Remember the Bush/Air National Guard Stories?
Joe Hagan of New York Magazine has written a megareport for Texas Monthly on what is coming out now about George W. Bush’s alleged flight training — well, about his record with the National Guard and all the investigations that ended in Dan Rather being fired by CBS. If you’re not a big defender of Bush, you’ll be glad to know the story turns out to be close to what we libruls believed at the time. If you’re a fan of Dan Rather (count me out), you’ll end up feeling somewhat aggrieved.
The real story, assembled here for the first time in a single narrative, featuring new witnesses and never-reported details, is far more complex than what Rather and Mapes rushed onto the air in 2004. At the time, so much rancorous political gamesmanship surrounded Bush’s military history that it was impossible to report clearly (and Rather’s flawed report effectively ended further investigations). But with Bush out of office, this is no longer a problem. I’ve been reporting this story since it first broke, and today there is more cooperation and willingness to speak on the record than ever before. The picture that emerges is remarkable. Beyond the haze of elaborately revised fictions from both the political left and the political right is a bizarre account that has remained, until now, the great untold story of modern Texas politics. For 36 years, it made its way through the swamps of state government as it led up to the collision between two powerful Texans on the national stage.
And by the time it was over, no one—not Dan Rather, not George W. Bush—would be left unbloodied. …Hagan, TX Monthly
Hint: Bush was no “badass” pilot. He backed away after screwing up. Interestingly, he couldn’t land a plane.
If you’d rather listen to the story, you can hear an interview with Joe Hagan here (see Segment 3).Cross-posted from Prairie Weather