Surprise! Bush hasn’t released his military records

Tim Boehlert at Salon.com reports that Bush’s assertion — repeated today by Scott McClellan — that all his military records had been released was and is a flat-out lie. If you send in a FOIA requests for the record you will receive a stack of 160 pages, but as one reporter found, not everything. “Social security numbers, medical records and personnel and administrative information of Mr. Bush and others have been withheld, as release of this information would be a clearly unwarranted invasion of the personal privacy of the personnel affected.”

Note that “medical records” might include information about drug test results or the flight physical Mr. Bush omitted to take, and that “personnel and administrative” records would include dates and places of service and disciplinary actions. Dan Bartlett, then with the Bush campaign and now the White House communications director, reportedly has reviewed the records, but we have only his word for it that there’s “nothing earth shattering” in them.

Of course, Mr. Bush could, if he wanted to, waive those privacy protections: There’s even a handly downloadable form for doing so. Now it’s up to the White House press corps to keep pressuring McClellan until the President keeps his pledged word and signs one of those forms.

Or perhaps this might be a good time for a GAO investigation. What do you think?

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com