...I'm okay with being REALITY-based.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004
      ( 8:17 AM )
AWOL - Proven

The Raw Story has a major exclusive running today. Of course it's not really news that George W. Bush didn't successfully complete his tour of duty with the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War, but now an intrepid investigation has found evidence. Wonder if this will get picked up anywhere else. Yeah, I'm not holding my breath either.

A four-month investigation conducted by a Philadelphia researcher and independently confirmed by RAW STORY finally proves that President George W. Bush did not successfully complete his service with the Texas Air National Guard.

The president’s own payroll records — recently released by the White House in an effort to discredit claims that the president had failed to meet Guard requirements — instead indicate that he was absent without leave (AWOL) in 1972, and should have been placed on active duty for nearly four months.

“If you don’t show up, you’re absent without leave, by definition,” said Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower, Reserve Affairs, Installations and Logistics under Ronald Reagan from 1981-1985, Lawrence J. Korb. “You would be put on active duty and sent wherever they needed you.”

Korb examined Bush’s payroll records Monday. Asked if he thought Bush was AWOL, he said, “Based on these payroll records, unless he had permission, it would be.”

Bush could not have gotten permission, which he would have needed to get in advance, because he did not yet know of the months he was going to miss until May 1972. It not until May 1972 that he was offered a position to campaign in an Alabama Senate campaign – well after all the trainings that he might have applied.

The article goes on to show documents and interviews and evidence. Like I said, it's not really news, but on the question of who would make a more honorable Commander in Chief, I think this could answer that. The other persona of the president, being an effectual leader, also comes into question when he couldn't even fulfill his easy duty to the National Guard.

Even if we don't want to talk about Vietnam at all (that would be FINE with me), it does matter what our president's record as a responsible citizen and employee is. He is the one who continues to make a big deal out of his "service" record and he is the one who continues to don military jackets and uniforms. It's time to stop playing dress up. It's time for a real leader to be president.

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