In Defense of the President
Jude Wanniski
February 20, 2004


Memo To: Website Fans, Browsers, Clients
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: The National Guard Flap

Here I am back again for the third time this week on the controversy surrounding President Bush's National Guard service 30 years ago. The reason is that I've gotten more e-mails, pro and con, than anything I've written in the last several months. This is probably because I first wrote that I had been thinking of writing a defense of Mr. Bush, but decided I had to get back on the fence when questions were raised that I could not answer. The most persuasive e-mails I got were from longtime readers who assured me they were not Bush supporters vis a vis the war in Iraq, but who said they were familiar with the practices of the Guard in the 1970s and could assure me the record-keeping was lax on who was where, when, in comparison to the regular armed forces, where the record-keeping was close to perfection.

The case may not quite be closed, but an article by Byron York in the National Review this week comes as close as anything I've read to putting the issue in context and covering all the bases in a way that caused me to again feel good about the only President we have -- in the sense that I don't think he has lied to the American people about his military service. I still reserve the right to criticize him for acting unwisely on Iraq. Here is the link to the piece by Byron York, who incidentally is an excellent reporter who has won my plaudits over the years for his reporting on economics and finance. He's now the White House correspondent for NR.