Mark Harden notes in the comments on the last post that in light of the CBS admission that they cannot authenticate the memos they used for their 60 Minutes story last week I now have a statement on this blog that is no longer supported by the evidence at hand.
"...this blog still has a post online, without correction or update, which states that President Bush disobeyed a direct order while serving in the National Guard. That little tidbit of slime has only one source: the forged memos which even CBS now admits are fraudulent."
Mark is correct, in part. I still believe that Bush demonstratably disobeyed an order to partake in a flight physical in 1972, but I can no longer say for certain that he disobeyed a "direct order" to that effect. The fact is that it was a "requirement" of the National Guard at the time that all pilots submit to a flight physical every year. That is what is called a general order.
When I was in the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M it was a requirement that I be up each morning by 6:30 and out on the quadrangle with my outfit for morning formation before marching to breakfast. I suppose Cadet George W. Bush probably would have lounged around in bed all morning until some upper classman came and gave him a "direct order" to get up, but the rest of us required no such special encouragement (nor did we want it).
Since Bush failed to take a flight physical in '72 we have to assume that at minimum he disobeyed a general order. There is no evidence that he had special permission to skip the physical requirement. It is still possible that he also disobeyed a direct order, but we do not have documented proof as such. Ruth Knox, Col. Killian's secretary, says she remembers typing up memos that said as much, but since they have apparently been "cleansed" from Bush's files there is no way to verify it.
I stand corrected.