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Rope-a-dope
September 26, 2004 12:34 PM   Subscribe

"The Air Force, in their ultimate wisdom, assembled a group of 102's and took them to Southeast Asia. Bush volunteered to go."
posted by Mick (42 comments total)

 
My hero.
posted by eatitlive at 12:44 PM on September 26, 2004


[He said swooningly.]
posted by eatitlive at 12:45 PM on September 26, 2004


... and then skipped out on his physical.

In other news, yesterday I volunteered to go into Iraq and singlehandedly rescue all the kidnapped journalists. After which I promptly disappeared and went on a drinking and coke binge.
posted by Space Coyote at 12:46 PM on September 26, 2004


For those wondering about this article and Bush's guard duty, the controversy surrounds the fact that no one can account for his whereabouts when he was supposed to be training with an Alabama unit. Around the time after Mr. Morrissey encountered Bush, something snapped in him, and he went to Alabama, requested a guard transfer, and then stopped flying altogether.

Bush initially request not to be sent overseas. Morrissey claims that Bush changed his mind while he was in Texas and this might well be possible. However, in any case, F-102s stopped flying in Southeast Asia in Dec. 1969. Bush flipped out and stopped flying after that, around 1972 when he stopped showing up to physicals and disappeared in Alabama, and that's what this whole guard dispute is about... not what went on in Texas in the late 60s.
posted by deanc at 12:50 PM on September 26, 2004


Well, I suppose that proves he doesn't suck as a president.
posted by mildred-pitt at 12:56 PM on September 26, 2004


This is an attempt by the Bush campaign to keep trivial bullshit in the news so that we never talk about the important issues. Karl Rove is trolling us. Let's not feed him.
posted by jpoulos at 1:06 PM on September 26, 2004


what jpoulos said.
the saddest thing about CBS's sting was that the story was lame from the get-go.
There's barely enough time left to systematically list all of Bush's failed policies since becoming president, so let's get cracking, shall we?
posted by Busithoth at 1:27 PM on September 26, 2004


During these disputed "missing" years, George was sent on a double secret mission into the jungles of Cambodia to assasinate a rouge General.
posted by iamck at 1:27 PM on September 26, 2004


A rouge General?
posted by trharlan at 1:35 PM on September 26, 2004


It's interesting how this new "source" kept on to his silence for, what, 5 years now?
posted by clevershark at 1:36 PM on September 26, 2004


The dude claims to be Libertarian and is voting for the candidate who is for larger government and more restrictions on freedom? Libertarian my ass!

(This is in no way meant to discredit what he is saying - others will do that more wisely than I can - just a knee jerk reaction to the last paragraph of the article. Trying to avoid ad hominem attacks.)
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:49 PM on September 26, 2004


Fear of Flying: A Duval County Woman Says Nerves Ended W's National Guard Service In Texas

According to Linke, a Jacksonville resident and artist, Bush's flying career was permanently disabled by a crippling fear of flying.

Linke's husband was admitted to the Texas Guard in the summer of 1972 to replace Bush. President Bush has said that he stopped flying fighter jets because the Alabama Guard unit didn't have jets, and he wanted to transfer to Alabama in order to work on a political campaign. But Linke says she heard a different story from her husband and Bush's squad commander, the late Lt. Col. Jerry Killian. Shortly after her husband joined the Texas unit, Linke says, the couple discussed Bush's service with Killian at a social event.

Contrary to some news reports that suggest Killian admired Bush, Linke says the officer didn't have much use for the young Lieutenant. He mentioned that Bush appeared to have a drinking problem, she recalls, but he was most offended by another incapacity: his fear of flying. According to Linke, Killian said Bush was grounded in his fourth year of flying after he became incapable of flying or properly landing a plane.

"He was mucking up bad, Killian told us," Linke says. "He just became afraid to fly."...

But flight logs released by the White House three weeks ago in response to a lawsuit by the Associated Press show a strange retraction of Bush's air time around that period. In February and March 1972, Bush switched from flying the F102A fighter jet, which the guard used to patrol U.S. borders, to a two-seat T-33 training jet. His superiors also returned him to flight simulator practice sessions.

posted by y2karl at 1:52 PM on September 26, 2004


Morrisey says he considers himself to be more of a Libertarian than Republican or Democrat.  Nonetheless, Morrisey says he is voting for George Bush come election day.

I know that I shouldn't be absolute about people's political views in the context of their party designations (see: Zell Miller), but how is it possible that a "more of a Libertarian" wants to vote for George Bush? Maybe I just answered my own question.

On preview: Joey, this is my knee-jerk reaction.
posted by bitpart at 1:53 PM on September 26, 2004


Yeah, this story reminds me of the white washes the Communist Party did for Stalin. Stalin wanted to go to the front himself, but...

But more importantly, jpoulos is right. We need to keep on message. GW's past is less important than his ignoble, reckless present. We need to talk about what a fuck-up he is today, and what a fuck-up he will be tomorrow.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 2:20 PM on September 26, 2004


I'm curious as to why the switch to the training jets isn't a big hint about Bush's flying days. y2karls post is the first I've read about this.
posted by skallas at 2:32 PM on September 26, 2004


"The Air Force, in their ultimate wisdom, assembled a group of 102's and took them to Southeast Asia.

However, in any case, F-102s stopped flying in Southeast Asia in Dec. 1969.

It appears to me that one of these statements is not true. Which one? Is it just the "early days" of our heroic avaitor? Is there anyone or any documents to corroborate what this man says about the purported volunteering for duty in "southeast Asia?" Why should I believe him?
posted by nofundy at 2:57 PM on September 26, 2004


What a guy... when he enlists he explicitly does not volunteer to serve overseas. Later, he volunteers for something he isn't eligible to do. I feel safer already and Karl Rove sucks up another couple of news cycles.
posted by cedar at 2:59 PM on September 26, 2004


you could put it together yourself. What made him so afraid of flying? Did he go up drunk and crash?

Where's the plane?
posted by darkpony at 3:05 PM on September 26, 2004


Is there anyone or any documents to corroborate what this man says about the purported volunteering for duty in "southeast Asia?"

If Bush did in fact volunteer (and i doubt he did) it would prove to me that he's too nuts to be president. I've known many vietnam vets and they were all draftees.
posted by jonmc at 3:32 PM on September 26, 2004


Thanks for the link darkpony. According to the timeline that link presents it appears that this man is not being truthful.

July 14 to Aug. 25, 1968: Bush attends six weeks of basic training at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.

Sept. 4, 1968: Bush is commissioned a second lieutenant and takes an 8-week leave to work on a Senate campaign in Florida.

Nov. 25, 1968 to Nov. 28, 1969: Bush attends and graduates from flight school at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. (UTP Course #P-V4A-A Moody AFB, Ga. 53 weeks November 1969)

January 1,1970 147th changes from doing Alerts to training F-102 pilots.

December 1969 to June 27, 1970: Bush trains full-time to be an F-102 pilot at Ellington Air Force Base.

Febuary 1970 Bush attends Preint Pilot Training (T-33 ANG112501 5 weeks )


How could Bush volunteer for duty that didn't exist at the time?
posted by nofundy at 3:33 PM on September 26, 2004


If Bush did in fact volunteer (and i doubt he did) it would prove to me that he's too nuts to be president. I've known many vietnam vets and they were all draftees.

Um, there's this guy named Kerry...
posted by boaz at 3:37 PM on September 26, 2004


I heard he put on his gun on when the inspectors where in Iraq and said "I'm gonna get that Saddam guy" and had a cargo plane waiting for him, but luckily Colin Powell talked some sense into him and told him, "No sir, we need you as a leader, not a warrior. Please, for America, stay in the White House."

Bush reluctantly stayed.
posted by skallas at 3:51 PM on September 26, 2004


I can easily credit Bush with volunteering for a mission he knew he wasn't qualified for:

"The Air Force, in their ultimate wisdom, assembled a group of 102's and took them to Southeast Asia. Bush volunteered to go. But he needed to have 500 [flight] hours, but he only had just over 300 hours so he wasn't eligible to go,” Morrisey recalls.
posted by uosuaq at 4:26 PM on September 26, 2004


So this is a story about how Bush didn't serve in any overseas combat, but maybe he wanted to.

Well. That beats the Silver Star easy, doesn't it.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:41 PM on September 26, 2004


Boy, they can get anyone to come out of the woodwork and say anything. Too bad the official, undisputed record says different.
posted by fleener at 4:52 PM on September 26, 2004


Someone named "Morrissey" supporting Bush? Isn't this like kryptonite for Mefi or something?
posted by fatbobsmith at 5:25 PM on September 26, 2004


This is an attempt by the Bush campaign to keep trivial bullshit in the news so that we never talk about the important issues.

Oh such bullshit. Democrats opened the door by questioning the President's service 30 years ago. I'm sure as hell that Republicans didn't want to open this Pandora's box. Democrats opened the Swift Boat box as well. If they were smart, they would have ignored the bait and kept on the course that the Iraqi war was illegal, has nothing to do with terrorism, that Bush refuses to fund stem cell research, etc etc etc.

The freaking radical, big mouths are doing Kerry no favors by going after Bush with such venom. Stick to the fucking issues. Bush is a terrible president. Here's why: Point A, Point B, Point C...it's real fucking simple.

This WAS Bush's election to lose, until everyone started to compare him to an AWOL Hitler wannabe. Now Kerry, a mild-mannered tactician with no visible charisma, is getting his ass handed to him (slowly, but surely).
posted by BlueTrain at 6:15 PM on September 26, 2004


Terribly sorry for my language. I just had a conversation with someone who told me why he wasn't going to vote for Kerry and all I could do was nod in agreement. I don't have any faith in the guy as a candidate and both of us are people who want to believe in him.

Reminds me of the statistic that shows that governors are more successful at winning presidential campaigns than senators, precisely for the reason we see here. Bush knows how to win a crowd. Gore and Kerry don't. Meanwhile, Edwards gets no press from anyone, and he's the best speaker the Democrats got right now.
posted by BlueTrain at 6:27 PM on September 26, 2004


Hitler went AWOL too?
posted by eatitlive at 7:04 PM on September 26, 2004


You need a ride to the airport? OK, I'll volunteer to take you. Oh, here's the thing, though: I don't have a car, or a drivers license.

Now, in that scenario, did I actually, honestly "volunteer" to give anyone a ride to the airport, or did I just dick them around? Because even assuming what this guy Morrissey is saying is true, that's exactly the same scenario (as uosuaq pointed out) as GWB's "volunteering."

The Bush-afraid-to-fly meme is fascinating, though (even if the media source is utter fringe-y hackwork) because unlike the rest of the National Guard issue (you know, the ethics of defrauding the U.S. government for the time & money spent training you by refusing to show up for work etc.) this one could, if properly spun, play to something that might really matter to the Bush faithful: Your candidate is a WUSS! He's AFWAID of a WIDDLE PWANE! He's a GIRLY-MAN!

Of course, there would need to be something a little stronger than an un-spell-checked report on a site that proclaims its refusal to acknowledge Bush as president. But there's still time. We've got weeks and weeks left...
posted by soyjoy at 7:55 PM on September 26, 2004


BlueTrain, you're fooling no one suggesting the image generated of Bush only appeared after the Iowa Caucus. Bush was below 50% approval before the Democrats even had a nominee.

John Kerry isn't the reason this election is about Bush, and "radicals" aren't the reason the Swift Boat Liars came into play, as if it's our fault the right wing decided to destroy every tenet of political ethics. If the Democrats ran a fire hydrant against Bush someone would have floated a story about how it met with a Korean businessman.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:30 PM on September 26, 2004


If I were trying to "fool" anyone, for what gains? Bush clinched his "strong, resolved leader" status well before Iowa...I agree. And Clark was the only candidate capable of challenging that image.

And it IS your fault that the Swift Boat folks were in the news for so long...a parallel argument could be made regarding the Clinton impeachment by Republicans. The Republicans can be blamed for effectively sabatoging their own agenda by going after Clinton with such venom.
posted by BlueTrain at 8:45 PM on September 26, 2004


And it IS your fault that the Swift Boat folks were in the news for so long...a parallel argument could be made regarding the Clinton impeachment by Republicans.

No, a parallel argument could be the accusations that Hillary Clinton had Vince Foster murdered. Impeachment was a result of Clinton's legitimate errors being inflated into massive opportunity for the right wing; the Swift Boat Liars was a case of making shit up, and the right-wing, like Vince Foster, collectively orgasming over it.

It's insane to say it's Kerry's fault that a bunch of people are making up lies about him. It's like saying that because Bush emphasized his leadership on 9/11, it's his fault that I've written a book saying he's actually Osama bin Laden. Kerry can't choose to have an admirable military record; the right wing can choose not to smear him for being a better man in certain areas than his opponent. They choose to do so, accusing Kerry of not having anything to stand for to carefully avoid the fact that Bush has even less.

Kerry can't control the fact that his opponents are assholes. The alternative would be a candidate urging a more friendly, conciliatory campaign. In other words, Joe Lieberman. Would he inspire you? Gimme the fire hydrant.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:11 PM on September 26, 2004


What's the bullshit with "Bush is terrible but I can't get behind Kerry because I need someone I can believe in." Would there ever be a presidential candidate anyone seriously could believe in? Jesus H. Double Fucking Christ. Stop looking for Santa Claus.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 10:34 PM on September 26, 2004


A WARNING TO MY FELLOW VIETNAM VETS

If you condemn John Kerry for his anti-war activities three decades ago and assert it disqualifies him from being Commander-in-Chief, that is your privilege as a veteran. But you DO NOT have the right to elevate President Bush’s unpatriotic service in the Air National Guard to honorable status.

As my book shows with USAF records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, during the Vietnam War, prior to receiving USAF flight training costing a million dollars, Lt. Bush promised to fly as an Air Defense Command F102 interceptor pilot to the end of his six-year weekend warrior tour. Instead, he:
Quit flying F102s 30 months before his obligatory tour ended.

Refused to take his mandatory annual USAF flight physical, a court martial offense under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Was grounded on August 1, 1972, as indicated by offical ANG orders (below), which also appear in my book.

Went AWOL in Alabama to work for the GOP.
That kind of selfish behavior is NOT commendable by any stretch of imagination. Veterans who insist otherwise -- that George W. served "honorably" in the Texas Air National Guard -- disgrace themselves and the uniform they once wore.

But worse than that, by putting politics above patriotism, they spit on the The Wall and the 58,169 names inscribed there. Shame on any veteran who would do such a dastardly thing.

Hugh E. Scott, Vietnam veteran, ex-USAF pilot, registered Republican


George Bush: The Phony Fighter Pilot
posted by y2karl at 10:50 PM on September 26, 2004


This is an attempt by the Bush campaign to keep trivial bullshit in the news so that we never talk about the important issues. Karl Rove is trolling us. Let's not feed him.

And Mick has taken the bait, hook, liner and sinker... like many Mefites before him. But thanks for bringing it to the blue for us all to see once again. Wheeeee! This is my most favorite election issue EVER!
posted by Witty at 3:35 AM on September 27, 2004


My opinion as a non-septic:

I don't really care whether Kerry has run a poor campaign, or if you think Kerry is a weak candidate. The fact is, Bush's record over the last four years is so lamentable that if you're thinking about doing anything other than voting for Kerry, you're a dumbass.
posted by salmacis at 3:42 AM on September 27, 2004


If Bush did in fact volunteer (and i doubt he did) it would prove to me that he's too nuts to be president. I've known many vietnam vets and they were all draftees.

Funny, I've met well over five hundred vets and almost all of them volunteered.

Remember, in the early days, senior NCOs and officers were informing the young kids that if they volunteered, they would have a better chance in getting an assignment they wanted. A lot did this and never saw the frontline.
posted by Dagobert at 5:35 AM on September 27, 2004


This is my most favorite election issue EVER!

Interestingly, the latest polls show that 87% of housebound paretics agree with you!
posted by octobersurprise at 6:31 AM on September 27, 2004


Oh such bullshit. Democrats opened the door by questioning the President's service 30 years ago. I'm sure as hell that Republicans didn't want to open this Pandora's box.

I didn't say Bush started it. But he sure as hell is taking advantage of it.

Democrats opened the Swift Boat box as well. If they were smart, they would have ignored the bait and kept on the course that the Iraqi war was illegal, has nothing to do with terrorism, that Bush refuses to fund stem cell research, etc etc etc.

Have you been paying attention over the last 20 years or so? The American people does not care about the issues. They care about this inane bullshit. Tell John McCain or Max Cleland that they were right to ignore the bait and stick to the issues.
posted by jpoulos at 7:32 AM on September 27, 2004


OK, OK, guys: Surely someone can find the Palace Guard application? I believe it was posted on Smoking Gun, but I"m at work and I need to actually get things done today.

Here's teh story as I remember it:

GWB heard about "Palace Guard" -- a program to rotate ANG pilots through the combat zone -- and volunteered. Problem was, the program was only available to pilots with a couple of years worth of flight time (I forget how many hours, but it was a lot) in the plane they'd be flying, the F102. And it was on a skills-basis. Given those factors, and considering that there weren't many F102s in Vietnam (it was far from state of the art by that time, and not terribly good for the missions fighters were called on to fly there), it was virtually guaranteed that he'd be turned down. And indeed, as I recall, the form at Smoking Gun was stamped "declined."

The analogies about "volunteering" for a duty you can't perform -- e.g., driving to the airport when you don't have a car or a license -- are valid, IMHO.

This is not to say that GWB is a coward. The "fear of flying" story is being sold under that label, and I think that's a dead loss. Landing is the hardest thing you can do in a plane, and it's even harder in a jet fighter. Hell, I just ride the damn things, and that's the only time I"m scared. So it's not "dishonorable" for GWB to have crapped out for problems landing. It's the biggest reason fighter pilots crap out.

(Though it might have been regarded as dishonorable by his fellow pilots, it's true, and made GWB feel ashamed of it for that reason. And thus to this day fuel his desire to sweep it under the rug.... Didn't seem to be a problem for Navy pilot Poppy, who'd sling a fully-loaded Avenger onto and off of a postage stamp in rolling seas... but maybe that made it even *more* embarrassing...but I digress....)

Anyway, similarly, even if GWB *knew* that he would be denied a Palace Guard slot, he might well have been acting in a perfectly non-cynical manner. The world is full of glad-handing types who mean exactly what they say, when they say it. And then forget it two minutes later. Remind them, and sure, they'll be good for it. For a while. Is that GWB? Well, let's just say I've known, seen, and been at various points on that spectrum. It's human.

Which gets to the point: GWB appears very much to be covering up a bunch of stuff that's just basically being human. If he'd come clean about it years ago, no one would see this as an issue today. But he hasn't -- he's continued to hide this stuff, for whatever reason (shame, perhaps; hidden criminal culpability, perhaps, though I'm thinking that's less likely, lately). Thus proving the old Twainian maxim (which I shall proceed to butcher): The truth is easier because you don't have to remember all the different versions of it.
posted by lodurr at 7:39 AM on September 27, 2004


Interestingly, the latest polls show that 87% of housebound paretics agree with you!

Well then, I just want to applaud Metafilter for helping to keep the flame burning brighter and brighter.
posted by Witty at 7:55 AM on September 27, 2004


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