CommunityPam's House Blend

I can’t believe how hard USA Today is continuing to slam Bush on the AWOL issue. this Kit Roane article documents how payroll records and other documents show how Bush failed to report and didn’t fulfill his obligations to TX ANG. You have to notice how the White House is doing the non-denial/denial crap

Most of the documents, which have been reviewed by U.S. News, and former military and Defense Department personnel, were released last February, when reporters raised new questions about Bush’s service during the Vietnam War. After the release, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said he considered the case closed and noted that, “these records I’m holding here clearly document the president fulfilling his duties in the National Guard.”

The White House also included a signed memorandum from the man who headed personnel matters for the Guard during Bush’s tenure, certifying the administration’s position. President Bush had “completed his military obligation in a satisfactory manner,” wrote Albert C. Lloyd Jr., a retired Air Force colonel.

A recent examination of the records by U.S. News does not appear to support Lloyd’s conclusions. Among the issues identified by the magazine:

* The White House used an inappropriate–and less stringent–Air Force standard in determining that President Bush fulfilled his National Guard duty.

* Even using this lesser standard, the president did not attend enough drills to complete his obligation to the Guard during his final year of service.

* During the final two years of his service obligation, Bush did not comply with Air Force regulations that impose a time limit on making up missed drills. Instead, he took credit for makeup drills he participated in outside that time frame. Five months of drills missed by the President in 1972 were never made up, contrary to assertions made by the White House.

The White House declined to respond to specific questions submitted by U.S. News last week, but today defended Bush’s Guard service. “The president completed the necessary points to qualify for an honorable discharge. He fulfilled his obligation to both the Texas Air National Guard and the Alabama National Guard during his service there,” says Claire Buchan, White House spokeswoman. “The president is proud of his service and is pleased to release his records and they confirm that the President served honorably.”

For several experts contacted by U.S. News, how President Bush received his honorable discharge from the Guard remains a mystery. Lawrence Korb, a former Assistant Secretary for Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs during the Reagan Administration, said it was apparent that President Bush “had not fulfilled his obligation.”

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding