Although, as many bloggers noted, the AP tried to whitewash the sudden Hilary-Clinton-like rediscovery of Bush's military pay records by saying that they “shed no new light on the future president's activities during that summer” it's obvious to anyone with half a brain that in fact they do shed light on a dark corner. Like the curious case of the dog in the nighttime, the pay records speak volumes for what they do NOT say: they lack any indication that Lt. Bush met his service obligation.
That's simple. How Lt. Bush got away with an honorable discharge anyway is much more complex. The fullest descriptions of the whole paper trail are provided by Paul Lukasiak and can be found at his AWOL Project. Mr. Lukasiak has now released part III of this saga, 'Fraud: The Secrets of Bush’s Payroll Records Revealed. It's pretty powerful stuff, but it's also complicated and set out in an over-wrought style.
The combination of complexity and pushy style mean that the major media will probably ignore it. If a story is a little technical and can't be explained in a sound bite, even most print reporters these days are reluctant to cover it, and doubly so if the person offering the data isn't either a known member of the pundit class or sounds very calm and sober. No one wants to be thought shrill, after all.
Here's Lukasiak's summary of his argument—but there's lots more where this came from.
An examination of George W. Bush's payroll records lead to the conclusion that Bush consciously and deliberately defrauded the United States government for pay and “points” to which he was not entitled. The White House probably doesn't even know that the payroll records include the data necessary to prove fraud—-the proof is found in the “incomprehensible” lines of data at the bottom of the payroll records.
Lieutenant Bush was required to attend scheduled monthly training with his Texas Air National Guard unit., or perform “substitute training” instead. However, under Air Force policy, advance authorization was required for “substitute training”, and this training could be done no more than 15 days before his unit met for the scheduled mandatory training. The payroll records show that, during his last year as a member of the Texas Air National Guard, fraud was involved in over 40% of the pay Bush received that was credited toward mandatory monthly training. Bush was paid for, and received “point credit” for “substitute training” more than 15 days before the corresponding scheduled training for five separate weekends of mandatory training.
Moreover, Without advance authorization, Bush could not be paid or credited with any “training” he claims to have performed in Alabama.
Yet The payroll records are completely inconsistent with Bush having received advance authorization for the “substitute training” supposedly done in Alabama. If training had been authorized, paychecks would have been issued no more than five weeks after the training had been done. Instead, it took an average of seven weeks (and as much as nine weeks) for pay to be processed.
Other documents in the Bush files provide additional evidence that the training that Bush was paid for in Alabama was never properly authorized. And the statements made by officers of the Alabama Air National Guard also confirm that Bush did not get the authorization necessary from Alabama for him to be paid and credited with training.
Finally, the White House has never released any of the paperwork that could show that this training was approved in advance, or that the training was actually accomplished. Additional circumstantial evidence strongly suggests that none of the training done in Alabama was properly authorized. When the evidence is considered as a whole, the obvious conclusion is that this paperwork never existed, and that Bush was paid for training that he never performed.