More released to prove Bush service

Information shows traffic violations, misdemeanor

February 13, 2004|By Richard A. Serrano and Edwin Chen | Richard A. Serrano and Edwin Chen,LOS ANGELES TIMES

WASHINGTON - White House officials released information yesterday that had been withheld from earlier disclosures of President Bush's National Guard record, showing that Bush was cited for a prank in college and that as a teen-ager was involved in two traffic collisions and received two speeding tickets.

The information, which had been blacked out in a copy of the application released when Bush was running for president four years ago, was provided by White House spokesman Scott McClellan while traveling with the president to an education and job-training event in Pennsylvania.

The disclosure marked the third time this week that the White House has provided new details about Bush's service in the Guard in Texas and Alabama during the Vietnam War. The details came after Bush pledged on national television Sunday to "absolutely" release all his records in an effort to end speculation that he did not fully complete his military obligation.

On Tuesday, White House officials released pay records they said proved Bush appeared for duty with the Guard in Alabama in late 1972, a period that the president's critics have focused on in raising questions about his service. Bush was allowed to transfer to Alabama from Texas to help the campaign of a friend of his father.

On Wednesday night, the White House released records from a January 1973 dental exam that Bush took at the Montgomery, Ala., airfield.

This morning, McClellan - responding to a copy of the partially blacked-out application that has surfaced anew in several newspapers and in an upcoming book - revealed for the first time the portion of the document that had been excised. The document was part of a May 1968 background check that Guard applicants were required to fill out.

McClellan showed the full document to reporters but did not release copies.

On the form, Bush was asked: "Have you ever been arrested, indicted or convicted for any violation of civil or military law including minor traffic violations? (If YES, explain stating nature of offense, date, name and place of the court and disposition of the case.)"

According to McClellan's unaltered copy, Bush responded: "Misdemeanor, New Haven, Connecticut, December 1966, charge dismissed.

"Two speeding tickets, July '64 and August '64, $10 fine, Houston traffic court.

"Two collisions, July '62 and August '62, $25 fine, Houston traffic court."

McClellan and other White House officials refused to provide more information about the citations. Deputy press secretary Trent Duffy said they did not intend to release anything more on the matter.

The New Haven incident is an apparent reference to a college fraternity prank Bush participated in while at Yale University. He and others reportedly were arrested for taking a Christmas wreath from a hotel.

The White House is releasing the material from Bush's record amid growing allegations that the president did not fulfill the latter part of his six-year Guard commitment.

The Los Angeles Times is a Tribune Publishing newspaper.

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