Bush's Record of Shame
George W. Bush's past is, to say the very least, shady. He stands as the only American president with a criminal record. As the new hero of the party that, prior to his election, touted "character" as the ultimate defining characteristic of any American president, this Republican icon's past demonstrates a man who is chronically definitively bereft of character, to say the least.
This record chornicles Bush's less-than-reputable past up to the year 2001, including comments and family arrests that reflect on Bush's own record, actions and character. This record is not complete, and only includes facts (were it to include rumors, it would be several times longer) which can be confirmed in public records.
December, 1966: Bush, after having "a few beers," stole a Christmas wreath from a hotel in New Haven Connecticut. Arrested for disorderly conduct.
1967: Bush is arrested for disorderly conduct when he storms onto the Princeton University football field, climbs onto the field goal crossbar, and tries to break off a piece as a souvenir.
November 8, 1967: Bush defends the use of a red-hot coat hanger to brand pledges in The New York Times, claiming it is defensible because the resulting wound is equivalent to "only a cigarette burn." Before branding pledges, Bush would show them a full-sized branding iron to frighten them. His fraternity is fined $1000.
Late 1960's: After gaining entrance as a "legacy student," Bush maintains a low C average at Yale, the bare minimum to graduate. In his freshman year, he was in the 21st percentile of his class. While at Yale, says he cannot wait to leave the school, and hates its "intellectual snobbery."
Late 1960's: Bush admonishes a Yale schoolmate for admitting plan to avoid serving in Vietnam; calls him "irresponsible."
May 27, 1968: 12 days before his student deferment expires, George W. Bush applies to join the Texas National Guard. Despite a waiting list of 18 months, Bush is signed in the same day. Bush is assigned to a celebrity sons unit, with sons of two other senators (Bentsen and Towers), sons of oil magnates, and 7 sons of Dallas Cowboys players. He was assigned to pilot duty despite a 25% score (lowest possible for duty), and was commissioned to 2nd Lt. despite lack of qualifications or passage through Officer Candidate School. Is trained to fly an F-102, which is being phased out, guaranteed to never be called into duty in Vietnam.
April 1972: Military institutes drug tests in routine exams, including urinalysis, questions about drugs and "a close examination of the nasal cavities" (for cocaine). Bush is due for this exam by August 1972.
May 1972 to May 1973: Bush leaves NG for Alabama without transfer orders; later requests transfer, which is granted then cancelled; he then applies for transfer to Alabama 187th Tactical Recon group, and is approved--but never shows up.
December 1972: Bush returns to Houston for duty. 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). 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. Bush's official discharge date was October 1, 1973, but his last day in uniform was July 31, 10 months earlier.
December 1972: Did community service for Project P.U.L.L., an inner city Houston program for troubled youths; this is completely out of character for Bush at the time. Reports suggest that he was arrested for drunk driving or cocaine use in Houston, and the community service was quietly arranged.
1973: Bush applies for entrance into University of Texas law school, and is rejected. Harvard Business School apparently had lower standards than UT, as it accepted Bush. Bush graduates from Harvard with an MBA in 1975.
September 4, 1976, a state trooper saw Bush's car swerve onto the shoulder, then back onto the road. Bush failed a road sobriety test and blew a .10 blood alcohol, plead guilty, and was fined and had his driver's license suspended. Bush had drunk "several beers" at a local bar before the arrest. His underage sister was in the car when he was driving drunk.
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. Dick Cheney, incidentally, has been arrested twice for drunk driving, in 1962 and 1963.
November 21, 1999: On 'Meet The Press', Tim Russert asks Bush about information about his past coming out; Bush replies, "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." This was a direct lie, as his DUI arrest had not been reported publicly.
November 3, 2000: "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.'" This was a direct lie, as he was arrested for drunk driving in 1976.
Late 1970's to 1980's: Founded Arbusto Oil Company with $20,000 of his own money and $4.7 million from 50 or so investors, mainly family friends. Arbusto fails and is bought by Spectrum 7, owned by Reagan/Bush supporters, in Sept. 1984, which appoints Bush as president. Later, Spectrum 7 also fails, and is bought by Harken, which assigns Bush to board of directors. After Bush joins Harken, it receives $25 million stock offering from bank with CIA ties and which was a top Bush Sr. contributor, a lucrative exclusive contract with Bahrain, and a board member is invited to White House policy meetings with George Bush, Sr.
April, 1986: Bush confronts Wall Street Journal editor Al Hunt in a Mexican diner in Dallas, in front of Hunt's wife and his four-year-old son, saying, "You fucking son of a bitch. I saw what you wrote. We're not going to forget this." Bush was apparently both drunk and upset that Hunt had predicted that Jack Kemp would be the Republican Party nominee instead of his father.
1989-1990: Bush borrows $180,375 from Harken, which later forgave $341,000 in loans to "unnamed" executives; in other words, the executives were allowed to walk off with said money.
May, 1990: Bush Sr. has access to State Department memo warning of possible oil price drops due to Iraq's possible actions. Harken's internal financial advisers at Smith Barney issue a report warning that the company is in financial trouble. Bush Jr. has potential access to the first bit of information, and absolute access to the second.
June, 1990: One month after having access to insider information signalling a drop in the firm's stock value, Bush sold 60% of his stock in Harken Oil for $848,560. 3 months later, Iraq invades Kuwait, sending Harken stock prices down 25%, dropping even more a few months later. SEC, run by his father, fails to investigate.
July 10, 1990: Bush fails to register his sale as an insider trade by deadline; does so in March 1991, far too late. He is not punished.
November 1994: Elected governor of Texas.
March 31, 1995: George and Laura Bush are given new driver's license numbers; Bush's is #000000005. Bush was born on July 6, 1946, and his license was not near expiration. The reason given for the change was "security," but there is no security-based doing this. The change makes following a criminal record more difficult, which would have hindered discovery of any arrests.
September 1996: Bush called to jury duty, and accepts, saying it is a "feeble excuse" to say he's too busy or important. But he is then assigned to a DUI case, and might be asked under oath if he had ever been arrested for drunk driving. Bush asks to be dismissed from jury the night before the trial, and is helped by Alberto R. Gonzales, Bush's legal counsel. Bush later appoints Gonzales to the Texas Supreme Court, and later still to White House counsel. Gonzales is a candidate for a Supreme Court seat if a vacancy arises.
June, 1997: Bush signs law toughening penalties for underage drinkers.
December 31, 1997: Jenna Bush arrested on alcohol charge in Texas. Record is kept confidential as Jenna is 16 at the time, but her name appears in a Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission database.
July 20, 1999: Bush named as defendant in case against funeral home operator SCI. After failing to appear for a deposition on July 1, Bush signs affidavit swearing he had no knowledge of a case involving SCI, which donated $45,000 to Bush, in order to avoid involvement in the case. He swore that he had had no conversations with its officials, but later (Aug. 99) admitted to a conversation with an SCI official, claiming that nothing substantive was discussed--a non-issue, as he did not swear to not having "substantive" conversations, but ANY conversations at all. Texas Funeral Service Commission chief testifies that he spoke with Bush on the matter, which Bush also swore in the affidavit that he did not do. Bush's chief of staff also testified that he spoke with Bush on the matter. Bush is shown to have lied under oath, a transgression that Republicans felt was worthy of impeachment.
August 18, 1999: Bush says, "As I understand it, the current FBI form asks the question, 'Did somebody use drugs within the last 7 years?' and I will be glad to answer that question, and the answer is no." If true, this would only clear Bush after the year 1992.
August 19, 1999: Bush says, "Yesterday, I was asked what I thought was a relevant comment about whether or not I would, should I become the president, have background checks for people who work for me and in the White House, and, if I did, could I pass the standards of the background check. The answer is absolutely. Not only could I pass the background check of the standards applied in today's White House, I could have passed the background check on the standards applied on the most stringent conditions when my dad was president of the United States, a 15-year period." If true, this would only clear Bush after the year 1974, as his father began his presidency in 1989. See Bush's record with community service and with the Texas National Guard just before 1974.
April 27, 2001: Jenna Bush arrested for possession of alcohol as a minor.
May 31, 2001: Jenna and Barbara Bush arrested trying to purchase alcohol as minors. This is Jenna's 3rd arrest, but she avoids the three-strikes law her father signed 4 years earlier.
And that's just before he became president. Since becoming president, Bush...
And let's not forget this golden oldie:
- Has threatened long-cherished US freedoms, liberties and civil rights
- Has consistently used fear and fake security "alerts" to bolster his popularity and sabotage political opponents
- Pretended not to have links to corrupt figures like Ken Lay and Jack Abramoff, not to mention being in the pocket of the Saudis
- Has overseen rampant cronyism, mismanagement in many government agencies like FEMA
- Stayed on vacation and let New Orleans drown for several days while he did nothing
- Raced back from vacation to sign Terri Schiavo legislation that was later proven wrongful
- Staged fake relief operations in Louisiana as photo ops for himself while halting actual rescue operations during his visits
- Took more time off on vacation than any president in history, about 20% of total time in office
- Allowed energy industry to write US energy policy
- Signed legislation designed to benefit pharmaceutical industry against interest of the American people
- Signed legislation designed to benefit banking & credit industry against interest of the American people
- Abrogated multiple international treaties the U.S. had signed and long honored
- Turned international trust, respect and sympathy for the U.S. into contempt, anger, and suspicion
- Allowed the 9/11 attacks on his watch though his administration had multiple warnings and more than enough evidence to stop them
- Fought attempts to investigate 9/11 mismanagement at every turn
- Despite massive spending on "security," has underfunded domestic security
- Has left US ports unprotected and mostly unchecked, gave control of some to country where 9/11 hijackers came from
- Failed to follow up on policies urged by 9/11 commission
- Failed to capture Osama bin Laden
- Has enabled al Qaeda to make massive recruitments
- Lied about Iraq having "massive stockpiles" of WMD
- Lied about Iraq being close to completing a nuclear weapon
- Lied about Iraq trying to buy uranium
- Lied about Iraq's ties with al Qaeda
- Lied about Saddam Hussein's involvement in 9/11
- Lied about his early intent to invade Iraq
- Established dangerous and unethical policy of pre-emptive warfare
- Mismanaged the War in Iraq from the start
- Initially tried to avoid Congressional or U.N. approval for Iraq War before flip-flopping
- Failed to build a coalition that could succeed in winning a long-term war in Iraq
- Failed to prepare an exit strategy from Iraq
- Failed to send enough troops as per the advice of the generals
- Failed to supply troops with necessary gear, especially armor
- Allowed massive looting of everything except oil fields
- Lied about the cost of the war
- Tried to hide flag-draped coffins, does not take time to even sign letters to families
- Has allowed massive corruption and mismanagement causing billions of US tax dollars to be stolen
- Stacked Iraqi press office with GOP operatives during election to fabricate "good" news
- Administration blew cover of CIA operative in retribution for operative's husband exposing Bush lie about Iraq
- Turned a historic budget surplus into a string of record deficits
- Has overseen weakest overall job growth in nearly a century
- Has never used a veto while Republicans in Congress go on biggest pork-barrel spending spree in history
- Has stacked the Supreme Court with ultraconservatives who will destroy Roe v. Wade and dismantle civil rights
- Has consistently short-changed troops, taken away benefits, treated them like crap while constantly using them as window dressing for his photo ops and speeches
- Anemic "recovery" from recession is the weakest and latest-coming in more than half a century
- Has overseen a surge of McJobs: low-paying and benefit-free employment exploding
- Ignored Middle East until situation festered, oversaw terrorist group Hamas gaining power in Palestine
- Ignored North Korea and allowed its nuclear program to go unchecked
- Ignored Iran and allowed its nuclear program to go unchecked
- Did not object in the slightest when "ally" Pakistan gave nuclear secrets to Iran and others then pardoned leaker
- Instigated culture of torture, created secret prisons for that purpose, defended use of torture
- Oversaw sending of "suspects" to be tortured in third-party countries
- Has given multiple massive tax cuts and payoffs to wealthy individuals and to industries while short-changing lower- and middle-class Americans
- Paid journalists to say good things about him and his programs without disclosing payments
- Paid Iraqi journalists to report slanted news
- Lied about whether he'd apply an abortion litmus test to Supreme Court nominees
- Used taxpayer dollars to pay for ads for his campaign, disguised ads as fake "news reports"
- Mismanaged US military until stretched so thin it is unable to do anything more
- Mismanaged US military until recruitment crisis has developed
- Deliberately withheld true cost of Medicare bill from Congress, threatened job of actuary who wanted to reveal truth
- Sent thousands of US soldiers to die, tens of thousands to be maimed, then joked about not finding WMD
- Has sabotaged clean air and water regulations in favor of industry and to the detriment of the environment
- Underfunded education programs and pushed failed testing policies
- Slashed funding for welfare, education and housing while allowing record spending on weapons systems, wars, and wealthy people
- Has consistently suppressed scientific evidence that disagrees with his policies
- Supported "intelligent design" and pushed for it to be taught equal to evolution in public schools
- Smeared long list of former administration officials and agents who spoke out against him, including Paul O'Neill, Joseph Smith, Lawrence Lindsay, Anthony Zinni, Eric Shinseki, Richard Foster, John DiIulio, Scott Ritter, Joseph Wilson, and Richard Clarke
- Has been uniformly hostile to homosexuals and their rights
- Has consistently attacked the separation of church and state
- Authorized illegal wiretapping on American citizens
- Lied about obtaining court warrants for wiretaps before the program was made public
- Lied excessively about his reasons for authorizing illegal wiretaps
- Pretended to speak to the American public but closed events and only allowed in supporters even when taxpayer dollars funded events
- Removed protesters to "free speech zones" far from appearance areas or even travel routes
- Had protesters arrested on bogus charges even when they just wore T-shirts critical of him
- Has acted in an unprecedentedly partisan manner in political affairs
- Under Bush, oil prices have skyrocketed
- Got more of his judicial nominees approved than almost any modern president, then whined and attacked Democrats for being obstructionist, then re-nominated the ones he couldn't get passed previously
- Tried to kill off social security
- Encouraged businesses to move jobs overseas, supporting tax breaks to do so
- Prohibited Medicare from negotiating drug prices with pharmaceutical companies
- Has failed to raise the minimum wage, allowing it to fall to absolutely unlivable levels
- Consistently unwilling to admit to having made any mistakes at all
Much of the above is available via a variety of legitimate news sources. Below is a short list of some of the more significant sources.
Frontline. "The Choice 2000: Bush Chronology."
The Washington Post. "Bush: So-So Student but a Campus Mover."
Newsweek. "Gonzales: Did He Help Bush Keep His DUI Quiet?"
The Baltimore Chronicle. "Predictable Disaster of George W. Bush."
The Core Facts in the Bush National Guard Case.