AP NSL Media Journal Week #2 (2)

AP NSL Media Journal Week #2 (2) - September 12, 2004...

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September 12, 2004 Bush's Guard record remains hazy By Michael Dobbs, The Washington Post WASHINGTON — President Bush's military records, including personal flight logs just released by the Pentagon, paint a picture of a solid, if hardly outstanding, pilot who energetically performed his duties for much of a six-year stint with the Air National Guard. Then, in the spring of 1972, the picture changes. After initially expressing his intention to make flying "a lifetime pursuit," Bush checked out an F- 102 interceptor jet for an 80-minute spin on April 6, 1972, in Texas, and never piloted a military plane again. Why Bush stopped flying and failed to take an annual physical necessary for him to remain a pilot have become the object of speculation and reporting that spiked in intensity last week. The topic was back in the headlines after CBS News footage included documents — whose authenticity is hotly disputed — asserting that Bush failed to perform to Guard standards. A review of the authenticated documentary record for Bush's Guard service, and interviews with former Guard members, suggests that the president and his aides have been less than fully candid about unexplained gaps in his military service, and have made misleading and sometimes inaccurate statements. At the same time, Bush's critics have been unable to come up with definitive evidence showing that he failed to meet his minimum obligations to the Guard after being suspended from flying for failing to take the physical. "The records that I have been able to see show a young lieutenant who was very aggressive, a
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AP NSL Media Journal Week #2 (2) - September 12, 2004...

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