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Memos Show Bush Suspended From Flying
AP ^ | 9/9/2004 | Pete Yost

Posted on 09/09/2004 12:06:40 AM PDT by Utah Girl

The White House released memos Wednesday night saying that George W. Bush was suspended from flying fighter jets for failing to meet standards of the Texas Air National Guard.

The Vietnam-era memos add new dimensions to the bare-bones explanation of Bush's aides over the years that he was suspended simply because he decided to skip his annual physical exam. The exam was scheduled during a year in which Bush left Texas, where he had been flying fighter jets, to work on a U.S. Senate campaign in Alabama.

White House communications director Dan Bartlett told CBS'"60 Minutes II," which first obtained the memos, that Bush's superiors granted permission to train in Alabama in a non-flying status and that "many of the documents you have here affirm just that."

"On this date I ordered that 1st Lt. Bush be suspended from flight status due to failure to perform to USAF/TexANG standards and failure to meet annual physical examination ... as ordered," states an Aug. 1, 1972, memo by Lt. Col. Jeremy Killian.

n a memo a year later that uses only last names, Killian points to turmoil among Bush's superiors over how to evaluate his performance because there was no "feedback" from Guard officials in Alabama in 1972 and 1973 where Bush had been largely inactive.

"Staudt has obviously pressured Hodges more about Bush," Killian wrote on Aug. 18, 1973. "I'm having trouble running interference and doing my job - Harris gave me a message today from Grp (Bush's unit) regarding Bush's OETR (officer evaluation) and Staudt is pushing to sugar coat it. Bush wasn't here during rating period and I don't have any feedback from 187th in Alabama. I will not rate."

The memo concludes: "Harris took the call from Grp today. I'll backdate but won't rate. Harris agrees."

Walter B. Staudt was commander of the Texas National Guard and Lt. Col. Bobby Hodges was one of Bush's superiors who two years earlier had rated Bush an outstanding young pilot and officer and a credit to his unit. Lt. Col. William D. Harris Jr. was another superior of Bush's.

A third Killian memo makes clear that Killian was concerned from the outset over Bush's plan to go to Alabama because the military had spent a substantial sum of money turning Bush into a pilot and that his National Guard duties might suffer if he went elsewhere.

"Phone call from Bush," Killian wrote in a May 19, 1972, memo. "Discussed options of how Bush can get out of coming to drill from now through November. ... Says that he is working on another campaign for his dad. ... We talked about him getting his flight physical situation fixed ... Says he will do that in Alabama if he stays in a flight status."

The memo added that Bush "has this campaign to do and other things that will follow and may not have the time. I advised him of our investment in him and his commitment."

The White House told CBS that Bush "met his drills then when he came back" from Alabama "and that's why he received an honorable discharge."

With national security and the war on terrorism looming large on voters' minds, supporters of Bush and Democratic nominee John Kerry are attacking each candidate's Vietnam War records. Republicans have accused Kerry, a decorated Vietnam combat veteran, of fabricating the events which led to his five medals. Democrats point to gaps in Bush's stateside Air National Guard service in 1972 and 1973 to say Bush shirked his duty.

Asked about Killian's memo which gives two reasons for Bush's suspension, Bartlett told CBS, "That might be official language." Bartlett said "the records have been clear for years that President Bush did not take a physical because he did not need to take a physical because, obviously, the choice was that he was going to be performing in a different capacity."

Asked about Killian's statement in a memo about the military's investment in Bush, Bartlett told CBS: "For anybody to try to interpret or presume they know what somebody who is now dead was thinking in any of these memos, I think is very difficult to do."

On Tuesday, the Defense Department released more than two dozen pages of records about Bush and his former Texas unit. They showed Bush flew for 336 hours in military jets after his flight training and ranked in the middle of his class.

Pentagon officials said they discovered the documents released Tuesday while performing a more comprehensive search "out of an abundance of caution" in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by The Associated Press.

The newly released records also showed that while Bush says he was in Alabama training with another Guard unit in 1972, his home unit in Texas was participating in the air defense of the southern United States by keeping two jet fighters constantly ready for launch within five minutes' notice.

TOPICS: News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: ap; bush; killian; ltbush; mediabias; nationalguard; tang
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To: Utah Girl
Republicans need to label this attack as ridiculous,and ask the media why Kerry's testimony in 1971 is not a treasonous act? Let's go republicans!
41 posted on 09/09/2004 1:08:35 AM PDT by patriciamary
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To: Howlin

The White House probably released the memos to the AP after CBS provided the memos to the White House. That's the only way I can explain it. I doubt the White House gave the memos to CBS (how would they have them?)

42 posted on 09/09/2004 1:09:42 AM PDT by conservative in nyc
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To: conservative in nyc
I don't believe a word AP says anymore, or anybody else for that matter.

From CBS:

But 60 Minutes has obtained a number of documents we are told were taken from Col. Killian's personal file. Among them, a never-before-seen memorandum from May 1972, where Killian writes that Lt. Bush called him to talk about "how he can get out of coming to drill from now through November...Col. Killian died in 1984. 60 Minutes consulted a handwriting analyst and document expert who believes the material is authentic."

Why would the White House give them memos that the White House couldn't verify? And if the White House did hand them out, why did they JUST hand them to CBS?

43 posted on 09/09/2004 1:14:54 AM PDT by Howlin (I'm mad as Zell)
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To: Howlin
No doubt the first sentence of the AP article makes little sense. The White House isn't handing over ANYTHING to Dan Rather so that he can do a hatchet job on 60 Minutes II. They would more likely be leaked first to the Wall Street Journal or Fox News, which would at least not take things out of context.

My guess is CBS got the documents from someone connected to the Kerry campaign, not the Administration. And the Administration made them available to the press because CBS did a hatchet job, excerpting only those portions of the letters least favorable to the President.

When did CBS post the letters on their website?
44 posted on 09/09/2004 1:20:39 AM PDT by conservative in nyc
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To: conservative in nyc

All the other articles are quoting CBS; none of the other stories quote their own documents.

I believe only CBS has them.

45 posted on 09/09/2004 1:23:50 AM PDT by Howlin (I'm mad as Zell)
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To: maryz
Well, I have to weigh in on this. IBM had a selectric typewriter with some degree of proportional spacing in the early 70s. They also had a magnetic storage device attached to it, and sold it as an inexpensive typesetting station. I think it also had superior characters as an option key. I don't remember the name of it, but I did a little bit of work on it in about 72. I remember distinctly because I was excited that McGovern was going to be in NY while I was at work and I'd get to see him. (I have since seen the error of my ways, courtesy Ronaldus Maximus).

I have looked at two of the memos closely, and I venture to say that they seem authentic, judging by the slight misalignment of the base of the characters, a characteristic of typewriters. The spacing is proportionate, but not as well done as by typesetting systems: note the gap on the "W e" combination.
My bet, this was done on an IBM Selectric with proportional font, circa 1970.

I don't want to see us go down this road and find that we're wrong.

46 posted on 09/09/2004 1:38:10 AM PDT by JoeA (JoeA— aka TypeMan)
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To: Chaguito
I think you're on to something here. I'm not familiar with the definition of proportional fonts, but those memos do not look like they were typed on a typewriter from that era. The font just doesn't look right. I was in high school back in 1972 and using typewriters at that time. The letters in those memos don't look like any typewriters from that era that I remember. Those memos look more like someone took current technology and tried to make the font look like typewriters from 1972.

Another odd thing about the one memo is where the writer refers to George W. Bush simply as "Bush." That doesn't look like the way military officers write a memo. They have procedures for everything in the military, including memo writing, and I'm sure their procedures would call for using a rank, first name, and middle initial (or at least the first two initials) to eliminate any uncertainty about names and identities. Military officers don't write sentences like "Bush called and said he wanted a transfer." They would write something like "Lt. George W. Bush called and requested a transfer." These memos also have a strange choice of details in them, with a lot of inexplicable references to Bush's political campaign work and "our investment in him." They look like they were written by somebody who's trying to discredit George W. Bush. Well his commanding officers would have not reason to discredit him, so these memos may well be forgeries and a classic political dirty trick. Keep digging, we're on the right track.

47 posted on 09/09/2004 1:39:32 AM PDT by carl in alaska (Suddenly the raven on Scalia's shoulder stirred and spoke. Quoth the raven..."NeverGore")
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To: JoeA
I'll bow to you on the proportional typewriters; I'm not sure I ever saw one in person, much less used one. I do recall hearing people hated them.

Further on your side is the fact that memos look sort of like carbon copies, which of course can't be done on a laser printer.

On the other hand, in the phrase "feedback from the 187th," the "th" is superscripted (small and high), the way MSWord does it automatically. Could the proportional typewriters do that?

48 posted on 09/09/2004 1:47:12 AM PDT by maryz
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To: maryz

I know that they had a font which would allow you to type fractions, one superior and one inferior character, and other math characters. I'm not sure if standard fonts on the typewriter had the sups., but I don't see why they couldn't if the fractions were possible. I'll bet some enterprising freeper can come up with one of those little ball fonts that the IBMs had.

49 posted on 09/09/2004 1:54:28 AM PDT by JoeA (JoeA— aka TypeMan)
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To: Utah Girl

It's not like Bush quit the guard and trashed the US Government, the US Navy, the US Air Force, the US Marines, and the US Army ...

50 posted on 09/09/2004 1:58:37 AM PDT by John Lenin ("Si vis pacem, para bellum")
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To: Howlin
The White House did NOT release these memos.

And I don't remember them vouching for them. I saw the interview.

Did you hear anyone from the white house denounce the memos as fraudulent? I certainly didn't, and I was listening for it. If those memos were faked, you can bet this white house would be on top of it and have it out there, exposed, for everyone to see, in a heartbeat. They may, yet. I'm still waiting. But so far, I have not heard a single word about the docs being fraudulent. All I've heard from the white house is that "it's impossible for anybody to read the mind of a dead man."
51 posted on 09/09/2004 2:12:41 AM PDT by commonsense04
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To: Barlowmaker
"My theory: there's too many of the anti-Mexican, anti-Muslim garbagemen and their ilk running around here that marginalize the place enough so that mainstreamers don't want to touch us."

Maybe we should all just jump on the "open borders" bandwagon and start acting more like good socialist liberals.....then maybe Dan Rather would like us? Let me know what you the meantime I've got to take out the garbage.

52 posted on 09/09/2004 2:21:28 AM PDT by Godebert
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To: commonsense04

These memos may be fairly good forgeries with no obvious evidence of forgery that the White House could use to justify a call to the FBI. They may have been skillfully written by a forger in an attempt to midly discredit Bush without saying anything that his commanding officers definitely would not have said about him. I find the subject matter and choice of words in these memos to be very odd and not likely to have been written by an officer in the ANG. (See post #47)

53 posted on 09/09/2004 2:29:41 AM PDT by carl in alaska (Suddenly the raven on Scalia's shoulder stirred and spoke. Quoth the raven..."NeverGore")
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To: Howlin

The August 18 memo uses contractions (I'll, don't, etc) four different places. If the Lt Col types his own memos, maybe he would do this. But I doubt he would have the formats down and use to advanced spacing features described elsewhere. Ad administrative assistant or clerk would edit out the contractions. And the Lt Col would have signed it if he was really CYA.

There is no reference to Lt. Bush or George Bush.... only "Bush," like this is the only Bush in the military. Likely? No.

I don't buy it. I think you guys are on to something.

54 posted on 09/09/2004 2:47:32 AM PDT by TN4Liberty (Bill Clinton is proof you don't have to be poor to be white trash.)
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To: carl in alaska
I'm not familiar with the definition of proportional fonts, but those memos do not look like they were typed on a typewriter from that era.

Proportional fonts are what you're used to from books, magazines and word processing -- m's and w's are wider than i's and l's. Before proportional, each letter took up the same amount of space; old typewriters were either 10-pitch or 12-pitch, depending on whether there were 10 or 12 characters to a horizontal inch. Proportional fonts are measured vertically in points -- since letters (depending on the shape) take up different amounts of horizontal space. (The reply box for the message on FR looks like the old way; preview is proportional.)

55 posted on 09/09/2004 2:55:06 AM PDT by maryz
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To: JoeA; maryz
These might just be clever forgeries done with an IBM selectric with proportional font from the 1970 era and even using carbon copies to really make the memos look old. I find the subject matter and the choice of words to be very odd in these memos. The memos have a somewhat disparaging tone to them and contain irrelvant details such as Bush going to Alabama to work on a political campaign. ANG officers generally wouldn't care what one of their officers was doing in Alabama. They would only care about the dates of his transfer and that he had permission to transfer. There's also that very strange statement: "I think he's talking to someone upstairs." That's a reference to Bush using family influence to go above the writer to make something happen. How would the memo writer know that this was happening at that time?

There are just too many statements in these memos that are somewhat critical of George W. Bush, as if someone was attempting to discredit him without making an obviously false statement. These memos do not read like memos written with a standard military procedure, e.g., they refer to Lt. G.W. Bush simply as "Bush." The memos just don't pass the smell test. I think the White House should ask the FBI to take a look at them and examine them for possible forgery.

56 posted on 09/09/2004 3:18:38 AM PDT by carl in alaska (Suddenly the raven on Scalia's shoulder stirred and spoke. Quoth the raven..."NeverGore")
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To: Utah Girl


57 posted on 09/09/2004 3:26:25 AM PDT by southland (Alabama for BUSH)
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To: Howlin
I just printed out each of the documents. I am absolutely amazed that the last digit of the date in the two August memos wind up in the same column even though they are a year apart and the last digit of the May 1972 is so close to lining up, it's uncanny since all the left margins are different in the Aug '72 memo.

It also looks like the dates are in the same font and yet the text appears to be different.

And why are there dots all over the paper? I have old papers...yes, very old papers....and when I copy them, they don't have dots all over them.

I'm also trying to figure out why these are not on official paper? Was that common?

In the 1972 memo, the "b" in but in the last line does not look like the "b" which is almost directly above..two lines up. Also, notice the "t" in "talking" in the last line is dropped down but the "t" in "talked" at No. 2..Physical. We "talked" etc. is not dropped.

Please notice also, that the comma before the "but" in the last line of the May 1972 memo is only one of two commas in ALL of the memos and in fact, in the last line of the Aug 72 memo, he does NOT use a comma preceeding the word "but". We're creatures of habit.

The bottom line however, is free interprtation of these memos. The creep that was with Blather is getting his 15 minutes of fame and probably a few bucks. He is an operative. Of that, there is no doubt.

58 posted on 09/09/2004 3:28:59 AM PDT by Sacajaweau (God Bless Our Troops!!)
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To: Utah Girl
Part of the problem with dealing with this issue is the lack of clear, concise information. One important piece is how the President has cooperated. For example, has he signed a form 180? I do believe he has. If so, the newspapers are not forcing the release of these documents. Surely this confusion must be cleared up.

Another part of the problem is the deadening detail of this issue. The bottom line is the President received an honorable discharge. Were we not told to trust government records when it came to Senator Kerry's medals?

A final part of the problem is the failure of the Administration or someone to highlight this issue is a way the Kerry supporters plan to answer the charges of the Swifties. Rather than have Kerry address the issues directly as to whether he spent Christmas in Cambodia, whether the first Purple Heart was received for enemy fire and whether his boat left and the others remained or visa versa in respect to the Bronze Star they make an ad hominem attack on the President's Texas National Guard Service. Actually, the Kerry campaign does not even need to make the attack since the MSM seems sufficiently coordinated and supportive of his campaign to carry his water.

It would seem to me the President's campaign people and others must quickly and forcefully bring these points from background to foreground or else the Kerry people and the MSM will redefine the issue.

Also, someone must have some idea of what the hidden issues are for the Kerry people that the MSM is suppressing. A little leak here and there would not hurt. In any case speculative anticipation on scandals is an exciting form of political foreplay.

59 posted on 09/09/2004 3:52:57 AM PDT by shrinkermd
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To: maryz
The IBM Executive IBM Model D 1967 could do proportional spacing

c.f. link 1 and link 2

60 posted on 09/09/2004 5:04:14 AM PDT by igoramus987
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