Bush operatives, once again, are in spin mode as they try to discredit what they couldn't conceal — that the deserter-in-chief lied not just about WMD but about his own commitment to his country's military, casting doubt on the already dubious character.

In a classic and possibly even more damning flip-flop, Bush campaign propagandists sought to mislead and miscategorize.

Reviving issues that have shadowed his political career, the documents show Bush ignored a direct order from a superior officer and lost his status as a Texas Air National Guard pilot more than three decades ago because he failed to meet military performance standards and undergo a required physical examination.

Still, the documents marked the second time in days the White House had to backtrack from assertions that all of Bush's records had been released. They also raised the specter that Bush sought favors from higher-ups and that the commander of the Texas Air National Guard wanted to "sugar coat" Bush's record after he was suspended from flying.

Any candidate in their right mind who, like Bush, was likely doing coke when they should have been fulfilling his military service would also try to dismiss such questions.

Bush spokesman Scott McClellan launched a two-faced and categorically untrue assertion when he said, "I think you absolutely are seeing a coordinated attack by John Kerry and his surrogates on the president."

Yet, it was the White House — not Kerry's campaign — that distributed four memos from 1972 and 1973 from Lt. Col. Jerry Killian, now deceased, who was the commander of the 111th Fighter Interceptor Squadron in Houston where Bush served. The White House obtained the memos from CBS News, which said it was convinced of their authenticity, and the White House did not question their accuracy. There was no explanation why the Pentagon was unable to find the documents on its own.


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