Kerry Campaign: Key Unanswered Questions on Bush's Record In National GuardTue Apr 27, 1:33 PM ET
To: National Desk, Political Reporter
Contact: Stephanie Cutter or Chad Clanton, 202-712-3000, both of John Kerry (news - web sites) for President; http://www.johnkerry.com
WASHINGTON, April 27 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The Kerry campaign today released the following "Key Unanswered Questions: Bush's Record in the National Guard":
Key Unanswered Questions: Bush's Record in the National Guard
"If George Bush wants to ask me questions about that through his surrogates, he owes America an explanation about whether or not he showed up for duty in the National Guard. Prove it. That's what we ought to have. I'm not going to stand around and let them play games." -- John Kerry, NBC News, 4/26/04
-- Bush Has Said He Used No Special Treatment To Get Into The Guard. How Does He Explain The Fact That He Jumped Ahead Of 150 Applicants Despite Low Pilot Aptitude Scores?
-- Col. Albert Lloyd Said A Report From Alabama To Ellington Should Have Been Filed. Where Is That Report?
-- Why Did Bush Miss His Medical Exam In 1972?
-- Where Are The Complete Results Of The Required Investigation Into Bush's Absence From The Exam?
-- Why Did Bush Specifically Request To NOT Be Sent Overseas For Duty?
-- Why Does The White House Say Bush Was On Base When Bush's Superiors Had Filed A Report Saying He Was Gone For A Whole Year?
-- Why Is The Pentagon (news - web sites) Under Orders To Not Discuss Bush's Record With Reporters?
-- Where Are Bush's Flight Logs?
-- Why Hasn't Bush Himself Demonstrated That He Showed Up For Service in Alabama?
Bush Has Said He Used No Special Treatment To Get Into The Guard. How Does He Explain The Fact That He Jumped Ahead Of 150 Applicants Despite Low Pilot Aptitude Scores?
"There was no special treatment." -- Then-Gov. George W. Bush (Dallas Morning News, 7/4/99)
-- FACT: With Family Connection, Bush Got Coveted Slot in Texas Guard Shortly After Graduating from College. A family friend of Bush's father pulled strings to secure Bush's spot; Bush joined the Texas Air National Guard after his student deferment ran out when he graduated from Yale in 1968. Before he graduated, Bush personally visited Col. Walter "Buck" Staudt -- the commander of the Texas Air National Guard -- to talk about the Guard. After Bush met with Staudt, he applied and was quickly accepted -- despite a waiting list of over 150 applicants. Staudt recommended Bush for a direct appointment, which allowed Bush to become a second lieutenant right out of basic training without having to go though officer candidate school. The direct appointment also cleared the way for a position in pilot training school. (New York Times, 9/27/99; Houston Chronicle, 10/10/92; Los Angeles Times, 7/4/99)
-- FACT: Bush Scored in 25th Percentile on Pilot Aptitude Test. When Bush applied for the Guard, his score on the Air Force pilot aptitude section, one of five on the test, was in the 25th percentile, the lowest allowed for would-be fliers. (Dallas Morning News, 7/4/99)
-- FACT: No Shortage of Pilots in Texas Guard. Although a Bush spokesman claimed Bush was fast-tracked because the Guard needed pilots, Charles C. Shoemake, a chief of personnel in the Texas Guard from 1972 to 1980 remembered no such shortage. "We had so many people coming in who were super-qualified," Shoemake said Texas Guard Historian Tom Hail said there was no apparent need to fast-track applicants. "I've never heard of that," he said. "Generally they did that for doctors only, mostly because we needed extra flight surgeons." (Los Angeles Times, 7/4/99)
Col. Albert Lloyd Said A Report From Alabama To Ellington Should Have Been Filed. Where Is That Report?
-- FACT: Col. Lloyd: Guard Records Should Include Evidence Of Alabama Service. Lloyd also said he did not know whether Bush performed duty in Alabama. "If he did, his drill attendance should have been certified and sent to Ellington, and there would have been a record." (Boston Globe, 5/23/00; AP, 6/24/00)
-- FACT: White House's Own Expert Said Bush Should Have Done More. According to the Globe, "the White House included with the documents a memorandum from a Texas Air National Guard personnel specialist stating that the documents prove that Bush had a 'satisfactory year' for 'retirement/retention' purposes between May 27, 1972, and May 26, 1973. But that specialist, retired Lieutenant Colonel Albert C. Lloyd Jr., acknowledged in an interview last night that he evaluated Bush using the lower of two measures for rating Guard service. Guardsmen, he said, needed to serve more days to meet minimum-training requirements than to meet the lower threshold to receive retirement credit for the year. 'Should he have done more? Yes, he should have,' Lloyd said of Bush, who was a fighter-interceptor pilot. 'Did he have to? No.'" (Boston Globe, 2/11/04)
Why Did Bush Miss His Medical Exam In 1972?
-- FACT: Bush Was Suspended From Flight Duty For Failing To Take Mandated Medical Exam.
On September 29, 1972, Bush was officially suspended from flying for missing his annual medical examination. The orders note that Bush's suspension is authorized under the guidelines presented in Air Force Manual 35-12 Para 2-29m, which reads that Bush's local commander "will direct an investigation as to why the individual failed to accomplish the medical examination." (Aeronautical Orders, Number 87, 29 Sept 72; AFM 35-13, Para 2-29m)
Where Are The Complete Results Of The Required Investigation Into Bush's Absence From The Exam?
-- FACT: The order suspending Bush from flight duty stated: "Verbal orders of the Comdr on 1 Aug 72 suspending 1STLT George W. Bush from flying status are confirmed Reason for Suspension: Failure to accomplish annual medical examination. Off will comply with para 2-10, AFM 35-13. Authority: Para 2-29m, AFM 35-13. (Aeronautical Orders, Number 87, 29 September 1972)
-- Para 2-29m, AFM 35-13: "When a Rated Officer Fails To Accomplish a Medical Examination Prescribed by AFM 160-1.... (1)The local commander who has authority to convene a Flying Evaluation Board will direct an investigation as to why the individual failed to accomplish the medical examination. After reviewing the findings of the investigation, the local commander may convene a Flying Evaluation Board or forward through command channels a detailed report of the circumstances which resulted in the officer's failure to accomplish a medical examination, along with a recommendation that the suspension be removed. (2) The individual's major command will forward the report along with the command recommendation to USAFMPC/DPMAJD, Randolph AFB TX 78148 for final determination." (Para 2-29m, AFM 35-13)
Why Did Bush Specifically Request NOT To Be Sent Overseas For Duty?
-- FACT: Bush's Application Indicated Bush Did Not Volunteer for Overseas Duty. On Bush's application to the 147th Fighter Group at Ellington Air Force Base in Texas, Bush was asked what his "Area Assignment Preferences" were. Bush checked the box beside "Do Not Volunteer" for overseas duty. (Application for Extended Duty With The United States Air Force, 5/27/68)
Why Does The White House Say Bush Was On Base When Bush's Superiors Had Filed A Report Saying He Was Gone For A Whole Year?
-- FACT: Bush's Superiors Were Unable to Evaluate Him for a Full Year, Saying he "Has Not Been Observed at This Unit...."
May 2, 1973: Bush's superior officers William D. Harris Jr. and Jerry B. Killian, wrote on his yearly evaluation form, "Lt. Bush has not been observed at this unit during the period of report," and that a "civilian occupation made it necessary for him to move to Montgomery, Alabama. He cleared this base on 15 May 1972 and has been performing equivalent training in a non flying status with the 187 Tac Recon Gp, Dannelly ANG Base, Alabama." (AF-77, 2 May 73)
...But the White House Claims Bush was on Base the Same Day Superiors Filed Report.
o White House release says Bush paid on May 2, 1973, the very day his superiors reported, "Lt. Bush has not been observed at this unit during the period of report." (2nd Q 1973 pay record)
-- FACT: Bush's Superior Officer Says He Would Have Known If Bush Had Reported for Duty.
November 12, 1973: Rufus G. Martin signed a report on Bush's evaluation, saying Bush was "Not rated for the period 1 May 72 through 30 April 73." (AF-77a, 12 Nov 73)
Boston Globe: "But retired colonel Martin, the unit's former administrative officer, said he too thought Bush had been in Alabama for that entire year. Harris and Killian, he said, would have known if Bush returned to duty at Ellington." (Boston Globe, 5/23/00)
Why Is The Pentagon Under Orders Not To Discuss Bush's Record With Reporters?
-- FACT: Freedom of Information Officers Under Orders From Senior Pentagon Officials To Ignore Requests on Bush Files. According to the Spokane Spokesman-Review, "at the National Guard Bureau, now headed by a Bush appointee from Texas, officials last week said they were under orders not to answer questions. The bureau's chief historian said he couldn't discuss questions about Bush's military service on orders from the Pentagon. 'If it has to do with George W. Bush, the Texas Air National Guard or the Vietnam War, I can't talk with you,' said Charles Gross, chief historian for the National Guard Bureau in Washington, D.C. Rose Bird, Freedom of Information Act officer for the bureau, said her office stopped taking records requests on Bush's military service in mid-February and is directing all inquiries to the Pentagon. She would not provide a reason. Air Force and Texas Air National Guard officials did not respond to written questions about the issue. James Hogan, a records coordinator at the Pentagon, said senior Defense Department officials had directed the National Guard Bureau not to respond to questions about Bush's military records." (Spokane Spokesman-Review, 3/14/04)