Warhawks show lack of service

July 1, 1993

Warhawks show lack

of service

By Joe Baker

Senior Editor

Many government leaders suffer from a recurring pattern. They often are very ready to resort to force to obtain their objectives, but when it was their turn to fight they either ran or hid.

This is true of the current crop of war mongers in Washington. Every last one of them declined to serve in the military in the Vietnam era, but they are only too willing to send your kids or grandkids to battle for their own benefit.

That sterling warrior, George W. Bush is a good example. He not only has lied about his military “career,” but he has had the records altered to match his version of his personal history.

Bush likes to tell the voters he was a fighter pilot in the Air National Guard in Texas. The fact is his permission to fly was revoked by the military; he was assigned to a disciplinary unit and not permitted to fly military assignments any longer.

In 1988 a reporter for the Houston Chronicle asked young Mr. Bush how he got into the Air National Guard. Bush replied: “They could sense I was going to be one of the great pilots of all time.”

The truth is that Bush got into the Guard through the influence of his family. For the majority of his time in service, he was technically AWOL. He didn’t even show up at the disciplinary unit in Denver. Not quite “one of the great pilots of all time.”

Bush wrote an autobiography: A Charge to Keep in 1999. He claimed he tried to volunteer for service in Vietnam “to relieve active duty pilots.” The original record shows he didn’t report for duty with his unit and went to Alabama to work on a political campaign.

He describes his experience flying an F-102 fighter. “I continued flying with my unit for the next several years,” he wrote; but in fact, he was suspended from flying in August 1972 and did not fly at all for the last two years of his “service.” Again, he didn’t show up for duty.

Bush claims his military service gave him a respect for the chain of command, yet he ignored two direct orders to report for duty and a third order to report to a disciplinary unit.

Even some things about his father’s military service are suspect. Last September CNN ran some video touting the elder Bush’s wartime career.

In one portion, the senior Bush describes how he was shot down and subsequently rescued by a submarine. Interestingly, the sub that surfaced near him just happened to be carrying a film crew to record the event.

That seems highly unusual in the middle of the ocean. Anyway, all the film showed was a person in a pilot’s helmet bobbing in the water.

But back to Bush Jr., documents available through the Freedom of Information Act showed he was scrubbed as a pilot because he refused to take a drug test.

George W., it shows, evaded military service while many thousands of other young Americans, less privileged than he, were fighting and dying in Vietnam.

Sen. Daniel Inouye was a heroic participant in World War II. He commented: “During my service, if I missed training for two years, at the least, I would have been court martialed.” He called on Bush to account for the missing two years of service time.

Sen. Bob Kerry added: “Governor Bush (at that time) made a six-year commitment. Well, if he’s going to do what’s right, he ought to release his military records, as John McCain did, and let us know where he was during that six-year period of time.”

George W. seems unable to present what he was doing or where he was between 1972 and 1973 when he was supposedly serving in the Air National Guard. Rather embarrassing when he plans to ask young Americans to observe their own enlistment terms so he can send them to Iraq.

In October 2000, two Vietnam veterans groups put up a $2,000 reward for anyone who could locate Bush’s missing year of service.

During the late 1980s and early 1990s, Bush used his version of his service to win election as governor of Texas. In 1999, just before his run for president, Bush dispatched a detail to Camp Mabry with the assignment to “correct” his records so they matched his account of the time in his autobiography.

The State Plans Officer for the Texas National Guard at the time, Bill Burkett, said the file cleansing was carried out by a small team headed by a Dan Bartlett and was common knowledge among most personnel at the camp.

The Sunday Times of London reported: “Burkett said Bush aides had visited the National Guard headquarters at Camp Mabry on numerous occasions to make sure that records available to the public about his military service would tally with his autobiography’s version of his time as a reserve pilot during the Vietnam war.”

Journalists and members of Congress during the 2000 campaign called for Bush to release his military records and clear up the questions surrounding his National Guard career.

If the commander-in-chief did not serve honorably in his own turn, what right does he or his henchmen have to send your sons and daughters to bleed and die on a foreign battlefield, especially to benefit the oil cartel?

Isn’t this the old saw of “Let’s you and him fight?” Just don’t expect me to risk any possible harm. Greed and the lust for power aren’t pretty.

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