Public Nuisance

Random commentary and senseless acts of blogging.

The first Republican president once said, "While the people retain their virtue and their vigilance, no administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can seriously injure the government in the short space of four years." If Mr. Lincoln could see what's happened in these last three-and-a-half years, he might hedge a little on that statement.
-Ronald Reagan

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Friday, February 13, 2004
 
Kevin Drum has been doing terrific work with some of the best blogging I've ever seen on the Bush National Guard story, analyzing documents and new developments, calling up figures involved, speaking to them, and giving their accounts in far more detail than the major media. This interview with Bill Burkett, who alleges that Bush's service records were cleansed in the 1990s while he was Governor of Texas, is especially noteworthy.

Kevin is outperforming the professionals on this one, and that includes the big boys. Give the NY Times credit for running an extensive article on the topic, but the article contains some basic errors.

Mr. Bartlett denied on Wednesday that any records were altered. General James, since named head of the Air National Guard by President Bush, also denied Mr. Burkett's account. But Mr. Bartlett and another former official in Mr. Bush's administration in Texas, Joe Allbaugh, acknowledged speaking to National Guard officials about the files as Mr. Bush was preparing to seek re-election as governor.

Dan Bartlett is one of those named by Burkett as involved in the whitewash. The Times accepts his statement as a denial, but, looking closely at Burkett's account as detailed by Kevin, it looks like a carefully phrased non-denial. Burkett charged that documents were discarded, while Bartlett denied the distinct (and unmade) allegation that documents were 'altered'. Something similar is true of the denial attributed to Joe Albaugh, who labels Burkett's story as 'hogwash', but confirms a few details with appropriate spin while not denying any.



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