Skip to comments.Can anyone remember serving with Bush? (DIRTY TRICKS UPDATE)
Posted on 09/11/2004 4:16:00 PM PDT by MadIvan
A pro-Democrat lobby group is to offer a financial reward for evidence that George W Bush fulfilled his duties with the Alabama National Guard.
The new Texans for Truth group is determined to keep the President's military record under scrutiny. A CBS television expose has also cast doubt on Mr Bush's service as a pilot.
The CBS report, presented by the veteran news anchorman Dan Rather in the flagship 60 Minutes slot, was ridiculed by Republicans after forensics specialists suggested that key military documents used as evidence were fakes. Rather was forced into publicly defending his report on a CBS news bulletin on Friday night, insisting that the witnesses and documents were authentic.
The programme had suggested that in May 1968, when Mr Bush had just graduated from Yale, a former Texas House Speaker and lieutenant governor, Ben Barnes, helped prevent him being drafted to Vietnam. It drew on memos which also apparently showed that Mr Bush's National Guard commander believed the future President at times shirked his duties.
CBS said no investigation into the report was planned. "This report was not based solely on recovered documents, but rather on a preponderance of evidence."
The furore has spurred the Texans for Truth to redouble efforts to back up claims - denied by the White House - that Mr Bush went absent without leave during the period in 1972 when he stated that he served as a pilot in Alabama. The group sees itself as the Democrat counterpart to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, who attacked Sen John Kerry's Vietnam war record throughout August.
Glenn Smith, a director of the Texans group, said: "The case that this President was cavalier about his military service does not just rest on those documents, whether or not they are forgeries. Why can no one on the Guard remember seeing him in Alabama in 1972? Republicans defend the President by asking how anyone can remember what they were doing 30 years ago. Well, I'm still friends with people from 30 years ago. How is it that no one recalls him serving in Alabama?"
Although Texans for Truth has no formal ties with the Democratic Party, the White House has accused its members of being "surrogates" for the Kerry campaign, which has been urged by former aides of Bill Clinton, the former President, to "get nasty" as Sen Kerry continues to slip in the polls. Mr Smith has worked on several previous Democrat campaigns in Texas and recently attended the Democratic National Convention in Boston.
The group will broadcast a 30-second television spot tomorrow in which a senior former member of the Alabama National Guard claims that President Bush failed to turn up to duty in Alabama in 1972. At one point, a voice-over implores: "Tell us who you served with, Mr Bush."
Mr Smith told the Telegraph that the reward for a documented Bush "sighting" in the Alabama Guard would be taken from a war-chest total of $400,000 (£222,250), all of which had been raised during the past week.
"It will be a substantial sum which will be paid out if convincing evidence is provided that President Bush attended training on a certain day and so on," he said. "We're making the point that here we have a martial President who took a cavalier attitude towards his own military service. After the Swift Boat Veterans campaign, we figured that someone had to do something to make sure people understood what the President's military career consisted of."
As Mr Kerry continues to trail Mr Bush in the polls - by as much as 14 points in the bellwether state of Missouri - financial donations have poured into the Texans for Truth headquarters in Austin.
Last week, a single $100,000 donation was made by a former writer on the hit sitcom, Seinfeld. However, the campaign represents a risky raising of the stakes after a week in which persistent Democrat attacks on the National Guard service of President Bush have backfired to the point that one senior Kerry supporter described the party as being close to "despair".
The documents which CBS aired, but which are said to be forged, purportedly reveal the frustration of a senior commander, Lt Col Jerry Killian, at the behaviour of George W Bush as a 25-year-old pilot. According to the documents, Mr Bush refused to take a physical examination to maintain his flight status in 1972 and also sought to be excused from "coming to drill". President Bush has maintained that he faithfully fulfilled his National Guard duties, receiving an honourable discharge in 1973.
After the documents were handed over to independent experts, several stated that the pages were in fact produced on a word processor, and could not therefore have been authentic military memos from 1972 and 1973, when such technology did not exist. The wife and son of Lt Col Killian, who died in 1984, have also rejected the papers as fake.
The prospect that the CBS "expose" could have been based on forgeries has caused panic among senior Democrats. Immediately after the CBS programme was aired on Wednesday evening, the Democratic National Committee stated that the programme showed that Mr Bush had "lied" over his National Guard service.
"If they are forgeries, then the race is over," said one influential Democrat strategist. "Democrat officials have gotten themselves so involved in this issue that if the papers are not authentic, they're going to be blamed for it."
How many have come out in support? 3-4? Will they receive the money?
Hmmm...I wonder if Telegraph reporters lurk here?
Yeah, the fella Calhoun places him in Alabama. NEXT.
As a resource for folks like me---Can anyone name those who have come out saying they saw Bush? URLs to articles, or a name of a website, would be great, so I can keep em handy to shut people up. Thanks in advance.
Oh, and when these Texans for Truth folks show up, do Dan and Chrissy say they weren't serving in Bush's plane, so their accusations aren't valid?
How about a $500,000 reward for anyone that can prove Kerry accomplished anything in 20 yrs in the Senate?
Memories place Bush in Alabama if records don't ["Why are you still whipping this dead horse?"]
People were asking about Bush, he was on the news for awhile, like a minuit, and then the story passed, and he disappeared. How come he's not on the news again?
How do you prove that you saw someone? How do you document it? The people giving this reward will just dismiss anyone who saw Bush because they have no "proof."
Where is Senator John McCain hiding?
No clue. I think the more important thing right now is that Bush got honorably discharged, there is a fella that places him in Bama and every year he earned the points he was supposed to.
The forgeries show that CBS and the Kerry people have to phony things up to advance their AWOL garbage. Why would they have to do that?
"How about a $500,000 reward for anyone that can prove Kerry accomplished anything in 20 yrs in the Senate?"
Good one! He never authored one piece of legislation during his entire 20 years in the Senate.
He supports Bush, therefore he is not credible according to our See BS producers?
The mainstream media,the voice of the Democrats, isn't really interested in people who saw him..only those who did not...
The left always has to lie to convince good people to support them. Whether it is playing races or classes off of each other or scaring middle America into new gun regulations...
They are evil in their attempts at increased socialism.
We won the Cold War but lost the war on socialism. The socialist agenda is our number two threat right behind the jihadists.
Rats really don't know when to quit. Running this ad is going to get them into bigtime legal trouble. By offering a financial reward they are leaving the realm of "political speech" and getting into "commercial speech" which is highly regulated. Political commercials can lie all they want but there are oodles of state laws governing advertising that mandate an advertiser keep his promises. They are likely to end up in court with some Guardsman demanding dough.
Should they make the check payable to Copeland? How about the Swifties? I think should do research BEFORE they go out and offer money as a reward? They're from Texas, so is Rather, so is the producer who offered these documents? Is there a pattern here? Coordination?
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