Wednesday :: Aug 25, 2004

Bush Lied About His Military Record


by Steve

While we’re on the subject of a presidential candidate’s truthfulness about his or her military record, David Corn of the Nation reminds us that none other than George W. Bush lied about his military record when running for Congress in 1978, and again in 1999, with the assistance of Karen Hughes. Corn points out that Bush’s campaign material from his unsuccessful 1978 race made an issue of his military record, by claiming that he served in both the Texas Air National Guard and the Air Force.

The fiction continued right to 1999, when Governor Bush was asked if it was right for him to claim that he was in the Air Force. Bush replied “I think so, yes. I was in the Air Force for over 600 days.”

Except that he was never in the Air Force. Did the media in 1999 make a big issue out of a candidate who falsely hyped his military record in a presidential race? No.

So where was all the hollering about Bush's exaggeration of his military service? True, Bush was hyping his military record way back in 1978. But he repeated and defended the misrepresentation in 1999 while campaigning for the White House. And, no doubt, Kerry's critics would consider any remark Kerry made twenty-six years ago fair game. Admiral Roy Hoffman, a founder of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, recently said that his group is not politically motivated: "It would make no difference if John Kerry were a Republican, Democrat or an Independent, Swift Boat veterans would still be speaking the truth concerning John Kerry's military service record." But are any of Kerry's accusers willing to criticize Bush for falsely representing his service?

This flap has little if anything to do with Kerry’s service and everything to do with some of the veterans’ understandable dislike of Kerry for his antiwar activities after he returned, mixing in with Karl Rove’s need to tear Kerry down because his candidate has a poor record and is a liar himself.

Some would say that Bush was only mistaken, or embellishing his war record, although it is hard to see how someone could plausibly claim they thought they were in the Air Force. But these same supporters of Bush who would excuse such a mistake or embellishment are the same folks who allege that Kerry embellished his record for his medals, even though such acts would have required many accomplices up the line. And those defenders of Bush who would say this is no big deal after making a big deal about Kerry when no evidence has been presented to back up their claims are nothing but hypocritical liars.

Steve :: 8:58 AM :: Comments (33) :: Digg It!