Bush's murky military past
Even allowing for the usual military-bureaucratic incompetence, records relating to George W. Bush's National Guard Service have a suspiciously low survival rate, so there has been understandable incredulity about the recent revelation that a crucial quarter's pay records from 1972 did not survive the Pentagon's alleged attempt to transfer the microfilm to a more durable medium. That incredulity was enhanced rather than allayed when they eventually were discovered behind whichever filing cabinet they had been dropped.
At issue is whether Bush was, technically at least, a deserter in his fourth year of National Guard service, when he requested a transfer to Guard duties in Alabama so he could assist a Republican senatorial campaign there.
Bush asserts that he turned up and did his duty. However, no one on the base remembers seeing him, including the commanding officer and several other officers who say they were actively looking to network with the hot-shot Texan with the influential father--but waited in vain.