August 14, 2007

"The mother lode of opposition research" on Hillary Clinton...

... is locked up at the Clinton Library.
"Opposition researchers would be very hungry to see what's there." Robert Shrum, senior political strategist in Democratic Sen. John F. Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign, said: "In 2 million pieces of paper, would opposition researchers hope to find one where she wrote a memo saying, 'I wish I'd never gotten involved in healthcare?' Sure. That's what they'd love to find."...

Before documents are released, archives staff must read them and, by law, must redact material that they determine contains classified information, invades a person's privacy, reveals trade secrets, reveals confidential advice from presidential advisors or raises other concerns specified in the records law.

Asked how long it might be before Hillary Clinton's records are released, the library's chief archivist said it could take years.

"We're processing as fast as we can," Melissa Walker said....

What records that have been made public offer tantalizing details about Hillary Clinton's White House years. One memo reveals details about the "war room" for the healthcare plan. Aides wrote of the need for secrecy, but also presented Hillary Clinton with arguments she could make that the process of drawing up a healthcare plan was "the most open in the history of the federal government."

A 1993 memo discussed a plan to create reports on members of Congress, tracking their positions on healthcare. The files would log when members met with Hillary Clinton, how they voted on key bills, and -- under a category called "influence" -- whom they consulted for advice. One 1994 memo offers a historical curiosity: It draws Clinton's attention to a rising Republican politician, Mitt Romney, who is now a leading contender for the Republican presidential nomination.

In the memo, Clinton's aides discussed a trip to Boston, where the then-first lady was to appear at a fundraising event for Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass). Kennedy was then running for reelection against Romney.

"Romney, a millionaire business consultant with no political experience, is a Mormon," the memo reads. "His religion is a delicate issue, which Kennedy himself has not raised but other Democrats have."...

Other records kept from public view include a 1993 memo to the first lady entitled "positioning ourselves on healthcare," and another from that year called "public portrayal of the Medicare program."
We're processing the papers as fast as we can, and we just won't be able to get to these papers in time for the 2008 election. Do you accept that answer? Do you think the opposition's hunger for these documents is ugly, that they'll only rummage through it all to pull a few things out of context to make Hillary Clinton look bad? We already know enough about what happened with her failed health care program, don't we? Why should we get a chance to rip into the internal deliberations about it?

46 comments:

save_the_rustbelt said...

The entire campaign process of spin, counter-spin, sound bites, smears and etc. has gotten so sleazy and ridiculous that it is turning off voters in droves.

A pox on all of them.

P. Rich said...

There's already enough revealing information about HR Clinto in the public record to clearly reveal what she is and what she believes. Most of her political machinations are specifically aimed at presenting just the opposite. An astute individual might derive the reality from the amount of effort spent to promote certain contrapositives.

Roger said...

My take is that (pany of) those records represent internal deliberations and should be accorded the same kind of protection that applies to executive privilege. Is there a political calculus surrounding policy decisions? Jeez, who knew. I give Ms Clinton credit for trying to tackle healthcare and I suspect she has learned from her mistakes. To think, however, that politics didnt enter into discussion about health care is really naive.

Bottom line: we have her public record to run on; and we should assume her decisions are influenced by politics--hell: she's a politician.

When we subject everyone who serves in government to the details of policy formulation and political calculations, our system will grind to a halt.

SteveR said...

I think the fact that these documents (and I can't imagine why there are 2 million for the First Lady, but that's another matter) are unavailable is enough for those who don't trust her.

Like the mindless trolls who listen to every second of every show for a sound bite to nail a talk show host, going through 2 million documents looking for a "gothcha" is a waste of humanity.

vet66 said...

Didn't Hillary learn anything from John Kerry never releasing his complete military records?

Of course, it is no surprise as her Rose Law Firm records were conveniently "lost" in the bowels of the White House for years. Then there are those pesky Whitewater land investment records, the mysterious deaths of Foster, Willey, and Hubbell, etc., and God knows what else.

Paul Zrimsek said...

We're processing the papers as fast as we can, but that darned Sandy Burger keeps making off with them.

Too many jims said...

vet66 said...
Then there are those . . .mysterious deaths of Foster, Willey, and Hubbell


Can you refresh my memory of the mysterious death of Hubbell that you are referring to?

corporate law drudge said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
corporate law drudge said...

Maybe the papers contain some hint as to how I too can achieve a 9900% return trading cattle futures.

paul a'barge said...

...archives staff must read them and, by law, must redact material that they determine contains classified information...

Since when did archive staff become arbiters of what material should be classified?

Classified is a status defined by and applied by our federal government. Not archive staff.

Bender said...

Let's not forget Hillary's role in going through the FBI records of political opponents. In an era when Dems are accusing the Bush Administration of violating everyone's privacy and civil liberties (when the Administration's actual concern is with terrorists, not everyday citizens), shouldn't we be able to learn more, much more, about a real-life example of someone running roughshod over people's privacy? Shouldn't we have complete transparency in Hillary's Stalinesque role in illegally obtaining and looking through FBI records to harm political opponents?

vet66 said...

TMJ:

I was unclear about Hubbell. He was the one who called a "mutual" friend and said Foster's death was not suicide.

Zeb Quinn said...

Do you accept that answer?

Do I accept it at face value as true that the library personnel are working just as hard as they can to get 'er done, probably working harder on it than they've ever worked on anything in their whole lives, but, try as they might, they just can't get all those ding dang papers processed in six months or even in a year? And the corollary that, almost as if by magic, it's just a matter of random coincidence that they'll have them all ready to go on the first Wednesday of November, 2008? Am I accepting that? Sure. Why not? It's not as if the Clintons have ever been known to be deceitful or obstructive or anything.

Simon said...

Another example of the painfull thinness of MSM coverage:

"A conservative watchdog group called Judicial Watch filed suit against the National Archives last month, demanding the release of Hillary Clinton's diaries, telephone logs, daily planners and schedules. ... In the most recent suit, Judicial Watch said it had submitted its request more than a year ago and had received nothing, save for confirmation that the library possessed 'a substantial volume' of such papers."

They don't give the case name. They don't give the district. They say only that suit has been filed. Why they don't provide both these piece of information (or, for that matter, to save readers the PACER charge, the complaint itself) is totally beyond me.

Mike Rentner said...

Huh? Since when does a first lady get access to classified material?

What is classified material doing in a private archive?

And what on earth can be classified about healthcare?

Revenant said...

We're processing the papers as fast as we can, and we just won't be able to get to these papers in time for the 2008 election. Do you accept that answer?

I would describe myself as indifferent to that explanation.

Really, the woman has been in the public eye for 16 years now. Doesn't everyone in America already pretty much have an opinion of her character?

Eli Blake said...

It is interesting that the conservative major media organizations are already leaving no stone unturned in trying to find dirt on Hillary, while the GOP frontrunner, Giuliani has showed an astounding lack of judgement by:

1. hiring a man known to associate with mobsters (Bernard Kerik) as police chief,

2. hiring a cocaine dealer (Thomas Ravenel) to run his campaign in South Carolina

3. hiring a child molester (Alan Placa) to join his law firm in New York, after Placa was disrobed by the Catholic Church.

In at least two of these three cases (with Ravenel being the exception), there is conclusive proof that Giuliani knew about the crookedness of Kerik and Placa and hired them anyway.

But the large corporations that own the major media have already decided they want Rudy for President next year so they won't report on those kinds of things (though Hillary, who was already tough enough to force Rudy out of a race once, will certainly use them as ad props should the need to do so arise.

Badger Branch said...

There's really nothing to see here. It takes presidential libraries decades to process all of the documents -- tens of millions of pages. The Presidential Records Act exempts huge classes of documents (unfortunately, most of the really interesting stuff) for 12 years from the last day of an administration. Even under normal circumstances, little of this would be out until 2012. When I visited the Ford Library in 1996, they had processed only about 75% of his documents.

I asked a librarian at the Bush Library how long it would take to get a document cleared and released once a FOIA request came in. She hesitated, and then said a minimum of 5 years, probably more.

The library staff are employees of the National Archives. I've worked with every library from FDR through Bush 43, and have with few exceptions found them to be enormously dedicated.

Bush's Executive Order 13223 gives presidents and their families too much control over what is exempted from release. But that wouldn't have any effect on this particular dispute.

Ken Mayer
Department of Political Science
UW Madison

Roger said...

Eli--what world do you live in--HRC forced Guiliani out of the race? She did? Wow! ya think it might have had anything to do with his prostate cancer?

And I suggest that it isnt the VRWC who is digging up dirt on hillary--They already have it; I would look to the edwards and Obama campaigns--by the time they are finished, the VRWC will have all their work done for them.

And are you alleging that Guiliani knew that the folks you cited were coke dealers and pedophiles BEFORE he hired them? Got any proof because those are quite serious assertions.


When the other side starts taking off on a particular candidate, its my first signal that he or she is the person to beat.

The Exalted said...

Roger said...
Eli--what world do you live in--HRC forced Guiliani out of the race? She did? Wow! ya think it might have had anything to do with his prostate cancer?


and his flagrant infidelity..

Roger said...

His flagrant infidelity--your opinion, of course, which why he is having such difficulty among voters today as he runs for the republican nomination. What world do YOU live on--lets go back to the prostate cancer explanation--Or, exalted: do you believe that HRC forced him out of the race as well.

Revenant said...

and his flagrant infidelity..

What, *Hillary* is going to bring up infidelity? The woman who spent the 90s lying about her own husband's infidelity? I somehow doubt that.

Really, though, the most obvious proof that Rudy wasn't chased off by Hillary is that he's running for President now, despite her being the obvious Democratic nominee.

cyrus pinkerton said...

This is from a BBC profile of Rudy Giuliani:

A combination of factors including a messy divorce and prostate cancer led Mr Giuliani to withdraw from the Senate race before it had got far.

Original Mike said...

But the large corporations that own the major media have already decided they want Rudy for President next year ...

Anybody know an emoticon for "jawdropping"?

Original Mike said...

Corporate Law Drudge said: Maybe the papers contain some hint as to how I too can achieve a 9900% return trading cattle futures.

You're out of luck. You can count the interday trading records of her cattle futures trades as among those records alledged to be missing.

Revenant said...

Didn't Hillary learn anything from John Kerry never releasing his complete military records?

What -- that you can easily get away with it if you're a Democrat?

Naked Lunch said...

Didn't Hillary learn anything from John Kerry never releasing his complete military records?

What -- that you can easily get away with it if you're a Democrat?

I doubt Kerry could have gotten away with being AWOL for an entire year of his "service". But that's just a guess. Kerry volunteered and actually killed people. Bush specifically asked not to be sent to Vietnam.

What.A.Fucking.Pussy.

Revenant said...

I doubt Kerry could have gotten away with being AWOL for an entire year of his "service".

Kerry might NOT have gotten away with his behavior, whatever it was. That's one of the questions left open by his refusal to release his service records.

Kerry's honorable discharge certificate was issued six years after he left active duty (highly unusual), by an officer review board dealing with people who originally left the service involuntarily (also highly unusual). This strongly suggests that he was originally given a less than honorable discharge (which would be unsurprising given his involvement with the North Vietnamese while still in uniform) and had to appeal for a change in status once friendlier faces were in charge. He mysteriously had to reapply for his medals as well.

Bush specifically asked not to be sent to Vietnam.

And we know it is true because Dan Rather said so.

Of course, even if it was true that Bush asked not to be sent to Vietnam that still wouldn't make him AWOL. Indeed, no evidence that Bush was AWOL for a year has ever surfaced.

What.A.Fucking.Pussy.

Why do I have a sneaking suspicion you didn't think of the draft-dodging Clinton that way when he was running against war heroes in 1992 and 1996?

Naked Lunch said...

Kerry might NOT have gotten away with his behavior, whatever it was. That's one of the questions left open by his refusal to release his service records

He did release his records. All of them.

Bush specifically asked not to be sent to Vietnam.

And we know it is true because Dan Rather said so.


No, it's because on his Guard Flying Status Agreement he checked the box "do not volunteer for overseas". Kerry on the other hand volunteered for Swift Boat action, second choice was for a Patrol Officer. These are indisputable facts. You should look them up beforehand next time. There are original copies online readily available.

Indeed, no evidence that Bush was AWOL for a year has ever surfaced.

No evidence has ever surfaced that he did. Not one person remembers him in Alabama. Not one shred of any evidence can support he existed between 1972-1973. No flight logs, pay stubs, photos, attendance sheets. Nothing.

Why do I have a sneaking suspicion you didn't think of the draft-dodging Clinton that way when he was running against war heroes in 1992 and 1996?

Clinton was a pussy too. Also true that both Dole and George H Bush were war heroes. No question.

arf said...

I know enough about archives that there is no way that the archivists will get through the 2 million pieces of paper in time for the '08 elections. It's not standard Archives procedure to read everything, and it usually takes a ridiculously long time to get a collection processed into an archives even when everything isn't being read.

The staff of the Presidential Libraries are technically employees of the National Archives and Records administration and they're supposedly there to serve the public, which includes political-hungry campaigners from all parties.

Revenant said...

He did release his records. All of them.

Kerry has not released all of his service records to the public. He has selectively released some of them to the public, others to specific people he chose, and some not at all.

No, it's because on his Guard Flying Status Agreement he checked the box "do not volunteer for overseas".

Bush asked about volunteering and was told not to by his commanding officer. And since when is "not volunteering to go" the same as "asking not to be sent"?

No evidence has ever surfaced that he did.

Either produce the documentation that Bush was AWOL or admit you lied about that, too. Being AWOL is a criminal offense, Lunchy -- you can't just say "nobody remembers him" and call that proof he was absent without leave.

Clinton was a pussy too. Also true that both Dole and George H Bush were war heroes. No question.

Well aren't you just the living embodiment of the tough-talking internet warrior. Mucho macho.

stepskipper said...

>>He did release his records. All of them.

are they available to the public?

stepskipper said...

ah, rev got there first.

cyrus pinkerton said...

From a 1994 interview in which Bush explains why he joined the National Guard:

"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."

The following article (Boston Globe, Sept 8, 2004) is helpful for anyone who still wants to debate Bush's highly questionable National Guard service:

In February, when the White House made public hundreds of pages of President Bush's military records, White House officials repeatedly insisted that the records prove that Bush fulfilled his military commitment in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War.

But Bush fell well short of meeting his military obligation, a Globe reexamination of the records shows: Twice during his Guard service -- first when he joined in May 1968, and again before he transferred out of his unit in mid-1973 to attend Harvard Business School -- Bush signed documents pledging to meet training commitments or face a punitive call-up to active duty.

He didn't meet the commitments, or face the punishment, the records show. The 1973 document has been overlooked in news media accounts. The 1968 document has received scant notice.

On July 30, 1973, shortly before he moved from Houston to Cambridge, Bush signed a document that declared, ''It is my responsibility to locate and be assigned to another Reserve forces unit or mobilization augmentation position. If I fail to do so, I am subject to involuntary order to active duty for up to 24 months. . . " Under Guard regulations, Bush had 60 days to locate a new unit.

But Bush never signed up with a Boston-area unit. In 1999, Bush spokesman Dan Bartlett told the Washington Post that Bush finished his six-year commitment at a Boston area Air Force Reserve unit after he left Houston. Not so, Bartlett now concedes. ''I must have misspoke," Bartlett, who is now the White House communications director, said in a recent interview.

And early in his Guard service, on May 27, 1968, Bush signed a ''statement of understanding" pledging to achieve ''satisfactory participation" that included attendance at 24 days of annual weekend duty -- usually involving two weekend days each month -- and 15 days of annual active duty. ''I understand that I may be ordered to active duty for a period not to exceed 24 months for unsatisfactory participation," the statement reads.

Yet Bush, a fighter-interceptor pilot, performed no service for one six-month period in 1972 and for another period of almost three months in 1973, the records show.

The reexamination of Bush's records by the Globe, along with interviews with military specialists who have reviewed regulations from that era, show that Bush's attendance at required training drills was so irregular that his superiors could have disciplined him or ordered him to active duty in 1972, 1973, or 1974. But they did neither. In fact, Bush's unit certified in late 1973 that his service had been ''satisfactory" -- just four months after Bush's commanding officer wrote that Bush had not been seen at his unit for the previous 12 months.

Bartlett, in a statement to the Globe last night, sidestepped questions about Bush's record. In the statement, Bartlett asserted again that Bush would not have been honorably discharged if he had not ''met all his requirements." In a follow-up e-mail, Bartlett declared: ''And if he hadn't met his requirements you point to, they would have called him up for active duty for up to two years."

That assertion by the White House spokesman infuriates retired Army Colonel Gerald A. Lechliter, one of a number of retired military officers who have studied Bush's records and old National Guard regulations, and reached different conclusions.

''He broke his contract with the United States government -- without any adverse consequences. And the Texas Air National Guard was complicit in allowing this to happen," Lechliter said in an interview yesterday. ''He was a pilot. It cost the government a million dollars to train him to fly. So he should have been held to an even higher standard."

Even retired Lieutenant Colonel Albert C. Lloyd Jr., a former Texas Air National Guard personnel chief who vouched for Bush at the White House's request in February, agreed that Bush walked away from his obligation to join a reserve unit in the Boston area when he moved to Cambridge in September 1973. By not joining a unit in Massachusetts, Lloyd said in an interview last month, Bush ''took a chance that he could be called up for active duty. But the war was winding down, and he probably knew that the Air Force was not enforcing the penalty."

But Lloyd said that singling out Bush for criticism is unfair. ''There were hundreds of guys like him who did the same thing," he said.

Lawrence J. Korb, an assistant secretary of defense for manpower and reserve affairs in the Reagan administration, said after studying many of the documents that it is clear to him that Bush ''gamed the system." And he agreed with Lloyd that Bush was not alone in doing so. ''If I cheat on my income tax and don't get caught, I'm still cheating on my income tax," Korb said.

After his own review, Korb said Bush could have been ordered to active duty for missing more than 10 percent of his required drills in any given year. Bush, according to the records, fell shy of that obligation in two successive fiscal years.

Korb said Bush also made a commitment to complete his six-year obligation when he moved to Cambridge, a transfer the Guard often allowed to accommodate Guardsmen who had to move elsewhere. ''He had a responsibility to find a unit in Boston and attend drills," said Korb, who is now affiliated with a liberal Washington think tank. ''I see no evidence or indication in the documents that he was given permission to forgo training before the end of his obligation. If he signed that document, he should have fulfilled his obligation."

The documents Bush signed only add to evidence that the future president -- then the son of Houston's congressman -- received favorable treatment when he joined the Guard after graduating from Yale in 1968. Ben Barnes, who was speaker of the Texas House of Representatives in 1968, said in a deposition in 2000 that he placed a call to get young Bush a coveted slot in the Guard at the request of a Bush family friend.

Bush was given an automatic commission as a second lieutenant, and dispatched to flight school in Georgia for 13 months. In June 1970, after five additional months of specialized training in F-102 fighter-interceptor, Bush began what should have been a four-year assignment with the 111th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron.

In May 1972, Bush was given permission to move to Alabama temporarily to work on a US Senate campaign, with the provision that he do equivalent training with a unit in Montgomery. But Bush's service records do not show him logging any service in Alabama until October of that year.

And even that service is in doubt. Since the Globe first reported Bush's spotty attendance record in May 2000, no one has come forward with any credible recollection of having witnessed Bush performing guard service in Alabama or after he returned to Houston in 1973. While Bush was in Alabama, he was removed from flight status for failing to take his annual flight physical in July 1972. On May 1, 1973, Bush's superior officers wrote that they could not complete his annual performance review because he had not been observed at the Houston base during the prior 12 months.

Although the records of Bush's service in 1973 are contradictory, some of them suggest that he did a flurry of drills in 1973 in Houston -- a weekend in April and then 38 days of training crammed into May, June, and July. But Lechliter, the retired colonel, concluded after reviewing National Guard regulations that Bush should not have received credit -- or pay -- for many of those days either. The regulations, Lechliter and others said, required that any scheduled drills that Bush missed be made up either within 15 days before or 30 days after the date of the drill.

Lechliter said the records push him to conclude that Bush had little interest in fulfilling his obligation, and his superiors preferred to look the other way. Others agree. ''It appears that no one wanted to hold him accountable," said retired Major General Paul A. Weaver Jr., who retired in 2002 as the Pentagon's director of the Air National Guard.

Roger said...

Cyrus: when you have to cite the Boston Globe and BBC to support your positions--you're reaching. Really reaching. Sad.

Roger said...

Here's the transcript of Giuliani's presser when he withdraws--the only thing cited by Rudy is his canceer; every thing else any one has cited other than that is speculation. You're free to speculate, of course, but don't conflate speculation with fact: http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0005/19/bn.12.html

cyrus pinkerton said...
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cyrus pinkerton said...
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cyrus pinkerton said...

Roger,

Shall we use the Giuliani press conference to establish the "facts" regarding Giuliani's decision to quit the senate race?

If so, what is the relevance of this exchange from the press conference?

QUESTION: Your children didn't want you going through right now because of the marital situation. Did that have any impact?

GIULIANI: Yes. I don't discuss my children. And, you know, the reason that I don't do it is, I think what you say to your children and what your children say to you is a -- has got to be, for me, a personal thing.


Roger, with the facts in hand, what do you find incorrect about the following analysis from the BBC?

A combination of factors including a messy divorce and prostate cancer led Mr Giuliani to withdraw from the Senate race before it had got far.

Roger said...

Cyrus--had the bbc reported what Giuliani said: "marital situation," that would be a fact; "messy divorce," is their judgment about his marital situation. That is the difference, imo, between a fact and a speculation. You may fail to see the distinction, but given your insistence on facts and accuracy, I didnt think it would be necessary to belabor this point.
:)

cyrus pinkerton said...

Roger wrote:

... had the bbc reported what Giuliani said: "marital situation,"
that would be a fact; "messy divorce," is their judgment about his marital situation.


Ah, I see. Are you then disputing that the Giuliani divorce is accurately described as "messy?"

You wrote this previously:

when you have to cite the Boston Globe and BBC to support your positions--you're reaching. Really reaching. Sad.

Now you indicate that your only complaint with the BBC report is the description of Giuliani's divorce as "messy." I happen to think his divorce is accurately described as "messy." (Note: FOX News has also described the Giuliani divorce as messy.)

However, you also said this previously:

Here's the transcript of Giuliani's presser when he withdraws--the only thing cited by Rudy is his canceer; every thing else any one has cited other than that is speculation. You're free to speculate, of course, but don't conflate speculation with fact.

So... You criticize me for citing a BBC profile based on the implication that the BBC is biased. Then, based on an admission by Giuliani from the press conference transcript you referenced, you agree that the BBC profile is entirely accurate, except for the description of his divorce as "messy." The description of his divorce as "messy" can be found in both liberal and conservative news sources.

Forgive me, Roger, but I'm having a hard time understanding the nature of your complaint (other than the fact that you don't seem to like that Giuliani was involved in a messy divorce--yes, it was a divorce, not just a marital spat).

The BBC profile is accurate. Your earlier suggestion that Giuliani's marital problems did not enter into his decision to leave the race is incorrect.

BTW, I note that you declined to address any of the factual points raised in the Boston Globe report. Nor have you challenged the comments of any of the military officier interviewed. In other words, you have not challenged the substance of the report. I assume that this is because you have no basis for challenging any aspects of the report. I assume this is why you attack the source of the report rather than its substance.

Let's set the record straight. Is there anything in the Boston Globe report that you believe is inaccurate?

Revenant said...

The argument has drifted far off-topic.

The original claim, made by Eli, was that Hillary "chased Rudy off" back in 2000. The counter was made that Rudy dropped out of the race because of cancer. Roger has been arguing that that was the one and only reason Rudy dropped out. This is a separate argument from the original one.

A quote from Rudy that he dropped out of the race in part because his children didn't want him running for office during his marital troubles certainly hurts Roger's argument -- but it doesn't help Eli's, either. Evidence that his kids didn't want him to run is not evidence that he feared Hillary Clinton.

One more thing:

Is there anything in the Boston Globe report that you believe is inaccurate?

A better question would be whether or not you and the other detractors think that. According to the article:

on May 27, 1968, Bush signed a "statement of understanding" pledging to achieve "satisfactory participation"

Following a number of molehills that you lefties are trying to make into mountains, we have:

Bush's unit certified in late 1973 that his service had been "satisfactory"

So if the Globe article is accurate then -- despite all their spin -- there's no problem here. Bush met the Guard's requirements well enough to satisfy the Guard. The rest is just a lot of empty opinion from people whose opinions don't matter.

cyrus pinkerton said...

Revenant,

You'll notice that I posted the BOston Globe article with very little in the way of comment. People can and will draw their own conclusions.

However, what people take from the article is not relevant to Roger's assertion, i.e., that there is reason to dismiss the article out of hand based on the fact that it appeared in the Boston Globe. No one has yet specifically addressed the substance of the article. I'm assuming Roger has a good reason for dismissing the report, but he has yet to indicate what that reason is. Based on your response, I'm guessing that you have no complaint with the substance of the report.

Now, for the record, I'm NOT claiming that there is direct evidence to show that Bush was AWOL. The problem in looking at Bush's service record is that there are substantial chunks of the record that apparently no longer exist. What remains suggests that Bush received enormously preferential treatment, not unlike some other men who shared roughly similar circumstances. Those who claim that Bush's National Guard service was normal and "proper" simply are ignoring the facts; those who claim Bush was AWOL are creating a story for which there exists no clear and direct evidence. So although I agree with much of what you've said, I don't agree with your conclusion that "there's no problem here."

I agree with Roger's assertion that Giuliani did not drop out of the senate race because he feared Clinton. I disagree with Roger's implication that the reasons given by Giuliani for quitting aren't entirely self-serving, but since Giuliani admits that his marital problems were a consideration in his decision, I see no reason to press this point.

Thanks for your very reasonable post, Revenant.

Revenant said...

You'll notice that I posted the BOston Globe article with very little in the way of comment.

You posted it during a discussion of whether or not Bush was AWOL from the Guard back in the early 70s. Either (a) you meant to support the claim that he was AWOL, or (b) you meant to refute the claim that he was AWOL, or (c) you were posting irrelevant information. I assumed (A). If (b), I apologize. If (c), go away and cease wasting our time.

Based on your response, I'm guessing that you have no complaint with the substance of the report.

I don't have an opinion about the accuracy of the report. I see no particular reason to believe that it was, considering it was published in a paper which backed Bush's opponents in both Presidential elections (and the 2000 Republican primary, for that matter). At the same time, I have no direct evidence that the Globe pulled a CBS and published a phony report based on faked evidence.

But the accuracy of the report isn't actually relevant. As I observed, IF the report is accurate then the National Guard considered Bush's service to be satisfactory, so any claim that he failed to perform satisfactorily is objectively false. If the report is inaccurate then there's nothing to discuss. Either way, the article does nothing to support the claims against Bush that have been made in this thread.

What remains suggests that Bush received enormously preferential treatment

First of all -- are you claiming that Bush received preferential treatment, or are you pulling your usual passive-aggressive stunt of arguing for a claim without actually making it yourself? The reason I ask is that nobody here has, thus far, claimed that Bush got special treatment. Unless you're willing to make that claim there's nothing to discuss.

Secondly -- if you ARE, in fact, claiming that Bush received preferential treatment, what evidence are you offering in support of that claim? As the article you quoted (which is available here) notes:

[Retired Texas Air National Guard personnel chief] Lloyd said that singling out Bush for criticism is unfair. "There were hundreds of guys like him who did the same thing," he said.

So here we have "hundreds" of men in the TANG doing what Bush did and getting away with it. In order to claim that Bush received preferential treatment you need to show not only that Bush got away with not showing up regularly during the time period in question (i.e., while the war was winding down), but that people normally *didn't* get away with it. The article doesn't provide any evidence for the latter claim; neither have you.

So although I agree with much of what you've said, I don't agree with your conclusion that "there's no problem here."

It is a fact that the ANG deemed Bush's behavior satisfactory. Unless you can offer something other than unsupported speculation of a conspiracy to give Bush a "satisfactory" rating he didn't deserve, I see no reason to revise my original assessment. The ANG is the only group whose opinion of Bush's performance matters here.

Seven Machos said...

Mary Mapes knows a lot about this. There were all these fraudulent documents that proved these allegations. And then, from out of nowhere and for no good reason at all, Mapes got fired and The Dan got eased out.

Which was bullshit because the narrative was right on and all this is true, and I don't care that there's no truthful evidence.

I also can't believe lefties are still arguing this. Come on, guys: you won. Your fake papers showed the real truth.

cyrus pinkerton said...

Revenant,

I swear, you can post the most idiotic garbage at times. Let's break it down and see if you can learn from your stupidity this time.

You posted it during a discussion of whether or not Bush was AWOL from the Guard back in the early 70s. Either (a) you meant to support the claim that he was AWOL, or (b) you meant to refute the claim that he was AWOL, or (c) you were posting irrelevant information. I assumed (A). If (b), I apologize. If (c), go away and cease wasting our time.

First, let's clear something up. You don't speak for anyone here but yourself. If you find reading my posts a waste of time, I suggest you stop reading (and responding) to them.

As is typical, your ability to apply logic is severely limited. None of your three possible reasons for my posting the Globe article is correct. Poorly done, Revenant.

If you had read my post in the context of the discussion taking place--a discussion in which you took part--you would know that we were discussing the nature of Bush's National Guard service. In that context, the Globe article is perfectly relevant.

The problem here is that you are desperate to limit examination of Bush's National Guard service to questions of whether or not he was honorably discharged. You are determined to remain blissfully ignorant of all other aspects of his service, not as a matter of principle, but because it serves your narrow partisan purposes to do so. This fact is clear from your eagerness to speculate about Kerry's discharge (8:52 PM). So in addition to advancing a remarkably foolish argument about Bush's service, you reveal enormous hypocrisy driven by partisan considerations.

I don't have an opinion about the accuracy of the report.

You don't have an opinion about the accuracy of the Globe report because you've made an effort to remain ignorant. That's your choice. For the record, though, your ignorance of this subject is noted.

But the accuracy of the report isn't actually relevant. As I observed, IF the report is accurate then the National Guard considered Bush's service to be satisfactory, so any claim that he failed to perform satisfactorily is objectively false.

Clearly you have limited ability to reason. Moreover, it's apparent that you didn't read or understand the Globe report. Let me help you in this regard by highlighting some specific, relevant sections:

Retired Army Colonel Gerald A. Lechliter: "[Bush] broke his contract with the United States government -- without any adverse consequences. And the Texas Air National Guard was complicit in allowing this to happen..."

Lechliter said the records push him to conclude that Bush had little interest in fulfilling his obligation, and his superiors preferred to look the other way.

Retired Major General Paul A. Weaver Jr.: "It appears that no one wanted to hold [Bush] accountable..."

The logical error you're making, Revenant, is obvious. You assume that Bush's honorable discharge was earned simply by the fact that he received it; in truth, his honorable discharge was not earned but rather gifted to him. This is precisely what the available evidence shows; Bush did not complete his service requirements but was honorably discharged nevertheless.

You next quote me saying this:

What remains suggests that Bush received enormously preferential treatment

and then immediately ask

First of all -- are you claiming that Bush received preferential treatment...

Yes. It's clear that he received preferential treatment and it's clear that I've claimed he received preferential treatment. Does that clear up your confusion?

Secondly -- if you ARE, in fact, claiming that Bush received preferential treatment, what evidence are you offering in support of that claim?

There's a great wealth of evidence that Bush received preferential treatment. A small amount of this evidence is available in the Globe article. For example,

The documents Bush signed only add to evidence that the future president -- then the son of Houston's congressman -- received favorable treatment when he joined the Guard after graduating from Yale in 1968. Ben Barnes, who was speaker of the Texas House of Representatives in 1968, said in a deposition in 2000 that he placed a call to get young Bush a coveted slot in the Guard at the request of a Bush family friend.

This isn't news, Revenant. I'm surprised this is the first you've heard of it.

So here we have "hundreds" of men in the TANG doing what Bush did and getting away with it.

Hundreds? I don't know about that. Certainly Bush isn't the only person who received preferential treatment. Of course, I already noted that when I wrote:

What remains suggests that Bush received enormously preferential treatment, not unlike some other men who shared roughly similar circumstances.

However, the fact that some others received preferential treatment too doesn't mean that Bush wasn't gifted advantages. It just means he wasn't the only "fortunate son" who was able to game the system.

The ANG is the only group whose opinion of Bush's performance matters here.

Really? Using your "logic" then, Kerry's honorable discharge is beyond question too. You, however, speculated at length about it. There's no logical consistency in your approach to the two cases.

This is a really poor performance by you, Revenant. I suggest you stop using ignorance as a defense, particularly when your comments here are so blatantly hypocritical. You can do better than this.