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:: 2.12.2004 ::  



Bush's military "records"

From the Boston Globe, May 2000:
On May 24, 1972, after he moved to Alabama, Bush made a formal request to do his equivalent training at the 9921st Air Reserve Squadron at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama. Two days later, that unit's commander, Lieutenant Colonel Reese H. Bricken, agreed to have Bush join his unit temporarily.

In Houston, Bush's superiors approved. But a higher headquarters disapproved, noting that Bricken's unit did not have regular drills.

''We met just one weeknight a month. We were only a postal unit. We had no airplanes. We had no pilots. We had no nothing,'' Bricken said in an interview.

Last week, Lloyd said he is mystified why Bush's superiors at the time approved duty at such a unit.

Inexplicably, months went by with no resolution to Bush's status - and no Guard duty. Bush's evident disconnection from his Guard duties was underscored in August, when he was removed from flight status for failing to take his annual flight physical.

Finally, on Sept. 5, 1972, Bush requested permission to do duty for September, October, and November at the 187th Tactical Recon Group in Montgomery. Permission was granted, and Bush was directed to report to Turnipseed, the unit's commander.

In interviews last week, Turnipseed and his administrative officer at the time, Kenneth K. Lott, said they had no memory of Bush ever reporting.

''Had he reported in, I would have had some recall, and I do not,'' Turnipseed said. ''I had been in Texas, done my flight training there. If we had had a first lieutenant from Texas, I would have remembered.''

Lloyd, the retired Texas Air Guard official, said he does not know whether Bush performed duty in Alabama. ''If he did, his drill attendance should have been certified and sent to Ellington, and there would have been a record. We cannot find the records to show he fulfilled the requirements in Alabama,'' he said.

Indeed, Bush's discharge papers list his service and duty station for each of his first four years in the Air Guard. But there is no record of training listed after May 1972, and no mention of any service in Alabama. On that discharge form, Lloyd said, ''there should have been an entry for the period between May 1972 and May 1973.''
Linked from the Center for American Progress report on Bush's "Meet the Press" interview.

Found on today's Daily Mislead:
Retired National Guard Lt. Col. Bill Burkett said Tuesday that in 1997, then-Gov. Bush's chief of staff, Joe Allbaugh, told the National Guard chief to get the Bush file and make certain "there's not anything there that will embarrass the governor."

Mr. Burkett said that a few days later at Camp Mabry in Austin, he saw Mr. Bush's file and documents from it discarded in a trash can. He said he recognized the documents as retirement point summaries and pay forms.
The above quote is from an article in Dallas Morning News, and you can find more in today's NYTimes. Mr. Burkett's claims were naturally disputed by various Bush spokespeople; however, he not only wrote a letter to his Congressman in 1998 describing the alleged incident, he also mentioned it to a fellow Guardsman only a few days after it supposedly happened.

Also, Bush's commander in Alabama stated unequivocally that W. never showed up for duty.

Still more on this at the Washington Post.

Followup

From USA Today, c/o Fark:
Two forms in Bush's publicly released military files — his enlistment application and a background check — contain blacked-out entries in response to questions about arrests or convictions. Bush acknowledged in biographies published in 1999 that he was arrested twice before he enlisted in the Air National Guard: once for stealing a wreath and another time for rowdiness at a Yale-Princeton football game.

The nature of what was blacked out in Bush's records is important because certain legal problems, such as drug or alcohol violations, could have been a basis for denying an applicant entry into the Guard or pilot training. Admission to the Guard and to pilot school was highly competitive at that time, the height of the Vietnam War.

The National Guard cited privacy as the reason for blacking out answers. The full, unmarked records have never been released. Bartlett did not respond Wednesday to a request to release the records with nothing blacked out, which Bush could do as the subject of the records.

Burkett says that the state Guard commander, Maj. Gen. Daniel James III, discussed "cleansing" Bush's military files of embarrassing or incriminating documents in the summer of 1997.

:: Deb 11:09 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::


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