I think what you are seeing is gutter politics. The American people deserve better. There are some who are not interested in their facts. They are simply trolling for trash.
- White House spokesman Scott McClellan
Um, no, Scott...we simply want to know the truth, especially now that the questions surrounding George W. Bush' (lack of) service record refuse to go away. There is an easy way to deal with the issue, which seems to escape y'all. Release the records and let them speak for themselves.
By withholding the records and by reneging on the commitment to release them, the White House has turned what might well be a non-event into a legitimate issue. Way to fumble the ball, guys.
Bush enlisted in the Texas Air National Guard in 1968, at the height of the Vietnam War, and became a first lieutenant and an F-102 fighter pilot before leaving in 1973 to attend Harvard Business School. Bush has said that during the disputed period in 1972 and 1973, he performed temporary duty in Montgomery while he was working on a U.S. Senate campaign. His records for that period have indicated that he no longer took military physicals and was suspended from flying.
Administration officials confirmed Wednesday that the Department of Defense is in the process of pulling together all of the president's payroll, personnel and medical records from the National Guard to centralize his file. This would include files from the Air Reserve Personnel Center in St. Louis and Denver, as well as financial records from Defense Financing Accounting Service in Denver.
Communications director Dan Bartlett said the White House expects much in the file to already be in the public domain, but added that anything new concerning Bush's attendance in Alabama would be released. But Bartlett -- like McClellan -- was emphatic that the White House had no immediate plans to open Bush's entire file, which would include his Guard medical records.
"These are attempts to troll for personal records for partisan advantage. We're not going to play," Bartlett said. "The goal post is being moved."
From where I sit, Bush's (lack of) service record was never an issue- until he put himself in a flight suit and landed on that aircract carrier in May. You cannot have it both ways. If you're going to use the military to build up your political stock, you cannot be surprised when those in the opposition begin asking questions about your own (lack of) service.
I don't know that the White House has anything to fear by living up to their commitment to release the records. It's time to let voters decide whether Bush's (lack of) service record is a legitimate issue. If the records are withheld, they may simply decide that the White House has something to hide- and they may well.
You're right, Scott, the American people deserve better. We deserve the truth, and we deserve to expect that the Administration will live up to it's original commitment. Do you really want us left to draw our own conclusions??