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New Bush Guard Records Released

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the fighting-the-last-war dept.

Republicans 405

rwiedower writes "Over the past 24 hours, several new stories have emerged surrounding President Bush's service in the National Guard. Memos from his commanding officer seem to indicate he was unhappy with Bush's desire to leave Texas, and that he felt Bush was going 'over his head' to get out of service. In true slashdot/military/government fashion, Killian even titled one memo 'CYA'. (The memos, in pdf format, are available here.)"

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True Lies (4, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 9 years ago | (#10201873)

Bush LIED about some things related to his service some 30 years ago.

Kerry LIED about some things related to his service some 30 years ago.

BOTH were honorably discharged from the military.

Bush has said Kerry's service was "honorable". Both "sides" have gone at one another with 527 ads. Persons from BOTH campaigns have been proven to have ties with 527s in some way or another. Texans for Truth [texansfortruth.com] is now doing the EXACT same thing Swiftboat Veterans for Truth [swiftvets.com] did. Neither side is better or worse here; sorry to anyone who thinks their "side" is.

What I want to know is:

How does someone's experience as a junior officer over three decades ago have any bearing on their ability to be President of the United States?

And before you answer about things like "character" or truthfulness, in defense of either side, be careful, as both side has lied plenty. (Yes, [insert Bush or Kerry here]-supporters, he's lied a LOT about things related to his service, both during and after.)

Re:True Lies (2, Insightful)

baywulf (214371) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202055)

"Kerry LIED about some things related to his service some 30 years ago."

I'm curious what Kerry lied about...

Re:True Lies (1, Troll)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202181)

Sure, here's one thing:

http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion /oped/articles/2004/04/29/the_kerry_medals_mystery / [boston.com]

But I'm not going to let this devolve into who lied about what, because both sides lied about things related to and/or surrounding their military experience, and I just provided you one one extremely clear example for Kerry (nevermind that several individuals have specifically said that Kerry has categorically lied about things that happened while in Vietnam, said he was in Cambodia when it was impossible for him to be, etc...then the Kerry camp comes out and says "Navy documents refute X, Y, and Z" and the Bush camp does exactly the same thing).

Re:True Lies (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10202254)

It wasn't impossible for Kerry to be in Cambodia when he said he was. In fact, one of the SBVFT guys told the President of the United States of America that he was in Cambodia with Kerry.

Just because you're on one side of Vietnam in the morning doesn't mean you can't be on the other side later in the day -- it's a skinny country, and they called these things "swift boats" for a reason.

Anyhow, Navy records, first-hand accounts from credible sources, Snopes and FactCheck.org combine to put the lie to this bullshit pretty effectively. Just because you don't *like* the facts doesn't mean you get to ignore them. Even President Bush Jr. is going to find that out.

Re:True Lies (1, Troll)

Curtman (556920) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202319)

But I'm not going to let this devolve into who lied about what

Good. Please don't let that distract you from the fact that 30,000 Iraqi people have died in a war under the guise of "liberation", justified by punishing hijackers from Saudi Arabia that killed 3,000 Americans

Re:True Lies (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10202650)

It's not a troll just because it hurts your pride. Wake up.

Re:True Lies (5, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202711)

This is a troll, but I'll address it.

First of all, "30,000"? You're only off by a factor of 2 or 3. Even iraqbodycount.net, which is sympathetic to your position, estimates Iraqi civilian deaths at 11793 to 13802.

Second, and to rehash some things I've said elsewhere, sanctions against Iraq for 12 years did nothing but kill approximately 50,000 Iraqis needlessly each year, according to Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and other estimates.

So, what of those 600,000-some dead Iraqi people under sanctions? That approximately 50,000 a year, the number we were always bombarded with during the tired "no blood for oil" protest of the 90s?

Well, here's some numbers for you:

Since March of 2003, *including* the 10000-15000 Iraqis US and coalition forces are estimated to have killed during the invasion, there has actually been a NET PRESERVATION of Iraqi lives, on the order of the thousands. A statistically significant PRESERVATION of Iraqi lives, over the previous death estimates of "50,000/year" directly due to sanctions, all from the relatively minimal infrastructure and services improvements made by coalition forces since March 2003. That's how little Saddam cared for his own people, without regard to sanctions. No matter your position on the Iraq war, our direct action has saved, and will continue to save, THOUSANDS of lives of innocent Iraqis. Remember: the only alternative course of action was continuing sanctions. Even the radical idea of lifting sanctions wouldn't have changed Saddam's focus from only concentrating services and resources on Baghdad, leaving over 50% of the population to suffer and fend for itself, not to mention that France, Germany, and Russia would never have allowed the lifting of sanctions, short of military action (which we took). Think about that: exclusively because of US action, statistically, thousands of Iraqis have lived, who otherwise wouldn't have. Countless thousands of others will enjoy this same future, to say nothing of access to basic amenities of life previously not available to rural areas.

Want to follow the money?

Ok, let's follow it.

During sanctions, tens of billions of dollars flowed into, in this order, France, Russia, and Germany for UNOFP contracts administration. TENS OF BILLIONS. Guess when that flow of money stopped? When the US and coalition countries initiated action in March 2003. Guess who didn't want that neverending money spigot turned off...? Thanks to criminal corruption within the UNOFP itself, we may never know the true amount of money that flowed.

So, why not Saudi Arabia? Because Saudi Arabia is an official ally. Saudi Arabia already provides us with needed capabilities in the region, and is critical at this early phase of change in the mideast. Saudi Arabia will be one of the first to go when our support wanes and its royalty is overthrown. By that time, hopefully strong Western-friendly official governments will be present in more nations in the locale which will influence the outcome in the lands of Arabia.

None of what you, or I, say, of course, changes the fact that the people of Iraq are now indeed liberated, even in the face of radicals and insurgents within the country who thirst for control.

I'm having a little trouble finding the "lie". (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202728)

Could you perhaps quote it?

Yes, the link is nice, but it seems to go on and on and on and on about medals, decorations, ribbons, decorations, medals, decorations, ribbons, ribbons and medals.

What did Kerry claim that was not factual:

Re:I'm having a little trouble finding the "lie". (1)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202828)

Why don't you pick one?

When you have a half dozen different positions of what actually happened with regard to a single event, some diametrically opposed to one another, it's pretty clear one of them is a lie. And you should get the impression that Kerry has changed his story on this numerous times, because he has. If you like that feature of Kerry, great.

If I am holding a poker chip in my closed hand, out of your view (such that you, yourself cannot determine its color or shape), and I say:

"This poker chip is blue, and round."

and then five minutes later, say:

"This poker chip is red, and square."

and then five minutes later, say:

"I am holding no poker chip."

Now YOU point to the "lie". What's that? You can't? Well, then, by your logic, they must all be true! But to any rational person, it should be clear that not only am I lying about a minimum of one of those things, I'm also trying to play you for a fool and pull the wool over your eyes at the same time.

Re:I'm having a little trouble finding the "lie". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10202857)

For one example: He claimed, multiple times over the course of his political career, that he spent Christmas of 1968 on a secret mission in Cambodia, and was furious to hear Nixon deny that he was there at the time. (Nixon did not become president until January of 1969.) Before congress, he described this event (which did not happen) as being "seared, seared in my memory." He also made this epiphanal moment (which did not happen) as the main justification for his outrage over the Reagan Administration's secret missions in Nicaragua.

His people currently acknowledge that he was not there in Christmas of 1968, and his official biographer has updated that part of the history to omit this lie.

Next question.

Re:True Lies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10202196)

Uh, "Christmas in Cambodia" immediately comes to mind...

Truth Matters (1, Insightful)

ka9dgx (72702) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202092)

You're telling me that if the Bush team lies loud enough and long enough, they can tell the most bald faced lies in the world, and it's ok?

--Mike--

US, US, uber alles
uber alles in der Welt.... o/~

Re:Truth Matters (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202180)

He was talking about both sides so why did you chose to only discuss the Bush side?

Re:Truth Matters (4, Insightful)

madro (221107) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202279)

Because voters need to weigh the amount of lying done by both sides. To say both sides lie, and then imply equivalency between the two sides, is disingenuous.

There are lies that hide assumptions or omit extenuating circumstances. Then there are lies that are directly contradicted by documented evidence. They're not the same.

Re:Truth Matters (1)

EnderWiggnz (39214) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202807)

Because the accusations behind the Kerry slander had no truth behind them, whereas the Bush accusations have official memo's detailing georgie's refusal of a direct order, and the resulting suspension of flight priviledges.

whereas - the kerry accusations have nothing resembling facts.

Re:True Lies (1, Offtopic)

JofCoRe (315438) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202197)

And before you answer about things like "character" or truthfulness, in defense of either side, be careful, as both side has lied plenty. (Yes, [insert Bush or Kerry here]-supporters, he's lied a LOT about things related to his service, both during and after.)

How about instead of voting for the lesser of two evils (which still inevitably leave you with evil), you vote for "the party of principle": The Libertarian Party [lp.org] is the only political party that seems to not be afraid to give straight answers. Please take the time to check them out before casting your vote. The LP candidate this year, Michael Badnarik [badnarik.org] isn't afraid to answer the tough questions and give answers that aren't always "politically correct".

There's more than two parties in this country, people. Wake up and see that the Republicans and Democrats aren't concerned about anything other than maintaining their stronghold on the country.

Re:True Lies (3, Informative)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202273)

The Libertarian Party is the only political party that seems to not be afraid to give straight answers... Michael Badnarik isn't afraid to answer the tough questions and give answers that aren't always "politically correct".

Neither is David Cobb, the Green Party [votecobb.org] candidate. Don't forget that Badnarik and Cobb have already faced off in the first Presidential debate -- probably the only debate this year that will honestly deal with the issues affecting America's future.

(Go ahead, mod me offtopic... I'm just doin' a little educatin'.)

Re:True Lies (1)

StenD (34260) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202685)

The Libertarian Party is the only political party that seems to not be afraid to give straight answers.
They talk out of both sides of their mouth, just like any other party. For example, they go on at length about how important contracts, including labor contracts, are, then declare that military personnel should be able to ignore their enlistment contracts.

Re:True Lies (5, Insightful)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202213)

How does someone's experience as a junior officer over three decades ago have any bearing on their ability to be President of the United States?

It doesn't. None of the Democrats, including Kerry, seemed to have a problem with Bill Clinton who dodged the draft and protested against the U.S. while overseas. This wasn't a problem compared to Bush 41 and Dole, who accomplished significantly more than Kerry in the military.

The problem is that Kerry has become almost monomaniacal in hyping his Vietnam experience. OK, a year ago it was good to remind us you served honorably under fire. That counts for something in my book, but what has he done recently?!

The irony is that he spends an order of magnitude more time talking about 4 months from before half the electorate was born than his past 20 years in the Senate.

You might not agree with Bush, but at least he's running on his record. Kerry doesn't want people to know who he really is, because most people don't want someone like him. Like I've said many times before, this is a referendum on Bush... Kerry is irrelevant, and he's run his campaign like he is.

Even if Kerry wins, I bet far more people are voting "for Bush" than people who will be voting "for Kerry" as opposed to "against Bush".

Re:True Lies (2, Insightful)

Eneff (96967) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202645)

You'll notice that Vietnam was almost never mentioned in the thick of the Democratic primary.

He really never mentioned it until the SBFT fellows came out and started trying to defame him. He had to fight back, and one of the tactics is the "repeat" meme.

It also stands to say that Clinton was elected during the first real peacetime since World War 2. (I'm not sure if a war on terror is any more winnable than a war on drugs, but that's besides the point.)

But if we weren't talking about this, what would we be talking about - issues? Bush's flip flops?

Re:True Lies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10202292)

There is no documentary evidence that Kerry lied about anything. All the accounts of the SBVT are contradicted by their own accounts at the time of the incidents. Even if you take the word of extremely noncredible witnesses, the worst he did was exagerate the danger he was in or mistate the date of certain events for poetic effect. Even if all his medals were based on fraudulent accounts, he still would have gotten an honorable discharge.

George Bush on the other hand if you believe the documentary evidence violated direct orders, was AWOL, and only got an honorable discharge because of political pressure on his commanding officers. No one has stepped forward having seen Bush completing his serivice during the times in question. (There is one person but he reports seeing Bush on post at times that Bush even says he wasn't there.)

There is a difference in the severity and credibility of the two charges. Don't be misled by false even-handedness.

Re:True Lies (2, Interesting)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202353)

Bush LIED about some things related to his service some 30 years ago.

Kerry LIED about some things related to his service some 30 years ago.
[...]
What I want to know is: How does someone's experience as a junior officer over three decades ago have any bearing on their ability to be President of the United States?


I'm not voting for either of the two liars, but if they were my only choices, I'd pick the one that faced enemy fire in Vietnam over the one that played politics in Alabama. Even if Kerry never saw a single VC, he could have been killed at any time. The only time Bush would have seen VC was if someone didn't know how to abbreviate "Veneral Disease".

According to "Bush's Brain", Karl Rove's strategy is "if you make your opponent explain himself, you've won". Both sides are fighting hard (through their proxies) to put the other in that defensive position. To Hell with the both of them, I'm voting Green.

Are they proud of it? (0, Flamebait)

RealProgrammer (723725) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202462)

John Kerry first came to national prominence by testifying under oath before the U.S. Senate that he witnessed events to which he was not a witness. He's proud of that testimony, and still claims it was true.

George Bush did what he could to avoid personally going to war. He doesn't campaign on it.

John Kerry is still the same guy.

George Bush is not the same guy.

Relevant? Yep.

Re:Are they proud of it? (1)

EnderWiggnz (39214) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202896)

Good lord, what a terrible mischaracterization of Kerry's testimony - have you actually read the transcripts? Do you have any idea how many veterans he was representing, who told him specific accounts?

Re:True Lies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10202621)


How does someone's experience as a junior officer over three decades ago have any bearing on their ability to be President of the United States?

How does someone's ability to be President of the United States have any bearing on their success in a presidential campaign?

Hoax? (0)

MisterTut (663350) | more than 9 years ago | (#10201876)

Please see this in addition to RTFA: http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=1252 4_Bush_Guard_Documents-_Forgeries

Re:Hoax? (0, Flamebait)

MisterTut (663350) | more than 9 years ago | (#10201907)

Re:Hoax? (4, Insightful)

squarefish (561836) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202201)

RTFA
from the article:
Anchorman Dan Rather reported that the White House did not dispute the authenticity of the documents and said the network had used document authorities to verify their authenticity.

Re:Hoax? (1)

MisterTut (663350) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202470)

Lack of denial doesn't actually mean anything.
"Document authority" is not any kind of a liscenced credential that I'm aware of.
Those things being said, I have seen that IBM did have a proportional-spaced typewriter available at the time, but I don't know if it had superscripting.
Hey, I'm not perfect, I'm just circulating what I've read. You don't need to go all "bold letters" on my ass.

Re:Hoax? (1)

squarefish (561836) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202520)

from one of the more recent lgf postings:

1. They are not proportional fonts. Look at the cases where "We" show up. Proportionally this should be kerned (that is, the "e" moved to slightly under the right leg of the "W" for those who don't know what kerning is) - it's clearly not.

2. Claiming that there was no such thing as a superscript "th" on 1972 typewriters is nonsense. IBM Selectrics had dozens (maybe even hundereds) of ball-shaped typewriter heads for various fonts and functions - and superscript "th" were common. As this is probably a typewriter used at a fighter squadron, and squadrons are always named something like "123th", they would certainly have chosen a type head that had a superscript "th" to make reading such documents a little easier.

I actually remember a lot of these details from the eighties when I was taking tying and business classes in high school, but this person put together the information much better then I could have from memory.

Re:Hoax? (1)

mc6809e (214243) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202734)

1. They are not proportional fonts. Look at the cases where "We" show up. Proportionally this should be kerned (that is, the "e" moved to slightly under the right leg of the "W" for those who don't know what kerning is) - it's clearly not.

Proportional fonts don't imply kerning.

Just try typing "We" into Microsoft Word using times new roman-- no kerning.

Re:Hoax? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10202759)

Wrong IBM did have a prorportional-spaced typewriter available. They even made them in teh 40's.

http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/history/year_19 41 .html

look closer (0)

greywar (640908) | more than 9 years ago | (#10201884)

notice how they are not monospaced? in the 1970's that just wasn't done outside of a printing press. Also they th in 187th is in the little letters...again not something done with normal technology. The memo's are fakes from my understanding.

ack...ignore the above. my cat for a edit button. (1)

greywar (640908) | more than 9 years ago | (#10201998)

sigh. note to self-before reading tinfoil sites RTFA yourself.

Re:look closer (1)

Prowl (554277) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202274)

Re:look closer (3, Informative)

MarsDefenseMinister (738128) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202488)

That particular typewriter was electric powered, and was based on a design developed by Remington, and purchased by IBM. Marketers targeted government offices primarily, because of their common practice of using thick pads of carbon copies. The electric power could strike the paper harder than a manual typewriter.

Re:look closer (1)

HyperbolicParabaloid (220184) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202567)

this is why I LOVE /. !!

Re:look closer (1)

spitzak (4019) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202423)

Before you make an ass out of yourself, you might want to check out IBM selectric typewriters from that time. My mom used one of these. If I remember right, there were 4 or perhaps more different character widths, numbers and "en space" were 3. One frustration to a little proto-nerd kid trying to draw pictures on this was that there was no "move by 1 unit" key.

Why the quotes? (3, Informative)

avalys (221114) | more than 9 years ago | (#10201906)

Why is "over his head" in quotes? That phrase doesn't appear in the PDFs. It may be the submitter's interpretation of the sentiment expressed by the author of the memos, but the author didn't use those words.

Putting it in quotes is disingenuous and misleading.

Re:Why the quotes? (2, Funny)

slughead (592713) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202050)

It may be the submitter's interpretation of the sentiment expressed by the author of the memos TROLL! Slashdot is fair and balanced! Like the washington times!

Re:Why the quotes? (1)

betelgeuse-4 (745816) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202195)

Quotation marks aren't always used for direct speech. See this [wsu.edu] . However the submitter's usage doesn't seem to be either the incorrect (but common) usage or the correct usage.

Re:Why the quotes? (1)

RealityMogul (663835) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202205)

The memos talk about "talking to somebody upstairs", which could be interpretted as going over somebodies head.

With both runner ups... (1)

ForestGrump (644805) | more than 9 years ago | (#10201920)

having their files coming out, and frankly, they don't look so good.

So who do I vote for then? Kermit The Bot? [slashdot.org]

Re:With both runner ups... (1)

jb.hl.com (782137) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202104)

So who do I vote for then? Kermit The Bot?

I'd vote for Jet-Poop from Everything2 [geocities.com] .

The guy makes fucking sense, too bad (it looks like) it's a joke.

Re:With both runner ups... (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202209)

Kerry's full files haven't came out because he will not sign Form 180.

Take that for what you may.

Re:With both runner ups... (1)

prisonernumber7 (540579) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202455)

What is Form 180, please? I'm not from the US, hence don't know the probably obvious.

why can't we worry about something.... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10201950)

That will affect the future of the country for the next 4 years?

Re:why can't we worry about something.... (1)

JavaLord (680960) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202624)

That will affect the future of the country for the next 4 years?

So true, while the politicians (and their supports) could be talking about issues they differ on such as the war on terror, the economy, outsourcing, iraq, the patriot act, universal health care, social security, tax reform they keep going back to this mudslinging crap.

Of course, if they talk about the above issues, they might have to talk about issues they are close to each other on such as globalization, protectionism, interventionism in foreign policy, illegal immigration, big government vs small government etc. Which might make people wonder...how different are these two from each other and why don't we have any other choices?

Or they could talk about issues they care about but are avoiding because they don't want to turn off independants..such as the environment or abortion.

I would bet we will be fed this tripe all the way up to Nov 4th.

Forgeries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10201970)

Too bad the "new documents" are forgeries.

No they aren't dipshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10202835)

Here [ibm.com]

Military records... feh! (4, Funny)

keiferb (267153) | more than 9 years ago | (#10201976)

What I want to know is... are either of them Eagle Scouts?

Little Green Footballs points to potential forgery (1, Redundant)

einer (459199) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202023)

linky [littlegreenfootballs.com]

lgf is a right leaning weblog, but I wanted to make sure that the right's talking points were also represented. I believe that the other point the right made (as seen on 60 minutes) was that this is a purely political move and merely the rehash of an attack that the right claims to have defused during Bush's first run for office.

My understanding is that if this information is new, then the right's argument doesn't hold water, and if these documents are truley forged, then the left has some splainin' to do.

Josh Marshall (of talkingpointsmemo fame) has the Brokaw interview here [talkingpointsmemo.com] and the relevent memo text here [talkingpointsmemo.com] .

Re:Little Green Footballs points to potential forg (0, Redundant)

einer (459199) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202157)

Sorry to reply to my own post, but I wanted to clarify the assessment made by lgf: Their source is freerepublic.org [freerepublic.com] (another like minded discussion board). The evidence they cite is that "every single one of these memos to file is in a proportionally spaced font, probably Palatino or Times New Roman.

In 1972 people used typewriters for this sort of thing, and typewriters used monospaced fonts.

The use of proportionally spaced fonts did not come into common use for office memos until the introduction of laser printers, word processing software, and personal computers. They were not widespread until the mid to late 90's. Before then, you needed typesetting equipment, and that wasn't used for personal memos to file. Even the Wang systems that were dominant in the mid 80's used monospaced fonts.

I am saying these documents are forgeries, run through a copier for 15 generations to make them look old. "


It is my hope that /. readers can clear this up one way or the other.

Re:Little Green Footballs points to potential forg (2, Informative)

spitzak (4019) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202510)

Proportional-spaced IBM Selectric typewriters (and perhaps other brands) existed in the early 70's, and probably long before. My mom used one, and I played with it trying to make pictures on the paper (the spacing offered the chance to make much fancier graphics, but the machine she was using lacked any way to advance by 1 unit, which limited the ability to place things where wanted.) The machine looked exactly like the fixed-spacing machine she had at home, but I don't believe one could be altered to the other, the character widths were hard-coded.

IBM started selling proportional typewriters in 41 (3, Informative)

bandy (99800) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202437)

CYA? (1)

baywulf (214371) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202025)

CYA=California Youth Authority?

Re:CYA? (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202260)

Cover Your Ass.

Re:CYA? (1)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202276)

Cementing Your Aspirations?

That certainly explains what most of these kinds of folks were doing 35 years ago (Kerry re-enacting his battles on film?!)

"CYA" and other military culture explained. (3, Informative)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202755)


CYA -- Everyone in the military knows "CYA" this means "Cover Your Ass". The term is used because of the culture of the military. Most people in the military have very little social sophistication, as you might expect of people whose business is solving problems by killing other people. When something is wrong, it is dealt with by attacking, rather than inquiring and fixing.

The person who wrote the memo wanted something in the files that would show he was not part of the corruption. Without the letter, it would be assumed he agreed to the corruption. The lowest ranking person would be punished, and that might be him. The letter "covered" his "ass" from attack.

The handling of these kinds of matters back then is no different than the way the military is handling the torturing of Iraqis now. The people who did the torturing were there to KILL Iraqis. Anything less than killing them may have been thought of as gentle. There is little analysis of anything among those whose business it is to resolve problems by killing others. The leaders only think about escaping responsibility and laying blame on someone of lower rank. So, problems are almost never fixed. Anyone with a sense of idealism finds the military culture very bleak.

Credibility of the man interviewed on the CBS show, "60 Minutes II" -- Someone being interviewed told 60 Minutes last night that he found the letters completely credible: Bush really would have received preferential treatment. I found the man completely credible. That's just the way things were done back then, just as he said. If you had power, you could arrange preferential treatment. If you objected, you would either be ignored or attacked.

Typeface and font used in the letters. -- Much is being made of the proportional font used in the letters. However, I've often had the experience of walking into a military office and being shocked by the office equipment there. There are numerous ways that people in the military get things that they don't really need. For example, a general may requisition something and then discover that his secretary doesn't want to learn how to use it. So, then it is available to an office of lower rank.

The fonts are consistent with those sold with a kind of upscale IBM Selectric typewriter that was actually a low-cost typesetting machine. (Typesetting was what it was called before everyone could do it on a personal computer.) These machines had a use-once carbon ribbon. The impression of each character was clearer than the clearest laser printer.

I'm a bit confused about the model numbers of the typewriter. It could have been called a Selectric costing then about $2,500, I believe. I seem to remember that they had another name for the more upscale, true typesetting machines. (I wrote computer manuals which I typed on a Selectric and were prepared on those machines.)

There were usually some odd symbols and characters like "th" on the type balls used by the Selectric family of typesetting machines. That's because of the design of the balls. Whereever there was room, there were characters, partly to assure that the balls would be balanced, I suppose, and partly just because there was room.

--
Bush's education improvements were fraud [cbsnews.com]

Anyone surprised? (0)

jb.hl.com (782137) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202028)

No?

Didn't think so.

Re:Anyone surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10202343)

Suprised at what? That you didn't RTFA and see that the forgery accusation is leveled AGAINST papers that were supposed to prove Bush's AWOL status? In other words, judging by your sig, the forgeries come from people you agree with, not Bush.

Slashdor politicing? (0, Offtopic)

BigChigger (551094) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202039)

I selected "exclude Politics from my /. homepage" in my /. preferences, yet Politics articles still show up. Why is /. shoving this down my throat? BC

should be "Slashdot Politicking" sorry (1)

BigChigger (551094) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202114)

see above

BC

Re:should be "Slashdot Politicking" sorry (1)

stromthurman (588355) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202386)

I have the same preferences set up as of yesterday, and the filters do not work. This is a known bug, here's one of many bug listings [sourceforge.net] for the slash code. There are a few of these, most are marked as duplicates, I found one the other day that went into some discussion on this issue, and it seems to come down to they can't decide exactly how they want the exclude feature to work.

Re:Slashdor politicing? (1)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202236)

I selected "exclude Politics from my /. homepage" in my /. preferences, yet Politics articles still show up. Why is /. shoving this down my throat? BC

Because Michael and Pudge hate you. HAND.

The Documents might be forgeries (2, Interesting)

zulux (112259) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202042)

More info [littlegreenfootballs.com]

From and post from Freerepublic:

Howlin, every single one of these memos to file is in a proportionally spaced font, probably Palatino or Times New Roman.

In 1972 people used typewriters for this sort of thing, and typewriters used monospaced fonts.

The use of proportionally spaced fonts did not come into common use for office memos until the introduction of laser printers, word processing software, and personal computers. They were not widespread until the mid to late 90's. Before then, you needed typesetting equipment, and that wasn't used for personal memos to file. Even the Wang systems that were dominant in the mid 80's used monospaced fonts.

I am saying these documents are forgeries, run through a copier for 15 generations to make them look old.

This should be pursued aggressively.

Interesting theory... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10202185)

...but nobody else seems to think that's the case. Hell, not even Drudge is running this idea.

Call me if anyone reputible ever looks into it.

Re:The Documents might be forgeries (1)

StenD (34260) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202360)

IBM introduced a typewriter with proportional spacing in 1944, so I hardly think that it's inconcievable that memos in 1972 were written on one.

IBM started making proportional typewriters in '41 (4, Informative)

bandy (99800) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202399)

IBM started selling proportional typewriters in 1941. Link here to IBM's history site. [ibm.com]

Re:IBM started making proportional typewriters in (1)

zulux (112259) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202667)


It's probably unlikely that a army field officer would use a $4500 IBM Executive Selectric.

From IBM's history site: At a 1961 release price of about $765 the Selectric quickly became a profitable line for IBM.

Due to inflation:What cost $675 in 1961 would cost $4541.11 in 2003.

(but then again, the military has never been cost effective)

Re:IBM started making proportional typewriters in (1)

StenD (34260) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202788)

Due to inflation:What cost $675 in 1961 would cost $4541.11 in 2003.
And how many millions of dollars did you pay for your last computer? Direct inflation comparisons are useful for things that don't have major changes in how they are manufactured, like milk, but when you're talking about the original release price of a product? between the arrival of competition, and advancements in technology, the 1971 price for a better typewriter was almost certainly less than the 1961 price, without even adjusting for inflation.

Re:IBM started making proportional typewriters in (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202880)

My grandfather retired from the navy as an officer and he brought a bunch of stuff from his office at the naval station home when he retired. One of the things I distinctly remember was an electric IBM typewriter because one summer day instead of going out to buy new ribbons he had me try to re-ink the one he had. I was blueish black for weeks.

Re:The Documents might be forgeries (4, Insightful)

crotherm (160925) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202438)

FUD

Rule number one. Cast doubt on the veracity of the documents.

Have some far right site start it. Next the Rush's of the world will start to quote the site as if the site was reporting facts. After that, Fox will pick it up and before you know it, the whole world will think it is fake. And if it turns out to be true, never admit that your were wrong. Instead move on to another attack point.

Politics these days are full of depraved individuals.

Re:The Documents might be forgeries (1)

spitzak (4019) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202540)

Such machines existed in the early 70's. My mom used one. I'm going to stop repeating this, because the people claiming the forgeries have made asses of themselves by now.

Re:The Documents might be forgeries (1)

peacefinder (469349) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202768)

In 1972 people used typewriters for this sort of thing, and typewriters used monospaced fonts.

That's a very interesting point.

However, some quick research has revealed that there existed non-monospace typewriters at the time. See wikipedia. [wikipedia.org]

This typewriter series offered four character widths, apparently, and was available from well before the period in question. I haven't really had a chance to go over the memos with a ruler, and I'm no typography expert, but it might be that this is the explanation.

(Still, I'll admit that the typography does look suspiciously good. If it turns out that the IBM Executive could do this in the early 70's, I'm very impressed!)

Also, I looked closely at the punctuation spacing in the 01 August 1972 memo, point 2 "[...] commander, [...]" and subject, "Bush, George W.1st Lt.3244754FG". On my PC at least, the spacing of the punctuation looks distinctly different from the PDF memo, under both palantino and TNR fonts. The serifs on the capital letters, particularly the W, also don't look much like the memo. If my PC is representative, the font isn't either of the ones proposed.

This is by no means an exhastive test, and again I'm no expert. I look forward to a typographical specialist's view.

Re:The Documents might be forgeries (3, Informative)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202784)

IBM had Selectric's [wikipedia.org] , with changeable "ball" elements and propotional fonts as early as 1962 [etypewriters.com] .

A forgery would almost certainly have been done in a courier typeface. The forging of documents, and the forensics of relating typewritten materials to the machine of their origin is a well-known topic. Freepers need a red-herring for this issue. The next claim they will make is that the Memos originate with Hillaty Clinton.

They had superscripting typwriters in 1973? (3, Insightful)

mc6809e (214243) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202140)

Look at the part of the memo that reads "the 187th group". Notice anything about the "th"?

Typewriters don't automagically superscript such things like Word does.

These are obvious forgeries done with Word and run through a copier 50 times to make them look old.

The scary part is how the press did nothing to verify the authenticity of these documents. You'd think they'd check their sources.

Yes. IBM began selling them in 1941 (2, Informative)

rizzo (21697) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202341)

1941 1973.

http://go.fark.com/cgi/fark/go.pl?IDLink=1116157 &l ocation=http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/history/y ear_1941.html

ipso fatso.

better link (1)

rizzo (21697) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202374)

better link [ibm.com] that actually might work and without the fark crap.

Re:better link (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202419)

Ummm, you're either cut'n'pasting to the wrong guy or just not reading -- his point has nothing to do with proportional spacing.

Re:better link (1)

StenD (34260) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202564)

I used typewriters that had keys for things like 1/2 and 1/4, so I wouldn't be surprised if a typewriter marketed for office use would have keys for date superscripts.

Re:They had superscripting typwriters in 1973? (3, Informative)

Otter (3800) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202387)

Also note a "smart quote" in place of what should be a single apostrophe. To me, at least, the Word-isms are far more incriminating than the font, which certainly existed at the time (although probably not in the office that generated these minor documents). Good summary here [powerlineblog.com] , for the Free Republic-phobic.

Heh, typical Slashdot. A bona-fide Microsoft-bashing story comes out and they miss it in favor of superficial Bush-bashing.

Your lack of info does not... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10202469)

...and illegitimate article make.

Re:They had superscripting typwriters in 1973? (4, Informative)

spitzak (4019) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202617)

IBM Selectric typewriters had a single back-quote character, and a single forward quote that was also used as apostrophe. I seem to remember that they also had double back and double forward quote characters, but those may have been missing on the proportional-spaced model that I also remember somewhat. The certainly did not have the neutral double quote from ASCII. Early ASCII teletypes also had a neutral single quote, it was changed on newer systems that added the backquote as well as the lower-case characters.

Selectric typewriters also had 1/2 and some other fractions, a copyright symbol, and some others. They did not have curly braces, less/greater, and many other ASCII symbols. You could also change the ball to a "symbol" ball that had greek (this may not have been possible on the proportional models?)

Re:They had superscripting typwriters in 1973? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10202411)

Um... yeah. I know my grandma's did.

Re:They had superscripting typwriters in 1973? (1)

MarkedMan (523274) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202662)

In the 1979-80 timeframe there was a typewriter in use at Xerox (where I worked) that had "th", "st" and a few other things superscripted. It also had some fractions - "1/2" for sure and I remember some others. I'm pretty sure the typewriter was at least several years old, perhaps more, because the secretary (remember those?) who used it was keeping it because she didn't like the word processing system her boss was trying to get her to use. (And before anyone says they didn't have word processors than, I was using a mouse, a GUI, ethernet, a hard drive, a laser printer, and a high resolution monitor in 1980, the Xerox Alto, and it wasn't brand new.

Sure am glad. (0, Troll)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202146)

I sure am glad that Politics.Slashdot.Org doesn't take sides and runs a fair mix of articles covering both sides...

# 2004-09-09 05:43:23 Heckler at Kerry speech says he was assaulted. (Politics,Democrats) (rejected)
# 2004-09-09 05:37:35 Russia vows pre-emptive terror hits (Politics,Security) (rejected)
# 2004-09-09 05:32:02 Computer Scientists Release Study on Venezuelan Re (Politics,Technology) (rejected)

Re:Sure am glad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10202403)

Why was the parent modded as a troll? It's offtopic maybe....

Re:Sure am glad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10202820)

It's really a shame that the vote analysis by Rubin, Felton, and Stubblefield wasn't accepted. Here's the paper: http://www.venezuela-referendum.com/index.html [venezuela-referendum.com] .

no party lines here (1)

manofherb (211786) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202255)

Vote Nader

missed physical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10202268)

"Some people say" he missed his physical because he was pissing razor blades. After that stopped, he thought the voices in his head - I mean God - healed him.

Unfortunately, syphillis doesn't "go away". IANAP, but I do know it can cause insanity years later. Not that I am suggesting such a thing, but...

Unfortunately, cocaine doesn't cure it either.

Do you want 1776 or 1984? Time to decide.

John Kerry's own comments on vietnam (1, Informative)

Clockwurk (577966) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202269)

BY JOHN F. KERRY
Thursday, February 5, 2004 12:01 a.m. EST

(Editor's note: Sen. Kerry delivered this speech on the Senate floor Feb. 27, 1992. The previous day, Sen. Bob Kerrey, a Vietnam veteran and candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, spoke in Atlanta, where he criticized fellow candidate Bill Clinton for his lack of military service during Vietnam.)

Mr. President, I also rise today--and I want to say that I rise reluctantly, but I rise feeling driven by personal reasons of necessity--to express my very deep disappointment over yesterday's turn of events in the Democratic primary in Georgia.

I am saddened by the fact that Vietnam has yet again been inserted into the campaign, and that it has been inserted in what I feel to be the worst possible way. By that I mean that yesterday, during this presidential campaign, and even throughout recent times, Vietnam has been discussed and written about without an adequate statement of its full meaning.

What is ignored is the way in which our experience during that period reflected in part a positive affirmation of American values and history, not simply the more obvious negatives of loss and confusion.

What is missing is a recognition that there exists today a generation that has come into its own with powerful lessons learned, with a voice that has been grounded in experiences both of those who went to Vietnam and those who did not.

What is missing and what cries out to be said is that neither one group nor the other from that difficult period of time has cornered the market on virtue or rectitude or love of country.

What saddens me most is that Democrats, above all those who shared the agonies of that generation, should now be refighting the many conflicts of Vietnam in order to win the current political conflict of a presidential primary.

The race for the White House should be about leadership, and leadership requires that one help heal the wounds of Vietnam, not reopen them; that one help identify the positive things that we learned about ourselves and about our nation, not play to the divisions and differences of that crucible of our generation.

We do not need to divide America over who served and how. I have personally always believed that many served in many different ways. Someone who was deeply against the war in 1969 or 1970 may well have served their country with equal passion and patriotism by opposing the war as by fighting in it. Are we now, 20 years or 30 years later, to forget the difficulties of that time, of families that were literally torn apart, of brothers who ceased to talk to brothers, of fathers who disowned their sons, of people who felt compelled to leave the country and forget their own future and turn against the will of their own aspirations?

Are we now to descend, like latter-day Spiro Agnews, and play, as he did, to the worst instincts of divisiveness and reaction that still haunt America? Are we now going to create a new scarlet letter in the context of Vietnam?

Certainly, those who went to Vietnam suffered greatly. I have argued for years, since I returned myself in 1969, that they do deserve special affection and gratitude for service. And, indeed, I think everything I have tried to do since then has been to fight for their rights and recognition.

But while those who served are owed special recognition, that recognition should not come at the expense of others; nor does it require that others be victimized or criticized or said to have settled for a lesser standard. To divide our party or our country over this issue today, in 1992, simply does not do justice to what all of us went through during that tragic and turbulent time.

I would like to make a simple and straightforward appeal, an appeal from my heart, as well as from my head. To all those currently pursuing the presidency in both parties, I would plead that they simply look at America. We are a nation crying out for leadership, for someone who will bring us together and raise our sights. We are a nation looking for someone who will lift our spirits and give us confidence that together we can grow out of this recession and conquer the myriad of social ills we have at home.

We do not need more division. We certainly do not need something as complex and emotional as Vietnam reduced to simple campaign rhetoric. What has been said has been said, Mr. President, but I hope and pray we will put it behind us and go forward in a constructive spirit for the good of our party and the good of our country.

Check my record (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10202333)

Do you want a decorated war veteran in the White House?

Or do you want a draft-dodger flip-flopper deserter?

The only reason bush is the 'war president' is because he can spell 'war'.

Facts on Bush's Service (4, Informative)

jgardn (539054) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202737)

Since Bush made his military records available, and Kerry has not, you can search his documents yourself and determine whether he deserved to be discharged honorably or not.

A reporter called Byron York has written a tremendously accurate article on Bush's service. I suggest you read it.

http://www.thehill.com/york/090904.aspx

Notice this particular quote:

"In 1972, there was an enormous glut of pilots," [retired Col. William] Campenni says. "The Vietnam War was winding down, and the Air Force was putting pilots in desk jobs. In '72 or '73, if you were a pilot, active or Guard, and you had an obligation and wanted to get out, no problem. In fact, you were helping them solve their problem."

Now go read the other side of the story, the side that actually reads the whole story, and make a decision.

Remember, President Bush has asked all the 527s to stop the mudslinging, including the SBVFT. He has also said that he thinks Kerry has served honorable, to which Republican audiences have cheered audibly. The Republicans officially do *NOT* question John Kerry's service.

Memo quality (1)

thief_inc (466143) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202766)

I did some adminwork when I was in the USMC and there are very strict quality control on all official documentation I am not sure when this quality control was implimented but this memo does not meven come close to meeting that requirement.
look here [army.mil] for what the actual procedures are.

Re:Memo quality (1)

squarefish (561836) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202893)

if the military was actually held to following any quality control, then this would not be an issue at all and none of the original documents would have been 'misplaced' at all.

to even think that these standards were upheld by everyone, especially during a time of war, is a little silly.

besides, I would hardly describe the author of the memos as 'administrative staff'.

I would also highly doubt that all branches of the military used the same procedures for something as simple as a memo.

obvious forgery... (0, Redundant)

YE (23647) | more than 9 years ago | (#10202883)

Somebody questioned the credibility of a supposedly 1973 memo typed with a proportional font, and made a little experiment [littlegreenfootballs.com] .

If you're too lazy to click on the link: the document typed with all default settings in Microsoft Word looks 1:1 identical, minus the "aging" probably induced by running through the photocopier 4-5 times.
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