"Mr. Bush," I said. "How did you get into the Guard so easily? One hundred thousand guys our age were on the waiting list, and you say you walked in and signed up to become a pilot. Did your congressman father exercise any influence on your behalf?"
"Not that I know of, Jim," the future president told me. "I certainly didn't ask for any. And I'm sure my father didn't either. They just had an opening for a pilot and I was there at the right time."
Texas official regrets allowing Bush to enlist in National Guard
AUSTIN, Texas - (KRT) - On a videotape posted on a pro-Kerry Web site, former Texas Lt. Gov. and House Speaker Ben Barnes for the first time publicly took credit and apologized for helping President Bush secure a Vietnam-era slot in the Texas Air National Guard.
"I got a young man named George W. Bush into the National Guard ... and I'm not necessarily proud of that," Barnes, an Austin lobbyist and John Kerry supporter with a lucrative Washington practice, said on the tape. "It was the worst thing I did, was help a lot of wealthy supporters and a lot of people who had family names of importance get into the National Guard. And I'm very sorry of that and I'm very ashamed, and I apologize to you as the voters of Texas."
"The same sort of moral cowardice that led him to support the Vietnam war but decide it wasn't for him, run companies into the ground and let others pay the bill, play gutter politics but run for the hills when someone asks him to say it to their face, those are the same qualities that led the president to lie the country into war, fail to prepare for the aftermath and then refuse to take responsibility for any of it when the bill started to come due. "
"Serious money is changing hands between individuals directly connected to President Bush and the new cheesy and sleazy Swift Boat campaign. That includes a $200,000 contribution to the Swift Boat group from ole Karl Rove’s personal friend and No. 1 contributor. If Bush’s right-hand political man didn’t want this Swift Boat bile spewed across the airwaves, Robert J. Perry wouldn’t have paid for it. Period."
Larry Thurlow, who commanded a Navy boat alongside Kerry in Vietnam, has disputed that the Massachusetts Democratic senator was shot at during the March 1969 raid that resulted in Bronze Stars to both men.
But Thurlow's military records, partially obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by The Washington Post, contain references to "enemy small arms and automatic fire" directed at "all units" of the five-boat flotilla, the newspaper says.
...Since the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the Army has invoked stop-loss to extend the tours of more than 45,000 soldiers. Opponents have criticized the policy as a "back-door draft,'' while military officials say it allows them to keep units together for the sake of cohesion instead of incorporating transfers or recruits...
...And what if Chavez wins the recall election? Will the U.S. intervene to further destabilize Venezuela? The Bush administration has certainly done a lot to get rid of Chavez. That he's alive for the recall referendum is a sign of the Bolivarian process' resilience. Just this Tuesday Spain's El Mundo newspaper reported on a Central Intelligence Agency meeting held in Chile to prepare a contingency plan in the event that Chavez wins the recall...