The Command Post
2004 US Presidential Election
September 10, 2004
| Bush Memo Update [Updated - 2:28 pm EST]

[The post below was getting a little bit long, updates will go here]

The Weekly Standard reports:

Xavier University’s [Richerd] Polt (who operates a website dedicated to typewriters), in an email, offers two possible scenarios. “Either these are later transcriptions of earlier documents (which may have been handwritten or typed on a typewriter), or they are crude and amazingly foolish forgeries. I’m a Kerry supporter myself, but I won’t let that cloud my objective judgment: I’m 99% sure that these documents were not produced in the early 1970s.”

Says Flynn: “This looks pretty much like a hoax at this point in time.”

Meanwhile CBS is still sticking by the memos, according to Word Net Daily:

Spokeswoman Kelli Edwards said she was aware of the charge that the documents, purportedly produced in 1972 and 1973, appear to have been forged with a modern word processor.

“As is standard practice at CBS News, each of the documents broadcast on ‘60 Minutes’ was thoroughly investigated by independent experts, and we are convinced of their authenticity,” she said.

Edwards later sent an email to WND:

“CBS verified the authenticity of the documents by talking to individuals who had seen the documents at the time they were written. These individuals were close associates of [Bush commander] Colonel Jerry Killian and confirm that the documents reflect his opinions at the time the documents were written.”

Ah…while the documents may or may not be real, what matters is the opinons were real.

As a side note to those who were questioning the “expert witnesses” cited in the post below, Bill at INDC Journal has an update on the near impeccable credentials of the expert he contacted.

Hugh Hewitt has much more, while AP has an article stating that the son of the memo’s alleged author does not think the memos are real.

The Daily Recycler has the video of Brit Hume’s report on the memos, in case you missed it.

[Thanks to special correpsondent Allah Pundit for helping me put this story and its myriad of links together today]

UPDATE

So far just a Drudge exclusive:

CBS NEWS executives have launched an internal investigation into whether its premiere news program 60 MINUTES aired fabricated documents relating to Bush’s National Guard service, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

“The reputation and integrity of the entire news division is at stake, if we are in error, it will be corrected,” a top CBS source explained late Thursday.

The source, who asked not to be named, described CBSNEWS anchor and 60 MINUTES correspondent Dan Rather as being privately “shell-shocked” by the increasingly likelihood that the documents in question were fraudulent.

Rather, who anchored the segment presenting new information on the president’s military service, will personally correct the record on-air, if need be, the source explained from New York.

Also, ABC has an article in which the wife of Lt. Col Jerry Killian (the signer of the document) queistions the veracity of the documents:

“The wording in these documents is very suspect to me,” she told ABC News Radio in an exclusive phone interview from her Texas home. She added that she “just can’t believe these are his words.”

Killian’s son adds:

“It was not the nature of my father to keep private files like this, nor would it have been in his own interest to do so,” he said.

WaPo also offers an article about the documents today, stating:

After doubts about the documents began circulating on the Internet yesterday morning, The Post contacted several independent experts who said they appeared to have been generated by a word processor.

Well, “the internet” was way ahead of them on that one.

According to Drudge, Nightline will tackle this subject tonight and the show will include these words from the widow of Killian.

Spacetown gets into the how and why of it all.

RatherBiased also has continuing coverage.

UPDATE:

John Podhoretz at the New York Post has a story on the memos today and , so far, he is the only writer from the mainstream media to credit bloggers:

THE populist revolu tion against the so- called mainstream media continues. Yesterday, the citizen journalists who produce blogs on the Internet — and their engaged readers — engaged in the wholesale exposure of what appears to be a presidential-year dirty trick against George W. Bush.

What the bloggers and their audiences did was call into profound question the authenticity of four documents proudly trumpeted by CBS News in a much-heralded investigative report on Wednesday night’s edition of “60 Minutes” about the president’s National Guard service in the early 1970s.

UPDATE:

More typography evidence from Allah Pundit.



Posted by Michele at September 10, 2004 02:00 PM | TrackBack
Comments

So the question is, how will The Dan react to this? Judgeing from how Bernard Goldberg described Dan Rather, I’m going to guess not well. Anchors at the networks are not used to apologizing and certainly not used to swallowing their pride.
Its clearly not enough to simply retract this story. The source must be revealed and investigated, and i’m betting CBS wont do it. There is a rule to journalism, if a source lies to you, you burn them. Will CBS do it? Are we ever going to find out who perpatrated this hoax and why? Will it be before November? No, no, and no if you ask me.
As far as wild speculation goes, I find it highly interesting that these documents came to light in the same television episode that noted scumbag, liar, and Kerry campaigner Ben Barnes made his ‘debut’ at. You do the math. If one of Bush’s campaign lawyers working for the Swift Vets is obvious evidence of collusion, what would you call that? I see another flip-flop in Kerry’s future.

Posted by: mark buehner [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 9, 2004 10:53 PM

Everyone appreciates this slapdown of CBS.

However:

Is there any way to move this whole shebang forward a few decades? The Easy Rider/InAGoddaDaVida/Partridge Family flashbacks are driving me nuts.

Posted by: Lonewacko [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 9, 2004 11:14 PM

An apology or retraction isn’t enough.

Somebody forged a US government document to do harm. That’s a crime. Somebody shouldn’t apologize, they should go to jail.

Posted by: Spade [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 9, 2004 11:26 PM

XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX THU SEPT 09, 2004 22:45:32 ET XXXXX

CBSNEWS LAUNCHES INTERNAL INVESTIGATION AFTER SUSPICIOUS BUSH DOCS AIRED

**Exclusive**

CBS NEWS executives have launched an internal investigation into whether its premiere news program 60 MINUTES aired fabricated documents relating to Bush’s National Guard service, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

“The reputation and integrity of the entire news division is at stake, if we are in error, it will be corrected,” a top CBS source explained late Thursday.

The source, who asked not to be named, described CBSNEWS anchor and 60 MINUTES correspondent Dan Rather as being privately “shell-shocked” by the increasingly likelihood that the documents in question were fraudulent.

Rather, who anchored the segment presenting new information on the president’s military service, will personally correct the record on-air, if need be, the source explained from New York.

Posted by: Blog4Fun [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 9, 2004 11:33 PM

Somebody forged a US government document to do harm. That’s a crime. Somebody shouldn’t apologize, they should go to jail.

And if the news person who received these forged documents refuses to reveal his sources, he needs to go to jail until he does.

Posted by: TexasGal [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 9, 2004 11:41 PM

Drudge now reporting Nightline will tackle the story tonight. The widow of the author of the docs claiming the language is suspicious to her and that he simply didn’t type anything.

http://www.drudgereport.com/

Posted by: Wayne Fielder [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 9, 2004 11:48 PM

Combine all this with the recently released ABC/Washington Post Poll and it looks grim for the Kerry camp. (A majority of 18-30 year olds are now voting for Bush… a 28 point swing since early August!) Also, the LA Times is now taking VP Cheney’s side on his recent statements that the left if howling mad about.

I find it ironic that all of this National Guard stuff is now coinciding with the recent additions of the Clinton Hit Squad aces. If the sources of the forged documents are traced back to anyone in leadership at the DNC… ouch, big time!!!

It is still a ways to go… but the climb is getting steeper for Kerry.

Posted by: steve [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 9, 2004 11:51 PM

Redux: Complete transcript of statement of widow of Col. Killian

http://www.drudgereport.com/cbsd1.htm

Posted by: Wayne Fielder [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 9, 2004 11:54 PM

It’s still alittle early but…as Steve said, if these docs are traced back to the DNC or their “unpaid consultants” this will make Watergate look like a third rate burglary…oh wait…

Posted by: Wayne Fielder [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 9, 2004 11:56 PM

The real downside is that Kerry and co played the guilt by association card to the hilt on the Swift Boat stories. Is anybody gonna start revealing all the ‘ties’ between 60 minutes staff and the Kerry campaign? Will Bush demand that Kerry demand 60 minutes stop broadcasting? Kerry has completely dug his own grave in this case. He is the one that made the campaign about Vietnam. He is the one that attacked Bushs Guard record. He is the one that savaged the Swifties and claimed Bush controlled them. Turnabout, as they say.

Posted by: mark buehner [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 10, 2004 12:00 AM

Since the “source” lied to CBS, they have no ethical or traditional reason to protect him/her. Indeed, it is in CBS’s interest to reveal this person as a warning they won’t be made fools of (…hold on a moment… trying..to ..keep…a straight face..)

I predict if CBS doesn’t reveal the source, that will be proof enough (for me, at least), it either is someone within CBS themself or someone pretty important at the DNC or Camp Kerry. CBS is hell bent (along with AP, NYT and LAT) to getting Kerry into the White House, be any means necessary.

Posted by: Darleen [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 10, 2004 02:06 AM

The thing is, though (and this, I think, is where the fun comes this year) Kerry and the MSM aren’t totally joined at the hip. Sure, the MSM wants Kerry to win, but it’s only a “win at all costs, by any means necessary” situation for the politicians. The MSM dinosaurs will still be lumbering around for years, and have a chance to repair their credibility and/or hope people forget while they shift gears to blanket coverage of the next Laci Peterson case.

What I’m saying, in other words, is that if and when Kerry is toast, the MSM is going to turn on him. And judging by the latest polls, toasthood is fast approaching….

Posted by: David C [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 10, 2004 06:01 AM

..my hope after this election, the FCC will investigate the media..free speech is a glorious thing… but …opinions are one thing..but stating something as facts but knowing its not ; is quite another..yank some licenses,put some liars in jail..having Butch or Betty Rae as a room mate 5-10 might put some responsibility back into media..yeah right..I`m holding my breath..

Posted by: Rob_NC [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 10, 2004 07:41 AM

Possibility: Someone on the Left saw how much traction the SBVT were getting with what they percieved as Bush-fueled lies and decided to concoct these seemingly damning documents, however a careful read of them is very unrevealing. President Bush has admitted to all of this before - more than once.

I think it’s a stupid effort at misdirection. I can’t wait to see the next act in the SBVT campaign.

Posted by: Cap'n DOC [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 10, 2004 07:57 AM

I sent the link to this page to my brother, who retired from the Army after 20 years in intelligence and now is a contractor doing not dissimilar work. His reply included a comment that I pass on to you.

“Did you see the interview Dan Rather did of that former Lt. Governor of Texas who claimed that as Lt. Governor he manipulated the system to get Bush in the Guard? Unfortunately, and Rather did not address it, this Lt. Governor wasn’t the Lt. Governor when Bush joined the Guard. Sad.”

The comments so far tend towards CBS being burnt by an outside source. Being a nasty, paranoid person, may I point out that the sources for the memos might not be outside of CBS? Remember Jason Blair, of NYT fame?

Posted by: JRM [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 10, 2004 02:22 PM

You guys have it all wrong. I heard Terry McAuliffe say on the radio this morning this was a Republican plot to make the Democrats look bad.

Posted by: anymouse [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 10, 2004 02:45 PM

what’s really frustrating is the arrogance of the left surrounding this.

Rather will dig in and swear he did right. Mc Auliff will try to blame the RNC and the people with rings in they nose will simply follow along.

The arrogance of the MSM is astounding, The arrogance of the democrat party is astounding.

Posted by: skip [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 10, 2004 03:00 PM

Hah!

Not many words about the content of the memos. Good to see the Reichist contingent on defense. As pointed out above, Bush has admitted to all of this before. Why are there no comments about his misveracity?

Anybody but Kerry…he’ll just call BS on a BS war again. And I can’t handle the truth.

My name is George and I (snort) this message!
aWol, Wrong, Woman, Wussy, CheerWeader…W04

Posted by: dubyus [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 10, 2004 03:31 PM

Ah, the sweet smell of desperation in the morning……

Let the ungluing begin.

Posted by: Ebonic Plague [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 10, 2004 03:36 PM

Dan Rather was the source and INVESTIGATED NOTHING as he told CNN.

Posted at: www.drudge.com

Posted by: leaddog2 [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 10, 2004 04:02 PM

You guys have it all wrong. I heard Terry McAuliffe say on the radio this morning this was a Republican plot to make the Democrats look bad.

Isn’t that just like the Democrats. Unable to accomplish anything without outside help.

:-))

Posted by: M. Simon [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 10, 2004 04:12 PM

CNN CNN CNN ! CNN is on the attack, going beyond journalism and showing their true colors.

Normaly news networks seem to watch each other to determine what to report from minute to minute. Not this week. CNN is digging up anything and everything from the 2000 election and airing it without an opposing view.

In fact last night they had a “report” that went on for 25 minutes and prefaced it with “this is one sided but the other side will come later”. Yea right!

Posted by: Agrippa [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 10, 2004 04:27 PM

LOL would you want to be presented to th public as one of CBS’s experts?

Talk about a career blow! ;-)

Posted by: Dan Kauffman [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 10, 2004 04:39 PM

JRM,

Not that I doubted you, but when you mentioned that this guy wasn’t in a situation to help Bush into the guard, I had to check. Here is what I found: “Mr. Barnes has told a lot of different stories about that particular time — it’s a period of time in which his credibility was also impacted in a very negative way,” Texas Gov. Rick Perry told FOX News, noting that Barnes left office amid his own controversies and wasn’t even lieutenant governor when Bush joined the Guard.

And CBS never questioned this!

Posted by: zettler [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 10, 2004 04:39 PM

CNN is now to the Kerry Campaign as al-Jazeera is to OBL = James Carville and Paul Begala

Posted by: TexasGal [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 10, 2004 04:43 PM

it’s a period of time in which his credibility was also impacted in a very negative way,” Texas Gov. Rick Perry told FOX News, noting that Barnes left office amid his own controversies and wasn’t even lieutenant governor when Bush joined the Guard.

Yes is was known as the Sharpstown Scandal .. Google it! Barnes was Lt. Gov. then however.

Posted by: TexasGal [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 10, 2004 04:45 PM

Something occured to me as I was looking at all of these documents, especially at Powerline’s blog (http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/007760.php).

Look carefully at the signature blocks. Do these seem strange to any military types out there? What military man puts his RANK on the NEXT LINE?

Visit my blog http://maniakes.blogspot.com/ where I talk about this more in depth.

Posted by: Maniakes [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 10, 2004 05:16 PM

I suspect that Dan Rather’s daughter is the source of the docs.

No, I can’t prove it. But I understand she does live in Texas and has a connection to this Barnes fellow.

It would certainly explain why Rather is digging in his heels and seems to be willing to fall on his sword over this story. I doubt that he would do this if Kerry himself had handed him the documents.

Anyway, Rather’s recalcitrance should put to bed the “GOP/Rove Set Up” theories.

Posted by: CERDIP [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 10, 2004 06:04 PM

Dan Rather really sucks….he is going to stonewall as much as he can. But he is 72, and we may as well retire him with a BAD reputation….that will hurt him the most. However, a short jail term with a horny man named Bubba would do him good! CBS is having almost as bad a year as Kerry is having…..it is sorta fun to see the liberals scurrying into their rat holes. No doubt those two CNN boys have their fingers in this…..they better distance Kerry from this or they will burn bad.

Posted by: dickmr [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 10, 2004 07:09 PM

You people are….can’t you just accept that the guy flaked out on his service? It fits in perfectly with the way that even he describes his behavior for those early years. Has anyone noticed that The White House has NOT CONTESTED the authenticity of the memos? Does that not mean anything? And IBM had that technology more than 15 years beforehand:

Update: Here’s proof from IBM that proportional spacing came out in 1954 on it’s IBM Executive model. (via Jefe at Atrios.) That does look like the memos.

http://www.etypewriters.com/1954-b-2.JPG

Update: Manual typewriters began to disappear during the mid 1960’s due to the increased popularity of electric typewriters. The Selectric was to electric typewriters what the Underwood was to manuals. (Atlantic Monthly, Nov. 1997, available on Lexis.com in which the author also describes viewing Selectrics “circa 1970” in a shop)

Again, there is Easy To Find documentation that the technology was there for the memos. Whether the signatures are real or not, I have no clue. But the White House isn’t contesting them, and I think that cinches their authenticity very clearly.

Posted by: Jatsby [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 11, 2004 03:51 AM

About the only time I’ve seen people using superscripts in documents is for scientific equations and some people for dates. Note, the dates in the CBS forgeries do not use that format.

Now maybe the TANG was producing an awful lot of papers with scientific equations, so they spent a lot of money on expensive typewriters that would allow them to make those equations look really good.

Of course if you believe that, then you probably are inhabiting a parallel universe with French Patton and CBS.

Posted by: OzMC [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 11, 2004 04:27 AM

I appreciate that may be the only time you’ve seen it…but your personal experience isn’t the point. You have ignored the fact that the White House, the Bush administration, does not contest the authenticity of these memos. Common sense dictates that they would, and shrilly, if there were any reason for them to doubt these papers. You continuing to call them “the forgeries” as if it were some foregone conclusion doesn’t change that, doesn’t make them forgeries…using the schoolyard namecalling doesn’t change it, either. Some people, when faced with factual information that doesn’t match what they want to believe for dogmatic reasons, often respond that way. I see an awful lot of it on this site, and it’s disappointing. Spirited debate is a wonderful thing, a healthy thing. Sticking your head in the sand and resorting to the behavior of a 10-year-old, while amusing to watch for a little while, doesn’t change anything.

Posted by: Jatsby [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 11, 2004 04:45 AM

Jatsby, what the White House has said is that the memos it has CAME FROM CBS!!!! As for not jumping up and down about the (obvious) forgeries, ever heard of giving moon bats (you, mirror, etc.) enough rope to hang themselves?

Posted by: SDN [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 11, 2004 10:29 PM

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