Even More On Bush And The Military

The old story about Bush’s Air National Guard service is completely eviscerated by Baldilocks, who just so happens to be a member of the Air National Guard herself. Again, she notes that a member of the Guard can’t go AWOL when they’re given permission to take time off by their unit commander, which Bush was. Furthermore, a Guardsman (or woman) has the legal right to make up any missed time within the same quarter, which Bush’s records show he did.

This story keep coming back more times than Freddy Krueger, and each time it gets blown up, chopped to pieces, and fried like calamari, only to return once again.

Except this is journalism, not a bad horror movie. Those journalists who still buy the “AWOL” line should be burning their press cards. Anyone else who still buys it needs to A:) read something more mentally edifying than Michael Moore and B:) take a good hard look at the evidence. Once that is done it becomes quite clear that Bush served his time like thousands of other National Guardsmen and women.

CORRECTION: Baldilocks was a reservist, not a member of the ANG as previously stated.

UPDATE: Hindrocket at Power Line finds more information which speaks to Bush having a positive service record.

After going through the same set of tired old arguments, it is abundantly clear that there is no case based in evidence or fact which supports the contention that Bush was either AWOL or a deserter. Commenting on this issue has been closed, as the evidence has already been shown to be conclusive on this matter. Barring any concrete factual evidence coming up to prove the anti-Bush contention, the issue no longer has any room for debate within the confines of fact-based argumentation.

12 thoughts on “Even More On Bush And The Military

  1. So, say, if I was a Guardsman, and I was about to get shipped off to Iraq, there’d be no problem if I decided to take “time off” and help the Kerry campaign?

    You seem to forget that Bush’s service irregularities occured on the backdrop of Vietnam. And if Bush had “permission”, as you claim, why the hell were Bush’s superiors asking where the hell he was? Why was he grounded for missing a physical if he had “permission”?

    Your explanations just don’t add up, and Baldilock’s apologetics explain Baldilock’s service record, not Bush’s.

  2. Usually it’s because they had some (non-flying) duty elsewhere.

    Bush was a Guard Airman. If you have evidence of his having “duties” elsewhere, won’t you show it?

    Was the Vietnam War still going on during the disputed time period?

    The Battlefield: Vietnam Timeline shows that there were troops in Vietnam until April 1975. The bulk of the US military left Vietnam in March 1973, which is almost the end of the disputed period.

  3. The fact is, GWB was in the Air NG, and was allowed to make up drill weekends with other dril ldates (“SUTA’s”). When I was in the National Guard, I ocasionally made arrangements to do just that. Of course, if someone is actually deploying somewhere, then they would not be albe to do that. GWB’s units neer deployed.

  4. I used to be a Reservist in Georgia. When we needed to reschedule drill times we’d fill out RSTs and beg the captain for mercy. The problem with this discussion is that Democrats aren’t saying that Bush didn’t have his commander’s permission to miss drills with his unit in Texas. The accusation is that Bush requested a temporary duty with the Alabama Air National Guard to allow him to work for a candidate there, then never appeared at his Alabama duty station. Press outlets on both sides and now in the mainstream as well have looked at this issue, with the Washington Post’s article being the most recent. A definitive answer to the issue has never been given, and will probably not be made available until President Bush does what Candidate Bush should have done and releases his military records. The current line of investigation is going through Payroll, to determine if Lt. Bush ever received duty pay for that period. Some unit, somewhere, would have had to claim him as present in order to draw pay for him. Then again, knowing the efficiency of the military when it comes to paying Guardsmen and Reservists, there’s always some room for spin.

    Juliette, your post asks a question at the end” Could someone explain to me how someone “dodges the draft” by joining the military?” The draft during the Vietnam War was structured so that draftees had a pretty high probability of going to Vietnam. If a person faced the possibility of being drafted and being sent to Vietnam, often they would instead try to preempt their draft by enlisting in the Guard. That made the list of people bucking for Guard (and thus stateside, at that time) duty pretty long. People who had familial connections could often be assigned into a Guard unit before their name would have come up among general applicants. Additionally, the aircraft that Bush was trained to fly was one of an older generation and not likely to have been useful in Vietnam. It has been asked if Bush was given a preferrential assignment–flying a type of aircraft unlikely to be needed overseas–because of his family ties.

    Joining the Guard for duty stateside as a means of avoiding duty in Vietnam was not uncommon. It wasn’t a dodge of the draft, but it was a means of evading its full impact. I honestly can’t fault anyone for that. I just want to be sure that anyone employing that tactic serves their full assignment, and I want to be sure that the guy leading my nation’s military isn’t someone who shirked his service while commissioned. If his file were released this wouldn’t be an issue anymore, and it wouldn’t be giving the President negative press coverage on his key issue during an election year.

  5. It has been asked if Bush was given a preferrential assignment–flying a type of aircraft unlikely to be needed overseas–because of his family ties.

    From MoveOn.org’s summary:

    Competition for slots was intense; there was a long waiting list. Bush took the Air Force officer and pilot qualification tests on Jan. 17, 1968, and scored the lowest allowed passing grade on the pilot aptitude portion.

    He, nevertheless, was sworn in on May 27, 1968, for a six-year commitment.

  6. First of all, MoveOn.org is about as credible as the National Equirer – actually, I take that back, they’re less credible. I’d trust the word of a schitzophrenic booze-soaked hobo before anything Zach Exley has to say.

    Second, Bush scored a 50% on the pilot aptitude test, a 60% on the navigation test, and a whopping 95% on the officer aptitude test – which is a score that’s exceptionally difficult to obtain.

    Also, the Bush began flight training for the F-102 in 1968, at a point where that aircraft was in service in Vietnam. In 1970 he volunteered for Operation Palace Alert, although he was turned out because they wanted someone who 1,000+ hours of flight time in that aircraft. By June of 1970 F-102’s were replaced by F-105s in Vietnam,

    Bush could have very well ended up in Vietnam, and if he was somehow trying to avoid service he picked up a very strange way of doing so.

    Again, the whole arguments rests on an ANG member being “AWOL” for missing a period of drills during seven months in 1972 and 1973. However, Bush was a drilling reservist, and no one can claim that Bush failed to attend his mandatory two-week yearly active duty committment during either 1972 or 1973 – and since he did not he could not have been either AWOL or a “deserter”. In fact, his DD-214 discharge papers specifically given him an honorable discharge, which would not have been the case had there been any doubt about his service record.

    There is absolutely nothing to this story, and anyone who says that Bush was either AWOL, didn’t serve in the military, or was a deserter is either A:) supremely ignorant or B:) lying – and I’ve enough evidence to prove it in court.

  7. and I’ve enough evidence to prove it in court.

    Funny, then, that we haven’t seen any of it. Nor have we seen substantial rebuttals to any of the facts. So far you’ve just said “First of all, MoveOn.org is about as credible as the National Equirer” and repeated that he served his hitch – simultaneously agreeing that his hitch was up 8 months early.

    Nobody’s arguing that he did anything illegal. But it’s pretty clear that he manipulated the system in order to evade active service in Vietnam. You’ve yet to say anything that rebuts that.

  8. Those aren’t given if there is any doubt about his service record.

    Funny that the military authorities don’t seem to agree. From the Salon.com article:

    “But experts say that citation does not wipe away the questions. “An honorable discharge does not indicate a flawless record,” says Grant Lattin, a military law attorney in Washington and a retired Marine Corps lieutenant colonel who served as a judge advocate, or JAG officer. “Somebody could have missed a year’s worth of Guard drills and still end up with an honorable discharge.” That’s because of the extraordinary leeway local commanders within the Guard are given over these types of issues. Lattin notes that the Guard “is obviously very political, even more so than other military institutions, and is subject to political influence.”

    That’s from a military lawyer. What’s your personal experience with the National Guard, Jay?

    It’s 1973. It’s the tail end of the Vietnam War and the Pentagon is trying to organize a massive troop withdrawl. Do you think that keeping tabs on every truant Guardsman is a major priority for them? Especially if that Guardsman is the very well-connected son of a Congressman and war hero?

    I think you’re reading way too much into that “honorable discharge”, and apparently the military agrees.

  9. It’s 1973. It’s the tail end of the Vietnam War and the Pentagon is trying to organize a massive troop withdrawl. Do you think that keeping tabs on every truant Guardsman is a major priority for them? Especially if that Guardsman is the very well-connected son of a Congressman and war hero?

    Yes, because the same Guard that is trying to do all those things would bother with the record of the son of a backbench Congressman who was a pilot in the war, along with several thousand other people. (Nobody particular knew who George H.W. Bush was until several years later.)

    A DD-214 is the ultimate statement of any servicemember’s military service. As several members of the Guard have said in this thread and others, there is nothing abnormal about Bush’s record. Even if he did miss some drills from May-November, that’s not at all unusual. The only absolute obligation a guard member has is their yearly two-week drill, and it is already known that Bush fulfilled that obligation.

    At this point, there is absolutely no evidence that Bush was AWOL or did not fufill the terms of his service. The Annenberg Center, The New York Times, the Boston Globe and George all looked into the matter and found that while Bush’s records could not be fully accounted for, there is absolutely nothing that indicated that he was negligent in his duties. The military agreed by giving him an honorable discharge.

    Considering that I can back up my argument with facts and documentation and all you can provide is innuendo and speculation, it is clear that there is little point in arguing this case when the evidence is already quite clear for anyone willing to pay attention to it.

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