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Texas Official Apologizes

Texas Election 2004 Ben Barnes Austin Kerry Rally

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#1 Ro-Astarte

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Posted 30 August 2004 - 09:00 PM

Please keep the bashing to a minimum.

Ben Barnes, the former Lt Gov of Texas who helped GW Bush get into the National Guard in lieu of being sent to Viet Nam apologized at a Kerry Rally in Austin.

From Salon

Quote

"Let's talk a minute about John Kerry and George Bush, and I know them both," said Barnes in the video, which was filmed at a gathering of about 200 Kerry supporters in Austin on May 27. "I got a young man named George W. Bush into the Texas National Guard when I was lieutenant governor, and I'm not necessarily proud of that. But I did it. I got a lot of other people in the National Guard because I thought that was what people should do when you're in office, and you help a lot of rich people."

"And I walked to the Vietnam Memorial the other day," Barnes continued, "and I looked at the names of the people that died in Vietnam, and I became more ashamed of myself than I have ever been, because it was the worst thing I ever did, was help a lot of wealthy supporters and a lot of people who had family names of importance get into the National Guard. And I'm very sorry about that, and I'm very ashamed, and I apologize to you as voters of Texas."

____

Barnes then condemned the Republican attacks on John Kerry's war service: "And I tell you that for the Republicans to jump on John Kerry and say that he is not a patriot after he went to Vietnam and was shot at and fought for our freedom and came back here and protested against the war, he's a flip-flopper, let me tell you: John Kerry is a 100 times better patriot than George Bush or Dick Cheney."

The unedited video is available here.  It's not slickly produced, but Barnes passion to say what he has to say seems heartfelt indeed.

I don't want this election to be about a war fought over 30 yrs ago.  I haven't even been following all the SBV stuff, although I've read enough refutation to think the accusations they make are suspect even if they were material.

But when I saw this item, it reminded me how many families are living with the consequences of their decisions in that war even yet.

What lesson can be learned from all this, I'm not exactly sure of. I'd like for my country not to have to repeat it if possible, though, so I'm thinking about it a lot tonight.  

Perhaps about how government has a duty to even the playing field rather than extend the advantages of an already privileged class further?

What are your thoughts?

Ro

#2 DWF

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Posted 30 August 2004 - 09:18 PM

I think it's possible that there's some underlying parallels between the Vietnam war and the Iraqi war and that people's interest in what happened some 30 years ago, means that some people are in some ways reliving parts of that war and the earlier war against Iraq a decade ago. :blink:  :yin-yang:
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#3 Ro-Astarte

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Posted 30 August 2004 - 09:21 PM

Do you have any specific parallels in mind?  I don't remember the VN war at all well. I was pretty young, and we did not really talk about it much in my history classes.

I'm learning more about it now than I know about the current platforms of either presidential candidate.

Ro

#4 DWF

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Posted 30 August 2004 - 09:32 PM

Ro-Astarte, on Aug 30 2004, 10:19 PM, said:

Do you have any specific parallels in mind?  I don't remember the VN war at all well. I was pretty young, and we did not really talk about it much in my history classes.

I'm learning more about it now than I know about the current platforms of either presidential candidate.

Ro
I was speaking of the war in general, both conflicts have somewhat simular origins and war's effect on America are simular.
The longest-running science fiction series: decadent, degenerate and rotten to the core. Power-mad conspirators, Daleks, Sontarans... Cybermen! They're still in the nursery compared to us. Fifty years of absolute fandom. That's what it takes to be really critical.

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#5 Caretaker

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Posted 30 August 2004 - 11:39 PM

I keep thinking of one of the lines delivered by Dana Carvey playing the elder George Bush on Saturday Night Live back in the first Bush administration's days:

Quote

Now, if we go to war, I can assure you that it will not be another Viet-nam, for we have learned well the simple lesson of Viet-nam: Stay out of Vietnam.


#6 Kevin Street

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Posted 31 August 2004 - 12:31 AM

I was just going to post this, but you beat me to it. Excellent timing, Ro! :D

Now let's see if the media picks up on this. My favorite part of the article:

Quote

Given the press' past behavior, both in embracing the Swift boat allegations and in its lead-footed approach to the ongoing National Guard story, it's unlikely reporters will seize the initiative and further investigate the Barnes story. It's also worth noting that the Democrats haven't been aggressive in pushing the Barnes story to the media, either. (Imagine how GOP attack dogs would hype a revelation from a politician who pulled strings to get Kerry his medals.)...

Edited by Kevin Street, 31 August 2004 - 12:35 AM.


#7 Ro-Astarte

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Posted 31 August 2004 - 09:36 AM

It's sure not getting much play so far.  Neither is the contradiction of the SBV by others who were serving on the same boat as some of them.

The Daily Howler is the only place I've seen it, and I'm not sure why that is. Certainly doesn't point to a supposed liberal bias and pro-Kerry news slant as many people have assumed.

Ro

#8 Drew

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Posted 31 August 2004 - 10:14 AM

Sure it does, because the media have failed to check their dates again. George Bush joined the Texas Air National Guard in 1968. Barnes didn't become Lt. Governor until 1969.

Why didn't members of the media question Barnes about his statement?

Here's Barnes' statement again:

Quote

"I got a young man named George W. Bush into the Texas National Guard when I was lieutenant governor, and I'm not necessarily proud of that. But I did it. I got a lot of other people in the National Guard because I thought that was what people should do when you're in office, and you help a lot of rich people."

Here's how the AP rendered this quote:

Quote

"I got a young man named George W. Bush into the Texas National Guard . . . , and I'm not necessarily proud of that. But I did it.

Why did the AP, and other media outlets leave out that portion? Because it would have proven that Barnes was lying.

Edited by Drew, 31 August 2004 - 10:24 AM.

"Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything wrong, he was arrested."

#9 Rov Judicata

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Posted 31 August 2004 - 10:22 AM

Drew's right:

http://www.tsl.state...uttx/ltgov.html

Quote

Ben Barnes
1969 - 1973


http://www.motherjon.../ma_217_01.html

Quote

May 27, 1968:
Bush enlists in Texas Air National Guard. Aided by Texas House Speaker Ben Barnes, he jumps over waiting list. He pledges two years of active duty and four years of reserve duty.

And EDIT:

Apparently, Barnes was speaker of the Texas house at the time. I have no idea whether he had anything to do with the TANG at that time, but I suspect not. In any case, his quote is clearly wrong on at least one front.

Edited by Javert Rovinski, 31 August 2004 - 10:25 AM.

St. Louis must be destroyed!

Me: "I have a job and five credit cards and am looking into signing a two year lease.  THAT MAKES ME OLD."
Josh: "I don't have a job, I have ONE credit card, I'm stuck in a lease and I'm 28! My mom's basement IS ONE BAD DECISION AWAY!"
~~ Josh, winning the argument.

"Congress . . . shall include every idiot, lunatic, insane person, and person non compos mentis[.]" ~1 U.S.C. § 1, selectively quoted for accuracy.

#10 Ro-Astarte

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Posted 31 August 2004 - 10:35 AM

From www.klru.org

Quote

Ben Barnes was once a considered a rising-star in Texas politics after becoming a state representative at age 21. He remained a prominent political leader during the 1960s and 1970s.

Elected to the Texas House of Representatives when he was in his early 20's, he went on to become the youngest house speaker in Texas history. Barnes did not limit his involvement to just Texas politics.

He was a member of President Johnson’s Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, U.S. representative to the NATO Conference in 1967, and United Nations Representative to Geneva, Switzerland, in 1968.

In 1969, Barnes was elected lieutenant governor of Texas and served from 1969 to 1973.

Yes, he was Lt Gov later than 1968, before that he had several official titles, including Speaker of the House for the Texas House of Representatives in 1965.  I gave his highest elected title, just as George W Bush will, after he leaves office, be ever after referred to as a former President not a former Governor.

He was, as his bio states, an official with power and influence.  He's saying he used that influence in a way he now regrets, specifically in regards to G W Bush, but not exclusively from his quotes.

Ro

#11 Drew

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Posted 31 August 2004 - 10:37 AM

Except that he lied. And then the media covered for him.

Edited by Drew, 31 August 2004 - 10:40 AM.

"Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything wrong, he was arrested."

#12 Ro-Astarte

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Posted 31 August 2004 - 10:40 AM

Javert Rovinski, on Aug 31 2004, 10:20 AM, said:

Apparently, Barnes was speaker of the Texas house at the time. I have no idea whether he had anything to do with the TANG at that time, but I suspect not. In any case, his quote is clearly wrong on at least one front.
And let me tell you, the Speaker of the House in Texas politics is indeed plenty influential.  Texas Legislative politics has always been colorful and freewheeling. Influence is freely applied along all sorts of lines

Barnes' quoted text doesn't state he was Lt Gov when he did this. He didn't need to be to have influence with the ANG.  

The article I quoted is where I got the title attribution. As I explained above, it's customary with multiple titles to use the one ranked highest.

There's no lie there.

Ro

#13 Drew

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Posted 31 August 2004 - 10:42 AM

Ro-Astarte, on Aug 31 2004, 10:38 AM, said:

Barnes' quoted text doesn't state he was Lt Gov when he did this.
Perhaps a little boldface will help:

Quote

"I got a young man named George W. Bush into the Texas National Guard when I was lieutenant governor, and I'm not necessarily proud of that. But I did it. I got a lot of other people in the National Guard because I thought that was what people should do when you're in office, and you help a lot of rich people."

He lied.
"Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything wrong, he was arrested."

#14 Rov Judicata

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Posted 31 August 2004 - 10:46 AM

Quote

Barnes' quoted text doesn't state he was Lt Gov when he did this.

Yes it does:

http://www.cbsnews.c...ain628437.shtml

Quote

"I got a young man named George W. Bush into the National Guard when I was lieutenant governor of Texas, and I'm not necessarily proud of that, but I did it," Barnes said in the 45-second video, which was recorded May 27 at a meeting of John Kerry supporters in Austin.

Quote

Barnes told The Associated Press in a brief telephone interview Saturday that the video "just speaks for itself." He declined to answer specific questions about what role he had in helping Mr. Bush, but he said he may have more to say next week.

Both Mr. Bush and his father, the former president, have said they did not ask for help in finding the Guard opening.

If Barnes can explain exactly what he did to help get Bush into the TANG, then I'll believe him. But his statement is flat-out false, and he won't answer questions.

I think it's far more likely that he THOUGHT he helped George W. Bush get into the TANG, but was simply confused. He says he did this a lot; given that it was 30 years ago, it's entirely possible he made an honest mistake in recollection.  Why would he even remember W. outright? At the time, he was the son of an obscure congressman. There's no reason that the memory would stand out.
St. Louis must be destroyed!

Me: "I have a job and five credit cards and am looking into signing a two year lease.  THAT MAKES ME OLD."
Josh: "I don't have a job, I have ONE credit card, I'm stuck in a lease and I'm 28! My mom's basement IS ONE BAD DECISION AWAY!"
~~ Josh, winning the argument.

"Congress . . . shall include every idiot, lunatic, insane person, and person non compos mentis[.]" ~1 U.S.C. § 1, selectively quoted for accuracy.

#15 Ro-Astarte

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Posted 31 August 2004 - 11:00 AM

Drew, on Aug 31 2004, 10:35 AM, said:

Except that he lied. And then the media covered for him.
You haven't pointed out the lie here, Drew, even if he misspoke that's not a material refutation.  He says he helped GWB and many others get into the ANG, and he regrets doing so.

Ro

#16 Drew

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Posted 31 August 2004 - 11:07 AM

Ro-Astarte, on Aug 31 2004, 10:58 AM, said:

Drew, on Aug 31 2004, 10:35 AM, said:

Except that he lied. And then the media covered for him.
You haven't pointed out the lie here, Drew, even if he misspoke that's not a material refutation.  He says he helped GWB and many others get into the ANG, and he regrets doing so.
Ummm. I did point out his lie. Why should we believe that other parts of the same statement are any more true than the part which is shown to be a lie?

Rov also makes a good point. If it's true that he did this for a lot of "rich people," why would he have remembered George Bush at all? What was special about Bush at the time?
"Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything wrong, he was arrested."

#17 Ro-Astarte

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Posted 31 August 2004 - 11:11 AM

Ah, you're right, he did say that. I just reviewed the video to be sure. Sorry, my error for skimming too quickly the first time through.

Still,  as I said, Speaker of the House also was an influential position. I think it more likely that he forgot which position he was in at the time than that he forgot helping G H W Bush's son get into the ANG.

And, Rov, while on the national scene GHWB may have been considered obscure, I assure you that he was unlikely to have been obscure to the officials of the state he represented in Congress.

Ro

Edited by Ro-Astarte, 31 August 2004 - 11:12 AM.


#18 Drew

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Posted 31 August 2004 - 11:21 AM

Ro-Astarte, on Aug 31 2004, 11:09 AM, said:

Still,  as I said, Speaker of the House also was an influential position. I think it more likely that he forgot which position he was in at the time than that he forgot helping G H W Bush's son get into the ANG.
Occam's Razor. I think it most likely that he wanted to pull a "gotcha" and bask in the media limelight for awhile. But he couldn't get his details straight and now refuses to answer further questions on exactly how he thought he helped W. get into the TANG.
"Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything wrong, he was arrested."

#19 prolog

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Posted 31 August 2004 - 11:23 AM

Drew, on Aug 31 2004, 04:05 PM, said:

Ummm. I did point out his lie. Why should we believe that other parts of the same statement are any more true than the part which is shown to be a lie?

Rov also makes a good point. If it's true that he did this for a lot of "rich people," why would he have remembered George Bush at all? What was special about Bush at the time?
Why?  Well, because they may very well be, even if you don't want to believe so.  If one is interested in truth, rather than just writing off statements one doesn't like, then one must examine the all the other parts.

And what was special about Bush at the time?  You mean apart from the fact that his father won two Texas Republican seats in the House of Representatives?

#20 Drew

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Posted 31 August 2004 - 11:30 AM

I am interested in the truth. That's why I pointed out the lie. And when a statement contains one lie, I question the rest of that statement, too. And so should you.

I think the more interesting part of this story is that the media covered up the lie.
"Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything wrong, he was arrested."



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