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Bush Service Records Open

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posted on Feb, 13 2004 @ 05:26 PM
CNN and the Drudge report are showing this story that the President opened his records and reporters were escorted into the rosevelt room to view them.


(AP) George W. Bush is shown during his time in the Texas Air National Guard, 1968-73, in this undated...
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WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush, trying to calm a political storm, ordered the release of all of his Vietnam-era military records Friday to counter Democrats' suggestions that he shirked his duty in the Texas Air National Guard.

Hundreds of pages of documents detailed Bush's service in the Guard in Texas and his temporary duty in Alabama while working on a political campaign there in the early 1970s. Democrats have questioned whether Bush ever showed up for duty in Alabama.

"The president felt everything should be made available to the public," White House press secretary said. "There were some who sought to leave a wrong impression that there was something to hide when there is not."

Bush's service record has been an issue in each of his presidential campaigns and resurfaced this year when Terry McAuliffe, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said Bush had been AWOL - absent without leave - during his time in Alabama.

Democrats hope to capitalize on the issue and undermine Bush's election strength on national security issues by contrasting his service in the Guard, where he was a pilot who did not see combat, with that of Sen. John Kerry, the decorated Vietnam War veteran who is the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Bush enlisted in the Texas Air National Guard at Ellington Air Force Base on May 27, 1968. The last day he was paid for Guard duty was July 30, 1973. He was placed on inactive Guard duty six months before his commitment at his request because he was starting Harvard Business School. He was honorably discharged.

While he performed most of his service in Texas, Bush transferred to an Alabama guard unit in 1972 because he was working as the political director for the Senate campaign of Winton Blount, a Bush family friend. White House officials say Bush recalls serving both in Texas and Alabama. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the White House provided a dental record and payroll information from his file.

The pay records show Bush, who was a 1st lieutenant, was paid for 25 days of service between May 1972 and May 1973, the year Democrats have been questioning. The pay records, however, do not say what Bush did to receive pay, or where he did it.

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