I don’t have anything against a negative campaign, but it wouldn’t make any difference if I were, because that’s what we’re facing. So here are two units of dirt on the worst President in American history.
The military-service issue should really be pretty much irrelevant as far as I’m concerned, but the way it’s developing, the man with the medals has come out looking bad, and the guy with the dubious, minimally-acceptable-at-best stateside service has come out unscathed. (But maybe Ben Barnes’ testimony will change that. Here‘s a summary of the story.).
On the other hand, the 9/11 issue is a very serious one. Bush is campaigning mostly on 9/11, even though his pre-9/11 counter-terrorism record was horrible. (The 9/11 report does not spell this out in so many words, but the facts reported there lead to that conclusion.) The Senate 9/11 report was censored, and Bob Graham has written a book telling what was missing: a serious investigation of the role of high-level Saudis in 9/11. (Look here if you’re intered in that topic).
These days publicity is everything and reality is nothing. It reminds you of those nightmare sci-fi dystopia movies. These issues are real, but you have to wonder how much traction they will get in our bought, cowed media. And at least 30% of the electorate is systematically misinformed and motivated mostly by liberal-hatred. They could care less about the Iraq War or any other serious issue.
Files missing from Bush’s National Guard records:
The five kinds of missing files are:
_A report from the Texas Air National Guard to Bush’s local draft board certifying that Bush remained in good standing. The government has released copies of those DD Form 44 documents for Bush for 1971 and earlier years but not for 1972 or 1973. Records from Bush’s draft board in Houston do not show his draft status changed after he joined the guard in 1968. The AP obtained the draft board records Aug. 27 under the Freedom of Information Act.
_Records of a required investigation into why Bush lost flight status. When Bush skipped his 1972 physical, regulations required his Texas commanders to “direct an investigation as to why the individual failed to accomplish the medical examination,” according to the Air Force manual at the time. An investigative report was supposed to be forwarded “with the command recommendation” to Air Force officials “for final determination.”
Bush’s spokesmen have said he skipped the exam because he knew he would be doing desk duty in Alabama. But Bush was required to take the physical by the end of July 1972, more than a month before he won final approval to train in Alabama.
_A written acknowledgment from Bush that he had received the orders grounding him. His Texas commanders were ordered to have Bush sign such a document; but none has been released.
_Reports of formal counseling sessions Bush was required to have after missing more than three training sessions. Bush missed at least five months’ worth of National Guard training in 1972. No documents have surfaced indicating Bush was counseled or had written authorization to skip that training or make it up later. Commanders did have broad discretion to allow guardsmen to make up for missed training sessions, said Weaver and Lawrence Korb, Pentagon personnel chief during the Reagan administration from 1981 to 1985.
“If you missed it, you could make it up,” said Korb, who now works for the Center for American Progress, which supports Kerry.
_A signed statement from Bush acknowledging he could be called to active duty if he did not promptly transfer to another guard unit after leaving Texas. The statement was required as part of a Vietnam-era crackdown on no-show guardsmen. Bush was approved in September 1972 to train with the Alabama unit, more than four months after he left Texas.
Senator Bob Graham’s new book claims Saudi complicity in 9/11:
In his new book, Graham claims the president coddled the Saudis and pursued a war against Saddam Hussein that only diverted resources from the more important fight against Al Qaeda. Graham was furious when the White House blacked out 28 pages of the inquiry’s final report that dealt with purported Saudi links to the 9/11 plot. Graham says much of the deleted evidence centered around the activities of a mysterious Saudi then living in San Diego named Omar al-Bayoumi, whom Graham calls a Saudi government “spy.” Al-Bayoumi befriended two of the key 9/11 hijackers, Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi, when they first arrived in the country.
Revised 12:10 PDT / 6:34 PDT