Is There A Missing 72-73 SPE?

UPDATE: THIS IS AN OLD POST OF MINE. Go see my new post on the recent Killian memos here. I no longer think the Killian memos are forgeries.

In a comment below, Gryn suggests that the first line of the torn SPE is for October, rather than November. He's angling for the maximum contradiction angle, but I'm afraid this assumption would loosen the noose considerably for Bush.

Reexamining the document, I agree that the letter could be a T. It's a computerized printout that doesn't use serifs in its font, contrary to my assertion below. What I see as a serif, therefore, could be the top of a T (I still believe the line is slanting). OCT is a good guess for the first date, though.

Here's why that starts to clear Bush: If the torn SPE proves to be genuine, then he's got proof that he made up time in October and mid November (the second line can now be NOV, placing the time immediately after Election Day) for the second quarter. This leaves a single quarter for the case of AWOL, and now it's getting down to a possible case of crossed communication.

Let's follow this trail of assumption: Bush clears base, confident that he's being transferred to an Alabama unit that won't require attendance. This transfer is denied, but because he's already left town, he doesn't get the notification. Thinking his Guard service is covered, Bush doesn't attend any drills, and at the end of the first quarter, someone in Houston (Jerry Killian) finally gets word to him that his attendance is deficient. He then applies on Sept. 5, early on in the second quarter for transfer to the second Guard unit in Alabama. (This request is sent to Col. Killian, and signed "George" - it reads like a letter dictated to Bush). This transfer is approved.

But for good measure, Bush comes back to Houston in October for a weekend drill. And immediately after Election Day, Bush pulls a six day stint in Houston. Both of these times of service must have been makeup days for the first quarter, a deal worked out with his commanders based on the mixup. This service would have cleared him for the first quarter.

This leaves room for Bush to have done duty in Alabama, while he was working the Senate campaign, and then gives him time to go back to Alabama for the November 29 date that the Bush campaign has specifically claimed for Bush to have attended in Alabama. This gets Bush cleared for the second quarter.

If there's a case for an AWOL Bush, then my original guesses for the first two months on the torn SPE must stand as the working hypothesis. However, the above scenario, while solving many problems for Bush apologists, still heighten the tension between other documents and claims about this time period. It's never been claimed that Bush returned from Alabama to get any drill points at Houston.

Furthermore, Killian is the person who signed off on Bush's annual evaluation for 72-73, the one stating that Bush had not been observed at Houston for 01 May 72 - 31 April 73. How could he have missed Bush's return to Houston in October, and his six day stint in November - not to mention the January and February/April times? Killian is the one who probably prodded Bush into the second transfer - he would definitely have known if Bush came back while in Alabama!

Since the torn SPE is specifically for Houston points earned, there must be a similar document from his Montgomery unit somewhere. If the SPE is gone, there are other ways to determine just what days Bush served in Alabama. Phil Carter explains the different paths by which paperwork can establish the truth about Bush's service record in 1972-74. This information could confirm or deny the above scenario conclusively. So once again, the call for Bush to fully release his military records goes out.

The only reason for Bush to withhold his records is if he's got something to hide.