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Tuesday, October 19, 2004

PTI 961 

Via our distinguished colleagues at Corrente: We have long considered George W. Bush to be, like the appendix, one of God's most useless creations. Today we learned, thanks to the invaluable efforts of Paul Lukasiak at The AWOL Project, that the Texas Air National Guard arrived at much the same conclusion over three decades ago:
New information with regard to the meaning of a special code which appears on George W. Bush’s Air National Guard discharge papers indicates that he was being thrown out of the Air National Guard for failing “to possess the required military qualifications for his grade or specialty, or does not meet the mental, moral, professional or physical standards of the Air Force.” In other words, despite the fact that Bush had an unfulfilled six year Military Service Obligation, he was discharged from the Air National Guard not because he moved to Boston, but because he failed to meet his obligation to maintain his qualifications as an F102 pilot.

The special code is “PTI 961”, and is found in the “Reason and Authority for Discharge” section of Bush’s NGB-22, his “Report of Separation and Record of Service in the Air National Guard of Texas and as a Reserve of the Air Force” . . . .

This “complete severance” was an extraordinary event. Under ordinary circumstances, an obligor would be retained in an active status upon being discharged from the Air National Guard and reassigned to the Air Reserve Personnel Center in Denver Colorado. ARPC had two special “paper units” designed specifically for those with unfulfilled Military Service Obligations . . . .

The fact that Bush was discharged from the Texas Air National Guard under a Personnel Transaction Identifier used to denote a reduction in total Air Force strength means Bush was considered not merely “useless” under present circumstances, but of no possible use to the Air Force at any point in the future. PTI 961 meant that Bush was unfit for service in the United States Armed Forces, and that there was no point in keeping him around in case of a national emergency.
Lukasiak works exclusively from documents released by the Pentagon and the White House and spends endless hours poring over contemporaneous military regulations in order to interpret the arcana of Bush's service record. But, thanks to Dan Rather's lamentable memo gaffe, the issue of Bush's guard service is radioactive -- and Lukasiak's outstanding reportage is utterly ignored by the mainstream press.

Hmm. Think Sinclair might like to run the story as an hourlong documentary?

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