Saturday, January 24, 2004
We all saw Wes Clark defend, while weaseling his way out of answering the question about Michael Moore's tidbit about Bush being a deserter. Newsmax has an article up that talks about the facts. Here's the entire piece. Plagiarism , I know, but I don't think they'll care.

"Did President Bush "desert" the military, as radical filmmaker Michael Moore insists he did?

Presidential candidate Gen. Wesley Clark suggested during New Hampshire's presidential debate Thursday night that the facts on whether Bush ran out on his National Guard unit in 1972 and 1973 are in dispute.

But in the months before the 2000 presidential election, the New York Times pretty much demolished this Democratic Party urban legend, a myth that first surfaced in its sister paper, the Boston Globe.

"For a full year, there is no record that Bush showed up for the periodic drills required of part-time guardsmen," the Globe insisted in May 2000, in a report Moore currently cites on his Web site to rebut ABC newsman Peter Jennings' debate challenge to Clark that the story is "unsupported by the facts."

"I don't know whether [Moore's desertion charge] is supported by the facts or not," Clark replied "I've never looked at it."

The Times did, however, look at it, and found that Bush had indeed served during part of the time the Globe had him AWOL - and later made up whatever time he missed after requesting permission for the postponement.

In July 2000 the Times noted that Bush's chief accuser in the Globe report, retired Gen. William Turnipseed, had begun to back away from his story that Bush never appeared for service during the time in question.

"In a recent interview," said the Times, "[Turnipseed] took a tiny step back, saying, 'I don't think he did, but I wouldn't stake my life on it.'" In fact, military records obtained by the Times showed that Turnipseed was wrong and that the Globe had flubbed the story.

"A review by The Times showed that after a seven-month gap, he appeared for duty in late November 1972 at least through July 1973," the paper noted on Nov. 3, 2000.

The Times explained:

"On Sept. 5, 1972, Mr. Bush asked his Texas Air National Guard superiors for assignment to the 187th Tactical Recon Group in Montgomery [Alabama] 'for the months of September, October and November,'" so Bush could manage the Senate campaign of Republican Winton Blount.

"Capt. Kenneth K. Lott, chief of the personnel branch of the 187th Tactical Recon Group, told the Texas commanders that training in September had already occurred but that more training was scheduled for Oct. 7 and 8 and Nov. 4 and 5."

After the Bush AWOL story had percolated for months, Col. Turnipseed finally remembered another glitch in his story: the fact that National Guard regulations allowed Guard members to miss duty as long as it was made up within the same quarter.

And, in fact - according to the Times - that's what Bush did.

"A document in Mr. Bush's military records," the paper said, "showed credit for four days of duty ending Nov. 29 and for eight days ending Dec. 14, 1972, and, after he moved back to Houston, on dates in January, April and May."

The paper found corroboration for the document, noting, "The May dates correlated with orders sent to Mr. Bush at his Houston apartment on April 23, 1973, in which Sgt. Billy B. Lamar told Mr. Bush to report for active duty on May 1-3 and May 8-10."

Yet another document obtained by the Times blew the Bush AWOL story out of the water.

It showed that Bush served at various times from May 29, 1973, through July 30, 1973 - "a period of time questioned by The Globe," the Times sheepishly admitted."

Don't be looking for this part to come out of Moore's or Clark's mouth any time soon.

The Only Thing Necessary For Evil To Triumph
Is For Good Men To Do Nothing