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Old 02-04-2004, 08:13 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Bonesmaen Battle-Kerry on GWB Military record

Linkee

I think this is a valid issue to bring up and GWB has used the military (was it the USS Lincoln he flew to?) as a tool to fortify support for his policy.


Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Kerry calls on Bush to settle questions on military record

By Patrick Healy, Globe Staff, 2/3/2004

TUCSON -- Democratic presidential front-runner John F. Kerry, who has turned his decorated Vietnam War service into a theme of his campaign, said yesterday that President Bush and the US military should settle questions -- raised recently by Kerry allies -- about whether Bush completed his military service requirement in the Texas Air National Guard in the 1970s.

Before attending a campaign rally here that drew 2,000 people, on the eve of today's presidential primary in Arizona and six other states, the Massachusetts senator said that the matter of Bush's military service record was ''a question that I think remains open.'' Kerry added that he lacked ''the facts'' to make a judgment about accusations that Bush ended his military commitment prematurely.

''It's not up to me to talk about them or to question them at this point,'' Kerry said of the accusations. ''I don't even know what the facts are. But I think it's up to the president and the military to answer those questions.''

Kerry also said he was not sure if he would exploit Bush's military record as an issue in the fall general election if he were to become the Democratic nominee. ''I don't know yet, I haven't made up my mind,'' Kerry told reporters on the tarmac of the Tucson airport.

Yet two prominent Democrats with ties to Kerry -- Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe and former senator and Vietnam veteran Max Cleland -- have ratcheted up their attacks on Bush's military record, with McAuliffe saying on television Sunday that Bush had been ''AWOL'' at times during his guard service. Cleland, speaking at a veterans' rally with Kerry on Friday, said the nation should not have a president ''who didn't even complete his tour stateside in the guard.'' Kerry said yesterday he did not ask allies to attack Bush on his military record.

At a rally yesterday morning in New Mexico -- which also votes today -- Kerry received the endorsement of Eliot Spitzer, the attorney general of New York and a well-regarded opponent of white-collar crime, who flew west to endorse Kerry at a time when the candidate has been under attack for receiving more than $600,000 in individual donations from lobbyists over the last 15 years.

Patrick Healy can be reached by e-mail at phealy@globe.com.

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Old 02-04-2004, 08:21 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I think this is good. Bush was assisted too much by a "deal" between he and Gore during the 2000 election where Gore wouldn't attack Bush on his military record and Bush wouldn't attack Gore on his. I think that was a mistake as Gore didn't have anything to be ashamed of. (but then Gore made many mistakes in his campaign).

This time it looks like the media is finally waking up to the issue and maybe we can get Bush on the defensive on the issue and we can trot out the facts of his Desertion.
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Old 02-04-2004, 10:53 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Location: Grantville, Pa
Bush could resolve this tomorrow by releasing his military records.

He is the only presidential candidate who has ever refused to release his military records. He sent them all to his Dad's presidential library where they couldn't be forced to be revealed.

He has a six month gap in his service record.

He can fix this whole mess very easily.
Just produce his:

Attendance records, pay records, retirement points and income tax records.
Producing any of these documents will prove that he was in full attendance for his duties when he was required to be.
Why won't he release them if he fulfiled his duties?
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Old 02-04-2004, 11:37 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Superbelt
.
Why won't he release them if he fulfiled his duties?
maybe bc he didn't....


Seriously, i agree with you, he could easily solve all the military record issues by releasing the records, orrr maybe they would damn him to political hell.

either way, i'd say release them..
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Old 02-04-2004, 11:48 AM   #5 (permalink)
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It is clear that Democrats feel this can be an issue, particularly if Kerry or Clark is the nominee. How do Republicans feel about it and are the Democrats making too much of it?



(edited because of truly pathetic spelling skills)
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Old 02-04-2004, 11:53 AM   #6 (permalink)
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The Republicans will cry Anti-Whateverism and say how stupid and irrelevant this issue is.
The important aspect is how the PEOPLE will feel about this once/if it makes front page. If the voting process is not a sham I believe that this would make a huge difference.
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Old 02-05-2004, 09:59 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I need a slap for being antagonistic but here is a joke...

How does the conservative-right accept a valid point on a msg board??


They let the thread creep down the page!!!
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Old 02-05-2004, 10:56 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Location: NJ
Hmmm, "Honorable discharge". Yep that says AWOL to me.

According to the test posted here on TFP I am not conservative right, but I'm certainly more "right" than those who have posted in this thread thus far.

If the Democrats want to make a big stink about this, I say feel free. I don't think it will resonate with voters. Most voters did not serve in the military and the fact that Bush served in the National Guard is more than what the majority of Americans have done, so it's not really something that they judge candidates on. Just my .02.


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Last edited by onetime2; 02-05-2004 at 11:00 AM..
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Old 02-05-2004, 11:23 AM   #9 (permalink)
This vexes me. I am terribly vexed.
 
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Location: Grantville, Pa
Honorable Discharge doesn't mean much when your father is able to get you into the Texas Air National Guard with the lowest possible passing score (a 25) and get him in on the same day when the waiting list was a year long when he applied.
If a Texas congressman can get around those problems he can get his son an Honorable Discharge.

You are right that this won't turn into a big issue. It won't cost Bush many votes I'd wager.

The intense rhetoric accusing Clinton of being a "draft doger" never cost him votes. Military record just isn't important in America anymore.
I still think it should be brought out, so the average american knows it.

... Is there any statute of limitations on the military prosecuting someone for aWol/Desertion?
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Old 02-05-2004, 11:45 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Location: Right here
Quote:
Originally posted by Superbelt
Honorable Discharge doesn't mean much when your father is able to get you into the Texas Air National Guard with the lowest possible passing score (a 25) and get him in on the same day when the waiting list was a year long when he applied.
If a Texas congressman can get around those problems he can get his son an Honorable Discharge.

You are right that this won't turn into a big issue. It won't cost Bush many votes I'd wager.

The intense rhetoric accusing Clinton of being a "draft doger" never cost him votes. Military record just isn't important in America anymore.
I still think it should be brought out, so the average american knows it.

... Is there any statute of limitations on the military prosecuting someone for aWol/Desertion?
The repubs have already started claiming this is a 30 year old issue, and irrelevant. The voters might, however, disagree since Bush is using his military background to garner public support for this war.

Also, when Clinton was accused of draft-dodging, we weren't in the middle of a war.

According to some posters here, Bush won Florida by military votes. If this issue pans out, they might shift allegiance to someone they feel understands them better--someone who actually fought (bravely too, by accounts I've read) in the field.
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Old 02-05-2004, 11:54 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Location: NJ
Quote:
Originally posted by Superbelt
Honorable Discharge doesn't mean much when your father is able to get you into the Texas Air National Guard with the lowest possible passing score (a 25) and get him in on the same day when the waiting list was a year long when he applied.
If a Texas congressman can get around those problems he can get his son an Honorable Discharge.

I still think it should be brought out, so the average american knows it.

... Is there any statute of limitations on the military prosecuting someone for aWol/Desertion?
It also doesn't mean that Poppa Bush exerted such pressure.

As far as statute of limitations for desertion,


ART. 43. STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS

(a) A person charged with absence without leave or missing movement in time of war, or with any offense punishable by death, may be tried at any time without limitation.

(b)

(1) Except as otherwise provided in this section (article), a person charged with an offense is not liable to be tried by court-martial if the offense was committed more than five years before the receipt of sworn charges and specifications by an officer exercising summary court- martial jurisdiction over the command.

(2) A person charged with an offense is not liable to be punished under section 815 of this title (article 15) if the offense was committed more than two years before the imposition of punishment.

(c) Periods in which the accused is absent without authority or fleeing from justice shall be excluded in computing the period of limitation prescribed in this section (article).

(d) Periods in which the accused was absent from territory in which the United States has the authority to apprehend him, or in the custody of civil authorities, or in the hands of the enemy, shall be excluded in computing the period of limitation prescribed in this article.

(e) For an offense the trial of which in time of war is certified to the President by the Secretary concerned to be detrimental to the prosecution of the war or inimical to the national security, the period of limitation prescribed in this article is extended to six months after the termination of hostilities as proclaimed by the President or by a joint resolution of Congress.

(f) When the United States is at war, the running of any statute of limitations applicable to any offense under this chapter--

(1) involving fraud or attempted fraud against the United States or any agency thereof in any manner, whether by conspiracy or not;

(2) committed in connection with the acquisition, care, handling, custody, control, or disposition of any real or personal property of the United States; or

(3) committed in connection with the negotiation, procurement, award, performance, payment, interim financing, cancellation, or other termination or settlement, of any contract, subcontract, or purchase order which is connected with or related to the prosecution of the war, or with any disposition of termination inventory by any war contractor or Government agency;

is suspended until three years after the termination of hostilities as proclaimed by the President or by a joint resolution of Congress.

*(g)

(1) If charges or specifications are dismissed or insufficient for any cause and the period prescribed by the applicable statute of limitations--

(A) has expired; or

(B) will expire within 180 days after the date of dismissal of the charges and specifications, trial and punishment under new charges and specifications are not bared by the statute of limitations if the conditions specified in paragraph (2) are met.

(2) The conditions referred to in paragraph (1) are that the new charges and specifications must--

(A) be received by an officer exercising summary court-martial jurisdiction over the command within 180 days after dismissal of the charges or specifications; and

(B) allege the same acts or omissions that were alleged in the dismissed charges or specifications (or allege acts or omissions that were included in the dismissed charges or specifications).
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Old 02-05-2004, 11:59 AM   #12 (permalink)
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"I am saddened by the fact that Vietnam has yet again been inserted into the campaign, and that it has been inserted in what I feel to be the worst possible way...

What saddens me most is that Democrats, above all those who shared the agonies of that generation, should now be refighting the many conflicts of Vietnam in order to win the current political conflict of a presidential primary.

The race for the White House should be about leadership, and leadership requires that one help heal the wounds of Vietnam, not reopen them; that one help identify the positive things that we learned about ourselves and about our nation, not play to the divisions and differences of that crucible of our generation.

We do not need to divide America over who served and how...

I would like to make a simple and straightforward appeal, an appeal from my heart, as well as from my head. To all those currently pursuing the presidency in both parties, I would plead that they simply look at America...

We do not need more division. We certainly do not need something as complex and emotional as Vietnam reduced to simple campaign rhetoric. "

- Sen. John Kerry, in a speech delivered on the Senate floor Feb. 27, 1992, after Democratic presidential candidate and Vietnam War veteran, Sen. Bob Kerrey, criticized Bill Clinton for his lack of service during the war.



link to full text
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Old 02-05-2004, 12:00 PM   #13 (permalink)
This vexes me. I am terribly vexed.
 
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Location: Grantville, Pa
Quote:
It also doesn't mean that Poppa Bush exerted such pressure.
No it doesn't. You are right. So, to clear up any misconceptions Bush needs to do what every other presidential candidate has done in modern history which is to release his military records.

He has outright refused to do that. The only possible reason is there is something in there to hide. If you are gonna run on your military record, back it up.
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Old 02-05-2004, 12:02 PM   #14 (permalink)
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My understanding is that Kerry was reluctant to use this as an issue, and hasn't in the past.

Vietnam vets have been the ones to back him on this--even republican ones.

That's just what I've seen in the news, people can take it or leave it.
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Old 02-05-2004, 12:03 PM   #15 (permalink)
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There is no question that Clinton is a draft-dodger.

There are some questions regarding Bush's National Guard service.

It all boils down to mud flinging.

The only real question between Dems and Repubs is if you are going to participate in it.

Because once you do, you are just as guilty as the other guy.


Kerry has his own issues regarding his personal integrity.
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Old 02-05-2004, 12:07 PM   #16 (permalink)
Junkie
 
Location: NJ
Quote:
Originally posted by Superbelt
No it doesn't. You are right. So, to clear up any misconceptions Bush needs to do what every other presidential candidate has done in modern history which is to release his military records.

He has outright refused to do that. The only possible reason is there is something in there to hide. If you are gonna run on your military record, back it up.
It's not the only possible reason just the one that some people choose to believe. It's kind of like "Pleading the 5th", there are many reasons one could do it but most people assume the person doing it is guilty and trying to hide it.

Another perfectly plausible possibility is that he's giving the Dems (and Kerry and Clark specifically) something to focus on that he knows can be proved wrong. It's certainly more feasible than the theory that some float about how Osama is stashed away somewhere and will miraculously be "found" just a week or two before the election.
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Old 02-05-2004, 12:12 PM   #17 (permalink)
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We didnt see Clinton donning a uniform in effort to strum up support. That is what this should be about.
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Old 02-05-2004, 12:16 PM   #18 (permalink)
Junkie
 
Location: NJ
Quote:
Originally posted by Bookman
We didnt see Clinton donning a uniform in effort to strum up support. That is what this should be about.
Your accusation hinges on the truth or lie that Bush was AWOL, so it has to be discussed.
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Old 02-05-2004, 12:17 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
Bill Clinton has also faced up to his decision, both then and now. And, let's keep in mind, he returned to Oxford to continue studying rather than run off to war- he didn't go jump into a political campaign like GWB admits to. Here's to hoping what he learned at Oxford helped him become a succesful figure in American politics. We'll know in twenty years or so...
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Old 02-05-2004, 12:19 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by onetime2
Your accusation hinges on the truth or lie that Bush was AWOL, so it has to be discussed.
Not an acusation and you are right. If its a lie, I have no idea why GWB wouldnt have put it to rest years ago. The reason why it will most probably remain a lie or unsettled (not presented to the world like Lewinsky or any other petty scandal is) is because the media is paid for or spineless.
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Old 02-05-2004, 12:22 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Location: NJ
Quote:
Originally posted by Tomservo
Bill Clinton has also faced up to his decision, both then and now.
Not that it matters at this point, but from what I understand he didn't. Is there something new that I missed? Clinton led an ROTC selection officer to believe that he would be joining them to get a letter to present to the draft board and avoid induction (at least according to the officer's statements).
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Old 02-05-2004, 12:25 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Location: NJ
Quote:
Originally posted by Bookman
Not an acusation and you are right. If its a lie, I have no idea why GWB wouldnt have put it to rest years ago. The reason why it will most probably remain a lie or unsettled (not presented to the world like Lewinsky or any other petty scandal is) is because the media is paid for or spineless.
I think it's more because the media is only after ratings and this matter just won't generate them. If Bush had been whoring down in Tijuana instead of at his NG commitment and someone could get videotape, pictures, or even a witness or two it would be a different story. In reality (I think) he was supposedly working on someone's political campaign. Not too interesting in this age of reality tv and Janet Jackson breast baring.
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Old 02-05-2004, 12:35 PM   #23 (permalink)
This vexes me. I am terribly vexed.
 
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Location: Grantville, Pa
Quote:
Originally posted by onetime2
It's not the only possible reason just the one that some people choose to believe. It's kind of like "Pleading the 5th", there are many reasons one could do it but most people assume the person doing it is guilty and trying to hide it.

Another perfectly plausible possibility is that he's giving the Dems (and Kerry and Clark specifically) something to focus on that he knows can be proved wrong. It's certainly more feasible than the theory that some float about how Osama is stashed away somewhere and will miraculously be "found" just a week or two before the election.
Yes it is the only possible reason. Pleading the 5th is to protect yourself from self incrimination. If there is nothing wrong with his service record there is no reason not to release it. It would actually help him among veterans to release that information. He is dodging the issue.

That other possibility isn't plausible because Bush got hit with this the first time around and never felt the need to finally reveal his record and be vindicated before the first election.
And recall that that election was so close that Gore ended up winning the popular vote. And came within 500 (counted) votes of winning the state.
I think that before THAT election just may have been the proper time to release your record.

Face it. There is prescedent to release your military records. Everyone has done it. There are questions surrounding his record including his commanding officer in Alabama saying Bush never reported to duty there. Releasing the records, if he truly did serve honorably, would vindicate him and make this issue go away. His refusal to release them can only mean one thing that there is something incriminating in those files. And the only logical answer to that is that there is a period of him being absent from the service that would show him to be absent without leave or possibly Desertion.

Ya know, I actually think him being proven to desert the armed forces in the middle of the Vietnam War may actually be a deciding factor for many veterans.

Last edited by Superbelt; 02-05-2004 at 12:38 PM..
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Old 02-05-2004, 12:53 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Here's the text of his well-known and circulated letter concerning his draft dodging. You'll find it quite a bit more thoughtful than... say, going skiing. Heh.

"Following is the text of the letter that Bill Clinton wrote to Col. Eugene Holmes, director to the ROTC program at the University of Arkansas on 3 Dec, 1969:

Dear Col. Holmes,

Iím sorry to be so long in writing. I know I promised to let you hear from me at least once a month, and from now on you will, but I have had some time to think about this first letter. Almost daily since my return to England I have thought about writing, about what I want to and ought to say.

First, I want to thank you, not just for saving me from the draft, but for being so kind and decent to me last summer, when I was as low as I have ever been. One thing which made the bond we struck in good faith somewhat palatable to me was, my high regard for you personally. In retrospect it seems that the admiration might not have been mutual had you known a little more about me, about my political beliefs and activities. At least you might have thought me more fit for the draft than for ROTC.

Let me try to explain. As you know I worked for two years in a very minor position on the State Foreign Relations Committee. I did it for the experience and the salary but also for the opportunity, however small, of working every day against a war I opposed and despised with a depth of feeling I had reserved solely for racism in America before Viet-Nam. I did not take the matter lightly but studied it carefully, and there was a time when not many people had more information about VietNam at hand than I did.

I have written and spoken and marched against the war. One of the national organizers of the VietNam Moratorium is close friend of mine. After I left Arkansas last summer, I went to Washington to work in the national headquarters of the Moratorium then to England to organize the Americans here for demonstrations 16 Oct and 16 Nov.

Interlocked with the war is the draft issue, which I did not begin to consider separately until early 1968. After a law seminar at Georgetown, I wrote a paper on the legal arguments for and against allowing, within the Selective Service System, the classification of selective conscientious objection, for those opposed to participation in a particular war, not simply to ďparticipation in war in any form.Ē

From my work I came to believe that the draft system itself is illegitimate. No government really rooted in limited parliamentary democracy should have the power to make its citizens fight and kill and die in a war they may oppose, a war which even possibly may be wrong, a war which, in any case, does not involve immediately the peace and freedom of the nation. The draft was justified in World War II because the life of the people collectively was at stake. Individuals had to fight, if the nation was to survive, for the lives of their countrymen and their way of life. Viet-Nam is no such case. Nor was Korea an example where, in my opinion, certain military action was justified but the draft was not for the reasons stated above.

Because of my opposition to the draft and the war, I am in great sympathy with those who are not willing to fight, kill, and maybe, die for their country (i.e. the particular policy of a particular government) right or wrong. Two of my friends at Oxford are conscientious objectors. I wrote a letter of recommendation for one of them to his Mississippi draft board a letter which I am more proud of than anything else I wrote at Oxford last year. One of my roommates is a draft resister who is possibly under indictment and may never be able to go home again. He is one of the bravest, best men I know. His country needs men like him more than they know. That he is considered a criminal is an obscenity.

The decision not to be a resister and the related subsequent decisions were the most difficult of my life. I decided to accept the draft in spite of my beliefs for one reason: to maintain my political viability within the system. For years I have worked to prepare myself for a political life characterized by both practical political ability and concern for rapid social progress. It is a life I still feel compelled to try to lead. I do not think our system of government is by definition corrupt, how- ever dangerous and inadequate it has been in recent years. (The society may be corrupt, but that is not the same thing, and if that is true we are all finished anyway.)

When the draft came, despite political convictions, I was having a hard time facing the prospect of fighting a war I had been fighting against, and that is why I contacted you. ROTC was the one way left in which Iíd possibly, but not positively avoid both Viet-Nam and resistance. Going on with my education, even coming back to England, played no part in my decision to join ROTC. I am back here and would have been at Arkansas Law School because there is nothing else I can do. In fact, I would like to have been able to take a year out perhaps to teach in a small college or work on some community action project and in the process to decide whether to attend law school or graduate school and how to begin putting what I have learned to use.

But the particulars of my personal life are not nearly as important to me as the principles involved. After I signed the ROTC letter of intent, I begin to wonder whether the compromise I had made with myself was not more objectionable than the draft would have been, because I had no interest in the ROTC program in itself and all I seemed to have done was to protect myself from physical harm. Also, I began to think I had deceived you, not by lies-there were none-but by failing to tell you all the things Iím writing now. I doubt that I had the mental coherence to articulate them then.

At that time, after we had made our agreement and you had sent my 1-D deferment to my draft board, the anguish and loss of my self regard and self confidence really set in. I hardly slept for weeks and kept going by eating compulsively and reading until exhaustion brought sleep. Finally, on 12 September, I stayed up all night writing a letter to the chairman of my draft board, saying basically what is in the preceding paragraph, thanking him for trying to help in a case where he really couldnít, and stating that I couldnít do the ROTC after all and would he please draft me as soon as possible. I never mailed the letter, but I did carry it on me every day until I got on the plane to return to England. I didnít mail the letter because I didnít see, in the end, how my going in the army and maybe to Viet-Nam would achieve anything except a feeling that I had punished myself and gotten what I deserved. So I came back to England to try to make something of this second year of my Rhodes scholarship.

And that is where I am now, writing to you because you have been good to me and have a right to know what I think and feel. I am writing too, in the hope the my telling this one story will help you to understand more clearly how so many fine people have come to find themselves still loving their country but loathing the military, to which you and other good men have devoted years, lifetimes, of the best service you could give. To many of us, it is no longer clear what is service and what is disservice, or if it is clear, the conclusion is likely to be illegal.

Forgive the length of this letter. There was much-to say. There is still a lot to be said, but it can wait. Please say hello to Col. Jones for me.

Merry Christmas.

Sincerely,

Bill Clinton"

Additionally, here's a pretty informative version of how Clinton went about it:
http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/politics/clintondraft.asp

I'm a Clinton supporter, too. Sheesh!
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