAMNED AIRCRAFT CARRIER IN ORDER TO BOLSTER THE CONCEIT THAT HE IS A REAL FIGHTER-PILOT AND A REAL MILITARY MAN. A real military man (like Colin Powell, or Anthony Zinni) would not be screwing his troops by placing them in the ridiculous and terrifying realm of postwar Iraq. Nor would a real military man be screwing veterans out of their benefits. BUT BUSH IS A FRAUDULENT MILITARY POSEUR: and there are lots of good ways to prove it. One good way is to show, as Kevin Drum is doing, that he didn't show up for his guard service and then LIED about it.

Posted by: speakingcorpse at February 10, 2004 03:47 PM | PERMALINK

Old Hat: yes, a lot of those are important and legitimate topics for discussion. You would look far less idiotic if you switched to those lumps. Not that you actually have anything useful to contribute on those topics. But this AWOL thing is simply hilarious - I'm loving it.

Keep squealing, piggy!

Posted by: Old Hat at February 10, 2004 03:47 PM | PERMALINK

Um, Kevin -- you live in Irvine. Doesn't the library at UCI have microfiche archives available?

Usually they don't check ID unless you try and check something out.

Posted by: Nimrod at February 10, 2004 03:50 PM | PERMALINK

"Personally, I think that the whole reason this is an issue is the fact that it deals strongly with Mr. Bush's character; specifically, is he an honorable person who worked hard to get where he is or did he abuse the fact that he had the last name "Bush" in an effort to get off easier?"

The reason this has come up is a preemptive strike (sorry about the use of preemptive)by the Kerry people to immunize their guy on issues of national security. His Senate votes have been consistently weak on the military and intelligence. By striking at Bush's record, he hopes to take defense off the table. If Bush really has something to hide, and it looks every day like he doesn't (except the favoritism that got him into the Guard-similar to the favoritism that got Gore into a safe unit and home 8 months early), then let it come out. I have no problem with Kevin, and others, digging into this. I don't think it will take the defense issue off the table for Kerry but it's fair game. Just like Clinton's real draft dodging was fair game in '92.

Posted by: Mike K at February 10, 2004 03:53 PM | PERMALINK

"The reason this has come up is a preemptive strike (sorry about the use of preemptive)by the Kerry people to immunize their guy on issues of national security."

Kerry didn't get this ball rolling.
It was Michael Moore.
Credit where credit is due.

Posted by: mac at February 10, 2004 03:57 PM | PERMALINK

"Just like Clinton's real draft dodging was fair game in '92." Clinton didn't dodge the draft. He applied for and received a deferrment. And unlike Bush, it was not because he was connected to herditary power and wealth.

Posted by: jri at February 10, 2004 03:58 PM | PERMALINK

Mike K, "draft dodging" has a specific meaning, which doesn't apply to Clinton.
I suggest that if you want to understand why the White house is nervous, you look at some alternate meanings for "snow"---Dean probably wasn't the only presidential candidate doing some "skiing" back then

Posted by: Marky at February 10, 2004 03:59 PM | PERMALINK

Well, even if the chimp doesn't have a DD 214 to release (forgive me...I never was in the reserves, just, you know...ACTIVE DUTY) then why is it he lost his flight status? Why did he not take an ordered flight physical? Could it have been that he would have had to piss into a cup?

Where was he that weekend in October 1972, anyway?

Posted by: Gary Frazier at February 10, 2004 03:59 PM | PERMALINK

I got it.

It's going to be like this:

"The blah blah blah documents X, Y, and Z, conclusively prove that George Bush was engaged in National Guard service related activities during the years in question. Mr. Bush clearly had the means and the intent to drill in Alabama, and, in previous instances, we have already taken great pains to establish that intent combined with means is wholy and fully compelling and complete evidence of what we have clearly found to be factual. By the way, we are invading Iran tomorrow, at mid-afternoon. Any questions?"

Posted by: M. Aurelius at February 10, 2004 03:59 PM | PERMALINK

I heard Bush flew his F-102 fighter jet over the Peruvian Andes on the weekends, where he sampled the local delicacy, the fine and exceedingly rare Peruvian blue flake. Then he flew over to Bolivia to check out the beautful dustings of snow in the mountains several times during the week. Then, a few times before breakfast, even right after he woke up, he flew his jet to Columbia where he participated in local Indian medicine rituals.

Posted by: Old Hat at February 10, 2004 04:03 PM | PERMALINK

It's a nasty business, this line of investigation, because it's bringing out a lot of the worst qualities in people on both sides of the aisle. But damn if this isn't the most innovative, important, and I flat-out brave reporting I've ever seen.

Can I just make two points? Aren't there droves of ex-Guardsmen out there who can file for all their paperwork, so the world can see how easy/difficult it is to get such and such records? Can't we get some of Bush's contemporaries to produce their own documents and hold them up to the light of day, providing a platform for comparison/contrast?
Is that ridiculous?

And this.... You young people, you better enlist if you are thinking of a career in public service, because it's a permanent part of the character issue now. It won't be about Vietnam, it'll be about Iraq, or Kuwait, or Afghanistan, or wherever. And you know what? That aint so bad.

Posted by: Deek at February 10, 2004 04:03 PM | PERMALINK

For all you critics ... Why are you wasting your time posting here. If you really wanted to put an end to this issue e-mail the White House. You simply have to say:

"Please sign the FOIA privacy release for all your military records so we can put this issue behind us."

There, all you have to do is cut & paste & I bet it'll take less time then all the energy your expending in trying to get liberals off this issue. Or is it that I'm missing the point and you really don't want to get the true facts?

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

Judging from the comments here, Kevin's on the right track.

Posted by: RoguePlanet at February 10, 2004 04:05 PM | PERMALINK

And this.... You young people, you better enlist if you are thinking of a career in public service, because it's a permanent part of the character issue now.

Getting my legs blown off in an illegal war for oil is a part of the "character issue" now?

Acck! I just threw up in my space helmet.

Shut up. Please?

Posted by: Old Hat at February 10, 2004 04:05 PM | PERMALINK

As a veteran (USAF 71-75) i'm really enjoying this. I was so pissed that the story went no where in 2000. Bush operatives smeared McCain during the SC primary in '00 which made the sting of Chimpy's shirking even worse.

BTW if someone served with Bush in Alabama, they would remember. I remember the guys in my unit 30 years later. If you are related to someone important everyone knows about it. We had a guy in my unit who was related to Chesty Puller and the brass made a big deal about it. I don't remember the guys name, but if he became president and said he served with the 824 combat support group, Pacific Air Forces, Kadena AB I would come forward.

Thanks Kevin for keeping this alive. Bush has really dishonored guardsman and veterand with his lying and shirking.

Posted by: FarmerJack at February 10, 2004 04:05 PM | PERMALINK

If you want a good reason why Republicans have a right ot be nervous, read todays White House briefing transcript where McClellan Sweats. McClellan was very careful to parse his words, and the press hounded him on it.
It is morning in America.

Posted by: PetervE at February 10, 2004 04:06 PM | PERMALINK

Let's stop 'agreeing' that shrub's guard truancy is only a minor issue. It fits into his life long pattern of risk-taking with predominantly negative consequences. Skipping out on guard duty is the beginning, but soon it becomes risky business dealings, insider trades, invading countries, and disastrous economic policies. The overarching pattern reveals the man.

Posted by: poputonian at February 10, 2004 04:07 PM | PERMALINK

I'm fascinated by wingers writing "you're wasting your time on this...". Why would they bother? Wouldn't they PREFER you wasted your time?

Except that - it is not a waste. The Gaggle have picked this up and the meme is spreading. Glorious Leader's pathetic performance on MTP and outrageous job projections (and many more - see Old Hat's superb list, upthread) have shaken the faith of the previously stalwart. The Worst President Ever is heading down the pipe - and you are helping.

Thanks, Kevin.

Posted by: agitpropre at February 10, 2004 04:07 PM | PERMALINK

That's right, M. Aurelius, "We may not have found actual record of actual day he performed his duty, but we did find mountains of evidence of National Guard program related activities."

Posted by: Howard Dean at February 10, 2004 04:07 PM | PERMALINK

What was displayed by the White House today doesn't sway me. I personally know and work with a former pilot from his squadron who has told me Bush was a no-show his final year. Keep digging.

Posted by: chutchison at February 10, 2004 04:08 PM | PERMALINK

Bush may be telling the truth

Yeah, a stopped clock is right twice a day, so I guess it could be, but it would break his life-long pattern of denial and evasion of responsibility.

And it would be consistent with his thinking, if that's what it's called- no evidence of WMD doesn means they are there, and no evidence of his service in Alabama means he was there.

For all the Bushies-- if you are really interested in why it matters, go back and read every speech made by a Republican about why Clinton's lying matters.

And, since the Prez struts around playing "war President" and challenging the patriotrism of others, it's tough shit if you all don't like it.

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

"It fits into his life long pattern of risk-taking with predominantly negative consequences."

And Daddy has been there to bail him out every time.
Let's hope that's not the case this time.

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

Just saw Nora O'Donnell (sp?) on CNBC discussing the documents the WH touted today. She said

1) they left at least a 6 month unexplained gap

2) he failed to take his physical and lost flight status

3) there was a big fanfare when he entered the TANG because of who he was so people definitely knew him

4) he got excellent reviews for the first 4 years but no one remembers him anywhere in the Guard the last 2 years

She pretty much hit all the main points which I hadn't heard in the mainstream media before. I think we have lift off.

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

You guys are incredible.

And I thought the Clinton haters were rabid!

The documents released today show that Bush received credit for nine days of active duty between May 1972 and May 1973, the period that has been cited by Democrats as evidence that Bush shirked his military responsibilities.

Released today too was a memo written by retired Lt. Col. Albert Lloyd Jr., at the request of the White House, and he said a review of Bush's records showed that he had "satisfactory years" for the period of 1972-73 and 1973-74, "which proves that he completed his military obligation in a satisfactory manner."

Lt. Col. Albert Lloyd Jr. was personnel director for the Texas Air National Guard from 1969 to 1995. Bush needed 50 points per year to complete his obligation. He had 56 per year. "Lloyd has said that Bush's early discharge was not uncommon for pilots or other crewmen who were to leave soon and had been trained on now-obsolete jets, as was Bush's case."

Let it go. You are all starting to look silly.

Posted by: Lonestar at February 10, 2004 04:15 PM | PERMALINK

"Just saw Nora O'Donnell (sp?) on CNBC..."

The PBS News Hour just did a nice segment too. No proof of malfeasance, but a lot of evidence of poor character. Nice clip of Kerry being presidential, nice outtake from MTP with Bush ... reading the teleprompter? hearing voices? at a near-whisper.

Posted by: rilkefan at February 10, 2004 04:18 PM | PERMALINK

Why the selective evidence Lonestar. I imagine you'll be leading the charge in having Bush sign the privacy release since your clearly interested in the facts & want to get to the bottom of this.

Posted by: Macswain at February 10, 2004 04:19 PM | PERMALINK

My understanding is Clinton got into the ROTC program somewhere through connections and then upon receiving a high draft number quit the program and went and did something else.

I don't disagree with investigating. I think you should. I just think you should maybe not be so public with findings until you know the results. It will look bad to once again not be able to find the Watergate scandal that is so obviously wanted.

I'm not sure if this Phil Carter is reliable, but it seems that according to him we have a NGB22(DD-214 equivalent), pay stubs showing payment for supposed service rendered, these ARF point sheets, and somekind of retirement points record. What's left?

I'm not sure if I can get worked up if the National Guard let him out early by mutual agreement. It sounds like the Guard back then would let you do a lot of different things(transfer, make up dates, etc, etc.)

But don't let me discourage you. This is totally fair game.

Posted by: Chad Peterson at February 10, 2004 04:20 PM | PERMALINK

"Let it go. You are all starting to look silly."

Translation: My google search was unsuccessful in locating a home delivery service for Depends undergarments and the pile of shit on the ground in front of me is becoming a serious problem.

Time for drastic action.

I will cut and paste the talking direct quotes from Scott McClellan. That should put the issue to rest.

Posted by: Cole Whitaker at February 10, 2004 04:20 PM | PERMALINK

I GOT WMD!!!

Posted by: Me at February 10, 2004 04:22 PM | PERMALINK

with apologies to atrios, why is the republicans' answer to everything the clenis(tm)? i'm not aware of anything bush has been accused of that is comparable to the things that clinton was investigated for. so the question in my mind is why can't they get over clinton?

btw, regardless of the motive for the investigation, i am grateful to kevin drum for doing so. bush has portrayed himself as a "war president," so his honesty about his military service is undeniably relevant. even if it turns out he did complete his service.

Posted by: astro at February 10, 2004 04:22 PM | PERMALINK

To the dickhead above, Peter Jennings reintroduced the topic of the Drunk McMonkey being AWOL in a recent Democratic debate and thus he is responsible for bringing into the mainstream, not Kerry. So shut the fuck up.

Posted by: Hank Essay at February 10, 2004 04:24 PM | PERMALINK

Even if Bush is telling the truth (which he isn't), it's a disgrace that he wasted our tax dollars in a time of war by refusing to take a physical. How does he justify the cost of his training? It doesn't add up. Why did he refuse to take a physical? What was he hiding?

Posted by: happy at February 10, 2004 04:26 PM | PERMALINK

Even if this isn't a real issue, Kevin understands two things:

1. People who make a big deal out of their commitment to America's military deserve to be called to task every time they slip the military the shaft.

2. Bush must go. Perhaps it would have been nice to send Capone down for racketeering, but it sufficed that he went down.

If, against all odds, the papers come out and they add up, then he'll have to go down on one of the other three or four cover-ups this administration is juggling. But this one will suffice.

Posted by: Matt Davis at February 10, 2004 04:28 PM | PERMALINK

To the person who posted the url to the newspaper archives; here it is again for anyone interested:
http://www.archives.state.al.us/newsmicro/search.cfm

If you type "Jefferson" into the county field, you get a list of microfiches for the archive; this seems to be the most relevant entry since it covers the years in question:

micro # 326 Jefferson The Birmingham Mirror 1971.01.09 1974.02.23 y M1992.2356

Posted by: djs at February 10, 2004 04:28 PM | PERMALINK

As our friends in the RNC have taught us, it's about character. It's about a pattern of deception as the RNC slogan put it in 1992. This story wouldn't have half the legs it seems to have if the President hadn't eroded his credibility on every single issue he's touched. Good work. And please keep sucking the air out of their cycles.

Posted by: The Pragmatist at February 10, 2004 04:32 PM | PERMALINK

As a voter, I want to know whether Mr. Bush failed to perform his Guard duties, wasted the public money spent on his flight training, and laughed all the way to business school while his peers were dying in Viet Nam. This will help me choose between Mr. Bush and his presumptive opponent in the general election, who has a strong record of brave military service. The issue is not so much what happened 30 years ago--what's important is what the facts can tell us about the character and judgment of Mr. Bush today, particularly whether he is being honest with the American people. Mr. Bush's credibility is now seriously in question, and in my mind there is no more important factor in candidate selection than honesty. Our last president was impeached because he was not honest about a sexual affair. Surely honesty about Mr. Bush's military service is at least as serious a matter.

Posted by: Bassfish at February 10, 2004 04:33 PM | PERMALINK

My compliments, Kevin. As the court ruled in the case of Mr. Deeds, you're the sanest man in the room; and don't be dissuaded by ideological grunts from the sidelines. These are, after all, the same people who voted for a moron.

Posted by: George Apley at February 10, 2004 04:35 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin's doing it for the ratings. Look what scandal has done for Hannity, Rush, and Faux. The left is finally learning to play the game invented by the right.

Posted by: happy at February 10, 2004 04:38 PM | PERMALINK

Damn good show thus far, Kevin. Keep it up. I'd tell you to ignore the wingers, but you don't need my advice.

If it is nothing, you'll call it nothing; I've seen you admit you were wrong before, and it only increases credibility that you keep reporting what you find, whether it supports your position or not. (And Kevin hasn't, I don't think, actually alleged that his position is that Bush is a deserter or AWOL, only that there are facts to be uncovered before we make that determination. And uncovering the facts is what he's asking people to do here. For fun, compare it to the National Review, which is soliciting and printing anonymous tales of people who have had negative encounters with JFK.)

And at the end of it all there will be a debt owed to Kevin Drum by the American political process.

Posted by: eyelessgame at February 10, 2004 04:39 PM | PERMALINK

Seems like some people on here are afraid. Otherwise they'd say "Go ahead and investigate it. You won't find anything."

If Bush did nothing wrong then you shouldn't care whether Kevin "wastes his time" investigating it. In fact, you should be delighted because Kevin is someone of integrity who will post the outcome regardless of which way it comes down.

Posted by: Cat M at February 10, 2004 04:39 PM | PERMALINK

""Just like Clinton's real draft dodging was fair game in '92." Clinton didn't dodge the draft. He applied for and received a deferrment. And unlike Bush, it was not because he was connected to herditary power and wealth."

Clinton lied about the ROTC to avoid the draft, then after he got a high number, he bailed out. It's an old story and not pertinent now except for the contrast between Kerry in '92 (when Bob Kerrey, not Bush raised it) and Kerry (whose people are pushing the story) now.

On the DD 214 issue; I was in the ANG in 1959-62 and got called to active duty in 61-62 after the Berlin Wall was built. I got a DD 214 for the "extended active duty" time but not for the "active duty for training"- ADFT in AF speak. If Bush was not on AF active duty, other than training, he would not get a DD 214. I have no problem with you digging out records. I just don'tthink it's a big story anymore. Could be wrong, though.

Posted by: Mike K at February 10, 2004 04:42 PM | PERMALINK

Arf boobies!

(•)(•)
(•)(•)
(•)(•)
(•)(•)

Posted by: w??† at February 10, 2004 04:42 PM | PERMALINK

Hee-hee. I like to just stop by now and then and watch you all squirm.

Rest easy you pawns of the new world-order. The Likud Neo-Cons have everything under control, and pull all of Bush's strings.

Soon you will all work for Halliburton, but the funny thing is, you will not even know it!

::manical-laughter::

Posted by: Karl Rove at February 10, 2004 04:43 PM | PERMALINK

I love all of the circular negative posts. "This blog is crrraazzy, and over the edge because of lack of depth on this story because...I say so..."
...
Clinton = Bloody Shirt politics
...
This issue may be small, but a great example of the obfuscation of this administration(and politics and the media in general?). It may be true in the end that this issue amounts to nothing, but the real point arises in that there is no way of knowing with zero transperancy. You want to call this nothing, but generally speaking, you can't say a word either way. Look at Iraq, scores of people said otherwise (the UN and israel) but when left to follow the leader there was nothing to be found. We want answers from politicians, transperancy whenever possible and if this isn't one of those times then I don't trust the real decisions that will occur in the necessary obscurity.

Posted by: coomaraswamee at February 10, 2004 04:43 PM | PERMALINK

"Clinton lied about the ROTC to avoid the draft, then after he got a high number, he bailed out."

You mean he said somthing like, "The ROTC stands for Rolling Overt The Causeway" and then jumped out of a plane? Or something more precise and factful? In outher words, what you said sounded an awful like a talking point instead of an accurate description of what happened. Or is that all you have?

Posted by: jri at February 10, 2004 04:46 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and you forgot to say "Jane Fonda!".

Posted by: jri at February 10, 2004 04:47 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe one of those organizations/websites which offers a $5000 reward for anyone with proof that Shrub served, should turn it around and offer the same $5000 for proof that he was actually on the campaign trail on the relevant weekend...

RUBUS ERADICANDUM EST. MMIV Nov.

Posted by: Chris Leithiser at February 10, 2004 04:47 PM | PERMALINK

Lord almight! People are determined to pronounce this a non-scandal before all the paperwork is released! What is up with that? Get that paperwork out! Find out where he was when and compare it to the treatment that other National Guardsmen got. Why didn't he show up for that physical? Why was he working with kids in an inner-city drug program? Could it be that long rumored drug bust kept him from his duties and that's what's being covered up here? Dig deep. We deserve to know who and what this man is that is sending our soldiers to die to protect us from non-existant WMD.

And if Bush is going to ignore the intelligence community because his gut gets better intel, then throw his metaphysical ass out of office. I don't need any voodoo-based foreign policy.

Posted by: lilly belle at February 10, 2004 04:49 PM | PERMALINK

"MR. McCLELLAN: It just kind of amazes me that some will now say they want more information, after the payroll records and the point summaries have all been released to show that he met his requirements and to show that he fulfilled his duties."

So its wrong to want more information, ask further questions on a matter that brings into question the president's character.

And Scott's answer to a question raised about whether this payroll information confirms the president was actually physically in Alabama at the time he claimed to be was.... "No"

Posted by: Poz at February 10, 2004 04:49 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, the wounded cry of the full-throated moronic brownshirt fuck squealing "Clinton's cock! Clinton's cock! Clinton's cock!" Brings a tear to my eye...

Posted by: dave at February 10, 2004 04:50 PM | PERMALINK

This is how it's playing to mainstream America. George Bush is Matt Dylon to your KGB.

http://www.seanet.com/~jimxc/Politics/February2004_2.html#jrm1870

Posted by: Chad Peterson at February 10, 2004 04:51 PM | PERMALINK

State income tax withholding should at least determine whether the national guard thought they were paying him for Alabama or texas service.

Posted by: elliottg at February 10, 2004 04:51 PM | PERMALINK

I agree that Kevin is just trying to find out the facts in the case. Bush could very easily put this whole matter to rest. And someone who served with him during the months and places that are under scrutiny should surely come forward and verify that he was, in fact, there at that time.

It's so easy. What's the big deal?

Why is this issue still unresolved after ten years? (Bush said since he got into politics in 1994, right?)

Posted by: pie at February 10, 2004 04:52 PM | PERMALINK

"As a veteran (USAF 71-75) i'm really enjoying this. I was so pissed that the story went no where in 2000. Bush operatives smeared McCain during the SC primary in '00 which made the sting of Chimpy's shirking even worse."

I didn't like the treatment of McCain either and nobody's saying Bush was a hero.

"BTW if someone served with Bush in Alabama, they would remember. I remember the guys in my unit 30 years later."

I remember a few but reserve duty is much much less likely to stick in your memory than active duty. I rememeber a half dozen guys from active duty and actually remember the guys from basic training the best. No doubt that is related to the stress level. I'm sure something like combat reenforces this even more. Not the reserves though. The F 102 was a single seater. No buddy system although he should have had a wing man.

"If you are related to someone important everyone knows about it."

That's a good point although Bush senior was a lot less important in 1972. Let it all come out. I just can't trust Kerry with the national security. Bob Kerrey or Joe Lieberman but not Kerry.

Posted by: Mike K at February 10, 2004 04:54 PM | PERMALINK

Sigh. I guess I kind of have to do it. I'm a Democrat, a librarian, a blogger, and an Alabama resident. It would look bad if I didn't.

Posted by: Mac Thomason at February 10, 2004 04:54 PM | PERMALINK

http://billmon.org/
http://billmon.org/
http://billmon.org/
http://billmon.org/
http://billmon.org/
http://billmon.org/
http://billmon.org/
http://billmon.org/

Posted by: djs at February 10, 2004 04:55 PM | PERMALINK

Has the press corps asked McClellan or Bush if Bush remembers the names of the people he served with while in Alabama?

Seems funny to me that Bush doesn't say, "Why, just go ask John Doe, Jim Doe, and Tom Doe, I was with them in Alabama!"

Posted by: DanM at February 10, 2004 04:55 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry; not first article; see "Shrub's Lost Summer" at

http://billmon.org/
http://billmon.org/
http://billmon.org/
http://billmon.org/

Posted by: djs at February 10, 2004 04:56 PM | PERMALINK

man,the panic among the repukes here is palpable! god! the fear is real and incredible! we have really gotten them by the balls on this issue!
keep going mr. drum! you have gotten onto a real issue here!

Posted by: dan hoppe at February 10, 2004 04:56 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, Mike K. My husband remembers the guys who were in his reserve unit 32 years ago. But then, he went to the meetings and summer camps.

Posted by: pie at February 10, 2004 04:58 PM | PERMALINK

Mike K wrote "I just can't trust Kerry with the national security"

Is this a gut instinct or you have reasons for saying this?

Just wondering.

Posted by: Poz at February 10, 2004 05:00 PM | PERMALINK

it isn't that some one person or every person would remember but that ANY person can't remember.

Posted by: coomaraswamee at February 10, 2004 05:03 PM | PERMALINK

I just don't get it.
Kevin Drum, as far as I am aware, is sole proprietor here at Calpundit. If this story interests him, why in hell should he not pursue it? He's got much to gain should something come of it...but zero to lose, except maybe a very scant few who disagree with his choice of topical investigations.

Full press, Kevin...we just want the truth, wherever the chips may lie.

Posted by: Garble at February 10, 2004 05:04 PM | PERMALINK

I just can't trust Kerry with the national security.

Yeah, so let's stick with the proven failure: Bush.

Posted by: RoguePlanet at February 10, 2004 05:07 PM | PERMALINK

"Sorry, Mike K. My husband remembers the guys who were in his reserve unit 32 years ago. But then, he went to the meetings and summer camps."

Me too. I was in the Washington ANG and went to basic with a group that I recall pretty well. Not all but a half dozen or so. That was 1959. I transferred to the California ANG and spent a year on active duty with them. I remember about 10 or 12 so I might recognize them if they walked in; that's out of about 2500. I spent another 5 years in the Army reserve and went to summer camp. I remember about 6 or 8 of them. No active duty except summer camp. He remembers them all ? How odd.

Posted by: Mike K at February 10, 2004 05:08 PM | PERMALINK

Keep it up, Kevin. This is worthwhile even if it proves to be a dead end.

For what it's worth, at a minimum this has highlighted a few facts that don't put him in the best of light:

1. Despite his support for the Vietnam War, Bush used his connections to get into TANG
2. Bush refused a direct order to take a physical

If this is really is a non-issue, folks, he's going to have to release all his military records to clear it up. If those records will explain the period in question, it's completely inexplicable why he hasn't released them already

Posted by: M. at February 10, 2004 05:12 PM | PERMALINK

"Mike K wrote "I just can't trust Kerry with the national security"

Is this a gut instinct or you have reasons for saying this?

Just wondering."

Senate voting record. I'd provide details but they will be forthcoming in great detail over the next 8 months.

If Bush can be shown to have lied about the Guard- it'll be President Kerry. I doubt that will happen but so be it. Bush hating won't win the election. Maybe Kevin will find something that will. OK by me.

Posted by: Mike K at February 10, 2004 05:12 PM | PERMALINK

Has anyone gone through court and/or police records in Montgomery?

Posted by: Human Being at February 10, 2004 05:15 PM | PERMALINK

Smash - This is what your missing.

Unlike the President, I have total recall about my life in the 70's. I was serving on the Saratoga. My younger brother was serving in the Guard. He missed 3 months of duty because of illness. His excuse didn't seem to matter. He was remanded to active service in January, 1972 and shipped out to Viet Nam. In August he was sent home in a body bag. More than 50,000 American soldiers came home in body bags.

Not everyone got a pass. Not everyone can dismiss this so easily.

Posted by: Bob at February 10, 2004 05:15 PM | PERMALINK

In my husband's case, it was 1971-77. He went to camp every summer.

Look, Mike. Bush could easily douse the flames.
Or someone else could come forward and verify that he served.

Very easy.

Posted by: pie at February 10, 2004 05:16 PM | PERMALINK

"Bush hating won't win the election. "

Bush hating is exactly what is driving record turnouts at almost all the primaries. The election is basically a referendum on Bush.

Posted by: Howard Dean at February 10, 2004 05:22 PM | PERMALINK

Sheesh, don't bother replying to the Republican trolls. It sounds like one guy using 6 different screen names and pathetically trying to pass himself off as a mob.

How lame is our official press for not turning up this stuff first? You have to be really bad, or co-opted, for amateurs to scoop you on a story like this.

Posted by: Rich Puchalsky at February 10, 2004 05:26 PM | PERMALINK

"If you are related to someone important everyone knows about it."

That's a good point although Bush senior was a lot less important in 1972

Poppy was a two term Congressman for my parents district when I was in grade school IIRC from about 66'-70', ran for the Senate twice after that and lost. He was also a major player in the oil service business with his company Zapata Offshore. If you were serving with the son of a Congressman, I think you might know it since he was one of the thousand or so most powerful politicians in the country.

Posted by: chris/tx at February 10, 2004 05:27 PM | PERMALINK

The F 102 was a single seater. No buddy system although he should have had a wing man.

I'm a private pilot and I know some Air Force types. I have a real hard time believing only a wingman would remember who he flew with. Pilots go through debriefing together, then they go to the same bar, they talk forever about every particular maneuver, glitch, ATC screwup, AD, weather, and tall tale you could possibly imagine any sort of aircraft had anything to do with.

Of course, I'm talking about pilots, civilian and military, who love flying. I have a feeling bush was not one of those. A real pilot would never lose his wings over a physical unless he had terminal cancer. I mean, flying for free on a single-setat jet with no combat risk is like heaven to a real pilot. Something just does not work here.

Posted by: M. Aurelius at February 10, 2004 05:28 PM | PERMALINK

My grandfather is in this room, over by the fireplace and reading. He's a World War II veteran, who jumped with the 82nd airborne into Normandy on D-Day, 60 years ago, and who remembers the names of 25 men in his company, along with General James Gavin's middle name; three months later, in 1944, he jumped with the 82nd into Belgium in the battle for 'The Bridge Too Far,' and remembers the names of eight Belgium villages. He also was wounded twice and won the Silver and Bronze Stars. Earlier tonight I asked him about Bush's memory and the National guard and he said, "If he doesn't remember the names of those with whom he served, he didn't serve. Those are things you don't forget."

Posted by: George Apley at February 10, 2004 05:29 PM | PERMALINK

Mike K - what about Bush lying about the intelligence on Saddam being a credible threat? Is that not enough to cause you to consider President Kerry? I should think that would be more important than this story.

This is important, too, because it is all part of the pattern. George W. Bush is someone who never had to answer for anything he screwed up wrong in his life, and he has screwed a lot up. He failed at every enterprise he put his hand to, and was bailed out every time.

But considering that newpapers all over the country today published stories about how Bush lied about the reasons for the Iraq War ought to be enough. If that isn't enough, something is wrong. You add that to his lying about his TANG record, and you end up with a piss poor excuse for a president.

Posted by: Tena at February 10, 2004 05:36 PM | PERMALINK

Talked to my Dad today who served from 35'-56' - He could still find people that could vouch for his service. Not a single person has come forward to vouch for serving with Dubya, nor can he remember a single name that can vouch for him? That is total bullshit. We may not know what he is hiding, but he certianly is hiding something. I have a pretty good idea.

Posted by: chris/tx at February 10, 2004 05:41 PM | PERMALINK

So you trust with national security the guy who presided over the worst failure of national security in our history? Yeah, let?s vote for Hoover, after the market crash we know he knows how to deal with the economy.

Bush?s record on national security is an unmitigated disaster; we would be better off with a neophyte like Sharpton than this incompetent clown.

Posted by: Lori Thantos at February 10, 2004 05:42 PM | PERMALINK

It is perfectly natural for Bush's team to be scrambling. The situation is analogous to that of a criminal defendant who realizes too late that a particular trial strategy has backfired. Under the rules of evidence, evidence of a character trait is inadmissible when offered to prove conduct on a specific occasion. The criminal defendant can get around this ban by offering evidence of a character trait to prove that it conforms to GOOD conduct. But every prosecutor knows that this is called "opening the door" to the prosecution to rebut by using evidence of a character trait to show conformity to BAD conduct. Had the criminal defendant not brought up the character trait evidence in the first place, the prosecution would not have that weapon at its disposal.

Bush's prance in a flight suit on the deck of an aircraft carrier blew the door open. He really only has himself to blame. But whom will he blame for it anyway?

Posted by: Mimir at February 10, 2004 05:46 PM | PERMALINK

am = America's Memory, a very, very sad little man who's been trolling Eschaton for months; the reason you've seen an upswing in trolling is partly because he's getting his clock cleaned by Atrios' troll blocking software, so he has to come here to rant. Nice to see he doesn't even pretend to be a liberal here; then again, we worked that his true natue some time ago back at Eschaton anyway.
And yes, he'll be using multiple names here too. Probably steal some of your regulars names too, whilst accussing all of you of being Cosmic Grappler, Dave or Gary. I pity you guys here; you've got months of this obsessive-compulsive trolling to come... and it's not even competent trolling; seeing his feeble efforts is as painful as watching a steamroller squash a baby, but nowhere near as funny.

Posted by: Cosmic (*snicker*) Grappler at February 10, 2004 05:52 PM | PERMALINK

Keep up the good work, Kevin!

For those of you defending Bush for yet ANOTHER lie, please go talk to some people who actually served in Vietnam. There's a reason why Kerry and Clark draw support from veterans. It's despicable that Bush would mislead the American people in anything as our leader, but to lie about his service record? That's beyond disgusting. It doesn't help that he's cut veteran's benefits, either.

If that, combined with the most blatantly chickenhawkish administration on record, doesn't say something about his character I don't know what does.

Posted by: Harrumph at February 10, 2004 05:53 PM | PERMALINK

So you trust with national security the guy who presided over the worst failure of national security in our history? Yeah, let?s vote for Hoover, after the market crash we know he knows how to deal with the economy.

Yeah, let's vote for FDR, the guy who presided over the PREVIOUS worst failure of national security in our history -- Pearl Harbor.

Oh, right. We did.

*snicker*

Posted by: Al at February 10, 2004 05:54 PM | PERMALINK

And FDR used that to go to war with the guys who did it. Bush, on the other hand, went to war with guys we KNOW had nothing to do with it.

*snicker*

Posted by: Lori Thantos at February 10, 2004 05:56 PM | PERMALINK

Lori,

GWB is actually going for the daily double: He wants to be the President who presided over the worst intelligence failure and the worst job growth since ta daahh....
Herbert Hoover.
It is morning in Amerca!

Posted by: PetervE at February 10, 2004 05:59 PM | PERMALINK

A bit of Alabama history:

Those who encountered Bush in Alabama remember him as an affable social drinker who acted younger than his 26 years. Referred to as George Bush, Jr. by newspapers in those days, sources say he also tended to show up late every day, around noon or one, at Blount's campaign headquarters in Montgomery. They say Bush would prop his cowboy boots on a desk and brag about how much he drank the night before.

They also remember Bush's stories about how the New Haven, Connecticut police always let him go, after he told them his name, when they stopped him "all the time" for driving drunk as a student at Yale in the late 1960s. Bush told this story to others working in the campaign "what seemed like a hundred times," says Red Blount's nephew C. Murphy Archibald, now an attorney in Charlotte, N.C., who also worked on the Blount campaign and said he had "vivid memories" of that time.

"He would laugh uproariously as though there was something funny about this. To me, that was pretty memorable, because here he is, a number of years out of college, talking about this to people he doesn't know," Archibald said. "He just struck me as a guy who really had an idea of himself as very much a child of privilege, that he wasn't operating by the same rules."

During this period Bush often socialized with the young ladies of Huntington College, located in the Old Cloverdale historic neighborhood where he stayed. . . . [He] was described as "young and personable" by the Montgomery Independent society columnist, and seen dancing at the Whitley Hotel on election night November 7 with "the blonde, pretty Emily Marks."

Posted by: penalcolony at February 10, 2004 06:00 PM | PERMALINK

Good point, Al. Let's talk about results.

Within sixth months of Pearl Harbor, we had won the Battle of Midway. By November 1944, victory was assured.

Compared to that, Bush has achieved squat.

Posted by: Blue the Wild Dog at February 10, 2004 06:01 PM | PERMALINK

They only real problem is that Kevin doesn't have a secretive wealthy backer like Scaife to fund exorbitant research into dubious claims...

To me, it's an eye for an eye. The Republicans are crying foul and calling it unsportsmanlike to dig into this 'non-issue'; find me one who took that same attitude towards the snooping into the Clinton's planes of cocaine that supposedly were landing in Arkansas, Troopergate, etc., etc. I really could care less if there's any merit to this charge or not. If there is one lesson here, it's this:

Make them play defense.

The more time, effort and money they need to spend addressing these charges, the less they have to campaign with. Not to mention, who knows what might stick - even inaccurately - in people's minds? Repubs certainly weren't lining up to clarify the 'Gore invented the Internet' mislabelling...

To those who want to put this aside and come together as high-minded Americans, I say forget it. The people who voted for Bush last time need to get what's coming to them and if that means pulling plays out of there book, so be it. Spare me the highminded purity of methods; I've got purity of intent - in spades.

So, Kevin, keep bringin' it.

Posted by: wmd at February 10, 2004 06:03 PM | PERMALINK

What sort of wingnut recommendation brought the likes of The Nieporent to these parts?

You're famous Kevin. You must be doing something right.

Posted by: Random Lefty Man at February 10, 2004 06:04 PM | PERMALINK

And FDR used that to go to war with the guys who did it. Bush, on the other hand, went to war with guys we KNOW had nothing to do with it.

Actually, after Pearl Harbor, FDR went to war with BOTH the guys who did it AND another country that had absolutely nothing to do with it.

Too easy.

Posted by: Al at February 10, 2004 06:06 PM | PERMALINK

Wrong again Al, Germany declared war on US. FDR had no choice.

Too easy.

Posted by: Lori Thantos at February 10, 2004 06:08 PM | PERMALINK

Within sixth months of Pearl Harbor, we had won the Battle of Midway.

Within six months of 9/11, we had won the battle of Afghanistan.

For some reason, thereafter, FDR virtually ignored the Japanese and chose instead to focus on a country that HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH PEARL HARBOR... including a massive land invasion against that country.

What FDR should have done is negotiate peace with Germany -- a country that HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH PEARL HARBOR -- and focus on Japan.

Posted by: Al at February 10, 2004 06:11 PM | PERMALINK

Wrong again Al, Germany declared war on US. FDR had no choice.

Germany was contained. Germany was not an imminent threat.

FDR should have negotiated peace with Germany.

Next!

Posted by: Al at February 10, 2004 06:12 PM | PERMALINK

Hey Smash, you got a DD-214? The rest of us veterans sure do....It's a simple document that will show once and for all the truth of the matter in the AWOL affair.

Let's see Shrubbie's. What does he have to hide? And why are you and the rest of the wingnuts so anxious for this issue to just go away, instead of being resolved?

Knee-level wind, we used to call it.

Posted by: Lt. Squish at February 10, 2004 06:13 PM | PERMALINK

"... won the Battle of Afghanistan."

Yeah, that's really made a huge difference.

FDR virtually ignored the Japanese? What are you talking about?

Posted by: Blue the Wild Dog at February 10, 2004 06:14 PM | PERMALINK

al, you're wrong. after pearl harbor, america declared war on japan. in a stupid move, hitler declared war on america. if he hadn't, there would have been huge resistance (as there had been for years) in getting involved in the war in europe.

Posted by: kevin lyda at February 10, 2004 06:14 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, Al. Are you trying to compare Germany and Japan and the country that had nothing to do with it, Italy. with what's going on now?

This isn't a repeat of WWII. That's history. We're making our own history here. No comparison.

Sorry, son.

Posted by: pie at February 10, 2004 06:16 PM | PERMALINK

Look At this...

On meet the press:
Russert: But you would allow pay stubs, tax records, anything to show that you were serving during that period?
President Bush: Yeah. If we still have them, but I ? you know, the records are kept in Colorado, as I understand, and they scoured the records

Today?s press briefing:
Q Could you walk us through the sequence of events in the last few days that led to the production of these records?
MR. McCLELLAN: Sure, sure.
Q And did those efforts begin after or before the interview with --
MR. McCLELLAN: No, it was after. The questions came up in the interview on "Meet the Press," and the President made it very clear, some of what I'm saying here. And he said, yes, I want all records out there. And it was our belief, it was our impression that all the records that existed that were relevant were already released. Back in the 2000 campaign, we went to the Texas Air National Guard to ask for records so that they could be released, and it was our understanding that the payroll records -- it was our impression at the time that the payroll records didn't exist.
Then after this weekend, after the interview, we contacted the National Guard here and asked them where would one go, if these records existed, to find them. We were just going back and double-checking. And we were put in touch with the Personnel Center in Denver, Colorado. So we contacted the Personnel Center in Denver, Colorado. It was our understanding at that time that the Denver and St. Louis offices were already working to pull this information together at the time that we contacted them --

Posted by: Bliekker at February 10, 2004 06:16 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, that's really made a huge difference.

Yeah, it did, since it took away all of al Qaeda's training bases and its sanctuary, as well as killing or capturing a large number of terrorists.

It was certainly a more important battle than Midway.

FDR virtually ignored the Japanese? What are you talking about?

Read your history. FDR focused on Germany, not Japan.

Posted by: Al at February 10, 2004 06:18 PM | PERMALINK

Germany was contained. Germany was not an imminent threat.

By December 1941 Germany had conquered most of Europe and was invading the Soviet Union and attacking the UK.

So you are either a joker wasting our time, or an idiot.

Posted by: M. Aurelius at February 10, 2004 06:18 PM | PERMALINK

They can't even keep thier lies straight...

Posted by: Bliekker at February 10, 2004 06:20 PM | PERMALINK

in a stupid move, hitler declared war on america.

And Germany's declaration of war obligated us to do what?

FDR should have negotiated peace with Germany; we had no beef with them. He didn't, and thousands upon thousands of American lives were lost (far, far more lives than have been lost in Iraq) fighting in Europe, against an enemy that HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH PEARL HARBOR.

Posted by: Al at February 10, 2004 06:21 PM | PERMALINK

By December 1941 Germany had conquered most of Europe and was invading the Soviet Union and attacking the UK.

All of which had nothing to do with us. FDR should have stayed out of Europe; Britain and Russia would have taken care of Germany, and tousands upon thousands of American lives would have been saved.

Posted by: Al at February 10, 2004 06:23 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin merely asked a simple question: Where was GWB that weekend, at drills or not? I am surprised at the amount of criticism Kevin is taking. If this were Clinton we were talking about, Republicans would be screaming bloody murder. Rush would talk about it daily. The right seems a little nervous to me. . .

Posted by: David Perlman at February 10, 2004 06:23 PM | PERMALINK

There is no comparison between WWII and the situation we have today. WWII was, it shouldn't be necessary to say, a world war. Germany had stated its intention of taking over Europe and every other part of the globe that Japan hadn't called dibs on. If the Allies had not won WWII, the world as we know it would not exist.

Saddam Hussein was not a credible threat to anyone when the U.S. invaded. That is a fact that is no longer in dispute. Bush lied to the entire world about the intelligence he had.

I believe that perhaps Europe would have a differing view on whether Germany was contained and no longer a threat when the U.S. joined the Allies there.

Too damned easy.

Posted by: Tena at February 10, 2004 06:24 PM | PERMALINK

Bush did say he'd release ALL of his records, so let's have at 'em!

Russert: But you authorize the release of everything to settle this?

President Bush: Yes, absolutely.

Posted by: Peter at February 10, 2004 06:27 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and I might add, the thousands of brave Americans who died on Omaha Beach, in the Ardennes Forest, and on and on and on, not to mention the 6 million jews who died in Eastern Europe, not to mention those whom the Americans liberated, would also likely not appreciate Al's take on WWII.

Nice going winger, take a shot at real heroes to try to support a lying little coward. The right has no shame.

Posted by: Tena at February 10, 2004 06:27 PM | PERMALINK

Britain and Russia would have taken care of Germany

Brilliant idea. Then all of Europe except the UK (maybe) would have been behind the Iron Curtain.

Posted by: M. Aurelius at February 10, 2004 06:28 PM | PERMALINK

al, germany was contained in 1941? did you not pay attention in your history classes?

Posted by: kevin lyda at February 10, 2004 06:29 PM | PERMALINK

WWII was, it shouldn't be necessary to say, a world war.

As is the war on terrorism. You might have noticed that there has been terrorists everywhere from Indonesia to Pakistan to Turkey to Germany to Britain to the US.

If the Allies had not won WWII, the world as we know it would not exist.

And if we don't win the war on terrorism, the world as we know would not exist either.

I believe that perhaps Europe would have a differing view on whether Germany was contained and no longer a threat when the U.S. joined the Allies there.

Well, of course Germany was a threat TO EUROPE. Germany was simply not an IMMINENT threat to the United States in 1941. (I noticed that you forgot to include the word IMMINENT in your post; obviously we should only go to war against a country that is an IMMINENT threat, right?)

Posted by: Al at February 10, 2004 06:29 PM | PERMALINK

Good job, Kevin. There's something here they don't want found, but I don;t think it's the guard service per se. They thought they got away with it in 2000, but as Shrub likes to say, "9/11 changed everything." And his attempts to be bigger than he really is, as big as his Dad, are what brought it back into the spotlight this time around.

Posted by: Mimikatz at February 10, 2004 06:29 PM | PERMALINK

Brilliant idea. Then all of Europe except the UK (maybe) would have been behind the Iron Curtain.

Again, the Soviet Union was not an IMMINENT threat to the United States. In fact, in 1941, the Soviet Union was OUR ALLY. Accordingly, war against Germany was not justified on the basis that in 1947 the Iron Curtain fell.

Posted by: Al at February 10, 2004 06:31 PM | PERMALINK

p.s. I think we'll get all the records eventually. Rove just needs some time to figure out how to spin all the stuff that's gonna pore out of them! doh! good thing he got his preferred opponent, Kerry, the nomination so early...

Posted by: Peter at February 10, 2004 06:32 PM | PERMALINK

For your idiot analogy to work Al, you would have to demonstrate that Iraq was an immanent threat to SOMEONE, in particular, you would have to demonstrate that he was an immanent threat to people outside of his own nation.

Next.

Posted by: Lori Thantos at February 10, 2004 06:34 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and I might add, the thousands of brave Americans who died on Omaha Beach, in the Ardennes Forest, and on and on and on,

I bet they'd rather be alive and safe and sound at home. Or, alternatively, died fighting the country that ACTUALLY ATTACKED US on 12/7/41.

Alternative answer: Same as the hundreds of brave Americans who died in Fallujah, Baghdad, etc.

not to mention the 6 million jews who died in Eastern Europe, not to mention those whom the Americans liberated

If these things justified WWII, then Saddam's horrors justified the Iraq war. Not to mention those whom we liberate in Iraq.

Posted by: Al at February 10, 2004 06:35 PM | PERMALINK

Why has no one questioned the added six months?

The White House is still squirming but no one in the media or most online sites has asked why Bush's six years of service became 6 years - six months.

Normally, a disciplinary hearing can add time, particularly in the Guard or Reserve.

Military Biography document.
http://users.cis.net/coldfeet/doc14.gif

#1 on Google for Liberal News

Posted by: Easter Lemming Liberal News Digest at February 10, 2004 06:36 PM | PERMALINK

This notion that Hussein had anything in common with Hitler (other than the first initial in his last name) is laughable. There was an ongoing (note that word) genocide, there was a vast army moving across Europe, and there was a declaration of war against the US. If you can?t tell which evil dictator I?m talking about, then you too can be a Republican like Al.

Posted by: Lori Thantos at February 10, 2004 06:36 PM | PERMALINK

For your idiot analogy to work Al, you would have to demonstrate that Iraq was an immanent threat to SOMEONE, in particular, you would have to demonstrate that he was an immanent threat to people outside of his own nation.

No, Lori. I'm not trying to justify the Iraq war. I'm just trying to show that FDR was not justified in going to war with Germany.

I'd like to thank you for bringing up this whole topic, though, Lori. It has been a fun intellectual exercise. I've really enjoyed it! See you tomorrow!

Posted by: Al at February 10, 2004 06:38 PM | PERMALINK

Notice, Al, the war on Terror is a war on an abstraction. If you can't understand that distinction, you are hopeless. And Iraq had exactly what connection to 9/11? And was threatening exactly whom with what?

Feh.

Posted by: Tena at February 10, 2004 06:38 PM | PERMALINK

Al wrote: "I'm just trying to show that FDR was not justified in going to war with Germany."

Gee, we must have been just imagining things when Germany declared war on us.

Al, can you at least try to make sense?

Posted by: PaulB at February 10, 2004 06:42 PM | PERMALINK

Regardless of the what evidence does or does not turn up on this matter, it certainly has managed to reduce the level of discourse in the comments section down to vulgarities, profanity, and insults.

That's a very disappointing result, as I used to like reading the comments even if I disagreed with the prevailing view on many topics. I hope the quality of the discussion returns to its prior level soon.

Posted by: Shad at February 10, 2004 06:42 PM | PERMALINK

If the Soviet Union was OUR ALLY, as you put it, then war against Germany was justified on that basis alone. As ALLIES go to war for each other upon attack by a third party.

Heck, if your point is to show that it is wrong to limit our warring to INMINENT THREAT scenarios, you are barking up the wrong tree. Most Democrats accept other rationales for war, such as allies being attacked, or National Interests being at stake (such as North Atlantic shipping in WWII). Iraq was none of these things in 2003.

Posted by: M. Aurelius at February 10, 2004 06:42 PM | PERMALINK

There was an ongoing (note that word) genocide

OK, before I go tonight, I'll just link to:
http://www.hrw.org/backgrounder/mena/marsharabs1.htm

This details Saddam's ongoing genocide against the Marsh Arabs of Iraq, a group of people with a 5000-year-old culture, whose "eradication" was ongoing in January 2003, according to the HRW report.

If ongoing genocide is justification for war, then Saddam qualified.

Posted by: Al at February 10, 2004 06:43 PM | PERMALINK

Well Al, you?ve failed to demonstrate any such thing. You have demonstrated that you are willing to conflate a decimated and contained Iraq with a Germany on the march and committing genocide. You?ve demonstrated a contempt for logic, the soldiers who died fighting fascism, and the soldiers who died fighting a broken nation for the entertainment of the Republican elites.

Posted by: Lori Thantos at February 10, 2004 06:43 PM | PERMALINK

FDR was not justified in going to war with Germany.

Al, you're wrong. After the US declared war on Japan, Germany declared war on the US. At that point we were at war. These dumb fucks don't even know high school history...

Posted by: Bliekker at February 10, 2004 06:44 PM | PERMALINK

I love how the wing-nuts say, "we don't want to talk about something that happened 30 years ago. We want to talk about Jane Fonda."

By the way, I don't care about what GWB did 30 years ago either. But I do care about what he did on Sunday, which was to skate by on another in a long line of lies. Seems to be the story of this guy's life.

Just once, it would be nice to see him take some responsibility for his actions.

Posted by: 71077345 at February 10, 2004 06:45 PM | PERMALINK

Al,

Not sure if it's worth it to try to discuss this with you, but if you're curious about it, Hitler's declaration of war allowed him to attack American interests anywhere he saw fit, including shipping and coastal attacks by U-boats. I think your attempt to equate Saddam with Hitler might work on the grounds that there's a certain point at which people are so evil that it becomes pointless to try to compare who was worse. However, 2004 is not 1941, the War on Terror is not WWII. Countries need to make foreign policy decisions based on the situations that confront them, and not by some far-fetched analogy to past events. If you're arguing that Saddam was a serious threat who was planning to attack American interests, then I'll assume that we have seen the same evidence and just come to different conclusions. It is my impression that Saddam was having enough trouble keeping power in his own country and that he was sufficiently weakened to make it stupid to try attack other countries. I hope that you feel comfortable explaining to the loved ones of the more than 500 Americans killed so far (and thousands maimed) that Saddam might have done something bad to us because he didn't like us. I could start a list of countries that don't like us, but I think it would be a lot easier and less time consuming to list those that DO like us. If you want to say that his actions in the past prove that he is a madman with no compunction about using WMD on his own people, are you willing to criticize the U.S. government for its role in facilitating this? Who do you want to attack next, or is Saddam enough for you? Or, even better, do you think that democracy (ha!) in Iraq will lead to democracy in the rest of the Middle East (and the DPRK? and China?) so that we won't have to attack them?

Posted by: greg at February 10, 2004 06:45 PM | PERMALINK

If there was no reason to engage Germany how can you possibly support Iraq? (by all of the possible reasons given so far by this administration) I hope you are not trying to hold that your support for this adminstration is CONSISTENT with your view of history.

Posted by: coomaraswamee at February 10, 2004 06:46 PM | PERMALINK

I think this debate should be reserved to those about 50 or older (woe is me) for whom Vietnam was the defining moment of their lives. Kevin, keep up the good work. Even his W wasn't technically AWOL, this is showing him to be the weasely, cowardly Eddie Haskell-type that many of us always suspected him to be. There's something much worse than a draft dodger, it's someone who wraps himself in undeserved military service. AFAIC if hev only served 3 or 14 days that year, he deserves to rot in hell.

Posted by: Lupin at February 10, 2004 06:47 PM | PERMALINK

Little old Iraq was not running helter-skelter over Europe was it, Al?

Iraq wasn't doing a damn thing to any other country when the United States invaded it, a third world country. After we bombed the heck out of it and killed its people, it has yet to be proven that Iraq was a threat at all. It has yet to be proven, Al.

And you have no sense or understanding of history.

Posted by: pie at February 10, 2004 06:50 PM | PERMALINK

"'The reason this has come up is a preemptive
strike (sorry about the use of preemptive)by the
Kerry people to immunize their guy on issues of
national security.'

"Kerry didn't get this ball rolling.
It was Michael Moore.
Credit where credit is due."

Might want to tip your hat to Peter Jennings of ABC News while you're at it. Moore's ball wouldn't have rolled much farther than Hannity's lap had Jennings not given it legs by questioning Wesley Clark about it in the debate.

Jennings got beat up by the left for challenging Moore's assertion, but my guess is Jennings is happily picking canary feathers out of his teeth right about now.

Posted by: judy at February 10, 2004 06:52 PM | PERMALINK

I think Al was being sarcastic with most of his WWII analogies. I think, at least. That's the only way they make a bit of sense. Also, does anyone have the link to that paper (I think by HRW, since Al seems to put so much faith in them) that says the war in Iraq was not justified from a human rights point of view?

Posted by: greg at February 10, 2004 06:54 PM | PERMALINK

not to go off-topic or anything, but...

rio ferdinand, star center-half of Manchester U. (the world's most important sports franchise, with the Yankees) missed a piss test, showing up two hours late. he has been suspended from the game for 8 months, but Dick Pound (head of the IOC) has called for him to be suspended for 2 years. Bush, all seem to agree, missed a physical, one to which he was obligated to go, and one which included a piss test for drugs. he did so while he had an obligation (one that cost me and you and everyone else a couple of million bucks in training) to serve his country. he did so while he had an obligation that was cushier than that of many of his peers. i can't believe that there is one Repulican of any merit who would find this behavior even close to acceptable. Now, Bush has been responsible for throwing lots of non-violent drug offenders in jail through the years, and of tightening the screws on them via enhanced sentencing. and if any of them miss their piss test, off they go to jail, probation revoked. how am i supposed to explain this to my children, that guys like Bush can just do this sort of thing (aside from the rest of the questions raised above...)

Posted by: Robert Green at February 10, 2004 06:56 PM | PERMALINK

To all trolls and wingnuts:
The facts on the ground are as follows:

Presidents and presidential candidates who've released full military records since WWII:

Presidents:
Harry S. Truman
Dwight D. Eisenhower
John F. Kennedy
Lyndon B. Johnson
Richard M. Nixon
Gerald R. Ford
James. E. Carter
Ronald W. Reagan
George H. W. Bush

Presidential Candidates:
Richard M. Nixon
Barry M. Goldwater
Gerald R. Ford
Jimmy Carter
Walter F. Mondale
Michael S. Dukakis
Robert Dole
Albert Gore

Didn't release records:
Thomas E. Dewey-didn't serve
Adlai Stevenson - didn't serve
Hubert Humphrey - didn't serve
William J. Clinton - didn't serve
George W. Bush - served but refuses to release full military records

Trolls: Are you noting any exception to the rules here?

Posted by: flory at February 10, 2004 06:56 PM | PERMALINK

"I think Al was being sarcastic..."

Naw, he's just your garden variety troll.
Dumb as a rock and not afraid to show it.

Posted by: mac at February 10, 2004 06:57 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe Dean for America can transform itself into a Scaife-like outfit and fund anti-right vicious, hateful and sleazy chimpaganda journalism by folks like Kevin Drum.

After what the re-thugs did to the Clinton Administration and Clinton family (let alone to the American people) over a 10-year, they deserve nothing less than to sit in dark prison cells drinking their own vomit out of unflushed toilets.

Kevin, BRING IT ON.

Posted by: Hank Essay at February 10, 2004 06:57 PM | PERMALINK

This debate is only for those over fifty??? I guess I went my entire life without a dad for nothing.

Posted by: unneccesary bastard at February 10, 2004 06:58 PM | PERMALINK

from Bliekker:
Q Could you walk us through the sequence of events in the last few days that led to the production of these records?
MR. McCLELLAN: Sure, sure.
Q And did those efforts begin after or before the interview with --
MR. McCLELLAN: No, it was after.

Apparently, some of these documents were dug up back in 2000.

Take a look at the page 4 of the dossier available on the Fox News website.

http://www.foxnews.com/projects/pdf/021004_bushmil.pdf

It's a faxed copy of the "USAF Reserve Personnel Record Card - For Retention, Promotion and Retirement."

Its cover sheet (p.3) claims that this document " had not been made available prior to today."

But look at the header of the fax sheet (p. 4).

The fax was sent from ARPC/SCS (Air Reserve Personal Center), Fax number 303-676-8572.
http://arpc.afrc.af.mil/vtc/default.htm

And it's dated 12-01-00 (Dec. 1, 2000)!

And it was the 10th page of the fax. I wonder what the other pages were?

Too bad we can't tell from the doc who the fax recipient was. It'd be embarrassing if it were the Bush team.

Posted by: Mike at February 10, 2004 06:59 PM | PERMALINK

I think the Bushies lie just for fun.

Posted by: jri at February 10, 2004 07:02 PM | PERMALINK

UB - for what it's worth, I don't think debates on national issues should be limited by age.

Posted by: Tena at February 10, 2004 07:02 PM | PERMALINK

spc67, rilkefan... amen, brothers (sisters?).

Posted by: Anarch at February 10, 2004 07:05 PM | PERMALINK

I not gonna read all the comments there are way to many of them...you know, there was television back then. Maybe one of the newscasts has footage.

Posted by: julee at February 10, 2004 07:16 PM | PERMALINK

And Germany's declaration of war obligated us to do what?

FDR should have negotiated peace with Germany; we had no beef with them. He didn't, and thousands upon thousands of American lives were lost (far, far more lives than have been lost in Iraq) fighting in Europe, against an enemy that HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH PEARL HARBOR

Al, you're not just an idiot, you're a fucking idiot.

wOOt, AAF boobies are excellent!!

Posted by: four legs good at February 10, 2004 07:20 PM | PERMALINK

Unlike 1994 and 2000, this wonderful story doesn't seem like it will go away.

Bush has such an interesting past. I can't wait to hear more about it.

I wonder if one of those $300,000-a-year prima donnas in the White House press room would, as a favor to me, get to work on these questions:

What was the name of Bush's Alabama guard unit? How many men were in it? What were there names? Where are they?

Hurry. I'd like an answer by tomorrow afternoon.

Posted by: Sam Spade at February 10, 2004 07:21 PM | PERMALINK

And while you are digging, I hope you don't overlook police blotters, arrest records, etc. for that crucial period leading up to the missed physical. And Kevin, this is great,great work!
Follow it to the end!

Posted by: Mooser at February 10, 2004 07:27 PM | PERMALINK

It was a figure of speech. What pisses me off is folks that weren't born during Vietnam who say it doesn't matter. I haven't seen any polls but I bet to people my age, Bush's apalling conduct, then and now (wrapping himself in a uniform he clearly doesn't deserve) is an issue, whatever the definition of AWOL is.

Posted by: Lupin at February 10, 2004 07:37 PM | PERMALINK

This does sound like an obsession, Kevin. Fortunately, we've learned from our Republican friends that it's not an obsession as long as you limit the investigation to, oh, seven years. Beyond that, of course, it's completely nuts.

Posted by: Bob at February 10, 2004 07:43 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks Kevin for working so hard on this issue.

It is a shame that George Duh-W shirked his own service yet had no problem with sending my Marine to Iraq and even now still holding him in service under stop-loss. Couldn't I work out a deal with his government to let my Marine go if he goes to back to school like George did so long ago? I'm sure that must still work, right? His father isn't a congressman but was once a Marine in Vietnam so that should work just the same, right?

I'm praying each day that we get the troops out of Iraq before the Civil War breaks out there, I'll add you and your mission to my prayers too Kevin.

{{{{HUGS}}}}

Marine's Girl

Posted by: Marine's Girl at February 10, 2004 07:47 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

Wonderful effort you are heading up. It might lead to nothing but, on the other hand, it might help bring down the evil empire of Bush.

Posted by: PanJack at February 10, 2004 07:55 PM | PERMALINK

""Clinton lied about the ROTC to avoid the draft, then after he got a high number, he bailed out."

"You mean he said somthing like, "The ROTC stands for Rolling Overt The Causeway" and then jumped out of a plane? Or something more precise and factful?"

He dropped his supposed application to Arkansas Law School, for whose ROTC he had applied and had gotten the commanding officer to hold a spot for him, and left for Yale. He later (foolishly) wrote that officer and thanked him for "saving" him from the draft. Surely you know all this.

"In outher words, what you said sounded an awful like a talking point instead of an accurate description of what happened. Or is that all you have?"

See above. It's all laid out in painful detail. It's not important anymore except for Kerry's turnaround from '92 to now.

Posted by: Mike K at February 10, 2004 07:59 PM | PERMALINK

I am in Montgomery, Alabama. I can go to the Archives tomorrow and will let you know if I find anything.

Posted by: Burger at February 10, 2004 07:59 PM | PERMALINK

Does anyone have any other dates they would like for me to check (in the newspapers that is)?

Posted by: Burger at February 10, 2004 08:00 PM | PERMALINK

"In my husband's case, it was 1971-77. He went to camp every summer.

Look, Mike. Bush could easily douse the flames.
Or someone else could come forward and verify that he served.

Very easy."

I think they have in Texas. The issue is about Alabama where he is supposed to have served the make-up time. It was 30 years ago and maybe someone will come forward. I don't have a dog in this fight except I worry about Kerry as president.

Posted by: Mike K at February 10, 2004 08:03 PM | PERMALINK

""Bush hating won't win the election. "

Bush hating is exactly what is driving record turnouts at almost all the primaries. The election is basically a referendum on Bush."

The Democratic primaries are. That accounts for about 25% of the electorate. Maybe Kerry will win. There is a little thing called a campaign still to go.

Posted by: Mike K at February 10, 2004 08:05 PM | PERMALINK

"I'm a private pilot and I know some Air Force types. I have a real hard time believing only a wingman would remember who he flew with. Pilots go through debriefing together, then they go to the same bar, they talk forever about every particular maneuver, glitch, ATC screwup, AD, weather, and tall tale you could possibly imagine any sort of aircraft had anything to do with."

There's no shortage of people who knew him in Texas. The issue is Alabama and he was not flying then. I made up drills in other units a few times and I doubt that anyone knew who I was. Maybe Kevin will find a smoking gun in the files. I just don't think so. If you want to hang the election on this single issue, be my guest.

Posted by: Mike K at February 10, 2004 08:08 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with poputonian that this is a serious issue. I like Bush as Pres, but this issue won't go away. However, I don't agree that there is a pattern of risky behavior -- Afghanhistan was harboring terrorists affiliated with the 911 attack, and the war in Iraq was underway (near daily air-to-ground combats) -- and Congress passed the war resolution, and the UNSC passed resolution 1441. It's not like Bush acted alone.

Moreover, the records released today are the very records that Kevin Drum asked for a few days ago: payment records. And the service points. In an aircraft that was being phased out of service. Was there a good reason to take additional flights, at govt. expense, if he had passed the physical, in an antiquated aircraft?

Kevin, there might be a story here, so keep trying. Maybe you'll find something that changes my mind.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler at February 10, 2004 08:08 PM | PERMALINK

"Mike K - what about Bush lying about the intelligence on Saddam being a credible threat? Is that not enough to cause you to consider President Kerry? I should think that would be more important than this story."

I think he was a credible threat. I don't think this issue is a winner for Kerry. He is already saying that terrorism is being over-hyped. I don't agree and that doesn't seem to be the opinion of most Americans outside the Democratic base. The Dem primary voters listed terrorism last in their concerns. You can fight this election on that issue but I think it's a loser. It feeds into all the stereotypes of Democratic lack of seriousness on national defense and security.

As far as lying is concerned- was Clinton lying ? He said the same thing and has said since the war that he thought Saddam had WMD. I just don't think this wins for you. But be my guest.

Posted by: Mike K at February 10, 2004 08:13 PM | PERMALINK

"Earlier tonight I asked him about Bush's memory and the National guard and he said, "If he doesn't remember the names of those with whom he served, he didn't serve. Those are things you don't forget."

This makes my point about combat and stress sharpening memory. Are you saying that those who were in the National Guard didn't serve ? There are a lot of former National Guardsmen around. You don't want their votes ? How about all the Guard troops who died in Korea ? I was called up. We didn't go to war but Bush could have been called up. Frankly, if he had really failed to serve his obligation, he would have been called to active duty. His father would not have helped with that and, knowing Bush Senior, I doubt very much that he would have tried.

Posted by: Mike K at February 10, 2004 08:17 PM | PERMALINK

I used to think Al was more or less the right-wing equivalent of the guy who can't stop referring to "moronic brownshirt fucks." But after browsing the WWII discussion here, I've concluded that Al's role on these threads more closely corresponds to Hank Worden's in the classic Western "The Searchers." But Worden was only acting the half-wit; Al's the real thing.

Posted by: JK at February 10, 2004 08:23 PM | PERMALINK

I think he was a credible threat. I don't think this issue is a winner for Kerry. He is already saying that terrorism is being over-hyped. I don't agree and that doesn't seem to be the opinion of most Americans outside the Democratic base. The Dem primary voters listed terrorism last in their concerns. You can fight this election on that issue but I think it's a loser. It feeds into all the stereotypes of Democratic lack of seriousness on national defense and security.

Mike K, one could say that the notion that the US risks being "weak on defense" at a time when we spend more on the military than the next 25 nations combined shows a certain lack of perspective. IMO it's about time that someone pointed this out.

Posted by: No Preference at February 10, 2004 08:24 PM | PERMALINK

Mike K: If you want to hang the election on this single issue, be my guest.

Given that the primaries aren't even over yet, I'd say that the phrase "hang the election on this single issue" is a tad premature.

Posted by: Anarch at February 10, 2004 08:31 PM | PERMALINK

Robert Green is actually on to something . . .

Wasn't there a bit in the SOTU speech about drugs in sports? (Really, I'm asking. I didn't watch.)

Usually, policing athletes for illegal drug use involves urine testing. The kind of testing Bush evaded when he skipped his TANG physical.

Mr. President, you've called for increased monitoring of athletes for illegal drugs. You evaded a similar drug test when you were a member of the Texas Air National Guard. Do you think you set a poor example to athletes and to young people in general?

Posted by: jlw at February 10, 2004 08:31 PM | PERMALINK

Mike K, your guys took a nine-month break from concerns about terrorism. While they were concerning themselves with the horrors of prostitution in New Orleans, busting Tommy Chong for selling smoking gear, and other national security priorities, bin Laden and company were working on how to attack us.

That?s point one: the Republicans weren?t serious about terrorism until after such inattention caused dramatic results.

There is a second, and equally important point: terrorism isn?t the biggest threat to our nation. Now, I realize that this is heresy for the fear mongers in the Republican Party, but more people die in this country every year from a lack of healthcare than from terrorism. Far more people die in this country every year from automobile accidents. Terrorism is only a high priority if you are a terrorist; that is, someone who uses terror to influence political behavior ? the definition of the modern Republican Party.

I would much rather have someone smart enough to know the difference between the threat of terrorism and that of insufficient health care and where to spend our money.

Posted by: Lori Thantos at February 10, 2004 09:10 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

As the personal insults continue to rack up, just remember the words of The Great Soul Gandhi:

"First, they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win."

Hang in there. It's pretty clear Bush has something to hide -- perhaps even fairly minor -- but it's not what's being hid that's now at issue, it's the actual act of covering up that is now festering. This is precisely what happened with Nixon's Watergate (not in-so-far as any and every scandal of the past 30 years has been suffixed "-gate") -- something happened years ago that is now feeding this huge snowball of fear and trembling that now informs every carefully phrased sentence that loops over and over again out of McClellan's mouth.

Where there's Republican smoke and fear, there is fire. We've all seen this far too many times before.

Posted by: Keanu Reeves (no, really) at February 10, 2004 09:40 PM | PERMALINK

Posted at Eschaton, Calpundit and Billmon (since the links involve all three sites) so forgive any redundancies.

Via a link from Calpundit, this charming anecdote

Bush, then 26, served as assistant campaign manager in a race that featured a doctored audiotape that made it sound like Sparkman supported busing children to integrate schools.

Does someone who participated in that kind of racist campaign sound like the type who'd voluntarily work at an inner-city poverty program, as reported here. (This is from the sidebar, not the body of the story.)

May 1972: Bush asks for and receives permission to continue his duties in Alabama while he works as political director on the Senate campaign of Winton M. Blount, a friend of his father. Loses flight credentials after missing physical exam.

Sept. 6, 1972: Bush's request for a three-month transfer to 187th TAC Recon Group, Montgomery, Ala. is approved so he can work as political director for a Senate campaign.

November 1972: Bush returns to his unit at Ellington in Texas.

May-July 1973: Participates in non-flying drills at Ellington. Works at inner-city poverty program earlier in the year.

Sept. 18, 1973: Bush receives permission to transfer to reserve status and is placed on inactive guard duty about six months before six-year commitment ends. Attends Harvard Business School in the fall.

This does sound like mandated probation/rehab. How does someone who participated in a ginned up "smear" of anti-segregation beliefs in a candidate suddenly become so transformed he voluntarily works on an inner-city poverty program?

(Story ink found via a comment at Billmon's Whiskey Bar)

Posted by: Peanut at February 10, 2004 10:00 PM | PERMALINK

Talked to my dad who's a longtime pilot. He's flown with WWII veterans, both American and Nazi, and with Vietnam vets.

He says, someone should ask Bush how many flight hours he has. Nobody, he was very emphatic, nobody forgets how many hours they've got. My dad hasn't flown in 30 years and he knows exactly how many hours he's got. If Bush can't answer then he's hiding something, if he does, then it shouldn't be hard to find out how many hours flight time a TANG would typically have upon completing required service.

Posted by: Subterranean at February 10, 2004 10:26 PM | PERMALINK

I think Al was being sarcastic with most of his WWII analogies. I think, at least. That's the only way they make a bit of sense.

Actually, it was a variation of the argument of reductio ad absurdum (that is, it is an argument where we assume a claim for the sake of argument, arrive at an absurd result, and then conclude the original assumption must have been wrong, since it gave us this absurd result).

In this case, we assume, arguendo, that it is only permissible to go to war if there is an imminent threat to our national security. Since Germany did not present an imminent threat to us in 12/41, FDR's decision to go to war against Germany was impermissible. Since that is an absurd result, it must be that the original assumption (that it is only permissible to go to war if there is an imminent threat to our national security) is incorrect.

(One note about Germany's "declaration of war" -- I would argue it is utterly irrelevent. As evidence for this position, I would note that the UN Charter does NOT permit the use of force merely because another state has "declared war". Accordingly, if the UN Charter governed the relationship between Nazi Germany and the US, the US would NOT have been permitted to attack Germany simply because Germany had declared war.)

For good measure, BTW, I threw in a bit of a similar argument with respect to the whether it was appropriate to go to war against one enemy when a wholly separate enemy attacked you in the first place.


In any case, it was quite a fun exercise, dontcha think?

Posted by: Al at February 10, 2004 10:26 PM | PERMALINK

This is just a brilliant idea. Maybe nothing will be found - fair enough - but what has been lost? A bit of time spent searching the facts?

Posted by: tis at February 10, 2004 10:30 PM | PERMALINK

He may have got a break, but he should at least be HONEST about it.

This is an issue of CHARACTER.

This is hilarious. Absolutely hilarious. Character matters!!! I never thought I would hear a Democrat say that. Especially after they spend 8 years providing unwavering, fanatical support of the most character deficient president in the history of our country. Character matters!!! Finally.

Posted by: Dennis Slater at February 10, 2004 10:34 PM | PERMALINK

Al,

Everything you say is automatically invalidated by that whole UN thing. Do I need to spell out why for you?

Posted by: greg at February 10, 2004 10:34 PM | PERMALINK

I mean holy Christ... I can accept the fact that you're working off of a different base of assumptions and priorities and therefore come to a different conclusion than me, but when your logical process is so hilariously twisted, there is absolutely no basis for debate.

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

Greg,

Sure. Point me to the provision in the UN Charter that permits an attack against another country merely because that other country declared war. I'd be quite interested to find out.

Posted by: Al at February 10, 2004 10:43 PM | PERMALINK

"If he doesn't remember the names of those with whom he served, he didn't serve. Those are things you don't forget."

Good for Gramps however he is full of it. I served in the Marine Corps for 3 years 40 years ago and cannot remember 5 names of people I served with. I cannot tell you if any of them went on to become Senators or whatever. I cannot tell you what I did on any weekend in 1964 either. Some people make an effort to remember every thing they did during their lives and some don't. I am one of those. There are lots of us. Do not generalize about everyone's memory based on the memory of one person in order to slander someone.

Posted by: Dennis Slater at February 10, 2004 10:52 PM | PERMALINK

Also, does anyone have the link to that paper (I think by HRW, since Al seems to put so much faith in them) that says the war in Iraq was not justified from a human rights point of view?

Actually, I put very little faith in HRW's judgements as to the propriety of US or other countries' actions. HRW's legal and moral analyses leave much to be desired. However, the one thing I find HRW does well is document facts on the ground. Accordingly, I do have faith that the facts related in the report I cited are accurate -- that is, I believe that the HRW report provides very good evidence that there was continuing genocide against the Marsh Arabs. Whether this justifies war, however, is not a subject on which I give any deference to HRW.

To answer you question specifically, I have a link to HRW's official policy with respect to Iraq from before the war:

"As in the case of other armed conflicts, Human Rights Watch thus does not support or oppose the threatened war with Iraq. We do not opine on whether the dangers to civilians in Iraq and neighboring countries of launching a war are greater or lesser than the dangers to U.S. or allied civilians - or, ultimately, the Iraqi people - of not launching one. We make no comment on the intense debate surrounding the legality of President George Bush's proposed doctrine of "pre-emptive self-defense" or the need for U.N. Security Council approval of a war.

The sole exception that Human Rights Watch has made to its neutrality on the decision whether to go to war is in the case of humanitarian intervention - the military invasion of a country to protect its people. We have advocated military intervention in limited circumstances when the people of a country are facing genocide or comparable mass slaughter. Horrific as Saddam Hussein's human rights record is, it does not today appear to meet this high threshold - in contrast, for example, with his behavior during the 1988 Anfal genocide against the Iraqi Kurds."

http://hrw.org/campaigns/iraq/hrwpolicy.htm

You may, OTOH, be referring to a statement of by the President of HRW, who said that the war was not justified on humanitarian grounds alone. I do not have a link to such statement.

Posted by: Al at February 10, 2004 10:53 PM | PERMALINK

Al, man, when was the UN created? Can you use the same argument to say that Prussia should never have invaded France? That the Greeks should have never invaded Troy? I mean come on... it actually hurts to think that people could either think like this or warp their thinking to fit their assumptions.

Posted by: greg at February 10, 2004 10:55 PM | PERMALINK

Pushing through this comment thread gives metwo impressions. This is discounting the off topic discussion about FDR/Germany etc.

The vast majority of the commenters arguing the whole AWOL idea is a ridiculous waste of time for Drum seem to have done so reasonably and politely. A small minority of commenters agreeing with them have been less than reasonable or polite. When they have been, it seems to be in reaction to being assailed by crudity and venom.

A small minority of the commenters arguing the whole AWOL idea is a good use of time for Drum seem to have done so reasonably and politely. The vast majority of commenters agreeing with this position have been less than reasonable or polite. They have done so often as a reaction to a reasonable and polite comment from the other side or completely out of the blue.

Yet the unreasonable and rude folks vociferously claim that the reasonable and polite folk on the other side are showing their desperation in commenting at all.

Interesting read.

Posted by: Just Passing Through at February 10, 2004 10:58 PM | PERMALINK

Another thought before rejoining the real world.

It is very difficult to take anyone seriously who cannot present a position without spicing it up with 'brownshirt', "Bush crime family", "chimpy, "Shrub"."Smirky" etc etc ad nauseam.

Posted by: Just Passing Through at February 10, 2004 11:03 PM | PERMALINK

Please quit talking to Al. it's past his bedtime and he's got a big day at school tommorow.
Big math test.

And besides, it's MY computer.

Posted by: Al's mom at February 10, 2004 11:03 PM | PERMALINK

Greg, I realize when the UN Charter was created. This is why I wrote in my parenthetical argument "if the UN Charter governed the relationship between Nazi Germany and the US". The word "if" signals what I believe would have been the case had the UN Charter applied to that situation.

Are you conceding, then, that, if a country declared war on the US today (without doing anything else to us), the UN Charter would not permit us to attack that country? If so, then that provides evidence as to what was permissible several years prior to the enactment of the UN Charter, since the UN Charter embodies many preexisting principles of international law.

Posted by: Al at February 10, 2004 11:09 PM | PERMALINK

Shorter Just Passing Through-

"You guys are like, soooo immature."

Grow up.

Posted by: mac at February 10, 2004 11:09 PM | PERMALINK

Hurts, don't it?

Posted by: Just Passing Through at February 10, 2004 11:14 PM | PERMALINK

Al,

Take a step back and look at what you're saying. I concede that according to the UN Charter the fact that a country has simply declared war on you does not give you the right to attack it. I fail to see what this has to do with Nazi Germany, or Iraq for that matter. I can't even come close to seeing what it is you're trying to argue. Since you seem to have such a good grasp of logical processes, can you just simply state your argument (if you're even trying to make one)?

Posted by: greg at February 10, 2004 11:17 PM | PERMALINK

May-July 1973: Participates in non-flying drills at Ellington. Works at inner-city poverty program earlier in the year.

Are there any recollections of Bush from participants in that inner-city poverty program? Did he give a rationale for his participation? What was it?

Who ran the program? Surely they would know if someone had been assigned to them as part of their probation.

Was anyone else given a similar sentence as a result of DUI / drug use / assault / whatever? What sort of offense could merit such a probation at that time?

It's fun when things start to unravel......

Posted by: sagesource at February 10, 2004 11:54 PM | PERMALINK

Remember, folks: we can't believe Bush was in Alabama unless we find someone who says they saw him there.

On the other hand, we can accuse Bush of using cocaine without finding people who say they saw him doing it.

Posted by: David Nieporent at February 10, 2004 11:54 PM | PERMALINK

ho ho ho....

What is it about that Bush community service anyway? A bit of Googling reveals that the place he is alleged to have done it never saw a bit of him....

This [Houston's Third Ward Bottoms] is where the Martin Luther King Community Center has been located for 31 years. Reporters have been calling or coming by here lately, but not to talk about the children filling the Crisis Center and the Alternative School across the street, or the just-completed transitional housing units for the homeless down the way. No, they want to catch George W. Bush with his pants down. This is the place, the MLK Center, where the presidential hopeful is rumored to have done community service to clear his record of a cocaine conviction in the early 1970s.
Madgelean Bush (no relation to the governor) has lived in the Bottoms since the 1940s and owns several homes in the neighborhood. The creator and director of the center since its inception, "Madge" Bush doesn't bother to hide her disgust at the current media frenzy (she fields several more calls from reporters while we speak).
"George W. Bush did not do community service here," she intones angrily, "and I'm insulted by all of this. When did white folks start asking black folks to provide references for them? Never, that's when. When (they're) running for office, they don't need to hear from me on their policies. But when its something low-down like drugs, here they come."
That sentiment is shared by her colleagues. "Who would know better than us, right?" sneered one of Madge Bush's staffers. "We got folks in this neighborhood getting 20, 25 years for microscopic amounts of drug residue on their clothes that they had to take to the lab to find and y'all think somebody like George W. Bush even got community service? You're not from around here, are you?"

Full story.

Did this guy skip out on ALL of his obligations?

Posted by: sagesource at February 11, 2004 12:09 AM | PERMALINK

Don't you LIE-berals understand? We're at war! We're at war, I say! There are millions, millions of enemy terrorists on every border, and they'll KILL EACH AND EVERY AMERICAN if we don't stop them! Nevermind that all terrorist attacks in this nation's history have killed fewer people than die in a month due to auto accidents, cringing in fear of terrorist attacks is your patriotic duty. Don't you understand? We're at war! Every day when you step out the door it's iffy if America will exist anymore, because these terrorists hate our great nation and wish to destroy it. Every day they kill millions of Americans with their dastardly weapons of evil biology, evil chemistry, and evil physics, threatening the very existence of America the Clear-Cut^wBeautiful. And you're giving aid and comfort to the terrorists by dissing our Great Leader, you terror-supporting LIE-beral traitors!

So what is a hysterical and worried America supposed to do? Well, you're supposed to trust in God and in His messengers on earth, our Great Leader and yours truly, Big John. We're looking out for you. So be afraid. Be very afraid. Because if you aren't afraid, the evil-doers have won. Only if you go through every minute of your life in abject terror, trembling in fear, can you trust us enough for us to do our job. And anybody who disagrees is supporting terrorism by giving aid and comfort to our enemies, so there! We're at war! We're at war! Clenis clenis clenis la la la I can't hear you la la la ...

Yours in Christ,
John Ashcroft, Attorney General, Untied States of America

Posted by: John Ashcroft at February 11, 2004 12:16 AM | PERMALINK

we can accuse Bush of using cocaine without finding people who say they saw him doing it

If he didn't do it, then why won't he deny doing it? Instead, he says he's been clean "since 1974." Interesting statement, and even true, if he got busted for using at the beginning of 1973 and sent to community service.

Sorry, if you haven't used, you say you haven't used. You don't say you haven't used since a certain date. That's just a cute way of saying you did use before that date.

And where DID he do that damned community service anyway?

Posted by: sagesource at February 11, 2004 12:18 AM | PERMALINK

To answer my own question.... with a certain Project PULL in Houston. In his own words,

GWB: Well, a wonderful man named John White asked me to come and work with him in a project in the 3rd Ward of Houston called Project P.U.L.L.; it was a mentoring program.
Ernie Ladd, Co-founder P.U.L.L.: The meaning of P.U.L.L. was Professionals United Leadership League. We had professional people who were school teachers, football players, basketball players, lawyers and doctors involved in helping go into the community and help minority kids.
GWB: I realized then that a society can change and must change one person at a time and, but it was a place that was full of activity and energy and kids were, you know kids were coming from tough circumstances. I saw that first hand one night when I took a little boy who I took a shining to, named Jimmy Dean, I took him home and situation I had never seen before. It was a living room with his mom, looked like she was on drugs and there was a bunch of hanger on-ers and smoke-filled and this was this boys home, and it was tragic and sad that he was growing up in such a tough environment, an environment that where the love that I had known as a child--it seemed like the drugs and alcohol abuse had replaced that love. And unfortunately the story ends on a sad note. My little friend was shot when he became a teenager and died.

Full source -- Bush campaign video transcript

Jimmy Dean???

Well, more leads to follow up.... there must be some people who interacted with him there.... how convenient that the only one whose name he can remember is dead.

Posted by: sagesource at February 11, 2004 12:30 AM | PERMALINK

After this I promise to shut up....

Moreover, Newsweek reported on July 9, 2000 that the Bush campaign "launched a secretive research operation designed to scour all records relating to his Vietnam-era service" during preparation for Bush's 1998 re- election campaign. They paid "hard-nosed Dallas lawyer named Harriet Miers" $19,000 to review the records. According to Newsweek, one result of her work was to deflect charges that former Texas House Speaker Ben Barnes helped Bush get into the Texas Air National Guard despite low qualifications and a long waiting list. Barnes was later forced to testify under oath that he helped Bush.

.....

The Newsweek article also credits the Bush operation with locating as a corroborating witness "an old girlfriend, Emily Marks, who got to know Bush in Alabama. Marks said Bush told her he had to go back to Montgomery after the election to make up some reserve requirements. 'This corroborates what the governor has been saying,' Bartlett said." However, Marks told the Decatur Daily that she "never actually drove him to Guard duty."

Two questions:

Bush is saying that he made up part of his guard duty BEFORE the election, right? Why is he telling this person that he has to make it up AFTER?

Why does she have to "drive him to Guard duty"? Had his license been revoked for DUI or drug use?

Posted by: sagesource at February 11, 2004 12:41 AM | PERMALINK

"In any case, it was quite a fun exercise, dontcha think?"

No, Al; it was vile and idiotic. Please go away.

Posted by: Wakboth at February 11, 2004 02:03 AM | PERMALINK

Clearly "Just Passing Through" has a different definition of what constitutes "reasonable and polite" than the rest of the planet.

Posted by: Jesurgislac at February 11, 2004 03:59 AM | PERMALINK

Presidents and presidential candidates who've released full military records since WWII:

You forgot to include George McGovern on that list. Didn?t he?(and he had quite a record to release, many missions of dangerous bombings over Europe, including a final one that had him having to ditch in the Adriatic. But that didn't stop the Birch Society from trying to smear him as a combat shirker ... like most real combat vets we know, he didn't like to talk about it much and certainly didn't make it a centerpiece of his campaign).

Kevin, by all means ask people to do this. It would be standard practice to check these newspaper archives for any evidence pro or con. If journalists cared.

But remember that the real secret he's hiding here is the missed physical. Notice none of the wingnuts are talking about it ... there is no way in hell they can spin an officer refusing a direct written order to do something that is part of his specialty. And then the lack of a Flight Inquiry Board report in what has been released so far.

Posted by: SullyWatch at February 11, 2004 07:09 AM | PERMALINK

Mike K: There's no shortage of people who knew him in Texas. The issue is Alabama and he was not flying then. I made up drills in other units a few times and I doubt that anyone knew who I was. Maybe Kevin will find a smoking gun in the files. I just don't think so. If you want to hang the election on this single issue, be my guest.

Actually, it's BOTH Alabama and Texas. No one has come forward to vouch for his service in Alabama in Oct and Nov 1972.

He returned to Texas after the Senate Campaign of Nov 1972. But his superiors said that they hadn't seen him since May 1972 in their annual review of him on May 2, 1973: http://users.cis.net/coldfeet/doc9.gif

The White House is saying that he attended drills in Texas in Jan and April of 1973. Then why his superiors think that he was still in Alabama?

No one has come forward to vouch for Bush for these dates in Jan and April 1973. If it had been in Texas with his regular unit, someone would have remembered. Bush probably would have entertained them with stories of the Senate campaign that just finished.

Posted by: Mike at February 11, 2004 08:02 AM | PERMALINK

Dennis Slater, character mattered when Clinton was President too, it?s just that his lies were about personal, consensual, behavior that he didn?t trumpet to the rest of the world as heroic. Did you find some obscure part of his biography that tells of his sexual exploits? Because Bush was certainly willing to exploit his ?pilot? status in his. Once again the comparison with Clinton undercuts your argument and shows Bush to be the lesser man.

Posted by: Lori Thantos at February 11, 2004 08:03 AM | PERMALINK

Please do send people to AL to investigate the newspapers of the day. I really do like to read the rantings and ravings of both left and right. All of these people, who are so very clueless about the military, stating with supposed authority on military beauacratic mumbo-jumbo is hilarious. All the references to the DD214 were particulary entertaining.
The 214 bleating sounds a lot like the office idiot picking up a term used by the smart people and simply repeating it in an effort to sound "in the know". Here is a bit of info for you office idiots; Bush probably only got a 214 after he completed basic training and flight school. He wouldn't have a 214 showing his complete service record. That would be on an NGB22 (CYA that is the document used by the ARNG today, the ANG back in 1973 might/probably had a different name for it). Heck, the Army Reserve doesn't even have such a document as the NGB22. They just issue you an order and you'd better hope you can prove what you did after AIT if you ever decide to get back into the service.
Oh, and that is a new term for you office-idiots: AIT. It stands for Advanced Individual Training. It's the second phase of a Soldier's training where they learn the specifics of their chosen MOS. I'll explain MOS after you get tired of, or embarassed from asking for Bush's orders from AIT.

Posted by: SSG B at February 11, 2004 09:01 AM | PERMALINK

For all of you who feel that this constant focus on the fearless leader's service record is just too much I must say, "$70 million - Bill Clinton's zipper". Let the investigation continue into eternity (or what will feel like eternity).

Posted by: trulib at February 11, 2004 09:13 AM | PERMALINK

Keep up the good work, Kevin. If the freepers are so terrified you must be onto something here.

If the Rethuglicans are still, *still* going on about Clinton being a draft dodger (and I don't see him holding any public office, so why is it still a concern), George W Bullshit is a fair target too.

Posted by: Aaaargh at February 11, 2004 09:17 AM | PERMALINK

ARF

Alocohol Rehabilitation Failure

http://www.itsc.state.md.us/wuier/pages/ui/ElectronicResources/deska/daucx.htm

http://www.iiimef.usmc.mil/SgtMajDocs/Required%20Page%2011%20entry%20for%20drugs.htm

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

People calling for Bush's DD214 are; in effect, looking for a full disclosure of Bush's military records.

Bush has not (and I suspect will not) released his full records. I don't know why but I can assure you that I will keep asking for their disclosure.

Posted by: Mark_W at February 11, 2004 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

I just returned from the Alabama Dept. of Archives and have been through the morning and afternoon papers for Montgomery and Birmingham for the dates of October 27 - 31, 1972. There is no mention of George Bush (except for Sr.) during those dates. There is remarkably very little discussion of the Blount campaign during those dates. Evidently, it appears that George Wallace had endorsed the Democratic nominee (Sparkman) and, for all practical purposes, had doomed the Blount campaign.

Hope this helps.

Posted by: Burger at February 11, 2004 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

The Clinton-Chronicles revisited...

Sad.

Posted by: Paul in AZ at February 11, 2004 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

Please do not be baited into thinking that this is an unimportant issue. That lullaby is a trick. Your enemies wouldn't be trying to get you off the subject if it didn't stink to high heaven. It naturally leads into dubya's court deal & his "community service" (that nobody knows why). If he was popped for cocaine & it eventually surfaces that's the ballgame!

Posted by: homas at February 11, 2004 01:21 PM | PERMALINK

Sagesource: Here's a link to a 1999 Washington Post article detailing Bush's life during his TANG days. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/campaigns/wh2000/stories/bush072899.htm

Note that several people from the defunct Project PULL were interviewed for this article. Also, whoever was looking for Bush's address at the time, it appears he and his roommate Don Ensenat moved from the Chateaux Dijon to a garage apartment off North Boulevard near downtown Houston. That's nowhere near Westheimer, if memory serves me right.

Posted by: reffie at February 11, 2004 02:07 PM | PERMALINK

"There is a second, and equally important point: terrorism isn?t the biggest threat to our nation. Now, I realize that this is heresy for the fear mongers in the Republican Party, but more people die in this country every year from a lack of healthcare than from terrorism.

Not too many people jumping out of 100 story buildings because they don't have healthcare. Maybe a few. Your statement is exactly what I was referring to. It's a fair issue. I'm in favor of single payer. We had that discussion on another thread here. Your position, as I understand it, is that terrorism is not an issue of national security. In that opinion, you are in the Dem primary voter mainstream. The question is whether the rest of the electorate agrees. I don't think so. That's what elections are for.

"Far more people die in this country every year from automobile accidents."

And so ? Ban the automobile ?

"Terrorism is only a high priority if you are a terrorist; that is, someone who uses terror to influence political behavior ? the definition of the modern Republican Party."

I suggest you volunteer as a speaker's bureau member for Kerry. That way lots of people will be able to hear you and can then choose if they want your candidate in the White House. The National Guard records looked for a day or two like they might be a major matter. Probably not going to happen. Your views, however, will be the preferred issue in the campaign, at least for Bush.

Posted by: Mike K at February 11, 2004 02:26 PM | PERMALINK

Keep at it. There is a reason that the entire record of the shrub's military career has not been released, and the people of this country have a right to see just what a great officer our carrier landing goose stepping furher made.

Posted by: JC at February 11, 2004 06:50 PM | PERMALINK

The issue is not about serving in the National Guard versus signing up for full time service as some of the frame shifters have done there best to project.

It is not about missing a few drills.
It is not about the right or wrong of Vietnam.

Many people served and many people took some drastic measures to avoid service in Vietnam. That is a personal choice. The issue is one of character.

The US governement invested hundreds of thousands of dollars training this monkey. His fans would like everyone to believe he made the "unilateral" decision to "stop flying" - no explanation needed. Hell, who wouldn't join the armed forces if allowed to decide how, what, when, and where they wanted to serve? - There are real questions that should be asked.


This jackass has put millions of lives in danger, and thousands have died for a lie. At the same time he has paraded around as the commander in chief war hero. That is how he is "marketed" to the public. Last summer bush swaggered and said "bring em on" - the invitation was accepted and hundreds have since died. The staged managed aircraft carrier landing resulted in hours of additional delays for the troops coming home on that ship. I won't even elaborate about the plastic turkey. All the while, the administration has done everything possible to undermine, cut, or eliminate the benefits and services offered to veterans.

Exploiting rather than Supporting our troops is his MO. And that's why it matters.

This issue "has legs" and some are doing their very best to cut them off.

Posted by: Estabrook at February 11, 2004 07:15 PM | PERMALINK

There's a good summary of Bush's nefarious history
at axisoflogic.com, "Bush's Lost year -- 1972" by Glynn Wilson.

Contains quotes from people he worked with on the Blount compaign in Alabama. The older Republican ladies called him the "Texas souffle" -- all puffed up and full of hot air.

The article also references an arrest for cocaine in late 1972, and doing community service at PULL, an inner city non-profit in Houston. There is also mention of a conviction for DUI in Maine in 1976, for which he received a two year license suspension, with reference to two prior arrests. A two year suspension in 1976 was enormous, clearly not a first conviction.

Posted by: Justina at February 12, 2004 03:16 AM | PERMALINK

I can corroborate an earlier posting. I spent a while this a.m. reviewing the Montgomery Advertiser for Oct. 28-29, 1972, and there's no mention of W. Pity. Seem Red Blount smeared Sparkman for allegedly like McGovern, and Sparkman smeared Blount for failing to sufficient support George Wallace. Typical Alabama politics.

Posted by: Thenderson at February 12, 2004 08:49 AM | PERMALINK

This has been a real interesting discussion. Kevin Drum calls for volunteers to do some ground-level legwork investigating newspaper reports about Bush during the period in question. Immediately, a bunch of these guys show up and start hectoring him to drop the story.

What's strange is that they don't do any investigating of their own. They're not going through old Alabama newspapers looking for mentions of Bush. They're not digging up old buddies of his that served with with him there. They're just demanding that other people cease doing so.

Yo, guys -- if you're so sure the evidence supports you, why aren't you out there gathering it?

Posted by: Teresa Nielsen Hayden at February 12, 2004 05:50 PM | PERMALINK

A lot of people are missing the point. It's credibility and integrity -- and no, the National Guard issue is not standing alone a make or break. But it is important. The problem is not what Bush did or didn't do during the war per se, although some voters might find it of interest.

Bush DID meet his obligations, but not the way he said he did. He lied. I don't have a problem with whatever anyone did or says they did during that period, but someone wrote a dishonest political bio of George Bush that has come back to haunt him. Because they enhanced the resume and now are covering up. The family influence is apparent throughout.

Yes, he received an honorable discharge, but it was two discharges, one from the Tex Air Guard AFTER he was told to resign and which -- contrary to what Bush himself said -- specifically said he had not at that point met his obligation. The other Honorable discharge came from the Air Reserve with an additional 6 months tacked on as a penalty (in addition to being in the Ready Reserve AF for eight months). The required resignation is indicated on the discharge when it cites (ANG 36-05). That is a Texas Guard Reg which is derived from other military code and there is no question but that Bush was given the choice of resigning or else. A PTI is a Personnel Transaction Identifier. They've obviously been modified since 1973 but all the PTI961 might indicate is a bit more specificity about why Bush was kicked out of the Guard. And it is almost certainly not positive.

That 36-05 has been around a long time and there is one Texas attorney general's opinion on line and more in the files if someone wants to dig it up. The opinion has a direct relevance in what it states. It's too obvious for me to bother with -- Bush was in a wilder period than anyone Republican wants to deal with.

For authenticity see http://www.oag.state.tx.us/opinions/jc/jc0265.pdf but if you want something that can be cut and pasted, the html version is at http://www.oag.state.tx.us/opinions/op49cornyn/jc-0265.htm

That ruling is fairly recent, but it cites precedent going back decades under the same provisions, citing in the first paragraph 1940 and 1968 cases.

Excerpt from the decision:

4. Policy. Officers who are substandard in performance of duty or conduct, deficient in character, lacking in professional qualifications or status, or otherwise unsuited for continued military service are not to be retained in the Texas National Guard. Presence of one or more of these conditions will be sufficient basis for the administrative discharge of an officer from the Texas National Guard. Additionally, an officer of the Texas National Guard may be administratively discharged from his appointment for one or more of the following reasons or conditions. [conditions not relevant to request]


5. Procedures.

a. Commanders of units below Adjutant General's Department level.

(1) Such commanders may request the resignation of individual officers due to reasons indicated in paragraph 4.

(2) In the event a requested resignation is not received by the date required, a request for administrative discharge may be submitted to The Adjutant General of Texas through command channels. A copy of the request will be provided the involved officer at the time it is forwarded.

(3) If approved, the officer will be discharged in accordance with appropriate provisions of Section 6, Article 5765: Section 2, Article 5780: Section 4, Article 5781: and/or Section 1, Article 5782, Revised Civil Statutes of Texas. [These provisions are now codified, respectively, as Government Code sections 431.003 (governor's military staff), 431.022 (adjutant general's role), 431.029 (adjutant general's duties, including duties that pertain to chiefs of staff), 431.030 (property), and 431.042 (officer of National Guard must be qualified under United States law and regulations).]

The opinion then states (in part, read the url): Section 4 of TANG Regulation 36-05 establishes in broad terms the reasons for which officers may be terminated, that is, for being "substandard in performance of duty or conduct, deficient in character, lacking in professional qualifications or status, or otherwise unsuited for continued military service," while section 5(a)(1) of the regulation authorizes unit commanders to "request the resignation of individual officers due to reasons indicated in paragraph 4." TANG Reg. 36-05 ?? 4, 5(a)(1) (emphasis added). The unit commander applies the regulation to individual cases, determining whether the facts show that the officer is "lacking in professional qualifications or status," and requesting the officer's resignation if the facts warrant this. If the officer does not resign by the date required, the unit commander submits the request for administrative discharge to the Adjutant General through the chain of command. Id. ? 5(a)(2). An individual terminated under this regulation may appeal to the Adjutant General for a review of his case. Id. ? 5(a)(4).

...Assuming that the professional qualifications described in the unit policy letter are relevant to the officer's work and that the procedures set out in TANG Regulation 35-06 are followed, an officer terminated for failure to complete course work required in the letter has been terminated "according to" a regulation "adopted by the adjutant general." See generally Jolicoeur v. Laird, 344 F. Supp. 1125, 1127 (D. Minn. 1971); Caruso v. Toothaker, 331 F. Supp. 294, 297-98 (M.D. Pa. 1971) (unit commanders had discretion to determine pursuant to regulation whether or not national guard member had unexcused absence from training session);

---
That ruling pretty well covers a discharge for missing meetings, i.e. AWOL, but it is entirely possible that other factors contributed or dominated, i.e. the rumor that he was doing community service due to another DUI or drugs. Would not pick at any of that had the bio been truthful to begin with.

The question is not whether he was asked to resign, but for what specific reason. There is a clear indication that disciplinary action was taken (the orders can be construed that way). Whatever he did, was significant enough that his political connections didn't work. The TANG was throughout, until October 1, 73, the office with primary responsibility. Talking about Alabama is a waste of time and part of the coverup.

The language used in the discharge orders seem to be another indicator, i.e. he was relieved, not simply discharged. In other cases, I've seen simple discharges but "relieve" usually in a context of unencumbering an authorized pilot position by removing someone else. If you're allocated 20 pilots and one man not doing his job, that's a required select out, especially if you've got 50 serious people with hard flying time looking for pilot slots. The 36-05 could, under some circumstances, simply indicate that the commander had a low opinion of your abilities or, that'd you'd gotten too fat to fit in a cockpit. That does not seem to be the case here. To be relieved, indicated a need to replace him with a qualified pilot.

Re Blount-Sparkman. I lived there and the Blount campaign was a fiasco. Wallace didn't support Sparkman - he stayed out of it. He had considered trying to mount a campaign with one of his group, but Sparkman still had a whopping amount of political support despite Wallace sniping. Wallace was afraid of being embarrassed so didn't pick a dog in the fight, what little there was.

The information about the Alabama Guard and B-26s at the Bay of Pigs is also incorrect, i.e. it was Birmingham and not Montgomery and the B-26s in Cuba were not Guard planes, but CIA acquired (aloing with transports flown by Kansas Guard). G. Reid Doster was the Ala Air Guard Commander in 1961 --HQ in BHam at the time -- he and a number of his pilots had experience in B-26s, P-51s, etc. He ran the Air Ops for the CIA from Honduras and he recruited the four airmen from Birmingham with Guard connects who were shot down in B-26s and killed. During the 60s, the Bham unit flew RF-84s primarily. Political influence helped get people in the Alabama Guard, but it wasn't as Mickey Mouse as Bush makes it out to be. The problem wasn't them, but him.

Back to the files. What someone has to do is reconstruct a beginning to end linear file that eliminates duplication and sets aside for note, those that have been redacted. Having dealt in similar areas, it's obvious that this file was sanitized. There are some obvious holes in this record as released. We don't know for a fact that there was not a FIB, but we do know from the 36-05 that his commanders bounced Bush.

When people act like they've got something to hide, they usually do.

Posted by: bama jack at February 22, 2004 01:28 AM | PERMALINK

i would like to say that kerry's storm is like a tornado when its all over its going to be a complete clean up, and figure out what the hell is going on. when in fact he is a manipulator a liar and will say anything to get george out of office, i learned that americans cant think for themselves if kerry wins election because of his manipulation and lies tell people what makes them feel good but when in fact strength of america is one by heroes who stand up and fight peace + war is been my motto since elementry school finally a president i can appreciate in my life time is bush , please let me know what i can do besides my vote for bush

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Does anyone know Winton Blount's stance on the war in Viet Nam? I believe he was a hawk. Interesting if that's the case that Bush would enter the National Guard to avoid the war, while campaigning for a man who would send others off to die. Tha is the definition of a "chickenhawk"

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