FactCheck.org is a tax exempt organization, allied with the University of Pennsylvania that claim to be
a nonpartisan, nonprofit, "consumer
advocate" for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and
But FactCheck.org doesn’t bother to check its facts when it comes to Bush’s military service record. Instead, it relies upon the lies of White House mouthpieces and a paid political operative who was hired specifically to certify that Bush had performed his duty. This political employee couldn’t do that, so instead he lied about the nature of Bush’s obligation to the United States Armed Forces.
But FactCheck.org goes further than that. It lies about the facts themselves, selectively quotes from news articles to support its own position, presents highly questionable assertions and irrelevant statements as if they supported its biased interpretation of the facts, and questions the credibility of people whose statements have been substantiated if they contradict FactCheck’s pro-Bush agenda.
Here is what FactCheck.org has to say about Bush’s military records on its website (at http://www.factcheck.org/article.aspx?DocID=140 ), and here as well are the FACTS that FactCheck.org is distorting and lying about on its website. And “lying” is not too strong a word. FactCheck.org was repeatedly contacted about the inaccuracies of its account, and was provided iron-clad evidence that its “facts” were wrong….but FactCheck.org will not amend its website to make it consistent with the facts.
THE FACTS: FactCheck.org did not bother to check its facts. Bush had no requirements “for the 12-month period ending May 26, 1973”, nor was there any “50 point requirement” for Bush. If FactCheck.org had done even a minimal amount of research, it would know that Bush’s “requirements” were based on a fiscal year (which, until 1977, ran from July 1-June 30.) If FactCheck.org had bothered to check its facts, it would know that Bush’s requirements were defined by the United States Statutes, and refined by the Federal Code of Regulations. And FactCheck.org would know that, under the provisions of the CFR, that Bush was required to participate in at least 90% of the training periods mandated in the Statutes, and that he was also required to maintain his qualifications for his Air Force Specialty Code (e.g. his job), which included maintaining his “flight status”.
The is no document that runs through the “subsequent period” if that period is the year ending in May, 1974. This is significant, because such a document should exist in Bush’s files unless he was on “Inactive Status” for the last nine months of the six years he was statutorily required to serve in an “Active Status” as a member of the Ready Reserve.
Nor is there any document that runs through Bush’s “last credited service in July 1973.”
There is, however, a document that runs until September 15, 1973, the date on which Bush was placed in an “Inactive Status”. The only way that a member with an unfulfilled six year obligation to serve could be placed on “Inactive Status” is if he were being “completely severed from military status” (e.g. he was being thrown out for cause), or is he was designated a “non-locatee” (the euphemism used by the Air Force for a deserter, when it chose not to bother with a court martial and instead certify him to his Selective Service Board for immediate induction.)
Obviously, FactCheck.org prefers to rely upon the opinion of a political hack who was hired by the Bush campaign specifically to “certify” his service, than check out the facts themselves.
Lloyd based his statement on
a non-existent requirement for members of the Air National Guard to achieve a “good
year” toward retirement. No one
was required to have a good year toward retirement. If
you didn’t have a good year toward retirement, the only thing that happened to
you was that you didn’t get credited with a year’s service toward military
retirement benefits. “Satisfactory
performance” was based on maintaining ones readiness to serve if called to
active duty at a moments notice because of “war or other such national security
emergencies,” which was accomplished by
attending statutorily mandated training and drills.
FactCheck.org here demonstrates that it is not interested in the facts themselves by selectively “quoting” from a Boston Globe article. The article actually said “[t]he minimum annual requirement for National Guard service in 1972 was one weekend a month -- 24 days -- and 15 days of active duty to meet training requirements.” Bush did manage to get those 15 days of active duty training during FY 72-73, but failed to in both FY 71-72 and FY 72-73 to attend the legally required number of days of inactive duty training. (Bush could miss up to four days per year, and still maintain his “satisfactory participation” rating. In FY 71-72 he missed 8 days, in FY 72-73 he missed 12 days.)
Why didn’t FactCheck.org
provide the information about the “24 day inactive duty” requirement that the
Globe described in the very same sentence as the “15 day active duty”
requirement? There is only one answer,
and that is to lie about the facts.
Rather than check their facts, FactCheck.org took the word of a Bush supporter
and campaign employee who was personally involved in Bush’s service as a member
of the Texas Air National Guard.
FactCheck.org doesn’t ask the most obvious of questions…”Why did Bush supposedly return to Alabama “to fulfill his Air National Guard commitment”? The election was held on November 7, 1972. His candidate lost, and his job was over. But Bush supposedly shows up and sits in someone’s office for four days in November, and six days in the following January, rather than do the training required with his Texas unit that he was required to perform in December, 1972, and January, February, and March 1973.
Rather than check its facts, FactCheck.org relies upon an incomplete dental examination form as if it supported the idea that Bush had accomplished the training that was required of him.
Rather than check its facts, FactCheck.org describes as an “additional witness” (of course, Bush’s old girlfriend never saw him in uniform, let alone saw him perform any training, so she hardly qualifies as a “witness”) someone whose account is completely at odds with the records that FactCheck.org says support the claim that Bush “fulfilled his duty.”
FactCheck.org doesn’t bother
to ask simple, basic questions of Calhoun that could verify his account,
because it hasn’t bothered to check the facts.
Instead, FactCheck.org repeats a claim that is of highly dubious
credibility as if it is relevant to the facts concerning Bush’s service.
If FactCheck.org had checked its facts, they would know that one of Bush’s “superior officers” was a close Bush family friend.
And FactCheck.org would also know that Bush would have been required to get the permission of these officers in order to perform “odd jobs” at the Air Base rather than attend the required drill with his unit. These officers would also have had to provide Bush with specific training tasks to perform as a substitute for the required unit drills that Bush was missing.
Finally, if FactCheck.org had bothered to check its facts, they would know that the dates on which Bush supposedly was doing “odd jobs” were the dates on which Bush’s unit was performing its monthly training, and Bush’s superior officers would have had to have seen him if he had been there.
But FactCheck.org is
uninterested in the facts, and prefers to repeat White House lies verbatim.
Bush did not apply for “early release” from the Guard. He quit, and told the Guard that he was moving to Boston. Under Air Force regulations, Guardsmen were permitted to relocate for “cogent reasons” such as attending graduate school, and resign from their current Guard assignment. If FactCheck.org checked its facts, they would know that.
And FactCheck.org lies again
when it says that “Bush was released from service.” Bush was not released from service, he still had to
fulfill his Military Service Obligation.
Bush was required to find another in which to serve the remaining eight
plus months of his statutory obligation to the United States Armed Forces,
another fact that FactCheck.org conveniently avoids—as is the fact that Bush never
bothered to find another unit. Of
course, if FactCheck.org had checked its facts, they would know that Bush could
not have transferred to another Air National Guard unit if he wanted to,
because he hadn’t gotten his flight physical.
But FactCheck.org is clearly uninterested in the facts.
FactCheck.org lies about the “puzzling” nature of the documents because it has been lying about the nature of Bush’s obligations. There is nothing “puzzling” about the fact that Bush would want his “performance documents” destroyed, because they showed that he hadn’t shown up for training for a year in Texas, and that Texas could not account for Bush’s activities even when the Air Force demanded an explanation. Nor is there anything puzzling about getting rid of the “retirement points” documents that show that Bush had failed to satisfactorily participate for two consecutive years, had not shown up for over 75% of his required unit training during the last 17 months that Bush was assigned to the Texas Air National Guard, and that Bush was retroactively (effective Sept. 15, 1973) placed on “Inactive Status” by the Air Force in January 1974.
Rather than check the facts,
FactCheck.org attempts to smear the credibility of a highly credible source
whose story is backed up not only by witnesses,and others who have made similar
allegations, but by the highly selective nature of the documents released by
the White House themselves. If FactCheck.org
had checked their facts, they would know that there are dozens of documents
that should have been part of those files that were never released,
especially those concerning Bush’s last two years in the Armed Forces.
FactCheck.org doesn’t bother to check the facts surrounding the Boston Globe story, and ignore the fact that the “key witness” (George Conn) confirmed Burkett’s story in 2002 with a reporter for USA Today.
Instead, the liars at FactCheck.org rely on a single, and incomplete, “contradiction” of a story, ignoring the fact that Conn’s current story contradicts the person who is accused of actually throwing the records away. Also ignored is the fact that Burkett’s other witnesses confirm his story. FactCheck.org never once mentions the fact that documents are missing from the Bush files that should be there, because they never bothered to check the facts.
The FACTS are that FactCheck.org deliberately and consistently lies about the FACTS, distorts the FACTS, provides highly selective quotes regarding the FACTS, disparages FACTS it finds inconvenient, and appears to have done FACT CHECKING whatsoever. FactCheck.org instead has swallowed and regurgitated the lies of the White House, and a paid political operative whose job it was to come up with some explanation for Bush’s dereliction of duty.