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Skip to comments.CBS Producer Who Obtained Questionable Guard Documents Identified (Jeff Gannon's Scoop!)
Posted on 09/13/2004 6:13:42 AM PDT by jmstein7
WASHINGTON (Talon News) -- Mary Mapes, a Dallas-based producer for CBS, has been identified by Talon News sources as the person who obtained the documents that suggest President George W. Bush did not fulfill his National Guard obligations 30 years ago. The documents, which have been judged to be forgeries by many news services and forensics experts, are at the center of a scandal that threatens the credibility of the network.
Late Friday, CBS spokesperson Kelli Edwards confirmed to Talon News that it was Mapes that obtained the documents (view documents here), but refused to comment on the questions surrounding their authenticity. Mapes did not respond to Talon News requests for comment.
During Friday's network news broadcast, anchor Dan Rather defended the four pages he claims were written by Bush's superior officer at the Texas Air Guard, Lt. Colonel Jerry Killian. Rather talked with handwriting expert Marcel Matley who said that on the basis of his analysis of the signatures, he is pronouncing the documents to be authentic. Not all of the pages carry Killian's signature.
Two others were interviewed for the segment. Robert Strong, an administrative officer for the Texas Air Guard during the Vietnam era, who vouched for the documents.
Author James Moore, a Bush antagonist, said, "They are absolutely consistent with the records as I know it."
Rather dismissed his critics, saying, "Today, on the Internet and elsewhere, some people -- including many who are partisan political operatives -- concentrated not on the key questions the overall story raised but on the documents that were part of the support of the story."
But glaring omissions marred Rather piece. On Friday, Killian's son Gary told nationally syndicated talk-show host Sean Hannity that Mary Mapes had contacted him before CBS ran the story. He said that he warned her that the documents might be forgeries.
Following the broadcast, Talon News asked Edwards why Killian's son and wife weren't mentioned during the broadcast.
She said, "I'm not going to debate every aspect of the story. We stand by the piece."
Killian's widow, Marjorie Connell, told ABC Radio News, "The wording in these documents is very suspect to me. ... I just can't believe these are his words."
Connell said that her late husband would be "turning over in his grave to know that a document such as this would be used against a fellow Guardsman," and she is "sick" and "angry" that his name is "being battled back and forth on television."
Connell said that her late husband was a fan of the young Bush.
She stated, "I know for a fact that this young man ... was an excellent aviator, an excellent person to be in the Guard, and he was very happy to have him become a member of the 111th."
Rufus Martin, the personnel chief in Killian's unit at the time told CNN, "They looked to me like forgeries. ... I don't think Killian would do that, and I knew him for 17 years."
Retired Maj. General Hodges, Killian's supervisor, told ABC News that he feels CBS misled him about the documents they uncovered. He said that CBS told him the documents were "handwritten" and after CBS read him excerpts he said, "Well if he wrote them that's what he felt."
Hodges believes the documents are frauds.
Doubts were being openly debated on rival networks. ABC News reported that they contacted more than a half dozen document experts who said they had doubts about the memos' authenticity.
Bill Flynn, one of country's top authorities on document authentication, told ABC, "These documents do not appear to have been the result of technology that was available in 1972 and 1973."
He continued, "The cumulative evidence that's available ... indicates that these documents were produced on a computer, not a typewriter."
CNN contacted independent document examiner Sandra Ramsey Lines who said the memos looked like they had been produced on a computer using Microsoft Word software. Lines is a document expert and fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. She pointed to a superscript -- a smaller, raised "th" in "111th Fighter Interceptor Squadron" -- as evidence indicating forgery.
After reviewing copies of the documents at her office in Paradise Valley, Arizona, Line said, "I'm virtually certain these were computer generated."
One expert counts at least 50 points that suggest the documents are forgeries.
The White House is remaining neutral on the documents' authenticity.
Press Secretary Scott McClellan said Friday, "We don't know whether the documents were fabricated or are authentic. The media has talked to independent experts who have raised questions about the documents."
He pointed out that CBS has not disclosed the source of the documents.
Newsweek is suggesting that Mapes received the documents from Bill Burkett, who it describes as a disgruntled former Guard officer. The magazine reports that Mapes flew to Texas to interview him.
If the documents are proven to be forgeries, the scandal would go to the highest level of CBS news. Talon News sources say that Jim Murphy, Executive Producer of the CBS Evening News, approves virtually every word that goes on the air. "60 Minutes II" Executive Producer Jeffrey Fager would also be on the endangered list, since his show originated the document story.
But more likely it would be Mapes who would take the fall along with Janet Leissner, the Washington Bureau Chief for CBS News. Leissner orchestrated the interview with White House communications director Dan Bartlett during which he was confronted with the suspect documents. Dan Rather was originally scheduled to do the interview, but White House correspondent John Roberts was substituted at the last minute for an unknown reason.
Mapes is no stranger to controversy as she also obtained the photographs of inmate abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. The source of the photographs as well as the documents now in question has never been revealed.
In 1999 Mapes was threatened with imprisonment if she failed to turn over the transcript of an interview that Dan Rather conducted with the third defendant being tried for murder in the dragging death of James Byrd, Jr. in Jasper, Texas. CBS ultimately complied with the court's demand for the information.
We knew this on Friday
Looks like Mapes is a real bad actor. Too bad she's the only one going down because you know her higher-ups loved her "work".
This time they got caught. How many other lies and falisified evidence has the Main Stream Media gotten away with over the years? How much better at lying and falsfying evidence will they be in the future... learning from the mistakes made in this case?
who gave Mary the documents? This is the issue...she got them from someone, and she is going to have to say who before this is over.
Now the unknown reason is a known reason. Dan wanted plausible deniability so he SET Roberts UP just in case there was a fall.
Roberts might be willing to give anonymous interviews.
Great work. I wish it'd be published all across the LSM.
she got them from someone, and she is going to have to say who before this is overShe could refuse. Even willingly sit out the election in jail.
This is good news. My fear is that the lamestream will let this die, and WE can't afford that.
who is this talon news that keeps coming up anyways?
Well, she must be quite proud of herself....
Yes, this is the same journalist who interviewed Killian's son and then discarded his information when it didn't fit CBS's agenda. This is the same journalist who didn't bother to follow-up and interview others who Killian's son recommended she contact for more information. The son definitely sounded credible to me. He was also in the Guard. I would sure like to know who Dan's "unimpeachable" source is, evidently, the wife, son and co-workers weren't good enough. CBS puts more credence into a Kerry contributing Democrat than the people who knew Killian the best.
Mary Mapes used to be a producer for KIRO TV News in Seattle. John Carlson, now a conservative radio personality on KVI 570, remembers Mary well when at the time he was also a member of KIRO TV. He remembers her as being the most leftist employee working for KIRO. She would often use her role as a producer to spread her leftist agenda using the local news station to do it. When John first heard about the CBS story, the first thoughts he had was Mary Mapes was behind this.
Additional information on this site indicates she risked facing trial for serious charges of some sort or another, back in November of 1999. Anybody here have a clearer notion of just what, exactly, is being hinted at here...?
The WH needs to kill this controversy!!! AARRGGH! All Bush has to do is call a press conference and denounce this for the smear it is.
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