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February 23, 2004

And we’re off. Click here to listen to Republican National Committee chairman Marc Racicot blithely asserting on NPR that George W. Bush volunteered to be sent to Vietnam.

Click here to see the document where young George W. Bush clearly checked off the box marked “Do Not Volunteer for Overseas” service.

Click here to hear NPR interviewer Juan Williams’s hard-hitting followup question to this bald-faced lie by the chairman of the national Republican Party.

Click here to see the amount of money any of you should donate to NPR in the foreseeable future, in view of its novel notion of what constitutes public-service broadcasting.

(Via Calpundit, Atrios, and probably a zillion other pissed-off liberal sites by the time I finish typing this sentence.) [02:12 PM]

Welcome to Electrolite's comments section.
Hard-Hitting Moderator: Teresa Nielsen Hayden.

Comments on And we're off.:

Zeynep Dilli ::: (view all by) ::: February 23, 2004, 02:25 PM:

(Um, the GWB non-volunteering document link is linking back to this weblog entry, or I'm having trouble parsing the page with Mozilla 1.6. If it's the former, you can delete this comment after fixing the link...)

Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 23, 2004, 02:43 PM:

I noticed that this morning. Juan Williams wants to be friends with these people...BBC wouldn't hire him for anything, I've a feeling.

Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: February 23, 2004, 02:57 PM:

Zeynep, it was my error, now fixed.

rea ::: (view all by) ::: February 23, 2004, 03:55 PM:

Actually it's not implausible that GWB voluteered for Vietnam at the end of his flight training. You see, he trained to fly F-102s. Those planes were interceptors, not fighter-bombers--meaning their only use in combat was dogfighting with enemy planes. Not much of that was going on in Vietnam by the time GWB fininshed his training. And from what I have seen, the last F-102s were withdrawn from Vietnam in '68 or '69, while GWB completed his pilot training in '70.

So, he might have volunteered all right--knowing that they wouldn't take him, because they had no use for F-102 pilots over there.

Ken Houghton ::: (view all by) ::: February 23, 2004, 04:03 PM:

Apparently, Mr. Bush DID volunteer for active duty (in Turkey?) in early 1970--the program required 1,000 hours of flight time (to which he wasn't even close) and was phased out completely in June, 1970.

It is left as an exercise to the reader whether such volunteering should be considered faithful and creditworthy, given the family connections who might well have known the plan for the program at the time George the Younger applied.

I believe a fair comparison for his volunteering--on the basis of experience, qualifications, and future expectations--is my application to run the marketing division of Coleco around 1984-5. Then again, no one in a position of power took that seriously.

Ken Houghton ::: (view all by) ::: February 23, 2004, 04:06 PM:

rea,

FYI, the Texas Air National Guard trained on F-102s until 1975. (This doesn't mean they were not inappropriate planes for Viet Nam--the North Viet Namese Air Force isn't exactly the Swiss Navy, but it seemed similar in size even then--but the "well, the planes weren't being used" excuse, er, lacks grounding in the facts of the situation.)

David W. ::: (view all by) ::: February 23, 2004, 04:08 PM:

But wait, that's not all!

From the mists of the not-so-distant past, here's an excerpt from NBC's Meet The Press interview of George W. Bush on February 8th:

Russert: Were you favor of the war in Vietnam?

President Bush: I supported my government. I did. And would have gone had my unit been called up, by the way.

Russert: But you didn't volunteer or enlist to go.

President Bush: No, I didn't. You're right. I served. I flew fighters and enjoyed it, and provided a service to our country. In those days we had what was called "air defense command," and it was a part of the air defense command system.

Now this morning, still prior to its memory hole expiration date, is Marc Racicot on NPR's Morning Edition this morning, via Josh Marshall's TalkingPointsMemo:

This morning Bush campaign chairman Marc Racicot was interviewed by Juan Williams on NPR. When asked about the president's Air National Guard service he said, the president's and John Kerry's service "compare very favorably... He (i.e. the president) signed up for dangerous duty. He volunteered to go to Vietnam. He wasn’t selected to go, but nonetheless served his country very well ..."

Unfortunately, I can't find my NewSpeak.com dictionary anywhere, or I'd be able to determine what the word "volunteer" means today.

Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: February 23, 2004, 04:22 PM:

What he volunteered for at one point was "Palace Guard," an overseas program that would have entailed serving in Thailand. Not Turkey, but equally out of range of Viet Cong weaponry.

He was also careful to volunteer for it very shortly before the program was terminated, thus guaranteeing that he wouldn't be taken.

But the claim that he offered to serve in Vietnam is 100% humbug, fib, lie-a-roonie. Pants On Fire.

Nina Katarina ::: (view all by) ::: February 23, 2004, 06:19 PM:

It's the 'if you repeat a lie often enough people think it's the truth' strategery. They did it with WMDs well enough that a great number of people still think that WNDs have been found. So they will shout the lie and whisper the retraction. Par for the course for these bastiges.

Mark Wise ::: (view all by) ::: February 23, 2004, 08:15 PM:

It appears that Juan Williams has been tained by his association with Fox News. Must be something in the water. Or maybe he just wants to keep both his jobs.

rea ::: (view all by) ::: February 24, 2004, 10:42 AM:

"FYI, the Texas Air National Guard trained on F-102s until 1975 . . . the 'well, the planes weren't being used" excuse, er, lacks grounding in the facts of the situation'"

Ken, my point was that the planes weren't being used in Vietnam, so for a F-102 pilot to volunteer for Vietnam service would be pretty hollow. If he volunteered, he knew at the time he volunteered that he wouldn't be taken.

Jon Sobel ::: (view all by) ::: February 24, 2004, 11:31 AM:

I resolved never to send money to NPR back when they came out so vehemently opposed to LPFM. I listen to NPR quite a bit but will not support them with money.

Jack K. ::: (view all by) ::: February 24, 2004, 02:10 PM:

..."What he volunteered for at one point was "Palace Guard," an overseas program that would have entailed serving in Thailand. Not Turkey, but equally out of range of Viet Cong weaponry..."

...well, while I'd rather drink my own bathwater than support any aspect of Gee Dub's life or (p)residency, this statement is actually factually incorrect. The U.S. Air Force operated out of seven bases in Thailand flying combat and support missions in both North and South Vietnam. ANG pilots in the Palace Alert program flying F-102's out of the Thai bases flew combat missions. If there's a cynical aspect to his "request", it is that, had he been a good boy and stuck with his flying responsibilities with the 147th Fighter Group (TANG), he might have been able to finally log the minimum required flight hours to qualify for Palace Alert a couple of years after the program was canceled...

Michelle ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2004, 08:51 AM:

Just so you know, they (Morning Edition) did a piece this morning (Friday, 27 February) on that segment and the truth and lack there of in it.

Y'all can say what you like, but I love my local NPR station; it's the reason we don't have cable--why bother?

Of course they dedicate Friday nights to bluegrass, so that doesn't hurt either...

Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2004, 01:41 PM:

Thanks Michelle. I didn't hear that segment because WNYC is doing its twice-yearly begathon. They just take as much time as they want to talk over and over about why you should give, and don't care what stories they tromp on.

Michelle ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2004, 04:00 PM:

Xopher,

You should definitely be able to get it on-line by now. Try this link http://www.npr.org/features/feature.php?wfId=1718061

We get three pledge drives a year, but then our "station" covers the entire state.