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Shrubya on the Champagne Squad of National Guard

 

Bush military file lacks required records

Monday, September 6, 2004 Posted: 1:47 PM EDT (1747 GMT)

 

 

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Documents that should have been written to explain gaps in President Bush's Texas Air National Guard service are missing from the military records released about his service in 1972 and 1973, according to regulations and outside experts.

 

For example, Air National Guard regulations at the time required commanders to write an investigative report for the Air Force when Bush missed his annual medical exam in 1972. The regulations also required commanders to confirm in writing that Bush received counseling after missing five months of drills.

 

No such records have been made public and the government told The Associated Press in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit that it has released all records it can find.

 

Outside experts suggest that National Guard commanders may not have produced documentation required by their own regulations.

 

"One of the downfalls back then in the National Guard was that not everyone wanted to be chief of staff of the Air Force. They just wanted to fly or maintain airplanes. So the record keeping could have been better," said retired Maj. Gen. Paul A. Weaver Jr., a former head of the Air National Guard. He said the documents may not have been kept in the first place.

 

Democrats allege favoritism

Challenging the government's declaration that no more documents exist, the AP identified five categories of records that should have been generated after Bush skipped his pilot's physical and missed five months of training.

 

"Each of these actions by any member of the National Guard should have generated the creation of many documents that have yet to be produced," AP lawyer David Schulz wrote the Justice Department August 26.

 

White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan said there were no other documents to explain discrepancies in Bush's files.

 

Military service during the Vietnam War has become an issue in the presidential election as both candidates debate the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

 

Democrat John Kerry commanded a Navy Swift boat in Vietnam and won five medals, including a Silver Star. But his heroism has been challenged in ads by some veterans who support Bush.

 

The president served stateside in the Air National Guard during Vietnam. Democrats have accused him of shirking his Guard service and getting favored treatment as the son of a prominent Washington figure.

 

The AP talked to experts unaffiliated with either campaign who have reviewed Bush's files for missing documents. They said it was not unusual for guard commanders to ignore deficiencies by junior officers such as Bush. But they said missing a physical exam, which caused him to be grounded, was not common.

 

"It's sort of like a code of honor that you didn't go DNF (duty not including flying)," said retired Air Force Col. Leonard Walls, who flew 181 combat missions over Vietnam. "There was a lot of pride in keeping combat-ready status."

 

Bush has said he fulfilled all his obligations. He was in the Texas Air National Guard from 1968 to 1973 and was trained to fly F-102 fighters.

 

"I'm proud of my service," Bush told a rally last weekend in Lima, Ohio.

 

Records of Bush's service have significant gaps, starting in 1972. Bush has said he left Texas that year to work on the unsuccessful Senate campaign in Alabama of family friend Winton Blount.

 

Missing files

The five kinds of missing files are:

 

 

A report from the Texas Air National Guard to Bush's local draft board certifying that Bush remained in good standing; The government has released copies of those DD Form 44 documents for Bush for 1971 and earlier years but not for 1972 or 1973. Records from Bush's draft board in Houston do not show his draft status changed after he joined the guard in 1968. The AP obtained the draft board records August 27 under the Freedom of Information Act.

 

 

Records of a required investigation into why Bush lost flight status; When Bush skipped his 1972 physical, regulations required his Texas commanders to "direct an investigation as to why the individual failed to accomplish the medical examination," according to the Air Force manual at the time. An investigative report was supposed to be forwarded "with the command recommendation" to Air Force officials "for final determination." Bush's spokesmen have said he skipped the exam because he knew he would be doing desk duty in Alabama. But Bush was required to take the physical by the end of July 1972, more than a month before he won final approval to train in Alabama.

 

 

A written acknowledgment from Bush that he had received the orders grounding him; His Texas commanders were ordered to have Bush sign such a document; but none has been released.

 

 

Reports of formal counseling sessions Bush was required to have after missing more than three training sessions; Bush missed at least five months' worth of National Guard training in 1972. No documents have surfaced indicating Bush was counseled or had written authorization to skip that training or make it up later. Commanders did have broad discretion to allow guardsmen to make up for missed training sessions, said Weaver and Lawrence Korb, Pentagon personnel chief during the Reagan administration from 1981 to 1985. "If you missed it, you could make it up," said Korb, who now works for the Center for American Progress, which supports Kerry.

 

 

A signed statement from Bush acknowledging he could be called to active duty if he did not promptly transfer to another guard unit after leaving Texas; The statement was required as part of a Vietnam-era crackdown on no-show guardsmen. Bush was approved in September 1972 to train with the Alabama unit, more than four months after he left Texas.

 

From Guard to Harvard

Bush was approved to train in September, October and November 1972 with the Alabama Air National Guard's 187th Tactical Reconnaissance Group. The only record tying Bush to that unit is a dental exam at the group's Montgomery base in January 1973. No records have been released giving Bush permission to train with the 187th after November 1972.

 

Walls, the Air Force combat veteran, was assigned to the 187th in 1972 and 1973 to train its pilots to fly the F-4 Phantom. Walls and more than a dozen other members of the 187th say they never saw Bush. One member of the unit, retired Lt. Col. John Calhoun, has said he remembers Bush showing up for training with the 187th.

 

Pay records show Bush was credited for training in January, April and May 1973; other files indicate that service was outside Texas.

 

A May 1973 yearly evaluation from Bush's Texas unit gives the future president no ratings and stated Bush had not been seen at the Texas base since April 1972. In a directive from June 29, 1973, an Air Force personnel official pressed Bush's unit for information about his Alabama service.

 

"This officer should have been reassigned in May 1972," wrote Master Sgt. Daniel P. Harkness, "since he no longer is training in his AFSC (Air Force Service Category, or job title) or with his unit of assignment."

 

Then-Maj. Rufus G. Martin replied November 12, 1973: "Not rated for the period 1 May 72 through 30 Apr 73. Report for this period not available for administrative reasons."

 

By then, Texas Air National Guard officials had approved Bush's request to leave the guard to attend Harvard Business School; his last days of duty were in July 1973.

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Memo to Bush-haters:

 

No one but you cares about Bush's military service.

 

Bush has never made his military service an issue.

 

America, in general, doesn't give a shit what happened back then. What they care about is what he's done as Commander in Chief.

 

John Kerry is the one who wants to use four months of his life while he was 25 as a reason to be leader of the free world.

 

Not Bush.

 

Historically yours,

 

FFF

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Well, about 50% of the electorate are probably in the "Bush-hater" camp and they DO care about his military record, at least as it relates to his truthfulness. Despite the lies of the Swift Boat Veterans, people know that Kerry is a legitimate war hero (as were Ike, JFK and Dubya's father). Military experience IS something voters look at, which is why the Bushies have been so desperate to smear Kerry and cover up Dubya's dubious service in the "Champagne Unit."

 

Meanwhile, Bush was on TV last night exhorting a crowd (can't remember the location, possibly in SE Missouri). He was unnaturally hyped, jabbing his finger at the air (or the crowd) and just rapping out sentences that didn't connect and made no sense at all. Kerry, to the contrary, seems surprisingly relaxed and looks like he's enjoying himself. He smiles a lot. He seems pretty unflappable. That's a big contrast to how stiff and rigid he was earlier in the year, and as voters see the contrast between Kerry (who is in control of himself) and the yipping Dubya, that may change some minds. . .

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>Military experience IS something voters look at

 

Correct.

 

John Kerry: 120+ days during 1968/69 on a boat as commander of, what, 12 men?

 

George W. Bush: 3.5 years as Commander in Chief of the largest military in history. He has has waged and won two military victories. In addition, he is leading a global war against Islamic fanatics.

 

I'm sorry, what exactly was your point?

 

Militaristically yours,

 

FFF

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>>What they care about is what he's done as Commander in

>>Chief.

>

>Killed 1,000 Americans in Iraq, losing a war based on lies. . . .

 

that John Kerry and John Edwards voted for and supported - along with Hillary Clinton.

 

And - just by the way - the notion that we "lost" the war in Iraq is one of but an infinite number of examples illustrating why no political candidate for national office can all thesemlves a "liberal" and have any hope of winning - why they have to run as far away from possible from that term - and it's also why the Democrats had to pretend that people like you aren't really in their party - because they know that if people get exposed to what liberals REALLY think (for instance, that we "lost" the war in Iraq), then liberals would be even more marginalized and scorned than they already are.

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Kerry is making a mistake in continuing to focus on the Vietnam war. Most people realize it is not relevant now. The new ads about Bush's National Guard record help keep the focus on Vietnam, a losing issue for Kerry.

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>George W. Bush: 3.5 years as Commander in Chief of the largest

>military in history. He has has waged and won two military

>victories. In addition, he is leading a global war against

>Islamic fanatics.

>

>I'm sorry, what exactly was your point?

>

>Moronically yours,

>

>FFF

 

Two military victories? For whom?

 

Could you be referring to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq? Let's take a closer look at those "victories" and see what the really mean.

 

The biggest victor in Afghanistan would have to be the growers of opium poppies. Production has never been higher. Much of our military assets were withdrawn from Afghanistan, diminishing the chances of capturing or killing Osama bin Laden, so they could be redeployed in Iraq, to go after an easy target, Saddam Hussein, and take charge of the oil there.

 

Then there's Iraq and "Mission Accomplished". I'm sure the families and loved ones of the American soldiers who are dying there daily really see this as a great victory. The real beneficiary of Dubya's Iraq misadventure is the furtherance of Islamic extremism and new recruits of Al Queda.

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Kerry made his service in Vietnam the centerpiece of his campaign, from Iowa on, and now wants no one to look at it carefully. If there's nothing there, all he has to do is sign the release form to the Pentagon and his file will become public, which it should, given that it is his principal reference for leadership at this point. I think he is making a really, really serious mistake in not laying the whole thing open. It makes it look as though there's something to hide, and his hero stance makes that more serious than it otherwise should be. Bush has opened up his file, and it keeps dribbling out. Not much to crow about in it, either. But he has opened it completely to public scrutiny.

 

Bush has never in his life denied being an alcoholic frat boy jerk till his wife read him the riot act (I forget when) and he went off the sauce and straightened up. So of course there is going to be dirt. Probably quite a lot of it, and Kitty Kelley has been doing the research for a while on it. Nice timing on the book, by the way.

 

So what? We are not electing the 1968-1971 Kerry, nor the not quite grown up Bush. We are choosing between two grown men with substantial public records. I am more interested in what they have done in public life and what that indicates they might do for the next four years. I think with Bush we will get more of the same, some of which is ok with me and a lot of which is not. I don't have much of an idea about Kerry, except that he isn't Bush, he served in Vietnam, he made a lot of really radical statements after his service which will now come to haunt him, he was apparently a decent Lt. Gov. to Dukakis (whom I admire as a principled liberal), and he spent about 18 years in the Senate doing what most senators do, which is working to get re-elected and making hay while the sun shines for constitutents. And of course, Teresa, who is a lot of fun. I'm sorry they have hidden her away somewhere.

 

Kerry's problem is that pretty much everything is known about Bush's public record, and most of us are still learning about Kerry's, especially since he chose not to tell us much about his years in elective office at the convention. A pity, really. He may not have time (or money) enough at this point to make the case.

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>> In addition, he is leading a global war against

>>Islamic fanatics.

>

>1) no one is following

 

Are Great Britian, Italy, Poland, Denmark, Spain, El Salvador and scores of other countries "no one"? Isn't that a bit xenophobic and hateful for a nice little liberal like you to speak so contemptuously and dismissively about other countries simply because they have adopted policies (joining America in fighting terrorists instead of sticking their asses up in the air for them) which you dislike?

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Logic And Reason

 

>>> In addition, he is leading a global war against

>>>Islamic fanatics.

>>

>>1) no one is following

>

>Are Great Britian, Italy, Poland, Denmark, Spain, El Salvador

>and scores of other countries "no one"? Isn't that a bit

>xenophobic and hateful for a nice little liberal like you to

>speak so contemptuously and dismissively about other countries

>simply because they have adopted policies (joining America in

>fighting terrorists instead of sticking their asses up in the

>air for them) which you dislike?

 

None of the first world and substantial all of the second and third world countries on the planet is in favor of terrorist nor do they support terror. On the other hand, very few nations support the policies of Mr. Bush, nor do their citizens believe that he is "winning the peace." The Coalition which did support the invasion of Iraq was a small number, most of which were bought and paid for their support.

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>Are Great Britian, Italy, Poland, Denmark, Spain, El Salvador

>and scores of other countries "no one"?

 

The "leaders" of those countries are increasingly "no one." Look at the Spanish election results, as well as the Spanish polls that show almost no support for the troops that since have been withdrawn from Iraq. Poland is pulling out. Blair is in trouble in England and may lose his job over Iraq unless he follows the advice of others in his party, and admits his mistakes. Governments in Italy and Denmark have lost popular support because of marching in lockstep with Bush, toward disaster. Two thirds of Italians favor withdrawal of that country's troops. El Salvador is now the only Latin American country which still has troops in Iraq. Nicaragua, Honduras and the Dominican Republic withdrew their troops from Iraq following Spain's pullout in April.

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>Memo to Ignoto:

>

>Bush didn't kill them. The savages, who, if they had a chance,

>would gladly saw off that head of yours you frequently use for

>cocksucking.

>

>On video, no less.

>

>Cinematically yours,

>

>FFF

 

Let me get this clear, Fang: You spend virtually all your waking hours posting drivel on a site dedicated to male prostitutes, but you have the chutzpah to criticize someone who may (or may not) have filmed his own sexual activities or appeared in a porn film? Not to mention referring derisively to cocksucking, a sexual activity you're undoubtedly engaged in. Time to go polish the glass your house is built of, hon! And when you've finished, you can start scrubbing the black off your ample pot! x(

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