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.
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."
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
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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