Clinton's Draft Avoidance
A teacher named Renee, seeking additional information for her class, asked me several questions in regard to my personal experiences and feelings about Vietnam. One of the questions Renee asked was if I thought we would have won the war if it were not for the war demonstrators. My response was as follows.
" Yes, I believe we would have had a victory in South Vietnam if it were not for the peace demonstrations and the yellow journalism of the press .
I have very strong feelings about the anti-war demonstrators. I felt there actions gave the enemy hope and by doing so they were guilty of treason !!! You may want to look at the timing of the demonstrations. The war started in 1964 for all practical purposes. Enrollment to colleges and Universities grew enormously. As students start to flunk out or graduate the demonstrations became larger. The students were fearful that they or their loved ones may have to go and fight in the war.
Here is an example how our President felt about the war.... "
To give an illustration of how a prominent current leader avoided the draft in favor of college, I searched the Internet for Bill Clinton's ROTC letter and his involvement in the Vietnam War demonstrations in England. The following is what I found on the internet.
Allow me say something up front. My opinion is that Bill Clinton's actions toward the draft was not a separate case, but his actions, and those of his family and friends using influence were reflected throughout the United States by thousands of other American families. The vast majority of male students attending colleges and universities were very concerned by and fearful of the draft. Most did not go to Bill Clinton's extremes.
The outline on Bill Clinton and the Draft was posted on several sites on the internet with only one site at http://www.unclesam.net/cny/mil/bc-lettr.htm (This link is now down) giving credit for the outline to the Free Republic web site at http://www.freerepublic.com .
August 19, 1964 - Clinton registers for the draft
--[Washington Post Sep 13 92]
September 1964 - Clinton, age 18, enters Georgetown University
--[The Comeback Kid, CF Allen and J Portis, p. 20]
November 17, 1964- Clinton is classified 2-S (student deferment). This will shield him from the draft throughout his undergraduate years.
---[Wash Post Sep 13 92]
February 16, 1968 - "The Johnson administration unexpectedly abolished graduate deferments."
--[Wash Post Sep 13 92]
March 20, 1968 - Clinton, age 21, is classified 1-A, eligible for induction, as he nears graduation from Georgetown.
--[Wash Post Sep 13 92]
Comment: Bill Clinton was the only man of his prime draft age classified1-A by that draft board in 1968 whose pre-induction physical examination was put off for 10.5 months. This delay was more than twice as long as anyone else and more than five times longer than most area men of comparable eligibility.
--[Los Angeles Times Sep 02 92]
Summer 1968 - Political and family influence keeps Clinton out of the draft. Robert Corrado -- the only surviving Hot Springs draft board member from that period -- concluded that Clinton's draft statement (the long delays) was the result of "some form of preferential treatment." According to the Times, "Corrado recalled that the chairman of the three-man draft panel ... once held back Clinton's file with the explanation that 'we've got to give him time to go to Oxford,' where the semester began in the fall of 1968.
Corrado also complained that he was called by an aide to then Senator J. William Fulbright urging him and his fellow board members to 'give every consideration' to keep Clinton out of the draft so he could attend Oxford.
Throughout the remainder of 1968, Corrado said, Clinton's draft file was routinely held back from consideration by the full board. Consequently, although he was classified 1-A on March 20, 1968, he was not called for his physical exam until Feb 3, 1969, while he was at Oxford.
Clinton's Uncle Raymond Clinton personally lobbied Senator Fulbright, William S. Armstrong, the chairman of the three-man Hot Springs draft board, and Lt. Comdr. Trice Ellis, Jr., commanding officer of the local Navy reserve unit, to obtain a slot for Clinton in the Naval Reserve.
Clinton secured a "standard enlisted man's billet, not an officer's slot which would have required Clinton to serve two years on active duty beginning within 12 months of his acceptance." This Navy Reserve assignment was "created especially for the Bill Clinton at a time in 1968 when no existing reserve slots were open in his hometown unit."
According to the LA Times, "after about two weeks waiting for Bill Clinton to arrive for his preliminary interview and physical exam, Ellis said he called (Clinton's uncle) Raymond to inquire - 'What happened to that boy?' According to Ellis, Clinton's uncle replied - 'Don't worry about it. He won't be coming down. "It's all been taken care of.' "
--[LA Times Sep 02 92]
Fall 1968 - Because of the local draft board's continuing postponement of his pre-induction physical, Clinton is able to enroll at Oxford Univ.
--[Wash Post Sep 13 92]
February 2, 1969 - While at Oxford, Clinton finally takes and passes a military physical examination.
--[Washington Times Sep 18 92]
April 1969 - Clinton receives induction notice from the Hot Springs AR draft board. Clinton however claims that the draft board told him to ignore the notice because it arrived after the deadline for induction.
--[Wash Post Sep 13 92]
June-July 1969 - Clinton receives a second induction notice with a July 28 induction date and returns home.
--[Wash Times Sep 18 92]
July 11, 1969 - Clinton's friend at Oxford, Cliff Jackson, writes, "Clinton is feverishly trying to find a way to avoid entering the Army as a drafted private. I have had several of my friends in influential positions trying to pull strings on Bill's behalf."
-- [LA Times Sep 26 92]
Clinton benefited from yet another lobbying campaign in order to evade this induction notice. "Democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton, who has said he did not pull strings to avoid the Vietnam-era draft, was able to get his Army induction notice canceled in the summer of 1969 after a lobbying effort directed at the Republican head of the state draft agency." Arrangements were made for Clinton to meet with Col. Williard A. Hawkins who "was the only person in Arkansas with authority to rescind a draft notice. ... The apparently successful appeal to Hawkins was planned while Clinton was finishing his first year as a Rhodes scholar in England. Clinton's former friend and Oxford classmate, Cliff Jackson -- now an avowed political critic of the candidate -- said it was pursued immediately upon Clinton's return to AR in early July 1969 to beat a July 28 deadline for induction."
-- [LA Times Sep 26 92]
Comment: Jackson's statement is contrary to Clinton's repeated assertions that he received no special treatment in avoiding military service. "(I) never received any unusual or favorable treatment." [LA Times Sep 02 92]
August 7, 1969 - Clinton is reclassified 1-D after he arranges to enter the ROTC program at the University of Arkansas.
--[Wash Post Sep 13 92]
According to Cliff Jackson, Clinton's Oxford classmate, Clinton used the ROTC program to "kill the draft notice, to avoid reporting on the July 28 induction date, which had already been postponed. And he did that by promising to serve his country in the ROTC, number one, to enroll in the law school that fall ... and he never enrolled."
--[Wash Times Sep 17 92]
Comment - Clinton's admission into the ROTC program again runs contrary to his repeated statements that he received no special treatment in order to evade military service. Col. Eugene Holmes, commander of the University of Arkansas ROTC program, said Clinton was admitted after pressure from the Hot Springs draft board and the office of Senator J. William Fulbright (D-AR).
Again, Clinton was receiving preferential treatment. In addition, records from the Army reveal that Clinton was not legally eligible for the ROTC program at that time. Army regulations required recruits to be enrolled at the university and attending classes full-time before being admitted to an ROTC program.
Fall 1969 - Clinton returns to Oxford for a second year. Clinton was supposed to be at the Arkansas Law School. However, according to Cliff Jackson, "Sen. Fulbright's office and Bill himself continued to exert tremendous pressure on poor Col. Holmes to get him [Clinton] to go back to Oxford."
--[Wash Post Sep 13 92]
September 14, 1969 - The Arkansas Gazette, published in Little Rock, headlined a draft suspension was reportedly planned by the President.
Comment - The article, citing a source, said Selective Service reforms when implemented, would only permit the conscription of 19-year-old men. In addition, the source said "the Army would send to Vietnam only enlistees, professional soldiers, and those draftees who volunteered to go." The source contended that these reforms, combined with troop withdrawals, "would put pressure on the Congress to enact draft legislation already proposed by the President ... and set up a lottery to conscript only 19-year-old men," the Gazette reported.
From his letter to Col. Holmes, Bill Clinton said "....Finally, on Sept. 12 I stayed up all night writing a letter to the chairman of my draft board,......I never mailed the letter, but I did carry it on me every day until I got on the plane to return to England.". It is very probable that Bill Clinton was in the United States and well aware of the above proposal on Sep 14, 1969. Bill Clinton was 23 years old.
September 19, 1969 - "President Nixon, facing turmoil on college campuses, suspended draft calls for November and December of 1969 and said the October call would be spread out over three months."
--[Wash Post Sep 13 92]
The President also indicated that if the Congress did not act to establish a lottery system, he would remove by executive order the vulnerability to the draft of all men age 20 to 26.
Comment - Again, Clinton was 23 years old.
September-October 1969 - "At some point, Clinton decided to make himself eligible for the draft and said in February 1992 his stepfather had acted in his behalf to accomplish this. Newsweek, attributing the information to campaign officials, said this all happened in Oct 1969. Clinton spokesperson Betsey Wright ... said she believed it took place in September. The difference is potentially significant. ... If Clinton did not act to give up his deferment until October, he could have known he faced no liability from the draft until the following summer, that he could take his chances with the lottery and find alternative service if he got a low number."
--[Wash Post Sep 13 92]
October 1, 1969 - "Nixon announced that anyone in graduate school could complete the full year."
--[Wash Post Sep 13 92]
Comment - Clinton is now safe from the draft through June 1970.
October 1969 - President Nixon suspends call-up of additional draftees until a draft lottery is held in December.
October 15, 1969 - Clinton organized and led anti-war demonstrations in London.
-- [Wash Times Sep 18 92]
Comment - According to McSorley, Clinton's demonstrations "had the support of British peace organizations" such as the British Peace Council, an arm of the KGB-backed World Peace Council.
October 30, 1969 - Clinton is reclassified 1-A, eligible for induction.
--[Wash Times Sep 28 92]
Comment - "Clinton said he put himself into the draft by contacting his draft board in September or October and asking to be reclassified 1-A. ... It is not clear, however, whether that occurred at Clinton's urging or whether his failure to enroll at University of Arkansas automatically cancelled his 1-D deferment."
Clinton has never produced any evidence to substantiate his claim that he initiated his reclassification.
November 16, 1969 - Clinton organized and led anti-war demonstrations in London.
December 1, 1969 - Clinton draws #311 in the first draft lottery.
--[Wash Times Sep 18 92]
Comment - Clinton was virtually assured that he would not be drafted because of the high lottery number.
December 3, 1969 - While still in England, Clinton writes to Lt. Col. Eugene Holmes, , commander of the University of Arkansas ROTC Program and states, "From my work I came to believe that the draft system is illegitimate ... I decided to accept the draft in spite of my beliefs for one reason - to maintain my political viability."
Clinton's ROTC Letter
As Entered in Congressional Record (Page: H5550) 7/30/93
Dear Col. Holmes,
I am sorry to be so long in writing. I know I promised to let you hear from me at least once a month, and from now on you will, but I have to have some time to think about this first letter. Almost daily since my return to England I have thought about writing,about what I want to and ought to say.
First, I want to thank you, not only for saving me from the draft, but for being so kind to me last summer, when I was as low as I have ever been. One thing that made the bond we struck in good faith somewhat palatable to me was my high regard for you personally. In retrospect, it seems that the admiration might not have been mutual had you known a little more about me, about my political beliefs and activities. At least you might have thought me more fit for the draft than for ROTC.
Let me try to explain. As you know, I worked in a very minor position on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. I did it for the experience and the salary but also for the opportunity, however small, of working every day against a war I opposed and despised with a depth of feeling I had reserved solely for racism in America before Vietnam. I did not take the matter lightly but studied it carefully, and there was a time when not many people had more information about Vietnam at hand than I did.
I have written and spoken and marched against the war. One of the national organizers of the Vietnam Moratorium is a close friend of mine. After I left Arkansas last summer, I went to Washington to work in the national headquarters of the Moratorium, then to England to organize the Americans here for demonstrations October 15 and November 16.
Interlocked with the war is the draft issue, which I did not begin to consider separately until early 1968. For a law seminar at Georgetown I wrote a paper on the legal arguments for and against allowing, within the Selective Service System, the classification of selective conscientious objection, for those opposed to participation in a particular war, not simply to "participation in war in any form."
From my work, I came to believe that the draft system itself is illegitimate. No government really rooted in limited, parliamentary democracy should have the power to make its citizens fight and kill and die in a war they may oppose, a war which even possibly may be wrong, a war, which in any case, does not involve immediately the peace and freedom of the nation. The draft was justified in World War II because the life of the people collectively was at stake.
Individuals had to fight, if the nation was to survive, for the lives of their country and their way of life. Vietnam is no such case. Nor was Korea an example where, in my opinion, certain military action was justified but the draft was not, for the reasons stated above.
Because of my opposition to the draft and the war, I am in great sympathy with those who are not willing to fight, kill, and maybe die for their country (i.e. the particular policy of a particular government) right or wrong. Two of my friends at Oxford are conscientious objectors. I wrote a letter of recommendation for one of them to his Mississippi draft board, a letter I am more proud of than anything else I wrote at Oxford last year. One of my roommates is a draft resister who is possibly under indictment and may never be able to go home again. He is one of the bravest, best men I know. His country needs men like him more than they know. That he is considered a criminal is an obscenity.
The decision not to be a resister and the related subsequent decisions were the most difficult of my life. I decided to accept the draft in spite of my beliefs for one reason only, to maintain my political viability within the system. For years I have worked to prepare myself for a political life characterized by both practical political ability and concern for rapid social progress. It is a life I still feel compelled to try to lead. I do not think our system of government is by definition corrupt, however dangerous and inadequate it has been in recent years. (The society may be corrupt, but that is not the same thing, and if that is true we are all
When the draft came, despite political convictions, I was having a hard time facing the prospect of fighting a war I had been fighting against, and that is why I contacted you. ROTC was the one way in which I could possibly, but not positively, avoid both Vietnam and the resistance. Going on with my education, even coming back to England, played no part in my decision to join ROTC. I am back here, and would have been at Arkansas Law School because there is nothing else I can do. I would like to have been able to take a year out perhaps to teach in a small college or work on some community action project and in the process to decide whether to attend law school or graduate school and how to begin putting what I have learned to use.
But the particulars of my personal life are not near as important to me as the principles involved. After I signed the ROTC letter of intent I began to wonder whether the compromise I had made with myself was not more objectionable than the draft would have been, because I had no interest in the ROTC program itself and all I seem to have done was to protect myself from physical harm. Also, I had begun to think that I had deceived you, not by lies--there were none--but by failing to tell you all of the things I'm telling you now. I doubt I had the mental coherence to articulate them then.
At that time, after we had made our agreement and you had sent my 1D deferment to my draft board, the anguish and loss of my self regard and self confidence really set in. I hardly slept for weeks and kept going by eating compulsively and reading until exhaustion brought sleep. Finally, on September 12 I stayed up all night writing a letter to the chairman of my draft board, saying basically what is in the preceding paragraph, thanking him for trying to help in a case where he really couldn't, and stating that I couldn't do the ROTC after all and would he please draft me as soon as possible.
I never mailed the letter, but I did carry it with me every day until I got on the plane to return to England. I didn't mail the letter because I didn't see, in the end, how my going in the army and maybe going to Vietnam would achieve anything except a feeling that I had punished myself and gotten what I deserved. So I came back to England to try to make something of the second year of my Rhodes scholarship.
And that is where I am now, writing to you because you have been good to me and have a right to know what I think and feel. I am writing too in the hope that my telling this one story will help you understand more clearly how so many fine people have come to find themselves loving their country but loathing the military, to which you and other good men have devoted years, lifetimes and the best service you could give. To many of us, it is no longer clear what is service and what is dis-service, or if it is clear, the conclusion is likely to be illegal.
Forgive the length of this letter. There was much to say. There is still a lot to be said, but it can wait. Please say hello to Colonel
Jones for me.
December 12, 1969 (approximately): Clinton visits Norway where he meets with various "peace" organizations.
December 12 (approx.) - December 31, 1969: ???
Comment: After visiting Norway with Father McSorley, Clinton's movements and activities are unknown until he arrives in Moscow on December 31, 1969. There are a lot of questions as to who Clinton met and where he went during this time period.
December 31, 1969 - January 6, 1970: Clinton travels to Moscow. He later said "relations between our two countries were pretty good then." He then described his visit as "a very friendly time, a good atmosphere."
Despite Clinton's claim that January 1970 was "a time of détente," relations between the United States and the Soviet Union were anything but warm. The Soviets were supplying the North Vietnamese with advisors and anti-aircraft weapons.
September 7, 1992: Col. Eugene Holmes, USA Ret., signs a notarized statement in which he asserts that "there is the imminent danger to our country of a draft dodger becoming Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States." He later writes that "I believe that he (Clinton) purposefully deceived me, using the possibility of joining the ROTC as a ploy to work with the draft board to delay his induction and get a new draft reclassification."
Brief Background on Colonel Holmes
Colonel Eugene Holmes is a highly decorated officer of the United States Army. He is a survivor of the Bataan Death March and three and a half years as a POW of the Japanese. He served 32 years in the army before retiring with 100% disability. His decorations include the Silver Star, 2 Bronze Stars, 2 Legions of Merit, the Army Commendation Medal and many others.
During the Vietnam War, he personally inducted both his sons into the service--one for 3 years as a regular army enlisted man, and the other as a commissioned officer (after he had completed ROTC training).
Col. Homes Notarized Statement
As Entered in Congressional Record (Page: H5551) 7/30/93
September 7, 1992. Memorandum for Record:
Subject: Bill Clinton and the University of Arkansas ROTC Program:
There have been many unanswered questions as to the circumstances surrounding Bill Clinton's involvement with the ROTC department at the University of Arkansas. Prior to this time I have not felt the necessity for discussing the details. The reason I have not done so before is that my poor physical health (a consequence of participation in the Bataan Death March and the subsequent three and a half years interment in Japanese POW camps) has precluded me from getting into what I felt was unnecessary involvement. However, present polls show that there is the imminent danger to our country of a draft dodger becoming Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States. While it is true, as Mr. Clinton has stated, that there were many others who avoided serving their country in the Vietnam war, they are not aspiring to be the President of the United States.
The tremendous implications of the possibility of his becoming Commander-in-Chief of the United States Armed Forces compels me now to comment on the facts concerning Mr. Clinton's evasion of the draft. This account would not have been imperative had Bill Clinton been completely honest with the American public concerning this matter. But as Mr. Clinton replied on a news conference this evening (September 5, 1992) after being asked another particular about his dodging the draft,
"Almost everyone concerned with these incidents are dead. I have no more comments to make". Since I may be the only person living who can give a first hand account of what actually transpired, I am obligated by my love for my country and my sense of duty to divulge what actually happened and make it a matter of record.
Bill Clinton came to see me at my home in 1969 to discuss his desire to enroll in the ROTC program at the University of Arkansas. We engaged in an extensive, approximately two (2) hour interview. At no time during this long conversation about his desire to join the program did he inform me of his involvement, participation and actually organizing protests against the United States involvement in South East Asia. He was shrewd enough to realize that had I been aware of his activities, he would not
have been accepted into the ROTC program as a potential officer in the United States Army.
The next day I began to receive phone calls regarding Bill Clinton's draft status. I was informed by the draft board that it was of interest to Senator Fullbright's office that Bill Clinton, a Rhodes Scholar, should be admitted to the ROTC program. I received several such calls. The general message conveyed by the draft board to me was that Senator Fullbright's office was putting pressure on them and that they needed my help. I then made the necessary arrangements to enroll Mr. Clinton into the ROTC
program at the University of Arkansas.
I was not "saving" him from serving his country, as he erroneously thanked me for in his letter from England (dated December 3,1969). I was making it possible for a Rhodes Scholar to serve in the military as an officer. In retrospect I see that Mr. Clinton had no intention of following through with his agreement to join the Army ROTC program at the University of Arkansas or to attend the University of Arkansas Law School. I had explained to him the necessity of enrolling at the University of Arkansas as a student in order to be eligible to take the ROTC program at the University. He never enrolled at the University of Arkansas, but instead enrolled at Yale after attending Oxford. I believe that he purposely deceived me, using the possibility of joining the
ROTC as a ploy to work with the draft board to delay his induction and get a new draft classification.
The December 3rd letter written to me by Mr. Clinton, and subsequently taken from the files by Lt. Col. Clint Jones, my executive officer, was placed into the ROTC files so that a record would be available in case the applicant should again petition to enter the ROTC program. The information in that letter alone would have restricted Bill Clinton from ever qualifying to be an officer in the United States Military. Even more significant was his lack of veracity in purposefully defrauding the military by deceiving me, both in concealing his anti-military activities overseas and his counterfeit intentions for later military service. These actions cause me to question both his patriotism and his integrity. When I consider the caliber, the bravery, and the patriotism of the fine young soldiers whose deaths I have witnessed, and others whose funerals I have attended.... When I reflect on not only the willingness but eagerness that so many of them displayed in their earnest desire to defend and serve their country, it is untenable and incomprehensible to me that a man who was not merely unwilling to serve his country, but actually protested against its military, should ever be in the position of Commander-in-Chief of our armed Forces.
I write this declaration not only for the living and future generations, but for those who fought and died for our country. If space and time permitted I would include the names of the ones I knew and fought with, and along with them I would mention my brother Bob, who was killed during World War II and is buried in Cambridge, England (at the age of 23, about the age Bill Clinton was when he was over in England protesting the war). I have agonized over whether or not to submit this statement to the American people. But, I realize that even though I served my country by being in the military for over 32 years, and having gone through the ordeal of months of combat under the worst of conditions followed by years of imprisonment by the Japanese,it is not enough. I'm writing these comments to let everyone know that I love my country more than I do my own personal security and well-being. I will go to my grave loving these United States of America and the liberty for which so many men have
fought and died. Because of my poor physical condition this will be my final statement. I will make no further comments to any of the media regarding this issue.
Colonel, U.S.A., Ret.
Last year I read a book entitled "Year of the Rat" by Edward Timperlake and William C. Triplett II. The book relates how Bill Clinton compromised U.S. security for Chinese cash. After reading the book, I wondered if Communist Agents might have contacted Bill Clinton while he was in England. If so, has he worked with these people throughout his political career? The book showed links to known or suspected Communist Chinese Agents from very early in his political career in Arkansas.
Government agents, including United States, Russia and Communist China are always looking for people to aid them in their cause. Part of an agent's job is to find the individual's weaknesses. We all know that Bill Clinton has at least two weaknesses, women and the quest for power. From my search on the Internet, I believe that Bill Clinton was contacted by Communist agents and even made a trip to Moscow during December 1969.
Like the old saying "if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and talks like a duck then it is a duck." I have drawn my own inferences about Bill Clinton from the books I have read and the recent Internet search. I suggest you do your own research and form your own opinion about Bill Clinton. Remember Bill Clinton has lied under oath and has a nickname of "Slick Willie". Anything he says should be looked at suspiciously until you can prove it to be true. That's pretty good advice to apply anywhere including what you read on the Internet. Take whatever information is available to you but hold your judgment until you can prove to yourself the information is reliable.
As I have previously indicated, Bill Clinton went to the extreme and used everything available to him to avoid the draft. During those War Years, many college students used any means possible to stay out of the military. If everyone put as much time and effort into serving their Country and doing their duty, perhaps there would have been a different outcome. Too many people concentrated on their personal well-being as individuals and not working for the good of our Country.
(Featuring 60's music and AFVN snippets)
Clinton / Democratic Bashing Accusations
Index, Vietnam Wall, 1st Cav Medics, MIA/POW, CMB, Author's Tour, Glossary, Experiences, Soldier's Own Obituary, June 2, 1969, Events, December 2, 1969, Photos, Agent Orange, Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, Medics History, Statistics, Draft, Tillquist, Tabasco's C-Ration Cookbook, Student Surveys & Questions, Request for Help, Vietnam Patches, Remembrance, Links, Webrings, Jane Fonda, Simpler Version of Tet 68
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