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Friday, July 23, 2004

Would Ya Look At That, redux

Just out. And on a Friday afternoon. How about that. What a shocker. How odd and unlike the extremely forthcoming Bush administration to do a document dump at such a time:

Pentagon Finds Bush's Military Payroll Records
Fri Jul 23, 2004 05:01 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Payroll records related to President Bush's service in the Air National Guard three decades ago that the Pentagon said earlier this month were accidentally destroyed now have been located, defense officials said on Friday.

Bush's whereabouts during his service as a pilot in the Texas Air National Guard in the United States during the Vietnam War have become an election-year issue, with some Democrats accusing him of shirking his duty.

Defense Finance and Accounting Service spokesman Bryan Hubbard said the microfilm payroll records were found in Denver, and blamed a clerical error for the Pentagon's previous failure to find the records.

"We're talking about a manual process for records that are over 30 years old," Hubbard said.

The Pentagon previously said microfilm payroll records of large numbers of service members, including Bush, were ruined in 1996 and 1997 in a project to save large, brittle rolls of microfilm.

Bush moved to Alabama in May 1972 to work on a political campaign and, he has said, to perform his Guard service there for a year. But other Guard officers have said they had no recollection of seeing him there.

Last February, the White House released hundreds of pages of Bush's military records. Those records did not provide new evidence to place Bush in Alabama during the latter part of 1972, when some Democrats had said he was basically absent without leave.

Off to go find copies for a looksee.

[UPDATE] AP says:

Like records released earlier by the White House, the newly released computerized payroll records show no indication Bush drilled with the Alabama unit during July, August and September of 1972. Pay records covering all of 1972, released previously, also indicated no guard service for Bush during those three months.

The records do not give any new information toward determining whether Bush kept his National Guard commitments during 1972, when he transferred to the Alabama National Guard unit so he could work on the U.S. Senate campaign of a family friend.

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