An Open Letter
from Michael Moore to George "I'm a War President!" Bush
by Michael Moore
February 11, 2004 (67th
anniversary of the Great Flint Sit-Down Strike)
"Pay records don't mean anything except
that you're in or you're out," said Smith. "It doesn't necessarily reflect what
duty you've actually performed because pay records simply record your unit of
assignment and then all of your pay and benefits per pay period."
Dear Mr. Bush,
Thank you for providing the illegible Xeroxed partial payroll sheets (or
whatever they were) yesterday covering a few of your days in the National Guard.
Now we know that, not only didn't you complete your tour of duty, you were
actually paid for work you never did. Did you cash those checks? Wouldn't that
be, um, illegal?
Watching the press aggressively demand the truth from your press secretary --
and refusing to accept the deceit, the dodging, and the cover-up -- was a sight
to behold, something we really haven't seen since you took office (to watch or
listen to the entire press conference, or to read the full transcript,
More than one reporter pointed out that those pieces of paper your press
secretary waved at them yesterday mean nothing. Even if they aren't forged
documents, getting paid does not necessarily mean you showed up to do your
duties. As retired Army Col. Dan Smith, a 26-year veteran, told the AP:
Mr. Bush, this issue is not going to go away -- and I think yesterday's actions
just dug you into a deeper hole. You're probably wondering why the heck this
story won't just die. You probably thought that after I brought it up last month
and then got slammed by Peter Jennings for uttering the "d" word, the whole
matter would just disappear as fast as bag of blow being thrown out the window
of a speeding car on a deserted Maine highway.
But your "desertion" didn't go away -- and here's the reason why. You have sent
countless numbers of our sons and daughters in the National Guard to their
deaths in the last 11 months. You did this while misleading their parents and
the nation with bogus lies about weapons of mass destruction and scary phony
Saddam ties to al Qaeda. You sent them off to a never-ending war so that your
benefactors at Halliburton and the oil companies could line their pockets. And
then you had the audacity to prance around in a soldier's uniform on an aircraft
carrier proclaiming "Mission Accomplished" -- while the cameras from your
re-election campaign ad agency rolled.
THAT is what makes this whole business of you being AWOL so despicable, and
makes the grief-stricken relatives want to turn away from you in disgust. The
reason your skipping-out on your enlistment didn't matter in the 2000 election
was because we were not at war. Being stuck in a deadly, daily quagmire now in
2004 makes your military history-fiction and your fly-boy costume VERY relevant.
You still have not answered the questions surrounding your National Guard
"service." Let me repeat them as simply as I can for you (all of them based on
the investigative work of the Associated Press and the Boston Globe):
1. How were you able to jump ahead of 500 other applicants to get into the Texas
Air National Guard, thus guaranteeing you would not have to go to Vietnam? What
calls did your father (who was then a United States Congressman representing
Texas) make on your behalf for you to get this assignment?
2. Why were you grounded (not allowed to fly) after you either failed your
physical or failed to take it in July 1972? Was there a reason you were afraid
to take the physical? Or, did you take it and not pass it? If so, why didn't you
pass it? Was it the urine test? The records show that, after the Guard spent
years and lots of money training you to be a pilot, you never flew for the rest
of your time in the Guard. Why?
3. Can you produce one person who can verify that he served with you in the
Guard during the year that your Texas commanders said you did not show up? Why
have you failed to bring forth anyone who served with you in the Guard
while you were in Alabama? Why hasn't ONE SINGLE PERSON come forward?
4. Can you tell us what you did when you claim to have shown up in Alabama for
Guard duty? What were you duties? You were grounded, so what did they have you
5. Where are the sign-up sheets that would have your name and service number on
them for each weekend you showed up? Aaron Brown on CNN told us how, when he was
in the reserves, he had to sign in each time he reported, and his guest from the
Washington Post said, that's right, and there would be "four copies of that
record" in the files of various agencies. Will you ask those agencies to release
6. If you were in fact paid for that time when you apparently went AWOL, will
you authorize the IRS to release your 1972-73 tax returns?
7. How did you get an honorable discharge? What strings were pulled? Who called
Look, I'm sorry to have put you through all this. I was just goofing around when
I made that comment about wanting to see a debate between the general and the
deserter. I had no idea that it would lead to this. And there you were, having
to suffer through Tim Russert on Sunday, saying weird things like "I'm a war
president!" I guess you believe that, or you want us to believe that. Americans
have never voted out a Commander-in-Chief during a war. I guess that's what
you're hoping for. You need the war.
But we don't. And our troops in the National Guard don't either. I know you see
the writing on the wall, so why not come clean now? We are a forgiving people,
and though you will not be returned to White House, you will find us grateful
for a little bit of truth. Answer our questions, apologize to the nation, and
bring our kids home.
Created & Posted:
Friday, February 13, 2004 05:37:44 -0800