T Nation

Apologies Needed

I was reading another thread, and Roy Batty made the “Bush went AWOL” comment. I remember several others, like lumpy, also made a big deal about this. Further, the Democrats were making a huge deal about this. The issue went away very quickly. I’ll show you why. I want to make sure that none of you make Roy’s scurrilous statement again. By the way, for those of you who called him a “deserter” and made other false allegations, you owe him an apology. Here you go: This was from USA Today.

Former Guardsman: Bush served with me in Alabama
By the Associated Press
A retired Alabama Air National Guard officer said Friday that he remembers George Bush showing up for duty in Alabama in 1972, reading safety magazines and flight manuals in an office as he performed his weekend obligations.
“I saw him each drill period,” retired Lt. Col. John “Bill” Calhoun said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press from Daytona Beach, Fla., where he is preparing to watch this weekend’s big NASCAR race.

“He was very aggressive about doing his duty there. He never complained about it. … He was very dedicated to what he was doing in the Guard. He showed up on time and he left at the end of the day.”

Calhoun, whose name was supplied to the AP by a Republican close to Bush, is the first member of the 187th Tactical Reconnaissance Group to recall Bush distinctly at the Alabama base in the period of 1972-1973. He was the unit’s flight safety officer.

The 69-year-old president of an Atlanta insulation company said Bush showed up for work at Dannelly Air National Guard Base for drills on at least six occasions. Bush and Calhoun had both been trained as fighter pilots, and Calhoun said the two would swap “war stories” and even eat lunch together on base.

Calhoun is named in 187th unit rosters obtained by the AP as serving under the deputy commander of operations plans. Bush was in Alabama on non-flying status.

“He sat in my office most of the time ? he would read,” Calhoun said. “He had your training manuals from your aircraft he was flying. He’d study those some. He’d read safety magazines, which is a common thing for pilots.”

Democrats have asked for proof that Bush, then a 1st lieutenant with the Texas Air National Guard, turned up for duty in Alabama, where Bush had asked to be assigned while he worked on the U.S. Senate campaign of family friend Winton “Red” Blount.

Pay and medical records released by the White House this week failed to quash allegations that Bush shirked his Guard responsibilities. (Related story: Bush’s driving records disclosed)

The 187th’s former commander, retired Brig. Gen. William Turnipseed, has said he doesn’t remember Bush ever turning up on base, and more than a dozen members of the 800-person unit, including its commander, told The Associated Press this week they have no recollection of Bush. Critics have made much of the fact that the White House has failed to produce anyone who could remember seeing Bush there.

Calhoun said he contacted Texas GOP leaders with his story in 2000 when the issue was raised just before the November general election.

“I got on the phone and got information and called Austin, Texas, and talked to the Republican campaign. They said I was talking to the campaign manager,” he said. “I told him my story and said I would be glad to provide information to that effect. At that time they said … The story is not true. And we don’t think it’s got enough weight to stay out as a story.’ And they said, ‘But if it does we’ll call you back.’ And I never heard from them again.”

Last week as the issue raged again, Calhoun sent an e-mail to the White House offering to tell his story. “I got a response back, one of those automatic responses,” he said. It wasn’t until his wife contacted Georgia GOP officials that Calhoun’s name surfaced.

White House press secretary Scott McClellan said Friday that the White House was not making any effort to try to locate people who might have served with Bush. He also accused reporters of trying to raise new lines of questioning, beyond whether Bush served in Alabama.

Critics have suggested that Bush used his family connections to get the safe Guard assignment ahead of thousands of others. But Calhoun said Bush never mentioned his congressman father while they sat together at Dannelly.

“I knew he was working in the senatorial campaign, and I asked him if he was going to be a politician,” said Calhoun, who is a staunch Republican. “And he said, ‘I don’t know. Probably.’”

Calhoun has not made any donations to Bush this election season or during the 2000 season, according to campaign finance records.

I believe his dental records were also released from that period.

Can we put another Democratic slander to bed?


Umm, I’m afraid to ask, but didn’t they ever keep paperwork or otherwise track attendance?

I’ve never really even worried about his past “record” until I read this… :wink:

So no one can remember even seeing him there, then ONE guy comes forward and says he did. Now anyone who doubted should apologize. Is that how you see it?

Ok: I’m very sorry that our president is a lying coward dipshit.

You happy now?


You asked: "Umm, I’m afraid to ask, but didn’t they ever keep paperwork or otherwise track attendance?

I’ve never really even worried about his past “record” until I read this… ;)"

Didn’t I make mention of dental records? There are other people who corroborate his attendance.


You made the statment: “Ok: I’m very sorry that our president is a lying coward dipshit.”

First of all, you are the “dipshit.” You make unfounded accusations. When proven wrong “aka… not showing up to guard duty, Cheney making A FIXED AMOUNT OF MONEY NO MATTER IF HALLIBURTON THRIVES/DIES (Actually giving his yearly Halliburton stock buyout to charity), etc…” you continue to either deny the obvious or change the subject.

It makes me sick. You believe what you want to believe (aka…a general in charge of 800 men in 1972 can’t remember one guy). But, you refuse to believe a man who worked intimately with George W. Bush. You don’t read that this Mr. Calhoun tried to contact the Republicans in 2000. You don’t read that he IS MOST CERTAINLY NOT A REPUBLICAN LACKEY.

A reasonable person has to ask the question: “If your main charges against the character of George Bush are obviously false, is it possible that ALL or the MAJORITY of your charges are false?”
Then one has to take into consideration the true cause of your hatred, he is a Republican President. Anything he says or does will meet your condemnation.

I think more deeply than that. I’m looking for truths based on evidence and facts. It would be so refreshing if you did a quick internet search prior to making your silly comments. Thanks,


hes single-handedly screwed the USA over, but your happy because he read a few flight manuals?


Jeffr, I’m not convinced at this point. Pay stubs and dental records hardly show anything other than he collected money and had his health looked into.

Also, because of some of the crazy stuff out concerning Kerry and his medals, I’m sure a lot of people will say a lot of things for a lot of reasons.

So, again, I’m not bashing anything, but if you want to prove something you need to offer more in this day and age.

I mean, suppose it is true, is sitting in an office reading magazines what he is claiming his contribution was? I don’t think it is anything to crow about either is it?

So, maybe he was there reading magazines. Okay. If I’m willing to take that at face value, so what? Do you believe Kerry earned his medals? There are records out there and people to back up his claims too.

What is the point here? I’m not bashing either side… I just don’t see the big deal here yet. Clue me in.


I always try to explain my posts clearly. Did you read my thread in it’s entirety? If you did, and I wasn’t clear enough, I apologize.

Anyway, the issue here is the Democrats’ incessant use of unfounded charges. Not all Democrats (aka…Joe Lieberman), but, the partisan ones.

The issue is the Democrats crying “AWOL.” He apparently was on base. He has been saying it since the early 90’s. Now we have records and eyewitnesses. The fools like michaelmoore who call him a “deserter” should be publically rebuked by responsible people. This goes for people on this forum who make unfounded charges and don’t have the good grace to admit their error when they have been proven wrong.

There are some people who hate George W. Bush. Unfortunately, many of the “reasons” they state for hating him have nothing to do with reality. I suspect it has less to do with the man, than his party. I tire of this nonsensical bickering. It goes nowhere. Worse, I’m concerned that the troops see the Democratic hand wringing as a sign of a lack of support. That is inexcusable.

Again, if you object to the Iraq War, offer an alternative.

By the way, it appears that the U.N. had a vested interest in NOT finding weapons. Time will tell how many of them were on the take from Saddam’s regime. The fall of Saddam appears to have hurt some pocketbooks in the U.N. and the “international community” (france/germany/russia). So please don’t offer up the “inspections were working” line. They were not detectives. The only reason they were allowed back in was due to the U.S. and her allies massing troops on the border. Could/Should we have kept our troops on the border indefinitely only to prolong the farce that was the U.N. weapons inspection’s in 2003? I say absolutely not.

I hope I have clarified my position and my point,


You were doing really good until you started making your own unfounded claims… :wink:

This is old news JeffR, your desperation is showing.

I’m pretty sure that Bill Calhoun is the guy who it turns out wasn’t actually serving in Alabama during the time period under question.

Calhoun says he remembers seeing Bush studying the training manuals (for a plane that was already being phased out). Come on now, Bush studying flight manuals? Everyone knows George can’t read.

The only proof we have of anything is that George Bush went to the dentist during that time period. That’s it.

If anyone owes an apology, it is JeffR for not actually paying attention to this story when it was current, then dredging it up again when it’s already been shown to be full of holes.

And so your excuse for “coalition” forces not finding all of those weapons is what? Kickbacks? Payoffs? Incomptetence? Stupidity?

How about the FACT that stupid, arrogant, incompetent assholes in the Pentagon, namely Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld, believed the line of shit they were spoon fed by a total piece of crap named Chalabi. They in turn spoon fed the same fetid pile of shit to bushleague, who eagerly ate it up. The three of them then got the CIA to lie to Powell, who went to the UN and crapped on the 30 years of credibility he had built up.

Powell will admit that he was lied to, but bushleaque is too arrogant and stupid to admit he fucked up. Wolfoshitz and Rumhole should be forced to live in a Bagdad hotel until this shit is resolved, I’ll bet that would speed things up some.

“Wolfoshitz and Rumhole should be forced to live in a Bagdad hotel until this shit is resolved, I’ll bet that would speed things up some.”

true, true, so true



“This is old news JeffR, your desperation is showing.”

I know you rarely read others’ posts, but, Roy Batty just regurgitated the old “AWOL” garbage that you used to be so fond of. It’s fun (but a little sad) to watch the rabid partisans (like yourself) change to a new subject when your latest line of attack falls flat. In this case, people have called Bush a “deserter.” These people should lose all credibility and should be publically rebuked. That you squirm around the issue of apology and castigate Bush for “not admitting errors” while you refuse to do the same, makes you a hypocrite.
You are right, I have to admit, I was getting desperate for a responsible alternative to our current policy in Iraq. Since there hasn’t been one put out by the Anti-Iraq-War crowd, I’m content that we are doing what we have to do.


You use some very nasty rhetoric. I would love to meet with you in person. It would be very pleasant for me. For you…


Seriously, you are supposed to mix creatine with water, not smoke it! Are you like Bush in your inability to read? The only people “on the take” - as you say - are the architects of this war. In the last three years GWB has handed out over 100 billion in no-bid federal contracts, mostly to companies (defense contractors) that were major financial contributors to his sleazy campaign. Halliburton is just a tiny slice of the pie. I swear, some of you guys have blinders on. Either that it is just a matter of pride, and you don’t want to admit that a bunch of guys on a forum who you hate were right all along.

Another thing, this Calhoun story is very suspect. Bush was suspended from flying. Do you suppose that was because he was a great soldier who would make his country proud? Apology indeed!

jeffr, I’m in Cheyenne, WY. PM me when you get here. I look forward to meeting you, too.

Roy - shut up and drink the Kool-Aid, man.


Was he AWOL? That is what you alleged. That is the garbage you regurgitated. That is a very serious charge. I ask it again, was he AWOL? Yes or no will do. When you say, no, then apologize. No changing the subject.

By the way, why is the story suspect? Read the article. It is written by USA Today. I’ve never heard them accused of being “right wing.” They are very specific about what this man remembers. It happens to corroborate exactly what George Bush has been saying. Oh, I get it, THAT IS WHY IT IS SUSPECT!

Can’t wait for November,


According to Washington Post, Boston Globe, Dallas Morning News, and many others, he was AWOL. By definition, you have to be absent without leave for 30 days or less. He may have covered his ass by claiming that it was common practice for officers in the Air Guard to take on other jobs, and he claims that he helped someone on their campaign, so he was accounted for. The problem I have with this is that he was an ardent supporter of the war, but he was too chickenshit to actually go fight in it. He skipped over a year-long waiting list to get into the Texas Air Guard (with a little help from a letter from his dad) specifically so he could avoid combat. Meanwhile, people like my father and uncles were doing their duties. What Bush did was no different than the men who left for Canada to avoid combat. Some people considered those guys treasonous. But technically, they can’t be deserters since they were never formally enlisted. Bush, on the other hand, skipped out on his duty. He even said in a 1990 interview that he didn’t want to “blow out his ears by shooting a shotgun by his ear, like some of his friends, so he decided to learn to fly planes.” While the men in my family or Bob McCain were making sacrifices, Bush was cowering in a “champagne unit” (as Colin Powell referred to it). He also got suspended for flying for missing duty. That is AWOL… Don’t know what else to tell you. You go on and support that coward. It suits you.


Was that as close as you could get to saying, “yes, I was wrong, he was not AWOL?”
Quick question, did any of the media outlets purportedly report he was “AWOL” AFTER Colonel Calhoun proved it to be false? I don’t think so. Remember, please, I don’t think that “truth” is the number one concern for some media. Ratings. Ratings. Ratings. Not to mention their own particular bias. Suppose they did say he was “AWOL” (which I doubt) how likely do you think it would be for them to publish the follow-up interview with Colonel Calhoun that proves beyond a reasonable doubt that they were wrong? Not to mention the dental records and the other lady in the Senatorial campaign who stated he left the campaign to go and report to Alabama at regular intervals in 1972?

You said, “You go on and support that coward. It suits you.”

Hmmmm. Uh-Huh. Reckless.


As much speculation as is being made of their military records is fairly ridiculous.

Anti-Kerry people can point out that kerry’s purple hearts were fairly suspect(minor injuries that he himself said cost him a total of two days away from work) and his actions once he returned from the war were not all that congruent with a military man(just so you fuckers don’t get all pissed and start ranting on this one) I’m referring to his anti-war rhetoric while still active in the navy-he petitioned his then commander admiral schleck for a release six months early so he could become actively involved in the anti-war movement, received an honorable discharge and decided to run for congress.

 Bush on the other hand, you've all pretty much stated most of his inconsistencies so I won't go reiterate any of that, I'll say only that I agree with most've the statements above.   

Both of these guys, as well as most of our politicians, came from silver spoon backgrounds where this shit should be expected if not accepted practice. The rich in our society don't seem to fall into the same category as the rest of us, whether it comes to laws or military regs.  If we're going to vote someone to office based on their military record, then lets get Jessica Lynch up there to lead us, I mean she's a war hero after all isn't she?  

Ps just so i don’t have to post again explaining myself, that was sarcasm at the end for those who didn’t catch it

"You use some very nasty rhetoric. I would love to meet with you in person. It would be very pleasant for me. For you… "

Making threats over the internet? Pathetic, Jeff.

You’re not supposed to drop the dumbells on your head, buddy.