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Archive for Thursday, September 30, 2004

White House defends Bush’s Guard record

September 30, 2004

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— President Bush never was disciplined while serving in the Texas Air National Guard, never failed a physical and never asked his father or family friends for help to get him into the Guard during the Vietnam War, the White House said Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the White House on Wednesday night produced a previously unreleased document from Bush's personnel file on his military service, seven months after it said all materials on the subject had been given to the public.

The November 1974 document bearing Bush's signature from Cambridge, Mass., where he was attending Harvard Business School says he had decided not to continue as a member of the military reserve. The document, signed a year after Bush left the Texas Air National Guard, says he was leaving the military because of "inadequate time to fulfill possible future commitments." White House spokesman Scott McClellan said the resignation was found in connection with a lawsuit brought by The Associated Press.

The Texas Air National Guard stripped Bush of his pilot status in August 1972 for failing to take the annual medical exam required of all pilots. Former Air National Guard officials say it was rare for a pilot to skip his physical exam.

AP asked whether Bush ever participated in a disciplinary process during his Guard service, whether he ever received a critical report or was ever present for a conversation in which his performance, conduct or physical condition were raised by a superior officer.

"No and this is clear from the president's records, which have been made public," the White House said in an e-mail response.

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