Gosh, that’s unfortunate. Some of Bush’s service records were destroyed in 1996 and 1997. By accident.
This should be easy enough to resolve; since Bush wasn’t the only guy whose records were lost, one assumes that there’d be an official record of the accident. Perhaps even a postmortem. Memos. That sort of thing.
Except that I can’t help noticing that Lt. Colonel Bill Burkett said, in February of this year, that members of George Bush’s staff purged the National Guard files in 1997. Damned confluence of dates. Now, the records that Burkett says were destroyed were not the records that the Defense Department just admitted to destroying accidentally, so this is not exactly a smoking gun. I think the time period is still suggestive, however. If you believe Burkett, it’s not a stretch to suspect that the Texas Air National Guard was not the only organization willing to clean up Bush’s records.
Anyhow, the next step is getting a look at the memos from 1997 which discuss the accident.