Democrats & Liberals Archives

Caveat Pre-Emptor

First, let me get this obligatory White House Response out of the way:

John Kerry is flailing about making baseless attacks founded on the assertions of a failed presidential candidate.
-The Bush-Cheney Campaign

Care to find out what hit the fan this time? Read on.

The Houston Chronicle recently ran an article from the Associated Press saying that Bob Graham (hereafter known to the White House as the failed presidential candidate) Was told by Tommy Franks in February of 2002 that resources were being shifted around in preparation for the Iraq War. Not only that, but that Tommy Franks was of the opinion that Iraq should not only not be the next war, but that it wasn't even the third country he would take on.

"He laid out a very precise strategy for fighting the war on terror," Graham said.

"First, we should win the war in Afghanistan.

"Second, move to Somalia, which as he described was almost anarchy but with a substantial number of al-Qaida cells; then to Yemen. And that we should be very careful about Iraq, because our intelligence was so weak that we didn't know what we were getting into," Graham said.

In another part of the article, an excerpt from his new book Intelligence Matters He said

Graham wrote of his meeting with Franks in a book, Intelligence Matters, which goes on sale Tuesday.

In an excerpt read on the program, the senator said Franks told him "his men and resources were being moved to Iraq, where he felt that our intelligence was shoddy. This admission was coming almost 14 months before the beginning of combat operations in Iraq and only five months after the commencement of combat in Afghanistan."

Oh, but that isn't the juiciest part! Right after that...

Graham alleges in his book that the White House stood in the way of congressional investigators who wanted to look into purported ties between the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers and the Saudi government.

Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry called for an independent probe of the allegation, saying that if the White House blocked the congressional investigation then "this would be a massive abuse of power."

Boy, I'm glad I know my president will be consistent in his will to go after the terrorists! Of course, It may not be that simple but it's very much worth looking into, more so than his service would be. But of course, I also ran across this on CNN.

Apparently, despite the Bush Administrations protests, Bush doesn't have all the files he needs. Included among those is;

The five kinds of missing files are:

*A report from the Texas Air National Guard to Bush's local draft board certifying that Bush remained in good standing; The government has released copies of those DD Form 44 documents for Bush for 1971 and earlier years but not for 1972 or 1973. Records from Bush's draft board in Houston do not show his draft status changed after he joined the guard in 1968. The AP obtained the draft board records August 27 under the Freedom of Information Act.

*Records of a required investigation into why Bush lost flight status; When Bush skipped his 1972 physical, regulations required his Texas commanders to "direct an investigation as to why the individual failed to accomplish the medical examination," according to the Air Force manual at the time. An investigative report was supposed to be forwarded "with the command recommendation" to Air Force officials "for final determination." Bush's spokesmen have said he skipped the exam because he knew he would be doing desk duty in Alabama. But Bush was required to take the physical by the end of July 1972, more than a month before he won final approval to train in Alabama.

*A written acknowledgment from Bush that he had received the orders grounding him; His Texas commanders were ordered to have Bush sign such a document; but none has been released.

*Reports of formal counseling sessions Bush was required to have after missing more than three training sessions; Bush missed at least five months' worth of National Guard training in 1972. No documents have surfaced indicating Bush was counseled or had written authorization to skip that training or make it up later. Commanders did have broad discretion to allow guardsmen to make up for missed training sessions, said Weaver and Lawrence Korb, Pentagon personnel chief during the Reagan administration from 1981 to 1985. "If you missed it, you could make it up," said Korb, who now works for the Center for American Progress, which supports Kerry.

*A signed statement from Bush acknowledging he could be called to active duty if he did not promptly transfer to another guard unit after leaving Texas; The statement was required as part of a Vietnam-era crackdown on no-show guardsmen. Bush was approved in September 1972 to train with the Alabama unit, more than four months after he left Texas.

Now Bush says he's proud of his service. But should he be?

The AP talked to experts unaffiliated with either campaign who have reviewed Bush's files for missing documents. They said it was not unusual for guard commanders to ignore deficiencies by junior officers such as Bush. But they said missing a physical exam, which caused him to be grounded, was not common.

"It's sort of like a code of honor that you didn't go DNF (duty not including flying)," said retired Air Force Col. Leonard Walls, who flew 181 combat missions over Vietnam. "There was a lot of pride in keeping combat-ready status."

Walls, By they way, should have known Bush, Would have known Bush, but-

Walls, the Air Force combat veteran, was assigned to the 187th in 1972 and 1973 to train its pilots to fly the F-4 Phantom. Walls and more than a dozen other members of the 187th say they never saw Bush. One member of the unit, retired Lt. Col. John Calhoun, has said he remembers Bush showing up for training with the 187th.

Over twelve to one. I don't like them odds.

I do suggest the Republicans read through this article. It should indicate just what kind of defense they'll have to mount to keep this President in office.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at September 6, 2004 5:55 PM