Ok, now that the war is over I can go back to bashing the
May 4, 2003 10:42 PM   Subscribe

''Yes, I flew it!'' Bush shouted to reporters on the flight deck as he emerged from the aircraft. Too bad he couldn't have done that in Vietnam. Mr. Bush, whose permission to fly was revoked by the military (he was suspended, assigned to a disciplinary unit and not allowed to fly military assignments again) liked to portray himself to voters as a “fighter pilot.”
posted by nyxxxx (62 comments total)
 
"If you'd like to press that button there, Mr.President...no, that's the Pacman...oh I see, that's OK...now if you'd like to set the computer to Woosharound mode...and if you could just move your knee away from my leg, Mr.President..."
posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:47 PM on May 4, 2003


I considered not posting this since the link to the photo op had already been posted. But I felt it brought up a valuable point: that Bush should have served in Vietnam and that he probably should have done time in military prison for going awol. But, no, he becomes president and gets to fly again.

Wish my daddy was head of the CIA. I'd probably be at least a governor by now.
posted by nyxxxx at 10:48 PM on May 4, 2003




"Don't worry Mr.President - we'll get you back, no problem."
posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:50 PM on May 4, 2003


What bothers me so much about this isn't the hypocrisy of Bush's real military record vs. this perceived one, it's how even against a candidate like John Kerry Bush will be cast by the media as the "man's man" war-hero candidate. Oh, and of course the amount of taxpayer dollars just spent on what will undoubtedly be the first clip for every press video of Bush for the entire 2004 campaign. We're going to see Captain Crotch-Harness played over and over again for a loooooooooooooong time.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:54 PM on May 4, 2003


I can't resist : Lookit me! I'm a soldyer too!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:12 PM on May 4, 2003


This looks like an expensive photo shoot to get some dramatic footage for tv spots in the next election. This stunt was ridiculous and costly. Here are some interesting that are not widely known.

"White House officials originally said that Bush was making the dramatic jet trip because the ship was too far out to sea to be reached by helicopter. Bush was trained in ejection procedures and water survival in case of a crash. But the carrier was just 30 miles from shore by the time he arrived, and officials said it had slowed down so that Bush could spend the night on board before the USS Abraham Lincoln docks today, extending by one day the sailors' almost 10-month deployment at sea, the longest by a carrier in 30 years." - source: Boston Globe

And the worst part of it is that hardly anyone seems to get outraged about these things.
posted by madamjujujive at 11:18 PM on May 4, 2003


hardly anyone seems to get outraged

I've tried to replace eye-popping apoplexy with sorrow-tinged laughter myself, of late. Mental health and all.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:24 PM on May 4, 2003


hardly anyone seems to get outraged about these things.

Some of us suffer from outrage overload.
posted by homunculus at 12:13 AM on May 5, 2003


one thing I wonder is why is Bush even bothering to waste time making this kind of expensive campain ? we all know he is the only one who will win (by force if necessary) 2004 "elections".
posted by bureaustyle at 12:31 AM on May 5, 2003


You know, I went through a short period of hang-wringing when I saw this on TV, but we have to face facts: most people are eating this up and we're just resentful of Bush's popularity.

I mean I hate to admit it, but let's get real. Of course it was exploiting the situation and the sailors. Of course he has a pathetic National Guard service record. But that doesn't mean beans to Joe Average sitting at home cheering at the All-American goodness Bush is spreading around right now.

And guess what? It's going to keep happening. Set up a phony statue tear-down here, fly a plane there, kiss a baby, wave a flag. The Republicans are going to exploit NYC next year for their convention. Let's all come to grips beforehand so we all don't have heart attacks. Politicians exploit situations for their personal gain.

And now we can all move on.....
posted by BloodyWallet at 2:20 AM on May 5, 2003


This came to mind
posted by ElvisJesus at 2:59 AM on May 5, 2003


This says at least as much about the Air Farce of the period as it does about Dubyah. I thought officers were supposed to be effectively on duty 24/7 and their whereabouts consistently accounted for. He may have been a playboy slacker -- not exactly unknown among airedales -- but chain-of-command has some 'splaining to do here too.
posted by alumshubby at 4:25 AM on May 5, 2003


I see that this has not been linked inthread yet. More info there.

You may proceed from there directly to here.

Heh.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:28 AM on May 5, 2003


gah.
posted by quonsar at 4:34 AM on May 5, 2003


we all know he is the only one who will win (by force if necessary) 2004 "elections".

Say it ain't so! I for one will remain optimistic he can be defeated.
posted by LouReedsSon at 4:42 AM on May 5, 2003


alumshubby -- according to the Straight Dope (and I trust Cecil), going AWOL from the National Guard (not the Air Force) was not really a big deal at the time. This does not excuse Bush, but I don't think the Air Force is at fault here.
posted by Bryant at 4:43 AM on May 5, 2003


Proof please. Accusations without proof are a waste of time.

Likewise, linking to a site entitled "awolbush.com" is about as informative as linking to "bushorchimp.com". Silly.
posted by hama7 at 5:36 AM on May 5, 2003


pay attention hama7.
posted by quonsar at 5:44 AM on May 5, 2003


hama7 - proof of what?
posted by magullo at 5:53 AM on May 5, 2003


Accusations without proof are a waste of time.

OK, chuckles, how's this suit you?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:08 AM on May 5, 2003


What bothers me so much about this isn't the hypocrisy of Bush's real military record vs. this perceived one, it's how even against a candidate like John Kerry Bush will be cast by the media as the "man's man" war-hero candidate.

I take it you haven't seen these little babies yet, hmm?

And asking hama7 to pay attention to any failure on the part of a Republican is like asking a blind man to look at the sun. He's just not going to see it. He's a close minded bigoted fool and should simply be ignored here.
posted by Cerebus at 6:14 AM on May 5, 2003


I for one think we should lay off the President's war record. After all, there is not a single documented case of the Viet Cong penetrating Texas Air Space during his watch.
posted by ElvisJesus at 6:37 AM on May 5, 2003


All behold Cerebus! Bastion of balanced thought.
posted by trharlan at 7:06 AM on May 5, 2003


take your personal shit-flinging match somewhere else. we have a president to bash here, and we take the job seriously.
posted by quonsar at 7:25 AM on May 5, 2003


I've tried to replace eye-popping apoplexy with sorrow-tinged laughter myself, of late.

I'm working on Penfield Mood Organ #325 - thin optimism trying to replace a feeling of crushing dread. I'm vaguely hopeful this kind of propaganda stunt will backfire a year from now when Americans continue to be unemployed and without health coverage.
posted by Nelson at 7:33 AM on May 5, 2003


linking to a site entitled "awolbush.com" is about as informative as linking to "bushorchimp.com".

Is the Boston Globe reputable enough for you? Or do you only believe it if it comes from Ari Fleischer?
posted by jpoulos at 7:53 AM on May 5, 2003


Or do you only believe it if it comes from Ari Fleischer?

What are you saying? Ari Fleischer lies to us? No, NONONONONONONO

*goes to wash out brain*
posted by thanotopsis at 8:27 AM on May 5, 2003


hama7-
read the links. i promise that i pre-investigated these articles, and they will not make you become a communist. you see, hama, sometimes people put together these "meta sites" which link to and contain info. from other sites. it is some heady shit, i know. actually, i don't even know why i am talking to you, as now that you have obviously been proven to be not only wrong but wrongheaded, you are likely awol from this thread.

hama- what would be good enough? obviously authenticated documents confirmed by high-ranking personnel and catalogued by a reputable, mainstream newpaper won't do it?

actually, dude is a good case study. despite the fact that he is obviously not stupid, and i would guess not a paid employee of the republican party, he chooses to jettison his reason when faced with that which makes him uncomfortable.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 8:34 AM on May 5, 2003


Ah, you're all so young, with your dread of several more Duhbya years. I heard reference to the Kent State anniversary last night. Kiddies, ask me about a childhood enduring the Nixon Era, and a young adulthood trying to tolerate that smiley dipstick Reagan, followed by the 4-year postscript of Daddy B.

That given, as I've mentioned before, my father flew in WWII. So I cannot begin to express how the bile rises in me when I see some pissy little pretend-hero like Smirky Boy strutting around.

OTOH as someone who's worked in PR, I have to hand it to his minions. Their manipulation of the facts, and the way they've gotten the media sheep to follow along, is truly an evil work of art.

I'd flicked the TV in the middle of the speech Thursday night, and when I heard Junior intoning about "Isaiah," I instinctively knew the speech was winding up. I must have the overall pattern of his act memorized.

However, I didn't know about this jet jockey crap until I read it on a message board yesterday. Several women there said he looked "hot" in that flight suit.

So FYI that's how he's playing in Jane SixPack America.
posted by NorthernLite at 8:41 AM on May 5, 2003


Anyone who questions GWB's military service (or lack thereof) during a time of war is with the terrorists. Everyone knows that.
posted by drstrangelove at 9:20 AM on May 5, 2003


Clinton got his dick sucked in the oval office... at least that's what I heard. So there.
posted by Witty at 9:28 AM on May 5, 2003


NorthernLite, since you mentioned the anniversary of Kent State...and you know, I am not one of the all so young, but I never manage to lose my dread. This is as bad or worse than I've ever seen it - perhaps worse because the citizenry seems asleep at the wheel and the news media now runs by popularity polls and quarterly shareholder whims. Illusion has become reality.
posted by madamjujujive at 10:10 AM on May 5, 2003


Clinton - failed to take his final exams at Oxford and protested against war = Draft Dodger

Bush - goes AWOL from cushy Air National Guard as an officer, which saves his ass from serving duty in Viet Nam and fails to report for scheduled physical exam resulting in loss of status as active pilot. = patriotic service to his country during time of war fulfilled.

Hmm......
posted by SweetIceT at 10:17 AM on May 5, 2003


Don't forget that Clinton smoked dope = evil, while Bush snorted coke = s'alright.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:27 AM on May 5, 2003


Who said it was evil? He became president didn't he?
posted by Witty at 10:34 AM on May 5, 2003


Who said it was evil?


Why, the great moralizer of our time, Bill Bennett, of course! In between his all nighters of gambling.
posted by nofundy at 11:31 AM on May 5, 2003


What a lying sack of shit [Bush]. As if we didn't know this already.

What irks me, isn't just the scrubbing of his army records, but the scrubbing of the minds of his voters. Whitewash, indeed.

I agree BloodyWallet,well put, except the part that we're resentful of Bush's popularity. Please, I'm popular [with my bartender!] too.
NorthernLite writes wisely:
"I have to hand it to his minions. Their manipulation of the facts, and the way they've gotten the media sheep to follow along, is truly an evil work of art."
You are so right. Scary. It would do Leni Riefenstahl proud Documentary Film-Maker Or Propagandist?

Leni Riefenstahl: Filmography

Triumph of the Will [Triumph des Willens, 1935] Documentary Film about the NSDAP's 6th Reich [Nazi] Party Congress in Nuremberg from September 4th until September 10th 1934. Hmm, eagle is prominent once again. Some serendipity. *cough*

In her Bio there are some truly amazing [read interesting smirk] photos.

No question Bush's PR minions have been paying attention to this portion in the history of propoganda.

Be very afraid.
posted by alicesshoe at 11:45 AM on May 5, 2003


I miss the days when the President would lie to us about blow jobs. Now the lies are about slightly more serious matters.
posted by homunculus at 12:12 PM on May 5, 2003


Bryant:

If Unca Cece says it, I believe it too, but it bears little relation to any kind of officer corps I've heard of in any branch of service in the US military, "Air Farce" wisecrack or not.

Now, set condition RANT...

I'm damned surprised the Air Force IG would let that kind of crap go on back in a time when the Air Force was looking for pilots to send in-theater. I'm not talking general court-martial here, but this is the kind of slack-ass crap that can prevent a mere mortal Lt. Col. with feet of clay from even thinking seriously about getting that eagle and screening for command of a wing or a base.

The Navy, for example, tends to be (unnecessarily, I think, but that's another rant for another time) overly harsh rather than overly lax with its officer corps -- whether you're a new nugget (0-1, an ensign) in your little auxilliary area down in the engineering spaces, or skipper of the whole damn ship, your authority over -- and more importantly, your responsibility for -- your command is total, absolute, final and terminal, no bullshit, no mercy, period, forever and amen. (A good chief can save you from yourself if you let him, fortunately.)

Basically, once you're supposed to be cleared for your job, fuck up operationally just once and you're toast. You're the JOOD on the bridge, it's real dark out tonight, and you ground the ship on a lousy sandbar that's not even on the damn chart? the OOD stepped out to go to the head for a quick piss, and the skipper's below in the rack? Oops. So solly, cholly: You'll never ever command a ship of your own. The OOD is doomed as well because he trusted your sorry butt, you let him down, and now he's got a big black mark in his record. And oh, by the way, the skipper's gonna get put on the beach too -- he's the guy who had the gang of idiots in his chain of command, so no sir, we can't trust him.

As for Dubyuh, if he was young, dumb, and full of cum back in his salad days, well, that's why we have senior officers to supervise the junior ones and occasionally put 'em in hack when they fuck up. If he was still a JO under instruction, his superiors dropped the ball, and if the upper reaches of the chain of command didn't notice or care, it's their fault too.

Secure from condition RANT...
posted by alumshubby at 2:04 PM on May 5, 2003


alumshubby - now I keep hearing whistle when the men on the ships get liberty to go ashore. Isn't that what they say? Been a long time was a military brat.
posted by SweetIceT at 2:50 PM on May 5, 2003


Was it "Liberty call Liberty call Liberty call"?
posted by SweetIceT at 3:13 PM on May 5, 2003


Great Words from W. - William F. Buckley.
posted by hama7 at 4:20 PM on May 5, 2003


hama7 what on god's green earth does that link have to do with anything about what we are talking about on this thread? I mean I can understand how you so desperately want to try and prop up old shrub as best you can but in this regard he has no defense.

The man used his Pappy's political connections to secure himself a safe National Guard assignment instead of serving in Vietnam. Not only did he piss all over this cush assignment he went AWOL for much of it. The irony (and hypocrisy for that matter) that he will try and use his piloting of a jet enroute to give a war time victory speech during his campaign is of herculean proportions.

If your attempt was blatant propaganda spewing right wing ass kissing--mission accomplished!
posted by aaronscool at 4:35 PM on May 5, 2003


Funny, of the the three articles in the post, not one offers proof, but one informatively reads; "questions remain", and a there's suspension as a result of skipping a medical check. There's also lots of speculation and supposition that Bush went to Alabama in 1972 or something, but from what I read, nobody knows for sure, and the commanding officers are a bit hard to find.

If that's "proof" then you guys must love the lunar landing, or at least the moon, or maybe bats, if you get my drift.

I do appreciate this wonderful post and its novelty. I'm sure a link or two from Mother Jones, the Democratic Underground or Indymedia would have added to the wacky leftist hijinks, and why has nobody mentioned the real reason for the war in Iraq: Enron?
posted by hama7 at 4:53 PM on May 5, 2003


Oh, and the word "chickenhawk" has been mysteriously absent from this informative dissertation until now. Happy to oblige.
posted by hama7 at 4:58 PM on May 5, 2003


Ok I'll spell it out in Bush's own words then. Taken from the Washington Post article on it:

Direct Bush quotes as to his Alabama transfer which did happen:
"I was there on a temporary assignment and fulfilled my weekends at one period of time."

"I made up some missed weekends."

"I can't remember what I did, but I wasn't flying because they didn't have the same airplanes. I fulfilled my obligations."

From the Commanding Officer Gen. William Turnipseed of the Alabama Guard unit Bush was assigned to:
"To my knowledge, he never showed up."

''Had he reported in, I would have had some recall, and I do not.''

''I had been in Texas, done my flight training there. If we had had a first lieutenant from Texas, I would have remembered.''

Really Hama7 the only confusion on this matter is from Bush and his spokespeople who can't seem to remember exactly what he did or who he saw when he was supposed to be on active duty in Alabama. At his point no one can produce a single piece of evidence that he went to a single day of duty in Alabama.

Another excellent source is the original Boston Globe story where most of the research was done.
posted by aaronscool at 5:18 PM on May 5, 2003


The WP link is not working, and isn't the Globe story the same source which mentioned "questions remain"? Answers are even better.

At his point no one can produce a single piece of evidence that he went to a single day of duty in Alabama

Or evidence showing that he didn't. He was a pilot. That much we do know. Or we could be witnessing the most fiendish and dastardly cover-up in American history!! Et cetera. Or not.

As for "outrage" I'd like to know from the crewmen and pilots aboard the Abraham Lincoln how "outraged" they were that the President, in an unprecedented gesture, spent the day with them aboard their ship. I should think "honored" and "ecstatic" would be a much more fitting description, but not one that one might find on Salon.com.

The suspense is just too much: Shrubya! (Just saving you the trouble.)
posted by hama7 at 5:52 PM on May 5, 2003


Washington Post article sorry about the bad link...

No the Boston Globe report does not say "Questions Remain" at all. It concludes with:
"Officially, the period between May 1972 and May 1973 remains unaccounted for."

Please read these links before you make up or question the veracity of the content I and I'm sure everyone else is tired of me having to post directly what you can very well read in the links.

Or evidence showing that he didn't.

Actually the direct quotes from the CO are pretty damning or the fact that he had to make up several weeks of duty upon returning to Texas. Also in this particular instance it is the absence of a record that is the problem. Now either you are suggesting that the National Guard during the draft days of Vietnam was horribly lax in its accounting records or in fact the more likely case as corroborated by the CO is that he did not show up for duty there.
posted by aaronscool at 6:05 PM on May 5, 2003


WP is not linking properly.

Also in this particular instance it is the absence of a record that is the problem.

I agree. But the absence of a record doesn't prove anything, except that there is no record. We know he missed a medical check, and made up time (with no knowledge of the circumstances), and that Alabama is pretty far from Texas. Aside from that, it's a witch hunt.
posted by hama7 at 6:57 PM on May 5, 2003


I may have found a mefi bug...the "&" symbol in a hyperlink gets translated to this symbol: ¬

Anyway this WP link should work as well.

Finally, the absence of a record in this case is evidence. What if you were to put on your resume you worked somewhere but in calling up this reference there is no record of you working there. What might that prove? Sure there may be a mix up but once you learned of it don't you think you'd provide some evidence or try and correct the problem? Well in this case no evidence has yet been presented that he was there...ever. None, zero, nada, zilch. Even Bush himself is incredibly evasive about his tour in Alabama.

I will say that our military is nothing if not meticulous record keepers.

We also have EYEWITNESS PROOF from the commander of the unit at the time who has no recollection of him being there. You must remember that Bush was a congressman's son from Texas who trained at the same place the CO trained at so you can't say he wouldn't be remembered by him.
posted by aaronscool at 7:51 PM on May 5, 2003


WP linked this time.

so you can't say he wouldn't be remembered by him

I can't remember *exactly* what I did last tuesday, so eight months in 1972 might be a little foggy, and some people might even have "no recollection" of it.

there may be a mix up but once you learned of it don't you think you'd provide some evidence or try and correct the problem?

A resume may not be the best example, because we know nobody ever embellishes that, right?

How on earth could you correct the problem if there's no record?

How can you prove that spotted owls exist unless you have proof of their existence?

And I have never heard of a pilot who would miss the opportunity to fly. That usually doesn't happen.
posted by hama7 at 8:59 PM on May 5, 2003


Ok, hama7, explain why he wasn't in Vietnam?

He's a draft dodger because his daddy got him out of it.

Make that go away.

Oh, and by the way? I'm a Libertarian, not a leftist. I supported the war but not the George the Usurper.
posted by nyxxxx at 9:18 PM on May 5, 2003


He's a draft dodger because his daddy got him out of it.

That's essentially the same baseless accusation you posted to the front page(?), but thanks for the summary. It's also a rather large leap. Was he drafted? According to these statistics, Viet Nam veterans make up 9.7% of their generation. Bush didn't burn his draft card or move to England.

Bush says he's 'proud' of Vietnam-era National Guard service
posted by hama7 at 10:28 PM on May 5, 2003


A resume may not be the best example, because we know nobody ever embellishes that, right?

I'd say a resume is the example because when running for public office particularly the presidency the actions you've taken in the past and your work and service history in particular are just that.

How on earth could you correct the problem if there's no record?

Listen you keep on about this no record business as if this somehow might mean he actually did show up. The military in this country won't let people take a piss without documentation how in the hell did his records of his service in Alabama magically disappear? If there are no records then they were either destroyed (highly unlikely) or he was AWOL as the Commanding Officer of the Unit at the time has said.

If he did do "Clerical Work" as he suggested he did then HE HIMSELF was responsible for some of the record keeping.
posted by aaronscool at 11:05 PM on May 5, 2003


Listen you keep on about this no record business as if this somehow might mean he actually did show upas the Commanding Officer of the Unit at the time has said..

And you keep saying that he didn't. In the U.S. a person is innocent until proven guilty, so I would cite concrete proof or poitn and snicker.

If the "Commanding Officer of the Unit" had "said" that Bush was absent without leave, (which he specifically did not say) why then did such an obviously serious offense go unreported and omitted completely, erased?

Contrary to ranting accusations above, politicians' families are under closer scrutiny than other people, and if you need proof of that, see the intoxicated escapades of Chelsea Clinton and the Bush twins. This whole charade just sounds like nonsense, so count me among the skeptics.
posted by hama7 at 1:00 AM on May 6, 2003


or poitn and snicker.

not just point and snicker.
posted by hama7 at 3:02 AM on May 6, 2003


In the U.S. a person is innocent until proven guilty

In a court of law, yes, but this is no court of law. We're not here to convict him of anything; we're just here to decide what we think of him. We can simply add up the numbers and see where they lead, and they don't lead in a direction that looks good for G.W. Bush.
posted by Mars Saxman at 8:27 AM on May 6, 2003


Apparently you must have missed all the quotes from the CO I posted before. I've heard of people refusing to believe facts before but your being seriously obtuse about this. If you are going to contradict and disagree please at least offer something to backup your position.
posted by aaronscool at 8:31 AM on May 6, 2003


He's a draft dodger because his daddy got him out of it.

Who cares if that's true or not. He wouldn't have been the ONLY guy trying to get out of going to that hell hole. Every one of you would have done the same thing... and your daddies(?) would have helped.
posted by Witty at 8:40 AM on May 6, 2003


Every one of you would have done the same thing

No I wouldn't. I would have gone.
posted by nyxxxx at 9:51 AM on May 6, 2003


If you are going to contradict and disagree please at least offer something to backup your position.

It's mud slinging. That's my position.

I would have gone.

Appropos of nothing, since Bush was not asked to go.
posted by hama7 at 6:04 PM on May 6, 2003



posted by homunculus at 12:04 PM on May 7, 2003


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