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As a lark, because I know I'm no Internet slueth (more of a mudraker), I looked at the few documents posted at USA Today.

I noticed that in the 2000 docs that were released (presumably in 2000, eh?), there was a line in his service record file that was redacted.

On page 16 of 25:

"[BIG BLACK LINE] transferred to ARPC (ORS), 3800 York Street, Denver CO 80205 effective 2 October 1973 (DOS TexANG 1 Oct 1973)."

In the newly released 2004 set of docs (PDF), the same line is NOT redacted, which I found curious.

On page 5/19:

HD TR TexANG per ANGR 36-05, SO ANG-A 158, State of Texas AG, Dept, Austin, Tx and transfered to...
(end of previous redaction).

I thought this was interesting.

Because I found this:

TANG Regulation 36-05 states in part:

  1. Purpose. National Guard officer personnel policies focus on attaining and maintaining military leadership which directly correlates with achieving a combat ready, professional and dynamic force. It is essential that personnel policies pertaining to the Texas National Guard provide for a viable mobilization capability, promotion opportunity and grade vitality. This regulation establishes the necessary policy and procedures to insure this goal by providing authority for administrative discharge of officers when and where necessary.
  2. Policy. Officers who are substandard in performance of duty or conduct, deficient in character, lacking in professional qualifications or status, or otherwise unsuited for continued military service are not to be retained in the Texas National Guard. Presence of one or more of these conditions will be sufficient basis for the administrative discharge of an officer from the Texas National Guard. Additionally, an officer of the Texas National Guard may be administratively discharged from his appointment for one or more of the following reasons or conditions. [conditions not relevant to request]
The bold emphasis is mine.

I'm not reading too much into this, but what does it mean? Could any NG members or experts chime in with what they think it means?

I just thought it was interesting because it appears to say the Bush got an HD but was kicked out via this administrative rule.

Why would they redact it in 2000, when it said "HD", but release it in 2004? That makes no sense to me...

But is that what is says? Curious and Curiouser...

(I did some very minor HTML editing -- kos)

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 03:10 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Good sleuthing.. (none)
    .Monkey.  Now what does "SO ANG-A 158" mean?  Is this another reg, or is this part of the name of the base/area he was to serve?
    •  I think... (4.00)
      I think it means Special Order 158 in the Air National Guard. Not sure what the trailing "A" means, but it's mentioned on his discharge as well.

      Anyone know?

      Again, I'm just curious why the authority mentioned in his discharge has to do with things like:

      Dereliction of duty.
      Inability to perform duty.

      Can anybody out there help? Because it's interesting to me that they would redact that line in 2000, but release it in 2004.

      •  Redacted? (none)
        Where are you seeing the redacted 2000 documents? Because I see this document unredacted at Martin Heldt's website as document number 10.

        I wish I could figure out what all those abbreviations and numbers meant.

        It seems I can hear God say to America, "You are too arrogant, and if you don't change your ways, I'll break the backbone of your power."


        by Melissa O on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 03:41:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  USA Today (none)
          USA Today's copy had that blacked out.

          Did he get his from FOAI request?

          That's interesting.

          •  I found lots of other documents (none)
            On the USAToday 2000 set that mention his reason for discharge as "per Tex ANG-R 36-05 (PTI 961)." For what it's worth.

            It seems I can hear God say to America, "You are too arrogant, and if you don't change your ways, I'll break the backbone of your power."


            by Melissa O on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 03:55:24 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  IS an orange alert headed our way (none)
              Get ready here it comes
        •  Abbreviation Manual (none)
          I wish I could figure out what all those abbreviations and numbers meant.

          DoD publishes a thick book of offical abbreviations and what they stand for.  It used to be available as a .PDF document available on some web sites.

          If you're feeling bold (grin) your local recruiting office should have access to a copy.

          Display some adaptability

          by bdunbar on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 03:57:00 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  here's my guess (none)
      It's more then likely Air National Guard Special Order A-158. That's my guess.

      Guy Andrew Hall a.k.a. Rook

      by Rook on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 03:24:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Active (none)
      Someone later said On the USAToday 2000 set that mention his reason for discharge as "per Tex ANG-R 36-05 (PTI 961)." For what it's worth.

      SO it could be that Tex ANG-R is Texas Air National Guard-reserve, and Tex ANG-A is Texas Air National Guard-Active.
    •  ummm.... (none)
      I searched for "SO ANG-A 158" and found this:

      George W. Bush and his staff continue to maintain that he earned his honorable discharge from the Texas Air National Guard and met his military responsibilities after he was suspended from flying. He was suspended by Major General Francis S. Greenlief on September29 , 1972 stating:

      "6. Verbal orders of the Comdr on 1 Aug 72 suspending1 STLT GEORGE W BUSH. ANCUS (not on EAD), TX ANG, Hq 147 Ftr. Gp, Ellington AFB, Houston, TX, from flying status are confirmed, exigencies of the service having been such as to preclude the publication of competent written orders in advance. Reason for Suspension: Failure to accomplish annual medical examination. Off will comply with para2 -10, AFM35 -13. Authority: Para2 -29m, AFM35 -13."

      George W. Bush maintains that he fulfilled his May 1972 through July 1973 obligation.

      However, Col. Killian and Col. Harris, in an annual evaluation dated May1973 , state:

      "Lt. Bush has not been observed at this unit during the period of report, civilian occupation made it necessary for him to move to Montgomery, Al. He cleared this base on 15 May 1972 and has been performing equivalent in a non flying status with the 187 Tac Recon Gp, Dannelly ANG Base, Al."

      The proof must demonstrate that Col. Harris and Col. Killian were wrong in their annual report covering May 1972 to April30 ,1973 . Also, that the official George W. Bush record that shows no days for that period is wrong.

      The Official George W. Bush Record

      BUSH, GEORGE W. P1 03244754st Lt. 73 APR 30 New Haven, Conn 73 Apr 2 30

      1. Dec 0006 29Pilot Trainee,111 th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, Ellington AFB, Texas (TexANG)
      2. Jun 11250 20 Pilot, Ftr Intcp,111 th Ftr Intcp Sq, Ellington, AFB, Tx (TexANG)
      Total AD/ACDUTRA as of 70 May26 :2 d Lt 313 days
      Total AD/ACDUTRA as of 71 May26 :2 d Lt - 43 days,1 st Lt - 3 days
      Unit redesignated111 th Ftr Intcp Sq (Trng)
      Total AD/ACDUTRA as of 72 May26 :1 st Lt 22 days
      1Oct 73 HD TR TexANG Per ANGR36 -05, SO ANG-A158 , State of Texas AG Dept, Austin, Tx, and transferred to
      ARPC (ORS), 3800 York St, Denver, CO 80205 effective 2 October1973 . (DOS TexANG 1 Oct73 ).

      Please Note: George W. Bush is eligible for the reward if he allows the military to release his records (as John McCain has done)

      and there is evidence of actual service.

      The First Person with proof that suspended pilot George W. Bush participated in person in these drills will receive the reward. Offer expires midnight November6 ,2000 . To claim the REWARD, contact /4. Robert A. Rogers is President of Vets for Real Truth


      It is the absolute right of the State to supervise the formation of public opinion. --Joseph Goebbels

      by Manix on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 05:54:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Very Interesting (none)
    What do the other parts of TANG Regulation 36-05 state?
    •  Here is the Link (none)
      This is to what it CURRENTLY says.

      Might have been different back then.

      It's on Page 4, left hand col.

      If I found the right 36-05, that is.

      •  Summary (none)
        1. -05 is basically the following list of stuff they can kick you out for:
        2. Stuff listed in AFR 36-15 (which I looked for but could not find)
        3. Disease.
        4. Documented Alcoholism
        5. Too many tattoos.
        6. 4, 5, and 6 I don't understand. : )
        Are they talking about drug abuse? They do mention dependency.
      •  I don't think that's 36-05 (none)
        That looks like 36-1 to me... and note that none of the language you quoted in the original post is in there...

        That link gives us NGR(AF) 36-1 paragraph 5.  It's not relevant.

        We want NGR(AF) 36-5... which I'm having trouble finding on google... and I'm not in the mood to go digging for it on Westlaw since I'd have no idea where to start looking.  Any JAGS out there?

        •  Yeah, I came to the same conclusion. (none)
          I can't seem to find an ANGR 36-5 anywhere. I found an ANGI 36-5, but it's an instruction on telecommuting. :)

          It seems I can hear God say to America, "You are too arrogant, and if you don't change your ways, I'll break the backbone of your power."


          by Melissa O on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 04:16:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  There's only (none)
            ...part of ANGR 36-5 on this brief, and it's the part excerpted above (I would guess that's where it came from above).  I've been looking on all the publicly available places online for an electronic copy -- dodlink, the national guard publications website, the air force website, a couple of jag info sites -- no luck.

            This shouldn't be too hard to find, I would guess, for someone who knows where to find the national guard regs.  I've never done legal research to find military regs. so I wouldn't really know where to start and I'm nowhere near a law library right now so I wouldn't even be able to try.  But this is probably piece of cake for a Jag or someone who's done legal work for defense.  Anyone out there?  :-)  We just need the text of this reg.

            •  That looks like (none)
              TANGR 36-05. Is that the same as ANGR 36-05?

              It seems I can hear God say to America, "You are too arrogant, and if you don't change your ways, I'll break the backbone of your power."


              by Melissa O on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 04:29:23 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm assuming... (none)
                that each state cribs a lot from the ANGR... but I could be wrong on that...  Even if we could see the reg. it almost certainly has changed in the last 30 years... so there are a lot of assumptions built in to searching google :c)

                I still think this isn't going to lead anywhere... especially once we get to take a look at the reg.  I wouldn't be surprised if it said something like "We can give someone an administrative discharge to send them to another post" or something innocuous like that.

          •  oh well (none)
            36-05 is...

            Administrative Separation/Discharge of Commissioned Officers of the Air National Guard of the USAF

            Not very exciting. Unless PTI 961 means something.

            It seems I can hear God say to America, "You are too arrogant, and if you don't change your ways, I'll break the backbone of your power."


            by Melissa O on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 04:26:36 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  In other words, (none)
              it's the regulation all discharges refer to. It's still weird that they'd redact it.

              It seems I can hear God say to America, "You are too arrogant, and if you don't change your ways, I'll break the backbone of your power."


              by Melissa O on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 04:51:00 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  That... (none)
                was my gut feeling to when I saw this... ANGR 36-05 is probably just a bunch of different authorizing an administrative discharge (look how long ANGR 36-01 is, after all) and gives all of their discharge procedures.  The quoted part we can find is probably only a small part of the whole thing...

                So all this probably tells us is that Bush was discharged to go to Alabama.  But we already knew that.  

                But who knows... maybe the reg. isn't what I think it is, we don't know until we can read it :c)

                •  Oh, BTW (none)
                  This discharge is 1973, which means it was his final discharge before going to Harvard Business School, not his transfer to Alabama.

                  It seems I can hear God say to America, "You are too arrogant, and if you don't change your ways, I'll break the backbone of your power."


                  by Melissa O on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 06:37:33 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Irving Washington (none)
                It's still weird that they'd redact it.

                Have you read Catch-22?

              •  Is it? (none)
                Why do you infer that?

                Just curious.

                I'm sure it is innocuous, but why did they redact it in the first place?

      •  take a look at bottom of 1st page (none)
        where it tells you that this supercedes a previous version and give a date of July 1 1975.

        There is no way to tell if relevant portions were the same at that time

        i m a teacher & proud of it

        by teacherken on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 07:02:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  except from hard copy version (none)
          in effect at the time, which might be found someplace like Texas State Archives or equivalent

          of course, and this is just a guess   --- perhaps it was previously redacted until the Bushites could locate and destroy any copies on file in Texas?

          But then, wouldn't there also  be copies on file with National Guard Bureau in Federal government?

          i m a teacher & proud of it

          by teacherken on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 07:04:29 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I don't know... (none)
    I think this is barking up the wrong tree... I think it's been pretty undisputed that bush got an honorable discharge.  Likely, the grounds for his discharge were at least permissive (if not mandatory) in conferring honorable discharge status.

    So no matter what, Bush can still spin it as an honorable discharge, while you spin it as "kicked out"

    I'm not saying this isn't a useful inquiry... because who knows... but I just don't see this being spinable against bush given his honorable discharge status...

    •  Honorable? (none)
      Well, you can be honorably discharged and still involuntarily separated.  It's still an honorable discharged, but it's still less honorable than an honorable volunatary separation.
      •  Perhaps... (none)
        But I don't think that kind of parsing is going to be particularly convincing to Joe Voter.

        You:  Yes. It's honorable... but it's not HONORABLE honorable.

        Bush:  It was honorable.  Who cares?

        Joe Voter:  This is a big deal... why?

        I'm not saying you're wrong... I'm just saying that this argument doesn't look, at least right now, like it's going to have much punch to it.

        •  Yeah... (none)
          I think you're probably right about the effect on the average voter, but I think it could have some effect on veterans, and that's a group that usually goes Republican.  I was hanging out at the local American Legion, and the whole Bush AWOL story was definitely turning them off of Bush.
        •  Joe Voter (none)
          This all happened 30 years ago, so Joe Voter could dismiss it anyway so matter how honorable the honorable discharge was.

          The issue isn't really what happened 30 years ago, but whether Bush is covering up what happened.  Because if so, that makes his credibility questionable to Joe Voter.

          •  People are not so stupid. (none)
            This all happened 30 years ago, so Joe Voter could dismiss it anyway so matter how honorable the honorable discharge was.

            People won't forget his heroical deeds as fearless leeder Flight Suit Boy.

            Hoist by his own petard as they say...

            You don't need to be a rocket scientist to see that these guys have lied and lied and lied. I've said all along that people resent being lied to, and they don't easily forgive. Many did not want to believe that their president would lie to them and gave some slack but when the evidence smacks them in the face they have no choice.

          •  I disagree (none)
            To veterans this matters a hell of a lot. The south provides an inordinate percentage of service to the military and it definitely matters. If it really sticks (finally) you can expect even a percentage of hardcore republicans to refuse to vote for bush imho.

            and to those who somehow think this is a new  story or that very few knew the facts were out there in 2000 and the condems refused to mention it. And the press then , just as now, is simply not interested in publishing anything critical of republicans.

        •  That's not all (none)
          This isn't going to be convincing if this is all that there is. But we full well know that there's a whole lot more where that came from (Arbusto, Spectrum 7, Harken, Texas Rangers ballpark land condemnation, etc., etc., all the way up to the present day). The ANG alone isn't a big issue, but it's part of a pattern. We know full well about it, but Joe Voter didn't hear about much of any of this the first time around.
        •  "Honorable" discharges (none)
          The National Guard has a long history of handing out "honorable" discharges that aren't. One of my former friends was called up for duty in '91 to serve in Saudi Arabia (he was trained as a tank mechanic). He refused to report for duty, saying he'd signed up for college money, not to fight for Exxon (his words, not mine). The official term for this is "mutiny", and it's a hanging offense (literally). He got frogmarched off by a couple of MP's, restricted to barracks for two weeks, then discharged with an honorable discharge with for bogus "medical" reasons because having one of his men mutiny would have looked bad on his CO's record.

          There was, of course, nothing honorable about either my former friend's conduct nor his discharge. But he gets to say he was honorably discharged anyhow.

          If outright mutiny can get an honorable discharge from the NG in '91, somehow I think an honorable discharge from the NG isn't exactly a badge of good conduct...

          The Attorney General speaks:

          by badtux on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 06:39:04 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  discharge (none)
        I might be mistaken but I believe that the type of discharge given for involuntary separation depends on the reason for separation. Someone who can't pass their PT test gets an honorable discharge, but someone who is "unfit for active duty" (insubordination, dereliction of duty, etc.) gets a general discharge with honorable conditions, at best. Otherwise, the type of discharge given must be entirely based on the discretion of the soldier's company/battalion. In that case, anyone can get an honorable discharge.  

        A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. -Emerson

        by fitzov rules on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 12:32:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Look at who he was (none)
          A general discharge for a Congressman's son?

          At ROTC summer training unit, my unit had the son of a four star general. The last day he came in to the barracks late, drunk, and swung on the duty officer.
          I would have been discharged, but the next day this guy was having his bars pinned on by his four star Daddy.

          He probably was discharged for being drubk and AWOL, but they cleaned it up because of Political Influence.

          •  I get it (none)
            We all know that there is such a thing as non-meritorious service, but I was talking about UCMJ. If it's all up to some officer than the whole paper trail ends with him. All he would have to do is say, "I thought he deserved an honorable discharge."

            A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. -Emerson

            by fitzov rules on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 09:50:37 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Bigger Issue (none)
      This might be important if Bush would have lost his deferment to the draft if he was released early from  the National Guard, much like students who flunked out of college. I have neither the time nor the energy to start googling it, but it would be an interesting bit of information to know.

      Kai's Example Dilemma> "A Good Analogy is like a Diagonal Frog."

      by bigring55t on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 03:38:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Honoroable Discharge May Not Mean Much (none)
      Bush Watch makes the charge that the D.C. Sniper attacked an officer and some otehr stuff in the seicde, and he was honorably discharged.  Honorably discharged doesn't settle the question.

      Also, the question is: Did George W. Bush receive favorable treatment in the Guard?  favorable treatment got him in.  Why was there no board of inquiry when he missed his physical?  (This would be normal.)  Why was he allowed to have his flight status lapse so easily?  (Normally, they don't let pilots just drop off of the flight-ready lists, even if they've missed a phsyical.  usually they just force you to take the physicial and start flying again, I think.)

      Either Bush did something that got him out (drinking?  misconduct?) or he got a big fat favor from someone.  There was a war going on.

  •  OTH (none)
    Bush was released early. It looks like it was more the choice of the Guard then Bush requesting early release.
    I'm betting in todays service he would have been given Other Then Honorable. Well, that would be if his family didn't step in to save face.

    Guy Andrew Hall a.k.a. Rook

    by Rook on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 03:28:27 AM PST

  •  Probably nothing - (none)
    My guess is that the excuse for letting him go might be that he wasn't qualified to fly -- that would fulfill the "lacking professional qualifications or status" and still jibe with their statement that he got early release. Since he was a pilot who hadn't taken his physical, he also wouldn't have maintained flight currency -- therefore, no longer qualified.
  •  This is a flyer, but... (none)
    Could "State of Texas AG" refer to attorney general?  It's not "Air Guard" because the abbreviation they're using is TANG, for Texas Air National Guard.
  •  Atrios' e-mail (none)
    I still think Bush requested leave to go to Alabama because he had heard that drug testing was about to be initiated.  The date of his request and departure supposedly coincides with that though I don't have a link at the moment to show as much.  I don't know if the e-mail Atrios referred to about W being at a NC rehab center for rich kids during the period in question was real or not but I think the timing of the request is odd and made even more odd by the lack of more convincing documentation that Bush worked on the campaign in AL during this time period.  

    One visit to a dentist doesn't mean much and that seems to be what the evidence for his whereabouts is at this point.  There should be more evidence in AL if he was where he says he was.  I worked very briefly on a state senate campaign 22 years ago (I was a mere pup at the time) in AR but I still have witnesses who can place me there including the candidate, his family, and other campaign workers.  What about others who worked on that campaign?  Surely some of them are still around?  What about local newspapers from AL that were covering the campaign?  Have they been scoured?  The roar of such a lack of evidence is deafening to me.

    •  There is evidence (none)
      There was an AP article and a Southerner article, both of which had quotes from people who worked with him on the campaign.

      The people who are still active Republicans pretty much say he was brilliant. The others pretty much say he came in at noon every day and mostly just talked about how much he drank the night before and how many times he had gotten off of some charge in New Haven because of his name.

    •  total joke (none)
      that email, like the one about bush getting one "maria" pregnant and driving her to mexico for an abortion, was a total joke. it was a parody of similar postings about john kerry on the national review online's blog.
    •  He did work for the campaign (none)
      One of the Alabama weeklies has a story where they interview the nephew of the candidate Bush was working for. He says Bush would come in at noon, plunk his boots on the desk, and spend a bunch of time bs'ing about how much he'd drunk last night and etc.... not exactly the campaign worker to end all campaign workers, but he was there. (I tend to believe this account because it agrees with most of what we already know about the GWB of that era).

      Frankly, I think this dog won't hunt. I want to hear about the jet trainer that Bush crashed while drunk (or didn't -- this is a rumor going around Texas back in the 90's). That won't happen until Bush signs a FOIA release for his full record, including his discipline record. Until he does that, the law says that the DoD can't even tell us he has a discipline record, much less what's in it.

      The Attorney General speaks:

      by badtux on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 02:23:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  G C (none)
    Isn't James R. Bath's name redacted on page 10 of this .pdf? I know this document exists with his name visible, because I've seen it.


    •  Who is he? (none)
      Who is James R. Bath?
      •  Bush buddy, bin Laden business partner (none)
        Washed out of the same Guard unit for the same reason.

        Bush buddy, BCCI director, tied in with just about every sleazy deal that ever almost came to light in the last 30 years.
        James R Bath

        •  More on Bath (none)
          Texas Observer 2001

          Key paragraph:
          "After the death of Mohammed bin Laden, control of the company    passed to Salem bin Laden, Osama's half brother. The roots of the first    known Bush-bin Laden convergence date back to the mid-1970s, when the two clans    were linked by a Houston businessman named James R. Bath. Bath had befriended   George W. Bush in the late 1960s, when they both served in the Texas Air National    Guard. By 1976, when Gerald Ford appointed the elder George Bush as CIA director,    Bath was acting as a business agent for Salem bin Laden's interests in    Texas. (Texas and Saudi Arabia were well-connected by this point through U.S.    oil companies and related industries with operations in both locations.) In    1991 Time magazine and later other publications reported on allegations    by Bath's former business partner that the Bush CIA hired Bath in 1976    to create offshore companies to move CIA funds and aircraft between Texas and    Saudi Arabia. "

          I was going to bold the juicy parts, but everything ended up in bold.

  •  more news (none)
    Retired Guardsman recalls president's service in Alabama
    Saturday, February 14, 2004 Posted: 2245 GMT ( 6:45 AM HKT)
    Guardsman says he saw Bush's Guard records in trash

  •  Bush's Credibility Is Being Severely Undermined (4.00)
    Good work, Monkey.

    Here's why I think this issue has a great deal of relevance and has the Bush Campaign quite worried about his prospects in the upcoming election

    • Whatever we may think of Bush, it goes to the heart of what the Bush Presidency is based on: personal credibility. His personal likability/approval numbers have been consistently higher than his re-elect numbers for almost a year -- both against a generic Democrat and, now, named ones -- Kerry and Edwards, in particular.
    • Bush is the incumbent president. By definition, such elections are almost exclusively about the incumbent's record. Bill Clinton was correct. The election is very similar to being a job interview. The only relevant question voters may ask of themselves: why should I fire the incumbent and hire the challenger? If voters no longer trust Bush, are there any compelling reasons to retain his services?
    • Voters know in their gut that Bush's record on domestic policy (economy, taxes, deficits, environment, education, heath care, etc., etc.) has been an unmitigated disaster. Alienation of traditional allies, bypassing legitimate international institutions, failure to find Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq, and engaging in an optional pre-emptive war -- which reverses, for the most part, over two centuries of American foreign policy tradition -- has left his foreign policy in tatters. If Bush didn't fulfill his duty when he was put in a position to do so (even if these events occurred over 30 years ago), how could his integrity not suffer when he sends hundreds, even thousands of young men and women to their death in Iraq. It simply reminds voters of Bush's hypocrisy and is indicative of shallow "chest beating" about confronting terrorists -- even if the threat is real. A 'Do As I Say and Not As I Did' approach doesn't sell well on Main Street.
    • Bush was supposed to serve in the National Guard -- widely seen in the 1960's and 70's as a means of avoiding active duty in Vietnam. Being a US Congressman's son at the time, Bush's induction into the Guard and leapfrogging thousands on the waitlist is nothing if not favoritism in the eyes of many. If he couldn't meet certain minimal duty requirements, how can he now justify sending thousands of reserves and guardsmen (at substantial personal and financial cost to them) to Iraq? It reminds most people not of shared sacrifice but of unfairness.
    As the incumbent president with all the advantages the office has to confer (bully pulpit, commanding the media's attention, money, controlling the agenda, and some reservoir of inbuilt goodwill), Bush gets to set the agenda. Polling has shown that Democrats have had the advantage in domestic issues over at least the past three presidential elections. Given that it is virtually impossible for him to run on domestic issues, he's choosing to run as a "War President." And, for better or worse, the challenger has to fight this election on that turf. Hence, John Kerry's success in neutralizing many of Bush's perceived strengths, given Kerry's commendable war record.

    A few weeks after September 11th, Washington Post columnist Mary McGrory wrote that "there are times to be a Texan and times to be an American." For several months after the terrorist attacks -- and for many Americans -- Bush filled the Texan part quite well as his outrage at the tragedy reflected ours and his determination to "get them" mirrored our desires. In the two years since then (and also in the past during his record of (non)service in the Texas Air National Guard), it is in playing that American part and upholding many of the nation's cherished values where he is failing miserably.

    A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma

    by JekyllnHyde on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 04:32:43 AM PST

  •  How this plays in Knoxville (4.00)
    This won't be ignored in the heartland. Consider
    this :

    [Y]ou can bet the farm on this: As long as the president keeps reciting those bland "met all requirements" and "received an honorable discharge" statements, the Democrats will keep their torch hot - exactly as the Republicans did every time Bill Clinton dodged and danced around the definition of "is."

    Like war, payback is hell.

    Please understand. In 1970 or 2004, there is nothing whatsoever dishonorable, unworthy or unpatriotic about service in the National Guard. That goes for desk jockeys as well as fighter pilots. Each plays an important role for the good of the country.

    But the biggest difference between then and now - as any male over 50 knows - is that it was well-nigh impossible to "just join" the Guard during the worst of the Vietnam tragedy.

    . . .

    You know as well I do that all the George W. Smiths and Herman E. Bushes in Texas didn't stand near the chance of "just joining" the National Guard in 1968 as a certain George W. Bush.

    You also know that other Texas Guardsmen didn't stand near the chance as a certain George W. Bush of getting transferred to a unit in a distant state so they could work in someone's political campaign.

    Like it or not, that's the way The System worked back then. Like it or not, that's the way The System still works today in many aspects of life.

    Some things never change.

    But the president and his advisors had best keep in mind something else not likely to change.

    This isn't going away anytime soon. Especially since a new generation of young Americans is spilling its blood on foreign soil.

  •  Yeah.... Who cares? (none)
    So what could this mean? At most, that Bush was a fuckup and the guard dumped him.  In fact, it would explain everything.  It's not like it was a big secret he was a fuckup in his abnormally long 'youth'. I don't see why anyone would care one way or another.  

    I can guarantee you not one single persons mind would be changed by this.
    •  Guarantees (none)
      I already changed a guy's mind by showing him this stuff last week so you lose.

      Veterans are incensed about this, you need to get out more.  This is having a corrosive effect on Bush's base: people have already made the transition from outright denial to lame excuses, soon to be followed by embarassed silence.

    •  Breslin tells us why we should care (none)
    •  Strangely, I agree (none)
      We already know he was a drunkard and a nose candy addict in his youth, but he isn't now.

      Frankly, whatever is in his records, unless he killed someone or did some other heinous crime, can't be bad enough to hurt his re-election chances. So why the heck doesn't he just sign the FOIA release allowing me to FOIA his full records  directly from the DoD personnel office and let it all hang out and get this over with? Until he does that, the Privacy Act says that the DoD personnel office can't even tell me if he HAS a discipline record, much less what's in it.

      By stonewalling it makes it look like he's trying to cover up something far more heinous than a brief period of being AWOL (which the records already released prove, BTW, even if nobody actually filed the charges because of the embarrasment of having to admit that they lost track of Shrubbie for six months.

      All I want is the truth. Don't I -- and the rest of the American people -- deserve that from our President?

      The Attorney General speaks:

      by badtux on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 02:36:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm guessing no. (4.00)
    And the reason I'm guessing no is the same reason I'm guessing I'm not going to win the lottery.  It just doesn't get the good for me.  

    On the other hand, if it comes out that Bush got kicked out of the guard, and didn't get his ass kicked right into the regular, active-duty Air Force, I will still be laughing about it long after President Kerry's inauguration is a distant memory.

    Question.  This story has been laying on the table for four years. Why now?  Is it only because of the war?  Is it because Kerry's getting the Democratic nomination?

    I mean, there are plenty of stories sitting on the same table, waiting for any reporter interested in the truth to pursue.  The whole war, for one, but also Plame, his relationship with Enron, Halliburton and pretty much everything Cheney's ever done.  Why this story?

    I think it's a combination of the war and Kerry, plus the fact it's a story that they can use to put the wood to Bush without endangering any of the sweet deals everybody in Washington has with each other. This story is only about Bush, and it's only about 30 years ago.  

    The corporate press/media can take out push, put in Kerry, who isn't going to do anything to rock their worlds, and save their bacon.  The rich and powerful people who own and run this country have no problem cutting their friends loose when they become a liability.  With the protracted war, the looming economic disaster in the structural deficits, with the outrageous governance provoking the strongest insurrection against the established order of things since the 60s, I'd say they are hedging their bets on Bush.

    •  Why Now? (none)
      The issue was not fully resolved in 2000 because the democrats let it slide and the Bush campaign was doing everything it could to supress the story.  It remained an issue for a lot of people particularly Vietnam Era vets.  I think it has resurfaced because there is all this unresolved tension over the issue and it now has a voice in the mainstream press.  It has always been present as evidenced by websites like

      I am a vet, and I was pissed that GWB got a pass on this in '00.  When it resurfaced thanks to that dope Peter Jennings, I felt it was a call to action.  I have been blogging and writing letters to editors, and emails to reporters ever since.

      •  Republican stupidity (4.00)
        Michael Moore says "deserter" Clark is called to repudiate it, Terry Mac says "AWOL", Kerry is called to repudiate it.  Their collective answer?  "Hey I didn't bring this up, but feel free to look into it".

        Ed Gillespie thought this was a winner, a nice little wedge issue to shove between Kerry or Clark and the generally anti-war Democratic base.  They didn't take the bait and now he is on the hook.  Did he just not know that we had the goods?

        Half the left web-sites out there have been spelling aWol with a capitol W for three years, there just was no opportunity to deploy it.  The Rethugs are so lost in their own adoration of Glorious Leader that they didn't suspect that attacking those who are not quite so enanamoured with Bush might result with this lash back "Well now that you brought it up ....."

        Thanks Ed, we owe you.

        •  Totally! (none)
          Ed Gillespie thought this was a winner, a nice little wedge issue to shove between Kerry or Clark and the generally anti-war Democratic base.

          Yep! When I saw he'd brought it up, I burst out laughing, because he had just made it a story.

          What a deliciously stupid thing for the RNC chairman to do. Hope he hasn't learned from this experience.

  •  redact (none)
    v. edit for publication
    -Concise Oxford Dictionary

    Wherever this use of redact for censor got started, it's wrong.  

  •  The Real Issue (3.60)
    The real issue with the guard thing, is the simple fact that he chose to go into the guard rather than either getting into combat if he supported the war, or joining the anti-war movement if he was against it.  If you are between the ages of 50 and 60 you understand that no one was ambivalant on this issue.

    The biggest cowards, the biggest hypcrites of this time period were those who supported the war yet found a way to stay out of harms way while retaining their conservative credentials.

    This is relevant to today because these people, people like Dick Cheney and George Bush and Paul Wolfowitz are the only people who still believe that we lost the Vietnam War because of the press and the hippies.  Instead of the fact that we found ourselves on the wrong side of a nationalist struggle.  

    They are the only people on the planet who could have possibly thought that if we just embedded the press, stifle dissent at home, and turn the military lose, that we could control a hostil population the size of california halfway around the world.

    The fact that the little shit could't even be bothered to full fill his obligation is just icing on the cake.

    •  Larry David (none)
      Larry David's piece in the Times yesterday captured the essence of the time.  Back then, the guard was a joke.  Today the guard is an integral part of our national defense.  Back then, it wasn't anything of the sort.  Bush and his people are hoping that you won't remember or understand the distinction.  Anyone who was in the guard in the late sixties and early seventies was there to avoid combat.  Period.  Now, there is nothing wrong with being a coward.  Most of us are.  But to take that cowardise, wrap it up in the flag and pretend that it represents bravery is an insult to thinking people everywhere.
    •  Mickey Kaus disagrees with you... (none)
  •  Washington Sniper Recieved an Honorable Discharge (none)
    In the Washington Post --

    John Allen Muhammad -- yes, the sniper -- received an honorable discharge from the Louisiana National Guard, despite having spent time in the brig after a court martial conviction for going AWOL and striking an officer.

    J. R. Taylor, Washington DC

    537 votes - It's a thin line between love and hate.

    by 537 votes on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 10:38:07 AM PST

    •  Assaulting officer, mutiny... (none)
      doesn't take much to get an honorable discharge from the Louisiana (or Texas) NG!  (Yes, I know someone who committed an act of mutiny -- refused to go to Saudi Arabia when called up in '91 -- and got an honorable discharge anyhow).

      The Attorney General speaks:

      by badtux on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 02:41:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  A quote (none)
      A great quote from the letters you linked to:

      This subject [Air Nat'l guard service] will not make or break Mr. Bush's candidacy. It will, however, serve as a metaphor for his time in office: a glorious joyride at the public's expense.

      Says it all, doesn't it :o)

  •  Double Standard (none)
    We will never know the complete story on the guard issue and GWB.
    But one thing recent events have shown us, if this was a situation involving a DEM, any DEM, we would have known the true facts back in 2000 and the DEM would have been crucified by the press and the wingnuts. If they can attack a man like Cleland this would have been easy.
    This is what the GOP has done for decades, attack the left for not being patriotic even when the DEM is the one that served and the REP didn't, but of course the REP loves America and the DEM wants to destroy America.
    You have to wonder about the voters agenda, when they allow this hypocrisy to continue without consequences for the right.
    Nixon to GWB and before, with some obvious exceptions, the right (politicians and spokespersons) have not lifted a finger to fight for this country in the military, but have crucified every American who did what a true patriot should do and criticized America for not standing up for her ideals. Americans who do this do it out of love for the country not hate, the hate is on the side that doesn't believe in democracy or democratic principles and that description fits the right wing to a tee.
  •  Just a guess (none)
    My guess at what happened.  Mr. Bush and Mr Bath were busted for coke.  TANG was notified of this and then contacted by TPTB.  TANG agreed to not immediately kick them out. TANG allowed them to loose their flight status by missing their physicals and, if they got approval, they could go to another state ANG as long as they did not fly again.  Seems to fit the evidence.
  •  there is one checked box (4.00)
    in the Bush records.  It is as important as anything else.

    Bush claims he supported the war.

    Bush checked NO on whether he volunteered to go overseas.

    In other words

    1. - he's a war wimp, aka chickenhawk
    2. - he claims he wanted to fly jets, but he didn't want to fly them for the purpose for which they were intended - flying in combat  --  and it sure as heck became less immportant to him to fly jets when he either flunked or decided not to appear for a flight medical
    The man, in my opinion, demonstrated a lack of any personal integrity then, and has continued to demonstrate it since.

    i m a teacher & proud of it

    by teacherken on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 10:53:09 AM PST

  •  still getting play on the Sunday AM shows (none)
    David Gergen said he screwed up on the document dump by not simply releasing everything right away. More credibility damage at a time it's already in question.

    Also see:


    re whether it hurts or helps Dems to continue on this (let the press do it, and back off).

    •  Good advice (none)
      And advice that is being taken by-and-large.  I least I don't see the candidates commenting on it.  Michael Moore took the grendade out and waved it around,  Terry Mac then placed in on the table.  It was Wolf Blitzer, and Peter Jennings, and Ed Gillespie that pulled the pin.  The rest is the media.

      I saw what might have been the first shot fired in this battle this round.  Crossfire Nov 11, 2003.  Begala brings it up as an aside, Novak tries to crunch it with false indignation, Begala turns to the camera and begs Bush to sue him.  It was great.

           Well, President Bush certainly has an odd way of thanking veterans.  His administration is considering closing 58 military schools and 19 commissaries, a move that the garrison commander at Fort Stewart calls -- quote -- "a betrayal" -- unquote.  The Bush administration also opposes extending health benefits for National Guardsmen, supports a $1.4 billion cut in military housing, and left a military -- one million military children out of the child tax credit.

           Surprised?  Well, you shouldn't be.  Mr. Bush apparently likes playing dress-up fighter pilot, but now, just as during Vietnam, when our military really needs him, George W. Bush is AWOL.  

           Now, of course, the reason that I'm free to criticize our president is because of the sacrifice and service of America's veterans, including CROSSFIRE's own Marine Corporal James Carville and Army Lieutenant Bob Novak.  So, on this Veterans Day, thank you, vets, for my freedom.  


           NOVAK:  You're welcome, Paul.  

           BEGALA:  Thank you, Bob.

           NOVAK:  But, you know, I would like you to have at least a modicum of accuracy in these nightly screeds and Bush bashing.  He was never AWOL in the Reserve.  AWOL is a military offense, court-martial. And he was not AWOL.  And it's a libel for you to keep saying it.  

           BEGALA:  He was AWOL.  Sue me, Mr. President.  

  •  Bush Goal Was Dodging War (none)
    Breslin, who has been en fuego with the righteous and more than well-justified anger, does it again today.
  •  What happened in 1972? (4.00)
    Something occurred in 1972 that changed Bush's attitude toward a flying career completely. The document dump portrays someone who'd been an aggressive, competitive, excellent pilot, who really seems to have wanted to fly for a living - rather like a Maverick in "Top Gun".

    Something happened. This something is so far undocumented, but seems to have wrecked his attitude toward flying, something he apparently loved. It apparently wrecked his chance of a career in flying for the military - as Bush perceived that chance to be.

    In 1972, Bush just seems to have said, "F*ck it, this ain't gonna work out." He skips his physical, figuring he'll never fly again. He stops showing up for drills. He starts to look for something else to do - he is hooked up with a pal of his father's, who's running a political campaign. He's drinking too much. whoring too much. He asks for a transfer to any old unit - hell, who cares if they don't have planes he can fly, he can't fly anyway.

    Perhaps the Guard didn't kick him out (as a favor to Barnes and Bush pere), but told him he couldn't fly anymore. Maybe the medical records will shed some light on what happened. Did he really, as is rumored, crash a plane while drunk and was perhaps treated? Did he have a substance abuse problem that would have affected his ability to remain flying? Whatever it is, it's bad.

    And it's bad enough for Barnes to have been able to essentially, blackmail Bush for 25 years.

    •  Intensification of the air war in Vietnam? (none)
      You enter the Air Force Guard in 1968 about the time that dirty war-mongering Democratic Pres. is suspending the air war over Vietnam.  "Peace with Honor" candidate with the secret plan to end the war is about set to win the election.  You're 22 and a young Republican and figure the war will be over in a year tops and you'll be safe.  Just to be on the especially safe side, you practice in a jet they aren't even going to use, while everyone else trains with the real fighters.

      Things don't go as planned.  After 3 years of pounding from the man with a secret plan, no one foresees the strong enemy advances in the spring of 1972.  Ground forces have been withdrawn over that time, and because of the election, peace candidate can't put them back in.  Peace candidate calls for a drastic escalation of the air war.  The pentagon is stunned.  The call goes out.  Beginning in April 1972, Air forces are going to Vietnam in numbers unprecedented in this war.

      Certainly the reports of air casualties are getting back to the bases stateside.  The enemy pilots are better than they were in 68 and American forces are taking unprecedented casualties in the air.  Particularly hard hit are Air Force pilots.

      That's my take.  What's yours?

      •  NO (none)
        You enter the guard not because you'll be safe if Nixon ends the war.  You enter the guard because you'll be safe NO MATTER WHAT.  You could always pull strings if the unthinkable happened.  Big difference.
        •  YES (none)
          Flight experience was at a much greater premium in 1972 than it was in 1968.  A lot of pilots were being called into combat that didn't expect to be in 1972.  In April 1972, Nixon's success in the war completely hinged upon success in the air war and anyone with flight experience could be called.  No one knew how long it would last and the casualty rate was high for those seeing action. I haven't seen a single discussion about the fates of the other guardsmen in the units Bush allegedly served with.  Are you absolutely sure that none of them were called into service in the war at that time?  Putting the personal events into the broader historical perspective of the time helps show how a little liberty gone awry might actually have been something a little bit more.

          The Larry David explanation is fine, if that's as far as you want to go.  Unfortunately, it's weakness is it's also simplistic.

        •  Another thing .... (none)
          This week Bill Maher cited a statistic that .03% of the Guard did see action during the war.  Not a very large number, but definitely  not zero.  I don't personally know what the breakdown is, but I would be willing to bet that the Guard that did see service in Nam is overwhelmingly made up of Navy and Air Force flight personnel in 1972.
          •  sure... (none)
            But my point is that out of the infinitesimally small fraction that were shipped, George Bush was never in any danger of becoming one of them!  Except for the fact that it was a common punishment for being AWOL.
      •  Looking back... (none)
        "That's my take.  What's yours?..." by BCF.

        Looking back, precise dates are not my big forte, but I remember the entire period well, of course. Like it was yesterday. I had been in Vietnam shortly after the defeat of the French, in 1958 (?)and at that point the U.S. was just starting to pour war materiale in, to prop up the South. I wasn't there long, just enough to get around and capture the "flavour" of what was going on, and the sense of big shit going down and the people, for sure.

        It changed me, in a way that is still pretty much of a mystery to me-, a know nothing, rebellious little shit, who didn't have two political clues he could rub together. But it did change some of my "teenage assumptions", about being on the side of "the right and democracy", and set me off in a "left" direction of development. Certainly by '72 I was well into it and working against the U.S. war interests.

        I'm enjoying reading all this shit and speculation about The Shrub of course, because I get that same sense of the time back. Only he was going through something quite different, at a whole different "class" level than I was. I agree with SW. Bush was just trying to stay the fuck out of harms way during this period, along with a whole bunch of other U.S. American young males we were trying to help settle in this country, black and white. If he'd wanted to be "over there and serve", it would've certainly been easy enough, I'm damned sure.

        Thanks for this chuckle, Monkey.

        •  Canuck and SW (none)
          I am not really disagreeing with anything you say at all and I think you both always post really good comments.  I am simply trying to fill out the picture a little more.  There was a huge change in the "tenor" of the war in the Spring of 1972t that time and the picture is not complete without the "bass" line that the history of the war provides now.  What was going on in the war and everything that has been reported about W during that time supports a view of someone who was scared shitless for the first time in their life.  Hell, maybe he got caught with coke on purpose . . . .
          •  Coke on purpose... (none)
            "I am simply trying to fill out the picture a little more." writes BCF.

            And if there is a hint there, brother, that I didn't or don't appreciated your comments, it was unintentional. I do appreciate very much hearing what you have to say. :)

            I got this below in an email today. If it's old hat down there, you've got to remember, it takes awhile to travel up here:

            Three Texas surgeons were playing golf and discussing surgeries that they had performed.
            One of them said, "I'm the best surgeon in Texas. A concert pianist lost 7 fingers in an accident, I reattached them and 8 months later he performed a private concert for the Queen of England."

            One of the other surgeons said; "That's nothing. A young man lost both arms and legs in an accident, reattached them and 2 years later he won a gold medal in field events in the Olympics."

               The third surgeon said; "You guys are amateurs. Several years ago a cowboy who was high on cocaine and alcohol rode a horse head-on into a train traveling 80 miles an hour. All I had left to
            work with was the horse's ass and a cowboy hat.  He is now the President of the United States.

      •  F-102 was obsolete (none)
        There's no way that the F-102 was going to be used for the air war over Hanoi (for one thing, it's too short-ranged to make it to Hanoi from any AFB that was in South Vietnam), and that was the only jet that Bush was qualified to wobble into the sky. The F-4 Phantom (the front line fighter in Vietnam) is a totally different jet fighter -- two engines vs. one, much larger, conventional layout vs. delta wing, two crew vs. one, completely different instrumentation and handling characteristics, not to mention being much faster when you kick in the afterburners. There was no way in hell that Bush was going to Vietnam in '72.

        If Bush shrugged off his ANG commitment, it was for some different reason other than avoiding Vietnam.

        The Attorney General speaks:

        by badtux on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 02:58:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Sounds like something worse than Coke (none)
      "And it's bad enough for Barnes to have been able to essentially, blackmail Bush for 25 years. "
  •  Its a strange world... (none)
    when the sitting pResident of the United States might actually be helped if he is found to have been Kicked Out of the military.
  •  Here's something (none)
    which I haven't seen mentioned so far which seems to add something to the discussion.  It seems to be from some publication called the "Memphis Flyer" dated 2-13-04 which might bear a look.

    One comment seemed to jump out at me.  One of the guardsmen, seems to intimate that most of the pilots were being trained on the F-4 phantoms, which were used to fight the air war over Vietnam in 1972.  Bush was trained on a different aircraft, he said.  Why?

    •  why? (none)
      Because the F102 had already been decomissioned - neither those aircraft nor the pilots trained to fly them exclusively were ever going to be deployed.
      •  Right (none)
        and everyone else was flying F-4's.  Get it?
        •  F102 pilots still had plenty to do in 1972. (none)
          BCF, according to the F-102's operational history, the 111th Fighter Interceptor Squadron to which Bush was attached in Texas flew the F-102A until 1975, when they transitioned to the F-101B. See Squadron Service of the F102.

          My own suspicion is that Bush crashed a plane while under the influence. Why? Because of this anecdote by Paul Burka in the June 1999 Texas Monthly:

          As he well knew, I had already heard all of it through the media grapevine. "You missed one," I said. "You crashed a jet while you were in the National Guard because you were drunk."
          He spread his hands. "That's easy," he said. "Where's the plane?" Game over. He spun around and headed off.

          •  Louise (none)
            I do agree with your point.  And my point is that this whole thing is a lot more complicated than simply "rich kid gets set up in the guard to dodge the draft."

            That's why, when you said "what happened to change his mind about flying" I thought was an excellent question to ask and an excellent place to have a discussion.  There were probably millions of words spoken between all the members of that Guard unit of which we will only know the scantest of a fraction.  But finding out what really happened will go a long way to explaining what "Vietnam" was all about.  

          •  F-102 was an interceptor (none)
            As in "Bush was protecting us from Bombers sent by Mexico"
        •  Yes I do get it. (none)
          You seem to have missed the point.

          On any base you'll have several aircraft being flown - you must rate to fly each of them.
          Bush started training on the F102, almost immediately thereafter, it was decomissioned - suggesting that whomever got him the assignment knew from the Pentagon that it would no longer be used in combat. Bush, however, remained on the F102 while others advanced through the training bird and went on to train on newer aircraft that could/would be deployed in combat.

          Get it?

          •  ok you get your point and I get mine (none)
            If it helps, I was smiling when I responded.

            The point I emphasizing is that there seemed to be two different tracks on the very same Guard Unit.  One track is flying jets that might actually see combat someday, and one track is flying jets that aren't going anywhere.  By 1972, it becomes obvious that some in that Guard unit, that the fix had been on and that hot action was a possibility for some and not for others.  Let's just say that may have made things a little ..... uncomfortable for someone.  

            •  Absolutely (none)
              No worries BCF. No harm, no foul.

              You're right too, I'm sure it really pissed some of those guys off... Some of them would have kissed his ass anyway but I'm sure there was a hell of a lot of grumbling about His Highness and his piloting prowess - or lack thereof - which may have even contributed to his early departure.

  •  You're Right Monkey - he went to the Air Reserve (none)

    The brief explanation is that he was transferred from the National Guard to the Air Reserve in Octover

    Read the Calpundit blog for an explanation of ARF (Air Reserve Force).  And a plausible explanation of what happened.

  •  This might be the worst post I've ever read (none)
    And that includes Mickey Kaus' blog. I mean, c'mon. Bush releases National Guard documents to clear his record that unwittingly reveal that he was kicked out!!?! Duh.
    •  Duh? (none)
      They release a document in 2000 with the line stating he got an HD blacked out, and then in 2004 that line is not blacked out?

      And it quotes a regulation authorizing his discharge?

      And you're not interested (apparently) in learning what that regulation says?

      I am. I think a lot of other people might want to know:

      1. WAS this SOP for Honorable Discharges?
      2. What the regulation says.
      3. Why it was blacked out in the first place.
  •  Off Topic: (none)
    But what does the word in parens after Baraba (XXX) Bush's name mean?

    I mean, why is that garbled. In a couple places in those docs, as well.

    Is that her middle name?

    Because if it is, that's interesting, in a JFK-Oliver Stone sort of way.

    It's been rumored for years that GHWB was involved in Bay of Pigs, and one of the landing craft used was named the Barbara J. or Barbara Jane, supposedly.

    What's Bab's middle name? I've never been able to find out.

    •  George HW Bush & the Bay of Pigs (none)
      Poppy Bush's Oil Company, Zapata Petroleum, operated a drilling platform on a lease owned by Howard Hughes -- this platform was used as a staging area for anti-Castro raids into Cuba.

      GHW Bush was involved in the Bay of Pigs operation, and was probably the "George Bush" that was mentioned in a CIA memo -- that said he was in Dallas on 11/22/63.

      The key here is Allen Dulles, who became Director of Central Intelligence during the Eisenhour Administration. In November, I read that the Bay of Pigs was Allen Dulles' pet project -- which illuminates lots of mysteries surrounding the JFK assassination.

      Allen Dulles is the biggest traitor in American History. Without the investment and backing of American Capitalists, Adolph Hitler would have just been a beer hall bully, and World War Two would never have happened.

      All of those investments were handled by the Wall Street Law Firm of Allen and John Foster Dulles. Some of the investments were financed and managed by Brown Brothers, Harriman & Company -- Prescott Bush, Managing Partner.

      The week before the Munich Conference, Brown Brothers Harriman provided the letter of credit for the transfer of 500 tons of Tetra Ethyl Lead from Great Britain to Nazi Germany -- in violation of both American and British Law.

      Tetra Ethyl Lead was secret American technology -- it was the essential ingredient in high octane gasoline. Without Tetra Ethyl Lead, there would have been No Luftwaffe, No Blitzkrieg, and No WWII.

      Allen Dulles HAD to become Director of Central Intelligence, in order to cover up his crimes. He also had his hooks in Prescott Bush, and probably recruited George HW Bush at Yale, after the war.

      According to a book that cites Nixon's biography, Nixon was recruited into politics when he answered a classified ad -- placed by Prescott Bush. Another story says that Allen Dulles effectively scrubbed the records of his dealings with the Nazis, except for a problematic report written by Naval Intelligence. Richard Nixon, a young Naval Intelligence Officer, scrubbed that report -- and earned Alan Dulles support and gratitude in the process.

      One last thought -- Nixon was in Dallas 11/20-22/63 -- and he lied to the Warren Commission about the planning of that visit. And Allen Dulles protected CIA interests -- as a member of the Warren Commission.


      •  that's a fat lot of help..... (none)
        You can't mix obviously wrong information with stuff that is possibly valid without raising some very unpleasant suspicions about either your intelligence or your motives.

        Without the investment and backing of American Capitalists, Adolph Hitler would have just been a beer hall bully, and World War Two would never have happened.

        We might be able to write that off as a loud belch of American conceit, which is as common on the left as the right -- Old Europe can't even start a war without American help. But when it comes to....

        Tetra Ethyl Lead was secret American technology -- it was the essential ingredient in high octane gasoline. Without Tetra Ethyl Lead, there would have been No Luftwaffe, No Blitzkrieg, and No WWII.

        Tetraethyl lead had been discovered in 1921. Its composition and effects were public knowledge. In the mid-1920's the scandal over its unsafe manufacture and use, and the deaths of 17 workers from lead poisoning, was all over the papers. Tetraethyl lead was neither a "technology" (it was a chemical additive), nor a secret, and the German petrochemicals and synthetics industry was perhaps the best in the world at the time. Neither was it the only substance that could have been used to produce the same effects in gasoline.

        In other words, you're full of it here. It may have been illegal to sell tetraethyl lead to Germany at the time you state, because of trade controls, and it was certainly immoral, but it wasn't treasonable nor was it selling state secrets.

        When people get this looney, especially in the age of Google, I get suspicious. Maybe it's just my nature.....

        •  I agree (none)
          Charles K is sorta weird.

          I just want to know Bab's middle name, since that would place GHWB in the Bay of Pigs operation, if the folklore there is to be believed.

          The rest of what he's talking about is left-field stuff, IMO.

          •  I'd like to know the name too. (none)
            Please post it if you find it.

            The Bush record sometimes makes me wonder if we shouldn't adopt an old custom that the Greeks, at least, found essential to democracy -- ostracism. Oh, I know it would be impossible, given human rights and all. But oh, with the record the Bushes have piled up -- how tempting.

      •  Tricky Dicky, Pork Chop (none)
        I believe that Richard Nixon was a Supply Corps Officer in the US Naval Reserve during WW 2nd, and stationed in a rear echelon area of the Pacific.

        Not to defend the Trickster, but I don't think he had any ties to the Intel community at all.  

        Jo Fish -fighting the Credit Card Conservatives every day

        by jo fish on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 01:20:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  He didn't get his final discharge until Nov. 1974 (none)
    Here's a link to a document that shows that Bush was discharged from the Air Force Reserve Nov.21, 1974. Link

    Note this is 6 years 6 months after he got into the Air National Guard (ANG). The extra 6 months and transfer could be part of a punishment.

    The Denver unit was a paper unit, and Calpundit believes that he could have been called up for active duty when he got put in this unit.

    His discharge papers from ANG have been released. Has anyone seen his final discharge papers from Nov. 1974?

    •  Sounds like six months of "bad time" (none)
      In the regular military you make up each and every day missed at the end of your enlistment.  In the late 70's Navy at least it was called "bad time".

      As we have seen things were a little looser in the Guard, but this looks like a clear extention of time, which would correspond with the six months in a row of exactly no service (mid April to late October).

  •  PTI? (none)
    Does this stand for Pretrial Intervention?

    Cause that would be...interesting.

    •  Personnel Transaction Identifier? (none)
      That's the closest thing I can find a reference to. A site online lists a bunch of 900 numbers in reference to PTIs, but not 961, which is listed on Special Order 158, the one that discharged him in 73. The others all sounded discharge related as well.

      It sounds like a form which authorizes his discharge? Or is related?

      Anybody know what it is?

      •  PTI--Personnel Transaction Identifier (none)
        I have found this link useful for acronyms:

        These are codes related to transfers and specific actions to take on the transfer.  I don't know if it's a common code, but this document shows some of the codes and the ones cited are related to errors in either the personnel record or the pay record.

        Other things I've found interesting.

        • The redacted James Bath
        • Redacted name of the guy who was supposed to review the 72 - 73 bad year.
        • The notice of flight suspension was copied to the investigative unit.  I assume for them follow up (which there is no record of).
        • The summarization instead of day by day accounting on the annual point accumulation form
        • The strange RCD Review (records reveiew I believe?) doc which seems to be in preparation for an investigation about the 72 - 73 year.
        • Another confirmation in the RCD Review (which is dated May 73) of the fact the last recorded exam was May 1971.

        That's just off the top of my head right now.

      •  AFM 35-13 (none)

        Any idea what Air Force Manual 35-13 looks like?

        Bush & Ba'ath were both supposed to comply with paragraph 2-10, Air Force Manual 35-13.


  •  Enquiring Minds Want to Know (none)
    Was he in Denver, or was he in Alabama for the missing months?  If he was in Denver, this means document scrub and Bush lied on MTP, and it means he was in Denver for a reason that he doesn't want us to know.

    If he was in Denver (pay records out fof Denver, something Bush mentioned on MTP), why was he there?

    Monkey is right.  Follow this line, using the ARF doc from Calpundit.

    What is essential is invisible.

    by bebimbob on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 02:33:58 PM PST

    •  3800 York was the Air Force Finance Center (none)
      No Way Bush was in Denver -- 3800 York was the Air Force Finance Center until 1969. In no way, shape, or form was it an Air Base or Air Reserve Force station -- except on paper. A brief history below:

      Site History

      The 37-acre York Street site in northeast Denver was originally built to house U.S. Army medical supplies from 1942-1946. Asbestos-containing materials were used in the construction, and polychloronated biphenyls (PCBs) were used in the electrical transformers. In 1951, the property was transferred to the U.S. Air Force, and functioned as a finance and accounting center until 1969. The property was then conveyed by the General Services Administration (GSA) to the City of Denver and the Denver Public School System in 1977 at a 100% public benefit discount.

  •  tin foil hat time . . . (none)
    Bush refusing to report for his flight physical bugs me. He was a 1st Lt. Refusing to report amounts to mutiny. One thing that the military fears above nearly everything else is mutiny. They hammer mutineers mercilessly - they fear, and rightly, that if they let mutiny slide, unit cohesion and effectiveness go to shit. How can you reasonably expect Fred to charge that pillbox, or fly his plane into heavy flack or whatever if Harry got away with refusing orders to do the same thing just last week? You don't.

    Mutiny requires immediate official disciplinary action.

    So, let's say thet Dumbshit did something really stupid, like wreck a plane while drunk, and his being grounded because he "refused to report" was the plea bargain? TANG was going to ground his ass anyway, but Dumbshit was given the choice of being grounded due to mutiny, having that on his record, and an "honorable" discharge or he would be grounded, court martialed, sent to Leavenworth and expelled with an "dishonorable" discharg.

    That could explain why his military zeal evaporated, and nobody gave a shit where he was or what he did. Everybody knew he was a completely worthless fuck up and nobody wanted to have anything to do with him.

    Of course, 30 years later, he's STILL a completely worthless fuck up - but, hey, he's a Republican. What do you expect?

  •  Last Word (none)
    I found this. It's an interesting post from somebody named "Trof" at LeanLeft, I think.

    I was a pilot in the ALAANG 1963-1972. I can find no documentation of Alaba
    ma military regulations on the web, but here's what I know to be true from
    personal experience:

    When I joined the guard to be trained as a pilot I signed an agreement, a
    "contract" if you will. Upon successful completion of USAF pilot training,
    I was committed for six years of service in the Alabama Air National Guard
    (ALAANG). Pilot training lasted a little over a year, so my basic
    obligation was for seven years.

    If I had done exactly the same thing Bush did, skipped out and not shown up
    for required drills and Flight Training Periods (FTPs)
    1. I would have been located/contacted (if possible) by a superior officer
    on an "unofficial" level and asked about my absence. In reality, it would
    have been unthinkable for me or any of my squadron-mates to just drop out of
    sight without any prior communication with my squadron or wing as to a
    reason for this.
    2. If I had no satisfactory "unofficial" explanation I would be required to
    meet with an evaluation board of senior officers to explain my actions. If
    necessary, I would have been taken into custody by military police.
    3. Now it gets "official" If the board found I had no acceptable excuse,
    they could offer three options.
    a. I could make up the missed periods, possibly by extending my
    b. If I was unwilling to do this, I could have been assigned to
    "involuntary active duty" (essentially "drafted"), probably into the Army,
    as a private, for a period not to exceed the balance of my obligation. At
    the time, that was a ticket straight to Viet Nam.
    c. If I refused, I could be sent to jail for the balance of my obligation,
    probably to Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary.

    You can see why it was in my best interest to show up each and every time
    with a shine on my shoes and a smile on my face. That Bush was able to
    shirk his obligation with absolutely no penalty angers me. It was wrong,
    and he should have paid. But he didn't. He had the right connections and
    he got off scot free. Another reason this was "papered over" is that, had
    it been publicized, his commanding officers would have been seen as guilty
    of dereliction of duty in not dealing with the situation according to
    established military regulations.

    Two more points:
    1. Bush was mustered out as a 1st Lt. As a normal matter of course, just
    serving the necessary time-in-grade and having no major black marks in their
    records, all National Guard pilots were awarded the rank of Captain a year
    prior to completing their 6 year obligation. That Bush did not speaks
    volumes and should have been a "red flag".

    2. In spite of Bush's flagrant disregard/violation of military regulations,
    he received an Honorable Discharge (which cheapens mine and the
    accomplishments of all who have received one). This is one of the strongest
    "talking points" used by his supporters.

    We can bemoan the fact, and wail and gnash our teeth, but there's no way
    (that I know of) that this wrong can be righted. I won't "get over it", but
    I can move on. We can publicize this as much as possible, but he will never
    be brought up on criminal charges over it. Periodically someone discovers for the first time and thinks "Aha!". Well, I'm glad you
    learned about it. Go tell others, for whatever that's worth. But don't
    think you will ever see Bush in a court of law, military or civilian,
    because of this. The only small, faint hope we have is the court of public

    Why wasn't he promoted to Captain? Interesting.

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