Military Career of our Commander in Chief
Bush's DWI revelation at the end of the 2000 Presidential campaign may have been leaked to cover a much bigger scandal
On November 2, 2000, four days before the most disputed election in American history, military veterans in the US Senate lashed out at candidate George W Bush for his failure to explain a six-month lapse in his National Guard service. "At the least, I would have been court-martialed. At the least, I would have been placed in prison," Senator Daniel Inouye said.
Bush would offer no explanation for his absence and, as he had throughout the campaign, refused to discuss his military service during the Vietnam War. Why would a man who was running for the office of Commander and Chief of the US Armed Forces refuse to discuss his service in the military? Why didn't the public and press take notice? Their attention that day was focused on something else.
That same day, while senators were asking for an explanation of Bush's National Guard absence, the media and the public were watching another breaking Bush scandal: the sudden revelation of a 1976 drunk driving conviction that Bush had failed to mention during the campaign. As Bush spent the final days before the election explaining to America that he hid the arrest to protect his daughters, the National Guard absence was swept under the rug, not made into a campaign issue by Democrats.
Both Candidates avoided making Vietnam an issue during the Presidential race of 2000. Bush and Al Gore, who served in Vietnam as an Army journalist, had a sort of unwritten understanding that their military service during the Vietnam war would not be a subject of campaign debate. Both had been accused of using their fathers' influence to avoid combat in the war. Gore's father was a senator, Bush's father was a Congressman.
The Washington Post reports that Bush joined the National Guard 12 days before his student deferment would have expired, and that in spite of his low score on the pilot's aptitude test (25, the lowest score allowed), and in spite of the waiting list that some kids spent years on, Bush was sworn in as an airman the day he applied. Indeed, so giddy was Bush's commander, Col. Walter B. "Buck" Staudt, that he later staged a special ceremony so he could have his picture taken giving Bush the oath, instead of the captain who actually had sworn Bush in. Bush spent two years learning to fly airplanes in his home state of Texas.
As the 2000 Presidential campaign moved along, angry veterans in Alabama claimed that George W Bush never performed any military service in that state, as stated on his campaign website. They offered a reward of $1000 (which rose to $3,500) to anyone who could prove that he had. No one came forth with any proof.
Eight days before the election, the Boston Globe reported discrepancies between the Bush campaign's statements regarding his military service and what records and documents showed. In 1972, the Globe reported, Bush moved from Houston to Mobile, Alabama to work on a Senate campaign. It was at this time, the Globe found, that he was suspended from flight duty for not taking his annual flight physical. Furthermore, the Globe could find no evidence that he ever performed any drills while in Alabama, or any more drills after returning to Houston.
Bush refused to answer any questions concerning the charges. His official White House biography states, "He served as an F-102 pilot for the Texas Air National Guard before beginning his career in the oil and gas business in Midland in 1975..." but gives no further details about his military service.
FAIR USE NOTICE:
This site may at times contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml