Handwriting experts hired by many media organizations as well as other critics contend the document, and possibly all four, are forgeries. However, Killian’s order is confirmed by two documents that were not part of the CBS papers. The first is a White House-released letter from the commander of the 147th Fighter Group, Col. Bobby W. Hodges, to its Texas higher command dated Sept. 5, 1972, with a subject line of “Suspension From Flying Status.”
The letter documents the missed flight physical and the suspension, “effective 1 Aug 1972.” A Sept. 29 order from the National Guard Bureau further confirms the missed physical and the suspension.
Two months earlier, on June 30, Bush signed a statement promising that if he left his Texas Ready Reserve unit, “it is my responsibility to locate and be assigned to another Reserve Forces unit or mobilization augmentation position. If I fail to do so, I am subject to involuntary order to active duty for up to 24 months.”
There is no record of Bush ever having signed on with a Massachusetts Reserve unit. In 1999, Dan Bartlett, working for the Bush campaign, told The Washington Post that Bush had completed his six-year commitment with a Boston unit. That didn’t happen, Bartlett recently told The Boston Globe. “I must have misspoke,” he said.
Killian’s former secretary, Marian Carr Knox, 86, of Houston, has said she believed the memos were fake but their content accurately reflected Killian’s opinions.
“I know that I didn’t type them,” she said in an interview with CBS. “However, the information in those is correct.”
This is not new. But considering the source — the Air Force of which he is nominal Commander-in-Chief — this is quite damning to George W Bush. The questions of his suitability as CiC still stand.