Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Law Of Unintended Consequences

Well, I bet Georgie boy thought he had a winner on his hands with this whole Swift Boat thing. He figured he could wash his hands of it and if asked to come out against the ad he could say he's been condemning these 527 ads all along. What he didn't count on, apparently, was that further scrutiny into Kerry's war record would lead to further scrutiny into...er...his. Consider the can of worms officially opened.

Despite the claims of conservatives that the media has exhaustively explored questions about George Bush's service in the Texas National Guard (or lack thereof), the fact that Fahrenheit 911 had so many surprises on the subject says all you need to know. A little background:

Questions about Bush's record predate the current campaign. The apparent gap in his Guard service first surfaced before the 2000 election, when The Boston Globe reported that Texas Guard commanders were unable to account for Bush's whereabouts from May 1972 to April 1973.

Bush has not said what he did in the Guard during that period. Aside from a statement by a former Alabama Air Guard officer who said he saw Bush report for duty there in the fall of 1972, the only evidence he was at Dannelly Air National Guard Base in Alabama was a record of a dental exam on Jan. 6, 1973, at the base.

Bush said in a TV interview in February that he would make all his military records available. That month, the White House released more than 400 pages of Bush military records, including some duplicates, and said the documents were a complete catalog of his personnel files. But some documents still have not been made public.

They say, despite the release of hundreds of pages of records, the following questions still remain:

• Why did Bush, described by some of his fellow officers as a talented and enthusiastic pilot, stop flying fighter jets in the spring of 1972 and fail to take an annual physical exam required of all pilots?

• What explains the apparent gap in the president's Guard service in 1972-73, a period when commanders in Texas and Alabama say they never saw him report for duty and records show no pay to Bush when he was supposed to be on duty in Alabama?

• Did Bush receive preferential treatment in getting into the Guard and securing a coveted pilot slot despite poor qualifying scores and arrests, but no convictions, for stealing a Christmas wreath and rowdiness at a football game during his college years?

Bush was supposed to serve from 1968-1973. Clearly, that didn't happen. Here's hoping we have 2 months of Bush squirming trying to keep us from finding out just what did.


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