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What Else Is In Scott's Head?

The blog site for writer Scott C. Smith. Some observations on the world we live in and life in general. And maybe some politics.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

AWOL Bush: No, it's not a liberal conspiracy

With all of the attention being focused on John Kerry's service in Vietnam, it's not surprising that our so-called liberal media has not fully investigated George W. Bush's own record of service. Earlier this year, the Bush team released hundreds of pages of documents regarding Bush's service in the Air National Guard. Conservatives -- who undoubtedly did not look at any of the documents -- were satisfied that Bush had met his obligations to the Guard. After all, he received an honorable discharge, right?

The fact that Bush was honorably discharged doesn't mean anything. The real truth, which right-wingers will not acknowledge, is that George W. Bush received special treatment in the Air National Guard from the moment he took the oath of enlistment until the day he was allowed to leave active duty several months early to go to Harvard. And while it is true that the Bush family did not pull strings to get young George into the Guard, a family friend did on their behalf. How else to explain that, despite scoring the lowest possible score on an enlistment aptitude test, Bush was allowed into the guard ahead of more qualified applicants? Or the fact that, after completing six weeks of boot camp, Bush was given an officer's commission. Receiving a commission was something that just didn't happen in the Guard, unless the member had completed officer training. In most cases, only flight surgeons received direct commissions. Somehow young George became an officer without any of the training required to be an officer.

While newspapers like the Boston Globe have done some reporting on Bush's military service, no one has really dug into the documents released by Bush and examined them, putting them into the proper context and understanding exactly what each document said and what it revealed about Bush.

Journalists were not willing, or able, to scour through the paperwork and interpret the cryptic military language and codes found on the documents. Paul Lukasiak has. Paul's a researcher from Philadelphia. When Team Bush released documentation about Bush's service, one document struck Lukasiak as odd: a document called "Point Summary for Retention/Retirement," which Bush's spokesman said "proved" that Bush had fulfilled his obligations in the Guard. The memo that was released showed, according to the White House, that Bush had earned the required 50 points towards retirement for a particular year -- meaning, he had fulfilled his service obligation. But the document showed that Bush had, in fact, only received 38 points towards retirement for the year the document covers, 1973-1974.

Paul began his research, which has led to his creation of the AWOL Project and AWOL FAQ, which covers in detail the particulars of George W. Bush's service to his country.

The media may consider Bush's service a dead issue, but I don't. Especially with the smear campaign underway to discredit John Kerry and Kerry's service in Vietnam by a group called the Swift Boat Veterans for The Truth, although they should more accurately be called The Swift Boat Veterans Lying About Kerry. It's worth noting that not a single Swift Boat Vet for the Truth ever served with John Kerry.

John Kerry served his country with honor and put his life on the line. George W. Bush did not. That difference is important.

Dr. Bernard Weiner of The Crisis Papers web site has written a call-to-arms for folks to spread the word about Bush's service. This is something those of us in the blog world can help with -- to get the truth out to as many people we can. The liberal media will not help out in this effort.


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