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AP: New Bush Guard Papers Leave Questions Will it ever end?

Posted on 10/28/2004 2:54:30 PM PDT by wolfeast1

October 26, 2004

AP: New Bush Guard Papers Leave Questions By MATT KELLEY ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON (AP) -

Unearthed under legal pressure, three-decade-old documents portray President Bush as a capable and well-liked Air National Guard pilot who stopped flying and attending regular drills two-thirds of the way through his six-year commitment - without consequence.

The files, many of them forced to light by Freedom of Information lawsuits by The Associated Press, conflict with some of the harshest attacks Democrats have levied on Bush's Vietnam-era service, such as suggestions that Bush was a deserter or absent without leave.

But gaps in the records leave unanswered questions about the final two years of his military service in 1972 and 1973. Chief among them: Why did Bush's commanders apparently tolerate his lapses in training and approve his honorable discharge?

Bush's commanders could have punished him - or ordered him to two years of active duty - for missing drills for six months in 1972 and skipping a required pilot's medical exam. Instead, they allowed him to make up some of his missed training and granted him an honorable discharge.

"Obviously, the commander saw the lieutenant's interest in the guard was waning," said retired Maj. Gen. Paul A. Weaver Jr., a former head of the Air National Guard. "Had he been good before? Yeah. Does that mean he should nail him to the wall? No. The culture at the time was not to enforce that."

But the culture apparently did not apply to everyone. Although no records mention any punishment against Bush other than being grounded, the Texas unit's files show another airman was ordered to involuntary active duty in March 1972 as punishment.

There are also unresolved questions about what, if any, work Bush did while temporarily assigned in 1972 to an Alabama unit and why the future president suddenly switched back to training jets shortly before giving up as a pilot.

White House spokesmen say Bush fulfilled all of his obligations and was never disciplined for any wrongdoing while he was in the Texas Air National Guard from 1968 to 1973. While Bush did not meet requirements for pilots in 1972 and 1973 and skipped months of training, there is no record of his commanders ordering him to active duty or initiating an investigation.

Bush has been dogged by questions about his military service since he first ran for Texas governor in 1994, and some Democrats have alleged he deserted without fulfilling his obligation. Democratic challenger John Kerry has said he respects Bush's Guard service, but frequently notes he engaged in combat in Vietnam.

Bush's spokesmen and the Pentagon had insisted all of the president's files were made public last February when the White House released records it hoped would put an end to the questions.

AP, however, identified large numbers of documents that should have been produced under the Guard's 1970s regulations but had not been released, such as flight logs and mission orders. It sued in both federal and Texas state court and filed supplemental document requests to get answers.

The Pentagon and Texas National Guard responded by conducting sweeping new searches that turned up more than 100 pages of new documents since August, including Bush's long-sought flight logs and dozens of orders showing what work the future president attended or missed.

But even when the government insisted in sworn affidavits that all documents about Bush had been made public last month, AP persisted and won permission to allow two law professors to review boxes of files in Texas to make sure nothing was missed.

The professors found dozens of pages of new memos overlooked in the government's searches. The government's only explanation was that dust and rat excrement in the boxes made it hard to review the files.

"This is a lesson that the routine use of the Freedom of Information Act is very helpful when you're trying to report important stories to the public," said Lucy Dalglish, an attorney and executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

The newly discovered records were a mixed political bag.

Democrats, who contended Bush got favored treatment because his father was a congressman during the Vietnam war, crowed when a letter from the elder Bush came to light this fall suggesting a training commander took special interest in the congressman's son.

And records showed Bush missed some of his unit's drills, including a mission to guard the Southwest border in fall 1972.

But the White House had its own ammunition to counter allegations Bush got a free pass in the Guard when flight logs emerged showing Bush scored well on most of his training exercises and piloted a fighter jet for more than 300 hours.

The newly released flight logs also contain a mystery: Bush abruptly switched from his solo fighter jet to flying mostly in two-seat training jets about six weeks before his final flight as a Guardsman. The files don't explain why, and Bush's spokesmen could only opine that there might have been a shortage of fighter planes.

The biggest questions about Bush's service focus on 1972 and 1973. Payroll records show Bush failed to show up for training between mid-April and late October of 1972. At the time, he had relocated to Alabama to work on the ultimately unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign of Winton M. Blount, a friend of his father. He was also supposed to do some training with an Alabama unit.

Except for a January 1973 dental examination, no records have turned up that show what, if any, work Bush did for the Guard while in Alabama.

The payroll records show Bush was credited for service in October and November 1972 and in January and April of 1973. An evaluation from Texas covering the period between May 1972 and May 1973 says Texas officers did not see Bush during that time.

His evaluation for the previous year was glowing.

"Lt. Bush is an exceptional fighter interceptor pilot and officer," then-Maj. William D. Harris, Jr., wrote in May 1972.

The Texas Air National Guard grounded Bush in September 1972 for skipping a required medical exam. Although Air Force rules at the time required an investigation and report on every pilot who skipped his exam, no records of such an investigation have surfaced.

Bush has said he skipped the exam because he knew he would not be flying F-102A fighters in Alabama.

---

AP investigative researcher Randy Herschaft contributed to this report.


TOPICS: Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: ltbush; militaryrecord; tang

1 posted on 10/28/2004 2:54:31 PM PDT by wolfeast1
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To: wolfeast1

the MSM really needs to give this up...
Im sick about hearing all this..


2 posted on 10/28/2004 2:57:20 PM PDT by Just Dan
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To: wolfeast1

Will what ever end? AP articles on the Guard or Freepers posting the same stories over and over and over again?


3 posted on 10/28/2004 2:57:22 PM PDT by ambrose (http://www.swiftvets.com)
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To: wolfeast1
Halliburton, TANG, Halliburton,TANG.........

No one gives a flying flip.

The terrorists want to kill us!

4 posted on 10/28/2004 2:58:05 PM PDT by OldFriend (It's the soldier, not the reporter who has given US freedom of the press)
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To: wolfeast1

John Kerry SIGNED THE FORM 180 to RELEASE YOUR MILITARY RECORDS!


5 posted on 10/28/2004 2:58:06 PM PDT by elizabetty
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To: wolfeast1

The MSM is getting frantic. Now they are recycling stuff. Next they start making up things again.


6 posted on 10/28/2004 2:58:29 PM PDT by Merry
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Comment #7 Removed by Moderator

To: wolfeast1

No, but that is the point.

While the press could care less about what hundreds of Kerry's fellow vets have to say about his time in Vietnam, and have tried to cover up Kerry's antics post Vietnam, any lack of documented proof of Bush fulfilling his NG obligations to the letter is considered to be breaking news.


8 posted on 10/28/2004 2:59:22 PM PDT by swilhelm73 (We've found more WMDs in Iraq than we've found disenfranchised blacks in Florida. --Ann Coulter)
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To: wolfeast1

"Somebody make us stop this madness!"


9 posted on 10/28/2004 2:59:45 PM PDT by dr_who_2
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To: wolfeast1

How long do you beat an "old horse." The MSM thinks you beat until it is beyond dead. No one cares! The AP is ridiculous!


10 posted on 10/28/2004 3:00:12 PM PDT by Moconservative
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To: wolfeast1

I think this whole National Guard bullcrap will end after the election. If W loses, it won't matter for obvious reasons--the only reason why they're dredging this up is to try to influence the election. And if W wins, it won't matter also, since he'll be "safe" since he can't run for another term.


11 posted on 10/28/2004 3:00:14 PM PDT by gop_gene
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To: wolfeast1

The AP is really on a roll today. Virtually every article they've printed attacks Bush in some way or another. They will stop at nothing to bring down Bush.


12 posted on 10/28/2004 3:02:42 PM PDT by fr11
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To: wolfeast1

There are many questions about Kerry's service. Does the AP pursue them? No


13 posted on 10/28/2004 3:02:55 PM PDT by knuthom
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To: wolfeast1

I can't think of anything more laughable than still another dirty trick attempt on Bush's national guard service, but bring it on!!! Nothing will fire up the Bush base more, and I suspect even the most rabid Bush haters will wonder why in the hell Kerry and his MSM band, needs to drag this out again.


14 posted on 10/28/2004 3:03:21 PM PDT by YaYa123 (@It's Official...The MSM Is Doing All It Can To Defeat George W. Bush.com)
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To: ambrose

A BIG OLE DITTO to that!


15 posted on 10/28/2004 3:04:11 PM PDT by Conspiracy Guy (Ignorance, bigotry, envy, and gluttony are a few floor joists in the democratic platform.)
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To: wolfeast1
AP: New Bush Guard Papers Leave Questions (AP trotting out Bush guard story....again)
  Posted by Technical Editor
On News/Activism 10/27/2004 2:18:26 AM EDT · 42 replies · 565+ views


abcnews.go.com ^
 

AP: New Bush Guard Papers Leave Questions
  Posted by stevek1
On News/Activism 10/26/2004 3:48:56 PM EDT · 162 replies · 4,943+ views


AP ^

16 posted on 10/28/2004 3:04:15 PM PDT by Howlin (Bush has claimed two things which Democrats believe they own by right: the presidency & the future)
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To: wolfeast1

THIS IS BULL^*&% AND I am former USNR> Any RESERVIST knows that you only need 50 pts for a good year. This is the stupidist report of all.

FIRST...he did not need the pilot physical as his plane was being decommissioned (those fighters were no longer going to be in use) so he would not be flying. Those pilot physicals are "hurry up and wait" for a week, and a regular physical is one day. I skipped a firefighter instructor physical because I was not going to teach, I did not need it.

SECONDLY...He may have done extra duty drills at an odd time, or early. ALL HE NEEDED WAS 50 PTS FOR HONORABLE SERVICE IN ONE YEAR..GET IT!!!

THIRD....the MORONS in the MEDIA are not true Americans, most never served in Military, or are from Cananda and although they know the truth, they REFUSE TO TELL IT..LIARS, DECEIVERS AND A PLACE IN HELL WAITS FOR THEM.

FOURTH...we all know KERRY tried to get out of going during Vietnam when he was drafted, he applied for a deferrment..it was turned down. He joined the Navy, which very few saw Vietnam directly. Nothing brave about that BS, or shooting a lone vietnam teen in back trying to get away from US forces and unarmed.

FIFTH...as a Pilot Bush flew one of most dangerous planes available to him, and was on standby for Vietnam...it was not his fault he did not go, nor was he given any special treatment. Those lies were refuted by Barnes daughter who said her father lied to write a book and told her he never was asked to help Bush, nor did he.

SIXTH....Take this BS elsewhere I am tired of it, most of us here are former Military, military spouses, or Reserve...we know how it works, so you aren't swaying any of us with democratic nonsense.


17 posted on 10/28/2004 3:04:40 PM PDT by Kackikat
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To: wolfeast1

A very weak October surprise that has been beaten into the ground.


18 posted on 10/28/2004 3:05:20 PM PDT by CurlyBill (Voter Fraud is one of the primary campaign strategies of the Democrats!)
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To: wolfeast1

Don't know how to link?


19 posted on 10/28/2004 3:05:21 PM PDT by BCrago66
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To: wolfeast1

20 posted on 10/28/2004 3:05:42 PM PDT by Stellar Dendrite (They should rename it to World Hugh instead of World Series!!!!)
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To: wolfeast1

When do we get to see Kerry's discharge ?


21 posted on 10/28/2004 3:06:28 PM PDT by carlyaxt (carlyaxt)
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To: wolfeast1

When do we get to see Kerry's discharge ?


22 posted on 10/28/2004 3:07:03 PM PDT by carlyaxt (carlyaxt)
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To: wolfeast1

AP, CBS, ABC, CNN, and the NY Times: these are the enemies of the United States. Every effort must be made to destroy these evil entities.


23 posted on 10/28/2004 3:07:15 PM PDT by FormerACLUmember (Free Republic is 21st Century Samizdat)
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To: wolfeast1
Will it ever end?

yes, one way or another, on Nov. 3 ... after the elections, this set of Democrat lies, deceptions, and irrelevant stupidities will no longer be useful.

But count on it: they'll come up with another set of dishonest, irrelevant crap to peddle ... it's what they do. Tornadoes destroy trailer parks, frogs eat flies, Democrats tell lies.

24 posted on 10/28/2004 3:07:25 PM PDT by ArrogantBustard
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To: Stellar Dendrite

Let's bring up Kerry's record. He is so proud of it. Karl this needs to be a October Surprise.


25 posted on 10/28/2004 3:07:59 PM PDT by Flightmom
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To: wolfeast1

pathetic.
lame.
limp.

this will not work at all.


26 posted on 10/28/2004 3:09:55 PM PDT by King Prout ("We've found more WMDs in Iraq than we've found disenfranchised blacks in Florida." - Ann Coulter)
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To: Just Dan
Associated Press (AP), Feedback, feedback@ap.org
Associated Press, Jennifer Loven, jloven@ap.org
Associated Press, Kathleen Carroll (Executive Editor), kcarroll@ap.org
Associated Press, Larry Margasak, lmargasak@ap.org
Associated Press, Michael Silverman (Managing Editor), msilverman@ap.org
Associated Press, Michelle DeArmound, opinion@thewire.ap.org
Associated Press, Nedra Pickler, npickler@ap.org
Associated Press, Ron Fournier, rfournier@ap.org
Associated Press, Sandra Johnson (Washington Bureau Chief), sjohnson@ap.org
Associated Press, Seth Sutel, pr@ap.org
Associated Press, Terry Hunt, thunt@ap.org
Associated Press, Tom Raum, traum@ap.org
27 posted on 10/28/2004 3:13:04 PM PDT by crushelits
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To: wolfeast1

Send a scathing email to:

info@ap.org

and rip that idiot for attacking The President and ignoring the traitor kerry and his dishonorable discharge.


28 posted on 10/28/2004 3:25:40 PM PDT by Trepz
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To: FormerACLUmember

"AP, CBS, ABC, CNN, and the NY Times: these are the enemies of the United States"

Oh, Don't forget PBS !!!


29 posted on 10/28/2004 3:30:32 PM PDT by AlexW
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To: FormerACLUmember

Yes, they (MSM) are all enemies of US. TURN THEM OFF! DO NOT WATCH THEM! DO NOT BUY FROM THEIR SPONSORS! They won't be able to exist without some changes.


30 posted on 10/28/2004 3:31:12 PM PDT by penowa
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To: penowa; AlexW
It is my fondest hope that the Republicans develop some minimal level of neurons, and defund PBS, NPR and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Why should my tax dollars finance propaganda agencies of the sworn enemies of me, you, and our beloved nation?

31 posted on 10/28/2004 3:36:05 PM PDT by FormerACLUmember (Free Republic is 21st Century Samizdat)
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To: penowa

How anyone can, with a straight face, when this election is over deny MSM bias against Bush, deserves a medal. (Maybe Kerry can again throw over one of his. This is really astonishing to watch.


32 posted on 10/28/2004 3:37:27 PM PDT by thecanuck
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To: Just Dan

Kerry is a traitor and a liar,and the RNC better open their mouths or they will lose!


33 posted on 10/28/2004 3:53:28 PM PDT by patriciamary
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