Skip to comments.Those Discredited Memos (FR Mentioned)
Posted on 09/12/2004 10:13:58 PM PDT by Anti-Bubba182
ashington Alert bloggers who knew the difference between the product of old typewriters and new word processors immediately suspected a hoax: the "documents" presented by CBS News suggesting preferential treatment in Lt. George W. Bush's National Guard service have all the earmarks of forgeries.
The copies of copies of copies that formed the basis for the latest charges were supposedly typed by Guard officer Jerry Killian three decades ago and placed in his "personal" file. But it is the default typeface of Microsoft Word, highly unlikely to have been used by that Texas colonel, who died in 1984. His widow says he could hardly type and his son warned CBS that the memos were not real.
When the mainstream press checked the sources mentioned or ignored by "60 Minutes II," the story came apart.
The Los Angeles Times checked with Killian's former commander, the retired Guard general whom a CBS executive had said would be the "trump card" in corroborating its charges. But it turns out CBS had only read Maj. Gen. Bobby Hodges the purported memos on the phone, and did not trouble to show them to him. Hodges now says he was "misled" - he thought the memos were handwritten - and believes the machine-produced "documents" to be forgeries. (CBS accuses the officer of changing his story.)
The L.A. Times also checked out a handwriting analyst, Marcel Matley (of Vincent Foster suicide-note fame), who CBS had claimed vouched for the authenticity of four memos. It turns out he vouches for only one signature, and no scribbled initials, and has no opinion about the typography of any of the supposed memos.
The Dallas Morning News looked into the charge in one of the possible forgeries dated Aug. 18, 1973, that a commander of a Texas Air Guard squadron was trying to "sugar coat" Bush's service record. It found that the commander had retired from the Guard 18 months before that.
The Associated Press focused on the suspicion first voiced by a blogger on the Web site Freerepublic.com about modern "superscripts" that include a raised th after a number. CBS, on the defense, claimed that "some models" of typewriters of the 70's could do that trick, and some Texas Air National Guard documents released by the White House included it.
"That superscript, however," countered The A.P., "is in a different typeface than the one used for the CBS memos." It consulted the document examiner Sandra Ramsey Lines of Paradise Valley, Ariz., and reported "she could testify in court that, beyond a reasonable doubt, her opinion was that the memos were written on a computer."
The Washington Post reported Dan Rather's response to questions about the documents' authenticity: "Until someone shows me definitive proof that they are not, I don't see any reason to carry on a conversation with the professional rumor mill" and questioned the critics' "motivation."
After leading with that response, Post media reporter Howard Kurtz noted that the handwriting expert Matley said that CBS had asked him not to give interviews, and that an unidentified CBS staff member who had examined the documents saw potential problems with them: "There's a lot of sentiment that we should do an internal investigation."
Newsweek (which likes the word "discredited") has apparently begun an external investigation: it names "a disgruntled former Guard officer" as a principal source for CBS, noting "he suffered two nervous breakdowns" and "unsuccessfully sued for medical expenses."
It may be that CBS is the victim of a whopping journalistic hoax, besmearing a president to bring him down. What should a responsible news organization do?
To shut up sources and impugn the motives of serious critics - from opinionated bloggers to straight journalists - demeans the Murrow tradition. Nor is any angry demand that others prove them wrong acceptable, especially when no original documents are available to prove anything.
Years ago, Kurdish friends slipped me amateur film taken of Saddam's poison-gas attack that killed thousands in Halabja. I gave it to Dan Rather, who trusted my word on sources. Despite objections from queasy colleagues, he put it on the air.
Hey, Dan: On this, recognize the preponderance of doubt. Call for a panel of old CBS hands and independent editors to re-examine sources and papers. Courage.
They're throwing this nutso Guard guy up as a patsy...we can't let them do that. It's too easy. We all now they came from Kerry Kamp or the DNC...
New York Times??????
I am going outside to see if the sky is falling or if there are any airborne pigs flapping around....
I hear Hitler and Osama are having a snowball fight..in hell!
Hoo boy... this guy authenticated Foster's 'suicide note' too? The ball just keeps rollin'!
The NYT would know about this...
Don't worry, its William Safire, a relatively mild mannered Republican columnist who is the New York Times pet conservative, ala Jeff Jacoby at the Boston Globe.
Though it is an opinion column, this is the first MSM description of some of the flaws in the memos that comes close to being fair, though it leaves out many of the strongest reasons why these are forgeries. Safire is respected in New York. It will be very hard for CBS to ignore Safire's points, and ignore Safire's call for an independent panel.
The old media is dead, but they still won't admit it. The Times is trying to credit everybody BUT FR and the bloggers. They would never have covered this story if they hadn't been dragged kicking and screaming into it. Doesn't sound like they're quite ready to admit that Dan was just the bag man, and that the Rats in the DNC were behind the smear, but with Hannity, Fox and Rush trumpeting what was uncovered on the web, they can't pretend the memos are real any more.
Talk about something snowballing. This has been impressive to see unfold. MSM grows increasingly irrelevant.
The fact this is in the NYT is huge. WHo is left? Globe and CBS. THe rest of the MSM is doing a 180 ! Wow.
---They're throwing this nutso Guard guy up as a patsy...we can't let them do that. It's too easy. We all now they came from Kerry Kamp or the DNC...---
Exactly! I am getting tired of repeating it. What we have here is a criminal conspiracy on the part of CBS, the DNC, and the Kerry campaign to use fraudulent documents to influence a federal election. This is not some simple news story gone wrong.
Dan Rather has only been able to find ONE expert who publicly authenticated the photocopied memos. That expert himself stated two years ago that it is physically impossible to authenticate a document from a photocopy.
Using and Cross-Examining Handwriting Experts
Marcel B. Matley
"In fact, modern copiers and computer printers are so good that they permit easy fabrication of quality forgeries. From a copy, the document examiner cannot authenticate the unseen original but may well be able to determine that the unseen original is false. Further, a definite finding of authenticity for a signature is not possible from a photocopy, while a definite finding of falsity is possible."
And now per CNN, Marcel Matley says he is "muzzled" by CBS and not allowed to talk to reporters...
KURTZ: "Although I have interviewed Rather and Andrew Heyward, the president of CBS News, and I said, well, look, who are your document experts? So they finally gave me the name of a handwriting expert in San Francisco, and I called him, and he says, I am muzzled, I can't talk, CBS has asked me not to talk to the press."
Congressmen's sons were rarer then hen's teeth in the military. They would have been treated like royalty in the military even more than they are in civilian companies because promotions are so political and officers are scared sh*tless of "Congressionals"..
"General, you did a good job shining my shoes, I'll commend you to my father."
And the thought that a Congressman's son would need pull to get into a six year commitment when he could have been drafted for two years and served his time in Hawaii is an insult to common sense.
Even if they want to try to spin it, they have to play.
I'd love to see the Globe go down with CBS.
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