Once they were lost, but now they're found

Published July 23, 2004 8:57PM (EDT)

It's Friday afternoon before the Democratic convention starts, which seems like a good time for the Pentagon to find George W. Bush's missing payroll records from his time with the Alabama National Guard.

"The Pentagon on Friday released payroll records from President Bush's 1972 service in the Alabama National Guard, saying its earlier contention the records were destroyed was an 'inadvertent oversight.'"

"The records cover July through September of 1972, when Bush was working as a campaign volunteer in Alabama. The future president had been transferred from the Texas Air National Guard to the Alabama unit so he could stay in Alabama."

"The release came days before Democrats began their national convention in Boston to officially nominate Sen. John Kerry as their presidential candidate."

"Democrats have sought to contrast Bush's National Guard service with Kerry's Vietnam War record. Kerry enlisted in the Navy, volunteered for combat in Vietnam and earned several medals including a Silver Star, a Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts. After returning from Vietnam, Kerry became a prominent anti-war activist."

By Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at Salon.com.

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