His Teeth Weren’t AWOL, Either
The White House last night released a document showing that President Bush was at a military base in Alabama during the last year of his National Guard service, but aides backed away from his weekend pledge to release all his military records.
Bush’s staff provided copies of a one-page record of a dental exam, complete with drawings of Bush’s teeth, that showed he was at Dannelly Air National Guard base in Montgomery, Ala., on Jan. 6, 1973.
The document is the first definitive evidence that Bush showed up at a base of the Alabama National Guard during a period of about a year, from May 1972 to May 1973, for which it was unclear how the president had fulfilled his military service. Earlier this week, the White House released records showing Bush had been paid for days of service during that period, including the date of the dental exam. But the records did not say where Bush had been.
The White House released the records this week in an effort to end a controversy that has put White House aides on the defensive amid Democratic accusations that Bush shirked his duty. Administration officials declined yesterday to commit to releasing further records, despite a statement Sunday by Bush on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he would open his entire military file.