Uncle Death takes some well needed rest and relaxation!

I was debating about wether to talk about M Grumpus who has too much work and is worried about getting a C to spoil her summa cum laude average or how excited I was about my chess team and that Dad is still alive even though he has serious congestive heart failure. I need all of you reikimasters and mistresses to send positve energy and reiki to Dad and Lillian's cousin Jimmy. Lately I've been praying and don't think only the Repukes and Jesusland have sole control of God and Christmas!
"Give me a break!
They're even angry at Bush for not saying Christmas in his greeting cards this year!"

Don't get me started but I even want ex gfs out there to send some positive energy to my sick father. Please wish him help and make him happy in his last few year. I pray that he will be able to use his legs so he can still take walks on the beach and see that beautiful surf that's in his back yard. I only have the Serendipachi moutains in my back yard. Imagine if I eventually worked on the beach near Byron Bay with the beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean on one side and the Blue Mountains on the other side!

Muffy thinks I'm a cheap bastard
(asking if I pocketed the extra 2$ she left on top of my $9 tip at the table...she had to make a point of getting change just to piss me off and have the last word on a 60 dollar meal saying to everybody what a cheap bastard I am. So I want to save $2 after I already leave $9. I tell ya I don't get no rescpect from alceys at redneck pubs, angry students or administrators, angry testosteroned Btenders and Bitchy Btendresses taking out their hypoglycemic premenstrual rages on you!!@)

"You should pay for it since you only pay $200 in rent and the reservation pays all your utilities, you cheap bastard. Can you pay for my membership to this feminist spa?"


enough already!
"Will you shut the fudge up??"
Marty writes for his writing assignment hating my voice as much as M, and Clay!

seriously,
I sometimes I wonder how warped the thinking of those crooks in the caucasian house is, but it's no match for the thinking of a moody woman!
Of course darling and I'll pay for you to visit me in February but I won't give you my new cell phone number (just kidding)....at least until you let me spank you for being such a naughty and rude girl to your teacher!
mmmmmm.....buts its been so long again and I know now she's getting very near the nymphomanic part of her cycle....mmmmm...horny goat weed
and spin city!
Sky Rockets in flight afternoon delight while we are snowed in while her offspring are somewhere else
no worries mate!...
the fires going, I've had to find some wood and risk chopping with the sore shoulders, arms, wrists of a middle aged former athlete...
I'm turned on by the fact that she finally beats me in scrabble and she wants to Schtupp Herr Garvald so badly!
make up lovin.....
She looked so good in the video with her bright red gluteus maximus in full view and doing an erotic dance with the towel....mmmm
scuse me...
let me know if it's too racy and I'll do a Pg rated version of this essay and save the draft for later viewing on adult blogs...
Just kidding M!
Today is like the top one out of 100 or more days in such a long time, since finding out I really had a job
momentarily shutting up the obsessed radio lady who keeps saying to everyone to get a job while she cons them to buy advertising time on a nazikristian konservative station in Denver....

Muffy bristles at Garvald's mistaken adventure with an ugly woman inside and out brainwashed into rationalizing her own fundamentalist form of kristianity. As soon as G saw the faux church lady, his aging tool thought even a decade on a deserted island would only accentuate the withering ..hoping that it will eventually rescued by the Love boat!

she rolls her eyes,
"Now I'm not in the mood anymore!"
she says
and the the sour Joan look turns into ultimate happiness as Garvald goes snorkeling below the surface!

I wondered last night if I ever would be happy like I have been before when everything seems to be falling into place. Maybe its the confidence from some adderall and the buzz from those delicious flax seed cookies she sent me, but I'm starting to think that maybe I have something going here in the Rez??!!
I was thinking for 3 hours in the tub on this record cold day in the wild, wild, bipolar west about what I would say to you,
wanting to share with you my happiness,
the natural high of life,
learning to grab the gusto of what few years of virile life I have
instead of just wallowing in the thoughts and fears of death and self pity


Roosevelt said, "The only thing man has to fear is fear itself"
Great leaders with charisma have lead countries through very difficult wars.
Lincoln and the civil war...Winston Churchill in WW2... all of them went through great sadness or fought of deep depressions. Roosevelt was a healthy good looking man humbled by polio and the paralysis of his legs, before he came out of it at first by helping other victims of the disease which in turn gave him the Little Orphan Annie attitude of unstoppable positive thinking!
"The sun'll come up Tomorrow!"

I feel the same way with all this death and attempted suicide it's to get very down
but then I wake up the next morning with a hug and cuddle from the Buffster, tuning into NPR and get my fix of the news...hearing how Bush and our might repukes go on about even Jewish presidents should send Christ mas cards for Crissake, Mate! just kidding...why not a merry Ghandi or smiling Buddha card. ...that ought to please the brainwashed folks that believe that Jesus founded this country! Don't get me started...I just had an argument with one of those imcompetent design fanatics telling me evolution is a religion and that I can't believe in God if I have that scientific belieF! www.hereinreality.com read the tagboard!
grrrrrr
I have my fix of mocha (swiss miss and coffee) before
my 300 meter dash to my portable each am
taking in the sun shining on me each am...
it come over the horizon and shines on my backyard mountains even on this coldest of mornings in the fresh air while catching up to Ms. Liuba and her 100 meter walk! We chat briefly, I share my concern for Dad, and I know that I have friends here...
I feel the vibes having the best morning from Clay He's just won his fifth match this year, and he tells me about it while another rival school was cheering him on (it was a 3 way meet). My only student today.
(Of course, after lunch, he purposely(?) forgets his card so that he can flirt with the girls, be the center of attention and think that he can the 2nd TV dinner I owe him... he goes into his very predictable hypoglycemic rages parallel to the Muffster's Joan Crawford rages when I finally pull the plug on the puter since he refuses to get off.. He starts whining and complaining so I say he sounds like a girl, but I won't give into his spoiled brat syndrome. These kids go into these moods for a reason, often learned and then only accentuated by their low blood sugar!
On a good note, I write a speach about how my number one player took over the largest diagonal of the chess board beating the number 1 player from the Arizona team who had won the tournament with many shools in Gallup last month.! This is made during lunch so everyone in the cafeteria and courtyard can hear me. Several of the veteran chess players show up and we have the largest turnout of 7 players for practice. Two other players show that they might even be stronger than my new star. I'm pleased to know that we will depth and fierce competition for the top 5 spots on the team. I was excited even about giving them a lesson on algebraic notation as an efficient way to document their game while explaining the most basic opening.!
They then start eagerly playing 30 minute games with the clock!
and I'm feeling how serendipitous and synchronistic that just as this is happening a movie is just out on DVD who brings out the best in his chess players. It reminded Muffy so much of me and how I want to incorporate chess into these poor rural student's eyes...and from there they can alway have sight of the stars...
I can see how it can even help Clay think ahead in his wrestling matches!

and now Muffy, as I've changed my name, please be respectful of my own anonymity ....and besides this is all fictional!
You may leave comments.....
Dec. 10th, samstag:
Ill just chat with you for five minutes before I bake some more whole wheat and flax seed bread for my neighbors party. My favorite special ed teacher and Raphael are hosting it. I'm so happy that I won't have the nosy borginator telling me what to do next year. My neighbor is always nice, extremely helpful, confident and never bossy. She lets me confide in her and is wise beyond her very young years! Besides the couple wants peace in the world!

I need to ask her what is the best way to deal with Clay who's failing all of his subjects because he refuses to do work. Maybe if I involve the whole village, the coaches (although I dont like talking to the Arkansan TFA brat, but he seems to look for ways to point out my mistakes:
"Why is your door locked"
"I don't know. I don't want to be blamed and written up when things are stolen!"
"You should keep your door locked!"
Then I get a monthly comment on my lesson plans a couple weeks later ... it is much more positive but
I'm told to keep the doors unlocked and to work on my classroom management. Only the 22 year old TFA boy (who seems to be in her office everyday leaving his own classroom unattended to schmooze MB's rear end and report on every day activity as a good little spy should!) has visited my classroom giving me some printouts and then offering to teach clay. He makes it a point of visiting the library while I was having the chess match with the other school. He looks around and takes a mental note of everything so that he can make a report to the queen.
It's funny how the average age of the schmoozers is maybe at the most 25?? Let's see who's in there everyday?: the band leader who has a determination to become a principal somewhere, he's about 25, the Borginator-24 , and her TFA brother is 23 at the most. They are very high achieving youngsters! Mcb could be their grandmother! I could be TFA boy's Dad. Let's see, I was in Arkansas about 25 years ago. ;)
On a great note, we only have one more week of the Borginator telling me what to do!

Sunday 3:13 pm-
"I'm relaxed and lazy today catching up on my sleep and not taking the addaboy. My body is saying to me to catch up on sleep and rejuvenate! I got up once in the morning only to make the most delicious whole wheat bread with almost half a cup of flax seed, a banana to serve as sugar for the yeast, a little milk and an egg. It rose so well flowing over the edge of the large breadmaker. I had to show it off giving a large thick slice to Fraulein Schmidt.
I enjoyed visiting all of the teachers and new families last night at my other neighbor's cookie exchange party where I brought yesterday's loaf. It was no where near as good as my light and fluffy loaf today. I was thinking that I might be blessed sometimes with wonderful things in life that I should learn to cherish; a beautiful loving dog, Buffy and my most delicious creation, whole wheat and flax seed banana bread! I have been very happy and really see the potential of our chess team. Clay can do so well in wrestling(if he would only work and let me teach him) and I'm excited about telling the school that we should have the potential to be state champions for the 2nd year in a row. I'm excited that maybe things will fall into place with my students and I can be so proud of coaching a winning team that will help bring this rural Indian village out of the doldrums! They enjoy the publicity of doing well at something, especially at something that is so academic such as chess!

sunday evening at the puter: December 11th,
I would love to visit with some folk and give some of my delicious bread rather than develop a plan for Clay to pass this 3 subjects. He needs to take a day exam with several essay questions and grammar. I could get some test questions out of the Briggance and use this as part of the exam. Circle where you found the answers- comprehension, grammar level, and oral reading level. I need to talk to the wrestling coach who has invited for Clay to be in his english class next semester. I actually think that Clay will stay in his class rather than leave frequently for long 40 minute to hour breaks and longer as he currently does in math class. I wonder how well he will manipulate RJ as he has manipulated other adults and peers with his combination of charm and violent intimidation?
I have a lot of hope for him but I'm concerned how he will survive after high school where he won't be able to always get his way through violent temper tantrums. Hopefully his frequent boredom with mostly everything (ADD symptoms) and his hypoglycemic rages won't get him into trouble with the law. I was motivating (TV dinners) and encouraging him to take his physical for a month . I was so happy that he tinally took it and started going to practice on a regular basis. He is 6-2 now!...undefeated until the last tournament mostly pinning his opponents with his size .. his brute anger and lack of fear scares his challengers. I wish that he would be motivated to write about his matches. Then would help him analyze what he has to do next to avoid the same mistakes. ( my chess players will start documenting their matches at least with algebraic notation!)

Comments

  1. CHAPTER 3



    GEORGE W. BUSH'S EARLY YEARS



    CONTENTS>

    1. BUSH’S COLLEGE YEARS


    2. AVOIDING THE VIETNAM WAR


    3. A GIRL FRIEND’S ABORTION

    4. DRUNK DRIVING – AND AVOIDING JURY DUTY

    5. CHARGES OF COCAINE USE

    6. FAILING IN THE OIL INDUSTRY

    7. THE TEXAS RANGERS

    8. EMBARRASSED BY HIS DAUGHTERS

    9. AN EMBARRASSED UNCLE

    1. BUSH’S COLLEGE YEARS. While at Yale, George W. Bush followed his father’s footsteps and joined the neo-spartan Skull and Bones Society which dated back to 1932. With Masonic overtones and rituals similar to those of the Illuminati, Skull and Bones was a secret symbols similar to that of the Freemasonry.

    The secretive Order of Skull and Bones existed only at Yale where 15 juniors were chosen each year by the seniors to be initiated into the following year's group. Each initiate was given $15,000 and a grandfather clock. Russell went on to become a general and a state legislator in Connecticut. Alphonso Taft was appointed United States Attorney General, Secretary of War, ambassador to Austria, and ambassador to Russia. His son, William Howard Taft was the only man to be both President of the United States and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

    At first, the society held its meetings in hired halls. Then in 1856, the tomb was constructed, where to this day the "Bonesmen" hold their "strange, occultist" initiation rites and meet each Thursday and Sunday. That same year, a group calling itself "The Order of File and Claw" broke into the Skull and Bones' holy of holies. In the tomb, they found black velvet on the walls. There was a sanctum furnished in red velvet with a pentagram on the wall. In the hall were pictures of the founders of Bones at Yale, and of members of the Society in Germany, when the chapter was established. In another room, there was an old engraving representing an open burial vault, in which was four human skulls.

    After Bush became president, The Observer (July 17, 2000) reported on a ritual carried out by the Skull and Bones Society at Yale. On April 24, 2002, -- for the first time ever – outsiders witnessed the rituals of the Skull and Bones Society. Using high-tech night-vision video equipment, the team witnessed:

    A robed Bonesman posed as George W. Bush saying in a Texas drawl: “I’m gonna ream you like I reamed Al Gore” and “I’m gonna kill you like I killed Al Gore.”

    Privileged Skull and Bones members mocked the assault on Abner Louima by crying out repeatedly, “Take that plunger out of my ass!”

    Skull and Bones members hurled obscene sexual insults (“lick my bumhole”) at initiates as they were forced to kneel and kiss a skull at the feet of the initiators.

    Other members acted out the tableau of a throat-cutting ritual murder.

    Further revelations turned up by the Observer Bones Investigation Unit included:

    The words to the secret Skull and Bones “death mantra.”

    Copies of the Skull and Bones tax returns, obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests, raised questions about the legitimacy of the secret society’s claim to charitable tax-exempt deduction status–particularly relevant considering recent criticism of the Bush tax plan for favoring the privileged few. (The Observer, July 17, 2000)

    Most of the speculative lore about the Skull and Bones ritual was centered on its death fixation. Beyond the obvious skull-and-crossbones insignia, the most persistent story was that initiates spent their senior year in the basement crypt of the Bones Tomb taking turns lying in a coffin and, in two long, intense, psycho-drama autobiographical sessions in said coffins. They recounted their personal and sexual history to the other 14 members. Initiates had to “die to the barbarian world” and be reborn in the company of the elect of “The Order.”

    According to The Observer (July 17, 2000), one conversation went, “And (again): "Take that plunger out of my ass, Uncle Toby!” Then there was silence. After awhile, one of the Patriarchs complained, “We ought to get better blood than this fuckin’ syrup, man.”

    There were cries of “Lick my bumhole, neophyte! Lick my ass, neophyte! Do you like my bum, neophyte?” This “bumhole” tribute was followed by more cries of “Get the femur!” And the last part of the death mantra was “Death equals death.”

    Then the Skull and Bones member playing “Bush” said, “I’m the President of the motha-fuckin’ U.S.A.”

    Later, the society performed a ritual that included three presidents, some Supreme Court justices, a dozen Senators, and several secretaries of state. A Satanic-looking figure appeared and members of the neo-spartan organization shouted, “Hurry, neophyte! "Run, neophyte! Find the femur, neophyte! Lick my bumhole! (and) Remove the plunger!”

    The “devil” went into a tent and emerged with what looked like femurs and a thigh bone. Someone held a butcher knife alongside a woman with blood. The member approached a skull a few feet away from the knife-wielder-and-victim. He knelt and kissed the skull, at which point the member simulated cutting the throat of the woman in what appeared to be a sign of male superiority.

    Bush went into the Texas Air National Guard after Yale. He was released with six months remaining in his six-year obligation in order to enter Harvard business school. Yoshihiro Tsurumi was a visiting associate professor of international business at Harvard Business School between 1972 and 1976. He said Bush was among 85 students he taught one year in a required first-year course, “Environment Analysis for Management.” (Harvard Business School Newsletter, July 16, 2004)

    According to Tsurumi, Bush declared that “people are poor because they are lazy.” He was opposed to labor unions, social security, environmental protection, Medicare, and public schools. Bush also opposed the Federal Trade Commission and the Securities Exchange Commission, viewing them as unnecessary hindrances to “free market competition.” To Bush, Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal was “socialism.” (Yoshi Tsurumi, professor of International Business, Glocom Platform, March 1, 2004)

    Tsurumi said Bush scored in the bottom 10 percent of students in the class. He recalled Bush’s statements and behavior were “always very shallow.” For example, Tsurumi, said, “Whenever Bush just bumped into me, he had some flippant statement to make.” Tsurumi also said Bush displayed a sense of arrogance about his prominent family, including his father. “He made it sure we understood how well he was connected. He wasn’t bashful about how he was being pushed upward by Dad’s connections.” (Harvard Business School Newsletter, July 16, 2004)

    Tsurumi also said that Bush boasted that his father’s political string-pulling had gotten him to the top of the waiting list for the Texas National Guard instead of serving in Vietnam. When other students were frantically scrambling for summer jobs, Tsurumi said, Bush explained that he was planning instead for a visit to his father in Beijing, where the senior Bush was serving at the time as the special United States envoy to China. (Harvard Business School Newsletter, July 16, 2004)

    2. THE DRAFT-DODGER: AVOIDING THE VIETNAM WAR.

    Receiving preferential treatment. While still at Yale, Bush reported to Westover Air Force Base in Massachusetts four months before graduation in 1968. He took the Air Force Officers Qualification Test and scored a weak 25 percent for pilot aptitude on the screening test. After graduating in the spring, he packed his suitcases and returned to Texas where his parents handed him an education trust fund check for $17,000.

    At the same time, the United States was at a crucial juncture in the Vietnam War. The Pentagon was escalating the war, as the Viet Cong were infiltrating into South Vietnam’s principle cities during the Tet holidays. During 1968 the North Vietnamese also attacked Khe Sanh, a strategic American base located below the DMZ next to the Laos border. In 1968, over 100,000 men across the nation were on a waiting list to join the only branch of the military which did not send soldiers off to war -- the National Guard.

    Even though the Air National Guard was not used in Vietnam, Bush said that he would have gone to Vietnam had his unit been called up. There was no indication that any rules were broken in order to provide a slot for Bush. And a Bush spokesperson denied that he was treated differently from other recruits. Bush said, “I knew I was going into the military and would have liked to come out with a skill. Your options either were to avoid the draft or sign up, and I signed up.” Bush campaign spokesman David Beckwith said that Bush’s special commission and treatment in the Guard were “routine.” Our information is there was absolutely no special deal.” He also said that transfers were available to Air National Guard members and that the press releases were only an attempt by state military officials to obtain free publicity for the Air National Guard.

    Bush was able to avoid the Vietnam War by entering the Texas Air National Guard at the age of 21 while most inductees were shipped over to Southeast Asia. Bush learned that there were pilot openings in the Texas Air National Guard during Christmas vacation of his senior year at Yale. Two weeks before he was to graduate from Yale, Bush stepped into the offices of the Texas Air National Guard at Ellington Field outside Houston and announced that he wanted to sign up for pilot training. It was May 27, 1968, at the height of the Vietnam War. Bush was 12 days away from losing his student deferment from the draft at a time when Americans were dying in combat at the rate of 350 a week.

    Bush’s Harvard Business School Professor Yoshihiro Tsumuri said Bush would boast about his family connections and his ability to get out of Vietnam.

    Tsurumi said, “I used to chat up a number of students when we were walking back to class. Here was Bush, wearing a Texas Guard bomber jacket, and the draft was the No. 1 topic in those days.

    Tsurumi: “George, what did you do with the draft?”

    Bush: “Well, I got into the Texas Air National Guard.”

    Tsurumi: “Lucky you. I understand there is a long waiting list for it. How’d you get in?”

    Tsurumi said Bush did not appear ashamed or embarrassed. Bush thought he was entitled to all kinds of privileges and special deals. He was not the only one trying to twist all their connections to avoid Vietnam.

    Tsurumi told Bush that someone who avoided a draft while supporting a war in which others were dying was a hypocrite. “He realized he was caught, showed his famous smirk and huffed off.” (www.salon.com, September 16, 2004)

    Bush scored only 25 percent on a “pilot aptitude” test, the lowest acceptable grade. But his father was then a congressman from Houston, and the commanders of the Texas Guard clearly had an appreciation of politics. Bush never placed his name on a waiting list. He did not have to wait. Because of his privileged class status, Molly Ivins (Shrub) wrote that Bush was assigned one of the last two slots in the state. Bush was sworn into the 147th unit on the very day that he applied.

    The Los Angeles Times reported on July 4, 1999 that Bush was able to become an officer without special training. In addition, Bush had no aviation experience. After examining over 200 pages of documents and interviewing dozens of National Guardsmen, Los Angeles Times reporters concluded that Bush received favorable treatment and uncommon attention. The Texas Air National Guard had 1,000 slots for pilots, air and ground crew members, supervisors, technicians, and support staff. Sergeant Donald Barnhart said that he kept a waiting list of 500 applicants’ names.

    Bush also received support from Sid Adger, a Houston businessman with close ties to then-Congressman George H. Bush, to pull strings to get him into a local unit. Also, Ben Barnes, Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, was a close Bush family friend who used connections to find a way for the young Bush to evade the Vietnam War.

    A friend of the Bushes called Barnes and asked for him to find a slot for Bush in the Air National Guard. Barnes in turn called General James Rose of the Air National Guard and recommended Bush for a pilot position. Barnes aide was Nick Kralj who, along with Robert Spellings, ran an underground railroad to quietly moved the sons of prominent Texans into the National Guard. (Charles Lewis, (The Buying of the President 2000))


    Others who were given preferential treatment during the peak of the Vietnam War included the sons of Texas Governor John Connally and Senator Lloyd Bentsen. Even members of the Dallas Cowboys football team were given slots in the Air National Guard so they could dodge the draft. Another privileged son, Dan Quayle, received preferential treatment. Ironically, it was also in 1968 that Quayle was able to avoid Vietnam duty when his wealthy parents were able to pull strings for him to enter the Indiana National Guard. After completing his initial training, Quayle usually served just one weekend a month and a two-week period during the summer. (Charles Lewis, (The Buying of the President 2000))

    Colin Powell, who later became Bush’s secretary of state, wrote in his memoir “I am angry that so many of the sons of the powerful and well placed ... managed to wangle slots in Reserve and National Guard units. Of the many tragedies of Vietnam, this raw class discrimination strikes me as the most damaging to the ideal that all Americans are created equal and owe equal allegiance to their country.”

    Bush first met with the unit's commander in his Houston office and made his application -- all before his graduation in June from Yale. His records listed no ROTC experience or engineering or aviation experience, which were considered desirable. But the other applicants on the waiting list all had aviation experience of some sort. In his application, Bush cited work experience as summer jobs and part-time employment as a messenger, a ranch hand, an oil field "roustabout," a sporting goods salesman, and a bookkeeper. Nevertheless, Bush was able to become an officer without special training. He was sent to basic training and awarded a special commission, so he instantaneously became a second lieutenant.

    Texas Speaker of the House Ben Barnes acknowledged that periodically distinguished residents of the state would contact his office requesting assistance in obtaining slots for their sons in the National Guard. Barnes denied that he ever received a call from the senior Bush or anyone else in the family, but he did acknowledge that Sidney Adger, an influential Houston oilman and long time friend of the Bushes, interceded on behalf of the young Bush. According to Barnes, Adger asked him to find a slot in the Air National Guard for Bush..

    Another connection that the Bush family had was with Commander Walter "Buck" Staudt. He first met the senior Bush when he was a United States congressman and a member of the Houston Chamber of Commerce aviation committee. Staudt told the Washington Post that the young Bush was accepted immediately into the Air National Guard because there were "five or six openings for pilots." But later Staudt admitted to the Houston Chronicle that Bush's wealthy background helped him qualify for one of the slots.

    Staudt classified young Bush as prime officer material. Staudt wrote, "Applicant is a quiet, intelligent young man who has the interest, motivation and knowledge necessary to become a commissioned officer in today's Air Force and Air National Guard flying programs." In a separate report, Staudt added, "Bush meets all the requirements established for this appointment program."

    Staudt recommended Bush for a direct appointment which allowed him to become a second lieutenant right out of basic training without having to go through 23 weeks of training in the rigorous officer candidate school. The process also cleared the way for a slot in pilot training school. In July 1968, an examining board approved the direct appointment, finding that Bush's physical and moral characteristics were all "satisfactory." Staudt was a member of that board. But Staudt declined to estimate how many men received such special appointments. Two years later, the Texas Air National Guard's special commission process was discontinued in the 1970s after the war ended.

    Air Force veteran Charles C. Shoemake, who later joined the Texas Air National Guard, said that direct appointments were rare and hard to get and that they required extensive credentials. He said, "I went from master sergeant to first lieutenant based on my three years in college and 15 years as a noncommissioned officer. Then I got considered for a direct appointment. I didn't know whether I was going to get into pilot training."

    After completing basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Bush was promoted to second lieutenant in a few months, one of the most rapid rank ascensions in military history. A three-person examining board, one which Staudt was a member, approved the appointment in July. Staudt arranged for a ceremony in his office -- highly unusual -- and the Bush family was invited. Bush's father pinned the bars on his son, and the Bushes along with Staudt posed for pictures.

    In November 1968, Bush spent a year for pilot's training at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia. He was assigned to a F-102, an interceptor aircraft that was being phased out of the regular Air Force since it was not needed in Vietnam. The Texas Guard had acquired the aircraft for maneuver exercises over the Gulf of Mexico.

    GOING AWOL In 1972, Bush hoped to move to Alabama to work on the senatorial campaign of former Postmaster General Winton Blount in 1972. Subsequently, he applied in May to have his duty station switched from Texas to Alabama. On September 5, he was transferred to the 187th Tactical Recon Group, an active unit in Montgomery. (Molly Ivins, Shrub)

    However, Bush’s military records showed no evidence he did the duty, and the unit commander said he never showed up. Yet Bush maintained that he attended all Air National Guard meetings at Maxwell Air Force Base. He claimed that he could not recall exactly what his duties were. (Boston Globe, May 23, 2000)

    But Bush himself told Mickey Herskowitz, a ghost writer for both George W. Bush and George Herbert Bush, that he did not attend any Alabama National Guard drills at all, because he was “excused.” (Bush Wanted To Invade Iraq If Elected in 2000, Russ Baker, October 27, 2004)

    Bush first became concerned about his alleged AWOL status in 1998, when he was running for a second term as governor, about allegations that he was given preferential treatment to land a slot in the Air National Guard. So he retained an attorney, Harriet Miers who was paid $19,000 to investigate the issue. She and her aides concluded that Barnes had helped Bush land a slot in the Air National Guard in 1968 after being lobbied by Adger. Miers spoke with Barnes who acknowledged that he had never talked to Bush’s father about asking for the favor. Adger was already deceased, and since that time Barnes passed away. Bush knew that he was off the hook.

    Bush left his Texas Air National Guard assignment and moved to Alabama in 1972, even though the Air Force denied his request for a transfer. Bush did not even ask for an official transfer until nine days after he moved to Alabama in May 1972. The Air Force quickly rejected Bush’s request, saying the fighter pilot was “ineligible” to move to the Alabama unit. Nevertheless, Bush stayed in Alabama until his Texas commanders finally gave him written authorization five months later to train there. (South Mississippi Sun-Herald, February 11, 2004)

    Bush was profiled in Air National Guard press releases where he was portrayed as getting “high” on flying. But at one point, Bush was suspended from flying after failing to “accomplish” the annual physical required of pilots. But in 1999, the Bush campaign erroneously claimed that he never took the physical in Montgomery because his personal physician was in Houston. In fact, only Air Force flight surgeons can give annual flight physicals to pilots. Bush could have taken the exam at Maxwell Air Force Base. (Atlanta Constitution, November 1, 2000)

    Failing to be evaluated. From November 1972 to April 30, 1973, Bush was in Houston, but apparently not with his Air Force unit at Ellington Air Force Base. Two days later, on May 2 the two lieutenant colonels -- in charge of Bush’s unit in Houston -- could not rate him for the prior 12 months, saying he had not been at the unit in that period. Under Air National Guard rules at the time, National Guardsmen who missed duty could be reported to their Selective Service Board and inducted into the Army as draftees. (Boston Globe, May 23, 2000)

    The two officers wrote, “Lieutenant Bush has not been observed at this unit during the period of this report.” (Britain’s Sunday Times, June 17, 2000)

    Colonel Bobby Hodges was Bush’s commanding officer in Houston. Hodges said that he never saw Bush at the Texas base since he left Montgomery. Hodges said, “If I had been there on the day(s) he came out, I would have seen him.” (Washington Post, November 3, 2000)

    Wayne Rambo, a first lieutenant with the 187th Supply Squadron at Dannelly Air National Guard Base at the time, said, “I don’t remember seeing him.” Speaking anonymously, a former Texas Guard official was told by a participant that commanders and Bush advisers were particularly worried about his records of arrests before he joined the National Guard in 1968. (USA Today, February 12, 2004)

    With still eight months to fulfill in the military, Bush hoped to get into Harvard Business School. He needed early release from the Air National Guard duty in Texas. He got it easily. Bush White House spokesman Bartlett later said early departures were quite common and, in Bush's case, appropriate because his unit had phased out the F-102s. Bush was transferred to a reserve unit in Boston for the rest of his time. (Washington Post, November 3, 2000)

    The 2000 presidential campaign. During the 2000 presidential campaign, the issue over the “missing” months of Air National Guard duty resurfaced. The Boston Globe dug into the matter and found that there was no record that Bush ever served in the 187th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, and Bush was unable to locate pilots who would have remembered him. Kenneth Lott, who signed the orders ordering Bush to report to the base in Montgomery, said, “I don’t recall ever seeing the guy (Bush).”

    While campaigning for the presidency in Tuscaloosa, Alabama on June 16, 2000, Bush was asked at a news conference about his 1972 Alabama service. Bush claimed that he specifically recalled being on the Montgomery base. He said, “I was there on a temporary assignment and fulfilled my weekends at one period of time. I made up some missed weekends.” He added, “I can’t remember what I did, but I wasn’t flying because they didn’t have the same airplanes. I fulfilled my obligation.” (New York Times, June 24, 2000)

    Expanding on Bush’s remarks, campaign spokesman Ari Fleischer quoted Bush as saying he did “paper shuffling” in Montgomery. “He thinks it was desk work.” Scrambling to substantiate Bush’s claim that he actually reported for duty in Alabama, campaign spokesman Dan Bartlett reviewed hundreds of pages of the National Guard’s payroll records at its repository in Denver and finally announced that he could not find military documents which corroborated Bush’s contention. Bartlett claimed that “the official records were either lost or misplaced or not filled out correctly or not deposited.” Bartlett tried to locate military personnel who may have served with Bush in late 1972 in the 187th Tactical Reconnaissance Group in the Alabama capital. (New York Times, June 24, 2000)

    Bartlett said that Bush remembered meeting Lieutenant Colonel William Turnipseed and performing drills in Montgomery sporadically during the campaign and more frequently after the election in November and December. Bartlett said, “Governor Bush specifically remembers pulling duty in Alabama at the end of the campaign.” (New York Times, June 24, 2000)

    But Turnipseed stated that Bush never reported for duty, although he was required to do so. His orders, dated September 15, 1972, said, “Lieutenant Bush should report to Lt. Col. William Turnipseed, DCO, to perform equivalent training.” Turnipseed added, “To my knowledge, he never showed up.” (Britain’s Sunday Times, June 17, 2000)

    In addition, the Associated Press reviewed nearly 200 pages of Bush’s military records released by the National Guard Bureau in Arlington, Virginia. They contained no evidence that Bush reported for duty in Alabama. And Roberto Trinidad, freedom of information officer for the Air Reserve Personnel Center in Denver, said, “His (Bush’s) payroll records are not here.” (New York Times, June 24, 2000)

    Bush’s campaign moved quickly to dispel suspicions that he never showed up for three months of duty. Bush’s campaign produced an old girl friend, Emily Marks, who stood by his story. She asserted that in 1972 Bush had told her that he had to return to Montgomery to fulfill his reserve requirements. Bartlett said, “This corroborates what the governor has been saying. The American people have seen the facts, and they understand that Governor Bush was a good pilot and served admirably.” (Newsweek, July 17, 2000)

    The Bush campaign also pointed to a torn piece of paper in his Guard records, a statement of points Bush apparently earned in 1972-73, although most of the dates and Bush’s name except for the “W” had been torn off. According to the torn Air Reserve Forces sheet, Bush continued to compile service credits after returning to Houston, winding up his fifth year with 56 points, six above the minimum needed for retention. However, Bush’s annual effectiveness report, signed by two superiors, says “Lt. Bush has not been observed at this unit during the period of the report,” May 1, 1972 to April 30, 1973. (Newsweek, July 17, 2000)

    Colonel Bill Burkett. Before Bush announced his candidacy for president in 2000, top-ranking Texas Air National Guard officers and Bush advisers discussed ways to limit the release of potentially embarrassing details from Bush’s military records. In 1998, Bill Burkett, a lieutenant colonel in the Texas Air National Guard, sent a letter to a Democratic state senator. Burkett complained that Dan Bartlett, then a senior aide to Governor Bush and President Bush’s White House communications director, and Major General Daniel James III, head of the Texas Air National Guard, reviewed the file to “make sure nothing will embarrass the governor during his re-election campaign.” (New York Times, February 12, 2004)

    Burkett said that Dan Bartlett, a Bush adviser, “scrubbed” the file. Burkett maintained that “as the State Plans Officer for the Texas National Guard, I was on full-time duty at Camp Mabry when (Bush aide) Dan Bartlett (not related) was cleansing the George W. Bush file prior to G.W.’s presidential announcement. For most soldiers at Camp Mabry, this was a generally known event. The archives were closely scrutinized to make sure that the Bush autobiography plans and the record did not directly contradict each other. In essence, it was the script of the autobiography which Dan Bartlett and his small team used to scrub a file to be released. (Sunday London Times, November 5, 2000)

    Burkett added, “This effort was further involved by General Daniel James and Chief of Staff William W. Goodwin at Camp Mabry. I knew one person who worked within the records scrub who commented to me, while at the smoke area, that the Bush files really showed some problems with his ‘blue-blood service record.” Bill Burkett maintained that Bush’s record could be verified through the Freedom of Information Act and that the review of military personnel files is very basic. (Sunday London Times, November 5, 2000)

    Four years later -- in 2004 -- Burkett said he overheard conversations in which James discussed “cleansing” the file of damaging information. Two forms in Bush’s publicly released military files -- his enlistment application and a background check -- contained blacked-out entries in response to questions about arrests or convictions. As president, Bush elevated James to be director of the Air National Guard for the entire country. (USA Today, February 12, 2004)

    Perhaps Bush’s military files contained embarrassing or incriminating documents. Later, Bush acknowledged in biographies published in 1999 that he was arrested twice before he enlisted in the Texas Air National Guard: once for stealing a wreath and another time for rowdiness at a Yale-Princeton football game. (USA Today, February 12, 2004)

    Soon after Burkett heard James discuss purging Bush’s files, a series of meetings of top commanders took place at Texas National Guard headquarters at Camp Mabry. Bush’s records were carried between the base archives and the headquarters building, according to Burkett and the second Air National Guard official, who was there. The meetings were confirmed in a 2002 interview by USA Today with William Leon, who was the Texas Air National Guard’s freedom-of-information officer in the 1990s. (USA Today, February 12, 2004)

    Bob Mintz. Despite allegations that Bush failed to fulfill his military service in Alabama, he never supplied eyewitnesses to corroborate he showed up at the Alabama National Guard. Two members of the Alabama National Guard unit, with which Bush allegedly served, had been told to expect him and were on the lookout for him. Bob Mintz and Paul Bishop were certain that Bush never reported for duty. (Memphis Flyer, February 13, 2004)

    Mintz stated in February 2004, “I remember that I heard someone was coming to drill with us from Texas. And it was implied that it was somebody with political influence. I was a young bachelor then. I was looking for somebody to prowl around with.” Mintz added that 187th flying squadron -- that to which Bush was reassigned -- numbered only “25 to 30 pilots” and that any new pilot would have been immediately recognized. (Memphis Flyer, February 13, 2004)

    Bill Calhoun. Between 600 and 700 military personnel served at the Alabama base when Bush allegedly had been ordered to report. But only one person came forward with recollections of serving with Bush. John B. “Bill” Calhoun said he saw Bush at Dannelly Air National Guard Base eight to 10 times from May to October 1972. (Washington Post, February 14 and 15, 2004)

    But there were discrepancies in Calhoun’s story. He claimed that Bush showed up more often than was indicated in Bush’s pay records. Calhoun said that Bush showed up for duty several times from May to October 1972. But the payment and retirement records the White House handed out three days earlier showed that Bush received no pay or attendance credits from April until the end of October 1972. Therefore, Calhoun’s account was not in sync with the documents that, according to the White House, settled the matter. Moreover, the paper trail indicated that Bush was not supposed to report to this Montgomery base until October 1972. (Washington Post, February 14 and 15, 2004)

    The White House files indicated Bush performed no other duty from May to December 1972.

    How could Calhoun have seen Bush eight to ten times from May to October at Dannelly, if the record stated that Bush was not told to report to Dannelly until September?

    How could Calhoun have seen Bush eight to ten times from May to October at Dannelly if Bush did not receive any payment or attendance credits in that May-to-October period other than for two days at the end of October?

    The Tim Russert interview in 2004. After Bush’s popularity dropped to an all-time low, he decided to appear on Tim Russert’s Meet the Press in February 2004. During a February 8 interview, Russert asked President Bush if he would allow “anything to show that he served in the Air National Guard during the summer and fall of 1972.

    Russert asked, “Would you (Bush) authorize the release of everything to settle this?”

    Bush answered, “Yes, absolutely. … We did so in 2000, by the way.” That was not true. Bush never authorized the release of all relevant documents in 2000. (Meet the Press, February 8, 2004)

    A July 19, 2000 response by the Air Reserve Personnel Center in Denver, Colorado, to a Freedom of Information Act request, clearly indicated that “portions of the information” related to Bush’s service in the National Guard were withheld. The letter further indicated that such information could be disclosed to “the person about who the information is concerned” -- in this case Bush. But Bush failed to authorize the release the documents in 2000.

    The Bush administration still refused to release all documents, as the president had promised. On February 10, 2004, the White House released some pay documents, many of which were blurred and unreadable. Press Secretary Scott McClellan claimed the documents indicated Bush was paid during his time in the National Guard.

    The White House failed to release these same documents in 2000. This was of special concern since Dan Bartlett, who later became the White House Communications Director under Bush, traveled to the Personnel Center in Denver and reviewed Bush's file on June 24, 2000. (www.salon.com, February 11, 2004)

    Furthermore, Bartlett said on February 10, 2004 that Bush’s complete personnel file was forwarded to the White House from the Denver archive. But the White House never promised, as Bush’s statement to Russert would require, to actually release the full contents of that file. Instead, the White House said only that it would “review” the documents. When asked yesterday if any other relevant documents existed, White House Press Secretary McClellan dodged the question, answering, “This is what we know that is available.” (Washington Post, February 10, 2004)

    McClellan insisted incorrectly that Bush’s pay stubs, which he produced, were actually pay documents. There was no dollar amount anywhere on them. They were labeled “ARF (Air Reserve Forces) Statement of Points Earned. ARF did not pay Guardsmen. That was the job of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS). ARF simply tracked their points towards retirement. The “untorn” document was a retirement document, not a pay document.

    Apparently, Bush received retirement points during this service year, the 5th of his 6 years. But there was no proof that he actually reported for duty and performed a useful service to defend his country. Perhaps Bush went AWOL. Perhaps he received the credits as a gift from a friendly superior officer who wanted to make sure he got an Honorable Discharge.

    The White House claimed that Bush actively served between May 27, 1972 and May 26, 1973. But the “pay” records released on February 10, 2004 showed that Bush was not “paid” on the dates claimed by the White House in the 4th Quarter: October 28-29 or November 11-14. Therefore, Bush was never paid for service during his time in Alabama.

    The records indicated that between May 1972 and May 1973, Bush served 14 days -- two days in October, four days in November, six days in January, and two days in April. McClellan offered no indication of why there was a gap in Bush’s service from April to October of 1972.

    Appearing desperate to prove that Bush was not AWOL, the White House claimed it had just located another document proving that Bush had served in Alabama. On February 11, the administration released a document that indicated Bush was at a military base in Dannelly, Alabama on January 6, 1973. The one-page record of a dental exam occurred on a day that Bush was paid. (Washington Post, February 12, 2004)

    However, the dental record did not account for the six month AWOL gap in the Bush military from April 16, 1972 through October 27, 1972. Neither did the dental record prove Bush was paid for service in the Alabama guards on January 6,1973. However, Bush was to have completed work in a political campaign that ended in November of 1972. Therefore, he had no reason to be in Alabama two months later in January of 1973.

    In addition to the mystery of the one-year of missing military service, Bush refused to show up for a physical exam and was suspended from flight status in August 1972. His failure to report should have prompted an investigation by his commander, a written acknowledgement by Bush, and perhaps a written report to senior Air Force officials. (Boston Globe, February 12, 2004)

    It was highly unusual for a pilot to evade a physical. That raised as significant question as to why Bush refused. Did Bush know that he would have failed the physical as a result of narcotics?

    On February 11, the Boston Globe interviewed Brigadier General David L. McGinnis, a former top aide to the assistant secretary of defense for reserve affairs. McGinnis said he “thought it possible that Bush’s superiors considered him a liability. So they decided ‘to get him off the books, make his father happy, and hope no one would notice.’ ” (Boston Globe, February 12, 2004)

    The White House releases Bush’s files. Finally, on February 13, five days after his Meet the Press interview, Bush released more military records. He claimed that was everything. But five months later, the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) acknowledged that in 1996 and 1997 it had inadvertently destroyed military records of dozens of Air National Guard enlistees, including those of Bush. Furthermore, there were no paper records to back up the information contained on the microfilm. The records were destroyed, the Pentagon claimed, when staff members tried to unroll 2,000-foot rolls of the film. (www.indpendent.co.uk, July 10, 2004)

    The documents released in February contained hundreds of pages, detailing Bush’s service in the National Guard in Texas as well as some things regarding his duty in Alabama. But the files contained numerous gaps in his five and one-half years. Yet, they failed to prove that Bush reported to duty in Alabama. They did indicate that Bush reported to an Air Force base in Massachusetts for a medical examination on February 21, 1972 and that he was deemed “not qualified” because of problems with his teeth. Bush also visited a dentist in New Haven, Connecticut on March 7. The dentist pulled one tooth from the future president and put a filling in another. A month later, Bush’s file was updated to show him as “medically qualified.” (New York Times, February 14, 2004)

    Bush’s evaluation date of May 2 was listed in the files. His evaluation read, “Lt. Bush has not been observed at this unit during the period of report. A civilian occupation made it necessary for him to move to Montgomery, Alabama.” In June, the evaluation was returned to the Texas National Guard with request for form 77a so “this officer can be rated in the position he held.”

    On September 5, Bush’s files said an “application for discharge" effective Oct. 1, seven months before his six years were up. The discharge was granted.

    On November 12, Form 77a was sent by the Texas Guard’s personnel office and said, “Not rated for the period 1 May 1972 through 30 Apr 73. Report for this period not available for administrative reasons.”

    One week after admitting it had lost some of Bush’s records, the Pentagon discovered new payroll records from his stint with the Alabama National Guard. The records confirmed that there was a three-month gap, failing to show that Bush drilled with the Alabama unit during July, August and September of 1972. (Washington Post, July 24, 2004)

    Failing to take a physical exam. In April 1972, the Pentagon implemented a drug-abuse testing program that required officers on “extended active duty,” including reservists such as Bush, to undergo at least one random drug test every year. The annual medical exam that year included a routine analysis of urine, a close examination of the nasal cavities and specific questions about drugs.

    Bush claimed he was unable to take the medical because he was in Alabama while his doctor was in Houston. During the 2000 campaign, one of his campaign officials said Bush was aware that he would be suspended for missing his medical as soon as he left Houston, because the Air Force was unable to process his new status before the August deadline for the test.

    According to an Air National Guard document, dated September 29, 1972, Bush was suspended from flying because of his “failure to accomplish (his) annual medical examination.” When the Bush administration released that document in 2004, it had blotted out two names. (www.salon. com, April 20, 2004)

    However, film-maker Michael Moore gained access to the same document four years earlier during the 2004 campaign. Those two names were not blotted out. They were George W. Bush and James Bath. (Michael Moore, “Fahrenheit 9/11”)

    3. A GIRL FRIEND’S ABORTION. In the winter of 1971, Bush was dating Robin Lowman (now Robin Garner) who later married an FBI agent. Bush got her pregnant and arranged an illegal abortion. It was two years before the Roe v. Wade decision. An unnamed source said that Robert Carl Chandler and a Bush supporter made arrangements for the abortion at Twelve Oaks Hospital (later renamed the Bayou City Medical Center) in Houston. The source of the story overheard the telephone call by Chandler to arrange the abortion, and she visited Lowman at the hospital after the abortion.

    Hustler magazine's Larry Flynt appeared on a talk show in San Francisco in October 2000 and was very specific about the proof that he claims he has that Bush "was involved" in an early 1970s abortion. Appearing on Bernie Ward's KGO-AM 810 talk show on October 24, Flynt said that the abortion took place in Houston in 1970 during the elder Bush's campaign for a seat in Washington. At that time, the younger Bush was working in the campaign. Flynt claimed that he had affidavits from four witnesses, contradicting an earlier report from the BBC that Flynt was basing his story on the word of one person. In fact, Flynt said the BBC was considering going with his story, along with the London Times. Flynt also described the consternation at CNN when he broke the story and discussed the ability of the Bush spin machine to smother information.

    Five days before, on October 19, Del Walters of ABC-TV interviewed Flynt. It was aired the following day on "Crossfire" with Flynt claiming that he had information on Bush's sexual life. The "Crossfire" conversation went:

    In the CNN interview, Flynt said: When I said that we had the proof, I am referring to knowing who the girl was, knowing who the doctor was that performed the abortion, evidence from girlfriends of hers at the time, who knew about the romance and the subsequent abortion. The young lady does not want to go public, and without her willingness, we don't feel that we're on solid enough legal ground to go with the story, because should she say it never happened, then we've got a potential libel suit. But we know we have enough evidence that we believe completely. One of the things that interested us was that this abortion took place before Roe v. Wade in 1970, which made it a crime at the time. I'd just like the national media to ask him if abortion is okay for him and his family, but not for the rest of America. We're not looking at it as a big issue, we're looking at it as a situation of people not being told the truth. I think the American people have a right to know everything there is to know about someone running for President."

    During the heat of the 2000 presidential election, the Bush team responded: “Mr. Flynt is not a credible source on any issue and we’re not aware of these allegations.” According to Drudge Report (October 20, 2000), Bush responded to Flynt’s charge that he was “involved in” an abortion in the 1970s by having a “senior Bush source” say, “CNN’s standards have hit a new low, if that is even possible! It appears the liberal media is becoming desperate as Election Day nears.” Neither Bush nor any campaign spokesman reportedly disagreed with the Flynt charges. The conversation went:

    4. THE DRUNK DRIVING ARREST – AND AVOIDING JURY DUTY. Only five days before Election Day in November 2000, the Bush campaign was hit by a bomb shell when it was disclosed that the governor had been arrested for drunk driving in 1974 while visiting his parents' summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine. Erin Fehlau, a reporter for WPXT, said on ABC's "Nightline" that she had been tipped off to the story by a police officer in a Maine courthouse She said that the officer had overheard a lawyer talking about Bush's arrest. Fehlau then tracked down a copy of the accident report, as well as the original arresting officer, Calvin Bridges. He told the Associated Press that he recalled driving home from work after midnight that September night and spotting a car slipping briefly onto the shoulder before getting back on the road. Bridges said that Bush failed a road sobriety test and a second test in the police station, registering a 0.10 percent blood-alcohol level, the legal limit at the time. Asked about Bush's demeanor, Bridges replied, "The man was, and I say this without being facetious, a picture of integrity. He gave no resistance. He was very cooperative." Bridges said that Bush spent about 90 minutes in custody.

    Erin Fehlau, a reporter for WPXT, said on ABC's "Nightline" that she had been tipped off to the story by a police officer in a Maine courthouse She said that the officer had overheard a lawyer talking about Bush's arrest. Then Tom Connolly, the 1998 Democratic candidate for governor in Maine, came forward and claimed that he was the source behind the story, but he refused to divulge the person who put him onto the story. Fehlau confronted Connolly who later returned from his office with a copy of the documents that the Biddeford court clerk had found only a few hours earlier. Connolly told her that he had heard all about it from an unidentified source who fit Childs's description. Childs was a Democratic lawyer and part-time probate judge. Both Childs and Connolly were part of the interconnected world of Maine party politics, and Republicans obviously tried to tie them to the Gore campaign. Gore's press secretary Christopher Lehane from Kennebunk was the only one who had connections with Childs and Connolly. Lehane's sister worked in a prominent Portland law firm in which former governor Tom Curtis was a senior partner. Newsweek (November 13, 2000) reported that Curtis had backed Childs for his probate judgeship. But Lehane, his sister, and the law firm all vehemently denied any involvement.

    Fehlau then tracked down a copy of the accident report, as well as the original arresting officer. Calvin Bridges, the arresting officer, told the Associated Press that he recalled driving home from work after midnight that September night and spotting a car slipping briefly onto the shoulder before getting back on the road. Bridges said that Bush failed a road sobriety test and a second test in the police station, registering a 0.10 percent blood-alcohol level, the legal limit at the time. Asked about Bush's demeanor, Bridges replied, "The man was, and I say this without being facetious, a picture of integrity. He gave no resistance. He was very cooperative." Bridges said that Bush spent about 90 minutes in custody.

    According to Howard Fineman, Mark Hosenball, and Michael Isikoff of Newsweek(November 13, 2000), in late October a mysterious figure walked into the office in Biddeford, near Kennebunkport. He asked to see any records they might have on Bush, but the search provided no information. Then on November 2 another person, whom the clerk declined to identify, called with a case number. Within minutes the clerk found the records. She made several copies. That afternoon two or three individuals, identifying themselves as reporters, called for copies. Early that morning a man who identified himself as Bill Childs called the Maine secretary of State's office, seeking companion records. Within hours reporters were on the line, also asking for them. By midday officials had found several documents which were soon being faxed to the reporters, including the one from Fox in Portland. Childs, who declined to be interviewed, was heard bragging that afternoon in the courthouse in Portland about his knowledge of the matter. Paul DeGrinney, a local GOP lawyer, said that "he (Childs) started telling anyone who would listen."

    The Bush camp worked to defuse the eleventh-hour controversy by turning the issue against Gore. Communications director Hughes immediately questioned the timing of the release of the information, hinting that the Gore camp may have been responsible. In an attempt to shore up the damage, Bush immediately told a Michigan audience, "I've made mistakes in my life. But I'm proud to tell you, I've learned from those mistakes." Bush said that he failed to come forth earlier because he wanted to shield his two daughters. In an interview with a television station in Pennsylvania, Cheney labeled the matter "old news" and praised his running mate for being "very forthright." Cheney refused comment about his own drunken driving arrests which took place in 1962 and 1963. Gore, meanwhile, distanced himself, saying, "All I know is this: Our campaign had absolutely nothing to do with it, and I'm talking about the issues."

    Then the incident took a new turn when reports surfaced that Bush was caught in several lies. In a November 1998 interview with the Dallas Morning News reporter Wayne Slater, Bush was asked if he had any other arrests. He replied, "After 1968? No." Slater recalled that Bush seemed ready to change his response when his spokeswoman Hughes stopped the conversation. Immediately after Bush's drunken driving story broke, it was Hughes again who initially questioned the story's timing. She also claimed that Bush had been totally open about his past and had not spoken of this bust because he was not asked.

    In a 1999 interview with CBS News Correspondent Lee Cowan of CBS station WBZ in Boston, Bush denied there was any so-called smoking gun. And Bush lied on "Meet the Press" (November 21, 1999). Tim Russert asked, "If someone came to you and said, ‘Governor, I'm sorry, I'm going to go public with some information,' what do you do?" Bush replied, "If someone was willing to go public with information that was damaging, you'd have heard about it by now. My background has been scrutinized by all kinds of reporters. Tim, we can talk about this all morning."

    AVOIDING JURY DUTY AS GOVERNOR. As Bush's credibility and forthrightness were challenged, another story broke. At the time Bush was bounced from the jury pool, it was widely believed that he was looking to avoid questions about his hard-drinking past that would surely have come up during jury selection. When Bush was assigned to a drunk driving case, his attorney, Al Gonzales, asked to meet with the counsels in Judge Crain's chambers. Gonzales asked the attorneys not to object when he would ask the court to excuse Bush from jury duty because of the possibility that he might be called on to pardon the accused. P. David Wahlberg, the defense attorney did not object. Neither did John Lastovica, the deputy city attorney who went forward and presented the information to lead prosecutor Ken Oden for approval.

    Four years later, Oden said in an interview to Salon (November 2000) that Lastovica did not to object to Gonzales' argument. Oden asserted that he wanted to make sure that there was no chance that Wahlberg could use Bush's removal from the jury as a basis for any possible appeal. Oden said he instructed Lastovica "to make sure the defense attorney can't complain about this later. And the cleanest thing would be for him to make the motion to excuse the governor." Oden added, "With that agreed-upon script, the lawyers came out of Crain's chambers and Wahlberg made the motion."

    Oden believed that he was purposely misled by Bush and Gonzales in an effort to avoid jury service. Oden told Salon that Bush "used his position as governor" to avoid having to answer potentially embarrassing questions about his past. Oden charged that Bush's failure to answer some of the questions on his jury questionnaire, coupled with his lawyer's efforts to get Bush excused because he might someday be called on to pardon the offender, was part of an effort to deceive prosecutors and others. Oden added, "It's logical to see that there may have been motives at work that none of us knew about. But at the time, we were just trying to be courteous to the governor."

    Oden also criticized Bush for failing to fully answer a questionnaire given to prospective jurors. It asked: "Have you ever been an accused, or a complainant, or a witness in a criminal case?" Given Bush's arrest in Maine, he should have checked the space next to "accused." Instead, it was left blank. A couple of other questions were also ignored, though most of the queries were answered.

    Wahlberg confirmed Oden's version of the events. He told Salon that Gonzales' argument that Bush could not serve because he might be called upon to pardon him was "laughable." But Wahlberg said that he made the motion to excuse Bush because "it was a foregone conclusion" the governor would be excused, and it was also in the best interest of his client. Wahlberg's client was later convicted and sentenced to probation.

    At the time of Bush's dismissal, the Houston Chronicle (October 9, 1998) reported that it was "a development that allowed him to avoid potentially embarrassing questions about whether he had ever climbed behind the wheel after drinking." After being struck from jury service, Bush was asked if he had ever been arrested for driving while intoxicated. He answered, "I do not have a perfect record as a youth.”

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