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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: nygoose
Disregard previous post. Browser/reply screw up.
61 posted on 11/17/2002 11:51:28 AM PST by nygoose
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To: jody_b
I hope the following shuts your ass up.

From the WashPost article dated, November.3,2000 and titled "2 Democrats: Bush Let Guard Down". Ari Fleischer responds to attacks from Sens. Bob Kerrey and Daniel Inouye, concerning GW Bushes Air National Guard Service.

Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer called the attacks "the final throes of a campaign that has now lost any semblance of decency. The governor, of course, was honorably discharged, and these are inventions and fabrications. All the questions have been answered."

62 posted on 11/17/2002 11:51:47 AM PST by Reagan Man
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To: Wait4Truth
Time for this thread to die, Miss Marple? I think so.

I hope so because I am tempted to call jody_b a lying putz and I'd hate to lose my reputation for civility.

63 posted on 11/17/2002 11:54:28 AM PST by eddie willers
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To: Reagan Man
I think she/he/it is gone.
64 posted on 11/17/2002 11:56:35 AM PST by leadpenny
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To: eddie willers
I don't have the stomach to look right now, but I suspect this thread is already mirrored on DU with a title like "FReepers admit GW was AWOL!"
65 posted on 11/17/2002 11:59:34 AM PST by m1911
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To: m1911
Wow, jody_b is gone. I wish they'd quit doing that. Now I can't go see what else they had posted. Had been here for a while, member since 2002-07-30. Sleeper cell? Or a regular poster?
66 posted on 11/17/2002 12:01:46 PM PST by m1911
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To: jody_b
There's no "official" response from the Bush White House regarding any leftist allegation of stupidity, drug use, killing political enemies, or President Bush going AWOL, and do you know WHY? You don't give credence to a lie by issuing a denial to it. (It's sort of like NOT answering the question of "when did you stop beating your wife?"). Instead, you let the real facts of the situation come out from legitimate third-party sources, such as what occurred here, and let people think for themselves. Your insistence on a response from the WH as "proof" of his loyalty is what people are objecting to as suspicious about your real agenda here. And you know what? I agree with them.
67 posted on 11/17/2002 12:04:30 PM PST by alwaysconservative
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To: m1911
Sleeper cell?

Yes.....and there are plenty of them out there.
Don't be surprised to see the occasional 1999 sign up date.

But a quick check of their posting history will guide you to a proper conclusion.

68 posted on 11/17/2002 12:05:51 PM PST by eddie willers
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To: Undertow
Do you mean the man or the horse? (Sorry, I couldn't resist!) LOL!
69 posted on 11/17/2002 12:06:22 PM PST by alwaysconservative
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To: eddie willers
jody a lying putz? Nothing wrong with speaking the truth, eddie. That is not uncivil at all. This may be a new dredging up of this story. Just heard a black female panelist, Julianne Mulveau, say on CNN that President Bush had gone AWOL. Blitzer shut her down in two seconds flat.
70 posted on 11/17/2002 12:07:04 PM PST by Wait4Truth
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To: jody_b; Miss Marple
What question do you want answered?

The answer is he has a DD214, Honorable Discharge. Nothing more is needed. Questioned answered.

71 posted on 11/17/2002 12:07:36 PM PST by deport
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To: deport
Thanks, deport. You always come through.
72 posted on 11/17/2002 12:10:11 PM PST by Wait4Truth
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To: jody_b
. Surely President Bush's staff must have prepared an official response at some time, so where is it?

Give it up jody, no one here is buying your little game.
I give it a D, much too transparent, needs more work.

73 posted on 11/17/2002 12:12:10 PM PST by epow
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To: jody_b
Just to let people know how the Guard works they don't require 4 years of active duty 24X7.

If someone serves say 6 months of active duty (Say like during Enduring Freedom last year) they completed their mandantory time.

But, their service is still required until their discharge date which is normally a four year commitment. During this time they usually don't attend monthly drills and I know many who don't even attend annual drills with their unit. They just attend some training during the year and use this to show they did something.

This is quite common even today so my point is the ANG is a totally different animal then Active Duty !

If I figured it correctly LT Bush served over 1.5 years of full time active duty and this would cover him for 20 years if he stayed in ?

74 posted on 11/17/2002 12:12:50 PM PST by Crossbow Eel
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To: m1911
J-B's history showed that there had been one other posting about a month ago. It too was about this subject.
75 posted on 11/17/2002 12:12:55 PM PST by leadpenny
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To: Reagan Man

she's pretty...pretty damn ugly.

76 posted on 11/17/2002 12:13:53 PM PST by Undertow
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To: deport
What is the official position on official postions ?
77 posted on 11/17/2002 12:14:06 PM PST by woofie
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To: epow
Apologies to all. I should have read the rest of the thread before I posted #73. I would have been satisfied to have just let the thread die the miserable death it deserves.
78 posted on 11/17/2002 12:15:30 PM PST by epow
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To: jody_b
Is the Toronto Star just another Maple Leaf Rag?
79 posted on 11/17/2002 12:15:35 PM PST by Consort
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To: Wait4Truth
jody a lying putz? Nothing wrong with speaking the truth, eddie

It was his oh so innocent "I'm-just-trying-to-get-the-official-response-so-we-can-defend-our-conservative-position" response over and over again that was the lie.

Had he/she survived, his next post would have been..."Who is Barry Seal?"

80 posted on 11/17/2002 12:19:34 PM PST by eddie willers
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