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Froomkin writes: "The only journalistic sin worse than disastrously misreporting an important story that turns out to be untrue is disastrously misreporting an important story that is true, so no one believes it anymore."

President Bush, wearing his flight suit, walks on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln after arriving via a US Navy S-3B Viking Thursday, May 1, 2003, in the Pacific Ocean. (photo: Khue Bui)
President Bush, wearing his flight suit, walks on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln after arriving via a US Navy S-3B Viking Thursday, May 1, 2003, in the Pacific Ocean. (photo: Khue Bui)

George W. Bush Was AWOL, But What's "Truth" Got to Do With It?

By Dan Froomkin, The Intercept

28 October 15


he only journalistic sin worse than disastrously misreporting an important story that turns out to be untrue is disastrously misreporting an important story that is true, so no one believes it anymore.

The end result of Dan Rather’s half-assed September 2004 report on George W. Bush’s already well-chronicled, cowardly, rule-breaking behavior as a young man during the Vietnam War was that Bush, once again, was able to avoid accountability for his conduct, and skated to an election victory over John Kerry, a genuine war hero his lickspittles had successfully smeared as unpatriotic.

So a story that should have taken down a president — a story that was already thoroughly documented, but that the mainstream media had hitherto shied away from as overly partisan — was instead discredited, never to be heard of again. Never, at least, until a very bad movie called Truth came out this month, trying to get us to see Rather (Robert Redford) and his producer, Mary Mapes (Cate Blanchett), as heroic and wronged, rather than grappling honestly with their journalistic failures.

Rather and Mapes had an obligation to make sure their segment for CBS’s “60 Minutes II” on Bush using pull to get into the National Guard instead of going to Vietnam — and then going AWOL for a chunk of what was supposed to be his service — was bulletproof. But it wasn’t even bloggerproof. The “new” documents they got copies of — from a source who was cagey about their provenance — were debunked by a bunch of Internet sleuths. An independent review commissioned by CBS found that the segment “failed to meet” CBS’s “two core principles: accuracy and fairness,” and Rather, Mapes and three other staffers were fired or forced to retire.

Two things are undeniably true about the Bush-AWOL story. One is that its collapse exemplified the Bush magic that somehow imbued him with the aura of competence, intelligence, and leadership and made him oddly invulnerable to obvious criticism — think “The Emperor’s New Clothes” — until it all came crashing down after Hurricane Katrina.

The other truth is that Bush was undeniably a shirker, and smugly AWOL from his safe, cushy National Guard gig at a time when thousands of young men his age were being sent to their slaughter in Vietnam.

That had been clear ever since Walter Robinson, the editor of the Spotlight investigative team at the Boston Globe, extensively reported out the story in May 2000, piecing together an article from available military records that has never been definitively challenged.

The Washington Post in 1999 had raised questions of favoritism and joining the Guard to avoid dangerous duty in Vietnam. But it was the Globe that introduced the missing AWOL year.

Possibly because the Globe had out-reported its bigger colleagues, the story didn’t get picked up by the elite national outlets. When Democrats tried to bring it up again on the eve of the election, the New York Times pooh-poohed it under an instant classic of false-equivalence headline: “Bush’s Guard Attendance Is Questioned and Defended.” A “review of records by the New York Times indicated that some of those concerns may be unfounded,” the story said.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post castigated Democrats for their “11th-hour attempt to exploit a dormant issue.” The Post acknowledged the truth — “It is safe to say that Bush did very light duty in his last two years in the Guard and that his superiors made it easy for him” — but waved it off as an irrelevance.

During Bush’s first term, the AWOL story continued to burble on the Internet, including on websites like The AWOL Project and, but things didn’t pick up again until his reelection campaign.

In January 2004, iconoclastic filmmaker Michael Moore called Bush a “deserter.” And, as Moore himself wrote: “The pundits immediately went berserk. … As well they should. Because they know that they — and much of the mainstream media — ignored this Bush AWOL story when it was first revealed by an investigation in the Boston Globe (in 2000).”, even then the toothless watchdog of the Washington cocktail-party crowd, channeled the elite media with a response headlined: “Bush A Military ‘Deserter?’ [sic] Calm Down, Michael.”

In February, then-Democratic National Committee chairman Terence R. McAuliffe called Bush “AWOL,” and created a brief flurry of coverage. The Globe’s Robinson used the news peg to review the evidence he had collected four years earlier.

In response, the then-White House press secretary Scott McClellan issued robotic non-denial denials — “The President fulfilled his duties. The President was honorably discharged” and “It is really shameful that this was brought up four years ago, and it’s shameful that some are trying to bring it up again.” The White House released 400 pages of records, none of which were definitive. But the elite press, looking for a smoking gun in a case where the real clue was more of the dog-that-didn’t-bark-in-the-night variety, lost interest again.

The story wouldn’t entirely die, however. It came back with a vengeance in September, two months before the 2004 election.

On September 5, the Associated Press, which had sued in a failed attempt to see a microfilm copy of Bush’s entire Texas Air National Guard personnel record, declared: “Documents that should have been written to explain gaps in President Bush’s Texas Air National Guard service are missing from the military records released about his service in 1972 and 1973, according to regulations and outside experts.”

On the morning of September 8, the Boston Globe published Walter Robinson’s full-fledged reexamination of documents old and new, concluding that “Bush fell well short of meeting his military obligation.”

That same day — just hours before CBS aired Rather’s specious report — U.S. News published another thorough debunking of the Bush apologists, describing how “new examination of payroll records and other documents released by the White House earlier this year appear to confirm critics’ assertions that President George W. Bush failed to fulfill his duty to the Air National Guard during the Vietnam War.”

So Dan Rather, who aired his report that night, was hardly the first to report the story. He was simply the last.

Truth is a really odd movie. The casting alone makes it clear that the filmmakers consider Rather and Mapes to be heroic, sympathetic figures. But because the artless screenplay sticks mostly to the truth, most viewers will not be inclined to see things that way. Its painfully cliched establishing shots will give them plenty of time to mull this contradiction. Avoid it. Instead go see Spotlight — a film opening in November about another investigation by Walter Robinson and the Boston Globe team — where the journalistic heroes actually do something heroic, and it’s great to watch. (Disclosure: Spotlight was partially funded by The Intercept’s parent company, First Look Media.)

The best that can be said for Rather and Mapes is that they didn’t intend to screw up the truth. But they did. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+93 # RMDC 2015-10-28 13:51
Don't we already know that GW Bush is/was a fraud from the day he was born to fraudulent parents. There's nothing honest about this family. Why is the CIA headquarters named "The George H. W. Bush Center for Intelligence." He was CIA director for about one year. What did he do to get the whole operation named after him.

If the photo at the top were not cropped from the waist down, you'd see what a fraud GW Bush was on that day. He had Karl Rove's scoks stuffed in his underwear in order to make it appear he had big balls. It takes big balls to fly an airplane on to an aircraft carrier. But GW Bush did it -- socks and all.

Nothing was going to take down this president. He's got the balls to prove it.
+66 # pagrad 2015-10-28 21:34
Not only that, but…

Prescott Bush funded Adolf Hitler in the 1930s and well into the 1940s.

When a Republican Political Candidate gains office, they reduce funding to education, because a poor education produces ‘cheap Labor’ and a gullible political base.

Republican Political Party philosophy has been a failure for the last 100 years. Google it! The major economic depressions happened during GOP administrations . (1873, 1929, 2007)

No Republican Political Party candidate ever understood Economics.
If they did, they would not be Republican! They do not understand American History, either.

"The Republican Political Party philosophy has the power to cloud Americans minds so that they cannot see them”. Most countries have outlawed the Nazi Party. In America, they have renamed it; the Republican Political Party.
+29 # ritawalpoleague 2015-10-29 04:12
Please pull up, on Readers Supported News, More Evidence That Bush and Co. Ignored 9/11 Warnings, and pull up my Voter's Lament in the second comment made.

Re. journalists now being heftily penalized (i.e. fired, incarcerated, et. al.) when daring to tell the truth and/or be a whistleblower, I wear two old hats, one being a journalist and the second being a cert. legal assistant. No way could I turn down the request to get onboard the plaintiffs' legal team in the case of Hedges, et. al. v. Obama, et. al.. And here's why...

In 2011, Pres. Obama said he was going to veto the upcoming 2012 NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act), due to its containing an article that allowed for the military to arrest any and all, including citizen press members, peace and justice activists, and whistleblowers, and put then into indefinite detention with no due process (trial). In other words, Constitution quashed and rule of law gone bye bye.

Then, instead of vetoing it, Obama signed it, non-transparent ly on 2012 New Year's Eve, in Hawaii.

This was the second time I'd witnessed those daring to out truth being terribly penalized, i.e. Dan Rather. The only national press member to cover police torture/brutali zing of peace/justice activists was fired. Pull up: Colorado Springs Independent, No Peace or Justice.

What a mess we're in!
+10 # Adoregon 2015-10-29 15:04
The three responses above cover the Bushit that is the Bushes.

Regarding W's grandfather, Prescott, read "Trading With the Enemy: An Exposé of the Nazi-American Money Plot, 1933-1949" by Charles Higham.

Regarding W's Viet Nam era service. Don't make me laugh. W is a sack of Bushit.

Regarding Bush and 9/11. Benign neglect vis a vis W's Saudi royal family buddies.
9/11 may have been a surprise to many, but not to W.
+3 # Salus Populi 2015-11-01 02:11
Rita -- After Obama claimed he disagreed with the article on indefinite detention, Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, who had shepherded the bill through the Senate, outed the president by revealing that it was at the president's specific request that the provision was put in the bill in the first place. It was only one of many such actions, whereby the president claims one thing in public while *planning* to do the opposite.

This is, after all, the man who praised Bush's "surge" and retrospectively his Iraq war policies, and who, as a Senator, both co-authored the tort deform bill denying judicial relief to Americans who have been deliberately defrauded by corporations and chose as his mentor the notorious DINO Joe LIEberman.

Oh, and also supported immunity for the phone companies who had caved in to Bush's illegal demand for phone records from thousands of folks -- *before* 9-11. (It was estimated that at five years per violation, Bush should have faced around 1,000 years in prison for those acts alone, putting aside the tortures, genocide, aggression, lies, persecution of public servants, and on and on.)
+7 # mdj777 2015-10-29 08:16
It should be called The Nathan Hale Intelligence Center.
+78 # Ralph 2015-10-28 15:50
Oddly, Jeb Bush is attacking Trump's military record or lack thereof. While Trump is a disgusting worm of a person, he can't hold a candle to Junior. Somebody should ask Jeb about Junior's AWOL and cocaine bingeing.
+77 # PABLO DIABLO 2015-10-28 17:48
Karl Rove bragged that by keeping the focus in 2004 about Bush AWOL and Kerry not deserving his "Purple Heart" (Swift Boating) the talk was about Vietnam instead of the "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED" failure in Iraq and the Downing Street memos that showed the lies of that illegal and failing war. That along with voting machines in Ohio gave us a second term for Resident Bush. He only lived in the White House. Obviously Cheney thought he was President. WAKE UP AMERICA.
+30 # Jerome 2015-10-28 23:41
The law of unintended concequences exposed email from Colin Powell's files during the investigation of Hillary Clinton and Bengazi that verified the Downing Street memos - showing that Blair and Bush were planning Iraq invasion a year before.
+12 # vt143 2015-10-29 05:30
Cheney WAS President!
+79 # GDW 2015-10-28 18:11
To begin with Bush stole the second, as well as the first election. Shows the power of the Military Industrial Complex and a Corporate Media. No amount of excuses or double talk will change that. Our government is criminal and has committed war crimes for decades that went under reported or distorted by a cooperating media that are nothing more then huge corporations who's behalf the government works for.
They are no different then the Nazi's.
War and power is our goal. Peace an enemy. American are the most propagandized people on earth because they believe without question. They are distracted or asleep
+73 # Nominae 2015-10-28 18:30
In addition to the Bush team itself, we can tip our hats to the pathetic gullibility and naivete of the American masses.

Bush "landed" on a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier ? Evidence ? People *SAW* W standing on a flight deck wearing a flight suit.

Bush "landed" on that ship the same way that a little old lady in Coach Class "lands" a 747 in Newark. As a passenger.

As big as a Carrier SEEMS, folks, if you see it *from the air* it looks like a tiny grey cork bobbing and weaving all over on the incomprehensibl e vastness that is an Ocean.

*NO ONE* but highly-trained NAVY Pilots are qualified for Carrier landings in a fighter/attack jet such as the Aircraft in which W was RIDING.

There isn't a pilot in the entire ACTIVE DUTY U.S. Air Force, *including* the elite Air Force Thunderbirds, who IS qualified for Carrier Landings.

How much LESS SO, then, would we expect a moron *occasionally* from the Part-Time Texas Air Guard (and that *decades* ago) to be qualified for Carrier Landings ?

"W" was *baggage* on that aircraft which was neatly and expertly landed by a qualified NAVY pilot, a Lt. Commander.

But never-been-in-t he-military types like Carl Rove *KNOW* that all "low information" (a.k.a. "Stupid") Americans need to see is a Carrier, Bush in a flight suit, and somebody saying that Bush "landed" on the Carrier, to get them to jump to inane conclusions.

Bush "landed" on that ship the same way his wristwatch did. As extraneous and superfluous baggage.
+37 # Nominae 2015-10-28 19:28
Sharp eyed readers will also note that the actual aircraft W rode in on was not an attack/fighter aircraft in the usual sense of the term. It was an S-3B Viking, a small two-engine Antisubmarine Warfare Aircraft.

Actual attack/fighter jets are *so* fast and pull *such* heavy "Gs" that they tend to make "non-flyer" passengers throw up !
+12 # NAVYVET 2015-10-29 08:13
Thanks. Back then, I knew another Navy vet who told us all that he was using copies of that picture as the target for his dartboard. He bragged that he got pretty good at hitting Dubya in his "voonerables".

Were those voonerables really Karl Rove's smelly old sox, or is that satire?
+3 # Salus Populi 2015-11-01 02:28
Not to mention that the carrier was in port just off the coast at San Diego when Bush was transported to it, and his plane waited to land while the carrier was turned around so that the west coast would not be visible in the photo op, thus giving the entirely false impression that it was on duty in the Persian Gulf, not back home near San Diego.

Also, the crew of the Lincoln was delayed 24 hours before receiving their R&R due to the pResident needing them to be around for his staged appearance to look authentic -- much to some of their annoyance and chagrin.

And this deserter in time of war, and aggressor under the Nuremberg Code, also ordered his VA to cancel the coverage of the soldiers, who might have been forced to serve as many as six terms of duty in Iraq or Afghanistan, who were badly enough wounded that they had to be sent home -- on the grounds that they had not fulfilled their contract, since they wussed out by losing an arm or a leg or whatever.

And then, this amoral monster of a Nazi thug had his Rethug minions attack war protesters as "unpatriotic" for not "supporting our troops." The cynicism -- you can just see him snorting coke or with a highball in his hand, grinning like an idiot at how he's fooled the rubes again -- reminds me of the prescient film "Bob Roberts" (ca. 1992).
+66 # ericlipps 2015-10-28 18:30
It's worth noting that the documents Rather et al came up with which were supposedly "debunked" wee never actually proven to be fakes. CBS, terrified that Bush would use the FCC to go after them, simply issued a mealy-mouthed statement to the effect that they could not be definitely established as genuine, which is not the same thing. Right-wing bloggers were quick to blur the distinction, and Rather's network caved.

The quote above regarding "accuracy and fairness" was CYA at its finest. CBS never really said in what way Rather's reporting failed to meet its standards, or even what those standards were. And every allegation drawn from those documents still stands--helped by the fact that we STILL do not have a full record of Bush's military service. (The Pentagon said it had "lost" all copies of those records, and only released a partial set after a firestorm of criticism.)
+8 # mdj777 2015-10-29 08:34
When asked about the documents, the commander's personal secretary said that she did not recall them, but what they said was true.
+37 # futhark 2015-10-28 20:08
It seems to me that the folks behind passage of the Stolen Valor Acts ought to be a bit more vigilant over politicians who claim to have served honorably in military, when they really didn't, then turn around and use these claims for political advantage. From any objective standpoint G. W. Bush was a shirker and a deserter. No news reporter should have been called to account for investigating and reporting on these events. Their job is to bring to the public information bearing on important policy decisions. Dan Rather did just that and he and his staff deserve the highest praise, not censure.

However, something is badly wrong with the system that awarded Mr. Bush an honorable discharge after he wasted so much time and taxpayer money partying when he should have been defending Texas from invasion by North Vietnamese forces, followed by complete dereliction of duty in failure to report as ordered so he could participate in a political campaign. I have to ask: how many other people in military uniform have or are getting away with these kinds of shenanigans?

More to the current point, what was Jeb Bush doing to defend America in the Vietnam era? It looks like he was hiding behind a student deferment and got lucky in being subject to the draft just as it was being phased out. All that would be OK with me if he publicly deplored the Vietnam War, which I can't see that he has.
+37 # jsluka 2015-10-28 21:25
One quibble re "what was Jeb Bush doing to defend America in the Vietnam era?" The Vietnam War had absolutely nothing to do with "defending America." Vietnam was no threat to America, which is proven by the fact that since the North Vietnamese won they haven't been any threat to America at all. That was the "big lie" about the war - that it was to "defend America" (from nothing).
+2 # gdsharpe 2015-10-30 14:53
Don't forget the "Domino Effect" argument. If Vietnam fell to the Communists then so would the rest of Southeast Asia. We just *had* to protect the area.
+54 # progressiveguy 2015-10-28 20:17
Dan Rather has been a hero of mine since he stood up to president Nixon and didn't back down. The CBS network showed no courage in not supporting Rather but after all, they are neo-cons and they really didn't want the truth. As far as the movie goes who cares who likes it or dislikes it. Dan Rather deserves the respect of all that believe in truth and decency.
+17 # m... 2015-10-28 20:40
---------> BuSh
A Name or an Abbreviation?
+49 # jazzman633 2015-10-28 20:56
Dubya: This coward, this stupid, worthless piece of dreck, this Nixon with an Alfred-E.-Neuma n idiot's grin manaed to weasel out of Vietnam, then sent thousands of others to die in Iraq (which war he and his cronies had been plotting instead of paying attention to Osama). Now he paints pictures and rides his bike. Is there no justice?

One of the planks in Michael Moore's facetious Presidential platform was to send the families of government officials and congresscritter s to fight first in any US-declared war. Think we might have fewer wars?
+25 # Dongi 2015-10-29 05:33
GWBush is probably the most corrupt politician in Ameican History. Courtesy of the most evil political party in American History.
+10 # NAVYVET 2015-10-29 08:19
His artistic productions are about as bad as any art ever attempted. But then so were Hitler's and Churchill's.
+50 # Bob-Investigates 2015-10-28 21:01
I have to wonder why Dan Froomkin has totally ignored GREG PALAST's 2003, BBC report--"BUSH FAMILY FORTUNES?" You can watch it on YouTube. Palast proved that G. W. was AWOL when he was supposed to be doing Reserve duty at Birmingham, Alabama's Air National Guard base. Alabama veterans even offered $1,000 to anyone who could provide proof that Bush ever showed up for duty at the Birmingham base. NO ONE DID! So Dan Rather was totally right about Bush being AWOL. Palast's investigation also proved that the 2000 election was rigged and stolen by Jeb, Harris and Clayton Roberts with the phony felons list. JEBBY and the others involved should have been investigated by a Grand Jury. I think Palast's evidence would have caused JEBBY and the others to be indicted, tried and convicted. They should have gotten long prison terms. Is the Bush family the most corrupt political family in U.S. history? Palast's report and many others sure point to that being the case. I wouldn't trust JEBBY to clean out my septic tank! He'd probably just pump the sh*t into my water well and laugh about it!
+31 # boredlion 2015-10-28 21:32
Yes, my friends, the evidence has mounted into a great hillock of reeking buffalo chips whose stench can now only adhere to the chicken-hawk, cowardly reps of the bunker-rats GWB, Dick Cheney, Condoleeza, Rummy and the rest of the pathetic Repulsican war council.

I hope that you were all out in the streets in protest of the war party at the time, as was I and many of my friends. Not that it did much good.

It's too bad that Rather, Mapes and CBSNews rushed their report. But remember - they were trying to counter the bogus , Rove-ian Swiftboat smear on Dem candidate Sen. John Kerry, an actual war hero (if for another pointless and purposeless LOST war . . Which Kerry, at least, acknowledged after his return home); and they (CBS) were perhaps trying too hard and at too late a date to inform the US public about the craven nature of GWB before the 2000 Pres. Election.

Yes, it's all part of the tragic and lamented past, aka, US history. But let me ask you : Do you feel yourself to be better off now than you were before the 2000 Pres. election . . .? Aka, Y2K ? 9/11? Or than you did before the SCOTUS appointment of GWB as Pres. in 2004.?
(aka, stolen election).

If you do, then, I either congratulate you (for - I don't know what . . ), or, I 'm very sorry for you and for your cap-sized karma.
+36 # Bob-Investigates 2015-10-28 22:20
BTW, the author is correct in pointing out that G.W. was never trained to fly planes made to land on aircraft carriers, that G.W. never landed a plane on an aircraft carrier and he sure wasn't flying the plane that landed on the carrier Abe Lincoln. One of the participants in the "Swift-boat" political ads has admitted that all of them were paid to attack John Kerry. Figures, doesn't it? Take money to lie and smear a fellow Vietnam war veteran who, unlike DUMB-YA, actually went to Vietnam and fought courageously in that awful war. That's about as low as those veterans could go! As for G. Dumb-ya, he's the perfect example of the 3 dollar bill boy--TOTALLY PHONY.
+12 # Robbee 2015-10-28 22:37
everyone's dirty!

obama's justice department never prosecuted bush 2 for renditions, torture or such war crimes - why? - well bush 2 also invented drone assassinations, with lots of innocent, non-target, collateral victims, which obama loves and expands into what is now, more or less, the obama policy of warfare, an annex military industrial complex umbrella of sudden terror raining death on perhaps all who hear a slight buzz in the air - every time anyone inhabiting thousands of square miles along the afghan-paki border, or syria, hears a buzz in the air they get nightmares and PTSD - why would they? why would they not?

okay, why don't zombies impeach obama? they can, they have numbers! well! tonite i heard 15 zombies criticize obama! wages are flat (not anything they really care about, but, so what? they are the great zealots of the middle class without any ideas that advance anybody but the 1%) - well, there was NOT ONE WORD (okay, i watched only until 9:20 EST) - AND NO ONE CRITICIZED OBAMA FOR TPP, THE TRADE PACT TO SHIP ANY JOBS TO SOUTHEAST ASIA THAT HAVEN'T ALREADY LEFT U-S-A- DUE TO NAFTA! OR CRITICIZING CONGRESS! AND THEIR RAPTURE WITH ROMNEY SHIPPING JOBS ABROAD!

- impeachments are only for those who disappoint congress and obama holds trillions in u-s- business profits hostage in TRADE DEALS tpp and tpip - I SUPPOSE ANY IMPEACHMENTS FOR ALLEGED FREE TRADE WILL AWAIT A DIFFERENT, PROGRESSIVE CONGRESS! - GO BERNIE!
+37 # moby doug 2015-10-28 22:46
Being absent from your unit for more than 30 days---Bush was absent for months---is not just AWOL but desertion. You can look it up in the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Why would Bush have avoided checking in to the Alabama Air Nat'l Guard base for so long? There's a good chance he would not have passed the drug test. Also, if you dig deep enough, you'll find reports he lost his nerve and could no longer land the jet he was "qualified" to fly.
+37 # PaineRad 2015-10-28 23:53
George W Bush was AWOL for about a year. Anyone AWOL for more than 30 days is a deserter.

Harriet Myers hid W's National Guard payroll records by dropping them behind the filing cabinet. Destroying them would have been a federal offense. The records were discovered several years ago when the office was being moved. Those records show that he was not paid for any service for about a year.

But, of course, W and his desertion were "old news" by then. The GOP and its puppet voters and Supreme Court put a deserter in the White House.
+12 # boredlion 2015-10-29 01:28
Tragic, criminal and sad - but true, Bob .

On the day we finally see justice served on all of these crimes - upon the Nixons, Johnson's, Reagan's, Bushes, Clintons or Obama - perhaps that will be the day we will all be raptured to (hog) Heaven. Or, maybe not. On second thought.

Perhaps it is too early, after 212 or so years under an enlightened, if dated Constitution, to expect any sort of proper justice about the most enormous of crimes, such as those sanctioned by the government, law enforcement, the military, Wall Street, the banks, etc.

But it is interesting to study the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and, especially, the original Bill O' Rights.

But , on the other hand, perhaps it is time for a revolution. As Bernie and Mr. Mark Ash suggest.
+17 # Dongi 2015-10-29 07:14
The scales are tipping against America as the weight of corruption of its leaders and systems is more than the weight of honesty and honor. The media for the most part are silent in the tragedy unfolding. GWBush is at the center of the mess with his lamentable war record. Just the FUBAR to steal two elections and lead us into a bloody and unjust war. America, America. What have you become?
+4 # opinionaire 2015-10-29 10:20
I find myself oddly glad that W did not serve in Vietnam. His being removed might have spared us his disastrous residency in the White House, but his apparent freezing in the face of real crisis (9/11) and/or going on vacation when a disaster was occurring on his watch (Katrina) present the likelihood that his going to Vietnam could have cost even more lives.
+9 # JSRaleigh 2015-10-29 11:08
Rather & Mapes got rat-fucked by a Karl Rove dirty trick. Given Rove's prior record, they should have been watching out for it and made doubly sure they weren't being sucker punched.
+7 # xpara 2015-10-30 09:11
xpara sez:
"Rather & Mapes got rat-fucked by a Karl Rove dirty trick." Right you are. We know the files had been cleaned out when the AWOL in chief was running for governor, so the Bushies had them. We know that the documents passed on to CBS were accurate in content, as those who originally wrote them and typed them have said. We can surmise that the documents were copied on a PC using Word. They were then Xeroxed numerous times to make them fuzzy enough to pass as maybe having been taken from the originals. We know that the White House released their copies to the press immediately. We know that members of the right-wing bloggers were already prepared with their analysis of the documents declaring them forgeries because of the computer-style typeface and header spacings unavailable when the actual documents were typed.

It was undeniable that Bush was a shirker and technically a deserter. But so were many of the reporters and editors who had dodged Vietnam with the help of family doctors or by obtaining National Guard slots. Not to mention draft-dodger Dick pumping-out-kid s Cheney, Rush anal-cyst Limbaugh and other Vietnam War boosters.

The Shrub's daddy served as the youngest carrier pilot in World War II. That was when nobless still carried with it some oblige. Not any more with our current elite. Sending the peasants to die in the rice paddies is more convenient than having them take up pitchforks at home.

It was a typical Roveian con job, and it worked.
+6 # LtDan65 2015-10-30 14:50
dubya was without a doubt the worst Assistant figurehead President ever, who was usurped, not voted into office by a criminal element known as the republicans, aka, gotp.

I was an Army Officer in the 101st Airborne, Viet Nam, 1968. I totally resent his rich boy use/abuse of the ANG to avoid his terror of being in danger. Being AWOL in time of war should have been a charge of DESERTION, look it up. I also understand he was a terrible incompetent pilot no one wanted to fly with and absolutely did not/could not have landed a plane on that carrier without a real pilot flying it. Besides, his faux crotch was in the way.

This cowardly incompetent idiot assistant prez helped lie us into a fake war in Iraq which destroyed a country and culture but as well has destabilized the Middle East and destroyed millions of lives. dubya and his handlers, minions and cronies are among the worst war criminals in history and should be tried again and again for that as Malaysia did (and found them guilty).

If you ask, I'll tell you what I really think of these gotp crooks and liars.
0 # Aon Duine 2015-10-30 23:17
Let me see if I have this right.

Two men. One flew half way around the world to murder innocents in their grass huts, often in cold blood. He did this because he wanted to know what it was like to fly half way around the world and murder innocents in cold blood. He found out.

He came back and made a career out of helping other humans to do similar things.

The other man refused to go kill other humans. Instead, he agreed to do environmental damage and waste resources right near his home. But that was too much for him as well, so he snuck off (at some risk to his liberty and to his future aspirations) and spent his time getting drunk, chasing women, and being a bit of a boor.

Why is it that murdering children in their huts is "heroic", while staying home and doing nothing more than making a nuisance of oneself is abhorrent? Isn't that backwards?

And what does it mean to say that one man was smeared as unpatriotic? I don't get it. That's like saying that a man was smeared for being healthy or kind. Patriotism is just another word for bigotry and delusion, often leading to violence and murder. In a sane world, it would be listed in the DSM. So shouldn't it be that people are "smeared" as patriotic, while a lack of patriotism is viewed as healthy and normal?

Then again, maybe it's the author of this piece who is confused.
+1 # elkingo 2015-10-31 00:49
It was never represented that W actually landed the plane himself - WAS IT???!!
+1 # elkingo 2015-10-31 00:50
It seemed a stupid enough bullshit stunt even without so alleging.

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