Court Of Impeachment And War Crimes: George Bush, Does Not Deserve To Hold An Honorable Discharge!
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Imbush Peach

An interview with Naomi Wolf about the 10 steps from democracy to dictatorship!

Stop The Spying Now

Stop the Spying!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

George Bush, Does Not Deserve To Hold An Honorable Discharge!



GEORGE W. BUSH, THE MILITARY SERVICE ISSUE, REVISITED ; WHY IS IT SO HARD TO ASCERTAIN THE TRUTH ABOUT ANYTHING ASSOCIATED WITH GEORGE W. BUSH? LOST, CONFUSED, REDACTED, NO RECOLLECTION, DESTROYED, DENIED…ETC.

Doc. 146 pgs; 40,133 words; just a starting point.

The matter of the President’s Military Service has been an issue that has resurfaced time and time again. Saturday at The September 15th A.N.S.W.E.R. org White House to The Capital “Die In” Protest March the issued was raised to me by a member of the San Diego Veterans For Peace Organization, along with a starting point for investigation/research should I decide to consider the task. I have.

For Anyone Who Thinks This Is A Rehash Of Some Old Stuff, To The Degree That It Constitutes A Reexamination Of Historical Records; That May Be True. In A Larger Sense This Post Seeks To Reexamine This Issue By Way Of Pulling Together A Great Of Older And Contemporary Information In Search Of THE TRUTH As Regards The Service Record Of The “COMMANDER-IN- CHIEF”. Right At The Outset I Will Tell You That The Findings Are A Disgrace!

This Man Who : (1) Has Illegally, With A Litany Of Lies, Consigned Countless Number Of Young Lives To Early Graves, American And Iraqi Innocents; (2) Time And Time Again Paid Lip Service To Loyalty And Sacrifice Of Our Servicemen And Women, While In His Greatest Act Of Hypocracy Lied And Dodged His Sworn Oath Of Oath Of Service To This Nation, Walks About As If He Is To Be Respected For Once Having Worn The Uniform; And (3) Has Been Complicit In The Abandonment Of Their Necessary Care Upon Their Return To Our Soil, Is Deserving Of Nothing Better Than Our Total Ridicule And Contempt.

The History Of These Facts Must Be Kept Alive So That The Record For The Future Reflects THE TRUTH!

The research confirms the conclusions about Bush’s military service by Martin Heldt that were published in several articles in 2000, available at the above-mentioned “Online Journal” website, and by the Boston Globe reporters in their numerous articles.

As Robinson and Latour noted in the above-mentioned article, Bush’s commander, who according to Bush’s biography was a friend, “probably Thought Bush lost interest in flying”, wanted out of the ANG prior to fulfilling his commitment, and did not press the issue.

This is as feeble a piece of nonsense as I encountered.

It is likely that he knew pursuing any corrective action would have brought him much aggravation and been damaging to his own career because Bush was politically well connected in Texas, his commander, more than likely, chose the easy way out, but his choice has nothing to do with the morality of Bush’s behavior or whether Bush met his obligation to the TXANG.

His commander’s connivance and enabling at ensured Bush paid no penalty for his flagrant violation of regulatory requirements for attendance at training and taking a flight physical in no way excuse Bush’s disgraceful, selfish, cowardly conduct of the privileged and chicken shit behavior.

In the final analysis, the record clearly and convincingly proves he did not fulfill the obligation he incurred when he enlisted in the Air National Guard and completed his pilot training, despite his honorable discharge.

He clearly shirked/evaded the duty he undertook in 1968 upon enlistment and in 1969 upon completion of his flight training at Moody AF Base.

Less than two years after Bush won his solo wings, he walked away from his duty to serve as a fighter pilot while troops were still dying in Vietnam.

Moreover, it is clear that he received fraudulent payments for INACDUTRA.

There has been no satisfactory explanation by the President for his abandoning a profession he purportedly loved passionately.

He, is therefore, obligated to fully, truthfully explain his past public statements and lies about his performance. His words/lies just do not square with the official record and he must explain why he prematurely abandoned a commitment to serve his Nation in the TXANG during another war to pursue personal goals.

As a self-proclaimed “wartime president,” this President owes the U.S. public, especially the military and veterans, no less. He certainly cannot rely on his military record to answer these questions.

See http://home.att.net/~jbaugher1/f102_2.html for the history of theF-102 .

Summary.

The following analysis of President Bush’s (“Bush”) military records and the controlling legal authorities shows the following beyond any reasonable doubt:

The White House released pay records, prove Bush received unauthorized, i.e., fraudulent, payments for inactive duty training, even if he did show up for duty.

The memorandum from Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Albert C. Lloyd, who affirmed for the White House that Bush met his retention/retirement year point requirement, is an obfuscation, or outright deception, a lie, that disregarded Bush’s failure to meet the statutory and regulatory fiscal year satisfactory participation requirement.

Bush’s superiors in the Texas Air National Guard failed to take required regulatory actions when Bushed missed required training and failed to take his flight physical.

Despite seemingly laudatory comments, Bush’s May 1972 officer performance report was a clear and unmistakable indication that his performance had declined from the annual 1971 report.

The report was the kiss of death before he left for Alabama that year.

Bush did not meet the requirements for satisfactory participation from 1972 to 1973.

Further I would hold that; as this issue unfolded in as full a light of day as possible, the sensitive nature of the issue and challenges to both the credibility of the questions raised and the investigatory evidence presented quickly and systematically muddied the waters of politics in what has become the common scenario with Bush; his credibility damaged for one group and the other side clutching him to their bosoms as the wounded bird, in this case a lying manipulative chicken.

The man is guilty of fraud, larceny, offenses of court martial magnitude and not deserving of ownership of an honorable discharge.

I have had enough of this man that I do not have enough compassion or forgiveness left within me to concede any extenuating circumstances in this matter. I care not whether drugs and alcoholism played a role in this mess. The facts are clear to me; George W. Bush was unit for the Armed Services of this nation, used them as a resume item, lied about his non-service and is unfit to ne the President of this nation!

WITH TWO YEARS LEFT IN HIS SIX-YEAR OBLIGATION TO THE TEXAS AIR NATIONAL GUARD, 1ST LT. GEORGE W. BUSH WAS MYSTERIOUSLY SUSPENDED FROM FLIGHT - AND NEVER AGAIN REPORTED FOR A SINGLE DAY OF DUTY.

BUT LET THE CANDOR OF THE FOLLOWING BE SUBMITTED FOR YOUR JUDGMENT.

I APOLOGIZE FOR ANY LINKS WITHIN THAT MAY HAVE GONE SILENT. THIS HAS BEEN DIFFICULT TO ASSEMBLE AND I MAY HAVE MISSED A FEW.

The military service of George W. Bush was an issue in the 2000 presidential campaign and again in the 2004 presidential campaign. The controversy centers on the questions of how George W. Bush, now the President of the United States, came to be a member of the Texas Air National Guard, why he lost his flight status, and whether he fulfilled the requirements of his military service contract during the Vietnam War.

Since World War II, in most U.S. presidential campaigns both major party nominees have been military veterans or have otherwise participated in military service. In the 1992 and 1996 campaigns, however, Bill Clinton became the Democratic nominee though he had never served in the military and his opponents in each campaign were World War II combat veterans. This reflected a generational change: the Vietnam War was broadly unpopular and thus lack of service had less stigma. There was also a broad change in popular attitudes toward warfare stemming from the fall of the Soviet Union, the United State's chief adversary in the Cold War in 1989, and the easy victory of the U.S. and its allies, backed by the United Nations in the First Gulf War in 1990. Together, these events re-enforced the concept that it was no longer critical that the U.S. President be a military veteran.

The issue of military service was revived in the 2000 Presidential Campaign. Both candidates, George W. Bush and Albert Gore (who had the advantage of incumbency), were veterans. Since Mr. Gore was an enlistee in the regular Army and had completed a five-month tour in Vietnam and Bush was in the Texas Air National Guard, a reserve force that saw limited overseas duty in Vietnam, Gore's supporters criticized Bush's service as less meaningful than Gore's.

In the 2004 Presidential Campaign, the Democratic Party chose a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War, John F. Kerry, as its presidential nominee. It was thought at the time that Bush's status as a war president was his greatest asset. Consequently, during the campaign the Democrats praised Kerry's combat service as much as possible while minimizing Bush's own.

Bush critics specifically questioned the quality of Bush's service in the Guard, whether he benefited from favoritism in obtaining the position (since at the time it was considered probable that reservists would avoid combat), and whether he fulfilled all of the requirements of his service contract.

Various charges about Bush's military service were also made by his opponents during Bush's successful Texas gubernatorial campaigns in 1994 and 1998. The controversy briefly resurfaced in 2005 on President Bush's nomination of Harriet Miers to the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1998, Miers, then the president of a prominent Dallas law firm and Bush's personal attorney, was paid $19,000 by the Bush gubernatorial re-election campaign to examine rumors questioning Bush's service in the National Guard.

Though there have been recurrent questions, it was The Boston Globe (2000) that brought the issue into national focus that prompted several investigations of varying depth and quality.

The Boston Globe May 23, 2000

1-YEAR GAP IN BUSH'S GUARD DUTY: NO RECORD OF AIRMAN AT DRILLS IN 1972-73

By Walter V. Robinson, Globe Staff | May 23, 2000

After George W. Bush became governor in 1995, the Houston Air National Guard unit he had served with during the Vietnam War years honored him for his work, noting that he flew an F-102 fighter-interceptor until his discharge in October 1973.

And Bush himself, in his 1999 autobiography, "A Charge to Keep," recounts the thrills of his pilot training, which he completed in June 1970. "I continued flying with my unit for the next several years," the governor wrote.

But both accounts are contradicted by copies of Bush's military records, obtained by the Globe. In his final 18 months of military service in 1972 and 1973, Bush did not fly at all. And for much of that time, Bush was all but unaccounted for: For a full year, there is no record that he showed up for the periodic drills required of part-time guardsmen.

Bush, who declined to be interviewed on the issue, said through a spokesman that he has "some recollection" of attending drills that year, but maybe not consistently.

From May to November 1972, Bush was in Alabama working in a US Senate campaign, and was required to attend drills at an Air National Guard unit in Montgomery. But there is no evidence in his record that he did so. And William Turnipseed, the retired general who commanded the Alabama unit back then, said in an interview last week that Bush never appeared for duty there.

After the election, Bush returned to Houston. But seven months later, in May 1973, his two superior officers at Ellington Air Force Base could not perform his annual evaluation covering the year from May 1, 1972 to April 30, 1973 because, they wrote, "Lt. Bush has not been observed at this unit during the period of this report."

Bush, they mistakenly concluded, had been training with the Alabama unit for the previous 12 months. Both men have since died. But Ellington's top personnel officer at the time, retired Colonel Rufus G. Martin, said he had believed that First Lieutenant Bush completed his final year of service in Alabama.

A Bush spokesman, Dan Bartlett, said after talking with the governor that Bush recalls performing some duty in Alabama and "recalls coming back to Houston and doing [Guard] duty, though he does not recall if it was on a consistent basis."

Noting that Bush, by that point, was no longer flying, Bartlett added, "It's possible his presence and role became secondary."

Last night, Mindy Tucker, another Bush campaign aide, asserted that the governor "fulfilled all of his requirements in the Guard." If he missed any drills, she said, he made them up later on.

Under Air National Guard rules at the time, guardsmen who missed duty could be reported to their Selective Service Board and inducted into the Army as draftees.

If Bush's interest in Guard duty waned, as spokesman Bartlett hinted, the records and former Guard officials suggest that Bush's unit was lackadaisical in holding him to his commitment. Many states, Texas among them, had a record during the Vietnam War of providing a haven in the Guard for the sons of the well-connected, and a tendency to excuse shirking by those with political connections.

Those who trained and flew with Bush, until he gave up flying in April 1972, said he was among the best pilots in the 111th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron. In the 22-month period between the end of his flight training and his move to Alabama, Bush logged numerous hours of duty, well above the minimum requirements for so-called "weekend warriors."

Indeed, in the first four years of his six-year commitment, Bush spent the equivalent of 21 months on active duty, including 18 months in flight school. His Democratic opponent, Vice President Al Gore, who enlisted in the Army for two years and spent five months in Vietnam, logged only about a month more active service, since he won an early release from service.

Still, the puzzling gap in Bush's military service is likely to heighten speculation about the conspicuous underachievement that marked the period between his 1968 graduation from Yale University and his 1973 entry into Harvard Business School. It is speculation that Bush has helped to fuel: For example, he refused for months last year to say whether he had ever used illegal drugs. Subsequently, however, Bush amended his stance, saying that he had not done so since 1974.

v The period in 1972 and 1973 when Bush side stepped his military obligation coincides with a well-publicized incident during the 1972 Christmas holidays: Bush had a confrontation with his father after he took his younger brother, Marvin, out drinking and returned to the family's Washington home after knocking over some garbage cans on the ride home.

In his autobiography, Bush says that his decision to go to business school the following September was "a turning point for me."

Assessing Bush's military service three decades later is no easy task: Some of his superiors are no longer alive. Others declined to comment, or, understandably, cannot recall details about Bush's comings and goings. And as Bush has risen in public life over the last several years, Texas military officials have put many of his records off-limits and heavily redacted many other pages, ostensibly because of privacy rules.

But 160 pages of his records, assembled by the Globe from a variety of sources and supplemented by interviews with former Guard officials, paint a picture of an Air Guardsman who enjoyed favored treatment on several occasions.

The ease of Bush's entry into the Air Guard was widely reported last year. At a time when such billets were coveted and his father was a Houston congressman, Bush vaulted to the top of a waiting list of 500. Bush and his father have denied that he received any preferential treatment. But last year, Ben Barnes, who was speaker of the Texas House in 1968, said in a sworn deposition in a civil lawsuit that he called Guard officials seeking a Guard slot for Bush after a friend of Bush's father asked him to do so.

Before he went to basic training, Bush was approved for an automatic commission as a second lieutenant and assignment to flight school despite a score of just 25 percent on a pilot aptitude test. Such commissions were not uncommon, although most often they went to prospective pilots who had college ROTC courses or prior Air Force experience. Bush had neither.

In interviews last week, Guard officials from that era said Bush leapfrogged over other applicants because few applicants were willing to commit to the 18 months of flight training or the inherent dangers of flying.

As a pilot, the future governor appeared to do well. After eight weeks of basic training in the summer of 1968 - and a two-month break to work on a Senate race in Florida - Bush attended 55 weeks of flight school at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia, from November 1968 to November 1969, followed by five months of full-time training on the F-102 back at Ellington.

Retired Colonel Maurice H. Udell, Bush's instructor in the F-102, said he was impressed with Bush's talent and his attitude. "He had his boots shined, his uniform pressed, his hair cut and he said, `Yes, sir' and `No, sir,' " the instructor recalled.

Said Udell, "I would rank him in the top 5 percent of pilots I knew. And in the thinking department, he was in the top 1 percent. He was very capable and tough as a boot."

But 22 months after finishing his training, and with two years left on his six-year commitment, Bush gave up flying - for good, it would turn out. He sought permission to do "equivalent training" at a Guard unit in Alabama, where he planned to work for several months on the Republican Senate campaign of Winton Blount, a friend of Bush's father. The proposed move took Bush off flight status, since no Alabama Guard unit had the F-102 he was trained to fly.

At that point, starting in May 1972, First Lieutenant Bush began to disappear from the Guard's radar screen.

When the Globe first raised questions about this period earlier this month, Bartlett, Bush's spokesman, referred a reporter to Albert Lloyd Jr., a retired colonel who was the Texas Air Guard's personnel director from 1969 to 1995.

Lloyd, who a year ago helped the Bush campaign make sense of the governor's military records, said Bush's aides were concerned about the gap in his records back then.

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, Turnip seed 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."

Said Lloyd, "It appeared he had a bad year. He might have lost interest, since he knew he was getting out."

In an effort last year to solve the puzzle, Lloyd said he scoured Guard records, where he found two "special orders" commanding Bush to appear for active duty on nine days in May 1973. That is the same month that Lieutenant Colonel William D. Harris Jr. and Lieutenant Colonel Jerry B. Killian effectively declared Bush missing from duty.

In Bush's annual efficiency report, dated May 2, 1973, the two supervising pilots did not rate Bush for the prior year, writing, "Lt. Bush has not been observed at this unit during the period of report. A civilian occupation made it necessary for him to move to Montgomery, Alabama. He cleared this base on 15 May 1972 and has been performing equivalent training in a non-flying status with the 187 Tac Recon Gp, Dannelly ANG Base, Alabama."

Asked about that declaration, campaign spokesman Bartlett said Bush told him that since he was no longer flying, he was doing "odds and ends" under different supervisors whose names he could not recall.

But retired colonel Martin, the unit's former administrative officer, said he too thought Bush had been in Alabama for that entire year. Harris and Killian, he said, would have known if Bush returned to duty at Ellington. And Bush, in his autobiography, identifies the late colonel Killian as a friend, making it even more likely that Killian knew where Bush was.

Lieutenant Bush, to be sure, had gone off flying status when he went to Alabama. But had he returned to his unit in November 1972, there would have been no barrier to him flying again, except passing a flight physical. Although the F-102 was being phased out, his unit's records show that Guard pilots logged thousands of hours in the F-102 in 1973.

During his search, Lloyd said, the only other paperwork he discovered was a single torn page bearing Bush's social security number and numbers awarding some points for Guard duty. But the partial page is undated. If it represents the year in question, it leaves unexplained why Bush's two superior officers would have declared him absent for the full year.

There is no doubt that Bush was in Houston in late 1972 and early 1973. During that period, according to Bush's autobiography, he held a civilian job working for an inner-city, antipoverty program in the city.

Lloyd, who has studied the records extensively, said he is an admirer of the governor and believes "the governor honestly served his country and fulfilled his commitment."

But Lloyd said it is possible that since Bush had his sights set on discharge and the unit was beginning to replace the F-102s, Bush's superiors told him he was not "in the flow chart. Maybe George Bush took that as a signal and said, `Hell, I'm not going to bother going to drills.'

"Well, then it comes rating time, and someone says, `Oh. . .he hasn't fulfilled his obligation.' I'll bet someone called him up and said, `George, you're in a pickle. Get your ass down here and perform some duty.' And he did," Lloyd said.

That would explain, Lloyd said, the records showing Bush cramming so many drills into May, June, and July 1973. During those three months, Bush spent 36 days on duty.

Bush's last day in uniform before he moved to Cambridge was July 30, 1973. His official release from active duty was dated Oct. 1, 1973, eight months before his six-year commitment was scheduled to end.

Officially, the period between May 1972 and May 1973 remains unaccounted for. In November 1973, responding to a request from the headquarters of the Air National Guard for Bush's annual evaluation for that year, Martin, the Ellington administrative officer, wrote, "Report for this period not available for administrative reasons."

It is that period of time that became (and remains), the “Most Contentious” component of the issues as the Bush/Kerry Campaign unfolded and attempts were made to develop a full comparison of the candidates military records. There are additional questions that rise in any investigation of the facts (as they are).

1999 newspaper stories

Though news stories began circulating with some frequency in 1999, most of those citations and links are either no longer on line active or the content has been consigned to archive status, many of which are difficult at best and tedious at worst to access any longer. Only one such example is provided below. Most of that activity was limited to California and Texas sources, ie, *The Dallas Morning News

July 4, 1999 LA Times: Bush Received Air Guard Commission
RICHARD A. SERRANO; Los Angeles Times; Jul 4, 1999; 1;

Dallas Morning News (Now Archived Materials presented for those wishing and willing to follow up in those archives…difficult)

July 3, 1999 Dallas Bush's stint in Guard scrutinized

September 6, 1999 Barnes was asked to help get Bush in Guard

September 8, 1999 Bush denies favoritism in gaining Guard post

September 10, 1999 Judge says Barnes has to testify on Bush, Guard post

September 26, 1999 Adviser asked Barnes to recall Guard details before Bush joined race

September 27, 1999 Barnes says he urged Guard slot for Bush

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DVD Talk Forum - CBS Says It Can't Vouch for Bush Documents [Merged]

5, he and Mapes interviewed Robert Strong, an administrative assistant in the Texas Guard during Bush's service there. Strong told them the memos were ...

This Situation Gave Rise To Detailed Investigation And Place The Whole Matter On The Front Burner. There Is A Great Deal Of Internal Contemporaneous Write-In Comment Available At This Link That I Have Not Out Posted For The Sake Of Brevity.

View Full Version : CBS Says It Can't Vouch for Bush Documents [Merged]

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chanster
09-19-04, 03:12 AM

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6039473 In the early-morning hours of Sept. 8, Dan Rather was preparing to fly to Washington for a crucial interview in the Old Executive Office Building, but torrential rain kept him in New York.

White House communications director Dan Bartlett had agreed to talk to "60 Minutes," but only on condition that the CBS program provide copies of what were being billed as newly unearthed memos indicating that President Bush had received preferential treatment in the National Guard.

The papers were hand-delivered at 7:45 a.m. CBS correspondent John Roberts, filling in for Rather, sat down with Bartlett at 11:15.Half an hour later, Roberts called "60 Minutes" producer Mary Mapes with word that Bartlett was not challenging the authenticity of the documents.

Mapes told her bosses, who were so relieved that they cut from Rather's story an interview with a handwriting expert who had examined the memos.At that point, said "60 Minutes" executive Josh Howard, "we completely abandoned the process of authenticating the documents. Obviously, looking back on it, that was a mistake. We stopped questioning ourselves.

I suppose you could say we let our guard down."CBS aired the story eight hours later, triggering an onslaught of criticism that has left Rather and top network officials struggling to explain why they relied on a handful of papers that even some of Rather's colleagues now believe to be fake.

An examination of the process that led to the broadcast, based on interviews with the participants and more than 20 independent analysts, shows that CBS rushed the story onto the air while ignoring the advice of its own outside experts, and used as corroborating witnesses people who had no firsthand knowledge of the documents. As CBS pushed to finish its report, it was Bartlett who contacted the network -- rather than the other way around -- at 5:30 the evening before to ask whether the White House could respond to the widely rumored story.

Later, Bartlett would explain why he did not challenge the documents with a question: "How am I supposed to verify something that came from a dead man in three hours?"Other questions abound: How could a program with the sterling reputation of "60 Minutes," which created the television news magazine during the Johnson administration, have stumbled so badly?

And how could Rather, at 72 the dean of the network anchors, have risked his reputation on such a story in the heat of a presidential campaign?CBS News President Andrew Heyward, who joined the network 23 years ago as Rather's producer, said his staff was extremely careful with the story. "We have a thorough vetting process," Heyward said last week. "Everyone was aware this was a high-stakes story." He approved the piece, Heyward said, because "we felt it was ready."Rather also dismissed the notion that CBS was negligent: "I'm confident we worked longer, dug deeper and worked harder than almost anybody in American journalism does."

THE MOTHER LODE

Mary Mapes had been trying to get her hands on the rumored documents for five years.

The Dallas-based producer, known for staying calm when everyone else is agitated, goes back a long way with Rather.

In 1999, a judge ordered her jailed for refusing to turn over transcripts of Rather's interview with a man accused in the dragging death of James Byrd Jr. -- but she was spared when CBS finally surrendered the papers.

When Rather broke the story of Iraqi prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib this spring, it was Mapes who helped obtain the shocking pictures.In mid-August, Mapes told her bosses that she had finally tracked down a source who claimed to have access to memos written in 1972 and 1973 by the late Lt. Col. Jerry B. Killian, Bush's squadron commander in the Texas Air National Guard.

The memos, she was told, revealed how the young pilot from a famous family had received favorable treatment, even after refusing an order to report for a physical.

Rather and his producer met the source at an out-of-the-way location.Mapes, an associate producer and a researcher were carrying the journalistic load. "The show is not so lavishly budgeted that we have tons of people doing this," said Harry Moses, a "60 Minutes" producer not connected to the story. "You do the pre-interviews yourself and then bring in the correspondent."During the Republican National Convention in New York, Rather got a call from Ben Barnes, a onetime Texas lieutenant governor and veteran Democrat who has known the anchor, a former Houston TV reporter, for 30 years.

Barnes said he was ready to say before the cameras that he had pulled strings to get Bush a coveted slot in the Texas Guard in 1968.

Mapes had long been urging Barnes to tell his story.On Friday, Sept. 3, the day after the convention ended, Mapes hit pay dirt. She told Howard her source had given her the documents. Within hours, Mapes began calling around to find independent analysts who could examine the handful of memos said to have been written by Killian. She found one in Dallas, who helped put her in touch with three others.

The next stop was Texas. Rather was in Florida, so CBS chartered a plane to get him to Austin.

On Sunday, Sept. 5, he and Mapes interviewed Robert Strong, an administrative assistant in the Texas Guard during Bush's service there. Strong told them the memos were compatible with what he knew of Killian but did not claim to have seen them before. "I cannot recall that Jerry Killian talked about Bush, and am not sure he would have discussed it with me," Strong recently told The Washington Post.That same day, back in the ninth-floor offices of "60 Minutes," across West 57th Street from the CBS Broadcast Center, warnings about the story began to surface.

EXPERT OPINIONS

Emily Will of North Carolina, one of the experts CBS had asked to examine the memos, sent Mapes an e-mail outlining her concerns over discrepancies in Killian's signature. She also phoned CBS and raised more questions about whether the typography in the memos existed in 1972 and differences with other military documents. "They looked like trouble to me," Will said.

Linda James, a document examiner who lives near Mapes, was raising similar questions.

The two memos she looked at "had problems," James recalled telling CBS, and she could not rule out that they had been "produced on a computer."Document analyst Marcel Matley flew from California to New York, and Rather interviewed him on Labor Day, Sept. 6 -- footage that would end up on the cutting-room floor.

But Matley limited his examination to Killian's signature, which he believed was probably valid, but not certain -- the lowest endorsement he offers. Because the memos were copies, Matley said in a recent interview, "there's no way that I, as a document expert, can authenticate them.

. . I can't say either way from my expertise, the narrow, narrow little field of my expertise."None of the analysts, including the fourth, James J. Pierce of California, provided the network with a written report before the broadcast.

Howard said Mapes told him the analysts' concerns had been addressed.Rather said he grew more confident when Mapes began speaking with retired Col. Bobby W. Hodges, Killian's superior in the Guard. Hodges said Killian felt that Bush had been treated too leniently in those days.

That was important, in Rather's view, because Hodges remained a staunch supporter of the president. But Hodges later said that he felt "misled" by CBS, that the memos were read to him over the phone and that he believes from discrepancies in the military abbreviations that they are forgeries.On Tuesday, Sept. 7, as Rather sat down in a CBS studio with former Texas lieutenant governor Barnes, the top brass was turning its attention to the explosive story.

Heyward, the news division chief, met with Senior Vice President Betsy West; executive producer Howard, who had taken over in June after shifting from the program's Sunday edition; Mapes; senior broadcast producer Mary Murphy; and Esther Kartiganer, whose job is to ensure that interviews are not edited in a misleading way."All of us asked questions," Heyward said."We asked core questions -- about reliability, authenticity, motivation, could the source have had access to the documents," West said.

The executives were satisfied by Mapes's answers, and she began writing the script.

But in separate phone calls to Mapes that day, two of the network's outside experts tried to stop the journalistic train, or at least slow it down. Linda James said she "cautioned" CBS "if they ran it, that the problems I saw, that other document examiners would see.

It just wasn't ready. The package wasn't ready. It didn't meet authenticating [standards]. To go at that stage, I just couldn't imagine."Emily Will said she called the network that Tuesday and repeated her objections as strongly as possible. "If you air the program on Wednesday," she recalled saying, "on Thursday you're going to have hundreds of document examiners raising the same questions."Howard said "60 Minutes" had planned to call Bartlett for an interview when the Texas-born Bush aide contacted CBS first on Tuesday evening.

Back in his Manhattan apartment that night, at 11 o'clock, Howard got an e-mailed version of the script from Mapes. He sent it back with suggestions. The next morning -- which loomed as deadline day -- he got up at 6 to look at a revised version.

Rather was already at the studio, recording the audio track. At 11 a.m., Howard, West, Murphy and Kartiganer gathered to watch another piece in the screening room, where they were joined by two CBS lawyers as they began discussing the Guard story.

Howard had a backup segment planned -- "60 Minutes" was still in rerun season -- in case he decided to hold the Rather story. Mapes left the meeting to take John Roberts's call from the White House.Bartlett said he caught the president leaving for a campaign trip that morning and showed him the memos. Bush had "no recollection of having seen them," Bartlett said, and would not necessarily have seen papers from a commander's personal file.

Howard was struck by the fact that Bartlett, in his interview, kept referring to the Killian memos to support his argument that the president had fulfilled his military obligations."This gave us such a sense of security at that moment that we had the story," Howard said. "We gave the documents to the White House to say, 'Wave us off this if we're wrong.' " But Bartlett said CBS never asked him to verify the memos and that he had neither the time nor the resources to do so.

The wheels were in motion. In mid-afternoon, the CBS executives went into a pair of eighth-floor editing rooms where the segment was being put together in pieces, over Rather's soundtrack. They made some script changes as the crew struggled to slice three minutes out of the 15-minute segment.At 7 p.m., Heyward joined the other executives in the Broadcast Center screening room for a final look at the piece as it was being fed into the show.

He could still raise objections, but it would be difficult to make major changes with the clock ticking like the famed "60 Minutes" stopwatch. No changes were made.Forty-five minutes later, 8.1 million people watched Rather report that Bush had received preferential treatment in the Guard. The program rated second, finishing behind the NBC drama "Hawaii."After the show, one colleague asked an elated Rather whether he was sure the documents were real. "I have never been more confident of a story in my life," he said.

TYPING AND 'th's

The first sign of trouble came the next afternoon, when a staffer told Howard that a Web site was questioning whether the Killian memos could have been produced on an early 1970s typewriter. In fact, the Internet was buzzing with such critiques. Howard asked Mapes about one of the charges, that typewriters of that period did not use superscripts, such as a raised "th," that appeared in the memos.

She came back with military documents that used a small "th," but the letter combination was not raised above the rest of the type, as true superscript would be. Howard said he believed some of the outsiders' questions about superscript and proportionate spacing were "kind of silly."On Friday, Sept. 10, as major news organizations began questioning the validity of the memos, Rather interviewed document expert Matley by satellite from San Francisco and used his comments on the "CBS Evening News."

In the piece, Rather strongly defended the network's story, even while noting that "some people, including many who are partisan political operatives," were questioning whether the documents were authentic. Rather, who had first tangled with a Republican White House during Watergate, said in an interview that the focus should not be on CBS and that journalists "should be asking President Bush and his staff questions about what is true and not true about the president's military service."

A new problem surfaced when reporters found that the man cited in a 1973 memo as pushing to "sugarcoat" Bush's record, Col. Walter B. "Buck" Staudt, had been honorably discharged a year and a half earlier.

On Monday, CBS turned to two new analysts to counter the critics. One of them, Richard Katz, said later that he had merely set out to prove the memos had not been created with Microsoft Word or other modern computer programs. He told The Post that he is not a document examiner and that "I have no interest in authenticating the documents." The other analyst, Bill Glennon, said he is an information technology consultant, adding: "I'm not an expert, and I don't pretend to be."

Pierce, the California analyst first consulted by CBS before the broadcast, gave the network a three-paragraph statement calling the memos "strongly similar to corresponding samples," but CBS did not release any corroborating evidence.Rather defended the story again on the evening news that night. But this time, he said, "some of these questions come from people who are not active political partisans." He closed by saying that CBS "believes the documents are authentic."

Asked at the time whether there was at least a slight chance that the documents were bogus, Heyward said: "I see no percentage of possibility."

A TELLTALE SIGN

It quickly became clear that the people CBS hired to authenticate the documents had -- and claimed -- only limited expertise in the sometimes arcane science of computer typesetting technology and fonts. Such expertise is needed to determine whether the records could have been created in 1972 and 1973.

Independent experts contacted by The Post were surprised that CBS hired analysts who were not certified by the American Board of Forensic Document Examiners, considered the gold standard in the field.

These software experts say differences in font widths and printing styles make it impossible to replicate the CBS documents using the printing technology available in the early 1970s.

By contrast, reasonably competent computer enthusiasts have created nearly exact replicas of the documents in 15 minutes employing default settings for Microsoft Word and the widely used Times New Roman font.

While Glennon continues to insist that the documents could theoretically have been printed on a Vietnam War-era IBM Selectric, no one has been able to demonstrate this . Leading font developers say the technology simply did not exist 30 years ago.

One telltale sign in the CBS documents is the overlapping character combinations, such as "fr" or "fe," said Joseph M. Newcomer, an adjunct professor with Carnegie Mellon University.

Blown-up portions of the CBS documents show that the top of the "f" overlaps the beginning of the next letter, a feat that was not possible even on the most sophisticated typewriters available in 1972. Newcomer calls the documents "a modern forgery."Tests run by Thomas Phinney, fonts program manager for Adobe Systems, show that none of the possible font widths available on any typewriter or any IBM device from 1972 are able to produce an exact replica of the CBS documents. "Can they do something 'similar'? Sure," Phinney said. "Could they produce those exact memos? Impossible."

THE SECRETARY SPEAKS

As conservative critics called for Rather's scalp, the spotlight turned to who provided the documents to CBS and whether that person was part of a hoax, or even a political setup.

CBS sources confirmed a report in Newsweek that one of the people Mapes interviewed was Bill Burkett, a retired Guard officer who has accused Bush aides of conspiring with the head of the Texas Guard to "sanitize" the president's military records.

Burkett's accusations, which have been denied by the White House and Guard officials, have never been proved.

Since leaving the Guard, Burkett has run a ranch near Abilene, Tex., and been active in local Democratic politics, posting messages on the Internet urging other Democrats to wage "war" against Republican "dirty tricks." He has told reporters that he suffered from depression and had a nervous breakdown after the military declined to treat him for a tropical disease he contracted while on assignment in Panama.

CBS executives declined to address news accounts that pinpoint Burkett as the confidential source for the documents but say they weighed the fact that anyone turning over the material would not be a fan of the president.

Burkett would not comment on whether he supplied the documents but said by e-mail to The Post that he would "encourage everyone to not cast too many doubts prematurely" on the "60 Minutes" broadcast.Strong, the former Guard officer, said last week that when Rather showed him the documents, they contained a header showing they had been faxed to the network from a Kinko's copy shop in Abilene.

As the storm of criticism grew louder, Rather, Heyward and the program's staff still believed that the documents were genuine. They had no way of knowing that an 86-year-old woman in southwest Houston was discussing the controversy with a neighbor."I know Dan Rather is right," Marian Carr Knox, a former secretary in Bush's Guard unit, recalled saying.

The neighbor said she should do something about it. So she called a Houston newspaper, Knox told CBS, but did not get a call back. Dallas Morning News reporter Pete Slover soon tracked down Knox and showed her copies of the Killian memos."These are not real," declared Knox, who said she handled Killian's memos. "They're not what I typed, and I would have typed them for him."When a "60 Minutes" staffer showed Howard an online version of the Morning News story Tuesday night, "my initial reaction was not, 'Oh, my God, we're wrong,' " he said.

But he immediately recognized that his program had to take her account seriously.

CBS got hold of Knox and had her on a plane to New York on Wednesday. Rather started the hour-long interview at 4 p.m., and while Knox said the underlying story was true -- that Killian had made such comments about Lt. Bush -- she insisted the memos were fake.

Mapes had three hours to edit the interview for that night's "60 Minutes."As they continue their investigation into whether they were hoaxed, CBS officials have begun shifting their public focus from the memos themselves to their underlying allegations about the president.

Rather said that if the memos were indeed faked, "I'd like to break that story." But whatever the verdict on the memos, he said, critics "can't deny the story."As the days begin to blur for Josh Howard, he embraces the same logic: "So much of this debate has focused on the documents, and no one has really challenged the story. It's been frustrating to us to see all this reduced to a debate over little 'th's."

http://www.boston.com/news/politics/president/bush/articles/2004/09/21/cbs_says_its_sorry_for_story_on_bush

It's sublime to watch Bush & Co. lie about something as simple as whether Bush went AWOL or not in 1972.

The facts are clear: with two full years of flying duty remaining, Bush "cleared this base" (Ellington AFB in Houston) on May 15, 1972. After that, he never reported for another drill. He disobeyed specific orders, was legally AWOL, and legally a deserter.

Of course he was never prosecuted, because his name is Bush. But that doesn't change the facts.

Bush could easily put this issue to rest by submitting this SF-180 form requesting release of his full military records - in particular his medical and disciplinary records - as Democrats.com and Senators Kerrey, Inouye, and Cleland called for in 2000. He could also find eyewitnesses who saw him performing his duty either in Alabama in 1972 (see "The Turnipseed File," Appendix A) or in Texas in 1973. Rewards for such witnesses from TexansForTruth.com, Doonesbury, and Democrats.com now total over $60,000. We know Bush has looked for eyewitnesses since 1999; his failure to find a single one is the ultimate indictment.

Sooner or later, irrefutable proof will emerge that Bush never attended a drill after May 1972. And when that proof emerges, all of the denials below will be exposed as pure lies.

Of course, Bush & Co. are very skillful liars - they are professionals in every sense of the word. So to enhance your reading pleasure, we have coded each lie as follows:

[LIE] Lie. An intentional statement of facts that are not true. These are rare in Bushworld, but they do occur with surprising frequency. However, the Republican-controlled media never actually calls them lies, so most Americans never become aware of them.

[SHL] Second Hand Lie. This technique involves quoting someone else telling a lie, so you can't be blamed for the lie. The classic example is the infamous "16 word lie" from George Bush's 2003 State of the Union: "We have learned from the British government that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." In Bushworld, the second-hand source usually gets ITS information from Bush & Co., making it effectively a simple LIE.

[EVA] Evasion. This technique involves answering a question that is different from the one being asked. Since "EVA" is known to space-watchers as "Extra-Vehicular activity" (space walks), EVA could also be called "Extra-Veracity Activity."

[NDD] Non-denial denial. This technique involves simply saying "no" without contradicting a single fact. This technique was made famous in the Nixon White House, which is where the modern Republican Party learned its basic dirty tricks.

[CON] Condescension. This technique involves saying how "sad" or "pathetic" or "desperate" or "shameful" it is that critics keep raising a question, without answering the question. It is a gentler technique than the Pre-emptive Attack.

[PEA] Pre-emptive Attack. This technique involves calling your critics the most vile names, without citing a single fact to contradict the questions they raise. This technique was perfected by Newt Gingrich's GOPAC, which was the finishing school for Republican liars. After 9-11, it became the Bush administration's official foreign policy. This policy (the "Bush Doctrine") was applied to Iraq, which was invaded "pre-emptively" before they could attack us with their (non-existent) WMD's. Many Democrats suspect this PEA policy will be applied to the 2004 election, which will be cancelled due to some sudden emergency because Bush is losing.

[TRU] Truth. There isn't much of it, but we'll acknowledge it!

If you would like to contribute more quotes to our project, please write us.

2/8/04 NBC's Meet The Press:

Russert: this campaign is fully engaged. The chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Terence McAuliffe, said this last week: "I look forward to that debate when John Kerry, a war hero with a chest full of medals, is standing next to George Bush, a man who was AWOL in the Alabama National Guard. He didn't show up when he should have showed up."

Bush: Yeah.

Russert: How do you respond?

Bush: Political season is here. [CON] I was... I served in the National Guard. I flew F-102 aircraft. I got an honorable discharge. [TRU] I've heard this I've heard this ever since I started running for office. I I put in my time, proudly so. [LIE]

I would be careful to not denigrate the Guard. It's fine to go after me, which I expect the other side will do. I wouldn't denigrate service to the Guard, though, and the reason I wouldn't, is because there are a lot of really fine people who served in the National Guard and who are serving in the National Guard today in Iraq. [PEA]

Russert: The Boston Globe and the Associated Press have gone through some of their records and said there’s no evidence that you reported to duty in Alabama during the summer and fall of 1972.

Bush: Yeah, they're they're just wrong. [LIE] There may be no evidence, but I did report; otherwise, I wouldn't have been honorably discharged. [SHL] In other words, you don't just say "I did something" without there being verification.

Military doesn't work that way. [TRU] I got an honorable discharge, [TRU] and I did show up in Alabama. [LIE]

Russert: You did were allowed to leave eight months before your term expired. Was there a reason?

Bush: Right. Well, I was going to Harvard Business School and worked it out with the military.

Russert: When allegations were made about John McCain or Wesley Clark on their military records, they opened up their entire files. Would you agree to do that?

Bush: Yeah. [LIE] Listen, these files I mean, people have been looking for these files for a long period of time, trust me, and starting in the 1994 campaign for governor. And I can assure you in the year 2000 people were looking for those files as well. Probably you were. And absolutely. [LIE] I mean, I

Russert: But would you allow pay stubs, tax records, anything to show that you were serving during that period?

Bush: Yeah. If we still have them, but I you know, the records are kept in Colorado, as I understand, and they scoured the records.

And I'm just telling you, I did my duty, and it's politics, you know, to kind of ascribe all kinds of motives to me. [PEA] But I have been through it before. I'm used to it. What I don't like is when people say serving in the Guard is is may not be a true service. [PEA]

Russert: Would you authorize the release of everything to settle this?

Bush: Yes, absolutely. [LIE]

We did so in 2000, by the way. [LIE]

Russert: Were you favor of the war in Vietnam?

Bush: I supported my government. I did. And would have gone had my unit been called up, by the way. [EVA]

Russert: But you didn't volunteer or enlist to go.

Bush: No, I didn't. You're right. [TRU] I served. I flew fighters and enjoyed it, and we provided a service to our country. In those days we had what was called"Air Defense Command," and it was part of the air defense command system.

The thing about the Vietnam War that troubles me as I look back was it was a political war. We had politicians making military decisions, and it is lessons that any president must learn, and that is to the set the goal and the objective and allow the military to come up with the plans to achieve that objective. And those are essential lessons to be learned from the Vietnam War.

2/5/04 CNN's Inside Politics: JUDY WOODRUFF: Let me go back to this whole question of President Bush and the National Guard comments. The reason I'm raising this is because yesterday I interviewed Terry McAuliffe, chairman of the DNC. Let me just read you a small portion of what he said about the president's service in the National Guard.

He said, "He didn't show up. Let him answer that. The commander this week reiterated the entire time he was supposed to show up in the Alabama National Guard he wasn't there. He said he made it up later, but you don't have that option. When you're supposed to serve our country, you're supposed to be there."

What do you say?

TERRY HOLT: I say very simply, the National Guard solved this 30 years ago. The president was honorably discharged. [EVA]

What is dishonorable, frankly, is the Democratic Party's re- dredging of this story, and saying things that really impugn the reputation of the half a million people that are in the National Guard. John Kerry the other day said that he wasn't going to judge people who dodged the draft or went to Canada or served in the National Guard, as if dodging the draft was equivalent to the National Guard. That's not fair. It's impugning the character of the commander in chief and impugning the character of people who serve in the National Guard. [PEA]

WOODRUFF: Is it a problem, though, for President Bush, as a candidate up for re-election this year, that there are no records that prove that he showed up for service for approximately a year?

HOLT: The record is crystal clear. The National Guard gave him an honorable discharge. [EVA]

WOODRUFF: But in terms of records that he showed up for his weekend or monthly obligations?

HOLT: Well, according to the National Guard, he made up service during a period that was appropriate, and well within the guidelines that allowed him to have an honorary discharge from the military. [SHL]

WOODRUFF: So as far as you and the campaign is concerned, that's the end of it?

HOLT: Old story, dead story. Move on to the issues that matter to the American people. [CON]

2/4/04 White House Briefing: Q How is the President going to counter Democratic challenges that he got preferential treatment while serving in the National Guard during Vietnam?

MR. McCLELLAN: I think we went through this issue four years ago and I went through this issue yesterday [see 2/3/04 White House Briefing below]. And I will leave it where I left it yesterday.[NDD]

2/4/04 NY Times: The White House went into a furious counterattack on Tuesday. "It is outrageous and baseless," Scott McClellan, Mr. Bush's press secretary, told reporters, breaking the White House practice that all political questions be answered by officials at Bush-Cheney campaign headquarters in Arlington, Va. [NDD]

Ralph Reed, the Bush campaign's Southeast regional chairman, went even further. "It's gutter politics," Mr. Reed said in an interview. "We're absolutely convinced that the American people will reject these smear tactics." [NDD]

2/4/04 WashPost: White House press secretary Scott McClellan said during his televised afternoon briefing that it is "a shame that this issue was brought up four years ago during the campaign, and it is a shame that it is being brought up again." [NDD]

"The president fulfilled his duties. The president was honorably discharged," McClellan said. [EVA] "I think it is sad to see some stoop to this level, especially so early in an election year." [CON]

After McClellan's briefing, Bush campaign chairman Marc Racicot issued a statement saying Kerry is "supporting a slanderous attack" by not repudiating the McAuliffe comments. [PEA] "By embracing this line of attack, Senator Kerry has made clear that he will accept and promote character assassination, innuendo and falsehood even when he doesn't have all the facts," Racicot said. [PEA]

2/4/04 LA Times: "President Bush served honorably in the National Guard. He was honorably discharged," Bush campaign chairman Marc Racicot said in a statement Tuesday. [EVA] "To suggest, as Sen. Kerry has, that the military should answer questions about President Bush's honorable discharge is an outrage. The furtherance of these charges is despicable." [PEA]

2/4/04 AFP: Ed Gillespie angrily accused McAuliffe of "presidential character assassination" [PEA] and said "there is no ambiguity" about Bush's time in the Guard. [LIE] "The president was honorably discharged from the National Guard. [TRU]. He served his time," Gillespie told CNN television. [LIE] "And he fought [LIE] - he served in a very dangerous area, which is fighter jets." {Not for his last 2 years, when he was grounded!}

2/3/04 GOP.com: At a speech to more than 300 Republican activists Monday in Raleigh, North Carolina, Ed Gillespie said: "This is a demonstrably false and malicious charge that would be slanderous under any ordinary circumstance. [NDD] It's not unusual, however, for Mr. McAuliffe to not tell THE TRUTH on national television. Terry McAuliffe has become the John Wilkes Booth of character assassination." [PEA]

2/3/04 WashPost: Terry Holt, spokesman for the Bush campaign, accused McAuliffe of trying to "perpetuate a completely false and bogus assertion." [PEA] Holt said, "The president was never AWOL." [NDD]

White House communications director Dan Bartlett said yesterday that although no official record has been found, "obviously, you don't get an honorable discharge unless you receive the required points for annual service." [EVA] He said Bush "specifically remembers" performing some of his duties in Alabama. [SHL] Bartlett also provided a news clipping from 2000 quoting friends of Bush's from the Alabama Senate campaign saying they recalled Bush leaving for Guard duty on occasion. [SHL]

Bush said in 2000 that he did "show up for drills. I made most monthly meetings, and when I missed them I made them up." [LIE]

2/3/04 AP: Scott McClellan called the accusations "shameful" and the "worst of election-year politics." [CON] Bush "fulfilled his duties" in the National Guard and was honorably discharged. [EVA] "The president was proud of his service," McClellan added. [SHL] McClellan said "these kinds of attacks have no place in politics and everyone should condemn them." [EVA]

Bush campaign chairman Marc Racicot attacked Kerry directly. "To suggest, as Sen. Kerry has, that the military should 'answer questions' about President Bush's honorable discharge is an outrage," he said. [PEA]

John McCain told MSNBC: "Everything that I've heard, every bit of information I've ever heard - I never got into it, because I wasn't that interested - is that he served honorably and well. And I assume that to be the case." [SHL]

2/3/04 White House Briefing: Q Scott, you expressed some outrage this morning that Democrats are questioning whether President Bush shirked his military duty with the Texas Air National Guard. Is the White House trying to come up with any records or any eye-witnesses to demonstrate that he did show up for his last two years in Alabama?

Scott McClellan: Terry, I would just say that it was a shame that this issue was brought up four years ago during the campaign, and it is a shame that it is being brought up again. [CON] The President fulfilled his duties. The President was honorably discharged. [EVA]

Q Well, the question actually was whether or not you're trying to find any eye-witnesses or any records to prove –

Scott McClellan: Terry, this was addressed four years ago, and like I said, it was a shame that it came up then and it's a shame that some are bringing it up again. [CON]

2/1/04 NY Times: Ed Gillespie, chairman of the Republican National Committee, called Mr. McAuliffe's comments today "slanderous," "despicable" and "reprehensible." [PEA]

"President Bush served honorably in the National Guard," Mr. Gillespie said in a telephone interview today. [EVA] "He was never AWOL. To make an accusation like that on national television with no basis in fact is despicable." [PEA]

He added: "I think they are desperate, so they're willing to hurl false charges on national television." [CON]

10/00 George Magazine: Bush maintains he did serve in Alabama. "Governor Bush specifically remembers pulling duty in Montgomery and respectfully disagrees with the Colonel," says Bartlett. "There's no question it wasn't memorable, because he wasn't flying."

7/22/00 NY Times: In an interview, Mr. Bush disagreed [with Gen. Turnipseed]. "I was there. I know this guy was quoted as saying I wasn't, but I was there."

Appendix A: The Turnipseed File - Brig. Gen. William R. Turnipseed (ret.).

On Sept. 15, 1972, Capt. Kenneth K. Lott, the head of personnel for the 187th Tactical Recon Group wrote: "Lieutenant Bush should report to Lt. Col. William Turnipseed, DCO, to perform equivalent training."

Did Bush ever report to Turnipseed? In 2000, Turnipseed was 99% sure Bush never appeared for duty. How much more certain can anyone get about events 28 years earlier? Now Turnipseed is under tremendous pressure from Bush supporters to change his story. Turnipseed is a "strong Bush supporter," according to FreeRepublic.com, so it is not surprising that he is softening his claim by saying he might not have been at the base. In that case, is Turnipseed admitting to being AWOL himself? Of course, no one else in the Alabama Air National Guard ever saw Bush - including Capt. Kenneth K. Lott and all of the other guardsmen. This is despite ads in Air Force newspapers and highly-publicized rewards from Alabama veterans.

We have collected all of Gen. Turnipseed's statements to prove that Turnipseed never saw Bush.

2/8/04 London Telegraph: "I just don't think he came to the base," Gen Turnipseed told The Telegraph last week. "I would have remembered him. If he did turn up at all, it must have been when I was off-base. But actually, I don't think he made an appearance."

2/6/04 NBC News: "I don't know if [Bush] showed up, I don't know if he didn't. I don't remember how often I was even at the base."

2/2/04 Washington Post: Reached in Montgomery yesterday, Turnipseed stood by his contention that Bush never reported to him. But Turnipseed added that he could not recall if he, himself, was on the base much at that time."

11/3/00 NY Times: Capt. Kenneth K. Lott, chief of the personnel branch of the 187th Tactical Recon Group, told the Texas commanders that training in September had already occurred but that more training was scheduled for Oct. 7 and 8 and Nov. 4 and 5. But Mr. Bartlett said Mr. Bush did not serve on those dates because he was involved in the Senate campaign, but he made up those dates later.

10/31/00 MSNBC.com Eric Alterman: He was cleared to attend weekend drills in October and November. But two of the 187th's officers said Bush never appeared. One of them, retired Brig. Gen. William Turnipseed, says he is 'dead-certain he didn't show up.' Bush, who refuses all interviews on the subject, says he was there, but can't remember anything he did. His campaign can find no records to corroborate this.

10/00 George Magazine: In telephone interviews with Georgemag.com, neither Turnipseed, Bush's commanding officer, nor Kenneth Lott, then chief personnel officer of the 187th, remembered Bush serving with their unit. "I don't think he showed up," Turnipseed said.

7/22/00: NY Times: Questions about Mr. Bush's military service arose in May when The Boston Globe quoted Mr. Turnipseed, who retired as a general, as saying Mr. Bush never appeared for duty.

In a recent [7/00] interview, the general took a tiny step back, saying, "I don't think he did, but I wouldn't stake my life on it. I think I would have remembered him. The chances are 99 percent he didn't."

In an interview, Mr. Bush disagreed. "I was there. I know this guy was quoted as saying I wasn't, but I was there."

5/00 Boston Globe: "Had [Bush] reported in, I would have had some recall, and I do not. I had been in Texas, done my flight training there. If we had had a first lieutenant from Texas, I would have remembered."
Appendix B: Bush's Alabama "Witnesses"

NY Times 00: Emily Marks, who worked in the Blount campaign and dated Mr. Bush, said she recalls that he returned to Montgomery after the election to serve with the Air National Guard.

Boy, is this inadmissable hearsay! Maybe he went to Montgomery to date another woman.

Appendix C: Why Bush Entered the National Guard

11/29/98 Fort Worth Star-Telegram: "I don't want to play like I was somebody out there marching when I wasn't. It was either Canada or the service... Somebody said the Guard was looking for pilots. All I know is, there weren't that many people trying to be pilots."

2/25/90 Dallas Morning News: "I was not prepared to shoot my eardrum out with a shotgun in order to get a deferment. Nor was I willing to go to Canada. So I chose to better myself by learning how to fly airplanes."

1989 Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: "I'm saying to myself, 'What do I want to do?' I think I don't want to be an infantry guy as a private in Vietnam. What I do decide to want to do is learn to fly."

skippy the bush kangaroo: February 2004
he supported the vietnam war, but was not willing to make a personal sacrifice. ... george w. bush left his texas air national guard assignment and moved to ...xnerg.blogspot.com/2004_02_01_archive.html - 412k - Cached - Similar pages

NY Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/27/opinion/27SWAR.html?ex=1190174400&en=761a7c8f2f3d4231&ei=5070

OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR
In Search of the President's Missing Years
By MIMI SWARTZPublished: February 27, 2004
HOUSTON

Over the past few weeks, President Bush has responded to recurring questions about his National Guard service by saying that the subject is old and tiresome. According to Mr. Bush, reporters conducted a thorough investigation of his time in the Texas National Guard when he ran against Ann Richards for governor in 1994, and again when he ran against Al Gore in 2000. The complete Guard records, the president told Tim Russert on "Meet the Press," were "scoured."

This came as news to me, as I lived in and reported from Texas during those times and feel that questions about the story — Mr. Bush's life story — linger 10 years after his first political victory. Why they linger is a more complicated question, one that has as much to do with the press as it does with the president.

Let's start at the beginning, with the 1994 governor's race between Ann Richards and Mr. Bush. Like many of George W. Bush's early opponents, the Richards team made the mistake of underestimating him. Ms. Richards's consultants and campaign strategists tried to portray Mr. Bush, initially at least, as a son of privilege who couldn't possibly be taken seriously. (Later they tried to spin him as a Machiavellian business mastermind; that didn't work either.) Mr. Bush's military record emerged as a weapon in the son-of-privilege arsenal, but the story had weak legs.

This was partly because the records that the consultants and reporters possessed were incomplete — they were torn, with Mr. Bush's name and other crucial pieces of information blacked out — but also because the Richards campaign backed off the issue. As many people in Texas and beyond now know, Mr. Bush's Guard unit included more than a few sons of the state's rich and powerful, including Lloyd Bentsen III, son of the state's august Democratic senator. As Patrick Woodson, one of Ms. Richards's campaign consultants, told me earlier this month, "We were unofficially told that because of Bentsen's kid the Guard thing was not on the table."

Then, too, the questions about Mr. Bush's military record were not focused on what he did in the Texas Guard but on how he managed to get in at a time when the waiting list for the National Guard, for instance, contained more than 100,000 names. Local reporters could coax one former Democratic state official into admitting, off the record, that he had interceded on Mr. Bush's behalf at the request of either a prominent Dallas businessman or George H. W. Bush, who was then a member of Congress. But the official's story — the source was later revealed to be former Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes — was subject to change and there were no documents to support his claims.

Late in the campaign, James Moore, then a reporter with KHOU-TV in Houston, put the question to Mr. Bush in a televised debate: had he received special treatment while other young men had fought and died in Vietnam? The candidate's less than illuminating answer: not that he knew of. But by then most Texans had made up their minds to vote for Mr. Bush — he trounced Ms. Richards, and the issue, not surprisingly, went away.

Until 2000, at least. Mr. Bush's military service was an issue in the campaign, but, again, for various reasons, the digging didn't go very deep. Why? First, George Bush was a very popular governor. Ann Richards had run a divisive, partisan Statehouse. Mr. Bush, in contrast, was a genial host, and an efficient one. He wasn't the lightweight reporters had expected; he unified the Legislature, and he kept his campaign promises. His door was always open to the press — yes, he gave reporters nicknames — and many journalists were surprised that he could discuss tort reform as easily as he could talk about the Texas Rangers pitching staff. Not surprisingly, the state's political reporters took the governor seriously as a presidential candidate long before the national press did.

But that loyalty created a new set of problems. Historically, journalists for the local daily don't do very well when the hometown pol makes a play for higher office. The Boston Globe, for example, has done a superb job investigating Mr. Bush's Guard record; it's my feeling, though, that the paper wasn't as impressive in its coverage of Michael Dukakis during his 1988 presidential run. (It was the local alternative weekly, The Boston Phoenix, that was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for its campaign coverage.) And in Mr. Bush's case, many representatives of the Texas press corps — consciously or unconsciously — fell prey to the seductive notion that they were on a nickname basis with a man who might become the leader of the free world.

The few who continued to dog Mr. Bush about his military service — most notably reporters at The Dallas Morning News — found their paths blocked in myriad ways.

This time, it was Al Gore's handlers, not Ms. Richards's, who lacked enthusiasm for this particular avenue of attack. The vice president had served in Vietnam, but he couldn't claim war hero status, and any talk of military service inevitably reminded voters of Bill Clinton, who hadn't served at all.

What's more, Mr. Bush's military service file remained incomplete — as it had in 1994. Some reporters got their information from time-consuming Freedom of Information Act requests, others took what they were handed by opposition researchers — in my experience, the unfortunate norm in most modern campaigns. If there was a release of documents comparable to the one made by the administration earlier this month, no one around here recalls it.

What journalists had in the way of a paper trail led to suspicions that Mr. Bush's military record had been altered in preparation for a presidential bid — something that James Moore, the reporter who asked the Vietnam question in the 1994 governor's debate, suggests in a forthcoming book. Also, many people who were chatty in 1994 clammed up in 2000, perhaps fearful that they would alienate the future president or his famously long-memoried family. Without conclusive documentation or an attributable source, most reporters were stymied.

It took Walter Robinson of The Boston Globe to look at Mr. Bush's file with a fresh eye; Mr. Robinson was the first to report, in May 2000, that Mr. Bush did not perform flight drills while in Alabama, and that the commander of the Alabama unit didn't remember him showing up for duty. But even that story was soon eclipsed by others in the heat of the campaign, most notably the revelation, late in the game, that Mr. Bush had been arrested in 1976 for driving under the influence. The issues surrounding his military service disappeared for another four years.

In some ways, then, the president is right: questions about his military service have been raised every time he's run for office. But it's also true that the story still seems woefully incomplete and that there have been clear inconsistencies in the answers Mr. Bush and his associates have given about his time in the Guard. (Mr. Bush's associates said that he didn't take his 1972 military physical because his doctor in Houston was unavailable and that he lost his flight status because the plane he was training on was phased out — statements that have been shown to be debatable at best.) It's also disconcerting that each election cycle comes with a new set of "complete" documents.

Perhaps 2004 will be the year that details of George W. Bush's time in the National Guard — indeed, his life in the early 1970's — finally get filled in. This time around, there are certain factors that might put added pressure on reporters, editors and news organizations to complete the story. After all, the questions about Mr. Bush's service are being raised while we are at war and while the president is facing a genuine war hero as a potential opponent. Maybe this year, 10 years after Mr. Bush's first political victory, the lingering questions will finally disappear.

Mimi Swartz, an executive editor of Texas Monthly, is the author, with Sherron Watkins, of "Power Failure: The Inside Story of the Collapse of Enron."

ARCHIVED MATERIALS

Seeking Memories of Bush At an Alabama Air Base (February 13, 2004) $

What's Under the Ink? White House Comes Clean (February 13, 2004) $

Move to Screen Bush File in 90's Is Reported (February 12, 2004) $

July 28, 1999 Washington Post At Height Of Vietnam, Bush Picks Guard

September 22,1999 Boston Globe Bush reportedly was helped in joining Guard unit in Vietnam era

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2004/02/b33717.html

http://dir.salon.com/story/news/feature/2004/02/13/bush_update/index.html

RECENT COVERAGE

CBS says it's sorry for story on Bush
(By Patrick Healy, Globe Staff, 9/21/04)

CBS News executives said yesterday that a former Texas National Guard officer had ''deliberately misled" the network about the authenticity of purported military documents that provided the basis for a ''60 Minutes" report questioning President Bush's performance as a Guard pilot during the Vietnam War.

Bid cited to boost Bush in Guard
(By Walter V. Robinson and Francie Latour, Globe Staff, 9/9/04)
In August 1973, President Bush's superior officer in the Texas Air National Guard wrote a memorandum complaining that the commanding general wanted him to ''sugar coat" an annual officer evaluation for First Lieutenant Bush, even though Bush had not been at the base for the year in question, according to new documents obtained and broadcast last night by CBS News.

Bush fell short on duty at Guard
(Boston Globe, 9/8/04)
In February, when the White House made public hundreds of pages of President Bush's military records, White House officials repeatedly insisted that the records prove that Bush fulfilled his military commitment in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War.

Bush releases his military records
(By Walter V. Robinson and Wayne Washington, Globe Staff, 2/14/04)
WASHINGTON -- After days of hesitation, the White House last night made public what it said were all of President Bush's military records. But the records seemed to add virtually no new information about Bush's stint in the Texas Air National Guard that concluded with a final year of sporadic duty and an early return in 1973 to civilian life.

Doubts raised on Bush accuser
(By Michael Rezendes, Globe Staff, 2/13/04)
For at least six years, a retired Texas National Guard officer has maintained that President Bush's record as a member of the Guard was purged of potentially embarrassing material at the behest of high-ranking Bush aides laying the groundwork for Bush's 2000 run for the presidency.

Bush's loss of flying status should have spurred probe
(By Walter V. Robinson and Francie Latour, Globe Staff, 2/12/04)
President Bush's August 1972 suspension from flight status in the Texas Air National Guard -- triggered by his failure to take a required annual flight physical -- should have prompted an investigation by his commander, a written acknowledgement by Bush, and perhaps a written report to senior Air Force officials, according to Air Force regulations in effect at the time.

White House releases Bush's Guard records
(By Walter V. Robinson and Michael Rezendes, Globe Staff, 2/11/04)
Moving to squelch an election year controversy, the White House yesterday made public records showing that President Bush attended some Air National Guard training between mid-1972 and mid-1973 and was paid for it, and said the records refute reports that Bush did not fulfill his military obligation during the Vietnam War.

Bush credited for Guard drills
(By Walter V. Robinson, Globe Staff, 2/10/04)
President Bush received credit for attending Air National Guard drills in the fall of 1972 and spring of 1973 -- a period when his commanders have said he did not appear for duty at bases in Montgomery, Ala., and Houston -- according to two new documents obtained by the Globe.

View document showing Bush's record

Re-examining Bush's Guard service
(By Walter V. Robinson, Globe Staff, 2/5/04)
Michael Moore, the documentary filmmaker, started it, labeling President Bush a military "deserter" during an appearance last month with Democratic presidential candidate Wesley K. Clark.

Questions remain on Bush's service as Guard pilot
(By Walter V. Robinson, Globe Staff, 10/31/00)
Democrats are calling attention to misleading claims Bush and his campaign have made about his Vietnam-era service as a fighter pilot with the Texas Air National Guard, and to documents that contradict Bush's insistence that he attended required drills in Alabama and Texas in 1972 and 1973.

Kerrey blasts Bush on service
(By Walter V. Robinson, Globe Staff, 11/1/00)
Senator Bob Kerrey, a Nebraska Democrat who won the Medal of Honor for his service in Vietnam, expressed disgust yesterday at evidence that George W. Bush sidestepped National Guard duty for months in 1972 and 1973, a lapse that Kerrey said amounts to Bush being AWOL - absent without leave.

National Guard RecordsLookup National Guard records now Online government record resources.Military-Records.Govt-Files.com


National Guard RecordsSearch by name and find departure date, location, files and more.Check-Public-Records.com

http://www.boston.com/news/politics/president/bush/articles/2004/02/14/bush_releases_his_military_records

2000 stories dealing with Bush's missing year in the Guard

May 23, 2000 Boston Globe One-year gap in Bush's Guard records

May 24, 2000 Boston Globe Bush defends guard record

May 24, 2000 CNN Bush dismisses reports

June 18, 2000 London Sunday Times Missed Drug Test Grounded Bush

June 25, Washington Post Records of Bush's Ala. Military Duty Can't Be Found

July 28 Boston Globe Most recent major coverage

Listing of documents related to Bush's missing year and his suspension from flying

1,810,000 Entries for bush military service record controversy

http://www.google.com/search?tab=nw&channel=s&client=firefox-a&hl=en&hs=M8D&ie=ISO-8859-1&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&q=bush%20%20military%20service%20record%20controversy

Bush AWOL?

http://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&channel=s&hl=en&q=bush+awol+controversy&btnG=Google+Search

GEORGE W. BUSH'S MILITARY RECORDS

DOCUMENTS OBTAINED BY WALTER ROBINSON, MARTIN HELDT AND OTHER RESEARCHERS THROUGH THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT:

GETTING INTO THE GUARD

Statement of understanding (5/27/68): "Satisfactory participation during my membership in the Air National Guard of the United States will be attendance and satisfactory performance of assigned duties at 48 scheduled inactive duty training periods and 15 days' field training (active duty for training) annually, unless excused therefrom by proper authority. It also includes successful completion of on-the-job upgrade training."

(doc26.gif )- Contract of Service (5/27/68)
Agreement (5/28/68): "...I will serve with my parent ANG unit as directed by the unit commander, unless sooner relieved by competent military authority, for a minimum period of five (5) years..."

(doc23.gif )- Penalty for bad attendance (undated)

(doc24.gif ) - Statement of intent: "Flying is lifetime goal." (undated)

Press release http://www.cis.net/~coldfeet/He_gets_high_PR_release.gif (3/24/1970)

Second page of the PR release http://www.cis.net~/coldfeet/afterburners.gif (3/24/70)

1972-1973

*Memorandum from Lt. Col. Killian to Lt. Col. Harris, 2/2/72 (page two): "Update me as soon as possible on flight certifications - specifically Bath and Bush."

*Memorandum from Lt. Col. Killian to Lt. Bush 5/4/72: "You are ordered to report to Commannder, 111th F.I.S. Ellington AFB, no lather than 14 May 1972 to conduct annual physical examination (flight)..."

*Lt. Col. Killian Memo to File 5/19/72: "I advised him of our investment in him and his commitment."

(doc7.gif ) - First transfer request; Bush applies to transfer with the 9921st in AL, a non-flying unit (5/24/72)

(doc6.gif )- Lt. Colonel Bricken's Response from AL (5/26/72)

(doc25.gif )- TXANG Recommends approval and notification if Bush is assigned to reserves. (6/??/72)

(doc5.gif ) - Air Force HQ Denver disallows transfer (date unclear)

*Lt. Col. Killian Memorandum for Record, 8/1/72: "...suspended from flight status due to failure to perform to USAF/TexANG standards and failure to meet annual physical examination (Flight) as ordered...Officer has made no attempt to meet his training certification or flight physical."

(grounded.gif ) - Bush's suspension from flying; "Reason for Suspension" Failure to accomplish annual medical examination." (9/29/72; confirming verbal orders of 8/1/72) (James Bath is also suspended on this same document.)

(doc2.gif ) - Bush request for temporary transfer to 187th Tac Recon Grp. in AL (Bush letter, 9/5/72)

(doc11.gif )- AL ANG HQ approval for Bush to train with the 187th. (9/15 and 9/29, 1972)

(doc4.gif ) - Annual Officer Effectiveness Report part 1..."Not Observed" in all categories. (5/2/73)

(doc9.gif ) - Annual Officer Effectiveness Report part 2..."Not Observed at this unit during the period of this report." (5/2/73)

(doc17.gif ) - Special Order from Department of the Air Force, Ellington AFB, ordering Bush to perform 9 days duty in May/June 1973. (5/1/73)

*Memo from Killian, recipient not noted, 6/24/73 (see p. 6): "I got a call from your office today concerning the evaluation of 1st Lt. Bush...Neither Lt. Col Harris or I feel we can rate 1st Lt. Bush since he was not training with 111th F.I.S. since April 1972..."

(doc12.gif )- USAF requests more information on Officer Effectiveness Report; "This Officer should have been reassigned in May 1972 since he is no longer training in his AFSC or with his unit of assignment." (6/29/73)

*Killian Memo to File, 8/18/73: "Harris gave me a message from Grp today regarding Bush's OETR and Staudt is pushing to sugar coat it. Bush wasn't here during rating period and I don't have any feedback from 187th in Alabama. I will not rate. Austin is not happy today either."

(doc28.gif )- Major Martin replies; "Not rated for the period 1 May 72 through 30 Apr 73. Report not available for administrative reasons." (11/12/73)

1972-1973 DAYS CREDITED:

As received by Marty Heldt in July 2000

As published by "George" Magazine 10/19/2000

As released by the White House in February 2004

(Boy, that document sure has gone through the wash a few times! Wonder what's on the original microfiche?)

(doc16.gif ) - 1973 days credited. (undated, unsigned)

Getting Out of the Guard

(Doc20.gif ) - Bush request for discharge from Texas Air National Guard and Transfer to inactive reserves - Bush letter (9/5/73)

(doc27.gif ) - Request Discharge recommended for approval by Col. Killian (9/6/73)

(doc10.gif ) - Chronological Listing of Service (undated; last entry 10/1/73)

(ang22.gif ) - Bush discharge papers (10/1/73)

(Doc21.gif )- Texas Air National Guard OK for transfer to inactive reserves (10/16/73)

(doc14.gif ) - "Military Biography" of George W. Bush (unsigned, undated - no mention of Alabama)

DOCUMENTS RELEASED BY THE WHITE HOUSE FEBRUARY 10, 2004:

Jan. 6, 1973 USAF Dental Exam Record for 1st Lt. George W. Bush

Memorandum of Lt. Col. Albert C. Lloyd, Jr. (Ret.) (Analysis of Military Payroll Records for George W. Bush for service from 1972 to 1973) (undated memorandum)

USAF Reserve Personnel Record Card for 1st Lt. George W. Bush (Covers period from 27 May 1972 to 26 May 1973)

ARF 1st Statement of Points Earned by 1st Lt. George W. Bush (1972-1973)

ARF 2nd Statement of Points Earned by 1st Lt. George W. Bush (1973)

Military Payroll Records of 1st Lt. George W. Bush (1972-1973)

II. INTRODUCTION.

By way of background, I am a retired (1999) Army colonel with active Marine enlisted service (1967-69). I have been a registered Independent my entire political life and truthfully can say I have voted for members of both the Republican and Democratic Parties at the local, state, and national levels.

Stories in 2000 on the Internet about Bush’s military record piqued my interest. I requested and received a copy of his records from the Headquarters, Air Reserve Personnel Center (ARPC), and Department of Army and Air Force Air National Guard (ANG) Bureau (Bureau) in 2000 right after the election.

The Bureau provided all the substantive records that, incidentally, coincided with the documents available on the Internet.

This analysis concluded that Bush failed to fulfill faithfully and fully the solemn obligation he accepted when he enlisted in the Texas ANG (TXANG) in 1968.

The nature of his service is an important issue in this 2004 presidential election because it received scant coverage in 2000 and because it strikes at the heart
of Bush’s credibility.

In 2000, Bush ran on bringing back “dignity and honor to the White House (WH)” and being a “compassionate conservative.” Since 9-11, he has wrapped himself in the flag to push forward a domestic agenda that is anything but compassionate and well to the right of center; embarked on a perilous new national security strategy of “preemptive war” and invaded Iraq; and even has used the uniform to garner political support, the first for a President in my lifetime, although there have been others who had more illustrious military
service.

Bush himself brought on the renewed scrutiny of his military record by stressing his role as Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. armed forces, declaring himself a “wartime president,” and using the word “war” more than 30 times in the course of an interview on “Meet the Press” that lasted less than an hour.

This analysis of Bush’s military service is based on the documents in the FOIA response, contemporaneous regulations, selected media information, and the documents more recently released by the White House (WH) found at the USA Today (“USAT”) and

Fact Check websites.

1 The source of the WH-released documents, however, is not known, and there are different repositories, including ARPC, Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), the Office of the
Texas Adjutant General, and the National Personnel Records Center (Military Personnel Records).

III. Enlistment and Attendance at Required Training in

Texas Air National Guard (“TXANG”).

A. REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS FOR ATTENDANCE AT REQUIRED TRAINING.

Air Force Manual (“AFM”) 35-3, “Air Reserve Forces Personnel Administration,” dated June 25, 1969 (“AFM 35-3”), with its periodic amendments was the primary controlling authority available for this analysis.

“Satisfactory Participation” was defined as “the manner in which a member meets the training requirements of his reserve assignment.” Training consisted of Annual Active Duty for Training (“ANACDUTRA”) and Inactive Duty for Training (“INACDUTRA”).

The documents referenced herein are in a volume tilted “President Bush’s Military Records” (PBMR) referenced by page in a one-up numbering system from PBMR, 1, through PBMR, 83. The USAT documents are in 19 “PDF” files at http://www.usatoday.com/news/2004-02-14-bush-docs.htm , organized by theme such as “Performance Grades” and by the years 2000 and 2004.

The following format will be used to cross reference them with the PBMR to provide easy access for the reader interested in looking at them: “USAT/File #/Name or Year/Page #.” The Fact Check address is at 11 n. 58.

The publication was updated periodically until Air Force Regulation (“AFR”) 35-41, “Participation and Assignment within the Reserve Components”
(“AFR 35-41”), superseded its appropriate chapters on April 16, 1974.

In the 1960s and 1970s amendments were generally posted to publications by hand with pages removed; pages added; and paragraphs, words, and sentences crossed out with new verbiage added or not. A notation was made of the change.

ANACDUTRA is “[a] voluntary tour to which a reserve member is ordered so that he may satisfy the annual training requirements associated with this reserve assignment.” AFM 35-3, Ch. 2, 2-1, ¶ 2-7. INACDUTRA is “[t]raining performed by an ARF [Air Reserve Forces] member while not on AD [Active Duty] for which point credit is authorized. . . .” Id., 2-16.

A member of the ANGUS could earn points by performing ANACDUTRA and INACDUTRA. ANACDUTRA required orders, placing the member on AD.

INACDUTRA had to be supervised and “authorized in advance by competent authority.”5 “INACDUTRA must be authorized in advance byan AF Form 40 or 40a or other means specified in this section.

Use AF Form 40 when more than one person participates in the training session; use AF Form 40a when only one person participates. Use AF From [sic] 40 or 40a to authorize UTAs [Unit Training Assemblies], TPs [Training Periods], APDY [Appropriate Duty], and EQT [Equivalent Training]. . . .” Satisfactory participation, therefore, involved regular attendance at prescribed INACDUTRA by a member unless he was properly excused.

In the type of unit in which Bush served, regular attendance entailed not having more than four absences in a fiscal year (“FY”) that ran from July 1 through June 30 at that time.

It meant reporting to the appointed place at the designated time. There were the following types of training within INACDUTRA:

1) TP: An authorized period of training, duty, or instruction performed by members as individuals.

2) UTA: An authorized and scheduled period of training, duty, or instruction, including test alerts by units.

a) APDY: Duty which unit members perform instead of attending a scheduled UTA when absence is from cause beyond their control, such as illness or other personal hardship.

b) EQT: Duty that may be authorized for unit members unable to attend a UTA scheduled while they are on AD in support of the active force.

3) Additional Flying Training Period (“AFTP”): An authorized additional period of flying training.

Only an APDY or EQT, therefore, could be used to make up a missed UTA.

There also were time limits for making up excused absences, and absences because of “illness, personal hardship or other circumstances beyond control,” from a scheduled UTA: A “member must perform the periods of APDY or EQT within 15 days immediately before or 30 days immediately after the regularly scheduled UTA but before the next month’s first scheduled UTA (whichever is earlier) and within the same fiscal year.”

4 Id.¸Ch. 17, 17-1, 17-7.

5 Id., Ch. 20, 20-1, 20-5a(5)-(6) (emphasis in original).

6 Id., 20-4 – 20-4.1, 20-8.

Bush’s unit was part of the ARF which consisted of units and members of the U.S. Air Force Reserve (“USAFR”) and the Air National Guard of the United States (“ANGUS”).

AFM 35-3, Chapter (“Ch.”) 2, 2-1, 2-6. ANGUS is a reserve component of the US Air Force (“USAF”) and is a federally recognized unit whose members have status in the ANGUS and additionally are Reserves of the Air Force in the same grades.

The Air National Guard (“ANG”) refers to the federally recognized ANG of each State, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The terms, ANGUS and ANG, are used interchangeably herein, unless specifically distinguished. AFR

35-41, Ch.

3, 3-1, 3-7, 3-8.

8 AFM 35-3, Ch. 2, 2-4, 2-34.1.

9 Id., 2-2, 2-16.

10 Id., Ch. 16, 16-4, Table 16-2 (emphasis added).

Members of the ANG were required to attend 48 INACDUTRA periods per year and complete not less than 15 days ANACDUTRA to achieve the “satisfactory participation” standard.11 A member in Bush’s category could not have more than four absences from INACDUTRA in a fiscal year; attendance alone, however, was not sufficient, and a member had to assume “responsibilities commensurate with his grade” and had to perform “his assigned duties in a satisfactory manner asdetermined by the unit commander.”

Retention requirements were strict: “A member who, without approval of competent authority, fails to meet the fiscal year training prescribed for his assignment must be reassigned.”

A member’s military service obligation (“MSO”) was the period “an individual must serve as a member of a regular and/or reserve component of the Armed Forces required by law.”

An individual acquired only one MSO at the time he initially attained military
status between the ages of 17 and 26. In addition to the MSO, a service member may have incurred an additional service obligation as a result of specialized training.

For example, upon completion of undergraduate flight training, officers had an obligation to serve f ive years which could run beyond their MSO. The evaluation of “satisfactory participation” during the MSO period was separate and distinct from earning points for retention/retirement (“RR”). An RR year is “[t]he 12 consecutive months in which a . . . member, [sic] in active status is required to earn through participation in an accredited training program, [sic] a minimum number of points for either retention in active status (at least 15 earned points which does not include any gratuitous point credit) or for credit as a satisfactory year for retirement (at least 50 points that include both earned points and gratuitous points.”

It concerned primarily those members who wished to remain in active status after they completed their MSO and became a “nonobligor.” Prior to that time a member was an “obligor,” i.e., a member of the ARF who had an MSO. For members such as Bush, the RR year starts on the date of the month he enlisted and ends on the day before the annual anniversary of such ate, i.e., from May 27-May 26 for Bush.

If an obligor member failed to meet the fiscal year training requirements, i.e., failed to participate satisfactorily, or lost.

11 Id., Ch. 3, 3-6, Table 3-1.

12 Id., Ch. 2, 2-4, 2-34.1a-b.

13 Id., Ch. 10, 10-5, 10-6(a).

14 Id., Ch. 2, 2-2, 2-21; Ch. 14, 14-16a.

A personnel representative from the AF Personnel Center at Randolph Air Force Base confirmed the five-year obligation from completion of undergraduate flight training in a February 24, 2004, e-mail to the author.

Today this obligation is much longer, 10 years. This service obligation represents the cost of the training and the value the Air Force places on retaining pilots in this specialty for a minimum number of years.

Id., Ch. 2, 2-4, 2-33.

Defined as a member of the ARF who is not assigned to the Inactive Status
List Reserve Section (“ISLRS”) or Retired Reserve. Id., 2-1, 2-5.

see, Id., Ch. 2, 2-2, 2-25; Ch. 10, 10-5, 10-6b(1).

Id., Ch. 2, 2-4, 2-33b.

His proficiency, his Ready Reserve assignment was to be terminated.

For a member with an MSO, such action resulted in a call to extended active duty (“EAD”). “A member . . . who fails to satisfactorily participate in reserve training will be ordered to EAD . . . until AD/ACDUTRA [active duty/ANACDUTRA] equals 24 months. . . . A member who has served on AD/ACDUTRA for 20 months or more or whose remaining MSO is less than 3 months as of the date of ACDUTRA orders, will be involuntarily ordered to ACDUTRA for 45 days instead.”

Officers who were considered to be unsatisfactory participants were to be reported directly to the Air Force, not ARPC or the ANG, for a final determination.

Reassignment from the Ready Reserve to the Standby Reserve23 (“SR”) was authorized only for twelve reasons specifically defined AFM 35-13, Ch. 12, Table 12-1.

The Ready Reserve, including the ANG, had a mandatory, regulatory policy of continuously screening the records of its members to ensure only those qualified were retained in the Ready Reserve.

ANGUS units were to review the records monthly to ensure their members were qualified for retention in the Ready Reserve. In ANG units, “[a] member whose attendance record is poor must be closely monitored.

When the unexcused absences reach one less than the maximum permitted [sic] he must be counseled and a record made of the counseling. If the member is unavailable he must be advised by personal letter.” The letter put the member on notice of the consequences of unsatisfactory participation:

1. You are advised that your absence on (date) _________ from
scheduled training duty has been recorded.

2. You are aware from previous counseling that you are required to participate in 90 percent of the scheduled training dutiesof this unit during each fiscal year. . . . Such participation would allow you to continue your deferred status. On the other hand, if you fail to participate satisfactorily, you may be ordered to active duty for up to 24 months.

3. You may have a valid excuse for this absence because of illness, injury, emergency, or other circumstances beyond you control. In such a case, you must furnish this office by …

20 Id., Ch. 10, 10-7.

21 Id., Ch. 14, 14-1, 14-5.

22 Id., 14-2, 14-5c.


The Standby Reserve consisted of the Active Status Non-Affiliated Reserve Section (“NARS-A” and “NARS-B”) and the Inactive Status List Reserve Section (“ISLRS”). AFM 35-3, Ch. 2, 2-5, 2-39. All members of the ANGUS and US Air Force Reserve were in “Active Status” unless assigned to the ISLRS or Retired Reserve. Id., 2-1, 2-5.

Id., Ch. 12, 12-1, 12-1. Members of the SR were assigned to and
administered by ARPC; its members could be ordered to EAD only in time of
war or national emergency declared by Congress.

AFM 53-3, Ch. 2, 2-5, 2- 25 Id., 12-6, 12-8.

The Ready Reserve consisted of members of the ARF liable for involuntary order to EAD. Id., Ch. 2, 2-3, 2-26. Bush clearlywas a Ready Reserve member.

AFR 35-41, Ch. 7, 7-4, 7-6c (reference paragraph and figure omitted). The requirement was the same in AFM 35-3, 14-7c, and carried forward into the AFR.

Days from the date of this letter) appropriate supporting documentation, such as a doctor’s certificate, affidavits, etc., with your written request to be excused. If documentation is not readily obtainable, indicate the date that it will be furnished. The request to be excused must be submitted before (15 days from the date of this letter) [sic] and is subject to review and approval. Failure to submit the request within that time period could adversely affect your
present status.

If your absence is excused by proper authority [sic] you may request to perform appropriate duty (APDY). APDY must be performed within 15 days immediately before or 30 days after the regularly scheduled UTA, but before the next month’s first scheduled UTA.

You are directed to report for training at the next scheduled training assembly (date), beginning at ______hours, located at (place).

Moving from the area where the member’s unit was located did not end his requirement for “satisfactory participation.” He had to sign a counseling statement, affirming his responsibility to locate and be assigned to another Reserve Forces unit or mobilization augmentation position. If the member was planning to move to a location where it would be impossible to train with his assigned unit, he was to be assigned to another category, A unit, or to the ARPC Obligated Reserve Section (“ORS”), if he had an MSO.29 ARPC was to review the personnel records of each member with an MSO, when he was “initially gained to ARPC strength.”30 In the ORS, he had 60 days from ARPC notification to locate and join another unit; the commander of that unit had to accept him, regardless of vacancies if the member had an MSO, after the losing commander certified that the move was essential and the member’s service was satisfactory.

If the member failed to find and join another Ready Reserve unit, he was to be processed for involuntary order to active duty: “If a member fails to locate and join another Ready Reserve unit or MA position, he will be processed for involuntary order to active duty.

In no case was transfer to the SR authorized unless the member met one of the 12 the criteria in AFM 35-3, Ch. 12, 12-13—12- Table 12-1.33

Id., 14-10, Figure 14-3 (italics in original). Naturally, a letter could
be used every time scheduled training was missed.

A Mobilization Augmentee (“MA”) was a Ready Reserve member assigned to a regular USAF unit against an individual manpower augmentation authorization to support the period immediately after the declaration of war or national emergency or to respond to any national security requirement.

AFM 35-3, Ch. 2, 2-2, 2-22.

29 Id., Ch. 10, 10-2, 10-6a(2). This provision specifically applied to ANGUS members.

Id., 12-11, 12-16b.

Id., Ch. 14, 14-7, 14-6.

Id., 14-8, 14-6f.

Id., Ch. 12, 12-1, 12-2c.

In any event, if not assigned to another Ready Reserve position, an obligor remained in the ORS until he completed.


Each member was obligated to participate in reserve training until completion of the MSO in order to maintain a draft-deferred status. The unit was required to notify the member’s local draft board yearly by October 15 that he was performing satisfactorily with DD [Department of Defense] Form 44, “Record of Military Status of Registrant” (“DDF 44”) for members in the Ready or Standby Reserve with an MSO.

Administering ARF members with an MSO was tightly controlled in AFM 35-3, Ch. 14, based on the “statutory participation requirements and enforcement provisions for . . . ANGUS members whose retention in a draft-deferred status depends on satisfactory participation in their reserve status.”

There was little leeway, and the regulation stipulated that failure to participate satisfactorily was to result in processing for an involuntary call to active duty. If the ANGUS unit monthly review of records showed unsatisfactory participation for an officer, the unit was obligated to report it in writing to the AF Personnel Center at Randolph AF Base.

A delay in reporting for an involuntary call to active duty was authorized for a college or university student was authorized only until the end of a term, r for a senior until the end of the school year.

Finally, members of the ARF had a regulatory obligation to keep contact information current: “Each member is responsible for promptly reporting any change of address or telephone number. . . .”41 AFM 35-3 even provides the notification address for members assigned to it.

His MSO; an officer upon completion of his MSO was then reassigned to the Inactive Status List reserve Section (“ISLRS”) in the Standby Reserve.

Id., 14-1, 14-2, 14-3.

35 Id., 14-15, 14-11, 14-13c.

The draft ended on June 30, 1973, but this DDF 44 requirement was continued in AFR 35-41, Ch. 8, 8-4, 8-9.

AFM 35-13, Ch. 14, 14-1, 14-1.

See supra 5.


AFM 35-3, Ch. 14, 14-2, 14-5c.

The format for reporting members with unsatisfactory participation included information such as the dates for unexcused INACDUTRA absences and whether the member was notified of an unexcused absence.

See id., 14-3, Figure 14-1.

40 Id., 14-6, Table 14-1, Rule 5.

41 Id., Ch. 5, 5-1, 5-2b (emphasis added).

42 Id., Table 5-1.

B. BUSH’S ENLISTMENT AND ATTENDANCE AT REQUIRED TRAINING.

When Bush enlisted in the TXANG on May 27, 1968, as a “Reserve of the Air Force,” he signed a “Statement of Understanding” (“SoU”).

The SoU spelled out “satisfactory participation” as attendance and satisfactory performance of assigned duties at 48 scheduled INACDUTRA periods and 15 days ACDUTRA annually and warned that failure to participate satisfactorily could result in an involuntary order to active duty for 45 days and/or certification for induction.

It also stated that his inability to participate satisfactorily in the ANG could result in his discharge from the ANG, assignment to ARPC (ORS), and call to active duty for up to 24 months considering all previous active duty and ACDUTRA, if he still had an MSO.

Additionally, he signed a Ready Reserve Service Agreement (“RRSA”). Bush’s RRSA obligated him to remain a member of the Ready Reserve, “immediately available for any active duty” until May 26, 1974.

Bush’s attendance in his TXANG unit up to May 1972 was documented meticulously on AF Form 190, “USAF Reserve Personnel Record Card - -For Retention, Promotion, and Retirement” (“F190”), together with their continuation sheets, which have handwritten notations on the type of training for which Bush received credit for every day he reported: Active Duty Training and ANACDUTRA for which he received one point/day and INACDUTRA for which he received a point per training session which normally last four hours.

Each card has a word about forms and personnel records is appropriate at this point.

ARPC Manual 36-2603, “Point Credit Accounting and Reporting System (PCARS),” 23 May 2000, on its title page indicates an automated system with its new forms was instituted on October 1, 1972, well after Bush left his TXANGUS unit for Alabama. “It was a free-standing, tape driven system fed by card input via automatic digital network (AUTODIN) from Air National Guard (ANGUS) and reserve Military Personnel Flights (MPF);

Attachment 1, Figure 5.7, states that the Air Force Form 526, “ARF Retirement Credit
Summary/ARF Statement of Points Earned,” APR 72 (F526RCS and F526SPE, respectively), superseded AF Form 190, 712, 1383, 1282, and National Guard Bureau Form .

Additionally, some commentators opined that the DD Form 214, “Armed Forces of the United States Report of Transfer or Discharge” (“DDF 214”), would prove or disprove Bush’s service. They are in error because the DDF 214 "Statement of Service" in block 22 does not show attendance at meetings.

Bush’s DDF 214 for his short enlisted service, but not for his service as an officer, was available. As for records, there was a filed personnel record, retained by the unit of assignment, and a master record.

For a member of ANGUS, the master record, which would not include all the daily entries and forms, was kept “by the adjutant general of the appropriate State”; for members of the US Air Force Reserve (“USAFR”), the master record was kept by ARPC.

AFM 35-3,

Ch. 8, 8-9, 8-24.

44 PBMR, 1-2, g, h, j. USAT/16/2004/36-37.

“A written agreement whereby an ARF member not otherwise obligated to participate, accepts, or retains Ready Reserve membership for a specific period in order to be eligible for assignment or retention in the Ready Reserve. The member waives his right to transfer to the Standby Reserve under any criteria under which he may be qualified on the date he signs the agreement or on the date of assignment, whichever is later.”

AFM 35-3, Ch.

2, 2-3, 2-27 (citation to chapter omitted).

PBMR, 70. USAT/15/2004/1.

Numbers in the upper card corner in the “Card Nr.” Block: 1, 2, 3, 3a, 4, 4a, and 5.

The continuation sheets have no “Card Nr.,” but the dates show the cards to which they correspond. A member, therefore, could receive four points for a weekend by attending two four-hour drills on Saturday and Sunday.

For INACDUTRA on weekdays, a member usually received one point for each four-hour session. Each date, type of training, and points earned were documented on the F190 card and continuation sheets in Bush’s records in the TXANG up to May 1972. The regulation, however, clearly placed time limits on an APDY and EQT: the “member must perform the periods of APDY or EQT within 15 days immediately before or 30 days immediately after the regularly scheduled UTA but before the next month’s first scheduled UTA (whichever is earlier) and within the same fiscal year.”

F190 became obsolete at the end of September 1972, however. The new system included AF Form 40, “Authorization for Inactive Duty Training” (“F40”), for the unit and AF Form 40a, “Record of Individual Inactive Duty Training” (“F40a”), for an individual unit member. The available records strangely contained not one of these forms documenting Bush’s attendance at any INACDUTRA after September 1972 for either the Alabama ANG or TXANG units.

The F190, F40, and F40a required a certification signature to show the member performed the training, and there also was a block in which the reservist certifies that the computation of service and training points for the period are correct. None of the F190s with this block had Bush’s signature.

Why did the unit not have Bush certify even one form as correct?

There was another relevant form in the FOIA response: AF Form 1383, “Annual Statement of Credits” (F1383), prepared by the 147th Fighter Group (FG), the headquarters (HQ) of Bush’s 111th Fighter Interceptor Squadron (FIS), that documented the points earned at the end of an anniversary year which for Bush was annually on the 26th of May.

The use of this form also was discontinued at the end of September 1972, and the last one in Bush’s record was dated June 13, 1972, for the anniversary year ending May 26, 1972.51 It then became obsolete before Bush reached another anniversary year.

The 2000 FOIA response contained ten pages of these two forms – F190 and F1383 – with more than one form reproduced on a single page,52 that document Bush’s attendance in his TXANG unit 47 PBMR, 5-12, 17. The F190s are available in a number of “PDF” files at USAT but are sometimes together with another form, AF Form 1383.

USAT/11/2000/1-4, 7; USAT/16/2004/1-5; USAT/5/Performance Points/2,
5-12, 17.

AFM 35-3, Ch. 16, 16-4, Table 16-2.

See ARPC Instruction 36-3203, “Computation of Creditable Service for Reserve Retired Pay,” dated 22 January 2003, paragraph 6.4.8, for the use and obsolescence of the F190.

PBMR, 9-10. USAT/5/Performance Points (“PP”)/6, 17.

PBMR, 3-4. USAT/5/PP/2, 5, 7, 10.

The F190s have been organized by card and continuation sheet. The F1383 have been separated and are at PBMR, 3-4. These ten correspond to the ones at the aforementioned USAT/5/PP. The FOIA response did not have Card No. 5 from May 1973, although it is at USAT/11/2000/7. until he departed in May 1972. The close-out date for his TXANG unit on a F190 was May 26, 1972, his yearly anniversary date; it was certified and signed.

These cumulative points for ANACDUTRA and INACDUTRA were documented on both the F190 and F1383 for the anniversary years through May 26, 1972. The last F1383, dated June13, 1972, showed Bush earned 22 ANACDUTRA points, 75 NACDUTRA points, and 15 gratuitous points for a total of 112 yearly points for the previous anniversary year.

Another form also documented Bush’s daily attendance after 1972: the F526SPE, the “ARF [Air Reserve Forces (USAF Reserves and Air National Guard)] Statement of Points Earned.”55 The two F526SPEs released were undated and unsigned, however, and were clearly computer generated. The data and their accuracy, therefore, were dependent on inputted information from another form for INACDUTRA, the aforementioned F40 and F40a, and on a special order and certification the duty was performed for ANACDUTRA.

These forms for INACDUTRA covered only the period after he left his TXANG unit for Alabama and then returned, because they went into effect at that time, replacing the aforementioned discontinued forms.

The WH also released an undated memorandum from a Lieutenant Colonel Albert C. Lloyd (Retired) (Lloyd) who reviewed two Bush F526SPEs to verify Bush met his annual retention/retirement requirement from 27 May 72--26 May 73 by earning 56 points and 27 May 73-–26 May 74 by earning 56 points.

Lloyd referred to these simply as AF Form 526 in his memorandum; they will be referenced herein as F526SPE.58 It evidently replaced the AF Form 712, “Air Reserve Forces Retirement Credit Summary.” The WH also provided a summary pay document (SPD), together with finance forms, to back up its version of Bush’s service after May 1972.

PBMR, 8, Card No. 4a. USAT/5/PP/7.

PBMR, 4. USAT/5/PP/10.

PBMR, 15-16, 64, 66. See supra 7 n. 37.

This form is probably part of the F526, but since none that have been produced have a number, it will be referred to separately. USAT/5/Performance Points/14; USAT/11/2000/6.

See ANGUS Instruction 65-101, “Air National Guard (ANGUS) “Workday Accounting and Reporting Procedures,” 15 April 1994, for an explanation of this system as it existed in the 1990s. It is clear from the “Summary of Changes” section that the automated system introduced in 1972 evolved over the years from the initial punch card inputting system and forms were revised and new ones introduced to keep up with the automation changes.

One thing, however, is clear from reading this instruction: ANGUS always had a redundant system of documented checks and balances at the unit level to certify its members’ training.

PBMR 13, 15-16. This memorandum, together with the SPD, finance records, F526SPEs, and F526RCS, is available at http://www.factcheck.org/article.aspx?docID=40 (“Fact Check”). The article at this address provides access to the February 2004 WH-released Bush records in a number of clearly titled “Supporting Documents” PDF files.

See PBMR at 64, 66 for the F526SPEs, the computer-generated form. See 9 n. 50 for the USAT reference.

PBMR, 67. USAT/15/2004/15.

PBMR, 14. Fact Check.

A major problem with the F190 from May 1973, certifying Bush’s ANACDUTRA and INACDUTRA for the previous anniversary year, is its obsolescence: the form had become obsolete at the end of September 1972, some eight months earlier than it was signed.

Why was his TXANG using an obsolete form? It should be noted, however, that there were no detailed F190, F40, F40a, or unit schedules, for any INACDUTRA after May 1972.

There is no “Special Order” for the ANACDUTRA on May 1-3, 7-9, 1973, for which he received credit, although there was a “Special Order,” dated “1 May 1973”63 for ANACDUTRA on May 22-24, 29-31, 1973, as well as for June 5-7, 1973.

There was no “Special Order” for Bush’s 13 days of ANACDUTRA in July 1973. No detailed forms, certifying the training was authorized and performed, have been made public to back up the WH-released forms showing all Bush’s ANACDUTRA and INACDUTRA in October and November 1972, as well as in January, April, May, June, and July 1973.

There was also a glaring error on the obsolete F190 from May 26, 1973: It showed Bush’s “Aero[nautical] Rating” as “Plt On-fly,” although he had been grounded since August 1, 1972.64 This error, together with the obsolescence of the form since October 1, 1972, makes the authenticity of this particular F190 suspect.

Lloyd is supposedly an expert in these matters, but his simple mathematical calculations are wrong. He says, “[F]or the period May 73 – May 74 . . . Bush accumulated 19 points for 19 days of active duty and 16 points for 16 periods of inactive duty plus 15 points for his guard/reserve membership for a total of 56 points for that year.”

Simple addition of “19” plus “16” plus “15” equals “50,” not “56” points. Also, Lloyd’s “56” points are at odds with an F526RCS, prepared on January 30, 1974, which shows the total retirement points accrued for the year from May 26, 1973, and earned through September 15, 1973, well after Bush’s last training day on July 30, 1973, as “38,” not “40” points.

The largest difference is attributable to the number of gratuitous points awarded to Bush, Lloyd’s “15” and the F526RCS “5” points, and a lesser two-point difference between total and retirement points earned: The latter are “38” instead of “40” points. Presumably, the difference between the F526’s “5” and Lloyd’s “15” gratuitous points is the result of calculating them on the duration of creditable service. erroneously added the “10” remaining gratuitous points for the anniversary year through May 26, 1974.

Lloyd’s conclusion that Bush “did in fact have a satisfactory year for retirement/retention” is, therefore, wrong even if the “10” gratuitous points were authorized because they still leave Bush at “48” points, two short for a satisfactory retention/retirement year.

Lloyd’s most serious error obliterates the distinction between a satisfactory RR year and “satisfactory participation” as a condition of service. These are two distinct requirements unrelated to each other. He failed to conduct the most relevant analysis and attempted to prove Bush met the regulatory standard for “satisfactory participation” by using irrelevant terms.

Even a cursory review of his attendance at ANACDUTRA and INACDUTRA for the FY July 1, 1972, through June 30, 1973, results in an unequivocal “no” for that fiscal year. Even if all the points Bush earned are legitimate for this period which included his time in Alabama, he earned 15 ANACDUTRA points to satisfy this equirement, but only 36 INACDUTRA points, woefully short of the minimum 44 NACDUTRA points he was required to earn.

The former is for four months, while the latter is for the full year. On October 2, 1973, Bush was transferred to the ARPC (ORS) and was not eligible to receive any gratuitous membership points. Lloyd 61 PBMR, 51-57. Fact Check. The finance forms come from DFAS which was created in the early 1990s to consolidate all Service finance functions in DFAS. It became the repository for finance forms from the individual Service finance organizations that existed prior to its creation.

See ARPC Instruction 36-3203, “Computation of Creditable Service for Reserve Retired Pay,” 22 January 2003, paragraph 6.4.8.

PBMR, 19. This special order could not be found at USAT or other websites with Bush’s records.

PBMR, 21-22, 77. USAT/11/2000/16-17; USAT/12/2000/12-13.

PBMR, 38, 65. USAT/5/PP/13.

PBMR, 40. USAT/12/2000/1. This section, ORS, manages those assigned to ARPC who still have a military service obligation. AFM 35-3, Ch. 20, 20-1, 20-3b—3(b)(1), states: “Members assigned to the following are not eligible to earn points: (1) ORS, except for officers appointed in the USAFR against

The F526RCSs present other problems. The one with an “EFF[ective] ATE: 730526” shows Bush earned no points within the previous year. Unfortunately, it does not have the “DATE PREPARED” on it as does the F526RCS for cumulative points in the new RR year to “730915”69 with an “EFF[ective] DATE: 730915”:

The latter was prepared on “74/01/30,” well after the effective date. The USAT document with an effective date of “730526,” however, tellingly has a processing date of October 3, 1973, stamped in the right upper corner.

It most likely is an ARPC date-stamp, and the logical question is: Why had requirements of the RegAF who are required to participate in ACDUTRA before entry on EAD as part of their professional training” (italics in original) The later 1974 AFR 35-41, Ch. 9, 9-1, 9-2 – 9-2a, has the same prohibition. ARPC Instruction 36-3203, “Computation of Creditable Service for Reserve Retired Pay,” dated January 22, 2003, confuses the issue, however: “Reservists in an active status are eligible for the award of membership points. Reservists are given membership points only while assigned to the Obligated Reserve Section.

. .” Id.¸13, 6.4.8 (emphasis added).

Bush’s F526RCRs that was prepared on January 30, 1974, shows he was in an “Inactive Status” as the “Reason for Statement,” and, therefore, he would not have been eligible for any membership “gratuitous” points. PBMR, USAT/5/PP/13.

His status naturally raises a question since only members assigned to the Inactive Status List Reserve Section (“ISLRS”), not the ORS or NARS-B, had an “Inactive Status.” Bush’s SoU supra required 48 INACDUTRA points, but the regulation supra allowed a member to miss four meetings and earn only 44 points for a fiscal year.

None of Bush’s training in July 1973 could apply to the missed training in the prior fiscal year because it was in a new fiscal year and all missed training had to be made up in the same fiscal year.

PBMR, 63. USAT/11/2000/5.

PBMR, 65. USAT/5/PP/13 and USAT/10/2000/17.

The source of these three documents highlights the variations in the same form from different repositories.

The PBMR F526RCS is from Bush’s file at ARPC since it shows an ARPC facsimile number in 2000 at the top; the USAT/5/PP/13 F526RCS is the “Officer Command Selection Folder,” and is most likely from the Texas Adjutant General’s Office since it has no dates stamped at the top. The last USAT F526RCS is from the National Personnel Records Center as indicated by USAT.

ARPC received no documentation for training accomplished in the previous RR year, as far back as October 1972 in Alabama, by the time this form was date-stamped? Where is the ANACDUTRA and INACDUTRA documentation from the TXANG files for the specific days of training?

The extensive Documentation available for his duty up to May 1972 makes the absence of any detailed documentation after that date extremely suspicious.

Why does the first F526RCS fail to reflect the points on the F526SPE?

There is no required counseling statement or indication in the records that Bush had submitted paperwork for permission to perform equivalent duty in an Alabama unit prior to Bush’s move to Alabama in May 1972. On May 24, 1972, after Bush cleared his TEXANG unit and left Houston for Alabama on May 15, 1972,71 he then requested assignment to a unit in Alabama, the 9921st Air Reserve Squadron, a unit that could have gone out of existence at any time, according to its commander.

He would have had no mandatory attendance requirements.

Normally, a request and approval from the approving higher HQ would be obtained before departure.

The HQ, ARPC, turneddown this request on July 31, 1972.75 Most important is that Bushrequested permanent assignment to the 9921st, not just permission to perform equivalent training there for a period of time. He, his unit leadership, and the TXANG hierarchy, therefore, evidently colluded to have Bush assigned to a unit where he would have minimal training requirements and would not be flying.

After ARPC denied him reassignment to the 9921st, Bush waited until September 5, 1972, 5 weeks, to request permission to “perform equivalent duty with the 187th Tac[tical] Recon[aissance] Group” in Montgomery, Alabama, “for the months of September, October, and
November.”76 Bush evidently abandoned his wish for permanent “reassignment,”77 in this case, to a unit where he could eventually return to flying with some retraining.

That request was approved, and written orders, dated “15 September 1972,” told Bush to report.

70 PBMR, 64. USAT/11/2000/6.

71 PBMR, 34. USAT/4/Performance Grades (“PG”)/13.

72 PBMR, 47. USAT/6/Reassignments Split Training (“RST”)/9
.
73 PBMR, 48. USAT/6/RST/10.

According to the commander the 9921st was Training Category G unit. AFM 35-3, Ch. 3, 3-6—3-8, Table 3-1, “ARF Assignments and Training,” Rule 14, had only a Standby Reserve unit for NARS-A members, all “nonobligors,” as a Training Category G unit.

As such, Bush clearly was not eligible for assignment to it. Retired Colonel Rufus G. Martin (“Martin”), the then personnel officer for the 147th FG, told reporters that he knew Bush was ineligible for the first assignment but advised Bush to try for it since “[i]t was the [unit with the] least participation of any type of unit.”

See George Lardner, Jr., Howard Kurtz, “2 Democrats: Bush Let Guard Down,” Washington Post, November 3, 2000.

Martin’s statement says much about the National Guard in the 1960s and 1970s. It was a good-old-boy club inextricably enmeshed in State politics. Otherwise, why would the personnel officer help Bush to avoid fulfilling his obligation?

75 PBMR, 49. USAT/6/RST/5.

76 PBMR, 50. USAT/6/RST/8.

The difference between temporary and permanent is evident in the requests. For the 9921st Bush filled out an AF Form 1288, “Application for Reserve Assignment.”

To the deputy commander, Lieutenant Colonel William Turnipseed, and to attend the "Unit Training Assembly (UTA)" on "7-8 Oct 72" and "4-5 Nov 72"; he already missed the opportunity to attend a scheduled September 1972 UTA.

There is absolutely no evidence, testimonial or documentary, that he reported to anyone.

The WH-released documents show Bush was paid for attending UTAs on October 28 and 29, and November 11, 12, 13, and 14, 1972, not the UTA days he was ordered to training. He was awarded 12 points. There is no F190, F40a, or any other paperwork to back his attendance up, and these days do not match the days the unit had a "Unit Training Assembly."

Logically, he could not have attended UTAs on these days. He should have been credited with an APDY, the only type of training to substitute for an excused missed UTA.

Moreover, November 13-14, 1972, are weekdays, and he received four points for this bogus UTA training.

Did he receive permission to disregard the original orders?

Did he request equivalent training for the days for which he received credit?

What did Bush do and who was his supervisor?

Where is the authorization? Whom did he report to?

Why did he receive four points instead of the customary two for INACDUTRA during the week?

Most important, Bush missed UTAs in July, August, and September of the new fiscal year; yet there was not one warning letter about missing scheduled UTAs in his file.

He then missed the December UTA, and there was no letter. Clearly Bush’s TXANG had a mandatory duty to inform him of his unsatisfactory participation with a counseling letter, but there is not one scrap of paper showing it carried out this regulatory requirement.

Normally, orders were issued for ANACDUTRA, and UTAs were listed in a schedule.

Where are these documents?

There is no way to tell what type of training Bush performed for each day he supposedly showed up for duty without the back-up forms and orders, and, therefore, impossible to determine accurately how many points he earned.

The more important question is: Why would units, the 147th FG and 111th FIS, that meticulously kept records up to 1972 suddenly fail to have the proper forms in his file after that date?

Where are the orders for ANACDUTRA?

Why was he improperly credited with attending UTAs during the week?

In all his previous duty in the TXANG prior to his departure in May 1972, every UTA Bush was credited with was on a weekend.

Only during his period of duty after May 26, 1972, are UTAs improperly credited for weekdays, both in the Alabama ANG and TXANG units.

The F526SPEs also raise a number of questions about point calculation. For example, why was he credited with 8 points in Alabama for November 11-14, 1972, a weekend with the following Monday and Tuesday?82 He had missed the scheduled UTA so they cannot be UTAs. Normally, he would receive 6 points even if he made up the missed UTA with EQTs and APDYs: 4 for the weekend and one point each for the weekdays. January 4-6, 1973, a Thursday, Friday, and

PBMR, 20. USAT/6/RST/2.

See supra 3.

See supra 5-7. The answer is infra in the Pay Records section.

PBMR, 18-20. USAT/6/RST/2; USAT/7/2000/6 (Special Order dated January
11, 1971; Special Order dated may 1, 1973 not available at USAT.)

PBMR, 15. USAT/11/2000/9.

Saturday, he evidently was in Alabama, based on the WH-released dental record, and was credited with 6 points. Normally it would have been four. For duty in April and May 1973, evidently at his TXANG unit, the points were calculated correctly: one point for weekdays and two for each weekend day.

He supposedly served 2 days in April 1973 in his TXANG unit, but, strangely, for his performance rating through April 30, 1973, his superiors, two lieutenant colonels, one of whom was his direct supervisor, wrote they had not seen him and could not rate him.

July 16-19, 1973, Monday through Thursday, Bush strangely is also credited with 8 UTA points by his TXANG unit. Why? There could not be that many UTAs in a month.

Was this to ensure he had enough points to qualify for a discharge and transfer to ARPC?

Prior to May 26, 1972, in his TXANG unit Bush received credit for the following types of INACDUTRA: UTA, APDY, EQT, and TP. After that date, he received credit for only two types of training:

ANACDUTRA at one point per day, and UTA INACDUTRA at 2 points per day. In fact, 7 of 16, or 44 percent, of his UTA days for his anniversary year ending on May 26, 1973, are weekdays for which he received 2 points. The weekdays are all in Alabama. But a UTA by its very nature is scheduled for weekends and only 2 days of UTA per month are authorized. A missed UTA is made up by an EQT or APDY.

The same anomaly marks his training for his new anniversary year with training between May 27, and July 30, 1973, in his TXANG unit: 4 of 8 UTA days, July 16-19, 1973, or 50 percent, are weekdays, Monday through Thursday. Prior to this time his TXANG unit had never credited him with a UTA on a weekday.87 Why the sudden change in July 1973?

One WH-released F526SPE also has a facsimile date and time of ”6-15-95 12:04 p.m.” in the upper left corner.

What is its significance? What is its origin? Who faxed it? Who received it?

Bush already had been elected governor of Texas, so the public interest in his military records would have been minimal at that time. As previously stated, the point calculation on it also was inconsistent with ANG practice. For example, Bush earned an abnormal eight points for four UTAs on weekdays, July 16-19, 1973, and the normal five for five other ANACDUTRA weekdays, July 23-27, 1973.89

Where are the orders and other forms backing up the awarding of these points?

PBMR, 15. USAT/11/2000/9. The dental record is at Fact Check.

PBMR, 15. USAT/11/2000/9.

PBMR, 34. USAT/4/PG/13.

See 8 n. 41. There are four copies of this F526SPE at USAT; none have them facsimile information.

USAT/10/2000/18; USAT/11/2000/6, 9; USAT/16/2004/7.

PBMR, 3-12. See supra 8 n. 41 and USAT/5/PP/ 2, 5, 7, 10.

PBMR, 16. See supra 14 n. 80.

The F526SPE evidently listed the type of training under its “TP”: “1” is for ANACDUTRA and “2” for INACDUTRA or some type of INACDUTRA. The WH-released finance documents [PBMR, 51-57; Fact Check] list only three types of training “AD,” “UTA,” and “AFTP” with the last two being INACDUTRA. It is unknown if the F526SPE differentiated between different
types of INACDUTRA.

The January 6, 1972, dental evaluation coincided with the WH-released SPD and F526SPE.90 Bush evidently was fulfilling his INACDUTRA by going for a dental exam, an appropriate activity for a UTA.

The examination was on a Saturday. There was no unit UTA schedule in the records.

Why did Bush not attend the normallyscheduled UTA for Sunday? Where is the authorization? Why did he return to Alabama for duty, instead of reporting to his TXANG unit that he was back in Texas and ready for duty, since his request and his commander’s approval covered duty in Alabama only during September, October, and November 1972?

There are numerous accounts in the press of service members in the Alabama unit saying they neither met nor saw Bush at the unit.

One pilot even says he was looking for Bush, but never saw him, even at the pilot lounge; another pilot confirms the first’s account.

The WH recently produced a retired Lieutenant Colonel John Calhoun who has said he spent time with Bush, but the periods do not coincide with the training documents.

When a hefty reward was offered in 2000 to anyone who saw Bush in Alabama, Calhoun never collected, a factor also undermining his credibility. All eyewitness evidence is anecdotal, however, and obscures the main problems:

Bush moved to Alabama without gaining prior approval to fulfill his ANG duty in Alabama; the evidence clearly shows he never attended any kind of training from April 1972 until the end of October 1972, a period of six months; and he was strangely credited for UTAs that could not have been this type of training.

He also seemingly attended no INACDUTRA in December 1972, as well as in February and March 1973.95 Yet there is not one counseling letter in his records.

As for the DD Form 44, the released records contained only three for the years 1968, 1969, 1971.96 Additionally, the recently released records showed Bush did not even keep his contact address current, as required by regulation .The address on the F526RCS prepared on January 30, 1970, is Bush’s residential address in Houston before he departed for Harvard Business School (“HBS”) in the summer 1973. ARPC Reserve Order N-D 1704, dated March 7, 1974,
has a Houston address that does not correspond with the one on the 90 PBMR, 14, 15, respectively.

FACT CHECK.

PBMR, 50, 69, respectively. USAT/6/RST/8, 7, respectively.

See Jackson Baker, “Bush a No-Show at Alabama Base, Says Memphian,” the
Memphis Flyer, February 12, 2004.

See Walter v. Robinson and Wayne Washington, “Bush releases his military
records,” Boston Globe, February 14, 2002.

In a discussion with an Alabama ANGUS technician, it was determined that the Alabama unit would have sent the attendance document to Bush’s parent TXANG unit which would have submitted the paperwork to initiate payment for the training. Additionally, the Alabama ANGUS unit would not have permanently retained records on Bush since he was not a member of the unit.

This anomaly will be explained infra in the Pay Records section of this analysis.

PBMR, 71-73. USAT/7/Miscellaneous/10, 11, 12.

Previously released records had the address redacted. See, e.g., PBMR,
38, 47.

PBMR, 65. USAT/10/2000/17.

Previously mentioned F526RCS.99 The first Reserve Order with a HBS address is dated May 1, 1974.100 The first with a home address in Massachusetts is dated November 21, 1974.101

Finally, on July 30, 1973, prior to his departure for Boston to attend HBS, Bush signed a counseling statement recognizing his responsibility to find another unit in which to serve his obligated service or face an involuntary call to active duty.

Some six weeks later, on September 13, 1973, the unit personnel officer certified that Bush had “satisfactorily participated in his Ready reserve assignment while assigned to the 111th Ftr Intcp Sq, Ellington AFB, Texas[.]”102 This certification is a bold-faced lie, since Bush’s participation for the previous fiscal year clearly was unsatisfactory when he earned only 36 INACDUTRA points.

It was signed by the same TXANG personnel officer who suggested Bush request assignment to the unit in Alabama where he would have had no mandatory meetings.

In summary, there was no F190, F1383, AF Form 40, or AF Form 40a documenting his attendance in the ANG after May 1972 until the time he was discharged and assigned to ARPC on October 2, 1973. There was no record of his ever receiving any warning letters or of the unit’s reporting him for unsatisfactory participation in accordance with AFM 35-3, although he missed more than the 4 UTA periods permitted.

Other important documents are the above-mentioned Special Orders normally issued by the commander for ANACDUTRA periods. There are some, but none for ANACDUTRA after June 7, 1973, although he earned an abnormal number of points in July 1973.

There was, however, another form that belies the WH version: AF Form 11, “The Officer Military Record”: Page two has an October 1, 1973, entry documenting Bush’s discharge from the TXANG and transfer to ARPC. The previous entries document only ANACDUTRA up to May 26, 1972.105 Where is the entry for the ANACDUTRA after May 1972? After all, the form has a “1 Oct 73” closeout entry.

The evidence shows that Bush clearly and convincingly did not meet the fiscal year satisfactory participation requirement for July 1, 1972-June 30, 1973.

There is no doubt that his superiors in the TXANG did not carry out their responsibilities to fulfill the regulatory requirements PBMR, 74. USAT/13/20044.

This order also showed Bush’s lost his pilot rating and was assigned the primary skill category of “Executive Support Officer.”

Whether Bush initiated this change or ARPC did cannot be determined at this time because there is no other information available in the released records.

PBMR, 75. USAT/12/2000/22.

PBMR, 68. USAT/12/2000/24.

PBMR, 76. USAT/13/2004/3.

See 13 n. 77. By September 13, 1973, Bush had begun his first term at Harvard Business School (“HBS”) in Massachusetts which began on September, 11, 1973 for first year students. March 30, 2004, E-mail from HBS Registrar Services.

In addition, it was irrelevant for the purpose of seeking an assignment in Massachusetts because Bush had already requested transfer to ARPC (NARS) on September 5, 1973.

USAT/2/Discharge/5.

PBMR, 18-19. Only the January 11, 1971, Special Order to AD is available at USAT/7/2000/6. PBMR, 23-24. USAT/11/2000/10-11. for notifying him of his unsatisfactory participation and loss of proficiency and properly reporting Bush’s failures to higher HQ, especially since the Texas Adjutant General maintained Bush’s master personnel records file.

IV. FLIGHT STATUS.

Bush was grounded by verbal orders on August 1, 1972, for not taking his flight physical. On September 5, 1972, the 147th FG commander published written orders, confirming the grounding. On September 29, 1972, official written orders issued by Major General Francis S. Greenlief, Chief, National Guard Bureau, confirmed the grounding, and, most important, ordered Bush to “comply with para[graph] 2-10, AFM 35-13";108 paragraph 2-28, AFM 35-13, says the following:

“The officer suspended will acknowledge in writing that he has received the orders indicating the time and date of receipt according to paragraph 2-10b.” Walter V. Robinson (Robinson) and Francie Latour (Latour) in “Bush’s loss of flying status should have spurred probe,” Boston Globe, February 12, 2004, first noted this requirement.

There is no document that shows Bush ever complied with this notification requirement, however. Robinson and Latour went on to cite two generals about the seriousness of Bush’s failure to take his flight physical and the duty of the commander to investigate the reasons for his failure to take it.

If a pilot failed to take a medical examination, the local commander who had the authority to convene a Flying Evaluation Board (“FEB”)109 had to “direct an investigation as to why the individual failed to accomplish the medical examination.”

That commander then had two options, to convene an FEB or to forward a detailed report of the case up the chain of command with a recommendation that the suspension be removed [if the flight physical has been taken].”

The records released to date contain no information about either Bush or his commander’s fulfilling these mandatory requirements.

Another explanation is possible for Bush’s loss of interest in fulfilling the obligation he undertook.

Perhaps Bush had a flight incident that vitiated his fervor for flying?

Dangerous incidents, such as engine flameout, in that time frame were not uncommon and sometimes were an epiphany for a pilot. The regulation even provided for grounding because of the fear of flying. Interestingly, Bush had time for a dental exam in January 1973, which required his traveling from Texas to Alabama, but no time to carry out a standing regulatory requirement to take a yearly flight physical?

See supra 8 n. 44.

PBMR, 77. USAT/18/2004/11.

PBMR, 21-22. USAT/18/2004/9-10.

Normally, that would be a wing commander; in this case, probably the
commander of the 147th FG, Bush’s higher HQ.

AFM 35-13, 2-13, 2-28(m). A copy of the appropriate pages was obtained
from Walter V. Robinson; the title page was not available.

Id.

Id. “George W. Bush: military pilot” at http://www.danford.net cites fighter pilot Ed Rasimus: “Every time you kick the tires and light the fire in a single-engine, single-seat Century Series jet, it can kill you—all by itself without help from any enemy.”

An AF retired colonel who served with Bush in the TXANGUS, William Camtenni, noted several aviators in their unit died while both were there. Bob Dart and Bob Dean, “Bush records fail to disprove charges,” In fact, there is no evidence that he ever complied with this obligation, even after he returned to Texas sometime in the winter 1972, or even complied with paragraph 2-10, AFM 35-13, to respond to his notification of grounding in writing. His AF Form 1712, “Uniform Military Personnel Record,” dated “73MAY10,” shows his last physical was taken in May 1971.

It also shows he was suspended.

But, as previously mentioned, the WH-released F190 from May 26, 1973115 strangely shows that his aeronautical rating was “Plt Onfly,” although he had been grounded since August 1, 1972.

This entry also is at odds with the entry on the May 1, 1973, “Special Order,” that requires Bush to attend “Annual Active Duty Training” at his TXANG unit and indicates he was in a “Non-Fly” status.

If he had already returned to Houston in November 1972, why did he not report in at his unit immediately, take his flight physical, and resume his self-described passion for flying fighters?

Why did he go back to Alabama without prior approval in January 1973 to perform INACDUTRA? Why did the TXANG leadership fail to enforce the requirement for a flight physical after he returned?

One way of determining whether his abandonment of his flying obligation hurt his unit is to look at its authorized strength and assigned personnel in 1972 when Bush left his Texas unit for Alabama without prior written authorization and in 1973 after he returned to Texas.

A 1970 document in the FOIA response shows the unit was authorized lieutenants but was assigned only 7 in that year. It was 5 over strength at the grade of captain, so it was still one short of company grade officers, lieutenants and captains, in 1970.

That is precisely why the commander of the 147th FG at that time, retired Major General Bobby W. Hodges, has stated, that were Bush in Texas, “I would have kept him flying the 102 until he got out, but I don’t recall him coming back at all.”

He evidently was available, but not qualified, because he never took his flight physical, although he had a regulatory obligation to take it. Bush never flew after April 1972, although he had an obligation to fly into November 1974.

(IT IS WRITER’S SUSPICION [ED.] THAT WE HAVE SOME ALCOHOL/DRUG INDISPOSITION INVOLVED IN THESE FAILURE TO REPORT FOR PHYSICAL EXAMS INCIDENTS.

In summary, Bush agreed to fly for 60 months after completion of his training at Moody AF Base. Bush then received F-102 training at his home base. After some eighteen months of training at a cost of some one million 1970 dollars, Bush flew operationally for about 22 of the remaining 53 months he agreed to fly.

(Cox News Service at www.azstarnet.com/dailystar. Bush mentions these deaths in his autobiography, A Charge to Keep (William Morrow and Company, Inc. 1999)

(“Charge”), 55: “We lost two men in our unit when I was flying.”

PBMR, 62. USAT/14/2000/22.

USAT/14/2000/23.

PBMR, 17. USAT/11/2000/7.

PBMR, 19. This Special Order is not available at USAT.

PBMR, 43-46. Only the Statement of Intent is available at
USAT/14/2004/7.

PBMR, 39. This for is not available at USAT.

Martin Heldt, “Four days in the fall,” September 3, 2000, at http://onlinejournal.com/bush.

He had 39 days of ANACDUTRA and 75.5 days [151 points] of INACDUTRA from July 1970 until he departed his TXANG unit in May 1972 with his last attendance at training on April 16, 1972, for a UTA. There is no evidence his unit took any corrective action whatsoever. Its inaction enabled Bush to escape his failure to take a flight physical, i.e., maintain his proficiency,120 without suffering any consequences.

V. Bush’s Performance as Documented on AF Form 77,
“Officer Effectiveness/Training Report” (F77).

The FOIA response contained three F77s covering his duty performance from November 27, 1969, through April 30, 1973. Newspaper articles and some commentators have highlighted the laudatory comments in these performance reports, while overlooking the most important element: his 1972 rating is demonstrably lower than his 1971 report.

It was written by the same officers, and Bush had not changed positions or been promoted, factors that can have an impact on a performance rating:

New raters can have a different rating philosophy; assuming a new position and promotion to a higher rank entail a learning process and raters usually left room for improvement.

In Bush’s case, however, he is rated lower in 1972 than in 1971 in section III (Rating Factors) in the “Performance of Duties” and "Leadership" blocks. To be fair, “Judgment" is higher.

The most important section, his "Promotion Potential" in section VI, went from a top block 4 "Promote ahead of contemporaries"123 to the penultimate block 3, "Consider for advancement ahead of contemporaries."

Another indicator of a precipitous drop in his performance is the comments by the 147th FG commander, Lieutenant Colonel Bobby W. Hodges (“Hodges”), in an “Additional Endorsement” to the F77 in 1971 and 1972. In 1971, Hodges wrote, “Lieutenant Bush is an outstanding young pilot and officer . . . This officer is rated in the upper 10% of his contemporaries.” In 1972, after one more year of service, now Colonel Hodges changed “outstanding” to “exceptionally fine” and had no comment about Bush’s being in the top ten percent of his contemporaries.

One also should not put too much stock in the praiseworthy comments and seemingly high ratings because rating inflation was rampant at that time. The trend in an officer’s performance rating, however, is the most important factor, and Bush clearly was on a downward slope. Rating Bush lower as his career progressed in the exact same job with the same rank was military code for saying something stinks in Denmark and the kiss of death for an officer's career, regardless of the seemingly high rating and flattering comments.

See supra 5.

PBMR, 27-37. USAT/4/PG/2-13.

Compare PBMR, 27 and 30. USAT/4/PG/2, 5.

PBMR, 28. USAT/4/PG/3.

PBMR, 31. USAT/4/PG/6.

PBMR, 29. USAT/4/PG/4.

PBMR, 32. USAT/4/PG/7.

Overall the 1972 rating was devastating. Did this lower rating indicate a problem? Did it play a role in Bush’s decision to go to Alabama and to abandon his flying career?

THIS WRITER [ED.] AGAIN INTERJECTS HERE THAT WE MAY WELL, LIKELY, HAVE A CONVERGENCE OF SEVERAL FACTORS WITH THE BUSH FALL AWAY. THEY WOULD INCLUDE ALCOHOL/DRUG ABUSE, FLIGHT FRIGHT AND THE DECISION THAT THE SERVICE HAS SERVED HIS RESUME PURPOSES FOR THE FUTURE AND THAT IT WAS NOW TIME TO MOVE ON TO BIGGER AND BETTER THINGS AND SHED THE MILITARY!

His May 1973 F77 is the one in which his superiors wrote they could not rate him because he was in Alabama performing his obligated ANACDUTRA and INACDUTRA for the previous year. When that report hit ARPC, an ARPC Form 204 was sent to Bush's Texas unit ordering it to obtain an AF Form 77a from the training unit in Alabama so that Bush "can be rated in the position he held"; it added, "

Ratings must be entered on this officer in Sections V & VI [of the AF Form 77]"; the suspense date for responding was August 6, 1973.128 When the AF Form 77a was completed on November 12, 1973, more than three months past its suspense date, after Bush had been discharged from the TXANG, it simply stated, "Report for this period not available for administrative reasons."129 It had absolutely no input from the Alabama ANG.

Why did his TXANG unit disregard the suspense date and submit the form after Bush was discharged in October 1973? Why had his TXANG unit not obtained input from the Alabama unit?

Could nobody there provide any input on Bush's performance? If Bush had a supervisor and Calhoun’s statement about him fulfilling his duties Conscientiously is true, why did his TXANG leadership comply with the order from ARPC?

There is one more important facet about his performance reports:

Both of the reports before 1973, in section II, “Duties,” list the number of active duty days and training periods. On the report “from 27 Nov 69 thru 30 Apr 71” they were listed as “166 Active Duty Days/78 Training Periods; on the one for the next year – “ Active Duty Days/82 Training Periods”; on the one where he could not be rated there is no entry,130 indicating his TEXANG superiors had no idea what Bush had been doing in Alabama, or anywhere else for that
matter, for the entire previous year.

JUMPING BACK IN AGAIN [ED.]; THE ALABAMA SOJOURN APPEARS AT THIS TIME TO HAVE BEEN NOTHING MORE THAN A PAPER TRANSFER TO AN INCOMPETENT RECORD KEEPING (FRIENDLY HIDE OUT OR EXIT STRATEGY UNIT OF CHOICE) FOR BUSH!

LOST IN THE SHUFFLE AND FREE TO FLEE!

Bush also has no F77 evaluating his performance from May 1, 1972, until his discharge on October 1, 1973, from the TXANG. For the last 17 months of his time in the ANG, there is no record of the duties he performed and how well he performed them because both the Alabama and TXANG units failed to submit a F77 documenting his performance.

PBMR, 34. USAT/4/PG/13.

PBMR, 35. USAT/4/PG/11.

The ARPC Form 204 also notes in the “Corrective Action Section” that Bush’s “DAFSC [Air Force Specialty Code] and/or duty title in Section II [of the DAF 77] does not agree with Item 8, AF Form 11,” and in the “Remarks Section” that Bush “should have been reassigned since he no longer is training in his AFSC or with his unit of assignment.” There are several copies of the AF Form 11 in the records that differ, and no explanation has ever been provided for the redaction of the first line in the “1 Oct 73” entry in some of them.

Compare, e.g.,

USAT/14/2000/16 and USAT/17/2004/25(redacted) with USAT/7/2000/3,

USAT/18/2004/5, and PBMR, 24 (unredacted). The comment about Bush’s
reassignment highlights the failure of Bush’s TXANG unit to take any
corrective action when Bush failed to take his flight physical.

PBMR, 37. USAT/4/PG/10.

PBMR, 27, 30, 33, respectively. USAT/4/PG/2, 5, 12, respectively.

Moreover, Bush had extensive service in his TXANG before his discharge on October 1, 1973: Of the 150 total days in his TXANG unit during this period, he had 12 days of ANACDUTRA and 2 days of UTA in May 1973; 3 days of ANACDUTRA and two days of UTA in June 1973; and 13 days of ANACDUTRA and 6 days of UTA in July 1973.

Yet his superiors decided not to give him an officer performance evaluation on his discharge after he had not been rated for the previous year. Why would his superiors allow the last 17 months of his duty to be unrated time?

WHY INDEED? [ED.]

VI. Discharge from TXANG and Assignment to ARPC.

A. REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS.

AFM 35-3, Ch. 12, “”Screening the Ready Reserve,” 12-7, 12-11, has special provision for ANGUS members: “Subject to paragraph 12-2e, ANGUS members who do not qualify for retention of Ready Reserve status under the screening criteria will be discharged from the State ANG under this chapter and ANG 36-05 or 39-10;133 paragraph 12-2(e) allows a qualifying member to request a transfer to the Standby Reserve from his commander. Such a transfer is governed, however, by specific criteria in Table 12-1 of this chapter, and the only criterion that applied to Bush, a member of the ANG, is Rule 8 which says the member “does not possess the required military qualifications for his grade or specialty; or he does not meet the mental, moral, professional or physical standards of the Air Force (see note 4).”

THE MEDIA HAS NOT HAD THE BALLS TO PRESS THIS ISSUE OR ANY MEDICAL/PHYSICAL EXAM ISSUE; THEY FAIL HERE! [ED.]

Note 4 required notification of the member if a unit initiated action, and a right for the member to submit documentation in his behalf. The National Guard Bureau made the final determination and recommended disposition of the member with the file going to ARPC. ANGR 36-05, “Separation of Air National Guard Officers,” December 31, 1968, governed Bush’s discharge.

Paragraph 6a(12) provided for the discharge of an officer from the State ANG “[a]s a result of screening under any of the criteria contained in ANGR 35-03 [ANGR 35-3, Table 12-1 supra].” AFM 36-10 is not available to determine if a performance report was mandatory or optional. The current AF Instruction 36-2406, “officer and Enlisted Evaluation Systems,” 1 July 2000, in Table 3.3, dealing with performance reports for ANGUS officers with the rank from lieutenant through colonel, indicates 120 days of supervision is required when the officer is separating, and, according to a representative at the Air Force Personnel Command, a performance report has always been mandatory, even under AFM 36-10 in the 1970s, if the officer is transferred to ARPC to finish his MSO.

The decline in performance in 1972-1973 should be placed in perspective.

As has been widely reported, during this period Bush was still drinking, and, in December 1972 while visiting his parents in Washington D.C., challenged his father to go mano a mano after coming home drunk with his younger 16-year-old brother Marvin.

WE HAVE TO GO THIS LONG INTO THIS WORK BEFORE THE MATTER FINALLY SURFACES, AND THEN JUST A BLINK! [ED.]

See, e.g., Suzanne Goldenberg and Oliver Burkeman, “George’s War,” The Guardian, February 12, 2004, and Lois Romano and George Lardner, Jr., “Bush’s Life-Changing Year,” Washington Post, July 25, 1999.

ANGR 36-05, “Separation of Air National Guard Officers,” dated December 31, 1968, applies to Bush’s situation.

The procedure for Rule 8 supra dictates that if a member has an MSO he is transferred to ARPC (ORS). The discharge order had to contain the following statement, however: “[D]ischarge from ANG and transfer to USAFR, ARPC (ORS), standby screening by authority of AFM 35-3, table 12-1, rule 8C.” If an ANG order cited Rule 8C, then the member would be assigned to NARS-B because he still had an MSO.

In the alternative, moving from the area of assignment also qualified a member for a discharge from ANGUS and assignment to ARPC (ORS) for processing in accordance with AFM 35-3, Ch. 14. For those transferred from the ANGUS to ARPC, [t]he following categories of members who have an unfulfilled MSO are initially assigned to ORS when gained to the Ready Reserve strength of ARPC.

A member transferred from the ANGUS to complete the remainder of his MSO. When moving, the member was obligated to inform his unit, and, in turn, it had to counsel him before the move that he was subject to an involuntary call to active duty to serve a maximum of 24 months of active duty or 45 days of ACDUTRA.

In any event, when an officer’s records arrived at ARPC (ORS), they were screened upon arrival:

ARPC will review the personnel records of each member with an MSO when he is initially gained to ARPC strength. ARPC will determine his current status and will then award an appropriate availability classification code and assign the individual to the appropriate section. Publication of orders is not required for these actions.

The two criteria for ARPC’s placing a member in the Standby Reserve in order of priority were participation in combat and obligated Ready Reserve time remaining: Those with the least time were selected first.

If the member did not qualify for transfer to the Standby Reserve, ARPC had to notify the member that he had 60 days from notification to locate and join another Ready Reserve unit or MA position. Moreover, the individual had the responsibility to find a unit or MA position

AFM 35-3, Ch. 8, 8-6 8-15b(2), (4).

AFM 35-3, Ch. 10, “USAFR Assignment Policies,” 10-2, 10-9a(2).

AFM 35-3, Ch. 14, 14-7, 14-4a. Any periods of previous active duty were subtracted from the 24 months. For example, if the member had already served 19 months, he could be involuntarily called to active duty for a maximum of 5 months.

AFM 35-3, 12-11, 12-16b.

AFM 35-3, Ch. 12, 12-2, 12-3: “Members of the Ready Reserve, who are
equally eligible for transfer to the Standby Reserve, will be selected in
the following order. A person:

a. Who has participated in combat.

b. With the least remaining obligated Ready Reserve Service.”
AFM 35-3, Ch. 14, 14-7, 14-6b.

If he failed to find and join a unit or be placed in an MA position, he had to be processed for an involuntary call to active duty. The regulation was seemingly unequivocal in this regard, i.e., for the “processing” of a member.

To facilitate the ability of a member to fulfill his obligation, commanders of ARF units practically had no leeway to reject a member who changed his residency because of a cogent reason, if inter alia the losing unit certified in writing that the member had participated satisfactorily in his assignment, the member’s specialty was usable in the unit or he could be retrained.

The member also had the right to request discharge or assignment to the Standby Reserve within five days of the receipt of the notification. If the member objected to the involuntary call to active duty, assistance had to be provided to help him prepare his case, and no member was to be ordered to active duty unless his case was reviewed by an informal board of officers at ARPC.

In some instances, the member required a medical examination prior to entry into active duty.

Finally, if a member believed his case had not been given full consideration, he could submit an appeal within 15 days of the receipt of ARPC’s decision on his request; the appeal had to be based on a change in circumstances not previously considered; and an informal board of officers at ARPC would issue a decision within seven days of receipt by the approving authority.

The regulation, however, did not demand that all such members be called involuntarily to active duty: “[I]ndividuals who are unable to participate and who have not fulfilled their statutory participation requirements and cannot qualify for continued assignment to ORS may be ordered to AD [active duty] if they have not served on AD and/or ACDUTRA for 20 months, or their remaining MSO is more than 3 months.”

Id., 14-11, 14-8a(3)(a).

Id., 14-8, 14-6f.

Id., 14-6d.

Id., 14-11, 14-8a(3)(b).

Id., 14-8a(4).

Id., 14-8b.

Id., 14-13, 14-8(e).

Id., 14-11, 14-8a (emphasis added).

ARPC seemingly had discretion, at this point, but the penalty for unsatisfactory participation or loss of proficiency was termination of the Ready Reserve assignment and an involuntary call to active duty.

See supra 5. Interestingly, AFR 35-41, Ch. 7, 7-5, 7-8a with an effective date of April 16, 1974, says, “ARPC administers the program to order to active duty enlisted members of the ORS who qualify for a 24-month tour of active duty” (emphasis added).

This qualification is not in AFM 35-3. The logical inference is that some other authority, not ARPC, had to order officers to active duty involuntarily.

Although AFR 35-41 was not in effect when Bush was transferred to ARPC, new regulations usually lag behind practices that have already been implemented.

As for the word “may,” it “usually is employed to imply permissive, optional or discretional, and not mandatory action or conduct” and “[i]n construction of statutes and presumably also in construction of federal rules [the] word ‘may’ as opposed to ‘shall’ is indicative of discretion or choice. . .” although the context in which the___ word is used is ultimately the “controlling factor.” Black’s Law Dictionary (6th ed. 1990), 979.


B. BUSH’S RECORDS.

Before Bush left Texas to attend HBS, his unit made him sign a counseling statement,148 dated July 30, 1973, in accordance with AFM 35-3.149 On his September 5, 1973, letter requesting discharge, Bush asked for assignment to “ARPC (NARS)” in the Standby Reserve which would have provided him sanctuary from an involuntary call to active duty except in case of national emergency or war declared by Congress.

Although the regulation required that he be assigned to ARPC (ORS),151 his 111th commander recommended approval of Bush’s request for assignment to the Standby Reserve a day later. On September 18, 1973, the commander of the 147th FG approved his discharge but properly requested that Bush be assigned to ARPC (ORS). In between these two dates, on September 13, 1973, the personnel officer for 147th FG, Martin, falsely affirmed on Bush’s July 30, 1973, counseling statement that he had participated in his assignment satisfactorily: “

1st Lt Bush has satisfactorily participated in his Ready reserve [sic] assignment while assigned to the 111th Ftr Intcp Sq [sic], Ellington AFB, Texas.”

This statement is a brazen lie because Bush neither quantitatively nor qualitatively had completed the requirements for satisfactory participation for FY 1972-1973: He had only earned INACDUTRA points, instead of the minimum ; had failed to take his flight physical and lost his proficiency, although he had returned to Texas by January 1973; and had no performance rating for the last 17 months of duty in the TXANG.

On October 16, 1973, the Adjutant General’s Department issued a Special Order confirming Bush’s discharge from the TXANG and assignment to ARPC (ORS).155 The Adjutant General, however, did not send Bush’s master record file to ARPC until November 15, 1973, some 45 days after his discharge.

PBMR, 76. USAT/13/2004/3.

AFM 35-3, Ch. 14, 14-7, 14-6a. A sample counseling statement is at id.
14-9, Figure 14-2. Bush’s counseling statement conforms to the figure.

PBMR, 78. USAT/2/Discharge/5. Members of the Standby Reserve can be
called to active duty only in time of war or national emergency declared by
Congress. AFM 35-3, Ch. 2, 2-5, 2-39.

Id., Ch. 10, 10-2, 10-6a(2).

PBMR, 78. USAT/2/Discharge/5.

PBMR, 79. USAT/2/Discharge/2.

PBMR, 76. USAT/13/2004/3.

The signature block does not state that Martin is the personnel officer for the 147th FG. See Washington Post, “At Height of Vietnam, Bush Picks Guard,” July 28, 1999, found at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/campaigns/wh2000/stories/bush072899.htm at This same officer had recommend Bush attempt reassignment to the 21st in 1972, although Bush was ineligible for such an assignment.

See 13 n. 77.

PBMR, 80. USAT/2/Discharge/4.

PBMR, 81. USAT/7/Miscellaneous/2.

The Texas Adjutant General, not ARPC, had the responsibility of maintaining Bush’s master personnel records file.

AFM 35-3, Ch. 8, 8-9, 8-24a(2). It is practically impossible to determine, therefore, how much information about Bush’s record was available to ARPC prior to the transfer of the complete file to ARPC.

There is no documentary evidence that ARPC ever screened his records and notified him that he had 60 days to find and join another Ready Reserve unit, or MA position, to avoid an involuntary call to active duty, after it received Bush’s records. At that point Bush had completed just over 20 months of active duty and ACDUTRA and was just over one of the thresholds allowing ORS to avoid calling him involuntarily to active duty.

He did have more than three months of his MSO remaining, almost eight months from October 2, 1973, to May 26, 1974, and at the most some five months by the time ARPC screened his records, and could have been called to active duty under that provision, but, as stated above, the regulation gave ARPC discretion since it said such members “may be ordered” to active duty.

At some point ARPC transferred Bush to NARS-B before he had fulfilled his MSO, although Bush seemingly should have remained in ORS until it was completed: “An obligor not assigned to another unit.

Certainly ARPC received Bush’s reassignment request, copies of his officer performance reports, and the F190s after the RR year was closed. ARPC probably was not aware of the day-to-day and month-to-month attendance records, and the TXANG clearly had the responsibility to screen Bush’s records for satisfactory participation and proficiency.

If no adverse action was taken by the TXANG, ARPC most likely would have little chance of knowing Bush’s participation was unsatisfactory until well after it occurred. In fact, the ARPC F526RCS prepared on January 30, 1974, has a date-stamp of April 8, 1974, in the upper right hand corner which could indicate that date ARPC processed it. PBMR, See supra 11-12 at n. 67
for the variations of this form in the records.

Bush had completed 629 days of active duty and ACDUTRA which comes to 20 months and 29 days, considering every month is 30 days. Bush had completed 5 years, 4 months, and 5 days of his six-year MSO when he was discharged form the TXANG according to his National Guard Bureau Form 22. PBMR, 40. USAT/2/Discharge/6.

In the context of the times, with the large influx of pilots, as well as other AF personnel,because of the drawdown in Vietnam, ARPC was probably swamped with records to review. Moreover, ARPC would have received the records right at the start of the Thanksgiving Day with Christmas and the New Year’s celebration right around the corner.

A contemporary of Bush’s in the 111th in 1970-71, retired Colonel William Campenni (“Campenni”) wrote: “'The Bush excusal in 1972 was further facilitated by a change in the unit's mission, from an operational fighter squadron to a training squadron with a new airplane, the F-101, which required that more pilots be available for full-time instructor duty rather than part-time traditional reservists with outside employment.

“'The winding down of the Vietnam War from 1971 [until the US total withdrawal in 1973] provided a flood of exiting active-duty pilots for these instructor jobs, making part-timers like Lt. Bush and me somewhat superfluous. There was a huge glut of pilots in the Air Force in 1972, and with no cockpits available to put them in, many were shoved into nonflying desk jobs.

Any pilot could have left the Air Force or the Air Guard with ease after 1972 before his commitment was up because there just wasn't roomfor all of them anymore.'”

See http://www.danford.net/bushf102.htm , at 2-3.

In 1969, AFM 53-3 had listed “fighter pilot” as a critical military specialty under AFSC. AFM 35-3, Ch. 12, 12-57, Figure 4. The elimination of “fighter pilot” as a critical specialty in AFR 35-41 in 1974 gives credence to Campenni’s statement about a surplus of fighter pilots in the post-Vietnam War period.

AFR 35-41, Ch. 8, 8-9, Figure 8-3.

Ready Reserve position will be retained in ORS until he completes his MSO, unless sooner transferred to the Standby Reserve under chapter 12.”

Unfortunately, the regulation permitted ARPC to transfer him to NARS-B without publishing orders,160 and the reason and timing for his assignment to NARS-B can only be deduced from another action, the change of his Primary Air Force Specialty Code (“PAFSC”).

In relation to ARPC actions, there are two F526RCSs for the RR year of May 27, 1972, through May 26, 1973, that also require explanation. The first has an effective date of May 26, 1973; shows it was generated as an annual statement; and has no points on it.

There is no date showing when it had been prepared, although the one at the USA Today website has a date-stamp of October 3, 1973, in the upper right hand corner.161 The origin of this stamp is impossible to determine, however, and the F190 from May 26, 1973, certifies that Bush earned 9 ACDUTRA and 32 INACDUTRA points for that RR year.

The second F526RCS for that RR year has a “DATE PREPARED” of January 30, 1974, after Bush was discharged from the TXANG, and specifies the reason for its generation as “INACTIVE STATUS.”

If Bush were in ORS or NARS-B, the only two possibilities based on the records, he could not have been in “Inactive Status.” This form also has two dates stamped on it at the top: April 8, 1974, and April 10, 1974. When Bush had been assigned to ARPC, he had a PAFSC for a fighter pilot, , but had not flown for some 20 months and did not have a current flight physical.

On March 7, 1974, ARPC stripped Bush of his fighter pilot status by changing his PAFSC to Executive Support Officer with the issuance of Reserve Order N-D 1704. It was sent to a Houston address at which Bush had not lived since about 1971.

There is nothing in the records to show whether Bush requested this change or ARPC unilaterally ordered it. There was no acknowledgment from Bush about the change. He, therefore, lost his coveted status as a fighter pilot without so much as whimper.

On May 1, 1974, ARPC issued an order164 transferring Bush from NARS-B to the Inactive Status List Reserve Section (“ISLRS”) in the Standby Reserve with an effective date of May 27,1974, since he had completed his MSO, but still had to complete his obligated service
pursuant to the additional time he incurred as a result of his flight training.

There is an undated letter with no addressee information that shows Bush was interested in finding out his status with the “Air Reserve.” It indicates he knew he was in the Standby Reserve and desired a discharge: “I would like to discharge [sic] AFM 35-3, Ch. 10, 10-3, 10-6c.

There is no documentary evidence in the records that ARPC applied any provision of Chapter 12.

AFM 35-3, Ch. 12, 12-11, 12-16b.

Compare PBMR, 63, with PBMR, 82, from USAT/11/2000/5.

Not all copies of this form have this date stamped on them, indicating, most likely, that they came from different records repositories.

USAT/16/2004/6.

The F526RCS at the USAT website is missing the print at the bottom telling which copy it is. It is not the Master Personnel Record Copy since this copy has ARPC facsimile information at the top, while the USAT version has the date-stamp of April 10, 1974 from the standby reserve.

PBMR, 65.

PBMR, 74. USAT/13/2004/4.

PBMR, 75. USAT/16/2004/17.

He knew his section or unit number, as well as his Standby Reserve number. On November 21, 1974, Bush was discharged from ISLRS. There is no documentary or testimonial evidence that ARPC ever considered calling Bush involuntarily to active duty.

Thus, while flagrantly violating regulations and his commitment to serve and fly, Bush skated through the system of checks and balances to ensure members of the ANGUS fulfilled their obligations, or paid a penalty with an involuntary call to active duty, with help from his comrades-in-arms in the TXANG, the circumstances of the time, the military drawdown, and ARPC’s inattention or indifference to his regulatory violations.

THE ROLE OF EXACTLY WHAT TRANSPIRED IN THE “ALABAMA AFFAIR”MUST BE THE SUBJECT OF CONTINUED SCRUTINY. IT IS JUST TOO PAT, TOO CONVENIENT A WASH. [ED.]

VII. PAY RECORDS.

Pay records are unreliable as an ultimate proof of attendance at drills, as Richard Cohen pointed out in a Washington Post editorial, "From Guardsmen . . .," on February 10, 2004. The ARPC FOIA response letter clearly stated: “The information regarding pay records . . .would be located in the *Texas State Adjutant General’s Office.” These records reportedly come from Defense Finance and Accounting Service. Has the WH released pay records from *Texas?

For at least one month, March 1972, the finance records do not correspond to the F190: the former170 show four entries for UTAs (for March 12, 1 each for March 14 and 15), five entries for AFTPs (March 1, 6, 14, 15, and 31), and 4 days of AD training (March 8-11) for a total of 13 day-points; the latter171 shows no AFTPs only five TPs, albeit on the same days, four days of AD training, 2 UTAs for March 12, and one EQT for March 15 for a total of 12 day-points.

This error, most likely, was administrative in nature. There are other administrative disconnects such as the unit crediting Bush with TPs that were paid for as AFTPs. These errors probably also are administrative in nature.

THERE HAVE BEEN TOO MANY ASSUMPTIONS OF INNOCENT ERRORS OR INCOMPETENCE ALL ALONG THE LINE IN THE EVALUATION OF THIS MATTER. ANY SERIOUSLY MANIPULATIVE INDIVIDUAL(S) COULD EASILY USE THE INHERENT FLAWS IN THIS SYSTEM TO THEIR ADVANTAGES AND PART OF AN AFTERWARDS CLEAN UP JOB. [ED.]

The WH-released records also raise a much more serious issue, however:

Fraudulent payment for unauthorized UTAs. The TXANG allowed, certified, and authorized payment for INACDUTRA that the regulation unambiguously precluded. The regulatory time limit for making up authorized missed UTAs was 15 days immediately before, or 30 days immediately after, the scheduled UTA.172 In November 1972 and January 1972, supposedly while in Alabama, Bush was given credit and paid for 12 UTA periods (6 days) that were outside this time envelope; in July 1973, while in his TXANG unit, Bush was given credit and paid for 8 UTA periods (four days) that were outside the time limitation. Moreover, there is no evidence whatsoever that the absences were authorized: no requests and no approvals in evidence.

PBMR, 83. USAT/19/2004/3.

PBMR, 68. USAT/16/2004/26.

At least one other critic of Bush’s service believes more sinister reasons exist for ARPC’s failure to call Bush involuntarily to active duty.

See http://users.snip.net/~awol/deserter/how_bush.htm.

I am indebted to Paul Lukasiak for interpretation of the pay records. His instructions for reading them are at http://users.snip.net/awol/default.htm.

PBMR, 25. This form is not available on the Internet.

PBMR, 52. USAT/16/2004/2.

PBMR, 54. Fact Check at “Air Force Reserve Summary Payroll Records for
1st Lt. George W. Bus 1972-1973” (“Summary PR”), 5(1st Quarter 1973).

See supra 3-4.

The transaction codes on the finance records show that finance paid Bush for the following INACDUTRA periods, performed in lieu of scheduled UTAs (2periods per day), that were outside the time limit of 15 days immediately prior to, or within 30 days immediately after, the scheduled UTA:

These payments also explain why Bush requested a discharge on October 1, 1973, instead of any earlier date, although his counseling statement is dated July 30, 1973. Finance certainly would not have paid him for INACDUTRA after he was discharged. It clearly and convincingly demonstrates intent to defraud the government both on Bush’s part and those in the TXANG who approved the payments.

PBMR, 54 (1st Quarter 1973), 56 (3rd Quarter 1973). Fact Check, Summary
PR, 5, 7.

The “day” numbers are blurred on the pay record for the July entries of
“18” and “19,” and September entry of “23,” but the months are clearly July
and September.

Larceny and fraud are not minor offenses and are listed as violations of
the Uniform Code of Military Justice, “Article 121: Larceny and Wrongful
Appropriation,” and “Article 132: Frauds against the United States,”
respectively.

NOT ONLY DO WE HAVE A PRESIDENT WITH HIS FEET FIRMLY ROOTED IN IMPEACHABLE SOIL AND HANDS BLOODIED WITH THE RED STAINS OF WAR CRIMES, BUT WE FIND HERE ALSO GROWING EVIDENCE TO JUSTIFY A COURT MARTIAL.

These are court-martial offenses punishable with dismissal and confinement for up to five years. Manual for Courts-Martial, Section IV, 67, 69, 46, 58, respectively, discusses these offenses. There are also lesser offenses that could be included in these charges.

In summary, Bush provided his critics with the rope to hang him. The finance records showed only that Bush was paid for the periods the WH claims he attended training. They, however, do not show if he indeed performed any training and how well he performed his assigned duties in Alabama and in his TXANG unit since there are no performance evaluations for those periods. The pay records do show he was fraudulently paid for unauthorized INACDUTRA periods.

ALABAMA IS BUSH’S COVER, AGAIN AND AGAIN [ED.], TOO MUCH SO TO BE A CONVENIENT ACCIDENT!

VIII. ALTERING OFFICIAL RECORDS.

The charge has been made that Bush’s records were "doctored," i.e., derogatory documents perhaps were removed or even documents inserted to prove attendance at ANACDUTRA and INACDUTRA. These are serious charges since 18 U.S.C. § 2071 punishes such action by a fine or imprisonment, or both.

These allegations could have been avoided if proper procedures had been followed when Bush’s representatives reviewed his file in Texas. They never should have had unfettered access to the originals, or, if they did, a disinterested official should have monitored their perusal of the original records. In the alternative, they could have been given copies. The WH further undermined its own case and fed the suspicion of file manipulation recently by itself requesting and releasing the records. Bush should have authorized the Texas ANG, ARPC, and any other record holder to release all the information through Freedom of Information Act requests.

Also, Lieutenant Colonel (ret.) Burkett is not the only one who has made such an allegation: Chief Warrant Office 4 Harvey Gough said that Dan Bartlett and Danny James [of the Texas ANG] scrubbed the records when Bush became governor. Naturally, a forensic analysis of the paper in the original file would show if any documents were inserted after the 1970s.

THAT INVESTIGATION SHOULD BE CONDUCTED [ED.]

This charge is now more credible based on Burkett's recent interview and supporting statements by people who were in the unit with him. In addition, where did the above-mentioned F526 with a facsimile date and time entry come from in 1995?

Could this be related to the alleged “doctoring” of Bush’s records after he became governor?

The most highly suspicious aspect of his record is its incomplete, fragmentary nature, and missing forms. In some instances, there are orders for ANACDUTRA, but in most cases, none.

The regulations required documentation for attendance at ANACDUTRA and INACDUTRA. Up to May 1972, the proper attendance certification documents are in the record. After that date, there are none.

In the Interesting F190s for the period before May 1972 show UTAs that Bush missed were made up within the regulatory time limit. See, e.g., the months of March 1971 [PBMR, 11; USAT/15/2004/21] and February 1971, August 1971, and March 1972 [PBMR, 12; USAT/10/2000/20].

See http://users.snip.net/~awol/bombshell.htm for an analysis of documents altered in 1973-1974.

See http://www.democrats.com/display.cfm?id=30 at 8-11 for a discussion of the evidence.

In the end, the WH’s handling of the release of Bush’s records and the records themselves have only widened the President’s credibility gap.

IX. STANDARDS FOR EVALUATING BUSH’S PERFORMANCE.

Bush signed an agreement on May 27, 1968, when he enlisted in the TXANG that he would attend 48 scheduled INACDUTRA periods and 15 days of ANACDUTRA annually. In addition to the regulatory standard of judging his performance, when he wanted to become a pilot in the TXANG, he signed a statement of intent saying, I, George Walker Bush, upon successful completion of pilot training plan to return to my unit and fulfill my obligation to the utmost of my ability.

I have applied for pilot training with the goal of making flying a lifetime pursuit and I believe I can best accomplish this to my own satisfaction by serving as a member of the Air National Guard as long as possible.

On March 24, 1970, his unit issued a press release in which Bush was quoted as being thrilled to be flying and saying fighter planes are his cup of tea. An evaluation of his records to determine if he fulfilled his obligation should apply the aforementioned standards Bush himself agreed to and enunciated and forgo any accusations of legal determinations such as AWOL or desertion.

Another standard that can be used to judge Bush’s service and credibility is in his autobiography Charge because there are statements in it that can be compared to the official record. For example, Bush says that after completing flight training in June 1970, he continued flying for “several years.”

After the study and training flights, I’ll never forget my first solo flight in the F-102.

I continued flying with my unit for the next several years.

Bush stopped flying with his unit in April 1972, about 22 months after he finished training on the F-102. Any standard dictionary defines the word “several” as more than two. The record clearly shows Bush did not fly several years.

In another passage, Bush explains that at the time he applied to HBS in 1972, he “was almost finished with [his] commitment in the ANG, and was no longer flying because the F-102 jet [he] had trained in, was being replaced by a different fighter.” This statement, however, does not square with the above-mentioned comment by his commander who said he would have had Bush flying, if he had known he was there, and the history of the 111th FIS that shows it had the F-102 until at least mid-1974.

PBMR, 1-2. USAT/16/2004/36-37.

PBMR, 43 (emphasis added).

PBMR, 44-46.

A Charge to Keep: My Road to the White House, 53-54. This quotation is
not at USAT, but can be found in numerous newspaper articles.
Id., 57.

He also was not even close to fulfilling his commitment to the ANG. Even if he applied for HBS in December 1972, he still had almost 23 months of obligated service:

His commitment, therefore, was not “almost finished.” Most important, he was not flying because he had not taken his flight physical, not because the unit was transitioning to a new fighter.

Bush clearly and convincingly did not meet the standards he himself set and agreed to, and his unit, as well as ARPC, failed to take the proper regulatory corrective and punitive actions. Both, therefore, connived at his shirking his duties.


(More documents linked from USAToday.com)

Mother Jones also provides a detailed side-by-side chart here.

Here's another chart from Democrats.org showing a side-by-side timeline: Where was Bush?

Know of other documents that should be listed here? Please email webmaster - at - awolbush.com. Still missing are:

Bush's last DD-214

Records from the Flight Inquiry Board convened after Bush was suspended as a pilot

Any evidence of Bush's reclassification into another AFSC after suspension as a pilot

Air Force Form 142 (Aviation Service Audit Worksheet)

Any photos of George Bush in a military uniform after 1972

Anything at all from any Alabama unit with Bush's name on it

Any copies of form 44a from the Alabama National Guard certifying attendance

Anything proving service by Bush between May 1972 and May 1973

* The origin of these six documents has been called into question and cannot be accurately determined at this time. Marion Carr Knox, secretary to Jerry Killian at the time, said that the documents are not authentic; however, "...the information in here was correct, but it was picked up from the real ones." It's also quite revealing that the White House, having no reason to doubt the authenticity of the memos, also released the documents to the press. On the 60 Minutes II broadcast in question, the White House also did not challenge the accuracy of the information in the memos - only later did they challenge the provenance of the documents themselves.

If what the memos reported was damaging to Bush, then the information is still damaging because it was based on the real documents and regulations.

Suspension of Flight status
1. On this date I ordered that 1st Lt. Bush be suspended from flight status due to failure to perform to USAF/TexANG standards and failure to meet annual physical examination (flight) as ordered.

2. I conveyed my verbal orders to commander; 147th Ftr Intrcp Gp with request for orders for suspension and convening of a flight review board IAW AFM 35-13.

3. I recommended transfer of this officer to the 9921st Air Reserve Squadron in May and forwarded his AF Form 1288 to 147th Ftr Intrcp Gp headquarters. The transfer was not allowed. Officer has made no attempt to meet his training certification or flight physical. Officer expresses desire to transfer out of state including assignment to non-flying billets.

4. On recommendation of Harris, I also suggested that we fill this critical billet with a more seasoned pilot from the list of qualified Vietnam pilots that have rotated. Recommendations were received but not confirmed.

Back to AWOLBush.com Home Page

Documenting Bush's military records

President Bush released his official Vietnam-era military records in February to counter Democrats' suggestions that he shirked his duty in the Texas Air National Guard. These documents detailed Bush's service in the Guard from 1968 until 1973.
Bush's medical records were opened for examination by reporters in the Roosevelt Room, but those documents were not allowed to leave the room and are not included below.

PDF (Portable Document Format) requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.

President Bush released his official Vietnam-era military records in February to counter Democrats' suggestions that he shirked his duty in the Texas Air National Guard. These documents detailed Bush's service in the Guard from 1968 until 1973. Bush's medical records were opened for examination by reporters in the Roosevelt Room, but those documents were not allowed to leave the room and are not included below.

OFFICIAL RECORDS RELEASED IN FEBRUARY

1. Enlistment Packet (1.02 MB)

2. Discharge (193 K)

3. Grade Determination (1.54 MB)

4. Performance Grades (449 K)

5. Performance Points (787 K)

6. Reassignments Split Training (224 K)

7. Security Clearance (227 K)

8. School Training (490 K)

9. Miscellaneous (674 K)

2000 PERSONNEL FILES

10. 2000 Personnel file (1.32 MB)

11. 2000 Personnel file (1.21 MB)

12. 2000 Personnel file (882 K)

13. 2000 Personnel file (841 K)

14. 2000 Personnel file (899 K)

2004 PERSONNEL FILES

15. 2004 Personnel file (1.20 MB)

16. 2004 Personnel file (1.56 MB)

17. 2004 Personnel file (946 K)

18. 2004 Personnel file (662 K)

19. 2004 Personnel file (821 K)

MILITARY SERVICE RECORDS OF PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH

Records of the President's military service in the Texas Air National Guard and other assignments during the years 1968 to 1973.

Military Records of First Lieutenant George W. Bush for National Guard Service Between 1972 and 1973:

Please note: The following four documents were originally obtained by CBS News and sent to FindLaw by the White House on September 8, 2004. However, CBS News issued a statement Monday, September 20, 2004, stating in part that the network "cannot prove the authenticity of documents used in a 60 Minutes story about President Bush's National Guard service and . . . airing the story was a 'mistake' that CBS regretted."

Aug. 1, 1972 Memo ordering Bush's suspension from the Texas Air National Guard's 111th Fighter Interceptor Squadron.

May 4, 1972 Memo ordering Bush to report for his annual physical examination with the Texas Air National Guard by no later than May 14, 1972.

May 19, 1972 Memo to the file from Bush's commanding officer about a telephone call from Bush asking about how he "can get out of coming to drill," and suspecting that "he's...been talking to someone upstairs."

Aug. 18, 1973 ‘CYA’ Memo from Lt. Col. Killian suggesting that his superior officer, Col. Walter B. Staudt, was "pushing to sugar coat" Bush's officer evaluation.

Jan. 6, 1973 USAF Dental Exam Record for 1st Lt. George W. Bush (HTML) [PDF version] Released by White House on Feb. 11, 2004

Memorandum of Lt. Col. Albert C. Lloyd, Jr. (Ret.) (HTML) [PDF version] (Analysis of Military Payroll Records for George W. Bush for service from 1972 to 1973) Released by White House on Feb. 10, 2004

USAF Reserve Personnel Record Card for 1st Lt. George W. Bush (HTML) [PDF version] (Covers period from 27 May 1972 to 26 May 1973) Released by White House on Feb. 10, 2004

ARF 1st Statement of Points Earned by 1st Lt. George W. Bush (1972-1973) (HTML) [PDF version] Released by White House on Feb. 10, 2004

ARF 2nd Statement of Points Earned by 1st Lt. George W. Bush (1973) (HTML) [PDF version] Released by White House on Feb. 10, 2004

Military Payroll Records of 1st Lt. George W. Bush (1972-1973) (HTML) [PDF version] Released by White House on Feb. 10, 2004

David CornThe NationFebruary 18, 2004

Okay, we were wrong--the we being those who called on Bush to honor his promise to release his entire Air National Guard records in the hope it would clarify the mysteries surrounding the last eighteen months of his service. After trying to back away from that promise, the Bush White House finally did relent. Last Friday, it handed out packets of hundreds of pages of Bush's Air National Guard file. Yet these records contained not a single sheet that that can be used to resolve the controversy. In fact, the file only reinforces the existing questions.

To recap, here are the three key issues.

* In May 1972, Bush moved from Texas to Alabama to work on the Senate campaign of a family friend. He still had two years left on his Guard obligation. He requested permission to continue his Guard training in Alabama. But did he show up?

* Sometime after the November 1972 election, he returned to Houston. But his immediate supervisors at Ellington Air Base in Houston--his home base--noted in a May 2, 1973, annual performance review that Bush "has not been observed at this unit" for the past year. After that report, he put in several intensive stints of duty. But had Bush ignored his Guard responsibilities for months once he was back in Houston?

* In September 1972, he was grounded for failing to take a flight physical. Why did he not go through this simple step to preserve his flying status?

The new records provide answers to none of this. Although they detail much of his first years in the Air National Guard--his assignments, his training, his drills--they contain no specific references to duty he might have done in Alabama or Houston in the May 1972 to May 1973 period. Let's look at the three pieces:

Alabama On May 24, 1972, Bush filed out a form requesting a transfer to the 9921st Air Reserve Squadron in Montgomery, Alabama. But according to this application, he was already in Alabama at work on that Senate campaign. On May 26, the commander of the 9921st wrote Bush to tell him that his application had been accepted. This suggests that Bush moved to Alabama before he had arranged for any Guard reassignment. Was that SOP?

In any event, two months later, on July 21, 1972, the Air Reserve Personnel Center in Denver nixed the reassignment, noting that Bush, "an obligated Reservist" could only be "assigned to a specific Ready Reserve Position." Bush, the ARPC said, "is ineligible for assignment to an Air Reserve Squadron."

There are no records indicating Bush did a stitch of work for the 9921st. Even the pay sheet summaries and attendance point records that the White House released earlier do not contain a single entry for the entire May to mid-October 1972 period.

After Bush's reassignment was turned down, he waited six weeks to request another assignment. On September 5, he requested permission to "perform equivalent duty" at the 187th Tac Recon Group in Montgomery "for the months of September, October, and November." He quickly received approval to do so. He was told that the "Unit Training Assembly schedule" for the 187th called for drills on October 7-8 and November 4-5 and that he should report to Lt. Col. William Turnipseed, the base commander.

During the 2000 campaign, Turnipseed said that Bush had never reported in. He repeated that assertion recently, but then noted he was not completely certain. The Bush records do not list any service on the days of these training assembly drills. The pay sheet summaries note that Bush was paid for two days of service on October 28 and 29. But they do not specify what service was performed or where. After doing no work for the Guard from April through early September, did Bush wait another six weeks before reporting for duty?

An unnamed Republican close to Bush did point reporters to a former Alabama Air National Guard officer who had served at the Dannelly Air Base (the home of the 187th) who claimed he had seen Bush report for duty eight to ten times between May and October 1972. But Bush's file shows that Bush did not even apply for reassignment to the 187th until September. And those pay sheet summaries only suggest Bush put in two days of service late in October. His file records contradict this person's account.

Houston For the stretch from early January 1973 to early May 1973, the pay sheet summaries indicate eight days of possible service: January 4-6 and 8-10 and April 7-8. The summaries also note days of possible service on May 1-3. Presumably, the April and May service occurred at Ellington. But there is nothing-- nothing--in the files that correspond to these days. Moreover, if Bush did put in time in April and early May 1973, why did his immediate superiors--who were buddies of his--sign a form on May 2 saying that Bush had not been seen at Ellington for a year?

(Both men are deceased.) Could this mean that the pay sheet summaries are not accurate? These records--and a one-page document indicating he received a dental examination at an Alabama air base in early January 1973--are the key pieces of evidence for the Bush White House's argument that Bush served during the missing year.

Most of the AWOL controversy has focused on Bush's months in Alabama. But the question of whether he shirked his Guard responsibilities upon his return to Texas is as significant. Perhaps it is possible that his Guard file did not reflect his service in Alabama because he was doing temporary duty away from his home base. But why would his main file--which is loaded with information pertaining to his duty at Ellington before May 1972--have nothing in it about his activity at Ellington in the first four months of 1973? This gap is as suspicious as the Alabama hole.

The flight physical Bush's file also provides no explanation for the flight physical that did not happen. The White House did allow reporters to look at medical records that were in Bush's Guard files. But the journalists were not permitted to leave with copies. Apparently these records contained nothing unusual. In 2000, the Bush campaign said that Bush did not take a flight physical because he was living in Alabama and his personal physician was in Houston. But personal physicians did not administer flight exams; military surgeons did. More recently, the White House has said that because Bush was no longer flying fighter interceptor jets he had no reason to undergo a physical. Some military experts have found that explanation unpersuasive; others have called it reasonable. But why the shift in stories?

So the fog of Bush's Guard service remains. The file is no help. Bill Burkett, a retired lieutenant colonel in the Texas National Guard did tell various newspapers recently that in 1997 he was in a National Guard office and overheard Joseph Allbaugh, then chief of staff for Governor George W. Bush, inform another officer that he needed to make sure there was nothing embarrassing in Bush's Guard file. Burkett recalled he later spotted items from Bush's file in the trash. Allbaugh and the White House denied these allegations. Is it possible that Allbaugh--or anyone else--could have rigged files in both the Texas office and the main repository in Denver? Suspicious minds can look at the released file and wonder why an absence in good record keeping happens to match the time period in question.

Still, the story of Bush's missing year is unresolved. It may never be settled. Unless more records somehow materialize, or convincing witnesses come forward. And if the Bush White House has played this episode to a who-will-ever-know tie, perhaps that is, in the end, a win for the former Air National Guard first lieutenant with a file full of riddles.

Pentagon Says Bush Records of Service Were Destroyed

By RALPH BLUMENTHALPublished: July 9, 2004

Correction Appended

HOUSTON, July 8 - Military records that could help establish President Bush's whereabouts during his disputed service in the Texas Air National Guard more than 30 years ago have been inadvertently destroyed, according to the Pentagon.

It said the payroll records of "numerous service members," including former First Lt. Bush, had been ruined in 1996 and 1997 by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service during a project to salvage deteriorating microfilm. No back-up paper copies could be found, it added in notices dated June 25.

The destroyed records cover three months of a period in 1972 and 1973 when Mr. Bush's claims of service in Alabama are in question.

The disclosure appeared to catch some experts, both pro-Bush and con, by surprise. Even the retired lieutenant colonel who studied Mr. Bush's records for the White House, Albert C. Lloyd of Austin, said it came as news to him.

The loss was announced by the Defense Department's Office of Freedom of Information and Security Review in letters to The New York Times and other news organizations that for nearly half a year have sought Mr. Bush's complete service file under the open-records law.

There was no mention of the loss, for example, when White House officials released hundreds of pages of the President's military records last February in an effort to stem Democratic accusations that he was "AWOL" for a time during his commitment to fly at home in the Air National Guard during the Vietnam War.

Dan Bartlett, the White House communications director who has said that the released records confirmed the president's fulfillment of his National Guard commitment, did not return two calls for a response.

The disclosure that the payroll records had been destroyed came in a letter signed by C. Y. Talbott, chief of the Pentagon's Freedom of Information Office, who forwarded a CD-Rom of hundreds of records that Mr. Bush has previously released, along with images of punch-card records. Sixty pages of Mr. Bush's medical file and some other records were excluded on privacy grounds, Mr. Talbott wrote.

He said in the letter that he could not provide complete payroll records, explaining, "The Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) has advised of the inadvertent destruction of microfilm containing certain National Guard payroll records."

He went on: "In 1996 and 1997, DFAS engaged with limited success in a project to salvage deteriorating microfilm. During this process the microfilm payroll records of numerous service members were damaged, including from the first quarter of 1969 (Jan. 1 to March 31) and the third quarter of 1972 (July 1 to Sept. 30). President Bush's payroll records for these two quarters were among the records destroyed. Searches for backup paper copies of the missing records were unsuccessful."

Mr. Talbott's office would not respond to questions, saying that further information could be provided only through another Freedom of Information application.

But Bryan Hubbard, a spokesman for Defense finance agency in Denver, said the destruction occurred as the office was trying to unspool 2,000-foot rolls of fragile microfilm. Mr. Hubbard said he did not know how many records were lost or why the loss had not been announced before.

For Mr. Bush, the 1969 period when he was training to be a pilot, is not in dispute. But in May 1972, he moved to Alabama to work on a political campaign and, he has said, to perform his Guard service there for a year. But other Guard officers have said they had no recollection of ever seeing him there. The most evidence the White House has been able to find are records showing Mr. Bush was paid for six days in October and November 1972, without saying where, and the record of a dental exam at a Montgomery, Ala., air base on Jan. 6, 1973.

On June 22, The Associated Press filed suit in federal court in New York against the Pentagon and the Air Force to gain access to all the president's military records.

The lost payroll records stored in Denver might have answered some questions about whether he fulfilled his legal commitment, critics who have written about the subject said in interviews.

"Those are records we've all been interested in," said James Moore, author of a recent book, "Bush's War for Re-election," which takes a critical view of Mr. Bush's service record. "I think it's curious that the microfiche could resolve what days Mr. Bush worked and what days he was paid, and suddenly that is gone."

But Mr. Moore said the president could still authorize the release of other withheld records that would shed light on his service record.

Among the issues still disputed is why, according to released records, Mr. Bush was suspended from flying on Aug. 1, 1972. The reason cited in the records is "failure to accomplish annual medical examination."

Mr. Bartlett, the White House spokesman, said in February that Mr. Bush felt he did not need to take the physical as he was no longer flying planes in Alabama. Mr. Lloyd, the retired colonel who studied the records, gave a similar explanation in an interview.

But Mr. Lloyd said he was surprised to be told of the destruction of the pay records that might have resolved some questions.

Correction: July 10, 2004, Saturday

An article yesterday about the destruction of some payroll records of National Guard members, including President Bush, misstated the record of White House acknowledgment of the loss. The White House indeed took note of the missing information last February when it released hundreds of pages of Mr. Bush's military files. In a briefing paper for reporters on Feb. 10, summarizing those files, it noted that payroll records for the third quarter of 1972 had been lost when they were transferred to microfiche.
Final flights

Flight logs released in September 2004 in response to a lawsuit (see below) showed that Bush, who had been flying solo in the F-102A Delta Dagger, an interceptor, for most of his career, flew nine times in T-33 trainers in February and March 1972 — nearly twice as many times as he had flown in T-33s in the prior 18 months.[8] He also used a flight simulator, and was heavily focused on flying by instruments.[9] The logs also show that in March and April 1972, Bush twice needed multiple tries to land the F102 fighter.[10]

The final two entries of Bush's official flight logs show him being assigned to work as an instructional pilot in late May 1972 at a Texas Air National Guard base. But Bush left for Alabama in mid-May (see next section) and his pay records show he wasn't paid for any work on the two dates of the instructional pilot assignment. The logs have a code indicating the assignments were eventually deleted from his official records.[8]

The Transfer Request is Rejected, and subsequent performance

On July 21, 1972, the Air Reserve Personnel Center in Denver, the final approval authority, rejected Bush's reassignment request to the 9921st, stating that as "an obligated Reservist" he could only be "assigned to a specific Ready Reserve Position. The ARPC wrote that Bush "is ineligible for assignment to an Air Reserve Squadron."[23] According to Bricken, in an interview with the Boston Globe, 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..

Throughout this period, Bush remained obligated to train with his Texas unit, or perform substitute training each month. Bush service chronology[24] shows no indication that the 147th ever transferred Bush out of its control, nor do Bush’s payroll records for the period in question[25] show any indication that any personnel action was officially taken by the 147th relieving him of his obligation to train with that unit. Nevertheless, Bush’s records show that he is credited with no training during these months. Colonel Bricken is on record as stating that Bush made no effort to participate as a Guardsman with the 9921st.

More than a month after the ARPC rejected Bush's transfer request, on September 5, 1972, Bush requested permission to "perform equivalent duty" at the 187th Tactical Recon Group in Alabama "for the months of September, October, and November." He quickly received approval to do so, and was told to report to Lt. Col. William Turnipseed, the base commander, for drills on October 7 and 8, and November 4 and 5 (the September drill dates of the unit had already passed). Bush's grandfather, former U.S. Senator Prescott Bush, died of cancer on October 8th, and Bush served as a pallbearer at the funeral in Greenwich, Connecticut. Turnipseed has said that he could not recall whether Bush reported on those occasions.[26] Bush's records do not list any service on those dates, but they do show that he was paid for service on October 28 and 29, a weekend; on November 11 and 12, also a weekend; and November 14 and 15, a Tuesday and Wednesday.[27] The location of the service and the duties performed are not described in any released records.

In 2004, a man named John "Bill" Calhoun, a former Alabama Air National Guard officer who had served at the Dannelly Air National Guard Base in Montgomery, home of the 187th, claimed he had seen Bush report for duty "at least six times" between May and October 1972, and that Bush had in fact spent time in his office.[28] However, the payment and retirement records the White House handed out three days prior to Calhoun's claims reveal that Bush received no pay or attendance credits from April until the end of October 1972.[29]

A column in the Birmingham News (Alabama) elicited memories from people who remembered Bush when he was in Alabama, working for the Blount campaign: "None have specific recollections about Bush and the National Guard. Some heard he was serving but never saw for themselves."[citation needed] Opinions of him during this time ranged from good (amiable, well liked, and fond of sports) to bad (bragging about drinking and allegations he trashed a cottage where he was living).[citation needed] Winton Blount's son Tom said "He was an attractive person, kind of a 'frat boy.' I didn't like him.".[30] Winton Blount's nephew C. Murphy Archibald, who also worked on the Blount campaign, said that Bush also made an impression on the "Blue-Haired Platoon," a group of older Republican women working for Blount. Behind his back they called him "the Texas soufflé," Archibald said, because he was "all puffed up and full of hot air."[31][32][33]

Jan. 19, 1968: Bush completes Air Force officer qualifications test in New Haven, Conn., while attending Yale University.

May 27, 1968: Walter B. Staudt, commander of the Texas National Guard, interviews Bush and recommends he be accepted for pilot training. Bush's application for enlistment in the Guard is approved.

June 1968: Bush receives bachelor of arts degree from Yale.

July 12, 1968: A three-member Federal Recognition Examining Board reports Bush is qualified for promotion to 2nd Lieutenant in the 111th Fighter Interceptor Squadron.

July 14, 1968: Bush attends basic military training in San Antonio.

Aug. 25, 1968: Bush completes basic military training.

Nov. 26, 1968-Dec. 2, 1969: Bush attends undergraduate pilot training with the 3559th Student Squadron, Moody Air Force Base, Ga. He is trained to fly standard Air Force aircraft, including the T-31, T-37, and T-39.

Dec. 29, 1969-Jan. 20, 1970: Bush is trainee with 111th Squadron, Ellington Air Force Base, near Houston. Jan. 11, 1970: Bush is assigned flying duty as a pilot of F-102 fighter interceptors, 111th Squadron at Ellington.

Aug. 24, 1970: Three-member board recommends 2nd Lt. Bush for promotion to first lieutenant. Bush later receives the promotion. 1971: Bush participates in drills and alerts at Ellington, begins work for Houston-based agricultural company.

May 1972: Bush asks for and receives permission to continue his duties in Alabama while he works as political director on the Senate campaign of Winton M. Blount, a friend of his father. He loses flight credentials after missing physical exam.

Sept. 6, 1972: Bush's request for a three-month transfer to 187th TAC Recon Group, Montgomery, Ala., is approved so he can work as political director for a Senate campaign.

November 1972: Bush returns to his unit at Ellington in Texas.

May-July 1973: Bush participates in non-flying drills at Ellington; works at inner-city poverty program earlier in the year.

Sept. 18, 1973: Bush receives permission to transfer to reserve status and is placed on inactive guard duty about six months before six-year commitment ends; attends Harvard Business School in the fall.

Oct. 1, 1973: Bush receives honorable discharge. Sources: National Guard Bureau records as compiled by The Associated Press.

Bush's Top 10 Lies, Exaggerations And 'Obsfucations'About His Military Service
by Nancy Skinnerco-host of "Ski & Skinner" on WLS-AM Chicago

Governor Bush has made credibility the central issue of this campaign, and makes almost daily references to the Vice President’s alleged exaggerations and lack of truthfulness. But on a subject that could not be more important for his presidential candidacy, his own military service, the record shows that George W. Bush has exaggerated and even lied about his service.

Governor Bush took a solemn oath during wartime to serve his country in the Texas Air National Guard. He did not honor that oath He walked away. And in this presidential campaign, he has made several misrepresentations about his service. A number of newspaper reports and even more accounts on Internet websites, based on Freedom Of Information Act requests of Bush’s official military record, have concluded that he completely missed at least one year of service, and may not have shown up in person for his last year.

While those reports continue to be debated, the following statements by Bush and his aides are directly contradicted by the current record.

#1 Bush never showed up in Alabama Air National Guard when directly ordered to do so, after requesting a transfer to work in Alabama.

“I was there on a temporary assignment and fulfilled my weekends at one period of time” Bush said during a campaign stop in Tuscaloosa, AL, referring to his claim that he served in the Alabama National Guard. [Dallas Morning News, 6/26/00]

"He specifically recalls pulling duty in Alabama," spokesman Dan Bartlett said of Bush. "He did his drills." Bartlett said the Republican governor showed up "several" times while in Alabama, where he transferred from his Houston Guard unit in 1972 to work for the unsuccessful Senate campaign of Republican Winton Blount, a friend of Bush's father. [Washington Post 6/25/00]

THE TRUTH

Bush left Houston May 15, 1972 and went to work on a political campaign in Alabama. His first request for a transfer on May 24 was denied because the unit was inactive. His second request on September 5 to a different unit was granted.

He was issued a direct order to report on specific days to the base, which he completely ignored. The order was issued on September 15 to report to then-Lieutenant Colonel William Turnipseed at Dannelly Air Force base in Montgomery, AL, on the dates of “7-8 October 0730-1600, and 4-5 November 0730-1600” His orders, dated Sept. 15, 1972, said: "Lieutenant Bush should report to Lt. Col. William Turnipseed, DCO, to perform equivalent training." [Boston Globe 5/23/00] http://www.cis.net/~coldfeet/doc11.gif
His Commanding Officer, William Turnipseed, says he did not show up.

"To my knowledge, he never showed up," Turnipseed said last month. [Boston Globe 5/23/00] 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.'' Turnipseed also reports that the then-squadron operations officer of the Alabama Guard also has no recollection of having seen Bush.(The New Republic 10/16/2000)

“Furthermore, a spokesman for the Alabama National Guard estimates there were 600 to 700 members in the unit Bush was supposed to have served with in 1972. But none of these men has ever come forward to say he remembers Bush, and Bush has not named a single one of them.”(The New Republic 10/16/2000)

THERE IS NO OFFICIAL NATIONAL GUARD RECORD FOR GEORGE W. BUSH’S SERVICE IN ALABAMA.

“His official discharge records do not include any service after May 15 of 1972. 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 (Albert Lloyd Jr., a retired colonel who was the Texas Air Guard's personnel director from 1969 to 1995 and was hired by the Bush campaign to make sense of the governor's military records) said, ''there should have been an entry for the period between May 1972 and May 1973.'' Said Lloyd, ''It appeared he had a bad year. He might have lost interest, since he knew he was getting out.'' [Boston Globe 5/23/00]

NO ONE IN THE ALABAMA NATIONAL GUARD EVER SAW HIM.

“A spokesman for the Alabama National Guard estimates there were 600 to 700 members in the unit Bush was supposed to have served with in 1972. But none of these men has ever come forward to say he remembers Bush, and Bush has not named a single one of them.” (The New Republic 10/16/2000)

Even though members of the Alabama Air National Guard have offered $1000 to anyone who can remember serving with Bush, no one has come forward to corroborate his service, with the exception of an old girlfriend who says she remembers him saying he was going, but does not have any other evidence, essentially making it her word against Bush’s commanding officers’ and a lack of official documents as noted above.

Even the Bush campaign claims that he only showed up on a single day in November and made up missed weekends, not contesting the fact that he defied direct orders to appear on the dates stated above.

“National Guard records provided by the Guard and by the Bush campaign indicate he did serve on Nov. 29, 1972, after the election. These records also show a gap in service from that time to the previous May. Mr. Bush says he made up for the lost time in subsequent months, and guard records show he received credit for having performed all the required service.” [NYT 7/22/00]

The evidence to support Bush’s service on November 29, 1972 is highly suspect for the following reasons:

The document offered to dispute the claim by his commanding officers in Alabama is a single torn document that does not have Bush’s name on it, is undated and unsigned. The document was “discovered” in 1998 by the man Bush hired to investigate his record, Al Loyd, and added to the official record. This late addition to the official record also raises additional chain of command issues.

There are two different versions of the document. The one ‘discovered’ by Mr. Loyd and given to George Magazine has handwritten annotations. The other version came from Mr. Bush’s official record through a FOIA request by Martin Heldt. http://www.cis.net/~coldfeet/doc99.gif The FOIA version did not have any annotations.

The document comes from the Texas National Guard Archives according to the numbering in the right hand corner of the document, even though duty reports were localized at the time, meaning his service in Alabama would not have been recorded by the Texas Air National Guard.

#2 Bush didn’t return to Ellington Air Force Base after his temporary transfer as required.

A Bush spokesman, Dan Bartlett, said after talking with the governor that Bush recalls performing some duty in Alabama and ''recalls coming back to Houston and doing [Guard] duty, though he does not recall if it was on a consistent basis.''

Noting that Bush, by that point, was no longer flying, Bartlett added, ''It's possible his presence and role became secondary.'' [Boston Globe 5/23/00]

THE TRUTH

According to his annual evaluation by his commanding officers, he may have been in Houston but he was not at the base.

“Cleared this base 15 May 1972” According to Lieutenant Colonel William Harris Jr. and Lieutenant Colonel Jerry Killian in Bush’s annual evaluation , Ellis Air Force Base, Houston. The report makes clear that Bush had “not been observed ” at his Texas unit “during the period of this report” – May 1972-April 1973.” [Boston Globe 5/23/00]

Even his commanding officer, whom he called a “friend” did not know where he was.

“Asked about that declaration, campaign spokesman Bartlett said Bush told him that since he was no longer flying, he was doing ''odds and ends'' under different supervisors whose names he could not recall. But retired colonel Martin, the unit's former administrative officer, said he too thought Bush had been in Alabama for that entire year. Harris and Killian, he said, would have known if Bush returned to duty at Ellington. And Bush, in his autobiography, identifies the late colonel Killian as a friend, making it even more likely that Killian knew where Bush was.” [Boston Globe 5/23/00]

#3 He quit flying in Texas because his plane was replaced.

In his autobiography, Mr. Bush explains that when he applied to Harvard Business School in 1972, “I was almost finished with my commitment in the Air National Guard, and was no longer flying because the F102 jet I has trained in was being replaced by a different fighter.”

THE TRUTH

“His unit continued to fly the F-102 until 1974 [Boston Globe 5/23/00] “If he had come back to Houston, I would have kept him flying the 102 until he got out” said retired Major Bobby W. Hodges, “But I don’t remember him coming back at all”’.

“Lieutenant Bush, to be sure, had gone off flying status when he went to Alabama. But had he returned to his unit in November 1972, there would have been no barrier to him flying again, except passing a flight physical. Although the F-102 was being phased out, his unit's records show that Guard pilots logged thousands of hours in the F-102 in 1973.”[Boston Globe 5/23/00]

His commitment was through May of 1974. (An exaggeration?)

#4 He wasn’t flying in Alabama because they had different planes.

On June 26th this report appeared in the Dallas Morning News. “Campaigning Friday in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Bush was asked about his 1972 service in that state. "I was there on a temporary assignment and fulfilled my weekends at one period of time," he said. "I made up some missed weekends." "I can't remember what I did, but I wasn't flying because they didn't have the same airplanes. I fulfilled my obligations."

THE TRUTH

He was no longer flying because he had been suspended in August of 1972 for failure to “accomplish” a required medical exam. [Boston Globe, 5/23/00] (Suspension document at http://www.cis.net/~coldfeet/grounded.gif )

Bush was suspended from flying on August 1, 1972, prior to his request for the transfer to the187th at Montgomery Alabama, September 5, 1972. Bush did not receive permission until September 15, which was close to six weeks after his suspension from flying.

Another question is raised by the fact that he cannot remember what he did for the Air National Guard in Alabama, despite the fact that 28 years later he still remembers the specifics of his work there on the campaign of William Blount as cited in a July 22, 2000 New York Times article. “In an interview 28 years later, Mr. Bush remembered the numbers. "We all teamed together and helped Red get about 36 percent of the vote," he said with a short laugh, "in spite of the fact that Nixon had gotten 72 percent of the vote. The ticket-splitting was phenomenal."”

#5 Three different stories on why he was suspended.

Story #1) "Bush's campaign aides have said he did not take the physical because he was in Alabama and his personal physician was in Houston." [Boston Globe 5/23/00].

THE TRUTH

In fact as the Boston Globe goes on to state "flight physicals can be administered only by certified Air Force flight surgeons, and some were assigned at the time to Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, where Bush was living."

Story #2) Then in June, campaign officials told the London Times Bush did not technically need to take his flight physical. "As he was not flying, there was no reason for him to take the flight physical exam," according to campaign spokesman Don Bartlett.

Any suggestion that he had simply decided to “give up flying” prior to his suspension, with two years remaining on his commitment and nearly one million dollars (in real terms) invested in his training is not plausible. It is not up to an Air National Guard pilot to decide whether or not he “intends” to fly.

“If he had come back to Houston, I would have kept him flying the 102 until he got out” said retired Major Bobby W. Hodges [Boston Glove 5/23/00]

Story #3) In the same article, Bush campaign spokesman Dan Bartlett told the newspaper that Bush was aware back then that he would be suspended for missing his medical exam, but had no choice because he had applied for a transfer from Houston to Alabama and his paperwork hadn't caught up with him. "It was just a question of following the bureaucratic procedure of the time," Bartlett said. "He knew the suspension would have to take place."

The exam was required to be completed in the three months preceding his birthday, July 6, 1972. A three month window seems adequate to avoid being suspended from flying.

So which is it: his family physician, he didn’t have to take the exam, or a bureaucratic snafu?

#6 Bush denied strings were pulled to get him in the Texas Air National Guard.

“I can just tell you, from my perspective, I never asked for, I don't believe I received special treatment," Bush told reporters.” [DMN 9/08/99]

THE TRUTH

“Former Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes confirmed Monday that he recommended Gov. George W. Bush for a slot in the Texas Air National Guard during the height of the Vietnam War, at the request of a Bush family friend. Mr. Barnes' account came in a written statement that was released after he testified in a deposition stemming from a federal lawsuit.’ [DMN 9/28/99]

“The statement by Mr. Barnes also confirmed that he met a year ago with a top Bush adviser to discuss the Guard matter. As reported in The News, Mr. Bush sent a note thanking Mr. Barnes for his help in rebutting rumors that Mr. Bush's father helped his son find a Guard slot, the statement confirmed.” [DMN 9/08/99]

"Mr. Barnes was contacted by [Houston businessman] Sid Adger and asked to recommend George W. Bush for a pilot position with the Air National Guard," Mr. Barnes' statement said. "Barnes called Gen. [James] Rose and did so." [DMN 9/28/00]

"No Bush ever asked Sid Adger to help," the governor said.[DMN 9/28/00]

“A spokeswoman for former President George Bush confirmed the elder Bush's friendship with Mr. Adger but said he was "almost positive" he never talked to Mr. Adger - or anyone else - about getting his son into the Guard. "He said he is fairly certain - I mean he doesn't remember everything that happened in the 1960s - but he said he and Sid Adger never, ever talked about George W. and the Texas Air National Guard," said Jean Becker, a spokeswoman for the former president. "President Bush knew Sid Adger well," Ms. Becker said. "He loved him."’ [DMN 9/08/99]

“When Bush was admitted into the Guard in 1968, 100,000 other men were on waiting lists around the country, hoping to win admission to similar units. The Guard was popular because those units were rarely sent to Vietnam.” [LAT 7/4/99]

#7 Bush said the Texas Air National Guard was short on pilots.

"They were looking for pilots, and I was honored to serve.", Governor Bush told the Dallas Morning News. [DMN9/08/99]

THE TRUTH

“But Tom Hail, a historian for the Texas Air National Guard, said that records do not show a pilot shortage in the Guard squadron at the time. Hail, who reviewed the unit's personnel records for a special Guard museum display on Gov. Bush's service, said Bush's unit had 27 pilots at the time he began applying. While that number was two short of its authorized strength, the unit had two other pilots who were in training and another awaiting a transfer. There was no apparent need to fast-track applicants, he said.” [LAT 7/4/99]

“The Texas Air Guard had about 900 slots for pilots, air and ground crew members, supervisors, technicians and support staff. Sgt. Donald Dean Barnhart, who still serves in the Guard, said that he kept a waiting list of about 150 applicants' names. He said it took up to a year and a half for one name to move to the top of the list. "Quite a few gentlemen were wanting to get in," he recalled. For Bush, there was no wait. He met with commander Staudt in his Houston office and made his application--all before his graduation in June.” [LAT, 7/4/99]

“Beckwith, Bush's spokesman, painted a different picture. He said that the Guard needed pilots at the time and Bush was available. "A lot of people weren't qualified" or willing to fly, he said, so special commissions were offered to those willing to undergo the extra training required.”

[LAT 7/4/99]

“But Shoemake, who also served as a chief of personnel in the Texas Guard from 1972 to 1980, remembers no pilot shortage. "We had so many people coming in who were super-qualified," he said.” [LAT 7/4/99]

“Records from his [Bush’s] military file show that in January 1968, after inquiring about Guard admission, Mr. Bush went to an Air Force recruiting office near Yale, where he took and passed the test required by the Air Force for pilot trainees. His score on the pilot aptitude section, one of five on the test, was in the 25th percentile, the lowest allowed for would-be fliers.” [7/4/99]

#8 There was no special deal when he received a direct appointment to second lieutenant right after basic training, with no qualifications.
“Officials in Bush's presidential campaign denied last week that he was treated differently from other recruits. "Our information is there was absolutely no special deal," said spokesman David Beckwith.” [LAT 7/4/99]

“He [Commander Staudt] recommended Bush for a direct appointment--a special process that would allow the young recruit to become a second lieutenant right out of basic training without having to go through the rigors of officer candidate school. The process also cleared the way for a slot in pilot training school.” [LAT, 7/4/99]

THE TRUTH

“But Charles C. Shoemake, an Air Force veteran who later joined the Texas Air National Guard, eventually retiring as a full colonel, said that direct appointments were rare and hard to get, and required extensive credentials. "I went from master sergeant to first lieutenant based on my three years in college and 15 years as a noncommissioned officer. Then I got considered for a direct appointment." Even then, he said, "I didn't know whether I was going to get into pilot training."” [LAT 7/4/99]

As for a direct commission for someone of Bush's limited qualifications, Hail said, "I've never heard of that. Generally they did that for doctors only, mostly because we needed extra flight surgeons."” [LAT 7/4/99]

#9 As evidence he wasn't dodging combat, Mr. Bush has pointed to his efforts to try to volunteer for a program that rotated Guard pilots to Vietnam, although he wasn't called. [DMN 7/4/99]

THE TRUTH

“Mr. Bush's application for the Guard included a box to be checked specifying whether he did or did not volunteer for overseas duty. His includes a check mark in the box not wanting to volunteer for such an assignment.” [DMN 7/4/99]

#10 In Bush’s 1999 autobiography, A Charge to Keep, Mr. Bush says that after completing flight training in June 1970, “I continued flying with my unit for the next several years”.

THE TRUTH

“But 22 months after finishing his training, and with two years left on his six-year commitment, Bush gave up flying - for good, it would turn out”. [Boston Globe, 5/23/00]

Several Years or 22 months – an exaggeration? Perhaps, the bigger question is why did he quit flying?

The subject of George W. Bush's determined avoidance of military service was called into question during his first presidential race against Democratic candidate Al Gore, and before that during his campaign to replace Ann Richards as Governor of Texas. In 2004, during Bush's bid for reelection, far greater attention is being paid to his record in the context of the U.S. presidential election, 2004.

Contents

1 Bush and military service

2 Questions about Bush's service in 2000

3 Scrutiny of Bush's record in 2004

4 Other SourceWatch articles on this topic

5 Other SourceWatch Resources

6 External links

BUSH AND MILITARY SERVICE

In January 1968 Bush was set to graduate from Yale University, making him eligible for the draft and, in all likelihood, service in Vietnam. Bush sought entry into the officer corps of the Texas Air National Guard, which would minimise his chances of being dispatched to Vietnam. Despite scoring low on the entrance exam, Bush was accepted.

The controversy over his military service has concentrated on whether his father, George Herbert Walker Bush who was a U.S. Congressman at the time, exerted influence to ensure his son obtained a 'soft' posting in the National Guard and whether he completed his duties sufficiently to justify his honorable discharge in 1973.

"Bush signed a six-year "military service obligation," he was required to attend at least 44 inactive-duty training drills each fiscal year beginning July 1. But Bush's own records show that he fell short of that requirement, attending only 36 drills in the 1972-73 period, and only 12 in the 1973-74 period." [1]

Bush was assigned serve at the Houston Air National Guard base between 1968 and 1973. Bush graduated from flight school in November 1969 and undertook a further six months training in the F-102 fighter-interceptor. Between June 1970 and April 1972 he flew frequently with his unit.

However, in May 1972 he sought and gained approval to move to Alabama to work on the U.S. Senate campaign of Republican Party candidate, Winton Blount. While in Alabama Bush was obliged to continue his duties with another National Guard unit. After failing to have an annual physical examination Bush was removed from flight duty on August 1, 1972.

Bush's military records reveal that he did not do any duty between April 16 and October 28, 1972 and missed training altogether in December 1972 and February and March 1973. There were no records of him having served with any unit in Alabama. It is a requirement of members of the National Guard that they accumulate a minimum of 50 service points in a year. (Each full day of weekend training is worth two points).

On May 2, 1973 one of Bush's superiors noted that "Lt. Bush has not been observed at this unit during the period of report. A civilian occupation made it necessary for him to move to Montgomery, Alabama. He cleared this base on 15 May 1972 and has been performing equivalent training in a non-flying status with the 187th Tac Recon Gp, Dannelly ANG Base, Alabama." However, no records for service in Alabama exist.[2]

Subsequently Bush spent 36 days in May, June and July 1973 on duty, accumulating 41 points. According to the Boston Globe, he was then awarded 15 'gratuitous' service points - enough to get him across the 50 service points threshold. His last service day was July 30, 1973 and - while originally due to serve through to November 1974 - was honourably discharged early to enable him to attend Harvard Business School. [3]

Furthermore, a U.S. News analysis showed that "during the final two years of his obligation, Bush did not comply with Air Force regulations that impose a time limit on making up missed drills. What's more, he apparently never made up five months of drills he missed in 1972, contrary to assertions by the administration."

Questions about Bush's service in 2000

In May 2000 a story by Walter V. Robinson in the Boston Globe raised questions about whether George W. Bush completed his military service in the National Guard. The Boston Globe reported that "there is no evidence that he appeared for duty for a year just before his 1973 discharge from the Texas Air National Guard". [4]

The Globe reported that "based upon extensive records of his service and interviews with former Guard officials, disclosed that Bush, who was a fighter pilot, ceased flying in April 1972 - 18 months before his discharge in October, 1973." While Bush returned to Texas in November 1972 he did not return to his unit.

The day after the Globe broke the story, Bush told Associated Press "I did the duty necessary . . . That's why I was honorably discharged".

While there was a brief flurry of stories following up on the work of the Globe, the story quickly sank from view. In a 2004 interview Robinson told Editor and Publisher that he thought the lack of follow-up coverage by other papers was due to the fact that papers such as The Washington Post and Los Angeles Times earlier that year had looked at Bush's military service and missed the gaps in his service record. "When a newspaper has done a thorough scrub on someone and not found anything, then somebody else reports it, they are not exactly eager to follow up. Other news organizations are not inclined to credit their competition, particularly if they have done their own look at the candidate," he said. [5]

Scrutiny of Bush's record in 2004

During the January 22, 2004, live broadcast of the Democratic Presidential debate in New Hampshire, Peter Jennings from ABC's Nightline program "went after Wesley Kanne Clark -- and Michael Moore -- because" Moore said that he wanted to see Clark debate Bush. [6]

The next day, the Washington Post announced that "George W. Bush's sketchy military record has finally surfaced as a campaign issue in 2004" [7] and BuzzFlash posted Reader Kelley's Commentary [8]

Writing in Salon, Mary Jacoby reported that Bush's role on Blount's Senate campaign was a favour by Texas newspaper owner Jimmy Allison for George Walker Bush. Allison's widow, Linda, said that in the spring of 1972 her husband, who was managing Blount's campaign, was phoned by Bush Senior and asked if he could find a place for his son.

"The impression I had was that Georgie was raising a lot of hell in Houston, getting in trouble and embarrassing the family, and they just really wanted to get him out of Houston and under Jimmy's wing," Linda told Jacoby. "And Jimmy said, 'Sure.' He was so loyal."

Kerry campaign vice chairman and fundraiser, Former Lt. Governor Ben Barnes of Texas stated in a video distributed widely on the Internet, "I got a young man named George W. Bush into the National Guard when I was lieutenant governor of Texas[9], and I'm not necessarily proud of that, but I did it" and "I became more ashamed of myself than I've ever been because the worst thing I did was get a lot of wealthy supporters and a lot of people who had family names of importance into the Guard and I'm very sorry about that and I apologize to you and the voters of Texas." [10]

Barnes appeared on the CBS program 60 Minutes in early September 2004 and explained that he had been asked by Sid Adger if he could find a place in the National Guard for Bush. Adger was an oilman and friend of the Bush family.

"I was a young, ambitious politician doing what I thought was acceptable. It was important to make friends. And I recommended a lot of people for the National Guard during the Vietnam era - as speaker of the house and as lt. governor," Barnes told 60 Minutes II.

"I would describe it as preferential treatment. There were hundreds of names on the list of people wanting to get into the Air National Guard or the Army National Guard," says Barnes. "I think that would have been a preference to anybody that didn't want to go to Vietnam or didn't want to leave. We had a lot of young men that left and went to Canada in the '60s and fled this country. But those that could get in the Reserves, or those that could get in the National Guard - chances are they would not have to go to Vietnam." [11]

In a August 18, 1973 memo obtained by 60 Minutes II, Bush's squadron commander, the late Lt. Col. Jerry B. Killian, complained about pressure on him and others from Col. Walter B. "Buck" Staudt to "sugar coat" Bush's service records. "Standt has obviously pressured Hodges more about Bush. I'm having trouble running interference and doing my job. Harris gave me a message today from Grp regrading Bush's OETR and Standt is pushing to sugar coat it".

"Bush wasn't here during rating period and I don't have any feedback from 187th in Alabama. I will not rate. Austin is not happy today either. Harris took the call from Grp today. I'll backdate but won't rate. Harris agrees," the memo states. [12]

However, the authenticity of these memos has been challenged by numerous forensic document experts in reports appearing at ABC News, The New York Times, the Washington Post and other media outlets. Family members and coworkers of Lt. Col Killian have also come forward disputing their authenticity while the one of the sources CBS cited in the original reports have subsequently clarified or retracted their story.

The Air Force Times states: Killian's former secretary, Marian Carr Knox, 86, of Houston, has said she believed the memos were fake but their content accurately reflected Killian's opinions.

"I know that I didn't type them," she said in an interview with CBS. "However, the information in those is correct."

While the authenticity of the memos is disputed, what is not is the fact that, From most accounts, Bush appears to have received preferential treatment to get into the Air National Guard and avoid the draft after he graduated from Yale University in 1968. He was initially regarded as a good pilot, but his performance faded over his final two years in the Guard and he was suspended from flight status. He did not fly for the remaining 18 months he served in the Guard, though he was obligated to do so.

And for significant chunks of time, Bush did not report for duty at all. His superiors took no action, and he was honorably discharged in 1973, six months before he should have been. [13].

Other SourceWatch articles on this topic

George W. Bush's military service/External Links 1999-2003

George W. Bush's military service/External Links 2004

George W. Bush's military service/Documents

George W. Bush's military service/Timeline

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Bush Campaign 2003

Bush Campaign 2004

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Bushit

Bush's War

George W. Bush

neoconservatives

War Crimes

1 comment:

Mike said...

I am assuming that you are going to add obama's name to your blog. We have now entered into an illegal military action against Libya for Europe's oil. Yes? If not, you are a phony and a fake.