July 12, 2004
Tracking Bush's Service Records and the Life Expectancy of Microfilm
A BUZZFLASH READER CONTRIBUTION
BuzzFlash Note: The Reader Contributions below pose more questions about Bush's National Guard service (or lack thereof) and the recent announcement that microfilm of that service, which can substantiate his claims of showing up for duty, was unexpectedly destroyed. Considering the Bush administration's penchant for total secrecy and the history of lies spewing forth from the White House gutters, it wouldn't surprise us if the truth never sees the light of day. However, we can still keep asking the questions.
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Tracking the Disappearing Bush Service Records
Despite White House assertions that their February record release established Bush's record and settles that matter, the Washington Post says Bush has not addressed questions about his Alabama service:
The strange circumstances surrounding the movement and destruction of these files raise even more questions.
Yesterday the Pentagon made what the New York Times called a suprising announcement that records that may settle the matter of Bush's disputed service in the Air National Guard were destroyed in 1996 - 1997 microfilm restoration effort.
I preferred the quotes used in the BBC headline:
Reuters notes that the microfilm in question was kept in Denver. [Reuters]
The records allegedly damaged in 1996-1997 restoration were reportedly moved from St. Louis to Denver in February:
The New York Times article quotes the Pentagon saying "Searches for backup paper copies of the missing records were unsuccessful." Note that this statement refers only to paper copies and not microfilm files.
Will Bush deliver the Texas library microfilm copy, or has that been "destroyed" too?
By Texas law a microfilm copy of these records must be found in the Texas archieve in Austin. Bush has refused to sign a release of the Texas library records and the White House appears to deny that the Texas records exist:
The New York Times corrected their report yesterday, acknowledging that the White House had made note of damaged records at the time of the February release. And still no mention of the TX library files. [New York Times]
Our self-proclaimed "war president" Bush has yet to disprove charges that he deserted even as he challenges the fitness to lead of Purple Heart decorated Kerry. Maybe the public is too truly tired of this Vietnam-era saga to care what happenned then. But the apparent willingness to make records disappear and revise history should alarm anyone who cares about our democracy.
I bet this story gets more interesting before it fades away.
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Consider the Possibilities
The microfilm pay records of Bush have been 'lost'.
Perhaps this what Bush meant by "they scoured the records," in his interview with Tim Russert on Meet the Press? Scoured as in scrubbed?
Just a bit I found on microfilm longevity from Northeast Document Conservation Center.
"Polyester is the only film base currently recommended for preservation microfilming. Both stable and durable, black-and-white polyester film has a life expectancy of 500+ years under proper storage conditions."
Microfilm Services, Inc. claims a life expectancy of 100 years.
Kodak claims microfilm will last 500 years.
I wonder why Bush's microfilmed records didn't last, this story of deteriorating microfilm doesn't seem plausible when you consider the life span of microfilm?
Maybe the military should consider not going with the lowest bidder on something so critical.
A BUZZFLASH READER CONTRIBUTION
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