Lies About Bush


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What is Bush's real military record?

My World

Bush Service Time Line


May 28, 1968: Bush enlists as an Airman Basic in the 147th Fighter-Interceptor Group, Ellington Air Force Base, Houston, and is selected to attend pilot training.

July 12, 1968: A three-member board of officers decides that Bush should get a direct commission as a second lieutenant after competing airman's basic training.

July 14 to Aug. 25, 1968: Bush attends six weeks of basic training at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.

Sept. 4, 1968: Bush is commissioned a second lieutenant and takes an 8-week leave to work on a Senate campaign in Florida.

Nov. 25, 1968 to Nov. 28, 1969: Bush attends and graduates from flight school at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. (UTP Course #P-V4A-A Moody AFB, Ga. 53 weeks November 1969)

January 1,1970 147th changes from doing Alerts to training F-102 pilots.

December 1969 to June 27, 1970: Bush trains full-time to be an F-102 pilot at Ellington Air Force Base.

Febuary 1970 Bush attends Preint Pilot Training (T-33 ANG112501 5 weeks )

June 1970 his records are not clear his computer records show RGRAD NAV TNG  but his discharge shows F102 Intcp Pilot Training (F102 ANG1125D 16 weeks).



His Military Biography shows: Professional Military Education: Basic Military Training, Undergraduate Pilot Training and nothing else.



July 1970 to April 16, 1972: Bush, as a certified fighter pilot, attends frequent drills and alerts at Ellington.

Computer records show last Physical as May 1971. Which also shows him as CR MEM ON FS (crew member on flight service) not PILOT.


During his fifth year as a guardsman, Bush's records show no sign he appeared for duty.

May 24, 1972: Bush, who has moved to Alabama to work on a US Senate race, gets permission to serve with a reserve unit in Alabama. But headquarters decided Bush must serve with a more active unit.

Sept. 5, 1972: Bush is granted permission to do his Guard duty at the 187th Tactical Recon Group in Montgomery. But Bush's record shows no evidence he did the duty, and the unit commander says he never showed up.

November 1972 to April 30, 1973: Bush returns to Houston, but apparently not to his Air Force unit.

May 2, 1973: The two lieutenant colonels in charge of Bush's unit in Houston cannot rate him for the prior 12 months, saying he has not been at the unit in that period.

May to July 1973: Bush, after special orders are issued for him to report for duty, logs 36 days of duty.

July 30, 1973: His last day in uniform, according to his records.

Oct. 1, 1973: A month after Bush starts at Harvard Business School, he is formally discharged from the Texas Air National Guard -- eight months before his six-year term expires.

The Real Military Record of George W. Bush: Not AWOL

For more than a year, controversy about George W. Bush's Air National Guard record has bubbled through the press. Interest in the topic has spiked in recent days, as at least two websites have launched stories essentially calling Bush AWOL in 1972 and 1973.

For example, in "Finally, the Truth about Bush's Military Record" on, Marty Heldt writes, "Bush's long absence from the records comes to an end one week after he failed to comply with an order to attend 'Annual Active Duty Training' starting at the end of May 1973... Nothing indicates in the records that he ever made up the time he missed."

And in Bush's Military Record Reveals Grounding and Absence for Two Full Years" on, Robert A. Rogers states: "Bush never actually reported in person for the last two years of his service - in direct violation of two separate written orders."

Neither is correct.

It's time to set the record straight. The following analysis, which relies on National Guard documents, extensive interviews with military officials and previously unpublished evidence of Bush's whereabouts in the summer and fall of 1972, is the first full chronology of Bush's military record. Its basic conclusions: Bush may have received favorable treatment to get into the Guard, served irregularly after the spring of 1972 and got an expedited discharge, but he did accumulate the days of service required of him for his ultimate honorable discharge.

At the Republican convention in Philadelphia, George W. Bush declared: "Our military is low on parts, pay and morale. If called on by the commander-in-chief today, two entire divisions of the Army would have to report, 'Not ready for duty, sir.'" Bush says he is the candidate who can "rebuild our military and prepare our armed forces for the future." On what direct military experience does he make such claims?

George W. Bush applied to join the Texas Air National Guard on May 27, 1968, less than two weeks before he graduated from Yale University. The country was at war in Vietnam, and at that time, just months after the bloody Tet Offensive, an estimated 100,000 Americans were on waiting lists to join Guard units across the country. Bush was sworn in on the day he applied.

Ben Barnes, former speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, stated in September 1999 that in late 1967 or early 1968, he asked a senior official in the Texas Air National Guard to help Bush get into the Guard as a pilot. Barnes said he did so at the behest of Sidney Adger, a Houston businessman and friend of former President George H. W. Bush, then a Texas congressman.

Despite Barnes's admission, former President Bush has denied pulling strings for his son, and retired Colonel Walter Staudt, George W. Bush's first commander, insists: "There was no special treatment."

The younger Bush fulfilled two years of active duty and completed pilot training in June 1970. During that time and in the two years that followed, Bush flew the F-102, an interceptor jet equipped with heat-seeking missiles that could shoot down enemy planes.

His commanding officers and peers regarded Bush as a competent pilot and enthusiastic Guard member. In March 1970, the Texas Air National Guard issued a press release trumpeting his performance: "Lt. Bush recently became the first Houston pilot to be trained by the 147th [Fighter Group] and to solo in the F-102... Lt. Bush said his father was just as excited and enthusiastic about his solo flight as he was."

In Bush's evaluation for the period May 1, 1971 through April 30, 1972, then-Colonel Bobby Hodges, his commanding officer, stated, "I have personally observed his participation, and without exception, his performance has been noteworthy."

In the spring of 1972, however, National Guard records show a sudden dropoff in Bush's military activity. Though trained as a pilot at considerable government expense, Bush stopped flying in April 1972 and never flew for the Guard again.

Around that time, Bush decided to go to work for Winton "Red" Blount, a Republican running for the U.S. Senate, in Alabama. Documents from Ellington Air Force Base in Houston state that Bush "cleared this base on 15 May." Shortly afterward, he applied for assignment to the 9921st Air Reserve Squadron in Montgomery, Ala., a unit that required minimal duty and offered no pay.

Although that unit's commander was willing to welcome him, on May 31 higher-ups at the Air Reserve Personnel Center in Denver rejected Bush's request to serve at the 9921st, because it did not offer duty equivalent to his service in Texas. "[A]n obligated Reservist [in this case, Bush] can be assigned to a specific Ready Reserve position only," noted the disapproval memo, a copy of which was sent to Bush. "Therefore, he is ineligible for assignment to an Air Reserve Squadron."

Despite the military's decision, Bush moved to Alabama. Records obtained by show that the Blount Senate campaign paid Bush about $900 a month from mid-May through mid-November to do advance work and organize events.

Neither Bush's annual evaluation nor the Air National Guard's overall chronological listing of his service contain any evidence that he performed Guard duties during that summer.

On or around his 27th birthday, July 6, 1972, Bush did not take his required annual medical exam at his Texas unit. As a consequence, he was suspended from flying military jets.

Bush spokesperson Dan Bartlett told "You take that exam because you are flying, and he was not flying. The paperwork uses the phrase 'suspended from flying,' but he had no intention of flying at that time."

Some media reports have speculated that Bush took and failed his physical, or that he was grounded as a result of substance abuse. Bush's vagueness on the subject of his past drug use has only abetted such rumors. Bush's commanding officer in Texas, however, denies the charges.

"His flying status was suspended because he didn't take the exam,not because he couldn't pass," says Hodges. Asked whether Bush was ever disciplined for using alcohol or illicit drugs, Hodges replied: "No."

On September 5, Bush wrote to then-Colonel Jerry Killian at his original unit in Texas, requesting permission to serve with the 187th Tactical Reconnaisance Group, another Alabama-based unit. "This duty would be for the months of September, October, and November," wrote Bush.

This time his request was approved: 10 days later, the Alabama Guard ordered Bush to report to then-Lieutenant Colonel William Turnipseed at Dannelly Air Force Base in Montgomery on October 7th and 8th. The memo noted that "Lieutenant Bush will not be able to satisfy his flight requirements with our group," since the 187th did not fly F-102s.

The question of whether Bush ever actually served in Alabama has become an issue in the 2000 campaign-the Air Force Times recently reported that "the GOP is trying to locate people who served with Bush in late 1972 ... to see if they can confirm that Bush briefly served with the Alabama Air National Guard."

Bush's records contain no evidence that he reported to Dannelly in October. And in telephone interviews with, neither Turnipseed, Bush's commanding officer, nor Kenneth Lott, then chief personnel officer of the 187th, remembered Bush serving with their unit. "I don't think he showed up," Turnipseed said.

Bush maintains he did serve in Alabama. "Governor Bush specifically remembers pulling duty in Montgomery and respectfully disagrees with the Colonel," says Bartlett. "There's no question it wasn't memorable, because he wasn't flying."

In July, the Decatur Daily reported that two former Blount campaign workers recall Bush serving in the Alabama Air National Guard in the fall of 1972. "I remember he actually came back to Alabama for about a week to 10 days several weeks after the campaign was over to complete his Guard duty in the state," stated Emily Martin, a former Alabama resident who said she dated Bush during the time he spent in that state.

After the 1972 election, which Blount lost, Bush moved back to Houston and subsequently began working at P.U.L.L., a community service center for disadvantaged youths. This period of time has also become a matter of controversy, because even though Bush's original unit had been placed on alert duty in October 1972, his superiors in Texas lost track of his whereabouts.

On May 2, 1973, Bush's squadron leader in the 147th, Lieutenant Colonel William Harris, Jr. wrote: "Lt. Bush has not been observed at this unit" for the past year.

Harris incorrectly assumed that Bush had been reporting for duty in Alabama all along. He wrote that Bush "has been performing equivalent training in a non-flying status with the 187 Tac Recon Gp, Dannelly ANG Base, Alabama." Base commander Hodges says of Bush's return to Texas: "All I remember is someone saying he came back and made up his days."

Two documents obtained by indicate that Bush did make up the time he missed during the summer and autumn of 1972.

One is an April 23, 1973 order for Bush to report to annual active duty training the following month; the other is an Air National Guard statement of days served by Bush that is torn and undated but contains entries that correspond to the first. Taken together, they appear to establish that Bush reported for duty on nine occasions between November 29, 1972-when he could have been in Alabama-and May 24, 1973.

Bush still wasn't flying, but over this span, he did earn nine points of National Guard service from days of active duty and 32 from inactive duty. When added to the 15 so-called "gratuitous" points that every member of the Guard got per year, Bush accumulated 56 points, more than the 50 that he needed by the end of May 1973 to maintain his standing as a Guardsman.

On May 1, Bush was ordered to report for further active duty training, and documents show that he proceeded to cram in another 10 sessions over the next two months.

Ultimately, he racked up 19 active duty points of service and 16 inactive duty points by July 30-which, added to his 15 gratuitous points, achieved the requisite total of 50 for the year ending in May 1974.

On October 1, 1973, First Lieutenant George W. Bush received an early honorable discharge so that he could attend Harvard Business School. He was credited with five years, four months and five days of service toward his six-year service obligation.

Source: George Magazine

Bush on Bush

C-SPAN: How long did you spend in the service?

GOV. BUSH: Six years total. Active duty as a-I flew F-102 fighters out of Ellington Air Force Base. I was in the Texas Air National Guard. The 102 is a Delta wing air-to-air interceptor. And I went to basic flight school at Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta, Georgia, came back, spent another six months or so on active duty learning how to fly the 102, transitioning from what was then-the last plane I flew was the T-38.

C-SPAN: What years?

GOV. BUSH: Nineteen sixty-eight, when I got out of college. I started pilot training in November of '68 and got out in November of '69.

C-SPAN: Why didn't you go on full active duty?

GOV. BUSH: Because I was interested in becoming a pilot, and it became the first slot open and I took it.

C-SPAN: Did you ever become a pilot?

GOV. BUSH: Yeah.

C-SPAN: I mean, a commercial pilot, beyond-

GOV. BUSH: Oh, no, no, no, not at all. Just an old jet jockey.

C-SPAN: What'd you learn about anything from the service?

GOV. BUSH: I learned that there's a way to train a person who knew nothing about flying into being a good pilot. The service did a wonderful job of training. And I'm most impressed about how they drew a rote exercise into one's daily schedule until you got it right. And that's particularly important when you fly.

I'll never forget getting in the airplane and the guy said, "Okay, now do a 30-degree bank and do the turn at 60 degrees." And I did a 28-degree bank and turned 50 degrees, and he bangs his hand on the dashboard there and says, "I said a 30-degree bank at 60 degrees, and that's exactly what we mean." And from that point forward, I got my banks right and the degrees right. And it came in handy in the long run, because there's not much margin for error when you're flying jets.

Bill Clinton's Draft Letter

Bill Clinton's Christmas Letter to COL Engene Holmes, Professor of Military Science University of Arkansas. (Spelling and grammatical errors were in the original letter.)

Dear Col. Holmes,

I am sorry to be so long in writing. I know I promised to let you hear from me at least once a month, and from now on you will, but I have had to have some time to think about this first letter. Almost daily since my return to England I have thought about writing, about what I want to and ought to say.

First, I want to thank you, not just for saving me from the draft, but for being so kind and decent to me last summer, when I was as low as I have ever been. One thing which made the bond we struck in good faith somewhat palatable to me was my high regard for you personally. In retrospect, it seems that the admiration might not have been mutual had you known a little more about me, about my political beliefs and activities. At least you might have thought me more fit for the draft than for ROTC.

Let me try to explain. As you know, I worked for two years in a very minor position on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.I did it for the experience and the salary but also for the lopportunity, however small, of working every day against a war I opposed and despised with a depth of feeling I had reserved soley for racism in America before Vietnam. I did not take the matter lightly but studied it carefully, and there was a time when not many people had more information about Vietnam at hand than I did.

I have written and spoken and marched against the war. One of the national organizers of the VIetnam Moratorium is a closefriend of mine. After I left Arkansas last summer, I went to Washington to work in the national headquarters of the Moratorium, then to England to organize the Americans for the demonstrations Oct. 15 and Nov. 16.

Interlocked with the war is the draft issue, which I did not begin to consider separately until early 1968. For a law seminar at Georgetown I wrote a paper on the legal arguments

The decision not to be a resister and the related subsequent decisions were the most difficult of my life. I decided to accept the draft in spite of my belefs for one reason: to maintain my political viability within the system. For years I have worked to prepare myself for a political life characterized by both practical political ability and concern for rapid social progress. It is a life I still feel compelled to try to lead. I do not think our system of government is by definition corrupt, however dangerous and inadequate it has been in recent years. (The society may be corrupt but that is not the same thing, and if that is true we are all finished anyway.)

When the draft came, despite political convictions, I was having a hard time facing the prospect of fighting a war I had been fighting against, and that is why I contacted you. ROTC was the one way left in which I could possibly, but not positively, avoid both Vietnam and resistance. Going on with my education, even coming back to England, played no part in my decision to join ROTC. I am back here, and would have been at Arkansas Law School because there is nothing else I can do. In fact, I would like to have been able to take a year out perhaps to teach in a small college or work on some community action project and in the process to decide whether to attend law school or graduate school and how to begin putting what I have learned to use.

But the particulars of my personal life are not nearly as important to me as the principles involved. After I signed the ROTC letter of intent I began to wonder whether the compromise I had made with myself was not more objectionable than the draft would have been, because I had no interest in the ROTC program itself and all I seemed to have done was to protect myself from physical harm. Also, I began to think I had deceived you, not by lies because there were none but by failing to tell you all the things I'm writing now. I doubt that I had the mental coherence to articulate them then.

At the time, after we had made our agreement and you had sent my l-D deferment to my draft board, the anguish and loss of my self- regard and self-confidence really set in. I hardly slept for weeks and kept going by eating compulsively and reading until exhaustion brought sleep. Finally, on Sept. 12 I stayed up all night writing a letter to the chairman of my draft board, saying basically what is in the preceding paragraph, thanking him for trying to help in a case where he really couldn't, and stating that I couldn't do the ROTC after all and would he please draft me a soon as possible.

I never mailed the letter, but I did carry it on me every day until I got on the plane to return to England. I didn't mail the letter because I didn't see, in the end, how my going in the army and maybe going to Vietnam would achieve anything except a feeling that I had punished myself and gotten what I deserved. So I came back to England to try to make something of this second year of my Rhodes scholarship.

And that is where I am now, writing to you because you have been good to me and have a right to know what I think and feel. I am writing too in the hope that my telling this one story will help you to understand more clearly how so many fine people have come to find themselves still loving their country but loathing the military, to which you and other good men have devoted years, lifetimes, of the best service you could give. To many of us, it is no longer clear what is service and what is disservice, or if it is clear, the conclusion is likely to be illegal.

Forgive the length of this letter. There was much to say. There is still a lot to be said, but it can wait. Please say hello to Col.Jones for me. Merry Christmas.


Bill Clinton

Source: PBS

| - Clinton's Military Record: Clinton organized anti-America rallies in London during the Vietnam war. Clinton's hostess in Prague was the wife of the chief of the communist party. Comrade Clinton spent four weeks in Moscow without any visible means of support, but prying into the business of other Americans. The Intourist Hotel, where he stayed, charged up-front at least $60 a night - money Clinton didn't have. For details of Clinton's spying see FIRST IN HIS CLASS by David Maranis. - |


The Gore Lie

"And I was shot at. . . . I spent most of my time in the field." (Al Gore, The Washington Post, 2/3/88)

"I carried an M-16 . . . I pulled my turn on the perimeter at night and walked through the elephant grass, and I was fired upon." (Al Gore, Los Angeles Times, 10/15/99)

The Truth:

Gore No Longer Mentions Combat Duty on the Campaign Trail.

"On the campaign trail today, while he suggests no combat heroics, he nonetheless mentions his service in Vietnam proudly." (Los Angeles Times, 10/15/99)

"Gore Had Bodyguards Assigned to Keep Him Out of Harms Way in Vietnam. In Vietnam, Alan Leo, a photographer in the press brigade office where Gore worked as a reporter, said he was summoned by Brig. Gen. K.B. Cooper, the 20th Engineer Brigades Commander, and told Leo that he, Cooper, had a great amount of respect for the senator. He asked Leo, the most experienced member of the press unit, to make sure that nothing happened to Gore. He requested that Gore not get into situations that were dangerous, said Leo, who did what he could to carry out Coopers directive. He described his half-dozen or so trips into the field with Gore as situations where I could have worn a tuxedo." (Newsweek, 12/6/99)


While in the Army, Al Gore wrote his parents that the U.S. Army was a "Fascist organization."

Gore got out of Vietnam after 4 1/2 months of a twelve month tour of duty and out of the Army early on the excuse he was going to go to Divinity School. In a couple months he flunked out but did not return to fulfill his Army obligations.

Gore Considered Fleeing to Canada to Avoid Vietnam

NEWSMAX.COM - Before he enlisted in the Army in 1969, Vice President Al Gore considered dodging the draft and fleeing his country.

According to a 1992 wire report reviewed by "Gore had just graduated from Harvard and shared an opposition to the war with much of his generation.

According to many accounts, Gore carefully weighed his options, and even briefly considered fleeing to Canada, as many did to avoid the draft." (Associated Press, July 29, 1992)

Rumors that Gore considered the Canada option have swirled since last Thursday, when a C-SPAN caller who identified himself only as a former Gore aide claimed to know the behind-the-scenes story of why the vice president changed his mind and decided to enlist.

According to the caller's account, Gore's father advised him that seeking asylum in Canada would destroy his political viability and promised that if he enlisted no harm would come to him.

Before President Carter granted amnesty to Vietnam draft-dodgers in 1978, those who fled the country were not allowed to return.

In a report that lends some credibility to another aspect of the caller's account, several of Gore's Vietnam colleagues told the Los Angeles Times last month that they were assigned to act as his "bodyguards." If true, the vice president's physical risk while in Vietnam was indeed minimized, just as his father had allegedly promised.

"It blew me away," H. Alan Leo told the Times. "I was to make sure he didn't get into a situation he could not get out of. They didn't want him to get into trouble. So we went into the field after the fact {after combat actions), and that limited his exposure to any hazards. (See: Al Gore Had Bodyguards Protecting Him in Vietnam --, Nov. 13)

Vietnam had an impact on political viability for both father and son.

At the time of Gore's enlistment, his father was in the fight of his political life. Sen. Gore had opposed the war early on, which had made him increasingly unpopular in conservative Tennessee. In an apparent attempt to compensate for his own antiwar position, the senator had his son appear in campaign ads wearing military fatigues after young Gore had enlisted.

His family has always insisted that Gore's decision to volunteer for the Army had nothing to do with political considerations.

Still, young Albert was scheduled to ship out by Election Day, which couldn't hurt with voters who viewed Vietnam service as the ultimate patriotic act.

But Gore's orders were delayed. In a 1988 Washington Post interview, Gore family members said they suspected that President Nixon had delayed a 1969 Vietnam call-up solely to deny Gore's father any benefit at the polls from having a son at the battlefront.

Gore himself told the Post, "All I know is I was not allowed to go until the first departure date after the November election." Gore's father lost the election.



Gore Got VIP Treatment in Vietnam, Army Buddy Tells

NEWSMAX.COM - Al Gore's Vietnam tour of duty was cut in half because he was the son of a powerful U.S. senator, according to a Vietnam veteran who served with him.

In an exclusive interview with Friday, Henry Alan Leo also claimed that he acted as Gore's "security escort" on the battlefield, but took issue with a Los Angeles Times characterization of him as Gore's Vietnam "bodyguard."

Still, even with that clarification, Gore's onetime army buddy left little doubt that the Washington VIP's son received special treatment while "in country" and challenged assertions that Gore was sent home early merely because his unit had been deactivated.

Gore served in Vietnam as a reporter with the 20th Engineers Brigade from Jan. 8 to May 24, 1971, when he was honorably discharged. His unit, headquartered in Bien Hoa, some 20 miles northeast of Saigon, was deactivated in April 1971 -- a development Vice President Gore's defenders have cited to justify his early departure.

The normal Army tour of duty in Vietnam was 12 months.

Henry Alan Leo was attached to the 20th Engineers as a photographer and, having been in country since October 1969, was one of the more senior members of the brigade when Gore arrived. When asked to explain how Gore got out more than six months early, Leo told, "If your dad is a senator, you can do anything."

What about Gore's unit being deactivated?

"He could have come right back down and gone to Engineer Command Headquarters, which was the next command up," Leo said. "That's what the rest of us in the 20th Engineers did.

"He got out 'cause of his dad," the Vietnam veteran repeated without equivocation. Al Gore Sr. was U.S. senator from Tennessee at the time.

Leo said he was dismayed by the special handling Gore received in Vietnam, treatment that included a general's request that Leo look after Gore because he was the son of a powerful politician. "I was shocked that someone would get that kind of treatment over in a combat zone.

I thought we were all, you know, under the same flag. In my opinion, I thought nobody should be getting that kind of treatment." Leo said that he was never specifically assigned to be Gore's "bodyguard," as the Los Angeles Times had reported on Oct. 15. "I was never ordered to be a bodyguard. As far as I know, Gore never had any bodyguards," Leo told

"I was asked to be, more or less, a security escort, because I had a lot more time in country and I already had multiple tours over there."

The Times reported that at least one other soldier besides Leo was warned that a senator's son, whose safety would be a priority, was joining the 20th Engineers. Last week, asked Michael O'Hara, described in press accounts as Gore's best friend in the unit, about reports that Gore had bodyguards while in Vietnam. O'Hara refused to confirm or deny the allegation.

Leo told that O'Hara and Gore were fast friends but wasn't sure whether he was the other brigade member who was told to watch out for the senator's son.

Brig. Gen. Kenneth B. Cooper personally requested that Leo take precautions to see that no harm came to Gore during a one-on-one meeting.

"It was natural for Gen. Cooper to make the request. Once again, it was never a direct order, for me to keep an eye out for Al Gore -- just to make sure that he did not get into any situations that we might have difficulty extracting ourselves from."

Leo took pains to not to exaggerate his role. "I wasn't like a bodyguard where I was going to take a bullet for the guy. I wouldn't do that for anybody. But it was just a matter of not letting Gore get caught out there in a situation where something might happen."

Gen. Cooper's request that Leo protect Gore was an honor in Leo's view:

"Wow, I thought. Here the general thinks I have a good reputation. I lived on the edge. I liked being out in the field, but I used a lot of common sense. And I learned a lot while I was out there. So I was a natural survivor. And I believe that to be the real reason for my being asked to keep an eye out on Gore."

Leo said he was also the natural choice to be Gore's security escort because, as the unit photographer, he would have accompanied Gore on field interviews anyway. As it happened, they never found themselves in any close-call situations. "I'd say that most of the areas we went into were relatively secure already," Leo told

For Leo, Gore's special treatment was merely another example of Washington business as usual. "As a general rule, the military jumps when Congress requires it to do so. So it doesn't surprise me that a senator had enough power to pull strings to ease his son's way anywhere."

Still, the Vietnam veteran bears Gore no ill will today. Leo said that after he got to know him, the future vice president seemed like "just one of the guys." After a while, it became "second nature" for him to see that Gore was kept in "an OK situation."

Should the revelation that Gore got kid-gloves care in Vietnam while others had to take their chances be an issue in the upcoming presidential campaign? Leo doesn't think so.

"Yes, I think it was unfair that he got special treatment. But it wasn't like I was told to guard this guy with my life. It was a simple matter of wanting us to take special caution to make sure that Gore didn't get into situations that may require a combat effort."

Now, Henry Alan Leo looks back on the entire episode with a jaundiced view. "That was 30 years ago. It's not important to me now. I'm a native Washingtonian. Politics has always been a dirty word to me regardless of who the politicians are."



1) The Dallas Morning News reported Records provided to The News by Tom Hail, a historian for the Texas Air National Guard, show that the unit Mr. Bush signed up for was not filled. In mid-1968, the 147th Fighter Interceptor Group, based in Houston, had 156 openings among its authorized staff of 925 military personnel. Of those, 26 openings were for officer slots, such as that filled by Mr. Bush, and 130 were for enlisted men and women. Also, several former Air Force pilots who served in the unit said that they were recruited from elsewhere to fly for the Texas Guard.

2) The Dallas Morning News also reported Officers who supervised Mr. Bush and approved his admission to the Guard said they were never contacted by anyone on Mr. Bush's behalf. "He didn't have any strings pulled, because there weren't any strings to pull," said Leroy Thompson of Brownwood, who commanded the squadron that kept the waiting list for the guard at Ellington Air Force Base. "Our practices were under incredible scrutiny then. It was a very ticklish time."

3) The Dallas Morning News, which also looked into Bush's military record, reported that while Bush's unit in Texas had a waiting list for many spots, he was accepted because he was one of a handful of applicants willing and qualified to spend more than a year in active training flying F-102 jets.

4) In its report, the Los Angeles Times said it found no evidence that either Bush or his father, former President George Bush, had personally tried to influence or pressure anyone to get the younger Bush a place in the Texas Guard. Bush's father was a congressman from Houston at the time.

5) Responding to the Globe's report that his Alabama base commander had no recollection of Bush ever showing for drills, the governor said "I pulled duty in Alabama and I read the comments and the guy said he didn't remember me. That's 27 years ago, but I remember being there." "I spent my time and I went to the Guard. It's just not true. I did the duty necessary...any allegations other than that are simply not true," Bush said. Asked about his Air National Guard attendance record, Bush told reporters it was "spotty attendance but I did the duty necessary... I did the time that was required in the Guard."

6) It was noted that there was a shortage of 800 nationally, and NO actual waiting list, but 500 positions available in TANG. Bush incurred a 6-year obligation on joining the NG.

7) He served 2 years ACTIVE DUTY. This (by the way) is longer active duty service than Al Gore completed. He served 2 years with an NG unit. (Standard practice.) He served 2 years using the "point system." By this method, each "good" year is the equivalent of 50 points. Points are earned by attending various trainings, programs, meetings, etc. Bush earned his points. He finished his time. The earlier poster is correct: the military would prosecute someone who is AWOL. THEY determined that GW completed his time. Therefore, he completed his time. Just because some Globe reporter can't connect the dots for the whole 6 years doesn't mean anything except that the reporter is stupid, biased, and incompetent.

8) Former Guard officials and members of Mr. Bush's unit said that release, seven months early, was not unusual for the Guard. Mr. Bush's unit was changing airplanes at the time, from the single-seat F-102 to the dual-seat F-101. They said it made little sense to retrain him for just a few months' service, and letting him go freed spots for the Guard to recruit F-101 pilots from the Air Force and elsewhere."

9) "You take that exam because you are flying, and he was not flying. The paperwork uses the phrase 'suspended from flying,' but he had no intention of flying at that time." " You CAN take yourself off of flight status at anytime, and not end up in the brig. Regardless of whether it's personal reasons, proficiency, or just plain old fear, the military would much rather have you on the ground so that you don't plant one of their expensive jets in a smoking hole.

10) Bush served into the Guard, served irregularly after the spring of 1972 and got an expedited discharge, but he did accumulate the days of service required of him for his ultimate honorable discharge.

11) In July, the Decatur Daily reported that two former Blount campaign workers recall Bush serving in the Alabama Air National Guard in the fall of 1972. "I remember he actually came back to Alabama for about a week to 10 days several weeks after the campaign was over to complete his Guard duty in the state," stated Emily Martin, a former Alabama resident who said she dated Bush during the time he spent in that state.

12) Being a fighter pilot -- for that matter, simply taking off in a single-engine jet fighter of the Century series, such as an F-102, or any of the military's other marvelous bricks with fins on them -- presented a man, on a perfectly sunny day, with more ways to get himself killed than his wife and children could imagine in their wildest fears. --- Tom Wolfe, The Right Stuff.

13) Bush returned to his unit at Ellington in November 1972, but did not fly again because his long layoff meant he would have had to spend weeks or months retraining in the F-102, said Lloyd, the former personnel director. Besides, the Guard was phasing out the F-102, which first flew in 1953, said Lloyd. He said it would have been a waste of time and money to train Bush to fly a newer jet when he had declared his intention to the leave the Guard in May 1974 when his commitment was over. ``When you stop to think about it, why expend dollars on somebody who you are not going to keep?'' Lloyd said.

14) Bush aides provided a payroll document they said indicated Bush served nine days of active duty in Alabama.

15) The Dallas Morning News reported, there were several tests that Bush had to take, including a test on his leadership potential. He scored quite high on that test. Given this rather egregious error, which can only be an intentional misrepresentation by Borger or his source, I rather doubt the 25% score on the aptitude test. I haven't seen it reported before, in any medium. But I have seen reports from Air Guard officers, purportedly in a position to know, that Bush scored highly on the test. If I remember correctly, Bush scored in the top 25 percent on his aptitude test. This score met all qualifications for pilots in the Texas Air National Guard. Bush scored 95% on the officer quality test.

16) From what I have been told GW Bush wanted to join the US Air force and fly jets. There were no slots available so he joined the Texas Air Guard and passed all the qualifications to fly, which he did and never had a guarantee he wouldn't see combat. The Texas Guard is not a stigma for someone to be ashamed of or for someone to ridicule. Their history proves they have seen combat and are always on alert to be called up at any time.

17) "If somebody like that came along, you'd snatch them up," said the former commander, who retired as a general. "He took no advantage. It wouldn't have made any difference whether his daddy was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff." -Gen. Staudt surviving member of the military panel that reviewed and approved Mr. Bush's officer commission.

18) Bobby Hodges, the group's operations officer, and others familiar with Guard rules said Mr. Bush made it to the top of the short list of candidates who could pass both the written officer test and a rigorous flight physical to qualify for the three to four annual pilot training "quotas" allotted to the unit.

19) "Thank you for your candor and for killing the rumor about you and Dad ever discussing my status. Like you, he never remembers any conversation," Mr. Bush wrote in the memo to Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes, dated Sept. 9, 1998.

20) "I applied, and I wanted to fly jets, and I did," the Texas governor told reporters while on a July Fourth campaign swing in New Hampshire. "I was proud of my service. Had my unit been called up, I would have gone overseas. "I would have gone had I been called. I can assure you of that," Bush said, noting that his commander told the Times "there was no preferential treatment given."

21) Bush, a Yale University graduate, has said he joined the Air National Guard rather than volunteer for Army combat duty because he wanted to learn how to fly jet fighters like his father, who was a fighter pilot in World War II. "He said he wanted to fly just like his daddy," Bush's commander, Col. Walter B. "Buck" Staudt, told the Times. "Nobody did anything for him. There was no ... influence on his behalf."

22) The Times reported that many of Bush's former colleagues and superiors in the Guard remember him as a bright young leader who worked hard. "He did the work. His daddy didn't do it for him," said retired Maj. Willie J. Hooper.

23) November-May (1973): Record of Bush service: 56 points.

24) In Bush's evaluation for the period May 1, 1971 through April 30, 1972, then-Colonel Bobby Hodges, his commanding officer, stated, "I have personally observed his participation, and without exception, his performance has been noteworthy."

25) May to July 1973: Bush, after special orders are issued for him to report for duty, logs 36 days of duty.


Lt. George W. Bush's Instructor Pilot Speaks Out -- Sets the Record Straight Subject: A Personal Letter of Observation of Lt. George W. Bush by his former Instructor Pilot Colonel Thomas G. Lockhart, USAF (Ret) Fellow Veterans:

I have heard about all I can stand of the military careers of the two presidential candidates. It's like two combatants arguing about who's Purple Heart carries the most weight. I have seen e-mails "splitting hairs" and making unsubstantiated claims against both candidates. I will not engage in this type of childish name-calling. The official records indicate that both individuals completed their military service obligations and received honorable discharges.

I can, however, give you some personal observations upon which I base my opinion of Governor Bush. George W. Bush arrived at Moody AFB, Georgia, for undergraduate pilot training (UPT) in 1968 as a member of the Texas Air National Guard. I was assigned as one of his Instructor Pilots. The atmosphere at this training base was somber and dead serious, as the student pilots were all either going to Vietnam or subject to being called up for combat duty as members of a Guard or Reserve unit.

George W. Bush put himself totally into the task of becoming the best aviator in the class. His unit flew Century Series jet fighters, which required the best pilots. There was no room for error, as these airplanes were unforgiving, and the price for a mistake was often the pilot's life. George W. Bush appeared to have that "fighter pilot attitude" from our first meeting. This attitude can best be described as: "I can handle the situation--regardless of the odds." He was extremely competitive and eager to learn every thing about his machine and the enemy's tactics. He was quick to pick up the flying skills necessary to maneuver an aircraft into a position to shoot down an enemy aircraft.

Being a fighter pilot is truly like being a modern day gladiator. When two jet fighters meet in combat, there is usually only one survivor. It is the ultimate test of your skills, and you must hone these skills until you have complete confidence that you will be victorious--that in the air you are invincible. Cocky? You bet!!! That was the attitude that saved England during the Battle of Britain, when a small cadre of British fighter pilots turned back the German onslaught. "Never have so many owed so much to so few," were Winston Churchill's words describing the RAF victory. This standard is part of the heritage of every fighter pilot.

The traits which, I believe, made George W. Bush a good fighter pilot and would also make him a good president are: a.. Leadership -- a "take charge" attitude. b.. Stamina -- when the going gets tough, the tough get going. c.. Sincerity -- a love of country and care for your fellowman. d.. Integrity -- knowledge of and willingness to act upon honest principles.

My personal bottom line used to be, "Would you follow this person into combat?" Well, I'm a bit old now for combat, but I respect George W. Bush's leadership abilities, and I would follow him anywhere!