A retired lieutenant colonel in the Texas National Guard has come forward to claim that portions of President Bush’s military record were thrown away in 1997 after a top Bush aide asked the head of the Texas National Guard to remove embarrassing items from his file. Lt. Col. Bill Burkett first made this charge in 1998 in a letter to his Congressman. This week he told reporters that Joe Allbaugh, who ran Bush’s 2000 president campaign, made the request to Lt. Gen. Daniel James who was the adjutant general of the Texas Air National Guard. Both Allbaugh and James have denied the charge. James now serves as the head of the Air National Guard, a position he was appointed to by Bush. Alllbaugh would go on to head FEMA and he is now a top Washington lobbyist. Meanwhile the White House continued Wednesday to release new documents from Bush’s military record in an attempt to prove the president served out his full duty in the National Guard. Reporters received records from a trip to the dentist Bush made while serving in the Alabama National Guard. According to the Washington Post, the document is the first evidence Bush spent time at an Alabama base but it doesn’t clarify if Bush fulfilled his full term. Meanwhile USA Today is reporting that the portions of Bush’s recently released military records pertaining to past arrests and convictions are blacked out from the recently released documents. Bush’s military record also came up during Secretary of State Colin’s Powell’s visit to Capitol Hill.
The New York Times is reporting the Justice Department is demanding that at least six hospitals in New York City, Philadelphia and elsewhere turn over hundreds of medical records of patients who underwent certain forms of abortions. The Justice Department claims the records are needed to determine if what is known by some as partial birth abortions, are medically necessary. Hospitals have claimed the request violates the privacy rights of patients. But a federal judge in Manhattan last week ruled the hospitals must comply A spokesperson for Naral Pro-Choice America said "This notion of John Ashcroft poring over medical records in a fairly unprecedented type of fishing expedition is exactly the type of privacy invasion that worries people. The government just shouldn’t be involving itself in private medical decisions and second-guessing doctors’ ability to advise their patients properly."
Comcast Seeks To Buy Disney
The country’s largest cable television operator Comcast announced Wednesday a bid to buy the Disney company in an effort to form the world’s largest media coporation. Disney’s media holdings include the ABC network, ESPN and the Disney and Miramax movie studios. We’ll have more on this later in the show.
In New York a group of 52 people arrested at a protest against the Carlyle Group held last year have sued the city’s police department. The protesters claimed the police made preemptively mass arrested protesters who were lawfully standing on a sidewalk across the street from the Carlyle Group’s offices. Nancy Chang an attorney for the Center for Constitutional Rights said "We believe these arrests and detentions were part of a nationwide pattern ... a concerted effort to keep people off the streets and deter people who would protest from coming out."
In South Korea scientists have created cloned human embryos to generate stem cells. Scientists said the technique is aimed at disease therapy, not at creating a cloned baby, but the technique makes the cloning of a baby more feasible. Scientists said the miracle material may one day reverse diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s and other disorders.
In Boston legislators are convening again today for a constitutional convention to decide whether to amend the state constitution and ban same-sex marriages. On Wednesday lawmakers narrowly rejected a compromise that sought to legalize civil unions but ban same-sex marriages. The move to debate such an amendment to the stat constitution comes one week after the state’s highest court ruled that same-sex couples were entitled to marriage — not simply civil unions.
The Newhouse News Service is reporting that the Treasury Department has reopened a probe into whether Halliburton violated a federal law that bars U.S. companies from doing business with Iran.
Conservative television host Bill O’Reilly has apologized to his viewers for claiming last year that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. O’Reilly said ``I was wrong. I am not pleased about it at all and I think all Americans should be concerned about this." O’Reilly added that he has become ``much more skeptical about the Bush administration."
And a New Jersey man Richard Dvorin has written an open letter to President Bush after his 24-year-old son Army Lt. Seth Dvorin died in Iraq earlier this month.
He wrote to President Bush:
"My son is gone just when he was laying a strong foundation to build upon for the rest of his life. Now, President Bush, his life has been snuffed out in a meaningless war. Where are all the weapons of mass destruction, where are the stock piles of chemical and biological weapons? Please President, pray for all our fallen heroes and as a tribute to these heroes get our boys and girls out of Iraq now, before too much more blood is shed. Since you waged this unnecessary war on Saddam Hussein the world has become a horrible place to live in. I know my boy is safe now, in a new world free of hate and prejudices where GOD is his president, but you tell me President Bush why he had to go so soon and in such a violent way."
And that was the letter Richard Dvorin of New Jersey wrote to President Bush after his son Seth was killed in Iraq earlier this month.