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Author Topic: Bush's Service in the ANG
velcro
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There has been a lot of stuff going around about Bush’s guard duty. While I often do not agree with President Bush’s positions and past behavior, I am not sure that the AWOL story is as bad as it sounds. I believe he put in the time that was needed to leave. I am not sure whether or not Bush showed up for duty in Alabama, as he said he did.

So here is my question:


Is there any documented evidence that Bush spent any time on Guard duty in Alabama?


I know he said he did, and the circumstantial evidence is that he would not get an honorable discharge if he didn’t show up.

Gary and jm0397 have written something about points, but they seem to be totalled up over a year, and points before and after Alabama could be made up for time missing in Alabama. I do not claim to understand this, so clarification would be appreciated.

There is the quote from the non-partisan factcheck.org
quote:

Bush himself later was quoted directly by the Dallas Morning News as admitting he missed some weekend drills while in Alabama, but saying he made them up afterward:

"I was there on a temporary assignment and fulfilled my weekends at one period of time," he said. "I made up some missed weekends."
"I can't remember what I did, but I wasn't flying because they didn't have the same airplanes. I fulfilled my obligations."

Records are lacking for that period. However, The Associated Press quoted two friends who worked with Bush in the Blount campaign as saying they recall him attending Air National Guard drills in Alabama. Joe Holcombe, described as a former Republican county chairman in Alabama, was quoted as saying, "It was pretty well-known that he was in the Guard while we worked on the campaign." And Emily Martin, who said she had dated Bush during the campaign, was quoted saying, "He told us that he was having to do his Guard duty in Alabama while he worked on the campaign."

The first quote never quite says that he fulfilled the time missing by reporting for duty in Alabama. He did lots of time when he returned to Texas in November 1972 to fulfill his obligations. But he does claim to have done non-flying duty in Alabama. As far as the two friends, their testimony is hearsay, so to speak. Not direct eyewitness evidence, just "it was pretty well-known" and "he told us"

If there is any solid proof, such as paystubs, eyewitness testimony, log books, etc. I am interested in knowing.

Humble requests:

Please do not accuse me of hating President Bush.
Please do not mention Clinton in your response. [Smile]
Please don't go into any other aspects of the President's ANG service. That has been covered in other places.
Please do not say "it doesn’t matter if he was in Alabama, he met his obligations". Bush said he served in Alabama. It matters.
Please do not respond "I could give you the evidence again but I know you will never listen to anything good about George Bush". If I see halfway decent proof, I will gladly acknowledge on this thread that my doubts were unfounded, and that President Bush was completely honest on this issue.

Yeah, it's a lot of requests. I appreciate your humoring me. I'm just lazy and don't feel like wading through the same old stuff again to find the answer.

Thanks,

V

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Zyne
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No.

[Edited to fix messed up bolding, which I have forgotten how to do again.]

[ February 09, 2004, 10:01 PM: Message edited by: Zyne ]

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WmLambert
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Yes. He said he did. He ought to know. In order to call him a liar you better come up with proof of your own and not just innuendo. EVERYONE relied on Turnipseed's statement - but when he recanted and said he really didn't know what happened 30-some years ago, it seems they continues their attacks - just this time without any rationale or facts.

Let me explain how it was back then. Before the draft was lifted, the war was thoroughly despised. A fraction of the kids who couldn't get out of the draft fled to Canada as draft-deserters - later to be granteed amnesty. Most of the kids got out with the help of physicians and bookkeepers who lost track of records and gave everyone 4F ratings. If there are records to be found back then - I sure wouldn't trust them. I was trying to get into the Naval Academy as a Marine Fighter Pilot - and I had to go through my physical three times telling them I wanted to pass before they stopped inventing things to allow me to get out. Half the kids in ROTC, like Clinton, or in the Guard - were there instead of Vietnam and those services didn't want them very much. If those "serving deserters" didn't show - then the guard and ROTC was better off without them. I'd be surprised to find anything back in that era that was verifiable and accurate.

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Everard
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Again, there is no documented evidence. Only bush's say so. On the other hand, we have an absense of any physical evidence. So, no, there isn't any documented evidence.
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Doug64
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Everard, is your position that a lack of records in an era known for its sloppy record-keeping means that Bush didn't serve?
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Tokyo
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"EVERYONE relied on Turnipseed's statement - but when he recanted and said he really didn't know what happened 30-some years ago, it seems they continues their attacks - just this time without any rationale or facts."

It should be noted that Turnipseed is a big Bush supporter, and recanted only after it hurt Bush publicly; his unguarded statements have more clout.

Not to mention that his administrative officer at the time, Kenneth K. Lott, backed up Turnipseed's statements.

In addition, two officers in Texas, Lieutenant Colonel William D. Harris Jr. and Lieutenant Colonel Jerry B. Killian reported that Bush had not been present at their station for a full year, at a time when Bush was supposed to be there. Retired Colonel Rufus G. Martin backed up the fact that Bush was not there.

Col. Albert Lloyd Jr., the Texas Air Guard's personnel director from '69 to '95, and a Bush admirer, said about his Alabama service, "If he did, his drill attendance should have been certified and sent to Ellington, and there would have been a record. We cannot find the records to show he fulfilled the requirements in Alabama," and noted on Bush's discharge papers that "there should have been an entry for the period between May 1972 and May 1973"--but there was not.

Also, during his interview with Russert, he was asked, "But would you allow pay stubs, tax records, anything to show that you were serving during that period?" To which Bush replied, "Yeah"; Russert then asked "Would you authorize the release of everything to settle this?" to which Bush replied, "Yes, absolutely. We did so in 2000, by the way."

The latter statement is an outright lie--they did not by any means or measure release "everything," not by a long shot.

And now Bush is on record saying that he would "absolutely" release "everything," all his records, including "pay stubs, tax records, anything."

Let's make sure he is held to this, and we see everything.

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John L
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quote:
Again, there is no documented evidence. Only bush's say so. On the other hand, we have an absense of any physical evidence. Ev
This is again another example of the old Left tactic that states: "It's not the facts of the case, but the seriousness of the charge that matters," After all, if you shout continually, and loud enough, that's all that counts.

Didn't VI Lenin once say something to that effect, about the truth?

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Anonymous24
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John, thats a tactic used by both the Left and the Right.
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TomDavidson
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Who killed Vince Foster, again?
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Everard
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My position, for those trying to stick a position on me (ie john) and those wondering what my position is (doug) is that in the absense of physical evidence, I would trust bush if he had given me any reason over the last few years to trust him, and if there weren't other people out there who have stated he did not serve, including his commanding officers.

SInce the case is that there is no physical evidence to back either claim, I'm more willing to believe the more numerous and more trustworthy case, but I don't actually have anything more then a suspicion.

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Koner
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quote:
Who killed Vince Foster, again?
What does this have to do with Bush's ANG service? Just curious.
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Ron Lambert
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It is incorrect to say there is no documentary evidence. During the 2000 campaign, the point records were released which indicated Bush's fulfillment of his military obligation with the ANG. His pay records at that time were not found in Texas, and thought to be lost. Since then, it has been discovered that the pay records were in Colorado, and today they are being released. The pay records indicate the dates for which Bush was paid for serving, and spokesmen for the president say that the pay records include the dates in question when Bush was serving in Alabama. We should all be able to review these for ourselves shortly.

The charge that has been circulating for a long time that Bush was AWOL was based on the 30-year-old recollection of one person, who has since recanted. Two friends have stated they do remember that Bush served in Alabama, and today we have the documentary evidence of pay records. It is time that the charge that Bush was AWOL should be relegated to the status of "Urban Legend."

Bush also said that his father did not pull strings to get him into the ANG when there was a long waiting list. He got in, he said, because not many others were willing to commit to two years of active duty in order to train to be a fighter pilot. Service in the National Guard typically consisted of six years of weekends, which did not interfere too much with regular jobs. It may be that Bush's family connections helped him find out that such an option was available, but that does not constitute "pulling strings." The possibility cannot be denied that whoever accepted Bush into the ANG might have been influenced simply by knowing who his father was, but again, that does not constitute "pulling strings."

[ February 10, 2004, 11:32 AM: Message edited by: Ron Lambert ]

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velcro
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Ron,

You did not read what I wrote. The two friends said "it was well known" and "he [Bush] said" that he served. No eyewitness testimony.

As far as the points, as best I understand it, they cover the year surrounding Alabama, and Bush did extra duty before and after Alabama to make up lost time. I may be wrong, but that is my interpretation.

My question was, and is, did he serve in Alabama? I hope we find out today. But lets wait for the evidence before we call it an Urban Legend, shall we?

Wm,

When you start calling a president's word "documented evidence", you might as well make him king, because everything he says is by definition unassailably correct.

V

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Ron Lambert
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Velcro, it was Everard who said "there is no documented evidence." I pointed out that the points records were released during the 2000 campaign. So there was some documentary evidence. Today we should get a chance to see the definitive evidence in the pay records. The administration spokesmen, who presumably have already had a chance to review these records, have said they do include the dates of service in question, when Bush was supposed to be in Alabama.

But we shall see for ourselves, later on today.

Was it ever really reasonable to suppose the National Guard would honorably discharge someone who had been AWOL for several months?

[ February 10, 2004, 11:48 AM: Message edited by: Ron Lambert ]

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Everard
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Ron-
The evidence released in 2000 does not provide ANY evidence that Bush served in Alabama... it did not have any dates, nor locations. Since the question was: Is there any evidence bush served in alabama... the answer is no. Until whatever is released today...

Here's the boston globe article.
http://www.boston.com/news/politics/president/articles/2004/02/10/bush_credited_for_guard_drills/

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Ron Lambert
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Here are a couple of excerpt from that article:
quote:
"Noting that the new documents are contradicted by other public documents, and statements by Bush's Guard superiors, [Bob] Fertig [a Democrat activist] said the public has a right to know whether Bush received credit for duty he did not perform."

"According to the two documents, Bush accumulated 41 service points by appearing for duty on 24 days between May 1972 and May 1973. He received 15 "gratuitous" points for being in the military, for a total of 56 points. Retired Lieutenant Colonel Albert. C. Lloyd Jr., a former personnel director for the Texas Air Guard, said in an interview last night that the minimum number of points required for any year was 50, although most Guardsmen logged substantially more.

"The document shows he satisfactorily completed his military obligation for that year," Lloyd said."

There were documents. Even the Democrat activist Bob Fertig acknowledged there were documents that "contradicted...statements by Bush's Guard superiors." Maybe the documents were not as clearly conclusive as we hope the pay records will be, but there were documents consistent with Bush's claim that he did serve in Alabama.
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Tokyo
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I quote CalPundit in his analysis of the fully revealed "torn document":
quote:
The answer, as you can see from the top line, is that it is an ARF document, as is this record from 1973-74. So what is ARF? I asked Bob Rogers, a retired Air National Guard pilot who's been following this for some time, and what follows is his interpretation of what happened.

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

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

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

It is also necessary to point out that simply because you get paid, it does not mean that you did your duty--many have already stepped forward and spoken on how they avoided their drills and got paid anyway.

As for the question of Bush getting in via his father's influence, that has been verified: Texas Speaker of the House Ben Barnes admitted to receiving a request from a Bush family friend to get Bush into the Guard, and contacted Brig. Gen. James Rose, head of the Texas Air National Guard, to accomplish this. Ron's point about Bush getting in ahead of thousands of other applicants because "not many others were willing to commit to two years of active duty in order to train to be a fighter pilot" is such blatantly obvious hooey as to be laughable--people were leaving the country and going to jail to avoid serving--you think there weren't thousands out of the 100,000+ on the waiting list who wouldn't jump at the chance to not only avoid Vietnam but to do so while flying fighter jets, which could lead to lucrative jobs at airlines as pilots? Please.

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WmLambert
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Thanks, Ron, I also point out the two people who corroborated Bush serving in Alabama were contemporaneous acquaintances who were working with him as he took time off to go fulfill his obligations. To say they were just friends repeating that "It was well-known" is spinning as hard as you can. I stopped defending the President some time ago when the evidence againnst him was shown to be totally made-up, and repeat the charge why are so many of you Bush-bashers condemning him without evidence? I've charged you with explaining your motivations in spite of beiing proved wrong.

BTW: the reason TomD threw in that gratuitous "Who killed Vincent Foster" aside was to cast aspersions on anyone who may stake out the position of moral and historical truth and ask others to accept what is known before commenting upon what is just presumed. Especially when the presumed position is part of a political agenda to attack and harm the character of individuals with unsupported personal abuse. I once pointed out that the only official investigation by a homicide detective in the Vincent Foster death stated that he did not die at Ft. Marcy Park. The rest of the story is whatever you want to make of it. Why no one pursued the investigation, why Miquel Rodriguez resigned in disgust when Starr decided to believe two FBI agents who have since been proven in court to have lied and altered witness depositions over his official findings? There is no charge of anybody murdering Foster - just that the investigation was never pursued by Janet Reno. Remember that during this time the FBI had no head because Sessions had been fired by Clinton the day before the death, and Clinton staffer Nussbaum assumed intyerim control over that agency - even when he was seen illegally removing material form Foster's office acfter his death.

It is a sad commentary of political ineptness and cover up - but remains an open sore in Tom's political conciousness. Unable to answer it - he mocks any mention of it - assuming the uninformed will think he has superior knowledge and his disdainful poo-poohing actually has merit instead of disinformation. By bringing it up himself when it has no point in the ongoing discussion is his way of attacking the perceived integrity of pposters. He doesn't see it as an instance of personal destruction as institutionalized by the last administration - just his own sneering hauteur.

I'd ignore it - when he does it. It is just a defense mechanism kicking in. When there is nothing for him to argue - he hopes to distract.

As I type this, the records have come out and totally vindicate Bush. Who will be the first to apologize for past disinformation - and who will be the first to deflect the argument to some other point?

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WmLambert
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BTW, Tokyo neglected to point out that Bush took his test early for the Texas ANG, and was head and shoulders above the rest who applied. It was not a last minute decision Like Tokyo portrays. He waited until after graduation before enlisting. Tokyo makes it sound like it was a snap decision with greased wheels. I am aware of how such things happened in that era - myself trying to get into Annapolis. I understand how getting references is a plus - not a minus. Please stop acting like such methods were evil machinations. No matter what recommendations anyone may or may not have made - the decision of acceptance is made by the committee in charge. If someone in that chain of command wanted Bush because his Father was known then I'll tell you now there will never be any record one way or the other on it. What do you want to do? Why continue this witch hunt? There was no lying or malfeasance. The only ones without honor are those who pursue this ridiculous personal vendetta against all evidence.
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Tokyo
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"Bush took his test early for the Texas ANG, and was head and shoulders above the rest who applied..."

Say what? He scored 25% on the pilot aptitude test, the lowest possible score without failing! And he had no flying experience, zero, nada. If that is "head and shoulders above the rest," then the Texas ANG must have been an incredibly sorry unit!

"It was not a last minute decision Like Tokyo portrays. He waited until after graduation before enlisting."

He waited until just 12 days before his student deferment ran out before applying, and was accepted the very same day he applied. Exactly how is that not a sudden elevation over thousands of others on a year-and-a-half waiting list?

Add to that the fact that Bush was mysteriously promoted to 2nd Lt. despite not having fulfilled the ROTC in college, nor having taken the 18 months' of military service, nor the training schooling required for such a promotion, except in the case of surgeons?

Bush signs up for the guard and gets in the same day while thousands of others wait a year and a half; he scores the lowest possible score for pilot aptitude, yet is accepted for pilot training, and is comissioned an officer despite not have done any of the necessary prerequisites. Yeah, that sounds about par for the course--I'm sure that happened to everyone!

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Gary
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As for testing:
quote:
In the winter of 1968, as a senior at Yale and therefore about to lose his student deferment, Bush went to Westover Air Force Base in Massachusetts to be tested as a pilot candidate. He seems to have scored in the 25th percentile as a pilot (qualifying, but just barely), in the 50th percentile as a navigator (promising material), and in the 95th percentile as an officer (outstanding).
Note that this is not a 25% as some would like to portray it but the 25th percentile. Could it be that added in with other excellent scores that Bush was allowed to follow the pilot track? I would bet candiates scoring in the 95th percentile as pilots but 10th percentile as officers did not become pilots. It's likely a whole picture that is considered rather than one single quality.

As for the timeline:
quote:
He joined the Texas Air Guard on May 27, 1968, with the rank of Airman Basic--the lowest enlisted grade.
Winter of 1968 (when Bush tested) is pretty ambiguous but it's certainly going to be at least a few months (to as many as 6 depending on when you consider winter starting) before the end of May.

As the facts keep coming out, it gets more and more clear that Bush did eveything he was supposed to do.

edit: my quotes are from here.

[ February 10, 2004, 02:19 PM: Message edited by: Gary ]

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RickyB
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The white house released W's military records today, and claimed they proved he was in the clear as far as serving his time. However, the photocopied pay statements (which are supposed to prove that he reported duty, as though no-one in history ever got paid without reoprting) "were not all legible".

I dunnno. Maybe he did do all his duty, and us lefties are just getting on his case. However, we do know that he checked "do not volunteer" for overseas duty, despite his saying that he went to the ANG to be a pilot, and not enlisted to go to 'Nam as a regular soldier, because he wanted "adventure". This we know for sure - he said it himself.

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Gary
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quote:
However, we do know that he checked "do not volunteer" for overseas duty, despite his saying that he went to the ANG to be a pilot, and not enlisted to go to 'Nam as a regular soldier, because he wanted "adventure". This we know for sure - he said it himself. --- RickyB
Bush recalls that toward the end of his training, he volunteered for the "Palace Alert" program which sent qualified F-102 pilots to Europe and Asia for six-month tours. He was turned down, presumably because he did not have the 1,000 hours of flying time to qualify for the program. That more or less ruled out the possibility that he would be sent to Southeast Asia to take part in the Vietnam War. (In any event, he wouldn't have stayed long: the F-102 detachments in Vietnam and Thailand were shut down before the end of May 1970.)
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Ron Lambert
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As one who was of draft age during the Vietnam war, I can tell you that virtually NO ONE wanted to go to Vietnam. That's why they had to draft us. The idea of volunteering is laughable. It is certainly no surprise that Bush might have checked the "Do not volunteer" box. Who in his right mind would check the other box?

As it turned out, neither my brother Wm or I had to go to Vietnam. There was a lottery, and Wm's number was never picked. I was called in to take my pre-enlistment physical, but my medical history of childhood asthma and several cases of pneumonia got me a "IY" classification, which meant that I would only be drafted in case of declared war or national emergency. Since Vietnam was never officially declared to be a war, that let me off.

[ February 10, 2004, 03:36 PM: Message edited by: Ron Lambert ]

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Ron Lambert
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The photocopies given to reporters were said to be blurry and hard to read, but the White House Press Secretary said the orginal was received as an email, and the email is being sent to all the news services.
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Ron Lambert
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Fox News offers the following link to read the PDF file. It is legible, even the hand-written notations.

http://www.foxnews.com/projects/pdf/021004_bushmil.pdf

You will need Adobe Acrobat to read the file.

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Enumclaw
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What's interesting to me is that even if you take the absolute best-case scenario presented by Bush supporters, the known facts are this:

1) He had crappy scores and got into the ANG on extremely short notice compared with others on the waiting list.

2) He got a commission as an officer without doing any of the normal things that others had to do.

3) Politically powerful friends of Bush Sr took action to get GW assigned to the ANG.

4) He flew very little compared with what active-duty pilots did.

5) He wound up spending very little of his service time actually performing ANY military duties compared with what those drafted did.

6) He has a length of time that (despite the "records" released today) appears to show he didn't really do any service whatsoever.

7) He got out early.

Did he sufficiently serve? Well, the Air Force didn't feel like pressing the issue, so it would appear that he did enough to get by.

As many have pointed out, what GW did is hardly out of the ordinary; there were millions of young men who were trying to do the same things that GW did.

It's probably safe to say that most of the men his age didn't exactly want to go running off to Vietnam where, after all, people were trying to kill Americans.

What's more troubling is the pattern and how it fits into the overall pattern of GW's life; namely, the influence and power of his father allowing him to just "get by".

And no matter how the Administration spins it, GW's Vietnam war service pales in comparison to, say, John Kerry's or Wes Clark's. These are men who DID truly fight for the United States of America, who got wounded and returned to fight another day.

No matter how GW's service is spun, or what the actual truth of those years for him are, the cold fact is that he never faced the realities of war like many of his opponents for President did.

Paul

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RickyB
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Hey, far be it from me to criticize a man for not wanting to fight in Vietnam. I wouldn't have gone either. But then again, I wouldn't have supported that war. I'd have come out and said "This is a bad war. I refuse to fight in it".

As for no-one volunteering - that's simply not true and you know it. Plenty of young men were gung ho enough to do just that. It's just that Clinton got reamed for avoiding service in a war he didn't support, and some people seem not to care about W avoiding same in a war he purported to have supported.

as for the PDF file - it won't open. But there's this from an AP report by Terence Hunt:

"There is a five-month stretch at the start of 1972 when he was not paid for service. The records do not indicate what duty Bush performed or where he was.

The White House has not been able to produce fellow guardsmen who could testify that Bush attended guard meetings and drills. "Obviously we would have made people available" if they had been found, McClellan said."

Besides, we still don't know what happened with his grounding from flight. From what I read, he either failed a physical or failed to show up for it. What's up with that? Could it be that fearless leader knew they'd find traces of cocaine? Or maybe he was just too inebriated? Inquiring minds want to know [Big Grin]

* edited to add the word "said" to the AP quote.

[ February 10, 2004, 05:09 PM: Message edited by: RickyB ]

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velcro
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Wm wrote

quote:

To say they were just friends repeating that "It was well-known" is spinning as hard as you can.

Wm, sorry, there is no spin. That is exactly, precisely what the friends said. Read the quote I provided from an unbiased source. Read it again, please. If you have a more definitive quote, saying that someone actually SAW him on base, that would mean something. While this may be irrelevant given the new data, I would request a clarification from you, or an apology for accusing me of spinning.

Regarding the new information, it seems to say that Bush did no time at all in Alabama except Oct 28-29, and November 11,12,13 and 14th. The timelines say he returned to Texas in November, so he may not have done the November dates in Alabama. That leaves one weekend for sure. If anyone has the date he returned to Texas, let me know.

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velcro
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The payroll info shows payment in January and April of 73, but the Guard report says he was not on base [Texas] until May of 73. That casts doubt on the correlation of payment to attendance.

As always, I may be wrong, but it is not cut and dried that he served in Alabama.

[the report I refer to is his annual evaluation, not the record of points. That record matches the pay records]

[]around edits

[ February 10, 2004, 05:31 PM: Message edited by: velcro ]

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Ron Lambert
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The PDF file opens for me when I click on the link I gave. Do you have the Adobe Acrobat reader? I have verson 4.0, which is a couple of years old.

OK, RickyB, saying that NO ONE wanted to go to Vietnam was an exaggeration, there are always a few gung ho nuts. But my generation felt largely unconvinced that the war was just, and no war in American history has ever been so widely and vehemently denounced as the Vietnam war was. Large numbers of people did not protest and try every means to get out of World Wars I or II, or the Korean war.

Personally, I felt that communism was evil, and should be opposed, but the administration was making the military fight with one arm tied behind its back, and its real motivation in fighting the war was suspect. Rather than opposition to communist tyranny, we suspected the real motivation was either keeping the Catholic minority in power, or keeping a corrupt regime in power just because it was favorable to the U.S.

The thing is, if you are being asked to lay down your life for your country, you want to believe that what you are doing is really worth your life. Very few of us felt that way. The Vietnam war was never to most of us an "honorable cause" like World War II was to the previous generation.

As a number of historians have suggested, if the Vietnam war had been fought using National Guard and Reserves, the way the Iraq war was fought, then there never would have been a protest movement. You would be using people who volunteered for military service. But the National Guard and Reserves were left alone, and the Vietnam war was fought entirely with draftees. And being drafted by definition meant being ordered to serve in the military against your will--or at the least, it was something you never chose for yourself.

That same generation that was drafted to fight an unpopular war is the generation now taking the reins of power in this country. The fact that there is no draft now shows how we still feel about being drafted, and not being allowed to choose for ourselves whether to risk our lives in the military. There will never be another draft in this country as long as my generation is in power.

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Gary
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From Enumclaw:

1) He had crappy scores and got into the ANG on extremely short notice compared with others on the waiting list. I posted his scores above and his test scores are not "crappy". The pilot score was in the 25th percentile (not 25%). Other scores were much higher. He first took exams around 6 months prior to enlistment. I don't know what the waiting list was for ANG pilots but 6 months is not extremely short.

2) He got a commission as an officer without doing any of the normal things that others had to do. I'm not sure what constituted "normal" during that time. Can you clarify?

3) Politically powerful friends of Bush Sr took action to get GW assigned to the ANG.Maybe true, we don't know. The accusation alone is not proof so this must be backed up to be anything more than simple spin.

4) He flew very little compared with what active-duty pilots did.Of course he did. He drilled only one weekend a month. How much flying could he have done?

5) He wound up spending very little of his service time actually performing ANY military duties compared with what those drafted did.During drill weekends, he did as ordered. What should he have been doing?

6) He has a length of time that (despite the "records" released today) appears to show he didn't really do any service whatsoever.I have posted several times in this forum that Bush served well over 600 days in his first two years in the guard.

7) He got out early. Bush was accepted to Harvard Business school and got out approximately 6 months early. This was not an uncommon practice.

This whole house of cards comes down to spin. The documentation and memories are not there to refute every single nitpicking charge that can be dreamed up - not suprising since this happened over 30 years ago.

[ February 10, 2004, 05:42 PM: Message edited by: Gary ]

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velcro
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One more point. The one weekend that Bush got paid in Alabama was about a week before the election that he was managing. A bit odd as well.

Enumclaw, I appreciate your support, but I was hoping to focus on a few specific points. I find the shotgun approach just degenerates into dozens of little arguments. Thanks [Roll Eyes]

So does anyone know when he got back to Texas?

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KnightEnder
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quote:
BTW, Tokyo neglected to point out that Bush took his test early for the Texas ANG, and was head and shoulders above the rest who applied.--WmLambert
WmL, I would love to read the documentation backing this statement up, please.

quote:
You did not read what I wrote. The two friends said "it was well known" and "he [Bush] said" that he served. No eyewitness testimony.--velcro
quote:
Wm, sorry, there is no spin. That is exactly, precisely what the friends said. Read the quote I provided from an unbiased source. Read it again, please. If you have a more definitive quote, saying that someone actually SAW him on base, that would mean something. While this may be irrelevant given the new data, I would request a clarification from you, or an apology for accusing me of spinning.--velcro
Giving the two above quotes, it will be interesting to see if WmL apologizes for what seems to be an unwarrented accusation.

quote:
The idea of volunteering is laughable. It is certainly no surprise that Bush might have checked the "Do not volunteer" box. Who in his right mind would check the other box?--Ron Lambert
There were patriotic Americans that did volunteer for Vietnam, and it is insulting to suggest they should be laughed at, or that they were not in there right mind. And nobody is arguing that Bush should have volunteered. But he shouldn’t have chastised others for not volunteering, or portray himself as a "warrior", when he and his father, did everything they could to keep him out of the war.

KE

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KnightEnder
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Seems some of my posts were answered while I was writing.

quote:
There will never be another draft in this country as long as my generation is in power.
Good!

KE

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WmLambert
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Velcro, You're right - the two witnesses worked with him and testafied that he took off from work to do his obligatory time in the ANG. You are so right that they didn't climb in the cockpit with him, nor take polaroids of him doing it. Geesh! Will you give it a rest.

Do you have proof of someplace else that he went? I'm sure we would all like to hear it. As more and more of the seedy acusatory rhetoric coming out of the Bush-bashers is repuduiated - they still continue their accusations. "Hey, maybe he went there but just sat in the cockpit and never touched any controls. Afterall - nobody saw him once the canopy closed!"

Don't you see the logic of your position for what it is? If ever there was a case of incorrect preconceived notion - this is it. On the radio today, I heard an Democrat party hard-liner say that what happened 30 years ago is important because it just goes to show you the kind of duplicitous President we have today. I thought to myself, Since his 30 year old record is good, why hold to this idea of duplicitousness today? Lord Hutton's report exonerated him. George Tenet corroborated him. Even Clinton is on record saying there were MWD in Iraq. Feith and Kay and Ritter and every one else with a stake in the matter says we probably know where they were stashed in the Syrian desert but will take some time to work out a way to get access to them.

As the campaign moves on. The AWOL thing for Bush will be a done deal. Dealt with and disposed of - but the other Vietnam era issues will start to boil to the surface because they are a matter of character for Kerry. They have the photos with him and Jane Fonda. They have the soundbytes of his staff saying the Dewey Canyon III was about disposing of anything you wanted to, papers, ribbons, letters, etc.; and they have the actual news reports of it where it was about returning your medals. So when Kerry threw someone else's medals over the fence and then pretended they were his, it appears to dash water on his honor and integrity. Someone else is likely to mention exactly how he got injured to earn his medals, and someone else will recall his arguments during 1992 about not using the Vietnam war to score political points. Someone else will be angry that he lied about alleged atrocities that never happened which resulted in returning vets being called baby killers that were spat on.

This entire topic is a no-go for Kerry - and the sooner his supporters let go of it, the better for him.

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KnightEnder
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The difference is, that if these things turn out to be true about Kerry, we will not be defending him. We may still vote for him, but we are not going to deny, or change history to exhonerate him!

KE

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Ron Lambert
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Something tells me that in the upcoming presidential campaign, nobody is going to be taking any prisoners.
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Enumclaw
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Gary asks for more info....

quote:
1) He had crappy scores and got into the ANG on extremely short notice compared with others on the waiting list.

I posted his scores above and his test scores are not "crappy". The pilot score was in the 25th percentile (not 25%). Other scores were much higher. He first took exams around 6 months prior to enlistment. I don't know what the waiting list was for ANG pilots but 6 months is not extremely short.

Sorry, but scoring in the 25th percentile most certainly IS crappy. It means that three-quarters of those who took the test did better than him, but he got a pilot slot anyway.

And 6 months (which is stretching it, BTW) is a heck of a lot shorter than 18 months, which is how long other (non-sons-of-George-Bush-Sr) people had to wait to get their slots.

quote:
2) He got a commission as an officer without doing any of the normal things that others had to do.

I'm not sure what constituted "normal" during that time. Can you clarify?

Sure. Go to officer's school, serve time, that kind of thing. You know, something other than going directly into the service and getting an officer's commission.

quote:
3) Politically powerful friends of Bush Sr took action to get GW assigned to the ANG.

Maybe true, we don't know. The accusation alone is not proof so this must be backed up to be anything more than simple spin.

Well, the speaker of the Texas House is on the record as having put in a good word for GW Bush. I'd say that's enough evidence for me; perhaps it's not for you, but that's YP, not MP. [Smile]

quote:
4) He flew very little compared with what active-duty pilots did.

Of course he did. He drilled only one weekend a month. How much flying could he have done?

Not a lot. I'm just making the point that GW's Air Guard duty was a lot less strenuous than the duty of people who were actually fighting for the nation at the time.

Air Guard fighter duty rocks if you're a pilot. You get to show up once in a while, strap a really neato high powered jet fighter to your ass, fly really fast for a while, and still spend the vast majority of your time in civilian life doing whatever it is that you do.

Saying "well he couldn't fly more since he was ANG" doesn't make it good or bad; it just is.

quote:
5) He wound up spending very little of his service time actually performing ANY military duties compared with what those drafted did.

During drill weekends, he did as ordered. What should he have been doing?

Well, to be correct, there's still no evidence that he did anything in Alabama on his weekends. But let's leave that aside. I didn't say *anything* about what he *should* have been doing; I just compared what he DID do with what other guys (like those that got drafted and sent to Vietnam) had to do.

Very little. That's the answer to the question "what did he do"? Sure, he was entirely legal in doing very little. That doesn't change the point that he only DID very little. That's all.

quote:
6) He has a length of time that (despite the "records" released today) appears to show he didn't really do any service whatsoever.

I have posted several times in this forum that Bush served well over 600 days in his first two years in the guard.

I suspect you mean "60" days. 600 would be a pretty neat trick. [Smile]

Nonetheless, compared to a guy in Vietnam who was getting shot at on a daily basis, 60 days in two years is diddly-squat. And GW was a pilot who didn't really fly anything for quite some time, because he didn't have a medical. Okay, sure, he wasn't assigned to a unit that had airplanes.

THAT is a neat trick, if you ask me. Become a pilot, then get yourself transferred to a unit that has no planes! And people say that GW is dumb... here's direct evidence to the contrary! [Smile]

quote:
7) He got out early. Bush was accepted to Harvard Business school and got out approximately 6 months early.

This was not an uncommon practice.

True. That's why so many people wanted to get into the Guard, because they could skate through their required military service, doing 30 days or less a year and getting out early.

In other words, just because it was a common practice doesn't make it any better or worse; it's just another fact.

Paul

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Gary
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quote:
Sorry, but scoring in the 25th percentile most certainly IS crappy. It means that three-quarters of those who took the test did better than him, but he got a pilot slot anyway.
I believe the 25th percentile is the top 25%. Isn't that the way these percentile measurements work? All the ones I've ever seen are that way.

quote:
Sure. Go to officer's school, serve time, that kind of thing. You know, something other than going directly into the service and getting an officer's commission.
He went through basic training and then was commisioned. What were the terms of the contract for Guard duty in the 60's?

quote:
Well, the speaker of the Texas House is on the record as having put in a good word for GW Bush. I'd say that's enough evidence for me; perhaps it's not for you, but that's YP, not MP
Opinion is not evidence of wrongdoing. Having a good word put in for someone does not imply some kind of preferntial treatment or that anything less than honorable occured.

quote:
I'm just making the point that GW's Air Guard duty was a lot less strenuous than the duty of people who were actually fighting for the nation at the time.
Why is this even relevant? There were a lot of military jobs that were less strenuous than an infantryman's on the front lines.

quote:
Sure, he was entirely legal in doing very little. That doesn't change the point that he only DID very little. That's all.
What's the point?

quote:
I suspect you mean "60" days. 600 would be a pretty neat trick.
No, I mean 600. Bush served nearly eleven months during his first year in the Air Guard. By May 29 1970, his records show, he had served 313 days as a second lieutenant during his second year in the Air Guard.

quote:
In other words, just because it was a common practice doesn't make it any better or worse; it's just another fact.
What's the point of this fact?
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