From the Washington Post:
President Bush failed to carry out a direct order from his superior in the Texas Air National Guard in May 1972 to undertake a medical examination that was necessary for him to remain a qualified pilot, according to documents made public yesterday.
Documents obtained by the CBS News program "60 Minutes" shed new light on one of the most controversial episodes in Bush's military service, when he abruptly stopped flying and moved from Texas to Alabama to work on a political campaign.
The documents include a memo from Bush's squadron commander, Lt. Col. Jerry B. Killian, ordering Bush "to be suspended from flight status for failure to perform" to U.S. Air Force and National Guard standards and failure to take his annual physical "as ordered."
The new documents surfaced as the Bush administration released for the first time the president's personal flight logs, which have been the focus of repeated archival searches and Freedom of Information Act requests dating to the 2000 presidential campaign.
The logs show that Bush stopped flying in April 1972 after accumulating more than 570 hours of flight time between 1969 and 1972, much of it on an F-102 interceptor jet.
director Dan Bartlett said "partisan Democrats" [That's rich] were "recycling the very same charges we hear every time President Bush runs for reelection" and added: "It is dirty politics." [They would know about that.] But he did not contest the authenticity of the documents, which could not be verified independently by The Washington Post. [Wonder why.]
In another "memo to file," dated Aug. 18, 1973, Killian complained that he was under pressure from his superior, Col. Walter B. "Buck" Staudt, to "sugar coat" Bush's officer evaluations. "I'm having trouble running interference and doing my job," he wrote in a memo titled "CYA." "I will not rate."
Staudt has insisted that he was not influenced by Bush's status as the son of George H.W. Bush (R), a Texas congressman in 1968 and later head of the CIA.
He has also rejected the assertion by former Texas lieutenant governor Ben Barnes (D) that Barnes intervened with the head of the Texas Air National Guard to secure a position for Bush there at the request of a Bush family friend. Barnes, who has raised money for Democrat John F. Kerry's presidential campaign, repeated the assertion last night on "60 Minutes."
The new commercial by Texans for Truth, to be aired on $110,000 worth of television time in battleground-state cities such as Harrisburg, Pa., and Columbus, Ohio, shows Bob Mintz, who served as a lieutenant in the Alabama Air National Guard at the same time Bush was supposed to be serving, speaking to the camera:
"I heard George W. Bush get up there and say, 'I served in the 187th Air National Guard in Montgomery, Alabama.'
I said, 'Really? That was my unit. And I don't remember seeing you there.' "
Steve Schmidt, a spokesman for the Bush-Cheney campaign, charged that Texans for Truth "is a front group for MoveOn.org that has spent tens of millions of dollars attacking the president. . . .
This is a smear group launching baseless attacks on behalf of John Kerry's campaign that will be rejected by the American people." [Just like Karl Rove, right?]