Talk:George W. Bush military service controversy/Archive 2

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Killian section updates

I put in a more exact sequence for the Killian stuff, as well as what was going on, along with the best refs I could find. It often if not usually gets omitted that the CBS story that used the Killian documents came right in the middle of releases of Bush's official records by the DoD (under the duress of an AP FOIA lawsuit) -- records were released the day before the CBS story and then more a few days later. The initial press reaction was to treat the CBS memos as part of the overall media analysis of those official records, and that analysis was showing lots of unexplained discrepencies. Once the forgery assertions took up the attention of the media, however, there was little further analyses or coverage of the official records.

Also there is a lot of confusion regarding the forgery claims about what was "proven" or not: while it's taken as a gimme on many if not most of the conservative/right wing blog sites that the memos were "proven" to be fakes or forgeries, when looked into, the "proven" bit turns out to be little more than taking unproven -- and often demonstably false -- assertions appearing in the conservative media at face value, and/or "extrapolating" on what the mainstream media and some experts actually said. Claims of what common 1970's office technology can or can't do have turned out to be pretty much completely false according to any authoritative journal or book on the subject; claims that the memos could be easily replicated with Word also turn out to be false -- only one of the four memos CBS used (the "CYA" one) can be reasonably recreated with Word; all claims of discrepencies in the formatting of the memos are contradicted both by Air Force writing guides like the "Tongue and Quill" (aka AFM33-337) and by copies of other memos around the time of the Killian memos and even earlier -- go look carefully at this declassified military "Memorandum for Record" dated June 11, 1959; and likewise all claims that the contents or wrong with addresses and dates and such are contrdicted by the official records maintained by the DoD here. So when all of the nonsense is cleared away, what is left is that CBS did a very poor job authenticating the memos; the rest of the mainstream media didn't really do much if anything to help clear up matters; and the conservative media showed that no rumor or unsupported assertion is bad enough not to be presented or recycled.

The last bit is probably too much POV on my part, but I left that off in the section update. I did put in a little "teaser" at the very end linking to a few things that should have been brought up at some point in all the press coverage of the Killian memos saga, but weren't for some strange reason. FYI. -BC aka Callmebc 13:24, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Good edits. Dlabtot 15:04, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. I was thinking of going back and adding more info into the refs (date of publication and such), but nobody else is doing that. I'll try to return and add refs to other sections of interest to me. Tedious, but I suppose necessary. -BC aka Callmebc 16:58, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
OTOH, I would support removal of the entire "Critics of... " paragraph as constituting too much original research. Dlabtot 17:18, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, too much he said/she said.... -BC aka Callmebc 23:07, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

I think that the fact that the secretary (Marian Carr Knox) interviewed about the Killian documents said “I know that I didn’t type them, however, the information in those is correct.” [1] —Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.69.118.1 (talk) 20:38, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

Release of military records

There seems to be the September 24 release missing -- and that's the one containing the only proportionally printed document in all of Bush's service records. Will try to fix quickly. -BC aka Callmebc 14:27, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Preceding editor was including original research and has been blocked from participation. Don't know what he intended to fix. -- SEWilco (talk) 18:28, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Archiving

This has gotten rather large with stuff which is not being discussed. Archiving will begin shortly. -- SEWilco (talk) 18:28, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Uploading Bush records to Wikipedia?

I have another question, although not quite directly related to the above. Bush's Air National Guard records are maintained by the DoD here, but the individual records are deeply embedded in PDF files, often unsorted and with multiple copies of varying quality. Specific records of particular interest like the "Not Observed" one I referenced are mostly collected by sites that might be viewed as being POV-pushing, however factual and accurate they are in content, regarding Bush's military service, like the glcq.com site I used and this one as well, which I personally maintain. My site evidently has the best copies of individual DoD records, and glcq.com has some otherwise very hard to find info on regulations cited in the DoD records. Since this is all federal government/US military stuff in the public domain, wouldn't it make more sense to upload any relevant files to Wikipedia if they are going to be referenced rather than having to link to a site like glcq.com? The only other method I think of that would involve not using a site like glcq.com would involve having to point out the PDF page numbers of which DoD file the record appears. But that is somewhat cumbersome given the size of the PDF's and that a given record may take up 2 or more pages. Thoughts? -BC aka Callmebc (talk) 18:16, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
If they are verifiably (apparently not a word) in the public domain, the best option may be to upload them to Wikisource.org. I'm not an editor there, but reading their inclusion policy leads me to believe this is precisely the content they host. Once stored over there, a link could be provided within this article. Again, I'm not an editor there, so you may want to ask them for yourself. - auburnpilot talk 05:13, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the input -- I'll ask. -BC aka Callmebc (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 18:11, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Article is full of original research

This article is full of original research and needs a heavy rework to remove it. One editor, Callmebc, is reverting the research back. From the comments above, this editor has their own website at http://aheckofa.com/ with a strong pov on this subject and may not be the best observer to determine O.R. or not. 166.34.208.92 (talk) 02:26, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Umm, I'm not reverting anything I put in. Please deal with the subject at hand if you could. The article had been fairly static until some anonymous IP's, "yourself" included, started making wholesale changes without appropriate discussion. I certainly think the article needs improvement but, as you can see, I'm using the Talk page to discuss what changes I would like to make. Usually the discussion is long and often tedious, but for a controversial topic like this, it really is the best, most fair way to approach potential changes.
Now, with that said, can you be more specific about this "full of original research" claim of yours? -BC aka Callmebc (talk) 02:46, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
I didn't say it was anything you put in. I don't know who put it in. However it makes conclusions based on documents that it references, many at a strong pov site. The conclusions are not in the documents, thus it is original research by the editor who placed it there. 166.34.208.92 (talk) 15:55, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Can you be more specific? Dlabtot (talk) 18:24, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
But you brought up this comment, "From the comments above, this editor has their own website at http://aheckofa.com/ with a strong pov on this subject," which implies that I'm trying to insert a POV, when in fact I'm trying to simply make the article better and more accurate by removing or editing existing poorly sourced (if sourced at all) and highly misleading content. But let's get back on the main topic and take a look at what you removed:
  • Throughout this period, Bush remained obligated to train with his Texas unit, or perform substitute training each month. Bush service chronology[1] shows no indication that the 147th ever transferred Bush out of its control, nor do Bush’s payroll records for the period in question[2] show any indication that any personnel action was officially taken by the 147th relieving him of his obligation to train with that unit. Nevertheless, Bush’s records show that he is credited with no training during these months. Colonel Bricken is on record as stating that Bush made no effort to participate as a Guardsman with the 9921st.[citation needed]
Now this content comes from Gerald Lechliter, who runs (or ran) glcq.com. This is the same Gerald Lechliter who wrote this analysis of Bush's records for the NY Times back in 2004. The Air Force Times also did an analysis, a reprint of which is on my site, where the Lechliter analysis is mentioned. The Boston Globe, which had done a detailed analysis of Bush's service record back in 2000, also had another article in 2004 where Lechliter's analysis is mentioned. It seems that the issue is to simply rephrase the section(s) in question to credit Lechliter for the analysis. Also that last "citation needed" marker appears to be referring to an article that had appeared in "The Birmingham Times" as describe by this Editor and Publisher reprint. Does this alleviate your stated concerns regarding WP:OR? -BC aka Callmebc (talk) 18:28, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
No it doesn't. Lechliter's NYT article is an opinion piece and his site shows nearly as strong of POV on this subject as your site shows. 166.34.208.92 (talk) 16:08, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
The NPOV policy has nothing to do with the concept of excluding viewpoints that exhibit a point of view. Just the opposite. Dlabtot (talk) 16:21, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
Also as noted above, Lechliter's analysis was referenced as authoritative by others, including the Boston Globe and The Air Force Times. And he also heavily annotates all his points with appropriate source material. -BC aka Callmebc (talk) 17:31, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
Whoever thinks this article has a lot of WP:POV content wasn't involved in the editing in 2004, or has memory problems. Please keep in mind that (unfortunately) the norm back then wasn't to provide a footnote for every sentence, as is the case now - but I can assure you that there was extensive discussion about the source of every controversial sentence.
It's particularly inappropriate for editors with strong points of view to start removing "unsourced" content (note the massive number of sources at the bottom of the article) without thoroughly discussing it here first, given the amount of time and effort that other editors spent on this article in 2004. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 19:32, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Misleading Timeline Comment?

In the Timeline section, there is a quote from one of Bush's earlier evaluations that goes, In November 1970, Lt. Col. Jerry B. Killian, commander of the 111th Fighter Squadron (Texas Air National Guard), recommended that Bush be promoted to First Lieutenant, calling him "a dynamic outstanding young officer" who stood out as "a top notch fighter interceptor pilot." He said that "Lt. Bush's skills far exceed his contemporaries," and that "he is a natural leader whom his contemporaries look to for leadership. Lt. Bush is also a good follower with outstanding disciplinary traits and an impeccable military bearing."

However, questions regarding Bush's service involve his later period in the Air National Guard, and for Bush's last evaluation, covering the May 1, 1972 - May 30, 1973 period, Killian signed off on an evaluation report that had all the "Not Observed" boxes checked and this comment: Lt Bush has not been observed at this unit during the period of this report. A civilian occupation made it neccessary for him to move to Montgomery, Alabama. He cleared this base on 15 May 1972 and has been performing equivalent training in a non flying status with the 187 Tac Recon Gp, Dannelly ANG Base, Alabama.

Wouldn't this be the more appropriate report to quote from/refer to rather than a 1970 one that predates the controversial period? -BC aka Callmebc (talk) 14:11, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Yes, I agree. Dlabtot (talk) 17:37, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
The 1972 period is already mentioned in the last paragraph of the Timeline. You're referring to a quote during an earlier period. -- SEWilco (talk) 05:03, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
The issue is that the current quote featured in the article, from 1970, predates Bush's controversial years and hence is misleading. Quoting what Killian's (and Harris's) comments from a 1973 evalution covering some a period of his service in question seems a bit more germane to the article, don't you think? -BC aka Callmebc (talk) 18:10, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
It's a Timeline section which summarizes his entire service period. Replacing his entire service period with only one period will make it be neither a timeline nor a summary. The 1970s is covered in the paragraph after the one you read; read a little further. -- SEWilco (talk) 18:32, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
If you read the entire "Timeline" section, it's only 3 short paragraphs, with the middle one virtually completely taken up by the complementary 1970 quote. You need to go to the last sentence of the 3rd paragraph to get to the less complementary stuff, and it's a lot less specific: "But from that point on, Bush failed to meet the attendance requirements established by Federal law, Department of Defense regulations, and Air Force policies and procedures for "obligated" members of the Air National Guard, and the Air Force requirement for an annual physical examination for pilots." It would seem a a better balanced timeline would start off with a general comment about how how Bush's pilot career started well, but then problems evidently developed during his latter years, typified by that 1973 quote. Wouldn't that make for a more informative and accurate article? -BC aka Callmebc (talk) 20:22, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
The article has information about before and after the 1970 period. Why remove descriptive information? -- SEWilco (talk) 01:13, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry -- you must have missed my point about how approximately 1/3 of the entire "Timeline" section is taken up by that 1970 quote in the middle paragraph, and it's a quote that predates Bush's problem years. In that context, would you agree that it's not accurately "descriptive" to leave that quote in a "Timeline" section in an article about Bush's service "controversy"? -BC aka Callmebc (talk) 13:39, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
The 1970 quote gives an indication of his performance during that period. Removing one paragraph in order to match the number of characters in part of another paragraph does not improve the article. Are all of the paragraphs in the section conveying the information needed in a summary? -- SEWilco (talk) 15:34, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
You still don't seem to be addressing my points. Perhaps if I simplify them further:
1) You have 3 short paragraphs in what's suppose to be the "Timeline" section. Agree?
2) The middle paragraph is mostly only a complementary 1970 quote predating the controversial years. Agree?
3) There are no quotes from Bush's controversial years. Agree?
4) Only the last sentence of the 3rd paragraph gives a mention to Bush's problem years. Agree?
5) Considering that this article is about Bush's service "controversy," having a Timeline that marginalizes his controversial years clearly violates WP:WEIGHT, does it not? Agree?
If the issue here still doesn't seem clear to you, would it be OK if I go ahead and edit the Timeline to make it, well, more of a timeline to help better illustrate the problems with the current version? If you have some issues with the edits, I would be happy to discuss them and seek a compromise. -BC aka Callmebc (talk) 17:13, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
No, as the only change you have proposed is deletion of relevant material. -- SEWilco (talk) 17:21, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
You still didn't exactly address my points. But I could expand the Timeline and bracket it with the 1970 quote near the beginning to show how Bush's military service started off, and then use the 1973 quote near the end to show how it ended. That would make the Timeline a little bit longer, but would certainly give it much better, nicely symmetrical balance, wouldn't you agree? -BC aka Callmebc (talk) 17:37, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
If there are no further objections, I will proceed to attempt at least to come up with a somewhat more timeline-ish Timeline section. -BC aka Callmebc (talk) 16:43, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
Show your proposed changes. -- SEWilco (talk) 16:56, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
Well, I thought I had clearly proposed the changes slightly further up and asked for your opinion. Perhaps you didn't see that -- let me just repost: I could expand the Timeline and bracket it with the 1970 quote near the beginning to show how Bush's military service started off, and then use the 1973 quote near the end to show how it ended. That would make the Timeline a little bit longer, but would certainly give it much better, nicely symmetrical balance, wouldn't you agree? -BC aka Callmebc (talk) 18:12, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
Isn't the 1970 quote already near the beginning? The 1973 quote only says he wasn't seen where he wasn't — why not just say he wasn't there because he was at the other place? Saying he wasn't seen where he wasn't isn't very informative, such as stating that Mr. Carter hasn't been working at the White House for a while. The Timeline already says he wasn't in attendance someplace; is there a description of what he was doing? What needs to be changed? -- SEWilco (talk) 23:39, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
Ummm....I'm sorry, but again you don't seem to be following the discussion. I had already pointed out at least three times already that the 1970 quote takes up the entire middle 3rd of the current Timeline as well as predating Bush's controversial years. The 1973 quote is from Bush's last official performance evaluation. Also it's not our place to interpret for anyone what the 1973 quote might mean, only what it says -- that Bush couldn't be evaluated because he wasn't "observed". Since the bulk of Bush's "service controversy" involves him supposedly disappearing during this "not observed" period, the 1973 quote then would seem more appropriate for the article than the 1970 one. Since you objected, however, to removing the 1970 quote, apparently just because it was "sourced" regardless of its weight and relevancy, I had proposed a couple of times here and also on your talk page a compromise where the 1970 quote appears near the beginning of the Timeline and the 1973 one towards the end. Does any of this sound familiar, as in here and here? Again it would really help move the discussion along if you could participate more interactively, especially if you hold some strong opinions on the matter, as seems to be the case. Even merely just addressing directly the points and questions when they first come up would be a tremendous help. Again thanks in advance for your cooperation. -BC aka Callmebc (talk) 01:17, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
The 1973 quote is from a past commander; isn't it described in the article that Bush was no longer there, so of course he was not observed there? Does the end of the Timeline need to be expanded with something about his moving to another state after he was no longer needed as a pilot? Or is the current phrasing intended as an intro to what immediately follows? -- SEWilco (talk) 06:26, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Script and Proportional Fonts in Bush's Official Records

I thought to note that these documents, released belatedly after an AP FOIA lawsuit on Sept. 24, 2004, contained 3 documents with fonts not appearing in any other officially released records: 2 in a script font, and 1 proportional. If you click on the PDF file and take a look, the script font documents are obvious and the proportional one is on page 6, but is also obvious once you look closely enough at it (assuming you know what is meant by proportionally spacing.) A couple of other editors, however, quickly reverted my noting this, including one who wrote in the edit summary "Source does not describe fonts nor relevance of docs from an adjutant general".

When one is shown documents rather unmistakenly printed in script and proportional fonts, do you really need someone else to tell you that they are script and proportional fonts? And does it also matter if the document came from a high ranking officer? And considering that the Killian documents forgery claims began with [www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1210662/replies?c=47 the charge] that "In 1972 people used typewriters for this sort of thing, and typewriters used monospaced fonts," doesn't seem a bit silly at the very least not to point out that there are these documents the Pentagon held onto until just few days after CBS backed away from the memos, one of which is, well....

Not that I'm implying anything.... -BC aka Callmebc (talk) 18:10, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

The cite does not say they are proportional fonts, you do but it doesn't. I look at these and see partially proportional fonts, not fully proportional ones like the alleged Killian memos have. Either of us making the claims for or against these fonts is WP:OR. 166.34.208.92 (talk) 19:12, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry, you seemed to have miss the point I was trying to make. Let me try to simplify matters: the PDF file clearly shows documents in script and proportional fonts, so why would you need someone else to tell you that those are script and proportional? -BC aka Callmebc (talk) 19:21, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
You say it is, I say they really aren't and the implication you are making is that this shows the Killian memos might be real. You need a cite to make the claim. 166.34.208.92 (talk) 19:32, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
Just because you've drawn an inference, does not mean that someone has 'made a claim'. The facts speak for themselves, even when you don't like what they imply. Dlabtot (talk) 19:58, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
You are still not answering my points. I have a feeling I have to take this up with WP:RS/N, but let me try this -- are you claiming that the fonts are not clearly script and proportional? Well? An on-point answer would be most helpful at this point. -BC aka Callmebc (talk) 20:04, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Per WP:PSTS, we are allowed to describe primary sources as long as we use care that, "anyone—without specialist knowledge—who reads the primary source should be able to verify that the Wikipedia passage agrees." I have no particular training in typography, but I can plainly see the script and proportional typefaces. Does anyone disagree that they are there? MilesAgain (talk) 23:12, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Thanks -- that seems to clarify matters and since there has been no objections since you posted that, I will go ahead and put that information back in. -BC aka Callmebc (talk) 16:34, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
As pointed out above, the document does not state there is a similiarity between the fonts in the various documents. Someone above said one document was partially proportional and other fully proportional. Find a source which describes the material. Also, what is the relationship between documents from an "adjutant general" or "assistant adjutant general" and other documents? -- SEWilco (talk) 18:17, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
? You don't seem to following the discussion here -- are you disagreeing with both MilesAgain and I that it's obvious that the fonts are script and proportional? And if they are obvious, wouldn't this then support MilesAgain's other point that Per WP:PSTS, we are allowed to describe primary sources as long as we use care that, "anyone—without specialist knowledge—who reads the primary source should be able to verify that the Wikipedia passage agrees." Also it's unclear why you keep bringing up the "adjutant general" bit -- we're only talking about unusual fonts appearing in a set of Bush's records, including one proportionally spaced. I don't know if you are aware of this, but proportional spacing was a highly controversial issue back in Sept., 2004 in regards to Bush's service records, and hence worth mentioning.
And for the future, it would really help move along things if you could follow along with the discussion rather just waiting until afterwards to revert discussed changes with not entirely clear edit summaries. -BC aka Callmebc (talk) 18:40, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
Someone said above that they saw partially proportional fonts, so there are questions about what "anyone"s are seeing. If proportional spacing was an issue in this article in 2004, please point out the discussion in the Archives. -- SEWilco (talk) 00:31, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
What is a "partially proportional" font? If there are characters of different widths, that means it's proportional font. There's no way to go half way here. I suppose we can hold an RFC to see whether anyone else believes they are seeing anything other than a proportional font. Is that going to be necessary? MilesAgain (talk) 02:05, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
I could be mistaken, but there seems to be a small problem of some editors not quite following along or participating in a meaningful way with the discussions here. The term "Partially proportional font" was only mentioned by an anonymous IP, 166.34.208.92, who didn't address the follow-up question of, "are you claiming that the fonts are not clearly script and proportional?" SEWilco apparently missed that, the subsequent discussion, and your point about WP:PSTS. I've tried to encourage SEWilco to better follow along and participate in these discussions, and I especially tried to solicit suggestions as how better to communicate, on his/her Talk page, but I'm not sure if I was persuasive enough, given this response here. While I imagine it would be a bit of a hassle to hold RFC's to resolve even seemingly obvious things like whether document fonts are script or proportional, that might be the only recourse if some editors don't wish to or are unable to participate in discussions and will revert edits based on those discussions -- you just can't force editors to participate in discussions. If anyone can come up with an alternative solution, I would be most pleased to hear it. -BC aka Callmebc (talk) 18:34, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm waiting for the person who mentioned "partially proportional" font to comment. Maybe they were referring to lack of kerning, to only the lowercase characters being proportionally spaced, or to the document showing two characters spacings rather than other kinds of spacing (some typewriters had a narrow width for some characters, which helped increase the popularity of correction fluid over correction tape for those machines). Those are obvious possibilities, but I don't know if those apply because I haven't examined the documents in detail nor seen an expert's review of them. Got some examinations of the documents? -- SEWilco (talk) 06:35, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
Why is this even being mentioned here. The Killian docs font issue isn't being discussed in this section of the article. 70.10.155.70 (talk) 04:49, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps you did not see this section in the article. The proportionally spacing issue caused a bit of a fuss, as I recall. It's unfortunate that the DoD did not release the Sept. 24 documents until after Dan Rather had undergone all those personal attacks on his integrity, as well as all that blog/news stuff about how "typewriters used monospaced fonts" in those days and such. And CBS had only backed away from the Killian memos just a few days earlier. Such bad luck/timing.... -BC aka Callmebc (talk) 18:49, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
The section Memos allegedly from Jerry Killian is a summary which links to a more complete article on that subject. There's no need to clutter this article with every detail which is in the other article. -- SEWilco (talk) 06:35, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Flight pay - need more than two original documents to make statements about this.

I've reworked the following:

There is no record of a physical being taken in either 1972 or in 1973, the last two years in which Bush attended drills, and was paid as pilot. Although, according to his released military records, Bush never flew again as a National Guard pilot after April 1972, and was suspended from flying on August 1, 1972, he continued to get paid as a pilot, [3] with flight pay for 52 more days, over 18 months, until his discharge.[4]

Neither of the sources cited is a secondary (interpretive) one, and - based on what was discussed in 2004 when the article was fully developed - I don't believe either supports the bolded text in the article. I'd be happy to be proven wrong, but I think Bush was paid as a National Guard member, and did not get special/extra pay as a pilot.

If someone is saying, well, he was a pilot, and was paid, and therefore he was "paid as a pilot", that's an unnecessarily complicated way of saying "he was paid"; and it's potentially wrong because pilots in flight status get paid - at least while on active duty these days - extra money.

If the claim is that Bush got paid money for being in flight status that he didn't deserve, because the National Guard failed to adjust his pay, then that's something beyond what primary documents can possibly be used for per WP:NOR - such an interpretation is not allowable by individual editors; it needs to come from a newspaper or similar article. (I don't remember the claim ever being made in 2004, and it's something that I think I'd remember; again, I'd be happy to be proven wrong.) -- John Broughton (♫♫) 19:43, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Hmmm, what do you need for sources? Bush's DoD records show him never technically leaving the command of Ellington even when he was in Alabama. Matt Kelley of the Associated Press (which was the most aggressive news organization in obtaining missing records) did one of the last analysis of Bush's records, a reprint of which is here. That end of the piece has the pertinent info:
  • Pay records show Bush was credited for training in January, April and May 1973; other files indicate that service was outside Texas.
  • A May 1973 yearly evaluation from Bush's Texas unit gives the future president no ratings and stated Bush had not been seen at the Texas base since April 1972. In a directive from June 29, 1973, an Air Force personnel official pressed Bush's unit for information about his Alabama service.
  • "This officer should have been reassigned in May 1972," wrote Master Sgt. Daniel P. Harkness, "since he no longer is training in his AFSC (Air Force Service Category, or job title) or with his unit of assignment."
  • Then-Maj. Rufus G. Martin replied Nov. 12, 1973: "Not rated for the period 1 May 72 through 30 Apr 73. Report for this period not available for administrative reasons."
  • By then, Texas Air National Guard officials had approved Bush's request to leave the guard to attend Harvard Business School; his last days of duty were in July 1973.
Hope this helps. -BC aka Callmebc (talk) 20:13, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
Sorry if I wasn't clear - I'm not disagreeing with any of what you just added; I was just noting that I changed the wording in one paragraph to make it clear (I hope) that Bush didn't get extra pay after April 1972 for being on flight status ( believe this is true; again, if untrue, there needs to be a good source). That is, I disagreed with the bolded information in the paragraph shown at the top of this section, but not with the rest of it. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 20:32, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
My bad (I was a little distracted) -- once Bush got suspended on August 1st, 1972, he lost his flight status, but continued to be paid for another 52 days, starting in October. Lechliter and others have claimed that this form shows no change in Bush's pay status before and after the suspension. This is not something I'm an expert at, so I don't know if there was anything to distinguish "flight pay" from normal pay, but the records do show another 52 more day of "pay" for Bush after the suspension, and apparently there was no change in pay status either. For what it's worth... -BC aka Callmebc (talk) 21:07, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
The seperation form you link to is in no way a pay form; it's not going to show (a) if Bush was even getting flight pay (that's extra pay for being a pilot) before he stopped flying or (b) if his pay changed after the suspension. I'm not disputing the 52 days of pay (see my edit). I'm disputing whether the suspension in any way affected his pay. (If someone is arguing that the suspension meant he was no longer entitled to any pay, that is completely bogus; I would be astonished to find a link to a news article or other detailed analysis saying that.)
So, at this point, if someone wants to change the current wording, I think a clear source is needed. Even a link to a specific argument made by Lechliter would be a good starting point. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 04:29, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
Lechliter also has a very detailed and apparently comprehensive guide to sorting the complexities of Bush's payroll records here and the corresponding points here. In the first part, there's a reference to "Flight Status Incentive Pay": Members who had "flight status" were eligible for "Flight Status Incentive Pay" when on active duty, or performing UTAs (or substitutes) or AFTPs.
Now Lechliter, the Air Force Times article, and the Boston Globe mentioned a record showing Bush being on "PLT On-Fly" status -- meaning he was considered an active, available pilot -- well after Bush was suspended from flight status on August 1, 1972. I found a good copy of the record here. Scroll down a little bit to the block with his name -- it's right after his date of birth. This record isn't dated, but it covers Bush's May 27, 1972 - May 26, 1973 period. By all other records, Bush never flew at all during this time, but he got a lump sum credit of 56 points (41 earned and 15 "gratuitous") for that period. As I said, it looked to me as though it made no difference in pay if Bush flew for 2 hrs or did 2 hours of equivalent duty. If Bush's status was indeed left as "PLT On-Fly" right up until he left for college, then it would seem that he received "Flight Status Incentive Pay" all along. But I think this would really be getting into WP:OR to claim it explicitly as such. For what it's worth....
By the way, this doesn't have a direct connection to the above, but this DoD site supposedly maintaining Bush's records, is now missing two: "Document 1" and "Document 2" under "October 5, 2004 State of Texas Release". I keep a mirror site handy, though, here, and that has copies of the missing PDF's. FYI. -BC aka Callmebc (talk) 18:32, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
Actually, one of the missing/corrupt pdf files does indeed have sort of a connection: check out Bush's flight status for July, 1973 in this file. FYI. -BC aka Callmebc (talk) 23:01, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
I suppose I should also mention that on closer inspection, it appears that the upper part of the second page of that now missing file had been "adjusted" at some point. An FYI and a "Hmmm...." for those interested. -BC aka Callmebc (talk) 15:07, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
Does a change in someone's flight status require a pay change? Maybe his contract was for a certain pay rate when he reached flight status. There has been mention that there were too many pilots available, and maybe flight pay is not lost if they're not needed (that is, the government decided to make them not fly). Again, a source is needed which states what the situation was; we can't infer what should have happened. -- SEWilco (talk) 04:56, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
Military servicemembers in the U.S. don't have "contracts" with regard to types of pay - at most (these days) a contract would generate some sort of bonus (lump sum) extra dollar amount. What's not clear is whether Bush being assigned to a non-flying position (as was the case after he failed to take the flight physical) affected his pay. Possibly not, given that payroll and personnel systems weren't integrated back then. It's also not clear if paying flight incentive pay required a positive action by a payroll clerk (check off a box) or whether it would continue, once a person was in flight status, until someone recorded that person as leaving flight status.
But of course the bottom line is that we can speculate as much as we want on this page; as noted, Wikipedia articles shouldn't have personal inferences, per WP:V and WP:NOR. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 20:50, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

Insert of "and no evidence that he did not"

IP 72.208.120.98 inserted "and no evidence that he did not" in the "Flight Physical" section regarding whether Bush complied to the provision in AFM 35-13 that requires Bush to acknowledge the suspension in writing ("Off will comply with para 2-10, AFM 35-13"). Since such an acknowledgment would be an official record, it would have been archived along with all of Bush's other records by the DoD in this depository. Since there is no such record there indicating Bush complying with the provision, that logically amounts to defacto evidence that he didn't. I reverted the insert by the IP, but then SEWilco put back the IP's insert with the claim in the edit summary of "Not finding records is not evidence". I don't want to get into a revert war over this little matter, so I'll do one more revert back to how it was. If the IP stuff gets put back, I'll leave it to someone else to deal with it for the time being. -BC aka Callmebc (talk) 16:00, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

Of course another short lived anonymous IP, 70.13.183.189, ignored this Talk page and reverted back to 72.208.120.98's insert. Since I'm at 2 reverts and under VERY close watch for 3RR violations, I'll just leave this for someone else to take care of this. -BC aka Callmebc (talk) 19:57, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
70.13.183.189 made further, very dubious (to say the least) changes, so I reverted those since they were different from 72.208.120.98, but put back the first IP edit to stay away from any 3RR charges, and that'll be my last revert in this situation. -BC aka Callmebc (talk) 20:48, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
I thought it was permitted for anons to contribute. The paragraph in question that I removed only refered to primary sources and seemed to be an editorial trying to make a point and not encylopedic. The citation is from a anti-Bush group and a neutral, preferrably MSM cite would be better.
The other one which the "maybe/maybe not" phrasing was rediculous and doesn't belong here. --70.13.183.189 (talk) 23:27, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
You are badly mistaken on most counts. If you had bothered to check, you would have noticed that the "Common Dreams" ref is just a reprint of an Associated Press analysis of Bush's records. And glcq.com is currently the sole source of many hard to find AF regulations, and the owner of the site is Gerald Lechliter, who's responsible for the most detailed analysis done on Bush's Guard service, which he did for the NY Times here. But anonymous IP's are indeed usually permitted to contribute, but the problem is that the bulk of them don't actually really "contribute" when it comes to political sensitive articles. You should revert yourself -- you've made the article worse. I'm not doing anymore reverts this weekend, though. Hopefully someone else will deal with this. -BC aka Callmebc (talk) 03:36, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
There is no evidence that William Howard Taft stopped beating his wife, so should that be mentioned in his article? -- SEWilco (talk) 04:50, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
How about slightly more applicable examples like: "There is no reason for the IRS to think you didn't file your taxes the past 4 years just because they have no record of you filing your taxes"? or "There is no reason for the police to accuse you of driving an unregistered motor vehicle just because there is no record of it being registered"? or "There is no reason for the electric company to shut off your electricity just because they have no record of you paying"?
The military is very big on record keeping -- if Bush was suppose to have done official thing X and there is no record of him doing it, then he very likely didn't do official thing X. -BC aka Callmebc (talk) 07:17, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

The Nation

The Nation is a reliable source. David Corn is the Washington editor of The Nation magazine. These sources were improperly removed as "partisan blogs." Even blogs discouraged yes, but this one is a reliable source. I'm restoring.Giovanni33 (talk) 05:13, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

Enlisted? You don't enlist as an officer.

I'm just curious why I've read twice now he enlisted into the guard when you would need to be commissioned into the guard if you're an officer.

97.106.83.170 (talk) 02:23, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

NG units in Vietnam

The article states that NG units were not used in Vietnam. I know of one example and their were probably more. See this and this that document a unit of the Kentucky National Guard that lost several men in Vietnam. --rogerd (talk) 14:20, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Interestingly, the first cited source says "The 2/138th Field Artillery in Kentucky was one of only two National Guard Battalions in the country to go to Vietnam. The other Battalion was called up from West Virginia." -- John Broughton (♫♫) 23:24, 28 March 2009 (UTC)

Childish entry under paragraph 1

Please delete the childish comment beginning with the words "Bush is 70 years old..." shown as an independent sentence under the first paragraph.

Thank you.

Delete it yourself. Thank you. 128.243.220.21 (talk) 19:14, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Page move

I've just reversed an undiscussed move of this page to George W. Bush National Guard service. While I sympathize with the instincts that led to the page move, this is not an article that can be moved without discussion. I invite anyone, including the original page mover, to discuss here whether it would be an improvement to move the page to some other title; however, please don't move the page without discussion here. Thanks. Gavia immer (talk) 22:08, 18 May 2009 (UTC)


It's a fairly balanced article. If I get a chance I'll find the relevant NGBRs regarding attendance. Excused absences are perfectly permissible, and are usually documented at the unit level only--records are unlikely to exist after all this time. There's a minimum combination of membership, attendance and training necessary to validate a year for retirement, but that's not relevant to someone doing a single term. None of the displayed documents are at all out of the ordinary--Bush' removal from flight status was 1 of several dozen for that month alone, for example. Not attending drill is only a problem if it is either fraudulently paid, or unexcused by the immediate commander.Mzmadmike (talk) 13:41, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

None of the pictures have dates. Why is that? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 129.120.177.8 (talk) 01:53, 17 April 2011 (UTC)

147th Fighter Interceptor Group

There is an existing wiki article titled "Champagne Unit" in which the 147th Fighter Interceptor Group has an entire section. My intent is not to insert derogatory content into this article, but I feel some brief mention of the "special makeup" of this unit is pertinent and would add value to this article. Possibly a simple link to the other article would suffice. It is by no coincidence that the unit included: The son of Senator Lloyd Bentsen, the son of CIA Director George H. W. Bush, the son of Governor John Connally Jr., the son of Senator John Tower, and seven members of the Dallas Cowboys. The section "Acceptance into the National Guard" would seem the appropo location for this addition. The "Champagne Unit" article does already have an existing link to this article, but there is no reciprocity. 71.29.67.237 (talk) 03:58, 1 May 2012 (UTC) Paul

George W. Bush military service controversy?

Shouldn't it be the Dan Rather Military service controversy? ==

He is the one who made up the facts, presented fake documents as real and got found out. --24.177.6.38 (talk) 01:25, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

Weasel words noted

Weasel words citation template added here:

"Acceptance into the National Guard

It has been said[by whom?], during the 1968–1974 period. . ." Thank you, Wordreader (talk) 21:49, 17 October 2012 (UTC)

This page should be merged with the main article

These controversy pages should really be merged with the main articles, other wise it is just gerrymandering. — Preceding unsigned comment added by CensoredScribe (talkcontribs) 20:03, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

External links modified

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Given the controversial nature of the subject, the sentence "The Killian documents are widely considered to be fake." should be, at the least, referenced and, more probably, deleted. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Diane Frishman (talkcontribs) 21:00, 20 April 2016 (UTC)

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  1. ^ his AF-11, see http://www.glcq.com/docs/(undated)af_11_unscribbled.pdf
  2. ^ http://www.glcq.com/docs/payroll_72q2.pdf
  3. ^ "President George W. Bush" (FindLaw)
  4. ^ http://users.cis.net/coldfeet/ANG22.gif