Concerning lieutenant Bush

The Democratic Veteran has some thoughts about GWB’s “honorable” record in the Texas Air National Guard. It seems that the DD-214 (that’s what feather merchants like you and me call “discharge papers”) used to contain a set of numbers called “separation codes” that told quite a lot about the holder’s actual military service. The media, the McCain campaign, and the Gore campaign all having failed to do their plain duty two years ago, this is largely an exercise in shutting the barn door after the horse is stolen, but there would still be some value in helping to expose Bush’s assertions about his service as the tissue of lies they almost certainly are. If you think this stuff is pretty irrelevant to debates over serious public policies, you’re right. If you think it’s not effective, ask who controls the Presidency and both houses of Congress: the party that perfected the politics of personal destruction.

Everyone should check out the story; experts in freedom-of-information law should get in touch with the Democratic Veteran directly.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com