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February 11, 2004

WERE BUSH'S NATIONAL GUARD RECORDS "CLEANSED"?....Atrios links today to a Dallas Morning News article that quotes a guy named Bill Burkett as charging that George Bush's National Guard records were tampered with back in 1997. Here's a quick note to explain why I haven't posted about this before.

The reason is simple: I'm not sure Burkett's story hangs together. It started with an article in November 2000 in which Burkett claimed that Bush's files had been "cleansed," followed by a London Times story that interpreted Burkett's remarks as saying that Bush's records had been "doctored." If true, the charges were Watergate-level serious.

However, in a press release the next day clarifying his remarks, Burkett said he was "extremely careful not to point an accusing finger" and then said this:

Did you allege that the Governor’s staff “doctored” the records?

No, instead I stated that the way this had been handled by the Bush staff including knowledgeable military officials at the Texas national guard, that it left the implication that the Bush staff had first incompetently provided an incomplete military file for the Governor which was consistent with his autobiography....

In other words, Burkett was saying only that the Bush campaign had been careful to release some files but not others. But then last year he told Greg Palast the following story:

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

And there wouldn’t be. Burkett asked if the general’s staff really intended to purge the files; and sure enough, as evidence of the affirmative reply, he was shown the piles of pay and pension records in the garbage pails destined for the shredders.

And today's Dallas Morning News article confirms the Palast version of the story:

Col. Burkett said that a few days later at Camp Mabry in Austin, he saw Mr. Bush's file and documents from it discarded in a trash can. He said he recognized the documents as retirement point summaries and pay forms.

Obviously I don't have any inside information and I've never spoken to Burkett. But I've got a few problems with his story:

  • It's awfully convenient. He just happened to be in General James' office when Allbaugh called? And despite the fact that Burkett's job was investigating irregularities in recordkeeping, James decided to put this call on the speaker? And then Burkett just happened to see the offending documents in the trash a few days later? This is a remarkably sloppy job on the part of Bush's people.

  • When he clarified his remarks in his press release in 2000, why didn't he tell the story he's telling now? It's pretty sensational, and surely deserved an accusing finger.

  • Burkett said of the scrubbing, "For most soldiers at Camp Mabry, this was a generally known event." If that's true, why hasn't anyone else come forward to confirm his story?

  • Burkett has a big time axe to grind. He was a whistleblower regarding problems in the Texas Guard and was later denied medical treatment for an illness he contracted in Panama, an incident that he blames on retaliation by Bush. He sued the National Guard over this incident but lost the case.

Bottom line: Burkett's story might be absolutely true. I don't know. But there are enough red flags that I'm skeptical of it without further backup. In the meantime, caveat emptor.

Posted by Kevin Drum at February 11, 2004 09:26 AM | TrackBack


Comments

Let me get this thread started:

"You're crazy, to talk about this stuff without proof, LALAALALA I'm not listening to you keep it up democrites Bill Clinton dodged the draft, etc."

Did I leave anything out?

Posted by: Monkey at February 11, 2004 09:32 AM | PERMALINK

Monkey - Jane Fonda?

Posted by: Blue the Wild Dog at February 11, 2004 09:38 AM | PERMALINK

"Burkett's story might be absolutely true. I don't know."

You can say that about a lot of stories. Including one claiming that Bush's service was actually accomplished by a stunt double paid for by Halliburton.

Can you honestly say that if this person had come up with a story that supported Bush, you would have printed it here given the huge holes in it? The Washington Times interviewed a woman who confirmed Bush's presence in Alabama. What credibility level do you assign her? And why?

If the papers dug up in Colorado had made Bush look guilty, would you be taking them apart as carefully as you are?

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

Monkey does a good Charlie/Al imitation. (Monkey see, monkey do?)

Freepers might actually want to thank Kevin for bringing this most recent addition to the Bush AWOL story up, though, because another blog might not be so even-handed. It's a hot story and it's easy for Dems to jump at any red meat. With Kevin's caveat, this particular story will get the attention that it merits.

Posted by: chris at February 11, 2004 09:40 AM | PERMALINK

"Bottom line: Burkett's story might be absolutely true. I don't know. But there are enough red flags that I'm skeptical of it without further backup. In the meantime, caveat emptor."

And yet you post it. That would be like me saying "You know, I'd heard Kevin Drum likes to molest children then murder them in worship of his imaginary god Captain Molestro. But it's really just a rumor in which I don't have much faith."
I don't know if there is a fancy Latin word like "ad homium" for making a personal attack by saying you're not making a personal attack. But there should be.

Posted by: SSG B at February 11, 2004 09:42 AM | PERMALINK

I kinda believe this story is BS, for all the reasons you point out.

But I suspect Burkett knows enough to know that the Bush folks can't provide the counter-proof to his story.

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

After the Pro-Bush folks jumped on people yesterday for not agreeing that Bush's 6 day pay records proved he did his job, I have a feeling they'll read Kevin's thoughts on this article and end up dumbfounded...something along the lines of "I thought he used everything that said Bush was AWOL". Good work confusing them, Kevin.

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

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

If Mr. Drum were to apply the sorry standards of, say, Glenn Reynolds, he'd print Burkett's story entirely without substantive comment, and simply say "People can judge for themselves, I just linke it" when challenged.

Instead, Mr. Drum sets the bar much higher, enumerating in some detail the case agasinst Burkett.

He does such a thorough job of it that even I, pre-disposed as I am to believe just about anything bad about President Bush, have concluded that Burkett's account is worthless. And now I'm armed with the facts so that I won't get lured into accepting the story when I read a friendly paraphrase.

So what are you dittoheads bitching about?

Posted by: Laertes at February 11, 2004 09:44 AM | PERMALINK

Monkey, you may want to throw in Vince Foster and Juanita Broaddrick.

Just a suggestion...

Posted by: 71077345 at February 11, 2004 09:45 AM | PERMALINK

Gee. The Washington Times produces an ex-hottie of Bush's.

I was interested until I read the lede:

The White House yesterday released military records that it said demonstrate conclusively that President Bush completed the required drills leading to an honorable discharge from the Texas Air National Guard in 1973.

Demonstrate conclusively? No one (except maybe the Washington Times) is saying that.

I'd be checking on the lady in question to find out what her motivations are. Furthermore, even she says she has no proof he went on any drills. She just says he told her he did. And we all know how credible Dubya is.

Posted by: chris at February 11, 2004 09:48 AM | PERMALINK

i wonder how much traction this bush story would have gotten if dean was the front runner now? you know, the guy who spent his vietnam days on the ski slopes in colorado??

Posted by: timmac at February 11, 2004 09:48 AM | PERMALINK

I'm also trying to explain why I haven't linked to this before, even though it's explosive stuff in a case I've been following closely. The reason is that after checking into it I wasn't sure I believed it. I thought it was best to just say so now that the DMN and Atrios have both publicized it.

Of course, as Burkett himself points out, all this can be put to rest by simply releasing Bush's entire record. Why won't he?

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

Hey if indeed they binned most of Bush's file then they will never surface. Ipso facto if they turn up, this story is baloney.

Exactly how much paper are we expecting from the unreleased records?

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

i wonder how much traction this bush story would have gotten if dean was the front runner now? you know, the guy who spent his vietnam days on the ski slopes in colorado??

Probably not a lot. If Dean were the frontrunner, Bush's lies and the ongoing cover-up wouldn't matter. Er, somehow.

Anyway, aren't you glad instead that Kerry is the front-runner? Now the media will stay focused on this story and give Dear Leader the opportunity to release his complete records and clear his name once and for all.

Posted by: Laertes at February 11, 2004 09:53 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

Stay on it. Despite the bitching by some of my ideological compatriots, this post provides additional information one can use to form an opinion and you've provided the proper disclaimers.

I still don't think there is anything here, but I'll keep reading. Thanks for the work.

Posted by: spc67 at February 11, 2004 09:53 AM | PERMALINK

yeah, this guy could be telling the truth or not, it doesn't really matter because clearly there is wrongdoing to be found. we don't need an OJ glove here, so it's wise to be careful about accepting all information.

no one is at all surprised that Bush blew off his service, and got it fixed up through his connections. no one is surprised that he lied about it. it's just kind of odd that there might be any paper trail left to prove it.

sometimes these guys screw up on the simplest matters...

Posted by: kate mckinnon at February 11, 2004 09:54 AM | PERMALINK

This is even better (Wash Times):

Mr. McAullife, 47, was too young to be drafted when mandatory service was abolished in 1974, has not served in the military.

First of all, it's not even correct English. Second of all, bias/who cares much?

Posted by: Justin at February 11, 2004 09:55 AM | PERMALINK

This guy is a full bird colonel. You're saying he's just making this up? On the contrary, I think Colonel Burkett is telling the truth.

Posted by: wetzel at February 11, 2004 09:56 AM | PERMALINK

(At the risk of repeating a comment made on a post by Atrios:) It seems very unlikely to me that such documents would have been retained in hard copy form for 30 years. If there is anything to the story, perhaps what Burkett saw were printouts of microfilmed documents, and there would be no harm in disposing of those.

Posted by: alkali at February 11, 2004 09:57 AM | PERMALINK

Dallas Morning News is owned by a friend of George Bush.

I think the newsroom had to have vetted this very thoroughly to get it into print.

Earlier instance of similar newsroom courage at Columbia Journalism Review:

NEWS AS AMMUNITION

Among the countless groups of every calibre weighing in this fall in the presidential election campaign was Handgun Control Inc., a lobbying organization that spent $1.65 million of its hard-earned soft money on a thirty-second political spot targeted for TV stations in battleground states like Missouri. The ad, which took aim at George W. Bush's record on concealed-gun-toting in Texas, was accepted by twenty-five of the targeted stations, including three in St. Louis; it was refused, however, by one -- St. Louis's KMOV. As the St. Louis Post-Dispatch observed in a scolding September 11 editorial, KMOV "happens to be owned by the Dallas-based Belo Corp. [whose] chief executive officer [Robert Decherd] counts Mr. Bush as a friend." All this triggered the interest of the KMOV news staff, and whatever the relationship between their boss and the Republican nominee, it cut no ice with them. In a straight-shooting report on September 12, KMOV covered the controversy involving itself. The segment opened with the rejected ad, in all its thirty informative seconds.

http://archives.cjr.org/year/01/1/laurels.asp

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

"the guy who spent his vietnam days on the ski slopes in colorado??"

I wasn't aware that Aspen Mountain stayed open all through the summer and fall during the Vietnam era. But thanks for the hyperbole.

Posted by: Blue the Wild Dog at February 11, 2004 09:59 AM | PERMALINK

The Emily Marks thing (one of Bush's old girlfriends) is old news. She was uncovered by the Bush campaign in 2000 if not earlier. All she says is that he says he went to drills in AL. That's all.

You would think that SOMEONE would remember W, or that he would remember the name of SOMEONE he drilled with, particularly given his famous talent for remembering names.

Note the special attention paid to the Congressman's son in Texas:

Bush was sworn in as an airman the same day he applied. His commander, Col. Walter B. "Buck" Staudt, was apparently so pleased to have a VIP's son in his unit that he later staged a special ceremony so he could have his picture taken administering the oath, instead of the captain who actually had sworn Bush in. Later, when Bush was commissioned a second lieutenant by another subordinate, Staudt again staged a special ceremony for the cameras, this time with Bush's father the congressman – a supporter of the Vietnam War – standing proudly in the background.
...
The group's public relations office celebrated his solo flight in March 1970 with a press release that began:

"George Walker Bush is one member of the younger generation who doesn't get his kicks from pot or hashish or speed. . . . As far as kicks are concerned, Lt. Bush gets his from the roaring afterburner of the F-102."

Brig. Gen. John Scribner, director of the Texas Military Forces Museum in Austin, said it was only natural that the Guard would have publicized Bush's service with special ceremonies and press releases. "That's how they do things, play it up big, especially since he was a congressman's son. That was important to the Guard," he said.

Don't you think SOMEONE in AL would remember this guy???

Posted by: 71077345 at February 11, 2004 09:59 AM | PERMALINK

How anyone can say that Drum isn't fair and even handed on this whole story is beyond me. This post proves it. If this had been Clinton, this story would've been excepted, and ten people would've died because of it.

Drum's doing a hell'va job here. I'm proud to say that this is one of the first blogs I read every damn day of the week.

I expect soon the rabid right wingers will be harassing this site and Kevin and his family. They'll go to just about any lengths to shut people up.

Kevin, I hope you're prepared for the onslaught of crap you're gonna get.

Posted by: Tony Shifflett at February 11, 2004 09:59 AM | PERMALINK

By the way the John Scribner quoted above is presumably the same John Scribner accused by Burkett of doing the shredding.

Posted by: 71077345 at February 11, 2004 10:02 AM | PERMALINK

This is why Kevin's the guy to do this; he doesn't let any idological preconceptions to blind him to the quality of any given datum.

Posted by: Matt Davis at February 11, 2004 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

The one thing that sinks an investigation -- by press or by blog -- is relying indiscriminately on stories that are too good -- one person who ties it all together. Coincidences like that work in Victorian novels, but don't play out so well in real life. Kevin's enumeration of the points against Burkett are pretty decisive, if you ask me: a man who overhears a conversation that is conducted in terms that are improbably just the terms one wants the "bad guys" to use ("embarrass the Guvuhnor" -- is that supposed to be uttered by Rod Steiger or what?); who then either pokes around in the garbage, or is shown garbage that contains Bush's records; and whose specificity increases, rather than decreases, with the years and the re-tellings.

On the other hand, there is something truly comic -- and politically inept -- in Bush's apparent attempt to substitute, for Kerry's Band of Brothers, his own band of girlfriends to whom he told stories rationalizing not being there. I have a feeling this is not a route Bush defenders want to take.

One thing this story should kick in the head is the notion that Karl Rove is a political genius. A political genius would certainly have figured out that you release everything all at once, since the release of things one at a time leads to a fun parlor game. Rove is just another jockey.

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

Thanks for your comments, spc67. You're a true gentlemen. Makes me want to hang out at a moderate conservative site to be civil to the proprietors over there. Unfortunately, Volokh has no comments. Maybe I'll go to Drezner, except that his academic interests don't really interest me all that much.

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

Roger - don't drop the alliteration - I like "Bush's Band of Bimbos"

Posted by: Blue the Wild Dog at February 11, 2004 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

Sorry to keep banging on about this, but can you please stop referring to "The Times" as the "London Times". It's no more or less a London newspaper than ABC is a Los Angeles television station. If you have to distinguish it from the NYT there's nothing stopping you from calling it the UK's Times newspaper or something similar.

Posted by: Ginger Yellow at February 11, 2004 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

So nice to see the Dems, those of the party of principle (hah), have nothing better to hang their hopes on than Bush's National Guard record 30 years ago. Fucking losers. Too bad about CalPundit's boy Clark (dropping out tonight): America has missed out on a chance to be governed by its first Martian president. You guys are mighty desperate.

Posted by: Terry Lenzner at your service at February 11, 2004 10:13 AM | PERMALINK

SSG B:
RE: Fancy Latin terms

You're looking for apophasis (Greek term, really), or praeteritio, or related concepts (less fancy: "disingenuousness"), but I personally don't agree that Kevin is engaging in that...

Posted by: Mischa at February 11, 2004 10:14 AM | PERMALINK

Put on your tinfoil hats, conspiracy cranks: Kevvie Drum, "Investigative Journalist," can't give this non-story up.

Posted by: Terry Lenzner, at your service at February 11, 2004 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

The Burkett story reminds me so much of the Trooper stories that surfaced during the Clinton years. It doesn't pass the sniff test.

Posted by: Quaker in a Basement at February 11, 2004 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

I am repeating a comment that may have been buried in that 300+ comment Nazi firefight earlier.

Why has no one bothered to look at the dates on those Bush documents?

He went into the Guard with a six year obligation.

In 1973 his end date changes, it is now six years plus six months.

On his final military history record the final date is six years and six months after his start date.

Maybe there is an innocent explanation for this but Occam's razor says they added six months to his term of service for a screwup he was involved in.

http://users.cis.net/coldfeet/doc14.gif

#1 on Google for Liberal News

Posted by: Easter Lemming Liberal News Digest at February 11, 2004 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

Mischa said:
"RE: Fancy Latin terms
"You're looking for apophasis (Greek term, really), or praeteritio, or related concepts (less fancy: "disingenuousness"), but I personally don't agree that Kevin is engaging in that..."

Ah, very clever, Mischa: you define what it is Drumster is doing, and then say, "Not that I'm saying he's doing it." Quelle ironique!

Posted by: Terry Lenzner, master of the smear at February 11, 2004 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

I’m sorry, but I have to make a comment regarding the Bush – ANG issue: Is it relevant? Does it REALLY matter? Well, only if you think that politicians don’t lie I guess. Or perhaps if you believe that ANYONE who was in the National Guard during the Viet Nam era was there for any other reason than to escape the war. Come on folks.

Let’s face it, politicians ‘lie’ on some level or another all the time. Why else call it ‘politics?’ The notion of an “honest politician” is an oxymoron. Of course Slick Willy lied about Monica and smoking dope etc. Of course W. is trying to cover up the fact that he used Daddy’s money/influence to escape a trip to Viet Nam (only difference between W. and Kerry is that Kerry got into the fray a bit before he used his family influence to invoke the “thrice wounded” - thrice scratched - clause to escape back home to his Hanoi Jane politics BTW).

What are the REAL issues? How about the fact that we need to stop the “Ashcroft Cartel” in its tracks and actually DEFEND the Constitution for a change – instead of dismantling it (“Patriot” Act? J.E. Hoover or McCarthy would love it). How about the fact that “Separation of Church & State” needs to REALLY be upheld for once? (“Pro-Choice vs. Right to life” or “gay marriage” isn’t a LEGAL issue, it’s a RELIGIOUS one). How about the fact that ‘extremist’ politics (of any ‘flavor’) just isn’t the answer?

Fact is, any person truly worthy of the oval office isn’t going to apply. What truly honorable and honest person would lower themselves to the level of immersion in the cesspool of ‘beltway’ politics? Washington is a cesspool of money, influence, greed, graft, and delusions. THAT is the REAL issue we somehow shoulder aside in favor of these non-issue ‘issues.’ What we really need, is to put some serious energy into a grassroots movement to clean up Washington and get the money-influence-graft cartel out of there so TRULY honorable and honest men & women won’t shun the place.

Why waste time being ‘shocked’ when we catch a politico in a lie? Why worry about the fact that W. took us to war on 'faulty intelligence' (‘government intelligence’ is another nice oxymoron BTW). He took us to war to ‘spank’ Saddam for DARING to put a contract out on Daddy Bush. THAT’S why Saddam was a THREAT. Saddam dared to break the unwritten law that says “you don’t put out hits on government leaders.” Ergo, he had to be spanked. W’s own State Dept. analysts confirm that his ‘mind was made up’ no matter what the facts were (60-Minutes). THAT is an issue. Can there be any doubt he came into office with his own agenda already mapped out? Tax cuts for the rich? Saddam? Ashcroft & Co? Etc., etc., etc. Where is this ‘born-again’ agenda taking the country?

Iraq will fall to an Islamic cartel in the end (barring a TRUE miracle) and thousands will have died to spank Saddam. Meanwhile, we argue about ‘did he or didn’t he do his NG drills?’ Waste of energy guys. Time to FOCUS on the REAL issues: AKA: The US is slowly losing all semblance of the Constitutional foundations our founders bestowed upon us to a monied elite. THAT is a REAL issue.

Posted by: Skip at February 11, 2004 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

Bush supposedly moved into the Chateau Dijon (French for "Mustard House") in Houston in 1970. But the records released yesterday give an address of "2901 Westheimer" which is 3.5 miles away from Chateau Dijon, according to MapQuest.

Anything to this? Would love to know if there was a halfway house or drug treatment center at 2901 Westheimer Rd. in 1972-73.

Anyone here from Houston??

Posted by: 71077345 at February 11, 2004 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

If Burkett's story is false, all the White House needs to do is release the documents that Burkett says were destroyed.

Posted by: Cat M at February 11, 2004 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

Hey Terry Lenzner ! For someone at my service, you sure give a lot of lip.

You're fired !

Posted by: ch2 at February 11, 2004 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

If the commenters were as fair as the host, I would have more respect for them. The host is an honest partisan. Some of you guys here never took the lesson of "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me."

Anyway, if you are interested in some source material from the Bush side of the fence, try this:

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

Yep, it's a letter to the editor in the Moonie paper. But once you get past the I hate Kerry, Terry and Mike rhetoric, it offers some refutations to what the Host has dug up. Are they persuasive? I don't really know. But they are worth looking at.

As for where we stand? I'm tending to think our President is engaging in behavior that the GOP used to berate Clinton for. What he has said is technically correct, but substantively misleading. And I think that accounts for the PR botch that is coming out of the white house now. 1972-3 arethe years in which Bush spent much of his time drunk and disorderly. (The famous incident where he offered to go mano y mano with Poppy Bush dates from this period.) The fact that his Guard service is, to put it charitably, erratic at this point is unsurprising in this context.

But, as with many Clinton sins, there is less to this than meets the eye. First, in 1972, Bush was not really dodging Vietnam service. 1972 was when the US was busily pulling out of 'Nam, not sending fresh boys in. Second, it seems that Bush's service was no less honorable than the service of many others in the National Guard of the time. He was in is low 20s at the time. How many of you are totally proud of what you did back then??

I guess what I see is spin, but not cover up. And for that reason I see this little scandal as going poof in a few weeks. You know, sort of like the Clinton Travel Office scandal, and Filegate. Now I'm open to having my mind changed. But it would really require drill records and other records that do not correlate to the points Bush is receiving on his payroll records. (Or the Host's Alabama Project hitting paydirt.)

But, I think y'all need a better scandal. Well, maybe the Plame thing will reheat soon...

Posted by: appalled moderate at February 11, 2004 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

"And it all comes down to a little four-letter word: Mena." Sound familiar? Adjust tinfoil hats now.

Posted by: That Crazy "For the People Guy" (Drum's apparent role model) at February 11, 2004 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

Bush Releases the Evidence
Newly released records show he did indeed serve in 1972.

Under pressure from Democrats who claimed he had been "AWOL" or a "deserter" during his time in the Texas Air National Guard, President Bush today released new documents detailing his service in 1972 and 1973.

In recent weeks, critics had suggested that the president did not meet Guard duty standards during the period from May 1972 until May 1973. Other than the president's recollection that he served during that time, there has, until now, been no evidence that he actually reported for duty. The new documents, which consist of pay records and attendance reports, show that the president missed some months of service during that period but met the yearly requirement for satisfactory service. (Click here for documents 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.)

The record "clearly shows that First Lt. George W. Bush has satisfactory years for both 72-73 and 73-74, which proves that he completed his military obligation in a satisfactory manner," wrote retired Colonel Albert Lloyd, a Guard officer who reviewed the records at the request of the White House, in a letter released at today's press briefing.

According to Lloyd, guardsmen were required to accumulate 50 points per retirement year in order to meet Guard standards. The records show that the president accumulated 56 points in the May 1972 to May 1973 time period. The president accumulated another 56 points in the months immediately after May 1973, shortly before he left the Guard to attend Harvard Business School.

The records do not address the question of where the president was when he served his Guard duty. A retired official of the Alabama Air National Guard has said he has no recollection of the president's reporting for duty in 1972.

Indeed, the records show that the president did not earn any points for service in May, June, July, August, or September 1972. He began to earn points again in October 1972, and by May 1973 had collected enough points to satisfy Guard requirements for the year.

The president's service was measured on a May-to-May basis because he first joined the Guard in May, 1968. There are no questions about his service for his first four years in the Guard; indeed, the Boston Globe reported in 2000 that during that time the president "logged numerous hours of duty, well above the minimum requirements for so-called 'weekend warriors.'"

When he left the Guard, in 1973, the president was honorably discharged. The White House has maintained that that fact alone proves the president completed the necessary Guard requirements. But Democrats, including presumptive presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry, have said that the simple fact of an honorable discharge does not prove that the president did his duty.

The White House hopes that the release of documents today will quell criticism over the president's service. However, if Tuesday's press briefing was any indication, the questions will persist. Reporters from the broadcast television networks grilled White House spokesman Scott McClellan about the months in which the records do not show any service points earned by the president. McClellan, beyond stating repeatedly that the records prove the president met his obligations, was otherwise not familiar with the details of the documents, and the White House did not provide an expert who could interpret them for reporters.


Posted by: Dems are so funny when they're desperate. at February 11, 2004 10:27 AM | PERMALINK

Republicans would like nothing more than to convince us this is not important and we should not be pursuing it.

Frankly I think it's not as important as his lies about the Iraq war or his attempts to stifle dissent or his horrible economic policies but the idiotic media has decided it's a "more important" issue and the only one they really want to go after Bush on.

So be it. If it's the only thing the media is interested in, then I say let's prop it up and act like it's really important.

The media was responsible for dooming the Clark campaign and the Dean campaign by focusing on these absolutely stupid meaningless things like an over exuberant speech and an an opening day misstatement by Clark.

The Bush administration has the power to not only make this go away but to turn it to their advantage. All they have to do is release the records that once upon a time at any rate existed to prove Bush did his duty or bring forth people who recall serving with Bush in Alabama. That's it. A simple thing.

But their failure to do so makes it seem like they are hiding something and the media smells blood...and like the sharks they are, they're digging in.

As long as it results in the corpse of the Bush administration...I have no objection.

Posted by: Cat M at February 11, 2004 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

Why are regurgiposts like this a common wingnut tactic? Are they proud of their mastery of the "copy-and-paste" operation?

Posted by: Blue the Wild Dog at February 11, 2004 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

"As long as it results in the corpse of the Bush administration...I have no objection."

Of course you don't. The Dems have no shame.

Posted by: Terry Lenzner, he's your man at February 11, 2004 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

I am laughing so hard it hurts.

Posted by: Trolls are so funny when they make up silly names at February 11, 2004 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

Apparently the Dems are proud of their mastery of the desperate, irrelevant smear.

Posted by: Blow Me, Blue at February 11, 2004 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

"And it all comes down to a little four-letter word: Mena." Sound familiar? Adjust tinfoil hats now.

Posted by: Did I already say that? at February 11, 2004 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

"Don't you think SOMEONE in AL would remember this guy???"

What's funny is that the WaPo, in a multi-part bio of Bush for 2000, had quotes from people he attended HBS with.

Why can they find people who took classes with Bush, when they can't find people who served in the guard with Bush just a few years earlier?

Posted by: Jon H at February 11, 2004 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

How anyone can say that Drum isn't fair and even handed on this whole story is beyond me.

Oh, I dunno. Tom Bevan over at RealClearPolitics did a pretty good job taking Kevin down today.

The Kevin Drum - FreeRepublic (ooops, I meant Democrats.com) connection is pretty damning.

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

no problem blue dog, hyperbole's free of charge for those whose only contribution to the debate is "i hate bush...let's make up some stuff about him."

Posted by: timmac at February 11, 2004 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

What's funny is that the WaPo, in a multi-part bio of Bush for 2000, had quotes from people he attended HBS with.

Why can they find people who took classes with Bush, when they can't find people who served in the guard with Bush just a few years earlier?

Well, Bush spent two full years going to HBS daily. Bush spent a few hours over a couple of months, at most, at the AL National Guard.

Now, please give for me some of the names of the people you spent maybe 20 or 30 hours with TOTAL thirty years ago. Shouldn't be too hard. Duh.

Posted by: Al at February 11, 2004 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, Bill Burkett was apparently at death's door from ca. 2000 - 2002. During that time, he was surviving and unable to say much about the story.

From what I understood at the time of the original story, and what the Palast quote indicates, what he alleged was that (a) it was common scuttlebutt that Bush's files were being vetted and (b) he saw files in a trashcan. He believed that the two were connected, but did not have absolute proof. On the record, in 2000, he was very careful NOT to allege doctoring of files , though he may have been less precise in verbal conversations.

The fact that Palast was willing to go with the story is not conclusive, but it's enough to say that the story is plausible.

As for denigrating whistleblowers, don't. Whistleblowers are routinely trashed for telling the truth, adding insult to the injury of loss of friends, job and benefits. Burkett suffered heavily, both from his illness and from the consequences of confronting Bushco. He may be right, he may be wrong, but he doesn't deserve to be treated the way he has been treated.

Posted by: js at February 11, 2004 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

If I understand the chronology of this thing correctly, it is likely Bush only spent a couple of his training days in Alabama. (The October dates.) Everything else was after the close of the campaign, and probably would have been done in Texas. I can't see Bush lingering in Alabama after his candidate was defeated.

Posted by: appalled moderate at February 11, 2004 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

The next question for Bush: What strings, exactly, were pulled that allowed you to jump the line for that coveted Guard slot? There were hundreds of names ahead of yours. What are the records in this case? Who was bumped down to make room for the son of a congressman? This is another developing paper trail. Stay tuned...

Posted by: Simpka at February 11, 2004 10:41 AM | PERMALINK

PIECES TO THE GUARD PUZZLE: I didn't really want to get into the nitty-gritty middle of the Bush National Guard story, but I find myself there anyway. After watching the absolutely disgraceful performance by reporters at yesterday's White House press briefing, it looks as if we've now fully entered a vortex of insanity.

Scott McClellan stood at the podium with two new pieces of documentation, released as promised, supporting Bush's claim that he fulfilled his service requirements. Together with his honorable discharge, that makes three pieces of evidence that, at an absolute minimum, refute the AWOL charge against Bush.

It simply didn't matter. The press was completely impervious to the presentation of evidence that might in any way be seen as exonerating the President. They sniffed and sneered at the documents for a few minutes and then went on to obliterate McClellan with questions demanding a level of detail about events 30+ years ago that simply boggled the mind.

I want to address a couple of points specifically. First, one of the main aspects of the National Guard story being cited by the press is the apparent "contradiction" between the records presented yesterday and previous statements by National Guard commanders about Bush's service.

In particular, we're talking about a quote from retired Brig. Gen. William Turnipseed that appeared May 2000 in both the Boston Globe and the Associated Press.

Turnipseed, who was commander of the Alabama National Guard squadron during the time period in question is quoted as saying, "To my knowledge, he [Bush] never showed up."

David Gregory almost popped a vein yesterday demanding that McClellan explain the apparent "contradiction."

It's also worth noting that Terry McAuliffe, who has taken the publicizing of this story (and his position as the leader of a national party) to a new low said yesterday:

"The fact remains that there is still no evidence that George W. Bush showed up for duty as ordered while in Alabama." (emphasis added)

Turns out neither of these things are true; Bush was not "ordered" to report for duty in Alabama, nor does Turnipseed's quote present any sort of conclusive evidence of a contradiction.

I refer you to this article in the Chicago Sun-Times, which says:

"in an interview , Turnipseed states that Robinson's reporting of their conversation (in the Boston Globe in 2000) was either distorted or based upon his misunderstanding of how the military functioned at the time of Bush's service.

Here's a related article from the LA Times:

"If you're interested in his military records," Turnipseed said, "the facts are that he never belonged to the Alabama National Guard. He was never under my command. No one had the authority to order him to do anything. We couldn't cause him to be AWOL or anything else."
And here's more from Turnipseed in today's AP report:

On Tuesday, he [Turnipseed] told the AP that he was not sure whether he was even on the base during the time Bush was assigned there. Moreover, he said: "In 1972, I didn't even know he was supposed to come. I didn't know that until 2000. I'm not saying that he wasn't there. If he said he was there, I believe it. I don't remember seeing him."

So where does all of this leave us? Nowhere new, really. It's just we've now reached a level of intensity and detail on this story that is causing people to 1) forget the initial question and move the goalposts 2) dismiss facts in favor of speculation.

QUESTIONS FOR KEVIN: Kevin Drum has been more or less the ringmaster of the Bush National Guard circus on the web. Yesterday he posted a roundup of developments on the National Guard story, including a link to this lengthy post by Bob Fertik of Democrats.com.

Here is what Fertik says about the documents he obtained:

On November 6 [2000] - the day before the election - Democrats.com filed a FOIA request for Bush's pay records and his retirement records, hoping against hope that we would receive an immediate response. That didn't happen; three weeks later, on December 1, we received a fax responding to our FOIA request.

By then the 2000 election was over, and Democrats.com was trying to get to the bottom of a far greater mystery: who actually received more votes in Florida. Amidst the recount frenzy, the FOIA documents were forgotten.

In January 2004, the AWOL issue was suddenly revived - not because of Bush's critics, but because ABC's Peter Jennings challenged Wesley Clark to denounce his supporter Michael Moore for calling Bush a "deserter." Jennings was quickly joined by other media heavyweights, including David Broder and Tim Russert.

Democrats.com began publishing follow-up stories, and in the course of our research we discovered the FOIA documents that were forgotten in 2000. As we tried to evalute the significance of these documents, we shared our documents with other Internet researchers. (Emphasis added).

This doesn't even pass the giggle test. Fertik wants us to believe that he was desperately trying to get to the bottom of the Bush National Guard story and when he finally did get a response from the government that included official documentation of Bush's service record he "forgot" it for 3 1/2 years. I find that very, very hard to believe.

Another thing. Drum's original post of the "untorn" ARF document says the following:

"So what is ARF? I asked Bob Rogers, a retired Air National Guard pilot who's been following this for some time, and what follows is his interpretation of what happened."

So who exactly is Bob Rogers? Kevin's rather benign description fails to point out is that Rogers is also affiliated with Democrats.com - or at the very least he's been published on their site. This lengthy piece from October 4, 2000 alleges that the mysterious gap in George Bush's service record was the result of his being grounded for abuse of alcohol or drugs.

Three years later there remains zero evidence to support such a charge, not to mention the fact that even if someone was able to produce indisputable proof that Bush was grounded for a substance abuse problem that still wouldn't merit a charge of AWOL.

So, to summarize, it looks as if Kevin was fed these documents by Democrats.com that were lost for 3 1/2 years and then found earlier this year. Drum then called a person previously published on Democrats.com who was already on record concluding that Bush was grounded back in 1972 for possible alcohol and/or drug abuse to get "his interpretation of what happened". I'd say that's about as far from a disinterested, objective party as you could possibly find to provide analysis.

As I mentioned in a previous post, Fertik is the proprietor of one of the most frothy-mouthed, Bush-hating sites on the web. Don't take my word for it, visit for yourself. Be sure to not to miss this page titled "Bush-Nazi Links", or this special section called "Bush Hatred", or this page calling for the impeachment of President Bush, Dick Cheney, John Ashcroft, Chief Justice William Rehnquist, and House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. And don't forget to click on this page titled "The Bu$h Record" which contains the following nifty subhead:

"George W. Bush stole the election, and now he is stealing our future. Here are some comprehensive lists of the evil actions of the Bu$h administration."

I don't know Kevin Drum personally, though I've traded a couple of emails with him and I've read and enjoyed his commentary for quite a while. I'm not trying to attack his integrity or suggest that he's been trying to purposefully mislead people.

The point I want to make to Kevin is that this isn't some coffee house parlor game. You're directly attacking and questioning the character of the President of the United States. That's still a big deal in my book, and something to be taken very seriously.

Even worse, you're demanding perfect transparency and absolute accountability from the President for things that happened 32 years ago, yet you aren't fully disclosing details that have a direct bearing on the biases and motivations of the people providing you with information that you're disseminating through your blog.

Why not tell us up front that Democrats.com gave you the documents which were, as you say, available to the public for years under the FOIA? Why not point us to the article by Bob Rogers? Both certainly seem like germane pieces of information that readers would be interested in, if not entitled to, to make informed judgments about this story.

I can only imagine the howls of derision that would come my way if we were to publish documents (regardless of their ultimate authenticity) or quote someone as an expert who came from or was published by some venomous right wing, black-helicopter web site - especially if we failed to mention up front that that's where the information was coming from. We'd be trounced.

I have no idea what the truth is or how this entire affair will ultimately play out. Right now, the way I see it the scorecard reads 2-0 in favor of the President:

Michael Moore called him a "deserter." That was proven to be a slanderous lie.

Many on the left, including the presumptive nominee and the head of the Democratic Party, have charged Bush with being AWOL. That has also been proven to be a lie.

These people owe the President of the United States a public apology.

It looks like we're now in the third set of the match, and the goal now isn't to answer the big, important question of whether Bush fulfilled his service requirements (that has already been answered ) but to find something - anything - to embarrass and discredit the President.

Maybe the press will find something in the end, and maybe it will be damaging to the President politically. I don't know. But I sincerely doubt that whatever they may find in the fall of 1972 or the spring of 1973 will have anything to do with George W.Bush's ability to lead this country in the year 2004 and beyond.

Posted by: Rave on, Dems at February 11, 2004 10:41 AM | PERMALINK

Burkett may in fact have an axe to grind, but so what? EVERY THINKING AMERICAN CITIZEN HAS AN AXE TO GRIND when it comes to holding the unelected GWB pay for the catastrophic wreck he's made of this country's moral reputation, finances, and hope for the world.

Posted by: John H. Farr at February 11, 2004 10:41 AM | PERMALINK

In the WT story Bush's ex says that he called her, then came back a few weeks after the election. The pay records show some activity a few DAYS after the election.

Am I missing something? Did he, even by the GOP's reckoning, serve any more time in Alabama after Nov. 11-14?

Posted by: matt at February 11, 2004 10:41 AM | PERMALINK

Democrats have no shame??? Gotta love republicans. They think they should have a monopoly on the right to use smear politics--like the time Saxby Chambliss juxtaposed Max Cleland with Osama bin Laden or the time Bush's team pushpolled against John McCain in South Carolina, calling people to ask how they felt about that illegitimate child he had with a black prostitute (actually an adopted daughter from Bangladesh) or the time they played the race game with the Willie Horton smear against Michael Dukakis.

Take your indignation and shove it where the sun don't shine. For years republians have mistakenly believed that democrats were weak and so they could beat them up as much as they liked without recrimination. Well, wake up and smell the proverbial coffee! As James Carville says "We've had enough!" I know I have, and if the way to nail Bush is through his National Guard record, fine.

Though I'd much rather uncover information about him having an illicit affair. I think that would go a lot further to hurting his reputation.

His DUI just didn't seem to matter to people.

Posted by: CatM at February 11, 2004 10:41 AM | PERMALINK

Al, you ignoramus.

Now, please give for me some of the names of the people you spent maybe 20 or 30 hours with TOTAL thirty years ago. Shouldn't be too hard. Duh

If any of them happened to drill with the man who turned out to be the President of The United States of America, you don't think they'd, yeah, kinda remember him? George, idiot that he is, doesn't have to remember THEM. Moron. THEY would remember him, and unless Bush was a total asshole, so repugnant that he was two seconds away from a civilian frag, then they would come forward to exonerate him now.

God, sometimes you're so stupid I'm surprised you can type.

Posted by: chris at February 11, 2004 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

Gee, guess the freepers are still scared of ya today, Kev. On Burkett, look, the DMNs is pretty careful, they have to live in this state. And in the past they've treated shrub pretty well. I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt that they did their due diligence.

Posted by: four legs good at February 11, 2004 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

Rave On,

You should mention that the article you posted is Tom Bevan's commentary on Kevin from RealClearPolitics today.

Posted by: Al at February 11, 2004 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

If any of them happened to drill with the man who turned out to be the President of The United States of America, you don't think they'd, yeah, kinda remember him?

Of course! Provided that they were clairvoyant, and knew that Bush would become President 30 years later!

Posted by: Al at February 11, 2004 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

nothing better to hang their hopes on than Bush's National Guard record 30 years ago.

yes, all our hopes are hung on the aWol issue.


and lying about WMD and saddam's links with al qaeda, killing >530 US soldiers and thousands of civilians so far.


and outing Plame, endangering US assets, hampering fight against WMD(RPA), etc.


and stonewalling the 9/11 commission - who knows what's behind that?


and millions of lost jobs.


and half-trillion dollar annnual deficits. R's love that one.


but mostly the aWol thing, yeah.

good work, kevin.

Posted by: flatulus at February 11, 2004 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

Wow, I just read the other comments. The Bush damage control operatives are in full heat. I love it. But why do some of you persist in arguing with them? It's an organized campaign to shut Kevin up.

Don't do it, Kevin. We need ya.

Posted by: John H. Farr at February 11, 2004 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

Al,

Man, you're spot on.

Except...didn't Bush have to SIGN IN every drill, at least twice? To get the credit?

Where's the Unit in Question's muster records? Pull 'em, and let's have at 'em. If the dates match the dates in the summary reports, they match. If they don't, or his name isn't there, well, you do the math.

This is easy to clear up folks. The fact that it seems so damnned hard for Bush to clear it up leads me to believe:

A. He might be hiding something.
B. He doesn't know how to lead. (Pick up phone. Give staff order to release everything in his file.)
C. His staff is inept, and is ill serving him.

Posted by: Monkey at February 11, 2004 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

Al, if I so much as had lunch with the son of the Ambassador to the UN, I would remember it thirty years later.

Duh.

Posted by: apostropher at February 11, 2004 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

Put on your tinfoil hats, conspiracy cranks: Kevvie Drum, "Investigative Journalist," can't give this non-story up.

Posted by Terry Lenzner, at your service at February 11, 2004 10:15 AM |

---

Well, Terry, you're quite the busy little bee. So far you've made your snarks at DohiyiMir, my place and here. I wonder where else you've been today? Got a lot of time on your hands? You know what they say about idle hands, don't you?

It could make you blind.

Perhaps you should engage in thoughtful discourse if you wish to persuade people. Or are you incapable of expressing your opinions sans diatribe, ridicule and calling people names?

Posted by: amy at February 11, 2004 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

Seven questions from Michael Moore:

1. How were you able to jump ahead of 500 other applicants to get into the Texas Air National Guard, thus guaranteeing you would not have to go to Vietnam? What calls did your father (who was then a United States Congressman representing Texas) make on your behalf for you to get this assignment?

2. Why were you grounded (not allowed to fly) after you either failed your physical or failed to take it in July 1972? Was there a reason you were afraid to take the physical? Or, did you take it and not pass it? If so, why didn't you pass it? Was it the urine test? The records show that, after the Guard spent years and lots of money training you to be a pilot, you never flew for the rest of your time in the Guard. Why?

3. Can you produce one person who can verify that he served with you in the Guard during the year that your Texas commanders said you did not show up? Why have you failed to bring forth anyone who served with you in the Guard while you were in Alabama? Why hasn't ONE SINGLE PERSON come forward?

4. Can you tell us what you did when you claim to have shown up in Alabama for Guard duty? What were you duties? You were grounded, so what did they have you do instead?

5. Where are the sign-up sheets that would have your name and service number on them for each weekend you showed up? Aaron Brown on CNN told us how, when he was in the reserves, he had to sign in each time he reported, and his guest from the Washington Post said, that's right, and there would be "four copies of that record" in the files of various agencies. Will you ask those agencies to release those records?

6. If you were in fact paid for that time when you apparently went AWOL, will you authorize the IRS to release your 1972-73 tax returns?

7. How did you get an honorable discharge? What strings were pulled? Who called who?

Look, I'm sorry to have put you through all this. I was just goofing around when I made that comment about wanting to see a debate between the general and the deserter. I had no idea that it would lead to this. And there you were, having to suffer through Tim Russert on Sunday, saying weird things like "I'm a war president!" I guess you believe that, or you want us to believe that. Americans have never voted out a Commander-in-Chief during a war. I guess that's what you're hoping for. You need the war.

But we don't. And our troops in the National Guard don't either. I know you see the writing on the wall, so why not come clean now? We are a forgiving people, and though you will not be returned to White House, you will find us grateful for a little bit of truth. Answer our questions, apologize to the nation, and bring our kids home.

Posted by: Michael Moore at February 11, 2004 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

Kev, ah say, ah say, git ya self a dawg that can hunt.

Posted by: Spirit of Jim Carville at February 11, 2004 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

Apostrapher,

If you had just lunch with some guy you never heard of 30 years ago who was simply visiting from another state and that you would have reason to remember 30 years later, you would long have forgotten about it by now, even if he did later become the UN Ambassador.

Posted by: Al at February 11, 2004 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

make that "...would have NO reason to remember..."

Posted by: Al at February 11, 2004 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

AMY SAID: "Perhaps you should engage in thoughtful discourse if you wish to persuade people. Or are you incapable of expressing your opinions sans diatribe, ridicule and calling people names?"

Nope. Cunt.

Posted by: t lenzner rocks at February 11, 2004 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

Can I remember people I met thirty years ago? Well, thirty years ago, I was four. So no, not really. But 29 years ago, I was in kindergarten, and one day I went to the home of my friend Christine Larson and met her older sister Denise. And I remember Denise, although I never saw her again after that.

I also remember several people with whom I went to Bible Camp in 8th grade, although I've never seen them again.

Posted by: CatM at February 11, 2004 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

Well, Al, maybe you have a bad memory but not everyone does. The point is that not only would Bush have to have forgotten but so would every single person he encountered while allegedly spending his weekends at the base. Every one of them.

I don't find that very credible. I know I'd remember if I met someone as stupid as George Bush.

Posted by: CatM at February 11, 2004 10:54 AM | PERMALINK

Why do people think the Dems are hanging all their hopes on this issue???

I believe this is just one issue of many to come.

And there are BIGGER issues. If you cause an accident do you just ignore the fact you were speeding because you ran a red light???

We are just waiting for certain commissions to complete their findings.

The fact Republicans are so worried about this non-issue is very comforting. The "best" is yet to come.

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

Al: Now, please give for me some of the names of the people you spent maybe 20 or 30 hours with TOTAL thirty years ago. Shouldn't be too hard. Duh.

Some random guy? It'd be pretty hard. Some random guy who went on to become President of the United States? Shouldn't be hard at all, especially with the journalistic establishment starting go all a-quiver over this matter.

Case in point: I worked in a bar five years ago that had a very high turnover rate. So high, in fact, that in the time it took to hire myself and the two other people in the new batch, three more people had left. One of those people had been on MTV's Real World; a minor celebrity in his own, shallow way. Now I couldn't reproduce his name to save my life, but I guarantee you that if he became a newsmaker -- and especially if they said he'd worked in thus-and-such a town during the following years -- I'd not only remember who he was but would cheerfully be willing to testify that he'd been there... and I'm not sure we even met. It might take a little longer 25 years down the line, but I don't doubt I'd be able to do that if it made the news in any serious way.

Now this is a different situation in that Bush was unremarkable at the time, and only achieved greatness later. But what kind of greatness? Well, he became President. Of the United States. And we've supposedly been given very precise times and dates as to when and where Bush was during that service. Even if Bush doesn't remember anyone's names -- a likely story, given his self-confessed state at the time, although somewhat irrelevant as the requisite records ought to exist somewhere -- are you seriously saying that no-one who served with Bush has been able to put the pieces together and note that they served with him?

It is, of course, a possibility that no-one does; but I, for one, cannot look at that particular fact without wondering what the hell is going on.

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

Here is Burkett's interview in November, 2000:

www.talion.com/georgebush.html#burkett

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

According to Josh Marshall's latest over at TPM...the administration won't be releasing any more records.

They are going to stonewall the trolling for the truth.

And they are, of course, twisting the remarks made on MTP promising the release of the files.

Someone needs to get their hands on those records and leak their contents to the people.

All we need is one partiot with access...surely such a man or woman exists...

For the love of country we need to put this bush scoundrel out of business.

Release the records hidden patriot...release the records!

Posted by: -pea- at February 11, 2004 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

CatM. A thought for you.

If you remember 1995-2000, you will recall a lot of people who sounded like you. Except they were Republicans.

You may recall how well the GOP fared in 1996 and 1998. The only reason they fared better in 2000 was that Gore was a poor candidate and the GOP won in the Supreme Court.

This "I'm mad so I'm just gonna slander away and maybe something will stick and I sure hope so" is a loser. Because the wild eyed stuff just isn't very convincing. It makes you sound like an extremist, even if you aren't really.

Posted by: appalled moderate at February 11, 2004 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

Boring.

"he doesn't let any idological preconceptions to blind him to the quality of any given datum"

So can I post whatever shit I want and retain my credibility so long as I occasionally post something really kooky supporting my arguments but saying "here's a big story, but it might not be right."

Posted by: REg at February 11, 2004 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

By the way, the Dallas Morning News story was picked up by our local paper here in Columbus, Ohio this morning and run on the front page. I was a little startled to see it first think in the AM.

It does seem that the release of documents yesterday hasn't dampened the questions going around in press circles.

Posted by: William Swann at February 11, 2004 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

Good point Anarch. Once, my Spanish class had a party at the home of one of our classmates. His brother, whom I had never met before, was there--named Sean Duffy. I never gave him a second thought and never even saw him again until he showed up on the Lumberjack Championships on ESPN and then on MTV's the Real World.

Of course that was only 20 years ago, but I don't think I'll forget in the next ten years.

Posted by: CatM at February 11, 2004 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

Apparently the waiting list to get into the Texas Air National Guard at the time Bush signed up is about to surface...

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

Some random guy? It'd be pretty hard. Some random guy who went on to become President of the United States? Shouldn't be hard at all

Like I said, I agree with you completely... If you are clairvoyant and knew at the time that Bush would go on and become President.

Otherwise, at the time, it was just "some random guy".

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

I disagree "appalled moderate." Things have changed since the 80s. Until the media goes back to being responsible again, this is what we're left with. And it will get worse now that republicans have increased media ownership from 35 percent to 39 percent. Media has become a corporate business instead of an exercise in keeping people informed.

As long as the media is corporate driven, responsible journalism is largely dead. That is why the only responsible journalism one can find is almost exclusively on PBS and NPR. They are not corporate driven.

You can't compare what happened in the 80s with what's happening now. Look, if democrats stop throwing the crap and hoping it sticks, republicans will keep right on doing it. But if we start throwing it right back at them, perhaps eventually they will decide to improve the tone of the discourse.

Until then...

I'd like to know why Bush went AWOL.

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

You might forget someone you knew only casually 30 years ago if he suddenly surfaced after being out of the public eye for all of that time - but Bush has been in the public eye for decades now, cutting the time gap considerably. Wouldn't somebody's memory have been jogged in the 80's when his father held national office, or in 88 when his Dad was elected President? Or when young George himself ran for Congress, or was elected Governor? W hasn't been hiding under a rock since 1973, he's been in the public eye for a long time now.

Posted by: Jersey Tomato at February 11, 2004 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

Alabama Guardsman #1: Hey, check out the news.
Alabama Guardsman #2: Why?

AG1: Turns out the President served in our unit in the early '70s, but Democrats are saying it isn't true.
AG2: No foolin?

AG1: Yeah. But I don't remember seeing him.
AG2: Maybe he only drilled with us a couple of times.

AG1: Good point. You know, since I am a Republican, and I support the President, I am going to call a couple of our Guard buddies so we can think real hard together and see if anyone remembers Bush.
AG2: That's a good idea. I'll look through the photos in my attic to see if anyone posed with Bush- someone must have. There weren't many pilots who's dads were Congressman at the time. And he was a real party guy who everyone liked.

AG1: Great idea. Both of us are happy to talk to the media, since we are Republicans who support the President.
AG2: Well, even if we don't remember him, AG3 or AG4 will. After all, John Kerry has dozens of people he served with talking to the media. Since Bush showed up, there should be at least a couple of people who will help us out.

Calpundit Troll: This conversation is impossible, therefore it proves my point that Bush is telling the truth.

Posted by: Mr Happy at February 11, 2004 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

Slowly, for those who need it (apparently REg).

One of the fundamental assertions on both sides of the political fence is that the media is too biased, either pro-administration due to the need for access and/or money or pro-liberal due to the need for, er...what advantages does being a liberal have? Except for, you know, the concern for your fellow man/clear conscience thing, I mean...

All that Mr. Drum here did was bring up one of the most damning pieces of testimony against Bush, then basically hand 'your' side the means to discredit it. If this was posted on The Corner, you'd be bathing in it.

But here, it's interpreted as a cynical credibility-grab.

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

From Al,
"Otherwise, at the time, it was just "some random guy"."

Are you out of your mind ? Bush was not some random guy, he was the SON of a congressman ! He was famous then ! Lie down the pipe, dude.

Posted by: ch2 at February 11, 2004 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

It may be true that the Washington Times is Fox without the fairness, but it's coverage of Bush's national guard service has established a new high for prejudice and distortion. The Times reporter, Rowan Scarborough, doesn't deserve his American flag lapel pin.

Meanwhile, where's the communique that shows Bush's guilt? Where's the story that proves he's a liar? The free world waits.

Posted by: Philo Vance at February 11, 2004 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

I am a little amused by the idea that one of Bush's ex-girlfriends is telling the press, "He told me he was going off to drill practice." If that was a fib, I'd hate to be busted on it 30+ years after the fact.

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

...the Chateau Dijon (French for "Mustard House")...

While the city of Dijon is rightly famous for its mustard, it really has a lot more to offer.

Posted by: Motoko Kusanagi at February 11, 2004 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

Folks, from 71-73, George Bush the elder was not a Congressman; that was 66-70. During the years in question, he was ambassador to the United Nations - a MUCH higher profile position. So between that, and GWB's grandfather having been a well-known senator, the idea that nobody would have known who GWB was is, well, questionable.

Posted by: apostropher at February 11, 2004 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

That's a good idea. I'll look through the photos in my attic to see if anyone posed with Bush- someone must have. There weren't many pilots who's dads were Congressman at the time. And he was a real party guy who everyone liked.

Yeah, that's it. Most people have 30-year-old photos up in the attic of some random guy they spent at most a few hours with 30 years ago. Right!

And you are also presuming Bush told everyone his dad was a Congressman.

And you are also presuming that Bush spent time partying with these people.

Presumption on top of presumption.

Most likely he didn't spend a lot of time with these folks... he didn't plan to spend much time in Alabama, since he'd be leaving after the campaign ended, and he had, you know, the campaign to work on!

That all being said, Jersey Tomato makes a halfway decent point. But I still doubt whether many people in the Alabama NG got to know him at all.

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

face GWB is a

SLACKER!

deal with it...

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

I had a school buddy whose younger brother went on to play soccer for Australia. His brother was two years behind me at school.

I have not seen or spoken to my school buddy since leaving school. Given, this is not 30 years ago but a good 20 years since my school days.

His brother's name is Paul Okon. He didn't play for Australia till years later and I still remember the name.

I don't think in 10 years time if someone were to ask me "do you know of a Paul Okon?" I would have any trouble remembering.

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

"But I still doubt whether many people in the Alabama NG got to know him at all."

That's what all of us are saying, too, Al. But to me, the most likely explanation of that is that they never had the chance.

Posted by: apostropher at February 11, 2004 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

"Most likely he didn't spend a lot of time with these folks... he didn't plan to spend much time in Alabama, since he'd be leaving after the campaign ended, and he had, you know, the campaign to work on!"

Even if he didn't spend a lot of time with them, you would have to assume that at least one of them was a Republican. And that at least one of them supported Bush for President. And at least one of them would have, in the last four years, taken the time to speak to a reporter to say "Yes, I saw Bush there". Thet would do a LOT to silence the critics.

But the silence is deafening.

Posted by: Mr Happy at February 11, 2004 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

Bush could settle this if he would follow these steps:

1. Pick up phone.
2. Press buttons until his Secretary picks up on the other line.
3. Forms the words "I want the White House to release my tax returns from 1970-1975, and all of my service records. By tomorrow, or I'm going to fire somebody."

That's leadership. What's going on now smacks of a cover-up.

Posted by: Monkey at February 11, 2004 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

Now, please give for me some of the names of the people you spent maybe 20 or 30 hours with TOTAL thirty years ago. Shouldn't be too hard. Duh

Alright. 30 years ago I was 5 years old, living in Chicago. I remember the names of a couple of neighbor kids and the name of my kindergarten teacher.

Her name (Mrs. Butkus) struck us all as funny at the time, and I recall being dimly aware that her husband was a football player. Only much later in life did I realize that she must've been the wife of the greatest middle linebacker ever to play the game.

See how it works? Now if I can make that connection based on memories of when I was five years old, you'd think someone who served with a future POTUS would be able to remember. But no.

20 years ago, per your question, is of course much easier. I was fifteen and there were maybe 300 students in my class. Only a few were friends and I never spoke to most of them. If any of them ever become President (fat chance) I promise you I'll remember. Every now and then an old classmate makes the news (there was a suicide a few years ago, and one was convicted of murder) and even though I don't keep track of anyone I knew back then, word gets around.

There's no way President Bush performed any duty in Alabama. His CO would've made a fuss, and other guys in his temporary unit would remember him. This is abundantly clear from the accounts of veterans who served at the time and understand how the service operated.

The ONLY open question is: What embarassing revelation lies in the files the President won't release? Disciplinary hearings? Drug use?

Posted by: Laertes at February 11, 2004 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

You would think that SOMEONE would remember W, or that he would remember the name of SOMEONE he drilled with, particularly given his famous talent for remembering names.

Yeah - like, um, Lieutentant Stretch. or the Other Lieutenant Stretch. Or, um, Captain Slim - you know who I mean. And then there was that one Mexican sergeant, um, Sergeant Frito Bandito . . .

Posted by: Ed Zeppelin at February 11, 2004 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

Great work, Kevin.

Now let's find out what was at 2901 Westheimer Rd. in Houston in 1972.

Posted by: Eazy at February 11, 2004 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

"Otherwise, at the time, it was just "some random guy."

When I was six or so, we moved from Chicago to Hobart, Indiana. One of the neighbor kids around my age was Adam Benjamin, son of then-congressman Adam Benjamin. I didn't know what a congressman was, but I knew that Adam was the son of one. This was pretty much the first thing anyone learned about him. Teachers and the principal always made a fuss. The other neighbors fussed over him too.

It's a big deal, and the Benjamins aren't some old blueblood aristocrats like the Bush clan. The idea that Bush could serve, even for a few weekends, with several men of whom none can today remember him is preposterous on its' face.

Posted by: Laertes at February 11, 2004 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

Good Bush/AWOL background at The Progressive Southerner, dated 2/2/04:

http://www.southerner.net/blog/awolbush.html

Quotes...

"[Bush] 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."

and on, and on, etc. Very good article, worth reading.

Posted by: aReader at February 11, 2004 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

Alkali is right. "Oh, I'd like to be with you tonight, honey, but I have to go to guard duty." I wish some of my ex-girlfriends had been as gullible as the lady the moonie paper and GOP-TV cite as proof that the shrub went where he told her he was going.
Some 50+ Alabamian who was in the National Guard could make himself a GOP hero, and most likely wealthier, by simply lying that he remembers seeing the shrub at drills. I'm amazed that the same crew who convinced Americans that Iraq had nukes haven't yet come up with such an opportunistic Alabamian.
I was at Andover with the shrub forty years ago, and remember him well -- in fact, he's still the same loudmouth, strutting asshole.

Posted by: irishboy at February 11, 2004 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

Second Guardsmen Supports Bush Aides Scrubbing Military Records Story

Harvey Gough, a 32 year vetern of the Texas National Guard has come forward. He was the Warrant Officer, C4, at Camp Mabry.

Gough says that Dan Bartlett and Danny James came to him at Camp Mabry in 1993, right after Bush was inaugurated as Governor, and deleted portions of Bush's TANG file.

"I asked Gough what he believed was scrubbed? 'I think quite a bit. I think all his time in Alabama.'"

Still no noticeable follow-up on why Bush length of service requirement was increased six months.

#1 on Google for Liberal News

Posted by: Easter Lemming Liberal News Digest at February 11, 2004 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

Wouldn't it be ironic if Bush DID serve in Alabama and people DO remember him, but he was such an unmitigated asshole that they just aren't coming forward?

Posted by: chris at February 11, 2004 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

A careful review of the a thousand or more so called "Morning Reports" would dredge up the answer. They are written and signed every day in ever military unit. In so far as I know they are never thrown away. When ever an officer or enlisted man reports for duty or departs for another unit it is covered etc, etc.

Where are they?

Posted by: Gerald Sutliff at February 11, 2004 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

Here, Al. Some people do remember your little sweetie in 'Bama:

"In Alabama, where George W. Bush supposedly was slaving away on Winton "Red" Blount's 1972 U.S. Senate campaign in lieu of National Guard duty, he is remembered by a Blount son as a smartass "cuntsman" from Texas.
Bush Junior, as he was then called, used to come into Blount's campaign office in Montgomery, prop his feet up on a desk, and blab on about how much he'd drunk the night before, according to a detailed article by New Orleans freelance journalist Glynn Wilson on his Progressive Southerner blog (southerner.net/blog/awolbush.html).
Blount's Belles, a group of young Republican women and Montgomery debutantes who were helping out on the campaign, would fall into a swoon at the sight of young George. "We thought he was to die for," said one. But the Blue Haired Platoon, a group of older women campaigning for Blount, referred to Junior as "the Texas soufflé" because he was "all puffed up and full of hot air."

See, it isn't so hard.

Posted by: Mike at February 11, 2004 01:12 PM | PERMALINK

Seems to me the Bush folks would rather fight this out at this line till everybody is sick of it or something comes along to distract us. If they give in on the attendance issue while appetites are still whetted, it would lead to the missed physical (which no one is really talking about) which leads on to the cocaine issue.

And that would be really no fun for the White House.

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

There's no doubt that Bush was in Alabama. We've heard a lot of stories from people who worked on the campaign with him. He even had a girlfriend in Alabama, who has come forward to say that he was there and that he at least talked about going to drills (though she never saw him actually go to one, she assumes he did). The question is whether he reported for drills in Alabama. That question is still unanswered, though the fact that he was not paid for six months while he was in Alabama is damning.

This is a story that doesn't have much traction as a story in and of itself. The REAL story is whether Bush is engaged in a coverup -- and why? I mean, c'mon, 6 months no-show when you're a member of a trophy unit that will never see combat is, like, what's the big deal? What is Bush hiding, and why? What in the world could Bush have done in 1972 that could be so damning that he'd spend all this effort trying to cover it up? I mean, c'mon, we know that as a young man he was a drunkard and snorted some nose candy. Nothing that comes out about that today would be a revelation or particularly pertinant, given that he's neither a drunkard nor a junkie today. What else could he be hiding?

Posted by: BadTux at February 11, 2004 01:22 PM | PERMALINK

When I was in Supply Specialist & Armorer Training in 1969 at Fort Lee another enlistee was the son of a Congressman from one of the Dakotas. I likely could google up his name. If the Texas Soufflé Slacker son of the UN Ambassador showed up for our regular duty, us low lives would have remembered him.

Posted by: Jim S at February 11, 2004 01:25 PM | PERMALINK

Nothing that comes out about that today would be a revelation or particularly pertinant, given that he's neither a drunkard nor a junkie today. What else could he be hiding?

How many harsh anti-drug laws did he sign as Gov of Texas?

If he did coke, or got busted for coke, and got off because of his parents...while a black kid might still be in prison?

You see where this could be leading?

Posted by: Monkey at February 11, 2004 01:26 PM | PERMALINK

BadTux - You ask what else could he be hiding? As per the Washington Post this morning, he did some community work for PUSH in Houston in early 73'. According to two books, he allegedly was busted for a small amount of coke and cut a deal to do community service and have the charge expunged from his record.

Eazy - 2901 Westheimer shows 21 listing in a reverse directory search. Seems to be now a small apt or complex.

Posted by: chris/tx at February 11, 2004 01:32 PM | PERMALINK

For what it is worth in 1996, 2901 Westheimer Rd. appears to be some sort of housing with about 30 or so units. (PhoneDisc Powerfinder 1996)

Posted by: ____league at February 11, 2004 01:32 PM | PERMALINK

It seems to me that this girlfriend the Times is quoting is saying something interesting. To wit: Bush came back to do his drills after the election. Now, the pay records show drill time on Oct. 28-9, Nov. 11-14 and Jan. 4-6. The election occurs on Nov. 7. So where is Bush 'coming back' from? If she is referring to the Nov. service, certainly Bush didn't leave town the 8th to return the 10th for duty? And if she means the January service, then was he coming back from Texas or from D.C., where he had spent the Christmas holidays with his family? If the former, then Bush left some time after the 26th from D.C. to fly to Houston for at most 7 days, then flew to Alabama for the 3rd of Jan. That seems unlikely.

If the latter, then Bush left from his parent's house in D.C. to Alabama. If that was the case, you would think that some member of his family would remember that.

Remember, Bush was helping Blount because of the friendship that existed between Bush Sr. and Blount. Bush applied for the transfer with his dad's blessing. And then he had a fight with his dad over the holiday. Surely he would have told him that he had to return to Alabama to pull guard duty there right after the holidays? At the very least, whoever drove him to the airport would know that he was going to Alabama, rather than Texas, no?

Posted by: epist at February 11, 2004 01:36 PM | PERMALINK

How many harsh anti-drug laws did he sign as Gov of Texas?

I'm with you, but I don't think that's a particularly telling line of inquiry. I can attest as a cigarette smoker that nobody is more unsufferably self-righteous and hard-assed about that than an ex-smoker.

Posted by: apostropher at February 11, 2004 01:39 PM | PERMALINK

I thought Alabama was a no-pay posting. That's in one of the documents at the coldfeet site.

Posted by: elliottg at February 11, 2004 01:40 PM | PERMALINK

I know this is off the topic but can someone please clarify what an "independent" inquiry means to this administration?

"The deal will not allow the full 10-member commission to read the original documents or to have access to notes on the documents taken by some of the commission's own members. The summary -- provided to commission members during a closed-door meeting yesterday -- covered several dozen original intelligence documents and was first vetted by the White House, officials said.

The limitations prompted at least three Democratic members of the bipartisan panel to vote in favor of issuing a subpoena to the White House for the documents, known as the President's Daily Brief (PDB)."

Dissapointing.

Posted by: Poz at February 11, 2004 01:40 PM | PERMALINK

Oops... sorry... previous post was in regards to the 9/11 commission.

Posted by: Poz at February 11, 2004 01:43 PM | PERMALINK

Bad Tux - there's a story in today's Star-ledger (New Jersey) that was picked up from the Birmingham News. In it, the then-commander of the 9921st Air Reserve Squadron says Bush never reported for duty. "He never did come to my squad," said retired Lt. Col. Reese Bricker, who lives in Montgomery. "He was never at my unit." Recall that Bush asked for a transfer to Bricker's unit whhile he was still in Texas. He packed his bags and moved to Alabama before receiving approval, which was subsequently denied. Ultimately, Bush was assigned to another Alabama unit, where William Turnipseed didn't recall him, either. Turnipseed seems to have backed off of his blanket assertion somewhat, but Bricker says Bush never showed. That's a five month gap that is still unaccounted for.

Posted by: Jersey Tomato at February 11, 2004 01:44 PM | PERMALINK

It's leading nowhere, Monkey, because you can't prove it. Did Bush do coke in 1972? maybe. So did our Democrat Lt Governor here in Georgia (if you believe rumors). So did a lot of people.

Think maybe Kerry did pot or something else? Maybe, maybe not, but consider who he was at the time. I'm sure Rove & Co. are working on it.

We all love a good scandal. But it's hard to take seriously those who get a little too excited about it. You essentially have the record of a rich boy slacker who did the minimum possible. The record does not reflect well on Bush, who is probably painfully aware of that. But no laws broken. And nobody in the military ever complained that he was actually AWOL. (Maybe there is a hidden record somewhere, but it would be nice if you actuially proved it.)

Monkey. You sound like Newt Gingrich gone left. Is that really who you want to be?

Posted by: appalled moderate at February 11, 2004 01:45 PM | PERMALINK

can someone please clarify what an "independent" inquiry means to this administration?

Ah, I see your confusion - you misheard them. Not "independent," but "in the pocket." Make more sense now?

Posted by: apostropher at February 11, 2004 01:46 PM | PERMALINK

Bush did some early housekeeping, and they scrubbed all the files.

Posted by: chsa at February 11, 2004 01:48 PM | PERMALINK

Here's the big problem for Bush right now. A current AP story circulated in several hundred papers over the last two days has this graf:

Questions have been raised about whether family connections helped him get into the Guard when there were waiting lists. Bush says no one in his family pulled strings and that he got in because others didn't want to commit to the almost two years of active duty required for fighter pilot training.

If somebody in the Bush in the Administration is still making this claim, then they are misrepresenting the truth. Somebody in the Bush family clearly pulled strings, the proof is in the testimony of Ben Barnes in a 1998 whistleblower lawsuit. The Washington Post has this:

Former speaker of the Texas House of Representatives Ben Barnes said under oath today that he recommended George W. Bush for a pilot's slot in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War at the behest of a Houston businessman close to the Bush family.

Posted by: Tuna at February 11, 2004 01:49 PM | PERMALINK

So funny to see the newly-minted idiots posting here trying to impune Mr's Drum's integrity or motives. As if their copious gaseous blather is going to convince anyone. Guess what Freepers and Dittoheads? Blogs aren't CBS--your intimidation, shout-down tactics won't work. They just show that you're partisan, laughable pricks.

Those of us that have been reading Kevin's work for the last year know he's a straight shooter. Even if Kevin eventually throws in the towel, which I doubt, someone else will pick it up.

Release the records. All of them. I thought Republicans believed in accountability and straight-shooting...riiiiiight...

Posted by: Tim B. at February 11, 2004 01:54 PM | PERMALINK

On the question of Bush's ex-girlfriend's defense of him ... the LA Times includes some detail not found in the Wash Times article (I don't believe anyone has pointed this out above; my apologies if I missed it):

"Emily Marks Curtis, who said she was Bush's girlfriend in Montgomery, recalled that he had told her that he was in the Alabama National Guard, but she never saw him in uniform. She said she also never saw a uniform or National Guard material in his Montgomery apartment or in his car."

Also, the folks at FactCheck.org, who so spectacularly bungled their first look at the Bush/Guard issue, have a new attempt up on their web site. I have some details (linked on my name below) for those interested.

Posted by: Verities at February 11, 2004 01:58 PM | PERMALINK

All Right Billing
2901 Westheimer Rd #2

Would that be the same All Right Billing which has ties to the American Nazi Party, Tom Metzger, Frank Carlucci, and Crown Prince Abdullah's cousin Ahmed "Jimmy" Fahd? The plot thickens...

Posted by: me2i81 at February 11, 2004 02:00 PM | PERMALINK

So Bush is "proud" of his record with the National Guard.

Yet, unlike every modern president, Bush refuses to release his full military record, preferring to dole out a few selected pages.

I'm sure he's proud of all those things in his record that he's not releasing!

If he were as proud of his wife as he was of his National Guard service, Laura would be locked in the basement wearing a burka and he'd be presenting locks of her hair as "proof" he'd behaved honorably toward her.

Bush isn't releasing his full military record. That is a story in itself.

K


Posted by: keef at February 11, 2004 02:01 PM | PERMALINK

We should all be ashamed for participating in gutter politics (as Scotty would say).

He even says he could understand it if we raised this issue at the 11th hour but to do it months prior to the election! We should all be ashamed.

Ashamed for asking questions? Ashamed for allowing the WH time to rebuke the claims rather than bringing them up at the 11th hour where they have no chance to counter the claims? Ashamed for having raised the same issue time and time again every 4 years or so?

An answer back in '92 may have buried the issue then and there. Is the WH ashamed they can't come up with a satisfactory answer?

Is the current admin ashamed of why Bush missed his physical?

It's fine to stand there and say we dealt with this issue in 2000 and then, again, NOT answer the question.

I really don't care if the WH or Scotty think it shameful that we ask certain questions. How about an answer?

Posted by: Poz at February 11, 2004 02:01 PM | PERMALINK

Quayle (1988) was criticised for lax National Guard duty (evidently he never did anything except play golf); Bush/Quayle win.

Clinton (1992) was criticised for sneakily evading military service (earning the name "SlickWilly"), and for sexual improprieties as Gov. of Alabama; Clinton/Gore defeat both Bush/Qualye and Perot, even though both Bush and Perot both served in the Navy.

Clinton (1996), criticisms renewed, defeats Dole, who had served in WWII.

Bush (1994?) criticised for National Guard dereliction of duty, defeats incumbent Ann Richardson for gov of Texas.

Bush 2000, National Guard story revived, accusations of taking cocaine (not actually admitted or denied by him), nominated over McCain, elected Pres, but without majority of popular vote.

Now, we are in 2004, and the National Guard story is revived. We learn from reading Calpundit that the National guard was extremely flexible in scheduling and allowing makeup of required duty (which we knew from Qualye in 1988 already), but docs show: Bush had honorable discharge; Bush was paid; Bush had required number of service credits; Bush might have had a drug problem, but he has been clean now for 30 years. Is there anybody whose mind is not made up on other matters (war, excess budget deficit, etc.) who thinks this story matters in the vote? VietNam didn't affect the vote in 1988, 1992, 1996, or 2000, as far as I can tell.


As for comments on the Clinton sex scandals, it is a violation of federal law for an employer (or supervisor) to have sex with an employee (or supervisee) in the workplace, even if it's consensual (on the reasonable grounds that what seems like consent can be subtly coerced by the boss). Republicans opposed the law, but the Democrats got it passed. One nice thing about the impeachment hearings was to hear all the Democratic legislators admit the facts of the Clinton case in their speeches, but excuse the behavior that they lamented, even though their own law was broken.

For people in the middle, who can't decide whom to vote for, this is not an issue. Kerry was right in 1992, defending Clinton: the VietNam era shouldn't matter anymore. The people voted against it in 1964, so all subsequent military activity was tainted. Kerry had a good service record, but he apparently killed innocent people as well.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler at February 11, 2004 02:06 PM | PERMALINK

drum's work is so good that he should be designated as a national treasure. max cleland has suggested that the befuddled president could clear much of the fog if he released his DD214 summary of his military service. how about it, repubs?

Posted by: mateo at February 11, 2004 02:07 PM | PERMALINK

I read in "Mother Jones" that Bush once used his plane to transport a tropical plant. Anybody know more about this? What else might he have transported in it?

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

On the memory thing, over 20 years ago I was an instructor at a summer camp for high school debaters in Sioux Falls, South Dakota (yes, Virginia, there is such a thing as debate camp).

At any rate one of kids at the camp was the son of a Minnesota Congressman. As one post above noted, that was the very first thing you knew about the kid.

I remember his last name, even though he wasn't my student and wasn't in my section of the camp. I also remember my opinion of him at the time (which was almost entirely derived from camp gossip).

IMHO the likelihood of this kid becoming President of the United States is zero. But if he did, I'd remember him, and if necessary I could testify he attended the camp (which lasted 3 weeks in July). Even though I never did more than nod "hello" to him as we passed on the sidewalk.

Posted by: Greg Abbott at February 11, 2004 02:16 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and something else strikes me funny. . .

The pay records show duty on Nov. 11, 1972. That was the day of Nixon's re-election. Now we know Bush is a political junkie, a die-hard republican and a professional pol, by 1972. Nixon had just appointed his father to the U.N. ambassodorship that year. So, did W sacrifice his chance to vote for Nixon to pull guard duty? Where are his voting records? If he voted early, or on the base, those records would show it. . .

Posted by: epist at February 11, 2004 02:16 PM | PERMALINK

It's leading nowhere, Monkey, because you can't prove it. Did Bush do coke in 1972? maybe. So did our Democrat Lt Governor here in Georgia (if you believe rumors). So did a lot of people.

Yup. I can't prove it. But I suspect it.

Shoot, I've probably done more coke than W ever did.

The thing is, I'm not running for President. Nor will I ever be.

I'm not running for dogcatcher.

If I was, however, and I got popped for doing drugs in my youth, I would have the common sense not to be an anti-drug crusader and impose Draconian sentences on kids who did the exact thing I did and got away with because I had a famous daddy.

There's a word for people like that...

what's the word I'm thinking of?

Oh yeah...

Hypocrite.

I don't NEED to prove it. I just hope that by raising the issue, maybe some people might question their own assumptions about this whole deal.

You may feel that Bush would be a good president, and that hypocrisy (if it exists) doesn't disquailify you from being President. In most cases is may not, but if there's black, brown, and poor kids in Texas jails, doing time for the same crimes that Bush did? IF that's the case, and it's a big if, it's news, and it matters.

So call me Lefty Newt all you want. I think they're hiding something, and I'm curious as to what it is.

Funny that you're not. I find that interesting.

Posted by: Monkey at February 11, 2004 02:18 PM | PERMALINK

What are they trying to hide and why? Just release the files and it's all done with (maybe). Middle of the road or on the extremes; doesn't matter. Release the files!

Posted by: ed at February 11, 2004 02:19 PM | PERMALINK

Matthew,

The man who pulled strings for Bush ended up becoming Texas highest-paid lobbyist during Bush's reign as Governor. This isn't just about what happened thirty years ago.

This is about Bush's character, and the lengths that he will go to protect his special interests. A member of Osama bin Laden's family was an investor in one of Bush's companies in the late 70's. The Bush family has many links to the Saudis. Is it now just a coincidence that the Bush administration evacuated the bin Ladens immediately after 9/11? Is it now just a coincidence that the 9/11 investigation has focused on every country in the middle east, but yet, Saudi Arabia seems to be getting a free pass?

If Kerry has allegedly set up an '96 SEC meeting for a $10,000 donation; then Bush should certainly be open for questions about a $100,000 bin Laden investment in the 70's.

Bush's character seems to be much more relevant in this election than 2000, and it's time that the American public looked beneath Bush's naive cowboy persona. If the public likes what they see and re-elect him, fine with me. That's democracy. But we deserve the chance to make a comparison of the two main candidate's life records. If Bush doesn't like it, he should go back to Crawford right now.

Posted by: Tuna at February 11, 2004 02:28 PM | PERMALINK

Tom said:
I read in "Mother Jones" that Bush once used his plane to transport a tropical plant. Anybody know more about this? What else might he have transported in it?

Bush allegedly transported plants (and a shrubbery!) to Florida while serving in the National Guard. This, of course, prevented the Viet Cong and the Mexican Air Force from invading the Gulf States during the Vietnam War.

Posted by: Tuna at February 11, 2004 02:33 PM | PERMALINK

Nice conspiracy theory Kevin. Let me see...when the evidence is starting to turn against you point to unseen evidence that explains the evidence against your pet hypothesis. Christ.

I especially love the weasel words at the end. Could be true, but I don't know. C'mon confess you're really Howard Dean.

Posted by: Steve at February 11, 2004 02:38 PM | PERMALINK

In Rave on, Dems' post it says,
"The point I want to make to Kevin is that this isn't some coffee house parlor game. You're directly attacking and questioning the character of the President of the United States. That's still a big deal in my book, and something to be taken very seriously."

Hey, the man has damaged credibility. No honest person would have taken the Presidency under the cloud of suspicion created by the corrupt vote blocking schemes in Florida. Further, the guy avoided the war in Vietnam---yet supported that terrorist war---and got special treatment in doing so. He's a chickenhawk.
Finally, he sat around listening to elementary school children read for 20 minutes after having been informed the nation was under attack on 9/11.
On that basis alone he should have been removed from office. He's incompetent AND he's a security threat, not only to himself but the rest of us. This guy is perhaps the worst president of all time.

So, knock off the questioning the character of the President crap.

Kevin, I didn't know about your site until last week but it is an oasis of knowledge. Keep up the good work!

Posted by: Green Party Voter turned Democrat at February 11, 2004 02:44 PM | PERMALINK

wow, the wingers are in panic mode, totally.
now when bush talked to timmy r he said that he would "absolutely" release ALL of his military records.
but suddenly scottie is telling us that bush is going to release a few pay stubs and that is it! what? did bush lie?
well anyway we know that richard cohen says that he blew off 2 yrs of his duty but was still paid.
so howl on wingnuts! this story ain't going away!!!!!

Posted by: dan hoppe at February 11, 2004 02:51 PM | PERMALINK

Monkey:

It's pretty evident that they are trying to hide Bush's pathetic slack-ass guard service. Um, duh. There is enough discussion of what W was like back then for folks to figure out that this is EXACTLY the kind of guard record you'd expect him to have. It's the equivalent of skating by with a Gentleman's D-. Does W want to hide the kind of slime he probably was in 1972? Most likely. But a lot of fairly upright guys I know were pretty scuzzy in their 20s.

The problem is that you are pitching a grand old conspiracy theory that is essentially unprovable on the grounds of (oooooo) "hypocracy". I get real tired of this line -- "let's prove thus and so did this awful rotten thing, that, I, Crusading Sophisticate, do not think is so awful and terrible, but boy it's fun to wallow in the muck, isn't it." It's National Enquirer journalism, claiming to be Woodward and Bernstein journalism.

In particular, using the hypocracy tag against W is problematic, because he is apparently a reformed alcoholic/alleged druggie. Find anything after he abandoned all that, and I'll listen to you. (None of us want a Prez with a current substance abuse problem.) But, despite what F. Scott Fitzgerald has to say, there are Second Acts in American lives, and they have little to do with the first acts.

Posted by: appalled moderate at February 11, 2004 03:08 PM | PERMALINK

MatthewRMarler, you seem to be confused about what Clinton was impeached over – no charge was brought on his involvement with Ms. Lewinsky, so it doesn’t matter that everyone thought that this was wrong – and said so. What did matter is that this behavior wasn’t relevant to the discussion of Paula Jones’s case, as the judge who dismissed Ms. Jones’s case said explicitly. Also, there is NOTHING sneaky about getting a high draft number. The only people who think so are highly partisan Republicans, and only in reference to their political opponents.

Posted by: Lori Thantos at February 11, 2004 03:15 PM | PERMALINK

The problem, appalled moderate, isn’t just that Bush’s behavior then was bad, it is that he is still claiming that it wasn’t – that’s the hypocrisy. If he were admitting to being ashamed of his behavior then there would be no grounds for calling him a hypocrite. He isn’t, there is, and that’s why this discussion goes on.

Posted by: Lori Thantos at February 11, 2004 03:17 PM | PERMALINK

Bush has admitted his drinking but when asked about drugs he said "I could pass a security check" which at the time he said that would have only back to 1974, one year after this missing time.

Posted by: ____league at February 11, 2004 03:20 PM | PERMALINK

Lori -- Appalled is right. This is a non-starter to the rest of the world. As a Bush supporter, I find it (1) boring; and (2) useful (in the sense that it will hurt the Dems in the end).

Posted by: Ben at February 11, 2004 03:54 PM | PERMALINK

Lori,


To quote Sen Hollings (D, SC): "Remember, when they say it isn't about the sex, it's about the sex".

Clinton was charged with perjury, but the Democratic Senators defended him against the charge of sexual misconduct. Their basic claim was, since it was perjury about sex, it wasn't important.

The actions admitted eventually by Clinton and most Democrats were certainly a crime. The money paid by Clinton to Jones was in expiation of an act that was a crime (it wasn't in a place of business, but it wasn't consensual either).

Dems don't really care about this, and they probably don't care about Kerry appearing with Jane Fonda and with people carrying N. Vietnamese Flags. Reps don't care about Quayle's and Bush's National Guard records.

John Kerry (and John Edwards) voted for the war resolution against Iraq. And, he voted for the resolution supporting the troops that "commended" the leadership of Pres. Bush. If voting for that war resolution was the right thing to do, it's to Bush's credit because Bush submitted the war resolution for Congress to vote on. The war that Bush promoted and Kerry and Edwards voted for is ongoing. It doesn't matter to most people what exactly Bush was doing in 1973. What matters is the war now ongoing.

Bush's record matters to me, but so did Quayle's record. I don't think they matter much to most middle and right-wing voters. Nobody disputes (?) that Bush has been clean since 1974.


Posted by: MatthewRMarler at February 11, 2004 04:01 PM | PERMALINK

why is anyone interested in this issue?

when i was getting my phd in the history of
american foreign policy and foreign relations
at michigan in the same period as w's service we were all anti-war and, probably for most of us looked for and considered alternatives that would have changed our lives.

most of us, though, recognized that war is
necessary in some circumstances.

we just didn't believe that vietnam was the place.

i find it interesting that neither kevin nor josh
have any professional training in the field of
foreign policy, foreign relations, military history, or anything about military matters in
general.

that doesn't mean they can't have an opinion,
but it does mean that anything they write should be taken with the proverbial grain.


Posted by: scott jackson at February 11, 2004 04:07 PM | PERMALINK

Easter Lemming 10:19am "..added six months to his term of service for a screwup he was involved in..."


great idea for a specific question that can not eaily be dodged.

"Mr.President, Records show you went in with a six yr obligation, which changed to a six and 1/2 yr obligation some time later. Why did that change?"

Posted by: J at February 11, 2004 04:08 PM | PERMALINK

In particular, using the hypocracy tag against W is problematic, because he is apparently a reformed alcoholic/alleged druggie. Find anything after he abandoned all that, and I'll listen to you. (None of us want a Prez with a current substance abuse problem.) But, despite what F. Scott Fitzgerald has to say, there are Second Acts in American lives, and they have little to do with the first acts.

Apalled,

I haven't got any proof. Never claimed to.

You seem to have a problem with people speculating about what could possibly be the reasons Bush might not have finished his term of service.

I have a problem with a President who behaves in a manner which, if it were an employee of mine, I would have to fire. Denials, stonewalls, and hedging are NOT Presidential qualities. They are the acts of someone with something to hide. I find that interesting. You, apparently, do not.

I think there would be a LOT of Republicans who, if they knew Bush did cocaine, would not vote for him. I think there are a LOT of Democrats who, if they found out that Bush was pushing heavy sentences for drug users while Gov of Texas, while having gotten preferential treatment when HE got caught (if he did), would turn out in droves to vote against him.

In short, I'm interested in this story not because I want the Truth, but because I want to defeat Bush. I want to see him exposed for the lying, cheating, spoiled rich kid I believe him to be. If these allegations are true, I will throw a party. If they manage to bring him down and turn out false, I will not lose a wink of sleep over it. Too damned bad, is what I will say.

If the Democrats lose because we were tossing around allegations that Bush did drugs and got preferential treatment, I will accept this and feel that it was worth a try. Don't think the election is going to turn on this one charge, not by a long shot.

That's my position. Any questions?

Posted by: Monkey at February 11, 2004 04:15 PM | PERMALINK

In the 2000 campaign, candidate Bush said "When I was young and foolish I did foolish things." He did not specifically deny allegations of drug use, if I remember correctly, and he didn't deny allegations of drinking. The DWI incident that was used by the Democrats late in the campaign probably hurt him among his supporters: it is reported that about a million people who had said they would vote for Bush stayed home instead.

It could happen that this hurts him the same way, especially if it drags out, or if someone says that Bush was personally involved in clearing out his old records. In other posts I have expressed the opinion that middle-of-the-roaders and Reps don't really care about this issue, but I appreciate Kevin's work in pursuing this story.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler at February 11, 2004 04:28 PM | PERMALINK

The money paid by Clinton to Jones was extortion money – she had no case and the judge said so. The judge further ruled that any behavior on Clinton’s part relating to others where a crime may have occurred had no bearing on the Jones case. Unfortunately Jones had the RNC behind her, so the case kept on far after any sane judge would have sanctioned Jones for her lies in promoting her case.

If you are saying that the Republicans lied about the reason for impeachment, you are correct, if you are saying that the Democrats shouldn’t have defended Clinton from an impeachment based on false pretenses, then you are insane.

Finally, Kerry did not vote to give Bush a blank check. Bush, on the other hand, lied about the evidence, abused the resolution he did have, and is responsible for thousands of dead Iraqis and hundreds of dead American soldiers, putting him ahead of McVeigh in the number of Americans who died as a result of his actions.

Ben, the reason you find it “boring” is because you’ve already decided to ignore the facts and give Bush a pass on both his draft dodging and his likely dereliction of duty (in the de facto, rather than de jure meaning of the phrase). I don’t find it particularly fascinating, but I do understand that it reflects badly on the incompetent boob whose warmongering has killed hundreds of our soldiers, but who very likely couldn’t be bothered to show up for his obligations when it was his turn to serve. I’m sorry that this decades old issue is what may finally bring to an end the worst administration in my lifetime, but only because there are so many other (and far more recent) scandals involving Bush that deserve this level of focus.

Posted by: Lori Thantos at February 11, 2004 04:30 PM | PERMALINK

"i find it interesting that neither kevin nor josh
have any professional training in the field of
foreign policy, foreign relations, military history, or anything about military matters in
general.

that doesn't mean they can't have an opinion,
but it does mean that anything they write should be taken with the proverbial grain."

Baffling and inchoate comment. How does this connect with the realities of the discussion? But then, having only a doctorate in British Empire history with a specialty in military intelligence, I'm sure that my qualifications are as insignificant as those of either of the chaps you note, and thus can only be judged as an opinion waiting for the endorsement of the authentic Americanist professional. Perhaps that should be taken with the proverbial grain, eh?

Posted by: GWPDA at February 11, 2004 04:34 PM | PERMALINK

if he was there, then:
someone would have noticed his famous family name
someone stood next to him,
someone worked with him,
someone talked to him
someone shouted commands at him
someone told him to wipe that smirk off his face.
someone checked his sign-in sheet
someone signed the sheet after him,saw his name.
someone said "hi" and asked his name.
someone saw him more than once.
someone would recognize his face
and
someone worked with him on the campaign.
and there, certainly, the bush name was known.


Posted by: J at February 11, 2004 04:58 PM | PERMALINK

And then to end the story, the state of Arkansas disbarred Clinton because of his crimes.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler at February 11, 2004 05:00 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry MatthewRMarler, Arkansas disbarred Clinton because all of the Democrats recused themselves, not because of any “criminal” act. You can lie about the record all you like, but it doesn’t change the facts.

Posted by: Lori Thantos at February 11, 2004 05:05 PM | PERMALINK

And the issue of Bush’s likely dereliction of duty isn’t answered by talking about Clinton, even if your tendentious take were true.

Posted by: Lori Thantos at February 11, 2004 05:06 PM | PERMALINK

and more importantly

bush remembers someone.

one person.

just one.

that he worked with, talked too, joked with.

it is not plasible that he remembers not one!

thats like someone saying they dont remember
a single person or story from a unique event
in high school.

c'mon just one person.

he cant remember even one!!!?

liar.

Posted by: J at February 11, 2004 05:08 PM | PERMALINK

GWPDA,

I don't know who you are because your moniker leads to a
general site.

But, I think you misunderstand.

You write:

"Baffling and inchoate comment. How does this connect with the realities of the discussion? But then, having only a doctorate in British Empire history with a specialty in military intelligence, I'm sure that my qualifications are as insignificant as those of either of the chaps you note, and thus can only be judged as an opinion waiting for the endorsement of the authentic Americanist professional. Perhaps that should be taken with the proverbial grain, eh?"

I think your qualifications, if authentic, are reliable and should be taken at face value as the starting point of a discussion.

This does not mitigate Kevin and Josh's lack thereof.

I'm saying that wanta-be-cash-cows like Kevin and Josh
need to focus on the real issues of this administration and
not be mired in the things that get them contributions from
their syncophants.

Their are real issues out there that affect people's lives now.

That should be the focus for anyone who wants to defeat
the current incumbent.

Posted by: scott jackson at February 11, 2004 05:11 PM | PERMALINK

Clinton? I thought we were talking about Bush?

Oh, I get it...you don't WANT to talk about Bush.

Why didn't you just say so, silly?

Go start your own blog if you want to talk about how Bill Clinton is Satan, OK? He's not, the last time I checked, President anymore.

Posted by: Monkey at February 11, 2004 05:12 PM | PERMALINK

Kevid Drum may be a child molester, specializing in the forcible rape of preteen boys. There is no proof he is not. There are no witnesses that he is not. Let him deny the charge, IF he can. Like it when it's pointed YOUR way, Kevin?

Posted by: Lover at February 11, 2004 05:12 PM | PERMALINK

Kevid Drum may be a child molester, specializing in the forcible rape of preteen boys. There is no proof he is not. There are no witnesses that he is not. Let him deny the charge, IF he can. Like it when it's pointed YOUR way, Kevin?

You're asking Kevin to prove a negative. We're asking Bush to prove a positve. Completely different.

Posted by: Mike at February 11, 2004 05:15 PM | PERMALINK

Sounds to me like that father-son confrontation
on the lawn was bush sr, for the first time,
totally pissed at having to get all the records
changed and W being drunk and not giving a shit.

Posted by: J at February 11, 2004 05:16 PM | PERMALINK

I'll repeat my earlier point. Quayle, Clinton, Bush. The scandals mostly inflamed the passions of people who objected to those candidates on other grounds. I have not met a Republican yet who cared about Quayle's lack of real National Guard duty, nor a Democrat who cared that Clinton broke the federal sexual harrassment law and then lied about it.

John Kerry said the right thing in 1992 when he defended Clinton against an attack by Kerrey. But I imagine it was just politics, as with John Kerry's other utterances. John Kerry did not really believe that the events of the VietNam era don't matter any more -- did he? Do Democrats care that, in the course of intercepting smugglers, Kerry probably killed an innocent woman and her child?

No. The Democrats care that Bush is hiding something from his National Guard time.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler at February 11, 2004 05:41 PM | PERMALINK

Lori -- Most Americans agree with me that this is boring. They don't care what GWB did or didn't do 30 years ago.

Posted by: Ben at February 11, 2004 05:42 PM | PERMALINK

Matthew, this isn’t about Clinton. No matter how many times you bring up that red herring, it still won’t be about a trivial case of inappropriate behavior. No one has ever been executed by the state for inappropriate sexual relations. On the other hand, people did die in Vietnam, and draft dodgers like Bush got a free pass because of his elitist connections.

Ben, if most Americans agreed with you the issue would go away quickly. But our representatives (the press) have decided that it is at least interesting enough to spend several days on. And it isn’t just about what he did or didn’t do 30 years ago – it is about lying about what he did or didn’t do 30 years ago.

Posted by: Lori Thantos at February 11, 2004 06:02 PM | PERMALINK

Lori -- If you keep repeating it, it might just come true!

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

"Tom Bevan over at RealClearPolitics did a pretty good job taking Kevin down today."

If you really believe that this in any way takes Kevin's reporting down then you need to read it again. It doesn't do anything even remotely close to that.

Why doesn't Bush just keep his word and release ALL of his records? Why must he continue to stonewall and lie? What will we tell our children?

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

Ben, keep pretending that Bush has been honest, that his service is in any way a credit to him, and/or that no one cares, if you keep at it, it might just come true!

Posted by: Lori Thantos at February 11, 2004 06:16 PM | PERMALINK

wow, this boy had youth, money, family and power.
he had the best, the absolute pinnacle of
what our country has to offer...except the depth of our knowledge and wisdom, our achievements and purpose.

Does the 100 year history of this family at the center of power and privilege, prove a few of the hard truths about the nature of our country.

http://www.scripophily.net/bucsteelcasc1.html

http://www.angelfire.com/hi3/pearly/htmls2/bush-dynasty.html

http://www.rationalrevolution.net/bush_family_and_the_s.htm

http://www.salon.com/politics/feature/2002/04/05/taiwan/index_np.html

http://www.calpundit.com/archives/002728.html

http://www.baltimorefordean.org/democraticwings/archives/000134.html

Info:
the youth of Bush

As posted by a Reader February 11, 2004 12:37 PM |

on calpundit:
http://www.calpundit.com/mt/mt-comments.cgi?entry_id=3240

Via this link:
http://www.southerner.net/blog/awolbush.html


"Privileged Son

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. Bush even dated Nixon's daughter Tricia in the early 1970s, according to newspaper accounts. Bush 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: J at February 11, 2004 06:52 PM | PERMALINK

There was a question above about 2901 Westheimer Rd. in Texas. I did a google search on it and came up with:

All Right Billing - Houston Texas
2901 Westheimer Road, Houston TX 77098 - Map
Billing Service Billing Services

So, it's a sheer guess, that might be commercial or industrial zoned property.

Posted by: xRon xUnderwood at February 11, 2004 08:18 PM | PERMALINK

Lori -- Most Americans agree with me that this is boring. They don't care what GWB did or didn't do 30 years ago.

Ben, how do you know what "most Americans" think? Have you seen a poll? (Has anyone done a poll?)

In any case, the issue is not so much what Bush did or didn't do 30 years ago - he behaved like the spoiled child of privilege, according to all contemporary records - but what he's done in the past five years.

-He's bragged about his "military service".
-He's told at least one direct lie ("flew with my unit for the next several years" - 23 months does not constitute "several years").
-He's started an unnecessary war of aggression against Iraq, in which hundreds of US soldiers have been killed.

-Bragging that you did something well, when in fact you goofed off and avoided it as much as possible - most people regard that as despicable behavior.
-Lying about it is even worse.
-Sending soldiers into an unnecessary war when you yourself avoided combat when you were their age... Well, that one is arguable: the key word is "unnecessary". But the worse the Iraq war looks, the worse Bush is going to look, and his dodgy military service record - and his bragging and lying - is not going to help his image.

This story has legs, Ben. You may find it boring... but then, what are you doing here?

Posted by: Jesurgislac at February 12, 2004 02:55 AM | PERMALINK

Laertes asked, early in the thread: So what are you dittoheads bitching about?

Burkett's story probably isn't true. That means it very likely can be discredited by some enthusiastic journalist, and I'm sure there will be some.

If too much weight had been put on Burkett's story as proving Bush was AWOL, the right-wing press would cry "See! They said Burkett said Bush was AWOL, but Burkett's story has been proved false, so Bush wasn't AWOL!"

And that, of course, would suit right-wingers just fine.

Warning us in advance not to have much credence in Burkett's story is actually an advantage to those who want the objective facts about Bush's service record out there - which group clearly does not include the rabidly-defensive Bushies who have been posting here so frequently on the AWOL topic.

Posted by: Jesurgislac at February 12, 2004 04:30 AM | PERMALINK

Jesurgislac --

We certainly will find out in November whether anybody cares.

Posted by: Ben at February 12, 2004 01:30 PM | PERMALINK

You were right the first time, Kevin. His appearance on Chris Matthews was terribly unconvincing. He appeared to stumble over his words when confronted with the idea that he might be called under oath.

Posted by: HH at February 12, 2004 04:14 PM | PERMALINK

Have any of you guys ever taken Logic Theory in college? First week, they teach the absolute principal that "evidence of absence, is NOT absence of evidence." No documentation, is not documentation in and of itself! Geez! Why don't you apply your absurdity evenly...there's no evidence that Kerry had an affair with that intern, despite a track record including marital infidelity in the past---but where are your "voices of ethics" on that? Both are mere cases of hearsay, unsubstatiantiate assertions, of EQUIVALENT merit. Even though Bush got an honorable discharge...which is supporting evidence in his favor---you've selectively decided "guilty until proven innocent!" In Kerry's case, forget the story about his personal patterns, because there is no evidence (and there isn't!)....he's innocent until proven guilty. Hypocrites!!! You guys really want your cake and want to eat it, too!
Oh, and about the honorable discharge, don't even start with that specious "Bush's dad got a favor for him" crap that also has no documentation [just like the drug assertions, or the AWOL thing...funny how inconsistent you liberals are about documentation and evidence!)----because you've been using that disclaimer towards every accomplishment in this man's record because he comes from a prominent family...but you're danged-skippy silent when it comes to applying inuindo about Kerry's family connections!
It frightens me that so many of you have the right to vote.....

Posted by: Ocillator Majesty at February 17, 2004 02:08 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, I know Gen James, Marty. Schrivner, others in the Texas Nat Guard and those that served in the Texas State Guard.
I was a Major and the Adjutant for the 1st Regiment, Alamo Guard of San Antonio.
I was discharged without any given reasons.
Truth--I was set up on phoney charges, kangaroo review board and then discharged because I would not falsify the morning reports to justify the regiments continued existance. Many rules and regulation were delibertly violated. Some were even federal military offenses. I tried to expose Col. Fontaine and Col Garza out of Laredo who falsified records, violated rules and allowed persons to wear the uniform and officer rank, performing military duties without orders or membership. Also, transfered members by paper to other city units to justify units existance.
I wrote letters, made phone calls and visited officers mentioned for two years, to no avail.
Fontaine, Garza were promoted to postions at HQ at Camp Mabry. The State Guard has been destroyed, barely exist and is a fraud.

Posted by: Bemus Jackson at February 21, 2004 12:59 AM | PERMALINK

For every action there is an equal and opposite government program.

Posted by: Landolf Diane Wright at May 3, 2004 09:19 AM | PERMALINK
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