AWOL, Deserter. Deserter, AWOL. Let’s just admit he skipped…
David at Orcinus has done a terrific job of pulling together all of the threads of the George Bush’s lost year of military service as well as links to some laughably beside-the-point defenses of Lt. Chicken Run. Since I’m still the midst of American Dynasty, I thought I would add Kevin Phillip’s two cents:
The second intriguing discovery, brought to light in 2000, was that George W. had interrupted the fulfillment of his Air National Guard obligations for almost a year, beginning in May 1972. One reason, journalists suggested, might have been to avoid taking a required air force physical examination that was subject to random drug testing. Senior officers seem to have covered for him; he was not discharged or drafted, as he might have been. Questions have been raised about Bush aides allegedly tampering with the air force files. The substance of the events is not in doubt.
Neither episode proved there had been any cocaine-related arrest, and the exculpatory explanation accepted by the press for George W.’s voluntary service at PULL, the Houston inner-city group, was that George H.W. Bush himself had arranged it after his eldest son had turned up one night after driving while intoxicated. Further pursuit of this issue by the major media was negligible, although pointed coverage did run in the Sunday Times of London. Among U.S. newspapers, the closest attention came in the Boston Globe of May 23, 2000:
Still, the puzzling gap in Bush’s military service is likely to heighten speculation about the conspicuous underachievement that marked the period between his 1968 graduation from Yale University and his 1973 entry into Harvard Business School. It is speculation that Bush has helped to fuel: For example, he refused for months last year to say whether he had ever used illegal drugs. Subsequently, however, Bush amended his stance, saying that he had not done so since 1974.
From a broader evidentiary standpoint, cocaine usage was no longer the issue. Had a cover-up been proved–a disposal or tampering with records akin to he cover-ups for which Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton were pursued– it might have scuttled any plausibility of a Bush-led moral restoration. Clinton and Bush would have become fellow scamps, not dragon and putative Saint George. The extended adolescence of a dauphin or Prince of Wales is benignly tolerated; the politics of moral supremacy requires a stricter standard.