February 13, 2004

Bush's National Guard files 'thrown out':

"While he was governor of Texas, George Bush's aides disposed of Mr Bush's National Guard files while searching for information that could embarrass the governor in future elections, a retired lieutenant-colonel in the Texas National Guard told a member of the Texas Senate...

The retired Texas National Guard officer, Bill Burkett, said in a letter that Dan Bartlett, now White House communications director, and General Daniel James, then the head of the Texas National Guard, reviewed the file to 'make sure nothing will embarrass the governor during his re-election campaign'.

Mr Bartlett denied on Wednesday that any records were altered. General James, since named head of the Air National Guard by Mr Bush, also denied Mr Burkett's account.

But Mr Bartlett admitted speaking to National Guard officials about the files as Mr Bush was preparing to seek re-election as governor of Texas....

Mr Burkett said in mid-1997, in Camp Mabry military museum, he saw the head of the museum, General John Scribner, going through Mr Bush's records.

Mr Burkett said he saw a rubbish bin with discarded papers bearing Mr Bush's name.

"It never happened as far as I know," General Scribner said. "Why would I be going into records?"


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