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February 11, 2004

MORE ON BILL BURKETT....I've got good news and bad news. I've been trying to reach Bill Burkett for the past couple of days, but after this morning's post about him I decided I should try a little harder. The good news is that I finally got hold of him a little before noon and we talked for nearly two hours about his story.

Basically, he confirmed his account and answered several of my questions about it. He says he accidentally overheard the conversation in General James' office about cleaning up George Bush's National Guard record and then discussed it with a friend who subsequently led him to the building where he saw 30 or 40 Bush documents lying in a trash can. He agrees that his "clarification" in 2000 went too far and says that he got scared by all the attention and backed off more than he should have. And he's quite frank about his run-ins with Dan Bartlett and the medical problems that he blames on retaliation by Bush's staff.

Overall, then, his story hangs together reasonably well — but whether his story is true is still a judgment call and I think the only way for people to judge the whole thing is to hear it in his own words. And that's where the bad news comes in.

I have to head out right now to get another cortisone shot, so I can't work on this for another few hours. What's more, the clerical staff here at Calpundit HQ seems to have cleared the base or something, and transcribing even the relevant chunks of our conversation is going to take quite a while. So I don't know when I'll be able to post this stuff.

However, it sounds like Burkett has talked to dozens of reporters in the past few days, so I wouldn't be surprised if his name starts popping up more frequently in news accounts. Keep your eyes peeled.

Posted by Kevin Drum at February 11, 2004 02:37 PM | TrackBack


Comments

Wow, you've taken blogging to another level Kevin.

Posted by: Old Hat at February 11, 2004 02:39 PM | PERMALINK

James Moore looks like a good one to call as well...

As for President Bush's missing year in Alabama, there may be still more embarrassment to come. James Moore, a well-known Bush commentator, is about to publish a book entitled Bush's War for Re-election. In it, the author will claim that from 1994 onwards, friends of President Bush worked stealthily to "clean up" his military records.

According to Mr Moore, political aides of the then Governor of Texas "began contacting commanders and former roommates who would spin and cover up his guard record. When the book comes out, people will be on the record testifying to that fact". The retired Gen Turnipseed will be reading with interest.

http://tinyurl.com/2fkhm

Posted by: Anthrax Coulter at February 11, 2004 02:42 PM | PERMALINK

what's happening to (in a good way) amatuer hour? Kos has real reporting from Iowa, now you do this? Won't you have to quit your job at some point?

keep up the good work.

Posted by: Dan in Chicago at February 11, 2004 02:42 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, I think it's called journalism. ;-) The biggest difference, I think, is that Kevin keeps updating us on his progress instead of waiting until all the facts are in.

Not that I mind that at all.

Posted by: Kevin Brennan at February 11, 2004 02:46 PM | PERMALINK

Realclearpolitics.com just put up some pretty sharp criticism of you on this issue Kevin, in their 'Commentary' section.

IMO they appear to make a reasonable case.

Posted by: JK at February 11, 2004 02:51 PM | PERMALINK

Take that cortisone shot and get back in the game. This is getting to exciting to sit on the sidelines till further notice. Take one for the team.

Posted by: Erik at February 11, 2004 02:53 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, stop this insanity!

This obsession makes me sick!

How dare you stoop so low!

You'd better go back to catblogging!

What they say about a breakthrough in Najaf is completely an illusion. They are sending their warplanes to fly very low in order to have vibrations on these sacred places . . . they are trying to crack the buildings by flying low over them!

Oops, wrong laughable propaganda.

Posted by: Karl Rove at February 11, 2004 02:54 PM | PERMALINK

No matter what happens on the AWOL issue we should remember that the real 800 pound gorilla is why was Bush in the Texas Guard anyway. Lets get an answer on that too.

Posted by: John Van Dyke at February 11, 2004 02:56 PM | PERMALINK

Realclearpolitics.com just put up some pretty sharp criticism of you on this issue Kevin, in their 'Commentary' section.

IMO they appear to make a reasonable case.

Of course they do. Kevin is descending into Freeper-land (uh, Democrats.com-land, as if it made a difference).

Will Kevin respond?

(*keep up the good work, Kevin!* -- just wanted to fit in)

Posted by: Al at February 11, 2004 02:59 PM | PERMALINK

Please stop trying to do real investigative journalism. I am having trouble concentrating at work.

Posted by: Hank Essay at February 11, 2004 02:59 PM | PERMALINK

Bad news, Kevin. The guys who knew Bush in the TANG are now showing up.

Letters to the Editor

'Bush and I were lieutenants'
George Bush and I were lieutenants and pilots in the 111th Fighter Interceptor Squadron (FIS), Texas Air National Guard (ANG) from 1970 to 1971. We had the same flight and squadron commanders (Maj. William Harris and Lt. Col. Jerry Killian, both now deceased). While we were not part of the same social circle outside the base, we were in the same fraternity of fighter pilots, and proudly wore the same squadron patch.'

The rest is at:

http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20040210-082910-8424r.htm

I think this is the last day of serious press scrutiny of this issue. Good work, though. This stuff needs to come out when the candidate can find the info to answer the questions. I think Bush made a terrible mistake by not coming clean on the drunk driving arrest well before the Dems sprung it in Sept 2000. I think that's why the popular vote was so close.

Posted by: Mike K at February 11, 2004 03:00 PM | PERMALINK

Mike, you might want to check the dates in that letter and compare it to Kevin's writing.

Posted by: Boronx at February 11, 2004 03:01 PM | PERMALINK

My compliments, Kevin. And don't come up for air. Stay on this story. It could mean the end of Bush. If that comes about, who would play you in the movie?

And by the way, does anybody know the progress of that rumored anti-Bush book by Kitty
Kelley? It's supposed to be definitive.

Posted by: Sam Spade at February 11, 2004 03:05 PM | PERMALINK

TANG guys are showing up - so what.

Nobody is questioning 70-71 other than the fact he used Daddy's juice to get him in the guard. Where the hell was he in 72, and were are the guardsman from the Alabama unit that served with George?

Posted by: FarmerJack at February 11, 2004 03:05 PM | PERMALINK

I found this aside amusing at the Real Clear Politics attempted smear of Kevin:

"...The point I want to make to Kevin is that this isn't some coffee house parlor game. You're directly attacking and questioning the character of the President of the United States. That's still a big deal in my book, and something to be taken very seriously. Even worse, you're demanding perfect transparency and absolute accountability from the President for things that happened 32 years ago, yet you aren't fully disclosing details that have a direct bearing on the biases and motivations of the people providing you with information that you're disseminating through your blog..."

You know, I am kind of wondering when these new rules came to effect. Maybe I didn't get the "new rules of questioning a President" memo that was distributed on Jan. 21, 2001.

Did anyone else get it?

Posted by: Hank Essay at February 11, 2004 03:06 PM | PERMALINK

Here's an interesting tidbit: Bush nominated General James to be Director of the Air National Guard.

Posted by: Sven at February 11, 2004 03:06 PM | PERMALINK

This is great stuff, Kevin. You said it will take some time to transcribe the conversation, I'm just curious to know if you recorded it or took notes? Because if you recorded it, and you want us to hear it in his own words, couldn't you just put it up as an mp3?

Posted by: Spork at February 11, 2004 03:09 PM | PERMALINK

I think the big problem here is that nobody's had the balls to just ask what we're all thinking... It seems to me that the WH has probably been technically truthful in a "dependes on what the meaning of 'is' is" sort of way. I don't doubt that W "fulfilled his duties," which seems to be what the line is. What are the chances that anyone in the press corps asks "Scott, can you categorically deny rumors that the president was being treated for drug or alcohol addiction in 1973 and that this is the reason for some of the discrepancies in his military record?" Could he actually categorically deny this, or would he just fall back on the everything before 1974 is off-limits thing?

Posted by: greg at February 11, 2004 03:10 PM | PERMALINK

Hank, that quote is priceless. You wonder if Republicans believe their own bullshit or not. It's hard to tell sometimes.

Posted by: Dan in Chicago at February 11, 2004 03:11 PM | PERMALINK

Mike K...
This same person has written letters to several newspapers since at least as early as last year. Why should you give him any more credence than anyone else. Kevin is doing an investigation on HIS personal blog, on his personal time...so what's yer gripe?

Posted by: whynot at February 11, 2004 03:11 PM | PERMALINK

>the real 800 pound gorilla is why was
>Bush in the Texas Guard anyway

Nah, that's no mystery. He was in the Guard for the same reasons most people were in the Guard in 1970, and frankly, that's no real discredit. Hell, I'd have done whatever was in my power to avoid getting shipped to Viet Nam as well (had I not already gotten the deferment for being a toddler), and that holds true for 'most everybody if they're honest about it. The rich get some extra breaks, not just in this, but in most areas. That's life and it has always been thus. It's no use getting exercised over it.

The 800 pound gorilla is why are they continuing to spin and stonewall over something that isn't that big a deal? Slipshod Guard service, from what I've read here and elsewhere by people who were involved then, was relatively commonplace. No, something else is going on here, and it might something that nobody here has yet imagined. I'm unsure whether we have enough the pieces of the puzzle just yet to know what we are looking at.

Posted by: apostropher at February 11, 2004 03:13 PM | PERMALINK

The irony meter pegged at maximum when Mike K. linked to the Washington Times and then said "I think this is the last day of serious press scrutiny of this issue.".

Posted by: Blue the Wild Dog at February 11, 2004 03:13 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, say what you want about the Moonies, but they sure know how to report a news story.

Posted by: greg at February 11, 2004 03:16 PM | PERMALINK


The right is basically saying the same thing now that they've been saying all along:

The available evidence is inconclusive, so Bush is innocent, so quit looking and forget about it.

So far, the evidence is pretty obviously inconclusive. That means that we have to keep looking. There's aboslutely no harm in looking...so long as we don't exaggerate the evidence, jump to conclusions or make slanderous statements while we do so. I really do think that we should all calm down a little bit and see how this story develops. There's plenty of reason to be suspicious , but insufficient grounds for convicting the president of anything yet.

Posted by: Winston Smith at February 11, 2004 03:20 PM | PERMALINK

Time to ask for money, Kev. For you, or at least for your favorite candidate or charity.

You've earned it.

Posted by: praktike at February 11, 2004 03:21 PM | PERMALINK

"Mike, you might want to check the dates in that letter and compare it to Kevin's writing."

You might want to read the letter. How about the part where they changed airplanes and all the Vietnam guys were coming home with more hours and the low hours guys like Bush were getting shunted aside ? You just don't get it. The story is over. By 1972 the war was winding down and no one wanted these new pilots when there was an excess with combat experience.

"Mike K...
This same person has written letters to several newspapers since at least as early as last year. Why should you give him any more credence than anyone else. Kevin is doing an investigation on HIS personal blog, on his personal time...so what's yer gripe?"

No gripe. You can spend the next 10 months trying to make this dog hunt. I have already commended Kevin for his work on this and even CONTRIBUTED to his blog. How many of you lefties have done that ? The story is over unless somebody, and if there is still something I hope it's Kevin, finds something. I don't think it will happen.

Want to talk about policy or would you all rather spank the monkey on stuff that won't count?


Posted by: Mike K at February 11, 2004 03:21 PM | PERMALINK

Read David Corn's newest blog entry. A good overview, as always...

http://www.thenation.com/capitalgames/index.mhtml?bid=3&pid=1254

Posted by: Hank Essay at February 11, 2004 03:21 PM | PERMALINK

Bill Burkett's story on Real Audio

http://www.pacifica.org/programs/peacewatch/030502_peacewatch.html

From May 2, 2003, Pacifica Radio, same day as W spoke on the aircraft carrier.

Just thought someone out there might want to hear him tell his story. It starts about 10 minutes into the "stream the whole show".

Keep it up, Kevin! Thanks!

Posted by: da' Jamester at February 11, 2004 03:23 PM | PERMALINK

You just don't get it. The story is over. By 1972 the war was winding down and no one wanted these new pilots when there was an excess with combat experience.

Translation: Listen, I know Bush was probably ripping lines of Bolivian pixie dust off of a hooker's tits and sweating burbon every waking hour of his life back then, but that's no reason to look into this any further. Please. I beg of you. Please stop looking. Nothing to see here, move along.

Posted by: Old Hat at February 11, 2004 03:23 PM | PERMALINK

William Campenni, the guy who wrote that Wash Times editorial, really damages the Bush Admin more than he helps.

1 - He can't clear up any confusion about Bush's dates in 72 and 73. So he's worthless here...

2 - ... but he might be of interest to the 9/11 commission. You see, Condoleeza claims that nobody could have predicted that terrorists could hijack passenger planes and use them as missiles against national targets. Except Campenni nearly had to shoot a hijacked passenger airliner out of the skies to prevent it from flying into the Nixon's home or a nuclear building. And this was thirty years ago!! Whoops!!

Posted by: Tuna at February 11, 2004 03:25 PM | PERMALINK

Check out Counterspin. Hesiod has some info on the writer Mike K refers to. As usual, no conclusions are made, just questions about authenticity.

Posted by: nashvegasdawg at February 11, 2004 03:26 PM | PERMALINK

Mike K,

Will you be willing to eat crow if W makes a "I know about the horrible dangers of drugs from personal experience" speech on the teevee, or will you maintain that it's not important?

Posted by: greg at February 11, 2004 03:26 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin:

If that's not your regular doctor in the examining room when you show up, don't let him inject anything into you. And don't get into anybody's car.

Posted by: peejay at February 11, 2004 03:27 PM | PERMALINK

"Nah, that's no mystery. He was in the Guard for the same reasons most people were in the Guard in 1970, and frankly, that's no real discredit."

No, there is a mystery. As long as the waiting list for the Guard was, anyone else would have been accepted in about 1980. How did he get to the front of the line so quickly?

If you guessed "Daddy's a billionaire", pat yourself on the back. However, that doesn't qualify as "the same reason most people were in the Guard".

Posted by: scarshapedstar at February 11, 2004 03:28 PM | PERMALINK

"No matter what happens on the AWOL issue we should remember that the real 800 pound gorilla is why was Bush in the Texas Guard anyway. Lets get an answer on that too."

Two words. Affirmative Action.

Posted by: nashvegasdawg at February 11, 2004 03:31 PM | PERMALINK

"Want to talk about policy or would you all rather spank the monkey on stuff that won't count?"

Are you trying to claim that Kevin is light on policy? Puh-leaze. You never came here until this series of posts, huh? Read the archives.

Besides, when was the last time Bush talked about policy?

Posted by: scarshapedstar at February 11, 2004 03:31 PM | PERMALINK

A mention of Bush's cocaine arrest in Texas in 1972, that was "expunged":

Two books now contain the charge that Bush was arrested for possession of cocaine in 1972 in Texas, most likely in late November or December after his stint in Alabama. Bush was allowed to perform community service in 1973 by working for a minority children's program in Houston, Professionals United for Leadership League (PULL), chaired by his father. The record of that arrest was expunged, meaning he apparently received the equivalent of Youthful Offender status at the age of 26.

http://www.southerner.net/blog/awolbush.html

Posted by: aReader at February 11, 2004 03:32 PM | PERMALINK

Mike K.: Thanks for the link to the letter. I learned that Lt. Bush was defending America from the "shark-filled Gulf of Mexico" instead of being a rich-boy cokehead pussy who shirked his duty. Oh wait, he was all of that, too.

Posted by: Old Hat at February 11, 2004 03:37 PM | PERMALINK

Slipshod Guard service, from what I've read here and elsewhere by people who were involved then, was relatively commonplace.

True.

No, something else is going on here, and it might something that nobody here has yet imagined.

The "something else" is simply that Democrats and the press, and bloggers like Kevin Drum, are keeping on the story. It's a lot like the Plame affair (you know, that most recent of "scandals" that was supposedly going to see administration folks "frogmarched").

I can't wait for the payback (and payback's a bitch, don't forget). Bush has, in some sense, been "vetted", because he's already gone through a national election (I mean, surely the Dems weren't unaware of the concept of "opposition research" four years ago). Kerry hasn't. Look out.

What are the chances that anyone in the press corps asks "Scott, can you categorically deny rumors that the president was being treated for drug or alcohol addiction in 1973 and that this is the reason for some of the discrepancies in his military record?"

If anything, I hope such rumors are true. Seeking treatment is a legitimate excuse for missing guard drills. I mean, this is America in 2004; do you really think learning that the president underwent treatment for addiction is going to make people change their vote either way? By all accounts he ultimately changed his compulsive behaviors well before he enteted the White House (unlike some recent presidents I can think of). Indeed, as far as I know, Bush has said absolutely nothing that would even allow his critics, upon such a revelation, to accuse him of lying.

Posted by: P. B. Almeida at February 11, 2004 03:39 PM | PERMALINK

Good work, Kevin. Regardless of how it turns out, your efforts and account of them are first-rate.

Posted by: M. Aurelius at February 11, 2004 03:42 PM | PERMALINK

Nbc news just showed colin powell scolding a congressman for using the term awol in describing bush's service. thats all the coverage they gave this story today. sorry, but this story is dead.

Posted by: dfg at February 11, 2004 03:43 PM | PERMALINK

Indeed, as far as I know, Bush has said absolutely nothing that would even allow his critics, upon such a revelation, to accuse him of lying.

The president said he “absolutely” would release all records of his time in the National Guard to settle the issue. -MSNBC

Still waiting.

Posted by: Old Hat at February 11, 2004 03:45 PM | PERMALINK

"do you really think learning that the president underwent treatment for addiction is going to make people change their vote either way?"

Similar revelations did wonders for Rush Limbaughs career and certainly lying about your past is acceptable republican behavior. Nothing to see here folks, stop looking, Hey how 'bout them tax cuts

Posted by: FarmerJack at February 11, 2004 03:45 PM | PERMALINK

No, there is a mystery. As long as the waiting list for the Guard was, anyone else would have been accepted in about 1980. How did he get to the front of the line so quickly?

What I meant was the reason he was in the Guard was to avoid going to Viet Nam. As I then wrote, the rich get breaks. They always have. But that doesn't surprise or bother almost anybody who voted for him last time. And "he avoided going to war because he was rich" describes, well, most of the rich and most of the members of our government in that age cohort in both parties.

Either they are just reflexively hypersecretive about stuff that has been shown time and again not to be particularly damaging or something else is being hinted at and they are scrambling like hell - and have been since the 90's - to close off any light shining on it. Maybe it's just that they feel their carefully constructed hagiography is too important to let get smudged. Maybe it's something else. But I suspect that the missed Guard duty is not what they are actually sweating.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go polish my tinfoil.

Posted by: apostropher at February 11, 2004 03:47 PM | PERMALINK

sorry, but this story is dead.

Translation: Please be dead, please be dead, please be dead...

Posted by: Old Hat at February 11, 2004 03:47 PM | PERMALINK

No old hat, just pointing out the bias of nbc nightly news. For the second day they have bit on this zarquari/al queda line in describing 'terror' attacks on 'peaceful citizens working with americans'

Posted by: dfg at February 11, 2004 03:50 PM | PERMALINK

Nbc news just showed colin powell scolding a congressman for using the term awol in describing bush's service.

WOW! A Congressman said Bush was AWOL? Sounds like this story is picking up steam to me!

Posted by: Old Hat at February 11, 2004 03:51 PM | PERMALINK

Love it: Even Colin had deal with AWOL in an unrelated hearing...NOW, this is starting to remind of the Clinton years...Keep it up! Don't let up! Not for one single second....

Posted by: Hank Essay at February 11, 2004 03:51 PM | PERMALINK

"Even worse, you're demanding perfect transparency and absolute accountability from the President for things that happened 32 years ago, yet you aren't fully disclosing details that have a direct bearing on the biases and motivations of the people providing you with information that you're disseminating..."

That part of the RealPolitics quote that Hank submitted sounds like a perfect description of the Office of Independent Counsel as directed by Ken Starr. Would that these people had shown such high moral dudgeon while people were dragged before federal grand juries for eight years in the never ending Whitewater investigation. At least the bloggers are doing it at their own expense, and not abusing the federal judicial system in the process.
Besides, this is all Bush's fault. He should have released all his military records ten years ago when he ran for Governor, and we wouldn't be looking at it today. After all, other President's have, including his own father. He again promised to release all his records on national television on Sunday, and is now apparently backtracking on a technicality (he only meant payroll records), just as TalkingPointsMemo.com predicted he would.
Under these circumstances, it is not unreasonable to infer that something is amiss in his records.

Kevin, I think you're doing a great job, and have been much more careful with biased sources than the national media was during the entire Clinton administration. Don't listen to the critics at RealPolitics. They can dish it out, but they can't take it.

Posted by: leit at February 11, 2004 03:52 PM | PERMALINK

Hey Mike K:
Others have referred to Counterspin about your WashTimes letter to the editor, but there's an update. In an article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, he says he was in the Pennsylvania Air Guard in 1971 and grad school before that. Check out this story -- a little contradictory, isn't he?

Posted by: lou at February 11, 2004 04:01 PM | PERMALINK

This is what Republicans mean by "moving the goal posts":

Q: Release your complete military records.

A: Okay.

Q: That's only part of the record. Let's see the rest.

A: Hey! You're moving the goal posts?

Mike K. does a bit of this:

Q: Did Bush ever report for duty in Alabama?

A: Sure did.

Q: How come nobody he served with in Alabama remembers seeing him?

A: Here's some Texas officers who remember serving with him! In your face! Dead issue!

Q: Who said anything about Texas? Got anyone who's saw him report for duty in Alabama?

A: There you go again, moving the goal posts.

Posted by: Laertes at February 11, 2004 04:03 PM | PERMALINK

Raise your hand if you think the panic at the White House is because they have presented doctored or forged documents about W.'s service, or have tampered or destroyed records of the same.

Posted by: marky at February 11, 2004 04:10 PM | PERMALINK

All you republicans who think we are just wasting our time should be happy about that.

We don't need you to account for OUR time. Perhaps if you guys could account for the misleader's time we wouldn't be wasting ours.

So please, if you are so certain we are barking up the wrong tree then what's it to you?

Are you really concerned we may end up with egg on our faces?

I thought you would find that somewhat satisfying. But I have a feeling there is more to this "dead" story.

Posted by: Poz at February 11, 2004 04:11 PM | PERMALINK

Our rationale for starting this war is that after 9/11, we had to show them extremists that we were willing to fight back. They cannot get away with believing that they can attack us and that we won't fight.

So what, if our target is not relevent to the fight in question ?
It's the message to the extremists that counts.

[we=Democrats and progressives]
[extremists=wingnuts who hijacked America]
[target=Bush record in National Guard]

I think I'm beginning to like the neo-con philosophy.Next time wingnuts and the right want to hijack the country, don't expect the left to play nice.

Posted by: ch2 at February 11, 2004 04:11 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, good work. I'm not even on your side of this issue, mostly because my 11 years in uniform help me see gaping holes in the allegations, caused by simple lack of military knowledge. To this military ear, the mainstream discussion reminds me of my grandmother trying to describe her computer problems.

But at the same time I have to be impressed with the top-notch job YOU are doing. Great work. It's the most diligent and aggressive reporting--yes, reporting--I've seen on the National Guard issue. Big media, are you watching?

Posted by: BD at February 11, 2004 04:13 PM | PERMALINK

Multi props, Kevin.

Posted by: AF at February 11, 2004 04:14 PM | PERMALINK

After my own look at the payroll records released I am backing off the Democrats.com claim that they show no 1972 service after April. They show something going on in October and December but it is not clear what. The days credited for October and November first show up in the next quarter and they are listed as "inactive" duty days.

Looking at this pdf on page 4, which is labeled 4th quarter 1972, shows 0 days of service for the 4th Qtr. However, page 5 for the first quarter of 1973 in the same pdf show Oct. 28, 29 and Nov. 11-14 as code 22.

Interpreting codes - based on this pdf we know that Bush only had 9 days of active duty in 1972 and 32 points of inactive duty. Based on the codes for the days only codes 30 and 32 are active duty days - these are the only ones that add up to 9.

His active duty days are Feb 8, 10, 17 and 18; March 1, 6, and 15 and April 4 and 6. All other days are inactive duty days.

In the first quarter of 1993 he was backdated for inactive duty days. I do not know the difference right now between active and inactive duty days and I don't know if the fact that the October and November days did not show up in the original records for the fourth quarter is significant.

I do know that Harvey Gough, a 32 year veteran of the Texas National Guard has come forward. He was the Warrant Officer, C4, at Camp Mabry.

Gough says that Dan Bartlett and Danny James came to him at Camp Mabry in 1993, right after Bush was inaugurated as Governor, and deleted portions of Bush's TANG file.

I do know that six months were added to Bush's six-year enlistment.

#1 on Google for liberal news

Posted by: Easter Lemming Liberal News Digest at February 11, 2004 04:14 PM | PERMALINK

I'm just thinking out loud here...

Isn't it odd that we have various reject/approve letters/references to the transfer from TexANG to Alabama, but not one ioda of a document talking about a transfer *back* to TANG? or for that matter to any other unit (other than the Colorodo unit in fall '73).

It seems like transfers usually generate quite a paper trail.

Posted by: Gryn at February 11, 2004 04:17 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think Campenni's stories are inconsistent, they say he was in Texas in 1970-71 and in Pennsylvania in 1972.
That said, I don't think his stories exonerate Bush either. Bush still had a binding obligation and there are reasonable doubts about whether he fulfilled that obligation. It's still about accountability. On Meet The Press he said he'd release all the records. The charge that he never showed up for duty in Alabama is "demonstrably false"--but it hasn't been yet!

Posted by: Duncan Idaho at February 11, 2004 04:20 PM | PERMALINK

Gryn,

Not necessarily. I've done temporary duty myself a bunch of times. There's a bunch of paperwork needed initially to generate orders, but those orders have a start and end date. When it comes time to go back where you came from, you basically just go. (Normally with no more than a detachment stamp on the original set of orders.)

Posted by: BD at February 11, 2004 04:22 PM | PERMALINK

Why won't he release his records? He has nothing to be afraid of, right?
Why won't he release his records? He has nothing to be afraid of, right?
Why won't he release his records? He has nothing to be afraid of, right?
Why won't he release his records? He has nothing to be afraid of, right?
Why won't he release his records? He has nothing to be afraid of, right?

Just keep repeating it, it will drive the wingers nuts.

Why won't he release his records? He has nothing to be afraid of, right?
Why won't he release his records? He has nothing to be afraid of, right?
Why won't he release his records? He has nothing to be afraid of, right?

Posted by: Old Hat at February 11, 2004 04:23 PM | PERMALINK

It also seems that Campenni, who wrote the Washington Times letter, was serving in Pittsburgh by 1972. Since he also wrote that he didn't know Bush socially, it's unlikely he knew Bush's whereabouts in 1972. His support of Bush's really irrelevant to the question at issue here.

http://www.timesdispatch.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=RTD%2FMGArticle%2FRTD_BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1031772380834&path=%21news&s=1045855934842
9/11 scenario faced
In 1972, airmen confronted possibility of having to shoot down a hijacked airplane

BY PETER BACQUE
TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER Dec 1, 2003

One of those on-guard outfits was the Pennsylvania Air National Guard's 146th Fighter Squadron, an air defense unit based at Pittsburgh International Airport.

Just out of graduate school, Campenni was a 32-year-old captain in the 146th, flying the F-102 Delta Dagger, the world's first supersonic all-weather jet interceptor, and "sitting alert" on Nov. 11, 1972.

Posted by: Mike at February 11, 2004 04:25 PM | PERMALINK

I mean, this is America in 2004; do you really think learning that the president underwent treatment for addiction is going to make people change their vote either way?

Uh, yeah. If he got special treatment after being busted, and then went on to be a harsh anti-drug Gov, pushing for laws that would have sent his ass to jail if he'd been poor and black, uh, yup, I do believe that might sway a few people.

If it were true. I simply suspect it's true.

But I'd be glad if it were true.

Posted by: Monkey at February 11, 2004 04:25 PM | PERMALINK

Thinking out loud again..

The position I took when I was being generous with the "torn" document hasn't changed much with any of the new info. It seems like the two questions have been pretty consistent.

  • Bush blew off his physical in the spring of 1972, thereby ignoring a direct order from his superiors.
  • Bush then definitely performed no drills at all for any unit of the National Guard between early May 1972 and late October 1972 (was Nov. per Bartlett description of torn doc in 2000) at the earliest. This is a period of nearly six (was seven) months.

Not that I'm trying to brag (ok yes I am) but I was pretty good at the tea-leaf reading of the "torn" document if I do say so myself.

Posted by: Gryn at February 11, 2004 04:26 PM | PERMALINK

Ack! Folks if you want to make links and don't know HTML, use tinyurl.com

Posted by: Gryn at February 11, 2004 04:27 PM | PERMALINK

If I read the transcript correctly from today's gaggle, Scott refused to answer the question: why did dear leader miss his physical? Why did he? Oh, and this story is dead.
Thanks for your efforts Kevin.

Posted by: tom p at February 11, 2004 04:30 PM | PERMALINK

I'll bet his mommy and daddy know where Dubyah was back then....and whether he was having a drug problem...why won't they come clean and tell us? Babs, I'm begging ya....

Posted by: coffee queen at February 11, 2004 04:30 PM | PERMALINK

"The irony meter pegged at maximum when Mike K. linked to the Washington Times and then said "I think this is the last day of serious press scrutiny of this issue."."

The irony meter pegged long ago when the "mainstream press" created talk radio, Fox News and the Wash Times by slanting their news and shutting out at least half the population's opinions. Have you read Bob Arnott's memo about why he is no longer in Iraq ? NBC doesn't want to report "positive" news there. I wonder if the guy had previously written a letter to the NYT.

Posted by: Mike K at February 11, 2004 04:33 PM | PERMALINK

The irony meter pegged long ago when the "mainstream press" created talk radio, Fox News and the Wash Times by slanting their news and shutting out at least half the population's opinions.

Do you know what the definition of irony is?

I really liked your response to the questions the posters have been raising here on CalPundit.

Hey Mike:

Why won't he release his records? He has nothing to be afraid of, right?
Why won't he release his records? He has nothing to be afraid of, right?
Why won't he release his records? He has nothing to be afraid of, right?
Why won't he release his records? He has nothing to be afraid of, right?
Why won't he release his records? He has nothing to be afraid of, right?

Posted by: Old Hat at February 11, 2004 04:36 PM | PERMALINK

More special treatment for Bush:

Bush avoided rehab after 1978 DUI

Posted by: aReader at February 11, 2004 04:37 PM | PERMALINK

"Have you read Bob Arnott's memo about why he is no longer in Iraq ? NBC doesn't want to report "positive" news there."

Muhahhahaha !!! You are a riot Mike K. Go to Baghdad and bask in the good news, but don't stand near police stations, in visible range of rooftops, travel on roads alone or in a convoy and you'll be fine. Oh I forgot, don't go near mosques, open markets, gas stations...

Moron...

Posted by: ch2 at February 11, 2004 04:37 PM | PERMALINK

BD, thanx! that's good to know.

Here's the stuff that sticks out about the press briefings so far that made me go hmmmm....

  • McClellen refuses to talk about Bush losing flight status in any fashion

  • They are most definitely backpedalling on the commitment on MTP to authorize public access to restricted docs

  • They do not want to put Bush at a any particular location at all (that's the wierdest one)

That's all I remembered off the top of my head.

Posted by: Gryn at February 11, 2004 04:37 PM | PERMALINK

"Mike K,

Will you be willing to eat crow if W makes a "I know about the horrible dangers of drugs from personal experience" speech on the teevee, or will you maintain that it's not important?"

Will you if he doesn't and wins 49 states next November ?

Read the TNR piece on the Kerry bubble. I don't even like Bush. My guy was McCain. I might have voted for Lieberman.

Posted by: Mike K at February 11, 2004 04:38 PM | PERMALINK

Man, it's good news that over 100 people got blown up with car bombs in the past 48 hours in Baghdad. Sounds like there's tons of good news in Iraq! You should get a press credential, Mike and go report on all of the good news. Send me videotapes of the good news and write me letters about all of the good news.

Does civil war count as good news? How about fuel shortages and mortar fire? How about electricity that still doesn't work, 10 months after the fall of Baghdad? How about daily assassination attempts on any authority figure? How about record unemployment!

Tell me about the good news Mike!

Posted by: Old Hat at February 11, 2004 04:40 PM | PERMALINK

Read the TNR piece on the Kerry bubble.

Yeah, with all of those record turnouts in the primaries, remarkably deep across the board support in every demographic and the Democratic nomination sewn up in February and a hitherto unseen united Democratic party.

You're a little scared, aren't you Mike? It's okay for men to cry sometimes. Want a hug?

Posted by: Old Hat at February 11, 2004 04:42 PM | PERMALINK

""Want to talk about policy or would you all rather spank the monkey on stuff that won't count?"

Are you trying to claim that Kevin is light on policy? Puh-leaze. You never came here until this series of posts, huh? Read the archives."

You're not paying attention. I think, and have said repeatedly, that Kevin does a great job and I commend him on this issue. If he finds a real scandal, I'll be one to abandon Bush. I don't like liars. Lots of Kevins' readers and contributers are a lot less serious than he is. That's OK too. I've been posting here for a while and enjoy the back and forth. I do respect facts and good debate, not hysterical conspiracy theories. Kevin is right to pursue this until it is apparent that's there is no real "there" there.

Posted by: Mike K at February 11, 2004 04:44 PM | PERMALINK

As I read his AN-22, Bush was discharged from the Texas ANG with "5 years 4 months and 4 days" of service on 16 Oct 73 because he had been transferred to the books of the inactive Air Force Reserve - ARPC(ORS) - effective 2 Oct 1973.

He was discharged from the inactive Air Force reserve on 21 Nov 1974, roughly six months *after* his original obligation would have ended.

Why he was transferred to the Obligated Reserve Section (ORS) for another roughly thirteen months in Oct 1973? Rather than being discharged from everything at the same time. Wasn't the ARPC(ORS) just a holding book for ex-Guardsmen and others who had been deemed eligible for call-up to active duty for some reason?

Also, has anyone untangled the unit identifier codes on his retirement points summaries yet?

Posted by: Geoff at February 11, 2004 04:47 PM | PERMALINK

Don't stop there Old_Hat!

Let Mike K tell us about the number of children that are continuing to get killed/injured by playing with unexploded cluster bomblets which were dropped in residential areas.

Or perhaps report on the the radiation from depleted uranium rounds and its long term effects.

Posted by: Poz at February 11, 2004 04:50 PM | PERMALINK

Mike K says, "I don't even like Bush. My guy was McCain. I might have voted for Lieberman."

then
"If he -Kevin- finds a real scandal, I'll be one to abandon Bush. I don't like liars."

So... you don't like Bush, but you'll vote for whom ? Sounds like you're just posing as a moderate. You've read the posts here, yet you believe Bush is not a liar. Were you awake the past three years ? He lied to Congress, he lied to us Americans, to our erstwhile allies,...

I'm a uniter not a divider-Mission accomplished-We know for a fact that Saddam has weapons of mass destruction and we know where they are-we can afford these tax cuts-... I could go on until carpal-tunnel syndrome hits me.

So please Mike K., be a troll have fun, but don't take us for idiots.

Posted by: ch2 at February 11, 2004 04:52 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin. Great job. Can't wait for the interview!
Your blog has always been my favorite.

Posted by: clodia at February 11, 2004 04:52 PM | PERMALINK

I do respect facts and good debate, not hysterical conspiracy theories.

Hey Mike:


Why won't he release his records? He has nothing to be afraid of, right?
Why won't he release his records? He has nothing to be afraid of, right?
Why won't he release his records? He has nothing to be afraid of, right?
Why won't he release his records? He has nothing to be afraid of, right?
Why won't he release his records? He has nothing to be afraid of, right?

Posted by: Old Hat at February 11, 2004 04:53 PM | PERMALINK

Mike K wrote..

"I don't even like Bush. My guy was McCain. I might have voted for Lieberman."

Mike, you need to see a therapist, your suffering from a bad case of Joe-mentia.

Posted by: Clownshoes at February 11, 2004 04:53 PM | PERMALINK

Mike,

If Bush wins 49 states, I will literally eat an entire crow. Raw. I don't really see what that has to do with anything, though. If you want to put yourself up as a godly leader of steely determination, you need to deal with the fact that people are going to try to tear you down. You guys sure can dish it out, but you're having a bit of trouble taking it, aren't you? For me, any problems thta Bush may have had 30 years ago don't matter one tiny bit. He could have snorted a ton of blow off of a mexican hooker's ass and I wouldn't care in the slightest. What matters is what he's doing now. However, if it takes this clear case of obfuscation and lies about a frankly unimportant matter to poke a hole in an administration that has been so unwilling to admit anything other than absolute perfection for the past three years, then they're gettign what's coming to them. If they want to say that things are black or white, right or wrong, then they're giving themselves a pretty tough standard to live up to.

Posted by: greg at February 11, 2004 04:53 PM | PERMALINK

DD-214

I really think the thing to do is to focus on THE ONE DOCUMENT that every veteran has that will absolutely settle this dispute: The DD-214.

Why won't Bush release his DD-214?
Why won't Bush release his DD-214?
Why won't Bush release his DD-214?

Focusing upon this one document is a simple way to explain this issue. People need to understand that this is a complete record that exists for EVERY soldier.

So, please, repeat after me:

DD-214. DD-214. DD-214. DD-214. DD-214. DD-214. DD-214. DD-214. DD-214. DD-214. DD-214. DD-214. DD-214. DD-214. DD-214. DD-214. DD-214. DD-214.
DD-214.

Thanks.

Posted by: David at February 11, 2004 04:58 PM | PERMALINK

I don't get all the fuss over Bush's National Guard record. Like the draft dodging, sex junkie hick from Arkansas said "It's the economy stupid.". This country is going down the shitters thanks to George letting the CEO's screw us out of our jobs. The sooner we're rid of this mope the better.
Now excuse me while I sell my house, buy gold, and flee to any country that will take me.

Everbody sing with me "Now I'm leaving on a jet plane, don't know when I'll be back again."

Posted by: ex-American at February 11, 2004 04:59 PM | PERMALINK

Mike K:

"Kevin is right to pursue this until it is apparent that's there is no real "there" there."

Thanks guy, seriously, that's all I was trying to say back at this post: "February 11, 2004 03:11 PM"

Also, can someone give the definitive answer to whether Mr. Bush would or would not have received the oft mentioned "DD-214"? There seems to be much disagreement about this.

I also would like to commend posters like Spc67 (did i get that right?), and BD, et al, for maintaining civility, though 'on the other side of the net'. I just want to see this pursued to its end, one way or t'other!

Posted by: whynot at February 11, 2004 05:00 PM | PERMALINK

can you imagine if this had happened to Clinton, and his press secretary answered these questions in the same way?

Posted by: coffee queen at February 11, 2004 05:00 PM | PERMALINK

I'm a little confused why Preznit Bush is not already toast. He was almost certainly AWOL from when he moved to Alabama in May 72' until when his transfer was finally approved September 72', because up until that time he had no authority to miss training. The records seem pretty clear that he did not show up for duty from May until October. It is irrelevant whether his superiors failed to take action for political reasons. He was AWOL and can still be tried for it, since there is no statute of limitations.

Posted by: Kop at February 11, 2004 05:03 PM | PERMALINK

"Or perhaps report on the the radiation from depleted uranium rounds and its long term effects."

Boy, you are really into science ! Do you know what "depleted" means ? There is no radiation from depleted uranium. It's one of those myths that ignoramuses (ignorami ?) spread around.

As far as the conflict between TANG and PANG in the other pilot's story is concerned, there isn't any. For one thing, the report may not be that accurate because the 146th fighter squadron was in the California ANG and I was in it. It was later changed to an air transport wing when the F 86s were phased out about 1960 but the number stayed the same. I think it's still there.

This is fun.

Posted by: Mike K at February 11, 2004 05:07 PM | PERMALINK

I'm a little confused why Preznit Bush is not already toast.

In the immortal words of Jimmy Cliff:

"The harder they come/the harder they fall/one and all."

Posted by: Old Hat at February 11, 2004 05:09 PM | PERMALINK

Repeating from an earlier comment:

Two books now contain the charge that Bush was arrested for possession of cocaine in 1972 in Texas, most likely in late November or December after his stint in Alabama. Bush was allowed to perform community service in 1973 by working for a minority children's program in Houston, Professionals United for Leadership League (PULL), chaired by his father. The record of that arrest was expunged, meaning he apparently received the equivalent of Youthful Offender status at the age of 26. (source)

If this is true... would that make Bush a felon?

Posted by: carrie at February 11, 2004 05:09 PM | PERMALINK

DD-214 - NGB-22! Here it is! And it's honorable, too! DD-214 - NGB-22! Here it is! And it's honorable, too! DD-214 - NGB-22! Here it is! And it's honorable, too! DD-214 - NGB-22! Here it is! And it's honorable, too! DD-214 - NGB-22! Here it is! And it's honorable, too! DD-214 - NGB-22! Here it is! And it's honorable, too! DD-214 - NGB-22! Here it is! And it's honorable, too! DD-214 - NGB-22! Here it is! And it's honorable, too! DD-214 - NGB-22! Here it is! And it's honorable, too! DD-214 - NGB-22! Here it is! And it's honorable, too! DD-214 - NGB-22! Here it is! And it's honorable, too! DD-214 - NGB-22! Here it is! And it's honorable, too! DD-214 - NGB-22! Here it is! And it's honorable, too! DD-214 - NGB-22! Here it is! And it's honorable, too! DD-214 - NGB-22! Here it is! And it's honorable, too! DD-214 - NGB-22! Here it is! And it's honorable, too! DD-214 - NGB-22! Here it is! And it's honorable, too! DD-214 - NGB-22! Here it is! And it's honorable, too! DD-214 - NGB-22! Here it is! And it's honorable, too! DD-214 - NGB-22! Here it is! And it's honorable, too! DD-214 - NGB-22! Here it is! And it's honorable, too! DD-214 - NGB-22! Here it is! And it's honorable, too! DD-214 - NGB-22! Here it is! And it's honorable, too! DD-214 - NGB-22! Here it is! And it's honorable, too! DD-214 - NGB-22! Here it is! And it's honorable, too! DD-214 - NGB-22! Here it is! And it's honorable, too! DD-214 - NGB-22! Here it is! And it's honorable, too! DD-214 - NGB-22! Here it is! And it's honorable, too! DD-214 - NGB-22! Here it is! And it's honorable, too! DD-214 - NGB-22! Here it is! And it's honorable, too! DD-214 - NGB-22! Here it is!

Posted by: JLawson at February 11, 2004 05:10 PM | PERMALINK

Boy, you are really into science ! Do you know what "depleted" means ? There is no radiation from depleted uranium. It's one of those myths that ignoramuses (ignorami ?) spread around.

Golly, the World Health Organization doesn't agree with you there, kiddo!

http://www.who.int/ionizing_radiation/env/du/en/

Posted by: Old Hat at February 11, 2004 05:13 PM | PERMALINK

Let me list the unanswered questions one more time:


1. Why did Bush fail to take a flight physical in August 1972, nor any time thereafter?

2. Where did Bush drill in Oct, and Nov of 1972, and Jan of 1973?

3. Why are Bush's pay records in 1972 and 1973 from the ARF? Was he transferred there? When? Why?

4. Why did Bush not do any drills between May 16, and Oct 28, 1972? That's no drills in 6 1/2 months. And why had he only done four drills between May 16 1972 and April 7, 1973? That's four drills in 11 months.

5. Why did Bush's commanding officers, the same two he had had since at least 1970, and who had given him decent progress reports for the intervening years, record that they had not seen Bush at the base since May of 1972 in their annual progress report on him in May 1973?

6. Why did Bush's commanding officer at the Alabama base where he was supposed to have drilled in late 1972/early 1973 report that he had not seen Bush at the base?

7. Why has no one stepped forward to claim that they saw Bush on the Alabama base? He was the son of a former congressman, now ambassador to the U.N., and he was working on the senatorial campaign of one of the most famous and powerful men in the state.

Posted by: epist at February 11, 2004 05:14 PM | PERMALINK

"If you want to put yourself up as a godly leader of steely determination, you need to deal with the fact that people are going to try to tear you down. You guys sure can dish it out, but you're having a bit of trouble taking it, aren't you? "

I assume that you are directing this to Bush and it's a fair question. I have no problem with it. If Kevin or someone else can prove he is lying, go for it. The goofy cocaine stories are fine too. Just come up with the proof. Remember the guy who tried to sell a Dan Quayle cocaine story back in the 80s ? I'm frankly surprised that some of them haven't turned up. We'll always have these people hanging around trying to sell stories about Clinton murdering kids who witnessed a drug drop in Arkansas or Bush doing coke. We had stories about Eisenhower and Kay whatshername in WWII. Just don't count on it to win an election. The Clinton haters went down in '96. Not a good precedent.

Posted by: Mike K at February 11, 2004 05:15 PM | PERMALINK

Mike, it's a little odd that Bush has never denied using cocaine in the past!

Posted by: Old Hat at February 11, 2004 05:19 PM | PERMALINK

The goofy cocaine stories are fine too. Just come up with the proof.

How are we supposed to come up with the proof when Bush's police records in Texas are sealed courtesy Poppy? Hmm? He has nothing to fear, right? He never, ever got busted for coke in Houston or anything, right? Why doesn't Bush open his records to prove all of these rumors false so all of us can look like conspiracy theorists?

Posted by: Old Hat at February 11, 2004 05:21 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, he never denied nuking Peking, either!

Posted by: JLawson at February 11, 2004 05:22 PM | PERMALINK

Mike K wrote:



Boy, you are really into science ! Do you know what "depleted" means ? There is no radiation from depleted uranium. It's one of those myths that ignoramuses (ignorami ?) spread around.



What is the isotope mixture of depleted uranium?


What are the half-lives of those isotopes?


Do you even know what depleted uranium is?

Posted by: caerbannog at February 11, 2004 05:22 PM | PERMALINK

And I'm pretty sure those explosions in Chchneya? They were OURS! We gotta test out those micronukes somewhere!

Posted by: JLawson at February 11, 2004 05:23 PM | PERMALINK

Epist just commented on something I've observed reading these threads:

Why is everyone on the "where was he in 72-73?", at the total expense of "why did he refuse his physical, and as Eric Boehlert of Salon asked a couple of days ago, did it have to do with mandatory drug testing that just happened to go into effect that same year?

This question of refusing his physical is also frequently asked by the FIRST KING OF BUSH/AWOL, Marty Heldt, who first recieved and published all the gif files on his website. Marty (I think) also was involved in James Moore's upcoming book on Bush.

Posted by: eric at February 11, 2004 05:25 PM | PERMALINK

Do you even know what depleted uranium is?

Mike's using faith-based science.

Posted by: Old Hat at February 11, 2004 05:26 PM | PERMALINK

Ignoramuses like the World Health Organization? "DU, consequently, is weakly radioactive and a radiation dose from it would be about 60% of that from purified natural uranium with the same mass."

I don't think that depleted uranium is the greatest health threat in the world, but saying that it has no radiation is ignorant.

Posted by: Blue the Wild Dog at February 11, 2004 05:28 PM | PERMALINK

Boy, you are really into science ! Do you know what "depleted" means ? There is no radiation from depleted uranium. It's one of those myths that ignoramuses (ignorami ?) spread around.

OK, Mr. Scientist, here's an experiment for you to try:

1. Take Depleted Uranium Round.

2. Vaporize it. (to simulated what happens when it impacts an armored target)

3. Inhale.

Believe me, radiation will be the least of your worries.

Really, do this, then come back here and tell us what happened.

Posted by: Sovok at February 11, 2004 05:31 PM | PERMALINK

JLawson...

just went to your site and saw your explanation as to points garnered by Bush for his Guard tour. You say you have expertise in these matters, that Bush is unblemished in his service duty, and I hope a few Calpundit posters might go over and scrutinize the time table JLawson has on display. Also, all the talk about the DD-214...may i ask where and when you obtained this? Thanks

Perhaps a few of you would go to JLawson's site (as linked above in his post) and check out the info therein? Does it answer any of the questions asked?

Posted by: whynot at February 11, 2004 05:34 PM | PERMALINK

Keep up the good work EVERYBODY....

From Kevin down...you are all doing a fine job of remorselessly questioning bush's fantasy moral character.

Be relentless. Be angry. Be intelligently mean.

I salute you all.

And also: Friday is payday...so don't forget to tinkle Kevin's cup. I will. You all do as well. Afterall...this cat hunts well. He deserves our support.

Meow.

Posted by: -pea-a true conservative at February 11, 2004 05:37 PM | PERMALINK

Mike K,

AS A MATTER OF FACT I HAVE DONE RADIATION STUDIES BACK AT UNIVERSITY AND HAVE ALSO A DEGREE IN ELCTRICAL ENGINERERING.

I work in the RF industry as a senior consultant. RF stands for Radio Frequency in case you didn't know.

Do you know the difference between ionizing and non-ionizing radiation???

Perhaps you should not assume you know more than those who write here.

Now... please explain your version of what "depleted" means.

And what was it you called me??? LOL

Posted by: Poz at February 11, 2004 05:40 PM | PERMALINK

That was Ohio Congressman Sherrod Brown who confronted Colin "500 tons of sarin" Powell with the ugly truth about the boy cheerleader having been AWOL. Let Rep. Brown know how much you appreciate the odd Democrat with a backbone:

http://www.house.gov/sherrodbrown/

Posted by: Riesz Fischer at February 11, 2004 05:42 PM | PERMALINK

Do you even know what depleted uranium is?

Old Hat sez: Mike's using faith-based science.

Now Old Hat, you know all that radioactivity shit can't be right! after all, how could it be if the world is only 6,000 years old?

BTW, great work Kev!! I'm glad people are finally taking Burkett seriously. Props to Greg Palast as well, who had this story a year ago.

Posted by: four legs good at February 11, 2004 05:43 PM | PERMALINK

According to the U.N. studies, depleted uranium is less dangerous than lead. It is rapidly excreted from the body, unlike lead, with a halflife (in the body, not radioactive half-life) of around a day.

DU is heavy, so it settles out of the air rapidly, though it can become bound to dust, in small quantities. Unless you are within a few feet of the target at the time it pulverizes on impact, you are unlikely to ingest/inhale it.

I haven't read about this in some time, or I'd find the URL of the UN studies. It's not relevant to the main topic.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler at February 11, 2004 05:49 PM | PERMALINK

Republicans think we are giving this president a hard time?

Clinton had to go under oath in a public investigation over a sex scandal.

Bush's response to questions whether he would testify (not even under oath) to the 9/11 commission was "Perhaps, perhaps"

Give me a break!

Posted by: Poz at February 11, 2004 05:51 PM | PERMALINK

I think I hear the black helicopters....Tin foil hat anyone?

Posted by: Sharkbait999 at February 11, 2004 05:55 PM | PERMALINK

MathewRMarler,

I can give you a web site to visit which will contradict what you just wrote.

You need to remember who has vested interests in this matter.

There are many listed cases as to the ill effects of depleted uranium.

Posted by: Poz at February 11, 2004 05:57 PM | PERMALINK

You're directly attacking and questioning the character of the President of the United States.

ROFLMAO!

I'm sure that no Republican would ever do that to a Democratic president.

I keep hearing echoes of 1973-74... how could any patriotic American say such things about the President of the United States?

Posted by: Ducktape at February 11, 2004 06:01 PM | PERMALINK

Slate's take: AWOL? Probably not. A draft dodger? No question.

It's cowritten by Timothy Noah, who's almost always worth reading. There's a pretty good timeline and lots of links. The line points out something I don't think I've seen mentioned before:
"Nov. 11-14 Eight points earned
(The authenticity of this entry must be questioned. Nov. 11 is the date Veterans Day always falls on in tribute to the 1918 Armistice, which the holiday originally commemorated. National Guard units never drill on Veterans Day.)"

Posted by: rilkefan at February 11, 2004 06:06 PM | PERMALINK

So let me see if I have this right. You have a guy with an admitted axe to grind, relaying hearsay and an uncorroborated eyewitness account of Bush documents in a garbage can, and you Bush haters believe him. When Bush says he served, then there are documents showing that he served, you don't believe Bush. Okay, I get it now.

Posted by: Bird Dog at February 11, 2004 06:09 PM | PERMALINK

Russert: But you authorize the release of everything to settle this?

President Bush: Yes, absolutely.


What a lying ass of a president. Disgusting.

Posted by: Straight-eye for the queer guy at February 11, 2004 06:13 PM | PERMALINK

Bird Dog, the context is that Bush's record appears to have some inconsistencies (perhaps due to the age of the documents or attempts to hide personal failings), that the WH seems oddly reluctant to be forthcoming on the matter, and that we feel it's increasingly clear everything Bush says is spin.
And you should note that Kevin Drum has posted a batch of reasons why Burkett's story might not be reliable.

Posted by: rilkefan at February 11, 2004 06:19 PM | PERMALINK

Pundits,

Hi. My name is Mike Stark. I'm a student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY.

If you haven't already, please read this article:
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/10/international/asia/10STAN.html

Call me crazy, but why isn't this an issue?

You asked on tonight's show why the admin. is choosing this time to talk about WMD proliferation and their plan to stop it. Well, these excerpts from the article above make it clear to me:

"In Washington on Monday, a senior Bush administration official acknowledged that General Musharraf was not given highly specific information about Dr. Khan's activities until last fall. But the official noted that the United States conveyed more general warnings about Dr. Khan's activities starting in 2001."

"But the nuclear black market supplied by Dr. Khan continued to operate for two and a half years, until last fall, American officials say. That network is one of the largest and most successful efforts at evading nonproliferation controls, and is suspected of being the source of nuclear weapons developed in Iran, North Korea and Libya, investigators say."

They'd rather talk about a new plan than what they failed to do after 9/11.

We had information indicating that Pakistan was spreading nuclear technology to our enemies - enemies that we knew were sponsors of terror - and we did nothing to stop it for three years. As a result, we have to deal with a nuclear N. Korea and possibly, a nuclear Iran.

Why didn't we send special ops into Pakistan and secure their nuclear facilities? If that meant war on Pakistan, wouldn't have been worth it? A war that prevented N. Korea and Iran from going nuclear would have been more than justifiable.

Having said that, I think that yes, we would have had to face the possibility of total war against Pakistan if we had interfered in their nuclear program. That means we would also have had to face the very real possibility of a nuclear weapon being used against us. I still think it is something we should have done. Pakistan did not have the missile technology to deliver a nuke to America. Any detonation would have had to have happened right there in Pakistan. That's the most acceptable of the unacceptable options we faced in 2001. This administration really blew it. Now their legacy is a future in which two of our most dangerous enemies are now nuclear.

What are we going to do when Iran nukes Israel?

Finally, you just can't help but to contrast our rush to war against Iraq with our three year tolerance of Pakistan's proliferation of the most dangerous weapons on the planet.

Thanks for reading. I hope you too find this newsworthy.

Mike Stark
Albany, NY

Posted by: Mike Stark at February 11, 2004 06:19 PM | PERMALINK

To Chris Matthews:

Hi. My name is Mike Stark. I'm a student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY.

If you haven't already, please read this article:
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/10/international/asia/10STAN.html

Call me crazy, but why isn't this an issue?

You asked on tonight's show why the admin. is choosing this time to talk about WMD proliferation and their plan to stop it. Well, these excerpts from the article above make it clear to me:

"In Washington on Monday, a senior Bush administration official acknowledged that General Musharraf was not given highly specific information about Dr. Khan's activities until last fall. But the official noted that the United States conveyed more general warnings about Dr. Khan's activities starting in 2001."

"But the nuclear black market supplied by Dr. Khan continued to operate for two and a half years, until last fall, American officials say. That network is one of the largest and most successful efforts at evading nonproliferation controls, and is suspected of being the source of nuclear weapons developed in Iran, North Korea and Libya, investigators say."

They'd rather talk about a new plan than what they failed to do after 9/11.

We had information indicating that Pakistan was spreading nuclear technology to our enemies - enemies that we knew were sponsors of terror - and we did nothing to stop it for three years. As a result, we have to deal with a nuclear N. Korea and possibly, a nuclear Iran.

Why didn't we send special ops into Pakistan and secure their nuclear facilities? If that meant war on Pakistan, wouldn't have been worth it? A war that prevented N. Korea and Iran from going nuclear would have been more than justifiable.

Having said that, I think that yes, we would have had to face the possibility of total war against Pakistan if we had interfered in their nuclear program. That means we would also have had to face the very real possibility of a nuclear weapon being used against us. I still think it is something we should have done. Pakistan did not have the missile technology to deliver a nuke to America. Any detonation would have had to have happened right there in Pakistan. That's the most acceptable of the unacceptable options we faced in 2001. This administration really blew it. Now their legacy is a future in which two of our most dangerous enemies are now nuclear.

What are we going to do when Iran nukes Israel?

Finally, you just can't help but to contrast our rush to war against Iraq with our three year tolerance of Pakistan's proliferation of the most dangerous weapons on the planet.

Thanks for reading. I hope you too find this newsworthy.

Mike Stark
Albany, NY

Posted by: mike stark at February 11, 2004 06:22 PM | PERMALINK

In a thread that brings up a fellow who remembers flying with Bush in Texas, there are suddenly no arguments that noone should be able to remember serving with him in Alabama. Wingnuts are smart, not like everybody says, like, dumb.

Posted by: dequincey at February 11, 2004 06:28 PM | PERMALINK

David Gregory of NBC said on Hardball tonite that Scott McClellan said no further records would be released on Bush's military service. McClellan apparently tried to portray this decision as not being a contradiction from Bush's promised on Meet the Press to release all the records.

I think there are more important issues but Bush is just leaving himself to more questions because reporters can simply keep pestering him to release more records.

They are talking about a 6 month period which is not explained by the documentation. If you were going for an important job, chances are you are going to have to account for gaps in your work history that is not explained explained in your resume. Seems like this issue would be relatively easy to dismiss by just releasing the records.

The records might not reflect well on Bush but keeping this issue open just seems to raise the importance of this issue.

Posted by: aghast at February 11, 2004 06:28 PM | PERMALINK

Bush will be toast. His employers are going to outsourse him in November.

Posted by: meme at February 11, 2004 06:29 PM | PERMALINK

Wow Kevin, great work!

Posted by: DanM at February 11, 2004 06:30 PM | PERMALINK

They will outsource him too !

Posted by: meme at February 11, 2004 06:32 PM | PERMALINK

JLawson and whynot: Everyone here is very well aware of Bush's discharge. It was first posted in ca. 2000. Whynot, the link is to Martin Heldt's site. He has researched this issue for almost 4 years.

JLawson, you are very quick to criticize others for not paying attention to what you say. I would like you to show that you practice what you preach by reading Richard Cohen's essay on his time in the National Guard. It's at:

www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A27178-2004Feb9.html

I wrote to Mr. Cohen. I thanked him for telling his story so forthrightly. I told him I thought he fit the definition of a deserter. With George Bush, we aren't certain, because the charge of desertion under Texas law involves making a judgment about state of mind of a person who is failing to attend drills.

But I told Mr. Cohen that although I didn't hate him or despise him, I would never vote to put him into office. As Senator Bob Kerrey, who wears this nation's highest decoration pointed out: how would such a man respond to a young Guardsman who had been sent to war and questioned the mission?

I don't hate or despise Mr. Bush. But he's the wrong man to lead this country. He can't face those Guardsmen, and indeed he has been conspicuously absent as their lifeless bodies are brought home to grieving relatives for burial.

That's what this exercise is about.

Posted by: js at February 11, 2004 06:35 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry folks.

I've been a reader and fan of Kevin's for a long time. But anyone who makes a comment like the following deserves not to be believed:

"But printing early exit polls is just like providing a halftime score."

That statement is too laughable to be considered.

Posted by: doug at February 11, 2004 06:50 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, I hope whatever you are taking the cortisone for is feeling better by the time you read this. It can take 2 to 3 weeks for the cortisone to take effect, so if you're not feeling better right away, just hang in there (but I'm sure your the doctor and the radiologists who performed the operation have told you that).

I really think you are doing amazing work and hope that all this work isn't negatively effecting your health. Please take some time for resting and recuperation. Your health is very important. Friday cat-blogging is coming up soon, so I hope that you will take that time and the weekend for some much needed rest.

I do hope that you are able to keep up the work that you are doing here, because I am so proud of you for what you have done so far. Even if you have to quit now for health reasons, you have done so very much for the United States. I hope you do not have to quit and that you are able to resume your work and put an end to the speculation.

It is too bad that the Senators and Representatives aren't able to do this work, and the other important work that they are supposed to be doing and instead are wasting their time on a pointless constitutional amendment to create a class of sub-Americans. The United States is a sick sick country and it is people like you, Kevin, who are the only people trying to heal it.

Blessings to you and your family (especially the kitties). :)

Posted by: Ananna at February 11, 2004 06:50 PM | PERMALINK

let's go leftfield... has anyone reported how the two deceased superior officers died? further, i bet anyone or thing that comes forward from the administration is somehow only truly verifiable by these two men... this is crazy talk i know, but the lengths that bush is going to keep this stuff hush is shocking. why would he be taking hits like this?

to the republicants, wake up. you have too much self respect to hitch yourselves to this loser. clinton's gone, you don't have to put up with this guy anymore!

Posted by: travy at February 11, 2004 06:51 PM | PERMALINK

Hobbs has complete coverage, except for Drum's Burkett pet project. The records show that Bush served during the periods in question and he was honorably discharged.

Posted by: Bird Dog at February 11, 2004 06:53 PM | PERMALINK

Listen, please!! You had to be there. I was in college from 70 to 74. And for the men of that era, THERE WAS A DRAFT!!! And it was DEADLY serious because it was, literally, a matter of life and death.

With the advent of the lottery, there were no deferments for education. To get a NG position was like catching the golden ring on the carrosel. Bush did not luck up. His NG gig was arranged.

And he was so vampid, that in spite of being "highly visable", he just blew it off. His enabling family, instead of being justifiably embarrashed and humiliated, covered for him and continued in their "we are so worthy ways" including his substance abuse debacles.

Do you know any Vietnam vets personally?? Let me tell you, war reaks havoc with a sane person's head, and justifiably so. I know a fair number of WW II vets who will NOT speak of their experiences. I saw a couple of elderly men leaving the movie "Saving Private Ryan", who were leaning up against the wall of the movie theatre corridor, sobbing, unable to go on to the outside due to their pent up grief as this was the first real modern day examination of that war.

And I know Vietnam vets that were just every day guys that were never prepared to experience true horror, and then survive and go back to being every day guys. Lord,please try to understand, to support a war you will not fight in, is SICK,SICK,SICK!!!

Posted by: Mary Ellen Moore at February 11, 2004 06:57 PM | PERMALINK

remember that phone company song ad:

"reach out
reach out and touch someone
reach out call up and just say hi"

Posted by: J at February 11, 2004 06:58 PM | PERMALINK

JS:

I notice you didn't leave a valid e-mail address or site url. Therefore, using the logic I see so very passionately displayed on this site- you don't exist as far as I'm concerned. Obviously you're a very sophisticated spambot.

BTW, I certainly don't agree with your premise that Bush is the wrong person to serve as President - I look at Gore and shudder to think of him in the hotseat, and wonder how many ineffectual 'statements' we'd have made by now. Would the Taliban still be in charge in Afghanistan? Would Saddam still be feeding his wood chippers? Would Libya still be quiet about their WMD programs? Would he have had the stones to act decisively, or would he have whined to the UN and hoped that they would make the mean men stop picking on the US? Would we be in a recession so deep now that it'd make the early '70s look like a wonderful time filled with prosperity? Would interest rates be in the double-digits again?

But I digress here.

Anyway, I took a look at the article you recommended.

My thought? Cohen was an asshole then, probably still is to judge by his writing. Should he have been discharged? Nope. His records should have been sent to storage and forgotten. But it's cheap theatre - "I was a deserter! Oh, look at me! I'm BRAVER than GWB because I'm telling you the TRUTH!"

So he gamed the system - and is willing to tell about it. Congrats - you've got one man's story - and only his word that it's true.

Oh, WAIT - he doesn't like GWB. Therefore he's completely truthful. And you accept his story... because it's what you want to hear. Where's the proof of it?

J.

Posted by: JLawson at February 11, 2004 07:03 PM | PERMALINK

"The rationale underlying these principles is that a litigating party must--of all persons--be knowledgeable of the facts supporting its own position, and if it falsifies--or seeks to suppress--relevant evidence, such conduct may be taken as an admission that the true facts would defeat the position the party is seeking to maintain."

United States v. Philatelic Leasing, Ltd., 601 F. Supp. 1554, 1566 (S.D.N.Y. 1985).

Open and shut.

Posted by: chrisb at February 11, 2004 07:03 PM | PERMALINK

BD wrote:
Not necessarily. I've done temporary duty myself a bunch of times. There's a bunch of paperwork needed initially to generate orders, but those orders have a start and end date. When it comes time to go back where you came from, you basically just go. (Normally with no more than a detachment stamp on the original set of orders.)

That's quite correct, BD. He should have had his orders cut.

I poked around on another site and found this document that authorizes Shrub to train in 'Bama.

Basically looks like blessing from HQ giving Shrub permission to go f'off in 'Bama--essentially a set of orders as it tells Shrub where he should be on the dates he wished to do equivalent training elsewhere.

Any serviceman with half a brain would presume he should have his arse back to his home duty station to drill on the dates his parent unit was scheduled to drill.

Shrub, evidently didn't have half a brain at the time as his commanders (or is that friends?) didn't observe him there to rate him during his "missing year".

Hey, I got it! Shrub just drilled when no one was around in 'Bama. Got the keys from people he never met, opened up the armory and just pitched right in and got his time in and tidied things right up!

Nah.....

Interestingly, if one looks at the linked document above and compares it to the recently released dates that that Shrub drilled, he didn't even do his training with the unit he was alledgedly visiting when the rest of the unit was drilling.

Must have been inconvenient for him, huh? And he was excused because he was "special".

Posted by: WyldBill at February 11, 2004 07:06 PM | PERMALINK

Amen, Mary Ellen.

When it came to Vietnam, good men went, and good men refused to go. The former faced injury and death. The latter faced jail, humiliation, exile. Both groups were honorable and deserve this nation's thanks and prayers.

But there were also men who thought others should go. Many had rich and powerful fathers. Some were just clever at being someplace else. Such people did not behave honorably, are not good men, and their behavior should weigh on voter's choices.

In 1992 and 1996, Bill Clinton's amazing ability to be somewhere else when there were moral choices to be made, while perfectly legal, was not especially honorable. Voters looked at that and many refused to vote for him on those grounds alone.

Now, in 2000 and 2004, we are being told that it doesn't really matter that George Bush was suspended from flying, that his attendance record was "spotty"-- and maybe illegal-- that he was held in the Guard for six extra months probably as punishment.

None are so morally corrupt as the hypocrites who will attack Clinton without conceding that the behavior of Bush is fair game.

Posted by: js at February 11, 2004 07:07 PM | PERMALINK

Something we've been missing (and the payroll records make clear) is that the Guard divides the year into four quarters: January-March, April-June, July-September, October-December.

Yes, the length of the service gap is six months and eleven days, but when you lay Bush's record against the quarters, you see that he was keeping the balls in the air for most of the last two years. The only quarter that becomes questionable is the 1972 third quarter. No service, and Bush misses the physical then too.

The gap is now down to three months.

Posted by: boloboffin at February 11, 2004 07:08 PM | PERMALINK

Bird Dog: Hobbs has complete coverage, except for Drum's Burkett pet project. The records show that Bush served during the periods in question and he was honorably discharged.

How silly of George not to send us all to Hobbs for the information in the first place. The president was just being modest, I guess. Didn't want to let on what a hero he was.

An air force of one in Alabama.

Go home doggy, go home, you dumb mutt.

Posted by: Karlsfini at February 11, 2004 07:14 PM | PERMALINK

JLawson, your fantasy of who Gore was is literally unbelievable. Sure, Hussein would still be in power but then there would be thousands of Iraqis who still had the ability to complain, and there would be hundreds more American soldiers still able to spend time with their families, and our military wouldn’t be bogged down in a place where one of them dies pretty much every day. In other words, our military position would be stronger than it is under Bush. Oh, and you can be certain that a real President wouldn’t have claimed that he would get bin Laden “dead or alive” and then two years later claim that the very same guy wasn’t important.

In other words, Bush is a failure at the very thing that makes you think he is a “President” with “stones.”

One of the interesting sidelights of this story is that Gore had the “stones” to go to Vietnam. Bush made sure the closest he got was the shark filled waters of the Gulf Coast.

Posted by: Lori Thantos at February 11, 2004 07:15 PM | PERMALINK

Bird Dog, the material you link to looks like partisan spin to me, nothing like Kevin's commitment to finding out the facts. Case Closed II is weak, for example, and the letter at Case Closed I is a one-sided take on the issues. Hobbes's presentation of CalPundit's position is just false.
I doubt Bush was AWOL so much as a barely-present member of the Champagne Brigade - that his service as we know about it does him no credit, and probably the whole story does him a good deal of discredit (which only matters now because he won't come clean.)

Posted by: rilkefan at February 11, 2004 07:16 PM | PERMALINK

There is absolutely no question that the Bush family pulled strings to place W. in the TANG to evade Vietnam duty.

The man who did it has testified to the fact in an ugly whistleblower lawsuit that seems to have been forgotten.

From the Washington Post.
Former speaker of the Texas House of Representatives Ben Barnes said under oath today that he recommended George W. Bush for a pilot's slot in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War at the behest of a Houston businessman close to the Bush family.
Testifying in a deposition for a lawsuit that has stirred up allegations of preferential treatment for Bush, now the governor of Texas seeking the Republican presidential nomination, Barnes said he relayed that information to a top Bush campaign official, Don Evans, more than a year ago.

Posted by: Tuna at February 11, 2004 07:16 PM | PERMALINK

JLawson claims, "I notice you didn't leave a valid e-mail address or site url. Therefore, using the logic I see so very passionately displayed on this site- you don't exist as far as I'm concerned. Obviously you're a very sophisticated spambot."

If you want to advertise yourself as a hypocrite, I'd suggest using neon.

JLawson further exposes his moral core himself by stating that, "My thought? Cohen was an asshole then, probably still is to judge by his writing. Should he have been discharged? Nope. His records should have been sent to storage and forgotten."

Perhaps you should tell that to a Michael Nalette, who recently did the same as Cohen but got a dishonorable discharge despite the fact it was peacetime, that there were mitigating circumstances, and he turned himself in:

JLawson further dirties himself by saying, "Oh, WAIT - he [Cohen] doesn't like GWB. Therefore he's completely truthful. And you accept his story... because it's what you want to hear. Where's the proof of it?"

Cohen is plausible because he is opening himself up to disapprobation of exactly the kind that I directed to him. If he had serious enemies, it's even possible they could bring charges.

I tend to believe Cohen's story because he paints himself in an unflattering light. I disbelieve Bush's story because it paints him in a favorable light despite growing evidence to the contrary and because he refuses to release his records to any light. People of the Lie are never able to admit that they-- or their heroes-- might be at fault.

Ahem.


Posted by: js at February 11, 2004 07:19 PM | PERMALINK

Mary Ellen Moore:

Two things -

When someone walks into a recruiter's office, if there's a slot open that person's suited for, they'll get it. What you need to show now is not that the Air Nat. Guard was a plum that people had to have connections to get into, but that NO people who DIDN'T have connections got ANG slots in that time frame. If any did, your contention is false.

Second - I lived with a VietNam vet for 4 years. Matthew Sohlstrom, a fine man, did two tours EOD in VietNam, and it affected him badly. We talked extensively about it - and about how it was a stupid war that didn't need to be fought. I agreed with him - it WAS a stupid war, started by Democrats and micromanaged to death by Democrats, then ended badly by a Republican. It's also ancient history, as far as the military goes. It's relevant if you figure that the military NEVER learns from it's mistakes, and that it ALWAYS repeats them.

One of the big mistakes in VietNam was to let the policy wonks in Washington decide what the war plan was, not the military. The administration decides what the strategic goal is - then ideally passes the implementation and accomplishment of the logistic and tactical goals to achieve the strategic goal to the military. In VietNam, they wouldn't let the military decide how to fight the war. The result was a damn meat-grinder we poured bodies and material into for years, and accomplished nothing.

Contrast that against Afghanistan and Iraq. And Libya. Libya fell without having to fire a shot - they rolled over and opened up their WMD programs. Afghanistan's conducting a constitutional convention. Elections in Iraq should be held soon.

Was the world a better place for VietNam? No, I don't think so. Is it a better one for the routing of the Taliban? For the removal of Saddam? For Libya opening up?

I think so. But you might not. It's a free country - we can agree to disagree.

J.

Posted by: JLawson at February 11, 2004 07:21 PM | PERMALINK

JLawson posted a link to a purported DD-214 for W.

Where the bleep is the SPN? IIRC, it should have been after the discharge type and they still included them in 72. They quit putting them on because employers knew how to read them and could tell you got an honorable even though you were barred to reenlistment for some reason.

Now, if we had someone who knew how '214s looked today and had an older form, we might just wind up with one that looked just like this.

Posted by: Charles M at February 11, 2004 07:22 PM | PERMALINK

How much longer before the Democrats realize they have embraced the Vietnam/Counterculture tar-baby? The Republicans are itching to refight those issues, which still resonate profoundly with voters over 50 ... and hardly to the Democrats' advantage. Unless they manage to (1) utterly destroy Bush's credibility with this AWOL shit, which seems doubtful, or (2)ditch Kerry before he wraps up the nomination, which seems equally improbable, they will regret their choice of weapons come November.

Posted by: Tonto at February 11, 2004 07:24 PM | PERMALINK

I agreed with him - it WAS a stupid war, started by Democrats...

Better check your history, son. Our involvement in SE Asia began with an Eisenhower/Nixon party all the way.

Posted by: Chainsaw at February 11, 2004 07:25 PM | PERMALINK

This is still a live issue. I am Bush's age and I can account for my time in 1972 much better than he can. Why can't he provide details? Troubling and suspicious. Keep digging, if he is clean there is no harm. We'll probably know more by election, but then again Nixon successfully kept Watergate bottled up for a long time.

Posted by: Dinosaur at February 11, 2004 07:29 PM | PERMALINK

J Lawson, who told you the Democrats started the Vietnam war? Go do some more historical reading. and while you are at it, the very same president that sent the first ADVISORS to Vietnam, a Republican, Dwight D. Eisenhower said, "BEWARE THE MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX (because, truly, I do not believe he believed in that adventure AT ALL-but was forsed to do so.

Posted by: Mary Ellen Moore at February 11, 2004 07:33 PM | PERMALINK

JS;

Nice of you to notice me. I'll consider the neon. To be considered a hypocrite by you... well, it's not quite the high point of my day but it rates fairly well.

The thing is - I think we're having a fundamental disagreement here.

You haven't a clue as to what Bush's records mean. You THINK you know, but you don't.

I do.

You haven't a clue as to what goes on in the military. You look at stuff like Cohen posts, and think that the entire military is like that.

It isn't.

You also show remarkably little inclination to learn. You already know - so anything that anyone says to you that doesn't match it is to be discounted.

I have, in past threads, attempted to explain what's going on with Bush's records. With the points. With military practices and experiences. I must admit I've wondered why I even bother - it's rather like shouting into the wind here, or having a sane discussion on an Indymedia site. With very, very few exceptions folks here have minds closed to anything but the acceptable explanation, that Bush was AWOL and he's trying to pull something over on you.

You think this is the killer ap that'll get whoever the DNC designates into the White House. Actually, judging by some of the posts, people here are hoping and praying that this will be IT - the thing that rouses people and makes them see what an idiot they've got as a President.

But it doesn't show Bush as the idiot.

J.

Posted by: JLawson at February 11, 2004 07:34 PM | PERMALINK

"One of the big mistakes in VietNam was to let the policy wonks in Washington decide what the war plan was, not the military. The administration decides what the strategic goal is - then ideally passes the implementation and accomplishment of the logistic and tactical goals to achieve the strategic goal to the military. [...]

Contrast that against Afghanistan and Iraq. "

JLawson, you may not be aware that the politicos imposed their views on the military in Iraq - the latter wanted a lot more boots on the ground. Rumsfeld is not loved by the army.

Posted by: rilkefan at February 11, 2004 07:36 PM | PERMALINK

What is shows is that Bush isn’t particularly honorable – even if it turns out he wasn’t AWOL. This reminds everyone that Bush’s “military service” was the product of special treatment and that those who should care the most are willing to pretend that his draft dodging wasn’t exactly that.

Posted by: Lori Thantos at February 11, 2004 07:38 PM | PERMALINK

And Kennedy kept his hands completely clean on VietNam, too, right? Umm, when did we really ramp up for that one?

Oh, and let's not worry about the FRENCH, either - those sorry bastards started the whole mess over there and we inherited it.

Charles M - The NGB-22 is the DD-214 equivalent. Note - 'equivalent'. The DD-214 has the re-enlistment code, the NGB-22 doesn't. It also doesn't show a list of his decorations for that time - that doesn't mean it's not a valid document. A bit of googling around will show that the NGB-22 is the accepted equivalent of the DD-214 for reserve affairs, and is what's given Guard members when they separate instead of the DD-214.

J.

Posted by: JLawson at February 11, 2004 07:40 PM | PERMALINK

An honorable discharge for a guy who got special favors to get in doesn’t demonstrate anything other than that his connections were still good – as does his record of failing upwards in business.

Posted by: Lori Thantos at February 11, 2004 07:42 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks Chainsaw for pointing out to JLawson how shallow his history is.

Probably isn't worth the bother though.

Posted by: Karlsfini at February 11, 2004 07:44 PM | PERMALINK

JS -

"I tend to believe Cohen's story because he paints himself in an unflattering light. I disbelieve Bush's story because it paints him in a favorable light despite growing evidence to the contrary and because he refuses to release his records to any light. People of the Lie are never able to admit that they-- or their heroes-- might be at fault."

Ah, now I'm one of the 'People of the Lie'? Thank you. Coming from you, that's quite an honor.

I believe my own experiences and training. I believe what I see in GWB's records because I've seen so many of them. I believe in my interpretations of them, because of work I've done in the field. Show me 4 points over two days, that's a UTA weekend. Show me 4 points over 4 days, that's either Annual Tour or a makeup of a UTA at one period a day.

You, on the other hand, have no grounds to believe Cohen except because he paints himself in a bad light - and that story could even be untrue.

J.

Posted by: JLawson at February 11, 2004 07:47 PM | PERMALINK

JLawson,
Re your comments about Gore as President instead of Governor Bush.
Bush has already shown he is disqualified.
He sat around listening to elementary school kids read for over 20 minutes while the nation was under attack, hijacked planes were still in the air, our aircraft were not scrambled to shoot them down, etc. On this basis alone, he should have been removed from office right there.
He is pathetic and incompetent.
Gore, while not a brilliant leader would have been a major improvement.
What's so great about removing Saddam? The guy was a paper tiger. When he WAS a threat to anyone he was our ally and we didn't care what he did. That was in the 1980s when tough guy Ronald Raygun was our Commander. Remember that guy? What'd he do when Saddam gassed the Kurds? when it would have actually mattered? NOTHING.
Fifteen years later, Bush comes in to liberate these victims from their graves. Big deal.
Iraq was blockaded and bombarded for a decade. They were no threat to anyone and to now still make this claim is ridiculous. You have no credibility.

Posted by: Former Green Party Voter at February 11, 2004 07:49 PM | PERMALINK

re: jlawson

Gore had the stones to serve in Nam. Bush wimped out, coward that he is.

Posted by: spotted dog at February 11, 2004 07:51 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

A little Trollrepel?

It's starting to smell around here.

Posted by: mac at February 11, 2004 07:53 PM | PERMALINK

Bush knew full well that no one would find the records which would truly incriminate him. That's why he agreed to the release of all records. Well, Kevin has made it clear why they won't be released. They don't exist. This will be stonewalled until it's a non story. The Bushies have been there, done that and they're doing it again. This may have occurred in the 70s, but it was covered up in the 90s. That's the real story. Integrity, my ass.

Posted by: tstreet at February 11, 2004 07:54 PM | PERMALINK

JLawson: Oh, and let's not worry about the FRENCH, either - those sorry bastards started the whole mess over there and we inherited it.

Where'd you hear that? Same place you're getting your other facts?

Please read Col. Harry Summer's history of the Vietnam conflict. It's the official Army history, written to discover what went wrong and how to avoid it happening again.

The United States paid the French government to fight in Vietnam. The French wanted to give Vietnam independence after WWII -- or at least they knew they didn't have the resources to fight a war there and also rebuilt France. After years of bloody fighting they saw they couldn't win and told the U.S. to fight its own war. The French were sort of an early version of the Coalition of the Willing. They aren't likely to be suckered into doing our dirty work again. It's a lesson the British are about to learn.

Where did you go to school?

Posted by: Karlsfin at February 11, 2004 07:58 PM | PERMALINK

Former Green:

Clueless, aren't you?

Yeah, we don't have planes sitting on 24/7 scramble alert any more. The cold war's over - we won. That means we don't need to worry about bombers entering our airspace, and shooting them down. So we didn't have them ready, and it's GWB's fault. Oh, I see.

You'd have preferred the Pres immediately scream out of there when the first plane hit, instead of letting the Secret Service try to find out what was happening? Remember - their first job is to protect the President. He spent 20 more minutes with small children - are you a parent? Can you imagine the gift of his presence to those kids? Of ANY President's visit to an elementary school? And after he left the school - what could he have reasonably done? Nobody knew what was going on, except there were planes hijacked and flying into skyscrapers. What was next?

Okay - you tell me. What would Gore have done?

J.

Posted by: JLawson at February 11, 2004 08:00 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, hell, Carlsfin - I just talked with an EOD vet with an IQ of 180 for four years. To hear him talk, the French fucked it up, we tried to straighten it out, and fucked it up worse when LBJ micromanged the war into a total crapheap.

But I'll be sure to read that book in my copious amounts of free time. Maybe.

J.

Posted by: JLawson at February 11, 2004 08:03 PM | PERMALINK

He spent 20 more minutes with small children - are you a parent? Can you imagine the gift of his presence to those kids? Of ANY President's visit to an elementary school?

Satire, right?

Right?

Posted by: Sovok at February 11, 2004 08:06 PM | PERMALINK

Spotted Dog....

Yep, brave Gore. Reporter. Well back from the front lines, w/bodyguard.

Bush. Flying an F-102. From Salon mag.

http://tinyurl.com/2mjzf

If George W. Bush wanted to pick a safe place to sit out the war he probably could have chosen a better spot than the cockpit of an F-102. Flying supersonic jet aircraft is a dangerous business. Similar planes in the period that Bush flew had a fatal pilot accident rate of about one per 40,000 flight hours. Assuming that Bush flew about a thousand hours over his career, this would mean he had a bit over a 2 percent chance of a fatal accident sometime during his service.

About 3.4 million men served in Vietnam, and about 60,000 were killed -- a fatal casualty rate of just under 2 percent. Thus it is entirely possible that Bush was actually running a bigger risk of death than someone in a non-combat position in Vietnam, such as Gore -- though much less than someone carrying an M-16 in a rice paddy."

J.

Posted by: JLawson at February 11, 2004 08:07 PM | PERMALINK

Sovok:

No, not satire at all.

When I was in grade school, the school was closed when Kennedy was assasinated. Presidents are amazing people. They're celebrities. Think about having Michael Jordan stop by a grade school to play basketball with kids at recess. Think about a President coming to read to kids. To have a sitting President actually visit a school... that is an amazing thing to a child. And I don't care which party a President belongs to - if he can't make time for children, he's not much of a man.

J.

Posted by: JLawson at February 11, 2004 08:11 PM | PERMALINK

jlawson

i don't know where Gore served in Nam. I do know he volunteered for duty there.

I served with an M-16 in many rice paddies myself. And miltary correspondents and cameraman often served with us on the front lines and put themselves in the middle of firefights to get the story or the pictures.

Posted by: spotted dog at February 11, 2004 08:11 PM | PERMALINK

Shorter Jlawson,

"I'm gonna suck W's rod, and there is nothing you liberals can do to stop me."


The cognitive disonance got your panties in a twist?

Posted by: mac at February 11, 2004 08:14 PM | PERMALINK

jlawson

PS - I used to be a republican. My first presidential vote was for a real conservative by the name of Goldwater. How you radical chickenhawks today can call yourself conservatives is beyond the pale.

Posted by: spotted dog at February 11, 2004 08:15 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, now you talked to Burkett, so you have the name of his friend (the one who pointed out the files) and the date and time this actually occurred.

Oh you had a two hour conversation and you didn't ask those questions.

Realclearpolitics has this view of you:

Kevin Drum has been more or less the ringmaster of the Bush National Guard circus on the web.

Kevin, your next post should be titled Send in the Clowns, dude.

Posted by: Timmy the Wonder Dog at February 11, 2004 08:16 PM | PERMALINK

Spotted Dog -

I have nothing but respect for several groups who served in VietNam. EOD. Combat controllers. Helicopter pilots. Infantry. Combat cameramen and reporters. And you, sir, btw.

I have no source that says Gore got anywhere near the front lines. I have heard he had a bodyguard during most of his time in VietNam, whether true or not I can't say.

J.

Posted by: JLawson at February 11, 2004 08:19 PM | PERMALINK

"timmy the wonderdog" just pissed himself.

If bush would release his records this controversy would end, now.

It is just that simple.

Posted by: mac at February 11, 2004 08:22 PM | PERMALINK

JLawson ~ Bush has already defeated himself. All of this AWOL stuff is just a distraction to suck the oxygen out of Bush's ability to set the agenda. Don't like this distraction just set a bit and wait for the next. This has only begun.

You are so wrong about Iraq. That entire affair was dictated by the politicos. We would have gone in later and heavier with our flanks covered if the military had been in charge. It was an extremely bad decision to go in the way we did.

Posted by: filchyboy at February 11, 2004 08:23 PM | PERMALINK

Spotted Dog -

Did I say I was a Republican? Or a conservative? And what does that have to do with anything here?

I vote for who I think will do the best job. I got fooled by Clinton, and since then I learned to disregard the hype about a candidate and dig for substance. And this thing ain't substance.

Re being a 'conservative' - I don't like Bush's stance on abortion, or stem cell research. But that's not relevant to the issue at hand, so I'll say no more about this.

J.

Posted by: JLawson at February 11, 2004 08:23 PM | PERMALINK

jlawson

you heard???

I heard some draft dodger talk about Bush.

Posted by: spotted dog at February 11, 2004 08:23 PM | PERMALINK

I hate to be the one to burst your GWB blowup doll JLawson, but Bush flying a plane at home over the skies of Texas was more cowardly than Gore’s going to a hostile nation where people were shooting anyone who was an American. There is a difference between choosing to be a fighter jock – and looking manly, and being in a nation filled with our enemies - being manly. Had Bush stayed at home and been a truck driver he might well have had a greater chance of dying, but you wouldn’t be using that fact to defend him. All you have is spin.

Posted by: Lori Thantos at February 11, 2004 08:25 PM | PERMALINK

Well now. The Washington Post reports that the White House has released a record of a dental examination at Dannelly Airforce Base, ALABAMA for January 1973, complete with a drawing of the President's TEETH. The AWOL people have some 'splaining to do:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A34505-2004Feb11.html

The date (January 6) is one listed on Bush's payroll records. But of course I guess Karl Rove could have drawn the teeth and planted the document...

Posted by: rd at February 11, 2004 08:25 PM | PERMALINK

Filchyboy -

All I can say is - it worked. Later, and we'd have had to wait through the summer. As is - what was accomplished was done with amazingly few lives lost on either side. Take a look at WW2's invasion of Germany for a comparison.

J.


Posted by: JLawson at February 11, 2004 08:26 PM | PERMALINK

Damn.

Teeth.

Next, it'll be a proctoscope.

G'night, folks. Catch ya tomorrow.

J.

Posted by: JLawson at February 11, 2004 08:27 PM | PERMALINK

Pass it on: 86-43-04

Posted by: Conservatives R Morons at February 11, 2004 08:28 PM | PERMALINK

Wow
Just flipping through the thread here and I saw that Jlawson is defending Bush's decision to spend 20 min. with the kids after the first plane hit on 9/11.
*click* No reason to listen to any more of his nonsense

Posted by: Marky at February 11, 2004 08:29 PM | PERMALINK

RD, gee, that's odd. No one asked for his good brusher/good flosser report card. What about the medical records that the Bushies are refusing to make public?

The White House obtained the dental record, along with other medical records it did not release, from the Air Reserve Personnel Center in Denver, Colo., McClellan said. The record was accompanied by a statement from Dr. Richard J. Tubb, the president's current physician, who stated that he read Bush's records, which covered a period from 1968 to 1973, and concurred with the doctors' assertion that Bush was "fit" for service.

If he was "fit" to serve, why didn't he?

Posted by: Old Hat at February 11, 2004 08:29 PM | PERMALINK

Umm, so he was on the Alabama air base *not* serving?

Posted by: rd at February 11, 2004 08:31 PM | PERMALINK

RD: Where are the other medical records that the white House is refusing to release? He has nothing to hide, right? Right? Riiiiiiight?

Posted by: Old Hat at February 11, 2004 08:33 PM | PERMALINK

The AWOL people have some 'splaining to do:

Not so fast. Every other timeline has him returning to Texas after the Blount Campaign ended in November.

Why go back to Alabama for an AF Dentist when his family is RICH?

And why won't they simply tell us WHY he missed his physical?

Again, if this were a serious matter in my workplace and one of my employees pulled this hemming, hawing, dribs and drabs, stonewalling bullshit with me, I would have to fire them.

Tell me WHY. Answer the question. You are a public servant, not a King. The public, or a sizeable portion of them, have questions they feel are relevant to your fitness for office. Seeing as how you are asking us to elect you to a second term, I think the least you could do is address this question in a straightforward, upfront manner.

WHY did you not take your flight phyiscal?

WHY did you suddenly want to stop flying planes?

Answer the question. Don't hedge, don't stonewall, just form some words and spit them out.

I would seriously fire somebody if they worked for me and wouldn't answer a simple question about why they didn't, for instance, take a urine test for drugs.

Seems clear enough to me why an employee might not want to take a urine test for drugs.

Is that it? Because if it's not, then why are we going through all this, when Bush can end it with a simple statement.

Posted by: Monkey at February 11, 2004 08:34 PM | PERMALINK

"But Bartlett -- like McClellan -- was emphatic that the White House had no immediate plans to open Bush's entire file, which would include his Guard medical records.

"These are attempts to troll for personal records for partisan advantage. We're not going to play," Bartlett said. "The goal post is being moved."


BZZzzzzzzzz-

Thanks for the info rd!

HaHahahahaaa

Posted by: mac at February 11, 2004 08:34 PM | PERMALINK

Atrios puts it best:

"Note for the media - the burning questions are why he didn't take a medical exam the previous August and why he never flew again. I have no idea what this new made up 'was he fit to serve?' question is.

But, in any case, every other timeline of Bush at that time says he returned to Houston the previous November.

The contradicitons are starting to grow exponentially..."

Posted by: Old Hat at February 11, 2004 08:35 PM | PERMALINK

First it was "he never served after April 1972." Then after the points summaries were out, it was
"he was earning points in some unkown way in a disciplinary paper unit." Then after the payroll records were out, it was "he's shown no proof that he was in Alabama or even on a National Guard Base." Now he's been shown to be on an Alabama Air Base, and its "where are the other medical records." Right on guys.

Posted by: rd at February 11, 2004 08:37 PM | PERMALINK

Bush could end all of this with five words. He could fulfill the explicit promise he made on national TV last sunday, too. All it takes is for him to say "Release all of the records."

He has nothing to hide. Why is he stalling? Why is he releasing his dental records? No one asked for dental records. What about his physical? What about those other medical records Bush is sitting on right now and refusing to release? He has nothing to hide.

He has nothing to hide.

Posted by: Old Hat at February 11, 2004 08:39 PM | PERMALINK

USAToday is all over the Burkett story:

link (Posted 2/11/2004 11:09 PM Updated 2/11/2004 11:20 PM)

Posted by: aReader at February 11, 2004 08:43 PM | PERMALINK

RD: Now you're just making shit up.

A copy of the dental examination done on Jan. 6, 1973, documents the president serving at Dannelly Air National Guard Base, which is south of Montgomery, Ala., White House press secretary Scott McClellan said in a statement.

Several members of an Alabama unit Bush was assigned to have told The Associated Press that they couldn't recall ever seeing him.

According to the White House, the dental exam shows Bush did report for duty in Alabama. The exam, however, was done after November 1972, when earlier reports have said Bush returned to Texas.

Let's see these documents first before taking the Administration at its word.

Posted by: Old Hat at February 11, 2004 08:44 PM | PERMALINK

According to the White House, the dental exam shows Bush did report for duty in Alabama. The exam, however, was done after November 1972, when earlier reports have said Bush returned to Texas.

Hmm...

Posted by: Old Hat at February 11, 2004 08:45 PM | PERMALINK

Yes you're right. Clearly Rove snuck in the drawing of his teeth.

Posted by: rd at February 11, 2004 08:45 PM | PERMALINK

Wait...

He doesn't take his physical...

But there are medical records that they won't release?

Why? He didn't take the physical, right?

Or DID he, and got popped for dope?

That's what I'm curious about. Funny that Republicans, who are usually so hard on suspected drug users, don't seem to care much that maybe, just maybe, the President of the United States, when serving in the Military, and was in a supposedly VITAL role defending "CONUS" from Soviet sneak atack, might have just been coked out of his mind?

I think that's an interesting position to take. The government spends a million dollars training him to defend the country, and he might have been doing dope (rumors abound), he won't take his physical, and yet not a single Republican is stepping forward to say: Godammit, if he took drugs on his watch, rendering himself unfit for duty, then that is flat out wrong and I want to know the truth. In fact, I demand it.

Nope, instead we hear a lot of. "Good luck Dems! Losers! Who cares if he did drugs?"

Well I care. My dad was over there, and if frat-boy Bush was getting high while my Dad's life was in danger, I want to know about it thank you very much.

I think quite a few voters would too.

Posted by: Monkey at February 11, 2004 08:52 PM | PERMALINK

A dental exam? When he had already had flight status revoked because he hadn't submitted to a physical?

We're starting to get into the twilight zone.

Posted by: bad Jim at February 11, 2004 08:53 PM | PERMALINK

Moronic brownshirt fucks pissing in their pants... ya gotta love it!

I'd ask you to give my best to Unka Karl, but I hear he doesn't get down to the boilerroom much these days... lots of closed-door meetings with his lawyers, for some reason...

Posted by: dave at February 11, 2004 09:29 PM | PERMALINK

RD - if he had returned to Texas in Nov. 1972, why would he go back to Alabama to have his teeth checked? That must be one fucking good dentist.

Posted by: Boggs at February 11, 2004 09:37 PM | PERMALINK

it is a little known fact that
the teeth carry tiny telltale indications
which show precisely the dates, job, legal status, and location of the tooth owner.

Posted by: J at February 11, 2004 10:22 PM | PERMALINK

JLawson: You, on the other hand, have no grounds to believe Cohen except because he paints himself in a bad light - and that story could even be untrue.

Indeed. With that in mind, I bet Cohen would authorize the release of all of his NG records, as Mr. Bush told Tim Russert he would do. Then, we could see how well his memory intersects with the written record. See how that works?
.

Posted by: Jeffraham Prestonian at February 12, 2004 01:09 AM | PERMALINK

Hang onto your Old Hat: But, in any case, every other timeline of Bush at that time says he returned to Houston the previous November.

The contradicitons are starting to grow exponentially...

Contradictions? Naw, man... Lt. Bush was authorized to fly F-102s from Houston to Podunk, Alabama at any time. He had drills to make up, 'so, what's the difference?'

No! Wait! He was testing out the experimental jet-pack (as seen in _Thunderball_) for the CIA!

Naw. More likely, it was a Buick.

I agree with those who believe the story isn't the dates and locations, but what fills in the undeniable gaps. That, and why the annual physical wasn't completed.
.

Posted by: Jeffraham Prestonian at February 12, 2004 01:30 AM | PERMALINK

Why won't he release his records? He has nothing to be afraid of, right?
Why won't he release his records? He has nothing to be afraid of, right?
Why won't he release his records? He has nothing to be afraid of, right?
Why won't he release his records? He has nothing to be afraid of, right?
Why won't he release his records? He has nothing to be afraid of, right?

He said he would, just last week. He also said "perhaps" he'd testify to the 9/11 commission. be afraid of, right?
Why won't he testify? He has nothing to be afraid of, right?

"Everyone oughta show their cards" Remember that one? One of my favorites.

Posted by: flatulus at February 12, 2004 01:02 PM | PERMALINK

ewww, extraneous pasting!

Posted by: flatulus at February 12, 2004 01:03 PM | PERMALINK

When Bush says he served, then there are documents showing that he served, you don't believe Bush. Okay, I get it now.

Not quite, Bird Dog. This is the classic Republican spin technique of "exaggerate the charges the other side is making and conflate the refutation of the exaggeration with the original charge."

No one is saying that Bush didn’t serve ... just that he didn’t fulfill his entire service commitment and seems not to have been sanctioned for it.

He got an honorable discharge, you people say, so that should end the issue. Well, Clinton wasn't removed from office, so therefore you will have to say that he didn't get head from Monica, right?

The findings of administrative and judicial bodies reflect legality, not reality. As even Bush’s defenders on this have had to admit, military paperwork practices leave a lot to be desired.

Posted by: SullyWatch at February 13, 2004 08:05 AM | PERMALINK

1) Bush's obligation was to serve as "a pilot", not as a clerk. Or to read flying magazines in an office.
2) He wilfully failed to take the required annual physical. And he was grounded.
3) He applied to serve in Alabama in a flying unit.
But he stated he didn't need to take the physical because he wouldn't be flying. But he could have been if he would have taken his physical, got un-grounded and went through the Phantom (F-4) transition course in Alabama.
4) In my 20 years of military flying I have never run across anyone who "grounded" themselves.
5) Why has none of his flying buddies ever come forward? (Campenni excluded - who sounds like he just came from RNC hq)

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