The 60 minute piece tonight at 8 pm EST which features an interview with Ben Barnes, who says he got George W. Bush into the National Guard to get out of the Vietnam draft, is apparently much deeper than previously thought.
Meanwhile, The Boston Globe finally reports that Bush failed to meet his National Guard requirements, and was absent without leave.
The 1,500 word piece notes: "Twice during his Guard service - first when he joined in May 1968, and again before he transferred out of his unit in mid-1973 to attend Harvard Business School - Bush signed documents pledging to meet training commitments or face a punitive call-up to active duty.
"He didn't meet the commitments, or face the punishment, the records show."
The examination of Bush's records prove what other sources have asserted all along, that Bush should have been ordered to active duty after he repeatedly failed to show up for mandated training sessions.
But the 60 minutes piece may be even bigger. Sources report that CBS has been pursuing angles of Bush's Guard service for several months far and beyond Barnes, whose only role was getting Bush into the Guard. They will not go on the record with additional information, but say the one-hour special could be a bombshell which would devastate the Bush campaign.
Josh Marshall, who runs a popular insider blog in Washington, had this to say: "The big news won't be how Bush got into the Guard but how he blew off his duties once he got there. Again, new documents - stuff that is clear and straightforward and apparently puts beyond any debate or doubt that the now-President blew off the duties that he said, as recently as this year, that he fulfilled."
Indications are that CBS is hoping to preempt The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty, a new unauthorized biography of the Bush family that biographer Kitty Kelley is said to have been working on for the past five years. In it, Kelley levels numerous allegations against Bush, among them that Bush abused cocaine while his father was President.
The widow of a former Texas publisher also told Salon last week that Bush had been sent to Alabama in 1972 because as a known drunk he was a political liability to his father, not because he had found a "great job" with a senatorial campaign there.
In an article that appeared in this morning's OREGONIAN, retired Lt. Col. Albert Lloyd Jr., a cormer Texas Air National Guard personnel chief who vouched for Bush at the White House's request in February has done a complete about face, agreeing that Bush walked away from his obligation to join a reserve unit in the Boston area in September 1973. He condones this selfish behavior (a pattern which existed before the incident and continues today) by complaining that singling out Bush for criticism is "unfair" because "There were hundreds of guys like him who did the same thing." However, beside the fact that what these "hundreds of guys like him" did was also not right, these "hundreds of guys" have not lied to the American people about it, they are not asking us to relect them to the Presidency for four more years based upon personal character, and they do not consider it fair game to continually slam the service record of an opponent who actually fulfilled his military duty.
This is a quintessential example of standing in a glass house and throwing stones. There are going to be broken windows in the Bush Relection Campaign palace.