...Homeland Security Chief Tom Ridge has issued two terror alerts during the presidential campaign. One immediately followed John Kerry's choice of John Edwards as his running mate. The other immediately followed the Democratic National Convention...
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."
A normal, average citizen, I unlock the front door and enter my home. I don't know if anyone has entered surreptitiously -- perhaps a sneak-and-peek job by Ashcroft's black-bag boys.
I boot up my computer to go online. I don't know if my email is being monitored, if my keystrokes are being recorded.
I call my attorney, about a family matter. I don't know if communication with my lawyer, previously regarded as "confidential," is being listened to. (This, and the other examples above, and many below, flow from the Bush-Ashcroft "USA Patriot Act.")
I visit my physician, and learn later that my employer found out about a chronic condition I had and laid me off, to keep his insurance costs down. The doctor-patient confidentiality I thought existed is now breachable by government agencies in cahoots with insurance companies...
(read the disturbing rest)...
New White House Documents Indicate Bush AWOL For 6 Months In 1972: WP
White House claims newly-released documents prove Bush actively served paid days between May 27, 1972, and May 26, 1973, but do not account for 6 month gap in 1972, nor identifies the nature of the work on the days served, according to the Washington Post. Retired Lt. Col. previously used by Bush campaign claims records prove Bush contention.
"The records indicate that between May 1972 and May 1973, Bush served 14 days -- two days in October, four days in November, six days in January and two days in April. The White House offered no indication of why there was a gap in Bush's service from April to October, 1972.
"White House press secretary Scott McClellan said the records "show that he was paid for his service, and you get paid for the days on which you serve....It showed that he fulfilled his duties," McClellan said. "There are some that have made outrageous accusations, and I think you need to ask those individuals if they want to continue to stand by those outrageous accusations in the face of documentation that clearly demonstrates the president fulfilled his duties."
"I joined the National Guard, did my six months of active duty (basic training, etc.) and then returned to my home unit, where I eventually dropped from sight. In the end, just like President Bush, I got an honorable discharge. But unlike President Bush, I have just told the truth about my service. He hasn't....
there are no records to show that Bush reported for duty during the summer and fall of 1972. Nonetheless, Bush insists he was where he was supposed to be -- "Otherwise I wouldn't have been honorably discharged," Bush told Tim Russert. Please, sir, don't make me laugh....
I was supposed to attend weekly drills and summer camp, but I found them inconvenient. I "moved" to California and then "moved" back to New York, establishing a confusing paper trail that led, really, nowhere. For two years or so, I played a perfectly legal form of hooky. To show you what a mess the Guard was at the time, I even got paid for all the meetings I missed....
When Bush attempts to drape the flag of today's Guard over the one he was in so long ago, when he warns his critics to remember that "there are a lot of really fine people who have served in the National Guard and who are serving in the National Guard today in Iraq," then he is doing now what he was doing then: hiding behind the ones who were really doing the fighting. It's about time he grew up." --Richard Cohen, Washington Post, 02.10.04
"The records released today -- some of them smudged and hard to read -- showed that Mr. Bush was not paid for National Guard service from December 1972 to February or March 1973, a time in which Mr. Bush lost his active-flight status.
"Where was he in December of '72, February and March of '73?" a questioner persisted. "Why didn't he fulfill the medical requirement to remain on active flight duty status in 1972?"
Schedules varied in National Guard and Reserve units in that era. A typical schedule called for two evening meetings of four hours each, plus one all-day meeting, often on a Sunday, each month. In addition, a unit attended a two-week summer camp at an active military post. A unit member who missed more than a few meetings in a year faced the prospect of being called to active duty." --New York Times, 02.10.04
Here are two documents McClellan may have been describing today, including a discussion of them by "Calpundit." --Politex, 02.10.04
QUESTION: The records that you handed out today and other records that exist indicate that the president did not perform any Guard duty during the months of December 1972, February or March of 1973. I'm wondering if you could tell us where he was during that period. And also how is it that he managed to not make the medical requirements to remain on active flight duty status?
MCCLELLAN: The records that you're pointing to, these records are the payroll records. They're the point summaries. These records verify that he met the requirements necessary to fulfill his duties. These records, these payroll records reflect...
QUESTION: That wasn't my question. Where was he in December of '72...
MCCLELLAN: These records...
QUESTION: ... February and March of '73? Why did he not fulfill the medical requirements to remain on active flight duty status?
MCCLELLAN: These records I'm holding here clearly document the president fulfilling his duties in the National Guard. The president was proud of his service. The president...
QUESTION: I asked a simple question. How about a simple answer?
MCCLELLAN: John, if you'll let me address the question, I'm coming to your answer.
QUESTION: Well, if you would address it, maybe you could.
MCCLELLAN: I'm sorry, John, this is an important issue that some chose to raise in the context of an election year. And the facts are important for people to know. If you don't want to know the facts, that's fine. But I want to share the facts with you.
QUESTION: I'll ask one more time: Where was he in December of '72, February and March of '73. Why didn't he fulfill the medical requirements to remain on active flight duty status in 1972? [The question was never answered. --Politex.] transcript
"Under questioning from increasingly vexed reporters, it becomes clear the White House's pay stubs and other papers aren't terribly convincing proof of anything -- except that these lame scraps of evidence demonstrate a three-month gap -- a period in which now apparently even the White House tacitly admits Guardsman Bush was absent without leave, off working on a Senator's campaign in another state. (Remember, even 31 days of AWOL meets the army's internal administrative standard for " desertion "). The White House also does not dispute that Guardsmen Bush lost his flying status -- status he earned at American expense -- by failing to submit to an army medical examination. And it offers no explanation for why a hard-partying mediocrity like George W. Bush circa 1972 might have been afraid to show up for that." --The Nation, 02.10.04
Two days after George Bush promised Tim Russert and the entire world that he
would release "everything" about his military records, the White House
surprised reporters with two sets of new documents, along with a cover memo by Col.
Albert C. Lloyd Jr. (ret.), a Bush supporter and expert on National Guard
(The second set of documents were illegible, which only fueled the
frustration of the reporters. The White House promised to post more legible versions on
their Web site, but as of the midnight the only place they could be found was
on "unofficial" White House site at FoxNews.com.)
The first set of documents included the documents first published by
Democrats.com on 2-10-2000 - notably the "untorn document."
(Not surprisingly, McClellan refused to credit Democrats.com for discovering
these documents, and instead claimed he was revealing them for the very first
time. Since "shame" is one of McClellan's favorite epithets, we can't resist
saying "shame on you" to McClellan for committing plagiarism.)
Bush's supporters love this document, because it includes two entries that
roughly correspond to Bush's time in Alabama during the fall campaign of 1972:
Oct. 28-29 and Nov. 11-14.
Of course, these dates do not correspond to the dates he was specifically
ordered to report to Col. Turnipseed - Oct. 7-8 and Nov. 4-5. But Bush's
supporters don't worry about such details.
But what exactly is this "untorn" document?
The White House is trying to label it as a pay document. But it is not. There
isn't a dollar amount anywhere on it. It is clearly labeled "ARF Statement of
Points Earned." ARF (Air Reserve Forces) does not pay Guardsmen - that is the
job of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS). ARF simply tracks
their points towards retirement. The "untorn" document is a retirement
document, not a pay document.
Apparently, Bush received retirement points during this service year, the 5th
of his 6 years. But did he earn them by actually reporting for duty and
performing a useful service to defend his country? Or did Bush go AWOL and receive
the credits as a gift from a friendly superior officer who wanted to make sure
he got an Honorable Discharge - as Democrats.com has argued? That's what
every White House reporter wanted to know.
The Smoking Microfiche
If the ARF document above is not a pay record - and it is not - then it
cannot answer this simple question. So by a process of elimination, there is only
one other record provided by the White House that could be called a "pay"
record for the fall of 1972.
This document is below. It has no name, but it appears to be a printed copy
of a microfiche. The only description appears below the microfiche in ink,
labeled as "1972 - 4th Q."
The top half is difficult to discern, but it could be a pay document of some
kind. For example, the upper right corner says "DAILY PAY" and below that
2763, which could be $27.63. But without knowing the name and number of this form,
the abbreviated codes it contains, and the agency that produced it, we cannot
say for sure.
But McClellan insisted he was releasing "pay" records, so this is the only
document provided by the White House that could possibly show whether Bush was
"paid" for the 4th quarter of 1972 (September-December), when Bush was
allegedly in Alabama.
And though the document is difficult to read, one thing is clear beyond a
shadow of a doubt: Bush was not "paid" for any dates in the 4th Quarter of 1972.
The crucial section is the bottom, where the dates are clearly arrayed. Here
is a schematic diagram, leaving out dates without entries to save space. The
headings for the columns after day 31 are unclear, so we gave it our best guess.
Here are some assumptions we must make to interpret the data:
1. The "normal" entries occur between days 1-30.
2. Day 31 appears to be a "dual use" column. In months with 31 days, there
could be a numeric entry if points were earned on that date. In the months with
fewer than 31 days (Feb, Apr, Jun, Sep, Nov), "99" appears to be inserted as a
Using these assumptions, we can draw the following conclusions.
1. Bush's last date of "pay" was April 16, 1972. (The only entries after that
date are on April 31, Jun 31, Sep 31, and Nov 31. Since those are all 30-day
months, and the entries all say 99, we can conclude that these are
"placeholder" numbers on the form, not "pay" dates for duty served.) This corresponds
with his known service record.
2. Bush was not "paid" on the dates claimed by the White House in the 4th
Quarter: October 28-29 or November 11-14.
The bottom line is clear:
Bush was never paid for service during his time in Alabama