James R. Bath
James R. Bath is a long-time friend of US President George Walker Bush. He served in the Texas Air National Guard in the 1970s along with Bush. It was this that brought him to widespread public attention, when the White House released Bush's military service records in March 2004.
A document dated Sept. 29, 1972 records that 1st Lt. George W. Bush was suspended from flying because of his "failure to accomplish [his] annual medical examination." Bath was also suspended one month later, and this is recorded immediately below the information about Bush. But for some reason, the White House redacted Bath's name. This caused a lot of speculation, because they did not redact any other names in the documents they released.
Unfortunately for the White House, the same document had previously been released under the Freedom of Information Act to researcher Marty Heldt. On that occasion, Bath's name was not redacted.
Speculation about the redaction of Bath's name has focused on Bush's alleged drug use during his service in the National Guard, and Bath's role as a go-between for the Bush and bin-Laden families.
Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 (movie 2004) featured the incident over the redaction of Bath's name.
Related SourceWatch articles
- Craig Unger, "Mystery man: Why the White House deleted the name of Bush pal and Saudi go-between James Bath from the president's military records is a tantalizing but unanswered question", Salon.com, 27 April, 2004.
- Scan of the Sept 29 1972 document recording Bush's suspension from flying, which also features Bath's name