Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Patricia L Johnson: Was GWB Licensed To Fly?

Licensed To Fly?


By Patricia L Johnson

We all remember the photo of George W. Bush, Commander-In-Chief, waving from the co-pilot's seat of what was dubbed "Navy One' on May 1, 2003. President Bush waved from the window of the S-3B Viking to the troops waiting aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, prior to making his speech on Iraq which began " Admiral Kelly, Captain Card, officers and sailors of the USS Abraham Lincoln, my fellow Americans: Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed....." (1) http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/05/iraq/20030501-15.html

What a proud day that was for the people of the United States. Our President standing on the deck of a magnificent ship telling us the US had prevailed in Iraq. President Bush became an instant hero, and honor and respect was finally brought back to the person sitting in the oval office, in the form of an Air Force Pilot sitting behind the wheel of an S-3B Viking Navy jet, or standing on the flight deck in flight suit, with helmet at his side.

Over the past few weeks there have been many questions asked about President Bush's military service in the Air National Guard of Texas and Air Force Reserve. A review of Bush's military records indicates numerous gaps and many questions, and perhaps someday they'll all be answered. Simple little questions like, why did George W. Bush wait until September 5, 1973 to submit an application for discharge stating he was moving to Boston, MA to attend Harvard Business School when classes at Harvard begin in September? Didn't 1st Lt. Bush know in advance that he was attending HBS?

Whether the questions we ask about Bush's military records are simple or complicated they generally pertain to events that occurred over three decades ago and have little bearing on the here and now. Or do they?

Bush not only sat in the co-pilots seat of the S-3B Viking on May 1, 2003, he also "steered" the military jet as indicated by the interview posted on the Whitehouse website (2) http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/05/20030501-12.html

Q Mr. President, when you were flying the plane, what did you do? Did you steer it?

THE PRESIDENT: Just steer it.

Q Did you go straight, or did you turn it?

THE PRESIDENT: Straight.

While most journalists are attempting to fill in and/or cover up the gap in President Bush's military records, my question is, on May 1, 2003 when the President of the United States got behind the wheel of the $27 million dollar Viking

(3) http://www.chinfo.navy.mil/navpalib/factfile/aircraft/air-s3b.html to 'steer' it, was he licensed to fly?

When 1st Lt. George W. Bush was in the military he had a MOS [Military Occupation Specialty] of 1125D indicating he was a Squadron Level, Fighter Interceptor, Pilot - eligible to pilot a F-102 type aircraft. On August 1, 1972 1st Lt. Bush was verbally suspended from flying. This verbal order was followed up with a written suspension on November 19, 1972 (4) http://users.cis.net/coldfeet/grounded.gif that includes the following excerpt:

"6. Verbal orders of the Comdr on 1 Aug 72 suspending 1st LT. GEORGE W. BUSH [service number blocked] ANGUS (Not on EAD), TX ANG, Hq 147 Ftr Gp, Ellington AFB, Houston TX, from flying status are confirmed, exigencies of the service having been such as to preclude the publication of competent written orders in advance. Reason for Suspension: Failure to accomplish annual medical examination. Off will comply with para 2-10, AFM 35-13. Authority: Para 2-29 m, AFM 35-13."

Nine months later, on May 2, 1973, William D. Harris, Jr. Lt. Colonel FG, 111th FIS TexANG (ADC) reported the following.(5) http://users.cis.net/coldfeet/doc9.gif "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. He cleared this base on 15 May 1972 and has been performing equivalent training in a non flying status with the 187 Tax Recon Gp, Dannelly ANG Base, Alabama."

Four months later, on 5 Sep 73, George W. Bush, lst Lt, wrote a memo to: 111th Ftr Intec Sq/CC requesting a discharge from the Texas Air National Guard. Lt. Bush requested reassignment to ARPC (NARS) effective October 1973 as he would be moving to Boston, MA to attend Harvard Business School. Bush's request was approved by Jerry B. Killian, Lt Col, Tex ANG, Commander on September 6, 1973 (6) http://www.usatoday.com/news/bushdocs/2-Discharge.pdf [page 5 of 7]

His flying privileges were suspended on August 1, 1972 for failure to obtain his annual medical examination. When he was discharged from the ANG on October 1, 1973 his military records were listing his last physical as May 1971 (7) http://www.usatoday.com/news/bushdocs/11-5_2004_Personnel_File.pdf [page 11 of 22] and his flying status as suspended [page 12 of 22].

When we put someone behind the wheel of a $27 million dollar jet, shouldn't they be licensed to fly?

*************

- Patricia Johnson is a freelance writer residing in the Midwest.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>

ALSO:

Buildup:

Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>

ALSO:

Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>

ALSO:


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news