he was governor of Texas, George Bush's aides
disposed of Mr Bush's National Guard files while
searching for information that could embarrass
the governor in future elections, a retired lieutenant-colonel
in the Texas National Guard told a member of the
revelation came as the Administration released
a copy of a dental evaluation carried out on Mr
Bush while he was in the National Guard in Alabama.
The Administration aimed to rebut suggestions
that the President never showed up for duty there.
retired Texas National Guard officer, Bill Burkett,
said in a letter that Dan Bartlett, now White
House communications director, and General Daniel
James, then the head of the Texas National Guard,
reviewed the file to "make sure nothing will
embarrass the governor during his re-election
Bartlett denied on Wednesday that any records
were altered. General James, since named head
of the Air National Guard by Mr Bush, also denied
Mr Burkett's account.
Mr Bartlett admitted speaking to National Guard
officials about the files as Mr Bush was preparing
to seek re-election as governor of Texas.
about Mr Bush's National Guard service have arisen
in every campaign he has run since his 1994 race
for governor. His 2004 re-election campaign is
no different, with Democrats pointing to apparent
gaps in his service record with the National Guard.
week the White House released 18 months of payroll
records that it says demonstrate Mr Bush fully
completed his service. White House spokesman Scott
McClellan provided a copy of the dental examination
done on January 6, 1973 proving that Mr Bush served
McClellan lashed out at the Democrats for their
attacks. "What you are seeing is gutter politics,"
Mr McClellan said.
are some who are not interested in their facts.
They are simply trolling for trash."
Burkett said in mid-1997, in Camp Mabry military
museum, he saw the head of the museum, General
John Scribner, going through Mr Bush's records.
Burkett said he saw a rubbish bin with discarded
papers bearing Mr Bush's name.
never happened as far as I know," General
Scribner said. "Why would I be going into
The New York Times, Associated Press
© 2004 The Sydney Morning Herald.
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