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Just Trying To Help

The ConWeb is so busy digging up dirt on Gore that they've overlooked similar stuff on Bush. We do some research for these poor overworked creatures.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 10/8/2000

ConWebWatch understands.

We know the ConWeb is a hard-working bunch of folks. It can't be easy to not only dig up minutiae on Al Gore's life -- can-collecting biddies, doggie medication and the like -- but to present it in the worst possible light. It's hard work to transfer their hatred of the Clintons to someone who has at least an even chance to make it into the White House.

In short, we feel their pain. And ConWebWatch is here to help.

As a public service to these overworked members of the ConWeb, we want to update them on some of the latest bits of scandal:

  • Desertion from military service.
  • Connections to Chinese businessmen.
  • Manipulating the media.

If anything remotely close to this were about Al Gore, you would have read about on the ConWeb by now. But it's about George W. Bush, his running mate and his family. Therefore, the ConWeb won't touch it.

They're not the only ones, however. None of this has appeared in the "mainstream" media, so at least the ConWeb is not alone in wearing blinders.

Let's take a closer look at these allegations:

Desertion from military service

The most comprehensive look at George W. Bush's National Guard service comes from ... an Iowa farmer?

It's true. Marty Heldt has scooped everybody by obtaining and analyzing 200 pages of Bush's service record. In an article for TomPaine.com, Heldt concludes that for eight months in late 1972 and early 1973, "Lieutenant George W. Bush ignored direct instructions from headquarters to report for duty" and fulfill his duties as a Guardsman. And for four months earlier in 1972, Bush had no orders to be anywhere because while Texas Guard officials approved Bush's transfer to a base in Alabama, the orders were initially rejected by higher-ups.

And even after not showing up for active duty for a year, Bush sought and was granted a transfer to the inactive reserves. Heldt quotes a military source as saying: "In short, for the several hundred thousand dollars we taxpayers spent on getting [Bush] trained as a fighter jock, he repaid us with sixty-eight days of active duty. And God only knows if and when he ever flew on those days."

Connections to Chinese businessmen

In the Oct. 23 issue of the Nation, Dan Moldea and David Corn recount the story of a Thai company known as the CP Group. Its CEO attended one of infamous White House coffees that became a target of Republicans investigating Democratic fund-raising improprieties. The company has been rumored to be a front for a Chinese weapons manufacturer. The company shows up in the "Cox Report" on Chinese spy activities, and it has links to scandal figures such as John Huang and Charlie Trie. One-third of the people convicted in the fund-raising scandal have ties to either CP Group or the coffee company officials attended.

Well, it turns out that two years before it was accused of peddling influence on behalf of the Chinese for Democrats, CP Group hired former President George Bush (for a reported $250,000) as a lobbyist to drum up business in Asia. And son Neil Bush, late of a savings-and-loan-collapse scandal, set up a "joint venture consulting company" with CP Group and even attended the opening of a CP factory in China with a lobbyist who would later plead guilty to making illegal contributions to the Democratic National Committee. Even Bush's national security adviser, Brent Scowcroft, got into the act; he was hired to help create a multi-million-dollar institute with CP money, a project that ultimately failed.

Manipulating the media, lack of respect for the First Amendment

In the October issue of the American Journalism Review, Jacqueline Sharkey reminds readers about Dick Cheney's respect for constitutional principles by recounting the unprecedented press restrictions he put in place during the 1989 invasion of Panama and the 1991 Gulf War while he was defense secretary.

Sharkey demonstrates how "news-management policies developed under Cheney prevented the public from receiving complete and accurate information about those conflicts." These included confining reporters to official Pentagon press pools led by military escorts, conducting security reviews of all pool reports and detaining journalists who tried to visit military units independently. In fact, during the Gulf War, a photographer for Time magazine was detained for 30 hours and blindfolded by U.S. National Guard troops because he violated Defense Department press coverage restrictions.

Cheney is quoted in a 1995 interview as saying, "I did not look on the press as an asset, in doing what I had to do" as defense secretary. "Frankly, I looked on it as a problem to be managed."

Retired Army Col. David H. Hackworth, a highly decorated soldier who served in Korea and Vietnam and covered the Gulf War for Newsweek -- and whose writings appear regularly in both NewsMax and WorldNetDaily -- said in 1991 that the restrictions were a form of "thought control" designed to influence public opinion about the conflict.

Whew. That's a lot of scandal there. The ConWeb has just been so busy making Gore look bad that they haven't fulfilled their journalistic duty to cover this.

But hey, we're here to help. That's our job.

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