September 9, 2004

Bush's Military Dodge

This morning Google news had a link to a series of articles generated by the Boston Globe article that showed clearly that Bush broke his National Guard commitments and never had to face the consequences. But by 6 p.m. or so, the whole thing was gone. Why is that? (note: later the item returned to Google news.)

A bunch of bitter liars with close ties to the Bush family who claimed that Kerry inflicted the wounds on himself that he earned medals for was discussed endlessly in the media for weeks until it clearly had knocked Kerry out of the race. Unsubstantiated charges from tainted sources. Here are facts drawn from Bush's military records showing that he ducked military service and it drops out of sight in a few hours. What is happening?

For more discussions on it, see Salon: "On Wednesday, the Boston Globe published documents proving that Bush, whose spotty record in the National Guard was always mysterious, 'fell well short of meeting his military obligation.' Maj. Gen. Paul A. Weaver Jr., who retired in 2002 as the Pentagon's director of the Air National Guard, was quoted: 'It appears that no one wanted to hold him accountable.' And on Wednesday night, CBS's '60 Minutes' broadcasts the first interview with former Texas Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes, who explains how he manipulated the system to get young George his safe posting in the "champagne unit" of the Texas Guard during the Vietnam War. The program also reveals additional documents showing that the president never fulfilled his service..." Salon

  • And CNN: "The records show his last flight was in April 1972, which is consistent with pay records indicating Bush had a lapse of duty between April and October of that year. Bush has said he had permission to go to Alabama in 1972 to work on an unsuccessful Republican Senate campaign. Bush skipped a required medical exam that cost him his pilot's status in August of that year. Bush's 2000 campaign suggested the future president skipped his medical exam in part because the F-102A was nearly obsolete. Records show Bush's Texas unit flew the F-102A until 1974 and used the jets as part of an air defense drill during 1972. A six-month historical record of his 147th Fighter Interceptor Group, also turned over to the AP on Tuesday, shows some of the training Bush missed with his colleagues during that time. It showed the unit joined a '24-hour active alert mission to safeguard against surprise attack' in the southern United States beginning on Oct. 6, 1972, a mission for which Bush was not present, according to his pay records.
  • Reuters "Bush spokesman Dan Bartlett told the Washington Post in 1999 that the future president had served at a Boston-area Air Force Reserve unit after leaving Houston. But Bush never joined a Boston-area unit, the Globe said. 'I must have misspoke,' Bartlett, now White House communications director, was quoted as telling the Globe in a recent interview."
  • Sydney Morning Herald: On July 30, 1973, shortly before he moved from Houston to Cambridge, Massachusetts, to attend Harvard Business School, Mr Bush signed a document that declared: 'It is my responsibility to locate and be assigned to another Reserve forces unit or mobilisation augmentation position. If I fail to do so, I am subject to involuntary order to active duty for up to 24 months.' But he never signed up with a new unit. In 1999, a Bush spokesman, Dan Bartlett, told The Washington Post that Mr Bush finished his six-year commitment at a Boston area Air Force Reserve unit after he left Houston. Not so, he now concedes. 'I must have misspoke,' said Mr Bartlett, who is now the White House communications director. Early in his National Guard service, on May 27, 1968, Mr Bush signed a "statement of understanding" pledging to achieve 'satisfactory participation' that included attendance at 24 days of annual weekend duty and 15 days of annual active duty. 'I understand that I may be ordered to active duty for a period not to exceed 24 months for unsatisfactory participation,' the statement reads. Yet Mr Bush, a fighter-interceptor pilot, performed no service at all for one six-month period in 1972 and for another period of almost three months in 1973, the records show."
  • Also check out Bob Fertik's blog about it and
  • The New York Times analysis of Bush's military record by Gerald Lechliter. New York Times And in other news:
  • Beating about the Bush Infoshop
  • Bush Ducking Debate -- Bush is looking to slip out of the second debate that had been planned because it's a "town meeting" style debate, and Bush doesn't have a chance in a situation like that unless they make all the audience members sign loyalty oaths like they do in Bush's campaign town meetings. According to the Washington Post, "A presidential adviser said campaign officials were concerned that people could pose as undecided when they actually are partisans." Why shouldn't the so-called president be able to stand up to questions from people who oppose him? Poor George. He has always been so sheltered. You can't expect him to actually answer questions that are unscripted.

    September 10, 2004

  • Day in Court -- Cantor Fitzgerald, which occupied the top four floors of the north tower of the World Trade Center, is suing the Saudi government for alleged support of terrorists. It could bring out some interesting information. CommonDreams
  • Poll Analysis -- Big Bush Lead? Think again. Emerging Democratic Majority Weblog
  • Seven Minutes that Changed the World -- If George Bush is such a great war president, protecting the American people, why did he sit idly in a children's classroom while New York and Washington D.C. burned?

    September 11, 2004

    This unholy anniversary cannot pass without comment. But the comments have not stopped since the day itself. The event is not even over. It is still used to drive the relentless Bush agenda. They will never let the fear die, even though they have done little to defend the country against a recurrence.

    According to Zogby, Bush continues to be rewarded in the polls for deceit, with lies about Kerry's military record and with evocations of fear of a recurrence of 9/11. As if Bush has any credibility in the struggle against terrorism. His attack on Iraq only made matters much worse. His failure to take action at the time of the attacks, or to heed the warnings before the fact show he is the least competent to protect the country. But somehow Americans don't seem to get any of this. The country is driving blindly over a cliff to its own destruction. Four more years of Bush may lead America to a point of no return to a democratic society.

    Bush's refusal to heed the warnings of law enforcement officers who went to Washington to beg him not to let the ban on assault weapons lapse show clearly that the only principle that guides the administration is special interest politics. After Monday, terrorists will be able to buy machine guns at gun shows without even a background check. How does this square with any of the principles Bush is supposed to stand for? He rewards the interest groups that pay him. The gun lobby is a single issue constituency. Most of the rest of the population doesn't think that much about guns until one of their own is murdered. So the political equation is simple to Bush, side with the single issue constituency and it will slip under the radar of most of the rest. Here come the machine guns, thanks to Bush, so get ready.

    September 13, 2004

  • You Can't Run on a Mistake -- Bill Maher: "Franklin Roosevelt didn't run for re-election claiming Pearl Harbor was his finest hour. Abe Lincoln was a great president, but the high point of his second term wasn't theater security. 9/11 wasn't a triumph of the human spirit. It was a fuck-up by a guy on vacation."
  • Born in the USA -- "9/11 and the 'War on Terrorism'" by Michel Chossudovsky: "The 'Islamic Militant Network' (the forerunner of Osama bin Laden¹s Al Qaeda), was created and sustained by the CIA. CIA-sponsored guerrilla training in Afghanistan and Pakistan were integrated with the teachings of Islam. The madrasas were set up by Wahabi fundamentalists financed out of Saudi Arabia, with the support of Washington. The Reagan, Bush senior and Clinton administrations actively supported the Islamic brigades during the Soviet-Afghan war and its aftermath. The Taliban were the "graduates" of the CIA sponsored madrasas. They would not have been able to form a government, had it not been for US military aid, channeled through Pakistan. Confirmed by official congressional documents, US support to Al Qaeda continued after the Cold war. Ironically, during the Clinton administration, it was the Republicans who were accusing Bill Clinton of having links to the Islamic Militant Network in Bosnia and Kosovo. A 1997 document emanating from the House Republican Party Committee entitled 'Clinton-Approved Iranian Arms Transfers Help Turn Bosnia into Militant Islamic Base', accused Clinton of working hand in glove with Al Qaeda in Bosnia." Global Research
  • The Brave Posturing of Armchair Warriors -- "An unequivocal supporter of the Vietnam War a third of a century ago, Bush benefitted when influential guardian angels pulled some strings and got him into the Air National Guard. Even then, Bush skipped out on some of his obligations, preferring to have a good time and work for a pro-war congressional candidate in Alabama. Since then, George W. Bush never heard of an American-led war he didn't fervently support (from afar, of course). Likewise, the avidly pro-war Dick Cheney has explained that he took advantage of several draft-age deferments and stayed out of the U.S. military during the war in Vietnam because he had 'other priorities.'" Truthout
  • 9/11 Victim Families: "Three Years Later: Peaceful Tomorrows 9/11/04 Statement. Nearly three years ago, September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows was born out of a shared belief that America¹s military response to the 9/11 attacks which took our loved ones¹ lives would result in the deaths of countless innocent civilians and increase recruitment for terrorist causes, making the United States, and the world, less safe and less free for generations to come. Today, as we commemorate September 11, 2004, we find that our worst fears have been realized. The terrorism of September 11th has been neither neutralized, nor ended, by the terrorism of war. Peaceful Tomorrows
  • On the Other Foot -- With George W. as his campaign¹s senior advisor, George H. W. Bush¹s campaign maligned vice presidential candidate Lloyd Bentson for allegedly helped his son get into the National Guard during Vietnam. George W. should have known. He was in the same unit.
  • Kerry still maintains electoral vote lead in polls -- (Nothing massive vote fraud can't fix.) In These Times
  • Bush order to the FBI: Back off on bin Laden -- On November 9, 2001, when you could still choke on the dust in the air near Ground Zero, BBC Television received a call in London from a top-level US intelligence agent. He was not happy. Shortly after George W. Bush took office, he told us reluctantly, the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the FBI "were told to back off the Saudis." Working for Change
  • Fear Itself -- A new documentary "Hijacking Catastrophe: 9/11, Fear & the Selling of American Empire" examines how the Bush administration used Sept. 11 to transform American foreign policy and enter a phase of so-called preemptive warfare while rolling back civil liberties and social programs at home.
  • Iraq¹s occupiers accused of genocide --
  • Why they hate us -- A cartoon in The Observer, London, the other day showed President Bush atop a huge Republican elephant, saying: "My fellow Americans, I've made the world a much more dangerous place which is why you need me to protect you." That probably sums up where the world stands today, three years after the 9/11 atrocity. Events on that day shook America and shook the world. The attacks on the Twin Towers in New York and the Pentagon near Washington DC, whatever their political motivation, were condemned everywhere as an outrage against innocent civilians. In the sudden anger and anguish caused by the terrorist strikes, people were prepared to overlook the civilian casualties inflicted by America's nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the unjust and cruel war in Vietnam.

    September 14, 2004

    Wake Up America --Before It's Too Late!
  • 'I THOUGHT WE WERE DIFFERENT' -- Georgie Ann Geyer wrote one of the most eloquent and on-point editorials I've seen in a while. This really crystallizes it: "This week, as we approach the third anniversary of the attacks on 9/11, one question hangs over many in the country, surely most of the people I meet. It is no longer a question of whether we can "win" this war (we cannot, in any traditional sense, without a cost so humongous it would destroy us morally as a nation). It is no longer a question of whether the purported reason for the Iraq war was false or even falsified (we know beyond the shadow of a doubt that the WMD threat did not exist). No, this third anniversary brings us face to face with a deeper and endlessly haunting question: Have we changed as a people so as to be willing, as the polls show us, to re-elect men and women who have misled us and lied to us every step of the way? And others: Are we willing to accept the fact that, even as our American losses topped 1,000 this week, we probably also killed up to 2,500 "insurgents" in only the last week? Have we, the rational, "exceptional" people of our history, been overtaken by the war fever and that same identification with the demented warrior-leader as lesser peoples throughout history?" Yahoo
  • They Don't Speak For Me -- Vietnam Vet Jim Watson: "Sirs and Madams, I am a 100% disabled from PTSD and have no way in which to express my dissatisfaction with George Bush and company about the way they are trying to hijack my service and put words in my mouth. What is true for some veterans is not true for others; furthermore, the reason I fought for my country was to preserve the right for people (including John Kerry) to speak out against atrocities where ever they occur. The atrocities and lies are back it seems and back with big donors who didn't fight but were able to accumulate enough money to say and do what they want without consequences. I thought I fought for this to not happen. A few well-heeled heels are dividing and conquering the Veteran's supposed indomitable character. Listen, I had no idea at the chicanery involved in the Vietnam War when I went to fight America's enemies. But, like John Kerry and many others, I discovered the inanity of the war when I arrived in-country so many miles from home. From my understanding, this same story is happening just as it did 35 years ago. The lies to perpetuate our capitalistic imperialism are still as thick and slick as during Vietnam. All that is for history to work out. What I would like for you to do is let people know these few veterans the news media are keyed in on is not the way all veterans perceive their experiences from a war that split our country apart. I have a feeling there are many more like me but have no means to express themselves about it."
  • Not a "Fabulist", just experiencing a "memory glitch", says Newsweek: "It's well documented that President George W. Bush was in a Florida classroom on 9/11 when chief of staff Andrew Card told him a second plane had hit the World Trade Center. But how did Bush learn about the first crash? Two of his recollections are similar, but factually impossible. On Dec. 4, 2001, and Jan. 5, 2002, Bush told audiences he saw the first plane hit the tower on TV before he entered the classroom. But he couldn't have seen it; nobody saw it live on TV. Between those recountings, on Dec. 20, Bush told The Washington Post that Karl Rove told him. This isn't to say the president is a fabulist. He's just exhibiting a prominent example of a common memory glitch, says UCLA psychology fellow Dan Greenberg, who published a paper this summer in the journal Applied Cognitive Psychology called 'President Bush's False Flashbulb Memory of 9/11/01.'
  • Harvard Professor Snitches -- Bush's Harvard professor said that Bush told him his father's connections got him into the Texas Air National Guard. "But what really disturbed me is that he said he was for the Vietnam War," said Tsurumi. "I said, 'George, that's hypocrisy. You won't fight a war that you support but you expect other people to fight it for you.' He just smirked... He was very casual about it. I said, 'Lucky you, how did you manage it?' He said, 'My dad had a good friend who put me at the head of the waiting list.'"
  • Why the West is Losing -- According to Imperial Hubris: Why The West is Losing the War on Terror, by senior CIA terrorism analyst Michael Scheuer, according to Toronto Sun's Eric Margolis, "None of bin Laden's reasons for waging war on the U.S., writes Scheuer, 'have anything to do with our freedom, liberty, and democracy (as President George Bush claims), but everything to do with U.S. policies and actions in the Muslim world,' notably unlimited support for Israel's repression of the Palestinians and the destruction of Iraq. 'For cheap, easily accessible oil, Washington and the West have supported Muslim tyrannies (Osama) bin Laden and other Islamists seek to destroy,' Scheuer writes. 'The war has the potential to last beyond our children's lifetimes and be fought mostly on U.S. soil.' ... Bin Laden, argues Scheuer, is widely viewed by much of the Muslim world, infuriated by American actions in the Mideast, as neither a terrorist or madman but as a skilled warrior, the sole Muslim leader standing up to predatory western powers. Ironically U.S. and British military intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq 'are completing the radicalization of the Islamic world,' a prime bin Laden goal. Bush's misbegotten invasion of Iraq was 'icing on bin Laden's cake.'"
  • The Record Shows -- "'The records that I have been able to see show a young lieutenant who was very aggressive, a good participant in the programme for 3 1/2 years,' said retired Major-General Paul Weaver, who headed the Air National Guard between 1998 and 2002. 'Then, near the end, the records show that he was a minimally satisfactory participant.' Maj-Gen Weaver said Mr Bush's records suggest a pilot whose interest in flying waned in early 1972 and whose commanders 'did everything possible' to assist him in his remaining obligatory service." Straits Times
  • Awakenings in the Conservative Press -- According to US News, "Some experts say they remain mystified as to how Bush obtained an honorable discharge. Lawrence Korb, a former top Defense Department official in the Reagan administration, says the military records clearly show that Bush 'had not fulfilled his obligation' and 'should have been called to active duty.'... The regulations must be followed, adds James Currie, a retired colonel and author of an official history of the Army Reserve. 'Clearly, if you were the average poor boy who got drafted and sent into the active force,' he says, 'they weren't going to let you out before you had completed your obligation.'"
  • Kitty Kelley Fights Back -- against Rove attempts to discredit her. She says, "The following are undisputable facts: -- Mrs. Bush confirmed that she was aware of cocaine use by George W. Bush at Camp David when his father was President -- Mrs. Bush confirmed that such usage occurred on more than one occasion -- Mrs. Bush knew that Ms. Kelley planned on using this information in her book and was read the exact quotes that would be utilized -- Mrs. Bush continued to have a good relationship with Kitty Kelley -- long after the meeting in April at which she confirmed the cocaine report -- Mrs. Bush called Ms. Kelley in May, 2004 after which there was a friendly correspondence." PR Newswire
  • Air America's Rhodes Up Close -- A very informative Randi Rhodes profile in the Washington Post
  • David Corn takes a closer look at Bush's military history -- The Nation
  • "Expert" Proven Wrong -- Tom Brokaw got an FBI expert to say the CBS documents that show that Bush didn't fulfill his Guard contract were faked because they had raised "th"s, and the expert said those weren't around in the early 70s. However, the same feature appears on the text in the documents released by the White House. According to the "expert" the White House documents must also be fake. See Media Matters for an analysis of the attempted discrediting of the CBS memos.
  • Not Good for the Gander -- Robert Novak, who revealed the name of a CIA agent in his column, but is somehow considered exempt from the crime because someone else told him -- but he won't reveal the White House source who told him -- believes others should have to reveal their sources, sometimes anyway, when it's to the advantage of the Republicans, as in the case of forcing CBS to reveal its sources for the memos that show there was political pressure on Bush's commanding officers in the Guard to let him get out of his obligations. Bob's such a fair minded guy! Editor & Publisher
  • Once a Nazi -- Why have the media been so reluctant to report on the Bush family's Nazi past, in particular the Nazi banking deals of George H.W. Bush's father Prescott Bush. In today's sad ranks of so-called journalism, you almost have to go to Alaska to find a mainstream paper in the U.S. with enough guts to just speak the embarrassing truth about the Bush family's criminal fascist history. See "Bush family history shows a dark past unseen by most" by Douglas Yates in the
  • Think Bush has it won? Think again, says the Cleveland Plain Dealer
  • Lies by Any Other Name -- Edwards tells Bush-Cheney to stop misleading America by implying there is a link between Iraq and 9/11, when even Bush and Powell have admitted this is not the case. USA Today
  • Condi Complicit -- Seymour Hersh says ex-oil exec Condoleezza Rice knew about the torture -- USA Today

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