WaPo on Bush's Guard Service: The Cracks Are Showing

Bush's Guard Service In Question

This article is from yesterday, but it's a step in the right direction.

Bush's 72-73 year in the Texas Air National Guard is baldly described as "a one year gap...during the height of the Vietnam War." From the rest of the article, it's clear that the 73-74 complete SPE is being used, and the torn 72-73 document is not.

The heart of the Bush defense on this matter is this:

White House communications director Dan Bartlett said yesterday that although no official record can be found, "obviously, you don't get an honorable discharge unless you receive the required points for annual service." He said Bush "specifically remembers" performing some of his duties in Alabama. Bartlett also provided a news clipping from 2000 quoting friends of Bush's from the Alabama Senate campaign saying they recalled Bush leaving for Guard duty on occasion.

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."

Reached in Montgomery yesterday, Turnipseed stood by his claim that Bush never reported to him. But Turnipseed added that he could not recall if he, himself, was on the base much at that time.
1. Bush says he did. Well, that and a dollar fifty will get you a cup of coffee.

2. The points must have been made up for his honorable discharge. Perhaps so. When and how? It wasn't during the first two quarters of 72-73, and the Post doesn't seem to be admitting the torn SPE into evidence.

3. People remember him leaving for Guard duty. Well, unless they watched him actually go to Guard duty, fulfill Guard duty, and record his Guard duty, it doesn't matter if Bear Bryant saw him leave for Guard duty.

4. Turnipseed can't recall today whether he was on the base much at the time. There would still be records of Bush's attendance. There would be other Alabama guard members who remember Bush being there. No record and no Guard member has come to light.

The complete answer is yet to be understood. A full and immediate release of Bush's military records would clear all these questions up.

Unless, of course, what hasn't been released is even more damning than what has.