USA Today has an explosive story about the Bush military records. Apparently those records contain details about his pre-enlistment arrests that Mr. Bush would prefer not to have the rest of us know about. The White House is practicing slime-and-defend on the Texas National Guard official who has told of being present at meetings where senior Bush advisors and the commander of the Texas Guard discussed “cleansing” the record of its embarrassing elements.
Note that Daneil James III, then the commaner of the Texas Guard, identified in the story as having been involved in those discussions, is now, courtesy of Mr. Bush, the national director of the Air National Guard. That makes him subject to questioning by Members of Congress under circumstances in which lying would be a felony.
And if course Kevin Drum had most of this before it hit the dead trees.
Meanwhile, the New York Daily News finds that Lt. Bush moved to Alabama before requesting permission to be absent from the Texas Air National Guard, and stayed there for five months after his request was denied, until it was finally approved. The story doesn’t mention it, but — as I read the Texas Code of Military Justice — that conduct falls seems to fall squarely within the definition of the crime of being Absent Without Leave.
The Daily News story also quotes Lawrence Korb, Assistant Secretary of Defense under Reagan, on the seriousness of a pilot’s missing a flight physical.
Note: The Bush National Guard scandal has now officially achieved celebrity status, rating its own daily update in The Note