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Bush Involved in Bike Crash in Scotland

GW Bush Bike Crash Scotland 2005

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#81 Spectacles

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Posted 09 July 2005 - 03:19 PM

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CJ: So overall if Bush was a coward who wanted to stay out of danger the F-102 was the wrong assignment to accept. Sure there was more dangerous spots in the active duty force at the time in Vietnam but the F-102s were not safe aircraft

I should know better than to try to go toe-to-toe with CJ on military matters, but, according to this link, the F-102s weren't exactly flying combat missions in Vietnam while Bush was flying them. And let's not forget that he decided to stop flying altogether rather than take a mandatory physical while in the TANG.

http://www.airtoairc...sp?id=51&bg=177

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It was in the Pacific theatre that the F-102 was to achieve its only taste of combat. Aircraft from the 590th Fighter Interceptor Squadron were transferred to Tan Son Nhut AFB near Saigon in South Vietnam in March of 1962 to provide air defense against the unlikely event that North Vietnamese aircraft would attack the South. F-102As continued to be based there and in Thailand throughout much of the Vietnam war. F-102As stood alert at Bien Hoa and Da Nang in Sout Vietnam and at Udorn and Don Muang in Thailand. The F-102A was finally withdrawn from Southeast Asia in December of 1969. The F-102A established an excellent safety record in Vietnam. In almost ten years of flying air defense and a few combat air patrols for SAC B-52s, only 15 F-102As were lost. Although a few missions were flown over North Vietnam, the Southeast Asia-stationed F-102As are not thought to have actually engaged in air-to-air combat. However, one of my references has an F-102A of the 509th FIS being lost to an air-to-air missile fired by a MiG-21 while flying a CAP over Route Package IV on February 3, 1968. Two F-102As were lost to AAA/small arms fire and four were destroyed on the ground by the Viet Cong and eight were lost in operational accidents.

Strange as it may seem, the F-102A actually did fly some close-support missions over the South, even though the aircraft was totally unsuited for this role. These operations started in 1965 at Tan Son Nhut using the 405 FW alert detachment. Operating under the code-name "Project Stovepipe", they used their heat sinking Falcon missiles to lock onto heat sources over the Ho Chi Minh trail at night, often Viet Cong campfires. This was more of a harassment tactic than it was serious assault. They would even fire their radar-guided missiles if their radars managed to lock onto something. The pilots were never sure if they actually hit anything, but they would sometimes observe secondary explosions.

The F-102s soon switched to a day role, firing the 12 unguided FFAR rockets from the missile bays, using the optical sight. 618 day sorties were flown, the last one being flown at the end of 1965. One F-102A was downed by groundfire during one of these rocket attacks.

There were some later missions flown, especially in Mayday emergencies when the 102's were the fastest response available in the South (2 1/2 minutes over the fence, far faster than the F-4).

During the early 1960s, the F-102A was gradually replaced in the ADC by the McDonnell F-101B Voodoo and the Convair F-106 Delta Dart. By mid-1961, the number of F-102As in service with the ADC was down to 221. However, by the end of 1969, with the exception of a squadron maintained in Iceland, all ADC F-102As had been transferred to the Air National Guard. The F-102As stationed in the Pacific had been withdrawn in December of 1969.

The only F-102As still in service with the USAF at the beginning of 1970 were all stationed overseas. At that time, the USAF still retained a few F-102A squadrons in Germany and the Netherlands. In the early 1970s, European-based F-102As were replaced by F-4 Phantoms. By the end of June 1973, the number of active F-102As had been reduced to ten.

The last ADC unit to operate the F-102A, the 57th FIS based at Keflavik in Iceland finally traded in its F-102As for McDonnell F-4C Phantoms in mid-1973.

As they left USAF service, most F-102As were transferred to the Air National Guard. First to receive the F-102A was the 182nd FIS of the Texas ANG, receiving the plane in mid-1960. By 1966, ANG inventories amounted to 339 F-102As. Twenty-three ANG units ultimately got F-102As, including ANG squadrons of Louisiana, Florida, Texas, North Dakota, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, New York, Washington, Connecticut, Oregion, Maine Vermont, Tennessee, Arizona, South Carolina, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Montana, Idaho, and California.

A 1967 proposal to modify F-102As into RF-102As as the standard ANG reconnaissance aircraft was deemed infeasible and was not proceeded with.

The F-102A was not equipped at the factory for midair refuelling. However, there were some examples of the F-102A that were fitted in the field with probe and drogue inflight-refuelling probes mounted immediately aft of the cockpit on the right-hand side of the fuselage. These were fitted for the purpose of ferrying aircraft from the US to Southeast Asia. The probes were removed upon arrival. Some ANG F-102As were also fitted with these midair refuelling probes.

In the late 1960s, Convair proposed a close air support version of the F-102 equipped with an internally-mounted cannon. The USAF was not particularly interested and this idea got no further than the preliminary planning stage.

Large-scale retirement of the F-102A from the ANG began in late 1969 and continued throughout the 1970s. The last F-102A finally left ANG service in October of 1976, when the 199th FIS of the Hawaii ANG traded in their Delta Daggers for F-4C Phantoms. Most of the retired F-102As ended up in the boneyards at the Davis-Monthan AFB storage facility. Many were subsequently converted into remote-controlled drone aircraft.

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#82 Shalamar

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Posted 09 July 2005 - 03:26 PM

waterpanther:

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Here's two: eloisel's equation of the American religious left with "communists" and Delvo's reference to Democratic Underground members as "rabid weasels."

So useing a descriptor of comminist is virtol and abusive? Particularly when taken in the context of the entire post...I don't agree with your example.

As to Delvos rabbid weasels (some how that kept coming out as rabbit for a few trys ) comment- I'd really need to see it to judge context, but one comment by him and one comment by eliosel hardly makes a daily quota of abuse and vilification.

Spectacles:

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I was trying to point out, nicely, that Shal's remarks were at first confined to (1) not staying on topic and (2) making unflattering remarks about Bush. My understanding of the board's rules is that staying on topic isn't a violation. Neither is stating negative opinions about public figures (Bush, Kerry, Clinton, etc.)

I wasn't trying to say wether they were voilations or not- I was and still am speaking as just a board member. The going off topic started far more trouble than the original subject of the thread. The remarks about Bush - yes I know he is not a member of the board.- continuously expressed and reexpressed ( in the manner of insults, vitrol, and name calling ) do not add any value to the discussion, all they do is irritate others and cause irritated responses. I feel it's far better to say it once then stop beating the dead vedran.  Though that is a time hallowed tradition around here.
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#83 waterpanther

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Posted 09 July 2005 - 03:36 PM

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Why do you continue to mock and belittle anyone who disagrees with you in slightest?

I don't mock "anyone who disagrees with me."  I mock Bush, and I mock him  because he deserves it.  I would admit to belittling him, too, except that it would be impossible to belittle so small and petty a person.

.

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There really were biological, chemical and nuclear and materials and weapons in Iraq, they were well detailed after 1991

True.  But the fact that there were unconventional weapons in Iraq in 1991 does not mean that there were unconventional weapons in Iraq in 2003, twelve years later.  The UN inspection teams, who were withdrawn before they could complete their mission, found no evidence that Saddam still had WMD immediately  before the war, and no one has found any such evidence since.   I'm sorry, but I don't regard 100,00+ dead, some 2000 of them American service men and women, as an "oopsie."  It's massive incompetence, and it ought to be dealt with as such, not excused away.  

I don't know what you're referring to here:

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2.That's not what anyone I know of has ever claimed until now with you and that would be wrong since it didn't happen.

or here:

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4. Claim never made by anyone but you to my knowledge.

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3. Why can't a president be a human being?

Bill Clinton probably wondered that, too.  :D
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#84 offworlder

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Posted 09 July 2005 - 03:43 PM

ok, back on track now.
{heck we even got the dang F102s in here, ;) }

look, it could happen to you, it could happen to me; Bush is used to riding on dry conditions, he rides in Texas (I missed what was the exact cause of him going over the handlebars before) - and he rides in D.C.; and you know he doesn't ride in D.C. on wet days because when it rains in D.C. it really RAINS in D.C. - I know.
;)
so he's not used to what to do, emergency manoeuvering, when he hits a skiddy patch... and he hit a skiddy patch and... skidded. I'm sure that PC of Strathclyde force walking along doing crowd control, heck maybe he even got overtime moonlighting pay, didn't expect the prez to be some Tour de France type so when it happened I think he understood. He even got the White House doctor monitoring him.

It could have been me: well it couldn't because I wasn't elected so I couldn't be in merry ol' Scotland doing deals in G8 then could I, yeah?

{USA: 'PC' = police constable}
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#85 eloisel

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Posted 09 July 2005 - 04:06 PM

I wasn't surprised that he fell but that he collided with someone other than a special service guy.  I was outside a hotel at a bus stop downtown Dallas when President Bush Sr.'s motorcade came out of the hotel parking garage.  There were cars shielding his car front and back and men on foot running along side his car until I don't know where - I'm assuming until they were out of a populated area.  From what little I've seen of any president out walking, he is also surrounded by tight security.  It seems to me the President would run into someone in his own personal secret service bodyguard detail before running into anyone else.  

Wasn't it President Ford that tripped quite often?

#86 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 11:00 AM

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Spectales: My understanding of the board's rules is that staying on topic isn't a violation.
If I may interpret what Shal meant by saying on topic I think she meant get back on the topic of having a discussion rather than discussing each other.  

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Waterpanther: The F-102 still gave better odds of a whole hide than combat in Vietnam. Sorry, I'm not impressed.
It really depends on the role that the person served in for Vietnam.  For many units flying a F-102 would be far more dangerous.  Aerospacewed.org has some pretty good numbers on the F-102 in response to this claim that it was a safe bet.  When I get near some of my own book sources I’m going to check the number of crashes to confirm it but it seems about right on.  I know the production rate is right on.  
F-102 in Vietnam

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Compared to the F-102's lifetime accident rate of 13.69, today's planes generally average around 4 mishaps per 100,000 hours. For example, compare the F-16 at 4.14, the F-15 at 2.47, the F-117 at 4.07, the S-3 at 2.6, and the F-18 at 4.9. Even the Marine Corps' AV-8B, regarded as the most dangerous aircraft in US service today, has a lifetime accident rate of only 11.44 mishaps per 100,000 flight hours. The F-102 claimed the lives of many pilots, including a number stationed at Ellington during Bush's tenure. Of the 875 F-102A production models that entered service, 259 were lost in accidents that killed 70 Air Force and ANG pilots.

Now sure you can argue that Bush didn’t go looking for the most dangerous job in the military but then you could level the same charge on Kerry or any other number of people.  When Kerry signed up for the Swift Boats they were being used for offshore patrols where they were seeing very little combat.  It wasn’t until after Kerry signed up that Admiral Zumwalt initiated Operation Sealord and sent the Swift Boats into inland waters to free the PBRs up for clearing smaller waterways.  Prior to that Kerry had set himself up for a fairly safe assignment with just some taste of combat. Then Sealords changed all that and tossed him into a nasty case of riverine warfare.   If Kerry had wanted to look for a more dangerous job he could have picked something far more dangerous than the Swiftboats or he could have stayed on the larger safer surface ships.  If Bush had wanted to remain totally safe he could have went for a safer job than flying the F-102.    

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Nonny: We can afford a human being for our president. We cannot afford an incompetent one, and the military sure can't afford an incompetent c-i-c.
Could you point out someone who was CINC and wasn’t human?  Who didn’t make incompetent choices at times?  Just looking at recent democratic Presidents we have Clinton with Somalia and the aspirin factory that was bombed.  Then we can look at Carter with the botched, poorly executed, and poorly planned out attempted rescue for the Iranian hostage crisis.  Every single President has been human and they have made some poor calls.  FDR made plenty of bad calls in World War II.  Now my opinion is we need an extremely human CINC with all their human flaws because we have extremely human troops out there with their own flaws following those orders.  The last thing we need is a calculating computer of a human in the White House.      

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Spectacles: I should know better than to try to go toe-to-toe with CJ on military matters, but, according to this link, the F-102s weren't exactly flying combat missions in Vietnam while Bush was flying them.
By the time that Bush was flying the F-102 they were out of service in Vietnam.  When he enlisted to fly the F-102 they were still flying combat missions over Vietnam.  By the time he was actually flying the things their role was winding down but Bush had no way to know that this type of change would occur.   In a sense it is similar to Kerry when the Swift Boats were ordered inshore shortly after he switched over to them.  Even without a combat role the F-102 was a killer when flown by the ANG as a interceptor.

Edited by CJ AEGIS, 10 July 2005 - 11:07 AM.

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#87 Spectacles

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 12:50 PM

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If Bush had wanted to remain totally safe he could have went for a safer job than flying the F-102.



Perhaps he discovered that. It must have seemed like a safe bet when he began training on the F102 in November 1969. But he stopped taking physicals after May 1971 and was grounded as a result. He didn't care enough to fly to take any more physicals. In summer 1972, he went to Alabama to work on a political campaing and didn't bother to report for duty for a few months.

Reviewing his records, it looks like Bush was cut an extraordinary amount of slack by the National Guard--the kind of slack most folks don't get. He went to Alabama even though he didn't have clearance to transfer there. Once there, the NG did assign him to a unit after dismissing his first request for transfer, but there is no record of his attending drills there for several months. Then there was a flurry of "make-up" days on his record, and then he was discharged early with a less-than-stellar performance record.

So, I think it's reasonable to look at Bush's record and not see a brave fighter pilot but a spoiled rich kid who got away with stuff that would have landed most in serious trouble.

And that's really neither here nor there. People can grow up. People can change. Bush has probably matured since those days. But considering how far be apparently needed to go, some of us think that even a more mature George W. Bush comes across as peevish and incompetent. He's probably a lot better than he used to be, but that doesn't seem to be saying too much.

For a real eye-opener, read Paul O'Neill's The Price of Loyalty.
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#88 waterpanther

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 12:57 PM

CJ--like Specs, I don't have your expertise on the technicalities.  On all things widgetty, I bow respectfully to your superior knowledge.  So let's agree for the moment that the A-102 wasn't the safest or most easily handled aircraft in the sky.  I'll come back to it later.

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but then you could level the same charge on Kerry or any other number of people. When Kerry signed up for the Swift Boats they were being used for offshore patrols where they were seeing very little combat. It wasn’t until after Kerry signed up that Admiral Zumwalt initiated Operation Sealord and sent the Swift Boats into inland waters to free the PBRs up for clearing smaller waterways. Prior to that Kerry had set himself up for a fairly safe assignment with just some taste of combat. Then Sealords changed all that and tossed him into a nasty case of riverine warfare. If Kerry had wanted to look for a more dangerous job he could have picked something far more dangerous than the Swiftboats

Granted that the Swiftboats didn't become as dangerous as they ultimately were until after Zumwalt set Sealord in motion, which was after Kerry had volunteered for the assignment.  Once he was in danger, though, Kerry acquitted himself  very well indeed, at least twice putting his own life in danger to save his crewmen or other service members and emerging with three Purple Hearts for wounds sustained.  He didn't walk away from his assignment, request transfer or fail to show up for his physicals.  He did his job faithfully. So did thousands of other service men and women.  

Let's also grant, though, that there weren't a lot of really hazardous assignments available to sailors in Vietnam.  Navy flyers--different story.  John McCain can bear witness to that.  

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Even without a combat role the F-102 was a killer when flown by the ANG as a interceptor.

This may have been truer than is publicly acknowledged.  Let's remember Bush's record as a pilot:  two years of unexceptional  intense training, followed by two years of fulfilling his service obligation, then a sudden disappearance from the radar coupled with a move from Texas to Alabama and a refusal to report for his physical.  There is no record, after that, of Bush ever having flown again for the ANG.  

What is interesting about the last phase of his active service is that his physical exam from that year lists him not as Pilot but as "Flight Crew," ie., he was not actually flying the plane.  Why would the ANG spend three years training a pilot and maintaining his readiness, only to put him in the second seat on an aircraft on which he had already qualified?

At the time that Bush was still Governor of Texas--and still promising to serve out his elected second term--rumors were rife that he would in fact become a candidate for President.  Rumors were also rife about his drinking and drug use, past and then-present.  One of those rumors was that as a pilot in the ANG he had crashed an A-102 while drunk.  It's generally assumed that Bush refused to take that last physical because he couldn't pass the alcohol/drug use portion of the test. That may be true, and probably is at least a factor.   But one of Bush's most widely acknowledged characteristics--even by his mother--is that he won't play if he can't win.  One way to deal with losing in the form of a demotion was to walk away from it.  Or he may simply have been too frightened to fly again.  Or too unwilling to stop drinking and drugging.   Or all of the above.  In any case, however he was discharged, he was AWOL, or deserted, for a year.   There's no courage that I can see in any of that.
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#89 Mixxster

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 01:22 PM

tennyson, on Jul 9 2005, 04:03 PM, said:

3. Why can't a president be a human being? be stunned when something so massive happened? I know I was as all I could do was simply watch in stunned silence for hours that day until the need to meet with my Japanese conversation partner at least got me moving if not really that functional. and again I have never seen anyone make the claim that you just made as parody.
Human? Stunned? Of course.  Frozen? Absolutely not.  Let's remember that Bush already knew about the first tower being struck before he entered the school.  The President of the United States is in a position to make critical decisions, sometimes with little time.  We cannot afford a CIC who freezes under pressure.  Regardless of any partisan spin or pro-Bush excuse making, his behavior after learning that the second tower had been hit was absolutely inappropriate.

#90 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 01:30 PM

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Waterpanther:
Perhaps he discovered that. It must have seemed like a safe bet when he began training on the F102 in November 1969. But he stopped taking physicals after May 1971 and was grounded as a result. He didn't care enough to fly to take any more physicals.
After Bush started flying the F-102 it was decided that the plane was to be removed from service.  On top of that there was a lot of active duty pilots being transferred back from Vietnam and not enough slots or planes for them.  The ANG was the way that the Air Force dealt with the matter the F-102 was being phased out so in the period from about 197o to 1975 the ANG started dropping pilots who flew the F-102.  The slots and planes were turned over to the returning more experienced active military pilots with the F-102 being replaced by the F-101 Voodoo at around 1975.  Bush probably saw the writing on the wall that his career as a fighter pilot was about to end with return of those active pilots and the demise of the F-102.  So he dropped the position to chase more career enhancing opportunities.  Not a choice I agree with or respect but nothing particularly illegal or totally immoral about it.  The early discharge was quite common in those days because the Air Force didn’t need those pilots with the ones returning from Vietnam.

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Waterpanther: So let's agree for the moment that the A-102 wasn't the safest or most easily handled aircraft in the sky.
It would be the F-102 for fighter because the plane was an interceptor.  The A-102 would be an attack plane.  

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Waterpanther:
Let's also grant, though, that there weren't a lot of really hazardous assignments available to sailors in Vietnam.
PBRs and some of the smaller riverine craft would have been more dangerous than the Swift Boats.  

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Waterpanther: only to put him in the second seat on an aircraft on which he had already qualified?
The F-102 is a single seater so there is no other position in the aircrew other than pilot.  The choice was probably either a case of filing weirdness or the ANG stepping down pilots to make room for active duty pilots.  

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Waterpanther: One of those rumors was that as a pilot in the ANG he had crashed an A-102 while drunk.
You can’t smash a million dollar aircraft into the ground then walk away from it without ending up with your career in the tank plus your name on a half million documents after a lengthy investigation.  The main thing about Bush’s military career is that there are a lot of nasty rumors and anomalies but not one thing that anyone can nail him for despite trying so hard.  Considering the level of documentation and the amount of cover-up that would have to occur to hide the allegations made against Bush it doesn’t fit.  If Bush had actually done 99% of what he is accused of someone would have gotten real proof by now rather than some forged documents.  What I see is some anomalies that I’d love to see answered, some paperwork mistakes, and a lot of rumors.
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#91 eloisel

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 01:30 PM

Rumors
COL. WILLIAM CAMPENNI-Letter to the Editor  re: Bush's Service in Nat'l Guard

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    George Bush and I were lieutenants and pilots in the 111th Fighter Interceptor Squadron (FIS), Texas Air National Guard (ANG) from 1970 to 1971. We had the same flight and squadron commanders (Maj. William Harris and Lt. Col. Jerry Killian, both now deceased). While we were not part of the same social circle outside the base, we were in the same fraternity of fighter pilots, and proudly wore the same squadron patch.
    It is quite frustrating to hear the daily cacophony from the left and Sen. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat, et al., about Lt. Bush escaping his military responsibilities by hiding in the Texas ANG. In the Air Guard during the Vietnam War, you were always subject to call-up, as many Air National Guardsmen are finding out today. If the 111th FIS and Lt. Bush did not go to Vietnam, blame President Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara, not lowly Lt. Bush. They deliberately avoided use of the Guard and Reserves for domestic political calculations, knowing that a draftee only stirred up the concerns of one family, while a call-up got a whole community's attention.
    The mission of the 147th Fighter Group and its subordinate 111th FIS, Texas ANG, and the airplane it possessed, the F-102, was air defense. It was focused on defending the continental United States from Soviet nuclear bombers. The F-102 could not drop bombs and would have been useless in Vietnam. A pilot program using ANG volunteer pilots in F-102s (called Palace Alert) was scrapped quickly after the airplane proved to be unsuitable to the war effort. Ironically, Lt. Bush did inquire about this program but was advised by an ANG supervisor (Maj. Maurice Udell, retired) that he did not have the desired experience (500 hours) at the time and that the program was winding down and not accepting more volunteers.
    If you check the 111th FIS records of 1970-72 and any other ANG squadron, you will find other pilots excused for career obligations and conflicts. The Bush excusal in 1972 was further facilitated by a change in the unit's mission, from an operational fighter squadron to a training squadron with a new airplane, the F-101, which required that more pilots be available for full-time instructor duty rather than part-time traditional reservists with outside employment.
    The winding down of the Vietnam War in 1971 provided a flood of exiting active-duty pilots for these instructor jobs, making part-timers like Lt. Bush and me somewhat superfluous. There was a huge glut of pilots in the Air Force in 1972, and with no cockpits available to put them in, many were shoved into nonflying desk jobs. Any pilot could have left the Air Force or the Air Guard with ease after 1972 before his commitment was up because there just wasn't room for all of them anymore.
    Sadly, few of today's partisan pundits know anything about the environment of service in the Reserves in the 1970s. The image of a reservist at that time is of one who joined, went off for six months' basic training, then came back and drilled weekly or monthly at home, with two weeks of "summer camp." With the knowledge that Mr. Johnson and Mr. McNamara were not going to call out the Reserves, it did become a place of refuge for many wanting to avoid Vietnam.
    There was one big exception to this abusive use of the Guard to avoid the draft, and that was for those who wanted to fly, as pilots or crew members. Because of the training required, signing up for this duty meant up to 2½ years of active duty for training alone, plus a high probability of mobilization. A fighter-pilot candidate selected by the Guard (such as Lt. Bush and me) would be spending the next two years on active duty going through basic training (six weeks), flight training (one year), survival training (two weeks) and combat crew training for his aircraft (six to nine months), followed by local checkout (up to three more months) before he was even deemed combat-ready. Because the draft was just two years, you sure weren't getting out of duty being an Air Guard pilot. If the unit to which you were going back was an F-100, you were mobilized for Vietnam. Avoiding service? Yeah, tell that to those guys.
    The Bush critics do not comprehend the dangers of fighter aviation at any time or place, in Vietnam or at home, when they say other such pilots were risking their lives or even dying while Lt. Bush was in Texas. Our Texas ANG unit lost several planes right there in Houston during Lt. Bush's tenure, with fatalities. Just strapping on one of those obsolescing F-102s was risking one's life.
    Critics such as Mr. Kerry (who served in Vietnam, you know), Terry McAuliffe and Michael Moore (neither of whom served anywhere) say Lt. Bush abandoned his assignment as a jet fighter pilot without explanation or authorization and was AWOL from the Alabama Air Guard.
    Well, as for abandoning his assignment, this is untrue. Lt. Bush was excused for a period to take employment in Florida for a congressman and later in Alabama for a Senate campaign.
    Excusals for employment were common then and are now in the Air Guard, as pilots frequently are in career transitions, and most commanders (as I later was) are flexible in letting their charges take care of career affairs until they return or transfer to another unit near their new employment. Sometimes they will transfer temporarily to another unit to keep them on the active list until they can return home. The receiving unit often has little use for a transitory member, especially in a high-skills category like a pilot, because those slots usually are filled and, if not filled, would require extensive conversion training of up to six months, an unlikely option for a temporary hire.
    As a commander, I would put such "visitors" in some minor administrative post until they went back home. There even were a few instances when I was unaware that they were on my roster because the paperwork often lagged. Today, I can't even recall their names. If a Lt. Bush came into my unit to "pull drills" for a couple of months, I wouldn't be too involved with him because I would have a lot more important things on my table keeping the unit combat ready.
    Another frequent charge is that, as a member of the Texas ANG, Lt. Bush twice ignored or disobeyed lawful orders, first by refusing to report for a required physical in the year when drug testing first became part of the exam, and second by failing to report for duty at the disciplinary unit in Colorado to which he had been ordered. Well, here are the facts:
    First, there is no instance of Lt. Bush disobeying lawful orders in reporting for a physical, as none would be given. Pilots are scheduled for their annual flight physicals in their birth month during that month's weekend drill assembly — the only time the clinic is open. In the Reserves, it is not uncommon to miss this deadline by a month or so for a variety of reasons: The clinic is closed that month for special training; the individual is out of town on civilian business; etc.
    If so, the pilot is grounded temporarily until he completes the physical. Also, the formal drug testing program was not instituted by the Air Force until the 1980s and is done randomly by lot, not as a special part of a flight physical, when one easily could abstain from drug use because of its date certain. Blood work is done, but to ensure a healthy pilot, not confront a drug user.
    Second, there was no such thing as a "disciplinary unit in Colorado" to which Lt. Bush had been ordered. The Air Reserve Personnel Center in Denver is a repository of the paperwork for those no longer assigned to a specific unit, such as retirees and transferees. Mine is there now, so I guess I'm "being disciplined." These "disciplinary units" just don't exist. Any discipline, if required, is handled within the local squadron, group or wing, administratively or judicially. Had there been such an infraction or court-martial action, there would be a record and a reflection in Lt. Bush's performance review and personnel folder. None exists, as was confirmed in The Washington Post in 2000.
    Finally, the Kerrys, Moores and McAuliffes are casting a terrible slander on those who served in the Guard, then and now. My Guard career parallels Lt. Bush's, except that I stayed on for 33 years. As a guardsman, I even got to serve in two campaigns. In the Cold War, the air defense of the United States was borne primarily by the Air National Guard, by such people as Lt. Bush and me and a lot of others. Six of those with whom I served in those years never made their 30th birthdays because they died in crashes flying air-defense missions.
    While most of America was sleeping and Mr. Kerry was playing antiwar games with Hanoi Jane Fonda, we were answering 3 a.m. scrambles for who knows what inbound threat over the Canadian subarctic, the cold North Atlantic and the shark-filled Gulf of Mexico. We were the pathfinders in showing that the Guard and Reserves could become reliable members of the first team in the total force, so proudly evidenced today in Afghanistan and Iraq.
    It didn't happen by accident. It happened because back at the nadir of Guard fortunes in the early '70s, a lot of volunteer guardsman showed they were ready and able to accept the responsibilities of soldier and citizen — then and now. Lt. Bush was a kid whose congressman father encouraged him to serve in the Air National Guard. We served proudly in the Guard. Would that Mr. Kerry encourage his children and the children of his colleague senators and congressmen to serve now in the Guard.
    In the fighter-pilot world, we have a phrase we use when things are starting to get out of hand and it's time to stop and reset before disaster strikes. We say, "Knock it off." So, Mr. Kerry and your friends who want to slander the Guard: Knock it off.
     
    COL. WILLIAM CAMPENNI (retired)
    U.S. Air Force/Air National Guard
    Herndon, Va.5


#92 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 01:41 PM

Mixxster, on Jul 10 2005, 01:22 PM, said:

Regardless of any partisan spin or pro-Bush excuse making, his behavior after learning that the second tower had been hit was absolutely inappropriate.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


What behavior?  The fact that he finished reading the book while waiting for the USSS to prepare to move him rather than pacing in the hall waiting for the USSS to move him.  Bush would have had very little choice as to when he could have left the school.  The USSS had to arrange secure transportation and then prepared Air Force One for takeoff.  The USSS would have been stupid to let him leap into his limo or Marine One and tear off in the middle of a major terrorist attack.  The fact is that it was public knowledge that Bush was at the school.  The USSS had the school secure and probably had MANPADS to defend against air attack.  

So why leave a secured location and throw the President into a vehicle then drives into a potential ambush outside the building?  It would be far better for the USSS to take the time to check the route to Air Force One.
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#93 eloisel

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 01:51 PM

Not to mention, when the first plane hit the Towers, it was not immediately evident it was a terrorist attack.

#94 waterpanther

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 01:54 PM

Quote

QUOTE
Waterpanther:
Perhaps he discovered that. It must have seemed like a safe bet when he began training on the F102 in November 1969. But he stopped taking physicals after May 1971 and was grounded as a result. He didn't care enough to fly to take any more physicals.

I am not Specs.  I'm Spartacus.   :devil:

Quote

Waterpanther: only to put him in the second seat on an aircraft on which he had already qualified?

The F-102 is a single seater so there is no other position in the aircrew other than pilot. The choice was probably either a case of filing weirdness or the ANG stepping down pilots to make room for active duty pilots.

Or they'd put him back in a T-38 (two-seater trainer) or other aircraft.

Quote

Considering the level of documentation and the amount of cover-up that would have to occur to hide the allegations made against Bush it doesn’t fit.

Actually, the son of a Congressman and extremely wealthy citizen of Texas could have gotten away with more than you can imagine, something in which Bush was by no means alone.  That's the way high-level politics work, nowhere more so than in Texas.  (The other, paradoxical, thing about Texas is that while Austin is a booming city, it's also in many ways a very small town.  Everybody knows the skinny on everybody else, and almost nobody talks to outsiders about it.) The  ANG unit Bush belonged to was made up largely  of wealthy young men who were "getting away" with avoiding both the draft--almost sure to put your boots on the ground in Vietnam--and active service.  They included the sons of other politicians of both parties, professional football players and others. Young Gee Dubya could be absolutely sure they'd never see combat.   Bush himself has said that he chose the ANG because he didn't want to to to Canada and didn't want to burst his own eardrum with a shotgun blast--ie., to avoid the dangers of active service.
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#95 tennyson

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 02:05 PM

Waterpanther, I addressed each point you made in the quoted post in the order that it appeared via number. I thought that much was obvious from context and easy to understand.
As for you once again qouting that number of dead of 100,000 or more as you seem to admit we have went over this before but you have been provided with more secure evidence by Spectacles and others that that isn't the right figure and I've told everyone here including you why getting the most accurate data matters to me rather than just going with unexamined assumptions.
I'm not simply calling this situation an "oppsie" as you put it any more than I put the other mistakes mentioned by CJ in such a triffling category but I don't really see any practical way to change things. I've already voted long ago and it's not like my own suggestions would even reach Bush let alone be acted on. As I've mentioned before and detailed in passing I was would prosecuted this conflict differently although I would have made the same choice to go in eventually with the information that was publically available at the time. But then this does seem to be another fundamental point of disagreement then doesn't it?
"Only an idiot would fight a war on two fronts. Only the heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Idiots would fight a war on twelve fronts."

— Londo, "Ceremonies of Light and Dark" Babylon-5


#96 Mixxster

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 02:10 PM

eloisel, on Jul 10 2005, 02:51 PM, said:

Not to mention, when the first plane hit the Towers, it was not immediately evident it was a terrorist attack.
Who said otherwise?  

By the time the second plane hit, I sure hope the thought had crossed his mind.

#97 Cardie

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 02:56 PM

I saw the plane strikes live on the Today show, and when the first hit they thought it might have been a collision caused by instrument failure, although when they checked about its radio contact they were revising that opinion.  When the second plane struck, then everyone knew it was intentional as there was no way that two planes would aim themselves at the same two buildings several minutes apart by accidental coincidence.

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#98 waterpanther

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 03:06 PM

Quote

Waterpanther, I addressed each point you made in the quoted post in the order that it appeared via number. I thought that much was obvious from context and easy to understand.

Since my points were not numbered, no, your responses were not obviously related to them.

Quote

As for you once again qouting that number of dead of 100,000 or more as you seem to admit we have went over this before but you have been provided with more secure evidence by Spectacles and others that that isn't the right figure and I've told everyone here including you why getting the most accurate data matters to me rather than just going with unexamined assumptions.

Sadly, it's unlikely that 100,000 still is the correct figure.  The Lancet's statistical sampling did not include Fallujah or Ramadi, and is by now in any case several months out of date. However, the Lancet, which is a peer-reviewed scientific/medical journal, stands by their numbers and their methodology, and even the Iraq Body Count site referenced by Specs concedes that the 100,000 figure is more likely to be closer to reality than theirs.   The Lancet's article is far from "unexamined assumptions," though it's clear why Bush's supporters might want to shy away from it.

I think most people would have prosecuted this conflict differently, including the top-ranking military officers in the armed services.  Bush didn't listen to them, either, and chose to alienate some of our oldest and staunchest allies over his own personal obsessions.    There are remedies  available, but they require Congress to act.

Edited by waterpanther, 10 July 2005 - 04:16 PM.

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#99 tennyson

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 03:34 PM

When did my words suddenly get italisized?
"Only an idiot would fight a war on two fronts. Only the heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Idiots would fight a war on twelve fronts."

— Londo, "Ceremonies of Light and Dark" Babylon-5


#100 Spectacles

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 03:36 PM

From an article in Air Force Times:

http://www.airforcet...APER-357916.php

Quote

Bush graduated from flight school in 1969, was certified July 9, 1970, as “combat ready” in the F-102, and began winning praise for his flight and leadership skills. On his April 30, 1971, fitness report, covering 166 active-duty days over a period of 17 months, he earned high marks.

Notice that he was certified after the F-102s were out of Vietnam. Was he lucky or did have inside info? After all, his dad had some pretty high contacts in DC, which was possibly why Bush was so readily accepted into the "champagne unit" of TANG in the first place.

Quote

“Lt. Bush is an exceptionally fine young officer and pilot,” wrote his commanding officer in the 111th Fighter Interceptor Squadron in Houston, Lt. Col. Jerry B. Killian. Bush “performed in an outstanding manner … a natural leader.”

But from there, Bush’s performance slipped. The descent began when Bush apparently did not follow an order to report for his annual flight physical in May 1972, which got him grounded.

The grounding was noted in one of the four documents unveiled by CBS — which were given to the White House, which released them to the rest of the media. It appears to be an order signed by Killian suspending Bush from flight status “due to failure to perform to USAF/TexANG standards and failure to meet annual physical examination (flight) as ordered.”

Handwriting experts hired by many media organizations as well as other critics contend the document, and possibly all four, are forgeries. However, Killian’s order is confirmed by two documents that were not part of the CBS papers. The first is a White House-released letter from the commander of the 147th Fighter Group, Col. Bobby W. Hodges, to its Texas higher command dated Sept. 5, 1972, with a subject line of “Suspension From Flying Status.”

The letter documents the missed flight physical and the suspension, “effective 1 Aug 1972.” A Sept. 29 order from the National Guard Bureau further confirms the missed physical and the suspension.


On May 26, 1972, Bush asked in writing for reassignment to an Air Reserve squadron in Alabama so he could work on the U.S. Senate campaign of Republican Winton “Red” Blount, a close friend of his influential father. That was rejected because Bush was obligated to serve as a Ready Reservist until May 26, 1974, and was ineligible for assignment to the Air Reserve. About three months later, on Sept. 5, Bush asked to perform “equivalent duty” with the Alabama unit from September to November. Killian approved the request a day later. The orders went through on Sept. 15, and while Bush had missed the Sept. 9-10 unit training assembly, the document noted he could make the next two. Bush’s Officer Military Record shows an Oct. 1, 1973, discharge from the Texas Air National Guard and transfer to the Alabama unit.

Another White House-released document shows a total of 56 points Bush apparently earned during this 12-month period, but it’s awarded in one lump sum rather than credited for each training period. But this document also contains an error, listing Bush’s status as “PLT On-Fly” — meaning he was on flight status — when he had not been for a year. This, said retired Army Lt. Col. Gerald A. Lechliter, who has done an in-depth analysis of Bush’s pay records (www.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/opinion/lechliter.pdf), makes the form’s authenticity suspect.

There’s also the record of a Jan. 6, 1973, dental exam performed on Bush at Dannelly Air National Guard Base, Ala. There’s nothing that documents why Bush, who reportedly returned to Texas after the election, didn’t get this work done closer to home.

Bush’s attendance and participation in weekend drills had been meticulously recorded up through May 1972. But other than the points record and the dental exam record, the year following Bush’s request for reassignment to Alabama is a blank.

In a fitness report supplement released by the White House this year, an administrative officer wrote, “Not rated for the period 1 May 72 through 30 Apr 73. Report for this period not available for administrative reasons.”

In the remarks section, Killian wrote that Bush “has not been observed at this unit during the period of report. … He cleared this base on 15 May 1972 and has been performing equivalent training in a non flying status” with the Alabama unit. Bush, however, was only authorized to be gone from September to November.

‘Don’t remember seeing you’

The same day Barnes spoke with CBS, a new pro-Kerry group, Texans for Truth, announced it was launching a TV ad campaign that would attack Bush for failing to perform his duties while temporarily assigned to the Alabama unit. While it wasn’t a new accusation, the ad featured a member of that unit who said he’d never met the future president.

“I heard George Bush get up and say, ‘I served in the 187th Air National Guard in Montgomery, Alabama,’” retired Lt. Col. Robert Mintz said on camera. “Really? That was my unit. And I don’t remember seeing you there. …”

On Sept. 5, Bush formally asked Killian for a discharge from the Texas unit so he could attend Harvard Business School in Cambridge, Mass. Two weeks later, Hodges approved the request and honorably discharged Bush, administratively transferring him to Headquarters, Air Reserve Personnel Center in Denver.

Two months earlier, on June 30, Bush signed a statement promising that if he left his Texas Ready Reserve unit, “it is my responsibility to locate and be assigned to another Reserve Forces unit or mobilization augmentation position. If I fail to do so, I am subject to involuntary order to active duty for up to 24 months.”

There is no record of Bush ever having signed on with a Massachusetts Reserve unit. In 1999, Dan Bartlett, working for the Bush campaign, told The Washington Post that Bush had completed his six-year commitment with a Boston unit. That didn’t happen, Bartlett recently told The Boston Globe. “I must have misspoke,” he said.
The following March, Bush was redesignated as an “executive support officer.” In May, he was placed on inactive status. On Nov. 21 — apparently at Bush’s written request, according to an undated letter sent from Massachusetts and released by the White House in which he requests “to discharge from the standby reserve” — he received an honorable discharge “from all appointments in the United States Air Force.”

I honestly envy people who think that Bush served honorably and bravely during Vietnam and that he's an all-around stand-up guy and a great president. Our country is at war, and when I see our commander-in-chief, I see a weak man who has gotten this far in life largely because of his contacts. I see a White House that has had an effective PR operation, but a poor policy-making one, especially with regard to the Iraq War. In short, I see a lot that makes me nervous. I have no confidence in this President, but I sure hope he's lucky because those are my fellow citizens whose lives are on the line in Iraq--and all of our lives may be on the line if politics trumps policy on border and homeland security.

Partisans on either side can spin Bush this way or that, and all of us are human and make mistakes, but what worries me about Bush is that he has never seemed to have had to develop a sense of accountability for his actions. Whether it was spotty guard service or failed business dealings, he managed to land on his feet not because of his own abilities but because there was always someone to help him cover his rear end. Well, that ceases to work when you listen to the wrong people as POTUS and you end up making decisions that cause our troops to be in harm's way.

I don't think he's evil. I don't even know that he's not a likeable guy. But he does seem to me to be possibly the worst president this country has had in a long time. Given the situation we're in, I wish had more confidence in him. But when this administration is giving medals to the people who allegedly gave it "bad intelligence" that got us into an unnecessary war, when they stonewall inquiries into just how that intelligence was processed and put an ultra-partisan like Lawrence Silberman in charge of the investigation, when they give Halliburton a new 5 billion dollar contract despite the company's record of ripping us off, when tax cuts are rammed through that even his own Treasury Secretary argues are deficit-inducing, when war means no one has to sacrifice anything except the ones who do the fighting and dying, when the religious right has so much influence over domestic policies, I get pretty depressed. So I wish I had more confidence in Bush personally and in his administration in general.
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