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What did Dubya do in the war, daddy?
Toronto Star ^ | Nov 17, 2002 | LINDA MCQUAIG

Posted on 11/17/2002 10:41:55 AM PST by jody_b

It's often said that people just won't go into politics any more because of the intense media scrutiny one faces for even the smallest indiscretion in one's past. In fact, the media are temperamental beasts; fierce one day, gentle as lambs the next.

Certainly the media showed its soft side last week. As George W. Bush piously observed Veterans Day, media pundits somehow restrained themselves from pointing to the irony that the U.S. Commander-in-Chief, who's sometimes referred to as a "former fighter pilot," has an embarrassing military past. His records show that for months at a time during the Vietnam War, Bush could be classified as, at best, "absent without leave" (AWOL) or, at worst, as an army deserter.

This would be equivalent to the media withholding comment as former U.S. President Bill Clinton publicly espoused the virtues of marital fidelity.

Indeed, one hardly needs to wait for Veterans' Day to note the irony in Bush's military fervour. The man can scarcely contain his enthusiasm for war ? or at least for others going to war. As he inches closer each day to sending tens of thousands of American soldiers into Iraq (to be followed likely by hundreds of Canadian soldiers), any day would be appropriate for the media to satisfy its allegedly insatiable appetite for dirt on the rich and powerful by reporting the president's own military past.

The legwork has already been done by the Boston Globe, which dug up Bush's military records and interviewed his former military commanders.

While the paper published its dramatic findings during the presidential campaign of 2000, the rest of the media all but ignored the story and continue to do so, even as Bush has turned himself into arguably the most hawkish president in U.S. history.

It's not that the media are not hard on military laggards. While there were only 49 media stories about Bush's military past during his presidential campaign, there were a whopping 13,641 media reports on Clinton's Vietnam-era draft dodging during his first presidential race, according to former Clinton aide Paul Begala.

Begala made the observation on a media panel at a labour conference shortly after Bush's election. Other panelists, including journalists from major TV networks and Time magazine, agreed that Bush had had a much gentler ride, but attributed it to the media's alleged exhaustion after all the Clinton-era scandals.

Of course, it's possible Bush was so morally repelled by the U.S. slaughter in Vietnam that he just couldn't bring himself to participate. But probably not. Here's what we know.

Upon graduating from Yale, Bush applied for a position in the Texas National Guard, a coveted spot that required only part-time military duties at home, far from the battlefields of Vietnam. Bush was catapulted to the front of 500 other applicants after a friend of his father, then a wealthy Houston congressman, phoned the Speaker of the Texas House, according to the Boston Globe.

After completing training as a pilot, George W. Bush requested and immediately received a transfer to an Alabama National Guard unit in May, 1972. But Bush never showed up for duty there, according to the Alabama unit's commander and the commander's assistant, who were interviewed by the Boston Globe.

Military records show that Bush's two commanding officers back in Texas reported George W. did not show up for duty there either for a year, and that they believed he had been transferred to Alabama. Meanwhile, when Bush failed to take his required annual medical exam in August, 1972, his pilot status was removed.

It should be noted that reporting for military duty is not something that's optional, particularly during a war. Those caught shirking National Guard duties were usually punished by being drafted into the real army ? the one that landed you in Vietman, where some 350 American soldiers were killed each week. But, despite more than a year absent from duty, nothing happened to the well-connected George W. Bush.

Favouritism is a sore point among those who actually went to war, including U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell. As Powell wrote in his autobiography: "I am angry that so many of the sons of the powerful and well-placed ... managed to wangle slots in Reserve and National Guard units ... Of the many tragedies of Vietnam, this raw class discrimination strikes me as the most damaging to the ideal that all Americans are created equal ..."

You've got to marvel at Powell's anger management skills.

TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: awol; barfalert; bush; canada
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To: jody_b
Those caught shirking National Guard duties were usually punished by being drafted into the real army ?

This b*tch has got some nerve.

This one is for all you Liberal Lurkers. A Texas National Guardsman

41 posted on 11/17/2002 11:30:29 AM PST by I got the rope
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To: jody_b
"Why doesn't the media just drop this old lie. I thought Presiedent Bush or his staff presented facts that absolutely refuted this false charge."

Why if you thought this, why keep bringing it up?

42 posted on 11/17/2002 11:32:21 AM PST by Cannon6
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To: jody_b
I didn't choose "news flash", I selected "news". If it came to you as a news flash, then the software must have a glitch in it. Sorry about that.

I wouldn't know, I always select "latest articles". The use of the term "news flash" was meant to be sarcasm towards this McQuaig character's attempt to pass off what is common knowledge as some sort of hard-hitting expose` on Bush.
43 posted on 11/17/2002 11:32:26 AM PST by Welsh Rabbit
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To: Miss Marple
See my reply #38. Neither of the two cited articles gives an official statement by President Bush or his staff on this matter. Perhaps you should go reread the two cited articles, because you have either forgotten or never knew what they said.

The easiest way out of this discussion is to say that I asked a simple question and haven't yet received an answer.
44 posted on 11/17/2002 11:32:37 AM PST by jody_b
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To: Reagan Man
Just for the record, Linda McQuaig is a rabid anti-Bush zealot.

Nah, ya think??

45 posted on 11/17/2002 11:34:02 AM PST by SuziQ
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To: jody_b
Dubya flew the F-102. If memory serves, all F-102s in the guard came under ADC. (Air Defence Command) Well let me tell you a bit about the ADC mission. ADC was responsible for intercepting and destroying any A/C which posed a threat to these United States. At many bases, two A/C were kept hot. That means there was a pilot in the cockpit, a power cart connected, and ready to launch.

If the A/C scrambled they were vectored to the bogy by GCI. (Ground Controlled Intercept) If the Bogy was indeed a threat, they launched on it. The profile was such that if the ordenance missed, the F-102 didn't.

The F-102 (aka the lead sled) didn't have just a whole lot of range. If the fire went out on the way home, your only choice was to punch out. No Martin Baker seat in those A/C. You were shot out by a 75mm cartridge. Crushed vertebra were not uncommon.

No, you won't hear me calling Dubya a draft doger.
46 posted on 11/17/2002 11:34:53 AM PST by cannonball
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To: jody_b
Here is my question to you: why are you expecting us to do YOUR research? Simple logic should tell you that President Bush would never have run for the presidency if he had been guilty of going AWOL. Simple logic should tell you that Ann Richards and Al Gore moved heaven and earth to find dirt on him, and the worst they could find was a DUI for which he paid a fine.

So, why are you so interested in an official statement? I see no "official" statement as necessary.

47 posted on 11/17/2002 11:35:50 AM PST by Miss Marple
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To: Cannon6
Because a personal "thought" is not as good as citing an official statement by either Presiednt Bush or his staff on this topic.

I view FR as a viable source of links to facts on President Bush. Thos who have replied to this thread are clearly familiar with this topic and they have their "thoughts" on the matter. Surely someone on this forum has a link to an official reply by President Bush.
48 posted on 11/17/2002 11:37:24 AM PST by jody_b
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To: Reagan Man
She's a liar...

and fugly too.

49 posted on 11/17/2002 11:38:12 AM PST by Ol' Sox
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To: jody_b
What is the link to the official position?"

The "official position" is that there is no official position. Why would Bush's people ever respond to such a ludicrous accusation?

There is nothing to this AWOL charge! If there were, Bush would have been beat over the head with it in 2000.

Besides, don't you think Bush has distinguished himself as the commander-in-chief? I do. What Bush did or didn't do when he flew jets for the Texas Air Guard is something that doesn't matter a whit to the vast majority of Americans.

You? You think a "journalist" with a face that would make a train take a dirt road is somebody serious.

50 posted on 11/17/2002 11:38:33 AM PST by sinkspur
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To: jody_b
Why did you post this trash?
51 posted on 11/17/2002 11:39:56 AM PST by GOPJ
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To: jody_b
"I've read everything in this forum's archives on this topic. "

Responding to the Globe's report that his Alabama base commander had no recollection of Bush ever showing for drills, the governor said "I pulled duty in Alabama and I read the comments and the guy said he didn't remember me. That's 27 years ago, but I remember being there."

52 posted on 11/17/2002 11:40:23 AM PST by mrsmith
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To: jody_b
Do you realize how obvious you are? It is also quite obvious that you do not intend to take Miss Marple's advice and read the articles. This issue has been disected a million times and if there was any truth to it, the Democrats would not have let it go. The fact that President Bush did not put out a statement that meets with your satisfaction is really not the issue here. Your desire to perpetuate a lie IS. I think I hear DU calling you. Your crap won't work here.
53 posted on 11/17/2002 11:41:23 AM PST by Wait4Truth
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This trash was posted so that she could repeatedly ask where the "official" position is.

There is no "official" position on this ridiculous charge, just like there is no "official" position on Bush "starting the war for his oil buddies." It is so ridiculous that it doesn't merit an official response.

She will keep asking for the "official" position until the cows come home.

54 posted on 11/17/2002 11:42:07 AM PST by Miss Marple
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To: jody_b
Why bother about the question, the paper is in a place that isn't even a country.
55 posted on 11/17/2002 11:44:45 AM PST by RWG
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To: Wait4Truth; Miss Marple; jody_b
Exactly right. You have been exposed, j_b. Leave quietly.
56 posted on 11/17/2002 11:45:00 AM PST by leadpenny
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
Note the leftyslut's confusion between the "Army," and the "Air Force."
57 posted on 11/17/2002 11:45:10 AM PST by Kenny Bunk
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To: Miss Marple
Time for this thread to die, Miss Marple? I think so.
58 posted on 11/17/2002 11:46:07 AM PST by Wait4Truth
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To: nygoose
I agree with you. I was only pointing out the reasoning that was successful in the cigarette lawsuits.
59 posted on 11/17/2002 11:49:50 AM PST by nygoose
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There's no harm in posting trash, so we know what the media are saying. What bothers me is the apparent malevolence with with jody_b keeps asking for official denials. The story is bogus, based on a nasty misinterpretation of the real facts.

I've read the records posted here. It looks to me as if Bush wanted to leave Texas in order to pursue a career, and had some problems with the National Guard bureaucracy. As a result, he missed some sessions and had to drop down from flying to deskwork. But he made up on his missed sessions. He was hardly AWOL. Instead, he was caught between doing regular national guard duties and the need to pursue a career and make a living at the same time. There were some minor irregularities which he straightened out.

Bush was a child of privilege, and he took some natural advantage of that. And his family naturally helped him out in the early years. But compared to Gore, for instance, Bush was a model of initiative and self-motivation. He was helped by his family, but after getting a good start he made his own way. That's more than you can say about Al Gore, or most of the Kennedys. There's scarcely a Kennedy since old Joe who has made his own way, and Joe made his way as a mobster.
60 posted on 11/17/2002 11:50:36 AM PST by Cicero
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