Mr. Tall Skeleton Mr. Tall Skeleton2

Bush Jr.'s Skeleton Closet

Picture of Bush, Jr.
George Bush likes to present himself as a straight-talking, regular guy. But it's an act -- regular guys don't go to Andover Prep, Yale and Harvard Business School, and straight-talking guys don't pretend to be regular guys after growing up in one of the most privileged homes in world history. Not only was Bush's dad president, his grandpa was a U.S. Senator and wealthy Wall Street banker, and his mom's blueblood family owned (among other things) the estate in Maine that Bush still hangs out at.

Now, as Bush's regular guy act is wearing thin, some of his other deceptions are becoming more obvious.

Click on the allegation of your choice:

-- His top aides exposed an undercover CIA agent to silence critics

-- Lies, deception and coverups to push the war in Iraq

-- Convicted of drunk driving. Lied repeatedly to cover up his arrest.

-- Lying under oath. Bush & staff stop investigation of contributor's huge funeral home company.

-- Avoided Vietnam and Skipped Out on his National Guard Service

-- Texas government corruption: State $$ for campaign funders & business cronies

-- Cocaine: felony drug use, vile hypocrisy, and a hushed up arrest?

-- His "young and irresponsible" behavior: sex, drugs and (gasp!) rock and roll?

-- Thin skinned: censors his critics with police, lawyers, $$$

-- Character: Spoiled rich kid living off his family's name and reputation

-- Made millions on insider business deals, for little work
-- -- Deal #1. Personal Profits from Failing Oil Companies
-- -- -- -- Easy Money From Odd Sources
-- -- -- -- A Surprise Deal From Bahrain
-- -- -- -- Access to the President and National Security Adviser for his foreign business partner
-- -- Deal #2. Selling Oil Stocks Just Before Iraq Invaded: lucky guess or illegal insider trading?
-- -- Deal #3. A Big Slice of a Baseball Team
-- -- -- -- Hypocrisy: using government coercion to make his private fortune

-- Quotes

-- Sources


"I've been to war [sic]. I've raised twins. If I had a choice, I'd rather go to war." -- Bush, flat out lying in 2002.

"One of the interesting initiatives we've taken in Washington, D.C., is we've got these vampire-busting devices. A vampire is a—a cell deal you can plug in the wall to charge your cell phone."—Denver, CO. Aug. 14, 2001

"Well, it's an unimaginable honor to be the president during the Fourth of July of this country. It means what these words say, for starters. The great inalienable rights of our country. We're blessed with such values in America. And I--it's--I'm a proud man to be the nation based upon such wonderful values."--Visiting the Jefferson Memorial, Washington, D.C., July 2, 2001

"We spent a lot of time talking about Africa, as we should. Africa is a nation that suffers from incredible disease."--After meeting with the leaders of the European Union, Gothenburg, Sweden, June 14, 2001

"It's very important for folks to understand that when there's more trade, there's more commerce."--Quebec City, Canada, April 21, 2001

"I've coined new words, like, misunderstanding and Hispanically."—Radio-Television Correspondents Association dinner, Washington, D.C., March 29, 2001

"I am mindful not only of preserving executive powers for myself, but for predecessors as well."—Washington, D.C., Jan. 29, 2001

"Then I went for a run with the other dog and just walked. And I started thinking about a lot of things. I was able to—I can't remember what it was. Oh, the inaugural speech, started thinking through that."—Pre-inaugural interview with U.S. News & World Report, Jan. 22, 2001 issue

"Redefining the role of the United States from enablers to keep the peace to enablers to keep the peace from peacekeepers is going to be an assignment."—Interview with the New York Times, Jan. 14, 2001 (Thanks to Rachael Contorer.)

"The California crunch really is the result of not enough power-generating plants and then not enough power to power the power of generating plants."—Interview with the New York Times, Jan. 14, 2001

"They misunderestimated me."—Bentonville, Ark., Nov. 6, 2000

"I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family."—Greater Nashua, N.H., Chamber of Commerce, Jan. 27, 2000

"I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully."-Saginaw, Mich., Sept. 29, 2000

"The great thing about America is everybody should vote."-Austin, Texas, Dec. 8, 2000

"It's clearly a budget. It's got a lot of numbers in it."--Reuters, May 5, 2000

"Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?"-Florence, S.C., Jan. 11, 2000

"I understand small business growth. I was one."-New York Daily News, Feb. 19, 2000

"The most important job is not to be governor, or first lady in my case."-Pella, Iowa, as quoted by the San Antonio Express-News, Jan. 30, 2000

"It's important for us to explain to our nation that life is important. It's not only life of babies, but it's life of children living in, you know, the dark dungeons of the Internet."—Arlington Heights, Ill., Oct. 24, 2000

"I think if you know what you believe, it makes it a lot easier to answer questions. I can't answer your question."— Reynoldsburg, Ohio, Oct. 4, 2000

"Natural gas is hemispheric. I like to call it hemispheric in nature because it is a product that we can find in our neighborhoods."—Austin, Texas, Dec. 20, 2000

"The senator [McCain] has got to understand if he's going to have—he can't have it both ways. He can't take the high horse and then claim the low road."—To reporters in Florence, S.C., Feb. 17, 2000

"We ought to make the pie higher."—South Carolina Republican Debate, Feb. 15, 2000

"They want the federal government controlling Social Security like it's some kind of federal program."—Debate in St. Charles, Mo., Nov. 2, 2000

"It's your money. You paid for it."—LaCrosse, Wis., Oct. 18, 2000

"It's not the governor's role to decide who goes to heaven. I believe that God decides who goes to heaven, not George W. Bush." -- George W. Bush, in the Houston Chronicle.

"There ought to be limits to freedom. We're aware of this [web] site, and this guy is just a garbage man, that's all he is." -- George Jr., discussing a web site that parodies him

"I'm a uniter not a divider. That means when it comes time to sew up your chest cavity, we use stitches as opposed to opening it up." -- Bush, on David Letterman, March 2, 2000. (the audience booed)

"I didn't -- I swear I didn't -- get into politics to feather my nest or feather my friends' nests." -- Bush Jr., in the Houston Chronicle

Quote Sources

Bush's Top Aides Exposed an Undercover CIA Agent To Silence Critics

On July 14, 2003, columnist Robert Novak -- a staunchly partisan Republican and ally of the Bush administration -- wrote a column attacking Joseph Wilson, a former ambassador who had investigated the allegations that Iraq tried to buy uranium in Niger (and concluded they were false). Novak wrote:
"Wilson never worked for the CIA, but his wife, Valerie Plame, is an Agency operative on weapons of mass destruction. Two senior administration officials told me Wilson's wife suggested sending him to Niger to investigate the Italian report."

Several other journalists besides Novak were contacted by the two Bush Administration officials, who encouraged them to report these facts, though Novak was the only one to publish the story directly. An administration official confirmed to the Washington Post that the two officials had contacted at least 6 journalists with the information in an effort to discredit Wilson. Reporters were contacted at Time Magazine and 3 TV networks, including NBC-TV's Andrea Mitchell (who was called after Novak's column appeared.) CNN reports that "sources" confirmed these contacts to them as well. After Novak's column appeared, some of the others discussed the story, including Time Magazine, Long Island Newsday and the Washington Post.

For fairly obvious reasons, it is a felony (punished by 10 years in prison) to reveal the identity of an undercover agent. In fact President Bush's father, the first President Bush, said in a 1999 speech that those who expose the names of intelligence sources are "the most insidious of traitors."

Wilson's wife -- and mother of his 3 year old twins -- is a case officer in the CIA's clandestine service, working to uncover information about weapons of mass destruction, and her cover job was energy analyst for a private firm. By publishing her maiden name, which she worked under, Novak not only risked her safety, but has tipped off foreign governments that any of their people who met with her are possibly spies. Novak claims that the CIA "asked me not to use her name, but never indicated it would endanger her or anybody else." (Journalists are exempt from the law against exposing intelligence sources; it only applies to the government leakers.)

Shortly after the column appeared, the CIA filed a crime report with the Justice Department. In mid-September 2003, they sent additional information verifying the damage that was caused and confirming that the agent's identity had been secret. The Justice Department, headed by Bush appointee John Ashcroft, has now concluded its preliminary inquiry, determined that there is a crime here, and has opened a full investigation.

Here's the interesting thing about this story: everyone in Washington knows which Administration officials made this leak. Keep that in mind when you read the stories about this scandal, and you'll get an idea of how twisted and chummy the Washington insider scene is. Top Bush officials know because, well, two of them did it and Bush and Karl Rove run a tight ship -- they might not do the dirty work themselves, but this administration is famous for NOT having unauthorized leaks.

And pretty much every reporter in Washington knows who did it -- at least 6 were contacted by the leakers in the first place, and they have talked to several other reporters (all off the record without naming names of course.) Because reporters don't want to reveal their confidential sources (or get punished by Karl Rove), they will continue to play this game where the White House gets away with saying "if these allegations are true" and the press piously pretends they don't know who leaked. Of course the allegations are true -- the name was printed, wasn't it? Unless you believe that ROBERT NOVAK of all people is lying and falsely identified his allies in the Administration as the source of the leak, it is an open and shut case. Even the impeccably conservative Washington Times agrees on this point.

Now of course, folks will email me and ask "Who did it then?" I wish I knew, but I'm based in Oregon and don't hang in those circles. Undoubtedly one of our readers does know though, so do a guy a favor and send us the scoop. Wilson first named Karl Rove, the President's brilliant and vindictive political adviser. Karl Rove was fired from the elder President Bush's 1992 campaign, according to Esquire Magazine, "after he planted a negative story with columnist Robert Novak about dissatisfaction with campaign fundraising chief and Bush loyalist Robert Mosbacher Jr." Interesting parallel.

If you read between the lines, though, the Washington insiders all point to one name. Take, for example, a story in the Washington Post, which has had the strongest sources on this story to date. The story quotes another (unnamed) journalist confirming that administration officials were spreading this story, and then describes the Time magazine article:

"An article that appeared on the Time magazine Web site the same week Novak's column was published said that 'some government officials have noted to Time in interviews . . . that Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, is a CIA official who monitors the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.' The same article quoted from an interview with I. Lewis Libby, Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, saying that Cheney did not know about Wilson's mission 'until this year when it became public in the last month or so.'"

By amazing coincidence, that same name popped up in a USA Today story about Plame. While describing Plame's work, the author went out of his way to point out that Libby was familiar with Plame's work (and identity):

"In Washington, Plame was assigned to the CIA's Non-Proliferation Center, an organization of analysts, technical experts and former field operatives who work on detecting and, if possible, preventing foreign proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Vice President Cheney and his chief of staff, Lewis ''Scooter'' Libby, met with officials at the Non-Proliferation Center before the invasion of Iraq to discuss reports that Iraq was seeking to buy uranium in Africa. A U.S. official with knowledge of those meetings said Plame did not attend. But the former U.S. intelligence official said she was involved in preparing materials for those meetings."

So neither story SAYS that Lewis Libby was one of the leakers, but boy didn't his name appear out of the blue right when folks were discussing whodunnit? Cheney and his staff have been the most hawkish of the hawks seeking to attack Iraq and damn the torpedoes.

As time goes on, Libby and the Vice President's office just keep getting singled out, seemingly as non-sequitirs, in these discussions. For example, outspoken Republican Senator Chuck Hagel said on CNBC that President Bush should take a more active role "and get this behind him." He went on to say:

"He has that main responsibility to see this through and see it through quickly, and that would include, if I was president, sitting down with my vice president and asking what he knows about it,"

And during Monday's embattled press conference, Bush's press secretary McLellen said this out of the blue:

"There's been nothing, absolutely nothing, brought to our attention to suggest any White House involvement, and that includes the vice president's office as well."

And here is some interesting speculation on who the 'senior administration official' who confirmed the leaks might be. (The leading candidate seems to be George Tenet, head of the CIA.)

The Bush Administration's reaction should break the illusion if anyone still thinks Bush is a man of integrity dedicated to national security. First, of course, his staff exposes an undercover CIA agent in THE most critical national defense area -- protecting the US against weapons of mass destruction held by terrorists and rogue nations. That's what Valerie Plame did, until she was exposed. If Bush is the man he claims he is, he would be shocked by this action, find out who did it and fire them. Instead, he completely ignored the issue after the column was published, until an FBI investigation forced him to react. Though he said the politically correct things to the press -- "I want to get to the bottom of this", etc. -- his press secretary admits that Bush won't even ASK his top aides if they did it. He knows one of them did, because his ally Robert Novak said so. But he can't be bothered to ask who, or do anything about it.

Now, the Bush administration has a twin strategy -- attack Joseph Wilson as a partisan Democrat, and make sure no Republicans join the calls for a special prosecutor. One Republican aide called the strategy "slime and defend." The strategy reveals Bush's true nature -- his only concern is political damage control, not national security.

Is Wilson a Democrat? No one has reported that. He is a vocal critic of the way Bush has pursued war in Iraq, but it's not as simple as him being a partisan activist. He and his wife have given money to Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry this year, and Wilson has advised Kerry's staff. In 1999, he gave $1,000 to Democratic candidate Al Gore, but he also gave $2,000 to George Bush himself. Wilson was appointed to his post in Iraq by George Bush's father, the ex-president, who praised his work there, where Wilson went toe to toe with Saddam Hussein, and was a war hawk. This time, he has supported military action against Iraq but criticized the Bush administration for the way they have done it, and the reasons they gave to justify it.

More to the point, so what? It's still just as wrong (and just as illegal) to expose a spy even if her husband opposes the President.

Calls for a special prosecutor are ironic, since Bush and his allies called so insistently for special prosecutors during Clinton's scandals, even though no one suggested that Janet Reno had any direct ties to the scandals, and Democrats fought them just as insistently. Now the roles are reversed. Politics aside, though, there are some real reasons to be suspicious of John Ashcroft's ability to fairly prosecute Bush administration officials. Ashcroft has direct ties to at least one central figure in the investigation, Karl Rove. Rove was a paid consultant to 3 of Ashcroft's political campaigns before Ashcroft was appointed Attorney General. And Jack Oliver, the deputy finance chairman of President Bush's 2004 re-election campaign, was the director of Mr. Ashcroft's 1994 Senate campaign, and later worked as Mr. Ashcroft's deputy chief of staff.

Given these ties, it would be normal for Ashcroft to appoint a special prosecutor or recuse himself from the case, as Janet Reno did with the Waco investigation. (She appointed Republican Senator John Danforth as a special prosecutor). In 2001, Mr. Ashcroft recused himself from the investigation of Senator Robert G. Torricelli of New Jersey, simply because Mr. Torricelli had campaigned against Ashcroft in Missouri.

Why would the administration expose a CIA agent? Because Joseph Wilson (the agent's husband) had publicly criticized the Bush administration's claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, and specifically described his assignment in 2002 to investigate claims that Iraq had tried to buy "yellowcake" uranium for a nuclear bomb.

Wilson was perfectly qualified to check this out -- he is an expert on Africa who was also the last U.S. Ambassador to Iraq before the (1991) Gulf War. The elder President Bush publicly praised Wilson's "courage and tenacity" and "your skillful conduct of our tense dealings with the government of Iraq." Wilson checked out the claims and reported back that they were "highly doubtful." When the current Bush administration used the claims anyway to justify invading Iraq, and later denied that they knew the claims were false, he stepped forward and proved that these statements were lies.

One goal was to discredit Wilson. One of the journalists contacted, who asked to remain anonymous, said "The official I spoke with thought this was a part of Wilson's story that wasn't known and cast doubt on his whole mission." It also fits Karl Rove's distinctive brand of hardball, to punish Wilson and, more importantly, intimidate any other government officials who considered disagreeing with them on Iraq's weapons. Wilson says that on July 21st, a week after Novak had blown his wife's cover, a different reporter called Wilson to say that he had just spoken with Rove, and that Rove had said that Wilson's wife "was fair game." The senior Bush administration official who confirmed the phone calls to reporters told the Washington Post "Clearly, it was meant purely and simply for revenge."

Revealing a Spy Sources

Lies, Fraud and Deception to Promote War in Iraq

Don't buy the Bush spin that the lies about Iraq are only "16 words" -- the administration lied, deceived or committed outright fraud about every single point they used to justify invading Iraq (except to say that Saddam was an evil man.)

The "16 words" spin reveals just how shameless their lies are. Short lies don't matter? Well, Clinton got impeached for just 8 words -- "I did not have sex with that woman." Even by that ridiculous standard, Bush is twice as big a liar as Bill Clinton.

The uranium allegation (the "16 words") is famous because the fraud is so obvious. That charge, which Bush stated directly in his State of the Union speech, was based on blatantly forged documents -- one purported to be from a Niger official, to himself. The Bush Administration knew they were forged. They had been told several times that the charges were false, including by our own CIA and State Department. Bush and his top aides fought to put the words back in his speech, using weaselly phrasing -- Defense Secretary Rumsfeld has actually argued that the statement wasn't a lie because Bush didn't SAY Iraq did try to buy uranium, he just said "British intelligence HAS LEARNED that they tried to buy uranium." Once again, Bush imitates Clinton, arguing about what the meaning of "is" is.

Before considering each of the dozens of individual deceptions, lies and misleading statements that Bush and his aides used to push the US into war in Iraq, let's not lose track of the big picture. The Bush administration justified war, immediate war, because alleged weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Those weapons do not exist. They have not existed for years. The Bush adminstration knew this, because a top Iraqi defector told us this over 4 years ago, but they kept that information secret. And weapons of mass destruction were not the reason the Bush administration wanted to invade Iraq. Top officials have even admitted this, saying flat out that they had other reasons but chose WMD because it was the most effective argument politicially.

There were many other deceptive charges by the Bush administration -- about unmanned drones, orders to use chemical weapons, aluminum tubes, links between Iraq and Al Qaeda, etc. But don't forget the big picture. The Bush administration knew that there were no WMD in Iraq. They deliberately and consistently lied to the American people about this, to justify war in Iraq. And 300 US soldiers have died as a result.

Lies About Iraq Sources

Convicted of Drunk Driving, and Lied to Cover It Up

George Bush now admits that he was convicted of drunk driving. On September 4, 1976, a state trooper saw Bush's car swerve onto the shoulder, then back onto the road. [The Bush camp spin that he was driving too slowly is simply a lie.] Bush failed a road sobriety test and blew a .10 blood alcohol, plead guilty, and was fined and had his driver's license suspended. His spokesman says that he had drunk "several beers" at a local bar before the arrest. Bush was 30 at the time. He now says that he stopped drinking when he turned 40 because it was a problem.

More troubling, Bush lied in denying such an arrest, and still won't take responsibility for his actions. His first reaction was to blame Democrats and Fox News -- the only openly conservative TV network -- for reporting the story. "Why [was this reported] now, four days before the election? I've got my suspicions." He refused to say what his suspicions are, though. Bush admits covering up the story, but seems to think he has no responsibility for the failure of his cover up.

In fact, just like Clinton with Monica Lewinsky, Bush has brazenly and repeatedly lied to cover up and minimize this arrest.

1. Bush Lied at his Press Conference, 11/3/2000

Bush said he paid a fine on the spot and never went to court. That is clearly a lie, as you can see on this court document showing his court hearing a month later. In fact, it was a man also in court for DUI the same day who revealed Bush' arrest. Here is exactly what Bush said in his press conference:
Bush: "I told the guy I had been drinking and what do I need to do? And he said, "Here's the fine." I paid the fine and did my duty...."
Reporter: "Governor, was there any legal proceeding of any kind? Or did you just -- "
Bush: "No. I pled -- you know, I said I was wrong and I ..." Reporter: "In court? "
Bush: No, there was no court. I went to the police station. I said, "I'm wrong."

2. Bush Lied in Court, 1978

Bush got a court hearing to get his driving suspension lifted early, even though he had not completed a required driver rehabilitation course. He told the hearings officer that he drank only once a month, and just had "an occasional beer." The officer granted his request. But Bush continued drinking for 8 years after that date and has said publicly that he drank too much and had a drinking problem during that time. Presumably Bush was under oath during the hearing, though we haven't been able to pin down that detail. The Bush campaign refuses to comment on this contradiction.

3. Bush Lied To "The Dallas Morning News", 1998

"Just after the governor's reelection in 1998, [Dallas Morning News reporter Wayne] Slater pressed Bush about whether he had ever been arrested. 'He said, 'After 1968? No.'" Dallas Morning News, 11/03/2000 [Before 1968, Bush was arrested for theft and vandalism in college.]

4. Bush Lied On 'Meet The Press', 11/21/99

Tim Russert: "If someone came to you and said, 'Governor, I'm sorry, I'm going to go public with some information.' What do you do?"
Bush: "If someone was willing to go public with information that was damaging, you'd have heard about it by now. You've had heard about it now. My background has been scrutinized by all kinds of reporters. Tim, we can talk about this all morning."

5. Bush Lied to CBS, 1999.

"Bush has often acknowledged past mistakes, but CBS News Correspondent Lee Cowan reports that in a 1999 interview with CBS station WBZ in Boston, he denied there was any so-called smoking gun." CBS TV news

Bush also evaded countless questions and gave Clintonesque half-truths. For example, while struggling with how to answer charges of drug abuse, he said that he would have been able to pass FBI background checks during his father's administration. But those checks include the question "Have you ever been arrested for any crime?" So either he was directly lying, or he has some Slick explanation like "I could have explained the circumstances of the arrest and still passed the FBI check."

In another evasion, Bush decided to serve jury duty in 1996, during his first year as governor. On his questionairre, he simply left blank the questions about prior arrests and trials. Then he found himself on a trial for drunk driving, where every juror is eventually asked about prior convictions for drunk driving. The night before the trial, Bush's lawyer asked the defense attorney to dismiss him, because "it would be improper for a governor to sit on a criminal case in which he could later be asked to grant clemency." It's a silly argument, because that problem exists with any criminal trial and Bush had already decided to serve on a jury, but the defense attorney obliged and excused him before direct questioning of jurors began.

Bush now justifies covering up his arrest "to be a good role model for his daughters." How does he figure that? Lying to cover up your crimes is not what I call being a good role model. Taking responsibility for your actions, admitting fault honestly and warning people of the consequences you suffered, THAT would be a good example. But Bush prefers the Clinton route of bald-faced lying, then blaming your enemies and the press when you get caught.

Bush is now the first person to be elected president after being convicted of a crime.

Bush had several other drunken incidents, as well. In December, 1972, Bush challenged his dad (the ex-president) to a fist fight, during an argument about Bush's drunk driving. He had taken his little brother out drinking, and ran over a neighbor's garbage cans on the way home. Bush's atypical public service job, working with inner city Houston kids, appears to have been an unofficial community service stint set up by Bush, Sr. Apparently the governor didn't learn his lesson, because his drunk driving conviction occured almost four years later.

In another incident, he started screaming obscenities at a Wall Street Journal reporter, just because that reporter predicted that Bush's father would not be the 1988 Republican nominee. The reporter obviously was wrong, but a drunken Bush Jr. walked up to him at a restaurant and started yelling "You fucking son of a bitch. I won't forget what you said and you're going to pay a price for it."

In fact, Bush' running mate Dick Cheney now admits he had two drunk driving offenses in 1962 and 1963, giving the Bush -- Cheney ticket a new world record of 3 DUI's on one ticket. No wonder they seem so relaxed.

The conviction is bad enough, but the real question is, what other revelations are going to come later, about his drug use (which he won't deny), failing to show up for a year of his National Guard service, or sexual escapades in his swinging single days?

There is evidence that Bush has more to hide involving his Texas driving record. Soon after he became governor, he had a new driver's license issued with the unusual ID number of "000000005", an action that destroyed the records of his previous license. His staff could only say, weakly, that this was done for "security reasons" but there is no record of any previous Texas governor having done so. Now we have at least of hint of why Bush wanted his records obscured, and a dark foreboding that more might be lurking, still covered up.

Drunk Driving Sources

His Character: The Prodigal Son

George W. Bush, Jr. is touted as the savior of the Republican Party by the national press, because he pulls votes from minority voters and has his dad's name and fundraising connections to run on. But before we anoint him as the next president, let's look at what he's done with his life. In a nutshell, Junior
1) grew up as a very rich child of powerful parents,
2) partied from high school until he was 40,
3) made millions off of sweet insider business deals from political allies of his dad, who happened to be the President,
and 4) got elected governor of Texas mostly because of his name.

Bush Junior has done some good work as governor of Texas. He has crossed the partisan divide, reached out to minorities, and tackled at least one tough, thankless issue (school financing; his plan was voted down in the legislature.)

But 4 years -- even 4 good ones -- is a pretty short resume for the leader of the free world. No one doubts Bill Clinton's ability to handle punishment and come back for more. But Bush Junior's stamina and attention span are very real concerns. Furthermore, Bush's term as governor has also been markedly corrupt, although possibly in legal ways. What we mean is, he has taken millions in campaign contributions from certain big businessmen -- many of whom were in on the insider business deals that made him rich -- and those same businessman have received billions in sweet deals from the Texas state government during Bush's term.

Specifics: Like Al Gore, Bush Jr. attended Eastern elitist schools, in this case Andover Prep, and Yale. According to a Newsweek profile, he "went to Yale but seems to have majored in drinking at the Deke House." He joined the secretive "Skull and Bones" club in 1968, as any good conspiracy buff can tell you.

His business career was marked by mediocrity or failure which nonetheless resulted in him getting lots of money from his father's political allies. And his political career has been handed to him on a platter by his famous name, and by his dad's cronies.

Bill Kristol, conservative pundit and Dan Quayle's former chief of staff, says "The Bush network is the only genuine network in the Republican Party. It is the establishment." Junior and Jeb Bush (elected in Florida in 1998) are the first brothers to be simultaneous governors since the Rockefellers.

To give you an idea of how rarefied his upbringing was, George Junior had an argument with his mom at one point about whether non-Christians could go to Heaven. (Barbara Bush felt they could; George didn't.) To settle the dispute, they phoned up Billy Graham on the spot. (He sided with Junior, but warned him not to play God.).)

More recently, Bush's performance during the 2000 South Carolina primary shows that he received the worst trait common to the famous Bush family -- a vicious competitiveness that shows no compunction about dirty tricks (such as the phone calls by his surrogates calling McCain, of all people, "the fag candidate") and utterly shameless flipflops (like Bush Sr.'s "read my lips, no new taxes", and Junior's very public refusal to meet with the gay Log Cabin Republicans group until right before the California primary, when he claimed he was fine with them all along. Not to mention him suddenly becoming "a reformer" after he got shellacked in the New Hampshire primary.)

Not only does this trait demonstrate a lack of integrity -- which I define as having standards and things you believe in that you won't violate, even to win the presidency -- but there is an incredible arrogance in thinking that voters will accept and believe a candidate who blatantly changes his positions from week to week, saying whatever the local primary voters want to hear.

Unfortunately, Bush Jr. has inherited this negative family trait without receiving any of the graciousness, diligence, and bravery of his father and grandfather (a Senator who lost his seat over a principled vote in favor of birth control, back in the 1940s.)

Thin skinned: Bush tries to stifle his critics

One of the most disturbing things about Bush is that he consistently works to silence his critics using his money and power, including state police and expensive lawyers. Not since Richard Nixon has a major presidential candidate been so quick to prevent his opponents from free speech. At the very least, this shows he doesn't understand big-league politics and may not be tough enough to handle more serious opponents, such as hostile foreign countries and terrorists. At worst, it may be a sign of Nixon-like paranoia; that president's thin-skin started out with similar small potatos and grew to bring down his presidency amid enemies' lists, illegal break-ins of his opponent's offices, and forcing the IRS to audit his enemies.

Bush can't blame this on his staff, either; it comes from the top. When asked about one critical web site, he told the press "There ought to be limits to freedom. We're aware of this site, and this guy is just a garbage man, that's all he is."

As governor of Texas, for example, Bush Junior has sent the state police to arrest peaceful demonstrators outside the governors mansion. While previous governors allowed peaceful pickets on the public sidewalk outside the mansion, Bush has claimed that they are blocking public access, and had them arrested. Not all protestors, either -- just the ones he doesn't want the press to see.

In the 2000 primaries, Bush supporters including NY Governor Pataki sued to keep John McCain and Steve Forbes off the New York primary ballot in several congressional districts. Bush denied any involvement, fooling no one, but after McCain's decisive New Hampshire victory made the move look ridiculous, Bush and his top strategist Karl Rove called up his establishment minions, after which they instantly announced that they were stopping their efforts to keep McCain off the ballot. Ironically, all of the attention to ballot rules revealed that a number of Bush delegates and alternates used fraudulent signatures to qualify for the ballot. As a result, it appears that McCain and Forbes will be on the ballot statewise, but George Bush Jr. won't be in one Bronx congressional district.

Bush also can't stand criticism on the Internet. His campaign quietly -- and probably illegally -- bought up over 200 anti-Bush domain names including "", "", and "" over a year ago. (Illegally because he had refused to register as a candidate, as part of his effort to make it look like people were begging him to run, so spending money for his campaign was not allowed.) If you type in any of these URLs, you end up at Bush's official web site. His campaign refuses to say whether this means that they admit that he bites, blows and sucks. (Maybe he used to be a White House intern?)

If you wanted to set up one of those sites, breathe easy because many good names are still available. The Bush camp somehow neglected to purchase "", "", or "", so $70 makes them yours.

Even worse, Bush and his high-priced lawyers have tried twice to shut down a web site -- -- that parodies the Bush campaign, in particular his "no comment" answers on drug use in his past. You will recall that Bush has said it doesn't matter what he did "in his youth," because the question is "have you grown up" and "have you learned from your mistakes." The parody site presents a new program called "Amnesty 2000", in which Bush "proposes" pardoning all drug convicts who have "grown up."

The Bush campaign filed one complaint about the site in April 1999, after which the parody site's owners changed it to look less like the real Bush site. That wasn't good enough though, and Bush lawyers filed against the site again in May 1999. So far, it remains in business. Sources

Lying Under Oath. Bush & Co. Squelch Investigation of Contributor's Funeral Homes

In a (so far successful) attempt to stop a scandal, Bush perjured himself under oath, according to the sworn testimony of two of his political allies. The situation is amazingly similar to Clinton's Lewinsky problem: a potentially damaging lawuit arose (see below) that threatened to involve him. Just like Clinton, Bush swore an affidavit that he had no involvement in the case, which got him excused from testifying. And just like Clinton, the affidavit was proven false months later by new evidence. In this case, it's the recent sworn testimony of Robert MacNeil, a Bush appointee, that he had discussed the case with Bush at a fundraiser.

This scandal isn't as sexy as Monica's, but perjury is perjury, and this scandal actually involves the governor's job, not his sex life. Texas' state commission on funeral homes (the TFSC) started an investigation of SCI, the world's largest funeral home company (with 3,442 homes, plus 433 cemeteries) after complaints that unlicensed apprenctices were embalming corpses at 2 SCI embalming centers. The commission visited a couple of these, and ended up fining SCI $450,000.

But SCI pulled strings with the commission and with Bush himself. Shortly thereafter, the investigation was shut down and the agency's investigator was fired. She sought to question Bush for her lawsuit, and that's when he swore his admittedly false affidavit. In fact, that affidavit has been proven false twice now.

DETAILS: SCI has long cultivated Bush and his allies. They gave governor Bush $35,000 in the last election and $10K in 1994, gave $100,000 to the George Bush, Sr. library, and hired the ex-president to give a speech last year for $70,000. They also spread money around the Texas legislature and the Texas Attorney General's office.

After the investigation got serious, SCI's boss, Robert Waltrip, called the funeral commission's chairman and told him to "back off." If not, Waltrip said, "I'm going to take this to the governor."

Still, the investigation continued. So Waltrip and his lawyer/lobbyist, Johnnie B. Rogers, went to the governor's office and dropped off a letter demanding a halt to the investigation. Rogers told Newsweek that he and Waltrip were ushered in to see Joe Allbaugh, Bush's chief of staff (who is now Bush's campaign manager.) Rogers goes on to say that Bush Jr. popped his head in and said to Waltrip, "Hey, Bobby, are those people still messing with you?" Waltrip said yeah. Then the governor turned to Rogers and said, "Hey, Johnnie B. Are you taking care of him?" Rogers said "I'm doing my best, Governor."

The problem for Bush is that he swore under oath, in a July 20th 1999 affidavit, that he "had no conversations with [SCI] officials, agents, or represenatives concerning the investigation or any dispute arising from it." If Rogers is telling the truth, than Bush Jr. lied directly under oath. He filed the affidavit in an attempt to avoid testifying in a whistleblower lawsuit concerning this investigation and it's alleged squashing by Bush's administration.

Back in August of 1999, Bush himself admitted that he spoke with Waltrip and Rogers -- in other words, that he lied under oath -- but used Clintonesque denials to claim that it was nothing substantial. Bush told the Associated Press that "It's a 20-second conversation. I had no substantive conversation with the guy. Twenty seconds. That's hardly enough time to even say hello, much less sit down and have a substantive discussion. All I know is it lasted no time. And that hardly constitutes a serious discussion. I did not have any knowledge at all of Waltrip's problem with this case."

Of course, nothing Bush says here contradicts what Rogers said. In fact, his careful explanation of why this is not perjury is incredibly similar to Bill Clinton's weaseling about what the meaning of "is" is. And now MacNeil's sworn statement further confirms Bush's lie.

Whatever Bush said out loud, Waltrip's complaints to the governor got quick results. Eliza May -- the investigator for the funeral services commission -- says that after Waltrip visited the governor, she received phone calls from three senior Bush aides asking if she could wrap up her proble quickly. She says she was also summoned to another meeting in Allbaugh's office, one month after the first one, and found Waltrip already there. The governor's top aide, she says, demanded that she turn over a list of all of the documents that she needed "to close the SCI investigation."

Since then, investigator Eliza May has been fired, 6 or 10 staff members on the commission have been fired or resigned and not been replaced, and the Texas legislature -- led by members receiving substantial contributions from SCI -- passed a bill to reorganize the agency and remove it's head. On August 16, 199, Bush ordered his Comptroller to take over the agency and run it. May -- who, it should be noted, is a Democrat and was even state Democratic Treasurer at one point -- has filed a whistleblower lawsuit alleging she was fired because she persisted with the investigation.

Bush simply didn't show up for his scheduled deposition on July 1st, 1999 in the case. (He isn't a defendant in the case, because Governors are immune from lawsuits in Texas, but is being called as a material witness.) He filed his affidavit on July 20th to indicate that he had nothing to add.

Now Robert MacNeil -- who was the chairman of the Texas funeral commission at the time, a Bush appointee -- confirms that he also discussed the case with Bush, at a 1998 Texas fundraiser. In a sworn deposition, MacNeil says that Bush asked him: “Have you and Mr. Waltrip got your problems worked out?” Replied McNeil: “We’re still trying to work on that, governor.” Bush then said, “Do your job.” Bush's campaign says that MacNeil's statement is false. But the language MacNeil says Bush used is almost identical to what he admits saying to Johnnie Rodgers in the governor's office. Sources

Corruption in Texas Government; State $ to Big Contributors

Bush's administration has consistenly shoveled large amounts of state controlled money to men who have either contributed large amounts to Bush's campaign, or who have made Junior personally rich through sweet insider business deals, or both.

For example, the University of Texas' Investment Management Company (UTIMCO) invests $1.7 billion of state money. Most of this comes from profits from oil discovered on Texas state land. Bush's cronies dominate this board, and in return investment funds controlled by these very cronies or their friends have received nearly a third -- $457 million -- of that massive investment pool. There may even be more, but this obscure group -- created under Bush -- cloaks its operations in a thick veil of secrecy.

UTIMCO's chairman, Tom Hicks, now owns the Texas Rangers; his purchase of the team made Governor Bush a very rich man. Furthermore, Hicks and his brother gave $146,000 to the Bush campaign. In return, $252 million of the invested money went to funds run by Hicks' business associates or friends, according to the Houston Chronicle. Hicks even insisted that UTIMCO increase by $10 million an investment with a fund that he had an indirect financial interest in, but UTIMCO staff halted funding after they discovered the conflict.

Then there's Sam and Charles Wyly, the billionaire brothers who secretly bought $2.5 million of "independent" TV ads slamming McCain just before the critical Super Tuesday primaries. (They have also given hundreds of thousands of dollars to Bush Jr.'s governor and presidential campaigns.) They control Maverick Capital, an investment fund that received $90 million of UTIMCO money. The brothers earn nearly $1 million in fees alone from that money, along with a share of any profits.

Henry Kravis of Kohlberg, Kravis & Roberts -- a longtime Bush contributor -- received a $50 million investment deal in 1996. And there are many more Bush supporters who have received millions from UTIMCO, including the Bass family and Adele Hall of the Hallmark Cards family.

Another key player in the Bush world is Richard Rainwater, the billionaire Texas investor who made Bush Jr.'s original involvement in the Texas Rangers deal possible. That's the deal that made Jr. rich, of course. Bush had several other personal investments in Rainwater controlled companies. But Rainwater has received much from Bush and the state of Texas' treasury, too. UTIMCO invested at least $20 million in Rainwater companies.

And UTIMCO is not the only Bush administration agency funneling money and favors to his supporters and cronies. T he state teacher retirement fund sold three office buildings to Rainwater's real estate company at bargain prices, and without bids in 2 of the cases. The fund invested $90 million in the Frost Bank Plaza in Austin, and sold it to Rainwater's Crescent Real Estate for $35 million. Bush signed a law that will give his former baseball team co-owners -- including Rainwater -- a $10 million bonus payment when a new Dallas arena is built. Bush also proposed a cap on business real estate taxes that would have saved Rainwater millions on his various properties (but it lost in the legislature).

In another example, Bush's state Housing department has been investigated for kickbacks, and Florita Bell Griffin, who Bush appointed to the state Housing Board, was just convicted of bribery, theft, money-laundering and mail fraud for trading her influence for cash. She faces 55 years in prison. And Larry Paul Manley, Bush's director of the Department of Housing until he resigned in January 1999, is under police investigation for steering federal tax credits to cronies. Texas' top auditor discovered in 1997 that 60% of department contracts went to Manley's former colleagues at local savings and loans, but refused to make the findings public until long after the criminal probes began.

Bush may or may not have violated state ethics laws with all of this big money backscratching, but there is no doubt that he and these businessman are operating corruptly -- funneling large amounts of state money to the businessmen's companies, and large amounts of their personal and business money into George Bush Jr.'s pocket and political campaigns.


Avoided the Vietnam War

Most people have heard something about George W. Bush pulling strings to get into the Texas Air Guard. But the press, while reporting lots of details, has done a poor job of communicating how consistently and shamelessly Bush Jr. sought and received favorable treatment while he avoided Vietnam.

Furthermore, his story has repeatedly changed -- he has weaseled like Clinton at his worst and even flat-out lied when explaining what happened.

To put it in perspective, here are 9 ways Bush got favored treatment in the service due to his political connections (he was then son of a Congressman and grandson of a former Senator):
1) He got into the Guard by pulling strings, avoiding the year and a half waiting list;
2) He took a 2-month vacation in Florida after just 8 weeks, (1 of 3 leaves), to work on a political campaign;
3) Bush skipped Officer Candidate School and got a special commission as a 2nd Lieutenant, without qualifications;
4) He was assigned to a safe plane (being phased out of active service), the F-102 ;
5) During flight school, he was flown on a government jet to Washington for a date with President Nixon's daughter Tricia ;
6) Bush got an illegal transfer (later overruled) to a base with no work;
He simply didn't show up for a YEAR, with no penalty;
8) George W. skipped all his medical exams after they started drug tests, and was removed from flight status;
9) He ended his service 10 months early to go to Harvard Business School;

Here are the details:

1. Pulled Strings to Get In.
On May 27, 1968, George Bush Jr. was 12 days away from losing his student draft deferment, at a time when 350 Americans a week were dying in combat. The National Guard, seen by many as the most respectable way to avoid Vietnam, had a huge waiting list -- a year and a half in Texas, over 100,000 men nationwide. Yet Bush and his family friends pulled strings, and the young man was admitted the same day he applied, regardless of any waiting list.

Bush's unit commander, Col. "Buck" Staudt, was so excited about his VIP recruit that he staged a special ceremony for the press so he could have his picture taken administering the oath (even though the official oath had been given by a captain earlier.)

Bush and his allies have tried to deny this with several changing stories, but Bush himself admits lobbying commander Staudt, who approved him, and court documents confirm that close family friend and oil magnate Sid Adger called Texas Speaker of the House Ben Barnes, who called General James Rose, the head of the Texas Air National Guard, to get Bush in. Rose, who is now dead, told his friend and former legislator Jake Johnson that "I got that Republican congressman's son from Houston into the Guard."

Staudt's unit, the 147th, was infamous as a nesting place for politically connected and celebrity draft avoiders. Democratic Senator Lloyd Bentsen's son was in the unit, as were both of Sid Adger's sons and at least 7 members of the Dallas Cowboys.

2. Took a 2 month vacation in Florida after 8 weeks in the Guard.
Just 8 weeks after joining, Bush was granted 2 months leave to go to Florida and work on a political campaign, the Senate race of Republican Edward Gurney. Bush took a leave every election season, in 1970 to work on his dad's campaign, and in 1972 to work in Alabama.

3. Skipped Officer Candidate School and got a special commission as 2nd Lt.
As soon as Bush completed basic training, his commander approved him for a "direct appointment", which made him an officer without having to go through the usual (and difficult) Officer Candidate School. This special procedure also got Bush into flight school, despite his very low scores on aptitude tests -- he scored 25% on a pilot aptitude test, the absolute lowest acceptable grade, and 50% for navigator aptitude. (Bush did score 95% on the easier officer quality test, but then again the average is 88%).

What made Bush's appointment doubly unusual was his total lack of special qualifications. This procedure was generally reserved for applicants with exceptional experience or skills, such as ROTC training or engineering, medical or aviation skills. Tom Hail, a historian for the Texas Air National Guard, reviewed the Guard's records on Bush for a special exhibit on his service after Bush became governor. Asked about Bush's direct appointment without special skills, Hail said "I've never heard of that. Generally they did that for doctors only, mostly because we needed extra flight surgeons."

Charles Shoemake, an Air Force veteran who later joined the Texas Air National Guard and retired as a full colonel, said that direct appointments were rare and hard to get, and required extensive credentials. Asked about Bush, he said "His name didn't hurt, obviously. But it was a commander's decision in those days."

Despite Bush Jr.'s weak qualifications, Col. Staudt was so excited about the direct appointment that he saged another special ceremony for the press, this time with Bush's father the congressman standing prominently in the background.

The direct appointment process was discontinued in the 1970s.

4. Assigned to a safe plane -- the F-102 -- that was being phased out.
As Bush has been quick to note, National Guard members do face the chance of being called up for active duty, though few actually did during the Vietnam war. So what a lucky break for Bush that he was assigned to fly the F-102 Delta Dagger, a plane already being phased out. In fact, the Air Force had ordered all overseas F-102 units shut down as of June 30, 1970 -- just 3 months after Bush finished his training. Since training is so airplane specific, Bush was guaranteed from the beginning to be safe from combat.

Bush's campaign has even used his training on the obsolete plane to justify his early discharge, almost a year before his scheduled discharge, since other F-102 pilots were also being released early. But they can't answer the obvious question -- why spend so much money to train a National Guardsman for 2 years on a plane that was already being phased out, at a time when the Guard was letting F102 pilots leave early due to oversupply?

5. Celebrity Political Date.
During his flight training, Bush's celebrity showed in a couple of ways. Most famously, President Nixon sent a jet to pick up the young flight student for a date with his daughter Tricia. Alas, the potential political marriage and dynasty was not to be. Also, the commencement speaker at Bush's graduation ceremony was -- his dad, Congressman George Bush Sr.

6. Illegal, overruled transfer to a base with no work.
In 1972, Bush once again wanted to work on a political campaign, this time in Alabama. He applied for a transfer to a nearly defunct base with no active training or work, the 9921st Air Reserve Squadrom at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama. Bush's supervisors approved, but a higher headquarters overruled them, noting that the unit had no regular drills.

Lt. Col. Reese Bricken, the unit's commander, told the Boston Globe "We met just one weeknight a month. We were only a postal unit. We had no airplanes. We had no pilots. We had no nothing." Even Albert Lloyd Jr., a retired Air Guard colonel who is helping the Bush campaign clarify the candidate's service, told the Globe he was mystified why Bush's superiors at the time would approve duty at such a unit. Lloyd was personnel director of the Texas Air Guard from 1969 to 1995.

Now, the officer who did that has stepped forward and very directly admitted that he tried to get the easiest possible assignment for Bush. The personnel officer in charge of Bush's 147th Fighter Group, now-retired Col. Rufus G. Martin, says he tried to give Bush a light load when he told him to apply to the 9921st Air Reserve Squadron in Montgomery, Ala. Martin said in an interview that he knew Bush wasn't eligible for the 9921st, an unpaid, general training squadron that met once a week to hear lectures on first aid and the like. "However," he said, "I thought it was worth a try. . . . It was the least participation of any type of unit."

7. Just didn't show up for a year -- with no punishment.
National Guard records and Bush's own supervisor's and friends show no sign of him attending any drills or performing any service for nearly a year, from May 1972 until May 1973. This period began with Bush moving to Alabama for a political campaign.

He later applied to transfer to a base that had no work; the transfer was first approved, then cancelled. Bush did nothing for several months; then in September he applied to transfer to Alabama's 187th Tactical Recon group for 3 months. This was approved, but the unit's commander, General William Turnipseed, and his then admnistrative officer, Kenneth Lott, have both said that Bush never showed up. "Had he reported in, I would have had some recall, and I do not," said Turnipseed. "I had been in Texas, done my flight training there. If we had had a first lieutenant from Texas, I would have remembered."

Bush claims that he did some work in Alabama, but can't remember any details. “I can’t remember what I did,” he said. “I just—I fulfilled my obligation." Despite 2 years of searching through hundreds of records, his campaign has been unable to find any record of Bush's service there, nor could they find a single fellow serviceman who remembers his presence. The best they could produce was an ex-girlfriend from Alabama -- Emily Marks --who said George told her he would have to do some Guard duty later that year (1972) in Montgomery. But all that confirms is that he knew of his obligation.

In December 1972, Bush returned to Houston and was scheduled to resume duty there. But in May 1973, Bush's supervising pilots wrote in his annual efficiency report: "Lt. Bush has not been observed at this unit during the period of the report" (i.e. through April 30, 1972). Bush described one of the supervisors, the late Col. Jerry Killian, as a personal friend, so it's likely he would have noticed Bush and given him the benefit of the doubt. Later that month, two special orders commanded Bush to appear for active duty. He served 36 days of active duty during May, June and July before leaving the Guard early.

Amazingly, Bush was not disciplined in any way for his absence, and received an honorable discharge. Under Air National Guard rules at that time, guardsmen who missed duty could be reported to their Selective Service Board and inducted into the Army as draftees.

8. Skipped all his medical exams after they started drug tests.
In April 1972, the military started including routine drug tests in servicemen's annual physical exam, including urinalysis, questions about drugs and "a close examination of the nasal cavities" (for cocaine). According to the regulation, the medical took place in the month after the serviceman's birthday. For George W. Bush, this meant August 1972.

It was May, 1972 -- one month after the drug testing was announced -- that Bush stopped attending Guard duty. In August 1972, he was suspended from flight duty for failing to take his physical. (Click here to see the document.) A Bush campaign spokesman confirmed to the London Sunday Times that Bush knew he would be suspended. "He knew the suspension would have to take place." Bush never flew again, even though he returned to his Houston base where Guard pilots flew thousands of hours in the F-102 during 1973. The only barrier to him flying again was a medical exam (and his lack of attendance).

Careful readers will recall that when Bush issued his partial denial of drug use, he said (or implied) that he hadn't used them since 1974, but he pointedly refused to deny drug use before then, i.e. during his military service. Several sources have also indicated that it was in December, 1972 -- 4 months after his medical suspension -- that a drunk Bush Jr. challenged his father to a fist fight during an argument over the son's drunk driving. (He had run over a neighbor's garbage cans.) Shortly thereafter, Bush Sr. arranged for his son to do community service at an inner city Houston charity.

Bush's campaign aides first said he did not take the physical because he was in Alabama and his personal physician was in Houston. But flight physicals can be administered only by certified Air Force flight surgeons, and some were assigned at the time to Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, where Bush was living. The staff now admits that this explanation was wrong.

9. Left service 10 months early.
Even after that easy stint, Bush couldn't fulfill his obligation. He quickly made up the missed days he had to and applied for an early release, before he had to take his next annual physical exam (with drug test.) While the official discharge date was October 1, 1973, Bush's last day in uniform was actually July 31 -- a full 10 months before the end of his 6-year, part time commitment. Al Gore also requested and received an early discharge (from the Army, in his case) to go to school.

Weasel words; his story keeps changing.
When asked about his service, Bush has lied, changed his story repeatedly, and weaseled in a manner eerily reminiscent of Bill Clinton. First of all, he has flat-out lied. In his official autobiography, ''A Charge to Keep,'' Bush said he flew with his unit for ''several years'' after finishing flight training in June 1970. His campaign biography states that he flew with the unit until he won release from the service in September 1973, nine months early, for graduate school. Both statements are lies. Bush only flew with the 111th for one year and 10 months, until April 1972 when he was suspended for failing to take his medical exam (and drug test), and never flew again.

Then there is his Clintonesque weaseling and word choice. Bush and his campaign claimed that no Bush family or friends pulled strings. Under pressure, this changed to "All I know is anybody named George Bush did not ask him [Ben Barnes] for help." By that he meant, himself or his dad. Of course, it later came out in court that a close Bush friend, Simon Adger, had asked Barnes to get Bush Jr. into the Guard, and that Barnes did so, via General Rose.

Now's it's not even clear that a George Bush didn't ask for help. When pressed, the former president's spokeswoman (Jean Becker) said he is "almost positive" that he and Mr. Adger never discussed the Guard matter. "He [Bush Sr.] he is fairly certain - I mean he doesn't remember everything that happened in the 1960s..." In any case, Bush Sr. and Adger were very close. Ms. Becker acknowledged that "President Bush knew Sid Adger well. He loved him." Adger may have needed only a hint.

Furthermore, George Bush Jr. admits that he knew Adger socially at the time, and further admits that he lobbied Col. "Buck" Staudt, the commander of the VIP unit Bush joined. Staudt claims that he, not General Rose (who he later replaced), was the one who made the decision on admissions anyway. Bush Jr. admits that he met Staudt in late 1967, during Christmas vacation of his senior year, called him later, and -- in Bush's words -- "found out what it took to apply."

When asked how Bush came to call Staudt, his spokeswoman Karen Hughes said he "heard from friends while he was home over the Christmas break that ... Colonel Staudt was the person to contact." She says that Bush doesn't recall who those "friends" were. But we know that Sid Adger was also a friend of Staudt's, served with him on the Houston Chamber of Commerce's Aviation Committee, and in 1967 held a luncheon honoring Gen. Staudt and his unit for winning an Air Force commendation. In fact, both of Adger's sons also joined General Staudt's unit, in 1966 and 1968 respectively.

Bush and his staff also claim that he vaulted ahead of the Air Guard waiting list because he was willing to fly an airplane, and there were openings. There is nothing to support this claim, however. For one thing, the F-102 was being phased out at the time and F-102 pilots were being released from service early, as indeed Bush himself was. And Tom Hail, a historian for the Texas Air National Guard, says flatly that there was no pilot shortage in the Guard squadron at that time. Bush's unit had 27 pilots at the time he applied; while they were authorized for 29 pilots, there were two more already in training and one awaiting a transfer.

Bush also weasels on whether he was avoiding combat or not. He has stated on several occasions that he did not want to be an infantryman, and acknowledges that he came to oppose the war itself. He claims that he joined the guard to fly planes, and would have been happy to go to Vietnam, but ignores the obvious choice of the Air Force or the Navy -- which his dad, a genuine war hero, joined. Furthermore, when he signed up for the Guard, he checked a box saying "Do not volunteer for overseas service." Later, he made a perfunctory application to transfer to a program called "Palace Alert", which dispatched F-102 pilots to Europe or the Far East -- and just occasionally Vietnam -- for 3 or 6 month assignments. But Bush was not nearly qualified, as he must have known, and was immediately turned down, and the F-102 not used overseas after June, 1970 in any case.

And, as noted above, his story also changed on why he refused to take a medical exam -- including a drug test - in 1972. (The refusal ended Bush's flying career.) His staff first claimed that he didn't take the physical because he was in Alabama and his personal physician was in Houston. But flight physicals can be administered only by certified Air Force flight surgeons, and there were surgeons assigned at the time to Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, where Bush was living. His staff now admits that that explanation was "wrong", without saying where it came from or what the real reason was. Draft & National Guard Sources

Insider Business Deals

Bush Jr. has made a lot of money off of three business deals. In each one, his contribution is hard to perceive, yet he walked off with hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars in deals arranged by his father's political cronies. The deals were
1. the sale of Junior's struggling oil company,
2. Junior's sale of oil stock just before the Gulf War, and
3. getting a cheap slice of the Texas Rangers baseball team, which he sold in 1999 for a huge profit (he paid $600,000, and sold for $14 million).

The general pattern here is just as important as the details. Bush did no work in his business career that can clearly be called "excellent" or even "solid." The money he made is tangential to his efforts at best -- the oil companies lost a great deal of money during his tenure, and the Rangers cut a lot of corners -- which makes the cronyism that much more suspicious.

It's not just that one or two of Bush's deals look funky; every major business deal he has been involved with included wealthy supporters of his father, and many of those investors later received favorable treatment from either the federal government under Bush, Sr. or the current Texas administration of Junior.

Deal #1: The Oil Business: Rewarded for Losing Money

Like his dad, Junior struck out in Texas and founded an oil company, Arbusto Energy, Inc., with $20,000 of his own money. (Arbusto is the Spanish word for bush.) The company foundered in the early 1980s when oil prices dropped (and his dad was Vice President.)

The 50 investors, who were "mainly friends of my uncle" in Junior's own words, put in $4.7 million and lost most of it. Junior claims that investors "did pretty good," but Bush family friend Russell Reynolds told the Dallas Morning News: "The bottom line was there were problems, and it didn't work out very well. I think we got maybe 20 cents on the dollar."

As Arbusto neared collapse, Spectrum 7 Energy Corporation bought it in September 1984. Despite his poor track record, the owners made Bush, Jr. the president and gave him 13.6% of the parent company's stock.

Spectrum 7 was a small oil firm owned by two staunch Reagan/Bush Sr. supporters -- William DeWitt and Mercer Reynolds. These two were also owners of the Texas Rangers and allowed Bush Jr. to purchase a chunk of the team cheaply; he later sold it for over 24 times what he paid.

Within two years of purchasing Arbusto and making Bush Jr. president, Spectrum 7 was itself in trouble; it lost $400,000 in its last 6 months of operation. That ended in 1986, when Harken Energy Corporation bought Spectrum 7's 180-well operation.

Junior got $227,000 worth of Harken stock, and a lot more. He was named to the board of directors, made $80,000 to $100,000 a year well into the 1990s as a "consultant" to Harken, and was allowed to buy Harken stock at 40% below face value.

He also borrowed $180,375 from Harken at very low rates; the company's 1989 and 1990 SEC filings said it "forgave" $341,000 in loans to unspecified executives.

So what did Junior do for all this money? It's hard to say exactly, but things happened for Harken after Junior came on board:
it got a $25 million stock offering from an unusual bank with CIA ties,
it won a surprise exclusive drilling contract with Bahrain, a small Mideast country, and
an Arab member of its Board of Directors was invited to White House policy meetings with President George Bush and National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft.

Easy Money From Odd Sources

The firm's $25 million stock offering was underwritten by Stephens, Inc., an Arkansas bank whose head, Jackson Stephens, was on President Bush's "Team 100." (That was a group of 249 rich persons who gave at least $100,000 each to his presidential campaign committee). Stephens placed the offering with the London subsidiary of Union Bank of Switzerland, which (according to the Wall Street Journal) was not known as an investor in small American companies.

Union Bank did have other connections; it was a joint-venture partner with the notorious BCCI in a Geneva-based bank, and was involved in a scandal surrounding the Nugan Hand Bank, a CIA operation in Australia whose executives were advised by William Quasha, the father of Harken's chairman (Alan Quasha.) Union Bank was also involved in scandals surrounding Panamanian money laundering by BCCI, and Ferdinand Marcos' movement of 325 tons of gold out of the Phillipines.

That wasn't the only financing connection Junior brought; after the company won its Bahrain deal (see next item), the billionaire Bass brothers of Texas offered to underwrite the drilling operation. Robert Bass is also a member of Bush's Team 100, and he and his kin gave $226,000 to Bush Senior between 1988 and 1992.

The Bahrain Contract

In January 1990, Harken was chosen out of the blue by the small Mideast country Bahrain for an exclusive offshore oil drilling contract. They beat out Amoco, an experienced and major international conglomerate, despite having no offshore oil drilling experience at all. As of March 1995, the most recent report we could find, they had found no oil.

Junior has denied that he was involved in the deal, and even told the Wall Street Journal that he opposed it. But a company insider told Mother Jones Magazine "Like any member of the board, he was thrilled. His attitude was 'Holy shit, what a great deal!'"

If he did oppose it, he wasn't much of a consultant. Charles Strain, an energy company analyst in Houston, told Mother Jones: "Harken is not hard to understand -- it's easy. The company has only one real asset -- its Bahrain contract. If that field turns out to be dry, Harken's stock is worth, at the most, 25 cents a share. If they hit it big over there, the stock could be worth $30 to $40 dollars a share." As of December 1998, Harken Energy Corp. (HEC on Amex) is trading at $2.69 a share.

Access to the President For Bush's Foreign Business Partner

The most troubling thing that happened to Harken after it bought George Bush Junior in, was that one of its Board of Directors members was suddenly admitted to the highest levels of United States foreign policy meetings. These were not Clintonesque meet-and-greet fundraisers, but actual working policy meetings during a critical period.

After the Harken-Bahrain deal was signed, Palestinian businessman Talat Othman was added to a group of Arabs who met with George Bush and National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft three times in 1990 -- once just two days after Iraq invaded Kuwait.

Othman was the representative of Sheikh Abdullah Bakhsh, who purchased 10% of Harken stock. (More on Baksh in a second.) Othman has continued a fruitful relationship with Bush. He has visited Bush in the White House, and gave an Islamic benediction at the 2000 Republican convention. More recently, several Islamic charities and businesses run by Othman's business partner Yaqub Mirza were raided on March 20, 2002 by Treasury investigators, investigating ties between them and Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Just two weeks later, Othman was able to get a luncheon meeting with President Bush's Treasury Secretary, Paul O'Neill (since fired), to complain about the raids.

Backsh, Othman's patron, had several ties to the infamous BCCI bank according to the Wall Street Journal. Bakhsh was a co-investor in Saudi Arabia with alleged BCCI front man Ghaith Pharaon. Bakhsh's banker, Khalid bin Mahfouz, was another BCCI figure and head of the largest bank in Saudi Arabia. Sheikh Kalifah, the prime minister of Bahrain, was a BCCI shareholder and played the key role in selecting Harken for the oil contract.

This is the crowd that gained entry to the President and the National Security Adviser of the United States after George Junior made his deal with Harken.

Deal #2: Selling Oil Stock Just Before Iraq Invaded

George Bush, Junior sold 60% of his stock in Harken Oil in June, 1990 for $848,560. That was brilliant timing; in August, Iraq invaded Kuwait and Harken's stock dropped 25%. Soon after, a big quarterly loss caused it to drop further.

A secret State Deparment memo in May of that year had warned that Saddam was out of control, and listed options for responding to him, including an oil ban that might affect US oil prices.

We can't be sure that the President or an aide mentioned these developments to his son, or that Harken's representative who was admitted to meetings with the President picked up something and reported back to Junior. But it is the simplest and most logical explanation. The Bushes acknowledge that George Senior and his sons consult on political strategy and other matters constantly.

Furthermore, Harken's internal financial advisers at Smith Barney had issued a report in May warning of the company's deteriorating finances. Harken owed more than $150 million to banks and other creditors at the time. George Bush, Jr. was a member of the board and also of Harken's restructuring committee, which met in May and worked directly with the Smith Barney consultants. He must have known of these warnings.

These are pretty clear-cut indications of illegal insider trading. The Securities and Exchange Commission, controlled at the time by President George Bush, investigated but chose not to press charges.

Junior also violated another SEC rule explicitly. He was required to register his sale as an insider trade by July 10, 1990, but didn't until March 1991, after the Gulf War was over. He was not punished or cited.

Deal #3: A Big Slice of the Texas Rangers for a Little Money (and a Big Profit)

The third unusually easy deal for George Bush Junior was his involvement in the Texas Rangers baseball team. In a nutshell, he was offered a piece of this valuable franchise for only $600,000, by supporters of his dad who also bailed out his failing oil company. He sold his stake for $14 million - while Texas governor -- to a Texas millionaire with lots of businesses regulated by his administration. "When all it is all said and done, I will have made more money than I ever dreamed I would make," Bush told the Forth Worth Star-Telegram.

Bush was allowed to buy 1.8% of the team for $600,000 of borrowed money, and was even made one of the two general managers. His qualifications for partial ownership? Several years working at failing oil companies, and his political connections through his father. It's hard to be sure, but we're guessing that latter was probably more important.

Junior tripled his investment, like the other owners, with the help of massive government intervention and subsidies. But his real wealth came from simply being given 10% of the team as a "bonus" for "putting together the investment team."

Even if he really had done that work, it's an absurd bonus ($12.2 million), but the fact is that he didn't add much. Cincinatti financier William DeWitt brought Bush in, not vice versa, shortly after George Bush Sr. was elected president. (DeWitt had also invested in Junior's oil companies.). The only investor Bush actually brought in was Roland Betts, a Yale fraternity brother, and that wasn't good enough.

Under Junior's management, the deal was about to fall apart until baseball commissioner Peter Uebberoth brought in another investment group led by Fort Worth Billionaire Richard Rainwater and Dallas investor "Rusty" Rose. Since the deal, both men have profited greatly from business with the Texas administration of George Bush, Jr. Rose personally invested $3.2 million and became the other general manager of the team. Under the team partnership agreement, Bush Junior couldn't take any "material actions" wihtout Rose's prior approval. There was also a method for removing Junior as a general partner, but no way to remove Rose. Yet Rose's "bonus" for his role in setting up the deal was less than half of Junior's.

What kind of owners would approve such a big payoff to Bush? In addition to Rose and Rainwater, men with business pending before Texas government, the owners included William DeWitt and Mercer Reynolds, major contributors to President Bush who had also purchased Junior's failing oil company through their Spectrum 7 Energy company.

If this deal doesn't smell bad enough already, consider Bush's blatant hypocrisy. The main value of the team is its new stadium (ranked by Financial World as the most profitable in baseball) and 300 acres of vacant land the team owns between the stadium and 6 Flags of Texas, which is next door.

Putting Tax Money into Bush's Pocket
The hypocritical part is, the private owners of this very valuable land didn't want to sell. Bush and his partners gave them only a lowball offer, and when it was rejected they arranged for a new government agency (the Arlington Sports Facility Development Authority, or ASFDA) to condemn it for them.

The agency foreclosed the land and paid the owners a very low price, later judged by a jury to be only 1/6th of its actual value. The agency also floated bonds, guaranteed and repaid by taxpayers, to finance the purchase. This amounted to a $135 million subsidy for Bush and partners, compared with the $80 million they paid for the franchise. Since they sold the entire franchise for $250 million, it's easy to see whose money Bush and friends pocketed.

The next time Junior talks about tax cuts, remember this: Arlinton had to impose a new 1/2 cent sales tax just to pay for the subsidy Bush and his partners received.

To add insult to injury, Bush and his partners continue to stiff the taxpayers for $7.5 million they owe under the terms of the agreement. It held that the team would pay all expenses over $135 million. The original owners of just 13 of the acres sued the City of Arlington, saying that the ASFDA had not paid a fair price for the land. The jury awarded them $7.5 million, but even though the project exceeded the $135 million limit, the partners have refused to pay. Given their huge taxpayer subsidy and $170 million profits, it seems absurdly selfish.

George Bush, Jr. has said in campaign speeches "I will do everything I can to defend the power of private property and private property rights when I am the governor of this state." Apparently this deal was not covered by that statement, since he wasn't governor yet.

He claims that he "wasn't aware of the details" of the land condemnations, even though he was the team's managing general partner and has bragged about personally getting the stadium built. But he told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in October 1990 that "The idea of making a land play, absolutely, to plunk the field down in the middle of a big piece of land, that's kind of always been the strategy."

And the key to their land play was always the strong arm of government. A memo from Arlington real estate broker Mike Reilly to Rangers President Tom Schieffer dated October 26, 1990 - the day before Bush's comment about the land play - said "In this particular situation our first offer should be our final offer ... If this fails, we will probably have to initiate condemnation proceedings after the bond election passes."

On the first day of the 1993 campaign, Bush said "The best way to allocate resources in our society is through the marketplace. Not through a governing elite." Not through a private sports team buying in the President's son cheap, and then getting the government to hand them extremely valuable land.

Party Hearty: Sex, Drugs, And Rock 'N Roll?

For almost half his life, Junior was distinguished mainly by his hearty appetite for partying. A Newsweek profile by Evan Thomas, describing his college years, says he "seems to have majored in beer drinking at the Deke House." After he formed his first company (which failed), Thomas writes, "By his own account, Bush spent a lot of time in bars, trying to sort out who he was. He had a kind of ragged nervous energy in that period, and he could be a bully."

The Bush family spin is that the governor quit drinking cold turkey on his 40th birthday, straightened out by the love of a good woman (his wife, Laura.) They even pull out their secret weapon, lovable Barbara Bush, with anecdotes about what a rascal little George Junior was.

But the explosive element here is not booze. It's sex, drugs and hypocrisy. Frankly, it doesn't bother us if candidates have partied, even a lot. Who wants a bunch of namby-pamby boy scouts running the country? But George Bush Jr. makes a big point of travelling around the country and lecturing students on staying celibate, sober and drug free. He does not permit the option of partying hard until you're 40 and then stopping.

And as governor, he attacked his predecessor for allowing leniency toward first-time drug users, and pushed a "no tolerance" policy that has sent casual cocaine users -- who's dads aren't rich, or president -- to prison for years. He even has the gall to proclaim that such users "need to know that drug use has consequences." At least if you're from the wrong neighborhood.

No Handcuffs or Dwarf Orgies

Junior is so worried about his past that he hired a private detective to investigate himself. (I guess he can't remember what he did at those parties, which tells you something right there.)

According to an unnamed insider quoted on MSNBC, Bush "isn't terribly thrilled" about what they found, though no one is spilling the details (yet). "No handcuffs or dwarf orgies, but he was a handsome, rich playboy and lived that life," the insider said.

W is For Women: Bush volunteers to reporters that he has been faithful to his wife. However, he was married at 31 and makes no claim of virginity before that point, even as he lectures the youth of today to remain celibate. A Clinton aide who was in Bush's class at Yale has already warned him that "People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones."

We have received two credible reports from women who say they had affairs with George Bush, Jr. One alleged affair took place after Bush was married, on business trips to Los Angeles; in the other case, Bush was single but the woman was married at the time. Neither woman is willing to go public with further details, including their names, which is why we aren't publicizing these incidents more, but in our editorial opinion they are credible, and the details that these woman have provided check out.

Furthermore, porn publisher Larry Flynt has alleged that one Bush affair led his then-girlfriend to have an abortion, and claims to have 5 affidavits from friends of the woman and others supporting the claim. Again the woman does not want to be named, which makes it hard to prove the claim, but you can't really blame a lady for not wanting to be known as the "Bush abortion girl." Flynt made this allegation on CNN. The host of the program actually said "Now we at CNN don't want to be accused of censoring anybody...", yet that is exactly what CNN did. They removed the show's transcript and links from their web site days after the broadcast. You can still get details on the incident at the Bush Watch web site. They have more details here.


According to a new book, three independent sources close to the Bush family report that Governor Bush was arrested in 1972 for cocaine possession, and taken to Harris County Jail, but avoided jail or formal charges through an informal diversion plan involving community service with Project P.U.L.L., an inner city Houston program for troubled youths at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center in Houston's dirt-poor Third Ward. (In another new book, reporter Bill Minutaglio, writes that the year of community service was arranged by the Governor's father, ex-president Bush, after he caught Bush Jr. driving drunk.)

That year certainly is out of character with the rest of Bush Jr.'s life. Before and after 1972, he was a rich, hard drinking playboy. Suddenly, and only that one time in his life, he worked for a liberal charity in an inner city ghetto. As soon as the year was over, he resumed his previous pattern and has done no charity work since.

The author of this book, J. H. Thompson, has some interesting scandals of his own. Of course, his own flaws don't disprove what Bush did or didn't do, but the way Thompson has responded certainly undercuts his credibility. First, he admitted to a reporter from Slate Magazine that he made up at least one detail, that one of his informants spat tobacco into a styrofoam cup during their (phone!) interview.

Then, reporters -- or perhaps Bush campaign operatives -- found that the author apparently is an ex-convict, on parole for hiring a hit man to kill a former boss. That doesn't mean he can't research, of course, but Thompson's credibility suffered greatly as he claimed it was someone else, despite incredible similarities between his resume -- including unexplained job gaps during the prison years -- and confirmation from his parole officer that indeed, the author named J. H. Thompson is the one who did time.

Bush Jr.'s Evasive Responses:

Bush has essentially admitted that he used cocaine in his Clintonesque, carefully worded partial denials. He won't deny using cocaine or marijuana, though under persistent questioning he said that he hadn't used cocaine in the last 7 years. Most newspapers report that he denies using cocaine since 1974, but that's not exactly true.

That is the most favorable interpretation of what Bush said, but since Bush and his campaign have already made Clintonesque denials on other issues, we need to look at his words carefully.

What Bush actually said was ""I could have passed the [FBI] background check on the standards applied on the most stringent conditions when my dad was president of the United States - a 15-year period," Mr. Bush said. This is ambiguous because background forms ask slightly different questions, depending on the position. Drug questions can go back one year, seven years or 10 years. Bush Jr. didn't have any formal position in his father's administration, so which one applies is unclear. And 15-years is not one of the choices.

Since Bush Sr.'s presidency began in January 1989, reporters assumed that Jr. was denying drug use for 15 years before that, to 1974. But that is not at all clear. His only direct statement was for seven years before today. He could easily have been denying drug use only for 15 years before today, based on 7 or 10 years dating back from the END of his dad's term. 10 years before 1993, the end of Bush Sr.'s term, is pretty close to 15 years before today.

The Clinton administration actually has a stricter standard than Bush did -- the FBI now asks about any drug use after age 18. But Governor Bush has refused to say whether he would pass that standard, even though that is what he will be asked if he wins. Bush also has refused to answer whether he could have passed the FBI test when his father was vice president, during the 8 years from 1981-1989.

As for the arrest and diversion charge, Governor Bush admits working at the center in 1972. When asked for comment, Bush's campaign spokesman reportedly said "Oh shit... no comment." McLellan denies saying that.

Bush's father, ex-president George Bush, denies the cocaine arrest charge, and in yet another carefully worded denial, Bush said ""It's totally ridiculous what he suggested and it's not true."

You'll recall that President Clinton made a very similar statement about Gennifer Flower's allegations of an affair, during the 1992 campaign. Later, when he had to testify under oath, it turned out that he was denying that all of the details of the story were true, not whether an affair had occurred or any specific details (many of which were accurate).

Similarly, Bush himself does not deny being caught with cocaine, or having performed community service. Bush's campaign spokesman has now denied that Bush was ever arrested on any drug charge.

The director of the center, Madgelean Bush (no relation), also denies the reports. However, her center is dependent on Texas state money, and the director, who grew up poor but has amassed several houses around the center while running it, allowed Governor Bush to use the center for a photo opportunity earlier this year.

The Bush campaign also produced Carol Vance, who was the Democratic District Attorney in Harris County in 1972, to say that there was no diversion program in that year, nor were there any Republican judges (as Hatfield's book states.)

Rock and Roll: Bush keeps a picture of himself with two members of ZZ Top, but does not play the song "Tube Snake Boogie" during his celibacy lectures. We have found no evidence to support the the most explosive allegation so far; that Bush played air guitar to a Foghat record at a party in the late 1970s. But he won't deny it, either.

When pressed on the hypocrisy issue, he speaks to hypocritical baby boomer parents everywhere: "If I were you, I wouldn't tell your kids that you smoked pot unless you want 'em to smoke pot. I think it's important for leaders, and parents, not to send mixed signals. I don't want some kid saying, 'Well, Governor Bush tried it.'"

It's amazing enough that he openly defends hypocrisy, but his own signals are very mixed. When allowed to imply that he is just another manly, hard-drinking rapscallion, Bush seizes the opportunity. "When I was young and irresponsible, I was really young and irresponsible," he often says. He even hints at pot smoking, as in the above quote, and why not? Everyone from his likely opponent Al Gore to Newt Gingrich has admitted smoking pot.

But Junior wants it both ways. When the deadly rumor of cocaine use surfaces, he retreats to his high-minded rhetoric about not giving mixed messages. If he thinks he can skate to the presidency without either his right-wing foes or embittered Clintonistas pushing his past into the limelight, then he really IS on drugs.


The Bush Watch (web site), an opinionated, well-researched and reasonably fair (though blatantly liberal) anti-Bush site.

"The Sons Also Rise", by Evan Thomas, Newsweek, November 16, 1998 p44-8

"Like Most, I'm Amazed" (Bush interview with Howard Fineman), Newsweek, November 16, 1998

"Another Bush Contemplates Run for Presidency", by Sue Anne Pressley (Washington Post news service), San Francisco Chronicle, May 12, 1997 pA5

"The Bush Brothers", by Howard Fineman, Newsweek, November 2, 1998 p30-33

Revealing an American Spy Sources

Robert Novak's column -- "Mission to Niger", by Robert Novak (syndicated column), July 14, 2003

"A War on Wilson? : Inside the Bush Administration's feud with the diplomat who poured cold water on the Iraq-uranium connection", By MATTHEW COOPER, MASSIMO CALABRESI AND JOHN F. DICKERSON, Time Magazine, July 17, 2003

"Capital Games: A White House Smear", by David Corn, The Nation magazine, July 16, 2003

"Columnist Blows CIA Agent's Cover" by Timothy M. Phelps and Knut Royce, Long Island Newsday (newspaper), July 22, 2003

"War critic at center of CIA flap always vague on wife's job: Ex-ambassador lauded by 1st President Bush" By Bill Nichols and John Diamond, USA TODAY October 1, 2003 p6A

Bush Sr. quote -- ("most insidious of traitors") -- "Remarks By George Bush 41st President of the United States, At the Dedication Ceremony for the George Bush Center for Intelligence", April 26, 1999, on CIA website

"Justice Department Opens Probe Into Leak of CIA Agent's Name", by David Cloud, Wall Street Journal, September 29, 2003 pA3

"Justice Investigates Leak Claim", by Deb Reichmann (AP), The Oregonian, September 29, 2003 pA2

"Bush Aides Say They'll Cooperate With Probe Into Intelligence Leak", by Mike Allen, Washington Post, September 29, 2003; Page A01

"Bush Vows Action if Aides Had Role in Leak" By Mike Allen and Dana Milbank, Washington Post, September 30, 2003; Page A01

"White House Says Top Aide Was Not Behind CIA Leak", by David Stout, New York Times, September 29, 2003

ABC-TV News, "The Note", September 30, 2003

"Bush welcomes probe of CIA leak", CNN website, October 1, 2003

"Out the Outers", editorial, Washington Times (newspaper), OCtober 1, 2003

"Attorney General Is Closely Linked to Inquiry Figures", By ELISABETH BUMILLER and ERIC LICHTBLAU, New York Times, October 2, 2003

"White House Looks to Manage Fallout Over C.I.A. Leak Inquiry", By RICHARD W. STEVENSON and ERIC LICHTBLAU, New York Times, October 2, 2003

"Outside Probe of Leaks Is Favored: Poll Findings Come As White House Softens Denials", By Dana Milbank and Mike Allen, Washington Post, October 2, 2003; Page A01

"She's the perfect spy: Outed CIA agent had glamour job & looks to match", By JAMES GORDON MEEK and KENNETH R. BAZINET New York Daily News, October 2, 2003

"Why Are These Men Laughing?"(about Karl Rove), Esquire Magazine, January 2003

"Probe Focuses on Month Before Leak to Reporters: FBI Agents Tracing Linkage of Envoy to CIA Operative", By Walter Pincus and Mike Allen, Washington Post, Sunday, October 12, 2003; Page A01

Lies About Iraq Sources

"No Proof Connects Iraq to 9/11, Bush Says", by Greg Miller, Los Angeles Times, September 18, 2003

"Iraq, 9/11 Still Linked by Cheney", by Dana Priest and Glenn Kessler, Washington Post, September 29, 2003 pA1

Drunk Driving Sources

George Bush's Arrest Record, The Smoking Gun Website, November 3, 20000

Bush's Driving License Suspension Record, The Smoking Gun website, November 3, 2000

"No arrests after '68, Bush told paper", By Wayne Slater and Pete Slover , The Dallas Morning News, 11/03/2000

Bush lied about his arrest, a reporter says", by Jake Tapper, Salon Magazine, November 3, 2000

Court hearing: "Bush downplayed drinking", by Stephen A. Kurkjian and David Armstrong, Boston Globe, 11/4/2000 pA11

"Bush Admits 1976 DUI Arrest; Dem Delegate Made Disclosure", Fox News Website, November 3, 2000

"Bush Admits He Drove While Drunk", The Oregonian, November 3, 2000 pA19

"Bush Still leads, but Key States Buoy Gore: Disclosure of DUI for GOP Candidate is Late Disruption", by Jackie Calmes and Jeanne Cummings, The Wall Street Journal, November 3, 2000 pA22

Interview with Thomas Connolly, (the lawyer who revealed the conviction), Fox TV News, November 3, 2000, 12:00 PST

"What Is George Dubya Hiding?", by Linda Starr and Bev Conover, The Online Journal, June 4, 1999

Yelling at reporter -- from The Economist, July 29, 2000 p21

Quote Sources

Two good general sources for funky Bush quotes are "The Complete Bushisms", compiled by Jacob Weissberg, SLATE web site and The Bush Watch: Bushisms, by Jerry Politex (both ongoing).

"vampires": "At Night, Bush-Speak Goes Into Overdrive," By FRANK BRUNI, New York Times, August 19, 2001

"feather my nest": "Business associates profit during Bush's term as governor" by R. G. Ratcliffe, Houston Chronicle, August 16, 1998 pA1

Divider: "Bush Muffs Letterman's Late-Night Opportunity", By CARYN JAMES, New York Times, March 2, 2000

"Who goes to heaven":"Bush fields questions about faith upon return from trip to Israel" by Clay Robison, The Houston Chronicle, December 3, 1998

"More money than I ever dreamed": quoted in "The Governor's Sweetheart Deal", by Robert Bryce, The Texas Observer, January 30, 1998

Thin Skin Sources

"New York GOP leaders eye surrender in anti-McCain effort" By MARC HUMBERT (Associated Press), on the CNN web site, February 3, 2000

"Bush Criticizes Web Site as Malicious", by Wayne Slater, Dallas Morning News, May 22, 1999

"Governor Rips Web Site Parody", Associated Press, May 21, 1999

"Bush Campaign Tries to Limit Internet Attacks", by Alan Elsner, Reuters News Serviec (on Yahoo! web site), May 19, 1999

"4 protesters arrested at Governor 's Mansion" by R.G. RATCLIFFE, Houston Chronicle, April 20, 1999 Section A Page 13 Metfront. 3 STAR edition

"Activists to challenge policy against protest gatherings near the Governor's Mansion", by Jay Root, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, May 25, 1999

Avoiding Vietnam (and National Guard Favoritism) Sources

Here is an excellent web site with actual photos of the military documents from Bush's career:

"2 Democrats: Bush Let Guard Down", By George Lardner Jr. and Howard Kurtz, Washington Post, November 3, 2000; Page A22

Questions remain on Bush's service as Guard pilot , By Walter V. Robinson, Boston Globe, 10/31/2000, pA14

"Bush Twins Summer Vacay", Entertainment Tonight Online, June 3, 2002

"1-Year gap in Bush's Guard duty", by Walter Robinson, Boston Globe, May 23, 2000

"Ex-Lawmaker Says He Helped Bush Join the Guard in Vietnam War", by Jim Yardley, New York Times, September 27, 1999

"Barnes moves to block questions about Bush, Guard", by Ken Herman, Austin American-Statesman, September 9, 1999

"Records of Bush's Ala. Military Duty Can't Be Found", by Wayne Slater, Dallas Morning News, June 26, 2000 pA06

"Friends: Barnes was asked to help get Bush in Guard", by George Kuempel and Pete Slover, Dallas Morning News, Sept. 8, 1999

"Texas Speaker Reportedly Helped Bush Get Into Guard", by George Lardner, Jr., Washington Post, Setember 21, 1999 pA04

"Bush's Air Guard career an unusually easy flight", by Richard Serrano, Los Angeles Times (reprinted in the San Francisco Chronicle), July 4, 1999 pA-6

"At Height of Vietnam, Graduate Picks Guard", by George Lardner Jr. and Lois Romano, Washington Post, July 28, 1999 pA01

"Bush flies into an air force cocaine cloud", by Tom Rhodes, The London Sunday Times, June 18, 2000

"Ex-Pol at Center of Bush Flap", by Michael Holmes (AP), Washington Post, September 8, 1999

"Barnes says he urged Guard slot for Bush", by Pete Slover and George Kuempel, Dallas Morning News, September 29, 1999

"Adviser asked Barnes to recall Guard details before Bush joined race", by Pete Slover and George Kuempel, Dallas Morning News, September 26, 1999

"Bush Worked Campaign While in Guard", by Chris Williams (AP), Washington Post, May 23, 2000 "Gtech settles Littwin lawsuit", by Ken Herman, Austin American-Statesman, October 30, 1999 Gtech paid Littwin $300,000 and got a strict confidentiality agreement from him.

Funeralgate Sources

"Surprise Testimony in Texas: New questions are raised in a politically charged Texas lawsuit", Newsweek, October 30, 2000

"The Funeral Home Flap: Trouble for a Texas Mortician with links to the Bush Family", by Michael Isikoff, Newsweek, August 16, 1999

"Bush Affidavit Refuted", by Janet Elliot, Law News Network, August 16, 1999

"Funeral company hopeful after takeover " By Juan B. Elizondo Jr., Austin American-Statesman, Wednesday, August 18, 1999

"Governor's role questioned in funeral agency oversight: Bush's office rejects call for legislative control", By George Kuempel , The Dallas Morning News, August 8, 1999

"Bush Watch Special: Dubya and The Gravedigger", by Jerry Politex, The Bush Watch Website (ongoing)

Scandal Timeline, Austin Chronicle, ongoing

Insider Deal Sources

"Business associates profit during Bush's term as governor" by R. G. Ratcliffe, Houston Chronicle, August 16, 1998 pA1

"How Bush REALLY Made His Millions", by Jerry Politex, The Bush Watch Web Site, ongoing

"Who is David Edwards?", by Micah Morrison, The Wall Street Journal, March 1, 1995

"The Governor's Sweetheart Deal", by Robert Bryce, The Texas Observer, January 30, 1998

"Bush's Big Score", by Robert Bryce, The Dallas Observer, February 9, 1998

"Bush's Free Ride", by Stuart Eskenazi, Dallas Observer, October 29, 1998

"Good Connections: Family Ties helped fund oil venture that began Bush's business career", by Richard Oppel Jr. and George Kuemple, Dallas Morning News, November 16, 1998

"Whitewashing the Bush Boys", by Stephen Pizzo, Mother Jones, March-April 1994

"Family Value$", by Stephen Pizzo, Mother Jones, September-October 1992

"Diamond Brilliance: Bush mastered art of he deal in building his baseball fortune", by R. G. Ratcliffe, Houston Chronicle, August 16, 1998 pA19

"The Family that Preys Together", by Jack Colhoun, "Covert Action Quarterly, #41, Summer 1992

"Downloading the Bush Files", by Michael King, Texas Observer, November 1998

Othman and Mirza -- "Aftermath of Terror: Funds Under Terror Probe Flowed From Offshore", by GLENN R. SIMPSON, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, March 22, 2002

"In Difficult Times, Muslims count on unlikely hero", by Tom Hamburger and Glenn R. Simpson, Wall Street Journal, June 11, 2003

“O’Neill Met Muslim Activists Tied to Charities” by Glenn R. Simpson [with Roger Thurow]; Wall Street Journal; 4/18/2002; p. A4

"Know thy enemy" (syndicated column) by Frank Gaffney, December 11, 2002

Corruption Sources

"State agency official convicted of bribery: She peddled influence for cut of business", by ARMANDO VILLAFRANCA, Houston Chronicle, November 2, 2000

"Tit for tat? How the Texas brothers who secretyly funded attack ads against McCain have made millions managing state money under the Bush administration in Austin," by Joe Conason,, March 6, 2000

"Business associates profit during Bush's term as governor" by R. G. Ratcliffe, Houston Chronicle, August 16, 1998 pA1

"Secrecy Cloaks $1.7 billion in UT Investments: Board puts money in funds run by trustees, friends of trustees", by R.G. Ratliffe, The Houston Chronicle, March 20, 1999

"How Bush REALLY Made His Millions", by Jerry Politex, The Bush Watch Web Site, ongoing

"Who is David Edwards?", by Micah Morrison, The Wall Street Journal, March 1, 1995

"The Governor's Sweetheart Deal", by Robert Bryce, The Texas Observer, January 30, 1998

"Bush's Big Score", by Robert Bryce, The Dallas Observer, February 9, 1998

"Downloading the Bush Files", by Michael King, Texas Observer, November 1998

"Richard Rainwater: The invisible man behind one of the year's biggest deals", by John Morthland, Texas Monthly, September 1996

"Auditor Withheld Findings on State Housing Agency", by Craig Flournoy, Dallas Morning News, February 18, 1999

"Capitol Report: Housing Officials Under Fire", Austin American Statesman, February 3, 1999

Sex, Drugs and Rock 'N Roll Sources

"The smut monger's scoop", by Harley Sorenson, San Francisco Examiner, October 30, 2000

"Fortunate Son: George W. Bush and the Making of an American President", by J. H. Hatfield, St. Martin's Press, 1999 (withdrawn)

First Son : George W. Bush and the Bush Family Dynasty, by Bill Minutaglio, Times Books, 1999

Bush denies allegation of '72 drug arrest in book, By Michael Kranish, Boston Globe, 10/20/99 pA10

Bush Adds to Drug Use Statement", Dallas Morning News, August 20, 1999

Busting Bush's Biographer, by Jacob Weisberg, Slate Magazine, Oct. 19, 1999

< a href="">"Fortunate Son Revisited", by Jacob Weisberg, Slate Magazine, Oct. 22, 1999

"Author alleging Bush drug arrest reportedly a felon: He denies being Texas convict, says similar names led to mistake", By Pete Slover, The Dallas Morning News, October 21, 1999

"George W. Bush, the dirt digger" by Jeannette Walls, MSNBC's "The Scoop" gossip column.

GOP insiders have privately confirmed to The Skeleton Closet that Bush hired the private detective, and that he was a very sexy and highly sexed bachelor.

"Bush, looking at D.C., sees a 'sullied process'", Austin American-Statesman, September 16, 1998

"The Sons Also Rise", by Evan Thomas, Newsweek, November 16, 1998 p44-8



Paid for by Real People For Real Change and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

Copyright 2003 Real People For Real Change