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Fast-track Flyboy
by Michael Graham    American Politics Journal
Entered into the database on Saturday, May 20th, 2006 @ 20:10:46 MST


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Editor's note: This is an e-mail message Michael Graham sent two days ago to a highly reputed investigative "blog" run by a progressive think tank. Mr. Graham was responding to blog entries concerning Bush's overuse of the National Guard.

Dear troublemakers,

I used to be a prize-winning reporter, so hear me out. Before that, I served in the real Air Force, as a commissioned officer in counterintelligence, at the same time George W. Bush was hiding out in the Texas Guard. At that time, the Guard did relatively little unless there was a hurricane or something. They certainly didn't have to worry about combat.

My theory is that Commander Codpiece -- insanely addicted to power -- is so hung up on the fact that he was a coward back then that he is compensating for it now by forcing today's Guard to be heroes. That way he can be one retroactively -- heroism by association. That may sound nutty, but the man is batshit nuts. And it is just a theory.

But here is something that is provable. No one in journalism has picked up one aspect of Bush's past: He never was properly trained to be a second lieutenant in the first place! I'm talking about before flight school, entrance to which requires an officer's commission.

Those of us in the real Air Force got commissioned in one of three ways: The Air Force Academy, ROTC, or -- if already college graduates -- the Officer Training School at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. If you saw the film An Officer and a Gentleman, depicting the Navy's version, you have a rough idea of what that training was like. It was goddamned hard.

But young Georgie didn't have to go through it. If you examine his records, you will find that he was given a direct commission as a second lieutenant after completing enlisted basic training and nothing more! Bang: He went directly from Airman Third Class, which is the rank of someone just out of basic, to a second lieutenant with a few typewriter keystrokes. Then he went to flight school.

Now I don't know if this was standard procedure for everyone in the Guard -- I was too busy spying on Americans to pay attention. We always assumed that Guardsmen and Reservists who wore the same uniform and the same insignia of grade as we did had undergone same training we did. But some kind of favoritism certainly applied to the arrogant young punk who was to become Commander Codpiece -- again, a psycho of the first magnitude who really and truly believes he is a war hero.

I tried to point out this little discrepancy to certain journalists during the media flap over Bush's truncated Guard Duty. But it was of secondary importance at the time, and then it got lost in the shuffle and the Dan Rather - Swift Boat dust-up. But you guys might want to revisit it, as long as Bush keeps the National Guard on the front page. His own Guard service reeks of corruption.

If I were working the story, I would simply call the USAF Officer Training School in San Antonio and get the CO on the line. Ask him when Bush graduated from OTS. He, of course, will not be able to. Then it should be an easy task to find his records as an enlisted recruit.

Then the obvious question is: Who decided this asshole should be an officer and a gentleman? Put that to his new press secretary. I guarantee it will be a Kodak moment.

And—just as a reminder—Bush got into the Guard itself corruptly. Helen Thomas told me he got in ahead of 1500 other young Texas guys who preceded him in line.

The story about how Lt. Bush got out of the Guard has been covered to death. I think it's time to revisit the way he became Lt. Bush in the first place.

Michael A. Graham
OTS class 67-E, SN FV3205188