Limbaugh dismissed questions about Bush's National GuardApril 29, 2004 6:04 PM EDT ››› GABE WILDAU
Chiding critics of President George W. Bush for harping on questions about Bush's Texas Air National Guard service record, Rush Limbaugh claimed on his April 28 radio show, "They can't get off this AWOL business. There's no evidence. This whole business of Bush going AWOL. It's absolute total bogus-ness."
In fact, as numerous news sources reported, the military records the administration released in February did not prove that Bush fulfilled his National Guard service.
As The Boston Globe reported on February 14:
[T]he White House last night made public what it said were all of President Bush's military records. But the records seemed to add virtually no new information about Bush's stint in the Texas Air National Guard that concluded with a final year of sporadic duty and an early return in 1973 to civilian life.
An initial review of the more than 300 pages found no additional documentation about why Bush went months without attending required drills while he was living in Montgomery, Ala., and at his home base in Houston between May 1972 and May 1973.
The documents also do not clear up another mystery about Bush's military service: why then First Lieutenant Bush, a fighter-interceptor pilot, did not take his required annual flight physical examination in mid-1972. On Aug. 1, 1972, he was suspended from flight status for not taking the physical, and never flew again.
The records made public last night add little to the more than 160 pages of Bush's military records that the Globe obtained four years ago.
And The Washington Post reported on February 15:
Although documents released last week show that Bush performed some Guard duties in October and November of 1972, a time he was in Alabama, and dental exams show he was on the base in January 1973, none of the documents shows where on the base he worked or what his tasks were.
Only one person has vivid recollections of serving with Bush at Dannelly field. John B. "Bill" Calhoun, 69 -- whose name was provided by a Republican ally of Bush's -- said he saw Bush sign in at the 187th eight to 10 times for about eight hours each from May to October 1972. But Calhoun remembers seeing Bush at Dannelly at times in mid-1972 when the White House acknowledges Bush was not pulling Guard duty in Alabama yet; his first drills were in October, according to the White House. White House press secretary Scott McClellan on Friday was at a loss to reconcile the discrepancy.
In a February 17 article, Salon.com senior writer Eric Boehlert explained how the final documents released by the White House fail to prove that Bush in fact fulfilled his duty.
In an April 27 Salon.com article, Texas journalist James C. Moore detailed the unanswered questions on George W. Bush's military service.