Wednesday, April 19, 2006

An Oldie But a Goodie

In case anyone is wondering why I am so annoyed by a certain columnist mentioned below, it goes back a couple of years to this editorial. In which he makes the following claim:

My mother was intensely proud of her kids, and saved clippings and other notices of notoriety as we built our careers. When she died this year, I inherited a stack of memorabilia, but nowhere among them was a flattering letter to my dad from my National Guard commander.

At its command levels, the Guard has always been a very political organization, anxious to do favors for the likes of Congressman George H.W. Bush by looking after a late-maturing son. But my dad was a farmer and millworker, not a congressman, and nothing would have been gained from the flattery.

From piles of documents (some apparently faked) and interviews, it is apparent that the future President George W. Bush did in fact get special treatment from the Texas Air National Guard. Those of us who put in our time can justly feel some resentment.

The letter in question, of course, was not from LT Bush's National Guard commander, it was from MG G.B. Greene, the active duty Air Force commander of the base LT Bush was training at, and thus could hardly prove the point of corruption and influence in the National Guard chain-of-command that Professor McKay was trying to make. When I e-mailed the good professor, he originally denied that he was wrong, and then when shown overwhelming proof, conceded that I was correct, but that it did not change his column at all. The Seattle Times, like most newspapers, does not run corrections to editorials, so this error remains to this day.