September 17, 2004

MEMO CONTENTS NOTICED

An email to The Corner:

I am a disgruntled democrat who will be voting for Bush. I voted for Gore in 2000 and paid very little attention to the Republican primaries in 2000. I had a vague idea that Bush had partied and accomplished nothing well into his 30ís. I didnít know he was a pilot until he landed on that aircraft carrier and I didnít really absorb that he was a fighter pilot until this memo scandal. Now I discover that Bush only managed to successfully fly fighter planes for 4 years when he should have done it for 6. Guess what? My opinion of Bushís misspent youth just went up.

And Bush is meant to be the dumb guy. Way to go, CBS!

Posted by Tim Blair at September 17, 2004 05:48 AM
Comments

Its a good point. Most of us who are under 50 don't necessarily think so badly of service in the National Guard as the over 50s seem to. So George W. spent only 4 years in the Guard...thats 4 years more than the rest of us.

Hehe...actually my wife the other day looked over my shoulder and saw a picture of the young W as a guardsman on the webpage I was reading. "Thats the president isn't" she asked. "Was he once in the army".

I very briefly considered whether to explain to her the National Guard, avoidance of service in Vietnam, father's help etc etc but couldn't be bothered. So instead just said "yes...yes he did"

Posted by: mike a. at September 17, 2004 at 06:08 AM

First of all, Bush didn't land that plane on the aircraft carrier. He was a passenger. He just walked around on the carrier acting as if he were the pilot. As for his service, he rich boyed his way to the front of the line and got a guarantee he would never go to Vietnam. As a Vietnam vet, I've always preferred my draft dodgers to be honest about it. Bush talks it up like John Wayne, but you can bet your ass he wouldn't be hiding out in the present day guard.

Posted by: Nick Stump at September 17, 2004 at 06:44 AM

Nick Stump -

I believe that your characterization of the president is mistaken in all respects.

Also, sir, your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries!

You may take that however you wish.

Posted by: Parker at September 17, 2004 at 06:55 AM

As if the Secret Service would even consider letting him pilot that plane himself.

Hell, as if the Navy would.

Oh, and this pretty much shoots down your draft dodging theory.

Posted by: david at September 17, 2004 at 06:58 AM

Shouldn't all you lot be converting?

Posted by: Eric at September 17, 2004 at 07:08 AM

Having served as a regular army infantry officer in Vietnam, and later in the Texas National Guard, I have no disrespect for those who served only in the national guard....at least they served.

And for those of you who weren't around in 1973...Bush was released from his commitment in the Air Guard in no small part because there was an over supply of pilots coming out of the regular military who wanted to keep flying in the reserves and guard. Ergo...those who didn't want to remain could be easily replaced. Supply and demand, a capitalist concept.

Posted by: Wallace-Midland Texas at September 17, 2004 at 07:12 AM

It's forged.

Posted by: aaron at September 17, 2004 at 07:36 AM

Bush admitted he was a drunk and had not accomplished much before 30 or 40 (forget which). Short of murder or child molestation, there isn't much I could hear about Bush that would shock me. He's admitted he was an asshole.

The resurrection of the Bush AWOL TANG 'scandal' is pathetic. It's been reported and investigated to death. There is nothing new to cause people to switch their support from Bush to Kerry. We've heard it all 1000's of times.

Bush did nothing wrong. He served his time. He was dishonorably discharged. There are sites on the web that have the details and go through all the points raised by various Bush AWOL reports. Anyone who really cares to can compare the pro and con for themselves.

Posted by: Chris Josephson at September 17, 2004 at 07:43 AM

The Navy might not allow civilian folks to fly their planes but during the Clinton years, they used to let them skipper submarines.

That's how that Japanese fishing boat got sunk and all those young men died.

Posted by: JDB at September 17, 2004 at 07:46 AM

"He was dishonorably discharged."

Uhh, Chris Josephson, I think you meant Honorably Discharged. If not, you're an asshat, since he was, in fact, Honorably Discharged.

As to the flight to the carrier, the pilot of the S-3 said he did allow Bush to take the controls enroute, a fairly safe undertaking. He did not land the plane, and no one involved ever claimed he did. Even for active pilots, the requirements for carrier landings are very stringent. Navy pilots make extensive simulated carrier landings on LAND, before they're ever allowed to try the real thing.

Posted by: CGeib at September 17, 2004 at 08:11 AM

Chris Josephson,

Don't you mean "Honorably Discharged"? Which he was, if I recall off hand, in '74.

Posted by: RIP Ford at September 17, 2004 at 08:14 AM

I think the emailer made a good point. In fact, one reason the Air National Guard flap is likely to help Bush is that Americans love a reformed sinner. And to point out that Bush was not just some drooling cipher, but an F 102 fighter pilot, makes Bush look all the better.

Rather is helping Bush while destroying his own reputation.

It doesn't get any better than this.

Posted by: Bruce Rheinstein at September 17, 2004 at 08:23 AM

People may also know that the death rate flying fighters is just a wee bit higher than being in the Navy during the vietnam war.

Posted by: Giles at September 17, 2004 at 08:50 AM

Time to exam Kerry's attendance in the Reserves. I am not familiar with Navy regulations, but Kerryís hair length during the early 70s far exceeded Army grooming regulations. Consequently, this makes me believe Kerry was not attending reserve meetings, or else a superior officer would ordered Kerry to cut his hair.

Posted by: pajama_jihad at September 17, 2004 at 08:51 AM

Adding to my point above, compare photos of Bush's hair length and Kerry's hair length while they were both in the reserves. Kerryís hair is far longer, which again, leaves me to believe Kerry was AWOL.

For the younger readers, during this period, it was pretty easy to tell who was in the service by the length of their hair.

Posted by: pajama_jihad at September 17, 2004 at 08:59 AM

It's down to this: Rather's chief witness is an 86 year old women who was a txang typist 35 years ago. Oh, and she hates Bush. Yeh, she says the docs are forged but she feels Bush got special treatment, so they put her on national TV. This is where we are ladies and gentlemen. This is the state of CBS' investigative reporting in the 21st century. Rather is so blinded by hatred he will tell any lie and go to any length including putting his own career on the line to help Kerry.

Please contact CBS affiliates and advertisers. Don't let them off the hook on this one.

Posted by: kjo at September 17, 2004 at 09:00 AM

While I don't think this whole ordeal actually proved that Bush was AWOL, I have yet to be convinced that he's a worthwhile president now, let alone for another 4 years. Unlike most of you, who seem ready to enthusiastically drink his bathwater.

Posted by: Knott at September 17, 2004 at 09:38 AM

I find it very interesting that the same yahoo's that spew about Bush's guard service utter not a word about the fair haired John F'ing Kerry, while an active duty Navy reservist going to Paris to meet with the Communist North Vietnamese leaders to hammer out a "peace treaty", a violation of numerous UCMJ rules, as well as the Logan Act.

I wonder why....?

Posted by: hen at September 17, 2004 at 09:49 AM

Hey Nick Stump, if serving in the Guard is draft dodging, so be it. Didn't that great Democratic president, Jimmy Carter, (who brought us to the brink of the second great depression and almost lost the cold war) pardon ALL the draft dodgers or just the ones who bolted for the Great White North?

Posted by: Geo at September 17, 2004 at 10:26 AM

"Kerryís hair length during the early 70s far exceeded Army grooming regulations."

I remember talking with some National Guardsmen on crowd control duty in the early '70s. With their long hair, no one would have ever confused them for RA.

Posted by: Bruce Rheinstein at September 17, 2004 at 10:29 AM

Just a little nit to pick. People who pilot aircraft in the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marines, and U.S. Coast Guard earn their wings and are designated "Naval Aviators" not Navy pilots.
Regarding John Kerry's service. I would venture to guess he was commissioned via the Officer Candidate School route with a reserve commission with an active duty commitment. After his active duty commitment was over his status would be as an inactive reservist with only a mandatory meeting maybe once a year for a few years. Be he will keep the commission forever and what he testified to under oath before the U.S. Senate (the Ghengis Khan speech) should never be forgotten or forgiven. As a former Naval Flight Officer (P3B Tacco) consider me a definite Vet for Bush.

Posted by: bc at September 17, 2004 at 10:33 AM

We could do with some investigation into what naval reserve commitments where required of Kerry and if he met them or not...

Posted by: Wilbur at September 17, 2004 at 10:50 AM

, I have yet to be convinced that he's a worthwhile president now, let alone for another 4 years.

Knott... I agree completely. Let the voters judge the President on his recent executive performance, and to be fair maybe Kerry could be judged on his recent Senatorial performance,(his and his party's worst nightmare).

As to the President's bath-water...Bottoms-up

Go W!

Posted by: Thomas at September 17, 2004 at 11:05 AM

the memos are fake. dan rather should be tarred & feathered. and i am voting for bush.

but let's not be delusional about the fact that he was dodging the draft. he admitted it himself:

A throwback, good-time frat brother, young Bush had little use for the antiwar movement. On the other hand, he didn't want to go to Vietnam. Draft deferments for graduate school were ending that spring of 1968. The Texas Air National Guard offered another way. "I was not prepared to shoot my eardrum out with a shotgun in order to get a deferment. Nor was I willing to go to Canada," Bush explained to The Dallas Morning News back in 1990. "So I chose to better myself by learning how to fly airplanes."

MSNBC.

Posted by: centrist_repub at September 17, 2004 at 11:22 AM

"I was not prepared to shoot my eardrum out with a shotgun in order to get a deferment. Nor was I willing to go to Canada," Bush explained to The Dallas Morning News back in 1990. "So I chose to better myself by learning how to fly airplanes."

Close captioned for the humor impaired: This is a joke.

Posted by: Fred Boness at September 17, 2004 at 11:31 AM

Along about 1958 I decided I didn't want to be drafted into the Army either. I dodged the draft by joining the regular Air Force.
Stayed for 20 years.
I remember serving beside a lot of ANG guys in that 20 years.
That's probably why I don't have any problem standing behind George W. Bush.

Posted by: Ike Jones at September 17, 2004 at 11:42 AM

Remember, according to the moonbats, Bush was such a coward, afraid for his life, that he used his dad's influence NOT to get a nice, safe desk job shuffling papers, but to fly one of the most dangerous jets in the inventory at the time.

I actually saw someone reply to this once by saying that Bush "wasn't smart enough for a desk job", so they put him into fighters instead.

I'm dead serious.

Posted by: TomB at September 17, 2004 at 11:43 AM

Here's an interesting comment from Rathergate.com:

I have been a Kerry supporter, as have a lot of people I work with, since he started running. But the more I saw the news stations talking good about him all the time and baad about Bush all the time I started to wonder. So I started looking into the internet and I bought a couple of books on each of them.

The more I learn about Kerry, the less I like what he stands for. I only hear him claim to have better ideas, but he never tells me what they are. I think the turning point for me was the swift boat book - Unfit for Command. After reading this, I wouldnít buy a used car from Kerry and I wonder why he isnít in jail. Iím starting to see that while Bush isnít perfect, heís the better of the two guys. Now there are these forged documents and the media refuses to interview the authorís family. Whatís up with that?

Recently I started talking about this at work and I was surprised at the reaction. I would say that almost everyone I work with is a Democrat - I donít think we have any Republicans that we know of. So I was shocked to find out how many others had got a copy of Unfit for Command too. I was also shocked to find how many people at work are questioning Kerry and going over to vote for Bush.

I hope that the media sees that the more they tweak the news the more their pushing people overboard from the Kerry ship.

Posted by: EvilPundit at September 17, 2004 at 11:43 AM

Y'know, I joined the Illinois Army National Guard in 1985, off of active duty. A lot of the senior NCO's had twenty plus years in the Guard (hell, one man had fought as a private in the Battle of the Bulge in WWII). Great soldiers, all of them.

But they lamented the loss of the "old Guard". This was after the active Army component starting working closely with the Guard. We had new equipment, current uniforms, the works; except for the drill schedule, I could have been on active duty. One sergeant once told me he missed his M1 Garand rifle, and didn't like the M16 rifle (the M1 was last manufactured for military use in the late 1950's).

My point? Read on....

Our typical strength was poor. Most units hovered around 70-75% of their authorized strength. One first sergeant confided to me that he missed the draft for the Vietnam War.

I goggled at him; I missed being draft eligible by a single day (although I went ROTC later), and the draft then was still an open sore. I for one didn't want one (and still don't). So I asked him what the hell he meant! His response was, more or less....

"Sir, it's really simple," said Top, "My company was at 110% strength, and every one of the privates in my platoon was a doctor, lawyer, or other professional. Every one of them joined the Guard to avoid the draft. They never missed a drill, they were well trained, and they followed orders. They knew that if they screwed up, it was off to Vietnam they went!"

Then, with a gleam in his eye, Top continued, "And I had the privilege of cursing at all those college educated boys, and they couldn't do a thing about it!"

I couldn't help myself -- I cracked up in laughter.

Perhaps I should posted this earlier. But I never took any of the Democratic smears about Bush's service seriously because of this story (and others....like how the Chicago Bear team members were all in the Illinois Guard). I just now realized from this e-mail to The Corner that my perspective is not shared.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at September 17, 2004 at 12:19 PM

I had what my buddies called a legacy appointment to Infantry OCS at Ft. Benning (grad 9DEC69). That was because my father was there several wars before me.
I don't recall that he had to make any contribution to the endowment for me to get in, though.
He was a ninety-day wonder before shipping off to the ETO (104th Infantry Division "Timberwolves").
We were 180-day wonders. Wonder why? Because, for all the noise the Viet Nam made in those days and has since, the military was primarily concerned about the Sovs. So we had ninety days on Viet Nam and ninety days on conventional warfare. It was not split up that way, of course, but if we'd only had one war to worry about, we wouldn't have had to spend six months there.
Nobody had a signed guarantee that he would escape combat by joining the reserve component. It was a better bet that you wouldn't go to Nam than if you volunteered for the place, but not a guarantee. There were any number of balloons ready to go up, and facing a hundred Russian divisions coming across the Inter German Border was a whole lot worse fate than snooping and pooping in the Southeast Asian jungles. As it happens, our heavy combat units of the reserve component are in the Guard. Reserves are support types.
Somebody did the math. Given the death rate flying F102s times Bush's hours gives a chance of dying of 2.2%. The chance of dying in Viet Nam was.....2.2%. Somebody may object, but the fact remains that neither was the same as a firing squad, while both were worse than fraternity rush week.
A drafted college kid who didn't want to die in Viet Nam could tell his basic DI that he could type like hell, not volunteer for Jump School or OCS, and probably never see a rifle after Basic.
Point is, to be concise, in those days there were no guarantees as today's hindsight seems to think there were. There were only bets with insufficient data, and your life (and a good deal more) might turn on the Politburo getting a bad case of vodka for a planning meeting.
I understand, not the sort of thing a grunt knows first-hand, that the F102's weapon was an air-to-air nuke whose lethal blast radius exceeded its range. So everybody died. True? If so, shooting at a Russian bomber was one of those things you didn't want to do, or you wanted to do it right the first time, just for professionalism's sake. I don't have a problem with Bush's service.

Posted by: Richard Aubrey at September 17, 2004 at 01:48 PM

"First of all, Bush didn't land that plane on the aircraft carrier. He was a passenger. He just walked around on the carrier acting as if he were the pilot.

In all fairness to Nick, I think this is what most people thought, but the thing is, I believe most (including me) people also never actually realised that Bush was a pilot at all. Its only been the repeated attempts by the Kerry campaign to get the awol angle up and running that has bought it to everyones attention, particularly with the latest attempt focusing strongly on how many hours he flew and so forth.
By now everyone knows that Bush was a fighter pilot, maybe not a fighter pilot that saw action but someone that had the skills to fly a fairly impressive piece of technology (for its day), which certainly puts a dent in the perception that the dems have been trying to push of Bush as a inarticulate moron.

IMHO, bringing attention to the fact that Bush was a fighter pilot was always going to be a blunder, but now combined with the memo scandal (unless something big happens) it may well have handed Bush the election.

Posted by: Jackson at September 17, 2004 at 02:13 PM

I understand, not the sort of thing a grunt knows first-hand, that the F102's weapon was an air-to-air nuke whose lethal blast radius exceeded its range.

No, urban myth.

There was an earlier plan for delivering nukes that probably wasn't survivable for the pilot - I'll see if I can dig up the details, it's kind of funny - but the F102 wasn't quite that bad.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at September 17, 2004 at 02:49 PM

Nick, the F-102 was known as The Widowmaker. Underpowered Korea-era plane.

Posted by: Sandy P at September 17, 2004 at 03:03 PM

YES I MEANT HONORABLY DISCHARGED.

Never write something when in a hurry.

Posted by: Chris Josephson at September 17, 2004 at 03:22 PM

"Underpowered Korea-era plane."

Entered service in 1956

Posted by: murph at September 17, 2004 at 03:22 PM

..and it was the F-104 that was called the widowmaker during the late 50s/early 60s.

Posted by: flyboy at September 17, 2004 at 03:38 PM

PixyNick, Murph, Sandy P ó The F-102a entered service in 1956 and was phased out in favor of the F-106 by 1959. A service life of three years is abject failure for a major weapon system like a cutting-edge jet fighter.

The F-102a had a charming habit of unexpectedly bursting into flames and of entering unrecoverable flat spins that were difficult to eject safely from...

I don't know about the 102A but the 106 was armed with four conventional A-A missiles and one nuclear A-A missile. The doctrine was get a target fix, fire, and run like hell.

Posted by: richard mcenroe at September 17, 2004 at 03:39 PM

I didnít know he was a pilot until he landed on that aircraft carrier and I didnít really absorb that he was a fighter pilot until this memo scandal.

Reminds me of quoted comments about the Swift Vets ads being a bad idea because they remind voters that Kerry served.

Posted by: Andjam at September 17, 2004 at 04:03 PM

So..."Kerry 13 pts behind" ..and... "Sen. Kerry is like Seabiscuit: He runs better from behind," says Donna Brazile.." Isn't that just what the Swiftboat Vets said too....runs pretty well, mainly behind everyone else ;-)

Posted by: JoJo at September 17, 2004 at 04:37 PM

I'm pretty sure the SBVT argument boils down to "he runs" period.

Posted by: JorgXMcKie at September 17, 2004 at 04:59 PM

Honestly, I wouldn't be quick to quote approvingly a person who voted against Bush because he thought the President had a misspent youth, but is now voting for Bush because he had a bit of pilots' training in the TANG. That person's clearly a blithering idiot, and not someone I would want to associate with my own politics.

Posted by: dak at September 17, 2004 at 05:00 PM

dak:

Why, exactly, are you here?

Posted by: david at September 17, 2004 at 05:20 PM

Hello dak, at least G.W. did more than I did at the time, in that he served in the TANG during the Vietnam War. He could have been called up, you know, to fly that unstable gas-can into action.

My excuse is that my father pulled some strings and saw to it that I was a toddler during those dreadful years.

Oh thank you pa pa.

Posted by: Thomas at September 17, 2004 at 05:40 PM

hi all

I just bought a great button/badge
of bush saying" hasta la vista" because he is going to be back! so we all have to get use to it anyway buy a badge

http://www.topicalbadges.com/

hasta la vista
fred australia

Posted by: fred at September 17, 2004 at 06:15 PM

Dak, it's more than "a bit". The usual flight time I see being claimed for George Bush is 500-600 hours in the F-102a, this does not count hours he logged on primary, basic, and advanced trainers, OCS and ground school, SERE training, etc.

Total time he seems to have spent training to become operational on his aircraft, which is active duty, is about 22 months. The commitment a draftee had to serve was 24 months. Flying military aircraft, even Stateside, is far from safe.

The Bush-was-AWOL thing is about three years past its' 'sell-by' date. The party which defended Three Dollar Bill Clinton for desperately maneuvering to make sure that someone else, anyone else, had to go splash through rice paddies instead of him is now trying to paint someone who flew one of the underpowered Century series 'bricks with fins' as the moral equivalent. The only argument which I think has any effect is the "line-jumping" one.

I hope they keep it up, as I am looking forward to the November 3rd blog posts about several million ABB types lacing up their Nike sneakers and covering themselves with purple shrouds (after they consume the vodka and phenobarbitol martinis), waiting for the mother ship following along behind the comet to take them to TELAH.

Posted by: Mike James at September 17, 2004 at 06:16 PM

hi all

I just bought a great button/badge
of bush saying" hasta la vista" because he is going to be back! so we all have to get use to it anyway buy a badge

http://www.topicalbadges.com/

hasta la vista
fred australia

Posted by: fred at September 17, 2004 at 06:21 PM

Whenever I read the comment of anyone--on any blog--who equates serving in the Reserves/National Guard as "draft-dodging," I stop reading and go on to the next comment. The reason? Simply because the commenter's credibilty is down the tubes. He/she patently demonstrates his/her ignorance on the subject at that point. Only talking points are being parroted.

J.O.

USAF
USAFR

Posted by: Juliette at September 17, 2004 at 07:15 PM

JoJo,

I think Donna Brazile is mistaken. John Kerry doesn't run like Seabiscuit. He only looks like Seabiscuit.

Posted by: JDB at September 17, 2004 at 07:25 PM

Perhaps I'm too optimistic, but this campaign season is shaping up as a "Perfect Storm" against the Left.

Sen. Kerry and the Demos tried to exploit his Vietnam service for political gain, and ignored the political baggage created by his anti-war antics in the 1970's. The Swifties book and TV ads pointed out all that baggage, and now the Demos cynical ploy gets them nothing. Why the Demos nominated a guy with this much political baggage is beyond me, but instructive in pointing out the lack of political acumen in Demos circles.

The Demos also used Sen. Kerry's service as an excuse to compare it to Pres. Bush's TANG service and then question/denigrate his service. This has blown up in their faces thanks to CBS/Rather's use of tainted documents in its coverage. And as the e-mailer noted, coverage of Bush's TANG coverage is a plus for Bush with some voters.

Lastly, we have the meltdown at CBS. Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of propagandists.

Posted by: RandMan at September 17, 2004 at 08:11 PM

With regard to the carrier landing...I'd be a passenger if they would let me. Wouldn't you? Highly dangerous, but highly cool.

Posted by: Mikey at September 17, 2004 at 11:25 PM

What burns me about this whole thing is that now Dan, the Rather bad reporter, is trying to make Bush defend himself against phony documents. Rather is claiming that even though the documents may be fake, the idea of the story is true. Rather needs to go bad to reporting facts. That is total nonsense.

Who cares what happened some 30 odd years ago anyway. What I do care about is track record. Whether President Bush got special treatment or not, doesn't matter. Guess what.....If I am ever in a situation to give my children an advantage in life, I'm going to take it. We would probably all do the same for our children.

Watch what you do.....who knows, some years from now you could be trying to explain why you had your son switched from Miss Phelp's kindergarten class to Mrs. Winston's class. Scary!

Below are two interesting reads.

Bad Week at Black Rock

Lather over Rather

Posted by: R Taylor at September 18, 2004 at 12:16 AM

First off, I'm not sure they would have allowed Bush on the Viking if he wasn't at least at one time a millitary aviator due to the fact that everyone on board the Viking must be Ejection Seat Certified. I'll be asking my brother that next time I email him.
Secondly, from talks with my brother (former naval aviator, S-3B Vikings, VS-38 Red Griffons), Bush did take the stick for a bit and was a pretty decent pilot. Brother actually has a number of hours piloting the S-3B Bush landed on, prior to the event since after the event the plane was retired to Pensacola or Jackson, I forget which.
Thirdly, All fighter planes are dangerous to pilot, the design requirements make it that way. Even the more stable aircraft in the Navy kill a fair number of pilots a year.

Posted by: Mythilt at September 18, 2004 at 12:27 AM

Sorry, but since I am an aircraft geek (among other types of geek, yes, infact the F-102 did carry nuclear-armed air-to-air missiles. "One AIR-2A Genie nuclear-tipped rocket (one W-25 warhead with a yield of approx 1.5 kilotons)" And the F-102 does not have a great record, with at least 2 lost in combat, with no a2a victories to its credit. No guns, and the Mig-19 and Mig-21 ran rings around it, plus the Hughes Falcon missles were intended for volley fire aginst hordes of Russkie bombers, not 1 on 1 engagements with Migs. Bush was in less than an enviable position flying that death trap. And folks call F-16s 'lawn darts'.........

Posted by: Crusader at September 18, 2004 at 02:13 AM

I heard that Kerry spent 2 months in Cambodia assasinating random foreign dignitaries before slipping back across the border with his kay-bar clenched between his teeth.

As the narrator in "Plan 9 From Outer Space" asked:

"Can you PROVE it didn't happen?"

Posted by: mojo at September 18, 2004 at 02:30 AM

Mojo: Funny you should mention "Plan 9". On Wednesday, I heard Rather burst into an on-air tirade of "You stupid minds! STUPID! STUPID! You See! You See!" while waiving the Killian memos in the air.

Well actually, I just made that up. But metaphorically speaking, my post is accurate.

Posted by: Sean at September 18, 2004 at 03:36 AM

What I have never understood is that both Kerry and Bush took military paths more or less to reduce their exposure to Vietnam combat. Bush's route was a little more dangerous because flying planes is much more dangerous than driving a boat. Kerry's gamble didn't work - he got called to action - spent 4 months in theater, embellished some wounds into three purple hearts to get out of combat early. The big difference, Bush never campaigned on his guard service and has admitted that as a young adult he left much to be desired. Kerry on the other hand tried to paint himself as a war hero, which pissed off those vets to whom the term more aptly applied. This may be the first time in awhile that a political party's convention actually directly cost their nominee the election.

Posted by: JEM at September 18, 2004 at 03:37 AM

I always liked this one, even with the (avg) 10.8 seconds of gun time...

Posted by: mojo at September 18, 2004 at 03:55 AM

Well, this is my favorite, hands down, but this comes as close a second as you can get.

Posted by: Crusader at September 18, 2004 at 04:22 AM

Members of my family served in the National Guard and I am very offended that it is perceived as dodging service. All of you better look in the mirror - are you willing to serve? If not SHUT UP!

Posted by: Anastasia at September 18, 2004 at 04:41 AM

Anastasia

Well said. I agree with your sentiments.

I could NEVER understand why distinctions were made between National Guards, Reservists and Military, in my eyes they all honorably serve our Nation equally.

Posted by: syn at September 18, 2004 at 05:04 AM

Chris Josephson: "YES I MEANT HONORABLY DISCHARGED."

Yeah, that's what I figured. It didn't sound like you. Asshat comment withdrawn. :)

Randman: "Sen. Kerry and the Demos tried to exploit his Vietnam service for political gain, and ignored the political baggage created by his anti-war antics in the 1970's."

Well, they're all anti-war, so they didn't perceive Kerry's anti-war activities as a problem. They live in an echo chamber where everybody they know feels the same way. Remember Pauline Kael, who was shocked, shocked at the Reagan landslide, because nobody she knew voted for Reagan. In the real world, however, there are people like me. I keep a folder of memorabilia from my life. It includes cartoons, articles, and so on, that I like. Included in it is a yellowed clipping from the Washington Post of Kerry's Senate testimony. You don't have to guess my vote on November 2nd. As stated on one of the MilBlogs, maybe "Blackfive" or "Mudville Gazette," Veteran's Day comes nine days early this year, as 2.5 million Viet Nam era vets get to tell John Kerry what they think of him. Not to mislead anyone, I was in the Naval Air Reserve from 1963-1971, but don't technically qualify as a veteran, because of specific active duty requirements in the GI Bill. I did, however, serve with plenty of guys who did qualify, and I, and they, did not appreciate Kerry's activities.

Posted by: CGeib at September 18, 2004 at 05:36 AM

Chris Josephson: "YES I MEANT HONORABLY DISCHARGED."

Yeah, that's what I figured. It didn't sound like you. Asshat comment withdrawn. :)

Randman: "Sen. Kerry and the Demos tried to exploit his Vietnam service for political gain, and ignored the political baggage created by his anti-war antics in the 1970's."

Well, they're all anti-war, so they didn't perceive Kerry's anti-war activities as a problem. They live in an echo chamber where everybody they know feels the same way. Remember Pauline Kael, who was shocked, shocked at the Reagan landslide, because nobody she knew voted for Reagan. In the real world, however, there are people like me. I keep a folder of memorabilia from my life. It includes cartoons, articles, and so on, that I like. Included in it is a yellowed clipping from the Washington Post of Kerry's Senate testimony. You don't have to guess my vote on November 2nd. As stated on one of the MilBlogs, maybe "Blackfive" or "Mudville Gazette," Veteran's Day comes nine days early this year, as 2.5 million Viet Nam era vets get to tell John Kerry what they think of him. Not to mislead anyone, I was in the Naval Air Reserve from 1963-1971, but don't technically qualify as a veteran, because of specific active duty requirements in the GI Bill. I did, however, serve with plenty of guys who did qualify, and I, and they, did not appreciate Kerry's activities.

Posted by: CGeib at September 18, 2004 at 05:41 AM

Sorry for the double post, but the first attempt timed out, so I posted again.

Posted by: CGeib at September 18, 2004 at 05:43 AM

Anastasia, service in the Guard or Reserves is honorable. I've done both, and I know many who have as well.

But not everyone is honorable, and do abuse the Guard and Reserve system (even after the draft was rescinded). IMHO, President Bush was not one the abusers.

It's seems, though, that Senator Kerry abused or attempted to abuse the Reserve system. True, he served in Nam, and is a combat veteran -- no argument there.

But his post-war Reserve status has been questioned around the Blogosphere. If Kerry had a Reserve committment from his commission, he may not have fulfilled it.

Which leads me to an interesting observation. Since the leftoids tend to view the world from their perspective as the only valid perspective, does that mean they see Bush's TANG service as not valid because they expect politicians (current and potention) or "favored sons" to abuse the system? Like Kerry appears to have done.

Such a thought!

Posted by: The Real JeffS at September 18, 2004 at 05:54 AM

Link is to a page with comments by the S-3 pilot. The President took the stick and did very well. I also remember the statement that he did a great job of flying formation, not the easiest thing to do.

Posted by: monkeyboy at September 18, 2004 at 06:01 AM

"John Kerry doesn't run like Seabiscuit. He only looks like Seabiscuit".

Which end of Seabiscuit are you refering to?

Posted by: Atry at September 18, 2004 at 09:09 AM

I did a bit of googling:

Category A accidents per 100,000 flying hours per year, 1961-70:

F105 --18.3
F100 --14.4
F101 --13.2
F102 --9.9.

The F-102 turns out to be the safest plane, that F-105 is a bitch! Hey I qualified to fly the Thunderchief, oh Lord help me, I going die!

found it at http://www.snappingturtle.net/flit/archives/2004_02_24.html

Posted by: Amos at September 18, 2004 at 10:32 AM

It is all over people - Woody Allen has condemned Bush as "comic - tragic". No need to worry about this guard service thing. He has sealed his fate.

Posted by: Rob at September 18, 2004 at 11:35 AM

The "nuclear maneuver" was called "toss-bombing."

Max speed, nose up at max power, release the bomb while climbing. Airplane continues into an Immelman turn (half a loop, then roll upright) while the bomb follows a ballistic trajectory to the target -- or, rather, hopefully somewhere near the target. Since the airplane is balls to the walls heading away, it's unlikely to get caught up in the fireball.

A triumph of ingenuity and wishful thinking over sense; the CEP of the technique would have been, approximately, South Australia. It was abandoned as soon as airplanes got powerful enough to carry nukes high enough to avoid getting caught in the blast, and one visualizes great sighs of relief from all quarters.

I don't think anybody was ever stupid enough to suggest toss-bombing by F102s, which didn't have either the racks to carry the ordnance or the power to perform the maneuver. I could be wrong.

Regards,
Ric Locke

Posted by: Ric Locke at September 18, 2004 at 11:39 AM

Addendum to my post, above --

Toss-bombing had to have been invented by one of my and Jeff Foxworthy's co-culturalists. It's got "Hey Bubba, hold my beer and watch this!" written all over it.

Regards,
Ric Locke

Posted by: Ric Locke at September 18, 2004 at 12:01 PM

If bush flew F102ís for 500 hours his chance of a mishap were --9.9 /100,000 * 500 = 0.0495 Ė i.e. 1 in 20.

In 1,842,000 served in the US navy during Vietnam of which 2,562 died =0.00139 casualty rate. Givne that Keryy only served ľ of a normal tourthat makes it 0.0003. Ie flying fighters for the Guard was nearly 100 times more dangerous.

NB I accept my figures donít seem to work that well for the navy but Iím sure that someone will imprive them.

http://www.historyinfilm.com/jacket/namkia/percent.htm#comparison

Posted by: Giles at September 18, 2004 at 12:10 PM

Ric- LOL

Posted by: Sortelli at September 18, 2004 at 12:19 PM

actaully i have 1.3 deaths per 100000 so that makes Bush's chance of coping it about 1 in 150 vs Keryy's 1 in 3333!

Posted by: Giles at September 18, 2004 at 12:29 PM

JEM, driving a boat sometimes can get you killed.
The average life expectancy of a river rat was 5 min. after engaging the enemy. Kerry is the
anti-hero but there was a larger group of folks
who were playing shooting arcade targets. Most of
those folks were in PBRs.

USNR--one year active reserve, two years active
duty,one year active reserve, two years inactive
reserve,honorable discharge with sufficent points.
(Points 56,365x2,56,0) Time frame 1964-1970 'Nam 65-67

Posted by: Mike H. at September 18, 2004 at 12:38 PM

Crusader:

I once saw a guy knock the nose off of a 106 on the trailing edge of another's wing during formation practice. Bang- radar gone, all the way back to the avionics bay firewall. He still landed that sucker.

Posted by: mojo at September 18, 2004 at 02:31 PM

Amos ó the -105, -100 and -101 all saw combat; RF 101's were even being shot down over Cuba in '63. Skews the curve just a skosh. The 105 and 100 were flying fighter-bomber missions into the teeth of AA fire and missiles. The 102 could kill you in an empty sky.

Posted by: richard mcenroe at September 18, 2004 at 02:41 PM

To be pendatic, the probability of his living is (1-(9.9/100,000))^500, That's the probability of his living an hour of flight time, multiplied together for the number of flight hours. To get his probability of death you subtract that number from one. I think I read somewhere that he actually had about 350 hours, which would make his probablity of living 0.966, and his probablity of death about 3%. Those are worse odds than serving in Iraq right now.

Hey, I used to drive by the old training base for the 104th division.

Posted by: Ernst Blofeld at September 18, 2004 at 04:05 PM

Richard, I think those stats were for accidents, not shoot-downs or combat losses. Prpbably there are more 'category A' accidents per flying hours for planes engaged in combat though, front line flying has to be more dangerous generally that flying over the U.S, even without the enemy.

And also, I'd like to see the ratio of casualties in the swift boats rather than casualties in the Navy generally. There is no way in hell the general danger level of serving in the navy matched the general danger level of patrolling the Mekong in a lightly armored patrol boat.

Botton line, none of this matters. Bush is running on his presidential record, not his time in the reserve. This is a huge waste of time which plays beautifully into the hands of the republicans by keeping the Democrats tied up with stupid crap that means nothing.

Posted by: Amos at September 18, 2004 at 05:14 PM

Holy shit, this Guard flap is going to backfire on the Libs. Every time they show it on the news, they show that picture of Bush in his uniform in front of the plane. And every time, my wife says, "Jesus Christ, he's hot!"

Make no mistake, that photo is giving him a couple-point boost (at least) among women.

Posted by: Dave S. at September 18, 2004 at 05:53 PM

Skippy is having another good day. Check it out:

DEATH SMELLS THE SWEETEST IN THE FALL

ĒThere comes a time in every presidential campaign when those that survive peel themselves away from those that will be left to perish. Traditionally, that season comes after Labor Day. But this year the harvest of sorrow came much earlier. By the time of the Democratic National Convention in Ho Chi Minh City during the last week of July, I knew as a matter of moral certainty what I had strongly suspected, and was never shy of saying in this space - that John Kerry is quite simply the worst politician in human history.Ē

Posted by: Stan at September 18, 2004 at 06:09 PM

"Jesus Christ, he's hot!"

ROTFL, Dave S! Great point!

Posted by: The Real JeffS at September 19, 2004 at 03:20 AM

Dave S - I totally agree with your wife!

Posted by: Liz at September 19, 2004 at 05:37 AM

Just because I like airplanes:

richard mcenroe said "The F-102a entered service in 1956 and was phased out in favor of the F-106 by 1959."

Uhm, in 1963-1965, several years past that date, I was an Air Force brat living on Goose Air Base, Goose Bay, Labrador, Canada. The 59th Fighter Interceptor Squadron USAF stationed there regularly intercepted Soviet (what an old word) Bears attempting to probe North American air space. They used the much maligned F-102. It seemed to do the job, they didn't lose one when when I was there, and that was definitely a hostile flying environment. They had the red and white Arctic paint job and we thought they and their pilots were cool. They got to wear orange flight suits w/yellow and black checked scarves. OK, it was a long time ago. However, I do believe that there were F-102's in Vietnam as late as '69.

Posted by: Winger at September 19, 2004 at 05:58 PM

Hey, Ernst. Which one? They're a Guard unit in the Pacific Northwest, now. I ran into a couple of their LTs taking Infantry Officer Basic when I was a lowly candidate.
My dad trained at Desert Center, probably near where Ft. Irwin is now, and in Colorado Springs, before shipping out.
Terry Allen, the sainted division commander, pioneered night fighting. Our extensive block of night-fighting instruction at Benning was prefaced by a reading from the Timberwolves' lessons learned. I told the instructor I didn't need to be sold, having heard this all at my father's knee, so to speak. He said there was always somebody telling him that. I guess the Timberwolves impressed the Timberpups.
Just for the fun of it, search for "Timberwolfstraat" and follow the links.
I first started out with Timberwolfstrasse and got nothing until I said, self, you moron, that's GERMAN and they have a different attitude.

Posted by: Richard Aubrey at September 20, 2004 at 11:24 AM