Thursday, February 19, 2004

AWOL Bush: If Bush released "all" the documents, then where is the DD214 separation record? 

Good questions via Code name Monkey via Froomkin. (See back here on the DD-214).

Meanwhile, the (lazy) SCLM seems to be dropping the story, because there's "nothing new." Leaving us, as David Corn points out with the same old 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.

In fact, as Eric Boehlert writes in Salon (go on, get the day pass)

The surprising absence of relevant documents [back here and here] over the weekend may add credence to the accusation raised six years ago by a retired Texas Air National Guard officer who claims aides to Bush went through his military file in 1997 and removed anything that would have been embarrassing for Bush

Yes, Mrs. Bush is standing by her man on this one. But it's third hand evidence: All she "knows" is what Bush "knows." Except the trouble with Bush is not what he knows, or what he doesn't know—it's what he knows that ain’t so. And it sounds like one of those things is his Guard duty (or lack thereof).

UPDATE An excellent summary of the state of play on the Bush AWOL issue by CalPundit here.

I mean, call me crazy, but why should it be so hard to figure out how much military service our "war President" actually did? I just don't get it.

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