Friday, September 24, 2004

Supporting Evidence - Purple Hearts and the Texas Air National Guard

Captain's Quarters has two posts that, for me at least, shed some light on the events of 30 years ago that have received so much coverage in the run-up to the election.

The first post, here, raises questions about whether John Kerry was in Safwan, Iraq on March 3rd 1991 for the signing of the cease-fire accord, as he stated in a 2001 interview that was recently replayed on The O'Reilly Factor. It appears that Kerry wasn't there for the signing, but did visit Safwan later that month.

Is this damning? No, but it does show a tendency in Kerry to embellish his record, particularly to make a point. Kerry cited his presence at the signing in order to lend more credibility to his positions on Iraq. This is the same trait we saw in his "seared..seared in my memory" speech on the Senate floor about his supposed Christmas Eve in Cambodia. In both these cases, Kerry lied about being somewhere to make political points.

The second post, here, cites the testimony of 75 year-old retired Texas Air National Guard Colonel Ed Morrisey Jr. on whether or not George W. Bush received preferential treatment (full story here):
"Bush was selected and he turned out just fine,'' he said.

According to Morrisey, after Bush began working as a fighter pilot, he became regarded as one of the best pilots there. Unit commander Col. Maurice Udell considered Bush to be one of his top five pilots, Morrisey said.
Col. Morrisey's best quote:
"The only people that got preferential treatment was when Jimmy Carter pardoned those guys that went to Canada."
Will this clear this up to everyone's satisfaction? No, but it is telling that all of Bush's comrades and superiors in the TANG who have come forward have nothing but good things to say about him while so many of those who served with Kerry oppose him.

The Left can talk about Republican money behind the Swiftvets and talk-up the "fake but accurate" angle in the Rathergate mess, but facts are facts and they're all lining up on the President's side.

Update

Powerline picks up the story with an additional link to the website of the Tennessee station that interviewed Morrisey:
One of the criticisms leveled at the President is that he sought guard service to keep him from serving in Vietnam. Morrisey says, "not so."

"The Air Force, in their ultimate wisdom, assembled a group of 102's and took them to Southeast Asia. Bush volunteered to go. But he needed to have 500 [flight] hours, but he only had just over 300 hours so he wasn't eligible to go,” Morrisey recalls.

Despite that, Lieutenant Bush stayed busy. "He flew in active air defense missions, training missions. Day, night, regardless of inclement weather," Morrisey says.
As Powerline points out, the facts that have come out about President Bush's Air National Guard service paint a consistent picture, one of "a dedicated, patriotic pilot". Senator Kerry can not say the same about his service.

Update 2

More on this from Blogs for Bush.