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Another Colonel Would Like a Chance For Rebuttal

Discussion in 'Legal' started by bountyhunter, Feb 13, 2004.

  1. bountyhunter

    bountyhunter member

    A statement by a former guard Colonel claiming Bush's Guard service was exemplary was posted here. Another colonel serving then would also like to give his testimony. His name is Lt Col Bill Burkett. He states that Bush's service records were deliberately destroyed to preclude a political embarrassment, and he claims to have witnessed it. As predicted, he is currently being attacked by the adminsitration, yet he has others serving at the time who defend him. I am not saying this is definitive proof, I am stating this issue is hardly resolved and there are many guard members in that unit who dispute the assertion that Bush fulfilled his service. Their statements will also be posted.

    February 12, 2004
    AN INTERVIEW WITH BILL BURKETT....As promised earlier, here's the interview with former Lt. Colonel Bill Burkett regarding his charges that George Bush's National Guard files in Texas were "cleansed" back in 1997. I talked to him on the phone for nearly two hours on Wednesday and his story hung together pretty well. In particular, his story of how he overheard the conversation in General James' office and then saw some of Bush's files in a trashcan makes more sense when you hear the details.

    The first (partial) corroboration is from George Conn. According to the New York Times, he declined specific comment on the charges but said via email, "I know LTC Bill Burkett and served with him several years ago in the Texas Army National Guard. I believe him to be honest and forthright. He 'calls things like he sees them.'"

    Also from the Times is this: "A retired officer, Lt. Col. Dennis Adams, said Mr. Burkett told him of the incidents shortly after they happened. 'We talked about them several different times,' said Mr. Adams, who spent 15 years in the Texas Guard and 12 years on active duty in the Army."

    A third person, Harvey Gough, was interviewed last year by Sander Hicks. Although the conversation was not specifically about Burkett's charges, Hough did confirm that he believed Bush's records had been scrubbed: "He says that Dan Bartlett and Danny James came to him at Camp Mabry in 1993, right after Bush was inaugurated as Governor, and deleted portions of Bush's TANG file. I asked Gough what he believed was scrubbed? 'I think quite a bit. I think all his time in Alabama.'"

    Finally, USA Today has a corroborating quote from an anonymous source: "A second former Texas Guard official, who spoke only on condition of anonymity, was told by a participant that commanders and Bush advisers were particularly worried about mentions in the records of arrests of Bush before he joined the National Guard in 1968, the second official said."

    Put all this together and I think that Burkett's story is one worth hearing about from the horse's mouth. Here it is.

    First, a bit of background about Burkett's service in the Guard.

    I was a traditional guardsman, Vietnam era guardsman, lieutenant colonel, midlevel to senior level in rank and time. I was serving as the Mobilization Plans Officer for the Texas National Guard at the state headquarters, Camp Mabry, Austin, Texas, Building 8.

    How long were you with the Guard?

    I was medically retired in 1999 after 28 years.

    Following is the account of how Burkett overheard the conversation about "cleansing" George Bush's National Guard files.

    The occurrences here occurred in the early months, the spring months of 1997....I had meant to simply go in and, best I recall....I went in to ask a quick question, it was just a passing question, or maybe pass along some information, I don't remember specifically. I went into General [Daniel] James' outer office, Henrietta Valderes was not there, but the door was slightly ajar, I'd say roughly eight inches, and the reason I say eight inches is only because I wear a size seven and a half hat and I just basically stuck my head inside.

    .... I stuck my head inside the door, saw that no one was there, and I was embarrassed. I stepped back and I waited for a second and I overheard this conversation. And it was a short conversation that I overheard, I only heard a line or two of it, and I stepped out into the hallway because I was uncomfortable at this point.

    [Burkett] says he was just outside James' open office door when his boss discussed the records on a speakerphone with Joe Allbaugh, who was then Gov. Bush's chief of staff. In Burkett's account, Allbaugh told James that Bush's press secretary, Karen Hughes, was preparing a biography and needed information on Bush's military service. In an interview, Burkett said he recalled Allbaugh's words: "We certainly don't want anything that is embarrassing in there."

    Two individuals walked in. I didn't know either one of them personally, but I do know that General James addressed one and said, General [John] Scribner, the folks from downtown are going to come out, Karen Hughes and [Dan] Bartlett are going to come out and they're, and I'm paraphrasing here, are going to come out and they're going to write a book about the governor for use in the reelection campaign or whatever else is going to follow on, and they need you to open access to your files and retained records. And there was a quick addition to that by General Marty, "and make sure there's nothing in there that'll embarrass the governor."

    ..... Scribner just replied, basically in the affirmative, OK or something along that line, and he and the individual who was with him, who I did not know and have not identified, but believe he was the retained records person, left, immediately left. They just, like all of us were prone to do when two or three generals are standing around, the best thing you can do is leave the area. So they left.

    Following is the account of finding Bush's records in a trashcan, ready to be tossed away.

    Mr. Conn came to my desk, he and I, when I was moved to Plans Officer he became the Mobilization Plans Officer, his desk and mine were in cubicles across from each other.

    I said, where are we going, George? And he said, Colonel, just walk with me.

    ....Do you know what a 15-gallon trashcan looks like?

    A metal gunbarrel style that we used for years and years in the military, that's what it was, and it was setting at the end of the table. George obviously knew General Scribner extremely well, and he says hello to him and there's little pleasantries and we walk up there, and as soon as we get there he introduces me to General Scribner, who I did not know.

    At that point I remember General Scribner saying that people downtown were coming out and they were going to do a book, and Bartlett and Hughes were coming out, and he'd been told to get all the files together and go through them and kind of clean them up a bit. And George said, well, what are you finding? And he says, well, he says he's been through it, and I'm paraphrasing all of this, he says, obviously lots of people have been through it, you know, there's just not as much here as I'd expected, mostly old press releases and that sort of stuff.

    I'm standing there on one foot and another, very uncomfortable with this situation, I knew I'd been guided here and I knew why at that point. I was standing right next to the trash can....

    Instead I looked down into the trashcan. — I saw that the trash on the bottom was basically packing cartons,..and on top there was a little bit of paper. And on top of that pile of paper, approximately five-eighths of an inch thick, and Jim wanted me to estimate the number of pages and I said probably between 20 and 40 pages of documents that were clearly originals and photocopies. And it wasn't any big deal, I looked at it, it was a glance situation, and it made no sense to me at all except at the top of that top page was Bush, George W., 1LT.

    And I look back at it now and I know I was troubled that those documents were in the trashcan. I did ruffle through the top six to eight pages.

    And what were they?

    Those documents were performance, what I term performance documents, which would include retirement points, [unintelligible] type documents, which would be a record of drill performance or nonperformance, and there was at least one pay document copy within the top six to eight pages of that stack that was in the trash….

    ....I do not believe General James at the time felt he was doing any more than taking care of the boss. I do not believe that General Marty or anyone else at the Texas National Guard saw it as anything other — you have to understand the culture. ...



    Guardsmen Differ On Bush Service

    (CBS/AP) Three-decade-old memories took center stage in the controversy over President Bush's military record, as former National Guardsmen made claims about whether he showed up for duty in Alabama in 1972.

    Two men told a newspaper they were told to expect Mr. Bush, but never saw him. But a third veteran said the president, then a young officer, did fulfill his duties. Yet another former Guardsman claims Bush aides destroyed military records to protect Mr. Bush, which the White House and the aide allegedly involved denied. The claims and counterclaims fueled another day of debate over the president's service record.

    ....On Tuesday, the White House released retirement and pay records showing days for which the president was paid in 1972 and 1973. But the records did not indicate where the president served, what he did or where he was during several months where no service was recorded.

    On Wednesday, the White House released the record of a dental examination in January 1973 at an Alabama base. But the dentist who treated Mr. Bush has no specific recollection of seeing the future president, saying that at that time he would have been "just another pilot." The timing of the exam did not clear up questions about what Mr. Bush did during gaps in his record in 1972, and it was unclear why Mr. Bush was examined in Alabama two months after the campaign on which he was working ended.

    The records have also raised questions unrelated to the president's service. To fight a story that arrest records on young Mr. Bush's record were blacked out, the White House revealed they included an arrest for a student prank at Yale, two speeding tickets and two traffic accidents.

    CBS News Correspondent Bill Plante reports the White House backed off its pledge this weekend to release all the president's records. Aside from the dental record, they did not release other medical records that were recently received from the Air Force.

    Now veterans of the Guard are adding their claims to the documentary record.

    In a six-year old letter to Texas lawmakers obtained by CBS News and in a new book, former guard officer Bill Burkett claims that in 1997, Texas Guard commanders purged Mr. Bush's records to "make sure nothing will embarrass the Governor during his re-election campaign, or if he runs for president."

    "I was troubled sufficiently within my own conscience that there was an effort here to cast an image that was better maybe than the individual's record," Burkett said. He claims he overheard a phone conversation in which Mr. Bush's then chief-of-staff Joe Allbaugh gave the order to scrub the records, and later found some in the trash.

    The White House dismissed the claims, saying Burkett has no evidence to back them up. Allbaugh called the story "hogwash."

    "This guy doesn't know what he's talking about. I don't know who he is, what he heard, or what he thought he heard," Allbaugh said. "Hearsay, as far as I'm concerned. I never said what he said."

    Separately, two Guardsmen at the Alabama base to which 1st Lt. George W. Bush was told to report told a Memphis newspaper they never saw him either, despite the fact the base was all abuzz about a politically-connected guardsman coming in.

    "I remember that I heard someone was coming to drill with us from Texas. And it was implied that it was somebody with political influence. I was a young bachelor then. I was looking for somebody to prowl around with," Bob Mintz, now 63, told The Memphis Flyer.

    "I never saw hide nor hair of Mr. Bush," said Paul Bishop, a Gulf War veteran who voted for Mr. Bush in 2000.

    But Bill Calhoun says he was stationed at the Alabama air base, and says Mr. Bush was there when he was supposed to be, while he was in Alabama working on a Senate campaign.

    Other Guard officers have noted that Mr. Bush may not have been noticed among the hundreds of men on the Alabama base. But Mintz said the flying squadron to which Mr. Bush was supposed to have reported numbered around 30 men.

    Mr. Bush joined the Guard in May 1968, and there is no question about his service in his first three years. However, critics have questioned how Mr. Bush leapt a head of a long waiting list to get into the Guard, whose members rarely went to Vietnam, and how he rose quickly to become and officer and a pilot despite relatively low test scores.
  2. Thumper

    Thumper Well-Known Member

    Oh, you mean Veterans for Peace Bill Burkett.

    To put it as nicely as I can, he has a bit of a credibility problem. Do a little research into Ltc. Burkett's background.

    I could say more, but I think Art's had enough of all this.
  3. FPrice

    FPrice Well-Known Member

  4. MeekandMild

    MeekandMild Well-Known Member


    The Air Force destroys old records all the time. They have an office which does nothing but destroy records. That is why they give you the DD214 to keep in your own hot little hands.
  5. Khornet

    Khornet Well-Known Member

    Veterans For Peace?

    Don't make me laugh. Check out "Addicted To War", their little book. Read the "references" at the back. Citations like Marc Herold's thoroughly debunked exaggeration of civilian casualties in Iraq. Spare me.
  6. Leatherneck

    Leatherneck Well-Known Member

    Hey, I can absolutely swear that I never saw Lt. Bush in Alabama in 1972 OR 1973. Never once. Nope.

    Does that prove he wasn't there? :rolleyes:

    Some people's kids...

    TFL Survivor
  7. fix

    fix Well-Known Member

    True. But they only give them to those who serve. President Bush has one. Some people don't though. :rolleyes:
  8. fix

    fix Well-Known Member

    Yeah. The mods are probably experiencing a flurry of PMs from those who don't have one right about now. :D
  9. Dannyboy

    Dannyboy Well-Known Member

    Holy crap! GET OVER IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  10. Hkmp5sd

    Hkmp5sd Well-Known Member

  11. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    Nothing like an election year to bring out objective remembrances of history. :barf:

  12. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

    I spent a good portion of my military career as an AGR trainer in the Army National Guard. Let me tell you that there wouldn't have been much in Lt. Bush's record at state headquarters by 1997. When a person leaves the guard the record goes to the state headquarters where the personnel people go through it. Certain parts that the state keeps are microfilmed and put in the vault file and then the entire hard copy record is sent to the National Personnel Records Center at 9700 Page Blvd. in St. Louis MO. It's usually only a matter of months after a person is separated from the guard before his hard copy record is sent to St. Louis. If Bush left the Texas Guard in the early 1970s, there would be no way there was a large paper file on him in 1997.

    Sorry I have to call this entire story BS...It's not how the system works. I can understand how people believe it though, we routinely received calls from people who had served back in the 50s who thought we still had their file at the armory.

  13. thefitzvh

    thefitzvh Well-Known Member

    Step one: post refutable evidence of bush's deriliction of duty

    Step two: it's refuted

    Step three: degenerates into bull****

    Step four: Mods close it

    Step five: lather, rinse, repeat

    Mods, please close this crap. Every time it gets closed, someone reopens it. Give it a rest already.
  14. That hits the nail on the head.

    This is nothing more than the leftist news outlets doing their all to advance the prospects of thier selected candidate: Sen. Kerry.

    So few of the reporters and editors have actually served however that what to someone who has served is obvious as B.S. strikes them instead as being very effective propaganda.

    The wheels are coming off this construct of lies as the accusations are debunked one by one.

    If this crap is the best the Dems can come up with as an election issue then they are in deep trouble this fall.

    The Washington Post is reduced today to actually running a front page article on Bush's driving record from 30 years ago, just as if it were a Woodward and Bernstein piece on Watergate. What a sad display of desperation.
  15. Sean Smith

    Sean Smith Well-Known Member

    What, a hard-left ranter has something bad to say about Bush? No, really? :rolleyes:

    The guy is a lunatic fringer. He's a spokesman for an anti-war, anti-Bush 501(c)3 organization. On the other hand, the guy corroborating Bush's service was, last I checked, NOT a spokeman for a pro-war organization or Republican PAC. Believing this guy's story about Bush is on par with believing a Nazi spokesman's stories about Jews. "Consider the source" comes to mind here.

    Yeah, this guy's anti-Bush story is REAL credible.... :barf:
  16. ojibweindian

    ojibweindian Well-Known Member

    I second thefitzvh's motion to close this thread because the carcass of this poor equine has been flayed enough.
  17. Iain

    Iain Well-Known Member

    I would like to add something here.

    I'm not trolling, nor am I a major Bush-basher (I actually quite like him) but - this supposed dereliction of duty is an issue as much as Kerry's alleged affair (as reported by Drudge) was yesterday. The same posters who gleefully attacked Kerry don't seem to like the same sauce when applied to their gander.

    End of my contribution to this non-issue.
  18. Sean Smith

    Sean Smith Well-Known Member

    Except that one happened (or didn't) 30 years ago, and one happened in the recent past. Of course, it is also true that alot of people here dislike Kerry because of his stance on gun control (this being a gun board and all). In that context, being a pro-Kerry THR member is a bit like being a pro-communist CEO... not many people support folks diametrically opposed to their causes.

    But thanks for your commentary on our politics from the other side of the ATLANTIC OCEAN. ;)
  19. fix

    fix Well-Known Member

    The difference between this and the Drudge article is very clear. Notice the total lack of media attention regarding the Drudge article vs. the onslaught of coverage regarding Bush's service. No media bias my dying a.......

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