National Guard LT Bush

EuroSavant today briefly departs from its usual brief (i.e. the foreign on-line press; don’t worry, I’ve got a juicy additional entry of the more customary sort planned that I should be able to get in today, or else tomorrow), to eagerly join in the chorus that is starting to resound in the blogosphere about President George W. Bush’s National Guard (non-)performance in 1972 and 1973.

Yes, Michael Moore termed our sitting president a “deserter,” but that’s the sort of heavily-laden word that really should have its full impact saved for application to people or events that truly justify it (it’s like “genocide,” for instance, only a bit less serious). So, even at worst, President Bush was no “deserter”: he did not abandon his military duties anywhere near the then-field of battle in Vietnam. Mr. Moore was merely indulging here in his usual hyperbole. On the other hand, it’s clear that there is a serious gap where there should be some sort of record of LT Bush, National Guard aviator, performing some sort of military duties in 1972 and 1973 to justify the expense taxpayers at the time undertook to train him to fly – not to mention the officer’s oath he took. Military service is a well-documented experience indeed, as I can tell you from personal (officer’s) experience – for what that’s worth; those documents just have to be there, if indeed there was anything happening during that period to actually document.

Anyway, this is not intended as some sort of “me too!” entry, but rather as a signpost to a set of English-language articles anybody interested in this question should read and consider. They’re in Salon, in fact; they’re authored by Salon senior writer Eric Boehlert, and, in order, discuss Bush’s “missing year”; pose the question of whether the military’s new drug-testing requirements in 1972 might have had something to do with LT Bush’s disappearance; and debunk Bush’s assertion on “Meet the Press” last Sunday that he already released all of his military records during the 2000 presidential campaign. (If you’re not a Salon subscriber, all these require at least a Free Day Pass, which only makes you put up with viewing a brief commercial – come on, it’s well worth it!)

Check it out: that last article details how simple it would really be to release his records if President Bush actually desired to; there’s even a link to the sample form the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) makes available to veterans for them to do so. (Consider that NARA website and its power-quote: “NARA ensures, for the Citizen and Public Servant, for the President and the Congress and the Courts, ready access to essential evidence.” There you go!) And all these attempts to twist the growing number of public inquiries about whether President performed that required military service or not into constituting some sort of attack on the National Guard as an institution really smack of desperate people who think that they are a little too smart.

Still, in the interest of providing equal time for all viewpoints, this weblog is willing to point readers to a great offer on the Top Gun: George W. Bush Action Figure. Remember! “Regardless of the labels [that have been applied to him in the past], he has proved that there is more to him than meets the eye.”

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