Presidential IQ Report
WASHINGTON -- In a report published Monday,
the Lovenstein Institute of Scranton, Pennsylvania detailed its findings
of a four month study of the intelligence quotient of President George
W. Bush. Since 1973, the Lovenstein Institute has published its research
to the education community on each new president, which includes the
famous "IQ" report among others.
According to statements in the report, there have been twelve presidents
over the past 50 years, from F. D. Roosevelt to G. W. Bush who were
all rated based on scholarly achievements, writings that they alone
produced without aid of staff, their ability to speak with clarity,
and several other psychological factors which were then scored in
the Swanson/Crain system of intelligence ranking. The study determined
the following IQs of each president as accurate to within five percentage
147 Franklin D. Roosevelt (D)
132 Harry Truman (D)
122 Dwight D. Eisenhower (R)
174 John F. Kennedy (D)
126 Lyndon B. Johnson (D)
155 Richard M. Nixon (R)
121 Gerald Ford (R)
175 James E. Carter (D)
105 Ronald Reagan (R)
98 George H. W. Bush (R)
182 William J. Clinton (D)
91 George W. Bush (R)
The six Republican presidents of the past 50 years had an average
IQ of 115.5, with President Nixon having the highest IQ, at 155. President
G. W. Bush was rated the lowest of all the Republicans with an IQ
The six Democrat presidents had IQs with an average of 156, with
President Clinton having the highest IQ, at 182. President Lyndon
B. Johnson was rated the lowest of all the Democrats with an IQ of
No president other than Carter (D) has released his actual IQ, 176.
Among comments made concerning the specific testing of President GW
Bush, his low ratings were due to his apparent difficulty to command
the English language in public statements, his limited use of vocabulary
(6,500 words for Bush versus an average of 11,000 words for other
presidents), his lack of scholarly achievements other than a basic
MBA, and an absence of any body of work which could be studied on
an intellectual basis.
The complete report documents the methods and procedures used to
arrive at these ratings, including depth of sentence structure and
voice stress confidence analysis. "All the Presidents prior to George
W. Bush had a least one book under their belt, and most had written
several white papers during their education or early careers..
Not so with President Bush," Dr. Lovenstein said. "He has no published
works or writings, so in many ways that made it more difficult to
arrive at an assessment. We had to rely more heavily on transcripts
of his unscripted public speaking."
The Lovenstein Institute of Scranton Pennsylvania think tank includes
high caliber historians, psychiatrists, sociologists, scientists in
human behavior, and psychologists. Among their ranks are Dr. Werner
R. Lovenstein, world-renowned sociologist, and Professor Patricia
F. Dilliams, a world-respected psychiatrist. This study was commissioned
on February 13, 2001, and released on July 9, 2001, to subscribing
member universities and organizations within the education community.
"I'm the commander--see,
I don't need to explain, I do not need to explain why I say
things. That's the interesting thing about being the president.
Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something,
but I don't feel I owe anybody an explanation."
How Bush Got (and Lost) His Wings
Tracking the National Guard Career of the Fatuous Flyboy from
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
mumbles a prayer and it ends with a smile
The order is given
They move down the line
But he'll stay behind and he'll meditate
But it won't stop the bleeding or ease the hate
Sky pilot, Sky pilot
How high can you fly?
You'll never, never, never reach the sky.
Eric Burden and the Animals
If a bullfrog had wings, it wouldn't bump its ass.
The early winter of 1968 was a season of acute anxiety for the young
George W. Bush. As his academic career at Yale sputtered to an inglorious
denouement, the war in Vietnam was hurtling forward at full-bore with
the onset of the Tet Offensive. In those perilous months, there were
350,000 US troops in Vietnam, dying at a rate of more than 350 a week.
From Bush's perch in New Haven, elite hamlet of his birth, the draft
loomed, casting a chill shadow over his future.
Bush faced limited options. Unlike his warden-to-be Dick Cheney,
this randy bon vivant wasn't prepared to anchor himself down in early
wedlock, which would have entitled him to a marriage deferment. There
were too many oats yet to be sown. How many seeds in how many fields?
Tough to say precisely, but in the ripe phrase of one of Bush's drinking
buddies from the 1970s: "he bedded nearly every bimbo in West Texas,
married or not."
Alas, the remedial scholar's grades at Yale, already puffed-up beyond
all merit courtesy of his legacy admission, proved to be so paltry
that the escape hatch of graduate school was out of the question,
Only one sure sanctuary remained: the National Guard.
In January of 1968, Bush sent enquiries to the National Guard. It
seems Bush had had an epiphany: he wante to be a pilot, just like
his dad. Well, not exactly like Pappy, who was shot down flying a
fighter in World War II. Yes, Lil' Bush wanted to fly fighter jets,
but not in dicey combat situations. That, naturally, would defeat
the entire purpose of joining the Guard.
In 1989, Bush explained the coarse calculus behind his decision
to a reporter from the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, "I'm saying to myself,
'What do I want to do?' I think, I don't want to be an infantry guy
as a pilot in Vietnam. What I do decide to want to do [sic] is learn
The National Guard commanders responded warmly to Bush's initial
probings, but noted, somewhat ominously for the fratboy flier, that
before his application could be accepted he had to submit to a battery
of physical and mental tests. Damn, Bush must have shivered, more
exams and no helpful tutors from the egghead division of Skull and
Bones to guide him through the intellectual shoals!
At the time Bush applied to the National Guard, there were 100,000
other young men in line before him, stalled on a crowded waiting list
hoping their number would be called before they were sucked up by
the draft and dropped onto the killing fields of the Mekong Delta.
In Texas alone, there were 500 applicants frantically vying for only
four open slots for fighter pilot-training in the Air National Guard.
At first blush, Bush didn't seem to have much of a shot at landing
one of those choice positions. First, he flunked his medical test.
Then he flunked his dental exam. And finally, as Ian Williams reveals
in Deserter, his merciless indictment of Bush's disappearing act in
the National Guard, he scores a rock-bottom 25 percent on his pilot
aptitude examination. That's one out of four correct answers, a ratio
that is not even a credible mark in cluster-bombing class. To put
this achievement in perspective, the average score of applicants taking
the pilot aptitude test was 77 percent, a whopping fifty-two percent
higher than the proud product of the Yale ancestral admissions program.
More than 95 percent of the testers scored higher than Bush, the Ivy
Aptitude for piloting a fighter jet notwithstanding, on May 27,
1968, just nervy twelve days before the expiration of his student
deferment, Bush the Younger was accepted into the Texas Air National
Guard. On his application form under the heading "Background Qualifications,"
Bush declares in a refreshing spurt of honesty "None."
Today the pipsqueak commander-in-chief has exploited the Guard and
Army Reserve as a form of covert conscription to beef up troop numbers
in Iraq and Afghanistan. But in those days National Guard squadrons
were generally not being sent off to the frontlines in Vietnam. But
just to be sure, Bush checked the box on his enlistment form saying
he was unwilling to do time overseas. That box was a comfy failsafe
that is no longer available to young people seduced into signing up
as weekend warriors in Bush's National Guard.
Flush with excitement at his triumphal entry into the Air National
Guard, Bush averred to one-and-all that he had caught the flight bug.
He duly submitted to the Guard brass a "Statement of Intent," pledging
that he had "applied for pilot training with the goal of making flying
a lifetime pursuit and I believe that I can bestaccomplish this to
my own satisfaction as a member of the Air National Guard as long
This seems like boilerplate stuff. But it is a crucial document
in at least one respect. Getting the dunderheaded Bush air-ready was
going to take a lot of training and the Guard wanted to get a guarantee
that it would get a minimal return on its investment-if not a special
line-item in the appropriations bill, at least commitment from Bush
that he would stick around as a pilot for the duration of his commitment,
if not beyond. Ian Williams estimates that the Guard spent more than
a million dollars training Bush how to fly. Bush was warned that any
prolonged absence from the Guard would result in him being ordered
to "active duty" for a period of two years.
What the commanders of the Guard may not have known at the time
was that in Bush's mind it was either the Guard or Canada. In 1994,
the gunshy Bush, who tortured animals as teen-ager, fessed up to the
Houston Chronicle that being sent to Vietnam was simply not an option
for him: "I was not prepared to shoot my eardrum out with a shotgun
in order to get a deferment. Nor was I willing to go to Canada. So
I choose to better myself by learning how to fly airplanesI don't
want to play like I was somebody out there marching when I wasn't.
It was either Canada or the service. Somebody said the Guard was looking
for pilots. All I know is, there weren't that many people trying to
As we now know, there were more than 500 people looking to be pilots
in Texas alone, nearly all of them more qualified for the slots than
So how did this miraculous induction come about? Bush has long denied
he got any favored treatment, which would seem unmanly. But there's
now little doubt that the draft evader benefited from at least three
pairs of helping hands: Sid Adger, a Texas oilman and Bush family
crony, Ben Barnes, then Speaker of the House in Texas, and Gen. James
Rose, former commander of the Texas Air National Guard.
The truth began to trickle out in 1999, when Barnes, then a top
lobbyist and political fixer in Austin, became a witness in a lawsuit
by Laurence Littwin. Littwin was suing the State of Texas for firing
him as lottery directory, which he claimed was politically motivated.
The Littwin lawsuit is a complex and confusing affair that provides
a glimpse at the baseline of corruption pullulating through the Texas
In sum, Littwin claimed that he was forced to hire a company called
GTech to run the Texas lottery in order to suppress the real story
of how Bush won entry into the Guard-namely that Ben Barnes had pulled
strings with Gen. Rose. In the 1990s, Barnes worked a lobbyist for
GTech. Indeed, GTech had paid Barnes $23 million for his expert services.
In his deposition, Barnes denied blackmailing Littwin into giving
GTech the lucrative contract. But he confessed, with the haughty sense
of accomplishment that only an apex politico can impart, that he had
indeed opened the backdoor for Bush into the Air National Guard. Barnes
said that he responded to a distress beacon from Bush intimate Sid
Adger, a now dead Texas oil tycoon, and prevailed on Gen. Rose to
adopt the young Bush as a member of the Guard's flying elite, which
then included the war aversive sons of Gov. John Connelly and Sen.
Lloyd Bentsen. It helped that Barnes's chief of staff, Nick Kralj,
also served as a top aide-de-camp to the general. Mission accomplished.
But the handouts didn't stop there. Bush didn't want to remain a
lowly private or corporal in those drab uniforms. He saw himself as
officer material. Yet, he had no desire to subject himself to the
mental and physical rigors of Officer Candidate School. In his mind,
he was a birthright officer. And so it came to be. After a mere six
weeks of training, Bush was promoted to the rank 2nd Lieutenant. He
didn't even have his pilot's license.
In the wake of this astounding achievement, Bush felt it was time
for a breather. He abandoned his training with the Guard for two months,
hightailing it to the beaches and bars of Florida, where he claimed
to have occasionally lent the services of his agile political mind
to the senatorial campaign of rightwing, neo-segregationist congressman
Ed Gurney, a favorite of Richard Nixon. Gurney won, but his victory
was short lived. Gurney was later indicted by a federal grand jury
on charges of political corruption, bribery and perjury. He walked
away a free man courtesy of a hung jury.
* * *
After the election, Bush headed for Moody Air Base in Georgia to
complete his pilot training with the 3559th Student Squadron. Around
Thanksgiving, Bush was once again whisked away from the monotony of
life as a fighter-pilot-in-training, this time courtesy of Richard
Nixon. The president sent a plane to Moody Air Base to pick up the
young Bush so that the newly brevetted lieutenant could escort Nixon's
fabulously neurotic (and what progeny of Nixon's wouldn't at least
be neurotic?) daughter Tricia out on a date. Sparks didn't fly. The
young officer made clumsy advances, which Tricia deftly deflected.
She later described Bush as "testy."
And so the days and weeks of Bush's service to the country, as commander-in-chief
likes to put it, during the war in Vietnam rolled on. His instructors
at the Moody Air Base assigned Bush the task of learning how to fly
the F-102, an obsolete fighter soon destined for the scrap heap.
Finally, on June 23, 1971 Bush graduated from combat flight training
school. Now he was ready to defend the airspace of Texas from hostile
incursions from Mexico, Belize or the Virgin Islands.
Except that George the Younger apparently had formed other plans.
Without informing the Guard commanders who had saved him going to
Vietnam, Bush quietly applied for admission to study law at the University
of Texas. For one of the few times in his life, Bush didn't get immediate
The flying fratboy's application to the University of Texas law
school was ungraciously declined, despite the pleas of his father,
who had just lost a fierce senatorial campaign against Lloyd Bentsen.
Whatever its faults, apparently the University of Texas isn't prone
to handing out legacy admissions to New Haven-born whelps of the political
elite. Even in Texas, you have to draw the line somewhere.
Sulking at this unfamiliar rebuke, Bush slunk off to Ellington Air
Base near Houston to join the 111th Fighter Squadron. By most accounts,
his drinking, already problematic, began to intensify. By other accounts,
it was during this time in Ellington that Bush began to refamiliarize
himself with his narcotic of choice at Yale...cocaine. In his college
days, Bush not only snorted, he dealt. Among the haute monde at Yale,
he was known as one of the top purveyors of primo Colombian powder
in New Haven, dispensing the crystal snow from ounce bags.
Now we come to the crucial lost years of 1971 and 1973. Shortly
after Bush arrived at Ellington, his political ambitions begin to
percolate to the surface. He tells the Houston Post that he is considering
a run for the Texas state senate. His testing of the waters doesn't
excite much interest and nothing comes of it.
So he continues flying, mainly on weekends, over the course of the
next year. And he continues getting inebriated. On a trip back to
Washington, DC at Christmastime, Bush treats his younger brother to
a night cruising the bars of Georgetown. In the early hours of the
morning, a shit-faced Bush crashes his car into a row of garbage cans
in front of the family house. Roused from his slumbers by the racket
outside, his father confronts him in the driveway about driving around
drunk. Bush the Younger threatens to pummel his father with his fists,
but Marvin, also drunk, intervenes and Bush is sent packing back to
In April of 1972, two important events coincide. The Air Force mandates
drug testing for all pilots during medical exams and Bush takes what
will turn out to be his last flight as a pilot for the Air National
Less than a month later, Bush flees his Texas Guard base for Alabama,
where he signs up to work on the congressional campaign of Winton
"Red" Blount, a friend of Bush's father and Nixon's postmaster general.
He didn't inform his superiors at Ellington that he had left Texas
until two weeks later, when he requested a transfer to the 9921st
Air Reserve Squadron, a postal unit with no fighter jets. Initially,
the transfer is granted.
No one recalls seeing Bush report for duty and there is no documentary
record supporting his service there, which, in any event, was to consist
primarily of reading flight manuals--an uninviting assignment for
the quasi-literate airman. On July 6, Bush is scheduled to take his
required flight physical, which will for the first time include a
drug test. He fails to show up. Failure to take a flight physical
is grounds for immediate suspension of his pilot's license.
These days Bush claims that he simply blew off the physical because
the Guard was phasing out the F-102 and he didn't expect to be piloting
any more flights. This excuse is circumspect for two reasons. First,
although the F-102 was on its way out, the jet had not yet been mothballed
and Bush still had the opportunity to learn to fly the new generation
of fighter jets. Indeed, there was a fleet of them just down the highway
at Dannelly Air Base in Alabama. Moreover, the flight physical was
a mandatory requirement of service. This was not a matter of getting
a permission slip to play intramural polo at Yale. For most Guardsmen,
failure to abide by such orders resulted severe consequences, like
being compelled to spend two-years in active duty, perhaps in Vietnam.
On July 31, Bush's transfer to the Montgomery postal unit was overturned
by the DC office, which deemed him "ineligible for reassignment to
the Air Reserve Squadron. He is ordered to return to Ellington. But
Bush doesn't pay any attention. Instead, he retreated to Miami with
his father for the 1972 Republican National Convention, the last hurrah
Two weeks later Bush returns to Alabama, where he files a new transfer
request, this time to the 187th TAC Recon Group in Mobile. The transfer
is approved on September 5, 1972. The following day the Air Force
officially revokes his flight privileges for "failure to accomplish
annual medical examination."
Bush wasn't alone in losing his wings. The other pilot suspended
alongside Bush was none other than his close friend, James M. Bath.
Yes, that James Bath, who would in just a few short years become the
financial factotum for the Bin Laden family in Texas. In the 1980s,
it was Bath, backed by the Bin Laden fortune, who bailed Bush out
of the financial ruin he had made of Arbusto Drilling and Harken Energy.
Old friends down there are not forgotten.
The de-winged pilot was ordered to report for duty to Lt. Col. William
Turnipseed, commander of the 187th Recon Group. The Colonel says he
never meet Bush and there is no record that junior ever showed up
at the base. "Had he reported in, I would have had some recall, and
I do not," said Col. Turnipseed. "I had been in Texas, done my flight
training there. If we had had a first lieutenant from Texas, I would
On September 29, Bush was sent a letter commanding him to appear
before the Flying Evaluation Board to explain why he had refused to
take the medical exam. Bush never responded. At this point, Bush was
not only AWOL, but in breach of two direct orders.
Meanwhile, back in Montgomery, Bush had apparently gone AWOL from
the Blount campaign as well. He spent his nights carousing in the
bars of Montgomery. He would arrive hung-over at the campaign office
in the afternoon, prop his cowboy-booted feet on the desk and recount
his night of debauchery. The women workers at the campaign headquarters
called Bush the "Texas soufflé." Full of himself and stuffed with
hot air, the blue-haired ladies for Blount snickered.
Blount lost the election, but remained tight with the Bush clan.
His company, Blount International, continues to benefit from it close
association with the Bushes and their wars. In 1991, Blount International
got a multimillion-dollar contract to reconstruct bombed out Kuwait
City. Later, it won one of the largest private contracts ever awarded
by the Saudi Royal family. Now, Blount's firm is working as a subcontractor
for Halliburton in Iraq.
In the fall of 1972, things began to look grim for the fatuous flyboy
from New Haven. The National Guard was on his tail, demanding an explanation
for why he had jilted them after they had saved him from Vietnam and
had invested a million dollars in teaching him how to fly fighters.
Thanks to the investigations of the intrepid Larry Flynt, we now
know that it was in this window of months that Bush apparently got
a Houston woman pregnant and gallantly paid for her to have an abortion.
It was also in this period that Bush, according to his biographer
J.H. Hatfield, was arrested for possession of cocaine. Instead of
landing in prison, the judge presiding over the case bent to the pleadings
of Bush's father, then US ambassador to the UN, and ordered the young
derelict to perform six month's worth of community service at PULL,
a center for black youths in urban Houston.
Williams' book Deserter lends circumstantial credence to Hatfield's
account and raises even new questions. According to Bush's autobiography
(ghostwritten by his political au pair, Karen Hughes), A Charge to
Keep, he met former Houston Oiler tight end John White in December
of 1972. White, Bush claims, asked him to come work full-time at his
Houston youth center, called Project-PULL. Bush, who until this charmed
moment had never exhibited the slightest charitable instinct, agreed.
He started work at PULL in January of 1973.
Now keep in mind that Bush supposedly already had a job, working
for the National Guard. Yet over the next six months there's not one
confirmed Bush sighting by his Guard commanders. In the ornithology
of the Air National Guard, Bush is the rarest and stealthiest of birds,
passing through Guard air space like a ghostly passenger pigeon. Indeed,
when his superiors tried to fill out an annual evaluation of Bush's
service they are unable to complete the form, writing on May 2, 1973:
"Lt. Bush has not been observed at this unit during the period of
A month later, National Guard HQ in Washington sent Texas Guard
commanders an official query about Bush. The DC brass instructed the
Texas crew to prepare a Form 77a on Bush "so this officer can be rated
in the position he held." The Texas Guard, then run by Bush family
cronies who now saw themselves implicated in the transgressions of
the absconder fratboy, balks at the order. Indeed, they delay filing
a response until November 12, 1973, by which time Bush has been honorably
discharged from the Guard. Even then the response from the Texas HQ
is coy, though ripe with nefarious possibilities: "Not rated for the
period 1 May 1972 through 30 April 73. Report for this period unavailable
for administrative reasons."
So it seemed that the bureaucratic vise beginning to squeeze young
George. Then mysteriously Bush is recorded as having performed 36
days of duty between May and July of 1973. Bush doesn't recall preciously
what he did. There are no pay records to confirm his service. No one
in the Guard witnessed him on the base. Indeed, Bush couldn't have
done the Guard service because by his own admission he was working
full-time for John White at PULL-if he'd gone AWOL from that job he
might have very well landed in jail. It now seems likely that the
entry of those 36 days of service was post-dated by someone in the
Texas office not only to protect Bush, but also to shield his retinue
of enablers in the high command of the Texas Air National Guard.
In September Bush completed his tour of duty at PULL, applied to
grad school, and despite being AWOL from the National Guard from May
of 1972 through October of 1973, is granted an honorable discharge.
That fall Bush evacuated to Cambridge, making a soft landing at
Harvard Business School, another reliable safehouse for the brattish
scions of the ruling class. Fellow students at Harvard remember Bush
prancing into lecture halls wearing his uniform. Even then, he had
a taste for military cross-dressing, though no one in the Massachusetts
National Guard ever recalls the tyro-in-a-jumpsuit showing up for
duty at the base--although he did drop by once to have his choppers
cleaned gratis by the Guard's dentist.
Whenever Bush plays dress-up, as he does at nearly every photo-op
on a military site from the USS Lincoln to torture seminar rooms at
Ft. Bragg, he comes off as the missing member of the Village People,
which mayy explains his enduring appeal to the latent types manning
the controls of the Christian right these days.
In the mid-1990s, as Bush began to plot his run for the White House,
the governor and his handlers (Dan Bartlett, Karen Hughes and Karl
Rove) realized that Bush's missing years in the Guard might prove
problematic. After all, during the 1992 presidential campaign, Bush's
father assaulted Clinton for his deft manipulation of Col. Eugene
Holmes, the commander of Arkansas's ROTC, to sidestep the draft.
Bush's dilemma was trickier and more unseemly than Clinton's. In
order to escape service in Vietnam, he had exploited his family's
political connections to secure a choice spot in the Texas Air National
Guard, despite failing his pilot aptitude test. Though a blatant act
of patronage, Bush was promoted to officer status before he earned
his pilot's license and without going to officer training school.
He refused to take his mandatory flight physical and also refused
to show up for a mandatory evaluation. He went AWOL for a year and
a half and then requested and received an early discharge. All this
after promising to "serve as long as possible" and to devote himself
to a lifetime of high flying...flying planes, that is.
In the offices of the Texas Air Guard there were records documenting
Bush's dubious career and exposing the holes in his extravagent version
of his military service to the country. The most potentially damning
of those documents (Bush's pay records) are now missing. Where did
One intriguing explanation comes from Lt. Col. Bill Burkett, a top
aide to Maj. Gen. Daniel James, III, then commander of the Texas Air
National Guard. In 1997, Burkett claims he was just outside the open
door of Maj. Gen. James's office when the general received a conference
call from Joe Allbaugh, Bush's chief of staff, and Dan Bartlett, Bush's
communications director. The conversation played out over James's
speakerphone, where Burkett claims he overheard Bush's men order James
to cleanse Bush's military files. Burkett said he recalled Allbaugh's
saying: "We certainly don't want anything that is embarrassing in
A few days later, Burkett says that he saw Brig. Gen. John Scribner
dispose of Bush's pay and performance records in a 15-gallon metal
waste can inside the Texas Air National Guard Musuem. "The files had
been gone through over the years," Scribner quipped to Burkett, pointing
to the garbage can. "Not as much in here as I thought." Apparently,
this was a mop-up operation to make sure that nothing had been missed
in previous search-and-destroy raids on Bush's files.
Burkett went public with his recollections in the spring of 2004
during the mini-tempest in the corporate press over Bush's military
record sparked by Michael Moore's assertion that the president was
a "deserter." The president's praetorian guard went into action, smearing
Burkett as a disgruntled malcontent with an ax to grind against Maj.
Gen. James, who Bush had elevated to the head of the Air National
Guard for the entire country. Although the Burkett story quickly faded,
phone records and other documents back up the circumstances of his
claims. And Burkett himself hasn't backed down despite the assaults
on his character from Bush's political mercenaries. "If President
Bush is going to be the first president in over one hundred years
that puts himself in a uniform and uses taxpayer's money for a photo
opportunity to land on a flight deck and say hooray," Burkett told
reporters. "He's put it on the table and we deserve to know." But
the press bus had long since pulled away, never to return to the scene
of the crime.
Given this vaporous record of service during Vietnam, it takes a
perverse kind of hubris for Bush to assail the military careers of
a POW (John McCain), a bona fide killing machine (John Kerry) and
a triple amputee (Max Cleland). It's the trademark of a pampered bully.
The moment George Bush refused to go spill blood in Vietnam may
have been the moral Everest of his life. But he has long since buried
that singular act of conscience beneath a stench-heap of warped psychological
projection and ethical hypocrisy. The president remains a stunted
brat and a coward at the core, dodging rules he forces others to abide
by with unforgiving strictness. Festooned in a flight jacket he never
deserved, Bush has ordered National Guard troops into a bloody desert
war he and his chickenhawk cronies launched under fabricated pretexts.
Then in order to hand out tax breaks to the super-rich and billion-dollar
contracts to favored arms makers, Bush scrimped on the funding of
his precious war itself: too few troops, under-armed, over-worked,
operating with no occupation plan and no exit strategy.
In their quest to transfer every possible federal dollar to their
fatcat base, the Bush regime even went so far as to try to slash combat
pay and separation allowances and increase co-payments for the treatment
of those maimed in battle. Although he opted out of the Guard early,
Bush has now implemented (perhaps illegally) "stop-losses" orders,
a kind gang-pressing by Oval Office fiat that keeps National Guard
and Reserve troops in Iraq far beyond their contracted tour of duty.
In essence, they are war slaves.
When the Iraqi resistance surfaced with a vengeance after Bush made
his premature declaration of victory, the faux-warrior taunted them
by sneering, "Bring it on." They did. And more than 700 American soldiers
have perished since the delivery of that infamous sideline chant,
tossed off as if the president were still a flighty cheerleader at
Andover. To top it off, while Bush still refuses to attend funeral
ceremonies for slain soldiers, he wasted no time in trying to slash
death benefits for military families. And on and on it goes.
Explain his actions? Not then, not now, not ever.
Just as he stiffed the Flight Evaluation Board in 1972, Bush now
refuses to offer an explanation for his illegal and unjust war that
has killed and maimed tens of thousands.
"I'm the commander--see, I don't need to
explain," Bush brayed in his best Mafia capo syntax to Bob Woodward.
"I do not need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting
thing about being the president. Maybe somebody needs to explain to
me why they say something, but I don't feel I owe anybody an explanation."
That's the distilled essence of George W. Bush from his very own
mouth: a bellicose and imperious buffoon who has never once been held
to account for the mayhem he leaves in his wake.
So yet again Bush has succeeded in doing the impossible: he has
sullied the once heroic term "draft evader."