- The Pentagon on Friday released newly discovered
payroll records from President Bush's 1972 service
in the Alabama National Guard, though the records
shed no new light on the future president's activities
during that summer.
Pentagon official said the earlier contention
that the records were destroyed was an "inadvertent
records released earlier by the White House, these
computerized payroll records show no indication
Bush drilled with the Alabama unit during July,
August and September of 1972. Pay records covering
all of 1972, released previously, also indicated
no guard service for Bush during those three months.
records do not give any new information about
Bush's National Guard training during 1972, when
he transferred to the Alabama National Guard unit
so he could work on the U.S. Senate campaign of
a family friend. The payroll records do not say
definitively whether Bush attended training that
summer because they are maintained separately
from attendance records.
House spokesman Trent Duffy said Bush kept his
service commitments, pointing to the fact that
Bush was honorably discharged in 1973.
White House says Bush attended enough training
during other months in 1972 to fulfill his service
commitment for that year.
release came three days before Democrats begin
their national convention in Boston to officially
nominate Sen. John Kerry as
their presidential candidate. Military veterans
are being tapped at the convention to help tell
Kerry's story as he prepares to accept the party's
nomination next week.
have sought to contrast Bush's National Guard
service with Kerry's Vietnam War record. Kerry
enlisted in the Navy, volunteered for combat in
Vietnam and earned several medals including a
Silver Star, a Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts.
After returning from Vietnam, Kerry became a prominent
Associated Press had asked a federal judge on
July 16 to order the Pentagon to quickly turn
over a copy of the pay records. The AP had sued
under the Freedom of Information Act to obtain
the records from a state library records center
of Bush's National Guard service released previously
did not explain the apparent gaps in his Guard
service in 1972 and 1973.
had transferred to an Alabama National Guard unit
while he worked on the U.S. Senate campaign of
Republican Winton Blount.
Pentagon had said that the payroll records for
that time period had been inadvertently destroyed.
attempts to locate the missing records at the
Federal Records Center had been unsuccessful due
to the incorrect records accession numbers provided,"
the Pentagon's Office of Freedom of Information
chief C.Y. Talbott said in a letter Friday to
The Associated Press.
correct numbers were obtained ... and the records
wrote that the Defense Department "regrets this
inadvertent oversight during the initial search
and the delay it caused in your receipt of these
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