Sunday, September 19, 2004

Pull of the Bushes (Part 1)

At the 2000 Republican National Convention a biographical video entitled “George W. Bush: The Sky’s The Limit” was played for the delegates gathered at the First Union Center in Philadelphia. Inthe video, George W. Bush fondly recalled his whereabouts during the the first six months of 1973, a period in which he had been contractually obligated to complete his National Guard Service (this is just after he received permission to transfer to the Alabama National Guard so he could work on the unsuccessful campaign for Bush family friend Winton "Red" Blount). According to Dubya: "A wonderful man named John White asked me to come and work with him in a project in the 3rd Ward of Houston called Project P.U.L.L.; it was a mentoring program."

This same promotional video also featured an ex-football player for the Houston Oilers (as well as the AFL San Diego Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs) by the name of Ernie Ladd - who was billed as the co-founder of Project P.U.L.L. (Professionals United for Leadership League). According to Mr. Ladd: "The meaning of P.U.L.L. was Professionals United Leadership League. We had professional people who were school teachers, football players, basketball players, lawyers and doctors involved in helping go into the community and help minority kids."

But George W. Bush wasn't a teacher, a football player, a basketball player, a lawyer or a doctor.

So just what was he doing there? Why was he doing full-time charity work instead of reporting for his National Guard Service?

The infamous book "Fortunate Son" by J.H. Hatfield postulated that the young George Bush performed community service at Project P.U.L.L. in order to erase a cocaine-possession infraction from his record.

Well, I don't have anything new to report that would add credence (or disbelief) to this theory. But there is something else about this story which has caught my eye.

Did John White - another ex-football player for the Houston Oilers who died in 1988 - really ask George Bush to come work on Project P.U.L.L.?

When news about Hatfield's book first broke in October of 1999, Charles Kelly and Kris Mayes - writing for The Arizona Republic - reported that they had contacted three people who said they "never heard that Bush performed the work to erase a cocaine-possession infraction from his record. One of those contacted, Ernie Ladd, a former Houston Oilers football player and co-founder of the program with fellow Oiler John White, said White never mentioned that the younger Bush's service was in any way linked to drugs. "If this would have been true, John White would have told me, and John White has gone to his grave and he never told me about it," Ladd said.

But did John White take the truth with him to his grave?

Or are Ernie Ladd and George W. Bush lying?

Because if it had been true, John White would have never have had to tell Ernie Ladd.

Ernie Ladd would've known. After all, Ernie "Big Cat" Ladd and Dubya's Poppa, George Herbert Walker Bush, had been buddies ever since the late sixties (

Why would the 6-foot-9, 320-pound ex-football player and Hall of Fame wrestler lie for the Bushes?

From what I've been able to drudge up so far, it appears to be the same old, boring motive that it always turns out to be: power & money.



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