Let's get something straight!
Whether George Bush "served" in the Air National Guard or not, today he has
almost three years experience as wartime Commander-In Chief of the greatest
military force in history of mankind, which John Kerry does NOT have!
Kerry's four months of dodging bullets and mooching medals hardly qualifies
as military Command-In-Chief experience, which is the job in question, not
being patrol boat commander!
Those two MOH winners cited need to get a sense of proportion, especially
Bob Kerrey who has been so blatantly partisan at political blame laying
while a member of that appalling 9/11 "Star Chamber" Congressional
So either get it right or forget it!
"WalterM140" wrote in message
2 Democrats: Bush Let Guard Down
Gore Surrogates Revive Issue of Apparent Laxity in Candidate's Military
By George Lardner Jr. and Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, November 3, 2000; Page A22
Two high-profile surrogates for Vice President Gore, in an 11th-hour
exploit a dormant issue, yesterday castigated George W. Bush over
that he did not fulfill some of his National Guard duties in the 1970s.
Democratic Sens. Bob Kerrey (Neb.) and Daniel Inouye (Hawaii), both Medal
Honor winners, were drafted to attack Bush on a 27-year-old controversy
the Gore campaign has avoided mentioning until now. They spoke by phone to
veterans rally in Nashville led by Sen. Max Cleland (D-Ga.), a decorated
Vietnam veteran. Reporters were invited to listen by conference call.
Bush says he fulfilled all his obligations as a pilot in the Air National
Guard, but he has had difficulty rebutting charges that he played hooky
"Where were you, Governor Bush?" Inouye asked. "What about your
What would you do as commander in chief if someone in the Guard or service
the same thing?"
Kerrey questioned how Bush immediately got into the Guard "even though
were 500 people ahead of him" at a time when "350 Americans were dying
single week in Vietnam." Kerrey has been drawing a sharp contrast with
who served in Vietnam.
Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer called the attacks "the final throes of a
that has now lost any semblance of decency. The governor, of course, was
honorably discharged, and these are inventions and fabrications. All the
questions have been answered."
But Gore spokesman Mark Fabiani said the senators "seem to have raised
very important questions . . . that deserve an answer."
Bush signed up with the Texas National Guard for six years in May 1968,
allowed him to avoid the Vietnam draft. He became an F-102 pilot in 1970
made his last flight in April 1972 before moving to Alabama to work on a
Senate campaign. The dispute centers on what he did in the Guard between
point and September 1973, when he entered Harvard Business School.
Bush campaign officials say their evidence shows that he did his duty in
1972-73, when he worked for six months on the Senate race in Alabama and
returned to his home base outside Houston. But other documents in his
record contradict that claim, and critics who have examined that record
that he also skimped on his obligations in 1973-74. It is safe to say that
did very light duty in his last two years in the Guard and that his
made it easy for him.
The personnel officer in charge of Bush's 147th Fighter Group, now-retired
Rufus G. Martin, says he tried to give Bush a light load, telling him to
to the 9921st Air Reserve Squadron in Montgomery, Ala.
Martin said in an interview that he knew Bush wasn't eligible for the
an unpaid, general training squadron that met once a week to hear lectures
first aid and the like. "However," he said, "I thought it was worth a try.
. It was the least participation of any type of unit." But Air Force
officials rejected the assignment, saying Bush had two more years of
obligations and was ineligible for a reserve squadron that had nothing to
with flying airplanes. Bush spokesman Dan Bartlett said Bush didn't know
when he applied.
Bush had been notified that he needed to take his annual flying physical
26th birthday in July 1972, but the move to Alabama made that unnecessary.
had been trained to fly F-102 fighter-interceptors, and none of the units
Alabama had those planes. He could have taken the physical to preserve his
pilot's status but chose not to do so. "Because he wasn't flying,"
On Aug. 1, 1972, Bush's commander in Houston, Col. Bobby W. Hodges,
grounded for "failure to accomplish annual medical examination." Some
say this should have triggered a formal board of inquiry, but Hodges said
interview that this was unnecessary because Bush accepted the penalty and
"he couldn't fly again until he takes a physical."
"It happens all the time," Hodges said of the grounding. "That is normal
Guardsman is out of state or out of the country."
In September, Bush was assigned to another Alabama unit, the 187th
Reconnaissance Group. Since "Lieutenant Bush will not be able to satisfy
flight requirements with our group," the unit told him to report for
"equivalent training"--such as debriefing pilots--on the weekends of Oct.
and Nov. 4-5, 1972.
There is no evidence in his record that he showed up on either weekend.
on the Alabama campaign say he told them of having to do Guard duty, but
retired general who commanded the 187th, William Turnipseed, and his
chief, Kenneth K. Lott, say they do not remember Bush ever reporting.
The Bush campaign points to a torn piece of paper in his Guard records, a
statement of points Bush apparently earned in 1972-73, although most of
dates and Bush's name except for the "W" have been torn off.
According to the torn Air Reserve Forces sheet, Bush continued to compile
service credits after returning to Houston, winding up his fifth year with
points, six above the minimum needed for retention. However, Bush's annual
effectiveness report, signed by two superiors, says "Lt. Bush has not been
observed at this unit during the period of the report," May 1, 1972, to
Hodges also said he did not see Bush at the Texas base again after Bush
for Montgomery. "If I had been there on the day[s] he came out, I would
seen him," Hodges said.