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TXANG Debate Re-Igniting?

jamie posted more than 9 years ago | from the kindling dept.

Republicans 295

Last night, the Pentagon revealed that new records of President Bush's service in the Texas Air National Guard have been found, due to a FOIA request. This morning sees a New York Times column (free reg. req.), and a detailed "reexamination of the records" by the Boston Globe. Tonight, 60 Minutes II airs an interview with the man who got Bush into the Guard (though my TiVo says otherwise for some reason).

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295 comments

60 Minutes Interview (1)

GOD_ALMIGHTY (17678) | more than 9 years ago | (#10191722)

I thought that interview was scheduled for this Sunday night.

Re:60 Minutes Interview (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10191871)

I thought that interview was scheduled for this Sunday night.

I guess you thought wrong. The linked article clearly says tonight.

Re:60 Minutes Interview (1)

MoOsEb0y (2177) | more than 9 years ago | (#10191970)

what if the linked article is wrong, eh?

Does this matter? (4, Insightful)

JohnnyX (11429) | more than 9 years ago | (#10191765)

Am I the only one who thinks that it doesn't matter what Bush or Kerry did or did not do 30 years ago?

What does matter to me is that they both support sending my family members in the Army to Iraq to fight a war we shouldn't be fighting.

The death toll for American soldiers just passed 1,000 [badnarik.org] and neither Bush nor Kerry will get us out of there. That's a lot more important to me than how Bush got into the Air National Guard.

Yours truly,
Mr. X

...disgusted...

Re:Does this matter? (4, Insightful)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 9 years ago | (#10191824)

This sort of thing always makes me roll my eyes, and I'm a Kerry supporter.

It seems pretty clear, though, that the back-and-forth of irrelevant campaign issues is just going to continue, and unfortunately I've got to assume that's because it's actually effective with a certain segment of voters. Given that, it suppose it *is* actually important for my side to wave this sort of irrelevant dirt around. Obviously, a "they started it" debate here would be futile, but once the mud starts flying it more or less forces both campaigns to engage in it.

There's only one solution: hunger for the day when the American public reaches a level of sophistication where they can (a) identify a fairly reliable and impartial source of information and (b) actually check the BS they hear against those. I mean, the vast majority of Americans are sitting on top of the greatest source of information in the history of history, but they're relying on politicians and sites like NewsMax to tell 'em how it is...

Re:Does this matter? (1)

Elwood P Dowd (16933) | more than 9 years ago | (#10192255)

This sort of thing always makes me roll my eyes, and I'm a Kerry supporter.

Same for everybody else.

That's why Clinton told him to stfu regarding his service in Vietnam.

It matters to one class of person (3, Insightful)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 9 years ago | (#10191855)

The people who care about Kerry's past would care about Bush's past. Kerry's past got slammed, so all these people go to Bush. So they slam Bush's past, so these people may go back to Kerry. Its not about your vote here.

Re:Does this matter? (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#10191856)

Umm- Kerry actually seems to have a plan...He's saying he wants NO American military in Iraq by 2008. I personally think that's WAY too slow, but I also understand that you can't just draft a half a million unemployed to join the 100,000 professionals in an effort to get them out safely either. At least, not and hope to have them trained in any less than a four year period.

Re:Does this matter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10192196)

That's not a plan, that's a campaign promise.

Re:Does this matter? (1)

b-baggins (610215) | more than 9 years ago | (#10193305)

Which basically tells the bad guys exactly what they want to know: when they can hit Iraq hard without fear of American soldiers shooting back at them.

Only a fool publicly advertises military withdrawl plans when you're still engaging an enemy.

I think it matters, and here's why (4, Insightful)

jamie (78724) | more than 9 years ago | (#10191989)

I would think that a man who'd seen combat, in all its ugliness, served honorably, and then returned to civilian life and spoke truth to power about the horrors of war would be less likely to mislead the country into unnecessary war.

Doesn't that seem logical? Isn't that corroborating evidence for the whole tragic arc of the last two years?

Kerry supported giving the President the authority to initiate the war in Iraq. That's not the same as launching the war. When Bush and his campaign say that Kerry "voted to go to war," they are lying.

And yes, Kerry may have to deal with the aftermath of Iraq in the same sticky, deliberate way that Bush will. There's no easy way out; that's why they call it a quagmire. But re-electing Bush gives him four more years to invade more countries unnecessarily. When I read the transcript of John Kerry speaking to the Senate in 1971 [npr.org] , I can't help but feel that this man is more to be trusted with our troops than a man who spent the early '70s "boasting about how much alcohol he had consumed the night before." [salon.com]

Re:I think it matters, and here's why (1)

JohnnyX (11429) | more than 9 years ago | (#10192110)

Kerry supported giving the President the authority to initiate the war in Iraq. That's not the same as launching the war. When Bush and his campaign say that Kerry "voted to go to war," they are lying.

Not only did Kerry support going to war, he's since said publicly that he'd do it again, even in hindsight.

The war was a mistake. Still is. Why should I vote for a candidate who can't see that? Why should I vote for a candidate who can't even give a cogent answer to his own question from that 1971 Senate testimony?

"How do ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" - John Kerry

Kerry's answer? He hopes to get our troops out by 2008. That's not an answer.

Michael Badnarik's answer?

"Thirty years ago, John Kerry asked 'how can you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?' It was a good question. His answer, and President Bush's, seems to be that you don't -- that you just let the killing go on and on rather than admit the mistake and put an end to it. Bush says 'stay the course.' Kerry says he hopes to have the troops out four years from now. I say 90 days, and only that long because it takes time to move troops out of hostile territory safely, displacing by echelon and providing mutual security." - Full Story [badnarik.org]

I know which answer sounds better to me.

Yours truly,
Mr. X

...support our troops, bring them home...

Re:I think it matters, and here's why (2, Insightful)

TamMan2000 (578899) | more than 9 years ago | (#10192285)

Not only did Kerry support going to war, he's since said publicly that he'd do it again, even in hindsight.

No, he supported giving the authority to go to war, and said that in hindsight he still would.

Re:I think it matters, and here's why (5, Informative)

Merk (25521) | more than 9 years ago | (#10192746)

Not only did Kerry support going to war, he's since said publicly that he'd do it again, even in hindsight.

Brainwashed by the republicans, are you? He never said he supported the war. He said he voted to give the president the authority to go to war, and he would do it again. I know, it's really hard to pay attention to little details like that when there are all kinds of shiny things around, but it's important, so try. If you read the text of the law that Kerry voted for, it's very explicit. It doesn't say "We vote to attack Iraq", it puts conditions under which the President is given the authority to attack Iraq.

Some of the more illuminating bits of this law include:

...
Whereas members of al Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq;
...
(b) Presidential Determination.--In connection with the exercise of the authority granted in subsection (a) to use force the President shall, prior to such exercise or as soon thereafter as may be feasible, but no later than 48 hours after exercising such authority, make available to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate his determination that--

(1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic or other peaceful means alone either (A) will not adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq or (B) is not likely to lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq; and
(2) acting pursuant to this joint resolution is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorist and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.
...
(a) <<NOTE: President.>> Reports.--The President shall, at least once every 60 days, submit to the Congress a report on matters relevant to this joint resolution, including actions taken pursuant to the exercise of authority granted in section 3 and the status of planning for efforts that are expected to be required after such actions are completed, including those actions described in section 7 of the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-338).

Vive la difference! (1)

JohnnyX (11429) | more than 9 years ago | (#10193419)

Ah, the critical difference between voting to let the President go to war and voting for the war itself. How could I have missed such an important distinction?

Maybe it's this quote from the Post that has me confused:

"Responding to President Bush's challenge to clarify his position, Sen. John F. Kerry said Monday that he still would have voted to authorize the war in Iraq even if he had known then that U.S. and allied forces would not find weapons of mass destruction."

I guess I thought authorizing a war was the same as voting for it. My bad.

Badnarik Last Anti-War Candidate Left Standing [badnarik.org]

Yours truly,
Mr. X

...voting Badnarik...

Re:I think it matters, and here's why (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10192912)

No offense to you or your countrymen, but that old saying that was thrown around at the start of the Iraq mess still stands: you break it, you bought it. A majority of people in America supported invading Iraq - false information or no - and the flipside to catching Saddam in a hole was that you had to stay there and finish the job, no matter how ugly it got.

I think a lot of the world knew what you were in for, but you (collectively) were too riled up to wait. You, specifically, may be one of the minority who opposed the invasion to begin with, but sadly your opinion didn't matter then, and shouldn't matter now. Not to sound heartless, but Americans don't deserve the right to change their minds about Iraq anymore. Even if public opinion swings all the way around to 90% wanting the troops out tomorrow, it should not be allowed. The lives of millions of people in the Middle East depend on someone holding that house of cards together, and since you decided to shake things up, you have to fix it.

I feel very bad that over 1,000 troops have been killed over such a stupid thing as a vanity war, but they enlisted, and have to pay for the mistakes of the majority. If anything, hopefully all the funerals at home will change the mindset in America so that they think twice about invading other countries in the future. Doubtful.

PARENT IS NOT OT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10193124)

The parent post is a very coherant reply to the GP. And on the topic of the grand parent.

Re:I think it matters, and here's why (-1, Troll)

meta-monkey (321000) | more than 9 years ago | (#10193280)

The problem is those "served honorably" and "spoke truth" parts.

There are 250 swift boat vets who served with Kerry (that doesn't mean the same boat...that means the same group of boats. You know what the guy 10 feet away from you on the next boat is doing) who say that Kerry did not serve honorably, showed extreme cowardice, and lied to get his medals, all the while filming documentaries about how heroic he was for future campaign material.

Next, he comes back and speaks about "horrors of war..." that he never witnessed! No, he heard about them. From somebody. Somewhere. Again, trying to further his political career. He lies about atrocities. He lies about being in Cambodia. Did these things happen? Maybe. But Kerry didn't see them.

The mainstream media refuses to investigate these charges. The media's coverage of the SBV's charges has been limited to attempts to tie them to the Republican party, and to say, "well, they weren't on the same boat!" However, they go all out over W's TXANG history. I honestly don't give a rats ass about W's TXANG history, because he hasn't made it the centerpoint of his campaign. W originally ran on his record as Texas governor, and on his plan for the presidency. Tax cuts, education reform, medicare reform, etc etc. Kerry is running solely on his Vietnam war record. That's it. Read the transcript of his speach at the DNC. He starts off with "Reporting for duty!" and goes on and on about his Vietnam service. He has all of one line about two votes in his 20 years in the Senate. 20 years...and he can't point to a single legislative victory of his own. No bills he sponsored, no deals he brokered, nothing. His plan for America is that he's for things that are good, and against things that are bad, and whatever W did he would do the same, only differently. His strategy for the war on terror is to get France to fight for us. I much more about what they want to do NOW than what they did 20 years ago, although I find it very interesting that the media is desperately trying to dig up something, anything about W's service in the TXANG, but they won't look twice at the SBVT, except to smear them as Republican operatives.

Re:Does this matter? (2, Funny)

savagedome (742194) | more than 9 years ago | (#10191993)

Am I the only one who thinks that it doesn't matter what Bush or Kerry did or did not do 30 years ago?

No. I agree with you. And so does Bill Maher!

No one has their shit together at 22. Now, outside of the basic fairness of placing George Bush in with all the other young men of his era who found a way to avoid Vietnam, I don't really care if our president showed up for all his National Guard jumping jacks in 1973. I don't care that there's evidence that John Kerry once very nearly met Jane Fonda.
We've all made mistakes when young and chasing a buzz. Bush blew off his calisthenics. Saddam gassed his own people. I bought the John and Yoko album where they just farted for an hour into a tape recorder!
The phrase, "youthful indiscretions" is redundant, because how many discreet young people do you know? No, the people you need to worry about are not the one who sowed their wild oats, but the ones who didn't. Michael Jackson had to wait until he was an adult to have a childhood, and I think we see how well that turned out.
Go back far enough in any great man's life and you will eventually get to the stuff he did or said before he was great or even a man. Don King started out life in Cleveland as a corrupt, murderous thug, but then - okay, bad example.
But the point remains, trying to define a person's current self by their past self is the worst kind of "gotcha." Our mistakes from the past are just that: mistakes. And they were necessary to make in order to become the wiser person we became.
You never got drunk and pissed yourself? Or sold drugs to school children? Or panicked when you couldn't get it up at a bachelor party and killed a hooker?
Hey, if only hindsight could come without having to mess up first. And believe me, I have the platform shoes to prove that one. But to exploit youthful mistakes for political gain is, well, let's just say, when you get older, you might look back and regret it.

Re:Does this matter? (1)

bhima (46039) | more than 9 years ago | (#10192411)

I must say, the US election process is the most reported, this is looking more & more foolish here in the EU.

I am queried almost daily now on embarrassing topics such as this. Really I am at loss to explain that just because politicians are lying thieving bastards, and the political process is corrupt doesn't mean that there are a lot of reasonable Americans and a lot a very beautiful places to visit. Shame we have disposed of the reputation of moral, good people that we used to enjoy.

And before the republicans who are reading start to protest, The world is not just angry at Republican Americans they are disgusted at all of us.

Re:Does this matter? (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 9 years ago | (#10192627)

I don't see the rest of the world not accepting our aid money nor do I see them kicking our military bases off their soil. Funny how their principles go away when money is involved.

Re:Does this matter? (1)

bhima (46039) | more than 9 years ago | (#10193121)

Boy, you really don't get it.

Many local communities are demanding that US military bases be reduced or removed (Japan, Germany & Saudi Arabia come to mind). US aid money has much more to do with American interests and American lobbyists, outside of Israel and Oil producing nations US foreign aid is limited and capricious. America can't buy good will anymore and it has lost the respect that was gained, after WWII, during the cold war.

It's obvious you should get out more and understand how the world views America: Only interested in Money & Oil and dangerous.

Re:Does this matter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10192459)

Assuming GWB did in fact have strings pulled on his behalf to get into the TANG, at least in part for the purpose of avoiding combat in Vietnam (this much seems pretty solid; the latter half is in one of the official documents). Okay, it's pretty weaselly for someone to say he supports the war, to be able bodied, and then to avoid it. But it's not that big a deal. Youthful indiscretion, and not in the Henry Hyde sense of that phrase.

Now, ducking out of the service that was entailed by that commitment? Weaselier than the first bit, but not a deal-breaker as far as being President (I expect that to be a little more controversial, but what the heck, it's not the end of the case); you could chalk it up to a youthful indiscretion.

What you can't chalk up to a youthful indiscretion: his behavior in the present day.

The last time this came up, the current occupant of the White House asserted that he'd already released all the documents in 2000. That was false. They released 300 more documents, but there were still holes in the record. So then they "lost" some of them, but then found them again. All believable, if beginning to be a bit of a stretch. However, with all the available documents, there are still holes in the record.

Which, combined with the fact that nobody in the Alabama national guard at the time recalls having served with Bush suggests pretty strongly that there's something somebody doesn't want the general public to see in those missing records.

In other words, to all appearances, the guy NOW is hiding stuff. He doesn't have an explanation for why nobody remembers him. The story he wants to tell does not gibe with the official record (which, I hasten to point out to those bashing Kerry, are not written by the subjects of those records).

Re:Does this matter? (1)

KilobyteKnight (91023) | more than 9 years ago | (#10192882)

Am I the only one who thinks that it doesn't matter what Bush or Kerry did or did not do 30 years ago?

Probably not. I'm sure there are others.

I, however, do think what someone did 30 years ago does sometimes matter.

I don't see anyone saying "Who cares what Manson did 30 years ago?". Heck, by your logic, anyone serving a life sentence should be set free after 30 years because it shouldn't matter any more.

Who cares if Kerry admitted publically to commiting war crimes 30 years ago? I do. It means he either lied for political purposes, or actually commited war crimes. Either way, I don't want him as commander in chief of the most powerfull armed forces the world has ever seen.

Who cares if the swift boat vets are telling the truth? We all should. Maybe all 254 got together and conspired to discredit Kerry. Maybe not. Either way we should find out. After all, 254 people who knew and served beside Kerry being so anti-Kerry should be raising red flags even if they are making it all up. Why would they do that? Why is there only one person that served with him that is on his side? We should find out. We should care.

But it is true that people can change. Thirty years is a long time. Even twenty years is a long time. Four months is a short time. Yet Kerry never mentions his 20 years in the Senate. Why do you think that is? He mentions his 4 months in Vietnam at every opprotunity, even making opprotunities where not logical connection exists. He implies over and over again that his four months is Veitnam qualifies him to lead this country. Apparently Kerry thinks what happened 30 years ago matters... as long as it's his version.

Was Bush AWOL 30 years ago? Maybe. Does it matter? Sure. It's not on the same level as an admitted war criminal, but it matters. However, there is nothing but a lack of evidence to back those charges up. A lack of evidence is not evidence. This AWOL thing is a handful of people saying "Yes, I too can not prove where Bush was 30 years ago". I couldn't prove where I was at 12:00 AM a week ago. Sure, I'm usually in bed at that time. Sure, not one remembers seeing me leave. Sure, no one remembers seing me anywhere else. But was I really in bed like I say? You can't prove a negative. If someone was watching my bed last week, and documented it at the time that my bed was empty at 12:00 AM last week, that would be evidence that I wasn't in bed. But I could have been on the couch. It doesn't mean I robbed the bank.

Did Bush's connections help him in avoiding Veitnam? That would say something about his character, except for one thing. His father was head of the CIA at the time. He couldn't have gone to Veitnam had he wanted to go. There's no way the US would allow the son of the head of the CIA to be in a war zone.

Re:Does this matter? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10193047)

GWB's father was not CIA Director until his appointment by Pres. Ford in 1976. Google some history before making up your own.

Re:Does this matter? (2, Informative)

Kick the Donkey (681009) | more than 9 years ago | (#10193203)

Who cares if Kerry admitted publically to commiting war crimes 30 years ago? I do. It means he either lied for political purposes, or actually commited war crimes.

Kerry didn't admit to commiting war crimes... The stories he relating to the Senete Committee where related to him. Guilty of hear-say? Yes. Guilty of war crimes? No...

Re:Does this matter? (1)

b-baggins (610215) | more than 9 years ago | (#10193359)

Read Kerry's testimony. He said that he, himself, was guilty of committing the same atrocities that he reported.

But even if he didn't commit them, as an officer, he was still guilty of war crimes by witnessing the acts and failing to either a) act upon them or b) report them up the chain of command.

Of course, the fact that all the atrocities he reported never existed outside of his fertile imagination is something that no Kerry supporter actually likes to admit, for obvious reasons.

Re:Does this matter? (1)

jgardn (539054) | more than 9 years ago | (#10193230)

I think the death toll is just another campaign ploy by the democrats. I'd be careful mentioning it, because you really are using their caskets as a device.

Why don't we count the number of Iraqi patriots who have died fighting insurgents and terrorists? They died defending their own country, trying to secure it to a point where they might actually get a free election. The insurgents and the terrorists are doing everything in their power to prevent this.

Shall we count the innocent victims of terrorism and insurgencies in Iraq as well? We know for a fact that the insurgents and terrorists have killed far more Iraqi civilians than the Americans did. They are doing more damage to their own country than an entire army did in taking it over.

The real numbers to be concerned about are the 200+ school children and faculties murdered brutally by Al Quaeda operatives in Russia. Did you read Putin's speech? He has joined Bush in the pre-emptive doctrine. No longer is he going to wait to respond to terrorism. He is going to hunt and destroy every known terrorist organization within his reach.

You should also count the passengers and victims of the terrorist's insane attack on September 11, 2001. Count the ones who were working to support their families in the twin towers, count the firefighters and police men who knowingly went into a building that was collapsing, that knowingly climbed higher and higher while everyone else was rushing to get out. Count the fathers and mothers, and count the children that had no family to return to that evening. And count the member of the military in the Pentagon that were taken that day as well.

But don't forget the other victims of terror, both American and abroad, who have been murdered in the name of Jihad. The USS Cole, the marine barracks, the embassy bombings, the first trade tower attack, the bombings in Southeast Asia, the Phillipines, etc.

I say every one of those 1,000 soldiers who volunteered to give their lives are heroes. It's because of them that we are fighting terrorists in Baghdad and not Manhattan. It's because of them that I can sit here and even talk about them without worrying about someone walking into my office with a bomb strapped to his belt. Would I have supported Bush if I knew in 1 1/2 years later 1,000 of this country's bravest and most patriotic would give their lives to execute the plan? Hell yes.

Iraq isn't over until we have peaceful elections and stability. It isn't over until we have completed the transition from a people enslaved to a despot to a people free from terror. It isn't over until the seeds of democracy are planted in the Middle East. Iraq is our one hope to solve the terrorist problem and to bring peace and prosperity to that area of the world. If we succeed there, we can succeed in Iran, Syria, Libya, and surrounding areas. Democracy will spread like wildfire in that region, like it did in the civilized world 200 years ago.

Where will the terrorists turn for new recruits when all the people in the Middle East have a voice? Why will the blow themselves up when they can run for office or vote their conscience? Why would they hate America when America is one of their biggest and most profitable trading partners?

How long until some Kerry news (0, Troll)

tdoane78 (540946) | more than 9 years ago | (#10191792)

Ahh, how many more anti-bush slanted views until we see some anti-kerry views. Oh wait, i'm at moveone.org...oh wait slashdot. -Tim

Re:How long until some Kerry news (1)

Kick the Donkey (681009) | more than 9 years ago | (#10193146)

If you want an anti-Kerry point of view, just watch the rest of the American press...

Liberal media my ass...

Isn't it interesting (3, Insightful)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#10191820)

That 258 Swifties remember serving with John Kerry in Vietnam- but NOBODY in Alabama can remember George W. Bush serving there the year he was supposed to be showing up for training while working on the Senate campaign of a family friend? Never mind that the grand majority of those Swifties seem to be lying about serving with John Kerry (what is the crew complement of one of those little boats anyway? Certainly NOT over 200!) but at least they remember him being there- which is more than can be said for W during his fornication & cocaine & alcohol days....

Re:Isn't it interesting (0)

FlimFlamboyant (804293) | more than 9 years ago | (#10192210)

which is more than can be said for W during his fornication & cocaine & alcohol days....

You know, if you want to get in to character assassination, there's no end to what can be dug up on either side of the fence. You surely aren't under the impression that Kerry hasn't participated in many of the same things, are you? After all, he has already admitted to playing an active role in some of the "atrocities" committed by the "baby killers" in Vietnam. Would you rather have someone run the country who had a few too many 30 years ago, or someone who admits to have participated in war crimes 30 years ago?

I don't recall the left blowing up when the draft-dodging Clinton took office, so I don't see any justification for this being a major issue now. "Oh, but W is sending our people to die!" you say. And Clinton didn't (Somalia)? I'm more concerned with 2005 than the early 70's.

Yes, a man's history can, to some extent, define whether or not he is trustworthy. But there's plenty of stuff that has come up in very recent history that I think can be used to make a more accurate assessment of where they are today.

Re:Isn't it interesting (1)

EnderWiggnz (39214) | more than 9 years ago | (#10192820)

> "Oh, but W is sending our people to die!" you say.
>And Clinton didn't (Somalia)?

Yep - Clinton didnt - they were placed in Somalia by GHWB, in Dec 1992, before clinton was sworn in.

Re:Isn't it interesting (1)

FlimFlamboyant (804293) | more than 9 years ago | (#10193115)

Yep - Clinton didnt - they were placed in Somalia by GHWB, in Dec 1992, before clinton was sworn in.

Right you are. But he left them there until it became politically unpopular to do so (the massacre of October '93). Then he puts our troops in danger again in Kosovo, and Iraq. So we have two "draft-dodging" presidents (W only being suspected of doing so by the left) who have both sent our troops in to harm's way. If you're going to scrutinize Bush, you should at least be honest and put your own party under the same level of scrutiny.

Now let's assume for a moment that you guys are correct, and Bush DID dodge the draft. Well guess what? The only difference between Bush and Kerry was that Kerry tried to do the same thing [telegraph.co.uk] , but failed.

Re:Isn't it interesting (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#10193298)

(W only being suspected of doing so by the left)

True or false- Bush joined the Air National Guard to defend Texas during the Vietnam war?

Now let's assume for a moment that you guys are correct, and Bush DID dodge the draft. Well guess what? The only difference between Bush and Kerry was that Kerry tried to do the same thing, but failed.

Not quite the same thing- Bush was way too stupid to ever get an educational deferment in Paris. His grades weren't good enough. That's a huge difference between Kerry and Clinton's method of avoiding the draft and Bush's from my point of view- Clinton and Kerry worked hard at school to avoid the draft by their own ability, Bush would have been sent by his parole officer to the draft board if it hadn't been for daddy pulling some strings.

Re:Isn't it interesting (1)

EnderWiggnz (39214) | more than 9 years ago | (#10193343)

applying for a deferrment, and accepting the rejection, volunteering for dangerous duty, and then being named to a presitgious admiral's assitant position.

vs.

getting daddy to pull strings to get you into a champagne squadron, not fulfilling your duty, and losing flight status.

yep - completely the same.

Re:Isn't it interesting (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#10193231)

You know, if you want to get in to character assassination, there's no end to what can be dug up on either side of the fence. You surely aren't under the impression that Kerry hasn't participated in many of the same things, are you? After all, he has already admitted to playing an active role in some of the "atrocities" committed by the "baby killers" in Vietnam. Would you rather have someone run the country who had a few too many 30 years ago, or someone who admits to have participated in war crimes 30 years ago?

Given the war we're currently engaged in and who we're fighting- the guy who actually knows how to commit war crimes without being tried by the international tribunal is WAY preferable to the guy who had a few to many and was arrested for cocaine possession in Texas. You must be under the impression that I'm the typical anti-war lefty- I'm not. I know that the only sure way out of the War on Terror at this point is genocide- shouldn't we have somebody in office who has actually done it?

I don't recall the left blowing up when the draft-dodging Clinton took office, so I don't see any justification for this being a major issue now. "Oh, but W is sending our people to die!" you say. And Clinton didn't (Somalia)? I'm more concerned with 2005 than the early 70's.

So, after all these years, the lie of the 1990s Republicans comes out- Character only counts when our side has more than the other guy.

Yes, a man's history can, to some extent, define whether or not he is trustworthy. But there's plenty of stuff that has come up in very recent history that I think can be used to make a more accurate assessment of where they are today.

You mean like the answer to the question "Is the war on terror winnable?"

Re:Isn't it interesting (1)

crmartin (98227) | more than 9 years ago | (#10193436)

Given the war we're currently engaged in and who we're fighting- the guy who actually knows how to commit war crimes without being tried by the international tribunal is WAY preferable to the guy who had a few to many and was arrested for cocaine possession in Texas.

You know, he may have a point.

Re:Isn't it interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10192394)

The argument that the Swifties didn't serve with Kerry because they weren't in the exact same boat is just plain stupid. The Swiftees never claimed to be in the same boat with him. They commanded and served in boats that were with Kerry's boat. You don't have to serve in the exact same boat with Kerry to have served with him.

Not so. (1)

Fished (574624) | more than 9 years ago | (#10192417)

You're missing some important points here.

  1. Kerry's testimony regarding atrocities in Vietnam was widely reported and even televised. Many Vietnam Veterans were quite angry about this - which is perhaps why they remember him.
  2. Swift boats are pretty small, and only have a crew of about 6 men (i.e. less than Kerry has in his "band of brothers." However, they operated in squads with several boats each. The Swift Boat vets have never claimed to be on the same boat, but they have claimed to be in the same squad, and this claim appears to be true. No question but that many of them had the chance to observe Kerry in action. Whether they tell the truth is another matter.

Re:Not so. (1)

EnderWiggnz (39214) | more than 9 years ago | (#10193226)

you are completely mischaracterizing kerry's testimony, as well as the nations, and veterans mood at the time.

nobody was "for" Vietnam in 1971. there was a huge backlash against this unpopular and worthless war. stating otherwise now is dishonest.

Kerry represented a large group of vietnam vets, and presented their stories to congress. He spoke Truth to Power. He was a decorated war hero that came back and spoke against the war he took part in. He spoke Truth.

As for the Swift Liars -let me say that I have extreme reservations against a group that is formed by a Nixonian creation. [msn.com]

For chists sakes, O'Neill - the head of the Swift Vets makes several appearances in the damn Watergate tapes with Nixon! You think that this man is after "truth"? You think this man has any credibility?

Re:Not so. (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#10193323)

Kerry's testimony regarding atrocities in Vietnam was widely reported and even televised. Many Vietnam Veterans were quite angry about this - which is perhaps why they remember him.

True- ok, that counts for the other 240 some vets.

Swift boats are pretty small, and only have a crew of about 6 men (i.e. less than Kerry has in his "band of brothers." However, they operated in squads with several boats each. The Swift Boat vets have never claimed to be on the same boat, but they have claimed to be in the same squad, and this claim appears to be true. No question but that many of them had the chance to observe Kerry in action. Whether they tell the truth is another matter.

Ok, granted.

Compare (-1, Troll)

toddhisattva (127032) | more than 9 years ago | (#10191843)

George W. Bush is documenting his service.

John F. Kerry is lying about his "service."

Vote for the American.

Re:Compare (3, Funny)

MarsDefenseMinister (738128) | more than 9 years ago | (#10191910)

So let me get this straight. You're living in the liberal capital of Texas, you're a musician (long-haired FM type), a game programmer, a fan of science fiction, a Buddhist, and a former BBS operator? And you support GW Bush?

That's an anti-matter explosion just waiting to happen.

Re:Compare (1)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 9 years ago | (#10192302)

How about a coffeehouse modern folk musician, works in the newspaper industry, a fan who hosted a Science Fiction radio show, a member of a Wiccan coven (but primarily Discordian), a former BBS operator, marched for gay rights, worked security at an abortion clinic, a director of a Rocky Horror Picture Show cast, *and* I live in Davis, CA, likely the most liberal town in America.

And I voted for Bush in 2000 - in Palm Beach County, FL. And likely will in 2004.

It's simple: I hate the neocons as much as anybody else, but I think the Republicans, when they are inevitably stripped of the neocon religious right (see Arnold's speech at the RNC for what the party will be in 10 years), is where the country should be. I think Bush is thouroughly mediocre, and Ashcroft is downright bad. But I dislike the Socialistic and racist/separatist tendencies of the Democrats.

The Republicans seem to be moving in the right direction, and since I believe issues such as gay marriage will inevitably come to pass, I will try to keep them in power and let society mature socially.

Basically, people with a Libertarian or socially liberal, fiscally conservative bent can either wish that there was a Libertarian party with a chance of getting elected, or they can hammer on one of the other parties. As far as I can tell, the one that is salvageable is the Republican party. A good chunk of the religious right has left already. Pull the neocons out of there, and it's 90% there.

--
Evan

Re:Compare (1)

Phillup (317168) | more than 9 years ago | (#10192776)

Basically, people with a Libertarian or socially liberal, fiscally conservative bent can either wish that there was a Libertarian party with a chance of getting elected, or they can hammer on one of the other parties.

I haven't picked either party... I alway vote for gridlock.

That means, this year I'll be voting democrat. They could run Hitler... I'd still vote for him.

I simply don't want congress and the executive branch ran by the same assholes.

Re:Compare (1)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 9 years ago | (#10193314)

I really can't disagree too much with that. For anybody who doesn't agree with either party (and can't get the "Rah, rah, yay team!" blind follower thing going), it's a difficult thing to chose. Attempting to keep the power out of one party isn't a bad idea.

--
Evan

Re:Compare (1)

evilmousse (798341) | more than 9 years ago | (#10191978)

or is it..
gwb is lying about jfk's service
jfk is seeking documentation of gwb's service

personally, i could care less. i'll stick to
looking at past voting records and stated intention
of future policy.

-g

Example of the problem with American politics. (1)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 9 years ago | (#10192008)

Here we have a prime example of why this sort of irrelevant debate comes up in the first place: The seemingly willing lack of sophistication of the American voter. Of course, this exists on both sides of the aisle, but that doesn't make it any less destructive.

It is damaging to our system of government to have people voting based on a bumper-sticker understanding of the issues. Take your rather bizarre belief that Kerry, his boatmates, the Navy and everybody *but* the SBVFT are lying about what happened in Vietnam. Obviously, you couldn't believe this slander if you'd bothered to research any of the evidence -- the first hand accouts, the Navy's records, the previous statements of some of the SBVFT who have suddenly changed their stories -- instead, you're selectively choosing to buy into it because it happens to fit your harshly partisan views.

Elections are about ensuring that the USA remains in the best hands possible, not about always having your guy win and the other guy lose. To that end, it's your duty as an American Citizen to seek out and use the facts rather than swallowing the vicious lies of those who cynically disregard the truth.

Opposing war is not automatically unpatriotic. Supporting a certain candidate is not unpatriotic, despite what you might think. The true failure of patriotism is you blowing off your fundemental obligation to our political system to vote in a thoughtful, well-considered way -- that's more harmful to the United States than any asshole living in a cave in Afghanistan or a palace in Baghdad.

Re:Example of the problem with American politics. (2, Interesting)

Remlik (654872) | more than 9 years ago | (#10192212)

"Take your rather bizarre belief that Kerry, his boatmates, the Navy and everybody *but* the SBVFT are lying about what happened in Vietnam. Obviously, you couldn't believe this slander if you'd bothered to research any of the evidence -- the first hand accouts, the Navy's records, the previous statements of some of the SBVFT who have suddenly changed their stories --"

Really?

First hand accounts: There are at least three different stories told by Kerry himself about his own actions in Vietnam, none of them line up with any other first handers, and most are 180 degrees off. Several other first-handers have changed their stories in the last few weeks as well. Who do we believe is telling the truth?

The Naval officer who's signature appears on Kerry's star doesn't remember ever issuing the commendation. What? The Navy lie!?! Thats unpossible.

We haven't been able to look at the records of these events because Kerry refuses to release his military records to the public.

The SBVFT have opened themselves up to heavy litiagtion should they acutally be lieing.

So tell me, whats more believable, that 200+ people are willing to risk their good names, and possibly fortunes to get Bush elected, or Kerry is hiding somthing?

Until the records come out, and the investigations are completed we'll never know.

Re:Example of the problem with American politics. (1, Interesting)

Politburo (640618) | more than 9 years ago | (#10192578)

Until the records come out, and the investigations are completed we'll never know.

Until the records come out? Look what you said in your own post:

The Naval officer who's signature appears on Kerry's star doesn't remember ever issuing the commendation. What? The Navy lie!?! Thats unpossible.

Somehow I doubt you'd be saying this if the records supported your version of the story.

Re:Example of the problem with American politics. (1)

Remlik (654872) | more than 9 years ago | (#10193171)

"Somehow I doubt you'd be saying this if the records supported your version of the story."

What the hell does that mean? The records (that we have so far) do support me. If all these vets are lieing why doesn't Kerry just release the rest of his military records and show the whole world the "truth." Why doesn't he do that? Why let this long drawn out charade go on any longer if in fact he can prove all of the swifties wrong?

What is the point of making yourself look like a complete fraud if you know your not, and have paper to prove it?

He doesn't have the paper, he's lied so many times he probably doesn't even know what the real truth is. All he can do now is try and surround himself with people willing to backup his lies (also without proof) and claim that Bush is slinging mud.

I call bull shit, now show me the hand he's holding face down.

Re:Example of the problem with American politics. (1)

EnderWiggnz (39214) | more than 9 years ago | (#10193290)

right - the records are out, they've been vetted several times already, and Kerry is clean as a whistle.

if these asshats question the official navy records regarding jfk's medals, they question every vets medal, too, because - maybe they didnt deserve them either.

Re:Example of the problem with American politics. (1)

surferdwa (798657) | more than 9 years ago | (#10193021)

We haven't been able to look at the records of these events because Kerry refuses to release his military records to the public

Not sure who you've been listening to, but Kerry has released his records.

They have been available on his web sight in pdf for several moths now:

http://www.johnkerry.com/about/john_kerry/military _records.html [johnkerry.com]

Re:Example of the problem with American politics. (2, Informative)

metrazol (142037) | more than 9 years ago | (#10193030)

First off, you must've missed a few key points about the military.

Commanding officer doesn't remember signing a medal award? Wow, guess the 10,000 others must've confused him. The figure you're thinking of was at the theater level, not John Kerry's personal CO.

If you look at the stories of Kerry and whatziz name who was on the third boat, they match. Mine explodes, gunfire, ambush, shoot out, people getting pulled from water, etc.

The story that's divergent is Thurlow's and the SBVT's. Thurlow was IN THE RIVER for the entire engagement. He was fished out near the end .(note, that's like, 10 minutes of treading water max, but mustn't have been fun...)

Also, they jab at Kerry over this ONE shoot out. Not, you know, all the other times he risked his life. Just one that was a mad house on water and an SBVT was actually at, unlike the rest of the SBVTs who, as Jon Stewart pointed out, "served" with Kerry just as Bob Dole "served" with Generals Patton or Montgomery. Sure they were in the same war, but they weren't exactly next to each other.(Though didn't Dole get wounded in Sicily?)

The SBVTs are a tool of the Bush admin ala Willy Horton and "Rock us!" Dukakis. Maybe not in the same office, but definitely trading resources. That's so far from kosher it's comparable to a pork and crab po'boy.

Now, the issue with the records is just silly. You really want his KP reports and an inventory of how many socks he was issued? Who cares? The commendations are out for everyone at the event in question. They all line up pretty well. They were never questioned until the SBVTs decided that they were no good soldiers who lied and acted cowardly, but ya know, with John Kerry, 'cause he was like, totally there...in Vietnam...on the other side of the country...

Re:Example of the problem with American politics. (1)

jefu (53450) | more than 9 years ago | (#10193381)

"So tell me, whats more believable, that 200+ people are willing to risk their good names, and possibly fortunes to get Bush elected, or Kerry is hiding somthing?"

I find both believable. The Republicans certainly have a rather patchy record of honesty and I'm not sure how much I trust Kerry. But given a choice between them I rather think I'll prefer someone who may have (to put in a rather geeky metaphor) has edited his memory a bit sloppily over a group that seems to be willing to groupthink themselves into what looks like deliberate lying.

Re:Example of the problem with American politics. (0, Troll)

toddhisattva (127032) | more than 9 years ago | (#10193399)

You are an example of the amazing gullibility of the left, blithely accepting whatever garbage the Democrat bullshit factory a.k.a. "the Press" hands you without a second, or even first, thought.

To quote Paul Tsongas, "do your goddamn homework!" Google all sides of the stories, read things you disagree with, challenge your assumptions.

For instance, I assumed "if Kerry's war record is good enough for the U.S. Navy, it's good enough for me." Then I started doing my goddamn homework....

you couldn't believe this slander if you'd bothered to research any of the evidence

The more research I do, the more I'm convinced Kerry is a liar. His own stories do not match each other.

How did memories of Cambodia get seared in Kerry's memory? Probably from watching "Apocalypse Now." Anyway, here he's been caught telling a whopping hell of a lie.

Then there is his infamous testimony before Congress, much of which was taken from Jane Fonda's "Winter Soldier" propaganda festival. Real men took torture to avoid signing false confessions. John Kerry proffered false confessions [c-span.org] to Congress, just to enhance his standing with political leftists.

Increasingly, John Kerry has only his little band of brothers corroborating his stories. Scores of veterans have gone on the record to correct Kerry's lies. Sample chapters are widely available [google.com] .

Kerry has his eight veteran supporters. Hundreds of veterans who served with him remember him as a pathetic coward who inflated his war record so he could hurry home and spread shit about them.

It is very easy for a rich man like J. Forbes Kerry to buy off his small crew. A million bucks each and they'll be his whores forever!

Re:Compare (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10192516)

I'm pretty sure all of the U.S. Military records indicate John Kerry was correctly awarded all of his medals. Also, Kerry's records have actually been released for public viewing. Isn't it suspicious that all these ppl questioning his record now, were silent 35 years ago?

As for W's record, there is certainly a dirth of documentation from the military; any information provided about W's record is drastically censored.

Personally, I think the REAL American is the one that fought for his country.

Re:Compare (1)

meta-monkey (321000) | more than 9 years ago | (#10192975)

Ummm...no. Kerry did not release all of his records. He released some of his records, but not all. Bush released all of his records. What's in the rest of Kerry's records? I'd like to know.

The problem with the Navy's records about Kerry's medals is that most of them were awarded based on Kerry's own after-action reports, and the contents of those reports don't jive with what the swifties remember happening. Why did they not bring this up before now? Because they didn't know about it. Do you think they read their peer's after action reports? Of course not. They've got better things to do. Even if they grumbled about a medal or something, what are they really going to do? From their thinking at the time, in the grand scheme it doesn't mean much. Seriously, put yourself in their shoes. You see a jerk who doesn't deserve it get a medal (heck, assuming you even know he GOT the medal at the time...remember, they'd wear their medals on their combat fatigues) do you a) make a huge stink, demand an investigation, and risk alienating the people you need watching your back in war, or b) grumble about it, and move on with trying to stay alive in a stinking jungle?

Consider, for instance, if you want to high school with George W. Bush. You had maybe one or two classes with him, but weren't friends. You never talked, but you saw the way he acted in class and towards other students, and thought he was a jackass. All the while, he's writing fibs in his journal about how "terr'rist kill'rs" attacked the school one day, and he commandeered a lunch cart rolled around killing every last one of them with plastic sporks. You were slient about all this. Forty years later, W. runs for president, using soley this experience as his qualifications for the presidency. "Vote for me, 'cause I kill't terr'rist kill'rs with a spork 40 years ago!" You speak up and say, "Hey, none of that happened!" Why did you wait forty years to challenge these obsurd statements? Oh yeah, because you didn't know about these lies forty years ago, and they didn't matter until he tried to run for president!

There is no dirth of documentation from the military about W's record. There are a few missing pay stubs...that's all. It's a paperwork snafu from 35 years ago. My wife was in the Army for nine years. Having seen what goes on there, I'm not surprised that the air force reserves might have misplaced a few pieces of paper. On the other hand, here are 250 people who served in the same squad as Kerry, saying Kerry lied about his service in Vietnam. Nobody's claiming W lied about his service in the guard...just that there are a few missing pieces of paper. Oh, and it should it be noted that the guy who supposedly "got W into the gaurd" so he wouldn't have to go to Vietnam is a partisan democrat.

No Cowboyneal option? (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 9 years ago | (#10191885)

www.geocities.com/James_Sager_PA

Does this really matter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10191889)

Is anybody else more interested in how the candidates propose to deal with current issues, rather than questions about stuff they did thirty years ago?

Re:Does this really matter? (1)

Farmer Jimbo (515393) | more than 9 years ago | (#10192047)

Dude, that's crazy talk!

Re:Does this really matter? (1)

paRcat (50146) | more than 9 years ago | (#10192222)

No, that's my brother, Crazytalk. We're all a little worried about him.

For those too lazy to read the article... (1)

keiferb (267153) | more than 9 years ago | (#10191923)

He let his pilot's certification lapse because of a skipped medical exam, was only in the middle of his class academically, and missed some sort of critical readiness drill.

Brilliant editor of a 'tech' site (0, Flamebait)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 9 years ago | (#10192020)

Hey, genius, the reason your TiVo doesn't mention this is because the guide is not constantly updated. Further, who knows when the last time your guide was updated.

I bet you complain when professional sporting events aren't magically taken care of by your TiVo.

Fair And Balanced? (1)

USAPatriot (730422) | more than 9 years ago | (#10192029)

If you guys are going to be fair with regards to politics.slashdot.org, you should try to show it soon. So far, this section still looks like indymedia for nerds(bikes against bush, f9/11, hackers at RNC).

Now this about Bush's service in the ANG? Where is your coverage of Kerry's Vietnam service? I noticed you haven't posted Kerry's medals being investigated by the Pentagon. [smh.com.au]

Whether this has merit is not the point, it's the story selection that is more interesting here.

Blatantly political.... (2)

heldlikesound (132717) | more than 9 years ago | (#10192032)

Yeah, I understand that this was posted in the politics section, but when this section was announced I assumed we'd see stories about voting records on Spam legislation, Patriot Act news, and maybe a story or two about the candidates preferred computing platform, but this is just purely political BS. There's nothing tech about it, and reminds me of watching the stupid news on tv. Shame, shame.

Re:Blatantly political.... (1)

Usquebaugh (230216) | more than 9 years ago | (#10192290)

Welcome to the new red neck /.

Re:Blatantly political.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10192460)

Yeah, I understand that this was posted in the politics section, but when this section was announced I assumed we'd see stories about . . .

Not me. I just hoped there was enough stuff here to keep the political comments out of the tech articles.

Re:Blatantly political.... (1)

phauxfinnish (698087) | more than 9 years ago | (#10192470)

The poster did refer to his TiVo. Whats not tech about that?

Re:Blatantly political.... (1)

Phaid (938) | more than 9 years ago | (#10192681)

Is it just me, or is it impossible to filter out the politics section?

I went into my Preferences, on the Home Page, and checked that I wanted to gnore the Politics, Democrats, and Republicans topics under Exclude Stories from the Homepage. And yes, I hit Save. Nevertheless, these stories keep appearing.

Re:Blatantly political.... (2, Informative)

pudge (3605) | more than 9 years ago | (#10192713)

Un-check "section collapse" or whatever it is called.

The exclusion not working is a bug, it will be fixed. In the meantime, don't collpase sections.

Form 180 (3, Insightful)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 9 years ago | (#10192112)

Why won't Kerry sign a Form 180 to make all his military records public?

What is he trying to hide? After all, he is the one who has been running on his military record.

On the topics of politics.slashdot.org, why isn't it more balanced and why aren't real political matters being covered?

Re:Form 180 (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 9 years ago | (#10192967)

Why haven't you submitted a political article?

Re:Form 180 (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 9 years ago | (#10193091)

Every article I submit is killed (Like the one on Howards Dean's Internet ID plan)just like I no longer have mod privilages due to griping about the /. editors.

So wait?!?! (2, Insightful)

wbav (223901) | more than 9 years ago | (#10192143)

The punishment is 24 months of active duty? Send him to Iraq. Let him clean up the mess. Some time in the line of fire may make him think twice before taking over countries.

Re:So wait?!?! (1)

Phillup (317168) | more than 9 years ago | (#10192815)

He'd somehow figure a way to get his time a "commander-in-chief" to count instead...

past behavior is a predictor of future behavior (2, Interesting)

Bad Boy Marty (15944) | more than 9 years ago | (#10192148)

And that is why it is so important to know what a slacker or what a liar a presidential candidate is. Given what we now know about our current (acting?) president's devotion to his military service, how can he possibly be permitted to be our commander-in-chief?

Oh, and the other guy is also unsuitable to hold public office, for hosts of other reasons.

Remember: it is only those who are least suited to hold elected office that are stupid/corrupt enough to even accept a nomination.

I would dearly love for either party to propose a candidate that is actually going to improve the quality of life for every US citizen -- without meddling in the lives of citizens of other countries. (In discussions with many folks many years older than myself, it has been strongly suggested that the last such candidate was John F. Kennedy. I'm not convinced, but I concede the possibility: he certainly kept his religion out of his politics better than any US president since.)

Re:past behavior is a predictor of future behavior (1)

bandy (99800) | more than 9 years ago | (#10192253)

he certainly kept his religion out of his politics better than any US president since


Well, Nixon certainly didn't let his Quaker beliefs get in his way...

on JFK (1)

russeljns (806466) | more than 9 years ago | (#10193185)

I would dearly love for either party to propose a candidate that is actually going to improve the quality of life for every US citizen -- without meddling in the lives of citizens of other countries. ...it has been strongly suggested that the last such candidate was John F. Kennedy.

JFK didn't avoid "meddling in the lives of citizens of other countries". Cuba [gwu.edu] and Vietnam [wikipedia.org] come to mind. Anticommunist meddling is still meddling.

As for his religion, he kept that as quiet as possible due to the widespread fear at the time that he would be taking orders from the Pope. There used to be a lot of anti-Catholic sentiment in this country.

Re:past behavior is a predictor of future behavior (2, Interesting)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 9 years ago | (#10193233)

I would dearly love for either party to propose a candidate that is actually going to improve the quality of life for every US citizen -- without meddling in the lives of citizens of other countries.

I really, really, really do NOT want a President who is going to "improve the quality of life" for every US Citizen.

Actually, I can't think of much of any one thing that could be done that would accomplish that.

Lowering taxes? No, the Big Government types wouldn't like that.

Raising taxes? No, the Small Government people wouldn't like that.

Universal Healthcare? Free Market types would be upset. As well as doctors, nurses, and whoever had to pay for it.

Free Beer for everyone? The Teetotallers would be left out?

A chicken in every pot, and a car in every driveway? That would offend the vegans and the Greens.

And on, and on, and on.

(In discussions with many folks many years older than myself, it has been strongly suggested that the last such candidate was John F. Kennedy. I'm not convinced, but I concede the possibility: he certainly kept his religion out of his politics better than any US president since.)

Many folks older than you are still fondly reminiscing about Saint John the Kennedy. Note that he didn't offer to do something to improve the quality of life for every US citizen, but rather to allow every US citizen do something to improve the quality of life of the government. And Vietnam. Remember that? Kennedy sent the first troops in, as I recall.

Realistically, all Presidents want to improve the quality of life of every American citizen. Problem is that their definition of "improved" and your definition (or mine) don't necessarily match up.

Clinton apparently thought that the Assault Weapon Ban would be a good thing for all Americans. I happen to disagree, having read the text of the law. You, on the other hand, might very well believe that ugly rifles are evil, and should be banned.

Bush apparently thinks that letting it lapse would be a good thing. I happen to agree with that, since I don't think there is anything intrinsically evil about an ugly rifle. Some of you, no doubt, will disagree with that move.

Same with everything else. Propose something to "improve the quality of life of every US citizen", and a large minority (or large majority, perhaps) will think you are an unmitigated ass for even considering making this heinous change to our way of life. And most of the rest won't think you are going far enough....

What Wrong With Politics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10192169)

I've seen this from both sides of the aisle:

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.

"Misspoke" is apparently a euphemism for "lied." (Oh, and Dan, it's "have misspoken.")

Enough of this Canned BS... (3, Insightful)

PipianJ (574459) | more than 9 years ago | (#10192173)

I've heard both sides say both opinions, that he did meet his requirements honorably and that he did not. But without seeing the records and requirements first-hand, how the hell are we supposed to believe either side's "analysis"?

As far as I'm concerned, both sides smell of rot on this issue, until I can decide for myself instead of having the decision made for me by the media.

The problem... (3, Insightful)

Fished (574624) | more than 9 years ago | (#10192265)

The problem, as I see it, is that the media continually goes into "feeding frenzy" mode over these Alabama allegations, while failing to seriously engage with Kerry's war records. Where's the Associated Press's suit to force the release of Kerry's Vietnam records? And, frankly, where is the furor over Kerry's apparently fictitious "Christmas in Cambodia?"

The bottom line is that, at worst, Bush dodge the draft - and we already knew that - and then blew off his national guard service - if you didn't already know this, you should've. On the other hand, it appears from his own statements [nationalreview.com] that Kerry falsely accused the United States government of having him invade a foreign country in 1968 - a claim he made from the senate floor in 1986 and has made many times before and sense.

Why do we have a media frenzy over the one and a media blackout over the other? Answer: 85% of employees in the news media are Democrats.

Now, I'm not much of a Republican. I will probably vote for Kerry. But I am disturbed at the way in which the mainstream media has failed to cover questions regarding Kerry's war record compared to this silliness about Bush's National Guard record. When they've covered the Kerry question at all, it has been coverage questioning the relationship between the Bush campaign and the Swift Boat ads. They have ignored everything but the question of Bush '04 involvemnt. I would really appreaciate some responsible coverage of the Christmas in Cambodia issue, but I've been unable to find it.

Re:The problem... (1, Informative)

jamie (78724) | more than 9 years ago | (#10192570)

...where is the furor over Kerry's apparently fictitious "Christmas in Cambodia?"

... it appears from his own statements that Kerry falsely accused the United States government of having him invade a foreign country in 1968 ...

Holiday in Cambodia [msn.com] , by Fred Kaplan:

It is a twisted state of affairs that George W. Bush's most avid surrogates are trying to make this election turn on the question of whether Lt. John Kerry was or was not in Cambodia on Christmas Eve 1968...

It is certain that by this time, the United States had long been making secret incursions across the border...

...the evidence indicates he did cover those 40 miles: He was near (or in?) Cambodia in the morning...

Dividing the Slashdot community (1)

SilentSage (656382) | more than 9 years ago | (#10192422)

It deeply saddens me that Slashdot has reduced itself to this kind of sensationalism. Slashdot used to be a forum to discuss technology issues. It now seems to be increasingly driven by some sort of self destructive need to divide and alienate vast portions of the slashdot community. The mere fact that slashdot has a political articles section that posts these kinds of stories, let alone the fact they make it to the front page, is indicative of its impending demise as the leading technological discussion board and information site on the internet. When most open source communities take themselves too far down the divisive path that slashdot is clearly headed they simply fork. Forks always hurt the community overall and this is what I believe will happen to slashdot. We will divide ourselves into a hundred little "slash clone" sites according to our individual beliefs, each one with a sliver of the community at large. Our community will be less diverse, our voice not as loud and our influence diminished. This will be a sad day if our community allows it comes to pass.

Re:Dividing the Slashdot community (1)

orthogonal (588627) | more than 9 years ago | (#10193006)

Slashdot used to be a forum to discuss technology issues

Friend, you can ignore politics, but politics won't ignore you.

Technology is all about politics: copyright law, patent law, outsourcing, regulation of the wireless spectrum, requirements for "broadcast bits", use of technology to support (or defend against) the police state or rampant corporatism.

Hell, model rocketry has been effectively outlawed to protect us against "terrorism".

Clinton tried to outlaw cryptography.

And Bill Gates would love to establish crippling insurance or certification requirements to stamp out hobbyist GPL projects.

Sure, ignore.

The more you ignore it, the quicker it'll affect your life.

In World War II, Woody Guthrie wrote on his guitar, "This Machine Kills Fascists".

What's written on your computer?

What about Cheney? (1)

torpor (458) | more than 9 years ago | (#10192480)

You mean like Clinton? (1)

the_skywise (189793) | more than 9 years ago | (#10192873)

How about John Edwards military record? Oh wait... he doesn't HAVE one because he didn't even sign up for the National Guard...

It's worth reading some of the opposing views (2, Insightful)

crmartin (98227) | more than 9 years ago | (#10192511)

On Kerry's medals. [idexer.com]

Bush AWOL: Case Closed [nationalreview.com]

It might be interesting to look at Ben barnes [blogspot.com] , who claims he helped Bush get into the TANG in 1968, as Lt GOV of Texas. The only problem being that Barnes was not sworn in as LT GOV until 1969 -- in May '68, when Bush was sworn into the Guard, Barnes was actually UN Representative to Geneva [klru.org] .

The LA Times and CNN investigated these exact allegations in 1999, and concluded there was nothing to them. [cnn.com]

He's also a major Kerry [dfw.com] contributor [cbsnews.com] and lost his position at Lt Gov in a stock fraud scandal. [utexas.edu] .

Re:It's worth reading some of the opposing views (1)

jamie (78724) | more than 9 years ago | (#10192608)

Yes, he misspoke, saying he was Lt. Governor when he did not attain that post until later. Do you seriously think that means his entire recollection is made-up?

And yes, the media exonerated Bush in 1999. Since then, disclosure after disclosure has turned up new evidence. Do you think you will be wiser to ignore new facts of the past five years?

In any case, his interview tonight should be very interesting to watch.

Re:It's worth reading some of the opposing views (1)

crmartin (98227) | more than 9 years ago | (#10193358)

Do you seriously think that a guy in Geneva has that much pull? Or that one of the three R congressmen in Texas -- at that point completely dominated by the D's for like 100 years -- had all that much pull?

Or that the LA Times story that investigated and discounted barnes in 1999?

Loo, all I said was "read the opposing material too". But, yes, I do think that if a guy

- claims he did something as Lt Gov six months before he was actually in the office,

- is a major Kerry backer,

- is a crook whose political career was ruined by scandal (propelled by Republican investigations),
- has been refuted by a major liberal paper,

- is repeating allegations that he's been shopping for six years,

- and has been quoted in so many words saying that no Bush actually asked for help, then yes, I think his reliability as a source at this point is a little questionable.

Kerry.Slashdot.Org (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10192735)

Why don't you guys just drop the pretense, start Kerry.Slashdot.Org and be done with it.

You refuse to post positive stories about W (I've submitted several), and you refuse to post stories about Venuzuelas voter fraud using electronic voting (where the votes were PROVEN rigged...)

You're obviously not interested in political debate, you just want your candidate and ideology to get an edge in an obviously tight race. Certainly isn't wasn't "worthwhile" doing this when Kerry was ahead of Bush, but now that he's 10 points behind... Ooh, maybe we should discuss politics because this is an important election. Fine. But label it as such.

You're doing a greater disservice to your website and its namesake by spending your karma on your own personal ideology and ego's than a forum for TRUE debate and discussion throughout the rest of the world. (Yeah, like we'll ever see the Russia, China or British flag on politics.slashdot.org)

This is ignoring the fact that (1)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 9 years ago | (#10192918)

Re:This is ignoring the fact that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10193159)

Well, isn't it possible that the cameras didn't pick up the boos?

Remember the Dean scream? Check out the videos here [annatopia.com] .

It's the Dean scream, from a camera in the crowd. You can barely hear him scream. And with the all of the official press footage of that moment in Iowa, you barely notice the crowd.

Defenders of Bush wanted (0)

jamie (78724) | more than 9 years ago | (#10193050)

As of a few minutes ago in this discussion, there have been many people attacking Kerry, a few who attacked Kerry while offering support for Bush, only two who offered any proof that Bush had met his service obligations... and no one who simply provided a factual defense of Bush's record.

Anyone who'd like to walk us through the facts that support Bush, without simultaneously smearing a decorated combat veteran, would be a breath of fresh air.

(The two who linked to this Byron York piece from March [nationalreview.com] , thank you. But (a) that piece is from March and much new information and analysis has come to light since then, little of it favorable for Bush; (b) it admits that the documentation shows Bush simply didn't serve from May to September of 1972, which is the whole point. The one fellow who says he saw Bush during that time, John Calhoun, is less than reliable and the pay stubs contradict him. Apart from that, the best that National Review can do is to quote people who say it's possible Bush was there, but they don't remember seeing him. Faint praise.)

Re:Defenders of Bush wanted (1)

Quinn (4474) | more than 9 years ago | (#10193169)

Bush didn't open his RNC speech with "reporting for duty." Kerry did. Kerry wants Vietnam to be an issue, so we make it an issue that he won all those legitimate purple hearts, but that he did it by requesting them himself and never spending a day in the hospital, and spending less than a season in Vietnam. John Kerry is an asshole.

Trying to come up with Terse Answers (1)

mtaco (520758) | more than 9 years ago | (#10193117)

I noticed that everything has been moderated low in this discussion, maybe if I'm terse I can get moderated high. Here goes.

Facts:

Bush served for 5.5 years in the TANG. 4 years of those were on active duty, because you don't learn to fly planes one weekend a month.

Only the last year (1973) is in dispute, when he was on inactive duty and was living in Alabama.

National Guard rules:

1. Remember the "one weekend a month" ads? Well, its not every month. Its really 28 days/year you have to show up when you're on inactive duty. You can do it in batches.

2. If you're in a different state while on inactive duty, you can show up at the local NG place and do your service there. They won't have "extra" planes for you to fly, though. This rule makes sense if you think about it, people in the NG have day jobs.

Add all these up, and basically, his last year, Bush did his minimum number of days he had to do early in the year, and then didn't have to show up after that. His time in Alabama mostly involved sitting around being bored, because a fighter pilot without a plane is like lips on a chicken.

The Texas Air National Guard discharged him early, basically because all the National Guard units were stuffed with people.

So this is just election year FUBAR.

Re:Trying to come up with Terse Answers (1)

gothzilla (676407) | more than 9 years ago | (#10193417)

If it were that simple to explain, Bush would have explained it this way a long time ago. A lack of simple explanations and a lot of dodging says there is a lot more to the story that we don't know about.

Lots more republicans here than I though... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10193415)

What, is the graduating class at Georgia Tech like 300,000 now?

Lots of 760 Math 520 Verbal responses here.

Good thing you guys only get to vote once.

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