September 24, 2004

George W. Bush and the National Guard

I've long thought that it was a live possibility that George W. Bush crashed a plane in the winter of 1972--and thereafter (very reasonably) did not want to get back in the cockpit. Now Michael Froomkin nibble around the edges of the issue:

Discourse.net: Frit:


I have no idea if this story that Lt. GW Bush was grounded for cowardice is true. I have no idea how you would tell.


The story, unlike the one by Swift Boat Vets for Lies, has the merit of being consistent with much of the documentary evidence. (I would have expected to see something about this in the medical section of his file? Is this why he didn’t report for they physical, because they planned psychological tests?) It may also explain why GW Bush has never produced his separation codes.


But there’s no way to tell now, I’d wager.

But if there is "no way to tell," it is because Bush's files have been vacuumed--in which case that tells us something, no?

Posted by DeLong at September 24, 2004 10:06 AM | TrackBack
Comments

I find it difficult to believe that *crashing a military jet* is something that could be erased from the record. I'm prepared to believe a lot of things about Bush and the Texas Air National Guard, but that strains my credulity.

Posted by: Keith M Ellis at September 24, 2004 10:14 AM

And your belief about the most probable theory of what really went down in the spring of 1972 is?

Posted by: Brad DeLong at September 24, 2004 10:16 AM

Most probable theory? Things go better with Coke.

Posted by: joe at September 24, 2004 10:19 AM

My personal theory is that GWB avoided the medical tests because they would reveal his cocaine addiction, which would get him not only grounded but court-martialed and possibly even imprisoned.

He knew the penalties for refusing to comply would be less than the penalties for complying.

Posted by: Fred at September 24, 2004 10:22 AM

Fear that the TANG physical would reveal cocaine use. Yes, that's a theory. But are you saying that he couldn't even stop sniffing for the period needed to get a clean physical? Losing your flight status is such a loss of status among the fraternity of pilots...

Posted by: Brad DeLong at September 24, 2004 10:24 AM

How would George Bush know how long a period that was? How could he be sure that the military didn't have some very sensitive test?

Also let's say he gave it up for a month and then got weak and snorted some, as possible as anything else.

I too, doubt it was a "crash of a military plane." It could have be an extremely shaky landing that would make you lose confidence in Lt. Bush but wouldn't have caused damage. A crash? that seems like something everyone would have remembered

Posted by: KevinNYC at September 24, 2004 10:30 AM

Perhaps he couldn't stop for long enough. Maybe he didn't realize until too late that there was a possibble urine test (IIRC, it was the first year for officers). Perhaps he did stop, but did a couple of lines or joints while drunk.

Somebody pointed out once that Bush's guard record was one of good performance, which deteriorated into a period of absenteeism and "don't give a f*ck". The sort of thing which would lead to suspicions of drug use, if it happened to any of us.

Posted by: Barry at September 24, 2004 10:32 AM

Crashing a plane couldn't be covered up. A near miss could be, maybe. It could be that something scared Lt Bush so much that he couldn't make himself climb back in the cockpit ever again, but I don't think so.

Didn't he fly for several years before he walked away? I would think that during the first few weeks of your time at the controls of a jet fighter you'd have gone through more than a few scary moments. If you can keep your nerve through them it seems unlikely that you would lose it later after you'd become more of veteran. But who knows.

But I have never believed he just quit on his own. All his defenders who try to argue that he stopped because the plane he was trained on was obsolete or because he found something he wanted to do more (sharpen pencils in Alabama?) have missed the key point: Fighter pilots are cool.

I've got a post on this on my website:

http://lancemannion.typepad.com/lance_mannion/2004/09/georgie_screws_.html

But the gist is, I can't imagine a redblooded twentysomething American male giving up being a fighter pilot?

Especially if flying was the one thing in your life you'd actually been any good at?

A recreational coke snorter might be able to control the urge long enough to pass a physical. But a raging alcoholic probably could not have kept sober long enough. Given what we know about Bush's drinking past, I'd bet booze done him in.

Maybe the drinking got so bad it ruined his skills as a pilot and that led to a close call that led to him losing his nerve.

Maybe after he loses the election he'll write a true autobiography and tell us what happened.

Yeah, right.

Posted by: Dave Reilly at September 24, 2004 10:38 AM

Some obvious questions that might shed light. How many F-102s were built? Even better, do they have serial numbers, and are these numbers recorded somewhere? How many are extant? What happened to the others.

A quick google search turns up this. http://www.wpafb.af.mil/museum/research/fighter/f102.htm Were there really exactly 1000 manufactured or is Convair just one of the suppliers?

It seems to me that this is probably at least as easy to nail down as old IBM typewriters.

Posted by: Paul Callahan at September 24, 2004 10:50 AM

Crashed a plane? You're not thinking big enough. If we are speculating, may as well speculate that Bush 'bombed an orphanage' or 'shot down a civilian airliner' or 'got lost on survival training and ate a fellow pilot.' Any of these could cause a loss of nerve.

Rmemeber, as another famous Texan said, you don't have to prove it, you just need to get them denying it.

Posted by: Charles Kinbote at September 24, 2004 10:54 AM

Back then coke could only be detected for 3 to 5 days after use with urinalysis. MJ was detectable out to three to four weeks (IIRC). Easy enough to get by a physical while doing coke if you can just cut out usage for one week. Especially since (at least in the Navy) we basically scheduled our own physicals, or could easily reschedule if one was scheduled and found to be "inconvenient" for some reason. Only hard rule was that they had to be done by the end of your birth month and could be as early as 30 days prior to birthday.

Crashes are officially "aircraft incidents" and incidents come in a variety of flavors. Range from Class A - total loss of aircraft and/or death of crewmember to major damage and/or major injury on down to anything that does more than a few hundred dollars damage.

All Class A & B resulted in tons of paperwork and messages and reports, etc. Seems one should be able to find some or all copies of those reports and messages somewhere. Class C generated lots of paperwork, lesser incidents made for less paperwork.

Once had a squadron mate lock his brakes before doing a touch and go away from our home base. Blew all tires, then had to go back home and land on the rims. Lots of damage to landing gear, struts, underside of wing, etc., but only a minor incident that you would be hard put to find any evidence about. Ended up costing him his wings as it was the final straw in a string of minor incidents showing lack of progress in piloting skills. Could probably still find some publicly accessible paper somewhere on the incident, but probably nothing on him losing his wings.

Same sort of thing happened with another squadron mate who never seemed to get past the "rookie" mistakes made during first couple of years flying. After an extra year spent trying to correct his deficiencies, a near mid-air collision was the straw that broke the camel's back, costing him his wings. Might could find something about the near collision in FAA records, but getting proof of loss of wings would be a lot harder unless he released his service records.

Same for Bush. A major incident should be confirmable with some dogged research - seems unlikely to me they could have disappered all records & references. If it was more of a personal issue, much less likely to ever find out.

Posted by: Nester at September 24, 2004 10:55 AM

I like the "got lost on survival training and ate a fellow pilot." That's a good one.

Posted by: Brad DeLong at September 24, 2004 10:56 AM

Brad DeLong: "Losing your flight status is such a loss of status among the fraternity of pilots..."

Having served as an officer in the US Air Force at roughly the same time Bush was in the National Guard, I can tell you that was definitely the case at the time. However, if a pilot had openly lost his nerve to fly (as it appears that Bush had done), he was already out of the fraternity. Skipping a flight physical and being removed from flight status was a lesser consideration than losing the respect of fellow pilots. It is a strong fraternity.

Posted by: Mushinronsha at September 24, 2004 10:58 AM

Someone had a diary on Kos this morning referencing a Janet Linke who said her husband was brought in to replace GWB because he was afraid to fly.

Afraid to fly because he'd crashed a plane?

Maybe while flying under the influence?

It kind of all fits.

Google Janet Linke

Posted by: trillian at September 24, 2004 10:58 AM

Convair built them all. Each had a distinct serial number, each successive aircraft's SN higher than the previous, though they wouldn't all be consecutive. SNs were assigned as aircraft were accepted from the suppliers. Planes sometimes accepted in blocks, so all SNs for planes in the same block would be consecutive, but other kinds of planes might be received between blocks of 102's.

Posted by: nester at September 24, 2004 11:02 AM

Agree with Mushinronsha that pilot fraternity was tight and membership was something most would do just about anything to attain and keep. Definitely tried to avoid doing or saying anything that could possibly result in even temporary grounding, much less permanent grounding.

For example of "normal" aviator behavior, for physicals we had to fill out a form that included a question like "do you have, or have you had, any of the following" with a long list which included everything from common cold to major surgery. New pilot made the mistake of trying to think rationally; afraid of being caught lying he checked yes to all the little crap we all normally have at least once during a year: headache, diarrhea, runny nose, etc. Ended up marking nine or ten items. Found himself scheduled for a psych eval because, as he was told by the flight surgeon, normal aviators never admit to more than three or four of those things.

Posted by: nester at September 24, 2004 11:17 AM

As a former aviation safety officer, I would have to say that a "secret" aircraft accident involving an ANG aircraft is a bit beyond the pale. In the CIA sure. But in the TANG? To protect the reputation of a Lt Bush? LOL!

But let's not tell CBS News. They might actually bite on the story if someone would just slip them a dummy accident report marked TOP SECRET/BURN BEFORE READING!

Posted by: Lawrence at September 24, 2004 11:27 AM

A pilot losing his nerve to fly was rare (especially after doing it successfully for a couple of years) in the US Air Force but not unheard of. Can't speak to the "weekend warriors" experience however. But if what I read about Bush's flight logs is true, either he, or someone whose's opinion counted, had growing concerns about Bush's ability at the controls of the F-102A. The logs apparently show him logging less time in the one-seater and much more time in the two-seater trainer (T-33) in the days before he was grounded. That doesn't prove anything but it does raise questions about possible deterioration in his piloting skills just before he lost interest in flying.

Posted by: Mushinronsha at September 24, 2004 11:43 AM

> Convair built them all. Each had a distinct serial number, each successive aircraft's SN higher than the previous, though they wouldn't all be consecutive.

It looks like there are people out there who track military aircraft pretty carefully. Here is the result of another google search on f-102a serial numbers:
http://home.att.net/~jbaugher/1956_2.html

This page (one of a list of similar pages http://home.att.net/~jbaugher/usafserials.html) has all the serial numbers for 1956, with comments such as:
"1012 crashed Dec 12, 1963 50 mi from Zaragoza AB, Spain after explosion. Pilot ejected safely."

I imagine that the crash of an F-102A in TX in 1972 would be recorded somewhere here.

Posted by: Paul Callahan at September 24, 2004 11:52 AM

The crash story isn't new, but very plausible. People who say that would be difficult to conceal don't know how things are done in Texas. Besides, what if he lost control over the Gulf? Splish-splash, no plane. GWB bails out, is rescued.

This needs to be more widely broadcast.

Posted by: John H. Farr at September 24, 2004 11:59 AM

Is the urge to fly really that strong? As someone who's been in two car accidents, I found myself very nervous behind the wheel for the next couple weeks, head on a swivel. I can only imagine that a bad experience from flying is greatly magnified (with something far less than a crash causing far greater anxiety than a car accident).

Posted by: Ugh at September 24, 2004 12:02 PM

I think the intellectual crack up of Semi-Daily Journal is now complete.

Posted by: Patrick R. Sullivan at September 24, 2004 12:27 PM

It seems to me there must be paperwork from the
period which would show, say the number of F102A
planes assigned to that unit and how many were in
flyable condition each week or month ? If there
was an incident resulting in damage to a plane which
took some time to repair, that should have left
a considerable paper trail. On the other hand,
if it was just a close call, the CO might be able
to hush it up and say "get yourself straight and
sober and fly the trainer for a while" ? From my
understanding of the military, a failure by a
pilot would reflect badly on the CO, so everyone
has an incentive to hush it up. But a fatal
accident or loss of a plane would be impossible
to hide - so the CO wouldn't let Shrub go flying
a solo jet until he felt it would be safe.

Posted by: richardcownie at September 24, 2004 12:31 PM

Texas Monthly (google cache): http://www.google.ca/search?q=cache:www.texasmonthly.com/mag/1999/jun/knows.1.php

-- start quote --
"But what about the rumors?" [Bush] shot back. Then, to my utter stupefaction, he proceeded to tick off everything the national press was investigating about his past: five or six of the most salacious things that could be said about anyone—including, in his own words, "I bought cocaine at my dad's inauguration"—plus intimate gossip about his family.

As he well knew, I had already heard all of it through the media grapevine. "You missed one," I said. "You crashed a jet while you were in the National Guard because you were drunk."

He spread his hands. "That's easy," he said. "Where's the plane?" Game over. He spun around and headed off.
-- end quote --

Posted by: ArC at September 24, 2004 12:32 PM

D'oh... didn't realize the Burka story started off Brad's link. That'll teach me not to follow all links first.

Posted by: ArC at September 24, 2004 12:33 PM

"I think the intellectual crack up of Semi-Daily Journal is now complete."
-Patrick R. Sullivan

Freudian projection, thy name is Republican.

Posted by: Barry at September 24, 2004 12:40 PM

> Crashing a plane couldn't be covered up. A near
> miss could be, maybe. It could be that something
> scared Lt Bush so much that he couldn't make
> himself climb back in the cockpit ever again, but
> I don't think so.

More likely than a crash would be a near-fatal loss of control during an exercise - say almost ramming a B-52 while trying to close up and inspect it during an airliner intercept simulation. Or doing that more than once for sure.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer at September 24, 2004 12:41 PM

I'm a pilot, and I can not imagine a young man with the opportunity to fly fighter jets not continuing to fly. Pilots do not just stop flying.

I don't know what happened, but I do know that SOMETHING happened. There's something there for sure. (Look how hard the Republicans are fighting over this.)

There's something there. Why did Bush stop flying?

Posted by: Dave Johnson at September 24, 2004 12:53 PM

some people find it hard to believe a plane crash in the mil could be covered up. I don't. I've heard other stories (not about GW) where the CO didn't report REALLY bad stuff because HE would get in trouble too! Besides, if the Machine can make GWB prez, it can make a plane crash dissapear too.

Posted by: cj at September 24, 2004 01:39 PM

He was not flying F-102 in spring 1972. He was flying training craft. AP reported this couple of wks ago. No explanation why he was demoted down to flying trainer craft from 102. There is the mystery.
Also, he was asked to take a physical well ahead of his birthday at his commander's request. Apparently, commanders could request physicals when they suspect something. Also, spring 1972 was the time he was suspected of coke arrest along with his buddy James Bath. Alabama stuff was just so to get him out of the state, while poppy worked out the deal with the judge. The sentencing came in 1973 as community service at PULL Houston.

Getting back to winter/spring 1972, lot of things happened during that time.

Posted by: ecoast at September 24, 2004 02:22 PM

Mushinronsha or others who know,

How big a deal was a flight physical? My regular physical doesn't take very long. Would the flight physical be some kind of all-day thing, or a matter of an hour or two? If the latter, then how can there be any excuse about scheduling, etc.?

Just as a matter of opinion, the cocaine theory seems much more plausible than the plane crash. Bush would not necessarily have been confident that staying clean for a week would let him avoid detection.

Posted by: Bernard Yomtov at September 24, 2004 02:31 PM


I support the grand unified theory: he quit flying because he crashed a plane while loaded on alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine, and after that turned into a jellified coward. Think outside the box-- both/and, not either/or. Don't be confined by antiquated binary twentieth-century zero-sum win-lose paradigms. You can have it ALL!

Posted by: zizka / John Emerson at September 24, 2004 02:31 PM

Another angle. What is this stuff we hear that he was employed by a plant company to haul by small plane plants to and from Florida and from Mexico to TX. TANG duty was just a weekend thing, right? During wkdays, he could be flying on his wkday job and maybe crashed one of those planes.

Loss of control during simulation exercises also seems plausible.

Posted by: ecoast at September 24, 2004 02:32 PM

Thanks ArC. I was going to go find that Texas Monthly article and add it to this thread, but you beat me to it.

Everyone should read it, esp. freepers who bow at the feet of the Great (Self) Deceiver Whose Name is Lush. All Hat and No Cattle is seriously full of himself and the stink must really be horrendous inside that skin.

Posted by: bushwahd at September 24, 2004 02:35 PM

For a good time, click on my url.

Posted by: Patrick R. Sullivan at September 24, 2004 02:40 PM

"I've long thought that it was a live possibility that George W. Bush crashed a plane ..."

Just one?

Let's see. Kerry is down to "tied" in NJ, and a mere +8 in NY(!), in both cases a full 15 points below what Gore pulled. If he can't carry even NJ then for gosh sake he's dead meat on plate. And the pollers who put him falling to tied in NJ report it's because even Democrats there say he hasn't given them any clear positive reason to vote for him.

So let's make the most of our energies and the limited time we have left by staying *on message*: I betcha Dubya was coked up when he crashed that plane. And as the arrogant son of the powerful Ambassador to the U.N., it might well have taken more than one crash to make him reluctant to fly... That's entirely consistent with the facts as we know them.

"But if there is 'no way to tell,' it is because Bush's files have been vacuumed -- in which case that tells us something, no?"

Yup, absence of evidence is proof of conspiracy, QED. We learned that from the X-Files.

"This needs to be more widely broadcast."

Yup, though if you want an X-File moment ... what if Karl Rove started this whole meme?

Posted by: Jim Glass at September 24, 2004 02:51 PM

Not only highly unlikely, virtually impossible. I was a USAF fighter pilot and a major air command chief of flight safety and I cannot imagine this happening. Our betters have tried to cover up "sensitive" mishaps and accidents in the past, but word always - always - gets out. If such a thing had ever happened I would have heard the scuttlebutt - all of us would have.

Posted by: Paul Woodford at September 24, 2004 03:01 PM

Since you're all so imaginative, this would also be a good time for answers to the mystery no one has been able to even address:

1. 1966, John Kerry graduates from Yale, and signs up for a six year hitch in the navy

2. 1968, George W. Bush graduates from Yale, and signs up for a six year in the Texas ANG

3. 1970, Kerry leaves active duty in January, and never serves another day of duty

4. 1973, Bush is discharged honorably in Oct.

5. 1978, Kerry gets his discharge after 8 years on standby reserve

How'd that happen?

Posted by: Patrick R. Sullivan at September 24, 2004 03:09 PM

Bernard Yomtov: "How big a deal was a flight physical?"

Depends. The best way to understand is to go take a look at the USAF Medical Examinations and Standards. These are published in Air Force Instruction 48-123 and are available on-line. Chapter 7.5 covers medical standards for flying duty. These standards have been tweaked over the years but don't seem substantially different than that time.

Here's the link: http://www.aviationmedicine.com/linkavmed.htm#USAF

It's the first bullet under US Air Force.

Posted by: Mushinronsha at September 24, 2004 03:34 PM

Patrick, you silly troll, that's because Kerry was wounded three times in Vietnam - a golden ticket out. Bush, on the other hand, may have received an honorable discharge but that is by no means a guarantor of a good duty record. In fact, the DC sniper, John Allen Mohammed was charged in 1983 with striking an officer, stealing a tape measure and going AWOL. He was sentenced to seven days in the brig and STILL received an honorable discharge in 1985.

Posted by: PigInZen at September 24, 2004 05:00 PM

re: How big a deal was a flight physical

not a big deal, except... GWB missed his physical right when the ANG changed the procedure and said a drug test might be part of the drill. So, all of a sudden, maybe the physical did become a big deal.
Why did they change the procedure anyway?

Posted by: cj at September 24, 2004 05:00 PM

Problem with this theory: There is nothing inherently cowardly or morally reprehensible about crashing a plane through accident or pilot error.

In fact, losing one's nerve after doing so, and refusing to fly again, is entirely understandable, and would gain Bush more sympathy than not.

Now, if he crashed a plane because he was drunk or coked up, that's another matter.

But at that point the plausibility index is shot.

A few well-connected people in Texas could easily have enough pull to get a slacker into TANG, and protect him from the consequences of insubordination, desertion, and get him an Honorable Discharge -- these were, as we've heard, not unusual favors done for the wealthy and powerful during the Vietnam era.

But a pilot crashing a multi-million dollar jet because he was FUI?-- and covering it up so completely it never appears on any records?

... is just too wildly unlikely. For one thing, a fighter jet isn't a minor piece of equipment, and the loss of one have to be noted somewhere. Don't fighter jets have to be thoroughly accounted for? Wouldn't there have to be a requisition to replace it? I doubt they can be replaced without any paper trail whatsoever.

Posted by: Ciel at September 24, 2004 06:40 PM

He was silenced by a secret gov org after reporting a UFO encounter

Posted by: p at September 24, 2004 07:17 PM

"But if there is "no way to tell," it is because Bush's files have been vacuumed--in which case that tells us something, no?"

Don't worry - I'm sure somebody will forge something to provide us with an explanation, which we liberals can believe because we desperately want to while our candidate goes down to defeat.

Posted by: realist at September 24, 2004 08:40 PM

I'm sorry to disappoint many of you but it's unlikely in the extreme that Bush crashed a plane. He may have, however, developed a problem landing a plane he was piloting. The F-102 was notoriously hard to handle but he had flown it proficiently until 1972; so, that doesn't seem to be the problem.

There has to be some other explanation for his developing a problem with his flying skills. Just a loss of interest in flying seems out of the question for a single young pilot at that time. Flying a jet fighter is a rush. And you'd lose respect from your buddies - your fellow pilots - if you just quit. Plus just telling girls you were a jet fighter pilot was a major point-scorer for a young guy on the make. There will probably never be a record of whatever difficulties the young Lt. Bush was having in flying. We'll have to wait for him to tell us someday.

Posted by: Mushinronsha at September 24, 2004 10:46 PM

"I think the intellectual crack up of Semi-Daily Journal is now complete."

This is especially funny when seeing how Satrick Pullivan spends the rest of this comment section on whoring an anti-Kerry conspiracy theory not even his wingnut brethren have picked up for lack of bite. The difference between the commentators on the SDJ and the NRO world is that any speculation about Kerry crashing his craft would be met with Pavlovian salivation on the NRO boards no matter how flimsy the evidence.

Posted by: ogmb at September 24, 2004 11:48 PM

There is some interesting hearsay at http://www.seanet.com/~johnco/bush102.htm, down near the end of the piece, about Bush taking up friend up for a flight in a Cessna. Though the passenger's subjective impression of Bush not having any idea of how to fly the Cessna was mistaken (he initially learned to fly in a very similar plane), the description of the flight is quite consistent with him not having flown recently. That would be a serious violation of the FAA regulation* that "no person may act as a pilot ... carrying passengers ... unless that person has made at least three takeoffs and three landings within the preceding 90 days ... in an aircraft of the same category, class, and type ... ". In aviation parlance, if you haven;t done that, you're "not current".

If the story is true, Dubya wasn't current on the Cessna, almost stalled on takeoff but had the skill and presence of mind to put the nose down recover airspeed (you never take off at anything full throttle, so he wouldn't have been "giving it the gas"), then landed badly but was bullheaded enough to take it up again.

I think the real problem that Bubya had in the Guard was that though nominally pilots are officers, they have no executive power, and no pilot not an Academy grad is ever going to get any in the Air Force. Though anyone will find learning to fly quite challenging and interesting, after you've learned, you'll continue to get pleasure from it only if you're the kind of person who really enjoys honing technical skills. Imagine what it must have been like for a power-oriented person like Dubya to find himself flying make-work patrols around Texas -- this is a guy who, despite having only an average-engineer level of intellect, believes himself entitled to rule the world. A guy who believes himself so entitled and invulnerable as to blatantly ignore the FAA regs and take off on a flight with a passenger when he's so far from being current he nearly stalls on takeoff and then botches a landing -- and then takes off again!

Dubya's character defect isn't cowardice, it's his colossal sense of entitlement.


*Full text available at http://www.risingup.com/fars/info/part61-57-FAR.shtml
Note that these are not obscure regulations -- the currency requirements are taught and tested in gound school.

Posted by: jm at September 25, 2004 12:03 AM

Via Buzzflash, here’s an article about Janet Linke,
whose husband was admitted to the Texas Guard in the summer of 1972 to replace Bush.

Excerpts:
“According to Linke, a Jacksonville resident and artist, Bush's flying career was permanently disabled by a crippling fear of flying.”
“According to Linke, Killian said Bush was grounded in his fourth year of flying after he became incapable of flying or properly landing a plane.
"He was mucking up bad, Killian told us," Linke says. "He just became afraid to fly."

Posted by: Joe at September 25, 2004 12:33 AM

Whatever it is... let's call it "X". Bush stopped flying for some reason that he won't explain.

The most interesting part of this is that Bush was able to invest the time and effort of so many people into such an extensive albeit not totally effective coverup.

Usually, politicians know that coverups are a bad idea. They generally backfire. A coverup this big, with Army documents going back decades being expunged and army witnesses being "got to," this all suggests that whatever "X" was, it was something fairly ugly.

I keep thinking that the coverup is more interesting than X. It shows such a level of desperation. Maybe when Bush is gone, and Kerry has declassified all the stuff protected right now by Bush's little presidential directive, we'll find out that it's some sordid little thing that reflected poorly on Bush but wasn't such a big deal.

About the urinalysis test...

It may be more difficult to fake your way through a urinalysis test now than it was 30 years ago. However, 30 years ago, it wasn't that hard to fake your way through a urinalysis. I don't know how tricky the military was about their tests. Bush is such a risk-taker and a flake that I can't see him ditching his wings without trying to fake his way through a drug-test first.

Posted by: Dumbo at September 25, 2004 01:24 AM

I served* with John Kerry. And during Vietnam *he* lost his nerve and became afraid to fly. Why do you think he was playing in the water and chumming with communists while GWB was flying fighter jets and protecting the American Coast?

The so-called missing Bush year is easily explained by a top-secret mission that Bush engaged in that remains secret to this day. He has too much honor to break the trust to discuss his top-secret mission just to defend himself from frivilous charges. Of course no one saw Bush in Alabama -- he was saving the world from Democracy and, in fact, his mission in 1972 led directly to the later fall of the Berlin wall.

(* - when I say that I served with John Kerry I do not mean to suggest that I was in Vietnam at the same time as John Kerry. Or, that I was ever actually in Vietnam. Or, that I was in the Navy. Or any branch of the service. Or that I actually served. I had other priorities. But I was an American at the same time as John Kerry was during the incidents in question and therefore offer my eyewitness accounts).

Posted by: hero at September 25, 2004 06:21 AM

I see the usual suspects prefer to wallow in their own stupidity, rather than face the facts about John Kerry's MISSING EIGHT YEARS.

That's a fact documented on John Kerry's own website, but rather than deal with it you invent, out of whole cloth, an F-102 crash. Not mentally healthy, boys.

Posted by: Patrick R. Sullivan at September 25, 2004 07:20 AM

See also the reference in George Bush Senior's book to GWB coming home on land after he had parked his "frightening aircraft" in a neighboring state.

Posted by: serial catowner at September 25, 2004 09:12 AM

I think the intellectual crack up of Satrick Pullivan is now complete.

Posted by: ogmb at September 25, 2004 12:19 PM

Surely a crash would be impossible to cover up
over the years. There would be witnesses who would remember and come forward. Unless the
man's evil mother killed them all...?

Posted by: SEC Overreach at September 25, 2004 02:20 PM

Bush stopped flying because he is a girlie man.

Posted by: Elaine Supkis at September 26, 2004 05:33 AM

Shrub was, unofficially but unequivocably, forbidden to fly after his superiors learned of his secret trip to France to meet with diplomatic representatives of the Viet Cong ...

No?

Shrub was grounded after a reckless stunt involving flying a trainer under a bridge ...

No?

Shrub lost his nerve regarding operating fast moving vehicles when he drunkenly drove off a bridge into a river with his date, drowning her and nearly drowning himself. Only his family political connections ...

No?

I guess we'll never know.

Posted by: pouncer at September 27, 2004 01:01 PM

I have the advantage of having lived within sight of Ellington Field, and currently live close enough that I would hear a crash. The base is (and has been) in a heavily populated area for years, so we would have all sorts of public records/recollections of a crash available.

Plus this is the base that NASA trains out of, and it was at the height of astronaut frenzy. You would NOT have been able to hide such a crash.

Posted by: ThePrecinctChair at September 30, 2004 10:47 AM

It seems to me that the mystery is solved. Janet Linke's story seems credible. If they were phasing out the plane and/or cutting down the number of pilots, the Guard would not have needed a replacement for the Shrub. He admits that he had a drinking and drug problem at the time and there's no question that he was suspended from flight status for failing to attend a flight physical.

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