Modified Limited Hangout Continues

At first glance it is very difficult to accept that two very minor traffic accidents and two speeding tickets (as a teenage driver) is all that the Bush folks could have been hiding. Even if it demonstrates that he was illegally or improperly admitted to the guard. (We knew that.) They gotta be smarter than that?

Bush's driving records disclosed: The White House disclosed information in documents Thursday showing that President Bush had been arrested once for a college prank and was cited for two automobile accidents and two speeding tickets before he enlisted in the National Guard.

The accidents and tickets were disclosed for the first time in response to questions about a portion of Bush's military record that had been blacked out when the file was made public during the 2000 presidential campaign.

The traffic violations are significant in the context of Bush's military career. At the time Bush enlisted in the Texas National Guard, the Air Force typically would have had to issue a waiver for an applicant who had multiple arrests or driving violations.

An officer who served at the same time as the president, former Texas Air National Guard pilot Dean Roome, was required by the Air Force to get a waiver for a $25 speeding ticket when he enlisted in the Air National Guard in 1967.

There is no record of an enlistment waiver in Bush's military file.

Critics have charged that Bush received favorable treatment to get into the National Guard and avoid serving overseas at the height of the Vietnam War. His father was in Congress at the time.

White House press secretary Scott McClellan showed a small group of reporters a copy of Bush's application to be an officer, with nothing blacked out, after USA TODAY published a picture of the blacked-out document Thursday. The accompanying report said that Guard officials in Texas had been concerned about embarrassing information in Bush's military records before the files were released to the public beginning in 1999, according to two former Guard officials. Bush aides denied there was any effort to suppress any potentially embarrassing information.

One of the Guard officials told the newspaper that senior officers in Texas were especially concerned about a question on the form asking about arrests.

The White House denied there was any effort to cleanse Bush's record. “I'm just amazed by the kinds of conspiracy theories that some have chosen to pursue,” McClellan said Thursday. “The facts are very clear. But there are some that are simply not interested in the facts.”

The White House described the four traffic incidents as two “negligent collisions” in July and August 1962 and two speeding tickets in July and August 1964. Bush was a teenager at the time.

McClellan did not indicate any cause of the accidents. He said Bush paid a $10 fine for the speeding tickets and a $25 fine for the collisions. It was not immediately clear whether the amounts were for each incident or combined.

Maybe it's the medical records? Either that or they are even more arrogant that smart over in the White House PR office… Update: And, let's not forget we have not yet seen Bush's separation codes.

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