Weiner, who worked on Capitol Hill as an aide to U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., now runs a public affairs firm in Washington. He says:
"The evidence shows that Bush missed at least seven consecutive months of the Guard, only sporadically attended other times, and missed key obligations, despite expectations of his superiors. In the 2004 election, Bush's staff offered a cover story that he wanted to change from flight status but never said why he did not cancel or delay his obligated physical to avoid the unchallenged record of absence and demotion.
"As Bush concludes his presidency, it's important that the supposed Bush 'legacy' be accurate. Part of what Bush has done in the White House and in his presidential campaigns is blow off his Guard absences as though they did not occur. They did."
Weiner said he is speaking up for Dan Rather, the ex-CBS anchor who is now suing the network's corporate parent for $70 million. Rather claims he was forced out by political pressure. He ran a politically charged story about Bush's Guard service that was based on faked documents from a Texas source. Weiner said the DoD records show Rather was right.
"It's a legitimate journalistic quandary whether you get a story right if you use the wrong source -- unless there is proof from other separate irrefutable sources, as is the case. Bush's own absences are an issue that the DoD record proves stands on its own . . ."
You can read his full statement on the pr newswire here.
Meanwhile, conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg, editor at large of National Review Online, says Rather is a pompous gasbag who allowed CBS News to run "with fake documents" and described him as resembling a "grassy knoll theorist climbing back to the top of the laughingstock tree." Goldberg's column about Rather was in the Columbus Dispatch.
It seems clear that Rather -- who is seriously damaged goods as a newsman --has managed to begin the process of resurrecting the open questions about Bush's whereabouts when he was supposed to be flying fighter jets for the Texas Air National Guard. He's using the courts to resume a fight that's really aimed at Bush when the president's popularity is low. And the president -- who is the commander of a wartime military and has asked for sacrifice from his troops -- appears to have a service record containing holes.