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February 10, 2004

THE BUSH PAYROLL RECORDS....If you're interested in the payroll records the White House released today, National Review has posted the complete file here. If you just want to see the guts of it, it's reproduced below.

I've put together portions of two records into a single image. The top part is a pay record showing activity between January-April 1972, with a final entry on April 16. The bottom part is a pay record showing activity between October-November 1972. The first entry is on October 28.

The dates on the bottom record match the ARF attendance records showing duty on October 28-29 and November 11-14. A couple of comments:

  • The complete file contains seven separate pay records. The later ones seem to match the ARF attendance records.

  • For the first time, the pay records show the exact length of Bush's absence from duty in 1972: April 17 through October 27. That's six months.

To be honest, I can't make sense of all seven records in this file. The format seems to have changed midway through 1972, and the handwritten notations indicate that we're missing the record for the 3rd quarter of 1972. I don't know if that's the way they came from the White House or if it's a mistake on the part of the NRO staffer who placed the documents on the web.

[UPDATE: Nope, that's the way they came from the White House. The Washington Post has exactly the same file here.]

What's more, the two records I spliced together below don't agree with each other. The top one is supposed to be from the fourth quarter of 1972 but shows no activity in October-November. The bottom one is from the first quarter of 1973 and shows the October-November activity.

Somebody who understands this stuff really needs to take a look through these records and explain what they mean. At first glance something seems to have happened in mid-1972, with the records changing format and a chunk of time missing. But only an expert can say for sure.

Posted by Kevin Drum at February 10, 2004 07:03 PM | TrackBack


Comments

Kevin
Have any of the WHPC contacted you today?

Posted by: signal oak at February 10, 2004 07:09 PM | PERMALINK

Where did all the wingnut trolls come from? Anyone know?

Posted by: 71077345 at February 10, 2004 07:11 PM | PERMALINK

Apparently someone posted something about all this over at Free Republic....

Posted by: Kevin Drum at February 10, 2004 07:17 PM | PERMALINK

"Where did all the wingnut trolls come from? Anyone know?"

The trolls are a good sign that this story is too close to the truth.

Is anyone else disheartened by the fact that the anger and vitriol of the press gaggle resulted in absolutely nada on the evening news?

All 3 networks meanwhile did a freaking 5 minute piece on the Akins Diet doctor.

Posted by: Gatchaman at February 10, 2004 07:17 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder if Bush ripped huge lines of cocaine off of those pay stubs.

Posted by: Old Hat at February 10, 2004 07:18 PM | PERMALINK

It was on Lehrer on PBS.

Posted by: horseloverfat at February 10, 2004 07:23 PM | PERMALINK

Too bad Lehrer reaches about .5% of Americans, and the wrong .5% of Americans at that.

Posted by: Skip Perry at February 10, 2004 07:25 PM | PERMALINK

You know, I have no idea where all this is going, but watching it break on the internet is fascinating. 15 years ago most of would never be able to look at source documents in a matter like this - everything would come through a media filter. One can only imagine what Watergate or Iranamok would've been like in this environment. Keep up the good work Kevin!

Posted by: charlie at February 10, 2004 07:27 PM | PERMALINK

bush has something to hide, and is a liar.

There, I've said it.

Posted by: an expert at February 10, 2004 07:28 PM | PERMALINK

What wingnut trolls?? What does Lehrer have to do with this discussion?? Were comments deleted?

Posted by: no-troll at February 10, 2004 07:28 PM | PERMALINK

For SURE.

Posted by: an expert at February 10, 2004 07:33 PM | PERMALINK

One of the upsides of the continuing Kerry surge (and I'm not a huge Kerry supporter and I don't want to turn this thread into a primary discussion) is that the AWOL issue will always be close to surface of the political discussion, whether implicitly or explicitly. And that is a very good thing. This will not go away...

Posted by: Hank Essay at February 10, 2004 07:33 PM | PERMALINK

Keep up the good work, Kevin.

Posted by: phil at February 10, 2004 07:34 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sure Glenn Reynolds would have said that Watergate wouldn't be a story, because it's too hard to understand. Unfortunately, in today's media climate, he'd probably be right.

Thought the Lehrer gang did a pretty decent job tonight.

Posted by: 71077345 at February 10, 2004 07:36 PM | PERMALINK

I've been following this story on your site since it was mentioned on slate.com a week or so ago - now I'm back here checking it every few hours.

Keep up the good work.

Posted by: greg at February 10, 2004 07:37 PM | PERMALINK

Keep up the good work, Kevin. I don't know if Bush's service or lack thereof meets the definition of AWOL, but it sure is an appalling record.

Posted by: Lupin at February 10, 2004 07:38 PM | PERMALINK

Another investigative angle for anyone who understands the military payroll process, or who knows someone who was a military payroll clerk, is what source documents were used to produce these payroll reports. I suspect it was just static rosters, and not timecards, sign-in sheets, or any other guardsman specific (or generated) document. A clerk who could say these reports were produced independent of any source documents would completely debunk the WH contention that these reports settle the issue.

Posted by: poputonian at February 10, 2004 07:40 PM | PERMALINK

ABC had a 5 minute piece, and also clarified that joining the Guard was a way avoid getting sent to Vietnam, then.

Posted by: Senior Administration Official at February 10, 2004 07:42 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

I think Bush is playing the low expectations game. Since we can all see that he wasn't shot for desertion...his guard service must have been exemplary.

Posted by: David Johnson at February 10, 2004 07:42 PM | PERMALINK

He did no work in 3rd QTR, 1972. The White House admits this. That's what Lois Romano of the Wash. Post said on CNN. She's on now.

Posted by: alias at February 10, 2004 07:43 PM | PERMALINK

off topic:

very nice send-up of MTP from the Daily Show

Posted by: 71077345 at February 10, 2004 07:43 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, stop this senseless crusade!

It's disturbing how obsessed you are with this story!

Nobody cares!

Kerry is a deserter!

Adam Yoshida proved you wrong!

These records show nothing!

This is all a sign of desperation! Give up!

The infidels are committing suicide at the gates of Baghdad!

Whoops, wrong laughable propaganda.

Posted by: Karl Rove at February 10, 2004 07:44 PM | PERMALINK

It looks like these documents both reference L9CMPY48 which seems to reference the 111 FIS in Houston.

If he had been TDY [Temporary Duty] to Alabama, he wouldn't have cleared the base, but the Commander of the 111 FIS states on Bush's Officer Efficiency Report that it was blank because he had transferred to Alabama and cleared Houston on May 15, 1972.

There is nothing here that indicates he showed up in Alabama.

Posted by: Bryan at February 10, 2004 07:44 PM | PERMALINK

We don't care if W got paid! We want to know if he showed up! And why didn't he take his physical? These records don't settle anything, anymore than the fact that he got honorable discharged.

Posted by: one toke over the line at February 10, 2004 07:44 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks Kevin. Great info. There are so many angles to this story. Every one is worthwhile and most are not flattering to Bush and his enablers. This issue may not be as vital as the Iraq WMD lies or the budget fiasco but it is as vivid as the Plame affair at highlighting Republican hypocrisy. Our democracy needs more of this kind of reporting.

Posted by: dennisS at February 10, 2004 07:48 PM | PERMALINK

British tabloid weighs in

Posted by: 71077345 at February 10, 2004 07:49 PM | PERMALINK


Me, approximately 3 weeks ago:
"you know, I just don't see what's supposed to be so great about CalPundit..."

Er, I think I get it now...

This is great work. Ignore the trolls. The wingnuts were, eyes wide and froth flying, defending Nixon right up to the end...and beyond... We could all be wrong about this, but we've got to find out for sure.

Posted by: Winston Smith at February 10, 2004 07:49 PM | PERMALINK

Regardless of where this leads, we should remember that Bush supported the Vietnam War but made damn sure he wouldn't have to fight himself. If he thought the war was an important endeavor, then he should have done the honorable thing and should have offered himself for active service.

So, let's not forget he did not volunteer for combat duty. Instead he chose to serve in a military branch that at that time was guaranteed to stay put in the continental US. It was a pretense of serving in the armed forces while making sure he stayed out of harm's way.

It tells us a lot about his lack of integrity. It took far more integrity at that time to be a conscientious objector or even to run away to Canada. Whether AWOL or not, Bush will remain someone who expected others to serve and die in a war he supported. That's the worst kind of coward.

Posted by: Ares Akritas at February 10, 2004 07:51 PM | PERMALINK

The discrepancy between these records (the Oct. and Nov. dates not appearing on the 4Q72 record but appearing on the 1Q73 record) is rather intriguing. Two explanations come to mind:

(1) Innocent: Bush served those days and either Bush or some superior/record keeper didn't get the Oct. and Nov. "time sheets" submitted until after Jan. 73 for some reason, which is plausible because Bush was missing for awhile and bouncing around various commands and it might take time for the bureaucracy to figure out what unit he was supposed to be in.

(2) Not so innocent: Bush didn't serve those days and sometime in early 73 his records were changed to give him credit for those days.

Normally I'd give him credit for the innocent explanation, except for what Kevin has pointed out: Bush was presumably still working hard for Blount in those last days before the election in late Oct., and those days don't match up to Bush's orders to appear on certain days in Oct. and Nov. Something does smell funny there.

Posted by: aplomb at February 10, 2004 07:53 PM | PERMALINK

71077345, you left off the best part, the headline:

Hero versus Zero

Let's spread that one around the blogosphere on this side of the pond.

Posted by: poputonian at February 10, 2004 07:57 PM | PERMALINK

You guys crack me up...

Clinton dodges the draft and it does not matter.

Bush does his duty and earns his point BUT does in in only 6 months of the year rather than spreading it out over all 12 months and he is the great satan.

Hypocrisy thy name is liberalism.

Kevin you are (were) better than this.

Posted by: George at February 10, 2004 07:59 PM | PERMALINK

Or To paraphrase Kevin from the last 3 days posting on this topic....

"I have no idea how to read these records but I do know that it PROVES Bush was AWOL."

Kevin you are jumping the shark right before our eyes.

Posted by: George at February 10, 2004 08:01 PM | PERMALINK

Assuming that the first page of the National Review posted doc #3 (accounting for May 1972 - May 1973, and linked at http://www.nationalreview.com/york/bush3.pdf ) is an accurate summary of Bush's service based on the payroll records, there are gaping holes.

W FAILED TO SHOW UP FOR DUTY (cumulatively over 1 yr)

For over 6 mos betw 4/16/72 - 10/28/72

For nearly 2 mos betw 11/14/72 - 1/4/73

For nearly 3 mos betw 1/10/73 - 4/7/73

For over 2 mos betw 7/30/73 - 10/1/73--was there an obligation to show for duty prior to the official separation date of 10/1/73?

Posted by: count every vote at February 10, 2004 08:03 PM | PERMALINK

You guys crack me up...Clinton dodges the draft and it does not matter. Bush does his duty and earns his point BUT does in in only 6 months of the year rather than spreading it out over all 12 months and he is the great satan. Hypocrisy thy name is liberalism. Kevin you are (were) better than this.

That's it, squirm for me, boy! Squirm! I love watching you squirm!

Posted by: Old Hat at February 10, 2004 08:05 PM | PERMALINK

Me, approximately 3 weeks ago:
"you know, I just don't see what's supposed to be so great about CalPundit..."

I actually noticed that, Winston, and I'm glad to see you've recanted ;)

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

Or To paraphrase Kevin from the last 3 days posting on this topic...."I have no idea how to read these records but I do know that it PROVES Bush was AWOL." Kevin you are jumping the shark right before our eyes.

Translation: "Pleasepleaseplease stop posting all of this stuff because it looks like it might lead somewhere and every cable channel led with this story and it's on the front page of the every major newspaper, so pleasepleaseplease stop scooping everyone and connecting the dots, please, CalPundit!"

Posted by: Old Hat at February 10, 2004 08:07 PM | PERMALINK

"I have no idea how to read these records but I do know that it PROVES Bush was AWOL."

Unless I'm much mistaken, I don't believe Kevin's said anything of the sort -- specifically, I don't believe Kevin said that these documents "PROVE" anything, let alone that Bush was AWOL. Could you provide a cite?

Posted by: Anarch at February 10, 2004 08:09 PM | PERMALINK

The real difference, George, is that Clinton didn't want anyone else over there either. aWol was perfectly happy to use Poppy Bush's connections to avoid active duty, to use Poppy Bush's connections to avoid serving the limited duty he was required to do, while other, far better, young men died. It's fine to be pro-war if you're willing to back that war with your own blood. But to be pro-war and hide.. that's the height of cowardice.

Posted by: Zupon at February 10, 2004 08:14 PM | PERMALINK

Clinton dodges the draft and it does not matter.

Not serving in vietnam if you were personally against the war was not dishonorable. Not exactly meritous, either.

Bush does his duty

hardly, pal. --Somebody-- jumped W to the head of the TANG line, displacing a more worthier candidate (W's minimal 25% pilot score) for the cushy job. All the while W's dad in 1968 was undoubtedly voting for the war -- for other people's sons to fight, apparently.

and earns his point BUT does in in only 6 months of the year rather than spreading it out over all 12 months and he is the great satan.

Just another brick in W's particularly lackluster resume, if you ask me.

Posted by: Troy at February 10, 2004 08:17 PM | PERMALINK

Clinton dodges the draft and it does not matter

Principled conservatives who quite rightly -- yes, rightly -- excoriated Clinton for dodging the draft should be the first ones to apply the same standard to Bush. Unfortunately it's obvious that there are no principled conservatives any longer, just partisan hacks. Please don't talk about liberal hypocrisy.

What Bush did was worse that what Clinton did. Not only Bush supported the war -- while Clinton at least didn't -- but he made sure he put on a quasi-military uniform that virtually guaranteed non-combat duty, preserving the pretense that he somehow wanted to serve, while avoiding danger.

Clinton dodged the draft, but Bush dodged the fighting.

Posted by: Ares Akritas at February 10, 2004 08:18 PM | PERMALINK

Things we should think about (so far):
1)WHY were dates originally torn off 1972-73 ARF?(Just to hide the time off? If so, why did the Bushies originally say the first date was 11/29?)
2)Did Bush really go to Guard duty the week before the Blount election? (C'mon, that makes all the ARFs and pay stubs look like credit and pay were given without showing up.)
3)Who asked his records to be sent from St. Louis to Washington and why?
4)When does his time in the inner city program start and what type of situation was it really? (I believe it was punitive)

Something bad happened in this time frame and they are covering it up. They produced the pay records so fast because they are not the answer. The next question for them should deal with how Bush got involved with the inner city program. Somebody ask Scottie!

Posted by: mats at February 10, 2004 08:19 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks Kevin... from a semi-long time reader!

The Freepers are in a complete panty-twist over this. As much as I dislike taking pleasure from other's discomfort, I'll make an exception this time. hehehehheee

Posted by: def rimjob at February 10, 2004 08:20 PM | PERMALINK

Slightly OT but why do some Americans think Bush is so great when it comes to security here in the Homeland?

Because we never did catch the anthrax terrorist, and here we just had a bout of ricin at Frist's office (which made much less of a splash than Janet's mammary). Domestic terrorism, anyone?

Posted by: Librul at February 10, 2004 08:21 PM | PERMALINK

Interesting stuff from a bio of Winton "Red" Blount whose unsuccessful 1972 Senate campaign the Shrub was allegedly working on:

In 1964, although he personally opposed the Civil Rights Act, he urged compliance with it.
...
When Nixon appointed Blount to his Cabinet, critics noted that the conservative businessman employed no blacks, was active in an all-white church and had backed local segregationist candidates.
...
The 6-foot-3 redhead stood even taller in his chosen career than in public service. His Blount Inc., which he sold in 1999 for $1.35 billion, constructed the launch pad at Cape Canaveral that sent Apollo 11 and man to the moon in 1969. It also built the first nuclear power plant in Tennessee, the first intercontinental missile base in Wyoming, the New Orleans Superdome and the $2-billion King Saud University in Saudi Arabia.

After Desert Storm in 1991, Blount and his company rebuilt the superstructure and literally turned the lights back on in Kuwait. In Southern California, he built projects ranging from solar energy fields in the Mojave Desert to major facilities for Lockheed and other aerospace companies.

Yep, he's got the credentials of a Bush crony, that's for sure...

Posted by: 71077345 at February 10, 2004 08:24 PM | PERMALINK

sorry, link here:

http://tinyurl.com/2h6ns

Posted by: 71077345 at February 10, 2004 08:24 PM | PERMALINK

Guys, you don't get it.

GWB has had a lifetime excuse, get out of work card free card. He still brings it out every year, for the entire month of August.

He even was off duty on 8/6/01, when his advisors informed him of an imminent attack on his country. And we haven't done anything on that.

To be honest, we were a lot safer with him taking 6 months in 1972 than we are now with him taking his August "Brush Cleaning and Reengaging the Bottle" field trips.

Posted by: emptywheel at February 10, 2004 08:24 PM | PERMALINK

So, he pretty much blew off his last two years of war-time service, refused to take a phyiscal and ignored an order that he do so despite the money spent to train him, he did not show up after May 72 till ordered to do so, there still is no record of any duty in Alabama and he got out early (after jumping ahead of thousands to get in due to preferential treatment).

Sounds like the service record of a future war president to me!

If I were in Iraq and a national guard enlistee, I think I would want to rub the shrub's face in some sand about now.

Posted by: obe at February 10, 2004 08:30 PM | PERMALINK

You people have this upside down. Bush's long absences show his fundamentally responsible nature. I mean, what could be more irresponsible than showing up for duty around dangerous jets and weapons when you're coked out of your mind?

Posted by: Pip at February 10, 2004 08:32 PM | PERMALINK

I agree. Their panic and incredible efforts to cover all of this up signals to my tin foil receptors that Bush was strung out on alcohol and coke in the summer of 72 and forced into rehab by barbs by fall. They then salvaged his honorable discharge and got him into Harvard Biz school by spring. Sounds like a good bush plan to save their boy, and typical cover up and string pulling to make it happen and to hide it all. Some things in 'merica, only money and connections can buy.

Even if this did happen, it would not disqualify him in my mind. It is the lies, the hypocricy, the special treatment and the cover-up that is too much to take.

Posted by: obe at February 10, 2004 08:42 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

Stay on it. I don't think there is anything here. But the truth will out.

Posted by: spc67 at February 10, 2004 08:43 PM | PERMALINK

Where did all the wingnut trolls come from? Anyone know?

Their mommie's basements.

Posted by: four legs good at February 10, 2004 08:45 PM | PERMALINK

Stay on it. I don't think there is anything here. But the truth will out.

Let's just hope it outs in time.

Posted by: Anarch at February 10, 2004 08:47 PM | PERMALINK



Don't know for sure if this is right but it looks like one of the records posted here has Bush's social security number: 460-74-3610


Look in the top left corner of the micrifilm record (hint--white letters on black background). The number preceding Bush's name is 460743610, which appears to be his service number. His service number would also be his SSN. Finally, if you look at the Social Security Administration's website, they will tell you that before the 70s, they assigned SSNs in blocks by state. SSNs beginning with 449 through 467 were assigned to, and therefore issued in Texas. Bush wasn't born there, but he lived there as a boy and should have been there at about the time his parents would have been getting a Social Security card for him.



See http://www.ssa.gov/foia/stateweb.html

Posted by: Douglas Steele at February 10, 2004 08:49 PM | PERMALINK

It's always the coverup that gets 'em.

Posted by: Charles V at February 10, 2004 08:59 PM | PERMALINK

Man, that would be stupid, to release a doc with his SSN on it.

That's chaos, pretty soon there will be a thousand people applying for credit cards claiming to be George W. Bush.

Kevin,

Keep up the good work! When the Freepers are telling you how much they want you to keep digging becuase you're so amusing to them, it means you're making them uncomfortable.

Good.

Posted by: Monkey at February 10, 2004 08:59 PM | PERMALINK

"JOHN F KERRY

RECORD: Naval officer in Vietnam. Wounded in action

MEDALS: 3 Purple Hearts, Silver Star, Bronze Star

GEORGE W BUSH

RECORD: Didn't go to Vietnam. Went Awol from Alabama National Guard?

MEDALS: None"

Help is on the way! Restore honor and integrity to the WH!

Click my name for the URL to the Mirror article, also linked above.

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

"Don't know for sure if this is right but it looks like one of the records posted here has Bush's social security number: 460-74-3610"

I had two military serial numbers, one as an EM and one as an officer. Neither had anything to do with my social security number.


Posted by: Mike K at February 10, 2004 09:18 PM | PERMALINK

he put on a quasi-military uniform that virtually guaranteed non-combat duty

I'm not sure this is entirely true, but I do recall Bush checked "no not volunteer" for overseas duty on enlistment.

Posted by: Troy at February 10, 2004 09:35 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think you can count on Kerry or his people driving this story home -- from P. 1 of today's (11 Feb) WaPo:

Kerry lowered his stance on the issue [Bush's service record] yesterday, telling reporters at Dulles International Airport, after arriving from Tennessee, that he did not want to comment. "It's not an issue that I chose to create," he said. "It's not my record that's at issue, and I don't have any questions about it."

Posted by: Davis X. Machina at February 10, 2004 09:40 PM | PERMALINK

The 1972 pay stub says he didn't work in the 4th Quarter at all.

Now the pay stubs for 1973 are a mess. But the question is, are those listed payments in the 1973 stubs for work in 1972 some sort of correction? Or is that information just meaningless filler?

I mean, it would have to be some strange situation where you're working somewhere, and you get a W2 for one year, and the next year you get a W2 with adjustments to the previous year's totals. Did they forget to pay him?

Posted by: ortsed at February 10, 2004 09:42 PM | PERMALINK

Mike K. wrote:

"I had two military serial numbers, one as an EM and one as an officer. Neither had anything to do with my social security number.

Posted by Mike K at February 10, 2004 09:18 PM |"

Mike,

I'm not disputing your experience and am not absolutely certain that the number next to Bush's name is his SSN. Still, my own experience inclines me to believe it is. I just went through my military service records (active duty enlisted, Army Reserve and National Guard) and dadgummit, most every one of them had my social security number just before, after or below my name.

Posted by: Douglas Steele at February 10, 2004 09:47 PM | PERMALINK

Social Security # were first obtained to obtain a job.
Prior to 1986 the Social Security # would determine the state the person was generally when they were of working age.
From 1986 the SSN would indicate the state at age 5
1987 the SSN for New Mexico initiated a pilot project to require newborn infants to have a SSN
1989 appears to be the year that all states were required to have SSNs for new borns

Essentially, the SSN for anyone born in 1989 and after would indicate the state birth.

Posted by: LiberalFighter at February 10, 2004 09:48 PM | PERMALINK

Kind of running around banging into trees, aren't we? Don't worry. Somebody at the DNC will get an angle on this by tomorrow or the next day. There's always the "forgery" line.

While obe is restoring honor to the White House, I'd love to know who he voted for in '92 and '96.

Might be time to shift back to the economic talking points again.

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

Just a clarification on the seeming mismatch of months with quarters: the fed gov't, including DoD, begins its fiscal year on Oct 1 (f'rinstance, FY04 began on 2003-10-01); on the fed calendar, 1Q is Oct-Nov-Dec, 2Q is Jan-Feb-Mar, 3Q is Apr-May-Jun, 4Q is Jul-Aug-Sep.

(It appears that some of the monthly data still doesn't completely match up with the handwritten quarterly designations though.)

Posted by: color me confused at February 10, 2004 10:39 PM | PERMALINK

Would you be able to check somebody's arrest records if you had their SSN?

Like, if you were a cop or other person associated with the Criminal Justice system in Texas.

Because if that's his SSN, it might be useful since he got his Driver's License changed (supposedly) when he was Govnor.

Just thinking out loud.

Posted by: Monkey at February 10, 2004 10:41 PM | PERMALINK

You want a fight on whether Clinton or Bush has been a greater keeper of honor and dignity in the White House? I?ll see your stained blue dress and raise you five hundred dead service men. I?ll see your White Water dry hole and raise you Harken Energy. I?ll see your FBI files and raise you the Patriot Act and Orwellian ?First Amendment Zones.?

Sorry tbrosz, when it comes to honor and integrity Clinton had it all over the guy putting his muddy feet up on JFK?s desk.

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

> Clinton dodges the draft and it does not matter

As a matter of fact, that's why I voted for Bush Sr. in 1992 -- he was a genuine combat veteran and hero, while Clinton, well, you know. And this is also why I did *NOT* vote for Bush Jr. in 2000 - I followed the AWOL story on the Internet (it certainly wasn't being covered by the news media!), and it left a bad taste in my mouth. (Well, that, and the way Bush smeared John McCain in South Carolina with the "illegitimate black child" crap... treating a combat veteran that way is disgusting and sickening). While some of my Southern brethren apparently have drank the coolaid of partisan hackery, there's some of us who are still patriotic Americans who believe that service to our country (REAL service, not trophy service in a unit designed to keep the sons of the rich and powerful out of combat) is worth something. That's why my preferred 1st choice in this race was Gen. Wesley Clark -- and why I will be voting for Kerry in the fall.

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

Lori, the specific context was military service, and how people who would one day run for president approached their obligations during the Vietnam War.

If you believe Clinton addressed that issue with honor, I'd love to hear the explanation.

I am sick of hearing people who were, for eight years, mortally offended whenever Clinton's evasion of service was brought up, and are now declaring the issue of service in Vietnam to be one of the most important issues of this election. You can cut the hypocrisy with a knife.

At least some people like BadTux seem to be more consistent in their beliefs in this area.

Posted by: tbrosz at February 10, 2004 11:14 PM | PERMALINK

This will be little enough help--as Kevin says, we need someone with some genuine expertise in the forms--but I?ve noticed these few patterns in these scraps of paper. Maybe they?ll help someone else focus on more significant parts of these documents.
1. Most of the pages do not show a complete pay report. If you look at pages 6 and 7 of the NatRev pdf file, it?s clear that these pages show the complete form for a quarterly report (comprising both a detailed accounting of current pay and a 12-month summary). By contrast, pages 2 through 5 and 8 are only clipped sections of the full form: pp. 2 & 3 the detailed section; p. 5 the detail with a fragment of the 12-month summary; pp. 4 & 8 show the 12-month summary, but lack the detailed pay records. That?s why I call them scraps.
2. The 12-month summary is a rolling summary. On p. 6, which has the 2nd quarter 1973 summary, the reported July to December is for 1972, not 1973; on p. 7, which is the 3rd quarter summary, July to Sept. are now 1973, but Oct. to Dec. are still 1972.
3. Where we?ve got the detailed statement, it seems fairly common to see payments dating from the month at the end of the previous quarter accounted for in the subsequent quarter. On p. 2, on the detailed record of the 1st quarter of 1972, you can see pay dates from Dec. of 1971. Similarly, March 1972 is reported on p. 3 (the 2nd quarter report). What?s unusual about the catching up of the Oct. & Nov. 1972 pays on the 1st quarter 1973 report is that they?re essentially three months old (not just the last month of the preceding quarter). And, of course, there are those pesky questions others have raised about squaring drill with the demands of the final weeks of a political campaign.
I leave the serious work on these documents to others.

Posted by: Marc at February 10, 2004 11:16 PM | PERMALINK

Even in the context of military service, Clinton?s behavior was far more honorable than Bush's getting his daddy?s cronies to pull strings and guarantee that he did not have to go and die like the sons of less privileged individuals.

Clinton, as you apparently are not aware, did in fact sign up for the draft. That this has been spun by partisans such as yourself as ?draft dodging? is a testament to the RNC?s ability to emulate Humpty Dumpty.

Once again: signing up for the draft isn?t ?dodging? it, no matter how many times you try and redefine the word ?dodge.?

Posted by: Lori Thantos at February 11, 2004 12:06 AM | PERMALINK

I think the wingnuts trying to bring up Clinton are missing three major points here.

1. This isn't really about what happened thirty-odd years ago. If Bush had admitted, the first time the subject came up, "Yeah, I pretty much blew off my National Guard service. I was young and irresponsible. It's not something I'm proud of," and had had the nous to tell his PR team to quit dressing him up in quasi-military gear, this wouldn't be a story now. Bush got away with the DUI incident - even claiming he'd lied about it so as not to set a bad example for his daughters. He could have got away with this in 2000. It's the fact that he bragged about a military service that turns out to have been nothing worth bragging about that is going to bring him down.

2. Clinton was consistent - he opposed the war and avoided fighting in it. Clinton didn't brag about what he did to avoid service: he admitted that he'd opposed the war and wanted to avoid it. Nothing Clinton did was illegal: he registered for the draft, he got a valid academic deferment, he got a high lottery number. Clinton smells of roses compared to Bush - inconsistent, hypcritical, bragging about nothing, and breaking the law in at least one instance - refusal to show up to take a physical.

3. Clinton stopped being President over three years ago. Wingnuts bringing Clinton up now are just looking like idiots. You now need to find a way of running down John Kerry, for serving in Vietnam, while exculpating George W. Bush, for having dodged the fighting in a cushy job. Judging by wingnuts forethoughtful enough to focus on Kerry, this will be done by claiming that what Kerry did wasn't so brave, and that anyway he "'sociated with Commies" when he got back.

Posted by: Jesurgislac at February 11, 2004 12:29 AM | PERMALINK

Hey guys-

When people talk about the nut cases and fruit loops on the internet... That's you all they are talking about...

Lemme explain to you how to beat George Bush.

Pretend to be sane. Find a real problem, (if you can) hammer on it repeatedly and get your vote out.

Lemme explain to you how to lose to George Bush:

Act like Howard Dean.

The choice is yours.

Luckily, you all are are too stupid/crazy to understand what I am telling you.

Posted by: George at February 11, 2004 12:29 AM | PERMALINK

I think George is right and KD is jumping the shark. Its been entertaining to say the least.

Now he is down to: "Somebody who understands this stuff really needs to take a look through these records and explain what they mean"

Hah. OKay KD, I thought that is what you have been doing. Or not. Whatever.

The funniest thing though, are these comparisons to watergate. (Huh?) I am also enjoying the "They are only laughing because they want to silence us! We must be right!" Right on guys, keep digging.

Posted by: Reg at February 11, 2004 04:15 AM | PERMALINK

Hey Reg...

6 months unaccounted for in the payroll records.

At least 1 date where he was paid for texas duty. Same date his commanders said he was a no show. Record tinkering?

Every time I see one of your posts, this one is gonna follow it.

*munches popcorn*

Posted by: HeyReg... at February 11, 2004 04:58 AM | PERMALINK

Stick with the story-there is blood in the water, and these disclosures raise more questions than they answer. If Rush is squealing like a stuck pig about this, you're doing something right.

Posted by: BobNJ at February 11, 2004 05:16 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

None of the big media reports seem to have picked up on the implications of ARF-Air Reserve Force on his attendance records. Since there have been suggestions that this implies disciplinary action, I don't see why this is not getting treatment.

Posted by: BobNJ at February 11, 2004 05:55 AM | PERMALINK

I'm having a little trouble with the .pdf at http://www.nationalreview.com/york/bush3.pdf , and I was wondering if someone could clarify for me. This first page, what is it? Is it a tally done by someone at the White House? Because this is NOT a document from the 1970's. This is a modern font, clearly from a jet printer.

Not saying this means anything. I'm just confused because I was under the impression this .pdf doc was primary source material. If it's not, I need to know that so I don't look like a fool when I go to press. Thanks for any clarification anyone can provide.

And BTW Kevin you are doing a great job on this story, as many others have remarked. I am using you as one of my chief news sources on the subject.

RaulGroom

Posted by: RaulGroom at February 11, 2004 06:03 AM | PERMALINK

BobNJ -

That's because it's not an indication of disciplinary action.

The Air Reserve Force is a consolidated term for both the Air National Guard (all branches) and the Air Force Reserve.

Take a look through the site at http://arpc.afrc.af.mil, or even google on the term, and try to find something disciplinary about it.

It's a non-issue, which may be why the major media isn't covering it.

Posted by: JLawson at February 11, 2004 06:19 AM | PERMALINK

Heh, I have an internet doppelganger.

Posted by: Reg at February 11, 2004 06:21 AM | PERMALINK

The documents released yesterday give W's address as "2910 Westheimer" in Houston. Presently that is the address of an Eckerd Drugs in this stripmall:

http://www.suebacommercial.com/riveroaks/riveroaks.html

Anyone know what was there in 1972-73? Was it a housing development worthy of a Congressman's son? An apartment comlplex? A drug rehab center? A halfway house?

Anyway to find out? Could be a blind alley, but it seems worth investigating...

Posted by: 71077345 at February 11, 2004 06:35 AM | PERMALINK

If I may ask a question. Dose the National Guard get a DD214 on discharge? The reason I ask is, it gives history of your service,and discharge...I understand that there are more than one type of Honorable Discharge

Posted by: Janet at February 11, 2004 07:00 AM | PERMALINK

I hope Kev's got his taxes in order, no undercover 'extracurricular' activities, etc., b/c if this gets really ugly the Bushies are gonna come out swingin'. They don't hold regular sway over us bloggers like they do the WaPost and other media outlets.

Ron Suskind has a term for what can happen to a someone who tells the truth about the Bush Administration - it's called a DiLulio, as in, he pulled a DiLulio. The phrase is so-named after one John DiLulio, the former head of Bush's Faith-based Office of something or other, who once had this to say about the Bush White House:

The lack of even basic policy knowledge and the only casual interest in knowing more, was somewhat breathtaking: discussions by fairly senior people who meant Medicaid but were talking Medicare; near instant shifts from discussing any actual policy pros and cons to discussing political communications, media strategy, et cetera.

After swift pressure from The off-White House, DiLulio completely retracted his statement to Suskind/Esquire Magazine. And I mean, he really retracted - not a la O'Leilly - I mean, regrets and apologies and please-forgive-me's.

The point is, I'm sure the death threats, etc. are already pouring in, but I'm worried what will happen when Rove/Cheney go to work. I think we all need to be active in this investigation so as to hopefully take some of the heat off of Kevin.

Posted by: Peter at February 11, 2004 07:13 AM | PERMALINK

This whole thread perfectly embodies BDS.

Posted by: Bird Dog at February 11, 2004 07:29 AM | PERMALINK

Janet:

At the time, there were 4 different types of discharge.

Honorable
General
Undesireable
Bad Conduct

The NGB-22 is the DD-214 equivalent. It's available here... and shows an honorable discharge. There's no differentiation on honorable discharges - it's either honorable or some other type.

J.

Posted by: JLawson at February 11, 2004 07:32 AM | PERMALINK

You are right Bird Dog, the rampant Bush Defender Syndrome that infects the loonies unable to tell the difference between registering for the draft and dodging the draft, the inability to see something wrong in having missed six months of training, the inability to notice the discrepancy inherent in having a training day the very day a commander says you were not observed, these things demonstrate the depths to which BDS sufferers will sink to cover for this joke of a man.

Posted by: Lori Thantos at February 11, 2004 07:53 AM | PERMALINK

Another aspect of Clinton vs. Bush in the military record comparison to add to Jesurgislac's excellent post:

Clinton's academic deferment was won purely on his own abilities; he was awarded a prestigious scholarship to a prestigious school purely based on his own abillities and his own hard work. His mother certainly couldn't afford to send him to England for schooling, and he didn't have any big-named father pulling strings for him.

On the other hand, Bush Jr sure as hell didn't get to be a jet pilot based on his aptitude tests, and he didn't stay in the guard because of his exemplary service record. He got in under questionable circumstances, and somehow managed to `arrange it with the military' when he was tired of it and went to school instead. (How is that better than having been in school in the first place? At least Clinton wasn't sucking back tax dollars getting trained for something he'd never do...)

Posted by: sparcs at February 11, 2004 07:56 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin,
I used to think you were an intelligent guy. You're a jerk. What a thing to waste your time on: pay records for doing menial chores and desk jobs in 1972-73.

Posted by: Norma at February 11, 2004 08:01 AM | PERMALINK

BobNJ sez: "None of the big media reports seem to have picked up on the implications of ARF-Air Reserve Force on his attendance records. Since there have been suggestions that this implies disciplinary action, I don't see why this is not getting treatment."

BINGO! BobNJ...

The ARF was indeed a form of "Disciplinary Unit"...Take a look at Bush's Enlistment Contract...It states that failure to perform assigned duties may result in a range of "Punshments", the mildest of which is "Two years in the Air Reserve Force"...(not to be confused with the Air Force Reserve)

Not exactly "sweatin' on the rockpile", ARF "service" amounted to nothing more than having one's name added to a roster in a filing cabinet in Denver...One supposedly COULD be transfered from the ARF straight to Active Duty...(But that ain't very likely for someone who's Poppy is a sitting Congressman)

Thing about it is...Bush was "kicked out" of the Texas Air National Guard some time on or about 21 November, 1972...

Look at hs Discharge Date...Bush SHOULD have been officially "Discharged" six years to the day from the date of his original enlistment...Which was in May of '68 - 29th IIRC...So his much-cited "Honorable Discharge: should be dated 29MAy74...That would be six years...

But Bush's Discharge is dated 21Nov74...About six months AFTER the end of his opriginal obligation...

There's only two ways to stretch out one's enlistment...Either the Service Member signs an "Extension" (which people do for various reasons) or as a result of Disciplinary Action...

Ergo...Bush was assigned to the ARF because the TANG was finished with him...The two years of ARF "Duty" being the least possible "punishment" he could have recieved...

The extra six months is the equivalent of "making up Bad Time"...

Posted by: D.R. Marvel at February 11, 2004 08:02 AM | PERMALINK

Heres a website for all who want to get a handle on the comparisons of Bush and Clinton. Clinton most definitely got political influence in his efforts to avoid his military service obligation.

http://www.1stcavmedic.com/bill-clinton-draft.htm

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

Read the whole page. What happened on Dec 1, 1969? If you sign up for the draft and get a high lottery number, that?s not dodging. The page, rather than supporting its allegation, completely refutes the notion of ?draft dodging.?

Posted by: Lori Thantos at February 11, 2004 08:17 AM | PERMALINK

Man, the more I look at the comments here, the more convinced I've got that not only don't you folks have a clue, you've been sprayed with Clue-Off to actually repel them.

ARF as a disciplinary group? No, it's a catchall term for the Reserve and Guard forces. Don't bother looking things up on Google, don't bother actually trying to find things out by going to relevant web sites.

I've tried posting what this stuff actually is, and I obviously don't know what the hell I'm talking about because I only spent 13 YEARS doing the work you guys think you know everything about!

Have a good time, folks. You're not interested in what actually IS, you'd rather work up a frothing rant at what you think MIGHT be the issues.

Posted by: JLawson at February 11, 2004 08:37 AM | PERMALINK

Scalia and Rehnquist may have made Bush president, but God made him a second lieutenant (and even that was undeserved).

It's tough waiting for this government to fall.

Posted by: Philo Vance at February 11, 2004 08:47 AM | PERMALINK

JLawson,

Is the ARF a place where people who are disciplined might be sent, to serve out their remaining term in a paper unit?

I am curious, and you seem like you might know...

I also like how the people who absolutely crucified Bill Clinton for daring to get strings pulled to avoid serving in what he viewed as an unjust war, ignore it when it's their guy.

Uh, ok. Remind me not to take anything you have to say seriously, folks.

Not you, Mr. Lawson. Just the wingnuts whose minds are not open to the fact that Bush might have gotten preferential treatment, but God forbid Clinton did.

There's a word for that...it's around here somewhere...

oh yeah,

Hypocrite.

Posted by: Monkey at February 11, 2004 08:49 AM | PERMALINK

Couple of questions about these records, maybe some folks with more knowledge can help me out here.

In these records: http://www.nationalreview.com/york/bush3.pdf there are a couple of discrepancies that stand out to me, and a couple of questions to be answered.

First of all, pages 6 and 7 the hand labeled pages referring to q2-q4 of 1973 all list the months of the year on the left, in order, jan-dec. But the year for oct,nov,dec seems to be 1972, instead of 1973. This is strange, and is very different from page 5 where the q4 months from 72 appear *above* the 73 duty. It is also different from page 8, which lists no duty at the end of 73, which follows with his Oct 1, 1973 discharge.

So that's weird, but probably explainable.

Second is a question about what the different rates of pay mean. All the 'missing dates' or whatever they are being referred to (oct 72 - apr 73) are recorded as 22 ( I assume dollars ). Earlier and later service times are recorded as being for different amounts. 50, 23, 32, 30, etc. I'm assuming that these are all for different types of service or something like that, but I honestly don't know.

Anyone able to contribute information here? I'd be curious about the rates of pay especially. 22 is significantly less that 50, does that represent administrative work, like Bush said he was doing, or is it something else?

caleb

Posted by: crutan at February 11, 2004 09:06 AM | PERMALINK

I saw a couple of interviews yesterday with the reporters who are covering this for the WaPo and two others. None of them felt that the records released did an adequate job of filling in the gaps, said that there was definitely still more story to come out, and that they were continuing to dig for it.

What I found significant about this was, given the general ADD of the press, is that if the records released had come a good way towards closing the door on this, they would be off to greener pastures. There are tons of juicy potential stories out there to be followed -- the revelations on Monday that, well, yes, the president was briefed in August 2001 about the possibility of al Qaeda using airplanes, and yesterday that, oops, we made up that 2002 SOTU claim about finding maps of US water plants and nuclear facilities in Afganistan.

Folks compare this to Watergate, and it's not. It's just one more example of Bush's pattern throughout his life: get his way greased by connections to get something he didn't work to qualify for on his own, screw it up, get to avoid the consequences by getting bailed out by connections, and then brag about it as if it were a big success. That's all it really is -- except that, for some people, it may be the tipping point.

Or, actually, their current obfuscation may be the tipping point. Here's where Watergate does have some relevant comparison. If you remember, Watergate was just a sleazy little burglary - not much more than a "dirty trick" - until it turned into a major coverup. If Nixon had handled the aftermath differently, we'd barely remember it.

Not that this is of that level, even so. But one thing that Watergate did was to get us all familiar with what it looks like when there's something being covered up. As Josh Marshall keeps pointing out, he promised to release them all on MTP, and all he has to do to put the story to bed is to sign the waiver to allow his records to be released. Claiming to have released "all" of the records when they haven't, promising to do it but refusing to sign the waiver, suddenly finding something else (that doesn't quite jibe and still isn't complete) when someone else finds records... all this does is plant a big sign here for the press that says "there's more here - keep digging."

My tipping point on Watergate was the missing 18 minutes of tape, and that picture in Time magazine with Rosemary Woods stretched awkwardly across her desk trying to show how she might have "accidentally" erased them. After that, I didn't believe anything they said. One has to be very careful in these coverups, especially when a falsehood may be the tipping point for someone who actually knows some of the truth.

And there are so many signs up now... the "independent" intelligence commission who isn't allowed to investigate how the Administration used the pre-war intelligence (which is more the issue than what they were given) ... the 911 commission and the attempts to keep them from seeing the PDB's that they wanted to see (24 of 360 only, before the latest compromise, and it's still "edited summaries"), along with the sudden remembrance that someone did mention using airplanes (after all of Condi Rice's "we never imagined...") ... how the Niger documents were actually passed to the administration, and how completely fabricated information got into the 2002 SOTU ... and the interesting combination (New Yorker today) of Cheney's Iraq and energy plans... plus, of course, the scrubbing of GWB's TANG records while he was in office (Dallas Morning News, today)...

When the other guys scream "lies!" with no real evidence to the contrary, it's a flag to keep looking. When they flood in to troll you with insults, it's a flag that you're in the paydirt area. And when they start screaming "Clinton," you know you're scoring. Good job, Kevin....

Posted by: Ducktape at February 11, 2004 09:16 AM | PERMALINK

93 comments at the time I'm posting on 1, just 1, even attepmts to answer the question Mr. Drum purposed. aploumb back at 8pm yesterday. The discrpency between the different reports is the processing lag time.

Airman Soandso performs a day of duty on August 12. DFAS receives the paperwork a week later, and has a processing time of 10 business days to post it to the record. In between Soandso performing the duty, and DFAS posting it, the as-of date for the report passes. So if someone were to dig up the finance records of Soandso for the month her actually performed the duty, it will not be reflected. However, if they look a month or two ahead they will see it posted.
How this relates to GWB. Unless something is produced to the contrary, there is nothing sinister in the difference between the documents.

For Caleb, the different numbers in the pay record are the different types of duty performed. "2" represent a single point for regular drill. Since each day is worth 2 points a "22" is a full day, a "20" is a half day. "50" is a day of active duty. "99" is a day in a month w/o that day. Like June only has 30 days, but the matrix has 31. And finally, the matrix only covers a 12 month period, so the March report will being with APR of the previous year and ends with MAR. The next month will beging with MAY the previous year and end with APR.

And for those curious how I know this, I am a personnel sergeant in the Army, and have been in the personnel field for close to 9 years, as well as working in finance for 5 years. Although I'm not in the AF, I know about these particular documents because they're Defense level and all services use them.

Posted by: SSG B at February 11, 2004 09:31 AM | PERMALINK

The Crimson reported Kerry called for U.N. control of troops in 1970.

Do you really want to participate in this process, hounding candidates on choices they made 30-35 years ago?

Posted by: pshaw at February 11, 2004 09:31 AM | PERMALINK

Monkey -

I made my first post on the subject here... http://www.calpundit.com/archives/003230.html#100739

You might want to search subsequent threads for my name to see what my comments are on the issues - I just don't have time (or, actually, the inclination) to try all this again.

Honestly, a lot of the folks posting 'Gotchas!' here haven't a damn clue what they're talking about - and don't have any inclination to remedy their ignorance. I don't have a problem with folks who don't know about a subject but are willing to learn - I DO have a problem with folks who are determined not to learn about a subject, preferring their own preconceptions and prejudices to the actuality. There will NEVER be enough evidence to exonerate Bush of his heinous crimes in this matter in their eyes. The few who are actually seeking light on this will go elsewhere.

As I think I shall.

Good luck to you.

J.

Posted by: JLawson at February 11, 2004 09:36 AM | PERMALINK

SSG_B -

Good luck in trying to explain things. Hope you have better luck than I did.

J.

Posted by: JLawson at February 11, 2004 09:38 AM | PERMALINK

GWB's ridiculous response (on his AWOL record) to Tim Russert was to tell us, please do not minimize the National Guard. Wasn't it his own Donald Rumsfeld who had to issue an apology to the National Guard Viet Nam veterans for minimizing their role!!!! The right wing airways are filled with "liberals are making fun of the National Guard". Shouldn't somebody remind them what their own DoD had to say about them? It's GWB's record of disrespect for the Guard in question, not the Liberals!

Posted by: Deborah at February 11, 2004 09:43 AM | PERMALINK

A brief excerpt from today's BOSTON GLOBE article by Robinson & Rezendes :

http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/042/nation/White_House_releases_Bush_s_Guard_records+.shtml

==================================
The records released yesterday list Bush as serving at Ellington in January and April of 1973. His military file also includes orders that Bush appear for duty again May 1-3, 1973. But the two lieutenant colonels who were in charge of Bush's annual officer evaluation for the period between May 1, 1972, and April 30, 1973, wrote on May 2, 1973 that ''Lt. Bush has not been observed at this unit during the period of report. A civilian occupation made it necessary for him to move to Montgomery, Alabama. He cleared this base on 15 May 1972 and has been performing equivalent training in a non-flying status with the 187th Tac Recon Gp, Dannelly ANG Base, Alabama.''

In an e-mail to the Globe last night, White House communications director Dan Bartlett noted that one of those two officers, Lieutenant Colonel Jerry B. Killian, approved Bush's request for an early discharge on Sept. 5, 1972. ''Must have seen him,'' Bartlett wrote.
==================================


Of course, as most readers here are aware, Dubya's request for discharge was dated Sept 5, 1973 (NOT 1972); and approved by Killian Sept 6, 1973 (NOT 1972). So did Bartlett just make an honest mistake in emailing the Globe this erroneous date? The White House Communications Director can't tell a 2 from a 3? This can't be a simple typo in Bartlett's email, since his whole point is to "prove" that Killian had contact with Dubya sometime between May 1972 and April 1973.

I don't see any reference in the Globe article that Robinson/Rezendes noticed the switch or corrected Bartlett's 'mis-statement of fact'.....

Posted by: color me confused at February 11, 2004 09:48 AM | PERMALINK

SSG_B:

Thanks! I appreciate the explanation of the documents. Pay records stuck in my head, hence the guess as to dollars.

If the records indicate drill, should there be some sort of record as to what sort of drill it was, where it was, that sort of thing. I understand this was 30+ years ago, I'm just curious.

Thanks!

caleb

Posted by: crutan at February 11, 2004 09:51 AM | PERMALINK

JLawson, I don't have much luck explaining this stuff to actual Soldiers when I'm sitting down with them, their own records in hand. And this is all done electronically now, yet it STILL takes a week for it to be posted.
This is a Rosarch for people. Those opposing Bush see it as the tip of an iceberg of lies, deceipt, fraud, theft, and influence peddling. Those who support Bush see it as completly exonerating him from questions on his service. It is neither. It's a financial record of duty performed. Without further documentation otherwise it proves Bush's contention he fulfilled his service.

There just seems to me that a lot of time and energy is being spent trying to lynch or diefy GWB based on a dozen documents of which the pundits are totally ignorant. It does make for great theatre though.

Oh, and as a kindness, if anyone has an actual question about something on these forms, feel free to email me at my adress, just replace the 0 with an o.

Posted by: SSG B at February 11, 2004 09:58 AM | PERMALINK

crutan -

The issue of 72 vs 73 was addressed above.

The federal government's fiscal year begins 1Oct. All budgeting authority, pay etc. relate to that date, not to the calendar year beginning 1 Jan.


re the .pdf posted on NRO - whoever claimed above that the fonts are meaningful is, I'm afraid, drawing conclusions from no personal experience. I worked on mainframe computers during that period and we most definitely did have both "line printers" and teletype terminas with fonts like this.

I don't know the facts about Bush's service but - based on what I *do* know, most of the attempts to find a "smoking gun" here are ... well .... pretty silly. Sorry.

And that includes the attempt to infer punishment from references to the Air Force Reserves. Could be Bush got drunk or got in trouble but there's nothing here you can use to prove it or even to make a reasonable case of likelihood.

I have been a lifelong registered Democrat but I have to say, guys, that you all have lost me on this election. Quite literally some of my best friends serve in the Guard and I find the sneers insulting. OTOH, I was deeply offended by Kerry back when he was an obnoxious rich snot trying to launch a political career by posturing in a fatigue jacket and mouthing slogans ... now he's just boring beyond belief. Just becauase *he* committed attrocities he later regretted doesn't mean that others didn't serve with honor in Vietnam. Some of them were my friends and relatives. The idea that Kerry is a "war hero" doesn't play with those of us who served ourselves or who respect those who served with dignity.

Good luck y'all - because the Democratic party is a shambles right now. Let me know if you ever stand for something positive, okay? I'll come back and maybe take a look.

Posted by: rkb at February 11, 2004 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

Fiscal and Calendar years get weird in the military. The fiscal year is the calendar used for most functions within the military when it comes to money. However, pay raises and scheduled allowance adjustments take place 1JAN. Occasionally a change will be made to a benefit during the year and the change will be effective immediatly, retroactivly, or on a future date.

Posted by: SSG B at February 11, 2004 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

"Clinton, as you apparently are not aware, did in fact sign up for the draft. That this has been spun by partisans such as yourself as ?draft dodging? is a testament to the RNC?s ability to emulate Humpty Dumpty."

Signing up for the draft was not exactly an option. It's hilarious that some of you seem to think so. "Draft dodging" consists of avoiding the draft by some subterfuge like applying for ROTC when you don't intend to join, then cancelling out when you find that your draft number (which everyone got) was high.

Bush and Kerry and Gore (and Roosevelt, for that matter) were rich kids who went to Ivy League schools and got favoritism. Kerry chose to serve in the Navy and went to Vietnam where he served honorably. Bush and Gore got shunted into safe units by political influence. Roosevelt got an appointment as Assistant Sec of the Navy.

Kerry deserves credit for his service and showed courage. His behavior after he came back was dishonorable and the medal throwing incident was dishonest. I don't think the Bush story is going to turn out to be a big one. I do applaud Kevin for getting the facts.

The conspiracy theorists are acting under one handicap: They can't use Bush's membership in Skull and Bones again. Kerry is also a "Bonesman". They were both spoiled rich kids, like Roosevelt.

Posted by: Mike K at February 11, 2004 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

Ok here is what this means to me. Look not only at the point totals but how they are distributed. Normally the point totals for National Guards break down this way: 15 points just for being part of the service. 15 points for serving the two weeks active duty requirement and 4 points for each weekend served, one for each half day of the weekend. What is intriguing to me is that he served way too many half days. No commander in his right mind would have put up with that. Look at the points and the days served. You can tell on which days he only showed up for half the day. Basically he did the minnimum requirement of 8 weekends (usual requirement is 12) and only 9 of the active duty days. The active duty days are wierd because usually the unit goes away together, meaning you get the 15 points total. Because he had only 9 that means he missed the regular 2 week drill and had to make the time up at a later date. I have seen people with better records expelled from the NG.

Posted by: John B at February 11, 2004 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

Mike K, you are still spinning like a top and you know it. Everyone was required to ?sign up? or as the first entry on the ?draft dodging? page says:

August 19, 1964 - Clinton registers for the draft

Second, while you may whine that he wanted to avoid the draft, the fact is that he was subject to it and was given a high lottery number. I may make plans to kill my friend, I may even talk to someone about doing it for me, but if an earthquake kills her I am still not a murderer. Clinton may have ?intended? to avoid being drafted, but the facts conspired against you and he simply didn?t need to.

But thanks for the reminder that to those afflicted with Clinton hating, facts are merely obstacles to be overcome.

Posted by: Lori Thantos at February 11, 2004 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

John B, you're ignorant of a very important fact. Bush wasn't drilling with his unit. His unit was in Texas. He was excused from that unit and was performing his duty at the unit in AL. He wasn't even drilling with [i]that[/i] unit. He was coming in when he could to make up his time, whether the whole unit was there or not.
All guard and reserve units are staffed full time by a combination of regular Army/AF/Navy/USMC personnel and full-time reserve soldiers (A full-time reserve soldier is one who is under the command of the reserves, but serves like an active duty soldier). What Bush was probably doing is scheduling his time with these full-timers to come in during the week to perform administrative actions. Since he was doing it when it was convient for him (with the permission of the full-time staff) it makes sense that it wouldn't all be at the same time. And the report bares it out.
As a full-time reservist (AGR in Army parlance) I have had dozens, upon dozens of Soldiers perform such non-drill duty. It's so very very common that I imagine every reservist across the services is wondering why this is such a big deal to you folks. I guess the best thing to come out of all of this is going to be that the civilian population is going to have a better understanding of what their military does. And that is something that the Liberal Media just doesn't put out

Yeah, I included the liberal media thing on purpose. I despise Eric Alterman and I find great irony in him linking to ABC's The Note on the same day they post just how liberal their DC bureau is.

Posted by: SSG B at February 11, 2004 01:03 PM | PERMALINK

By my count, GWB racked up more than the required
time between Jan and Apr 1972. He had 15 days worth of active duty, and 19 days of training (depending on the meaning of the 30s). That's almost a whole year's worth of training in 4 months. This wouldn't include the six days in
late '72.

For Fiscal Year 1973 (Oct'72 to Sep'73) He has six days of service in Oct & Nov '72. Six more in Jan'73, 2 in Apr. '73, and then a whopping 27 days of active duty and 12 more days of training. Totals: 27 days of active, 26 of training.

Sure sounds like the equivalent of a weekend a month, and two weeks a year to me.

This also explains the "not observed" comment on the fitness report. GWB had been in Alabama for most of '72, and had done only 8 days of training before the FitRep was due. If the FitRep was based more on the active duty part then the training, then there wasn't anything to observe yet. GWB did the active duty portion after the report.

Posted by: David at February 11, 2004 01:05 PM | PERMALINK

One note on the missing entries for Oct-Nov 72 in the "fourth quarter" 1972 report. The government's fiscal year begins October 1. Thus, service performed Oct-Dec 72 probably wouldn't show up on a "4Q 1972" pay record, because those dates are actually in the FIRST QUARTER of 1973.

Confused yet?

Welcome to the exciting world of military administrivia!

Posted by: SMASH at February 11, 2004 01:20 PM | PERMALINK

Listen, I'm not trying to score a point here, I'm just confused. You said "line printers" existed in the 1970's... Well, of course they did. Line printing has existed since the 50's. The issue here is that this document appears to have been printed by a jet printer and not a dot matrix. Laserjet printing existed in 1974, but it wasn't in widespread use. If this was printed on a laserjet in 1974, that's extremely remarkable. Injet printing hadn't even been invented yet.

I could be wrong; perhaps a high-quality dot matrix printer could have produced this page in 1974. My question, however, remains - what exactly is this document? Where did it come from? Who printed it, and why?

Posted by: RaulGroom at February 11, 2004 02:08 PM | PERMALINK

The "line printers" I used on 1970s mainframes weren't dot matrix printers. They had solid type elements - basically very expensive, high-speed typewriters driven by the computer.

Hope that helps. ;-)

To make it perhaps even more relevant, I worked on *military* computers in the early 70s as a brand new programmer.

Can't help on the "exactly what/where" question on the document. But, I can say that similar reports were very common in payroll and other "management information systems" - both lists of the individual transactions (record entries) and also summary reports. My own computer center produced these by the ream each week and month during that time period. Many of them were later microfilmed for long term recordkeeping.

Posted by: rkb at February 11, 2004 04:06 PM | PERMALINK

So if I'm interpreting things correctly, all of the documents and pay statements are from the Texas Guard -- but Bush has maintained all along he completed his missed drills in Alabama (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A59151-2000Jun25¬Found=true), and there's still no evidence he showed up for any of those drills. Does anyone else see it that way?

Posted by: Mike at February 11, 2004 05:22 PM | PERMALINK

Does anyone else see it that way?

Nobody who has the foggiest hint of a clue, no, Mike.

All the records are Texas Guard because Bush was in the Texas Guard.

Posted by: Charlie at February 11, 2004 06:59 PM | PERMALINK

Well, Charlie, then why has Bush been claiming he made up his missed drill in Alabama, like in the link I gave?

We can't take his word in the state of the union about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq -- when his own CIA told him they weren't certain -- and we can't take his word on his Guard attendance, handing over Texas Guard docs when his story has been the Alabama Guard.

Posted by: Mike at February 11, 2004 07:38 PM | PERMALINK

First, the typefonts look accurate. My own experience with line printers goes way back too, and when I first went to school (somewhere when the dinosaurs roamed the earth), that's what I saw.

It looks like Bush basically blew off piloting for the last two years of his commitment, was missing altogether for 6 months, and was assigned to a desk job to make up missing time. It also appears that his committment was extended by 6 months to make up the missing time. So he was "AWOL" in the sense that for 6 months, apparently nobody knew where he was, but he was not AWOL in any legal sense, since with the permission of his superiors he made up the time that he missed.

The question remains: Why does he continue to refuse to authorize the release of his entire military record? What's he trying to cover up? The notion that this is a "fishing expedition" doesn't make sense to me. What could Bush have done in 1972 that would be any way relevant to who Bush is today, no matter how embarrassing it might look at first glance? I mean, we already know he was a drunkard and coke-head in '72, but he's not a drunkard or coke-head today, so it's irrelevant. What matters is not anything he may have done in '72, but what he is doing now now by continuing to cover up and lie about his service.

Yes, I believe my President should be truthful and should admit mistakes when he makes them. Clinton was a serious disappointment to me. Bush Jr., though... this dude appears to either be utterly deranged (I cannot BELIEVE that he continued to insist, just this Sunday, that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, after his own hand-picked inspector David Kay had handed in a report saying that at most, Iraq had "Doodles of Mass Destruction"!) or the biggest liar since Lyndon B. Johnson (hmm, another vicious bastard who lied us into an unnecessary war... "our ships have been attacked today in the Gulf of Tonkin" indeed!). Where was Bush for those six missing months? If Bush just authorized the release of his records, that question would be settled once and for all and go away like his drinking problem. By continuing to stonewall, he makes himself look like a liar -- and a fool.

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

http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20040210-082910-8424r.htm


Get a grip people.

Posted by: TrueGrit at February 12, 2004 03:05 AM | PERMALINK

Mike- "and we can't take his word on his Guard attendance, handing over Texas Guard docs when his story has been the Alabama Guard."

Because he was still a member of the TXNG. He wasn't reassigned to the ALNG, he was living in AL at the time so he was drilling with the AL unit. The AL unit would complete some paperwork on him, certifying his attendence, and send that paperwork to the TXNG. The TXNG would then process that paperwork and GWB would be paid.
I could have a Massachusetts ARNG Soldier walk through my door right now, and ask to drill with me today. And after I spoke with this hypothetical Soldier's unit, and got their permission, I would let them work for me today. A single sheet a paper, signed and either scanned, faxed, or mailed to their unit and they will be paid. I wouldn't matter that this MANG Soldier was performing duty in an Army Reserve unit.

I now know that all it takes to make a partisan-hack of either side go insane: military financial or administrative data. The efforts a partisan-hack's mind will go through trying to find evil, or exoneration in a 2405 probably causes brain tumors.

Posted by: SSG B at February 12, 2004 05:00 AM | PERMALINK

I'm a Reservist who is in essentially the same situation Bush was in back in '72-'73, meaning I am assigned to a unit based in one state while performing drills in another. Basically that means my "home" unit mails me paperwork every month that gets filled out at my "duty" unit as proof I performed duty there and mailed back, and THAT means everything lags by two or three or four weeks. I don't doubt that someone looking at my records 30 years from now would see some gaps or oddities.

Another thing: generally, to get pay and points in the Reserve arms of the military, one has to have been verified as having been present for duty. In other words, pay and points are proof you were there. Someone has to sign off on you.

Missing a physical is no big thing either--we all miss them, some people miss them every year. They just make them up next drill. A pilot would get pulled off flight status, sure, but that is not in any way a punitive measure. Nor is having your records sent to ARPC in Denver.

This whole flap is the product of a bunch of people who don't have a lot of knowledge of how the Guard and Reserve work. That's not said to be insulting; the military can be complex and inscrutable, even to those of us with many years in. But I'd think if I were running the DNC I'd find something else to concentrate on.

Posted by: MAngelo at February 12, 2004 05:38 AM | PERMALINK

What else does the DNC have to offer?

I'm thoroughly disgusted with the intellectual bankruptcy in the party to which I belonged for 30 years. I have not heard one credible economic position paper or foreign policy statement come out of the democratic nominees this year - not one that to my mind addresses the most serious set of international vulnerabilities (and oportunities) we've faced in 50 years or more.

Folks: this past week the public around the world was informed that there has been massive nuclear proliferation done by individuals who are not responsible for their countries (and so who might possibly have something to lose).

Musharraf is walking a tightrope made slippery by his own complicity.

Kashmir jihadis have openly proclaimed their right and desire to be able to deploy nuclear attacks against India.

There's lots more going on too.

And what is the DNC talking about? They are making "awol" claims that are so insulting to those of us who know military matters as to alienate many who would otherwise consider voting Democratic this year.

Now, this sort of thing could go both ways. We could, perhaps, pressure George Soros to disclose just how much he and his fund made on currency speculation in the resulting international instability caused when he poured money into destabilizing several governments in central Europe and in the 'Stans.

But of course, since he is private he can't be called to account. How convenient then that he has decided to invest millions of dollars in Democratic efforts to defeat the Bush administration too. Where is the media outrage over this? Who is trying to uncover trading records to disprove Soros' profiteering from his intervention in the affairs of countries?

(dead silence)

PFAH. It hasn't been easy, but I'm shaking the Democratic dust off of my sandals and moving on. You all aren't grown up enough to be entrusted with the country.

Posted by: rkb at February 12, 2004 06:48 AM | PERMALINK
I now know that all it takes to make a partisan-hack of either side go insane: military financial or administrative data. The efforts a partisan-hack's mind will go through trying to find evil...

As opposed to going insane over evil you spend $140 billion to disarm and rebuild -- only to wind up in the same place you would have been had UN inspections been allowed to continue?

Folks: this past week the public around the world was informed that there has been massive nuclear proliferation done by individuals who are not responsible for their countries (and so who might possibly have something to lose).

Well then George Bush shouldn't have ruined the credibility for anyone raising an alarm over weapons of mass destruction, person-claiming-to-support-the-president's-reelection-over-disgust-over-his-critics--to-avoid-looking-like-he-doesn't-have-the-basic-sense-to-speak-in-his-own-self-interest.

Posted by: Mike at February 12, 2004 07:31 AM | PERMALINK

Release the full military record, like every other candidate in america would have done. There is a reason they won't do this - it will have the evidence of his past arrests. They, really, really don't want that to come up. They are shooting for plausible deniability right now. I suspect it won't work this time.

The difference between Clinton's Draft Dodging and Bush's Draft dodging is this:

Clinton - Expressed that he did not believe the war served americas interests or values. Went through legitimate channels to arrange deferment, which was earned because of his outstanding scholarship. He used his deferment to excell further in scholarly pursuits, in what many believe was already a determination to become president. When confronted about this in 1992, he released all of the records about it.

Bush - Claimed to support the war, but used his daddies influence to avoid serving in it. Jumped over 400 people who were in line ahead of him. Was poorly qualified for the position he was assigned, getting the lowest possible score he could have to become a pilot (suspicious in itself, considering the strings that were pulled to jump him over other all the other candidates). Instead of trying to excell at being a pilot (in case he was called upon to fight for his country), he shirked his duties, and lost flight qualifications. Instead of trying to be a good guardsman in a time of war, he went to become a political hack for one of daddy's friends. Quite possibly he did not even show up for long periods of time, except to get a tooth cleaning on the government's dime. Might have arranged to get paid for time he wasn't there (not hard to do, by all accounts from the time). He REFUSES to release his full record to clarify what was going on.

Now, how much of this is relevant to today? I don't know. The fact he is still trying to cover it up makes it relevant to me. The fact that he has disrupted the lives of thousands of guardsmen who signed on to defend their country, while he himself did not fulfill his duties, makes it relevant to me. The fact that for the first time in his presidency, Dumbya is being held accountable for something, makes it relevant to me. We can only hope that this shot of testicular fortitude into the washington press corps will let them pursue all of the other lies and cover ups the American people have suffered from this administration with at least equal vigilence.

Posted by: TMorgan at February 12, 2004 03:40 PM | PERMALINK

Winston said on Feb. 10:

"Regardless of where this leads, we should remember that Bush supported the Vietnam War but made damn sure he wouldn't have to fight himself. If he thought the war was an important endeavor, then he should have done the honorable thing and should have offered himself for active service."

Well, Kerry's no better.

He OPPOSED the Vietnam war but made damn sure he DID have to fight!

If he thought the war was so bad he should have done the honorable thing and left the country instead of volunteering!

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