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  • Topplebush.com: A premier collection of articles on Bush and his family, past and present, including many articles on his failures as a businessman and as Governor of TX and President
    Federal Military Service and Total Active Federal Service Commissioned Service are oddly out of place Source Air Force Staff Sergeant ret Mark Wilson Although Bush had signed up for a six year stint he left shortly after serving four years with the 147th Fighter Group in Houston On the year 2000 Campaign trail he claimed that he made up his service at the Dannelly Air Base in Alabama while working on a political campaign But General William Turnipseed recently recalled to my knowledge he never showed up Source http www abs cbnnews com Albert Lloyd Jr a retired colonel from the Texas Air Guard was hired by the Bush campaign to make sense of the governor s military records told the Boston Globe that Bush s aides were concerned about the Alabama gap in his records Unlike Senator McCain during Campaign 2000 Bush has refused to release his full military records Today Harvey Gough of Dallas a 32 year veteran of the Texas National Guard says that the Bush team purged Bush s Guard files shortly after Bush s inauguration as Texas Governor I taught Dan Bartlett the military system He learned pretty good He and I got along He came from the Bush group as a novice he didn t know the military system Gough believes that Bartlett and Danny James purged Bush s record of quite a bit all Bush s time in Alabama Gough is available for comment at his Texas business phone contact us for his contact info source SanderHicks com original interview Bush s Volunteer Sheet Discharge Papers Fair Use Notice This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental political

    Original URL path: http://www.topplebush.com/article3_military.shtml (2016-02-13)
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  • Topplebush.com: A premier collection of articles on Bush and his family, past and present, including many articles on his failures as a businessman and as Governor of TX and President
    Statesman and Houston Chronicle to read his embellishments about his service as a fighter pilot In 1999 just prior to Mr Bush s announcement that he planned to run for president a record scrubbing detail was dispatched to Camp Mabry to make sure records in the archives matched those in the autobiography published in 1999 synopsis record scrubbing In 1999 during his presidential campaign Mr Bush produced an autobiography 7 containing several untruths about his military service He bragged about volunteering to go to Vietnam not true tried to impress voters saying he was a fighter pilot and continued to fly for several years after training not true and asserted that his military training taught him to respect the chain of command if so he had a peculiar way of showing it In 2000 reporters unearthed the facts and published them in the Washington Post Boston Globe AP wire service and other print media outlets to howls from Bush s people that it was unfair and unethical to reveal facts just before the election No television news programs covered the story until nearly a year after the election In October 2000 when the document photocopies were posted on this web site the site was hacked out and the documents were made inaccessible to the public and the press until after the election news cycle ended the weekend before Election Day How dare you bring these documents up in a time of war Hmmm If this web site hadn t been hacked out to block media access to documents before the election voters would have known about this if George W Bush had then been elected it would have been with full disclosure and there would be no point in bringing it up now But then that would be protecting free speech In November 2000 during the vote counting or more accurately vote not counting an unauthorized monitoring system started gathering data on Bush military document photocopies posted at this web site Using an automated program a visitor cycled from military document to document on a prescribed schedule every few minutes for two weeks The visitor never disengaged until a technician from our web hosting company manually dislodged it at our request The technician said he d never seen anything like it before In December 2000 after dislodging the first visitor another unauthorized monitor appeared This lurker cycled from Bush document to document at regular intervals then broke the connection After 60 seconds it would reconnect and repeat the process This continued for a week when Talion com dislodged it by changing all the page addresses for Bush photocopy documents It s frustrating At least when you re looking for Waldo you know he ll be somewhere in the picture George Bush didn t seem to have been anywhere during his military years but he seemed to be everywhere when photocopies of his military record appeared around election time We must ask Is his a stealth military program Does he fly below the radar Of course this could be all wrong Although there s no proof that President Bush showed up for military duties between May 1972 and May 1973 8 there s a simple way for him to clear this up before he asks young Americans to step into the line of fire in Iraq Simply release the records as John McCain did Private military records can only be released with permission but they contain the most essential information about how he served the records of commendations comments by superiors about the quality of service and the records of any disciplinary actions or boards of inquiry Public military records which have been released under a FOIA request 9 indicate that George W Bush did not satisfactorily complete his duties was suspended and assigned to disciplinary duty which he also did not show up for As the State Plans Officer for the Texas National Guard I was on full time duty at Camp Mabry when Dan Bartlett was cleansing the George W Bush file prior to GW s Presidential announcement For most soldiers at Camp Mabry this was a generally known event The archives were closely scrutinized to make sure that the Bush autobiography plans and the record did not directly contradict each other In essence it was the script of the autobiography which Dan Bartlett and his small team used to scrub a file to be released This effort was further involved by General Daniel James and Chief of Staff William W Goodwin at Camp Mabry Bill Burkett contact 915 673 0429 Transcript of Bill Burkett interview The facts about George W Bush military record 1 On September 29 1972 Air National Guard orders suspending 1st Lt George W Bush from flying status are confirmed Reason for Suspension Failure to accomplish annual medical exam 10 2 Bush s initial temporary transfer to Alabama was denied because An obligated Reservist can be assigned to a specific Ready Reserve position only 11 Therefore he is ineligible for assignment to an Air Reserve Squadron Nonetheless Bush reapplied was accepted by the commander of the mail unit in Alabama and moved to Alabama to work on a Senate campaign instead of completing his military duties He claims no one exerted any influence 3 According to a Boston Globe Story on May 23 2000 In his final 18 months of military service in 1972 and 1973 Bush did not fly at all And for much of that time Bush was all but unaccounted for 12 For a full year there is no record that he showed up for the periodic drills required of part time guardsmen From May to November 1972 Bush was in Alabama working in a US Senate campaign and was required to attend drills at an Air National Guard unit in Montgomery But there is no evidence in his record that he did so And William Turnipseed the retired general who commanded the Alabama unit back then said in an interview last week that Bush never appeared for duty there 4 The tattered piece of attendance record which lists no months years or last name which the Bush campaign presented as evidence of attending Air National Guard training is not even from the Air National Guard This incomplete scrap of paper is from the Air Force Reserve punishment unit not the Air National Guard 13 Note the ARF Air Reserve Force listing at the top rather than the ANG designator which would indicate it was from the Air National Guard 5 In the fall of 1973 as an automatic disciplinary action Bush was reassigned to the Obligated Reserve Section in Denver because he disobeyed orders to show up for a mandatory flight physical and therefore was unable to fulfill the last two years of his six year obligation as an Air National Guard jet fighter pilot Boston Globe 11 5 2000 APPARENTLY BUSH BELIEVES THE RULES DON T APPLY TO HIM By Thomas Oliphant WASHINGTON IMAGINE YOU WANTED to be George W Bush s running mate back in July One of the very first questions on the disclosure form presidential campaigns supply is always a simple Have you ever been arrested And another demands from those with military records the places and dates of every chunk of that service In fact an accounting for every month of your life as with any job carrying a Top Secret clearance would be required you tell Bush that you and your advisers had made a conscious decision to withhold the fact of a drunken driving conviction when you were 30 from the public You say you had only acknowledged a heavy drinking problem in the past and that while continuing to booze for a decade after the arrest you had quit completely 14 years ago You add that you had decided to dodge all details because you didn t want your twins to do what you did Now imagine further the relentless Bush lawyers had picked apart your military record in the National Guard like crows on road kill exposing white lies and big gaps like whether you did a lick of anything for the last year and a half of your obligation As for the untruths and gaps in your National Guard record and even your resume and autobiography you tell Bush that you ve said all you re going to say before the election on this subject that the records and your memory are hazy but that you re certain your obligation had been fulfilled properly Sunday Times London 11 05 2000 The Bush camp was equally dismissive of a claim by Bill Burkett a former lieutenant colonel in the Texas National Guard that the governor s aides had doctored his military record Burkett said Bush aides had visited the National Guard headquarters at Camp Mabry on numerous occasions to make sure that records available to the public about his military service would tally with his autobiography s version of his time as a reserve pilot during the Vietnam war Air National Guard Commanding Officer Alleges Bush Military Records Cleansing SUBJ Military Records of George W Bush Clarification Bill L Burkett LTC ret Within the morning press reports in the London Sunday Times and other publications I am stated to have alleged that the staff of George W Bush doctored the key term the military files of George W Bush in whatever attempt to cover his military record Let me answer questions about my responses within a chronological pattern Was this politically motivated and coordinated with the Gore Campaign No Not whatsoever In no way did any member of the Gore Campaign or any election official Republican or Democrat know my comments My observations were responses to questions of how the file was developed disseminated under the Freedom of information Act FOIA and what was missing within the files which would resolve the question of satisfactory participation These were my personal responses to the asked questions that were not sanctioned by anyone nor shared with anyone They were made on the basis of my 28 year career my working experience within the senior staff at the Texas National Guard headquarters and my knowledge of the operational procedures of the US military including the subject of personnel files of retired or discharged soldiers and airmen Why do you believe you were contacted Question 3 will background how this occurred which should be self explanatory The context of the DUI story indicated the mishandling or failure to fully disclose a past criminal record of Governor Bush I believe that the military record and the irregularities that point to a possible extended period of nonperformance and early release may have also indicated a pattern of lack of full disclosure by the Governor and his campaign This issue of military records had been highly visible on at least two previous occasions within the campaign however Senator Kerrey as an honored and decorated SEAL most recently focused on this issue within the last ten days I would guess that within the eleventh hour and following the revelation of the DUI story the media and voters were waiting for the next shoe to drop This issue may have been viewed as the next shoe In June of 1998 and with the full and personal knowledge of Dan Bartlett and the Governor I reported problems of force structure readiness operational efficiency personnel and procedures within the Texas National Guard At that time and periodically thereafter I have been in contact with various audio video and print news writers and publishers In 1998 I provided sufficient detailed information including documentation of severe irregularities within the Governors own chain of command in an effort to correct those deficiencies which I believe undermined the Texas National Guard and in some cases broke the law How did your reference in this story develop I contacted a website that outlined the Governor s personal military career irregularities and suggested that there were two official documents that would resolve the issue of satisfactory and honorable service Suddenly on Friday afternoon my telephone became barraged with media calls and messages including those who had known of my previous whistleblowing but had failed report it I explained my background and personal observations to each of them in minute detail often repeating the entire process for clarity I was extremely careful not to point an accusing finger but rather shape a question which could resolve this allegation of integrity that had clouded the Bush campaign since June of 1999 the issue of his personal military service 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 I further observed that they probably did not anticipate that the file would be scrutinized to the level that it was Whenever someone determined holes is service big enough to drive a Mack truck through additional information all of which was unofficial and some in pencil notations were then submitted to the press to answer questions I further observed this Trust me I m the Governor approach had worked throughout Texas for George W Bush within his tenure and the media had give the Governor a free pass without the same scrutiny as the Vice President until the eleventh hour revelation of the DUI But this still left the basic question Why didn t Governor Bush simply release his military pay files and retirement points accounting records which are the only OFFICIAL records that will show that he satisfactorily and honorably completed his service commitment Were there other issues that you discussed Yes In each call I in essence scolded media representatives for not doing their homework and reviewing this information before the eleventh hour When asked if I would go on record I said yes I have nothing to hide even though I knew that the mention of my name with the Bush campaign would immediately strike a personal response because of my whistleblowing in 1998 Again was this a Democratic ploy as stated by Karen Hughes of the Bush staff No Absolutely not Karen Hughes has again skirted the real issue and question Dan Bartlett and the Governor have also refused to answer the basic question and furnish the OFFICIAL files that will resolve this issue I am in no way linked to the Democratic Party I am simply an energized citizen and retired soldier who would like to have the issues of each possible commander in chief resolved prior to the election in order that we can escape holding another American Presidency hostage to actions and allegations by the opposing party in Congress We have suffered from this partisanship for the past eight years George W Bush says that he is the only candidate who can bridge this impasse This is his opportunity to start that process This is what I believe other Americans share with me a sincere belief that they have the right and capacity to make educated decisions but that candidates have the responsibility for full and complete disclosure If you would like to speak with me personally on the record I can be reached at 915 673 0429 in Abilene Texas Please call in order to verify my signature Bill L Burkett LTC Ret For Interviews More source information and interviews For a remarkable show or news story interview former Air National Guard pilot Robert A Rogers and researcher Marty Heldt as they lead you through the 160 pages of documents uncovered in their Freedom of Information inquiries into bush s official military records Find out why they think it is imperative that Bush gives permission for the release of his personal military records before the election Both Rogers and Heldt say their research shows such huge holes in his National Guard record Bush should release his personal military records before he commits young Americans to wartime conditions Go to http users cis net coldfeet document htm to view Bush military documents released under the Freedom of Information Act which show the conflicting information that produced requests to release his private military records Voluntary release of personal military records for the period of his enlistment from 1968 through 1974 will provide information to assess the following events 1 A September 29 1972 Air National Guard confirming orders suspending 1st Lt George W Bush from flying status are confirmed Reason for Suspension Failure to accomplish annual medical exam 2 Bush s initial temporary transfer to Alabama was denied because An obligated Reservist can be assigned to a specific Ready Reserve position only Therefore he is ineligible for assignment to an Air Reserve Squadron Nonetheless Bush reapplied was accepted by the commander of the mail unit in Alabama and moved to Alabama where instead of fulfilling his military duties he worked on a Senate campaign http users cis net coldfeet doc5 gif 3 According to a Boston Globe Story on May 23 2000 In his final 18 months of military service in 1972 and 1973 Bush did not fly at all And for much of that time Bush was all but unaccounted for For a full year there is no record that he showed up for the periodic drills required of part time guardsmen Bush who declined to be interviewed on the issue said through a spokesman that he has some recollection of attending drills that year but maybe not consistently From May to November 1972 Bush was in Alabama working in a US Senate campaign and was required to attend drills at an Air National Guard unit in Montgomery But there is no evidence in his record that he did so And William Turnipseed the retired general who commanded the Alabama unit back then said in

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  • Topplebush.com: A premier collection of articles on Bush and his family, past and present, including many articles on his failures as a businessman and as Governor of TX and President
    the caller tell Guard officers to clean Bush s records from his files Palast says that after the call Burkett asked the officers if they d carried out the questionable orders and they said absolutely They pointed and Burkett saw in the shredding designated trashcan George W Bush s pay and retirement points records Controversy has simmered for decades over George W s Vietnam era service record critics have long charged he went AWOL from the Guard for long periods of time The allegedly trashed documents which had been undisclosed for years could have proved whether or not G W had been absent without leave while he was in TANG If Bush went AWOL this would have been desertion during wartime Punishment for Air National guardsmen who missed two days of work was to be sent to Vietnam Burkett also said according to Palast interviewed in Santa Monica California before flying to London to broadcast the expose Bush detractors also contend that back in 1968 his father wealthy oilman and then Rep George Herbert Walker Bush pulled strings to cut a behind the scenes deal ensuring Junior was not sent to Vietnam Palast says he received a rare coveted Texas Air National Guard spot 12 days before G W was to be drafted Palast adds he recently interviewed an extremely well known Texan at the center of President Bush s alleged draft dodging who was a key participant in maneuvers to get him into the Air Guard This source not only confirmed that getting G W into the Texas Air National Guard was a fix but that it was Daddy Bush himself who made the initial call to get his son out of the war Palast says Although the figure would not agree to go on camera or be named Palast said he interviewed the source in front of a high ranking BBC producer Previously says Palast he had considered G W s draft evading story unverified However he now believes he has confirmed it Ed Rampell is a fulltime L A based freelance writer named after CBS broadcaster Edward R Murrow He writes the Friend of the People column for L A Alternative Press and co wrote The Finger column for New Times L A Rampell has reported for ABC News 20 20 The Nation Mother Jones In These Times Variety L A Times and many other publications and co authored several film history books Greg Palast is author of the New York Times bestseller The Best Democracy Money Can Buy Penguin 2003 which you can purchase by clicking on the book link on the left This book is highly recommended by our staff Fair Use Notice This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental political economic democratic domestic and international issues etc We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted

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  • Topplebush.com: A premier collection of articles on Bush and his family, past and present, including many articles on his failures as a businessman and as Governor of TX and President
    years prior to his six year commitment are not at all clear Investigative reporters with the Boston Globe looked into Bush s service during the 2000 presidential campaign in an article that appeared on July 28th A retired member of the Air National Guard has obtained several memos and official letters regarding Mr Bush s military service and provided an analysis of whether the president did the duty necessary as he maintains A scanned copy of President Bush s request to be transferred to an inactive postal Reserve unit in Alabama he requested the transfer to work on a U S Senate campaign can be viewed here http daily misleader org ctt asp u 1208987 l 15658 A scanned copy of the denial of Bush s transfer order can be viewed here http daily misleader org ctt asp u 1208987 l 15659 A scanned copy of the memo confirming Bush s suspension from the Air National guard for failure to accomplish annual medical examination can be viewed here http daily misleader org ctt asp u 1208987 l 15660 The full analysis can be viewed here http daily misleader org ctt asp u 1208987 l 15661 This url also contains copies of available Bush military records http users cis net coldfeet document htm Fair Use Notice This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental political economic democratic domestic and international issues etc We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law In accordance with Title 17 U S C Section 107 the material on this site is distributed without profit to those

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  • Topplebush.com: A premier collection of articles on Bush and his family, past and present, including many articles on his failures as a businessman and as Governor of TX and President
    granted This is where it gets interesting When asked in 2000 Bush claimed he had some recollection of performing service in Alabama but there is no evidence no Guard records that is and the word of no one who would have served with him despite an exhaustive search by the Bush campaign that Bush ever showed up in Alabama for duty After the 1972 election Bush returned to Houston whereupon he should have reported for duty with his unit at Ellington Air Force Base But in May of 1973 his superiors there reported that they were unable to conduct his yearly evaluation because Lt Bush has not been observed at this unit during the period of this report A civilian occupation made it necessary for him to move to Montgomery Alabama He cleared this base on 15 May 1972 and has been performing equivalent training in a non flying status with the 187 Tac Recon Gp Dannelly ANG Base Alabama Which he wasn t Finally there is the question of whether Bush ever completed his obligations to the Guard before being discharged In 2000 his campaign claimed that he crammed in 36 days of duty with his Houston unit during his last three months The only evidence his team could provide however was a torn page listing drills performed with no dates and without Bush s name But given that Bush s official records show no service whatsoever between May of 1972 and his discharge in October of 1973 by which time he was attending Harvard Business School one cannot conclude that there is any evidence that he satisfied the obligations of his service When the National Guard Review asked Bush during 2000 what he d learned in the Guard he responded T he responsibility to show up and do your job One can certainly quibble about whether Bush s failure to show up in Alabama and his apparent failure to fulfill his obligations makes him a deserter or not but that question is one of semantics The most generally accepted definition of the term involves abandonment during wartime the reader may decide whether Bush s service in the defense of Corpus Christi from the Vietcong would qualify as combat duty But to say the charge is in Peter Jennings words not supported by the facts is simply false If this story is news to you you re not alone In the 2000 campaign in which journalists were supposedly vetting the candidates records to ferret out the good and the bad there was little interest in Bush s Vietnam record If one compares the coverage given in 1992 to Bill Clinton s efforts to avoid Vietnam with that given to Bush s similar situation the disparity is rather striking In 1992 there were no fewer than 526 stories about Clinton and the draft in major American newspapers In all the news outlets covered by Lexis Nexis there were 950 stories about the subject But when the 2000 election rolled around

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  • Topplebush.com: A premier collection of articles on Bush and his family, past and present, including many articles on his failures as a businessman and as Governor of TX and President
    citation does not wipe away the questions An honorable discharge does not indicate a flawless record says Grant Lattin a military law attorney in Washington and a retired Marine Corps lieutenant colonel who served as a judge advocate or JAG officer Somebody could have missed a year s worth of Guard drills and still end up with an honorable discharge That s because of the extraordinary leeway local commanders within the Guard are given over these types of issues Lattin notes that the Guard is obviously very political even more so than other military institutions and is subject to political influence For failing to attend required monthly drill sessions and refusing to take a physical 1st Lt Bush just as easily could have been moved to active duty given a less than honorable discharge or had his flying rights permanently revoked says Eugene Fidell a leading Washington expert on military law For a fully trained pilot he was assigned to a nothing job in Alabama and the available records indicate he never performed that job In the Guard today as a general rule if someone doesn t show up for drill duty doesn t show up and doesn t show up they ll be separated from their unit and given an other than honorable discharge most likely noting unsatisfactory participation says D C military lawyer David Sheldon who served in the Navy and represented officers before the Court of Military Appeals Meanwhile recent questions have surfaced not only about Bush s military service but his official records I think some documents were taken out of his military file the Boston Globe s Robinson tells Salon And there s at least one document that appears to have been inserted into his record in early 2000 That document the aforementioned torn page that did not have Bush s full name on it plays a central role in the story His records have clearly been cleaned up says author James Moore whose upcoming book Bush s War for Re election will examine the issue of Bush s military service in great detail Moore says as far back as 1994 when Bush first ran for governor of Texas his political aides began contacting commanders and roommates and people who would spin and cover up his Guard record And when my book comes out people will be on the record testifying to that fact witnesses who helped clean up Bush s military file If Bush wanted to resolve the questions about his National Guard service he could do so very easily If he simply agreed to release the contents of his military personnel records jacket the Guard could make public all his discharge papers including pay records and total retirement points which experts say would shed the best light on where Bush was or was not during the time in question between 1972 and 1973 Many of Bush s documents are available through Freedom of Information requests but certain items deemed personal or private cannot be released without Bush s permission Releasing military records has become a time honored tradition of presidential campaigns During the 1992 presidential election Bush s father George H W Bush called on his Democratic opponent Bill Clinton to make public all personal documents relating his draft status during the Vietnam War including any correspondences with Clinton s draft board the Selective Service System the Reserve Officer Training Corps the Army the Navy the Air Force the Marines the Coast Guard the United States departments of State and Justice any U S foreign embassy or consulate That according to a Bush Quayle Oct 15 1992 press release Calls to the White House seeking comment on if and when the president s full military records will be released were not returned The spark that reignited this issue came when ABC News anchor Peter Jennings co moderating a Democratic debate on Jan 22 asked retired Gen Wesley Clark why he did not repudiate comments made by his supporter filmmaker Michael Moore who publicly labeled Bush a deserter Jennings editorialized Now that s a reckless charge not supported by the facts Republican pundits agreed Bill Bennett a director of Empower America told Fox News that Clark s failure to distance himself repudiate absolutely condemn Michael Moore s description of the president as a deserter was a terrible thing Most informed observers agree that Moore s choice of words was sloppy and inaccurate Deserter is a criminal term It refers to a military personnel who abandons his post with no intention of ever returning But Democrats have taken hold of the broader issue of whether Bush was AWOL Their willingness to bring up a previously off limits subject reflects their sense that Bush s aura of invincibility has worn off and the confidence imparted by Kerry s resurgent campaign Democrats feel Kerry a decorated Vietnam veteran has the personal history to question Bush s service But the issue is also ripe because of Bush s own reelection strategy By donning a fighter flight suit and landing on the USS Abraham Lincoln fora photo op in May 2003 he has tried to paint himself as a seasoned military leader in the United States war on terrorism With newfound aggressiveness Democrats are trying to puncture that aura by hammering away on the fact that Bush s own military record fails to back it up That s what Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe did this Sunday on ABC News This Week when he referred to Bush as a man who was AWOL in the Alabama National Guard That brought a quick rebuttal from South Carolina s Republican Gov Mark Sanford who told CNN it was wrong for Democrats to be taking shots at Bush for being a guardsman In similar fashion Rep Darrell Issa R Calif claimed Tuesday night that by bringing up Bush s National Guard service the Democrats are impugning the patriotism of guardsmen implying that their contributions are less worthy than those who serve in the military As those disingenuous comments suggest Republicans are trying to change the subject falsely framing the debate as a repeat of the National Guard controversy that dogged Vice President Dan Quayle during the 1988 presidential campaign It s easy to see why they re pursuing this strategy If the story were simply about how Bush used his family connections to land a slot in the Texas Air National Guard and all indications are he did just that it wouldn t matter much But the real story is not how Bush got into the Guard It s how he got out Until the last two days the mainstream media has routinely ignored or downplayed the issue Slate columnist Michael Kinsley took euphemism to new heights when he wrote in a Dec 5 column that Bush was lackadaisical about fulfilling his Guard requirement On Jan 17 the Associated Press recapping the deserter controversy did Bush a favor erroneously reporting that his absent without leave time lasted just three months in 1972 instead of the 12 18 months actually in question And on Feb 1 ABC News suggesting Democrats might turn off voters by attacking Bush s military service reported Bush simply missed some weekends of training None of those descriptions come anywhere near describing the established facts at the center of the controversy Perhaps that s not surprising The press apparently deeming the National Guard story unworthy paid more attention to the debate over Moore s deserter comment than they did to the actual story of Bush s unexplained absence when it came out during the 2000 campaign While co moderating the Democratic debate ABC News Jennings was sure he knew the facts about Bush s military record But as the Daily Howler noted a search of the LexisNexis electronic database indicates that ABC s World News Tonight hosted by Jennings never once during the 2000 campaign ran a report about the questions surrounding Bush s military record Asked if ignoring the story was a mistake and whether ABC News planned to pursue it in 2004 a network spokeswoman told Salon We continue to examine the records of all the candidates running for president including President Bush If and when we have a story about one of the candidates we ll report it to our audience ABC was not alone in turning away from the story in 2000 CBS News did the same thing and so did NBC News But it was the New York Times and the way the paper of record avoided the issue of Bush s no show military service that stands out as the most unusual To this day the Times has never reported that in 1972 the Texas Air National Guard grounded Bush for failing to take a required physical exam Nor has the paper ever reported that neither Bush nor his aides can point to a single person who saw Bush the hard to miss son of a congressman and U S ambassador perform any active duty requirements during the final 18 months of his service Instead the Times served up stories that failed to delve deep into the issue The Boston Globe story broke on May 23 2000 The next day Bush answered reporters questions on the campaign trail defending his military record His comments were covered by the Times Union of Albany N Y the Columbus Dispatch the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Houston Chronicle among others which all considered the story newsworthy Not the Times The paper ignored the fact Bush was forced to respond to allegations that he d been AWOL during his Guard service Throughout the 2000 campaign the Times Nicholas Kristof wrote a series of biographical dispatches about Bush s personal history On July 11 he wrote about Bush s post college years including his National Guard service but no mention was made of the controversy surrounding Bush s missing year The Times finally addressed the issue on July 22 two months after the Globe exposé was published The Times article written by Jo Thomas focused on Bush s post Yale years in the late 60s and early 70s In a section on the National Guard controversy the Times reported that Bush s commanding officer had told the Boston Globe that Bush had never showed up quoted Bush as insisting that he had and noted that Emily Marks who worked in the Blount campaign and dated Mr Bush said she recalls that he returned to Montgomery after the election to serve with the Air National Guard But then the Times went on to write National Guard records provided by the Guard and by the Bush campaign indicate he did serve on Nov 29 1972 after the election These records also show a gap in service from that time to the previous May Mr Bush says he made up for the lost time in subsequent months and guard records show he received credit for having performed all the required service On Oct 31 the Boston Globe published another damning story suggesting Bush failed to serve in fact did not even show up for duty during the final 18 months of his commitment The Times Thomas quickly wrote A review of records by The New York Times indicated that some of those concerns about Bush s absence may be unfounded Contradicting the Globe s account of Bush war service the paper reported that Bush spokesman Dan Bartlett pointed to a document in Mr Bush s military records that showed credit for four days of duty ending Nov 29 and for eight days ending Dec 14 1972 and after he moved back to Houston on dates in January April and May The document cited by the Times is apparently the mysterious torn paper that appeared in Bush s records in 2000 That document a Statement of Points Earned tracks when guardsmen have served and whether they have fulfilled their annual duty It contains references to 29 and 14 and other numbers whose meaning is not clear The Times did not inform its readers that the document is badly torn undated and unsigned does not have Bush s name on it just a wayward W and has a redacted Social Security number The Times got spun by Dan Bartlett Robinson at the Globe told Salon He and others note that if the documents provided by the Bush campaign proved he did Guard duty upon returning to Houston in January and April of 1973 then why on Bush s annual effectiveness report signed by two superiors did it say Lt Bush has not been observed at this unit during the period of the report which covered the dates between May 1 1972 and April 30 1973 I had a lot of arguments with Dan Bartlett and never got spun by him says Thomas now an assistant chancellor for public affairs at the University of Illinois at Champaign Urbana But if he gave me some documents that proved his point I m not going to ignore them She added The Times carried no brief for or against Bush Nonetheless the author James Moore says it was those two Times stories which seemed to back up Bush s sketchy account of his Guard service that effectively stopped other reporters from pursuing the story Here are the known facts of that story Following his graduation from Yale University in 1968 with the Vietnam War raging Bush vaulted to the top of a 500 person waiting list to land a coveted spot in the Texas Air National Guard Then despite having no aviation or ROTC experience he was approved for an automatic commission as a second lieutenant and assignment to flight school By every indication Bush s service between 1970 and 1972 as a fully trained pilot in the 111th Fighter Interceptor Squadron near Houston was commendable But then came the spring of 1972 and Bush simply vanished Contrary to the official campaign biography that appeared on the Bush Web site during 2000 which stated he flew fighter planes until his discharge in late 1973 Bush flew for the last time ever in April 1972 In May he moved to Alabama to help out in the Senate campaign of Winton Blount a friend of Bush s father Bush asked to be transferred to an Alabama Air National Guard unit where he could do equivalent training Bush asked to be transferred to a postal unit for paper pushing duties and remarkably his Houston commanders signed off on the request But officials at the Air Reserve Personnel Center in Denver eventually overruled the request pointing out the obvious Doing paperwork in a postal unit did not qualify as equivalent training for a fully trained pilot The situation remained unresolved for months During that time Bush was still obligated to attend drill sessions with his regular unit near Houston Guard records indicate he did not In September 1972 Bush won approval to do temporary training at the 187th Squadron in Montgomery But the unit s commander retired Brig Gen William Turnipseed told the Boston Globe he was dead certain Bush never showed Had he reported in I would have had some recall and I do not I had been in Texas done my flight training there If we had had a first lieutenant from Texas I would have remembered On Wednesday Bush Cheney 04 spokesman Terry Holt told Salon that Turnipseed recently donated 500 to Sen John Edwards campaign Holt questioned whether the motives behind Turnipseed s comments regarding Bush s service were pure or whether he s part of a political attack Turnipseed could not be reached for comment In any case as already noted there is no official National Guard record of Bush s ever serving in Alabama and not a single guardsman who served at that time has ever come forward and corroborated that Bush was there Meanwhile in July of that summer Bush s failure to accomplish his mandatory annual physical that is to take it forced the Guard to ground him Following Blount s election loss in November Bush returned to Houston But he did not return to his Guard duties at least according to his commanding officers In May 1973 his two superior officers at Ellington Air Force Base noted on Bush s evaluation that he had not been seen during the previous year In the comments section Lt Col William Harris Jr wrote that Bush cleared this base on 15 May 1972 and has been performing equivalent training in a non flying role with the 187th Tac Recon Gp at Dannelly ANG Base Alabama The problem is Bush never reported for duty there or anywhere else in Alabama According to his discharge papers Bush took the whole year off instead Bush was finally recorded as having crammed in 36 active duty credits during May June and July 1973 thereby meeting his minimal requirement But as the Boston Globe pointed out nobody connected with the Texas unit recalls seeing Bush during his cram sessions leading to suspicions that Bush was given credits for active duty he did not perform The suspicion stems in part from the incorrect and inconsistent answers that Bush and his spokesmen have given to the question of why after going through extraordinarily rigorous flight training he simply walked away from flying The day the Globe story appeared on May 23 2000 Bush explained to reporters that when he returned to Houston in 1973 his old fighter plane was being phased out There was a conscious decision not to retrain me in an airplane he said suggesting it was the Texas Air National Guard s decision to end his flying career That s not true The plane to which Bush was referring the F 102 was phased out during the 1970s but it was still being used in 1973 Bush did not tell reporters about his failed physical exam and how that resulted in his being grounded That misleading answer about

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    the National Guard s substance abuse program a random drug testing program was born out of that regulation and administered to guardsmen such as Bush The random tests were unrelated to the scheduled annual physical exams such as the one that Bush failed to take in 1972 a failure that resulted in his grounding The 1972 drug testing program took months and in some cases years to implement at Guard units across the country And the percentage of guardsmen tested then was much lower than today s 40 percent rate But as of April 1972 Air National guardsmen knew random drug testing was going to be implemented During the 2000 campaign when Bush s spokesman was asked about the possibility of Bush facing a drug test back in 1972 the spokesman told the Times of London that Bush was not aware of any military changes that required a drug test Still at the time when Bush perhaps for the first time in his life faced the prospect of a random drug test his military records show he virtually disappeared failing for at least one year to report for Guard duty White House officials insist that if Bush missed any weekend Guard drills in 1972 he made up for them during the summer of 1973 If this is true he would have been vulnerable to random drug tests during his makeup days But again Bush s own discharge papers fail to conclusively back up his claim that he performed Guard service in 1973 Nobody ever saw him serving in 1973 notes author James Moore whose upcoming book Bush s War for Re election will detail Bush s military record Not a single soul has come forward to say I remember the summer of 73 when I did Guard training with George Bush the future president of the United States Moore notes that Bush s discharge papers make no reference to service in 1973 The last entry in Bush s papers are for April 1972 Also if Bush had served in 1973 there would have to be an Officer Effectiveness Rating for that year in his military file There is not Nonetheless in late 1973 Bush received an honorable discharge in order to attend Harvard Business School During the early stages of his 2000 campaign for president Bush was dogged by questions of whether he ever used cocaine or any other illegal substance when he was younger Bush refused to fully answer the question but in 1999 he did issue a blanket denial insisting he had not used any illegal drugs during the previous 25 years or since 1974 Bush refused to specify what mistakes he had made before 1974 Perhaps realizing that explanation pointed reporters toward possible drug use during his time as a guardsman Bush insisted he hadn t taken any drugs while serving in the Texas Air National Guard between 1968 and 1974 I never would have done anything to jeopardize myself I got airborne and I got on

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    in 2000 when questions about his Guard service were raised The torn copy listed the number of training days but showed neither service dates nor Bush s name both were in the torn away portion But Bush s Social Security number was visible on one copy obtained by the Globe No explanation has been offered for how the document was torn or why an undamaged copy was not available in 2000 The second document which Bartlett said the White House had not yet obtained is Bush s personnel record card for the period of May 27 1972 to May 26 1973 As is the case with Guard members Bush the card shows was generally given 2 points for each day of weekend training But this card unlike those for the other years of Bush s service does not itemize Bush s individual day of service it gives only a total The personnel record card also indicates that Bush was on flying status even though he never flew for his unit after April 1972 Bush in an interview Sunday on NBC s Meet the Press insisted that he had attended Guard drills during the 12 months beginning May 1972 The president also said that during the 2000 campaign the Colorado record facility had been scoured to ensure that everything had been made public And Bush agreed to make public all of his military records Asked last night whether the White House would authorize the Colorado records facility to make public all of Bush s records Bartlett said any that are germane would be made public after being reviewed by the White House On this issue Bartlett said the practice has been to release every document Bartlett said he could not explain why Fertig s group had access to more documents than the White House Fertig called for an independent investigation Noting that the new documents are contradicted by other public documents and statements by Bush s Guard superiors Fertig said the public has a right to know whether Bush received credit for duty he did not perform Bush s Guard service began in earnest after he graduated from flight school in November 1969 He then returned to Ellington for six months of training in the F 102 fighter interceptor and then from June 1970 until April 1972 he flew frequently But the following month he won permission to move to Alabama for several months to work on the US Senate campaign of Winton Blount a Republican In Montgomery Bush was supposed to do periodic drills with another Guard unit But its commander has said Bush never appeared Bush has said he did but does not recall what duties he performed In September 1972 Bush was removed from flight duty for failing to have his annual physical 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

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