Democratic Underground

Bush's Military Disservice
March 7, 2001
by T. Morgan Snow

George W. Bush likes to talk about Americaís defense and of his military background. What he neglects to mention though is that after completing only his training in the Texas Air National Guard, Bush requested a transfer to an Alabama unit so he could work on the Senate campaign of Nixon Postmaster General Red Blount.

There is of course nothing wrong with requesting a transfer, there is something wrong however with not showing up to your assignment. Thatís right, Bush simply did not report to duty, there is no record of Bush ever reporting to this assignment in Alabama.

Donít believe me? Maybe you would believe General William Turnispeed, commander of the Alabama National Guard unit to which Bush was assigned when he told the Boston Globe that, "Had he (Governor Bush) reported in, I would have some recall, and I do not. I had been in Texas, done my flight training there. If we had a first lieutenant from Texas, I would have remembered."

Even if Bush had actually served his time in the Alabama and Texas National Guards he would still have a checkered military background. As most people know an appointment to any National Guard unit during the Vietnam War was a much sought after position. In fact, in Texas there was a waiting list of 500 people who wanted to sign up for the particular unit to which Bush was assigned.

Although he only scored in the 25th percentile on his pilot aptitude test Bush was somehow able to skip this entire waiting list and get an immediate appointment to the Texas Air National Guard. Both Bushes, senior and junior, deny that any preferential treatment was given, but the former Speaker of the Texas House of Delegates Ben Barnes testified under oath otherwise saying, "I did pull strings to get George W. Bush into the Texas Air National Guard."

Al Gore on the other hand, volunteered to go to Vietnam, even though at the time he was deeply conflicted about the war that his father in Congress opposed. He served his duty to the fullest as a military journalist putting his life in danger in Southeast Asia.

Bush's military background is one of many issues that he has tried to dodge as they run an administration based on typical Republican rhetoric. Donít expect him to address this or other issues in a clear and factual light, we see that now with his preposterous tax cut plan and will see it for the next four years.


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