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Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by zimv20, Sep 8, 2004.
I watched the 60 Minutes piece on same this evening, and I have to say my reaction is "so what?" Didn't we already know that Bush had strings pulled to get him into the Texas National Guard? Didn't everybody who was well-connected and didn't want to go to Vietnam do just that? He had privilege and he exercised it.
The only news here (and it's really old news, but it serves as a reminder of what that time was like), was Barnes sharing his regret for helping the sons of the connected to escape service. Those names on the wall -- they're the ordinary schmoes who had the choice of the draft, enlistment or Canada. Rich man's war, poor man's fight. As always.
Records Say Bush Balked at Order
The documents that go along with the 60 Minutes story are more of a "blockbuster" nature than Barnes statement. Barnes had already told some of this before, but it is clear that Bush has lied about many aspects of his service in the TANG, his Alabama "sabbatical," and his lack of service in Boston. Those lies, some as recent as the 2000 race are more important than the fact of all the strings that were pulled all those years ago. Look for more stories on how documents have both been destroyed and withheld. It's always the cover up that gets them.
I'm comparing this to the Swift Boat Veterans flap, and the disparity in the nature of each "scandal" is nearly polar opposite.
SBVFTT, a private partisan used personal recollections of men who didn't serve under Kerry to defame Kerry's actions during deadly combat, recollections that differed from Kerry's retelling and official accounts from that time, including official accounts from those who have now changed their story.
By all official records and legitimate recollection, John Kerry is a war hero.
This fact has been unchallenged until now, which is why Kerry has never had to defend his record.
The AP, a nonparitsan news service, uncovered, by filing lawsuits, DoD documents detailing Bush's attempt at total dereliction of duty and obvious family interference in any attempt to discipline him for abandoning his commitment. There are appreciable official records that differ from Bush's retelling. There have been corroborating statements by several people involved in the story.
By all official records and legitimate recollection, George Bush abandoned his military post and used political connections to avoid discipline.
This fact has been unprovable until now, which is why Bush had been able to so defiantly defend his record.
My reaction to this somewhat falls in line with IJ's response, but I must say, as damaging as this information might be, it is not news to me...and frankly, even if it was, I would rather hear news about incidents that happened in this century. Call me quaint, but I feel there are more than enough issues to draw upon for debate since 2000...what happened 30 years ago is of a secondary importance, at best...
Let's not forget to add to the list: Bush wearing military medals which he was not awarded - LINK
Stuff like this will only help Kerry if people are listening. And I don't think they are. For some reason the SVBT ads were absorbed easily into the national conscienious, but the TFT ads are getting almost no newsplay. And newsplay is the big force multiplier.
Still, it will be interesting to see how the right-wing echo-chamber twists themselves into knots to continue to explain how a minimal stateside 'champagne' service is somehow more honorable than serving overseas under fire in a unit that patroled looking for enemy, not sat around waiting for the Mexican Army to cross the border.
I think Kevin Drum, over at the Washington Monthly, raises the appropriate questions from these documents.
You make a good point there -- we'll see if this story has any legs. For that to happen I think somebody is going to have to come forward with a credible statement that Bush's honorable discharge is also dubious, because this the Bush campaign's constant defense (and so far it seems to be working).
Yeah, the real issue this raises is the lying. If this is true, Bush has been lying for 30 years and has lied recently about both his service and what records of his service the WH either knows of or has in their possession, but hasn't released.
It also makes him look especially bad for picking on Kerry's service (however indirectly).
The attacks on Kerry's service record are despicable, but I've always thought that the main point of interest here was that Bush was in favor of the war in Vietnam, but opted not to fight in it. How he managed to swing his non-service is part of the story, which becomes larger if it can be shown that he fibbed. Either way, the indisputable fact that he wanted others to fight a war in his behalf tells me volumes about the personality of the man, and certainly has at least some current relevance.
No we didn't KNOW. We had plenty of speculation. But it now appears speculation is now, or at least very close, to fact.
Well lets be real here. Anyone who's been paying attention the last 4 years know the personality of Shrub and it sure isn't a polished glowing one.
I'm way into real.
So long as the question of whether Bush used his family influence to gain a spot in the National Guard remains a matter of he said/he said, it pays to emphasize the known. We know he favored the war but avoided serving on active duty. It's a character issue, it's irrefutable, and I hope Kerry faces him down with it in a debate.
Which is compounded when you think that he didn't even bother to complete the cakewalk he so needed to dodge the war.
Perhaps he should have filed for Conceited Objector status.
True, but Kerry has a fine line to walk here. He doesn't want to sound like he's devaluing Guard duty, especially now that Bush has so many of them eating sand over in Iraq.
Al Franken discussed this phenomenon, I think astutely, in Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them. His discussion was in reference to Al Gore, but I think it sheds light on what's going on here. Basically, the media prematurely made its decision of what Gore's personality was. For whatever reason, he was unfairly defined as a credit-hogging stiff. When the right-wing butchered and misquoted him to create a false impression of his message (for example, when he said that the action of a high school girl had helped to make a big impact, the right wing quoted him as saying that his work had made a big impact), the mainstream (some would say "liberal") media did not contest this incorrect characterization. Instead, having made its decision that it would portray Gore in this manner, it devoured the "evidence" that the right-wing groups dished out and propagated this falsehood. Who helped the media to create this persona for Gore? Well, of course, our helpful conservative media groups that spewed a lot of falsified rhetoric, rhetoric in which everyone seemed to delight and revel.
Similarly, in the case of Kerry, things stick because the right-wing does such a damn good job at portraying him as a fuzzy flip-flopper whose word can't be trusted because of excessive wavering. Therefore, the media pays attention and gives air-time to just about everything that "demonstrates" his moral vagueness, even if it is false. He's a flip-flopper and a fibber and everything that suggests that gets at least preliminary credence. More importantly, since the media shapes people's perceptions of politicians, the public is also conditioned to consider Kerry a flip-flopper and a fibber, just as it was conditioned to consider Gore a credit-hogging stiff. Therefore, even when the media discredits specific allegations (like the SVBT's), the public buys into those allegations after hearing them, because they only add "proof" to a conclusion already reached.
Juxtapose this perception against that of Bush. The media created a public personality for Bush that was far more useful to him than that with which Kerry and Gore have had to grapple. Bush is portrayed as an all-around down-to-earth, nice, and trustworthy kind of guy, if somewhat bumbling and perhaps not-so-bright. As has been repeated on several occasions, "he's the kind of guy you'd want to have a drink with." That is, if he weren't a recovering alcoholic whose penchant for booze almost ruined his and Laura's lives. But, the past is the past when it comes to Bush, because he's such a nice and honest fella. Therefore, when we find out that the Bush administration has lied about this or that, it doesn't stick for a lot of people, because those people have already decided that Bush is a nice and honest fella. When we find out that Bush has lied about his Vietnam record, it doesn't stick for a lot of people, either. Why? Because those people have already decided that Bush is a nice and honest fella. Thus, in order to prevent their finer sensibilities from being abused, these people don't want to study Bush's record; no, let the past be the past. When it comes to Kerry, though, the misshapen past helps to corroborate a hypothesis and thus is fair and relevant game.
It's an unfair racket, this politics business, and despite the conservatives' righteous indignation at this "left-wing media conspiracy," it seems that at least recently, it's been the Dems who've gotten screwed by the media giants' distorted, unfair, and even biased portrayal.
kerry and his rabid lacky dan rather, along with co-conspirators the boston globe have stepped in it now!
boy do we need to resurrect the bias media thread again?
documents without source, taken as gospel, that are increasingly viewed as cheap fonies!!!!!!!
kerry's left wing conspirator machine has exposed itself and its members.
I think my favorite part is the senators that used this word processed documents to berate our commander and chief as a liar!!!
even the son of the commanding officer this garbage is purported to have come from, has denounced'em as foney.
Soon the left biased media will renounce kerry. In fact, cnn and fox were pushing the fact that he hasn't taken press core questions for 40 days. the response from kerry's press secretary?.......summized....a tactic so that we don't step on our own message!!!!!
Holy cr*p!!!!!!! You mean-to slow the flipping machine!!!!
Lots of luck kerry fans.
didn't the WH release those same documents after 60 Minutes did their piece? or did i hear wrong?
You heard wrong. Release being the word in question, the White House on request has forwarded it to those requesting it, they will tell you that it is a copy of the copy they received.
I will concede that W doesn't have a glowing vietnam war history, while better than clintons, it is not as good as the democratic sen from Hawaii or Sen Dole's WWII. I prefer W's to kerry's by a long shot, especially after kerry returned home.
It seems that we have two candidates with less than glowing vietnam war histories, now that everyone knows this can we get to the substance please. And I mean this on BOTH sides.
But I can tell you, dan rather and the boston rag deserve each other on this one, may they fry. We need a thread contrasting Brokaw, Jennings, and rather. If 60 minutes doesn't jump on a retraction tomorrow, advertisers could pull out, which is just as good. I plan on emailing companies that had ads on the show last night.
As a kerry supporter, how do you feel about him dodging the press core?
(BTW I AM IN THE APPLE STORE AT MALL OF AMERICA TONIGHT )
Lol, now that the shoe's on the other foot you want to move on? Where was this sentiment when Kerry was taking it on the chin from the SVBT ads?
Sure I'd be happy to discuss issues with you. When was Dubya's last press conference?
Where do you get this stuff? Dan Rather and CBS News as an arm of the Kerry campaign? Right wing paranoid delusions aside, it it going to take a lot more than a superscript "th" to invalidate these documents. The existence of typewriters that allowed for this function in the early 70's should not be in question. In fact, some of the documents issued by the Bush White House as part of its document "dump" in February also exhibit this feature. If the Weekly Standard or anyone else wants to invalidate the evidence they are going to have to do much better than this. Smells of desperation to me.