Sunday, February 15, 2004
Happy Fucking Holidays
Marks Curtis's recollection of her long-ago friendship with the young Bush is once again relevant, as the president's military record has come under renewed scrutiny because of unexplained gaps in the documents. But even the woman Bush solicited to defend his record has no firsthand knowledge of his service in the Alabama National Guard, and relies, she said, on what she heard from the 26-year-old Bush.
Trying to quell a growing political storm, President Bush on Friday evening released all his military records to counter Democrats' suggestions that he shirked his duty in the Air National Guard at the height of the Vietnam War.
But the hundreds of pages of documents did little to answer questions about Bush's military history. Why, for example, is there no definitive documentation -- except a single dental exam -- that places Bush at Dannelly Air National Guard Base in 1972-73 and shows how he performed his temporary duty in the Alabama Guard?
The White House also released Friday, additional files from Mr. Bush's service in the National Guard, including records of dental examinations from the Vietnam War-era.
A spokesman said the release was intended to refute critics trying to create what he called the "wrong impression" about Mr. Bush's National Guard service.
Some Democrats have questioned whether then-Lieutenant Bush showed up for duty during much of a 12-month period starting in 1972. The White House says he met his military obligations.
Bush's medical records, dozens of pages in all, were opened for examination by reporters in the Roosevelt Room yesterday, but they were not for public consumption. The records showed that Bush, a pilot, was suspended from flying status beginning August 1, 1972, because of his failure to have an annual medical examination. His last flight exam was on May 15, 1971.
Democrats have also questioned whether Bush showed up for temporary duty in Alabama while working on a political campaign during a one-year period from May 1972 to May 1973.
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