The Case against Bush (national guard)

The issue of Bush’s National Guard service first received attention in 2000. During that time no proof of wrongdoing occured, and the matter sunk below the surface until…

the next election where it could be revived for political purpose.
I have read threads indicating there is damning evidence of wrongdoing.

I think that after four years of investigation it is reasonable of me to ask:

What exactly is Bush being accused of, and where is the proof?
I think it was reasonable to give Bush one year to find WMDs in a war torn country.

After four years I would expect those who are willing to make accusations against Bush’s Guard service to have a firm case, defining the accusation and demonstrating guilt.

If such a case is extant I would like to hear it. If such a case is not, I conclude that it is simply accusation for political value, and the worst form of irresponsible derogatory muckraking.

I didn’t hear any complaints from the right when Bush reignited the issue with this bit of political theatre. Thanks to this last weeks fooferaw, the voters now have many of the facts needed to put last spring’s images of airman Bush in their proper context.

I approach this thread a bit warily. Been down this road before.

From your wording, I get the implication of carefully chosen ground rules, i.e., “wrongdoing” must be “proven”. This could run quite a gamut, from a reasonable case that something is amiss, due to an absence of reliable documentation, to an insistence that nothing but a signed and notarized confession will suffice.

The documentation and reporting of this foofaraw has been massive in the last several weeks, I find it an extraordinary claim of innocence on your part that you are entirely unaware of it. Did the Mars rover just recently encroach into your Fortress of Scyllatude? You don’t know anything about all this, nothing? You’ve seen no evidence at all?

What are your ground rules?

The proof is in how Bush reacts to the questions about his military record. It’s another illustration of his character along the lines of the cocaine question. You ask him if he’s ever done coke, his answer is a wordy refusal to answer the question.

His defenders try and shut down any discussion along these lines by talking about the lack of evidence, but that misses the point. This ain’t a courtroom. It’s more like a job interview. And if I’m at a job interview, I can’t dodge tough questions with bullshit non-answers like that. Doing that won’t get me a job, Bush shouldn’t do that and expect to keep his.

It’s hardly been “four years of investigation”, despite your description. More like a brief flurry of investigative reporting, mostly by Walter Robinson of the Boston Globe in 2000, followed by total neglect until Michael Moore called Bush a deserter, Wesley Clark didn’t call Moore on it, Peter Jennings laid into Clark in a debate, and now we’re back again. Sure, it’s part of the election cycle - that’s why there was a debate.

The topic is relevant again because now Bush, following our fears, really has sent good soldiers to their deaths in a less than totally responsible manner. His own moral standing for doing so and for accepting responsibility for finding the best way out, is in question because of his own conduct as President. The AWOL story (and I trust you’ve read Cecil’s study) is an opening to a further national discussion of that - but it still would be a dead issue if Bush had shown himself to be a grownup.

Was that an accusation of “irresponsible derogatory muckraking” from your side? Snicker.

I’ll say. Good luck to both of you.

This seems trivial, really, I mean hasn’t the press already done this?-- So I’m sure Scylla has something more in mind.

The records released show he was not paid for 5 or 6 months straight, there’s no documents yet to show he showed up or was officially excused. IMO, that doesn’t proof the case but it does strongly suggest it.

I’m no Bush supporter but here’s what I think happened:

  1. Bush simply got lost in the system when he transferred. He probably knew missing one or two meetings weren’t so bad and he let things backslide until months had elapsed and somehow, perhaps with his dad’s help, avoided penalty.

or

  1. Bush was given or thought he had been given some sort of verbal OK, a wink and a nod if you will, from somebody saying don’t worry about the guard meetings.

His explanations are more windowdressing than anything else but whatever happened wasn’t all that extraordinary or much more than the run of the mill favortism or paperwork foulups that happen frequently in the military or any bureacracy.

I don’t know why Bush just can’t say, “I was a wild and crazy kid and the National Guard was a pretty lax outfit back then. I got some preferential treatment to get in, and I wasn’t as responsible as I should have been, and I regret that today. I hope the American people will understand.”

Personally, I don’t blame the guy for not wanting to go to 'nam, and I don’t blame him for not taking the Guard seriously back then. It is his dissembling about the issue today that is a a poor reflection on his character.

I agree there’s more to Scylla’s OP than immediately meets the eye. Based on his history here, I think he envisions himself a kind of “Junior Rove,” in that he is able to take an apparent political bruise and turn it into a tattooed tapestry of honor, valor and American Pride.

When I worked in PR on the campaign trail, we called this “deflection,” or more colorfully, political jiu jitsu: shift an opponent’s offensive attack into great gains for yourself.

Mr. Rove will use the Democrats’ ham-fisted attack as an opportunity to help “flesh out” his candidate, to show a young President Bush as an attractive, eager and ambitious ladies’ man. Put the President’s military record up against Senator Kerry and the scales are going to be tipped for the Democrats. But put Sleepyface Kerry up against a real “cuntsman,” hot on the campaign trail for Red Blount, and the Dems are in a real pickle. I think it would be an especially good idea for Campaign Democrats to drop this topic before it backfires.

Likewise, Scylla’s looking to score a solid hit off of this issue. If “after four years” an investigation can be easily washed away by a mountain of papers detailing Guardsman Bush’s pay records, allergies, hemorrhoids and broken fingers, the Democrats really don’t have much going for them. Look for this as a stanchion of Scylla’s upcoming offensive.
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Sid Viscous is posting here now?

I thought the charge against Bush were what they always were - that he went AWOL, or deserted, or whatever is the worst possible term that can be applied.

The proof of that seems to be that he cannot document every single instance of his fulfilling his service.

The proof that it is a bullshit, political attack would be that he was honorably discharged, has people saying that they remember him, has medical records proving that he was on board, and so forth.

But, as he cannot document every minute of every day he served, he is assumed to have deserted.

My understanding is that desertion is a legal term, like “guilty” or “perjury”. As Bush has never been charged, let alone convicted, ISTM this is Bush’s political enemies trying to drum up a scandal by repeating charges they cannot prove.

Because, after all, there is a campaign on. And nobody has much to say about Kerry, the empty suit, and the NYT has to write about something.

So they write about this. It’s not about sex (so they can act high-minded), it is aimed at a Republican, and it can be spun. What’s not to like?

When Democrats do it, it’s “discussing the issues”. When Republicans do it, it’s dirty, nasty, negative politics, and they should be ashamed of it.

As always.

Regards,
Shodan

What I’m asking for is something very simple:

  1. What is it that Bush did that was wrong or illegal concerning his National Guard service?

  2. Can you prove it? To what degree?
    What I would like somebody to do is abandon the innuendo, hyperbole and spell it out, make the case for whatever it is exactly that is being accused.

I certainly agree, Mr. Shodan.

Now as for you other gentlemen, your apparent wariness in not answering Mr. Scylla’s straightfoward question has me sincerely intrigued. You talk as if you are afraid that Scylla’s verbal strategies will outshine your heart-felt truths.

Please directly address the the opening proposition before my sincere intrigue turns to heart-felt mirth. :slight_smile:

Nothing, as noted above.
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Yes. Fully. He met his requirements for National Guard service.
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Sure. Obviously the level of evidence necessary is a floating value depending on what it is that is attempting to be proven. Generally I’m looking for more than “a reasonable case that something is amiss.” Because, let’s face it. “Something” is generally always “amiss.” Things are rarely perfect. So I will certainly ask for more than just a generalized feeling of fishiness applied like a clear coat to a bundle of circumstances. If one is going to make an accusation one needs to have compelling reasons to assert that it is correct.

I have made no such claim

Make the case against George Bush and his National Guard service, demonstrating whatever it is that you are accusing.

Debunk this.

I think the USA needs to get to the bottom of this. Perhaps Bush needs an investigation in his past actions ala Ken Star report. The USA needs to compile a crack team of people to dig into his past and see what they can find. Clinton had to endure it because of several accusations. Bush has far worse ones on the table.

I pay taxes. I paid for the first Ken Star report. I’m willing to pay for another on Bush.

We shouldn’t make too much of a big deal of this. We don’t want it to distract from Bush’s blatant lies over WMD’s.

Ok. I’ve read it. What’s the accusation?

Gomez:

Actually I think I see the accusation. The accusation is that Bush did not recieve approval to go to Alabama, and he never went there anyway.

According to this, from records released yesterday, Bush had approval.

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20040210/ap_on_go_pr_wh/bush_national_guard_timeline_2

According to this, from records released yesterday at least one person remembers him there and he had a dental exam while he was there.

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=514&e=2&u=/ap/20040214/ap_on_go_pr_wh/bush_military_records_75