Skip to comments.Documents Suggest Special Treatment for Bush in Guard [Buckhead post 47]
Posted on 09/08/2004 8:10:56 PM PDT by Pikamax
September 9, 2004 Documents Suggest Special Treatment for Bush in Guard By KATHARINE Q. SEELYE and RALPH BLUMENTHAL
ASHINGTON, Sept. 8 - President Bush's Vietnam-era service in the National Guard came under renewed scrutiny on Wednesday as newfound documents emerged from his squadron commander's file that suggested favorable treatment.
At the same time, a once powerful Texas Democrat came forward to say that he had "abused my position of power" by helping Mr. Bush and others join the Guard.
Democrats also worked to stoke the issue with a new advertisement by a Texas group that featured a former lieutenant colonel, Bob Mintz, who said he never saw Mr. Bush in the period he transferred from the Texas Air National Guard to the Alabama Air National Guard.
The documents, obtained by the "60 Minutes" program at CBS News from the personal files of the late Lt. Col. Jerry B. Killian, Mr. Bush's squadron commander in Texas, suggest that Lieutenant Bush did not meet his performance standards and received favorable treatment.
One document, a "memo to file" dated May 1972 , refers to a conversation between Colonel Killian and Lieutenant Bush when they "discussed options of how Bush can get out of coming to drill from now through November," because the lieutenant "may not have time."
The memo said the commander had worked to come up with options, "but I think he's also talking to someone upstairs."
Colonel Killian wrote in another report, dated Aug. 1, 1972, that he ordered Lieutenant Bush "suspended from flight status" because he failed to perform to standards of the Air Force and Texas Air National Guard and "failure to meet annual physical examination (flight) as ordered."
Colonel Killian also wrote in a memo that his superiors were forcing him to give Lieutenant Bush a favorable review, but that he refused.
"I'm having trouble running interference and doing my job," he wrote.
CBS, which reported on the memos on "The CBS Evening News" and "60 Minutes," declined to say how it obtained the documents.
Dan Bartlett, the White House communications director, said in an interview with CBS, the full transcript of which the White House released on Wednesday night, that Mr. Bush had fulfilled his service and received an honorable discharge. Mr. Bartlett did not dispute the authenticity of the memos but said, "When you are talking about a memo to somebody's self - this is a memo to his own file - people are trying to read the mind of somebody who is no longer with us."
He called the release of the files politically motivated.
"Every time President Bush gets near another election, all the innuendo and rumors about President Bush's service in the National Guard come to the forefront," he said.
Separately, former Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes of Texas voiced regret for what he said was helping the privileged escape service in Vietnam.
"I'm not particularly proud of what I did," said Mr. Barnes, who in the 1960's was speaker of the Texas House at 26 and lieutenant governor at 30. "While I understand why parents wanted to shield their sons from danger, I abused my position of power by helping only those who knew me or had access to me."
Mr. Barnes, 66, an adviser to Senator John Kerry's campaign and an influential lobbyist with offices in Austin and Washington, said in a interview with The New York Times that he had intervened to get Mr. Bush, as well as other well-connected young men, into the Guard in 1968. He made similar comments on "60 Minutes" on Wednesday.
Mr. Barnes maintained, as he has since 1999, that he had contacted his friend who headed the Texas Air National Guard, Brig. Gen. James Rose, not at the behest of anyone in the Bush family, but rather a Houston businessman, Sidney A. Adger, a friend of the Bushes who has died.
"Yes, I called Rose to get George Bush into the Guard, I've said that," Mr. Barnes said in his office last week in Austin. "I called Rose for other sons of prominent families, and I'm not proud of it now."
Anticipating his remarks, Republicans worked to discredit Mr. Barnes as a partisan Democrat and large contributor to Mr. Kerry. The events created a new round of scrutiny for Mr. Bush, after a month in which Mr. Kerry's Vietnam service dominated the campaign because of veterans with longstanding anger at how Mr. Kerry, who was a decorated veteran, came home and turned against the war. With advertisements, through a book and on talk shows, the group, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, leveled largely unsubstantiated accusations about Mr. Kerry's record and his antiwar statements.
Democrats were unabashed about turning the spotlight on Mr. Bush. Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic chairman, said in a conference call with reporters the party would keep Mr. Bush's Guard record before the public.
The events unfolded a day after the Pentagon, prompted by a lawsuit filed by The Associated Press, released a series of records on Mr. Bush's service, even though the White House had said this year that it had released all the records.
Mr. Bartlett said that the documents "demonstrate that he served his country, he logged hundreds and hundreds of hours as a fighter pilot in the Texas Air National Guard."
Mr. Bartlett rejected the suggestion based on Colonel Killian's files that Mr. Bush did not meet the performance standards. He said Mr. Bush did not have a physical examination because he was not going to be flying planes anymore, because his unit no longer flew the planes that Mr. Bush was trained on.
"Every step of the way, President Bush was meeting his requirements, granted permission to meet his requirements," Mr. Bartlett said.
A new commercial, produced by a group of Democrats, Texans for Truth, is to begin on Monday in five swing states that have lost high numbers of soldiers in Iraq. It features a former lieutenant colonel in the Alabama Guard, Bob Mintz, who lives in Tennessee. He told a columnist for The New York Times, Nicholas D. Kristof, for a column published on Wednesday, that he was actively looking for Lieutenant Bush at the Alabama base in the 1970's, because he had heard that Lieutenant Bush was a fellow bachelor who might like to party with him and other pilots. In the spot, Mr. Mintz said neither he nor his friends ever saw Mr. Bush.
"It would be impossible to be unseen in a unit of that size," he says.
The unit had 20 to 30 pilots.
In a conference call with reporters on Wednesday, Mr. Mintz was pressed about his recollections and whether he might have missed seeing Mr. Bush, possibly because Mr. Bush was no longer flying at that point and was working in an office position. Mr. Mintz said repeatedly he never saw Lieutenant Bush.
Asked for friends' names who could vouch that they never saw Lieutenant Bush, Mr. Mintz declined, saying he did not have their permission to make their names public.
Glenn Smith, the main figure in Texans for Truth, said he wanted to make the spot because he was angry over the Swift Boat veterans.
Steve Schmidt of the Bush campaign said that Texans for Truth was linked to the Kerry campaign in potential violation of campaign finance laws, saying the group was "made possible by contributions" from Moveon.org, another advocacy group that opposes Mr. Bush.
Mr. Smith said that Moveon.org had financed another group that he had founded, Drivedemocracy.org, but that neither had given money to the Texans, though he said that Moveon.org had put a link on its Web site to the Texans and sent e-mail messages to its members in Texas urging them to donate to the Texans.
Mr. Smith said the Texans raised more than $300,000 in 24 hours, with one contribution for $100,000 and most of the rest in $25 donations.
Adding to the picture of Mr. Bush's service, The Boston Globe reported on Wednesday that he fell short of meeting his military requirements and was not disciplined despite irregular attendance at required drills.
The paper said Mr. Bush signed documents in July 1973, before he left Houston for the Harvard Business School, promising to meet his training commitments or be punished by being called up to active duty.
Mr. Bartlett said on Wednesday that Mr. Bush was given permission to attend Harvard. He said that if there were any requirements Mr. Bush was not meeting, "the National Guard at the federal level, the state level and the local level, they all knew where he was."
Katharine Q. Seelye reported from Washingtonfor this article, and Ralph Blumenthal from Houston. Raymond Bonner contributed reporting from Houston
Won't do any good, however, to point out to Mr. Okrent that the newspaper he works for is dishonest.
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we tried to warn them. time to active project "there-ain't-enough-botox-in-the-world-to-keep-us- from-flattening-your-sorry-a$$".
that is all.
I think they were his private papers?
The MSM are whores for Kerry, whores for the Democrats, and whores for the Jihadists.
Through their lies and distortions, our country's continued existence is now in doubt.
So why write them? If he was REALLY trying to CYA then he would have sent his concerns up the chain otherwise he would be in deep Sh%T if he had to explain later why he didn't let someone else know about a supposed violation of a direct order. Nope I don't believe these are legit documents since CBS will not say who they got them from so the originals can be examined.
Howlin, every single one of these memos to file is in a proportionally spaced font, probably Palatino or Times New Roman.
In 1972 people used typewriters for this sort of thing, and typewriters used monospaced fonts.
The use of proportionally spaced fonts did not come into common use for office memos until the introduction of laser printers, word processing software, and personal computers. They were not widespread until the mid to late 90's. Before then, you needed typesetting equipment, and that wasn't used for personal memos to file. Even the Wang systems that were dominant in the mid 80's used monospaced fonts.
I am saying these documents are forgeries, run through a copier for 15 generations to make them look old.
This should be pursued aggressively.
Seems to well orchestrated. Of course it was orchestrated. The same night that 60 Minutes runs a hit piece of lies and the same day lies are printed in the Boston Globe and NY Slimes. Hmmmm. It does not take Sherlock to figure out that Carville, the same guy who holds his post at CNN, is behind all this with the Kerry campaign. Its only going to get worse.
You're absolutely correct. I just looked at the files, and they don't pass the smell test. Most typewritten items from that era would have been in Courier font. And why would these items be copies, anyway, if these memos were for the guy's own personal file? They wouldn't have that run through the copy machine a zillion times aura to them in that case.
Notice that "180" re Bush means his Form 180. And "180" re kerry means FLIP FLOP!!
This is going to be hilarious, because every major news organization is running with this bogus story like it's a new toy on Christmas morning.
Exactly. It seems like that if CBS were concerned about journalistic integrity, instead of smearing Bush, they would have checked out the authenticity of these documents, something you figured out in a quick perusal of them.
Coinkydinks, don't you just love 'em?
It is fun to watch so many of them coming of the "We am not biased" closet at the same time, because all their efforts won't really change voter's opinions.
There's the entrenched Kerry voters and the Bush voters, and the fighting is over the undecided/independents. But the undecided/independents aren't nearly as trusting of the U.S. media as they used to be. Fox News and the Internet have changed the playing field in a most upsetting way for the old-time entrenched liberal U.S. media.
This is not their "good old days" when the very liberal Walter Cronkite could tell Americans "And that's the way it was." with no rebuttal opportunities, and have a very large percentage of the country watching the man called "the must trusted man in America". It's a shifting paradigm!:)
I have read several excellent replies here, but I'm thinking that there is a larger point consider. That is, the dems don't really think that they have a winning issue in the long run, what they have is a RED HERRING to use as a foil of MORAL EQIUIVALENCE.
It's the way they argue. If we make a valid assertion, they parry by (vocally) reversing the charges. And that's the point. They deflect legitimate charges (kerry's cowardice, turning on his fellow swifties and Viet Vets, delusional lies, meeting with the enemy) with minor counter-charges . They hope to get US (or the news consuming public) to focus entirely on the counter-charge. That's their objective. That's their way.
It's important to defend Dubya, but we should keep in mind that the depth of Mr. kerry's depravity is on no scale comparable to NYT or CBS's interpretation of National Guard paperwork vagueries. And that, my friends, should be considered at the beginning of any counter to Guard service inquiries.
This story will be dead within one week, in my humble opinion.
I would like to see someone in the MSM ask Kerry about his early discharge from the Naval Reserves and how that came about?
Further evidence of forgery is given here:
How do we get this to CBS?
Maybe it should go to FoxNews instead. Although actually, I'll bet that ABC and NBC wouldn't mind slamming CBS over a forgery, even if they are partisan.
Do you know how hard it is to center text on a typewriter? Look at the headings of the memos. Perfect.