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February 13, 2004
Collapse, Continued

The Bush-AWOL story continues its collapse today, as more ex-Guardsmen come forward to not only acknowledge Bush's service with them, but also to note his volunteering for combat service:

A retired officer with the Alabama Air National Guard says he witnessed President Bush serving his weekend duty in 1972 -- an account that could be significant given Democratic questions on whether Bush fulfilled his service obligations during the Vietnam War.

Speaking on the phone Friday from Daytona Beach, Florida, John B. "Bill" Calhoun said he commanded Bush and that Bush attended four to six weekend drills at Dannelly Field in Montgomery. He said Bush was with the 187th Tactical Reconnaissance Group in Alabama in 1972. ...

Joe LeFevers, a member of the 187th in 1972, said he remembers seeing Bush in unit offices and being told that Bush was in Montgomery to work on Blount's campaign. "I was going in the orderly room over there one day, and they said, 'This is Lt. Bush,'" LeFevers said Tuesday. "They pointed him out to me ... the reason I remember it is because I associate him with Red Blount."

Red Blount's son, Winton Blount III, said Bush was the campaign's deputy manager and spent a lot of time in Birmingham and north Alabama. "He was a very active part of that campaign," said Blount. "And as my aunt said, she hoped people would act as nice in other people's homes as he did."

Not only did Bush serve in Alabama for his required drill time, but we also have confirmation that he volunteered to fly combat missions in Vietnam, but was refused, in a letter first noted by Hugh Hewitt:

According to Campenni, Bush inquired about participating in a volunteer program called Palace Alert that used Air National Guard pilots flying in the F-102 Delta Dagger interceptor jet in Vietnam.

The Air Guard advised Bush he did not have the desired 500 hours of flight time as a pilot to qualify for Palace Alert duty, and, in any event, the program was winding down and not accepting more volunteers.

Now we have the President's DD214, his honorable discharge, his pay records, his points awards records, and people who saw him at drills in Alabama. Despite not having a shred of credible evidence of any wrongdoing, Bush has provided all of the evidence demanded of him by the people on the left who were and are as virulently anti-military as any group in the US. And now that he has produced all that -- and has ordered the entirety of his military records released for public review -- I want to get an explanation for the following:

1. Why is Terry McAuliffe still the DNC chairman after engaging in slander?
2. Why hasn't John Kerry apologized for equating National Guard service with draft dodging?
3. Why haven't the media apologized for running with a story with a single source, no confirmation, and no proper investigation other than to ask obviously ignorant questions that anyone with any reference to military standards could have explained to them? Failing that, explain the difference between the Bush AWOL allegations and the Kerry infidelity allegations in a way that demonstrates a clear reason why a single unverified source was good enough for publication in one but not the other.

Until we get these issues cleared up, it is obvious to anyone who's followed these stories that the national media has two standards for publishing allegations, and that the Democrats -- whose last successful Presidential candidate admitted to gaming the draft system to avoid service altogether -- will repeat any lie and make up any story to get themselves elected and to destroy anyone's reputation along the way. They've done that repeatedly during the judicial confirmation process, abetted again by the national media, and they're doing it again in the presidential election.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at February 13, 2004 5:23 PM

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» Why Did They Do It? from Slings And Arrows
The Captain asks: Bush has provided all of the evidence demanded of him by the people on the left who were and are as virulently anti-military as any group in the US. And now that he has produced all that... [Read More]

Tracked on February 13, 2004 6:20 PM

» oops from Sophoristically Speaking
"Oops." The sound being collectively heard in media rooms around the country, specifically regarding the false reports, supported only by the memory of one officer who couldn't recall seeing Lt. Bush in Texas (when he wasn't supposed to be in Texas), o... [Read More]

Tracked on February 13, 2004 11:03 PM

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