Help Us Tell the World the Truth About Bush's AWOL!



AWOL is back...
and this time the truth will come out!

Read the  Latest Coverage from Democrats.com

Learn all the details at Paul Lukasiak's AWOL Project

and join in the search for truth at BobFertik.com


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Read the Articles that Started it All...


Still Unclaimed in 2004!

$2,000 REWARD!!!
From Veterans for Real Truth
For Proof That  Lt. George W. Bush
Reported for Air National Guard Duty
in Texas between May 1972 and July 1973

$2,000* REWARD!!!
$1,000 from   Democrats.com
$1,000 from Alabama Vietnam Veterans
For Proof That  Lt. George W. Bush
Reported for Air National Guard Duty
in Alabama in 1972

Birmingham News, October 14, 2000. Ten Jefferson County Vietnam veterans are offering $1,000 to anyone with proof that Texas Gov. George W. Bush actually served in the Alabama National Guard. "We don't want anybody like that leading our country," veteran John Stewart said Friday as nine other veterans surrounded him at Linn Park. "Not me as a veteran." 


Archive 2000:
The Story the Media Refused to Cover*
in order to elect their candidate
George W. Bush
(*with a few honorable exceptions below)

In the presidential campaign's waning hours, Democrats focused their bare-knuckle attacks on Republican George W. Bush's military record and judgment, as backers came to the defense of the Texas governor. Two prominent Democratic senators accused Mr. Bush of embellishing his military service, citing campaign material that says he flew fighter jets until he left the Air National Guard in September 1973. They said Guard records indicate that the governor made his last flight in April 1972 before going to work on a political campaign in Alabama. 

[Senator John] Kerry, a decorated Navy veteran of Vietnam, said Bush should be scrutinized because he ends every speech by raising his hand, taking a mock oath of office, and pledging to restore honor and integrity to the White House. ''How is it that someone who's supposedly serving on active duty, having supposedly taken that oath, can miss a whole year of service without explaining where it went?'' Kerry asked the crowd. 

The personnel officer in charge of Bush's 147th Fighter Group, now-retired Col. Rufus G. Martin, says he tried to give Bush a light load, telling him to apply to the 9921st Air Reserve Squadron in Montgomery, Ala. Martin said in an interview that he knew Bush wasn't eligible for the 9921st, an unpaid, general training squadron that met once a week to hear lectures on first aid and the like. "However," he said, "I thought it was worth a try.... It was the least participation of any type of unit."

But the most perplexing deception involves Bush's service in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War. The evidence is inconclusive about how Bush succeeded in getting into the Guard, thus avoiding the draft, but it does suggest that strings were pulled on his behalf. The record is very clear, however, that at one point Bush transferred his obligation to a Guard unit in Alabama, then failed to report for duty there. All in all, he ducked out of 18 months of his Guard duty. Though the term "deserter" is too harsh to describe what Bush did, it's no more unfair than the "draft dodger" label applied to Bill Clinton for his own effort to avoid Vietnam. And the perplexing part of the story is the very different reaction that Bush's service record has inspired. The same people who claimed to find Clinton so morally disgusting apparently see nothing wrong in what Bush did. On that point, Bush isn't fooling them. They're fooling themselves. 

Two high-profile surrogates for Vice President Gore, in an 11th-hour attempt to exploit a dormant issue, yesterday castigated George W. Bush over allegations that he did not fulfill some of his National Guard duties in the 1970s. Democratic Sens. Bob Kerrey (Neb.) and Daniel Inouye (Hawaii), both Medal of Honor winners, were drafted to attack Bush on a 27-year-old controversy that the Gore campaign has avoided mentioning until now. They spoke by phone to a veterans rally in Nashville led by Sen. Max Cleland (D-Ga.), a decorated Vietnam veteran. 

Democratic military veterans in the U.S. Senate assailed Bush for failing to explain part of his tenure in the Texas Air National Guard. "The question is, where were you, Governor Bush?" said Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, a World War II veteran. "What would you do as commander in chief if someone in the National Guard did the same thing?" Inouye asked during a telephone address to Gore supporters in Nashville on Thursday. Inouye joined his colleagues, Sens. Bob Kerrey of Nebraska and Max Cleland of Georgia, in raising harsh questions about Bush's role during the Vietnam War.

Two Democratic senators today called on Gov. George W. Bush to release his full military record to resolve doubts raised by a newspaper about whether he reported for required drills when he was in the Air National Guard in 1972 and 1973.

Imagine if the roles were reversed. Imagine if the Democratic presidential candidate had spent the Vietnam War years in a National Guard unit - and then didn't bother to serve out his full obligation. In fact, we don't have to imagine very hard. President Clinton changed his mind about serving in the University of Arkansas ROTC and has been denounced for eight years as a draft dodger, even though he was subject to the draft. But George W. Bush, we now learn, received a preferential acceptance to the Texas Air National Guard, signed up for a six-year hitch, spent 22 months flying after completing training - and then simply walked away.

Bush spokesman Dan Bartlett made a snotty reply: "You mean to tell me he has no problem with Bill Clinton's avoidance of military service?" Medal of Honor winner Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.) jumped in with a blazing statement to Bush: "If you become commander in chief, what will you do if a member of the Army went AWOL as you did?" Is Bush the Teflon candidate? Is he more like Ronald Reagan than his father--breezy, ingratiating, and not too deep? Gore is blamed for everything he does and apparently for Clinton's sins as well. Bush has always said that would be the case. Is he right? Who knows?

The Gore campaign has stayed about a million miles away from allegations that Bush ducked part of his National Guard service. But Sen. Bob Kerrey, undoubtedly with a quiet nod from the Nashville folks, has lobbed a grenade in that direction.

In the name of avoiding "personal attacks," the media and the Democrats have largely ignored stories about George W. Bush's stint in the National Guard, particularly the gap of several months in his service record between 1972 and 1973. But one big gun in the Democratic Party has now opened fire on that issue. The Boston Globe reports that Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey, a decorated Vietnam veteran, blasted Bush for dodging combat in the war, and dodging questions about his record during the race. "It upsets me," Kerrey said in an MSNNC interview, "when someone says, 'Vote for me, I was in the military,' when in fact he got into the military in order to avoid serving in the military, to avoid service that might have taken him into the war. And then he didn't even show up for duty."

Senator Bob Kerrey, a Nebraska Democrat who won the Medal of Honor for his service in Vietnam, expressed disgust yesterday at evidence that George W. Bush sidestepped National Guard duty for months in 1972 and 1973, a lapse that Kerrey said amounts to Bush being AWOL - absent without leave. ''It upsets me,'' Kerrey said in an interview, ''when someone says, `Vote for me, I was in the military,' when in fact he got into the military in order to avoid serving in the military, to avoid service that might have taken him into the war. And then he didn't even show up for duty.'' Bush, Kerrey said in an interview, ''needs to explain where he was when he was supposed to be fulfilling his military obligation. If he is elected president, how will he be able to deal as commander in chief with someone who goes AWOL, when he did the same thing?''

[Bush has] achieved little or nothing on his own, coasting on Daddy's money and Daddy's connections all his life. Family pull got him into Yale and smoothed his path away from Vietnam and into the Texas Air National Guard. Although he never took a scheduled flight physical in 1973 and no record can be found that he ever reported for duty in Alabama that year, Bush somehow emerged with an honorable discharge. His business career consists of one false start after another. Buoyed by the family name and other people's money, Dubya went bust in three separate ventures, escaping each time with a healthy profit, although other investors were not so lucky.

Gues: Senator  Bob Kerrey(D-NE), former Navy SEAL and Congressional Medal of Honor winner.  

KERREY: What is of interest is when he says "I can't account for eighteen months, I don't know where I was, I don't know where I did." I mean, Chris, there are guardsmen down in Alabama according to Walter Robinson who are saying that they'll offer a 3500 dollar reward for anybody that saw Governor Bush at a meeting that he alleges he was at. And when Jesse Brown says you're supposed to keep the commitment that you make, ya know what their answer is? They use Bill Clinton as an excuse. They hide behind Bill Clinton's behavior at the very moment that the Governor is attacking Vice President Gore, saying that he used this excuse "No controlling legal authority" and I'll just do what's right, and I'll just follow my conscience. Well obviously he didn't in the '70's... This question is not going to go away. When he stands in a press conference he's not going to be able to dodge it or have a spokesperson handle it. He's going to have to explain what he's gonna do as Commander and Chief when somebody in the guard unit says "Look, if I don't show up to a meeting I'm just doing what Governor Bush did when he was back in the guard in the 1970's." What are you gonna say Mr. President? ...He made a six-year commitment. He got out early, fine --get out early if you've done all your drills -- but showing up for a physical and showing up for meetings are not optional requirements. They are mandatory. 

MATTHEWS: We'll hear more about this I'm sure. 

Awaiting transcript...

  • MSNBC, October 31, 2000:  Bush's military service questioned

But while the Bush campaign continues to raise questions about Gore's credibility, the Texas governor has not been able to escape questions about his own claims about his Vietnam-era service with the Texas National Guard, and whether he attended required drills in Alabama and Texas in 1972 and 1973.

Hardly a day passes without Republicans challenging Gore's character, especially his storied tendency to embellish facts. But Democrats are crying foul, saying that Bush has overstated his own record and with far less political consequence. Belatedly, they are calling attention to misleading claims Bush and his campaign have made about his Vietnam-era service as a fighter pilot with the Texas Air National Guard, and to documents that contradict Bush's insistence that he attended required drills in Alabama and Texas in 1972 and 1973

  • Eric Alterman on  MSNBC.com, October 31, 2000

He was cleared to attend weekend drills in October and November. But two of the 187th's officers said Bush never appeared. One of them, retired Brig. Gen. William Turnipseed, says he is 'dead-certain he didn't show up.' Bush, who refuses all interviews on the subject, says he was there, but can't remember anything he did. His campaign can find no records to corroborate this.

the Bush campaign's response to questions raised by the Globe comes across as both shrill and hilarious.  Responding to criticism of Bush's early departure from the Guard by former Veterans Affairs secretary Jesse Brown, who was severely wounded while serving in Vietnam, Bush spokesperson Dan Bartlett could only say, ''Jesse Brown served honorably, but you mean to tell me he has no problem with Bill Clinton's avoidance of military service?" Someone should remind Bartlett that his middle-aged frat boy boss is running against Al Gore, not Bill Clinton.

It clearly is a coordinated campaign, but this newspaper has received dozens if not hundreds of e-mail letters from throughout the nation expressing outrage at the fact that (1) Texas Gov. George W. Bush did not fulfill his National Guard obligation in the early 1970s and that (2) the press has failed to disclose this shirking of duty. The Texas governor's response to the charge is that he basically can't remember what he did for a year of his life. That compels us to agree with the critics and attempt to reveal what we know from other published sources... The argument that Bush completed his military obligation will remain a simple, unfounded assertion until Bush explains what he did between May of 1972 and May of 1973.

The major media have paid very little attention to a story by Robert Rogers about George W Bush's apparent grounding by Air National Guard. Rogers, a former commercial and National Guard pilot and airline industry consultant, acquired Bush's service records under a FOIA request. These show that, contrary to reports that he simply "gave up" flying in 1972, two years before the end of his six-year cornmitment, he was grounded because of "failure to accomplish annual medical examination." Given Bush's history of alcohol and drug use, Roberts theorizes that Bush may have either failed the drug test recently instituted by the Pentagon or chosen to avoid the physical. The truth lurks in service records not released under Rogers's FOIA request. Rogers calls on Bush to open up all his file and end speculation about this curious event. The story was published on the web at www.democrats.com.

No one questions that George W. Bush enjoyed considerable favoritism during the Vietnam War era. He catapulted in front of a long waiting list to get into the Air National Guard, enabling him to soar over the Texas skyline rather than fighting Viet Cong in the sweltering Asian jungle. But a new question needs to be raised: given the contradictions and inconsistencies in Bush's record, is it possible that he has benefited more recently from special handling of his military record? The case hasn't been cracked yet. It should be.

Martin Heldt, using the Freedom of Information Act, uncovered documentary evidence that George W. Bush deserted the National Guard. When an article attempting to refute Heldt's finding appeared on the perfectly awful George magazine's web site, in what looked like an attempt to discredit Heldt's research, we laughed out loud -- because the hapless authors at George look to have received doctored documents or doctored them themselves and, worse yet, based their conclusion on what can only politely be called "fuzzy math." But what more should you expect from a shallow magazine that touts the celebritization of political culture?

  • Anthony York in Salon, October 20, 2000

"The issue of honesty, integrity and who's telling the truth has been probably the most important issue Bush has used against Gore in this campaign," Fertik says. "Bush says, 'I reported, I served my time.' Well, if he's lying about something this fundamental that's an issue that should be taken into account."

Need Some Cash? Democrats.com, an independent and community site for Democrats throughout the country, is offering a $1,000 reward to anyone who can "prove that George W. Bush actually reported for duty with the Alabama National Guard in 1972."

In his 1999 autobiography A Charge to Keep, Mr. Bush offers a lyrical description of his flight training in the F-102 fighter. "I continued flying with my unit for the next several years," he writes. That simply isn't true: Lieutenant Bush never flew another jet after being suspended from flight duty in August 1972 for failing to take a mandated annual physical.

  • The Globe (supermarket tabloid), October 17, 2000

Shocking medical reports documenting that George W. Bush was often "too drunk to fly" when he was in the Texas Air National Guard are set to be released in an effort to destroy his presidential hopes, a source confides. The young Lieutenant was a big drinker and if he had been suddenly called to duty, he would not have been allowed in the cockpit, it is claimed. 

Bush has said that he has "some recollection" of attending drills that year, but has not been more specific. Under Air National Guard rules at the time, anyone who did not report to required drills could be inducted in the draft to serve in Vietnam, according to the Globe. That never happened to Bush. 

The press has reported these gaps in Bush's record, but has not pressed the issue as a story worthy of determined pursuit or pundit show commentary. Similarly, Bush's implausible answers have not led to questions from the media about Bush's veracity. 

  • TomPaine.com Update: Governor Bush's Military Record, October 12, 2000

Democrats.com alleges that "crucial evidence," such as a flight inquiry board report "that would reveal the true reason for Bush's suspension ... is missing from the records." Where did this report go? Were incriminating documents pulled from his file during his tenure as governor? 

The Democrats.com story points out that in April of 1972, "all the overseas and stateside military services began subjecting a small random sample in their ranks to substance abuse testing for alcohol and drugs. The Pentagon announced its intention to do so initially on December 31, 1969. If Bush reported for his scheduled physical in August 1972, he could have been subject to selection for a random substance abuse test." 

But research by Marty Heldt, an Iowa farmer and former railroad brakeman, and Robert A. Rogers, a retired pilot with 11 years service in an Air National Guard unit, has unearthed disturbing new facts about Mr. Bush's service. Air Force documents unearthed by Mr. Heldt (and posted on TomPaine.com) appear to show that after receiving costly training to fly the F-102 jet fighter in Texas, Mr. Bush blew off the final two years of his sworn six-year commitment to the Guard. He cleared out of his Houston airbase and went to Alabama in 1972 to work in a Republican Senatorial campaign. Mr. Bush claims he returned to duty, but there is no evidence to support that contention. There are documents indicating that he ignored two orders to report for duty - and that he "failed to accomplish" the annual physical examination required by the Texas Air Guard, resulting in his suspension from flight status in August 1972. Somehow, though, Mr. Bush's poor attendance record and suspension didn't prevent him from being honorably discharged months before he had fulfilled his commitment. The documents provided to Mr. Heldt and Mr. Rogers under the Freedom of Information Act are incomplete because of privacy restrictions. They don't show, for example, whether a Flight Inquiry Board was convened to investigate Lieutenant Bush's suspension, as would have been normal procedure, according to Mr. Rogers. Is Mr. Bush telling the truth when he says he "did the duty necessary" to his country? Maybe some of Mr. Gore's tiresome tormentors should try to find out.

... Then he got a transfer to the Alabama Guard. He never showed up for an entire year. The general who ran the guard says he never showed up. The administrative officer says he never showed up. There were 400 or 500 people who would have served with him at the time. Karl Rove can't tell me one person who served with him in the Alabama Guard, yet Bush tells us to our face he'll restore honor and integrity to that Oval Office when I believe he's not telling the truth that he never, in fact, reported to the National Guard in Alabama.

  • Margaret Carlson in Time

[Bush] never had to give a straightforward answer on cocaine or on why there's no record of him showing up for National Guard duty in Alabama.


But this is Just the Tip of the Media Iceberg!
Send an e-mail to the 
 National Media

And your   local media

Dear Editor,

As a concerned citizen of the United States, I am shocked that you have not given any coverage to the biggest scandal of this Presidential campaign: namely, that George W. Bush did not complete his military obligations to the National Guard during the Vietnam War, and has consistently lied by saying that he did.

The facts are clear: 

1. George W. Bush was grounded from flight with TWO years left on his tour of duty - probably because of substance abuse, either alcohol or drugs. 

2. George W. Bush never reported for duty for the last TWO years of his military service obligation, contrary to SEVERAL direct orders to report for duty. 

George W. Bush has repeatedly said that he DID report for duty during his last two years, but this is a LIE. Bush's official military records show that he DID NOT report at any time during the last two years. In addition, Bush has been unable to find a SINGLE PRIMARY witness in the National Guard who saw him during those last two years.

George W. Bush is campaigning on issues of character, 'restoring integrity to the Oval Office,' strengthening the military, and honesty. But Bush's shamefully incomplete military record - and his endlessly repeated lies about that record - reveal the truth about George W. Bush.

Your news organization covered every lie and rumor about President Clinton for eight long years. Your news organization continues to distort the statements of Vice President Gore, often focusing on trivia and points of style that have nothing to do with governance.

It is therefore IMPERATIVE that your news organization report the truth about George W. Bush.

For more information, visit:




[Your name and address]


The Democrats.com FOIA File
Received 12-1-2000

1. 11-6-2000, Democrats.com Request

2. 11-20-2000, FOIA Reply Cover Letter

3. (continued)

4. (undated) Personnel Documents/Forms

5. 5-26-73 ARF Retirement Credit Summary (Year 5)

6. (undated) ARF Statement of Points Earned (the "Untorn" document)

7. 1-30-74 ARF Retirement Credit Summary (Year 6)

8. (undated) ARF Statement of Points Earned

9. (undated) Air Reserve Forces Retirement Credit Summary (Years 1-4)

10. (undated) USAF Reserve Personnel Record Card - For Retention, Promotion, and Retirement

11. 11-21-74 Honorable discharge

12. (undated) Military Biography of George Walker Bush

13. (continued)



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