8/30/04 9:00 AM EST
Reprising 1999 Charges, Former Texas Politician Says He Got Bush Into National Guard
CBS Evening News reported last night that "a new shot is being fired in an old war. On a pro-Kerry Website, Texas' former Lieutenant Governor is saying on camera for the first time he helped George Bush escape duty in Vietnam." Ben Barnes: "I got a young man named George W. Bush into the National Guard. And I'm not necessarily proud of that, but I did it." Though CBS said last night the charges mark "yet another escalation in the war of words over who would make the better commander-in-chief," in fact Barnes' allegations are not a new story. Barnes first raised them in 1999, and they were brought back to the media's attention when a pro-Kerry media posted a video of the former Lieutenant Governor on its website. The video, says the AP, "was posted June 25 on the Web site www.austin4kerry.org, but didn't get much attention until Friday, when Jim Moore, an Austin-based author of books critical of Bush, sent out e-mails calling attention to it just days before the GOP National Convention starts in New York." The AP, however, does not mention that the exact same charges from Barnes came up in the run-up to the 2000 campaign.