1968, former Congressman George Herbert Walker
Bush of Texas, fresh from voting to send other
men's sons to Vietnam, enlisted his own son in
a very special affirmative action program, the
'champagne' unit of the Texas Air National Guard.
There, Top Gun fighter pilot George Dubya was
assigned the dangerous job of protecting Houston
from Vietcong air attack.
week, former Lt. Governor Ben Barnes of Texas
'fessed up to pulling the strings to keep Little
George out of the jungle. "I got a young man named
George W. Bush into the Texas Air Guard - and
far from the end of the story. In 1994, George
W. Bush was elected governor of Texas by a whisker.
By that time, Barnes had left office to become
a big time corporate lobbyist. To an influence
peddler like Barnes, having damning information
on a sitting governor is worth its weight in gold
or, more precisely, there's a value in keeping
the info secret.
appears to have made lucrative use of his knowledge
of our President's slithering out of the draft
as a lever to protect a multi-billion dollar contract
for a client. That's the information in a confidential
letter buried deep in the files of the US Justice
Department that fell into my hands at BBC television.
Here's what happened. Just after Bush's election,
Barnes' client GTech Corp., due to allegations
of corruption, was about to lose its license to
print money: its contract to run the Texas state
lottery. Barnes, says the Justice Department document,
made a call to the newly elected governor's office
and saved GTech's state contract.
letter said, "Governor Bush ... made a deal with
Ben Barnes not to rebid [the GTech lottery contract]
because Barnes could confirm that Bush had lied
during the '94 campaign."
that close race, Bush denied the fix was in to
keep him out of 'Nam, and the US media stopped
asking questions. What did the victorious Governor
Bush's office do for Barnes? According to the
tipster, "Barnes agreed never to confirm the story
[of the draft dodging] and the governor talked
to the chair of the lottery two days later and
she then agreed to support letting GTech keep
the contract without a bid."
so it came to pass that the governor's commission
reversed itself and gave GTech the billion dollar
deal without a bid.
happy client paid Barnes, the keeper of Governor
Bush's secret, a fee of over $23 million. Barnes,
not surprisingly, denies that Bush took care of
his client in return for Barnes' silence. However,
confronted with the evidence, the former Lt. Governor
now admits to helping the young George stay out
a look at the letter yourself - with information
we confirmed with other sources at:
I don't care if President Bush cowered and ran
from Vietnam. I sure as hell didn't volunteer
... but then, my daddy didn't send someone else
in my place. And I don't march around aircraft
carriers with parachute clips around my gonads
talking about war and sacrifice.
important, I haven't made any pay-offs to silence
those who could change my image from war hero
to war zero.
WARNER WON'T LET US AIR THIS"
the way: I first reported this story in 1999,
including the evidence of payback, in The Observer
of London. US media closed its eyes. Then I put
the story on British television last year in the
one-hour report, "Bush Family Fortunes." American
networks turned down BBC's offer to run it in
the USA. "Wonderful film," one executive told
me, "but Time Warner is not going to let us put
this on the air." However, US networks will take
cash for advertisements calling Kerry a Vietnam
good news is, until Patriot Act 3 kicks in, they
can't stop us selling the film to you directly.
The updated version of "Bush Family Fortunes,"
with the full story you still can't see on your
boob tube, will be released next month in DVD.
See a preview at: http://www.gregpalast.com/bff-dvd.htm.
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