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February 10, 2004

COLUMNIST HITS - OUCH

I'd love an investigation into whether WaPo columnist Richard Cohen really was a National Guard deserter or whether he's just lying for effect. :).

Cohen wrote
this column and this quick exhange hurts Bush because either Bush is clueless about how honorable discharges work (which he shouldn't be by now) or he still thinks nothing is wrong with his behavior back then. Nothing evil certainly, but nothing to be respected, either.

During the Vietnam War, I was what filmmaker Michael Moore would call a "deserter." Along with President Bush and countless other young men, I joined the National Guard, did my six months of active duty (basic training, etc.) and then returned to my home unit, where I eventually dropped from sight. In the end, just like President Bush, I got an honorable discharge. But unlike President Bush, I have just told the truth about my service. He hasn't.

At least I don't think so. Nothing about Bush during that period -- not his drinking, not his partying -- suggests that he was a consistently conscientious member of the Texas or Alabama Air National Guard. As it happens, there are no records to show that Bush reported for duty during the summer and fall of 1972. Nonetheless, Bush insists he was where he was supposed to be -- "Otherwise I wouldn't have been honorably discharged," Bush told Tim Russert. Please, sir, don't make me laugh.


And if you finish the column, Cohen says he has no shame about his service - but he should, a little.

Again, my overall idea about the AWOL issue is this one