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Thursday, September 16, 2004

Judge to Pentagon: Cough Up the Bush Records 

What a prophet is Scotty McClellan! Just a few posts down from this one, he was "hinting" to the Washington Post that
more documents regarding Bush's National Guard service may soon be released. Asked whether officials in the White House have seen unreleased documents, McClellan called that "a very real possibility."
Now a federal judge is helping to ensure that Scotty's bold prognostication will come to pass:
A federal judge has ordered the Pentagon to find and make public by next week any unreleased files about President Bush's Vietnam-era Air National Guard service to resolve a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by The Associated Press.

U.S. District Judge Harold Baer Jr. handed down the order late Wednesday in New York. The AP lawsuit already has led to the disclosure of previously unreleased flight logs from Bush's days piloting F-102A fighters and other jets.

Pentagon officials told Baer they plan to have their search complete by Monday. Baer ordered the Pentagon to hand over the records to the AP by Sept. 24 and provide a written statement by Sept. 29 detailing the search for more records.
"Lost" records continue, inexplicably, to reappear; McClellan, above, in essence concedes that the White House is withholding records. So what, exactly, do we know is missing?

The documents that aren't in the files may be a much bigger story than the ones that are.

A post by Daily Kos diarist Hunter, which is mainly about allegations that Bush's guard records were purged in 1997, offers one undeniably sound reason why Dan Rather and CBS might continue to counterpunch on the Killian memo story. They know the White House can't take them to court:
Think about that. [Marion Carr] Knox and others confirmed what was in the records. And it isn't there now. Nothing from that period is in those files now. Not Killian's personal notes, certainly, but nothing else either, official or otherwise.

That's what CBS is getting at, and why they are so confident in this story. And USA Today, and the Boston Globe, from the looks of things. That's why this story isn't about to die, why CBS is sticking to its guns, and why CBS, in their national broadcasts, has very pointedly and publicly been directly asking the White House to answer a certain set of questions.

This isn't about 1972. This is about a federal crime in 1997, as George W. Bush prepared to run for president. This is about how George W. Bush became president, four years ago, and what his closest associates did to get him there . . . .

Some in Congress talking about investigations of CBS. Might want to check with the White House on that one, guys. Do they really want people like Knox, etc, publicly testifying in the next few weeks as to what George Bush was doing at the time in question, and why CBS believes/believed the memos to be absolutely credible?
(Thanks to Susan Madrak of Suburban Guerrilla for the Kos link. It is a treat to have her back on the job.)

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