Dan Rather is purged from his anchor job. (Russia's Putin reminded Bush 2 weeks ago that his government made no fuss at all "when you fired those reporters at CBS.") [WaPo, 2/28]
In all this time, no newspapers ever displayed Pentagon-posted undisputed records that were in front of reporters' own eyes. So I will, here.
See Aeronautical Order (AO) 87 [FOIA]
See item # 6, below.
FULL SOURCING, to track the document's authenticity is given below the fold. Also, a few more records, with the same sourcing and tracking.
These are available to see on a public access website of the Pentagon.
We learned Friday from a kos poster that Harry "Buckhead" MacDougald's prescient deconstructing of the CBS memo fonts was announced to the blogosphere by his wife Liz MacDougald, in the wee early hours of September 9 when Buckhead's identity was still unknown [She did not let on that her discovery of the fonts-analysis was the hand of her own spouse. See links, bottom.]
Is the press sedated?
WHERE did the first document image shown here come from? Is it authentic ??
This one is authentic . (No CBS-type troubles here):
(I first heard about DoD making these records available at its website in late September of 2004; a national reporter let me know about it, Sept. 21.)
The personnel records are formatted at that site in viewable "pdf" computer-file format for viewers that can read Adobe Acrobat files. The .pdf link is
The record in its original-form posting by the Dept. of Defense can be directly viewed, at pg 42 of the published file at that link, above. This, from page 42, is the 2nd page of a 2-page document dated Sep. 29, 1972.
The preceding (introductory) page of "AO 87" (Aeronautical Order No. 87, Sep. 29, 1972) is shown at pg 41 of the .pdf file. You can also see pg 43 for the earlier written notification. These were the real documents that the CBS scandal turned attention away from.
Note the authorized content also matches quite closely that of the diversionary, planted CBS documents, including the date of the order in item #6 -- Aug. 1, 1972.
FYI - The Main index to all of the 1968-74 records including "Part 8," above, and Parts 1 through Part 9, is at:
Access to the records comes from the US Dept of Defense general public-access website , www.defenselink.mil [home page] . The page views are freely available from that website, with no restrictions.
2nd document, "Not observed," page 1
"Period of report" : From 1 May 72 To 30 Apr 73
"Not Observed" is checked off [mid-page below] in every category, such as "Knowledge of Duties," "Performance of Duties," "Leadership," and "Judgment."
The .pdf link is www.defenselink.mil/pubs/foi/bush_records/personnel_pt2.pdf
The record in its original-form posting by the Dept. of Defense can be directly viewed (and not chopped off near the bottom as it appears here), at pg 43 of the published file at the link above.
The document is the first of the 2-page annual evaluation document. The second part of it -- shown below -- can be accessed at the same link, at the page that follows, pg 44.
-- The question now is why did phony documents surface and get all the attention instead of the real ones, which disclosed most of the same information:
GW Bush was grounded ["suspended"] from flight status, and never again flew for the last 2 years of his commission.
His commanding officers could not evaluate him for a 12-month period because they believed he was performing equivalent duty in Alabama.
I go over some of this document-burying in 2000 at my site ubthejudge.com.
Also, these documents were in the hands of a few investigators and journalists who made the FOIA request in 2000, in the month before the November election. Reporters in 2000 chose not to print them.
The Guard records very nearly did see the light of day because an Iowa citizen, M. Heldt, posted the FOIA documents to his site in September 2000, and accessible from tompaine.com. The only difference between the set of docs Heldt listed in 2000 and the ones on the government site this year is found with the suspension order. In the 2000 release, the government saw no need to black out the name of the officer shown in item #7: an identical order suspending the flight status was directed to Maj. James R. Bath [a friend and ally to Bush's dad and to the younger George Bush] on 29 Sep. 1972, confirming earlier verbal orders. Why did the Bush administration decide to cover the name in its re-release of foia papers four years later?
The black-out spares a lot of embarassment. You see, Bath was a financial investor and intermediary between powerful, wealthy Saudi financiers [such as these two men, (1) Salem bin Laden, the half-brother of bin Laden and (2) a top banker in Saudi Arabia, Khalid bin Mahfouz] and the Texas oil community. Also, Bath was an early investor in GWBush's first exploration venture, Arbusto Ltd.
A lot of the documents about Bath's financial role in Texas oil and financial ventures were disclosed in the Dallas Morning News in 1993 following their use in a court case between Bath and his former business partner Charles "Bill" White. Also, White was interviewed for broadcast in October 2003 (transcript).
The embarrassingly close ties of Saudi Arabian interests in general and American financial and oil interests in the years before September 11 was a top reason that 28 pages were scrubbed from the Senate's investigating committee report on the 9-11 catastrophe.
Which media outlets let this story blow by in late October and early November 2000. From personal communication, I can state that the Associated Press, Reuters, USA Today, MSNBC/NBC, and yes, CBS saw the service records and chose not to publish them.
- - - - - - - -
Fast forward to Sept. 2004 - -
"Buckhead's doubts were No. 47 in a list of 217 comments, on one of dozens of such discussion threads. But they were noticed by Tom Mortensen and Liz MacDougald who, the next morning, emailed the link to Scott Johnson, a lawyer in St. Paul. Sitting at home, Johnson reprinted Buckhead on the blog he runs with two fellow lawyers, Power Line (powerlineblog.com), at 8:51 A.M. . . ." Link to Weekly Standard Sep.17
"You can ask the questions but I'm not going to answer them," he told The Times. [LA Times, Sep. 17 - link
Bush ran for election in 2000 with the phrase "I trust the people."
-- Just not with the documents about his past.
His crew went to great lengths to divert the public's attention from his past.
AND a timid, compliant press never felt the need to let the electorate know that a potential leader who would send men and women to war (and extend their tours of duty) cut short his own obligations to country.
P.S. The press had no trouble, however, re-printing a new disclosure a few days before the 2000 presidential election [ -- Remember this? :]
That particular record about a driving incident was splashed all over the front pages of many national and local papers.