Let Saigon be Saigon’s

October 13, 2006

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President Bush heads to Vietnam next month, making a question about that upcoming trip a must-ask when former Texas Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes spoke at the National Press Club in Washington Wednesday evening.

It was during the 2004 campaign that Barnes acknowledged that as speaker of the Texas House he had found a National Guard slot for young George W. Bush, then the son of a Houston congressman, during the Vietnam War. Barnes said he acted at the behest of a Bush family friend.

Any advice for Bush as he prepares for his first-ever trip to Vietnam long after the Guard stint that kept him out of the war?

“It’s a lot safer than it was when he didn’t go the first time,” Barnes quipped.

Barnes was at the National Press Club to speak about his book, “Barn Burning Barn Building,” an account of his long years at and near the power centers in Austin and Washington.

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