To set the record straight: While the country was busy with CBS and Rather's mistake, the story of Bush going AWOL was lost.
Why Bush Left Texas Growing evidence suggests that George W. Bush abruptly left his Texas Air National Guard unit in 1972 for substantive reasons pertaining to his inability to continue piloting a fighter jet. A months-long investigation, which includes examination of hundreds of government-released documents, interviews with former Guard members and officials, military experts and Bush associates, points toward the conclusion that Bush's personal behavior was causing alarm among his superior officers and would ultimately lead to his fleeing the state to avoid a physical exam he might have had difficulty passing... If it is demonstrated that profound behavioral problems marred Bush's wartime performance and even cut short his service, it could seriously challenge Bush's essential appeal as a military steward and guardian of societal values. It could also explain the incomplete, contradictory and shifting explanations provided by the Bush camp for the President's striking invisibility from the military during the final two years of his six-year military obligation... There's that elephant in the living room again.
George Bushes's Military record: a critical analysis This pdf file is about as definitive a look as we are likely to get on the Bush military record. Clearly most post4ers/readers of Metafilter do not support Bush, but having some clear-cut evidence at hand to use in arguments against those who attack the Kerry militaryrecord, this will give the Bushites reason to move on to other topics
DESERTER An examination of the Bush military files within the context of US Statutory Law, Department of Defense regulations, and Air Force policies and procedures of that era lead to a single conclusion: George W. Bush was considered a deserter by the United States Air Force.
George W. Bush "suspended" from Texas Air National Guard. He repeatedly says he was discharged "honorably", but some government documents seem to say otherwise