portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article commentary united states

government

Clinton (slick willie) and the draft

How the majority of my generation felt about the Vietnam draft including President Clinton
Viet Nam Draft



By John D. Dennison



How the Majority of my generation felt about the Vietnam Draft including President Clinton








In response to a social studies teacher's question, I searched the Internet for Bill Clinton's ROTC letter to give her an idea how the majority of my generation felt about the Vietnam draft including the President of the United States, William Clinton.

It is my opinion that Bill Clinton's actions toward the draft was not a separate case, but his actions, and those of his family and friends using influence were reflected throughout the United States by thousands of other American families. The vast majority of male students attending colleges and universities were very concerned and fearful of the draft. Most did not go to Bill Clinton's extremes.

In 1964 Bill Clinton was classified 2-S (student deferment), which protected him from the draft throughout his undergraduate years at Georgetown University. As Bill Clinton approached graduation from Georgetown in 1968 his classification was changed to 1-A (Available for the draft).

Family and friends with political influence kept Bill Clinton out of the draft after his graduation from Georgetown University. His uncle, Raymond Clinton, in 1968 personally contacted Senator Fulbright, William Armstrong (Chairman of the Hot Springs draft board) and Lt. Commander Tice Ellis, Jr. (Commanding Officer of the local Naval Reserve unit) to obtain a slot for Bill in the Naval Reserve. A slot was especially created for Bill when no existing reserve slots were open at his local reserve unit.

Bill Clinton, choosing not to follow through, failed to show up at the reserve unit for his interview and physical. Raymond Clinton later informed Lt. Com. Ellis that Bill would not be joining the reserves and that everything has been taken care of.

Robert Corrado a former member of the Hot Springs draft board in 1968 recalled the chairman of the three man draft board held back Clinton's file with the explanation that we have to give him time to go to Oxford. Corrado
further stated that Armstrong complained about an aid from Senator Fulbright's office urging him and his fellow board members to give every consideration to keep Clinton out of the draft. Clinton's draft file was routinely held back from consideration by the full board for the remainder of the year.

On February 2nd, 1969 Bill Clinton, while at Oxford University, finally takes his physical for the armed services and passes. His pre-induction physical was delayed over 10 months (twice as long as anyone else in his age group and situation).

In April 1969 Clinton fails to show up for his induction to military service. Clinton claims he did not receive the notice until after the dead line date and the draft board told him to ignore this notice.

While still in Oxford, Bill Clinton begins planning his appeal for his next induction notice. The plan he comes up with is to have his notice rescinded by joining the R.O.T.C. at the University of Arkansas.

In July of 1969 Clinton returns home from Oxford after he receives a second induction notice. He is to report on July 28, 1969.


Clinton's friend and Oxford classmate, Cliff Jackson, had several friends in influential positions arranged a meeting for Bill Clinton with Col. William A. Hawkins. Hawkins was the only man in the State of Arkansas who could rescind the induction notice.


Clinton's induction notice was rescinded and was admitted into the Arkansas University R.O.T.C. program after he promised to enroll in law school at the University of Arkansas. Bill's new draft classification is 1-D (ROTC deferment)


For the remainder of the summer, Bill Clinton goes to Washington D.C. and works with the anti-war movement at the National Headquarters of the Vietnam Moratorium.


As September approached, Bill Clinton fails to enroll at the University Arkansas and returns to England around mid-September of 1969. It is quite clear that major changes in the draft would be forthcoming in the next few days or weeks. Clinton's appearance at Oxford was unexpected and he had to sleep on the floor in his friend's room.


In October and again in November 1969 Clinton organized and led anti-war demonstrations in London, England with the support of the British Peace Council, which was backed by the World Peace Council who was a front for the KGB.


October 30, 1969 Clinton was automatically reclassified to 1-A eligible for induction, after he failed to enroll at the University of Arkansas. Bill Clinton today, claims he volunteer for the draft but has no proof. Regardless, by this time a freeze was put on the draft until the lottery was established.

The Selective Service Lottery was held on December 1, 1969. Clinton's birthday draws number 311 in the first lottery. This high number guarantees Clinton will not be called up for the draft.


Two days later Clinton writes his infamous ROTC letter to Col. Holmes thanking him for saving him from the draft.
Good Thing 23.Nov.2003 21:33

For Us

Well, it's a good thing he never pretended to serve, now isn't it?

Oh, and it's a good thing he's not running for re-election next year, now isn't it?

But we have someone else to worry about, now don't we?

Bush in '04 = Draft in '05 23.Nov.2003 23:25

pete

I too did what ever it took to get out of the draft in 1970. My draft lottery number was 47 and I was sure to be Saigon bound. The whole experience the day I reported was unreal. It was like a stockyard that was processing livestock for the slaughter. They had it down to a science by the time my turn came up. Eighteen year old kids, hundreds of us, wondering around in our underware with a clipboard, being herded from station to station, (moo...) each one staffed with a medical professional performing some measure of physical ability. The bottom line was that if you had two arms and legs, had a pulse and could fog a mirror, you were given 48 hours to report and get on a train that led straight to boot camp. Talk about a culture shock. Most everyone had the look of horror on their faces but there was nothing one could do short of going to jail. Being totally freaked out by what was happening, I convinced that doctors that I was suffering from migrane headaches and pressure within my skull. I had just undergone surgery to remove a large cyst form my head and milked it for all it was worth. They told me to return the next day with a doctors statement and records to back up my claim. They also informed me that if I was lying, I was in deep shit. My doctor, who had no use for the war, gave me what I needed and I was awarded a 1-Y medical deferment. A decision I have never regretted.

Bill Clinton used his influence to get out as did Bush. The difference is that Clinton would cut an run in the event of US troop casualties abroad. The current war party much resembles that of the Johnson administration back in the day. "Bring 'em On!"

Having observed a number of hours of the History Channel's JFK marathon, I caught a particular interesting documentary on the presidency of Lyndon Johnson, and the escalation of the Vietnam War starting with the Bay of Tonkin incident. (or non-incident) The escalation in the deployment of ground troops really started to gain steam in the summer of 1965 as requested by Gen Westmoreland. I was about about 13 years old at the time. and figured it would be over by the time I turned 18. By 1970, Nixon was at the healm, the country was torn apart from the war, 50,000 troops were dead, and the US was desparately trying to develop and exit stategy. "Peace with Honor" they dubbed it. The draft was still in full swing and troops were still coming home body bags. The entire country was totally fed up with this war by this time and I had no intention of getting my ass drafted. I'd already seen a number my pals come home all shot up and worse. It was clear to the entire world that the US would never claim victory in South East Asia. It was just a matter of when the government would admit defeat, get the fuck out, and bring the troops home.

The similarities between then and now are indeed striking. Just as Westmoreland asked for more troops to attain a sure victory, we are hearing the same rumblings from many in the war party. And, just as Johnson waited until the election in 1964 was in the bag before escalating the war, Bush is waiting for the election of 2004 before he really cranks it up. There is no doubt in my mind that if George W. Bush is elected to a second term, military conscription will resume and we will once again witness our children slaughtered in mass. This time there will be no 2S deferment for college students, everybody goes, unless of couse you are from wealth or can prove a physical disability.

We have already surpassed the number of troops killed in the first two years of Vietnam in just seven months in Iraq. The US military, despite all of it's shock and awe power, is no better prepared to fight a guerilla war now then it was then. It took 58,500 troop deaths before we got out the last time, let us pray history does not repeat.

pete

I like pete above, beat the draft, but also served in different manner... 24.Nov.2003 21:44

beeray

In furtherance to pete's comment above, I too beat the draft in the late 1960's, and would do it again as I have absolutely no doubt about it being right for me at that time. While a sophomore in high school in the early 1960's, my 90+ year old grandfather loaned me a book and urged me to read it. The book was A NON-COMMUNIST MANIFESTO (1960) by Walt Rostow, who was economic advisor to JFK that fell from favor, but later restored to great admiration by LBJ. In this book, Rostow laid-out the framework for the eventual military intervention in Viet Nam, just the same as THE GRAND CHESSBOARD by Zbigniew Brzezinski, and THE CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS AND THE REMAKING OF WORLD ORDER by Samuel P. Huntington have done for military interven- tions in Afganistan and Iraq. Rostow's book laid out the "moral justification" and it was pure and simple>>>economic need to keep America in a perpetual war, and this book described the "plan" as was later followed very closely in detail to get America in the war. JFK had come to repudiate Rostow's ideas and unending lobbying for war, whereas LBJ was most eager to comply with the plan. Once a person read this book, then if you had any moral sense about you, there was no way then to support this war. In fact, one was complelled to oppose it all the more. By time JFK was killed, there was no doubt in my mind then that it was a conspiracy with LBJ at the center of it. Likewise, fellow conspirator's were surely J. Edgar Hoover, H. L. Hunt, mafia dons, CIA, and a host of unsavoy character's that later popped up on the American political stage to ply their evil craft. And, by time I graduated from high school some 6 months later, it was so obvious that LBJ was beating the war drums, but had to do so softly as he had to stand election against Barry Goldwater, who was protrayed as the unstable militaristic nutcase that would drag us to war (not necessarily the truth though), while LBJ lied all the while as to his intents. Once LBJ won the election in Nov. 1964, it was full-speed ahead, so by summer of 1965, as a nation, we were upping the ante considerably after the contrived Tonkin Gulf incident...the winds of war were hurricane force! Those who could truly understand the evil nature of this war were naturally unwilling to participate. Frankly, as I saw it, how in the world could such a country as Viet Nam (both South and North) --a peasant society on the one hand, and corrupt capitalistic society with the other--be a serious threat to America's security? How could tiny North Viet Nam ever pose a threat at our very shores and borders? They had no Navy, no Air Force, no Weapons of Mass Destruction...just a determined sense not to accept defeat. How was this country our enemy? So, they weren't my enemy, nor enemy to those I loved and cared for; and so, I surely reasoned that it wasn't my war to fight. I thus felt a moral imperative to avoid the draft at all costs. I enrolled in college in 1965 to study engineering (with its student deferment), joined ROTC to "play the game" and gain skills and what little $ they dolled out then, and participated in anti-war demonstrations and various "actions" till I eventually graduated in 1969 Then, I had to do it differently: I refused to take the ROTC commission, and opted instead to take an entry level engineering job with major con- tractor doing defense work, primarily underground construction. This afforded me a further deferment till I finally quit this firm in 1970 to try something else, and by which time, the draft had been abolished and my need to work for these "types" no longer needed. While I worked for them, rest well assured that I served the cause of humanity (as opposed to the serving the corrupted state that America's governance had become at that time) by stealth and sly, as I was lowly field engineer on a number of con- struction projects for missile silo's and underground caverns in the mid-west...the then state-of-the-arts technology for projecting American horror upon the rest of the world. Well, be that as it may be, these multimillion $ missiles may be scary as all hell, but are quite ineffective "if" they aren't able to get out of their respective silo's when the button's are pushed...not when the concrete walls cave in collapse around it as it vibrates to full ejection delivery mode. No, they ain't going anywhere, and those who pushed buttons are going to be sorely perplexed for sure! (fortunately, they were never pushed, nor fully tested in anger, and these sites are now decommissioned as obsolete...and so, who knows really what would have happened had they pushed those buttons?) So, the moral of story>>>>we are each one called upon to serve in times like this when the winds of war are being blown by evil men, who do so for self-gain, vanity, and demented egos, and we owe ourselves, our families, our friends, our fellow citizens, and all of humanity to become as fully informed, as fully educated as to the facts, and be willing to act upon them, with highest moral sense of purpose possible, or suffer the fate to be ensnaired in the beast's maw and spite back out in it's war machine to be just one more causality amongst thousands or millions. So, when I hear mention of the draft being reinstated, I take notice... ...especially now, as the same stage is being set as in 1964, only different actors (albeit same bunch of Texas WhiteTrash...just a generation removed), and I take it seriously, as should all of YOU! If Bush get's re-elected, the draft is sure to follow. Look at the history folk's...see the repetition, same script, same game plan. These type of people aren't very imaginative by any means. But, they are liars, masters of deception, skilled at deceit, and willing to sacrafice you and your loved ones for their self-gain. So, if you truly understand that fact, then why would you willingly be passive in the face of such unbounded evil? Why would you be so complacent in the face of such fate that lurks behind these people? Wake up and see what in the hell is happening! Bill Clinton may have done it differently than others, but why not? Those who did avoid the draft then, did so in unique ways as they are unique in themselves. Why condemn him for it? Why condemn anyone for having the willingness to really analyze the situation and then take a decided moral stance against a monstrous wrong? It was not cowardedness that motivated such re- sistence to the draft, as much as it was a higher love for ALL humanity as opposed to a misguided fear that elevated a small figment thereof; and to take such a stance in the face of such awesome military power and a highly militarized culture is brave indeed! I know! So, resist all you can, and don't stop till the resistence forces changes that make moral sense...not economic sense! OK! Enuf said!

Thank you guys so much 25.Nov.2003 03:16

anonymous

Thank you guys so much for rich, real wisening experience. It's worth 100 times any ideology any day.