Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Tuesday, February 03, 2004  

I know this has been a thin day for original content. Mainly it's because I'm pretty much agog at how some media organizations looked in the mission statement and discovered it included journalism. After three years of dutifully reprinting White House press releases, a few reporters have managed to work actual reportage into the news holes. In 1972, Bush went AWOL. The Post apparently feels this is now relevant. (I've highlighted some of the juicier bits.)

A review of Bush's military records shows that Bush enjoyed preferential treatment as the son of a then-congressman, when he walked into a Texas Guard unit in Houston two weeks before his 1968 graduation from Yale and was moved to the top of a long waiting list.

It was an era when service in the Guard was a coveted assignment, often associated with efforts to avoid active duty in Vietnam. Bush was accepted for pilot training after having scored only 25 percent on the pilot's aptitude test, the lowest acceptable grade.

In 2000, the Boston Globe examined a period from May 1972 to May 1973 and found no record that Bush performed any Guard duties, either in Alabama or Houston, although he was still enlisted.

According to military records obtained by The Washington Post, Bush first requested and received permission in May 1972 to be transferred to the Alabama National Guard so he could work on a U.S. Senate campaign. After he was in Alabama, he received notice from the Guard personnel center that he was "ineligible" for the Air Reserve Squadron he requested.

In August 1972, Bush was suspended from flying because he failed to complete an annual medical exam. A month later, Bush requested to be assigned to a different unit in Alabama and was approved. Although he was required to attend periodic drills in Alabama, there is no official record in his file that he did....

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."

Bush returned to Houston after the election, and again his service is vague in the records. His officers at Ellington Air Force Base wrote in May 1973 that Bush could not be given his annual evaluation, because he "has not been observed" in Houston between April 1972 and the following May. Ultimately, another officer states in a subsequent document that a report for that one-year period was unavailable for "administrative reasons."

All of this is, of course, well-documented, and is well-known to those of us who care if our President is a layabout liar. It has, however, not been well-reported. Any more of this and bloggers might be in trouble.

posted by Jeff | 11:26 AM |
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