Michael Moore should know better than some Colonel who was actually there, though

Letters to the Editor: ‘Bush and I were lieutenants’

A retired colonel who served in the Air National Guard with George Bush had a letter published in today’s Washington Times.

There was one big exception to this abusive use of the Guard to avoid the draft, and that was for those who wanted to fly, as pilots or crew members. Because of the training required, signing up for this duty meant up to 2½ years of active duty for training alone, plus a high probability of mobilization.


Excusals for employment were common then and are now in the Air Guard, as pilots frequently are in career transitions, and most commanders (as I later was) are flexible in letting their charges take care of career affairs until they return or transfer to another unit near their new employment. Sometimes they will transfer temporarily to another unit to keep them on the active list until they can return home. The receiving unit often has little use for a transitory member, especially in a high-skills category like a pilot, because those slots usually are filled and, if not filled, would require extensive conversion training of up to six months, an unlikely option for a temporary hire.

Go read the whole thing. Is it me, or isn’t there much gas left in the “Bush was AWOL” tank?


  1. Is there some Kerry quote where he is ‘casting a terrible slander on those who served in the Guard, then and now’ as Mr Campanelli states or is he slandering Kerry with that? Certainly his post illumninates the discussion in a useful way, but he is clearly not without bias of his own. ‘…Mr. Kerry was playing antiwar games with Hanoi Jane Fonda…’ clearly shows he dismisses Kerry’s service. This just keeps the game going. I’m disappointed he added that and the other parts which show he is a partisan. It is unfortunate that the administration cannot just be forthcoming with ALL relevant documents when reasonably asked, regarding this, the 9/11 commission, the energy task force, or whatever comes next. It would certainly save time wasted on questioning their honesty. Does anyone believe that documents cannot be faked? I suppose we don’t have much choice but to trust the original source documents, but when they appear a few years after all relevant documents are requested, and then they seem to provide key exculpatory evidence, it does not inspire confidence.

  2. I took the ‘slander’ bit to be a reference to Kerry’s quote equating draft dodgers, conscientious objectors, and National Guard volunteers, but I could be wrong about that. In any event, calling that statement a slander on Kerry is quite a stretch. And a veteran ANG and USAF colonel shouldn’t express his feelings about Kerry/Fonda anti-war stuff? Give me a break. The letter is clearly written in support of Bush. No secret that the colonel is a partisan. So what? Yes, you’re right. It’s very unfortunate that this administration cannot produce ALL the documents immediately when asked. If only they would be totally up front, forthcoming, and honest like all the other Presidents before Bush, we’d all be happy, I guess. Interesting note about the faked documents, though. If Bush had whipped out total, complete documentation in 2000 that all the i’s were dotted and all the t’s were crossed, what would we have heard? ‘Faked.’ But if Michael Moore turns up a document that proves Bush was AWOL it’s certainly the truth? Are the Kerry/Fonda pics faked? Maybe. Who knows? What’s your plan to deal with it? When are people going to stop pretending that political games and skulduggery only began when Bush was elected? And no ‘key exculpatory evidence’? Are you suggesting that Bush is GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT? Where are the documents proving Bush was wrong? (And ‘Not observed at this unit’ refers to qualification testing, not attendance.)

  3. The Colonel has every right to express his opinion. Kerry would seem to have earned his right to have an opinion about Vietnam as well without it being disrectful. I was just suggesting that it’d be nice all the way around if more facts could be presented in a depoliticized way for reasonable people to draw their own conclusions. It seems that nobody listens to anybody anymore and we are all to blame. Certainly any ‘document’ is suspect these days. I have no reason to believe Moore over Bush or vice-versa. I did not state or suggest that I would (or wouldn’t or whatever). I have often expressed that ‘they all do it’. Many people think that just the other side does it. It is unfortunate that we can’t trust the ‘press’ to present what is as close to the unvarnished facts anymore to let people make up their own minds. It seems that many people are unwilling to see the difference between ‘It matches my thoughts so it must be true’ and ‘It seems plausible, comes from a reputable source, is corroborated so I will take it as a reasonable possibility.’ Dialogue seems to be near-dead and fairness isn’t seen too often either.