Is Enough Enough?

Kevin Drum takes note of the WaPo/AP report “Bush Orders White House Release of Military Records.”

Hopefully this will include even the DD-214 separation report that everyone keeps saying should be able to settle everything.

I also hope that they will issue an authorization to all of the relevant archives to release Bush’s files directly to reporters. If he does that, it should put this issue to bed for good.

One would hope.

Still, I’m not sure what the DD-214 would solve that the Honorable Discharge doesn’t. The form, officially “Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty,” contains basic personnel information, awards, discharge status, and so forth. There isn’t anything on there that will tell you what the soldier did on any particular day.

The only potentially useful information is block 12. Record of Service, which has Net Active Service This Period, which is just an aggregate total. Presumably, though, given that Bush was honorably discharged, he had sufficient days to have met whatever his legal obligation was.

*Note: I’m looking at my own. That version of the form went into effect NOV 88 and rendered previous editions obsolete. My guess is that the changes are minor.

FILED UNDER: 2004 Election, ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. RicK DeMent says:


    Didn’t Bush say he already released all of the records? There must be some mistake.

  2. Paul says:

    With this be enough for Kevin Drum? — You’re joking right?

    The guy is a liar AND a barking mootbat.

    If every single document that he wants is released and they are all exculpatory Kevin will say, “They raise more questions then they answer.”

    He has openly said on his blog that telling the truth was not important if you were scoring political points. Do you expect him to have any honor?

  3. Paul says:

    BTW- No Rick he said he WOULD now he did.

  4. James G says:

    No, Paul, he said he DID. In 2000. That’s what he told Russert.

  5. Paul says:

    OK you sent me to the transcript:

    Russert:  But you would allow pay stubs, tax records, anything to show that you were serving during that period?

    President Bush:  Yeah.  If we still have them, but I — you know, the records are kept in Colorado, as I understand, and they scoured the records. 

    And I’m just telling you, I did my duty, and it’s politics, you know, to kind of ascribe all kinds of motives to me.  But I have been through it before.  I’m used to it.  What I don’t like is when people say serving in the Guard is — is — may not be a true service.

    Russert:  But you authorize the release of everything to settle this?

    President Bush:  Yes, absolutely.

    We did so in 2000, by the way.

    It seems rather obvious he released everything he had in 2000 but the (pick one, Lying/Delusional) Democrats wanted even more. Hence the Colorado reference.

    BTW- Pat Caddell said tonight on FOXNews, “I’m a Democrat but what the Democrats have done with this AWOL thing is deplorable.

  6. neil says:

    Don’t be ridiculous, Paul. They are releasing hundreds of pages of ‘everything’ that no one has seen yet. How could it be a delusional lie to say they didn’t release it in 2000? At least put the proper spin on it and say that he released everything -that was needed to settle this- in 2000. Total no-brainer.

    Tell you what.. we’ll assume Bush is telling the truth about his National Guard service if you Republicans assume that Kerry is telling the truth when he says he’d make a better President than Bush. Deal?

  7. Arky says:

    This is all so ridiculous.

    I spent twenty years on active duty, and even though I have a box of paperwork from the time, there’s nothing in there that shows what I did from day to day. I don’t have any such records from my civilian job either, for that matter.

    AWOL is just that — WITHOUT LEAVE. It doesn’t matter if he went in to work during his service period or not. If he got permission to be away from the worksite then guess what? He had leave! Since there are no records of disciplinary action, then he did what he was supposed to.

    I’m so tired of supposed experts on the military who read some book on military affairs but never actually wore the uniform. There were days in my years when I was told that there was no need to come in. We didn’t record it then, nor did we record the times when we worked 120 hour weeks. We just worked when needed, and took time off when we could.

    There’s nothing that these records will reveal, and I just wish people would 1) stop clamoring to see them, and 2) stop acting as if their release will resolve anything. The Left is desperately searching for a chink in the armor, and the right is bending over backwards to show there are none. But this feeding only whets the appetite even more. It’s just time to stop. No Mas!

  8. Paul says:

    Neil your lack of acceptance of reality is disappointing but hardly surprising.

    This story has been hashed, rehash and hash browned for the12 years that he has been in public life. Every other time he has run (Including the FIRST time we made him President.) he has released all the records he had and that ended it.

    This time the whack job liberals wanted to smear him as long as possible so they demanded even more. So he released even more.

    So put on your tin foil hat and accept reality.


  9. Paul says:

    P.S. By way of explanation, note the level of possession.

    In 20O0 he released all HE HAD.

    That put the issue to bed. But now that the whack jobs attacked he had to PROCURE MORE to release more.

    How freaking hard is that to understand?

  10. James G says:

    If he released all his records in 2000, how is he relasing more records now? Obviously, they weren’t all releasd in 2000.

  11. Paul says:

    James can you not read?

    Man you people embarrass yourselves.


    He did not have them before.

    You people are amazingly delusional.

  12. Paul says:

    Why hasn’t Kerry released his service record? What is he trying to hide?

    Is he trying to his the time he killed a bunch of civilians against a direct order?

    We need Kerry’s records. Bush did it why hasn’t Kerry?

  13. James G says:

    Actually, it has been pointed out that Kerry HAS released his full service records. I still don’t see the whole Colorado argument. Bush said that all his records were released in 2000. However, in 2004, more records are released. Who cares where they were stored? That’s a direct contradiction of what he said on Russert.

  14. Paul says:

    NO Kerry has not… He has not released the part about his killing civilians against a direct order.

    Are you saying it is OK to kill civilians?

    Why won’t he release that part?