- Weeks after Texas National Guard officials signed
an oath swearing they had turned over all of President
Bush's military records, independent examiners
found more than two dozen pages of previously
unreleased documents about Bush.
two retired Army lawyers went through Texas files
under an agreement between the Texas Guard and
The Associated Press, which sued to gain access
to the files. The 31 pages of documents turned
over to AP Thursday night include orders for high-altitude
training in 1972, less than three months before
Bush abruptly quit flying as a fighter pilot.
discovery is the latest in a series of embarrassments
for Pentagon and Texas National Guard officials
who have repeatedly said they found and released
all of Bush's Vietnam-era military files, only
to belatedly discover more records. Those discoveries
-- nearly 100 pages, including Bush's pay records
and flight logs -- have been the result of freedom
of information lawsuits filed in federal and Texas
courts by AP.
Texas National Guard spokesman defended the continuing
discoveries, saying Guard officials didn't find
all of Bush's records because they are disorganized
and in poor shape.
boxes are full of dirt and rat (excrement) and
dead bugs. They have never been sitting in an
uncontrolled climate," said Lt. Col. John Stanford.
"It's a tough task to go through archives that
were not set up in a way that you could easily
go through them."
Texas officials had signed sworn affidavits insisting
they had reviewed the files in those boxes and
released copies of all that related to Bush's
1968-1973 Guard service, however.
time in the Texas Air National Guard has come
under scrutiny in this wartime election season.
Some Democrats accuse Bush of shirking his guard
duties in 1972 and 1973, when Bush didn't show
up for training for as long as six months at a
time. Democrats have contrasted nominee John Kerry's
combat service in Vietnam with Bush's stateside
service as an F-102A fighter pilot in Texas.
says he fulfilled all of his service obligations
and did nothing wrong. The newly released documents
shed no new light on the most controversial periods
of Bush's guard tenure.
Tech University law school professors Richard
D. Rosen and Calvin Lewis, both former Army lawyers,
reviewed the boxes of files earlier this week
under an agreement in the AP lawsuit. They found
three other boxes with files from Bush's unit
that previous searches did not turn up, Stanford
newly released documents include a January 1972
order for Bush to attend three days of "physiological
training" at Laredo Air Force Base in Texas. His
Texas payroll and attendance records, released
earlier, show Bush was credited for serving on
active duty training for the three days involved.
the time, pilots had to renew their high-altitude
training every three years, said retired Maj.
Gen. Paul A. Weaver, Jr., a former head of the
Air National Guard. Bush's first altitude training
came in 1969 when he was in pilot school at Moody
Air Force Base in Georgia.
training involved instruction about the effects
of lack of oxygen on the body and exercises in
which the pilots are exposed under supervision
to the thin air of high altitudes. The purpose
is to familiarize pilots with the effects of lack
of oxygen so they can recognize them and take
appropriate action to avoid blacking out at the
altitude training came six weeks before Bush began
an unexplained string of flights on two-seat training
jets and simulators. On April 12, 1972, Bush took
his last flight in the single-seat F-102A fighter.
future president skipped a required yearly medical
exam and was ordered grounded as of August 1972.
Bush says he missed the exam because he was planning
to train with an Alabama Air National Guard unit
which did not fly the F-102A.
went to Alabama that year to work on the U.S.
Senate campaign of a family friend.
show Bush did no guard training at all between
mid-April and late October 1972. He's credited
with six days of training in October and November
1972, presumably with the Alabama unit.
Alabama unit's commanders say they never saw Bush
or any paperwork showing he performed drills there.
A January 1973 document says Bush got a dental
examination at the Alabama unit's base.
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