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BUSH AIDES ACCUSED OF DESTROYING MILITARY DOCUMENTS
The Daily Mislead
February 12
, 2004

Just four days after pledging to open up his entire military file, President Bush has reneged on the pledge, with "Administration officials declining yesterday to commit to releasing further records" on top of the inconclusive ones they have already released. Additionally, new charges have surfaced that Bush actually deployed his Texas gubernatorial staff to destroy incriminating records.

As first reported by the Dallas Morning News, retired National Guard Lt. Col. Bill Burkett said that, in 1997, Joe Allbaugh (chief of staff for then-Governor Bush) told the National Guard chief to get the Bush file and make certain "there's not anything there that will embarrass the governor." Burkett said that a few days later at Camp Mabry in Austin, he "saw Mr. Bush's file and documents from it discarded in a trash can."

While the White House has claimed the attack is baseless, Burkett's credibility was bolstered today after the New York Times reported that he made his complaint known right after the incident. In 1998, he sent a letter to a member of the Texas State Senate saying Bush and his aides improperly reviewed the file to "make sure nothing will embarrass the governor during his re-election campaign." Burkett repeated in interviews this week that Bush and his aides "ordered Guard officials to remove damaging information from Mr. Bush's military personnel files."

Yesterday, the commander of the Alabama unit Bush claimed he served in during his year-long absence said "[Bush] never did come to my squad. He was never at my unit." Additionally, in a signed report, commanding officers in Houston said Bush "has not been observed." In order to clear up the controversy, the president would have to follow through on his Sunday pledge to release all of his records rather than continue stonewalling.

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