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Tuesday, August 24, 2004

...and unlike Republican allegations about Kerry's military history, this is all DOCUMENTED! wow.

Jeffrey St. Clair: How Bush Got - and Lost - His Wings

At the time Bush applied to the National Guard, there were 100,000 other young men in line before him, stalled on a crowded waiting list hoping their number would be called before they were sucked up by the draft and dropped onto the killing fields of the Mekong Delta. In Texas alone, there were 500 applicants frantically vying for only four open slots for fighter pilot-training in the Air National Guard.
At first blush, Bush didn't seem to have much of a shot at landing one of those choice positions. First, he flunked his medical test. Then he flunked his dental exam. And finally, as Ian Williams reveals in Deserter, his merciless indictment of Bush's disappearing act in the National Guard, he scores a rock-bottom 25 percent on his pilot aptitude examination. That's one out of four correct answers, a ratio that is not even a credible mark in cluster-bombing class. To put this achievement in perspective, the average score of applicants taking the pilot aptitude test was 77 percent, a whopping fifty-two percentage points higher than the proud product of the Yale ancestral admissions program. More than 95 percent of the testers scored higher than Bush, the Ivy Leaguer.

But the handouts didn't stop there. Bush didn't want to remain a lowly private or corporal in those drab uniforms. He saw himself as officer material. Yet, he had no desire to subject himself to the mental and physical rigors of Officer Candidate School. In his mind, he was a birthright officer. And so it came to be. After a mere six weeks of training, Bush was promoted to the rank 2nd Lieutenant. He didn't even have his pilot's license.

. . .

Finally, on June 23, 1971 Bush graduated from combat flight training school. Now he was ready to defend the airspace of Texas from hostile incursions from Mexico, Belize or the Virgin Islands.

Except that George the Younger apparently had formed other plans. Without informing the Guard commanders who had saved him going to Vietnam, Bush quietly applied for admission to study law at the University of Texas. For one of the few times in his life, Bush didn't get immediate gratification.

The flying fratboy's application to the University of Texas law school was ungraciously declined, despite the pleas of his father, who had just lost a fierce senatorial campaign against Lloyd Bentsen. Whatever its faults, apparently the University of Texas isn't prone to handing out legacy admissions to New Haven-born whelps of the political elite. Even in Texas, you have to draw the line somewhere.

. . .

On September 29, Bush was sent a letter commanding him to appear before the Flying Evaluation Board to explain why he had refused to take the medical exam. Bush never responded. At this point, Bush was not only AWOL, but in breach of two direct orders.

Meanwhile, back in Montgomery, Bush had apparently gone AWOL from the Blount campaign as well. He spent his nights carousing in the bars of Montgomery. He would arrive hung-over at the campaign office in the afternoon, prop his cowboy-booted feet on the desk and recount his night of debauchery. The women workers at the campaign headquarters called Bush the "Texas soufflé." Full of himself and stuffed with hot air, the blue-haired ladies for Blount snickered.


from the amazing Pieter B. over at peoplesforum

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