Rather Suit Will Show He Got Bush Guard Absences Right, DoD and White House's Own Documents Show, Says Ex White House Public Affairs Official

Sep 24, 2007, 01:00 ET from Robert Weiner Associates Public Affairs

    WASHINGTON, Sept. 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Documents released by
 the White House, little noticed at the time, showed that Dan Rather got
 President Bush's National Guard absences right, says Robert Weiner, a
 former Clinton and Bush White House public affairs official.
     Attached is a link to DoD documents released by the White House in 2004
 and still up today in the "Office of the Secretary of Defense and Joint
 Staff Reading Room," of Bush's National Guard attendance. "The evidence
 shows that Bush missed at least seven consecutive months of the Guard, only
 sporadically attended other times, and missed key obligations, despite
 expectations of his superiors," Weiner stated. DoD link to Bush's National
 Guard records: http://www.DoD.mil/pubs/foi/bush_records/index.html (See
 Part 7, page 23, 1972-1973).
     Also according to the DoD documents (National Guard Bureau, 5 September
 1972), Bush was suspended from flying status effective 1 August 1972, for
 "failure to accomplish (attend) annual medical examination." Weiner notes
 that the document was signed by Bobby W. Hodges, Commander, and Major Rufus
 G. Marpin, Personnel Staff Officer. "In the 2004 election, Bush's staff
 offered a cover story that he wanted to change from flight status but never
 said why he did not cancel or delay his obligated physical to avoid the
 unchallenged record of absence and demotion."
     "As Bush concludes his presidency, it's important that the supposed
 Bush 'legacy' be accurate. Part of what Bush has done in the White House
 and in his presidential campaigns is blow off his Guard absences as though
 they did not occur. They did. The media should pin him down by asking where
 he was during the over seven months in question and how he ignored the
 obligation of his medical exam for which he was fired from flying status --
 and not take 'those are old questions which we've answered' as an answer,"
 Weiner said. "Reports that he blew off the Texas Guard obligation to work
 in political campaigns in Alabama may well be true."
     "Rather was undoubtedly wrong to use a document unless verified
 first-hand on so politically charged a subject, from a source who was
 anti-Bush. However, when Rather says he got the story right, he did -- but
 he could have used the White House and DoD's own documents to prove it,"
 Weiner contended.
     "It's a legitimate journalistic quandary whether you get a story right
 if you use a wrong source -- unless there is proof from other separate
 irrefutable sources, as is the case. Bush's guard absences are an issue
 that the DoD record proves stands on its own, no matter how many times the
 Right tries to deflect it," Weiner concluded.
     Contact: Bob Weiner/Rebecca Vander Linde 301-283-0821 or 202-329-1700

SOURCE Robert Weiner Associates Public Affairs