September 13, 2004

U. S. News and World Report Is a News Magazine

U.S. News and World Report says the obvious about George W. Bush's slacking off at the Air National Guard:

USNews.com: A review of President Bush's National Guard years raises issues about the time he served (9/20/04): A review of the regulations governing Bush's Guard service during the Vietnam War shows that the White House used an inappropriate--and less stringent--Air Force standard in determining that he had fulfilled his duty. Because Bush signed a six-year "military service obligation," he was required to attend at least 44 inactive-duty training drills each fiscal year beginning July 1. But Bush's own records show that he fell short of that requirement, attending only 36 drills in the 1972-73 period, and only 12 in the 1973-74 period.... [H]e failed to attend enough active-duty training and weekend drills to gain the 50 points necessary to count his final year toward retirement.... Bush did not comply with Air Force regulations that impose a time limit on making up missed drills. What's more, he apparently never made up five months of drills he missed in 1972, contrary to assertions by the administration....

Some experts... remain mystified as to how Bush obtained an honorable discharge. Lawrence Korb, a former top Defense Department official in the Reagan administration, says the military records clearly show that Bush "had not fulfilled his obligation" and "should have been called to active duty."... [Bush] did no drills for one five-month period in 1972. He also missed his flight physical. By May 2, 1973, his superiors said they could not evaluate his performance because he "has not been observed."

Albert C. Lloyd Jr., a retired Air Force colonel who originally certified the White House position that Bush had completed his military obligation, stood by his analysis. After a reporter cited pertinent Air Force regulations from the period, he complained that if the entire unit were judged by such standards, "90 percent of the people in the Guard would not have made satisfactory participation."... [O]ther experts disagree. "There is no 'sometimes we have compliance and sometimes we don't,' " says Scott Silliman, a retired Air Force colonel and Duke University law professor. "That is a nonsensical statement and an insult to the Guard to suggest it." The regulations must be followed, adds James Currie, a retired colonel and author of an official history of the Army Reserve. "Clearly, if you were the average poor boy who got drafted and sent into the active force," he says, "they weren't going to let you out before you had completed your obligation."

Posted by DeLong at September 13, 2004 08:25 AM | TrackBack
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Brad -- check out AT today:

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and this is spot on:

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Posted by: MattB at September 13, 2004 08:38 AM

A pity that there's no credit to Paul Lukasiak, who did the research and said, blankly, that any reputable journalist would (and should) be able to do the same.

Posted by: nick at September 13, 2004 09:21 AM

He didn't serve in the Air Force, but in the TANG. But Bush claimed (preposterously) that his service should have been evaluated by Air Force regulations. Yet even if you go by that standard, Bush comes up short, as the liberal U.S. News & World Report reports.

Posted by: son volt at September 13, 2004 09:40 AM

Albert C. Lloyd Jr., a retired Air Force colonel said "... if the entire unit were judged by such standards, "90 percent of the people in the Guard would not have made satisfactory participation.".

First they trash all veterans who have medals.

Now they trash all reserve service!

Posted by: gw at September 13, 2004 09:44 AM

> "To post based on forged documents is to demonstrate a pronounced bias toward left-wing hacks."

As far as I know, the US News article is not based on the Killian forgeries, but on an examination of the documented record.

Posted by: Paul Callahan at September 13, 2004 10:10 AM

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the ratio of household debt to disposable income reached a record of 108.3 percent at the end of 2003. This rise was driven primarily by surging mortgage debt, but the ratio of consumer debt (mostly credit card debt and car loans) to disposable income was also at near record levels;

if the household debt continues to grow at the same rate in the next presidential administration as it has since 2000, it will reach 152.0 percent of disposable income by the end of 2009;

the cost of servicing this debt - which is already at near record levels relative to income - will increase substantially in the near future, both because of continuing increases in the debt, and higher interest rates, which are a virtual certainty. This will almost certainly push bankruptcy rates, which are already at historically high levels, to new records;

the country's net foreign indebtedness is rising to unprecedented levels as the dollar remains seriously over-valued in international financial markets. This over-valuation effectively places a tax on U.S. exports and subsidizes imports into the United States, leading to record trade deficits;

at the end of 2003, the net foreign indebtedness of the United States stood at $2.4 trillion dollars. If the trade deficit remains constant as a share of GDP, net foreign indebtedness will rise to over $7 trillion by the end of 2009, an amount equal to $24,000 for every person in the United States;

Measured relative to GDP, foreign indebtedness stood at 22.1 percent at the end of 2003. If the current path continues, it will hit 48.0 percent by the end of 2009, a level of indebtedness far greater than any industrialized country has ever experienced.

While the dollar originally became over-valued largely because foreign investors bought into the stock bubble, its value is currently being sustained by foreign central banks. The dollar will only stay at its current levels as long as these banks consider it to be in their interest to keep the dollar at a high value relative to their own currencies.

Posted by: anne at September 13, 2004 10:13 AM

Goshers, Mister Korb-buddy, it's so mysterious how Mister Bush-buddy could have had such exceptions made for him. Could anyone -- 1LT Doe, John NMI -- in his position have refused orders and run away and such, and had the same treatment?

Sounds almost as if Mister Air Force Colonel-buddy doesn't think it's right to say that.

Mystery mystery, dee wee me.

Posted by: Kat at September 13, 2004 10:22 AM

Not to bust your bunnies folks, but the amature typesetting analysists are now being displaced by the pros, and

1. These documents could have been produced in 1972 on IBM machines.

2. The typeface is NOT TrueType New Times Roman (if nothing else the 4 s are different. In the documents the 4s are open at the top, in TTNTR they are closed).

3. The document was produced on a typewriter (not everything is on the same line).

4. Any comparison at 12 pt is meaningless as there is not enough resolution to show small, but meaningful differences between typefaces.

So no, they have not been show to be forgeries and yes, they appear to be authentic.

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2004/09/11/authenticity_backed_on_bush_documents/
http://tinyurl.com/6f4ed

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1644869,00.asp

I can point you some otherplaces which go into the minutia.

Posted by: Eli Rabett at September 13, 2004 10:57 AM

The USN&WR article is not based on the questioned documents at all, and quotes a number of pretty serious-looking experts.

Posted by: zizka / John Emerson at September 13, 2004 10:58 AM

Let me get this straight. Colonel Lloyd is offering the defense that it's okay that Bush didn't meet the requirement because lots of other people didn't either? Ignoring whether or not Lloyd's characterization is accurate, isn't this the "everyone else was doing it" defense? What kind of defense is that?

Posted by: Jon at September 13, 2004 11:28 AM

Not the least interesting part of all this is the Mobilization of the Trolls. Something is really getting under their skin.

Posted by: steve at September 13, 2004 11:35 AM

Steve -- I've heard that the RNC has outsourced all the trolls to India. They're cheaper there.

Posted by: lightning at September 13, 2004 12:59 PM

We should look for solecisms and grammatical errors in troll posts. If we can't find them, the trolls are probably Hindus.

Posted by: zizka / John Emerson at September 13, 2004 01:55 PM

"Let me get this straight. Colonel Lloyd is offering the defense that it's okay that Bush didn't meet the requirement because lots of other people didn't either?"

No, he offers the defense that GWB DID meet the requirements because most others didn't either. It would boggle the mind if my mind boggler wasn't worn out from overuse already.

Posted by: ogmb at September 13, 2004 02:15 PM

MattB: Kevin Drum has pointed out the glaring flaw in Michael Tomasky's analysis -- the fact that he states casually:

"The problem begins with the fact that majorities of the public tend to agree with Democrats on the issues. This isn't universally true, of course, but it's true with regard to more issues (perhaps many more issues) than not. On health care, the environment, investment, education, just about everything except national defense, majorities lean toward the Democratic position."

...without mentioning the tiny fact that this particular election is mostly ABOUT national defense -- on which Bush and the GOP have, from the begining, had a gigantic lead (as they have for decades, ever since the Democrats responded to Vietnam by going dovish). Clinton's big victories were due in large part just to the fact that national defense was off the table in those particular elections. And had national defense remained the same low-priority issue this time as it was before the 9-11 attack, the Democratic nominee (presumably Gore) would indeed probably have a lead of around 10 points right now. But, ah, it hasn't...

Bush has managed to blow an amazing amount of his initial lead by bungling the Iraq War - but Kerry hasn't been able to take advantage of it because it has become publicly and painfully apparent that Kerry has no clearer ideas than Bush on the subject of Iraq or of the larger worldwide war. He could flay Bush alive -- as everyone from George Will to Tom Maguire has pointed out -- by simply pointing out the $200 billion and the troops we have tied down in that war could have been put to far better military use elsewhere, especialy given the looming and deadly danger of nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism. But not a peep on this whole subject from Kerry, any more than from Bush. Like it or not, BOTH parties have nominated first-class dumbbells at a time of deadly national crisis.


Posted by: Bruce Moomaw at September 13, 2004 02:33 PM

Meanwhile, on the front of the new US News & World Report accusations, the White House (according to Slate) is refusing to respond other than to simply repeat that Bush "served honorably". Big surprise.

Posted by: Bruce Moomaw at September 13, 2004 02:36 PM

The Republican leadership apparently seems to think others are just as much slackers as they are.

Look at the vacation days taken by the last five administrations. It's obscene.

Posted by: Dragonchild at September 13, 2004 05:09 PM

Some are easily and often permanently boggled.

Posted by: zizka / John Emerson at September 13, 2004 06:31 PM

Nixon Investigated Texas Guard

It is to laugh.

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