Friday, July 09, 2004

[US Politics] NYT- Bush Records of Service Were Destroyed:

Military records that could help establish President Bush's whereabouts during his disputed service in the Texas Air National Guard more than 30 years ago have been inadvertently destroyed, according to the Pentagon. It said the payroll records of "numerous service members," including former First Lt. Bush, had been ruined in 1996 and 1997 by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service during a project to salvage deteriorating microfilm. No back-up paper copies could be found ... The destroyed records cover three months of a period in 1972 and 1973 when Mr. Bush's claims of service in Alabama are in question.
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The lost payroll records stored in Denver might have answered some questions about whether he fulfilled his legal commitment, critics who have written about the subject said in interviews.

"Those are records we've all been interested in," said James Moore, author of a recent book, "Bush's War for Re-election," which takes a critical view of Mr. Bush's service record. "I think it's curious that the microfiche could resolve what days Mr. Bush worked and what days he was paid, and suddenly that is gone."

But Mr. Moore said the president could still authorize the release of other withheld records that would shed light on his service record.