Skip to comments.Man named in Bush memo left Guard before document was written
Posted on 09/10/2004 7:06:51 PM PDT by ambrose
Posted on Fri, Sep. 10, 2004
Man named in Bush memo left Guard before document was written
BY PETE SLOVER
The Dallas Morning News
AUSTIN, Texas - (KRT) - The man named in a disputed memo as exerting pressure to "sugar coat" President Bush's military record left the Texas Air National Guard a year and a half before the memo was supposedly written, his own service record shows.
An order obtained by The Dallas Morning News shows that Col. Walter "Buck" Staudt was honorably discharged on March 1, 1972. CBS News reported this week that a memo in which Staudt was described as interfering with officers' negative evaluations of Bush's service, was dated Aug. 18, 1973.
That added to mounting questions about the authenticity of documents that seem to suggest Bush sought special favors and did not fulfill his service.
Staudt, who lives in New Braunfels, Texas, did not return calls seeking comment. His discharge paper was among a packet of documents obtained by The Dallas Morning News from official sources during 1999 research into Bush's Guard record.
A CBS staffer stood by the story, suggesting that Staudt could have continued to exert influence over Guard officials. But a former high-ranking Guard official disputed that, saying retirement would have left Staudt powerless over remaining officials.
The authenticity of the memo and three others included in Wednesday's "60 Minutes" report came in for heavy criticism Friday, prompting an unusual on-air defense of the original work. Experts on typography said they appeared to have been computer-drafted on equipment not available in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
And the family of the officer who supposedly wrote them, Lt. Col. Jerry Killian, who died in 1984, said it wasn't his nature to keep detailed personal notes.
In its network news broadcast Friday, CBS said the documents were supported by both unnamed witnesses and others, including document examiners.
Earlier, CBS anchor Dan Rather told The Dallas Morning News that he had heard nothing to make him question the legitimacy of the memos. He attributed the backlash to partisan politics and competitive journalism.
"This story is true. The questions we raised about then-Lieutenant Bush's National Guard service are serious and legitimate," he said, expressing confidence the memos are authentic. "Until and unless someone shows me definitive proof that they are not, I don't see any reason to carry on a conversation with the professional rumor mill."
The interview concluded before The Dallas Morning News determined the date of Staudt's departure, so that issue was not included. But a CBS staffer with extensive knowledge of the story said later that the departure doesn't derail the story.
"From what we've learned, Staudt remained very active after he retired," the staffer said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. "He was a very bullying type, and that could have continued."
In the "60 Minutes" report, Rather said of the memo's contents: "Killian says Col. Buck Staudt, the man in charge of the Texas Air National Guard, is putting on pressure to `sugar coat' an evaluation of Lt. Bush."
Staudt was the person Bush initially contacted about Guard service, and he was the group commander at Ellington Air Force Base in Houston when Bush arrived there to fly an F-102 jet. He later transferred to Austin, where he served as the chief of staff for the Air National Guard.
In the disputed memo, Killian supposedly wrote "(another officer) gave me a message today from group regarding Bush's (evaluation) and Staudt is pushing to sugar coat it."
It continues: "Austin is not happy either."
The CBS staffer said that the memo appears to recognize that Staudt has retired, since it differentiates between his displeasure and that of Austin, where he served his final Guard stint.
But another Texas Air National Guard official who served in that period said the memo appears to wrongly associate Staudt with his group command in Houston, and - based on that mistake - the memo distinguishes his views from that of the Austin Guard headquarters.
Retired Col. Earl Lively, who was director of Air National Guard operations for the state headquarters during 1972 and 1973 said Staudt "wasn't on the scene" after retirement, and that CBS' remote-bullying thesis makes no sense.
"He couldn't bully them. He wasn't in the Guard," Lively said. "He couldn't affect their promotions. Once you're gone from the Guard, you don't have any authority."
The report about the memos originally appeared to stir anew longstanding questions about Bush's Guard service, including whether he defied a direct order to take a physical exam, and whether his suspension from flying was partly for failure to meet military performance standards.
The campaign of Bush's Democratic rival, John Kerry, stood mostly mum, saying Bush should answer all questions about his service. Earlier this year, though, Kerry aides raised the exact points the memo seemed to address.
Bush has not commented publicly about the CBS report, and aides say his honorable discharge proves he fulfilled his obligations.
But the White House, which contends that all known records of Bush's service have been released, also took the unusual step of distributing the CBS memos to reporters the night of the broadcast.
"We don't know whether the (CBS) documents were fabricated or are authentic," White House press secretary Scott McClellan said Friday.
Wow! and the hits keep coming! LOL
Hehehe. The hits keep coming.
beat me to that very line.
FR had this yesterday....
Wonder is ol' Dan Blather is going to address this in his fight for his life tonight...
Is this getting wide coverage?
Wow, and FreeRepublic knew this yesterday! Are we writing for the newspapers now?
I was wondering when this was going to get picked up beyond this site. Sweet!
LOL.... I bumped this into Breaking. Fits right?
Capt. Rather On Bridge!
'Rats Deserting Ship!
Piling on BUMP . . .
Yup - now if the MSM would only run with what the Free Republic has uncovered about Ron Brown and Vince Foster...
a fatal anachronism. HEY, DAN ! Did they have time machines in the 70's, too?
It's obvious from the comments being made by Democrats that they will not let a few facts or forgeries get in their way on this one. As Dan Rather put it, we should be demanding answers to the questions in the documents, not the documents themselves. Never mind if they are forgeries. ???????????????
Yes, I read the same thing at FR yesterday. FReepers [those pyjama-clothed partisan hacks] know things faster than Drudge and I used to think Drudge was the best.
Nice to see another news source continue to beat up on CBS though.
Email this one to Drudge, to FOX, to the Wall St. Journal, to everyone...
FR is cutting edge....give us a new pair of pajamas and we are good to go.
If it's not....it's gonna!!!!!
You can submit a link right through Drudge's website. Go for it.... lol
Nothing here to see, keep moving along.
Dan Rather has told us that we shouldn't nit pick the details as he is convinced the underlying story is correct!
Dan Rather, YOU ARE GOING DOWN!!!!
I hope you sent this to Drudge.
Fox was on it earlier tonight.
It's nice to see it printed in a big old newspaper, though, isn't it?
Well, we've been doing show prep for the talk radio hosts for years, so it's only logical we do reserach for the lamestream media.
So far little new has broken that FR hasn't had a day before.
Bernard Goldberg is on Scarborough Country and just said that "There is more diversity within Taliban than there is inside CBS." He said that CBS is behaving defensively and acting like they're trying to hide something, "circling the wagons."
Great idea, Lurch. You go first.
My only question is why is the WH (Bush) acting so strangely about this?..."the White House, which contends that all known records of Bush's service have been released, also took the unusual step of distributing the CBS memos to reporters the night of the broadcast" Shouldn't they come out swinging...if they know these are fake?
Geeeez, if this weren't so pathetic, it would be funny. Didn't they think this thing through?
The logic of the left--matchless.
The part I like alot is the Post Office Box number. How many groups/people would have a 5 digit p o box number that has 5 sequential numbers? 3-4-5-6-7. That caught my eye.
Another poster said that the entire letterhead was a fake. He said they didn't put P O boxes on letterheads. They used the actual street address in the military in all his years in uniform.
This is looking more and more like it was done by someone way too young to have had the small details Freepers are hammering. After 2 generations have treated us older folkes like we are not relevant, it sure is good to see us old farts show them up for the fraud.
I've been emailing Free Republic threads to local talk radio, Drudge, blogs, Fox, etc...
I think now that they are coming here for their research. Why have to spend all that time for story ideas and different angles on a story when FR does it for you.
Good going people.
p.s. I did email this story to Drudge though
CBS would have more credibility if they hired Baghdad Bob.
This statement will go down in history, as a last dying gasp from the Old Media.
And I don't like people impugning my pajamas.....
You don't think that guy was on the threads here with us during the Election fiasco 2000, do you? Ick, gives me the creeps!
As the Dems like to say, it is the seriousness of the charge that is important, not the substance.
This is BREAKING NEWS -- yesterday. No wonder FR is running at a snails' pace. Before you post an article as BREAKING NEWS, you ought to at least read the BREAKING NEWS column and do severales search using various word combinations.
W don't respond to garbage like this. The WH distributed the docs to all the media hoping someone might do the job that the blogs ended up doing. Congrats to FR, Powerline and the rest for outting lardarse Dan and the gang!
Why would Bush involve himself in this? He's busy being President.