Hesiod and Oliver are all claiming that Bill Campenni who wrote this letter to the Washington Times is a liar.
Why? Because they believe he says that he was either a witness to President Bush being in Alabama at the time Bush says he was there. They say that's impossible because Campenni was in Pittsburgh at the time flying for another unit, so he couldn't possibly account for Bush's whereabouts during that time.
Problem is, they are missing one crucial fact from Campenni's letter:
He never claims he served with Bush in Alabama nor does he claim to have been there.
'Bush and I were lieutenants'
George Bush and I were lieutenants and pilots in the 111th Fighter Interceptor Squadron (FIS), Texas Air National Guard (ANG) from 1970 to 1971. We had the same flight and squadron commanders (Maj. William Harris and Lt. Col. Jerry Killian, both now deceased). While we were not part of the same social circle outside the base, we were in the same fraternity of fighter pilots, and proudly wore the same squadron patch.
In fact, of course, Mr. Bush did stretch the truth. The run-up to Iraq was all about exaggerations, but not flat-out lies. Indeed, there's some evidence that Mr. Bush carefully avoids the most blatant lies
Though he is Shiite, Allawi was once upon a time an active Baathist, a member of Saddam Hussein's political party, and is thought to enjoy much support among the officer corps of the old Iraqi army, and by extension among many former Baathists and influential Sunni. Indeed, there are reports that the reason Ahmed Chalabi, the neoconservative favorite, urged his friends in the White House to dissolve the army last year -- a decision now acknowledged to be the most disastrous of the occupation -- was Chalabi's fear of the support enjoyed by his rival (and cousin -- everyone in Baghdad is related) within the military.
Just as Chalabi did, Allawi, in his quiet way, supplied the requisite quota of misinformation on Saddam's WMD to justify the Bush-Blair war program. The infamous lie about Saddam's ability to deploy biological weapons in 45 minutes that Blair put out in his dossier came from Allawi's organization.
Under torture after his rendition to Egypt, al Libi had provided a confession of how Saddam Hussein had been training al Qaeda in chemical weapons. This evidence was used by Colin Powell at the United Nations a year earlier (February 2003) to justify the war in Iraq. ("I can trace the story of a senior terrorist operative telling how Iraq provided training in these [chemical and biological] weapons to al Qaeda," Powell said. "Fortunately, this operative is now detained, and he has told his story.")
But now, hearing how the information was obtained, the CIA was soon to retract all this intelligence. A Feb. 5 cable records that al Libi was told by a "foreign government service" (Egypt) that: "the next topic was al-Qa'ida's connections with Iraq...This was a subject about which he said he knew nothing and had difficulty even coming up with a story."
Al Libi indicated that his interrogators did not like his responses and then "placed him in a small box approximately 50cm X 50cm [20 inches x 20 inches]." He claimed he was held in the box for approximately 17 hours. When he was let out of the box, al Libi claims that he was given a last opportunity to "tell the truth." When al Libi did not satisfy the interrogator, al Libi claimed that "he was knocked over with an arm thrust across his chest and he fell on his back." Al Libi told CIA debriefers that he then "was punched for 15 minutes." (Sourced to CIA cable, Feb. 5, 2004).
Here was a cable then that informed Washington that one of the key pieces of evidence for the Iraq war -- the al Qaeda/Iraq link -- was not only false but extracted by effectively burying a prisoner alive.