Skip to comments.Dad's note adds to Guard flap - Ex-president expressed pride in son's attitude
Posted on 09/17/2004 11:59:41 PM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
WASHINGTON - President Bush's father responded to a personal letter from his son's Texas Air National Guard unit commander soon after the younger Bush enlisted, according to documents released late Friday, fueling new claims from Democrats that he got special treatment.
On Sept. 11, 1968, George H.W. Bush, then a congressman from Houston, wrote: "That a major general in the Air Force would take an interest in a brand new Air Force trainee made a big impression on me."
The letter, in response to one from Maj. Gen. G.B. Greene, was released by the Pentagon along with other Bush military records. Greene's was not included in the documents.
To the campaign of Democrat John Kerry, the letter demonstrated preferential treatment, buttressing the depiction of the younger Bush as someone who relied on family connections to avoid the Vietnam War.
'A fortunate son' "If the president was truly proud of his service, he wouldn't be releasing these documents on a Friday night," Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe said. "These documents demonstrate yet again that George Bush was a fortunate son who received special consideration."
The Pentagon released the documents after what it called an exhaustive search of all Defense Department databases that might contain records on Bush's Guard service.
That service has become an issue in the presidential campaign, with Democrats saying Bush has not explained whether he was admitted to the unit thanks to special influence and failed to perform some of his Guard duties in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The Bush campaign, pointing to the honorable discharge he received, has responded that the president fulfilled all requirements.
Kerry's Navy service in the Vietnam War also has been questioned, as Bush's role as commander in chief during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has been a major element of the presidential campaign.
The new documents shed no light on the questions about Bush's service, including whether he performed duties in Alabama after transferring from Texas so he could work for a Republican campaign there. Nor did they answer critics who ask why Bush, described by officers as a gifted, enthusiastic pilot, failed to take a physical examination and allowed his flight status to lapse.
The release "demonstrates we are fulfilling the president's request to release all the documents regarding his military service," White House spokesman Dan Bartlett said.
The letter from Bush's father described him as "anxiously looking forward to going to flight school and with parental pride, I do have the feeling that he will become a gung ho member of the U.S. Air Force."
A straight arrow According to Bush's father, the 22-year-old "was full of the training he had received and particularly enthusiastic about the dedication of the men he met" at the unit at Ellington Field in Houston.
Among the papers released Friday was a press release, sent to Houston newspapers in 1970 by the Texas Air National Guard, lauding the young Bush as a straight arrow.
"George Bush is one member of the younger generation who doesn't get his kicks from pot or hashish or speed," the release said. "Oh, he gets high, all right, but not from narcotics."
A book by celebrity biographer by Kitty Kelley, published this week, recycled allegations that Bush used cocaine and other illegal drugs as a young man. The White House called the book garbage.
The Pentagon's release of documents Friday came in response to a Freedom of Information Act request made by the Associated Press this year. Pentagon officials said the information was uncovered by checking through unit histories, the National Archives, Air Force files and other places that went beyond Bush's personnel files. The White House had said all information in Bush's files was released earlier this year.
Use of influence denied In the related controversy over CBS News' reliance on purported Guard memos, a man named in the documents as putting pressure on other officials to help Bush repeated his denial Friday that he played such a role.
Retired Col. Walter Staudt of Texas, commander of Bush's unit in Houston, told ABC News, "I never pressured anybody about George Bush because I had no reason to."
A father expressing pride in his child? Now there's the makings of a full-blown scandal! BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
Byron York: The Facts about Bush and the National Guard - The Democratic charges fall apart.***Lost amid all the charges are the facts about Bush's time in the Guard. When did he serve? What did he do? Did he fulfill his responsibilities? Was he in Alabama? In the March 8, 2004, issue of National Review, Byron York investigated and found the answers. ***
And I am totally distraught at the notion that a AF General would write to a US CONGRESSMAN to say how well his son was doing.
CongressCritters scare the hell out of the military, for a multitude of reasons.
And to THINK a Congressman would REPLY to his son's superior officer's note of praise.
The very NERVE of it deserves this news story!
"I love the guy," Staudt said of Bush. "I'm so tired of this negative crap about him that I'd like to volunteer to build a barn and take you press guys out behind it and kick your asses."
Maybe that Time reporter should get hazardous duty pay.
Now that's a note that needs to be delivered.
At least Bush signed his 180; according to the articles tonight in the NY Post Kerry hasn't.
If this is the best they've got, the DNC and their enablers in the MSM are on their way to mumbling to themselves on street corners about the metal plates the CIA implanted in their heads.
LOL, What should have Pappy Bush done???? Should he have said.... "My son is much like John Kerry.... He thinks at every level, you are all war criminals?
And THAT is what is fueling this Bush witchhunt.
The public is smarter than Kerry operatives.
This is just more good news for Bush. Anything that keeps Vietnam in the news will remind voters of Genghis Kerry's many questionable actions. Nothing that comes out in a memo will be worse than Kerry's speech to Congress.
Heck, my Father contacted a Priest when I was 22 and tried to arrange an exorcism
Why WON'T Kerry sign a 180 to release ALL his miltary records?
Kerry MUST have something DAMNING to HIDE!
This is certainly no scandal. President 41 is well known for his letters, and even if he weren't what is the big deal? This stuff is smoke and mirrors to keep the Swift Boats, and Kerry's treason out of the media and the minds of voters.
It SCREAMS family values.
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