Reuters. 4 June 2002. Air Force Officer Suspended Criticizing Bush.
MONTEREY, Calif. -- A U.S. Air Force officer has been suspended from duty after he wrote a letter to a California newspaper accusing President Bush of allowing the Sept. 11 attacks to happen "because he needed this war on terrorism," a military official said on Tuesday.
Lt. Colonel Steve Butler was relieved of his duties as vice chancellor for student affairs at the Defense Language Institute pending an investigation into his letter, which was published in the Monterey County Herald on May 26, a military spokesman said.
Butler's letter accused Bush of allowing the Sept. 11 attacks to occur for his own political ends.
"Of course Bush knew about the impending attacks on America. He did nothing to warn the American people because he needed this war on terrorism. His daddy had Saddam and he needed Osama," Butler's letter said.
"His presidency was going nowhere. He wasn't elected by the American people, but placed into the Oval Office by the conservative Supreme Court... the economy was sliding into the usual Republican pits and he needed something to hang his presidency on."
Butler, a 24-year Air Force veteran who served as a combat pilot during the 1990 Gulf War, was not immediately available for comment.
His wife, Shelly Butler, told the Herald on Tuesday that the military had given her husband "a lot of grief" over the letter and reassigned him to temporary duty at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, California.
She said he planned to retire in several weeks.
Butler's suspension was apparently based on Article 88 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which says that any commissioned officer who uses "contemptuous words" against the president or other senior officials may be punished by a court-martial.
The Monterey Herald said that the last Article 88 court-martial came in 1965 when an Army second lieutenant was prosecuted for taking part in an anti-war protest in Texas.
Presidio officer relieved of his duties after letter about attacks
Air force colonel suspended after bad-mouthing Bush in letter to California newspaper
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