So it turns out that the CBS memos are almost surely fake (yes, I’ve been away from the news for a while.) The Boston Globe, which originally reported the “Missing Year” story in May of 2000. Today, the Globe puts the fake memo story in context:
The Globe’s Spotlight Team has painstakingly documented the preferential treatment given Bush, and his spotty service record. In fact, the day before reporting on the original CBS story, the Globe reported on documents released by the Pentagon that supported these main allegations (“Bush fell short on duty at guard,” Page A1, Sept. 8).
The following are pertinent facts from that article that did not rely on the disputed documents:
* While Bush was in Alabama, he was removed from flight status for failing to take his annual flight physical in July 1972.
* Ben Barnes, who was speaker of the Texas House of Representatives in 1968, said in a deposition in 2000 that he placed a call to get young Bush a coveted slot in the Guard at the request of a Bush family friend.
* Bush, a fighter-interceptor pilot, performed no service for one six-month period in 1972 and for another period of almost three months in 1973, the records show.