MORE ON BILL BURKETT….I’ve got good news and bad news. I’ve been trying to reach Bill Burkett for the past couple of days, but after this morning’s post about him I decided I should try a little harder. The good news is that I finally got hold of him a little before noon and we talked for nearly two hours about his story.

Basically, he confirmed his account and answered several of my questions about it. He says he accidentally overheard the conversation in General James’ office about cleaning up George Bush’s National Guard record and then discussed it with a friend who subsequently led him to the building where he saw 30 or 40 Bush documents lying in a trash can. He agrees that his “clarification” in 2000 went too far and says that he got scared by all the attention and backed off more than he should have. And he’s quite frank about his run-ins with Dan Bartlett and the medical problems that he blames on retaliation by Bush’s staff.

Overall, then, his story hangs together reasonably well ? but whether his story is true is still a judgment call and I think the only way for people to judge the whole thing is to hear it in his own words. And that’s where the bad news comes in.

I have to head out right now to get another cortisone shot, so I can’t work on this for another few hours. What’s more, the clerical staff here at Calpundit HQ seems to have cleared the base or something, and transcribing even the relevant chunks of our conversation is going to take quite a while. So I don’t know when I’ll be able to post this stuff.

However, it sounds like Burkett has talked to dozens of reporters in the past few days, so I wouldn’t be surprised if his name starts popping up more frequently in news accounts. Keep your eyes peeled.

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