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Ex-pilot says Bush put in for Vietnam

by Evie / February 15, 2004 11:13 PM PST

I don't know how much it has been mentioned in the "mainstream", but one thing Bush's military records reveal is that he was no dufus tag-along in the military. He was a top-notch pilot (can't be a dummy and be one) and showed leadership even back then in his "frat boy" youth.

But still, on Meet the Press, Charlie Rangel couldn't even bring himself to call him President, and continued this nonsense that Bush's service was somehow insufficient to qualify him to be Commander in Chief. Note to Rangel: He didn't land on that carrier in camo!

I had heard before that he volunteered for Vietnam while in the Guard, but hadn't seen it in print. Well, now, here it is:


Ex-pilot says Bush put in for Vietnam


A former senior Virginia Air National Guard commander, who served with George W. Bush in the Texas Air Guard, says Bush volunteered for Vietnam combat service but was turned down because he did not have the required flight experience.

William J. Campenni, a retired Air Guard colonel, also said absences such as Bush's from his unit were common in the Air Guard during the period of Bush's service and still are....

...According to Campenni, Bush inquired about participating in a volunteer program called Palace Alert that used Air National Guard pilots flying in the F-102 Delta Dagger interceptor jet in Vietnam.

The Air Guard advised Bush he did not have the desired 500 hours of flight time as a pilot to qualify for Palace Alert duty, and, in any event, the program was winding down and not accepting more volunteers.


Evie Happy

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Re: Ex-pilot says Bush put in for Vietnam
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / February 16, 2004 12:52 AM PST

Hi, Evie.

Sorry, but when it comes to the unsibstantiated tstamony of some pilot vs. the box Bush checked on his National Guard application saying "no overseas deployment," I'll go with what I've seen in black and white on TV. There's also the issue of why Bush was decertified for flying during the period in question as to his service. But as I've said before, even putting aside the issue of whether he completely fulfilled his bbligationsthere remain several key issues with regards to his service record: 1) how he managed to get in th Guard in the first place, at a time when Guard slots were very hard to come by; 2) how he got a transfer from one State's Guard to another's because he wanted to work on a partisan political campaign; and 3) how he was released nine months early to go to Harvard Business School. The politically neutral "talking heads" (eg tim Russert and Gloria Borger) say this smacks of "special treatment," which frankly has been a hallmark of Bush's entire life.

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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(NT) *sigh*
by Evie / February 16, 2004 1:47 AM PST

.

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Dave, you certainly don't mind using 'unsibstantiated tstamony' when it is used to attack GW.
by Kiddpeat / February 16, 2004 1:48 AM PST

It was you who was quoting the looney tune who claimed to have eavesdropped on a phone conversation and later to have seen Bush's file being sanitized. Of course, his buddy said none of it was true, but that didn't stop you. You also didn't mind quoting unnamed individuals who claimed they never saw Bush in Alabama. Your standards really change based on whether Bush is attacked or defended don't they?

I think Bo and others have already answered your other comments sufficiently. I can add that checking a box on an application doesn't prevent anyone from changing their mind later does it?

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Re:Dave, you certainly don't mind using 'unsibstantiated tstamony' when it is used to attack GW.
Your standards really change based on whether Bush is attacked or defended don't they?

Aren't your standards changing too? You sound like you're willing to accept this particular unsubstantiated testimony as fact because it makes GW look good.
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When someone is in a position to know, and doesn't have an ax to grind,

I don't call them liars. There can still be skepticism about this officers's testamony, but he seemed to be in a position to know. He also mentions specific details which can be checked against Bush's records. Given this, calling the man a liar, which was the clear implication, is over the edge IMO.

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On second thought, maybe 'liar' is too strong. Let me rephrase,

In Dave's unsubstantiated allegations, he accepted the testimony even though the man's friend said it wasn't true. He also accepted nameless sources who said they never saw Bush in Alabama.

However, in this case, the officer is in a position to know, and details can be confirmed. I call that far more convincing, and do not see where I am being inconsistent.

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Re: On second thought, maybe 'liar' is too strong. Let me rephrase,

Hi, KP.

The sources who reported not seeing Bush weren't "nameless" -- one was his CO, who has come forward (I don't recall the name, but searching in a good newspaper site will find it), and the other was whoever signed his fitness report "unable to observe." Now a couple of folks have come forward to say things that in both cases contradict official documents -- the one where Bush himself checked "no overseas assignment," and the fact that Bush apparently wasn't paid during much of the period when the guy in Alabama says he saw Bush. I'd say there's a difference between "unsubstantiated" and "unsubstatntiated contrary to physical evidence," wouldn't you? If you were on a jury and had to estimate the veracity of two witnesses in similar situations, when politics didn't enter into it, which would you believe. If the standard of proof were "beyond a reasonable doubt" (a criminal case) I might have a problem, but were the standard "preponderance of the evidence" (a civil case), I'm positive which way I'd go in the absence of other corroborating evidence.

But I note you folks have never addressed what I consider the more important issue -- the special consideration Bush was shown not once, not twice, but thrice (getting a Guard slot, transferring to Alabama, and being released early).

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Dave, the 'special consideration' has been addressed ad nauseum. You
by Kiddpeat / February 16, 2004 2:49 PM PST

simply refuse to acknowledge that fact.

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BTW, I believe you're talking about the base commander, not his CO. THe
by Kiddpeat / February 16, 2004 2:57 PM PST

base commander has since said that he simply wasn't on the base when Bush was present. The 'unable to observe' has been answered by Bo. Checking a box on an application? Give me a break! Anybody can check a box, and change their mind later. You still don't 'get' the military do you?

If I was on a jury, the statement of 'A former senior Virginia Air National Guard commander, who served with George W. Bush in the Texas Air Guard,' would carry a great deal of weight as I've explained above. Those kinds of people aren't given to lies unless there is evidence to the contrary.

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ON GUARD -- OR AWOL???
The base commander has since said that he simply wasn't on the base when Bush was present. - Kiddpeat

There is one person "claiming" that he saw GW and many saying that they didn't. Maybe this article will shed more light on the topic. I added the highlighting:

Bush a No-Show at Alabama Base, Says Memphian

"Recalls Memphian Mintz, now 62: "I remember that I heard someone was coming to drill with us from Texas. And it was implied that it was somebody with political influence. I was a young bachelor then. I was looking for somebody to prowl around with." But, says Mintz, that "somebody" -- better known to the world now as the president of the United States -- never showed up at Dannelly in 1972. Nor in 1973, nor at any time that Mintz, a FedEx pilot now and an Eastern Airlines pilot then, when he was a reserve first lieutenant at Dannelly, can remember.

"And I was looking for him," repeated Mintz, who said that he assumed that Bush "changed his mind and went somewhere else" to do his substitute drill. It was not "somewhere else," however, but the 187th Air National Guard Tactical squadron at Dannelly to which the young Texas flyer had requested transfer from his regular Texas unit - the reason being Bush's wish to work in Alabama on the ultimately unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign of family friend Winton "Red" Blount...

"There's no way we wouldn't have noticed a strange rooster in the henhouse, especially since we were looking for him," insists Mintz, who has pored over documents relating to the matter now making their way around the Internet. One of these is a piece of correspondence addressed to the 187th's commanding officer, then Lt. Col. William Turnipseed, concerning Bush's redeployment.

Mintz remembers a good deal of base scuttlebutt at the time about the letter, which clearly identifies Bush as the transferring party. "It couldn't be anybody else. No one ever did that again, as far as I know." In any case, he is certain that nobody else in that time frame, 1972-73, requested such a transfer into Dannelly...

Though some accounts reckon the total personnel component of the 187th as consisting of several hundred, the actual flying squadron - that to which Bush was reassigned - numbered only "25 to 30 pilots," Mintz said. "There's no doubt. I would have heard of him, seen him, whatever." Even if Bush, who was trained on a slightly different aircraft than the F4 Phantom jets flown by the squadron, opted not to fly with the unit, he would have had to encounter the rest of the flying personnel at some point, in non-flying formations or drills. "And if he did any flying at all, on whatever kind of craft, that would have involved a great number of supportive personnel. It takes a lot of people to get a plane into the air. But nobody I can think of remembers him.

"I talked to one of my buddies the other day and asked if he could remember Bush at drill at any time, and he said, 'Naw, ol' George wasn't there. And he wasn't at the Pit, either.'""

More - The Update...
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Re: ON GUARD -- OR AWOL??? -- Thanks for the link, Blake. (NT)
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / February 16, 2004 9:47 PM PST
In reply to: ON GUARD -- OR AWOL???

.

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You weren't in the Air Force after all you said were you. Had you been you...
by Edward ODaniel / February 16, 2004 10:17 PM PST
In reply to: ON GUARD -- OR AWOL???

would know a bit more (even as a lowly airman basic E-1) and not have posted the drivel.

You would have known that Bush was not qualified on the F-4 and couldn't have flown.

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It says that in the post, Ed.

.

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(NT) I know, and that is why if he ever had been he would not have posted the drivel
by Edward ODaniel / February 16, 2004 11:59 PM PST
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What I noticed, Edward....

Edward, what I noticed in that story was the statement, " Even if Bush, who was trained on a slightly different aircraft than the F4 Phantom jets flown by the squadron...". An F-4 is "slightly" different from a F-102A? Now, that's what I call an understatement. I'd date that "party" picture in the story to 1974, possibly 1973.
BTW, my last flight physical lasted about 1 minute. My number never came up in "golden flow".

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Slightly different???????
by Bo Boggs / February 17, 2004 12:16 AM PST

The first and biggest difference is that the F4 is multi-engine, F102 is single.

Huge difference.

Based on the evaluations of GWB at the TX ANG, there is little doubt that he could have transitioned to the F4. But the training would have required 30-50 hours flying time minimum. The expressed reason for the transfer was so that he could aid in a political campaign while serving the minimum time required for his reserve committment.

All of that is based on the AL guard unit he was assigned to having F4s. Several items I have seen have indicated that his unit had no aircraft at all.

Bo

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Say, Bo....
by J. Vega / February 17, 2004 1:35 AM PST

Say, Bo, look at that picture of Bishop at the party again. Is not that a TAC patch rather than a 187th Guard patch? What do you figure, 187th Fighter Wing, 187th Tactical Fighter Group, or 187th Reconnissance Group?
Can't make the shoulder patch yet.

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Come on Bo. What difference does an additional...
by Edward ODaniel / February 17, 2004 6:10 AM PST

engine make? After all, like Dave (the military expert) and Blake (the Air Force whiz kid) said, they are still planes.

What is scary is both are also educated persons linking to and making these pronouncements.

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You Are Clueless...
You weren't in the Air Force after all you said were you. - Edward O'Daniel

It's time that you stop spreading lies and insults Ed. You supposedly knew the answer to much of my employment history yet you have no clue on how to interpret it. It's time for you to stop pretending that you know anything and spreading baseless lies, insults, and attacks because you are totally clueless...
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No Blake, I have LOTS of clues...
by Edward ODaniel / February 18, 2004 1:33 AM PST
In reply to: You Are Clueless...

and you keep supplying more all the time.

Google it.

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Here's what the CO says. He certainly wasn't AWOL.
by Kiddpeat / February 17, 2004 2:21 AM PST
In reply to: ON GUARD -- OR AWOL???
'But, in an NBC News interview this week, the general expressed surprise that his remarks caused such consternation. "George Bush wasn't even famous back then, so why would I notice this outsider showing up at a couple of meetings. I just wouldn't."'

'As for Bush being AWOL, Turnipseed said, "No way. He was never assigned to our unit so he couldn't be AWOL. Like so many Guard and Reserve soldiers during the Vietnam War, they moved around and temporarily attended meetings with other units but Bush never left his original unit in Texas.?'

Apparently, the CO's opinion doesn't count?
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Your post indicates that you don't read responses because...
But I note you folks have never addressed what I consider the more important issue -- the special consideration Bush was shown not once, not twice, but thrice (getting a Guard slot, transferring to Alabama, and being released early).

Has been answered in detail more than a few times.
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If you actually paid attention to what is being said...
by Edward ODaniel / February 16, 2004 5:06 AM PST

even in the most liberal of media you wouldn't embarass yourself with statements such as - "There's also the issue of why Bush was decertified for flying during the period in question as to his service.

That was explained long ago as the normal consequence of missing a flight physical.

There are no "key issues" with his service nor even with his getting into the Guard. He was intelligent enough and possessed the aptitude to become a pilot which is not something that applies to many although it did to him--he got in and became by ALL accounts a very good pilot.

The rest you shouldn't embarass yourself by mentioning because all has been explained patiently to you along with the suggestion that you get off your **** and call the Texas Guard and ask them. They will tell you the same as you have been here but possibly not so patiently.

Now, I have one for you. You said that you had a 1-Y classification but had never been called. That would mean that you took it upon yourself to run down to the Induction Center with every available medical record and excuse from mommy to get it. That would be called ...

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Re: what is being said -- how about the rest of the story?
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / February 16, 2004 12:07 PM PST

Hi, Ed.

>>That was explained long ago as the normal consequence of missing a flight physical.<<
But that's only a part of the story, neh? WHY did he miss the flight physical? And weren't there usually other consequences for doing so? (This is really a question, or perhaps a surmise.) Why didn't he reschedule the physical if he loved to fly so much, and even wanted to fly combat? The whole story reminds one of Swiss cheese!

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Much More To This Story...
by Blake Cook / February 16, 2004 5:08 PM PST
WHY did he miss the flight physical? - Dave Konkel

The Guard had recently implemented drug testing during the exams. Those who thought they couldn't pass a drug test wouldn't risk the chance of being caught by taking it...

Why didn't he reschedule the physical if he loved to fly so much, and even wanted to fly combat? - Dave Konkel

It costs an awful lot to train a pilot to fly. The Guard would rarely permanently ground a trained pilot simply for missing a single physical. They would almost always jump through hoops to prevent the loss of a good pilot. Of course the pilot might have received some punishment, but it wouldn't have entailed being permanently grounded unless there were no other choices. There is much more to this story than we've been told so far...
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Very little to the 'story'...
by Edward ODaniel / February 16, 2004 10:36 PM PST

Drug testing had been a component for several years prior--this wasn't Clinton so drug testing isn't anything but a rather baseless red herring.

The Guard would rarely permanently ground a trained pilot simply for missing a single physical.

Blake was certainly never Air Force as that is EXACTLY what happens for missing a flight physical. not only is the training expensive but so are the aircraft.

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Re:Very little to the 'story'...
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / February 17, 2004 12:23 PM PST

Hi, Ed.

He said PERMANENTLY ground. I'm sure they don't just say "oops, you missed tour physical. Guess you'll just twiddle your thumbs for your pay until you get out..." If they do, it's a much bigger deal that the thousand dollar toiler seat!

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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He missed it because he wasn't there and...
by Edward ODaniel / February 16, 2004 10:11 PM PST
WHY did he miss the flight physical? And weren't there usually other consequences for doing so?

NO, there normally weren't other consequences. ALL your "questions" have been answered (even in the liberal press) by Guard Officers who have been interviewed and have explained how things work in the Guard.

Why didn't he re-schedule? That was answered long ago too--he no longer had the interest or time.

You are grasping at tenuous straws that are simply figments of your overactive imagination and lack of knowledge regarding the military and its reserve forces.
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Puppy dogs can't quit shaking the sock..............
by Del McMullen / February 16, 2004 7:21 AM PST

Dave, as with most of the other items you classify as
issues, they are non-issues. As an example, the
bit about early outs from the service. There have
always been early outs within regulations, and
without any strings being pulled. Today, even with the
pressures of force levels, there are still early outs,
and just as an example, here starts the procedure for Air Force personnel:

http://www.afpc.randolph.af.mil/retsep/palace_chase_section.htm

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Re: Puppy dogs can't quit shaking the sock..............
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / February 16, 2004 12:10 PM PST

Hi, Del.

>>Today, even with the pressures of force levels, there are still early outs, and just as an example, here starts the procedure for Air Force personnel<<
Tell that to the Colorado Guard woman who was recently threatened with being treated as AWOL if she didn't return to Iraq after a judge told her she'd lose custody of her child if she went back. Yes, the Army relented and reassigned her locally -- but would they without the horrible publicity they were starting to get? Saying that there are procedures and that those procedures are frequently used for those w/o influence are two different things!

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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