- The White House said seven months ago that it
had released all the records on President Bush's
stateside military service during the Vietnam
War, yet new records are still dribbling out as
Election Day approaches.
White House on Wednesday night produced a November
1974 document bearing Bush's signature from Cambridge,
Mass., where he was attending Harvard Business
School, saying he had decided not to continue
as a member of the military reserve.
document, signed a year after Bush left the Texas
Air National Guard, said he was leaving the military
because of "inadequate time to fulfill possible
House spokesman Scott McClellan said the resignation
was found in connection with a lawsuit brought
by The Associated Press. The White House said
the document had been in Bush's personnel file
and that it had been found by the Pentagon.
Wednesday, the White House said Bush never was
disciplined while serving in the Texas Air National
Guard, never failed a physical and never asked
his father or family friends for help to get him
into the Guard.
White House assertions came in response to a dozen
questions submitted by AP in light of new records
detailing Bush's Guard service and allegations
that have surfaced this election season.
president's critics say he got help getting into
the Guard and was treated with kid gloves once
he became a guardsman. Democrats question why
Bush was never punished for skipping a required
medical examination or missing drills for six
months in 1972.
has maintained he fulfilled all of his National
Guard requirements and served honorably.
asked whether Bush ever participated in a disciplinary
process during his Guard service, whether he ever
received a critical report or was ever present
for a conversation in which his performance, conduct
or physical condition were raised by a superior
and this is clear from the president's records,
which have been made public," the White House
said in an e-mail response.
Texas Air National Guard stripped Bush of his
pilot status in August 1972 for failing to take
the annual medical exam required of all pilots.
Former Air National Guard officials say it was
rare for a pilot to skip his physical exam.
the White House replied when asked whether Bush
ever failed a medical exam in the Guard or had
a medical problem that would have temporarily
or permanently disqualified him from flying.
White House said, "The president did not ask his
father or family friends for assistance" in getting
into the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam
AP filed lawsuits in federal court and state court
in Texas seeking any additional records of Bush's
Guard service after the White House said in February
that everything had been released.
released since then include Bush's official flight
logs as a fighter pilot, showing he spent more
than 300 hours in military jets but had shifted
to a two-seat training jet several times in his
final weeks as a pilot in 1972. Bush spent 40
percent of his flight time in training jets or
simulators during the first four months of 1972,
double the percentage for the previous five months.
could be many reasons why an individual pilot
would fly in a training plane, including availability
of the planes," the White House said in its written
needed to take a physical exam by the end of July
1972 to keep flying. But he skipped the physical
and his commanders grounded him in August 1972.
Bush never flew for the military again.
White House said Bush skipped the exam because
he expected a transfer to an Alabama unit which
did not have the F-102A jets Bush was trained
to fly. Bush has said he went to Alabama to work
on the unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign of Winton
Blount, a family friend.
president was transferring to Alabama to perform
equivalent duty in a non-flying capacity, making
a flight physical unnecessary," the White House
White House did not answer whether Bush disobeyed
a direct order to take the exam. Bush won final
approval to train for three months with an Alabama
unit a month after he had already been suspended
as a pilot.
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