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The Best Way To Avoid A Draft

Is to reelect the man making contingency plans to draft medical specialists. Obviously. There's no question in my mind. Pay no attention to the reality-based community.

October 19, 2004 | Permalink


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» There Are No Plans To Reinstate The Draft from Three Guys
And we certainly don't have any plans to draft doctors and other health care professionals, either. Don't be absurd. [Read More]

Tracked on Oct 19, 2004 12:30:38 PM

» Practice your "love" in Iraq, doc from Majikthise
The right wingers are already grumbling that these are just contingency plans. If so, they are plans for a flip flop. George W. Bush already promised that there would be no draft as long as he is the president. So, the option of the draft shouldn't eve... [Read More]

Tracked on Oct 19, 2004 2:16:18 PM


It's certainly nice to know that Bush can find time in his busy schedule to do the jobs of everybody in the government under him. Since that's the only way anyone could honestly say the HE is making these contingency plans, rather than that somebody in the Selective Service is routinely updating existing plans, as is suggested by your link.

Posted by: Brett Bellmore | Oct 19, 2004 11:19:26 AM

It is also interesting that the interim head of the SSS also holds the dual role as the CFO of the Department of Education. His Appointment became effective in April 2004.

Posted by: Matt B | Oct 19, 2004 11:24:31 AM

While I relate to your sentiments, the situation is way beyond sarcasm, which at any rate doesn't do much for the know-nothing voters who will likely decide whether fantasy or reality prevails for the next four years.

Posted by: julian | Oct 19, 2004 11:39:57 AM

Brett Bellmore | October 19, 2004 11:19 AM

>It's certainly nice to know that Bush can find time in his busy schedule to do the jobs of everybody in the government under him.

I guess it's also nice to know that everybody in the government under him doesn't listen to him. It strikes me that, if they did, they would know that there wouldn't be a draft. So why waste the effort for contingency plans for something that isn't going to happen?

On the other hand, Bush's "busy schedule" apparently doesn't have a lot to do with his being president. And I'm not just talking about the amount of time he spends in--or even near--DC.


Posted by: raj | Oct 19, 2004 11:44:04 AM

Whatever Bush is planning, it won't be The Draft.

Instead, it will be mandatory military service in exchange for Social Security benefits. See, he didn't say how he was going to pay for medical savings accounts -- because the answer is putting Grandma in Army boots!

Posted by: Grumpy | Oct 19, 2004 12:00:12 PM

The best way, Liberal, to ensure the health of our country is to re elect the man, the leader, who has repeatedly demonstrated throughout his God blessed life an ability to game the Liberal big government health system.

Our Good President knows more about manipulating Doctor's appointments, physical examinations, and public health policy than anyone -- and he should. So some "Seniors" are complaining about his drug coverage. What a bunch of pessimists. Surely they are liberals, too. Sick, weak Liberals. Our President is resolute in his goodness to avoid those Liberal doctors and experts who would like nothing more than to trip him up, to put a stranglehold on the Freedom of a man who is making the world more free.

Posted by: Free Lover of Freedom and Free Liberty | Oct 19, 2004 12:03:26 PM

Grumpy | October 19, 2004 12:00 PM

>Whatever Bush is planning, it won't be The Draft.

>Instead, it will be mandatory military service in exchange for Social Security benefits.

Not likely. It will be mandatory military service in exchange for student loans and government insured home mortgages, and other government goodies. SS is too far out--timewise--for most people who are 18-22 to be concerned about.

Of course, all of this merely induces another form of discrimination--in this case economic--on the draft.

Posted by: raj | Oct 19, 2004 12:04:57 PM

Shorter Matthew: "Whatever you do, DON'T DO ANY PLANNING!"


Posted by: Al | Oct 19, 2004 12:10:22 PM


You make a whole lot of assertions and I can't even begin to agree or disagree with you, because I have no idea where you get them. You obviously hate Bush, which I have noticed often takes you from a sound statement of fact into flights of conspiracy theories. Which is this?

Posted by: Kevin | Oct 19, 2004 12:13:58 PM

Raj, the government has standing plans to draft physicians in case of necessity. They've had those plans for decades, and periodically update them. It makes as much sense to use one of those updates to say that Bush is making contingency plans to draft physicians, as it does to say that he turns the lights on for the Washington Monument each night when the sun goes down. It's just one of those things underlings routinely do, year in, and year out, regardless of who's in office.

You people really ARE desperate. But I'll give Mat this: He gave us fair warning he was going to become a partisan hack for the duration of the campaign.

Posted by: Brett Bellmore | Oct 19, 2004 12:19:25 PM

From the linked article: "In 1987, Congress enacted a law requiring the Selective Service to develop a plan for 'registration and classification' of health care professionals essential to the armed forces." They're updating the plan. That's what organizations do. They periodically update plants. Big deal.

Posted by: ostap | Oct 19, 2004 12:23:50 PM

The confidential report that Robert Pear uncovered for the NYT isn't about planning the draft in the abstract. The report is a public relations plan to sell the medical draft to an unwilling public in the near future. Specifically, the report is about how to sell a draft of 36,000 medical workers to for Iraq.

Posted by: Lindsay Beyerstein | Oct 19, 2004 12:39:13 PM

That's why you update plans periodically, silly; So that they fit current circumstances.

Posted by: Brett Bellmore | Oct 19, 2004 12:41:07 PM

Bush has contingency plans of everything but he has said that volunteer forces are superior to the conscripted forces that Democrats propose. The only one who doesn't have contingency plans is the heretic John Kerry. Instead of having contingency plans, Kerry has a plan requiring mandatory national service for all highschool students.

Posted by: Modern Crusader | Oct 19, 2004 12:42:56 PM

Given the reporting that has been done on the matter over the past year, it seems disingenuous to take the position that either "there's no unusual draft planning" or "there is draft planning but it's so super secret that our busy President knows nothing about it."

Last November the Pentagon was caught quietly advertising to fill vacancies on draft boards, something that no one has worried about since ASIA was topping the Billboard charts. When pressed for a reason why the Pentagon could give none. They quietly pulled the ad and Rumsfeld said "Gee golly whiz, I don't know anyone in the Executive Branch who thinks its appropriate to bring back the draft."

Then in the spring of this year Selective Service began rolling out plans for expanding the draft to females, upping the age limit as high as 36, and developing a skills draft. Again Rumsfeld said, "Well, who know why we're doing this? It's probably nothing."

Now we have the Medical Skills Draft planning and again people are saying -- and I think Matt referenced it best -- pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

A hot-potato item like the draft doesn't just slide by this administration which vets EVERYTHING for its political ramifications. Hell, they control their message to such an extent that they've gone to obscure government websites and removed references to safe-sex and condoms and replaced them with abstinence-only to play to their base; they require people to sign loyalty oaths to hear the president speak so that only clapping will be heard; they have him speak on a monitor from a softball game where each person batting behind him is "#43." NOTHING gets by these guys.

The most likely scenario given what we know is that, yes -- they are of course planning for a draft, and it's such a big job and the situation is so dire they needed to start before the November elections, and they are just doing their best to keep the denials up until it's no longer politically necessary.

Posted by: Windhorse | Oct 19, 2004 12:43:23 PM

If a medical emergency related to armed conflict is anticipated why doesn't the government start a more lucrative program recruiting medical personnel into the reserves? Reverves are legally bound to respond to a call-up. If surplus medical personnel are available because they've joined the reserves due to an offer they couldn't refuse it would possibly eliminate the need for a selective draft.

Posted by: steve duncan | Oct 19, 2004 12:52:51 PM

So, do you all suppose Kerry opposes this plan to conscript medical professionals in the event of a national emergency? The article doesn't specify that "national emergency" only constitutes war on foreign soil. If AQ succeeds in setting off an atomic suitcase in some city, or if there's a 9.4 in California, I rather think we'll need such coercive measures.

Posted by: P.B. Almeida | Oct 19, 2004 12:57:43 PM

Like Brett said, a plan is useless if it doesn't fit your current circumstances. More disturbing is the need of the press to publish anything which is classified. I have a fit when I see things released to the public before they have been cleared. Not because it is some big conspiracy against the hapless American public, but because lives are often on the line. When things are classified, it is generally for a reason. Putting classified material in the press, to me, is truly criminal. The Selective Service folks doing there job, not so much criminal or worrisome.

Posted by: Kevin | Oct 19, 2004 12:57:59 PM

This administration doesn't make contingency plans. They plan one course of action and stick to it. If they've started planning for something to happen, it will happen. Saves paperwork that way.

Posted by: SP | Oct 19, 2004 1:00:10 PM

Really, Kevin? They only classify things that need to be classified? Surely you've heard of the document where they redacted a quote from a supreme court decision? Maybe if they didn't abuse the classification system I'd believe that the press shouldn't publish classified materials, but we have no reason to trust this administration's judgement.

Posted by: SP | Oct 19, 2004 1:03:17 PM

The Bushies are like a pelican- they will swallow ANYTHING. Believe me, people do not become doctors so they can be drafted. In fact, half the people who are doctors go nutso if you talk about having them accept patients insured by the government. The Bush people are getting ready to draft doctors because they know they won't get a lot of volunteers.

Yes, they would like to pretend "This is just boring routine- move long, nothing to see here". Just the thought of being drafted is going to swing a lot of medical votes to Kerry.

Sheesh, there is nobody who likes being in charge more than a doctor. Anybody who thinks planning to draft them is routine has drunk way too much kool-aid already.

Posted by: serial catowner | Oct 19, 2004 1:05:28 PM

The Guardian reports:

Edwards told supporters in Newton, Iowa, on Oct. 11, ``If we do the work that we can do in this country, the work that we will do when John Kerry is president, people like Christopher Reeve will get up out of that wheelchair and walk again.'' The actor, a quadriplegic who became an advocate for stem cell research, had died a day earlier.

``I thought, frankly, the other day what John Edwards suggested when he made his comments about Christopher Reeve, that somehow if John Kerry were president, Christopher Reeve could get up out of his wheelchair and there all of his problems would be solved, I really thought was an inappropriate remark, especially given ... well, given the false hope it engendered,'' Cheney said.

Dammit, if I were a citizen of, say, Norway I'd enjoy this farce so much more...

Posted by: abb1 | Oct 19, 2004 1:13:22 PM


I have done redactions of classified materials, which I generally can't understand why people would want to see. But you line through things in pencil, it goes forward for review (legal and security), then comes back and you line through the pencil with the ugly black pen. Now, I have had to go back to the original document make a new copy, because I took out a line that was unclassified, in the middle of a section of classified material. After hours of doing this, things like that happen. I do not know what you are specificly citing, but my appologies, I would rather that then release things which shouldn't be.

If I am preparing for mission, and I look at the news and see my routes and times laid out before the press by some spokesman, it shakes me. Kenneth Bacon laid out routes and times for movements in the Balkins the firs time we ran rail movements. That material was still classified, and although nothing happened, it was an increased risk which should never have happened.

Posted by: Kevin | Oct 19, 2004 1:13:45 PM

>More disturbing is the need of the press to publish anything which is classified. I have a fit when I see things released to the public before they have been cleared.

I'm working on posts addressed to some earlier issues, but, quite frankly, this is Kuhschiess. The Pentagon Papers would never have been published under this standard.

Posted by: raj | Oct 19, 2004 1:18:41 PM


Sorry, Kuhscheiss

Posted by: raj | Oct 19, 2004 1:20:19 PM

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