Journal

GI George

from michael moore and moveon.org…

You Say Deserter, I Say More Dessert… by Michael Moore

January 27, 2004

Friends,

I would like to apologize for referring to George W. Bush as a “deserter.”
What I meant to say is that George W. Bush is a deserter, an election thief,
a drunk driver, a WMD liar and a functional illiterate. And he poops his
pants. In fact, he “shot a man in Reno just to watch him die.”

Actually, what I meant to say up in New Hampshire last week was that “We’re
going to have Bush for dessert come November!” I’m always mixing up
“dessert” and “desert”—I’m sure many of you have that problem.

Well, well, well. As George W. would say, “It’s time to smoke ‘em out of
their hole!” Thanks to my “humorous” introduction of Wesley Clark 10 days
ago in New Hampshire—and the lughead way the no-sense-of-humor media has
covered it—there were 15 million hits this weekend on my website
(http://www.michaelmoore.com). Everyone who visited the site got to read the truth
about Bush not showing up for National Guard duty.

The weird thing about all this is that during my routine I never went into
any details about Bush skipping out while in the Guard (it’s not like it’s
the biggest issue on my mind or facing America these days!) I was just
attempting my best impersonation of that announcer guy for the World
Wrestling Federation, asking the cheering crowd if they would like to see a
smackdown (“debate”) which I called “The Generaaal Versus The Deserterrrr!!”
(You can watch it here: http://www.michaelmoore.com/special/deserter.php—hardly
anyone in the media has shown this clip because viewers would suddenly see
the context of my comments.)

When the press heard me use that word “deserter,” though, the bells and
whistles went off, for this was one of those stories they knew they had
ignored—and now it was rearing its ugly, truthful head on a very public
stage. Without a single other word from me other than the d-word, they
immediately got so defensive that it looked to many viewers like they—the
press—maybe had something to hide. After all, when I called Bush a deserter,
how did they know I wasn’t referring to how he has deserted the 43 million
Americans who have no health coverage? Why didn’t they assume I was talking
about how Bush is a deserter because he has deserted the working people of
this country (who have lost 3 million jobs since he’s taken office)? Why
wasn’t it obvious to them that I was pointing out how Bush had deserted our
constitution and Bill of Rights as he tries to limit freedom of speech and
privacy rights for law-abiding citizens?

Instead, they have created the brouhaha over Bush’s military record, often
without telling their audience what the exact charges are. It seems all they
want to do is to get Clark or me—or you—to shut up. “We have never
investigated this and so we want you to apologize for bringing it up!” Ha ha
ha.

Well, I’m glad they have gone nuts over it. Because here we have a Commander
in Chief—who just took off while in uniform to go work for some Republican
friend of his dad’s—now sending our kids over to Iraq to die while
billions are promised to Halliburton and the oil companies. Twenty percent
of them are National Guard and Reserves (and that number is expected to
double during the year). They have been kept in Iraq much longer than
promised, and they have not been given the proper protection. They are
sitting ducks.

What if any of them chose to do what Bush did back in the early 70s—just
not show up? I’ve seen Republican defenders of Bush this week say, “Yeah,
but he made up the time later.” So, can today’s National Guardsmen do the
same thing—just say, when called up to go to Iraq, “Um, I’m not going to
show up, I’ll make up the time later!”? Can you imagine what would happen?
Of course, none of them are the son of a Congressman, like young Lt. Bush
was back in 1972.

Today, MoveOn.org has put together it’s response to this issue, and I would
love to reprint it here. It lays out all the facts about Bush and the
remaining unanswered questions about where he went for many, many months:

————————————————————
Here are what appear to be the known facts, laid out recently in
considerable detail and documentation by retired pilot and Air National
Guard First Lt. Robert A. Rogers, and in a 2003 book, “The Lies of George W.
Bush,” by David Corn.

1. George W. Bush graduated from Yale in 1968 when the war in Vietnam was at
its most deadly and the military draft was in effect. Like many of his
social class and age, he sought to enter the National Guard, which made
Vietnam service unlikely, and fulfill his military obligation. Competition
for slots was intense; there was a long waiting list. Bush took the Air
Force officer and pilot qualification tests on Jan. 17, 1968, and scored the
lowest allowed passing grade on the pilot aptitude portion.

2. He, nevertheless, was sworn in on May 27, 1968, for a six-year
commitment. After a few weeks of basic training, Bush received an
appointment as a second lieutenant – a rank usually reserved for those
completing four years of ROTC or 18 months active duty service. Bush then
went to flight school and trained on the F-102 interceptor fighter jet.
Fighter pilots were in great demand in Vietnam at the time, but Bush wound
up serving as a “weekend warrior” in Houston, where his father’s
congressional district was centered.

A Houston Chronicle story published in 1994, quoted in Corn’s book, has Bush
saying: “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. So I chose to
better myself by learning how to fly airplanes.”

3. Sometime after May 1971, young Lt. Bush stopped participating regularly
in Guard activities. According to Texas Air National Guard records, he had
fewer than the required flight duty days and was short of the minimum
service owed the Guard. Records indicate that Bush never flew after May
1972, despite his expensive training and even though he still owed the
National Guard two more years.

4. On May 24, 1972, Bush asked to be transferred to an inactive reserve unit
in Alabama, where he also would be working on a Republican senate
candidate’s campaign. The request was denied. For months, Bush apparently
put in no time at all in Guard service. In August 1972, Bush was grounded
—suspended from flying duties—for failing to submit to an annual
physical exam. (Why wouldn’t he take this exam from a doctor?)

5. During his 2000 presidential campaign, Bush’s staff said he recalled
doing duty in Alabama and then returning to Houston for still more duty.
But the commander of the Montgomery, AL, unit where Bush said he served told
the Boston Globe that he had no recollection of Bush – son of a congressman
– ever reporting, nor are there records, as there should be, supporting
Bush’s claim. Asked at a press conference in Alabama on June 23, 2000 what
duties he had performed as a Guardsman in that state, Bush said he could not
recall, “but I was there.”

6. In May, June and July, 1973, Bush suddenly started participating in Guard
activities back in Houston again – pulling 36 days at Ellington Air Base in
that short period. On Oct. 1, 1973, eight months short of his six-year
service obligation and scheduled discharge, Bush apparently was discharged
with honors from the Texas Air National Guard (eight months short of his
six-year commitment). He then went to Harvard Business School.

Documents supporting these reports, released under Freedom of Information
Act requests, appear along with Rogers’ article on the web at
http://democrats.com/display.cfm?id=154.

In the absence of full disclosure by the President or his supporters, only
the President and perhaps a few family or other close associates know the
whole truth. And they’re not talking.

Bush was apparently absent without official leave from his assigned military
service for as little as seven months (New York Times) or as much as 17
months (Boston Globe) during a time when 500,000 American troops were
fighting the Vietnam War. The Army defines a “deserter”—also known as a
DFR, for “dropped from rolls” – as one who is AWOL 31 days or more:
http://www-ari.army.mil/pdf/s51.pdf.
————————————————————

Well, there you have it. Someone got some special treatment. And now that
special someone believes he has the right to conduct a war—using other
not-so-special people’s lives.

My friends, I always call it like I see it. I don’t pussyfoot around.
Sometimes the truth is hard to take. The media conglomerates are too afraid
to take this on. I understand. But I’m not. That’s my job. And I’ll continue
to do it.

And when I’m wrong, like the thing about Bush pooping his pants, I’ll say
so.

Yours,

Michael Moore
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
http://www.michaelmoore.com

Journal Archive