Bush records quietly released

Mark Follman
February 14, 2004 6:28AM (UTC)

All week long the Bush administration has tried to close the books on questions about the president's record -- or lack thereof -- of his service in the National Guard. Again on Friday, the White House hoped to put out the final word; according to the Associated Press, the administration has now released hundreds of pages of documents detailing Bush's service in the Guard in Texas and Alabama during the early 1970s. While many of the pages were "duplicates," and "there were no new documents about Bush's serving in Alabama," White House press secretary Scott McClellan said Bush had fulfilled his pledge to release all his records, according to AP. "Our understanding is that this is the entire file," McClellan said.

The White House also opened up some Bush medical records for reporters:


"Bush's medical records -- dozens of pages in all -- were opened for examination by reporters in the Roosevelt Room, but the material was not being distributed publicly...

"His medical checks, from 1968 through 1971, show no signs of illness at the time except for a brief episode of hemorrhoid symptoms."

Aside from that slightly unflattering revelation, however, it's not likely that an in-depth analysis of the new material will hit the front pages right away, given that the flood of documents arrived on a Friday afternoon at the start of a holiday weekend. But if the widespread coverage over the last several days is any indication, even the classic tactic of burying an undesirable story at the tail end of the week may not pull Bush's National Guard issue out of the headlines.

Mark Follman

Mark Follman is Salon's deputy news editor. Read his other articles here.

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