September 06, 2004

In a sworn affidavit, Barnes testified that he had been approached by a longtime Bush family friend, Houston businessman Sidney Adger, for help in getting George W. Bush into the National Guard.

The Emperor has no uniform...

Michael Dobbs, Washington Post According to a friend who has spoken with Barnes in recent days, Barnes is willing to go public with a charge that he first made behind closed doors in September 1999, when he testified in a wrongful dismissal lawsuit brought by a former associate. In a sworn affidavit, Barnes testified that he had been approached by a longtime Bush family friend, Houston businessman Sidney Adger, for help in getting George W. Bush into the National Guard.
Barnes is telling friends that he understood that
Adger was making his request on behalf of the Bush
family, even though he has no memory of Adger
explicitly saying he was. Barnes reportedly based his
understanding on the knowledge that Adger was
extremely close to the Bush family and his feeling
that Adger would not have acted without their consent.

Cleanse the White House of the Chicken Hawk Coup, Show
Up for Democracy in 2004: Defeat Bush (again!)


http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2004/09/04/MNGS78JRT41.DTL&type=printable

Texan says he helped Bush into Guard
Former politician recalls family friend asking for a
favor
- Michael Dobbs, Washington Post
Saturday, September 4, 2004


Washington -- A former Texas politician has told close
friends that he recommended George W. Bush for a
pilot's slot in the Texas Air National Guard during
the Vietnam War because he was eager to "collect
chits" from an influential political family.

The reported comments by former Texas lieutenant
governor Ben Barnes add fuel to a long-running
controversy over how Bush got a slot in a National
Guard outfit known as the "Champagne Unit" because it
included so many sons of prominent Texans. Friends
said Barnes has recorded an interview for the CBS
program "60 Minutes" that will address the question of
whether the Bush family pulled strings for one of its
sons to evade being sent to Vietnam.

Barnes, a longtime Democrat who works as a lobbyist
and political consultant in Austin, has said he is
"very ashamed" of helping "a lot of people who had
family names of importance get in the National Guard."
He made that statement during a meeting with
supporters of John Kerry, the Democratic presidential
nominee, in Austin on May 27. A video of the meeting
is circulating on the Internet.

Friends said Barnes will expand on these remarks in
his interview with "60 Minutes," while taking care not
to contradict sworn testimony from 1999, in which he
said that no member of the Bush family directly asked
him for help. Barnes was unavailable for comment
Friday.

The White House, which has been anticipating a
Democratic counterattack on Bush's military record
since a flurry of attacks on Kerry by former Vietnam
veterans funded by prominent Republican contributors,
dismissed Barnes as a "partisan Democrat." In a CBS
News interview last week, former President George Bush
described charges that he used his influence to get
his son into the National Guard as "a total lie."

According to a friend who has spoken with Barnes in
recent days, Barnes is willing to go public with a
charge that he first made behind closed doors in
September 1999, when he testified in a wrongful
dismissal lawsuit brought by a former associate. In a
sworn affidavit, Barnes testified that he had been
approached by a longtime Bush family friend, Houston
businessman Sidney Adger, for help in getting George
W. Bush into the National Guard.

Barnes is telling friends that he understood that
Adger was making his request on behalf of the Bush
family, even though he has no memory of Adger
explicitly saying he was. Barnes reportedly based his
understanding on the knowledge that Adger was
extremely close to the Bush family and his feeling
that Adger would not have acted without their consent.


At the time, Barnes was speaker of the Texas House of
Representatives, and the elder George Bush was a
Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas. Barnes was in close touch with the head of
the Texas Air National Guard, Brig. Gen. James Rose.
Adger and Rose are dead.

Barnes has told friends that he intervened with Rose
to help a number of prominent young Texans get into
the National Guard. In addition to Bush, who was
accepted for pilot training in May 1968, other
recruits to the Texas National Guard during the late
1960s included the son of former U.S. Sen. Lloyd
Bentsen and members of the Dallas Cowboys football
team.

"I was collecting chits," Barnes told a friend, in
explaining why he was willing to help Republicans as
well as Democrats.

Lloyd Bentsen III, a Texas venture capitalist who
joined the Guard at the same time as Bush, said
allegations of nepotism are ridiculous, at least in
his case. He said he applied for the post of
accounting and finance officer in the unit and was
accepted on the basis of a master's degree in business
administration from Stanford University.

"The short version of the story is that I heard there
was an opening in the Guard, and I went and applied,"
he said. "I was obviously qualified. There were
openings for officers, but there weren't openings for
enlisted personnel."

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Posted by richard at September 6, 2004 10:43 AM