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President George W.
Bush is a Deserter from the Military-Disputed!
Summary of the eRumor The eRumor asks the
question of why George W. Bush was not prosecuted for desertion from
the military during his time of service. It suggests that
perhaps his father, George H. Bush, played a role in preventing it.
Mr. Bush's critics are describing him as a deserter, an officer who
His defenders say that it's exaggeration to equate him with active
duty personnel who desert their post, say good bye to the military,
and go into hiding.
Getting a clear picture is difficult, although there are some records of
his military service that have been released.
George W. Bush's military service has been a controversy in each of
The current controversy all got started with an investigation by the Boston Globe newspaper.
The Globe concluded that Mr.
Bush was an excellent National Guard pilot who served portions of
his six-year commitment by putting in more active-duty time than required,
but there is a year toward the end of his time of service during
which there are no records of his having shown up for required
meetings and drills.
The Globe also explored the question of whether he got into the
National Guard through strings pulled for him as the son of a U.S.
The article concludes that he did benefit from favored treatment on
more than one occasion.
In May of 1968 Mr. Bush enlisted and was chosen for training as an
Air Force pilot.
Critics have noted that he got into pilot training despite poor
initial testing, suggesting that someone on the inside helped move
him to the top of the list.
The Globe interviewed National Guard officials who said it was
because few National Guard enlistees were willing to commit to the
required 18 months of flight training and that put them higher on
In November of 1969, the future president completed flight training
and was assigned to become an F-102 fighter pilot assigned to
Ellington Air Force Base.
Until his fifth year of National Guard duty, there is no question
about his service.
The Globe says those who served with Mr. Bush regarded him as a top
pilot and that he spent more time on active duty than was minimally
required for reservists.
In the first four years of of his six-year commitment, he spent the
equivalent of 21 months on duty.
In May of 1972, George W. Bush moved to Alabama to help in a U.S.
Senate campaign and requested permission to serve in a unit in that
His superiors, however, later said they did not approve of that unit
because the unit didn't do much.
There were virtually no drills or exercises.
The unit's commander told the Boston Globe that it had no airplanes
and essentially met one weeknight per month.
The Globe says that months apparently went by without resolution to
Mr. Bush's status and, therefore, no guard duty.
Technically, without new orders, he was still a part of his unit in
Texas, but he was living in Alabama.
Mr. Bush was eventually assigned to a unit in Montgomery.
One of the superior officers there told the Globe he could not
remember George Bush serving there. But in 2004, he told
reporters that he never intended for that statement to mean that Mr.
He was simply saying he didn't recall his being
During that time, Bush failed to take his annual pilot's physical
examination and was removed from flight status.
A Bush spokesman told the Globe that Mr. Bush does recall doing some
duty in Alabama.
On another occasion, a representative for the president said that
Bush made up for any time that was lost by participating in other
But his service records show about a year in which there is no
report of duty.
From May to July of 1973, the records show that Mr. Bush did log 36
days of active duty. He was granted an honorable discharge in
October of 1973.
The records for July, August and September have not been found and
officials say they were inadvertently destroyed.
The New York Times looked into the allegations in 2002 and concluded
that the time Mr. Bush missed had been made up satisfactorily and
that his records showed his having performed all the required
George Magazine looked into the story as well and concluded that
there were two documents in George Bush's records that indicated
that he accumulated 56 points toward his required minimum of 50
points necessary to be regarded as a guardsman at the time that is
In 2004, the issue flared again during the presidential primary
The White House released pay stubs from the Alabama years, saying it
was proof that he served.
Critics said that was only proof that he got paid, which was never
in dispute, not that he actually served.
In July, 2004, the Pentagon released newly discovered records from
the Alabama year, but they, like the previous records, did not
include July through September and did not shed any light on those
In September, 2004, CBS reported on some newly discovered memos
including one from Col. Walter "Buck" Staudt that said
openly that Bush sought special favors in the National Guard and did
not fulfill his service.
There were immediate questions, however, about the authenticity of
Typography experts said the documents appeared to have been created
on equipment that was not available during the early 1970's when
they were supposedly written.
The Dallas Morning News then revealed that Col. Staudt had been
honorably discharged from the military a year-and-a-half before the
date on the memo.
CBS stood by its story for two weeks, then announced on 9/20/04 that
it had been misled about the documents and that it could no longer
vouch for their authenticity.
CBS anchor Dan Rather issued an apology about the story.
Last updated 9/20/04
A real example of the eRumor as it has
appeared on the Internet:
HOW ABOUT THIS, OUR PRESIDENT SEEMS TO HAVE SOME EXPLAINING TO DO. OR
WILL THE MEDIA BE TO SCARED TO SAY ANY THING???
It seem that the NEWS MEDIA HAS KNOWN ABOUT THIS FOR
SOME TIME NOW BUT
HASN'T HAD THE COURAGE TO ASK OUR PRESIDENT HOW HE WAS ABLE TO GET AWAY
WITH COMMITTING A CRIME THAT CALLS
(( FOR A COURT MARSHAL , THAT COULD BE PUNISHABLE BY
DEATH IN TIME OF
IT SEEMS HE IS MIGHTY BRAVE WHEN IT COMES TO SENDING
OTHERS TO FIGHT
AND DIE FOR OUR COUNTRY.
NOT ONLY DID HE GET AWAY WITH IT BUT SURELY HIS FATHER
HAD TO HELP
HIM. AS I RECALL REGAN AND BUSH SENIOR WERE PISSED OFF AT
PRESIDENT CARTER FOR GIVING AMNESTY TO THOSE THAT WHEN
TO CANADA AND
TORE UP THEIR DRAFT CARDS.
HOW COME THEY DIDN'T MIND G W BUSH BEING GUILTY OF
PEOPLE IF YOU DON'T THINK A DESERTER SHOULD BE
PRESIDENT OR AT LEAST
CHALLENGE THESE CHARGES IF HE IS INNOCENT, WRITE OR CALL AND DEMAND AN
ANSWER TO THESE ACTUATIONS.
PLEASE PASS THIS ON,AND CALL OR WRITE TO YOUR SENATOR
PERSON AND INSIST ON PRESIDENT BUSH ANSWERING THESE CHARGES.
HE IS NO BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSE ESPECIALLY THOSE THAT
DID SERVE WITH
2 For 1
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