I see nothing but an upside for Bush with this story:
In recent days, a one-year gap in President Bush’s Texas Air National Guard service during the height of the Vietnam War has been raised by Democrats.
While none of the presidential candidates has directly criticized Bush’s service, some Democrats, including Democratic National Committee Chairman Terence R. McAuliffe, have accused the president of shirking his military duties in 1972, when Bush transferred to an Alabama unit. McAuliffe on Sunday called Bush “AWOL,” or “absent without leave,” during that period.
Terry Holt, spokesman for the Bush campaign, accused McAuliffe of trying to “perpetuate a completely false and bogus assertion.” Holt said, “The president was never AWOL.”
Nothing but good things can happen when Terry McAuliffe injects himself into the campaign.
Years ago, I was in the National Guard.
I transferred twice, due to moving.
First time, I didn’t go for two months.
In my second unit, I missed drill first because I got sick, needed surgery. Then again I changed jobs and moved. It took months to find a local unit that used my specialty…so essentially I missed eight months of weekend drill and one two weeks summer active duty due to sickness and moving.
Was I AWOL?
Did you join the guard, pulling all of your connections, to avoid going to Vietnam?
Did you show up after missing this period and complete your requirements?
Did you move after being denied a transfer?
Did you serve after you found a new unit, or were you credited with “gratuitous” Reserve points?
Hipocrite, all your questions are false:
1) There was no contract, “join the guard, they never deploy,” quite the opposite is true. If there was favoritism for Bush to get a post, that’s life; whether to use the Guard or the Draft in Vietnam was way beyond 2d Lt. Bush (or even his junior Congressman father GHWB).
2)Bush asked to reschedule the drills before taking his civilian employment out of Texas; approval of such requests is automatic – the Guard is required to facilitate the member’s transfer to allow completion of the military contract when a member moves geographically.
3) The Guard can not prevent a part-time servicemember from taking a new civilian job, see transfer answer above.
4) There is evidence that he served, and none that he did not, unless you credit “I don’t remember that guy” from one retired colonel 28 years after the fact.
I’m a Reserve USMC LtCol, I’ve fired people who were unsat participants, I’ve sent deserters to jail. I know what evidence you need, I know what the records look like. The records that exist are not complete but they show Bush served honorably, and earned his honorable discharge.
Get over it.
McKinney derailed when she suggested Bush knew about Sep. 11… Dean did not derail when he made a similar suggestion that such a theory was “most interesting” but it was arguably the beginning of the end. It’s been all downhill since Clark refused to rebuke Michael friggin’ Moore’s deserter charge and now the head of the DNC is making a similar suggestion. When will they ever learn?
By the way, it now comes out that the guy who didn’t remember him wasn’t on the base all that often anyway…
“perpetuate a completely false and bogus assertion.”
Hunh, and here I thought the Bush administration had a copyright on these kind of assertions.
Odd…I don’t remember Bush being there, either. AWOL!!!
I gather that a long string of unexcused unexplained absences from Bush’s National Guard unit would not be classified as being “AWOL” per military terminology. Is that right? Seems to me my Dems have long needed to replace spinner McAuliffe. He’s a major hindrance.
M. Scott Eiland
I suspect that McAuliffe’s reign at the DNC will end when he’s indicted for tax fraud for not declaring as income the hefty bribes he’s obviously getting from Karl Rove. . .I mean, no one could *really* be this incompetent and be trying to do their job correctly, could they?
the talking dog
I tend to agree that with McAuliffe on the job, its hard to see why Karl Rove and co. even have to work: just sit back and watch the Democratic Party self-destruct (think, for example, of just why its so important to have Kucinich and Sharpton– who have yet to garner 2% support between them– at national debates).
Anyway– this “AWOL” issue was out there in 2000, and it didn’t go anywhere then. Bush explained what happened, and its consistent with his honorable discharge. As to verifying what happened, alas, many of the records mysteriously disappeared while Bush was Governor of Texas– which cuts both ways, actually– no “smoking gun”, but he can’t really defend himself either.
I don’t think there’s any doubt, however, that his father, then Congressman George H.W. Bush, and his political and business associates, were extremely helpful in securing the coveted Air Guard spot for future President George W. Bush, and there is a legitimate question of how many times the Bush family has used its so-called “public service” for private benefits and advantages just like that– a big issue that is being missed amidst idiocy like Michael Moore’s verbal ejaculations.
“…many of the records mysteriously disappeared while Bush was Governor of Texas…”
So, some short interval before Bush took office, someone actually knew where those records were? This is a new one on me.
I find it amusing that the party of “baby killer”, draft dodgers, and pacifism is suddenly all in love with military service…
This could all be resolved if the President would lay out his Personnel Record. Not just show a Honorable Discharge. But the problem would be I think a lot of people besides the President would have some serious explaning to do. Having served in the national guard during this period and subsequently completed 22 years on active duty I can tell you that absents from drill during this time was a serious issue and many were ordered to active duty for failing to attend. So all of you who think this is an issue that has been resovlved are mistaken. Does it matter, I really do not think it does in the long run but I can show you my personnel record for my entire career. Where is the President’s….this would resolved all questions!!
Come on DC, you do not have the muster sheets from 30 years ago from your time in the Guard, and neither does the President. You have your DD214 and some certificates and citations hanging on your “I love me wall,” just like the rest of us veterans.
You know if you missed drill you would have recieved a notice, copied to your recordbook, that demanded you make up drills. If you did not make up the drills then your page 3 of the OQR/SRB would show an admin reduction in grade, unless you were an NCO or Officer – then you would recieve either orders to active duty or a notice of an admin reduction board/discharge board. Months of unsat participation would have resulted in disciplinary action recorded at all levels of the Reserve/Guard command, up to and including the ultimate discharge authority – and an Other than Honorable Discharge would be the result.
There are no records of the Texas ANG command initiating disciplinary action against Bush. NONE. So either the command was so messed up it let people slide or the documents that show GWB did “courtesy drills” in Alabama, and make-up drills in Texas are true.
In order for GWB to have obtained an unearned Honorable Discharge the whole Texas Air National Guard chain of command would have to have conspired, thirty years prior to Bush ever being “someone,” to violate the UCMJ.
Just playing that tin-foil hat game is insulting to those of us who have served in both the active duty and reserve components.